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It's been 20 days of Hell on Earth.

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SparrowSoul posted 7/26/2014 01:16 AM

I don't know where to start with all of this.

I guess I should tell you that I'm female, 29, that I'm not married to my "WS" and now, maybe never will be. He's been married once before, years ago, and she was never faithful. I don't think she ever intented to be. He bore it, at least for a time, but eventually moved on(her wishes, not his). After a time he left that relationship for another, and then I came along. I liked to think that the cycle stopped there.

This man, let me tell you, is a fascination. He is intelligent, but more than that, he's hungry. He wants to know so much, learn so much. He is an enthusiastic learner, an emphatic doer of things-- He makes props and clothes and art so expertly that he's developed a rather well- deserved fan base, exposes his soul to philosophy with a vigor and sincerity that's almost childlike-- And yet it's tempered with the sort of worldly patience that only comes from past trauma, if you know how to see that. He's charming, polite, well-spoken, and prone to doing things for people just to make them happy. He loves and treasures his family. He's kind to animals. He taught me to Waltz in our living room, one of the many dances he picked up during his days as a Cotillion escort. He's staggeringly easy on the eyes. Since meeting him, I have literally never had a single encounter with him wherein I wasn't at least briefly stricken by how attractive he is-- Yes, even now, in light of all of this, I can't help myself.

What eats at me now is the thought that the way I look at him in those moments, that possessive sort of awestruck admiration, is something I now know that I share with someone else. Because what happened wasn't just a physical betrayal, but an emotional affair as well, which lasted(by my reckoning, according to what I've pieced together/been told) for about nine months. They were in love. She thought he was hers, at least partially, and would be entirely hers in time. She looked at him and thought the word "Mine," and that eats at me every time I do the same. Because how do I know which one of us is or was wrong about it? If either of us were? Neither of us?

I don't know how much detail is usually shared in one's first post, so I guess I'll spare you all the few gritty details I've gotten. The short version is to say that the OW in question is my younger brother's long-term girlfriend, which worsens things somewhat all around. He and she have always had an open relationship, but that notwithstanding certain people are still supposed to be "off-limits," and she betrayed him by not honoring that clause. He found out months before I did, but was sworn to secrecy by both her and my WS. As a result, I kind of can't help but feel like I got betrayed by three people here instead of just one.

She's the one who finally came clean, alarmingly. She and I have never gotten along for various reasons, but for the last few months I'd really been making an effort. I was quicker to compliment her about her outfit choices or hairstyles, I worked harder to laugh off her frequent inappropriate jokes. I got her a job with my company, putting my neck on the line in the process. All this, because (HA HA) my WS had expressed a need for more friends in the area, and she shared many of his interests, so I wanted to be supportive. She'd always had an almost embarrassingly transparant crush on him, but we all just sort of laughed it off. He was too honest a person, too devoted to me, to indulge her. Surely, he could be trusted even with how desperately she threw herself at him. I was determined not to play the insecure, paranoid girlfriend. Ahh, hindsight really is 20/20.

She came clean at the beginning of a shift we were working together. The details get rather convoluted, but I had questioned her from a deliberately non-accusatory standpoint a few minutes prior. "What do you two text about so much?" I asked, citing the very true reason that I knew he was holding something back from me and that I was hoping to gain insight. When her answers didn't match his, I grew concerned. "Is there something deeper going on here? Has there ever been any flirtation, any hinting... From either of you?" She swore up and down that nothing of the sort was going on. I excused myself, and she followed me outside a minute later. "If there HAD been anything... Would you really want to hear it from me?" At that moment, I knew. People don't just ask a question like that for no reason. I told her that it's the sort of thing you'd want to hear, regardless of the source, and a few moments later, she dropped her eyes and shook her head. "I'm just so tired of lying." I've never liked her much, but I had to respect her a little in that moment.

Since then it's been TT from my WS, though the worst of it finally came out when I confronted him. He denied it up until the last second. It took me repeatedly saying the words "Sweetheart, she TOLD me," for him to give in and confess, and that cuts me like a knife to this day. He lied, and she didn't. She, who has never liked me either, who had every reason NOT to tell me the truth, still found the courage to do so... And he, the man who was my world, didn't. Couldn't. Wouldn't. I didn't manage to cry for almost a week, but I shook like a leaf for the next 48 hours solid.

