I know my story isn't near as bad as many on here, and I really hope I don't appear to be blowing this out of proportion. Hell, maybe I am. Anyway, some of the steps we have taken are, we have both sought IC although I don't feel much better seeing a counslr, and we are scheduled to go to MC soon. My question is in the title. My wife feels like what she has done isn't as bad as sleeping with other guys, but I feel like it is worse in many ways, and just as bad in others. The first guy, she actually gave him more of her time than she did me or even her children. She gave him all of her heart over just a few months, and was prepared to abandon her family over that.
First, a little background, then the rest. I am a 38yr old man, a hard worker, and a faithful husband and doting father. Up until I found out about the EA, I did work very long hours, but now I am taking a break and only working part time. I did that to spend time with her and the kids more since that was the main reason she gave me for the intitial EA. It was my lack of attention by the way. My wife is a stay at home mom to our 4 children. My oldest two, sons, were from a previous marriage. My wife and I have two daughters.
I was not/am not an abusive husband, although I could be a little moody with the lack of sleep and long hours at work. I had been withdrawn from my wife for several months because she had become very lazy around the house, she had become withdrawn from me and we weren't really intimate very much, and she was constantly playing games on her phone ( turns out having an EA ).
Let me be clear, I DO NOT feel like she should be the only one cleaning, taking care of the kids, etc. I do help around the house when I am home, and I help with the kids and such. Her main responsibility alone with them was seeing to doctors appointments ( one of my sons is deaf ), getting them to scout meetings etc since I was working. We had agreed many years ago when she decided to be a stay at home mom that the home would be her job, and there was no point in me missing work to do the things she could do since she didn't work. She never complained about these activities, or even once tried to talk to me or tell me she was unhappy, so I thought everything was fine. Anyway, hopefully that is enough background, here is my story.
I've been Married to my wife for 14 years. I found out my wife was having an EA at the end of July 2013 when a friend found out about it through his wife. He called me right away, and I confronted my wife. She confessed with no denial of any kind. At first, she attacked me, told me she didn't love me anymore, and that she in fact hated me. She pretty much beat me down, and didn't care at all about that.I left the house for a few days, and went pretty much NC with her while I tried to figure out what to do. I only went home and called to talk to and see my children. After several days, she called me crying, told me she was sorry, and begged me to come home so we could talk.She told me she did still love me, that she had been feeling alone and unwanted, and she got caught up in the chatter on the game and let it go to far. She said she didn't want a divorce, and she told me she would end the online affair and go NC ( I had found the site at this point ) which she did with me standing right next to her. She had actually been talking with this guy on the phone for several hours a day over a few months. She called him, told him what she had done, that she had lied to him about being divorced and she wanted to try to fix her marriage. She informed him she would not call him again, and that it was over.
After the call, she went so far as to change her phone # so he couldn't reach her. at this point, I decided that our marriage was worth saving, so we began working on our marriage, or so I thought. She was doing everything right when I was home. She was working very hard to show me she realized what she had done was horrible, she was showing me and the children attention again, taking care of the home again, and even answering my questions etc. But when I would leave for work ( I work an odd part time schedule ) she was back to the games. Only this time, it was far worse.
During her EA, She had met several people on the game she was playing. That game had a chat, and During her EA, she had begun trading sexual pics and videos via text messages with many different guys. She having sex chats with them while doing it. Well, she didnt tell me about that fact, and she continued to do it while I was at work.
I found out about that crap mid September when I came home sick from work early and found her burn phone. I confronted her, and she shamefully admitted to it. She gave me the truth over several weeks. I got a bunch of TT, but I finally got all the info or so I think ( having a brother that is computer savy and recovering the deleted data from the phone didn't hurt either ). When I asked her why, she told me she had become addicted to the attention she had received from the guys, and that she wasn't trying to hurt me or anything like that. When I asked her why she would continue to do these things and torture me like this when I had given her a second chance, she just said she didn't think I would find out, and that she only did it for the attention.
WTF ??!! I feel so many emotions right now, still, so many weeks later. I have a hard time grasping these things. I did the things she asked of me, but she continued to do what she was doing. How can I believe she wont do it again, or that she is not doing it now for that matter. The emotions I feel, are emotions I have never dealt with before, and I feel alone in it, which is why I am finally posting my story. Right now still struggling with all of the emotions everyone else here is on a daily basis... IT SUCKS!!!
