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

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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 2:36 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

Please look up covert narcissism. That describes your wife exactly. They always have everyone feeling sorry for them, thinking they are the sweetest, nicest people in the world but they managed to keep attention on themselves all the time. I don’t know if you can stay married to this woman.

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

posts: 3296   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8731611
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 4:03 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

As a follow up to my last post, my wife sent me this note this morning. I feel wrong sharing her personal thoughts, but I’m weighing the value of some objective feedback:

**

You are right, I have been carrying so much negativity for years and it is because I mostly have felt I haven’t been heard. I’ve had resentment and unfortunately carried that resentment and used that resentment in awful ways.

My defensiveness this last week has been a guarded mechanism. In my own way I’m trying to be assertive, but going about it in the wrong way. You’re completely right. I shouldn’t be making demands. You’ve been sitting here every night trying to understand and just wanting to talk it through. I’ve spent most of the time when we aren’t talking upset with myself this last week knowing I’m self destructive. For me, this will be a big piece I explore this week with [my IC].

Ultimately I hope I enter a partnership where both parties are heard and there isn’t winning. I’ve spent so much timing feeling there is a wall and a divide. I’ve also spent so much time harboring resentment and I don’t want the rest of life to be like that.

Happiness - having the ability to reflect at the end of life and being happy with the person that is starring back at you in the mirror. What I love about you is your integrity. You’ve never wavered and you have always remained true to yourself. I envy that about you. I thought I knew who I was, but I need to reinvent myself at 38. However I am confident in this process the person I want to become is the better version. Self destructiveness and negativity is no way to go through life.

The negativity further grew past our relationship and became a part of my life - in work, even in the PTA. While I felt the PTA I had a voice and I was being heard and my opinion was being recognized it wasn’t a heathy environment for many reasons.
I have been confused this last week on how I’m supposed to act and what I’m supposed to say.

You have always been the stronger of the two of us. Your level of comfort is undeserving. This last week especially the shame and guilt of what I have done has consumed me. I’m hoping by writing this I can let the negativity go. I know everything won’t be perfect but I just need enough of it to get written down so I can get it out and move on.

You have completely surprised me through this journey. You have been raw and vulnerable. You truly are an amazing person in all respects. I am so incredibly lucky to have you and have you in my life at this moment. I am so so incredibly sorry I did not act the same way. I just want to go forward and prove that I can be that person in our relationship.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8731622
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faithfulman ( member #66002) posted at 5:19 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

Dr. Strangelove - Fantastic movie by the way, I don't know if anyone has commended you on your handle.

I joined in this thread then backed out, for a specific reason: that your story was shaping up to be the mother of rugsweeping infidelity stories, with people who have seen your story a multitude of times telling you to proceed with skepticism and caution over and over and you arguing with them.

For the most part you had been "trying to make sense" of your wife's actions and "get back to normal", have her "recommit" etc.

I will say your mindset and approach on this thread has changed, slowly but surely, but not completely. A lot of the betrayed men who support other betrayed men (and women) on this forum are maligned because they teach the art of self-defense for betrayed spouses: assume the worst, lay low, don't believe the "sudden change" in newly busted (or longtime busted) cheaters, investigate/spy, keep tabs without the cheater knowing, don't believe and internalize any "reasons", and so on and so on.

Self-defense does not mean hurting others. But it does mean protecting yourself. And sometimes protecting yourself does involve spectacle, like raising a ruckus if someone if someone is trying to rob you in the street. It usually means that you don't put your effort into protecting the person who was or is hurting you.

Sometimes the language of reality is rough and difficult to deal with. There is a whole sugarcoat movement here. Despite that, what you will see is the people who preach skepticism and caution are right, over, and over, and over again.

I think that as your anger settles in you will actually start to see things more clearly, which you definitely were not in your "deeply wounded grief" stage - which by the way I think you are still in, and can have plenty of overlap with the anger stage.

Having said all of that, even as I watch you evolve, I see some issues with your thought process that you should examine, and some things that you should do that will bring you clarity - as you defend yourself from someone who has no problem dealing you the mother of all sucker punches:

Her reasons: Resentment blah blah blah, communication blah blah blah, you made her feel like X blah blah blah. Maybe she has had these feelings, maybe not. Everybody does. Not everybody has anal sex and parking lot blowjobs with a cop at the PTA while destroying their spouse's character.

