Many of your thoughts reflect my own - my long term so called happy marriage to the love of my life was blown to smithereens two and a half weeks ago. I've felt pain I never imagined in my life but just now I feel numb - not sure if that's a good sign or not, it's certainly not "me". My WH's affair had been going on for nine years when I found out and it kills me to think it still would be without the discovery.
I don't have words of wisdom I'm afraid, I'll leave that to the more experienced SI members but hope and pray you get the answers you need and perhaps some relief from the pain.
Take care of yourself, Lola
Please listen to Mike. He knows what he is talking about. When first caught, WS will, lie, and minimize, and omit most everything.
You should be prepared to understand there was probably a lot more to this A than she will let on.
I think what I want to do is drink until I pass out. It's the only way I'm going to get any sleep
Yeah, that is one was to get some sleep. A better way, is to exercise, run, run on a treadmill, join a gym, pump some iron, punch a punching bag, anything physical, until you are so tired you easily fall asleep at night. That is what I ended up doing. It is healthier than booze or pills.
You can expect to begin losing weight on the infidelity diet now.
You are going to be in pain for quite a long time.
Please take this time to focus on taking care of yourself and don't fall into being self-destructive.
Your marriage and your life are now forever changed. The most important thing for you to do is stay strong for yourself. Spend some time in the healing library. Execute the 180. The 180 is for your benefit, to help you gain strength, it is not about punishing your spouse.
I will offer this from my experience: I wish I had found this site at dday. I was not strong enough, and my WW was unremorseful. This site has been invaluable to me, helping me to cope, gain strength, and make decisions. Talking to others helps.
Stay strong, and post often.
I believe men react differently to these shocks, it shakes us to the core of our manhood. (I mean no slight to the women here who've suffered so much also)
What particularly hurts is that she could do this without first trying to rectify whatever she feels she is missing in the marriage. Whatever it is, there is no justification for her acts. It is nothing more than selfishness and cruelty, and somewhere inside she knows this.
Your wife will want to tell you a lot about how lonely she was, how you weren't there, she may even try to blame problems in the marriage; but the truth is that only her brokenness allowed her to cheat and that is something SHE has to fix before you will ever be safe in your marriage again.
You don't have to stick around, 3-5 years is a long time and we all wish recovery was faster. Of course, it is going to take you years to heal from this regardless of whether you kick her to the curb, so there is that to consider too. I'm about 18 months out and on my way to being happy again with my husband; but we have both worked harder on ourselves and our relationship than I ever knew we could.
Anyway, I'm rambling. I just wanted to offer some hope. This is such a horrible time of year to be dealing with this. Sending big hugs your way.
You will get a very sanitized version of what happened in her affair; one time; a condom was used; she didn't orgasm; didn't even enjoy it because of her guilt, she had consumed alcohol, you weren't treating her right at that time etc. etc. Anything to get you to heal quickly and get back to what you had; which sadly has gone forever.
I would stay calm but sorrowful and tell your wife you have lost your trust in her and she has dumped on the perfect marriage; all those precious memories are tainted. Tell her you need time to consider whether to separate or not; you need to grieve the loss of a faithful wife.
Ultimately you are going to reconcile because in all fairness she is very remorseful and you both love each other, but not before you have hung a massive guilt trip on her and got her to understand that she no longer lives in Camelot.
Once you have all the facts, [well the sanitized ones will have to do], then act civilized; no abusive insults or fits of anger. That just gives her an excuse to paper over her guilt using your anger as the reason. Your quiet, reflective sadness is far more effective. Time will heal and it probably won't take 5 years. She needs to have patience and wait.
I am so sorry. It's like getting bit by a truck. Betrayal is traumatic, and it's normal to be unable to eat or sleep. I shook like a leaf for weeks.