I know my story isn't near as bad as some of the stories I have read here,and from what I know and have been able to find out, she never actually met one of these guys ( a lie detector test will prove that in a few more weeks. ). Even so, it doesn't change the fact that it kills me that she would do these things with these other guys, and the things she did for them that she had/never would do for me. I mena, she gave her heart o another guy, and pretty much told me to F^%# off. Then she retracts, promises to love me and tells me she is sorry, but the whole while doing what she was doing?
I am at an impass right now. I don't want to hurt my kids, especially so close to the holidays, and 3 birthdays coming up. But I am dealing with her crap, and the fact that now I wonder about my own feelings to her. Anyway, sorry so long...I just hope I feel better finally getting it out there and off of my chest..
Edited to put in line breaks, cuase that was two very long paragraphs...
[This message edited by rantif at 2:23 PM, October 27th (Sunday)]
You are going to get a lot of advice, but here are a few of the concepts that are foundations around here:
--Whether it is an EA, a PA, or both....it doesn't matter. Your pain is as real as any other member's here. There are some real horror stories here, but in the end, it is a betrayal from the one that we trusted most---and it hurts like nothing else in life.
--You have to accept that this behavior is 100% on your wife. You did NOTHING to cause her to have an affair. She had several options she could have taken--communication, warnings/ultimatums, even divorce--but she chose to take the most selfish and destructive path. That is all on her, and she has to own it.
--You cannot fix this. As I stated, these were her choices, and she not only betrayed you, but she betrayed herself. She is the one that needs to do the deep digging to not only work on her own healing, but to help you along in yours. You have responsibility for your faults in the marriage, and they are yours to own, but they are totally unrelated to her poor choices. It is imperative that you do not lose sight of this.
It is *normal* behavior from a betrayed spouse(BS) to not only have their trust and self-esteem shattered, but to blame themselves for circumstances leading to the affair. You mentioned that your wife blamed you in the beginning---which around here is called blameshifting--because she has to try to justify her poor behavior. Don't fall for it. If you want to make improvements in yourself for the marriage, then do it for just that reason---that YOU want to improve yourself....but not due to the affair, and her accusations.
I would suggest a few things right away. First would be to read The Healing Library in the top left corner. There is a lot of helpful information there. Next, would be to read and post often here. There is a saying that you can use what information suits you, and to leave the rest. That is the best part of this site---you have 40,000+ members that have experienced infidelity---from both sides of the table. You have the ability to communicate with betrayed AND wayward(or former) waywards, which helps you navigate through this mess. As unique as your own story may seem, there are always parallels to others---sometimes eerily similar stories. Don't be afraid to ask.
Lastly, but not the least important, is to learn what your rights are. This site is called Surviving Infidelity, and that is just what its intentions are. Many members reconcile, and many divorce. Many have remorseful spouses, while others never see or care about the destruction that they have caused. But what this site is intended to do is to help you get through this mess...with or without your partner...and to be happy in life again. And one recommendation is going to be that you are not going to be a *victim* any longer.
On that note, do not be afraid to consult with a lawyer, and to learn your rights---especially if you eventually choose the path of divorce. Learn where you stand legally and financially. These are important steps in rebuilding your crushed self-esteem.
As a final comment, understand that if you choose to reconcile with your spouse, you can not do it alone. If she is not committed, then the marriage has no chance to be the one that you envision. She has expressed regret, but definitely not remorse. And without remorse, you can't move forward with her.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to let her know in no uncertain terms, what is and is not acceptable in a fruitful marriage. Don't accept anything less than a total effort by her to return to the woman that you fell in love with. And if she is not capable of doing this work on herself....then you have to decide what you will and will not tolerate.
This is a long and tough journey. There are no shortcuts, but there are definitely pitfalls that we can help you avoid. Keep posting, and keep reading.
You will get through this.
[This message edited by jb3199 at 11:40 AM, October 27th (Sunday)]
All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
Acceptance the Marriage is over: 7/2/14
Heading for D
My WH had an EA and it is every bit as painful and devastating as a PA. I have had some members tell me it is worse than their situation because it involved feelings and emotions when sometimes a PA is just sex with no meaning attached. I think that the pain an A causes is relative to each of our lives and situations. No two situations are alike.
For me, my WH and I are starting to look at the R side of things. It has been a very long hard road with lots of discovery and TT, which just seemed to set us back everytime.
