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Newest Member: Stark

Just Found Out :
Everything eventually comes out

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 hurtpartner73 (original poster new member #80985) posted at 11:37 PM on Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

Thank you to everyone who has posted before. It has been invaluable reading for me. I wanted to talk here about my wife's affair and the complication her mental health issues add to my ability to cope. I'm open to any advice you may have, as I haven't spoken with anyone outside of my wife and therapy. I feel like I'm flying blind, but I'm keeping it together.

My wife and I married in 2005 after living together for several years. We have two children, born in 2007 and 2009. I know now that it was these first years of our marriage when she was unfaithful.

Shortly after getting married in 2005, she started a job that she loved. In 2006 she left the job to start a master's degree in the same occupation. We found out she was expecting our first child just as she started school. She had some history of mental health issues, primarily depression, which derailed her master's degree. She hasn't worked or gone to school since.

Since the late 90s, she has had many suicide attempts and hospitalizations. She had trouble with post-partum depression after each child. In 2010 a suicide attempt led to a diagnosis of Bipolar (rapid cycling), a diagnosis that was helpful to both of us in understanding her ups and downs. A diagnosis of borderline personality disorder has been visited off and on but never settled upon, though I believe it has merit. She has always been willing to have treatment. She had ECT in 2012, which had the unfortunate side effect of indiscriminate memory loss - there are some moments of our kids' lives she doesn't recall. She hates the impact of her illness on herself and the family.

Over the years, there have been erratic behavior, especially early on in our marriage, that I dismissed. I always assumed it was because she was pokey. She often came home late and said she was shopping but didn't find anything she liked. Or she caught got in traffic. Or got turned around. I believed almost everything. There were times when going to work she'd take off her wedding ring, saying she worried she'd damage it. I believed her. In late 2007 she went out on a late Saturday afternoon, then came home around 3 am. We had a newborn, and I was up, worried, not able to get her on her cell. She said she went to Whole Foods for groceries. It was obviously a lie, I called her on it, and she said she went to a different Whole Foods that was further away. We argued, and she told me she had been invited at the last minute by some friends to see a band play at a bar. A guy from the industry she had worked/studied in was playing. She couldn't name any of the friends. She mentioned the guy's name - I'll use Dave (not his real name), but she didn't really know him. She begged me to believe that nothing happened, that she barely knew him, and that she wouldn't see him again because she didn't even know him. She begged me to believe her that she hadn't and would never cheat on me. This was a rough spot in our relationship, but I got over it. I believed she hadn't cheated, but she had been dealing with post-partum and needed to have some fun. His name didn't come up again until three years later, in 2010, when she said he called out of the blue as he and his new wife were moving near us and wanted to meet for dinner. She knew I was unable to go due to a prior commitment. Regardless- I didn't want to go because I still felt uncomfortable about what happened in 2007. That was all I heard about Dave until this year when I accidentally found some old correspondence.

Over the last 17 years of our marriage, we've had many tough times. You'll probably understand if you're familiar with bipolar and borderline personality disorder. Our family life revolves around her, even more so than the children, to my shame. We go through long periods when the kids and I walk on eggshells, knowing that we could trigger an outburst, rage, or a downward spiral. I've been in survival mode. I've always been the primary caregiver for the children; I do the housework, I pay the bills, I am the only income, I help with schoolwork. I often feel like a single parent with an adult dependent. The kids see me as their rock, and I hide my struggles from them. I am happy with them. I had given up on my needs completely - with my sole goal of providing the best life for my children that I can. Any activity I could do outside of the house could induce my wife to have a panic attack, and thus I gave up on friendships and any other non-work activity.

Don't get me wrong. There have been good times. There is still love. But I have always had to be on alert. I always need a backup plan ready for the kids. Safety first.

In April of this year, I discovered she had started an affair within a couple of months of being married (2005), with 'Dave,' and the affair lasted for several years. I believe it turned into a friendship in 2009 when Dave became serious with another woman, then engaged, then married.

