FallingApartAtTheSeams (original poster new member #82492) posted at 5:51 PM on Sunday, December 4th, 2022
This is my first post ever on any site talking about this. I am truly in despair and need advice and help.
This will be a long post so please bare with me. Me 49 and my wife 48 have a long history. We have been married for 26 years with one precious daughter who is 16. We first met in grade school when we moved and I switched schools. I was in 5th grade and she was in 4th. That is when or connection/chemistry started when I gave her a note with a simple question. Will you go with me? Check one yes or no. She accepted. We were apart for transition from grade school to middle school for a year and when she arrived to middle school we were again boyfriend/girlfriend off and on with other relationships in between until the transition from middle school to high school when we were then apart for another year. When she arrived in high school her freshman year and me a sophomore it was love at first sight for me and I knew in my heart then I wanted her to be my wife. I even told my cousin that I would merry her someday and he said I was crazy. I wound up in her gym class at the start of the year because they messed up my schedule and we got to talk and again boyfriend girlfriend again. We broke up and got back together a few times with short relationships with others. A little more about us now. I was raised in a very loving Christian family with the security of a functional family and morals. She was raised in a broken nonfunctional family that was total chaos and atmosphere of anything can happen at any moment. Adopted by her grandparents who did their best to raise her. She was from a very poor and rough area. Her older brother was both wild and truly crazy and partying all the time with friends who were a wild as he was. Her family would literally fight with guns and knives at any moment. Half cocked all the time. My junior and her sophomore year we were again boyfriend girlfriend. She was partying with her brother and his friends which I didn't know she was doing and had sex with one of the thug friends of her brother. I was truly devastated and in shock at the same time. I could not believe she had done this with such a piece of trash. I was deeply in love with her. We broke up and she was with him for a while all the time I would see her in school thinking about what she was doing with him with me still loving her deep in my heart. My senior and her junior year she broke up with him and again we were drawn back to each other and again boyfriend girlfriend. We had sex and I lost my virginity to her. She asked me after we had sex for the first time if I was going to break up with her thinking that all I wanted was sex and was going to dump her after I got what I wanted. I looked her in the eyes and told her that was not what I wanted at all and told her I loved her and we had not just had sex but made love. She cried and hugged because that was the first time she made love and had been truly loved instead of used for pleasure. We talked and I told her that she was the first person I ever had sex with and I was shocked to learn she had had multiple partners with some just being one night stands. I was also shocked that some of these people were pure lowlife trash. How could she have allowed these thugs to do this to her is what was going through my mind. We continued to be boyfriend girlfriend and I graduated. She had to go to summer school while I had started working my first job after graduating. Some friends told me she had been hanging around with a guy going to summer school as well. He was from a different school but was going to summer school there. They told me they had seen them very flirty and seen them walking out after school and kissing each other. I confronted her about it and she denied all the accusations. One day I drove to the school to watch her when she got out. I was in shock to see her walking out with this dude all smiles. I confronted both of them and they both denied anything was going on. I gave in. Her senior year I was working and she would miss school alot. She wound up quitting school and I broke up with her. About a year passed and some friends of ours set up a double date with them and us. She said she still loved me and in my heart I never stopped loving her since my sophomore year when she arrived at high school. We had both went out with other people during this break and I asked her if she had had sex with any of them and she said that she had made out with things getting close to sex but said that she had not went that far and I didn't have sex with anyone I dated during this time. She was still the only person I had ever had sex with. We got back together and she got her GED. A year passed and I asked her to merry me on Christmas Eve.
We were married 4 months later with a clap of thunder outside when the preacher announced us husband and wife.
My wife was truly a a beautiful girl in school and a beautiful lady when we got married. When I say beautiful I am not saying this because she is my wife I am saying this because she is truly drop dead gorgeous. They have always been guys looking and approaching her.
