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Mindset posted 1/28/2014 17:37 PM

I found out a few months ago that my wife had an affair 10 years ago with a male friend who was a friend of both of us. It happened at a time when I was working very hard and probably did not as a result give her the attention she deserved. She said that the affair happened because I failed to give her the support / comfort she needed when one of her relatives passed away. The affair happened within the first 6 months of our marriage. It did not last very long (a few months) as the male friend stopped it after he realised the impact of the mistake they both made. He then decided 7 years ago to stop any contact with both of us (after my wife asked him to become my son's godfather, which he declined). He then a few months ago sent an e-mail to my wife explaining why he disappeared from her life 7 years ago and it is how I found out about the affair.
I am still processing all the facts although it is not easy as my emotions are all over the place. I want to stay with her but I am worried that the affair I know is not the only one she had (although she categorically says it is the only one). How do I resolve this ? Should I take what she says for granted ?

yearsofpain25 posted 1/28/2014 17:48 PM

First wanted to say welcome Mindset. There will be others who will be along shortly that are probably more qualified than me to help you. Start by looking in The healing Library in the upper left corner. There is excellent info there. There are many people here who discovered the affair long after it took place. It is perfectly natural to feel and behave like ti just happened right now. To you it did.

First off I would ask what is the state of your wife? Did she show any remorse after you found out? Or was it more that she was sorry she got caught?

Brandon808 posted 1/28/2014 17:52 PM

She did not confess.
She did not choose to end the A. The OM did.
She blames you for the affair. You did not "fail" to give her the attention she deserved. She failed to maintain her vows. This happened within six months of getting married. What possible excuse does she have for not discussing any issues with you as opposed to having an A?
She has no remorse and doesn't appear to have any regret either.

Bottom line she sees having an A as something she was entitled to do when your M was relatively new. So no, I would not believe a word she has to say. If she is remorseful then have her do a full timeline and give you access to all emails, FB, etc.

Mindset posted 1/28/2014 18:00 PM

Thank you yearsofpain25 for the prompt response. My wife shows remorse but blames the friend for what happened (she says he used her). I did talk to him several weeks ago (I needed him to validate the facts she told me) and he blames her. The weird thing is that I am not angry at him. I am astonished though how she kept this secret from me for so long. If she manages this how do I know there is nothing else ?

yearsofpain25 posted 1/28/2014 18:08 PM

Right. That is the question and if she's not completely remorseful and is blame shifting, it might be difficult to find out. She has to come clean and be completely transparent and open up EVERYTHING to you. Trust just went out the window and she has to realize the first step in getting that trust back is to take full responsibility herself. It's ALL on her. Not you. She needs to acknowledge that for starters. She needs to open up any sort of social media to you, all passwords must be given, then you can start to investigate. She needs to do wall that to get any trust back.

I also agree with Brandon

yearsofpain25 posted 1/29/2014 06:46 AM

How are you doing Mindset?

Any updates or discussions with WW on her blame shifting?

Anyone else want to add anything for Mindset?

kalimata posted 1/29/2014 07:46 AM

Don't trust her. The affair likely lasted at least 3 years until the time OM decided to go NC with your wife.

She clearly had feelings for him, because she wanted him to be a godfather.

Sending an email to your WW a few months ago means the OM is sending out feelers to see if your wife is still interested.

Don't trust your wife. She will lie to your face unless confronted with hard proof. Here is what I would do:

1) Get a keylogger and install it on her computer. Once you get her email passwords, check all her emails. See if she has any secret accounts.
2) Get phone records. Look to see how many times she and OM have contacted/text each other over the last few years. If you suspect she is still talking with OM then get a VAR and install it somewhere where she would go in private and talk to him (ie car, office, etc).
3) If she has a smart-phone, install GPS tracking software on her phone to see where she is
4) Once you have enough evidence, contact the OM wife and expose. If there are any other close friends that you mutually know, expose to them as well and ask for their support in saving the marriage.

Your wife will continue to lie and hide this until you bring it out in the open.

Howie posted 1/29/2014 09:14 AM

Tough position. First, you are going to feel terrible with a roller coaster of various conflicting emotions-brace for the ride.A big issue: has she been a good partner the rest of your life together.That has to factor in your picture.
I am amused (wryly)..my friend and my wife both blamed the other.And I too blamed him less-I had no vows with him.
You need to be able to trust her. I think what Brandon says there--emails etc is good. And you can say,frankly as a man,this devastates me--I need to know..whatever and she needs to simply-if she loves you-accept that. Really.
Good you could talk to the old friend but yes, beware.There is still a danger there
Best

norabird posted 1/29/2014 09:19 AM

Can you guys go into MC? That seems like a good forum to probe the M, how you want to move forward, if you can trust and forgive, and what her true attitude is.

Hang in there!

