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Long Term Affairs

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PearlyBaker posted 12/10/2019 16:08 PM

Do you think the length of the affair ends up playing a factor in if you reconcile or not? Are any of you long term affair survivors and reached the other side ok?

Iím slow to make moves in life in general and I havenít made the decision to R yet (9 months post d day) because Iíve been waiting to see more growth from my husband. At this point, I donít know if his 2.5 years affair, which basically was a full blown, full time relationship, is even forgivable. If a person can lie and cheat for 2.5 years is it just in their makeup?

I wonder the statistics for people that overcome LTAs. I wonder what the success stories look like.

thatbpguy posted 12/10/2019 16:12 PM

Just my $0.02, but the longer the betrayal, the worse it is for our marriage. I can't fathom staying with someone or trying to R after them being with someone else for 1 year or two. That tells me they had zero invested in our marriage and what they think of me, as opposed to a few times.

Evertrying posted 12/10/2019 16:14 PM

My H's A wasn't quite that long (1 year) but we are attempting R and we are two years from dday.

I read on another board somewhere that a single woman was involved with a married man for over 20 yrs! That to me would be a deal breaker.

amethyst0323 posted 12/10/2019 18:17 PM

Personally I think it depends on the WS and his/her actions after dday as to if R is possible.

If the WS is Not remorseful, cruel and not willing to put in work after the affair then for me R would be unlikely regardless of the length.

My WH had a 2 year affair with most of itís elements conducted online but it was a COW so they did see each other daily at work. Meeting outside of work was limited.

We are 20 months post dday2, when he confessed to everything. Since that day he has worked hard on himself (has made mistakes along the way), he is trying incredibly hard to repair things and make them better for me and our children.

It is tough coming to terms with the multiple betrayals but I do believe he is (and still becoming) a far better man than he was during the affair. Our marriage was good before (not perfect by any means but good) and it is good again (not perfect but good). I know his affair has made him realise how good I am and how lucky he is. It has made him value a lot that he took for granted.

I wouldnít say we have made it yet, it still feels we have a way to go but I do believe we are on the way and I do hope we make it.

MoreThanBroken posted 12/10/2019 18:20 PM

Pearly,
My wife had an LTA for basically 3 years, found out 4 years after it ended. So being 2 years out at this point, I would say that LTAs provide very different scenarios that could be either positive or negative depending on who you are and what level of remorse they're at, heres a few things that come to mind:
-My wife doesnt remember every detail because of how long ago it was, she wouldn't if I had caught her at the end of the affair, so the extra 4 years didnt help. With that in mind, I'm spared the text messages that are long gone, she cant remember every conversation or every behavior that lead up to or continued her affair. On the flip side,maybe that knowledge would be useful, but I choose to see it as more damaging.
-My wife tainted a lot of memories (and Facebook is quite the bitch for bringing them up constantly) so when the LTA spans more than a ONS or a few months, memories are really changed. I am inclined to believe that this makes little difference in my healing because I've come to accept the death of my marriage, so all memories have been mourned (for the most part) and seeing any picture of the past can trigger the sadness of losing the marriage, regardless of how long the affair lasted.
-Resentment is probably the thing that is the most difficult, instead of saying, "remember when you treated me like shit...during your affair...for that whole month" it's kinda like "remember when you treated me like shit, for like all of 2011...and 2012...and 2013 was no picnic either..." so the resentment builds during those times because you have to connect the dots. You have to come to terms with what life could have been like, i.e. if I had found out the next day after their first sexual contact, I would have leaned closer to divorce (only had one kid, family nearby that could have helped support me, not as many financial commitments, I was in a lot better shape physically), my life is much different than it was 8 years ago, the affair truly showed me how deep my love is for my wife (I would like to say it's been that way always but it probably wasn't back the , certainly not like it is now).

The list of differences go on and on, some I find more positive than others. A long time ago, I was told that the worst affair is usually your own, dont focus on what others are going through, how good or how worse you think they may have it, affairs put us in our own personal Hell.

Most any affair can be forgiven, most any relationship can be restored. Everything depends on your healing and your spouses. This isnt a process you can manage for them, so in many ways, the affair showed how little they loved you, and their remorse and desire to heal themselves and help restore the relationship is how they can show how much they love you.

somanyyears posted 12/10/2019 19:20 PM


.. read my story in my profile, then tell me what you think my chances for R might be..?

LTA=18 years, TT= another 22 years

smy

NorthernMSB posted 12/10/2019 20:20 PM

20 years. And then a 5 week intense sexting affair with another ex. Imagine which one is the real issue.

We were just walking the dogs 10 minutes ago in the minus 25 Celsius weather and admiring the huge drifts created across the drive ways of several neighbours who are obviously out of town. I said "remember when we came home from such and such trip with the kids and we had the blizzard at home and the drifts were literally over my waist on the driveway?"

There was a moment of laughing at a mutual memory, as couples do, and then like a knife to the heart I remembered he was cheating then. There is an affair season for Ddays but everything in our marriage is coloured by the fact he was cheating the whole time. All my memories.

