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I thought that only men cheated 😟

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Trying2copeinMD posted 2/2/2018 14:05 PM

First time poster, so if I am a little "amateur", please excuse me.

So, back in May of 2017, my life as I know it was over. My wife left for work, and before I was able to get my kids off to school, some woman calls me and tells me to meet them outside of my house. Kind of strange, but whatever. It was a woman telling me that my wife was having an affair with her husband. She caught them about a month earlier, and although it ended, she felt that I had a right to know. Be honest, I didn't believe her. She did start telling me some things about some mutual friends and I realized that there is some truth in this. Naturally, I called my wife and told her to get home immediately without telling her why. I ranted, I raved, and I started packing my stuff. I stayed because of the kids.

As I said, this happened back in May. We are trying to work through it through MC, and I insisted on that, as well as us getting closer to God. We now go to church as a family. If anyone would have told me that my wife of 20 years was capable of hurting me this badly, I would have laughed in their face, yet here I am still having a hard time sleeping. I'm having a hard time trusting. I feel like by me staying, I've lost a little bit of my dignity as well. Almost like "it's ok, you can ride someone else's pork sword and I'll stay".

I guess the point of my rambling on is, how long do you feel the pain lasts? When can I expect to NOT feel like a wimp who just hands over my paycheck? I feel like I've lost a lot of dignity in this situation, and I don't even know where to look for it anymore.

nicenomore posted 2/2/2018 14:15 PM

If you stay, sent clear expectations of her and hold her to them. First and foremost, the money is to be held by you, and have her sign a postnup to avoid alimony.

Second, live life for you. Sheís had her fi night, no itís your turn to enjoy your life. She can pick up the slack

Third make sure your sexual needs are met. Make them part of the reconciliation, or whatís the point?

WilliamM posted 2/2/2018 14:21 PM

Unfortunately, cheaters come in both sexes. I personally think women cheat more than the average person things. I am sorry you are going through this. Are you posting in reconciliation because that is your goal? It might be best to post in the Just Found Out section.

I would suggest that you two go to individual counseling. An affair is not a marital issue but an individual issue. Usually MC does not help with the affair. IC does. After the marriage is on firmer ground then MC will help. But the affair must be addressed first.

The pain of an affair can last a long time. It breaks a person down to their very core. He is shattering. I am talking years. For some they can recover quicker than others. Some can never get over it. It will be 12 years for me and I still have triggers, and sad days, and mind movies from time to time. Not nearly as bad as it was in the beginning but it still effects me.

Has your wife told you about the affair? Has she told you everything? Has she given you access to her emails, social media accounts, and phone text messages? Has she given you a time line of the affair so you can know the full scope of the affair from beginning to ending? Has she read books on how to help you? Are you taking care of your mental and physical health?

BrainFreeze posted 2/2/2018 15:01 PM

I feel ya bro!

Same here - Married 23 yrs before she killed me, turned my world upside down.

I wish I had advice for you but my head is all over the place right now...

I guess I'm just letting you know that you aren't alone.

I hope that helps - at least a little.

Trying2copeinMD posted 2/2/2018 15:10 PM

Thank you guys for the quick response. I do appreciate the fact that you people know what I'm going through. The pain is honestly something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, and I mean that truthfully.

We tried going through the church for individual counseling. Unfortunately, their mission was more geared towards your walk with God rather than actual certified therapists. I can agree that individual counseling would probably be best.

My wife is answered any questions that I've asked. The answers were pretty short because she's dealing with her own shame of the situation. Honestly, it's like pulling teeth. I've kind of went at it though as not wanting to know all the details, because I'm afraid that some of the answers may cause me more harm. Don't ask the question if you can't handle the answer.

I've been trying to approach this from a rational point of view, and I guess I really haven't given my emotions much priority. I'm a guy, and we know how great we are with emotions. Lol

It's just so hard to deal with, even nine months later. I keep on thinking that I should be further along in my healing than I am. I've had my "opportunities" to stray from my marriage but I was Stronger than that. I guess it really upsets me to think that she wasn't. It really affects me thinking about how I've been with her for 20 years, through thick and thin literally, and she could fall into someone else's arms who just said she looked nice that day. It just makes me feel like a fool. I'm sure all of you can relate to that, men or women.

