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Just Found Out :
How to trust again quickly


 Beebsy (original poster new member #84977) posted at 7:14 PM on Monday, June 24th, 2024

I don't really know what I want to get out of this. Just to rant and get words out I think.
About a month ago I happened to see a flirty message on my wife's phone from a colleague. She's a primary school teacher, he's the caretaker. I brought it up straight away, explained why i thought it was inappropriate and asked her to stop. She agreed.

Yesterday I could feel something was wrong, different. I asked her about it and she admitted they'd be talking a lot more and had confessed they had feelings for each other. I pressed further and she started to drip feed me information. 'We've kissed' turned into 'we've kissed most day for the past two weeks' turned into 'he's fingered me and i've given him a blowjob in my classroom cupboard...twice'. The first time was about 10 days ago, the second on Friday.

I'm crushed. I truly thought we had a superb relationship. We've worked hard, going from earning about £12k between us at one point to now earning £70k between us. We've got four wonderful children ranging from 18, 17 (both hers from a previous marriage but treated like my own), 6 and 4. We have arguments but nothing I thought different from any couple. We have a great, fulfilled sex life, having sex 4-5 times a week.

We've exhausted ourselves talking in the past 24 hours. She claims that they just naturally started talking and it grew from there. She has feelings for him but she doesn't love him (he's also married with 3 kids). I pressed her on him and she said he was special and they had things in common but couldn't really say what was special or what they had in common.

She absolutely maintains this is the first and only instance of infidelity within our relationship and she wants to do whatever she can to make it right. She's also told the bigger children what happened and they are both refusing to talk to her.

She was raped when she was 14 and has struggled every since to maintain healthy relationships and she thinks this is a control thing. She says that no one outside me and this other person has paid her attention in our relationship and by giving it away to the people that show her attention and affection it means she can't have it taken away like before.

We've agreed that we'll undergo marriage counselling for the sake of ourselves and our children and she'll undergo personal therapy to try and help her issues but I'm struggling to deal with the pain. The visceral, deep pain in my gut that I don't think is going away. I'm angry, i'm hurt, i'm scared for both me and my children. Does this stop? Does it get better? Can I help it get better? I haven't slept or eaten since i found out. I can't. The thought of food makes me want to be sick and the moment I lay my head down my brain is filled with images of them, of the life I think we might be losing and the realisation that I could be truly alone here. Divorce means I'll lose my kids just because I'm the male and despite doing nothing wrong. It's unfair, it's hurting.

We're also in the position where, although she's cut any contact via phone, facebook etc she'll be returning to work next week where he'll be. Having to process, hurt and then wave her off to the place where she cheated with the person she cheated in less than 10 days feels so quick and so, so har

I know that doesn't flow well but it's been somewhat cathartic to get my feelings written out. I'm not expecting any replies but I'm thankful for any that I do get. All I really want is my wife, and life, back to how it was.

posts: 1   ·   registered: Jun. 24th, 2024   ·   location: England
id 8840699

Icedover84 ( member #82901) posted at 9:40 PM on Monday, June 24th, 2024

So if they were doing any of this on school grounds, you could report them. They'll likely both be fired, but that's the price she has to pay if she's genuinely remorseful. She can't be allowed to continue working in the same environment as him. You need to take a hard stance on this.

posts: 78   ·   registered: Feb. 20th, 2023   ·   location: NY
id 8840716

leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 9:41 PM on Monday, June 24th, 2024

You may want to halt the MC for right now. Your M didn't cheat - your WW did. First, you need to do some IC so that you have a chance to heal (recover). Please read the bull's eye posts about before you say reconcile - recover.

After you have had a chance to recover, then you may wish to give MC a shot. While there are some good MCs out there, a lot have a tendency to shift part of the blame to you.

She needs to read How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair by Linda MacDonald and Not Just Friends by Dr. Shirley Glass. Also, she needs to find another job and go NC with the AP.

I'm struggling to deal with the pain.

It takes healing and time. If you're having issues with depression or sleeping, ask your doctor for some meds. If you can't eat, drink some protein shakes, instant breakfast packets, chocolate milk.

Exercise can help, too. Go for a walk, get a punching bag, go to a gym.

So sorry you're hurting.

