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I Can Relate :
Long Term Affairs Part 39

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Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 6:59 PM on Wednesday, December 14th, 2022

Chaos,
I’m so sorry. The mind f@*# aspect of the whole thing is crazy making.

My situation has been similar though slightly less bunny boiler. Seven years ago affair, physical and emotional, husband just revealed the truth 5 months ago.

It started when she was his secretary 7 years ago. It may have been above board in the beginning but then…there was a four month EA I realized what was up and said fire your secretary, it went underground (that’s a new word for me but it’s accurate). He said he needed 3 months to get rid of her. I agreed thinking they were just too friendly friends (what a fool i was). She must have got wind she was on the chopping block because she upped the ante and kissed him and then they started hooking up in the office over that next 3 months. We were in marriage counseling- him claiming to be handling things but really hooking up. He does tell her she needs to go be someone else’s secretary and puts her on a six week leave, paid obviously. He says in counseling she is never coming back to his office etc etc. After her 6 week leave he lets her back as his secretary but without telling me. After a week of that some kind soul from the office calls and says she’s back. I freak, then she gets kicked out of the company for good, with severance. I think the nightmare is over. Then two years later she finds a way to get rehired by a different part of the company and she has to be kicked out again. My husband has to embarrass himself in front of his board to make this happen so I’m pretty sure he had no hand in her return. But she sends her parents to see him as patients and he doesn’t tell me (that was 4 years ago). Then simultaneously with him coming clean this summer he admits she showed up at his office and parked across the street in his line of vision and did a drive by at our house (maybe cause we just moved?). Why is she doing all this? Why after seven years? If he is involved why is he telling me? He sounded scared but did he provoke her in some way? So confused

It is possible that because in a way she could think "we" got her fired twice. And when she came back the second time I berated my husband for letting it happened. So he figured out where she might work last spring and called to confirm with a receptionist at her new office. She may have gotten wind of that and been scared she would be outed to her new coworkers? Or she is just really mad at him because she lost her job twice? Or she is pining after him? I just literally can not make sense of it.

He broke NC to put a letter on her car telling her to stay the hell away from him and his family. I approved this plan but now I kind of wish we had a lawyer draft a letter. But for what…it was just parking her car across the street. Not illegal. Ugh

posts: 378   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
id 8769488
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Booney ( new member #80566) posted at 12:22 PM on Tuesday, March 7th, 2023

It's so good to dip in, be reminded that it's not just me that feels the way I do. I think you guys are brilliant...there's no bullshit and you call a spade a spade. I've been coming to terms with something that TheEnd mentioned earlier, when her counsellor said her WH hadn't cared for her.
This has been a massive tough one for me. It's obvious, but my brain just wouldn't let me go there. I was full of 'but how could he?' 'we had something special' 'we were such a brilliant couple, everyone thought so' (except for the bitch obviously)
Over the last maybe 8 months I'd begun accepting that what he did wasn't love, that he didn't love me, that you don't do that if you love your wife. He broke up with AP 8 times in their 4yr 4 month relationship...and he went back to her every time until the last time, when he told me. He made a million micro choices and many macro ones too.
Anyway through much talking over the years since DDay, and his brutal honesty that I asked for...eg he told me he would make me a coffee and bring it to bed then head 'out to work' early on a day off to have sex with her in a hotel, then come home to me....and when he looked at me with that coffee, he didn't care that he was betraying me..he was looking forward to fun in a hotel bedroom. I'm convinced the love and care for me wasn't there. The shitty thing is, what do you call it - a Mindfuck - is that I couldnt tell. I mean just thinking now, that example is a perfect one. Bringing me a coffee in bed before he goes to work and I get up to see to the kids?...how could I know?
Where I am now is a place where instead of seeing the evidence of their million emails and everything he's told me since DDay, but not able to absorb it.. I'm now cognisant of the fact that he didn't love me, he didn't care for me enough, we didn't have something special, we didn't have a good marriage.

