Cookies are required for login or registration. Please read and agree to our cookie policy to continue.

Newest Member: Lissa

Wayward Side :
I destroyed my family


 ForHerForMe (original poster new member #83058) posted at 4:29 PM on Wednesday, March 15th, 2023

This is my first post, and I am happy I found this forum. I hope I can gain insight from people who have been further down the road than I am. D-Date: August 15, 2022. Affair was with two separate women over a 3 year span. Mostly EA, some PA, but never intercourse (not that it makes it any better).

Story is this. I knew my girlfriend (GF) since 2005. We started our relationship in 2010. It took me a while to be able to get her to notice me as more than a friend or co-worker, but eventually it happened. Immediately after we got together, I went out with another woman and ended up kissing her while GF was out of town. A few years later, I was out of town in a training, and took a girl up to my room. We kissed. I told her I wasn't going to have sex with her, and she left. I neglected to tell my GF when I purchased perfume for a boss for Christmas as I purchased presents for all my subordinates. I knew she didn't like her and didn't want her to get upset. It meant nothing to me, but she tells me I was having an EA. I lied, and that is bad enough. I asked to go to CC at least twice during this early time, but I do not think she believed in therapy back then.

Fast forward to 2019. I was emotionally neglected as a child and never learned how to communicate with people through emotions. Very real and very scary thing. It caused me to feel like I wasn't getting enough attention and sex from my GF, but I didn't have the training to know to say something about my needs. She was busy with life objectives, and I should have remained confident that she would not be busy forever. In April, I meet a girl at work. I tell my GF about this girl and ask if she knows the family name since they grew up very close together. I continue conversations with this girl at work, we agree to meet for running, and I do not tell my GF about this either. This is where the EA officially began. We meet a few times, run and talk about almost everything. AP was married, and I was in a dedicated relationship. We both have kids. So we were aware of our personal lives. A few months down the road, we are at a park. I am mid-sentence, and AP leans over and kisses me. This is where the PA begins. I react selfishly, and rather than thinking about my family at home, I think about the attention I am getting. About how the kiss felt good. We were texting all day for so many days. Before, during, and after the PA. We meet at work and make out. We meet outside of work and do the same. One night, after drinking at a friend's house, I meet her at her house when her H is out of town, and I give her oral sex. It never goes beyond that, however. That year, my GF, our kids, and I go out of town for Christmas. We had such a great vacation. I felt going into it that we wouldn't come back together because I felt so distant from my GF. But the vacation gave me a wake-up call, and I come back and let the AP know that I had a great time and would like to work on things with my GF. This is where the PA ends. However, the EA continues. In February 2020, I start talking to another girl from my past who gave me a compliment on FB regarding how I look. I make the stupid mistake of connecting back, and there begins my second EA. That same month, I meet with her (she lives a few hours away near where I grew up). We kiss and touch each other in a bar parking lot. I go there the next day and spend time with her at her work. Then I go home. I message her with the same amount of frequency as the other AP, sometimes both of them at the same time. I end up meeting with her two more times within a year, one resulting in a PA with oral sex for both of us, and one we just talked because she was upset at me. I had started drinking pretty heavily with my work becoming telework and my drinking is causing me to treat my GF like shit. I was so into this whole attention-grabbing that I started flirting with others at work, and even trying to kiss my GF's best friend twice.

Come August 2022, I have too much to drink, I leave my phone out, and GF sees a message from AF2. She is instantly destroyed. I can't even fathom her pain right then and there. She never thought I would do something like this, and quite frankly, neither did I.

That night, she woke me up and confronted me. Apparently, I tell her our relationship is over. I do not remember that night very well. I got my phone back, alerted the AP, and deleted all messages. The next morning, I tell the other AP off a different phone. GF confronts me, and I do not tell her about the other AP. However, a week later, GF somehow sees a message from her about her wanting to kiss me again, and I ask why didn't she.

