I love my wife very much, she was the love of my life. We do not have kids. I am truly shocked, as we have been through so much together, and I have supported her through many difficulties she has faced in life. I realize now there were so many obvious clues as to what was going on, but I legitimately could not fathom that she would ever do this to me.
I dont know what to do. She said this is the first and only time anything happened, that she wasnt even attacted to the guy, and that things just got out of hand and she never wants to speak to him again. Part of me is scared to be starting over in my thirties. Ive had such unwavering faith in my wife. I cannot believe she did this to me.
First off I am glad that you found us. Secondly there is no need to make any decision today about your future. Like you are implying this is very confusing and difficult.
I see that your wife is open to counseling and you might suggest that she go so that she can understand the whys behind her action. You are not needed for that and often times jumping into marriage counseling will be a blaming thing. She will blame voids in the marriage and insist that if those weren't there then . . .. But the reality is that marriage will have times of struggles and in those times she will need to communicate and be strong. She will need to make good decisions and that is what needs to be addressed.
Think of the haters in your life as sandpaper; they’ll scratch you up time and time again but in the end you’re polished, smooth, and spotless..while they end up useless
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
What you've discovered is referred to here as an EA (emotional affair), which is one that does not involve physical contact between your wife (you'll see people refer to her as your WW or wayward wife) and the affair partner. One thing we say around here is this: betrayal is betrayal. Any betrayal such as this is traumatic. It not only causes emotional and mental distress, but it can impact your health as well. It can be difficult to eat and sleep in the early days, but it is critical that you do eat something to keep your strength up, and that you try to get some regular sleep. If you have problems sleeping that do not get better, see your doctor for help. Also, drink plenty of water. I know - sounds like odd advice. But betrayal is, for some reason, very dehydrating.
Read up in the Healing Library. You can find a link to it in the upper left hand corner of the page.
Hang in there. Keep posting. We're listening.
"Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you."
She already recognizes what she did was wrong and already has started doing the right things.
Your wife is already doing the proper things to reconcile that takes other guys months of begging their wife's to do.
It can work out for the best.
Doesn’t work that way… You not drinking might lower the average rate of consumption in your household but it won’t stop her.
I’m not going to say that her drinking is the root of her affair. But her drinking is definitely contributing to the isolation she’s creating and trying to break out of with her online gaming and sexting. Sitting in the basement all night drinking alone… that’s not the signs of “healthy” alcohol consumption. She probably realizes her drinking is wrong, and therefore she chooses to do it alone, rather than as a social event with other people.
I think you should definitely take her up on the counselor idea. But I would also be prepared to draw a line in the sand regarding her drinking and work on ways to control that. Despite not being an alcoholic myself then I am in awe at the work of dedicated AA groups – groups that have gone back to the book and do dedicated 12 step work.
(BTW: In my books this is more than an EA. IMHO once something is done with sexual intent (excite, entice, provoke…) then the act is sexual. Irrespective of touch or distance. So if she sent extremely explicit video’s or photos to OM… It’s sexual. It’s only a question of how to define the acts).
You are in shock.
Do not do anything rash.
In fact, do not even make any very important decisions right now.
See an attorney maybe to learn your rights, but you don't have to file, now.
Exercise is a good distraction from the pain.
This is not the time to make decisions. You need time, time to:
1. Get a full and detailed understanding of what happened.
2. Heal - you just took a major emotional blow. You are bleeding and lying on the ground. Give yourself a few months to recover before trying to make decisions about the rest of your life.
That said, even if no physical affair occurred, your wife's drinking and binging is extremely destructive. Any attempt at R must include a commitment from her to address her serious issues.
Go read the 180 Rules in the BS FAQ section of the library.
Take up her offer to get access to all electronics and all accounts.
The counseling might be helpful....but your wife has serious issues that cannot be fixed in couple therapy - she needs therapy of her own.
She needs to stop gaming and stop drinking - immediately - she clearly has some deeply unhealthy habits that are making other issues worse.
Take care of yourself
I keep seeing the images in my head. I cant agine how to get past that. It makes me physically nauseuos, and in general i just feel phsycally awful. I read the 180. It just feels like so mjuch work right now. I feel like I have been supporting this relationship for so long. THe idea of trying to turn everything over is just more than I can imagine being able to invest and build up in again. I dont know.
