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Just Found Out :
Heartbroken and Wounded in the Big Apple


 NYCchump (original poster new member #79754) posted at 9:44 PM on Saturday, January 8th, 2022

Hi everyone - like many of you I never thought I would find myself here. I am devastated by my ex-bf's infidelity but trying my best not to wallow in it. D-day was a little over 5 weeks ago.

My story... apologies for the novel.

Wayward boyfriend (WBF?) and I had been together for 8 years (both 36) and live together in NYC, not married and no kids. The last year of Covid, we started having problems with our relationship. I struggled with him no longer being a team player in the relationship, his immaturity (he often called me childish names, think like "butthead"), and when he was patronizing. I do now recognize that this is a form of abuse. He struggled with the fact that he felt like our relationship became had become more like roommates than that of BF/GF. There was also minimal physical intimacy. We tried couples counseling but they ultimately sent us off for IC this past summer. She thought WBF was depressed but thought we could both benefit from IC.

Throughout the summer and into the fall, things were status quo and I didn't want to poke the bear. I took care of him after he had a terrible accident and things seemed to be looking up for our relationship and he even told me that he thought everything was going to be fine.

He started a new job after he recovered, and things immediately started to go downhill. There were a couple of nights he was out extremely late at goodbye dinners with former coworkers from his old job. When he was around, I felt like a wounded animal cowering in our apartment while he would be in another room playing on his phone and ignoring/avoiding me. He basically gave me the silent treatment whenever we were home together. Throughout this time I 100% thought the problem was me - I wasn't giving him what he needed, I wasn't being the supportive partner, I needed to bring my A game to the relationship every time. I did some really serious self reflection during this time so I could to by best to be the partner he needed.

Shortly after this period of silent treatment/me desperately trying to make myself into his ideal partner, I left the apartment (left him a note) when he wasn’t there and stayed away for a few days to give us both some space. I never heard from him the while I was gone. I reached out after a few days to talk, and we wound up breaking up - at the time I thought it was a fairly mature conversation with him telling me he wanted to be independent, no longer wanted a roommate, etc. I made it clear I wanted to continue to work on the relationship, but agreed that we needed some time apart to heal ourselves/get away from the toxic situation. He even alluded to the door being open for us being together in the future, so I was clinging on to that tiny piece of hope as I went out of town for Thanksgiving.

When I got back from the holiday I said my final piece to him (along the lines it was a shame I couldn't apply the work I'd done on myself to our 8 year relationship) and he was cold and not moved at all. He was trying to hide his phone screen from me, I honestly thought he was just talking shit about me to his friends. I worked from home the next day and he went into the office, so I looked at his iPad while he was gone and that's where I discovered the A with a former coworker.

I suspect that they were communicating on internal company systems prior to texting as the texts didn't go back very far. The nights that he told me he was out having goodbye dinners were dinners with her. What really killed me was that the texts reminded me a lot of the start of our relationship with what they were sharing with each other, and the flirtations. I also discovered in the texts that they had slept together almost immediately after the breakup conversation.

I confronted him that night and told him he needed to get out and he could go stay with his AP. He tried to deny everything at first but then it dawned on him I had seen the texts. Even then he only copped to dinners until I told him I had seen the part about him sleeping together, and he claimed nothing had happened (which is BS). I said I understood he wasn’t getting what he needed from our relationship but he couldn’t go find it somewhere else while we were still together. He said he was confused about what he wanted. I had to ASK him to apologize for betraying me. As he was leaving he thanked me for letting him explain himself. I found this to be extremely selfish and after he left it really dawned on me how manipulated I had been.

Fast forward to now. I have repeated asked him to take enough things with him to just leave me alone until I move out at the end of January instead of popping by every few days to drop off dirty clothes and get clean ones. I am trying to go NC and get him out of my life to the best extent possible (we have a lot of mutual friends, especially in the city, so I’m not sure how this will go – those I have told have been horrified, but I don’t know how things will go over time). When he came over to get things this week we got into it a bit and it’s clear he’s not going to respect the boundaries I’m trying to respect vis a vis staying away until I move out. I was so riled up that night I didn’t fall asleep until 4 AM and feel the anxiety creeping back in as I know I’m probably going to get a text in the next few days telling me the next time he’s going to come and get another round of clean clothes.

