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Newest Member: May28

Wayward Side :
Unwilling to leave, Unable to stay

Topic is Sleeping.
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 NeverAgain2022 (original poster new member #83019) posted at 6:04 AM on Monday, March 6th, 2023

So... Welcome to me i guess, after trying all possible ways there was no escape to reach that conversation and it took place for the last time on 6/3/2023..

after an affair that lasted 6 month, she ( my AP ) realized that ending it is the best for both of us, she need to move on with her life and i need to focus on my family, we always knew that this day will come but thinking and planing for it is one thing, but facing it is a whole different animal.
we tried to end the affair 3 times before but it spiraled up always 2 or 3 days after, this time it is different since she moved out of the country for a new job and she though best to take this opportunity to end it properly.

im not here to be judged, im here since i spent most of the night reading the posts and it helped a lot to figure out what should be done and how to get over this.

i am married, with a 3 yrs old son, me and my wife drifted apart for a while since she moved out for a job and void took place, my AP is a coworker and i was her manager, the moment i saw her we felt something inside like we know each others way before that but never spoke about it till 8 month after where a simple casual phone call turned into a full night conversation ..then the day after.. then the day after and then we met , and it blew up into a full physical and emotional affair daily for 6 month ... we shared everything and anything, the sex was mind blowing but the most important thing was that connection ...the emotional part and we fell in love so hard ..

now knowing that i can not leave my family and she is moving away both ways, she chose to back off and end it last month, but we maintained daily contact texting and calls till a week ago where she asked for no contact.. i disregarded her demand and we were fine, but the thing is that she is falling for me more and she can't move on with me in her life even though she loves me so, so we went no contact at all as of last night.
i am focusing now on my family , wife and kid since it is not their fault that i fell inlove for someone else, i don't want to destroy them at all..i know i love my wife but it is maybe that passion and wild stuff what i miss...

i will miss my AP like hell, since daily we spoke bout everything and felt free...that connection can't be found with just anyone, but now i do have to let her go...i will not lie, i am hoping that she contact me when she is ready just to maintain that connection even though nothing will be physical..i know it is wrong and i should sever all ties, i did , i removed her from everywhere, but i am so confused and my mind is blurry as hell...

don't judge me...im here for support not judgement , i am already giving myself hell.

posts: 5   ·   registered: Mar. 6th, 2023
id 8780926
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lonelypilgrim ( new member #79865) posted at 1:34 PM on Monday, March 6th, 2023

No judgement from me at all.

But my two cents on this is take her move as a gift and an opportunity to do the right thing.

If you truly do love your wife and want to save your family, then stay NC. Don't wish for a return for periodic contact. Who knows where that may lead in the future. NC means NC. Simple as that.

I know in my situation, the AP and I talked about ending it many times. It was a long distance thing, we live hundreds of miles from each other and met up on business trips. We texted all the time. Multiple times daily. And saw each other every 1 to 2 months for 21 months. For a variety of reasons one of us would talk about ending it and say it was over. It would take less than 2 days for us to resume text/talk. And that kept the door open for the next in person meet up.

All this shit we do will catch up to us in way or another. It did to me. And a whole lot of people are paying the price. The devastation for my wife that continues 2 years down the road. My adult daughter is aware of this, so her image of her father is destroyed. The AP family is broken apart. And of course the realization that you yourself willingly through your entire value system out the window.

I have thousands of regrets over the affair. Other than not doing it in the first place, up on the top of the list is not ending all those times when i wanted to and should have.

So now you are faced with something similar. And it may even be easier for you in some way b/c your AP is out of the country and seems intent on keeping the door closed.

You two developed more of an emotional connection than my situation. I understand how breaking that bond my feel sad and difficult right now. It seems to me though that any future was never "real". It was that sense of excitement and passion that you got from it. You were never going to leave your wife and young child for her.

As you emerge from the fog of the A, please turn your attention to your marriage. You know what's not right with your relationship. So start talking about. Start doing things to fix it. Get back to being the man, husband and father you used to be and devote yourself to being that once again.

Me: WS, Mid 50s, 25yrs M, 21 month PA, D-day 4/21, Working hard to earn R


So when you look at me
You better look hard and look twice
Is that me, baby
Or just a brilliant disguise?

posts: 18   ·   registered: Feb. 1st, 2022
id 8780946
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SkipThumelue ( member #82934) posted at 2:06 PM on Monday, March 6th, 2023

I recommend reading and re-reading Maia's withdrawal survival guide at the top of the forum. Lots of great advice there that can help you get through the end of the A. Not all of it applied to me but there's wisdom to be found in it for every WS.

And if you're really serious about working on your marriage, you have to start by working on yourself. Don't try to go it alone or white-knuckle it. Keep reading and posting here. I highly recommend you find a good therapist too, someone experienced in infidelity who won't take any of the crap that us waywards try to pull (ask me how I know laugh )

There's a great book by Linda J. McDonald called "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair" that has a link in the Healing Library. You may even be able to find a free/reduced price .pdf copy on the internet too. It's an easy read lengthwise, with much to take to heart.

Keep posting. We hear you.

WH

DD: 5/2019

Reconciling and extremely grateful.

I do not accept PMs.

"The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself." - St. Augustine

posts: 129   ·   registered: Feb. 24th, 2023
id 8780950
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Bor9455 ( member #72628) posted at 8:39 PM on Monday, March 6th, 2023

I'm not here to judge, we've all been there and made similar choices, that is why we are here on SI today.

