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tootrusting13 posted 10/3/2013 12:31 PM

I am a 63 year old male, married for 38 years (with two grown sons). While our marriage is not "perfect" (whose is/), I believed that it was pretty darn solid as we approached retirement years and adjusted to the empty nest. I tend to be naïve, trusting and idealistic, and I never ever considered my Wife capable of cheating on me. She is a kind, ethical Woman who was raised Catholic and values marriage. She has definitely been struggling for a few years with depression and alcohol, and I'm sure I have not been as supportive as I should be. That said, entering into an affair is a conscious, calculated action which means over ruling your own morals or values, in exchange for short term excitement. When I arrived home from work yesterday, I walked in on my Wife and one of her Male "friends" from AA having sex. I could go on for pages about shock, anger and sadness but its all been said before. Now, I am questioning everything and trying to find the strength to go on. She claims it was unplanned, a moment of weakness, etc but of course I have lost all trust in her. I want to believe her that we can survive it, but its a struggle. I do think that we should seek counseling, just to help us both sort out our feelings with a neutral observer. Life goes on, as they say.

ontheslope posted 10/3/2013 14:12 PM

Greetings tootrusting13 - welcome to the club that no one ever wanted to join.

So - I'll start with your topic title: too trusting?

I have to say no to this. Trust is the basis of a marriage, or of any relationship, really. I don't think you can ever be too trusting, especially in an innocent marriage (a marriage devoid of infidelity). But - things are different now. You can be too trusting after an A. Trust can come back, but it takes work and it will never be the same. Those famous words, trust but verify, come to mind.

What has she done so far to help you cope? Is she being understanding, is she being open with details, or is she dismissive and standoffish? Her actions count more than her words at this point. Concentrate on you, how you're feeling and what you are thinking. Stay healthy, but avoid the temptation to comfort her. Many of us, especially men (but true on both sides) are compassionate, comforting people, and we don't want to see our SOs hurt. But, you must fight that temptation, because it is no longer about her, it is about you. You are the one hurting, and though it may be difficult for her, she is the one who needs to pay the penance, so to speak. Ask your questions. Vent your anger. Speak your mind. Don't hold it in; that can only make it worse.

There is hope - many on this site can attest to that. But it takes time and work on both sides. It's early for you. You'll need to ride the wave for a bit - but make sure you take care of yourself. Seek help if you have issues sleeping or eating.

Take care. Best wishes. Sorry you have to go through this.

SerJR posted 10/3/2013 19:53 PM

Welcome here tootrusting,

It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders and that you probably have a better handle on things that you may realise.

It's very normal to have all sorts of questions and to feel confused (and sad, and angry, and frustrated, and lots of other things). It's also going to be a struggle... no matter what happens. If you're familiar with the stages of grieving, you will find that you will walk a very similar path (although you may find you bounce around between stages).

Marriages certainly can survive this - there are many here as testament to that fact. But for that to happen both partners must be willing to put the necessary work into it. And at the same time you can only control your choices.

Take some time and think about what it is that you need for this marriage, and what behaviours you will not tolerate. If you need some help, we do have a more-or-less standard list, but the mental exercise if worth it to attempt yourself. Share with us your feelings on this and when you understand those needs, share them with your wife.

At the same time, think about what you, yourself, need in your life. What can you do to protect what is important to you. How can you take care of yourself. What can you do independent (and perhaps in parallel) of your marriage to take healthy steps towards a constructive future?

I know I have just responded to you with more questions, but finding the answers within yourself is critical to your life going on.

You do have the strength within you.
And you are going to be okay.

[This message edited by SerJR at 7:53 PM, October 3rd (Thursday)]

standinghere posted 10/4/2013 03:33 AM

My wife is in AA as well, I've attended many meetings with her.

There are plenty of people in AA who give up the bottle and turn to something else during their "dry drunk" periods. In good meetings this is talked about.

AA is not about "not drinking", it is about changing the way you live your life, and not using alcohol or other things (random sex partners, cheating, lying, stealing) to compensate for your psychological issues.

Unfortunately, your wife is not really working the program.

She claims it was unplanned, a moment of weakness

She's probably right, it was unplanned in the greater scheme of things, but it is not a "moment" of weakness. It is a steady progression of behaviors that lead to it, and in retrospect it is clear where everything was leading, then in "the moment" the people carry out the actions that everything else was leading up to.

entering into an affair is a conscious, calculated action

Quite the reverse actually, usually it is the end result of a collection of unrelated events that bring together two people who have "issues" that they then deal with in a destructive manner.

