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 PFB84 (original poster member #80715) posted at 1:32 PM on Monday, September 5th, 2022

PFB84,

Changing direction to an overlooked element of your situation, how are you in yourself? You have mentioned that your sleep is interrupted. Are you eating regularly and keeping yourself hydrated? It is very easy to ignore yourself when you are pre-occupied with something else. People here have gone though every after-effect of infidelity, and they can offer advice about how they coped with them.

You mentioned 'mind movies'. Many people have benefited from EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprogramming) for PTSD, and that is something that you should ask your therapist about.

When it comes to infidelity, there are no 'one size fits all' solutions. We often find ourselves fighting an internal battle, in which our emotions push us in one direction, but our principles or preconceptions push us in another. None of us know how we will react to infidelity until it happens to us, even the people who are 100% sure they would never tolerate being cheated on. Actually, it would be surprising to find anyone who - prior to experiencing infidelity - would say it is not a deal-breaker for them. When it happens to us, the way ahead is much less clear.

Sometimes a forum like this may feel like you are running through an artillery barrage, with multiple ideas and viewpoints exploding around you. That is why an oft-quoted tenet of this forum is, "Take what you need, and leave the rest". That may sound like a cliche, but if you collect the ideas that strike a chord with you, and ignore those that do not, it will help you to build an idea of what you need to move forwards on whichever path you choose.

At the moment, you are still reeling in the wake of what has happened. Do not make any promises at all to your wife. I do not say this cruelly, but let her worry. Leave her in limbo. It will do her good, and it will discourage her from heading down the same slippery slope in future. Also, you should not tie your hands by making promises unless you are 100% sure they are right for you. There is nothing wrong with you remaining in the marriage - and I am sure you have many reasons to do that - but do not do anything that might lead your wife to take that for granted. She needs to feel that the ground beneath her feet is not solid, and that you are not always going to be there, regardless of what she does. Let her know that you 'walking' is is a potential outcome if you are left feeling insecure. It is down to her to to do the work to provide that security to you.

It may be that you have already decided that you are going to stay. If that feels right to you, fair enough. However, it would be counter-productive to the marriage for you to communicate that to your wife, because she needs motivation to clean her act up and make you feel secure. Do not give yourself back to her before she has ticked all of the boxes on the checklist of what you need from her. That is not manipulation; it is protecting yourself, and ensuring that your wife is more focused on protecting the marriage than she was when she decided to walk on the wild side. Which will be beneficial for both of you in the long run.

You are in our thoughts, and we all recall the time when we were in the spot you find yourself in.

Thank you for asking. I have kept hydrated all along, but lost 20 lbs in 2 weeks and was not sleeping well. The sleep has gotten a little better though, and my appetite has been coming back slowly the last few days and i've been able to eat a couple meals per day.

The mind movies have gotten lesser as i've learned more of the details. But instead of imagining the worst case scenario, i've just been sporadically getting obsessed over a couple seemingly irrelevant small details and talking about those until I feel like it's been satisfied and I can understand it, then moving onto something else the next day. Therapy starts in 2 weeks - was hard to get an appointment. I tried "Betterhelp" for 1 session and found it to be a complete waste of time and money.

I've definitely taken the approach to this forum to take what I need and leave the rest, and it's been very helpful and eye opening. I've ignored most of the stuff I didnt think was even trying to be helpful, except for a couple exceptions of people telling me what definitely happened or scoffing at me for being just another statistic of guys who rug sweep. So those are the only couple times i've felt the need to respond negatively. A large majority of the input has been helpful and educational though and I am glad I came here.

I've been thinking a lot about how to let her know I am willing and able to leave, without actually doing it. I do think she was and is terrified of that thought. I do WANT her to be terrified of that thought and realize how close she is to losing me. But to be honest, I also never really seriously considered leaving after the first day. It's been a struggle. I've thought about staying in my brother's guest room for a few days just to show her life without me for a bit. She doesn't even like when I go on short business trips even though we are in touch constantly. But ultimately, I'm not sure I could leave her with the kids, the added stress fucks with her health and even though I dont feel guilty about that part of it since its all her fault, I do feel responsibility to take care of my family anyways.

