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Just Found Out :
My Wife had an Intense, Highly Deceptive Affair

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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 7:03 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

Last Tuesday I (37M) discovered that my wife (37F) was having an intense emotional and physical affair with a colleague on the town PTA for the last three months. We met in 2004 and married in 2012. We have two children (seven and three) and the married man also has children of similar age. His wife is not aware of the affair.

They met in Sept. 2021, kissed at a PTA holiday party on Dec. 17 and had a highly carnal overnight at a nearby hotel on Jan. 4 with unprotected sex (my wife lied about being in a different state for a work overnight). The affair progressed to meeting up in his car in a parking garage—she’d leave work a little early and meet for an hour before taking the train home for dinner. She give him oral sex in the car largely, but sometimes they’d do other things as well. They met four times between Jan. 18 and March 2 in his car.

They also had a second overnight stay in the same hotel on Feb. 24, that one pushing more boundaries, including anal sex, handcuffs (the man is a cop), and an attempt at sex in the tub.

Lastly, they had an ongoing testing relationship throughout that involved friendship, emotional support, working together on PTA events, and of course, sexting. All of that would occur with me in the house, sometimes even while I was sitting next to her watching TV on the house.

I discovered the affair on the evening of March 15 when I overheard very suspicious comments from her visiting mother and sister (who my wife had been confiding in about the affair). It built upon much of her suspicious activity in recent months: on her phone, staying up later than me, drinking more, aggressively giving me more sex, snapping at me on strange swings, etc.

I called my wife out on it and she denied it. I pushed and she gave me a lie: that she kissed a co-worker Dec., but that was it. We talked through it for a few hours and I was highly suspicious, but also didn’t want to make too big of a deal if it indeed was only a kiss. She gave me oral sex and went to bed.

I stewed for 20 minutes before taking her phone into the bathroom with me. Reading her texts with her mom and sister, I confirmed an affair was happening with a local man.

At 4 a.m. I woke her up with proof from the phone. She admitted to having sex with the man on PTA, but only once. I pointed to a text she sent to her sister that noted her doing it "again." She pivoted to it only happened twice.

Her version of the story at that time involved her meeting him in his car in a big local parking lot in the middle of the day to have sex with him wearing a condom.

I probed her all night and day. I couldn’t wrap my mind around her story—my wife is not the type for the story she shared. It festered with me for days as I kept picking apart her story, gaining new details. She wouldn’t lock in exact dates and times for things and I kept narrowing things down based on our text messages and work schedules.

We also discussed the man, with me citing we would call him together after an agreed upon plan for handling cutting him out of your life. She claims to have misunderstood and she called him separately and claims she told him I found out—and his only concern was whether I’d tell his wife. They also corroborated stories as my wife wanted to prevent me from finding out about the hotel stays and frequency in his car.

He called her that night still terrified about his wife, but my wife deleted record of the call initially, before deciding to tell me about it.

On March 17, we had sex again—it was raw and emotional and I do not think I was ready for it.

On March 18, I gave her the ultimatum of restoring all her deleted text messages so I could read them or we get divorced. She wavered and I called my lawyer (we have a prenup). She tried to get her parents to send her screen shots of all their texts, but I refused to compromise because she was clearly hiding something.

She eventually broke down and thought the marriage would be over once I found out that she had sex in a hotel with another man for four hours (truthfully, I was initially relieved that the story about her fucking in broad daylight a quarter-mile from our house in the middle of a crowded parking lot was fake).

What followed was a broken dam of emotion and truth from my wife—she was coming clean (at least I’m now confident it’s close enough). I spent the evening pulling through all the dates and details I described at the top of the post.

On March 19, we had a great day. I was finally able to process a real version of the story and I started to feel optimistic about reconciliation. That evening we had a very intense sexual session that lasted two hours—completely hedonistic, rougher than usual, and it included a bit of anal sex, which we haven’t done in 15 years.

March 20 was a bad day—we weren’t able to get all her texts back, but we went through all the texts with her mom going back to Dec. She was ruthless to me—every day texting her lol about what an asshole I was and me being oblivious to it. It seemed transparent that she was doing it to convert her mom to supporting the affair as her family was very opposed to it and constantly offering advice to stop it—her father largely stopped talking to her entirely once he found out. My wife was also very upset about me contacting a lawyer; she felt it worked in opposition to our desire to reconcile.

