Cookies are required for login or registration. Please read and agree to our cookie policy to continue.

Newest Member: InkHulk

Just Found Out :
Another story ☹️


 Sprinkles20 (original poster new member #80361) posted at 7:43 PM on Wednesday, June 1st, 2022

Hi everyone, just wanted to share my story since I am having a hard time being able to relate with anyone (which is a good thing I guess!)

My husband had a 5 week text exchange with another woman, someone he met in alcohol rehab. Things like let’s go away together to an airbnb, will be easier to get away once kids out of school. I discovered this exchange and just lost it. In full disclosure our relationship wasnt great due to the alcohol and I had seen a lawyer to understand my options but I have been experiencing hysterical bonding since DDay and I have become this needy, codependent and insecure person.

I realize this is small in comparison to other issues on this board but it really threw me for a loop in a way I completely unexpected, so my heart goes out to everyone here. It’s such a betrayal and isn’t justified despite my statements about potential divorce.

And what really irks me (even though I know I have no control) is that this woman is PINING over him. She wrote that she misses him and wishes they could stay in contact and there is a big void in her life without him. WTF

Why have I turned into this crazy lady who is so needy? Any advice or comments welcome.

Thank you for letting me vent.

posts: 4   ·   registered: Jun. 1st, 2022
id 8738104

ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 8:19 PM on Wednesday, June 1st, 2022

It's not small to you, and it wasn't small to me back when I caught my fWH cheating online and by phone. At the time, I was just wrecked by it. In fact, it took me something like four years to recover my equanimity afterwards. Here's the thing though, in hindsight I did all the wrong things. I'm going to save myself some typing and just re-post from my profile page, but even though I took it really seriously, I took way too much responsibility for my fWH's choices. I allowed the blame to be placed on the marriage and not squarely on him.

My own WH went on a Craigslist binge six years ago, multiple partners, various degrees of emotional attachment. He even thought he was in love at one point. But ten years before that, I'd caught him out in some online shenanigans, porn, cybersexing, emotional affair, etc. In fact, I caught him out only two weeks before a planned meet-up. I'd already seen an attorney before I confronted him and I was bent on divorce, but he pretty much cried his way out of it and I settled on MC. As you might have guessed already, we too were bamboozled with the "unmet needs" model of therapy, which sounds so reasonable. I upped my wife game, and did my best pick-me polka, but within a couple of years, he was right back at it behind my back. By the time we reached the ten year mark, he had screwed up his nerve to go live and in person on Craigslist.

Of course, I was pretty shocked as you might imagine. I thought we were good. I thought his "needs" were met. Damned if I hadn't been turning myself inside out for a decade to make sure, right? The more I thought about it, the more I revisited what I knew about the "unmet needs model", the less it made sense. I was doing everything right and he still CHOSE to cheat.

Here's the fly in the "unmet needs" ointment...

Healthy ADULTS don't need to be validated. They validate internally. Healthy adults are self-fruitful in the matter of contentment and life satisfaction, and when things come up which make them unhappy, they address the cause and solve the problem. OTOH, the vast majority of cheaters cheat because they're seeking external validation. They are NOT emotionally healthy. They can't do it on their own. They've got a hole inside them and no amount of external validation will fill it. Certainly, the old and familiar validation of a spouse doesn't get the job done. Our "kibbles" are stale and boring. They don't create enough adrenaline anymore to make the cheater feel special. It's like getting an "atta boy" from your mom, right?

This is old pop-psy which is still being taught in schools and still selling books. But it's bullshit. NOTHING you can do (or fail to do) can MAKE another person throw away their core values and do something that's in this kind of opposition to good character. If you're a person who BELIEVES in fidelity, who VALUES fidelity, you don't cheat. End of story. Because when we truly value something we protect it. The cheater has a "but..." in his values system. ie. "I believe in fidelity, but... not if my needs aren't being met." For people like you and me, we have a "so..." in our values system. ie. "I believe in fidelity, so... I don't put myself in risky situations with the opposite sex." This is the BOUNDARY we create organically. We don't sit around planning it out. It just happens, because it's innate to our character to protect what we value. The cheater doesn't have those boundaries because he doesn't really honor his values. He only claims to.

