The ‘friend’ that inadvertently let it slip thought I already knew about it. His wife was my wife’s best friend and confidant at that time.
My wife is currently recovering from major surgery and will need another operation sometime this September. Her surgeon and general practitioner have both told me that I need to keep her from physical and emotional stress during recovery. I am acting caretaker, housekeeper, cook, etc. While I love her dearly, right now I can barely stand to look at her. I feel like the last thirty-three years have been a lie.
Looking back at that period, I remember many things going on that might be indicators of an affair if taken together. Things like a new (and more stylish) wardrobe, new hairstyle, a strange emotional detachment from family life, not wanting me to attend her company functions (Christmas Party, Award Ceremonies, etc.), and suddenly being very strange about anyone else using the home computer or being around when she was using it. Those things all took place during a three to four year period that corresponds to when I was told she had her affair. And yes, before you ask, I am beating myself up for not seeing these things for what they were back then. For what it’s worth, she had never done those things before and has not repeated them since.
So here I am, jumping through hoops taking care of an unfaithful wife, trying to figure out how to keep myself sane and hoping someone will have some advice. After stewing about it for a month, I’ve decided I need answers to Who, What, When, Where, Why and How, yet am clueless as how to get that information other than to ask.
After re-reading what I have written, I realize I still haven’t asked the questions I need help with.
I cannot confront my wife until her health is better. Right now it looks like that will be sometime after Thanksgiving and before the New Year. Given that amount of time, just how does one find information on an affair that is fourteen years in the past? I suspect if I confront her without concrete evidence she will deny, deny, deny in addition to telling me I am crazy and/or paranoid. At the same time, I have no reason not to believe the person that let it slip. (Although I’m not sure I’ll ever consider him to be a friend again. I feel he should have told me back then.)
Second, I think I need to see a counselor of some sort to help me even make it through the next few months, but fear a psychologist or psychiatrist will tell me to ‘just get over it’ since it was so long ago and she ended up with me. How do you go about finding a counselor that will at least understand the affair may be in the past but the pain is new to me?
I apologize for this being disjointed and rambling. Just trying to write it down makes my head spin and stomach churn.
Me – BS age 60
Her -- WS age 58
Married for 33 years
One child, 30yrs old –currently overseas
Status –sick at heart
Her 'A' 1994(?) through 1998
D-Day 7/4/2013 Yes, I didn't find out for almost 15 years... but the pain is just as bad as if she were with him last week.
You have done some reflecting, and know when she carried this A out. Have you noted any other time in your M that she behaved in a similar manner? If not then you can probably figure it was a one time thing. I do not think that it is good to keep all this bottled up while she is recovering, this will only lead to resentment.
Can you talk to her friend, and gain information that will help you have proof and a better understanding of what occured? I would push for this.
I would also recommend that you plan a time while your wife if mostly recovered before her next surgery to discuss what has happened, and start to figure out if this is something you could forgive, and move toward R with. While her stress should be kept to a minimum you cannot be expected to stay mum for an indefinite amount of time.
Others will be along to offer more advice soon.
..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.
You are certainly entitled to answers, even after 14 years... especially after 14 years.
The conundrum you face is tough. Since you must wait few months before you can bring this up with your wife, I would suggest you ask your friend and his wife to have a full disclosure session. The cat is out of the bag and if they have one shred of decency, they should understand and help you out.
I agree with you that the depth of their friendship is debatable after they withheld the information for 14 years. The reality is that we label friends too many people when in fact they are just acquaintances. I would not hesitate to use them in this circumstance, with the added benefit that they may help you in recognizing TT with which your wife will most likely start to disclose the affair.
Sorry. I call bullshit on the doctors. You most certainly can and should confront her whenever you want. Unless she is in a drug induced coma on a ventilator, there is absolutely no reason why she shouldn't answer questions about something she did and has known about for over a decade.
This is emotional trauma for YOU not her. YOU are the one who just found out you were robbed. Your WW is the one who robbed you. SHE has known about this for decades. SHE has had the benefit of time and knowledge. SHE is not the victim here. YOU are.
So no, asking her about her own actions would not be emotionally traumatic for her. It is traumatic for you. Don't confuse the two.
Don't be a martyr. Take care of yourself. Put yourself first right now.
I would start with that "friend" and her husband. Time for them to own up. They appear to have had their chance to work this out and you've been cheated out of a chance to make your own decision as to stay or divorce her based on what went on between your wife and her husband.
