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

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fareast ( Guide #61555) posted at 1:34 AM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

Dh:

Sorry you are here. If not yet recommended, your WW should read “How To Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair”, by McDonald. A good short read. Read in the healing library.

You can’t nice your WW back. You can’t control her. She is responsible for her own happiness. Being unhappy in the M did not force your WW to break her wedding vows to you. People in ridiculously happy marriages still cheat. Celebrities. Millionaires.

Your WW cheated because her sense of integrity and honor is broken. The hard fact is that she cheated because she wanted to do it. All the rest of blaming the marriage, unmet needs, feeling disconnected, blah, blah, blah is just pathetic rationalizations.

It is up to her to realize she is broken, and take actions, therapy, counseling, showing empathy for your pain, in order to try and rebuild your trust. You are doing many good things. Exercise. Eat healthy. Get help in IC if you need to deal with this trauma. You will be on an emotional rollercoaster. Right now you are trying to put your life and M back together. In a year you may wonder what the heck you were doing. Decide what you want. Communicate your boundaries and expectations to your WW. Do not do the pick me dance.

If your WW persists in explaining that she wants to build a better M, she is putting the cart before the horse. If she was unhappy in your M she had many legitimate options to address it with you. How did cheating help your M?

Look at your M as an aging house. The roof leaked. The furnace was broken. The toilet overflowed. But instead of working with you to repair what was broken, your WW poured gasoline on the house and burned it to the ground. It’s up to her to prove to you if you choose to rebuild that she will no longer be an arsonist.

Good luck.

[This message edited by fareast at 7:38 PM, August 1st (Monday)]

Never bother with things in your rearview mirror. Your best days are on the road in front of you.

posts: 3211   ·   registered: Nov. 24th, 2017
id 8747968
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asc1226 ( member #75363) posted at 1:50 AM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

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.

She’s willing to. If you ask. Maybe if you ask really nicely? I think I’d ask her not so nicely why the fuck she isn’t willing to put as much effort into fixing her shit as she was putting into fucking another man. Remember, the prize for winning the pick me dance is an unremorseful cheater.

I make edits, words is hard

posts: 453   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8747971
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WhatsRight ( member #35417) posted at 2:51 AM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

I’m sorry you are in a situation that brings you here. But the good people here are usually a very very big help.

One observation I wanted to make after reading your posts is this… You can’t "make her" or "get her" to do anything. And if you could somehow manipulate that, it would not be real.

You have mentioned in your posts…

"How do I get her to…", Or some form of that.

Again, you can’t. And if you "get her" to do something, it won’t be real.

The best you can do is to tell her what you need, and even make it a "demand" / pre-requisite for reconciliation if you want. But it will totally and completely be up to her whether or not she wants to give you what you need, or even is willing to give it to you.

You have to think through whether her giving what you need would be worth anything if it is something you have to beg or threaten for it.

Either way, you have a long road ahead. For me, one of the worst parts of this whole experience is that you have absolutely no control over what the wayward spouse chooses to do. But you absolutely have control about how you will handle those actions or inactions.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 7542   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8747978
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 Devastatedhusband (original poster new member #80469) posted at 3:22 AM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

Little bit of an update she came home tonight and said I seemed cold and distant I told her I was a little and she asked why. I told her I have been on anxiety meds for about a week and my head really felt clear and able to think today for the first time. Told her I was angry about the situation and didn’t feel she was doing enough. She seemed a little glad that I was angry said she dealt better with that than the codling and loving. In fact she said get mad and throw her ass out for a couple weeks. I told her I needed a few days with this new found clarity to see how I want to proceed. So thinking I’m either going to present her with a list of questions or ask for a detailed timeline. And present it with a paper appointment for a polygraph test and see if she agrees to fill it out with the assumption we are going to go verify everything next week.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Aug. 1st, 2022   ·   location: Tennessee
id 8747983
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Confused282 ( new member #79680) posted at 4:11 AM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

Yikes that is not good.

"Get mad and throw her out for a couple of weeks"

Cheaters who want to save the marriage don’t ask to be alone.

Cheaters want separation to continue the affair.

You need to listen to everyone on here asap. You are still in trouble.

If she tries to separate for any reason you need to hit her with divorce papers quickly.

Talk to a lawyer, you don’t have to file but accurate information is always good and can help bring clarity as to what exactly your options are. Their is a reason it is always the first piece of advise. You need to be ready if things get shady.

Call the other wife asap. She can help shatter this fantasy world. She may do a lot of the work for you on locking him down as well as investigation work. There is more to this than she is telling you. It’s never sex once.