I'm not saying that your marriage is over or that your WH can't change. What I am saying though is that this "unmet needs" model is NOT going to challenge him to clean up his flawed character. In fact, it allows him to offload responsibility onto the marriage and onto YOU. It's not your job to MAKE him feel (fill-in-the-blank-here). It never was. It's his job to control his feelings. You could have been doing everything exactly perfect for the entire length of your marriage, and he would still have cheated... because there's NOTHING in his character stopping him and he has no coping mechanism to fall back on when he feels unvalidated, inadequate, unappreciated, etc.

It's HIS job to see that his "needs" get met. Sometimes that might mean negotiating with you, say if it's about sex or about the division of labor in your home, etc. But sometimes, it might mean that what he sees as a "need" is unhealthy in an adult, like external validation through attention and flattery.

MC's are there to treat the marriage. The marriage is the client. So, of course they're going to talk about communications, resentments and expectations. The MC doesn't want to alienate anyone, so s/he's looking to find balance on both sides. But marriages don't cheat. People do. The only way your WH is going to make a change that safeguards against further perfidy is by correcting his need for external validation and becoming an emotionally healthy adult whose deeds are as good as his word. No excuses, just honoring the things he claims to value. For that, I would recommend IC (individual counseling) with a therapist who is well-versed in adultery.

The last thing any newly-minted BS needs is to walk into an MC's office, believing that they've come to safe harbor, and being handed a copy of The Five Love Languages or some other "unmet needs" gobbledygook. It would be really nice if we actually did have the power to control our mate by giving them "acts of service" or "words of affirmation", but sadly, we aren't gods who can stop a cheater from seeking out his/her choice of adrenaline rush and new kibbles. Although, this kind of pop-psy suggests that their behavior is somehow our responsibility. The more you dig into this ridiculous line of thought, the more absurd it becomes.

Anyway... sorry for the lengthy post. Nothing fries my ass more than seeing new BS's being sold this bill of goods.

R is still going fairly well.. 7 years now. I consider myself healed.

Be alert and cautious as you proceed. This kind of behavior tends to escalate. There's a chemical payoff to the reward center of the brain upon receiving that kind of attention and flattery. It becomes a pick-me-up, and then.. an addiction. You're already dealing with an alcoholic so you KNOW the addictive mind. Remember that you've only got ONE really effective tool in your tool kit, and that's your flat out refusal to continue in a marriage where you are being victimized. If you're not already active in Al-Anon, consider it. It will help you build your boundaries and you're going to NEED unassailable boundaries going forward.

So yeah... it's NOT a small issue. It's important to the future of your marriage and family to get this right. Otherwise, it's likely to blow up like a powder keg one day.

((big hugs))

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: 5639   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8738109

BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 9:00 PM on Wednesday, June 1st, 2022

Hi sprinkles, Love your username. It makes me smile.

Your reaction is totally normal. I did not recognize the needy person I became after DDAY—it was like all my independence and badass just up and left. You will regain your footing over time.

But be careful of the "pick-me" dance. That is when we contort ourselves to try to win our cheating spouse back when it is they who should be moving mountains for us. Just remember that words are cheap and easy, and it is only actions that should carry any weight. That he already has an addiction problem is not great- he is wired to want to that dopamine hit and will miss it when he isn’t getting it.

Has he gone NC with her? Provided 100% transparency to you? What is he doing to fix this?

And how are you taking care of you? This is a trauma— you were already supporting him through his alcohol addiction and then he does this? That is a big deal, and it hurts. You may find good support with Al-Anon or groups like that.

Read in the healing library, find the posts in this forum that have bullesyes, and take good care of yourself.

And sorry this happened to you.

