My D-day was the night of August 6, 2013, less than three months ago. I had begun to suspect something was going on. Under the pretence of wanting to get some photos of our vacation, I asked my wife for her cell phone and her password. She was half-asleep and seemed a bit panicked, but gave it to me reluctantly.
She had deleted the voice mails from him but not emptied the deleted folder, and I soon heard all I needed to hear. I confronted her around 11:30 p.m., out of a dead sleep, and very quickly she confessed. It was an ugly scene, the angriest and most hurt I have ever been by a factor of 100. Left the house that night and talked it over with my parents in a crying rage until 3 a.m., tried to sleep and could not. Came home the next morning and started putting the pieces back together.
Guy was a contractor, almost 20 years older than us. We had hired him to re-do our kitchen. Wife is a teacher and has her summers off, and he was here every day for three months, spending way too much time with her (and my two young children). Flirted with her, brought her gifts, etc. It started as an emotional affair and within two months became physical as well. It was about a 12 month emotional affair and 10 month physical affair in all. Guy loved to talk and has had a few wives he’s cheated on, and is pretty much a stereotypical serial philanderer. My wife was the latest victim, though she made her choice, too.
Now I’m left to pick up the pieces.
My wife and I have reconciled and are moving forward. We have done everything right, from joint marriage counseling, to individual counseling sessions, to reading The Five Love Languages and After the Affair together. Our communication is way better, our intimacy has increased. We’re going to make it, I think.
I spent two weeks contemplating suicide. Two months thinking that I was solely the problem, and that I was undesirable, worthless as a human being. I’m finally mostly beyond that stage.
Now I’m angry and even contemplating a revenge affair. We’ve been married for 17 years, and despite opportunities I have never once strayed, because I loved my wife, and was terrified of losing her and my children. I’m just so disappointed that she wasn’t able to act rationally. She acted selfishly, childishly, and 100% irrationally. I was wronged, so badly. Our communication pre-affair was lousy, and we had largely lost touch with each other emotionally as well. So the reasons behind the affair are complicated and multi-faceted. I could have/should have been a better husband. But I am starting to recognize that I was not to blame, damn it. Rather than working on anything, or telling me how empty she was feeling, she took the easy way out. Now I am one screwed up individual, she is consumed with guilt, and my/our life will never be the same. She did some ugly things during the affair, and lied so many times, that I can’t even look at some of the things that happened without feeling sick.
I have so much more I plan to share here but I thought I’d start with the basics, and ask for your well-wishes. I’m a good man and I’m trying to reconcile and move on.
I'm so sorry you're here, but I'm glad you found us.
Everything you have gone through is completely normal. It's a rollercoaster ride, and it isn't fun, but it is NORMAL! I stress this, because for the longest time I honestly thought I was losing my sanity.
There is a ton of great information in the Healing Library in the yellow box in the upper left corner. Every section is labeled in red, so click on articles, books, FAQ, whatever you feel like reading about. It's all there!
One thing...a revenge affair sounds like a great way to even the score, but since your last line says you're "a good man trying to reconcile and move on," this is NOT what you want to do. That means you are stooping to the level that your WW (wayward wife) did, and I imagine it will leave you feeling much, much worse.
Sending you strength!! Others will be along to talk to you, too. We are all here for you!!!
Now I am one screwed up individual, she is consumed with guilt, and my/our life will never be the same.
Things probably won't be the same but that doesn't mean that the two of you can't make something better, so don't give up hope. It will take time and healing but if you both are in it together then possibilities are limitless.
Keep reading and posting, and stay away from a revenge affair. The is only an opportunity to hurt her but at the same time you'll hurt yourself.
Think of the haters in your life as sandpaper; they’ll scratch you up time and time again but in the end you’re polished, smooth, and spotless..while they end up useless
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
You will find many differing stories, and outcomes here. You will also find that the advice that is offered is offered because we have been there done that, and want you to avoid the same pitfalls we stumbled in.
It sounds as though you are both doing the hard work of R, and that is great. Sounds like your W is owning her choices and is remorseful. Which is necessary to R, but it still isn't a magic wand. To fully heal, and R from this it takes time, it takes strength, it sucks.
But know this. Your M is forever changed. You are both going to be changed from this as well, and if done right, your Marriage, and each of you can come out the other side, better, stronger, and happier.
Take the time to read in the healing library, read a few profiles of folks here, see what they have been through, some will seem eerily similar, others will make you realize how damn lucky you are.
Welcome and please keep posting, and asking questions, we will help you to find the answers you need.
BW here, I KNOW exactly how you feel, my WH had an 18 month EA/PA with an old girlfriend. You are 3 months out, about what I'm dealing with from my mindblowing D-day. I've wrestled with revenge sex the whole time. Wanting to hurt him like he's hurt me. There is another BW that was writing about wanting to do revenge sex and another member wrote something that made a lot of sense.
