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kg201 posted 8/4/2013 12:22 PM

Hi, I learned a week ago last Sunday that my wife has been carrying on an affair with her business partner for the last 2 years. She and I have been together since 1995 and married since 1997. We have had many ups and downs over the years, too many to post for this message, but needless to say we have been struggling together for a number of them. We have 3 kids together (15, 11, and 10), the latter two which have special needs and are a big energy drain in our family. The main stress for us, in the last 10 years has been her breast cancer. She was diagnosed in 2003 and went through 5 years of treatment. I was with her throughout. Last spring and summer we were very close to finally ending it (one year into her affair...I did not know about the affair), but she pulled me back in despite the fact that it was her pushing me away that finally made me agree to separate. I knew her partner was special to her then. In fact, she told me that she had a stronger emotional bond for him, than for me. Despite that warning we agree that we would continue to work on our issues. A month later (July) she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer which has spread throughout her body. The whole year has been a health roller coast, and through it she continued her sexual relationship. I was with her through most of the doctor visits, with other friends/family taking her when I had to be at work. Her lover would take her, and despite the fact initially I was adamant that I don't want him to be involved, I finally backed off because she expressed how he and I were vital to her health. Ultimately I backed off because I thought she was being honest with me about the relationship (a "close" friend) and I wanted the best for her.

This summer her brain scans showed progression in her tumors, and that has led to turmoil in terms of her needing to be back in the hospital for about a week and all sorts of changes to her medicine and treatment. I learned about the affair last week by chance. Her mother, the lover, and she have been speaking together about how to finally break it off with me, and I happened to run across an e-mail saying so.

This has been the worst week of my life, as many of you can imagine. I am now stuck in this place where my kids are at some point going to need to deal with a dying mother. My wife doesn't want to leave her lover. I can't imagine how I can get myself recovered enough to be separated, but yet continue to care for her, the kids, and actually keep a job. I want things to be decided quickly, but yet recognize that there is a process we need to go through, since this is such a complicated situation. I'm hurting, scared, angry, worried (about my kids), incredulous, and really (other than my therapist) have no one to turn to for support. Thus my posting. Another large fear I have is the loss of family and friend support that I may face if we separate, due to the huge stigma associated with a husband who leaves his dying wife. I love my wife, despite everything, but am struggling so much with the fact that she is reluctant (afraid) to leave her lover. She says she doesn't have much time on this earth and doesn't have the energy to do what needs to be done to reconcile, and feels like she deserves to be happy with the lover for whatever time she has left. I looked on-line for other examples of where the dying person is the one who had the affair, but have not...just endless links of "husband leaves sick wife".

I'm not sure what I can get out of this forum, but figured at least someone would hear my loneliness and maybe sympathize. Thanks for reading.


catlover50 posted 8/4/2013 12:48 PM

(((kg201)))). Those are virtual hugs.

I am so deeply sorry for what you are going through. What a nightmare. I'll admit your situation is unusual, even here at SI. You need tons of support from your wife right now to process and deal with all of this and yet you are the one expected to give the support. And you are looking at a future of being a single dad with special needs children.

Not trying to make it worse, just empathizing.

I don't have much advice, but is it possible that you take at least the next week or two to focus on you and your needs? Rest, exercise, try to eat and sleep. Since your MIL is involved perhaps she can take care of your daughter and the kids for a bit of time; I would think she owes you that much.

I imagine that facing death does make some people selfish. I can't judge your wife too harshly, not having been in her shoes. If she refuses to give up her lover perhaps he can take over a lot of her caretaking?

You are facing a trauma of immense proportions as well, without the sympathy that cancer garners. You may have to be a bit selfish yourself for a time.

Weekends are slower here, but keep posting.

Best of luck to you.

womaninflux posted 8/4/2013 12:58 PM

I remember seeing an article or news segment about divorced spouses caring for one another in end of life situations.They say they do it because they are finally able to put all of the hurt and anger aside and they want to be a good example for their kids. Here's a link - don't know if it will be helpful.

I'm very sorry for what you are going through. I guess this really is one of those situations where you might feel like you need to take the high road.

Also, at the risk of sounding insensitive you ought to probably look into legal issues that might come into play if you do separate.

doggiediva posted 8/4/2013 13:00 PM

I can't imagine being in your situation..

The extra layer of betrayal of knowing MIL is in on WW's plans (to end things with you) sucks too..

I would get my ducks in a row to legally protect myself as if you are going to D a WW that wasn't dying...Do not leave the marital home..

Do the kids know the gravity of her health? Do they know that she cheats?
Do other family and friends other than MIL know that she cheats?

Has your WW written a power of attorney and an advanced directive for health care(living will) ?

