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Three weeks and don't know how it gets better

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Indifferentman posted 6/12/2013 11:42 AM

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.

tushnurse posted 6/12/2013 15:49 PM

Welcome to the club no one ever plans to join. You will find many here with good advice.

I don't see that you have a specific question, or concern, but wanted you to know you have been heard.

This is a very painful time, and don't be surprised by the miriad of emotions you feel. Do not allow her to blame you for her choices, she was the one who chose to be dishonest. She was the one that felt the need to hide things. Something is broken within her, and she needs to figure that out.

Does she have remorse for what she did? Is she willing to be transparent, and not get angry, or is she just sorry she was caught. There is a difference in thought and attitude and early on it is sometimes hard to know the difference.

Focus on you right now, make sure you are eating, keeping hydrated and sleeping. You may benefit from going to individual therapy as well.

Up on the left is the healing library and it is chuck full of good information.

((((and strength)))))

Indifferentman posted 6/12/2013 16:04 PM

She has been remorseful, answered every question I asked. There were a few times she wasn't 100% forthcoming, but it was obvious and a quick follow up question usually drew out the truth pretty quickly.

I feel reasonably secure I know almost everything. Her answers match the text transcripts I have, and I haven't shared with her that I have them. She's offered to give access to anything and read anything (I'm not sure I want to since it feels like such a failure).

She's the model of everything you could want in order to reconcile. I just still feel indifferent to trying.

I asked her to stay with a friend at night. She's home in the morning when my daughter wakes up and home in the evening when my daughter goes to bed. It's not strange for my wife to work night shifts, so far it hasn't struck my daughter as weird (she's 4). We're still doing activities together in the evening with my daughter (swimming, gymnastics etc...) and eating dinner together. I'm able to separate our parental roles from our marriage issues and both of us have remained great, positive happy parents.

I'm really not sure where to go from here. How do I go forward? I don't want a divorce, but I'm having a hard time imagining being together with her.

BlindSighted2013 posted 6/12/2013 17:41 PM

I'm four weeks out from D-Day and also having moments of feeling indifferent. I don't know if that is scary, good, or bad, but it just is, and I suspect that it's healthy for us to be aware of our feelings.

Has your wife stopped contact with OM3?

NoraLee posted 6/12/2013 17:57 PM

Remember, you don't have to make any major decisions right now.

It can get better. It's just impossible to believe for awhile... I remember the blinding pain...god - I can't revisit that for too long .... But if your spouse is remorseful and you are both willing to work through the pain and roller coaster of emotions...if you have transparency and authenticity ....

I didn't believe it would ever get better. At 5 months - I noticed a significant difference...then anger came to visit in the 6th month...but 10 months in now - and I feel almost like my old self. Almost but I don't think I'll ever be that person again. I definitely have a new marriage - better in so many ways.

Good luck and welcome. SI was key to my healing...well that and a FWH who has done everything I needed to heal. Keep reading. Keep posting. We are here for you....

1Faith posted 6/12/2013 17:59 PM


It is still very raw and new for you. It is a lot for the body and mind to absorb. You are in shock and rightfully so.

Try to define what you want for TODAY and go from there. You don't have to make any major decisions yet (to stay or to go) just try and wrap you head around what you are dealing with.

I strongly encourage IC for YOU. You need YOU time to figure out what is right for you. MC is fine but IC is just about you. It is hard to heal when the person that caused such great pain is in the room with you.

She is a serial cheater. Just because she says she is sorry doesn't mean ANYTHING. She has done this 3 times that you know of.

This will STOP when you STOP. She hasn't changed because she hasn't had to. Think about it. What have been her consequences?

Time for YOU to set your boundaries. Please look up the 180. I believe your wife is rugsweeping and it will only be a matter of time until OM#4 comes along. She needs her own IC to figure out WHY she continues to cheat.

Go in hopeful but aware. Eyes wide open.

You will have to heal either way. If you decide to stay or go. I have included the timeline for recovery as a guide. It's a process so be kind to yourself and take one day at a time.


Timeline of Recovery

Good timeline I found on another site...Hope this helps..

Q: How Long Will It Take Me To Heal From This?

A: There is no set time line. On the average it's 1-2 years to heal from betrayal. 3-5 years is not out of the norm.

Below is a general guide, not everyone heals in the same amount of time as others, there are variables to consider in each individual's situation. It's a rollercoaster ride, emotionally and physically, but I promise you - you can and will survive. But, you will never be the same and that's not always a bad thing.

D-day to 6 months is devastation; you're done with life, in shock and sick at heart. You are raw emotionally and never knew such despair could be felt.

6-9 months are full of mood swings from "it's going to be okay" to "Why am I even trying." Your thoughts are emotion driven and not dependable.

9-12 months you can actually go about 15 minutes without thinking about "it." One morning I stepped out of the shower and realized that I hadn't thought of the affair yet. But sadly, those times were few and far between. You're still up and down emotionally.

Then at 12 months, sobbing again with the disappointment in your spouses selfishness

14 months you are able to have a heartfelt happy moment.

18 months the incredible crush of despair is gone. You wake up one morning and realize that the A was something that happened, not something that is happening.

20 months you no longer feel like your world is in danger. Trusting again, with your heart if not with your brain. Constantly questioning your own feelings but you realize it is fear stalking you now, not danger.

22 months you can see a future. You don't cry at the drop of a hat. You can watch television without falling apart at a love scene. Actually feeling almost back to your normal self. You finally loose that sense of being "outside" yourself. The phases can trick you, you think you're doing great at five weeks and then you hit the bottom of the well at 12 weeks. You can be raging at 10 months with a horrible anger that never appeared early on.

One day at a time...keep moving....

kernel posted 6/12/2013 20:12 PM

I agree with 1Faith - the indifference is probably shock. You don't need to make any major decisions yet. Take some time to wrap your head around what has happened, and to figure out what comes next for you. For some people, the infidelity is a deal breaker and that's okay. For others, R is for them and that is okay too. Take the time you need to figure out what YOU want/need.

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