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My Wife Had an Intense, Highly Deceptive Affair, Part II

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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 11:05 AM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

Hello, all. I’ve been posting in JFO over the last two months and the thread is about to reach its capacity of 50 pages. It was suggested to me that I consider expanding out to the General forum with my new thread, so here I am.

Old thread: https://www.survivinginfidelity.com/topics/656164/my-wife-had-an-intense-highly-deceptive-affair/

As you can see by my latest posts, I am still very much in the thick of it all, but let’s hope I don’t need another 50 pages of discussion to figure out if I want to attempt R with my wife.

In addition to my recent posts in the other thread, I can also give an update on yesterday, my wife’s 38th birthday. It was a hard day and I knew it would be going in—Feb. 24 was my wife’s second hotel stay with AP where she did some especially carnal and hedonistic acts (anal, handcuffs, four hour sex marathon, etc.), so the three month anniversary was going to be a trigger on top of the emotional complexity of celebrating her birthday.

My wife was at work and I was working from home (it was a busy work day for me), and I had to run errands, including grocery shopping to make dinner and have a cake so our two children could celebrate that evening—we also hosted my father and his wife for dinner as they were the babysitters that day.

I spent the morning in overdrive between work and driving around town, so it kept my mind busy, but the afternoon was bad. I’m still finishing up Mrs. Walloped’s thread (I have already read both of Walloped’s), and it really resonated with me—I spent much of the early afternoon in tears.

For one, at 2.5 years post-DDay, it felt like they were in a similar spot as me, who is only two months passed DDay (March 15). The thought of going through this pain for years more is unbearable. But second, I don’t feel like my wife is fully in on giving 100% to heal me. She is certainly trying—I see it clearly—and she might do a string of a dozen things right, but at least once a day there’s a big red flag. She still can often become defensive in conversations and she is still very selfishly orientated, entitled and victimized when she analyzes issues—it’s always about how something makes her feel and almost never empathy for how I feel.

I’m becoming increasingly less tolerant of her flags though—last night, after we had an enjoyable dinner celebration and the kids were asleep, she became very defensive when she asked about my day and I noted that I need more from her (we had also exchanged some texts during the day, so she knew I was in a bad place and trying my best to brave through celebrating). I stopped the conversation—I couldn’t believe she was raising her voice and telling me about how great her effort has been while I was sitting in front of her pointing out the issues.

We broke for a couple of hours and she re-engaged later in the evening—as always, starting the conversation by apologizing for her defensiveness. But then immediately becoming defensive in the new conversation. She really doesn’t see it; or she really hates me—I’m not sure there’s a third option.

She claims to want to R more than anything, but I don’t feel it. I certainly don’t feel it enough to want to reciprocate by offering R to her—and truthfully, I am not nearly over the affair enough to give R a fair shake right now. I know R would be the hardest thing I ever try to do, so I’m just not willing to do it unless I feel like it’s her sole purpose in life right now, and I don’t feel that way.

I’m also not ready for D—we have 17 years of history and I loved her every minute, along with the two wonderful children we brought into the world (ages: 7 and 3). I’m not ready to pull the plug on that life yet. As I noted frequently in the first thread, I have a high pain tolerance and I want to stand in this fire as long as I can stand it before giving up.

So it leaves me in a hellish limbo. The days drift on, but I don’t feel myself healing and I don’t see her making enough progress on her array of personal issues.

We have been in CT since the first week of DDay—we both like the therapist, who has been fairly hard on my wife. I think the sessions are worthwhile as she takes the advice of the therapist more to heart than if I say the same thing.

My wife has been seeing her own IC for two months, but those sessions, according to her, have been less helpful. Her IC keeps putting a positive spin on very obviously horrible things. My wife is planning a swap, this time to a psychologist (which I think is probably for the best considering her FOO and significant sex issues).

I have my first IC session today and I’m looking forward to it.

Anyway, this is me getting the ball rolling. As readers from my first thread can attest, I’m an open book, so feel free to probe away. There are plenty of dark corners to be explored and nothing is off the table from my perspective. I’ve found this forum to be incredibly therapeutic and I owe the posters at JFO a big thank you for their tireless help these last two months—thank you.

I’ll leave it there for now, but I understand many of you won’t have all the significant background from my thread, so I’m happy to repeat things or link back to key posts.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 11:18 AM, Wednesday, May 25th]

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 775   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8736991
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 11:39 AM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

Doc - it doesn’t sound like you reached the point in MrsWalloped thread, or perhaps it was in another separate post she wrote (I can’t recall) where she said approx two years post D day divorce was on the table. People commenting on that post said they had no idea about this at the time, as it was not previously mentioned.

Why? MrWalloped put D on the table because he thought MrsWalloped didn’t get it. She wasn’t helping him heal. At that point, they agreed that MrsWallop should post on SI. If I remember correctly that started to turn things around for them in a positive direction.

Of course, a big difference in both her A and your WWs, is that hers was not an exit A, and she absolutely refused to bad mouth her husband to her AP (she told no one of her A), actually scolding her AP at one point for discussing her husband. She loved her husband during her A while your WW not so much.

Also, she did nothing sexually with her AP that she hadn’t done with her husband, except for one thing which her husband had no interest in doing. However, her snd her AP had sex approx 20 times whereas your WW had sex perhaps 4 times.

So, there are some similarities with the Walloped story snd some significant differences. However, I think a big takeaway is that mrswalloped at two years post D day wasn’t helping her husband heal properly and that things turned around I believe when she started posting on SI. Something to consider…

posts: 480   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8736993
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 1:13 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

HellFire's Post from my previous thread, so I'm responding to it here.

In her mind, sex was a reward I didn't deserve.

You've said you can't forgive until you know why.

As a woman, reading this, I believe I know why. And I think she does too, but she's too scared to say it.