Once your financial interests and any custody issues are under legal protection you may decide to remain by her side(in house separation) unless she prefers to live with the AP(at his place)

IDK what kind of person the mother in law is..I would make sure that if you decide to physically leave the marital home that you have temporary child custody orders already in place so that you are protected in case MIL decides to start a fight to obtain custody of the kids

Do you have family members that are willing to give you a break in the care of your wife / kids so that you can focus on and take care of yourself when needed?

Sending hugs and strength your way..

[This message edited by doggiediva at 1:15 PM, August 4th (Sunday)]

cjonesjag posted 8/4/2013 13:36 PM

What a very sad situation, especially for you and the kids.

I think the very first thing I would want to know is exactly how long your wife "has." Not that doctors are perfect, but knowing an approximate time frame would give me a base that I would need.

If the time remaining with your wife is less than a year (and I don't want to sound like a *cold* person), then I think the focus should be on caring for the children in this particular situation and dealing with her 'affairs' (NOT the one she's having with her OM).

It sounds as though the two of you have been on the verge of seperating for a few years. With the limited amount of time remaining for your wife, I would probably go forth with all the practical matters and not change the living situation. I would think that seperating now would be traumatic for the children, and completely unnecessary. They are going to need a lot from you when they lose their mother

I don't know how you will be able to both detach AND take care of your wife in the near future. I don't know how you will be able to have the normal, "intimate" conversations that couples have when one of them are facing end-of-life decisions.

You face a very difficult journey, and I understand why you're reluctant to look like the "guy who left his dying wife." I believe that with the diagnosis of cancer that has "spread throughout her body," there wouldn't be enough time to do anything (legally) anyway.

I hope that you can find a counselor who is skilled in both relationship(infidelity) issues as well as grief counseling. This might be something that could help you for the time being....and will be a good idea for the kids as well (at the point in time it's needed).

I sympathize with you kg...and also hear the loneliness in your words. Your strength and determination will need to be super-sized to get through your situation.

Take care of yourself and your children.


BrokenBill posted 8/4/2013 14:03 PM


You certainly have my deepest sympathy, sorry that's an awful mess you are in.
Here's what i make of it and sorry if it's not what you want to hear.

It sound to me like you are, and have been, conspired against and used for a long time. "She says she doesn't have much time on this earth and" ...wants to eat her two cakes with both hands because her time's running out!!! Let's face it, she holds the ultimate blackmail card that she's on her death bed.

There's no time to reconcile, true, but at the same time there is not mention of a sorry or actions that show she would ever want to reconcile should her health situation be different. There is a LOT she could do with the short time she has so that she leaves you with some kind of healing. If she loved you would that not be the least thing she could do? Instead you will be left with unanswered questions, anger and pain, and 3 kids on top of that all.

You are worried about public opinion and that of friends and family. Indeed you leaving her at this stage would be seen to be unforgivable. As she doesn't want to leave him, perhaps she could write an open letter to all your friends and family explaining her affair of 2 years and why you are separating? Alternately she could move in with him that way there is no come-back on you. Her lover could wear the "reality shoes" for a while! It would give you the space to focus on YOU and the kids.

I know this is tough, but what do YOU want to do?

Walking posted 8/4/2013 14:47 PM

Awful, awful....I am only a week in here so I don't have the experience of the other responders. That Said it seems to me that most of the BWs, especially those with children do not immediately pull the trigger to separation and divorce for the sake of the kids. Reconciliation is a potential real outcome for most, but of course in your case no matter what you do, your wife is soon to leave her family no matter what. Cancer and its treatments can make people erratic. If I were you, I would take everything you read/ hear with a grain of salt. You don't mention if she is carried on your health insurance, but at this point, proceeding with a divorce just makes IMO no sense. Steel yourself for the OM to be around, work out a schedule with the WW so that the kids don't need to be aware of him being around. The biggest oddity is her mother, although a woman facing the death of her daughter is going to do some crazy stuff. I have to believe, for the sake of her grandchildren, which you will soon have 100 percent custody of she will want to work with all parties involved.

jtom posted 8/4/2013 14:56 PM

First, my deepest condolences to you an your children.Iam going to give you my opinion for what its worth.I pray your wife recovers, but like BrokenBill said,youve been conspired against an used for a long time.Even the mother in law was in on this!Now, this might seem heartless but remember she did this not you.These circumstances are tough, but you need to out the affair to friends an family. If the boyfriend is married tell his wife.You also need to go talk to a good family law attorney. There s no telling what she may have promised P.O.S. OM. Obviously, by her actions an statements your terminally ill wife is in the fog of this fantasy affair. Take care of yourself an your children. Let boyfriend have her completely so he can get a big dose of reality. Sorry if I offended you or anyone else, but what your sick wife, mother in-law, an P.O.S. OM have done to YOU an your family is just so over the top wrong.God bless you.

kansas1968 posted 8/4/2013 15:10 PM

Wow. No, not even close to your "boat." My heart just breaks for you. I could hardly finish your post.

