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Sad and scared

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brokenInDenver posted 10/14/2019 17:47 PM

I have been married for 12 years a step-father of two teenage children (15 and 19) and I am a betrayed spouse. My wife had a physical and emotional affair for 9 months with one of her co-workers. He is also a married with two kids. I am currently D-Day plus 3.5 months andÖ healing. Today I would tell you my story and ask your advice. I have read this forum for hours on end because it has helped me greatly, however, I still have trouble with the acronyms and will disregard their use; I do not mean offense or to cause anyone angst. It's just that I find it hard to concentrate on writing while simultaneously translating into acronymsÖ it is my shortcoming and I apologize.

I found out my wife was cheating on me on a Thursday evening in late June. I discovered my wife and her lover at a hotel by pure chance the day before she and her children and I were to go on a family vacation together. When I confronted her she absolutely refused to come home. While she admitted having an affair, she would not discuss it or the other man with me in any way except to tell me she loved him and that she wanted to 'try to make things work with him'. I donít think I have to tell any of you that my life went from mostly wonderful to unbearable pain in about 30 seconds flat. All I could think about was that my beautiful wife, my soul mate and best friend was at that very moment having sex with another man she loved and for whom she was leaving me. Those first few days I threw up every couple hours, I couldnít sleep, I couldnít eat, I couldnít focus or think straight. The only thoughts that would give me any sense of calm were those I would focus on finding the quickest and least painful ways that I could kill myself. I didnít feel angry, that came later, I just felt unbounded agony at the unbearable loss that my wife was gone and now with someone else. It goes without saying that neither my wife nor my two step-children joined me on vacation the next day.

Although I was on vacation, that was without doubt, the worst weekend Iíve ever endured. I do not have words to describe the pain I felt, but I think most of you already understand. I was a zombie. I was in agony. I was living in a hell. Then, on Monday, my wife texted me that she wanted to reconcile. Part of me is ashamed to admit that I remember that as one of the single best moments of my life. At that moment I stopped focusing only on my pain and ways to end it, and instead started to feel hope. I felt hope that I would see her again, hope that I might hold her again, hope that I could love her again. Hope that she could still be mine.

From that moment to this she has given 100% focus on reconciliation and to making me (and us) whole again. She has taken full responsibility for the affair and has never once blamed me for any of her bad decisions. My wife has answered with honest detail every question I ask about her time with her lover and how she hid what she was doing. She has completely severed all contact with her former lover and because they still work together she proactively lets me know every interaction she has with him (which is now very rare and never in person as he has shifted out of her business unit as a result of my discovery). But I donít have to take her word for it because my wife has given me complete and unfettered access to her credit card statements, email accounts, IM accounts, her phone and anything else I ask for. She lets me track her every movement and every moment with an app on her phone that she never turns off. She has shown time and again remorse and regret at her decision to cheat; she cries as often as I do when we discuss what she did and she sincerely apologizes to me daily for her actions. She is patient with me, she protects me, she lets me scream at her when Iím in pain and gives me space when I ask for it and shows me limitless compassion for the pain I endure. She thanks me often for giving her the chance to reconcile. We are also both of us seeking professional help. She and I are both in our own seperate individual counseling (which has helped me more than I expected). We are also together in marriage counseling. She wants me to read the journal she started keeping since my discovery with things she is thankful for in our relationship and things we do together that make her happy. She is always pointing out things that make our relationship special and she never stops telling me that she loves me. Above all else... she never stops showing me that she loves me. Every indication is that she is the real deal and absolutely committed to reconciliation. I know she is someone who would do anything I ask to ease my pain. I can tell you all sincerely that I love her deeply and more than anything I love what our relationship has become in these three+ months gone by now. Most surprising to me is she has now become the wife Iíve always wanted; she is today the wife of my dreams.

Iíve read so many of your posts and found fellowship and compassion in the stories you share and realize that I am one of the lucky ones, if that is a epithet any one of us could ever truly wear. My wife is fully committed to reconciliation and I still love her deeply in spite of her affair. I admit, today I feel better than I did at D-Day. I no longer ever consider killing myself (thank you therapy). But in spite of everything, I am still filled with unbearably intense negative emotions I cannot seem to get under control. Iíd be lying if I said I wasnít still anything other than broken. Broken and scared and so very, very sad. Iím scared her focus on reconciliation will wane, Iím scared I wonít be able to move past the pain she has caused me, Iím scared of ever again trusting someone who so easily threw away the most important parts of our relationship. Iím scared how easy it was for her to lie to me for so long. I guess it all comes back to me being scared she will cheat again. More than being scared though Iím still just so fucking sad. I often think of my beautiful wife making love and falling in love with another man all while lying to me.

