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woodbb posted 5/17/2013 00:03 AM

Hey All,

My story is long, but I'll try to keep it somewhat brief.. thank you in advance if you read all the way through this post.

Quick timeline if you don't feel like reading the whole thing:

- 1990: started dating in HS
- 1991-1995: long distance relationship through college
- 1998: got married a few years after college
- 1999: discovered she cheated on me a year into our marriage, was promised it was the only time (and no more lies)
- 2007: 8 years after that, found out she also slept with other guys in college - broken again that she lied all those years about that - finally start MC
- 2012: (still in MC!) she becomes "interested" in a coworker, lies to me about it - claims nothing physical.

--- The long story (thank you for reading!) ---

My wife and I are high school sweet hearts, who stayed together all through college (even though we were 16 hours apart). We promised to stay true to each other and eventually get married after school was done. It was hard, as she was in a sorority that had dances and whatnot, but I channeled all of my worry about her straying into this unbreakable confidence that she would never do that. I trusted her no no matter what the circumstance was.

..and then we hit a few bumps. She kissed a few random guys, but always had a reason (drunk, happened quick) .. whatever. I looked past it because I believed she loved me. We got engaged our senior year of college.

After college, our marriage plans got side tracked when I was diagnosed with cancer. That was rough, but I moved past it. Took a long time to heel, but made it past that. She went to graduate school (locally), and spent very little time with me. I understood and even though I was lonely (and had to live at my parents), I understood she was moving forward with her career. When she graduated grad school, she said she missed college a lot and spent a lot of time at the grad school even after she graduated. I didn't understand why she wasn't interested in spending that time with me, but was understanding and let her do her thing. I was living in an apartment at this time and there were some odd things that happened - like one time we went to a wedding and after (midnight) she went to a party at the grad school instead of spending the rest of the evening with me. I tried to cope and understand... but she kept pushing the wedding back further and further.

Then one day, out of the blue, she wants to get married in the next few months. It felt awkward to me, but I was excited to finally start our lives together (just us!). At the pre-marriage retreat (catholic thing), where we had to spend a weekend learning about what it means to be married and were encouraged to talk about any concerns we had before actually getting married. I sat her down and asked her point blank if she had ever cheated on me. I explained that I didn't want to get married if so, and that is was a very big deal to me. She assured me that she had never cheated on me.

A year into our marriage, she left her diary on the nightstand - open. I did something I shouldn't have and took a peek at it. What I read floored me! She was writing about sleeping with someone from her grad school. I was devastated - utterly broken (as many of you have been). I had 100% committed myself to her and she betrayed me. The pain, even as I write this, is making me tremble... even though this DDay was 13 years ago.

It wrecked me in ways that I can't understand. My IC diagnosed me with what he termed "severe PTSD", as I went through 13 years of extreme nightmares every single night. Life became dull and grey, my emotions were all over the map. I trusted nobody. I cried nearly every day for years. I felt as if everything I had in life was torn to shreds in front of me.

We fought a lot. She was defensive. She didn't seem remorseful and had a lot of reasons why she felt justified. I heard things like "sex was painful, I was trying to fix that", "you were my first boyfriend, I wanted to experience other people", "you put me on a pedestal and I am only human", etc. it was brutal, but I told her that I needed the complete truth (which she told me there we no other guys) and she told me she would never do anything like this again (never cheat, never lie). We tied to move on. A few months after that, I find close to $60,000 in Credit Card debt she brought to the marriage and not told me about. Felt betrayed, but went to work to pay it off.

Then she wanted kids. It was a few years later and I was still a wreck. I sat her down again and told her that as long as there were no lies between us, I wanted to have children with her. We have 2 kids and still are a mess of a relationship.

7-8 years go by. Still awful nightmares. Don't feel loved, don't feel she understands, don't feel she is being honest. Confront her and pry out that yes, she has been lying to me. She slept with guys in college. She maintains it was a long time ago, she is a different person. I feel betrayed even further. We decide to go to MC finally.

We have been in MC for a few years. Things seem to be going ok, although I am still having awful nightmares. Things start getting weird with her and I notice her and a coworker "liking" every post the other makes. Seems odd to me. She says he is just a friend and she would never be attracted to him. Weeks of that go by and I am uncomfortable with it - so I keep asker her - she keeps denying there is anything there. Finally one night she breaks down and tells me that she was "interested in him" but nothing physical happened. She said that I wake up upset every morning and he was really nice to her and she started falling for him. It only lasted a few months.

