Just to fill in the gaps here...she was working for a home renovation company and was always
close with one of her co-workers whom she insisted was a friend. I never paid close attention to this and accepted her word. However, everytime I was away on business he would call her and they would talk for a very long time. I confronted her about this and she mentions that he has a lot of problems and relies on her for answers and as a sounding board and nothing more. It seemed that this was the biggest arguments we would have at the time and with each instance, I felt I was only pushing her away. Not wanting her to resent me, I did bring it up but more casually and
eventually the calls seized. In 2011, on a weekend getaway together, her phone would not stop alerting on instant message (BBM) from this friend telling her he loves her. She was in the
shower at this time but I happened to see this and subsequently confronted her. She denied
anything was happening between them. I took the phone and responded to him pretending I was her
just to see what he would say in return - he went on about loving and caring for her but didn't get too specific and offered nothing else. I was so irate - I asked her to come clean and she said he was just drunk and they were only friends. I brought up all the other times he has called and even asked her what she really wanted here and she insisted her marriage. We agreed to have her email a letter to him telling him to stop communicating with her and she did; in this letter, she also made him aware that I saw the BBM and was copied on the email. When asked, she swears to have never heard back from him since, but in my gut I still suspected something was going on. In 2012, I found an unknown baseball cap in her closet - after asking her about it, she mentioned this indeed this friend but it was given to her long ago when she and him worked together and he gave it to her to wear because it was raining and she did not have an umbrella. I probed, and probed and she stood by this reason. Not trusting her fully, I since started to screen her personal emails and personal mobile. Everytime I checked, everything came up clean and while this provided some reassurance, I was still not 100% convinced.
Last Thursday, when she was working from home, curiosity got the better of me and I had a chance to take a peek at her work email only to discover a bunch of emails to/from him with the most recent dated back in April 2013 stating she wanted to end their "friends with benefits" relationship. My heart dropped! I took a deep breath and then confronted her about this and she admitted to seeing him but mentioned they only kissed and nothing else. I asked her for a full confession and she said that was it and she was being 100% honest. She also agreed that she wanted to end their friendship and that's why she sent the email to him and she agreed that she was going to block his contact information from her work phone and work email. I stewed with this back and forth for 3 days, and on Sunday night (Super Bowl night), I asked for her work laptop to help block his emails. After a bit of searching, I found other suspicious email dating back in 2011 after the BBM incident. I immediatedly asked her to explain - she then dropped the bomb - she was sleeping with him from 2009 - 2012. My heart sank and as you can imagine, I became enraged, devastated, heartbroken, humiliated and the list of all negative emotions went on. I started
probing for answers and the truth. I probed into every detail of the affair, from their sexual encounters - what she did and what he did, to the emotional betrayal. I asked why she didn't come out and say it when I asked her on Thursday and even umteen times before - she mentioned she didn't know how to say this to me and she was scared. I contacted her mother and brother and asked them to come over to our place, and asked her to tell them - they were in as much shock as I was. In front of them, she broke down and admitted to everything. They were in total disbelief! They grilled her and asked what she really wants at this point - she mentioned she wants her marriage to work and is done with the OM - and stated that is the reason why she sent that email to him in the first place. Devastated and not knowing how to deal with the pain, I looked online for any help I could get and thankfully discovered this forum. After reading a few postings, I read about the NC letter for the first time. After learing about the NC, in one of my teary eyed interrogation sessions with her, I asked her to research this so she understands what it's about - she did. After learning about it, she agreed to write one and she did. I asked her to include all details and she did. I asked her to not leave anything out and she did. I asked her to ensure she understands what she is saying and that she means every word of it and she admits she does. I asked her what's the difference between this one and the one back in 2011, and she mentions the difference is she didn't know how to address the situation with me back then, so it just went on but this time, she is over the OM and this time she means it. She went as far as to say she'll do anything to regain my trust and to show me she means it. We will be sending the NC, certified mail to the OM in the next day or two. To reassure me, since she has exclusively used her work phone and email for communication with the OM, she has contacted her local IT support to ensure that all phone calls and emails from the OM is blocked and she also agreed to not reach out to him.
She has never seen me break down and cry in 20 years of being together until the last 6 days. We have no kids and D is certainly an option, but I'm not at a stage where I can not easily give up on 20 years of being together, let alone regain all that we built together. During my
interrogating session on Sunday night after she came clean, she swears that he used protection
each time and after I drilled her for all the details, she is 100% sure that he used protection. We have also both had annual blood work since their last encounter as part of our physical check up and it has come back clean. All her tests from her gyn in the last year has also come back the same.
