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

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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 8:29 PM on Wednesday, April 13th, 2022

Guys…

She’s been sending me lengthy emails every night while I’ve been away (8 in total). I decided to put together my thoughts and send them back. I couldn’t care less if she sees it as weakness lol. I’m still going to do what I’m going to do regardless.

I sense that some of you have my relationship framed poorly. It’s as though you can’t understand why a person with strength and a tactical advantage would want to be with a cheater. I’m not trying to win a battle—I’m trying to take the path I feel will be best for me.

I do appreciate the advice though, even when I ignore it.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8729622
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 8:48 PM on Wednesday, April 13th, 2022

Oxymoron: "deeper exchange over text". Nope. Text is the least deep medium of exchange possible. You cannot, under any circumstances have one.

That’s false. Many people—could even be you—are sometimes able to write things they’re uncomfortable to speak. Text/email can allow often for more thoughtful discussion because the pauses are natural. In person, we often interject before thinking it throigh; conversation is also far less structured than written communication.

I think both mediums have value and are inportant.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8729630
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 9:34 PM on Wednesday, April 13th, 2022

She’s been sending me lengthy emails every night while I’ve been away (8 in total). I decided to put together my thoughts and send them back. I couldn’t care less if she sees it as weakness lol. I’m still going to do what I’m going to do regardless.

I sure hope it works out for you. But there is a reason so many people give the same advice, that you are ignoring. Everyone thinks *their* cheater and *their* relationship are different. But they never are.

posts: 221   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8729639
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 11:36 PM on Wednesday, April 13th, 2022

I sure hope it works out for you. But there is a reason so many people give the same advice, that you are ignoring. Everyone thinks *their* cheater and *their* relationship are different. But they never are.

I’m not suggesting it’s bad advice, on the whole. I’m just taking the advice and applying it as I see fit. In this case it’s fairly straight forward—if she sees me as weak because of the email and then lies, deceives, badmouths me or chests again, then it’s over anyway.

What you’re suggesting is I shouldn’t do what I want to do (send her an email) because I then won’t get what I want (to be with her). But my counter point is that if the email is what leads to her making the mistake that ends our relationship, I’m good with that outcome. I’m not interested in manipulating her and trying to control an outcome that I *think* I want now. I’m more interested in doing what I want and dealing with the result.

The train has left the station—it’s on her to hitch a ride.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8729652
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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 2:45 AM on Thursday, April 14th, 2022

For some people, "love" is a transactional thing, conditional. If you cheat, you forfeit the exchange.

For other people, love is a decision. My wife cheated on me. I love my wife anyway.

Some people will never understand it.

Dr Strangelove, you have to live your life. A bunch of internet strangers do not know better than you what the best choice is.

Every secret you keep with your affair partner sustains the affair. Every lie you tell, every misunderstanding you permit, every deflection you pose, every omission you allow sustains the affair.

posts: 209   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8729674
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EmergingLady ( member #79881) posted at 3:09 AM on Thursday, April 14th, 2022

For some people, "love" is a transactional thing, conditional. If you cheat, you forfeit the exchange.

For other people, love is a decision. My wife cheated on me. I love my wife anyway.

Those two things are not mutually exclusive though.

Many who divorce their spouse for cheating still love their spouse.


For many, cheating is a deal breaker even though they still love their partner.

My dad has been divorced from my mom for over 16 years now and he still loves her (why, I'll never know).

In my attempts to find that out from him over the years he's told me the following things.

Love can't just be turned off like turning off a light via a light switch.

He told me he loves us kids, my two brothers and me and he'll never stop loving us, just like he'll never stop loving my mom.

Mind you, my dad has not seen or spoken to my mom since 2013 due to what she did to him, but he still loves her.

Love has nothing to do with divorcing a cheating spouse.

Lot's of people out there in this world love people who aren't good for them.

Lot's of people out there love people but don't like them.

Lot's of people out there love people but aren't in love with them.

Lot's of people love folks but know they have to leave them, get them out of their lives while still loving them.

posts: 65   ·   registered: Feb. 3rd, 2022   ·   location: America
id 8729676
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Stevesn ( member #58312) posted at 5:06 AM on Thursday, April 14th, 2022

How was it when you got home. How did the birthday dinner go?

FWIW, you’re doing well. Communicating your needs is aa very important thing for a WS to do.

