Found out my wife cheated. What to do?
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Coping with Infidelity Relationship recovery from the destructiveness of infidelity.

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Old 01-25-2011, 02:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Found out my wife cheated. What to do?

My wife and I have been together for 10 years. About five years ago, I had an affair with a woman I had briefly dated about 9 years earlier. The affair was a stupid thing to do, but at the time I was feeling like I needed space and told my wife so. The two of us determined to work on the relationship, but the affair happened anyway. The affair was a one-off physical encounter followed by about 6 months of an emotional affair. In truth, I was not really interested in this other woman; she really just flattered my ego. She was one of those women I had felt was out of my league. So when the opportunity presented itself, I took it, mainly for the 'bragging rights' that came with such a conquest. Again, it was stupid thing to do.

Long story short, a few months after the affair ended, my wife started a new job and got close to a co-worker at this job. She said she was feeling really low and that this guy made her feel alive. After about 3 months of dating, they had sex. My wife said she did this in retaliation for what I had done. She said she felt badly afterwards and stopped seeing this guy but that he kept texting and emailing her. I recently went through her emails and found lengthy transcripts of instant message conversations she had had with this guy more than two years after she said the affair ended. I was shocked at the intimate details in these messages as well as the frequent sexual innuendo. From what I can tell it does seem that the physical relationship ended when my wife says it did, but that the emotional affair continued for much longer.

Now, all of this came to light only recently after I pressed my wife to explain her relationship with this guy, who she had begun bringing up in our conversations five years ago. Since then, whenever his name came up, I would ask her about their relationship and she would deny that there was anything going on between them. Even when she did confess, she only mentioned the physical part of the affair. I had a sick feeling in my gut that she was lying, hence the reason I went through her email.

More than finding out about the affair, I am disappointed that my wife lied about this for so long. I really don't know what to believe when she explains certain events. I also found her retaliatory physical affair a bit childish.

Even though her affair happened some years ago (assuming the EA has ended, as she claims), I still feel angry and betrayed, and can understand now what she must have felt when I had my affair. Still, the new revelations have driven a wedge between us, and I don't know whether I should stay and try to work it out or move on.

Any advice would be welcome.

Thanks
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Found out my wife cheated. What to do?

Before you make a dicision I suggest you investigate more and see if she is either continuing her affair or has stoped all contact. As you have found, asking her will ony bring more lies.

Once you established her status you then ask her to stop all contact or if she has already, you then can start repairing the marriage. either way she needs to be onboard. If she is not or doesn't want to work it out then she hase made the dicision for you.

Remember she will lie so it is up to you to verify her true commitment.
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Found out my wife cheated. What to do?

So your affair can be explained away and hers cannot be?

I think the problem you have is that you started this mess and she had her revenge.

To move forward neither of you can claim the moral high ground or indulge in finger pointing.

If you want to save your marriage (the both of you), you need the help of a marriage counselor.
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Old 01-25-2011, 04:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Found out my wife cheated. What to do?

Hi Michzz,

I didn't say that mine could be explained away. And I'm very aware that my initial affair paved the way for what eventually happened, as I tried to point out in closing:

"Even though her affair happened some years ago (assuming the EA has ended, as she claims), I still feel angry and betrayed, and can understand now what she must have felt when I had my affair. Still, the new revelations have driven a wedge between us, and I don't know whether I should stay and try to work it out or move on."

She and I discussed my affair and I believed that we had moved on from it. As I said, I often questioned her about her relationship with her co-worker and she would categorically deny anything was happening. It's the lies and deception that trouble me most and the feeling that I can no longer trust her.
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Old 01-25-2011, 04:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Found out my wife cheated. What to do?

The lies are harder to take then.... who was on top or any other sex act. The fact that they can swear on there childrens lives, look you square in the eye and BS you....thats what gets me the most. And its not just my spouse, every LS has the same BS feed to them.

You both need help thats for sure, I totaly agree with michzz. In addition,I think the "wedge" has been there way before you cheated. Getting a pro just might help you figure that out. In my experience, it is not the cheating that is the problem in the marriage... it is a problematic marriage that cause the cheating.

Something in the marraige,way back when, caused you to step out, and you can say that caused your W to step out, but in the same breath it is possible there is more to your W cause then you think. Thats my $0.02 and its worth exploring with the counseler.
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Old 01-25-2011, 05:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Found out my wife cheated. What to do?

