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Reconciliation :
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 AhurtHusband (original poster new member #83481) posted at 1:42 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

Quick background. D-day was June 15, 2023 so still fairly fresh. My WW (46F) had an affair from Sept 2016 through Feb 2018. Her heart was always with her AP even though he would take breaks during the affair. We're working on reconciliation, because we have 3 kids (15, 9 and 6) and our relationship has always been good, sometimes better than other times, but even during the affair, she played the (mostly) happy wife well. She hid the affair until I discovered it.

She's shown remorse and have worked very diligently since discovery. She's doing everything she can to save our marriage....now.
She even showed guilt before discovery but it didn't make sense...she's hard on herself normally and she'd routinely knock herself as a wife and say things like I'm a better husband to her than she is a wife to me....I'd reassure her and be like "WTF" but move on.

I want to reconcile if I can, but there are things that she did during her affair that I can't see myself forgiving her for.

So the first thing that might pop up is the age of our youngest. Yes, my wife got pregnant during her affair and yes a paternity test was done and, thankfully, she's mine. But there's pieces here we'll get to.

So the things I'm struggling with...
1. Her AP has HSV2 and said so before they got physical and my WW went forward and even wanted and had unprotected sex with him....AFTER she was pregnant. She's been tested since and is negative, but it's the action that gets me. If he had other STI's what would've happened or worse, what if she contracted it and gave it to our daughter. I know I shouldn't live in the what if's but still
2. I was in the hospital with a major case of rhabdomyolysis (life threatening possibility) for four days and she didn't visit me much and then five days after I got out of the hospital, she brought her AP into our house and had unprotected sex in our bed. She's looked deep in herself through EMDR therapy and there was no malice...but this one is REALLY hard
3. She knew what she was doing. She even made multiple comments in her journals about how she knew this was going to destroy me, and even a comment about how I'm the only one who makes her birthday special (as she's complaining about her AP)
4. She and her AP are both married with families. She befriended her AP's wife and then blended our families, we spent holidays with them, time with them etc. Her AP even insulted our oldest a couple times which I almost lost it over but my WW talked me down. It was really twisted to involve the families and befriend the AP's wife (albeit it was a genuine friendship) to make the affair easier to have.
5. She used buying a birthday and christmas present for me as an alibi for her to go out with her AP to hide having a sexual tryst from his wife. Also, discovery was the Thursday before father's day....so, from my WW, I've lost all holidays.

I want to get past these, truly, but I can't seem to. I am no closer to forgiving her than the day I discovered.

Please give me any advise or comments....good or bad.

Thanks
A hurt husband.

posts: 49   ·   registered: Jun. 15th, 2023   ·   location: Connecticut, USA
id 8807763
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MintChocChip ( member #83762) posted at 1:51 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

I am so sorry. I felt actual pain reading your post. I want to begin with saying that you deserved so much better than this, and that everything your wife did was about her and her flaws.

It is far too early to be thinking about forgiveness. In time you'll understand forgiveness is something you'll probably give anyway, for yourself rather than her. Forget, for now, "getting past it".

During this first phase is going to be a lot more about survival. Let's begin with asking these questions:

1. How did you find out?

2. Is the affair over / how was it ended?

3. Has all contact with OM ceased?

4. Has she given you the full story? You mention reading her journals?

Triage begins with knowing you have the full story and the affair is over. You can't begin the next steps until the bombs have stopped going off.

D Day: September 2020Currently separated

posts: 273   ·   registered: Aug. 20th, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8807765
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 AhurtHusband (original poster new member #83481) posted at 2:10 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

Hi MCC,

Thanks for your reply. I agree with you about being patient, it's just difficult. I know it's going to take time but with time is pain and anger. Logically I know I can't shortcut that but emotionally I want to so badly.

To answer your questions.

During this first phase is going to be a lot more about survival. Let's begin with asking these questions:

1. How did you find out?

2. Is the affair over / how was it ended?

3. Has all contact with OM ceased?

4. Has she given you the full story? You mention reading her journals?

1. I discovered her secret email account and got access to her journals, then discovered her dropbox and discovered almost every text message they had with each other. My WW has an issue with keeping everything, stuffing it away and then forgetting it's there. Her keeping everything was a bit psychotic to be honest but still
2. The affair ended in Feb 2018 when her AP blew up at her and ghosted her. The affair had been dying since Dec. 2017, they did nothing physical in 2018, and I think her AP was just done with it. He knew my WW was friends with his wife so he needed to do a full break up so he concocted an issue to justify breaking up cold turkey with no future contact.
3. Not fully. They work in the same building for a large company (300,000 sqft building). There is no physical contact (and hasn't been) but there are emails a couple times per year. To my wife's credit, she shows me every correspondence to and from so I know what is being said. She stays 100% professional
4. I discovered everything and read a super detailed and glorified version of her sexcapades, and then read almost every text message between them for 1.5 years. So yeah, I have to full story and then some.