And it makes me incredibly sad and I know this is my life now. And we will most likely stay together but it will always be there. An ugly thread woven through the entire fabric of my marriage, ruining the pattern I thought we were building together..

deephurt posted 12/10/2019 20:51 PM

9 years and the physical was split early in the total a years of about 5 weeks and then the last couple of years. For approx 7 years it was an ea

I agree with the others. Ltaís taint all your memories. I relate our memories to whether itís pre a or during. You do recall things during the a and then when you recall that it was during that time it hurts a lot.

Itís only possible to r imho if your ws drastically changes and becomes the persona you deserve to be married to. If they donít make a morning changes, it wouldnít be worth it-at least for me I have a lot of boundaries that I never even considered needing to require previously but they are firm boundaries now.

I believe ltaís di destroy the trust forever. I donít see the trust ever being rebuilt for me. I believe I will always suspect he could be lying again. When he tells me he would never do that again, it falls on deaf ears. When someone is capable of cheating and lying for that length of time, trust wonít some back fir a long time.

I am 5 1/2 years from dday and I feel like Iíve been stuck in the same spot for about 2 years at least. I donít know that I will heal anymore than I have and I still think of the a every day. I get sad and angry every day still. I donít think or care about the ap, itís what ws did. Itís that he is a liar and treated me like I was disposable and unimportant. I am not able to forget that. I think if it everyday.

Having said all that, I am happy with who he is right now-assuming itís authentic. I am happy with our life. That is why I am still here. My happy daily life is interfered with everyday by continuing thoughts of his betrayal. I donít know if or when that could change but I am not holding my breath. It feels like it will affect me for the rest if my life right. Now but Iím hoping that isnít true. The farther out it gets, hopefully, the fewer times I think of it. Maybe the farther out it is, the longer it has been that he has proven to be who I deserve, maybe that will be what changes my daily thoughts.

I would love to be able to tell you that Iím healed but I still feel in the process. I am of the belief that itís a life long process now.

gmc94 posted 12/10/2019 21:20 PM

I agree with the posters as to the complete mindf*ck to our memories.

I (perhaps foolishly) think that anyone can R if both parties are willing to put in some seriously hard effing work.

And I also think that the healing/repair/change from an LTA is probably a longer (and maybe bumpier) road. The simple fact - in and of itself - that 20 years of my M are now tainted with deceit and a lack of reality takes a long time to process. An LTA also makes it impossible to tell yourself that was the night/week/month (or even year) my WS was off their rocker. Any situational "whys" strike me as total bullshit. I think a long LTA is indicative of some very deep and serious character flaws, that have got to be really hard to identify (because lying for that long makes it ingrained - they no longer even see their own lies) and fix (for similar reasons - the behavior-and lies - are habitual vs situational).

There was a moment of laughing at a mutual memory, as couples do, and then like a knife to the heart I remembered he was cheating then.
this is still a constant thing for me - and often (esp with things like Facebook), I don't even get that "moment of laughing" of the memory.

I think it's possible to R no matter the length -but an LTA adds additional length or dimension to it (just as, say a WS who is an SA has different dimensions).

Phoenix1 posted 12/10/2019 21:47 PM

**Posting as a Member**

Xhole had a double life our entire marriage. First LTA was 15+ years with an OC born one month after our youngest. Though cheating in and of itself is a dealbreaker for me personally, there was never a way to come back from that. Add in two more known LTAs and another secret OC and every memory I have of our almost 30 years together is now in question for me. I am not only skeptical of everything he ever said or did, but I am not convinced there weren't others I don't know about.

Only you can decide if you want to offer the gift of R regardless of what statistics or anecdotal evidence says about success. To thine own self be true.

Striver posted 12/11/2019 00:41 AM

I am divorced. My ex left me for someone who she knew before we ever met. Said when she was separating that when she married it was a choice between me and him and she chose me. Then she changed her mind I guess.

Anyway, it's a different story, but my marriage, feelings, experiences are all invalidated now. It's been a few years. I have moved on and am in a new relationship. Life moves on for all of us.

My perspective is that I do not believe someone can be remorseful for a LTA. Because at some point the "high" goes away and the A becomes a part of every day existence. Perhaps that is the banality of evil.

Anyway, good luck to all whatever you choose to do.

northeasternarea posted 12/11/2019 06:07 AM

Coming up on 7 years post DDay. I am at peace with my decision to remain in the marriage. It hasnít been easy. It is only by the grace of God that we are still together.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 12/11/2019 08:21 AM

My WHs A was "only" 5 months old at d-day1, but he continued it via False-R for another 1.5 years - so we have a 2 year LTA with most of it being under the guise of him attempting to R when he was not (in his mind he was attempting - somehow he fails to grasp how continuing his A while attempting to R isn't an attempt at all...)

Every memory was colored by his actions - there is no A season for me - and he hated that, can't take it, and was irritated with me for "not being happy" because of what he did.

Yes it can be done - but I do think it's harder. Add false R in there and it's harder still.