I am so confused and broken at this point, I don't think R can happen. She started IC and says she is "fixed" now and nothing like that will happen again. She wants to keep trying. I just don't know what to do. When I look back at our relationship, it just seems like an endless stream of lies. We have been struggling so hard for so many years - and just a year ago, there was another incident with another guy. She maintains that since nothing physical happened, it isn't that big of a deal. I have started looking around at apartments, but am really concerned about disrupting the kid's lives even more than we already have. I feel like I just can't do this any more.

I want to be loved. I want my partner to feel passion for me. I don't feel like she has either for me - which she says is wrong (or that if I wasn't sad all the time, she would feel more passion and love for me). I can't even remember what it feels like to trust someone.

Am I over-reacting to this latest thing? She wants another chance, but with every incident I set a boundary and she stepped over them every time. My boundary was no more lying, no more guys - or else I couldn't stay in it. I have been very clear every time on that. She has not respected those boundaries so many times now. I want to believe she is sorry and wants to fix things - I really do! I just feel like I can't will myself to get my hopes up again at this point.

Sorry if this post is too long and rambling! I am a mess physically and emotionally.

Please share your thoughts.. I could use any help I can get. Our MC retired last year, so right now it is just her in IC.

woodbb posted 5/17/2013 00:09 AM

Oh, 2 more important things:

When I try to talk with her about it, she gets angry with me. She says I want to talk about it too much and she can't take it. Her IC tells her I do it to punish her. I don't agree, I am just looking for some sign that she "gets it". I want some thing to pin my hopes on, but that rarely happens. I should have learned to stop trying to talk to her about it, but I have nowhere else to turn. When I was in IC, my IC told me to get out of this relationship. I guess I am/was under some impression that she should be willing to talk about it (openly and honestly) and willing to work through my feelings with me. That is the opposite of how the conversations go.


I think I still love her, but am concerned I am just in love with the way I want to see her? I have spent over half my life with her, so maybe that plays into it. I don't know, after all this hurt, I don't understand why I should still love her.

5454real posted 5/17/2013 01:04 AM

first I want to let you know that you have been heard. welcome to the best club that no one ever wanted to join. I am very sorry that you had to find us, but I am very glad that you are here.

please please please, take care of yourself. make sure you were eating and drinking. mostly water brother mostly water. go see your doctor if you are not able to sleep properly. anti depressants or anti anxiety medications are nothing to be ashamed of in this situation.

to get started, please read the healing Library located in the upper left hand corner of this page. it's a great beginning and will help to keep your mind occupied for a while. specifically focus on the BS Faq's.

read other peoples posts. get a feeling for where you are at. focus on the forums just found out or general. the advice you will get here is pure gold. my situation is not yours, I have been cheated on by five different women, but believe it or not the advice remains a constant.

I will be back tomorrow morning to post further, but in the meantime I will bet dollars to donuts others will have advice to help you.

for now, ignore her. we need to focus on you.


wifehad5 posted 5/17/2013 06:32 AM


I'm sorry you find yourself in this position.

Her IC is full of shit. You're not doing this to punish her. You're doing it because she has betrayed you in a horrible way. She's been lying to you for your entire relationship, but now she's "fixed" already? I don't buy it.

Keep reading and posting here. You'll get some great help from some amazing people. You will get through this

meplustwo posted 5/17/2013 07:11 AM

I'm sorry that you find yourself here, but welcome. We are all here to listen and support you. I agree that you need to practice the 180 (look in the healing library for information about it) and take care of yourself. I was having a hard time understanding why I was do desperate to continue the marriage and get him back. Recently, I came to the realization that a big part of that was my love for who I thought my husband was, not who he was being. Heal yourself before you even consider R. By then, you may not want to R at all, or if you do R, you will be in a much healthier place. Good luck and keep posting!

LA44 posted 5/17/2013 07:21 AM

Hi Woodbb, I am so sorry for your pain and confusion.

I agree with what 5454 and wifehad5 wrote.

You need to care of yourself FIRST at this point. So read the articles in the Healing Library, read the Q&A's. Personally, I spent a lot of time reading the Wayward site bc I found their insight and dedication to getting to the bottom of their actioins informative and enlightening.

I believe you could benefit from IC as well. This has been going on far too long.

The wife's continuous lies, boundary issues, finger pointing and then yelling at you when you want to discuss this is not acceptable. I wonder a lot about her childhood and the behaviour modelled to her by her parents.