It took time for me to internalize, but I think it's crucial to know that your wife's affair was not about you or your marriage or your sex life. Something is broken in her and she needs to fix it. People who cheat are not fully grown-up or healthy emotionally. They have poor personal boundaries and lousy coping skills. They are good at denial and compartmentalization--basically, they are good at lying to themselves.
I also found it strange that the guy at the bed and breakfast would remember your wife from four years ago. I think it's good that your wife went to her sister's. I would take some time to take care of yourself. See a doctor about Getting some Ambien if the sleep problem gets tough (better than alcohol and fewer side-effects).
Keeping reading and posting. I would also think about insisting that your wife see a counselor by herself. She needs to figure out why she would throw away her marriage vows and her integrity, lie to the people who love her the most, and risk her happy marriage and family. "Because I was lonely" doesn't cut it. Sex with a scummy cheater is her coping mechanism for dealing with difficult feelings?
Were you ever lonely? Probably, yet you didn't consider cheating because you can handle a little loneliness without escaping into sleaziness and deceiving your family. Your wife has a lot of work to do before she is a safe person to be with and before she deserves your marriage.
Minimization, deflection, and obfuscation are the name of the game. My WW did it. Many, many other WSs did it and do it regularly.
Right now you need to take care of yourself and begin getting yourself organized. You may need to see an attorney soon.
I find it interesting that your WW was in such quick contact with the OM. It is possible that there have been more meetings than those you already discovered.
Another thing I want to say is that you need to be on guard against your WW's idea that all is well now because it happened some time ago. I discovered my WW's A years after it happened and she tried to pull the "it happened so long ago" trick on me to make things somehow better for our M. The fact is that the A just happened for YOU. Now you have to decide what to do.
Most people here on SI will say to wait six months before making any big decisions. I don't necessarily agree with that. It may just be a deal breaker for you right now. I know that I stayed in my M, but in hindsight I should have just left and gone through D.
I, too, found out about an old infidelity years later.
This presents certain difficulties. First, the WS has had the benefit of making things "okay" in his/her mind. S/he knows what happened, has compartmentalized it, and wrapped it in a myth ("I was lonely," "You weren't there," "You always rejected me," "Our marriage was bad then," whatever...) to justify it.
The WS has spent YEARS telling him/herself this story whenever the box into which s/he'd stuffed the lies threatened to pop open in his/her mind.
When the truth comes out, they are gobsmacked. How did THAT happen?! It was a secret, and you finding out wasn't part of the story they made up!
Don't be surprised if anger surfaces, in your wife, rather quickly. There will be an expectation that you "just get over" it. It "was so long ago," "and has been over for so long!" "It was only a few times" etc., etc., etc.
If you don't box it up and shove it into your attic fast, she will get angry.
I'm warning you: the impulse will be to maintain the status quo. To tell yourself, "at least it's over and done with. She's been a good wife since then." To rugsweep.
Please---don't do this. The secrets and lies MUST be dealt with because, as long as they exist between you, there is a barrier to intimacy.
Really, the affair is horrible. But worse is that, every minute that she's been with you since has been a lie.
THAT has to be confronted.
You can get through this--truly. If your wife is genuinely remorseful, you can sift through the damage together and reconcile.
The other dude has to go. That he was able to so easily and immediately get in touch with your wife is profoundly worrisome. There needs to be NO avenue by which he can contact her.
And that's just for starters. I'd get her started on a timeline--and go 180 until she stopped sniveling and got busy cleaning up her mess. (For example, the inn owner knowing you're not Mr. Cheater? That wouldn't happen if it had only been a visit or two several years ago. That lie is one she needs to address---and the timeline can help her do that.)
As awful as you feel right now, I PROMISE it gets better. No matter what the outcome, YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS.
Be sure to stay hydrated. (I'd avoid alcohol.) Eat small, frequent meals or get protein supplements if eating is difficult. Take a good quality multivitamin. Rest when you can; if sleep is a problem, try dyphenhydramine (generic Benedryl) or melatonin or, if they don't work, talk with your doctor. Grief is normal; if it segues into depression, talk with your doctor, too. Exercise daily. Good self-care can help keep you intact during this most horrendous ordeal.
