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

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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 12:44 AM on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

She has already "picked me"—that’s not the issue. Honestly, the primary issue is to know whether she’s picked me for the rest of her life or just until it gets hard again.

No, she hasn't. She has picked herself and her lifestyle and her comfort and her family. She is currently in self preservation mode.

What you are doing is absolutely the pick me dance - showing her how willing you are to R instead of the other way around. She is not doing the heavy lifting, you are. I think when you allow yourself some time to grieve and actually heal, you will probably cringe at the idea of giving her a big gift like a ring so soon. You are definitely hoping to fast track your healing and it just will not work.

posts: 221   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8729282
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seaandsun ( new member #79952) posted at 1:06 AM on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

your wife had a relationship that her family and friends knew and supported.

you want to try to stay in the same group

You bought the new ring for fear of divorce and the effect of sex bombs.

The reasons why your wife chose you matter, you are a good provider, you can be controlled, manipulated etc.

ap is married, there is a possibility of cheating, someone she cannot control, he is not as good a provider as you, she knows that if she cheats on him, she will be thrown out the same night etc.

she's better to keep you if she thinks and it's only a matter of time to find an ap

I wanted to wish you good luck.

posts: 33   ·   registered: Feb. 16th, 2022
id 8729287
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 1:30 AM on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

but I do know she can’t do it alone

She decided, alone - or, at least without you - to engage in the A and to disparage you to her mother and sister. She can decide, alone, to invest the energy into healing the damage she caused if that is in fact what she wants to do.

She loves her kids and her family and that's about it.

No, she really doesn't. At least, she doesn't love them above her own shallow whims and desires, because she has proven, with her actions, that she's more than willing to blow up the family to satisfy those whims and desires.

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3912   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8729292
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 5:23 AM on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

No, she hasn't. She has picked herself and her lifestyle and her comfort and her family. She is currently in self preservation mode.

That’s possible—and it’s what I’m trying to determine: does she love me or does she fear her life without me? It could even be both.

I feel like I’ve seen genuine love from her at times (historically and recently) and it’s now a matter of clearly identifying it so I can feel safe before I recommit to her.

What you are doing is absolutely the pick me dance - showing her how willing you are to R instead of the other way around. She is not doing the heavy lifting, you are. I think when you allow yourself some time to grieve and actually heal, you will probably cringe at the idea of giving her a big gift like a ring so soon. You are definitely hoping to fast track your healing and it just will not work.

So I don’t think I’ve presented things that way to her, though I certainly have in this thread. She is very clear that I have not recommitted to her yet and the work is on her to recommit to me.

To your later point on the ring, I think you’re right. If I gave it to her now, I’d likely end up cringing in the future. I also think I am trying to fast track healing—hell, I think that’s what I’ve been trying to justify throughout this entire thread perhaps. But again, I don’t think that’s what I’m doing in my actions with her, but I’ll keep close awareness to it.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 9:05 AM, Tuesday, April 12th]

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8729325
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 5:30 AM on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

You bought the new ring for fear of divorce and the effect of sex bombs.

I did not buy the ring out of fear of divorce, but I suppose it’s possible the sex bombing is subconsciously involved and that’s something I’m monitoring.

The reasons why your wife chose you matter, you are a good provider, you can be controlled, manipulated etc.

That’s false.

she's better to keep you if she thinks and it's only a matter of time to find an ap.

I strongly disagree, but I acknowledge that there’s a worst case scenario where I’m blind to this potential truth. I genuinely believe she loves me and is trying to fix her fuck up.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8729326
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 5:34 AM on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

No, she really doesn't. At least, she doesn't love them above her own shallow whims and desires, because she has proven, with her actions, that she's more than willing to blow up the family to satisfy those whims and desires.

Well of course that’s true. The question is whether it’s a deep character flaw she can correct or not. I think there’s a scenario where this affair is a crazy fluke in her life. I’m hopeful for that, but gradually preparing to be wrong every day.

I want to emphasize that the most important thing for me now is to believe she is recommitted to me for the rest of her life. I need to essentially get to a place where I’d feel comfortable marrying her again.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8729327
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faithfulman ( member #66002) posted at 9:30 AM on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

I need to essentially get to a place where I’d feel comfortable marrying her again.