I have a mentor of mine who used to always thank people for their time because he said, when a person gives you their time, they are giving you something that they will never get back. You mentioned that you have a wife and a 3 year old son. This may surprise you, but you have cheated your wife and your son out of the only precious resource you could've offered them, your time. Take it from me, someone who was cheating when my son was 9-10 years old, the damage done to our relationship has lasted to this day. So while your son is younger and there is still time, you have hurt your relationship with him and of course your wife.

I guess it really depends on what kind of support you came here to get. If you want to reconcile (R) with your wife, you have a lot of work to do on your part to even become a safe partner for your BW to even consider R. If you want to divorce, the folks here can help you with that as well. There is a saying around here that I've latched onto and really like, "the first person that a wayward betrays is themselves." Think about that a second, on your wedding day, I presume that you swore a vow of fidelity to your wife. In front of your friends, family and God (if that is your thing) you swore those vows to each other and I'd be shocked to find out that your vows were conditional and your wife's were absolute. You meant them when you spoke them to her and in your own mind, they were your stated values. Somewhere along the way though, your stated values became conditional and not absolute. You betrayed the younger version of you who swore to always be faithful to your wife. The road to reconciliation is not easy and it is very long, but if you ever hope to get there, you will have to start working with a therapist on yourself, identifying why your stated values of fidelity and commitment suddenly had a conditionality clause to them. Once you begin to understand that and how you can work to change those behaviors and thinking patterns from within so that can actually become a safe partner.

If you plan to R, one of your first steps will be telling your wife. You should heed the advice here and start putting together a timeline of the affair with details about the times you slept together, the locations, the times you talked, the number of texts, the context of those texts, etc. etc. You should be prepared with details and to give your wife the full story on the first day. As we say around here, most times it isn't the cheating that kills the marriage, but the continued lying that happens after discovery. Also, if you are going to tell your wife, make a contingency plan for her kicking your ass out of the house and I guess this goes without saying, but that person should be someone she knows and trusts like family or a close family friend so she knows that you aren't running to be AP. There is no telling how your wife is going to react and respond, none of us know her but you, however, you are in a unique spot as a WH in that you have not been discovered, so you have a couple of days to prepare to tell her and give her as much information on day 1 as possible. You may not be there today, but if you ever want to have a true reconciliation where you connect with your wife on the most intimate and deep levels, you cannot ever hope to achieve that if you are lying to her and keeping this from her. Not only have you been keeping her agency from her, you have also risked her safety of her life and by extension your son's life through STD exposure. You have to face that truth and own up to it. There is no running from what you did, only owning it and working on taking the next steps to make sure it never happens again.

Myself - BH & WH - Born 1985 Her - BW & WW - Born 1986

D-Day for WW's EA - October 2017D-Day no it turned PA - February 01, 2020

posts: 666   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020   ·   location: Miami
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 NeverAgain2022 (original poster new member #83019) posted at 10:30 PM on Monday, March 6th, 2023

@lonelypilgrim I know what i have to do, yes i do love my wife but the days went sour and grew apart, i am maintaining NC, and will save our marriage, it is not their fault and it is my mistake, i did wrong now it is time to do right.

@SkipThumelue i read it, it helped a lot thank you

@Bor9455 well, telling my wife is not an option since it will destroy her to the point of no return, i guess this guilt i do have to bare and deal with it alone..

well first NC day went, my feelings are chaotic toward my AP, i miss love hate and im angry at her, but as said... she is doing the right thing and i must do the right thing too, at the beginning of the A she told me clearly " do you know where we are heading? to a brick wall and one day it will hurt us at hell, but we need to think about all who are around us " so we got this ride together and it was a decision not a mistake.. i will leave my AP alone to keep on with her life, and i will gather all the power i have to focus on my marriage and stop all those memories in my head.. we will see how it goes..

posts: 5   ·   registered: Mar. 6th, 2023
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Bor9455 ( member #72628) posted at 2:55 AM on Tuesday, March 7th, 2023

You don’t plan on telling your wife the truth? Your affair robbed her of her agency to make decisions about her life and you exposed her to STDs. Love is a verb and you cannot by definition love your wife as those are not loving actions. You are going to have a long road ahead if you are going to continue to be this selfish. Part of recovery from the affair is placing your wife’s needs above your own selfish needs. Maybe this is what you need to hear, but so long as you keep secrets about your relationship with your AP, the affair is continuing. Sure, maybe you are no longer talking to your AP and you are no longer sleeping with them, but you are still pining for her in this thread and keeping the affair alive on your end through your actions.

[This message edited by Bor9455 at 2:40 PM, Tuesday, March 7th]

Myself - BH & WH - Born 1985 Her - BW & WW - Born 1986

D-Day for WW's EA - October 2017D-Day no it turned PA - February 01, 2020

posts: 666   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020   ·   location: Miami
id 8781089
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Bulcy ( member #74034) posted at 6:29 PM on Tuesday, March 7th, 2023

As with the others who have posted on here, no judgement.

I have had multiple affairs both before and during my marriage. I too made those same vows of fidelity but knew that I was not even starting on a fair footing. I held onto this infidelity for over 20 years before BS was aware. She was devastated, as others have said, time will not heal the damage you will cause when she finds out. You cannot hold onto this secret and be real and truthful for the rest of your lives together.

It is unfair and selfish behaviour to continue this. I know, I have done exactly what you’re doing. Told myself that I was protecting her by not saying anything. The truth is, you’re protecting only yourself. Keep reading and believing what you’re being told, you’re going to devastate your wife. What if she finds out somehow? Then you’re thrown into a position like me who was caught, despite knowing what the fair thing to do was.

