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Another one bites the dust

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 InkHulk (original poster member #80400) posted at 11:26 PM on Thursday, June 30th, 2022

Dr Google tells me that polygraphs are 80 to 90 percent accurate, and I have to figure that you have to luck into a good operator to give the test to get those values. Is that a regulated field with certifications? Or are you going to head into someone’s mom’s basement to get it done with a University of Phoenix diploma framed on the wall? Honest question.

posts: 89   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 11:37 PM on Thursday, June 30th, 2022

A lot of them come to you with their kit. You can search them locally.

here was my final "I won't force the poly" rant in my first thread for your consumption:

"As I mentioned before, let's say I do the polygraph. She fails. Does that prove she did have sex? No. It proves she failed the polygraph. She'll continue to deny. She passes. Does it prove she didn't have sex? No. It proves she passed the polygraph. Even if there is 5% doubt, that's still there. Can it reduce the doubt. Yes. I'm not discounting the experience others have had or the assurance it has given them or the parking lot confessions they got.
That's why I've framed it as a way to get forward progress. Will I do any better managing 20% doubt than 5% doubt? Should I try to burn the witch? Should I keep forcing her to do things I never imagined I would ask of her prior to getting married? As I have said from the beginning, if that is the road to recovery, maybe recovery just isn't for me. This is why I put the ball in her court to schedule it. Yes she failed to do it within the week I gave her. Yes she will continue to fail to do it. That is something I will continue to consider in assessing her seriousness about fixing things, but I'm not going to hinge my beliefs on the results of a fallible test. It was honestly never my idea in the first place and not a demand I made on DDay. It was a compromise position we reached by my mentioning to our shared friend that it would make me feel better but that I wouldn't demand it. So you have to understand I've been consistently ambivalent to the idea of the poly.
You keep saying she ghosted me, but that isn't true. I'm sorry if I gave that perception. She did tell me where she went (a hotel) and had some verification (GPS tracking where she barely left the hotel, plus a receipt for hot yoga that was at the location she was at on the tracker). She answered any texts I sent her. I just didn't send her many.
I have certainly lost a game of "divorce chicken" at this point because I have made demands, timelines, not gotten them and then what? I called a lawyer after having a fight about the job. I understand the terms of divorce aren't going to be great for me (at least not without the post-nup or something in place prior to filing). Indeed, I seem to be a weakling incapable of this decisive action. What does that mean for the future? That she gets free passes forever. No.
Imagine for the sake of the argument she is telling the truth (I know, hard to believe for a proven liar). She has gone truly NC (outside of required work communication that has been reported) and doesn't know what is happening in OM's life. So far, that seems to be the case. Her only true concealment was the FB messages and the holiday party (as far as I can tell). What if I actually did catch this early and nip it in the bud because I was sensitive enough to it? What good does it do to keep pressing on her about the details over and over again? What good does it do to set any boundaries or force her to give concessions if she is just going to cheat again with OM or someone else?
Well, I hope my WW and I can grow together, and I can trust her again at some point, and that she doesn't cheat again. That's where I am, and that's how I'm trying to heal. I understand that this message board is built on hundreds of stories that have the same mistakes and the same conclusions and that it's in fact LIKELY that I'm making a mistake. I'm just going to live with that for now and when and if the divorce is needed, it will happen."

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

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WontBeFooledAgai ( member #72671) posted at 11:48 PM on Thursday, June 30th, 2022

Hi InkHulk,

I am new to this thread. I'm not addressing whether your WW should take the poly, but instead on a point made earlier:

Your WW may be a passive follower and OM may have done all the initiating and been awfully persistent at it, but that is just as bad. Your wife's ONE job in your marriage was to protect you and the marriage--in particular from OM, and she FAILED. Remember this if she tries to blame her actions on anyone else, or if she uses passive language that presupposes innocence e.g., 'it just happened'.

