She did tell me today about contact the day after NC. She stated that she asked him something work-related, around coworkers, but it wasn't necessary to ask, and that she was trying to feel normal. And that she didn't disclose it because she thought it would hurt, etc. - pretty standard stuff, it seems. She said he also did the same thing, later, to which she reports that she had a cool response (she did proactively report that one as soon as she got home).
Picked up both books. It's kind of insane what the return on investment can be for books, relative to therapy, but I guess I'll see. I just paid over $100 for an hour to barely scratch the surface of a story. I imagine the couples stuff would get better, especially once the background is covered. I'm already reading "After the Affair" on the therapist's suggestion, which has been fine, but still not as potent as SI's FAQs.
She has made commitments to work on herself, not just the marriage. I'm a big fan of the, "50% of the marriage, 100% of the affair" model of ownership.
I got about 6-7 iterations of trickle truth since I found out in Nov; first it was 'we only made out down the road from work at lunch once' to it really being 7+ times with prolific sexting. I only found out a week and a half ago from OMW retrieving their text history that they were both planning a completely unnecessary overnight work trip in order to fully consumate the affair...a lot of it at my wife's insistence.
There were no signs she was engaged in this double life; she did it because she could, and she thought she'd get away with it.
I feel that trepidation as well in regards to 'finding out just in time'; had they slept together, I wouldn't have even given the M a chance. It definitely was the final altar she was going to murder our M on.
It's funny that that is a boundary to us, even knowing that in her mind, she was having intimate sex with him via SMS anyway.
Me BS (34) WW (29)
Married nearly 2 years
19m old Daughter
D-Day 05 Nov 13
When a WS claims "We only kissed" - it usually means they had sex
When a WS claims "It was only once" - it usually means multiple times.
Right now, your wife is going to do everything she can so that it can go back to the way it was before you found out. She wants to rugsweep everything.
Your old marriage is dead. You now have to choose whether to build a new marriage with her or separate.
Regardless of whether you choose to remain together or divorce, you need to nuke the current situation. You must impose consequences or she will not change her behavior. If you do not you will remain in limbo whilst your wife plans her next affair.
You are each responsible for your marriage. A WS is 100% responsible for his/her affair. Engaging in an affair is a choice. She chose to do this.
1) Both need to take STD test.
2) Go see a lawyer and discuss your options (protect yourself financially etc.)
Wish you well.
But also highly indicative of a developing, unconsummated relationship - asking questions prior to action in order to establish a baseline of sexual compatibility, for example. I can look at this stuff (objective), cross-reference it with what she reports (subjective), and come up with a clear timeline of an escalation to sexting just prior to Christmas, and she was caught in the first week of January. And we were together, out of town, and all of that jazz during the holiday break.
She had two business days with him after that. And even though she had to go to work, she did put them to use - conference rooms, cars. I just have a whole lot of data at this point: her general insecurities, her sexual insecurities, things still being displayed in the text messages, the timeline of the text messages, the time I know I was with her, how critical this period is for her at work, yada yada. For better or for worse, I caught the PA escalation stage of the betrayal very early.
The texts were deleted, of course, but I was able to undelete them. Which has been terribly, terribly good for me overall.
[This message edited by obliquestrat at 8:22 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)]
Isn't it the betrayal and the lies that the issue here and not whether she had sex? The sex was planned and it would have happened (if it hasn't already).
The first version of my WBF story was that sex didn't happen because he couldn't get it up. Plus the fact the picture he painted was of a rampant female throwing herself at him while he tried to fight her off! I went along with it until I woke up one night and slapped myself round the face!! I believed what I wanted to believe because it would hurt less - which is what he wanted also.
I undeleted txts but there were emails and WhatsApp messages that I couldn't get to, not to mention the phone calls and conversations when they were together. I feel like I have the story now, but I will never know the truth like I was there or what he was thinking feeling at the time.
The main issue is he made a choice and lied to me. Regardless of what actually happened.
her general insecurities, her sexual insecurities,
Man, that ain't evidence. Whatever you think you know/knew about her is wrong. Did you ever think she would cheat? I thought the EXACT same things about my WW, but I was wrong.
If she wants to keep this thing going, she will. It would be extremely easy for her to hide it from you now that she knows you're on to her. It was for my WW. She, nor I, was aware that androids continually record their location to the associated Google account.
I'm not trying to scare you or make you worry. I'm just giving you advice that I learned the hard way. You just need to be aware that your WW made a connection with this OM, and that isn't going to go away just because you think you caught it in time.
