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Welp, not new to this, but finally decided to say something.


Infidelity In an affair or suspect your significant other? Share your experiences and concerns here.

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Old 22nd November 2017, 8:47 PM   #1
Far
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Welp, not new to this, but finally decided to say something.

Hi, all. This isn't an "I discovered my wife" or an "I suspect something" kinda thing; nope, it's more like I've been there, done that and I'd like someone to know. For all who are eager to give advice, please stay to the end (because this is kind of big). For those of you who enjoy other's torment, great news! You'll get all the juicy, novel-worthy sh*** infidelities are made of. I do promise to keep it as short and concise as possible. Forgive any slip-ups or harsh language (very emotional here and a little tipsy).

Background:

Me (35) ex-wife(37). Yep, you read correctly: WE ARE DIVORCED! Why am I highlighting that? Stay tuned, folks.

Now, this is probably the moment you think it gets super complicated. Not yet, my good friend. Much later. Okay, so we met in late 2009 through a mutual friend of ours at a bar. Hit it off immediately. She played hard-to-get and I loved the chase. Dated for a few years and married in December 2012. Life was good. Sex was great, but the emotional connection. You just can't write how powerful it feels. I felt like I found my one and only soulmate.

So, I'm a fairly good looking guy (sorry about bragging) and work out a lot. I get fairly and occasional female attention and it can be somewhat irritating, if not humorous. I tell girls interested in me that I'm not available. It works sometimes, but other times, it seems to turn them on? Even when I show them THE ring on my finger, it's like their attraction doubles. I stay the hell away from those type of people. I know from many stories how dangerous women like that are. Anyway, I don't party much or go to social gatherings often, but when I do, that's what happens. But (thank God for my parents) I have great boundaries and am firm. So, I have no problem with rejecting possible threats to my marriage.

My ex... Holy cow, where do I even start with this one? When we started dating she told me all about her self-esteem issues and how much she wanted to "find happiness" for herself and will one day. That... made uncomfortable for some reason, even more so when she clarified. I'll never forget what she told me. "I need to find someone who can make me happy. I deserve it and won't settle for any less." Why did that make me feel weird? Well, my mom always told me that people can only ADD to your happiness. You will never find it outside of yourself. It was a direct contradiction and it kind of made me pause a bit.

Moving forward, around mid-March in 2015, wife starts acting strangely. You know the drill, keeping her phone close, password protecting all her devices (phone, Macbook, tablet). Threw me for a loop when I noticed. Gave me excuses you guys are used to. "I need privacy", "If someone were to get sensitive information, I'll get in trouble with my boss", yadda, yadda, yadda. Guess what? Didn't buy it for a second. Why? Becuase of this site. That's right, loveshack. I stumbled on it when I googled, "wife password protecting her phone". Go figure.

I began reading stories and my mind was blown away by how much sh*** people have to go through because of someone's selfish actions. I can't recall which thread I started off with, but I remember the guy's name was VeryBrokenMan (You are a hero to me for your compassion towards your literally ill wife). I followed the thread like a druggy. It related here and there (the sneaking around especially) and the more I read it, the more I saw for myself the catastrophe infidelity had on this poor guy. I was naive before all this. Thought affairs could never happen to someone like me. I mean, I KNOW for a fact given the chance I wouldn't cheat. Hell, I've HAD chances and the very thought always disgusts me to no end. I would never lower myself like that. Back to reading... It was like something clicked in me from just this one thread. The first thought that came to mind after September, after going through more and more threads, after watching her (gauging her actions and reactions), after researching infidelity like a desperate loser hellbent and hoping it hasn't happened, the first thing that came to mind was, "Welp, she's cheating." It might have been shock, but I felt completely numb, maybe indifferent. It was like "Meh, you've just become a BS without even knowing it." Even to this day, I am still astonished that I didn't lose my sh***.

So, I absorbed the revelation, became one with it, so to speak. I was cheated on, the red flags were there all along. So, what to do? Confront? Yes! Confront her...with what? Is she even cheating? Where's the proof?

Proof? Hmm.

So, I became a self-certified detective (hated every moment of it). Never brought up the fact I suspected her, but I think she was starting to pick up something was wrong. I remember about a week into my investigation she told me she wanted to talk to me. I thought, "FINALLY! Put me out of this misery!"

We sat down and talked about how much I was becoming distant and easily agitated... Nearly exploded. (By this time I knew it was a full-blown physical affair for at least 2 months). But I kept my cool, told her it was work stress. She lectured me on talking about our feelings and never keeping secrets, how disappointed she was that I didn't talk to her and I need to work on that etc. Just sat there not even listening much. The Joker was laughing in my head over and over again as if I was Batman running out of time to save Gotham. I had been hoping above all hope that she would confess to me. I'd take her back and we would work on problems with our marriage. I had to have done SOMETHING for her to do this to me, right, rriiiight?!

Something in me died that day. I don't know how to explain it. It was as if my heart had this huge hole all of a sudden.

I put on a happy mask, hiding everything else I could have felt deep within. I pretended we were okay. Initially, the evidence was to give her no room to escape when I exposed her. Now, I didn't know, didn't care. I even half-heartedly asked if she was seeing someone else.

"Why the hell would you even ask that? I'm married to you!"

But I saw the results for themselves: extra clingy, extra sweet, extra, extra, extra! Like she was trying so hard to get me off her trail. Too late, my love, far, far too late.

This was not about repairing the marriage anymore. Dear, remember when I embarrassingly proclaimed that I was a baddass and no one messed with me? Oh, how I wish you didn't turn into my enemy.

