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General :
Wife’s affair trying to Reconcile and need advice.

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 Devastatedhusband (original poster new member #80469) posted at 9:08 PM on Monday, August 1st, 2022

Hello Everyone, so glad I’ve found this place been reading everything I can on here since I found the site yesterday. Will try to give a brief account then see what the group thinks.

Wife and I have been together 22 years she was 16 I was 17 and have been married for 17 years with two children. Our marriage has been great or so I thought no real issues to speak of maybe a little bit of roommate phase as we’ve dealt with working and raising kids. About 2 months ago I noticed her changing wanting me out of the house more and her leaving more. Also spending more time than usual up late on her phone at night. I got suspicious and caught her texting a client of hers late one night. She deleted the texts before I got a hold of her phone. They have been friends for about 7 years and assured me that their texting and calls were inappropriate but not an affair. Which I didn’t believe but couldn’t prove. So a month goes by me crying and hurt and her assuring me there was nothing else going on and they were not talking other than business. She was still not acting like herself so I was not convinced. So 3 weeks ago I put a recording device in her car. 5 minutes into first drive she called and talked to him for 20 minutes. When confronted with the audio she broke down and confessed what I believe to be everything. Said it had been developing for a couple of months and I caught her the first time about a week after first and only sexual encounter. Said I kept too good of tabs on her for sex to happen again or admitted it would have. I left the next morning and told her I was not coming home until she either called or text me and him at the same time and ended everything. So that morning she group text me and him saying she had admitted everything and their affair could not continue.

Now after talking about it we both decided we want to stay and build a better marriage. I told her I was unwilling to return to what we had and if we could not build a happier marriage Where she was getting her needs met and where I was getting the affection and sex that I wanted I would leave the marriage.

I feel like maybe we are making progress she is doing everything I ask spending less time on Facebook more time with me and kids. She admits she is responsible and doesn’t try to blame me for not meeting her needs. She claims she was not happy before the affair but says she wants me and our family to be what makes her happy. She has admitted to still thinking about him and misses him. Which I told her I appreciated her honesty. But still is unsure why she let it happen or unwilling to tell me. Best she can come up with is turning 40 this month and has been worried about it for a year!

Now where I need advice I half expected her to come crawling back to me crazy in love. She is saying it will just take time? It has only been 3 weeks. I told her because my love for her never changed I expected hers would too but maybe not the case. Most importantly! How should I act with her???? I have always been very loving and affectionate and continue to be now, old habits die hard. Then I will have a day where I don’t contact or touch her all day. I’m try to gauge what will bring her back to me best but in my current state I can’t tell who she needs me to be. Any advice or thoughts on our situation would be greatly appreciated. Again so glad to have found somewhere I don’t feel alone anymore

posts: 11   ·   registered: Aug. 1st, 2022   ·   location: Tennessee
id 8747929
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 9:48 PM on Monday, August 1st, 2022

Her account of everything sounds very watered down. Very minimized. Very typical of a freshly caught WS.

She's known him for 7 years. But expects you to believe the affair just started Very recently,and,of course, she only had sex with him once.

You should have her take a polygraph, to confirm when it started,and how often she had sex with him.

Also,be prepared to find out its still happening. She almost surely sent him a private message,before that group text,letting him know it was coming,and to ignore it.

You need to call his wife,and tell her. Don't tell your wife,or she will warn him. Don't tell her at all. She will let you know she knows..and then you will know she is still talking to him.

At minimum, she should be..

Completely transparent. You get full access to everything, all accounts, and her phone.

Std testing.

She drops him as a client.

She drops any friends who knew of the affair

She goes to IC.

She answers all of your questions, with complete honesty.

And you should see an attorney, to find out your rights.

Do NOT tell her about this site.

[This message edited by HellFire at 9:50 PM, Monday, August 1st]

posts: 4495   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8747931
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 9:50 PM on Monday, August 1st, 2022

Glad you found us but sorry that you're here.

You are most likely being trickle truthed since "just one time" is the cliche lie as old as time. But it's also possible you are right. Unlikely but possible.

