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My marriage has been a lie.

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sadgirlinboulder posted 9/21/2013 08:59 AM

6 weeks ago I discovered my husband of 18 years was in an affair with 1 woman for over 6 1/2 years. He insists affair was over 2 years ago yet until 6 w ago they were emailing 3x per week. I called OW, she also says phys affair over 2 y ago, but neither one says they actually had conversation about it being over,"it just was". He travelled all over the country with her while I stayed home,worked care for his mentally ill mother and raised the child he insisted we have. Time and again he has said he was happy in the marriage, "I'm the only one of my friends who doesn't complain about my wife, I just don't have anything to complain about".

Raven96 posted 9/21/2013 09:15 AM

I'm so sorry you're here, but I'm glad you are. You will get lots of good advice and information. You can ask questions and/or vent. You're safe here!

There is a lot of great information in the Healing Library (yellow box in the upper left corner). Start there. I'm pretty new here, too, but I know that reading through the articles and doing the 180 helped. The 180 is in the BS Frequently Asked questions, I believe. Start there.

Please know that this has NOTHING to do with you and everthing to do with him. He has been very selfish, and now it is your turn to be selfish. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. Make sure you are eating and drinking lots of water. Sleep whenever you need to. (I still take naps to "escape").

We are here for you. (((HUGS)))!

sadgirlinboulder posted 9/21/2013 09:24 AM

Thank you Raven.I wish sleeping was easier. I feel like I am completely psychotic. How did I not know? Why was I so oblivious and trusting? I never checked his visa bills, emails, phone records. Now I am scouring all past bills, ATM withdrawals everything I can get my hands on... I keep asking myself, "Would I rather have this or breast cancer? This or my home foreclosed on?, This or my house washed away in the flood?" posted 9/21/2013 09:42 AM

I'm so sorry you are going through this. The pain of betrayal is so awful, because it feels so deliberately done to hurt, unlike a natural disaster or a disease.

You've come to the right place. I know it's hard to believe, but you will be ok.


confused615 posted 9/21/2013 09:44 AM

If they continued to be in contact up to 3x's a week,the affair has continued,whether they say it was over or not...continued contact means the affair was ongoing.

What is he doing to heal the damage he has done?

Does OW have a husband? Have you told him yet?

sadgirlinboulder posted 9/21/2013 09:51 AM

I just want to get to a place where I stop obsessing about his A. I can "do" anything: go to work, run errands, clean up after the colorado flood, make dinner, but I CAN"T STOP thinking about what he did, why he did it and what now? I spend my nights connecting the dots of his past behaviors- fights he would pick with me before he would leave town to meet her,arrangements he made to make sure I would not be with him when he did meet her, money he spent, tickets he bought etc.

sadgirlinboulder posted 9/21/2013 09:55 AM

To confused--
My husband started therapy with me and individual therapy for himself.The OW is married with 4 children!!! 2 still at home. I have not called her husband because I feel she needs to figure out how she will proceed in her marriage. Do you think I should call him?
I don't know either of them, they live in another state.

struggling3 posted 9/21/2013 10:02 AM

Call her husband. He deserves to know what he is married to. It also helps to have another set of eyes keeping an eye on the situation.

sadgirlinboulder posted 9/21/2013 10:06 AM

Struggling3-did you call the other husband?

MC_Jack posted 9/21/2013 11:21 AM

Hey sadgirl,

I did call the other BW about 10 months past my d-day. I had been content letting sleeping dogs lie, as my wife ended it. But the OM tried contacting her again, so I realized I needed to tell other BS. She also was long distance (2000 miles away)

I am very happy to tell you more if you would like. It was revelatory. She was never mad at me. I kinda wanted to maintain a relationship with her (making lemonade out of lemons) but she was not interested which I understand of course.

One thing I came up with was to start living for me more - not have my life be as much in a role of assisting my WW's life.

So, I got a season pass to Vail/Breck last year and got in 16 days of skiing. I asked for and received new Rossi skis for my birthday. I am also going to change careers pretty soon to something that is more rewarding .... for ME. You only live once.

Also check out the Long Term Affairs group in I Can Relate...look up users NJGal and atsenootie...they have been a BIG help.



[This message edited by MC_Jack at 11:22 AM, September 21st (Saturday)]

Tearsoflove posted 9/21/2013 11:34 AM

My husband had two affairs.The OW's husband called me after the second affair. It was over by the time he found me but without that call, I would have thought everything was fine and none of the work my husband needed to do on his boundaries would have been done. I had believed after the first affair that he could never do it again because he was so remorseful. But he hadn't found the real why for his behavior and he hadn't adjusted his boundaries with women and people who weren't friends of the marriage. After the second affair, I'd have left without that work. And I'm fairly certain that if the OW's husband hadn't called me, that my husband would have done it again.

On top of the boundary work that needed to be done, without that call, I'd never have known I needed STD testing. While my husband doesn't appear to have contracted anything from the second affair (he gave me HPV from the first), some STDs lay dormant so it wasn't something I was willing to chance.

