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I Can Relate :
For Those Who Found Out Years Later - part 2

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 SI Staff (original poster moderator #10) posted at 10:49 PM on Monday, March 13th, 2023

A thread for those of you who found out about affairs years after they were over.

posts: 10034   ·   registered: May. 30th, 2002
id 8782063
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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 11:39 PM on Monday, March 13th, 2023

SacredSoulSister, Was your WH open to disclosing details of the A before you started with counseling? Or was there a change that happened when counseling started that caused him to stop the lies? For me, we have talked outside of counseling about the A but there are details I believe still being kept.

We started MC a few months before my H confessed to three affairs spanning 14 years. His last A was the only EA/PA (the other two were strictly PA) and I think he intended it as an exit affair, except I don't think he really wanted to actually exit. He lied to me and he lied to the MC until Dday, when he barfed it all up in the MC's office and stopped lying. We separated for a few weeks until he went NC, and then we started R in earnest. I was lucky, in that he became an open book and would talk about the A whenever I wanted. He tells me now that he made a commitment to do that for a year. There were lots of very uncomfortable conversations, and he was a real trooper.

The real change that came with counseling was transparency and authenticity. One can't be transparent while withholding information. I wanted to know everything that happened with the OW because I didn't want her to know anything that I didn't know. I didn't want any private intimacy with her to remain. I wanted all of their nonsense splayed out in very clinical fashion in front of me - and in front of him so that he could see what it really was. There's nothing sexy or romantic about an autopsy.

But there is no movement at all towards revealing the other infidelities.

Has she admitted to other infidelities, but won't share details? Or is she not admitting to them at all?

IMO, one needs an MC who specializes in affair recovery or in sexual addiction in order to deal properly with infidelity. Although SA wasn't an issue in our marriage, we happened to get an MC who specialized in it so he was very familiar with the sticky wicket of recovering from PAs.

[This message edited by SacredSoul33 at 3:25 PM, Tuesday, March 14th]

Remove the "I want you to like me" sticker from your forehead and place it on the mirror, where it belongs. ~ Susan Jeffers

Your nervous system will always choose a familiar hell over an unfamiliar heaven.

posts: 1300   ·   registered: Mar. 10th, 2023
id 8782078
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IOnceBelieved ( new member #82881) posted at 12:40 AM on Tuesday, March 14th, 2023

I am hoping for such a change of heart with regard to the secrets keeping with the help of the counselor. I guess time will tell.

She is not admitting to any other affairs other than the one I caught her in. But I have some evidence and my gut is telling me there is more to the story.

Thanks for sharing your experience with him eventually coming around.

Me: BS 65

Her: WS 60

DDay: June 1986

In R for last 37 years. But anticipating a new DDay from past undisclosed infidelities is coming.

posts: 26   ·   registered: Feb. 13th, 2023   ·   location: Somewhere between the past and happiness.
id 8782087
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 2:38 AM on Tuesday, March 14th, 2023

IOnceBelieved: Consider the gambit from her perspective, assuming there are details about her affair(s) from long ago that, if revealed to you now, she knows would certainly crush you.

If she reveals those details, you may become a broken man, bitter and emotionally alone until your death. You may even divorce her.

If she hold fast and continues to refuse to discuss, then chances are you'll keep doing what you've been doing for the past umpteen years: conceding to her stalemate, remaining in a somewhat queasy but reasonably reliable marital stasis that at least isn't awful for her.

In other words, she has everything to lose by revealing, and nothing to gain.

On the other hand, from your perspective, assuming the truth is as awful as you imagine it to be, what is your end game? So you can say: "Aha, you really are the miserable rotten slut you and I have both known you always have been. Fie on ye!" Or, "Finally, the freedom I need to divorce."

I'm being a bit cheeky with this, but at your age one ought to consider the end game. Maybe your end game is simply to put an end to the mind movies and torment of imagination that has been your burden for all these decades. If that's the case, then tell her.

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 4179   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8782100
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Never2late ( member #79079) posted at 3:47 AM on Tuesday, March 14th, 2023

IOB, at the end of the day, you get to decide what you need to move forward. Not your spouse and not your MC or IC. You.

What exactly is the objective? Is it to R at all costs or is it for you to heal? Complete transparency may indeed be required for the latter but could jeopardize the former.

Nobody gets to decide this but you. If you are told "you're not gonna like it"....so what? You clearly don't like it now or that this was ever done in the first place. If it results in further damaging your image of WS and this results in D then that is ultimately the full cost of WS's actions.

Continuing to keep secrets from you is something most normal people would object to and complete transparency is at least a foundation to begin healing regardless of whether it contributes to R or D.

You need to heal and this seems clearly like an impediment to that for you.

posts: 206   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2021
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Impacted ( member #57532) posted at 3:41 AM on Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

Just a note from someone who has been struggling for over 5 years now.....
I still don't have all the truth. I know he is never going to tell me. It has consumed me.

