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round 2 - cant go on like this

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StuckinNJagain posted 2/6/2014 17:24 PM

been on here before & unfortunately here again. Original D day was in 3/09 after WS played with a so called friend of mine twice. I found it out and she confessed everything (I think). We agreed to work it out and reconcile then and she swore she would work forever to regain my trust and repair the damage that was done. This was in May of 2009. I admit it took me a while to work through it as I would see the other guy occasionally which made it tough.
I think I definitely pulled away some afterwards as I tried to deal with all the emotions etc and really dove into devoting all my free time to my kids. Fast forward to 1/2014 to D Day 2.
I had suspected something for a while and did a little snooping and found emails, videos, pics etc . I checked dates and see that it started again less than a year after the first one had ended and was absolutely blown away by that. So much for working to regain trust. I confronted WS again and did not get any denials this time. I was surprised I was able to remain so calm throughout the confrontation (not so sure what to make of that personally). I laid out what I found and asked for her side and that is where I was totally blown away. She said things like, I didnt say happy birthday to her until I got home from work that night (I leave at 6 am when everyone else is sleeping) and I didnt complement her like her boyfriend did and the kicker, I devoted all my time to the kids! I was floored by the last one. I said what happened to the promises after the last affair. By her responses I guess she felt she had given it enough time and I should've moved on by then. I totally disagreed and didnt know there are supposed to be time limits in moving on or getting past what she did.
I do acknowledge that I have never been as open to her as I was in the past and I definitely focused most of my attention on my kids. I dont think I ever totally forgave the first affair or felt I totally trusted her the same way again. I think her job and friends helped create the thought in her head that this is OK. I know some of them have cheated or cheat still.I cannot begin to describe the hurt that this one comment did to me. How dare she use my involvement with my kids as a weapon to use as an excuse for her transgressions.
I am at a crossroads now and extremely upset at the position that she has put us, and more importantly, our kids in. She is probably not capable of supporting herself, let alone our kids. She doesnt have steady income and cannot support the kids. I cannot afford to run 2 households and I WILL NEVER GIVE UP MY KIDS! I have shielded the kids from both of these affairs up until this point but not sure I can keep going like this. In my mind I think that I may have contributed to the second one by not exposing the first. What to do? We still havent been able to sit down and get everything that happened out on the table yet and we are peacefully coexisting. I told her I dont want any apologies and set rules for her if she wants to reconcile (which I am not really sure that I want at this point either). I told her to think long and hard about what she has done and what she wants. But she cannot have it both ways.
I am starting to think that my indifference to her is telling me I am ready to move on without her. But the thought of the changes to my kids lives is absolutely scaring the hell out of me. I grew up in the projects after my dad left my mom and I am torn between making a decision that is best for me or what is best for my kids and I am soo angry at being put in this position. The decision is mine to make and I think I will be made the bad guy either way. I get sick to my stomach at the thought of how this will affect them. The thought of not being with my wife doesnt really seem to faze me much anymore. But I cannot be without my kids. I also cannot go on like this forever. I am soo in need of advice. I havent spoken to anyone again and its eating me up internally.

yearsofpain25 posted 2/6/2014 18:03 PM

Sorry this happened to you again StuckiNJpagain. That's horrible. She probably has no idea what she has done to the kids or your family as a whole. I grew up in a toxic environment where my dad tried to stick around for my brother and I. That got really ugly. After my brother died he said he only stuck around for us kids. I wish he had gotten D for himself and us. Hard choice but in retrospect that would have saved us a lot of pain. Not that your family is like the one I grew up in. But if you feel the need to get out, get out. You will only be helping everyone in the long run. If you want to waste some time, read Dealing with an affair 25 years later in this section. I hope everything works out for you and more so your kids.

norabird posted 2/6/2014 23:58 PM

I'm so sorry. Your wife is sickening to me–-somehow it's not the sex itself, it's the fucked up excuses and rationalization that kill me. Too much time with your kids and a bday wish in the evening? Is she a child?! Apparently!!

I understand your worry for your children but staying with their mother is not the right answer for you OR them. Do you have evidence/is NJ a fault state? Consult with attorneys, move some money into a separate account, get your ducks in a row and file. Maybe find an attorney who specializes in family law for fathers re: child custody. Just because you are the man does not mean anymore that you can't have custody; get informed and present the best possible case to protect your role in your children's life.

