As background, my wife (29) and I (34) are both officers in the military (non-US), have been married nearly 2 years, and have an 19m old toddler. My wife returned to work from a year of maternity leave back in April 2013. She was posted into an HR role that was manned by her and another person of the same rank. Basically, they both sit side by side at the same desk, and share a combined email inbox. The job basically involves putting out personnel ‘fires’ as they occur. Said workmate in this instance happens to be another male, but I though nothing of this; when you work in the military as a female, working closely with a lot of males is par for course. So I wasn’t particularly worried. My wife was excited to get back to work, and I was happy for her as I knew she was looking forward to getting back into it.
Over the months, she would come home and tell me about work, and how her new workmate seemed to be a nice guy, but that she was frustrated by his inability to shoulder his share of their combined work. Over the past few months, I started to notice text messages from her workmate coming in after hours. Noting the nature of the job, I assumed they were about work, and kept my mouth shut. As the messages started coming more regularly, I made pointed comments on the fact that work should be left at work, and outside of an emergency, there was no reason for this guy to be messaging at the frequency he was. I was shown messages (and they did pertain to work), was reassured that they were just ‘snowed under’ at the moment, and so I again kept my mouth shut. Why would I not trust my wife?
Anyway, it turns out I should have trusted my gut instincts. I found out on the 5th of Nov that my wife was having an EA with said workmate. I only found this out because as I was going to bed that night, I found her sitting cross legged on the bed in distress. She managed to spurt out nervously that when I got to work the next morning, there would be an Email from her workmate’s wife waiting for me on my work address informing me that the two of them had been involved in an EA, after OM’s wife found an inappropriate text from my wife on OM’s phone that crossed the boundaries of friendship. As I asked her what the wife’s Email would tell me, I just shut down. It turns out that she confessed to them making out ‘once’ while during a lunchtime run at work, but that nothing else had happened. Incidentally, they went on this run to try and talk about reining in the relationship, as they both realised that it was starting to stray into dangerous territory emotionally. They must have put a lot of effort into that talk! I broke down into tears, and felt immediately sick. After yelling at her, I went to the spare room and sobbed. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep that night and I hightailed it a friend’s place for the next four nights.
The day after was worse. I read the Email at work and tried to sit at my desk and appear normal. My heart was pounding in my throat, and I felt like I was going to vomit. How could she do this? How could THEY do this, they’re both married!? His wife told me about their history; how they were already in therapy over his previous dalliances (including a combination of over EIGHT women, some of them prostitutes), and she also told me how she had been trying to contact me through Facebook and Hotmail to let me know for TWO WEEKS, but that OM had warned my wife to monitor my accounts and delete the messages as she sent them. The fact that my wife was actively deleting these messages angers me to no end. She also told me that OM suggested to her that it was pointless contacting me, as my wife and I ‘had an open marriage’ and that I wouldn’t care anyway. My wife denies ever saying this to OM, and so I am left to believe that this may have been his way of heading the situation off so that I wouldn’t find out. I eventually found that my wife had emailed OM and asked him to try and 'convince his wife that I already knew about the affair and that we were sorting it out'. Even worse, when OM’s wife found out about the affair, she posted a screen-grabbed picture of their inappropriate texts on my wife’s own FB page which my wife apparently frantically deleted after 7 mins. I have no idea if anyone saw it, but this goes to show the level of damage control that was going on to avoid me finding out. I/we still have no idea who saw that post on her wall. The only reason I found out about the affair was because the OM's wife got my work email address...an email address that she knew my wife wouldn't have been able to access and delete in advance. So her hand was turned.
Determined to find more, and shocked by the level of invasion into my own FB/Email, I jumped onto our computer to investigate. I brought up the logs of our Internet history and found that the night after I found out, my wife had changed her Hotmail password...a password she has had for 3+ years. I also restored all of my FB/Hotmail archives and found all of OM’s wife’s repeated attempts to inform me. My rage by this stage, knew no bounds. I called my wife at work and immediately demanded her new password. I knew that looking through her inbox would only hurt more, but I had to know. I read about three Emails before I logged out in tears. She intimated that ‘she didn’t know if she could stop feeling the way she did when he posted out in December’, that she admitted she had ‘tried on his last name in her head’ and the biggest blow to my heart; that she ‘thought she might be in love with him’. There was nothing sexual or explicit in the emails, but the emotions involved were disgusting. I lost it at this stage, I rang my mother and broke down to her, I also rang her parents and told them everything as well. Her father is ex-military as well (and very religious), and he was mortified. Her mother was in tears. What’s worse is that when the wife discovered what was going on and was trying to tell me, their EA/PA only escalated. Why would they be so self-destructive, even in the face of being caught by the one person they were so desperately trying to avoid finding out...namely, me!