Butforthegrace just hit me hard with some words. The WS has nothing to lose and what is my end game.

If I could go back to DD, I likely would walk then.
Trust has not been rebuilt. No matter how much he says he loves me, tells me the truth and would do anything for me, he has not done the one thing I need the most, and that is be honest.

Sorry if this is a negative post to all those looking for happy endings but I am not in a positive frame of mind.

I just have no idea how to move forward

posts: 150   ·   registered: Feb. 20th, 2017
id 8783558
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IOnceBelieved ( new member #82881) posted at 6:12 AM on Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

Impacted: Although my recent struggles are only six months old I can totally relate to this,

I still don't have all the truth. I know he is never going to tell me. It has consumed me.

I have said all through this that my running wild imagination MMs are, I am convinced, worse than reality. Just the compassion to help me rein those in at the very least let alone the moral obligation based on our vows of commitment to each other should be enough incentive for her to do the right thing, and I know the hard thing, and tell me the damn truth. But not to be, she has a death grip on those secrets. And to your point BFTG, the truth may be unbearable but these seemingly endless what ifs seem equally destructive.

I have been working recently with what I feel so far is a pretty good IC. Went together as MC the first session but now it is IC for me. Our session last week though caused me to do some pretty serious soul searching, from my journal:

"She told me she had a male client who had pushed his wife so hard for the big reveal she had a stroke. After replaying the session I have come to realize that there is a stark moral question that clearly comes into focus, and that is "Is what you want worth the life of your wife?" Without hesitation the answer is emphatically NO!! it is not. Ok so where does that leave me? Is there a plan B? I am not sure I know the answer to that yet."

What you said Never2late is very true in that I am the only one that can know or discover my own path forward. And so I began the difficult task of figuring out what plan B is. We have too much good history and I feel I am too old to chuck it now. In fact up until 6 months ago we were newly retired and the happiest we have probably ever been. Not sure I understand all the triggers that has brought back this 35 year old trauma but, should I try to understand and short circuit those triggers (IC perhaps)? so I can try and stuff this crap down a couple more decades and make believe were are happy, fake it til I make it? Am I simply faced with a real life Kobayashi Maru test? (Star Trek fans will get this one). Is this just a situation were there is no clearly winnable outcome? Again to another point BFTG, indeed what is the end game here when faced with such a test?

And yes Impacted honesty is a key foundational stone for my life philosophy too, it defines my soul. So of all the bullshit that I try and come to terms with, that is one that threatens our very existence today and any path forward. Because without it the structure will not stand. I have seen in her movements to be more honest and that gives me hope. But then she will lie to my face so sincerely and casually about something unimportant and trivial which then puts me into a tail spin of "If she lies about the little stuff, what about the big stuff?" I truly am hoping that after some IC sessions we can return for some MC work and we can work out with the therapists help among other things, why the deception is SO damaging for me.

Sorry for just rambling on. I as you can see don't have a lot of answers but I do know though that typing this out for you kind and compassionate people and hearing your thoughts has truly been a life line and for that I can only simply say Thank You.

Me: BS 65

Her: WS 60

DDay: June 1986

In R for last 37 years. But anticipating a new DDay from past undisclosed infidelities is coming.

posts: 26   ·   registered: Feb. 13th, 2023   ·   location: Somewhere between the past and happiness.
id 8783570
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Butforthegrace ( member #63264) posted at 3:43 PM on Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

As one possible suggestion, perhaps you just say it flat out: "Wife, I've been haunted for 35 years with a voice in my gut telling me that you've not been honest with me about your A. For a long time that voice was quieted, but in recent years it has increased its volume. I'm an old man and we have a lot of history. I don't have any intention of ending our marriage at this point, no matter what. But I do think that you owe me, at the very least, closure on this, so that I can know the truth of my life's timeline."

"The wicked man flees when no one chases."

posts: 4179   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2018   ·   location: Midwest
id 8783597
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Impacted ( member #57532) posted at 4:25 AM on Saturday, March 25th, 2023

Butforthegrace, I wish it were that easy. I have asked over and over if, I mean anything at all and he respects me as he says he does, why does he not tell me the whole truth. He will say but I have, when I know for sure he has not.......I have told him I deserve to be able to have the closure, etc and still nothing.
I am not sure why it is now bothering more than it has for years. I found out 15ish years after the fact but my DDay came when I suspected a current affair and he threw this one from the one 15 years ago. It was a diversion I am sure for the indiscretion he had been caught in but he has yet to admit that one.
Any ways, I Once Believed, I begin to wonder if perhaps certain people just don't think like we do. They believe by keeping their secrets they are doing us a favour. Where, for the life of me, I can't understand it, as I can't lie about anything.......and I can't understand how they can lie like that and sleep so well at night. It is certainly no favour to me as the lies just haunt me and make me mistrust him more and more.