I guess the other thing that has been bothering me is what to do about friends. As of know only her best friend knows that something happened. She told me she had told her she had texted the other guy, but hadnt told her the extent or about the photos. My friends are all asking me whats going on and what to see me, but I dont know what to do. I feel very alone. I am afraid that if I tell them, that it would make it almost impossible to attenpt any reconcilation. I feel like I would be so insecurce about our marriage if all our friends knew what she did. On the other hand I feel like I have no one to talk to. I guess I wantd to know what people seem to think works best.
That said, your wife needs some serious help with her alcohol addiction. I attended Al-anon for a short time after my dday and I recall the members saying with alcoholics to consider "its not if they will cheat, its WHEN". I don't believe it to be true of all achies (my dad was one and never cheated) but it is true of the vast majority.
In the end I divorced mine and guess what? The man is still drinking and now he is all alone and blames everything on the OW who he is no longer with.
In any case I just wanted to let you know I understand where you are coming from. You will find incredible support here at SI. Take a good read of the 180 and implement it ASAP!! Counselling is a must have whether you stay together or not, and consider Al-anon, everyone there can relate to living with an alcoholic.
"And this above all else, to thine own self be true"
My betrayal was also due to WH meeting someone on a game. It is a betrayal and please don't ever think that it's not.
I too would say that MC is a good idea. It may very well help you decide what you want to do. I would say that IC is a must. For both her drinking and help with her "whys" which aren't always easy to work through.
Keep posting and reading, this wisdom and advice here is first rate. And the people here truly get it and want to help.
I think deep down i want to work towards reconciliation. I spent alot of time these past few days reading entries on the site and trying to figure out what I want. I tried to sit down tonight and think of what it is I need to say to her when I get back. I did make a list of deal breakers. I know, and have known for awhile that alcohol seems to be the cause of 95% of all our arguments in one form or another. I feel almost 100% sure that without addressing that their is really no hope. I am thinking that I am going to dump every bottle in the house down the drain as well as demand that we (or just she?) go to AA. I also know that full transparency is a must. I dont know whether to demand all the details, dont know if I want to know. Im already still haunted by the images. Marriage counsiling too is a must. She has already been seing a therapist (at my urging) for the past few months. I had requested during a previously stressful work period when I saw she was getting depressed and drinking. I dont know, she said she was going to try and see the therapist while I was out of town. I guess I foolishly thought just having her go would solve alot of problems, but I am now awakewning to the fact that of course nothing is quite that simple.
Still trying to wrap my head around the 180, but I feel like a zombie. I feel like I have a mental block, whenever I try to think about what she ACTUALLY did, or think of the pictures, my brain just feels like it goes blank. And Ive been having some sort of anxiety attacks all day at work. Just heart racing, my mind blank, and having to excuse myself for a few minutes to clear my head. Ive never had anxiety before, and Im worried how I am supposed to function.
Your wife has done something that will take both of you years to get through, so don't worry about having a decision today, tomorrow, next week or next month.
I think it is hopeful that she is already seeing a therapist, but I also think that you need to attend a session with her, and make sure that she has put it all out there, the drinking, the affair, all of it. The therapist can't help her if she is giving her a song and dance, and not dealing with the real issues at hand.
You should definitely look into alanon, going to AA is for her. Alanon is for you. Being a partner of an alcoholic is just as difficult as being an alcoholic. You deserve to understand the process of addiction, the changes it causes, and the impact it has on you.
If you don't feel you can 180 now, don't. What you do need to do is give her your list of dealbreakers with consequences.
She absolutely has to get off the computer, that gaming and EA is as much as an addiction as the alcohol.
She has to go NC with this douche, and send him a note stating so.
She has to be transparent.
She has to stop drinking.
You will find you are more in the role of a support person than actually getting to deal with your pain as she initially withdraws from her addictions. It's not right, it's not fair, but it is what happens. That is why you have to reach out for support. Her parents, if supportive and not the underlying cause of her addictions can help. Your parents can support you as well.
Make sure that you are taking time for you. That you are eating, if you aren't eating at least getting some protein shakes down. That you are sleeping (at least 5 hours every couple of days). Sleep is essential to keeping the emotions in check, and making calm rational decisions, if you are struggling with it, contact your Dr. Let them know what is going on (they see it everyday and will not judge) and see if meds can help even temporarily.
YOU deserve to be loved, and respected and cared for too. Make sure that you do this for yourself right now.
Sleep is essential but that time spent lying in bed thinking...that sucked.
This will get better. I promise.