And what a mess this all started. After she finds out that, I write down all interactions I had with women since the beginning. GF doesn't know what to do. She has been through so many different phases of grief. She wants details. All the details. But I have an extremely hard time unlocking my memory of all the details. I tell her about the encounters, when and where, how they started, etc, but she wants to know what I was talking to them about. I give her a few of the topics I remember, but she still wants more details. Things I never really cared to remember. I tried recovering phone messages per her request, but there were none left after I deleted them and FB won't give them out unless you are in law enforcement.

We have had many conversations since regarding cheating. I have tried to be as transparent as possible, but find it difficult when she begins yelling, not allowing me to speak, and becoming physical. I deserve it all and expect no less. I am grateful that she found out because I hated having to lie to her. I am so hateful for the way I made her and the kids feel. It kills me. I began IC once per week almost immediately. We attempt CC, but it doesn't take us anywhere. She eventually decides that she does not want to be partners, just roommates, maybe with benefits, and co-parent together.

She has diagnosed me with like 5 different things. It is hard to hear, but I consider it every time. She truly believes I have narcissism, but I feel like I have tendencies, not full-blown. As you can imagine, trust is gone, and she does not have feelings for me. She is a mental wreck, and so am I.

I struggle with formulating a true reason why I would allow myself to do such a thing to her. After reading many self-help books, I have come to the conclusion that it is because of my emotional neglect and failure to raise me properly that failed to teach me how to have a healthy relationship. My family history is for another time.

I love this woman. I loved her all along. I was unjustly upset at her because I felt like she wasn't giving me the attention I desired. But I know now that it is a two-way street and she cannot possibly know what I am feeling unless I voice it. I want a life with this woman, but I know I can't control her feelings directly. She doesn't want me to apologize. She doesn't want me to compliment her, she doesn't want me to tell her I love her. She feels it isn't genuine since I acted like that towards others. She feels like I hated her. But I never did. I couldn't explain why I was able to feel for her and cheat, but I know I still had feelings for her. She was my #1. I told the AP's that I was not willing to leave GF for them. Compartmentalizing really made sense in my case. I kept everything separate. I didn't think about the kids and her when I was with AP.

Why I am here. To get my story out. I feel like shit. I have done so much self-discovery and that's how she and I found out about emotional neglect. I did so much damage to everyone that I will never forget this and would not allow myself to fall for anything ever again. I am doing everything I can for GF now. I want us to have a life together. I want to make her feel safe. And that is what I will do. I have disowned my mother because she refuses to look inward. Is it a hopeless dream that I want her to trust and be my only again? I have vowed to not leave her side. That I will be here for her. I just don't think she believes it or wants to hear it. Am I genuinely going crazy??

[This message edited by ForHerForMe at 12:58 AM, Thursday, March 16th]

posts: 2   ·   registered: Mar. 15th, 2023   ·   location: Illinois
id 8782327

SkipThumelue ( new member #82934) posted at 7:56 PM on Wednesday, March 15th, 2023


Welcome. You are doing yourself a world of good by posting here, plus you're helping other waywards, like me. smile

There were a few things in your post that really stood out for me. And please know that I'm not writing this from my high horse to criticize you.

CC didn't work because the relationship didn't cheat.

How long have you been in IC? Is your therapist working with you to get at what your "whys" are? My FOO issues certainly played a part, but they were NOT why I CHOSE to cheat on my wife. Are you running your own conclusions past your therapist? I tell my therapist my bright ideas all the time. Then we laugh at them and he gives me great advice that is usually a 180 from what I was thinking.

Are you still drinking? That sounds like something else you really need to look at. Alcohol played a huge role in my affairs, which is why I no longer drink.

You're doing good things. Being in IC, reading, posting here, being transparent, etc. Those are all parts of the foundation you're trying to build.


You have to want to do this for you. So you can be a good person and a better partner. And that means doing the hard work even if it costs you your relationship. That's one of the hardest things for a wayward to have to acknowledge. We often come in to this believing that if we just do all the right things and say all the right words, everything will go back to normal. That won't happen. I had to face the hard, cold fact that I murdered a (at the time) 16-year marriage and that my wife can pull the plug on R at any time.

