I've been a member for over 4 years....been involved in infidelity for almost 5....and I really didn't see this coming. I feel like I can write volumes of what's going through my head right now, but the sad truth is that I was as blindsided as a person with multiple D-days could be.
A quick background, because I never put my story in my profile:
In 2009, I had been married for almost 17 years, and together for 22. WW has health issues(bad heart) and apparently some unresolved FOO issues that found her way to drinking. The drinking started slowly in the early 2000s, and built their way up. In September 2009, I was hit with my first D-day....and absolutely crumbled. I couldn't do any more of the wrong things if you had instructed me. As I try to "win" her back, and become Husband of the Year, I am hit with D-Day #2 in February 2010. I then discover SI, and try to get my act....and marriage....together.
I learn a lot on SI, but still couldn't implement much of what was needed. As time went by, I started to devise a plan in my head as to what to do. Force her to go to IC, until counselor suggests MC. At that point, I figured that I would try IC, and prepare myself for MC. Then, I would lead the MC sessions, making sure that the infidelity was addressed first and foremost. Basically, I tried to control the outcome.
This goes through 2010 and into 2011. It felt sort of like limbo, just because we were going through the motions, but I did not "feel" safe. I did believe that she stopped drinking, and that she wasn't cheating(her drug of choice was AFF for non-emotional physical meet-ups). I then discover that she has been secretly drinking. In June 2011, on a whim, I threaten to have our PC deep-scanned...and ask if I would find anything. That leads to D-day#3---The Marriage Killer.
WW doesn't know what to do. She is as lost as she has ever been. I discovered a white-hot rage that I never experienced before. I wanted out of my marriage so badly, just to escape this nightmare. The next day, I drop her off at detox(although I learned later that this really meant nothing---she had to WANT to get sober), and I was now at home with my 2 sons----and I felt a peace come over me. While she was in detox for the next 5 days, they were the most serene days that I have had in literally 2 years. I consulted with a lawyer. I investigated the separating of finances. And when I picked WW up, I told her that I was going through with a divorce...and she better get her act together for the kids.
Amazingly, she never begged for another chance. She just went about work on herself, and has been sober to this day. And it was that I saw her pouring the work into herself, that I subconsciously put the divorce on hold. And for 3 years, she has been working on herself regularly, and we slowly drew closer together. I keep the "Heading for D" in my tagline just as a reminder that she didn't break me...and I can survive infidelity.
If you would have asked me 3 hours ago, I would have said that we were reconciled.
So how did I get blindsided tonight? Why did I search her phone...which I have always had access to...and stare at the last text message, which was in a woman's name? Why did my heart race? Why was there no history of any other texts but the one on the screen? But as I sat there, I already knew the answer. But to be 100% honest, my gut said nothing, until I held that phone in my hand.
So without knowing deep details, this has apparently been an LTA that started right after detox. Three fucking years---and yes, she says that she loves him...something I have never had to deal with in the past. If I didn't have years of experience here on SI, I swear that I would just cease to exist.
I am numb. I am drained. While I technically know what I have to do, I feel lost. I don't know if I have it in me to give her another chance at R. At this moment, being I was so blindsided, I don't know if I could ever trust her again. I basically had my guard down as low as I would ever allow it again. I had a great wife for over 10 years, a good wife for another 5, a shitty wife for 2 more years, and what I thought was the returning of my good wife for the last three years. And I was wrong...the good wife never returned.
Personally, I don't think that she has it in her to do the work to salvage the marriage. I would never have thought this yesterday, but it seems clear to me now. She would have to give up her specific AA meetings that she is very attached to(the scumbag OM attends a meeting every few months); she would have to cut off her two childhood friends that have known about her cheating...but she swears they didn't enable her; and she would have to go NC with Mr. Scumbag, who knows that she is married(she even admitted to me that she has not portrayed me as a villain in the marriage...he is just a poacher who doesn't mind married women). I have never dealt with an EA before, yet alone an LTA. And to be honest, I don't want to. I don't want to be hypervigilant again, and I don't want to do the hard work of rebuilding. I did that before...and have come a long way...but at the moment, I just want to go away. Our younger son will be a senior next year, and I don't think that I can live the charade until he goes to college. Out older son is special needs, and was supposed to be with us his entire life. I am a heavy worker, and have worked 60-75 hours six days a week for the last 25 years. It wouldn't be practical for her to leave the house...although I want to send her packing so effing bad. I want some justice, and I know that is just a pipe dream.
