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Newest Member: Gtacch

Just Found Out :
Discovery

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 Emptyglass (original poster new member #80295) posted at 9:17 AM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Found out I’ve been sharing my husband of 20+ years with another woman for over 13 years!!! While I dedicated my life to raising a family and working around my husbands busy work life he was living a double life. He pretended to be a happily married man who had morals and values.. everyone looked up to him including me. I feel like such a fool for believing in something that was obviously not what I thought it was. I feel like I’ve been living with a stranger. I’m not even sure where I belong, why this happened or how this could go on for years and I not see anything. I feel like a real life dr Phil show. Something you read about happening to someone else in disbelief… it doesn’t seem real. We had a very happy life together. Two great kids. Supportive friends and family. I’m just trying to piece myself together and thought reading how others are coping could help.

Met my spouse in college. Considered him my best friend. Stood by each other though many ups and downs … raised two children together. I was primary care giver of our children because his job was so demanding. I revolved my life around my family. I worked in a profession that allowed me to have flexibility of being a parent first. I loved my life. My husband. My family. I feel like I’ve been robbed of my life. I trusted my husband with everything.

He ended the affair but only because it was discovered… I feel like I’m walking in a daze most days.. like I’m having out of body experience… not sure about anything anymore.

[This message edited by Emptyglass at 9:46 AM, Monday, May 9th]

posts: 7   ·   registered: May. 5th, 2022
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Forks027 ( member #59996) posted at 10:06 AM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Going off of your statement that he only ended it because you found out, I'm saying this from the assumption that he isn't remorseful.

Put some emotional and mental distance between yourself and him for a bit. Give yourself space to breathe and contemplate. There are some helpful tips in the healing library. I'm advising full self-care for now. Keep yourself hydrated and eat in small amounts if you can stomach it. As long as you get food in your body.

Sorry you had to join this club. In my opinion, your husband had a whole other relationship. He apparently doesn't seem to hold the sentiments about you the way you shared about him here. Correct me if I'm wrong. You're totally valid in feeling like living with a stranger, because in a way, he is. The way he's portrayed himself to be does not match who you discovered he is.

[This message edited by Forks027 at 10:11 AM, Monday, May 9th]

posts: 379   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2017
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BreakingBad ( member #75779) posted at 10:16 AM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Emptyglass,

Welcome to this supportive forum, and I'm so sorry you needed to seek us out! There is a wealth of knowledge and experience here. You'll get many opinions, so be prepared to take what helps you and leave what doesn't serve you. Like many others, I'm sure, I circle back to some advice later because I'm finally ready for it then.

I'm so sorry about the nightmare of discovery you are living right now. It really does take you out at the knees to realize that the person you thought you knew could be capable of deceit and betrayal on a grand scale.

Take care of yourself first and foremost. Do read the "Newbies...Important Information-Please Read" posts that are pinned at the top of this "Just Found Out" part of the forum.

Feel free to share any details you'd like to about your discovery, how you are feeling, and questions you have. You are not alone.

*How did you discover?

Is the other woman also married?

How certain are you that it's really over?

*When you discuss/confront, be careful about revealing the source(s) of your information.

My advice is:

13 years is a long commitment to betrayal and deceit on the part of your husband. So, one of the most difficult things to truly understand is that he is not your friend or supporter right now. He has been betraying you and living a double life by choice. It is very hard to immediately lose your "go to" person in a crisis...because your "go to" person is the person who created the crisis by his repeated and long-lasting choices.

Surround yourself with a few carefully chosen friends or family you can lean on and be honest with them about what's going on.

If at all possible, separate yourself from your wayward husband (WH) to give yourself a chance to get your bearings...and also to allow your WH to understand the full impact of what he's done. My advice would be that he should leave the marital home.

I do vividly remember how foolish I felt as part of discovery. But be kind to yourself. Your WH worked hard to hide this from you. You were trusting, as you SHOULD have been able to be toward someone who had made vows to you. So this is not on you. It was all him.

Take care of yourself and let others support you. Focus on the basics: Drink water. Rest when you can. Exercise. See a doctor if sleep is too elusive right now. I strongly encourage you to find an individual counselor to support you. (However, do screen for counselors who want to use a "shared responsibility" approach to affairs. This will not be helpful to you, since it is a deeply flawed approach.)