Please keep posting. Others will be along shortly with more thoughts and advice. Some of it may sound harsh, but it's coming from a good place.

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: 26   ·   registered: Feb. 24th, 2023
id 8782360

Bor9455 ( member #72628) posted at 8:36 PM on Wednesday, March 15th, 2023

I know it took a lot of guts for you to work up and make that first post. It is a good first step. The general theme I take away from your post is that your BGF (betrayed gf) doesn't seem to trust in you at all in anymore, which is totally normal after discovery.

One thing that jumped out at me from your post is, are you being truthful with yourself on your affairs? Adults that have access to each other physically don't just kiss and make out. I mean, maybe the kids do it in middle school, but again, I said adults. If I'm your BGF and you are telling me that I had time to make out with someone, you certainly had the time and the ability to have gone more physical with full penetrative sexual intercourse. Look, if you truly didn't have full sexual intercourse with any of these women, than I suppose that is a small victory, but one thing I know is that we waywards tend to minimize and lie. I also waver between those thoughts and of course we don't have any reason for you to lie to us, but I've seen plenty of WS come on here and lie about the extent of their affairs.

You say that you want your GF to take you back, but have you sat down and written out a timeline of your affairs so that she has a full picture of what you would be asking her to forgive? What I can tell you is that giving her the truth in small, bite sized chunks that she has to pull out of you is death by a thousand cuts just with a different name we call "Trickle Truth" or TT. TT is usually one of the most frequent go-to moves for a wayward that that completely crushes any chance of a possible reconciliation. The reason being that each time the betrayed starts to get their head around the situation, you drop a new truth on them and it resets their recovery timeline to zero. You do that enough times and your betrayed is going to say that enough is enough, it's time to move on and moves on.

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: 394   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020   ·   location: Miami
id 8782367

 ForHerForMe (original poster new member #83058) posted at 12:46 AM on Thursday, March 16th, 2023

Thank you so much for the replies. I am the type of person who wants instant gratification - so as you can imagine, I truly appreciate the insight so quick!


I never thought about CC like that. Even though my GF said that there was nothing wrong with her. I was hoping that it would uncover anything within us that made our relationship rocky.
I've been in IC once per week since September. I told him upfront that I was seeking attention, so I guess he didn't really explore anything else beyond that... I talk to him about my FOO issues and he agrees that I have them. My FOO issues deal with a lack of emotional attention, which got me to the point of seeking attention elsewhere when I felt it lacked at home. Did it cause me to choose to continue cheating? I suppose not. I have a mind, I just wasn't using it during the cheating. Did I know I was doing wrong? Yes. Did I stop it? No. Why? I assumed it was because I was getting the attention that I was so eager to fulfill.
The drinking. After D-Day, I did not drink for a bit. I then had a beer here or there, drinking with the GF and her family more heavily over the holidays, but since about a month ago, I haven't drunk at all. I hope I don't ever turn back to that. Interestingly enough, it was around the day my GF talked to me about emotional neglect that I stopped drinking.
I do want to do this for me. I do NOT want to hurt people in my life. I look back at what I did to her and my kids and it kills me. I literally just got out of the car with my son who now has anger issues and we cried together because he doesn't want mommy and daddy to split. This came right after I was told by the GF that she doesn't want me. If I want to make her happy, find a man for her. She wants a man who will love her, treat her right, and take car of her kids - our kids. God, hearing that hurts so much.
Did your 16-year marriage end? If not, how did your transformation transpire?

