I found out on Saturday. Two days later, I think I am over the shock. Maybe. Now deciding what to do.
I am a walking cliche. Or rather, he is. My husband of 11 years (together for 15), the last man on this planet that I would have ever expected to have an affair, had a sexual and emotional affair with our then-22 year old babysitter (he was 42, now 44) and they are still in communication. Two years. This has been going on for two years. I don't know if I am more shocked by the fact that he did this, or with whom. I honestly can't believe she would want him. She is is very pretty, petite, and big-boobed. He is a pudgy, average-looking, working stiff who is constantly grumpy.
I discovered their graphic texts (with pictures, yay!) Saturday morning by accident. They popped up on my new laptop because it is registered with the same e-mail address as his iPhone. Isn't technology the greatest? BARF. I considered this girl to be a close family friend, someone who adores my children, brings them gifts, calls them on the phone, etc. She is my five year old daughter's favorite person in the world. She talks about her often, even though she moved cross country last year. We call her "Cousin Sarah."
As soon as I found the texts I called my husband and told him. He rushed home from work, apologizing, trying to "explain." "It ended in 2012." "You texted her this morning!!" "It's just a fantasy now, an escape. We are just playing around." I told him he was a hypocrite and a joke. That he'd taken advantage of a young messed up girl. That she had to be messed up to sleep with him. Look at her, then look at him. At first, I thought of her as a victim, although after re-reading the texts I don't. At that point, I had just read a few.
The affair started during a point in our marriage when we were on the verge of divorce and it has taken us a couple of years to get to a good - not great - place. The one area that is not firing on all cylinders is our sex life. Well go figure. A hot young woman sending raunchy, close-up pictures (and video!) of her anatomy can do that.
After reading two week of texts I learned the following: They "face timed" once a week. He sent her money. He sent her "care packages" which included prescription drugs she requested. "Pwetty pweeeze?" Most of the mushy stuff was very one-sided. He professed his love, tons of compliments, pet names, etc. Her comments were more like, "I never get tired of hearing it." "Thanks!" It was weird. She did say that she wanted to rob a bank so they could be together. It was like two fifteen year olds. Lots of discussion about her waxing habits. Is this too graphic? If so, sorry. I am leaving most of the really graphic stuff out, as I wouldn't even feel comfortable typing it, much less forcing anyone who happens to be reading this to see it. It seemed like she was just sort of humoring him and sending the graphic pictures for the attention, drugs, cash, and prizes, but who knows. It sounded like she was into some things that I would consider...I'm looking for the right word. Porn-movie-ish. Maybe this is what kids these days are into. My tastes are admittedly vanilla.
So now he is totally remorseful. Told me he called her to tell her what went down and not to text him, and has cut off all communication with her. So he says. He'll do whatever it takes, if I just give him a second chance. Says he won't have a phone anymore. He has a dark side he put behind him when he met me and it popped back up in his life two years ago when he lost his job, was depressed, and our marriage was on the rocks. He lost his mind and would never do anything like this ever again.
I don't believe that he could just cut off communication with her. A week ago he was professing his love, now she's dead to him? Is that how it works? I doubt it. I really get why he is attracted to her, had the affair, etc. I get why he would be sexually infatuated with her and think he was in love with her. I get it, but that doesn't mean I'm okay with it, obviously.
I could get over an affair from two years ago, if it had ended. But it hasn't. I don't know if I can ever get over who the other woman is. if you had told me that my husband was sleeping with this girl I would have thought you were ridiculous. Actually, my stepdad told my mother that he thought it was a bad idea for her to live with us, given that our marriage was rocky. That he might be tempted. I thought it was so funny, because she would never go for some middle-aged Dad.
