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

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Jameson1977 ( member #54177) posted at 11:01 PM on Monday, March 28th, 2022

Dr., the example that you just brought up is something that I would dwell on as well. For me, it wasn’t the physical aspects that were the worst, it was all the decisions and choices my WW made through her A’s.

I had one of these thoughts while in the shower this morning. My WW went out for drinks with her coworkers and AP. I was home with our son. We had fought a few weeks earlier about how much time she was spending away from the home. I got the gaslighting "I never have time for me, and when I do finally spend some time for me, you get mad and makes me feel like I should never go out".

So, I made a point of encouraging her to go out with her friends / coworkers. The night she slept with her AP, he basically pushed all her boundaries and she happily obliged. She did things with this POS I would never ask for and after asking her, things she would never do for me. I remember that night well. She came home, boy was asleep, I was watching TV. She was a bit off but we made small talk for a bit then went to bed. I was sleeping next to my wife less than an hour after he had finished with her. Feels awful. I felt like a chump. Don’t know why, but this is something that has stuck with me.

I really can’t comprehend your MIL’s stance in all this. You MIL knew her daughter was sleeping with another man at a hotel and does / say’s nothing other than a stupid emoji when your WW is cutting you down!? This is a slap in the face, and would be something I would have a hard time coming to terms with.

posts: 760   ·   registered: Jul. 16th, 2016
id 8726503
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ShutterHappy ( member #64318) posted at 11:40 PM on Monday, March 28th, 2022

She then texted her mother--part of the texts I read last week in the post-D-Day madness. Her mother knew where she was (my wife told her mom she as at the hotel with the guy in the interest of safety; she wanted someone to know where she was). My wife told her mom how inept I was at handling anything and that she had to do it.

This is a difficult pill to swallow. She’s demeaning you, and her mother is going along with it, and now she’s all remorseful and all that. Many WW separate their "family life" from their "fantasy love story". A few, like your WW, have an extra streak of meanness… At one point, you’ll need to decide if you can live with that (and her family).

One day at a time…

Me: BH
Divorced, remarried.
I plan on living forever. So far so good

posts: 1533   ·   registered: Jun. 30th, 2018   ·   location: In my house
id 8726511
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:08 AM on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

Many of you have responded to the story I shared about my wife’s conversation with her mom with similar questions.

What makes the story so strange to me is because it’s so out of character for my wife, who has never once belittled or been mean to me. But during this affair, she was doing it constantly behind my back while being her normal self to me.

If anything, my wife feels that I am sometimes mean and belittle her in our relationship—and sometimes she’s right. My wife tends to be very careless, which leads to frequent frustration on my part that I’m working to resolve.

But again, if I didn’t read her texts, I never would have believed them. Outside of this affair, she has been the most compassionate, sweetest person in my life.

That’s what is so frightening to me—if she became that person again behind my back, I’d be oblivious to it probably. I just can’t express to you how opposite she is of that in our daily lives.

As for the mom, I thought that was one of the worst exchanges in terms of how she handled it. It was cruel and stupid. To be fair though, my wife’s attacks on me were happening daily with her mom—dozens and dozens. Typically her mom didn’t play into it—she just kept repeating that she needs to talk with me right away; she also kept asking her to come visit her to clear her head.

I should also note her mom has clear signs of early dementia and has aged a lifetime dealing with the psychological hardships of her other daughter.

I’m not making excuses for her—and I think she owes me an apology—but reading the texts as a collective read as a weak old woman feebly attempting to support her daughter emotionally from far away. My wife was headstrong into this affair and I got the sense that if her mom came on too strong in opposition, my wife would have cut her out of her life.

My wife had completely lost control of herself. She needed help. And unfortunately, the only people who knew she needed help were her family—and as a group, they’re weak, passive people who never deal with any of their problems head on.

