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Newest Member: Ozymandias

Wayward Side :
Can't get over it

Topic is Sleeping.
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 Playedafool (original poster new member #83245) posted at 7:46 PM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

"3yrsout" pretty much mirrored what my shrink said. However, I continue to obsess. There’s another component to this situation that complicates it. I developed anxiety over my oldest daughter announcing she has stage 4 breast cancer. She announced this over a year ago and my obsession with my current wife’s fling and subsequent lies began shortly afterwards. They seem to go hand in hand and I think neither will subside until one is resolved. Maybe I should have picked the name "messedupguy" rather than "Playedafool".

I feel like I've been played a fool

posts: 12   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2023   ·   location: Michigan
id 8788718
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jb3199 ( member #27673) posted at 7:54 PM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

It appears many of you would prefer I go on being tormented by my past actions.

I don't want you to be tormented by your past actions; I think if you really investigate your past actions, perhaps with the help of a professional counselor, you may see where it can apply today to help you move past this.

A couple of examples:

-Unless this was an arranged marriage, you weren't trapped.

-In this same vein, why would you marry your ex wife if you didn't love her?

-Why would you have children with this same person?

-You weren't in a committed relationship with your now current wife. you were in a committed relationship with your now ex wife.

-How were you able to put your own wants in front of your children's?

These are all questions that once you dig down, you might get the answers you are looking for. But I do believe that while you may feel regret for what you have done in the past, you never really found remorse. I think that is key to your success.

BH-50s
WW-50s
2 boys
Married over 30yrs.

All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary PuckettD-Day(s): EnoughAccepting that I can/may end this marriage 7/2/14

posts: 4346   ·   registered: Feb. 21st, 2010   ·   location: northeast
id 8788721
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Trapped74 ( member #49696) posted at 9:39 PM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

I think you need to look up the definition of a committed relationship. You were NOT in a committed relationship with your AP. She had free rein to have any sort of relationship with anyone she wanted. You were in a committed relationship with your wife.

My sex life before I married my husband is none of his business. His sex life before me doesn't bother me one little bit and isn't my business either.

It's all the women he's had since we've been married that is the problem.

If your current wife hasn't had inappropriate relations with anyone since you divorced your BW and committed yourself exclusively to your AP, I really don't see what the hub-bub is about.

Many DDays. Me (BW) 49 Him (WH) 52 Happily detached and compartmentalized.

posts: 335   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2015   ·   location: Oregon
id 8788734
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straightup ( member #78778) posted at 1:34 PM on Friday, April 28th, 2023

You mentioned your daughter’s cancer diagnosis coinciding with your increased focus on your second wife’s behaviour with others pre-marriage.

You have also expressed guilt that your choice meant you didn’t live with your kids.

Are you feeling cost of a less than full parent / child relationship now that your daughter is sick? Would the only thing which might justify it for you be a true love scenario? But you worry you were just ‘trapped’ by someone manipulating you, much like you describe your first wife? So you sold out your kids for what, a trick, a fast play? Much as you do love your second wife now.

I say this as the child of a cheating father (now deceased), who married AP, and more recently, as a BS who has reconciled and will soon renew vows with her.

I think it would be helpful if you would recognize that it was wrong to cheat on your first wife, and to have some compassion for her, and share that with your daughter. It would be helpful to recognize that those hurtful choices nevertheless resulted in you being with your wife. In your current relationship you treat things like honesty, trust and fidelity as a universal and important thing. But the manner of your relationship formation means you feel a hypocrite about it sometimes. Your choices may have meant you could not be the kind of Dad who was able to lead and reassure his children as yiu might have, and where you were a clear example of integrity for them. Tell your wife and daughter that these things trouble you and cause regrets, apologise, and spend time with your daughter if your relationship allows it.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
Mother Teresa

posts: 342   ·   registered: May. 11th, 2021   ·   location: Australia
id 8788798
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 Playedafool (original poster new member #83245) posted at 2:18 PM on Friday, April 28th, 2023

Straightup maybe onto something.

Another strange complication of my affair was that my AP was my sister in law’s sister (ex-wife’s brother’s wife’s youngest sister) and she was 12 years younger than I. This affair had to be hidden even more because the families associated with each other. Therefore, we’ve had a long standing lie to everyone who knows us, including my children from my first marriage, that my wife and I started seeing each other while I was separated from my ex-wife. We didn’t "come out of the closet" until I was legally divorced.

Therefore, we’ve never publicly acknowledged our "treachery" or apologized to anyone. It’s too late to apologize to my ex because she has passed but maybe it will help my daughters from my first marriage. Maybe it will help me. I’ll bounce the idea off my shrink at my next session in a few weeks.

