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Newest Member: Isthereapoint

Just Found Out :
Trust is gone. So is my sanity..


 MovingOnCautiously (original poster new member #83808) posted at 12:46 AM on Sunday, September 3rd, 2023

After doing a lot of reading over the past few days, I've decided I may aswell share my story in hopes I'll find an answer from some internet strangers that I can't seem to find from anyone I know personally.

We're now a fair few weeks in so a lot has happened. This may be quite long and jumbled - I'll happily fill in any blanks or explain any confusion in my replies.

Me- 29

WS- 41

We have been together (unmarried) for just over 9 years and share two children together (7 & 2). He also has older children from a previous.

On July 17th this year my world shattered when I found out that he had been having a physical affair with a woman at work.

To add insult to injury it was my Mum that actually had to deliver the fatal blow.

The OW had been trying to contact me on Social Media, on an account I haven't used for years. When she got no response she decided to seek out my Mum and inform her instead sad

OW sent a message to my Mum saying that they had been sleeping together for around 3/4 months and sent a screenshot of their messages to eachother. My Mum immediately flew round to mine and told me.

I called WS immediately and told him to come home, pack his things and leave.

He instantly tried to downplay that it was just messages before coming clean and admitting. Went to stay at his Mums.

In order to try and cut out my Mum from the equation I asked for OW's number and called her that evening when I was alone.

OW told me that WS told her he had been sleeping on our sofa for a year, that our relationship was over and the only reason he was still living at our house was because he was tied into the mortgage, that he worked outside of his day job as a debt collector, amongst other random stories which I'm sure I'll remember as I continue to post.

She knew all about his family (parents/siblings/older children) Personal/painful stories from his childhood, the fact his daughter is expecting later on this year, his mums health struggles etc.

I kept my cool and corrected her when necessary, we do not and never have had a mortgage, we have rented the same house for the last 8 years. He has never worked as a debt collector (i personally found this hilarious- is this some kind of bravado lie??)

To which she responded saying she feels she doesnt even know him, and that she was shaking and felt physically sick..

Hang on... SHE feels sick?!

She explained she only questioned it when she had asked him to go and see her during his week off work and he sent her a photo of a smashed up car (supposedly his) as an excuse not to go. She then found the same photo online and got suspicious.

I asked her why she had chosen to 'out' their affair now and her response was 'I'm pregnant'

At this point I put down the phone as I couldn't bear to hear any more.

She tried to call back a few times which I ignored.

The following morning I receive 81 screenshots from her of their sordid messages to eachother, sexual, flirtatious conversations amongst some bickering between them. (Upon re-reading the screenshots over the coming days I noticed from dates and context that it hadn't been going on for as long as she said - maybe 6/7 weeks). Again I didn't respond.

Then around an hour later she sends a text (contradicting her earlier story that me and WS were separated)

Her text in short read (very innelligably) that her and all of her 'nabers' -(neighbours) know that me and our children are his world. That she never thought in her 36 years of life she would need to have a termination but she feels its for the best. That she's never been with a taken man before and that she hopes I find some 'closer' - (closure). Again ignored and blocked

You can see the sort of woman I'm dealing with here duh

Myself and WS arranged for him to come round in the evenings when the kids were asleep to try and have a discussion about the whats and the whys. He explained he had slept with her 5/6 times and that he had ended it (whatever 'it' was) a few weeks before and that she had been harassing him with messages/calls since.. He answered a few of my questions, but I was still too raw to want to hear it I think. I went from wanting to know every gory detail to not wanting to know. He kept trying to protect me from deep details which tbh in hindsight would have made no impact and probably made me feel worse. It was just a giant sh*tshow.

Over the last month(s) He has been remorseful and promised it won't happen again.

But I'm really struggling with the trust. Everytime his phone pings or he walks out the door my heart drops.

He tells me to look on his phone but me trying to be the 'bigger' person so to speak, refuses.

I think in part because I want to try and hide my paranoia both from him and probably myself. But also in part because I'm fearful of what it would do to me if I did find anything.