I don't actually care why she did this, but it does still seem really, really weird. I remember a couple of years ago I was holding his phone and a text came through from her that said, "F$%&, now I'm horny." I was SO embarrassed for her, because I thought she had meant to send it to someone else. I deleted it and didn't even tell him because I thought she would be so embarrassed. A month later, similar scenario (you think he would have kept his phone away from me, duh!) a picture of her in the bathtub popped up. Nothing graphic, lots of bubbles. I said, "Why is Sarah sending you a picture of her in the bathtub?" He looked so genuinely shocked and lied so casually. I texted her, "Did you mean to send this to husband's-first-name's phone?" She called, all freaked out about how her ex-boyfriend had hacked into her phone and sent that embarrassing photo to a bunch of people on her contact list, including her parents and boss. I was so upset for her... I am really the most gullible, stupid, unsuspecting person who has ever lived, aren't I? It's almost laughable. It makes me want to slap someone. It just never occurred to me that two people who I thought were kind people would do something like this.
The content of the recent texts keeps flashing in my mind. The worst parts are the little things like references to a mixed CD she made him. The pet names. The compliments. The bonding.
Upon discovery, I e-mailed her right away to tell her that I'd read and seen every disgusting and horrible thing and that she was dead to me, and to have a nice life. She e-mailed back apologizing, she never meant to hurt anyone, she wishes she could explain but knows there is no point. Ya think?
So anyway. Husband wants to stay and says he's willing to do whatever it takes. I just really don't want him. I can't imagine ever letting him touch me again. I would just always know he is comparing my 37 year old post-breast-feeding-child-birthing-overweight body to hers.
When I think about just breaking up, I feel strong and confident and know I can still provide a great home life and childhood for my kids. I know their world would be turned upside down, but maybe if the transition was gradual... ? Thinking about breaking up, I feel reasonable and calm and unemotional. I can just let this fool go and focus on a new future. I can let go of the gory details of the affair. Horrible, but over. I don't have to care. It isn't my problem.
It's when I think of trying to reconcile that I start getting emotional and angry over what he has done, said, etc. Then I have to deal with all of these horrible details that I would rather put behind me. Then they are my business. Then I want to know things. When did it start exactly. How did it go down. Etc.
All I know right now is that I need to put my children first. I know what is better for me, but what is better for them? Probably giving their Dad a chance to earn his spot back in our family. But I don't think he can do it. He isn't proactive enough to figure it out. I would have to tell him, here are the exact things you have to do to prove the affair is over, that you want to be here, that I can trust you, etc. And I don't think I am willing to do that.
I have told him I want a separation and that he needs to find a new place to live immediately. That until the school year ends he can spend the weekends here and we'll still do our usual weekends-as-a-family thing. For the kids.
I guess this gives him a window. If he can figure out what to do I might possibly be able to forgive him. I don't know. I feel like I should be more angry. Or even more hurt. I am mostly just surprised and grossed out and dismayed by the lying and emotional bonding with this girl that I know so well.
I guess we just never know what is going on in other people's heads. I don't think I will ever trust anyone, ever again.
His AP: 24, former family friend and babysitter
Married 11 1/2 yrs
D-Day: 2/1/2014 3 month PA, 24 months sexting
So sorry you find yourself in this situation and here at SI, but welcome to the club no one wanted to join.
I just want to tell you you have been heard, I'm very new to this too and find the help, support and care on here amazing.
You don't have to make any quick decisions, just concentrate on taking care of yourself and your kids for now. Sending you hugs and strength x
I wanted to reach out and let you know that you have found a wonderful community of people who will help you walk this journey.
Take it one day at a time and be sure to take care of yourself physically. Eat well, stay hydrated and get rest.
Spend some time reading the healing library and other posts. Don't judge yourself. I think one of the biggest shocks we all experience is learning that we were betrayed by the person we trusted the most, but it's not your fault. This is a roller coaster, so keep that in mind.
Don't ever hesitate post as much as you need. This is a very supportive forum of people who will always encourage you to express yourself fully. I've found that sharing here has been very cathartic.
Sending you hugs and light.
[This message edited by Rainbows at 2:10 AM, February 4th (Tuesday)]
I too was hit by a double betrayal and it just sucks!
I am 2 years out.
The best advise I can give you right now is that you don't have to make any long term decisions at this moment...