First, do see an attorney as others have mentioned and tell the attorney about the situation. He/she may have some good advice.

I don't have a lot of advice. I just can't imagine what I would do in this situation. The anger/empathy warring with each other has got to be horrible. Keep posting though. This is a safe place to vent, rant, rage, get support, love, and sympathy. Hugs and more hugs to you at this very difficult time in your life.

OK now posted 8/4/2013 16:08 PM

Need to contact the OM and threaten to expose this affair to everyone, his friends and family especially, UNLESS he ends the affair right now. Point out that if you are to go through the distressing work of caring for your terminally ill WW, then you are only prepared to do this if the affair ends.

There is a good chance that he will see reason and cooperate, but there is no way you should be prepared to care for your wife if she is in an affair. Tell your WW that if she continues her adultery then she will not be allowed to die in the family home; she will need to live with her mother sans children.

Take a firm stance on this; much will be asked of you over the coming months and you deserve to be treated with decency.

doggiediva posted 8/4/2013 19:11 PM

I agree COMPLETLEY with BrokenBill, jjtom, and Ok now..

I am not unsympathetic to your wife's condition and prognosis, but you have to be treated with respect and decency as well and you will need to take care of yourself so that you will have the strength needed to get thru this horrible time..

It is hard to imagine having to take care of WW in this condition who is still in affair..

I am in an in house separation with my un remorseful WH until I have my ducks in a row to get D, he is active in A..

I thought my situation was hard to live with, my thoughts and prayers are with you, because I can't imagine being in your shoes..

As I mentioned earlier, unless your WW makes a living will giving somebody else power of atty over her health care decisions, by default the medical personnel will turn to you to make the decisions once your WW becomes incapable.

You will definitely need to lay down some ground rules going forward about what is and what isn't tolerable for you in your living situation..


[This message edited by doggiediva at 7:19 PM, August 4th (Sunday)]

happyman64 posted 8/5/2013 15:35 PM

Not to sound too callous but she already cheated you out of a year of your marriage why on earth would you allow her to cheat you out of another.

She should finally be honest and go to an attorney with you to best focus on your kids future and yours as their caregiver.

Let the OM take care of her for now.

Your wife is selfish and has been that way for awhile.

And even though you love her she obviously does not appreciate your love in the least.

So as she is dying let her feel the fruit of her decisions.

Hold your head up high. This is a no win situation but you need to come out with your future and your kids settled before she goes off to live her last year with the OM.


stronger08 posted 8/5/2013 16:10 PM

My god, what a sad situation your in. My .02 cents in all of this is that she, MIL and OM are attempting a legal maneuver to ensure that her interest in the business does not default to you. As her legal heir once she passes her ownership becomes yours. This is a very underhanded thing to do and I would not give them the satisfaction. While I'm sorry your children are losing their mother. Im very appalled at the selfish behavior going on here. And if I were you I'd fight the D tooth and nail as your WW does not have much time left. After her passing I'd make sure OM and your MIL stand tall before the man. I'd make sure MIL is not around my children to influence them with her devious behaviors. And I'd also make sure OM bought me out of the business for top dollar. Or if money is not an issue I'd force the closure of said business.

painpaingoaway posted 8/5/2013 16:24 PM

Dear God kg, what a horrific situation. My heart goes out to you and your kids.

Sadly, I must agree with happyman and stronger. Your wife is an incredibly selfish woman. For a woman to know she is dying, yet appears more concerned with her 'lover' than her own children and family, is simply beyond what I am capable of understanding. One would think her primary concern would at least be to spend every precious moment she has left with her children. To rob her children of time with her while she plays house with her 'luvva' is disgusting.

She has put you in a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.

Please protect yourself and your children financially and emotionally and let her dig her own grave. I am so sorry to be so harsh, but her behavior is repulsive to me.

((((Kg201 and children))))

[This message edited by painpaingoaway at 4:25 PM, August 5th (Monday)]

1Faith posted 8/5/2013 16:28 PM

Dear KG

My stomach is in knots for you right now. Your pain pours off the screen.

I am so sorry you are suffering like this, but I want to assure will be OK just not for a very long time.

You have already taken the first step to healing, you reached out for support. You found a very safe place full of very compassionate people that care.

We've might not have the your exact experience but we all have been where you are now with regards to finding out about the affair.

We will do our best to help you while you find your way.

The shock of infidelity along with dealing with your wife's terminal illness can cause PTSD.

All of this is likely to take a heavy toll on you and understandably so.

Your confusion and despair are normal. What you're feeling is normal, awful but normal.

Do what you need to do to heal yourself. Be kind to you now.

If you can go to IC, it helps a lot. I would also suggest get your children in counseling on how to deal with their mother's illness.