As a marriage counselor, I can tell you that affairs are more often symptoms of deeper issues. The fact that you didn't get help after your affair left you both vulnerable to it occurring again on either side. Both of you need to get counseling and take a hard look at yourselves and the relationship to begin to understand why you both made these choices and how you can begin to heal these wounds, whether you stay together or not. There is too much unfinished business here for either of you to make a clear determination on what you should do with the marriage.
I agree with the other posts, before doing anything, you both should seek marital counseling.
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Old 01-25-2011, 05:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Found out my wife cheated. What to do?

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Originally Posted by danavince View Post
to begin to understand why you both made these choices
The OW was hot "out of my league". That's why he cheated. There's no mystery there.
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Old 01-25-2011, 05:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You had an affair to get bragging rights from a woman you really had no interest in and as a result, you hurt your wife and most likely damaged the OW into the bargain. You don't actually sound full of regret. Still proud of your conquest? Your the type of man that makes it so easy for women to deny good men sex in marriage.

You show that men use woman for sex and don't give it a second thought for the emotional devastation they leave in their wake. . Many of the wives of men in sexless marriages use their husband for children and support deny them sex and don't give it a second thought. Probably because they know someone or have themselves had the misfortune of having a relationship with men like you.

Sounds like your wife got the raw deal. She had to stay with a man who is a deceiver and user of woman to make him self feel good. And he feels entitled to be treated better than he treats women. Too bad for you. You don't sound the lest bit sorry for using that woman still kind os proud for one more notch on the belt. Well you were used too. It's called karma, you still have more coming because you never atoned for using that woman.

Until you can drag out of yourself the compassion and empathy you should have as a human towards women expect your wife and any other woman you have a relationship with to use you. You are reaping the bitter harvest of a selfish, self-satisfied man. What did you expect to get away scott free? What makes you so deserving?
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Found out my wife cheated. What to do?

Hi Catherine,

I don't know if you have a personal axe to grind or something, but if you read my first paragraph again, you will see where I said (twice) that the affair I pursued was a stupid thing to do. I deeply regret that decision and not because of recent developments. However, the discovery of my wife's cheating has helped me to understand first-hand what my wife went through five years ago. Is that ok?

Also, just so you know the facts, the woman I had the affair with was also involved in a relationship at the time. So we were both culpable. Or does she get a free pass because she's a woman and I 'used' her, as you say?
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Found out my wife cheated. What to do?

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Originally Posted by cheated on View Post
Hi Michzz,

I didn't say that mine could be explained away. And I'm very aware that my initial affair paved the way for what eventually happened, as I tried to point out in closing:

"Even though her affair happened some years ago (assuming the EA has ended, as she claims), I still feel angry and betrayed, and can understand now what she must have felt when I had my affair. Still, the new revelations have driven a wedge between us, and I don't know whether I should stay and try to work it out or move on."

She and I discussed my affair and I believed that we had moved on from it. As I said, I often questioned her about her relationship with her co-worker and she would categorically deny anything was happening. It's the lies and deception that trouble me most and the feeling that I can no longer trust her.
You spent the first paragraph of your initial posting explaining why you cheated. Yes, you said it was stupid, but you had your reasons (explanations).

You never properly resolved the issues from your affair. The five years since then? Don't mean squat without meaningful repair.

Clearly your wife responded negatively to what you did. I'll bet the kinds of questioning you do of her now is what she did of you too.

Your best bet going forward is to stop the fingerpointing and get a professional's help.
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Found out my wife cheated. What to do?

Know that we have all made the judgement that he's a piece of sh*t and she'a a piece of sh*t.

One of these sh*ts wants some andvise on if he should stay in the marraige.

Well first and for most this is a pro marraige site and in a indirect way many are saying that you both have faults.i'm sure by your own admission you agree. So heres the thing, go ahead and bail and most likely you will have the same behaviors with another relationship. You may even find a different chick that has the same behavoirs. Now if you stay and the both of you change the behaviors then you can have a new relationship with the same person.

Life is a gamble and you can take your chances with a new chick or take your chances that the current relationship will improve with some hard work. Come to think of it relationships are hard work period. I think a new chick is more of a risk then the old one, but that just me, and twenty years of marriage with a cheating wife.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Found out my wife cheated. What to do?

