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On again, off again affair

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abbeyrd80 posted 8/11/2014 07:50 AM

I married my wife in 2003, we have 2 children and I just found out a month ago that se had a 2 and a half year affair. In late 2006, our marriage was going through a rough spell...we had a small child and both working full-time jobs; she was on 3rd shift. I was not focused on our marriage and was only focused on my job at the time; I had transitioned from a married relationship, to that of roommates. She repeatedly told me that she felt neglected and ignored but I never payed her any attention and would only become angry when she complained. One night as we layed in bed, she started talking about this guy at her work and how he had become a good friend. She said that the 2 of them would occassionally grab a bite out to eat after work sometimes. I became furious because I am a very jealous man. I told her I was not comftorable with this and to end it before it lead into something more. Here we are in present day and I found out that they continued their friendship, which turned sexual in mid 2007, a month after she became pregnant with my son...and I know what the 1st thought is but I know for sure that he is my son. They were having sex once a week for 3 months until my wife was in a bad car wreck. After this, she did not see him throughout the rest of her pregnancy and up until about 9 months after my son was born. They then got back together for 5 months, then called it off for 6 months, then back together for 3 months before the guy demanded that she leave me and go with him or he would end it. She did not go with him and stayed. During this time period, I knew she was unhappy with me to the point of misery and tried to tell me this daily but I never thought she was cheating on me. Two of the times they had sex was on our couch. My thing is, I love her...she has cried with me and has sincerely shown remorse and says it was the worse mistake of her life. Our relationship is now stronger because I accept my contributions to making her vulnerable (I do not accept any responsibility of the actual affair though). We had a second honeymoon and as far as our relationship...I don't make her feel like she is alone any more and in return, she acts like the loving lady that I once married. But even with all of this, the details torment my mind daily. I think about where they did it, how they did it, how many times they did it, did she love him, if he had not ended the affair would it still be going. I also have a physical disability affecting my arms and hands that is very obvious, she does not have a disability. So, it haunts me that maybe the affair was based on having a normal looking man as oppossed to me, the guy that needs help with maybe reaching something to high for me to grasp that others would not. I asked her of this and she began crying and hugging me, saying no no no, I see you as a man, a better man than most and that she doesnt see a disability when she looks at me She has never appeared to have an issue with the disability and since the day we met, hnever even questioned it but my self esteem is shattered and my fears have become so vast that I no longer have judgement on what is a rational fear and what is not. I still question her daily, something about the affair and a lot of the time, it's a repeat question from a week ago. She has been inconsistent with some answers such as how often they were together and I will point them out to her. She will respond by saying that it was over 4 years ago and she did not keep a calendar of the times they were together. These are all very civil conversations where she demonstrates nothing but compassion and sorrow. I love her, we have children, I cannot imagine life without her, but I don't want to be a horrible husband and father because all I can do is to stare off into space as I have devestating images and thoughts, going through my head...when does it stop, how can I make it stop? s I have them, I don't get angry at her because again, I accept the fact that I could have stopped it from ever happening in the beginning if I had acknowledged her existence at the time, instead of feeling complacent, which made her see me as abscent. It sucks to say this but the lesson learned by me from this tragic event is one of the greatest 'lessons' I have ever learned. But I need advice on helping my mind escape the horror of what sexually happened between her and him. I get scared that maybe she wanted to go with him in the end but did not want to do that to our children...then like the domino effect, thoughts begin to fall off that initial thought like, since it ended, has she ever not regretted it, or is all of this rebuilding that we are in the process of doing, just a front on her side to appease me? Somebody help please!?!

annb posted 8/11/2014 08:03 AM

Hi, abbeyrd80, welcome to SI. I am so glad you found us, all of us have walked in the very emotionally painful shoes of infidelity.

First thing I notice in your post is that you *think* you drove her to an affair. Stop that right now, she is a grown woman, she chose to cheat. Yes, you were not the best attentive husband and she did try to communicate with you, but she had other avenues...counseling, trial separation, suggesting divorce. No one makes another person cheat, that's all on them.

I suggest you get yourself into counseling. These mind moves suck. I am nine years out from discovering my husband's affair, and on occasion when I am not mentally active, those thoughts still come flooding back. For the time being, redirect them as much as possible. Do you exercise? If not, get started, join a gym, walk, run, ride a bike. Exercise does help.

Also, don't ever compare yourself to her affair partner. He could have been ANYONE. It was not about him, it was about what's broken in her. She was enjoying the attention, he could have been the guy at the grocery store. Anyone who would have given her the ego kibbles.

You deserve to ask questions, even at this late date, as you deserve the full truth. I don't know or I don't remember are not answers. Inconsistency is not a good thing either. Many cheaters try to minimize or protect themselves so they don't look so bad or think they are protecting their spouses by hiding the ugly truth.

Have you checked out the articles in the Healing Library? Get started, chock full of great information to help you process this nightmare.

OakStreet posted 8/11/2014 08:12 AM

^^ Good advice from annb and I am sorry you are here!

abbeyrd80 posted 8/11/2014 08:31 AM

Thank you amnb! I know that she made the choice to do what she did. But I try to make myself believe that if I had done better on my end, she would have never had a reason of making that my mind, that is the only way of convincing myself that she sincerely loves me, if that makes sense. I know that I love her, always have, and my love for her would never allow me to even contemplate cheating on her, much less, cheat on her for over a 2 year time frame. I cannot conceive the amount of guilt I would have on me if I cheated on her once...I don't understand how it could have went for as long as it did, yet she still says she loves me.I have asked her this several times and once she said she was vulnerable and enjoyed the attention that she wasn't getting from me but she broke it off with him several times but he would get her back by reminding her of how I acted toward her. She said that when it ended she was relieved because she had wanted it to end because she felt so guilty. Another time I asked her how she could take the chance of bringing him to our home and our neighbors seeing him, she said that at that point, she was so upset with me that she no longer cared if she was me, that's not guilt like she said before. She told me she stayed with me and didn't go with him because he wasn't the man I was, anoter time she said because the kids loved me so much...she said if we had no kids, she would have left at that time but not for him. They told each other they loved each other but she said that she never loved him and knew she would not stay with him but that she felt like she was in over her head and then had to keep me and him happy. Another time, we were talking and she said that half way in the affair, he stopped using condoms. I asked her how she could do something like that in our own house and she said, I thought I loved him and that I was going to be with him...these are the main inconsistencies. But still, I don't know why but not knowing the frequency or amount of times they had sex is really messing with me, the fact that it happened once should be enough but it's not. She said that it wasn't as much as I am thinking it was but its killing me. In your opinion, is an affair mosly sex when the 2 are together?

abbeyrd80 posted 8/11/2014 08:32 AM

Thanks oakstreet, so am I

kiki1 posted 8/11/2014 08:52 AM

Hello abbeyrd

my wh was in a lta too. I will never know how often they had sex. It was too often I have no need to ask.

my guess is probably weekly in my case. It sucks to think of it so you have to program your mind to stop.

Sorry your here. The fact that you were neglectful didnt entitle your ww to have an affair. It shuoldnt have been an option.


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