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 texting 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 couch.
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 mom 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 wavered 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.
[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 8:17 PM, Monday, June 6th]