myalterego (original poster member #32756) posted at 12:20 AM on Sunday, May 14th, 2023
So the HS GF strikes again. 11 years ago, I caught them having an EA - worked through it (I thought). One of my conditions was never to contact her again. Just came back from a vacation and I thought we were in a good place.
However, H travels for work - I saw his texts on his laptop to her a few nights ago. They had talked earlier in the week and were texting mid-week. Texts are deleted from his phone (which proves to me he knows it was wrong), but I have screenshots from laptop. Some innocent (talking about their animals), others inappropriate (she texted a photo of a bed saying "tempted", they talked about meeting for dinner, and ended with "love you"). They talked about their "complicated relationship". Lines crossed all over the place.
I am devastated that he thinks this is ok. I haven’t figured out my end game yet, but I want to screw with his brain and make him feel guilty. Ideally, he would confess. This is where I need ideas. For example, I want to write her phone number on a slip of paper and leave it in his work bag. I want to print out "guide to divorce" and leave it on the printer for him to find without saying anything. What else? I am not ready to confront just yet.
When I am ready to blow things up, I will send a copy of the "love you" texts to her husband certified mail and see what happens. But not ready for that yet.
So smart friends. Share ideas.
Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 1:22 AM on Sunday, May 14th, 2023
Do you want to stay married? Are you ready to divorce? I think it is time to sit him down and ask him if he enjoys being married to you. Also ask if he loves you. If he says yes to both then ask him why he is doing something he knows will hurt you. Then let him talk. Chances are he is going to get huffy.
Really this is up to you but playing games is not going to get you anywhere. You need the truth.
When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis
The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 1:33 AM on Sunday, May 14th, 2023
IMO the HS girlfriend/boyfriend relationship almost never ends. For some reason there is that "one that got away" mentality in these EAs and PAs.
If I were in your shoes I would not say a word until you know if you are ending this marriage or if you want to reconcile yet again.
I would demand a post nup if you plan to stay and R.
Other than that I would play my cards close to the best if I were you. If he thinks you know he may start to gaslight or plot his exit and that could work against you. He could stop paying bills or keep all his money from You etc.
See a lawyer.
[This message edited by The1stWife at 2:28 AM, Sunday, May 14th]
Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.
myalterego (original poster member #32756) posted at 1:38 AM on Sunday, May 14th, 2023
Cooley, I don’t know. Every minute it changes. I need to figure it out. I am trying to work through my plans.
In the short term, I can’t sit down with him yet. We have a trip planned with kids that I can’t blow up. So biding my time… Getting my ducks in a row. I may need to go to shock and awe to wake him up. As much as he ‘knows’ it is wrong, he has self-justified as "an old friend". I know that’s where it will go - that’s where it went before.
Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 1:45 AM on Sunday, May 14th, 2023
Don’t play games. You aren’t going to get him to confess. He’ll just go deeper underground with it.
Stay quiet, gather info about their relationship, and decide if you want to divorce or reconcile. Get your ducks in a row, and then confront directly with proof, being blunt about what you want and what your boundaries are. A confident, no nonsense, stand your ground confrontation is far more powerful than mind games.
Husband of 20 years had six month affair with co-worker. Found out 7/2020. Two teenaged kids. Reconciling.
myalterego (original poster member #32756) posted at 2:03 AM on Sunday, May 14th, 2023
Thanks 1st and Grieving.
You guys are right - I can’t say anything for a bit and the direct approach is best. I don’t know if it is much of an ongoing thing or more of an occasional check-in. Regardless, the messages were inappropriate and against his last promises.
If I decide to stick with him, there will definitely be a post nup. I have to figure out what I would want in that. All part of the process trying to work through.
Need to talk to a lawyer but won’t happen for a few weeks. Argh.
BreakingBad ( member #75779) posted at 2:06 AM on Sunday, May 14th, 2023
Pack his bags. Have them waiting at the door.
Tell him he's welcome to pursue the HS GF to his heart's content, but you're done sharing his focus and affection.
Don't play games with him. Be quite serious. Be ready and eager to follow through.
Go on the family trip without him. Explain that Dad has a conflicting work trip that will keep him from joining.
Be ready to move on without him.
You deserve better than this.
