The night before we are to go on a family trip North, I was reading on our shared iPad and came across a couple of nude photos of her. Alarms went off inside since we have never taken pictures or sent them to each other. I get out of bed and go over to her phone and start to look. She jumps on me and tries to tear it out of my hands screaming for me and starts saying lies about what I've seen. The fight ignites with me being accusatory and she denying the world is round. She let's out a little bit of truth and I've asked her to leave. Meanwhile, my daughter has overheard (I don't think I've ever yelled that loud in my life) and my kids are balling and crying. My older son took them out of the house for a car ride to get away from it all.
I ask her to come clean and she says that it was one person and it won't happen again. Of course, as she's showing me the site, one of these guys pops up on Skype. When we were logged into her site, I noticed that she told a guy that it wasn't the first time she strayed and that she had an affair 15 years ago that lasted 2 years. When I asked her about that she said it was made up so she'd sound sexy. I was able to get her to eventually go to her mom's and leave for the night.
It comes out that she has been having video masturbation sessions with a ½ dozen guys on a site called Experience Project. She had a full profile of her self with nudes up and information about her. She had created a secret email and Skype account and she was inviting them to have sessions with her. One guy in particular had become a regular and were starting on a friendship. The guy 15 year ago was the builder of my house. While I was working she was having phone sex with the guy. She swears up and down it never became physical but an emotional affair. I do not believe for an instant that my wife did not have sex with this guy.
The kids didn't want her to come on vacation. My daughter was crying because she didn't want her there. I brought her thinking that we could work on the relationship. For some reason, it felt it was just me expressing my thoughts and she was being distant but listening.
Fast forward. It's been almost two weeks. I've lost 5 lbs (Not good: I'm already skinny and very fit), I have anxiety attacks and I haven't slept more than 5 hours a night (with sleeping pills). After my lunch time run today and yesterday, I was hyperventilating in the shower.
I can't trust her. I've spent my last two work days searching every social site to see if she's had more encounters or if there is more truth that she hasn't told me. There have been some surprises and the numbers she told me didn't add up. I helped her delete the EP page the first night (my mistake) so I don't really know the full extent of what she did there.
We go to counseling in two days.
I'm so very sorry for what you've been through, but I'm glad you found us.
It sounds like you already know this - but her swearing up and down to anything isn't worth a damn right now. She's in deep, and she's going to lie to protect herself for a long time. I'm really glad you're getting into counseling. These situations can go an infinite number of ways - it just depends on how hard the Wayward Spouse is willing to work on themselves, and what the Betrayed Spouse is capable of enduring in the meantime.
My heart just goes out to you and your sweet children. This truly is life-changing, and the emotions are going to be really high.
The good news is we are here to tell you that you are going to be ok. There's a wealth of knowledge and experience here and the more you post and ask questions the more information you are going to be armed with for the months/years to come.
Check out our Healing Library, and look into the 180 as well. It's a way of conducting yourself that has had great success in pulling a WS out of the fog and into a more authentic space, as well as give you some control of your own thoughts and feelings.
We're here for you. Sending hugs and strength.
For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning. - T.S. Eliot
Thanks for the kind words and support. They really do help. The information on the 180 is golden. I wished I had found that earlier.
I will read the responses to others and learn from their wisdom.
I am sorry you find yourself here. The club no one every wanted to join.
This is a safe place with many caring, kind people.
How long has it been since Dday?
Your wife is trying to fill a void through all these online situations.
Was this also the first time you had learned of the affair 15 years ago?
IMO, your WW is lying to you. She is lying and blameshifiting to cover her tracks. She is.
How has she acted since your found out? Regretful or remorseful? Big difference.
As Jrazz suggests, check out the healing library and go there and read, read, read. Knowledge is power.
You are correct, you can not trust her right now.
She needs IC to understand how she allowed herself to cheat. How she allowed her self to make the choices to put her marriage and family at risk?
Right now, you have to take care of you and your children. You can't fix her because you didn't break her. It's her job to fix her.
Time to step back to reality and deal with the mess she's created.
An affair is an affair. Emotional, physical or online. She was putting time and energy into something that wasn't you, your marriage or your family. That is cheating.
