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Old affair just revealed

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Newrevelations posted 2/18/2014 10:37 AM

We've been married for 26 years and my wife initially confessed to an affair in 2/1990. The short version is that I confessed in grief and tears to Inappropriately touching a mutual friend whose engagement had been broken and that betrayal was evil on my part. Then my wife mentioned being "tempted" by a co-worker and left it at that. Over the next few months the TT finally revealed an intense emotional 4-month long affair with some physical touching and kissing, talk of running off together, love letters, and intimate pictures my wife took to show him. After she ended it he vandalized her car, which she blamed on some "thugs" at the time. This was devastating and the TT made it like a new affair occurred each week. I couldn't stop asking her questions and she lied sometimes and told the truth others, but mostly wouldn't discuss it. Then she became frustrated that I wasn't over it quickly enough (within 3 months), but WS became pregnant in June 1990 (4 months later). The baby was mine and two others followed. It was hard but we worked through it and have a happy family. Still, I became more convinced with time that there had been much more than she let on and I asked her to tell me if there was. Finally, 22 years later on 2-14-14, she confesses to a 2nd affair (an Exit affair) that summer with a detective who she dealt with in her job. It was 4 months after the 1st revelation and lasted 6 weeks until about the time she discovered her pregnancy.
Here we go again. I feel all the same betrayal, plus the anger of bring lied to for our whole marriage. It seems she was done with the marriage by the 2nd affair and had the exit affair to blow it to bits, but her backup plan was to get pregnant by me, stay in the marriage and start a family.
How do you deal with an admission of an affair decades ago? And how do I deal with the sense that control of my life was taken from me and my marriage has been a sham?
It took courage for her to tell me now, and she's said she's committed to the marriage and will do whatever it takes to save it, including answering any and all questions patiently.
I am filled with humiliation along with numerous mixed emotions. Should I be committed to an institution for trying to work this out?

Aceofbase posted 2/18/2014 10:46 AM

I am new to this website, but I have found great comfort from the people here and knowing that others have been in my situation. Please take time to read, read and re-read the healing library.

(((Hugs))) We are here for you.

kalimata posted 2/18/2014 10:54 AM

Hi Newrevelations:

Your feelings are natural. We are here to help you. Stay calm and take care of yourself. You will undergo a roller-coaster of emotions at this point. Here are some suggestions for you

1) Go see a lawyer. Ask him what your options are. Especially if you live in an at-fault state, and the statute of limitations
2) Get your kids paternity tested. this will shock the heck out of your wife. Even if you believe the kids are yours, it would be worthwhile to do this to show how the fundamental pillars of trust in your marriage are now eroded.
3) Insist that she get tested for STDs.
4) Ask her to write out a timeline of the affairs. As much details as possible. Dates, times, places, etc. Try to get old records (phone, credit card statements, etc) to verify.
5) If she balks, insist that she go with you to a polygraph test. This will force the upper hand and then she will spill the rest.

Why is the affair suddenly coming out now? What events over the last few months precipitated this?? Sounds fishy to me. Is she having another affair now?

Have yYOU always been faithful (you mention the inappropriate touching) but have you ever cheated on your wife?

Newrevelations posted 2/18/2014 11:13 AM

I'm glad you asked because I left out a critical point. I was unfaithful physically one evening 3 years later with a younger woman (no intercourse, but every bit adultery). I was so angry at my wife and I let my heart get hard and I failed her and my children.
I confessed to my wife and she forgave me, but never told me about her other relationship or a 3rd more minor transgression, or even some of the other details I shared above.
It came out now for one if two reasons, either,
1) she stayed with me only to have children and they are all out of high school and the last one leaves for college in 6 months, or
2) (this is religious, but pertinent to the question). I've told her for the last year that I believe you must fix what you've broken as best you can in order for God to forgive you. That means you have to confess or you will be held accountable. Just asking forgiveness alone would not be sufficient.

kalimata posted 2/18/2014 12:14 PM

The fact that you both have affairs in the past somewhat complicates things.

Sounds like your WW acknowledged her past indiscretion out of religious fears. Perhaps she was afraid of what the future may hold for her.

You have a lot of soul searching to do my man. Its not easy. Take your time and decide for yourself if you want to salvage the relationship or not.

norabird posted 2/18/2014 13:54 PM

I'm sorry. If you go to the I Can Relate forum, there is a thread for people in your situation that will probably be helpful for support as well.

Newrevelations posted 2/18/2014 14:41 PM

I get your point very clearly. I have no room to condemn. I really want to know how to get through finding out about an affair that has been kept secret for over 20 years. I have no idea how to process it.

Newrevelations posted 2/18/2014 14:51 PM

And I apologize for posting here. That was clearly inappropriate. I will delete my post if I can. Good luck to everyone on working out the best solutions.

craig2001 posted 2/18/2014 14:54 PM

The way to get through it all is to talk to your wife about the past 20 plus years. You both obviously felt something was missing or not right during those years and by finally talking about all of this with total honesty, you can both get through it.

It really is time for you both to be honest with each and make sure these things never happen again. And the only way to do that is figure out why and then fix the why.

You have both have to be willing to talk without blaming each other and no blame shifting. And none of the stuff like, well remember when you did this and that...

Newrevelations posted 2/18/2014 14:55 PM

And I apologize for posting here. That was clearly inappropriate. I will delete my post if I can. Good luck to everyone on working out the best solutions.

Newrevelations posted 2/18/2014 14:57 PM

Craig, that sounds like great advice. In just the last five days we've had the most honest conversations in years.

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