I think this relationship is over – he has shown absolutely no remorse or interest in R. No independent apologies for what he did. There were problems before I found out about the AP. I know that this is for the best given his past abuse and lies but the emotional side isn’t there yet. I would be lying if I didn’t have "those days" where I experience the mindfuck of wanting to crawl into the arms of the person who did this to me and have him tell me everything is going to be ok. I also can’t seem to stop myself from seeing if he’s active on Instagram and asking my friends to tell me what’s in his stories, or trying to figure out what he’s up to and what his mental state is based on the clothes he takes with him, or the things he orders online and still has sent to our apartment. I don’t dwell on the AP too much – I looked her up, I personally think she’s much less attractive and I wouldn’t be surprised if he told her he was single - aside from wonder if they are still seeing each other.

Two things really stress me about the future – one, my age (I’m 36), and two, our mutual friends. From reading other posts here I think people will tell me not to worry about my age, but it’s stressful to think that by the time I am able to move beyond this, find someone worth spending the rest of my life with, and want to have kids I could be beyond child-bearing years. With respect to our friends, WBF can be really funny, gregarious, and entertaining (it got to the point that I was looking forward to having plans with friends because it meant he would stop being a dick to me for a few hours). The news of our breakup and his A has been a surprise to a lot of people, but I’m really anxious about how this plays out over the coming months and even years as the shock fades.

Thanks for reading my story. My friends and family have been very supportive throughout this whole ordeal but not many have been through something similar and can relate. I’m looking forward to better days ahead and moving on with my life when I’m ready.

posts: 3   ·   registered: Jan. 7th, 2022
id 8708579

gmc94 ( Guide #62810) posted at 10:27 PM on Saturday, January 8th, 2022

NYC - I'm just so sorry you are living through the pain of infidelity. It's so very very hard. Hugs.

And, I think I "get" your anxiety about the social stuff and the future, etc.

All I can say is that the things you are anxious about are really outside of your control. To me, the good news is the traumatic end of a relationship can be a catalyst for inner work/healing and change. IOW, you may find that there are a lot of things in your life which you feel anxiety about, and which you cannot control or change. Putting in the work to learn how to be (as Pema Chodron would say) comfortable in uncertainty can be a gift that impacts all aspects of our lives - not "just" the infidelity/relationship.

So, there are some books that may help on this particular front. Pema Chodron's "when things fall apart" is oft recommended. Personally, there was something about her style that didn't resonate so well for me, but that doesn't mean you won't get some mileage there. I found that Brene Brown did hit the right notes, and got a TON of mileage from her writings/talks (my favorite, and I think of it as a "down & dirty" or cliff notes of her first few books, is the audio called "the power of vulnerability". I got it on hoopla via my local library (it's about 6-8 hours long audio of a series of talks she gave - I do not believe it's the same as what you'll find on YouTube). She and her sisters also did a podcast over the summer on the gift of imperfection (which is also a book), so if a podcast is more your speed, that's one to check out (she has a podcast, but the topics seem kind of across the board, so I don't really follow it).

As crazy as this may sound to someone in the midst of coping with some really painful stuff, there are several things about my post dday healing that make me damn near GRATEFUL for dday. I know that seems impossible (and I remember when folks said that to me when I first arrived on SI, and just how convinced I felt that (a) they were crazy, and (b) that would NEVER happen for me... yet here I am blush )

So, I get that you are anxious... and my question is what can you actually DO about the things you fear? Do you have the ability to go back in time and be age 25 when this relationship ends? Do you have the ability to control what your social circle says or feels or does about the end of this relationship?

I'm assuming the answer to both question is "no" (but if you do have that time machine, shoot me a PM and we can talk turkey, as I suspect there is a lot of $$$ to be made on that machine right here on SI grin ). So, then how to focus on the things you DO have control over, which is you? How might you reframe your thoughts to be more positive? How might you use energy spent on anxiety for some self reflection about the things you'd like to change about you? (and I do NOT mean that in a "you are broken" sense, I mean that in a "all of us always have some emotional journey we can put energy into, some emotional aspiration, etc" sense). I know it may sound like I think these are just easy things to do - believe me, I'm painfully aware of how effing hard it can be to practice what I'm preaching here. it is NOT easy, but it does reap some amazeball benefits.. the kind of benefits that will help in whatever next relationships (romantic or otherwise) you will enjoy in your life (and starting with your relationship with yourself).