We really do know your pain. You'll be surprised to find others who have similar stories.

(((Hugs of support to you, dear lady)))

[This message edited by BreakingBad at 10:19 AM, Monday, May 9th]

"Don't you love it, don't you love it?
No, I ain't happy yet.
But I'm way less sad."[Credit to group AJR]

Me=BW; fWH=online affairs with 3 APs over 2.5-3 yrs
Both in IC & MC
Married 31 yrs now
2 kids-both in HS
Attempting R

posts: 149   ·   registered: Oct. 31st, 2020
id 8734311
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 Emptyglass (original poster new member #80295) posted at 11:07 AM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Thank you for all for replying. It’s a horrible journey and comforting to know I’m not alone. And it helps to hear from people who have experienced this trauma … friends and family can give advice and support but they don’t truly understand any of it… they haven’t lived it.

The AP is not married. She is a work colleague (they no longer work together). Divorced. With adult children. I found out because he was acting strangely and was very hard to reach when he wasn’t home. I became my own PI and got hold of his cell phone records. I actually learned the length of affair from AP … do I know it’s over for sure??? I believe so … I overheard the ending conversation and it wasn’t pretty…

Also please know when i discovered I asked my husband to leave and to go be with this woman and he refused. I gave him every opportunity to explore this relationship… he would not go. I truly believe he liked the thrill of it but did not like the reality of it becoming real… if that makes sense?

I am trying to focus on self care. It’s been a few months… I have been to therapy and go to gym regularly… I try to get out on nature walks. I find that helps… I wake up every morning and feel like the wind has been knocked out of me… does that ever go away?

posts: 7   ·   registered: May. 5th, 2022
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Forks027 ( member #59996) posted at 11:24 AM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Also please know when i discovered I asked my husband to leave and to go be with this woman and he refused. I gave him every opportunity to explore this relationship… he would not go. I truly believe he liked the thrill of it but did not like the reality of it becoming real… if that makes sense?

Forgive me for being skeptical. But I highly doubt someone would keep up an affair for 13 YEARS just for a thrill. I caution you not to let down your guard just yet.

I wake up every morning and feel like the wind has been knocked out of me… does that ever go away?

It does, but you're still in the early stages yet. You'll hear it a lot to the point that you might get sick of it, but... time. Lots of time. And even then, it lessens gradually.

[This message edited by Forks027 at 11:34 AM, Monday, May 9th]

posts: 379   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2017
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annb ( member #22386) posted at 12:19 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Welcome to SI, the best club no one wants to join.

Gently, how can you be sure the affair is over? 13 years is a long, long time to just go cold turkey.

Understand affairs can go underground, your husband can purchase a burner phone, so many ways for cheaters to continue the betrayal. Please be vigilant.

Has he given you access to everything? When my WH affair was discovered I had access to work emails, voicemails, social media and everything else I could think of. He was accountable for his whereabouts at all times. He stopped socializing on the job and avoided any one-on-one meetings with female co-workers. He was polite but distant from that point forward.

What is your husband doing to fix this? What are the consequences of his affair? He doesn't get to go on with life as if nothing happened. Is he in IC? Is he reading books? Has he told any close family/friends who can hold him accountable? Does he travel often for his job?

Your husband has been leading a double life and betraying you for more than half your marriage. Are you certain you can heal and move forward? Have you consulted with an attorney or two just for knowledge?

A great idea to focus on you. I remember those early days when I didn't want to get out of bed, my only incentive was my children. They needed their mom. It's so exhausting bc you are living in an emotional roller coaster from hell and have to continue on with life.

Do you have trusted family/friends to lean on for support?