[This message edited by WontBeFooledAgai at 11:51 PM, Thursday, June 30th]

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 InkHulk (original poster member #80400) posted at 2:02 AM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

Your wife's ONE job in your marriage was to protect you and the marriage--in particular from OM, and she FAILED.

Totally agree. She would agree. She’s touched on context enough to make me squirm (kid’s activities, home stress) but she hasn’t taken that far enough to imply excuse of her transgressions.

posts: 89   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
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 InkHulk (original poster member #80400) posted at 2:03 AM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

This0is0Fine

Thanks for that, I can almost feel the anguish of a kindred spirit when I read it. I totally relate.

posts: 89   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
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Buster123 ( member #65551) posted at 6:08 AM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

Dr Google tells me that polygraphs are 80 to 90 percent accurate, and I have to figure that you have to luck into a good operator to give the test to get those values.

Let's just say they're 85% accurate which is in line with some of the percentages mentioned here and in other forums many times when polygraphs are mentioned, I'd rather take 85% accuracy over a proven cheater and liar every single time, remember that cheaters lie, trickle truth and minimize a lot, not to mention that cheaters typically have a lot at stake, polygraphs do not, there's a reason why they're used by CIA, FBI, Employers etc., plus they often lead to the infamous "parking lot confession" before, during and even after the test (yes we have seen all versions of them all here on SI).

Again a polygraph is one of the tools and one often recommended here, it's typically recommended here that you demand a written timeline of the A subject to a polygraph (puts pressure on the WS), often followed by a list of as many questions as you need answers, such as:

1) was this the first time you have been physical and/or emotionally unfaithful to me. if not, how many others ?

2) Approximately how often did you have sex with him/them?

3) Did you ever plan and/or consider leaving me for him?

4) Do you still love him ?

5) If he asked you to leave me to be with him would you have done it/considered it ?

6) Did you do things for him you have refused to do with me ?

7) Was he better than me ?

8) Did you ever have sex/kissed in our house ?

9) Any pregnancy scares or abortions ?

10) Anything else you want to know about it.

And many others that you often see posted here by "newbies", keep in mind polygraphs typically involve a maximum of anywhere between 3-5 questions (often the same questions asked in various forms) but cheaters don't typically know this or care to find out, still they don't know exactly which ones will be on the test, some posters have even done more than a poly test. You are facing a life altering decision and I as others suggest you use all of the tools at your disposal, especially the ones that have proven useful in many of the cases we've seen here, just look at your member number, yeah the collective wisdom of SI is immense when it comes to infidelity, we've "seen" it play out THOUSANDS of times, every case is different but cheaters typically follow a similar script, some of the common phrases and common lies that top the chart in the infamous "Cheater's Handbook" are: "he's just a friend", "we just kissed" "it just happened", "we only had sex once/twice", "I never meant to hurt you", etc.

At the end of the day an A typically involves THOUSANDS of lies to your face every single day, sometimes even multiple times a day, pregnancy scares, exposure to potentially life-threatening STDs/STIs and other infectious diseases that could remain dormant for years, a cheater typically makes THOUSANDS of decisions willingly in order to commit what many consider to be the ultimate betrayal during a M, that being said, requesting the poly is, of course, your decision but again, I would take 85% accuracy over a proven cheater and liar, just look online and read the reviews to find a good and reputable test administrator in your area.

[This message edited by Buster123 at 6:19 AM, Friday, July 1st]

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 InkHulk (original poster member #80400) posted at 12:20 PM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

All I'm saying is that you're going to hear a lot of tough talk as you proceed. Make sure your words and your actions reflect your authentic self and aren't reactionary. No doubt it feels good to let off steam and call somebody a bad name when you're mad. But words are like bullets. Once they leave your mouth you can't call them back. Same with so many other forms of reactionary behavior.

Wise words. I don’t think I’ve allowed myself to just utterly vent on her, I don’t think she could handle it and honestly a desire to hasn’t swelled up inside me. Yet. I prefer to use a lot of words to try to convey my thoughts and feelings. Yet another thing my WW hasn’t liked about me. She often describes that desire for clarity in communication as "repeating myself" or browbeating. She much prefers her style of communication, which is stuff and stare. look Again, that won’t be tolerated any longer.

