I don't really know what to do. She is saying all the right things about regret and wanting to be with me forever and apologizing for what she's done....And I still love her. But it's so damn hard.
My wife is beautiful. No exaggeration, she's one of the beautiful people. I am not. I'm short, not in great shape, and not especially handsome. I'm as regular as regular comes. The other dude is 11 years younger than me, 6'5, and is a body builder. An actual f'ing body builder. Looks like the hulk. Physically puts me to shame. I don't know how to hold my wife, make love to my wife, and feel that my wife really wants me after all of this. But the only other option hurts even worse.
Trying to reconcile....Living in a very small town. Hurting, losing weight, overwhelmed with fatigue. I feel for anyone, man or woman who has been through this. It's horrifying.
First of all you are not to blame for your wife's affair. Your looks your body or anything else about you have nothing to do with her cheating. You are not broken she is.
Funny story I am 6'5" and a body builder. My wife cheated on me too.You see we had nothing to do with them being broken.
So stop blaming yourself.
Pain is just fear leaving the body
An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones (Proverbs 12:4)
She says it's not love, but that he was able to give her something I wasn't providing. And I get that...I get wrapped up in my job, I am too hard on my kids, and I can get self-centered when I go unchecked. Plus, my wife is 42 and horribly insecure about aging. He is 32 and actively pursued her, knowing she was married and had 3 kids.
It's called blame-shifting. Like the others said, it isn't about you or what you perceive to be "short-comings" from you. In fact, it is a major "short-coming" from your wife. She is broken. She had no boundaries. She needs to go figure out "why" she thought cheating would solve her problems, or make her "happy".
There is NO GOOD JUSTIFIABLE REASON to have an affair. Period. She owns this mess 100%.
The other dude is 11 years younger than me, 6'5, and is a body builder. An actual f'ing body builder. Looks like the hulk. Physically puts me to shame.
You know what's shameful? Screwing other people's spouses, knowingly. There's no challenge in that. It's like being a sex predator, preying on the weak. He may be physically-fit but obviously not up for the challenge to find his own "single" woman. He has no moral code.
What you are getting from her right now is regret and blameshifting. What you want is remorse and actions from her to help you heal and fix her broken. Do not be quick to offer reconciliation until she understands the damage she has done to you and your kids.
Read up on the BS FAQ in the Healing Library -
I am so sorry you are here, but in your situation, SI is the right place to be! Everyone here understands your feelings all to well.
This is a long and very hard journey, but with each day brings new hope and healing. This type of betrayal is so crushing to who and what we know about ourselves and the marriage we once thought we knew.
Has your WW gone NO Contact with AP...this is crucial to move toward healing.
Are you looking into IC and MC? If not, this can be very helpful.
She says it's not love, but that he was able to give her something I wasn't providing. And I get that...I get wrapped up in my job, I am too hard on my kids, and I can get self-centered when I go unchecked.
None of your actions made it okay to cheat. If things where that bad your WW could have divorced. Allowing infidelity to come into the picture was a choice your WW made, because she wanted to. This does not make your WW a bad person, but a broken one none the less. She betrayed, herself, kids, you and the marriage. IMHO..IC for your WW to understand why she made these choices could be very helpful to her healing.
Concentrate on your healing. At times I would pull away and disconnect from my WH. We struggled a lot with this, until our counselor told us this is completely normal and stop fighting it. My psych knows what it needs in order to process this devastation. This was very helpful for me, because I stopped being afraid of my own feelings. For me, this was half the battle.
If marriages and love was held together only by Looks and feelings there would be no security for anyone within a marriage. Looks change, situations change, people change, so a marriage is made of a true and complete commitment to love each other, even when sometimes that feels like a daily choice and it does not come easy.
Take care of yourself and keep fighting!
DS 14 DS 10 DD 8
They are the sun that shine through any storm.
Love is not given away, but shared
When you have lost what matters.. what do you have left to loose?
Want to feel better? Then show your wife consequences.
Focus on you, your health and your family.
Your wife is beautiful? Can I slap you now?
Beautiful people do not lie to their husbands. Beautiful people do not cheat on their husbands.
She is not beautiful inside my friend. But I think you are.
Now show your wife a consequence today. Recommend she go see a IC so she can figure out why she thought it was ok to screw the OM. To flirt with him.
To break her vows.
Only your wife can take this step.