Please give your wife agency. Do not do the same thing I did, it really does make things worse.

WH (50's)

Multiple sexual, emotional and online affairs. Financial infidelity and emotional abuse. Physical abuse and intimidation.

D-days 2003, 2017, multiple d-days and TT through 2018 to 2023. 28 years of destructive and health damaging choice

posts: 366   ·   registered: Mar. 12th, 2020   ·   location: UK
id 8781169
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 NeverAgain2022 (original poster new member #83019) posted at 5:34 AM on Wednesday, March 8th, 2023

thank you all for your inputs, i need that.

it is not easy to tell the wife, it is not that i am protecting her , it is saving what can be saved and preventing doing any further damage, yes it is way better to come out clean and tell the wife but in my case the chances of her knowing are slim so i don't think it is the best move now since it will destroy the family and every bond that we still have, in some cases it is better when possible to keep it hidden.

as for me and my AP, still total NC and last call was 3 days ago, not sure how long the NC will last it is becoming a storm in my head, 18hrs out of the 24hrs and the AP is in my mind, wondering 10000 different things and asking 10000 different question, still she didn't not block my number or the SM accounts but i think she restricted me so i can't see her posts and she can't see mine, anyway i was going to unfollow her.

the worst time is now ( At morning ) when you wake up bombarded with the thoughts ..i hope it fade away with time since i am so keen on contacting her again, not to re-initiate the A but to try keep that touch between us and not to fade in darkness...wrong i know , i really hope that this feeling goes away.

posts: 5   ·   registered: Mar. 6th, 2023
id 8781237
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SkipThumelue ( member #82934) posted at 2:15 PM on Wednesday, March 8th, 2023

We were a couple of months past our EA when I reached out again to my AP. I had just gotten out of a PA with another woman, was struggling in the initial stages of therapy, and my wayward brain decided it would be a good idea to check in and "see how she was doing". We picked things up as if we never left off within a few messages.

After a couple more months, I abruptly ended it for good with her. The insanity of trying to work on myself combined with carrying on the EA finally broke me and I was just done. I was making slow but steady progress with my therapist toward getting to a place to self-disclose (while cowardly digging/dragging my feet at times) to my wife when my EAP outed me with an anonymous letter.

In the total shitshow of DDay, the only thing I did right was confess everything. The PA's, the EA's, the Tinder and AM accounts, Reddit, etc. Everything.

Eventually, it will all come to light. You might believe you can rugsweep it forever but all you're doing is sitting on a time bomb.

I absolutely do not recommend this route. I wish I would've had the courage to self-disclose immediately after I started IC, instead of my wife having to hear it from a stranger I invited into our marriage.

WH

DD: 5/2019

Reconciling and extremely grateful.

I do not accept PMs.

"The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself." - St. Augustine

posts: 129   ·   registered: Feb. 24th, 2023
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Bor9455 ( member #72628) posted at 3:36 PM on Wednesday, March 8th, 2023

it is not easy to tell the wife, it is not that i am protecting her , it is saving what can be saved and preventing doing any further damage, yes it is way better to come out clean and tell the wife but in my case the chances of her knowing are slim so i don't think it is the best move now since it will destroy the family and every bond that we still have, in some cases it is better when possible to keep it hidden.

Look, I'm not deluded enough to think that my perspective is unique or rare, but as someone who is a Madhatter, meaning that I had an A myself and that my wife also had an A, I have been the betrayer and the betrayed. I cannot shut off one side or other, as the experience as a BS and a WS have both shaped the man I am today, for better or for worse. I don't know you or your wife, but for me the order was WS first and BS later and what I can tell you is that my gut knew something was up, but the gaslighting and lies that my wife had told were enough to throw me off the scent for awhile. I tell you that so that you try to understand that your wife may not know about your affair, but she has perceived a shift/change in your relationship while you were in your affair and she will also notice changes that happen in to you now.

That being out the way, the damage that you are worried about causing and the devastation that your BW will experience is already baked in. You may not have consciously choose it and lord knows that in the moment, your wife's future pain and devastation was not top of mind as you proceeded forward with each step of your affair with your AP. I think you are sharp enough to understand this, but maybe you haven't thought of it in this way, but affairs don't just happen. Affairs are conscious choices, usually hundreds or thousands of small choices to betray your spouse little by little. It is kind of the classic frog in boiling water. With the AP, your boundaries were pushed so slowly or gradually that by the time you had completely lost the plot you were already deeply enmeshed with this woman in an EA and PA.

While you are ruminating about your AP, think back on those moments like a movie reel in your head. Instead of remembering them fondly, try thinking about what that would look like if your wife was in the audience for these events. The AP is not your friend, she was willing to participate with you in destroying your wife. She knew that you were a married man and allowed herself to pursue a romantic and sexual relationship with a married man. Not to mention she was willing to help you put both of your careers at risk since you were her manager. The old saying of "don't shit where you eat" always applies and that is whether you are single or partnered. Mixing your career with your love life is always a terrible idea, adding a workplace affair is like pouring gasoline on a campfire.

What I suggest is that you work with your IC on a full disclosure plan. In order to share with your wife the news, you need to work on putting together the comprehensive, complete story. Disclosure is going to hurt her a lot, there is no denying that. Hell, it is going to hurt you. However, your wife married a man that would love and cherish forever...having the affair was not loving at all and certainly keeping the affair from her is not loving at all. Not disclosing the affair to your wife is not the selfless gesture you may seem to think it is, in fact, it is one of the most selfish things one can do, besides the affair. IT is okay, you are a wayward that has reached out for help and we here can tell when someone's mindset is still wayward or not, and given that you have just gone NC this week, it is understandable that you aren't there yet. It takes time to break yourself of that line of thinking, I know it took me a few months to get my head out of my ass.

