need (very belated) advice after my wife cheated
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Coping with Infidelity Relationship recovery from the destructiveness of infidelity.

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Old 04-05-2010, 02:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default need (very belated) advice after my wife cheated

This is a fairly long read. I have cut out tremendous amounts just to keep the size down. I would very much appreciate any advice from anyone willing to read through this.

My wife (R) and I have been married for about 6.5 years. It is the second marriage for both of us. Over the years, our marriage has fallen into a bit of a rut, but I thought things were comfortable. My wife has been very busy running her growing company, and we recently (little over a year ago) purchased a home which has drastically reduced both our savings and any extra money we had to spend on ourselves.

About 8 months ago my wife got involved in a sports car club online forum. She has always been very into cars, and she has a nice sports car which she refers to as her mid-life crisis (we are both in our 40s). Originally on the forum nobody knew she was female, and she was happy with that. Later, after she was more known and accepted in the group she let people know she was female and posted a few pictures. This being a car forum, it is almost entirely peopled by men. My wife immediately received more attention just by being an attractive woman who knows a great deal about cars. Over time many of her posts on the forum became more and more flirty and risquť, and at one point she posted photos of herself in a bikini.

Some members of the forum who live in our general area occasionally get together to do “fun runs” where they take their cars up into the mountains and turn them loose. My wife began to participate in the fun runs with the other guys and got to know them more personally. I have participated in only one of the fun runs because I have 3 kids from my previous marriage, and I spend one day each weekend with them. R does not get along well with my kids, so she generally has that day to herself, and that is the day she goes on the fun runs.

Apparently after the runs, R stopped for drinks with one of the guys from the group (call him M) and they started to talk and get to know one another. After a couple of weeks an EA started up which at some point became physical. I was aware and concerned about my wife’s growing attention to (and from) the forum, but she assured me it was just for fun, and I believed her. I had some suspicions, and she was making more and more excuses for the amount of time she was away, but I thought I was just being jealous. R really enjoyed the runs and the forum, and I did not want to make a big fuss over something which was adding such a nice spark to her life with what I thought were just my own insecurities.

One morning, as my wife was preparing to take an overnight business trip, my wife got a call out of the blue which she played off as a call from one of the people who work for her. When I checked the logs on her phone (something I had never done before) I found that she had deleted the incoming call. I asked her about it and she first tried to play it off as a glitch. I would not accept that, and my wife eventually admitted to having an EA with M, but she denied there was anything physical going on. I asked her for a complete accounting of what was going on, but she would not tell me anything. She kept insisting that she needed to leave for her trip. It would take almost 4 hours to drive to her destination, and she was concerned that she would get there after dark and be lost and/or vulnerable. After trying for almost an hour to get her to open up to me, I finally told my wife that she needed to cut off contact with M. I was going out and I thought giving her room to call M without my being there was a good thing to do – how wrong I was. When I got back from my errands R was gone. I was going nuts trying to get a handle on what had happened to my life so suddenly. My imagination was running amok, and I could not calm down. After going quietly nuts for quite a few hours, I texted R and asked her to promise me that she had not seen M that day. I got no response. After another hour passed I finally called R and was surprised to find she was in her car. It was now well after dark, and she was still 1 hour away from her destination. When I pressed she told me that after talking to me she went to see M. They spent 2.5+ hours together talking. She said that she needed to talk things out with him because she was so confused about her own thoughts and feelings. I was beyond shocked, and very, very hurt. R would not talk to me about what was going on, I was going nuts, I was hurting very badly, and R chose to spend time with M for consolation, all the while lying to me about her need to leave, etc. R said she would call me back when she reached her hotel because she did not want to talk while driving.

When R did call me back (what seemed like days later), it was more of the same. She was confused and upset, she was sorry she hurt me. She wondered what in our marriage caused her to step out. She finally needed to concentrate on the job she was there to do, and we hung up with me more confused than ever. I expected her to feel some shame or guilt, but, other than being “sorry to have hurt me”, she showed neither. I demanded “a full and detailed accounting” of what had gone on before I would consider anything else like counseling.

The next few days were bizarre. R returned home and we tried to have a normal life. R wanted to schedule counseling, but I refused unless/until she told me the truth of what had happened. I did not want to get the information doled out in little bits in front of a counselor. By the next weekend, I was to the point of not being able to function and confronted R with a list of questions. I showed her the list, and she agreed to answer. Among other things, R admitted the affair was physical, it had been going on for 6 weeks, and she had broken it off with M.

