My wife and I are lifelong sweethearts since we were 16-17 (now 40) and she is the only woman I have ever been with. We never had the worries of an A in our minds. She came out of college and had some small jobs but never a full time “career” before we had children and was a GREAT SAH mom for 10 years (S11 and D8) until 2011 when she rejoined the work force. Her new job is within a “service” vocation so she needs to “sell herself” and relies on commissions…but LOVED and still loves her job. She did tell me on occasions that I would not like who she is at times there and she was with generally younger but definitely people of questionable morals/marriage history (RED FLAG BELL WHISTLE, but I never worried as an A was never even a blip). She frequently would talk about the men at her work with me to the point I felt like I almost knew them.
Our sex life had been getting progressively worse since my D was born and particularly over the last year when it would average about once a month (mainly my fault between jobs and interest, pitiful I know), but we were always and are in LOVE and we always had each other’s best interest at heart(or so I thought). We were always intimate in the sense we would always hold each other, kiss, hug, cuddle etc. We would always tell each other stories, convey our love and communicate with each other. We never had any conversations about her being unhappy in the marriage and we are reaching critical mass. I thought it was something that we would get to and I even went to the Dr 6 months before the A for it and gotten diagnosed with low testosterone, but had not begun treatment yet. Anyway…
D day one was June 17, 2012 (father’s day). She called me to tell me that she loaned a coworker money (one I knew from her stories) so that he would not get into trouble with his wife and wanted to let me know since it would be missing from our account (not a lot of money but enough). Then it hit me like a ton of bricks, and it was not that she was giving a guy money, but the fact that she would help cover something up from another wife. THIS WAS NOT MY WIFE. And when I pointed it out to her she became very quiet and said she did not think of it that way, but saw my point. By the time I got home I went into full PI mode looking at all bank accounts (the ATM she withdrew from was right around the corner from his house) and she missed a brief note she left herself questioning what OM would have to give up. To be honest I still wasn’t sure, as this could not be us and simply texted her that she had some explaining to do when she got home. She admitted that day that she had an EA with him over the last couple months, but they both decided it was not right and they loved their spouses and ended it. I was a MESS and went through all the pain and agony most men have. She at first did not think I should be that upset as “nothing happened,” but was crying, extremely contrite and was very sorry (I do not doubt any of this). Both BS were committed to moving on and believed it was only an EA. All they had to do was stay away from each other and let the healing begin. As to the why it happened, she claimed multiple issues… The lack of an active sex life made her question her value and attractiveness. The lack of sexual intimacy she says filtered into different parts of our marriage and the men there made her feel worthy, wanted, important, valuable etc. I also think she got a lot at once in the sense of a career, opportunity to cheat, the right environment (was propositioned multiple times there) etc. to facilitate this behavior and was not prepared to handle it. This is not to say that either one of us think it’s an excuse.
D day two was three weeks later I, by chance, tracked her phone that day after work and she stayed in the parking lot of her work for over an hour after her shift. She got home to break down and claim again “I don’t know why I am f*ing this up” was sorry and that they had kissed during this “one time” event (more bells I know). OMW kicks OM out. In the three weeks after the first D day I find what you would expect, thousands of texts, over a 100 of hours of phone conversations. Killer is I PAY THE CELL PHONE BILL. If I only would have thought to look or suspected something when she suddenly began deleting her emails and texts months ago “to simplify her life.” (I know more bells and whistles). I never suspected my wife EVER of ANYTHING at ANYTIME with ANYONE.
D day three is next day (lots of calls between W and OM) and he decides he is coming clean to his W to try and save his marriage. I get same call from W that day (only spurred on by him, she begged him not to tell, said it would kill me). Long story short now its a PA that consists of about 6 meet ups of oral sex (mutual). Not sure how to process this, should I be happy it was only OS, should I be pissed because it was very rare for me to get it, does it really matter? Anyway…OK now we have it that’s it, it is all on the table, finally. I begged her to just tell me if it was a PA from day one when she claimed it was an EA. Told her it would be easier if it just was a PA. At least 100 times I told her to tell me. My wife was never a liar, not really in her, but clearly she was a master in waiting and this still haunts me.
D day 4…couple days later OM calls me, apparently there was one guy before him, another coworker…SERIOUSLY???? I mean I get it, I am sure OMW says you will tell me this info to f*ck my wife over, don’t blame her in the least. Question wife…its true..yay! same MO, OS 3-4 times.
Well that’s my story, sorry for the length of it. We have been in the process of R over the last 9 months. We have good and bad days and maybe weeks. We see a MC. My wife takes on full responsibility for ruining our lives, says it’s on her for destroying 2 families and must live with it. Also lives with the daily fear that I am going to leave. Says the right things…but how does that translate into actions other than NC and keeping straight? MC and her agree that she was still living the lie throughout the multiple D days and she looks back now and says she cannot believe that was her.
