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Creeping Dread

Topic is Sleeping.
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 swoned (original poster member #54719) posted at 8:38 AM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

Hi all.

I haven't "Just found out"

But I've been through this before.

You know that feeling that something isn't right... that something has changed, and there is that unstifled feeling of dread in the back of your mind. That fear of discovering the truth... the calm before the storm.... the deep breath before that plunge into the abyss.

I am there.

But I'm torn.

Is something happening, or is my relationship heading toward it.

I'd rather not make the same mistakes I made the first time through, so I'm experiencing a mighty struggle.

I do not believe my 2nd wife is currently having an affair. I believe she is at risk of having an affair.
I feel my choices are to focus on me, or to focus on gathering evidence.

My instinctual reaction is to go into hyper-vigilence and super-slueth... but deep down I understand this doesn't fix anything, and only hastens an inevitable conclusion if there is one.

I'm pressed between an intense desire to focus on myself, go to the gym, lose weight, develop confidence, and be the type of man any wife would be proud of (by this I mean incorporating the pre-emptive 180-- in essence)---- and... deploying GPS trackers, VARS, checking her phone if I can, and essentially ultimately descending into dancing the pick me dance.

Like, friends..... I know that I need to be to hell with everything..... she'll do what she'll do and she'll not do if she has no need to do... but at the same time I'm logging into opendns and checking domains, and monitoring her cell activity for texts and call records.
it's fucking hell. I can log into her pc's... I know the codes. I've done it
I haven't seen anything damning. I DONT WANT TO DO THIS.

But

She's become gym-obsessed, and purposefully goes when I cannot
She's clearly become cell-phone adverse.
Her work is becoming increasingly concerning in terms of focus.
She's getting cosmetic procedures.


I'm ticking off red flag after red flag after red flag.
And I am trying to ask.... do you really want to go through this again?
Or..
Is your previous experience contaminating what you have?

Creeping Dread.

D-Day 6/22/16Ended in Divorce 07/02/18Remarried.

posts: 221   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2016
id 8788650
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 9:06 AM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

Welcome to Surviving Infidelity- a great place for support. You will receive many opinions and eirds of advice here. I hope it helps you.

As far as your situation, I think our intuition is usually accurate and is what protects us to some extent.

That gut feeling is often associated with the fact that we are sensing something is off.

You highlight two very telling facts - gym obsessed, going when you are not available— those are red flags.

Having cosmetic procedures - could be a mid life crisis thing or "I need to look younger" thing with no affair backdrop. Or it could be done hit young trainer she’s interested in and she’s trying to compete or appear younger.

It would not be the first time someone here at SI had a spouse who cheated with the trainer or had a spouse who was a trainer who cheated.

Maybe you need to show up at the gym unexpectedly one day to see if there is any chance that something might be happening.

Is that an option?

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13929   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8788652
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Buffer ( member #71664) posted at 9:39 AM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

Doesn’t sound good, I may have missed it but how is the communication between the two of you?
Trust but verify. If your spider senses are tingling then it is your subconscious telling you to look into it.
Strength to you.
One day at a time.

Buffer

posts: 1318   ·   registered: Sep. 24th, 2019   ·   location: Australia
id 8788654
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asc1226 ( member #75363) posted at 3:30 PM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

So why go through it all again?

Consult your lawyer and review your prenup. (God, I hope you got a prenup after the last time.)

Then sit your wife down and ask her if she has anything to tell you. If she says no go through those red flags. Remind her you have been here before and have zero interest in taking this ride a second time.

If you get any version of ILYBINILWY file.

[This message edited by asc1226 at 3:55 PM, Thursday, April 27th]

I make edits, words is hard

posts: 612   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8788683
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 swoned (original poster member #54719) posted at 3:39 PM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

The1stWife

Yes--- I have a gym membership as well. I've popped in on her, haven't seen anything wrong, aside from me being a jealous husband.
She doesn't have a personal trainer. However, her reluctance to train with me, or at the same time to me is a huge red flag.

I have a beautiful wife, and she's also rather extroverted. And finally, she's not American, so culturally different.
I understand she's going to get attention. I've seen her in action our whole marriage, she's so damn pleasant to people at all times, that men inadvertantly think she's giving signals that she's not. Women too.. to be fair.

