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I Can Relate :
For Those Who Found Out Years Later - part 2

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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 5:11 PM on Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

Will my anger ever stop? Will the intrusive thoughts ever stop? Will my bitterness and hatred toward the affair partner ever stop?

I’m seven years out and at complete peace.

We’re human, things do remind us of the past, so I think intrusive thoughts will always be a factor. That said, I shoot those down fairly quick these days.

I can’t imagine I’ll ever be a fan of the AP either. AP was a family friend, both he and his wife were family friends, we watched each other’s kids.

As to the anger, process it best you can.

However, you do have agency, you do eventually have choices to stay angry or not.

I used to hate the saying, "Resentment is drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."

But it turned out to be true and very similar to holding on to anger.

The battle to end anger for me included my wife making me feel safe in the NOW. I started to focus on the positive changes she made instead of living in the past.

All of that said, you don’t owe your husband a last chance! Infidelity always breaks the deal, you get to figure out if the REASON you are holding the anger is because you’re done with the marriage.

Married 36+ years, together 41+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived.
M Restored
"It is better to conquer our grief than to deceive it." — Seneca

posts: 4721   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: Home.
id 8793249
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Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 6:02 PM on Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

I think I knew this would be the answer. It is the answer for me. It doesn’t just go away with time.

I’m a chump: Absolutely hear you. He lied from the moment he did this, during the intervening seven years (even though we discussed the events a million times), and then lied during the process of coming clean. I remember standing there a week after his big reveal last summer holding a bottle of chocolate flavored tequila and saying is this the tequila you guys drank at your office. Of course he says no. I’m in shock and ten minutes later he reveals it is the same tequila. He saved it for seven years. Said he didn’t want to waste the $40 dollars of tequila. Apparently that was worth more than destroying my sense of reality.

Woody: I didn’t realize before that your story and mine were so similar. Knowing about the EA then finding out years later about the physical part. He still hasn’t admitted to sex but lots of kissing and feeling up. I had no idea that additional piece of the puzzle would be so devastating. I already knew he had betrayed me but the physical part makes it so very much worse. I guess it makes him a different person in my eyes and that is almost impossible to accept.

Old Wounds: I hear you on the resentment poison thing. I worked through all those emotions so diligently seven years ago to get rid of the anger. Tried to even forgive the OW who truly was cruel and evil toward me. It relieved me of so much anger and I was at peace. And now I am back to square one. Only this time I don’t feel I have the energy to go through the whole process of trying to forgive again.

Moreover, he has spent six months writing his timeline and I haven’t seen a single page. He has managed to complete many other tasks during this time but not the timeline. It does make me suspicious. Why is he so afraid to put this on paper?

I can’t say completely that he hasn’t done the work. He has not read much. But he has tended diligently to me. Listened, set aside time for nightly talks then every other night. Fielded questions, owned the absurdity of his excuses. He hasn’t wavered in seven years on total transparency. He started IC three months ago. We have been in MC since last summer (which has been the most helpful thing).

I think that I just have to accept and swallow this huge elephant of awfulness and I just don’t want to. But simultaneously I don’t want to walk away from 30 years of memories and an intact family. Sometimes I’m afraid I just want to torture him.

Maybe I need a new IC. I have had the same one for 10 years and she seems to want me to get over this and move on. At least that is what I think she thinks. We have beaten this dead horse so thoroughly that it is a pile of mush on the ground. But I’m still not better. I’m disappointed with the prospect of devoting myself to a man who did this to me. Even if he was a different person then. But, I’m scared of setting out on my own. I am afraid most men are not trustworthy and I would just be trading a bad situation for a worse one. I keep waiting for some aha moment that never comes. Where it all finally makes sense and I have that peace that Oldwounds describes. My biggest fear is that his cheating was romantic. But he’s not a romantic guy and it was his secretary who he kind of just exploited, although I believe she made the first move. Maybe it was romantic for her but not him.