Me: BS 55 (49 on d-day)Him: WH. 64. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 4788   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8738116

HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 9:02 PM on Wednesday, June 1st, 2022

You need to require a polygraph as a requirement of reconciliation.

When distance isn't as factor,these things are very,very rarely not physical.

You,and he,need to be tested for stds.

And you need to tell her husband. Do not tell your husband you are doing this.

He needs to go no contact with her. She should be completely blocked.

What work is he doing to become a safe partner?

Do NOT share this site with him. This is your safe place.

[This message edited by HellFire at 9:04 PM, Wednesday, June 1st]

posts: 4387   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8738117

Notaboringwife ( member #74302) posted at 9:54 PM on Wednesday, June 1st, 2022


My husband had morphed into a functional alcoholic two years before he had an affair with another functional alcoholic.

Looking back, I can say that they were really meant for each other. Two functional drinking companions with benefits. However, I suffered at home being the target for abuse during his affair.

What I have learnt in Al-Annon and would like to point out, is that alcohol dependance is rooted in fear. The fear drives insecurities, the insecurities are acted upon and in the case of my husband were finally acted out with an affair.

I am relieved your husband is in alcohol rehab. All those people have fears. Hidden fears. Internal demons that drive them to drink instead of facing their issues. I truly hope that the program works for him and you.

And meanwhile, and gently: dealing with the issue with your husband’s behaviour with another woman in alcohol rehab.

You cannot control your husband 100%. You cannot make him change. If he wants to engage with the other woman, he will.

What you can do is to map out the best next steps for your life. With him or without him. Lots of great advice on this site.

I wish you well.

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Separation after D-Day March 2019. Re-united June 2019. Me: Late 60's. Him: Late 60's.

posts: 294   ·   registered: Apr. 24th, 2020
id 8738129

 Sprinkles20 (original poster new member #80361) posted at 10:12 PM on Wednesday, June 1st, 2022

Thank you everyone who’s responded; I am still processing everything but am glad to have found a safe space.

Notaboringwife - the alcohol rehab did not work; he drank within an hour of coming home and continues to drink. Did you reunite with your husband? Yes the insecurity runs rampant and I have no way of knowing whether he would have followed through with these airbnb etc plans had I not discovered it, which I guess is useless to stress out about. She made it very obvious she liked him and therefore an easy target, which is also wrong on so many levels. The OW is single and her 3 grown kids don’t talk to her. I had an intuition she had developed feelings while in rehab and I always told myself my instincts are always spot on.

He did go NC but our marriage is so dysfunctional that I don’t even know how to get back to any semblance of normalcy. And I am constantly figuring out why I am so insecure and needy that I can’t cut the tie bc I know it’s in my and my kids’ best interest. I think it’s fear that I won’t find anyone while he will shack up with this crazy lady from rehab. I know, sad on my part ☹️

posts: 4   ·   registered: Jun. 1st, 2022
id 8738132

morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 1:43 AM on Thursday, June 2nd, 2022

It's an emotional affair. It isn't anything small. It's basically the same as a physical affair, and would have led to a physical affair if he hadn't been caught.

His lack of loyalty and honesty also brings to light the possibility that he might have ALREADY had a different physical affair with someone else. He very well might have. Keep that in mind when you feel like clinging to him.

A good book to read when reeling from cheating is Cheating in a Nutshell by Tamara and Wayne Mitchell.

posts: 358   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8738163

Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 2:10 AM on Thursday, June 2nd, 2022

You need to get over worrying about him finding a good life away from you. It takes a year to be sober before the brain even begins to let go of the addiction. How in the world are you going to police him every day? The stress of it is going to hard on YOU physically.

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

posts: 3343   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8738168

Notaboringwife ( member #74302) posted at 4:21 PM on Thursday, June 2nd, 2022


To answer your question about

the alcohol rehab did not work; he drank within an hour of coming home and continues to drink. Did you reunite with your husband?

Oh, I am sorry to hear that your husband continues to drink. I would assume by himself?

