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HurtHeart2014 posted 4/7/2014 20:43 PM

I really donít know what to do, how to act, or how to ultimately get past this.

I discovered on March 20th, 2014 that my wife of 14 years had an affair. Our marriage was not perfect, but not bad, obviously we stopped communicating effectively, but the idea of an actual affair never crossed my mind.

I found out about the affair because of an email that I discovered. In the e mail, my wife confesses to her friend (not him) about her excitement of this whole thing, I guess like you would if you were explaining a new exciting sexual relationship. I believe she regrets what she wrote. I must admit, some of the biggest pain I experienced came from those words. My other pain is the mental image I have of them together sexually, mix the two together and it is like a dagger to my heart every time. This has yet to fade in anyway, sometimes it actually gets worse.

The confrontation was not pleasant, there were lies at first, but ultimately I believe the truth came out. Her reasons for the affair were based on her own personal insecurities (looking for affirmation), maybe boredom, and perhaps a little bit on uncommunicated anger towards me. She took full responsibilities for the infidelity, blaming me for nothing. She wants to stay together, pledging to never do this again. I do see the remorse in her eyes, the sadness she carries. She said she never told me out of fear of losing me, and that she had never stopped loving me at any point (yet another pain for me, as this is hard for me to imagine when you are having sex with another).

To add to the complexity of the situation, her affair was with another married man, her supervisor, and at one point a friend of mine. We all work together, including his wife. They of course work in close proximity, about 3 feet from each other, and we all work in the same office (different departments). At this point it is only the three of us that know. I made a commitment to my wife not to destroy the families (we all have kids) or their careers. While I guess there would be some personal satisfaction in exposing everything, but it would destroy the kids of both families, and I want to protect the innocent from the pain I feel.

I do love my wife. She truly is an amazing woman. We have beautiful, intelligent children. After all this, we are communicating better, we are more focused on each other, and I certainly feel this is a marriage worth saving. I truly hate saying this, it feels like I am giving credit to the infidelity that hurts so much, but I suppose it is sadly kind of true.

Still, I feel as if I am going crazy, especially at work. At work, I must wear a mask, I cannot express any feelings. I am torn, I want to be angry but cannot. I am aware that they sit close to each other every day, and I cannot change it. I am aware that I will see him every day until I retire years from now, and must treat him as a fellow employee. I have not actually talked to him since I found out, he is expecting it, but I donít know what to say, and am uncertain if I can control myself (I am pretty sure I can, but worry I might snap). I understand he is sorry, and wants to apologize, but I canít hear it, I just donít understand how anyone could do this, there is no apology, there is no excuse.

How do I do this ? How do I cope with the mental images of them together in the back of our car ? How do I keep this mask on forever ? She tell me that this is the only time it has happened, and I believe her, but how can I totally trust again ? Does this fade with time ? There are times I feel anger, almost rage, towards him, how do I suppress this ? I also feel humiliated, embarrassed, he knows things about me (shared by my wife) that I wish he didnít, how do I cope with those feelings ? I am not the kind of person that goes to therapists, but is it worth it to try ? Life goes on, and maybe there is guilt that will last for them, still so far they seem fine with putting in the past, keeping their secret and their maskís in place, for me there is nothing but the reminders, they had pleasure and excitement mixed with their pain, for me, nothing but pain.

Am I crazy ? am I a fool ? or is this part of being a good husband, a good human being, to forgive and maybe even forget ? How long is it taking you to move forward ? How did all of you survive this ? Can/will it get better ?

Gman1 posted 4/7/2014 21:11 PM

First things first. There is so much here and so much to say. This has all just happened and it is so raw that you shouldn't make any rash decisions. The first thing I would do is demand a NC letter from your WW. And she must not work side by side with him any longer even if she has to leave this company. Period. As for not exposing the A, they should have considered their consequences beforehand. Does the OM's wife know about the A? If not, she needs to be told in the morning. Actions have consequences and it's not your secret to keep. There is also a very real chance that the A is not dead but if you strategically expose it, then it will most likely die for good. And yes, a good MC will help big time. Hang in there and ask many questions here. You are going to have a rough few months ahead but you will survive. Sorry you are here and good luck!

nekorb posted 4/7/2014 22:26 PM


I'm so sorry you are here but glad you found us. Welcome.

Now, gently...are you kidding me? You're going to continue to work side by side with the guy that screwed your wife in the back of your car while she works right there next to him and HIS wife tra-la-las along blissfully unaware?

If I were the other BS and found out that you knew about the A, didn't tell me, and allowed me to continue working together with the OW (your wife) right under my nose...I'd never forgive you.

Somebody needs to be finding a new job. More than one somebody.

You're just letting her completely off the hook dude.


Out that A. Get into counseling. Now.

Come here often. Read. Listen.

RealityBlows posted 4/8/2014 00:30 AM

Sorry Bro. Just went through a very similar situation. Previous advice is spot-on. If your wife is truly remorseful, shows empathy, maintains no-as in zero, contact, shows TOTAL transparency, and is willing to stick it out and nurse you back to health over the many months it will take...things will get better. I am 6 months out and things are getting better. It will help, later on, to find diversions/distractions to take your mind off the constant visuals. Right now, so soon after discovery, it will be impossible to take your mind off it for more than a couple of minutes at a time. But, as time goes by, the intervals of peace will lengthen. After awhile you will just get tired of ruminating over it all. Read through the mantra of this good site in the healing library. It has helped me a lot.