If a woman you were really into told you that she cheated on her husband, same story as your wife, including the grizzly details, would you marry that woman?

posts: 920   ·   registered: Aug. 28th, 2018
id 8729331
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 11:19 AM on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

Late to the game here. My two cents.

My H bashed me to my face during his affair. He brought up things from 15 - 20 years prior that were resolved.

He told me I never loved him (that was laughable).

In short cheaters will say and do almost anything to justify the affair.

Our R did not come easy. After I decided I had no other choice but to D my H, he decides he wants to R. The first six months were brutal for him b/c I called him out on everything he said during his affair.

He admitted he lied to justify his cheating.

You have to make a choice as to how YOU feel and what you can accept happened and whether you can heal from it. You have to accept your spouse lied and cheated and betrayed you.

The positive for me was my H had immediate remorse and it showed. He didn’t stay b/c of $ or convenience. He stayed b/c he loved me.

I wouldn’t accept anything less. People can change. For good or bad. I saw it in my H with my own eyes.

But the bottom line is for the betrayed to decide if the cheating is a dealbreaker and ends the marriage OR there is the possibility to R and be happy.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11852   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8729334
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 2:28 PM on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

I think there’s a scenario where this affair is a crazy fluke in her life. I’m hopeful for that

Have you read any of the long threads about hopium? It's the number one most abused substance by betrayed spouses. My friend, my strongest advice to you is to stay off the hopium pipe. Point a boat away from her and row as hard as you can. Don't "hope" she'll teach herself how to swim so she can catch up. Either she will, or she won't, but the proof will be when you see her swimming next to you.

My impression of this scenario is that you are at least reasonably well-to-do, if not a "1%" individual from a socioeconomic perspective. You met around age 19, in 2004 (though you describe a brief hook-up in Italy with an Italian woman in 2005). You proposed to her around 2010, around age 25 in Rome, and then took her to Positano. Not very many 25-year old young men have the wherewithal to propose in Rome and then visit Positano, unless they have inherited wealth. If memory serves, you have a prenup in place? You have the means and independence to spend 10 or so days traveling around Italy with your mother.

You're both 37. Met in 2004, when you were both 19? Still in college? The difficulty with getting together at such a young age is that both of you will change, a lot, between ages 19 and 30. In some marriages, couples manage to change together. In some, they grow apart. It's a bit of a craps shoot. However, a young woman in her late teens/early 20's, being lavished with luxurious travel and gifts by a nice young man from a wealthy family, she can get swept up in that without first considering whether she actually likes or loves him at a fundamental level.

I think this is a dynamic in your case. I'm still struck by some of the basic facts:

The extreme and highly pointed degree to which she disparaged you in texts with her own mother. Daughters share their hearts with their mothers. I think you should place a high degree of faith in the veracity and heartfelt roots of those texts.

She spent thousands on lingerie. Who does that other than somebody who is utterly frivolous and self-indulgent?

You "made her" repay that with "her own money". What does that even mean? It seems like a largely meaningless token gesture.

She drinks too much. That's a habit that grows over time, usually by somebody trying to anesthetize herself to a reality she doesn't enjoy.

She dresses in revealing, inappropriate ways for PTA meetings. A woman literally screaming for attention from people other than her husband.

Bottom line: clearly, she's unhappy with her life. She chose to act on her unhappiness in a horribly destructive way, but that's a symptom, not a cause. Multiple trips to Italy, and lavish gifts of jewelry, that won't change her fundamental unhappiness. That's just masking the stench.

People here are accusing you of doing the "pick me dance" because the subtle subtext of your thread is that you're trying to "make her happy" with her life -- the same life that she has so clearly been unhappy with -- and you are so fixated on this you are grasping at strands of hopium to filter your perception of your reality.

My friend, your WW would still be blowing Deputy Dawg in the parking garage had you not caught them. When a person shows you, with her actions, who she truly is, you believe her. I agree with all of the posters here on the point that, so far, everything you've shown us about her suggests she's sorry she got caught and may lose her pampered lifestyle, not that she's actually remorseful. Remorse is grounded in empathy. What scintilla of act-based evidence do you have that your WW has any empathy for what you're going through?