No, you were not "too trusting", it is just that you got caught up in the events you had no control over. My wife's alcoholism was revealed by her confession of the affair,and the events during the affair and afterward, alcoholism is a disease, a progressive disease, and it is a serious life threatening disease. I never saw my wife take more than two drinks in the same day in 18 years. She hid it, she knew what to do to make sure I didn't know she was drinking. She was drinking and driving (put wine into a drive through cup with ice), closet drinking for years. When it got out of control she got into an affair, but she kept most of that hidden.

struggling for a few years with depression and alcohol

Alcohol is a Central Nervous System Depressant, sex is a stimulant, and antidepressants can lead to irrational behavior as well. She needs to see her doctor and lay all her cards on the table about what she really is doing and has been doing.

HereWeGo62 posted 10/4/2013 05:27 AM


We have all been there on the too trusting boat. After many years of marriage we believe that we can trust our spouse around anyone. Most people here have been blindsided by our spouse by infidelity. For me it was an affair and financial infidelity, I trusted my W with everything and she ran with it.

I do believe that some level of trust can return, but for the betrayed it will never be the same. I find myself questioning many things my FWW does and says and I still check up on her on occasion.

In your situation trust cannot even begin to come back until you have the truth. You and your wife should seek IC asap.

I do not want to sound harsh but in most cases when the WS is caught they only admit to what you already know. They will lie to "try and save us from the pain."

Walking in on them seals the deal that it was a PA, can't lie about that one. I would bet this was not their first and only encounter as she claims. It took many months of digging for me to find out the true extent of my FWW's affair, it went from we were just friends to an 18 month A but I had to figure it all out, she would not offer any additional info.

Please take care of yourself. Read the healing library on this site and don't be shy about digging for whatever info you need in order to feel safe again.

If the OM is married then his W should be told. This will also help make sure the A does not go underground.

We are all here for you. You can survive this and if both of you are committed R and trust is possible again. It is a long bumpy emotion filled road that will eat into every aspect of your life but you will make it through to your destination. Stay strong.

bionicgal posted 10/4/2013 12:41 PM

If it helps, your wife really likely has one problem -- escaping.

Affairs are not about love, or even lust so much as escape. She was trying to give up one means of escape (alcohol) and just picked up another.

Hopefully this helps a little in framing what is going on there. Hang in there.

tootrusting13 posted 10/4/2013 21:26 PM

Thank you all for your support. We are talking, yelling and crying as we try to make sense of it. She is accepting of the damage her affair has done, and wants to go to IC to make things better. I find it disgusting that one of the leaders of the local AA chapter would take advantage of a newly sober, vulnerable and needy woman (I do think that's exactly what happened). Right now she is resistant to getting tested for STD's and such, as that makes the affair all to real for her. I am NOT going to bend as it could be a life & death issue. Time will tell. I am not ready to overlook the affair, or forgive her but I am OK with IC to try and sort things out.

Bigger posted 10/4/2013 23:06 PM

I think AA is possibly the best path for recovering alcoholics. However AA is not the same as AA..
Some years ago (I am told) AA did some research on recovery rates from AA. Turns out they were dropping from what they were in the past. To counter this an ever-increasing number of AA groups are more result and 12 step oriented. These groups tend to be single-gender (because what happened with your wife and the OM is common in “old” AA). They don’t allow the so called “whining” speech when sharing and focus on ensuring all members are working actively in their 12 step program.

I suggest you talk to an organizer of the AA group your WW is in. Be very honest about what happened. Ask him about female AA groups and ask him to find a competent female sponsor for your wife.

OK now posted 10/5/2013 09:03 AM

I think you are giving your wife too much benefit of the doubt. This could be an unplanned seduction with your wife a vulnerable, naive, 'victim' who was so dishonestly taken advantage of by an unprincipled rogue, or she could have been engaging in this highly exciting, stimulating behavior routinely, as substitute for alcohol maybe. She has been depressed for a few years.

Keep an open mind and dig for further information. Sounds like you are on the verge of rug-sweeping; claiming your wife was taken advantage of in a 'perfect storm' situation that would probably never happen again and therefore does not warrant analysis.