Consider this point of view, which is not popular with the therapy set on this forum: She was attracted to and wanted to fuck this cop, and she did not care enough about you or her family, or even her own reputation to not do these things. Full stop. Maybe there are some underlying "whys" that allow her to behave in such an indecent fashion. I strongly encourage you to not give a shit about these "reasons" because the fact of the matter is she knew full well what she was doing. She is not a marionette, controlled by the strings of invisible psychological tropes.

That she has told you "everything that matters" or anything close to the whole truth.

Soooooo unlikely. Likely? She did more. She did worse. Or just a lot of stuff that was just as bad. Just because she told you some horrible things... think of those as "snapshots" of her betrayal and depraved behavior. If she really told you all the shit she did, you would be listening for days on end and just reeling from it.

The real question is what else is she hiding from you over the years? Behavior such as hers does not just appear in that severe of a form on any given day, it develops over months or years.

Returning to normal

Good god no! Stay away from normal. Normal is way over the horizon and probably over a multitude of horizons. And you may find that normal is not something you want, nor can achieve with your wife.

***************
***************
***************

I could say a whole lot more, but I urge you to defend yourself, which means do not accept any blame for her terribleness, be prepared for the next blow, learn whatever you can independent of her lying words, and so on.

I urge you to read the pages back in this thread where you were being prepared and warned over and over again and you were in argument mode.

And above all - read the reconciliation forum here. Read back. Read the posters who create update threads. Get a handle on what reconciliation really means, what the day-to-day and year-to-year really is.

Because part of what it really means is you have to get used to living with someone who did EVERYTHING with some other man while simultaneously taking an enormous shit on you to everybody who might know you.

And I think it is much more important for a betrayed spouse to understand WHAT somebody is capable of than WHY they thought it was okay (for them) to commit these offenses, even though they knew better. You can learn the whys, but be ready for a lot of bullshit. A whole lot.

***************
***************
***************

I forget. Have you consulted with a divorce lawyer? If not, do it, immediately. Not to threaten your wife or anything like that. It just adds some reality to your mindset. Because, in my opinion, when my wife starts giving up her behind to some man who has her cuffed in a motel, or kissing me fresh after a blowjob, that is pretty much an extra-legal divorce.

Sorry to be so graphic. but the truth is so much more graphic. It's horrible. Decide, not now, but over some time, if your mind can cope with that horror coming back to visit you (read the reconciliation forum) over the years.

God, it sucks so bad. Please defend yourself. You cannot count on your wife in any shape or form to protect your heart.

Good luck to you Dr. Strangelove.

[This message edited by faithfulman at 5:32 PM, Sunday, April 24th]

posts: 920   ·   registered: Aug. 28th, 2018
id 8731633
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 5:32 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

I see the letter as her attempt to inch towards regaining some control. She knows you aren't quite ready to lose the marriage and hopes that helps her, even though she did what she did because she wanted to. There is no other reason.

posts: 221   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8731635
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faithfulman ( member #66002) posted at 5:54 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

I thought I knew who I was, but I need to reinvent myself at 38.

Mission accomplished I would say.

posts: 920   ·   registered: Aug. 28th, 2018
id 8731638
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 6:08 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

Please look up covert narcissism.

I did and several of the attributes nail her perfectly, though admittedly, some of them are not like her at all. Here are the ones that struck a chord:

- Craving admiration and acknowledgment

- Being preoccupied with beauty, love, power, or success

- Believing that the world owes them something

- Lacking empathy toward others

The third one, about feeling owed something has been a major source of conflict in our relationship. Multiple times a week I’d have to listen to her drone on about how unfair her job was and how co-workers are being treated better/different than her. It was soul draining. Eventually I had to ask her to stop talking to me about it—it was such a toxic and pathetic outlook. In every case she was either wrong or it was irrelevant. I couldn’t relate to her at all and it would lead to so many arguments where she just wanted me to tell her she was right.

I’d say it’s my least favorite quality in anyone, so living with someone so obsessed with being treated unfairly was brutal. And now I see she was applying that same unjustified unfairness to me and sabotaging our relationship.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8731644
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 6:23 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

Dr. Strangelove - Fantastic movie by the way, I don't know if anyone has commended you on your handle.