What "gifts" to yourself can you envision from this awful, painful, chapter in your life? Losing a dream HURTS. Badly and big time. That's OK. It's Ok to feel crummy and angry and sad and all the other feels. We are human and that's something we just do. And it's also OK to experience those feelings (IME, stifling doesn't really work very well) AND love ourselves AND try to find some light at the end of the tunnel we seem to have to walk thru after infidelity.

[This message edited by gmc94 at 10:31 PM, Saturday, January 8th]

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3618   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8708586

emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 12:23 AM on Sunday, January 9th, 2022


I’m sorry to you’re here. This is one of the hardest things you will likely ever have to go through. The good news is, many of us here have been through something similar and know how you’re feeling.

Please know that none of this is your fault. Affairs happen in good relationships, bad relationships and everything in between. This isn’t the relationship’s fault, it’s HIS. Your partner’s decision to cheat says nothing about you and EVERYTHING about him. I’m so sorry his behaviour has made you feel on any way less than during these past few years. I promise you, you are not.

I would encourage you to encourage your IC (individual counselling) and read up here in the healing library on the 180. Right now he probably feels like he has options. Stop making yourself one of them. (That doesn’t means you are necessarily closing the door permanently but it makes it clear that you are not sitting around waiting for him to make up his mind). More importantly it will help ease your anxiety and put you in a position to heal as efficiently as possible. I wonder if it is possible for you to leave the apartment the next time your ex-partner arrives to pickup clothes to minimize the amount of time you have to spend in his presence. Maybe you could back a bag for him and leave it at the door. I’m assuming this should no longer be an issue for you at the end of the month when you have moved out.

I don’t have a lot of good advice on it but I wanted you to know that I really empathize with your feelings surrounding age and your having children. At the time of my D-Day, my husband and I had been trying (unsuccessfully) to get pregnant for the better part of a year. I felt like we had already pushed it pretty late and was in the midst of being evaluated for fertility issues when I found out my spouse was f*cking a coworker. On top of the betrayal, it felt like he had also stolen my opportunity to be a mother. Like I said, I don’t have any silver bullets here. I just want you to know that I see you and hear you.

I promise you that you will get through this. Keep posting. ❤️

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 6 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two toddlers) into R. Happy.

posts: 743   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8708603

oldmewasmurdered ( member #79473) posted at 5:11 AM on Sunday, January 9th, 2022

Hi, so glad you finally made your own post! You'll get lots of great advice.

I'm sorry you are here. It sounds like you're a sweetheart for trying to improve yourself despite being so hurt. I relate to your story a lot (also pre-marriage, no kids). I am like you but 4 months out. Here are a few things that I learned in these harrowing 4 months that I hope will help speed up your understanding of the whole thing and your recovery.

- It's not your fault. Your WBF's affair is not your fault, no mattery how much he blames you, or you blame yourself. This is very important to internalize. No relationship is perfect, and you were under the same relationship stress as he is. Yet you didn't even entertain the notion of cheating on him. Him cheating is series of decisions that HE, and he alone, made. So do not blame yourself. I know you will want to at this stage of recovery, but you're the victim. You are wonderful and loving and deserve to be loved and cared for.

- Look at his actions, they show who he is right now. At about 5 weeks post Dday this was one of the hardest things for me to grasp. How could the love of your life turn so cold and cruel to you? Mine did the same, I almost couldn't recognize her (and I was going to marry her in a week!). Maybe he tells you he loves you still, maybe he doesn't. Words at this stage doesn't matter because you know he lies. Look to his actions, because they can tell you how he really feels currently. He is currently using you and your apartment. He is cold and distant. He is not respecting your boundaries. This is who he is right now (more on this in the next point).

- He is currently in the affair fog / limerence. Most WS when caught go through this. From what I've read on SI and other sources this stage can last months, years, or never end. It's rare for a WS to snap out of it very quickly, else they wouldn't really cheat in the first place. So all this cold, cruel, manipulative behavior you're seeing right now IS who he is, at least for now and maybe for the next long while. He is currently not your loving BF. He is currently this... thing. Can he turn remorseful and be loving? Maybe. Are you going to spend the months, possibly years, possibly never to help him work through it? Well at least based on your OP no. I think you're making the right choice given what you wrote. He is currently no candidate for R. Your WBF is even colder and crueler than my W-fiancee, and you can read my post (down below in JFO) to see how others advised me against R based on her behaviors.

