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Just Found Out :
Unknown Path


 perfectpain (original poster new member #79786) posted at 5:00 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

I would like to thank everyone in this forum. This site has been my source of sanity during the last few weeks of pain and madness.

It took about 16 days before I was able to get more than three hours of sleep. Emotions are up and down and pain I've never felt before.

I have been absorbing everything I can - the perspective, hurt, excuses, etc.

Married 28 years. Two kids.

DDay 12.20,2021

I was in my office and heard my wife in the kitchen whispering which I thought was odd. I walked quietly and noticed a tone I've not heard her use before outside of us. A tone of care, softness and closeness.

When I approached, she had a shocked look and when I asked her who she was talking to, I heard a male voice on the other line. She quickly shut off her phone and showed me who it was. It was a fake contact of her female friend.

She quickly got defensive with lies and informed me that it was a room she was interested in for rent because she wants a divorce. I was in shock because I knew we were having issues, but this was quite a bomb. The gaslighting was brutal and her constant blame shift was evident.

I was able to get the phone records and confronted her about their initial text on 11.19 which escalated to more texts/calls. She did this while I was at work, sleeping or taking kid to activities.

She admitted it was wrong to have an EA and would like to work on our issues with MC. I asked her one last time for full transparency and she said it was an EA through text/calls. She sees AP at work maybe once a week. She's 47 he's 31.

I asked her one last time if she has seen him outside of work and she said no.

Things started to calm down a little including a significant drop in my cortisol levels on 12.27, but my instincts were still going off. So I accessed her google timeline and everything looks normal. But as I zoomed out, I noticed one little dot east of the map.

I looked up the address and cross referenced it with Intelius and the number matched the AP. So I confronted her again about her lies and showed her google timeline images and she finally admitted the 'one time' PA on 12.10.

We are currently just calming ourselves for the kids, but I'm devastated and look at this person who I thought was my friend as this devious evil human being.

We were separated 13 years ago and dated other people, but after working it out and deciding on our second child, we agreed to be with each other only and if we want to be with someone else, prior to cheating, we would separate. She said she was done with out relationship and this was sort of her last act. She admits now that it was the wrong path, but at the time, she said it was nice to be with someone without all the negative issues. But now, she wants to try and work it out. She said a last attempt in saving us. It's confusing at times and my heart and brain are in constant battle as to what to do. I feel like taking her back enables here since there's zero consequence. At the same time, before this, we are great together.

I'm going to have my first trauma IC this afternoon. I'm trying to figure out what path to take. There's so much more to write, but even just typing this makes me feel a lot lighter because I'm sharing something with those who knows what I'm feeling.

Thank you.

[This message edited by perfectpain at 5:34 PM, Thursday, January 13th]

posts: 2   ·   registered: Jan. 13th, 2022
id 8709544

Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 5:23 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Perfect pain

I have what I think is the best process on dealing with infidelity.
I feely admit that although I think this is the best way there are probably other ways a lot better and a lot of ways a lot worse.

First: You will get a lot of posts telling you she’s lying and that there is more to this and all that. They are all true, but frankly not so relevant right now. What is relevant is that your wife has decided to have an affair.

My stance is this:

What is the worst possible outcome from what you are dealing with?

I guess your initial reaction is to say it’s divorce. It’s your wife leaving for OM and of thinking of her in his arms and whatever.
Yep. That is bad. But it’s not the worst…
The WORST I can imagine is going to MC, thinking that since you started doing the dishes and doing date-nights and shaving daily then things are improving… and then discovering maybe 2-3 months from now that "running errands" is her code for "meeting OM at some park".

THAT is what you want to avoid.

So, what I recommend is this. I have a speech prepared so read its content and consider how you can reword it for your purpose:

"Wife. I love you and always envisioned being with you forever. However, I realize there is something immensely worse than losing you. In fact, the moment you decided to have an affair I lost you. What is worse is what you are offering me now and have been offering me since the moment you decided to be with OM. I am sharing you.
I do not share my wife. It’s that simple.
You are totally free to be with OM. You don’t have to hide the affair. You can date him, spend time with him, sleep over at his house, whatever. But not as my wife. I hereby absolve you of any obligation or expectation I might have to you as husband and wife.
I do ask that you show me the respect of not having OM around our house, but other than that do what you want.