And come here, often. This is the best group of people on the planet, and the different viewpoints you will see will help inform your decisions.
ETA: I know this is obnoxiously long, and I apologize. But I wanted to add something in response to one of your later posts, when you touched on karma and questioned what you'd done to deserve this.
Bdell, this has NOTHING to do with you. I know it's impossible for you to really believe that now--but tuck it inside your mind, and let it stay there. As time goes on, and you observe your wife, learn more about her actions, and see how she's comported herself for the past several years---as things come to light---it will become clearer and clearer to you that NO, this is NOT about your deficiencies, but rather about her seeking to fill her own cracks and holes. There is something missing in HER that causes her to seek a sordid hotel relationship with another man. (And really, it doesn't matter HOW nice the B&B is, or how fabulous the dude looks on paper. Anything requiring the level of deception and duplicity of your wife's long-term affair is as seedy and sordid as if she were banging a meth-head in a burned out car. Seriously.)
As she tells you the deficiencies in you and your marriage (which she will, if given the opportunity), PLEASE stifle the impulse to internalize her negativity. Even if you don't believe it, tell yourself, "This is not about me. It's about her."
One day, you will know it's the truth.
You didn't do ANYTHING that makes your wife's actions acceptable.
ETA again: please consider telling the OM's wife, yourself, when you have more information to share. She, too, has been betrayed, and it might not be the kindest thing to require that SHE learn of the infidelity from the woman who helped destroy her life. Once you've checked more of the records, and have a more fleshed-out timeline, you can let the wife know, at least, when the affair started, where they met, and how long it lasted. (Sadly, I think you will discover it lasted longer than you have been told. I don't buy the "They were so memorable to the innkeeper because his skin was browner than his" story; it's not plausible in 2013.)
[This message edited by solus sto at 10:16 AM, December 16th (Monday)]
One thing you should consider. She said he wasn't a boyfriend, that it just happened. You know that's not true. This guy wooed her. she became enamored with him. At a minimum they went to the B and B twice. That just didn't happen by chance unless you believe she randomly picked out a stranger to fuck.
No.. She was pining for him while she went to Key West with you. She was already in a relationship and planning on screwing him.
you know that's true. See if she admits to that. that will be a sign as to whether she is lying about the depths of her betrayal.
I'm really sorry to say those things, but I know that you can't be thinking too clearly. the pain of this stuff is just horrible.
But... like some have said, things will get better. You will heal. that much I know.
Hang in there friend.
According to my wife, she lost his Phone# but he kept hers. That is how he called her.
I don't believe that at all.
My wife was different from yours in that she did not immediately say she wanted to stay married. She was guilt tripping badly, being all dramatic, and said I didn't deserve her and she just wanted to crawl off and die somewhere and for me to just forget about her.
So a couple months after I kicked her out, when I wasn't getting any message that she anted to address the A and work on our issues, I filed for divorce.
When she got served it woke her up from the dreamland she was in, she fell apart and nearly had a breakdown. She immediately switched tunes and started begging me not to D her.
what I guess I'm trying to say is, do not let your WW manipulate you or try to minimize what she did. Do not let her guilt trip you or try to lay the blame the affair on you. If she oes that just hang up the phone.
I like the fact that you told her to tell the other man's wife. Good going. You also need her to write you out a timeline of the affair, when they met, how often they got together, everything. I guarantee those two weekends at the hotel were not their only hookups. My wife trickle-truthed for a few weeks. First they had only gotten together three times. I found evidence to the contrary and busted her. This happened two more times, until she finally came clean and admitted to a six month long affair with at least twenty or so sexual encounters with her OM.