Buffer

The situation between her and I communication wise remains relatively unchanged, and is generally very good.
But I do notice small changes that have all added up.

I will say this though as an update--- This feeling of overwhelming dread I can trace back to a single point in time.
We were talking about our dating lives before we met--- She asked me what my body count was. I asked hers in return. It was comfortably small, less than me, anyways. I suppose she could be lying about it, but in the context of this and previous conversations, her upbringing, and personality-- I tend to believe her. But she did let slip one piece of new information I didn't know.
One of her partners was a married man. She broke up with him when he expressed a desire to leave his wife and child to be with her, and she didn't want to be responsible for destroying a family.

(side note--- to the INFORM OBS NOW crowd--- no need to pile on me, its been done)

OK--- so that moment changed everything. Here I have my wife, whom I have just discovered is perfectly capable of an extramarital affair. This was learned about 6 months ago--- we've been married 4 years.

From that moment on, I've felt this creeping dread, and began noticing everything and adding it all up. It's just red flags. I don't have proof of anything yet. Many of them are small red flags, very small, small enough that i'd have ignored them otherwise..... but they do start adding up.

I made this thread in this forum to get some outside perspective and make sure i'm not falling into traditional errors BH's make. This could be an epic thread of discovery drama and subterfuge or it could fizzle out into a bin a nothingness and we can all laugh at the paranoia and fear of a man who was previously cheated on and let it drive him mad.

D-Day 6/22/16Ended in Divorce 07/02/18Remarried.

posts: 221   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2016
id 8788685
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Greto ( member #80904) posted at 4:01 PM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

After my exWH, I never trusted anyone again. I make this clear to all partners that my trust is built from the ground up. My current WH broke the trust I was building so we are back to square one.

I say this because even if my intuition is 99% right, I am always suspicious. I always assume the worse. It is possible she is getting older and wanting to improve on herself.

Have you always worked out together and now she avoids it? I do not like exercising with or in front of my husband. I feel odd. Could it be that? Or maybe she is working really hard to improve her body and wants to do a "big reveal" for you?

I say trust your gut but also remember WS do react to innocent things because of our trauma.

posts: 115   ·   registered: Sep. 9th, 2022   ·   location: Sandusky, Ohio
id 8788690
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 swoned (original poster member #54719) posted at 4:17 PM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

I made this thread in this forum to get some outside perspective and make sure i'm not falling into traditional errors BH's make. This could be an epic thread of discovery drama and subterfuge or it could fizzle out into a bin a nothingness and we can all laugh at the paranoia and fear of a man who was previously cheated on and let it drive him mad.

The dream scenario for me is to document my fears and anxiety's rationalize them away, target and eliminate those that can't.

So for example--- My wife goes to the gym a lot. She's expressed a desire that I go to the gym too. She wants me to lose some weight. She's said so. She's right-- I do need to lose some weight. I feel the same way.
She doesn't want to be married to alcoholic. She's said so. I know I drink too much, and too often. She's said so, and I agree.


neither of these are justifactions for a WS to run into an A. But I believe they foster an environment that promotes one, or creates a vulnerability to one.


So either my fear and paranoia is an awakening that I've become complacent in a marriage, and need to focus on some self-improvement, self confidence.

Or my fear and paranoia is because it's already too late, or none of my complacency mattered because she's like that anyways.

D-Day 6/22/16Ended in Divorce 07/02/18Remarried.

posts: 221   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2016
id 8788691
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 swoned (original poster member #54719) posted at 4:31 PM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

Have you always worked out together and now she avoids it? I do not like exercising with or in front of my husband. I feel odd. Could it be that? Or maybe she is working really hard to improve her body and wants to do a "big reveal" for you?


This could very well be the case. There never was a point in which we did gym work together as a couple...she was reticient from day one. I think some of her aversion (going at a different time) is a reaction to my expressed desire to do it together, so she has taken steps to ensure she has privacy and peace at the gym.

I met her doing an obstacle mud race. (Think Spartan or tough mudder-- but a european version) I was in very good shape at the time.
She wants to do these races together with me. She's said so. But I have trouble keeping up with her now. I think she was a bit dissappointed the last time we did one together.

