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My wife is cheating on me, looking for advice...

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IcyWarp posted 8/6/2019 10:52 AM

I'm sorry in advance for the length of this...

I (35m) think that my wife (33f) is cheating on me, and has been for many years. We've been together for 14 years, we've been married for almost 10 years, and we have a 5 year old daughter together.

Incident #1:

When my wife and I were in college (where we first started dating), we had an incident where she had some really sexually graphic texts from a guy we both knew from school. She even had classes with him. I confronted her about the texts. I definitely didn't handle it well, and basically accused her straight out of the gate as cheating on me without realizing there were some possible outs for her. One of those outs was that she claimed that they were just some pervy texts that she got from this guy out of the blue, and that if I had paid any attention when I was snooping through her phone, that she hadn't actually responded to them. At the time, I conceded that I may have overlooked that possibility, and I had overreacted. She apologized to me for not mentioning to me that some guy was hitting on her like that, and I apologized for overreacting and for snooping. We moved on from there.

Incident #2:

Fast forward to this last year. My daughter, wife, and I are at the gas station. I can tell my wife is kind of distant and detached from the interactions my daughter and I are having. I notice she's glued to her phone as well. The gas fill for our car is on the passenger side, and I have the rear passenger door open so I can tickle my daughter while I wait for the car to fill up. I'm really suspicious of what my wife is doing at this point, so I decide that I'm going to take a look over my wife's shoulder from the backseat at what it is she's so caught up in. Turns out she is actively/in-the-moment sexting some guy. Like, words/descriptions/acts that very much seem like they've been doing this a while (texting) and looking back with 20/20 hindsight, I'm fairly certain they had been fucking as well. Also, all the shit she was texting was super graphic shit, stuff that she NEVER used with me either in dirty talk or when we got intimate...and I know this next admission is pathetic and that it shouldn't matter more than anything else, but that fact that she wanted to share in these acts with this man instead of me really fucking hurt. Probably just my pride talking, but it is what it is...

So, fast forward 10 mins when we get home, and I have to suffer through smiling during dinner and the whole nighttime ritual of getting our daughter to bed so as not to cause a scene by blowing up at my wife for what I had seen her texting. Honestly, that was probably a blessing, because it allowed me to collect my thoughts before confronting her. I end up telling my wife what I saw at the gas station, and right off the bat she tries to play dumb, "What are you talking about?!" "Honey, you're making no sense." I told her to not play dumb with me, and I recited some of the texts that I could remember back to her to prove that I saw what I saw. She then goes on to admit that it was a mistake, but that it was 100% nothing physical, and that she was really sorry. She admitted that the guy was a work colleague.

We talked a lot that night about why she felt she needed to be doing that. A lot of it boiled down to her feeling depressed and lonely. We talked about strategies that we could invoke at home, things that we BOTH could change, to help mend the rift. I guess things felt kind of "OK" after that. But it felt like that damage to our trust was already done, and I don't think I've ever really recovered. Even that seemingly small moment of infidelity (assuming that was only texts) was just such a fucking hammer to my heart. Ever since that incident from last year, I've been waking up every day as a lesser version of my former self. My emotions and propensity to feel anything have been severely muted. Interacting with my daughter is about the only thing that gets me back close to a baseline of how I remember my former self...But beyond those precious moments, I'm just a walking, grayed out zombie that puts on a good face for pretty much everything for my day-to-day (going to work, interacting with my wife, etc).