I found it by accident, ironically finding out about another time that she likely cheated on me, exposing the affair. I found out because my daughter had been having a rough time, so I thought to put together a scrapbook for her of all the well wishes we received when she was born/young. I looked back at messages my wife and I received on our Facebook walls in 2007/2008 (note we rarely use Facebook). I noticed she had months of communication with a man I'd never heard of (another guy; I'll call him Joe, again - not a real name). Joe went to the same university that my wife and I went to. Ironically, he grew up a few miles from me, but I didn't know him. I logged into her Facebook account and saw that after months of planning, they met up for drinks at a bar one night when she was on a trip for a wedding that I didn't go to. She was staying with my extended family; they watched our daughter while she was out. She got home around 3 or 4 in the morning - and said she was at her godparents' - but she went and met with Joe for drinks. I took a day to collect my thoughts and confront her. She said she couldn't remember anything. In the middle of talking about this, I brought up the 'whole foods' lie that had happened near the same time with the guy I'm naming Dave. I asked her if I should have looked into that more. Under her breath, she said I should have.

The next day I drilled her with questions about Dave. She continued to say she barely knew him; nothing happened. She had never reached out to him. They never spoke aside from what I had known about. I asked her if I could look at her emails, and she agreed. Her email had nothing. However, from 2007 until 2013, I hosted our email on my own server. I had several backups of that data on old hard drives. I found many, many emails between the two. They often referenced cards they sent each other or a little gift she sent him. They frequently talked about meeting up. They went to church together; he met my oldest daughter. They attended talks together. In 2008 they were in almost daily communication. I wish I could go back to get text messages. I have some of her old phones - but she doesn't remember the passwords, and it was before sim cards.

I printed all of the emails and showed them to her. I now know I should have held back some. I now know they met in September 2005 at work. They stayed at the same hotel for a conference for a week in 2006 (though she says they never slept together - they only hung out at the bar together). He had helped her with her master's application. I googled their names together and found they attended various events together. I found some of her old planners in the basement where she had his name at different times, with notes of when Dave's band may have a show. She still had a birthday card from him in the basement, in a box of old papers to be shredded - it had a joke about licking her face.

I lost 10 pounds in the first two weeks of finding out. I could barely utter a sentence at work without thoughts intruding. People noticed something was wrong with me. I worried about paternity. I sent both of my kids' toothbrushes to a lab; thank god they are both biologically mine.

We started couples counseling. Any truth I'm getting from her is anchored on what I've discovered. It took her two months for her to admit she cheated on me. That she had an affair. She insists it wasn't physical, just emotional. I'm not able to believe her. She says she can't remember anything because of her ECT, that she only remembers after I jog her memory with something I've found. I don't know how true this. There may be some truth and some fiction.

I look at our entire past through a different set of lenses. I feel like the world's biggest chump - even though I know I shouldn't blame myself for trusting. Couples counseling is tough because we are catering to her instability. After the affair was discovered, she went into a manic phase. Twice she tried jumping out of our car while moving on an interstate when we were arguing. If pushed too far, she could become unstable, and we're worried she could try to hurt herself. (Note - she's never physically hurt the kids or intentionally hurt me).

She's stable at the moment. She is affectionate. She is remorseful. There are so many factors here I'm not sure what to do. I sleep in the spare bedroom - we told the kids it was because my snoring was keeping their mom awake - they seemed to have bought it.

I think there is a long, difficult road ahead. I considered what would happen if we separated. I could never risk the kids staying with her without me there, and if she was abandoned, there is a real risk she would try to kill herself. My intention is to stay married and get through this.

Besides, I am still in love with her, though I feel completely shattered and unable to trust her. Again I feel like a chump.