Remember your wife is going to try to minimize everything, and she will outright lie to your face. So trust nothing she says. verify everything. I still did not find out the full scale of my wife's sexual escapades with her OM until a month-and-a-half ago or so, and it nearly tipped me towards going through with the divorce.
[This message edited by DefeatedDad at 11:10 AM, December 16th (Monday)]
Divorcing her sorry a--.
Best of luck getting her to confess to repeated cheating though; as I said she is going to minimize the damage and the last thing you will get is the truth, since she was never racked with guilt about her adultery; not enough to confess anyway.
Some people may say there is something broken inside of her. I prefer to note the disrespect for both you and your marriage. If your marriage was very good with an excellent sex life, what was she doing risking your health screwing other men?
She has some explaining to do.
I had an amount of time between when I found about about my Ws A and when it occurred.
You got solid advice from the others, but I wanted to pass along something that is unique in your situation.
Your W has had a lot of time to make her peace with her actions. She has played out numerous times how it will go in her head. Sometimes down playing of the significance of their actions happens. This is a defense mechanism so they can live with themselves.
Sadly in our common scenario the magnitude of discovery is not felt as much as those who found out right after. She has had a lot of time to create justification, rehearse speeches and take the drivers seat on how the healing will occur. A lot of times we as BS are too wounded to make sense of anything so we go along with it.
If you take any advice. Come up with your own plan. You've done well so far. Have the lawyer draws up S and D documents. It can cost some money, but I'll tell you what, those attorney bills that wife opened in the mail really knocked her out of her planned reality.
Sadly most often important details are withheld. The story is played in their head. They assume you will forgive them as it is a zero sum game.
"Well it was only twice and I gave him X years of love and being faithful."
No it works more like this "Since I have been lied lied to for X years, it means that those years are false. Anything done or said in that time now is open to closer inspection as it has been proven that your W is very capable and willing to lie, deceive and take away important information you need to make decisions in your life."
Remind her of that in writing, speaking can lose it's saliency. I am working towards a reconciled M today. It took a heck of a lot of work on both our parts. However any time in the beginning that I let my W drive things, it almost always had a rationale that was to minimize damage on her part. The sad truth is that the damage was already done, only know are you seeing how much.
Keep your chin up. Draw a line in the sand and don't waver. R will need to be on your terms to start. Anything she refuses just adds insult to injury. Now is not the time for compromises.
I know that sounds harsh, but believe those of us that learned the hard way. Take it slow with the drinking. Too many times did I drink to erase the pain only to wake up the next day to have it magnified.
Keep reading here if you can't sleep. Take some time away from your W. If you don't feel like talking to her, don't. She is feeling the consequences of her actions right now. Let her sit in it for awhile. You take care of number 1 first. Always remember that.
Touchy feeling, talking and healing can happen later. Set the tone on your terms. Take your power back right now. IC is helpful if you are open to it. You wouldn't be the first BH that needed that. Meds if you are willing can also be a godsend. Speaking from experience there. I would not have come out on the other side without some medical help.
Take care. I know this is early, but realize that nothing you did or didn't do caused this to happen. Don't sacrifice the illusion of control over these events for guilt and remorse. Those aren't your to own right now. It ain't worth it. This is 100% on your W and don't let her muddy those waters. Take some time and distance from her and your M. Don't do anything you feel you may regret later. This is not fair, but with time you come to realize that things come into your lives that are outside of our control. Deserve is not part of this equation, ever.
PM me if you want to.
DS 1, DD 6
Dday 8/31/11. ONS that occurred 3 years earlier. Lied to for 3 years.
Every truth comes to light in a long enough timeline.
Remove yourself from all the drama. Let her come to you only when you are ready.
IMO, the fact that she is remorseful is a good sign. My WW is not at all, and that's a hell that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. If your wife is remorseful, if she answers all of your questions without trying to blame you, and she owns what she did, then I would think that is about as well as this could go. But, you need to look out for you right now and take all the time you need before making any decisions.