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October 20

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JSpaceman posted 1/1/2020 14:50 PM

Thank you to everyone who contributes to this site, I have found it very helpful. As such, I thought I'd share my story. I'll try to focus on the things that I think might make my story unique, or areas that I'm particularly struggling with.

My wife and I have been married for 27 years. We got married very young, right out of high school. We are perfect for each other and the search was over.

For the first 15 years of our marriage, we were truly inseparable. We successfully worked many shitty little jobs together, and were constantly involved in art and music projects together. We were never apart, and that's the way we wanted it. But as time went on, we got more pressure from real life to be responsible adults and to focus on real careers that would better support our lives and our futures. As we moved in to new careers, we were both very successful, but for the first time in our marriage we were apart. Our interests have also deviated. We rarely play music, do art, or the other things that really brought us together. Our careers are separate, and our lives have become more separate. We have grown a bit distant, and my wife has become very removed from the time we were sharing together. Vacant and cold.

Three days ago I found out that my wife has been having an affair since October. We have an investment property in Los Angeles which we bought to support her career, as she goes out there for business quite often now, and was meant to be a convenient place to stay (and park... LA people know what I mean). She met this man while talking to him about renting our house. He's wanting to move to LA for his own career, which is similar to my wife's.

I accidentally found out about the affair because my wife was in Austin for business. I went to use her laptop because it has some software that we share on it. She left her Facebook open, and FB Messenger popped up, which I thought was strange because she had told me an hour prior she was going to bed. The Facebook messages were between my wife and this man, explaining that she was on her way to pick him up so they could go see a movie. As it turns out, Austin is also the town this man is from.

I felt horrible guilt reading back through her Messenger history, but it was so shocking that it was impossible to stop. But that said, there was very little mention of anything physical, more about how they were emotionally and spiritually connected forever, and things like that. Additionally, most of it seemed to be coming from his side, with her more in the response side, such as "you certainly have a way with words" or "my heart is melting". There were also pictures of them together, embracing, but not kissing or anything overly physical. I was shocked, especially as I had never heard of this person, but felt like I needed more evidence. She's an incredibly friendly person and has a lot of friends, and a lot of guy friends. Maybe this guy just has a crush on my wife, and this is all just innocent flirting with someone who is helping her feel beautiful while helping fill some of the voids that have grown in our relationship. I felt like her phone was likely the key to more evidence. Somehow I had to get ahold of it, which I knew would be difficult because it's always attached to her.

When she returned from her trip, she got in the shower. She left her phone on the sink which is very near. But I couldn't help it. I grabbed her phone and retreated to the bedroom. I don't think she saw me, but in a couple minutes she noticed the phone missing. My head was spinning so badly that I could barely even work the buttons on her phone. But I was able to determine that the photos she took of them had been deleted from her phone, which to me was a clear sign of obfuscation, and a clear sign that my instincts were right that something was wrong.

She immediately came out of the shower, soaking wet and dripping all over. "What are you doing?" Somehow the tables were turned. I was the one who was busted. All I could awkwardly mutter was "uh, nothin". She immediately went on the offensive, but somehow I gathered my strength and whispered, "Do you still want to be married to me?". "Yes, why?". "Do you still love me?". "Yes, why are you asking me this?". "Because you're cheating on me." Now it's her turn for awkward muttering.

What followed was a typical pattern of information slow trickle, as well as an eratic arpeggio of anger, blame, regret and sadness. It kills me to see her this way. I still love her and I don't want her to hurt. And I do believe she is truly hurting.

She has a complex and confusing explanation for all this. Their eyes met across a crowded room and she got a charge of chemicals like a hit of heroine. It was so powerful, she had to explore it further. When they kissed, the world stopped. But... it's just chemicals. It's all fake. She doesn't even really like this person, it was purely a biological reaction that she's never felt before.

Great, all this kills me to hear. But of course I want to know.