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ImaChump ( member #83126) posted at 9:23 PM on Monday, March 27th, 2023

Hi all,

I am a new member but have been lurking for several months. I’ve gone back and forth around where to post my first post and this seems like the most fitting place.

My UW and I started dating at 18 and married at 21. I was her first an only up until that time. We started running into some "bumps" in our marriage a little over a year in and my wife went to a party with work friends and didn’t come home until the next morning (this was 1985 so no cell phones or anything). I quizzed her the next day, asked if she had cheated. She denied it and said she just got drunk and fell asleep. I accepted that but about a month later she told me she "wasn’t sure she loved me anymore". We fought, I told her to leave, and she was astonished I reacted that way. Anyway, we reconciled and later found out she was pregnant (yes, my child) and things proceeded.

About 18 months after that incident, she started treating me coldly. Again says "I’m not sure I love you anymore". I ask if there is someone else, she says "yes, but we haven’t slept together". The next day I stake out her work and she leaves and parks in an adjacent parking lot. It’s obvious she is waiting on someone. She spots me and flees back to work. I go there and tell her "I see you". Later she comes home, we fight and she goes to her mother’s with our son. I think we are done. The next day she calls and cries and begs to come home. I say "OK, but you have to ditch the bf". She agrees.

Things progress and we have another child the next year. Things seem "OK" in the marriage for the most part but we are swamped working with two small kids. 2 years after our daughter is born, I change jobs and we move out of state. I’m depressed leaving my family and all I have known. My wife is cold and distant and withholds sex. About 9 months after we move, she stays out all night again for a "work thing" and I get the "I don’t think I love you" again. I asked if she is cheating and she says "no". I ask if she ever has and she says "yes, once before we moved" but won’t give me the details. We fight, we cry, we decide to "give our marriage one last shot". We go to the Florida Keys with her parents. While we are there, I’m trying to build intimacy and "connect". My wife is cold and distant. While there I went and stood on a bridge overlooking the ocean. I told myself if she ever tells me she doesn’t love me again or cheats, I’m out. I call this the "Bridge Pact".

Shortly after returning, we move to another state yet again. We both look at it as a "fresh start". Life progresses, the kids grow, we become successful in our jobs and I think we have "made it". We are no longer trying to change one another, we have a great life other and we are comfortable having separate interests as well.

Flash forward many years and we are long time empty nesters. Dogs have become our "kids" and we do everything together. I develop a speech disorder and retire early in 2021. For some reason, I become reflective and wonder how many times my wife has cheated on me. Over a year, I become more and more obsessed with that. I think back to the times she said she "didn’t think she loved me", the all night party’s and such and become convinced she was cheating on me then. I also recall a suspicious email from a coworker in 2003 that I just "brushed aside". Was she cheating then?

I finally decided I was going to ask her. I wrote down questions and looked to set the "proper stage". Instead, after drinking and playing in the pool one afternoon (June 2022, I just blurted out the question "how many times have you cheated on me during our marriage". At first she stalled, but I pressed. She finally said "3 times and the last time was in South Carolina". This would have been 32 years prior. I was of course disturbed but this was "in line" with my suspicions. I also named the person the suspicious email was from and she says "I don’t know who that is". I told her I needed to know this information as I had always suspected cheating and I needed to know so I can forgive her and "get out of my head". I told her then and there "I forgive you".

The next morning I woke up early (being haunted by our discussion) and she asked if I wanted to talk more about our discussion. I said no but she said "I do". She then told me that it wasn’t 3 men, it was 11. Also the last one wasn’t in South Carolina, it was in our current state and roughly 18 years ago. I was flabbergasted. How was this even possible? Who is this person?

The rest of the morning was spent going through timelines and details. Most of my questions were met with "I don’t remember". She could (or would) only identify 7 APs. During this discussion, she admitted cheating at the first all night party,she admitted she didn’t break it off with the guy she was seeing when I caught her waiting on him after work (and told her she must as a condition of coming home). She continued to see him for 7-8 more months, took our toddler son with her to meet him and although she hadn’t slept with him when I confronted her, she did sleep with him in our house while pregnant with our daughter (who I had to have DNA tested and is mine). She also admitted a ONS with the guy I questioned about the suspicious email that she "didn’t know who that was". She couldn’t give me any reasons, she continued to lie. She got mad at one point and screamed "I was a whore who went whoring around". I said "I’m done, I’m leaving". She cried and begged me to stay. I relented.