Yes we re-united, I gave him, me and us a second chance. For the first, oh I'd say 8 months, my husband went into withdrawal from alcohol and at the same time withdrawal or detachment from his AP, with whom he was living with. We had separated on D-day. It was a rough ride and I questioned my decision and my sanity many, many times.

What helped me was the understanding we made and modified together over time, about NC and about his drinking.

I copy/pasted a post I had put up recently about my husband's drinking:

No he has not stopped drinking, however this is the pact we made together:

We both decide where, when and how much alcohol drinking we allow ourselves.

For example on vacation, one drink every other day is OK. Two drinks on a special day is OK. Bubbly is OK for the festive christmas season, limit to two glasses. On a hot humid day, he will have one ice cold beer. Sometimes I will share his drink.

On regular days, no drinking alcohol. Lots of water instead, in fancy glasses, so it feels special during supper.

It is not necessary for me to drink to keep him company. And he agreed that I can give him "the look" if I feel he's going too far with alcohol drinking.

Actually I give him the same "look" when I see his negative behaviours show know, those powerful, old habits. smile

Gosh, this is a long answer. But important to understand this pact of ours evolved with hits and misses over our three years together in tandem with my healing from his cheating and him healing from heavy, daily drinking along with everything else that he was going through at the time.

In my case Sprinkles20, I did not control his drinking. He did. I did not control his affair either, he did. I did not control his abandonment of me, he did. I do not control his NC, he does.

But I do control me and my life and my "boundaries". To re-quote others and myself "He is not allowed to hurt me ever again".

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Separation after D-Day March 2019. Re-united June 2019. Me: Late 60's. Him: Late 60's.

posts: 294   ·   registered: Apr. 24th, 2020
id 8738221

Seeking2Forgive ( member #78819) posted at 8:31 AM on Saturday, June 4th, 2022

I'm really sorry your WH has done this to you. It's no small thing. You have discovered that the person you trust most in the world was ready to toss you aside for someone he hardly knows. That's traumatic. It destroys your trust and sense of reality. That takes time to recover from.

Sometimes when we've had our reality shattered, we feel a need to cling to someone we have always thought would keep us safe from harm. But that person is no longer a safe place. Check the thread in the link below for an excellent podcast that explains how we respond to the trauma of betrayal. That's what you're experiencing.

He did go NC but our marriage is so dysfunctional that I don’t even know how to get back to any semblance of normalcy. And I am constantly figuring out why I am so insecure and needy that I can’t cut the tie bc I know it’s in my and my kids’ best interest. I think it’s fear that I won’t find anyone while he will shack up with this crazy lady from rehab. I know, sad on my part ☹️

Your husband is a cheating alcoholic so there really isn't anything normal to get back to at this point.

You should start focusing on what's best for you and your children, which is almost certainly not enabling an alcoholic cheater to stay in your life without changing his ways. Think about all the good things in your life - the things that you love and enjoy. You can still love and enjoy all of those things without your WH creating pain and sadness in your life.

Get into IC and focus on happiness with yourself and your life. Once you accomplish that you will know that you can be happy again without your WH. It may take a day, a month, or a year, but if you are happy and confident in your own skin, someone will come along for you.

And maybe, just maybe before it comes to that your WH will realize that you're not going to continue to tolerate a partner who is less than you deserve. And maybe he'll come to see that he needs to start doing the hard work fix himself and be become the partner that you deserve.

Best wishes.

