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Newest Member: Watermelonhigh

Wayward Side :
Need advice - did I cheat and should I tell?

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ThisIsSoLonely ( Guide #64418) posted at 5:45 PM on Monday, May 27th, 2024

This is an interesting issue to grapple with. My WH views porn - still. I never thought of it as cheating (nor do I now), but it bothered me because I think it was a big kick to my ego in the "why do you want to look at other people fucking - why am I not enough?" kind of way. That being said for awhile I found myself reading erotic literature and realized I was getting the same kind of excitement out of it that he likely was from porn - and for the same reasons you describe. I did not, and do not consider it cheating - but I found myself having to reconcile why it was okay for me and not okay for him. Ultimately I had to accept that if it was something I wanted to do, then I had to be okay with him doing something similar. While you behavior sounds different in that there was (theoretically) some IRL person behind the words and photos, the result is ultimately the same.

So I would ask, if the tables were turned and you found out your spouse was doing the same thing, how would you feel? And I mean more than the knee-jerk reaction of "oh I would be cool with it' thought process, which is also initially mine.

I think while my ego would be hurt my fear would be that it turns to more as time wears on. That may not be the case, but it's very hard to thread that needle and for your spouse to be okay with it, if indeed your spouse is okay with things like I described above. It takes a very self-assured spouse IMO to be okay with porn precisely because it is sexual attention directed at someone other than the spouse. Yet plenty of people are that self-assured. In my case there is the slippery slope concern because my WH did end up having a real life A, and the porn use clearly escalated leading up to, and during the A. Interestingly the AP, when confronted with this info was immensely upset with my WH about it (at one point I sent an email to AP and OBS and my WH with all kinds of indisputable screen shots, some of which included my WH's use of porn). Somehow she had convinced herself he was "stuck" with me, but his reaching out during their "love affair" to look at porn was a betrayal to her. Sigh.

So, while I don't consider it cheating, I know that your spouse may. I also know that secrets like this do kick people in the pants later on (there are quite a few people on this site who have found out about disturbing information years after the fact, and that the burying of the secret it just as painful as the behavior itself). Ultimately you have to accept at bare minimum, that you are keeping information from your spouse that you think they would want to know, even if it does not qualify as an affair, at least in the standard sense.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 8:00 PM, Tuesday, May 28th]

You are the only person you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with. Act accordingly.

Constantly editing posts: usually due to sticky keys on my laptop or additional thoughts

posts: 2365   ·   registered: Jul. 11th, 2018
id 8837957
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 SharpayE (original poster new member #84873) posted at 9:29 PM on Monday, May 27th, 2024

Thank you for sharing your story and advice. I do want to tell my partner but I don't even know where to start / how to go about it! It's so scary thinking about how telling could blow up our marriage and it's been a year since I stopped so I don't know how to explain not telling straight away.

If I don't tell, I know that he will never find out. I haven't left any evidence and I only spoke to strangers under an alias so no one will tell him. I just don't think I can move forward in this marriage without coming clean though.

posts: 12   ·   registered: May. 23rd, 2024
id 8837970
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 SharpayE (original poster new member #84873) posted at 12:44 PM on Tuesday, May 28th, 2024

I told him today. He has taken it well so far but has just left to go for a walk to process it. Hopefully this is something that we can get past

posts: 12   ·   registered: May. 23rd, 2024
id 8838004
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ThisIsSoLonely ( Guide #64418) posted at 1:47 PM on Tuesday, May 28th, 2024

I'm glad that you found a way to tell him. Moving forward with honesty is a much better path to tread for both of you.

You are the only person you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with. Act accordingly.

Constantly editing posts: usually due to sticky keys on my laptop or additional thoughts

posts: 2365   ·   registered: Jul. 11th, 2018
id 8838007
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SadieMae ( member #42986) posted at 4:39 PM on Tuesday, May 28th, 2024

I am so glad you told him.

My WH began his cheating in a similar manner and held on tight to his secrets. It took him 20 years of slowly pushing limits before he slid into an affair. I was clueless to all his activities.

Hopefully now that this is in the open you and your h can proceed with transparency and honesty.

Me: BW D-day 3/9/2014
TT until 6/2016
TT again Fall 2020
Yay! A new D-Day on 11/8/2023 WTAF

posts: 1421   ·   registered: Apr. 3rd, 2014   ·   location: Sweet Tea in the Shade
id 8838019
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 5:02 PM on Tuesday, May 28th, 2024

I am glad that you told him too. You have discovered a lot about yourself that took me about 20 years to learn. I can see you truly want the most authentic marriage and that’s going to serve you well moving forward.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7319   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8838023
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 5:47 PM on Tuesday, May 28th, 2024

I'm glad you figured this out, and I'm glad your H took it well.

Your honesty bodes well for your future. smile

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: 30051   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8838028
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survrus ( member #67698) posted at 9:18 PM on Tuesday, May 28th, 2024

Glad you told him, it might have bothered you for years and years.

He can now make an informed decision.

Lies often beget other lies, were you planning to tell him about going to IC?

posts: 1491   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2018   ·   location: USA
id 8838053
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Bor9455 ( member #72628) posted at 9:32 PM on Tuesday, May 28th, 2024

I'm coming to this a bit after the fact, but kudos to you for sitting down and telling him the truth. Now that this is off your chest and the air is clear, the two of you can strategize with a game plan from here on out. What you did to your husband is an act of kindness, although neither of you may feel that way at the moment, by telling you, you provided him with the agency to make decisions about his marriage going forward. I suspect that this will sting and he will have follow-up questions as he works through it. The best thing you can do is continue to be candid with him, with full transparency, and provide him the site name and any details you can provide, should those questions come up. He should be able to deduce quite quickly if your story holds water and that you have been truthful about what happened.

I would also recommend that you present to your BH what you are going to do going forward so that this stuff doesn't happen. This is an opportunity for you two to work together on team "us" and also make decisions while keeping the partnership in mind. We call that "protecting the marriage" and it is an important plan to have in place for what you are going to do to prevent affairs down the road. I agree that what you did here is more in-line with some interactive porn, which is questionable at best, and line-stepping or at least stepping to the line of outright emotional infidelity. I'm not here to shame you for it, but just rather point out that this is one avenue by which boundaries are crossed slowly but surely until you find yourself smack dab in the middle of a seedy hotel room the next county over with a relative stranger you met online.

Myself - BH & WH - Born 1985 Her - BW & WW - Born 1986

D-Day for WW's EA - October 2017D-Day no it turned PA - February 01, 2020

posts: 669   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2020   ·   location: Miami
id 8838056
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 5:44 AM on Wednesday, May 29th, 2024

I would recommend How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair by Linda MacDonald and Not Just Friends by Dr Shirley Glass.

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

posts: 3584   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8838084
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This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 6:20 AM on Friday, May 31st, 2024

You did the right thing, but it was also a hard thing.

Any update? I suspect shock is wearing off for your BH.

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 6:20 AM, Friday, May 31st]

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

posts: 2673   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8838267
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