I wish you peace and please, feel free to vent to us or ask questions. There are many wise folks here ready to help. I know they have helped me and held me up when things were just crashing down.
I don't think I will ever trust anyone, ever again
I was so upset for her... I am really the most gullible, stupid, unsuspecting person who has ever lived, aren't I?
No, you aren't.
First off, there are many people here who have fallen for this crap and while it might be tempting to stick us all in the same lot, the truth is, you were acting like any decent spouse who trusted and respected her husband would do.
You behaved normally and your behavior was reasonable, like a caring adult.
They screwed up. They behaved improperly.
They behaved like spoiled, entitled children.
You weren't gullible. You were blinded by the trust you gave to these people.
The stupidity was their belief that they could continue to pull the wool over your eyes and not get caught. The stupidity was their decision to betray your trust, for something so shamefully pathetic.
Your trust was a beautiful gift, and you are not responsible for the way it was abused. That is on them.
Double betrayal has difficult timeline for healing. It's the kind of betrayal you only expect to see on a TV screen or read about in a book, certainly not something that would happen in your real life.
I understand the degree to which your trust has been shattered. Feeling like we can't trust anyone, especially those closest to us, can leave feeling isolated, and wanting to stay that way.
Whether you stay with your WH or choose to move on, the trust issue will still need to be dealt with.
Take care of yourself. Get yourself a professional that can help you navigate through this. This is a long road. You will find support, care and useful advice from people have walked a mile in your shoes.
I'm sorry you are here.
You don't need to do anything or make any decisions right now. He has to end the A and do NC(no contact) immediately. He needs to give you complete transparency- you need access to all of his devices, online networks, etc. you should also know his complete schedule and activities daily.
Before you make any big decision, give yourself some time to come out of shock; maybe you are right and you are there already. Also, start healing yourself. I suggest relying on some in real life friends and supports (choose carefully; you can't untell). And getting yourself in Individual counseling (IC).
You are fabulous. you are the mother of his children, and this isn't about you or what your body looks like after breastfeeding and giving birth. this is about how broken he is.
It sounds like he has some demons to deal with. He needs to get himself into IC to figure out how he allowed himself to betray YOU and HIS Children and HIMSELF.
What you owe your children- is to be the healthiest Mom and Kelly that you can be. You don't owe him another chance, but you may want to see if he can rise to the occasion. That is totally up to you. But you may not be in the best position to make that decision right now.
Also, eat, drink water, exercise and sleep. Get help from docs and friends/family as needed. You did nothing wrong here.
and one more thing: turn the volume down on what he is saying. Watch his actions. Do they show remorse? Are they consistent? Is a man you want to spend the rest of your years with? He has a lot to work, and unfairly so do you (to heal yourself from the devastation that his A has done to you and your marriage).
Be gentle with yourself.
Married for over 15 years
2 beautiful sons
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Maya Angelou
Your post conveys how you feel so well, and it sounds like you are numb from the revelations. You also sound very strong, so keep knowing that - you will get through this.
"Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive" - CS Lewis
You are not foolish or stupid.... You are a kind hearted person who wouldn't do it to someone else, so wouldn't expect it to be done to you.
Putting some distance between you is a good idea (in my opinion). Work out what you want......
Thats why sometimes some time away from each other is a good thing. Lets you be in your own space and not have his drama swirling around you while you really try to figure out what you want.
I realize I have been spending too much energy trying to figure this out and it's making me feel like I'm going crazy. It's not figure-out-able. And if it is, I don't have to do it right now. Reading your posts has reminded me to put the focus on myself and my kids - what I want and what I want for them. Not what he wants (to stay). As soon as I take the focus off him I instantly feel so relieved and positive and optimistic and strong.
I know that I want him to leave. Most likely permanently. I hadn't thought about the concept of detaching, but it makes such sense and I know it would be exhausting to have him here. It would keep this whole situation front and center when I need to focus on other things. My kids, myself, recovering, etc.