[This message edited by Seeking2Forgive at 8:44 AM, Saturday, June 4th]

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

posts: 394   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2021
id 8738608

Notmine ( member #57221) posted at 3:03 PM on Saturday, June 4th, 2022

I have been in AA for many years. Your husband is currently incapable of honesty as he is still using. He is also incapable of behaving or thinking rationally. IC will not be of much use until he commits to a program of sobriety, which would look like this, BARE MINIMUM:
*abstinence from all mood-altering substances (including alcohol) unless he has a doctor's prescription
*multiple 12-step meetings per week, consistently and for LIFE
*active participation in working the program with a sponsor
*taking suggestions from other sober people and acting on them

Drinking alcohol, in any amount, is not safe for him or for you and your kids. This is my strong opinion as an alcoholic with many years of sobriety. In my own case, I could never do the controlled drinking thing. If I had one drink, I wasn't stopping until I was black-out drunk. I could promise, while looking earnestly into your eyes, that I would only have a prescribed number of drinks, but once I began, I would lie, steal, bargain, or anything else necessary to drink until I was incapacitated.

the alcohol rehab did not work; he drank within an hour of coming home and continues to drink.

This means that he is not ready to be sober. He must hit his "bottom" before he is willing to start the recovery process. He might not ever find that. The "bottom" is different for every addict, and many die before they ever get there. I hope that is not the case for your husband, but it is a fact that is important to face if you wish to continue to live with an active alcoholic.

Gently, you need to understand that staying with him at this point is enabling his drinking. He feels like he can continue to drink, and you will continue to allow it as you are staying. In his alcohol addled mind, you are giving him permission to drink and to live a predictable life with his family because you did not kick him out. It does not make much sense to non-addicts, but it is all about easy access to the "high" for an addict. Nothing else matters. TBH, it is probably better for him, conversely, if you leave. That might be the thing that gets him sober. It might not.

It is really painful to experience this kind of selfish thinking, but it is the reality for an addict's family and loved ones. I experienced it with my husband, who is not only a drug addict, but a sex addict. He acted out sexually after 23 years of sobriety from drug addiction. He was sober from chemicals when he had his affair, but his addictive brain was all in for a new obsession: sex. It is horrendous to know that you are in second place to an addiction and that you live with a lying, cheating, manipulating, unhealthy, abusive addict.

Addicts cannot think rationally, so you will not be able to understand or predict his behavior. If this woman is validating his addiction, and you are an obstacle to it, it makes sense to his addictive brain to move on to the easier, softer way. He is currently uncomfortable because he is being asked to act like a sober human, which he is unable to do and which he does not wish to be. If there is any obstacle to his access to the drug, he will react in a way that will allow him to continue to use as comfortably as possible. If moving in with her is better for his continued use of alcohol, he might do that. Also, as was mentioned by other posters, the attention the OW is giving him is also addictive. Since he is in active addiction, your husband continues to be very susceptible to her positive attention. Since he has an addictive personality, he may get sober from alcohol and remain addicted to her attention.

Living with a using addict is chaos and misery. If your husband does find sobriety, you will see some positive changes right away, but the damage to him physically, mentally and emotionally will take years to resolve. This means that many of the things you will need from him as a loving, adult partner will be difficult to achieve for a while. In addition, relapse is very, very common.

I would suggest that you detach from him to gain some perspective. Leave for a few days if possible to get away from the chaos. Do not speak with him. Make a list of pros and cons as honestly as you are able. Attend some al-anon meetings. The folks at those meetings have been where you are and they are very helpful with regards to issues of co-dependence and living with an addict. It is time to put yourself and your kids first.

When you're going through hell, for God's sake, DON'T STOP!

posts: 709   ·   registered: Feb. 1st, 2017   ·   location: DC
id 8738621

morningglory ( member #80236) posted at 4:24 PM on Saturday, June 4th, 2022

Get yourself and your children away from that alcoholic. Alcoholics only change if THEY want to, and he doesn't want to. This is harmful to your children, to have to live with an alcoholic.

posts: 358   ·   registered: Apr. 15th, 2022
id 8738628

InRetrospect ( member #18641) posted at 4:52 AM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

Just want to chime in: Chamomile Tea and morningglory, you are both so wise. Sprinkles20, my heart goes out to you.