Reading what I quoted, she did it because she didn't love you. She was so detached from you, that she didn't care anymore. It's also why she demonized you to friends and family. She meant those words.

When he didn't leave his wife, she didnt want to be alone. You said as much.

She didn't care about your online activities, because she didn't love you.

I'm sorry. But I believe I'm spot on. She cheated because she didn't love you.

On the contrary, she has said it--she admitted she fell out of love with me--her reasons for staying were a combination of "loving me" as the father of her children and not wanting to be alone. But she's also pointed out that she didn't think I'd care if she left me--she had projected her falling out of love with me onto me, assuming I felt the same for her.

I worry it could even be worse--what if she never loved me? What if she's incapable of love? I don't think that's true, but I'm willing to chase this to the bottom of the barrel.

I also have now come to think it didn't matter that he wouldn't leave his wife; her plan was ultimately still to leave me. Obviously she wanted him as an option, but even when that was very unlikely, she pressed on badmouthing me because in her mind our marriage was over regardless of her and AP. She won't fully admit she was open to additional sexual partners, but I think it's obvious that she was--if the right guy/situation came around, she'd have cheated on me and AP at the same time in a heartbeat. She was in a full-out free fall from reality with no moral boundary to contain her.

So yea, no disagreement from me--you're spot on. But now what? Now she claims to be deeply in love with me. Our endless talks where I've opened up to her have made her realize what a mistake she made and now she wants desperately to R with me. I don't think that's how love works and I don't see her making progress on her individual issues as they still flare up every day in our talks. I also can't claim she's incapable of figuring it out and changing.

But even this morning, she admitted to me she read a few of the recent pages in my old thread--I told her I was disappointed as I asked her not to--but she pressed on saying she needed to see the type of advice I was receiving. She was particularly upset over this portion of this post from numb&dumb:

Armchair psycho-analyst talk, but here goes. . .

She has Daddy issues. When she was having an A she was rebelling against her archetype of the main male influence in her life.

She refuses to clear the air with her Dad so later in life she tried to "get back," at the main male influence in her life (you). Her vitriol was meant for her father not you.

Something she should explore with a better trained p_doc.

She got hyper defensive: "who are these people to psychoanalyze me? Why are you listening to these people and then getting angry with me and judging me." It was shocking to see. And so completely childish.

Even more absurd, his post couldn't be more obviously true. It's not possible for her to think it's not true either--she KNOWS she has significant issues with her father that have carried over to me. But rather than acknowledge it and seek to explore it, her response is to blame the random guy on the internet for telling her the obvious. She is so intellectually uncurious and emotionally immature that it physically hurts me at times.

Edit: Also to clarify, I’m specifically looking to understand how she could do this to me—the cruelty of it is beyond my comprehension for someone she loved and the father of her children. I’m also looking to understand why she would blow up her life and the life of her children.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 3:19 PM, Wednesday, May 25th]

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 775   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8736996
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 1:46 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

Doc - it doesn’t sound like you reached the point in MrsWalloped thread, or perhaps it was in another separate post she wrote (I can’t recall) where she said approx two years post D day divorce was on the table. People commenting on that post said they had no idea about this at the time, as it was not previously mentioned.

Why? MrWalloped put D on the table because he thought MrsWalloped didn’t get it. She wasn’t helping him heal. At that point, they agreed that MrsWallop should post on SI. If I remember correctly that started to turn things around for them in a positive direction.

Of course, a big difference in both her A and your WWs, is that hers was not an exit A, and she absolutely refused to bad mouth her husband to her AP (she told no one of her A), actually scolding her AP at one point for discussing her husband. She loved her husband during her A while your WW not so much.

Also, she did nothing sexually with her AP that she hadn’t done with her husband, except for one thing which her husband had no interest in doing. However, her snd her AP had sex approx 20 times whereas your WW had sex perhaps 4 times.

So, there are some similarities with the Walloped story snd some significant differences. However, I think a big takeaway is that mrswalloped at two years post D day wasn’t helping her husband heal properly and that things turned around I believe when she started posting on SI. Something to consider…

Mrs. Walloped mentions that early on in her thread--as you point out, thats' why she was writing it. I'm about halfway through hers and read all of his. And yea, it's scary to think it could be years from now and I'll feel the same way I do now. That's far more frightening than D.

And yes, there are lots of similarities between Mrs. W and my wife; also some major differences. There seems to have been a love between her and her AP and none for my wife and hers, but again, that may be because my wife's AP had no love for her unlike Mrs. W's. And yes, Mrs. W always maintained love for her husband and my wife had fallen out of love with me. I think in different scenarios perhaps those details could be swapped around--but I think the feelings Mrs. W expressed about how she felt during the affair mirror very closely my wife's, so I appreciate the perspective.

As for the amount of sex between my wife and her AP, I'll lay down a quick timeline for the new readers:

Sept. - Dec., 2021: EA develops while they work together on PTA, escalating into flirting.

Dec. 17: First Kiss

Jan. 4, 2022: First sex; overnight hotel stay--they fuck 4-5x, stop using condoms halfway through (my wife not on BC).

Jan 18: She meets him in his car in a parking garage to give him oral sex, swallows, then is pleasured by his fingers.

Jan. 19: First time sexting, which develops into 2-3x per week.

Jan 24: Oral sex in his car, swallows; he fingers her.

Feb. 8: Oral sex in his car, swallows; she's on her period, so no reciprocation.

Feb. 24: Second hotel stay--at her request, he brings handcuffs and fucks her ass--it's a four-hour marathon session, 4-5x--best sex of her life at the time.

March 2: Oral sex in his car, then after she swallows, she rides him to her own orgasm cowgirl.

That's the last time they saw each other--so they had intercourse on three occasions. They had plans to meet in his car again on March 17, but I found out about the affair on March 15. They were also in early discussions planning a third hotel stay, likely in April.

