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Newest Member: Gtacch

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

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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 12:59 AM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

manipulated emotionally and taken advantage of sexually

You need to drop this. If she feels this way ,it's simply more manipulation on her part. Your wife isn't,as one member puts it, a little girl lost in the woods. She was not manipulated by this man,and she certainly wasn't taken advantage of sexually. Hell, she paid for the hotel rooms.

If she truly feels this way,then you have more of a problem than you realize. Because if she does feel this way, it's because she thought she was going to be with him..that the two of them would leave their spouses for each other. And when the shit hit the fan,all he was worried about was his wife finding out,he wasn't worried about her and she realized she wasn't special to him.

Also..her reason is bullshit. She did not cheat because she wasn't getting something from you. At all. Her reasons have to do with her. Not anything you did, or didn't do.

posts: 4332   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8725250
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Jameson1977 ( member #54177) posted at 1:02 AM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

^^^*what Hellfire said, 100%!

She knew exactly what she was doing and was not taken advantage of at all. She made hundreds of choices through her A that she did on her own. This is pure manipulation, just like my WW tried to do with me.

posts: 760   ·   registered: Jul. 16th, 2016
id 8725251
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Ariopolis ( member #75786) posted at 1:06 AM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

She went from adding a fun affair to her life to stripping virtually everything away. I think she's slipping into a depression and I'm worried about her.

She may be grieving the loss of her lover.

posts: 221   ·   registered: Nov. 2nd, 2020
id 8725253
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WontBeFooledAgai ( member #72671) posted at 1:10 AM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

A "fun affair" eh? So betraying you and your family was FUN for her??

[This message edited by WontBeFooledAgai at 1:17 AM, Thursday, March 24th]

posts: 391   ·   registered: Jan. 26th, 2020
id 8725255
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fareast ( Guide #61555) posted at 1:23 AM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

Op, okay time to sit back and take a deep breath. You’ve received a lot of advice today and you need time to rest and get your bearings. The idea here is to take the advice you can use and leave the rest. You should know that your WW seems like a pretty common cheater. Nothing special. Looking for validation.

Her actions moving forward will be telling if she has the ability to be remorseful for her infidelity. Many have said the lies, trickl3 truth and blameshifting after discovery doomed the M more than the actual A. Be watchful. Whatever you ultimately decide, R or D, you will receive support here. Most importantly take care of you. Eat healthy, exercise, engage your hobbies, be there for your children. You will get through this. We all do.

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 8725262
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Crushed7 ( member #41129) posted at 2:50 AM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

DSL,

Two things really strike me about this thread. The first is that you are a kind hearted person - being concerned for your kids, your wife, your wife's family and even the OM's wife/family in the middle of all this. The second is that you are only a bit over a week out from discovery. With those things in mind...

1. While no marriage is perfect and there is always room to improve, you need to know that what happened is NONE of your fault. And that, when it comes down to it, that if you decide to offer reconciliation, that you can't do it alone.

2. You're in shock. During my first week post discovery, a friend came to me to say "You've just figuratively been run over by a semi-truck, yet you are the one running around making sure that everyone else is OK. You need to stop and go get help for yourself."

I say this because you've received a ton of advice in a day and it can be panic inducing, so you need to know that (1) you've found a place where others understand and are trying to help you avoid more or prolonged pain and (2) your recovery from this trauma will take some time so it is OK to be kind and patient with yourself.

Moving forward, a few things for you to consider specific to your own healing...

- Your path to heal from this trauma will largely mirror the Stages of Grief. It isn't a linear path (there can be skipping around, going backward, etc.) but it does help you understand that the things you feel are absolutely normal. You are in the first stage right now and the next one (anger) will appear with increasing effect over the coming weeks.

- Individual counseling. Your W cheated because she has a character gap deep inside of her -- she'll need to figure that out if she is going to be a safe partner. She should also what to figure it out because it will help give her a way to deal with the shame and guilt that she is facing. Her doing a good job here has the added benefit of making her more likely to be a good candidate for reconciliation. You could use your own IC as well to provide a safe place to process the trauma while guiding you in your own healing.