About 5 years in our marriage I sat down at our computer and found she had left a message ap open on it. I read to see who she was talking to and it was a guy. I didn't find anything that mentioned sex but did see he had told her he missed her and could not wait to see her again and she had said the same. I confronted her about it and she said that nothing was going on and it was just someone she had met at work. She worked at a tourist stop and she said it was just someone from out of town and they had became friends. I later dug and found his number. He was from out of town. I called him and he was in complete denial about even knowing her. I let it pass even though I had a gut feeling that they were more to what she was telling me. Our 10th year in marriage our precious daughter arrived. When she was about 3 years old I was working long hours and off shifts. My mom and dad would watch her during the day while my wife was at work and I was sleeping for a while because I worked long hours on night shift. There was another lady that babysitter as well. There were times when she would arrived home late and had a lot of unexplained time. My dad was dieing of cancer at this time and I was working long hours so it never really hit me that anything was going on. My dad passed away and it was a terrible time for me. One day by mistake I found she had been talking and texting a number alot. When I say alot I mean hundreds of messages. Hundreds. I called her at work and asked her whose number it was. She was silent and didn't say a word. She would not answer. She said that we would talk about it when she got home. She arrived and we talked. She said it was only a guy friend that she talked to. I told her that she was lieing and didn't believe her due to the number of texts. We argued and said admitted that they had met after work a few times but nothing had ever happened. Still didn't believe her. She admitted that they had hugged. Still didn't believe her. I threatened to call the guy and talk to him and she said he had kissed her but she told him that was wrong and didn't do anything else. She swore on her dad and our daughter's name that that was the only thing that had ever happened. This was the day before valentines day and I act like I believed her. Valentines day we went out and had a nice dinner and made love. Little did she know that I had called the guy and threatened to tell his wife if he didn't meet with me the next day. He agreed to meet. I told my wife that I was running to town when I got up and I met with him. I told him that I knew what had happened between him and my wife because she had told me everything trying to make him think I knew more than I did. I told him as long as he told me the truth I would not kick his ass or get his wife involved. He admitted that they had met a lot after work and said they never had sex. I asked them what they did all the times they met. He admitted they had made out on several occasions and admitted that she jacked him off and he had feel her boobs and fingered her while she jacked him off and that they both orgasmed two of the times they had made out. He also said that they had told each other they loved each other. I grabbed him and rattled him and told him he better never speak to my wife again and he agreed. Went home and confronted my wife and told her he had told me everything using same strategy as I did with him. She started with a hug then kiss that should not have happened then a hug then mutual kiss then making out a couple of times promising and swaring that was it then admitted to what he said about her jerking him off and him fingering her until they both orgasmed 2 times but only admitting to that after she asked me what he had told her and I told her what he had told me. She again swore that that is all that happened between them. I eventually said I forgave her but I have never believed in my heart that that is the only thing that happened between them with a strong feeling in my gut that they were both lieing about the extent of the affair. She also denied ever telling him she loved him. As I look back through our 26 years of marriage I can remember other times when something didn't seem right but at the time never dreamed that my wife could be messing around with another man. Which brings me to present day. Our daughter is now 16 and for a few years now there have been things happening that brings that gut feeling that something isn't right. I still feel like my wife has a lot of skeletons in her closet that she has lied about. I still feel like the affair I caught her in 13 years ago went a lot farther than they both admitted to. I feel like I am going crazy sometimes but my gut keeps telling me more. We have both discussed this over the years many many times a she told me the same thing every time a still swares that is all that happened and there has never been any other affairs. Am I crazy? Going crazy? Or is there more she isn't telling me? One thing I want to add is that my wife is well known and loved in our community and she is the sweetest lady you would ever meet. No one would ever suspect her of the things she has done and would be in total shock if they knew. I however know my wife better than anyone and know that my wife can be 2 different people and fool you easily. I experienced it first hand.
Sorry for the long post.
Please help me
FallingApartAtTheSeams (original poster new member #82492) posted at 5:53 PM on Sunday, December 4th, 2022
Thank you in advance to anyone who will help me
LegsWideShut ( member #80302) posted at 6:14 PM on Sunday, December 4th, 2022
Well clearly she knows there are no consequences for her cheating. And from what you wrote, this is who she is, this is who she has always been and she isn't about to change for you. Its about time you believed her.