5. It wasn't asked but I'm sure someone will ask. No, I have not confronted the AP or informed his wife....yet. I'm going to stay that course for now. It would add unneeded stress. I'll reconsider this later.

posts: 49   ·   registered: Jun. 15th, 2023   ·   location: Connecticut, USA
id 8807768
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MintChocChip ( member #83762) posted at 2:36 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

Well, it's very painful to read it all but in the long run this will help you because a big part of the trauma here is the deceit and not knowing what's true. You know. So now you can deal with it.

It seems then like AP had ended the affair. Which is good in a way but also there's been no decision from her side. Do you know how she feels about it being over?

This is historic, which is another plus point. Most of us discover the affair when it's ongoing which makes it more complicated in some ways.

So it sounds like you've basically just had your universe ripped apart.

Did you suspect anything at the time?

Can you describe what you thought your marriage was like before you found out?

What led you to discover these secrets?

D Day: September 2020Currently separated

posts: 273   ·   registered: Aug. 20th, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8807772
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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 3:36 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

Her AP has HSV2 and said so before they got physical and my WW went forward and even wanted and had unprotected sex with him....AFTER she was pregnant. She's been tested since and is negative, but it's the action that gets me. If he had other STI's what would've happened or worse, what if she contracted it and gave it to our daughter. I know I shouldn't live in the what if's but still

My jaw hit the floor when I read this. She not only knowingly exposed herself to an incurable disease, she exposed her unborn child to potential permanent health issues, and she exposed YOU. I'm normally very pro-R, but this? This is indefensible. And then stack the sex-in-your-bed and blending the families on top of that?

albeit it was a genuine friendship

No, it wasn't. Genuine friends don't sleep with your husband and then befriend you to make sleeping with your husband easier. And don't gloss over AP befriending you to make sleeping with your wife easier.

Look, I'm not saying that it's not possible to work through this, but I think it's going to be very difficult.

No, I have not confronted the AP or informed his wife....yet. I'm going to stay that course for now. It would add unneeded stress. I'll reconsider this later.

Sigh.

Edited to tone down the language. I was pissed!

[This message edited by SacredSoul33 at 4:56 PM, Thursday, September 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: 1296   ·   registered: Mar. 10th, 2023
id 8807782
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hikingout ( member #59504) posted at 3:53 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

Hi,

Some of the things you describe one person might feel is unforgivable, others might see them as symptoms of how badly broken your wife became within her affair.

My husbands affair had some terrible things in it that I didn’t know if we could come back from either. Some are very similar to ones you stated.

Gently, if you think you might want R, my feeling is it’s too early to know what you want. We were barely functioning 4 months out. Things gradually got better over a period of years.

I would say do your best to detach, focus on yourself and what you need, your healing. And watch and wait where it goes. Stop putting pressure on yourself to have answers. And prepare towards all outcomes. Having a plan for divorce or separation will give you peace of mind, and you do not need to pull any triggers until enough time has passed and you feel more sturdy.

These are early days. Think in terms right now of recovery rather than trying to glue anything back together. Best wishes to you.

7 years of hard work - WS and BS - Reconciled

posts: 7243   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8807785
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CFme923 ( member #82955) posted at 3:54 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

Your wife knowingly exposed her/your unborn child to a potentially fatal disease for a fetus. That is a hell no for me, personally.

You are still looking at her through rose colored glasses. She was not a genuine friend to the APs wife, she was manipulative and rubbing it in her face. Get her off that pedestal immediately because thinking like that will allow rug sweeping

posts: 99   ·   registered: Feb. 27th, 2023
id 8807786
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 AhurtHusband (original poster new member #83481) posted at 4:30 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

MintChocolateChip - Well, it's very painful to read it all but in the long run this will help you because a big part of the trauma here is the deceit and not knowing what's true. You know. So now you can deal with it.

It seems then like AP had ended the affair. Which is good in a way but also there's been no decision from her side. Do you know how she feels about it being over?