Most recent incident #3:

Now fast forward to yesterday. My wife has been gone on a week long "work" trip to the East coast (we are West coast). I actually had zero suspicions or justifiable reasons to be worried for this trip, because things had been going pretty well between us, and she hadn't really given off any indicators of suspicious behavior. But, my first clue was that when she arrived at her destination, she "couldn't get the WiFi working for FaceTime". And.......this stayed true for the entirety of her trip....First of all, FaceTime works on cellular data just fine (which we have a ridiculous amount of). I explained that to her, without much of a response. Second, I know that if I were gone for a week from MY family, it would be my biggest fucking priority to get FaceTime up and running so that I could see my family's faces every time I called to visit (which would be every single night...which brings me to the next point). She called us in the evening to say goodnight maybe two times out of the seven days that she was gone. Based on previous trips she's had, this was REALLY strange. Normally she is like clockwork touching in with us to share her day and to hear from us about our day (AND, again, always on FaceTime). I asked her about that, and she claimed that she was just too tired in the evenings to get back to us. Also, in the past, if she was away me/home, she would always text me goodnight and that she loved me, even if we had previously chatted moments earlier on FaceTime or via phone call. For this recent trip, she never texted me once.

So, when she got back, my radar was on high alert. Now, I don't feel good about this next part, but when she went to sleep that night, I checked her travel bag to see if my suspicions were correct. Sure enough, to my surprise, she keeps this little red book as a diary in her work bag. I open it up, and there is a date marked 2/9/15. Turns out she'd started writing a poem on that day about our daughter, who had just been born the previous fall. Okay, "That's really sweet!" I say to myself, and I start to feel bad about my snooping...Flip to the next page, and there's a new entry. There's no date, but it's written sequentially right after the aforementioned poem so I know that I describe here was an entry that came after our daughter being born. This non-dated entry starts off with her describing how much she longs for this specific person (doesn't give his name). She goes on to talk about how she can't stop thinking about him. Every man she sees reminds her of him. She talks about how she never really intended for things to go very far, but "that one night that started in the bar, and ended up going upstairs" just felt too right to not be something meaningful. She goes on to say that she doesn't feel bad about making that decision in regard to how it impacts her "other life". She describes how she thinks maybe her "other life" was the mistake. This goes on for pages. That entry ends with her making peace with herself that he moved on from her, and it was time for her to forget about him. I am assuming that her "other life" our daughter and me.

There was only one more entry after that previous one. I took pictures of it and have typed it out here in it's entirety: "I'm laughing to myself because I haven't opened this book in over two years and here I am sitting in his bed. In his room at his home. Still feeling angst over so many of the same things. I'll go home after having a week with him and I'll be asking the same questions. Is he ever going to call again after? Was it so stupid to go on this trip? So funny how I thought we'd never speak again and look where I am. We worked together, we talked almost every day, and he was there for me as a friend. Now here I am. And back with questions. Why were we so hot and cold those first couple of days and then just tapered off? Maybe he's doing that moral compass wrestling and after I leave we'll never speak again. This trip was probably a bad idea. But we had a lot of fun. And he did say he'd been looking forward to it. He missed me, he wanted this, I know that. I wish he would just tell me he wants me, just me, and always me. It's like we dance around things because he still wants us to have this thing happening despite the rest of my life and I just don't want to talk about that, to the point that I'm lying, and I hate lying to him. But meanwhile, every tender moment I have with him is so precious I can't believe it. I couldn't imagine we'd actually be snuggling on the couch and there we were."

I have't slept since reading that last full entry. I haven't confronted her yet, either. It's been almost 48 hours now without sleep, and I'm just an emotional wreck. I just don't know how to handle this situation. I guess I've gotten so good at wearing this zombie mask ever since incident #2 happened, that I've been able to limp through the last couple of days, but it's getting really really hard to be around her...

I hopped online and read some guides on how to deal with infidelity, and most of the guides mentioned therapy. So I'm going to look into that tomorrow. I've been drinking heavily over this last year as well since incident #2. I didn't realize it had gotten so bad until recently. Maybe the therapy can help with that as well.

