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3 Months Later

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AUS1986 posted 2/3/2020 01:28 AM

My wife and I have been married 2 years and have been together 7 years total. Shortly before our wedding I came across an iMessage convo on her laptop. The convo notifications were muted, and the contact name showed only initials. Finding this strange, I decided to investigate further and found years of texts between my wife and OM dating back to the first years of our relationship.

I was devastated; from what I read she and him had a history from prior to our relationship and still would text each other consistently. OM was actively pursuing her all throughout our relationship; asking for pics, offering to send dick pics, talking about jerking it while texting her, trying to setup a one-night stand, etc. She wasn’t as crude in the conversations but would flirt back but seemed thrilled with his pursuit. I read texts where she expressed regret on how their relationship went and expressed that she still had feelings for him. I also confirmed that she had dinner with him once early in our relationship. She also texted him the night of her bachelorette party. She also seemed to be the one initiating a lot of these conversations, it would always be her reaching out to him.

I was livid and wanted to confront her right then and there. Ultimately, I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt since she seemed to be keeping him at a distance. I also didn’t want to reveal what I knew and risk her hiding these conversations even more. She also told him that I am her soulmate and she cannot meet with him and they should stay friends. I told myself she is serious about our relationship and wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize it. I decided not to confront her, she seemed ready to leave that all behind and focus on us and our future.

Fast forward 1.5 years, she comes home and is in a great mood. We watch some of our shows and crack jokes, the typical weeknight. I went to the bathroom and something told me to check her phone and there it is, text from initials. This time, the conversation escalated fast, she went right into telling him she is still infatuated with him and hopes the feeling would never go away. They started going into detail about their encounter years ago. How she would be there if she could. He’s talking about touching himself, Shes telling him how wet she is. It goes on. They talk about arranging arranging another time to call.
I said nothing that night, I just wanted to watch how she interacted with me while doing this behind my back. What scared me the most is how affectionate and fun loving she was around me while actively sexting this douchebag.

I confronted her that next day and she broke down saying she needs help and can’t do it alone. She says she is depressed and doesn’t know why she does this. I ask her about her infatuation with him and she’s saying she thought its something he wanted to hear. I ask her about meeting up with him and it was a coincidence and they ran into each other. She acts as if her texting him is out of her control. To me her intentions are very clear.

My trust in her is broken, I don’t know what the truth is anymore. We’re 3 months into marriage counseling and I’m feeling hopeless. I am finding it difficult to rebuild my trust. Her infidelity goes back to our early relationship where we were building a foundation. How can I trust someone who actively pursued someone else while we were in love and building a future? I am having serious doubts about our future, we would always talk about our plans for a house, kids, pets. it just doesnt feel real anymore.

I would appreciate some perspectives if anyone has been in a similar situation.

[This message edited by AUS1986 at 1:43 AM, February 4th (Tuesday)]

Marz posted 2/3/2020 01:59 AM

Bud, with this in the mix you shouldn’t have married her in the first place.

Why jump into marriage counseling? The marriage or you are not the problem she is.

You can never have an x in the mix. Marriage is for 2 not 3.

She has zero remorse only regret at being caught and then she can’t stop?

You don’t have anything to work with here.

You are correct you can’t trust her at all.

If the OM is married you should inform his wife first thing with no warning.

sorryforeverythi posted 2/3/2020 05:26 AM

Hi AUS1986,
Firstly, that sucks. I am sorry that you have had to find us but we are here to help. You may not like what you hear, you might hate some of us, you might be looking for an answer that you want to hear.

It probably won't be what you want to hear but it will be the truth. The people here have been through it all. The advice will be very consistent in some areas and vastly different in others.

It's your life, you will decide what you end up doing we can only offer an unbiased look at what you tell us.

Firstly, Take care of yourself. Force yourself to eat, go to the gym or keep going to the gym.
Start journaling.
Don't drink anything but water or tea.
Go to the yellow bubble and click on the healing library.
Read everything.

Now for the other thing.

I don't know why she is doing what she is, she has gotten away with it for a long time. It's a habit now.
I have a strict rule when it comes to dating, you don't talk to exes, period.
She chose to, you knew. You might start beating yourself up for not saying anything when you first discovered it.

You trusted her, you were her soulmate. You don't want to think the worst of the person you love so trusting is what you are supposed to do. She took advantage of that.

It was her choice, you didn't do anything wrong, she chose to do it.