This is historic, which is another plus point. Most of us discover the affair when it's ongoing which makes it more complicated in some ways.

So it sounds like you've basically just had your universe ripped apart.

Did you suspect anything at the time?

Can you describe what you thought your marriage was like before you found out?

What led you to discover these secrets?

Yes, the affair has long been over. I don't have to deal with the "fog". My WW was coming out of the affair addiction in early 2018 and she was fully done by about October 2018 in regards to completely kicking the addiction.

"Did I suspect anything"...this is a tricky one because I had blind trust in my WW. We had been together over 12 years and she had never remotely showed signs of that personality. Looking back on it, were there a few small red flags...without a doubt, but honestly not much. My WW was a master of compartmentalizing.

Our marriage was very good overall. I had taken a job in early 2015 that had traveling so we had less connection, and, due to unknown health issues on my side (bicuspid aortic valve) my performance sexually wasn't as good as it had been, but it was still good. My WW was hit with a lot of issues at that time, and she recognizes how she was vulnerable to the affair.

I discovered the secrets the old fashioned way. Cleaning up an old phone of hers to give to our oldest because he had just broken his. I was looking at it and was notified to enter the password to an email account of hers that I had never seen....Big ding ding ding there.

PS I feel the need to say that since discovery my WW has done basically everything "right". There's been zero gaslighting, blameshifting etc. She's taken 100% accountability, she's fully remorseful and guilty, she's working on her to answer deep seeded aspects of why she did this and working on fixing herself. This whole issue is me trying to work through what she did then.

posts: 49   ·   registered: Jun. 15th, 2023   ·   location: Connecticut, USA
id 8807792
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 4:32 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

my WW went forward and even wanted and had unprotected sex with him....AFTER she was pregnant.

This is deplorable. She knew..and WANTED..to expose your unborn child to a disease that could have extremely negative effects on its health..and life. I don't think this is forgivable.

Her AP even insulted our oldest a couple times

And her heart was with him,you say?

This is horrible,abusive behavior from a mother.

albeit it was a genuine friendship

No it wasn't. Friends don't have affairs with their friend's spouse. She befriended her so she could have more access to the woman's husband. It's awful.

I hope you have called his wife and told her??

You're going to get some comments,telling you that people behave terribly during an affair. And that's true. Sometimes, though, the behavior is too bad to just dump into the "bad behavior " crap during an affair.

Potentially exposing your child to an std that could kill them is one of those things that you don't have to ever be ok with.

Having sex with him,while you are in the hospital and could die is another one of those things you don't ever have to be ok with.


Sometimes it's too much to forgive.

You can R without forgiving every action.

But now you know she is willing to risk the life and health of her own child..and she has it in her to allow someone to bully her kid..and she will love the bully...when most mothers would eat the bully alive.

I know you want to get past these things.

Dday was a few months ago. She has a lot of work to do. She has betrayed you,and the kids. Maybe forgiveness will come. But right now? Imo,it's too soon to even consider.


What work is she doing to become a safe partner?

[This message edited by HellFire at 4:35 PM, Thursday, September 14th]

I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.

posts: 6703   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8807793
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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 4:55 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

Sometimes it's too much to forgive.

You can R without forgiving every action.

Well said. I think I needed to read that.

[This message edited by SacredSoul33 at 4:58 PM, Thursday, September 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: 1296   ·   registered: Mar. 10th, 2023
id 8807796
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 5:41 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

I've probably written something like this to you before....

R is about the future, not the past. Your W looks like a good candidate for R, so IMO R is possible for you.

The question is: do you want it? You don't have to R. You can say, 'This is too much. I'm filing for D.'

You can R without forgiving. My experience was that forgiveness came with trust. I found myself trusting my W more and more as time went on, because she (re)earned my trust. At some point thereafter, I dound that I no longer harbored any desire to punish my W or to see her punished. As fellow SIer M1965 wrote long ago, we forgive a person, not an act.

Your kids are with you only temporarily. They can be a reason to start R, but IMO the reasons for staying together need to go far beyond kids. Do you want to spend the rest of your life with her, knowing that she will change only if she decides to change and only if she does the necessary work? Does she love you? Is she in love with you? How realistic is any fear that she'll cheat again?

On one hand, the ball is in your court. That places a burden on you. OTOH, the ball is in your court. That gives you the power to act to get what you want.

One critical factor: This is really about what you want. You'll find people who won't forgive your W's acts, and you'll find people who can chalk it up to her dysfunction, and who will stay if she cleans up that dysfunction.