March 21 was another good day, but also emotionally difficult. It was a work day, but we were both home and spent a good portion of the day having sex between her meetings (I know, hysterical bonding).

We had tickets to an event that night at an arena—the same one she met the guy at on Jan. 4 to watch an NBA game while he worked (he finished his shift and drove them to the hotel). Entering the arena, we waited in line just outside the parking garage she met to give him BJs.

I kept it positive and looked at it as a chance to see how a date night would go—it was overall good, but she had a lot of sadness in her eyes throughout the night. It felt like it forced her to see how badly she fucked up and the mistake she made hurting me so badly.

Yesterday we did couples therapy, but spent most of the time talking about how we met and our families, but we’re going back again tomorrow. Today we each went back to our office jobs (but we fooled around again a little this morning despite advice from our therapist not too).

I understand this is tremendously long, and I skipped over so many details. I feel left in limbo right now. I care so much about the well being of our children and want to make this work, but I don’t know how to forgive her.

Last night I tried to guide our conversation through some articles I had read. I pointed out how important it was for me for her to accept the blame for the affair—she ultimately did, but I could tell she was still processing it as she had just spent three months justifying every action.

I also pointed out how important it was for her to cut contact with the guy. He reached out to her again on Monday via text and we agreed on a response to tell him we are reconciling and he shouldn’t contact her, followed by blocking his number. She ultimately did, but she waivers on blocking him initially and then admitted it to me later. It feels to me that she was more concerned with getting closure for herself with him than my feelings, even though she eventually agreed with me.

I guess I should stop typing, but I’m an open book to share more info. We have a complicated sexual past that could be its own thread—and we were certainly bad communicators (I can be dismissive of her concerns at times and she often shuts down in conversation with me).

The primary problem is I don’t know how to get back into a routine—the massive lies over the last three months make me feel like I will never know her truth again.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8725118
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Sanibelredfish ( member #56748) posted at 7:17 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

Dr. I only have time for a short reply so here it is. You’re doing the Pick Me Dance, and you need to stop right now. Seriously, stop it now!

Looking at your story so far the only time you’ve gotten what you wanted was when you called your lawyer. That’s not a coincidence. What she stands to lose probably became abundantly clear in that moment. She needs to maintain that POV and get on the R Bus without any help from you, and do her best to convince you to come with her.

More posters will be along to help you, but stopping the Pick Me Dance will have the biggest impact in the near term. Read up on the 180 in the Healing Library.

posts: 785   ·   registered: Jan. 8th, 2017   ·   location: Midwest
id 8725125
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 7:36 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

His wife is not aware of the affair.

Fix that. I know it's really hard, but she deserves to know.

I discovered the affair on the evening of March 15 when I overheard very suspicious comments from her visiting mother and sister (who my wife had been confiding in about the affair).

This is extremely problematic. Your in-laws are not friends of your marriage and participated in the deception and encouragement of the affair, even if tacitly. I guess you haven't seen all the messages to understand what advice they gave. I understand split loyalty is at play for them, but there should be a STRONG admonishment of cheating on your spouse.

She eventually broke down and thought the marriage would be over once I found out that she had sex in a hotel with another man for four hours (truthfully, I was initially relieved that the story about her fucking in broad daylight a quarter-mile from our house in the middle of a crowded parking lot was fake).

Your marriage is over, the only question is whether you want to build a new one with the woman you know now that cheated on you. Maybe you do. Maybe you don't. Takes time to figure out if both of you are capable of this. It's extremely hard for the BS, and hard in other ways for the WS to recover and repair.

I guess I should stop typing, but I’m an open book to share more info. We have a complicated sexual past that could be its own thread—and we were certainly bad communicators (I can be dismissive of her concerns at times and she often shuts down in conversation with me).

Pump your brakes on making your new marriage better than your previous one. Repair and recovery from the A first.

You should get the books "Not Just Friends" Shirley Glass and "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair" by Linda MacDonald. If she complains at all about the second book, she really isn't ready for reconciliation yet. If she says something like, "It seems onesided and heavy handed" just say back, "You having an extra-marital affair was a little onesided and heavy handed."