Everyday I re-read the 180. I exercise a lot (a lot for me anyway), eat right, Iíve bought new clothes, I always do the homework my therapist suggests even when its weird, I keep a journal that I sometimes let my wife read (other entires are for me alone), Iíve started meditating which feels super weird to me but I admit has been about the only thing that keeps my mind from perseverating on the affair. But I am anxious often, Iím sad often, and Iím angry often. Its hard for me to enjoy even the simplest things that used to give me so much pleasure. My mind wanders at work and when I travel for work I am so anxious that I am all but ineffective. Even though my wife wants me to move home I just canít bear the thought of being in that house with her and her kids after what sheís done. Sometimes I feel my love for my wife waneing, which I hate. I donít want to not love her.

I am so very tired of thinking about her affair and feeling like this. Can someone tell me that reconciliation is worth it? Or better yet share your positive reconciliation story that will give me hope? Can someone tell me how much longer must I endure being wrapped in this pain and how long I will feel broken? Do you have any advice fo anything else can I do? Please help.

survrus posted 10/14/2019 17:55 PM


Have you exposed the OM widely?

OM needs to leave the company expose to hr.

First person to expose to is his BW or SO.

Have you confronted the OM?

BrokenAnyway posted 10/14/2019 17:57 PM

I don't have any words of encouragement or advice for you, as I'm very new here, and in the thick of it so to speak.

However, just like for nearly everyone else on here, my heart breaks for you. The effects of infidelity (even in your "lucky" situation) are so far reaching and destructive.

Odonna posted 10/14/2019 18:05 PM

it all comes back to me being scared she will cheat again. More than being scared though Iím still just so fucking sad. I often think of my beautiful wife making love and falling in love with another man all while lying to me.

Although your wife seems to be perfectly implementing the advice of ďHow to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your AffairĒ by Linda MacDonald, you are right to wonder where her heart is after having told you upon discovery that she loves the affair partner (I never use ďloverĒ as that is reserved for you) and wanted to make a life with him. She cannot turn that off on a dime, so what she is doing is called ďwhite-knuckling.Ē She probably also has desperate impulses to communicate with him, as her heart was taken up with him. So that may be continuing.

Try talking to her about her feelings and about your worry that she seemed to pretend she loved you while actually loving him, and why that puts such huge doubts in your mind.

So you moved out and have been separated since discovery? You might want to consider moving back if you really want to reconcile, so that you can better assess whether she is sincere in her remorse and all she is doing for you. If it is all showband she has taken communications underground you will find out.

Read BeyondRageís story for one where both spouses did the right things to maximize the chance of reconciliation. They are not out of the woods, but they have a good chance of finding the Yellow Brick Road.

HalfTime2017 posted 10/14/2019 18:16 PM


You are only 3.5months out from DDay. The rollercoaster is completely normal. Stay around long enough and you see that people are on here for yrs. That should give you a good time table for your own healing. It takes a very very long time to get over it, and even then its an ever lasting shit stain on the wallpaper you can't erase.

I think its way too early for you and your wife to be in marriage counseling. Take the time you have now, and work on yourself. You wife can do the same. Just wait on the marriage counseling b/c the cheating had nothing to do with you, there is nothing for you to fix right now, its all on your WW.

I wish you well on your R journey, it'll be tough. It takes yrs, the estimate on here is 2-3 yrs. It sounds like your wife is a good candidate based on what you wrote, but you still need to focus on your own healing first. Give it time, and don't promise R to your wife just yet. See how she behaves over the long haul. Its going to be a marathon.

Booyah posted 10/14/2019 18:19 PM

More than likely after you found her and OM at the hotel and she told you she wanted to "try to make things work with him" this guy kicked her to the curb because he was just in it for fun.

At that point there was no "trying to make things work with him" as that option was taken away from her. So the next Monday all of a sudden she wants to make things work with you?

Hate to say this but you were her fall back option. Plan B.

As it's been pointed out to you please tell the other betrayed spouse. She deserves to know.

Hate you're going through this and in so much pain but all of your fears are certainly valid.

Glad you found SI.

Daysgnbye posted 10/14/2019 18:26 PM

BID, I am sorry for your deep pain. We all share a kinship in this department. May I ask, what was the epiphany that your wife had to stop her affair? Has her affair partner been confronted contact letter and telling his spouse. Was he her superior at work? Others will follow with sage advice. Keep your head up, we are all in your corner.

Robert22205https posted 10/14/2019 18:29 PM

You don't trust her and for good reason. You can still feel love for her while at the same time protecting yourself by distancing yourself from her.