Stop loving who she was. Love who she is. Take off your blinders and take her off the pedestal.
Because if you don't she will be screwing him again.
Then expose their affair.
Show them real consequences or you will look like a chump in her eyes.
Now get to it.
I am short, balding, a bit heavier than I would like to be. My wife is younger, attractive, and considerably more powerful than she was when we got married.
She cheated on me with an older gentleman who has nothing on me. The dude is kind of fucking ugly to be honest, and she even agrees. However, he was at the right place at the right time and as you, gave her something that I wasn't, but it wasn't looks. It was attention. It was flattery. It was respect. At the time it started I was depressed, had lost my job, put us in some financial difficulty by selling some assets to pay bills. It was a crack, but not an opening. She violated my trust, our marriage, our vows, the promises we made to each other which were witnessed by our family and friends.
She was intimate with him three times over 8 years which I believe as he lives in New Mexico and we live in the east. The one that hurt the most was when she actually left me with the in-laws to go be with him under the pretext of "riding horses." Their last encounter was in 2013 when she was home visiting her ailing grandfather.
Yeah, it sucked. It still sucks. I'm three weeks in and have only been back with her (we were apart for business reasons) two days. I have read a ton in the healing library, seen a therapist, got some xanax. Therapist recommended three books, I've read one and am half way through another.
WW read one and is stalling on the other. She has agreed to IC for herself and MC for the two of us.
We agreed to R as we both recognize what happened. The signs were there. My gut told me. She wasn't in it for the long haul with him, just wanted a roll in the hay (or in the back of the truck to be more literal).
I'm seeing my therapist tomorrow for the second time. Going to work on how to discuss and set boundaries, which we have already verbalized, but haven't really gotten down to brass tacks.
1. No physical contact with men
2. No sexting with non-anonymous men (don't care if it's an internet thing as long as it is completely anonymous with no pics traded of faces and NO planning physical encounters).
3. Transparency - I have all passwords, access to phone, access to browser history (not to be deleted), access to e-mail trash (not to be emptied), etc.
4. Truth - I want and believe at this point I know EVERY detail ... and believe me the mind movies are much worse than the vanilla encounters she described.
5. Honesty about sexual requests (both of us), needs for relief (internet or other women for her, mostly porn for me)
6. Honesty regarding becoming attracted to others so we can approach it together (both of us).
If she is remorseful she needs to do work too. I suggest making her read some of the books mentioned in the Books section of this site. I suggest you mandate NC (hard in a small town, but doable). My guess is that you both already know you need to make some changes in your relationship. Now is a good time for both of you to come completely clean. To make a commitment to each other to avoid any lies, even the small white lies which grow into bigger lies.
This site is great. There are a lot of helpful people on here who understand what you are going through. Your self esteem is at an all time low ... I get that. Imagine if he was an ugly fuck like the one my wife fucked. Think how that makes me feel as I know I'm not a body builder, but come on .....
It gets easier. Read, Cry, Vent (here), find someone to talk to. Get therapy and meds if you are feeling very very down. The anxiety and mind movies were killing me. Much easier to tamp down now.
Take care man. We're pulling for you dude.
I don't know what happens next. After 15 years I identify myself as her husband first, the kids' dad second, and an individual human somewhere further down the list. I know that's not healthy, I know it's not going to help me heal....But knowing something is wrong and being able to change it are two different things. The town we live in is so small that part of me wants to move the family away so we don't see him every day. I don't know that I can get passed this when I'm reminded daily. But my kids have friends here and it's the only school they've ever attended....I hate to see them suffer because she and I can't get our act together.
When I'm home with her, I feel okay. Sad, but not in horrible pain. I feel in control of my emotions. But when I'm driving to work, at work, and away, it all comes rushing back and I feel like I'm in the middle of a 12-hour panic attack. I need that part to get better because it's almost unbearable. I'm not suicidal, and never have been anything close to it. But I definitely see how someone can lose their will to keep pushing on.
I think I am moving beyond blaming myself. I did a lot of stuff wrong, but her justification that she was "already gone" when the physical affair took place is bullshit. She was sharing my last name and my bed. That's not already gone. I may have been inattentive at times, I may have been absorbed by my job and our finances, and I may have been too hard on our son (he's 13 and has Oppositional Defiant Disorder), but nothing I did was EVER intentionally hurtful. I don't know how to make her see that.