You are on a the worst rollercoaster in the world. Sorry you had to find us.

Sending strength.

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 7:38 PM, Wednesday, March 23rd]

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

posts: 1903   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8725128
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 7:39 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

Yes, that’s how I feel actually (Pick Me Dance). The truth is that we ran a largely happy home for our kids and I have every confidence that could continue. So I know I will never selfishly choose to hurt my children for my benefit, which means at a minimum, we’re going to be together until the kids get older (unless she leaves me).

I should also add though that the guy has made it clear he’s not interested in a longterm relationship with her (and she claims it’s mutual). My wife knows she was played by him and feels foolish and has a lot of anger toward him now.

He showed all the signs of a serial cheater and he’s now showing all the signs of being a complete asshole to her (she’s the one leaving PTA, and he’s trying to position her out of the social group).

Bottom-line, I have no indication that she would consider leaving me for him lol. At the same time, that doesn’t mean she loves me, just that I’m her only option right now and she’s terrified of me divorcing her.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8725129
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RangerS ( member #79516) posted at 7:50 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

Inform her affair partners wife right away. That should get him out of the picture. It is also his wife's right to know the state of her marriage. Do not tell your wife that you are doing it. If your wife brings it up, you will know they are still in contact and the affair is still in progress.
Get tested for STDs. Tell your wife to get tested as well.
As already suggested, quit doing the pick me dance. Tell her that she has 2 choices. Choice 1 is to come up with a plan for reconciliation that clearly shows she will become a safe partner for you. Choice 2 is to get a lawyer for the upcoming divorce.
As a start she should give you free access (passwords) for all devices and accounts and permission to check them whenever you want. She should answer all questions honestly and fully without being defensive.
You offered reconciliation very early. I would suggest that you tell her that you will take some time to make a final decision and that her actions going forward will have a large influence on that decision. Beware the couples therapy. They tend to rug sweep and share the blame with the betrayed spouse. Cheating is always 100% on the cheater. As you move through this, remember all the lies and planning and effort she put into the affair. Do not let her off the hook to easily or she will know that she can do it again without major consequences. Make her do the work to become a safe partner. She has made her words worthless. Judge her by her actions now. Sorry you have to deal with this. Good luck.

posts: 53   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2021
id 8725135
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Ariopolis ( member #75786) posted at 7:50 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

You need to tell his wife, the OBS, immediately.

posts: 221   ·   registered: Nov. 2nd, 2020
id 8725136
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fareast ( Guide #61555) posted at 7:52 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

Hi Dr.:

Sorry you find yourself here. You will receive good support. This is all so new for you. It’s a trauma. Your first instinct is to protect your M. Be aware that your emotions will change with time. Be cautious of jumping into R too quickly. Give yourself time to heal and figure out the best direction whether R or D.

Read in the healing library. Have your WW read: How To Heal From Your Spouses Affair, by McDonald.

We are all different, but there are similarities on how cheaters react after exposure. They lie, a lot. Watch her actions, not her words. They blameshift to you or her crappy decisions. Nothing you did or didn’t do in your M caused her to cheat. She will try to rugsweep her infidelity. Don’t do it. It takes 2-5 years to recover on average even with a remorseful spouse. As stated, don’t do the pick me dance. You heal you. Right now couples counseling has little value IMO. Your M did not fail, your WW failed you. It sounds like your WW was quite disrespectful to you. Be strong. Decide what you need to heal and stick to it.

You are going to have to deal with the fact that your MIL and SIL knew of the A and never informed you.

The AP’s wife absolutely deserves to know the truth. Please inform her promptly. Wouldn’t you want to know?

Get tested for STDs. See an attorney to learn your rights. Good luck.

[This message edited by fareast at 1:53 PM, March 23rd (Wednesday)]

Never bother with things in your rearview mirror. Your best days are on the road in front of you.

posts: 3121   ·   registered: Nov. 24th, 2017
id 8725139
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 8:02 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

You are only a few days into the process and, like many newly minted BH's, you have engaged in hysterical bonding and your posts suggest an assumption that things will soon be "back to normal". My friend, hang on because you're in for a wild ride. Sooner or later your rage will arise. My suggestion is to let it out. Short of physical abuse, do and say all of the angry things you think. Give her the transparent honesty she has not given you.

