Forum Archives

Return to Forum List

Another sad familiar tale

You are not logged in. Login here or register.

Pages: 1 · 2 · 3

Marathonwaseasy posted 9/14/2013 11:04 AM

D day - yesterday
My DH of 17 years has been having an EA for nearly 2 years and it turned into a PA 8 months ago. He has mental health issues and is damaged by childhood abuse and he's fallen into a trap of being flattered by another woman and instead of talking to me about his problems he spoke to her. I'm a physician. We have 3 children and I've been working so hard for the last few years when he's been so ill. I've not been at home and he's fallen into her bed
I found out last night because he was asleep a bit early and I was checking details of an email he was sent on his phone and he was telling another woman she was his best friend and calling her beautiful
I lay awake all night reading and we've spent a lot of time today talking. It's my intention that we should work at things. This is his first infidelity. There is a long way to go. I don't know if I can ever forgive him. He's got to do the work though.
Just need a hand to hold and some advice for these first traumatic days

doesitgetbetter posted 9/14/2013 12:02 PM

marathon, I'm so sorry you find yourself here!

First thing I can tell you, you will get a lot of advice here. Not all of it will be good, but most of it is sound advice by people who've walked where you're trying to walk to now. Take what you need, and leave the rest.

I want you to stop using terminology like "he's fallen into a trap" or "he's fallen into her bed". He didn't "fall" into anything, he had an affair. Saying things like "he's fallen" tends to take the responsibility away from his actions and makes him sound like a victim in this, and he's not a victim. Mental health issues or not, unless she raped him, he's not a victim. We all have childhood damage (commonly referred to as "FOO" here, or family of origin), but we all didn't cheat on our spouse.

As a physician, I am sure you are aware of how incredibly important it is to get tested for STD's. Both him AND you. Safe sex is a myth, condoms don't keep everything out no matter how many you use.

I also want to tell you that, going by the numbers, the chance that you know everything is really very slim. I've been on here for over 5 years and have read thousands of stories, and them majority of people experience trickle truth, or TT. This is where you get a little bit of information now, then in a few days/weeks/months you get more information that was kept from you, wash rinse repeat. There really is no way for you to know that this was his first affair, even if he told his affair partner, or AP, that it was. My H told each of his AP's a totally different story in hopes that it would help them feel better about sleeping with a married man, and of course none of the stories he told any of them were true. He told some it was his first affair, some that it was his 2nd affair, and others he told he was single.

There are stages in dealing with this, even for people who are healers like yourself. Things will get better, then worse, then better, then way worse, and so on. It's called a roller coaster for a reason. Hang on!

Your husbands affair is NOT your fault. There is nothing you could have done to stop it, nor is there anything you did to cause it. He has poor coping methods and chose to have an affair rather than deal with his issues, much like alcoholics turn to alcohol to "fix" their issues rather than dealing with them the right way.

Take care of yourself, eat when you can, drink when you can, and get as much sleep as you can manage. Take care of your kiddos and know that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and it's going to take a while to get through all this muck. You CAN do it, I have done it. It took me 2 1/2 years to forgive my H and he did just about everything right from the very beginning, and I am NOT a forgiving person. So it is possible. He has a long road ahead of him as well.

cluless posted 9/15/2013 14:18 PM


Itdoesgetbetter offered you GREAT advice. It gives me hope that I too can forgive and move forward. We are both "new" to the betrayal and this has NOT been easy. My roller coaster dipped so low last night I drank an entire bottle of wine (I'm not a drinker) and then threw up for 2 hours. I just wanted the pain to stop.

You need to get real, and only accept honesty from him. Your B.S. meter will tell you, let it guide you. I do have days that are a little easier (I'm on day 14) but then BAM, it's happening all over again. I'm trying to find a good MC and somebody that can not only put my hair out (it's on fire) but also dig deep and get both our childhood traumas out.

So my advice to you is to get into therapy ASAP. Go alone or as a couple, but go! It's okay to vent, let it out. You're still in shock, the anger is be something you've never experienced before. That's okay, this is normal. You did NOTHING wrong. Stay strong, we're all here for you.

Long Gone posted 9/16/2013 09:45 AM

you ID is very close to my heart...

I ran my first marathon just 2 weeks after DDAY.....lost 14 lbs in those 2 weeks and the marathon almost killed me cause I had nothing in the if that was your meaning behind it....your are so right....the pain from running that thing on zero glycogen stores was pale in comparison to the pain I was feeling the weeks prior...wasn't even freaking close.....I could of run a 50K up mount ranier and it still wouldnt be close

[This message edited by Long Gone at 9:46 AM, September 16th (Monday)]

Long Gone posted 9/16/2013 09:48 AM

Step one: The affair and all contact needs to end with her and any other female that he might be talkign to. If the OW is married...forward that email to him....