I feel like I've been played a fool

posts: 12   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2023   ·   location: Michigan
id 8788816
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cedarwoods ( member #82760) posted at 9:55 PM on Friday, April 28th, 2023

Playedafool
I have no background in psychology so please take what i say with a grain of salt. I do hope for you to find healing and be able to move on with your life.
It sounds like you’ve buried a lot of stuff from the past deep inside of you and they finally resurfaced and are tormenting you.
I believe you when you say you feel guilty for what you’ve done to your ex wife. The fact that you carried the secret of the A for all these years must have taken a toll on you, whether you realize it or not.
It might be helpful for you to apologize to your ex even though she’s passed. I mean really really apologize, sorry to the bone on your knees type of thing. You say you are sorry for what you did but never got to say it so maybe you need to do that. It might give your closure of some sort. I think the guilt you’ve been hiding needs to come out.
Also, apologizing to your daughter would be helpful for the both of you. She may or may not know what happened between you, ex, and new wife, but being completely open, honest, and transparent might be what you both need.
As for your wife having a fling while you were in A with her, i am not sure what to say about that. Either you believe she didn’t have sex with him or you don’t. It is doubtful you will ever know the truth. But since she was ok with sleeping with a married man, i would wonder if she’s had other flings while she was married to you.

posts: 211   ·   registered: Jan. 20th, 2023   ·   location: USA
id 8788921
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straightup ( member #78778) posted at 10:41 PM on Friday, April 28th, 2023

I just wanted to add one thing. If your daughter’s cancer is likely to seriously shorten her life, as in just months or a few years, make any disclosures to her, be for her.

Truth is important, but so is context and reality - some things cannot be fully addressed in a compassionate way in the time we have. Affairs are selfish and trauma-ridden things. So is divorce, but managed with compassion, life can go on. Try to be clearheaded about what your daughter needs. If she has only a couple of healthy years left, apologise for not being the father you know she deserved and show her your love. Don’t make it all about you.

This is a tricky line to walk. Some posters on other sites would say disclosure of an affair to a BS is selfish and all about relieving your guilt. Just shut up, don’t do it again and be the husband you always should have. I don’t agree. I doubt anyone here would agree. But you might not confess on your wife’s death bed. The time would have passed.

I like the suggestion of an apology to your ex wife, even if it is more in the nature of prayer.

[This message edited by straightup at 10:45 PM, Friday, April 28th]

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
Mother Teresa

posts: 342   ·   registered: May. 11th, 2021   ·   location: Australia
id 8788926
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 Playedafool (original poster new member #83245) posted at 12:10 AM on Saturday, April 29th, 2023

There is a phenomenon associated with anxiety called "scary thoughts". This is a mechanism your brain utilizes to divert your attention from what is really causing your anxiety. These thoughts don’t necessarily have to be "scary" but can be so frightening or distasteful that they can dominate one’s thoughts to the extent of diverting one’s attention from the real problem.

This obsession with my current wife’s fling during our affair began shortly after my anxiety developed over my daughter’s cancer diagnosis. It began exactly when my daughter’s husband tried to choke her and walked out on their family.

My therapist said this obsession was most likely my "scary thought" and it festered into something called retroactive jealousy. My obsession isn’t with what may or may not happened, it’s about the continued lying about it and the false belief that she picked me over him. Since my wife refuses to talk about, I will never know for sure or have closure.

As much as I can see the benefit to my daughters and possibly myself by admitting to the affair and apologizing to them, I don’t think it will help me with the sleepless nights and consumed days mauling over everything I know or has been said about the fling.

As the early respondents rejoiced in, this may be karma and my penance for my past transgressions. I reached out to this group hoping someone had advice about forgetting the past and living in the present so I could move on from this torment. Many of you have been nonjudgemental and given me some good ideas.

I guess it’s hard to advise people without all the facts. Affairs of the heart are often deep and complex and can’t be expressed in a few paragraphs.

I feel like I've been played a fool

posts: 12   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2023   ·   location: Michigan
id 8788932
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Sadwife53 ( member #61415) posted at 8:06 AM on Saturday, April 29th, 2023

Maybe it’s not about your wife’s relationship so many years ago.
Could your anxiety be the result of your subconscious being confronted by your own mortality through your daughter’s illness and the realization that you’ve lived a major portion of your life selfishly in a dishonorable way? You can’t help have sympathy for you daughter as you see her suffer at the hands of her husband. Perhaps your anxiety is your conscience wrestling with seeing parallels between his actions and your own so many years ago. Relief might come with brutally honest self reflection and with humbly making amends. It’s not too late to become someone you can be proud of, and to enjoy the peace that that brings. I wish you only the best.

