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Newest Member: Gtacch

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

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seaandsun ( new member #79952) posted at 9:46 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

The lucky part is that you're here and you have the support, comments, and perspectives of really good people (partly because you're so good at convincing yourself that you're actually living with the woman in your mind)

IC is a process based on trust. It's not a polygraph. will act according to your wife's narrative. Considering what you wrote above, it will not contribute much to your wife.

she talks about her years of anger. this anger pushed her into the arms of others, vilified you, and got caught, as some have written, looking for an exit relationship. with you until she finds a new alternative (she knows she can control you)

no winner or loser etc.

big sentences, but the words written to confuse you have no equivalent.

you are the loser. There is nothing concrete about progress. It gives you hope, words are not supported by actions. In fact, you are forcing it.

she hasn't contacted you for years. then she says listen to me. (she talked to everyone and had relationships but didn't talk to you. you're still the one to blame and you accept it)

If you have any ıc, share the letter with him, he will explain it to you better.

You won't be able to do that because you're really moving forward with your eyes closed. You are trying to cover it up.

your wife is not making the right moves.

It is not possible for you to think of yourself outside of the relationship. If you can pull yourself back a little, you will see more clearly.

I said before.

Good luck

posts: 33   ·   registered: Feb. 16th, 2022
id 8731702
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 10:10 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

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?

That is a fantastic point and I think it's spot on. The problem of course is that I'm virtually always talking about the affair and she's always pivoting to problems in our past relationship. Scheduling separate conversations seems impractical at the moment, but at a minimum, I think both of us keeping that in mind is critical.

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.

She hates that I'm using a forum to talk this through--she thinks advice from strangers on the internet only brings negativity. And obviously that's true of some comments, but overall, this has been a positive experience. She's not interested in it though--also, by sharing this forum with her, she'd discover my thread and I don't think that would be beneficial.

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?

That's a fair point and I appreciate it. We plan to discuss OBS in CT tomorrow. Truthfully, I'm not very interested in having the relationship with OBS, but maintaining it feels like a safety net I shouldn't discard. I'm unsure on how to compromise on the topic because caving to her request doesn't seem very logical--perhaps the CT can guide us through the talk.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8731706
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 10:24 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

I think it’s absolutely fine to continue your relationship with the OBS.

Although in general, to R, you wouldn’t want to purposely leverage a relationship with OBS to stick it to your WW - to show her what it actually feels like being on the other end.

However, in this case, because you describe your WW as not intellectually deep, she obviously responds to actions that are directly in front of her. With respect to this, I actually think that maintaining the relationship with the OBS can be beneficial as a learning tool for your WW, to better understand the damage an A causes the BS.

Because she keeps deflecting from talking about the A back to issues in the relationship past, the presence of the OBS brings the A back to center stage where it belongs.

posts: 401   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8731712
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faithfulman ( member #66002) posted at 10:45 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

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.

First of all, I would not even concern myself with your wife's opinion on the relationships she thinks you should keep. Good lord.

Second of all, you should understand the wild yarns of bullshit your wife is spinning to her therapist, who then nods his/her head validates at way too much of it, then collects a nice fat co-pay.

Third of all, therapists are not all they are cracked up to be. The entire field is set up to avoid blame and accountability; you did this because of X, Y , and Z... blah blah. Lots of times people just act shitty and do what feels good to them. It ain't that deep.

Individual therapists are the second-worst when it comes to accountability with cheaters - holding a cheater accountable is the fastest way to lose that weekly cash. First-worst are couples/marriage therapists, and most of them are individual therapists as well.

You have no way of knowing that the therapist has any kind of moral grounding, if they are a cheater themselves etc. The therapist could also simply be a moron. Or have an agenda. So many tings. Don't look to any therapist to rescue you or rehabilitate your wife.

Just like if your wife had an injury, the physical therapist can help, but your wife has to want to do the work. The big difference is that talk therapy can go in any direction at all, while physical therapists have set types of exercises for every injury to heal.

So take her therapist's opinion of what you should do for what it is worth - nothing at all.

Your wife and her therapist are looing at this from a whole different lens - your wife is the therapist's client, you are simply a part of the picture of your wife's life. The therapist is not concerned with what is best for you.

So do what is best for you - keep appropriate contact as necessary with the disgusting shitty cheater's wife.

posts: 920   ·   registered: Aug. 28th, 2018
id 8731717
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Mene ( member #64377) posted at 11:17 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

Your wife with the help of the therapist is trying to paint the picture that you are the reason she cheated. By directly or indirectly apportioning the blame to her resentment of you.

Don’t buy that shit.

