I have been reading through for a couple of months off and on, never sharing much, but taking in what was needed.
There are many different stories with as many different outcomes. I want to share mine to offer hope and to show all stories aren't the same. While I know some of my comments may rub some the wrong way, it's our journey.
FWW and I have been together 20 years, married 18. An adult son (what do you mean condoms only work 99% of time?!) and teenage daughter.
Three to four tears ago, my wife took a job in food service and has a 3PM-11PM shift. She also acquired a new neighbour in a family with a husband, wife and 3 kids. FWW took an instant liking to the wife (lets call her Minnnie), who was kooky, but seemed nice. In her words, they became sisters.
Fast forward a couple of years, my wife has said that Minnie admitted to several affairs over the years. I expressed concern but she said she thought it was horrible. She reminded me how her mother ran around, which eventually contributed to her dad's suicide. She could never do that to her family. But as time went on, a great gap in our marriage occurred where eventually she moved into a separate room. I insisted on MC, IC and that we had to improve, but she didn't agree, just thought it was a dry spell. I also found inappropriate emails on a hidden account (so she thought). I ignored the signs but gave her al ultimatum this past summer and she moved out, alone, in the fall. I had primary custody of our teen child.
We never lost daily contact. During that time she had intensive IC (unbeknownst to me)and realized that she really did love me. She also cut ties with the friend who enabled her to make bad decisions.
She moved back home in late November a changed woman. She is still in IC, but remorseful and truly loving. In our case, I didn't bring up the affair until a few weeks ago. I knew most details of who and when. She still can't come up with why. It was Minnie's BIL who lived with him who was the AP. He was a loser in many ways and she knows all meant to him was a shagging post (is that a Canadian saying). She would wait till the kids and I went to work/school, she would get up, go over, have sex, come home and not see me to worry about it.
She ended it months before she moved out. As a cause of the PA that she ended, she suffered depression, suicidal thoughts and withdrew from family and friends. At the time, I didn't know the root cause, but now I do.
Moving to me. I am a Christian who has a strong relationship with my Lord. I prayed and mediated for many times throughout the day to help me through the hell. For believers, you get it, for those who aren't, you can't. I relied on prayer and wisdom from my Pastor (who is my age) to get me through the first year. As others, mental images and anxiety had its toll on me.
However, the #1 thing I was able to do is forgive my FWW. Maybe not forget, but forgive. Forgiveness is more beneficial to the one giving it then the receiver. I expressed that to my wife as well. That act is also allowing her to heal as now the secret is out.
Other random thoughts;
- really don't need the details like some have suggested. Sex is sex. I know duration and I know who.
-As posted many times here, she said "I'm not in love with you any more". Like others have said, that was her own justification.
-In my case, my FWW was extremely messed up before we met. She made her own bad choices, I agree 100%. But if you buy a car without brakes, buyer beware. I married her knowing it would be a lifelong struggle.
-Our marriage is getting better. I think the time apart was needed for both of us to get perspective.
-As much as I think this forum is great, I probably will reduce my visits over time. This place can become a trigger too. For those of you with disc day a year or more ago, I would try withdrawing for awhile from here to see if it helps your mental health.
Anyway, thanks to all who share their pain and successes too.