I have been lurking on this site since mid-February, when I discovered my SO was having a LTA with an ex-girlfriend. I’ve finally decided its time I tell my story.
My SO and I have been together for just over four years. We’re both in our early 40’s and have no children. Shortly after we started dating, my SO rekindled a friendship with an ex-girlfriend, who is married with children. My SO and I bought a house and moved in together approximately a year and a half ago, and around this time it appears that his relationship with his ex-girlfriend (the OW1), which was by then an EA, turned into a PA.
I discovered the affair when I went looking through my SO’s emails in mid-February 2014, after he announced he’d be spending most of the day with her. I’d become increasingly concerned about their friendship after we’d moved in together, and at one point, about a year ago, I outright asked him if they were having an affair. He denied it, and I (stupidly) chose to believe him. (I have learned a good lesson about trusting my gut from this experience!)
At the time I found the incriminating emails, my SO was at the OW1’s house, which is just a short distance away from our place. I drove over there and confronted the two of them. I raged at my SO, and told him not to come home.
The next day, my SO and I met to discuss some financial matters and he told me he wanted to try and make our relationship work. A couple of days later, he went NC with OW1. I read and saw him send the email to her. At the time, I told him it was way too soon for me to make any sort of decision about the future of our relationship, but that any hope of reconciliation depended on his honesty and transparency. I asked, and he reluctantly agreed, to allow me to monitor his email, computer and iPad. What he DIDN’T tell me at the time, although I asked him point blank, was that he was also having an affair with another woman (OW2). I found out about that affair exactly one week after finding out about OW1, when I asked to check all the items in his sent box, and found their email exchanges. I later learned that the affair with OW2 started in October of 2013, when he’d cut off contact with OW1 to try and repair our relationship. (His attempt at repair didn’t work and he made contact with OW1 again in December of 2013. Of course, by this time, he’d started the affair with OW2. At one point, he was telling both of them that he was going to leave me for each of them. My SO was a busy man.) When I found out about OW2, my SO immediately went NC with her – which, frankly, wasn’t hard since I emailed OW2 immediately upon discovering the affair to tell her about my SO’s affair with OW1. (OW1 also told her husband about the affair with my SO as soon as I found out about it. She was apparently concerned I’d tell her husband about what had happened before she could.)
It’s all such a big mess. I can write the timeline of the affairs, as I understand them, dispassionately, but two months into this process and I am still emotionally overwhelmed. I swing back and forth from grief, to despair, to rage, and then start up all over again.
My SO has been living at home since just after Dday, but I've recently asked him to move out, and he's agreed to do so. Luckily, we are both financially stable with good jobs, and there are no children to consider, so an immediate separation is feasible. My SO is still interested in R, and he’s trying hard to do the right things: he’s in IC, we’re in MC (and have been for some time), he’s remorseful, etc., but I’m having trouble believing I can ever get over what’s happened. The trust between us has been shattered, and he’s found it difficult to be honest and forthright with me about the details of both affairs, the LTA with OW1 in particular. (There was a lot of TT when I first began asking questions.) He also said some quite disparaging things about me in emails to both OWs and friends during the period of the affairs. He was clearly desperately unhappy in our relationship. Strangely, those disparaging comments hurt as much, if not more, than the affairs. Finally, I’m just not sure I want to be the relationship police for however long it takes to try and rebuild trust between us.
Most importantly, however, I’m afraid I will always have the sense (whether correct or not) that I was his “second” choice. My SO has been upfront with me about the fact that he and OW1 discussed leaving their respective partners for each other. Besides the utter disrespect he’s shown me by lying, cheating, and criticizing me to others, I’m not sure I want to spend my life wondering if I’m what he really wants, or if the circumstances (i.e. her marriage and children) dictated the outcome. I’d be interested in hearing from others whose partners had LTAs and are trying to R about whether they had this concern or not, and how they dealt with it.
At the end of the day, a large part of me feels that I need to move on with my life. However, a smaller but equally (or perhaps more?) tenacious part is still petrified at the prospect of starting everything anew, and is holding on tightly to the OS. It doesn’t help that since Dday, I’ve felt that my SO has been more present in the relationship then he’s been in a long time. We’ve actually had some really enjoyable moments together since I found out – although I feel terrible about myself when I say that. How can I enjoy being with him, even if only momentarily, when he’s been so disrespectful to me?
I’m hoping that I can find some support here. This Board has really been a fabulous resource for me ever since I disovered the affairs. It’s made me feel like I’m not completely crazy, and it’s given me a great deal of comfort in some very dark moments. Thank you all so much for that.
I have a feeling there are darker moments to come, but I’m determined to meet the challenge head on, and come out the other side stronger and wiser.