One of my favorite films. :)


I think that as your anger settles in you will actually start to see things more clearly, which you definitely were not in your "deeply wounded grief" stage - which by the way I think you are still in, and can have plenty of overlap with the anger stage.

Truthfully, my anger was not tied to her affair, it was largely tied to her behavior during the affair--now it's tied to her behavior these last 10 days. Her constant need to deflect onto me is new--she did it in the first few days (March 15-17), but once the truth came out on March 18, we went for about three weeks with her being open and honest. Then I left for Italy and I returned to a different person--she seems committed to "finding her voice" with me by initiating poorly conceived arguments. It seems very clear to me that she is trying to establish fairness as she thinks it's unfair for her to keep being bombarded without any shrapnel hitting me.


Her reasons: Resentment blah blah blah, communication blah blah blah, you made her feel like X blah blah blah. Maybe she has had these feelings, maybe not. Everybody does. Not everybody has anal sex and parking lot blowjobs with a cop at the PTA while destroying their spouse's character.

Consider this point of view, which is not popular with the therapy set on this forum: She was attracted to and wanted to fuck this cop, and she did not care enough about you or her family, or even her own reputation to not do these things. Full stop. Maybe there are some underlying "whys" that allow her to behave in such an indecent fashion. I strongly encourage you to not give a shit about these "reasons" because the fact of the matter is she knew full well what she was doing. She is not a marionette, controlled by the strings of invisible psychological tropes.

I agree with you and I've made this point clear to her. It's nuanced though--I'm not opposed to modifying my behavior now that I understand how she was receiving some of my actions, but that has nothing to do with how deeply wrong she was with the affair.

That she has told you "everything that matters" or anything close to the whole truth.

Soooooo unlikely. Likely? She did more. She did worse. Or just a lot of stuff that was just as bad. Just because she told you some horrible things... think of those as "snapshots" of her betrayal and depraved behavior. If she really told you all the shit she did, you would be listening for days on end and just reeling from it.

The real question is what else is she hiding from you over the years? Behavior such as hers does not just appear in that severe of a form on any given day, it develops over months or years.

When I note that I feel I have much of the truth, I'm referring to the affair and I'm not doing it lightly. I feel strongly that I've pieced together a clear image of the affair. As for her years of behavior beforehand, you're absolutely right that there's certainly pieces I'm missing. Those pieces are being revealed nightly to me and a large cause of my anger right now.


I forget. Have you consulted with a divorce lawyer? If not, do it, immediately. Not to threaten your wife or anything like that. It just adds some reality to your mindset.

Yes and I'm moving forward with a post-nup this week to augment the pre-nup. I want an established separation agreement in place so should I move ahead with divorce, I don't have to waste more time afterward. We have already agreed to the terms in principle.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8731647
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Trdd ( member #65989) posted at 6:24 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

I like her letter as it shows she is trying to reflect and acknowledging her struggle. It seems like you can work with that if you continue to want to offer R.

Of course her actions have to line up with her intent. And that will take a while because she has a lot of work to do. But it has to start with intent and it sounds like she might be there.

posts: 573   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8731648
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 6:29 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

I like her letter as it shows she is trying to reflect and acknowledging her struggle. It seems like you can work with that if you continue to want to offer R.

Of course her actions have to line up with her intent. And that will take a while because she has a lot of work to do. But it has to start with intent and it sounds like she might be there.

I agree with you, but now I need to see it. I worry the letter came before she was truly ready to carry out the words.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8731650
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 6:52 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

YouTube Dr Ramali is a psychologist who is an expert in personality disorders. Look her up. Covert Narc is a fairly new idea that many people who manage to stay in the spotlight are not the loud bullies of overt narc. Their lives are the quiet "poor is me" that never let go of being front and center. It is just very underneath.

My hope for you is that you find some joy in life. Happiness is often confused with euphoria. Genuine happiness comes from within. It is as if you have the ability to relight your internal pilot light. Remember the donkey in Winnie The Pooh. He doesn’t have it. You can’t fix her. If she has operated this way with everybody, and sure seems that way, then your life is going to be more of the same. She is a bottomless pit and there is no filling it up.

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

posts: 3296   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8731655
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faithfulman ( member #66002) posted at 7:00 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

Truthfully, my anger was not tied to her affair, it was largely tied to her behavior during the affair--now it's tied to her behavior these last 10 days.