There are obviously a significant amount of painful details about those meet ups as it involves me, but that's all been written about already (like the nude photo she sent me from the hotel on Feb. 24, the special meals I was making for her some of the days she was late to be home, etc.).

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 3:13 PM, Wednesday, May 25th]

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 775   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737000
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jujuchrist ( member #78594) posted at 3:21 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

Now she claims to be deeply in love with me.

Love is not the only thing to consider. The problem is not love, but boundaries.

Many WS claim they love their BS even during the A. So, "love" does not prevent them from having an affair.

Today I feel like you're wondering: "Does she really love me? Does she really want to commit in R?"

That sounds like "her love will prevent her to have another A".

Instead, ask yourself, "What boundaries did she install that will lead her to do the right decision next time? Even if she doesn't love you in a few years. No love doesn't mean no respect.

Consider this:
Ask her "why would you not cheat on me tomorrow?"

If she answers "because I love you"
then you reply "so what will happen if you don't love me?"

If she answers "because this is not who I am anymore"
then she may be R candidate

[This message edited by jujuchrist at 3:59 PM, Wednesday, May 25th]

Julien

posts: 68   ·   registered: Apr. 1st, 2021   ·   location: Marseille, France
id 8737006
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 3:25 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

It's not possible for her to think it's not true either--she KNOWS she has significant issues with her father that have carried over to me. But rather than acknowledge it and seek to explore it, her response is to blame the random guy on the internet for telling her the obvious. She is so intellectually uncurious and emotionally immature that it physically hurts me at times.

She has a way to go to becoming someone worthy of R and most of that has nothing to do with her infidelity. She really needs a better IC. You've had these discussions with her about her father right? How receptive was she to that tie then? Would I be right in speculation that in her family appearances are what matter? That's where this is coming from. She doesn't accept that appearances and what others think is not as important as fixing the brokenness a part of which is hyper-vigilence on appearances over doing the right thing.

She's right in that we are all internet strangers seeing her and her actions through the limited lense of your words. We're also tainted by our own tramas and histories. While that does mean that anything we speculate can be incorrect, that doesn't discount that there can be some real truth from our experience and more distant perspective. I'd poke at why this particular line of thought upset her so much in the "The Lady doth protest too much" manner.

I'll second the caution of projecting the Wallops onto your situation. While I see similarities but there are some important differences. Emotionally at least MrsWalloped transgressed much less so there was less to redeem herself from and MrWalloped had less to heal from. I get the impression that MrsWalloped was all in to save the M from dday on even though she did stumble a bit. I'd say Walloped had D on the table much more than you do. Your WW on the other hand doubled down on AP and you've been more focused on fixing your WW than healing yourself.

It's early for both of you. You're both going to stumble again over the next year. Several times. It will get worse before it gets better. As long as you still wake up wanting to R, keep moving forward. Watch your WW's actions to ensure she's moving forward with you. One way or the other eventually you'll find the path you need to follow and be at peace with that.

[This message edited by grubs at 3:26 PM, Wednesday, May 25th]

posts: 1264   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8737007
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 3:38 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

I’ll point out, and this might be technical, but Mrs walloped post D day and through analysis never actually fell in love with her AP. She thought she loved him during the A but later realized she fell in love with the fantasy not the person. The AP never really loved her. He was a serial cheater in false R with his wife at the time.

Your WW also now, like mrs walloped, realizes that she never loved her AP. She simply didn’t love you. Both mr and Mrs walloped agreed that had they not had young children (I think two five year olds, two teenagers, and one young adult who had just gotten married), he would have divorced her in a heartbeat. The resentment Mrs walloped developed for her husband I believe started from him not getting involved in planning their daughter’s wedding, but of course that must have just scratched the surface.

Your children are young as well. There is another excellent thread out there right now about when is the best time to D one’s WS - when the kids are young or just out of the house at 18.

If you didn’t have young children would your thought process be different regarding D? Of course, this also has to be going through your WWs mind - that she fears becoming a single mom. What percent do you think she’s staying because you have young kids compared to her new found love for you?

Plus there’s the loyalty factor. You’re loyal snd she’s not. Kids leave the house at 18 and docs’ WW decides that she loves Doc but is not in love with him - classic cliche. Then she moves to D.

Of course, there’s that potential outcome, but because you don’t want your kids to grow up in a two parent household I assume the risk of this occurring is worth it?

posts: 480   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8737010
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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 4:09 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

You asked her not to read the thread. She did. She is supposed to rebuild trust and respect what you need or want to heal, but she doesn't actually care about that. She wants what she wants when she wants it. Of course she is going to decide she knows best because people on your thread are making her out to be the villain here. She believes she is the victim.

She knew you were feeling bad and white knuckling through a birthday celebration that she didn't deserve. But you did it for your kids. And yet, it isn't good enough.

She is defensive at every opportunity and feels entitled to have her comfort over yours. She has no shame is raising her voice or minimizing your hurt to bring her own hurt to center stage. She is the star of her own show at all times. It is incredibly immature.

I mean, she is SHOWING you she isn't ready for R and she is also showing you she isn't actually afraid to lose you. She feels entitled to R. She may say the right words but her actions do not show empathy or humility. You are good at explaining away her bad behavior but there really is no excuse. She is a grown woman.