He has moved back home and we've been trying to work through things as best as possible. However I feel that our version of working through things is me putting on a facade that I'm fine when inside I'm not and him trying to rug sweep anytime some kind of level of confrontation arises. He takes accountability for what he has done but also says that a lot of the story that has come from her side is bull****. I just don't know what/ who to believe? Tbh I don't believe either of them.

I get he doesn't want to keep going over it but it doesn't go away overnight. It arises over the silliest of things. It's becoming a minefield trying to work out how to move forward and keep things as normal as possible for the kids, whilst still trying to focus on my own healing.

I have a few days where things are great and I feel level headed and then it hits me like a ton of bricks again, resulting in false pretences, snide comments and ultimately yet another argument. He senses the shift in my mood and asks whats wrong, I bring up something we've probably already discussed 100 times and then he loses his temper. This seems to be the recurring theme at the moment. It's like he thinks because we've had discussions, that it's spoken about, dealt with and forgotten.

From reading a lot of posts on here I can see that their is no 'right' way to greive/heal/cope but I just don't see any way forward, I can't seem to get away from the triggers, or intrusive thoughts.

I've found myself reading the post on here 'honey they always affair down' every morning just to try and give myself a boost to get through the day.

He says he doesn't know why he did it, she put it on a plate and he crumbled..

I found out only last week that WS had plans to propose to me when we go on holiday later this year, backed up with evidence he had on his phone of rings etc dating back to before the affair. So you can understand my confusion. How can you be planning to propose to the person you love and yet be swayed to sleep with someone else so easily?

To add.. WS works/ed in construction so he was assigned to rennovate properties on her street. So yes he was checking more than just her pipework barf

He actually lost his job a couple of weeks before I found out about the affair for reasons unrelated. So that has been a blessing and a curse. Financially we've took a major hit which hasn't helped stress wise and plus we're under eachothers feet as I only work part time but positively he's away from her.

I have had no contact from her since she was blocked and as far as I am aware neither has WS.

I have no idea if she is/was pregnant or whether it was just a woman scorned but I have physical nightmares of her turning up at my door with a baby in (x) months time.

This sounds so jumbled but I'm trying to cram as much info in without going on too much, will happily fill in any blanks as they arise.

I just need some advice/support in knowing what to do.. what I'm even doing currently.. because at the moment it feels as though I'm just going through the motions of day to day life not knowing what to trust or believe. crying

[This message edited by MovingOnCautiously at 1:26 AM, Sunday, September 3rd]

posts: 4   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2023   ·   location: United Kingdom
id 8806375

annb ( member #22386) posted at 11:35 AM on Sunday, September 3rd, 2023

Hi, welcome to SI. So sorry you find yourself a member of the best club no one wants to join.

First of all, please both of you get tested for STDs. A must. Secondly, I'd insist your partner give you a timeline of the affair. Every sordid detail. Understand he cannot downplay his role, it doesn't matter who the aggressor was, he took the bait.

Secondly, keep in mind the OW is a liar as well. She may or may not be pregnant, but it sounds as though she was invested in the affair and your husband was using her for sex.

Both you and your partner need IC. He needs to figure out why he slid down the slippery slope, and you need help processing this trauma.

Ask him to read How to Help your Spouse Heal from an Affair, just a couple hours read.

He also has to understand he cannot get defensive, your lives have been turned upside down, there's no quick fix, it takes YEARS to heal from infidelity, not weeks or months.

You have every right to ask questions, repeatedly over and over until YOU don't want to ask them again.

Promises are worthless, he needs to prove his faithfulness to you with actions. Is he completely transparent with his phone, social media, emails, etc.? Is he accountable for his whereabouts at all times?

You are going through stages of grief, you are probably in shock, but understand the anger will come if it hasn't already, and your partner has to be prepared to deal with it.

Unfortunately, you will have triggers for a long time. Please don't rug sweep his actions, he screwed up, he needs to step up, the burden of healing rests on his shoulders.