I was able to get a therapist for myself, doing remote sessions. I'm not sure how good the couples therapist is - and if anyone has tips on this I'd appreciate it. I've assured my wife that I'm committed to staying married no matter what. She swears the same. I've tried to make it safe for her to talk, but I'm not getting much. She claims she'll tell me everything she can remember, but she just can't remember.

If you've read this far, thank you - and I'm sorry if it was too much. I appreciate there is this safe place to get this off my chest. I'm not sure what I'm looking for here - but I appreciate any advice or tips. Thanks!

[Edited 9/24/2022 - I did say above that "I've assured my wife that I'm committed to staying married no matter what." I'm not sure why I typed that. I've assured my wife that I'm committed to do the work to create a better marriage. However - I know that the 'better marriage' has to become a healthier marriage, where I have an identity, and my children have a more stable environment, and we're better models for them.]

[This message edited by hurtpartner73 at 5:22 PM, Saturday, September 24th]

posts: 15   ·   registered: Sep. 20th, 2022   ·   location: United States
id 8756262
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kenny55 ( member #23014) posted at 11:55 PM on Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

I am sorry you are here. I wish I could tell you that this will work. I was married to someone who was similar to your WW. All the points, depression, suicide, jumping out of a moving car. I wish I had gotten out sooner. You are right to be concerned about the kids though. My ex- WW could lie about where she was but would eventually admit the truth when she was cornered. It never got better. Sorry you are here.

posts: 559   ·   registered: Feb. 25th, 2009
id 8756265
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BreakingBad ( member #75779) posted at 12:08 AM on Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

I'm so sorry for what you now know.

I'd like to pose some questions:

Even before discovery of the affairs, you describe a family dynamic where you are the only stable, reliable adult. You do virtually everything around the house and for the kids, plus work, plus having a backup plan at all times in case something goes sideways. You acknowledge that you and the kids often walk on eggshells and that its basically like having an adult dependent. You acknowledge that you have given up on friendships, personal outside activities, etc.

So, first questions: Are you providing a healthy model of marriage and family life for your kids? Do you hope they model their marriages and families after yours? Are you worried they will end up in codependent relationships as caretakers and endless-sacrificers for their significant others?

Truly, I'm not being flippant, and I don't mean to be harsh. It's wonderful that you love your wife and that you have been steadfast and loyal. There is a lot to be said for that.

But final questions:
Can you see a future where you love your wife but don't live with her? A future where your lives are independent of each other, yet you (from a distance) still love her and wish her well in her life?

Many of us come to a crossroads where we have to say, "I love this person...but at what cost to myself? What cost to my kids?"

I would offer it is possible to disentangle yourself from being your wife's caretaker and yet still love her.

You have to love yourself too...and maybe you forgot that. You certainly have to make space to be a healthy parent (mentally, emotionally, socially and physically) for your kids.
What would that look like?

"Don't you love it, don't you love it?
No, I ain't happy yet.
But I'm way less sad."[Credit to group AJR]

Me=BW; fWH=online affairs with 3 APs over 2.5-3 yrs
Both in IC & MC
Married 31 yrs now
2 kids-both in HS
Attempting R

posts: 227   ·   registered: Oct. 31st, 2020
id 8756267
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SnowToArmPits ( member #50943) posted at 12:47 AM on Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

Hi OP, sorry you're here man.

With respect, do you think it might be prudent to DNA test your kids? She was screwing Dave for years right from the start of your marriage.

If you ask your wife "am I the father of the kids?", the answer might be "I can't remember."

You've uncovered two affairs... you may not have gotten to the bottom of everything yet. After discovering years-long affairs I don't know what finding out more disgraceful behaviour is going to tell you. You know who she is and what she's about.

After reading for years threads about husbands dealing with bipolar wives, those stories have all been very difficult for the husbands. If you get some posters who have been married to bipolar spouses, you can probably get some predictions about how she might act in various situations, but I would think by now you already have a lot of expertise in that regard.