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 8729697
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 11:37 AM on Thursday, April 14th, 2022

How was it when you got home. How did the birthday dinner go?

FWIW, you’re doing well. Communicating your needs is a very important thing for a WS to do.

It went well! I got home and was able to spend time with the family and then help my wife finish the meal: ribs, coleslaw and cheesecake (some of my favorite things; also all easy for her to make solo). She also got me two nice birthday gifts.

We stole a few passionate kisses here and there.

I went upstairs to unpack and noticed stickies on our bedroom door. She has a yearly tradition during the two weeks around Valentine’s Day to put a sticky up on our door and each kid’s door, naming something she loves about us—we end up leaving them for months. After D-Day, I tore down all the ones on our door as she wrote them to me during the affair. So while I was away, every day she wrote me a small note on a sticky (8 total). It was a sweet gesture.

After dinner we helped get the kids ready for bed and read to them as a family.

We went downstairs and fooled around and then talked for about 90 minutes. Nothing groundbreaking.

She told me how scared she was early in the trip that I’d return, pack some bags and leave her—she thought her stupidity would ruin her chance to grow old with me and it tore her up. But she knew she couldn’t control that, so she spent the time focused on re-bonding with the kids and feels she was able to do that. Now that I’m back, she seems committed to re-bonding with me.

I also reinforced to her that she shouldn’t take my lightness around her now as forgiveness; I explained that I needed to force myself to be a bit more open and vulnerable again with her in order to move forward with her. I made it clear that should there be any further lies, deceptions, badmouthing (obviously an affair), that there would be no conversation about it and that I will likely have one foot out the door for the rest of our time together.

She understood and said it would be her priority to communicate openly with me. She knew the early flirting with the AP had the potential to lead somewhere from the start and she chose not to talk about it with me even before it became anything, so she could keep it protected. She understands that can’t ever happen again.

We then fooled around again and headed to bed (it was like 9:30, but I was exhausted from time difference).

My daughter woke me up in the middle of the night, and we ended up fooling around again then.

So right now things are good. She is completely available right now emotionally and physically. There were no flags in anything she said or did last night, so I’d mark the first day back as a success.

She has her IC today and we have our CT tomorrow.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 11:41 AM, Thursday, April 14th]

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8729708
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sillyoldsod ( member #43649) posted at 2:10 PM on Thursday, April 14th, 2022

Good to read the positive update on your return home Dr S. smile

I've never met a sociopath I didn't like.

posts: 673   ·   registered: Jun. 7th, 2014   ·   location: UK
id 8729720
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DoinBettr ( member #71209) posted at 3:38 PM on Thursday, April 14th, 2022

I will tell you what everyone is thinking.

During the pick me dance, love bombing phase, things are easy. You both are 100% focused on trying to stop the other person from leaving. Wait until that energy starts to wind down. Then one of you does something that the other resents. The love bombing and talking all the time is lighter than it used to be. The continual sex is done. She has retreated back to vanilla sex because the excitement portion is over. Maybe she is a little more open, but not where she will discuss with you how she thought the security guard they hired is hot and wants you to wear that uniform. In her head that will be too much work is how she will see it.

So, how does she stay motivated to stay in this high performing wife mode?

We see this as moving too fast. You are all in, but you should feel your emotions, not gloss over them. The statement about "This has nothing to do with deserve" is a good example of a statement you will use to hide your resentment. Then the resentment will fester into a landmine that your wife will step on during a triggering event you get in the future.

You are doing good with advancing, but you should tell your wife that you are moving really fast and using this energy with recovery. But you know that once you 2 slow down like you will have to talk about, what will she do? How will she handle surly you?

How will you feel about her slowing down?

How can you 2 communicate how you feel during that slowing down without being defensive(from both sides)?

That is why we don't recommend CT right away. You should go to IC, find yourselves, then during the spin down, go to CT to understand how you 2 work together. I am speaking from experience here. I went to CT right away because my wife was trying to fix things. She also was still lying to me, which you don't have from what I have read. I think your wife has more indiscretions in her past though. Someone shutting down her husband for sex acts, then so easily offering it to someone else tells she has the Madonna Whore complex bad. (FYI - I hate that psych ideology.)

