So, after 8 years together and two known EAs, I'm struggling with feeling I know the truth. How many EAs are later revealed to be PAs, too? And if there are two in the last two years, can I assume there were more during the first six? Ugh. How do I trust when she was so good at lying? I, too am bracing myself for the reveal of a PA and more EAs.
She's doing what I've asked, after a separation following the second DDay. I follow the saying that when someone makes you an option you remove yourself from the equation. She chose to stay and work on herself and the relationship. We are in IC and MC. She's struggling with balancing her needs that we're never expressed before, the problems she had in our relationship and meeting my needs to heal in the relationship. It's difficult but progress happens, if slowly.
I have read that an EA is more damaging than a PA, but the combination of both is the most damaging. We read Not Just Friends and it was helpful. I'm such an emotional person who prizes relationships that are genuine and authentic. This changes everything, as it not only revealed betrayal with others, but deception emotionally throughout by her lack of emotional genuineness with me. It's so tough.
So...back yo my questions. How often do BSs discover that the EA turned PA? If it never really did, when does that suspicion go away? What are the odds these are the only two?
At this point, all you can do is to watch your WS's behavior and communicate your feelings to her. You know that. So hard to do consistently when you feel like you might be being duped though! If she hasn't fessed up by now, it's likely that she won't--and the crazy making part is that there's a 50/50 chance she's telling you the truth. Follow your gut, though as you know it can be hard to distinguish gut feeling from trauma-based danger scanning.
Keep talking to her. The more you do the more you will be able to gauge how genuine she is being. I'm right there with you wondering whether I'm still being duped, but talking always makes me feel better.
But she says she didn't go over there. I think she did. I think she tried. There are lots of reasons. The look on her face the day after as she told me she didn't want to fight anymore--days before I discovered it. The circumstances that day, when she told me she had to finish something up before meeting Kevin a parking lot to unlock my car to get my keys out...after not responding to my calls and texts for over 20 minutes when she carries her phone everywhere. Two texts she claims are never sent two days after she supposedly ended it, the last the afternoon before I discovered it. Too fishy. And a response made in anger about her behavior during our separation in which she said, "I'm good to go at a distance, but when it came to action and they expected me to touch them I just couldn't do it." Seems to me she at least tried. And is "protecting" me from her actions.
And this resistance to sharing about the one from years ago. Telling me she doesn't remember. Giving me vague answers in response to what I discovered or others told me rather than her story about what she did. Telling me she acted like an asshole, that she probably did what they say, but can't recall any of it. Her continued defenses when I'm hurting make me feel like she's on the other side of it or in front if it instead of next to me looking at it as a team. I've told her that stevedore this to both of us. But until she meets me where I am, it feels like defense and it stinks of fear from the whole truth.
That said, she's talking. Going to IC and MC. Setting good boundaries with friends and family, in ways she never did before. She gets that they were affairs and they were damaging. She's angry at herself and feels bad for causing me pain. She apologizes. She just can't help but defend what ages doing and has done when I share my feelings and thoughts. And it hurts. She said tonight that she feels like all the work she's doing isn't making an impact because I'm angry I still don't have her truth. That I get upset when she can't respond well to my concerns or pain. It's maddening. And the whole while I'm thanking her, telling her I feel more connected when we have a good talk and showing it through affection, and working hard to respect her space and not bring up every little detail or every time I'm dealing with mind movies...because that would be constant at this point.
Sorry. Big rant. I'm just exhausted.
This denial and blaming me - all the things that I've done wrong in the relationship that has driven him away he says... I asked him to get a cover for his phone because he said he put a password on it because it was sending messages to work people. He said he ws going to get a new phone, anyway. I texted him that we need to recomit to ourselves and do it without outside interference. And he response was well I am here - when he came home that evening. I pulled the phone log and I see that he was still talking to her in April. But I am not sure but I think he may have blocked my ability to pull his phone log because it is in his name although I have a phone on his plan because the last couple of days of phone logs were nothing but my calls to him and no other work related calls. He get's a LOT of work related calls.
