I am 36 years old, been married for 10 years. My DDay was February 17, 2012. My wife sat me down and admitted to having a PA with a guy she knew from an old job. Apparently, it had been on and off since 2007 so roughly 4 or 5 years.
She was extremely remorseful and told me everything. It seems I was the last person to know in our social circle. I mostly have friends at work so socially we tend to run with her group. They all knew but did not tell me. The way circumstances were, she could have never told me and I would have never found out.
Looking back now the signs are blindingly obvious. Coming home late from work frequently, hostility when I would pick up her phone, random tearful confessions of how much she loved me. The guy she dated before me strung her along for years in med school and dumped her after becoming a doctor. I don't know...
The man she slept with has had dinner at our house during summer bbqs. He has two adorable children that sat on my front step and played with my dogs.
When she told me, I didn't even shout or get mad. How is one supposed to react? I simply told her that the woman I married was now gone forever, replaced by some new person I did not know. We have so many wonderful memories from that time period that now ring hollow to me. Mostly I just felt an overwhelming and crushing sorrow. She did not try defend or rationalize her actions at all.
I took her back and we have been working on it for the last couple of years now. I do ok most of the time but lately I seem to be triggering more often than normal. When I trigger I usually clam up and mope.
I believe her sincerity when she says she regrets it and that it won't happen again. I know she is not a spiteful person by nature. Its just the length of the affair is what really hurts me. Not to mention when my imagination decides to torture me with horrible visions.
I feel like we could work it out, but should we work it out? A one night stand is a lot easier to grasp in my mind than a years long affair.
I am extremely heartbroken.
I hear what your saying about the person you M no longer exists. Most of us here feel the same. We feel this way because they are not the same people we M. Would you have M her knowing she would have an A ? I think not. Therefore you were are correct in your statement. But there is hope. People can and do have the capacity to want to change. The question comes down to are they willing to do whatever it takes to make that change ? R is not for the faint or weak hearted. It takes a lot of work by both parties to get over infidelity. But it has been done many times over. Mosey over to the R forum and check out some posts of folks going through the same thing you are. Whatever you do don't allow this to be swept under a rug. It must be dragged out and thrown on the table. And it must be dealt with accordingly. Another question is are you personally able to do what it takes also ? R takes two and she cant do it herself. And neither can you.
Be ready for her to become defensive if you seek R. It means bringing up some bad shit. And she needs to answer all of your questions as truthfully as possibly. Preferably with verification I might add. Total honesty is required on her part, no matter how unflattering or embarrassing it is. She may also pull the old "it was so long ago I don't remember" bullshit. Trust me when your involved in a 5 year A you remember. Right now I would suggest you seek out IC for yourself. You need to work this out in your head and heart before you attempt R. Not everyone is cut out for R. And there is no shame in that. She committed the ultimate deal breaker and sometimes the ultimate consequence comes from that act. Some others will be along with advice. I suggest you read it all and check out the healing library. Welcome and please keep posting.
Its so hard because she is a very loving wife. We have been sacrificing the last couple of years to become debt free and we only have a few months left. I should be ecstatic but I feel empty.
I do tell her sometimes when I trigger. She cries hard and almost hyperventilates. She has used the "I don't know how much more I can apologize" line. That is bad, isn't it? I treat her with respect and don't degrade her when I trigger. I just ask questions.
What I believe that you are learning...as many others have learned here...is just how far reaching and soul damaging infidelity really is. And if it is never addressed properly(aka rugsweeping), then there is no amount of time on this Earth to get over it. There are members who tried to stuff all of the emotions pertaining to infidelity away, who five years later, have it re-emerge like it just happened yesterday. Infidelity, in my opinion, needs to be addressed, and worked upon, to move forward in our lives.
I understand the total emasculation. We have all felt it. Our self-esteem is hovering right around zero, and we wonder if we can ever even reach a shadow of our former selves. But we can, we do, and you will too....with time and effort. And the fastest way to get back to our old levels is to address this mess head on.