He needs to SEE the devastation he has caused, you cannot be the loving partner who is just so secure in herself that you refuse to look at his phone or putting on a facade to keep the peace. Let all those emotions out, all of them. You are doing your own version of rug sweeping.

When I found out about my WH affair, the first couple of months I was in shock, then the anger hit, it was rage I had never ever felt before, and he witnessed my anger and hurt and distrust and disgust. Over and over for a very long time.

Others will be along, weekends are a bit slow, so just be patient and post as often as you need to.

Sending a virtual hug.....

Edited to add: Please, please do not consider marriage until he has proven he is trustworthy. Consistent actions on his part.

[This message edited by annb at 11:36 AM, Sunday, September 3rd]

posts: 11966   ·   registered: Jan. 10th, 2009   ·   location: Northeast
id 8806397

 MovingOnCautiously (original poster new member #83808) posted at 3:57 PM on Sunday, September 3rd, 2023

Thankyou for your reply and kind words.

I have ordered an at home kit so awaiting that being delivered.

He has shown transparency in certain aspects.
When I found out about the A I immediately changed his number (contract in my name) which he was happy to do.
However I couldn't shake the feeling that he may have OW's number stored in his phone still. Thinking although she may not be able to contact him due to the number change - he might still have hers to call on her and reinstate whatever it was when he feels like it.
I put him on the spot and asked to type her number in the keypad to prove that it wasn't in his phone even under a different name.
He agreed immediately and the number wasn't in his phone at all.
To add - he also has removed himself off all social media. I have had friends and family check to confirm.

He is very family orientated so spends a lot of time with his brother/older children. Whenever I call he always says 'say hello to daughter/ brother' in order to reaffirm he is where he says he is.
When A first came to light he practically begged and promised to do anything to help, suggested putting a tracker on his phone etc (I havent).

I genuinely don't believe anything is going on currently however that's not to say that anything won't happen again in the future.
If things get tough is he just going to jump ship at the drop of a hat, or shall we say a pair of knickers rolleyes

IC I find isn't as common in the UK as it is in the US and financially we're unfortunately not in a position to seek IC as much as I feel I would benefit from it.
WS hates anything to do with opening up about feelings and proceeds to mock me at times 'for sitting him on my couch' if I try and have a deep open conversation so i dont believe there is any way he would even consider IC.

From typing my above reply I can see he has been trying to ease my paranoia but I feel its not enough - even though I don't know what I actually expect from him.

In regards to him sharing details, there has been times he has shared more than I was aware of (sometimes portraying him in a negative light) but when he does it contradicts what she has said.

For example, she told me on the phone that her partner had recently been murdered and that she had text my WS after a few drinks one night looking for sympathy/compassion etc. They ended up exchanging messages and slept together when he went to work the following morning.

My WS told me that she had come to the door in 'some pink thing' (I'm assuming some kind of lingerie) and he had given in.

So I'm unsure if it is her story, his story or a combination of the two.

I do agree with you in saying that she was invested more than he was.
I got that impression from their messages.
My WS seemed the enjoy the flirtatious 'chat' side of it but I noticed on a few occasions she had asked him to go and visit her outside of work and he didn't turn up. (She lives about an hour away) Cue her sending a sh**y message saying if he wasn't coming he could have let her know save her sitting waiting on him all evening.

He told me he has seen her twice outside of work, but no sexual contact. First time he took her to the shop and they spoke in the car.
Second time (and this is my major trigger) she had booked a hotel (I did see a screenshot of a reservation in her name) he says that he went over and had a drink with her in the bar but didn't go to the room (do I believe this, probably not).
The trigger comes because when I spoke with her on the phone she said where do you think he was the night before 'daughter' told you she was pregnant and I just replied 'with you'.
She didn't say where, how long for etc.
I then looked at the timeline of events from that time..
I had had a serious mental breakdown one morning (not like me at all however was under a lot of stress) which resulted in a huge argument and WS didn't come home that night. The following day he came home, another argument and left again, he then stayed out til around 1am before picking up his son from a night out and dropping him home (the part about picking up son is correct as I spoke to son on the phone at the time (around 1-1.30am)
Daughter then tells us she is pregnant.
WS says that I know he picked up son that night so that confirms he didnt stay- his version is he saw her at the hotel bar and then left to collect Son.
But then where was he the night before when he didn't actually come home?!
I can't work out if she has her lines crossed about which day they met at the hotel or if he is lying about the day and what happened.
I feel like the time I needed his support the most rather than do that, he went to be with her.

