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Newest Member: Gtacch

Just Found Out :
13 Years since Affair---Hello from an oldtimer

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 TheBod (original poster member #24073) posted at 9:49 PM on Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

Hi Everyone;

You can tell from my member # that I joined a while ago; it's been 13 years now since I outed my XW's affairs. Such a long time but every spring, the air, sounds, light remind still remind me of that awful year.

I just wanted to drop a line to all of newbies and say welcome. Even though this is one place none of us wanted to end up coming to, it is safe here, and my experience was that this place helped to keep my sanity when everything in my life seemed to be coming apart. I won't post a 10 page lecture but instead will say there is a lot of helpful stuff to read here and I can still see many posts I read when I joined which helped to guide me through those terrible first few months of fear and uncertainty. Read them all and take what applies to your situation.

My $0.02 is there are some hard truths and actions I wish I had accepted right away though and these would include:

1. By the time you get to dDay, your cheating spouse/ partner has left the relationship so there is nothing to save/ salvage. It was all of their doing.

2. If you accept #1, take action to protect yourself (and kids if there are any). This includes:

- I forget the lingo for it at this point, but shut out your cheating spouse, including but not limited to: kick them out of the family house, stop messaging/ communicating with them

- GO SEE A LAWYER and figure out all of your legal options including divorce. If this makes you scared, re-read #1` above

- stay hydrated, don't eat garbage food, get some exercise; anything to focus on yourself and not what your cheating spouse is doing/ who they are talking to, etc

- take control of any money you hold together with your cheating spouse. ASAP

3. If I could do it again, I would have filed for D as soon as I found a lawyer I trusted. Re-read #1. If you want them back and they do come back on YOUR TERMS, excellent. Anything less---you should realize you and your family deserve better.

Honestly, doing the above would have saved me months of false R, and further lies and cheating that was even more damaging and I would have been able to get on with the rest of my life quicker. In my case, the most crushing part of it was when I found out about all of the affairs, we were trying to start our family but instead at the same time my XW was dating and sleeping with several guys. Yep the classic Jerry Springer stuff that I can tell has not gotten old here unfortunately.

It is true though everyone: as bad as things may seem now, time (and decisive action) does help one move on with their lives. I kicked her out and finally was able to sleep. I shut her out of our joint bank accounts and took control of the household finances. After months of false R, I filed for D and instructed my lawyer to take her for everything he could even stuff I was not legally entitled to.........and he got it all for me. Turns out guilt, shame, panic all work in the BS's favor if one acts quick enough grin .

It does take time to heal and to get righted again. It took me years. I noticed in the last few years at this time I haven't been as angry as I was during the first 5-10 years. What is left for me isn't even sadness. Sure, I wish I had never met her and wasted those years of my life with her, but it's like surviving a serious illness. I just look back at it as that: something I endured, survived and learned from. I think part of moving forward is finally accepting that like anything in life, relationships sometimes do not go as you hope/ plan. These days, when I think of that awful year of my life, I just take a deep breath, think of the person I am today compared to back then and am grateful for where I am today.

And then I go pick up my infant son, kiss my wife and tell the two of them they are the best things to have ever happened to me. My honest truth is if I had to go through what I did 13 years ago another 1000 times I would as long as I knew i would end up with the two of them at the end of it.

Stay strong everyone and protect yourselves. I never thought I could survive what happened to me, but I did and I have my life back but it is 100x better than I thought I ever would have back then. You can do it too. smile

posts: 706   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2009
id 8733602
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BentandBroken ( member #72519) posted at 10:17 PM on Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

Thank you for this wonderful update TB. When I was a newbie, I used to crave stories like this just to know that there was light on the other side.

Although I'm only 2 1/2 years out from Dday, I'm happier now than I have been in 5 years. And I'm very comfortable being single and unpartnered, which was a huge surprise to me.

Thank you for taking the time to post, TB. And cheers, from one survivor to another!

20+ year relationship; Never officially married
Dday November 2019
4 wonderful grown children
WH multiple APs, currently involved with married COW
Kicked him out on Dday and that was that

posts: 329   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2020   ·   location: Michigan
id 8733605
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 10:44 PM on Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

If only all of us could have such a happy ending.

posts: 168   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8733610
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ButAnyway ( member #79085) posted at 11:32 PM on Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

… and this message is brought to you by the voice of experience.

posts: 101   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8733616
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EnPedasos ( new member #79857) posted at 11:56 PM on Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

TheBod

Thank you for the update. I’m happy for you.
🙌🙌

Definitely appreciate the words of wisdom.