If she doesn't do any IC, you'll be living this nightmare for the rest of your relationship with her.
Honestly I would do a DNA test on your daughter. Why? Well to be frank, rarely does anyone find out ALL the times their spouses fooled around if it was more than just the once. Its painfully clear she's more than a once type of wife.
I'd put money you dont know half of her affairs. Even if you sat her down asked her, I can promise you won't be told everything.
FallingApartAtTheSeams (original poster new member #82492) posted at 6:17 PM on Sunday, December 4th, 2022
I want to add that I still love my wife with all my heart, I feel like we are truly soulmates and God put us together back when I was in 4th grade and she was in 5th grade.
I feel like Satan himself has tried all our lives to rip us apart.
Everywhere we go our throughout our entire lives to this day we stand out and people have looked looked at at us and have noticed us as standouts and having something special that other people or themselves don't have. I am honest in saying this because we see people looking at us all the time and always have when we are out.
LegsWideShut ( member #80302) posted at 6:22 PM on Sunday, December 4th, 2022
Then accept your wife will continue to cheat on you, and live with that disrespect, she knows you'll do nothing.
Find peace within that, ignore what she does, and keep telling yourself how much she loves you.
You'll never be truly happy deep inside, but you will be together until she decides otherwise and thats enough if thats what you want.
Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 6:56 PM on Sunday, December 4th, 2022
If you have been here for a while and read a lot of posts you will see that marriages pay a terrible price if someone comes into them with a bunch of baggage from childhood. The kind of behavior you have described shows a complete lack of maturity. That is not at all unusual for someone who comes from chaos and it sounds like her family are outlaws. You can’t fix her and you can’t change her and you can’t love her into being better. It does not work that way. If she wants to change she will have to do it. She will have to find a counselor and she will have to work hard to try to make herself grow up because right now she’s still a child. It does not matter how pretty she is. It does matter if she does pretty things or not and it does not sound like she does pretty things especially for you and for your marriage. The reality is you’re going to have to make a hard decision on whether you are going to demand she get therapy, whether you are going to leave or you going to live in misery for the rest of your life. You’re nearly 50 years old… that’s a long time to be in hell.
When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis
RealityBlows ( member #41108) posted at 7:55 PM on Sunday, December 4th, 2022
I want to add that I still love my wife with all my heart, I feel like we are truly soulmates and God put us together back when I was in 4th grade
Of course you do. Shit, I started falling in love with her reading your Wonder Years coming of age story of the beautiful broken bird wilding from the wrong side of the tracks BUT…
She’s currently not marriage material, probably never was. She sounds like she uses high risk casual sexual or near-sexual encounters for some form of validation and/or escape from family of origin trauma(s) that may even include inter-intra-extra familial sexual abuse.
Your girl needs comprehensive therapy. A good therapist can peel her down to the core of her issues using various techniques such as EMDR.
This problem is not going to stop with boundaries, ultimatums and multiple chanceys and especially not further rug sweeping and minimization. It’s going to take intensive professional therapy.
She seems to have, from what you’ve described, the makings of a serial cheater. Male APs are very accommodating. Unless you’ve had her under intensive surveillance, chances are you’ve caught only a few of her many encounters that errantly slipped past your low range radar.
As you’ve already suspected.
[This message edited by RealityBlows at 8:10 PM, Sunday, December 4th]
ChamomileTea ( Moderator #53574) posted at 8:12 PM on Sunday, December 4th, 2022
There comes a point at which we have to decide what we believe. If you believe your WW is still lying to you, the answer is obvious, see an attorney and get a divorce. The bottom line is that we can never KNOW everything that happened, and that's really what this is about for most of us. It's a typical response to this kind of betrayal, the desire to recreate "the story", to know every detail and every nuance, and even though that compulsive feeling is ubiquitous, it's just not possible. No matter how much we know, we still come to the threshold of CHOICE when it comes to what we believe.