ETA: Trust takes consistent actions over time to be rebuilt. It is a long process.

[This message edited by leafields at 9:42 PM, Monday, June 24th]

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

posts: 3546   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8840717

Icedover84 ( member #82901) posted at 9:42 PM on Monday, June 24th, 2024

Also, life will never return to the way it was. You'll never feel the same as you did before, you'll never look at her the same, and you're probably going to have to expect the next 2-5 years to be absolute hell. This is still fresh. You have no idea how much worse it's likely going to get.

posts: 78   ·   registered: Feb. 20th, 2023   ·   location: NY
id 8840718

M1965 ( member #57009) posted at 10:10 PM on Monday, June 24th, 2024


I am sorry about the position you have been put in through no fault of your own

It may be a bit premature for marriage counselling before your wife has investigated why she did this in her individual therapy. It seems like she has some ideas about that already, and those need to be explored and fixed if she is to be trusted as a life partner again. Responding with no boundaries to anyone who pays her attention makes her hugely vulnerable to any opportunist who can be bothered to pay her a compliment. If she wants the marriage to continue, she needs to prove to you that she has changed, and has developed better boundaries and understanding of how to deal with attention.

Individual therapy would be a good thing for you, as you try to manage your pain, and cope with emotions that can change multiple times a day. That tends to be called 'the rollercoaster' here. It will be no consolation, but everyone struggles like hell after infidelity, but reaching out, talking, and asking for support is a very wise and positive thing. That is why forums like this exist, and why this place has had tens of thousands of members since it was founded.

There are some actions that should be taken quickly to disable the potential for the affair to continue, and for your physical health.

It may be the furthest thing from your mind right now, but before you are physically intimate with your wife again, she needs to have a test for sexually transmitted diseases. For your sake, and for hers.

Your wife should start looking for another job immediately, or simply resign and then start looking for an alternative job if your finances can support that.

Her affair partner's wife must be told as soon as possible.

And as the activities were limited 100% to the workplace, from what you have been told, the headmaster of the school or the board of education can be informed.

Her going back to the proverbial scene of the crime, with no actions taken to expose the affair, has the potential to lead to trouble. What has your wife said about finding an alternative job? She needs to understand why remaining there will put an untenable strain on you and what remains of the marriage. If she is serious about wanting to save the marriage, she ought to be willing to make the changes needed.

Do you have any friends, or a manager at work, that you can talk to? A lot of times people tend to not want to tell anyone, but it can be a great help to have someone to talk to when you need to vent or just release pressure.

[This message edited by M1965 at 10:34 PM, Monday, June 24th]

posts: 1271   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2017   ·   location: South East of England
id 8840719

asc1226 ( member #75363) posted at 11:21 PM on Monday, June 24th, 2024

she said he was special

Tell his wife. She deserves to know the truth about her marriage and odds are he’ll throw your wayward wife under the bus to try and save his marriage. He’s only in this for no strings attached sex, not to lose half of his crap and go 50/50 with the kids. That should demonstrate just how "special" he is. An added benefit is now they’re both motivated to find different employment.

I make edits, words is hard

posts: 614   ·   registered: Sep. 7th, 2020
id 8840730

LightningCrashes ( member #70173) posted at 11:35 PM on Monday, June 24th, 2024

You absolutely must tell the affair partner's wife. She has a right to know what has been going on as much as you do. There is probably more to the story than you know and are being told right now. Do not tell your wife what you are doing. She will just conspire with the affair partner to get their stories straight and try to convince you not to tell the other wife. Do not take advice from someone who has demonstrated their ability to put themselves first and lie and cheat and be disloyal to you. Do what is best for you. Tell the other wife so she at least knows and can find out more and keep tabs on him and possibly share it with you.

Also, going back to the scene of the crime day after day is too much temptation for these foolish lovers who have already shown they can't be trusted. How are you going to feel every day knowing they are right there together at the same place where they had sex with each other? It is going to tear you up inside and not help you move forward. It is disrespectful to you and too much to ask. Time to start putting you first.

posts: 141   ·   registered: Mar. 28th, 2019
id 8840734

RocketRaccoon ( member #54620) posted at 4:32 AM on Tuesday, June 25th, 2024

'We've kissed' turned into 'we've kissed most day for the past two weeks' turned into 'he's fingered me and i've given him a blowjob in my classroom cupboard...twice'. The first time was about 10 days ago, the second on Friday.