The quality of the advice you receive is often a function of the detail you provide.

Does her family know?

Is your wife and her daughters financially dependent on you?

She chose to be with him while you were on vacation - then what happened?

Why did she suddenly chose you?

Who ended the affair (the OM?) and why (perhaps his wife found out or soon would find out from you)?

Does the OBS know? Did you talk with the OBS to compare facts?

Is the OM or your wife a supervisor?

[This message edited by Robert22205https at 6:30 PM, October 14th (Monday)]

ChamomileTea posted 10/14/2019 19:23 PM

But in spite of everything, I am still filled with unbearably intense negative emotions I cannot seem to get under control. Iíd be lying if I said I wasnít still anything other than broken. Broken and scared and so very, very sad. Iím scared her focus on reconciliation will wane, Iím scared I wonít be able to move past the pain she has caused me, Iím scared of ever again trusting someone who so easily threw away the most important parts of our relationship. Iím scared how easy it was for her to lie to me for so long. I guess it all comes back to me being scared she will cheat again. More than being scared though Iím still just so fucking sad. I often think of my beautiful wife making love and falling in love with another man all while lying to me.

My DDay was nearly five years ago, married 30+ years at the time, reconciled now. IME, the innocent, naive trust we once had never returns. That's not to say there's no trust at all. If you read through a copy of What Makes Love Last by John Gottman, you can see that there are many aspects of trust; financial trust, trust that your mate will take good care of the children, that she'll take care of you when you're sick, etc. In fact, when I did Gottman's quizzes, I answered questions in the affirmative like "Has your spouse ever cheated?" and "Do you think your spouse might cheat?".. and my trust metric was still quite high. It won't ever be the blind trust it was before, but it's still tolerable.

What helps is when you've redirected the bulk of that trust toward yourself. You can't control what your WW might do in the future, but you CAN control you and your reaction to it. Once you trust that you will handle whatever comes your way and that you'll be alright while doing it, it's easier to let go of your fears.

You might consider EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprosseing) for help with your triggers and rumination. Your IC can probably direct you to a trauma therapist who uses it. It won't take your memories away, but it will take a good deal of the heat out of them.

Other than that, take your time. Get right with YOU. That's where you'll find your strength and healing. It sucks that other people can victimize us like this and that there's no compensation for it, but we CAN choose to heal. Have faith that you will be okay.

GoldenR posted 10/14/2019 19:36 PM

Brother, you've gotten fucked over royally. One of 2 things happened...

1 - she knew all along she was not going to leave you but wanted that one last long weekend fuckfest with her boyfriend. She knew you were too in love with her to leave her.


2 - something didn't work out with her boyfriend. More than likely he wasn't having any of her "life together" stuff, he just wanted no strings attached sex. Once she said "I've left him! We can be together!", he decided to bail. Or she simply realized he wasn't good life partner material.

Either way, you are her plan B. Scenario 1, you are her sexual plan B that she now knows she can fuck other guys and you won't leave. Or scenario 2, you are her overall plan B that she fell back on bc things didn't work out with Mr Right.

You've been dealt a bogus hand by someone that's dealing from the bottom of the deck, and you've accepted it.

Marz posted 10/14/2019 19:45 PM

Upfront most will jump ar R without any thought. I hope you don't regret it.

They still work together??? No matter what you track, check, etc they can communicate without your knowledge.

As everyone has said inform his wife without any warning to yours. It's the best chance and stopping anything. I've see way to many come back later wishing they'd taken this 1st important step.

I agree with others. OM dumped her after you found out.

Wake up fully and take a hard look try not to see only what you want to see.

Cooley2here posted 10/14/2019 19:55 PM

OBS other betrayed spouse
AP affair partner
BS betrayed spouse
WS wayward spouse

Please tell the other spouse. As long as she doesnít know you are helping two people harm her and take away her right to own her own life.

Butforthegrace posted 10/14/2019 19:56 PM

I agree with the others that something smells rotten in Denmark. I'm pretty sure I've never seen a thread where a WW went instantly from an A that was so deeply limerent that she looked you in the eye and said she wanted to make a go of it with her AP, and then just a couple of days later was "both feet in" for R with the BH. That's not normal. Not consistent with human nature.

You give us little detail other than the timeline. Frankly, I suspect your version of your DDay. You and the family were planning to leave on a vacation on a Friday in June. The day before, on Thursday evening, you say you discovered her "by pure chance" at a hotel. What were you doing at a hotel on a Thursday prior to leaving for vacation on a Friday? Are you a vendor of hotels? A service provider? If you're not one of those, what "pure chance" led you there. Normally, the only reason people go to hotels is to sleep or fuck, or spy on the spouse whom they suspect is doing the latter. And if you were spying, how did you know what room your WW and her POSOM were in, or what part of the hotel they might be found together?

