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Newest Member: Stark

Just Found Out :
Just a kiss... or 2?

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Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 1:23 AM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

You mentioned something about your WW getting away with it. I totally get it and think it is natural to feel this way given the courtesy lack of agency we had in the trauma that was inflicted on us. My IC asked me a question once that really helped me look at things differently. It didn't make me feel soft and squishy towards my STBXWW, but it did shift my thinking. She asked me if I would switch places with my STBXWW? Would I rather be the one who cheated? I answered no. I could not live with the guilt of knowing I'd had destroyed so much and so many. So unless your WW is a sociopath, she is not getting off with a free pass. She will carry the guilt of her transgression for the rest of her life. She may heal, but every infidelity reference in a movie or passing conversation will be a reminder to her, as it will be to you. I hope for you it will be a reminder of how you survived and rebuilt your life. And for her, I hope she is reminded of the grace and forgiveness she has been given one day. (Provided that is the path you choose). I honestly believe that a truly remorseful person will keep their transgression in a place where it will remind them of what is possible without guarding ones character.

I probably speak for more than a few here when I say I hope for a good ending to your story. Rooting for you!

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 8754157
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 PFB84 (original poster member #80715) posted at 4:05 AM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

IC asked me a question once that really helped me look at things differently. It didn't make me feel soft and squishy towards my STBXWW, but it did shift my thinking. She asked me if I would switch places with my STBXWW? Would I rather be the one who cheated?

Great point. I think id have the same answer as you. Thank you for sharing.

posts: 57   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2022
id 8754171
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HarryD ( member #72423) posted at 3:29 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

Sorry if I made it worst for you. I understand stand been there. Just saying that who R there relationship. Never forgive there WS. The relationship is never going to be the same. You will never trust her again. That’s the facts. They R. Because it’s easier to stay married, "keep the family" then start over. Some can do that other can not.
I am deeply sorry for you You did not deserve this. I sorry that your life changed. It took me years to some mental place

posts: 114   ·   registered: Dec. 30th, 2019   ·   location: NY
id 8754206
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RangerS ( member #79516) posted at 6:54 PM on Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

In the end, only you can decide what will be best for you in the long run. I think you are doing a great job of handling this issue. I think you have a better chance at fully reconciling than 99% of the people who find themselves here seeking input. Given that your wife confessed so soon because of her guilty feelings indicates that she she probably could not convincingly lie to your face as so many waywards are able to do. Now that you are aware of the possibility, you would probably spot that something was off right away. I think she is has a very low risk of cheating again. The only question is can you find a path forward with her that makes you happy and allows you to find forgiveness (for your own well being).

posts: 60   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2021
id 8754230
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 PFB84 (original poster member #80715) posted at 1:44 PM on Thursday, September 15th, 2022

Just a quick update here, though there is not much to update.

Her IC starts next week, mine starts the week after.

Now that I seem to have run out of questions about what happened, I find I don't really know what to say. 4 weeks since Dday, I think the first 2 weeks were spent in pure shock, the next week+ spent in sadness with occasional anger, but the last couple days I have felt pretty numb. Just stuck somewhere between wanting things to be like they were before, knowing things will never be the same, and having no clue what I want to happen next.

She is somewhat trying to hide it because she doesn't want to play the victim, but is definitely in a depression and is very scared. I think when I was more outwardly upset, asking a lot of questions, crying often, etc even though it was hard, she at least felt like she could help by answering them, comforting me, staying awake with me when I couldn't sleep, etc and at least felt like she was taking steps towards "atoning"- but now that I am having trouble showing much emotion she is over analyzing and panicking a bit. I am not intentionally playing mind games or sending mixed messages, but my state of mind the last few days is having that result.

This coming weekend we have a short trip away from the kids planned for her birthday - something we planned months ago originally. So I am wondering how that will go although I'm not expecting to have any revelations or anything like that. I'm just going to try to have a good time and not overthink.

posts: 57   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2022
id 8755365
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 1:47 PM on Thursday, September 15th, 2022

Taking your wife on a vacation for her birthday, 4 weeks after finding out she had an affair? Bad idea. For several reasons.

posts: 4674   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8755366
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Trdd ( member #65989) posted at 2:06 PM on Thursday, September 15th, 2022

I think Hellfire has it right, the trip sounds like a reward or a return to normal. And do you really want to spend that much time alone with her right now?

You could cancel. Or if it isnprepaid, you could go on the trip alone.

posts: 650   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8755368
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 PFB84 (original poster member #80715) posted at 2:09 PM on Thursday, September 15th, 2022

Taking your wife on a vacation for her birthday, 4 weeks after finding out she had an affair? Bad idea. For several reasons.