Me, I'm still a stan for the OBW. She was clever enough to get close to your WW to suss out what hanky-panky she was up to. She was bold enough to flatly proposition you. Your description of your WW paints her as shallow, materialistic, self-indulgent, unobservant, cowardly, solipsistic. The OBW comes off as the diametric opposite: whip smart, perceptive, probably highly empathetic, bold, courageous.

If you really love your WW, set her free to find the happiness she so clearly thinks is out there for her. If she eventually realizes her happiness is with you, she'll come back. Over and over it is said here that if you want to find out whether there is a chance to save your marriage, you have to let it go. Fundamentally, this is the thing you're doing diametrically wrong here. A BH does not "fight" for a marriage broken by a WW. There isn't anything to "fight" for. Marriage rests on the desire of each party to be committed to the other. Your WW's desire is pointed in another direction at present. Let go of the reins. Give her the freedom to pursue what she thinks is her happiness.

In the meantime, use the freedom to seek your own.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 3:33 PM, Tuesday, April 12th]

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3912   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8729350
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 3:03 PM on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

I agree with what much of what Butforthegrace said.

The main issue here is that you are doing way too much. You’re trying to save your marriage. Your WW destroyed your M. It’s up to her to rebuild it, show remorse, do all of the heavy lifting. Your job is to stand back snd watch her, and at the same time heal yourself through your IC, etc.

You want to know if your WW really wants you and the M. However, your actions are working at opposite ends to this goal. How can you figure this out if you’re helping to push this train along 50 percent?

I recommend that when you get back from Italy you sit down with her for a conversation. Let her know that it’s not your job right now to promote R - this is all on her. If, over time, she convinces you that she is doing the work towards R, and the work she needs to fix all of her issues, you will then consider joining her in the R bus.

IMO, you really need to follow the collective wisdom here snd not go your own way, think your WW is different, think your situation is unique. None of this is true. We’ve seen umteenth examples of your WW, your M, snd your response to her cheating. Nothing here is unique in any way, shape or form. What many of us see is a train wreck in the making - maybe not today, or tomorrow, but definitely a couple to few years down the road.

Many, if not most, BHs who respond to their WWs A as you are, either find themselves staying in the M and are miserable, become angry and despondent a few years down the line, and then eventually get D.

The way to not end up like this is to require her to do ALL of the work at this stage, as I stated above. Again, if you help her do the work, how can you figure out whether she truly wants you and the M? You can’t!!!

posts: 401   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8729362
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 3:22 PM on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

People can and do change. WSes who do the necessary work become good partners. R is possible.

The questions we each have to answer include, 'What do I want? What's possible for me? What's my best option?'

It's very possible that Mrsstrangelove has chosen the Dr. It's very possible she has chosen him forever, or for the moment, or out of love and desire for the Dr, or for love and desire for the lifestyle, or ....

Only time will tell. Drstrangelove is best positioned to know his W.

Any one of us who thinks they know what's in her mind is kidding themself.

*****

Having said that, the idea of giving any gift, much less an extravagant one, much less actually buying such a gift, at this point smacks very much of the pick-me dance.

If you want to find out if your W has chosen you or the lifestyle she has with you, the last thing to do is to lavish gifts on her. That seems obvious - and yet you purchased an extravagant ring for her. I have some trouble accepting your assurance that you're not trying to win your W back. You're the prize; she isn't.

IDK ... my W's birthday was 2 weeks after d-day. I bought her some chap-stik as a gift. 3 tubes. The main reason was that it was her b'day, of course, but I chose Chap-stik because I knew she was going to buy the stuff for herself anyway. The first gift I bought her was for her b'day 4 years out - and that was a set of dance lessons that I wanted.

I understand you want to R. You have to understand R may not be best for your and may not be possible. You need to give up trying to control the outcome as soon as you can - all such attempts are futile.

I know I'm projecting, but I really have a hard time understanding giving a gift of any sort this close to your d-day.

*****

It's possible that you're jumping to R'ed behavior because you're dodging the pain that comes with being betrayed - the anger, grief, fear, shame. You've said you want to get through this quickly, after all.

The quickest way through this is to process the pain out of your body, and that requires you to feel the pain, not dodge it.