If her word is to believed, they stopped just short of sex (on several occasions, including in our house in LA... vomit.) Also, if her word is to believed, she broke it off with him ("let's just be friends") that same day she left Austin, and the day it all went down outside the shower. And third, if her word is to be believed, she started seeing a therapist about a month ago in an effort to figure out how to end that relationship, and how to tell me that it happened.

And you know what, strangely, I believe her.

But it doesn't change a couple things. It still happened. And worse, she still wants this person in her life. She feels bad that he can't rent our house now, so she wants to help him find a new place, or even to help him pay for the deposit on a different place. She feels like this person is in her life for a reason, and that reason is to help him.

She also seems sincere in wanting to reconcile our marriage. As part of that she's been discussing everything from offering some sort of "hall pass", to a break in our marriage for me to recover, to even an open relationship.

I don't know what to make of any of these "options". I'm conflicted because obviously I have been feeling loneliness for a while on my end too, and perhaps some sort of random fling would help that in the same way as (I guess) it helped her.

I just know that I'm heartbroken. I can't eat, I can't sleep and I can't function. And I don't know what to do. Any thoughts or reactions are much appreciated.

Thank you,Spaceman

OldNeighbour posted 1/1/2020 15:09 PM

Their eyes met, sparks flew, she was away from you blah blah blah.the sex almost happened but they stopped, she wants to be friends and help him because he needs help even though she doesn’t really like him.
If you believe the bullshit that’s spouting here, you have a lot of troubles ahead.
She is trying to downplay and rugsweep as well as confound you with the partial truths.
Normally I would say that if all these red flags weren’t so obvious reconciliation is possible.
The biggest problem I see is that they have been intimate, kissing is cheating don’t you know. 27 years wow. I would take it that she is in her mid to late forties? Why is she acting like a start struck teen? Oh I know she’s in the “fog”.
My personal opinion is that if I were in your shoes, the threat of D would be on the plate. She doesn’t want to let go of him, she’s still in the affair. She doesn’t want to lose her plan b, that’s you.
How many children do you have? Are they grown? Do they know? Is he married or have an SO?
Now realize that my rant is just my opinion, those with different thoughts will be on here soon to help.
Situation like yours triggers me to no end so I may not be the one to listen to. I do wish you well.

Last thing, put a stop to it now, because unfortunately, you don’t know if they’ve been involved in porn star sex in your other house. Cheaters are notorious liars and will downplay what actually happened. A kiss -they had sex etc. Read books in the library.

Marz posted 1/1/2020 15:14 PM

Most betrayed spouses are in denial upfront. You are no exception.

One thing all cheaters have in common is they all lie a lot. If they have physical contact it's a sexual affair.

I get you're in shock but you need to wake up and get strong quick or this'll get even worse.

First thing is find out if her other man is married and inform his wife without telling yours or they'll conspire against you.

You skip this important first thing you need to do you'll regret it.

JSpaceman posted 1/1/2020 15:19 PM

Thank you for the response! Yes, I definitely realize how naïve it sounds to consider believing those three points in particular, and is why I wanted to call them out. But truthfully, the emotional part of the affair is more hurtful to me, whether they actually had sex or not.

To answer your questions, thankfully, there are no children from any of the three involved parties. And yes, we're mid 40's. She does know that divorce is an option. And though she seems to be trying to hold on to the marriage, she's letting me know she doesn't really have a leg to stand on here, so it's kind of my ultimate decision.

JSpaceman posted 1/1/2020 15:21 PM

Thank you also to response #2! The other man is not married. And apparently was aware that my wife was.

