Three weeks ago there was a 7 day conference/training program that we both attended. I had no idea that she would be there but recognized her immediately. It was awkward in the beginning and we avoided each other. We havenít talked since their divorce.
She has been single since their divorce. She has a bad past, which involved rape, molestation and abuse from multiple family members most of her childhood. She has a lot of trouble trusting men that she doesnít know. It takes a long time to earn her trust and new men are not going to stick around for that.
She was always sitting alone and I felt bad for her. (It's been years since you saw her, you should have more confidence in people's ability to heal from tragedy. Enter the White Knight). My friend ripped her heart out, stomped on it and ripped it to shreds. He left her for another woman, a Ďnormalí woman, and instantly made a family with her. (Doesn't sound like the kind of friend I'd want to keep in my life, but that's just me). I sat with her and just tried to get her to talk to me. I stupidly told her that I was divorced. I donít know why I said that, it just quickly flew from my mouth to try and make her feel better. (Rationalization. You know why. Obviously to get to know her more intimately. You are coming to the rescue after all). After that I kept sitting with her because I felt like I had to at that point. We went out to lunch a few times, because the food there wasnít great. She was flirting a bit and I let it happen because in my head I was thinking that it was harmless, maybe made her feel better and once we're home we never see each other. I flirted back, along the same thinking that it would be harmless and make her feel better. (Because she's so miserable and alone and why not save her...). On the last day we went out to dinner and afterwards I walked her back to her room. Before I left I kissed her and one thing led to another and we had sex. (I seriously loathe this phrase. One thing did not just "lead" to another. You had sex. End of. You wanted to have sex. You proceeded to have it. You had it. Accept the truth and LIVE in it. Your wife and most of us here will not accept this childish avoidance of responsibility. You are an adult). Right before we had sex she told me that she hadnít been intimate with anyone since her ex-husband. Immediately after the sex (Not before? Not during??) I realized what I had done to my wife and I left. That hurt the other woman immensely. I cannot get the image of her facial expression when I walked out and told her I was married, out of my mind. Then I proceeded to say that I felt bad for her and things went to far, making her think it was a pity ****. (Well, after all that White Knighting, you found you didn't really want to save her after all. So you C4 the castle wall and leave a bunch of rubble in your wake, as you ride off into the sunset. I mean, it was, in a way. Thatís what led to it. She is a gorgeous woman though. (I'm sure your wife would like to know you think so. Why should a beautiful woman be alone? That's so cruel).
This occurred 3 weeks ago. My wife doesnít know, nor does my friend. My wife is my world. I have never cheated on her before this. We have a good marriage, (but clearly not good enough to be affair-proof) there are ups and downs of course but Iím happy with her. I donít want to lose my family, my wife and my kids mean everything to me. (You gave them up yourself the moment you slept with the OW). I donít want to hurt my wife but I betrayed her in the worst possible way. She doesnít suspect anything, if she does she hasnít said anything. I have no idea how to talk to my wife about it, I have never been in this situation before. I donít want to unnecessarily hurt my wife. I am never going to cheat on her again.(The hurt is just there, waiting to happen. You can't avoid it, she is allowed to feel it is she chooses. Saying you'll "never" cheat again is premature. You need to SHOW, with actions, for a long, consistent amount of time, that you won't cheat. Trust is EARNED). Should I still tell her? It is probably the biggest mistake of my life. (I'd argue that not telling her would be a bigger one). Should I keep it buried and hope my wife never finds out? That seems worse, but it would spare her the pain. I would rather live in pain than fill her with pain to get it off my chest.
Then there is my close friend. He has no idea either. He and his ex-wife donít talk unless itís directly about their child, and even then itís very limited. I donít think she would tell anyone, but who knows really. She was totally humiliated by what I did, I would think that she doesnít want to tell anyone. (Hell hath no fury...). If this does come out, I donít want to lose a good friend (That would be the least of your problems, and he doesn't sound like an upstanding peer anyway).. He has always been against friends getting involved with exís. That relationship may be impossible to repair, just like the other relationships I destroyed.
Now Iím a giant **** that betrayed his wife, betrayed his friend and hurt a really good woman. If I could take it back I would. I donít know how I allowed that situation to happen, and there os no one to blame but myself.
Should I tell my wife? I feel like I should, but what the hell do I know Iím clearly an idiot. If so, how do I tell her and have the best possible chance at salvaging our marriage. Iíd do anything to keep our marriage going. (Be prepared to do some HEAVY lifting). And on the same note, how do I tell my friend that I slept with his ex-wife? And how badly I hurt her in the processÖ
I havenít talked to the other woman since I left her hotel room. Part of me wants to try and make amends with her but that led me to trouble last time and for my wife, I want to cease all contact permanently.
I have never felt so poorly about myself, and didnít know I ever could or would.
You rationalize and make excuses so much, I don't even know where to begin. So I just bolded all of the... Pardon me... Bull doodoo that you really need to get straight in preparation for confessing to your wife. You are going to be hit with some strong 2x4s for coming here, so I caution you to pull your bootstraps up or if you can't take hearing the hard truth, you go over to the SI board, where more hugs are distributed.
Of COURSE you tell her. You had SEX with a woman NOT YOUR WIFE. You have been exposed to possible STDS and if you love and care about your wife as much as you claim, you're going to tell her so she can get herself to a doctor ASAP, assuming you've had sex with her since your affair 3 weeks ago). You are endangering her health by not telling her. I don't know what you think that is, but to me that isn't anything remotely resembling love.
Losing your wife and your marriage dropped from your control the moment you slept with that woman. Your wife has a right to choose for herself whether she wants to stay with you or not. IMO denying her that basic and deserved spousal and human right is 100x cruddier than even the act of you banging another woman.
Do the right thing. Not the easy thing, the RIGHT thing.
And if you've been having sex with your wife, stop it and get STD tested. Tell her to get tested, and that you willfully endangered her health. That's the most loving thing you could do today.