Your kids deserve better than this.
[This message edited by BreakingBad at 2:08 AM, Sunday, May 14th]
"...lately it's not hurtin' like it did before. Maybe I am learning how to love me more."[Credit to Sam Smith]
Me=BW; fWH=online affairs with 3 APs over 3+ yrs.Both in IC & MC.Married 32 yrs now 2 kids-both in HS.Attempting R
Copingmybest ( member #78962) posted at 1:45 PM on Sunday, May 14th, 2023
Like Breakingbad said. Don’t play games. Life is hard enough without there being games. Wouldn’t it be amazing if everyone was straight honest and there was no "wondering what is going on"? I’m 2 years and a month post D day. I’m guilty of the pick me dance for quite a while. I believe the reason for that was that the instant I found out about my wife’s affair, I knew I loved her enough to work my absolute hardest to get through this and make it work. The problem was, that the pick me dance prolonged the amount of time it would take to see noticeable progress. That was a lot of unnecessary pain that I didn’t need to go through. I think I read on here somewhere that Divorce should be the default response to an affair. Not so much the following through with it, but the beginning actions of it at least. The night I found out, had I said, we are done, I’m filing for divorce, it would have forced my wife to shit or get off the pot. It likely would have been much better for me to follow that path, but I’m not wired that way. My mother had instilled into me compassion and concern for others. There is a mean streak in me but that is reserved for very special people/circumstances. The former friend/MF’er who pursued my wife, and got her has earned my attention. I’m not actively seeking revenge or retaliation, but that being said, if a natural opportunity arises to assist Karma in putting balance back into the world, id happily give it that nudge. As for wanting to play games, there so many more productive things you could be doing with your time. It will ultimately depend on what you want your future to look like. Do you love him and do you still want a life with him? Then talk with him and try to work on things. If you don’t think you have a future any more, pack his shit, set it all on the front porch and tell him your done. No games, just be head strong and to the point. This is just my perspective and like everyone else on this site, only you truly know what you’d like, but it is nice to hear different perspectives on ways to go. Hope you ultimately get what you’d like in the end. Chin up girl, we are here for you.
Me: BS 56
Her: WW 50
A 8-20?-4-1-21 (April Fools Day)
Attempting recovery me-90%~her 10%
Married 25 years
Tanner ( Guide #72235) posted at 6:46 PM on Sunday, May 14th, 2023
Don’t give him any hints, you need to do just what Cooley2here said.
Let him know you know but not what, or how much you know. Let him take it from there. Then without saying anything to him, drop the letter to OBS.
See an attorney and plan your exit, he doesn’t respect you or the M.
Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R BH M 32 years
Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 8:50 PM on Sunday, May 14th, 2023
You are angry so you want to mess with him. Don’t, it is high school and you are an adult kickass grown woman. Be smart.
Go to a divorce lawyer, get your filed papers, and hand them to him with his packed bags.
If you want to stay married, do the above but give him 3 conditions.
1. No contact ever again, starting immediately.
2. Come clean now, and no more lies.
3. Counselling, individual followed by marital.
Give him 24 hours to decide. Yes or no.
And act accordingly.
If he breaks the conditions sign the divorce papers.
Don’t waste your time.
Yearning for divorce before I pop off
The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 10:58 AM on Monday, May 15th, 2023
In my post nup I put " if we D for any reason". Not "if we D b/c of infidelity".
This way the post nup holds up if you decide to D in 2 years b/c you just don’t want to be married anymore.
I excluded certain investment accounts as part of our marital assets in a D so I get them free and clear in a D. They are not included in a split.
Custody issues were not a part of our post nup.
If your H refuses to sign a post nup I would view that as a red flag.
Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.
myalterego (original poster member #32756) posted at 3:11 PM on Monday, May 15th, 2023
Thank you all.
many many things to think about. I get a knot in my stomach just reading your responses. Dead on and as always, on point.
Do I love him? Yes, but the bigger issue is do I trust him?
And that is ... no. I think he is somewhere fundamentally broken to have to talk to the HS GF knowing what we went through before. I don't think it is a regular ongoing thing, but it was a clear hard 'don't talk to her ever again'.
I don't have the energy to be tracking him, checking on him, etc. We all have seen that people just take it more underground. I don't have the mental energy to be doing that.
