I’m happy I practiced and role played with the psychologist before I did it. Between that and the Xanax I managed to stay calm which I think helped.
Of course, she denied it. My practiced responses were “you and I both know that’s not true” and “if we intend to continue in our marriage we need to be honest with each other”. I had to restate that several times before she resigned herself to the fact I was not going to buy into her denials.
Next was she wanted to know what I had heard and found and my response was “I think how it impacts our marriage is more important than how I found out”
She finally admitted to the affair, assured me it has been over since 1998. I have not asked for details yet, just tried to impress on her the seriousness and that there are consequences even years after the fact.
I did tell her I expect full disclosure and while I do not expect her to remember exact times and dates I know she will remember the details I will ask for and that ‘I don’t remember’ as an answer to any question is unacceptable.
She has not tried shifting the blame to me (yet) nor has she tried to convince me it was only an EA. I suspect this may be going easy because so many years elapsed. My thinking is she may have been somewhat remorseful and guilt ridden for several years. She could even be somewhat relieved it is finally out in the open.
I have told her I expect her to start into IC ASAP and at some point we will end up in MC. She does not see any need for this as her affair was so far in the past. I am insisting on IC and MC and explained this is a line in the sand for me. I also told her I am not going to question her about the affair until she has been in IC and her therapist says she is ready for MC. But, at that time I will expect honest answers to any and all questions. I will not put up with TT nor blame shifting.
I may have nipped the blame shifting in the bud using info from both this site and my therapist. I told her all marriages have issues and problems, and I fully accept responsibility for 50% of those problems. But her affair required a conscious decision on her part to forsake our vows and I had no part nor would accept any blame for her decisions.
Lots of crying and hugging. Lots of “I’m sorry”, and “I wasn’t thinking right”. I did my best to tell her the emotional agony I am in and the devastation this is causing both my physical and mental health. I explained I don’t love her any less, just that the love is now very different and to a large extent, guarded. The marriage I thought we had ended in the mid ‘90s but I didn’t find out until now. Now our task is to make a new marriage from the ruins she made of our old one.
Some of you may think the language is harsh. Much of it was suggested (and practiced) in IC. Phrases like ‘ruins of our marriage’ were intentionally used to impart the seriousness and impact of her actions.
I know this will likely get much harder before it gets better. But it is the first step in what I am told will be a 2 to 6 year process. Hell, at 60 I just hope I live long enough to get through the process regardless of the final outcome.
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.
Good for you, on confronting her. Obviously the lies and deceit are fresher for you than they are for her - as it was 15 years ago. She probably moved on, past that affair, quite a while ago.
Your language is far from harsh. This whole thing may seem odd to her simply because of the time that has past. What is more important is that you start over with her NOW. She has to really take responsibility.
I think MC should be before IC in your specific case. It sounds like the issue is more for you. She lived with the cheaters burden for 15 years. While there is probably some relief for her, there is probably more worry about how this will impact the rest of your relationship. Also, I think YOU need the MC more. You're the one who's been damaged and you need objective support and help to work through this with your wife. Your wife needs to see how this has impacted you and how this will probably continue to impact you.
My reasoning behind insisting my WW get IC before we enter into MC is I am hoping IC will help her understand how our marriage has been impacted, how I have been impacted by her deceit, and the need to put forth a sincere effort when we do move into MC.
I see no point in moving into MC if the attitude is ‘it was long ago, get over it’ type of thing which is what I see happening after she gets over the shock of me finding out.
I am not sure why you feel that, but from what you shared with us, it does not appear that you were harsh in confronting your wife.
As far as her IC is concerned, while I agree that it is useful, I doubt if will shed much light as to her motivations. So many years have gone by and most likely she will process and relay what she felt then with the filter of the 14 years gone by. Most likely, there is no residual of the emotional pull she must have felt back then and most likely she will not recognize it now.
However, the exercise is definitely worth it as to understand what she needs to do to help you through this process.
May I ask you if you are thinking about sharing with your adult daughter?
Good luck to you.
[This message edited by frankier at 10:40 AM, September 3rd (Tuesday)]
What makes you think that the things that you want addressed will be in IC? IC is more for her to understand the why's of what she did.
Im sorry but I think MC is the perfect place for her to gain an understanding of the pain she has caused you, and the damage she has done to the M. Also to help her understand the steps she needs to take to start healing the M.
I hope you feel a bit of some sense of relief in having the confrontation over.
Even though it has been some time ago the underlying issue of "why" for your wife are still there. She may not have ever done that again or maybe she would have. But I think you are right in everything you are thinking and the way you are handling it.
Best of luck to you and I'm sure you have quite a few years left to have an even better more fulfilling marriage
I have already told my WW that our DD feels something was wrong during her high school years and has often asked me what she did to alienate her mother during that time.
I asked WW, if questioned, to be honest with DD so that she understands she was not the cause of her mother’s disinterest.
To a certain extent I hope, when DD gets into town this coming weekend, the topic comes up. This would serve to demonstrate to WW how her selfish decisions impacted her entire family and strained her relationship with our daughter.
I think it would help DD understand it was nothing she did during those years to cause the strained relationship.
She (DD) has often asked me why her mother had no interest helping her get ready for prom, ask about soccer practice and track, and worry about college scholarships. Or the most devastating to DD, being unavailable when some of her dating experiences did not go well. (Ol’ Dad was the shoulder she got to cry on)
I think you have handled yourself as good, or better, than most people would in your situation. You have my admiration.
As for the IC/MC, I again agree with you. While my opinion may be wrong, I always was of the mindset of IC first, then MC. And the reason for this is that marriage counseling is just that---counseling for the marriage. It involves both of you putting your faults on the table, and sorting them out. And for me personally, I can't do this unless I believe that not only my own issues have been addressed, but my partner's issues have been addressed first---primarily the infidelity and the predecessors that let to it. 1998 may be a long time ago for her, but this crap is now just yesterday for you. And taking into consideration that she was able to live with this guilt(or if she even carried guilt) is a huge issue to process. I am certain that she would have carried this to her grave without ever telling you. What does THAT say about her coping mechanisms?
That aside, with the discovery and exposure now in the open, I hope that the two of you can make real progress. It will require digging up a lot of new hurts, but there isn't any way around it. You have already been devastated. You will be okay in the healing process, as you are stronger than you think.
Good luck moving forward.
All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
Accepting that I can may end this marriage 7/2/14
Heading for D
What she needs to understand is while it was a "long time ago" for her, it's brand new devastation and very painful to you now. My feeling is the same as yours.
Her judgment day has now arrived. For 15 years she hid it was sure she gotten away with it. The truth has reared its ugly head and come back to haunt her. This is the fallout and the consequences. There is no statute of limitations on this type of pain and remorsefulness.
"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." ~ Bob Marley
What I wouldn't have done to have this web site and counceling BEFORE the A Dday! Brilliant job, needed to be harsh and direct.....the better the shock and the sooner she will know you are serious. I am sorry you have had this enter your world and your marriage. I too think she has suffered from pain and shame, maybe not recently but for some time after the A.
Last night I had my last "why" discussion with my hubby. I am ready to move into full R, forever R, and needed to have one more go at this question. Imagine finding out a key piece of information that had eluded me this whole past year. Funny and sad thing is hubby still doesn't understand why but I see it plain as day. After 54 years he finally grew up.
Through thick and thin we will survive but he gets only one shot at it!