- Marriage counseling. Assuming you both decide to reconcile, you'll need this -- but only when you both have healed enough to focus some effort on rebuilding trust and when your W isn't looking to shift any blame for the affair onto you. A MC who is familiar with infidelity and who doesn't buy into shared responsibility for the affair is a must. While you could go now, the majority of good, infidelity-aware MCs would tell you to focus on IC now and to give it 9-12 months before considering jumping into marriage counseling.

Focusing on your healing is a priority for you right now.

Other items...

- The OM. First, as you get into the Anger stage, most of that anger is going to not be focused on the person who betrayed you by breaking her vows, but on the OM because it is easier to do so. The anger can be incredibly intense so please remember that acting out in any way (1) isn't going to change or fix what has happened and (2) can even result in putting you into an awful position. Second, given his actions with your W along with how he is positioning things at the PTA seems to indicate that this might not be his first time and/or that he thinks he can get away with it. You don't need to decide anything today, but you'll want to think this through and, possibly, get some counsel on what to do/not do.

- The OM's wife. Do you wish that your mother-in-law, father-in-law or sister-in-law would have demonstrated that they love and respect you so much that they couldn't allow for the growing signs of a developing affair to go on? Or even for them to step at some point after it had developed to say "I thought I could convince her to stop, but it is apparent that it isn't working -- so I'm coming to let you know"? Talking to the OM's wife is a matter of seeing her as someone who is being incredibly mistreated and disrespected and that she needs to know. She needs to know that her husband isn't just betraying her, but is also willing to put her health on the line. The point is that you are keenly aware of how bad it feels and that you want her to see that someone, even a stranger, sees her worth and is willing to stand up for her. The side effect is that it will also make it much harder for your W and OM to take the affair underground, but that isn't the main point.

- Your in-laws. They were put in a tough spot. And I'll take your word that their family tends to avoid confrontation. But the outcome of that was that the affair was known, they (at least your MIL and, maybe, SIL) accepted the mischaracterizations of you and they enabled the affair to continue by not taking more action. At a minimum, that needs to be called out -- that you are disappointed they bought into excuses (about your faults) that your W used to justify the affair, that you are saddened that they didn't treat you with respect and love by bring you an awareness of what was happening and that this has really damaged your trust and relationship with them as a result. You can offer the opportunity to reconcile, but they should know that their position of being non-confrontational caused some real damage here.

- Your W. It sounds like she might be going through some "withdrawal" symptoms. And that is a fairly accurate term because she was living in a made up world that isn't incredibly different that being addicted. As a result, some of her reluctance to cut ties isn't abnormal. But, the most important part, that isn't acceptable nor is it an excuse. She needs to cut off contact and you need to be on the look out for a potential affair or communication relapse. She doesn't get to complain about how hard it is to you (that could be for a really good IC to help her snap out of). She needs to jump into doing the work necessary to fix what is broken inside of her -- that means getting to an IC and not just being nice to you, going on dates, experiencing hysterical bonding, etc. Her ACTIONS in the next few weeks are going to be critical.

These things are also important, but you can take a number of days to get them on the right track. The most important one is going to be your W.

Thanks for having the bravery to share your story and the patience to hear many of us out as we try to help. One day at a time!

[This message edited by Crushed7 at 3:42 AM, Thursday, March 24th]

Me-BH
Her-WW
Last DDay-2012 (several month EA/PA)
Married 30+ years

posts: 3788   ·   registered: Oct. 27th, 2013
id 8725279
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annb ( member #22386) posted at 3:05 AM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

(manipulated emotionally and taken advantage of sexually)

.

^^^^Just no. Nope. She is not a victim. She knew exactly what she was doing. She's an adult, she played with fire, and she got burned.

My WH tried to play the victim as well bc his AP pursued him relentlessly, she was very cunning according to the some of the evidence I gathered. Nope. My WH could have stopped at any time, he was enjoying the attention and the validation just as your wife was. "No" is a powerful word. Simply, no. They chose "yes."

posts: 11506   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2009   ·   location: Northeast
id 8725283
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FlowerPower ( member #52231) posted at 3:35 AM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

Dear Dr.