Wow, you've stuck this out for 17 years, hopefully you can get helpful advice here other than "leave her". Honestly, "leave her" has always been the best advice I've read given to husbands married to bipolar wives.

posts: 487   ·   registered: Dec. 25th, 2015   ·   location: Canada
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fareast ( Guide #61555) posted at 1:00 AM on Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

So sorry you find yourself here. I see you have had the children’s paternity tested and they are yours. Thank goodness. Please get into IC for you. Not only are you struggling with the trauma of infidelity, but you are constantly are walking on eggshells. That is no way to live. You need to have a healthy life of your own. If your WW needs further treatment modalities to deal with her bipolar, then she needs to get it. Right now you are stretched too thin as a caregiver, husband and father. Something’s got to give.

You seem committed to staying with your WW, even in her mentally unstable condition. Of course you need her to show you empathy and remorse for her infidelity by her actions. But you and your children also need stability in your lives.

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

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NotInMyLife ( member #67728) posted at 1:26 AM on Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

Our family life revolves around her, even more so than the children, to my shame.

Keep that thought. You know that you have deprived your children of a normal family life and yet you are here telling us that you love her so much, you can't imagine prioritizing your children.

Besides, I am still in love with her, though I feel completely shattered and unable to trust her. I've assured my wife that I'm committed to staying married no matter what.

Sorry? You don't trust your wife yet you have no plans to actually get your life on track? What then is the purpose of your post here and what do you plan to do about your kids? You have already told your wife that you will just sit things out and let your kids figure things out on their own.

What has your therapist said about this illogical position?

Also, if you really wanted to see your wife's old messages, you could take that phone to a service that specializes in retrieving data.

posts: 167   ·   registered: Nov. 3rd, 2018
id 8756279
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lrpprl ( new member #80538) posted at 3:57 AM on Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

Snow to Arm Pits: I don't know how to do quotes here.

posts: 22   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2022   ·   location: USA
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lrpprl ( new member #80538) posted at 4:00 AM on Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

Snow to Arm Pits: Not sure what happened with my post above.

If you read about in OP's post, about 8 paragraphs from the bottom, where it begins about losing 10 pounds he says he was worried about paternity. He sent his kids toothbrushes to a lab. The results are that both kids are his.

posts: 22   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2022   ·   location: USA
id 8756302
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Sanibelredfish ( member #56748) posted at 4:26 AM on Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

I'm sorry you're here. If you haven't already read his story, there is another member here "unsearch" who has a very similar story, but is many years down the road. The link to his thread is in his profile. There are likely a few nuggets of wisdom for you in it.

posts: 789   ·   registered: Jan. 8th, 2017   ·   location: Midwest
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 hurtpartner73 (original poster new member #80985) posted at 5:02 AM on Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

Thank you all for your replies.

BreakingBad - Thank you. You are absolutely correct. If there is any benefit to finding out about my wife's infidelity it is that it shocked me out of the rut I have been stuck in. I realized that being stuck in survival mode, living day to day, isn't helping anyone. In fact, it's been hurtful. I've enabled a bad situation for far too long. I have created an unhealthy model for my children. Not that it helps, but I didn't see another path. I did forget to love myself. I let go of my identity. I eventually forgot what I like for myself. I thought I was doing the best I could do. I was wrong. I had no hope for myself so I focused on my children - but I didn't see that I, too, was part of the problem, and I wasn’t forward-thinking enough to see the dangers of my children modeling their future life on my actions.

I know it's not enough to recognize what I had let myself be blind to, I have to make changes.

I've started seeing a therapist who quickly pointed out many of the same points you have mentioned. She has been coaching me on establishing boundaries, taking care of myself, and handling the couples therapy. The boundaries initially led to more fights, but it’s starting to help. I’ve started exercising and eating better (I’ve lost 30 pounds total). Horrible to say but I had forgotten what I like to do - so I’m starting rediscover my own interests.