Me: 58 WH: 60 married 36 years, 4 adult children dday: 10/5/17 EA and PA with a 30yoStruggling at R

posts: 111   ·   registered: Nov. 14th, 2017   ·   location: PA
id 8788955
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 Playedafool (original poster new member #83245) posted at 6:24 PM on Saturday, April 29th, 2023

In response to the insightful and helpful posts, it has become apparent that my obsession with my wife’s fling is only symptomatic of many other issues buried in my subconscious gnawing at my conscious. Seeking a way to bury the past and live in the present isn’t going to happen by waving some magic wand.

I assure you I have not been with any other woman than my current wife since leaving my ex 35 years ago. This is not some noble cause. Living that double life during my affair was so terrible that I’ll never do that again. My wife saw how terrible it was and trusts me because of it. I know full well what she is capable of (cheating with me on her boyfriend of 5 years and cheating on me with the country club playboy) but I trust her knowing what hell she also went through.

On a side note, the country club playboy was married too and he also had 2 children. My wife admitted to having second thoughts about seeing him when she was at his house while his family was away and saw photos of his children. These second thoughts weren’t strong enough to end her 3 month fling with him. What finally ended it was this guy admitting to her that he took her oldest sister home for sex after a night of dancing with my wife, her sister and her sister’s date.

For those who thought my initial post was a fake or a joke, you couldn't make this stuff up. No wonder I am messed up. This story is soap opera or paperback material. I assure you every word is true.

Last night was no different than the past year’s nights. I woke up around 1:30 (this happens every night between 1:30-3:30) and immediately began mauling over everything I know about my wife’s fling with the playboy until I get out of bed. I keep searching for something missed and connecting the dots in hopes of determining if her narrative is a lie or the truth. As I wrote before, this thing laid dormant for 35 years and popped up about a year ago consuming me ever since.

I feel like I've been played a fool

posts: 12   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2023   ·   location: Michigan
id 8788985
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VezfromTaz ( member #80815) posted at 11:47 PM on Saturday, April 29th, 2023

At risk of sounding like a hippy, you need to deep dive into your shame. It cant hurt you, but avoiding it can make you do some terrible things to people (focusing on the other for starters)

The first book I read years ago when I came to that crossroads aka what the heck is wrong with me (different reasons)was Healing The Shame That Binds You. I cant even remember what it said, but it helped set me on the right path to becoming the sort of person I wanted to be.

Remember that book It's Not About The Bike (which turned out to be a con but I digress) ~ well It's Not About Your Wife.

And meds short term if necessary to deal with intrusive thoughts.

All the best on your journey.

[This message edited by VezfromTaz at 11:48 PM, Saturday, April 29th]

posts: 136   ·   registered: Sep. 1st, 2022
id 8789020
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 12:16 AM on Saturday, May 6th, 2023

She most likely lied to you to some degree. She is a cheater and a liar by your own account.

Your "trust" in each other is based on pain and fear (that you wouldn't want to experience it again). It's a weak and brittle sort of trust if you ask me. You are in a particularly awkward spot because you are decades into survivorship bias. The vast-vast majority of relationships that start as A's are failures. Part of that is because they are built on a foundation of lies.

In one of your posts you write: "we were in a committed relationship with each other"

I'm still calling bullshit on this. Whatever construction you had in your mind of your affair with your now wife, there is no sort of expected exclusivity in this arrangement. If you had any expectation of it, you have to be an olympic champion at mental gymnastics.

How many thousands of lies did you tell your (now) wife and your ex during your affair? Thousands. Just a guess.

It's not a stretch you told some to yourself. One of those must've been "She's only sleeping with me".

I'm not asking you to suffer. I'm not saying you deserve to suffer. I'm saying if you can be your most authentic self, you have to understand it was all lies at the beginning. So if the fake it until you make it strategy happened to work. Fuck it man, stick to the day you told everyone you were official (a lie in itself to be fair) to use as your day of "open, honest, and exclusive" relationship with your wife. The rest of it is an illusion you built.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2586   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8789865
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Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 7:44 PM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023

While your anxiety might be real, the logic of your story falls down…. What I understood….

1. You felt trapped into marriage. But you did manage to escape when you divorced. So you were not trapped in reality.

2. You had an LTA with your current wife of over 1.5 years. So you both cheated for more then. 1.5 years.

3. You told your AP you would leave but didn’t

4. Your AP had started another relationship and told you while you were married to wife 1. So she owed you nothing.

5. You eventually left your wife 1 and married your AP.

6. 32 years later you think wife 2 has lied about the character of the relationship she had while you were married to wife 1. Maybe she was single at the time, maybe not. I am having a tough time understanding how this can bother you. You were cheating at the time, looks like she broke it off and started a new relationship. Totally allowed.

