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Gadgetguy posted 9/12/2013 17:03 PM

I have no one else to share this with so I hope you good people will indulge me. Thanks in advance.

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.

stronger08 posted 9/12/2013 17:47 PM

Welcome bro. Sorry you are here. I feel that after a long term A regret is something that should have been thought about during the A, not afterward. 5 years is a long time to be involved. As for her coming clean to you about what was going on. It was most likely done to head off another person from telling you. Could have been OM BS or even OM himself. Who knows, but after lying to you for 5 years its highly unlikely she had a bout of remorse and decided to come clean. More likely she had another motivation for admitting her A. You say you believe she has remorse for her actions. But what exactly has she done to prove that remorse ? Has she done the hard work of figuring why she felt it was OK to cheat ? Has she sought out IC to seek those answers ? Have you attended MC together ? These are just some questions you need to ask yourself. Around here we advocate that remorse is shown through action, not words.

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.

kenny55 posted 9/12/2013 18:14 PM

Sorry you are here, but welcome. You have a major decision to make. It is good that she told you but this was for half of your marriage. Also, you need to question the type of"friends" you had surrounding you when they all knew but said nothing. I would kick them to the curb so fast.

Gadgetguy posted 9/12/2013 18:23 PM

She of course says it was once or twice a year over those couple of years. I suppose that is total bs. I hate this. She confided the affair to somebody at her office so I suppose everybody there knows. I feel like an emasculated POS everywhere i go. I feel like everywhere I go people are looking at me and thinking "Its the bitch husband, look!" Funny enough, many of her friends are divorced because they started affairs. I am a complete idiot, am I not?

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.

jb3199 posted 9/12/2013 19:52 PM

Sorry that you are here, Gadgetguy. This world of infidelity stinks like nothing else.

What I believe that you are many others have learned 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:


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.

wifehad5 posted 9/13/2013 05:39 AM

Why did she decide to tell you? Something must have pushed her to do so.

Is the OM married?

TarnishedSilver posted 9/13/2013 05:58 AM

It doesn't matter how long it has been since dday, it hurts and the mind movies are hard to control.
My fwh confessed to multipal A's 18 years after they happened. He said he couldn't live another day with the guilt.
We went through TT for over a year. He would get defensive when I would ask questions.
Have you been to IC? Has your WW been to IC? How about MC?
Something, maybe ego or low self esteem made her have the long term affair.
You took a big step to find help and here at SI you will find people are here to give you the support you need. I do recommend, if you haven't already to seek IC.

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.

overandone posted 9/13/2013 06:24 AM

I'm sorry Gadgetguy,but I have to agree with you that once or twice a year sounds like bs. As a survivor of a marriage where WH was embroiled in a LTA that sounds completely unbelievable. Paricularly if it started with an old work colleague,you weren't around to stop it,and by the sounds of it there were plenty of people prepared to cover her arse. No reason for it not to have been much more frequent. It pains me to have to say it,but I think an awful lot more is waiting to surface.
And the signs are always blindingly obvious in retrospect - ain't hindsite a wonderful thing! If you trust someone you're not on the lookout for clues.
wishing you good vibes..

OK now posted 9/13/2013 08:04 AM

Your wife apparently does not understand how much social humiliation she has exposed you to, with her totally tactless affair. Is it possible the OM ended the relationship and she turned back to you, the fall back option? Her confession was an attempt to rebuild with a clean slate? Or was she forced into it.

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?

Blobette posted 9/13/2013 09:24 AM

Gadgetguy -- LTAs are a different kind of beast to a lot of the As discussed on here. We have our own forum in "I Can Relate". The "good" thing about a LTA is that it is rarely an all-consuming passion -- if it had been, it would have blown up ages ago. In my case, it was kind of a FWB situation. There was attraction, sure, and "friendship" -- they did stuff together that wasn't fucking -- but nothing deeper (no shared intimacies). The bad thing is that it indicates some pretty deep pathologies in the WS -- either the person is a truly heartless and entitled person OR they have serious issues with intimacy. Because you really have to be able to compartmentalize in order to have a LTA. And there's a reason for that, which the WS has to understand through intensive IC. Simply put, you can't do anything this fucked up without having something seriously wrong with you. You also might want to look at the "Betrayed Men" thread on ICR, too -- lots of guys there dealing with the same shame/humiliation feelings.

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)]

Landoes posted 9/13/2013 12:46 PM

So sorry you're here Gadget. No one wants to be part of this tree club.
I can completely relate to feeling emasculated, self confidence shot to hell, and maybe comparing yourself to the OM.
You definitely took the news better than I did. My best wishes to you

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