After some time, I think I may give him an opportunity to come back, but he will have to do everything you advised (NO, counseling, etc.) and advised on this website. Or maybe I won't. No need to decide right now. I'm hearing you all say not to make permanent decision, and its such a relief to just take this off the table for a while. Maybe he'll come back, maybe he won't. Not really critical to me.
I know that I can't take him at his word, or put too much stock in anything he says. I will need to judge him by his actions. I suspect he will not be able to "rise to the occasion" (I love that phrase), but I'm fine with that. If I give him a chance, I've done enough. If I don't give him a chance, I've done enough. I've been 1000x more civil, calm, and understanding than he deserves. I don't owe him anything anymore, do I... That realization is slowly hitting me. It's a weird, but freeing, realization that I can stop worrying about him, that he is his own problem now, that I don't have to figure out how to fix this for him.
I know that I will emerge from this happier, healthier, and stronger.
I still am deeply worried about my children, but trust myself to make the best decisions for them, always. They will be fine. Better than fine. But it's going to be tough for a while. If I am positive and strong I can help them get through this without ruining their lives. I hope.
Thank you again. It's amazing to have a place to share this information and to have people who have been with it give support and advice.
This is such new territory, I'm sure for everyone this happens to. I didn't know there were such thing as "triggers." But they are everywhere. References to adultery in movies and on TV. Girls on TV with tattoos. (She has tattoos, which he has always disliked. I don't have any tattoos.) SNL last weekend - a cast full of young women with dimples, like the OW. Songs on the radio. Superbowl commercials. I'm sure those fade with time, right?
The shock might wear off and you may get angry. Very angry. I think that is normal. Your emotions will be up and down. That is normal too.
I also had a double betrayal. It's losing 2 people in your life. Somehow the closeness and "love" they supposedly shared was harder to take than the actual sex.
You are NOT stupid. I still kick myself for ignoring all of the signs and when I did catch him in something, I was like you. I believed the lame excuses. That makes us trusting, not stupid.
I agree with the others who said you don't need to make any big decisions right away. Just be strong and don't let him weasel himself back in right away. Make his prove himself. A big regret of mine is never kicking my WH out so I could make a rational decision.
Married 27 years. Together 29.
3 children 24, 21, 14
OW sex addict and romance addict according to MC. WH just your ordinary asshole.
Sending you strength.
Please do not feel stupid. You were trusting of your WH, that's all. Many of us have stories about things that happened that should have been red flags. In my case, I got an anonymous phone call saying that my FWH was having an A. Did I believe the caller or my FWH (who denied)? Of course I believed my FWH. I got copies of e-mails (nothing explicit though). Still believed my FWH. I trusted my FWH and you know what? I don't want to be M to someone I don't trust, so I am not sorry I trusted him. I am sorry he betrayed that trust, but that is on him. After much work on his part, I trust him again. Only you can decide if trust can be re-built and as you so accurately point out, you don't have to decide today or any time soon.
You at the beginning of a long haul, not matter what you decide about R or D. Pace yourself.
First, statistically, I have read that the fog in an A relationship dies a natural death around year 2.
Second, the "real" DDay for some WS is a wake up call. All of a sudden the light of day shows them the hideous ugliness of the A and their AP.
My H falls into the 2nd category. The light of day caused him great shame and horror that he had been living such a life of lying and deceit. On PA DDay he called OW and ended it at 6:15 am. Her crying and emotional pleas finally fell on deaf ears.
It sounds as if your WH and his AP were using each other. There may have been an emotional connection, but it was born out of a selfish motivation that put them together. A good therapist for your H can help sort out the causes as well as the fallout. Right now you are plowing through your pain and chaos, and that is enough. Your H and your marriage can be salvaged later if you desire because right now you and your babies need each other. Your H is an adult who needs to move on his own to get this thing right for the first time in a while.
Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose
Reading your responses again and again. They are so helpful. I have cut and pasted some of the things I most want to remember into a new document. I cannot thank you enough.