Until and unless you show me with actions and tell me in a clear vocal way that you want this marriage, I am simply assuming you have decided to be in infidelity. I am therefore also assuming our marriage is over. I will start detaching, and I will soon start the legal process of terminating our marriage.
Don’t worry – there are laws in place that should ensure we both get a fair deal. I don’t want to make this harder than it needs to be so I will place this in the hands of an attorney. I suggest you look into getting your own attorney but maybe we can look into mediation.

If you do want this marriage, then remember you are doing so on your own free will. I am not forcing you to anything. But for me to believe it’s possible I would need some requirements met, such as attainable accountability, a timeline, details about how the affair progressed, a clear NC letter to the OM and accountable NC with OM."

Once that speech is over you go make a sandwich and watch football.
What needs to be said has been said. You aren’t really bothered if they met once or umpteen times, if they did a or b or if she’s still texting him. You have placed the onus of proving it’s over on her.

If she comes over (and she will…) and says you didn’t pay her attention and that’s why OM came into the picture…
"I am sorry you feel that way. If we were working on our marriage, we might have to address that issue. Since you are focused on your affair there isn’t a need to go there".
This – and some version of this – is your stock answer to ALL marital issues until or unless she vocally asks for the marriage.

She asks about details for the divorce:
I am too emotionally attached to this marriage to make sensible decisions regarding divorce. I will ask my attorney to deal with all these issues in a fair manner within the framework of the law".

Simply put – you don’t engage. You let her decide if R is possible – because frankly the power to decide that is already in her hands. You decide then if she’s doing enough for you to commit to R, or if you continue at your own pace towards divorce.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 10172   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8709554

Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 5:55 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Pay attention to Bigger. He is smart about marriage, infidelity, etc.

What his telling you is you take yourself out of the marriage. Wait a little while to see if she is really trying or just giving lip service. You don’t, from mental and physical issues, need to let this go on long term. You do not owe her one thing. She owes you fidelity, emotional and physical. If she cannot, you have no marriage.

When someone walks away let them go
TD Jakes

posts: 3108   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8709567

CruiseControl ( new member #79784) posted at 6:16 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

I’m sorry you’re going through this! I have a very similar story; almost to the T, including the phone records and so on... I’m 2 + years post and still struggling with it... We did go the route of working through it and so on... Things are seemingly perfect for her, but I still think about it almost daily... I really didn’t expect it to last so long... And to a certain extent get worse... The first year back into it was kind of a honey moon period, but things are gradually going back to what they were before and now, if not for covid, I’d be worried that she would stray again and go back to her flame... Anyhow, not intending to be a bummer here, I suppose that what I’m trying to convey is to take your time and really focus on your wants and needs... Don’t make your decision based on kids, family, friends and so on... Make the decision that is best for you in the long term...

Wish you well...

posts: 15   ·   registered: Jan. 13th, 2022   ·   location: NA
id 8709573

CruiseControl ( new member #79784) posted at 6:27 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Interesting! To add to my previous post, I pretty much did all of Bigger’s suggestions!! Gave her all the options... stay, leave, open marriage... + all the suggestions!! Very good advise!! Disclaimer: results will vary even if she does come back...

posts: 15   ·   registered: Jan. 13th, 2022   ·   location: NA
id 8709576

Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 6:34 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

I want to point out that my advice isn’t to divorce, but rather to get out of infidelity.
If she wants this marriage then the option of reconciliation is open to her as long as you are open for it.

I have always seen the goal as to get out of infidelity. IMHO there are two ways to do that – reconcile or divorce. Fortunately the path to both run side-by-side for some time and you can always switch between them. I’m suggesting you start your preparation for that journey, but decide your final path once you know who’s boarding the bus with you.

What my suggestion prevents it the all-too-common situation where the wife (in your case) claims to be reconciling, but resents you for tarnishing her cowboy with the white hat. In the situation I describe you haven’t hindered her from anything other than remaining married if she decides to have a lover. She can’t feel resentment because it’s HER decision.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 10172   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8709579

Trdd ( member #65989) posted at 7:12 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Look at the first two pinned threads here in Just Found Out for more important information. Then look at the Library section of the site too. The 180 process is good to focus on.

If you use Bigger's approach and see that she is trying to focus on the marriage, you ought to consider getting a few books and have her (and maybe you) begin individual counseling. Lots of books are recommended in the library. Consider How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair and Not Just Friends.

posts: 441   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8709586

This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 7:32 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

we agreed to be with each other only and if we want to be with someone else, prior to cheating, we would separate.