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 InkHulk (original poster member #80400) posted at 12:27 PM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

You are pretty persuasive, Buster123, gotta give that to you. I’ll look into it more.

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 InkHulk (original poster member #80400) posted at 1:06 PM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

Got a story on the time period post sex yesterday. As I said before, I don’t regard what is happening as trickle truth. Information is coming at a pace I can handle. Anyway…

She claims that after they had sex she completely freaked out. Couldn’t sleep, almost confessed the day after. Scared about potential pregnancy. (I do wish I could get my hands on the messages from this time, the phone bill shows extensive texting the next night between the two of them, but I don’t have any real hope of that). She claims that they agreed to never have sex again and go back to a platonic relationship. And she claims that that is largely what happened. Sexting ended. She said he would fish occasionally but she was no longer biting. BUT THEN: this hobby trip is still on the calendar and coming up. Again, I’ve told her that I don’t want her to go on it for multiple reasons but she insists. She keeps using this phrase "they had no one else". She definitely does love finding places in the world where she feels special and uniquely appreciated. Not sure why she finds it so hard to feel that with our family and needs to go with another, but I digress. She says that she made it very clear with OM that no hanky panky will be tolerated and he agrees. He said "I wouldn’t do that around my family". How fucking noble of him. So WW takes off on a week long adventure away from our family with OM, OBS, and their two kids with the expressed intent to nanny during hobby activities. (This is sounding even more absurd as I write it. I know, you don’t have to bust out the 2x4’s on me. I was completely incredulous on DDay). So anywho, she says that things were going fine for a couple days until OM started getting bold again. She said that at times when others couldn’t hear that he started joking about threesomes they could get into. And when OBS was around, he made suggestive comments about WW and OBS to do some girl on girl. WW said that she deflected all these and was quite uncomfortable. She says nothing physical happened on the trip. She mentioned a situation where OM had some kind of angry tantrum over something and stormed off and disappeared for hours. WW does not respond well to anger. OM had been this amazing Instagram gentleman in her mind up to this point based off the fairy tale they had spun up together. Now he was revealing himself as crass and short tempered. These finally seemed to get her attention about who he really is. And the kicker was the ride home. She said they were driving late at night and finding topics to talk about to keep them awake and it turned to something political. WW is mostly passive, but she has a few hot button topics and some 12 inch heels she will dig in if you touch on those. Apparently it devolved into an all out screaming match, waking up the kids. OM is bitching about being disrespected and WW throws the girl on girl goads back in his face. All in front of OBS and their two young (but not that young) kids. OM threatens to kick her out of the car in the middle of the night about 30 miles from home. WW gives him a "how dare you" after she just gave them a week of free nanny work. She eventually gets to their house and drives another two hours back to our home.

So that happened. I think, anyway. Assuming this is accurate, things do start to make more sense. She claims communication dropped off significantly after that. Some of it was him reaching out to her like asking if she was going to hate him forever. She says that things went back to platonic but she didn’t want to completely lose him as a friend. And she thought she could manage the situation like that indefinitely. But he would occasionally come around fishing again. No bites (she says) but she was aware of the temptation. We heard a very good sermon a while back about the important of confessing what we’ve done wrong and not just to God but verbally to the wronged party. She said that hit home deeply for her and she realized she would always be in this danger of repeating the PA if she didn’t. That combined with my unrelated confession broke the dam open.

So that’s the story as I understand it right now. Feel free to psyco-analyze, you can put the bill on my tab barf

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 InkHulk (original poster member #80400) posted at 1:13 PM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

WW is also sticking with the story of the sign off "I love you" as being platonic. She acknowledges it sounds horrible. But for context she offered a situation where my brother got divorced and she sent a final message to his ex-wife saying she will miss her and "I love you".

So that kind of "I love you".