Yeah, about this.... just be prepared for more to come out.

It is unlikely that it stopped at that, and it is highly likely that more went on.

although she's cut any contact via phone, facebook etc she'll be returning to work next week where he'll be. Having to process, hurt and then wave her off to the place where she cheated with the person she cheated in less than 10 days feels so quick and so, so hard

As to her going back to work in the same place as her AP, you can just about bet that the A will start right back up again.

What has your WW offered to help you feel safe with her other than the quoted? BTW, what she has so far offered you is the barest minimum that a WS should be doing. Has she offered you full access to all her communications? Has she offered to quit? Has she written a No Contact message to her AP?

We've agreed that we'll undergo marriage counselling for the sake of ourselves and our children and she'll undergo personal therapy to try and help her issues but I'm struggling to deal with the pain.

IC is a great idea for your WW, but it would not be the right time to invest in Marriage Counselling (MC), as it would be like trying to fix a small leak in the roof whilst the foundations of the house is crumbling. Fix the foundation first (i.e. your WW and yourself individually), before thinking about addressing the M(arriage).

You cannot cure stupid

posts: 1156   ·   registered: Aug. 12th, 2016   ·   location: South East Asia
id 8840756

Copingmybest ( member #78962) posted at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, June 25th, 2024

So sorry you find yourself here. DO get into some individual counseling. If possible, find someone who is trained in EMDR. It's maybe not necessary but it's a good tool to have available. For the big "Do Not" Do not do the pick me dance, trust me, it will extend your pain and suffering by a good stretch. You are the loyal one, you are the one who is capable of being in a committed relationship, you are the prize. Make her show you the work to want you. You can be happy, maybe happier with someone safer than you can with her. I get that you have family and history with this woman, but nothing will ever be the same moving forward. Infidelity is the gift that keeps giving.

posts: 268   ·   registered: Jun. 16th, 2021   ·   location: Midwest
id 8840765

Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 1:14 PM on Tuesday, June 25th, 2024

When I read your post and the advice offered, I get a real fear that you might turn into a new member in the dreaded "One-Post Club". After all – what we post and suggest does sound tough and dire.
However – I can’t really find fault in ANY of the advice offered.

Infidielity and it’s impact on all stakeholders is dire. It is tough. There is no easy cure, no easy path. You have ahead of you a minimum of two years of hard work before you reach a point where you might reflect on the past and think you are reaching a point where you might be OK.
Your post asks how to regain trust – fast. I will answer that at the end of this post. It definitely isn’t an answer I could live with though...

Friend – no matter what. Don’t stop posting. If you find the advice harsh or wrong or not appropriate... let us know. Counter our advice. Show us where you think we are wrong. Argue with us. Discuss your options with us. But just keep in mind: All advice offered here tends to be based on extensive personal, learned and shared experience.

There are some positives in your story. Possibly the biggest positive being that she confessed quite easily. Doesn’t sound like there was a lot of denial and that indicates that the actions weighted heavily on her conscience. Well... could also be the exact opposite and she simply doesn’t give a damn, but you know her the best. I’m guessing her conscience made her feel relief in this being out.

But that’s not enough. You already warned against their interaction, she promised it was over and yet it went on. You need to take heed of that. Like right now you two have talked about what happened, set some guidelines in place and she is probably 100% (well... maybe only 99%) committed to following them. Just like she was the first time you confronted her about this... Yet she’s going back to the lion’s den.