This promise is predicated on the unmet needs fallacy. That the A is somehow justified and is a maladaptive behavior to marital problems. This could sometimes be the case, but it generally is not. Most likely the draw to the A was like she described it, because any new relationship provides a filtered "all positive, no negative" feeling that isn't a fair comparison to a long term relationship that has to deal with reality.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 1648   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8709591

Newlifeisgreat ( member #71308) posted at 7:47 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

A marriage is like a stool in that it relies on three legs, and if any one of those legs is broken, the whole thing will fall apart.

In marriage, those three legs are

When a husband/wife/significant other Cheats, all three of those legs are destroyed.

after finding out that your spouse, the person that you were vowed before friends, before family, and brfor God to be loyal to, to for sake all others, has cheated on you, do you really think you’re ever going to trust them again?
Every time they are late by five minutes, you’re going to be wondering if she is in the backseat of somebody’s car, wondering what Hotel room she is in and with who. That person has destroyed your trust, and you are going to have to deal with that for the rest of your life. The simple story is that you will never trust her again.

Do you really think that your cheating spouse respects you?
If they did, how could they possibly cheat on you. And they certainly won’t respect you if you let them stay in the house after you have discovered they are fair. The longer you let them stay around and in your life, the greater the disrespect or the lack of respect that they will have for you. They will think that the next time they get caught, they’ll just have to ask sorry, cry enough, and if they stick it out long enough, you will forgive them, and then the cycle will repeat again and again and again.

do you think you’re cheating spouse actually loves you? Do you think that they were thinking about the love you share, the love that you had on your wedding day in on your honeymoon? How is it possible for somebody to love another person and then give them the most precious gift that is only supposed to be for you.?

Do you think she loved you when she was telling you those lies that it was only a friend, and only an emotional affair,? Do you think that she would still be with this guy, That is assuming that she has actually brought the affair to an end And has not just taken it deeper in deeper underground so you don’t actually see it, if you hadn’t caught them?

How could somebody love you and cause you this much pain?

I know firsthand the pain that people who’ve been cheated on go through. My advice is simple stay strong, and do What is right for you.

Stay strong, and good luck. And do whatever you need to do to be able to look at the man in the mirror in the eye every morning.

Be very skeptical about her being upset or crying. Is she crying because she hurt you, or is she in self preservation mode, and is just trying to save her lifestyle, and her reputation?

Good luck, and stay strong.

[This message edited by Newlifeisgreat at 7:35 PM, Friday, January 14th]

Betrayed SpouseShe cheated and I filed immediately upon discovering. She never even suspected that I knew until the moment she was served with reason being AdulteryDivorced 9/18Now VERY happy with new life, 0 regrets

posts: 672   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2019
id 8709598

Newlifeisgreat ( member #71308) posted at 8:07 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Sorry duplicate

[This message edited by Newlifeisgreat at 8:09 PM, Thursday, January 13th]

Betrayed SpouseShe cheated and I filed immediately upon discovering. She never even suspected that I knew until the moment she was served with reason being AdulteryDivorced 9/18Now VERY happy with new life, 0 regrets

posts: 672   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2019
id 8709604

SnowToArmPits ( member #50943) posted at 8:08 PM on Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Hi OP. Listen to Bigger and give her that speech.

Yep, at that point you are playing hard ball with her.

Your wife needs to understand - she can't 'sort of be married'. She can't take a holiday from the marriage to fuck other men.

If she's married to you then it's monogamy and no contact, and we begin the hard work of reconciliation. Or, bye bye.

Here at SI, men like you post stories just like yours all the time. So take some solace in that your wife sounds like a run of the mill cheater, and experienced posters here have helped many men just like you.

Some of these marriages end up reconciling, some end in divorce. You need to be prepared for the latter result. A 47 year old wife with kids making a new life with a 31 year old man is rare as far as these stories go. Usually she'll either crash and burn as you move through the divorce process and beg you to let her come back, or, she's so unhappy in the marriage she just moves on and divorces.

Your wife lying right to your face about the affair is not a good sign. She needs to come a long way in her thinking for your marriage to recover.

STD test for you is probably a good idea, and mandatory for her if you reconcile. Use a condom if you have sex with her before she gets an STD test. She's having sex with other men, look out for you health here.