Their messages also discuss said hotel. With him telling her he will reimburse her the cost of the hotel - is this because he didn't stay? Who knows?! She was fairly selective with the screenshots she sent so I only saw sections of conversations.

He also told me (for no real reason) that when he had ended things and started ignoring her calls she then proceeded to send him 3 screenshots full of private messages from her social media inbox of other men and quoted 'its fine, if you don't want me, I'm sure one of these men will' barf

I find emotionally I keep flitting between rage, depression, doing okay on repeat.
I feel like I need some clarity on what went on, a timeline like you say, but trying to get it just results in arguments despite him saying he's committed to doing anything to fix this.

As for the marriage thing, when he told me his plans I said ' do you know, its just sad, that's the only word, sad. Because I would have said yes in a heartbeat but now you've ruined whatever future I felt like I may of had planned'

When we found out hs daughter was pregnant we had discussed what bearing it would have on our future in regards to more children (with me being significantly younger I felt I wanted one more) and we worried and had deep conversations about how it would seem for him to be becoming a grandparent yet still having children with me. This conversation was happening whilst he was still sleeping with her!
What is this, some kind of double life?!

I just feel like he has taken away any plans I had, any future I had hoped for.
I had hoped for marriage, more children but now I feel like I don't even want any of that. Like how dare you crush my dreams and for what?! A quick leg over with some trollop?!

posts: 4   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2023   ·   location: United Kingdom
id 8806410

Justsomeguy ( member #65583) posted at 7:33 PM on Sunday, September 3rd, 2023

There is so much to unpack here, and some of the more seasoned members here will certainly help you with that. My main piece of advice is to take it slow and process everything. If your WH says anything, run it by the members here before you respond. The multiple perspectives here will really help you make sense of things, especially when you are in the "in shock" phase.

The OP, quite frankly, sounds like a bunny boiler, so I would be very cautious in dealing with her. Your WH is most likely in self preservation mode and will say anything to get out of trouble. Trust nothing.

The very fact that he says he does not know why he did it should automatically disqualify him as a safe partner, and until he digs into his why's, you should not consider R. You say he does not like to open up. Well, it's time to grow up and start opening up. Many people say they hate exercise until they have a major health scare, and then, voila, they find it in themselves to suddenly make a life change. Deeds not words. More specifically, deeds over time.

Me:55 STBXWW:55 DD#1: false confession of EA Dec. 2016. False R for a year.DD#2: confessed to year long PA Dec. 2 2017 (was about to be outed)Called it off and filed. Denied having an affair in court papers.

Divorced 2022!!!!

posts: 1579   ·   registered: Jul. 25th, 2018   ·   location: Canada
id 8806426

sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 9:52 PM on Sunday, September 3rd, 2023

Just a few words to say your emotional response to finding out about your H's A(ffair) is pretty normal. It takes some months to restore a semblance of stability in yourself. If you stay together, it takes quite a bit longer to get a sense of stability for your relationship.

You're a human being, though, and we have resources we don't know about until we need them. We can continue to live and act in directions want to go even under the tremendous stressors of infidelity and job loss. It's not easy. It's not fair. It sucks. But we can heal.

The thing is: at least IMO, a BS needs to take charge of their own healing. My reco is to ask yourself questions like:

What does my gut say I want?

Do I want to live the rest of my life with my WS?

How would I live a good life if I D?

What would I need from my WS to R?