7. Now over 3 decades later you are upset. This does not make sense to me.

Your wife 2 is not the problem. How you are seeing this is. You really need counselling.

You need to understand why you are sabatoging what you say is a good marriage.

Focus on what is important, your daughter.

If you need to find forgiveness, that’s different. But don’t upset your daughter.

[This message edited by Tallgirl at 7:59 PM, Wednesday, May 17th]

To be redefined

posts: 2205   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2018
id 8791286
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 Playedafool (original poster new member #83245) posted at 11:58 AM on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

In response to tallgirl, you have a pretty fair assessment of the situation except for some key points.

Wife 2 started seeing this other guy under the pretext that it was to make me jealous enough to move out. In the months she saw him before I did move out, she claimed she never had sex with him except for a couple of "make out" sessions that didn’t include intercourse. She claims to this day she never had sex with him because she never had any feelings for him. When I finally did move out, she continued seeing him for nearly another month. She told me she finally broke it off with him on the phone and picked me to be with. I was so elated to be back with her and able to eventually get married that I never gave her time with him another thought.

Fast forward 32 years and we’re riding home from a failed road trip because I had an anxiety attack. As we discussed it, I brought up my previous episodes in counseling for anxiety. The first of which was back when she was seeing that other guy. At that moment, everything changed. I asked her, "By the way, what kept the country club playboy sniffing around all those months if you weren’t giving him sex"? Her response was, "I don’t know". As time went on, I would periodically ask more questions receiving the same answers, "I don’t know" or "I don’t remember".

One answer I did get was how it ended with him. She told me it ended when she went dancing with him, her older sister and this sister’s date. That night her country club playboy hooked up with her sister for sex. The next day he went to her house and told her what happened maybe out of guilt or to preemptively beat her hearing it from her sister. She told him she didn’t care because she never had feelings for him. He drove away and never called again. This version was not only quite different from the phone call story 35 years earlier but it also meant she didn’t pick me over him. I was the default when he never contacted her again. As things came out that didn’t add up, my simple inquisitiveness grew to suspicion which eventually became realization that led to me resenting my wife and ultimately becoming angry with her. When I realized it was damaging our marriage I entered into counseling about it.

My therapist hit a home run when she got me to put myself in my wife’s shoes back then. I had a real break through and could understand why she may have done things and why she may have lied about them and continues to lie to protect that original narrative.

Unfortunately, I could not find closure because of all the things that didn’t make sense or add up. A few simple answers no matter how damning would have shut my whole obsession down. I was and am in the position to hear anything without being hurt or judging her because I understood why this happened 35 years ago.

We went out to dinner last week and I had too much to drink. I foolishly brought it up again hoping for some answers but instead started a huge rift with my wife that is still going on. We were doing so well too after recovering from the last time I brought it up.

I hoped by airing my dirty laundry on this blog, someone would have some advice on how to let the past go and live in the present. My shrink obviously can’t. Unfortunately, my plea for help was met with the ire of many scorned people but I did receive some insightful comments later on.

Hopefully, these details help you understand better the situation. I don’t think all the details in the world will help anyone including myself understand why it is bothering me so much and why I am sabotaging a wonderful, happy marriage of 32 years.

I feel like I've been played a fool

posts: 12   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2023   ·   location: Michigan
id 8792139
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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 3:46 PM on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

I asked her, "By the way, what kept the country club playboy sniffing around all those months if you weren’t giving him sex"? Her response was, "I don’t know". As time went on, I would periodically ask more questions receiving the same answers, "I don’t know" or "I don’t remember".

If this is your basis for questioning your wife's story, it's flimsy. Some guys continue to "sniff around" women in whom they have an interest, even if the woman isn't reciprocating. If you asked a room full of women to raise their hands if they've experienced this, you'd see waaaay more up than down.

This is a story that you're telling yourself and have bought into. You need to figure out why you're obsessing over this now. I think others are probably correct that you've got some stuffed guilt and some fear regarding your daughter. And probably some insecurity that comes with aging, especially since your wife is younger.

Love needs action.
Trust needs proof.
Sorry needs change.

posts: 1166   ·   registered: Mar. 10th, 2023
id 8792162
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 9:38 PM on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

As I said before, but I will clarify again.

Everything is lies between when your A started and when you came out of the A closet.

Everything you did. Everything she did. It's all lies. A return to that time period will reveal it was nothing but lie after lie after lie. Lies as far as the eye can see. You won't be able to swing a memory stick without hitting a lie.

