This is a lot longer than I expected. Sorry.
How it Started:
Middle of the year in 2022 WS reconnected with what she said was a childhood friend. She had never mentioned him, but he lived on the east coast and we lived close to the west coast. She would just watch his twitch stream occasionally and sometimes played games with him. They started playing Sea of Thieves together, and I wanted to check it out too, so I joined them sometimes.
Towards the end of 2022 I had another hobby take up my time, so I stopped playing SOT when them. But would still check in and see what they were up to. In January of 2023 WS asked about moving her parents into our house because they lived in a two story house and her mom was having issues going up and down the stairs. We had a downstairs bedroom and large house, and I didn't want her mom to fall and get seriously injured or worse. So I agreed.
Starting Red Flags
Around the same time, the AP said he would be at work, thinking about my WS and he couldn't wait to get home and hang out with her, and he wished it could be just the two of them. I told WS that bothered me, and it was a HUGE red flag. She laughed it off and told me not to worry. On top of that, my other hobby ended and they no longer invited me to join them to play games, they also started watching TV shows/movies late at night together on discord. OR they'd play so late into the night I couldn't join, because I had to sleep/work the next day. (WS didn't work, she was/is a stay at home mom. AP worked nights, and spend a lot of off nights w WS or days off talking to WS on discord/text)
2023 Fighting Over Boundaries and Gaslighting
This progressed throughout 2023, WS & AP playing games together and leaving me out, even games WS and I used to play together. I'd express myself how I was sad at being left out, and then I'd get annoyed 'pity' invites, which I hated. I could tell by the way WS invited me that she didn't want me there, so I didn't accept. On the nights I did accept WS would be mean to me, and AP would sorta ignore me, but WS and AP would act weird, like...intimate together. I brought this up and WS made it sound like I was the one being weird.
Often I'd go to bed by myself around 11pm and WS would stay up until 1am-5am, and sleep the next day after she dropped kids off at school, until she picked them up in the afternoon. She usually took care of cleaning the house, but she stopped doing that. She stopped doing most of her responsibilities and her energy was spent on hanging out with this AP.
I expressed how these things bothered me, the time spent with AP, and WS immediately got defensive and deflected everything back on me. I was called jealous, which I pointed out there was a healthy type of jealously. I asked to spend time with WS and AP because I didn't want to be a jealous/controlling partner. WS said she would play with me, or with AP, but she didn't want to play with both of us at the same time because 'the game was too hard that way' and this was the excuse for multiple games. So I constantly felt left out. WS also revealed she had been talking to AP about our relationship, I told her that wasn't okay with me, it let AP give/receive positive emotions and support, and all of the negative energy was directed towards me. The amount of conversations between AP and me were limited, and often he didn't reply for days, but he'd be chatting constantly with my WS. I didn't think much of it because I trusted her.
There was also gaslighting, where she'd change my words around on me and make me think things I said, or situations, were different than what actually happened.
We also had a mutual friend from another state who offered me counseling, because she dealt with veterans and I was slipping back into depression. That and some physical injuries affected my sex drive (along with WS not spending any time with me, and intellectual attention is important in attraction to me.) I was worried about it, but I accepted and spoke with her for a while, until a little after October.
October, the Visit
In October, AP visited for a week. I hung out with WS and AP for first two days, but at the end of the second day WS posted a picture of her and AP. Everyone was cropped out except AP and WS and it was the exact same pose/smile WS and I had taken a few years earlier, a time when I knew WS and I were happy. A few days later WS asked if she could get a tattoo because AP was getting one. (Just if we had the extra money) I said yes and when I got home I realized WS/AP had gotten matching tattoos in matching spots. (It was a shit looking tattoo also, but song lyrics that were kinda intimate).
I said that bothered me and WS ignored me. I talked to counselor friend and told her that how my WS was so giddy during AP's visit kinda 'hurt' me. I didn't know exactly how to process what was going on. I was hurting that my WS was so into this guy, and so dismissive of me. Counselor friend never had any good advice. She said "there would be two holes getting dug" if she was in my position. ALSO WS was love bombing me and super giddy after AP left. I told WS she was acting weird, and I can't remember the exact response, but it was lame. I felt like WS was compensating for being so giddy with AP, to reduce my suspicions.