First, the basics: eat well, stay away from the alcohol, exercise as much as you can, hydrate. Try to sleep.

Both of you need to get STD tests ASAP.

Second, the standard advice here is to stay away from MC at this stage, for several reasons. First, MC is for couples where both are committed and faithful to the marriage. Your WW is a broken person. Until she fixes herself, she cannot meaningfully participate in fixing the marriage. Second, most MC's are quacks and amateurs when it comes to the trauma, emasculation, and humiliation betrayed men feel as a result of a wife's highly sexual affair. They mostly encourage some species of rug-sweeping. My advice would be to stop the MC as soon as possible and get your WW into IC (and you too).

Among other things, your MIL and SIL are not friends of the marriage. It was a betrayal to you to not tell you. How is that dynamic going to work going forward?

Third, tell the OBS. It's the morally right thing to do. If the shoe were on the other foot, you'd be grateful to the OBS if she contacted you and informed you. Do it without first consulting with your WW (after all, she fucked the AP without first consulting you). Do it in a way that the AP can't intercept it. That is, no Facebook messenger, no letter mailed to the house. The most effective way is to track the OBS down at work and call her on the phone. Or, call her at home, but only when you know the AP is not home. Or perhaps LinkedIn.

Fourth, start coming to grips with the reality that the woman you thought you were married to does not exist in real life. The actual human woman you are married to is deeply flawed, to the point where she would lie and sneak for the opportunity to give blowjobs to a cop in a parking garage, vilifying you to her parents in the process. This is the actual real woman. Right now, she's pussy bombing you, but it's pretty obviously out of a desire to avoid consequences from having been caught. You've not described anything that smacks of even a hint of actual remorse.

Which leads me to fifth: meet with your lawyer to find out what divorce would actually look like within the aegis of your prenup. Millions of happy, successful children are raised by divorced parents who successfully co-parent. Millions of unhappy, dysfunctional children are raised in nominally "intact" homes with parents who have a dysfunctional relationship. Remember that, among other things, what you do with your WW may be used by your kids as a model for their own adult lives.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 8:05 PM, Wednesday, March 23rd]

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3912   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8725143
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 8:12 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

Regarding telling the wife:

This one has plagued me all week. I feel gutted allowing it to continue--I saw the woman's IG and the photos of he and her three-year old crushed my soul. I also can recognize that telling her with create an incredible strain on my life, family and relationship. This has the potential to be a local sandal in my town. I'll be the cuckold and she'll be the homewrecker--our chances of reconciliation would lessen.

I'm still open to it, but the couples therapist felt strongly against it as well, stating it's not my place. I may bring it up again at next session.

This is extremely problematic. Your in-laws are not friends of your marriage and participated in the deception and encouragement of the affair, even if tacitly. I guess you haven't seen all the messages to understand what advice they gave. I understand split loyalty is at play for them, but there should be a STRONG admonishment of cheating on your spouse.

I was able to read the sister's texts the night of the revel and I read all of the mother's texts on Sunday night. There was zero encouragement. The mom knew from the beginning and initially stopped talking with my wife, but then clearly felt she had an obligation to support her and help. Every text from my wife, her mom responded with:

"You need to talk with [your husband]."
"You should write your feelings down if he won't talk to you so you can share that way."
"You should push hard for couples therapy."
"You should come visit us alone to clear your head."

On and on, and my wife was constantly looking to justify her actions, seemingly trying to convince her mom that she was justified to cheat.

Bottom-line on this, of course I wish more was done, but I can't realistically blame them for what my wife did.

Your marriage is over, the only question is whether you want to build a new one with the woman you know now that cheated on you. Maybe you do. Maybe you don't. Takes time to figure out if both of you are capable of this. It's extremely hard for the BS, and hard in other ways for the WS to recover and repair.

I agree with this. The old relationship is dead and the question is whether we can start again. I think we both want that and I refuse to ignore the benefit to my children in us making it work.