Sorry to vent. I find the main forums a bit intimidating. Everyone is so forthright and sure of their position. I never see life like that. I always see the grays and the mitigating factors. I’ve mentioned this before but the fact that some of you are men restores my faith in the gender.

[This message edited by Stillconfused2022 at 6:03 PM, Wednesday, May 31st]

posts: 391   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
id 8793260
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 7:15 PM on Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

Hey Still-

I think that I just have to accept and swallow this huge elephant of awfulness and I just don’t want to.

I believe you only have to accept the facts of what happened, I don't think you have to accept anything else.

I'm very comfortable hating the A. I'm good at it. Whenever I get triggers, I get to hate those facts, despise the reality of it. And then I move on. At this point, it all happens pretty fast. If for some reason it doesn't, I know I can bring it up and share my disdain with my wife. I just focus on hating the actions, and not the person I want a better relationship with. It's tough. A WS is our biggest trigger.

That said, your husband's shitty choices have nothing to do with you.

That's why it's so hard for him to get that timeline to you.

It shows him just how far he fell, how low he went for some cheap thrills and has only shame to show for it.

The timeline was the last thing my wife did on her list of things I required. Almost two years after her confession.

Funny thing is, when she finally got it done and opened the computer to show me the long list of horrors, I told her to look at it one more time and delete it.

I asked if there was anything on there she hadn't yet told me about. There was one more weekend in there, but I had already guessed based on my on own knowledge of my work travel schedule. I had all the info already, and ultimately, it was a test for her, to face that list of all the things causing ME pain and sorrow.

In your case, get the list you want and the list you need to decide whether you want to stay.

Sorry to vent.

Never apologize for venting!

Venting on SI was a fantastic way for me to heal. Screaming into the void is one thing, but folks here know your pain well, and they want you to vent it out and get to healing.

Married 36+ years, together 41+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived.
M Restored
"It is better to conquer our grief than to deceive it." — Seneca

posts: 4721   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: Home.
id 8793268
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ImaChump ( member #83126) posted at 8:19 PM on Wednesday, May 31st, 2023

Still said:

Moreover, he has spent six months writing his timeline and I haven’t seen a single page. He has managed to complete many other tasks during this time but not the timeline. It does make me suspicious. Why is he so afraid to put this on paper?

Why indeed? Putting this down on paper makes it "more real" IMO. The WS has to face the horrible things they did, the choices they made all in black and white and chronological order. It’s hard to maintain the facade of "I made a mistake" or "I’m a good person who did a bad thing".

My WW also struggled with this and when she DID do it, I could have written the "Reader’s Digest" version she gave me…less than even "just the facts".

Oldwounds said:


I had all the info already, and ultimately, it was a test for her, to face that list of all the things causing ME pain and sorrow.

YES! How can you claim to be a "changed person" if you haven’t looked into that "other person’s" dark soul and figured out "who you were"? This is currently one of our biggest sticking points. The WW keeps telling me "I’m not that person anymore" but can’t articulate "who that person was" (why they did the things they did, their mindset, etc.).

How can you show empathy without having a full understanding of what you did and how it impacts the BS? Well said!

Me: BH (61)

Her: UW (60)

D-Days: 6/27/22, 7/24-26/22

posts: 148   ·   registered: Mar. 25th, 2023   ·   location: Eastern USA
id 8793275
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Woody28 ( new member #83062) posted at 1:59 AM on Thursday, June 1st, 2023

Old wounds—I’m seven years out and at complete peace.
Complete peace?
How did you become able to shoot down the intrusive thoughts fairly quickly?
My husband has made me feel totally safe. He has done all the right things. We are committed to this marriage.
I have so much resentment, bitterness, and hatred for the AP. I don’t understand how someone could disrupt another person’s life and cause so much pain to someone who is an innocent victim and a decent human being. She pursued my husband persistently for months. I’m not putting all the blame on her. My husband made a conscious choice to cheat, but she did instigate everything.
Once the anger starts building, there’s just no stopping it. Or no way that I have found anyway.

posts: 14   ·   registered: Mar. 15th, 2023   ·   location: Arkansas
id 8793316
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 3:34 AM on Thursday, June 1st, 2023

Complete peace?