My BGF does not trust me anymore.
I am being truthful about my affairs. There were plenty of times that sex was brought up. There was one time that it almost happened. However, in my mind, I thought of sex as the ultimate cheating, and I didn't want to go there. I know. Stupid logic I was using there. Even if I tried, my mind wouldn't allow me to get excited. I already have anxiety while having sex, so going there with someone else would just not work for my body. The kissing and making out is such a childish thing. I have concluded two things from this. First, I feel like I am a passionate person. My BGF and I never really kissed much like that. Sure, while having sex, but other than that, it just wasn't ever really there enough. Second, due to my FOO issues, and like my BGF told me, I have been acting like a child in a lot of areas of my life. I treated my BGF like I did my mother when I was a teen. Learning to not tell her things to avoid arguments. Sneaking out of the house after she was asleep to go and meet the AP. Not listening to her. Procrastinating on things. Texting all day and night. I went back to college at age 35, which was about when all of this started. I did come here for help, and I know that lying would not provide me help. So, no. Not a small victory, just a fact of what it was.
I have not completed a timeline. I struggle with memories of what was said, which is what she really wants. I have all copies of cell phone bills showing the disgustingly massive amount of texts sent for years, but no content. I have devised a timeline of when I met up with them. I have written a letter to her addressing the affairs. But I have not completed the cell phone bills yet. I want to give it all to her at the same time. It has been 7 months since d-day - way overdue. I have been TT ever since. Just the other day, I told her that I was talking to her on the phone a few nights during the A, when previously I told her I didn't talk on the phone with her. Another fact I had forgotten until I saw it on the records. I hope to get it done tomorrow and give it all to her. It doesn't seem like it is going to help anything after our small talk today, but I have nothing else to lose.

Thing is, she is a really good girl. I mean genuinely good to people. She would never hurt anyone. She would never stoop as low as I did and cheat on someone she is faithful to. She deserves so much better than what I gave her. I know I can fix my problems - unfortunately, it took this situation for me to learn better. I feel like such a loser. Never would have thought I would do something like this to anyone - especially someone I love. I am struggling with the idea that one day we will be no more. But she is hurt beyond belief and has stated that she does not feel for me anymore.

posts: 2   ·   registered: Mar. 15th, 2023   ·   location: Illinois
id 8782388

SkipThumelue ( new member #82934) posted at 4:24 PM on Thursday, March 16th, 2023


Kudos on stopping your drinking. Speaking only for myself, I feel so much better physically and mentally now and I truly look back at that time in horror. It was nothing for me to drink 1.5 bottles of wine in an evening, or go through a bottle of scotch in 2-3 days. All of my APs were drinkers, some heavier than others, so alcohol was a huge part of the mess.

My wife and I have been reconciling since 2019 and will be married 21 years this year. You can read my little blurb of a story in my profile and my signature. She has extended so much love, forgiveness, and grace to me that I can't possibly ever repay. We are in a good place. How do I know? Because she's said it herself. And she is the only one that can say we are reconciled. But even if she told me tomorrow "I'm done" (which she has every right to do), I will still keep going because for the first time in my life, I actually love myself and who I am now in a healthy way.

Attention seeking. That's a good start but you'll need to get deeper to find out why you were seeking attention outside your relationship. For example: I was a master conflict-avoider and people-pleaser who came from a rugsweeping FOO. I'm also a CSA survivor (which is no excuse; there are plenty of CSA survivors who don't cheat and lead honorable lives). Keeping secrets and hiding things were my MO. And I got a twisted thrill out of cheating because my affairs were mine, my own little hidden world that was just for me (so I thought). Throw in my total immaturity and inability to express my thoughts and feelings, and you get what I got.

There's more to it, but I hope you get the gist of what I'm saying. It will take a while to really get at the roots, plus it's really damn hard. But when you do, you can start pulling them out one by one and ridding yourself of them.

Thanks for responding! Hang in there and keep posting.

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: 26   ·   registered: Feb. 24th, 2023
id 8782473
Cookies on®® uses cookies to enhance your visit to our website. This is a requirement for participants to login, post and use other features. Visitors may opt out, but the website will be less functional for you.

v.1.001.20230221 2002-2023® All Rights Reserved. • Privacy Policy