I keep trying to write an update on the long, slow process that I've been going through with my W to create a detailed timeline of her A of almost 20 years ago. We've gone through a lot but I haven't written much about it. I didn't want to post anything that might give away what I know or affect how she was answering my questions.
Also, I keep going into such a detailed rant and I'm not sure anyone cares to read that at this point.
So the bottom line is this - 18 years ago as we were working on R she lied and minimized both how sexual the affair was and how serious it was emotionally. She claimed that the affair was mostly online except for "a few times" when she happened to be in OM's town on business overnight, and it became physical. She said at the time that she loved him but she minimized how serious their relationship was. They had sex, but he never stayed the night, she claimed.
I never understood how she could sit on the fence for two months when it was obvious to me that she couldn't really love the guy. She really only knew him from their online chats and a few brief encounters - or so I thought. This was long before online EAs had become a common thing.
The truth is that she arranged to meet OM over a dozen times and had sex with him at least nine times. The truth is that he stayed overnight many of those times and she arranged long weekends so they could play house and cultivate their relationship. She was seriously contemplating a future with him.
She made it sound like he was the pursuer and she was simply the victim of poor boundaries and the "slippery slope." It's clear now that she pursued him just as much as he did her - maybe more. She arranged nearly every meeting. She made sure that he'd have his opportunities, and more than once when he didn't make the next move, she made it for him.
Her lies didn't stop on Dday. She agreed not to see him in person as a condition for us staying under the same roof while we tried to work things out. She admits now that she planned to meet with him, supposedly for "closure," but he didn't show up.
I also found from one of her posts here that she seems to have broken "No Contact." Someone here asked, "What was one setback during R that you did not think you could overcome but did?" She answered, "H thought I wasn't still talking to OP, but I was. Still hard to admit that after all this time."
She says now that she doesn't recall that and doesn't think that she spoke with OM after NC. But she leaves open the possibility that there is something she is forgetting. She says believes she meant that she was still talking to him after D-day.
But there was never a time when I thought she wasn't talking to OM prior to NC. And she knew very well that R didn't begin until NC had been established. So how could talking with him have been a "setback in R" if it occurred before NC?
After we were trying to R she discovered SI and it was a great help in getting her to finally take responsibility at least for what she had admitted to. But even as she was playing the model WS here, she repeated the same lies that she told me.
I left SI to her as a safe place to deal with her issues. I stayed away and didn't read her posts. I realize now that was probably also part of my rug-sweeping. After reading her archived posts I realize how stupid it was. I just wanted things to go back to the way they were. I didn't want to think about it any more. I didn't want to face who she really was during that time.
I had never heard of a "timeline." But she understood the concept of timeline very well from her time here and she never offered that to me. She advised complete disclosure to other WSs here many times but she never gave it to me. She even told WSs whose BSs didn't want details that they should write it out while the details were fresh in case their BS ever changed their mind. She never did that either.
She claimed here to have given me dates but not details, which she said I didn't want. She never gave me either. She gave me, "A few times when I was there overnight." and that was a lie. I never said that I didn't want details. I said that I wasn't sure, given our therapist's advice against it. I gave up getting them because she made it so difficult and I didn't have the will to keep fighting over it. And now I realize it was also because I wasn't ready to have my illusions about her shattered.
She did a lot of work on herself to understand what she did and why. She seemed truly remorseful and she became a better person and a better wife through all that work. But now I'm left wondering why all of that work never inspired her to follow her own advice.
After a year or so we rarely spoke of her cheating any more. She would apologize from time to time. When the topic came up I would usually dismiss it, saying that there wasn't much point in talking about it when we couldn't change anything. We could only move on and live with it.
I regret that. I realize now it was all rug sweeping. Rather than really dealing with it I was trying not to think about it. I'm sure that was a convenient excuse for her to keep her secrets based on "he doesn't want to know."
But I was operating under the belief that the story she had given me, while vague, was largely the truth. There's a big difference between "a few times" by happenstance and a dozen times that involved tremendous planning and deceit. There's
a big difference between an online infatuation that she mistook for love and calling that person the love of your life as you're trying to plot out a future with them.
As I was coming to understand just how much she had lied to me back then, I also realized that she had directly lied to me about it since then, and even during this timeline process. She may plead forgetfulness, but I know that some of these things she did not forget. And I also realized now that she always lied more than I thought. And more recently.
Not that it's common. But I realize now that she has always had ways to manipulate me to get what she wants. At the far end of those tactics, a little fib or omission wasn't out of the question. An outright lie was an option if it was something she really wanted or the truth seemed painful or dangerous.
I talked to her about that and it was clear that she had already been struggling with it - probably based on the lies she had told in her initial timeline. She agrees that it's something she needs to work on. My tolerance for it is at an end.
Early in the process she decided that she needed to get back into IC. At first she went back to her original therapist in hopes that she would have records or recall whether she had talked about breaking NC or anything that might help her answer my questions.
No luck there, it was so long ago the records were discarded and the therapist had no recollection. But one good thing that came from it was that she saw clearly now just how enabling that original therapist's techniques were. So she signed up with a new therapist who specializes in trauma in hopes that she would be more sensitive to what I'm going through and help her access some of those memories. This therapist follows a complete honesty policy so no secrets are acceptable if I decide to join her in MC with this therapist.
We still haven't had a full discussion of all of this. I'm waiting on her answers to my final set of questions. Those are mostly digging into details where I have reason to believe she wasn't entirely transparent, but also about the implications of what I've learned and discovered.
It seems like I need to check in again on how she's progressing. I understand that these questions aren't easy, but it occurred to me - I wonder how long it would take if she put as much effort into it as she did the affair? Was that so easy?