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Reconciliation :
Trying One Last Time

Topic is Sleeping.

 FullSpeedAhead (original poster new member #82613) posted at 8:41 PM on Saturday, December 24th, 2022

First time posting.

I am currently in R with my W of 18 yrs. We have 2 daughters, and have been happily married for the most part of our marriage.

My wife had 3 short-lived EA's in 2011, 2013, and 2018. Two of them reached the point of meeting up and kissing once before I discovered them. Following each EA, she went through significant withdrawals, but put in strong effort to stay with me and make our marriage work. I was completely devastated after the first EA and almost filed for D. It was at that time that we recognized her problems with depression. She suffers from major depression and doesn't care about anything or anyone while she's going through a rut. With the help of a counselor and family members, I chose to work it out. I recognized that I had somewhat neglected her emotional needs after several yrs of marriage, so I actively made positive changes in myself, even though this, nor her depression, were excuses for her to cheat. We only attended MC for a short time and felt that things were moving solidly in a positive direction.

The 2nd EA in 2013 was her 1st boyfriend from HS who reached out to her and reignited flames. I found out about this quickly before they ever met up (he lives on the other side of the U.S.), but it still hurt greatly. Recognizing that she was again very depressed, I stuck it out once again. After this, she began taking anti-depressants prescribed by her GP and was much happier and strong for approx 5 yrs. In 2018, she decided that she didn't want to be medicated any longer and weaned off the meds in March. By October, she was in the midst of a 3rd EA that began through work related e-mails. They met once and kissed before I discovered it (at least that was the most truth that I could pull out of her). After this, her GP prescribed a different anti-depressant that she has been on since 2018. For the next 3 years, she seemed to be doing great, even through the pandemic.

Then 2022 hit.. In May, she began showing signs of a depressive rut again. My job became very hectic and stressful during the pandemic, and continued into 2021. I changed jobs in late 2021, but felt as though I had a sort of PTSD from the previous job. I was very obsessive over a lot of things and was in a constant state of stress and worry. She would tell me during the beginning of 2022 that I needed to get a grip, that she was feeling depressed and it sends her to a "dark place" when I get overly stressed about things. One thing that I stressed about was our oldest daughter that was going through some major anxiety in her early teenage years. My wife began checking out during this time and I was basically left to these things alone. I asked her several times if she was feeling so depressed that she was distancing from me. She would always tell me no, that she was just going through a very bad rut. In August, her GP doubled the dosage of her anti-depressant. She then became even more emotionally blunted after that, not caring about anything or anyone. On October 14, she came home very tipsy on a Saturday and had been crying all day. That night, I checked her phone (which I never did) and saw some texts to a friend of hers about how she was "ending things" with "Mike" because he always put her last, and it was always on his terms. I immediately knew that this was another affair. The difference was, I never felt the emotional disconnect like I did in the past. I questioned her the next morning and discovered that this had been a PA off and on since May. She broke it off 4 different times out of guilt and conviction, but he would always get back with her trying to be friends. They had full blown sex 4 times, and oral a few others over the course of 5 months. This being physical completely devastated me. I told her that I could not see how we could overcome this, but I wouldn't make any rash decision right away. She threatened to swallow a bottle of pills and end it all of I divorced her, because she couldn't picture life without our family together. Should have thought about that when entering the A.. During the past 3 months, she has been extremely remorseful, begging, crying, all of those sorts of things. We are planning to attend MC in January. I have been in IC since November, and she also begins IC in January.

She went to a psychiatrist in October who recognized that the anti-depressant prescribed by her GP had made her emotionally blunted. She weaned her from it, and started her on Welbutrin to increase her dopamine. This really has made a huge difference in her personality, as she actually seems to care about things for the first time in a long time. She looks back at the affair and it disgusts her. She doesn't even recognize who she was during that time.

My emotions and thoughts have been like a roller coaster. There are so many times that feel like such a fool to try and continue this M. However, with her being emotionally blunted by what seems to be a poorly prescribed and monitored anti-depressant, I feel that I should give it one last attempt at R. I asked 1,000's of questions to get every detail possible, so I've been through the mind movies until my brain is numb. I seem to be past the initial pain of it, so now I'm facing all of the major trust issues. I'm sure that will probably be there for the rest of my life, hopefully to a lesser extent over time. I also have lesser feelings for her. I still love her, or I wouldn't be attempting a final R. But, I have a LOT of resentment over this. In the beginning of R, we had constant sex, which seemed to be a form of hysterical bonding. After I began to get past the pain and see things more clearly, that's when my feelings began to fade some. At this point, I began having performance anxiety and periodic dysfunction, which I've never had in my life. This added to the mental anguish, but I have been working to get through it.