So to keep this from becoming "War and Peace", I will summarize where we were and where we are. I continued to ask for additional information. She lied, minimized, trickle truthed and blamed the marriage for her cheating. Meanwhile I’m looking into MCs, buying books, looking at videos sharing articles. Her nothing. She is incapable of basic empathy. Finally one video struck home around "why the betrayed needs details" and we had D-Day 2 after 4 weeks. She discloses 4 more APs, additional details and timelines. Even while "coming clean" though she continues to lie. It takes 3 days to get to the "final truth". Once again, I’m "done". Too much cheating for too long and too horrible (cheated while pregnant with both kids). I reflect on things for a few days. We decide to get a polygraph. She passes. She still struggles with empathy. Says "I did horrible things and got caught" as an attempt at empathy. Still claims she "can’t remember" critical details. She claims on LTA lasted "several months" but certain milestones indicate it was 18-24 months. She claims she can’t remember if it was 5-6 or 18-24. She also disclosed 4 LTAs over the course of her infidelities. She can’t remember the "basics" (when and how did it start, how long did it go on, when did it become physical, how many times did you have sex, how, when and why did it end) for ANY of the four???

So here’s where I am. She seems truly remorseful for what she has done. She is trying to do the work to determine the "whys" and help us recover. She expresses to me constantly how sorry she is and how much she loves me. She was recently diagnosed with a life threatening illness that explains the memory gaps. But yet, when I lay the history of her cheating over the course of our lives, the first 20 years of our marriage are "tainted". Every memory from that time is ruined. I feel like she "stole my life" not only by cheating but by lying and robbing me of the chance to chose my life’s direction. She not only betrayed me for the 20 years she was actively cheating but for the 18 she "lied by omission". She betrayed me NOW by lying through discovery. All of the "I don’t think I love yous" came AFTER she had cheated (or at least started the inappropriate relationship). "Justification" not "reasons".

As a result of this, I love her as the mother of my children and from a sense of the last 18 years being good. I have lost all "romantic love" and feeling desire for her. Even though this happened many years ago, it feels like it just happened. Due to her illness, leaving isn’t an option. But frankly, I also resent her for getting sick because all of our work on recovery is now on pause.

I don’t even know if I’m looking for advice. But I assume many of you are in a similar place. Do you see your US as "forever unclean" and impossible to be in love with? Or do you "counter balance" the checkbook? Should I look at the 18 "good" cheat free years and the cheating as over and done? That’s hard for me to do. It was still me and still her….I feel like I’m letting down that young man who stood on a bridge in the Florida Keys and made a pact with himself I’m not keeping.

[This message edited by ImaChump at 9:33 PM, Monday, March 27th]

Me: BH (61)

Her: UW (60)

D-Days: 6/27/22, 7/24-26/22

posts: 147   ·   registered: Mar. 25th, 2023   ·   location: Eastern USA
id 8784422
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 9:50 PM on Monday, March 27th, 2023

Ima-

Sorry to see you here, it’s always the club no one ever wants to be a part of.

I’m not going to include your whole screen name, because, you’re no chump.

We all acted with the best information we had at the time, in the moment and always acted for love of family and our kids. That’s a good thing.

Even though this happened many years ago, it feels like it just happened.

The best part of this specific thread is to address thoughts like this. Our brains hold all of our info and memories together, they are NOT stored in linear order. You feel like it ALL happened yesterday, because you haven’t ever fully processed your REALITY as it actually was.

You feel what you feel, and as always, if you’re done, you’re done — even with medical issues.

All of us have to figure out what we want after the deal was broken.

My wife owned her issues, helped me heal the M, I can only imagine it doubles down on the pain when your WS isn’t helping you get the answers and empathy you need.

Keep reading, keep posting, you will find a way through, whichever path you choose going forward.

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: 4719   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: Home.
id 8784435
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IOnceBelieved ( new member #82881) posted at 2:53 AM on Tuesday, March 28th, 2023

Ima: I have to agree with OldWounds that Chump is not fair. ImaGoodManWhoGotTakenAdvantageOf or ImaManOfIntegrityAndTrustWhoHadItUsedAgainstMe perhaps but Chump, NO! Our stories have many similar points. We are also recently retired and the infidelity happened years ago, but for me, how long ago? I guess somehow having extra time on our hands now has lent itself to reviewing those things that "just did not seem right" at the time but with jobs, kids, bills, we just simply could not find the mental energy to dig in and address it back then. And perhaps somehow we knew it would be devastating for the family, the kids, to bring the cheating to light and so we just put our heads down, worked, fathered our children and did what we thought was the best thing for them.

Our stories differ in that you now have many secrets revealed while I may never know how many men there were. I know there was more than the one 6 month affair I caught her in and therefore she can not deny. So was it 5 guys over 10 years, 10 guys over 20 years, more over all 40 years? I will most likely never know. I have thought that not knowing and wild imagination is worse than knowing but after reading you gut wrenching discovery I believe that both are equally devastating just in different ways. My heart goes out to you my brother, I know your pain and anguish. This stuff is the most painful experience of my life and there are no easy answers or paths forward to resolve this.