I called my wife immediately and told her I was divorcing her, although I ultimately think the threat was more to scare her, and give myself some thing to focus on. I rang a lawyer and had a free consult to determine a theoretical way ahead. My wife came home from work in tears immediately and tried to convince me to stay, apologising profusely as she did. I told her that if we were to have any chance of staying together, she needed to:
1. Cut all contact with this germ, and
2. Move out of her current job/workplace as their proximity was untenable.
I told her that this was non-negotiable, and any breakage of these simple requests would lead to me walking out. She agreed (this was on the Friday of the week I found out), but later informed me that their supervisor at work was loathe to move them, as they were extremely busy. Not good enough. I wrote an email to the supervisor (who is one rank higher than me) and told them their management of the situation was not up to our regulations, nor in the interests of both marriages. She was moved into another part of the office, but they still shared the same inbox. Still not good enough from my point of view, and so she moved locations to another job completely. In line with normal cheater behaviour, I was ‘unreasonable’ for requesting this apparently as there was going to be no issue with them working in the same floor/building. Ha.
OM's wife and I were by this stage comparing stories to try and see how far the rabbit hole went. She was pretty sure they hadn't slept together, as he and my wife both claimed 'it wasn't like that'. I got the same story from my wife and nothing in their Emails to each other indicated anything different. His wife texted me and stated that he eventually confessed to them going for a run and making out on four occasions. I was at home, and my heart started thumping in my chest. Suddenly, what I was led to believe was a one-time mistake (which was bad enough) had now escalated to pre-meditated physical and emotional cheating...no matter how 'innocuous' they thought making out might have been. Questioning my wife, she reluctantly admitted to it. I lost it at this point and left the house in a blaze of screeching tyres. I sobbed on the side of the road about a kilometre away for a good 30 minutes.
I found out she had sent him a ‘closure’ poem the next Monday that she found online, and all contact has (apparently) ceased. I SMSed him and let him no in no uncertain terms that he would require some extensive dentistry if he contacted my wife again and he said he understood. He promptly got drunk at a work function (my wife obviously didn’t attend) and sent her more drunken texts saying ‘I wish we could go back to just being able to be friends’…and so I reminded him again by getting in my car and telling his wife I was on the way over (and trust me, I’m not a violent guy at all). This had the desired effect. Interestingly, his wife told me he didn’t return until 3am that morning, and admitted to sleeping with a hooker that night while drunk. Classy guy.
Amusingly, I am pretty sure his wife made a pass at me, after she suggested ‘I come over for a wine to talk it over with her’. I politely declined, and let my wife know. Apparently SHE has cheated on him twice during their marriage as well (they’re 26, highschool sweethearts), and I want nothing more to do with them. They are both toxic, but OMW has served her purpose in regards to cross checking their stories.
She self-referred to a psychologist a few weeks ago as she admits her actions have been utterly reprehensible, and there is probably some underlying reason for it that she isn’t aware of. We have booked into MC after the holidays. She admits she got totally suckered into listening and getting invested in his problems, and by the time she realised that the EA was occurring, they were in too deep. I moved back home four days after D-Day, and I swing between fits of rage (non-physical) and bouts of sobbing when I picture him making out with my wife…I suppose that’s normal.
What I am finding extremely tough to reconcile is her use of the word ‘love’ in her emails to him to describe their tryst. She admits this was not her intention (pfff why write it) and that the ‘fantasy got out on control’. She has pleaded with me not to divorce her, that she loves me and that she will work for however long it takes to restore my trust in her. I am also pissed off about her fantasising about his surname, and this is a bit of a sticking point as my wife still hasn’t gotten around to changing her name to mine…basically due to admitted laziness with the plethora of paperwork required. Taking my surname isn’t an issue (I really don’t care that much); it’s the fact that she was considering his in a fantastical email that angers me. It shows where her priority was at the time. The third thing that angers me is the lying to minimise the aftermath. I have given them multiple times to tell the entire truth and yet the story changed about three times. My wife admits that she was trying to shield me from things such as the Emails (which she is apparently horrified that she partook in) and that she was an idiot to think it wasn’t all going to come out. It turns out they made out 7 times in the 6-8 week affair period, and they were driving to parks/forests in lunch hours to 'talk' and 'make out'. My wife admits to genital touching, but swears that absolutely no oral/genital sex took place. He claims the same to his wife. Regardless, I have been tested for STDs (a humiliating process) but my wife claims I have nothing to worry about as she is adamant sex was never the issue.