Edit: And I should add, when I say needed help, I’m referring to the alcoholism and rampant spending—yes, that was the latest show to drop: digging through her credit cards last night. The pit keeps getting deeper.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 12:16 AM, Tuesday, March 29th]

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8726519
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 12:25 AM on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

That's a double blow to your trust right there. Financial irresponsibility and hiding spending alone can be a dealbreaker. Combine with the A, it's gonna be very tough sledding to choose R.

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

posts: 1903   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8726522
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fareast ( Guide #61555) posted at 12:33 AM on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

Thanks for that response. It sounds like your WW was going through a major crisis of her own making and thrashing around not knowing how to cope. She was acting totally out of character from your experience. Infidelity, alcohol abuse, and excessive spending were the outward expression. It is pretty typical for the WS to be mean and short and dismissive of the BS during the A. It is often reported here. She has a lot on her plate to recover from. Her consistent actions moving forward will tell you a lot. Good luck.

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 8726525
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masti ( member #54237) posted at 12:36 AM on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

At the time of the texts, her husband and son had been standing out in an ice storm for 30 minutes in 20 degree temperatures


That was cruel.
And though you keep saying that she never said anything mean, maybe she hid that side from you. Maybe she had been demeaning you to her family and friends for a while. She probably mocked you to the AP. I think there is a lot hidden that you don’t know.
Your fantasies and desires were not hidden from her but did she communicate any fantasy to you?
You either need to talk to your MIL about what you know or cut her out.

posts: 129   ·   registered: Jul. 19th, 2016
id 8726526
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Robert22205https ( member #65547) posted at 12:39 AM on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

Has the OBS been notified?

posts: 2573   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: DC
id 8726528
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 1:16 AM on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

I’m referring to the alcoholism and rampant spending—yes, that was the latest show to drop: digging through her credit cards last night.

The spending, that's often called financial infidelity. There are many ways to break marital vows on fundamental issues that aren't sexual. Financial infidelity is one of the big causes of divorce. Stay with a person with an addiction, a pattern of profligate spending, it's the road to perdition. Add sexual infidelity on top of that? Hard "no" for me, bro.

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3912   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8726533
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Stevesn ( member #58312) posted at 1:39 AM on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

The one thing you didn’t comment on is how your WW feels when those texts are put in front of her. While the physical betrayal is awful in itself, its usuallly the deception and emotional cruelty that sticks with a BS the longest.

Have you had her read those texts out loud to you. How does she feel when she reads them. How does she feel about you? How does she feel about herself.

That is an example of how she can show true remorse to you. Empathy is either there or it’s not. A truly remorseful wayward spouse will feel your pain equally or more than their own.

What words does she use when she thinks about what this did to you.

fBBF. Just before proposing, broke it off after her 2nd confirmed PA in 2 yrs. 9 mo later I met the wonderful woman I have spent the next 30 years with.

posts: 3387   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2017
id 8726536
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 2:09 AM on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

The one thing you didn’t comment on is how your WW feels when those texts are put in front of her.

Many of you have asked a version of this.

We have discussed the texts as a whole and I’ve dug into several of the specifically hurtful ones. Her response is essentially that during the affair, she became "intolerant" of me—everything I did irritated her; she only saw the negative.

She looks at them now and feels ashamed. Specific to the Jan. 5 morning, she cried during our discussion. She doesn’t understand how she could have been so detached from her family and so mean to me. She claims virtually all of her mental capacity while at home was working toward maintaining her lies—so while out of the house, the drama of family life felt like a burden she just wanted to be free from.

As for the financial infidelity, it’s bad. I had her spend her entire savings last night to pay off her debt. We’re implementing measures to prevent it from happening again—automatic transfers out of her checking account each month and we’ll do a quick monthly review of her spending. She knows how bad it got (she cut up her personal credit cards years ago apparently and has just been gradually paying them off). Beyond just the old debt though, her spending rampage during the affair was insane. Thousands upon thousands of dollars on clothing alone, including more than $1,000 on lingerie (some of which we had to throw away because she wore it with him).