I think a big reason for how we react to discovering infidelity is how unprepared we are. It can be beneficial to use a comparison:
Imagine that instead of infidelity you got a call from the local police asking you to come pick up your wife from the drunk-tank/holding cell. Turns out she spat at an officer when arrested for drink-and-drive, after a night at the bar where she downed shots while dancing on the tables. After sobering up, with her hair all disheveled and feeling like crap, she confesses to losing control if she has more than two glasses of Chablis. She vows never to drink again. (I guess I have a dozen friends who have experienced this – the "I will never drink again" hangover...). For the whole of the next two weeks she skips the Chablis with dinner, has a soda at the pub and avoids the situations that might lead her to drink. Then she tells you that the girls at work are having a do next Friday, but she wont be going. That Wednesday she tells you she is just going to drop by, but not stay. That Thursday she tells you she might stay for dinner, but then head home sober. That Friday she phones and tells you the girls asked her to be the designated driver, but she will be home by ten – sober. Once at the restaurant she might have only one teeny-weeny Chablis... followed by another.... and another.... and a cocktail... Before you know it – it’s Jägermeister and vodka and dancing on the tabletops with a lampshade on her head.
Anyone dealing with an alcoholic will tell you that letting them be around booze or a bar or anywhere drink is served is a bad idea early day. With time they learn to cope with it, but for now... having your wife go back to work is like sending her back into the bar. Even if she has no intention of any contact with the caretaker then he is still there. There is still that chance that he needs to fix stuff in her classroom, and they make small talk. Innocent... like "how are you" and "is your husband treating you well" and all that. It might lead to a hug – just a friendly hug. Or maybe more. Or maybe nothing. Problem is that YOU don’t know. She could keep him away, or she might fall for the temptation.

So what M1965 (a Brit like you) shared and suggested holds true:
For her to go back into that environment is not going to do you or your marriage any good.
You should let the OMW know.
You should talk to the headmaster. For all you know this might be an ongoing problem. The caretaker can be the resident Casanova with a track record of inappropriate relationships and interactions. At the very least (and most likely result) he will discreetly talk to both of them (separately) letting them know there is no way this can be done in the school, and demanding they stay apart.
Your wife should be working hard at removing herself from that environment. Being in Europe she has extensive health benefits, and could possibly sit out this semester for health reasons.

One more thing: I truly think that if dealt with properly with the correct gravity your marriage can survive. However – Please remove the outdated notions that divorce would automatically remove you from your kids lives. Things have changed, and hanging on to such outdated views is only an excuse for inaction. I am not suggesting you file, but you BOTH need to realize that if this affair carries on then your marriage is at risk. It’s only when she realizes the seriousness of the situation that she might focus on amends.

Finally: I promised to share how to regain trust quickly:
Easy. Don’t bother. Don’t look around for infidelity. She comes home with a stain on her dress – just imagine they had cake with cream in the staff-room. She says shes going to her mom on a Friday night all dressed up – ask her to say hi to mom from you. Turn a blind eye. Accept she might be cheating and ignore it. After all – your BIGGEST fear is losing her and the kids, and by ignoring her actions you are avoiding that happening.
Like I said earlier: Not something I could do.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 12478   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8840771

Unsure2019 ( member #71350) posted at 4:37 PM on Tuesday, June 25th, 2024

Sorry you’re here, it’s the last place any of us wanted to be. You’ve gotten a lot of good advice. LISTEN. Many of us have made mistakes and prolonged the pain because we didn’t. I’ll just second several things that have already been said. 1) No MC now. The marriage wasn’t broken, she is. Insist on IC for her. 2) Tell the OBS NOW. She deserves to know and this is one of the quickest ways to blow up an A. 3) Don’t do the pick me dance. It makes you appear weak and she’ll be in control. 4) Do not rug sweep this. Hold her accountable. Keep posting here – you’ll get some of the best advice you’ll ever hear.

posts: 279   ·   registered: Aug. 21st, 2019   ·   location: California
id 8840790

This0is0Fine ( member #72277) posted at 6:01 PM on Tuesday, June 25th, 2024

Trust rebuilds about half the speed that originally is built. Considering she is hitting you with TT and still working with him, I would consider the affair ongoing. You need to take care of yourself first and get out of infidelity.

[This message edited by This0is0Fine at 6:02 PM, Tuesday, June 25th]

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

posts: 2670   ·   registered: Dec. 11th, 2019
id 8840796

masti ( member #54237) posted at 4:58 AM on Wednesday, June 26th, 2024

I’ve known special guys like this and I am willing to bet that she is not the only one he has on booty call. Without telling your wife find out who his wife is and inform her. You’ll find he will dump your so wife fast that she’ll be confused how soon their special relationship ended.
And yeah once that is done maybe a talk to the principal may help too.

posts: 165   ·   registered: Jul. 19th, 2016
id 8840833

Tren0R201 ( member #39633) posted at 2:42 PM on Wednesday, June 26th, 2024

I read this differently.