As a start she should give you free access (passwords) for all devices and accounts and permission to check them whenever you want. She should answer all questions honestly and fully without being defensive.

Laughably, I already had all her passwords, I just never snooped before. It's insane, but I had 100% confidence she'd never have an affair. We also have our locations now shared so I can see where she is anytime I want. She has been fine letting me check her phone, but there's no reason this week really--it'll be weeks and months from now it's important once she thinks the heat is low.

You offered reconciliation very early. I would suggest that you tell her that you will take some time to make a final decision and that her actions going forward will have a large influence on that decision.

I get the idea of the Pick Me Dance and just general Pick Up Artist psychology that should make me want to leave her hanging. The problem is she shuts down--she handles pressure horribly. Anytime divorce is discussed or hinted at, she shuts down. I found it more productive to be positive thus far. Again, the goal is for us to reconcile and I'm not interested in playing games with her. If she doesn't think we have a future, she needs to tell me--and hopefully that will come out as we talk, especially in therapy.

Beware the couples therapy. They tend to rug sweep and share the blame with the betrayed spouse. Cheating is always 100% on the cheater. As you move through this, remember all the lies and planning and effort she put into the affair. Do not let her off the hook to easily or she will know that she can do it again without major consequences. Make her do the work to become a safe partner. She has made her words worthless. Judge her by her actions now.

I'm on board with all of this, but if I have to make a margin call right now, she's on board with taking full responsibility (she's said it, but there's definitely some processing still happening on her end).

As for her doing it again, I had that fear initially, but I want to slow down. I want to move passed this affair, then I want to work on improving our relationship. If she's done with this guy (and fuck what I think on this, clearly I'm clueless), I'm not worried about the potential next guy yet.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8725148
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 8:30 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

I'm still open to it, but the couples therapist felt strongly against it as well, stating it's not my place.

I can't emphasize enough the point about couple's therapy (MC = Marital Counseling) being inappropriate at this stage. MC's view the marriage as their client. They tend to take a "keep them married at all costs, including the sanity of the betrayed spouse" approach.

This place is a vast reservoir of first-hand, crowd-sourced wisdom about infidelity, and the overall goal here is to get out of infidelity. There are things we see over and over, beginner mistakes, many of which are associated with MC's. Here are a couple of examples of how MC's generally recommend the diametric opposite of this site:

Sexual details: this site generally takes the view that the BH should be told as much sexual detail as he wants to know. MC's almost always push BH's to not ask about sexual details, at all.

Blame: if this site has a mantra, it's that, no matter what level of issues existed in the marriage pre-cheating, it is the 100% on the cheater in terms of the responsibility for making the decision(s) to cheat and lie and deceive. MC's almost always try to get the BH to accept some "responsibility" for the cheating.

Pick-me dance: MC's almost always subtly encourage BH's to do this. You yourself are doing it.

As discussed above, you should not be involving your WW in your decision to tell the OBS, at all. Did your WW consult with you, or your MC, about her decision to fuck the cop? At this stage, you should be focused solely on your healing. That should include reaching out a kind hand to another fellow betrayed spouse. Give her the gift of agency, the right to make decisions about her own marriage in the light of her own truth. Secrecy, lies, deception: that is the realm of infidelity. Truth, honesty, openness: the path to healing. You will not "crush" the OBS by telling her. Her husband did that when he took your wife to a hotel for sex.

Besides, it's a useful gauge as to whether your WW is truly NC with the POSOM (POS Other Man -- you fill in the "POS" part). If your WW comes to you with "why did you tell" afterwards, you'll know they're still in contact. If she seems angry or accusatory, you'll know that she is protecting the affair over her marriage and husband.

I found it more productive to be positive thus far. Again, the goal is for us to reconcile

Another truth: you cannot control the result and you should not try. You're making a real beginner mistake of trying a gambit hoping it will incite or catalyze certain behavior from her. R only works if she wants it with such a burning, overwhelming desire that she would almost give her life itself. It works if you tell her you're out the door and she begs and pleads for you to come back. Is she a long distance runner. Will she do the work for 5 years, even when you call her a slut and a whore? Because that's what real R looks like. Anything less is rug sweeping and white knuckling it. Remaining stubbornly married does not equate to reconciliation.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 8:59 PM, Wednesday, March 23rd]

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3912   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8725152
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 8:41 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

Stop MC. The marriage didn't cheat, she did. She needs to be in IC.