You don't know what you don't know 'til you know it. Looking back now, I can see our marriage was flawed. We'd been together since 1988, we talked a lot, I thought that meant we were good at communication, but we didn't talk about our vulnerabilities or fears, we blamed eachother for things, we kept our 'weakneses' private from eachother. We put full effort into our lives, our home, our kids, and not so much effort into us. We both came from families where you didnt talk about emotions, and to talk about such things when we were kids would have induced ridicule from our families. Because we got along really well and enjoyed eachothers company hugely, laughed a lot together, in many ways highly compatible, I thought we were the perfect couple. I believed the fairytale. I didn't know better, I mean I didn't know what I was missing and I didn't know it could be better. Stupid huh!. Well niaive and ignorant for sure.

Next month will be 3 yrs since DDay 6th April. I think I've come to terms with a lot and learned a lot, we both have. We're still together. No divorce, no rings, no promises. I love him, I can't tell if he loves me because evidently I'm rubbish at knowing. I know him much better, we have shown eachother more of ourselves.
But what so far I have been unable to do is to bear the thought and knowledge of the two of them together. Whilst I know it's over, I still know that they made love, went on holidays, made love in our tent, in our bed, heavy petted in our car etc. A million places but it's the actual sex and touching and kissing. I don't know how to bear the pain of it is acute. I cry a lot less about it and for a shorter period but the pain is intense...suck it up and stay in your lane I suppose.

Me: BW58yrs. WH56yrs.DDay:6th April 2020. He ended the A & told me after.He&I 2gether since 1988. Married 1994. Fuckup A started Dec 2015. The day he betrayed me is the day our marriage ended in my eyes. In R. He’s the worst and the best thing in my life

posts: 17   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022   ·   location: Scotland
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Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 9:25 PM on Thursday, March 9th, 2023

Booney,
I am so sorry for what you’ve been through. I understand the desolation. The story about the coffee really resonates. I keep asking about what he felt when he would be looking at me and the kids, knowing he would be going to do something awful with that OP the next day. I have received similar answers to what it seems like you have received. Essentially, not feeling guilt in the moment. I find that gutting. The actions themselves (the kissing, touching, lying, deceiving, etc.) are of course terrible. But sometimes I feel the lack of guilt at the time is worse. My therapist told me it was "unrealistic" to think that people would feel guilty the whole time…otherwise they wouldn’t have affairs. I guess that is sort of true, but there are twenty-four hours in the day. There weren’t some times when you were consumed by how disgusting your actions were toward people who had blind faith in you? I know I shouldn’t try to put myself in those shoes, but I just feel that I would be feeling guilty. How were they not disgusted with themselves when they did these things. I know why you think he could not have loved you. My husband is one of those who says he did. I guess it is all semantics. They loved their children for sure, at least in some form, and yet they did a horrible thing to them. It is scary to think that this whole thing may not get easier. I wonder how many hours you can go without thinking of it. I also love my husband. At times he is the picture of remorse, but whats done is done. I don’t think he had some grand plan to destroy my life but it feels like that’s what happened anyway. I wonder if you think about leaving. Do you hold that option in reserve somewhere in the back of your mind? It has only been 7 months since I learned about the physical part, but 7 years since I learned of some pretty extreme betrayal. I almost understand the 7 years of lies and sometimes I am glad I had those 7 years without knowing. I could never have enjoyed those last years with my older children at home if I had known. Right now I dont enjoy anything. I hope that changes.

Did your husband say he felt guilty? What are your thoughts on forgiveness? Did he do a timeline? Do you think that is really important once you know the facts anyway?

posts: 378   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
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Confusedmd ( member #78802) posted at 6:16 AM on Saturday, March 25th, 2023

I have this BIG question:

In this site, we are always told not to readily believe the words, but to look at the actions. Well, my wife says she never stopped loving me during and after the affair. At the same time, I look at my wife's previous actions during the affair. So in the principle of "words over actions", how can I ever believe what she is telling me that she felt during the affair?