I realize that a lot of people might not see how I could possibly continue in this M. However, my gut tells me to give it this one last shot due to the problems that she has been through. Just really looking for any insight on anyone that has experienced anything similar and if there is any real hope in change on her part, or a return of feelings on my part.

[This message edited by FullSpeedAhead at 8:45 PM, Saturday, December 24th]

Posting as BS. PA DDay - 10/14/2022. EA DDay's - 2011, 2013, 2018

posts: 9   ·   registered: Dec. 24th, 2022   ·   location: LA
id 8770828

Sofarsogood ( member #71991) posted at 10:49 PM on Saturday, December 24th, 2022

I'm so sorry you find yourself in this situation. It sounds like your WW is on the right antidepressant at this time. Personally, medication or not, I would make it crystal clear that this is her last chance. She might try to manipulate the situation by threatening self harm, and in that case, personal counseling might want to be explored. At some point, you need to take care of yourself. She's already put you through this three times. It's time to think about yourself.

posts: 349   ·   registered: Nov. 2nd, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8770837

sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 4:30 PM on Sunday, December 25th, 2022

I think a lot of us understand why you're leaning toward giving your M one last shot. I think you may have an easier task if you focus on us, and not focus on the folks who disagree with your choice.

I saw my W's A as a symptom of her self-hate, and reason told me that if she stopped hating herself, she could become a good partner again. I see you doing the same, except you substitute 'depression' for 'self-hate'. My W and I have R'ed, I think successfully, and I think you can, too. The fact that your W is answering questions is positive for R, IMO.

Sofarsogood makes a good point. You need to consciously and mindfully build your boundaries. You get to decide what your boundaries will be, but if your W violates one or more of them, you'll face choosing between imposing your consequences and selling yourself out. I urge you to make sure you don't sell yourself out.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 28637   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8770911

 FullSpeedAhead (original poster new member #82613) posted at 8:57 PM on Sunday, December 25th, 2022

Thanks for your responses!

I have been working harder on focusing on myself while also putting strong boundaries in place. She has been proactive in placing boundaries herself, which has been helpful.

Part of what took place was them sending nude pics and such on Snapchat. After DDay, she immediately deleted all social media and is rarely on her phone. She leaves it laying around for me to look at when I wish. I often wonder how long this will last, but I know that I need to not think that direction. She texts me all through the day while she's at work, which has been helpful. They would meet outside of her work and perform oral in her vehicle, so her being at work is a trigger for sure.

I've been very stressed and down since sex has become somewhat difficult due to my thoughts, stress, etc. causing me disfunction. She is very understanding and accepts responsibility for the situation, but sex was helping me a lot in the beginning stages of R. We've taken somewhat of a break sexually, and plan to take it slow, but it's still difficult to deal with these difficulties that I've never experienced before. Horrible timing for this to happen.

Thanks for your support in my R with her. I've posted to other marriage sites and been called "a weak man", "naive", "a glutton for punishment", and "getting what I deserve" for giving her another chance after all of the EA's and this PA. With her changes in medication, she's like a totally new person. She said that she barely remembers much of this PA because of how numb she was. I honestly believe that she's fully remorseful and focused only on the future in making our R work. It's just making myself believe that 100% and not causing setbacks by bringing it up, getting down, etc.

Posting as BS. PA DDay - 10/14/2022. EA DDay's - 2011, 2013, 2018

posts: 9   ·   registered: Dec. 24th, 2022   ·   location: LA
id 8770929

The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 11:11 PM on Sunday, December 25th, 2022

It is hard to know what to do when things like mental illness and depression are a factor. It’s like telling a blind person to see - it’s just not that simple.

You are not weak. That is just jerks being jerks to kick people when they are down.

Your commitment to your wife and marriage is your decision. It may help to know she’s making poor choices when she flirts or cheats or does whatever - but the fact is it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with her state of mind.

You are not the reason she cheats. I hope you know that.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 13241   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8770936

tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 12:46 AM on Monday, December 26th, 2022

Mental health issues add another layer of complexity to things for sure. Its good that she is doing better but you need to stand firm and be crystal clear that any changes in behavior will result in you demanding action

Do not tolerate threats of self harm. That gets a 911 call every single time. If its real she gets help. If its an attempt to manipulate she knows you mean business.