That's what I'm stuck with. I have to figure out can I live with that?
I thank you all for the poignant advice. At the end of the day, I guess I need to figure out what I can live with and what I can't live with. I'm past the revenge and mad stage. I'm at the sad stage. I always thought he had my back. I guess I overestimated him.
We may have some generic conversations like "how do you deal with someone who betrayed you?" "how do you get back trust from a family member who has broken it?" Let's see if he comes clean of his own volition before I send the letter to the OBS.
thank you all.
Olderandhappier ( member #75702) posted at 4:30 PM on Monday, May 15th, 2023
Sorry you are going through this. I am less qualified to comment as I only recently discovered my WW’s recent EA which sounds like it was less developed than your H’s. Her AP was not really interested despite my WW’s efforts chasing him. Boundaries in my case were ultimately observed but were not in the place that i would want them to be. I was disrespected and my WW’s reaction to being caught was very bad (denial, minimisation and some excuses that shd sit in the JFO Hall of Fame if there ever was one). My trust has gone and will take a long time to return.
I have reflected a lot on the initial actions I took. I took a while to knock her off the pedestal. The delay helped me to uncover more. Taking a tough approach as advised by most here was the only way to get her to take me seriously. Words or talk of ultimatums to WW didn’t accomplish very much in my case. It was only when I made here take 2 polygraphs and then walked out and left the country for 10 days, consulted my D lawyer to consider my options and did the 180 whilst away that my WW woke up. She has been much better since but it is very early days for our R.
tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 7:43 PM on Monday, May 15th, 2023
Do NOT play games it's childish and won't get the response you want.
Do NOT confront, or make demands unless you are able to stick to your consequences. In other words, if he is breaking NC, and the A is still ongoing, do not tell him it stops now or D happens if you have no plans to move forward w/ a D.
Empty threats show them that they can do whatever they want, that you won't enforce any boundary.
Now if you are ready to act, then definitely do.
My story involves several instances over about 2 mos of breaking NC. What ended it? Me having enough. Handing him my rings, telling him he has 15 min to get what he needed and get out of the house, I'd be in touch w/ his mother to let her know when he could see the kids. Knowing I had seen an attorney, and had the cash set aside to file. That also is what gave me the wherewithall to say no more. I was ready to be done. Had he not pulled his head from his ass at that point I was perfectly fine moving forward w/ D.
Kids: 22 & 25
Married for 30 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.
BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 8:23 PM on Monday, May 15th, 2023
If you want to set him off balance, then simply file for divorce and have him served without warning. When he asks why, simply say, "You know exactly why."
Also, send the certified letter to her husband now. He deserves to know what his wife is doing behind his back.
[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 8:25 PM, Monday, May 15th]
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried
I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.
Tanner ( Guide #72235) posted at 8:43 PM on Monday, May 15th, 2023
He doesn’t deserve a confrontation or a chance to explain. He’s just going to lie and minimize. File D and send the letter.
Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R BH M 32 years
BoundaryBuilder ( member #78439) posted at 1:36 AM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023
"Actions, not words" a standard SI catchphrase, applies to BS as well as betraying partners (hate the term wayward - I envision a poor lost soul wandering in a blizzard or straying off the edge of a cliff).
He doesn’t deserve a confrontation or a chance to explain. He’s just going to lie and minimize. File D and send the letter
Agreed. So take action. Don't play games. Don't have a discussion about trust, or lay a trap to see if he'll confess. You mentioned a couple of times that you wonder if it was a semi-annual check-in with his "complicated" ex or ongoing communication.... gently, does it matter? Whatever it was, it was NOT acceptable, or appropriate. My two cents, with the hope that it will help you - is it possible there's more there you aren't seeing? Interesting that the communication happened when he was traveling for work, and they discussed getting together for dinner. Big NO - heck no! Texting a photo of a BED with the caption "tempted" - double heck No! LOVE YOUs exchanged - NO NO NO. The bed stuff and communicating/"getting together" while away for work is all too familiar for me. This was H's MO. They mostly texted each other non-stop when he was away from home. He hid the PA by lying about his work schedule. And, HS GF AP and H coyly flirted about "bed" and "bath" for months before they crossed the line into a PA. She sent your H a photo of a BED? She should have cut-to-the-chase and sent a nude selfie.
