To preface the infidelity, a brief overview of the relationship:
When we met, me 29M, her 20F. Now 38M/28F
11/2014 - I "saved" my ex from a broken living situation. Her ex had just died a month before we met, she had nothing, was in a terrible living situation, in hindsight I should have avoided that like the plague, but I chose to "save" her. She moved 100 miles away to be with me, and I became her sole support structure in life, she didn’t make many friends and relied on me 100% for her support needs, emotionally, sexually, intellectually, etc.
At the same time, I myself had been struggling with abandonment issues from my parents getting divorced when I was 8. I had a repeating cycle through my high school/college relationship days where I would get really close to someone, then back way off and lie and sometimes cheat (although I stopped cheating after high school) Through therapy, I found that I would always get really close, and then emotionally distance myself in relationships, basically with the subconscious thought of "they are just going to abandon me eventually anyways so I can’t get too close". I had done a lot of work on this prior to meeting her and figured it was all sorted out, as the first 3-4 years were great and I had no distancing/self-sabotage issues at all.
Around year 4, without really noticing, I started to do it again. Sex went from 5 times a week to once a week or maybe even once every 2 weeks. She noticed and spoke up but we both chalked it up to work stress and the like.
Year 6 and 7 it went to a few times a month, but still with her always bending over backwards telling me she understood I was stressed and had body image issues etc. ( I had gained 70lbs).
Year 8 (this last year) it got to the point where we didn’t have sex for the last 6 months leading up to her affair, January to June, nor did we cuddle or even kiss more than a peck, all chalked up to my body image issues and work stress. This is where is gets hard to NOT blame myself in part for what happened. She would even try and put on sexy lingerie for me and I would barely look up from my phone and say "that looks cute" before going to sleep.
During this time she was also doing all the cleaning and cooking while working 10-12 hour days while I worked 8 hour days. I have to admit it and it hurts like hell to say, but when I heard her tell AP on the dash cam audio "he’s just a bad roommate basically", she was absolutely right.
I had been emotionally and sexually neglecting her for at least 6 months. That is all on me. That being said, I know that is NOT a reason for the following.
8/1/22, everything was seemingly "fine" in the marriage (in hindsight it was obviously not since we hadn’t had sex in 6 months and I was complacent, but we weren’t fighting at all and still were saying love you and peck kissing every night/morning, still had future plans, still looking at houses to buy, things were just smooth sailing, albeit boring). I get a long Facebook message from W. I will actually just copy/paste it here.
"I should’ve been forthright with you. I’ve been putting off my personal feelings to spare you the extra stress because i know you’re really trying with work. Ive been depressed. Its actually been for a while too. I just managed to cope with it for a while. I think its all starting to get to me though.
Everyone would always joke about how i do things alone and asked why i didnt go with you and id tell them youre working. I would sit in my car and cry alone eating ice cream. I was so depressed in the winter i was taking the unisom earlier and earlier but i told myself this wasnt forever. This was us trying hard to get out of whatever working rut we were in. I tried to hint at it by saying we needed to go do things alone or without jasmine. I hinted at trips, even if they were day trips. I needed to tell you and i really shouldve just spit it out instead of worrying about adding more stress to you. I tried to shove my feelings aside. Instead it started to eat away at me. I miss us. I miss the way it used to be before all of the craziness of work. I miss spending more than 1 hour with you a day if im lucky.
It really hurt when you know i start dinner at 4 and you lmk at 430 that you arent coming. It would be fine if it wasnt a thing that happens more than once.
Im really trying here. I feel so lost. Like i dont even know myself anymore. Im depressed. I dont eat anymore and i feel sick. Ive been having panic attacks at work. I am struggling. Im losing myself and i feel like im losing you too. And the last thing I want is to stress you out.
Aug 01, 2022 10:31:49am"
So at first glance, it seemed like she was trying to communicate and it was just some issues I had to fix. I changed a lot about my ways, started losing weight. Starting doing date nights and taking her out for day trips, planning vacations, basically fixing everything she has asked me to fix. Things went seemingly back to normal from 8/2/22 to 9/1/22.
9/1/22 I get an email from Hellofresh saying "jim" has redeemed a hellofresh discount code. I thought it was odd since I never give those out. I ask her about it when I see her that morning, and her face turned bright red and she kind of stuttered saying "oh, oh yea I give those codes to all my friends". I was like well I’ve never seen one redeemed before, weird but no big deal, and it was pretty innocuous.
In our 7 years together, she had never ever been even a little suspicious or weird about other guys. She would get messages a lot from them on social media, especially on her personal fitness account, but she would always show me the messages and laugh about it. Her phone never had a password on it, nor did her laptop. These things and her always saying she would never cheat and I was stuck with her forever all the time, how she knew I had abandonment issues and would NEVER do that to me etc., had me feeling very secure about us in regards to other guys/cheating.