Just filing for divorce isn't so simple. My wife has a serious seizure disorder that is uncontrolled. She can't tell when they're happening, so that puts herself and possibly others (small kids especially...our daughter to be exact) in danger. I mention this as it pertains to custody. Imagine she's making dinner for her and my daughter one evening, and she has a seizure near the stove top, and the house catches on fire? Well, the only adult in the house is lying on the floor unconscious. Or what if my daughter has a medical emergency, but then my wife has a seizure due to the stress of the situation? These are very real possibilities, and ones that I fear could happen if she got custody in any way. Some of those examples aren't too far off from other real life incidents we've had over the years due to her seizure disorder. She obviously can't drive. Would this factor into a custody dispute? I mean, our daughter is starting kindergarten in a month, how could my wife transport her?

I don't know what I'm looking for with this whole rambling post...maybe just assurance that her gas-lighting isn't working? That what I've described isn't the workings of an overly paranoid mind? I feel like one minute I'm ready to file for divorce, and then the next I want to try to salvage things for the sake of our daughter, and just to avoid the awful mess that will be made of all three of our lives if we end up separating....

Is there any way she can twist this around on me? Like invasion of privacy against me because I was snooping (for what I think are obvious reasons)? We are in WA state, so I can’t video record me confronting her without her consent...

Here's some other logistical details that seem important for anyone who's managed to read this far:

1. We own a house together (with a mortgage).

2. I make about $85k per year. She makes around $60k per year.

3. We have significant investments that we have joint control over that were given to us by her Dad. They total somewhere in the range of $600k in stocks and bonds. But here's the thing, the money is broken down in different ways:

My account—Roth IRA Brokerage - Opened after we were married, seeded with money from both our joint checking and from her parents

Joint account—Brokerage - Also opened after we were married, also seeded with money from both our joint checking and from her parents

Her account—Brokerage - Not in my name, and opened before we were married. I assume that I'm not entitled to any of this.

Her account—Roth IRA - Also not in my name, and opened before we were married. I assume that one is also off limits.

4. I'm on wonderful terms with her parents and her family in general. I've always been that son-in-law that was there for everyone to lend help no matter how small or large.

5.All of her immediate family is right here where we live.

6.I have zero family support from my side where we live. My nearest FRIEND is 1-1/2 hours away, and my family is across the state 5 hours away.

7. I have a consultation with a lawyer lined up for this Friday at 9:30am

Edit/update #1:

I left work today in order to start lining things up. I have a lawyer lined up for this Friday, that’s the earliest I could find in my area. It’s just a consultation, so I’m not sure what to expect from that one meeting alone? What do I need to bring?

[This message edited by SI Staff at 3:50 PM, August 6th (Tuesday)]

GoldenR posted 8/6/2019 11:04 AM

Her condition is not a handcuff that keeps you there with her regardless of the abuse she's dishing out to you. If anything. Her medical condition should help you get a more favorable D as far as custody is concerned. And they'll likely make it so she has to have someone else with her when she has her, at least until your daughter is a certain age.

Odonna posted 8/6/2019 11:06 AM

Many BSs live in the agony of suspicion for a long time. You know what that is like as you had months of wondering whether the sexting was part of a PA. At least that part is over now; you have her own words convicting her.

I am assuming you have not confronted her with your knowledge yet? You need to do that when your child is elsewhere. You do not need to say how you know. Just say “I need you to tell me about the man you spent last week with.” For every denial just say “But I know. And you do too.”

Odonna posted 8/6/2019 11:20 AM

The lawyer appointment Friday is important, but you do not need to stew in silence until then. You can take control and insist on the truth:

“Wife, I love you dearly but I will not live with a third person in our marriage. The only way our marriage can survive is if you tell me all the truth. The marriage may or may not survive the truth, but it surely will not survive more lies and deceit about an affair that I KNOW happened. So the choice now for you is whether you will say the entire truth. If not, I must assume that you value this man over me and our family, and I will take the steps needed to end this marriage.”

It is important to never give up your sources. And you might look for more evidence in phone records so that, if she does confess, you will have some way to ascertain how much of the truth you are getting.