D-Day 6/22/16Ended in Divorce 07/02/18Remarried.

posts: 221   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2016
id 8788694
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WonderingGhost ( member #81060) posted at 4:57 PM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

I'm sorry you're dealing with these things right now @swoned. What a shock it must be to have just now learned your wife engaged in an affair with a married man. This would be the biggest and most glaring red flag for me. Have you sat down and spoken to her about it at length since finding out about that 6 months ago? I'd personally want to know if she'd done any self-reflecting on why she decided to do that, because if she hasn't, those character flaws within her are still there, meaning she is just as capable of doing it again.

One of her partners was a married man. She broke up with him when he expressed a desire to leave his wife and child to be with her, and she didn't want to be responsible for destroying a family.

She already destroyed the family by carrying on an affair with a married man. I've noticed that seems to be a thought pattern for some WS - that they didn't technically destroy the family of their AP unless the OBS finds out - which isn't true.

She's become gym-obsessed, and purposefully goes when I cannot

So my thoughts on this are based only from the info you've given and especially fuelled by the fact she's been an AP in the past and only just recently revealed that to you. Is it possible she likes going to the gym without you because she - being a beautiful and charming woman as you've said - likes the attention she may be getting from other people without the "wet blanket" that would be having her husband with her? Is it possible she uses this time to scope out potential AP's or to engage in flirtatious behaviour? I don't know of course, but it's kind of where my mind goes.

I mean, if you two met doing physical/athletic activities, why wouldn't she want to do it with you? Have you ever straight up asked "Why is it you don't like me going to the gym with you?" and gotten a straight answer? Even though he was leagues behind me when it came to fitness, I loved going to the gym and working out with my STBXWS.

Of course it could be possible that the Gym is kind of like her "Me time", which I think we all like to have now and again. I think the little detail of her having been an AP - combined with the other mounting red flags - is what's keeping me from assuming it's as innocent as that.

Wishing you all the best, trust your gut.

[This message edited by WonderingGhost at 5:06 PM, Thursday, April 27th]

posts: 110   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2022
id 8788696
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Lurkingsoul12 ( member #82382) posted at 5:17 PM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

I have to ask on behalf of OP -

Does OP need to treat the day he got this new information about his wife as a dday?

Does OP need to do everything a BS must do to make sure his WS is a safer partner to him even though it wasn't OP she hurt through her affair?

posts: 457   ·   registered: Nov. 12th, 2022
id 8788697
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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 5:17 PM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

I think its perfectly normal not to want to go to the gym/workout with one’s partner. I actually personally feel this way as well, and this is regularly our practice.

My gym time is my time, a singular act, and is an outlet from the rest of my life’s goings on.

posts: 785   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8788698
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 5:40 PM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

Time for some good conversations about fears, hopes, and perceptions, at the very least.

I don't know if I'd hold the conversations effectively - I started them during the A but wasn't effective - but it's time for talking.

I know - easier said than done.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 29954   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8788704
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Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 8:01 PM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

Swoned,

You write exceptionally well ! Write a equally heartfelt letter to her expressing

A) your disappointment/ shock at discovering her being the AP in an extramarital affair.

( She left the man because he wanted to leave his wife, but would the affair continue if he kept her as his side piece? So she’s ok being a AP?)

B) Your fears considering the past betrayal.

C) your doubts considering her present behavior

D) Setting a time to have a conversation like adults.

Communicate rather than assume.

I wish you well!

posts: 284   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2023
id 8788723
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Stevesn ( member #58312) posted at 8:58 PM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

I agree with what others are saying about communicating with your wife. Hopefully you can.

About your health. Do you want to improve it? Give yourself and your wife a gift and get in to the gym or some daily athletic endeavor and take steps to cut your drinking. Talk to someone about help in getting each of these things done.

Life and marriage is a long union. Keep yourself in better shape so you are able to happily share it with her.

[This message edited by Stevesn at 11:59 AM, Sunday, April 30th]

fBBF. Just before proposing, broke it off after her 2nd confirmed PA in 2 yrs. 9 mo later I met the wonderful woman I have spent the next 30 years with.

posts: 3605   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2017
id 8788731
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RealityBlows ( member #41108) posted at 10:06 PM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

I don’t believe in "Affair Proofing" a marriage, but I do believe that you should maintain your marriage with continuous self and relationship improvement effort.