Trust, but verify my friend. Trust, but verify.
Knowing that WS let AP be privy to all things special and sacred between us is way MORE damaging to me than knowing that they had sex..
How the WS handles the aftermath of us finding out about their inappropriate behavior is what repairs or kills the marriage / relationship..
[This message edited by doggiediva at 9:11 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)]
It's a reference point, one that existed in the past, and was continuing to be demonstrated during the affair. The text message timeline, however, is hard objective, hard, irrefutable evidence. Unless she intentionally faked the slow development of a relationship into a very recent boil, deleted the messages, planned on me sending a support email from her phone, asked her AP to email me back around the same time that she knew I would follow up on it before bed, and expected me to be able to successfully undelete the messages. All to cover up her longer, deeper, affair with a shorter, more shallow one.
My life is destroyed, everyone's life is destroyed. People have different levels of betrayal, self-delusion, ability to lie to others, all of that. And I know everyone is coming from a good place on this - they hurt, they're trying to help me from hurting. I have a concrete timeline on this. It's real. No amount of self-delusion can create their conversations.
I'm concerned about NC violations. I'm concerned about TT. I am verifying. I will continue to verify, even when it feels unnecessary or even wrong.
"Isn't it the betrayal and the lies that the issue here and not whether she had sex?"
Yup. That's where my head is. I want to know everything, everything. But mostly because I want to feel like I have some hope of generally separating fact from fiction. I told her last night that it kinda feels like I just found out that the entire continent of Asia doesn't actually exist, and that everyone and everything has been lying to me about it.
I still find myself wishing it was a full-blown sex in a drunken one night stand. Physical stuff, I feel like I could handle it better. But you never know until you're challenged.
[This message edited by obliquestrat at 9:27 AM, January 23rd (Thursday)]
I still find myself wishing it was a full-blown sex in a drunken one night stand. Physical stuff, I feel like I could handle it better. But you never know until you're challenged.
I remember saying very similar things to my wife, even though I know for her that her PA had to have been preceded by an EA. One of those "20/20 hindsight" things where, upon discovering the affair, I could look back over the events of the previous 6 months or so and see how "helping out a friend with some editing" to "confidant for friend's PTSD struggles he's afraid to discuss with his wife" to more and more intimacy.
Sometimes when we're in investigation mode the pain and suffering doesn't come across but we all know its there. I'm so sorry you are going through this.
This site will help you and we are here to help you find the truth and your truth. Hang in there.
I had a very bad childhood with lots of trauma. Pretty sure this is worse than everything bad that's ever happened to me put together.
You can get through this. Sending you strength.
[This message edited by obliquestrat at 8:23 AM, January 24th (Friday)]
One thing I haven’t seen addressed: Is the OM married? What is their work-relationship? Are they in the same department, same level, same supervisor? All these factors can greatly impact what advice you should be getting.
Since you seem to be following the same slippery slope most of us betrayed husbands tend to go (trying to apply logic to a situation that isn’t controlled by logic) then consider this:
At what point in a relationship do you get to the stage where you plan your “alleged” sexual interaction with another person? When do you feel comfortable enough with someone to suggest a new approach, fantasy, position, place etc.?
I doubt it’s in a text early on in a relationship; “Did you get the latest purchase order and BTW – I prefer to be on top”.
Even IF they were scripting their never to be sexual encounter… Is that in line with your comments about WW sexual and general insecurities? IMHO it takes a very secure person to be capable of fully outlining to a partner (potential or active) their sexual needs and requirements. To me – if they were outlining eventual sexual encounters in this detail - this would be an indicator of present, active sexual activity. They had reached a stage where they were secure enough with EACH OTHER to share this info.
But then… Is the form or extent of sexual interaction an issue?
It could be if there was NO physical contact but you have already stated they kissed and “made out” in cars and conference rooms. At what point does it become “sex”? If your WW had phone-sex with him would that be “sex”? What if they mutually masturbated without any touching of each other? IMHO we here on SI tend to overemphasize the “old” traditional values for sex. Heck – I have seen posters here on SI thank the Lord that their WW or BH only got/received oral and therefore it wasn’t “physical”. Try to think of sex as gratification rather than specific acts: Your WW and OM gave and received gratification that should be limited to partners in a marriage.
Look – There is no single path or methodology on how to deal with infidelity. But there are factors we have seen again and again here on SI that tend to differentiate between success and failure in saving a marriage after an affair. One factor I STRONGLY believe in is TRUTH. The decision on how to progress has to be based on the truth.