[This message edited by Odonna at 12:02 PM, August 6th (Tuesday)]

WilliamM posted 8/6/2019 11:21 AM

You have all the information you need. I would seriously file for divorce. You are her Plan B. If he asks, she would leave you. Her seizures happen at any time so it should not determine what you should do. You need to get out of infidelity. Blow this affair up, inform HR at work, tell her family, and if that guy is married, try and inform his wife (without telling your wife you are going to do it). She destroyed this marriage. She desires another man. File for divorce. Also please, please, please, take care of yourself. Eat, sleep when you can, get counseling ASAP. And tell her you know and that you are filing for divorce. Ask her parents, siblings, or a family member to come and get her because she is not welcomed at your home because she is having an affair. Do what you need to do to get out of infidelity. From now on it is about you and your daughter.

Dismayed2012 posted 8/6/2019 11:57 AM

I think this situation is quite clear IcyWarp. She's in love with another man and she'll leave you and her child in a heartbeat if he ever tells her to. That means that she left the marriage a long time ago, you just didn't notice or didn't want to believe it.

I'd recommend separating all accounts and belongings. Decide who can afford the house payments. If neither, go ahead and list it. See a divorce lawyer to go over your options and then have them draw up a divorce agreement where everything is split down the middle along with custody. Have your wife served with the papers without warning, listing infidelity as the reason even if it's a no-fault state.

Don't listen to your wife's excuses and don't believe her if she says she'll change. You've given her the entire marriage time-period to change and she hasn't. Realize that she's not going to change now either.

Get yourself out of infidelity and take your life back no matter what you have to do to accomplish these two goals. Get free as quickly as possible. The sooner you get free, the sooner you get your life and sanity back and the sooner you can find someone new. Don't waste any more of your life with a broken, drama creating cheater. You are the prize now. Take care of yourself.

Jameson1977 posted 8/6/2019 12:14 PM

Hi IcyWarp, welcome, and sorry you found us, but glad you did. You did better than me the 2nd time around. I confronted with evidence but minimal, and suffered TT for years.

It is pretty clear to me that your WW is carrying on a relationship in parallel to her M. What really struck me was her "other life". My WW had a really hard time with her "two lives". Its called compartmentalizing. Her other life couldn't impact upon our (my WW, me and our son) life, it would make things too real. I dont know how people are capable of this, but I see how my WW did it, crazy, mental gymnastics!

It sounds pretty clear that this affair has been going on for some time and that she has strong feelings for this OM.

It's really up to you, I dont think anyone here would fault you for deciding to divorce, or confront and attempt R. I think you have more than enough evidence to confront her. In terms of privacy, I get that, I felt bad for snooping on my WW too....right up to the moment I confirmed she had slept with a coworker. After that, I didnt care at all about snooping. She can do the same to me if she would like, I have nothing to hide.

Only you can decide what's right for you. You will get a lot of advise for both D and R. The saying here is take what you want/need and ignore the rest. I have been here for 4 years and what I can tell you is that cheaters will swear on their children that nothing is or has gone on, only to be found out later. Your gut was right from the 1st time you confronted. Trust your gut

Rustylife posted 8/6/2019 12:15 PM

You have more definitive information than 99% of people who get cheated on. So yeah, confront her. Maybe ask for a timeline. Seems like a longtime thing. Do you suspect someone from her office? Maybe ask for his name if she's willing. Next step will depend on her reaction.

Things for you to ponder:
1. Is this something I can move past if she's willing to do the work?
2. Do I still love her? What about 10 yrs down the line?
3. What was the state of the relationship in these last few years? Is there a foundation left in here to build something that will last?(besides the daughter that you guys share)
It's a tough decision either way. With a daughter in between, you can't blow up her world and move away. A productive and swift resolution is preferable. Consult an attorney. Based on the information you have provided, it'll be a simple enough 50/50 split.

Unhinged posted 8/6/2019 12:27 PM

Hello, IcyWarp. Welcome to SI.

Your WW (wayward wife) is definitely having an affair and from what you've written it seems like it's been going on for a long time. Gather as much information as you can without her knowing about it before you confront her. If you can, find out who the OM is (other man). If he's married, let his BW (betrayed wife) know everything you know.

