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I Can Relate :
For Those Who Found Out Years Later

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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 2:38 PM on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

It is a different experience — and exploring what makes our experience unique — is a good thing.

Because we have to understand what the damage is, before we can fully heal and recover. At least for me. I had to know why it was infidelity hits so DAMN hard, and why it took me so long to heal and why certain elements of betrayal hurt more than others.

And in reviewing advantages or disadvantages by finding out years later, we do discover some of those differences for our experience.

One difference is I had to really try and figure out why my wife stayed with me all those years of carrying the secret. My thought was that EVERY A was an exit A — that the ONLY reason people step out of a marriage is because they’re done being married. I didn’t know there are other malfunctions a person could have.

So yeah, I think your thoughts about those differences are important.

[This message edited by Oldwounds at 4:18 PM, Tuesday, November 30th]

Married 36+ years, together 41+ years
Two awesome adult sons.
Dday 6/16 4-year LTA Survived.
M Restored
"It is better to conquer our grief than to deceive it." — Seneca

posts: 4718   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: Home.
id 8701796

Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 9:46 PM on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

…do those of you who found out years later feel as if you were on the exact same playing field as other betrayeds after discovery?

No. Not at all, especially in my particular case.

"All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

So, here’s how my family was "unhappy" in its own way:

First, my discovery was a confession from my WW in response to a direct question. I asked, five years after it ended, whether it had happened and she said yes. It seems many of the betrayeds here discovered the affair "the hard way" and, of course, contemporaneously to the affair. I think we frequently see the standard lie/deny/gaslight/blameshift play out in real time before our eyes, and that has got to be horrifically damaging to the betrayed. Bad enough that they’ve been betrayed, now they are being blamed and gaslighted, too, in real time. It’s a double whammy. The lizard brain is getting lit up every which way. Too few waywards get caught in real time and then commence to do the right thing right away. At least the separation in time between the last act of the affair and the beginning of my wife’s struggle to tell the whole truth allowed me to process an affair by then long over while I got to the bottom of the truth.

Second, in between the end of her affair and the confession, my wife reinvented herself as a spouse. The four years before the confession were probably the best of our marriage. We problem solved together, communicated, had increasingly great sex and more frequently, no resentment, no fights that I remember. So, when the confession came out, I was not looking at a person who had recently treated me like shit, I was looking at a person I was deeply in love with and enjoying my life with. That is a huge distinction for me from many of the stories we see here. I wasn’t looking at "try to fix this shitty life with this shitty person who treats me like shit today" vs. "separate or divorce." I was looking at "can I work through something that happened years ago in light of the life I am currently living?" I didn’t have to hope I could one day have a marriage I enjoyed, I had it, but for learning about that one time years ago that my wife slipped and fell on another man’s dick for a few years.

Third, I think it was possibly more damaging to me to learn, years later, that I was not crazy when I felt crazy when I suspected the affair, when I could not understand my wife’s venom and contempt, when things did not make sense but now, suddenly, the pieces all started falling into place, but in memory, not in real time. I think the "aha" moment happening during the affair is no doubt traumatic, but it helps one make sense of their present. When you have your suspicions confirmed while it is happening, the recent past and present make more sense. However, I was suddenly compelled to sift through my past and try to reconstruct it with the benefit of this new information that permeated everything. It was completely disorienting. I had moments where a memory ran into another memory and - at long last - clicked into place. It was so weird, because I am a very, very grounded, rational thinker who was forced to see that I had missed the obvious. It was, and remains, very hard to do. Likewise, the "evidence" lost to time leaves some questions unanswerable, and that sucks.

Fourth, the affair being long over, and in my case the AP being long gone, is very different than the common story of a meddlesome AP still pursuing the wayward spouse and/or the wayward spouse vacillating between affair partner and marriage. There was no "fog" in my case. There was no doubt about whether the affair was over, or might resume. I now know that one doesn’t really ever know for sure what one would do when a given set of circumstances presents, but I do think if I’d discovered the affair while it was ongoing, or shortly thereafter, I’d have divorced her. I think that would be certain if there had been "affair fog" or false reconciliation perpetrated.

Being betrayed sucks no matter how you slice it, or when. It’s hard to be grateful for anything about my wife’s affair, but for me, the delay between the end of it and the discovery of it has had some advantages.

[This message edited by Wiseoldfool at 9:47 PM, Tuesday, November 30th]

Every secret you keep with your affair partner sustains the affair. Every lie you tell, every misunderstanding you permit, every deflection you pose, every omission you allow sustains the affair.

posts: 346   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8701863

gulty ( new member #79575) posted at 9:58 PM on Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

Wiseoldfool, my experience is similar to yours.