Be decisive and strong here, don't wallow in fear or put up with her shit.

posts: 405   ·   registered: Dec. 25th, 2015   ·   location: Canada
id 8709606

Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 12:44 AM on Friday, January 14th, 2022

I like Biggers approach. It cuts to the essence of the issue. A couple of things to add, include a deadline, like, my lawyer will call you Monday if I don’t hear from you. You should not wait weeks. No need to engage in any conversation until she decides what she wants. And yes this sucks and both reconciliation and divorce are difficult paths, nothing about infidelity is easy.

You may want to spend some time thinking about what either direction looks like for you.

Take time for yourself, and be kind to you.

Legally separated, one more step.

posts: 1784   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2018
id 8709684

RocketRaccoon ( member #54620) posted at 6:34 AM on Friday, January 14th, 2022

What Bigger said.

To add on:

But now, she wants to try and work it out. She said a last attempt in saving us.

This is one of the most common lies that cheaters say ('next to 'he/she is just a friend' and 'It was only a kiss'), and don't be surprised that the A is still ongoing.....

What your WW is doing is to give you hope. Hope that you can go back to 'normal'. This will make you smoke the Hopium pipe, and ignore the other red flags that will be waving in the background (still glued to phone, still staying on at her job (so that they can still see each other), and you might get a bit of nookie (just to keep you around as a free babysitter).

Until she willingly gives up the basic things to even consider a chance at R:
- Privacy (transparent access to all forms of communications)
- Hand-written timeline (I prefer hand-written, as it makes them think hard about what they are writing, as typing on a keyboard takes less effort)
- 100% N(o) C(ontact) with the AP

... you will not even be able to start on your journey out of Infidelity.

You cannot cure stupid

posts: 932   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2016   ·   location: South East Asia
id 8709727

 perfectpain (original poster new member #79786) posted at 3:04 PM on Friday, January 14th, 2022

Thank you everyone. I appreciate your responses. Lots to think through here. I really like Bigger's approach with some modifications.

I do know that she has ended it. And she's mostly out of limerence/fog. BUT she's still blameshifting a little bit, justifying that she wanted to exit anyway so her actions didn't matter (although she did say earlier it was the wrong approach).

She seems torn if the better approach is to just divorce and/or work on the marriage. She wants to keep the family, but seems unhappy.

I'm on the fence as well. I did have a great session with my IC yesterday. It sounds like there's a lot of what she calls 'delusional remorse' and 'compulsive infidelity.'

I'm trying to ride the weekend and since it's my son's bday. I don't want him impacted with all of this.

Not sure what to do since we are both 50/50.

The sad part is that I'm questioning everything the last six years now because she did have some odd behavior that almost mimics the recent events, but I was too busy to notice.

Will think on it some more and see if we can be fixed or if I even want to try. Either way, no happy ending here.

Rocket: She has been transparent. The issue right now is she's looking for another job. She needs this position because it's for a specific specialty and quitting without a similar position would set her back immensely on her career path. She is looking for another job that I can see. She also told me this person is on rotation so they only see each other once every week or so and it's a very open setting due to the nature of her position. I did verify this because I have a friend that works in a similar position. They haven't seen each other since dday that I am sure of. Their last conversation was on 12.25 when she broke it off that night.

Honestly at this point if she does talk to him, I almost welcome it so that my decision will be easier.

[This message edited by perfectpain at 3:11 PM, Friday, January 14th]

posts: 2   ·   registered: Jan. 13th, 2022
id 8709819

src9043 ( member #75367) posted at 9:20 PM on Friday, January 14th, 2022

You are the best judge to determine if your marriage has run its course. Not much information was given as to why the two of you broke up 13 years ago and why you reconciled. As with all these posts on SI and other such forums, the devil is in the details.

That being said, from what I have read at this point, your wife has periodically had one foot out the door or, at least has decided to seek intimacy from other males. You know of one PA and suspect there may have been another one. I assume she did so during the period of separation even though it might not be considered cheating. Her present AP is certainly no candidate for a long-term relationship. But that didn't stop her from risking her marriage and family for whatever kicks she got from cheating.

Full disclosure: I am a BS. I gave my ex-wife one bite of the apple and rug swept her first affair. Big mistake. Given my experience, I have practically a zero-tolerance level concerning cheating. When a partner decides to piss on you, the children, and the marriage that should be the end of things. White-knuckling the rest of your time with the WS is just not a thing to do. You have 28 years together and, clearly, a divorce will cause financial hardship. But, damn, haven't you had enough of her horseshit? On top of it all, this may not be her first rodeo.

