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Juanita posted 7/24/2013 11:47 AM

March 23rd,4 months ago, in the context of 43 years, is "Just Found Out" to me.
The love of my life, for more than 43 years, died suddenly of heart failure not quite one year ago. We had raised three children together,
2 of mine and 1 of ours together, as well as 2 grandchildren. He was deeply respected and loved by a wide community of disparate people. He championed transparency and honesty in all his dealings at work, in political office, socially.

Four months ago today, while looking for some missing keys, I ended up searching in his private office which I had always honored.
In an open wooden box I found a little pile of letters and cards, and some objects; various photos of a friend of his whom I had liked when she stayed with us. Curious that they had been addressed to my husband c/o his good friend I started looking more closely. They were passionate, poetic, funny, often erotic, very beautifully written. Heartfelt love letters.I was devastated. Blindsided, my grieving for my husband had all of a sudden torqued. Like an auger grinding into my gut. My aching heart was seared and each new clue and thought was like a jackboot kick in my stomach.
The woman who had written the letters; given him little love tokens; begged him to drive the four hours to her house instead of meeting,or her coming to our house, had been his first great love in his teen years. I became obsessed in my agony over this betrayal, with no opportunity to confront my husband since he is dead..
10 weeks later I called his mistress, saying I was driving through and wanted to return a book she had loaned my husband. I had written her a letter which I was going to give her acknowledging their love and naming his hypocrisy and cowardliness and her collusion in not insisting he divorce. I collected some really good photos of my husband; assembled her letters and tokens; made her a shadow box focused on his hands of which she described for him a voluptuary morning meditation she had devised.I even put some of his ashes in a handmade pot with a card saying Since you shared the living man with me for all those years it is fitting that I share his ashes with you.
These tasks were undertaken as an expression of my anger and betrayal. Trying to keep my dignity in tact. We met. I asked her how long they had been connecting.
She replied "always. But we didn't start having sex until 15 years ago" I nearly collapsed. That had coincided with increasing difficulty in my marriage. We are old, she and I, and so was my husband!
I had sought therapy a number of times over the years to try to understand my role in receiving his coldness, his remoteness. His refusal to make love for so many years. Then he began being outright cruel. I thought several times of leaving him but my self worth and my shame at being treated so badly paralyzed me. There seemed no future on my own. Still doesn't.
The two of them succeeded in concealing their dual life from everyone; mutual friends, family and most especially me. My denial and fear of confrontation played right into their game while my unhappiness and repressing my hurt seriously affected my health. My efforts at giving my husband breathing space created the perfect opportunity for them to breathe "sweet nothings". I had no clue.
I have been seeing therapists, writing, taking antidepressants, and doing everything I can to try to get out of this rut that I'm in. I can't even grieve my loss without his mistress being in my "movie". The selfishness and dishonesty of what became their way of life robbed me and demeaned me. My husband didn't honor me as a woman and he did not honor me as a human being. I loved him, desired him,respected and admired his brilliance and intellectual intelligence . . .still do though he's dead.
Unbeknown to me my life was a sham and a joke for so many years. This leaves a special kind of despair about what the future may hold. I'm told time will help, lots of time. We shall see.I am so disheartened and tired.
So that's my story.

kiki1 posted 7/24/2013 11:55 AM


I am so sorry you found this out in a such a horrible way with no way to receive any closure.

You will heal Juanita. Many of us here have to heal on our own.

Come here often, it helps to let it out, everyone here is understanding and so incredibly supportive.

You have friends now that you never knew you had


heartache101 posted 7/24/2013 12:06 PM


I have no words.... Totally heart sent condolences for your loss...

I know that EMDR therapy has helped me thru a lot. It helped me function since I was diagnosed with Severe PTSD.

You handled his OW much better then I think I could of ever handled that situation.

OldCow18 posted 7/24/2013 12:07 PM

My heart (what's left of it) breaks for you, I am so very sorry.