7 weeks on, I am left with the acceptance. Why did this happen? I cook, I clean, we share the parenting equally, I’m in great shape, I’m well educated and I provide for the family, I am a doting father. This guy is a baby-faced germ with a sordid history of infidelity, and possibly a few latent STDs to boot (purely conjecture…but hey, a man can dream). My brother Face-stalked this clown and his wife remarked, ‘Wow…if you’re going to have an affair, at least do it with someone decent looking?!?’ So what gives? Is this normal? I suspect that my wife fell straight into getting too involved with this guy’s problems, and the EA resulted.
I’m still angry and confused, and while we’re in the same bed (and still being intimate), I flop between feelings of love and disgust. I am hopeful that counselling will help us, and I am pragmatic enough to believe that we will look back on this in a few years a lot wiser. But I am so angry, and so hurt right now. The fact that they never escalated this to sexual is some solace, but not much. She wants us to get help, and she says she is mortified that she allowed this to happen. The only reason she can give me is that she has just gotten her 'baby body' back, and it was all purely (and selfishly) ego-driven. I want to believe her, but she needs help. We both do. She has initiated NC with said jerk, and wants us to R.....desperately. She admits that he is damaged goods and that she was an idiot for putting myself and our daughter in this situation. I want to R, and I am optimistic...but I am absolutely devastated at the lack of trust I now (for now anyway) have to have in her.
NC has been maintained, and my wife really is trying. We went on a week's holiday last week (just the two of us) and she commented that the whole affair now seems so bizarre, so stupidly destructive, and she is deeply ashamed. I don't know...I told her the other night I fully believe they had sex, as I simply don't believe that two adults would engage in such dangerous behaviour over 'deep and meaningful's' and cuddling up in parks at lunch. When I asked why they chose parks etc to 'talk/make out' I was told 'it's so people from work wouldn't see us or recognise us.' Something just doesn't add up in my mind....as much as the evidence points to the fact they didn't (i.e. there hasn't been any sexting mails/FB messages/SMSs etc that I have found with full access to the accounts).
How do I even begin to forgive my wife for this betrayal? She is trying (she is out of the affair fog...a fog which seemed to last one-two weeks), but I simply don't want to waste years of my life only to end up here again down the track. She claims to have 'learned what the EA slippery slope looks like now', but I would have thought that was blatantly obvious!?! We also both completed a Master's each this year, have gone through the new parenting whirlwind, maintained two fulltime jobs, and my wife says she suspects it has taken its toll on the marriage as she felt we weren't talking/sharing enough. No excuse of course for her actions...but it makes sense. I am still so, so angry. I will never get those 8 weeks back that she devoted to another (lesser) man. Not to mention the threat of a broken family she has imposed on our darling daughter.
Thanks for reading.
[This message edited by Hurthalo at 8:11 AM, December 26th (Thursday)]
Me BS (34) WW (29)
Married 2 years
2y old Daughter
D-Day 05 Nov 13
Why did this happen? I cook, I clean, we share the parenting equally, I’m in great shape, I’m well educated and I provide for the family, I am a doting father. This guy is a baby-faced germ with a sordid history of infidelity, and possibly a few latent STDs to boot (purely conjecture…but hey, a man can dream). My brother Face-stalked this clown and his wife remarked, ‘Wow…if you’re going to have an affair, at least do it with someone decent looking?!?’ So what gives? Is this normal?
You've just suffered a major trauma. Your mind and body are reacting to that in pretty dramatic ways. For now, your focus needs to be on YOU. Self care should be your primary focus. Eat something, even if you don't have an appetite. Drink plenty of water. Make a point of moving your body everyday in what ever way works for you - running, biking, hitting the gym, etc. Exercise will release endorphins and burn off some of the stress and anger you are feeling.
Keep posting. Keep reading. We're here for you.
[This message edited by nowiknow23 at 9:40 AM, December 26th (Thursday)]
"The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it." - Brene Brown
It wasn't like that!
My WH's favorite line.
It may have been only an ego thing, that's what my WS claims as well. Whatever the reason, yes she needs help. Sorry you are going through this! Know it's not your fault. It's something missing in your WW.
Understand that you went through exactly the same stressors that your WW did. The new baby, the school work, etc. However, YOU did not cope with the stress by finding it acceptable to go out and look for outside validation, an A. Her CHOICE to do so, is all on her. Her DECISION to go outside of your marriage is all on her. There were other choices, decisions, that she could have made from talking to you, to talking to a councilor, to divorce. But she made the choice to engage in sexual behavior, at the very least, with another man.