I left our shared home to stay with my parents for a few days, and we texted a little bit in that time. I confess, the primary reason behind my return was work; our apartment is less than 10 minutes from my job versus the 40-minute drive from my parents' place, and I drive an SUV with a V8... That commute gets expensive pretty quickly. When I returned, I grilled him about whether or not they had used protection, and from there step one was to get us both tested for STDs(as I mentioned, she's a rather social individual). By the grace of whatever benevolent creator to which any of you might subscribe, we're both still clean.

He and I have had a lot of ups and downs since my world got torn apart, but I can at least say he's stood fast with me. A few days after D-Day I discovered a couple of other transgressions on his part, online text-based trysts, but he'd(at least allegedly) ended those months before and there was no real "threat" there. There was still hurt thanks to the way he'd lied about there being anything more to uncover, of course, but that part was far and away worse than the dalliances themselves. Since then he's been at my side every moment, talking to me every time I ask without hesitation, reassuring me, doting on me. I still can't shake the feeling that there's more I'm not being told, though, and if this experience has taught me nothing else it's taught me that from now on, I've got to listen to my gut more and my head less. I've told him that total transparency is necessary from now on, that it's important that I have full access to his phone and PC, that I know his various passwords... He's been resistent enough about that that it concerns me. He's willing, but not happy about it, and that sticks in my craw. I can't tell if I'm listening to my gut or if I'm just being suspicious because of what's happened, or both. I've never been the type of person to snoop or want to invade another's privacy, and the thought of demanding the right to do so niggles me... But not as much as his hesitance to oblige.

I apologize for how long this post has gotten, and if you've managed to get through it all, I applaud you. I should probably go ahead and wrap it up, with a tidy little summary for the impatient ones who'll just skim straight to the bottom:

Hi there. Twenty days ago, I found out that I got cheated on, and lied to, and then lied to some more. I think I might finally be getting to the end of it all now, and against all odds I'm actually sort of hopeful.

Jrazz posted 7/26/2014 01:23 AM

Welcome to SI, SparrowSoul.

I'm so sorry for everything that you have been through. I'm glad you have hope, but your DDay was so recent that I want you to stay vigilant for now. That doesn't mean you have to feel anxious or mistrustful, but it takes time to sort out everything that has happened and to find a way to make sure you have in fact gotten the whole story.

Read through our Healing Library, and try not to pressure yourself to be any farther along than your heart and mind will allow. You are going to be ok, but this is traumatic and it takes time to sort through. I'm glad you're here so that we can help.


healingroad posted 7/26/2014 01:27 AM


I'm sorry you find yourself here. If you've been reading you know you're on a roller coaster and it will be that way for a while. Don't try to figure too much out right away, and allow yourself to feel the feelings you have. Lots of people here will give you lots of support.

I just have one concrete comment for now, regarding this:

I've told him that total transparency is necessary from now on, that it's important that I have full access to his phone and PC, that I know his various passwords... He's been resistent enough about that that it concerns me. He's willing, but not happy about it, and that sticks in my craw. I can't tell if I'm listening to my gut or if I'm just being suspicious because of what's happened, or both. I've never been the type of person to snoop or want to invade another's privacy, and the thought of demanding the right to do so niggles me... But not as much as his hesitance to oblige.

I felt the same way. I felt that my WW was an adult and adults deserve privacy. She wasn't happy with the idea of handing over passwords either. In the end I found out why: it wasn't over. She abused my trust in her. The attitude you're getting from your WBF is troubling. After what he did he should be looking for ways to earn your trust. Electronic transparency is cheap and easy for people who aren't cheating. His attitude is an indicator of something going on. You probably should keep your eyes and ears open and find out exactly what it is.

In short, it's entirely appropriate for you to demand total transparency. Suspicious or not, you should continue to insist on it. You are doing all the right things. Keep at it.

SparrowSoul posted 7/26/2014 01:28 AM

Thanks, Jrazz, both for your advice and for helping out on what I can only call the nicest site that you'd never want to need. I've actually spent the past few weeks(since the evening of D-Day, I couldn't sleep, so instead I pored the Internet for advice and thus found SI) absolutely pillaging the Healing Library. The articles there led me to creeping on the forums a bit, and all that is why I decided to post in the first place.

I'm sad to report that I still really don't feel like I've gotten/am getting the whole story, so believe me when I say... Vigilance is such a priority, now moreso than ever.