JimBetrayed62 posted 1/1/2020 15:27 PM

Hi JSpaceman:

Well, I hate to say it, but I doubt you have the full truth. Once a woman capable of cheating like this “falls in love” then it’s a sure and steady progression to a full-blown physical affair. Your experience very much mirrored my own. I knew something was up. I found some indications she was in love with this guy. She denied it steadily for a year or more until I just could no longer ignore it. I actually confronted the other man and his wife, and they and my wife all denied anything was going on. But I knew it wasn’t just some emotional affair. I finally had to resort to hiring a private detective and documented my wife spending the might in this man’s hotel room while on a trip for the organization they both were involved with. And then I collected the DNA evidence that proved everything without a shadow of a doubt.
So what to do? If other man is married, disclose to his wife immediately with no warning. Read up in the library section on 180, NC, etc., develop your plan and then execute. She is in a fog and until forced to choose will stay in it forever and drag you down into her sickness. Almost certainly they have had a full-on physical affair.

Marz posted 1/1/2020 15:42 PM

Upfront most waywards jump into self protection mode. Her words are truly meaningless. Actions over time will tell you more.

Most betrayed just want them back upfront but later will wonder what they got back even if that happens.

Reconcilliation needs the full truth, transparency and complete no contact with the affair partner and willing to pull a heavy load to repair the marriage.

Right now you don't know which way this is going to turn. Wake up to your new reality.

Do not offer R upfront until you've had time to think this through.

WilliamM posted 1/1/2020 15:43 PM

If she wants to R, she must, and I stress must cut this POS OM out of her life. This means NC ever. He is blocked in every way, his contact info deleted, a no contact letter sent, and approved by you. If she does not do this, then the affair is still on going. And to help him in any way is pure disrespect. Plus she must be honest with you about the sexual nature of their relationship. They have had sex. Full on sex. She is minimizing this part because she believes she is protecting you from more pain. She is not being honest with you and is not remorseful.

Marz posted 1/1/2020 15:46 PM

If it were me I'd do a deleted text/picture recovery using Fonelab on her phone.

If you don't get the full story now you'll forever wonder and you won't be able to get it now.

Plus you don't know fully what you're trying to reconcile from if you choose that path.

Marz posted 1/1/2020 15:55 PM

You would be wise to line up STD testing. You have no idea where or whom this guy has been with.

Unfortunately that's where you are at this time.

JSpaceman posted 1/1/2020 16:02 PM

Thank you to everyone for the responses. Please know that I am intently reading and considering each word. Please keep them coming.

M1965 posted 1/1/2020 16:08 PM


I am sorry that you had cause to look for a forum like this, but I am glad that you found it. It will enable you tap into the advice and thoughts of many people (the forum has more than sixty thousand members) who have experienced infidelity, and who who know what works and does not work in its aftermath.

When I read this line in your original post, it rang alarm bells for me:

She also seems sincere in wanting to reconcile our marriage. As part of that she's been discussing everything from offering some sort of "hall pass", to a break in our marriage for me to recover, to even an open relationship.

All of those options sound designed to benefit her, and a couple of them will offer her ample opportunity to continue her affair.

(1) Offering you a 'hall pass': Think objectively about who really benefits from that. You have no desire to have sex with anyone else, so where will the benefit be for you in doing that? However, if you take her up on it, it means you cannot hold anything against her for her infidelity. So she will be the major beneficiary.

(2) Taking a break from the marriage 'for you to recover': This is a variation on a cheating spouse suggesting a trial separation so that they can 'find themselves'. Real life shows that what such breaks are really designed for is to enable the cheating spouse to continue their affair in the absence of the person they betrayed.

Think about it: you did not request such a break, she offered it, and dressed it up as some kind of act of empathy or compassion. How is being apart from her going to help you recover? Would it not be more beneficial for her to stay and prove to you that she is doing the work and taking the steps to prove she can be trusted. The break she has suggested lets her off the hook, and it is clear that she will use the space to continue her affair, while leaving you to sort yourself out. How compassionate is that?

(3) An open marriage: Wow...So she is offering you a solution that allows her to keep you on a string, and retain the security of the marriage, while pursuing her affair with this other man. Who is the major beneficiary of such an arrangement, you or her? It will be her, which is why she suggested it.

Apologies if I sound cynical, but infidelity does that to a person.