To my fellow BS, how do we believe their words of love when their actions, over a long sustained period of time (esp in long term affairs) were lies, deception, and giving WAY MORE energy and loyalty to AP?

posts: 63   ·   registered: May. 16th, 2021
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 3:38 PM on Saturday, March 25th, 2023

To my fellow BS, how do we believe their words of love when their actions, over a long sustained period of time (esp in long term affairs) were lies, deception, and giving WAY MORE energy and loyalty to AP?

It took a long time to believe my wife's actions and her words after she confessed her A years after the fact.

Infidelity is something we take so personally (as we should) yet most WS intent isn't about us, it's about their issues needing validation from others and escape from themselves.

None of that changes the pain or how invisible we are during their A.

Seven years of answering all my questions, seven years of showing me empathy, love and care -- I believe her actions, and I believe what she tells me, based on her consistent effort toward being a better person and better partner.

To your point above, I essentially told my wife to imagine if she put HALF the effort into the M versus the A, how good our relationship COULD have been.

But she KNEW that.

Truth is self evident.

And once she saw her actions for what they were, and NOT the escapist fantasy bullshit (WS lie to themselves too), it didn't take long for her to own it all and not blame me or the M. I think blame shifting is fuel for the LTA, but once that fantasy bubble breaks, it can be a harsh reality for a truly remorseful WS.

Final answer, if a WS works on themselves, own their choices and help us heal the M -- they may be worth working with. We never owe WS a second chance, but in my specific case, I'm glad I did.

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

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Booney ( new member #80566) posted at 10:58 PM on Monday, March 27th, 2023

Stillconfusedmd

Did your husband say he felt guilty? What are your thoughts on forgiveness? Did he do a timeline? Do you think that is really important once you know the facts anyway?

He told me there was a cycle; he wanted the affair and enjoyed it and felt he wasn't really doing anything wrong, after all other people did it. His view was that so long as I didn't know and our relationship remained good...what was the harm. Then after a few meetings with the bitch over a couple of months he would have a growing sense of guilt, and she would have a growing demands that he leave me/spend more time with her. He would retreat from her and she would be furious and insulting etc. He'd feel free and relief. After the breakup he would feel terrible guilt whilst having happy times with me; he knew how badly he'd behaved. But he couldn't tell me because if I knew then it'd be divorce. After several months she would get back in touch with a few friendly 'how'r you doing' email (I have all the emails) and he'd be pleased to hear from her. She wouldn't be angry anymore and made him feel extremely loved and special, like he was Superman, a god, superhuman, precious, extremely good looking...all that kind of stuff. She told him he wasn't doing anything wrong and...did he want to be a coward and miss out on the passionate unique love that they shared etc...and all that guilt melted away and he felt warm and safe and loved. Then after a couple of months he felt guilt and shame for what he was doing and would retreat from her again, and she would be furious and damning. This cycle happened 8 times in four years. The last time he didn't just retreat. He told me the truth. He told her he wished he'd never met her and if he could turn the clock back he would. He felt nothing for her. These days he sees my distress and pain of it all. He feels hideous: abject guilt, shame, embarrassment, disgust in himself, horror of what he did. Often tells me he will never be that man again, that he is a better man. Tells me he is enlightened and I believe him, in fact I told it to him first.

Forgiveness? Depends on what you mean. I don't hold it against him and I'm not vengeful or want to cause him pain. I have never been these things. I'm devastated and only half the woman I was. I thought what we had was special, precious..do you know what I mean; the two of us against the world, we had eachothers backs, on the same page, one being in two beings. I believed it all, I felt it. Now, I don't believe in that junk and I know we're not special at all, and what I thought we had, turns out we didn't. This is okay with me. It's honest and I just have to put my big girls pants on and accept it. During the fuckup he did what he wanted for his reasons, and the consequences have been extremely damaging to both of us. I'm angry about that; us being all fucked up because of it..for what; empty ego rubbing and feeling like a superstar stud, instead of being a good husband and dad to his beautiful family. Forgiveness/not forgiveness doesn't seem to come into it. It just is what it is, and I make a choice and he makes a choice to work together on building our relationship honestly and lovingly. Our kids too made their own choice to love us both individually, and leave our relationship to us. We're still Mum and Dad, and what we do in terms of our relationship is up to us. I don't think any of us forget it for long, but again..forgiveness doesn't come into it somehow.