Anyways, the main thing to know now is whether you've exposed the POSOM (that's "Piece Of Shit Other Man") to his BOW (that's "Betrayed Other Wife"). If not, you should do so before you do anything else. You should do it without warning your WW (that's "Wayward Wife") first. If she confronts you about it later, you'll know she's still in contact with the asshole she was fucking. And you should do it by phone. Not by Messenger. Not by letter. By phone. Call her during the day, when her asshole husband is at work.

By the way, 3.5 months is hardly the blink of an eye in terms of recovery. You say you've done a lot of reading here, but if you really have been, you'd know this. 3.5 years is about average for R to start feeling stable, but only if both spouses are "both feet in" and the WW is fully remorseful and committed to helping you heal. Right now, it would be normal for you to still be in the roller coaster phase. Your deep anger will not have set in yet.

Also, it's probably way too early to be attending MC. MC only works with two spouses who are whole. There is no way your WW has gone from a fully limerent A to R-ready in this time frame.

We can only proffer advice based on the information that you provide, and you provide very little. Therefore, I wish you luck, and if you'd like more specific advice, you might consider providing more information.

rambler posted 10/14/2019 20:52 PM

I would expect that your wife committed to OM but the OM refused to leave his family.

Now your wife wants the safety net back.

Drop the MC and continue to work on you. Do not read her stuff. Heal yourself.

Buffer posted 10/14/2019 21:56 PM


Can I ask why your WW after a weekend with her AP, decided you and your children were plan A, and not the fall back Plan B?
As well as why did she start the A?

I am sure you have discussed this with her, but some here may seek this additional information so to better advise you on what their experience has shown.
Is R worth the emotional hard work?
When D she is out of your hair, but tied through your children? Only you can say. But the relationship have to make you feel safe. If so as she shows you she is safe, your trust may build. But will never be fully returned to pre A status. It is a hard uphill process with many downward turns.
Eat well, exercise, drink plenty of water, Communicate x3 with her. Exspose to the OBS the full extent of their A. Not to be vindictive but she has to know what she is involved in as well to have herself checked for any STDs. This isnít the AP first rodeo.

Was it karma that you were at the motel that she and AP were using for their meeting?

Good luck 😉

cannotforgive posted 10/15/2019 06:45 AM

I agree with the others that something smells fishy here.

Your cheating wife( which you have put on pedestal it seems for years and helped her raise her children) either belongs to an alien race that can switch emotions at a press of a button, or she simply is a garden variety cheater that when dumped by her lover, does everything possible to keep her comfortable life and that of her kids.

Plan A to live with her lover backfired it seems on the weekend, most likely he told her he will not leave his family for her.

Then Monday comes, she loves you and will do anything to be with you.

Class act in acting...

I am sure deep down you have your doubts, this is why you start to loose your love for her. Your gut is telling you not to trust her.

Continue with the counselling for yourself and give yourself time to process the trauma. Be kind to yourself, lean on family and friends.

Cancel the marriage counselling and do not move back. Then watch... She will drop the acting if she realizes some home truths...

[This message edited by cannotforgive at 6:45 AM, October 15th (Tuesday)]

LifeisCrazy posted 10/15/2019 08:52 AM

Hi Broken. I rarely post these days as a BS who is long reconciled from my wife's affair many years ago. My reluctance to post, particularly in JFO, is because of what you see in the messages above - the immediate doubting of your wife's sincerity and the resulting inference that there must be some underhanded rationale for why she has sought to reconcile with you.

You will notice, by the way, that those posts are from guys who are either A) divorced or B) very unhappy with their reconciliation. No knock on what is THEIR reality... but it is pretty jaded.

So let me give you another perspective.

Women who are caught in an affair usually don't know what to do when the hammer drops. It's not as if they have been going to counseling throughout the affair and reading books along the way on how to help their betrayed husbands... all in preparation for when they're caught. They are just as unprepared for the horror they've unleashed as you are. And, let's just be honest here, there ARE emotions involved - particularly for a wife who's probably not been in an affair for 9 months solely for the sex. So this idea that a woman is going to spin around on a dime and immediately throw the affair partner under the bus rarely happens.

Instead, they get caught... and need to gather themselves as to what happens next. There is almost always a conversation with the affair partner, some consideration over what the future might hold for her and this guy, and some sense of self-preservation under the assumption that there's a divorce hammer coming soon. All of that, for as much as a betrayed spouse may not like it, is normal. Looking back on it from years down the road and a far more objective perspective, there is nothing surprising about how your wife acted. It sucks... but it's not unusual, despite the cries from the peanut gallery here that it reflects something more sinister.