Yes, Woody28, complete peace. Now. But it took a lot of work.

I went through shock, I went through anger, I went through a severe depression, sleep deprivation, and the things we all deal with when we process trauma.

Most of that through the first two years after discovery.

As I said in my other post, somewhere along the way, I get to choose how I respond.

When I was angry, I went with it, felt it, expressed it, processed it. Again, a couple of years of that and I was exhausted. Getting angry about something I cannot control is a MASSIVE waste of my energy and my time.

I can’t change anything about the past.

Little by little, I let the past stay in the past. I got to focus on the good things my wife was doing today, and not what she did on her worst days.

Married 36+ years, together 41+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived.
M Restored
"It is better to conquer our grief than to deceive it." — Seneca

posts: 4721   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: Home.
id 8793331
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cedarwoods ( member #82760) posted at 3:15 PM on Thursday, June 1st, 2023

Woody28
I also struggle with so much anger and hatred toward the AP. She knew WH was married but didn’t care. She wanted to have fun so she did. She does not feel the least bit guilty about what she did. It’s that mentality of "AP didn’t make vows to BS"
i think about the AP every single day. She stole so much from me.
I hope to get to a place where Oldwounds is. Not sure if i will ever find complete peace, but some peace would be great.

posts: 211   ·   registered: Jan. 20th, 2023   ·   location: USA
id 8793365
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Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 3:51 PM on Thursday, June 1st, 2023

Woody28 and Cedarwoods - totally get that anger

I am in same boat about the AP. I read the email where she begged to come work as his secretary leaving a job elsewhere in the company making 1/3 more money. Who does that? I overheard the conversation where she begged to return to work when he said she could no longer work for him. She had no remorse and was well aware he had 3 young children. The only times I have encountered her she has started screaming at me at top volume. Isn’t that supposed to be the other way around? You think you get to make out with my husband for months and I’m supposed to feel sorry for you. She came up to me at one point to tell me that she really needed her job…. To be clear, nobody EVER was suggesting she should not get a different job at the company making as good or better money. Just that she couldn’t actually work directly beneath my husband.

Anyway, they suck. No doubt. But I did feel better a few years ago when I managed to kinda forgive her. Of course she doesn’t deserve it. But if we want the peace Oldwounds has maybe that is part of the path? I know that when I did manage to forgive her I had to practice. Like meditation.

I am not suggesting you guys forgive. Not at all. I totally believe we each have to find our own path. But for me the anger is toxic.

Then again…

I totally get the rage generated by comments like "she isn’t the one who made vows to you…"

That is ridiculous. We have every right to be angry at people who do horrible things, vows or no vows. I can think pedophiles suck even though they didn’t make a vow to me not to be pedophiles.

Also, the idea that you should be more mad at your spouse. Whatever. There is plenty of anger to go around. It’s not an either or situation. It’s a both situation.

Also, it’s a lot easier to forgive your spouse when they have done so much to try to atone for what they did. The AP has done literally nothing except rub salt in the wound. Why can’t she just say I’m sorry. It’s not that difficult.

So we are entitled to our anger. But is it useful to us? That is what I am not sure about. The only reason I would forgive her would be to increase my own happiness. Obviously this is not a forgiveness that I would go telling her about. Just in my own mind. I want to go back to thinking she is a broken pathetic person and that I can release my anger.

I’m a bit jealous of you Oldwounds. I had that peace and then it got shattered last yer when I found out the whole thing was physical. I am going to have to rebuild.

posts: 391   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
id 8793378
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 4:05 PM on Thursday, June 1st, 2023

So we are entitled to our anger.

Yes we are. It’s a most righteous anger.

We earned it. We should feel it and express it fully.

I just get concerned for members when that anger is still holding at a high level 4-5 YEARS later.