Really, no one will be happy if you continue in this way. You can sell the marital home and downsize, and guess what? Your WW can learn to support herself. She was capable of using you as a meal ticket these years so I wouldn't be crying any tears about her viability on the job market. You reap what you sow in her case.

You sound like a great guy and can find someone better.

[This message edited by norabird at 11:59 PM, February 6th (Thursday)]

nowiknow23 posted 2/7/2014 09:00 AM

So sorry you have reason to be back here.

She said things like, I didnt say happy birthday to her until I got home from work that night (I leave at 6 am when everyone else is sleeping) and I didnt complement her like her boyfriend did and the kicker, I devoted all my time to the kids!

Those "reasons" are nothing but justifications, Stuck. She's blaming you for her actions. You see that, right?

The truth is, there is NO justification for an affair. Nothing you did, said, didn't do, didn't say, etc. - NOTHING made her do what she did. She made deliberate choices to lie and betray you. The affairs are entirely on her.

You would be well-served to find out what you could expect as far as custody and finances if you were to file for divorce. As I understand it, NJ is a rough state for divorce laws, but you really need to do the research yourself. Get a consultation with a divorce lawyer. Find out where you stand.

Sending you strength. ((((stuckinNJagain))))

simplydevastated posted 2/7/2014 09:25 AM

I'm sorry your going through this again.

Please don't let her put any of her excuses on you, and that's what they are, excuses. She's trying to justify, in her own mind, that she is completely in the right in doing what she did. The proper thing to do would have been for her to go to you and talk to you about the issues. She's a grown woman. Adults are supposed to communicate with each other.

I second what NIK said. Go see a lawyer. There's no harm in gathering information. No one says you have to file right away. Just get your ducks in a row. Work on healing yourself and continue to take care of the kids. They are going to need you.

Sending you strength and (((HUGS))) to get through this.

Post often, it helps.

StuckinNJagain posted 2/7/2014 11:59 AM

I am still waiting on the full disclosure etc but not sure i can stomach it. But yet feel a need to hear it. I also contacted OMM who is doing same thing to his wife. Both say they are sorry and want to move on. So easy for them...Wtf. Told OMM I will be sending all documents to his wife too and the sob asked that i do it sooner rather than later so THEY can begin to heal. I said hell no, I dont care about your healing, only concerned for my kids at this point. My wife has been nice as pie and bending over backwards to be a good wife since DDAY2. Same as DDAY 1, curious to see how long it lasts. I have also begun researching NJ divorce laws etc and will consult an att. to protect myself and kids. I just find it so strange to be so indifferent towards her after 26 yrs but feel it was her choice to abandon the marrage. I dont think i could ever trust her again. Does this mean i am ready to move on? Am i just numb? I cry when alone at the thought of how this is going to crush the kids. Should they know why or details? I cringe at the thought of not being with them everyday as they are my life.Oldest will be off to college in a yr and not sure us living under same roof until then is something i can do at this point. I feel it will just stop me from being able to move forward with my life. So confusing.

yearsofpain25 posted 2/11/2014 10:36 AM

Hey Stuck, wanted to bump you back up in the threads. How are things progressing or not progressing for you?

StuckinNJagain posted 2/18/2014 21:11 PM

doing 180 for last few weeks. WW stated she wants to R and will give full disclosure. Havent had time for that just yet due to busy lives with kids. NOt sure it matters at this point and havent made the effort to get the details. Lack of trust is overwhelming and I may not be able to get past it. We are separated but living under same roof and WW has been great. But again, may be too late. I have been taking care of myself and my kids and taking it day by day. Have good days and bad days. Starting to warm to idea of D and starting over but hesitant because of kids. I posted under General asking for advice on living together for another yr till oldest goes away to college. Dont want to derail that path for DD and if we split now it may.

bent44 posted 2/18/2014 23:25 PM

I am so sorry, Stuck! I hope you are doing alright.

It is obvious how much you love your kids. One thing that helped me when I was trying to decide R or D was a question posed by my be answered when your children reached adulthood....

Could you sit your (adult) child down and say, "I did everything in my power to save the marriage, but was unable to do so."

If your answer is no, it may be worth some soul searching. If your answer is yes, try this thought on....

It is better to be FROM a broken home than IN one.