I feel like the spending and alcohol I can get my arms around with her being willing to fix it. She still hasn’t had a drink since D-Day, so thus far I can’t say she’s not making an effort.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 2:09 AM, Tuesday, March 29th]

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8726543
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Jameson1977 ( member #54177) posted at 3:36 AM on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

Mine was full of tears and grand statements too, the only thing she lacked was action. Without actions, they are just meaningless words.

I did have to give my WW an ultimatum about 3 years after dday (way, way too long) about getting intensive IC or we are done. She was angry at first because she was so worried the IC would judge her and berate her, quite the opposite. About 6-9 months in, she thanked me for kicking her ass into regular and intensive IC.

posts: 760   ·   registered: Jul. 16th, 2016
id 8726553
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 12:43 PM on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

I feel like the spending and alcohol I can get my arms around

This quote, more than any, sums up the issue all of us have been hitting you over the head with. Do you really want to live a life being a marriage cop? Your wife is an addict. She's a spendthrift. And she's an unremorseful cheater as far as I can tell.

As to the spendthrift, telling her to spend her savings paying off her debt is just moving debt from pot A to pot B. Now you have less savings, meaning retirement comes later, and you'll have less to retire on.

As to remorse, I've not heard you describe anything that smacks of true remorse. You've suggested she regrets having been caught and facing the very minimal repercussions from you (no real consequences to date).

I would remind you that the longer you remain married to her, the heavier your spousal support and/or child support obligations will be (I do realize this might be tempered to the extent you have an enforceable pre-nup that addresses these topics).

I think you must realize you are enabling her dysfunction. Going to MC with her at this stage. Refusing to reach out to the OBS for the sake of truth and doing what's right. Privatizing your suffering by refusing to reach out to other community for help. Taking on the role of marriage cop for a wife who is an addict, a spendthrift, and a cheat. Twisting yourself into a pretzel to assuage her low self esteem, while ignoring your own. Perhaps you feel you deserve this? Is it your private cilice that you don because you are tortured by what your sexual fantasies?

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 3:28 PM, Tuesday, March 29th]

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3912   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8726599
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 5:48 PM on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

This quote, more than any, sums up the issue all of us have been hitting you over the head with. Do you really want to live a life being a marriage cop? Your wife is an addict. She's a spendthrift. And she's an unremorseful cheater as far as I can tell.

As to the spendthrift, telling her to spend her savings paying off her debt is just moving debt from pot A to pot B. Now you have less savings, meaning retirement comes later, and you'll have less to retire on.

As to remorse, I've not heard you describe anything that smacks of true remorse. You've suggested she regrets having been caught and facing the very minimal repercussions from you (no real consequences to date).

I would remind you that the longer you remain married to her, the heavier your spousal support and/or child support obligations will be (I do realize this might be tempered to the extent you have an enforceable pre-nup that addresses these topics).

I think you must realize you are enabling her dysfunction. Going to MC with her at this stage. Refusing to reach out to the OBS for the sake of truth and doing what's right. Privatizing your suffering by refusing to reach out to other community for help. Taking on the role of marriage cop for a wife who is an addict, a spendthrift, and a cheat. Twisting yourself into a pretzel to assuage her low self esteem, while ignoring your own. Perhaps you feel you deserve this? Is it your private cilice that you don because you are tortured by what your sexual fantasies?

I’m unsure what you mean—what consequences is my wife not suffering? I’ve made a list of demands and she’s done them and eagerly attempted finalize them. Are you suggesting something more punitive?

I believe, in her heart right now, she wants to change and spend her life with me. (I think) I’m open to that outcome. The longterm effect of this episode is that I now have one foot out the door—and I will the rest of my life sadly.

So she’s going to prove to me that she will not waste money, lose control with alcohol, and keep other dicks out of her mouth—if she can’t, I walk away with a clear head. She understands the stakes and she understands the level of communication I now expect from her.

I suppose there’s a world where she does all that and I still walk away. But right now, in this moment, I’m unsure what you’re suggesting I do—specifically.