I'm sorry she isn't stepping up for you. I don't think she believes you that d is actually on the table.

posts: 283   ·   registered: Jan. 1st, 2020
id 8737016
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DailyGratitude ( member #79494) posted at 4:30 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

Doc
I have not read the entire thread on JFO but I have followed your journey. I am sorry for all that you are going through.
I think your ww and my Xwh are very similar in many ways
Back story:
My XWH had a 1.5 year long EA 20 years ago. He did the typical apology bit and showed me he loved me via sex and gifts
But deep down I wasn’t sure if he truly loved me because like your ww, he was very defensive and even belligerent when I told him how I felt, what I needed from him, etc. In his mind he thought he was doing enough so "why the hell is she complaining?"
He claimed he wanted to R and was going to do whatever it took. But his actions said otherwise. I felt devalued, disrespected, and not cherished!! I felt like I was just a being in his life. I wasn’t his priority. (I am not saying that a person should make his spouse a priority but after an affair and during the early stages of R, I think it is paramount that the betrayed become the priority and is made to feel as such)
My ex is a selfish, emotionally immature man who cannot and will not do any self introspection. As a result he is not self aware. He also has said IC is not very helpful-that he knows everything already. He says the therapist hasn’t told him stuff he doesn’t already know. He also accused me of psychoanalyzing him and disagreed with pretty much every expert thoughts out there on FOO, attachment, addictions, etc.

Anyway I am like you- I tolerate a lot. I loved him deeply and was not going to throw away years of marriage. And I also wanted to preserve my family unit. I wanted my three children to grow up with a mother and a father.
Fast forward 20 years, he had a PA and this time he left for the AP. Just like that. He said pretty much everything your ww said shortly after DDay. So cold cruel. After 25 years of marriage.
I believe he was involved multiple micro cheating throughout the marriage but I just didn’t know about them.
I share my story because I think people like your ww and ex have a disorder/character flaw that is so deep it is bound to resurface in ugly ways in the future. If I had known my ex was going to do this many years after his EA, I would’ve left then. It would’ve saved me many years of living in pain, feeling less than, the sadness, wondering if he loved me and trying so hard to get him to love me. I lived on nuggets of good moments he gave me. I used them to rationalize the times when he didn’t meet my emotional needs. When he shut me down from talking about the affair or when he was emotionally distant. I was very unhappy but I hung on hoping he will change. Hoping things will get better.
I know divorce is frightening. Have you considered a legal separation?

Me: BW mid 50’sHim: WH late 50’sMarrried 25 yearsDday: EA 2002 PA 9/2021Divorce 10/2021 (per wh’s request) WH left to be with AP

posts: 307   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8737017
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 4:50 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

Love is not the only thing to consider. The problem is not love, but boundaries.

Many WS claim they love their BS even during the A. So, "love" does not prevent them from having an affair.

Today I feel like you're wondering: "Does she really love me? Does she really want to commit in R?"

That sounds like "her love will prevent her to have another A".

Instead, ask yourself, "What boundaries did she install that will lead her to do the right decision next time? Even if she doesn't love you in a few years. No love doesn't mean no respect.

Consider this:

Ask her "why would you not cheat on me tomorrow?"

If she answers "because I love you"

then you reply "so what will happen if you don't love me?"

If she answers "because this is not who I am anymore"

then she may be R candidate

I'm happy to do that, but I don't think her not having an affair again is my criteria for R. I want to be happy; I want her to be happy. I want her to love and respect me and I want her to feel loved and respected by me. I want us to have transparent, open communication on all topics. I'm shooting for the stars on this new relationship because anything less doesn't feel worth it.

She has a way to go to becoming someone worthy of R and most of that has nothing to do with her infidelity. She really needs a better IC. You've had these discussions with her about her father right? How receptive was she to that tie then? Would I be right in speculation that in her family appearances are what matter? That's where this is coming from. She doesn't accept that appearances and what others think is not as important as fixing the brokenness a part of which is hyper-vigilence on appearances over doing the right thing.

She's right in that we are all internet strangers seeing her and her actions through the limited lense of your words. We're also tainted by our own tramas and histories. While that does mean that anything we speculate can be incorrect, that doesn't discount that there can be some real truth from our experience and more distant perspective. I'd poke at why this particular line of thought upset her so much in the "The Lady doth protest too much" manner.

I'll second the caution of projecting the Wallops onto your situation. While I see similarities but there are some important differences. Emotionally at least MrsWalloped transgressed much less so there was less to redeem herself from and MrWalloped had less to heal from. I get the impression that MrsWalloped was all in to save the M from dday on even though she did stumble a bit. I'd say Walloped had D on the table much more than you do. Your WW on the other hand doubled down on AP and you've been more focused on fixing your WW than healing yourself.

It's early for both of you. You're both going to stumble again over the next year. Several times. It will get worse before it gets better. As long as you still wake up wanting to R, keep moving forward. Watch your WW's actions to ensure she's moving forward with you. One way or the other eventually you'll find the path you need to follow and be at peace with that.

I agree she has a long way to go and it has little to do with her infidelity--that's my issue to deal with; her problems were festering long before the affair.

I don't think that her family is focused on appearances, but they go to great lengths to avoid conflict--so perhaps yes? It just has always seemed to me it's less about appearances and more that they don't have the stomach for any discomfort; and conflict is all about discomfort. I do at times feel like she's trying to convince me she's trying without actually trying. And I also think she's genuinely lost and doesn't know how to try. She needs a new IC for sure and she's making that swap tomorrow. She needs someone who will force her to dig--her current IC kept trying to prevent her from digging, noting that it would just lead her down a long rabbit hole. It's a confusing line of thought for someone dedicating their life to psychoanalysis.

I'm not sure I agree with your perspective on Mrs. Walloped. She told her AP that she loved him; she wandered the streets of NYC holding hands and eating out with him; she had sex with him dozens of times--multiple times each week--freely walked naked around his apartment. She was flat out dating her AP and felt like she was falling in love with him. My wife was her AP's whore. And it's very clear that's exactly what he thought about her. And he was done with her the moment I found out because it increased his risk of OBS finding out. It's also clear that my wife's feelings for him never matured near love--I think their relationship was more a reflection of her bad feelings for me--she wanted an out, any out. Within days my wife had no feelings for AP at all--and I believe her--there's been no attempt to contact each other and truthfully, I doubt she'd contact him if I divorced her tomorrow.