Your wife's mind-set is offering only options that will further damage or nullify what is left of the marriage. None of the above are about repelling an intruder - her affair partner - and repairing the marriage by breaking contact and her making an effort to reconnect with you.

You seem to have sensed this yourself, as in a latter post your wrote:

And though she seems to be trying to hold on to the marriage, she's letting me know she doesn't really have a leg to stand on here, so it's kind of my ultimate decision.

There is a difference between trying to hold onto a marriage, and actively working to repair the damage she has caused to it. And holding onto it is about retaining a possession for herself.

She needs to be actively reaching out to you provide what you need, not standing back and saying "Well, it's up to you...I can't do anything". Where is the commitment to holding up her end of the bargain? The only options she is offering are dissolutions of the principles of the marriage that stop short of an actual divorce.

I am sorry if this sounds negative, but my aim is to prevent you from being taken for a ride here.

These two statements are contradictory:

...if her word is to believed, she broke it off with him ("let's just be friends") that same day she left Austin, and the day it all went down outside the shower.

...she still wants this person in her life. She feels bad that he can't rent our house now, so she wants to help him find a new place, or even to help him pay for the deposit on a different place.

What does 'broke it off with him' mean if she wants to maintain her relationship with him? When it comes to affairs, experience of real life shows that the affair and the relationship is either 'on' or 'off'. There is no middle-ground of 'let's be friends'. If she is actively maintaining her relationship with that man, then she broke off nothing at all.

Why does she feel bad for him an any way, shape, or form? He is clearly a leech that is using her for free sex and financial support, and the kind of man who is fine with sleeping with other men's wives. And your wife appears to have put him on a pedestal, and to have focused her empathy and sympathy on him.

That is ass backwards.

She should be focusing her support on you, and letting the scavenger she idolises scamper off to find another source of sex and money.

You should start checking any joint credit cards or bank accounts to see how much money she may have already spent on him or given him. And if you have any joint credit cards, cancel them immediately. Why should she have the ability to give him your money?

She feels like this person is in her life for a reason, and that reason is to help him.

That statement illustrates just how deluded she is. She is clearly in the land of fairies and unicorns that many waywards create for themselves, where cheating and betrayal becomes re-cast as noble and positive. It must be 'destiny'. It must be 'fate'. It must be 'the will of the Gods'.

Or maybe it is just a deluded woman having a mid-life crisis, and demolishing her life to become a source of sex and financial support for someone who seems to be the prime beneficiary of the arrangement, and who is offering very little in return.

It is essentially a parasitic relationship, not the karmic 'meant to be' nonsense that your wife is drugging herself with. She has picked up a freeloader, who will take all the sex and money she cares to throw at him to 'help' him, and then move on. The only person who cannot see that is her.

Start to separate your finances, and consult a lawyer about what a divorce would look like. Doing these things does not mean your are going to get divorced, but you need to start protecting yourself from the silly delusions your wife is filling her head with.

And make her a counter-offer by way of available options: She cuts all contact with her affair partner and focuses her mind on helping you.

HellFire posted 1/1/2020 16:13 PM

Adults , who have feelings for each other, do not get together to kiss and hug. They had sex. That's what adults do.

And it very much matters, even though you're saying the emotional part hurts more. Because you cannot attempt reconciliation, with a woman who Is still lying

. I think that you are being incredibly naive, and I say that very gently, to believe that coincidentally the affair ended when you found out. She's lying her ass off.


[This message edited by HellFire at 4:13 PM, January 1st (Wednesday)]

JSpaceman posted 1/1/2020 16:21 PM

I wish this forum had a way to like/love posts. A lot of wisdom here, and I'm sorry for all of you that learned this the hard way.

Thank you all for the replies and (even tough) love. Please keep them coming.

Marz posted 1/1/2020 16:23 PM

Just because you now know doesn't mean this ends. Often they just Go deeper underground.

Separation most often is so they can spend more time and effort with the affair partner.