You also need to see an attorney find out rights and obligations. She is in fact a serial cheater and the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior regardless of her past and current meds. She herself changed her treatment because she didn't want to be medicated. This is a very common thing and often results poorly for the individual.
While you love her you need to remember she has her own free will and historically that will has caused you pain and led to her not being a great mom.

Get your head right. Know your boundaries and make sure you are set financially to act if she crosses those boundaries again. She is showing the kids what M is. You don't want your kids to model their relationships on her behaviors. Its up to you to be the strong parent and adult that demands respect and faithfulness.

Him: FWS
Kids: 22 & 25
Married for 30 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19772   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8770939

 FullSpeedAhead (original poster new member #82613) posted at 1:00 AM on Monday, December 26th, 2022

In discussions with her about "the why" behind what led her to do it, she says that she was in a very vulnerable, dark place. She basically had no emotions and didn't care about anything.

With me being in sort of a PTSD state after my previous job, she said that I was driving her nuts with my constant worry and obsessions over things. She did say that this wasn't an excuse, but did push her to want an "escape", which ended up being the PA. So, I know that she made poor choices and used the A as a bad choice for a coping skill. But, I wonder how it might have differed if I sought out help with my issues.

The AP was our daughter's boyfriend's dad. He was very flirtatious and would text her concerning the kids going to each other's house and such. I remember wondering why he rarely text me, but didn't think much of it. The A began with them discussing parenting and such. Soon, one thing led to another and they were meeting in parking lots, or he would rent hotel rooms. She didn't realize that she was in the middle of the A until it was too late.

My W just turned 40, so I wonder if this might have been sort of a mid-life crisis as well.

Posting as BS. PA DDay - 10/14/2022. EA DDay's - 2011, 2013, 2018

posts: 9   ·   registered: Dec. 24th, 2022   ·   location: LA
id 8770941

Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 5:15 AM on Monday, December 26th, 2022

The other side of the coin is that plenty of people with mental health issues do not cheat. The fact that your WW cheated with your daughter’s boyfriend’s father makes it that much worse, as it was someone close to your family - a type of person not uncommon in the least as someone a wife would cheat with.

So my question to you is this. Absent your WW’s mental health issues, do you think she would never have had a PA with her AP?

The answer to this matters because both you and your WW are rug sweeping in a way by blaming her EA’s and the PA on mental health, which most probably had little to no bearing on her decision to cheat with her AP.

And, if this is the case, as I believe it is, then your mindset about your WW’s A should be different. And, your determination about whether should would ever cheat again should be different. And, your approach towards R or D should be different etc.

posts: 770   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
id 8770958

GoldenR ( member #54778) posted at 5:33 AM on Monday, December 26th, 2022

Is your daughter still with the same boyfriend?

Is your wife still friends with the one she was confiding in about her A?

If either of these answers are "yes", then sonething is wrong.

posts: 2818   ·   registered: Aug. 22nd, 2016   ·   location: South Texas
id 8770959

 FullSpeedAhead (original poster new member #82613) posted at 12:32 PM on Monday, December 26th, 2022


We have discussed at length about whether the PA would have occurred if she wasn't depressed and emotionally blunted. She feels 100% as though it would not have, as she is disgusted by the thought of it now. She feels that her disregard for anyone and everything led her to go along with the A. She does not feel that she would be vulnerable in her current state of mind. She says that she feels like she was a totally different person before and during the A. At this point, I don't trust very much. I'm taking her at her word in this, plus her current personality and actions do match up.


My daughter actually broke up with the boyfriend shortly after the A began. My daughter knows that there was an A, but doesn't know who with. The friend is actually an older lady that my W works with. She wrote me a lengthy card apologizing for the things that she had text my wife about the A. In those texts, she did have some statements that appeared to be steering my W away from the A. After DDay, my W changed her phone number and only gave it to immediate family. I did find out later that she reached out to the AP one last time on the coworker's phone to let him know how much I knew. She said that she did this to cover herself in case I called the AP. Later on, after I found out the entire story and truth from trickle truth, she says she had no further reason to worry about covering herself since i knew everything. She also told her coworker to not let her know if the AP ever contacted her to get in touch with my W.