Stay strong and define your boundaries. What are you willing to put up with and what aren't you? Let her know and stick to your guns.
She also needs to come clean on her past encounters. I don't believe her that she made it up to sound sexy.
Good luck and consider IC for yourself too. It helps you to wrap your head around all that is happening to you.
Ask the MC the best way to address this with the children. Different ages require different communication. They are hurting too. Hopefully, your wife sees this and feel remorse for putting you and your kids in this situation.
Good luck. We are here. Keep moving.
[This message edited by 1Faith at 5:06 PM, August 6th (Tuesday)]
This stress just sucks the life out of you and ruins your immune system even when you're not looking.
Sorry you had to come here. It probably saved my sanity and my life.
At least this fence is mine to own and
One trouble is that she has been regretful and not remorseful. I read and reread the 180 list and already seeing a difference in her response.
DDay was 7/25. Almost 2 weeks.
I learned of the 15 year old affair for the first time. I never suspected her.
The kids are managing well so far. My daughter has been acting out towards her which I can expect. I've spent some quality time talking with them and listening. I am leaving it up to her to decide what to tell them. I've basically said that she hurt dad very badly but I've think they've heard enough from the first night to understand what she did.
This is a tough place to be in. You are torn between wanting what you thought you had a few weeks ago and dealing with the reality of what you have today.
Since no one has said it yet you can't "nice" her back to being a good and faithful wife anymore than you can nice a drug addict into stopping. It just isn't going to happen.
I am 16 months out from D-day and the reality of what my FWW did has finally hit with her and she is broken over it. She actually had the nerve to say "you don't know how this feels". Amusing....
Anyway, your WW will be in damage control mode. She will tell you everything you want to hear, she will put on the "act" that she thinks you want to see and it will all be a deception in an attempt to control you. When this happens you will want to believe so badly, don't. It's not real. She wants to protect her way of life right now. She is wondering how to keep doing what she is doing and not get caught. Don't be surprised if there is more you don't know.
She might come around or she might not. That's the reality of it. It might help if you start thinking what your minimum requirements are early on. That will help later. What I mean by that is after I had been trampled on for a while I decided there is a "minimum performance standard" for my spouse. It's MY minimum requirements to remain married to me. I typed them up and sent them to her via email so there would never be any confusion and she could refer back to them.
I told her do one of these things (affair related) just once and you are initiating irrevocable divorce proceedings. I will divorce you and move on. She played the victim card but I stopped it quickly. She said "you want to divorce me".. I told her if you do any of these things you are expressing your desire to be divorced and I will fulfill that request.
It's been a different marriage since. I don't check up on her and I don't worry. I am going to be ok either way and she knows it.
Once you get there the world changes....
ETA: If you post some of your interaction with your WW the folks here can help you interpret it. In other words they can see through her ploys with amazing clarity. It's almost comical. They all have the same playbook.
[This message edited by damaged71 at 8:45 AM, August 7th (Wednesday)]
Great advice. As you said, I really was in love with someone else that didn't exist. There might be a positive outcome from this, but that road seems to be far off.
One difficulty I think we'll face is that she is not very forthcoming in her feelings. I think she regrets what she has done, but there is no remorse. The apologies have been weak and days apart. I just have to stay true to me and my children and as you said, don't try to "nice" her back to loving me.
What really bothered me is that we ended up getting pretty tipsy by the end and one thing led to the other. It fit the pattern of Hysterical Bonding. Afterwards, I felt horrible and cheap for giving in. I think that she feels that the sex might have been about forgiving her. I'm nowhere close to that.
You might want to go to the I Can Relate forum and check out the Betrayed Men's thread. There's a lot of great guys there that have a unique perspective on WWs. I think that you'll find a great deal of support there and it's a very active thread so there is almost always someone to talk to.
D-Day, June 10, 2012
Welcome. You have already recieved some great advice here. A few things I would strongly encourage you to do.
1. See an attorney, or 2, get answers on how this would play out if you end up going down the road to D. This helps with the wondering what if's.