In the past 6 years my W has been a very good spouse. But I recently learnt of a ONS (perhaps more than once?) that occurred 15 years ago. I am yet to fully absorb it. I keep hearing that 2-5 years is common for healing from infidelity. I wonder in cases like mine (and so many others who posted on this thread) if the healing can be easier.

posts: 26   ·   registered: Nov. 8th, 2021   ·   location: Toronto, Canada
id 8705658

somanyyears ( member #26970) posted at 3:16 PM on Sunday, January 2nd, 2022 an active member for ...??? 12 years, I've long passed that 2-5 year mark on the healing curve. The death of the OM was unknown by me or my wife until I had the vivid dream, where he's telling me that I 'don't know' the whole truth. Started asking some questions... then learned it wasn't 2 years , try over 18 years..??? When I searched the net to find him and blow his fucking head off, I had his obituary pop up!!! He had died 3 years earlier, to the very day..April 18.. 2006 ...and it's 2009 when I find out..

The longer story is in my profile.. mad


trust no other human- love only your pets. Reconciled I think!Me 76 Her 72 Married 51 yrs. 18 yr LTA with bff/lawyer. Little fucker died at 57.Brain tumour!

posts: 6045   ·   registered: Dec. 29th, 2009   ·   location: Ontario Canada
id 8707002

gulty ( new member #79575) posted at 3:09 AM on Thursday, January 27th, 2022

So I was filled with anger yesterday against the AP. I did some detective work, found out the OBS' email and shot her an email informing the ONS/PA that occurred in 2006. She responded expressing her shock.

Meanwhile, AP seems to have been confronted by the OBS and he tried to get in touch with WW - "WTF is happening?". He is blocked, so the email went into her spam folder - I have access to her account. I don't believe W saw it, but I did.

I just had my best day since DDay (10-Dec-2021).

posts: 26   ·   registered: Nov. 8th, 2021   ·   location: Toronto, Canada
id 8712027

Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 3:30 AM on Thursday, January 27th, 2022


If there had been an OBS to tell, I would. Sadly, there’s only an innocent girlfriend who came along years later.

Every secret you keep with your affair partner sustains the affair. Every lie you tell, every misunderstanding you permit, every deflection you pose, every omission you allow sustains the affair.

posts: 346   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2021
id 8712029

gulty ( new member #79575) posted at 12:30 AM on Saturday, January 29th, 2022

Even though the DDay for my wife's PA is quite recent, I had suspected it for many many years. But every time the thought came to my mind, I rationalized telling myself that she wouldn't have crossed the line.

My therapist has an interesting take on this: "you knew it long time ago and started grieving. the first stage of grief is denial. you have been in this stage all these years and only now you are ready to go to the next stage".

posts: 26   ·   registered: Nov. 8th, 2021   ·   location: Toronto, Canada
id 8712525

icangetpastthis ( new member #74602) posted at 1:13 PM on Thursday, June 2nd, 2022

Kind of the same, kind of different. I was definitely betrayed by the love of my life and realized the extent of that betrayal decades later. It has devastated me. It has devastated him. What? Yes. Years ago he thought that he could just casually snort coke with the guys at work. No big deal. He knows that I wouldn't be happy about that, so he didn't tell me. I never saw him do it, and it still surprises me that he ever did do the coke. When I met him he didn't even want me to smoke cigarettes and bothered me about it until I quit. That new exciting coke thing for him takes him on a journey of at least 5 years of a double life. Why did this happen to us? I keep asking myself. He quit the coke all those years ago, our lives became so much better. I forgot about how awful he was, we never even talked about it. Until we finally did. When I finally became brave enough to ask the questions. He hasn't been the same since and after carrying his secrets all these years is struggling to look at what he was and what he did all those years ago. He is now seeing an IC and I'm wondering if I will see an IC too. Sometimes I wonder, who has it worst, him or me? IDK. What a freak show, to learn after decades that the life I lived wasn't - reality. And, that had I known what was really going on all those years ago - that I wouldn't even be here with him right now.

M = 43 yrsDDay = March 2020
Me/BS = 62WH = 64
Working on reconciliation, one day at a time.

posts: 25   ·   registered: Jun. 16th, 2020   ·   location: A broken heart.
id 8738202

UnstuffedGiraffe ( member #74937) posted at 12:17 AM on Saturday, June 4th, 2022

My therapist has an interesting take on this: "you knew it long time ago and started grieving. the first stage of grief is denial. you have been in this stage all these years and only now you are ready to go to the next stage".

I very much relate to this.