I have recognized my role as not making her feel “pretty” and attractive to me and feel I have addressed these issues so I am the primary initiator to the point she actually says I want it too much (same woman that used to say to me she thought about sex every day…now not so much).
I clearly still have issues and to some extent wind up comparing myself to the men in the A (less now than before, it was paralyizing), the fact that they freely got OS and I question her true intentions/interest in me? I actually got “yelled” at by the MC in therapy that I must stop the comparison because I will always lose. I get the idea and it’s not so much a comparison but OS has become very sparse with us again. Am I being shallow? Do I have to bear the burden of getting over this? Do I let this go and accept the way it was before the A?
Good news…is when we are doing well our marriage is better than it has ever been, I mean ever (we both agree to this), but it does not last.
Bad news…I am probably one of the most analytical people out there and try to get the “why” to everything so not a good BS personality. I am also not really in the forgiving and offering free trust business, but know I must get to a happy place for this to work. My wife has also made some concerning mis-steps in the process from initially telling me things like “I didn’t think you would be this upset over the PA, since you would not have to worry about doing it” Really?? And saying that me giving her more sexual attention did not feel natural coming from me and I should not try to be like OM. Seriously, like I would strive in my head to be more like that *******. And most recently she said “It’s a shame it took the A for me to do something” which she quickly recanted, refused to repeat and says it was only meant to mean that our whole situation is a shame. I in turn have also been guilty of calling her some pretty disgusting things over the last 9 months.
I look at some posts about wives who have cheated and see the spectrum from: they left and never came back to some that post about how they know they killed the marriage and work every day at making their husbands forgive them. My wife is neither, but somewhere more towards the latter. If I want information about talks with the therapist or with her friend about the A, I must ask. I am tired of asking, what if I miss something…just tell me f*ing everything. I was tired of asking if she had NC at work after the A, but inevitably I would have to then too. Do I trust her, yes cautiously.Am I Sure, no. Do I blame myself for that or have to be, no I don’t think so. Do I still “look into things,” yup and she knows it. Truth is I have to trust her to some extent because if she really wanted to, she could get away with it again, she forgets that quite often, when she asks for trust.
Do I want this marriage to work…yes. Do I have concerns, YES? Can it just be me, am I holding back the process? Do I need to work harder? Forgive and accept more? Am I doomed? Has there been too much damage? Is this normal for 9-10 months after my multiple D DAYS?
The thought of losing my wife and family really kills me. The thought of her with another man or moving on kills me but I honestly do not know if that’s stronger or the hatred of what she has done to our marriage which is dead in its true form (or if I actually hate her to some extent). I love her dearly, but do I deserve more? Am I expecting too much and being vengeful? Am I looking at this like you f*ked up and you must pay?
So why the post now? I wonder if I have been trying to get through this the “right” way if there is such a thing. My wife and I lately have more heated arguments, usually over the way I feel she treats or is interested in me and trust/information exchange. Currently we are in different bedrooms for the last 5 days and am pursuing me taking care of me and trying to figure this out.
Thank you all for your read and insight.
[This message edited by 2fwd1back at 5:40 PM, April 29th (Monday)]
Yes R is possible if that is what you want and she is willing to do her part. It is a lot of work for both partners. She needs to take and feel her consequences. There are many.
It will be a long time until your trust in her can return and never trust blindly again. As they say, trust but verify. That is after she becomes trustworthy.
I know my husband's betrayal of me hurt me to the core of my soul. As you said it is paralyzing.
My husband lost his interest in sex 18 months ago. It took some time to figure it out. His testosterone was really low. So that was the problem. It is better now but still not the same as in the past.
Since your testosterone is low I would encourage you to get treated. It is very important for your health to get this balanced. You will feel better overall too.
Just remember one of the side effects of trying to adjust it can be irritability. It can take a while to get up to the right level. We use natural bioidenticle hormones instead of synthetic and like them a lot.
Blessings on you.
Therefore, I offer the following. If you have not both read "Not Just Friends", I highly recommend you do so. Also, she needs to read "How to help your spouse heal from your affair" by Linda McDonald. And third, I recommend you both read The 5 Love Languages.
Is she in IC? If not, she needs to be.
..staying or going both mean horrible consequences to our lives..
..for me, it's the pain of knowing what she did, and staying or going doesn't change it.
..it becomes a case of what you are able and willing to live with
..we have been in R for 4 years and i still am in gut wrenching pain, still have nightmares and mind-movies and tons of triggers..