First of all, don't sink to her level. Even if you DO have revenge sex it WON'T have the same impact on her as it did on you. She will think of it as "understandable" considering what she did and you will give up some of your power.
Secondly, you won't feel any better, in fact you will feel worse. IF your heart is truly into repairing the marriage, then you can't have one foot in and one foot out. Basically two wrongs don't make a right.
Remember this, we're going through the stages of grief, over and over again. What helps with the recovery is our WS REALLY getting it. It sounds like your WW is DOING all she can to mend the M. I suggest you find an outlet for this rage/anger/hatred you feel inside. I've been taking it out at the gym. I've lost 25 lbs. well b/c I couldn't eat, but also it really does help. There would be times I'd be on the treadmill and started crying which was embarrassing, but you know what, who cares? You GOT the truth out of her and the MOM was a scumball. He preyed on her weaknesses.
Now about the real issues here. You're hurt because she didn't come to you with how sad and lonely she had become. IF she is feeling like that, you MUST have felt that from her? I told my WH HUNDREDS of times how sad, lonely, how he treated me like he hated me, etc. and he felt the same way but NEVER expressed it. Instead, he internalized it and sought relief in another.
So COMMUNICATION is key. We're all humans, we all make mistakes. Some of us are better at "convincing" ourselves that the wrong things we're doing is somehow right, but the A itself CAN be forgiven. It's NOT for her but for YOU. I look at forgiveness like this. IF you don't forgive, your feelings will become resentments. Resentments are like taking poison while waiting for that person to die. Again, it will ONLY HURT YOU in the long run. Talk this out, sounds like you have a great woman by your side
Status: We're going to try IC one more time.
Keep posting here for support; there is great wisdom on this board. As others have told you, having a RA will only make matters much, much worse, and it certainly won't make you feel better. It's bad enough to be cheated on, but when you perpetrate the same behavior in the name of revenge, you'll hurt your wife, for sure-- but you'll devastate yourself. Remember that your integrity is an important part of who you are, and if you compromise that, then where will you be?
Sending you strength.
My STBX also cheated for at least a year and involved the kids. Man is it a punch to the gut..
The counseling and books are great. I'm glad to see you guys are building trust again. Do you feel like you are missing anything? Like is she being fully transparent with her phone, emails, Facebook, etc.? Are there any conditions of reconciling that you want but she's not giving you? Sometimes even the most remorseful wayward spouse doesn't get a second chance, and I hope she is looking at this as a gift you are giving her.
I read this really good article someone posted, and it said something about the wayward spouse needing to change, and that automatically forces the marriage to change, and this leads to the betrayed changing as well. All the pieces start being different. I don't think there is "going back" after DDay, but the path leading forward changes too, sometimes even for the better.
My advice? Have a revenge affair with your wife. Hopefully, she's not the same person she was before she started working on her issues that led her to have an affair.
Lots of luck to you.
PS- Bet you want to smash that kitchen up, eh? I hate triggers..
[This message edited by ButterflyGirl at 3:43 PM, October 25th (Friday)]
It's only been a few days for me, but I know we'll all be able to get through this, one way or another - and things WILL get better. You've clearly made a ton of progress already.
"Are you hurting the one you love?
You said you got to heaven, but it wasn't enough."
Our d-days are the same. I just want to tell you that I do wish you well, and I am sorry you have to be here in the first place. This site has been invaluable to me, hopefully it will be to you also.
[This message edited by iwillNOT at 12:29 PM, October 26th (Saturday)]
Several years out---now I am a happy man and the thoughts of how much better off I would be if she just dropped dead are gone. I actually love and enjoy her now. Had we split, I am confident I would have moved on and similarly found peace and happiness.
..it will take much time and soul searching to find a way through this betrayal..
i'm 4.5 years out and still struggling with the enormity of their betrayal (40 years)
..keep looking after your health see your doc for support.
Welcome to SI. If is is any comfort to you, I know exactly how you feel---have been in your shoes.
We are 2 yrs 5 mos 16 days post Dday, trying to R---my WH had a PA with coworker.
I wish I had found this site when I was only 3 mos out--- but did not find it until last Dec.-----I can't tell you how much the people here have helped me.
Just wanted to tell you that everything you are feeling is normal.
Your marriage will never be the same---hopefully you & your WW will be able to make it even stronger than it was before. It sounds like you are both committed to doing that.
Please know that you will not always be feeling this bad----it will get better.
Take a look at "The Lifeboat"
thread in the Wayward Forum:
I should have insisted that my WH read that 2 1/2 yrs ago, but I finally insisted that he read it last night.
Your WW needs to know that she has to take the initiative in healing you.