What is it with men?

posts: 283   ·   registered: Mar. 15th, 2008   ·   location: California
id 8738700

pureheartkit ( member #62345) posted at 6:39 AM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

You trust yourself now. He can't be counted on except more of the same and probably worse. I waited and waited. All I got were more promises and lies. What could I have done with that time. The best thing I did was go away to start living a healthy life for myself.
Yes I was sad.
Yes I missed our life together.
Yes I didn't want to go.

You can't tie yourself to emotional stress and hope to be OK.

He's a person with free will. It's his choice. You go and he chooses what he will do. I could not get my ws to change. I tried to get him to see the value in a healthy peaceful life. He thinks he needs that stuff that was destroying us.

I thought I needed him to be happy. That was an illusion. I told myself that.

Don't let your fear tell you things that aren't true. It's so hard to let go. You have been trying for so long now. It's not defeat to let him make his own choice. Use that same perseverance to build your own confidence. You cannot sacrifice yourself. What good would it do. Two lives ruined instead of one.

He's going to follow you to a better life or he's not. Mine did not. But that didn't stop me from my path. It's hard at first but gets better every day. You will find yourself. You will see clearly. Please don't live a life in pain.

Thank you everyone for your wisdom and healing.

posts: 2347   ·   registered: Jan. 19th, 2018
id 8738705

pureheartkit ( member #62345) posted at 6:44 AM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

Kids get hurt by living with addict parents. It's the most courageous act of kindness to protect them by getting them out of that reality.

Thank you everyone for your wisdom and healing.

posts: 2347   ·   registered: Jan. 19th, 2018
id 8738706

 Sprinkles20 (original poster new member #80361) posted at 4:25 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

Thank you all again for replying; all valid points and I am truly appreciative of all that is said. I need to find the courage to do what is right, and not just what is easy. I am not being the role model that I need to be for my kids.

Notmine - If you don’t mind my asking, what was your bottom?

posts: 4   ·   registered: Jun. 1st, 2022
id 8738749

DailyGratitude ( member #79494) posted at 11:03 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

What you wrote about addiction and addicts is the best description I’ve read. Wow. It really opened my eyes. My xWH developed/ ignited addictions-sex, alcohol, love, attention, etc ever since he started the affair. I believe he always had the propensity for addictions given his family history. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
I,too, would like to know what some "rock bottoms" look like.

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: 291   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8738792

DailyGratitude ( member #79494) posted at 11:04 PM on Sunday, June 5th, 2022

I am sorry for what you are going through.
I hope you can find clarity to forge a path that is best for you and your children.

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: 291   ·   registered: Oct. 17th, 2021   ·   location: Connecticut
id 8738793

pureheartkit ( member #62345) posted at 11:46 PM on Monday, June 6th, 2022


Thank you everyone for your wisdom and healing.

posts: 2347   ·   registered: Jan. 19th, 2018
id 8738953

Notmine ( member #57221) posted at 7:39 PM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

My bottom: I was drinking to blackout status every night. I was aware I had a problem, but did not care as long as I was able to continue drinking with a place to live and basic needs met. Then I discovered I was pregnant and was on the verge of getting thrown out of my place of residence. I had worked with children with fetal alcohol syndrome and I knew what my continued drinking would do to a child. I thought about ending the pregnancy, but found that this was not an option for me. The only option was to stop drinking. TBH, it was my time. I had almost died on at least two occasions from drinking and bad choices. I was suicidal. I was a mess. I tried drinking one last time and could not get drunk. Coincidence or God shot, I do not know, but I have been sober ever since. I am grateful that I was able to find sobriety at that time. Not everyone is so lucky. As I said in my last post. Bottoms are very subjective. They are not necessarily big and dramatic, just a moment of clarity.

Glad I could help.

When you're going through hell, for God's sake, DON'T STOP!

posts: 709   ·   registered: Feb. 1st, 2017   ·   location: DC
id 8739386
Cookies on®® uses cookies to enhance your visit to our website. This is a requirement for participants to login, post and use other features. Visitors may opt out, but the website will be less functional for you.

v.1.001.20220428 2002-2022® All Rights Reserved. • Privacy Policy