His behavior is not your any way. He needs to own that. He sounds like he needs deep fww was much like he many ways....

RockyMtn posted 9/16/2013 23:37 PM

I'm sorry, Marathon. The others have already chimed in with good advice.

Some of the words in your post struck me. That he had "fallen into a trap" and "fallen into her bed." You also speak of his illness with great care, but also seem to blame yourself for not being around.

He did not fall into anything. Regardless of his mental health issues, unless they are so incredible severe, he made a choice here. He was not trapped. He did not fall. You may just be using figures of speech, but just don't. In order to reconcile, since that seems to be what you want, he needs to own his choices - without excuses or mitigations - and you need to hold him responsible for those. Really, that is a critical step for reconciliation. Empathy has its place, but accountability does, too.

I wish you the best.

Marathonwaseasy posted 9/17/2013 11:01 AM

Thank you all
I hadn't been back before. I've been posting elsewhere but it's not helping because its too much about how he's lying, I can't trust anything, I need to leave him and I don't want to keep defending him. I want to move on
More details - I believe it's been since January. They had sex 1-2 times a week and went out and met up in addition. They last had sex last Monday and last met on d day. She is married but only in name she says as her husband is gay. They apparently don't have sex. Which I don't believe meaning the STI check is looking for potentially life threatening impacts. This terrifies us both. It does mean we can't be certain of being safe to have sex again until December - 90 days after his last contact with her
No he didn't fall into her bed. He made a choice. He met her in secret as "just friends" for a long time before it became physical. But from the first secret meeting he was making a choice to betray me
But - his mental health stuff is/was huge. He nearly died in 2006 and has bipolar. I have mollycoddled and emasculated him ever since to protect him. I have kept him separate from real life to protect him. That doesn't excuse what he has done but he felt that I didn't need or want him and that he was no longer a man. Fertile ground for the first willing woman around.
His failings long before the affair was not to talk about how he felt. I have mourned and mourned the loss of the man I married since his first illness. But I wouldn't allow that man to come back. I'm not excusing him for his affair but I see so clearly that life as it was was hell for us both
He's promised no contact but is struggling. He has few friends - he doesn't work. I haven't really let him consider returning to work. He looks after the kids and I'm always out so he has little chance to make friends.
His remorse is obvious. He is answering all my questions. He is being so very kind to me. There's so much more to say but I could go on all day. That's enough of a start

Marathonwaseasy posted 9/17/2013 11:12 AM

And long gone. I did a marathon in May and it was easy compared to this.

RockyMtn posted 9/17/2013 16:31 PM

I think all the contextual stuff you've shared, Marathon, is important. However, and I don't mean to be repetitive, part of his emasculation, for example, was HIM. He has a responsibility to stand up and say, "Marathon, I don't feel like I have a life. Stop protecting me." He is an adult. You are not his warden.

Maybe I'm way downplaying his health issues. But if he was responsible enough to have children in his care, then he is responsible enough to stand up for himself - to you, to the OW, to everyone.

I'm only sharing all of this because I allowed myself to think in the early days that I was "too controlling," that I wasn't vulnerable enough to him, that I didn't allow him to play a leadership role. I believed that was a big factor in why he chose to have an A. But then I woke up and said to myself, "If he wanted to be a leader, he could have. If he wanted me to show more vulnerability, he could have asked." Affairs don't happen because of fertile ground, as you say - they happen because the cheater didn't want to take responsibiity for themselves.

I am so very glad he is being kind to you. If it is genuine, then that is a fantastic first step.

Hang in, Marathon.

Long Gone posted 9/17/2013 16:32 PM

Rule #1 of information handed to you about the OW/OMs spouse. Its almost always false........
I think Ill get a 100% from the people here......