I am sure that anger will kick in later. Right now, it is just flatness that I feel. I feel like a damned hypocrite giving advice for years, and being in a mental state that I NEVER thought I would allow myself to be in again.
All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
Accepting that I can may end this marriage 7/2/14
Heading for D
LTA's are entirely different creatures, as years of thought goes into the lies, planning and deception involved in sustaining the A. It makes reconciliation extremely difficult. I would recommend seeing an IC as soon as possible to help process such an awful betrayal.
I know I cannot offer you any advice that you don't already have, but I just wanted to let you know that you have been heard, and that I am so sorry that you are going through this, yet again. There are some great people who give excellent advice (as you know) who I'm sure will be quite a bit more helpful.
Hang in there and try and get through the next few days as best you can.
I have finally found my voice and it is good!
I keep the "Heading for D" in my tagline just as a reminder that she didn't break me...and I can survive infidelity.
You know you can survive after all you have been through. I'm so sorry this has happened and remember the mantra - its not your fault.
You are not a hypocrite - this is the feeling we all get when we have been betrayed, conned and lied to. Your post is a reminder to us all. Keep strong.
"Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive" - CS Lewis
Know this, no matter how much you think you've been "snowed", her actions to hide all of this were very deliberate. You couldn't possibly have known so please be kind to yourself in this regard. You know that this wasn't your fault.
You have been here for so many. Hopefully we can be here for you.
Sending you strength and courage jb.
While you are deciding whether or not to give R another try, remember two things:
1. WW just shit all over the last chance at R you gifted her
2. R is impossible if your WW isn't remorseful.
You aren't ready to file for divorce, but I suggest you consider another lawyer visit to get a grip on the divorce process and maybe discuss your situation specifically. IC will be difficult considering your work hours, but a few sessions may be helpful for your own peace of mind.
WW has two issues to deal with. You cannot control either of them. You decide which of the three paths I mentioned you want to travel given an unremorseful spouse. Institute the 180 since you can't physically separate right now? It's for you, not her, so,consider it.
[This message edited by Schadenfreude at 7:33 AM, July 3rd (Thursday)]
You have been very patient. You gave her an incredible gift.
A LTA after already having a dday is beyond cruel. She knew exactly what her actions would do to you, and was too selfish to care.
You know this isn't about you. She is broken.
You don't have to decide anything today..or tomorrow. Right now, just concentrate on taking care of yourself and the boys.
..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.
My XWH is with the OW--- her first husband murdered her boyfriend (his boss) then killed himself. Would u believe she started the whole scenario again with my h and her next husband??? She doesn't care who dies, who gets hurt, only what she wants.
Plz see a good attorney, you might b able to get an aide to come into ur home to take care of your son. Your ws doesn't automatically get the house/ kids anymore.
No matter what , keep looking ahead, you will get thru this and enjoy your oldest son's grad, etc.
My son is about to b a senior, too. XWH and Ow are not going to ruin the year for us.
I am so sorry. I really don't have anything wise or profound to say.
I'm pissed that your WW threw your gifts away and didn't have the freaking guts to be honest with you.
We are here for you and sending you strength as you take the next steps forward. We'll be with you every step of the way.
ETA to fix a typo
[This message edited by FrmrBH80124 at 8:11 AM, July 3rd (Thursday)]
Though much is taken, much abides; and though we are not now that strength which in old days
moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are
I'm sorry. Know that you'll be ok.
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
its sort of one sort of betrayal to find out via multiple d-days that many more things happened with more people than you thought but all during the same time period.
its a whole different sort of betrayal when you have your d-days, you work together to reconcile, and then find out via another d-day that a new affair has started after the reconciliation attempt was started.
that it was a LTA EA/PA makes it that much harder to bear, in some ways.
i know im not saying anything you dont already know.
you are one of the people i have followed on this forum. ive read many of your posts, pondered them carefully, and always respected your advice and suggestions.
in fact, your story was one that i looked at and said "THERE is hope". it shows that a marriage CAN be rebuilt, that reconciliation can work, that its all possible. now ... well, im kinda rocked.
my heart goes out to you. you have given so much to so many here. anytime you need an ear or a shoulder bro ... im here.
from 09/11 - 05/13
2 ONS, 10 sexting partners, 1 LT EA/PA
??/06/13 DD/1 - admits to LT EA, begin false R.
01/13/14 DD/2 - LTA was PA.
01/18/14 DD/3 - sexting 5 guys.