This is probably not her first time.

To be comfortable enough to be as risky as to have foreplay on school grounds where they can risk being caught is foolhardy. She's only been caught because the messages were found.

I'd hazard a guess there's probably one more "incident" in her life.

posts: 1843   ·   registered: Jun. 22nd, 2013
id 8840863

emergent8 ( Guide #58189) posted at 8:42 PM on Wednesday, June 26th, 2024

Hi there Beebsy,

I'm so sorry you're going through this. Everyone here has been through what you're going through right now and we know how much it physically hurts. It's natural for you to be going through your relationship trying to figure out what what wrong or what you could have done differently. Stop. No matter what she says or what she told herself in order to justify the affair, please know that NONE of this is your fault. It's not because you didn't give her enough attention, it's not because there was some problem in your relationship. It wasn't even because of anything specific to him. This was entirely about her - her flaws, her lack of boundaries, her ethics deficit, her prioritizing an "ego boost" over you and your marriage.

I know that the advice you're receiving right now is probably not what you want to hear. What you want to hear is that it's all going to be okay, and that your relationship is going to be fine, and that things can go back to the way you thought they were if you just do 3 easy, manageable steps. We all wanted that. Unfortunately it's not an option. This isn't going away. There is no rewind button. The marriage you Trust cannot just magically reappear after this kind of a betrayal. There is no skipping steps. In order to get past it, you have got to get through it. 2-5 years is the timeline we typically talk about here in order to heal from the hurt of infidelity. It's a long road and if you intend to reconcile (R for short) with your wife, you BOTH have to be all in. This isn't something you can do on your own. If she isn't prepared to dig deep for the long haul, you

My husband's affair was with a colleague too. She was married and I called her husband (the other betrayed spouse - or OBS for short) that afternoon BEFORE my husband had a chance to tip the affair partner off. Best move I made. Once she realized my husband was throwing her under the bus in order to save his relationship with me, she was desperate to save her own marriage and started to throw him under the bus. OBS and I were able to compare stories to make sure we were getting the truth and I feel like that really minimized the amount of trickle truthing I received. We coordinated so that any contact at work was minimized. Despite that, when he returned to work where I knew she was, I felt like I was going to die. I felt like this every single time he was there, and even though my husband was really and truly committed to ensuring no contact with the OW (many waywards are not as committed to this as he was), it was easily the hardest part of the whole thing. There is a very VERY good reason It's the reason why we typically recommend that where affair partners work together, one or both of them needs to leave the job if R is to have any chance of success.

Divorce means I'll lose my kids just because I'm the male and despite doing nothing wrong. It's unfair, it's hurting.

I want to challenge your thinking on this. While that may be the case for her eldest children, it likely is not for your biological children. I don't know where you live or what the law is in your jurisdiction but in most places 50/50 is the default starting point for custody and there is no presumption in favour of women. Whatever you decide to do, I recomend going to speak with a lawyer to see what things would likely look like in the event of a dvroce. You don't need to actually GET a divorce, but there can be power in having this knowledge and it can help you make informed decisions (instead of acting out of fear).

Me: BS. Him: WS.
D-Day: Feb 2017 (8 m PA with married COW).
Happily reconciled.

posts: 2162   ·   registered: Apr. 7th, 2017
id 8840909

HouseOfPlane ( member #45739) posted at 12:15 AM on Thursday, June 27th, 2024

You’ve been heard, Beebsy

This is likely the most traumatic thing you will experience in your life. It will be a defining moment, dividing time into before and after. For sure the relationship will be divided into before and after.

Based on pure statistics, you will likely divorce. My swag at the odds is 50% move to divorce, another 25% stay in a dead, crippled marriage, the minority grow their way out of it.

Not saying this to depress you, in saying it to confirm that the intense pain you feel is real, normal, grounded in truth. Justified.

All MC can do right now is give her excuses. Hard no on that.

You likely won’t be able to tolerate them laying eyes into each other again. Her going back to work with him? Hell to the no.

You’ve been heard. Sending strength!

DDay 1986: R'd, it was hard, hard work.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver

posts: 3249   ·   registered: Nov. 25th, 2014
id 8840921
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