Doing your work gives you the opportunity to observe your W and test her to see if she's a good candidate for R. Will she support you emotionally through your healing? Will she learn to listen to you talk about your thoughts and feelings without getting defensive? Will she use what she hears from you as support for her changing from cheater to good partner?

There's no quick way to heal. R is even slower. Neither will work unless you give them both the time they need. Believe me, R takes 1000s of trust-building actions, and it takes years to accomplish that much.

Slow down. Let the process work. What will happen will happen, and you can't control anything or anyone but yourself.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 3:24 PM, Tuesday, April 12th]

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: 27082   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8729366
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 5:08 PM on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

If a woman you were really into told you that she cheated on her husband, same story as your wife, including the grizzly details, would you marry that woman?

Nope. I think I said that earlier in this thread. Unfortunately it’s not that simple.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8729389
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 5:10 PM on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

The positive for me was my H had immediate remorse and it showed. He didn’t stay b/c of $ or convenience. He stayed b/c he loved me.

I genuinely feel my wife loves me. We’ll see if I’m correct sooner or later.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8729390
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faithfulman ( member #66002) posted at 5:57 PM on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

Nope. I think I said that earlier in this thread. Unfortunately it’s not that simple.

I've been following your thread but maybe I missed this particular point.

I certainly understand it is not as simple as that since you have been married 10+ years, have kids, financial entanglements etc.

However, I suggest that you at least keep the "Would I have married her if she told me this prior" lens as one of your perspectives because of this statement below, particularly the bolded part:


I want to emphasize that the most important thing for me now is to believe she is recommitted to me for the rest of her life. I need to essentially get to a place where I’d feel comfortable marrying her again.

Here is the deal - for her to be "recommitted" would require that she was committed the way you would hope in the first place. And to be "comfortable marrying her again"?

Wow, that is a big hurdle in my view. Your wife betrayed you on all fronts. I am not sure how you get past the physical acts that she engaged in with this man to be at the point where you would marry her all over again, and combining that with the tearing you down behind your back and the financial betrayal, that is a big mountain.

I feel like you are trying to rationalize your way back into the marriage, but currently, I see that as irrational. She's sorry, but you are doing most of the real work.

For sure, you are in a "hopium stage", which by the way, is absolutely common, particularly in the early days. SO that is not a dig at you, just an observation.

Many people will tell you that the crux is whether your wife will "do the work", recommit, etc.

I don't think that is the crux at all. To me the crux is: Can you live with her for the rest of your life, knowing what she did with this other man, how she disrespected you, your family, your heart, herself and so on?

Can your mind ever rest? Can you kiss her the same way, can you let her out of your sight, can you travel by yourself and feel comfortable? Will you even like her, let alone love her after she has shown you what she is capable of?

It's really about you before we get to her. And then, if you can check all of those boxes positively, she has to be able to absolutely reform herself and behave so much better than just your average spouse, because she was so much worse in her behaviors.


Think it through. Which is the path that you can really undertake, and look at it in the context of what she is actually doing, not just her panicky behavior, but the entire sum.

Good luck.

posts: 920   ·   registered: Aug. 28th, 2018
id 8729397
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MickeyBill2016 ( member #56459) posted at 6:02 PM on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

For now she "picked you"...ain't you a lucky duck.
I think than she needs to earn you and the marriage back by figuring out how she can fix the damage she created when she "picked" the PTA cop.
She can't just say Opps, I fell for a cop, but after getting caught I want you now DrStrange.

Right now I think you are in the I MUST FIX THIS mode. Trying to do what "you" can fix something that "she" destroyed. The fancy ring is a symptom of that.

I fear that in 6 months when things are "normal" you will be quietly thinking about nothing in particular and the WTF did she do! and YTF did I reconcile so quickly! thought will bubble up.

Do you pick her is the question.

9 years married.
13 years divorced.

posts: 1230   ·   registered: Dec. 17th, 2016   ·   location: West of the 405 North of the Mexican border
id 8729399
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 6:45 PM on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

I’m truly rooting for you to R. However, you’re not living in true reality right now. I know my wife loves me is not reality.

You had self described issues in the M prior to the A, then there is the A itself, and now you’re asserting that your WW loves you, more than ever?