It's been twelve years. Do you know enough? That's what it comes down to anyway. For me, I had to get a little tough with myself on this subject because I really did feel like I was going crazy at times frantically searching for more information. In my case, I eventually had to realize that I already knew way more than "enough". My fWH had gone on a Craigslist binge after 30+ years of marriage, with multiple partners and various levels of emotional involvement. I had way more information on that than what I needed to make my "stay or go" decision, but I just kept digging anyway. At a certain point, we're just creating more triggers because we've already decided our course. What more did I need to know?.. that he fucked somebody? Yeah, several "somebodies" in fact. What difference did it make if they ate at such-and-such chain restaurant or stopped at whozzit's gas station? What do you believe and can you live with it? Do you believe, or don't you believe that your WW is an honest broker at this point?
There are no time machines, and I'll be honest with you... when it was all boiled down THAT was what I really wanted. I wanted it to not have happened. I wanted to go back in time and not have my heart broken. But that's just not an option. There's no amount of rumination or bargaining which is going to MAKE it not happen. The past cannot be changed. So, what it comes down to is acceptance. Can we accept that these things happened and still move forward with our WS or are they forever tainted? Do we view our WS as "used goods" who are no longer worthy of our continued commitment? If so, there's your answer.
Time tends to play games with us when we're traumatized, and that's really how you can identify trauma.. the past feels present. But feelings aren't facts and the past IS the past. Who is your WS today? Is she worthy of your commitment TODAY? Are you where you want to be?
There comes a time when we really do need to take complete ownership of our choice and recognize that even though our agency was once denied us, it's firmly in our possession now. You decided to forego the just consequence of infidelity, divorce, and instead continue on in the marriage. Have you taken responsibility for your choice? Do you continue to make that choice freely? There are no bars on the windows or chains on the doors. When we decide to stay, that's a choice we've made. We OWN the ground under our feet in this. And yet, so many of us continue on as if our WS has thrown us into the trunk while s/he recklessly careens down the road to some unknown destination we've had no say in. The facts though are that we DO have a choice and if we can't believe in our WS, if we continue to stay even though we think we're being lied to and manipulated, we've got no one to blame for that but ourselves.
Anyway, to make a long post shorter... if we never grab onto our own agency and hold ourselves accountable for the choices we've made regarding our response to our WS's infidelity, we're missing the opportunity to release our feelings of victimization. Anybody can be victimized, but we don't have to hold onto that feeling. Once our agency has been returned, our choices are ours again. There's power in acknowledging that we ARE where we've chosen to stand. You appear to be half in and half out of this thing. Own your choice. Decide what it is that YOU believe and make that your truth.
BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 40 years; in R with fWH for 8
justanotherperson ( member #82218) posted at 8:42 PM on Sunday, December 4th, 2022
To put it mildly: your wife seems to be a serial cheater (or was at least somewhere in the past). And it seems she enjoyed doing so. She does not know any bondaries within herself - also because you made many, many mistakes new comers on infidelity do.
To many times rugsweeping, letting her lovebomb you like crazy and not setting in stone that you will not allow her to disrespect you ever again.
"Foul me once shame on you. Foul me twice shame on me."
If you want to give her a chance of her treating you right you have to set boundaries.
Let her know if you find out in the slightest that she incurs in cheating behaviours again you WILL divorce her. And MEAN IT. I can't stress how important it is to do so.
Ask her to give you access to All he electronics - NO QUESTIONS asked.
If you have even the smallest impression that she is at it again, do NOT engage in intimacy with her until you find out what the hell is going on.
But as I said, you have to MEAN IT. You can't be stuck in the "what a great couple we make" idea. There are great couples out there that people do not even notice. But they get along because they RESPECT themselves. Others show themselves "getting along" to the outside world but their closets at home are stack full of skeletons.
STAND your ground. You deserve to be respected. Love only works if it goes both ways. Your WW was clearly playing you (if she isn't still). Your attitudes allowed her to have way to much wiggle room to play you like a fiddle. She may continue to do so, if you allow it - forgiving her for every single disrespect attitude towards you. She already knows you won't stand your ground and will forgive her every single time (as you did in the past)
Stay smart. Stay strong. Don't let her bully you. You deserve better.