It's hard to be angry about 17 different things at once - it's very normal for the betrayed' s anger to morph as different aspects of the betrayal take their turn at the forefront, many aspects recur as the focus.

Her constant need to deflect onto me is new--she did it in the first few days (March 15-17),

It's not new. It's new to you. she has been deflecting anger, blame, and her behavior onto you for longer than you think. It's a go-to for her. She just tried the same ol' trick on you once she was busted.

but once the truth came out on March 18, we went for about three weeks with her being open and honest.

You are making a grievous error in believing she has been open and honest. People don't just go from being god-awful liars and betrayers to being open and honest like flipping a switch.

What was happening is she was figuring out what she had to tell you about and what she had to say, and how she had to act to mitigate the damage to her.

Partial truth is manipulation. That letter she wrote you is manipulation. If you look at everything she says though the lens of manipulation, you will be right more often than not. It's probably not even a conscious thing for her for the most part, it is how she deals with the world.

Then I left for Italy and I returned to a different person--she seems committed to "finding her voice" with me by initiating poorly conceived arguments.

She is going to try a lot of "different people" to get her way. Look at all the "different people" your wife is that you now know about: pre-affair wife with you, right after D-Day wife with you, right after your vacation, your wife with the cop, your wife with her parents, your wife at the PTA, your wife with...

Cheaters usually have a bag full of masks that they try on to get their desired result for whatever the situation is.

It seems very clear to me that she is trying to establish fairness as she thinks it's unfair for her to keep being bombarded without any shrapnel hitting me.

Often there are people on these forums who argue how the behavior of a betrayed person is unfair to the cheater. My advice: Don't even concern yourself a little bit about what is "fair to her".

"Fair" left the building when she started embarking on cheating on you and destroying your character. Now she wants fairness? And a result where "both parties are heard and there isn’t winning"?

This is her entitlement speaking. She felt entitled to her disgusting behavior with the cop, now she feels she is entitled to set the relationship up in a certain way that she feels comfortable with after what she has done to you and your family. Do not indulge her entitlement, please.

[This message edited by faithfulman at 7:54 PM, Sunday, April 24th]

posts: 920   ·   registered: Aug. 28th, 2018
id 8731657
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EmergingLady ( member #79881) posted at 7:07 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

Hello Doc,

I thought about your longer post from yesterday while on a long bike ride as the weather was finally wonderful.

She was telling you that the affair was some sort of "fantasy of sexual discovery for her".

Here is what you said regarding this:

"Now that we have to dig a bit deeper, I’m finding her more defensive and angry. And now with further context, I’m seeing her affair in a different light. We had convinced ourselves that the affair was this fantasy of sexual discovery for her and that I wasn’t a thought; that she never stopped loving me, only was annoyed by me at a heightened level during the affair.

But when I look at it all collectively—her actions and her badmouthing me to AP, her family and friends—it’s hard to see it as some joyous sexual empowerment. Nothing about it was joyful."


So, a bit ago, both of you "thought" and were "convinced" that her affair was a fantasy of sexual discovery for her.


Doc,

She is trying to find something, some reason to "pin" this affair on so things can go back to "normal."

She knows she has to say something so she's wracking her brain to try and come up with something that sounds "right", "plausible" etc.

Well, that plausible explanation is now no longer valid.


While riding my bike yesterday it hit me that she's going to move on and try to come up with the next "plausible" reason or explanation of why she did what she did.


And her flavor of the day is now that she has resentment.

I'm not saying she doesn't, she almost assuredly does, but so do millions of other people on this rock and they don't use that to go and have an affair.

My point is that her resentment is a reason she had her affair. If that was the case, then everyone with resentment would be having affairs and that's simply not the case, not even close.

So yes, I believe she has resentment, but that's a reason or why she had her affair.

She's smart, she knows there were and are many other ways to deal with and address her resentment. She knew that before long before her affair, she knew it leading up to her affair and she knew it during her affair yet she did not choose to avail herself to the many other better ways to deal with and address her resentment.

Her affair wasn't dealing with her resentment either of course, she knows that too. When she came home all those times from having sex with him, she was still filled with resentment towards you.

So, she wrote you this letter stating it's all about resentment.


You will keep peeling back layers and she'll have to wrack her brain to come up with other reasons for why she did what she did.

Doc, you and others have alluded to this to a certain degree. She was unhappy, with herself, with you, with the two of you as a couple and she lashed out.