Posting as BS. PA DDay - 10/14/2022. EA DDay's - 2011, 2013, 2018

posts: 9   ·   registered: Dec. 24th, 2022   ·   location: LA
id 8770969

Stevesn ( member #58312) posted at 1:26 PM on Monday, December 26th, 2022

Is the AP married? If so does his wife know?

As far as rebuilding trust getting your wife into IC is very important. With her issues she likely needs to make that a lifetime effort.

In addition, if she wants to build trust up even more, you should explore implementing a "post-nup". Depending on where you live they are either considered strong legal documents or not. But if she wants to prove something to you she will do it. Having adultery items in there can allow her to prove she’s willing to give things up financially in return for your trust over time.

I wish you well going forward.

fBBF. Just before proposing, broke it off after her 2nd confirmed PA in 2 yrs. 9 mo later I met the wonderful woman I have spent the next 30 years with.

posts: 3515   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2017
id 8770973

 FullSpeedAhead (original poster new member #82613) posted at 1:38 PM on Monday, December 26th, 2022

The AP is married. His W doesn't know unless he's informed her. I discussed this with my W and contemplated calling his W, but figured that this would be his responsibility. Also, this would most likely make the kids aware of the details, which could cause major issues between my W and daughter. However, I do feel like this could help bring closure.

Another thing that makes this difficult, is that they live on our street and we have to pass their house every day. This is a constant trigger for me.

[This message edited by FullSpeedAhead at 1:41 PM, Monday, December 26th]

Posting as BS. PA DDay - 10/14/2022. EA DDay's - 2011, 2013, 2018

posts: 9   ·   registered: Dec. 24th, 2022   ·   location: LA
id 8770975

numb&dumb ( member #28542) posted at 1:48 PM on Monday, December 26th, 2022

Has your wife seen a psychiatrist? Some the behavior you desribes points to something more potentially.

My W had "depression," as a lot of things look like depression. I will say that takes time and your wife would need to be completely honest with them.

In addition to the infidelity I also had to deal witb my wifes mental health. It is too easy to say the mental illness, "caused," the A(s). That is simply not true. It is a detail, but it is not why she cheated on you repeatedly. She is competent and has agency even when, "depressed." My point is to draw a distinction between a detail and a cause. It sounds like the mental health is what you both assuming is driving her behavior.

If that is the real why then you should file a D. It is clear that only when on the, "right," medication is in place only then can use her better judgement.

Based on my experience with my Ws mental health journey patients stop talking their meds all the time. Further medications can stop being effective.

My point is that if you are hoping that medication will prevent her from cheating . . .I would pursue a D. At some point she will have issues with her meds, and because the meds are no longer preventing her then she will cheat again.

I am making a point that the mental health is a relevant detail, but is not why your W has cheated on you. It is something she needs to find if she hopes to successfull recover and be a safe partner for you.

Sorry brother. I really am because I've been through hell with my wife and her mental health. It is too easy to put on knights armor or martyrs robes, but you need to detach from your wife. You also need support from your own counselor that can help you process the multiple times your Ws choices have traumatized you.

It is too easy when caring for a loved one to put yourself third (kids, Ww, etc). You need to be ok with putting yourself first.

Dday 8/31/11. EA/PA. Lied to for 3 years.

Bring it, life. I am ready for you.

posts: 5102   ·   registered: May. 17th, 2010
id 8770976

Notmine ( member #57221) posted at 2:49 PM on Monday, December 26th, 2022

R is not a weak person's journey, for sure. It takes a huge amount of strength to work through an affair. There are people here who will disagree with your decisions. Use what you need and ignore the rest.

Here's a quote which I found truthful regarding marriage after an A:

It can get better, and maybe even good enough to stay married and be reasonably happy even if you’ll always walk with a limp

It is important for both of you to realize that no matter how much you work on yourselves and your marriage, the affairs will always be painfully present on some level. I am 6 years post A and, although the thoughts are not as devastatingly traumatic as they were, they still pop up a few times a week. I am still triggered. I still must use the strategies I learned to deal with the PTSD that the affair caused. My FWH has worked, and continues to work very hard to help me to feel safe, but I will never feel the same sense of safety or be able to trust him like I used to. It is emotionally exhausting to stay on some days, and to focus on just putting one foot in front of the other to get through. As the quote above states, I am reasonably happy enough to stay married, but it is not easy. Sometimes I feel like people considering R are hopeful that things will magically return to pre-affair married life. This is not a helpful or realistic frame of mind, IMHO. It doesn't.