Sounds like she could also benefit from a book called, Not Just Friends. Again, boundary issues.

Whether you R or not, you will need to heal. Please look into IC and some of the suggested reading material.

Hugs to you.

woodbb posted 5/17/2013 11:50 AM

Thank you to all who have replied. It means so much to me to feel support from you!

I think the ultimate problem here is that while she loves me, she is no longer "in love" with me. Nor does she feel the same passion for me that she did when we were younger. That is probably a combination of being with me for 23 years now, being too young when we got together, and all of the trauma we have been through over the years.

I am at fault here too, she says that when I try to talk to her about all of this stuff it makes her feel like the worst person on earth. That was not my intent, I was just seeking some understand and some assurance that it wouldn't happen again.. but I think it became too much for her over the years. That and my roller coaster of emotions.

I just don't see how we can continue at this point? I have too much insecurity in our relationship as it is, but to know she isn't passionate about me makes me feel like she isn't fully invested in it. It also makes me feel like she will be tempted to fulfill that need elsewhere - all contributing to vicious cycle of wanting to talk about it.

I have been with her so long that I think I have lost my identity somewhat. I don't know how to think of myself or life in general without her as part of it. I have that passion for her. I can't begin to picture myself with someone else.

I am hurting so much right now. It is so hard to accept that she doesn't have that passion for me. :(

LA44 posted 5/17/2013 12:40 PM

You know what Woodbb, the fact of the matter is that you do not HAVE to picture yourself with anyone else at this point.

You need to take care of you. This has been written a few times here since you posted.

It sounds like there might be some co-dependency happening here. I can see that with very long-term relationships that start out when you are so young.

There is a book - I believe its called, Co-Dependant No More. I am going to look into it for myself. Co-dependency is esp common in those who have had an alcoholic parent. My dad got sober when I was 10. But I guess so much was already put into place.

Since the A, I have started being a little more introspective and reading up on this subject matter. Growing and learning from this is what I am determined to do. This isn't just about what my H did.

Write anytime!

Skan posted 5/17/2013 16:10 PM

Welcome. Listen, you don't have to decide One Darn Thing right now. There is no deadline to make your final decision on what you want to do. Please spend the weekend reading The Healing Library and other posts. Please post vent, ask questions, just plain talk. We're all here to listen to you and to give you our experiences. Your WW is a liar, pure and simple, and has done nothing but continue to lie to you. For years. She and her IC are well matched her IC is an idiot. If my FWH had ever suggested to either of our ICs or to our joint MC that I was triggering and experiencing PTSD symptoms just to make him feel guilty, it would have been a fist-fight between them all for the chance to put him in his place first.

Speaking of which, please ask your IC about EMDR therapy. Here's some info: It is EXTREMELY effective in helping with PTSD and I would highly recommend that you consider it for your nightmares.

The big thing is, keep coming back for support. We're here to support you. (((hugs)))

mysticpenguin posted 5/18/2013 00:25 AM

I am at fault here too, she says that when I try to talk to her about all of this stuff it makes her feel like the worst person on earth. That was not my intent, I was just seeking some understand and some assurance that it wouldn't happen again.. but I think it became too much for her over the years. That and my roller coaster of emotions.

Frankly, she needs to pipe down and acknowledge your pain. It hurts her to see herself reflected back -- it is uncomfortable to see the negative in ourselves reflected in another person's eyes and words. Too bad. She's an adult. Time to act like it and own the repercussions of her actions.

She has lied to you for the entirety of your relationship.

You mention losing your sense of identity, and it also sounds like your WW is unremorseful. Personally, I'd recommend checking out the 180:

Parts help with differentiation, which will help you regain your self-identity. And, if you think this is the right choice for your situation, it can also help you detach. It really sounds like your wife is not owning her actions and the pain she's caused you -- she's using it as an excuse for her own poor behavior -- and so, gently, I think perhaps detaching could be a good idea.

[This message edited by mysticpenguin at 12:26 AM, May 18th (Saturday)]

woodbb posted 5/20/2013 00:28 AM

Thank you all for the kind words. I have actually lurked here for a few years now - and have read through the healing library multiple times.

She told me today that her IC thinks that me "bring up the past" is a means of punishing her and it is "killing her spirit" and "causing real harm to her". With the years and years of trickle truth and inconsistent stories, I think I am just striving for some sort of understanding so I can process it. Or maybe it is a means of reassurance for me or just trying to gauge where we or she is in the relationship. I never really get the sense she wants to do what it takes to help heal me (honesty, talking to me, listening to me, etc). That and multiple Ddays have really done a number on me.