Marathonwaseasy posted 9/17/2013 23:57 PM

Yes. The contextual explains how he felt and to be honest how I felt. The passive disengaged ill man I was married to was my 4th child. He was not sexy to me.
But it does not excuse his affair. But it means I know where it came from and gives us something to work on.
Since d day - a lifetime but just 5 days - we have talked. I have told him how awful it has been for me not being able to tell him things or share with him for fear it would be too much. I've shared for the first time how I felt when he became ill. How scared I've been ever since. How I know I treated him like a child and how I thought I had to accept this diminished man because there was no sign of my vital amazing partner
These conversations have been incredible. He had no idea how I felt and I had no idea how he felt. Our marriage wasn't good. Yes we had good fun with the kids sometimes but not once were we truly focused on each other the way it was before. We messed up
But knowing that now I and DH just wish we had talked before because he broke our vows. He told this woman all this stuff about me destroying him which she and he believed. He made a very wrong choice. I'm so clear about the context. It's so obvious. Talking to him about my reality and his reality is easy. But there's a whole wall of pain because he cheated.
I am not excusing him and nor do I feel to blame for his affair. I've been unhappy and yet I've not done this. I could have. I've made a new life for me and lots of new friends. I've had moments when I've connected with sexy men. One in particular comes to mind. It would have been so easy to draw him in and start an affair myself. But I ran the other way. I'm not weak. I'm not a cheater.
I am managing really well with insight and strategies to hand him more responsibility and to work on bad habits we've got into.
But my devestation is another issue entirely. I am broken.
Due to the STI issue I stupidly phoned his AP. I tried to be all business like - have you had an HIV test? But she started ranting and I took the bait. I was vicious to her. I'm not proud of that.
She texted last night about all the stuff he told her. Stuff he believed about me controlling him. His perception of me loving him and protecting him which he now realises. I replied and told her we were together and strong. Then DH sent her a closure/ it's over text. He doesn't want to see her but is vulnerable still. The attraction for him was she needed him because she's a chaotic victim. He feels sorry for her now. Hell, I feel sorry for her. During our conversation and her text she totally thinks what they had was special and that only she knows and loves him. Even if me and DH don't make it to full reconciliation he won't end up with her. She is alone. But for my DH sympathy is dangerous. He needs to stay well away until he gets a lot stronger. I'm terrified he will see her or she will come round and he will weaken. He is reassuring him but I am terrified. He's staying away when our little one is at kindergarten and coming to see me at work and keeping his phone on him and texting me a lot. It helps but it's a tiny band aid over a gaping wound.
And then in the middle of all this I'm so delighted to have my man back. We've been talking and the who he was before he was first ill is here. The vital gorgeous man not the ill diminished child. I've not desired him for years. Now we are in full hysterical bonding. But being so careful until we've been for testing for sexually transmitted infections including HIV. I have my appointment tomorrow.

Marathonwaseasy posted 9/18/2013 15:31 PM

Please help

doggiediva posted 9/18/2013 17:43 PM


Is there a friend for family member with whom you can lean onto for support or distraction?

When you leave your workplace head to your favorite coffee place .. Indulge in a yummy drink and time to yourself while listening to soothing background music..Buy yourself that pretty something that your were admiring for the longest time..Do anything you can to be kind to yourself and feel special..

After suffering a betrayal of this kind, you will need to process and heal from the grief, anger, and resentment of being lied to and betrayed by your WH...

Your WH will need to acknowledge that time/space and attention needs to be given to YOU as the one who is hurting..

You may need to detach from him long enough to regain your equilibrium before you can begin to focus on the marriage..

IMHO this individual healing has to happen before you can even BEGIN to work on the issues of the marriage..Don't allow his cheating to be rug swept..

In my case this healing didn't happen because my WH was incapable of remorse..WH didn't want to fix what he broke..He thought that the problem was me and that I drove him to cheat..WH and I will eventually D..
I resent WH! I want to strangle him every time I look at him...KWIM?

doggiediva posted 9/18/2013 21:16 PM

Please check in and let us know how you are doing.. PM me any time..

Marathonwaseasy posted 9/18/2013 23:03 PM

I'm not in the US so my hours are different to yours.
I'm ok. A bit anxious but ok
He's being great and we are so good when we are together but I have work and he has his life and we have the children and we can't be together the whole time. She texted me again last night. Telling me I had to move on. All the time I've known him his name has been the shortened version of his full name. She called him the full name. She claims I made up the text he sent because it was from the short name. She's obviously trying to claim some intimacy or greater knowledge of him than I have.
I managed to get our 3.5 year old to go to sleep in her own room last night for the first time. Co-sleeping that long was not good for us on top of the years of not communicating.
Is looking for that insight and talking about it letting him off the hook too easily?
I don't blame myself for his affair but he is so remorseful and so concerned about me. I know real anger will hit at some point. It's good it's not here right now as he's been an emotional coward for his whole life and starting to face these issues is hard enough for us without my anger being overwhelming as well just yet. We will have to face it when it comes. I'm being totally authentic when I'm with him and I have to continue to be. That's ok when I feel sad or anxious or full of love but anger? He's terrified of anger after years of childhood abuse from his angry father.
I'm starting counselling for me soon. I need to. Couples counselling was something we did before but neither of us listened or changed. The whole mental health background complicates it and se have good insight and are talking well right now but eventually we have to do this. He isn't keen but he said he would do anything... He also needs to reconnect with his psych. That is in the to be resolved pile.
Also to be resolved is she's texting me every night. She won't accept it's over. I don't think she will accept it via email either as she thinks I wrote the text. He doesn't feel strong enough to see her because she will cry. He's tried ending it before and she cried and he comforted her etc etc. He's still an emotional coward but he recognises it has to be done somehow. Even a phone conversation on speakerphone might not work as she will know I'm listening.
We are going to the cinema together tomorrow. We've been out as a couple once still our 3 year old was born. That was foolish.
I wish I could have known what I know now before this.

