She changed in early 2012 (I am sure I wasn't perfect either...but I never cheated). We had a few severe verbal arguments and the next thing I knew we were in counselling again (our first couselling sessions were in 2008). For the first few months of counselling, she stated that she wanted work on herself and wanted to work on our relationship. I thought this was fine and agreed to go. During counselling it was the blame-game...everything my fault...she was a victim that needed more (constant) affection. There were also some issues that I needed to resolve and I agreed to work them (like any Type A would).
After the first few months, we return from vacation and she let's me know during a session that she "met someone else" and was no longer sure about our marriage (D-Day1). This was my first taste of a knife in my back (and not the last). Throught counselling she said it never went far, but she didn't know if she wanted ot be with anyone. I forgave her for her mistakes and we remained in therapy for about 1.5 years.
Throughout the counselling sessions, my sixth sense was goign crazy. Something just wasn't right. She was going to two sessions a week. One with me, and one for herself. However, I never noticed a change in her behavior, it just became more subtle. I also sensed that the other man was still around (but couldn't prove anything). Whenever my instincts would get the better part of me, I would let her know that I felt betrayed and that something just wasn't right. She re-assured me, comforted me, cried with me, said that she "loved me and wanted to grow old with me". Needless to say, I so wanted to believe my Wife so I just depressed my insticts for several months.
Over those seven months, little clues came out of the woodwork. Stories that she told me about work seemed like she was just not using his name in them. I found other info that led me to believe they were still very much friends. Also, over the seven months, she began to exercise a lot, get on birth control, become more focused on her body, hanging out with "friends" after work, etc.
I knew something was up since she guarded her cell phone like a fort. Her phone has been locked with a PIN since we began therapy (she never locked her phone, neither did I). However, sometimes it was left unlocked and I would check her texts every now and them. I discovered texts between her and the other guy a few times, but nothing blatant. However, I found it strange that the tone of the texts were very intimate and friendly (red flag). This is when I knew something was up, but there was no real evidence. This all changed a few months ago. As I was walking past the phone, my instict told me to "check it". I did and noticed no messages in the regular text software. However, I noticed that she had "kik" which is a more discreet way of texting. I opened it up and there was his pic and a message from him to her, and her to him. It wasn't sexual, but it seemed like they were fighting about something. I was stunned, but still had no proof of anything (but it was enough to confirm she was not living up to her part of the deal).
Over the last few months, I waited patiently to check out her phone. Well I did last week and the memory card contained past text messages and the "kik" texts that I saw months ago. Her past text messages included sex talk, fantasies, plans to meet, family talk, talk about my kids, and work. It also included texts that warned each other about their wherabouts as to avoid each other when they were with their spouses. The last text was the complete message from the one first I saw months ago. It turns out he just wanted sex, and she wanted a "friend". She was practically begging him for his friendship (she never wanted my friendship like this).
Last week she invited me to an office party and the other guy was going to be there (she didn't know that I saw the text messages). She let me know that she wanted me there, but didn't want to go if I was uncomfortable (she downplayed her whole relationship the entire time. At one point, she claimed that she never saw him at work). I went to the party and it was surreal (I think by then I was still in a state of shock). We left early and I re-iterated my feelings that something was going on....
As in the past, I gave her an opportunity to just tell the truth because the story she told about the other guy never made sense. I asked her questions and told her that it was OK to level with me. It was lie after lie and half-truths. She claimed she just found him attractive, they talked about being together, but it ended in 2012. All she did was disort the truth, and blame me for past mistakes that was already discussed in counselling. I told her that I thought her affair lasted through our therapy sessions. She disagreed and just hugged me.
She doesn't know that I know that she scheduled a therapy session this week for us. I am sure she is planning to deny, and deceive the therapist (I suspect she has not told the therapist the truth...which is sad). So I plan on giving her one lst chance to come clean, or I'll just present the proof if she doesn't.
Based on your experience, how would you handle this? What would you do? How do you prepare for a divorce? As a Father, how do I begin to protect myself? I would appreciate any and all feedback. The only thing that's keeping me somewhat sane right now are my kids. Besides that, I feel like I am in a suspended state with no one to talk to...
I felt the same way after I found out about my WF emotional affair. It felt like I had no one to talk to and I was alone in the world. But finding this site has helped tremendously.
Read the BS FAQ and take a look at the list of articles.