In Nov my family visited for the first time in 2 years and WS wasn't feeling well, WS barely spoke to my family and stayed hidden upstairs, spending time with AP on discord/texting. I focused on my family and then I started feeling bad, found out I had covid, caught it from WS. Family left town and eventually WS and I had a bad argument about how much time WS was spending with AP. WS wouldn't talk to me in person, was in another room texting me and I couldn't keep up. WS types faster than me and was changing my words around, putting lots of blame on me, deflecting, devaluing me, etc. I got fed up and walked into room WS was in by herself and startled WS at how quietly/quickly I approached. I whispered "FUCK YOU, YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING AND I'M DONE WITH THIS CONVERSATION." Because I didn't want to yell next to my daughter's room. But nothing was resolved about how much time she was spending with him. I'd try to resolve it/resolve the fight, but WS was avoidant to talking.
I developed a bad cough from Covid which lasted weeks. WS used that as an excuse to sleep in another room, and piggybacked on our fight, saying she was scared of me. I've never done anything violent in our relationship, honestly WS and I didn't fight that much, usually over stupid stuff and it would be resolved quickly. (I'd ask for time to think/get over it, and WS would push for me to get over it immediately) NOW it was the opposite, I was trying to resolve issues and WS was asking for time. I respected WS request.
Eventually another issue came up, step son said he was thinking about hurting himself, he had tried to choke himself but couldn't. I was talking to WS about what was going on and she cut me off AGAIN, something she did a lot. I asked her to let me finish a thought and we had a small fight. I was upset because I was concerned about step son and WS was just deflecting and starting stupid arguments over inconsequential stuff. I was alone and broke a cheap broom over my knee because I was so frustrated after a year of arguing, being made to feel responsible and worthless, like my input didn't matter. I went and bought a new broom, told WS what happened to broom and why.
The Last Months
WS told me she needed time/space, but wouldn't tell me why or how much. Eventually said it was because of the "FUCK YOU" I 'screamed' in her face. (which I didn't scream) That she was scared of me from that, and the broom, put things on me about lack of intimacy, which I said it was hard to be intimate when she spent so much time with AP. She defended AP saying he was supportive of her, and even encouraged her to talk to me. I said AP shouldn't be involved in those types of conversations, that WS should be talking to me. When we were having talks, WS didn't even want to talk face to face to me. (I think because of the guilt of the affair)
I offered to go stay with a friend and WS agreed to do marriage counseling. 'It was the least she could do.' WS dropped hints saying it was too late, we should have done marriage counseling earlier, 'she asked me, but I said no' which wasn't true. I just said counseling was hard on me, but I never said I wouldn't go. About two weeks into counseling a mutual friend dropped off all my social media/friends lists on games. I asked what happened and WS acted confused and said he withdrew from her too...she said he had a crush on her and maybe those feelings were back. He answered my texts and said 'it's hard to want to interact with you because of everything going on between you and WS.' I was confused because he shouldn't have been any part of that, and our fights were marriage fights, nothing violent, nothing out of the normal. I was trying to establish healthy boundaries and I was being WAY too respectful of WS and AP. I said I was sorry he felt that way and hoped we could reconcile and that I valued his friendship, but that stuff should be between WS and me. I'll call him 'ghosted' friend.
During every counseling session I was blamed for all the problems, and WS didn't want to accept responsibility for anything. WS gaslit during one session and I called her on it. Counselor started agreeing with me about A LOT of issues. WS did NOT like it. Then I found out WS had dug information out of the 'friend' counselor and used that against me, acting hurt that I was 'hurt' by the Oct AP visit. I told WS that digging that info out was NOT okay, marriage counselor agreed and kinda shamed wife on that. I caught WS on doorbell camera leaving my meal delivery outside saying 'it's only BS's food, so I don't really care.' I told WS I saw it and she was caught off guard and apologized, but later in counseling she accused me of being creepy.