The MC's job is to help save the marriage,which typically comes at great cost to the BS.

Why do you believe you deserve to know the truth,and the OBS doesn't?

The right thing to do is to tell his wife. This also means there are 2 sets of eyes on them,which makes it more difficult for them to take the affair underground.

You call his wife and tell her the truth. Period. If that labels your wife a homewrecker, it's because she is. She needs to have consequences.

Your wife is supppsed to be NC. Do not tell her you told his wife. If she comes to you about it,you know she is still talking to him.

Also,a good reason to tell his wife is because if you dont,you're teaching your wife that it's ok to keep affairs a secret,for selfish reasons.

You can ask his wife to tend to her family, while you tend to yours, and ask that she not make any public announcements out of respect for you, the only person who felt she deserved to know. Otherwise..eventually she might find out. And when she realizes everyone knew but her,including you the OBS, you have no right to ask her not to come after your wife. Telling her now means you can handle it now,and not be waiting for the other shoe to drop.

One last thing. Your wife using sex to appease you. You need to stop it. She also needs to be tested for stds immediately. And a pregnancy test.

[This message edited by HellFire at 8:43 PM, Wednesday, March 23rd]

posts: 4332   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8725154
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nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 8:42 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

Dr, this will be tough to accept - Your relationship had NOTHING to do with her cheating. Fixing your relationship will not prevent her from doing it again. SHE needs to fix HERSELF and that is the only way for her not to do this again the next time an OM with pretty words comes along to give her that validation worth tossing you aside for.

If the couples counselor isn't focusing on her, why she did this, and how she can fix that need for validation, she needs to get into IC instead otherwise it's a feel-good waste of time and money. You too may want to get into IC because it's clear that you are still in shock and "fix-it" mode which will wear off soon leaving you in a boatload of pain and anger. If she's still hemming and hawing about basic things like accepting blame and NC, she won't be ready to face that pain and anger when it comes and it will actually have a higher chance of wrecking R than if you chose to stop doing everything right now to facilitate it. When two people R, it's not you and her coming together to fix the marriage. She has to heal herself. You have to heal herself. And then you both can build the new marriage. It doesn't work if it's just you doing the work of R while she tags along like it has been so far.

Would she be willing to get into IC if you required it? Would she read the book "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair" and start taking it seriously if you recommended it to her?

posts: 5125   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2014   ·   location: United States
id 8725155
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 8:48 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

Do not share this site with her. It's way too soon. She still wants contact with him. She's not remorseful. Bringing her here,to your safe place,will be a great detriment.

This affair isn't something you will simply move past. It takes 3 to 5 yaers to heal from an affair. It's a process. Unless you rugsweep, which will earn you another dday,and/or more pain.

posts: 4332   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8725157
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 8:57 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

You are only a few days into the process and, like many newly minted BH's, you have engaged in hysterical bonding and your posts suggest an assumption that things will soon be "back to normal". My friend, hang on because you're in for a wild ride. Sooner or later your rage will arise. My suggestion is to let it out. Short of physical abuse, do and say all of the angry things you think. Give her the transparent honesty she has not given you.

I suspect your right. I've been so focused on trying to fix this and get back to normal as fast as possible, I'm ignoring the anger on the horizon. Though I can't pretend I didn't show anger this last week. I am just careful with how I've done it because expressing anger toward her has never been productive in our relationship.

First, the basics: eat well, stay away from the alcohol, exercise as much as you can, hydrate. Try to sleep.

Both of you need to get STD tests ASAP.

I'm trying to eat normally again and I need to get back in my lifting routine, but sleep has been the problem thus far. My wife has scheduled an STD test--and I know objectively the crazy sex we're having can't be good for anything.


Second, the standard advice here is to stay away from MC at this stage, for several reasons. First, MC is for couples where both are committed and faithful to the marriage. Your WW is a broken person. Until she fixes herself, she cannot meaningfully participate in fixing the marriage. Second, most MC's are quacks and amateurs when it comes to the trauma, emasculation, and humiliation betrayed men feel as a result of a wife's highly sexual affair. They mostly encourage some species of rug-sweeping. My advice would be to stop the MC as soon as possible and get your WW into IC (and you too).