I have been married 25 yrs and did not want to lose everything, but coming to terms with the fact that I might have to walk away and making plans to do so shook my WH up.
As jb said, see a lawyer and get your ducks in a row. This is just in case and will make you feel empowered, also keep reading in the healing library. You and your WW may also benefit from reading a book called "not just friends". Most of all take care of you and your health.
Remember we may be 50% at fault for any problems in our marriage, but our WS are 100% at fault for the A!
Good luck (((hugs)))
Some of my issues now are I constantly ask myself how could she love me if...My self esteem is shot to hell, and I really don't find joy in anything anymore. I am finally on anti depressants as of two days ago ( god I never thought I'd be the type for that ) and it is becoming obvious to my friends, family, and coworkers something is bothering me, and they are asking questions. I have always been the clown, the shoulder, and the go to guy for anyone.If u were a friend or family, and u needed me for anything, I would almost never say no. Now I find myself making excuses to just avoid people all together. I know its not healthy, but I just don't want to be bothered by anyone anymore. I have started making myself eat again, although it is only healthy meals like weight watchers, lean cuisines etc. Figured if I am gonna eat like that, I might as well get back in shape while I'm at it, and not eating was just making me tired all the time. Now I have the energy to work out and stuff again. So at least that is covered, but everything else it seems like is a mess. Anyway, thanks for responding
EDITED to add, I am not judging or trying to be critical of antidepressants or anyone on them. After reading what I wrote, I realized some might take it that way. I just never thought of myself, with my personality as the type to ever need to be on them. I have always been a confident person, a glass half full kinda guy...but now I question everything. I just don't don't feel like my old self anymore...
[This message edited by rantif at 1:16 PM, October 27th (Sunday)]
[This message edited by RealityBlows at 1:54 PM, October 27th (Sunday)]
one of the things I forgot to mention is that I was able to get so many of the deleted messages, I found out several of the guys personal phone #s. They were using the kik app to sext and stuff but would switch to swapping phone numbers and going that route. I was able to contact many of them, and using my brother, thank god for him, was able to get home #'s on all but 3 of the guys through various U won a new tv or U won a new cell phone no commitment, just give us this info scams. Several of the guys are married, but now their spouses know what they have been doing as well. I feel bad for having to be the one telling them, but I don't feel bad for telling them. They deserve to know. I sent the proof to the ones that requested it, along with my contact info should they need it. It did make me feel better to get back at the guys, even though she is just as guilty, But none of that makes me feel better about where I am now in my relationship.
I am trying to R, but I find myself constantly asking why and how I could still love her. Sometimes she is remorseful, but other times she down plays her actions as it not being as bad as I make it out to be, or what she did as not being as bad as sexual contact. For me, an affair of the heart is the worst type of affair. It says something about the morals of the person, and I wonder how I can still love a woman with no moral character. Another thing that has begun bothering me, is that I don't want to love her anymore, but I still do, and do very much so. During our marriage, over the years I had chances to cheat on her. In all honestly, several chances. I didn't though. I remained faithful to her no matter what. I didn't stay faithful because of our vows, or because I don't believe in cheating at all ( which I don't ) I did it because my love for her left me feeling more than a desire to be faithful. It left me a NEED to be faithful. I felt I needed to do it for her, for my children, for my family, and for the love that I hold for all of them. But now, I find that need is gone. I don't feel it at all. I don't even feel the desire to be faithful. I am not saying I feel like cheating on her, or that I want to have an affair back at her, just that the feelings I once had, I no longer feel...and that scares the hell out of me.
[This message edited by rantif at 2:28 PM, October 27th (Sunday)]
The three things that delay R are: minimizing, blameshifting, trickle truth. A remorseless spouse on the other hand would mean you are not even in R (not your case it seems).
1/3 of divorce litigations cite online affairs http://www.examiner.com/article/5-things-about-online-infidelity
Sorry you are here, but you pose a non-relevant question... Emotional affairs/sexting, are they as bad as regular affairs?
You and W are nowhere near ready to R. Even if there is a distinction between PA and EA, your wife committed physical adultery. She engaged in mutual masturbation with a number of men. They aroused each other to the point of climax. She spasmed and moaned while they shot their semen. She cheered them on and felt pride when she got them off. It is like a slot machine... she got just the right payoff at just the right time to keep her feeling like a winner. What possible difference can it make that she did not first book a motel room to do it in person? Your W committed EA - - electronic adultery. But it was physical. Ask her whether she had to sit on a towel while she diddled herself and then try to conclude that it wasn't physical.