I’ll point out, and this might be technical, but Mrs walloped post D day and through analysis never actually fell in love with her AP. She thought she loved him during the A but later realized she fell in love with the fantasy not the person. The AP never really loved her. He was a serial cheater in false R with his wife at the time.

Your WW also now, like mrs walloped, realizes that she never loved her AP. She simply didn’t love you. Both mr and Mrs walloped agreed that had they not had young children (I think two five year olds, two teenagers, and one young adult who had just gotten married), he would have divorced her in a heartbeat. The resentment Mrs walloped developed for her husband I believe started from him not getting involved in planning their daughter’s wedding, but of course that must have just scratched the surface.

Your children are young as well. There is another excellent thread out there right now about when is the best time to D one’s WS - when the kids are young or just out of the house at 18.

If you didn’t have young children would your thought process be different regarding D? Of course, this also has to be going through your WWs mind - that she fears becoming a single mom. What percent do you think she’s staying because you have young kids compared to her new found love for you?

Plus there’s the loyalty factor. You’re loyal snd she’s not. Kids leave the house at 18 and docs’ WW decides that she loves Doc but is not in love with him - classic cliche. Then she moves to D.

Of course, there’s that potential outcome, but because you don’t want your kids to grow up in a two parent household I assume the risk of this occurring is worth it?

Kids are a major factor in all of this obviously. My parents divorced the day I left for college at 18 (youngest sibling)--I don't have negative feelings from my childhood, but I knew they were unhappy. I'll need to dig deeper into it in IC though (maybe I have repressed feelings I'm not aware of). I feel like it was better for me them staying together for my behalf, but I can't gauge how much better. I do feel that strong pull to do the same for my children, especially if we can maintain a relatively happy household. My youngest is only three though, so that's a long time to white knuckle my way to an eventual divorce.

On her end, my gut is she's more fearful of that. Right now, she's still relatively young and hot, so she can leverage her beauty to find a new mate. At the age of 50~, she'd lose leverage.

My instinct at first was I'd have divorced immediately if not for the kids. I said that and I believed it. I'm less sure now. I feel it's been valuable for me personally to go through all this pain and gather all these additional facts. I don't know if I could have walked with so many unanswered questions regardless. Again though, on her end, if not for the kids, I think she'd have left me, though she's a relatively weak person and I still think she'd be looking for a monkey branch to a new relationship first. But again, it's all relative because without the strain of children, it's unlikely our marriage would have broken this significantly--certainly not blaming them, just pointing out the obvious added stress of raising children vs. what our marriage was pre-kids.

Lastly, I think my wife is currently staying for me, not the kids. I think she's more afraid of being without a partner than being a single mom. I also have begun to understand her perspective on the emotional swing she's gone through--she went from feeling we had zero emotional connection and I didn't love her to now feeling more emotionally connected to me than ever before and knowing for certain I love her.

You asked her not to read the thread. She did. She is supposed to rebuild trust and respect what you need or want to heal, but she doesn't actually care about that. She wants what she wants when she wants it. Of course she is going to decide she knows best because people on your thread are making her out to be the villain here. She believes she is the victim.

She knew you were feeling bad and white knuckling through a birthday celebration that she didn't deserve. But you did it for your kids. And yet, it isn't good enough.

She is defensive at every opportunity and feels entitled to have her comfort over yours. She has no shame is raising her voice or minimizing your hurt to bring her own hurt to center stage. She is the star of her own show at all times. It is incredibly immature.

I mean, she is SHOWING you she isn't ready for R and she is also showing you she isn't actually afraid to lose you. She feels entitled to R. She may say the right words but her actions do not show empathy or humility. You are good at explaining away her bad behavior but there really is no excuse. She is a grown woman.

I'm sorry she isn't stepping up for you. I don't think she believes you that d is actually on the table.

Her betrayal reading the thread hurt me, but you're right that it falls along the lines of historically selfish behavior. I didn't even dig into how much it bothered me because her immature reaction to the daddy issues post made me so livid it out-weighed everything else. And she claims she knows she's the villain, but I don't think she believes it.

And she's clearly not ready for R, even though she's pleading for it. That's why I'm in limbo. I struggle with whether or not she's afraid of losing me or not. I think she is, but I sense that it comes in waves for her. So perhaps you're right, she'll have a moment fearful of D, lose her mind thinking it's about to come, but then on the whole, feel relatively safe after it doesn't.

It's really hard for me to interpret that though because I also feel like she's been mentally preparing for me to D her and trying to put herself in a mindset where it doesn't break her completely. She's said to me numerous times that she thinks I'm going to eventually divorce her, I'm just warming myself up to the idea. Maybe she's right? I hope if that was the case I'd be more self-aware of it--it also may prove to be a self-fulfilling prophecy from her.

[This message edited by Drstrangelove at 5:57 PM, Wednesday, May 25th]

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 775   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737019
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 5:47 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

I know divorce is frightening. Have you considered a legal separation?

Thank you for sharing your story. My wife has been unhappy for a long time clearly. I need to believe she's happy/capable of happiness to recommit to her long-term. But for right now, I just need her to show me she's all in to help me heal and willing to address her issues--that's the minimum for me to offer R.

Divorce is frightening, but so is my current life. There are no good choices, so I feel like fear won't affect my choice very much. I suppose legal separation could be a good intermediary step before divorce, assuming we're both willing to stay faithful to the other. On my end, I don't know that it helps me--I feel like it just complicates any attempt at R--the house, kids, everything becomes complicated.