R had seen a counselor without me. R said she had felt dead in the marriage for some time. She felt that I was not the “leader’ she thought she had married. She did not think I could change, and when I asked her about helping and maybe changing some herself she shot back that she did not want to change. It seemed we were doomed to break up. Bizarrely, this gave me the first peace that I had had all week. If things were going that way I could accept it and move ahead without having to go crazy trying to figure out how to deal with the emotional issues swirling all around.

Over the next few days I thought more and more about what R had said and what our married life had been like, and I found that I more and more disagreed with her analysis. We had been happy. We could be happy. I still loved her. Surprisingly, I felt that I could forgive her (not that she ever asked for any forgiveness). I wanted to see if reconciliation was an option.

On Friday night I sat down and spoke with R about this. I told her my thoughts. I told R that I was making myself very vulnerable by opening up to her like this, and asked her to let me know directly if she disagreed. I felt rejected and hurt, and did want to put myself out there just to be rejected all over again. I felt that R had been holdingme at arm length, and would not tell me where her feelings truly lay. If she was not willing to consider looking to reconcile, I could deal with that, but she needed to let me know. R agreed to consider trying to reconcile, but was still unsure if there was any hope. She had booked a hotel for the following evening just to get away and think without the clash of emotions which we were both feeling at home. I too felt the confusion from living together with all the current stresses and emotions, and I understood her desire to take some time to think things through.

It turns out R lied to me yet again (on many levels). After that talk on Friday, R went and spent the entire weekend with M. She never even checked into her hotel, but instead spent the night at M’s place. After I had opened myself up, R had stabbed me right in the heart. This pain was far worse even than finding out about the affair. She lied bout having broken things off with M, she lied about cutting off all contact with M, she lied about getting away to clear her head and think, she lied about what she was doing, and she did all this the morning after I had just opened myself up to her.

I found out that R had not checked into her room (she hadn’t told me where she was staying, but I found out). I was hoping beyond hope there was some explanation, but I knew what it would be. When R returned home on Sunday night, I asked her about her time away. Initially she played it off. As I continued asking more probing questions, she must have realized she was caught. She admitted that she had spent the night (and both days) with M.

While I expected this, I was unprepared for my emotions. I was far beyond distraught. I was hurt like I had never been hurt before. This betrayal was so brazen. Did she hate me so much, or did she just not care about me and my feeling at all?. I asked R to leave. I told her I never wanted to see her again. I called her names. I wanted her to hurt like I was hurting. She started to tell me how she had just had too much to drink on Saturday and could not drive back to her hotel, but I cut her off. Actions had spoken already far louder than any words. Then, sadly, she left. Probably to be with M, but I don’t really know.

After calming down, I tried to think of what I should do. I needed help which is when I (very belatedly) found this forum. I would still like to reconcile with R, but only if her heart is in it. I did tell R this. She was angry. She was upset over all the awful things I said to her on Sunday. She doesn’t think she can forgive me! She has never said why she did it. She has never apologized or said she did anything wrong. She wants me to make amends to her.

So, finally, I am looking very belatedly for any advice on how I should proceed. Maybe I am a fool, and there is no hope, but it is worth me acting to fool for a while longer to be sure. I do not know where R is staying, and she won’t tell me what her feelings are toward me or M other than to say that “M is not the guy”. At least for now she runs her business out of our home (I have agreed to be out between 8:30 and 6:30 every weekday). I cannot afford the home without money from R. After all that has happened I do not even know how to approach R. I do not want to seem like some whining person being led only by their emotions, but I don’t want to come across as cold and emotionally detached thinking only of financial and logistical arrangements while planning out how to split with R forever.

Last edited by Alpha-s; 04-05-2010 at 02:17 PM. Reason: edited for readability
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: need (very belated) advice after my wife cheated

First of all, please allow me to tell you how truly sorry I am that this is happening to you. I feel your pain, honestly, even tho I have never experienced anything like you say I can, however imagine the pain and hurt you are going thru. I don't want to give you the wrong advice and I don't want to seem disrespectful to you or your wife, but I will tell you what I would do should I ever be put in a situation like this...