For what its worth, I live in a school district with about 100k people. Our midwest school system has 24 schools and 14,500 students. Of course every school had a PTA and most really active ones were in elementary schools. I was a local resident public Governor appointed Board Member for the district and state policy level. My youngest child was far past elementary level, but I can name names of people involved in at least 4 - 5 affairs at the elementary PTA level over my two term tenure. Sometimes it was two parents, sometimes a parent and teacher and sometime a parent and administrator. My role was to help set policy ~ not be involved in personnel or PTA issues at all, yet I always heard or knew about the affairs. To believe that if you told the OBS, then it would blow up and become a town scandal is naive. Please believe me when I tell you it is already common knowledge around any one even remotely involved with that school ~ teachers, administrators and other parents.

Also, as an FYI, a public school system has no authority over two parents in a PTA affair. PTAs are governed nationally. If two parents are involved in an affair, other than personally asking them to watch themselves, there is no authority of a school principal or higher administrator to relieve them of their PTA duties ~ unless they are voted out by the PTA board. The PTA parents are in no way considered employees of the school system and therefore not subject to the same ethics or appropriate behavior rules as school employees.


Please tell the OBS. Others are still watching and know and knew of the personal relationship between your WW and the WWCop. And sadly, it will be talked about behind the backs of yours and the OBS for years. Read again the post about the LEO's who know what the other LEO's That poster (sorry can't remember his/her name) is saying the same thing. Show your strength and courage. There is no value in rug sweeping.

posts: 89   ·   registered: Mar. 13th, 2016
id 8725287
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Trdd ( member #65989) posted at 4:23 AM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

You've been given great advice, worth a pot of gold. A few reinforcements:

The posom deserves his consequences as much as his wife deserves to know she is betrayed. Find your anger and help accelerate karma for him.

Be careful which counselors you use. Interview them about their experience and ideas on infidelity. Many of them have some harmful strategies and believe the marriage is the primary cause for A. Avoid those people. Case in point, your MC telling you it's not your role to inform the OBS... Obviously tis entire site thinks thats wrong & bullshit.

R is possible. But your WW's betrayal is very deep. True R is a major challenge in all A; combine that with the number of aspects of her affair you listed and it is not going to be easy to do. D is not easy either but it's quicker and cleaner. There is no rush to decide what you want.

I think her family did a better job than some others think here. How has your wife explained all the hurtful things she said,about you? Has she fixed that with her family?

Buy those books that were recommended to you earlier!

posts: 573   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8725298
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NotInMyLife ( member #67728) posted at 4:37 AM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

I don't think it's manipulation. That's how she has always been.

She's always been manipulative. And it's ironic that you would buy into her characterization of her paramour as having manipulated her when she's demonstrated that's been her role with you.

I think she's slipping into a depression and I'm worried about her.

I think it's time you read a bit about Emotional Blackmail. Susan Forward has a good starter book. You have been thoroughly trained to anticipate her reactions and "fix things". From something else you said, it seems that you have always been more invested in maintaining the quality of your family life than she has. Maybe your kids need someone who is willing to step up and do what needs to be done rather than waiting on you to arrange things.

posts: 151   ·   registered: Nov. 3rd, 2018
id 8725301
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Buster123 ( member #65551) posted at 5:26 AM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

I'm sorry that you're here but you shouldn't try to R with an unremorseful WW who disrespected you in such an awful way, at least not yet, you should let go of the outcome and focus on "Surviving Infidelity", look at your member number, based on what you posted your WW is a run of the mill proven cheater and liar, we've literally "seen this" play out THOUSANDS of times over and over again here on SI and other websites, every case has different components but cheaters typically follow a similar script, we call it The Cheater's Handbook", what you have described is in the first chapter of that imaginary book. As others mentioned, it takes 3-5 years on average to overcome such a trauma and with NO guarantees, and that's with a fully remorseful WS doing all the heavy lifting to restore the M they destroyed, right now your WW is not a good candidate to R by a very long shot. Here's a few of the basics that have stood the test of time:

1) Full Exposure: In your case her parents/sisters already know, now you should tell OBS (Other Betrayed Spouse), Exposure typically kills the "beautiful, exciting and romantic" aspects of an A and replaces them with pure shame and embarrassment, the more she hates the A, the more she will hate AP and the less likely she will resume the A or cheat again in the future, it's called "consequences" for her huge betrayal. Exposure to OBS, besides being the right thing to do, also typically provides an extra set of eyes to help with NC, there are countless of free Apps that won't show in your phone bill. Also demand she apologizes to her parents for telling them lies about you in an effort to justify her A, also to your parents if alive for having betrayed their son (you), all that helps with true remorse, which is essential to a successful R. Lastly I would report posom to his superiors at the PD.