If it were me, finding out now would feel just like it happened today. Past history out the window as this trumps any good thing that happened since this ended. You deserve to have your chance to decide where this goes.
So far your wife has gotten away with it. Time for her to come clean with full disclosure despite surgery recovery.
Would be curious to see if she is remorseful after hiding it all this time.
I wish you luck sir.
[This message edited by BryanP37 at 10:53 AM, August 6th (Tuesday)]
Our ‘friends’ still live in Georgia. I only found out when they called checking on my wife a few weeks after her surgery. I have called them several times since trying to get more information. The husband says he only has minimal information; that my wife had an affair, it lasted two or three years, and that was why our wives were not hanging out together and did not get along for a few years. He says he only found out after the fact the problem was his wife was pissed at what my WW was doing and refused to go along with being her alibi. I do not know if his wife would be willing to tell me what she knows and need to get my thoughts together before I call her.
I remember that period. It seemed like my WW suddenly took new interest in her self-image. That is the only time in our marriage she vested heavily in new clothes, hairstyle, more care with makeup, watching her weight, and keeping her car free of the normal clutter that occupies it. Stupid as it sounds, I was very proud of her at the time. She looked better than ever and seemed to have a new interest in life although somewhat detached from the normal family stuff. I do not remember ever feeling denied sex or companionship. The only disagreement I can remember in that time was when she tried to talk me out of going to her company Christmas party. I went anyway and felt like people were avoiding me the entire time.
This all seems so surreal. I have never felt like I couldn’t trust my wife but now am questioning everything that has ever happened in our marriage. I am alternating between being sick to my stomach and so mad I could scream. I tried talking to our priest and that was a big mistake.
After I give her the noon medications and she goes back to sleep, I’m going to see if I can get an appointment with a shrink to see if I can get my head straight.
I appreciate any and all advice on how to get more information on the affair and how to actually handle the confrontation process.
Your W will lie to you about some aspects of the A (maybe many of them).
I'd like that rephrased: "Your W may lie to you about some aspects of the A (many many of them)."
While you should take EVERYTHING your W says about her cheating with a huge grain of salt, it's not a foregone conclusion that she'll lie to you.
As much as the non stress will definitely help the healing process, it is not a totally necessary thing unless of course your wife is recovering from some sort of heart issue or brain issue.
One of the reasons my WH didn't want to come clean about his A is my continuing heart problems....basically he didn't want to cause another heart attack. While I understood his point of view, the pain and hurt that was added to my journey for his 2 year delay was far more hurtful to my health and well being then coming clean has been....even with the struggles we have gone through since Dday.
You need IC and you need those answers. So do not delay. If your wife is healing she is more then capable in answering your questions. You on the other hand will go out of your mind now that your mind is traveling down this path. The mind is a curious organ...it can bring you great pleasure and it can send you to the darkest of hells. Do both of yourselves a favor.....ask the questions before your mind starts creating the answers!!!!
Through thick and thin we will survive but he gets only one shot at it!
I agree..you can't confront her until she has had the surgery and has healed. It will be very difficult to do,but it sounds like it's necessary.
Any evidence you can gather will work in your favor. Cheaters lie. It's a fact. That will lie and deny,until you have evidence in front of them. It is very,very,very rare to have a wayward spouse come completely clean on dday..or in the days afterwards..and some never tell their BS everything. The more evidence you have,the less chance of her trying to lie her way out of it.
How are YOU doing? Being betrayed by your wife is a traumatic event. Please make sure you are eating,drinking water,and sleeping. Do you maybe have a trusted friend you can confide in,who can support you and help you through this? Not being able to confront for a few months would be very.very stressful.
[This message edited by confused615 at 12:25 PM, August 6th (Tuesday)]
I really don’t want to talk to anyone about this but am coming apart at the seams. The one person I have confided in told me what I am imagining is probably worse than the truth. But, the images that keep popping into my mind are BAD.
I can’t believe how something that happened fourteen years ago is affecting me. Over the last month, I have lost 20 pounds. Twenty pounds I didn’t need to lose. I’m so tired I can fall asleep sitting at the kitchen table but when I go to bed at night cannot seem to get to sleep. When I do finally get to sleep, I wake up at all hours of the night.
I've even had a couple of late night crying bouts.