I really don't know what to do. I want with all my heart to believe that this is a friend, but my gut is telling me that he wouldn't have needed to keep this friendship "private".
I feel your pain! I was there a few months back and it hurts so bad. Let me first say that I'm so very sorry that this has happened to you. It is so devastating and debilitating, especially when your WS is resistant or even attacking in their response to your discovery. You don't deserve that, and nothing you ever did made you deserve his deceit.
One of my big regrets was not investigating hard core at the time of DDay 1. I recommend pulling everything you can. There are programs that will recover deleted information from text, email and websites. You can petition the phone company for a log of texts (just dates and times, unfortunately, but it's something). My WS accidentally demolished her phone as I was downloading a program to retrieve deleted messages...fishy. I'm still so upset about it.
If you have a gut feeling, follow it. If I could do it all over again: DO NOT let him know what you are finding out until you have all the information you can get, until he demonstrates remorse, and until he tells you about his involvement on his own. My WS responded with TT and minimization, and then I hit DDay 2 about an EA from years prior. It was devastating, but worse was the TT and outright lies. If I'd had all the information ahead of time and not revealed what I was discovering along the way she would not have been aware of what to hide and how to hide it (so I still suffer from suspicion at times), and I would have had information to prove she was telling me the worst about the truth. As it was, I set myself up to be a victim of TT and I still don't believe what she says is true while I wait for the information she promised me too long ago. Much of the information I could have gathered immediately is now lost forever and I'm stuck debating on a polygraph.
Also, from what you described it sounds like he's not invested in R. In the R forum is a thread called something like "Before you say R." Read it. It is a great guide for knowing when it is safe to work on the relationship WITH them. In the meantime, I recommend reading about the 180 in the FAQ for BSs. Just saying, "I'm here," implies that he considers you lucky HE stayed. In addition to attacking you (gaslighting, fog, rugsweeping...) for his personal, independent choice that has nothing to do with the M. Of course, he'll say it was an option for him because he was unhappy, almost all do. However, there is something wrong with him if that was an option no matter what was happening in the relationship. Without serious personal work and introspection he will continue to justify his behaviors by villifying you. You don't deserve any more hurt from him, which is why I recommend the 180 as it protects you from more hurt.
You deserve more than he's willing to give right now, it seems. If you believe you deserve more, then demand more. It's very difficult. It's tough to keep information from them, it's heartbreaking to watch them watch you cry and fall apart and do nothing, or worse attack you. It's painful to see the light of love in their eyes leave to be replaced with hatred. Please try to remember that the hatred and holding back is a reflection of how they feel about themselves, worthless and ashamed. It's easier to blame you than to face the worst of themselves.
Hugs to you.
But, I just realized what a little shit he is being. I do not have his password to his phone and when requested it (twice) and he flatly denied my request saying "you can not control me", "You will just be all over me", and when I said I was trying to establish trust in him - he said, "You will never trust me again, anyway." The phone is in his name. Yeah, he is still putting money in the bank so we can pay the mortgage, yeah he is coming home - so what? Is he remoseful? He is playing the role that he is the hurt victim. He just denies his bad behavior - like last night. I was out on the deck having my last smoke for the night and he just goes right up to bed. When I say to him - what you don't say goodnight anymore? He says, "I was in the bathroom and you are going to bed right?" Then laughs. He can't even acknowledge his behavior... anyway, I'm so done with it at the moment. My denial is so evident right now. It's a good thing I have my first IC session for today. I think I'm finally starting to wake up! for god sake!
You know the other day, I was thinking that I wish I had some concrete proof of the nature of their relationship - like photos or texts, but you know having already seen almost a year worth of calls to her - does it even really matter? That he hasn't been transparent should be evidence enough shouldn't it?
Anyway, thanks for listening to me rant and find myself, people pleaser.
Thanks for listening people pleaser.