2) NC Forever, she needs to send POSOM an NC forever text in front of you, short and to the point (no sweet goodbyes), if any friends/relatives enabled her or covered for her they should go too, they're no friends of the M.

3) Get tested for STDs, and based on what you mentioned, also a pregnancy test is in order.

4) She needs to go to IC with someone who specializes in infidelity (very important), forget MC right now, at this point it's typically a waste of time and money.

5) She needs to stay away from this PTA forever, again another consequence for her huge betrayal, she caused this.

6) You mentioned a "prenup" which is great but still consult a D attorney to know your legal options, knowledge is power.

7) Do NOT share this site with your WW.

If she refuses to do or can't do any of the above, then file for D and get out of infidelity, life's too short. Keep posting frequently, the collective wisdom of SI could help you go through this difficult situation.

posts: 2588   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018
id 8725312
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Numis67 ( member #57209) posted at 8:11 AM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

Dr. S,

Sorry you are now a member of our club.  As you have read, many of us are not timid in our responses to your situation.  The reason is that we've been there and done that.  Experience is the best education of all.

First, I know you feel some of the feedback is harsh.  It may feel that way but it is intended to give you the straight scoop about what you are facing.  Much of the indescribably topsy-turvy emotional turmoil you will feel is yet to come.  PTSD is a vicious monster.

I, too, did the pick me dance.  I wanted reconciliation at nearly any cost.  My marriage meant the world to me.  That attitude came with consequences. Because of this I experienced D-Day 2 some 10 years after the first one.  My XWW even had the audacity to tell me, just prior to our separation and divorce, "You should've been harder on me."  I guess I helped prove once again that being a nice guy can come back to haunt you.  Divorce may not be your ultimate decision, but it sure should be a viable option.

I have no doubt you are a dedicated family man.  I'm sure you are a doting father and a caring, loving husband.  But you have to come to grips with the fact that your wife was well aware of these attributes while nurturing an illicit sexual relationship with the POSOM.  The thought of losing your wife and marriage is a frightening possibility, all of us understand that completely; however, you should consider it as a possibility.

Regarding the OBS, you really have a moral obligation to tell her.  Another way to look at it is this - by telling her you are likely removing the POSOM as an obstacle to reconciliation.  He'll be too busy extinguishing his own dumpster fire to be a present danger to your marriage.

I truly wish you the best of luck.  It's a rough road ahead, but stay strong and take care of yourself.

Infidelity is not simply a mistake. It is a series of decisions made for selfish reasons at the expense of a significant other.

posts: 79   ·   registered: Feb. 1st, 2017   ·   location: Missouri
id 8725320
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:07 PM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

I want you all to know that I’m reading every word, but thought I’d give an update post rather than respond to each post.

Last night my wife was at a definite low point from returning from work. It was the first day she spent separated from me and left with time to think and process.

At night, all of her anger was completely gone—I could see it. It was replaced with largely shame, as far as I can tell.

I think also for the first time she recognized how big a deal this was going to be for us—the long road we’re now on all because of her actions. She took 100% responsibility for the affair again, but this time there was no question she meant it.

I offered to put kids to bed and suggested she talk with her mom or sister as a sounding board. She went for a walk and came back in worse shape. She told her mom how worthless she felt and her mom tried to gloss it over: "it was only a three month affair—you’re not worthless."

My wife was devastated that her mom didn’t understand what she was feeling and I can tell it just made her feel more alone.

As an aside, that was a very stupid thing her mom said to her and I won’t defend it, but I will note that I’m certain her mom knows how bad this is, but is trying to play it down for my wife thinking it will help. I left this out, but my SIL has been dealing with severe psychological issues for the last 20 years—cutting, bulimia, just a tremendous amount of darkness and her parents have taken a massive burden. I suspect her mom’s top priority is preventing her other daughter from falling down a similar path.

So my wife and I talked. Her sadness left her defeated and humiliated. I suggested we do IC and she agreed—after a search, she connected with one late at night and they agreed to connect today. For me, I’d like to do an IC as well, but budget may play s factor here as we can’t realistically have three therapists. I’m going to see how the couple’s counselor goes today and decide if we should drop her for my own or continue seeing her—a part of me thinks giving my wife two opportunities to talk with someone a week would be good. I can also tell she liked us sitting their together to talk and explain our lives and situation. So we’ll see.