The Timeline. I am one of those who wants to know everything, and oh boy did he tell me. I had a timeline within the first couple of months, as soon as I suggested it. Does it make a difference to know everything? for me, I needed it. Some of it was horrific and as you can imagine highly distressing. No worse than my own imagination though. Some of the stuff he did with her on dates/places that were special to us has been particularly tough.
I think each to their own on this.

Do I think about leaving him? I thought about it a lot in the first ten months. It was a certainty for the first six but delayed because we kept it secret until my son handed in his dissertation. Then I decided to make a decision in the New Year and decided to put my energy into building rather than leaving. I could leave easily, i mean I'm financially secure and have friends and family etc..and I could rebuild me easier if I left him. But I love him and we are brilliant together.
I wish I could tell you that it all goes away but I can't. For me nearly three years on, it only affects me for a short time pretty much every day and it hurts me to the core,and I do stuff like have deep sob microcries in the loo. And I still ask him questions, and I still look at him at times in disbelief for a moment and reboot to reality.

Me: BW58yrs. WH56yrs.DDay:6th April 2020. He ended the A & told me after.He&I 2gether since 1988. Married 1994. Fuckup A started Dec 2015. The day he betrayed me is the day our marriage ended in my eyes. In R. He’s the worst and the best thing in my life

posts: 17   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2022   ·   location: Scotland
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Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 7:30 PM on Saturday, April 22nd, 2023

Confusedmd,

I’m sorry you are here and in pain. I understand your question. I thought it myself many many times.

I think what you are asking is when can I trust my wife again - the answer is it depends on her and you.

If your wife has shown you over a period of time that has made you feel comfortable, that she is committed to you, puts you first, has fixed her issues, values you as a spouse, then, perhaps she is becoming trustworthy. If you feel that you cannot trust her, then your marriage will never work.

If you are afraid to trust her, I would suggest that you are absolutely normal. The only thing that will make you feel better, is not just her words, it is her actions, her intent, her effort, Her expressions to you and her sincerity. if any of those feel off, you cannot trust her. You have to be in a place where you are safe with her, if you cannot achieve this safety, reconciliation is not going to happen.

The affair was all about her, the reconciliation is about your marriage, and I think it’s more about you. You have to decide if you can ever trust her again, and that is no easy task, especially for those who have had a long term affair.

My ex lied to me, for let’s call it 10 years, it is actually a bit more. The effort he put into his girlfriend was unbelievable. He lost clients because she told him to let them go, he got his MBA because she told him to do it, he did all kinds of things because she told him to do them. He did so much to make this woman happy. Meanwhile, at home there was very little effort, and no kindness only occasionally, and there was intent to take advantage of me.

It took me a long time to realize that I couldn’t trust him, and that I didn’t feel safe with him, and that I didn’t like what he stood for . Everything in my being wanted to stay married. I could not stay married to him. He is bad for me. It is OK if you decide you’re done and that you cannot trust them. It really is.

I hope you get what you need, and I hope that there is happiness and joy at the end of this kind of shitty journey. All the best.

[This message edited by Tallgirl at 7:38 PM, Saturday, April 22nd]

Standing tall

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Gracey ( member #79334) posted at 9:11 PM on Sunday, April 30th, 2023

Hi, I post on here quite a lot as I find helps to get others experiences and confirms that my feelings about things are valid. My WH has been involved with AP for at least 5 years that I know of, DDay was Jan 2020. My WH is still trickle truthing me and not unfortunately ready to take responsibility. He let slip recently that he and AP had wanted each other for years and were waiting for my WH’s and my son to leave school before he left me or that was his reasoning however he seemingly got cold feet when that day came round as he unbelievably asked if he left me could he come back. AP had by then revealed all to me, I guess in the hope that I would leave WH. Has anybody else had WS stay allegedly because of children? . WH is still here and somedays he seems genuinely loving and appreciative of me and then he slips back into acting out mode. I am almost certain this indicates he is still thinking of being with AP I am really struggling with understanding the psychology of this all and why anybody would put themselves in a position of having two women which must be pretty stressful?

