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NatureMama posted 10/11/2013 15:11 PM


While it's been a number of months since I found out I thought I"d post here since I'm new to the boards and it seemed like a good place to start.

DH and I have been married for 14 years and have 3 younger children (4, 8, and 10). I teach part time and my spouse (WH) works at a local hospital. For the past few years WH has been unhappy and pulling away. I feared that he was having an emotional affair with one of the women he works with (his floor has many young, single, attractive women who are free and wild). He was the only nurse on the floor with children. He was exchanging many texts with the people on his floor, would go out the bars after work and come home impaired, and had very little patience for our current life situation (the typical chaos and stresses associated with 3 young children).

In May of 2012 he went out to a work party with his coworkers and came home that night highly impaired. When he came to bed he kept his phone by the bed and texts kept coming in. He passed out and so I looked at his phone, wondering who is texting in the wee hours of the morning. Turned out to be one of his young, attractive coworkers. She apologized for her inappropriate behavior (did not specify what the behavior was). He later wrote that he didn't mind and that "had he been single the night would've ended differently." I later found out from the wife of another nurse (a friend) that this OW and my WH were hanging all over each other that night while I was at home watching the children. When I confronted him the next morning he swore he was just being funny.

However, there were other instances between the two that were questionable. The OW went to a wedding and asked my WH to pick her up afterwards and take her to the bars--and invited him and the rest of their coworkers to go with. I said absolutely not, but he did anyways. He tried hooking the OW up with my single brother a month or two later, and we all went out in a group. Only it was obvious the OW had her eye on my husband (strange considering she's 8 years younger and he's married with 3 kids!). Anyways, I put my foot down on all of it and I thought things had calmed down. We were coming off of a few rough years of marriage and went to see a counselor, which didn't help. Thankfully, things seemed to be better and OW seemed to have dropped out of sight, though they were still working together.

Fast forward to this spring. WH applied for a position on another floor and was hired. To celebrate they all went out after work. I, of course, stayed home. Turns out that the OW lives only a few blocks away. WH gives her a ride home and next thing you know they slept together. He lied about it, though I could sense something was wrong. Over the next 2 weeks (which included my birthday) they were constantly texting each other, and they made arrangements to meet up again. Eventually he admitted to just kissing her, and I then asked to stay clear of her and to not go out or let her in our car again. She can take a cab if she's intoxicated. However, he decided to go out after work again but promises she won't be there. Unfortuantely for him he is seen by an old friend of mine--she calls to tell me that she saw an affectionate woman get into our car with WH. When I confront him it comes out that they slept together once, but they were drunk and he was horrified the next morning that it was a mistake. This, of course, was a lie.

Over the next few weeks part of the truth trickles out. He admits to having sex with her twice, and meeting up and making up after work twice. Pieces of his story that trickle out to this day do not match what I was experiencing or what he had told me (lying about having to work late, even though when I called his floor he had already left).

When I confronted him it took 3 attempts for him to break it off with the OW. Once they sat on the phone (him in the garage in the car, not wanting me to hear their conversation) for 60 minutes. A week or two after they broke it off he met up with her at a bar and gave her a ride home. He said that she had an offer for him and he was intrigued. I gave him an ultimatum, and in the end he called and broke it off again. The time span between the first time they had sex and when it was finally broken off was about 4 weeks.

We decided to reconcile. We went to MC for a few months, which was helpful. At one point I laid out my notes about what was going on during that time (as a science teacher I take careful notes), and sort of explained what had happened. There were a few occurrences--times when I'm guessing the met up for sex--that he said "he doesn't remember" or "I just misspoke about when I was at work." Long story short (too late?), what he told me does not match with what my gut tells me based on my experiences & the evidence. Additionally, he plays off the depth of their affair, stating he was never really into her that much. But based on the texts I have seen, the high quantity of texts between the 2 of them, and how unhappy he was for so long... plus he had a hard time giving her up--I have a hard time believing him.

At this point he has promised to sever all contact with her and avoids the floor she works on (his former floor). He has stopped attending all the social events organized by his former coworkers and has had to end friendships because they were good friends with the OW. He appears to be trying very hard--has been willing to discuss (though being adamant that his story is accurate and that it was only twice and he didn't care for her that much). He has apologized multiple times, over and over, and has informed 2 of his male work friends so they know that he can't go out with them if there's any chance she'll be there. Finally, he is working his butt off at home--laundry, taking care of the kids while I do homework for my masters, makes dinner, does dishes, cleans the house, and brings me flowers.

Our wedding anniversary was in August and we went away together for a few nights. We discussed how we wanted to be stronger, happier, and use this experience for growth--to have a stronger marriage. I, in turn, did not want to turn into a bitter, angry woman, but instead practice compassion and forgiveness (often easier said than done!)

That being said, months later I still have this awful feeling in my gut like something is still not right. There are little weird things that bug me--such as him searching for used phones on craigslist from his new iPhone. Or sometimes he leaves for work early, and since they work the same on week he could be stopping to visit her. Or not... it could be nothing. But over the last few weeks he's getting more and more impatient and frustrated with us--very similar behaviors to what things were like before this all went down. I've read about the honeymoon period--I'm guessing that's over. And while I"ve been working hard, going through IC and reading awesome books, journaling, taking care of myself, etc... he has not (just going to MC with me).