WilliamM posted 2/2/2018 15:20 PM

Nine months is actually a short time. It takes years to fully heal. You will see posted here 2 to 5 years, but personally I think depends on the BS, the honesty and hard work of the WS, and the work both do together. If you have TT going on then it adds to the time to recover. But give it time. It will get better.

hopeforthefuture94 posted 2/2/2018 15:31 PM

I relate to feeling like by staying you are losing your dignity. I am 3 years out and my H has been everything you could hope for in someone trying to regain trust etc. and I still feel that way.
You will feel pain for a LONG time. There are no shortcuts through grief. It will be years and it will be as if someone has died. You never ďget overĒ losing that person, you just get better at learning to live with them being gone.

I took Benadryl every night for the first 9 months because the thought of being alone at night with my thoughts was too much for me and I didnít want to risk waking up. There is so much you have to go through, please donít feel like you are behind or that you need to be in a certain place by now. The Roller coaster is real, the trauma is real, the PTSD is real, give yourself Grace and allow yourself to grieve without a timeline.

How is your wife doing now supporting you and working on her coping strategies and brokenness. What are doing for yourself?

BrainFreeze posted 2/2/2018 15:52 PM

I keep on thinking that I should be further along in my healing than I am.

Me too man, me too!

I've had my "opportunities" to stray from my marriage but I was Stronger than that. I guess it really upsets me to think that she wasn't.

HOLY crap... this happened to me too... about 3 months before my wife meet her boyfriend I had this 20 something ask me to come back to her place to screw. She flat out asked me to come back to her place!!!! That's never happened to me before. I'm a middle aged, slightly overweight, balding dude. She was this cute little thing, with big old knockers... I told her she should have more self respect than that. -- lots of details missing, I tried to keep the story short--- I'm not a super religious guy, but it makes me think that the devil is real!!!

It really affects me thinking about how I've been with her for 20 years, through thick and thin literally, and she could fall into someone else's arms who just said she looked nice that day.

YUP! I asked my wife what he said. She told me that he said "You are cute!" my response "You are shitting me, that's what got you? You look cute!!!" Weak, just weak....

It just makes me feel like a fool. I'm sure all of you can relate to that, men or women.

Remember - SHE is the fool, not you... unfortunately, I get the feeling...

TwiceWounded posted 2/2/2018 15:56 PM

Sorry you are here, Trying. So sorry. Nope, men DEFINITELY aren't the only cheaters.

I do think that posting in the "Just Found Out" section would be good, as you'll get a lot of posters there who are better at directing you to stuff you'll find immediately helpful. First off--have you gotten an STD test? I know it sucks, but please do. For your own sanity and health.

The other posters are right. It takes years to recover from this. And that's years when you're doing things RIGHT--when the wayward spouse (WS) is remorseful and doing everything they can to repair the marriage. Even when everything goes right, you'll still have bad days, still hurt, still feel like your balls were in her purse sometimes.

But the key to restoring your dignity is to go back and do things right. Don't be a pushover. Don't just let things go back to how they were before. Don't let her go back to being sneaky and hiding things. This is called the 180, and other posters here will be able to tell you more about it.

I understand that, 9 months out, it's tough to "reopen" the case with your wife and go back to square 1... but I think you might need to do that. Essentially, sit her down and say this was NOT dealt with properly and you don't think you can ever get over it unless you take a step back and get some things straight. She needs to tell you anything you want to know. She needs to give you access to her phone or email or whatever, so you can rebuild some trust and know you're getting the full truth out of her. She needs to show *true* remorse for doing this to you, for shitting all over your marriage.

And if she isn't willing to do those things? You separate. That is the key, you *have* to be willing to follow through and strike off on your own. It's not a threat... it's having healthy boundaries and NOT letting yourself get walked all over.

Again, sorry you are here in our sad club. But you CAN find dignity again.

nicenomore posted 2/2/2018 15:58 PM

MD Iím sorry to say that her shame is holding her back from the truth, and you will need that for closure in the long run. She will need to face her shame and give you all the details, and likely they will hurt. If she had sexual exploration with him that you were never privy to. Itís at least one thing that see as a worst case scenario, and if thatís the case she needs to make up for it and then some. She ought to be begging you and desperately doing anything to keep you, and she ought to know it.