Skan posted 1/29/2014 13:17 PM

My wife shows remorse but blames the friend for what happened (she says he used her)

What, she's claiming that he raped her? Because other than using brute physical force, she made the decision to screw him. Doesn't matter which one of them proposed it first. She made the decision to betray you with him instead of saying no. By her trying to wiggle out of the blame for making HER decision, she is not showing remorse. She's showing regret that she got caught and is trying to minimize her part in her infidelity.

He then decided 7 years ago to stop any contact with both of us (after my wife asked him to become my son's godfather, which he declined)

That's called fishing (or phishing). She was inviting him back into your lives which is in-of-itself inappropriate at the least. But she was inviting him back into your lives by OFFERING UP YOUR CHILD to him, to serve as a Godfather, you know, the person responsible for being a moral compass to YOUR CHILD.

He then a few months ago sent an e-mail to my wife explaining why he disappeared from her life 7 years ago and it is how I found out about the affair.

Fishing from his side. If he wasn't interested, he would have simply kept NC with her instead of seeing if she might be interested.

Brandon and Kalimita are right on with their appraisals. You cannot trust a word coming out of your WWs mouth because she's been lying to you all along. If she is not willing to give you a timeline, all emails, and come clean with the truth, then it's a waste of time to be with her. Also, you really need to send that email to the OM's BW if he is married. 1) He is likely to give up ALL attempts to contact your WW if his marriage is now in trouble he'll throw her right under the bus. 2) His BWs eyes will be on him which makes contact even less likely. 3) She has the right to know that she's been betrayed just as you had that right.

As well as reading The Healing Library (upper left corner in the yellow box), please read any post on the first 3 pages of this forum that has a red "target" next to it. They are articles that are filled with a lot of stuff that you need to know ASAP. Keep posting. We're all here to support you.

ReunitePangea posted 1/29/2014 14:57 PM

I am sorry you are here Mindset -

That's called fishing (or phishing). She was inviting him back into your lives which is in-of-itself inappropriate at the least. But she was inviting him back into your lives by OFFERING UP YOUR CHILD to him, to serve as a Godfather, you know, the person responsible for being a moral compass to YOUR CHILD.

Please reread this - when your WW gives you it was a long time ago line - ask her what the heck she was thinking when she proposed the above. Your WW is big time blame shifting - saying it is your fault because you did not support her is just plain wrong. Saying it was the OM fault is also wrong. She needs to own up to her mistakes.

Should I take what she says for granted ?

Simply no, she is going to have to earn back your trust. This will take time. It will take both her words and actions on her part - it will not be easy but it can be done.

How do I resolve this ?

Unfortunately if you want to stay with her you can not resolve it on your own - she will need to do her part and you can not control that. Until she gives you a better indication if she starts to get it and will put in the work you simply can only work on yourself.

Mindset posted 1/31/2014 12:21 PM

Thank you all for the replies. Unfortunately it is a bit more complicated than this. I did talk in March 2013 to the "friend" and he confirmed what my wife told me although he gave me more details but at my request. She said she dumped him although he told me that it was him who dumped her (she now admits this). I have no doubt that my wife has no longer any contact with him. What I am concerned about is that she may have had other affairs during that period that I know nothing about. If she had any other affairs that would be a deal breaker (even now that we have children) and she knows this. I have no evidence but I have some doubts. I found out nearly 11 months ago and I am still struggling to make any sense of it. We went through counselling, it was useful but I think only to an extent.

NikkiD posted 1/31/2014 12:25 PM

She said that the affair happened because I failed to give her the support / comfort she needed when one of her relatives passed away.

No, this is more accurate:

Feeling unsupported when one of her relatives passed away, she chose to have an affair to deal with it instead of bringing it to you.

Mindset posted 2/14/2014 12:47 PM

i am not doing too well in the recovery process and I had a major argument with my wife a week ago. How could she have done that to me and how could she have asked the OP to be my son' s godfather ? Things have been better since then but I still feel the pain (D Day was nearly a year ago). I have registered now to an online dating agency and I am seriously considering doing to her what she did to me although I would tell her straightaway. I would not lie. The only thing though is that I do not want to hurt anyone else.

aero1122 posted 2/14/2014 12:57 PM

Will hurting her help you heal?

If you do not want to be with her anymore then you must make that decision for your own sanity and health. If you do want to be with her my opinion is that hurting her for revenge won't help your reconciliation.