I would recommend asking her why she has put the guard rails on your sex life in the past. That she needs to dig into what and why she controls in your sexual relationship. What is she afraid of in your bedroom and how does she talk about those things? Why is she afraid when she should be trusting you more than anyone? (FYI - my wife still has issues with this. The stupid, I am a good Christian girl, then get a few drinks into her and she wants to go buy some more fun toys or try something. Then morning sober self judgement followed by a daily devotion. You can have God and enjoy banging. It isn't in the Bible, thou shall not get freaky.)

I am focusing on the sex part, but even things like the little notes will slow down or end. How do the 2 of you maintain that connection or do you know when/how to restart that connection when it gets less exciting?

[This message edited by DoinBettr at 3:39 PM, Thursday, April 14th]

posts: 701   ·   registered: Aug. 7th, 2019   ·   location: Midwest
id 8729731
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Edie ( member #26133) posted at 4:08 PM on Thursday, April 14th, 2022

"If she sees me as weak because of the email and then lies, deceives, badmouths me or chests again, then it’s over anyway."

IMHO, it doesn’t matter what she sees you as. That’s what the 180 is about, focusing on you, and what you think of you, that’s only what’s important at this stage. You might argue, if you are in any way concerned with the weak/ strong dichotomy, which it seems you are, that it is in fact strong to be taking the risk of communicating everything that’s in your head with her. I’m less interested in the weak/strong value judgements, and more interested in you bolstering up Team Dr Strangelove, a team she absconded on by having an affair. It’s a three legged stool after an affair, BS needs sorted/ healed, WS needs sorted/ healed, marriage needs sorted/ healed, and more or less in that order. You are in the honeymoon phase of reconciliation, there’s still a huge amount of work for each of you to do, individually. Sorry if that’s depressing, especially as you’re in the honeymoon stage, but it’s as well to be forewarned. By those of us who walked in your shoes. Reconciliation is only one option and is not necessarily the easiest, but with the right level of introspection and post-traumatic growth & strengthening of each leg of the stool (doing individual work alone), it can prove an adventurous and rewarding one. I wish you good luck.

Maybe a long walk in the Hindu Kush would do it?
BW (me) 52
FWS 55
Together 29 years; 2 kids 15 & 12
Dday Dec 08 (confessed) R'd.

posts: 6396   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2009   ·   location: Europe
id 8729736
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 5:12 PM on Thursday, April 14th, 2022

Thanks for the additional comments.

I agree that the phase we’re in now won’t last forever. The sex is what it is, so if she starts shutting down physically it isn’t like she can pretend she’s not—it will force a discussion. As for the communication, that’s the big challenge and it’s why I’m leaning toward sticking with the CT. If my wife shuts down, we have the CT visit to force her to open back up and I think that could be critical.

There’s still more I need to work through, especially about our sex life, so I plan to keep pushing those conversations until I’ve resolved the issues for myself. I appreciate the feedback here because it provides me with different angles to attack in our conversations.

I suspect my wife was living through a bit of a depression these last few years and it manifested itself with a variety of blame on me. I have been a bit dismissive about the pandemic, but I see how it really fucked with so many people—and it escalated my wife’s anxiety issues.

Years started to pass—I think my wife turning 38 next month also was messing with her. I legitimately think she looks better now than anytime in the last 10 years, but she doesn’t see it that way. I can validate her more, but I don’t think that’s the problem; she needs to figure out how to get validation internally rather than externally. I think that's been the focus on her IC, which I learn more about today’s session tonight.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8729749
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 5:25 PM on Thursday, April 14th, 2022

Someone shutting down her husband for sex acts, then so easily offering it to someone else tells she has the Madonna Whore complex bad. (FYI - I hate that psych ideology.)

Interesting, though it appears to be a complex in men, not women. But I do think it makes some sense here.

Keep in mind though, my wife losing interest in sex happened early in our relationship, not recently. I then ran with it, adapting our sex life to ensure she could enjoy it (which included less intercourse). So then years later she felt asexual and wanted to explore with another man.

It’s also important to note though that the ease and boundary pushing to her felt like a "hook" (her word). She was worried about keeping his attention. Walking to the parking garage to blow him and pushing boundaries in the hotels was all to keep him interested. She wanted him hooked on her so she could keep receiving his validation. She was using sex as a bargaining tool.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8729755
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EmergingLady ( member #79881) posted at 11:27 PM on Thursday, April 14th, 2022

Doc,

When your wife said this:

It’s also important to note though that the ease and boundary pushing to her felt like a "hook" (her word). She was worried about keeping his attention. Walking to the parking garage to blow him and pushing boundaries in the hotels was all to keep him interested. She wanted him hooked on her so she could keep receiving his validation. She was using sex as a bargaining tool.