I strongly feel once a cheater, always a cheater. No matter how much they say "I've stopped all contact,". Cheaters lie, are deceitful and most of the time care about nothing and no one but themselves. Should this happen to me, I would probably never, ever be able to trust her again, ever. I don't think I would even ever be able to reconcile. I don't believe in "D" (I don't even like to say/type that word), but I would immediately seek legal advice and begin drawing up "D" papers. If you do this, one or two things may happen: 1) she will 'wake up' and realize what shes about to lose (you sound like a very decent person) or 2) she will be fine with it and proceed with the action you are taking. This is a really tough decision on your part, especially that it seems from what you say that she may not want to give up on "M". However, before you take such a drastic chance, 'you' may want to try and work things out more. See if you can get her to open up more than she has. someway, somehow.

I'm sorry if I was not much help, I just wanted to say what I would do if put in that place. I'm not suggesting you do that, but at this point it would seem highly considerable. Best of luck to you and I hope things turn out well for you and yours.
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Old 04-05-2010, 04:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: need (very belated) advice after my wife cheated

Going through something similar myself. I've taken a slightly more aggressive approach though (To the opinion of one other on this forum, too passive an approach) but nonetheless my experience may help.

In my situation (the read is about as long as yours , see "Hurt, recovering") when confronted, my wife admitted to the fundamentals, then eventually admitted to the most damning and damaging facts.

I was hurt, I didn't call her names, but I wanted to. The OM was living with us, and I felt we were living a lie right from the get-go.

I took the liberty of being very proactive myself. I removed the OM from our lives the best I could. Kicked him out, told her that if there is any chance of recovery, she needed to cut him off entirely.

It comes down to this: After all the pain and selfishness is brought to air, you can't keep your spouse AND your lover. It just doesn't work that way. Every time will be a reminder, a temptation, and there will never be any chance to rebuild. Because every time she caves and communicates with him, she destroys the recovery process and resets the ticker to Zero.

To recover she needs to never see him again, and you need to be firm and set an ultimatum.
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Old 04-05-2010, 04:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: need (very belated) advice after my wife cheated

You'll have to tell her that she has to agree to never see this guy again, or else you'll just have to sell the house and split your assets, unfortunately.
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Old 04-05-2010, 05:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: need (very belated) advice after my wife cheated

I'm sorry you are going through this and I feel your pain, it's a slow process of getting all the facts and every part of the story hits you hard, I remember all the pain I also felt at first, I went through all the emotions that you are feeling.......
I handled it this way, I tried to stay calm and I told him if he wanted to go and have a new life with the OW that he was free to go but he would have to be the one to leave the house and his life as he knew it.....he agreed because in the beginning he was sure she was who he wanted.....Along with giving him the freedom to go I also made him understand that I loved him and that I was never out of love with him and that I wanted to work things out with him because I truly believed he was a good man and that he just seemed lost for the moment.....
we even went as far as signing a separation agreement, so all he left to do was move out......
All of a sudden it didn't seem so much fun having an affair once the word was out and our children knew the whole story.
he made every excuse in the book why he couldn't find a place of his own......I was patient with him knowing if he was under my roof he wasn't with her.....
He has now ask me to re-consider and think about giving him another chance to prove to me he can be the man/husband he can be.
I think just take it slow and make sure she understands how important she and your marriage are to you and that you take responsibilty for your part in the marriage and that you will do whatever it takes to make the marriage work, you two should go to see someone and talk things through.
When you act in anger it's never what you really want. as you know now.....
good luck
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Old 04-05-2010, 05:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you to those who have replied.

I had previously told R to break of all contact with M. She assured me she had about a week before she spent the weekend with him. Now she is staying with him (I believe -- she won't tell me where she is staying) because she claims that I have kicked her out. I have asked her to come back, but she has not. How can I exclude M in that situation?

One of the difficult things I am dealing with here is that she shows no remorse or guilt (other than to say she is sorry to have hurt me). She looks at me and says that I need to change and I need to make ammends. It seems like she is playing control games here. Rather than own up to what is going on, she focuses on what she sees as my issues. She seems to honestly believe that by reacting badly (calling her names and asking to her leave) when she disclosed that the affair was ongoing after she promised me it was over, that I have treated her as bad as, if not worse, than she has treated me.

How can I get past that? Am I deluding myself by thinking she has done me a far more severe wrong? BTW, in case there is a question here, I have never caused her harm in any physical way.

MyDog -- you may be right. Right now I cannot see how I can ever trust her again. Prior to all of this she has always been very honest with me (painfully so at times). Now I question and analyze anything she says.

Last edited by Alpha-s; 04-05-2010 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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This sort of sounds like what happened to a family member of mine, but only you can say if it's true or not.