So her A made her realize all of a sudden that you’re her guy. The disparagement of you behind your back was prior to the A, and during as well, but really had nothing to do with her A. It’s how she really thinks of you. The not being physically attracted to you happened prior to the A. It’s also how she actually thinks of you. The A itself is how she actually thinks of you. The talking to the OBS during the A, all of that callousness towards you and the OBS, had nothing to do with the A. It’s also how she thinks of you, plus others by the way.

So now what’s changed her into the woman who loves, cherishes, respects, snd is physically attracted to you? Well yes, of course it’s the A silly. It’s the A silver lining to open communication and thus change our marriage dynamic, and how my wife thinks of me.

OP - does this sound off to you? Does this sound illogical to you? If your best friend recounted this entire story about his wife, what would you think?

Your mind is being clouded by sex bombing snd all the dopamine hits that come with it. You’re getting great sex now from a wife who hated having sex with you, wasn’t attracted to you, and didn’t like or respect you as a person.

However, the A changed all this. Really? Like I said I’m rooting for you to R, but you’re going about it all wrong. However, you don’t see it because your brain is all cloudy with good sex, and good words coming from your WWs mouth, and your desire to save your M snd family at all cost. All good intentions mind you.

However, we all here see the mistakes you’re making, but you don’t. As I mentioned, there are rarely exceptions to the rule in these cases. The best advice is to think logically about all of this snd not emotionally. It’s a very difficult thing to do but it’s the only thing that will save you from a potential train wreck in the making.

posts: 401   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8729407
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 6:50 PM on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

everything you've shown us about her suggests she's sorry she got caught and may lose her pampered lifestyle, not that she's actually remorseful.

I want to clarify that I’m not responsible for her lifestyle. We both make good money, but she makes considerably more than I do. I agree she may have fear of divorce, but it has nothing to do with money—it would be her losing me and becoming a single mother.

Reading my posts, I understand how I’ve painted her, but it’s just not as simple as it seems. She has a massive heart and this affair was incredibly out of character.

Everything you’re all saying is still fair, but I need to give her an opportunity to prove she loves me. I feel like I’m in a good place now; the pressure is on her—she’s apparently making a special meal for tomorrow when I get home for my birthday (she doesn’t cook).

I’m now wide awake and looking for bull shit—we will see what I find.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8729408
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Stevesn ( member #58312) posted at 7:20 PM on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

You have your eyes open. That’s good.

The one tendency I would change in you if I was able too would be patience. You seem like you want to rush things. Get this past you. It can’t be done. At least not if you want to create a NEW lasting relationship.

If you were shot by a gun in the heart and needed open heart surgery, would you bounce right back after they got you off the table? No. You’d need months of recovery. And physical therapy.

This is what has been done to you emotionally. And it’s not just the bullet in the heart from the cheating. It’s your legs cut off from under you from her badmouthing you behind your back, and your eyes blinded from her lying.

This is what you must prepare yourself for. It’s the fact that this will take years and the best you will get is a new relationship, not the old one. But being able to function as a partner and accept her again as yours is now a lifelong pursuit. It could happen. It will never be 100% satisfying but it can still be very good.

But don’t rush it. Let it happen slowly. Right not it’s not even at a turtles pace. It’s snail time at best.

So live your life and let the rest happen as it happens. You can’t make her fix this. She has to have it in her heart to do it. So just wait and see.

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 8729413
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 7:34 PM on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

I’d like to point it that R is not a straight path forward.

We would have good days and terrible days. Days where I was certain I should just D him. Convinced that there was no way I was going to live him again like I did.

I spent the first 12 months of R straddling the Divorce fence.

Yes I had doubts. Yes I hated his actions. Yes some days he could not do anything right.

It needs time - not sure how much but you should see that there are more positives than negatives for R after the first 3-6 months.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 11:25 PM, Tuesday, April 12th]

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11852   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8729415
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Sanibelredfish ( member #56748) posted at 7:34 PM on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022

I’ve sensed that rush to return to normalcy too, Stevesn.

About 3 weeks ago I wrote the following:

There is no quick fix that will be successful. Unless you’re confident you can figure out a way the other 60,000+ members here have somehow missed (please, don’t be that guy).

Listen to Stevesn, Dr. S.

posts: 785   ·   registered: Jan. 8th, 2017   ·   location: Midwest
id 8729416
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