My wife began to tell a story of lies and deception that I never could have believed she was capable of. Two separate affairs with two different people (both married also). Both affairs lasting in excess of a year (dates and length of time have yet to be revealed). Discussions centering around each others unhappiness. The desire to end their marriages... And the heartfelt "I love you's". There were lies that we're told to allow for hotel visits but the majority of the indiscretions occurred in their cars (I imagine they moved the carseats for added comfort!). The lies never seemed to end.
A little background story.... Before my oldest was born, my wife had a very stressful job. She returned to work after the birth however, we both felt that it was unfair to put our child in daycare as he was always getting sick. We believed our weekends were spent nursing him back to health so he can get sick again. That's when the idea of moving to the suburbs came into play. Housing was affordable snd spacious and can be achieved on a single income. We made the move which allowed for my wife to raise our child (and another two years later) while only adding a commute to my burden (I'm still home by 4:30 each day). I'm not a wealthy man but I was able to provide a home, a new car, dinners out and an occasional vacation. I'm not a drinker, drug user or wife abuser. I never cheated of engaged in any time consuming hobbies that would take time away from my family. I loved my family and was at the peak of happiness when around them.
Back to my story.... The "uglies", as we have come to refer to them by, never seemed to end. By far, the most painful and exhausting anniversary I could have ever envisioned. However, and this is my dilemma, my wife reminded me (she is EXTREMILY remorseful) that she is not. The same person that she was when the 2nd affair ended. She's grown very close to the church and has tried to make her peace with her past in their eyes. Her secret was never revealed, more to spare my pain, than to lift her burden. She has begged to go to counseling in hopes I can forgive her and move on with our life together. Truthfully, our relationship has been better since the approximate time frame of her ending the affair.
What do I do??? I'm still madly in live with her. The person I was introduced to on that evening is no where near the person I married and believed I was going through life with. I came from a broken home. I don't want that for my kids. In addition, I'm in no position to provide two financially stable home for all those involved. My only solution is to "get over it" and move on. But how to trust again? I know where my wife is now, spiritually. I don't want to punish her any more than she is already. How do I determine what is a good question to ask or a damaging one? Where do I draw the lines on details? She doesn't see the benefit in exposing me to them and I have to believe she is right. But that doesn't stop me from wanting to know.
She doesn't see the benefit in exposing me to them and I have to believe she is right.
You have a lot on your plate, I will take this one bit to comment on.
The level of details depends on the betrayed spouse's (BS's) interest and need. Many of us here at SI find we DO want a level of details. Typically the ideal solution is a time line describing meetings, what occured, how the wayward spouse (WS) felt at the time, locations, how the A was hidden, fequency and types of sex, etc.
It also appears to be common that not telling details and "protecting the BS" is really just a way for the WS to avoid owning what she or he has done. WS's often lie after discovery day (dday) and minimize the depth and scope of their affair(s) (A).
Your world has been rocked, give yourself time to absorb and process what has been revealed. Look for the healing library (upper left corner of screen yellow box). Books like Not Just Friends by Glass and Sexual Detours by Hines can be good for understanding A dynamics and how to recover.
The most important thing is that her A's were not about you. Your wayward wife (WW) was trying in the most inappropriate and damaging way to fill some need within herself. The AP (affair partners) were just available and equally broken people who were willing to accept sex and affirmation from a married woman. There was nothing special about them either.
Keep posting and reading. SI is a great resource.
You will find many who care, and understand what you are going through.
I would like to mention that there is a library up on the left side of your screen, please read the info there. It will give you much good advice, and probably confirm some of the things you are wondering about.
Next you really need to stop and figure out what you need from your WW(wayward wife) for you to heal, and for your marriage to heal. Forget ever going back to what it was like before. That is gone. Can M's recover? You bet. Can M's be better than before? Absolutely. It takes a lot of very hard work from both of you to make that happen.
What I am hearing you describe from her actions, it sounds like she is much more upset at being found out, and not really remorseful for her actions. This is an important detail when trying to R. If the Wayward doesn't own what they did, then the Betrayed has to feel like they walk on eggshells, that they shouldn't talk about the A, or ask questions, or share their pain. This just leads to more dysfunction. You should be able to ask questions and talk with her whenever you need to without fearing anger from her.
Right now you need to focus on you. Eating, sleeping, drinking enough water. Next you really need to know what your options are. You should see an attorney to find out how it would play out should you D. Don't R because you feel stuck. This again creates more dysfunction, and an unhealthy representation of what Normal is for your child.
Please keep posting, and sharing, and asking questions.
Sending you many hugs and strength.
Do you know who it was that was sending you messages and why?
I was going to ask the same question. Was it OM or OBS?