We all heal at our own pace too, I am only suggesting we can aim for that healing, we have agency, we eventually (key word is eventually) have space to choose to continue to be angry or not.

I am at peace, yes, but if AP shows up at my doorstep, I cannot guarantee a reasonable response to seeing him again. That’s probably not healthy, but I’m okay with that. I view that anger as kind of on emergency back-up status and will likely show up regardless of my current state of mind!

Married 36+ years, together 41+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived.
M Restored
"It is better to conquer our grief than to deceive it." — Seneca

posts: 4721   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: Home.
id 8793381
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xcook ( new member #81207) posted at 8:47 PM on Thursday, June 1st, 2023

Still confused
I agree with I’m a chump. My life was stolen. I still had good years left to enjoy life had he told me 30 years earlier. He waited until I was 70 to confess after over 50 years of marriage. He also wanted to renew our vows and I told him I wouldn’t repeat my mistake. I also told him that if I die first that my remains are to be placed with my parents with no mention that he was ever a part of my life. My sons have been made aware of this wish as well. I refuse to lie in eternity with someone who deceived and disrespected me for the majority of our marriage. He has been a wonderful person the past year but the damage he did is irreparable.

floored

posts: 29   ·   registered: Oct. 20th, 2022   ·   location: Kentucky
id 8793435
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cedarwoods ( member #82760) posted at 10:27 PM on Thursday, June 1st, 2023

Oldwounds
I just read your story. Wow!
It gives me hope and encouragement as I tackle R.
Thank you for being on SI and sharing your experience and advice.

posts: 211   ·   registered: Jan. 20th, 2023   ·   location: USA
id 8793446
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Woody28 ( new member #83062) posted at 12:36 AM on Friday, June 2nd, 2023

Still, confused – I am way more angry at the AP than I am at my spouse and it’s exactly because of what you said. I have seen him do so much to atone for what he did. The AP has done nothing. I’ve been bashed on other forums for that statement and reminded that my husband made a conscious choice to betray me which I’m fully aware of. I’m fully aware of the fact that she pursued him relentlessly for months until he finally gave in.
My anger is not at the level it was two or three years ago. But I do still get angry. I do still obsess. I do still have intrusive thoughts. I do still have images and memories.
Yes, I feel entitled to my anger but I know that it is not helpful. I know that living in the past is a total waste of time. I know that I should be living in the now and concentrating on but my life is like now. What is true now which is that? I have a wonderful husband, who has shown sorrow, remorse, regret, and has done everything possible to help me heal.
She is just such a horrible, horrible person. And she comes across as being the exact opposite. She paints a picture of having a charmed life and a wonderful husband, and being a devout Christian.
There are good days and there are bad days. Then there are worse days I get triggered and I don’t even know what is triggering me. It just happens and I can’t seem to turn it down.
I so admire all of you who have the anger in the past and pray that it will happen for me someday. I’m a Christian and I know that I must forgive her and I am struggling with that big time.

posts: 14   ·   registered: Mar. 15th, 2023   ·   location: Arkansas
id 8793470
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xcook ( new member #81207) posted at 4:18 PM on Sunday, June 25th, 2023

It's been over a year since my husband confessed his infidelities over the course of our 50+ years of marriage. It took me years to get over his affair in 1990 and I thought that was his last; I was wrong. He had sex with a coworker in 2000 when I thought things were good between us. I had begun to trust him again in the late 90s. He said that was his last physical contact with any woman. He has been a wonderful husband the past year and is truly remorseful for his deceit and betrayals. I just listened to a sermon from Joel Osteen where he talked about letting go. It was after listening to this sermon that I realized I was spending my time and energy on things I could not change, and it was holding me back from having any type of meaningful life. I have spent the past year being bitter and angry at myself for being so stupid. I allowed myself to be manipulated and used for many years. My husband had cheated 17 years out of our first 20 years of marriage and had to have one last sexual encounter 10 years later. I know that I am the better person, and he will have to live the rest of his life realizing how much he hurt me. I have decided to let go of the anger and bitterness. I am now over 70 but I probably have a few good years ahead of me. I have much to be thankful for and I have two wonderful sons, two beautiful grandchildren and several good friends. My husband and I share many common interests, and I enjoy his company. We have traveled to many countries and have made plans to travel to places we haven't been. Even though I will never love him again as a husband, I can love him as a legal companion with benefits. My life would be very lonely without him, and my list of pros and cons were almost even with the pros outweighing the cons slightly. I refuse to allow myself to think I am stuck in this relationship for another day; it is what I make it, and I plan to make the most of it. My advice to others is to do the same--let it go and live life to the fullest. You can stay or leave, but don't let the betrayal weigh you down.