I have not told her that I am definitely staying for good or that she is forgiven, but I also havent shown any indication of leaving and sometimes we've just been going about our day with the kids as if nothing else was going on and I can feel her desperation for things to go back to "normal" - and even though deep down of COURSE that's what I have always wanted, I remind myself and remind her that things are NOT normal and I was not given a choice in that matter.

posts: 57   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2022
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 PFB84 (original poster member #80715) posted at 1:44 PM on Monday, September 5th, 2022

OK, I may be repeating what someone else said because I’ve not had a chance to read many other remarks but I have to say this. You and your wife need to settle this fairly quickly. I don’t often recommend that but you have a wife with a disease that is much better when the person is not under stress. Stress is awful for auto immune diseases. If you and she can manage to move on with some good therapy then I suggest you plan that or, you choose to end the marriage fairly quickly. I just don’t see how she could manage her health and continue to be in this kind of mindset for any length of time. That’s not fair to you, and I know it, but you have an unusual case.

This has certainly been on my mind. I am not staying only because of this necessarily, but it is playing a role. I have not seriously considered D at any point realistically, though I did look into the logistics of separation and a lawyer consultation just to educate myself a bit if I changed my mind, or if more info came out that made me feel R would be unrealistic.

The stress is giving her some extremely difficult days, but she is forcing herself to fight through it because she doesn't want it all to fall on me when she's the one who caused it.

Therapy starts soon and I'm hoping it helps. I have also encouraged her to attend an MS support group which she is going to do, and she is making social plans away from me and the kids for the first time in literally a couple years (with a female friend of course). I don't remember if I discussed it in this thread but I do feel like a small part of why she was so receptive to these advances wasn't just her illness and depression, it was that she so fucking rarely interacts with people in person other than her family since she started working at home during COVID (and even before COVID honestly), that the feelings she got from having that conversation and connecting with someone new were amplified and increased the endorphins, etc. Who knows, but regardless I think these are steps in the right direction. She was not agoraphobic or anything before, but ALWAYS felt guilty leaving me and the kids even for a few hours, even when I assured her I had things under control.

posts: 57   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2022
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 PFB84 (original poster member #80715) posted at 1:47 PM on Monday, September 5th, 2022

This^^ what Cooley said.

MS is greatly exacerbated by stress and I can’t imagine a greater stressor than this.

This is a sticky situation. On one side you have a greatly traumatized BS with dire needs, and on the other side you have a WS with a progressively debilitating disease with needs.

In a conventional reconciliation the WS becomes a caregiver to the BS nursing their traumatized spouse back to health as they both also simultaneously work to rehabilitate themselves and eventually the marriage. This takes a tremendous amount of work, independent work and teamwork, with the WS initially doing the heavy lifting.

In this situation, you have a BS who may, MAY at some point, become the sole caregiver as the WS becomes progressively physically and neurologically debilitated and unable to care for the BS or work on themselves or the marriage. The R may become eventually sidelined.

So, if you decide to R, your opportunity to do so may be variably fleeting depending on which of the three types of MS she has. MS progression is quite variable, in some instances it can take years.

I think you have ample time to do your due diligence but, you may have to pick your battles and ruminations a little more thoughtfully than your average BS. You may find you have to do a little more risk vs gain evaluations going forward than your average BS. You’re going to have to look out for your needs and welfare without unnecessary exacerbation/aggravation of her needs and welfare.

As I said pages ago, in this unique circumstance, you’re probably going to have to look more closely at her post affair behaviors, her actions towards R, than wasting fleeting time trying to hyper-analyze the evolution of her affair-especially if any additional findings turn out to be largely irrelevant in the scheme of things. Many of the factors contributing to her A may eventually become moot at certain points in her MS sequela.

Or, you can divorce. You have every right to. She put herself in this situation with no regard for you or her own future. Why would she burn her future sole caregiver when she has an MS diagnosis??

Because cheaters don’t put as much thought into their actions as we credit them for. They operate more impulsively than thoughtfully.