She spoke badly about you, for a long time, to family.

Why? Sure, she was upset but that's still no reason to talk that badly about you for that long to her family.

I think she was doing that to get them on her side for when she divorced you, whether she was going to be with her AP or not.

She was trying grease the skids so to speak with her family by making you out to be the "bad guy" and she did a bang up job of that with her family.

She wanted and needed them on her side for when she was going to leave you and for when all this affair crap began to see the light of day.

I think she chose to have her affair as an exit affair, but when the crap hit the fan and she lost so much, friends, family upset and disappointed in her, leaving the PTA, so much weight and crap hit her all at once that she held onto her only life raft and that was you.

In my previous comment the other day, I said I was worried about her leaving you a few years down the road when she gets her legs back under her, when much of this affair crap is in the rear view mirror, when friends, family and coworkers have long moved on from it (and they will move on from this much sooner than you will, as some of this will be with you always Doc, whether you remain married to her or not), then she'll realize that "Hey, I wanted to leave Doc before, but I chose a piss poor way to due and blew things up so I waited a while, a few years, things have stabilized but I still don't want to be with him so I'm going to leave him now like I wanted to before."


When she wrote this in her letter to you:

"Ultimately I hope I enter a partnership where both parties are heard and there isn’t winning. I’ve spent so much timing feeling there is a wall and a divide. I’ve also spent so much time harboring resentment and I don’t want the rest of life to be like that."

It made me think that she really has moved on from you, from the two of you in her mind. Right now, she's trying to get things stabilized in her life, get her footing again and let this all blow over (somewhat).

Yes, I understand her words could mean that when she enters a partnership with you again after this affair crap has been mostly dealt with, but I really think she means when she enters a relationship with someone else Doc.

In your wife's mind, with you, the relationship is about "winning" and that there is a wall and a divide (there likely is but she doesn't yet realize or know that she was principle builder of said wall and divide between the two of you and I'm not talking about her affair, but with the piss poor way she chose to deal with her resentment for years and years. She built that wall and created that divide. Yes, it takes two, so you were involved too.


It seems like she'd prefer a fresh start with someone else when I read her words above.

If she doesn't want the rest of her life to be like that, like she said in her quote, then she really needs to work, ID, address and resolve her issues, whether she stays with you or gets with someone else. If not, she'll find herself in the same boat with her next partner and she'll think she has bad luck when in reality she's causing it herself.


There are two main things right now, from my perspective.

1) She needs to be honest with herself and you regarding whether she really wanted to leave you before and during the affair. I think her actions badmouthing you to her family were related to that as it was a way to grease the skids for her leaving.

2) She really needs to work on herself, whether she remains with you or someone else, otherwise you or her next partner will continue to experience a wall and a divide with her.


Doc, If I'm correct (and I'm not saying I am) about number 1 just above, then number two doesn't matter for you. If she wanted to leave you before and during her affair, she'll reach that point again once she's stabilized from this affair crap so number 2 won't matter for you.


All this work she's doing won't matter to you or for you if she wanted to leave you and if she's going to leave you once she's stabilized.

Maybe it's a conversation you wanted to have with a counselor instead of just one on one with her.

You should really contemplate broaching this topic with her, whether she was having an exit affair and whether she knew and wanted to leave you.


I'm sorry and I wish you well sir, whether the two of you are able to reconcile or not.

Take care.

posts: 65   ·   registered: Feb. 3rd, 2022   ·   location: America
id 8731658
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 8:25 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

You can’t fix her. If she has operated this way with everybody, and sure seems that way, then your life is going to be more of the same. She is a bottomless pit and there is no filling it up.

Her sister has been a bottomless pit of despair sucking the lives of everyone around her into a spiraling depression the last 20 years (most horribly, her mother). Perhaps my wife has been doing that quietly. I haven't observed her acting that way with others though; this seems unique to me.

Though my wife's distance from her sister is interesting to see--my wife does show resentment for her sister, even recently noting that she can't deal with her right now because of all the problems she's dealing with in her life post-affair. But even before that, I got the sense my wife viewed her sister as a bourdon and would disengage from her.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8731677
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Sharkman ( member #56818) posted at 8:41 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

She may be manipulative but she’s definitely confused. This may or may not be a good confused, it feels to me like she is flailing around looking for something to ‘work’. The simple answer is nothing will work. She has a lot to fix. You have nothing to fix. Maybe in some universe had she not fired you from your job as husband there are some things to improve upon as we all do.