..sometimes have to wonder if it's staying that is keeping me in pain, but also wonder if leaving her will turn out to be even worse, since i will have to disassemble 44 years together.
..there is no easy solution and no quick way there..
..divorce after so many years seems an impossible task and would create so much more stress, i fear it would simply kill me!( I'm soon 66 and the stress has already taken a huge toll on my health.
when we are doing well our marriage is better than it has ever been, I mean ever (we both agree to this), but it does not last.
..same here.. it's the roller coaster ride we're still on, with no end in sight.
..by SI standards, you are still early on in this journey, so be patient and keep reading and posting here.. there is much to learn and a lot to process in the betrayal..
..sending you support and prayers
My wife and I lately have more heated arguments
^^^Yup, us too.
I feel like now at nearly 9 months out the REALITY of it is sinking in for me. Weirdly, I now realise that for a lot of the last 8 months I have still on some level felt like I could do something/read something/say something/find something.. to make it all go away. Intellectually I knew that was not true, but there was a part of me that still clung to some "hope". It has now sunk in that this is for real... he really DID f*ck that woman, he really DID tell her he loved her, he really DID sleep in her bed... it REALLY, ACTUALLY happened... and as that reality hits me the pain feels so fresh again and I think that is what is causing our arguments to creep up a notch or two.
You know how they say anger is a secondary emotion, masking the emotion under-lying it? Well my anger and argumentativeness is definitely masking my deep, deep pain. Maybe you are going through something similar?
Bad news…I am probably one of the most analytical people out there and try to get the “why” to everything so not a good BS personality
I am tired of asking, what if I miss something…just tell me f*ing everything.
The thought of losing my wife and family really kills me. The thought of her with another man or moving on kills me but I honestly do not know if that’s stronger or the hatred of what she has done to our marriage which is dead in its true form (or if I actually hate her to some extent). I love her dearly, but do I deserve more?
^^This is EXACTLY where I am. I am completely stuck at this point at the moment. I am praying that with time it will all become clearer to me! Seems like time is pretty much the key to all of this stuff!
Hang in there!
You provided so much detail that it was really helpful in seeing the 'whole picture'.
I can say that what you're feeling is 100% normal. It's sad and unfortunate, but very much normal, given your set of circumstances.
I have a couple things to say, which I thought of as I was reading your story:
First, I think you are still blaming yourself for some part of your WW's A. While it's normal to feel this way, it is 100% not the truth. Blame-shifting is very common for a BS. Sometimes we blame ourselves, sometimes we blame the AP, but either way, there is always only one person to fully blame for an A, and that is the WS. Try to reshape how you view this in your mind. You are likely a contributor to the failings in your marriage, but unless you were consulted by your WW prior to her having her A, then you are in no way responsible for it.
Next, based on what I read, it doesn't sound as though your WW is really forthcoming with you. Honesty (which includes FULL disclosure, not lying, no TTing, etc.) is an absolute MUST for real R. You will never be able to heal if she is reluctant to talk to you about everything (provided you've told her you want to know everything) without you having to ask specific questions. The analogy I use is this: imagine I'm holding an elaborate, complex piece of art in front of me, but the back of it is facing you, and I tell you to tell me what is on it. You ask me if there is water, or a car, or a tree. I just keep saying no, no and no. At some point, doesn't it make MORE sense to say, "ya know what, do you think you could just SHOW me (TELL me) the painting so that I can see what you're seeing?". If your WW is unable to get to this point, then I would strongly reconsider moving forward with this woman (note: this is just how *I* would respond in this situation).
Lastly, for me, a condition of R must be absolutely NC! And NC means NONE of the following, under no circumstance: text, email, fax (yes, I think some people still have fax machines, and if I don't mention it, some WS out there will find this to be a loophole and start sending nude pics of themselves through fax to their APs), pictures, Facebook (or any social networking or online/web service), in-person, phone, pager, communicating with AP's friends/family, or WORK ENVIRONMENT.
If your WW is truly committed to repairing the horrific damage she has brought upon you and her family, it is high time for her to put in her 2-week notice and get another job. Surely, her job can't be so complex and rare that no one else will hire her. And again, if she chooses not to, then that would indicate that her job (and likely, her APs) is MORE important to her than you, than to her family unit. For me, under no circumstance would I agree to R with a WS if they were not 100% NC. Period. And again, this is just me, you may be different.
Quickly, I'd like to shift the focus to you for a moment. I would strongly recommend following up with your physician to address the low testosterone issue. This is primarily for yourself, but will positively affect multiple areas of your life, not just your basic health.
I hope this is helpful. My story is somewhat similar to yours in certain respects. Feel free to PM me if you'd like to discuss more, or just vent!