It all just hurts. But I gotta keep going. No question about that. Anyone (men particularly) with any advice on how to get passed the urge to do terrible harm to the other man? Those thoughts don't seem to want to fade yet.
Look – Your WW decision to have an affair (and YES – it is a clear and conscious decision) is illogical. No matter how crappy or bad a husband you might have been.
Deciding to have an affair is comparable to deciding to shoot your head off because she can’t stand your bad breath. Or deciding to offer blow-jobs at the local Marine barracks for cash to save for a holiday. Or to drive down the old lady because she takes a long time to cross the street.
Get it? No matter what you did or did not do. No matter how checked out she was. Never an excuse for an affair.
And if your wife doesn’t accept that or acknowledge that fucking other men isn’t a good respond to problems… Well… next time you are busy or decide to golf instead of the mall with her… how will she react?
An obsession with getting revenge on the AP is very common at first and can be extremely intense but it WILL fade over time. Your focus should be not on him but on your WW--she is the one who is the most in the wrong. Easier said than done but putting your anger on him will not help, and confronting him will only detract from your healing, which should be focused on finding yourself again. You have been putting your own needs behind those of your family, and losing your identity; that is something many of us do, but it's not too late to give yourself priority again.
About 2 months ago she started losing her feelings of "romantic love" for me, she says because of my actions and inactions. Specifically, I wasn't handling stress from work well and was yelling at my kids a lot, losing my temper verbally with them, and specifically with my 13 year old, responding to his growing physical aggression with aggression of my own. He is at a phase where he's testing his boundaries and has come at me a couple of times. I have never struck him, but have grabbed him, held him, and let it get too physical. That's 100% on me and I can happily say I haven't touched him in anger in weeks, and don't plan on every doing so again. In addition to all of this, I have been wrapped up in budget development at my job, and it's always the most stressful part of the year. Raising a family of 5 on one income has its stressors too. As of late, I'd been coming home and isolating myself from everyone. Playing video games or reading....Partially because my wife was keeping kids for some extra money and my little house was overrun with children. I was going to sleep without saying goodnight, and just sort of fumbling along. But I loved her completely. Another of her complaints was that I'm a pessimist and not a people person like she is. I don't go out and do things in the community and I'm very closed off. That's all true, and it does conflict with her personality. I am working on that.
While I was sleepwalking, the Other Dude was not. He got my wife's cell phone number from one of her friends and actively pursued her. He drove by her one day while she was working in the garden and sent her "You trying to cause a wreck girl?" and apparently it was on. He flattered her, made her feel beautiful, and is 10 years younger than her. As I've said before, my wife is incredibly insecure about aging, and having this 32 year old handsome body builder find her attractive was just want she needed. Within 2 weeks she'd slept with him.
I haven't met him in person, but because I am stupid, I looked him up on facebook and he's a friggin' meathead. Actually has a post up that says "It's not the kind of car you drive, it's the size of the arm hanging out the window." Nice. He's a decent looking guy, not the "most gorgeous man to ever talk to me" that she said he was. But he's a beast, that's for sure. Looks like a roided out hulk. I am 5'8 and 194. I can't whip his ass....But violence is always in the back of my mind. I work in law enforcement (not a cop) though and even a threat could cost me my job.
She slept with him twice (June 2 and 3) and it was apparently very good. She likes feeling "small" and I'm not every gonna be able to offer that. Our sex life had been great for me, and we have always been pretty open with our boundaries....But over the last couple of years she started needing the fantasy side of things to really enjoy herself. I fed that too, and it's something I've got to live with. I never thought she was dissatisfied though.
So after it was all out in the open and I was destroyed, I went to the one friend I have in our little community (I work 30 miles away in a larger city) and he was flabbergasted. He's lived there his whole life and knows the Other Dude well. Says we are the 4th or 5th married couple he knows this guy has come between. Told me he's a scumbag but a Ladies Man and knows what to do. Even quoted some of things my wife said the Big MF'er told her. I've never been so disappointed in someone I cared so much about. Killing me now to even write this. She thinks he fell in love her, and hell he may have, she's awesome. But he knowingly disregarded me, my children, and a 15 year marriage because he was attracted to a sexy woman. He's a big dick in a small town and isn't used to being told no. I guess that confidence was appealing.