Sending a huge virtual hug....

posts: 11506   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2009   ·   location: Northeast
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DailyGratitude ( member #79494) posted at 12:50 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Being betrayed by our spouse is traumatic beyond comprehension. I am sorry that you are going through this. I feel your pain and agony. There’s nothing worse in the world.
I say this with the gentlest and kindest heart. Cheaters lie. A lot.
If your husband was able to lie to you for the last 13 years while having an affair, what makes you think he will start to be honest?
And as others have said 13 year affair is a full fledged relationship. It wasn’t a fling. It wasn’t a thrill. It’s almost impossible to end it cold turkey. We’ve all seen it here on SI over and over again. So please protect your heart and for the time being, don’t trust your husband until he can prove otherwise. He had no problem deceiving and lying to you for 13 years. And don’t trust the AP either. She has no vested interest to tell you the truth.
I know it’s hard to hear these things. I’ve been there. I was hopeful and delusional for a long time. I think maybe we all have to be that way in the beginning just to survive.
Some good books I can recommend (audio books are great for walking and long drives)
"Leave a cheater, Gain a life"
"Intimate Deception"

Wishing you strength and wisdom.

posts: 211   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 1:52 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Please read Lying by Jonathan Wallace in the Ethical Spectacle. It covers everything.

My husband cheated when we were young. I had small children and no work history so I kept my mouth shut after I was told. When I think back I realize I was acting like children who believe in Santa Claus. I had no idea what to do so I did nothing. The reality is that although we have gone on to have a good life I recognize that my husband has/had the capacity to be a cheater. The knowledge never goes away. He would not still be my husband if he had a second " wife" in the picture because once my children were in school I got my degree and went to work. I NEVER want to feel that helpless again.

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

posts: 3296   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8734332
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 1:58 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Welcome to the club you never wanted to join.
So please make sure you are taking care of yourself. Make sure you are putting your needs and well being first.

An affair of that length and you not knowing is a special kind of trauma.

If you haven't done the following things I recommend these things to all newbies here to help give you a good grounding to heal your own heart/brain from the trauma.

1. See an attorney - No matter what you plan as a path after discovery you need to be prepared for any possible outcome. Plan for the worst, hope for the best, and life usually happens inbetween. Understand what a D, and S looks like for you. What his obligations are and what your rights are.

2. See your Dr. This is a HUGE trauma, and it can cause a real fight/flight response that can effect your physical health and well being. At the Dr you can get referrals for therapists that specialize in trauma (you need a trauma therapist, infidelity is his issue not yours). Get a full STD test, a 13 yr A means protection was not used, and you need to make sure you are healthy. Lastly get a full physical as the stress from this can cause anything from hypertension, to insomnia, to rapid weight loss. Your provider can help walk you through this and if needed give you medications to help you through.

3. Figure out your absolutes - Understand what your dealbreakers are. Understand what you need from him to consider moving forward and trying to rebuild. Understanding this and having a plan of what you will do should he not be able to meet the demands/requests of what you need/want to rebuild helps you move forward in a clear manner and can help you take the emotions out of it.

Keep reading here, keep posting. Check out the healing library, and know that we have walked this path, and while each on of us has a unique story there are many things that consistent, and happen in this situation because human nature is an amazing thing and most cheaters will do same if not similar things.

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 22 & 25
Married for 30 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19250   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 3:14 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Emptyglass, I am so sorry for what I know you are going through but I am glad you have found this site and the support of all the wonderful people here. You have already been given some sound advice and I want to reiterate that self care is your most important goal right now. You are in for a long, unpredictable and painful journey, through no fault of your own and you will need to remind yourself to take extra care, and you will need to remember to give yourself all the grace and kindness you have.

One of the hardest parts of my betrayal was the negative self talk that was dredged up, and the inner critic who kept calling me a fool for not knowing what was happening right under my nose. It is crucial to understand that it is not a flaw to be an honest, loving and trusting person and it is pointless to try and understand what you did to cause this, because you did not cause your WH to do any of this. He chose to live a lie and make you an unknowing victim in his deception. Everything about this is surreal and unsettling, and I am so sorry that there is no workaround for that.

I am in the subgroup of betrayal that is very long term, and I'm sorry you are as well. I don't know how to help you with the mind bending looking back, trying to understand what you missed or what was real. All I can tell you is that it helped me a lot to reframe those thoughts to understand that I lived an honest and authentic life, and I can manage to look back at those years and memories through that lens without so much pain.

We were together since college too. The best of friends. A practical island, us against the world, soulmates, no secrets, all the same dreams and goals. At least that is the story he told me, until he decided he deserved more, that I "wasn't getting it done" being too focused on raising the kids than keeping him happy. The conversations where he voiced concerns were few and far between, and usually after too many drinks, always downplaying it in the morning. I thought we were good because he told me we were. I believed he was faithful because when I suspected years ago, he assured me there was no one else, that I was the only one for him. My life became about us, not me, I identified 100% as wife and mother, and was happy with that choice and that life. I was in a great place and at my most happy and accepting when I made my first discovery. I fell far and hard.