I can promise you this, the longer you hold onto this information, the more distance and space will grow between your wife and you. It will eat at you over and over and over and you never know when those moments are going to hit you. You have a young child, there will be many family bonding moments that will be tainted by the deep, dark secret that you are keeping. This group here has seen it all. You work on your disclosure and then this group can help you with the aftermath. There are a lot of great resources that you can find here in the healing library. How to Help Your Spouse Heal from an affair is a great book that is kind of like the Recovery 101 for any Wayward around here. Reading that book and Not Just Friends were both very impactful in my recovery amongst other things.

Myself - BH & WH - Born 1985 Her - BW & WW - Born 1986

D-Day for WW's EA - October 2017D-Day no it turned PA - February 01, 2020

posts: 666   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020   ·   location: Miami
id 8781262
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 NeverAgain2022 (original poster new member #83019) posted at 4:54 AM on Friday, March 10th, 2023

I do fully understand all your POV's, but it is not an option to tall the wife and everybody else, when i had the A my wife was not in the country, she was living away, and the chances are really slim that the A will be discovered since my A is in another country now and no one knows about it.
true i had my personality shifting , but i am getting better, it is 6 days NC still, doing what i have to do, and not sure what the days will bring me but i am working on my marriage in all ways, and trying to find the missing parts in it so i don't drift into another A in the future ( i will never do that again ), now the issue is that , i do love my AP so deep, she does too.. but it is what it is.

i will keep you posted ..

posts: 5   ·   registered: Mar. 6th, 2023
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Bor9455 ( member #72628) posted at 11:15 PM on Friday, March 10th, 2023

I do fully understand all your POV's, but it is not an option to tall the wife and everybody else, when i had the A my wife was not in the country, she was living away, and the chances are really slim that the A will be discovered since my A is in another country now and no one knows about it.
true i had my personality shifting , but i am getting better, it is 6 days NC still, doing what i have to do, and not sure what the days will bring me but i am working on my marriage in all ways, and trying to find the missing parts in it so i don't drift into another A in the future ( i will never do that again ), now the issue is that , i do love my AP so deep, she does too.. but it is what it is.

Everyone comes to SI at a different stage in their journey with infidelity. It is one the great parts about this place, you have folks who just found out hours/days/weeks ago and old vets who have been there done that a decade or more ago. You really do have a great cross section of human civilization here. Men, women, young, older, all different creeds, colors and socioeconomic backgrounds. We try to help all who come here and as some say, you are going to get a lot of advice, take what works for you and disregard the rest. Nothing wrong with that. You come here very emotionally raw after ending your affair. Both of my grandfathers were alcoholics, my father met my mom because he grew close to her dad (my grandad) through AA/Alanon, I had uncles on both sides of the family tree also alcoholics, cousins on both sides of the family and oh yeah, my only brother. I spent a lot of time in that community through my early 20s. As they say, the first step is admitting you have a problem, so in that regard, I give you credit, you've come here and registered and even posted your story, your problem that you are admitting to yourself and us SI strangers is that you had an affair, you've ended it, but you are still pining for your AP and each day is a struggle it seems to white-knuckle through another day of NC.

You are deep in what we refer to as the affair fog. You need to get some distance between you and your AP to see for the kind of awful person she was and not the fantasy version of her you have. Your AP never sat down and worked with you on a family budget or asked you to help with chores around the house or getting the kids cleaned up and put to bed at night. It wasn't real, not a single iota of it. I know that the AP conjures up powerful and overwhelming emotions in you, there is no denying that, but those feelings are entirely within you. We don't always control how and what we feel, but we do have total control over our actions/responses to those feelings.

I guess the question you need to answer is what kind of help do you want? Right in front of you here, you have a lot of hard fought, crowdsourced wisdom from hundreds/thousands of people who have sat in your shoes and some who have sat in both your shoes and those of your wife. The group will help you as best you can, but you have to also understand that even waywards only are not going to pat you on the bottom and give you kudos for ending your affair. I don't want to minimize the importance of taking that first step, it was a big one, and you've taken other steps in a very long recovery journey, but if you truly believe that you can end your affair and go back to playing house with your wife as if nothing ever happened, you are lying to us and well frankly yourself. That is really the core of things here, you've lived an inauthentic life for so long that you may not even know what it feels like to be truthful and just being you. I cannot tell you how much of a tremendous burden it is off your shoulders to not have to live a lie and hide who you really are. You only get one life and it's short. Living the way you propose is setting yourself up for a lifetime of misery.

We cheaters are not unique and our stories are not unique. Here on SI, we refer to a mythical "Cheaters Handbook" because there are so many overlaps in behavior that have played out thousands of times across different age groups, cultures, etc. that it is clearly kind of hardwired into the cheater themselves. Maybe if you stick around and spend some time reading up more, that will help you to see things more clearly. There are some great things to read in the healing library that can help put some context around what you have done as a cheater. If there is one thing that I'm certain of here, and I'm not certain of much, your wife will eventually find out. I cannot tell you how many stories there are on here of spouses getting deathbed confessions or post death confessions about infidelity related to their spouse. Hell, you may think, I got this, I will just keep a stone cold poker face and my wife will never know...who knows exactly what it will be, but one night you have a few too many drinks and you let your mask slip or you have to go in for a dental procedure and you get sedated and come out on the loopy end and run your big mouth. For the remainder of your life married to this woman, every waking second of every day for the rest of your life you will have to hide your real and true self behind a facade, you will have to be on your A+ game all times to never let even a scintilla of doubt creep into your wife's mind. The great part about humanity, and it is ironic, is that we strive to be perfect but we are by our nature completely incapable of ever being perfect, but the strategy that you are pursuing will require that you be completely perfect in keeping this secret for the better part of a century. That kind of burden weighs on a person and it grows larger with each passing day.