My advice: File for divorce. Remain amicable. If she shows any true desire to stop all this crap and makes the appropriate effort, you can rescind the process. I have read stories of WWs on this forum who have done just that. She is nowhere close to being like them.

posts: 500   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8709921

sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 9:39 PM on Friday, January 14th, 2022

I suggest starting with you and what you want. You save energy that way - if you want D, your W's love/trust/respect are no longer relevant. A good IC can help you figure out what you want.

If R is either a possibility or what you actually want, I recommend figuring out what you want from your W and how you'll know if you're getting it or not. A good IC can help you here, too.

Then lay out your wants for your W to consider. Maybe she'll flat out refuse, which leads to D. Maybe she'll want to adjust what she commits to do. If you come up wit mutually agreed requirements for R, R may work. Keep monitoring your M to be sure you're both meeting commitments.

That's 'starting with what you want.' What I mean by 'start with you' is that you're inundated with grief, anger, fear, and even shame. Processing those feelings out of your body is the essence of 'recovery'. A good IC can help your process those feelings.

My advice is to take charge of yourself, to take charge of acting in your best interests. What you do, IMO, is less important than how you do it. Focusing on avoiding pain gives you fewer options and a worse future than focusing on maximizing joy. Both D & R can empower you. Both D & R can disempower you. I urge you to won your power and go for joy.

The actions Bigger suggests require using your power in your best interests. My bet is that's why so many people, including me, think it's great advice.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 26513   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8709926

guvensiz ( member #75858) posted at 9:47 PM on Friday, January 14th, 2022

I was in shock because I knew we were having issues, but this was quite a bomb.

We were separated 13 years ago and dated other people

At the same time, before this, we are great together


The first two contradict the last. Even if you think so, she obviously doesn't think so.

Btw, what was the reason for the separation 13 years ago? Was it her idea?

She wants to keep the family, but seems unhappy.
I'm on the fence as well.

In this case, reconciliation would be the wrong solution for both of you. So it would be wrong to make a speech that would offer her R as an option.

First you have to decide if you really want the R, and then you have to make sure that she really wants it and meets the requirements.

The sad part is that I'm questioning everything the last six years now because she did have some odd behavior that almost mimics the recent events, but I was too busy to notice.

There may be more that you do not know about her A with AP, and she may also have had other affaires before. The fact that she was not transparent when caught strengthens this doubt.

posts: 620   ·   registered: Nov. 14th, 2020
id 8709929

RealityBlows ( member #41108) posted at 2:07 AM on Saturday, January 15th, 2022

And when you deliver "The Bigger Speech"...

Do it in a deep, forceful, authoritative yet tranquil, subdued Lawrence Fishburne voice of Morpheus. She will be profoundly moved to deep introspection and strangely aroused by, not only your sexy soulful intonation, but also your very attractive command over the situation, your self determination and dignity.

And, if she comes running back to you begging for R, square up your Thug Life glasses and look past her, miles into the horizon of your limitless possibilities and say, "I don't know Baby, maybe I'll think about it."

And if she does't come running back, I'll steel a famous line from an old poster, "start working on your abs, you're gonna need em."

posts: 776   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2013
id 8709969

The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 2:27 AM on Saturday, January 15th, 2022

I delivered the "Bigger" speech at dday2. I didn’t know about SI at the time so I was operating in my gut instinct.

I told my H I was left w/ no choice but to D him. He was free to go and be with the OW.

I then left the room.

Next day he realized he was stripped of all his power or say in anything regarding my life. Hard 180 was in existence from that moment on.

I was out from under his infidelity cloud.

Best thing I ever did.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11155   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8709971

Western ( member #46653) posted at 10:24 PM on Saturday, January 15th, 2022

Bigger's idea is very good but I would also look into Newlifeisgreat and Governsiz' posts. Both are good and do you know the extent to which this went ?

Or were there others ?

Look, in the end, you have to make the right decision for you.

I feel this wasn't a 'one off' PA. Know what you are forgiving or divorcing before making a decision. Do it quickly. Get to the truth fast.

Stop the 'separation' bs btw. It doesn't do anything unless you are headed to D. It gives the other side an option to explore and that isn't a good thing IMO

posts: 3523   ·   registered: Feb. 4th, 2015   ·   location: U.S.
id 8710075
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