I have to say - I had never thought to see a future where her and I live independent lives. To be honest, I didn’t think it was possible. I was convinced she would try to kill herself. Or what if she got any kind of custody - there is no way to schedule the bad times. My therapist has been bringing the idea of living independent lives as well. I think I need to think on this more. As for leaving - I worried what would happen to the kids if she got any kind of custody. To make it messier - we live in the US; my wife is American, I am Canadian. I was worried how that would play into custody issues. As part of my re-focusing on myself I’ve started the citizenship process - just to remove that issue.

We haven’t spoken to the kids about the infidelity issues - but we have been open about the mental health issues. As I am learning from my individual therapy, and from the couples therapy, we’re trying to share information with them. They know that Mom and Dad are in therapy because we were not dealing with their Mom’s mental health issues appropriately. We also have both children seeing therapists to have a safe place to talk about our family issues.

kenny55, SnowToArmPits - I appreciate the comments. I’ve never spoken to anyone with similar experiences, or someone who had knowledge of similar experiences - outside of a therapist. It is helpful to know you’ve lived through, or what you’ve heard from others. (Also - I did the DNA test by collecting their toothbrushes - thankfully the kids are mine.)

NotInMyLife - Thanks for your note as well. I did type something I shouldn’t have, when I said I was committed to staying married no matter what. I have told my wife I am committed to doing the work to create a better, healthier marriage, if she is committed as well. This is a big part of our discussions in couples therapy. I have told her that I see us having two marriages - the one that just ended when I found out about the infidelity, and a new one we can create if we both work at it. I currently have no plans to wear my wedding ring again, I've switched to wearing a silicon one now. I've said to her that if we find a way to make our marriage work we can get a new ring, maybe a vow renewal - but it's too early for that now. I can’t let life go back to what it was. I see that I didn’t type much in my first post about how I’m trying to get my life back on track. To be truthful, I’m still figuring it out - but I’m not in the same rut anymore. Discovering the infidelity helped with that. It still feels like my world is upside down. But it’s facilitating some changes. I’m working on crafting a better life, but I’m still unsure the best ways to do that - only that it can’t be the way it was before. I’m not sure what being a healthier parent looks like for me yet - but I need to figure it out.

fareast - My wife and I met with her care providers (therapist and psychiatrist) and have agreed on a couple of things - including that she will go to the hospital if I say she needs to go. They are also spending more time talking about borderline personality disorder - as it seems to fit some of her more destructive traits.

Saniberedfish - Thank you, I will look for that.

Overall - I think all of you have broached the subject of whether or not I should be staying with my wife. I have more thinking to do. My hope was to try to use therapy as a mechanism to change things for the better, and if she was able to change as well, we could make a go at it. But, I also recognize that my judgement isn’t the most trustworthy right now. I appreciate the input. I’ve been alone in all of this, the infidelity, and the mental health issues - getting feedback, even critical, helps open me to perspectives that I may be blind to.

Thank you!

posts: 15   ·   registered: Sep. 20th, 2022   ·   location: United States
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redwing6 ( member #72593) posted at 8:20 AM on Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

HP73, I'm so sorry you're here. You've joined the club no one ever wants to join. barf Your wife was unfaithful early in your marriage, around the time your children were conceived. I would urge you to have them DNA tested ASAP. I would do this in front of your wife as a way of showing her just how much she has broken your trust. That trust may return someday...but right now you can't believe much, if anything of what she says. Cheaters lie, then lie some more.

Ask for a timeline, as thourough a one as she can write out. Have her read it to you out loud...it will hurt but it will show her just what she's done.

Many more will be along to give advice. Take what you can use, and leave the rest...some of it will be very hard to hear, but you need to hear it.

BH 59, WW #2 D'd after 6month EA who scammed her out of our life savings
WW #1 51 since remairred twice continues to cheat even today WW #2 Refuses to admit she wrecked our marriage
DD adult 32 DSD adult 33 DSS adult 30

posts: 263   ·   registered: Jan. 17th, 2020   ·   location: Savannah, GA
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 10:51 AM on Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

Possibly the worst stance to take is the "remain married no matter what".