I also dug into the why behind her current feelings in relation to the other guy. She acknowledged what a poster had said about how she is basically going through a breakup right now—and she now knows her emotional connection to him was stronger than his to hers. She feels less manipulated now and more stupid. She knows she allowed herself to develop the emotional connection with him and she told me that stopping it just became increasingly harder as the affair developed.

Again, as an aside, she was VERY down Christmas week this year, a time she is normally at her happiest. He kissed her on Dec. 17 and they met at a hotel on Jan. 4–that time period was a low point for her and the spark and butterflies she was getting from him was the best thing in her life. Once the hotel meet happened, she was on a self-destructive downward spiral.

She now knows a lot of the weight is on her to fix this and I can tell she is overwhelmed a bit by it. She’s getting panick attacks again—something that initially started after a car accident about 10 years ago. She’s also very anxious about her STD test on Monday knowing she needs to go tell her doctor that she’s a whore.

I never spoke about her history, but my wife was a "whore" in early college. She slept with about 20 guys those first two years and she was shamed by her girlfriends. The judgement affected her long term and she never resolved it—it’s a big reason she became sexually repressed during our marriage.

So now she feels like that again, expect worse because she’s a married 37 year-old woman with children. Her shame right now is overwhelming for her and I can see she doesn’t have the tools to process it.

We are going to couples therapy again later this morning and I will bring to it in the back of my mind the concerns you all have shared. If I sense that the therapist is trying to blame me for the affair, we’ll stop seeing her.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8725331
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Robert22205https ( member #65547) posted at 12:58 PM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

The great irony is that the principle reason she cheated was to seek validation that she felt wasn't coming from me, and now her self-esteem is lower than any point in her life.

No no no....

First of all that thinking is a free pass for her to cheat again whenever she feels down or not getting enough attention from you. There is no she learned her lesson and won't do it again.

The above quote is not the reason she cheated. Lots of people feel that way - but they do not cheat.
She cheated and she needs to dig deep to find out why - and fix herself.

She also needs a plan (from her not you) for rebuilding your trust. And she doesn't get to just say "trust me".
btw: you will never blindly trust her again.

Regardless of how sad and ashamed your wife is ... your wife has a long uphill journey before she can be a safe partner for you or anyone.

And you can't do it for her or make it easier (there's no short cuts).

Finally, you're in denial (a phase of PTSD). What you currently feel about the affair and divorce is not how you will feel as time goes on. Within 1-2 years it's not unusual for the BS to decide to divorce.

posts: 2573   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: DC
id 8725337
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Robert22205https ( member #65547) posted at 1:08 PM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

Don't be surprised if the entire town already knows of their affair. People saw them at the PTA and elsewhere. They knew before you did.

The AP (holding a position of trust in the community) is a menace to society. He needs to be exposed.

Your fear about the fallout to your family (and you being labeled a cuckold) from exposure was shared by all of us.

People respect honesty and courage. What we discovered is that exposure clears the air of the lies and short term gossip (and there is gossip about your wife).

The only way out of this mess for you, your wife, and your family is to acknowledge it, fix it, and rebuild a better marriage.

[This message edited by Robert22205https at 1:09 PM, Thursday, March 24th]

posts: 2573   ·   registered: Jul. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: DC
id 8725340
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Western ( member #46653) posted at 1:14 PM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

I disagree with your direction on handling this affair but it is your life and your decisions. This is not an effort to belittle you at all but giving you my perspective on it and what you should do.

Summarizing

First, yes, you needed to stop playing the 'Pick me dance'.

Secondly, in addition to his horrid affair, she trashed you to others, cheated flagrantly and brought her family into this. That is shameful at the very least.

She has stayed in contact with this guy and is only angry at him because he was disrespectful to her, not because his actions hurt you.

She is clearly fearful of that pre-nup and only acted when you contacted your lawyer. So she's not acting out of remorse.

You are too soon to be in MC. You need IC first. You don't need a bad MC blameshifting to you at this point.