She needs help, that is evident, you need help, even though it wasn't your fault you have been wounded.

Marriage Counseling (MC), it might be to early for this, you both need to see Individual Counseling, (IC). Later if you see an honest change from her you can go the MC route.

She is asking for help. I don't know, if she seems genuine and remorseful maybe you should listen to her.
Maybe she is lying and manipulating you because she got caught. I don't know. Only she does truly.

You have to decide what you want to do. Seven years is a bit of time. Most women statistically start cheating at that mark, throw in other life events it might have been building for a time. I don't know.
She should have talked to you, maybe she felt she couldn't but you need to have a sit down, honest to goodness, open your soul and vomit out all that you are feeling to her and see what she says, does, reacts.

You need to go in and bare your soul, tell her all the things you think and feel and let her do the same. It will be uncomfortable and you won't want to say some of the things you feel, but you need to.

Honestly expressing yourself will make you feel better and if you speak with an honest heart, how they react is up to them.

That will be the beginning.

You will have more information and you can let us know what she says and we can tell you what we think you should do, but again it's up to you.

I don't know if you will ever trust her again, I don't know if you will survive this, it sounds like a nascent emotional affair that didn't get to the physical part which is easier in some ways for men to overcome.

More information is the only thing I guess you need right now.

Once again I am sorry that you are going through this.

Stay strong and let us know what you decide. We are here for you.

[This message edited by sorryforeverythi at 5:30 AM, February 3rd (Monday)]

Buffer posted 2/3/2020 05:32 AM

Sorry to read your plight. Trust is everything, without trust in a marriage what is there? Constant unease, checking, assessing and re assessing the relationship.
I can offer nothing other than communicating to WW about the betrayal you have felt since your original discovery.
Let him know you know, and that you are watching his action, time to exspose him to all.

Buffer

The1stWife posted 2/3/2020 06:09 AM

I’m so sorry for you. Please know you deserve better than this.

That being said she’s using her addiction and infatuation to justify her behavior. From what I have seen here at SUrviving Infidelity that is a 🚩. Unfortunately “depression” does occur when the cheater ends all contact. I know b/c I saw it with my H during his midlife crisis affair.

So many posters here will tell you the cheater often goes back to the affair partner (AP) and breaks the “no contact” rule. It’s like an addiction to the ego boost and euphoria the cheater gets from the affair that makes the “no contact” hard to maintain.

I agree marriage counseling may be too soon. You need support for yourself. You want to ask yourself is she worth having to be the marriage police for the rest of your marriage? Do you believe she can meme amends and turn this around? Can you get to a place of trusting her again?

Based on my experience in life - EVERY ONE of my friends (more than 10) who were cheated on before the marriage were cheated on after they married. For so many the cheating was chronic and continuous throughout the marriage. Every one of them divorced their spouse. Just a little reality check for you.

Figure out what YOU want. Get support just for you. Watch her actions to see if she is doing what it takes to repair the damage in your marriage. If not, you have some tough decisions to make.

Newlifeisgreat posted 2/3/2020 06:27 AM

If she has been doing this at the start of your relationship, your engagement, and newlywed stages of your relationship, when everything is perfect and all lovey-dovey, what is she going to be doing after 10 years of marriage???

I’m sorry, but it is only a matter of time before she takes this guy or some other guy to bed.

Do you know this guys name and contact information? If so, contact his wife/girlfriend and send them all of the messages between the two of them.

Sounds to me like she is even still in love with him, or is so immature that she needs his constant chasing her.


It is only a matter of time before she starts to sleep with other guys, and once she physically cheats once, she is going to go crazy and sleep with a bunch of guys. It will take years and years of individual therapy on her part to get the help she needs.

BUT....
1). Does she WANT that help or does she enjoy other guys chasing, or at least accepting her flirting, too much to change?

2). Do you really think she is going to change?

3). If so, will she change before she starts sleeping with other guys?

4). Are you willing to wait around for the possible change?

5). And what are you going to do after you discover she is sleeping around?

6). Do you want to be checking her phone and checking her location through GPS for the rest of your life/marriage?

IF you are going to try and make it work, go to a lawyer ASAP and get a pre-nupt written ASAP!!!!!! Make it beneficial to you so that she clearly understands what her cheating and texting this guy just ONCE MORE will cost her!!!!

Good luck, stay strong, and simply refuse to accept this shit!!!!