Her therapist appt is tonight and we do CT again tomorrow. I leave for Italy in a week. I’m taking this one day at a time, tackling my concerns individually and addressing them with her. I don’t have a better way forward in this moment.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 5:50 PM, Tuesday, March 29th]

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8726647
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fareast ( Guide #61555) posted at 6:12 PM on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

Keep doing what you are. Your perspective is spot on IMO. If your WW fails to do the actions you need or relapses you are in a space where you are comfortable ending the M. Some believe it is just not worth the effort even if the WS is remorseful. Some believe once a cheater always a cheater.. So filing for D is always the only correct action. But it is your life and your decision. If you find later on that the R process is too burdensome you can always end the M at any time. R or D you will receive support. Good luck.

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 8726653
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 6:33 PM on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

Old timer here, and Im a straight shooter. So if this stings, understand it is meant with the best of intentions.

1. She needs a full on psychological evaluation by a physician. 3 addictive behaviors all at once out of no where is not a good sign, an certainly not normal. It seems that she is white knuckling changes, and really dealing with the heart of the issue. Until she does that, you are not going to have a safe partner. Period.

2. The relationship is not the issue right now. It is that you are both broken people with shitty coping strategies. I stongly suggest you put the couples therapy on the back burner for now. You have a truckload to unpack w/ your fetish that you acted on for some time, in a way that many would consider some form of cheating, because it was putting energy into something outside the M, and not working to improve the issues at hand.

3. R is possible, but not without some major changes in what seems to be a somewhat dysfunctional relationship from the get go. YOU need to take this time away to really think on the things you want going forward, and have a deep understanding as to why you want them. Meaning if you want R, why do you want it, not just because you love your wife. But dig deeper, figure out if/why life is better being together, and DO NOT use the kids as an excuse. Yes we all want to save our M's because we want is best for our children, and the gut reaction is to save the M for them. However the reality is no matter what happens your kids will adjust, and deal. We all have trauma in our lives, and with the right support can grow up to healthy people regardless of it.
In addition to figuring out what you want and why you need to figure out what you need from her, a 12 step program, proof of transparency, no more lies ever, whatever your requirements are for a successful rebuild. Get that stuff organized in your head, on paper, and have a very frank discussion about it when you return.

R is possible when both partners are wanting it, and they are both willing dig in and do the dirty work to heal themselves. That must come first. You have to have your own shit in order before you can become healthy together. PERIOD. You don't need to be done doing the work, but the work needs to well underway. You also need to hold each other accountable, and you need to draw a hard line in the sand about dishonesty, the financial infidelity, the A, the drinking are all able to exist because she was able to lie to you without hesitation. You need to figure out her tells, we all have them when we aren't honest, and you need to hold her accountable every single damn time she fibs, lies, or omits.
Without that, there is no moving forward in a healthy way.

Hope this time apart gives you some clarity.

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 22 & 25
Married for 30 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19250   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8726660
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 6:38 PM on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

Your wife sounds bipolar. Those spending bouts are a hallmark. Also the cheating. You might want her to see a psychologist. The cheating can come from a high or a low.

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

posts: 3296   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8726662
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Stevesn ( member #58312) posted at 6:42 PM on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

Tushnurse always has a wise point of view. Really focus on her words.

About the trip. I asked this in another post but have not seen you discuss it (apologies is I missed it) but a truly remorseful WS would be focused on making her wounded betrayed spouse feel safe while he is gone.

So have you asked her what she will do to make you feel safe in that she won’t break NC and continue to cheat when you are gone?

Don’t start by telling her what you need. Ask her to research, develop and present a plan to make you comfortable that she is faithful and working in your and your marriage’s best interest Siri g that time. Ask her to suggest how to prove this is so.

It doesn’t matter that you think will be faithful. This is one of many opportunities she needs to take to start implementing the building blocks of a new marriage. She should welcome this opportunity if she is truly remorseful.