I totally get the dilemma of trying to weigh the good years against the infidelity years. And even the good years can be drawn into question because the thinking can be, "Are there yet unrevealed affairs during those years too?" And being 60 plus years old adds other considerations to be taken into account when trying to decide what to do. I mean realistically am I ready to split the finances, try dating again? And what if I don't find anyone and live and die a lonely old man. Sometimes it feels like the devil I know vs the devil I don't.

If I could I would but my arm around that young man on the bridge and say "You my friend did not/do not deserve this." And even though he was certainly within his rights to make that pact and stick with it, a life lived with your wife and children happened since then. So the feelings you had then must now be merged with a life lived since that day. It is just so hard and unfair to stay with someone who ripped your heart to shreds so callously. But then here we are still with these women feeling cheated, robbed of our lives years ago and standing at a crossroads thinking "There are potholes and bridges out no matter which road I choose."

This pain is as new for both of us. This kind of pain has no sense of time, it just hurts no matter when it happened. But perhaps even more painful is the continued deception because that is inflicting fresh wounds in present day. I am sorry your wife appears to be unremorseful. I sense guilt and shame but true remorse it seems has yet to be realized. I do understand the health issue dimension as well as I have had a recent epiphany that I may push my wife so hard for the big reveal that it could maybe cause a serious health issue, stroke, heart attack. And so I, as you may have read, am trying to figure out what plan B is since the big reveal seems unattainable.

The question I have been asking myself lately is "Does my current relationship with my wife have enough love and genuine companionship benefit to outweigh the painful past?" Is this the best pot holey, bridge out road I can choose? The answer to that is still being considered but bouncing it off of the folks here for sure does help me cope and sort things out.

Hang in there Ima, I hear you.

Me: BS 65

Her: WS 60

DDay: June 1986

In R for last 37 years. But anticipating a new DDay from past undisclosed infidelities is coming.

posts: 26   ·   registered: Feb. 13th, 2023   ·   location: Somewhere between the past and happiness.
id 8784484
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ImaChump ( member #83126) posted at 3:47 AM on Tuesday, March 28th, 2023

Thanks for the responses. I picked the name since it is the same one I used on a certain other site. I’m not beating my self up, it’s more after reading a book from that site (especially the mistakes the Betrayed make early on), I laughed at myself and said "yep, ImaChump". I appreciate the pep talk about that name but it’s more trying to have a sense of humor wile trying not to "drown in shit"…

@Oldwounds

I’m glad you are in a better place with your wife owning her issues and helping you heal. Early after D-Day, my biggest frustration was my UW not "owning her shit". We have slowly gotten there. Empathy still is an issue for her but at least she is now "self aware". She truly ignored my pain early on and was consumed by her own guilt and pain. Believe it or not, she actually required EMDR for how painful all this is for HER! That shame also inhibited us even having discussions about her infidelities as she would break down in a sobbing heap any time we tried to talk. The thing that FINALLY got her to understand my pain is an "Impact Letter" I wrote her as part of a workbook we are doing together. It was 25 pages long and extremely raw. But even as we tried to discuss it afterward, she said "that’s too painful for me to read over and over". I just said "you should try "living it" all day every day".

@IOnceBelieved

Thank you for the concern and feedback about my user name. I don’t blame myself for any of this. I got past that early on and realized my UW would have cheated no matter who she married. Frankly, reading your recent posts (and our similarities) was really the last "nudge" for me to register and post. I am also a member at Affair Revcovery and find that useful but there aren’t many other men with the scope and added wrinkle of my wife’s affairs being so long ago.

I can totally empathize with your feelings of there being "more to the story" than you know. Like I said, I had suspicions but had no idea of the true scope. My UW had the "I don’t think I love you" tell with the early affairs but save for the one email I mention, I had no clue about the later ones. We were happy and successful and she treated well overall. She had always been selfish and I came in after the kids, her mother, her friends, etc. but I NEVER would have fathomed how she could be remotely capable of the things she’s done. I think she just “honed her craft" over the years and could truly compartmentalize like a champ to keep me from having the slightest idea what was going on.

Although I have a LOT of information, there are still "holes in the story" that haunt me. I went into this with the intent of "clearing this between us" and now still have more questions than answers. I can’t forgive her with these gaps. I’m not in love with her. But like you, I’m too old to "start over". It would wreck our family, it would wreck us financially (and now we have hospital bills to add to the mix). Our kids would hate her. The last 18 years have been good. Now what?