I hope at least some of this can be helpful to you. These were all things I learned through reading, tears, and excessive pain. I hope to save you from some of these pain and tears. This post is already long enough so I'll do the break-up part in another post.

posts: 75   ·   registered: Oct. 12th, 2021   ·   location: Canada
id 8708650

oldmewasmurdered ( member #79473) posted at 5:46 AM on Sunday, January 9th, 2022

Ok so assuming you commit to break-up, what now? Here I think I can help you minimize your pain. I've been told by people here on SI, my IC, and friends that I've been making quite good progress in my recovery. I attribute that to these things, and maybe they can help you too speed up your recovery.

- Break up ASAP (once you decide to commit to it). The longer you wait the more pain you will go through. Everything related to your WBF is a massive trigger at this stage. You'll find (if you haven't yet) that even memories of him during the A begin to turn into triggers. Dragging your feet here will absolutely lengthen your pain. So you need to ask yourself if you can see yourself giving your WBF time to prove himself R-worthy, and then R. If the answer is no, then you need to rip the bandaid off. If you have love for your WBF this will be one the hardest thing to do being so fresh into such a big trauma. You will barely barely functioning, barely holding on, crying all day, and you will need to find the strength to break up with him. It's really hard, I'm sorry. Once you do this though, the most important part comes in.

- You need to maintain No Contact (NC). I repeat. NC at all cost. You will want to break NC... a lot (I did in the beginning on a daily basis). Please, please don't do it. NC is to protect YOU. NC protects you from your #1 trigger, being your WBF. NC lets you heal without having your wound re-opened constantly. Lean on your family and friends (and here on SI) heavily if you want to break NC to avoid doing it.

Logically speaking, it doesn't make sense to break NC in your situation if you care about him. If you reach out and he's in pain from the breakup, then that can make you sad. If you reach out and he has moved on (with AP or not), then that can mess you up at this stage of grief and healing. If you reach out and he wants to get back together, well if he's still in limerence then he's no R candidate. It's all lose and no win. Don't do it, please.

- Start IC if possible. Unless you are a really introspective person, IC can help you work through why you feel certain pains and triggers and come up with strategies to work through them. Now IC can be expensive (as you know) so it's up to your financial situation. But highly recommended.

- Eventually, facing your fears if you can. I'm specifically targeting this one

my age (I’m 36)... it’s stressful to think that by the time I am able to move beyond this, find someone worth spending the rest of my life with, and want to have kids I could be beyond child-bearing years.

. You can read my post to see my similar fears (I'm male so not as bad as your fear). Eventually there will be a point in your healing where this fear will hinder your healing. Now the fear is totally natural. I just want to note that focusing on the fear of not finding Mr. Right in time to have kids will delay your grief and healing, which will delay when you are ready to find Mr. Right. The fear is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Hopefully some of these concrete pointers can be of help. Sorry if they're not. I'm new to this myself and am more used to receiving advice than giving it xD.

I'm sorry you have to weather the infidelity storm but we're all rooting for ya. Stay strong. Big internet hugs smile

[This message edited by oldmewasmurdered at 5:51 AM, Sunday, January 9th]

posts: 75   ·   registered: Oct. 12th, 2021   ·   location: Canada
id 8708653

countrydirt ( member #55758) posted at 7:30 AM on Sunday, January 9th, 2022

Two things really stress me about the future – one, my age (I’m 36), and two, our mutual friends. From reading other posts here I think people will tell me not to worry about my age, but it’s stressful to think that by the time I am able to move beyond this, find someone worth spending the rest of my life with, and want to have kids I could be beyond child-bearing years.

NYCc - I'm sorry you are here. So many of us have been dealt a similar hand, so feel free to spew out your fears and journey as you learn about a new you.

I separated at 56 and divorce was final at 57. I don't know about the child-bearing part, but you will meet new people. I feared I never would, but found there are quite a few people out there in my small city that are also looking to meet people and my social life has never been better. I really thought I would have a difficult time meeting people during the pandemic - the end of my marriage came around during the lockdown and rolling pandemic, so I got outside and tried to be very active and met quite a few new people with similar interests and those friendships are growing.

I don't know if I will find someone to spend the rest of my life with and right now I'm not worrying about that. I spent about 6 months during the trial separation and legal separation just trying to figure out who I would return to being. I've spent the last year just trying to be a bit more adventurous and doing some light and casual dating and then realized that the lady I am seeing now feels very much the same way I do and we have been seeing each other exclusively for the past 4 months or so. Bike rides, hikes, kayaking, movies, meals at home and out and seeing friends.