Me BW - Married 20 years
Him - 2 Affairs 9 years apart
DDay October-December 2019 & July 2020

posts: 231   ·   registered: Jul. 20th, 2020   ·   location: Texas
id 8738575

Marlita ( member #72286) posted at 4:34 AM on Thursday, June 9th, 2022

It’ll be 4 years, on the 28th of this month that I found out!
I still can’t get past it!

posts: 120   ·   registered: Dec. 13th, 2019   ·   location: Usa
id 8739271

1girlsmom ( member #63541) posted at 1:07 PM on Monday, June 27th, 2022

Marlita, I am the same.
It has kept me in a fog of sadness.

posts: 229   ·   registered: Apr. 24th, 2018
id 8742131

xcook ( new member #81207) posted at 5:31 PM on Thursday, October 20th, 2022

You bet; I can relate. We would be viewed as the perfect family just like your friend. It was all a lie. He deceived me for 50 years and blamed COVID related psychosis for confessing his infidelities which spanned a 27-year period. The psychosis subsided but he still has distorted taste and smell after a year of having COVID. Maybe God is punishing him for all of his deceit. He said he had been totally faithful for the past 22 years and loved me. He said he was sorry and quoted Cher's song "If I could turn back time". I had never cheated although I had multiple advances made towards me. As a friend, you just need to be there to listen and support. My best friend has been there for me just to listen and support. Talking helps. I just found out everything in March 2022 and he has been the best husband ever since then but a few months doesn't erase all the deceit and hurt. I am an empty shell of a person who cries almost every day. I try to keep myself occupied with other things. I had dealt with these feelings in 1990 after his affair with a woman in California while on business. It took years but things improved or so I thought. He cheated again in 2000 with a coworker when things appeared to be great between us. I was devasted when he confessed this in March. He has been suffering with ED for several years but now he tries to please me sexually for the first time since we've been married. It's always been about him and never about me. Although I will never love him again, our marriage is probably the best it has ever been. I know he is truly sorry and that he loves me. Hopefully everyone in this forum can get through this and I hope they don't have to wait 50 years like I did.


posts: 29   ·   registered: Oct. 20th, 2022   ·   location: Kentucky
id 8760394

shouldofleft ( member #82234) posted at 8:31 PM on Wednesday, November 9th, 2022

I can certainly relate; I had what I thought was a decent courtship. We dated for 6 years with a few ups and downs while ironing out the bumps but nothing major, we always knew we would be getting back together after one of our 1-week breakups/ fights, and we did every time. We did holidays together friend's weddings etc., we were like a married couple spending most nights sleeping over my house practically every night. We got engaged married and had two children. Fast forward 12 years 10 of which we were married I come to find out that every single spat, short break up (1-2 weeks) or fight she went out and had a ONS 6 of them to be exact and 1 I believe we were not broken up at all. I almost needed to be hospitalized. I felt like my beautiful past was rewritten by Stephen King I did therapy the usual prescribed drugs religion etc to try to forgive and get past this but here I am 23 yrs. after disclosure for a total of 35 yrs since the last guy and Im stick to my stomach today. I did manage to put this shit behind me for many years, but the genie is out of the bottle again and I can't get it back in. We didn't rug sweep I tortured her for details that I had to know. Who, Where, When, Who knew, How many times etc she answered and still answers my question. I feel like this is going to haunt me forever.

posts: 76   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2022   ·   location: East coast
id 8764346

somanyyears ( member #26970) posted at 9:08 PM on Wednesday, November 9th, 2022


sorry you're here.....and...yes.....It will haunt you forever.... shocked mad


trust no other human- love only your pets. Reconciled I think!Me 76 Her 72 Married 51 yrs. 18 yr LTA with bff/lawyer. Little fucker died at 57.Brain tumour!

posts: 6045   ·   registered: Dec. 29th, 2009   ·   location: Ontario Canada
id 8764352

shouldofleft ( member #82234) posted at 4:24 AM on Thursday, November 10th, 2022

Yeah, no doubt, I'm just looking for a mediocre existence.

posts: 76   ·   registered: Oct. 25th, 2022   ·   location: East coast
id 8764408

xcook ( new member #81207) posted at 6:49 PM on Wednesday, November 16th, 2022

dear meaniemouse,
It took me over 50 years to learn the extent of my WS. I knew about one affair back in 1990 but only found out this past winter about his other infidelities. It started two years after our marriage when I was pregnant. He used no protection with the three women he fucked; one was a nude dancer, and one was a barmaid. The affair was work related in 1990. I was totally devasted. He swore he had been totally faithful for the past 22 years. His last indiscretion was sex in a parking lot after going to lunch with a coworker. It was pretty disgusting. I couldn't stand to look at him; I had been married to a stranger for over 50 years. He had been with another dozen women over the years without actually fucking them. To make a long story short, he has owned up to his mistakes and feels very remorseful. He has been the type of husband I always wanted since March; however, I could never love him again as a husband. I haven't really loved him like that since his 1990 affair. He is just a legal companion with benefits. I do enjoy his company and we have many common interests. I am 71 and it would be difficult to divorce at this timepoint, but I most certainly would have divorced him back in 1990 had I known the extent of his cheating. We have two wonderful sons and two beautiful grandchildren. He has been a fairly good father and grandfather. After over 50 years of marriage, he is finally putting me first. I feel so stupid for being too blind in love to see the prick I had been married to for so long. At least I am thinking of myself now with little regard for him. He says he wants to spend the rest of his life trying to make up for all the hurt he has caused me. I'm afraid there's not nearly enough time for that. This forum has been therapeutic for me in expressing my feelings and communicating with others in similar situations. I just hope others don't have to wait as long as I did before enjoying a marriage with open and honest communication.