If you don't do this, you are in for a life time as a backup plan. A number 2 in a poligamus relationship.
[This message edited by justanotherperson at 9:19 PM, Monday, December 5th]
"It can't rain all the time."
annb ( member #22386) posted at 9:26 PM on Sunday, December 4th, 2022
Hi, welcome to SI. So sorry you find yourself here.
You need to understand that cheating is emotional abuse. She has been abusing you from the day you met. Not once has she had to face consequences for her despicable actions of betrayal. cheating, lather, rinse, repeat.
Gently, she is a serial cheater. A tiger cannot change its stripes. This is who she is. She has shown you repeatedly who she is, you need to start believing her.
If you don't mind sharing your wife with God only knows how many men, then accept it and stay in the marriage. If you find your self-respect again, you need to seek out the advice of an attorney and file for divorce.
Sometimes the advice here will be a bit harsh, but you need to get yourself out of infidelity, you've been living a lie for years.
SnowToArmPits ( member #50943) posted at 9:34 PM on Sunday, December 4th, 2022
Hi OP, weicome to SI.
Your wife has you chasing your tail, wondering what the hell is she up to?
Hire a PI and find out.
She's very good at minimising and gaslighting you. If you have irrefutable proof of her nasty behaviour, surely you'll have the means to get her into intensive therapy. I think that's the only hope to try to alter her risky, thrill seeking lifestyle.
Compounding this, you're copdependent upon her - she mistreats you, and you forgive because you can't imagine a life without her. I suggest you get therapy to enable you to say ENOUGH and mean it.
No quick fixes here mate, other than you separating yourself from her.
With her broken childhood and subsequent lifetime of acting out, going to be a tall order to get her to behave herself.
Going to be up to you to make some changes, or, sit and continue to suffer.
[This message edited by SnowToArmPits at 9:57 PM, Sunday, December 4th]
shouldofleft ( member #82234) posted at 11:16 PM on Sunday, December 4th, 2022
I posted a similar story, more of the readers digest version though but since engagement, marriage and kids she seems to be faithful but she did admit to kissing a guy at a Christmas party and with her past I will never be completely sure how far that went. Check out my story for similarities and advice that i was given, maybe you can relate. I always sleep with one eye open now good luck.
LegsWideShut ( member #80302) posted at 11:27 PM on Sunday, December 4th, 2022
I always sleep with one eye open now good luck.
Not sure that would actually help him though. He has this "dream version" of his marriage and spouse, where its been a battle of them against Satan, completely ignoring its him fight against his wifes disrespect and disdain for her marriage vows . Not sure you can advise someone that deeply wrapped in a dream world that doesn't exist. He doesn't see her as the problem, in fact clearly refuses to see her as a broken person. Not sure anyone but a professional can deal with severe cognitive dissonance.
We can type until we're blue in the hands and if he doesnt hear what he wants to hear, I doubt he'll listen to a thing we say. I think he'll be happy to just ignore it and go on with his life and pretend she's still the angel she never was.\
Not trying to be mean, but he's living in a fantasy world.
shouldofleft ( member #82234) posted at 3:47 AM on Monday, December 5th, 2022
You described me Legs, reality sucked for me but I have managed to survive after my fairy tale blew up,
Trdd ( member #65989) posted at 3:57 AM on Monday, December 5th, 2022
There seem to be two issues: 1) her cheating 13 years ago and did she tell the truth 2) you briefly alluded to some potential concerns you have about more recent behavior. Can you tell us more about #2?
LegsWideShut ( member #80302) posted at 4:06 AM on Monday, December 5th, 2022
You described me Legs, reality sucked for me but I have managed to survive after my fairy tale blew up
I think many of us fall into that way of thinking. Many of us like to think we're realists. And then we often find we're wearing Top of the line, High class blinders. OP has that going for him but he's been doing it so long, I doubt he would allow any reality that challenges his world view into his mind.
