I say this because I know how pills affect people. I obviously know a lot of people that have them/sell them/take them. My own habit was about $400 a day. I was taking a LOT of pills, and never did I say anything remotely this untrue. Forget about the sexual parts of it - just the enormity of the lies is staggering. My point is that I think this is a much deeper issue. I am obviously not there, and I'm not a counselor, but I've been around more than my share of drugs, addicts, etc. both pills and cocaine (this was a close friend that ended up heavily addicted to cocaine in my younger days - very sad) - and these lies are just over the top.
I must ask - how do you know that some of these things are lies? It seems like that would be hard to know. Also, her 'confessing' everything to her friend, when it wasn't true. That is so strange, it's as if she actually believes these stories. Or, she knew you were recording their conversations. However, if she believes these things are true, she will pass a lie detector test. Conversely, if she is this wired and her mind is racing enough to make up such things, she may 'fail' every single question on the lie detector. I would do some heavy research on this before having her take the test. I would look for an inpatient rehab, and fast. If she is making up such large stories, and she is an addict, then she may also be actively drug seeking on the streets and things will only go downhill. I think she needs professional help beyond the standard IC treatment. I think your wife is in serious trouble and needs help, badly.
I absolutely feel for you and all that you've learned in the last few weeks. However, I believe your wife is in dire straights. I may be wrong, but the drugs, the lies, the sexual infidelities, it's just too much. I have to wonder if she isn't/hasn't suffered some sort of breakdown. You have children together, and they should come first. As such, their mothers' health, both physical and mental, should be top priority. You will still be able to deal with all of the stories you're getting, but she will be getting the treatment she needs. You may even get the truth from her.
Also, you made this comment:
3. Haven't seen a lawyer, but I know my rights. She admitted to some doctor shopping behavior. I told her that if we divorce, it is full custody or she goes to jail.
What is she actively doing that would land her in prison? I only ask because if she isn't doing anything that can actually cause her to have to serve time, she may resent this 'blackmail' and actually use it against you. I fully support you having full custody, based on the facts presented here, and I can't imagine any judge would see it differently. You may be better off taking the 'instability' route over doctor shopping, which really isn't going to send anyone to jail.
Please, take care of yourself and your kids. This is an unbelievable shock. You mentioned you told your boss. You may want to take a few days off if possible, to clear your head. I sat at my desk for months searching infidelity sites, forums, anything. I wanted answers, I wanted help. I did eventually get fired. I've since landed a fantastic job, and I wasn't really that fond of the one I lost, but I had never been fired from any job, ever. It was embarrassing to realize that my behavior had led me to that point. So if you can, take a few days to refocus. If there is a grandparent that could watch the kids for that time, that would be really optimal. Infidelity is so stressful, and it is a life adjustment. Having a few days or a week can help so much.
Glad you found SI. There are some really great people here with a wealth of experience, advice, and thousands of shoulders to cry on.
I have also seen this behaviour although in a bit different setting.
One idea, I Think others have touched on this, is that she is seeking attention/compassion. That's where I have seen it before.
I would have her be examined by a shrink.
First, reputable rehab facilities usually focus VERY hard on COMPLETE sobriety---which means NO substances that can be potentially abused. If your wife is taking prescription drugs other than a VERY small handful of meds that address the source of a psych issue (rather than treat them symptomatically), then she needs to return to rehab.
Recidivism in the addict population is very high, and it does not sound, if you've had to take the warden role and lock up meds, as though she's clean and sober.
If her psychiatrist is prescribing anything like benzodiazepines, that must stop. Actually, I'd view this as a good juncture for a NEW psychiatrist, because the one she has apparently is not at all plugged in to what is going on with her.
Please don't think I'm judging YOU for not being plugged in. I was married for just about 25 years before I learned that everything I believed to be true about my husband was not. I do understand how these things can come out of the blue. A handful of years out and clearer vision lets me see a few red flags in the rearview mirror--but by and large, it was a total shock.
Has she been given a psych diagnosis? What testing has been done? What meds did you have to lock up? The addiction you didn't know of---what substances other than crack did she claim to abuse? Have you had drug testing done?
(And for you: NO UNPROTECTED sex is a must. Your STD tests should be repeated at intervals for ...well, my doctor prefers 2 years, with annual HIV testing thereafter. And that's testing AFTER the infidelity has been confirmed to have ended.)
It sounds as though her confabulation may be due to memory lapse, or due to a fairly serious psychiatric disorder. But it's hard to say without knowing what you've confirmed to be untrue---and how you've confirmed it (because we BSs, in desperation to believe it can get better, sometimes get our confirmations wrong).
Whatever is going on, you're in over your head. You won't be able to fix this----and frankly, no one will, until your wife decides she wants help.
A woman who's been through rehab, sees a psychiatrist, and still needs meds locked up and is so very symptomatic has something serious going on.
In your shoes, I'd try to guide her to expert help---and then head for an Al-Anon or Narc-Anon meeting, where you can learn how to live your own life without taking responsibility for her choices. (This is a really good place for that,too.)
Millions of hugs to you.
The meds she was abusing most recently? Ambien, Remeron, cold medicine?!!, energy shots, etc. I had to take her off our bank account 2 years ago because she spent all our money. I don' know exactly how much she wasted, but the one that woke me up was when we were supposed to have $800 in our checking account and we were in the negative.
Before we met, we both went through a 1 year rehab. We both stayed and worked there. Same organization, different cities. Met at a staff training seminar. I was in ministry for the first 5 years of our marriage. That is why the time she admits to PA cheating on me is killing me the most. Even more than the horror stories of her escort days. The last 5 years have been mostly bad. I mean I love my boys, but I am doing this parenting thing on my own.
The only reason I haven't sent her packing or sent her to a long term treatment facility was because we couldn't afford it. She is seeing a psychiatrist who is supposed to specialize in addiction, but as someone who knows about it, I am far from impressed. She is also seeing a counselor in his office.
I got to go see my IC last night. It was generally helpful. He answered some of my questions about why she might have made it up.
She has told me many lies recently. I have been able to confirm without a doubt that she did not have sex with her coworker 1.5 years ago. Also, throughout the last 2 months, everything I could confirm has turned out to be bogus. THen she would say, ok, here is the truth, and it would be something worse. Here is an example.
She was going to a methadone clinic for about 15 months. At one point she admitted to having sex for drugs. After much prodding by me over probably days, she admitted to having a regular Tuesday thing at her friends house for extra drugs. When I tracked this friend down, I asked my wife if her story would line up with my wifes. She said ok, it wasn't at Sissy's house. It was in the parking lot of the clinic. After confirming that this didn't happen, she said she was going down to the ghetto for crack. It is possible that this happened (please God I hope not), but it is not possible that it happened even close to the extent that she claimed. This is getting so long, I forgot where I was going.