One benefit is perhaps it scares my wife into waking up out of her fog. I just don't know that I have the patience for that--for us to sell the house, live separately, coordinate kids, while I go to sleep every night wondering if she's made progress. I'm here now--this moment is all hers. It's my gift to her. If she can't seize it, I think I'll have to just go.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 775   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737027
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 5:49 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

I'm happy to do that, but I don't think her not having an affair again is my criteria for R. I want to be happy; I want her to be happy. I want her to love and respect me and I want her to feel loved and respected by me. I want us to have transparent, open communication on all topics. I'm shooting for the stars on this new relationship because anything less doesn't feel worth it.

I think this is a good way to frame the ONLY reasons to R — to get something worthy of you and your time.

For me, I wish my marriage took a less destructive path than infidelity, but rebuilding from the ground up has created a relationship that we should have had before all of the carnage.

As you describe your wife’s defensive reflex, it took nearly 3-years for my wife to understand there is no defense for choosing to cheat. No one wants to be the villain in their own life story, and WS generate a myriad of excuses, reasons, and resentments to attempt to justify selfish choices they KNOW are wrong in the moment. Defensiveness is really a way to mitigate those poor choices, and actually, mindset is important, those excuses tend to address WHY they needed validation from someone outside of their marriage.

One key for me, is that I found here among all the horrible stories, is some WS are bad people making bad decisions, and some WS are good people making bad decisions. I had to look at the big picture — was my wife a good person in other aspects of her life? My wife is a great mother (although no WS is a good parent during the A), a great daughter, sister, good worker, etc..

Then the focus is on whether or not someone can become a safe partner again, someone, as you mentioned, you can shoot for the stars on a NEW relationship.

My wife’s A was an LTA. She bought into a family friend’s bullshit hook, line and sinker and thought she was in love. She got dumped after AP was done with her and decided to take her secret to the grave. I don’t mention the details for comparison, all A’s are horror shows. I’m the most surprised person on the planet at this point, because I didn’t expect to stay. I agree with other members here that none of us owe our spouses a last chance.

Sometime next week it will be six years since my wife confessed her A.

While I will always, always hate what happened, I love the world my wife and I have made for each other NOW, today.

No masks, no games, no walking on eggshells, complete, open communication about anything and everything.

It’s uphill both ways, and I wouldn’t wish this Hell on anyone (except maybe the former family friend AP), yet, I am glad I stuck it out,

Married 34+ years, together 40+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived
Restoration takes time.
"Circumstances don't make the man, they only reveal him to himself." ― Epictetus

posts: 4371   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8737029
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 6:07 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

I think this is a good way to frame the ONLY reasons to R — to get something worthy of you and your time.

For me, I wish my marriage took a less destructive path than infidelity, but rebuilding from the ground up has created a relationship that we should have had before all of the carnage.

As you describe your wife’s defensive reflex, it took nearly 3-years for my wife to understand there is no defense for choosing to cheat. No one wants to be the villain in their own life story, and WS generate a myriad of excuses, reasons, and resentments to attempt to justify selfish choices they KNOW are wrong in the moment. Defensiveness is really a way to mitigate those poor choices, and actually, mindset is important, those excuses tend to address WHY they needed validation from someone outside of their marriage.

One key for me, is that I found here among all the horrible stories, is some WS are bad people making bad decisions, and some WS are good people making bad decisions. I had to look at the big picture — was my wife a good person in other aspects of her life? My wife is a great mother (although no WS is a good parent during the A), a great daughter, sister, good worker, etc..

Then the focus is on whether or not someone can become a safe partner again, someone, as you mentioned, you can shoot for the stars on a NEW relationship.

My wife’s A was an LTA. She bought into a family friend’s bullshit hook, line and sinker and thought she was in love. She got dumped after AP was done with her and decided to take her secret to the grave. I don’t mention the details for comparison, all A’s are horror shows. I’m the most surprised person on the planet at this point, because I didn’t expect to stay. I agree with other members here that none of us owe our spouses a last chance.

Sometime next week it will be six years since my wife confessed her A.

While I will always, always hate what happened, I love the world my wife and I have made for each other NOW, today.

No masks, no games, no walking on eggshells, complete, open communication about anything and everything.

It’s uphill both ways, and I wouldn’t wish this Hell on anyone (except maybe the former family friend AP), yet, I am glad I stuck it out.

Thank you for sharing some details of your story--I always appreciate that from posters as it fleshes out the perspective they're coming from.

It pains me to think I need to go through this hell to get to a better relationship, but I'm an "ends justify the means" type of guy. If a happy relationship with my wife is possible, I want it. But as you can likely tell from my recent posts, the doubt is creeping in hard right now. It also amazes me how quickly the doubt magnifies. I can have a stretch of good days with her and think I'm climbing the mountain, but a couple of bad days like the last two and I spiral fast. I feel like I can't catch myself and it just makes me more aware of how incapable my wife is of helping me in these moments.

I think the relationship you have with your wife is wonderful, but I have serious doubt my wife is capable of being a participant in that kind of relationship with anyone. I hope I'm wrong and I'll give her as much time to wake up as I can tolerate.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 775   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737031
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BeingNaive ( member #30652) posted at 6:51 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

Her betrayal reading the thread hurt me, but you're right that it falls along the lines of historically selfish behavior. I didn't even dig into how much it bothered me because her immature reaction to the daddy issues post made me so livid it out-weighed everything else. And she claims she knows she's the villain, but I don't think she believes it.

Not only was it another betrayal, but it just proves you cannot trust her. You specifically told her not to read it and she didn't care. It was more important to see what people were saying about her than respecting your wishes. I do not believe she only read a few of the most recent responses on your post. I truly believe she read everything you and posters have said.

It should be glaring obvious that it is all about her and any progress you've seen her do has been for show. She had tons of replies to react to. Some that were very thought provoking and could have benefitted her to address. Instead, she chose a response that was completely about her that she didn't like.

