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 .
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.