She has told me she has told me all she remembers. After the D-Day 2 debacle, our MC was continuously taking my wife’s side. While she was still actively lying to me, our MC says "you lie when backed into a corner". No, I begged her to tell me the truth. I promised not to leave no matter how bad. Just "release me from the burden of wondering". Our MC said "you have to accept that you have all you are going to get and you may need IC to help". I said "if this is all I get, I’m going to divorce her lying, cheating ass". The MC quickly suggested a polygraph which my UW agreed to. Quite the ordeal, but she passed. So based on that, I have "some" degree she has told me all she remembers (including being faithful for the past 18+ years). But how reliable is her memory? Could she have forgotten entire APs? I believe so. Just because she passed the polygraph, doesn’t mean there isn’t more out there. I have proof her memory minimized the number of interactions with her last AP. What she claimed was 1 intercourse and 1 oral, was more than a dozen oral (per the AP….long story I won’t get into here). She swears she doesn’t remember that or all the interactions he provided. So, yes, there could be whole APs missing and the things she told me could be "worse". She believes what she is saying so the poly wouldn’t catch it.

The biggest kick in the nuts of all for me in all this is she had started to turn the corner with empathy and owning her stuff, we had a very heartfelt and deep conversation on 2/16. She had many epiphanies around her behaviors. I have a GREAT memory and we had agreed to sit down and discuss our marriage year by year hoping it may help with her "mindset" at the time and/or jog her memories about the affairs with "reliving those years through discussion". We had agreed to meet the following Sunday and begin. That morning after returning from church, she had a series of seizures and went to the hospital. Again, I’m not going into all the details but any and all talk of her infidelities and any and all recovery work is on hold for the foreseeable future. As I nursed her back to health over the past few weeks the only acknowledgment has been when she thanked me for staying and taking care of her and said "this is just another reason for you to not like me"…

I appreciate the support. Maybe I can help you with your "not knowing" struggles (I can at least empathize). I just feel like this stuff just keeps piling on and anytime I think there is a "light at the end of the tunnel", it turns out to be just another train….

[This message edited by ImaChump at 3:51 AM, Tuesday, March 28th]

Me: BH (61)

Her: UW (60)

D-Days: 6/27/22, 7/24-26/22

posts: 147   ·   registered: Mar. 25th, 2023   ·   location: Eastern USA
id 8784488
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 6:26 PM on Tuesday, March 28th, 2023

As I nursed her back to health over the past few weeks the only acknowledgment has been when she thanked me for staying and taking care of her and said "this is just another reason for you to not like me"…

This is a really standard reaction for a WS who hasn't processed what they've done or still doesn't quite understand the extent of the damage caused. Turning your helping her into a "woe is me" moment isn't helpful.

You could remind her, you wouldn't be in pain if you didn't love her in the first place. If you didn't care, it wouldn't hurt and the answers wouldn't matter.

But you are hurt and the answers DO matter.

You're trying to understand enough to NOT hate her -- if you're still aiming to stay. Tell her that when she is feeling well enough to help you understand.

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: 4719   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2016   ·   location: Home.
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Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 3:04 AM on Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

Last night I felt like I lost all hope of ever knowing the truth of what happened. There were three car hookups - at least that was what I thought I had been told since he « came clean » 7 months ago about the A 7 years ago. I have been the one with all the dates in my head for all 7 year because at that time I was desperate for him to get rid of this secretary because I could tell she was intent on destroying my family. It took 4 months for him to finally get her « let go » from the company with severance. I found out this past summer that during that 4 months they were kissing in the office the whole time. I was tracking his movements at the time so when the truth came out I could remember and connect some dates. He has obfuscated and TTed the whole time even since this summer. Last night he reported that the 3 car hookups had suddenly became 2. I was absolutely certain he had told me on several occasions that there were 3 and had described each one-where, when, how. How could it disappear? Now I am questioning my own memory. It was horrendous enough when I couldn’t trust his memory and now I can’t even trust my own. He has made me feel like I am losing my mind so many times over the years.

Back when this all happened he convinced the MC I was paranoid and she pushed my IC to try to put me on a medication for it. Infuriating!

I feel like even the truth I have is now slipping away. The fact that I am sure he is happy about it makes me even more frustrated.

I think he may have flipped his story because he forgot whether he had told me the truth or a lie about this event. So when I brought it up he thought I was playing him to try to get him to reveal the 3rd hookup (even though he had actually already told me). This is crazy. It makes no sense. He is terrified to be caught in another lie so there is no way he is going to clear this up for me. So, I am literally never going to know the truth. So upset. It is not even an important detail.

Will I be having a clarifying conversation to clear all this up tonight? Of course not. He is conveniently making himself far too busy somewhere else in the house and by the time he comes to bed it will be conveniently too late to talk.

I can flip from totally committed to working this out to totally convinced I will have to leave thirty times in one day. I’m just emotionally exhausted and tired of all this.

posts: 381   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
id 8784618
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IOnceBelieved ( new member #82881) posted at 7:46 PM on Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

This what Ima said caught my eye.