One thing that I AM grateful for is that I chose to work on myself and I am a much more functional and self-satisfied human as a result. I know that I will be content on my own if my husband chooses to engage in any of the dealbreakers that I set as conditions to staying married to me. I have secured my finances - I am currently completing work on a post-nup which will keep my pension in my own pocket, no joint credit cards, my own bank accounts, etc.. If I have to walk away, I can do it financially with as much ease as possible.

Although I am saddened to accept the reality that another affair may happen, I am prepared. I do not play detective much...I do not have the energy to babysit an adult, but my husband is well aware of the consequences if I choose to look and I find any activity that is on the dealbreaker list. He is aware that I will not participate in another round of R and his future is completely up to his own actions.

My husband is a sex addict and he has been diagnosed by a certified professional. This adds another complicated layer to R. Although I understand that addiction EXPLAINS some of the actions he took, it does not EXCUSE any of the choices that he made. Plenty of addicts do not cheat. Plenty of people with mental illness do not cheat. It is a lack of integrity in the core value system of a person where they can find it acceptable to cheat. It is a monumental job to create integrity where there is none, to implement a sense of compassion out of entitlement and self-centeredness. Change at a fundamental level must occur. If this does not happen, or work towards this goal does not happen consistently and for the long term, the fucked-up coping skills of a cheater will prevail and another affair is likely, especially for a serial cheater.

Words from a cheater mean nothing. They are liars. Early on, I was told by my therapist that it would take a year of grueling work before my husband could begin to be the partner I needed. I was told to ignore the crying and begging and focus on the ACTIONS my husband took to prove to me that he was someone I could continue to be married to. Actions would tell me what I needed to know. This advice was spot on. Crying and begging is a cheater's attempt to manipulate a situation. It is regret, not remorse. If you want the truth, watch the actions, over the long term, that a cheater makes to get better. It has been 6 years since his affair, and my husband continues to work with a CSAT on a bi-weekly basis. He goes to 12-step meetings on a weekly basis. He reads literature to learn about himself and his disease and he integrates this knowledge into his daily life. He follows the advice of his therapist and sponsor. This is the kind of willingness you need to see. I will warn you that there will be bumps in the road. No one changes overnight, but if you can see slow and consistent change, and the "bumps" are tolerable, it can be enough. I would advise you to make a list of dealbreakers and stick to them: no social media unless you have authorized it, all electronic accounts open for your perusal at all times, complete transparency and honesty, no decision about medications unless you are informed, IC consistently and for the long term, etc.. I would also advise you to hold off on MC until you both have had some time with IC. Marriage counselors can co-sign cheater bullshit unless they are experienced with infidelity. If you choose to enter MC interview them. If you hear any blame coming your way, change therapists.

Lastly, focus on yourself. Think about what you need and want. You cannot control the outcome or your wife's actions. She must show you that she wants a marriage to you. Also, I agree with other posters. If she threatens self-harm, call 911. She will either get the help she needs or realize that this as a manipulation tactic will not work.

Hang in there.

When you're going through hell, for God's sake, DON'T STOP!

posts: 740   ·   registered: Feb. 1st, 2017   ·   location: DC
id 8770984

gr8ful ( member #58180) posted at 6:47 PM on Monday, December 26th, 2022

After DDay, she immediately deleted all social media and is rarely on her phone. She leaves it laying around for me to look at when I wish. I often wonder how long this will last, but I know that I need to not think that direction.

Stop right here. Please change your mindset. You need to step up and start asserting yourself or I fear this will all happen again. She’s a serial cheater who’s proven she has a propensity to make horrific choices when things aren’t perfect in her life. This is moral issue - as has been stated you can’t blame all her choices on meds.

Step up by telling her how things will be different now with many things, like:

- you will forever have unfettered access to her phone, location, etc.
- she has forever forfeited the right to any communications privacy of any kind
- she may never delete any texts or any communications ever again
- she will have NO social media for a prolonged period of time (best would be never again), and then only if you decide, and then with your full access

If you don’t lay down strong boundaries and enforce them, you can be all but certain you’ll find yourself in DD #5, #6, etc. You need to decide for yourself whether you are done being abused like this. I’d also deeply recommend IC for you to dive into why you struggle with setting & enforcing boundaries.

posts: 172   ·   registered: Apr. 6th, 2017
id 8771004

Grieving ( member #79540) posted at 10:06 PM on Monday, December 26th, 2022

I’m sorry you’re here and that you’re in such a complicated betrayal situation. I understand wanting to give her one more chance. It sounds like you’ve had good years together, and you have a lot of time invested, as well as having kids together.