So sorry you are going through this.
((Hugs))

norabird posted 2/14/2014 13:08 PM

If you want to do online dating, do not pass go until you get a D first. Period. Either you are in the M, or you are out. Taking revenge will not help you, and right now, you need to heal yourself before you start looking for a distraction. Cancel the account and look inward. Either you can try to R and determine if your WW can be a full partner in that, or you decide the uncertainty and pain is too much and you file. There is no room for self-indulgent, unproductive actions outside of those two paths.

yearsofpain25 posted 2/14/2014 13:11 PM

Hey Mindset,

I agree with aero1122. There is a term here at SI for that sort of thing. They are called "Madhatters". There is an entire thread for them over in I Can Relate forum. They are called Madhatters because by being betrayed and then being the betrayer, they go that much further down the rabbit hole and it's that much more difficult for not just your wife to deal with, but you too. It won't even make you feel better. In the long run will probably only make you feel worse about this mess and make you feel bad about yourself too. As hard as it is to do so, by taking the high road in the end you will always come out on top.

That said, are you thinking of not reconciling at this point? Is it time for you to get out? What are your thoughts on staying vs. going?

ETA - And what norabird said.

[This message edited by yearsofpain25 at 1:13 PM, February 14th (Friday)]

Mindset posted 2/14/2014 13:44 PM

I think I want to R but I know inside me that my children are 90 per cent the reason for that decision. Although I could financially support two households not seeing my children every day would break my heart. This is not an option. Thank you for the advice I will cancel my subscription to the online dating agency, I agree this was a bad idea and furthermore I could not commit to anyone else because of my children and I do not want to hurt anyone. I still find hard to believe she did that to me.

tushnurse posted 2/14/2014 14:20 PM

Glad to hear that you plan to cancel your membership.

The best revenge is living a happy life.

Honestly I think you have a long way to go. Staying for the kids/not wanting to share/split time with them is not a good reason, and will only breed more dysfunction for them.

You have to address this with her, and she has to come to terms with what she did and why, and you working a lot, and being emotionally supportive of her is NOT why. That's a blameshifting, cheater excuse.

You also have to consider if that we her only indiscretion, or if there have been more. You were so newly M'd, I would be very concerned that there are more.

Hosea posted 2/14/2014 14:48 PM

I am so sorry to read your story, Mindset. An unconfessed affair in the distance past, kept secret by your wife for so long, is especially worrisome.

Take nothing your wife says for granted. Nothing. You may feel an overwhelming desire to believe her account. Suppress it.

I hate to even suggest this, but if she was willing to engage in an affair before you had a son, yet she never confessed it, you might even need to consider the possibility of other affairs during the marriage and the possibility that your son is not your own. (I don't assume this! It's unlikely, but just know anything is possible. Love him no matter what.)

I really hope this isn't true, and I don't mean by suggesting it to freak you out. Just don't take anything for granted beyond the fact that your wife is a serial and remorseless liar and has been for nearly your entire marriage. The fact that she'd ask a secret former affair partner to be your son's godfather seems especially reckless. Creating new ways to bind old affair partners to your marriage and family is devious and stupid.

My $.02 advice?

1) I STRONGLY recommend you do not start online dating right now, however tempting it might be... The temptation may be strong- whether the motivation is loneliness, revenge, or reasserting your manhood. But you are in an especially vulnerable state right now and your marriage is in total crisis. You don't want to complicate this equation any further!

2) Be a pillar of strength and an example of paternal dignity to your son (and other children, if you have them). Protect him/them from the fallout as best you can. This is SO IMPORTANT. I know you are deeply wounded, but PLEASE put his/their needs ahead of your own and keep them out of the conflict as best you can while assuring him/love of your love. If an infidelity-caused divorce is coming, he/they will experience trauma that will impact him/them for decades to come. If you need a primer on that, read the account by "yearsofpain25":

http://www.survivinginfidelity.com/forums.asp?tid=519401

3) If you want to show your wife your true worth, move to divorce her. Do not attempt to "settle the score" with a revenge affair. Doing this only lowers you to her level (which she might want!). If you have been faithful to her, this will rob you of your position of moral authority, set a terrible example for your son, and certainly doom any dim hopes of a future restoration of your marriage.

You need to run like hell from her. She needs to know you're doing it because you deserve better than a serial liar and cheater. (If you've been honest with and faithful to her, you DO deserve better!) She does not respect you or value you, and she may never really know your true worth until she sees you disappearing over the horizon line, in search of a better life with a better wife.

If she's going to ever have any hope of catching up with you, she'll have to drop the decade's worth of lies, secrets and self-deceptions that weigh her down and run empty-handed and weeping to catch up with you. There is no hope of true reconciliation until she truly values your worth and fully understands that her lies and betrayals have made her truly unworthy of you.

It can happen. It does happen. I want it to happen for you like it happened for me, but your wife will have to drop a lot more and run a lot further to earn that. True forgiveness is not possible without her first showing genuine contrition and complete brokenness. Your future marriage will not endure absent this foundation.

Please keep us posted, Mindset, and know, even in the midst of your terrible pain, that there are others here who understand your agony and we are rooting for your restoration.

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