So that's him. That's how it happened. That's what I'm fighting. My confidence is shot. My faith is full of holes. My future is completely in doubt. I've dropped from 217 to 194 in 3 weeks...But that's fine because I need to be 175. So the grief weight-loss plan is a champ. I was working out every other day after I first found out, but after seeing pictures of Hulk I've kinda lost my motivation. So onward I go. I am the head of my department at my job, so all of my co-workers are really subordinates and I can't share this stuff with them. My family doesn't really understand it.....So again, thank you to everyone who has provided a response. I sincerely appreciate you words and thoughts. Thank God the internet is capable of something healthy.
OK – So I’m going to come off on two tangents.
The first is your wife and your worries during the commute.
Look – IMHO it’s a very powerful moment when you realize that the only thing you can have some control over is you and your actions. Basically – for all you know – your wife could be meeting OM ten minutes after you start your commute. Not really much you can do to prevent that from happening… well… that is other than simply refusing to live in infidelity.
A key realization IMHO is when you realize that this marriage possibly being over isn’t the worst thing that could happen. If you really think a divorce is the absolute end of the world then – rather than risk D – you would accept that your wife has a lover. Ask her to be clean and careful and use a condom. If that doesn’t sound good… well… then risking a D isn’t the worst possible outcome. In fact – being in infidelity is infinitely worse.
So… Let her know that if you can’t rock her boat. If she needs to get outside validation for her insecurities. If she thinks having sex with strange men is a great idea… She is totally free to do so. But not as your wife.
Ask her to PLEASE be honest and upfront and she can do whatever she wants. But if she wants to be your wife… she needs to pledge to monogamy and accountability.
Until and unless she verbally and clearly commits to the marriage you simply assume the affair is ongoing.
If she commits then you two discuss how you two can set up accountability. For some reasonable period of time she’s going to have to accept that you need to know where she is and what she’s doing. Frankly it won’t stop her cheating IF she’s so inclined, but it might offer you some peace.
This accountability should cover the ways they met. Did they have sex at your place or his? Where were your kids? At what times? How can she assure you where she is at those times in the future? Could you use texts, photos, Skype, friends, witnesses…
After a certain time where you have received assurances and you can confirm their reliability you might lay off the demands. But that’s still some time away.
Second tangent is your family life and especially you’re 13 year old.
You NEED to find ways of being a better father. Plain and simple. Frankly this aspect has nothing to do with the infidelity but you risk losing A LOT MORE than your marriage if you don’t firm up on this aspect of your life.
That game console? That TV? That couch? Off limits for the next weeks or months. Only time on the console is two-player games with the kids.
Find activities together. Don’t need to be fun, the key element is being together. So when you get home mow the lawn with your son, wax the car with your son, go for bike rides with the kids, take them grocery-shopping (and make them get the food-stuff off the shelves), In evenings check their home-work.
I know you might feel tired but the activities and fresh air will make you a different type of tired.
Busy job? Well… can you have lunch at your desk and take off home 20 minutes earlier? Or use the time to quit 2 hours earlier on Fridays? Work from home one day every second week? Find ways to maximize your productive times (at home and at work) and cut down unproductive times (commute, TV, gaming…).
Oh and since the OM tastelessly made that hand comment… I’m a pretty muscular guy and have worked out most of my life. I have never had a “bodybuilders” body because unless you are that 0.01% that has natural genes then you don’t get that look without using steroids. And steroids… well… they make your “hand” shrink. So maybe he was only waving with a pinkie.
If it was just sex I'd be better off, but she seems genuinely remorseful about hurting him....And every time she says so I want to explode. She says "I can't believe I fell for him" and that hurts so deeply. I don't think she's communicating with him, but we never really know do we? Planning on having a "what comes next" talk tonight and getting a clearer picture of where we are. No clue how it will go. She is SAYING all the right things....I just have trouble believing what I can't see. Probably always will. I having trouble figuring out what move is the strong one and which is the weak one. Fighting for her and the family seems strong, but staying with someone who has done this to me seems weak. Damn it all.
Regarding my son, Bigger you're exactly right. I am closer with him than either of my other kids and he needs me so much. His ADHD and ODD are a challenge but we fish together 3-4 times each week and play football and workout. He just doesn't understand how to control his aggression, and growing up like I did (Air Force dad) I always thought it was MY job to control his aggression. That doesn't work with a special needs kid. And learning that took too damn long.
So I will keeping doing the best I can with the ultimate goal of being the best dad I can be.....And trying to figure out if what the hell is left of my marriage.