She decided to unilaterally end the marriage. The only thing that you have to decide is if she’s the one to start a new marriage with. Only you can make that call.

posts: 1777   ·   registered: Jan. 11th, 2017
id 8731682
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 8:42 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

You are making a grievous error in believing she has been open and honest. People don't just go from being god-awful liars and betrayers to being open and honest like flipping a switch.

What was happening is she was figuring out what she had to tell you about and what she had to say, and how she had to act to mitigate the damage to her.

Partial truth is manipulation. That letter she wrote you is manipulation. If you look at everything she says though the lens of manipulation, you will be right more often than not. It's probably not even a conscious thing for her for the most part, it is how she deals with the world.

This is a hard one. I don't think she's a good liar; I was overly trusting. So once I dug in and began calling her bullshit out, she appeared to get overwhelmed. In the past, I'd let her lies go as they mostly appeared harmless, but perhaps in her mind she thought she was pulling them over on me. That really was stopped cold. It's not that I'm the smartest person on Earth by any stretch, but with unlimited time to probe, my wife doesn't have the intellectual/conflict/debate capacity to manipulate me in a lengthy conversation; it appears she figured out she couldn't keep lying in those first few days. I didn't let one comment get through--everything was vetted: every single word.

As for the letter, it might be manipulation, but if it is and she is masking her lack of remorse, it'll only take me a few hours of conversation to crack her, let alone the endless string of days she's subjected to. She isn't capable of faking it in this situation--it's an untenable approach and she'll fail. And I'm not letting up--I see the letter as blood in the water at this point. I'm just going to press harder. If she is being genuine, I'll see it.

Often there are people on these forums who argue how the behavior of a betrayed person is unfair to the cheater. My advice: Don't even concern yourself a little bit about what is "fair to her".

"Fair" left the building when she started embarking on cheating on you and destroying your character. Now she wants fairness? And a result where "both parties are heard and there isn’t winning"?

This is her entitlement speaking. She felt entitled to her disgusting behavior with the cop, now she feels she is entitled to set the relationship up in a certain way that she feels comfortable with after what she has done to you and your family. Do not indulge her entitlement, please.

Agreed 100%.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8731683
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 9:04 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022


She was telling you that the affair was some sort of "fantasy of sexual discovery for her".

...

But when I look at it all collectively—her actions and her badmouthing me to AP, her family and friends—it’s hard to see it as some joyous sexual empowerment. Nothing about it was joyful."

So, a bit ago, both of you "thought" and were "convinced" that her affair was a fantasy of sexual discovery for her.


She is trying to find something, some reason to "pin" this affair on so things can go back to "normal."

She knows she has to say something so she's wracking her brain to try and come up with something that sounds "right", "plausible" etc.

Well, that plausible explanation is now no longer valid.

While riding my bike yesterday it hit me that she's going to move on and try to come up with the next "plausible" reason or explanation of why she did what she did.

And her flavor of the day is now that she has resentment.

I'm not saying she doesn't, she almost assuredly does, but so do millions of other people on this rock and they don't use that to go and have an affair.

My point is that her resentment is a reason she had her affair. If that was the case, then everyone with resentment would be having affairs and that's simply not the case, not even close.

So yes, I believe she has resentment, but that's a reason or why she had her affair.

She's smart, she knows there were and are many other ways to deal with and address her resentment. She knew that before long before her affair, she knew it leading up to her affair and she knew it during her affair yet she did not choose to avail herself to the many other better ways to deal with and address her resentment.

Her affair wasn't dealing with her resentment either of course, she knows that too. When she came home all those times from having sex with him, she was still filled with resentment towards you.

So, she wrote you this letter stating it's all about resentment.

You will keep peeling back layers and she'll have to wrack her brain to come up with other reasons for why she did what she did.

Doc, you and others have alluded to this to a certain degree. She was unhappy, with herself, with you, with the two of you as a couple and she lashed out.

She's using resentment and her being deeply unhappy as her reasons now; I do not know if it'll transition again. But I do agree that her initial answer of it being sexual exploration was obviously skin-deep. In some ways though it does make sense--she had walled herself off from me sexually due to resentment and the result was walling herself off from a fulfilling sex life. So with the affair, she was getting the passion she had prevented herself from having with me.