You are resenting her now and you’re not cheating. And you could easily do it with the OBS.

Shut that talk down immediately.

She’s going to therapy to work out why she’s a despicable human being who can create such havoc in a relationship. To identify why she can be so vindictive. Not to apportion blame to you so she can build a narrative for when she exits to feel better. She’s more manipulative than you think.

All of us. ALL OF US, have had upbringings where things have shaped our characters, good and bad. But many of us don’t use the bad to justify our shitty ways. We learn from it and refrain from harming people especially those who are supposed to be the most important in our lives.

You wife mirrors my wife in a lot of ways. I’m a few years down the track. My wife began referring back to her childhood and the resentment she had of me. The therapist did the same thing until I had a session with them and told them the money will stop if they continue to try and help her create a narrative to excuse her actions. I said to the therapist you have 1 more session to change your Esther Perel tactics and get back on script. They got the message. Unfortunately there are very few therapists who know what they’re doing in this space.

It took my wife a few months and my cutting her at the knees when she talked about the resentment bullshit to get the picture I was walking if she didn’t stop that tactic. After the 3rd month, she knew that no matter how much perceived resentment she had and the daddy issues or whatever, you don’t use that as the justification to cheat.

If your wife continues to use this as justification, R will not be achievable. Just walk. To save you thousands of dollars in therapist fees and your sanity.

You have a long road to travel to get to a safe place, I’m afraid. We all did. There is no quick route, even if you get handed a Lamborghini to try and get there faster.

[This message edited by Mene at 11:28 PM, Sunday, April 24th]

Life wasn’t meant to be fair...

posts: 846   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2018   ·   location: Cyberland
id 8731721
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 11:21 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

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.

First of all, I would not even concern myself with your wife's opinion on the relationships she thinks you should keep. Good lord.

This combined with the fact that she doesn't like you talking through things with a message board is absolutely RICH. I cannot believe the selfishness and immaturity on display here. I am absolutely gobsmacked that she or her IC think they can have an opinion about who you have a relationship with. She should have immediately wanted to fire this therapist. Seriously. W.T.F.

I just don't see a woman with any ability to have empathy at all. I mean, Good Lord is right!

posts: 221   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8731722
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 11:32 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

I just don't see a woman with any ability to have empathy at all.

This was my principle point at the end of last night's conversation. She has no empathy for me. She has sympathy--she sees my pain and feels bad, offering compassion--but she has thus far been unable to relate to how I feel.

I want to thank everyone who responded today--it was a lot to process and overall incredibly helpful. I have a lot I want to now discuss with my wife, so we'll see what tonight's conversation brings. She'll obviously be very guarded against losing her cool tonight, so perhaps we can make some positive headway.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8731723
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 11:37 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

Let’s be careful about using the word manipulation. Everybody manipulates their environment from birth to death. Babies learn to smile to get picked up or cry if no one will. We learn to ask or demand or whatever it is that gets us what we want. If we are decent human beings we make sure that what we want is not going to damage another person. Manipulation of the sort where she’s trying to get out from under is just more of the same because it sounds like this has been going on in your entire marriage. Believe it or not those conversations she’s had with her family is her "poor pitiful me look at what I have to put up with" manipulation, in this case covert narcissism. The problem with trying to read info online is that they can’t tell you everything that a narcissist does because each one is an individual doing it their own way. How you know someone is manipulating you unfairly is if you have a knot in your stomach most of the time. Marriage takes work but not this much work. Aren’t you exhausted?

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

posts: 3296   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8731725
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 11:48 PM on Sunday, April 24th, 2022

Aren’t you exhausted?

Sure, but it’s not like divorce wouldn’t be exhausting too. And I always have that option. If I’m going to reconcile, I’m going to do it now because once I’m gone, I’m gone.

It is hard to deal with the vast amount of awfulness being dumped on me right now, but I feel relatively clear eyed in what I’m looking for. Best case scenario, her letter is a good faith attempt at changing to be in a relationship with me. If she can change, I’m open to exploring what that life will look like.

Even these last few weeks, we have a warm, loving home operating for our children—we’re hanging out with them and showing affection for each other. That part is very real and I’d be bailing on it.

I also want to emphasize that marriage means something to me. And I’m an atheist. I made a commitment to my wife for the rest of my life, and then I doubled down by having children. For many of you, her affair nullifies that commitment, but I don’t agree. If I leave now, I’d feel like it was a selfish of me—I need to give her an opportunity to change first. If she fails, I can leave with a clear conscience. It’s still a good environment for my children and I’m learning a lot about myself every day, so there’s no rush to action for me.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8731729
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Never2late ( new member #79079) posted at 12:06 AM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

EL's post is very insightful and I think she is onto something.

posts: 49   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8731731
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 12:06 AM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

Then we should support you. I do.