I have read the 180 (need to re-read a few more times), and am doing some of those things already, I think. But I wonder about how much information to give him. I think I've been too open and honest about my feelings, maybe. Via e-mail. I need to start locking that down and beginning to detach, as suggested, right? What goes on in my head is my business. I think the 180 suggestions are terrific because they are really all about me and my sanity and happiness, and not about trying to get someone to come back that I probably don't even want. Love them.
I did e-mail him this morning in response to an e-mail he sent yesterday afternoon. I just started to type out what his e-mail said, then decided not to waste the mental energy thinking about it. Baby steps. My point is that I e-mailed him reminding him to make arrangements to move out by this Sunday night. I told him I needed a lot of space and time to decided if I wanted to consider a reconciliation. In the meantime I asked him to do three things by this Sunday night:
1) NC letter - told him to Google it and blind CC me. Cut off communication, block her, etc. Destroy and evidence of her in his life (text, photos, gifts, etc.). He has already told me he has cut off communication and doesn't have photos/texts. I am asking again to point out that I don't necessarily BELIEVE HIM. I told him to let me know if he couldn't do this and I would consider the separation permanent.
2) I don't want to ever see his iPhone again. He has not had it out for two days (without me suggesting) and it has been very, very helpful. That thing is like the trigger of all triggers. I told him that if I did want to reconcile he would have to replace it with a granny phone. If he is smart he will do that now.
3) He has to seek IC. Needs an appointment booked by this Sunday.
I don't know if he'll do these things or not. I know he wants our family back, but not sure if he wants me back, necessarily. But not important.
Now I intend to go about my life. I have made plans with my cousins (we live in the same town) to go out for a girls night this Saturday night. Intend to have a few drinks. Already asked him to watch the kids. I am going to join a gym until I get into ski condition and will start hitting the slopes asap. I take my kids every weekend and stand around in the cold watching them have the time of their lives. :) Me too! As soon as Spring hits I'm signing myself up for tennis lessons, fat behind or no. I'm going to go to the movies alone. Whatever kind of music I want to play, I'm blasting it. I think I'll get a floral duvet cover. A pink one.
Did I mention that I can't stand my in-laws? I can't stand my in-laws. I really can't stand my in-laws. I have grown to love his mother (she was an acquired taste), but the whole family is still course, crude, common, and classless. I've already unfriended all of them on FB. He can explain why, if they ask.
Thanks again for letting me vent and for your thoughtful responses. I have one question:
Everyone has emphasized not making major, permanent decisions right now. Does that apply to my career? I have been wanting to leave my job for a while, but feel stuck because of the workload, it's tax season, etc. (I'm in financial planning at an accounting firm) I've been going to school (online at night), pursuing a new degree. I have enough money in the bank to pay the bills for six months and could stop paying for daycare. My children are going to need more of me during this transition. It would make me really happy to be able to be a SAHM again for a while (which is what I was for six years, until he lost his job, at which point I ran out and got two job offers in three weeks, while he was unemployed for seven months AND apparently thought this would be the ideal time to START AN AFFAIR WITH OUR FORMER BABYSITTER - while I was working, commuting two hours a day, and spending every free moment with our children). Oops, got derailed there for a minute. Sorry about that, back on track. Wow, you can't make this stuff up. It's like he went out of his way to be a cliche. ANYWAY. I would love to be able to focus on the kids and school and not have them in after school care/day care, especially this summer.
The thought makes me really happy, and makes sense to me. My kids would be THRILLED. But do I need to wait to make a decision like this? I don't think it's just my emotions talking. It was one of the first things I thought of when this happened and has consistently seemed like a good idea. I don't know if I can manage work, kids, school, and emotional turmoil by myself. I'd like to remove work from the equation. I'll have to figure out medical insurance... Hmm. Bad idea?
My concern is that you might dig yourself into a hole if you quit your job. You write that it seems easier to D then to R. So many SAHM find the opposite true. With legal fees, medical, paying for two homes(two everything) during Separation.
Even as I write about the logical choice I can understand why you would want to be a SAHM again. I LOVED it and this might be your last chance to really enjoy those kids. Not too much help sorry.