floored

posts: 29   ·   registered: Oct. 20th, 2022   ·   location: Kentucky
id 8796827
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Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 2:07 AM on Monday, June 26th, 2023

Xcook,

Your post makes a lot of sense. If you are not going to leave you should give yourself permission to be as happy as you can be. I think carrying the anger is sometimes inconsistent with being happy. At least carrying the anger every day is inconsistent with being happy. I imagine we will all continue with bursts of anger at times. The hard question seems to be how much of that anger to share with/inflict on your spouse. When you say he cheated 17 out of the first 20 years of your marriage it certainly seems like he deserves to weather your anger. But, I imagine he is 70ish as well. Time is short. I am sure you have compassion for him if he regrets his choices. I just hope you are kind to yourself and do whatever it is you need. I wonder why your husband needed the sexual escapades so badly. Did he need the validation? Are they all just so insecure? My husband definitely wanted/needed the validation. He had never had the carefree sexual adventures he envied as a young man. When he finally had the money to entice his secretary to make an advance on him he could barely believe his good fortune. He jumped at the chance. He finally felt sexually desirable for the first time ever. Even though I am sure in reality she was really more attracted to his wallet. He paid no mind to the lifetime injury he was inflicting on me and our family. I think it would be easy enough to forgive WSes in general if they weren’t our actual spouses who injured us so deeply.

We had a talk today about an analogy..

He was giving me a bit of a lecture (I know gross right) about how I should not fear him abandoning me. He said I should do that for me. Because I deserve to be happy. He isn’t totally wrong but coming from him I don’t want advice.

So I asked him how he thought he would behave if I lost all our money and we had to start over from scratch. And what if he still had to trust me to manage the money knowing I had screwed it all up once. He said he wouldn’t want me to manage the money. I explained that I have no choice but to trust him with my heart if we were going to stay together.

He said he thought he could do it. He thought he could focus on the good and accept that I made a mistake. Obviously, easier said than done. But let’s just assume for sake of argument that he could accept it and move on.

He asked how I would feel if he reminded me all the time about how I had lost all our money due to my mistake. I said it would probably make me feel bad. I said I wished our therapist would help us sort out how often it is reasonable for me to remind him of what he did. Sometimes I need it. I need to hear him understanding the depth of the pain he caused me. I don’t think I’m doing this to hurt him. I think (though maybe I’m wrong) that I am doing it because it helps heal my wounds to hear that he understands.

I guess I am telling you this because I wonder how you (and other found out years later people) have managed this piece of the puzzle. How often should they be expected to be reminded of what they did wrong. What is a reasonable frequency? I imagine someone on SI might say it should occur as often as I need it. But I don’t DESPERATELY need to hear the empathy anymore, at least not as often as I used to.

His crimes were 8 years ago but I have only really known the truth for a year. So I am stuck in that loop of feeling bad about making someone feel bad every day for 8 years, while at the same time feeling that the wound is very fresh for me.