The affair has really screwed with my own moral compass. I was faithful to her all 17 years of our marriage, and any feelings I had for other women—and I did have them—I put aside and never once acted on them. But it's as though all the parameters have changed now. It doesn’t make me feel good at all, but the affair has done that to me. My wife has tried to pump up my destroyed self-esteem by telling me how much I have to offer another woman, and that if we separated they’d be waiting around the block for me—but how do I know that for sure, unless I test the waters? She told me part of the reason for the affair was that she wanted to feel like a woman again; part of me now wants to feel like a man, someone who is loved not because he is a provider or a father of their children, but because I am someone who is inherently desirable.
Am I jealous of what she had, of what I have never experienced outside our marriage? Yes, I am. I never expected to feel this way, because I thought we had each other, and that was enough. But I was wrong.
Most of us are farther along and may give a more male insight.
Is your wife answering all your questions? Did you get the snot-dribbling, sobbing apology? Don't shy from your feelings to placate her... She needs to be front and center cleaning up her mess - don't try and do it by yourself.
D-Day #1: 12 Aug. 2008. WW's 2nd affair w/college teacher.
D-Day #2: 18 June 2009. Affair #1 with neighbor was fall of 2002 - while I was coping with the fallout from 9/11.
Still trying to R.
22 years married
A man is a man because he takes his vows seriously. He takes fatherhood seriously. He protects his wife, children and family because he recognizes how precious those three things are.
Yes your moral compass is off. I do not blame you one bit.
The key is to get your balance back. And that takes time. It takes working on yourself.
You need to learn that you are still that man.
Your wife did not cheat because you are not a man or less of a man. She did not cheat because you were a bad father.
So buck up.
She cheated because she is selfish. She could have come to you to discuss her feelings. Her issues.
I repeat. Her issues.
She chose the easy way out. She turned to a complete stranger. She chose to lie, cheat.
She has cheated you and your kids.
Do you see where the issues lie?
And you are jealous because she got to bang and play make believe with a dude twenty years older than her???
Think about that fact.
Who really has the issues???
So take the time to get your head back on tight.
Because the fact you still love your wife, are still living with her and willing to reconcile your marriage tells us just how much of a "man" you really are.
Now tell us what kind of boundaries are in place between you two?
What actions did you take to end the affair? Expose the OM?
And what is your wife doing to find out why she made such a poor decision and put her husbands health, marriage and family at risk.....
[This message edited by happyman64 at 5:47 PM, October 26th (Saturday)]
What are things she did for your healing other than saying you are desirable to other women?
Why D is not an option? Did she know D is not in the list of your options?
Is she truly remorseful? Did she addressed her issues with IC and MC?
What are the consequences she faced for her transgression? Did you exposed OM to his wife? Did you exposed your wife to her family?
Did you got tested for STDs?
I think you rug swept her A without addressing it properly.
I confronted her with my knowledge of phone calls and texts that I have tracked down; told her that sheer volume and the amount (calls every day to and from work, 45 minutes each time) made me feel absolutely violated. I told her I knew that they were talking on my surprise 40th birthday, during a family trip on the 4th of July, etc. Absolutely disgusting. Told her that she’d still be with him if I hadn’t found out; when she objected with “you don’t know that” and that I was "projecting," I reminded her that she fucked him two days after our family cruise with the kids (during which we had a great time, and bonded, and could have been the end of the affair, but was not; D-day was two days after we got home) and that she was wrapped up tight with him. She has described their calls and texts as addicting, and there was no signs at all of her leaving him. So to say that she might have ended it on her own is a lie.
I asked her why she even stayed with me if they were that close; she said that she knew it was a bad, unreal relationship, and that she loved me and knew she was supposed to be with me (yet she still had the affair; what a fucking selfish bitch).
I told her that we need to be tested for STDs, saying that “every woman that pig fucked, you also fucked, and now so have I, because that’s how STDs work.” She agreed to the test.
I also told her that she needed to cut out all feelings of him forever, using this analogy: Imagine if I had a good friend, whom I shared fellowship and friendship with, and become very close with, only to find out that he had raped one of our daughters. After getting locked up, I was to then tell my wife, “Now, how would you feel if I said that it didn’t change the way I felt about him, and it didn’t erase the good memories we had? Which is exactly what you told me about your affair partner." (She did tell me this shortly after D-Day). I reminded her that I was the rape victim, and that she was sympathizing with the raper. That really hit home for her. I called the affair an “atrocity” in which she shit and pissed on 50 members of her extended family and friends. I left nothing but scorched earth behind me. She knows how badly she fucked up; I now have her worried that I might leave her after all, and that is a good thing. She needs to feel fear, and insecurity, and grab onto me, so that she doesn’t fuck up again, and that she shorns any good memories. I told her that the affair not only damaged my trust in her, but also made me think less of her as a person. She cried again this morning when I hugged her.
Man, that felt healing, at least for a day.
[This message edited by HeartbrokenDude at 10:06 AM, November 2nd (Saturday)]