3 adult sons
Married 32 years. DDay1 - June 2016, DDay 2 - April 2017, Final DDay - May 2020. Divorced - January 2021

posts: 362   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2016   ·   location: Colorado
id 8708658

 NYCchump (original poster new member #79754) posted at 3:41 AM on Monday, January 10th, 2022

Thanks, everyone for your support. To address some of your comments...

I have waded into the books a little. I read "Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life" and really liked how she reinforced throughout that it's the cheater's choice and has nothing to do with the BS/none of this has anything to do with me. It helped me understand some of my own feelings too. I definitely plan on rereading some of the sections to help me internalize the advice. My heart is still way behind my head.

I'm doing my best to move forward, but it's been frustrating. I got a really nasty case of Covid last month about two weeks post d-day, it absolutely flattened me. I still struggle with breathing difficulties and exhaustion and my stamina is totally shot, though it's hard to tell how much of the exhaustion is from lingering Covid symptoms vs. the stress that I've been under from this mess. It was also terrible that I had to face the sickness completely alone after I spent 3 weeks nursing him back to health after his accident. When I told him I had Covid and he should not come by the apartment to pick things up, his response was "thanks for letting me know". No sorry, no is there anything I can do for you, that was it.

Because of the lingering post-Covid issues I just feel like my life is stuck in neutral right now and I can't go out and start living my life again while he's out doing who knows what with who knows who. I am going to look into egg freezing but fear it may be financially difficult, not to mention I've heard it's hell on the body.

I have done IC ever since the couples counselor suggested it, months before all this happened. I'm not sure how helpful it's been as I feel like I talk about WBF the whole time. I told her after our last session I wanted to spend more time talking about me and less time talking about him.

I had to look up what an affair fog was. TBH I'm not totally sure this is what WBF is in. I think he sees our relationship as truly over. I'm not sure what his status is with his AP, but if he is still seeing her he probably sees it as the beginning of a new relationship. We are currently broken up 100%, outside of the fact that all of our possessions are still together in our apartment. I don't think he thinks about me at all (he has said as much a few times during the breakup convos after we had been apart for Thanksgiving and when I left the apartment, it was pretty brutal to hear). I do agree though, based on our last interaction, he has turned into more of a "thing" than a human.

We do not speak or text outside of when he tells me he needs to come by the apartment, and I let him know whether or not I will be there. I feel like I made it clear to him when we broke up before I found out about the A, after I got back from the holidays, and then when we talked after I found out about the A that I wanted to try to work things out... at some point in the future. However, for me, the A changed everything on that front. Right now he is not showing remorse, and I truly don't know if he will be capable of the penance he will have to undergo to get forgiveness from me, my family members, and our friends, and potentially his family as well. And even if he does decide he wants to do that (probably wouldn't be for at least several months at a minimum if it ever happens) I don't know if it would make a difference to me in terms of being able to ever trust him again and feel secure in our relationship.

We do have group chat though with a bunch of mutual friends so he does pop up on my phone every now and then. Some of the friends in the chat know we aren't together and what he did, some don't but I'm sure they will hear through the grapevine. I haven't totally decided what to do here as I enjoy my other friends' banter, but I hate seeing him pop up. Maybe I just mute it for a while?

posts: 3   ·   registered: Jan. 7th, 2022
id 8708803

leafields ( member #63517) posted at 3:57 AM on Monday, January 10th, 2022

Sorry you're in this mess. The pain is indescribable to anybody who hasn't experienced it.

If you're not eating, then the lack of energy could be from the lack of food. Calories = energy, which is what you're finding out.

I'd mute the conversation for awhile. Once you block his number, then you can unmute but not see him pop up.

As for children, if egg-freezing doesn't pan out, there are other ways to be a mother figure. There are so many children who need people who are not necessarily their mom who can provide a place where they can just "be" or need a safe haven.

[This message edited by leafields at 3:57 AM, Monday, January 10th]

Me: BW
Married 34 years, 3 DS
DDay #1: March 26, 2018, DDay #2 8/26/2019
Filed for D: 11/16/2020
D Final: 2/25/2021

posts: 778   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8708805

emergent8 ( member #58189) posted at 5:59 PM on Friday, January 14th, 2022

NYC - How are you managing?

Me: BS, Him: WS. Mid-late 30s.
Together 15 years, married 6 (11 m at D-Day).
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
5 years (and two toddlers) into R. Happy.

posts: 743   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8709894
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