I understand that her depression contributed to the ambient circumstances in which the affair happened, but I think for you to be and feel safe and to work toward true reconciliation is going to require her (and you) to think differently about the intersection between her mental illness and her choices. Her saying that she doesn’t recognize herself at that point and that those choices disgust her now doesn’t get the two of you anywhere, because she’s taking no ownership over her choices. From what you say, this is a pattern over two decades. She gets depressed and/or her meds are wonky, and she turns to other people.

She WILL get depressed again. Her meds are likely to be wonky, have unintended side effects, and/or stop working again. That’s the nature of the beast. The issue is what she chooses to do when life isn’t going well. Changing this pattern of destructive choices through long, hard work on herself is what she has to do, and talking about her depression as if it’s a trance state where she has no agency over whether she cheats on you prevents that character work from happening.

Her threatening to kill herself if you leave her is a huge red flag. It means that she is unable or unwilling to admit and take ownership of how she’s treated you. She broke your marriage with her actions. It is your right to end the relationship if you want. She’s making it all about her and trying to manipulate you and deprive you of your right to leave. And she’s doing it in just about the most toxic, traumatizing way possible.

I don’t think it’s terrible to give her another chance—it’s a complicated situation. But you need firm boundaries, and you’re going to need to see real change.

Mine and my husband’s sex life followed a similar pattern to yours after his affair. We had crazy hysterical bonding sex for the first four months or so. I don’t regret it; there was a closeness in it that helped us. But the reality of the emotional and psychological impact of his affair gradually seeped in, and six months after Dday I just felt flat and sad and uninterested. We still had sex, but it was pretty blah for me. There have been ups and downs, but now, 2.5 years out, we’re basically back to the same patterns and frequency as before his affair. It’s a relatively satisfying sex life, but for me the quality isn’t as high as before. I just don’t feel as free and uninhibited and comfortable and fun/playful/experimental as before. Hopefully that will change as time goes on.

My husband’s situation was different than your wife’s, but there were also mitigating circumstances of sorts. We were in the midst of a long, hard process of caring for his sister as she died of cancer, and much of that burden fell on him. We were both overloaded and overwhelmed caring for teenage kids, parents, and jobs that became hellish in the pandemic. Midlife hit him hard, and I still wonder to what extent his affair was the product of a perfect storm of circumstances. We had always been happy together and had a strong partnership. But what I’ve come to realize is that everyone is going to hit the perfect storm. At some point, life is going to suck, you’re going to feel overwhelmed and depressed and stressed and worn down, and some shiny new person is going to wave their shiny new you-know-what at you. The test of character is what choice you make when that happens.

My husband failed that character test. But he’s passed many, many character tests over our 25 years together. So I’m giving him another chance and seeing where it goes.

Your wife has failed not once, but three times. Be wary. Take care of yourself.

Husband of 20 years had six month affair with co-worker. Found out 7/2020. Two teenaged kids. Reconciling.

posts: 444   ·   registered: Oct. 30th, 2021
id 8771017

 FullSpeedAhead (original poster new member #82613) posted at 10:11 PM on Monday, December 26th, 2022

She is currently seeing a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist is who recognized that the anti-depressant prescribed by her GP was blunting her emotions and not working to help her depression. She changed her to Welbutrin, which has had a positive effect.

She is seeing the psychologist once per month from now on to keep a watch on her meds. She also begins IC in early January, and will stay in IC consistently. We have discussed that her depression did not help with her cheating and poor coping skills, but it was not the sole reason or an excuse. She recognizes that it was due to her poor decisions and poor coping skills with the stress that she was under.

We have discussed how she will stay totally away from social media, have her phone available to me at all times, etc. This goes against my nature, but I am going to keep a close monitor regardless. I feel that this is the only way that I will have any chance of rebuilding any trust at all. However, I know how easy it would be for her to get a prepaid phone and keep it at work, or some other hiding place. Having access to the things that I know of does not give me total comfort.