I'm sorry, but I don't see your wife doing as well as you thought she had been and I've felt that way for awhile. I was hoping I was just being overly critical, but her betraying you and not caring about what YOU said you needed...I don't think I was wrong.

posts: 276   ·   registered: Jan. 6th, 2011   ·   location: Michigan
id 8737041
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 Drstrangelove (original poster member #80134) posted at 7:05 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

Not only was it another betrayal, but it just proves you cannot trust her. You specifically told her not to read it and she didn't care. It was more important to see what people were saying about her than respecting your wishes. I do not believe she only read a few of the most recent responses on your post. I truly believe she read everything you and posters have said.

That's the hard truth about it: she didn't read the posts to gain insight into how I was feeling or to seek tools for what she could do to help me; she did it out of the sheer curiosity of wanting to know if people were saying mean things about her (lol). And then after doing it, she was so upset about what she read, she thought it was more important to call it out to me in the hopes I'd stop posting here (to stop the mean people from saying the mean things) than it was to keep it secret to avoid revealing she betrayed me. And I think it's great she's transparent, but it's for all the wrong reasons--she told me purely with selfish intent.

She also emailed me today apologizing for reading the posts and saying she knows she betrayed my trust, so I'm betting she saw the above posts on this page on the topic and became self-aware enough to raise it to me. So I'd say you're right--she probably read more than she said and she's probably still doing it. It won't change a thing I write though.

And look, I know I'm dumping on her in one post and defending her in another and the swings are likely exhausting to read, but that's a perfect reflection of my life and mind right now. She can be so sweet and compassionate and then the ugly parts of her character shine through and it all resets.

Me: BH, 38 (37 at time of A)
Her: WW, 38 (37 at time of A)
A: 9/21 - 3/22 (3 month EA; 3 month PA)
DDay: March 15, 2022
Status: Limbo

posts: 775   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022
id 8737046
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 7:06 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

I hope I'm wrong and I'll give her as much time to wake up as I can tolerate.

Well, I imagine she’s awake. And if she reads this thread too, I will add that SI is great because when one reads a ton of stories here, they are replete with frightening similarities. The reasons people choose to cheat are NEVER unique. It’s weak esteem, and/or FOO issues or unresolved resentment or a combination of all those things.

Infidelity is indefensible. It fixes nothing. It cures nothing. It helps no one.

Again, I mentioned no one wants to be the villain. Unless we’re sociopaths, we look to be accepted by other human beings.

Part of the defense for my wife was — she feared I would only see the lesser version of her, the one who made all the shitty choices.

My wife didn’t know all in would be enough. And she was right to be concerned. Sometimes all in is NOT enough.

That said, on my part, once I got there (2 years into recovery) was to let her know I absolutely saw the good in her and recognized the work she was doing to be a better, safer partner.

I was able to do that once she dropped the endless excuses for her bad choices.

Challenge your wife on the half-assed answers all WS seem to use at one point or another - "I didn’t think you loved/needed/wanted me." Or the dreaded "Love you but not IN love with you" line that’s near universal.

Easier to see a path once the defenses give way to reason. As in, there is no defense for cheating.

Married 34+ years, together 40+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived
Restoration takes time.
"Circumstances don't make the man, they only reveal him to himself." ― Epictetus

posts: 4371   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: PNW. The adventure continues.
id 8737047
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truthsetmefree ( member #7168) posted at 8:05 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

I'm shooting for the stars on this new relationship because anything less doesn't feel worth it.

I think you are falling into a trap that many of us do soon after dday. We feel an urgent sense to make a decision - D or R - and if it’s the latter, it has to be even better than it was before.

It’s not hard to understand why that would be a focus. It’s two-fold: We think we can mitigate the damage already done - either by getting out of it sooner or fast-forwarding into the reconciliation. AND the only way we can justify a reconciliation (and therefore internally accept something that was likely previously completely unacceptable) is if we come out with something even better. This is what puts an urgency on us and the need to somehow grab the reins and control the outcome - whatever it may be. As I’ve tried to point out in earlier posts, this is all a more internal battle than it seems.

Infidelity is a crack if the foundation of our entire worlds. It’s why you see so many of us STILL processing things years later - regardless of the outcomes of our marriages. You can’t bypass how this foundational crack subsequently affects all the other life ideals you had. You intuitively understand this when you say things like you did in a previous post (reconciliation vs a bunch of tinder hookups). It’s because you cannot really foresee how this plays out so your mind is trying to create scenarios to fill in that gap.

You can try to read the "tea leaves" - everything from how you WW behaves in any situation to the individual experiences we have each had. It’s not that you won’t still gleam some information. But it’s in the process of assimilation of LOTS of that info where you will find YOUR story - your answers, your path forward. It’s a process. The decision for D or R is really irrelevant at this point - it can even be a distraction that serves to only give you an illusion of control.

I may be reading your posts incorrectly…but I sense this real urgency in all of them. I understand that completely so there’s no judgment from me. I do think it’s one reason why you have generated so many responses (compared to other newbies). That’s not a bad thing when it comes to the information gathering…but it is also a snake that can eat its own tail (in that the urgency and the responses to that urgency creates more need for control - which you don’t have and that only creates more urgency. Make sense?)

Having been here a long time and having also eaten much of my own tail, the thing that I can tell you that seems to be a common regret (regardless of marital outcome) is that so much of our lives were lost in this process. We focus so much time and energy on decisions to not have future regrets that that actually becomes the regret. From my own experience this is the most absolute and resounding warning I can give you…to be aware of what you may be trading in each of these moments. You’re early in this…things do genuinely feel that urgent. But realize that ultimately the reins you are holding may actually lead to the bit that is in YOUR mouth.