She spoke badly about you, for a long time, to family.

Why? Sure, she was upset but that's still no reason to talk that badly about you for that long to her family.

I think she was doing that to get them on her side for when she divorced you, whether she was going to be with her AP or not.

She was trying grease the skids so to speak with her family by making you out to be the "bad guy" and she did a bang up job of that with her family.

She wanted and needed them on her side for when she was going to leave you and for when all this affair crap began to see the light of day.

I think she chose to have her affair as an exit affair, but when the crap hit the fan and she lost so much, friends, family upset and disappointed in her, leaving the PTA, so much weight and crap hit her all at once that she held onto her only life raft and that was you.

In my previous comment the other day, I said I was worried about her leaving you a few years down the road when she gets her legs back under her, when much of this affair crap is in the rear view mirror, when friends, family and coworkers have long moved on from it (and they will move on from this much sooner than you will, as some of this will be with you always Doc, whether you remain married to her or not), then she'll realize that "Hey, I wanted to leave Doc before, but I chose a piss poor way to due and blew things up so I waited a while, a few years, things have stabilized but I still don't want to be with him so I'm going to leave him now like I wanted to before."

When she wrote this in her letter to you:

"Ultimately I hope I enter a partnership where both parties are heard and there isn’t winning. I’ve spent so much timing feeling there is a wall and a divide. I’ve also spent so much time harboring resentment and I don’t want the rest of life to be like that."

It made me think that she really has moved on from you, from the two of you in her mind. Right now, she's trying to get things stabilized in her life, get her footing again and let this all blow over (somewhat).

Yes, I understand her words could mean that when she enters a partnership with you again after this affair crap has been mostly dealt with, but I really think she means when she enters a relationship with someone else Doc.

I've pressed her on her intentions early on and I think Dec. was a key month; the problem is her emotions had clearly shifted well before I discovered the affair in March. I don't think she planned it as an exit affair, but I do think an exit affair was on the table, especially if it was a different person. She didn't pick a "good guy"--there was no future with him and she had identified that by Feb., but kept the affair going to continue having an escape and receiving the validation.

In the early days after D-Day, she noted to me that she felt our marriage might be over in Dec., so it all lines up with an exit affair. She discussed that with her IC too and they explored the idea that she picked a jerk, who was married, to ensure an exit affair didn't happen--self-consciously a divorce scared her and she picked a guy she knew wouldn't steal her heart. I don't know if there's any truth to that or not. I will press her further on this point though as I find looping back with her on the same conversations weeks apart leads to important new discovery.


In your wife's mind, with you, the relationship is about "winning" and that there is a wall and a divide (there likely is but she doesn't yet realize or know that she was principle builder of said wall and divide between the two of you and I'm not talking about her affair, but with the piss poor way she chose to deal with her resentment for years and years. She built that wall and created that divide. Yes, it takes two, so you were involved too.

She takes full responsibility for building the wall; she just blames me for various actions that led her to build the wall. Perhaps that's a distinction without a difference. She claims to now understand that she needs to openly communicate instead of building walls, so time will tell.

It's worth noting that we're talking now for several hours every evening--no more mindless TV shows as we wait to go to bed. So the communication lines are open, but as of late she has kept steering conversations back to what has been troubling her for years. It's difficult to navigate because for her, she's been holding in all these issues for 15+ years and I'm hearing about many of them (in detail) for the first time. So now that the wall is down, she wants to dig into all her issues. But the affair is the bigger issue that I can't move passed to be present for her in her issues.


It seems like she'd prefer a fresh start with someone else when I read her words above.

I really don't think that's true, but I acknowledge that it could be true months from now, as you point out. It's hard to be shocked by anything she does anymore, but I'd genuinely be shocked if she came to me at any point and asked for a divorce. If divorce comes, I think it'll be from me. Perhaps that's naive of me though--just a gut feeling.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8731688
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 9:20 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

One other question for you all as this has come up a few times, but again last night as part of my wife's deflections.

She is upset I have a relationship with OBS. She claims it's because every time I see her, it brings her back to the affair--she spent the evening crying while I was at my son's baseball practice on Wednesday talking with OBS. She also keeps citing conversations with her IC in which the IC agrees with her that it's unhealthy to our healing for me to have contact with OBS. The IC thinks we need to remove all external elements from our marriage and focus only on healing.