Obviously this is a very personal decision and one only you can answer. Sending you some peace as you wade through this hell.

kalimata posted 2/19/2014 07:16 AM

Hello NJ:

So sorry you are here. Your kids obviously love you a lot. They will remember back at these days and see someone who stood by them. But if you let your WW walk all over you, they will remember a spineless coward. STAND UP FOR YOURSELF!!!!

The biggest mistake that I see you've made is not exposing affair #1. Exposure is the single biggest weapon you have to prevent this from happening again. It sounds like you have not yet exposed to OM's wife yet. Especially to people who are close to your WW (family, friends, religious leaders, your parents, her parents). I would tell the kids too in simple language that they can understand. Don't lie to your kids, they will respect you later.

The second mistake you made was not insisting on 100% no contact between your WW and OM. The fact that you both saw the OM occasionally makes true R impossible. So if you decide to R a second time, NO CONTACT needs to be a cornerstone of your plan.

The third thing is that you allowed toxic friends to continually influence your WW. You have to draw a line in the sand: friends who are PRO-marriage or ANTI-marriage. If you decide to R, then you need to cut-off all contact with these toxic influences from your WW.

Your kids are the primary concern, and I'm glad that you are thinking about them. Your kids will respect you more in the long-run if you stand up for yourself and stop letting your WW walk all over you. Don't worry about the effect of lifestyle changes on them. Living in this type of situation is no way to teach kids how to be married. I personally would RUN to the divorce attorney and file immediately. NJ is a no-fault state, but you will be able to mention infidelity in the D papers.

StuckinNJagain posted 2/20/2014 05:27 AM

wish I could say you are wrong but I nkow deep down you are right. That is one of the points I brought to WW after DDay 2. I too think that my not exposing her cheating to family, friends etc... may have contributed to A #2 & 3. I thought I was protecting my kids. I think about the hurt it will cause them and I cant get the words out. I have a knot in my stomach that you wouldnt believe because of this. After DDay one we had some of the HB and I tried to put it behind us. Though the pain never went away. Now, after learning of a year long EMA I am sick. My mind is all over the place all day everyday. So many triggers. The hurt is like nothing I have ever experienced. I am trying the 180 and am beginning to really pull away and am being indifferent to WW most of the time. This is helping me see things a little clearer. I know I will have to expose this at some point. I guess I am really afraid of the impact on the kids and I will do anything to protect them. My family will always be there for me and my kids. Cant say same for WW family. I told her many times how I dont care for them anyway. Nothing but agita from them most of the time and they dont ever help us or do anything with the kids anyway already. I dont even know how to bring it up. I think deep down I was hoping WW would tell everyone. If she wanted to reconsile like she said, she will do it I thought. I am beginning to see that I will have to be the one.
Please post suggestions on how to go about letting everyone know. I definitely need advice on how to get the truth out and not feel ashamed at the same time. PLEASE help me understand what is the best way to do this.

kalimata posted 2/20/2014 06:50 AM

NJ: Sounds like you are really hurting. I know how you are feeling as I was in your shoes just a few months ago. I grappled with the thought of exposure and worried it would affect my kids. But in the end I exposed and it made me feel so much better.

Once you expose, it may or may not get back to your kids. If your WW is truly interested in saving the marriage, then she will keep the A secret from your kids. If she is not interested in saving the marriage, then there is no point anyway because the kids will eventually find out. KEEPING THIS FROM YOUR KIDS WILL HARM THEM IN THE LONG RUN. The reason is that they would much rather hear from your lips what happened instead of hearing about it from the gossip train.

I suggest to expose to only close friends and family who you both trust. People who are likely to have the most impact on your WW. Perhaps this is a religious leader, your parents, your siblings, her siblings, etc.

The best way to expose to these close friends is via email, FB, snail mail or even a simple phone call. Best to set to release all of the exposure on the same day. Keep it short and sweet. Explain that you recently found evidence that your WW was having an A and that this is not the first time it happened. You want their help in keeping the marriage intact and want them to use their influence with WW to come back to the marriage. Then state if they want more proof to contact you. A wave of sympathy will then come over you. Exposed people will then contact WW to ask her side of the story. She will be blind sided and try to deny. They will then believe you. If you keep this to only close friends and family they are unlikely to tell your kids. However I can't guarantee that the kids won't find out. But it may be the best if they do find out anyway.

Don't warn ahead of time that you will expose to OM or WW, simply do it. Warning or threatening ahead of time gives them opportunity to synchronize their stories to paint you as the crazy person.

Best of luck, I'm rooting for you man.