2. Call your Dr, get something to help with the anxiety. Sleeping pills really aren't the issue here, it's calming your mind enough so that you can get into a good REM sleep. Without it emotions, and responses to things can get way out of whack quickly. Many of us benefited from pharmaceutical help during this time. At the minimum ask for something for anxiety. This will calm your gut enough to force down a protein shake or two. While you are on the phone, make an appt to get STD tested. It sucks but it's the harsh reality of the situation. You need to know you are healthy. HPV is silent men usually until it causes horrible things.
3. Figure out what you want, if you want to R what are your minimum requirements from her to do this. You have a good understanding already of regret and remorse, so we don't have to go there. Making her understand what she has to loose often is the only way to get a Wayward to defog.
4. If she is just sorry she was caught, and not sorry for destroying your trust and hurting your M, then you probably want to implement the 180. This is to protect you. Help you find center, and gain perspective.
Don't feel bad for having sex, yes it's the HB thing, and it's normal. If she thinks that having sex means forgiveness she has a heck of a lot of work to do.
Make sure the kids know your issues have nothing to do with them. They are old enough to understand what is really going on, so they also may have some questions and a hard time understanding, the whole dang thing. This is the time that you have to be their soft place to land, where they feel safe asking questions, and loved. If they are consumed by it, please consider IC for them.
Keep posting here...
Time is on your side. It is ok to sit down and listen to her story but by now you realize she is most likely still lying. Her lips are moving.
You can try to verify what she is telling you.
But you can use the time to improve you. To judge her by her actions and attitude.
To see if she is even capable of remorse. Not just regret that she got caught.
Time is on your side. The list of what conditions you set forth to her to even stay in the marriage is a good idea.
But do not be in a rush to make any major decisions right now.
And don't be surprised if she falls back to her old ways.
It happens very often.
So focus on you and your kids. Definitely see an attorney so you know your rights.
Do not tell her any of this yet.
In the end the decision is yours. She just does not realize it yet. She is still in damage control mode. Not honesty mode.
And maybe you might just want to call that builder out of the blue in a nonthreatening way to verify her physical affair with him.
Who knows you might actually get the truth.
Last night was our second counseling session and I left feeling beat up and attacked. The digging into me continued when I got home. I understand that my behaviors in a 20 year marriage has not been perfect but I have been a good and dedicated husband to her. It was just too much to hear this early and wish we focused on healing strategies. I sent a email this morning to the counselor.
I'm struggling with the 180. This woman has been my companion and goto person when I was down and I feel that I don't have anyone to go for solace and comfort that I need. Is there a thread on "Helping with a 180?"
She finally showed some true remorse Wed night. By yesterday morning, it seemed to have been lost again. This morning, it's the same. For all you WS out there. SHOW, SAY and ACT towards your BS that you love this person, truly regret what you've done to them and want to help them heal.
She's home sleeping the long night off and I'm at working trying not to get fired. Thanks for letting me vent!
This woman has been my companion and goto person when I was down and I feel that I don't have anyone to go for solace and comfort that I need.
If it helps to know that someone else out there is in the same place, this is how I feel right now, too. The difficulty is that I (I'm not going to presume to say "we," but I'm thinking that it might apply to you as well) keep assuming that my best friend would never do something so harmful unless she had a good reason. "I'm not perfect," goes the conversation in my head. "There were things to work on in our marriage, but am I crazy that I thought we both thought it was really pretty good? Maybe I'm crazy. I must somehow deserve this on some level. She is, after all, the person I have chosen to love and trust, and thus there must be some reason for all of it." Etc. Etc.
Hard not to listen to that voice, but I'm trying to accept what everyone is telling me, and what I can see in every other situation on these SI boards except my own: this is her, not you. You do not deserve disrespect, no matter what.
(I'm speaking to myself here as much as to you. Hang in there.)
I think MC is unhelpful at this point. When your wife sets fire to your house, you don't start remodeling your kitchen. You put out the fire and figure out what the hell is wrong with your wife!
She needs IC, and consistent complete remorse before it makes any sense to go to MC.
What sailorgirl said. Put the MC on hold for now - you can always return later. Your wife needs IC right now.
So sorry for your hurt.