SparrowSoul posted 7/26/2014 01:31 AM


Thanks for the kind words and the validation...

It really does kind of stick in my throat, the hesitation I've seen thus far. When I said as much, WBF said that it was because he's "always been a private person" and that this is the first time he's had to share his passwords/info like this. That just... doesn't feel like the whole truth, to me.

BeautifulEmpty posted 7/26/2014 02:00 AM

I understand your hesitancy. I am the same. I hate intruding on a grown adult's privacy but right now and possibly for a long time, you will need to know what's happening behind the scenes.
A big, insidious part of infidelity is the fact that the WS took your choice away. You didn't get to make a decision before things got out of hand. You didn't get to protect yourself from std's. You got zero choice.
A startling feature of all this for me was realizing that I'm the only one who will ultimately protect me. You need to protect you. Remind yourself that every time you feel like an intrusive, over controlling jerk. You aren't. You are protecting yourself with knowledge...something he completely denied you on top of not protecting you and your relationship.
I'll admit, I've not done much policing except a time or two. I came to a decision: he can do whatever he wants but this doesn't mean I have to go along with it or that there won't be consequences. I will file for divorce the next business day. All I need is information and that's why you get transparency. Period.
You may not take the hard line I have and that's okay. My story goes a lot further back with many twists, turns and multiple betrayals but again, if he turns out to still be playing, you may find yourself taking an even harder stance.
Right now is a roller coaster. You don't have to decide anything now. Wait, watch, and check that his actions line up with his words.
I am so sorry you find yourself needing to be here. It will get better but try not to rugsweep. It hurts but feeling your pain and working through your feelings, while a long, hard journey, is also the only real, concrete way to come at your relationship from a place of strength from here on out. Working through that muck helps you to decide what you really need and want. You may want R or you may decide it's a deal breaker.
Whichever way everything pans out, I'm glad you are here for support. These folks don't have a "just get over it and move on" attitude. They really focus on solid healing. I know I've sure appreciated that.

Tearsoflove posted 7/26/2014 13:44 PM

When my husband first confessed to the affair, he didn't want to go no contact. He thought they could be friends. I made him promise me. Notice I say "I made him". I was seeing a counselor and at my session told him how he had promised but I didn't feel good about it. My counselor said "Of course you don't feel good about it. A promise giving unwillingly is unlikely to be kept. It's meaningless."

I thought about that and he was right. And that goes for reluctantly giving transparency, too. Someone who doesn't understand the importance of it, doesn't think he should have to, and doesn't give transparency willingly is unlikely to give full transparency. Those who don't believe they should have to typically find other ways to hide things.

Skan posted 7/26/2014 21:43 PM

SparrowSoul, welcome. This is the most supportive place that you never wanted to have the reason to find. I'm so very sorry that you had the reason to come find us.

I've never been the type of person to snoop or want to invade another's privacy,

When a person acts with honor, you have no reason to snoop. Or "invade" their privacy. But frankly, once a person betrays you, they lose that right to be trusted with secrets. And that really is what it is. Secrets. Privacy is for when you go to the bathroom to poop. As a courtesy, you give the other person privacy, even though you both know what they are doing. What he wants you to give to him right now, is the right to have secrets from you. He lost the right to ask for that when he screwed another person.

Look. As kindly as possible, I sense that you are overly impressed with how "evolved" your WBF is. And that you still regard him in that manner. The basic and brutal truth is that truly evolved people do not cheat on their partners. They hold themselves, body and soul, to a higher standard. They honor themselves AND their partners by their fidelity. They do not cause pain to other people, especially people who they profess to love. They act in a moral fashion.

You WBF has not done that. Beauty is truly, only skin deep. Ugly cuts to the bone. And he has shown you how ugly he truly is, inside. You really need to focus on this fact vice all of the pretty labels that he is presenting to you. Unfortunately, there is one thing that is probably going to drive that home to you. Again, I am so very sorry. Monday morning, you are going to have to call your doctor and ask for a full STD/HIV panel of tests. And make appointments for the follow-on tests because some of the tests must be repeated. You have to do this because you cannot trust that your WBF has taken precautions by having safe sex. And even if he did, if he kissed her, if he had oral sex with her, or any comb of the former, it wasn't safe sex. And until he has the same tests and has his doctor's office call you with the negative results, you should not let him touch you. Because he has chosen to possible compromise your health, your life.