Her reaction to asking about the hello had me feeling weird though, so I sat down and searched her Facebook friends for "jim", and found one "jim". I noticed he seemed very much her type, they had the same favorite bands, they both had/like tattoos, he is a younger good looking guy (she's 10 years younger than me) so I was feeling a little nervous, then I also noticed they had both started to heart react to each other’s pictures and posts around June, 2 months previous. At this point I know you all are like oh boyyyyyy there it is man…but because of the above about how secure I felt with her, I basically just told myself it was nothing, heart reacts don’t mean anything these days, in hindsight I put the blinders on because I almost didn’t want to know or even think it was a possibility.
So, I never even mentioned anything about the above to her since it was just circumstantial at best and I was probably avoiding an answer I didn’t want.
The next day, 9/2/22, she was acting very anxious all day. We went for a ride and I kept asking her what was up, and she finally broke down crying and delivered the ILYBINILWY speech to me. She said the past month of August of me trying was nice, but that she felt like I was just a brother to her at this point, like a best friend, and that she should feel more than that with her husband or partner. I was in shock basically. I drove home and we sat down to talk. I told her I won’t give up on her and I won’t lose her, and it couldn’t possibly be too late, and we should try marriage counseling. She said we could try a session or two, and that she was just really confused and needed to find herself. I asked her if there was another guy and she adamantly said "no, and I knew you would say that too, why does it always have to be another guy, it’s definitely not another guy, I just fell out of love with you and want to learn to be independent."
So that night she slept at her girlfriends house, supposedly. The next day she got back and said she didn’t want to sleep in the same bed and she needed space and would sleep on the couch bed in the living room. She told me she wasn’t sure what she wanted anymore, and that she needed a few weeks to think. During this time I ramped up my "changing" even more, I started doing all the housework, trying to take her on dates, but she was very resistant to any attempts from me at all, no kissing, no hugs even. All my support people kept saying "it has to be another guy, this doesn’t make sense, she wouldn’t be this resistant to you trying just from you neglecting her for a few months" but I kept telling them all no way, she is NOT like that at all and she would have just told me, like she said she always would. I defended her to the death about it not being another guy.
2 weeks go by, it’s now 9/14/22, she tells me the feelings aren’t coming back, and she wants to move out, but can’t afford it so want’s to live as roommates until spring time. I hesitantly tell her I am up for that (with the intention of just gaining more time with her to change her mind), but told her my line in the sand is no dating and no other guys, as I couldn’t handle that, and she readily agreed.
9/14/22 to 10/3/22, was hard, it was a roller coaster. She bought her own bed set and moved into the spare room. She was spending a lot of time at her girl friends, supposedly, but I never questioned it, again always giving her the benefit of the doubt since for 7 years she was so faithful. Sometimes she would call me crying at 1am and ask to come lay with me in our bed, I would say yes, and she would just lay in my arms and sob, telling me she hates herself and she knows she's hurting me badly but just can’t get the feelings back. Telling me how she’s burning bridges at work and socially, how she's broke, doesn’t own her own car, how her life just sucks. Other days she would barely talk to me at all or act perfectly fine and happy (usually when out with her friend). My main support person (my best friend) told me that as much as I didn’t want to know, I needed to find out if there was another guy, but I kept telling him no, she wouldn’t do that, she just fell out of love man, she wouldn’t lie. I noticed at one point her dash cam was unplugged, which was odd, and also that her snapchat location was off (I had never really paid attention to that so I didn’t know when she turned it off but thought it was odd), and I noticed her phone had a passcode. All these things were obviously red flags to the highest order, but once again, I just kept saying no, she wouldn’t do that, they are just coincidences. He told me to check phone logs at least, but I refused, saying I didn’t have too as I still fully trusted her. (Isn’t hindsight unreal? As I type all this stuff I keep saying WHAT AN IDIOT MAN REALLY??????)
I had asked her a few more times over this period if there was another guy, and I finally mentioned that I noticed her and "jim"s interactions on Facebook and how it was a little weird timing wise to all this, her face turned red but she said oh no he’s just a friend. Again I fully and instantly believed her, putting the blinders on one more time.
10/3/22-(actual dday I guess) We had a really good day, and I was feeling hopeful for no good reason about us, so I figured I would go leave a note in her car for her to find in the morning, like I used to do when we were good. I opened her car door and noticed two things. An apartment complex application. No big deal since I knew she was moving eventually, but she told me she was waiting until spring to move so I was taken aback a little. But then, a receipt fell out of her door pocket. I picked it up to see if it was something I could throw out and noticed it was a take out pick up receipt, and it had "jim"s name on it. Me being me, I looked at the time/date on it and scrolled back in W and I’s messages and saw that she said she was with her girl friend that night, so that’s when it all started to fall apart for me.