Right now, you are in discovery mode and you will have a tremendous appetite for the truth and details. I, personally, wanted to know everything about the affair so I could holistically size-up the situation and determine my/our best course of action. I wanted little left for my imagination to exploit and exaggerate. This is a very personal decision. Some do not want to know the hurtful details.

Trust, must be rehabilitated. It will never be the same and she must understand that. She must be willing to live with that. Her love for you must endure that. Trust-to some degree, will build back through consistent actions. A truly empathetic spouse will understand that and learn to appreciate it. DON'T LET YOUR MISTRUST BE ABUSIVE, HOWEVER.

What did she share with him about you? Was it disrespectful or hateful? How did you find out about this? What was said about you, by her, to him, may be more injurious than the sexual imagery. Emotional betrayal is the hardest to get over. If this is true, a professional MC can help.

Uhtred posted 4/8/2014 01:37 AM

I for one do not believe you should "suppress" any feelings you have unless you plan on murdering the guy. This will only lead to rearing it's ugly head in the future. This man has to go. Do not allow him to keep working alongside your wife.

If you want to keep it quiet then do so. Tell the man you'll have his job unless he walks away. Most companies have a strict policy on fraternizing with subordinates. If it were me it would eat me alive that he was allowed to continue in his position and not suffer any consequences. A quick trip to HR would solve that real quick. He can find another job elsewhere.

I personally would dig his heart out with a spoon if I had to see him everyday. I know what you mean by reading the things that your sweet loving wife writes to the affair partner. I had a years worth of texts, emails, and pictures to look at. Things like how great it would be marry him and how they'd take my children and run off together and so much more.

There's no magic formula to getting through this. You just have to go through it. Like others have said you are still so raw and it's all still fresh. Things will get better though I promise. You will smile again and each day that passes is another day you're further from it. I'm by no means healed but I'm not suicidal like I was in the beginning. We're here to support you and you to support us. Keep posting and reading.

stronger08 posted 4/8/2014 04:03 AM

Tough spot your in my man. At the very least the other BS need to be told of what has gone on. Not only is it the right thing to do, it actually levels the playing field in the realm of R. I find it incredibly selfish of the two of them to engage in an A with a person that has so many attachments of so many levels. But hey, being selfish is really what an A is all about in the first place. Personally I could not endure having it in my face 24/7. Most likely confrontation with a good chance of physical retribution would be on the horizon for me if I was in your shoes. But that's me !!! You also need to understand that while infidelity can be forgiven it never goes away. It rears its ugly head whenever it feels like it. And I find it very dangerous to be in daily contact with a man who at one time called you a friend only to sleep with your WW. A bad day, misspoken words even a glance could set you off and the outcome will not be pretty. IMHO I think its best that this employment situation be remedied ASAP.

Not only will this situation be negative for you on a professional level. It also serves no good as to your desire to R. It takes an enormous amount of work and faith to R with the ordinary WS. Having the OP in your face day in and day out is not going to help that effort. In fact it very well may derail any attempts to R. I also think that being your WW and the OM created this mess its also their responsibility to clean it up. Both he and your WW should look for other employment away from each other. And perhaps you should to as the work place is going to be a daily trigger. This is a big shit sandwich that your being forced to eat. And I don't think its fair that you should have the added stress of seeing the OP daily. I honestly don't like the set up here brother. If things stay the way they are your only being set up to fail. That's my .02 cents anyway.

nomistakeaboutit posted 4/8/2014 05:01 AM

I agree that the work situation has to change. You're asking too much of yourself to be around him daily, but more importantly, there is no way that they should (or, frankly, can be trusted to) work together. They have already proven what they are capable of resorting to when they get bored or need affirmation.

heforgotme posted 4/8/2014 05:40 AM

I made a commitment to my wife not to destroy the families (we all have kids) or their careers. While I guess there would be some personal satisfaction in exposing everything, but it would destroy the kids of both families, and I want to protect the innocent from the pain I feel.

I don't blame you for feeling this way...a lot of us did at first I think. But if you think it through I think you will see that it's not quite on track.

To start, it was very unfair of your WW to make this request of you. Because by doing so she has effectively made you an accomplice. You are "aiding and abetting". You are doing so with your heart in the right place as you don't want to hurt the other spouse. But the fact is that the hurt has already occurred, she just doesn't know it yet.

When you think about what to do about this, think about what you would want if the situation was reversed. How would you feel if she knew, but didn't tell you? This is not a vindictive act, but an act of mercy. Kind of like when a doctor has to tell a patient they have a serious disease. Not fun, but it has to be done.

And gently, I would encourage you to think about why your WW doesn't want you to tell. If she was so concerned about his family's welfare, then why did she do this in the first place? Who exactly is she trying to protect here?

I'm so sorry you're even in this position in the first place.