I believe I’m in a relatively good marriage. One of the reasons is that we have had our bad patches where we have discussed divorcing. We went through the discussion and basically eliminated all our fears and excuses. We realized that financially we would both be OK, that we had enough to start a semi-decent life in our new places of residence, that it would be a complex and drawn-out process to sell our family-home, the vehicles and all that but it could be done… We both realized it wouldn’t be easy BUT IT COULD BE DONE.
When we had that out of the way we realized that despite it being possible we didn’t’ want to divorce. We wanted to be married because we wanted to be with each other.

To me that is a major factor. You are married only because you want to be married. This removed a lot of pressure on us – realizing that a marriage is only there while both WANT it. It made us realize that if I wanted to be married to her I needed to act in a way that made her want to be married to me, and vice-versa.

What about the "no matter what"? What if your wife reconnects with Dave and starts dating him openly? Would it still be "no matter what" if you had to crawl under the still-warm sheets after them? Or if her mental issues progress to where she spends the family fortune collecting cats? Isn’t there some action or some behavior that she could do that made the "no matter what" obsolete?

It’s like the first time you drove with your first kid in the car. You drove extra careful because you were afraid of risking your cargo. A comparable attitude is required to reconcile a marriage IMHO.
It’s not "save the marriage no matter what", but rather "we need to do something because we are fast approaching the ledge where our marriage drops off and ends".


I think if you both realize and accept this – that if the present situation get’s worse then "no matter what" isn’t valid.

I think that if you can sit your wife down and outline the danger your marriage is in and then you two discuss what can be done to move you in the right direction… that’s when progress is made. That you are open that the present course can only lead to ongoing unhappiness where divorce would be a better outcome for both of you.
Don’t hide behind "better for the kids" or "when they leave home". Its something that could happen TOMORROW if the situation changed to the worse.
To use a comparison: Imagine you are trapped on the third floor of a burning building. You have a choice of waiting for the fire department and their ladders or risk jumping out the windows and hope you don’t injure yourself too much. A sane person would wait. Would do what is possible to extinguish the fire, slow it’s burning and so on, but at some point – when the flames are licking at your body – you would jump. It’s high enough to hurt, but still low enough to ensure you will survive. It’s not what you want to do – not any more than you wanted to be in a burning building. But it’s what needs to be done.

That progress won’t be at any rocket-speed. Interactions and behaviors need time to change. But if you two set goals and both work at improving yourself AND the marriage… progress can be made.
Regarding her mental issues:
The problem with many mental issues is that in periods of sanity the person realizes and understands what’s going on, and the importance of adhering to treatment. That understanding tends to wane during periods of the mental issues arising. Maybe trying to focus on the sane periods can help her realize the importance of utilizing them for improvement?
I always stress the importance of having everything about the infidelity in the open. If a spouse wants to reconcile there can’t be any (major) secrets. Nothing should be left off the table. I think that it’s possible that the weight of having had the affair could have added pressure to the mental issues she’s having. It could be a catalyst to better health having a cleaner conscience.

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

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 hurtpartner73 (original poster new member #80985) posted at 12:05 PM on Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

redwing6, Thanks for the note. Thankfully the DNA test came back that both children are mine. I was transparent with her about ordering the test and getting the results. In fact - I spiraled a bit on ordering tests. I first ordered a test from labcorp, thinking I could pass it off as a covid test but it involved using 4 separate nose swaps. Then I ordered 23andme and passed that off as a covid test. I then realized that might take months to process, so I found a service (I think called Florida DNA testing - though I'm not in Florida) that accepted toothbrush heads, which I would have preferred to find right off the bat.
I like the idea of asking her to write out a timeline.