After writing that, that doesn’t sit well with me yet.

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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 1:14 PM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

There is such a strong need in her for attention that he slid right in. Even when she knew he was a jerk she kept communication open because those little nibbles got her. Her logical mind can’t override that childish need. She needs IC so badly with a therapist who uses EMDR or some other tactic to get into her childhood because that is where this is coming from.

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

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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 1:16 PM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

I've been following your thread without much comment. Like most, I'm curious - suspicious actually - about the nature and timing of her confession. It's unusual compared to most threads here, and if there is one lesson that comes from reading here a lot, it's that most cheaters, most of the time, follow a certain script. Most affairs are rather cliche.

However, I do want to mention something from another poster above:

I have certainly lost a game of "divorce chicken" at this point because I have made demands, timelines, not gotten them and then what?

"Divorce chicken." I cannot emphasize enough how wrong that sort of thinking is. The point of this forum is to get you out of infidelity. That means, among other things, finding your heart's truth and following it. It is said over and over here that you should not try to control the outcome, because ultimately you cannot. You can only control you, and if you want even a chance at saving your marriage, you have to be ready and willing to leave it.

"Divorce chicken" implies using the threat of divorce as a gambit to try to catalyze specific behavior from the WW. It never works. It's a chump's game. Please don't use it. If you want to divorce -- and you have every reason at present to divorce your wife -- then start the process because you no longer wish to be married to the person she is at present.

Based on your description (which is all we have to go on), you're not in R at present. You're in a state of detente, white knuckling it and stubbornly staying in the marriage to see what the future might bring. That's not necessarily a wrong strategy at this stage, just pointing it out to underscore your present truth. I would tell you that the most effective advice I've seen here is along the lines of: "Get yourself in a boat, point it away from the source of the infidelity, and row as hard and as fast as you can. If your WW wishes to preserve a marriage with you, she'll figure out how to leave those shores as well, and she will swim hard enough to catch you, and she will gratefully climb into your boat and join you there for life."

I don't see you doing that. I see you clinging to the beginner's mistake of increasingly granular compromise, giving up your soul millimeter by millimeter. I wish you success, but I frankly don't think you're on the right path to find it.

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

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 InkHulk (original poster member #80400) posted at 1:55 PM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

"Divorce chicken" implies using the threat of divorce as a gambit to try to catalyze specific behavior from the WW. It never works. It's a chump's game. Please don't use it. If you want to divorce -- and you have every reason at present to divorce your wife -- then start the process because you no longer wish to be married to the person she is at present.

This hit me right between the eyes. Let’s unpack that. If that line of thinking was taken too seriously, then what would the purpose of IC or any part of the healing process? I don’t want to get into the weeds of specific words, I doubt "Divorce Chicken" is a well defined term and I honestly don’t know what you mean well enough to debate it. Can you please further discuss? But the whole thrust of my story right now is uncertainty. I don’t know if I want to divorce her. Like I’ve consistently professed, I love her deeply and that love survives this betrayal. It’s like the most perverse test of the quality of love, but mine passed. But what I hear in what you are saying and what hits me hard is the idea that I shouldn’t hope for change in her. That I should make my evaluation of what the future will probably look like based off her history, which would be bleak because I’ve described a challenged marriage and now she’s an adulterer. If I do that, I could just walk out the door this morning.
But that situation has no room for hope and change. He who is forgiven much loves much, words from a friend of mine. I know that isn’t a formula, but I do think it is a good and proper response of the human heart. I see hope in a path that walks in forgiveness that cultivates great love. She could also see that forgiveness as a sign of weakness and a license to repeat. Honestly that is a core dilemma I’ve already dealt with in my religious life. I believe God’s heart and the ultimate good lies in risking the first path, but the forgiven party must react properly, with joy and love and gratefulness, not license to keep doing awful things.

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LostOpportunities20 ( member #74401) posted at 2:05 PM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

InkHulk

One of your first sentences about the details she gave you:

She claims that after they had sex she completely freaked out. Couldn’t sleep, almost confessed the day after. Scared about potential pregnancy.

