However, two days ago I just made a startling discovery, through a message she forgot to delete from her cell phone, that my wife has been having an adulterous affair with an ex of hers in all the 8 years of our 8 year marriage! I am devastated and in a stake of shock and confusion, lost appetite and unable to work. I am confused as to whether to work on the marriage or to start steps towards divorce. When I confronted her, she sounded remorseful but not entirely sincere, blaming. Also she blamed the frustrations in our relationship as pushing her to remain in the affair all these years. The huge dilemma for me is that I feel if the affair has been going on for the past 8 years it will difficult for her to break up from it.
Here is my immediate problem:
As part of my healing, I find myself seek to probe more about the relationship and get answers, and the more I probe, the more graphic my probing is. I need help, would you recommend I interrogate her about the graphic details of the affair like: where they met for their escapades, whether they used protection, how regularly they met, how long their meetings lasted, etc?? While she is painstakingly releasing some of the requested information, I am wondering if it is worth it. Mainly, will this information hasten my healing or it make my recovery from the shock worse as I remember the graphic details shared? How much should I demand to know?? Please advise as I am confused and lost meaning of life.
I am so SO sorry for what brings you here! The whole entire 8 yrs of your marriage?!
I am sure more experienced members will be along with better advice for you, I just wanted to let you know that I hear you and I am feeling how stunned, confused and hurt you are, in your words.
It is different for everyone, how much one can "handle" knowing. Some need as much detail as possible, some just need to know the facts in general. Infidelity can really do a number on your health, both emotionally and physically. I respectfully suggest perhaps you should seek a counselor to help you find your comfort zone regarding "details", and help you deal with this massive betrayal.
[This message edited by Safeguard at 7:53 AM, April 27th (Saturday)]
The healing Library is a gold mine. You may want to take a look. You will find a great deal to relate to there, and it's a good way to begin trying to get a sense of how to navigate this painful new situation, you now find yourself forced to deal with.
[This message edited by Safeguard at 7:57 AM, April 27th (Saturday)]
She married out of necessity [pregnancy] not because she loved you and she selfishly tried to have the best of both worlds by maintaining this affair. You really need to check the parentage of the children [DNA] considering the cheating was through both pregnancies.
What a nightmare. You have my heartfelt sympathy and I agree with you she will probably take this affair underground and it will continue for heavens knows how long. An 8 year addiction will be difficult to end.
I would probably file for divorce even if you don't go through with it. Maybe you csn jolt her into facing up to the enormity of what she has done.
Affairs flourish in the dark and exposure will make it difficult for wife to keep seeing the OM. She will, of course, want you to keep silent so she can protect the OM and their relationship.
Keep seeking advice from SI; this support will be very helpful through the next few months.
I am so sorry. Finding out that your spouse cheated is like getting hit by a truck. For your whole marriage? It must be like getting hit by an 18 wheeler.
Cheating spouses love to blame the faithful spouse for their own inability to live their wedding vows. Remember that no matter what your wife says, this is not your fault.
You didn't cause it.
You can't control it.
You can't cure it.
Something is deeply wrong with her. Emotionally healthy people do not deceive the people they love.
Many of the challenges and upheavals in your marriage were probably caused by her justifying her horrible betrayal. Cheaters tend to be angry, critical and push away from their spouse.
This is going to be a long process for you, and the general wisdom is not to make any decisions about divorce or reconciliation for six months. Take your time. Give yourself and your kids lots of TLC.
Tell your wife that she must go completely non-contact with her ex and start individual counseling or move out. If she resists, read up on the 180 and start applying it. I'm sorry to say that your wife sounds like she will resist because she has dodged the blame for this for eight years.
Remember that even if she had given the marriage an honest, faithful try in the beginning, and then gone through difficulties, that would be no excuse to cheat. There is no excuse. When your marriage is in trouble, you turn to your spouse, open up, and start working. People who don't understand this are a danger to your heart.
[This message edited by sailorgirl at 8:59 AM, April 27th (Saturday)]
How much should I demand to know??
This is a really good question. I think at first sometimes we think we want to know absolutely everything. But once we hear it, it will be seared on our brains forever. So, I do think you need to be careful about what you ask.
For me, I needed to know all the wheres and whens, but I didn't ask anything about the sex. For you it might be different.
Welcome to SI, bro...yep it blows...
I do hope you read the "healing library"...yes...the whole thing. Its in the yellow box on the left side of this screen.
The OM (other man)...is he married? If so his wife needs to know....(this is where a lot of affairs will go "underground")...with his wife in on the secret the less likelihood of the affair NOT ending...the affair must be over...and NC (no contact) MUST be in place if your marriage is ever going to get past this....
Bro....this affair is NOT your fault - you have zero blame in all this bullshit...
Also...cheaters lie. NEVER forget this....it goes with the territory...and affairs with "exes" can be especially tricky....they have a history of being together...very hard to get through. Also...she didn't confess...she got busted....
You will get past all this.....one way or another....with or without her....you will be OK.
Keep us posted....
[This message edited by bufffalo at 9:52 AM, April 27th (Saturday)]
Only you can decide how much you want to know.
It is imprtant to take care of yourself right now. This is one of the most if not the most difficult thing in your life. It sucks.
Strength and hugs to you. You will be alright although right now I know your not so sure of that.
[This message edited by girlsbird at 2:15 PM, April 27th (Saturday)]
[This message edited by papoula at 9:20 PM, April 27th (Saturday)]
We know how this feels - we completely empathize with you...my life has been peppered with obstacles that I've been proud of overcoming and would have sidelined many - but infidelity has knocked me on my ass.... Be gentle with yourself.
I'm sorry you're here...remember - this IS NOT your fault - you had nothing to do with the A. We can own our share of the problems in a marriage but their coping mechanisms are theirs alone to own.
When I confronted my WH, he told me to leave the house. I have only seen him twice in the last few months and have talked to him on the phone a couple of times, so have not had much opportunity to directly get information. When I asked him questions, he did not answer. I know when the affair started, based on the one text message I printed out when I found out about the affair. I have done some snooping. I want to know what happened, trying to make sense of it. But when I uncover something (like proof of the hotel room stays), it devastates me. I get slammed back down to the ground and the pain and hurt is overwhelming at times. But, I have this desire for the truth, no more lies.
Unfortunately, my questions will never be answered. All I know is that he cheated on me, he chose to be with the skank and my world has come crashing down.
It is devastating. Know that there are people here that understand what you are going through and can give you so much support!! You are not alone!
I can relate to your situation, my wife's 12 year affair started before we were married as well. As to your question on the length making it difficult to stop it is often not the case in these long affairs. My wife's affair stopped easily, dealing with it is the hard part. First off, none of it is your fault. Don't let her blame shift on you. Especially in your case with her affair starting before you are married you just tell her it is 100% her fault and she needs to own the shit she caused.
Your wife has defects or issues within herself that is the cause and reasons why the affair happened. She needs to figure these out.
As to how much info you should get, that is something you need to answer yourself. Many people want to know everything. Myself I wanted far less details. I wanted to know a general timeframe, generally what type of lies she told but not much else. I didn't want to know where, full details on what they did, exact dates or the things they said. Since my wife's affair happened before our marriage as well I didn't think that amount of detail would be helpful. Remember once you know a detail, you can no longer forget it. One thing my wife has done is tell me her good memories of our wedding and marriage to help combat the tainted memories from the affair.
You have lots of people here that have great advice. Again I'm so sorry you are here.