This is like a military mission. It needs to be debriefed and each and every action analyzed to learn from mistakes and prevent repeats. It’s not punishment – I don’t think your WW should be punished for the affair – but this debriefing WILL cause both of you pain. It’s inevitable. If your WW gets away with a SINGLE lie… it will come back to haunt the marriage and prevent healing. YOU NEED THE TRUTH TO HEAL.
Another factor… Working with OM will always be an issue. Always. There are NUMEROUS instances of workplace infidelity here on SI and I don’t recall a single case where real reconciliation was attained while the AP’s still worked together.
I once managed a guy that had an affair with a colleague. His wife found out and he ended the affair. I know for a fact he was totally 100% committed to recovery but he shared with me that the healing FINALLY started 6 months later when the OW changed jobs. For those six months there was no contact between him and OW (who coincidentally was/is a friend of mine and I also know SHE was committed to NC) but the doubt, the inconvenience, the pressure of being at work related events… all this contributed to making R so much harder.
Think of it this way: If reconciliation was comparable to running a marathon then having total honesty, the truth and commitment is like having the right shoes, watering stations and a running partner. Not having the truth (or even THINKING you don’t have the truth) and having to deal with WW seeing OM on a regular basis… that’s like running in ski-boots while wearing a dress. It’s still possible but the already hard task becomes immensely harder.
So… Get the truth no matter what. What has happened has happened and needs to be dealt with. Learning about it only makes it temporarily harder, but makes true recovery possible.
How to go about it?
Control what you can control. Namely YOU.
Look – Your WW could give you all her passwords and then create a new untraceable gmail account five minutes later. She can use pay-phones. She can add thirty minutes to customer visits to schedule a quickie with OM. There is NO WAY you can keep track of her and there shouldn’t be an interest on your half to need to do so.
You can’t control her.
But you can control where your borders lie.
Have a serious think about what it is your fear. Why do you not want your wife to have sex with other men? What is the worst possible outcome? What would happen IF you divorce? What would happen if you never feel safe? What sort of a marriage do you want?
I have a feeling that when you go through all these factors you will realize that the worst possible outcome of this situation is NOT losing your wife; it’s remaining in a marriage where you feel or think you are sharing her. A marriage where she’s not present.
Once you realize this and evaluate what you want out of your marriage you should be in a position to tell her: “Honey – I love you to bits and I really don’t want to lose you. I am willing to do a lot of work on rebuilding our marriage into something we both want and need. BUT… I WON’T SHARE YOU”.
That is the key statement: Sharing her is immensely worse than losing her.
Then you make the following clear to her:
She is totally free to see OM or have whatever lover she wants or needs. Totally. You are not going to do anything to prevent her from doing so.
BUT… Not as your wife.
To rebuild you need to have the total, unedited truth. On this issue you need to convince her that the “cost” of hiding the truth outweighs the benefits of the truth. You could for example offer her an amnesty period: Tell me the truth now and I promise I won’t divorce or leave you but will try to work things through. You might also need threats: I will need to affirm what you say with a polygraph. If you fail the polygraph despite claiming you have already told me the truth then I will see that as a lack of will to reconcile.
You also make it clear to her that UNTILL and UNLESS she comes and clearly and verbally tells you she wants to be your wife… YOU are assuming the affair is ongoing. Inactive yes, but still ongoing. So until and unless she commits… you are simply preparing for divorce.
If she does commit then you ask her what assurances SHE can offer for her “good conduct”. What is she willing to do to make you feel safer? What is she willing to do to assure you there is no contact?
Married, three kids. Chronically ill and conservative wife, disappointed with sex life. Met at 19 and he married her, his first and only partner. I've also uncovered evidence of issues with sexting (then: "cybering") 7 years ago, this is apparently a serial thing for him.
They actually have the same job title, but different supervisors - still in a small group. Work on the same floor, but not particularly close. Bound to see each other, if not attend meetings together, on a weekly basis. She's up for a major promotion right now, which would put her in a different building much more often, a different floor when she is in his building, and reduce (but not eliminate) their business-mandated interactions.
"I doubt it’s in a text early on in a relationship; “Did you get the latest purchase order and BTW – I prefer to be on top”."