I'm not sure what to think at this moment, and tbh, the pain is truly unbearable. I just don't
know how to cope at this point - during the last 20 years, I gave everything I have to her and
now I am completely drained and without strenth. I have barely slept and eaten in the last 6 days and am soooo consumed with feelings of betrayal and devastation; again the pain is
unbearable. I can't even focus at work - I left my office early the last 3 days just to come
home to a dark room and cry myself silly. She hears me crying each time and comes and hugs me
and tells me she is sorry, but somehow, it just doesn't make me feel any better. I don't push
her away but I don't embrace her either. I miss my life partner and want to feel the way I did
before finding out. I don't regret finding out as after all these years of suspicion, the cat's
finally out the bag and I am a bit relieved tbh. I can never forgive her but at the same time, I can't see my life without her either.
Any advise on how to cope? To move forward? To deal with this situation? Advise on the NC? Thoughts on possibilities for R?
You won't get over this but you can get through it. There is amazing information in the Healing Library on the upper left side of the home page of this site, amazing listeners and wise people who have BTDT here.
Be as selfish as you need to for now. You emotions will be all over the place. You'll find a home here on SI.
I'm so sorry.
Time is the only thing that will show if R is possible. You and your wife should start individual counseling (IC) if you can. You must take care of yourself as much as possible right now in other ways too. Confide in friends if it will help and you trust them, see a doctor if the agony persists and interferes too much. Bit I am a believer too in letting the feelings come within reason. Suppressing them won't do any good, as much as escaping this overload would be nice. You will probably feel numb sometimes or angry, which can be a relief. It is too early to tell how your WW's family will react as the days go by--will they stay stalwart for you or start justifying? Family can go either way.
Be good to yourself and follow your gut. It was right in the past and more trustworthy than your WW right now unfortunately.
Sorry to find you here among us but ask for any support on these boards that you need.
Please keep posting. You've just found a whole new set of friends that are willing to walk this journey with you!!!!!
So very sorry for your pain.
Your wife is extremly selfish and crule.
Ask her how she can possibly make this up to you? You need just compensation for this and I have now idea of how that could be done in this case. If you can't get just compensation you will not be able to forgive and your M is doomed. (Just compensation doesn't mean that you should get to have a 4 year A or any A at all. So don't blast me on that.)
I Think you already are on a certain path though. You stated yourself that:
I can never forgive her but at the same time, I can't see my life without her either.
I wouldn't either be able to forgive something like this. I'm afraid for your Health. IF you can't forgive her then you need to leave her for your own Health. I know it is scary to leave but there are others out there that can fill her Place. You are looking at loosing several years of your Life because of her A. It is very hurtfull for your body because of the stress and other things that happens. So put a lot of thought into if you can ever forgive her and if you find that you cant file for D.
Again, thank you for reaching out!
norabird, you've hit the nail on the head and I do appreciate your sentiments and advise here. My feelings/emotions are definitely all over the place - I can't eat, sleep or focus at work. Have no confidence to want to go out and face the world any more including just simply going to work and doing my job. I really am seeking that escape but at the same time, I do understand I need to do things for my self and do good by myself in all of this.
My WW's family is being supportive to say the least as they would have never expected this and they are seemingly on my side. TBH, my purpose in involving them was not to embarrass or humiliate her but to have her confess to them directly to their faces. Even if I am gone and this ends in D, she needs to be able to face them and look at them in their eyes again; I also needed her to do this so I could have some level of confidence in what she was confessing to. Additionally, she needed to see how her actions have affected more than just me...something, I think she easily overlooked.
Thank you again for your supportive words - it means a lot more than you would imagine!
StillStanding1, your words are very comforting and I thank you for them. This is by far the most life altering event in my life to date and as most others, I never expected to end up in this position. The reality is it happened and now I have to figure things out. My WW never imagined things of this nature as all during her A, she was convinced that this was their secret and was sold on the fact that I would never find out. I am definitely hurting, more than I would ever wish on anyone and I just want it to stop.....
There is comfort in knowing I have a new set of friends who are there for me in my time of need...
TOMTEFAR, thank you in advance for your kind advise and commenting here. You're absolutely correct, just compensation is one item on my list for sure. The thing is, perhaps I am too weak in life, but I would never wish this on someone, even before I found out...that's not what makes me tick at the end of the day. Even if we agree to R and she says I am free to do anything I want in life moving forward, I could never live with myself knowing I did this and created hurt for another...I see your point in this though and do agree that she needs to do a heck of a lot more than just say I'm sorry and show remorse...
It's been jsut about 5 days now and while the pain has not subsided, it's words like yours that keeps me going and I have started to look at myself and started to eat a bit more, drink more water and even sleep a couple of minutes more...not drastic progression in any means but at the same time, more than I did for myself 5 days ago....
Right now, the answer is TIME. Time will be your best friend, but also your worst enemy.
In these passing days, you are going to realize and accept that infidelity is a process. It can't be bypassed--you have to plow straight through it. If you or your wife try to ignore this matter, or sweep it under the rug, it will resurface with a vengeance. Believe me, as brutal as things seem right now, there are ways to make it worse. So please listen to the advice that these members are going to give.