The thing that really causes me the most trust issues is how normal things seemed during the time of the A. Sure, she was depressed during the time, but she still expressed her love toward me regularly, we had consistent sex, etc. When she was caught up in the EA's in the past, she would totally detach from me and give me the "I love you but am not in love with you" BS. Totally not the case this time, even though it was a PA. She says that it was purely an escape from reality, and she had absolutely no feelings for this guy. He was very self-centered and didn't care anything for her, which is what led her to break it off numerous times, including the final time when I discovered the texts. If it were so easy for her to have full blown sex and oral with someone that she "cared nothing for", then I worry about how easily it could happen again. I don't know how I'll ever rebuild any trust based on that. This makes me feel hopeless at times in R.

Posting as BS. PA DDay - 10/14/2022. EA DDay's - 2011, 2013, 2018

posts: 9   ·   registered: Dec. 24th, 2022   ·   location: LA
id 8771019

Confused282 ( member #79680) posted at 1:45 AM on Tuesday, December 27th, 2022

I’m so sorry.

You are a little naive. That’s not meant to insult you or belittle you. It’s meant to start from a baseline of reality.

It’s totally understandable why you want to try one more time as you have a life time and a family to lose. You’re not weak for that.

Unfortunately some of the things you are going to have to do will push her away. There is just no way out of that.

You can still fight for the marriage but you need to protect yourself.

You need to talk to a lawyer. You don’t have to file for divorce. You need to know what divorce will look like and what steps you can take to protect yourself. You can do this on your own as just info gathering.

I'm not sure your goal is to 100% fight for the marriage because she seems to want out of it a lot and seems to lose all caring about you at times.

She has to really want it this time as there are going to be permanent consequences that will never go completely away. She couldn’t handle bad times before and now there will be lots of bad times going forward and a lot of hard work needed.

Is she really up for it.

That’s the ironic thing about affairs. Whatever was wrong before take even more work to fix than before and may make her want an escape even more.

Sometimes it is easier to start with someone new as there is no baggage of hurt lies and betrayal.

Your kids will not be there forever. When they are gone that’s when the real midlife crisis will begin. Is she gonna want to be there to go through the next stage of life with just you.

As for you there will also be permanent consequences. You can never blind trust again. You will always sleep with one eye open. There will always be some resentment especially if she does not put in the work.

I highly recommend the book "not just friends" besides the obvious information in the title it also describes a concept called "walls and windows" there needs to be no more secrets between you.

She can never truly open up and return to the marriage as long as she is holding onto secrets.

You need to know everything. Once and for all. No more secrets.

You can read it with her but I recommend you read it yourself first for sure.

I want to address some things you said but the overall point is you need to take charge of this recovery. She needs to put in the work but you need to set the direction.

She seems to keep trying to date. You are in a long term stable marriage and she wants to keep experiencing the excitement and thrills of a new love. What if this new guy had paid attention to her would she still want this marriage.

This is what you need to be talking about first because if she wants to keep dating then this marriage has to end. She 40 so I assume you are around the same age.

It’s not fair to both of you to keep you trapped in a marriage for the kids. If she is not up for it then the loving thing for both of you is to separate so you both can start rebuilding your lives. It’s not going to be any easier if this happens again 2 or 4 years down the road.

If she really wants it then it’s time to rip the band aid off and go through everything now.

One thing is you cannot believe anything she says. You need to be skeptical of everything. It sounds like she has a combination of lying (she’s been lying to you for so long it’s become a habit) and she probably is so messed up she does not really know the truth.

I’m glad you are getting all the counseling going. Just make sure the marriage counselor doesn’t put too much blame on you and the first priority with them is making sure she wants this marriage.

First an easy one. Tell that man’s wife immediately. Your daughter will find out if you divorce. Get all the pain out there now.

You cannot trust her and you need to make sure the affair is truly over. One of the best ways is to tell his wife so she can lay the hammer down on him. Also she may uncover more information and let you know of your wife is still lying.

Also you need to move. I know finances are hard but for your own healing you cannot see that man or his family in any way. What if your daughters become friends with them in some way again? That can’t happen. No one from your family can have any contact with any one from their family ever again.

Seeing them regularly and living so close will always trigger you and keep you on edge. Also it increases the likelihood they will have contact again.

If could take a while to make preparations while you are working to see if she really wants the marriage. if it does not work out you can move by yourself and have a fresh start or she can move with you and you can have a fresh start together.

What did you mean about having PTSD from your job and your behavior during that period?

You did not have PTSD from that job. You have it now. When a soldier gets PTSD first thing they do is remove them from the battlefield. That’s why you need to move.