I am grateful for that call. My partner was keeping me in the dark about my own life. That phone call brought it all into the light.

kansas1968 posted 9/21/2013 13:52 PM

It is impossible to explain the pain and damage of a long term affair. My husband had a seven year affair and when I found out, I ceased to want to live. It was the worst pain I have ever expierienced in my life and I am old!!

The obsessing about what went on in your own life during the affair is brutal and will continue for some time. There are just so many memories, pictures, and evertime you have one, or see one, you think, my God, that was during the affair. It is hidious, but it does get better.

You need to journal and everytime you remember one of those things that cuts your heart out, write it down. Write down everything that hurts you. Write down what makes you angry, all the triggers, the injustices, get them on paper.

I am hoping eventually I can tear up or burn that list. Evern after a seven year affair, we are still together and are really more connected than we were prior to the affair. It is still hard, but so, so, much better than that first year after DDay.
All my sympathy for what you are going through, but it will get better. Hugs..

self-rescuer posted 9/21/2013 16:42 PM

I've sent you a PM.

I'm so sorry for your pain.

Alex CR posted 9/21/2013 17:29 PM

So sorry you are here....the obsessing is H had a five year LTA and I created an excel sheet listing credit card charges, flights, hotels, family name it, I categorized it trying to understand how the hell I could've missed five years of betrayal.

What I learned is that my H is a liar, something I am not. Don't beat yourself up for missing did nothing wrong. The A is totally your H's responsibility.

Right now take good care of yourself if you can, drink water and exercise....get sleep aids from your physician if you need them.

Best piece of advice I received when I first came to SI was that I did not have to make any life changing decisions right fact the recommendation was that I wait a year. And I'm glad I waited. The shock of the betrayal, the pain and then the anger--- well that took almost a year. I, for one, was not thinking clearly for quite some time.

Today we are approaching four years since Dday and my H and I are doing well....a lot has changed in our lives since H cheated and we are working through it. Our marriage is changed, but life is good.

Take good care of yourself and keep posting....feel free to email anytime.....there are many of us here who have been in similar shoes and we are not just surviving, but thriving.

struggling3 posted 9/21/2013 18:15 PM

In answer to your question...I did not. So perhaps I am not the best person to give advice. My H had at most an intense flirtation with the OW. He immediately stopped contact and started MC with me. She tried to contact him a few months later by phone at work. He told her he didn't want to talk to her then told me. I then sent her an email telling her that I knew of their whole situation and if she had any further contact with my H I would call her H. Haven't heard a peep from her in almost two years. They work in the same building and in the last two years my H has seen her hanging out with many men...a real eye opener to what her was dealing with and it wasn't the classy individual he believed her to be.

Enough of my story. To tell you the truth, I have come to believe that this is the best course of action through all of the wise people on here. At this point however I really am just ready to be rid of her in my mind. I would call her H though if she ever tries to talk to him again.

Knowing that your situation went on for so many years, I don't think I would hesitate

Raven96 posted 9/21/2013 20:42 PM

I did the exact same comparisons: Would I rather have this than _____. It sucks. Don't hesitate to ask your doctor for some anti-anxiety medication if you need it. It will take the edge off but not make you loopy.

I, too, feel my marriage has been a lie. We are R but I'm not sure if it is real. I still have a lot of questions that I don't believe he is telling the truth on, and his phone records are through his work, so I don't have the luxury of scouring those bills.

Hang in there!!! It will get easier...but your WH has to do the heavy lifting on this. If he's not willing to do whatever it takes to help you heal, then when you get your strength back you will know what to do. I promise!!!

Sqo1965 posted 9/21/2013 21:12 PM

Hi sad girl - just wanted to let you know that I have experienced both ... Breast cancer and my husband's 2 affairs - one while I was going through treatment - I can honestly tell you that breast cancer was the much easier to deal with!

Blobette posted 9/21/2013 21:27 PM

All I can say is that I'm so sorry you're here. Be knd to yourself. Do not place any expectations or demands. Do not feel you "should" feel any particular way, or "should" do anything. Making it through the day is enough. This is a HUGE, ENORMOUS trauma, and you are only just beginning to process it. You will be going through many, many more ups and downs.

My WH had a 7 year affair with a co-worker. Throughout, he acted like the ideal husband (well, mostly). Was always knd and loving to me, many thoughtful gifts, etc. said he loved me all the time, called several times a day. To this day, he has never blamed me for the affair.

Like you, I've struggling with what this all means. All I can tell you, without going into tedious detail, is that... Well, it's going to take a lot of digging, therapy, and tears before you get anywhere near coming to terms with this. It is a long journey, and it hurts lke hell. And it will hurt whether you dump the bastard or try to reconcile. And any choice you make will be fine and you will live, and you will be strong, and you will make it through.

((((sad girl))))

Keep posting

standinghere posted 9/21/2013 23:11 PM

Why was I so oblivious and trusting? I never checked his visa bills, emails, phone records. Now I am scouring all past bills, ATM withdrawals everything I can get my hands on.

All extremely normal, and due to the time lapse it will be nearly impossible to put together.

Most of us have done this after the shock hits as we try to make sense of it all. Been there, done that.

The reason you didn't know, didn't suspect, is that you were not cheating, that you were trustworthy.