Many here will tell you that living in a bad marriage for the kids is a bad idea. I would concur. The kids don't need to see you suffering, they don't need to see bad traits from their parents only staying together for the kids while not being in a loving relationship. Great co-parenting is much better than parents who are in misery and staying for the kids

IMO, you also need to stop the hysterical bonding. She had unprotected sex with a serial cheater and you are having often and unprotected sex with her despite the possibility of disease. You are also allowing her to love bomb you into rugsweeping.

You also aren't telling the other man's wife who is a victim as well and who deserves to know. It also provides a consequence to him.

Now based on your post this morning, you encouraged her to talk to her mom and sister for support. They knew about the affair, confided with her about it or vice versa. Are they really the ones who you should be encouraging her to go to for support ?

Yes, she's downtrodden right now but she did that to herself.

On a final note, you spoke about her sexual history and now she has had an affair. Has this been the only one ?


With all of that out of the way, I would suggest the following

1) Stop being the 'reconcile at all costs' type of person. Divorce is a real option and you have the advantage. Based on some of her comments and gaslighting, reconciliation has not been real and you have to protect yourself because noone else is

2) Step back and consider what you would tell a friend who went through this very same thing on how they should handle it.

3) Be more concerned about the kids than her. She built this shitshow, she needs to deal with it.

4) Stop the couples counseling. It is too early for it. Go to IC first and deal with you

5) What steps have you taken to ensure the affair hasn't gone underground ? What steps have you taken to ensure this hasn't been the only one ? You need to know what you are forgiving and how she went aggressively into this affair shows that her potential to have done it before and to do it again is real and strong.

6) You could file for divorce (always with the ability to stop it) as both a consequence to her and to take power back in your marriage.

7) Stop the hysterical bonding. She was sexually repressed and now had an affair and she hasn't even gotten the results of the STD test yet. So do you think the lovebombing is part of an act to prevent you from divorcing her or to get you to rugsweep ? I would be concerned that her past behaviors, the affair and now going from being repressed to being enormously active, has red flags all over the place.

8) Her family is not a friend of your marriage or respectful to you. You need to take steps to protect yourself, your kids and your marriage from them at this point. Crsuhed7 brought up this and Numis, Trdd and others brought out great points.

Again, I wasn't trying to step on you here, I just wanted to put everything in a capsule and the best way to put it is that you will be back here again someday if you continue the course you are on

posts: 3557   ·   registered: Feb. 4th, 2015   ·   location: U.S.
id 8725342
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 1:22 PM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

Hello DSL:

Something jumped out from your last post so strongly, literally punched me in the face, that it led me to do a little exercise. A very quick, non-precise count indicates that your post references:

"she", "her", "my wife", or similar second person pronouns for your WW about 65 times

Other second person pronouns for your MIL and SIL about 10 times

First person pronouns ("me", "I", or similar) for you about 15 times

My count was done once, without a tally sheet and before my coffee, so it's imprecise, but close enough for jazz. I was inspired to engage in the exercise by the overwhelming impression of this post, which is the giant amount of nervous energy and mental head space you are devoting to sussing out your WW's feelings (which is something she herself should be doing, not you), versus how little you are devoting to sussing out your own. Anxiously scrutinizing her every breath, searching for any gesture that you might interpret as a sign of affection, remorse, gratitude, regardless whether the interpretation is correct. You remind me of my puppy at feeding time, anxiously watching her food dish and my kitchen movements to be sure that she doesn't miss the moment I put the food in the dish. Why are you so passive?

My friend, as a 100% unqualified, no formal training or education possessing armchair psychologist, I'd hazard that you are a highly co-dependent individual. At least, this post reeks of co-dependency, and a concomitant sense of passive acceptance of whatever it is she dishes up for you. El Señor, I cry for you. Out of every personality trait, co-dependency/passivity is the one single trait that is strongly correlated with failed R because of the easy ability of the WW to push an agenda of rug-sweeping, DARVO, etc.

I also dug into the why behind her current feelings in relation to the other guy.

Stop. Please just stop. This could not possibly be a more "100% the wrong direction" statement about an action taken by a BH. Literally a map of the road to perdition.

This forum is not about divorce as choice number 1, but it's also not about white knuckling it and stubbornly remaining married regardless of the size and stench of the shit sandwich your WW is feeding you. The path to successfully getting out of infidelity is a path of finding your heart's truth. There is a technique, called The 180, that is normally a strong recommend for a newly minted BH such as yourself. It is not a punishment for your WW, nor a gambit to catalyze any particular response from her. It is a tool to provide you with psychological space so that you can find your heart's truth. I cannot think of a thread where The 180 was more needed than this thread. At present, you are boring into the guts of her feelings like a hookworm in the foot of a redneck squatting at the poop tree.