It goes without saying, that cheating should never be the result, or reason for ANY marital dissatisfaction.

As a BS myself, I totally understand the hypervigilance. That’s probably never going away and, it probably shouldn’t. I’m also four years into a new marriage and I’m paying much more attention than I ever have and, that’s not NECESSARILY a bad thing. We SHOULD be paying more attention, to a lot of things in life, avoiding complacency, but in moderation. Moderate your newfound focus so not to negatively affect a good marriage.

Ok, with that said, I believe you do have some legitimate concerns. Things I would discreetly keep an eye on. Keep these concerns in proper perspective. Don’t obsess. Don’t let these concerns control you or affect the way you interact with your W. Your W could be in the beginning stages of waywardness or, she could be in a phase in her life where she’s enjoying some outside attention, validation or, there could be absolutely nothing sinister going on whatsoever.

If there is something going on, you’ll find out, unless your W is a super spy. It’s hard to escape the well honed senses of a former BS.

My wife is attractive and loves dressing up, is into high fashion, never leaves the house without looking good-not even to pick up the mail. Does she do this for some kind of maligned validation or because of a more healthy or, less unhealthy, motivation such as pride of appearance? If I was to ask her she would say something like, "I do it to look good for you, to look good for me, to look good for us, I’m a reflection on us". I mean, honestly, there’s not too many of us out there that don’t appreciate a little external validation-especially as we age.

Stay healthfully diligent in marital maintenance and awareness, but be careful not to obsess. It’s a fine line to walk. We are both traumatized-scarred and, enlightened. Frequently check yourself while simultaneously trusting your newfound instincts. Easier said than done.

posts: 1307   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2013
id 8788737
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bob7777 ( member #79867) posted at 10:31 PM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

Hmm tough. I could be wrong but as much as you shared, you're seeing ghosts. Your first sign is that see had an affair with a married man but she ended it when WH wanted to commit to her and she didn't want to be a "homewrecker". You can see it two ways, either she got what she wanted and it was just fun for her or she really realized that she was doing wrong. The second "clue" is her alleged gym routine and not wanting to include you. Again you can see it in different ways. First, you stated her as a passionate gym goer, as an "advanced" member you might want to focus on yourself and don't want to train a rookie. On the other hand, maybe she is ashamed of you and doesn't want to associate with you, you mentioned that you need to lose some weight, it could be. The other ossibility is that she is cheating or wants to and her place of business is the gym.
But as far as that all goes that's a bit too little to suspect cheating. You might be right, but with that little you shared or have on her, you have to be a bloodhound if you're right.

posts: 106   ·   registered: Feb. 1st, 2022
id 8788740
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 10:51 PM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

Have you considered two or three sessions with an MC to have a third party help you both lay all this out on the table and communicate about it?
Your fears, her history and how it is triggering you?

Me: BS 57 (49 on d-day)Him: *who cares ;-) *. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 5985   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8788746
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 swoned (original poster member #54719) posted at 11:33 PM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

Thanks everyone. I find the discussion incredibly helpful.

Some additional fuel:

She's an incredibly hard worker, but She had some trouble finding a job when she first moved here. I encouraged her to get a job as a server... told her her personality was well suited for it, and it would help with her English.

All the other servers hate her. She tends to make 2x as much as them in tips. People request her and are willing to wait when she is on shift. Husbands love her, wives adore her, and She always had a funny story to tell. But it wasn't what she wanted to continue to do. So she get a second job in a customer service department. (Her restaurant politely declined to allow her to quit, so she only works 1x a week there now.) The new job was pure misery to her. Mandatory overtime, long hours, and repetitive support ticket work with no real momentum for career advancement. She lasted 9 months before she decided to look for something else.

This didn't take long, because everytime she mentions she's looking for a job at her restaurant, people fall all over themselves to hire her.

So she took on a new job as an executive assistant. I can't really say I was a fan of this idea, and told here that I expected she'd hate it. New role she serves an executive assistant for Owner and Owner's Wife who also works in the office. She manages their emails, sets meetings and appointments, books flights, hotels, conference calls... etc. All the things you'd expect an executive assistant to do. in the last 9 months, she's been promoted, received a bonus, and a raise. But some of it has been pretty uncomfortable. They gave her company credit cards, she has their passports, she sometimes picks up this couples' children from school and delivers them to soccer practice etc. While they were on vacation, she was asked to feed their chickens and turkey-- she has the code to their house. So she's doing a lot of personal assistant type stuff as well. And because of how involved she is in their lives, she mentions them in her conversations a lot... and I tire of it.