So yes, while you think that the A is properly compartmentalized, it happened in a different place in a different time, your wife can never find out. The data set from SI tells me that she will find out, maybe not today, or next week or in the next few years. It could be a few decades from now when you have grandkids but when it comes out it will be more devastating than you could've ever imagined. Here is the thing that you aren't thinking about either, your AP is a total wildcard. Sure, for now everything seems like she will be NC forever and that may be true, but that doesn't mean that some point she doesn't poke around in your business. What if one day she tries to reach out and you have her blocked, maybe she creates a fake social media profile and finds your wife's contact information and shares a screenshot from one of your chats back in the day. Something like that has happened so many times on SI that it is not even worth counting anymore.

I would say that you are quite fortunate. Most of the waywards who come here after having been outed in some way like I described above. Sometimes the BS suspects something and catches them, other times it is the OBS who lets the BS know, but discovery happens and is by this board's evidence quite a shitshow if I must say so myself. You are lucky in that you have not had that happen to you, but you have control over disclosure and you can put together a strategy, with the help of this group to disclose your affair in full to your wife and this group and help you with the fallout. I'm not going to tell you what to do, but the unburdening of yourself is like no feeling you've ever had before. You no longer have to keep looking over your shoulder for the AP or other potential landmines. Sure, your wife may unload on you and end up divorcing you, but I got news for you, that would be the consequences of your actions. Would they hurt? You're damn right they would, but you, not her, set that chain in motion when you choose affair over your wife.

Good luck. I hope you keep posting, you've done the right thing by coming here and when you are ready to take the next steps and do the right thing, this place will be willing to help and if you aren't, that is fine too, it is up to you and the pace you choose.

Myself - BH & WH - Born 1985 Her - BW & WW - Born 1986

D-Day for WW's EA - October 2017D-Day no it turned PA - February 01, 2020

posts: 666   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020   ·   location: Miami
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 NeverAgain2022 (original poster new member #83019) posted at 7:20 AM on Saturday, March 11th, 2023

Good luck. I hope you keep posting, you've done the right thing by coming here and when you are ready to take the next steps and do the right thing, this place will be willing to help and if you aren't, that is fine too, it is up to you and the pace you choose.

well, you got me engaged with what you wrote.. i guess i have lot of thinking to do, and another day passed with NC, i wish we all find that device from Men in black that erases memories.. that would be easier on all of us! laugh
keep jokes aside, i will run everything in my head again, and decide what is the best way to go, but whatever way i chose, im glade i found this forum, it is always good to have support.

posts: 5   ·   registered: Mar. 6th, 2023
id 8781691
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Bor9455 ( member #72628) posted at 11:57 PM on Sunday, March 12th, 2023

well, you got me engaged with what you wrote.. i guess i have lot of thinking to do, and another day passed with NC, i wish we all find that device from Men in black that erases memories.. that would be easier on all of us! laugh
keep jokes aside, i will run everything in my head again, and decide what is the best way to go, but whatever way i chose, im glade i found this forum, it is always good to have support.

Thanks for the kind words. I'm encouraged to see you are engaged with it. I hope that I have encouraged you to stick around and do some serious introspection into what you want out of your life. I think some context as to where I come from and what is driving me today is important.

Look brother, and don't get me wrong, I'm not coming after you with daggers or lances chanting "off with his head" in case you may have got that impression of me or others here. Quite the contrary, as my profile and signature line say, I am a wayward myself as well as piling on top of the whole thing the fact that I'm also betrayed too. Translation, I've been married almost 13 years (will be 13 on 01May2023) and I've been exclusive with my wife since we as young lads "made it Facebook official" on 07Oct2007, so going on 15 years together. It's funny how she would kill me for saying this is how I remember dates, but the night we started dating officially was a Nebraska/Missouri football game in 2007 (we are Husker fans as I'm from Nebraska, her El Salvador with family in Nebraska), she came over to watch the game with me at my place that night and we made it official. In March 2009, Google says April 06, 2009, it was night of the NCAA Men's Final Four Championship Game and she called me that her new apartment had lost power because the landlord had screwed her and her roommate over and she needed a place to stay. She had already been staying over at my place plenty, but we finally, with her father being reluctant but out of the country, we moved her into my place. We got engaged in December 2009, right before she headed home to El Salvador for the Christmas break (About 2-3 weeks she was there). A couple of nights after she went back there, I had a few friends over to chill, and then one of my friends left and then it was down to two of us. A gal I had known a little bit and I, both drinking and while it's been a long time and I was drinking that night, I woke up in the morning with her in my bed and while I was fuzzy even then on the details, I know enough that it was absolutely a full on PA/ONS kind of situation.