Together 34 years Married. 17 years

posts: 96   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2021   ·   location: United Kingdom
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Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 11:57 AM on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023

Hi Gracie

My WH planned with his hooker chick/aP to leave me many times. He could never do it. After three years of not leaving me, the AP threatened him and said I will go Tallgirlks work and confront her. I will tell her everything if you will not.

He told me he did not leave because of the kids. And that each time they planned it, he couldn’t do it. Frankly, it wasn’t because of me. He had also proposed and bought her a ring. No, he never admitted it was a promise ring. so our situation’s are somewhat similar

My ex husband literally lived two lives for over five years. He was not pleasant or loving to me during that time. When he was at his worst, it was when they were planning to leave me. He had told me that they often broke up and got back together. I’m certain this contributed to his mood.

Oh, in the end, it seemed that he had many issues outside of any of his relationships that he needed to resolve. This often contributed to his moods and guilt, and shame, or major players as well.

Gracey are you certain he is no longer in touch with this person?

How Can do they this. Super easy. Selfishness is a big part of the reason. And that ability to compartmentalize. And putting himself first. Bet he didn’t think about the kids when he started the affair.

My ex often said inconsistent statements. But one very true statement was that he would’ve gone to his grave without telling me. Holding such terrible secrets from your spouse has to eat away at your soul. So I guess we can add soullessNess to the list of how they can do it.

To be honest, I also think they’re lost, really lost.

[This message edited by Tallgirl at 10:23 PM, Tuesday, May 2nd]

Standing tall

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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 4:00 PM on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023

Gracey,

I hear you. It’s gruesome to know the person we love was involved in an affair for so long right under our nose.

I didn’t learn of my wife’s affair until it was clearly and actually over for five years. That’s its own kind of awful. But your questions were about staying for the kids and how could someone be in love, or at least be in relationships, with two people at once.

My wife’s AP was my (our) best friend of over twenty years. In the beginning, it was a digital/sexting affair carried on from a distance of 800 miles. At the very beginning she told him she loved him "with all her heart" and that she was relieved that she had finally decided to divorce me to be with him. She didn’t bother to tell me that, of course. Vestiges of that early promise haunted the balance of their affair as they vacillated between "we’ll be together soon" and the reality of logistics and remorse blocking an actual exit from the actual marriage and public entry into an actual relationship with him.

About a year into what was a three year affair, he moved to where we live and they carried on for another two years. I believe he moved here to execute their "happily ever plan." She denies signing on for that plan at that time. I think she probably did have an existential crisis when the affair became "real" with his arrival in our day to day life. What began as a digital affair with a remote prince charming became an actual affair with a real live man who was in our home and around our kids. It was easy to compare me in real life negatively to the "perfect" digital prince charming who could be whatever she needed from afar.

But when he moved here, that comparison could no longer happen. It became "real." I was actually the father of her children, the man who’d loved her since high school, all that. He was actually a selfish, broke drug addict living in his sister’s basement with no prospects to be anything but that. Nonetheless, the affair went on for two more years under those conditions. I believe even now that if he’d moved here, gotten his life together, gotten a good job and a home for her join him in that she’d have done it.

A huge part of my pain now is wondering, even now, did she stay for me, for the kids, both? Would she have actually left me if he could have provided a landing spot for her that was reasonably comfortable with most of her life intact? These questions plague me.

I know her decision to stay at the time was hugely about the kids. She hated me. She treated me with utter contempt. I have a very hard time seeing any evidence that she loved me at all during her affair. Your question points out to me that indeed trying to be in two relationships with two men was in fact extraordinarily stressful to her. I bore the brunt of that stress it seems. On a good day, I can muster some empathy for her under those conditions, notwithstanding that they were entirely of her own making. Not every day is a good day. Some days I just remember how shitty she was to me for so long.