This is not the way an evolved person behaves. To anyone, let alone a person that he supposedly loves. You are worth far more than this. And you should demand it. (((hugs)))

SparrowSoul posted 7/28/2014 14:24 PM

(((BeautifulEmpty))) (((Tearsoflove))) (((Skan)))

First of all, I apologize for the delay in my response. I've been working a lot lately and my at-home time has mostly been taken up with (big shock!) lots and lots of talking.

You all make really valid points... If I try to remind myself that I'm not "snooping" but rather trying to protect and educate myself, it doesn't feel quite so wrong. WBF consented to giving me his passwords the other night, writing them down on a sheet of paper, though he still wasn't exactly bouncing with eagerness for me to go through his things. The following morning(yesterday), we looked through his email together, I asked questions and he answered them. A lot of stuff has been deleted, as that's always been his practice just for the sake of reducing clutter as well as covering his tracks(Just calling a spade a spade here), and I've asked him not to delete things until I've seen them from now on. He agreed, but we'll see how well that lasts.

Afterwards, he told me that he was beginning to feel better about the thought of me having his account passwords, for the sake of improved openness and synergy between us. I told him that that's all I had ever wanted. Not just in light of his A, but since the beginning(I've never kept any of my accounts private from him at all, largely for just that reason).

To (((Skan))) in particular (Does that little parentheses-party notify somebody that you've mentioned them or something? Pardon my ignorance)-

You might be entirely correct about how thoroughly-smitten I still am with WBF and everything he represents to me. To be fair, he's expressed nothing but contrition and not attempted self-defense at all, as even he knows/feels that he is/should be better than the sort of behavior that he's displayed, but your point does still stand.

We did in fact go and get checked for STDs at the local clinic the day after I found out, and had our follow-up appt. on the 24th. We both tested negative for everything, thank goodness-- Although, to paraphrase Mae West, "Goodness had nothin' to do with it."

Tearsoflove posted 7/28/2014 15:03 PM

The parenthesis around a name is a virtual hug. So, whether you wanted to or not, you just gave us all a hug.

SparrowSoul posted 7/28/2014 15:07 PM

Goodness knows, we could all use a few! Thanks for the explanation.

Hope2B posted 7/28/2014 20:31 PM

SparrowSoul, I am so sorry you find yourself here. You've been given some really wonderful input from folks here.

They were in love.
Notice you didn't say *she* was in love, you said *they.* He was involved, he was in love. This kinda means (gently here) that he's not in love with you, but implies there is a benefit to him for being in a relationship with you during the time frame he was "in love" and perhaps during this time afterwards.

He may be doing damage control by standing fast with you to allay your concerns. After all, he was just recently "in love." You discovered other transgressions--were they with different women or the same younger brother's (ahem) long term gf?

I sense red flags and alarms are going off. He lied, he tried to cover things up, and this bodes ill.

Just my opinion, but any time I hear someone say that something is "almost childlike" or "childlike" or that they have a "childlike sense of wonder"--RUN THE OTHER WAY.

I still can't shake the feeling that there's more I'm not being told
TRUST your feelings, as it is likely there IS more that you are not being told. He's resistant to your request of full access, passwords, etc. When or if he does give this to you, you can probably expect that he will also have a secret email account, and perhaps a burner phone. He is hesitant to oblige you with full access for a reason.

Your description of him and his qualities and your fascination with him, and including the comment on past trauma (if you know how to see that) and other things kinda make my spider sense go crazy. I will fully admit that I could be wrong, of course.

People with nothing to hide, hide nothing, y'know? I don't know you, I don't know your life, and I don't know him, but I also don't think this will end happily for you, and I am so sorry that's the sense I get from your post. (((SparrowSoul))) Still and all, I hope for the best for you.

[This message edited by Hope2B at 8:33 PM, July 28th (Monday)]

RMarred posted 7/28/2014 20:42 PM

Hi, Hope2B. Thank you for the input. Even if it's about/against me, I do appreciate it. I am the offender here, but I would like to clarify a few things. I didn't want to just jump in here and try to defend myself, but rather let you know from my own end. For what it's worth, anyway.

I had this affair. I can and will attest I was wayward, astray, unfaithful, whatever anyone would like to call it. But I was not in love with this AP. I have started a thread in the "Wayward Side" section, if you care to read it. If not, I understand. But I am in love with my B.S., and I don't want to half-ass prove it, I want to completely prove it.