My WH did not end the affair when I discovered evidence, he pretended it was years ago and long over, because she was stupid and he felt guilty and fell back in love with me. It took almost a year to find more emails signed with kisses between them. It took one email to her to threaten to blow her life to pieces to end it. I have not yet reconciled how he kept sleeping with us both after I found out, while lying it was over for years and he adored me and wanted to grow old with me. He swears all that is true, but can't explain or even understand why he would not stop seeing her, even under threat of divorce. He just kept lying and manipulating me and telling himself that when both he and the OBS retired and moved away that the A would end organically. He probably resents that I ended it for him and can't see how horrifying it is for me to know that he willingly defied my conditions to stay married so he could keep seeing his needy, horny girlfriend. I still occasionally gag on the disrespect of the last year of their A. I could have lived with the reality of an affair, but the lies and continued inability to choose me and us over them have done permanent damage I'm still trying to navigate.

I am almost five years out, still trying to find a way to live in this version of reconciliation, in this twilight zone version of my life as I knew it. It has gotten easier in terms of how often I fall apart and how obsessively my brain keeps trying to make sense of all this nonsense. I have thought often of leaving, have come close to filing for separation, but the sticky wicket is that I love him still. He is the love of my life and the first person I want to talk to about my life. He is the last person to want to talk about what he has done, why he did it, what it means or how to move forward without pretending it did not actually happen. I did not win the remorseful spouse lottery. I have to keep reminding myself that based on the facts, he is someone I barely know, though he swears he never changed and always loved me and always will. None of this makes sense to me. I have made my safety my first concern, and it takes a while to get the lizard brain to stand down from fight, flight or freeze to work through the steps needed for emotional safety inside a broken relationship. I am still learning.

I try not to think to far ahead anymore, and just try to get through the day to day without drinking too much alcohol to numb my pain. For the record, alcohol and self medication have not been helpful in the long term. In the short term, some meds from my doctor to help with the panic attacks and the sleep deprivation were useful.

So. Hang in there. Love yourself really hard. Reach out to friends, family or support groups like us. The out of body part will fade, especially if you focus on physical things like nature walks, yoga, pursuing hobbies or interests. Take your time figuring out what this means for you and what you need or want moving forward. Understand that there is no shortcut to getting better or healing, and that professional help can be a blessing if you find the right therapist. Know that you will be on a circular and repeating rollercoaster of emotions, and should you try to stay with your WH, that needing help from the one who hurt you is tricky and confusing. Learning to believe in them or in love again is very hard.

I wish I had better advice for you, and I'm sorry I don't. There is a thread in I Can Relate for Long Term Affairs. You may find some words of wisdom there, and you will surely find your new tribe in this strange unwelcome reality you find yourself in. There are lots of books and resources online that can help, and I found Dr. Stosny's Living and Loving after Betrayal to be my most useful resource yet, but there are dozens of them out there. Find what works for you, or what speaks to you. Remember that you will get a wide variety of feedback here, most all of it helpful and kind. There may be the occasional response that stings, so remember that everyone responds based on the story they have lived, so take the advice that you need and leave the rest.

Hugs to you and please take care of yourself, relearn who you are and what you want without the filter of wife or partner and start to rebuild a life you want with the respect you deserve. Let us know if we can help, or just use this site to think out loud or to vent. I wish you a soft place to land.

BW: 62 WH: 62 Both 57 on Dday, M 35 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays, years of trickle truth.
I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time, again.

posts: 371   ·   registered: Oct. 9th, 2018   ·   location: Southeastern USA
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survrus ( member #67698) posted at 4:13 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

EG,

Wow sorry, this happens alot, that I've seen in companies, with easily hidden work affairs.

You wrote, The AP is not married. She is a work colleague (they no longer work together). Divorced. With adult children.

Please contact her ex Husband, most likely he divorced OW because of the cheating. OW often treat their BHs poorly to get rid of them and the BHs never know why their WWs started to hate them. He should know the truth. OW may have painted him as abusive which is likely a lie.