FightingBack posted 7/24/2013 13:07 PM


I am so sorry for your losses. The loss of your husband as well as the loss of truth in your life.

I have often thought that this same scenario could have happened in my case. My cheating husband could have easily died in a car accident after being with his mistress as they always drank together. Or, he might have had a heart attack in a sleazy motel. In any such case, finding out about an infidelity posthumously must be worse on many levels.
You will never be able to confront him, ask questions, have him acknowledge your pain, receive an apology or any comfort from him.

If it helps at all, your husband was selfish and deceitful, but probably behaved this way for his own reasons, not to purposefully hurt you.

Regardless of his poor choices, he never chose to leave you, or to live authentically with his mistress.

My thoughts are with you in what must be a terrible, confusing, shocking time for you.

doggiemom12 posted 7/24/2013 13:30 PM

My STBX killed himself last year.

The women started coming out of the woodwork. My Ex was also one of those guys everyone thought was a "good" guy.

Not so good apparently. There were 4 women he was seeing at the time of his death one of whom introduced herself as his "fiance" and told me they had been having an affair off and on since 1999. She did not know about the other women. Heh.

I did know about two of them before I left him but never confronted because we were in mediation and I was advised not to do it until the settlement was complete and the money in the bank. So I never got to yell at him but I did write him a nasty letter complete with copies of the love letters, viagra bottle etc.

That was almost a year ago now. It does get better. He paid the ultimate price and left me very well off and I still have my life and friends and dogs and health (knock wood). I am going to enjoy whatever time I have left and I never have to worry about dealing with him again. He was very abusive to me in the last years of our marriage and every day I am glad he is gone.

You will get there too. Take care of yourself get come counseling and post here often.


Tearsoflove posted 7/24/2013 13:53 PM

In my opinion, you weren't robbed. You were authentic in your relationship and that's all we can ever be. There are never guarantees that the other person is being equally honest. The only thing we can be sure of is who we are.

You were a good wife and you loved him. His failure to be what he should have been is all on him.

In the movie Adaptation, there was a scene where the brothers are discussing the unrequited love of one brother for a girl in high school. It touched me in how well it explained what real love truly is. Here is the relevant part of the quote:

Donald Kaufman: Oh, God. I was so in love with her.
Charlie Kaufman: I know. And you were flirting with her. And she was being really sweet to you.
Donald Kaufman: I remember that.
Charlie Kaufman: Then, when you walked away, she started making fun of you with Kim Canetti. And it was like they were laughing at *me*. You didn't know at all. You seemed so happy.
Donald Kaufman: I knew. I heard them.
Charlie Kaufman: How come you looked so happy?
Donald Kaufman: I loved Sarah, Charles. It was mine, that love. I owned it. Even Sarah didn't have the right to take it away. I can love whoever I want.
Charlie Kaufman: But she thought you were pathetic.
Donald Kaufman: That was her business, not mine. You are what you love, not what loves you. That's what I decided a long time ago.

He can't ever take your love away from you, no matter what he chose to do with that love.

Juanita posted 7/24/2013 22:02 PM

I write this to all who have come forth with such genuine caring: kikil, heartache101, OldCow18, FightingBack, DoggieMom12, TearsofLove.
Thank you so much for your wisdom and understanding. I'm truly overwhelmed. I will answer each of you when I am more rested and can communicate thoughtfully.

p.s. I think you all will help me to find sleep tonight. It has been so elusive for these months.

nowiknow23 posted 7/24/2013 22:23 PM

Sweetie - I hope you don't feel that you have to answer everyone individually. Everyone here posts out of concern and understanding. We're here for whatever you may need, whenever you need it.

I hope that tonight you are able to get that sleep that's been eluding you. And welcome to SI. (((((hugs)))))

Pippy posted 7/24/2013 22:26 PM

Juanita, there is one thing that has not been mentioned. It may sound simplified, but in the end, he stayed with you for all those years. Did he really love her or was the affair just filling some base personality weakness for him which helped him stay with you. He chose you.