Stay strong brother

Trying2copeinMD posted 2/2/2018 16:50 PM

Thank you all. I mean that sincerely. None of you know who the hell I am, but you still care enough about a virtual stranger to share your own stories. I'm humbled. The truth is, I don't really have anyone to really talk to you about this. Although I I didn't make this choice, I have to live with a shame as well. It's not like I could talk to my friends and tell them how I wasn't enough for my wife and maintain any shred of dignity that I have left.

I tried to be perfect. Granted, I fell short on a couple issues. I tried to be the perfect father and the perfect husband. I have a demanding job that at times can be pretty high-stress, and like anyone else, I would come home stressed. I was always there for my family, but as she says, I might have been there, but I wasn't really there. She wasn't trying to use that as an excuse, but I think more of her trying to come to grips with how she fell into this position. I wasn't emotionally and sexually available at the time, and someone else was and made her feel valued and desirable.

I thought we were making progress. Then, this past week we went to counseling as we've been doing every week since d day. I complained that it seems like we're falling into old habits, that she's been distant. She said that I seemed angry and she was walking on eggshells as of late. Well, I came out firing both guns a-blazing. I said some things that have been on my mind, but I didn't want to put a voice to them out of fear of hurting her. I know, kind of stupid.

It kind of started over my son brushing his teeth, or, technically, NOT brushing his teeth. He told us he did. Of course, I really can't stand lies anymore, maybe I'm a little bit overly sensitive to dishonesty. She said that it's normal that children lie about this. We got into a huge discussion, which should be a nicer way of saying an argument. I told her that maybe it was her way of justifying her own Lies by saying that people lie. She brought this up in counseling, and I lost it. I feel like I've regressed quite a bit in my own personal healing because I exploded. I'm just really hurt and I guess I haven't ever dealt with that part of me all that well. I'm still mourning the wife that I thought I had, and trying to deal with the wife that I actually do have.

Thanks if you actually read that whole thing, and I apologize for my rambling

Trying2copeinMD posted 2/2/2018 16:54 PM

Oh, as far as me posting in the "Just Found Out" section, I didn't think it was necessarily the right place for me to be. I didn't know where would be the right place, but the last thing I wanted to do is dilute that board with someone who is trying to reconcile.

Heart posted 2/2/2018 17:05 PM

It felt like I was in shock for the longest time. Perhaps that is what you are feeling too. It was just so out of character for my spouse. Looking back it took at least nine months before I think I really got the whole mess straight in my mind.

1Faith posted 2/2/2018 17:20 PM

So sorry you are struggling.

2-5 years to "heal" and I am not sure one ever truly does. You gain acceptance but the scars are always with you to some degree.

Be kind to yourself. What you are feeling and struggling with is very normal. Heart wrenching and maddening but normal.

You haven't really dealt with any of your or your WW's feelings regarding the A out of fear of more hurt.

It is hard to move forward because you are simply pushing all of your feelings and hurt down.

I do recommend IC for you and IC for your wife. It could help you both process and deal with all the emotions the affair has brought to you and your marriage.

You can't fast track your healing. No magic pill. No play book, just TIME.

You can be okay. You can find yourself back to you.

Keep reading, keep posting and know that you are not alone. We all get it. We understand.

One day and one step at a time.

Notthevictem posted 2/2/2018 17:22 PM

Hey man! Welcome to the club nobody wanted to join. I get where you are at. I was there. Felt like a wallet with legs. Spent my free time alternating between a puddle on the floor and being broken into a million pieces. "Oh! Look, its the angry piece of NTV. Nope, now it's the sad one."

I cried more over this shit than anything else in my life. Combined. It fucking hurts like nothing else.

So, let's talk about situational depression. What are you doing to fight it? To take care of yourself?

For me, I exercised, journaled, drank---and found out that drinking only made the pain worse... took two months to figure that one out... but the folks around here can tell ya, I ain't the brightest bulb in the lamp.... (Even when the lamp only fits one bulb). ... I also ended up going to the doctor for antidepressents when I started having suicidal thoughts. But hell, that's what that shit is for, right?

Now, I'm four years out and the pain is gone, and I can't believe I ever thought about ending it. But I did. They say the pain is a 2-5 year recovery time. For me, it was around 3.5 years. But it wasn't the intense pain from the beginning the whole time, but like the pain from a broken bone healing... except like 100 times more potent.