I hope she can get info on how to get over resenting things you do. You don’t sound like a bad guy.

If she came into the marriage this way she needs to dig deeply into childhood issues because that is subconsciously driving her engine. In fact those of us with happy childhoods should be grateful. A therapist told me that all our experiences from birth on are stored. The bad ones are buried so deeply we might not be able to pull them up but they are in charge.

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

posts: 3296   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8731732
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Sharkman ( member #56818) posted at 2:12 AM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

I kind of disagree with you about her nullifying the marriage. She did. A marriage is a vow between two people and if one person exits that, then the covenant is broken. Obviously it's cool if you disagree but given all of the things whirling around your head I'd just (kindfully) challenge your thought process on that. I've just seen too many betrayed with a spouse who is frankly spoiled where the betrayed has a history of shouldering marriage burden. I'd just think on that if that's maybe what you're doing. It might not be, but may be something worth chewing on a bit

posts: 1777   ·   registered: Jan. 11th, 2017
id 8731760
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Decorum ( member #47744) posted at 10:05 AM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

Tell the other mans wife. He will likely throw your wife under the bus and this will help her see the affair for what it is.

A crass run of the mill affair.

Do not tell you wife when you notify the AP's wfie. This will help you know if they are still in communication should she react in any way.

posts: 67   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2015
id 8731812
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 10:37 AM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

So as expected, we had another big talk last night—for the first time since my return from Italy, she wasn’t defensive at all; no deflections or demands. We covered a lot, much of which came from this thread yesterday:

1. Finding her voice in conversation on affair vs. building our new relationship—she needs to better identify when to stand up for herself.

- I made the point that the conversations about the affair and the ones about our new relationship are different. When we talk about the affair, she should have no demands or grounds to stake—and it’s being made harder because when I talk about the affair, she moves convo to past resentments unrelated to affair. She agreed entirely and said she would stop doing that—she did not do it all last night.

2. Resentment discussion must stop—painting blame on me instead of exploring her awful/vindictive actions. Setting herself up for an exit from me.

- I explained that using resentment as her reason for the affair was bullshit. How I resented her for lots of stuff, but didn’t have sex with anyone else. Her choice to have the affair was an awful, immoral decision she and she alone made. She agreed and recommitted her full responsibly for the affair.

3. Issues with OBS—is it a sign of me dismissing her views in a discussion like the past or an obvious example of her lack of empathy for me by even requesting I stop talking with her?

- This one is still an issue. She understands my perspective: that I don’t think she should have an opinion on this and that I want to keep OBS in my life. She is still unhappy with it, but will accept it—she just wants to discuss in therapy as she needs tools on how to deal with it so she isn’t always breaking down. Interestingly enough, she brought up what was said in this thread: that she recognized she was getting a taste of her own medicine—she was hurt that OBS and I are talking about her behind her back and that’s exactly what my wife was doing to me with AP.

4. Probe into exit affair; thoughts in Dec.

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.

- Based on EmergingLady’s post, I dug back into her intentions in Dec. I was able to confirm all of that.

In mid/late Dec., she arrived at a conclusion that our marriage was likely "doomed" and she was preparing for it to end at some point. She began an affair with another man and was badmouthing me to people in her life (especially her mother) for two reasons: to justify the affair in her own head and lay the groundwork for a likely separation from me.

By late January, she recognized that AP was not her future. She’s now in a weird spot, where she is having sex with two men and neither one she sees a future with. She continued the affair as an escape from her life and continued badmouthing me.

By mid-Feb through mid-March, she began to question if her marriage with me was really over. She now saw the grass was not greener with another man. She was still deeply unhappy and began to think that her relationship with me wouldn’t end. She didn’t change course with the affair or badmouthing me.

Then on March 15 I found out. She thought I’d just leave her, but despite how awful the reveal played out, I kept sitting there with her, day after day. My commitment to her and my vulnerability floored her and sent her spiraling into a depression she is still in now. She can’t believe what she did and can’t look herself in the mirror—all she knows is that she wants to be with me and is dedicated to fighting to prove that to me and win me back.

Thus far, I’d say she’s not doing a great job at it, and she recognizes that and it’s greatly upsetting to her. She feels like she is self-sabotaging and needs to figure out how to stop doing it before it’s too late and she loses me.