It's important to keep in mind that might not be the truth.

I said might not be the truth, I obviously don't know for sure.

I do know that many waywards, be they male or female, are searching for "good" things to say, for the "right" things to say.

Again, some really mean it and are being truthful, but many aren't.

Actions are far more important than words.

Yes, her words are important to you, I'm not saying they aren't. But you can't just take everything she says at face value.

The word sounds worse than it is, but she has an agenda and so do you for that matter.

Both of you do. And it will change as time goes on.

Many betrayed spouses ask the same questions over and over or similar questions over many months or even a year or two later. Why? To see if there are any changes in their wayward spouses responses.

Sadly, over time, many waywards do change what they say. Many think it's been covered so they include something else only to find out it's never been said before.

She knows she screwed up and she's searching and looking for reasons to pin it on.

The honest truth is that she might not yet know why she did what she did. She could, but she might not.

It's likely that she knows some, but not all of the reasons. It's not easy for a wayward to truly discover their why's.

It takes time, work, effort and being honest with themselves, being vulnerable.

My larger point is that this is a process and this process takes time. There aren't any shortcuts.

Many think they have it all figured out only to find out they don't and I'm talking about both partners, the waywards and the betrayed spouses.


For instance, let's say she WAS using sex as a bargaining tool. Things aren't always 100% or 0%. Like most things in life, there are degrees, it's a combination of many things, not just one thing.

So, let's say sex was being used as a bargaining too, but let's say that was just 50% or 60% and there was something else in addition to that too.

All of this can't be wrapped us nicely in a short amount of time. She can't yet know all of her reasons and whys.

Many times there are so many layers to them and they can't be uncovered until many other things have been uncovered first.


Yes, you need to hear your wife and listen to her, but keep an open mind, don't just trust and believe everything she says as she honestly doesn't yet have all the answers and she won't for a long time either.

posts: 65   ·   registered: Feb. 3rd, 2022   ·   location: America
id 8729809
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achilles1101 ( member #74132) posted at 8:15 AM on Friday, April 15th, 2022

It’s also important to note though that the ease and boundary pushing to her felt like a "hook" (her word). She was worried about keeping his attention. Walking to the parking garage to blow him and pushing boundaries in the hotels was all to keep him interested. She wanted him hooked on her so she could keep receiving his validation. She was using sex as a bargaining tool.

My WW said something similar, something along the line of I had to respond enthusiastically so he would respond enthusiastically. I really think it depends on why they had the affair. My wife needed validation that she was sexy, desirable and could please a man. She wasn't in it for the sex per say, but that was the medium that was exchanged for the compliments.

In a strange way I guess it makes sense, the problem is to those of us that don't need external validation, it is hard to grasp. You know your wife best. I am not telling you what she is saying is accurate, only that it is plausible. I still struggle with my wife's thinking at the time as it makes absolutely no sense to me. I am not her and I don't think like she did.

Just be careful and protect yourself.

Good luck

Me: BH 56
Her: WW 49 Midlyfewife
Married 20 years, two children
D DAY 1: May 2019 confronted with evidence of PA, sexting, copped to one incident and the sexting
D Day 2: April 2020, after contacting OBS, confessed to 4.5 year long PA, AP much younger

posts: 357   ·   registered: Apr. 1st, 2020   ·   location: NorCal
id 8729843
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Mene ( member #64377) posted at 10:26 AM on Friday, April 15th, 2022

She could have sought validation from you.

Please don’t fall for that excuse that she wanted validation from the AP and she exchanged that for sex. That’s just a lie. She did cause she wanted and could have sex with him because she didn’t desire you.

The emotional bonding will stop in a few weeks and reality will become more intense for you.

The real test will come in 3-6 months.

Life wasn’t meant to be fair...

posts: 846   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2018   ·   location: Cyberland
id 8729874
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 11:25 AM on Friday, April 15th, 2022

The honest truth is that she might not yet know why she did what she did. She could, but she might not.

So last night didn’t go very well. We spent a lot of time on the question of why she had an affair that risked so much in her life. She thinks—I suspect largely due to her IC—that it was subconscious self-destruction. The affair, the AP, all of it was designed to fuck her world up.