I didnt go through any major grief with my ex, Im lucky there. My emotions just shut down. It wasnt even delayed grief, it was just acceptance of what it was.
But I can see how devastating a fairy tale marriage being destroyed can be. I know my wife would not fool around but at the same time, there is always the chance she could. If she did, in this case, I would be a wreck, I would be hard pressed to believe she could do it. I would be someone I've never been in a place I've never been.
But when it happens we all need to accept the person whos been revealed to us. OP will always have those demons of doubt/mistrust because he doesnt face up to what she's done. And after all this time, he's found a degree of acceptance, it isn't good for his psyche but part of him is content with it.
Im glad you made it through to the other side, I've known more than a couple who had one hell of a time, but came out better for it.
Never2late ( member #79079) posted at 4:39 AM on Monday, December 5th, 2022
You could try the polygraph route to help settle your concern. Others here can provide more details if you need.
The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 7:02 AM on Monday, December 5th, 2022
She’s a serial cheater.
She’s gorgeous. Beautiful on the outside. Broken and ugly on the inside.
You saw all the red flags and believed marriage would change her. Now you see it didn’t and won’t.
You cannot rescue her. You cannot change her. You cannot expect she is as invested in your marriage as you are. She’s not. She’s more invested in herself.
Her family lifestyle, the people she has associated with and the fact that there have NEVER been consequences all add up to where you are today.
I know 3 people EXACTLY like your wife. Beautiful. Gorgeous. But their life was a train wreck. They expected to get by on their looks. No morals. No integrity. No ethics.
You only have ONE option. Your wife needs professional counseling. Period.
Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.
Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 10:22 AM on Monday, December 5th, 2022
I don’t see her as a serial cheater.
Your youth and dating period seem confusing, and relatively one-sided. It looks like through those years you had more focus on her as your future partner than she did on you. It could also be that you are sensitive to any man she might have been around – and usually there is cause for that. But… all-in-all I would look at the pre-marriage period as a very confusing, on-and-off, are-we-an-item period.
But… the events later on…
They definitely are an issue, and I agree with ChamomileTea that you should try to decide what you want and then go for it.
If you want to save this marriage, then this is my suggestion:
First of all, I encourage you to recognize and to make it clear to your wife that its not enough to want to save this marriage. I think it’s imperative that you both realize that this CAN end with a divorce. It’s like if you know that falling off a tight rope can make you plummet to your death you tend to take more care and be more serious about your next step.
Second – Couples tend to fall into a communication pattern that is then hard to get out of. That’s where a good MC can come in handy. I think you should seriously look into MC, and at that session make this issue with the past a clear priority.
Third – She definitely needs IC. In fact, she needs that more than MC. So maybe you two need 1-2 MC sessions where you outline your issues with her behaviors, and then the MC starts handling her for her issues.
Fourth – Issues like these cause all sorts of problems in YOU. Look into professional help for yourself. This is not put forth in any derogatory way, but rather with the purest of intentions. Living with suspected (and probable and proven) infidelity is going to have effects on you.
"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus
ChamomileTea ( Moderator #53574) posted at 4:03 PM on Monday, December 5th, 2022
I don’t see her as a serial cheater.
I don't either. We might say she was a promiscuous teen, but these were things which happened before the marriage and it was certainly within the OP's purview to decide that this wasn't what he wanted in a wife for whatever reason. To my mind, there's nothing wrong with premarital promiscuity since I don't have any particular religious bias about it, so as long as people are safety conscious anyway. The prefrontal cortex of the brain isn't fully developed until we're in our mid-twenties, so our judgment when we're young is often quite different from the finished product.
I do think there's at least an EA since then and that's where the recovery effort should be focused. Some people will say that kissing and heavy petting amount to a PA and I wouldn't bother to argue about that. Having experienced betrayal on both EAs and PAs though, there's a fair bit of difference when we get down to the particulars and just because this WW has a history of promiscuity in youth, it doesn't necessarily mean she didn't draw a line in adulthood. We can't assume anything.
BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 40 years; in R with fWH for 8