[This message edited by Newlifeisgreat at 6:39 AM, February 3rd (Monday)]

TheLostOne2020 posted 2/3/2020 07:14 AM

This seems somewhat similar to my story. My wife was happy, for a while, with the attention that her AP was giving her, but eventually she met up with him and started fucking. This is an emotional affair, plain and simple.

She also told him that I am her soulmate and she cannot meet with him and they should stay friends.

They aren't, and never were, friends. He's pursuing her, period.

I told myself she is serious about our relationship and wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize it. I decided not to confront her, she seemed ready to leave that all behind and focus on us and our future.

Dude, she's already jeopardizing it - these are secrets she's keeping from you that would end other marriages.

Fast forward 1.5 years, she comes home and is in a great mood. We watch some of our shows and crack jokes, the typical weeknight. I went to the bathroom and something told me to check her phone and there it is, text from initials. This time, the conversation escalated fast, she went right into telling him she is still infatuated with him and hopes the feeling would never go away. They started going into detail about their encounter years ago. How she would be there if she could. He’s talking about touching himself, Shes telling him how wet she is. It goes on. They talk about arranging a time to call another time.

This is painfully similar to what is happening to me.

I said nothing that night, I just wanted to watch how she interacted with me while doing this behind my back. What scared me the most is how affectionate and fun loving she was around me while actively sexting this douchebag.

I confronted her that next day and she broke down saying she needs help and can’t do it alone. She says she is depressed and doesn’t know why she does this. I ask her about her infatuation with him and she’s saying she thought its something he wanted to hear. I ask her about meeting up with him and it was a coincidence and they ran into each other. She acts as if her texting him is out of her control. To me her intentions are very clear.

My wife said the same bullshit. She doesn't want to stop - period. She just didn't wan to get caught. You are spot on when you say she's trying to make this seem out of her control - by doing that she's excusing herself from doing anything about it.

My trust in her is broken, I don’t know what the truth is anymore. We’re 3 months into marriage counseling and I’m feeling hopeless. I am finding it difficult to rebuild my trust. Her infidelity goes back to our early relationship where we were building a foundation. How can I trust someone who actively pursued someone else while we were in love and building a future? I am having serious doubts about our future.

I would appreciate some perspectives if anyone has been in a similar situation.

I don't know what to tell you, I'm in a similar situation and all I can say is that I'm headed for divorce.

Tigersrule77 posted 2/3/2020 07:21 AM

You need to start the 180 - hard. You need some distance so you can think clearly.

Stop the MC. YOU didn't cheat on her, you two didn't have a fight, SHE is the issue.

She has been lying to you for YEARS. This is not a minor issue. You can't believe anything she tells you.

If your friend came to you and told you that his wife had been lying to him for years, pursued another man, was in an EA and possibly a PA what would you tell him? Probably to run like hell.

You need some distance to really analyze your situation and make a decision. I think most here would tell you to get out now, before you have kids and things are more complicated. But you have to live with your decision.

AUS1986 posted 2/3/2020 17:09 PM

I want to thank everyone for giving me feedback and their perspective.

I'm disappointed I didnt see things sooner or take early red flags more seriously. I always thought things would get better If I supported her through her down times. I would overlook the way she treats me because I convinced myself im overthinking it or being too sensitive. I should have listened to my instincts.

She has a tendency to make subtle comments that make me question my thoughts, feelings and security of our relationship. When I call her out during these times its always something else affecting her (stress, family, mental health) and she doesnt mean to take it out on me.

Our relationship seemed to continue this way. I knew she has trouble with her mental state so I would do anything to make her life confortable and stress free. Nothing seems to be good enough and now after her infidelity, she wants to throw it into her mental health category for why she does this.

She shows remorse, but I dont know if its just shame from being caught. Shes going to therapy weekly and reading books on infidelity. Shes doing all of the work to show me she wants to work this out. I just feel like its too late. Where was the introspection back then?

I just think about the future and what kind of life it will be if we continue. I dont want to have to go through her phone, laptop and social media all the time. I dont want to have to worry that if I leave on a work trip she will step out on me again. I need to focus back on myself. I just feel exhausted at this point.