If not it will tell you more about her and if she’s someone worthy of life w you.

fBBF. Just before proposing, broke it off after her 2nd confirmed PA in 2 yrs. 9 mo later I met the wonderful woman I have spent the next 30 years with.

posts: 3387   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2017
id 8726665
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 6:46 PM on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

Keep doing what you are. Your perspective is spot on IMO. If your WW fails to do the actions you need or relapses you are in a space where you are comfortable ending the M. Some believe it is just not worth the effort even if the WS is remorseful. Some believe once a cheater always a cheater.. So filing for D is always the only correct action. But it is your life and your decision. If you find later on that the R process is too burdensome you can always end the M at any time. R or D you will receive support. Good luck.

Thanks for the message. It’s hard getting some of this harsh feedback because there is a part of me that relates to every word. I feel humiliated and genuinely don’t know if I can get back to a place where I feel differently.

It’s worth noting that the repercussions of this affair are significant for my wife as well—it’s not as though she got to enjoy a bit of fun and now it’s back to normal with her forgiving husband.

She now has to live like a child, under my supervision, a situation neither of us wants, but she understands is necessary. She also quit the PTA, which was one of her genuine joys in life. In fact, she’s meeting two of her PTA-related friends for dinner on Saturday to attempt to repair damage she caused to my reputation. And I suspect worst of all for her, she feels complete humiliation from her family and my mother for how bad she fucked up.

I know there are doubts from some of you about her remorse, but it seems genuine to me. My question isn’t her authenticity, it’s whether the marriage is salvagble regardless. I will have the image of her happily opening those hotel room doors dressed in lingerie for the rest of my life—and quite frankly, it is a high price to pay and something I did not deserve to bear.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8726669
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 7:25 PM on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

if she can’t, I walk away with a clear head.

We see the same patterns in cheating stories here. Over and over again. Your WW's is a classic.

The line quoted above is also a classic. I've seen dozens of BH's recite some version: "She knows if she does it again, blah blah blah." Every time a BH gets to that place, I call it the "if/when" vortex, it's clear that his line in the sand is conditional and subject to negotiation. In other words, there is no line in the sand. I've never, not once, seen a BH who has uttered this construct ever follow through and actually divorce her when she crosses the "if" line. You backed off once. You'll back off next time.

Exhibit A: you have yet to contact the OBS. Consequence #1 = complete openness and honesty with respect to all victims impacted by your WW's infidelity. The most fundamental, basic, simple step you could take. But you have failed to take it. Instead, your answer for now is apparently this:

She now has to live like a child, under my supervision, a situation neither of us wants, but she understands is necessary.

My friend, this is the obverse of R. The "upside-down" of marriage. Marriage is two people who voluntarily and lovingly commit to, among other things, openness, honesty, intimacy, trust, mutual support. It is not one spouse being marriage cop and the other the sneaky child. This structure is necessary when there is no remorse and has been no consequences.

In fact, she’s meeting two of her PTA-related friends for dinner on Saturday to attempt to repair damage she caused to my reputation.

What damage? That she bad-mouthed you to PTA members? Is she going to explain she did it to enable a sexual affair with a fellow PTA member? I highly doubt it. Again, zero consequences. You're giving her an opportunity to lie to them and save face.

By the way, as another commenter noted above, it's almost certain that people already either suspect or know about the affair. People notice this stuff. You should assume that the PTA has seen a whisper of gossip about your wife and the AP.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 7:53 PM, Tuesday, March 29th]

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3912   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8726681
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smolderingdark ( member #64064) posted at 7:26 PM on Tuesday, March 29th, 2022

Broken trust will always remain broken.

Your wife disrespected you in the worst way possible.

Belittled you behind your back and spent ~$1000 on lingerie for the benefit of another man.

Presently you are acting in the capacity of jailer. Monitoring her activities. There is always a work around. Sooner or later even you need to close your eyes or direct your attention to other matters. When you become complacent she will stray once more. The person she was behind your back is the real her.

Good luck whatever you choose. Were I in your place I would be putting the pre-nup to good use.

posts: 167   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2018
id 8726683
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