Long story short, I hung out with her a couple of nights later and this time my best friend was there the whole time. My best friend knew that I was recently engaged and he shook me out of doing something stupid that night, he was not there the time before, it was a different, more distant friend. My best friend, who has been my friend since childhood, was pretty pissed at me. He was home for break from grad school and was over hanging out with me and watched me cheat on my fiancé, a gal who he had known since the genesis of my relationship with her. So I vowed that night to myself to sort of "take it to my grave" and move on with my soon to be wife and life. Well, my now wife (fiancé at the time) came back sometime in early January. I had picked her up, was so excited to see her and it was great to have her back. She was in school and since I had graduated in May 2008, I had been working what has turned into my career job in pharmaceutical quality (back then I was just a wee laboratory analyst testing the raw materials and components for tablets manufacturing facility). My wife flew back in the afternoon/evening and the next day I went to work while she had the day at home. I came home from work that night and she confronted me on my shit. She had spent time that day sleuthing through my message history, at that time I was communicating through texts on my phone and through Windows/MSN Messenger, and I didn't know it kept chat history logs, but she was studying computer science and she knew where to find those logs and she found me talking to this ONS AP through there and confirming that we did in fact have sex and I even commented about how it was great, etc. etc. Basically, the most devastating stuff for a betrayed to read. She had to read it all out in the open. I came home, with the evidence clearly right in front of us both, I lied and minimized what had happened. She was devastated and she was not sure if she was going to go through with the marriage. She had suspected it because I am not a good poker player and after the ONS happened, she said that I had completely changed and it was obvious I had changed my behavior and she knew something had happened/was up. Once she confirmed it, like I said, she was devastated.

As I look back on it today, we did a couple of things right and a couple of things wrong in the aftermath of what I would now consider an EA that lead to a single night of PA, but let's not fool ourselves, had my best friend not been around for that second evening, which was a few nights after the ONS, I would've probably slept with this AP a second time and I'm just speculating, with knowledge of myself and the time, but it wouldn't have stopped there. It would've kept going and escalated a lot. If my fiancé at the time (now wife) hadn't caught me when she did, it wouldn't have ended and she probably shouldn't have married me. I mentioned things we did right, well, when she found out, I didn't even send a message, I just went into full damage control mode. I deleted this AP from all social media and blocked her on all forms of communication. I think she found a way through to reach me on an old email address about a week or two after I had gone NC. My wife and I were young, we did what we now know is "Hysterical Bonding" where we had an uptick in our sex. You can look up the term, but it is generally that the betrayed and wayward connect sexually as a sort of rekindling of their physical relationship, oftentimes it feels like you are recapturing territory that the AP took from you as a betrayed. Of course, in your early 20s, we didn't put that level of conscious thought or deliberateness to it, but that is what it was. We were getting at it like rabbits, which, I mean, young 20s male, totally okay with me.

The night that changed my life forever, I will never forget the look on her face and the evening. We were probably at the 5 week mark after discovery, out to dinner on a Friday night after my work as a date. We were drinking some of our favorite beers at a local brewery with great eats. After the second beer she reveals that she is late by about two weeks and she is worried that she is pregnant. Suddenly, an interaction that week or the week before regarding some fragrant onions/garlic made sense, she was super sensitive to smells which she had never been. We ended our date night with a trip to the store to get a couple of pregnancy tests. They all came back positive and we confirmed it that Saturday morning with a blood test and ultrasound. Suddenly, all the shit between us with the cheating seemed all so back burner. Here is what we got wrong...we put our relationship issues aside and now had a new life we had created to focus on. All the considerations about how I protect my child by protecting the mother of my child. Between that February night and May 2010, we basically rugswept my EA/PA to focus on how we bring this child into the best environment possible. My wife's immigration status as a student was going to be up when she graduated in May 2010 and she was going to have to return to El Salvador. With the support of our families, we agreed that being married and starting the paperwork for her to stay with me here in the USA was the best option for the baby. It may not have been the best for my wife if I'm being honest, she was sort of trapped into it. She was an immigrant here, her student visa clock was ticking, she was pregnant and probably wanted nothing to do with me. We got married on May 01, 2010, in a small, very private ceremony in my hometown, with her sister and nephew present and my parents and brother around. The marriage was so that we had a legal basis to work on changing her visa status and also so that she could be covered under my health insurance.

We never really worked through the issues that my affair brought to our relationship, hence why it is called rug sweeping. The only real thing I did was not sleep with other women, and I have not slept with or touched any other woman since that December 2009 timeframe. I did have two additional EAs, one in 2013-2014 with a colleague (although at the time I denied it vehemently) right after we moved from Nebraska to Alabama as a family and another after we moved again to Florida starting in 2017 and finally ending in Sept 2019 for good. In parallel in 2017, my wife was also having an EA that I didn't learn until Feb 2020 had become a PA at some point in 2018. I won't get into that story, but to say that her and I have had a lot of work to do on ourselves and on our marriage is the understatement of the century. I'm fully aware of how much of an absolutely terrible husband and father that I have been at times in the last 15 years. I tell you these things so that you may understand, I come at you just as guilty as you are of betraying my spouse. I've been hard at work in IC since 2020 and it has taken me a couple of years to really work through some of the issues from my past to understand the really deep reasons why I allowed my boundaries to slip over and over again. I was super susceptible to the "Damsel in Distress" where I wanted to fix the problems of anyone in my orbit.

Remember the EA I had with a colleague in 2013-2014, it started out very innocently as friendly with a less experienced analyst who was genuinely coming to me for guidance/mentorship as I had a number of years under my belt at that point, which is why we had moved to Alabama for the job opportunity that was because of my excellent performance and experience at my previous stop. I had no problems helping her with her job, because she was part of my team and it was helping the team. We became friends and soon enough she shared with me that her living situation had become a mess, she had just moved into a new apartment but there was a leaking pipe in the unit above hers and there was water damage, etc. and she didn't know what to do about moving to a new unit in her complex. She asked for a hand in moving some furniture and I had the impression that a few colleagues were coming, because I had heard her talking about it with them too.