HurtButHopeful? posted 7/24/2013 22:29 PM

Oh Juanita, I'm so sorry you are going through this.

I understand you feeling of being robbed...yes, you knew your M was having trouble, and you looked inside yourself to see if it was somehow you, if you could change to fix it. He let you do all those things, he let you go to therapy, taking antidepressants, etc., blame yourself, when all he had to do was tell you the truth, that he was having an A, his attentions were elsewhere, and that it had nothing to do with you.

Keep posting here. As you process the truth, now that you have it, you will begin to feel all the feelings his lies did not allow you to feel. You will eventually feel better.

Lean on your family, on your children.

You were so kind to the OW. I would not have been so kind. She did not deserve anything, but to be forgotten, and all momentos thrown in the trash where they belonged. Yes, you kept your dignity, and you also left hers alone.

You have found a community of people here who understand how you feel. The details of our stories may differ, but the pain and confusion are the same. Have you read the Healing Library? It is at the upper left corner in the yellow box.

I do hope you can sleep better tonight.

a big cyberhug for you (((((Juanita)))))

Chloe1997 posted 7/24/2013 22:47 PM

Juanita I am so sorry for your losses. Though I am only 34, I have been with my husband since I was 17 (he even took me to prom and taught me to drive). Everyone sees us as the perfect couple and even though I knew we were far from perfect I never thought there would be anyone else until a couple of months ago when I read one of his journals. The intimacy they shared with the OW is the biggest betrayal and I just want to let you know you aren't alone in that feeling. I hope venting here as much and as long as you need will give you some closure. We are here for you

[This message edited by Chloe1997 at 10:48 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)]

caregiver9000 posted 7/24/2013 23:02 PM


I am so sorry for your loss and the betrayal that followed. Your grief is complicated by the revelation. I cannot imagine...

I wanted to welcome you to this place and hope that you find comfort here. I hope your sleep is easy tonight.


Blackhair posted 7/24/2013 23:14 PM


Sorry for what you are going through right now, the pain is real!

I had tears in my eyes reading your posts, we all had similar experience.

Come here and talk to us here more often, as there are great support here, get some rest first, take care!

LisaReg posted 7/24/2013 23:31 PM

Just hugs to you.....I will pray that you find peace and a way to come to terms with this madness. I'm sorry you had to join us here, but I'm glad you did.

unarmbears posted 7/25/2013 00:29 AM

I am so sorry you had to find a site like SI while still grieving the death of your husband. It is shocking and you will have the waves of emotion again and again.

"always. But we didn't start having sex until 15 years ago" I nearly collapsed. That had coincided with increasing difficulty in my marriage.

As time goes on I hope you will realize that his A had nothing to do with you, how you looked, smelled, acted, in any way shape or form. It was his choice to have this EA turned PA through your marriage. You were in the same marriage and didn't cheat.

I had sought therapy a number of times over the years to try to understand my role in receiving his coldness, his remoteness. His refusal to make love for so many years. Then he began being outright cruel. I thought several times of leaving him but my self worth and my shame at being treated so badly paralyzed me. There seemed no future on my own. Still doesn't.

The dynamic is solely within you at this time. That is the hardest part of your loss of the marriage you thought you had.

It is hard to have your belief system shaken like this. The image of this man you loved was shattered. Really, he had been breaking it for years. You will see that now. Sadly in your case your husband cannot rebuild himself and work his ass off to save the marriage. The image may remain shattered.

The two of them succeeded in concealing their dual life from everyone; mutual friends, family and most especially me. My denial and fear of confrontation played right into their game while my unhappiness and repressing my hurt seriously affected my health.

Your deceased WH and his OW were very good at deceit. As time goes on I hope you find peace in that they not only fooled you, they fooled everyone but their mutual friend. I hope you don't continue any friendship with that dick. He isn't your friend.

Take care of yourself! Rage made a hard knot in my tummy, it helped to get out and walk, exercise, punch a bag. I live in a rural area so could find a remote place to throw rocks and scream out my pain. It was cathartic!