[This message edited by kalimata at 6:50 AM, February 20th (Thursday)]

OK now posted 2/20/2014 07:54 AM

NJ has terribly unfair divorce laws very much biased towards WW. Might be better to consider 3 options:
1] Divorce but continue to live together under the same roof. Good for the kids and the financial situation will be far more tolerable.
2] Don't divorce; be pleasant and nice to the WW but basically live separate lives. This will only work if there is relative peace and stability; no hostility.
3] Reconcile and forgive. Need to be a saint to do this, but it would create a happier environment.

Your situation highlights one of the difficulties about reacting to WS adultery. If you are devastated and angry and this anger is maintained for more than a few weeks, the WS often gives up and turns away from the marriage [again!]. Conflict reappears and so can another affair - often with the same affair partner.

Often seems like the BS just can't win. Swallow the adultery without too much complaint, or expect more of the same. Basically sums up what happened to you.

StuckinNJagain posted 2/20/2014 12:21 PM

I have taken first steps and sent emails to my siblings who have always been there for us and have treated WW as a sister. Will inform mom over weekend too. Trying to figure out how to notify WW family now. Dont think we will R and that is my choice. But I have realized that without exposure that it will probably happen again. Will seek therapist to help how to explain to kids soon. It hurt so much writing the email. Right back to Dday but i think it is a step forward none the less.

norabird posted 2/20/2014 14:57 PM

Taking those steps forward is painful, but it's a cathartic pain. You are doing what you need to do for yourself. And it will be so much easier with the support of your loved ones.

Seeing a therapist sounds like another great next step. After that, consult with a lawyer and figure out what the practical side of D looks like.

You can do this. You are strong enough and deserve to have the future you choose for yourself, whatever it may be.

crisp posted 2/20/2014 19:08 PM

Not suggesting this as a realistic solution, but it did work well for someone I know-- Move to a divorce friendly state. Moving with job and housing logistics can be daunting and even prohibitive, but if possible, can save your financial future. I know someone who was looking at lifetime spousal support for a narcissist WW in his jurisdiction based on length of marriage and her unwillingness to even consider working. His company has offices in different states and he was able to move the family to a more favorable state, wait a while and then file. Food for thought and it might be a new beginning for you.

jb3199 posted 2/20/2014 19:42 PM

Greeting from a fellow New Jersian, who has also been betrayed, and kept the secret for way, way too long. But if it is any comfort, exposure is your choice---so you have to option to disclose or keep it a secret. While I definitely believe in informing the other betrayed spouse, you may have your own reasons not to disclose to friends and family. Your choice.

Did not disclosing to family cause affairs #2, 3, or whatever number? In my opinion---no. She cheated again...and will continue to do so...until she has the desire to put in the hard work to discover her root issues. While you can demand that she go to IC, it won't make a difference unless she wants to go.

Personally, with your current state of indifference, I would do (2) things:

First, please read, re-read, and re-read again yearsofpain25's posts. He really helps add the perspective from the childrens' viewpoint. Not that others here don't, but his story has really driven home how infidelity impacts the entire family....especially children.

The other point is to use your indifference to your healing advantage. Although you do not feel this way, you are at a point that many newly betrayed members strive to reach. We are often too paralyzed by fear in the early days to act in our best interests---and you are way beyond that point. Yet, you are not beyond the point of POSSIBLE reconciliation.

So, keep positioning yourself like you currently are doing. Inform family, if that is what you wish. See a lawyer, and learn your rights(my brother is divorcing after 30 years of marriage, and I agree with others that NJ can be terribly biased...although that is not always the case). But it definitely helps to gather knowledge.

All the while---WATCH YOUR WIFE. See if she is making wholesale changes, without your insistence. See if she can become the woman that you fell in love with years ago. Who knows---maybe she can turn it around. Maybe you still won't be interested. But with your indifference, you may have the choice to divorce or re-commit.

On a side note--after my last D-day, I was hellbent on divorce. No one was going to stop me. And I told my WW that she sure as hell better fix herself, because with or without me, she was going to have to be a productive mother and member of society.

And she did. Without my influence, because I was working on exit strategy, she dug deep, and found her old self. She was a good person for way longer than she was a bad one, and works hard to this day to keep herself in line. And I am still here....BY MY CHOICE.

I am not telling you to stay or go. Just to make the healthiest choice for YOU---because that is what your children will see and feel as they grow---a father who stood up for what was right.

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