Thankfully, she has relapsing-remitting MS at this point rather than progressive. The post is much appreciated and very true though!

posts: 57   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2022
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 PFB84 (original poster member #80715) posted at 2:06 PM on Monday, September 5th, 2022

Or is your wife so upset because she gave all of herself to her one and only soul mate and he dumped her

Sorry for whatever happened to you.

posts: 57   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2022
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RealityBlows ( member #41108) posted at 3:35 PM on Monday, September 5th, 2022

I don't remember if I discussed it in this thread but I do feel like a small part of why she was so receptive to these advances…

She may have been predisposed to some degree her entire adult life. A latent predisposition laying dormant, laying in wait for additional causative and contributing factors to come along, to come into perfect alignment (ie. FOO issues, long term relationship doldrums, midlife stressors, then MS, then opportunity).

Affairs are a form of escapism, an extremely potent form of escapism, like drugs, alcohol, compulsive shopping, gambling, video games and…love and sex addictions.

And, it’s not hard to imagine, that your WW has, with her MS diagnosis, just piled on one more issue to escape from, a VERY depressing and inescapable issue, the final straw on top of perhaps many preexisting straws, quickly followed by convenient opportunity, and down the slippery slope she goes.

And in that brief indulgent moment she wasn’t thinking about anything, anything except the moment, herself, and the next moment, her next fix.

PS: In light of the above, don’t let her play the victim MS card too much to your detriment. The detriment of your healing, welfare and outcome. Remain sensitive and responsive to her medical needs, but not too much at your expense. It’s a tough balancing act but your needs are just as important as hers.

[This message edited by RealityBlows at 4:17 PM, Monday, September 5th]

posts: 949   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2013
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 PFB84 (original poster member #80715) posted at 5:15 PM on Monday, September 5th, 2022

PS: In light of the above, don’t let her play the victim MS card too much to your detriment. The detriment of your healing, welfare and outcome. Remain sensitive and responsive to her medical needs, but not too much at your expense. It’s a tough balancing act but your needs are just as important as hers

Understood. Shes not playing it at all in the aftermath, quite the opposite, but I can see she's struggling and forcing herself to power through and try to take care of me and the kids when she should be resting,etc.

posts: 57   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2022
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lrpprl ( new member #80538) posted at 10:45 PM on Monday, September 5th, 2022

I really feel for both you and your wife.

I have been reading a lot about MS these past couple of days. A good friend of mine is suffering from it,though it attacks men less than women for some reason. He has been going downhill rapidly. Last year he was using a walker to get around and this year he is in a wheelchair. He is younger than me. He is 78. I think his diagnosis was made about 10 years ago.

Years ago I had another work friend whose wife had MS and I know how hard it was for both of them.

I said all of that to ask you just how disabled your wife is at this moment? Is hers a recent diagnosis? You might have already mentioned that and I missed it somehow.

Again, I really feel for both you and your wife. Even though you might not be religious just know that you both are in my prayers.

posts: 22   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2022   ·   location: USA
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 PFB84 (original poster member #80715) posted at 12:13 AM on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

I said all of that to ask you just how disabled your wife is at this moment? Is hers a recent diagnosis? You might have already mentioned that and I missed it somehow.

She is not disabled thankfully and you would never know she has a disease if you saw her. Diagnosed i think about 4+ years ago. She has had a couple attacks in that time, but her main symptoms are extreme heat sensitivity, and extreme fatigue. Also eye pain and leg pain.

posts: 57   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2022
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shutup

Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 1:47 AM on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

Hey PBF. I've been traking things on your thread and you seem to be handling things well. I'm really hoping that you have as close to the truth as possible, for your sake. But just steel yourself for more so that you can weather a storm if it comes. If experience is anything, it has taught me to prepare.

You have a tough situation with your WW'S betrayal and her illness which forces the traumatized to care fir the perpetrator. It is unfair on so many levels. It also takes a special kind of stupid to betray one's sole caregiver. What, did xhe think someone new would sign on to that bargain? And yes,I'm being sarcastic. Cheaters routinely screw over the one person that has their back.