Expose her to her family is a must. Everyone needs to be in her ear. She needs to go through pain as well as she will never learn if she does not face any consequences.

As for your family for now keep it close to the chest. Get help from the best people who can support you.

She needs to read the Linda McDonald book. It explains to the cheater that it is their responsibility to repair things. Also the book "not just friends" it explains some things well too like there can be no secrets between you. It is one of most scientific books on this subject.

She needs to write a timeline immediately and it needs to be checked against a polygraph. She cannot lie to you or have secrets as she will not be able to reconnect while she is hiding things.

Also along the same theme as exposure. She cannot have any special secret memories between her and the other man. The secrets can only be between you and her. Not just friends explains this well with the walls and windows concept.

Also make sure to get it in her head that this is it. There can be no more lying if she wants to save the marriage. If she writes the timeline honestly. All the flirting, all the lying, all the making out, all the sex (there is argument on sexual details but not where and how many times) this will affect her. It will make her think about you and put some fear in her about what will happen when you read it. That is a good thing.

Also you need to read those two books. It will help you get some direction on what things should look like between you during recovery.

You can’t abuse her but everyone on here is telling you the truth. You can’t nice her back.

Talk to a lawyer first then if you need space you leave for a night or get some air. She cannot leave at all. And right now she should not want to if she is serious about saving the marriage.

Remember everyone on here has given this advise hundreds of times and have seen the same patterns play out again again. There may be nuances but there is nothing truly unique about your story. They know what they are talking about.

Self improvement for you or the next woman if it comes to that is just the minimum you have to do.

I’m so sorry this happened to you. I’m pulling for you and wish you the best.

posts: 14   ·   registered: Dec. 16th, 2021   ·   location: USA
id 8747992
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 Devastatedhusband (original poster new member #80469) posted at 4:23 AM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

Is there a guide to help write a good timeline. I want certain questions answered can I ask for those specifically

posts: 11   ·   registered: Aug. 1st, 2022   ·   location: Tennessee
id 8747994
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fareast ( Guide #61555) posted at 5:12 AM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

You ask for any level of detail you need. There are no rules. You decide what you need to know. Always watch her actions. Words are cheap.

It’s difficult for any of us to know your WW’s intentions. Does she want to see anger as evidence that you care that you have been disrespected? Is she looking for an excuse for separation? Is she looking for a reaction? Having an A is a hell of a hurtful way to elicit a reaction from your BS.

Never bother with things in your rearview mirror. Your best days are on the road in front of you.

posts: 3211   ·   registered: Nov. 24th, 2017
id 8748002
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 5:38 AM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

You can't make her crawl over broken glass. You can't make her want to. You have to let go of controlling her or controlling the outcome. Be true to yourself and what you need to heal.

I can tell you I spent about a year trying to get a virtuous cycle of positivity going. Then I gave up. Told her I don't trust her. Asked for a divorce. Only when I was done and ready to let go of the marriage was she able to put in the work to save it.

This is not a suggestion to threaten a divorce you don't want to get a result that you do. You can only do what is true for you. Just know you are in for some pain asking the way while she figures her shit out.

My suggestion is to be continuously and vocally upset. You don't have to tell and scream, but if she still isn't doing enough. Say so. If she can't do enough... Well you'll eventually run out of patience. Could be months, could be years.

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 3:58 PM, Tuesday, August 2nd]

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

posts: 2028   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8748005
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Seeking2Forgive ( member #78819) posted at 6:44 AM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

I'm very sorry that your WW has done this to you and your family.

The number one thing that you need to understand is that it is almost completely unheard of for a BS to confront a WS and have them immediately offer the full truth with no more lies going forward. If that's what has happened here then your WW is a unicorn. For your sake, I hope that it's true, but for your own well being I would advise you to assume that it's not until she has proven herself over time to be trustworthy again.

What are the odds that you happened to catch her right after it became physical? You say you saw a change in her behavior, but that could have been spurred by any number of things. Some WSs start out very cautious and become sloppy over time as they decide they've got a viable backup plan. Maybe OM finally hinted he was ready to leave his BW.

As others have said, please inform the OBS with no forewarning to your WW. Imagine if you contacted OBS and found out that the affair started a year ago, she discovered it, and never told you because she thought it was over. You're sentencing this innocent BS to living a lie, perhaps for the rest of their life. You only have to read a few stories from BSs who find out late in life, years after the fact that their WS was a cheater to understand how important it is.