Some pretty standard requirements are:

Honesty - no more lies, answers all questions;

IC for WS with a goal of changing from cheater to good partner;

Transparency - access to all the media he uses, he keeps you informed at virtually all times of hi activities, locations, and companions;

IC for you if there are thing you want to change about yourself, 'cause you can't change your WS.

MC is controversial. Too many MCs blame the M for As - but the M didn't fail any of us. Our WSes failed at being good partners. Sitting in MC sessions in which the C is mainly about what you both did to contribute to the vulnerability to cheating is very demoralizing for BSes - and wrong.

OTOH, some MCs realize the A is traumatic and has to be dealt with before any healing work can be done on the M. These MCs hold WSes to account and call them on their lies - and the most important lies are the ones they tell themselves. My W got us in with her IC on d-day, and her IC, it turns out, is the 2nd type. We worked on the A and my W's associated crap until I was ready to move on.

So I think MC with a good MC is helpful early. BSes who were initially told they were part of the problem disagree. I think a good IC could really help your H get his head out into open air and help him deal with the reality of his sitch, if you can find one.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 9:56 PM, Sunday, September 3rd]

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: 29032   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8806440

leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 11:57 PM on Sunday, September 3rd, 2023

So sorry that you had to find SI. Please read the posts pinned at the top of the forum because they have a lot of great information. Also, the Healing Library is an amazing resource and contains the list of acronyms we use.

The way your emotions, thoughts and brain are acting? It's a fairly normal response to trauma.

Does your WBF say that he wants to reconcile? If so, there's a ton of work he needs to do to become a safe partner. His mocking of you at times is a manipulation behavior and is borderline abusive.

The book How To Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair by Linda MacDonald is a good primer for the wayward. It's around 100 pages and has some very practical advice. Also, Not Just Friends by Dr. Shirley Glass is a good resource. NJF has good information on setting boundaries with people outside of your relationship. Well, she uses the term marriage, but the principle for your exclusive relationship is the same.

Cheaters lie. They lie a lot, and then they lie some more. I wouldn't trust much of what either of them say. As for him, watch his actions. Healing from infidelity takes YEARS.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 2676   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8806453

BoundaryBuilder ( member #78439) posted at 12:50 AM on Monday, September 4th, 2023

So sorry your partner put you and the kids in this situation. One aspect of your situation (besides the heartbreak and crazy-making) is concerning. He has kids from a previous marriage - they appear to be older so no child support, correct? Is he paying spousal support for their mother? You and he have two kids together - NO marriage. Common law marriage parameters vary depending upon jurisdiction - no idea what common law marriage looks like in the UK. OW claims to be pregnant. OW sounds like a lying piece of work, but it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting your kids. I'm no lawyer (my standard SI disclaimer) but seems a BIG priority should be filing official paperwork (whatever that looks like in UK) to get your kids next in the queue for their fair-share financial support -whether you stay or go, whether OW is pregnant or not. The A and nutty, elaborate lying demonstrate he's not a steady and reliable partner, so it's risky to assume he'd be a responsible partner going forward. IMO, marrying him not a great plan unless he digs deep with IC to understand WHY he thought it was okay to betray you. And he should reliably prove he's a safe partner, and demonstrate this repeatedly over time BEFORE reconciliation. In the meantime, please discuss with a lawyer what you need to do to protect the kids - and how to protect yourself. Know you're emotionally reeling after d-day, and managing the day to day response to trauma is (understandably!) a main focus. Please don't lose sight of the big picture. Addressing finances to protect your family should also be a priority. Especially when a potential Other Child is part of the picture.

Why did his first marriage break-up?

[This message edited by BoundaryBuilder at 4:11 AM, Monday, September 4th]

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

posts: 188   ·   registered: Mar. 4th, 2021
id 8806458

This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 2:23 AM on Monday, September 4th, 2023

Agree you need to find out why the first marriage ended. If it was cheating, that makes it repeat behavior.