I don't know whether you have a chance at R or not... and neither do you. Personally, I think it is worth the effort because it sounds like she could be fun if she applied half the energy she has spent on others to making you happy.
Together 15 years, married 7, 1 child, age 7.
WH: 37 y.o., EA/PA since March
OW: 26, 1 child (not WH's)
Me: 34, BS
Separated Nov. 16, 2013
Does a wedding anniversary still count if you are separated?
First to answer your question, Yup EA/PA any A is destructive, hurts like hell, and breaks an M like nothing else.
Now to move forward from here. I am hearing a lot of "I'm sorry I got caught, and will do whatever you need me to to fix it." But I'm not hearing a true understanding of what she has done, and how bad it has hurt you.
What has she done to figure out her why's? And you not being emotionally connected is not an acceptable answer. We all struggle with staying connected when we work, and have kids, and kids activities, and on and on. That doesn't lead us all down the road to adultery. What made it ok in her mind to do this? What is broken within herself that needs fixed so she never does it again?
Quite honestly it sounds like it escalated rather quickly, and I would be concerned that she has some level of addiction going on. Has she had a tendency to go all in, on things since you have known her? You know over the top for new hobbies, past times etc? If so you may need to really look at this as an addiction issue, which does change how R gets approached.
Please know that this has NOTHING to do with you. Her choices are exactly that, her choices. Do not accept ownership for what she has done.
This is not a reflection on the type of man you are either. As many of us tend to do, it's hard not to see that in the early days, but it honestly isn't because you worked too hard, too little, you are too thin, too fat, etc. This is about her need for validation, because she isn't happy with her on some level.
Keep posting, keep asking questions, you will find many wonderful folks here who have a wealth of knowledge and experience.
It is how all physical affairs begin with the exception of paid for sex.
I have gone from a confident, understanding, and happy go lucky type person, to one that finds joy in almost nothing. My self confidence is flat out shattered. I constantly worry about what else do I not know, and what I have found out. I feel consumed with doubt, anger, hurt, betrayal, and so much more. I am often distracted at work, which in my line of work is extremely dangerous. Not only could I be severely hurt, but I could be killed at any moment on the side of the interstates. I try to focus on my work, but it is extremely difficult.
I have cut my hours, and taken more of an office responsibility to try and avoid those situations, but sitting at the office just leaves me more time to dwell on things. I am doing the 180, at least the best I can right now, although it is very difficult.
As far as her taking things as far as she does now and in the past. She does tend to do those things. She has always been the type of person that finds something new that she likes, and she commits to it completely. Its as if she tries to squeeze as much from it as possible, in as short a time as possible.
I don't know what inside her is broken. I guess counseling will tell in time. Hopefully we can work through this, but I don't know if it is possible now. Rather than focus on what she could be doing, or should be doing, she focuses on my mood swings, my lack of feelings and constantly asks why I am still with her, and tells me she believes I am callin it quits. She cant seem to grasp the fact that I am so lost right now, I just do t know how to act, and the only thing I know to do is hide my heart so she doesn't trample it all over again.
Don't make any knee jerk reactions, take all the time you need to make sure you have made the best decision possible for you and your family (kids) for the long term. Make no promises.
Does your wife understand she put the kids at risk? There are a lot of sick, sick people out there. It doesn't sound like she knew the people personally. As you learned, it's easy to track people down. My wife used her OWN name when she sexted. Some nut case could have come to my house and found my daughter home alone. Thank God nothing has happened and looks like I'm in the clear. But those doing it don't think about the unintended consequences.
Best wishes, and whether it just be sexting or physical, it all sucks.
Emotional affairs/sexting, are they as bad as regular affairs?
I guess define bad first and then I can tell you. EA and PA are just different, they both can be betrayal which is always bad to have to deal with.
With an EA you don't need to worry about STDs (though you probably should still always get tested because you don't know if your WS is lying still). With an EA you likely don't have the mind movies of our WS having sex with someone else.
With a PA you don't need to convince your WS that what they did was wrong like you often have to do with a EA. With a PA most WS fully know what they did was wrong as well.
The above are just a few examples - EA and PA are just different, worrying about whether it is as bad or not is not a question that in the end really matters. I am sure your WS would like to engage in that discussion but that is only because it allows them to deflect blame.