I know how you feel here. I was humiliated and I didn't want anyone to know. As you say, it truly reflects on your WW and not on you. But we all know that many people don't recognize that because they've never been through it. My W's AP was single so there was no OBS, but I discovered that her AP was starting up an EA with another MW and I tried to warn her away without telling her how I knew. In retrospect I regret not telling her BS instead. I think part of why I didn't was because I was so busy minimizing and rug-sweeping myself, that for a long time I didn't feel the full impact of the cold hard truth of my W's cheating. So I couldn't empathize with the impact of infidelity on someone else. Don't let that be you. Look it right in the eye in all of it's ugliness, selfishness, and deceit.

So thinking I’m either going to present her with a list of questions or ask for a detailed timeline.

I would strongly recommend that you have her write out a full timeline from the beginning including every inappropriate act with whatever level of detail you are comfortable with. Once you have read her timeline, then you can provide her with written follow-up questions.

If you ask your questions first, you're imposing your own assumptions and boundaries on the responses and that's an invitation to minimize, trickle truth, and evade. She will read those questions, ascertain what you know, and what you want to hear and tell you exactly that. "Tell me everything from the start" is not ambiguous and it's not too much to ask.

I would also recommend that you write out your own timeline. Check calendars, financial records, emails, anything you can find to document your history and look at it with new eyes. This can help protect you from the WS tendency to rewrite history to suit their narrative. It can also reveal red flags that you missed at the time.

And don't do the pick me dance. You can't win. It's not you vs OM. It's you and everything else she stands to lose vs OM. You will never know if OM just decided not to play. You will never know whether your WS chose you or everything else she stood to lose.

Good luck and best wishes.

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

posts: 419   ·   registered: May. 18th, 2021
id 8748008
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masti ( member #54237) posted at 8:08 AM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

If you don’t tell the other spouse the chances are they will start again. She has had no consequences yet. And don’t worry about small town and other people. People forget, life goes on.
The other BS can be an ally most cheaters dump their affair partner when the light of exposure falls on them.

posts: 137   ·   registered: Jul. 19th, 2016
id 8748012
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 Devastatedhusband (original poster new member #80469) posted at 12:51 PM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

Good morning, well let me go ahead and say it. Every single one of you was right!!
Took my wife’s phone after she fell asleep and found where she has restored to texting him through tik tok. Someone on here said it and I have heard it before but it rang so true last night in my house I could hear it like a bell. He who cares least in a relationship has all the power. And it flipped last night. I am going to talk to an attorney today about how best to protect myself. I am also going to contact omw. I would appreciate some advice on that situation though. I know she lost a son last year and has been highly depressed since. Also I do not have her number and she is not on Facebook. Her mother however is very active on Facebook, should I reach out to her. Ask for phone number? Explain situation to her? Thank you all for your help.

posts: 11   ·   registered: Aug. 1st, 2022   ·   location: Tennessee
id 8748019
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 12:58 PM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

2x4 coming. My friend, you’re playing the pick me dance. You were cheated on but you’re treating your WW like a prize.

Then, of all things, she says you should kick her out for a couple of weeks. How patronizing. It’s emasculating to say the least. This is the most self centered and worst thing should could have said to you. She simply doesn’t care either way. She could care less about you my friend.

From what I can see right now your WW is not R material. She is in love with her AP and you are mister understanding about it. To be frank, you’re being treated terribly and allowing it to happen.

Please stop this behavior immediately. Your needy behavior, by the way, has the opposite affect you desire. This neediness is making you less attractive and desirable to her. You’re treating your cheating WW as the prize. She’s most certainly not.

You, your M, snd family are also her plan B right now. She has admitted to still being in love with her AP. You’re ok with that. You said she’s agreed to spend less time on FB snd more time with her kids. Really? She has to be told to do this? She needs to be told to spend more time with you, after she’s treated you, and still continues to treat you, with utter disrespect and disdain.

Now, she’s happy as a clam to leave you and the kids alone for two weeks so she can continue to have fun, probably see AP, and act like a single person. This is a selfish woman displaying selfish behavior. She could care less about what she’s done to you and the M.

What do I suggest: immediately implement the 180. Let her know you’ve decided that you’re the prize, and that if she wants you and the M she has to fight for you snd convince you that she’s worthy. You thus need to be willing to lose this marriage in order to save it.

She must write a detailed timeline verified by a poly. If she refuses, then you know she’s done much more than you’ve been told, and has absolutely no intention of pursuing R.