I get it. It's a concert of a band we both like. It was my decision to still go, more for myself than for her. I'm not too worried about it, we're still spending every minute together when not at work for the most part so it won't be anything different from what we've already been doing.

posts: 57   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2022
id 8755369
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 2:57 PM on Thursday, September 15th, 2022

Personally, I think you're doing fine. The object here isn't to punish your WS. Punishment isn't compatible with R, so if you feel the need for it, it's better just to go ahead with D. The object of R is to build up new trust. That's done with lots and lots of talking, mutual values, empathy and vulnerability on both sides, established boundaries, and TIME to observe the changes.

It's a fine line to walk sometimes. You don't want to reward bad behavior, right? We've often seen cheaters in the midst of blame-shifting demand that their BS "date" them. Typically, in that scenario the WS is claiming that their needs were unmet or some other grievance against the BS. That's NOT the case here. You have a WW who appears to be extremely remorseful and one whose conscience would not allow her to continue deceiving you. Unless you uncover some further evidence, you can only act on what you know.

Of course, no one wants to be played for a fool. That's obvious. But none of us have any guarantees in this situation. There simply aren't any to be had. We all just do the best we can. In the end, the final verdict on what we believe is left for us to work out on our own. The person you're going to most need to trust is YOU. It's you who will make the final judgment call on whether you've had the truth or not and on what you can live with. You don't have to decide today, but you don't want to allow your indecision to decide for you either. IOW, you don't want to poison the well before you've taken the time to know what's in your mind and heart.

Be yourself and don't spend too much time second-guessing. Yours are the boots on the ground and believe it or not, you really do have the wherewithal to get through this experience.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5967   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8755374
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 2:58 PM on Thursday, September 15th, 2022

Do you think you have the basic requirements to start discovering if reconciliation is possible?

Note I don’t say to reconcile, but to start discovering if it’s possible…

The basic requirements IMHO are three:
1)You need to feel safe that the affair is over.
2)You need to feel like you have the truth.
3)You need to feel like your wife is committed to reconciling.

If you have these three you can start, and along the route you will both encounter stuff that will make you think this isn’t working, as well as stuff that convinces you that it is. If you feel you have the above, then I don’t see anything wrong in the time out for yourselves as a couple.

I personally don’t see this vacation as a reward or rug sweeping or anything of that nature. You can’t reward infidelity any more than you can punish it. Taking time off as a couple is no more a reward than having her do 10000 pushups would be punishment.

Will it be different? Well… yes. That’s good too. It is important for both of you to grasp what was risked and what the consequences are and could have been. Remember – the ONLY reason you two are married is because you two are deciding to be married. Marriages have ended for less than what she did to you. To me this fragility is a key-element: you walk different and take more care carrying an egg than you do carrying a tennis-ball.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 10946   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8755375
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 PFB84 (original poster member #80715) posted at 3:00 PM on Thursday, September 15th, 2022

Also related, I feel like she is so deep in her shame spiral she has not been active enough in seeking MS support and other things like that which we discussed in the days after Dday. On 1 hand I feel like she will do anything to try to save the marriage, but at the same time she does tend to feel sorry for herself a lot which is 1 of the things that seems to have caused this in the first place! So I feel no sympathy for her health issues at the moment (not that she has asked me to) and it's frustrating to see her crippled by her anxiety and guilt rather than being more proactive. Hoping therapy helps.

posts: 57   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2022
id 8755376
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 PFB84 (original poster member #80715) posted at 3:26 PM on Thursday, September 15th, 2022

Do you think you have the basic requirements to start discovering if reconciliation is possible?

Note I don’t say to reconcile, but to start discovering if it’s possible…

The basic requirements IMHO are three:
1)You need to feel safe that the affair is over.
2)You need to feel like you have the truth.
3)You need to feel like your wife is committed to reconciling.

If you have these three you can start, and along the route

1 and 3 I have zero doubts about.

2, while I do believe I have the truth - some things of course nag at me. While I know it's unrealistic and probably not helpful to have EVERY little detail, I still hate knowing that maybe there are questions I didn't think to ask, or small details that were left out because she "didn't want to hurt me", things like that. I am pretty sure I know everything other than like the play by play of the actual physical acts, but I do believe I know enough of that to the point where the rest would be unnecessary small details. So that is holding me back currently, along with just still trying to comprehend that the person I thought I knew better than anyone in the world did this.

If I had to make a guess, yes I THINK there will be reconciliation. I know it's what she wants and I think it's what I want. But I also recognize that I need professional help to process everything better and it's too soon to decide for sure what's right for me. Until the past few days I feel like I hadn't even allowed myself to seriously think about the possibility of separation or divorce. And while I dont THINK I want either of those things, I do want to talk it over at least and consider the possibility. It's a struggle to put myself first before my wife and kids but until I feel like I have looked at it honestly from that angle, I don't think I can rule anything out. And I know myself well enough to know I have NOT looked at it honestly from that angle.

posts: 57   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2022
id 8755381
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 4:15 PM on Thursday, September 15th, 2022

I highly recommend getting a consult from a lawyer to understand the practical details of D.