You are probably still going to get trickle truth. You need a complete written timeline of the A and preferably a polygraph to confirm (and that there were no other previous affairs).

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

posts: 2491   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8806465

 MovingOnCautiously (original poster new member #83808) posted at 10:49 AM on Monday, September 4th, 2023

I havent worked out how to reply specifically to individual points- if someone could advise it would really help?

He has mentioned before that partly the reason for the A was that we were going through a rough patch, I was stressed with being a mother, he was stressed with work and we were neglecting eachother which I agree with. We had become like passing ships. He has asked for many years for me to show more affection towards him. Kids come along and they become the focus rather than eachother. Which essentially resulted in him finding affection from someone else when he wasn't getting it at home.

WS and Ex were never married. They got together as teenagers and tried over years to make it work ornthe sake of the kids but they were just two different people.
Yes correct his previous children are adults now so no child maintenance payments anymore.

Tbh even though I am nearly 30 I have no friends of my age that are actually married at the moment. Always surprises me when I see things on TV of American teens marrying after leaving school. Its just not really the done thing in the UK. Most tend to live common law for many years if not forever.

When a separation occurs and children are involved, you can apply to the CSA to enforce child maintenance payments if the other parent doesn't pay willingly.
As were not married I'm not sure a lawyer would be needed as there would be nothing to sort financually moving forward should we separate. It would simply be he moves out, pays maintenance and sees the children when agreed. We have no shared finances or accounts, our house is rented not mortgaged etc. Which makes things a lot less messy should separation be the result.

As for the OW & OC situation I don't know whether it's worth doing some digging to find out if she is actually expecting or if it was all bull*** to try and cling onto my WS.
I do not want to have any contact with her personally as I don't feel the need to give her any more satisfaction about the situation however i would like to prepare myself should an OC be on the cards. Has anyone been in this position with a potential OC? How did you deal?

Last night WS was on his phone and I asked to see what he was doing. He wasn't doing anything suspicious but it resulted in him going through his contacts one by one and i am satisfied there is noone on there that shouldn't be. He again reiterated to me that he was sorry, that it wouldn't happen again and that he wouldn't do anything to hurt me in future.

I need to find the right time to sit and have a discussion about timeline of events as I feel I don't know how else I'll be able to put it behind me without cards on the table.

Thankfully family and friends have been really understanding and supportive in my decision to stay and try.
Family were so surprised, noone expected it from him. Particularly my MIL, she was heartbroken.
It sound so silly but I feel shame towards them on his behalf, is that normal?

posts: 4   ·   registered: Aug. 30th, 2023   ·   location: United Kingdom
id 8806477

leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 3:07 PM on Monday, September 4th, 2023

Which essentially resulted in him finding affection from someone else when he wasn't getting it at home.

Those are all rationalizations and are not excuses for cheating. If those excuses were true, I would have been the one to cheat. A grown person would discuss issues with you, they can discuss it with you, try to find solutions and if no solutions can be found, then D before cheating. You can't solve your problems by falling on somebody else's genitals. He needs to dig deep to find out why he thought having an A would be the right solution to the M issues. Maybe if he'd been more invested in your relationship, you would have given more affection.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 2676   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8806488

ChamomileTea ( Moderator #53574) posted at 3:37 PM on Monday, September 4th, 2023

I havent worked out how to reply specifically to individual points- if someone could advise it would really help?

The handiest way is to use the quote box icon which you'll find above or below the text window that you're writing in. Just copy and paste the selected remarks, highlight, and click the quote icon. Alternatively, you can use the HTML format brackets. It would look similar to [qu0te]Selected text here[/qu0te]. (I used "0" instead of "o" in the word "quote" so it would be visible.)
Use "preview message" to see if your quote boxes are present.

He has mentioned before that partly the reason for the A was that we were going through a rough patch, I was stressed with being a mother, he was stressed with work and we were neglecting eachother which I agree with. We had become like passing ships. He has asked for many years for me to show more affection towards him. Kids come along and they become the focus rather than eachother. Which essentially resulted in him finding affection from someone else when he wasn't getting it at home.