But didn't she also tell you that they used a condom?

This might be something you want to dig into when you are ready to dig for more details or sort out inconsistencies.

[This message edited by LostOpportunities20 at 2:08 PM, Friday, July 1st]

BH (late 40s)
WW (late 40s) EA 2008, EA/probably PA 2009

Confessed the first, I caught her the second.

Filing for D

posts: 178   ·   registered: May. 7th, 2020
id 8742901
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 InkHulk (original poster member #80400) posted at 2:06 PM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

Based on your description (which is all we have to go on), you're not in R at present. You're in a state of detente, white knuckling it and stubbornly staying in the marriage to see what the future might bring.

I haven’t talked much about our interactions, so I can see why you’d say this. But we’ve actually been spending time together, having some laughs (even while we both went to STD appointments together) and we’ve made love the last two nights. I sort of avoided saying that here to avoid judgement, which is super weird. I would say that my current state is fragile, but I want to see if we can reconcile AND leverage that into a better future. It’s still so so early. I can tell some of the mind movies I experienced with RJ are ramping up, not looking forward to that. The path is too uncertain to make a call today, but I am choosing to take steps that favor R all while monitoring my new reality to see if there is another shoe about to drop. Or frankly just stagnation.

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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 2:10 PM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

I gave my wife demands that I needed. I wasn't prepared to actually divorce yet. When she didn't meet them, I didn't feel like I had other consequence options. I wasn't ready to D for a year. When I did ask, for real, in writing, I was ready to divorce.

I don't think it's really worth rehashing my story too much. The upshot is that she knew I wasn't really ready to leave and she did take advantage of that.

Edit to add: if the rest of the message is to me, and that I'm not in "true R" I think you'll find there is no agreed definition of that. The state I was in was white knuckling and compromise. I'm now content and happy. Just because other people here are able to return to lifelong commitment doesn't mean that I am.

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 2:21 PM, Friday, July 1st]

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

posts: 2028   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8742904
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 InkHulk (original poster member #80400) posted at 2:12 PM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

But didn't she also tell you that they used a condom?

Yes, but I had mentioned before a concern about precum on underwear she mentioned, plus even condoms aren’t 100%. I’ve had the big snip, so if she showed up pregnant it would be a problem she couldn’t spin. A love child would be completely intolerable to me (though I think I would have said the same about infidelity last week). I don’t think my integrity adjacent flexibility would go that far. And an abortion would also be grievous to me. Turns out the only good option was keeping her pants on unless she was with me.

posts: 89   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
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 InkHulk (original poster member #80400) posted at 2:21 PM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

I gave my wife demands that I needed. I wasn't prepared to actually divorce yet. When she didn't meet them, I didn't feel like I had other consequence options. I wasn't ready to D for a year. When I did ask, for real, in writing, I was ready to divorce.

I have no illusions I can control her. If she can react to this with humility and repentance then there is hope. If she begins to feel shameless about this and entitled, I run not walk away. If she gets crushed by the weight of guilt, that’s a harder one for me. Do I insist she find the strength and leave her alone? Do I attempt to lift her spirits with more hope of R (assuming she wants that, which I believe she does).

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 InkHulk (original poster member #80400) posted at 2:35 PM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

I also want to say thank you to everyone. This has been my journal and processing space and I think I’d be much worse off without this community that I deeply regret being a part of.

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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 2:54 PM on Friday, July 1st, 2022

But the whole thrust of my story right now is uncertainty. I don’t know if I want to divorce her.

That state, at this stage, is pretty normal. If you go to The Healing Library, there are tools that are intended to help you figure this out. One of the main tools is what is referred to as "The 180". So many posters here suggest using The 180 as a sort of cloister or punishment for the WW. In reality, it's a way to give yourself psychological space, breathing room, so that you can feel free to search for your heart's truth.

