Good Morning SI,
Rough night - no sleep. I don't know how to snap myself out of this funk.
I am going to make a long story short - wife is amazing. Found out about DDay 1 (which happened August 2012 - Handjob @ Strip Club).
Like many others, I TT'd everything to her over a matter of days - but I did eventually confess every nitty, gritty, detail. She was obviously and understandably upset - but only for a couple days. She had just gone through a course about "Choice" and said to me that it is her CHOICE to forgive me and move on.
There was little if any break in sex for us, and our relationship soared - we were better than we had been in a long time. She actually took what happened and used it as motivation to become "hotter" for me - I did not ask for that, it was her decision.
Months later, out of nowhere, my mind connected back to something I had buried long ago - a ONS 7+ years ago with my very first GF (the girl I lost my virginity to) while my then GF and I were dating, but living together.
After what I put her through with DDay 1, I felt she deserved the truth, and she could tell something was obviously wrong, so I confessed fully to it - again, with every possible detail I could remember. Everything that was said, done, etc.
Those were the two PAs I had, but there were numerous other occasions with "close calls" - I left my Hotel room info with a Hooters girl, etc. I even smelled her sisters panties a few times while she lived with us. All this happened before the Strip Club, BTW. She now knows everything about me. EVERYTHING. Things my PARENTS don't even know. Things from LONG before we even met. Even after my wife knew all this, which, again, understandably is extremely upsetting, to say the least, she still loves me, we are still intimate (despite my performance problems as a result of all this), etc.
It's almost as if there were no significant consequences to my actions, because she saw the amount of guilt I have and decided I was already punishing myself more than she could, aside from leaving.
You can read my other posts for more of the details, but here is the point...my outlook, soul, whatever, has changed with regards to lying. Not only to my wife, but to anyone, stranger or not. I feel this overwhelming guilt if I fudge even the TINIEST detail about anything.
A great quote that really resonates with me, is from the movie flight.
"That was it. I was finished. I was done. It was as if, I had reached my lifelong limit of lies. I could not tell, one more lie."
That's how I feel now, and I have to say, that part feels GREAT. It feels so good to be honest and open. I am reflecting on the person I was, and I was such a selfish, narcissistic asshole. I'm not saying that because of the As, I am saying that because I really was. I mean, I don' think I'm a god, but there were times I looked in the mirror (recently) and thought "man I really am good looking". I grew up as one of the "popular guys" in school, so I had never had any trouble getting girls, etc., which only fed my ego more.
I am looking at myself differently now, and it really hurts to look in the mirror - because I still see that person that lied and cheated, even though I am SO done with that behavior.
Here's the problem though -
From time to time, a random detail will pop into my head, or a memory from any number of those events I mentioned above. Each one every time just triggers an AVALANCHE of guilt. Which leads to me wanting to "confess" that detail, which makes me wonder "should I, even though she has said I can talk to her". My IC, who specializes in sexual "things" (I didn't know that was true when I found him) doesn't want me talking to her about those things anymore, because it's selfish - which I totally agree with.
Each time I have confessed, it feels so great to get it out and have her know everything, but the confessing leads to shame, the shame to guilt, the guilt to panic, the panic back to another event, etc., - thus, the "Circle of guilt" in the title.
My IC has been doing this for like 25 years, so I trust him. his opinion is that "one of these days, it will just become too much for your wife to take on if you keep obsessing", but my wife continues to tell me that I can talk to her, no matter what it is.
Anyway, between the lack of sleep last night and all these triggers, I needed to get this out. Before I found SI I posted on another site, where people started calling me a sociopath and other assorted names, so I really appreciate the support offered here.
I'm not looking to admonish my guilt - I accept that guilt as penance for my betrayal. I know what I did was horrific and I will work to repair the damage I've done - I just want to start seeing a way out, even if it takes a long way to get there.
In any case, thanks for listening.