Second, it sounds like you are somewhat accepting the "unmet needs fallacy" and are about to engage in the "pick me dance". Essentially, you think if you are a better husband, she won't stay again. This is attractive to new BS's because it gives an illusion of control. The problem is that the "need" the affair fills is a selfish one for additional illicit attention and sex. You can't fill a need for illicit attention with normal healthy attention.

Secondly, if at any point you fail to be super Devastated husband, you wife will say "sorry you just didn't meet my needs again". And you'll have more or less condoned that as a valid position for her to take.

Boilerplate:

1) full electronic transparency and location sharing
2) complete written timeline of the affair with optional polygraph to confirm
3) books "not just friends" Shirley glass, "how to help you spouse heal from you affair" Linda MacDonald
4) therapy for both of you, yours with experience in betrayal trauma. No MC until your WW fixes her shit

How you should treat her is to take care of yourself completely, first and foremost. Don't hide your anger for fear of ruining the mood. Don't placate her. She should be crawling across broken glass for you.

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

posts: 2028   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8747932
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asc1226 ( member #75363) posted at 9:56 PM on Monday, August 1st, 2022

DH, so sorry you find yourself here. So what has she been doing to make you feel safe? Has she offered transparency with all of her electronics and social media and provided all passwords?

Has she written a timeline of her affair which includes all inappropriate behavior since you’ve been a couple to be verified by polygraph?

Has she gotten into individual counseling with someone who has experience with infidelity and is pro marriage with none of this unmet needs crap?

Has she bought books like How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair and Not Just Friends? Has she been researching betrayal trauma?

Has she confessed to your pastor?

Has she dropped her affair partner as a client, even if it means transferring or quitting her job?

Has she given you his contact information so you can get in touch with his wife or girlfriend and give her the truth about her relationship?

I make edits, words is hard

posts: 453   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8747934
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 Devastatedhusband (original poster new member #80469) posted at 9:58 PM on Monday, August 1st, 2022

Maybe I’m being naive but I do believe her timeline for the most part. I felt the change in her about the time she stated affair started. I am prepared to find out it is still going on and will go to the AP wife if I find anything else. As she did lie to me and continue for over a month after I found out the first time. We are working on getting her a new job as she cannot drop him as a client. She has no need to contact him directly for work and everything can be done through other people.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Aug. 1st, 2022   ·   location: Tennessee
id 8747935
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Hippo16 ( member #52440) posted at 10:01 PM on Monday, August 1st, 2022

Devastatedhusband

Wish you had no reason to find SI - but you didn't have a choice in how your spouse decided to conduct her side of the marriage.

Start reading the stuff "the healing library"

She needs to make major changes in her thinking and she has many months of "crime against the marriage" to sort out and deal with the fallout.
Fallout? First you. Friends (and collaborate on the cheating?) Family?

Do not change to try and "win her back" - you can change for better (if needed?) but right now - she is running amuck and brain is out of balance with
the addiction to her AP. The saying is: "Do NOT do the PICK ME dance!" You look weak compared to AP when so doing.

Expose the AP to his spouse ASAP. Provide proof. Who else you tell - remember you cannot untell and consider long term ramifications of spreading
the word of her unfaithfulness.

The usual stuff:
Both get STD tested - don't touch her anymore until "all clear."
Timeline - when it started, how, where, as much detail as you need. Maybe ask for Sunday-school version and a XXX rated version so you can choose which to read.

Suggest you find a person (Friend? Relative? Shrink? aka "IC") for bouncing off your thoughts - which are all over the place right now.

Go see a lawyer (consultation) for divorce so you can start preparing for the worst.
Get all your financials nailed down - you don't want "wife' using retail therapy to get over AP.

Getting over AP? - likely will take months. You have to accept that. Life as it is -

Get a Voice Operated Recorder to keep your person in case she blows a fuse and initiates anykind of confrontation that can result in you getting steel bracelets courtesy of your local gendarmes. People who screw you over (which she has) can betray your trust in other ways beside emotion and sex with the AP.

Others will be on this thread and add to your to-do list and also add predictions on possible future behavior of your spouse.