Despite the first few days, what is MOST important is what happens NEXT. In your case, your wife has realized that she made a mistake and is taking action to fix the problem that SHE made. The fact that she took the weekend is in NO WAY a reflection of her sincerity - and anyone suggesting that is simply unrealistic about how true reconciliation actually happens. Your wife is working on herself and the marriage. That is a positive step.

Now for the rest of your question - the how do YOU get through it part. 3 1/2 months is nothing. NOTHING! It will take you years to recover - sometimes faster, sometimes sprinkled with amazing times, sometimes interjected with horrible days, mind movies, and sadness. That's the reality... and there is very little you can do to speed up the process.

Somethings that you SHOULD know, if (and, at this stage it's a BIG if) you decide to reconcile. The first is that the affair never goes away. I don't care how great your wife becomes and how sincere the reconciliation is - you will NEVER get over the fact that your wife fucked another guy. For as amazing as my marriage is now (and it IS amazing) there are still times I find myself thinking about it. And it's been 8 years.

Second, you MUST reconcile the fact that your wife is not who you thought she was. If you were like me and thought your wife was the greatest person ever, it's time to take her off the pedestal. Come to terms with who she is - it will help you immensely in your relationship moving forward.

Third, understand that people DO change. They do things that they are super regretful about and (some) are capable of recognizing it. My wife often comments that she's a different person than who she was 10 years ago. I have a choice - I can either recognize this and enjoy the marriage we have now or I can live in the past and only see who she was. Well, you know what? I've done some really stupid, mean things in my life. I don't do them anymore because I've learned a lot about myself. Maybe your wife has learned that, too. Not everyone is capable - so only you can be the one to judge her intentions.

True reconciliation (not just getting past the affair and renewing the old marriage - but, rather, creating a NEW marriage with a new set of standards) is very, very hard. It takes a long time with two people who are committed to making it happen. It is NOT for everyone.

Best of luck to you.

RedHeadTemper posted 10/15/2019 09:03 AM


My wife still tells me that she can turn off romantic feeling on a dime. I've enjoyed enough of her lying to know it isn't true and based on super obvious signs.

No one can turn off feeling for someone that fast. You literally caught your wife cheating and still love her. It doesn't happen man. She might be trying to get over it, but it takes time. Make sure you're getting honesty. To me, it's not the cheating that kills the relationship, it's the fact that they betray us in the worst way possible, and continue to be dishonest.

The1stWife posted 10/15/2019 11:24 AM

LifeisCrazy has the best advice here.

I am also happily reconciled Ikeís and it does take years but you will notice changes (in your feelings) over time. What makes you feel at 3 months from DDay May not affect you as much at 12 months from DDay.

brokenInDenver posted 10/15/2019 12:05 PM

A couple of you have asked... I discovered my wife and the other guy at the hotel because I had tracked her phone there with an app that she neglected to turn off. I thought it was really strange it was showing her at a hotel so i went to check just to see... glad I did :-(.

I have not contacted the other BS nor confronted the OM. I will if he reaches out to my WW again but I think i'd rather just be shut of them.

@Odonna I have been separated since discovery (with the odd night spent at home from time to time). We have discussed me moving back in and what needs to happen. My wife is doing everything she can so that I move back in. I suspect it won't be long.

@Daysgnbye My WW tells me she stopped her affair because she didn't want to lose everything we had together. I think I believe her.

there are several of you who messaged that I was my WW's Plan B. That was absolutely my first thoughts as well and was for some time after discovery. I think @LifeisCrazy is very much in line with what my wife tells me happened that weekend. That initially she was glad I knew and could be in the open with the OM and they were figuring out how to spend more time together. Somehow though over the course of that weekend my WW started to realize what she would be giving up to the point she severed contact with the OM and then contacted me to reconcile. I'm sure he was plan B if I didn't want to reconcile but she wanted to be with me. I hate it. I hate the thought of her fucking that guy all weekend but I believe her. I believe she left him for me and then texted me to reconcile.

@LifeisCrazy your post fills me with hope and is very much in line with my WW's story. I hate the idea of enduring this for another 3 years and then still NEVER being shut of it but I don't know that I have a choice. I want to be with her and so this is the path I must take. I read someone's post recently: You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. I like that... wish it wasn't true but thats my life now.

Lastly... I wanted to say thank you all so much for your posts. It sucks we're all in this together but I'm so happy I'm not alone. I feel like you've all braved a trail ahead of me and are shepherding me along the path with compassion and commiseration. Thank you all sincerely.

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