I'm sorry you even have to ask :(

dblackstar2002 posted 12/11/2019 08:32 AM

Just me personally, But anything past a one night stand is a deal breaker for me. And the only way I could possible stay after a ONS. Is if she has a dam good Explanation and it better involve the date rape drug! Any affair lasting weeks or months and I am gone! Years? That's not an affair, That's an entirely different marriage! You are now in a Polygamous marriage and you did not even give consent to this! What sane person would wat to stay knowing this????

ShatteredSakura posted 12/11/2019 08:36 AM

ThisIsSoLonely, my WW did the same thing.

Still talking to her AP every day (but not seeing him in person) somehow was compatible with "working on us". That was last year. Then it became a secret PA while "working on us" this year. She would get angry when I called her attempts to not talk or see him as BS, she claimed she tried her hardest. She'd want credit for going *days* not talking to him.

She resents and hates me for how negative I was about the situation and uses that to attack me. How could I not be? She wanted her side piece and for me to act like nothing was wrong. I basically was forced into an open relationship in all but name. All the while being told that she wants to work on us and really did want for things to work out between us. Her words and actions were two different people.

FightingBack posted 12/11/2019 10:10 AM

Itís been 8 years since discovering a 15 year affair.
Reconciliation? Well, we are still trying, but I donít know if a deception of that magnitude can ever be reconciled. I chose to forgive, so that we could begin a new, truthful relationship, but after 8 years I still think about it every day, have triggers, and feel resentment, so I question myself that I have totally forgiven.

Just last night I was awake for hours replaying the discovery and fantasizing about how I should have handled it. What I should have said or done. It isnít unusual for me to do this so I guess I still harbour a lot of resentment, which isnít healthy for either of us.

My FWH (this is the very first time I have given him the F for former) has become a much better man. I so wish the dark cloud above us which still taints our memories and haunts our present would go away so that I could love him back the way he shows me love now.

Perhaps I am still waiting to feel reconciled. It certainly isnít something that happens quickly. It is a process that can take years.

I feel more comfortable around him now. The pain has dulled. We make plans together, but I donít look too far into the future. We all know life can turn on a dime.

His affair happened at the office, with a married employee. Because they never talked about leaving their families, their time together was limited to after hours, dinners out, sex in hotels and a few weekends away together.

They were able to keep their relationship totally separate from home life and family. They managed it expertly for years, until they got careless.

Is it a character deficit to be able to live a double life for so long? Most certainly. Is it a mindfuck to realize that I was deceived, manipulated and abused for over half of my marriage? You bet.

My heart has healed somewhat. Enough that I can stay married and enjoy times together as well as financial security and an intact family. But it used to swell with love. Now it has a hole in it that will prevent me from ever loving as deeply as I once did.

[This message edited by FightingBack at 10:13 AM, December 11th (Wednesday)]

AbandonedGuy posted 12/11/2019 10:51 AM

My humble two cents as a D'd guy is: it depends on the people involved. It really is all about how much you can live with. Even if the WS makes a full turnaround in your eyes, a BS will still have to grapple with all those painful questions. "Why for so long?" "Will they ever do this again?" "What did they have that I didn't?" "What void were they filling and will it ever reoccur?" The length will almost always play a role in how a BS navigates these questions.

Personally, I agree that anything beyond an ONS is for me a dealbreaker. It demonstrates a capacity to chase bullshit fantasies, one which is hard to deprogram in certain people. The majority aren't the ones who reflect and grow, they're the ones who rugsweep and pretend to increase compliance while repeating that mistake.

sisoon posted 12/11/2019 12:34 PM

I think it depends on what both partners want. If both are willing to do the necessary work, R is eminently possible, IMO. OTOH, I suspect it's more difficult to deal with all the crap that goes along with an LTA.

Forgiveness isn't necessary for R. It may come, but it's not necessary. In any case, as M1965 pointed out at least once, one can forgive the person, but not the deed.

The first question you need to answer, Pearly, is: what do you want? Even if it's unattainable, what do you want? If you want R, the next question becomes: how good a candidate for R is your WH?

You are truly free to choose either D, or R, or waiting to gather more info. You can hold your head high through D or R. I'm generally pro-R, but I'm even more pro-do-what-is-best-for-you.

You can use any criteria you want to help you choose.

No stats available....

CaliforniaNative posted 12/11/2019 13:58 PM

My ex had a 2.5 year affair. I was considering R, but I caught him texting her after d day and then I wanted D. Yes, just about everything is forgivable. I think some people stay for reasons I donít need to worry about - money, codependency, children, fear of being alone, etc. I am doing well on my own and so is my son. Dating, working, rebuilding my life.


Years of lies and manipulation was a deal breaker for me.

7yrsflushed posted 12/11/2019 15:01 PM

Whether you decide to R or not is a personal choice for you. For me though the LTA ended up being a deal breaker. My XWW didn't do any of the work but even if she had it would have been a deal breaker. It took me entirely to long to figure that out. I am several years out, happily divorced, and enjoying life.

The realization that my XWW had been fucking another guy for years behind my back and lying to my face about it every day was too much to forgive. She stole my ability to make choices about my life...she stole time from me I would never get back. So I cut my losses, filed, and never looked back.

I wish you the best.

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