It was nice to hear that Chad got fired. Hopefully his reputation will follow him and he will suffer somewhat. Again, I would caution you against seeing your WW as a victim in any of this. She is a cheater who also happens to be ill. In the end, she cheated. She was faced with an opportunity, was fully aware of how wrong g it was, and chose to do it. Period. Full stop. It does sound like she is owning her shit though, but she must also understand that her infidelity is now a perminant fixed point in your collective narrative. You cannot unring a bell. It will be like having a deep scratch on your glasses. You can look past it, through it even, but it will always be there. It may hurt less as you move forward, so they tell me, but you cannot go back to how things were. I really wish we all could.

Anyway, hoping for better things as you move forward. Stay strong.

[This message edited by Justsomeguy at 1:48 AM, Tuesday, September 6th]

Me:55 STBXWW:55 DD#1: false confession of EA Dec. 2016. False R for a year.DD#2: confessed to year long PA Dec. 2 2017 (was about to be outed)Called it off and filed. Denied having an affair in court papers.

Divorced 2022!!!!

posts: 1319   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8754037
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 3:06 AM on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

One of the things that I keep seeing mentioned about the WS in most of these stories, depression and anxiety and they drive a wedge between a couple because the BS has no idea how to help a spouse cope. I’ve been all over the Internet for several years trying to make my own little experiment and I think depression is one of the main motivations for people to cheat. They want to get out of that gosh awful feeling of relentless sadness and getting high from an affair at least makes it go away for a little while. Those people need intense therapy and probably medication. Their BS might try to help but are then grief stricken over the A.
No excuse. We are discussing adults who know better. Here comes a BUT…everyone who has ever talked about depression says it is not like frustration or temporary sadness. It is a gray life with no sunshine.

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

posts: 3500   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
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jb3199 ( member #27673) posted at 11:11 AM on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

I've thought about staying in my brother's guest room for a few days just to show her life without me for a bit.

Don't do this. There is a difference between trying to get someone acclimated to a life without you, but that isn't your goal. This would be manipulation, and something you would want to avoid.

You believe that she is already fearful that you may leave. I'm sure that it is on her mind enough already. Now, if you felt that you needed time alone to process your thoughts, that is an entirely different story. But if you do leave the home, make sure it is for the right reasons.

BH-50s
WW-50s
2 boys
Married almost 30yrs.

All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day(s): Enough
Accepting that I can/may end this marriage 7/2/14

posts: 4093   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2010   ·   location: northeast
id 8754064
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 12:41 PM on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

Don't do this. There is a difference between trying to get someone acclimated to a life without you, but that isn't your goal. This would be manipulation, and something you would want to avoid.

Agree with this 100%. Threats of leaving, or divorce, to manipulate or attempt to catalyze certain behavior, that's a really bad idea. You want honesty from her; you give honesty to her. If you're entertaining thoughts of leaving her, which would be normal, you ought to share those thoughts honestly. But don't turn into a manipulative prick. At its core, that's simply another form of lying.

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3973   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8754070
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 PFB84 (original poster member #80715) posted at 2:40 PM on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

Thank you for the input. Definitely only a thought that pops up when I'm angry and not thinking clearly and I feel like she "got away" with something without enough consequences. Then I see her and talk to her and see the pain she is in and I know she understands the consequences fully and would do anything to "fix" it if that were possible. I know I do hold all the cards, I just am not quite sure how to play them most of the time.

posts: 57   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2022
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HarryD ( member #72423) posted at 2:52 PM on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

The ago old question? Do you want to divorce, blow up your life. See all the thing you worked for ie the house,car saving go down the drain. Living alone paying support. Having everything different. Holidays. Or staying and try to make a new life with WW.
Your old life is gone. You have to start a new life with her. You are not going to forget it’s will always be there. You have to give her a pass.

There will be questions that will never be answered. You will never know really why. Why she needed the AP. Why she needed the physical relationship with AP. Yes, the fog is real. But why did she get herself m to the point that she got into the fog.
In her mind there something wrong in your relationship, you were not giving her what she needed. So she was looking for something elsewhere.

Even though she feels like a fool. She still did not get what she wanted. Did not get that knight in shining armor. To give her what she wanted. She is still wanting

posts: 114   ·   registered: Dec. 30th, 2019   ·   location: NY
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 3:33 PM on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

I just am not quite sure how to play them most of the time.