I've told her my thoughts and even examples of gaslighting and manipulation on her part. Even now she talks about our future plans as if nothing happened (this feels like manipulation). She knows I dont trust her word anymore. Ive told her I am thinking of leaving and she should look into getting her own vehicle. (We share a car atm) I am really considering ending this. I dont know what can be done or said that will make me want to give her another chance.

sorryforeverythi posted 2/3/2020 17:21 PM

Well holding on to "why she didn't feel remorse" is a dead horse. It doesn't matter.
If she is truly remorseful that is a step.
The next step if you decide to stay together would be MC and that would be the space to bring up the belittling and other things she did.
You could/should also do a post nuptial agreement that details all the things that need to happen and all how if she cheats again how the martial assets would be split up.

I am firmly in the no second chances camp, your life will be hell, you will be constantly on edge, you can have software put on her phone and her computer but in the end you are a prison guard making sure she stays true to her word.

It might be worth it for some but I would never be able to get past the sex with another person thing. I wouldn't be able to be as intimate as I once was knowing that someone else had been there.

But that's me.

It's your choice, it always has been.

faithfulman posted 2/3/2020 17:42 PM

Do you have kids?

If not, fuck marriage counseling, run for the hills!

When you look back in a few years, chances are she's a total wreck and you dodged being dragged down with her.

Buster123 posted 2/3/2020 19:40 PM

She has been cheating on you from the get go, your M has been a sham, she even said she couldn't stop contacting him, listen you haven't been married that long, so you won't have to pay much alimony if any at all. Please do yourself a favor and dump her, file for D and don't look back, life is too short and typically gets more complicated.

TfromNY posted 2/3/2020 22:20 PM

Dear AUS1986

I am very sorry for your pain. I am also very sorry for your weariness which can be just as debilitating. Grief is so very heavy.

You will get lots of practical, concrete advice here. I just wanted to chime in and say that I agree with those telling you to leave. Let me tell you why. No amount of love you give another person can make them change their character. Read that again. She is the TYPE of person who was sexting another man during your earliest, headiest days. She also was THINKING of him on the day of her bachelorette party. She does not honor the sanctity of marriage. She does not bask in your sweetly given love. She is a taker. Sure, she could learn some stuff at counseling and by reading books. But are you willing to gamble years of your great love - combined with its accompanying exhaustion, anxiousness and hyper vigilance for this person? I’m not sure what she could have ever done to have earned that.

In my view - people do things when they’re ready to do them. You will make the choice you are ready to, at your stage of self development and self love. I will support you in that. Unfortunately for me — my self love didn’t start until I’d been married to a manipulative, taking, cheating, narcissist (ex) husband for 20 years. A counselor I spoke to the very FIRST YEAR of my marriage told me to RUN. I’m not even kidding. He used those words. Guess I was a little slow on the uptake.

I am at peace with my choices now - 5 years divorced. And I have never regretted one single day leaving him. I wish you the same peace in your journey - however long it takes you to get there.

The1stWife posted 2/4/2020 05:10 AM

She tells the OM you are her soulmate yet she’s infatuated with the OM.

Seems like she plans to keep both of you around.

Her contact with the OM was years. Bad sign in my opinion. She only stopped contact (or has temporarily stopped contact) because she was caught.

Sometimes the damage is permanent. Sometimes the damage can be repaired. Only you know the answer.

But based on your post it sounds as though you are a giving person who has catered to her and her mood swings for years. It seems your focus has been on her. And her focus has been on her too. She sounds selfish and needy and she found a guy who was willing to give her everything she wanted and more.

Do you think this is accurate?

[This message edited by The1stWife at 5:12 AM, February 4th (Tuesday)]

KingofNothing posted 2/4/2020 08:54 AM

Oh, man, that sucks. I'm so sorry. After only three years?? That tells you a lot of things you probably already have figured out, but to support your opinions, I think A) she has never gone NC with this guy despite her saying that early in the marriage. B) She is clearly deep in to an emotional affair (though it's not feeling like a physical one). I caution not to rule a physical affair out at this point, unless they live a long distance apart. C) This is a very unhealthy amount of time for her to have such heavy emotional investment for another man. The prognosis here is not very good, but not impossible. It depends on a lot of things aligning perfectly.

Take this with a grain of salt. I'm not a good authority on reconciliation-- I offered the gift of forgiveness, it got thrown in my face in very short order, we ended up in a painful divorce. I know this much: you can't carry the burden of reconciliation alone. All you have to do is offer it. It's a gift. You shouldn't make up your mind too early. Assess her commitment to a long haul. Your trust is destroyed right now. Why would you automatically believe her about anything if she lied to you for three years? So your first metric for success is how much work is she doing without you monitoring it constantly? What has she done to surprise you with creativity and dedication to healing herself? Has SHE made the appointments? Has SHE found books and resources? Has SHE sent a NC letter that YOU witnessed her sending? These are the kinds of things that have to "knock your socks off" before you should consider R. You have time to make up your mind. Don't rush to a final decision unless you are convinced.

