Where to go from here?
First time poster and have been lurking for about 10 months off and on. Of course by the name of the forum I'm sure you can guess why I'm here. I tend to ramble on so I'll try to keep this short and straight to the point as best I can only going into detail as required. Sorry for the lengthy story in advance.
Background: Husband and father of 2. Been married for almost 8 years as our anniversary is coming up in a few days. Been together for 10.
My story: Helped wife through nursing school from 2013 - 2015. During the latter half of the final semester she started taking a drug called Amitriptyline in order to help her stay focused and deal with depression. Didn't truly notice a difference in her behavior until two months later. She was always staying up late on social media, irritable, seemed anxious, increased sexual frenquency/desire. She also mentioned something about a guy at her school who tried to talk to her in a romantic way. I asked if she still had contact with him and was she okay. She said no and yes respectively (these were lies, but more on this later).
As I mentioned, by this time I realized things weren't quite right. Since I'm an IT guy, she had a problem with her iPhone where she thought she had a virus and asked me to look at it. Curiosity had gotten the better of me as I checked through her messages. Found a message from someone who I thought she stopped talking to (*Not the same person who was described earlier). The message said that she had nice breasts in which she replied thank you. This person was someone from her past that never got with her or anything, but wasn't respectful when it came to conversation. I asked her to stop talking to the person before we got married. This started a serious argument with me getting loud and calling her a *****. Our kids were in the next room. Both of our doors were closed, but she claimed that I did it in front of them. I apologized immediately, but by that time she immediately said that she had been thinking for a while that we should separate. I was floored and shocked. I didn't know where that came from. That night I left and stayed with a friend for a couple days.
I kept trying to reach out and let her know how sorry I was. She let me back in the house on the condition that I would stay in the guestroom for a month. I agreed and told her that I would do my best to keep my anger in check and not yell at her.
Strange occurrences and red flag period: One night, I came home from work and she was crying. She said that a friend online sent her a genital pic and was shocked as to why he would do that. I told her that he's a terrible friend and that she should block him because true friends don't do things like that. The following day, she told me that she sent the picture to his girlfriend and told her to tell him to stop sending genital pics. I was like well that's good that she did that, but was also scratching my head as to why she was crying over a friend that did this to her whom she wasn't that close to anyway. Another situation that occurred was a car with dark tints was following her that day. She asked if I could see her through her tinted windows and what kind of car does my ex drive (*this was a cover, but again more on this later).
She went to hangout with some girlfriends from church. She said they were all going around telling updates on their lives. When her turn came she talked about the guy from her school. Apparently this guy affected her in a way that planted a seed which was really bothering her. They talked about that situation most of the night. I asked questions like what was the guys name, are they friends online and do they continue to communicate? She wouldn't tell me the guys name, but did say that they were not friends online and again no longer communicated. Days later we went out for a drive and during the drive she mentioned that since we were separated we should date other people. And at one point even half jokingly said that if I happened to have sex with someone that she couldn't be mad about it (*deep gut wrenching feeling came over me). I was like why would I even consider that when we're married? She's like "well it's true."
We started going to a church counselor. During the meeting I mentioned that I felt that my wife was exhibiting signs of an affair to which she quickly denied. I was keeping a very detailed journal throughout the year which is something that I've never done before. I told the counselor about some of the things that happened above. The counselor told me that should be the end of it as I had no real proof. The text message that I found was just from a friend that the counselor agreed should no longer be in the picture. Also the statements about dating/sexing other people were alarming and that we needed to give it our all if we wanted this marriage to survive. She expressed how she couldn't get over me calling her a ***** in front of our kids. We agreed to work it out.
We continued on and during this time, I had a friend who was helping me get through the ups and downs. He's a family friend from church which I would later regret(in a way) telling since our wives were friends. However, because of him I started taking a look at the Amitriptyline side effects. The two side effects that stuck out were (unusual behavior and hypomania). I sent her the info that I found and she started weaning herself off of it.
D-day: While there were many red flags, I was in denial. I didn't want to believe that my wife was stupid enough to be unfaithful. I know that we had our ups and downs, but the mother of my children, the woman who I allowed to be a SAHM for about 5 years, the woman whom I loved and was still in love with....I just couldn't fathom it. By this time I had moved back to our bedroom and just happened to be laying there in the bed when my wife decided to watch a show in another room. She left her phone and thought she was safe since there was a passcode on it. However, I had the passcode and once I opened it I read messages between her and a female friend. What I read was unbelievable. Since December she was talking to a guy, fell head over heels in love with him, was pissed that he wasn't giving her the attention that she deserved at times..etc...etc. The car that was following her was the guy. I quickly locked the door and just was going through every message. My heart was racing, my head started hurting, my anger was flaring....just about every symptom that you could think of I had. Found out also that her friend was also having a PA on her husband for the past 9 months at that point.
My wife comes upstairs and realizes that the door is locked and starts pounding on the door. I told her to hold on and when I opened it she quickly ran to the phone to see if anything was there to expose her. I confronted her immediately and she said that the guy was someone from school when she was in college and not nursing school. That he always had a crush on her and wanted to be her man. They never met up, but wanted her to. She said that she already told him that she didn't want him to contact her anymore. She said that even though she had feelings for him, she didn't want to be physical with him. He just made her feel wanted/attractive. She even asked him what he was trying to gain from the situation cause a PA wasn't going down. She said that the turning point came when they discussed his ex wife and how they met when she was married and how they would meet up to have sex in another city. She divorced her husband to marry him, but then left him for someone else.
Fast forward. Once I realized that she lied about a few things I started checking up on her. I checked her online activity, her whereabouts when she was allegedly going to work and who she was talking to at all hours of the day. I confirmed that this was strictly an EA. However, this was a period of trickling truth. She had a hidden email account where she sent nude pics (*and videos which I didn't confirm until a few weeks ago). I saw the text and phone records to this one person that was exponential in Jan - Feb. I even got a copy of the messages between them. How he had her heart...blah blah blah. When I found these things I confronted her. She claimed that she blocked him on everything so there was no way for him to contact her. I asked her for the passwords to everything and she told me that she closed down that hidden account (*another lie which I confirmed recently).
During this period I had fallen into a deep depression. I had the worst experience with depression that I've ever had in my life. One weekend, I couldn't get out of bed, had crying spells, constant shaking from anxiety/fear....etc..etc. To top it all off, I was due to start a new job in a couple of weeks. I had to pull myself together. So with a ton of prayer, her getting an accountability partner and giving me access to her accounts did help to make things easier. Also her behavior was slowly returning to normal. However, things didn't end there and a new problem arrived with another male friend from the past. I'm going to post this second portion soon to get to where I am currently.