10/4/22 we went out to eat to celebrate her passing some test for college, and I couldn’t really act right and didn’t know how to tell her about what I found. After eating we went to some stores and she went to try on a skirt, supposedly for me. When she came out of the dressing room and was putting the skirt back, I told myself that I’ve never snooped before but I needed some more evidence than the receipt, maybe they were just friends, etc. Her phone was open and in her hand, and I noticed it was open to a snapchat message, with "jims" name at the top, with hearts next to it, and I saw a picture and some messages that made it clear they were not just friends. I could barely drive home without shaking. She knew something was wrong but just sat in silence. When we got home she immediately said she was going to her girlfriends house and left. I messaged her and asked her to please come home as I had to talk to her about something but she refused and said she was having fun at friends house and would be home tomorrow.
At this point it was clear as day and it felt like my world was falling apart (more than it had already from her wanting a D to "be independent and find herself". She got home and we had "the talk". I told her about the receipt, about seeing the messages, and that I knew. She was emotionless. She pursed her lips and said "welp, I guess you know now". I still didn’t know the details or how big or small the affair was, or even if it was an affair, for all I knew she only started getting with him after she told me she wanted to D. (my wishful thinking again). I told her that she knew my line in the sand was no other guys, and there was obviously another guy, so the current living situation wasn’t going to work. She started crying, saying she has nowhere to go. I told her well, stop talking to "jim" then and we can keep living together. This was where I got another sharp knife to the heart. She looked at me and said "I can’t. I can’t stop talking to him. I tried so hard but I can’t. I’m sorry I let it get to this point but I can’t. Even if it means I need to move into a shitty place, I can’t stop talking to him".
That was my first hint they weren’t just a casual fling, and it hurt like hell. I told her "well I’m sorry but welcome to the consequences of your actions. We need to find living arraignments by 11/1/22, I will not live with your while you are, whatever you are, with another guy" She cried more and left. When I saw her at home later, she basically had changed her tone (probably after talking to him) and just said, "thanks for letting me stay until I first, I know I don’t deserve it, I’ll be out by then". I felt so deflated. I got no begging, no pleading, she was already so sure about her decision to leave me for this other guy, and was emotionless about it at that. She had been lying to me and hiding him from me to keep my half of the rent coming in, and planned to keep doing that for another 4-5 months! I called her out on that being her plan too and she basically just said "I really didn’t have a plan, I was just going with the motions to be honest"
After that day, so like 10/5 to 11/1, it was pretty terrible. She stopped hiding the fact that she was with him. She stopped saying she was "going to her girlfriends" and just starting saying "not coming home tonight". Her Lingerie drawer would be left open some nights, almost on purpose. Worn lingerie and obviously worn thongs would be in the hamper. She brought home one of his work shirts and would sleep in it every night. She didn’t know I was seeing all this and I don’t think she was doing it on purpose but she wasn’t really hiding it either. We basically stopped talking except for stuff about moving or the dogs or splitting up the stuff etc. I actually tried to talk to her once and said "hey, you know this whole thing, you leaving me for another guy, and lying about it for months, is really destroying my soul here, I just figured you’d at least wait until you move out in a few weeks to start sleeping with him every night, once you have your own place you can sleep with him whenever and I won’t have to know", and she basically said "what does it matter? You already know I'm with him so I don’t think it should matter".
She did stop sleeping out those last 2 weeks after the talk, but I noticed the sliding door to outside in her room kept being left unlocked after I’d lock it each morning, and there were Coke bottles on her nightstand (she never drank soda, but I know jim did), so instead of sleeping out, she snuck him in instead! This gutted me as well, like she was so into this guy she just COULDN’T FUCKING WAIT, she couldn’t spare me the pain, she just HAD to sleep with him one way or another.
This is where I did some "pain shopping". I knew she was leaving me for him, so the past really didn’t matter, but I couldn’t help it. I checked the phone logs first. This is where I found the start date of the phone calls/texts. 7/15/22. Two weeks before she even told me anything was wrong with us. They would call each other for hours at all hours of the day/night, when she was at work, when I was at work and she was home. Hundreds of texts. The phone calls stopped from 8/3 to 8/18…I think this was the time she told me she tried to stop talking to him, but they resumed and got even longer/more. I noticed that on 8/1, the morning she sent me that long message, she had a 5 hour long talk with him first, so I bet they were talking about what to say to me. Same thing on 9/2 for the ILYBNILWY talk, they talked for 4 hours first, again probably talking about how she was going to tell me. Makes me want to puke. They also showed me that almost every time she had said she was with her girl friend, she was actually with "jim" for the past 2 months of me thinking I was trying to save my marriage. I noticed something weird too, on 10/13 she went to the casino with her sister, and I saw that she called him 98 times in a row without him picking up, within a 3 hour period, and texted him over 350 times as well. I asked her about this later and she said "oh that was just an argument"….but in my head I was like 98 unanswered calls? 350 texts in 3 hours? You are completely obsessed with this guy. Broke my heart all over.