The loss of trust is so very difficult. It could all be a manifestation of my pain and betrayal. True recovery and reconciliation requires me to be open and vulnerable--so difficult after the painful betrayal. On one hand I want to have a happy marriage and move onward, but on the other hand I don't want to get hurt again and I'm not entirely sure he's doing the work to help move us forward. I cannot change him and do the work for him.

It is exhausting--to daily work on pushing these painful thoughts away so I can function and do my job. And now that he's sliding back into old behaviors (easily frustrated and being miserable), I'm finding I don't want to live like that. But how do you force someone to do the mental work?

Whew! Thank you for listening. This has been such a rollercoaster journey. I do not wish this experience, pain, or betrayal on anyone (though secretly I hope karma gets the OW).

Thanks for listening,

Blobette posted 10/11/2013 16:05 PM

I wanted to let you know you've been heard -- don't have any particularly good advice for your situation -- mine was very different -- but the pain is the same. Everyone here says that you should trust your gut. I'm so sorry...

Brokenhearted81 posted 10/11/2013 16:06 PM

Honey if its one thing we need to remember its to trust our gut instincts. My WS cheated on me for two years and I always had a feeling in my gut that something was wrong. If he was serious about closing all doors with the OW than he would seriously be looking for another job. My husband was willing to do whatever I asked including a new job to save our marriage.

TheAmazingWondertwin posted 10/11/2013 16:13 PM

I am not the best person to give advice now- as I am fairly new to the club myself.
I will say this though- it doesn't appear the he has been honest from the beginning- minimalizng the A, trying to just move on.
For myself, I did not really start te healing process until he came clean. It was hard and I crashed after hearing the truth about the EA part of it. But once I felt I had exhausted all of my questions and gotten honest answers, I was able to move on. THAT was when forgiveness ad compassion stepped in. He was honest with me and showed me that he was truly truly remorseful. Making it sound like no big deal seems as if he is trying to brush it off. I would recommend not letting him.
Don't live in fear and mistrust forever. It will only hurt you in the end.
Again- I am stil just at the beginning, but I told my WH that I will not work harder than him at this and I will NOT suffer the pain alone. And if he isn't willing to do that, I am done. For me, so far so... Well, as good as it can be I guess.
It sounds like he is in denial and minimalizng not only your pain but his role in it.
You are not crazy. I suggest visiting the healing library and reading a lot I the posts. It helped keep me focused and understand what I had a right to expect from him.
I wish you peace and strength.

dameia posted 10/11/2013 16:29 PM

Definitely trust your gut. The fact that he is searching for used phones in HIGHLY suspicious. As is leaving work early. Any unaccounted time is suspicious.

I would suggest getting a VAR (voice activated recorder) and hiding it in his car. It may help confirm your suspicions.

SerJR posted 10/11/2013 16:38 PM

Welcome here little sister...

It sounds like quite the roller coaster you've been on. In light of the evidence that your WH has presented, you are right to dig deeper for further truths. You "gut" is often the subconcious processing of the information perceiving things which your mind may not want to see. Listen to it, but verify.
Remember Occam's Razor - the simplest truth without contradiction that explains all is most likely.

I suspect your WH did make an attempt to either work on your marriage or make it seem like he was working on your marriage, but has fallen back to comfortable habits. It is common for affairs to go underground - it presents a fantasy for (and fantasy version of) the WS that can be difficult to let go.Dig deeper to find out what is going on, his new behaviour indeed sounds suspicious. He may come up with all sorts of excuses and lies to tell you and himself. Look for consistency between and of his word and action. If he is truly remorseful, you will see him working on improving himself (counseling, introspection, etc) so that he can improve the marriage. When you see true remorse, you will know it.
I would make it clear that you are not comfortable with how things are currently. Tell him what it is that you need if you are to stay in this marriage. At a bare minimum you will want honesty and transparency, verifiable No Contact with the OW, and access to affair tools (passwords, emails, phone records, etc) to verify this. If he objects, it is because he wishes to hide something.
Often a WS will do the bare minimum required to appease the BH. Think about what your minimum requirements are, share those with him, and be prepared to enforce the consequences should he cross those boundaries. I would also consult a lawyer, just to find out what your rights and options are.
FWIW, I think you have a great start with looking to take care of yourself. Keep up with that - you need to be at your best if you wish to move forward from this one way or another.

You're gonna be okay...


[This message edited by SerJR at 4:39 PM, October 11th (Friday)]

NatureMama posted 10/11/2013 17:15 PM

Thank you all for your thoughts and comfort. He seems fully aware of the pain this has caused me and has apologized many times for it. On the other hand, he tries very hard to minimize what happens--that it's over and let's forget it and move on.

My gut has usually been very accurate. Last May when he was caught sending inappropriate texts he blew it off--said I was over reacting and that it was nothing. I let it go, though my gut never trusted her and thought something was off. 10 months later and they're having a physical affair.

It's truly a roller coaster. Some days I feel as if he's truly remorseful and I'm moving on... then the next thing I know my gut is screaming at me that something is wrong and I feel awful.

I will listen to my gut and this weekend I think we'll have to sit down and have a conversation. In the meanwhile, I appreciate your thoughts and own experiences.

Thank you.

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