Bigger - Thank you as well. I agree regarding your take on 'remain married no matter what'. I'm not sure why I typed that. I think I lapse into the survivor mentality that I was stuck in for so long, that whatever happens I can get through it - without wondering if I should get through it. My goal is to rebuild the marriage into a new marriage where we both have identities and mutual respect, etc. I need to feel like my own person again, instead of a machine that takes care of everything. I admit I had been hiding behind 'better for the kids' or 'when they leave home' for a very long time.

I do like the idea of understanding how we could separate our lives. I had written it off as not possible - she's under such a heavy load of medicine with her bipolar that it makes it difficult to get up at a reasonable time. She's actively working with her therapist to try to figure out how to work again. But - it has to be possible.

I also appreciate the idea of outlining the danger our marriage is in. I don't think I used language like that, but I think it makes sense to approach it like that.

Thanks to all for your feedback. This is really helpful for me.

posts: 15   ·   registered: Sep. 20th, 2022   ·   location: United States
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 2:14 PM on Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

This is going to sound harsh but if she tried to kill her self that many times why isn’t she dead?

I firmly believe she has borderline personality disorder and probably several others. Borderlines are completely off the charts when it comes to behaviors. They are so anxiety ridden that nothing matters except holding on as hard as they can to (you)the stability in their lives, as they act out all over the place. I befriended a woman at work and she clutched onto me like a barnacle. She would call me six or seven times a day and if I didn’t answer the phone she would become hysterical until she found me. I put up with it for several years until I could not stand it anymore. She would still call me from time to time asking the silliest questions but I just refused to engage with her. I don’t know how you stand it actually.

On another forum I read where another coworker had done the same thing. There really is almost a chapter and verse on what you deal with when you deal with someone with borderline. They are outrageous in their behaviors. If you are in public with her is she the loud center of attention? Bingo. If she’s not loud and obnoxious but quiet and still the center of attention bingo. A histrionic personality disordered is making sure that every eye is on them. Let’s face it you never stop paying attention to her. She’s got you right where she wants you and have you catering to her every need. You’ve lost yourself in the process. I’m glad you’re working to get yourself back.

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

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 hurtpartner73 (original poster new member #80985) posted at 4:03 PM on Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

Cooley2here, there were a couple of attempts where she came very close to death. I think she's had a mix of serious attempts (taking entire bottles of pills), attempts that were a cry for help, and a oouple of attempts that were almost out of spite in an argument. The medication regime she is on has helped temper the highs and lows to be a little less severe over the last several years. Menopause has helped a lot as well. My discovery of her infidelity definitely was a trigger for manic and unpredictable behavior.

Regarding borderline - I recently read a book titled 'Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder'. I'm learning. When we're out she's not usually the center of attention. She's polite, well-spoken, and there will be no sign of instability. Quite frankly, if she's not doing well, it's not likely she'll leave the house, or interact with anyone - so people don't see those sides. At home, if deeply depressed, she'll typically spend days in the bedroom to not make it as visible to the kids. If she's irritable, or manic, there's no hiding that.

posts: 15   ·   registered: Sep. 20th, 2022   ·   location: United States
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 hurtpartner73 (original poster new member #80985) posted at 1:02 AM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

I wanted to thank you all again for your help. I met with my therapist today and discussed much of what was entered here. I have couples therapy tomorrow. Some of the ideas for discussion are:

1) Ask my wife write down details of the affair. I provided her a list of questions previously, but she has yet to answer most of them. (this would be homework)

2) Discuss why our marriage is in danger. The affair, but also the dysfunction from before the affair was revealed.

3) Try to make a list of what needs to change for our relationship to have a chance at recovering

4) Talk about what we both need our marriage to become for our kids and for us to be happy and healthy.

While I'd like to talk about what it would mean if we lived different lives, I was thinking of hitting these ideas first, then getting to that next. Basically - get the picture we want - then plan the alternative.

I know we may not get through all of this, but it could be homework for us afterwards.

Any other thoughts?

Thanks!