Second and last pain shop was listening/watching the dash cam video. I found out why she was so broke all the time, she was going to his house every morning for hours before work, and after work. I found what I think was one of their first nights having sex, 7/28/22, where she called him and he said how good it was, and she said "that was nothing! That was Tame, people were home, wait until there are no distractions and I bring the toys and outfits! I will make you cum three times instead of just 2 like tonight, you just wait, just wait…just wait…"
I will NEVER unhear that. Ever. Hearing how eager to please this kid she was, in July, before I even knew anything was wrong, and hearing her say "just wait", like her mind was already made up that she was going to continue it indefinitely, burns a hole into me every time I replay it in my head (and I do at least 100 times a day, still). PLEASE don’t pain shop, you will never unhear or un-see the things you see and hear and it will fucking haunt you. Some days I can’t stop thinking about this, her eagerness, and how every step she took after the fact was all about pleasing him, all about getting away from me.
From other dash cam audio and from things she told me, it was all her pursuing him too. It wasn't some guy trying to steal my wife as I originally thought. SHE was the one constantly trying to impress him and get approval from him. I even noticed she bought books about "how to get the guy who doesn’t want you". The whole dynamic was him being there for her emotionally and sexually but not wanting people to know about them, and she didn’t even care, she just kept taking steps to get away from me and closer to him. That was and is a big hit to my ego for sure, seeing/hearing your wife absolutely obsessed with another guy. As of now, 1 week after goodbye, they are officially dating, I’ve seen them together once already. I feel so crushed, my wife left me for a younger, more compatible guy without even giving me a chance to show her what I could have been, and had a 3 month affair with him then tried to hide him from me to keep a roof over her head to boot!
11/2 was the official "goodbye" meetup, and then there was another unplanned shorter one 11/4 where we ended up at the house at the same time getting the last of our stuff out.
During these two times (we haven’t really talked much at all besides the business of moving/divorce the month of October) she was very open and honest (seemingly) with me about the affair, the reasons, what lead up to it etc. This was also the first time she really showed remorse, (even on dday she basically just said "welp, I guess you know now").
She actually had a few panic attacks, fell on the dirt ground crying, puked a few times, kept saying how sorry she was and how she will forever feel guilty about how she went about leaving me (exit affair). How genuine all that was I am not sure, but it was nice to at least see some emotions from her, however exaggerated they might have been.
What’s stuck with me since, is that she finally gave me a glimpse into her and AP’s relationship (again, how genuine it was, I don’t know). She basically told me he isn’t some golden penis godlike figure that I kept making him out to be in my head, and they are having issues, he doesn’t want to make them "official" to the public, he has a crazy ex that won’t leave them alone, and he’s backed off a lot since I found out about them and since she’s moved out.
To me this sounds like Limerence starting to wear off, but I didn’t tell her that. So while her telling me they are already having issues obviously spiked my false hope, she went on to tell me "I just can’t quit this guy though, I’m addicted to him, and you’re right, I’m obsessed with him, and in the beginning I really did think he was my soul mate and Yes that’s why I cheated and am leaving you for him, and I still hope it works out with us, I’m trying to change him, I gave up everything for this guy and I need to make it work" Again this seems like her still being in full Limerence as well but I can't stop that (nor should I want to even at this point, right?)
I told her how she’s been addicted to toxic relationships before meeting me, and that it sounds like she’s going down that road again, but she basically just kept saying "I just don’t know what it is about him, I just can’t stop, I just can’t, I need to do this" When she goes into a new relationship, she goes hard and 100%, she did it with her past 2 exes and with me as well, so I hate when people say "she will come crawling back man, you shouldn't take her back when she does, but she will!". I don't think she will at all. I've never seen her get this into someone so quickly and completely, and they seem pretty compatible so I think they might work out long term, that's what I have to tell myself at least.
Since then I've already seen them together once, him driving her car, and she looked so happy too, until we made eye contact at least.
She threw away our 8 years, the nice car I paid for, got her own crappy overpriced used car, split up our dogs, left our nice house in a nice town, moved into a crappy little apartment in a crappy town, ALL for this other guy, who didn’t even want people to know they were together at first. It tears me apart every day. I know it’s still fresh, but I need it to stop. I know it will get better, but right now it’s absolute agony.
[This message edited by foog2 at 5:05 AM, Monday, November 14th]