My wife cheated.
I started trying to rebalance my life after a family feud forced the sale of my shares of a family business. I went through a period of deep depression, mourning the loss of relationships with my father, mother, brother, employees and my identity as an entrepreneur. I returned to school and completed an MBA, which was very demanding. All of this took a toll on my marriage and my health. I was overweight and depressed but I felt my marriage was still strong, maybe just lacking a little passion.
With nothing holding us to where we were living, we moved to a city where neither of us knew anyone, but the opportunities for my wife's career were incredible. It was exiting and we hoped it would give her career the boost it needed after sacrificing so much for my career.
As we settled into the city she began going out to bars with new friends dancing and drinking, something she had done during much of her twenties and loved doing. It was great stress relief for her and I didn't mind at all, it was nice seeing her make good friends so quickly. Most of the girls she went out with were married and about the same age (mid 30s). It soon turned to flirting via text with guys she met at the bar. The first relationship ending fairly quickly because the OM didn't feel right flirting with my wife.
The second OM was friendly and they regularly met up to dance, but my wife wasn't attracted to him so it didn't go anywhere either. But she still flirted. None of this was out of character, it didn't bother me and certainly wouldn't violate my trust.
At this point I read a few texts and told my wife I was a little uncomfortable. She assured me it was innocent but agreed to stop flirting, offered to let me read the texts (I declined), and really had nothing to hide. Then she brought up the concept of an open marriage in conversation one night. We had discussed it before getting married, and neither of us really expected to be in a monogamous relationship, but it had just kind of happened. We've been together over 10 years and with a four year old daughter we just never had the time or desire to get involved with other people. I wasn't offended by the suggestion and didn't consider it a violation of trust. Vut I'm not stupid and I knew what was likely driving it.
But now we had a few chats about it. I expressed my concerns that she was bringing this up because of her flirting with OM and she admitted as much. I said I wasn't against the idea, but that we'd need to go slow and it would have to be something we did together. Not a few months after she met and flirted with a specific guy. That felt like cheating. The communication was really open and honest, like all our communication had been throughout our marriage. It was around this point that OM2 "cut her off".
Another girls night out led to another new friend, OM3, this one recently divorced with a couple of young kids about the same age as my daughter. They had a few play dates together and the texts escalated from logistics around meeting, to flirting to explicit. By this point I was suspicious whenever my wife was texting someone, it didn't feel right and she seemed to be hiding her phone occasionally.
We scheduled a date night, booked a babysitter and went to a documentary and then to a restaurant we'd wanted to try for a while. The night got cut short by an invitation to yet another night of drinking and dancing with her friends. My daughter got sick around midnight, and after changing her sheets for the 3rd time I texted my wife I needed some help. She warned me she was drunk but agreed to come home ASAP and help. She did, and was a great mom as usual. While she was cleaning up some pukey sheets I accidentally saw some explicit texts from OM3. My head spun, I stopped reading and dropped the phone. I was exhausted, said nothing and waited until the following afternoon to confront her.
She apologized, and instantly agreed to end everything and not contact him again. I was hurt, but it wasn't devastating and felt like it was something we could easily get through. Besides, our sex life had been better than ever.
I mentioned earlier that I was overweight and depressed, to overcome that, I joined a triathlon club and started to get in shape. I really enjoyed it and dove in headfirst, average about 10 workouts per week. I got the opportunity to join a 3 day ride through the rocky mountains over the May long weekend. Just prior to leaving I found more text messages on her computer (imessage - she's not very computer savvy and expected that deleting them on the phone deleted everything). She had been planning to meet him in a hotel while I was away, and they were masturbating together while texting each other on a regular basis. These texts were prior to my previous confrontation, but it indicated I really didn't know what was going on and she wasn't being honest. We talked a lot and she "told me everything", I still don't know if that's true and probably never will.
The ride through the rockies was an awesome experience, really beautiful and it tested my character more than I expected. I felt great, and proud of myself. During the ride I was a little worried about what had just happened the previous week, but I still trusted my wife. She was the most honest, selfless person I'd ever met, and she had promised me it was over. Following the ride I had a week's travel for business and spoke with my wife each night. It wasn't always great, I was still angry, but both of us were really looking forward to being home together and rebuilding.
The day after I got home I checked my wife's laptop (iMessage) and found a deleted chat conversation (under the recent tab) with OM3. They had masturbated together over facetime while I was gone, and she'd sent him naked photos. Despite the promises of ending it she escalated. I confronted her, calling her at work and told her it was over. That was two weeks ago. Now we're seeing a marriage counsellor and trying to reconcile. I'm indifferent. I can't imagine being divorced, but I don't see a future with us together.