I cannot comprehend the compartmentalization, the self-deceit that she engaged in to do what she did. It is mind boggling. But for the fact that I’ve read so many stories here very much like mine, very much like yours, I couldn’t believe it could happen at all. But it did happen. She did manage to live this ridiculous duality for over three years.

I wish I could tell you there’s some obvious path forward that answers these questions satisfactorily and provides some relief from your pain. The best I can do for you is this: what he did is real. You can never know with certainty the answers to these questions. Did he stay for the kids? How can you love two people at once?

Your brain and mine do not work like your husband’s and my wife’s. Or maybe they could work like that but so far they haven’t. I don’t know.

The "laws of physics" applicable in upside down affair world are incomprehensible to those of us who’ve never gone through the looking glass. When I try to apply my logic to the decisions she was making the calculator always returns an error like a broken formula on an excel spreadsheet. No matter how many times I mash that button the error isn’t fixed.

My advice to you is this: accept what happened, accept that you cannot ever really understand it, accept that you cannot know whether he stayed just for the kids or not. Demand that your husband be the best husband he can be now, in the present, or divorce him if he can’t or won’t be that man. That’s it. It’s very simple to say, and very difficult to do. Ask me how I know.

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.

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NoThanksForTheMemories ( member #83278) posted at 12:12 AM on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

I've been lurking a bit here and finally worked up the nerve to set up an account, mostly so I could post in this thread. The long term affair is such a nightmare to deal with. It's a relief to have others to talk to who have dealt with the same situation.

Here's my story: my spouse had a nearly 3 year long affair with a former coworker. He thought he was in love for a while, and by the time he realized he realized he didn't want to leave me, he couldn't quit her. They "tried to break up" many times. His AP was also married with kids, like us, and she had no desire to break up her home.

Dday was last November, soon after our 25th anniversary, which we didn't celebrate the way we usually do for milestone anniversaries. I confronted him and begged him to tell me why he was so distant no matter how hurtful the truth, and he finally confessed. We decided fairly quickly to attempt to repair the relationship, but he didn't go fully no contact for the first couple months. He thought it was fine to "check in" with "platonic" messages. Dday 2 (late Jan) was when he truly cut the cord and started therapy for himself. Things have been rough, and I've had to battle through multiple rounds of lies and trickle truths, but I finally got a full disclosure document from him a few weeks ago. That plus finally doing marriage counseling the past month has led to some improvement.

I feel like I can see the faintest glimmer of hope, but I'm so afraid to believe that it's real. I'm still on edge, waiting for the next bomb to drop and destroy the fragile connection I've allowed myself. We were in a pretty good place for a very long time, and even right before the affair, my WS agrees that there was nothing terrible in our relationship. For him, it was more that the feelings for the AP were too overwhelming to resist, etc. He keeps begging for patience as he repairs himself. I'm bitter that I have lost my forever marriage because of his actions. Our couples counselor tells me that it's possible to recover strong feelings for each other. Not sure I believe her yet.

My current plan is to give the process a few years until our kid is done with high school. At that point, if things still don't feel solid between us, I will ask to split up. I really hope it doesn't come to that, but after so many false starts in the last 6 months, I'm not sure what to believe anymore.

Anyway, I hope I can give and receive support and wisdom here, a place where none of us wants to be. Thanks for reading this far.

WH had a 3 yr EA+PA. Dday1 Nov-22. Dday4 Sep-23. 30 years together. Allowing space for R without commitment.

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Wiseoldfool ( member #78413) posted at 2:16 AM on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

NoThanks:

I feel your pain.

I’m five years removed from the initial revelation of the affair and I’m still seeking peace.

A lot of your story resonates with me. Keep posting.

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.

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Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 5:06 AM on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

No thanks.

So many of our stories have similar threads.

I am really sorry this happened to you. Has your wh figured out his whys?

What would make you feel ok about your R?

I know 25 yrs is a long time, but if you decide you are done, You can leave him any time.