People who trust are the easiest to deceive. But, what does all this say about you?

Absolutely nothing.

It does say a lot about the marriage and the spouse who cheated and how they viewed the marriage and themselves.

womaninflux posted 9/22/2013 00:11 AM

So sorry you are here, Sadgirl.

My SAWH had an affair for 2.5 years. I missed a lot of signs it was going on because I too was trusting.To my detriment, I was a self sufficient, low maintenance, "cool wife." I look back and I think, "wow, I really was oblivious." For me it was a combination of a certain level of denial mixed with being entirely trusting. I just never thought my H had it in him, despite many "classic" signs. My friends are shocked that he - out of all of the men we know - did this. More proof that it's always the ones you least suspect because they just have everyone fooled. I overlooked so much stuff, such as:
- A stray woman's sock showing up in our laundry (I thought it must belong to a college aged sitter who did laundry when she was sitting one night...I asked them and no one claimed it...I dismissed it nonetheless thinking maybe it was their roommate's and they just did not recognize it or something).
- my H insisting on switching his cellphone service, which was in my name, to his name for tax reasons (we used to have the same service but I got an iPhone and he stayed with the original carrier). I got a very bad feeling about it yet I did nothing to question it further.
- business dinners EVERY week on a particular day - and the nights kept getting later and later. 11 pm, 1 pm, 4 am. Especially towards the end.
- Spur of the moment trip related to a start up in which he was involved.
- lashing out at me for no reason. Once, when I asked him why he hadn't left his car in the city and taken a cab (I was worried about him driving while drunk) instead he went berzerk and told me he hates taking cabs to our town from the city because they charge fare and a half.
- going out with his friend "X" regularly on the weekends. It was just puzzling that all of a sudden he wanted to hang out with this guy so often. But whatever, they were old friends and my H always was one to hang out with his guy friends. I never questioned it.
- me asking him about 9 months into the A if he was having and A/seeing someone. He totally denied it. I don't know why but I just sensed something was up. And I continued to ignore my gut.

I have all of the texts from the nearly 3 year period this was all happening.It's crazy making. When I read all of them in a row now, it's like "DUH! He's having an affair." Of course it makes perfect sense to you NOW. But when you are in the thick of life, you have so many distractions and you just dismiss things because if you spent time analyzing every nuance you would make yourself crazy. Instead, like many people, you are just probably trying to get through the day. By the end, I was unraveling and so was he puts it he was a runaway train. He was having a secret life and it was catching up to him. He was bloated and puffy from so much drinking and carousing. Acting like a single 30 yo will catch up to you.

A couple of things I have learned in going through this and I will share with you. I have a close friend from college who had an affair over a decade ago with her married boss for about a year. I asked her about this after she brought it up recently when we were on vacation. The net of it: It definitely doesn't sound as glamourous as one might imagine an affair to be.They did not set out to deliberately hurt anyone. She and the Married Man were just completely selfish. They were not thinking of anyone but themselves. At first it was fun to be sneaking around. and then it became tiresome and a lot of work to make up work related excuses to see one another. They would just hang out at her apartment because they could not risk being seen together. No one knew about the A except her sister, so it was lonely and isolating for her. After a year, my friend broke it off because she knew she wanted more and it wasn't possible. She later found out that the wife was becoming suspicious. She now says she would never do something like that, especially now that she knows how devastating that is to someone's family whether they know about the A or not.

It does infiltrate into their family life in one way or another, no matter how much they try to keep it together. It was really affecting my kids and in the months leading up to discovery, I was barely getting out of bed in the morning, definitely going back to bed frequently during the day, becoming very forgetful and missing appointments...things that are totally out of character for me. My close friends were really worried about me. I was becoming suspicious and then some information presented itself and instantly, I knew exactly who it was. I was really shocked about how long it had gone on. But then everything I'd brushed off suddenly made sense.

I'm very sorry you find yourself in this situation, but you will find that you are not the only one. I have found great comfort in the Long Term Affair thread in the I Can Relate section of the forums. So many people who like us were very trusting and totally blindsided.

One struggle I have had is the betrayal and layers of deceit. For my SAWH, his A was a fantasy life. He enjoyed this "perfect" fantasy world of younger woman with a great figure and a penchant for fun and partying, boozing, and all the sex that goes with that (the younger generation of women seem to love porn and sex as much as men do - all the sexting, dirty talk, etc. Astounding). No responsibility because I was at home taking care of all of that. I am pretty sure their connection was mainly a physical one and their relationship did not have any deep meaning...she was his person of addiction (in other words his drug). So the fact he had this sexual relationship is something I can get over more easily than the lying and years of emotional abuse I have endured in this marriage. You may find the same struggle in the months to come.

Finally, I want to encourage you to take care of yourself. You mention in your post that you work, you take care of his mother and you also have a child. Start putting yourself first. Create some boundaries about all of this and expectations of your husband and begin making time for yourself, your needs and interests. Take a class. Get your nails/hair done more often. Schedule monthly massages/facials. That's right...indulge. No one else is going to take care of YOU but YOU. Sad but true. So get started NOW.

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