Here's how. Stop looking at it as playing. This is not a contest where you have a winner and a loser. This is about finding your heart's truth. That's not a linear process. It works best with transparency and honesty, keeping in mind that your "truth" on one day might not be your "truth" on the next day. That's why this is often called "the roller coaster". Because the heart's truth of a newly minted BH tends to wander all over the place.

[This message edited by Butforthegrace at 6:20 PM, Tuesday, September 6th]

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 3973   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8754094
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Rocko ( new member #80436) posted at 4:41 PM on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

PF,

Our situations are similar. My ex hooked up with a car repair mechanic for about 1 month. I found out when the retired guy across the street asked "Who drives the blue Nova that he'd seen at my house?". Right away I knew what was going on (he did as well but just didn't want to say so.)

The ex was between jobs so she had dropped our car off for some maintenance. Sparks flew between them, they made out 4 times over the month. Twice at the shop and twice in our home. I believe PIV never happened and I also believe her panties never came down. Confirmed by her girlfriends and sister.

The making out was a gut punch, but the lies, planning and deception during that month was soul sucking to me. This was in 1986 so a cheater had to walk up hill both ways in order to cheat. So easy today with texting, apps email etc... Cheaters today are spoiled.

I D'd right away. I was not going to spend my life wondering where she was, what she was doing etc.. All these years later her actions still screw with my head, let this be a warning to you.


"Nobody's Fool" by Cinderella became my therapy. When my thoughts go back to 1986, I crank it up.

Only you can decide which path to take. Wishing you the best.

posts: 7   ·   registered: Jul. 18th, 2022   ·   location: Where It's Hot
id 8754105
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 4:45 PM on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

You have to give her a pass.

Respectfully, but hell to the no a WS is never EVER owed 'a pass' on the cheating.

In her mind there something wrong in your relationship, you were not giving her what she needed. So she was looking for something elsewhere.

Nope nope nope. All the nopes. It is never ever EVER the BS's responsibility or 'fault' that the ws chose to cheat. Even if they were the worst spouse in the world it still is not on them. Cheating is always completely on the ws, 100%.

Even though she feels like a fool. She still did not get what she wanted. Did not get that knight in shining armor. To give her what she wanted. She is still wanting

That's a 'her' problem, not an OP problem. If she "wants" then she needs to behave like a rational adult and figure out what she wants and then clearly communicate it to her husband. You don't get your "wants" by falling onto a stranger's genitals.

OP, I think you sound like you are handling this situation as well as can possibly be expected. Please take care of yourself - eat, drink water, and take your time. Whether you stay or go, make sure that you are making the right decision for YOU (and it's perfectly okay if making that choice takes time).

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." – Linkin Park

posts: 3574   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
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DictumVeritas ( member #74087) posted at 5:48 PM on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

I just want to second everything EllieKMAS has said.

I have absolutely zero time for victim blaming as far as adultery is concerned, none at all.

OP, it is best to ignore any fingers of blame pointed your way because it's pointed from a place that excuses adultery. Such a den that makes excuses for the inexcusable needs to be smoked out and the occupants brought to light.

Your life is but a flicker to the cosmos and only the brightest flickers are recorded by history for good or bad. Most of us just want to live our lives without being interfered with.

posts: 278   ·   registered: Mar. 22nd, 2020   ·   location: South-Africa
id 8754110
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 PFB84 (original poster member #80715) posted at 6:05 PM on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

I just want to second everything EllieKMAS has said.

I have absolutely zero time for victim blaming as far as adultery is concerned, none at all.

OP, it is best to ignore any fingers of blame pointed your way because it's pointed from a place that excuses adultery. Such a den that makes excuses for the inexcusable needs to be smoked out and the occupants brought to light.

She has never blamed me in any way whatsoever. The only people saying things like that are the particularly bitter ones who keep responding and trolling and trying to make me feel worse than I already do. (HarryD)

posts: 57   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2022
id 8754112
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 7:29 PM on Tuesday, September 6th, 2022

Reminder: Do not bait or call out others.

SI helps because of the ideas we share. A corollary allows arguing about ideas. Attacking other members is prohibited.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 7:38 PM, Tuesday, September 6th]

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

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id 8754125
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