This is the story from 20 years ago:

Very pretty, husband was a engineer made decent money, she stayed at home and raised two kids...always wanted more. Husband paid for some dental work perfect smile, paid for some breast augmentation, suddenly she was smoking hot at 30. Started her own business with husbands money.....and because she was now smoking hot and always ultra charismatic add in location it took off. Suddenly the husband wasn't good enough this happened over a course of 2 years where her income eclipsed her husbands 2 fold. Deep down she always wanted more the social life, the affluence, a different life than 2 kids, 2 cars, a dog, in sububia.

She routinely had affairs with very "studly" "affluent" men and they finally divorced. She always wanted more deep down and her husband just wanted a family and a comfortable lifestyle.

She went on to live with a Mayor now ex Mayor in a huge house, bigtime connections, and all of the perks that has in the social scene. She mellowed out as the years went on, but that is what she wanted they are still together to this day.

Your wife sounds like she wants more from you and from life..... what do you think?
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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She is a liar and she is a cheating skank. Why do you want to stay married. Your love is not enough. Put it this way. You can love HER, and she can disrespect you. Does that sound like a marriage worth having?
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
I have asked her to come back, but she has not. How can I exclude M in that situation?
You sit down with your phone, and you call all of your wife's family members, her best friends, your pastor, and anyone else who is important to her. You tell them that she is having an affair. You ask them for help, saying that if she could realize that people aren't just going to accept her cheating on you and replacing you with another guy, it will be a huge wakeup call and she might rethink the crazy path she's gone down.

If you have it, you also get in touch with this guy's wife, family and friends, and tell them the same thing. You might want to do a search on his people's numbers before you sit down.

You also get online and contact all her car buddies and tell THEM that they have started an affair. That takes away that club as a safe haven for them.

The point is to shine a big bright light on their affair and expose it for the slimy nastiness that it is. Once it is out in the open, she will have to choose to continue doing something she knows her family/friends don't approve of, or stop it and come back home.

THAT is how you get him out of the picture.
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Old 04-05-2010, 08:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Old 04-05-2010, 09:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turnera View Post
You sit down with your phone, and you call all of your wife's family members, her best friends, your pastor, and anyone else who is important to her. You tell them that she is having an affair. You ask them for help, saying that if she could realize that people aren't just going to accept her cheating on you and replacing you with another guy, it will be a huge wakeup call and she might rethink the crazy path she's gone down.

If you have it, you also get in touch with this guy's wife, family and friends, and tell them the same thing. You might want to do a search on his people's numbers before you sit down.

You also get online and contact all her car buddies and tell THEM that they have started an affair. That takes away that club as a safe haven for them.

The point is to shine a big bright light on their affair and expose it for the slimy nastiness that it is. Once it is out in the open, she will have to choose to continue doing something she knows her family/friends don't approve of, or stop it and come back home.

THAT is how you get him out of the picture.
The more I read your posts the more I think you are a very vindictive vengeful person what do you think? A you punch me I'm gonna punch, kick, and stab you back. One of those people that argues with the store manager over a "misprint" saying you must honor this it's in "writing".....

I guess we are just vastly different people, but when I get hurt I just move on. You don't like me, you hurt me, you lied to me, if I can't find a way to forgive/forget, well maybe you and I just shouldn't be "whatever we were/are?"

You believe calling everyone she knows and saying "Hey, she's cheating on me!! You have to talk to her!!" then "Calling the man and doing the same!" WOW, that sounds like true love to me......she'll easily get over that. Airing the dirtly laundry to everybody and everyone.......great!

Assuming there isn't more to the story that the OP isn't telling if she really is that "far gone" I would start divorce proceedings. Coralling someone back with guilt and practically blackmail isn't love to me!

Last edited by OhGeesh; 04-05-2010 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 04-05-2010, 09:53 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: need (very belated) advice after my wife cheated

exposure is a must. You shine a light on it. And then reality streams in. If she wakes up, great. Then you can decide on whether you can work through it. Personally.......dump her.
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Old 04-05-2010, 09:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Well, I disagree unless you truly feel like she/he is in some sort of trance. If a divorce doesn't do it or moving out you think dragging him/her through the mud will? Is that taking the high road being a better person than the cheater?

I'm all about if you love someone why would you try to hurt them or cause them pain? I've played the get even game when I was in my early 20's and it's no fun much better to take the high road of "I love you, but I'm moving on" everyone is different though..

Last edited by OhGeesh; 04-05-2010 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: need (very belated) advice after my wife cheated

Its an addiction, but an addiction to the chemicals that she generates being around the OM.
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