[Owner and his wife are 20-30 years older than my wife and 15-20 years older than me, and have two highschool aged kids of their own. Owner provided phone numbers of previous executive assistances to vouch for his good character. He seems like a good man. He seems to be loyal to his wife. But I am a BS from my first marriage, and I am jealous.]

In January, she had to go on a business trip with her boss. ( Yes, I can hear you all collectively screaming) They left early morning and returned the same evening late.... they drove.... 6 hours each way. I told her she should never be driving with another man, and that was weird and highly innappropriate and I couldn't imagine why her boss would even request that. She explained that she went with him and the woman from HR was there as well, so there was nothing to fear. I've circled back to this trip a few times, to see if her story changes, but it has been consistent.

One day, in March, she comes home and announces she wants to buy a motorcycle.... I told her very bluntly that wives don't come home out of the blue, wanting a motorcycle, unless there was some other person that likes motorcycles that she was emulating. It was owner and owners wife... they had signed up for classes to get the motorcycle license. They offered to pay for my wife too. She went and took the class with them and with another woman from work...

(A week ago, owner's wife was in a motorcycle accident and hospitalized. My wife doesn't want a motorcycle anymore. She says they are dangerous and scary)

I didn't like how much real estate Owner was beginning to take up in my life
This is why I began monitoring call logs... But there is nothing in her cell phones out of ordinary. No constant texting, no hours and hours of calls, few texts and calls outside of business hours--- it all seems business.

D-Day 6/22/16Ended in Divorce 07/02/18Remarried.

posts: 221   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2016
id 8788757
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 swoned (original poster member #54719) posted at 11:43 PM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

Have you considered two or three sessions with an MC to have a third party help you both lay all this out on the table and communicate about it?

Your fears, her history and how it is triggering you?

I likely will not ever do MC or IC again. Went through this when my first marriage fell apart.

MC wanted to put us through 11 weeks of intensive therapy (only cost $20K, what a deal!) 6 sessions of MC in and MC still hadn;t decided it was of any value or importance to address the A, MC announces she won't see us anymore because cheating wife isn;t ready to talk about the accusation of A, and that we both needed 12 weeks of IC first.

So i went to IC for 12 weeks. IC spent this time to convince me of everything I had done wrong to cause the Affair, and that I should try being a better husband and father and she'd come back to me.

8 sessions of IC for my ex wife, and they never once even discussed her affair... They spent their time doing "family of origin" garbage... Like dude.....

Basically, my view is the MC/IC was a complete sham designed to milk as much money from a vulnerable couple as possible, keep them in therapy for as long as they could leach financially, and didn't fix or address a GD thing. The advice given flew in the face of the collective SI wisdom and contradicted almost everything that is understood in this community.

I no longer have any faith in therapists. They are running a business, and trying to make money, and they have an incentive to create a need for more therapy. They have an incentive to NOT fix your problem so you keep coming back. This conflict of interest is something I can't reconcile. This has been my experience.

I feel the same way about lawyers btw.... their incentive is to take all your money... and I saw in my own experience that my Divorce from cheating EX took as long as needed to financially destroy me, and then magically sewed it all up in a neat package when the money was gone. My lawyer and her lawyer are family friends.... their kids play soccer on a club team.... along with the youngest child of the judge that oversaw the case. They went out for beers this weekend on the lake, and spent their time laughing about how stupid divorcing couples are. (this is a slight exaggeration made to make my point.)

[This message edited by swoned at 11:54 PM, Thursday, April 27th]

D-Day 6/22/16Ended in Divorce 07/02/18Remarried.

posts: 221   ·   registered: Aug. 19th, 2016
id 8788759
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SI Staff ( Moderator #10) posted at 11:56 PM on Thursday, April 27th, 2023

  Moving to General

posts: 10033   ·   registered: May. 30th, 2002
id 8788761
Topic is Sleeping.
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