Dd was 12/15/21. Me BS 43Him WH 43
20 years 14M 18DD 8DS

You can ignore reality but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.

"Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides." –André Malraux

posts: 28   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2022
id 8733618
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Dkt3 ( new member #75072) posted at 1:16 AM on Thursday, May 5th, 2022

These things rarely get through to new BS, especially BH'S.

Like you I wish I had acted sooner, which you rarely find someone with distance from the situation say I wish I had waited longer.

BS fight so hard to get back what they had for so long, they don't slow down to think about what that actually was.

You read "oh, my wife denied me sex for years and treated me like trash but she is a loving wife and I want that back" and behind the screen all you can do is shake your head and recall back to when that was you.

posts: 41   ·   registered: Aug. 3rd, 2020
id 8733623
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annb ( member #22386) posted at 2:25 AM on Thursday, May 5th, 2022

Hey, there, every year you take the time to come here with an update and some encouragement!

Thank you for your continued support, I remember you well!

So glad you have moved on into a real, honest relationship, and congratulations on your baby boy!

A very happy ending, indeed! grin

posts: 11506   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2009   ·   location: Northeast
id 8733631
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 11:36 AM on Thursday, May 5th, 2022

I really like your post and thank you for the message.
I take it as a message telling people that you need to act, that your future happiness is dependent on what YOU do rather than what the WS does and that all you control is YOU.

I do however think that this clause needs elaboration:

1.By the time you get to dDay, your cheating spouse/ partner has left the relationship so there is nothing to save/ salvage. It was all of their doing.

For many there is reason to rebuild. There is something to save. We have ample examples here on SI of couples that have managed to save their relationships after dealing with infidelity. However, while the affair is active – until the WS commits to saving the marriage – then I agree there is nothing to save. You need to act and that action does include IMHO learning to accept that divorce or ending the relationship is a very likely and real outcome.

What I think we both agree on – and probably the message we are trying to get across – is that waiting for the WS to take the next step is not getting you anywhere. Once you have your d-day YOU – the betrayed spouse – need to draw the line and start controlling what you can control. You then set the pace, the requirements and the path. If it’s D then you just press on, if it’s R then you realistically evaluate what the WS offers and does and press on, with D as a realistic option if the WS doesn’t commit or move at an acceptable pace.


If only all of us could have such a happy ending.

I doubt Bod felt happy when dealing with all he dealt with. Very often in life the options available are all bad or crappy. It’s up to us to choose the least crappy option and make that offer us new, less crappy options. That in turn can lead us to happiness. Happiness is work – it takes determination and effort on our behalf to find it and hold on to it, but we can all do it and thereby all of us find happiness.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 10590   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8733658
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 TheBod (original poster member #24073) posted at 5:58 PM on Thursday, May 5th, 2022

1.By the time you get to dDay, your cheating spouse/ partner has left the relationship so there is nothing to save/ salvage. It was all of their doing.

What I meant to convey with this is that it seems like it is a fairly common dynamic after Dday for the BS to go into this mindset where they are the ones who have to do everything they can to 'fix' everything that is wrong in the relationship and everything that went wrong to lead to the affair.......or else things will get worse and the WS will have no choice but to keep on cheating. It is a very toxic, dysfunctional dynamic and I certainly spun around on that ride for far too long. Whether or not it is intentional on the part of the WS, it makes things worse for the BS.

That is one of the things I wish I had figured out sooner. Reading here certainly helped but with all of the raw emotions from Dday, my life seemingly falling apart around me, my WW insinuating the affairs were all of my doing, it is hard to step back, take a deep breath and see the situation for what it is.

Eventually I did see it. When I found out about all of the ongoing affairs despite her stated intention to work on the marriage, I saw it, clear as day. The relationship was over the moment she chose to cheat. When I realized that, I also realized she had done her worst to me and she couldn't do no more as long as I took control of my life again.

And that's when I kicked her out, took over the household money and got my lawyer on things. It hasn't been 100% smooth to get here, but I have gotten here and everyone else here can too. You start with taking control of one thing, and then another, and then another, and eventually you will get your life back and you'll realize that life is 1000x better than anything you had with a cheating lying partner/ spouse. You'll feel it as it evolves. The sense of freedom and control, the ability to sleep again and most of all not walking around on eggshells worrying about if the next thing you do or say will upset your WS and 'cause' more affairs to happen. What bullshit.