Anyway, thank you for sharing your story. I hope you have been released from some of your pain. I do think forgiving others can lessen our pain. I wish it were easier to do.

posts: 391   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
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xcook ( new member #81207) posted at 8:46 PM on Tuesday, June 27th, 2023

to StillConfused,
My husband probably never would have confessed had he not suffered a post-COVID psychosis in late January 2022. It was after that episode that he blurted out all his past indiscretions. He would have let me live out my life without knowing what a prick he really was in our early years of marriage. I was absolutely devastated, angry and hurt. The life I thought we had was just a big front on his part; he led a double life for many years. He says he has been physically faithful for the past 22 years which helps some in forgiving him, but I can never forget what he did. I only wish he had confessed back in 1990 when I was sure he was involved with another woman, but he chose to lie, deceive, and manipulate me. He had his cake and ate it too for way too many years and I blame myself largely for allowing it. I'm not sure if I would have stayed back in 1990 had I known the depth of his cheating but at least I was young enough to find happiness with someone else. Unlike him, I had turned down advances from multiple men because my marriage vows meant something to me. Although I am over 70, I am still attractive and could easily pass for 50 so I probably could find happiness with someone else, but I really don't want to try. I made him tell our two sons about his past infidelities; both were quite upset with him. They are fine young men and thankfully did not inherit his moral standards. We have two beautiful grandchildren and he loves them dearly. A divorce would not really make me any happier; I would be lonely and miss his companionship.
Mostly, I have decided to stop being angry at myself for allowing his actions. I should have put my foot down back in the 70s when it all started. He admits that he is a sex and porn addict. He loved the attention from other women and has only accepted full responsibility in the past few months for his actions. He says his behavior caused him everything he really cared about and none of the women meant anything to him.

floored

posts: 29   ·   registered: Oct. 20th, 2022   ·   location: Kentucky
id 8797133
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RaleighGuy ( member #75271) posted at 3:24 PM on Friday, July 14th, 2023

Many years ago, I discovered my wife's multi-month affair with a married co-worker. Only recently have I begun to get more details of the timeline and other elements of the affair. My profile goes into more details about this.

This was much, much more than a one night stand or a fling on a business trip. This was a physical and emotional affair that went on for months - and perhaps more than a year.

So, given the nature of the affair, what is the likelihood this was her only offense? She swears there were no others.......but she's lied many times about the affair I did know about. Is there even a reasonable chance this behavior wasn't repeated?

posts: 64   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2020
id 8799402
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ImaChump ( member #83126) posted at 5:10 PM on Friday, July 14th, 2023

RaleighGuy said:

Many years ago, I discovered my wife's multi-month affair with a married co-worker. Only recently have I begun to get more details of the timeline and other elements of the affair. My profile goes into more details about this.

This was much, much more than a one night stand or a fling on a business trip. This was a physical and emotional affair that went on for months - and perhaps more than a year.

So, given the nature of the affair, what is the likelihood this was her only offense? She swears there were no others.......but she's lied many times about the affair I did know about. Is there even a reasonable chance this behavior wasn't repeated?

I read story on your profile as well. I’m so sorry you are here. Finding out years later adds so much more pain to this shitshow IMO. The "stolen life" aspect. Losing your agency to make decisions in real time based on the true reality of your life. That this went on as you were getting married and going on your Honeymoon is beyond the pale. Your marriage basically was "stillborn" IMO.

Mine basically "died in the crib". I was my wife’s first and only until she decided (less than a year into our marriage) that she "never got to sew her oats" and then made cheating her "life’s work" for the next 20 years. The signs were there but she continually lied and denied. She did admit to a ONS in 1985 when I asked her if she was cheating in 1990 (she was and was already up to 7 APs by then). She would go on to have 4 more APs before "retiring from the cheating lifestyle" in 2004. The "truth" such as it is wasn’t revealed to me until last year (multiple D-Days between late June and late July). There are STILL huge gaps due to "I don’t remember" and "I don’t know". I don’t think I will EVER know the full truth.

Like you say in your profile, I have more than enough info to end the marriage. I have been trying to R and see if my WW is capable of being a "true life partner". This would mean baring her soul and sharing everything about her affairs. To date, she is unable to do this. The clock is ticking and I’m not sure we make it either.