Myalterego, this hard line is easy for me to propose, 'cause I'm not you. You have to do what feels right for you. I do know if my H EVER opened the door to HS GF AP again, after all we went through and after all his promises, I would be DONE. Again, that's me. H and I have already been to the edge of that cliff. Post D-day, after about two months of shock, I was ready to D him, and believe me I meant it when I said it. And he knew it. He's had one chance. No second chances in our house! What do YOU want? Do you want to stay with him? Okay - your choice. But, to invoke another catch phrase around here "sometimes you have to be willing to lose the marriage to save the marriage." This was true for me. Perhaps it's true for you as well. Allowing him to hit bottom without throwing him a rope may be necessary to take responsibility for his choices. Consequences. But you must really be willing to proceed with D. No threatening D and not meaning it! Actions not words. Intention and resolve are required now.
Best wishes, and TOTAL commiseration about the f'd up ridiculousness, yet visceral gut punch of our partners choosing to betray with a HS GF. They were willing to risk the marriage for THAT? To add insult to injury, in my sitch she's a GF he didn't care that much about. She’s not a long lost first love, they weren’t kept apart by cruel fate. Their brief high school liaison ended when she cheated on him and dumped his ass for another guy! Figures, right? I don't think they’d spared each other much thought over the last 43 years. Until she fished him on FaceBook.
**IMO, for the record, sometimes the affair with a HS ex is not about "a HS girlfriend/boyfriend relationship that never ended" or "the one that got away". Sometimes the appeal of a HS ex (or "just an old HS friend", or brother/sister of a HS friend, and so on) is simple - they're someone who remembers the betraying partner when they were young. Their shared history lends an easy fake familiarity. And, if they physically bonded in HS, the re-kindling of the connection (although a fantasy) can accelerate the A from 0-60 in a surprisingly short time. In my H's case - what better false mirror of his former self could an unhappy geezer gaze into than an old HS GF? Her ego kibble flavor was especially potent because she knew him back when, and they shared some early physical experiences. It was that simple. And a pathetic cliche to boot.**
Myalterego, take care of YOU, whatever you decide.
[This message edited by BoundaryBuilder at 6:01 PM, Wednesday, May 17th]
Married 33 years w/one adult daughter
ME:BW 64 HIM:WH 65
13 month texting EA with high school X who fished him on Facebook 43 years later
PA=15 days spread over final 3 months D-Day=April 21, 2018
PricklePatch ( member #34041) posted at 2:27 AM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023
You have some great advice. I think the key is to get three good lawyers consultations, keep your evidence in a place outside the house. Have him served, when he asks why say HS let me know. That’s it.
Sick2Death ( new member #24681) posted at 4:39 AM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023
I sat and watched for 6 months. I gathered a lot of information. I would set recorder in car and make sure his location is on.
I just couldn’t wait for him to be honest I just snapped at him one night.
I suspect he has her number in his phone under a different name. Mine did. I was unemotional this time and very deliberate and it scared the crap out of him. He has been going to IC … first time ever. I wish I had done this the first time then perhaps it wouldn’t have happened 12 years later for me.
Thinking of you.
BS Me 52 WH 54 Married 28 years
First D-day July 1, 2009, trickle truth for months after
Numerous ONS, 2 yr EA with LLL and various internet & phone sex interludes.
Thought we were R.
Jan 2023 Groundhog Day… another EA, 6 months.
The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 7:32 AM on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023
I’m in the same category of experience as SickToDeath and BoundaryBuilder.
Had I stood up to him after his first 4 year EA (which I now believe was also a PA) there may not have been a second mid life crisis affair.
The second time around I did the hard 180 and threw him out. He refused to leave. Ha! He thought he could manipulate me. He very quickly learned what a stubborn hard headed person I am. I planned to D him and there was nothing he could do.
He now knows he cannot manipulate me into getting what he wants. I never back down and refuse to compromise on certain things.
He had the perfect life. Even his friends were envious of him. Too bad he didn’t appreciate it.
PS it’s been 10 years since Dday 2 and I still refuse to do his laundry.
Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.