IOW, my reco is to discount the people who tell you to D or to R. Listen to yourself. and figure out what you want, then go for as much of that as possible.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 29991   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8807800
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 AhurtHusband (original poster new member #83481) posted at 6:15 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

Wow, thanks to everyone. This is giving me a lot to think about. One difficulty I've been having is that my wife is very easy to love right now. She's doing everything possible to heal herself and our relationship. I'm also working hard to heal myself. I've lost 40lbs since this started. I'm in IC. etc. But the ease of the relationship now seems like it could give me almost a false hope or an unrealistic view so some of your comments help bring me down to earth.

In regards to telling the OMW....It's not going to happen right now. He's on the unstable side and with how tenuous things are here at home, I don't need to throw him into the mix. Once things are settled, I plan on telling the OMW. She deserves to know, even though I think she'll rugsweep it and live in pain for the rest of her life (she's that type sadly).

My WW knows that reconciliation isn't a guarantee and that we might end up divorced over this. We're going to be doing a program together that runs 13 weeks to help see where we're at afterwards. I'm committing to not discussing divorce until after those 13 weeks are up. At that point, I'll reup my commitment for a period of time or decide to divorce. I've found that I work best if I commit to a period of time. I did that the day after D-Day. I committed to 2 months of no decision and removing that pressure allowed me to focus on me. I then committed to another 2 months, which leads into the 13 week program.

Thank you all for both the harsher comments, I need them to keep me from chasing the white rabbit and for the comments with hope because I need those too.

Hellfire, thank you especially for the comment about you can R without full forgiveness. I think I needed to hear that especially. I've even considered staying together until the younger kids get older. I do know that if I can't fully forgive....I will struggle later on, but again....it's early and I need to find my patience.

posts: 49   ·   registered: Jun. 15th, 2023   ·   location: Connecticut, USA
id 8807802
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 6:43 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

What are your requirements for attempting reconciliation?

At minimum:

Std tests.

Complete honesty.

Complete NC.

Answering all of your questions without anger or defensiveness.

IC

She is proactive in removing triggers.

Full transparency. You get full access to all accounts and the phone. Passwords included.

She drops any friends who knew of the affair.

And anything else you need to feel safe.

I don't understand how OM is too unstable now, but once your R is going well you will tell him. That sounds like you are worried he will attempt to contact your wife,and you think she might be tempted.

I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.

posts: 6703   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8807804
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MintChocChip ( member #83762) posted at 6:50 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

I wish I could hug you right now.

I think what the harsher comments have highlighted is that your wife did things which are unforgivable. My WS did too. Not all affairs are equal. There's different levels of deception and different levels of cruelty, and I'll be honest - some of the stuff takes my breath away.

I don't know yet what the answer is to where life goes when someone you love was, without question, a monster- yet is no longer the same person and would no longer make the same choices or do those things.

What I do know is that it's a heavy sadness that really endures. It hurts. It hurts so much in so many different ways and that burden is now passed on to you. It's monumentally unfair.

There's a thread somewhere here I read years ago, called "things I miss". It's about how, no matter how successful R is, there are things you lose. It was a thread I cried buckets reading again and again.

I expect you will have to work through a lot of grief and pain, and as others have said, you're only at the beginning. Something you don't realise is that your wife is also at the begginging. It might be that she keeps up the hard work for 4 months, 5 months, 6 months and then gets bored or frustrated.

I was like you and wanted to forgive, but it isn't always that simple. It depends on a lot of factors and your own character.

D Day: September 2020Currently separated

posts: 273   ·   registered: Aug. 20th, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8807805
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 AhurtHusband (original poster new member #83481) posted at 7:07 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

Hellfire - What are your requirements for attempting reconciliation?

At minimum:

Std tests.

Complete honesty.

Complete NC.

Answering all of your questions without anger or defensiveness.

IC

She is proactive in removing triggers.

Full transparency. You get full access to all accounts and the phone. Passwords included.

She drops any friends who knew of the affair.

And anything else you need to feel safe.

I don't understand how OM is too unstable now, but once your R is going well you will tell him. That sounds like you are worried he will attempt to contact your wife,and you think she might be tempted.