I have not seen a thread where I want more strongly to grab you by the shoulders, shake you, and bark this at you like a marine drill sergeant: "Don't set yourself on fire to keep somebody else warm!"

The individual items you describe of her are nothing remarkable. In fact, they're pretty cliche; the ordinary progression of things that most waywards go through post Dday. You present it as if they are epiphanies and/or milestones when in reality they are totally normal and make her nothing more than a cheater who was caught, acting and behaving like a cheater who was caught.

I would note the dual references to "whore", because I find that noteworthy. A body count of 20 for an attractive woman during her undergrad years who went to college some time around the late 1990's or early aughts is not remarkable. But the fact that you perceive that she feels shame about this, that is. I wonder, does she really feel shame due to girlfriends in college, or are you projecting that? Hmmm.

I ask because you say she "became sexually repressed during our marriage". That is not something you have mentioned before in this thread. In fact, your earlier posts suggested that sex was good for the most part, and HB has been somewhat of a freak train.

When did she become "sexually repressed"? How did it manifest? That's important to know for an understanding of the dynamic.

Specifically, was it during the past year or so? I ask because one classic hallmark of cheaters is that, as they begin the walk up that ramp toward infidelity (for example, your WW trading flirty glances with Mr. Cop whilst cutting paper snowflakes at the PTA), their sexual fervor for their BS begins to wane. They become distant. Pick fights over little things. Seem irritable. The unwitting BS generally thinks he is the problem so he steps up, more acts of kindness and praise, more shouldering the domestic load, etc. But it doesn't seem to work. Where you used to feel her fire, it becomes cold inside. That, my friend, is not her becoming sexually repressed. That is the sound of her rejecting you because her Sauron's eye is now focused on the AP in the distance, the precious.

Or, was the sexual repression something different? Have you reminded her, ever, of the "whore" who screwed 20 guys in college? I do think that it's important for people to swap sexual histories before getting married, but once that's done, if you then decide to get married, sexual history is off limits in terms of fodder for shaming or abuse. Your decision to marry is a decision that you're copacetic with her history.

By the way, there are a lot of good reasons why a young 20-something woman in college might have a 20-something body count, but the most classic reason is because she can. Sex for an attractive woman in college is as readily available as air. A woman can find sex literally by stepping outside her dorm room and taking a walk down to the dining hall. If she is a serious student and a woman who wants to maintain her independence, getting into a serious boyfriend relationship can be a drag. College boys are immature, solipsistic, and possessive. Many are physically disgusting because they've not yet mastered personal hygiene. Some can become stalkers or manipulative assholes. The way to avoid all that, to keep her eye focused on her studies while slaking her 20-something sexual thirst, is to hook up with casuals and randoms. It's a logical strategy that does not deserve shame.

In contrast, if her body count was mostly illicit hook-ups with guys who were dating her friends, then she always was a shyte person and if you chose to marry her knowing this, you got what you asked for, my friend.

By the way, screwing the PTA cop while married also doesn't technically make her a "whore", though you are 100% within your rights at this stage to bark that epithet, and many others, directly at her while staring her down with eyes burning with pain and rage. As others have noted, her affair, based on what you've said so far, is totally cliche. A married woman with children, going through the normal identity crisis of nascent mid life that millions of married people pass through without ever having adulterous sex, arrogating to herself the right to secretly annul your marriage and decided that yours would be a secret, one-sided open marriage, all because, in her moral universe, she is a special case where mid-life angst gives her a hall pass to cuckold her husband with the town constable.

As an aside, have you reported Officer Bangaho to his superiors for adulterous sexual intercourse? It probably violates several provisions of his code of conduct. Did he drive them from the NBA to the hotel in his squad? Probably even more violations.