I do realize everyone's situation is different and some choose to R and do so successfully and that is great. My situation was not destined for that because I was with a chronic lying cheating borderline personality narcissist with extremely low self-esteem who got into a low spot and slept with the first losers from the bottom of the gene pool who paid attention to her and told her what she wanted to hear.

Some here have asked me what happened to the other side. It's not important to me, but last I heard, she had a kid with one of her boyfriends from 13 years ago (because they were in love, of course). They have since split up so she's a single mom. She never lifted a finger to address her issues that led to her choices to cheat, so all I think of there is I hope that kid finds a good role model at some point. I think that is all I'll say about her; like I said in my original post, she is something that I happened to have survived in my life and I am glad I'm past it now.

[This message edited by TheBod at 6:01 PM, Thursday, May 5th]

posts: 706   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2009
id 8733700
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Seeking2Forgive ( member #78819) posted at 6:36 AM on Friday, May 6th, 2022

What I meant to convey with this is that it seems like it is a fairly common dynamic after Dday for the BS to go into this mindset where they are the ones who have to do everything they can to 'fix' everything that is wrong in the relationship and everything that went wrong to lead to the affair.......or else things will get worse and the WS will have no choice but to keep on cheating. It is a very toxic, dysfunctional dynamic and I certainly spun around on that ride for far too long. Whether or not it is intentional on the part of the WS, it makes things worse for the BS.

This was very much my response. I don't regret deciding to R, but I do regret that I was unable to better stand up for myself following Dday.

It's only now many years later that I understand that clinging to my WW was my response to the trauma of Dday. People respond differently to that trauma. Some, like me, try to find safety with a partner that had always been a safe place but was no longer. Others have a natural instinct to flee the source of their trauma.

Those in the former group aren't going to be receptive to advice to proceed immediately to D. They're going to dismiss your advice entirely. They cannot see the reality of their situation yet. There is still an instinct to protect that partner and that relationship.

Instead, I think we should focus on helping them understand the trauma that they've experienced and their response to it. That will help them to start seeing the reality of their situation so they can recognize what we all learn the hard way: you cannot win back a WS. A WS has to decide that they are willing to fight for the marriage. They are the ones who are obligated to do most of the work to be worthy of R.

Me: 60, BS -- Her: 59, FWS -- Dday: 11/15/03 -- Married 37 yrs -- Reconciled

posts: 378   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2021
id 8733803
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morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 1:39 PM on Saturday, May 7th, 2022

I doubt Bod felt happy when dealing with all he dealt with. Very often in life the options available are all bad or crappy. It’s up to us to choose the least crappy option and make that offer us new, less crappy options. That in turn can lead us to happiness. Happiness is work – it takes determination and effort on our behalf to find it and hold on to it, but we can all do it and thereby all of us find happiness.

He's happy now because he's happily married now with a loving wife and a healthy child. He's not happy just because he "did the work". A lot of people do the work and get free from the relationship insanity but still don't end up happy. If he had done the work and was alone, or if his child were seriously ill, he wouldn't feel the same happiness he does today. That's reality.

I did the work and dealt with what I had to deal with from my abusive ex-WW, and am now alone with few prospects because I'm a plain looking middle-aged woman with a chronically sick child. Finances are a huge struggle for me, so I spend most of my time working (female-dominated job, so I'm not going to meet a man there, either). Compare that to the OP, and keep telling me I need to make myself feel happier, that it's all in my head...I'm not buying it. I was gaslit enough by my ex and am done with that. I keep a positive attitude as much as I can, but I'm not happy, although I'm doing better than most people would in my shoes, I'm sure. I will probably never be happy unless a multiple miracle happens, and my son gets well and I meet a wonderful middle aged guy who asks me to marry him. Doubt it will happen. I'll more likely just keep living a good life, caring for my son and my mother who I have to live with, because her rent helps me to afford my tiny yet overpriced home (best deal I could find in my expensive area, my hometown and where I have to live for custody reasons), and never finding real love or seeing my son live a real life without illness.

It's emotionally abusive and inaccurate to tell those who are suffering in a hard life that they lack the "determination" to be happy.

[This message edited by morningglory at 2:09 PM, Saturday, May 7th]

posts: 168   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8734070
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DailyGratitude ( member #79494) posted at 4:14 PM on Saturday, May 7th, 2022

Thebod
Thank you for your post
Very wise advice indeed
Losing a 25 year marriage was devastating
My future was stolen and I feel so lost
I pray my new life can be 1000% better than what I had before
It’s so damn hard to even imagine it
That’s why it’s so good to hear "success" stories from those who have walked the journey ahead of us

posts: 211   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8734087
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