For me, I eventually realized I disliked a lot of things about my husband and trust was not recoverable. So it is ended. Though sometimes when I speak to him I am transported back in time. Damn his voice. And his cheating.

My ex’s affair was 5 years. It came to light 12 days before my 24th anniversary. Charming.

You sound like you are doing well moving to R. Even though it has had a few bumps. There is nothing easy about dealing with an LTA.

You have been heard😊

Standing tall

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OnTheOtherSideOfHell ( member #82983) posted at 5:45 AM on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

No Thanks,

Technically, you are only 4 months into recovery if he only went no contact in January. Make no mistake, any contact (even platonic) is continuance of the affair. Him seeing your pain and continuing to communicate with her is in my opinion, horrible abuse. In other words, he was confronted with your immeasurable pain yet still chose her and his needs. Give yourself time to grieve that. It’s awful. Focus on you and you alone. It’s your turn to be "selfish". Travel with girlfriends, get weekly massages, take long walks sipping your favorite beverage, etc.. whatever fills your cup. Put your marriage and its recovery or demise on the back burner. He will either "un-fucx" himself or he won’t. You can’t force it. The opinion of some internet stranger reading your story is he got off to a terrible start. Hang in there. It will get better one way or the other.

posts: 197   ·   registered: Feb. 28th, 2023   ·   location: SW USA
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 6:06 PM on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

WiseOld -

I definitely looped around this thought for a couple years:

A huge part of my pain now is wondering, even now, did she stay for me, for the kids, both? Would she have actually left me if he could have provided a landing spot for her that was reasonably comfortable with most of her life intact? These questions plague me.

My wife's LTA was on the opposite on the happily ever after scale, while AP and OBS were family friends, AP made it clear he wasn't leaving his wife. He did talk of a dreamy future when the kids in both families were grown up, then MAYBE they could get together. It was my wife who was certain the love was real and he had to dump her harshly and leave no doubt that his feelings were NOT real. He freaked out when we moved BACK to the town where the A started.

And I asked what would she have done if he hadn't freaked out and pushed her away? How long would the 4-year A have been?

The way I found peace, was I can only go with what happened.

Spending a life of what if or what could have been -- is how so many of us get wrapped up around those emotional axles, until the end of time.

What happened was, my wife did horrible things, and she chose to stay. And I'm certain that at first, it WAS for the kids. But she stayed.

She could have left before the A, during the A (and I totally recall her contempt of me during) or after the A. I never had a smoking gun, just a bad feeling. She didn't have to confess. Ultimately, once she was able to witness the destruction of me AFTER her confession, she certainly could have ditched me and the hard work. But she stayed.

Our kids are grown, we are strong enough financially to D and live well.

My peace is because we wake up and choose each other each day NOW.

I can only go with what has happened, good, bad or otherwise.

If I live in those past possibilities, I'll miss the immensely positive changes both of us have made during the last seven years.

I hope all of here find some peace after the Hell of infidelity.

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 8789426
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NoThanksForTheMemories ( member #83278) posted at 7:02 PM on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

Thanks everyone for the welcome.

Tallgirl, you asked if WH has figured out why. He has sorted out a narrative in therapy, which includes a poor understanding of boundaries (he got way too close to her at the workplace, a small company), a sense of entitlement (that he owed it to himself to see if she was actually "the one" and not me), facing midlife crisis and mortality (the A started soon after the pandemic shutdown and a good friend died of Covid), and eventually the inability to give up the high that the A feelings provided.

What would make me feel okay about R? The key points would be that WH has demonstrable passion for me, that he's able to be honest with me about everything (including things that might cause me pain or discomfort), and that he maintains strong boundaries with female friends and colleagues. I'd also like to see him get to a point where he can talk about the AP without looking a junkie in withdrawal. He still gets pale and shaky when we dig deep into the memories, though he claims that's because of guilt and shame, and maybe it's that too, but I think he's also trying very hard to repress the natural biological reaction to thinking about her.