If those are his reasons, he can't fix that. This is the problem with the "unmet needs" fallacy. It leaves you jumping through hoops and always anxious that you're not filling the bill well enough to keep your WS honest. It's basically an abdication of responsibility whereby HIS cheating is contingent on YOUR behavior. shocked

I'm going to copy and paste and old post so as to save myself some typing, but yeah, I've BTDT on the "unmet needs" fallacy. Long story short.. it doesn't come out well.

My own WH went on a Craigslist binge seven years ago, multiple partners, various degrees of emotional attachment. He even thought he was in love at one point. But ten years before that, I'd caught him out in some online shenanigans, porn, cybersexing, emotional affair, etc. In fact, I caught him out only two weeks before a planned meet-up. I'd already seen an attorney before I confronted him and I was bent on divorce, but he pretty much cried his way out of it and I settled on MC. As you might have guessed already, we too were bamboozled with the "unmet needs" model of therapy, which sounds so reasonable. I upped my wife game, and did my best pick-me polka, but within a couple of years, he was right back at it behind my back. By the time we reached the ten year mark, he had screwed up his nerve to go live and in person on Craigslist.

Of course, I was pretty shocked as you might imagine. I thought we were good. I thought his "needs" were met. Damned if I hadn't been turning myself inside out for a decade to make sure, right? The more I thought about it, the more I revisited what I knew about the "unmet needs model", the less it made sense. I was doing everything right and he still CHOSE to cheat.

Here's the fly in the "unmet needs" ointment...

Healthy ADULTS don't need to be validated. They validate internally. Healthy adults are self-fruitful in the matter of contentment and life satisfaction, and when things come up which make them unhappy, they address the cause and solve the problem. OTOH, the vast majority of cheaters cheat because they're seeking external validation. They are NOT emotionally healthy. They can't do it on their own. They've got a hole inside them and no amount of external validation will fill it. Certainly, the old and familiar validation of a spouse doesn't get the job done. Our "kibbles" are stale and boring. They don't create enough adrenaline anymore to make the cheater feel special. It's like getting an "atta boy" from your mom, right?

This is old pop-psy which is still being taught in schools and still selling books. But it's bullshit. NOTHING you can do (or fail to do) can MAKE another person throw away their core values and do something that's in this kind of opposition to good character. If you're a person who BELIEVES in fidelity, who VALUES fidelity, you don't cheat. End of story. Because when we truly value something we protect it. The cheater has a "but..." in his values system. ie. "I believe in fidelity, but... not if my needs aren't being met." For people like you and me, we have a "so..." in our values system. ie. "I believe in fidelity, so... I don't put myself in risky situations with the opposite sex." This is the BOUNDARY we create organically. We don't sit around planning it out. It just happens, because it's innate to our character to protect what we value. The cheater doesn't have those boundaries because he doesn't really honor his values. He only claims to.

I'm not saying that your marriage is over or that your WH can't change. What I am saying though is that this "unmet needs" model is NOT going to challenge him to clean up his flawed character. In fact, it allows him to offload responsibility onto the marriage and onto YOU. It's not your job to MAKE him feel (fill-in-the-blank-here). It never was. It's his job to manage his feelings. You could have been doing everything exactly perfect for the entire length of your marriage, and he would still have cheated... because there's NOTHING in his character stopping him and he has no coping mechanism to fall back on when he feels unvalidated, inadequate, unappreciated, etc.

It's HIS job to see that his "needs" get met. Sometimes that might mean negotiating with you, say if it's about sex or about the division of labor in your home, etc. But sometimes, it might mean that what he sees as a "need" is unhealthy in an adult, like external validation through attention and flattery.