I don't know if it was missed or overlooked in SparrowSoul's earlier post, but it was stated by her that my passwords have been handed over as of a few days ago, and we went through my email together, and will probably continue to. I also have no alt-email addresses or burner phones. Any email addresses I DO have (all business-related) all pool to the same account, and they all show up as such.

I'm not trying to do damage control anymore. I'm trying to save us. No one and nothing else worth more than this to me. As stated in my own thread, I know that everything I say will be questionable, as it should be right now, but I wanted you to hear this from me, just so it's known. Thank you for reading this.

[This message edited by RMarred at 8:45 PM, July 28th (Monday)]

Uhtred posted 7/28/2014 20:54 PM


Sorry you've had to come here and sorry for your pain. After I read about your "exquisite" boyfriend I couldn't help but back up the comment about him being truly ugly. You've just discovered the true nature of the beast lurking inside. Don't you forget that and allow him to smooth things over by painting you a pretty picture or whatever he does with paint and art stuff.whatever. He's a cheater and he intentionally did this to you. He made a conscious decision to hurt you and put the decision on a scale and said fuck it I'm getting some strange and I don't care about anyone but me. I'm not talking shit about your boyfriend but he's replaceable and I'm sure there are more of that type around that won't cheat on you.

You see I'm a knuckle dragger of a man like most I associate with. I hunt, fish, avid Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter who happened to love his wife like no man ever loved a woman and would kill a man for messing with her. I almost did when I discovered the affair and I don't mean I just thought about it. I actually put my hands on him and luckily stopped before I went to far. I was was faithful and true, not perfect but I am a good man. The moral of the story is usually when you see something too good to be true it normally is.

You are not married to this man yet and do not have children yet. Why even continue with someone who can't even keep it in his pants and you two aren't even married yet? I'm not saying he can't change because everyone can but you are playing Russian Roulette with your future. There's no excuse for what's been done. You say he's doing everything right? What if he is charming you back to sleep so he can do it again?

I hope the best for you and am truly sorry for your pain. I along with everyone here knows what you are going through. Hang in there and keep posting. I wasn't trying to pound you on the head with my club I just want you to really see this guy for what he is.

SparrowSoul posted 7/31/2014 02:08 AM

Hope2B- Thank you for your insight... I know that I'm speaking from a position of bias, of course, but I'm not quite sure that I agree with all of what you've said. I like to think that I'm viewing things with a heavy dose of skepticism at this point, but even still, more and more of his explanations are adding up. Obviously, I'd have to be a fool to trust it all and take it at face value, but I'm trying to be at least cautiously optimistic.

Again, my reply is late in coming, and I apologize for that, but it's given us time to improve a little bit more. I'm still edgy, still very suspicious, but hopeful. OH, and to answer your question about the other transgressions-- They were with other people; online sexual role-play(with 2 people), and one separate case of a female friend in an open relationship sending him unsolicited(but also un-rejected) photos/videos of her/her+her fiancée. NC has been established in all three cases, and there was no emotional involvement(which is why I wasn't as concerned about those as I was with the "main" A).

Uhtred- First of all, I'm afraid I've got to challenge your claim of knuckle-dragging... One can hardly be too terribly uncouth while still using Oscar Wilde in a signature quote.

That being said, I think I may have laid it on a bit thick in regards to talking my WBF up. My mind, admittedly, does love to focus on his various positive traits, but lately I sure have been thinking about the negative ones as well-- Including the ones you stressed. I wasn't blind to the down-sides before, but I think I tended to overlook them in favor of the positive/not wanting to come across as some kind of nagging shrew.

As for him doing everything in an effort to charm me... Am I perhaps being too much of a sucker in believing that he really does seem contrite? He starts the day off with apologies for what happened, insists on being around me as much as possible, has relinquished passwords to me, and at the risk of seeming indelicate, has had more emotional breakdowns in the wake of all this than I have(that might well be a shortcoming on my part, I recognize that & will probably soon make a post pertaining to it). He is by no means effeminate or delicately-natured, but has been very emotional in response to seeing just how terribly he's hurt me. I'm aware that he did a truly shitty thing, but even still... does it really seem so likely that he's just going through the motions for the sake of fooling me? I can't imagine that he'd have very much to gain in the effort...

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