[This message edited by hurtpartner73 at 4:55 AM, Thursday, September 22nd]

posts: 15   ·   registered: Sep. 20th, 2022   ·   location: United States
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Buster123 ( member #65551) posted at 2:02 AM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

I'm sorry you had to find us, but based on what you posted and infidelity aside it sounds like a terrible M, it seems like your holding yourself hostage because of her mental issues, she's a serial cheater, I suggest you tell her to get tested for STDs/STIs (you should too), some diseases could remain dormant for years and an early detection is typically very important for treatment, LTAs when it close proximity typically indicate a PA, in fact after reading countless of stories here and in other forums I can't remember a single LTA case that wasn't a PA, adults involved in an A typically have sex, lots of it, is it possible she didn't have sex with THEM? yes a very remote possibility if you ask me, but again the most probable and logical answer is that she did get physical at least with Dave.

I also suggest you contact a D attorney to know your legal options (finances, custody, etc.). What she did is enough for you to D, heck you legally don't even need a reason to D in the USA. I understand that as her husband you worry about her condition but you can't watch her 24/7, this is your life too, again talk to an attorney with her multiple documented suicide attempts and her mental health history I think you have a very good chance at full custody but this is no legal advice and you need to talk to a D attorney for that.

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HarryD ( member #72423) posted at 3:00 PM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

Your wife has major mental problem. Do you think she can write down a time line. Do you think she actually remember correctly what happened.
Until your wife get better. What May not be possible. You really can’t get anywhere. What ever she saids today will be totally different tomorrow.
One thing you know she likes Affairs.

posts: 114   ·   registered: Dec. 30th, 2019   ·   location: NY
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 hurtpartner73 (original poster new member #80985) posted at 4:13 PM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

Unfortunately I'm not sure if she will be able to remember the timeline. Having ECT definitely has a real memory impact as seen in other areas of our life before I discovered her infidelity. Though I do believe she knows the general timeline, but she may not remember certain events. Then there's her ability to allow herself to remember. And what she's willing to divulge.

Her mental health issues are always a concern. I too easily fall into caregiver mode. She's family and it's in my core that you never give up on family. But, I'm reading a lot of good advice here. I find myself trying to step outside of my situation and have a dispassionate view. Every scenario I look at generates a thousand 'what if' questions. The only sure thing is that I have to do what is right for the kids - and that's a bigger picture than I previously realized. The importance of good modelling for them. And such, trying not to ignore what is right for me.

Ultimately, looking from the outside in, it becomes obvious that I have to investigate many paths, including the ones that I am uncomfortable with (and have been avoiding) - involving separation, D, etc. I've always looked at those options as a failure for me. That I should be able to figure something out. But - my kids ultimate well-being is the most important outcome.

posts: 15   ·   registered: Sep. 20th, 2022   ·   location: United States
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LegsWideShut ( new member #80302) posted at 7:59 PM on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

I tried to work things out with my wife after I found out she had an affair, allowed her to move back in (which ended up being while she waited for her BF to get his own place) only for the sake of our son. I too had to make sure he was mine, he was, so there's that.
That said I'm glad her moving back in was a stop gap unto he had his own place. Staying together for my son would have made life hell, especially for my son. I dont know how others manage it, but I had to keep my lunch down being around her, and while the smile and joy I had when playing with son was real, the moment it wasn't he and I, it was all an act. Don't know how or why others do it but to each their own.
Don't let it feel like a failure to you. Because it isn't. Its not reflective of you or what you've done, its all her. Say you're driving down the road and someone runs a stoplight, totaling your car. Your car is destroyed but YOU did NOT do it, the other person did. You had no control over that, like a cheating spouse. You didnt fail, she did.
None of us are perfect, none of us ever will be. But those imperfections are not cause for a spouse to cheat, ever. This is ALL her.

posts: 18   ·   registered: May. 9th, 2022   ·   location: New England
id 8756567
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