Turns out that I was the only one that she asked to help her move and I was at this point still naively not picking the signals that she was into me. I started out to help a friend move some boxes and bulky furniture, like couches, tables and chairs. It came time to move her bedroom furniture and that is when things took a turn, I took apart her bed frame and with her help we carried it over to the new place in sections, where I then proceeded to help her assemble it back into place. The next thing was her dresser, which was easier to carry if we just took the drawers out and then carried them over without having to take all the clothes out and sort. When she had me carry the drawer with all her underwear and lingerie I remember that was the moment that things were crossing a line. We finished up that and some other items, leaving only small things like kitchen stuff for her to move on her own and I knew it was time to get out of there. It was close to dinner time anyways and I knew my wife was waiting for me at home with food, but this friend kept insisting that she would order some pizza and we could have some of the beer in her fridge. I insisted that it was not necessary and I needed to go. She then said, well a least let me pay you for your time and help, to which I said nah, it isn't that big of deal, I would hope others do the same for me (because they had in the past). She claimed nonsense and told me that she had something for me, and I was confused, she told me she had to go get it, it was in one of the boxes I'd moved. I was naive or stupid (a little of both at that moment) because when she opened the door to her bedroom a few minutes later in a the most revealing little teddy I'd seen, I remember at that moment panicking and realizing that I had crossed a ton of lines to get here but I wasn't crossing this line. As she invited me to stay, I don't remember what I said, but I booked it out of there and home. I remember the whole ride home just a mental wreck. I came home and immediately confessed to my wife, telling her the whole truth about what had just happened and of course. My wife contacted her and told her to stay away from me, etc. The next week at work, this gal acted as if nothing happened and that I made it all up. Even when my wife contacted her she pretended that none of it happened and that she wasn't into me. I didn't go into a friendship with this gal looking to cheat on my wife, but just to help someone. It should've been a huge blinking warning light that I had a boundary issue with the "Damsel in Distress" type, but neither I or my wife saw that warning sign. I think we saw it as a near miss and when this gal was separated from the company a few months later in a layoff, I had no more contact with her, so we went No Contact without the formality of it all. Since I stopped seeing her and we had pretty much not spoken in awhile, I never blocked her or deleted her contact until 2020, which is a whole different story. Of course, I would later learn that my wife never believed that I didn't sleep with this gal and to this day, I think she assumes that I did sleep with her, and given my track record from 2009, I cannot blame her, but only myself for that thought even being in her head. Mind you, at the time, my wife had raise some concerns, this colleague would send me messages in the evening, sometimes related to work, but as time went on, it became less about work and other stuff like hobbies or areas of mutual interest, of which we had a couple. It wouldn't come until I came to this board in late 2019 as a lurker and then later as a member in early 2020 that I was introduced to a couple of books on infidelity like "How to Help Your Spouse Heal" and "Not Just Friends."

I remember one night during that timeframe, late 2019/early 2020, I was reading "Not Just Friends" and there is a series of yes/no questions where you score the answers. I was thinking of myself and this colleague, being honest with myself about the questions, and sure as shit, I think it scored 7/10 or 8/10 which means your relationship was absolutely, positively more than a friendship and more in the realm of emotional affair. As I began to reframe my thinking of that "friendship" it is absolutely clear that it had the hallmarks of an EA, but I didn't have the vocabulary or context necessary to call it that. So by the time we got to 2017-2019, my wife's EA that turned PA had a lot of trauma inflicted by me behind it. Don't get me wrong, she owns her own shit, but to say the past and the EA that I was having from 2017-Sept 2019 weren't a factor is also misrepresenting the situation. None of it happened in a vacuum.

I've hurt this woman something tremendous over a long period of time. 2009-2019 were some of the worst years of my life. I was unfaithful physically with one woman and emotionally with three different woman in that same timespan. After the first time in 2009, I had sworn to her, our unborn child and the world that I was not ever going to do it her again. Yet, a few years later, here I am in a new geographic location and I'm hurting her again, she is begging with me, pleading with me, that my friendship with this colleague is inapporpriate. Of course, all we do there is just sort of talk less on our phones in the evening and take a little bit longer chatting at lunch or coffee break. I had no intentions of sleeping with this gal, but there was an emotional connection with her that was stealing intimacy from my wife and from my son. Then, a few years after that EA ends, I move her away from a support system and friends in N. Alabama to S. Florida. Our son also went to kindergarten for the first time in the fall of 2016 when we moved, so she went from working full-time ish (30 hours weekly) to stay at home mom in a new place with a kid in school all day for the first time. I think honestly, the isolation and time at home became a prison for her, the weight of the past traumas from my infidelity really hit on her and she began to disconnect from me and our relationship. I remember mentioning to her after our move, her only friend was her phone, as I would find her having to charge it 2 or 3 times a day, and it was a new phone with a robust battery life. I would later uncover the EA aspects of her relationship and I remember simultaneously thinking that I was involved in one myself. I won't go over the rest of the awful, painful story that both of us endured for a couple of years there, again, major mistakes were made. We recommitted to each other and swore up and down that we were done with EAs, but we never went to anyone for help, never sought IC or MC to help us navigate this whole mess. It wasn't until my wife came to me in Sept 2019 and told me that it was time to divorce, this wasn't working anymore. She was dead serious about this and it was the first time she had ever been that way, things were different.