With that said, MAN, two factors are saddening: three YEARS of an emotional affair is almost as insidious as a 3 months of a PA. She has the feels now. It will be very difficult to break her attachment to the other guy. Monitoring her might drive her communication underground. Or she could just ignore it and get back in touch with the loser. Speaking of which, how much do you know about him? He knows you two are married, and he's still trying to fool around with a married woman? What kind of scum does that? The other factor is.. dang, you guys are newlyweds. You should be in that happy, young marriage phase where you are in it together, living in the small place, eating takeout on the floor, that kind of thing.. an affair here will have emotional resonance throughout your marriage. I don't recommend MC either, as many other people have stated. This isn't a "we" thing, this is a "her" thing. She needs to do some serious self analysis if she wants to stay married to you.

Best of luck, update when you can.

DBFool2019 posted 2/4/2020 09:00 AM

Sorry you're here AUS1986,

You will find a wealth of information here from some very experienced people. I would highly advise you listen to what they say and trust their experience. You'll learn by reading the stories contained in these forums that the people that listen find much more success going forward.

AUS1986 posted 2/4/2020 11:45 AM

@KingOfNothing

Her contact with him actually went back to the first 2 years of our relationship, around the time we moved in together. So at least 5 years in total.

When asked if she contacted him before then she "does not remember" conveniently.

I'm definitely not ruling out a PA. I know she has seen him 1-2 times around that time period. (when we moved in together)

So its more likely shes been doing this the entire time.

I agree this should be the good times being newlyweds. The bad signs are all there.

[This message edited by AUS1986 at 12:47 PM, February 4th (Tuesday)]

dblackstar2002 posted 2/4/2020 12:50 PM

First I am sorry you are going through this, There is a saying that most people in my community follow. If your still in contact with your ex, You either never was in love with them or you still are. All ways find out which is true before getting into a relationship with someone. Or just avoid the head each all together and run!!!!

AUS1986 posted 2/4/2020 21:00 PM

@The1stWife

Exactly, She wants to keep both of us. She wants the security of our marriage and what I provide but also wants her OM option. I'm still not convinced she is done with him. Just 3 months ago she was telling him how much she was thinking about him, how infatuated she was, how she would be there if she could, thats not something that just goes away.

She blocked his number but he still tries to reach her with other numbers. She receives texts from him and lets me know after the fact. She tells me she blocks them right away and deletes the messages. I have yet to see one.

She approached me a few weeks ago to ask about how to get her number changed. I asked what is that going to do, is it to reduce your temptation to contact him back? If she wants get in contact with him thats what shes going to do. A number change wont change that.

She looked him up on facebook about two weeks ago. I confronted her, she said she did that to block him. Plausible, but sounds like her normal BS, she can explain away anything.

I've definitely catered to her moods, stress, depression. Anything I could do to make her life easier but it seems like theres always something new to be upset about.

She tells me she was lonely and depressed and thats why she contacted him three months ago. I ask her if she felt the same way in 2015, she says no. I have no baseline on what causes her to do these things. it all feels like bullshit, like she will say anything to reduce accountability.

She brought up my use of marijuana (never a problem before) and says im addicted (LOL WOW)

She even asked me to read books on "love language" and says I dont verbally affirm my love for her enough. She wishes I comment on her mental progress with whatever her issue of the month is. I use action to show my love but she doesnt recognize that at all.

Its like she wants to gloss over the infidelity but focus on issues with our relationship. I see her for how needy, immature and selfish she is. I just feel done.


sorryforeverythi posted 2/4/2020 21:08 PM

Aus,
I know you are frustrated but some of it is normal.

The five love languages is a good book and her telling you what she needs is positive.

Some of it is bull but I wanted to give some good news on some of it.

She is angry and hurt and if you read some of the stuff in the wayward section it's normal. there are lots of books on how to deal with both sides of the affair, you want answers, she wants to be done with it.

You need to sit down and get all the details and let her know that you will probably ask over and over again and that is what is going to help you heal. If she can't accept that , well that's an answer on how to proceed.

She has more work to do than you and the affair was her fault totally but you have to meet her in some ways. I am not an expert I am just telling you what I have read.

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