Get tested for STDs you have no idea if OW was cheating with others besides your WH. For that matter you don't know if this was your WHs only affair.

BTW my Ws fiend only found out about her WHs rampant cheating when one of his mistresses found out he had a 2nd mistress and ratted on her. I've seen many cases where men have entire ecosystems of cheating like that.

posts: 1138   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018   ·   location: USA
id 8734371
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MeSherlock ( new member #80261) posted at 5:10 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Emptyglass. Welcome. You did right by coming here. When I read your post, I felt every pain you are feeling. Felt like I'm reading my own life story. I'm in the same boat, so just want to let you know this place has been my savior. They helped me see beyond my foggy painful truth. Great advices and sharing of feelings. Hang in there. We will get through this. Together.

MS

posts: 25   ·   registered: Apr. 27th, 2022   ·   location: USA
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Babette2008 ( member #69126) posted at 7:34 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

I’m really sorry you are going through this. I can relate, my H was unfaithful for 9 years, more than 1 AP, but he maintained an emotional affair with his first AP for many years after the physical affair ended (she dumped him - I think she didn’t want the baggage of someone with kids as she had 2 of her own). He was with his last AP for 3 years but her husband found out and blew everything up.

I agree with everything that has been said. Put yourself in a position where you don’t need to stay out of fear or desperation. Get your finances in order, find out your legal rights and take care of yourself. Don’t trust him yet, trust needs to be earned and he has shown himself to have a high capacity for dishonesty. Figure out your dealbreakers. Mine is any future infidelity, and that includes relationships that are hidden, even if platonic.

I wasn’t sure if I could stay with him, but gave myself a timeline to both get my affairs in order and to figure out if our marriage was worth saving. My husband did change and our M is better than it had been in years now that he is actually fully present. But it really was hard and if my husband wasn’t putting in a ton of effort to fix what he broke and if he still was engaging in secret relationships I would say that leaving would be a better option. Life is too short to be in a mediocre relationship with a dishonest person.

posts: 241   ·   registered: Dec. 14th, 2018
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 8:11 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

...when i discovered I asked my husband to leave and to go be with this woman and he refused. I gave him every opportunity to explore this relationship… he would not go.

He doesn't get to decide for you. It's your choice if you want to continue on in this marriage. No cheater is owed a second chance. They all know the score. This guy has defrauded you of THIRTEEN YEARS of your life at this point. And yeah.. "20+" is a long time. It was 30+ for me. The point is that you've still go a lot of life ahead, even though it probably doesn't seem that way right this minute. You don't have to take him back. I think it's good to explore that idea. No matter what you ultimately choose to do, your freedom is available. It's right there for the taking, and it's a good feeling to KNOW you have control over your future.

Did you see an attorney or a financial planner yet? If might be something to think about.

BW: 2004(online EAs),
2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 38 years;
in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5414   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8734403
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Ariopolis ( member #75786) posted at 10:03 PM on Monday, May 9th, 2022

Hi Emptyglass,

I feel like such a fool for believing

No, please don't hurt yourself like this. You believed in him because you are normal with a normal person's social standards, attitudes, and expectations of behavior.

I feel like I’ve been living with a stranger.

This is true. You don't know this person. One of the biggest challenges for you to accept is this person is going to lie to you every single chance he gets. I wouldn't believe him if he said hello.

Others have told you about how to take care of yourself. This is the single most important thing you can do right now. You are in shock from a traumatic event. If you were hit by a car, you'd get medical help. This is the same. You've just been hit by a figurative truck. If you need something to help with sleeping or the pain, don't think twice, see someone.

Please don't let your WH know about this place. You are going to get some excellent advice about the legal and financial aspect of all this and we don't want him in on the game plan.

Something I'll put out there, as soon you are ready, gather as much financial info as you can. In 13 years, he's spent money on this woman. IDK if it's just Christmas and birthday presents or if he's paying her mortgage, getting hotel rooms and taking trips with her, half of that money is yours.

For example, if he gets her a $1000 piece of jewelry twice a year for birthday/holiday, that's $1000 of your money. After 13 years, it adds up.

I hope you see an attorney and ask about what a forensic accountant can do for you. They could find out if WH has been hiding money from you. Affairs are expensive.

Most of all, do not believe a word he says. They've been preparing for this day, the day you'd find out, for a long time. She isn't going to go away quietly.