The texts, a day before D-Day, were Q&A sessions about what they liked and disliked in a stated attempt to determine their sexual compatibility. Not, "did you like that?" but, "what do you like? I'm specifically trying to see how well we match." And this was all regarding oral, specifically. It really, really, really spells out that they had not yet gone there, but wanted to.
"Try to think of sex as gratification rather than specific acts: Your WW and OM gave and received gratification that should be limited to partners in a marriage."
I really like that advice, thanks! Will noodle on it.
"Another factor… Working with OM will always be an issue."
I know. It's brutal. This promotion could help a lot. She is still open to changing jobs if it becomes apparent that it's needed for R.
"Have a serious think about what it is your fear. Why do you not want your wife to have sex with other men? What is the worst possible outcome? What would happen IF you divorce? What would happen if you never feel safe? What sort of a marriage do you want? "
Typical stuff: betrayal hurts infinitely worse than sex. Worst outcome is divorce with a court/custody type battle (which neither of us expect or want, but I am preparing a postnuptual agreement to protect myself). Can't even think about what would happen if I divorced. As for the marriage I want, I can see it. Both of us see it. It's happening right now - I know that if we manage to get through this, it will be better than the old one. No doubt there. Much doubt on the getting through this part, at least on my end. It ebbs and flows.
"That is the key statement: Sharing her is immensely worse than losing her."
She has read some TT stuff on the Wayward forum, Joseph's letter, is looking at books. She's volunteered for a polygraph. On the getting truth parts, I'm still spazzing out on it, and she's still tolerant of it.
She just got back with one of our kids, and is literally watching me type this, heh. She's lurking on SI too now. She's in, she knows the stakes.
Thanks so much for the detailed and helpful response!
[This message edited by obliquestrat at 11:18 AM, January 24th (Friday)]
OM: I called him last night to cross-check my wife's reports. Having, of course, the, "if you did sync stories at some point and you don't tell me about it right now we should not be married" talk. Basically, everything checked out, only insignificant differences which could be chalked up to lousy memories (e.g. certain conversations happening via text or phone on the same day both were performed, thinking there were 2 phone calls instead of 1, etc.).
Putting it together with the text and email logs, her responses (volunteering for a poly, raising the idea of disclosing the affair to coworkers so that I have a spy at her office, etc.), and his responses, I have every indication that this was caught very early. The undeleted texts are the most important piece of the puzzle, which I guess is scary to consider, because I'd have no touchstone without them other than alibis such as her being with me over the holidays.
When I raised the subject with her, she had trepidation, but was supportive. We were picking up our kids, and I went in to get one, and we both realized that it was a mistake to leave her in a car with a phone, which she handed to me right away for scanning afterward. Her fears weren't about bombshells, but polygraph-style what-ifs: "me: what's your favorite color?" "her: green, easily" "polygraph guy: what's your favorite color" "her: green??? oh god..."
[This message edited by obliquestrat at 8:26 AM, January 25th (Saturday)]
And, really, why does it matter if she is chronically ill and conservative? Does this mean she doesn't deserve to know the truth about her marriage? Unless OM or your WW told you he is disappointed in his sex life, you have no idea as to what is going on in their marriage. No..scratch that. Cheaters lie..so it doesn't matter what OM or your WW said about his wife and his marriage..chances are his wife is healthy and they have sex a few times a week. I am chronically ill. It doesn't stop me from having a great sex life with my FWH..it never did.
This woman deserves the truth. She is an adult, and fully capable of making her own choices. I feel sorry for her. Everyone is deciding what is "best" for her...when the truth is, the best thing for her would be to be given the gift of the truth.
You said OM has cheated before. So his BW has been exposed to STD's....and doesn't realize it. IF she really is ill, then he is risking her health..her life.
It has nothing to do with revenge. It's about doing the right thing.
..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.
My guess is at some point during the healing from this you will wish she went to that hotel and you found out after she did what she was going to do.
The trip was two weeks away, so there's still a bit of what-if out there, although she knows that she was committed to escalation. The what-if part is if he says or does something to make her feel uncomfortable about it, something happens at work or home, that sort of thing. But the important part is that, at least at one point in the early euphoric phases, she was committed to escalation (performing oral sex). It was his to lose.
One thing that's "helped" is that, in response to a conversation about this, she volunteered that if the trip had been the day after I caught her, and she hadn't been caught, that she's sure she would have gone for it.
I definitely find myself wishing that it reached whatever conclusion it needed in order for it to explode, rather than me stumbling onto it.
[This message edited by obliquestrat at 10:04 AM, February 3rd (Monday)]