Trust? Give her all the freedom to do as she wants. You choose what to accept. State boundaries and if she violates - you take action.

Constant worry and monitoring of a spouse gets old in a hurry and mentally will wear you down.

Not Just Friends

posts: 650   ·   registered: Mar. 26th, 2016   ·   location: OBX
id 8747936
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Unhinged ( member #47977) posted at 10:29 PM on Monday, August 1st, 2022

Hey there, Devastatedhusband. Welcome to the greatest club that no one ever wanted to join. I'm sorry you've had to find us here.

When confronted with the audio she broke down and confessed what I believe to be everything. Said it had been developing for a couple of months and I caught her the first time about a week after first and only sexual encounter.

When most people get busted (for whatever) they go straight into damage control mode. That often includes lying and minimizing. Wayward spouses are certainly no different. I cannot know for certain whether or not your WW (wayward wife) is, in fact, telling you everything. However, it's unlikely. Chances are there is more to the story than she is currently willing to tell you about.

She claims she was not happy before the affair but says she wants me and our family to be what makes her happy.

Happiness comes from within. Things and people can, and will, bring either joy or sorrow into our lives. However, they cannot make us happy or unhappy (although they will certainly try).

Best she can come up with is turning 40 this month and has been worried about it for a year!

Ugh! Mid-life crisis, huh? How wonderfully cliched! This isn't a reason to cheat, however. She's going to have to dig much deeper to figure out why she was willing to blow-up her life and the lives of everyone around her.

I’m try to gauge what will bring her back to me best but in my current state I can’t tell who she needs me to be.

Brother, the absolute worst thing you can possibly right now is the "pick-me dance." I know it seems like the best approach. Plenty of betrayed spouses have felt the exact same way. Unfortunately, doing a "pick-me dance" puts you at a tremendous disadvantage by giving her all the power in the relationship. That, my friend, is exactly what you want to avoid at all costs.

At this point, she should be the one trying to win you back. I mean seriously, do you really want to remain married to a woman who cheated, had an affair, can't be trusted, isn't worthy of your respect or affection?

Married 2005
D-Day April, 2015
Divorced May, 2022

"The Universe is not short on wake-up calls. We're just quick to hit the snooze button." -Brene Brown

posts: 6536   ·   registered: May. 21st, 2015   ·   location: Colorado
id 8747939
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 Devastatedhusband (original poster new member #80469) posted at 10:33 PM on Monday, August 1st, 2022

Ouch all these answers hurt to hear but I know you all understand the situation better than I do and are looking out for my best interest.

Try to prove answers to most of these questions.

1. I have complete access to her phone and records, Facebook account, and she even offered to let download her messenger onto my phone which is how she has been contacting him.

2. I am definitely buying into the win her back strategy as I’m not sure what else to do. Or how to act I am working on myself like most people that this happens to I have lost 30 lbs in 2 months going to gym, buying new clothes.

3. Can ask for a written timeline we have have talked about it. But I can see making her write it out in detail would be helpful.

4. She hasn’t read anything like I have I have read 4-5 books in this timeframe but said she is willing to if I ask her to read something.

5. I do feel she would like to sweep it under the rug and forget about it. She is not very good about talking about her feelings and never has been. I have told her this is something that would have to change.

6. How do I get her to crawl across broken glass for me? I feel like if I knew the proper way to act she would. Am I being too nice and affectionate towards her?

posts: 11   ·   registered: Aug. 1st, 2022   ·   location: Tennessee
id 8747940
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 10:40 PM on Monday, August 1st, 2022

No sir. You don't wait for something more to happen,in order to call his wife. You call her now. You tell her who you are,who your wife is,and the facts as you know them. Offer a copy of any evidence you have. The tape would be good. Telling the OBS is the single best thing a BS can do to protect themselves.

Then you have 2 sets of eyes on them. It makes it harder for them to go underground.

She deserves to know. Just as you do.

Do not play the pick me dance. You are teaching her that if she cheats on you,she gets rewarded. You are setting yourself up for another dday.