posts: 29   ·   registered: Oct. 20th, 2022   ·   location: Kentucky
id 8765439

Ihatelying ( member #82420) posted at 2:50 AM on Saturday, November 26th, 2022

I found out, supposedly, a year and a half later and it’s been hell trying to get details and the truth from him. He just won’t give it up.
Anyone else?


posts: 107   ·   registered: Nov. 18th, 2022
id 8766756

Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 2:46 AM on Monday, November 28th, 2022

I’m just one more of what sounds like scores of people who have waited years (7 in my case) to find out the truth of their spouse’s cheating. I had been told the trampy secretary had tried one kiss and my husband had refused (should have been red flag), then he forced her after 2 months to go be someone else’s secretary which she refused and quit. Turns out there was extensive kissing, some feeling up. He tried for more action but she refused. The hookups took place in the office once a week (in the only one of their rotating offices that allowed the privacy). He was pretty much escorted home by me every day as I was highly suspicious which limited how far they could go. Finally he told her she had to leave and work for someone else. But the damage had been done with 2.5 months of them having hooked up.Fortunately her attempt to return to come back to the company were thwarted because she had accepted the terms of a severance agreement never to return in exchange for severance money. WH still insists she kissed him every time first because he thought that bought him some cover if there was a lawsuit (wouldn’t it have been better just to tucking stop). He estimates their number of hookups as 12 and denies any touch below the belt and any sex at all. He says he wanted to but she wouldn’t. He wasn’t sure her motive because she requested to work as a secretary in a move from a much more prestigious higher paying job. It seems as if she targeted him. Also when he started telling her she would have to report to a different boss she revolted. She still would have been a secretary at the firm just without him as her boss. She refused, but why? If must have all been a part of a plan to create some dumb romance with my husband/father of 3 young children. He says there was absolutely no discussion of the future, or feelings, or caring for one another, etc. He says exclusive to get extra attention and « bit on the side » (disgusting), Yes we were having sex almost every night because I could see there was danger afoot and was trying to save our marriage. I wish he would have fired her immediately. Anyway she has kept coming back four or five times in seven years, she tried to send both her parents separately to see my husband as a doctor, he refused and got colleagues to see them instead. Then she joined an adjacent company that would be merging with my husband’s company. My WH had to go in front of his board to demand she not be able to do this given the severance package. The board agreed and she was asked to leave.

He has done some stuff right. He despises the woman as she has showed up at his office and parked across the street. Unclear if she is pining or is mad about losing her job. Thankful he told me then left her a note on her car saying: « stay the hell away from me and my family forever…signed his name ». I’m sure she still doesn’t get that she is out of the picture now. She seems delusional with significant mental illness in her family. WH has bee nearly perfect in every aspect of recover except the most important one: FULL DISCLOSURE. He is an open book with phone, computer, email, iPads everything. Not very tech savvy so easy to track virtual everything he does, and in seven years not even a hint of an untoward communication with any female.

He revealed all the details of the hookups and deceptions that helped facilitate them only after 7 years. He told me all of 4 months ago. There is no weigh he understands the full gravity of what he has done. Though i can barely function, couldn’t walk or speak nearly for a month, shaking all the ice, basket case. Now feeling more stable but more sad.

posts: 378   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
id 8766979

Never2late ( member #79079) posted at 4:55 PM on Monday, December 5th, 2022

Some BSs here making a case (advocating, I'd argue) for extended and continual long term decipt. I guess as long as they are nice enough afterward then lying for as long as possible is preferable...sheesh. That sounds like an absolute nightmare to me and the worst outcome possible. I'd want to know the complete truth as soon as possible to regain my agency and move forward as I see fit. I'd probably be suicidal to find out I've been robbed of decades of my life.

Look, shit happens, I understand but the lying is insult on top of injury. One has the right to make the decision that's best for's basically stealing your life from you.

posts: 206   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
id 8768239

Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 8:07 PM on Monday, December 5th, 2022

I feel like knowing someone lied to me for seven years by definition means I can’t trust that I have the full truth. No matter what he says how would I ever believe him? Sure he seems honest about other stuff but this is something different. I know people use polygraphs but I can’t imagine doing that because I didn’t think they were really reliable. Without the full knowledge of what happened I swing daily between wanting to stay and wanting to bail.

posts: 378   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
id 8768268
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