On Christmas week I stopped by (still not staying in my own house) and dropped off presents for kids. The friend who had the 'crush' and ghosted me was stopping by after me to hang out and watch a movie with WS and my kids. I checked driveway camera later because now I was getting suspicious. Caught WS and 'ghosted' friend hugging in driveway for about 1 minute. A LONG hug. Ghosted friend sidled up to WS weird and hug lasted WAY too long, WS looked awkward and Ghosted friend overstepped bounds. I showed wife video and said he wasn't allowed on the property anymore. Marriage counselor agreed with me about what happened, checking on cameras, inappropriate hugs, etc.
I also asked WS and AP to not talk about our relationship while we were in counseling, and respect that process. WS got SUPER mad at me, calling me controlling and saying she'd talk to 'who the fuck about what the fuck she wanted.' I brought this up in counseling and counselor supported my attempt to set boundaries again.
Jan 23 - The End and the Beginning
In mid Jan AP was coming to visit and so many red flags had popped up I told WS I didn't like it. I was going to move back into the house. WS asked me if I thought that was a good idea, I said yes. WS finally said 'this isn't working' and 'what now?' WS also claimed that as soon as marriage counselor said anything she didn't like, she was just going to leave. I told her that wasn't even trying then.
WS and I were discussing staying married so she could finish a degree that was available through some benefits of being married to me. AP was about a week out from visiting again, (AND I knew he was planning on moving out since his first visit in Oct), WS also admitted they were doing an overnight stargazing thing on a mountain. 'But it's okay, they'd be in a group of people.' I said it wasn't okay, none of those people knew me, WS, or AP. For all they knew AP and WS were a couple. WS finally caved and said she had feelings for AP, after I asked her one day. I knew in my gut stuff was off, I was just trying to save my family/marriage.
Originally the plan was MIL/FIL living in the house would buy me out of my share and WS/2 step kids/my daughter/MIL/FIL would stay in the house. I just wanted out, and to start a new life with my daughter. I felt bad about MIL/FIL because they didn't know what was going on, MIL did NOT like the AP, and I knew WS was going to move AP in as soon as she could. AP came out for the visit and was staying in my house, eating food I bought for my family, parading around town with my family. I had enough.
A few days earlier SIL (our realtor also) had called to get some paperwork done for the transfer of ownership. She asked me what was going on, and I told the truth, about everything. SIL said she knew something was going on. SIL passed info along to MIL, who passed it along to FIL. Around the same time I had enough, MIL/FIL had made up their mind, they weren't going to buy me out, they were going to buy a different house and move out. I encouraged them to do so and get away from everything.
FIL accidentally let it slip to WS they were looking at a house, WS panicked and told AP they were 'losing' the house, in front of my step kids/daughter. A night or two later (after a few arguments w WS) I went to my house and told AP I wanted him out of the house. WS and AP acted like I was crazy. AP asked 'what did I do?' like he was completely innocent. Blew my mind. I simply said "You both know what you did. I want AP OUT."
The next morning AP was gone, WS had a rental property ready and 'AP is helping me afford this house' still no admission of guilt about the affair. I still think WS believes her own bullshit about 'emotional neglect' and being afraid of me. But I've never even spanked our kids, I never really yelled or was angry until AP stuff was going on for a year and in DEC was when WS and I had bad fights. MIL heard us fighting but WS was lying to her about what was going on, and after SIL told MIL about the affair, MIL was 100% on my side. WS took most of the household stuff, leaving only stuff I had bought for myself, or things she didn't want.
I also found out WS was lying to our mutual friends and some family about what was going on. I lost 'friends' but I don't care, those people supporting my WS had no moral compass. Also they claimed they 'didn't want to be in the middle' but they were hanging out with WS & AP and liked AP. But I think WS had just lied so much and so well they bought her lies. They didn't care to hear my side of the story.
I've been living in the house since WS/AP left. I feel like I am starting to finally get my life back. WS was toxic and selfish during our marriage, she told me she wouldn't cheat on me when we got married. There are a few more things to the story, but it's so long already.