I think its safe to say you both behaved in a very immature manner. I do realize that you are confused as to whether or not you should attempt to work it out with your wife. I noticed you said the lying was the problem. Were you completely honest with your wife during your affair? Did you come home that night after sleeping with your OW and say "hey I just nailed a hot chick, see ya in the morning"? Probably not. I think its easy for you to point the finger because her EA went on longer, but you both basically did the same thing. Now's the time to take the advice here, get counseling and try to see if you both want to save your marriage. Its worth trying, and at least if you both decide its better to walk away, you would have tried everything, right?
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:03 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cheated on View Post


More than finding out about the affair, I am disappointed that my wife lied about this for so long. I really don't know what to believe when she explains certain events. I also found her retaliatory physical affair a bit childish.

Even though her affair happened some years ago (assuming the EA has ended, as she claims), I still feel angry and betrayed, and can understand now what she must have felt when I had my affair. Still, the new revelations have driven a wedge between us, and I don't know whether I should stay and try to work it out or move on.

Any advice would be welcome.

Thanks
Sorry I was too harsh in my response.

You seem to minimize your betrayal of your wife early in the relationship yet it was serious enough to destabilize your marriage. In it's aftermath, your wife your wife sought emotional solace from another man but not from you. You obviously have the mind-set to have sex with women you care noting for but for the fact that your ego needed a bost.

You seem to consider your cheating to have the mitigating circumstances: you needed to prove your manhood by bagging a hot woman and she was cheating too. Maybe your wife could not see past her own pain and understand that you could not pass up an opportunity to have meaningless sex jut because it would hurt her. She probably viewed your transgression as more seriously than you did. She probably needed a empathetic response to her pain than you could give her.

To describe her retaliation as childish is laughable really. What would you call endangering your marriage and hurting your wife for sex with with a woman you did not care about. Have you considered that you may lack the ability to form a strong enough emotional connection to a women to hold one long-term.

It's up to you to honestly assess your attitudes and the role they played to get your marriage in this messy state. You don't seem to have minimized your wife's role so I won't talk about her. You do seem to have inflated your wife's role so much so that you are considering a premature exit.

I say premature because you have the opportunity to fix your problems and to grow along with you wife if you are able to reconnect. To do that, you both need to take full responsibility, to acknowledge the pain that you have cause each other and forgive each other.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:32 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Talking Re: Found out my wife cheated. What to do?

quick read here tells me:

that u may be jealous or concerned that shes outdone your cheat w/ her bigger, better, cheat, and that u may soon be
history.

that is to say, her cheat isnt shallow as yours was; she may not
really want to give it up 'cuz she's had it longer than yours;
she may be going deeper with hers than yours (pun intended);
and she has a secret private world to herself that u helped
create.

you on the other hand, write as if you are pooh-poohing yours
v.s. hers. ridiculous. sure, u'll respond here with thats not what i said/wrote, i know i was wrong, blah blah blah.
but if u reread some of what u wrote here on TAM, u'll see
thats exactly how u come off.

stop whining! start wooing yer wife back and show her what
shes been missing, even if u come up "short" compared to the
other guy. u can win her back if u really put yer mind to it,
not to mention other body parts as well.

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Old 01-27-2011, 04:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hi CB45,

Quote:
quick read here tells me: that u may be jealous or concerned that shes outdone your cheat w/ her bigger, better, cheat, and that u may soon be history.
Well, I am a bit jealous, but your assertion that I may soon be history is way off. My wife is still very much in love with me and wants us to work things out. Plus, from the transcripts I read, she avoided face to face contact with the guy, reminding him many times that the physical affair was for revenge against me. She also stopped taking his voice calls, preferring to communicate by text and IM. I think she was flattered by the attention he gave her after the physical affair and used the IM chats to stroke her ego.


Quote:
you on the other hand, write as if you are pooh-poohing yours v.s. hers. ridiculous. sure, u'll respond here with thats not what i said/wrote, i know i was wrong, blah blah blah.but if u reread some of what u wrote here on TAM, u'll see thats exactly how u come off.
Sorry, but I did not/am not pooh-poohing mine. Again, my problem is with the lies and deception after she admitted the physical affair.

Quote:
stop whining! start wooing yer wife back and show her what
shes been missing, even if u come up "short" compared to the
other guy. u can win her back if u really put yer mind to it,
not to mention other body parts as well.
Not sure where you got the idea that I was whining.
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