She has to live with yours and you with hers.

I'm not trying to encourage rugsweeping here, but your scenario is not plain old infidelity. If you can't let go of the fact that your coconspirator in lying lied (as you did, thousands of times), you are bound for failure.

I understand that pain isn't a competition. Maybe google strategies for managing intrusive thoughts.

Her tryst isn't happening now, there is nothing you can do to change it, and there is nothing in her current actions that it is a lesson about.

So feel the feeling, and drop the subject after recognizing the thought is irrelevant to your current life.

Love is not a measure of capacity for pain you are willing to endure for your partner.

posts: 2586   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8792242
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WhatsRight ( member #35417) posted at 3:07 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

A few simple answers no matter how damning would have shut my whole obsession down.

Oh my God! This!

This has always been my "battle cry" through my 17 year ongoing situation. If only my WS would give me answers, discuss this with me, etc.

But the honest truth is that we should NEVER require something external to make internal changes. PERIOD.

If I require something…ANYTHING…from another person in order for my life to be what I want it to be…then I’m screwed.

If your wife is not willing to provide you with the processing, answers, etc that you want/need, then you have 3 choices.

1. Continue your marriage without her "help", and resolve these issues on your own (with or without a therapist)

2. Leave the relationship, or

3. Continue your marriage and be haunted and miserable about these unresolved issues.

IMHO, either solution #1 or #2 have the potential to be ultimately productive.

But I pray you won’t count on #3 to do anything but rob years of your life from you.

Good luck to you.

"Noone can make you feel inferior without your concent." Eleanor Roosevelt

I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy

posts: 8192   ·   registered: Apr. 23rd, 2012   ·   location: Southeast USA
id 8792320
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OnTheOtherSideOfHell ( member #82983) posted at 6:23 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

I suspect you still haven’t accepted, found remorse, and grew from your cheating mindset. Using the word "trapped" to describe the marriage in which you callously cheated on your ex wife leads me to believe that growth has not happened with you. Perhaps you can use this new information to gain understanding to the pain you have caused your ex wife and children. Sadly, some people have to feel a bit of the pain (I say "a bit") , because your situation is nowhere near as devastating as the shit show you gave your blindsided ex in order to truly grow as a human. I hope you do. Your current wife was completely justified in her actions short of starting an affair with you to begin with. That was her only crappy Behavior. You clearly weren’t trapped in a marriage as you found a way to leave it. You were too cowardly to leave it before you cheated and somehow you blame your current wife for that. You both were acting terribly. That was so long ago. If you’ve managed to make peace with your horrible choices perhaps you can make peace with hers as well.

posts: 189   ·   registered: Feb. 28th, 2023   ·   location: SW USA
id 8792361
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cedarwoods ( member #82760) posted at 8:19 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

Playedafool
Did your wife #1 or anyone in the family suspect you were cheating on her?
Did she pose questions similar to that which you are asking wife #2?
Did you tell your wife #1 "No, I am not seeing anyone. No, I am not cheating on you. No, she’s just a friend. I only made out with her but never had sex with her. I got involved with her after you and I separated. I am telling you the truth"
If so, could this be why you are having such anxiety over your wife #2’s response to your questions? You are seeing yourself in your wife 2?

posts: 211   ·   registered: Jan. 20th, 2023   ·   location: USA
id 8792379
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 Playedafool (original poster new member #83245) posted at 6:43 PM on Friday, May 26th, 2023

In response to cedarwoods, you’ve pegged things fairly accurately. All of wife2’s siblings and friends knew what was going on. The familial entanglement and wife2’s age were why this affair could not be revealed. It had nothing to do with being cowardly.

When the affair started, I was 31 and wife2 was 20. I didn’t know her and thought she was older. I didn’t know she was my sister in law’s baby sister either. I have a baby face so she thought I was younger. Anyway, if the affair was revealed, wife2’s parents would have shut it down in a heartbeat and the families would be embroiled in "warfare". It had to be kept secret until I was legally divorced.

So yes, I used all the lies you detailed as well as many more. As I’ve written before, I don’t care if she had sex with this guy. I care that I was lied to then and now. I feel like I was played a fool. At least I lied to wife1 when she asked those questions. I wish wife2 would have lied answering my questions rather than replying "I don’t know" or "I don’t remember". Those replies don’t help explain all the things that don’t add up or make sense about her narrative. Thus, haunting me to figure them out on my own with what has happened and later revealed.

I feel like I've been played a fool

posts: 12   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2023   ·   location: Michigan
id 8792757
Topic is Sleeping.
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