You can't weigh that option reasonably without that info.

If you don't give D a real possibility of becoming a reality, you will have "R at any cost" and that cost will be high.

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

posts: 2121   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8755391
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DictumVeritas ( member #74087) posted at 8:48 PM on Thursday, September 15th, 2022

No, just no, you don't reward a cheating spouse with a trip for her birthday. That is simply not the message you send in response to adultery.

I don't care what the logistics are, this trip is a bad idea on every level.

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 8755425
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DobleTraicion ( member #78414) posted at 9:00 PM on Thursday, September 15th, 2022

Youve recieved tremendous input here. I still marvel at the collective wisdom of this place and cannot help but wonder what may have been if Id had this kind of resource.

One word of caution from me and Ill try not to project, but common previous experience is also the very reason we all come here so its a bit of a balancing act.

On that note, I want to hone in on an analogy you made some posts back that resonated with me and I believe has serious implications for you where you said:


She had a big scale in her mind - on one side was me, our relationship, and our family. On the other was a crush, a few minutes of excitement, and the high of feeling desired. She made her choice not once, but multiple times. I'm not blind to this or defending her.

I dont want to hash out HER scale as I think you have come to, or are close to coming to your own conclusions as to her confessed actions and how she weighs them (now).

I want to focus on the scale YOU are using, specifically the weights & counterweights on that scale that keep you moving in a certain direction.

Some of those weights on one side are common, i.e., history together, perception of love, memories and shared experiences, intimate life, loyalty, a caretaking role (especially applicable for you), deep emotional connection, shared interests, children/parenting, etc. These are real, powerful, and weighty indeed.

Other weights MAY be there, but should not have the weight of import that we sometimes give them. In my case, they were the result of FoO issues that came out of a life of previous trauma that I was not then aware of. These included strong learned behaviors (my winning formula/coping mechanisms) to minimize, normalize, rug sweep, and move on too quickly. These "false weights", as it were, impeded my ability to give the individual acts of betrayal and all that led up to them the appropriate level of gravity. I paid dearly for this. Not projecting, just a warning from personal experience.

Now, lets look at the counterweights on other side of the scale. Someone pointed out the import of her thought process that lead up to the A. The train of thought that allowed her to drop her defenses and forget you and your family so quickly, that is a hefty matter in and of itself. The fact that you have gone above and beyond in your husbandry to being a caretaker during a serious chronic illness, something that not all men can handle, was thoughtlessly tossed aside. This is massive in my opinion. If that doesnt keep you at the forefront of her mind in the moment of temptation, as more temptations will most assuredly come, what the hell will?

Then there's "kissing" which was actually heavy petting sessions apparently, but lets just focus on kissing for a moment. Kissing is a very big deal. It is both a seal and a promise. It is one of the most sensual acts that lovers engage in (witness Klimt's "The Kiss"). I think it was another contributor here that goes by the name of Thumos that posted an in depth treatise on the import and gravity of kissing (worth a read).

Onward to fellatio. Fellatio is an act coveted by cheaters for the sheer level of carnal intimacy involved and the implied subservience exemplified by body positioning and the act itself. It is as much a power move as it is sexual. Some have argued that fellatio is actually more intimate, erotic, and sensual than PIV which is ironic as many cheaters have tried to minimize and justify affairs where fellatio was involved by saying some form of, "It was only oral, we didnt have full on sex." This, of course, is complete BS.

Same goes for heavy petting/fingering. This is a very big deal. Its defined as, "erotic contact between two people involving stimulation of the genitals but stopping short of intercourse, in preparation thereof."

All of this given up for a schmoozing salesman. Part of the minimizing defence now given is that they stopped short of completion? Of course, who the hell knows at this point, right? This to me is a non sequitor as nothing can be verified and there has been no poly to attempt to do so..

So, where do you go from here? To a concert with her apparently. I am reminded of another poster who had planned a nice trip for him and his wife and immediately cancelled the trip upon finding out about the A and working through Dday and post Dday, saying, "Not rewarding her for fucking another man." They did R after all of the hallmarks of true remorse were in place, including a polygraph that she insisted on taking (she passed) and she wanted to take more of them in the future, as many as he felt he needed to feel more and more secure.

I am not trying to drag you down the hall of horrors again, just bring focus on the "weights and measures" you are using on your own "scale" 'cause its mighty hard to calibrate and stay balanced in the middle of the tempest. The rationale is to try and help you navigate this shit show of her making while avoiding some of the pitfalls I fell into that caused even more damage.

Strength, healing, balance and clarity to you sir as you endeavor to get clear of her infidelity.