Guess what I'm getting at is that you will heal. The pain won't last forever. And right now, it's real important that you do whatever you have to in order to take care of yourself.

It sounds like you're the responsible parent at the moment. You kids need you. They have to have at least one responsible parent, right?

Wishing you strength!

Notthevictem posted 2/2/2018 17:25 PM

And dude, nothing you could have done would have stopped her. She chose to cheat. Period. Don't let any of the blame for that fall on your shoulders.

Angelvictorious posted 2/2/2018 18:15 PM

Glad you found your way here to this place. I wish I'd found it earlier than the eighth month into my new life. I was so angry and upset one day I was googling everything and stumbled across this forum. It's been a blessing. Firstly feeling like you've lost your dignity staying is something I think every one of us feels, male or female. I struggle to think I've stayed after saying I never would accept infidelity. That was before I found my life in it. I asked every single question I could whether I wanted the answer or not and believe me they crushed me and still do when I think of them but knowing everything helped me decide it was worth giving a him a chance or not.
Totally understand the tooth brushing incident. Whatever it is becomes a bigger issue than it would have been had you not been working through infidelity. I've had a few incidents like that where after I realise I'm going off about something I know wouldn't have tripped me over the edge before.
Keep posting and reading, a lot of people in here have great advice from being a lot further along than us.

Trying2copeinMD posted 2/2/2018 18:21 PM

Thanks for the support ladies and gents! I don't really know how to quote comments in here just yet, but I actually laughed out loud, like really laughed out loud with the "welcome to the club nobody wanted to join". Lol

I've contacted our counselor and asked for a few IC sessions. He pretty much knows the whole story and it would be a lot easier than trying to build a new rapport with someone else. As any of the women that have commented in here no, men are not so good with emotion. We try to "fix" everything, rather than try to understand how things make us feel.

I do appreciate being able to come on here and not be judged with my own personal struggles. I really thought that I was going crazy because after nine months, I figured I should be over a good amount of this. Yes, some days are great and they feel like old times. Other times, I sit there alone at night lost in my own thoughts. I know intellectually that this was all her choice, but human nature is that you take some of the blame. What would have happened if I told her she looked nice a little bit more? Maybe I could have been more emotionally available during that time that she was weak. I'm sure we've all been down that road.

To come pound on my situation, two weeks after D day, I received a frantic call from my sister that I needed to get to the hospital my mother was in, because she wasn't going to make it until the morning. This was at about 11 at night. I jumped out of bed, started getting dressed. My wife asked me where I was going and I told her, and she asked me if I wanted her to go with me. I couldn't let her. I was already feeling quite vulnerable, and I just didn't trust her to be with me at that time. I didn't trust her support. I'm not sure that I've ever said that before, but it's the truth. I didn't want her around me at that time.

I'm just stuck in a rut of thinking that she begged me to stay so that she can maintain the same lifestyle that she had before. I was the consolation prize. Not only that, she didn't have to admit to all of the people in our lives why we were splitting up. It's a really hard pill to swallow, and I don't know if I've ever fully swallow that pill or not.

Thank you guys and girls for giving me a realistic time line. It helps so much to know that I'm not losing my mind.

Notthevictem posted 2/2/2018 18:24 PM

Have you heard of a postnup?

Lawyerman posted 2/2/2018 18:58 PM

We have all been there my friend. All seen the same things and heard the same words. Pulling the divorce trigger is the hardest thing I have even done. I know full well that a lot of her feelings at the moment are not about the loss of me but about the public shame and how people will think she failed as a wife etc. etc. etc. So she is trying to pin everything on other things to blame for the failure of the marriage. End of the day, it was her cheating. Pure and simple. I told her early doors I would not put up with that and she did it so that's that. Not so hard is it? Just don't do it or if you do, expect to be divorced. Easy choice.

You are in a swirling mass of emotion at the moment. Maybe you should take some time away? Some time to clear your head and spend some time just pacing and thinking? That's what I did and it all became clear. Maybe you will want a different thing but what is important now is what YOU want. When you have decided, she needs to own what she did and go with it 100%. If she won't then it's not good.

I wish you well. Keep posting. Things will get better and worse but you will get a lot of truth on here.

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