Since I’ve now said all that then I should have advice. So here it is…and take it for what it’s worth (bearing in mind that it’s also free laugh ). Slow down. Be ok without having answers or direction yet. Allow this to unfold as it is and without trying to control it. Become an observer instead of a master. Open up your intentions to let this experience just teach you - and in ways or matters you might not expect. Focus more on what’s going on inside of you rather than just external to you…realize this may be the means and let go of the end. Pay attention to everything else that may be passing you by - those things really matter too. You have no choice but to go through this experience - this is the bit. Let go of the reins and the experience will be much kinder to you. ❤️

Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are. ~ Augustine of Hippo

posts: 8870   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2005
id 8737058
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 8:20 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

Rereading your summary is very painful for me.

My wife was on a similar timeline but I discovered a few days after the first kiss. It was certainly her intent to continue in this direction.

My fWW definitely avoided real accountability for a year. She gave me the things I asked for materially (tracking, electronic transparency, and my own poor decision to accept work only contact with report out). She didn't put in a big leadership level of effort though. Mostly because I put up with it instead of being well and truly ready to walk out most of the time.

It all changed when divorce looked like the only realistic option to me. And not overnight, but over a month or so she put in real work and started showing real remorse and understanding.

It's still relatively early for you and some things have gone in the right direction. She needs to lead the repair efforts or you will get worn to the bone.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2028   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8737061
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Jameson1977 ( member #54177) posted at 8:48 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

Dr., while I agree with others about her reaction to the daddy issues post, this scenario is why I don’t believe it is beneficial for couples to be posting on SI, especially so soon after dday.

I suspect she is reading everything you and others post so she can get some insight into your thoughts, not for a good reason, but to try to obtain some kind of advantage….knowledge is power.

This is your place to use as a sounding board, journal, whatever you want to call it. Now, she will likely continue to read and try to use the information gained her to her advantage.

Another thing that I’ve noticed in your posts lately, she screws up (most WS’s do continually after dday), gets angry and deflects, then apologizes to you after. Same with my WW. Mine was trying to control everything and did more damage to our marriage than if she had simply been honest with me from the get go.

My WW posted on SI…..once lol. After dday 2 or maybe 3, I mentioned again that she might get good advice from the other WS’s here. And yes, she would probably read things that were hard to hear.

My WW’s one and only post was written very well, seemed to be from the heart, but I learned afterwards that she was still holding back information and truth from me. The replies to her post were genuine and kind.

I also asked my WW to read MrsWalloped post as I felt there were a lot of similarities. My WW couldn’t even make it past one page of posts before she said it was too much. I was really disappointed in her that she couldn’t even read more than one page.

I believe (and may be wrong) but MrsWalloped agreed to not read MrWalloped’s thread. She eventually did and had a breakdown after reading both his comments and others.

The first 6 months after dday were certainly the worst for both of us. My WW attempted suicide, she continued to try to manage the situation, and I was drunk half the time after work, which made things much worse. This is a really tough period after dday. Your WW has a lot of work to do on herself. Yes, there are a lot of marital issues, there are in any marriage, but right now, she needs to put in the effort (not just writing and talking with you) to address her issues, then maybe sometime down the road, you and her can address marital and family issues.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, it took an ultimatum from me to my WW to get her off her ass and into therapy to address her underlying issues. She is a healthier person now, but without that ultimatum, she wouldn’t have made the changes needed. Ultimately, the changes made her a better person, a better mom and better wife, all good things, but she didn’t recognize this until long after starting intensive IC.

posts: 787   ·   registered: Jul. 16th, 2016
id 8737068
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nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 9:07 PM on Wednesday, May 25th, 2022

It's really hard for me to interpret that though because I also feel like she's been mentally preparing for me to D her and trying to put herself in a mindset where it doesn't break her completely. She's said to me numerous times that she thinks I'm going to eventually divorce her, I'm just warming myself up to the idea. Maybe she's right? I hope if that was the case I'd be more self-aware of it--it also may prove to be a self-fulfilling prophecy from her.

I think that deep down she knows that she isn't doing as much as she could be and her focus is far too often on herself and not on you/healing. My XWBF would make references to what was really going on behind the scenes all the time as in acknowledging that he was treating me very poorly even though I was unaware of it. I think even she can see that her continued selfishness is really screwing up R and she isn't ready to change soon enough to stop it.

She can be so sweet and compassionate and then the ugly parts of her character shine through and it all resets.

The thing about selfish and manipulative people is that they are often sweet and compassionate between bouts of horrible behavior. Otherwise, who would want to put up with them? Would you have stayed if she was selfish and mean all the time? Doesn't seem like it. So she has to be sweet and compassionate at least some of the time but when the mask slips, the ugly parts come out. This isn't special or exemplary behavior that she can turn on the charm and even keep it going for days/weeks/months. It's exactly what to expect. Even the most dangerous, violent, and abusive people I've ever met are capable of that otherwise they would be hermits that no one likes or wants to be around. They would never have a partner if they couldn't keep it under wraps for months and some times years. Yet some how all of them have spouses, children, careers, and at least a couple of die hard supporters no matter what they do even if the exes, family members, and children have all left and stopped talking to them.

IME, the defensiveness and growing pains of possibly moving towards R aren't unusual or indicative of how things will end in your case. It's reading your posts after you requested her not to, starting an argument about it, and attempting to get you to stop posting here that is the biggest red flag. This is part of your support system now. This will become part of your healing journey to some extent. Telling you to stop is completely antithetical to your healing when you believe it helps you. It takes a special kind of selfishness to ask a partner that they have hurt and devastated to this level to stop reaching out for support just because it involves negative words said about them. IME couples who deal with this don't tend to make it through R because a BS can't heal when the WS keeps wanting to dictate their healing. Arguing about it and restricting it will only make D look like a better way towards healing to the BS.

posts: 5144   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2014   ·   location: United States
id 8737071
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