[This message edited by Marathonwaseasy at 11:16 PM, September 18th (Wednesday)]

Marathonwaseasy posted 9/18/2013 23:09 PM

Re rug sweeping. I think I'm doing that more than him. I can hardly bear to say the words. I say "what happened". He says "what I did"
Still protecting him? Hard habit to break or protecting me. Don't want it to be real. although I know it was. I know what you say about detachment but I've been detached for years.

TrustGone posted 9/19/2013 07:49 AM

The first thing you must do is go no contact with his AP. Block her texts, don't respond. Block her on e-mail, facebook, or any other means she has to contact you or your WH. Change your phone # if you have to. You can not begin to heal as long as she is still in the picture. He can not begin to detach his addiction to her until he is NC and dealing with the aftermath of this.

If she continues to harrass you,tell her you will file a restraining order and then do it if she continues. These AP are not dealing with a full deck at the moment either, so you must protect yourself and your family. Do not listen to him tell you he feels sorry for her, too bad. If she were a decent person she would have never gotten involved with a married man in the first place. Out her to her WH. You do not know for sure he is gay and even if he is he may still not want his wife out ruining other families.

Cheaters lie, AP's lie. Hell my WH went as far as to say the OW had cancer and he felt sorry for her. Some of them claim to be pregnant. You never know what kind of lie they will use next. Do not fall for it. Do not continue to protect him, he is not an invalid. If he has mental illness, he needs to address it. You can not continue to rug sweep this for him at your own expense. He did this and now he has to man up and take the consequences for his poor choices and you have to let him do that. (((HUGS)))

Marathonwaseasy posted 9/19/2013 08:42 AM

My WH (how it hurts to call him that)
Wants to end it formally with her unless she lets go. She texted again last night telling me I had to move on. I think she will be in touch again.
He sent her a text to say its over but she said she knows it came from me. So escalation is necessary. A phone call on speaker phone is planned so I can hear both sides. Ok to feel sorry for her but any acting on that and he loses me. Red line drawn in sand. I feel sorry for her. He definitely doesn't feel ready to face her but we are both aware she could turn up at any time as she has no boundaries. He's promised to phone me immediately if that happens when I'm not there.
How likely is it that he will have to see her face to face to get the message through?
I guess the step after face to face if she continues to hassle will be restraining order. I have no idea how to contact her husband as he lives away mostly and is not apparently on FB.

ninebark posted 9/19/2013 08:49 AM

It isn't wrong to want to R. If you are going into this with both eyes wide open then that is good. You know what your issues are from the past, now you just have to determine what it is you need to move forward.

What do you need from him? NC, transparency, IC, MC...etc. Perhaps you need to make that list.
What do you need for yourself? You have a lot of work ahead of you, not only addressing the issue of the A, but the illness and the disfucntion of your marriage.

If you are BOTH willing to put in the work, Reconcillation is still an option. But you have to stop emasculating him, stop mothering him and make him stand on his own two feet and take responsiblity for his own life and actions.

I don't think recognizing the factors that lead to the breakdown of your marriage is protecting him, it is owning the issues, however he made the choice to have an A rather than speak to you, he has to own that.

You already know what you have to about the OW, block her completely and let her know further commuinciation is unwanted and will result in police/legal action.

It won't be an easy road but if you are willing to do the work, it is possible.

Good luck.

[This message edited by ninebark at 8:50 AM, September 19th (Thursday)]

TrustGone posted 9/19/2013 09:08 AM

Do not contact this OW anymore. He does not need a face to face with her or another phone call. He has told her it is over and that's all he needs to do as far as he is concerned. It doesn't matter who she thinks sent the text. She doesn't matter, your marriage is what matters. As long as you keep in any contact with her, you are just feeding the A. They don't care how many times you tell them it is over, until you show them they will just keep fishing. At this point words mean nothing, actions are what counts. NC=No New Hurts.

Pages: 1 · 2 · 3

Return to Forum List

© 2002-2018 ®. All Rights Reserved.