"For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind."

posts: 71   ·   registered: Mar. 2nd, 2021   ·   location: South
id 8755426
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annb ( member #22386) posted at 9:54 PM on Thursday, September 15th, 2022

I don't know if it's right or wrong going on this trip, personally, I wouldn't go but everyone is different.

Just a word of caution, you may have bad triggers during this getaway.

I traveled with my WH after D-Day, Boston, San Diego, Phoenix, Myrtle Beach, London, a good part of those trips I could barely function bc of obsessive thoughts. We had lots of arguments bc the shock wore off and the rage set in. Ugh. shocked

If you need time alone during your weekend, step away.

posts: 11617   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2009   ·   location: Northeast
id 8755433
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 11:09 PM on Thursday, September 15th, 2022

2, while I do believe I have the truth - some things of course nag at me. While I know it's unrealistic and probably not helpful to have EVERY little detail, I still hate knowing that maybe there are questions I didn't think to ask, or small details that were left out because she "didn't want to hurt me", things like that. I am pretty sure I know everything other than like the play by play of the actual physical acts, but I do believe I know enough of that to the point where the rest would be unnecessary small details. So that is holding me back currently, along with just still trying to comprehend that the person I thought I knew better than anyone in the world did this.

This is all normal to the course.
1)She needs to know and accept that you will be asking questions for quite some time.
2)You need to emphasize to her what I have been hammering into you from day 1: That discoveries in the future will do more damage than revelations NOW.
3)At some point YOU need to understand why you ask questions. Is it for some gain, or is it to maintain some pain.

Look friend – you are in JFO and JFO is like the ER at a busy inner-city hospital. Maybe we have staunched your wounds, stopped the bleeding and got you stable, but you have a lot of recovery to do. Maybe that recovery might be better done in another ward like the Reconciliation forum.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 10946   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8755439
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 11:51 AM on Friday, September 16th, 2022

I don’t mean to offend, and I don’t necessarily like saying this, but you’re on this forum for advice, and to potentially hear other angles you may not have considered…

So here it goes: I assume that at some time down the road your WW will develop symptoms which will progressively worsen over time. From your perspective alone, your life will dramatically change: you’ll become care giver, no more sex life, restricted travel, restricted social life, etc.

You obviously didn’t go into this marriage knowing that your WW had MS. So, if you have had thoughts about wanting out of the marriage since the MS diagnosis, but stuffed those thoughts down, this is your opportunity to get out of the marriage now, without severe judgment from your WW, children, family, and friends - my wife cheated and I’m divorcing her, plain and simple.

If you decide down the road you don’t want to live the life being married to someone with a severe MS disability, now is the time to leave this inevitable future you’re facing.

posts: 509   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8755489
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Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 2:57 PM on Friday, September 16th, 2022

Grantee, I don't know much about MS, but from the comments here, I can glean that it is progressive and debilitating. I've been following your thread and my heart goes out to you. There is one thing that I just cannot wrap my head around. Your WW is in a vulnerable position with her health and it will get worse. She knows that you signed on for sickness and for health, and based on your comments, you look like an honourable and loyal man who will see this health challenge through. Given your level of commitment and her increasing needs, she still chose to cheat. If she loses the M over this, it will be unlikely that she will find anyone of quality to sign onto her package deal of poor health and unfaithfulness... For you, it will be much easier, though still difficult as you heal.

The above poster raised some real questions about getting out of the M. What happens as her health declines and intimacy becomes an issue? How will the two of you navigate this given her infidelity? Do you anticipate your feelings might change as her situation deteriorates? And what if there is more to hervstory and it finally comes out when her condition has really deteriorated? If you end the M then, you will need to process the additional guilt you may feel abandoning her in her time of need. These are serious questions to ponder and process during IC.

Cheating is just a really shitty thing to do to someone, especially if your partner has been good to you. I really hope you find your way out of infidelity, regardless of the route you take. I also hope your WW finds a place of peace as well. All around, it's just a really shitty situation. So sorry for you.

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 8755531
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lrpprl ( new member #80538) posted at 3:33 PM on Friday, September 16th, 2022

^^^^^^

As Justsomeguy pointed out above you are caught between a rock and a hard place. In making your decisions as to the future, her progressive illness will always be at the forefront. I wish I had some wisdom to share with you in this situation, but I don't. Just like everyone who has been cheated on since the beginning of time, you will never know for sure what they actually did, and what they actually said, unless you videotaped or recorded them. Those questions are now playing on your mind, and they will for a very, very long time.

I really feel for you and the situation you find yourself. I wish I could shoulder some of your burden, but that is not possible.

Take care of yourself. Stay hydrated, exercise, etc.

Good luck.

posts: 22   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2022   ·   location: USA
id 8755560
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