I'm glad that she is seeing an IC and that the two of you will also see a MC soon. I found this of great help to me. But please, be sure that you deal with her A first because no matter how many other stressors there are and were in the marriage, adultery trumps all.
I would also encourage you to go to the I Can Relate forum and check out the Betrayed Men's thread. There are some really good guys there that I think you'll get a lot of good advice from. Keep coming back for support. We're all here for you.
D-Day, June 10, 2012
When Waywards live in their selfish, stubborn "Secret" unicorn world, they never think about what to do after getting found out......until they are actually "found out"
It's then when the TT ing...the rug sweeping, the gas-lighting comes into play.
How do I even begin to forgive my wife for this betrayal?
My WW had a 7 yr LTA and i think of it every day of my life. How could she do this to me and to our daughter?
I truly dont think Ill ever forget what she did...but will as i have ...just learn to live with it. At this point for me, 21 months since D-day, i still may file for "D"..i just dont know?
and forgive? that will take years...and thats only if your wayward wife does everything correctly and you give her the "gift" of "R".
When she explains "WHY" she did this, if her answer includes anyone other than herself, she is on the wrong track and needs to dig deeper.
Hang in there brother, you have a long road ahead of you and are just at the beginning...remember we here @ SI know what you are going throught and are here to help you along this roller-coaster ride you did not buy your own ticket for. Sending you great strength.
her WW- 57
7 yr LTA (PA & EA) with her former boss
one D-24 yrs old- former eating disorder now OCB
married 25 yrs
in "R" and its been roller-coaster
confronted 6 wks later (dropped 35# in those 6 wks and spent 2 days in the hospital with severe chest pains--thought I was having a heart attack)
I contacted AP's faithful wife outed their "A" (she knew nothing)and we both kept tabs on our waywards
True NO Contact- July 2012
Fog, denials, blame shifting, rub sweeping, TT selfish, stubborn...lots of mal-adapted coping skills, no boundaries...you name it and she did it but things are finally getting better very slowly
its a long road....and painful and she finally understands the true value and extent of the gift I gave her in both "R" and not telling anyone about her "A"
You will know if she is sincere. If you are sure she is- started from there. All is not lost.
Hurtsobad- you've hit on a lot of the same things that I feel.
I can tell all I will be able to do is "learn to live with it". Forgetting? Never. I just hope to be able to go 1 days without thinking of it someday. Not likely.
Forgiving? That's the goal, obviously, but I have no idea how long it will take, or what will have to transpire first.
I'm sure we all constantly shake our heads in disbelief. How could she/he do this to me. Its just impossible to comprehend. Cruel.
[This message edited by Justgreatnews at 6:05 PM, December 26th (Thursday)]
I think that she should at least add your surname as a symbolic gesture if you R.
Hurtsobad: I know exactly what you mean. I think the best advertisement against infidelity is watching someone deal with the aftermath. It's truly soul destroying. My marriage is barely 2 years old and my wife already crossed that line. I can truly say with all honesty that there were no warning signs; our marriage was happy. Or so I thought. I still don't know whether I'll R or D; this level of betrayal is a complete dealbreaker for me, and part of me eventually forgiving her will revolve around me making peace with myself as well.
Skan: My wife swears nothing happened sexually, and nothing in their exposed emails etc proved otherwise. I don't know if it's just me overreacting, but risking two marriages over some high school canoodling/aw kward groping over 7 occasions doesn't add up. A guy like the OM who admitted to my WW that he was sleeping with hookers surely coild not have been satisfied with that level of intimacy. My wife says he was pushing for sex, but that she didn't feel that way. While I can't pillorise her for something she didn't do, it's fair to say that it was only going to eventually end one way.
Mike7: On that topic, we don't really do polys here in Australia, as our family court system doesn't have at fault divorces. Alimony isn't paid here (though child support is, naturally) so it's not really a 'thing' here. In saying that, she has volunteered to do one to prove it...and I am sure it could be done pretty easily. It's just not something that is done regularly like the US it would seem.
Nuance: I have told her to take my surname before she goes back to work. While I do not demand it as an 'ownership' thing, I told her that I can only surmise that the only reason she has resisted is in line with the affair; it's appears to me as the BS that she wants a fallback plan. She broke into tears and said that wasn't the case at all.
I have good days and bad days. Our belated honeymoon last week really let us talk things through, but the wounds are still raw for me. I felt like I was going to burst into tears today for no reason, and I didn't even have the energy to complete my usual afternoon run.