[This message edited by Ariopolis at 4:05 PM, May 9th (Monday)]

posts: 221   ·   registered: Nov. 2nd, 2020
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MeSherlock ( new member #80261) posted at 2:02 AM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

Hello Emptyglass,
Are you sure the affair ended? Did you hear both sides of the conversation or just his end? He could be pretending he was speaking to her. Anyone on the other end? Very unlikely a 13 year relationship would end cleanly and easily as a phone call. Be careful. He's buttering you up. He will continue once the dust settles.

MS

posts: 25   ·   registered: Apr. 27th, 2022   ·   location: USA
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gmc94 ( Guide #62810) posted at 4:25 AM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

Hey EmptyGlass -- so sorry you found yourself here, but am glad you found us.

It is a LOT to come to terms with our spouses living secret sexual lives, and I do think the extra long LTA (long term affair) adds dimensions to things. It takes time to heal from relational betrayal trauma, and I think it's important to be prepared for a long journey. We are all different, and we all arrive at the dday table with different personalities and histories. Some seem to more quickly able / equipped to cope & manage than others, and no matter where anyone falls on that spectrum, I think the big takeaway is that we can and DO heal from this. It's very unfair and I fought that "injustice" for a long time. However, I have learned and grown a lot and am happy with the person I am today.

I think that Tushnurse wrote of the basics - seeing an atty, getting STD check, self care, etc. Those things were super hard for me to take in, so do the best you can. Anger will come out like a sonofagun. I didn't handle that very well, and wish I'd found more productive outlets (like kickboxing vs all night screaming matches with my WH).

I think most on SI would agree that if you are interested in exploring R, you and your WS may want to read "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair' by Linda MacDonald. I'm told you can find it online for free. It's not very long (can read in an afternoon). It's basically a down & dirty rundown of things to look for in your WS to try and determine if they are even capable of R (or "R-worthy"). Even with the most active and involved and remorseful WS, you do NOT 'owe" any chances at R. That is fully your choice. The flip side is that you may want R more than anything, but if the WS cannot or will not do some hard and serious and soul-searching work, R is not likely, the WS is not 'R worthy" and IMHO there is a very high likelihood of continued cheating. FWIW, my WH has not done the "work" and I am not committed to R (more like on the LONG route to getting ducks in a row, complicated by covid, recession, job change, etc).

Doing what you can to emotionally detach is, IMHO, a good thing. Tho it sounds as if you may already have that in the works (again, we are all different and it took me well into year 2 and only in the midst of a 6-month S that I was able to really get to emotional detachment, while others seem to get that right away). Again, we do the best we can.

What do you want right now? I spent weeks/months basically wanting a time machine, to somehow make it all go away. guess it's something I had to process. I was also very resistant to seeing/accepting that I was experiencing trauma/PTSD (not all BS will have that). I couldn't eat or sleep. I cried for -literally- HOURS each day. Mind spinning, ruminating all the time. Suicidal, and spent a ton of hours playing Nancy drew. I mention all of this bc if you are going thru similar things, you are not alone. A lot of this is normal. The problem is learning how to manage and find a way through the muck of all that emotion and getting back on our feet.

Again, we are here for you. Having this forum and all the generous veterans before me was instrumental in my healing. Take what you need and leave the rest (including anything I may say).

Sending strength.

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3789   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
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 Emptyglass (original poster new member #80295) posted at 5:11 AM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

I am grateful for all the replies and to hear others stories. I am truly sorry for anyone who is suffering from this. To learn of an affair is heartbreaking… it is the worst kind of pain. It makes you question everything you know and understand about life and love. It’s a pain I would not wish on my worst enemy… I’ve gone through anger bouts and am in and out of sadness daily. I will not let this define me. I will not let it make me bitter or cynical. It will not control me.

I have gotten legal advice and yes been to dr for sleep meds and tested for std.

My adult children are also dealing with this and are just as shocked as I am. Along with our friends and family. It has changed all of our lives. I am taking one day at a time and really concentrating on myself… something I really haven’t done. My life was devoted to my family and I was last… not any more. I’m learning to put myself first.

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whatisloveanyway ( member #66450) posted at 2:47 PM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

My life was devoted to my family and I was last… not any more. I’m learning to put myself first.