You are uncertain if you want to reconcile or not. That is okay---you don't have to commit to anything at this point. Although you are 1 1/2 years out, all of this shit is still new, because not much has been done to work through it. You may discover after some delving that you don't want to reconcile, and that is okay---she forfeited any guarantees when she stepped outside of your marriage...especially for as long as she did. But you aren't going to know if you want to stay or go until you ask yourself some serious questions:
--What has your wife done---I mean REALLY DONE---to understand how she could (1) betray you in the worst possible way, and (2) continue to lie about, whether outright lying or lying by omission, for 5 years?
--What have YOU done in the last 1 1/2 years to try to work through this? Have you sought individual counciling?
--Do the two of you have the strength to try to reconcile?
Like I said, you don't have to commit to anything yet. But the longer that there is inaction, the harder it is to work past. History tends to be rewritten or distorted in our minds over time, so it is important to act now.
One last thing, and this is a FACT:
THERE IS NOTHING OFF LIMITS TO ASK YOUR WIFE AS IT PERTAINS TO ANYTHING AROUND THE AFFAIR.
Whether she considers it relevant or not is not the issue. The fact that YOU feel it is relevant is all that matters. And if she isn't willing to go through hell with you to win your heart and trust back, than believe me--you are much better off without her.
She has used the "I don't know how much more I can apologize" line. That is bad, isn't it? I treat her with respect and don't degrade her when I trigger. I just ask questions.
You are correct--that is bad. If she doesn't realize that this part is 100% about your feelings, and 0% about hers, that shows a lack of remorse. People who have remorse *GET IT*--and she apparently does not at this point. Do not be afraid to tell her this.
No matter what, it is a tough road ahead. But it does get better. No matter what, once you start working hard on this, and getting some more understanding to your wife's brokenness, then you will start to feel better about yourself. And if your wife does dig deep to find out her issues, it will accelerate your healing...even if you don't stay married.
Read The Healing Library in the top left corner---there is a lot of helpful information there. Read often and post often---it really does help.
Good luck, friend.
All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
Acceptance the Marriage is over: 7/2/14
Heading for D
Is the OM married?
The people you do your life with shape the life you live
And, I know too well how it feels to know many people knew about the A and no one had the balls to tell you. That happened to me and when I confronted some of those people, even 18 years later, they answered saying, we knew it was wrong but were his friend.
I believe if a friend is watching a friend do something destructive they should intervien. I am sure if she was drinking and driving or doing drugs her friends would have told her to stop!!
We are all here for you.
Healing myself is now my top priority.
I think I would investigate her claim that she only had sex 2- 4 times over the total affair period. If it was proven to be more often, then thats one lie too many and I would file. So many 'friends' know, it must be possible to find out about the frequency of sexual contact. Maybe talk to the OM?
So -- what for you to do? If you are to have a hope in hell of R and building a real relationship, your WW has to accept the fact that she's seriously fucked up, so much so that she needs to address this through INTENSIVE self-examination. This is going to be very, very painful for her. But it's got to be a condition you set for moving on. Otherwise, this is going to haunt you forever. Once you feel safe that's she's honestly pursuing self-knowledge, you might want to ask yourself why you thought it was OK to have a less-than-intimate marriage (in my case, my own FOO issues mean that I was happy to have a man who was kind and loving to me, and didn't push for further intimacy) -- but that's for much later. You did nothing "wrong" and this is by no means your "fault". It's just stuff to think about when you're thinking about what you get from the M. (And you SHOULD be thinking about this from a totally selfish perspective.)
Step one for your WW might be to read "How to Help Your Spouse Heal from an Affair". This is an excellent book that is really required reading for any truly remorseful spouse.
You guys have a lot of work to do in processing this, and you may or may not end up married at the end of it. But tears from her aren't enough. (And I see that you say that you have been "working on it" -- what do you mean by this?)
Good luck, and keep posting.
[This message edited by Blobette at 9:26 AM, September 13th (Friday)]