Your point here is my fear. I worry that my wife won't be able to open up and be truthful in couples counselling, making it a waste of our time. I'm committed to it though--I have been an open book t her and will continue that in and out of therapy. However, I don't like the idea of stopping either. The first session wasn't a good indicator of if it will be helpful--I plan to go again tomorrow and keep an open mind.


Among other things, your MIL and SIL are not friends of the marriage. It was a betrayal to you to not tell you. How is that dynamic going to work going forward?

I don't know that I agree. If my sister was having an affair, I don't think I'd tell my BIL, despite my wonderful relationship with him. Instead I'd aggressively convince my sister to come clean. My only criticism about my SIL and MIL is that they didn't push hard enough, but I also know them as people--they are passive and avoid conflict. I put the blame for this squarely on my wife.


Third, tell the OBS. It's the morally right thing to do. If the shoe were on the other foot, you'd be grateful to the OBS if she contacted you and informed you. Do it without first consulting with your WW (after all, she fucked the AP without first consulting you). Do it in a way that the AP can't intercept it. That is, no Facebook messenger, no letter mailed to the house. The most effective way is to track the OBS down at work and call her on the phone. Or, call her at home, but only when you know the AP is not home. Or perhaps LinkedIn.

As twisted as it is, my wife has the woman's number--they were both on the PTA and have exchanged texts and in-person conversations. I took her (and his) number off my wife's phone the first day, so if I want to contact her, it's easy (I also know her IG). I agree that it's absolutely the right thing to do, but I also know it has the chance of being a nuclear bomb to my family. I live in a small town and I have no idea how the OBS will respond.


Fourth, start coming to grips with the reality that the woman you thought you were married to does not exist in real life. The actual human woman you are married to is deeply flawed, to the point where she would lie and sneak for the opportunity to give blowjobs to a cop in a parking garage, vilifying you to her parents in the process. This is the actual real woman. Right now, she's pussy bombing you, but it's pretty obviously out of a desire to avoid consequences from having been caught. You've not described anything that smacks of even a hint of actual remorse.

She's not at remorse yet, but I do think she could get there. I owe my children a chance for her to do that.


Which leads me to fifth: meet with your lawyer to find out what divorce would actually look like within the aegis of your prenup. Millions of happy, successful children are raised by divorced parents who successfully co-parent. Millions of unhappy, dysfunctional children are raised in nominally "intact" homes with parents who have a dysfunctional relationship. Remember that, among other things, what you do with your WW may be used by your kids as a model for their own adult lives.

The best outcome for my children is if we can become a happy couple again. I can't do that with one foot out the door. But I'm aware of the hill I'm trying to climb.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8725159
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fareast ( Guide #61555) posted at 9:06 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

It seems like your WW was feeding her Mother excuses to cheat because she was unhappy with you. Some of the time the straight forward commitment in M gets lost in the aftermath of infidelity.

On your wedding day you both promised to be faithful to one another and forsake all others for as long as you are married. Not only while you are happy in the M. Not only while you feel connected or respected. There are no perfect marriages. Every day there are millions of people who feel disconnected, unloved, disrespected, and ignored in their M, but they never cheat on their spouse. Why? Because they made a sacred vow to be faithful. You had every right to expect that as long as you are married to her, your WW would be faithful. Your WW has a character flaw that allowed her to justify her cheating. She is broken. She needs to do massive work on herself to become a worthy partner.

Bottom line: she cheated because she wanted to do it. Period. She was attracted to the AP and lied, deceived and cheated because she wanted to do it. It had nothing to do with you or the state of your M.