Such traumatic events in your life leaves big wounds. The wounds require lots of care and time to heal.

One thing we all have heard and tend to say to one another is that you don't have to make any decisions today.

Ask your wife to think about the kids first. Yes, she deserves to be "happy" but not at the expense of her children, IMO.

Your children will have a hard time dealing with their mother's illness and death. Implore to her not to add infidelity or divorce/separation on top of that.

I am not sure if you are at all faith based, but if you are at all, please pray together. Pray for healing both physically, emotionally and martially.

Sending hugs and prayers your way.

painpaingoaway posted 8/5/2013 16:30 PM

Please see a lawyer quickly, (not necessarily about D, but about protecting yourself and kids financially.)

Based on what you have written and my experience with cancer patients, her health could rapidly decline In matter of days or weeks. Once it has spread like it has, 2 months tops I would imagine.

See a lawyer ASAP.

HopeFloats2272 posted 8/5/2013 18:03 PM

Wow. That is just gut wrenching, kg201.

I can only guess what I would do in your shoes because hey, I always said I'd be gone so fast if my husband ever cheated on me.....and I'm still here. So, I'm guessing, if I were in your shoes, I'd speak with an attorney (like others have suggested.) I question if your WW has changed her life insurance policy or something that would keep OM around. If they're business partners does he stand to gain anything like shares or her half of the business?
I suppose the attorney will help you figure that out cause you sure as hell don't want to get stuck with all of het medical bills (which you will) and then OM cashes in on this tragedy (against you.)

The thing is, none of us knows when our time is up. Your WW is justifying her affair and I think that is total bullsh*t! I would even suggest that this might not be her first affair. You said you had a rocky marriage for the past 10 years....well, nothing will rock a marriage like an affair. My WH and I had a rocky marriage for the last 8 years. I just found out a year ago that he had his 1st affair 8 years ago and he was in love with this woman. We started marriage counseling during that time and everything was my fault, of course. A few months later she broke up with him and what do ya know...our marriage improved. He now admits that he unfairly compared me to her over the years and that's why things were always up and down. Jerk.

It doesn't surprise me that your MIL is supporting her poor choices. I'm sure she's been drinking your WW's kool-aid for many years. She probably believes you're the devil himself. We all know you're not but your WW has to justify her affair somehow. I would watch my back, financially, if I were you.

I'm sorry (no I'm not) but I'm pissed off for you right now. I sure as hell wouldn't be treating the ONE person that is going to be taking care of my kids, so shitty!! She is knee deep in affair fog and can't pull her head out of her ass long enough to think about her kids!! My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer one year ago. The first thing he did was ask us to visit (and often) so he could see his grandsons. He didn't say, "screw you all...I'm doin' whatever the f*ck I want!" All he wants to do is spend time with family.

I can't even imaging the turmoil you are in right now. I agree with others suggesting she write a letter confessing her affair. At least print out that email you found and stash it away just to clear your name if you ever needed to. What exactly was "the plan" anyway? I just have to think there is some financial benefit to the OM (and maybe he's promised some to the MIL) for her to plan to leave you. Why put the kids through a divorce AND the loss of their mother?!?! Just so she can spend some time with the OM?!? It doesn't make sense to me. I guess that's why I'm so pissed off. It just seems cruel. I don't know of anybody that has a dying wish to be cruel to their children, let alone their spouse. That is messed up!

May the force be with you (cause I think you're up against the dark side)

HopeFloats2272 posted 8/5/2013 18:13 PM


You just achieved sainthood (or jedi master) by taking care of your dying, cheating wife and 3 kids (special needs or not!)

I know this is no laughing matter but sometimes you just have to.

Jospehine85 posted 8/5/2013 18:53 PM


I would suggest you seek help in the divorce/separation forum from those whose spouses have left them for the AP. Bottomline, that is what your spouse has done.

See a lawyer, get your legal ducks in a row as they pertain to your finances and your kids.

I agree with others. Put the cancer aside, in a way it is irrelevant. The only facts you should consider are 1. Your wife has been having an affair for at least 2 years and 2. She has left you for her AP.

Your WW has robbed you of at least 2 years of your life. Do not give away any more of your time to her. She should understand your desire to be selfish, it is what she is doing.

[This message edited by Jospehine85 at 6:53 PM, August 5th (Monday)]

ceilingwalker posted 8/5/2013 19:11 PM

I'm not sure what I can get out of this forum, but figured at least someone would hear my loneliness and maybe sympathize. Thanks for reading

The loneliness is one problem this site will help you fix. You are amongst the many that have weathered, or are still fighting, this "Hurricane Infidelity". Actually, I think if every natural disaster known to us were to all occur at the same time, in the same place, it wouldn't be nearly as scary as what we are all going through. I wish I could offer you hope but I have yet to find it myself but you have come to the right place for support.

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