The biggest kick in the nuts of all for me in all this is she had started to turn the corner with empathy and owning her stuff.

I am wondering if we have to accept that them having empathy and owning their stuff is the light that leads us out of the dark maze. For me I have much less revelation than you and yet, you having significantly more admittance of cheating details still seem to struggle with the nagging sense that even with the poly and what you have been told, you may never know all the truth. Makes me wonder if even people who have had very successful R still in the back of their minds wonder, do I know everything? I just think that for me I will most likely never feel completely satisfied that I know all of the truth. And so depending on that full accounting to allow myself to progress toward peace and healing is perhaps a fool’s errand.

Is it the path I would choose if I could, no. But I think I have to accept that the path I would choose ended 35 years ago and any ideal path from here forward does not seem to exist either. And so I think we have to step foot on the best path that is available and make the best of the years we have left. And if we are young enough and strong enough to make a new life, we should travel that road. If we just don’t realistically see any way to leave then that is the road we must choose. And as Stillconfused2022 said,

I can flip from totally committed to working this out to totally convinced I will have to leave thirty times in one day. I’m just emotionally exhausted and tired of all this.

Indeed I sense so may of us are just exhausted by all of this and desperately wanting to exit the darkness. But hanging onto the hope of having something we may never have I think leads us to continue to wander in the black maze.

A friend recently gave me an analogy I like. Imagine you are a postal worker and you see letters going by every day. Different sizes, shapes, addresses and you decide to open some and read them. Only to discover the content is very disturbing. But yet human nature takes over and you open another to the same address. Yet more disturbing news. So you decide, well I kind of know what the ones to that address are about and so you decide to ignore some of those, let them slide by unopened. The letters are the endless thoughts we churn out from our thought factory. And I have been wallowing in reading every letter addressed to BS from WS. And they are all just so painful and yet I continue to open a read them. But recently, occasionally, I have found myself recognizing the address and letting it slide by without opening it. Doesn’t happen a lot but when it does I feel a little vacation from the pain. A moment of rest and peace. But then I go right back to opening them all again. I guess my point is maybe we should allow ourselves a much needed break from time to time and let some of those letters slide by.

Me: BS 65

Her: WS 60

DDay: June 1986

In R for last 37 years. But anticipating a new DDay from past undisclosed infidelities is coming.

posts: 26   ·   registered: Feb. 13th, 2023   ·   location: Somewhere between the past and happiness.
id 8784706
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ImaChump ( member #83126) posted at 8:29 PM on Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

IOnceBelieved

You said:

“Makes me wonder if even people who have had very successful R still in the back of their minds wonder, do I know everything? I just think that for me I will most likely never feel completely satisfied that I know all of the truth. And so depending on that full accounting to allow myself to progress toward peace and healing is perhaps a fool’s errand.”

I think this is a very common theme. Most BS are SURE they don’t know everything. They just try to get to a point where "they know enough". For me, I know MORE than enough to leave. There are still things I need to truly reconcile. Or at least to fully attempt. My UW had 4 LTAs lasting 6 months or more. There was some emotional attachment in each one. I "need" to know how and when they started, how long they went on, how and when they became physical, how many and what type of sex was involved, how when and why they ended. I don’t think this is unreasonable and think the average person would have some if not all of those answers. But to not have any of it for even 1??? Her illness does come into play, but until then, I was sure it was "ethical amnesia" or she’s just good enough to beat the poly. I’m also interested in her mindset. Why did she give herself permission to cheat? Did she weigh the risks? It’s just a black hole.

Also, her cheating was during 2 distinct timeframes (1985-1990 and 1998-2004). I’m also much more interested in the latter affairs as I generally had no clue. We were happy, she treated me well. She had been "clean" for 8 years, why start again? During the first timeframe, I figured she was cheating but not to the degree she actually was.

But even beyond these details, I can not forgive her and reconcile unless I know exactly what I am forgiving. I feel if she truly loves me the way she says she does and understands how I feel she "stole my life" while cheating, she would come totally clean regardless of the impacts to her.

For what it’s worth to your situation, earlier in our marriage my UW admitted to cheating once (when it was already 7 by then). On D-Day she initially said 3 then 7 then 11…….they always minimize. "No good can come from this", "Why do you want to know after so many years", "It doesn’t matter, focus on now". From just reading the posts you have put out and my own experience, it sounds like there is more to your story than your wife is sharing. Only you can answer how you would proceed. I read many posts on these-forums and say "If that were me, I would be gone". Many read my posts and say that to themselves (shit, I would read mine and say that too in a different time and place). The fact you are here at all means you don’t have those answers. I hope you find answers you can live with and be satisfied if not happy….