[This message edited by HellFire at 10:42 PM, Monday, August 1st]

posts: 4495   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8747942
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 10:44 PM on Monday, August 1st, 2022

You are choosing to believe her,because it's the easier thing to do. However, she has proven she has no problem lying to you. The only reason she came somewhat clean,is because she had no choice.

You need to be tested as well.

posts: 4495   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8747944
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HalfTime2017 ( member #64366) posted at 10:53 PM on Monday, August 1st, 2022

You need to release the fantasy of how shes going to come crawling back to you with more sex and everything better. How that happens is if you become a self sufficient man, who doesn't need her. Right now, what you're showing her already after D-Day is that you're still loving and willing to take her back. In her mind, she must have thought oh crap, if I get caught, it might be over. Now, she's realizing that she doesn't have to work super hard and you're still loving (like you said, old habits) and you've already offered R.

First, you need to have your wife call the OBS, and spill the beans to her directly while you listen in on the phone. By making her call the OBS, the OBS will be an ally for you, she will be monitoring her husband, it will help kill the affair faster. The OBS also deserves to know her husbands a lying cheat.

Then, I'd ask your wife for a polygraph. Say that you're going to schedule it for next week. You need to get all you can from her so that you can make a decision if you want to stay or not. How can you make a call to stay, without knowing all the details.

Then, you should work on yourself, IC and keep moving forward. If you want to give your WW a chance to make it up to you, and R, then you need to wait and see her actions. She also needs to go to IC. Don't be so quick to offer up R. You need to see her long term actions and know the whole truth. Don't rug sweep this.

posts: 1345   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2018   ·   location: Cali
id 8747945
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ButAnyway ( member #79085) posted at 10:55 PM on Monday, August 1st, 2022

No sir. You don't wait for something more to happen,in order to call his wife. You call her now. You tell her who you are,who your wife is,and the facts as you know them. Offer a copy of any evidence you have. The tape would be good. Telling the OBS is the single best thing a BS can do to protect themselves.

Then you have 2 sets of eyes on them. It makes it harder for them to go underground.

She deserves to know. Just as you do.

Do not play the pick me dance. You are teaching her that if she cheats on you,she gets rewarded. You are setting yourself up for another dday.

Read this over and over ... it is spot on.

Yes, you are being too nice. You just got disrespected in the worst possible way a W can treat her H ... let your anger out. It will serve you well in keeping positive momentum. Also, I agree that you are likely getting the minimal amount of info your WW thinks she can get by with providing. What she is claiming simply doesn't pass the basic smell test, if fact, it stinks!!!

Absolutely, tell the OM's W immediately (and don't clue in your WW that you're doing it) and watch another side benefit happen over night ... your WW won't have to find another job, OMW will make him take his business elsewhere and he will no longer be a client of your WW's firm.

One saying that I found to be absolutely true ... "The one that cares the least in a relationship, holds the power". Time to DETACH and reorganize your priorities towards YOURSELF, because your WW clearly doesn't have your best interests at heart.

[This message edited by ButAnyway at 10:57 PM, Monday, August 1st]

posts: 120   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8747947
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 Devastatedhusband (original poster new member #80469) posted at 11:10 PM on Monday, August 1st, 2022

I want to tell OMw but feel like I’m trying to protect myself from embarrassment. We are both well known couples in our small community and if she blows up and gets in big heated divorce. I know this is my wife’s responsibility and not mine but I couldn’t live with the embarrassment of everyone in my hometown knowing I was cheated on.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Aug. 1st, 2022   ·   location: Tennessee
id 8747948
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 11:31 PM on Monday, August 1st, 2022

Most BS feel the same way. They don't want everyone to know. Chances are extremely high that his wife will feel the same.

If you both live in the same small town,chances are also extremely high that they've met around town,to either have sex,or at least talk. People notice. Unfortunately, she probably wasn't as sneaky as she thought she was,and someone saw them.

Don't let the possibility of embarrassment stop you from protecting your marriage. Telling his wife is one of the very best ways to do that.

Many of us have been here for years. We've reconciled,but stay to pass on what we've learned. Not telling the OBS is a BAD move. Those who did just that,have come back and said they wish they had done it sooner,or they wish they had listened.