After Sept 2019, I worked on getting my shit together. I went NC, eventually a few months later, unprompted, I nuked my social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat. In retrospect, nuking social media was one of my best ever decisions not just from a fidelity to my marriage standpoint, but from a "way less toxic shit in my life." Facebook was having an impact on me in many negative ways, with the vitriol and political controversies that got amplified on there, it was better that going into a 2020 election year that I wasn't on there.

What I was alluding to in a previous post is that unburdening yourself and living an authentic life is truly the way to be. There was a time there for a long time that the thought of handing my wife my phone for something would make me anxious to the sky. I was telling another poster this recently, but because my life is out there in the open, no secrets from my wife or family, I've swung to the other side, I've left my phone just laying around for hours to the point where I've lost it because my wife or son were the last ones to have it. Some of the conflict avoidant behavior that I learned growing up, go along to get along is really something that I'm conscious about. When I feel myself starting to knuckle under or cave, I now throw a fit and advocate for myself and my position. My marriage is not perfect, but no relationship ever is perfect, but I know that I am living a life where I am truthful with my wife.

In my professional life, I've grown my career to where I overlook a medium sized department and almost all the folks who report to me, or their managers report to me are women. Given my history with workplace interactions, I think my wife was right to be on-guard there, but I've been able to establish clear and explicit boundaries with the women I work with. Each of them knows that I went through a lot and I've shared with them the broad strokes of what has happened so that they know that I'm serious about R with my wife and that there are going to be boundaries established. It helps that most of the women I manage are married with families of their own. I mean naturally as their direct manager, we end up talking about their kids or their families because it is who they are as people. You got a sick kid and have to take off now to get them, that kind of stuff happens. Your husband got into a fender bender and his car cannot be driven off the scene, so you have to head out and meet up with him and go deal with that crisis scenario, again, shit happens and your family comes first. That sort of stuff naturally happens in the course of work, and I pride myself in hiring professionals who do not need to be constantly micromanaged. I have a couple of folks who report to me who work primarily remote and keep their own set of hours, but things like I just mentioned have happened with them and they shoot me a quick message "my kid/baby is sick, might be another infection so we here waiting at the doctor's office now, I will be back at my desk in an hour or two." Being a father and husband, I am aware that these things happen and try to show my team empathy because I've always been a pretty empathetic person. All of these interactions with women I work with or even a few pretty close female friends are all above board and it feels great to not have to hide or worry about handing my wife my unlocked phone for her to do whatever she needs to do.

I wanted to share this long winding story to show you that it took me a long time to pull my head out of my rear and to start treating my wife and family the way that they deserve, the way that I committed to on my wedding day. The one thing I will you is that part of being a wayward is that you become really versed in the word of lying to cover up lies. Senseless and stupid lies that I used to tell. Sometimes those lies would stupid things like bragging about how much of a discount I got on something or people that I knew or had a connection with, just to "fit in" and I found that over the years, I had weaved such a web of lies that I had forgotten what the original lie was and I had totally lost the plot. It is kind of why I've swung the other way, earlier in my post I could tell you a few exact days that happened 15 or so years ago because I wanted to be precise even with a post to an anonymous message board, because that is just evidence of the change in me. Telling lies and fibs, outside of hiding a Christmas/Birthday gift feels downright dirty. If you really take this recovery seriously, you can get to a similar place in your life where you only traffic in the truth and authentic self. Like I said in the outside, I encourage you to stick around and keep "noodling" (an old mentor introduced me to that term for contemplating/ruminating on something) on the idea of a full disclosure to your wife. Disclosure to your wife is no doubt going to hurt her and if your empathy bones aren't broken, watching your wife break down will hurt you. As someone who has been on both sides of betrayal, I can tell you that the pain you feel from being betrayed is profound and I can recognize that for you, her finding out is one of your greatest fears. Once she knows, she knows. You cannot deal with this alone. Carrying it around to yourself is actually itself a very selfish and self-destructive behavior. It is far better to get it all out there, "cards on the table" so to speak and work through it openly and clearly with an IC and if you are both ready at a time down the road, a MC. If she chooses to divorce you, like I said in my last post, I and others here would be empathetic but firm with you, it hurts you that she wants to do that, but as we do say around here, when you choose your AP, you had already "divorced" her you just didn't inform her. Alright, enough for now, sorry of the lengthy post, but I also felt it important to share with you why I believe so deeply in the process here as I feel that I'm a product of it's success. I'm out. Good luck and keep posting!

Myself - BH & WH - Born 1985 Her - BW & WW - Born 1986

D-Day for WW's EA - October 2017D-Day no it turned PA - February 01, 2020

posts: 666   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020   ·   location: Miami
id 8781881
default

SkipThumelue ( member #82934) posted at 3:13 PM on Monday, March 13th, 2023

Bor9455 has given you some great advice. The only thing I want to caution you about is "running everything through your head again". Gently, you need to talk with a therapist, someone well-versed in infidelity. I know my own "great ideas" only led to disaster and I desperately needed someone to hold me accountable and help me sort out my thoughts.

Please keep posting. We're all here for each other and it's a hard road to try to go it alone.

WH

DD: 5/2019

Reconciling and extremely grateful.

I do not accept PMs.

"The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself." - St. Augustine

posts: 129   ·   registered: Feb. 24th, 2023
id 8781951
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Bor9455 ( member #72628) posted at 1:25 AM on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023

NeverAgain, are you still with us? How is your NC going?

Myself - BH & WH - Born 1985 Her - BW & WW - Born 1986

D-Day for WW's EA - October 2017D-Day no it turned PA - February 01, 2020

posts: 666   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020   ·   location: Miami
id 8783399
Topic is Sleeping.
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