01/19/14 DD/4 - 2 ONS with different guys
I just figured that I was LONG past needing support, and instead was trying to give it. This site saved my life years ago, and I wanted to pay it forward.
From what we have seen too many times here, R is impossible with an unrepentant, unremorseful spouse. You have stated a few mandates for her to accept for you to consider R. If she won't accept them by actions and not just words, your decision is made. The issue then becomes what to do.
I am not even saying that I am considering R. I am just stating what she would have to do IF we were to try---and I just don't see it. I don't see how someone could work so hard on themselves...where it pertained to her sobriety...and be so fucking selfish in other areas. And I only say selfish because of my new D-day. Yesterday I would have said that she has really got her act together in all aspects of her life. This is why I am so puzzled/hurt. I never had an inkling. I still don't understand--with all of our communication throughout the day, the fact that I always seemed to know her whereabouts, and the apparent transparent life that we were living.
If I have anything going for me, is that she is honest when confronted. She will answer all my questions. I will get some more information soon, but I don't know if that even matters. I have got to detach as much as I can and as soon as I can, because I surely can't make sound decisions in this state. Or should I say, I can make sound decisions, but it is harder to act on them...while I am in this state.
My mind is SCREAMING divorce. I know that I don't have to do anything immediately, but why wouldn't I take action? I want out of this current nightmare. Right now, divorce seems logical. Anything can happen, but I sure as hell don't plan to wait around for change. She is free to do whatever she wants...as I am not offering R...but she better get her ass in gear for the kids. We have to co-parent.
How did she fall so far? She used to be such a good person, took on drinking, and slowly changed. Infidelity followed. For the longest time, I would not allow alcohol to be an excuse in any way---not even a contributing factor---but I slowly changed my belief in this...especially that I thought she was faithful, and always would be, when she tackled her alcoholism....and continues IC to this day.
Just one more gut punch that I never saw coming.
As this unfolds, could you please share with SI the redflags you may have missed. You are living one of my worst fears and I couldn't handle being blinsided as you were. Your strength is a testiment to SI.
Hang in there.
'It's not the end of everything,
It's just end of everything you know.'
I am so, so sorry. When you are ready to take that step and move on, at least you will do it knowing that you gave everything you had. Her disrespecting your gift of R is a reflection of her--it does NOT degrade your choice to offer forgiveness, to find love in your heart, and to take the incredibly brave risk of being vulnerable again. Unfortunately with vulnerability comes the susceptibility to this type of immense pain. But your past choices are a testament to who you are--don't let this make you feel stupid. Yes, your trust was taken advantage of in a cruel way; but don't regret the past. You gave this everything you could. Now at least you can know for sure that her brokenness is terminal and will not have to doubt your future decisions or question your path.
Take care of yourself. You are strong. You will be okay.
I am so sorry. Sending hugs.
...what I thought was the returning of my good wife for the last three years. And I was wrong...the good wife never returned.
This is why, I keep divorce on the table. I know my husband is capable of incredible deceit.
It sounds like she went deep underground.
Sometimes, the only thing that happens when a spouse gets caught is they learn better how not to get caught.
Don't beat yourself up for not seeing any signs.
She likely hid everything all to well.
Still, eventually they all slip up.
As this unfolds, could you please share with SI the redflags you may have missed.
This is the one that will haunt me. If I ever decided on IC, this would be a hot topic.
MindMonkey, I simply can't explain it. She looked like my old, model wife. She is not a good liar, and that just isn't her style. She doesn't put on facades for others, just so she shines in a good light. She would be, by my definition, a good stereotypical wife.
That is why I have to look inward. Yes, I know that it is not my job to look over my shoulder for the rest of my life, but there has to be something. As you can tell by my current mindset, I am saddened/shocked/hurt----but I have not been bought to my knees...like in D-day #1 and #2. I had to still be guarded to a certain level. That is why this doesn't make sense---unless I am the most oblivious man on the planet. It's possible, but I doubt it.
I don't know if I could have done it any better or differently after my June 2011 discovery. The initiating of dissolving the marriage, the watching her work on herself from a safe distance, and the slow letting down of my guard---it felt like textbook. If there is one thing that I would call a red flag, is that deep down, I thought something lacked in the remorse. It was a faint feeling, and as I look at it right now, I would say that her empathy is not as deep as I needed it to be. I discounted this, as she was so focused on her sobriety.
But hey, I could be a million miles off. I am definitely second guessing everything right now.