Good luck. And welcome to SI.

jb3199 posted 4/8/2014 05:51 AM

I am sorry that you are here, friend. It wasn't enough that your wife and former friend not only chose to betray you, but put your entire working/financial future in jeopardy. It makes me sick.

Please tell the other man's wife. Do this because it is the right thing to do. You are enabling your wife and former friend(let's just refer to him as POS) to protect themselves, while hurting an innocent party. POS's wife if currently living a lie that is being perpetrated on her by those who know of the affair.

Do not let your wife or POS know----just tell her on your own. You may not see it at the moment, but it is the compassionate thing to do.

After POS's wife is made known, then the real work can begin. Maybe she will demand that her POS and your WW find new jobs. These are the consequences that the two of them so easily disregarded when they had their little tryst. It is time for both of them to grow the fuck up, and accept their responsibilities.

As for you, I would advise to keep reading and keep posting. You are going to learn that it is solely up to you, to pick yourself up off of the ground. You will need to rebuild your ego and self-esteem. If your wife is remorseful, then she can help rebuild your trust....which will take a long time, even with her solid efforts.

It does get better. You will receive a lot of advice, but the main theme is that you are going to have to take back control of your life. Tough decisions in the workplace will need to be made. And ultimately, after your emotions settle a bit, you may even reassess if you want your marriage to continue.

But as for right now, baby steps. And tell the POS's wife.....with compassion.

Merlin posted 4/8/2014 06:14 AM

So your wife, a friend and co-worker have an affair.

And you get to play Atlas. More like Sisyphus.

Play that role if you like. Pretend that your wife and co-worker didn't both break marriage vows. Pretend that you are not the one agreeing to hide this.

But as you take this on, you should not complain. After all, you volunteered.

Skan posted 4/8/2014 15:34 PM

Ah, HurtHeart2014. I am so sorry. I truly am. Not one of us wants to be here, yet here we all are, because the one person in our lives, that was supposed to be our soft place to fall, stabbed us in the back and left us to bleed.

The good news is, that you will survive. Say that to yourself and believe it. You will survive this. You don't know what the outcome will be yet, but you will walk through this valley of hell and you will emerge on the other side. Keep that in your mind, for the days when you find it almost impossible to draw that next breathe.

Harsh as it may seem, you have gotten good advice to out the affair to the other BS. Your WW had no right to make a decision, a choice to bring a third party into your marriage. She didn't consult you, she just decided to kill your marriage, stab you in the back, put your health at risk for STD/HIV, and destroy the lives of your children. All for her own "pleasure." Leaving you and the family in the dust, having a good laugh at your expense with her POSOM. And now that she got caught, she and that POSOM are drawing YOU into their little conspiracy and making YOU a part of their filthy infidelity by trying to blackmail and guilt you into being a co-betrayer of the POSOMs BW. It's OK with them, to lie to her, betray her, deny her the right to know whats going on in her marriage, put her health at risk, and worse, to make you an active participant in her betrayal. When she finds out, and trust me, she will, she will not only have to face the fact that she was betrayed by her WH and by your WW, but that YOU were perfectly OK with helping them lie to her.

Kind of makes you want to throw up, doesn't it? Don't be a part of betraying an innocent woman. Don't let them drag you down in the mud with them.

Unfortunately, here's another thing that you are going to have to do. You're going to have to call your doctor and schedule a full STD/HIV panel of tests. Your WW will have to do the same, and be sure to schedule the follow-up tests at the same time. Your WW's results must be conveyed to you by the doctor's office. You cannot trust her word on this you need to hear from the doctor or from his office yourself. I'm sure that your WW is going to say, but wait! I had safe sex we used a condom every time. That's what about 90% of them say. Don't believe it. If they kissed, if they had oral sex, if they had any combination of the above, then all they "may" have done was to prevent pregnancy. Liars lie and you simply cannot trust your health on the word of a liar.

This is truly overwhelming. We really do all know. This rollercoaster is going to get bad. Really bad. You didn't buy a ticket for this ride, but you have been hurled onto it and forcibly strapped to the seat. We are here to help you, even when it sounds like we're getting on your case. Thing is, as unique as each adulterer want's to think themselves, they truly are not. They are pretty darn predictable. Read The Healing Library and any post in this forum with a red "target" next to it, and you will begin to see the patterns in behavior yourself. And come back often for support. We care about you.

twisted posted 4/8/2014 16:16 PM

Agreeing with all the above.
OMW must be told at some point soon, it's the only moral thing to do. You are not ruining anybody life or destroying any families. They have already done that, you are just letting someone know they're being lied to.( Excuse me lady, but there's a knife sticking out of your back....)
The common tale around here is it only happened once. Well, don't be surprised if there isn't more to the story. Many times it has been going on for much long than you could have imagined, or with more partners than first thought. ( Isn't this encouraging?) I'd suggest to keep looking until you're reasonably sure. Notifying the OM's wife may solve the working together problem from her end.

donotlietome posted 4/8/2014 16:26 PM

Tell the other man to find a new job pronto or you will tell his wife.

As soon as he finds a new job tell his wife. You would want to know. There is no getting around it - its the right thing to do.

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