MC's are there to treat the marriage. The marriage is the client. So, of course they're going to talk about communications, resentments and expectations. The MC doesn't want to alienate anyone, so s/he's looking to find balance on both sides. But marriages don't cheat. People do. The only way your WH is going to make a change that safeguards against further perfidy is by correcting his need for external validation and becoming an emotionally healthy adult whose deeds are as good as his word. No excuses, just honoring the things he claims to value. For that, I would recommend IC (individual counseling) with a therapist who is well-versed in adultery.

The last thing any newly-minted BS needs is to walk into an MC's office, believing that they've come to safe harbor, and being handed a copy of The Five Love Languages or some other "unmet needs" gobbledygook. It would be really nice if we actually did have the power to control our mate by giving them "acts of service" or "words of affirmation", but sadly, we aren't gods who can stop a cheater from seeking out his/her choice of adrenaline rush and new kibbles. Although, this kind of pop-psy suggests that their behavior is somehow our responsibility. The more you dig into this ridiculous line of thought, the more absurd it becomes.

Anyway... sorry for the lengthy post. Nothing fries my ass more than seeing new BS's being sold this bill of goods.

As for the OW & OC situation I don't know whether it's worth doing some digging to find out if she is actually expecting or if it was all bull*** to try and cling onto my WS.
I do not want to have any contact with her personally as I don't feel the need to give her any more satisfaction about the situation however i would like to prepare myself should an OC be on the cards. Has anyone been in this position with a potential OC? How did you deal?

One of the OW did try to pull this scam on my WH after he broke it off. He'd been giving her money and gifts so she wanted to try and extort a little more cash from him. Also, I think he pissed her off so she wanted to freak him out. We basically just waited her out. OW's can only pretend to be pregnant for so long, right? Eventually, they need to either produce an infant or shove off. We let her know that we viewed her attempts to solicit cash as extortion and that if she continued, we'd bring in law enforcement, then went NC.

Mind you, that outcome isn't the same for everyone. Sometimes, the OC is real. The false claims are common enough though that I wouldn't respond to anything less than an actual infant and a positive DNA test.

Last night WS was on his phone and I asked to see what he was doing. He wasn't doing anything suspicious but it resulted in him going through his contacts one by one and i am satisfied there is noone on there that shouldn't be. He again reiterated to me that he was sorry, that it wouldn't happen again and that he wouldn't do anything to hurt me in future.

This isn't the same as making actual repairs to the character flaws which allowed him to say "yes!" to perfidy. If promises were good enough, he wouldn't have cheated at all because he's made those promises before. In order for you to feel good about R, it's important that you know he has remediated his poor character, that he has realigned his values system so that lying and cheating are no longer optional. WHY did he do it? You aren't responsible for his "whys". He is. What was missing in him that made him so needy for attention, flattery, sex, or whatever it was that he was willing to throw his integrity out the window?

Family were so surprised, noone expected it from him. Particularly my MIL, she was heartbroken.
It sound so silly but I feel shame towards them on his behalf, is that normal?

Just hazarding a guess, but I'd say you're maybe internalizing the blame a bit, like you did something wrong which somehow caused your WH to react by cheating. While that is pretty normal, it truly wasn't your fault. Sometimes, it just takes time to really let it sink in. The more you learn about infidelity though, the more you will see that cheating is about the cheater, and that the cheater is the only one who can fix himself.

Being the victim of intimate betrayal can be very traumatizing. So much of what you're going through is a natural response to how the body and mind respond to that trauma. You know, "the lizard brain" can't really distinguish between emotional danger and the clear and present kind. Your body ends up flooded with adrenaline and cortisol either way as the amygdala send out the "fight, flight, or freeze" signal.

We can't logic our way around trauma no matter how much we talk to ourselves. We ruminate 24/7 trying to make sense of the insensible. All of that is NORMAL, as you might read in books like The Body Keeps Score by Bessel van der Kolk or The Journey from Abandonment to Healing by Susan Anderson. We are human animals and this is how we respond to emotional trauma. We are hardwired from birth to bond, and when that bond is shattered, we have to process it. It takes whatever time it takes.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 40 years; in R with fWH for 8

posts: 6915   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8806496
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