Keep posting and sharing.
You will make it through this.
It would help if you shared a bit more info. Is your wife still involved in this affair? Sounds like she is. If so I personally would not confront quite yet. The good news is you know his name and that he's also married. Advantage yours.
Is he a superior of hers at work or she of him? If so there could be ramifications of the legal type or at a minimum corporate policy violations that could impact continued employment at this business.
If you can keep yourself together emotionally, do not make her any more suspicious of your snooping. Plan your moves.
Knowing what I do now I would.
1. See a divorce attorney to learn what is involved in your state. Get a free consultation or two.
2. Find a way to contact the other mans wife. Don't contact her immediately.
3. Keep snooping if that affair is still active and start writing down times she's out with co workers, etc. Print out coppies of all the texts you can get your hands and store them somewhere outside of your home.
4. Get an STD test.
After I had those ducks in a row I would try to all on the same day. First contact the other mans wife and compare notes about times they could have been out together, etc. Then when my wife got in I'd have some Divorce papers ready to present her. Even If I just printed some off the internet. Once you contact his wife you can rest assured that Kik app will be getting a workout and she'll probably come rushing home.
Once she showed her face I'd hand her the papers and tell her, I won't tolerate cheating pack a bag and get out. Confrontation will be on at that point. She won't have a chance to compare notes with the other man and should be paniced. I'd use that to my advantage and take things from there.
No more Mr. Nice, she killed him.
Great timing! 10 min after I read the 180.
My Wife comes down and asks if I still wanted to go to "a themepark with the kids this weekend".
It's a great thing that I read the 180, because I may have violated the rules.
Last night I told her the most concrete, dead-on thoughts about what happened (without actually telling her that I have proof).. I can tell she is a bit shaken up and trying to feel if I will just bounce back like all of the other times.
It feels like the knife is deeper in my back since she is going back to her "business as usual" approach with deny, deflecting, and acting as if nothing happened. I can tell where this is already going...my bet is that she is in such denial that she will deny that it was her texts (even though she and him signed their names after each text). My gut is stil ltelling me our therapist doesn't know the truth and I feel actually bad for her when she finds out since she worked so hard for us...
(no I am not advertising the site, I just need the fastest way to get papers drawn up).
[This message edited by Badhurt at 10:38 PM, June 24th (Tuesday)]
[This message edited by Badhurt at 10:47 PM, June 24th (Tuesday)]
Last night she wrote a letter in response to my letter and our conversation last week. In my letter, I expressed my feelings about there was something still going on and to just be honest.
Her letter just contained a re-hash of the "we hugged with the office door open, and that was it" (however she did state they had to be careful). She also stated that "he gave her space so she could work on her marriage". My response to this is that he sounds like a boyfriend that gave you space to be with your husband. I also responded that if it was just hugging and conversation, why did we avoid him last week at the party.
Besides the usual half-truths and no detail. She reverted back to the same old story about loving me, being naive about some things,etc. The irony is that she stated that she did mention to others at work that we were in counselling and that we were doing fine.
Her closing was "I want you to stay on board, but if you're too hurt or afraid I would understand"
My repsonse: "I will not tolerate the betryal any longer. I am not too hurt or afraid to stand up for myself."
She is clearly in the FOG and needs to be brought back to reality.
You need to really get tough with your wife.
See an attorney to understand your rights.
Drop the bomb at counseling with proof. Then get up and tell the MC to work on your wife personally and help her with her lying.
I would also contact the OM's wife and let her know what really went on. Have proof though to back it up if either women asks for it.
That is the plan this week during our joint counselling session.
I have also scheduled an individual appt with the counselor like I have done in the past tonight.
I am just trying to give her one huge last chance to come clean bfore the bomb is dropped in a couple of days...
She won't come clean so get the divorce papers and tell her you are done. You have evidence of the affair and you are sick of the deception.
I think divorce is possibly one of the most misunderstood processes here on SI. It’s not as if you ask for a divorce, file and then try to find ways to live together. It’s not an alternative form of marriage but the TERMINATION of a marriage and the process of finding the minimum future required interaction. Heck – if no children then chances are 2 years post-divorce you won’t see each other again ever. If children then it’s only around events related to them.
Another often misunderstood issue is the proof.
Unless infidelity is a major factor in divorce or custody then all the proof you need is the proof required to convince yourself. That’s it. And it’s relatively rare that infidelity factors at all when deciding custody and divorce.