Like I’ve consistently professed, I love her deeply and that love survives this betrayal. It’s like the most perverse test of the quality of love, but mine passed.

This feeling is also pretty normal. What I'd warn you about, or perhaps urge is a better verb, is to plumb the reality of the woman you are married to. Are you in love with your fantasy of her, the woman she "could be, if only"? Or maybe the woman you subconsciously assumed her to be before you learned her truth? That's mostly what betrayed men do - cling to the shreds of love for the imaginary wife who doesn't exist in real life. In some ways, men who profess to be religious are most guilty of this, convincing themselves that this is in some way a "test" of the "quality" of our love, when in reality it's a fiction we create, a version of self-catfishing ourselves into a love for an imaginary woman who does not exist in real life.

But what I hear in what you are saying and what hits me hard is the idea that I shouldn’t hope for change in her. That I should make my evaluation of what the future will probably look like based off her history, which would be bleak because I’ve described a challenged marriage and now she’s an adulterer. If I do that, I could just walk out the door this morning.

But that situation has no room for hope and change. He who is forgiven much loves much, words from a friend of mine. I know that isn’t a formula, but I do think it is a good and proper response of the human heart. I see hope in a path that walks in forgiveness that cultivates great love. She could also see that forgiveness as a sign of weakness and a license to repeat. Honestly that is a core dilemma I’ve already dealt with in my religious life. I believe God’s heart and the ultimate good lies in risking the first path, but the forgiven party must react properly, with joy and love and gratefulness, not license to keep doing awful things.

Hope. If you read here much, you'll find that almost all newly minted BH's are drug addicts. Junkies. Our drug of choice: hopium. Man, we puff on the hopium pipe like the most crazed-out crack head in a drug den. Meanwhile, the one true thing we own -- our time -- runs away from us tick by tick by tick, while we are mired in paralysis by analysis. You can cling to hope, which may prove to be false, but you can't cling to your time. You never get that back.

You speak of forgiveness. There are many threads here about forgiveness. For most of us, it means the lack of a desire to extract revenge. From what I hear, you've long since forgiven her. You can forgive her, and divorce her. They are not mutually exclusive. And you can even reconcile with her and divorce her. In fact, regardless whether you divorce, you'll be in one anothers' lives for decades as co-parents. You have to achieve some version of reconciliation for the sake of your kids. Sometimes, the best version of reconciliation comes in that context: divorced co-parents.

People here have talked about actions versus words. You don't describe her actions much, so we can't comment on them. I will revisit, though, the oddness of her confession, as amplified by the oddness of her voluntarily self-recreated "NC" communication, complete with the "I love you" to the AP. In pop culture we see reference to the concept of "suicide by cop", a person at the end of his rope who engages in armed confrontation with police so he will be shot to death. To me, the nature and timing of her confession feels like a marriage/divorce version of this. This would explain why she told you, in a highly passive-aggressive way, that she is still in love with her AP.

I'm mindful of your repeated statement in many of your posts describing how your marital sex life has always been bad. She certainly knows that you don't enjoy the sex with her. It can't possibly feel good for her to be your wife, your only source of sex, knowing that it's a disappointment and letdown every time. That dynamic will eventually crush her spirit. I reckon her A was driven by a desire to feel lusted for, even just once. I reckon her confession to you, and her admission that she loves the AP, is a gambit to push you away, so that you will go find a compatible sex partner and stop blaming her for your sexual disappointment.

Hers is a massively dysfunctional response to that dynamic, by the way. A functional married partner would, for example, invest effort into being a better lover. Or talk about the sex dynamic. Perhaps seek counseling. I reckon she knows this and has considered the options before deciding that the option she would choose would be sex and love with another man. Actions speak. Maybe you should listen to her. Maybe you two are truly incompatible sexually. Maybe there is a depth of wisdom in her actions that speaks louder than her meek words. Rather than talking at her, rather than telling her, maybe it would benefit you to listen to what she is communicating to you.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 4:09 PM, Friday, July 1st]

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

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