But I digress. As others have noted, your first task here is to take the veil off of your eyes and see your WW for who she truly is. Not a "whore". Just a shyte person with a strong potential for dishonesty and disloyalty, highly selfish and solipsistic, lacking in the stick-to-it-iveness that is the hallmark of a worthy spouse. I phrase it like that because R, in its truest sense, involves starting over, building a new relationship with your WW. The reason IC is recommended is that, for this to work, she needs to be somebody different than who she is now, because who she is now is a person who is not worthy of the commitment of marriage. Really, if you were thinking of marrying her but she told you: "I'll marry you, but even though I will promise in our wedding vows to be only with you, I won't mean that. I'll fuck other men behind your back and inflict a lot of trauma on you." You wouldn't marry that person. If she's asking for R, she is essentially asking you to commit to her again. Before she has a right to ask that of you, she needs to figure out what is broken in her moral compass, fix it, and turn herself into somebody new, somebody other than who she is now. Because you'd be a crazy man to commit to the person she is now.

Sorry for the long rambling post. Bottom line: check your co-dependency. Stop the MC and implement The 180. Make it clear that R is not on the table, at all, unless and until she figures out her shit and fixes it to your satisfaction.

Be aware, though, that this last point is a process that takes years. If you plan to keep R open as an option, you need to be aware that you could be 45 years old before you have an inkling whether it has worked or not. If it hasn't worked, you're going to feel that all of those years have been wasted. You'll be even more bitter at that point than you are now. Be aware of the investment you are contemplating.

I would strongly suggest that, to be clear on your choices, you consult with a divorce lawyer. I am not suggesting you file a divorce. I'm suggesting you get a full understanding of what divorce would look like in your specific circumstance. As I said in my first post, millions of healthy, well-adjusted children grow up under divorced parents who successfully co-parent. It tends to work best, in my anecdotal observation, if the parents divorce when the kids are still young. They are more malleable and pliable. They easily adjust to new circumstances. In contrast, a terrible time to pull the trigger is when they turn 18 and are about to fledge. That is the time when they really need to feel that there is a stable home to return to if things go badly.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 2:55 PM, Thursday, March 24th]

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

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Western ( member #46653) posted at 1:23 PM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

one more thing.

Based on the list you provided that you can't forgive her for, and I don't blame you because I would never forgive that, then why do you hop into full on R and discount D so quickly and get into Hysterical Bonding and MC right away. You are not at the full on anger stage yet but you seem to be fixing something that you aren't even sure is fixable. All I am encouraging you to do is protect yourself and kids first. She is a secondary problem at this point

Looking at the list above, it shows that you know the damage.

Tell the OMW. I guarantee that he is sizing up his next affair. She needs to know.

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fareast ( Guide #61555) posted at 1:57 PM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

Dr. the fact that your WW is finally feeling the full force of shame is a good sign. Humility is a necessary aspect to being able to honestly look at herself and her behavior. IC is a must. It’s a good step she is starting that process.

It appears that your WW had a common A as she approaches mid-life. Not an excuse for infidelity but common nonetheless. A totally selfish action. She blocked out you and your children. It was all a fantasy. She liked the way he made her feel about herself. Sex was the currency she paid to keep the fantasy going. She loved the fantasy not the AP. Very much a cliche A.

She needs to come to terms with her brokenness and selfishness. If she descends into a shame spiral, then it all becomes about her and not your pain. A truly remorseful WS is more concerned with your pain caused by her actions than her own guilt or shame. This is a process. Watch her actions. As you move away from your Dday, you emotions will change. You will ultimately see the path forward for you. Take care of you and your emotional health.

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

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Crushed7 ( member #41129) posted at 2:01 PM on Thursday, March 24th, 2022

the principle reason she cheated was to seek validation that she felt wasn't coming from me, and now her self-esteem is lower than any point in her life

There is very likely some degree of truth that she was seeking validation. The correct question is "Why?" (probably multiple "Why?"'s) and the correct answer will be some sort of character gap inside of her that was formed a long time ago. The conclusion that you didn't provide it is an excuse and blameshifting. The conclusion that she needed it from somewhere else is also an excuse. In short, don't accept this from her.

However, to step back for a second -- I agree with Butforthegrace and point back to my "You've just figuratively been run over by a semi-truck, yet you are the one running around making sure that everyone else is OK. You need to stop and go get help for yourself." comment. You are spending a lot of cycles trying to help and fix others. Your wife needs to carry her own issues and do her own work.

Me-BH
Her-WW
Last DDay-2012 (several month EA/PA)
Married 30+ years

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