So what happens if you continue in your current path as mr pick me dance, nice guy, affectionate guy, accommodating and understanding guy, who completely accepts her A as being due to some defect in you snd the M? What will happen: A. The A will get rug swept. B. She will cheat again C. You will know that you’re always plan B D. At some point down the road she will leave this marriage, 100 percent.

My advice is to take charge, stand up, and grow a set. Do the 180. Stop being mr needy. Understand that right now you’re the only one who wants this M. Understand that your WW doesn’t love you. She loves AP. Understand she’s willing to put up with being M to you because she’s logically evaluated the pros snd cons and it’s more logical and safe to stay in this M than running off with AP.

End 2x4.

posts: 480   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8748021
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 1:01 PM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

I wrote my last comments as you were writing yours, so we crossed. Sorry this is happening. Get moving with your lawyer.

posts: 480   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8748022
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 1:09 PM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

Another 2x4 coming.

I just re read your post. You said you were going to contact a lawyer to protect yourself. This is more mr passive guy.

You don’t need to protect yourself. You need to leave a cheating wife. My recommendation is to file for divorce immediately. You can always walk it back later if you desire.

posts: 480   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8748023
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 1:16 PM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

You know her address. Send her a registered letter. One that requires her signature. Again,tell her who you are, who your wife is,when you were told it started,and that it's continuing. Tell her where, on her husband's phone, she can find the evidence,as long as he hasn't erased them. Take pics of the messages,and offer her a copy.

Telling you to throw her out was a huge red flag. Many of us read that,and immediately knew she was still cheating,before we read about the messages.

180. No sex. No being nice. Polite. Treat her like an annoying roomate. See an attorney.

I'm so sorry.

[This message edited by HellFire at 1:17 PM, Tuesday, August 2nd]

posts: 4495   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8748024
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cheatstroke ( member #67708) posted at 2:57 PM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

she said get mad and throw her ass out

Please take her advice.

You will not believe how many times your future self will be saying "Thank you, thank you, thank you, past self!"

posts: 190   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018
id 8748037
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Unhinged ( member #47977) posted at 3:20 PM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

Devastatedhusband, it seems to me, from what you've written, that your WW is on the fence, unable to decide if she wants her husband or her boyfriend (and it's entirely possible she wants to keep both). If that's not acceptable to you, then make a choice for yourself.

Look, brother, I know how hard it is to survive infidelity. We all do here. Right now, you're still in shock. That's perfectly normal and expected. I think it took me a good 10 months just to recover from the shock of it all and to start feeling like a semblance of my former self. I also lost about 30lbs in two months. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't function normally. I'd walk from one room to the next and, by the time I got there, I'd forgotten why I was there. My short-term memory was just gone. My emotions were all over the place, too. I could go from feeling rage to anguish faster than I could fart. I didn't choose my username to be cute. I really was un-fucking-hinged.

As others have pointed out, you cannot control your WW (or anyone else for that matter). She's going to do what she wants to do, regardless of how it affects others. The best you can do is make good choices for yourself. If that includes not be married to a cheater, then so be it. Let her know, in no uncertain terms, that this isn't the sort of marriage, or life, that you want for yourself.

If you haven't yet done so, please take some time to check-out The Healing Library. Inside the "Articles" tab, you will find a wealth of excellent essays written by veteran SI members. In particular, I would recommend: "A Tactical Primer;" and "Understand the 180."

Your most important goal right now, I believe, is to take care of yourself. For most people, the betrayal of infidelity is a profound shock to the system and a severe emotional and psychological trauma. In all of the years I've been a member here, I've never ceased to be amazed at just how hard and how deeply it hits people. Focusing on you and your recovery will be your first steps on a very long and difficult journey towards healing (we're talking years, here, brother).

Force yourself to eat small, healthy meals. Stay hydrated. Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs; they will only prolong the pain. "Hit the gym;" the endorphins and hormones will help you to recover and heal (and feel a little better).

If you can't sleep, try a mild OTC sleep aid. If that doesn't work, consult your doctor. Let him know what's going on in your life. There's a good chance, especially if he's up there in years, that he's heard it all before. He may not have the best life advice, but he'll certainly have some good tips on how to stay healthy.

When you do consult an attorney, ask him if he's had clients in similar situations. He may not have the best life advice, either, but he'll certainly have a few good legal tips.

I'd also recommend consulting a good therapist (finding one isn't always easy, btw). As with any doctor or lawyer, they might not always have the best life advice, but they'll certainly have a few good tips on how to recover and begin to heal.