I am just so angry and despondent, I feel like such an idiot.
[This message edited by Hurthalo at 2:20 AM, December 28th (Saturday)]
The point is, you can never get inside the mind and heart of another. People are broken in ways we cannot understand, but we cannot take fault for the ways in which they express their brokenness. It's unfair to the loyal spouse.
She actually said a few weeks ago that she thinks part of the reason she allowed the affair to happen was because she thought I 'exited the marriage emotionally'. I flew off the handle at that one, purely classic blame shifting. In one of her affair emails to the OM she bemoaned that I appeared to live in the present, and that 'I was purely about self gratification, with an inability to see long term'. I told her that that was rich coming from someone who was planning lunch time sexual petting/make out sessions in nearby parks with a married man.
One thing I did do on discovery was take no chances with the affair fog; I outed her to both of our parents, as well as a few close friends. I saw a lawyer the next day to get my options sorted, and I was on the phone to her manager to separate them from their daily work arrangements when her spineless military boss tried to remain apathetic...OMW was very thankful for me facilitating that, as she wasn't having any luck noting she was a civilian. You basically have to shut the affair down by making it impossible for them to continue it without implications. My wife said she is so glad that happened, as she realises now that the love she thought she had for this guy was purely destructive. Still doesn't make it hurt less though.
I threatened the OM and told him to steer clear. When he continued to try and send my WW messages under the guise of work reasons (who was at this stage trying to do the right thing in regards to NC), I drove around his work, told him to have a chaperone with him when I got there, and repeated the terms of my wife's NC letter in person. Watching this jerk shake in his boots made my day.
I did take some satisfaction though, he tried to send my wife another email which his wife intercepted in draft form and forwarded to me where he said 'your opinion of your husband must have changed by now, he seems like someone who will stand up and take charge of a situation and own it...he's evidently more of a man/husband than I am with my own wife.'
You said it buddy.
[This message edited by Hurthalo at 7:02 PM, December 28th (Saturday)]
Met when we were 17 and 15. Together since 1983, married since 1985. Two kids, B21, G15.
Life has a way of making us get our panties in a wad.....I refuse to wear panties ever again.
, he seems like someone who will stand up and take charge of a situation and own it...he's evidently more of a man/husband than I am with my own wife.'
It is interesting how things turn out in life sometimes. The faithful wife here ends up with a weasel like the OM while the WW gets a man that stands up for her.
Nuance: True. Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment. OMW isn't as innocent as she makes out either. While OM convinced my wife that she is the walking personification of Norman Bates courtesy of a number of self-validating embellishments, she does appear to come with her own issues. When you've been cheated on 9 times (yes you read that right) though with two kids under 5, you can't really blame her though.
God I am still so angry. I just don't care anymore...the marriage I knew (and thought I had) is dead due to this deception. I don't deserve it. I am trying my best, but when I look at my remorseful wife, all I see is someone who spent months waking up in the morning excited to get to work to see her lover, spent time after work in our precious family time before our daughter goes to sleep jerking him off/cradling him in parks, and night hours spent fantisising and exchanging hushed SMS messages about being intimate emotionally/sexually with a piece of shit who sleeps with prostitutes. What a catch he is. It's completely emasculated and it makes me wonder why I even bothered when this has happened barely 2 years into our marriage. Really fills one with hope for the future when things get traditionally really tough.
[This message edited by Hurthalo at 2:16 AM, December 30th (Monday)]
And the rage/anger starts again. Looks like I am back at square one. I told my WW that she could consider today as day one of our separation, and that until she stopped TT, I'd be looking out for my daughter and myself. I'm moving out tomorrow into some temp accommodation.
I hope you find a good place for you and your daughter to stay temporarily.
[This message edited by trojan007 at 12:23 PM, January 13th (Monday)]
You need to find out the truth of the physical part of the affair NOW, even it if means a polygraph test.
One year into my marriage, my WW had an affair with a co-worker. At the time, she told me they just made out a few times and did not have sex. But when I discovered the affair, she also told me she loved him. If you believe you are in "love", that means you are willing to have sex. But I was naive/trusting/stupid and took her at her word. Fast forward 20 years later, my wife has only now finally admitted to having sex during that affair, and it has devastated our marriage and undercut any positive things that have happened in our marriage the last 20 years. I never imagined I can hurt this way.
Bottom line--he is a proven liar & cheater. Your wife is a proven liar. They are probably lying. But your wife owes it to you to tell you the whole truth, so you can make a fully informed decision as to whether you want to try and stay married to her or not. She needs to come clean.
I feel your pain, brother. Take care of yourself.