Anyway, welcome to SI. You'll get loads of do's and don'ts from experts here. Follow their lead and achieve peace.
Looks like she is prepared to R and so are you. You have to manage to get all the details from WS before R. Also counselling would help both of you.
Most importantly you did nothing wrong to push WS into an A.
A few things that have helped me so far.
1. Getting the complete truth. Only you know how much details you need, but you don't want to have new things discovered every few weeks. Having her write out a timeline with who, what, where that you can keep is a good start.
2. Realizing that the affair is not your fault. True, you may have contributed to the overall state of your marriage which helped make the A more easy to happen, BUT - she chose to break covenant with you and step outside the bounds of your relationship. That is NOT your fault. Period.
3. Her growth spiritually is great, but doesn't guarantee an affair can't or won't happen again. You guys need MC and IC to make sure that the issues that got you in this place are resolved.
4. Be brutally honest with her. Your feelings, thoughts, fears. Don't cover up just to keep from hurting her feelings. Let it out.
5. Sometimes asking the same question repeatedly is necessary for your own peace of mind. Do it. Don't apologize for it, even if it makes her uncomfortable. The faster you heal the faster your relationship can begin to heal. Right now you healing is top priority.
6. Print out the article posted in reconciliation forum title "this is so good..." Give it to your W to read.
7. Trust your gut. Always.
I hope some or any of this helps. The journey your on is one that I never thought I would be on either. It sucks. It's unfair. It's painful. But, it does get better. 9 months in, with a lot of prayer and forgiveness, as well as my wife doing everything in her power to help, our marriage really is better now than before. Different, missing something that will never be found again, but better. Prayers for you guys. Somedude.
[This message edited by somedude at 2:35 PM, May 17th (Friday)]
How do I determine what is a good question to ask or a damaging one? Where do I draw the lines on details? She doesn't see the benefit in exposing me to them and I have to believe she is right. But that doesn't stop me from wanting to know.
Sorry you find yourself here Struck, but welcome. You'll find a lot of comfort and understanding on this site.
You ask good questions, and there are no wrong answers. Your wife is not entitled to one bit of privacy from you as far as her sex life is concerned because, she's your wife and you're supposed to be there when she's having sex. You're entitled to ask anything that you feel needs to be answered. There's no wrong questions in situations like this.
Some betrayed spouses avoid details, others (like me) want to know everything. That's an individual choice, and if she finds the questions to be painful and uncomfortable...well, that's the price of betrayal. No one said it would be pretty.
And you can count on two things: she doesn't see the benefit of exposing details to you because it demeans her in your eyes and in her own eyes (the truth does that sometimes), and you can expect what is known on this site as "trickle truth" (TT in S.I. lingo). Please don't be deterred by the former, and don't get too depressed or down or your wife when you experience the latter (as I did about a week ago). Cheaters, even the most remorseful ones, lie. It's what they had to do for years to sustain the affairs, and it becomes a habit. A remorseful spouse may lie for no other reason that to spare you pain. This is misguided - infidelity is painful regardless of the details, but the truth will enable you to begin healing sooner rather than later.
If you insist on the truth, then expect holes in her story to start popping up in your head over the next few weeks and months. I used the threat of a polygraph to get my wife to finally come completely clean on May 9. You might have to do the same.
Just know this: if she is truly remorseful and you want to heal and reconcile, then it will happen. My wife and I are only 90 days into this nightmare, but we've grown closer and are well on our way to reconciling and building a stronger marriage.
I wish the same for you.
[This message edited by Sal1995 at 4:32 PM, May 17th (Friday)]
In order for you to get over it and forgive, you need to know exactly what it is you are getting over and forgiving for. From what you have posted it sounds like you have many questions (imagine that). Your world has been turned upside down. You have just found out that the reality you have been living with was a lie.
I agree with her on counseling. There is a value and benefit for marriage counseling. It can provide a safe open place to discuss things. Look for someone who is experienced with infidelity.
The counselor I found believed in full disclosure. Anything I asked no matter how many times I asked needed to be told. Didn't matter what the questions were, just honest answers. The benefits were twofold. My mind is my own worse enemy, I could put to rest my biggest fears. It also meant that she had to own her actions because nothing speaks louder than the look on my face as she was revealing things.
I can't tell from your post, but did she reveal to you who the partners were? Not that the who matters, but the fact that she is protecting them would be a big red flag to me. There is no secrecy available for her.
Did you ever confirm who it was that was texting you?
Prepare yourself for a very bumpy ride. You will survive this. Reconciling is possible if both are willing to do the work necessary.
There is no sugar coating this, the roller coaster you will be on is a mother fucker.
Eat. Sleep. Exercise. Drink plenty of water.