I ate yogurt and drank ensure. I forced myself to have food, but the exercise helped build an appetite and get my endorphins working.

Keep posting, this is a great place to get support through the pain and being able to get through the hell of infidelity.

HopeFloats2272 posted 7/25/2013 00:31 AM

Oh Juanita, my heart goes out to you.

Unfortunately, like many others on this site you have the responsibility of healing yourself. It does seem unfair that you were never able to confront your husband and therefore won't get the closure that you seek. But I'm not sure any of us truly get closure even with a remorseful spouse.

We will help you heal. We will acknowledge all of the feelings that you have but please know that he did not demean you, he demeaned himself and so did the other woman.

It is obvious why he never left you....he didn't want to because he truly did love you. How could he not? You are a woman of class (and you write beautifully as we'll : ) You have shown grace, empathy, understanding and kindness when you were not given any of those things. He treated you poorly because he was mad at himself for being so weak and he knew he was no longer good enough for you. We always hurt the ones we love the most.

So why did he do it? He liked the ego boost, not her (it could have been anybody.) He didn't truly love her. He loved how she made him feel. And he exaggerated things and lied to her to ensure she would continue reciprocate. He had some insecurities and chose to "treat the symptoms" instead of search for the cure. It doesn't make it ok but you need to know that his poor choices were not a reflection of you. In fact, you should feel sorry for him that he was so broken on the inside that he chose to be a hypocrite instead of a man.

I've rambled enough....I hope you are able to get some sleep...that is something that has eluded me for the past few years....

Gr8Lady posted 7/25/2013 01:28 AM

I wish I could put my arms around you and comfort you. How brave of you to share your heartfelt story with us.
Find comfort in your children, friends and your own personal dignity.
What class you displayed in confronting this woman. She should feel accountable in the 15 year dual life. It is unfathonable.
As my mother always told me, the best revenge is living a good life. This woman will face her own demons for the part she played in the betrayal.
Hold your head up high, you didn't break your marital vows,

Juanita posted 7/25/2013 11:45 AM

For HopeFloats and Pippy - I would so love to believe that he stayed with me because he really loved me after all but I'm afraid I've arrived at the conclusion that it was a convenience. He could shield himself from the demands from his mistress to be more present for her,he wanted to keep his fantasy with distance. I found a recording of an exchange (yes! a recording!) where he tells her
"if you really love me you will let me go". After they had been having sexual rendezvous for 2 years and were to continue for 11 more !! Their conversation was so familiar and intimate and comfortable. I NEVER had that from him. He told me not too too long ago that he didn't want to be my companion. I was dumbstruck, so I denied !
I also believe that it was as simple as not wanting to have to move out. He was almost pathologically devoted to his rituals in routine territory - the prospect of having to establish new ones at her house would have been too painful. He abhorred change as well, and wrote even as a young man about the serious problems his immobilizing inertia posed in his life. I think that was why she dropped him when she was 19 and married his best friend's brother,( whom she eventually divorced after 2 kids). My husband's sister said that he collapsed and was hospitalized when she left him. Was very sick for a long time. So this woman was his great love. I had thought she was his first love but that he had moved on. I trusted him. Ohmygod!
The permanent nausea of this state of being !

TrustGone posted 7/25/2013 12:24 PM


I am so sorry for your loss. Not only the loss of your WH, but the loss of the marriage as you thought it was. I can't imagine having to mourn them both at te same time.

Just know that eventually you will come to terms with it and will hopefully be able to move on. Also know that even though he was with her all that time, he really didn't love her either. He only loved himself. That is what you have to tell yourself. You did nothing to cause this. He was just broken in ways that you would never have been able to fix. He was a selfish man. Know that his A with her had nothing to do with you. I know that is a hard concept for many a BS to come to terms with.

Please continue to post. We are here for you. We can't take away your pain or give you back all those years, but we can give you support to help get you through this. How you are feeling right now is perfectly normal and will get better with time. (((HUGS)))

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