Her perspective is that when I bring up the past it just brings her down and makes her feel awful as a person... and I bring it up way to much. So now, when I want to talk to talk about something that is on my mind, I don't know if I can - which makes me feel even more unsupported.

She wants to keep trying though. Funny you mentioned EMDR, she wants me to do that as well. I also fully agree about the codependency issue.

The thing is that the physical affair happened 14 years ago. Found out about more lies 5-6 years ago, which seems to have reset the healing clock for me (if not further eroded the trust). This latest thing wasn't physical, but hurts worse than anything prior, because after all we have been through, she was still doing the same behaviors (lying, sneaking around behind my back, creating false transparency by deleting FB messages and showing me an inaccurate conversation, etc). I feel like such a fool for letting her continue to do this to me.

I am also REALLY struggling to reconcile the person she is in my head with the person she is in reality (in terms of our relationship). Her words to me don't correlate with her actions. I am always wondering what is real and what is not. Crappy way to live.

sisoon posted 5/20/2013 11:37 AM

she says that when I try to talk to her about all of this stuff it makes her feel like the worst person on earth.

That says to me she is still dodging responsibility for her actions. A remorseful WS who takes responsibility will be willing to talk about her betrayal because she knows you need the info to heal.

Withholding info is lying by omission, and honesty is the basis of a good M. Yes, that's very tough on the WS - but she won't heal until she owns her shit, and she won't own her shit until she talks about it and makes amends to the person(s) she betrayed.

2 X 4: I know she says nothing physical happened with her recent COW interest, but why do you believe her? Even if she's telling the truth to you, her record is such that you should not believe her without evidence that backs up her word, because so much solid evidence shows that her word is worthless.

Passion: This is a big issue for me, and it may be a big issue for almost everybody. Does she love me? Is being with me the most important thing in her life, with the possible exception of young kids? Is being with me sexually about the same priority for her as it is for me (of course I have no idea how to measure that...)?

Since passion is important to you, but she's not passionate about you, do her a favor - let her go. I recommend setting her free, because I think you'll really be doing yourself the favor.... Filing for D because she says ILYBINILWY may make her realize you really do turn her on, but if it doesn't, you'll be free to find someone who will give and take passion with you.

Brother, I know it's hard to contemplate dumping her after all this time, after she seems to have been such a big part of your life (2/3?), but I think you nailed a big part of the problem - you're in love with an image that differs from reality in a number of critical ways, and that fantasy of yours is forcing you into a life of pain.

Reality is your friend. Get out of the co-dependence. Hold out for what you want and need from your W. If she continues to lie and ignore your needs, you'll be well rid of her - but if she steps up, reality could come close to your image.

Oh, yeah. Her IC? What's his/her experience with infidelity? How many individuals has s/he helped R? How does this IC expect your W to make a life with you without being honest with you?

catlover50 posted 5/20/2013 14:02 PM

I read in a book recently that as BSs what we want is to really be SEEN by our WS. To have them truly understand what we are feeling and going through. If our WS can honestly repeat back to us all of what we are feeling, what we have told them over the months and years, and actually FEEL that, then often our constant need for questions goes away. Then we know that they get it.

(((woodbb))). It sounds as if your WW just doesn't get it.

I'm so sorry.

Ashland13 posted 5/20/2013 14:18 PM

Hi Woodbb,

Your WW sounds much like STBXH that I have and I'm sorry.

I hope that you can work out what to do. I completely understand about your theory of your WW being someone different now as that's also happened here.

My father was abandoned years ago by my mother and he said it as I feel as well. He said, "It was like she died but has a twin who lives on in another dimension." He is 15 years out (no cheating that we know of) and still things affect him or he has a trigger. His trust is broken, too. Anyway...

The problem for me with your situation is that if WW isn't remorseful, what will keep her from repeating these "activities"? And then comes a question of how much are you willing to tolerate?

What I found is that every new lie, every new horrible discovery put one more crack in my heart and brought me one more step to being all done. It got to a point where I reached this threshold of pain and finally intolerance.

STBXH here abandoned us and ran off to live with OW, where he still is, that we know of. It's another long story but once I got down off the fence you are on, it's full of messy emotions but has more of a sense of reality.

I think of where you are and where I was as this purgatory with an endless feeling.

I wish you the best and some minutes of peace.

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