Sorry to be so cynical, but its very likely she was in an affair with other sexual encounters and dare I say it, she is not being at all truthful. Assume the worst and be relieved if turns out not as bad as you thought.

Remember she is not only fighting for her marriage, but also for the opportunity to share the golden years without these horrid memories corrupting your time together. Therefore she needs to convince you it was a one-time slip that you can both put behind you. That, however, may not be the case.

Foolish woman. Presuming she has been faithful during your marriage, she then cheats in the later years. Now you have to deal with the painful image of their lovemaking for the rest of your marriage. Catching your wife flagrante delicto is not something you want to carry into retirement.

LeopoldB posted 10/5/2013 11:58 AM


What you describe does indeed sound like an odd occurrence. Your W must have known you would be returning home soon. What could she have been thinking? If you browse through threads on various forums here, you will see the vast majority of WS going to elaborate lengths to avoid being caught, then denying, then lying, and then pretending it did not happen. It just seems so odd for a WS (in their right mind) to do this. Did it appear to you to be spontaneous, like Partially clothed on a couch in the living room where things just got out of hand? This really sounds like a different type of problem that manifested itself in an act of very poor judgement. That may bode well for R - - better than a serial cheater doing it for the sex.

kannan posted 10/6/2013 06:21 AM

tootrusting, you are very new to this. you are in shock and hurt so dont take any decision now. Take your own time and decide what you want from this marriage.

Was this her first Affair? Make sure that.

Any way, Get tested for STDs you dont know with how many AA members he have been sleeping with. Dont take risk.Her excuse for not doing STD test is BULL SHIT. She alredy put your life at risk for her fun even after 38yrs of being together.

Any way expose this POSOM to all the AA members so that he is thrown out so that he dont take advantage of others.

Then again, she didnt confess her A, you walked into it, so watch closely they may continue it behind your back.I dont think she is remorseful.

Then, also see this

doggiediva posted 10/6/2013 17:15 PM

I hope this won't be considered a thread jack but here goes..

It is bad enough to discover your spouse had an A for what ever reason early in in the marriage and it turns out to be a deal breaker...

Fast forward to a marriage of 30 or 40 years and this shit surfaces..

I hate that the betrayed person, especially if he or she has been the bread winner during the relationship, isn't protected very well legally as he or she tries to move forward in rebuilding a life..

Many choices made in the aftermath of A are based on the bottom line(money) and aren't the best for a healthy recovery....The ability to be able to eat regular meals and have stable shelter over one's head come to mind as major motivators in the choices we make........

tootrusting13 posted 10/12/2013 14:50 PM

What a roller coaster this week has been. As the truth and the explanations slowly roll put, I bounce between sadness, shock and anger. WS seems genuinely sorry & surprised that I even care. Her MO was that I was emotionally distant and didn't care if she was happy. When her "Mentor" in AA stepped in and said all the right things she was easy prey. The old AA'ers jokingly call this the 13th step! I find it disgusting that an Organization dedicated to assisting vulnerable recovering women would tolerate such blatent abuse. She refuses to criticize him, still maintains he is a "decent guy", couldn't possibly have an STD, etc etc. However she did return his AA books and deliver a sincere 'no further contact letter. I believe we both want to heal and rebuild but right now emotions are too raw to make decisions. Time will tell.

headdesk posted 10/12/2013 15:43 PM

Hang in there, sorry that this happened.

Addictions, what a mess. Usually they are there to cover up stuff that the person finds too painful to deal with. I insisted WH stop drinking around us a few years ago because he was not a nice guy when drinking. He made the decision to cut down a ton. He didn't deal with his stuff so I knew it would rear up in some awful way again, I just didn't guess it would be an A.

So basically, unless she's willing to address what all that stuff is covering up for her, I don't think you'll have a positive result. My WH has chosen to seek IC and recognizes that he needs to heal. If he didn't, I'd be out the door.

So sorry for this. To me that STD testing is a deal breaker. Too many life altering or ending illnesses that way to take a chance on and mature people are at high risk for STD's currently.

tootrusting13 posted 10/13/2013 13:28 PM

One day at a time. The big issue I am struggling with is her lack of honesty. The lies and the pretense of our marriage going on just as it always has. She is remorseful and we plan on counseling. I don't know if I can overcome the loss of trust, the dishonesty and the betrayal. I want to be strong, but damn its hard! At least STD tests all came back negative!

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