Maybe, but I still feel she had to be carrying a lot of anger toward me to do what she did. She just keeps falling back on her being intolerant of me throughout the affair, but claims her feelings for me never changed on a deeper level.

It led back to our sex life throughout marriage. She is still harboring a lot of anger and justifying a lot of bad actions—she admits she’d use aggravations against me throughout the day to withhold sex at night, and she’d do this all the time. And recognizing she had to have sex with me at some point, when we did fool around, it would be against her desire to do so—she’d feel forced.

And then feeling forced to have sex with me occasionally would lead her to further aggravations/resentment. I told her how unhealthy the process was: I would do something that bothered her, she wouldn’t tell me, then she would go to bed at night and withhold sex under the claim of being tired.

She said the alternative was being a “doormat” for me—as though addressing her issues to me verbally was never an option for her. In her mind, her only way of expressing her feelings about any of my actions was in the bedroom.

She also expanded on being tired, saying a mom working full time has more on her plate than a man. I pointed out the evening to her, where I cooked dinner and then we both put kids to bed, asking why her role was harder, and she couldn’t answer so she brought up different things she does throughout the week. I thought comparing what we do was a waste of time, so I moved on.

She then pointed out she just felt she didn’t have time to have sex usually. I responded noting we spent virtually every night, 2-3 hours, watching TV/movies. Her response was she needed that time to decompress. The entire conversation was excuses and justifications for very wrong-headed actions—and then it got worse.

She revealed to me that sex to her throughout her life was just this fun thing she did with men—and that includes during her marriage. She didn’t look at sex with me as being any different than some drunk hookup in college, it’s all just physical fun.

I was floored—a man who loves her having sex with her felt no different than any other sex. For me, having sex with my wife is entirely different than having sex with anyone else from my past—including my wife initially, before I loved her. Sex is a way of bonding and connecting with my wife, not just mindless physical fun.

So now of course it’s no surprise she cheated—to her it didn’t matter: all penises are the same in her world. She entirely disassociates sex from love (as I think another poster mentioned weeks ago).

Maybe none of that was really that new, but it hit me hard. I feel like it invalidates so much of our entire relationship knowing she has viewed me as some monster lying next to her looking for a warm hole on occasion. She was projecting her vapid, immoral view of sex onto me our entire time together—that’s how she saw me.

Anyway, CT is later today and we have a lot to dig into—Italy, my in-laws, and our sex life; the problem with the latter is I still haven’t given the CT a rundown of my sexual past and ours, so she’ll need more background. We won’t make a dent in any of this in the hour.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 11:42 AM, Friday, April 15th]

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8729875
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 2:34 PM on Friday, April 15th, 2022

She entirely disassociates sex from love

I think it goes beyond that. I think there's her seeing sex as a transaction. She wasn't living with AP and still seeing him through rose colored glasses of the fantasy. So there were no annoyances that would make her disinclined to have sex with him. He didn't forget to unload the dishwasher or leave the toilet seat up. That's a pretty unhealthy attitude towards sex that goes beyond the Madonna Whore complex. I know this was a pretty discouraging thing for you to hear, but resolving that and her lack of communicating her frustrations will go a long way to making her a safer partner. Not saying that she can, but at least there's an identifiable target of something to fix. You have some real why's that not every couple with infidelity finds.

I do know that many waywards, be they male or female, are searching for "good" things to say, for the "right" things to say.

Again, some really mean it and are being truthful, but many aren't.

Actions are far more important than words.

I'm not sure that all waywards know the truth themselves close in to dday. They spent so much time spinning things in their mind to excuse what they know is wrong they really don't have a good truthful reason anymore.

posts: 1104   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8729906
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Unsure2019 ( member #71350) posted at 3:55 PM on Friday, April 15th, 2022

Wow Dr. That's a lot to unpack. I seriously doubt your WW has changed overnight. I know the HB has been great especially given your past, but based on your talk, it sure looks like it's just transactional. I give you great sex and you stay and I get to keep my marriage and lifestyle.

posts: 217   ·   registered: Aug. 21st, 2019   ·   location: California
id 8729944
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Vomitousmass ( member #62687) posted at 5:14 PM on Friday, April 15th, 2022

Drstrangelove

I sent you a private message.

posts: 79   ·   registered: Feb. 12th, 2018
id 8729968
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