I would start taking care of yourself - stat. Therapist, home health care for her, try to exercise and eat well. Can you talk to a pastor or minister? Do you have a close, male friend you can confide it? Does she have a sibling that might be able to shed light on the situation?
But honestly, therapy is key. Also, there is a chapter in the book "How can I forgive you" that is about forgiveness when the other person isn't able to take part in the healing (yet.)
I'm not sure what her health issue is but suspect it's fairly significant that you need to have a home care person come in to be with her while you are gone. That being said, are you sure that home is the best place for her to rehab between surgeries? Many insurances will pay for her to stay someplace where they can focus on getting her stronger and healthier, and really the only thing that prevents that is if she could not participate in Physical and occupational therapy.
You really do need to take care of you. If you were to get sick at this point then who is going to help her? If she does not have a major brean issue, or heart issue, and is cognititvely aware, the I would say you need to talk with her about this. She may sense your stress, and feel badly that it is caused from needing to be her caregiver.
This is all of course given to you from the standpoint of a medical professional. Whatever you decide to do I wish you
You could imply that you are not necessarily going to confront your wife, you would just appreciate more details, then would probably bury the incident where it belongs in the past. Which of course is always an option to consider; 14 years is a long time.
If you could get the OM's name that would provide another source of information. Either way you need illumination of your WW's adultery or it will undermine your marriage.
As others have said don't believe a word your wife says; she will be heavily into damage control. If you do confront your wife you could use a degree of bluff and imply that you know virtually everything via your wife's friend. Might get her to come clean.
I have an appointment with a Psychiatrist tomorrow. His receptionist told me to be prepared for a full medical workup to rule out any underlying medical condition I may have. I suspect if my blood work and other stuff is all right he may start me on an antidepressant. The Psychiatrist office has also suggested some home health care for my wife for a few hours each day to give me a break. They will help me arrange it after my appointment tomorrow.
My wife has cancer. They removed her colon in the first surgery and there were some complications. She spent close to three weeks at MD Anderson after the surgery. When she is healthy enough for the second surgery, they will remove her Duodenum and part of her stomach. After that, she may still need Chemo.
Our closest family lives about 700 miles away. Frankly, I don’t want any of them around. We do have one daughter but she is currently living overseas. She will be returning to help me for several months after the second surgery. While we talk daily, I have not mentioned my WW’s affair to her. I would like ask if she remembers something (from that period) that I may have forgotten, I do not feel it is appropriate for me to tell her of her mother’s affair. Not sure if it is a pride thing or what. I just don’t think I should bring it up.
I have been through her current phone and computer. I find nothing amiss. I logged onto her facebook and found out she is ‘friends’ with some of the women she worked with back in Georgia. I am seriously thinking about contacting them and asking them about the affair but don’t think ‘cold calling’ will be very productive.
I contacted a friend of mine in Georgia last night that recently retired from the GBI. He said it might prove very difficult to get any information from 14 years ago. He did suggest, as a last resort at getting information, I contact a Lawyer and have some of her former friends and coworkers called in for a deposition on a potential lawsuit. He claims most people will tell the truth under those circumstances because they are afraid they open themselves to charges if caught in a lie.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I do think I need to follow my WW’s doctors’ advice about keeping her free from stress for the next few months. Therefore, I will not confront her until her health is better. I also think I need as many facts as possible before I do confront her.
I down loaded three books early this morning. I have not had a chance to start reading them. I got ‘Not Just Friends: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity after Infidelity’, ‘Life After Infidelity: How to Save Your Marriage After an Affair’ and ‘How can I Forgive You?’. I hope at least one of these will give me some understanding, understand of what I’m not really sure.
I remember taking a psychology class in college many years ago. One of the things we studied was the five (or was it seven) stages of grief. I feel as if I am experiencing all five stages simultaneously, oscillating between ‘this couldn’t really have happened and I will wake up in a few minutes’ to resignation to anger.
Oh Well. Another day in the Hell my life has become.
You are correct in the five stages of grief, and yes you will experience every one of them as you begin to heal and deal with this.
As a nurse who worked with a pair of colorectal surgeons, and managed their colon cancer patient population I can with confidence say that you should confront her prior to her second surgery. You two need to have an understanding of what happened, and a chance for you to have questions answered. You obviously are commited to staying, since you are continuing to be her caregiver. There are spouses that this would be an impossible task, even without the infidelity issue. You should give yourself some credit for that.