Other posters gave you some good advice about boundaries as well as the depression and mental issues.

I want to second if she threatens to kill herself again check her into treatment.

There will always be unlimited access to her phone, email and whatever the hell else you want. That never goes away.

I would put some tracker on her phone without telling her. A little fail safe just in case. Maybe a tracker on her car. If it’s hers fully you may need to tell her your doing it. ask a lawyer.

But here is another boundary that will never go away.

No more male friends.

Your wife does not have male friends. She openly dates. She cannot handle it. That means she can never end up alone with another man on a phone, social media chat, email, no male friend request. Nothing.

Next dad that wants to talk about the kids can call you. It has to be that way.

You will have to play marriage police but she can make that much easier by accepting the consequences of her actions. If she really wants this marriage then she should understand that not only can you not trust her she cannot trust herself.

She did not just fall and find herself in an affair. She knew he wanted her and she just kept letting it happen. Just like when an ex boyfriend reached out she knew he wanted sex.

Men contact your wife for sex not friendship.

As for being emotionally numb. She has definitely been numb. To you. But she was crying over this guy and drinking that’s how you caught her. So she had feelings for him.

She had a relationship with him and he was pulling back. That’s why (if she is telling the truth) she was breaking it off with him. Not concern over you. She needs to come clean with that and that’s something she needs to address with you and in therapy.

She was in a relationship with a bad boy just like a 16 year old. Nothing special about that story. You were the one she had no feelings for. That’s not meant to hurt you. it harsh but has to be dealt with.

Your wife seems to be an emotion junkie.

It’s hard to tell if the new drug is why she seems better or if it’s because she had a bad break up with her boyfriend and was about to lose her husband and life at the same time.

Hopefully that was the wake-up call she needed.

You’re trying everything to come up with reasons that explain everything. Be careful with the jargon you’re researching. She wasn’t having a mid life crisis for over a decade.

The main point is to figure out why she keeps doing this. If she does not really want this marriage then separating sooner than later is best. For both of you.

During this time also you need to work on your health and fitness. Also I would update your wardrobe. Being healthier and more attractive might scare her a little but being more attractive is a good thing. Especially for your self esteem.

I’m so sorry. Others will give you better advice about how to handle the details but your story made me sad.

Be careful. I hope she really does come to her senses and your relationship heals.

I wish you the best.

posts: 126   ·   registered: Dec. 16th, 2021   ·   location: USA
id 8771031

Trdd ( member #65989) posted at 2:32 AM on Tuesday, December 27th, 2022

The other betrayed spouse has a right to know what her cheating husband has been doing, he will not tell her so the job falls to you. It also will most likely squelch any possibility of your wife seeing him again behind your back.

posts: 773   ·   registered: Aug. 27th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8771037

sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, December 27th, 2022

** Posting as a member **

I see the actions in that list above to aim at avoiding pain ... limiting W's actions so she can't cheat (even though nothing can prevent cheating), moving so you don't have to see om, using OBS to limit om's freedom and thereby indirectly limit your W's access to om, limiting your W's access to other men as if a depressed woman can't cheat with a woman.... That's no way to live, in part because people always find ways around limits, unless they're in prison, and even then awful things are done.

I think life is a lot better if it's lived to maximize joy than to avoid pain.

I agree that OBS needs to be informed - she needs the info about the A to decide how she's going to live her life. She may choose to kick her H out, which frees him to pursue your W, but that's OK. I suggest wanting your W to stay with you only because she chooses you over everybody else, not because she has no other comfortable choice.

You have to live your life. Your best bet is to resolve your PTSD, to the extent you can, from your job and from your W's As and from any other trauma you've experienced.

You need to protect yourself by preparing your response to future betrayals by your W. You need to figure out how to encourage your W to monitor herself so that she doesn't get depressed again. Hell, you need to figure out if depression is really why she cheated.

Our (BSes) lives are still open to joy and progress, however we define these, even though we've been betrayed by our lovers. I know it's easy to hunker down and try to avoid pain, but pain is part of life no matter what we do. We can't avoid all pain if we love - even our parents tend to abandon us in the end.

But joy - joy takes work. Joy is not inevitable, the way pain is. And joy is eminently obtainable in life, if we let it in. But IMO it's excessively difficult to let it in if one strives primarily to avoid pain.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 7:01 PM, Tuesday, December 27th]

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 28637   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8771110
Topic is Sleeping.
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