Do not blame yourself. Most betrayed spouses, because they're in shock, will blame themselves, ponder what they could have done differently, and wonder "why me?" And that, too, is natural and to be expected. Our brains are wired to learn from traumas in order to avoid similar traumas in the future. The truth, however difficult to accept, is that nothing you ever said or didn't say, nothing you ever did or didn't do, would have made any difference at all. Your WW's affair is 100% on her and her alone. Her affair had absolutely nothing at all to do with you and everything to do with her own inability, or unwillingness, to deal with her own issues in a healthy manner.

You've got a long road ahead of you, sir. It will not be easy. It's not a linear process. It will take a lot of work on your part, which is why I stress the importance of taking care of yourself, focusing on you, your recovery and healing.

Keep on reading and posting here. This community saved me. I don't know how else to put it. The support, guidance and wisdom I found here was beyond my wildest expectations. Some of the responses you'll get will resonate with you more than others. Some of it will be "tough love." Some of it might piss you off. Some of it will help you to open doors you never even realized were there. Some of it will lift you up.

Peace, brother.

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 8748039
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numb&dumb ( member #28542) posted at 3:46 PM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

Have you confronted your wife with this new information? If you have not I would hold off on that for the time being. If confronted she will likely get better at hiding it.

Sadly most Ww/WH go through a withdrawal period where the feel good brain chemicals stop coming and like a true addict would do almost anything to get them back. I am in no way excusing her lies and deceptions, but we've all learned one way or another that a lot of WS follow a similar pattern.

Tell OMW without tipping off your wife. If you do all OM will do is intercept any of your communications and get you to believe that you are talking to his wife. If your W talks to you about it then obviously they are still in frequent contact.

You need to set some boundaries as your wife has shown that she will resume this A or start another if she thinks she can do so without you finding out. Your wife will respect strength, not weakness. Right, wrong or indifferent being loving towards her only opens the door to further victimization of you.

See an attorney. Learn wgat your options are. In the hundreds of instances I read about on SI I have never seen where nicing your wife back into the M doesn't ebd badly for you and your family.

I assumed that resuming contact was a boundary you'd laid out prior. I would look up the 180. You need to ibsulate youself from further hurt and protect you and your kids f4om her dysfunction.

I am sorry you are here, but glad you found us.

All of us here have learned aspects of recovery from infidelity the hard way. Our advice is intended to help you get out of infidelity. That might mean your M ends, but it also means that you've stood on you own two feet and taken your power back.

Being able to look in the mirror and like what you see is an underrated thing. Respecting yourself and the choices you make, now, are paramount to that being a part of your future.

Dday 8/31/11. EA/PA. Lied to for 3 years.

Bring it, life. I am ready for you.

posts: 5033   ·   registered: May. 17th, 2010
id 8748044
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leafields ( member #63517) posted at 3:51 PM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

present her with a list of questions and ask for a detailed timeline

Fixed it. You can ask her all the questions you need, but remember that you can't un-hear things and that she will lie. And you can ask for a detailed timeline. She should be doing both, and she should be driving the R bus.

I had a list of about 10 questions that I had and I wrote down my XWH's responses. After about a month, I asked the same questions again and hashed out any differences in the responses.

So sorry you find yourself here. Infidelity sucks.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 1240   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8748047
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Jameson1977 ( member #54177) posted at 4:11 PM on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

Devastatedhusband, first, I’m very sorry this has happened to you and even more sorry your WW continues to lie to you. However, this is all too familiar and typical of cheaters when caught.

You need to inform the OMW, don’t be passive, you need to verify with her that she knows. Your WW absolutely told her AP that you know and they probably have contingency plans in place for this. Something like "oh her Husband is crazy, controlling and believed we are having an A, we are just friends" He will do everything he can to intercept any communications from you to her, this is why people recommend a registered letter or phone call with the OBS. I don’t know how many times we have seen this.

You do need to find your anger, do a 180 on her. Once you blow up their little fantasy life, you will likely see things unravel. I do recommend having a look at the posts on the Adultery sub on Reddit. It is a cesspool, but what you will see is the lengths to which people will go when involved in an A. The first rule of adultery is to deny, gaslight, divert, etc., even when the cheating spouse is confronted with irrefutable evidence. It can make a BS crazy. You need to continually tell yourself that your wife isn’t the person you thought you knew. I know it was a brutal realization to me and everyone else here, but it will do you well to remember to believe nothing she says right now.

I’m very sorry this has happened to you, but you have found an excellent resource to help you through this.

[This message edited by Jameson1977 at 4:14 PM, Tuesday, August 2nd]

posts: 787   ·   registered: Jul. 16th, 2016
id 8748052
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