Long story short, I’m a bit torn. On one hand, I recognize what EmergingLady said: that she arrived at the decision to move on from me once and likely will again. On the other hand, I recognize that in her journey away from me, she learned a lot about herself and feels like she now has an opportunity to course correct her life. Is that not possible?

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 10:42 AM, Monday, April 25th]

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8731815
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bob7777 ( new member #79867) posted at 11:51 AM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

Judging by your last post it's hard. Just following the facts, she already did check out of the relationship, had an exit affair and rebound that didn't work out. So she bounces back to you as a rebound of a rebound. I mean, you can try to sweet talk a lot of it to make it work even if you see the relationship that follows as an entirely new one. The only question is, what are you willing to do or don't. No matter what you decide, don't rationalize yourself into denial.

posts: 12   ·   registered: Feb. 1st, 2022
id 8731816
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 12:23 PM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

I know I said I would leave the thread,however,I have something to say that you might find quite useful (and maybe not even a bit obnoxious).

When discussing the affair with your wife,when she brings up her past hurts and resentments, tell her to imagine the marriage as a house. That house is on fire. She set it on fire. And, now, she is running around yelling that she didn't like the color of the curtains. Sure, you can eventually discuss the color of the curtains,but right NOW, the house is on fire,and the fire must be attended to first.

[This message edited by HellFire at 12:24 PM, Monday, April 25th]

posts: 4332   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8731818
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:33 PM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

So she bounces back to you as a rebound of a rebound.

You’re right. And I don’t have enough from her to think it’s for the right reasons. Her actions are the same of a person who doesn’t want to be left alone as a villain. Whether it’s true or not, I can’t identify yet.

CT is in a few hours and I’m going to dig into it further there.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8731819
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 12:37 PM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

When discussing the affair with your wife,when she brings up her past hurts and resentments, tell her to imagine the marriage as a house. That house is on fire. She set it on fire. And, now, she is running around yelling that she didn't like the color of the curtains. Sure, you can eventually discuss the color of the curtains,but right NOW, the house is on fire,and the fire must be attended to first.

Agreed, and that’s the point I’ve been making to her all week. I bring up an awful thing I’m dealing with that she did during the affair and she would respond with absurd non-equivilancies. I say she destroyed the relationship between me and her parents, she responds with, well your sister said something obnoxious to me 10 years ago and I have to deal with that.

It’s blameshifting, not finding her own voice.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 12:54 PM, Monday, April 25th]

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8731821
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 3:37 PM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

One of the things I discovered when in college psych classes is that childhoods have a very powerful impact on how we view the world. Furthermore it impacts how we think, act, react to everything in our lives. Your wife appears to be stuck somewhere in childhood. There are dozens of reasons why but the usual ones are because basic needs were not met. Example most used is not enough nurturing. Kids don’t need many things but they do need dependable caregivers(parents, g’parents etc), stability and lots of hugs. If at any time something interferes with that then that is where they are stuck emotionally. It would not surprise me if she is loads of fun when she wants to be. That is what children do. Also she is resentful much like adolescents. Look at her overall behaviors and you might find a pattern that fits this. The reason you are not getting anywhere is because as soon as she feels threatened her subconscious reaction is from her hidden child.

There is a saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. It sounds like you are beating your head against a wall because she keeps reverting(s without her knowledge) to the kid that runs her life.

I might be wrong but her responses to you sound very much like a child. If so she needs some serious therapy and I suggest EMDR.

[This message edited by Cooley2here at 3:38 PM, Monday, April 25th]

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

posts: 3296   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8731857
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 3:57 PM on Monday, April 25th, 2022

One of the things I discovered when in college psych classes is that childhoods have a very powerful impact on how we view the world. Furthermore it impacts how we think, act, react to everything in our lives. Your wife appears to be stuck somewhere in childhood. There are dozens of reasons why but the usual ones are because basic needs were not met. Example most used is not enough nurturing. Kids don’t need many things but they do need dependable caregivers(parents, g’parents etc), stability and lots of hugs. If at any time something interferes with that then that is where they are stuck emotionally. It would not surprise me if she is loads of fun when she wants to be. That is what children do. Also she is resentful much like adolescents. Look at her overall behaviors and you might find a pattern that fits this. The reason you are not getting anywhere is because as soon as she feels threatened her subconscious reaction is from her hidden child.

There is a saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. It sounds like you are beating your head against a wall because she keeps reverting(s without her knowledge) to the kid that runs her life.

I might be wrong but her responses to you sound very much like a child. If so she needs some serious therapy and I suggest EMDR.

I think you’re likely correct. Our CT has been harping on her childhood, and I hope it helps her, but it’s certainly not productive now.

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

posts: 304   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8731864
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