Emptyglass, I could have written those same words, but it took me a lot longer to get to that simple realization than it has taken you. It looks like you are doing all the right things and in the right mindset. Stay strong.

If you google the loss cycle and look at images, you will find a variety of graphs that visualize the journey you are on. The one in green and the one that looks like a cyclone matched my process pretty well, but I also feel like the one full of scribbles some days. You and I also share the burden of knowing our WH's would have cheated on us for the remainder of their days and would likely have never found the love for us or the conscience to choose to honor their vows or to even be a decent friend. Morality doesn't pop up after a decade of selfish rationalizations and entitlement. I am still confused by the man I thought I knew and the man I find before me now, and I'm still trying to understand how to ever feel like I can know a person again. There is cognitive dissonance in every direction I look and I'm trying to accept that this is just what it is, and no more understandable than any other mysteries of the universe. When you feel unmoored, questioning everything you know about life and love, look to your touchstones to stay grounded. I'm sure you have them, as we all do. Relationships with a parent or children or friend who help you to remember that you do know exactly what love and life are, and that there are good guys in the world and you are one of them.

I think any long term cheater is by nature an expert compartmentalizer. This fact can answer a lot of your how could he questions. Not all people come with this skill and I have learned that my WH's childhood made him a perfect candidate for choosing not to deal with things he doesn't want to deal with. The same skills that helped him join the adultery club are the same skills that hinder progress and growth in reconciliation. I see things much more clearly now, and I see how the fairy tale life I thought I had and blew up in my face was partly a story I was telling myself. Looking back, I see how I idealized our relationship and our story, how I failed to take up my share of the space in our relationship. I hope you make some great discoveries and memories as you take all the space you deserve and learn to navigate your surprise life reboot.

I think it is a blessing that you have the full support of family and don't have to pretend all is well when all is not. I hope that grieving together with your family eases your pain, and theirs. I haven't told my adult children for many reasons and trying to act normally around them has been very difficult, especially because our relationship is based in honesty, and leaning in together in this crazy world. I'm not sure how I could begin to explain any of this insanity to them, or handle the guilt of being a secret keeper, especially this far out.

I wanted to suggest, if you aren't already, that you journal your feelings, progress, setbacks, wants and needs. I have hundreds of pages tracking my journey, and it has been really helpful in several ways. Most importantly it has helped me to see where I was making progress even though I felt stuck, and it helped me see how I got stuck churning in the loss cycle. It has also helped me keep track of the timeline, conversations and facts that my reality challenged WH keeps twisting or confusing and helped me break the gaslighting cycle. I don't get challenged on the facts much anymore, because I keep great notes and have always maintained a detailed calendar. That calendar has been a blessing and a curse, but the way I look back at memories through the new lens has gotten easier with time. The same goes for pictures, as they can trigger painful thoughts early in the process. If you have any social media or photos that pop up memories, you can stop most of them in settings. I've been unhinged by several "on this day" memories so I made sure I don't get blindsided by those.

Stay strong and stay well and stay in touch here if it helps you.

BW: 62 WH: 62 Both 57 on Dday, M 35 years, 2 grown kids. WH had 9 year A with MOW, 7 month false R, multiple DDays, years of trickle truth.
I got rid of her with one email. Reconciling, but the lies have piled up. Trying one more time, again.

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 Emptyglass (original poster new member #80295) posted at 3:38 PM on Tuesday, May 10th, 2022

Whatisloveanyway - I thank you. Everything you said is bang on. It is exactly what I’m going though. My husbands childhood does come into play in this unhealthy behaviour according to therapist. Not that it is an excuse but yes he had troubled upbringing …

Rollercoaster of emotions daily… Many things keep me up at night … one is the OW… I know it’s my spouse that made and broke the vows and it is my main focus but it takes two people to have an affair…. and I will never wrap my head around anyone being ok with claiming someone else’s spouse as their lover. I guess I’m cut from a different cloth. I wouldn’t be able to look myself in the mirror if I did such a thing.

Telling my adult children I don’t regret. They are adults. They deserved to know. They don’t know ugly details like I do but they know the basics. And they were extremely supportive when I didn’t have strength to do things on my own.

It hurts like hell and it’s messy but it will NOT ever define me …

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