I'm sorry you're going through this shit, man. We all know how incredibly painful it is. For most people, the betrayal of infidelity is a profound shock and a severe emotional and psychological trauma. It's going to take some time just to recover. Lots of time. I'd say it took me about 10 months to recover. So, be patient with yourself. Focus on you and your recovery.

Drink lots of water. Stay hydrated. You're body's apt to be in "hyper-drive' for a while.

Try to eat small, healthy meals. Extreme weight loss is common. I lost about 30lbs in two months because I simply couldn't force myself to eat enough.

Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs. They will only prolong the pain.

"Hit the gym!" I know it's a cliché, but the endorphins and hormones will expedite your recovery and healing.

Rest and sleep when you can. If you can't sleep, try a mild OTC sleep aid. If that doesn't work, consult your PCP (let him know what's going on with you).

Take some time and read the two threads pinned to the top of the JFO Forum: "The Tactical Primer" and "Newbies... important information-please read."

Also, take some time and check out "The Healing Library." You'll find a link the yellow shaded area at the top-left of the page. Inside the "Articles" tab is a wealth of great essays written by veteran SI members. These will all help you get started on the road to recovery, healing and, most importantly, the hard decisions you're going to have to make.

Therapy can be helpful. Remember that you are hiring the therapist. Make sure to ask them about their experiences and understanding of infidelity and the shit storm that follows.

* please be super careful about sharing personal information on this, or any other, website.

ShutterHappy posted 8/6/2019 12:45 PM

Welcome to SI. I’m sorry you find yourself here,... Every posters in JFO have been through infidelity and we’ll try to help you with various opinions. Take what you need and leave the rest.

Your WW has been cheating on you for several years, and you will need to get out of infidelity through either R or D. If you are leaning towards D, you could simply detach, file for divorce without any further confrontation.

If you wish to know more, or you think R could be a possibility, Odonna has an excellent suggestion.

Your WW medical issues shouldn’t affect your decision to get out of infidelity.

This will be a rough road ahead of you and we’ll be here to support you. I wish you strength!

Marz posted 8/6/2019 13:01 PM

You're married to a cake eater. She has you and the family for a comfortable lifestyle but the other guy on the side for fun. Unless/until she decides to dump you.

It works for her. You, not so much.

It seems like you're making a lot of excuses to stay in this but being a martyr I suspect will get old quick.

If it were me I'd see if her other man is married and inform his wife first. They'll be a lot more info in her phone if you feel the need. Probably in the deleted texts. Fonelab is a good system to use if you go that route. Plus your online phone bill will give you a timeline on when it started, the amount of volume, etc. takes about 30 minutes. Cheaters only admit to what you can verify. Right now you know the "tip of the iceberg".

Sorry you're here.

Get and stay strong. You are the prize not her.

[This message edited by Marz at 1:03 PM, August 6th (Tuesday)]

TimSC posted 8/6/2019 13:11 PM

Your wife wonders is her "other life" was a mistake.

She is romanticizing the affair big time.

She is in love with the OM.

The affair is her real life. It is what she wants and what she longs for.

Nothing left for you or your daughter.

She is not a good candidate for R.

Time for you to wake up and protect your daughter and yourself. Your wife has been gone for a long time.

The wife you loved and married is gone. Do you really want a life with this new woman who considers you and your daughter her "other life", the life she thinks was a mistake.

Time to serve her with D papers.

Marz posted 8/6/2019 13:15 PM

You confronted before her trip but she carried on anyway. OM matters more that you and the family.

Keep that in mind.

hansvoleman posted 8/6/2019 13:32 PM

Now, I don't feel good about this next part, but when she went to sleep that night, I checked her travel bag to see if my suspicions were correct.

She goes on to say that she doesn't feel bad about making that decision in regard to how it impacts her "other life". She describes how she thinks maybe her "other life" was the mistake.