STD Tests are done, we're both clean
Complete honesty - 100% one lie and we're done (yes all of these have been made clear to her and agreed upon)
Complete NC - Not possible with her keeping her job (which we and our children need). She works in the same building as him and has extremely limited, but still existing communication. The agreement we have is I have full access to all devices any time I want and she shows me any and all communication from and to him that's required with her job the moment it happens.
Not to drag out the other answers....yes to all you listed. She's in IC, she's transparent both in word and in devices etc. Zero defensiveness, my safety is the number one priority etc.
No blameshifting, no gaslighting, no minimization, NOTHING.

In regards to the OM being unstable. He's the type of guy where if I tell his wife, and his wife leaves him and he then has issues with his daughter, he could potentially look to come after my kids. Yes, my WW picked a real winner. So when I tell his wife, I'm going to have to REALLY plan it out in a way that removes the threat of him...including probably alerting police and getting a RO against him all hitting him at the same time.

posts: 49   ·   registered: Jun. 15th, 2023   ·   location: Connecticut, USA
id 8807807
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CFme923 ( member #82955) posted at 7:10 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

Is this information about the OM from your wife? I only ask because it's very common for WW to say this about the OM to avoid having their husbands contact the OBS.

posts: 99   ·   registered: Feb. 27th, 2023
id 8807808
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 AhurtHusband (original poster new member #83481) posted at 7:16 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

Is this information about the OM from your wife? I only ask because it's very common for WW to say this about the OM to avoid having their husbands contact the OBS.

No, I saw bad behavior from him. Like when he insulted my 9 year old son (age at the time) and the OM's general behavior with issues about his family.

posts: 49   ·   registered: Jun. 15th, 2023   ·   location: Connecticut, USA
id 8807809
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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 7:22 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

Complete NC - Not possible with her keeping her job (which we and our children need). She works in the same building as him and has extremely limited, but still existing communication. The agreement we have is I have full access to all devices any time I want and she shows me any and all communication from and to him that's required with her job the moment it happens.

I think that most people here will say that continuing to work with the AP is a dealbreaker, but it's possible to R while still having minimal professional contact. My H also still works at the same company as his AP, 19 years later. Same level of contact requirements - only a few times each year. It was difficult for me at first, but I decided that I was going to trust him and take action if I ever found out that my trust was violated. You've already told her that one lie is a dealbreaker, so I think it could work.

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: 1296   ·   registered: Mar. 10th, 2023
id 8807810
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HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 7:45 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

Yes, them working together could work. I could never allow that. You only have the word of a person who has shown themselves capable of enormous deception that all contact is professional.

If it were ME, I would assume that most contact is professional, but there are times in which they check in,and see how each other's life has gone since dday. I would have to believe that's more realistic than complete NC.

Considering his wife doesn't know, all the more vulnerable YOU are.

I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.

posts: 6703   ·   registered: Jun. 20th, 2017   ·   location: The Midwest
id 8807811
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SacredSoul33 ( member #83038) posted at 8:57 PM on Thursday, September 14th, 2023

If it were ME, I would assume that most contact is professional, but there are times in which they check in,and see how each other's life has gone since dday. I would have to believe that's more realistic than complete NC.

Honestly, that's exactly what happened. Based on how H was behaving when he was with me, I believed him when he said that he didn't contact her. At home, he was telling me hard truths and willingly sitting with me for long nightly grilling sessions, we were doing good work in MC, and we were deep in year-long hysterical bonding, so he wasn't giving me reason to doubt him.

AP did attempt contact a few times. She was divorced, so I didn't have an OBS to tell or you best believe that I would have. She sent a couple of emails, which he forwarded to me and didn't reply. We owned a Coke machine that he would stay late to fill, which she knew, and approached him there to ask why he decided to R. Once, she was waiting in the parking lot after work and stopped him. He told me immediately every time. Of course, it's possible that there was contact that he kept hidden from me, but I don't think so. I've asked him about it periodically over the years. In fact, I asked again a few days ago if there was ever any contact that he hadn't told me about. We were on a road trip, which is where we do our best checking-in and A-talk invariably comes up.

So, yes, it would be easy to continue contact at work without the BS being able to find out. I decided that I was going to trust H and deal with it if and when it ever came to light that he was lying. That was a big step for me, because it was outside of my control, but it felt better for me to do that than to demand that he upset our financial situation by leaving his lucrative career. I think that those who do have to work closely with the AP DO need to change jobs, but he didn't have to work with her often.

[This message edited by SacredSoul33 at 8:58 PM, Thursday, September 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: 1296   ·   registered: Mar. 10th, 2023
id 8807819
Topic is Sleeping.
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