Yes – it can be beneficial to have enough proof to convince the other betrayed spouse but delaying action to get that proof is not necessarily beneficial.
No – you do not have to have enough proof to convince the WS that they are having an affair. If your proof is solid enough to convince YOU then that’s enough. Definitely recognize the difference between being suspicious and being convinced, but once convinced there really is seldom reason to delay action.
And then there is the action…
A common piece of advice offered here on SI is not to do anything drastic for the first six months. Well… In a sense I agree but taken the way that advice is presented then you basically don’t do ANYTHING. I prefer to rephrase that advice to “don’t do anything unplanned. Think your actions through and refrain from burning bridges”.
You HAVE to take action because the infidelity is eating away like maggots in a festering wound.
I sometimes shake my head at the posters that come here, share their stories and ask for advice. Then tell us that their situation is so unique that they won’t follow the advice the extreme vast majority of us offers.
If there is a single act that enhances your chances of getting out of infidelity then that’s exposure.
Be clear on this: Exposure is an action. It’s not a threat. You DO NOT tell your wife you are going to expose or that you have exposed. You simply expose and let the dust settle.
Be clear on this: Your wife will get the news and she will go ballistic. She will tell you that things were going OK but now that you have exposed there isn’t any chance for your marriage. This will last 1-2 weeks until she realizes you mean business. The trick is to remain consistent and purposeful for that time.
There are some ground-rules for exposure: It has to serve a purpose. That purpose is to force the issue regarding the affair. To inform people that can positively influence your wife (or OM) to stop. To remove the fantasy and excitement from the affair. It should always be done with respect and dignity.
I think it’s an extremely powerful moment when a betrayed husband realizes that divorce isn’t the worst outcome of what he’s dealing with. I am not saying you should divorce. Far from it. But what you should do is decide to NOT BE IN INFIDELITY. You then think what you can do to reach that goal and one of numerous tools to reach that goal is divorce.
It’s sort of like if you are fixing your car you don’t go about looking for jobs you can do with your spanner but rather apply the spanner to the jobs that need to be done. Your “job” is to get out of infidelity. Realizing that IF your wife does NOT want to get out of infidelity then you might have to terminate the marriage simply becomes a path or process to take on your journey out of infidelity.
If D sounds daunting then keep a number of things in mind:
It’s a process. It’s not as if you simply file and that’s it. Some states require a wait-period. Some require counseling or mediation. You need to get out of joint commitments, divide debt and assets, custody… It’s a process and it takes time. You can do a lot before turning in the docs and you need to do a lot simply to make the process possible.
At each and every stage of the process you can stop it. But only if both you and your wife want to stop it.
So what I recommend it this:
1) Tell your wife she is totally free to be in infidelity. If OM isn’t available she’s free to find another man. But not as you wife. If she wants to be your wife… then monogamy and a commitment to the marriage is necessary.
Yes – you admit that maybe you might have some part in your marriage hitting a rough spot. Yes – you need to make changes. But her decision to have an affair… that’s like deciding to cure bad breath by shooting your head off with a shotgun.
2) Tell your wife that until and unless she VERBALLY, FREELY and CLEARLY commits to the marriage and the hard work required to reconcile… Then you are simply assuming she’s remaining in infidelity. You however are moving out of infidelity. To reach that goal you are initiating the steps to detach and terminate the marriage.
3) It’s in her reach to stop the process and jump on board the program to exit infidelity. All she has to do is verbally commit and accept your reasonable demands.
These demand should include things like getting a new job, committing to total NC with OM, MC sessions, IC sessions to realize why she thought screwing another man sounded neat.
4) And then you simply move along. Do a good 180. Start the process of separating and detaching.
5) Expose. No warning. No advance. Simply do it.
About the MC sessions…
Despite not being “with” OM sexually then your wife is still in infidelity. Your wife’s affair ended bc the OM wanted it over. He wanted sex -> she wanted emotions. Her thought-pattern hasn’t changed and it’s only a matter of time when she realizes a quick BJ gets her some emotions in return. Or that the new customer who comes over every afternoon really looks cute… or that guy in accounting seems nice…)
While in infidelity then working on relationships and attending MC is a lot like sneaking a six-pack of beer to an AA meeting. You can listen and talk the right talk but you are never going to get results.