[This message edited by ImaChump at 8:29 PM, Wednesday, March 29th]

Me: BH (61)

Her: UW (60)

D-Days: 6/27/22, 7/24-26/22

posts: 147   ·   registered: Mar. 25th, 2023   ·   location: Eastern USA
id 8784724
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Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 9:57 PM on Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

IOB and ImC

I agree with the idea about most folks not knowing. I think when you found out much later you have an added conundrum. You worried or just lived through 7, 10, 20 years when you now know with 100% certainty that you did not know what the heck had happened. And your spouse happily let you live that lie. So when folks who found out right aware worry they don’t know everything at least don’t have this complete certainty that their spouse is comfortable living in a world of lies for years or even decades.

I look at his A and think, okay…one time period….maybe just maybe….that’s not who you are. But in terms of being someone who is more than happy to lie and deceive. Seven years…. I’m pretty sure that’s you. That is who you are, that reflects your values. I hope that through individual counseling he can maybe come to understanding the poison of lying like that.

Question for others?

During the timeframe of the deceit were you actively asking questions and just hearing lies back or was it just radio silence?

IOB: I’m not sure it was your intent but that idea that this may be a fool’s errand was scary. Maybe it is. Tuff pill to swallow

posts: 381   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
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ImaChump ( member #83126) posted at 3:41 AM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

@Stillconfused,

For you question:

"Question for others?

During the timeframe of the deceit were you actively asking questions and just hearing lies back or was it just radio silence?"

For me it was both. As I mentioned in my previous post, there were two distinct "periods of infidelity" over the course of 20 years. During the first period (1985-1990), there were many "signs". She stayed out all night with no explanation, would become "detached" and would tell me she "didn’t think she loved me" (after D-Day and getting her timeline, I found out this was always AFTER she had cheated or started inappropriate relationships). I asked her straight up multiple times if she was cheating or there was someone else. Always lies. She did admit to "seeing someone" when her second affair started but said they hadn’t had sex (true at the time). She told me she ended it so we could reconcile but didn’t. Later, when I asked her if she was cheating, she denied it (but was in an LTA) but admitted to "once earlier" (but it was really 7 APs by then).

The second period of cheating (1998-2004), I had no clue so there were no questions to even ask and be lied to. The marriage was great, she treated me great, zero signs. Now in retrospect, she was lying about where she was going, who she was with and what she was doing. Just had "honed her craft" so well by then, I was clueless.

I also consider the 18 years of "keeping all this to herself" after the cheating stopped as "lies of omission" and there were TONS of lying through Discovery over the initial 2 months. So even though the cheating was many years ago, lying to me now is just as much of a betrayal.

She also REALLY resented me asking her how many times she has cheated on me in our marriage. I had to explain to her "The question is not problem, the answer is. The fact I had to ask the question is the problem. The fact you lied when answering the question is the problem. The fact it took you 5 weeks to answer the question in totality is the problem. The fact you resent me instead of your behaviors is the problem."

Me: BH (61)

Her: UW (60)

D-Days: 6/27/22, 7/24-26/22

posts: 147   ·   registered: Mar. 25th, 2023   ·   location: Eastern USA
id 8784776
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IOnceBelieved ( new member #82881) posted at 3:30 PM on Thursday, March 30th, 2023

I feel like I need to set the record straight Stillconfused2022 with regard to my fool’s errand comment. I think my wording may have been a bit ambiguous and clumsy. I intended that only as a self reflection and not that it applied to all of us. In fact I applaud the efforts of everyone who has pursued the truth unwaveringly. I cheered for Ima when he said "if this is all I get, I’m going to divorce her lying, cheating ass". In fact I am a little jealous that you and Ima and so many others have insisted on the truth and gotten a lot of it. I have so little and am becoming afraid that is all I am ever going to have to work with. I agree it is scary and a bitter pill to swallow but at this point I am feeling like that is what I have to choke down.

To answer your question

During the time frame of the deceit were you actively asking questions and just hearing lies back or was it just radio silence?

For me in the beginning about the same time frame as Ima 1983 to 1986 when Dday happened, there were some tells but I was just in denial and asked no questions. She started going out with girl friends "just drinking". Many nights she came home late but never an all nighter. But then after 1986 to present I feel like Ima that she just mastered her craft and went underground. I have very little evidence, mostly just a gut feel so yea no questions again and just radio silence.

In retrospect I am just pissed off that she did, hid it, and got away with it. And I was just a doormat she wiped her feet on when she came home full of another man’s sex. But now here I am with very little recourse. I am believing I may just have to admit defeat, that I have been bested by a master deceiver and manipulator. So I guess I am trying to lick my wounds and figure out a way to move forward.

Me: BS 65

Her: WS 60

DDay: June 1986

In R for last 37 years. But anticipating a new DDay from past undisclosed infidelities is coming.

posts: 26   ·   registered: Feb. 13th, 2023   ·   location: Somewhere between the past and happiness.
id 8784823
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