OnTheOtherSideOfHell, I appreciate everything you're saying. On dday2, I told him I was done. I saw a lawyer the following week while he did 3 rounds of IC. He swore to get his head on straight and said that he had truly gone NC, hit rock bottom, and literally got on his knees and begged me to give him a little more time to prove that he wanted to save us. For the sake of our family (especially our kid), I agreed. We haven't told anyone except for a few close, trusted friends who have known both of us for 20+ years. I don't want to inflict this trauma on our family if I can help it.

The friends who know are supportive of whatever I want to do (stay or D), and they understand what it is we're risking by splitting up. They're all appalled at WH's behavior (no one thought he was capable of something like this). WH's friends are encouraging him to get his head out of his a**, and honestly, over the past week or so, I think he might finally be doing it. He's stopped being defensive, he's proactive at doing what the MC has suggested, and he's been taking the initiative in talking about the A. I've been asking him for these things since dday1. I'm still in wait-and-see mode, but I'm allowing myself to actively participate in R. I'm also allowing myself to be selfish about doing things that make me happy. Luckily I had a bunch of good work-related news in the weeks following dday2, which helped stabilize me.

WH had a 3 yr EA+PA. Dday1 Nov-22. Dday4 Sep-23. 30 years together. Allowing space for R without commitment.

posts: 95   ·   registered: May. 1st, 2023
id 8789431
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Oldwounds ( member #54486) posted at 7:15 PM on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

NoThanks -

I'm also allowing myself to be selfish about doing things that make me happy.

This is great. And it means you’re WAY ahead of where I was in my first year after discovery. The more you heal you, the better. For me, I waited until I made a choice to stay (or go) from as strong a place as is possible.

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 8789434
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Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 1:11 AM on Friday, May 5th, 2023

Tallgirl, you asked if WH has figured out why. He has sorted out a narrative in therapy, which includes a poor understanding of boundaries (he got way too close to her at the workplace, a small company), a sense of entitlement (that he owed it to himself to see if she was actually "the one" and not me), facing midlife crisis and mortality (the A started soon after the pandemic shutdown and a good friend died of Covid), and eventually the inability to give up the high that the A feelings provided.

Boundaries- ok fair. Does he know them now?

Entitlement - yah, that is bs excuse to do what you want and tell yourself there are no consequences

Mortality - losing a friend is sad, but not a reason to have an affair. Ever.

The high of an A - my ex had a hard time too. Takes a smack of reality to smarten up.

Great things to make yourself feel comfortable! Like your list.

Standing tall

posts: 2216   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2018
id 8789634
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Vocalion ( member #82921) posted at 5:29 AM on Friday, May 5th, 2023

There's a reason Dante's Inferno places those who betray other human beings on the 9th, lowest circle of Hell where the most dire unspeakable punishments are meted out by Satan. Dante considers betrayers as worse than murderers and rapists in that they destroy hope and trust by inflicting the worst kind of damage anyone can cause another person. To forgive is truly a gift of grace.

posts: 234   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2023   ·   location: San Diego
id 8789665
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NoThanksForTheMemories ( member #83278) posted at 6:06 AM on Tuesday, May 9th, 2023

Boundaries- ok fair. Does he know them now?

Entitlement - yah, that is bs excuse to do what you want and tell yourself there are no consequences

Mortality - losing a friend is sad, but not a reason to have an affair. Ever.

The high of an A - my ex had a hard time too. Takes a smack of reality to smarten up.

He's a little more aware of boundaries but not as much as I'd like. He's agreed to read "Not Just Friends" as something I need for R to work, and to discuss what he learns with me and/or in marriage counseling.

The other stuff like entitlement, mid-life crisis, and the high are things he now acknowledges are excuses. I think he's aware that there's no justification for what he did. His internal struggle right now seems to be the disconnect between thinking he's a good person and the affair as something only a bad person would do. Personally I don't really think of people as all good or bad. He seems to see the world in more binary terms than I do.

WH had a 3 yr EA+PA. Dday1 Nov-22. Dday4 Sep-23. 30 years together. Allowing space for R without commitment.

posts: 95   ·   registered: May. 1st, 2023
id 8790177
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