Your profile states the marriage is done either way and you are moving towards "D". IMO, a woman who would cheat like your WW did is capable of just about anything. Is it likely there is more? I would bet on it. My WW started at 1 AP, moved to 3, then to 7 before landing on 11. I still think there are likely more. The acts were minimized. 1 intercourse and 1 BJ became "dozens". A 4-5 month affair with a "dozen interactions" became 18-24 months with 50-75 "interactions”. Lying and minimizing are straight from the cheaters handbook. Your WW lied and minimized about an affair you knew about. What will compel her to disclose more? If there was a hope of R, you could ask for a written timeline and then polygraph. If she knows D is inevitable, she may just choose to "die on this hill" and take any more affairs to her grave.

Again, sorry you are here.

[This message edited by ImaChump at 5:12 PM, Friday, July 14th]

Me: BH (61)

Her: UW (60)

D-Days: 6/27/22, 7/24-26/22

posts: 148   ·   registered: Mar. 25th, 2023   ·   location: Eastern USA
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Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 8:48 AM on Sunday, July 16th, 2023

In response to the question about whether there can be a one time cheat. My husband cheated with his secretary for several months. He kept the truth of the physical stuff that was happening in the office a secret for 7 years. I have been fairly convinced this was the only time. There were some very unique circumstances around this occurrence. I guess I will never know. I certain can’t trust him given his track record with truth telling. I am nearly 100% sure it hasn’t happened in the last 8 years as he would have to super powers to pull that off with the number of people watching his every move reading everything he types, etc. In the first 17 years of our marriage before he cheated is when it would have happened. I don’t know why he came clean last year about everything when I would have otherwise remained in the dark if he had other secrets to hide. But who know how these people think.

I hope you find out the truth about whether your spouse’s thing was a one time period of repeated cheating or whether there were other people she carried on with.

We had one of our « talks » tonight which again precipitated me saying I wasn’t so sure I could stay with him given what he did. I have no idea how long we can live in limbo. I have come to terms/some version of acceptance with most of what he did. But there are a couple things that when I hear about just so disgust me and I find so reprehensible that I immediately think there is no way we are going to stay together.

But on we go. This weekend we brought our littlest into NYC with her friend to visit art museums and shop. We have had mostly a nice time. At dinner tonight (just the grownups) I requested some time to ask a few questions. Was feeling alright but while trying to fall asleep I asked him to say something to make it all a little less painful. He said something about how much he loves me & always did etc. Etc. Which was fine and would have helped. But then he followed up by saying he didn’t really care about the co-cheater. That upset me because he has always maintained he had no feelings whatsoever so to say he didn’t « really care » makes it sound like he sorta cared. He then backtracked and said he didn’t care at all. But now it is stuck in my head and I am sure I will be up all night thinking maybe I should leave.

It gets old. As you all well know.

posts: 391   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
id 8799578
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livebythesea ( member #38900) posted at 4:26 PM on Saturday, July 22nd, 2023

"For those who found out years later …." That certainly applies to me! His first affair was March/April 1997 while away for work in Germany. Found out March 2013. What a kicker day that was. We are now 2023, so many years have gone by and it still resonates with me. His exact words, the time it took to spill it out. During our conversation he said "I didn’t want to hurt her feelings". Can you imagine! At the time he said that, I believe I said nothing. I look back and think, OMG, unreal.

It doesn’t matter how long ago it took place, when you find out … whether it s 5 years, 10 years, last week. The pain, the memories are real. And for most of us, it doesn’t go away. I have accepted the fact that I will die with these horrible memories/thoughts. The pain does subside within time. Not the memories!

For me it’s been a battle for most days. We can go one maybe two days of peace, then I get angry for little things. That is my issue, I am so angry with him, that I tolerate very little while around him. Yet I’m still with him (in a way). Not in a romantic way, nor in a respectful way, just there physically. Which is definitely not healthy for either of us. Yet I’m there.