M1965 posted 1/1/2020 16:45 PM

In addition to what I wrote in my first post above, I think you should ask your wife how much money she has spent on him or given him so far. Her desire to keep doing this suggests that she has already been providing funds and support for him, while he plays a sad violin about what a poor, needy case he is.

The point is this: your assets, whether shared credit cards, shared bank accounts, or shared property (like the L.A. property) are all joint marital assets.

No joint marital assets should be used by one spouse to enable, support, or maintain infidelity.

That means no more parties at the L.A. house. In fact, I would recommend you look into selling it. You can justify it to your wife by saying that she has used it for her affair, and that you it seems tainted now, and you no longer want ownership of it.

It may not be possible to get your wife to see the reality of the situation she is in, as opposed to the fantasy bubble she has created for it, but it has been found that creating real-life consequences for affairs can have a fantasy-busting effect by making things real.

The worst thing that you can do when a spouse is mentally skipping around in a fairyland of their own making is sit back and hope that they will leave it of their own free volition. Doing nothing just lets them continue to live in the bubble.

You cannot control your wife. You cannot control her affair partner. However, you can control your life, and what you will tolerate the other two people doing to you.

If you can afford it, I would have a private investigator research your wife's affair partner, and let her know that you are doing it. You need to do this, because he may have a very chequered background, a criminal record, and he may well be exploiting your wife for financial gain. And once she tells him what you are doing, chances are that he will feel a bit less comfortable knowing he is being watched by a professional.

FEEL posted 1/1/2020 16:59 PM

She may be telling you the truth or she may not. This is part of the challenge now when an A takes place. The trust is broken and takes a LONG time to repair and will never be the same. Where there is smoke there is usually fire so it's quite possible there was sex. However for some (like me) while sex was painful, more so is the emotional part.

In reading your post, you seem to be giving her too much benefit of the doubt here and perhaps playing the pick me dance somewhat. As someone who did that I wouldn't recommend that path. You don't need to decide on R right now. You can take as much time as you want. Along with that, I'd suggest you implement the 180. You need to send a very clear message as soon as you can that you are focused on you and you can do just fine on her own. If you don't and you keep giving her the benefit of the doubt and believe everything she says she will learn there are little no consequences to her behaviour and effectively you will be enabling such behavior in the future.

J0ck posted 1/1/2020 17:09 PM

Firstly sorry your here.

Second a lot of good advice given--take it.

Third I wondered if and how long it would take someone to suggest a polygraph ---do it.

Good luck ---Don't be a mug.

Lastly--sorry your here.

Robert22205https posted 1/1/2020 17:12 PM

Your wife is following a typical cheater's script.

She probably 'thinks' she's in love or at least wants to believe she's in love in order to justify her shameful behavior and betrayal. Like most cheaters she desperately wants to believe she's a good person and the affair just happened etc.
What you do next is very important.

Experience shows that the most effective strategy to save your marriage (if that's what you want) is not intuitive.

In your wife's current mental state (fog), begging, crying, or trying to be extra nice or compete with the OM always fails. She will just see that as weak and unappealing.

She must believe you are ready to divorce her immediately (regardless of whether you're ready for divorce).

You must assert yourself and show zero tolerance for her behavior. She must go NC. She must take steps to fix herself and make herself safe. Otherwise you will divorce her.

- ASAP meet with your attorney to see how divorce will impact you. Consider filing for divorce immediately (you can delay or cancel later).

- implement a hard 180: move to another bedroom, stop being her friend and/or husband, separate bank accounts.

- expose her affair (nothing kills an affair like exposure)to her family and friends

- Insist on a written timeline of their relationship subject (to avoid more lies) to a polygraph test.

Marz posted 1/1/2020 17:22 PM

A good friend of mine went through this recently and the toughest part for him was realizing that his then wife was just a very typical cheater.

There wasn't anything special about it or her at all.

It's a very conscious and willing decision they make. It just doesn't happen.

You'll find she spent a lot of time and effort planning, hiding and executing her affair.

Sorry but that's your reality. Time will bring you more clarity

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