IcyWarp, please read the two statements you wrote. You can see the difference in your attitudes to each other, can't you. You don't feel good about crossing a boundary to get answers she won't give you. However she doesn't even feel bad about being with another man because you are the mistake. Worse still your daughter is part of that mistake.

Your wife knows you well and will use every trick in the book to play on your own sense of guilt. Do not be sidetracked from the reality that the woman you married has not had anything but her own selfish interests at heart for a very long time.

It's heart breaking. I wish you strength.

Writersblock122 posted 8/6/2019 13:49 PM

I'm so sorry you are dealing with this shit show. Your feelings are 100% normal. When you described your feelings, it was like looking into my own soul when my D Day happened.
It sounds like she is in love with this OM just based on the wording from her diary. More than likely, that means she is mentally checked out of your marriage. The wall is already up. At this point, drastic measures must be taken. She will either rejoice that she is finally free or it will be a wake up call for her. Status quo is NOT an option now.
She is doing something common in cheaters, which is compartmentalizing her life. Her "other life"-aka you and your daughter-is totally separate from her love life. This is how she functions and continues to cheat on you without feeling guilty.
Please keep posting. You will receive excellent advice here. Just remember we've all been there/done that. Cheaters follow the same pattern. All of us old timers respond to these posts to 'pay it forward' because we know how invaluable the advice was to us during our own shit storm!
It sounds like you are doing the right things. You are seeking IC and an attorney, so you are ahead of the game.

NoOptTo posted 8/6/2019 14:10 PM

Welcome to the club everyone hates to be apart of. You are going to gets lots of advice. Please take what you need and leave the rest.

Please see more then one lawyer. Make sure the lawyer is good with fathers rights. As for your WW having uncontrolled seizures, this will probably help you with custody. Learn all you rights, responsibilities, obligations, and expectations if you choose to D, divorce. IMO, I would wait till you have your ducks in a row with the possible outcomes that can happen upon exposing your WW secret other life. You want to be in control. Right now you are reacting to her actions. She doesnt know that you know that she is cheating. Learning all you can. Yes you may live in a two consent state. All you have to do is inform her that you are recording anything. As long as she knows, that is good enough. You want to have a VAR on you for your protection in case she claims DV,domestic violence against you. As if she becomes threatening or physical against you.

Now is your time to begin learning about 180 and detach emotionally from your WW to help protect yourself from further hurt. Start looking after your daughter. She deserves one steady responsible parent. Focus on her til you confront your WW.

goalong posted 8/6/2019 14:35 PM

You are a glutton for punishment. Now because of her actions you are self destructing by drinking and not sleeping. But accept that past is gone. You cannot do anything about it. From now on keep your head up do your other things even better. It is sexy. Whether you want to R or D depends on your relationship despite cheating. But your WW is doing it openly as you have not taken any actions like telling OMs' wives. Knowing that she does not have to make any changes or has any fear she keep pissing on you. If you go ahead with lawyers you will witness how taking actions affect WW cake eating wonderland. Also get in to a healthy routine by eating properly and working out

[This message edited by goalong at 2:37 PM, August 6th (Tuesday)]

IcyWarp posted 8/6/2019 14:49 PM

What would be a good obscure reason recording? Could I say something, like "Hey look at those birds out the window. Do you see me recording them?", get her to say "yes to that" set the phone or camera down, and then have the confrontation?

beenthereinco posted 8/6/2019 15:21 PM

What is the recording for? If you just want to review what was said by her then just record away without telling her. You're not going to use it as evidence. If you are in a state that infidelity matters in the divorce and most don't and you want a confession as evidence that you want to use in a court then you need to review whether you are in a two-party or one-party state and act accordingly. Again though what is the purpose of the recording?

Michigan posted 8/6/2019 15:28 PM

You want to have a VAR

What would be a good obscure reason recording? Could I say something, like "Hey look at those birds out the window. Do you see me recording them?"

A VAR is a voice activated recorder. It turns itself on when it detects sound. Just have it in your pocket.

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