Perhaps it would help "a little" if he’d show me some remorse, I think his ego is too large for that. We don’t talk about it much, maybe once a year or so, and when I do bring the subject up, it s a major scene.

Living with it, trying not to think about it, trying to heal.

Me - 65 I often have to remind myself of my age! Husband - 65 DD1 April 5 2013 (a lie)DD2 April 23 2013DD3 June 22 20133 children 5 grandchildren

posts: 285   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2013   ·   location: Canada
id 8800536
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IOnceBelieved ( new member #82881) posted at 5:24 AM on Sunday, July 23rd, 2023

Hello again fellow struggling damaged souls. It has bee a while since I have posted. I have been on vacation both literally and metaphorically. Literally in that we have been traveling to various places and that has but a welcome change of pace. Which has helped facilitate the metaphoric vacation (thanks in part to xcook’s sage advice) in that I have been trying to be "in the moment" and try to recognize and embrace the positive things I still find we share since as many of you I have opted to stay in the marriage. However, like that sore spot in your mouth that you just can’t get your tongue to leave alone, I find myself again almost unconsciously thinking about the pain, the memories. That god awful pain that cuts deeper than anything I have ever experienced. And so I once again come here to share with you because of everything I have tried counseling etc., you offer me more understanding, acceptance and compassion than I have found anywhere else.

First a sad and regrettable welcome to RaleighGuy and livebythesea to the found out later tribe. It is just so hard to realize your whole life was a f*cking lie and that with so much time passed and kids and decades of history that for many of us D just seems more painful than staying. RaleighGuy I have to say I am inspired by your courage to seek a new life and I wish you to find the happiness and faithfulness you deserve. And livebythesea it truly makes it so much more difficult to heal the pain when you partner is unable or unwilling to participate in the process. I know as my wife, I am sadly coming to realize, is just simply incapable of helping me in the way I feel I need to be helped. I am regrettably coming to the conclusion that I will just have to bare this unresolved pain for the remainder of my life.

Stillconfused2022 I liked the money metaphor. And I share your wanting to know how often is appropriate to hear "I’m sorry for what I did"? I like you feel a little healing whenever I hear it but then also have guilt pangs when it sometimes brings her to tears over it. I know what you are feeling as well about the slips of tongue. From time to time little truths leak out and give me insight into her true thinking and past that she of course would flatly deny if I were to quiz her about it. And every time I get triggered and think what does she really think and feel. And if I were able to strip away the facade of bullshit she feeds me because she thinks that is what I need to hear, would I be able to stay. I like you have many sleepless nights staring at the ceiling wondering what the hell to do. If only I could get her to understand that the truth, painful as it would be, would be so much better than some manufactured words of he meant nothing or nothing happened with anyone else, ughhh.

ImaChumo when you say

Mine basically "died in the crib". I was my wife’s first and only until she decided (less than a year into our marriage) that she "never got to sew her oats" and then made cheating her "life’s work" for the next 20 years

I feel like that is the reality of my life that is yet undiscovered or disclosed. She was the victim of childhood sexual abuse and I believe that heavily contributed to her wayward ways. I can wrap my head around that and gift her forgiveness as I just cannot imagine the horror of what she endured. However what is hard for me to wrap my head around is the deception. The continuation of the lies to this day that deeply undermine our relationship (for me) and that is what I have tried unsuccessfully to get her to understand is that the pain of knowing the full truth weighs less that the pain of her continuing to lie to me.

And so dear friends on we go on this sad journey that I truly hope will somehow reach a destination where we all can find relief and solace.

[This message edited by IOnceBelieved at 5:29 AM, Sunday, July 23rd]

Me: BS 65

Her: WS 60

DDay: June 1986

In R for last 37 years. But anticipating a new DDay from past undisclosed infidelities is coming.

posts: 26   ·   registered: Feb. 13th, 2023   ·   location: Somewhere between the past and happiness.
id 8800594
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