My response to my wife was that I don't particularly care how she feels about it. I view it as added protection for myself. For one, as information is revealed in conversations between OBS and AP, I can learn of them to check my wife's version of events (thus far no contradictions); but also keeping a cordial relationship in place with OBS gives me a lifeline to any insight on my wife and AP for the rest of our relationship. Cutting myself off entirely from OBS feels objectively stupid and her request for me to do so feels selfish on her part.

I want to clarify that I don't think her issues have anything to do with wanting to see the AP again. I think it's just another example of her trying to exert control through manipulation (i.e. me talking to OBS makes her sad, so I should stop).

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8731692
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longsadstory1952 ( member #29048) posted at 9:24 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

God man. You paint her as such a soul drainer. That part about bitching about co-workers endlessly. Such a Debbie Downer. I've know people like this. There is always something to be upset about, someone to be disliked often for no good reason or no reason at all. This fits perfectly with her internal weighing you against what her idea of what a mate should be and finding you wanting. Especially about having to get drunk to have sex. This is going to take years to get over and through. You are a better man than I for being willing to put up with this.

What is she doing about the drinking and spending?

posts: 1127   ·   registered: Jul. 14th, 2010
id 8731694
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 9:35 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

What is she doing about the drinking and spending?

Minimal drinking--she's had a few glasses of wine over the last month. FWIW, I don't think she's an alcoholic, I think she was miserable and using alcohol to drown out her misery.

Her spending has stopped--she saved a lot of money in the last month. Unlike the alcohol, I think this one is a longterm issue and something I'll need to stay on top of.

Interestingly, she's developed another addiction over the last couple of weeks--she found an app that lets you sell used high-end clothing, so she's been posting and selling various things. It strikes me as similar validation as the affair--her phone constantly going off with notifications on her posted items, giving her a stimulus. Her IC seems to think it's a good outlet for her addictive personality though and I see no reason to disagree at this point.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8731696
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Lalala12 ( new member #79196) posted at 9:46 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

Hi Dr. Strangelove

First time poster but have been following your thread for a while. I agree with EmergingLady, you need to dig deeper on who she wants this partnership to be with. To be fair she does say at the end that she wants to be the better version of herself in your relationship but it’s worth keep checking on this, that she is committing to you and not just to any future partner. If she reinforces her commitment to you, it will help you feel safer (hopefully) or open new lines of discussions.

I think you are walking two roads here: healing from/making sense of the affair and renegotiating new terms for your relationship going forward (if it is to survive). Perhaps she just doesn’t know how to channel her own deep rooted anger and in an attempt to "find her own voice" she misplaces it, becomes defensive and counterattacks when you two talk about the affair. This is obviously detrimental for reconciliation, for your healing and for her growth. She needs to self-regulate on that, to really understand when she has a right to stand up for herself and when instead she is just being defensive or is blameshifting.

Perhaps you could schedule a time to talk about the affair and a different time to talk about your issues pre-affair?

Also, have you considered pointing her to the Wayward section and post there? She will get really good advice from former WSs who struggled with the same issues.

I want to clarify that I don't think her issues have anything to do with wanting to see the AP again. I think it's just another example of her trying to exert control through manipulation (i.e. me talking to OBS makes her sad, so I should stop).

This might be manipulation on her part, but what if she is just trying to tell you what bothers her (instead of staying silent and resent it forever) and you are being dismissive here? I'm not saying you are, but I wonder if this is an example of your old pattern of bad communication?

Please look up covert narcissism. That describes your wife exactly. They always have everyone feeling sorry for them, thinking they are the sweetest, nicest people in the world but they managed to keep attention on themselves all the time. I don’t know if you can stay married to this woman.

I don’t see the point of this kind of comments. I doubt we are in any position to diagnose a personality disorder via an anonymous thread in an online forum. Let alone suggest divorce (which is not Dr's end goal at the moment) because we suspect there is a personality disorder here.

I also think that Dr. Strangelove knows his wife far better that we ever could so while he is here to hear advice I don’t think we should offer them based on the idea that his wife (who we don't know and never heard from) is an unredeemable super-manipulative witch with a drinking problem and a personality disorder.

posts: 3   ·   registered: Jul. 29th, 2021
id 8731701
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