Never bother with things in your rearview mirror. Your best days are on the road in front of you.

posts: 3121   ·   registered: Nov. 24th, 2017
id 8725163
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src9043 ( member #75367) posted at 9:16 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

We are all different. I have nothing constructive to say other than YOU HAVE A DUTY TO NOTIFY THE AP's WIFE ABOUT THE AFFAIR. Given that they met in his capacity as a law enforcement officer, I would also notify his superiors.

posts: 622   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8725166
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 9:27 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

Please read LYING by Jonathan Wallace in the Ethical Spectacle. Read it all. It will tell you by keeping silent about this affair is lying to his wife even though you two do not know each other. As long as you hold on to that knowledge without telling her you are living a lie. Please understand that she has every right to know what her life is about. You can’t hide your responsibility even though you didn’t cause any of this. Now that you have knowledge you have responsibility to another human being. Please be true to yourself and tell.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

posts: 3296   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8725169
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annb ( member #22386) posted at 9:28 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

Hi, welcome to SI, the best club no one wants to join. So sorry you are here, but you will find a great deal of support.

When will your life go back to normal? Years, not weeks or months. That's the hard truth. You are in shock, and before you know it rage is going to set in. It's happened to most of us here. The reality of what your wife has done to you, your marriage, your family, and another man's family.

I agree with the other posters, dump the MC, you need individual counseling to process the trauma of infidelity. Your wife needs to her own counseling.

I also agree that the other betrayed spouse needs to know she is living a lie. In my personal situation, the husband of my husband's affair partner found out about the affair. Forgot to send me the memo. Confronted my husband and his wife. They both convinced her husband that it was over. rolleyes The affair never stopped UNTIL I found out. I'm 16 years out and still very resentful that I was left out of the loop.

Right now you cannot trust a word out of your wife's mouth. It's all about actions, words are meaningless. Has she given you access to her phone, social media, emails, voicemails, and is she accountable for her whereabouts at all times?

Please DO NOT share this site with your wife. This is your safe place.

It doesn't sound as though your wife is willing to break off all contact with this guy. If she is truly remorseful, he's out of her life for good. No communication ever again. She is to stay away from him. Period. Non-negotiable.

You've just boarded the emotional roller coaster from hell. If necessary, please meet with your MD for temporary medications if you start to have trouble coping/sleeping.

posts: 11506   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2009   ·   location: Northeast
id 8725170
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Dkt3 ( new member #75072) posted at 9:51 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022

I think you're making a huge mistake with this Reconciliation is the goal ideology.

By committing to this you will almost have to force yourself to accept the unacceptable. If I'm being honest your wife (from what you've wrote) doesn't seem like a good candidate.

She has you manipulated into fea r. If I do this she will shut down, if I say that she won't handle it well. Huge mistake.

Please, don't use the kids as an excuse. As the saying goes its better a child is from a broken home then to live in one.

posts: 41   ·   registered: Aug. 3rd, 2020
id 8725174
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 9:59 PM on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022


I agree with the other posters, dump the MC, you need individual counseling to process the trauma of infidelity. Your wife needs to her own counseling.

At this point, I may do both. I think I'd like for us to do individual therapy now. But I don't have enough information on whether or not the couples therapy will be useful.


Right now you cannot trust a word out of your wife's mouth. It's all about actions, words are meaningless. Has she given you access to her phone, social media, emails, voicemails, and is she accountable for her whereabouts at all times?

I am tracking her phone and I have access to her phone anytime. I always had the password, I just never snooped.


Please DO NOT share this site with your wife. This is your safe place.

That makes sense, but I need something to guide our conversations when we talk. I'm not sure how best to do that.


It doesn't sound as though your wife is willing to break off all contact with this guy. If she is truly remorseful, he's out of her life for good. No communication ever again. She is to stay away from him. Period. Non-negotiable.

She texted him to tell him not to contact her and blocked his number. I made it clear that she not delete the text exchange, so there's no way he can text her again without me finding out. She could unblock his number, call him, chat, then delete the call record, but I'm never going to prevent all possibility.


You've just boarded the emotional roller coaster from hell. If necessary, please meet with your MD for temporary medications if you start to have trouble coping/sleeping.

A few years ago I had a tumor the size of a tennis ball removed from my nasal canal. I spent about two months NEVER sleeping because I couldn't breathe out of my nose and I would lose about a cup of blood three times a day. I thought I might die. The pain of the last 8 days thus far has already been worse.

Me: BH, 37
Her: WW, 37
DDay: March 15, 2022

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8725179
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