One of the first steps is understanding that NONE of this is your fault. You may already believe that, but if there are any nagging feelings in the back of your head that you should have "done this" or "done that", don't buy into it. This is 100% on your wife, and anything less that her taking full responsibility is counterproductive to both you and her.
These next steps may also be very hard to take, but they are very important to your recovery. See an attorney, even if it is just a free consultation. Knowledge is power, and you need to know where you will land legally and financially if things do not work out. You will be surprised how much this information may help your feeling of self-worth. I wouldn't be out of line to assume that your self-esteem is in the gutter, you feel totally emasculated, trust is at less than zero, and you almost feel paralyzed. We get that. We have been there. I can tell you that 4 years later, I am a whole world better--but can also remember things almost to the last detail.
It is how you learn to cope with your new discoveries that will pay dividends later. It may be impossible to see at the moment, but it is there.
It sounds like you would like to attempt reconciliation. There is no wrong answer to what you WANT...whether it be reconciliation or divorce...but it is important that your decision is not based on fear. Once you are able to let go of that burden, and it is your sound decision whether you want to R or D, then it will be a healthy choice.
But the harder work is on your wife. She is a broken person to do what she has done, and she needs to get to the bottom of these problems. Not only has she betrayed you and your family, but she has betrayed herself....and that will be difficult to overcome.
They say that (4) basic items are needed to start the reconciliation process:
(1) No Contact(NC) with the other man
(2) Transparency(passwords, etc.)
Remorse is the only one that can't be forced or demanded, but is by far the most important. You can't reconcile with an unremorseful spouse. And right now, all you have is regret. There is a world of difference with remorse. Remorse means that she *gets it*, and will do anything and everything to help you, her family, and herself.
If you go over to the Wayward Forum here, you can see the difference between members who are remorseful, and new members who are regretful and confused. There is also a thread in the I Can Relate Forum, where betrayed spouses can ask questions to the wayward spouses. The amount of wealth on this site is incredible.
That's enough to digest for now. Just know that you are going to be okay---it just takes time and work. You will get there.
All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
D-Day: 9/18/09 D-Day#2: 2/19/10 The Marriage Killer: 6/6/11
Heading for D
Thanks again for your sound guidance and sentiments - appreciate that there are people out there that generally care to be a part of the solution....
I've worked so hard in my life and have given my WW every ounce of energy I had, only to have her disregard it all - I feel so let down by her and by life and no matter how hard I try, I just can't shake the hurt at all...
we have been in your shoes and understand your pain.
Have a safe trip.
Eat well. Work hard and get some rest.
You have plenty of time to think.
So think about this.
If you love your wife even after her affair come up with a plan for the two of you to reclaim your marriage.
Set form boundaries going forward in your relationship.
And fin d a good therapist for your wife so she can understand why she felt it was ok to screw you and herself over for 4 years.
be strong and safe travels.
BTW: in previous business trips as well as in general, I'd check in with wife after arriving, but with this trip, I have not made any contact with her since leaving our home nor did I even share my itinerary with her. She has texted me and even sent me an email to check that I arrived safely but I did not respond...while I want to ping her back - I feel it's better this way. Of course, this is due to the hurt and pain I am feeling but am I wrong here? Should I give her the time of day or offer her any reassurance on my safety or personal well being?
Any thoughts on this and even my whole situation in general is appreciated...
I am sorry you're so alone right now on this trip while you have to double down at work and perform. You can get through this week. Some people like the distraction but it does feel unreal, almost like being disassociated. Eat, drink, rest, exercise if possible...anything to take care of yourself. Be proud of yourself for your strength. Collapse in private whenever you need to. I'm assuming there is no one near you right now you can open up to given the nature of your trip...but when you're back home, isolation will only hurt. Reach out to friends or family for support if you can. It really helps to lean on others.
At some point if you keep struggling you may want to inform the powers that be at work, who will probably be understanding. You can also see a doctor about sleep aids, anti-depressants etc. when you return if you feel you need help (no shame in that).
I wish there were a magic bullet or a time capsule to get you past this. But you will make it through, I promise. It will get better.
I just want to say that I was where you are and it gets better. I remember traveling as a consultant after d-day and it was like I was in my own world. No actually it was like I was outside my body in a quite place observing everything and everyone going on around me. I am not sure how I got by and completed my deliverables, but I did and just kept motoring on as best I could. I didn't feel it was wise to tell anyone at work.
It gets better in stages and is quicker if you have a truly remorseful WW. I updated my profile on where my healing was at during the first year. Overall, even though I was better it took 4 to 5 years to become indifferent to the A and just happy at where things are in my life.
If you do not want to write back to your WW, then don't. It shows that you are strong and don't need her, and she needs to get that message right now.
BOOM goes the noradynamite!
We got your back. Know that.