You want to protect your family. We are trying to help you.

posts: 4495   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8747953
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 Devastatedhusband (original poster new member #80469) posted at 11:50 PM on Monday, August 1st, 2022

I know you all are right about Me telling his wife and to be honest I really have wanted to 1 so the she knows and 2 to make him pay some for his role in this. It’s sad to think you can trust a group of strangers on the internet more than you can a partner of 22 years. But that’s the case right now.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Aug. 1st, 2022   ·   location: Tennessee
id 8747954
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ButAnyway ( member #79085) posted at 12:12 AM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

Honestly, I understand the reason for your reluctance … but instead of embarrassment, think of your self respect instead.

Is not being embarrassed worth that bastard getting away with what he did, and can you look at yourself in the mirror if you let him.

Again, tap into your anger … consider it righteous indignation for being WRONGED!!!

posts: 120   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8747958
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 12:38 AM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

It's very important that you don't tell your wife.

Are you taking care of yourself? Eating? Drinking plenty of water? Are you able to sleep? If not,it's ok to see your doctor,and get some help.

posts: 4495   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8747962
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Darkness Falls ( member #27879) posted at 12:57 AM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

I’m try to gauge what will bring her back to me best but in my current state I can’t tell who she needs me to be.

Not going to work. You can’t make someone "come crawling back". All you can do is set your own boundaries and decide what you’re willing to accept from your marriage, then see if what you’re getting is what you need.

WS - remarried to BH but not in R

D-day 2010

posts: 6373   ·   registered: Mar. 8th, 2010   ·   location: USA
id 8747963
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ButAnyway ( member #79085) posted at 12:59 AM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

Some are probably tired of me posting this, but I've been where you are and this gave me direction, focus and strength, and I still refer to it when facing a difficult decision:

The Guy in the Glass

by Dale Wimbrow, (c) 1934

When you get what you want in your struggle for self,
And the world makes you King for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn't your Father, or Mother, or Wife,
Whose judgement upon you must pass.
The feller whose verdict that counts most in your life
Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He's the feller to please, never mind all the rest,
For he's with you clear up to the end,
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may be like Jack Horner and "chisel" a plum,
And think you're a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum
If you can't look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you've cheated the guy in the glass.

posts: 120   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8747964
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LIYA13 ( member #62026) posted at 1:19 AM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

Devastatedhusband,

I will echo what most people have said here. First and foremost your ws is most likely hiding the truth. She is definitely doing damage control. My H did the same. He hid the truth until eventually he gave in and gave me a timeline of everything. I know sometimes the details might not be something that you dont want to hear and im not going to lie because it does hurt alot. You just need the details otherwise your imagination gets the better of you. Trust me when I say the mind movies are the worst. Also sometimes your imagination really does amplify things. Its best to get the real facts. Stop treating her like the victim. Shes not the victim. You are. Shes a liar and a cheat. Dont believe anything she says because they lie, lie more and continue to lie. Thats what theyre good at. You're going through a phase of wanting to salvage your marriage by rug sweeping. You need to stop that because after 6 months it hurts worse and by then you would have rug sweeped and not get all the answers you wanted. At 6 months it hurts the worse. If you want to know everything its best to get the timeline now. Also get her to do the polygraph or atleast book an appointment for her and see if she is willing to do it. You need answers. Why are you showing affection to a cheat and to someone who has crushed your world. Youre acknowledging the A and also kind of accepting that it happened. A midlife crisis? Hah! My H said the same thing. He was worried hes becoming 40 and getting old. Thats not acceptable. Im gona hit 40 soon that doesnt mean im gona want an A to make myself feel better. I believe is being honest and loyal and most importantly fidelity. I would never cheat so dont let her use the pathetic excuse of a midlife crisis. Also tell the OM Wife. She deserves to know. You'd want someone to tell you if your wife was cheating on you and they knew about it so be an honest person and tell her. She deserves better. You deserve better.

posts: 151   ·   registered: Dec. 29th, 2017   ·   location: United Kingdom
id 8747966
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