I became even more rigorous in information gathering. Did things that make me feel ashamed (VAR, hacking phone, listening to every word for inconsistencies). My trust was zero, my rage was zero, my numb was 100%. It helped me. I fed on it. I became calculating, deceiving... I put myself on her level and to this day I still have issues with my underhanded tactics, but I wanted out. I had enough. Part of me felt guilty. "Why won't you fight for your wife, you coward?"... Because she gave up on me.

Got the best divorce lawyer I could find (fairly well off financially). I started to get nervous when he said VAR without her consent was a no-no, but then he was surprised that it actually got me evidence (lucky...sigh).

Wife never expected, in fact, she was duped (now she knows how I feel). The papers were getting ready, and I acted up a storm. I was surprised by how well I could pretend like I was normal. Was it because I was used to her or something else? I held off sex as much as possible. Got tested for STDs and negative. Whenever she talked about business trips or weekends with friends, I just smiled and waived. She still thought I was stupid and gullible. It saddened me, honestly.

Evidence was actually incredible, at least, that's what my lawyer said, completely gobsmacked by the pile. Also told me that I was lucky that I didn't have kids yet. That revelation made me FURIOUS. I kept thinking about it. What if we did have kids? Would I be this adamant to leave? Or would I stay for the kids? I don't know. It reminded me of the future she robbed from us. For the first time, I felt sick.

Divorce was filed during her work schedule. I felt like a BOSS! Just like the affair, I blindsided her. I made contingency plans to be on a business trip outside my country for two weeks before doing this (cowardly, I know, but needed to clear my head). My phone blew up. I was actually surprised by the number of messages and calls I was getting, not only from her but her mother too. I ghosted her, but caved after three days. Told my bother to tell them I'm not home and I'll be back in two weeks time. Wife was persistent nonetheless. After about a week of my phone heating up, I finally decided to at least read what she wrote.

"What's this about? Call me now!"

"Come home immediately."

"You can't do this to us. We've worked too hard."

"What on earth are you thinking?"

I kept reading and laughing. It was this stupid, pathetic laugh. Tears just poured out of my eyes. I broke down for the first time since I was mugged when I was 13. It was soul-crushing. Not the messages, but the revelation that this is my reality now. I'm a BH, BS, whatever you call it. I'm one of "them".

Didn't sleep that day but surprisingly slept like a baby since then. When my business trip time was coming up, I had this talk with myself in a public bathroom mirror (freaked out a few guys). Told myself that when I go back there gonna be some mad people wanting answers. She's probably told them nothing but lies. Set them straight. She doesn't have what you have: proof. Boy did that actually save me some heartache.

Mother-in-law had never been much of a fan, but she did respect me. So she was understandably furious about what I was doing to her daughter. Scheduled a meeting with her and only her. Wife tried to get involved, but if one thing is true about my Mother-in-law is that she is a no-nonsense kind of person. So when I told her that her daughter is at fault for the divorce, she told her daughter not to interfere and stay home. Her reply to me? "Prove it."

Message after message, recording after recording, were all there for her viewing pleasure. I know she didn't want to believe it. I could see it on her face, but she knew. "I'm so sorry for what she did to you." was the nicest thing she ever said to me.

Never spoke to ex during D. Everything was done through a lawyer (thanks again loveshack). She tried many times with letters, emails and messages, but once my lawyer put the NC sign up, she shut up pretty fast. The divorce was smooth and fair 50/50: No-Fault. She got to keep the old house (didn't care too much since, again, I'm very financially secure). Everything was done and dusted and we could both move on with our lives... or not.

I want to say that this has been the most traumatic experience I have ever had. My self-esteem still isn't much there. I keep telling myself I'm this great guy when I'm not even sure that's true anymore. I break down a lot and I'm going to IC. I have huge distrust of any woman who wants to date me. I'm working on it. Now, the complicated part.

My ex has never stopped pursuing me. This is partly my fault because I was very civil throughout and after the divorce (told her I hope she finds happiness one day and I had just hoped it was me that could show her she didn't anyone else to make her happy but herself). I don't regret saying this because a part of me will always love her, even if it's 0.00000000001% but I think it's backfired on me because she has been chasing me all year long. I speak to her sometimes, and she always puts it out there how much she wants us to be together. Not a marriage or reconciliation, just to try and see if anything is salvageable. I don't outright deny her because a part of me still has feelings for her that are really strong. It's like after the divorce, things between me and her have mellowed down and become casual. I think it's a large reason why I still reject women who want a relationship. A part of me feels like it wouldn't be fair to them and I can't do that if I'm not all in, plus the trust issues...Arg!

Everyone around me has told me and shown me what my ex has done to fix herself. It was overwhelming really, IC, timeline, letters of love, NC letter. She has exposed the affair to our mutual friends and took full blame even when others thought otherwise (gets me every time). Some were helping her cope with the aftermath and keep to changing herself to be safe...for me (sigh again). Her mother was very upset about that (didn't want other people to know). But surprisingly none of our friends charges ex too harshly. None of them knew, too, until ex told them (they thought we were divorcing because of other problems). I know this for a fact. I stupidly fanned the flames one time when I asked her what she would do if I said yes to her proposal.

"Anything and Everything."

I asked her to name them.

Gave me this big list of stuff she prepared beforehand. I stopped the conversation then and there because it all seemed too good to be true. She understood and didn't press on.

I've kept this list on my person and have struggled to throw it away. I'm so mad at myself, allowing my feelings to be manipulated like that. Was it even manipulation when she was casual about it and not even pushy?

So a large part of me doesn't want to go back. I would want to know the f***ing details and I know how scarring that crap is. I wouldn't be able to trust her 100%. I could get paranoid or worse PTSD. Unlike a lot of BS, I felt like I came out of this fairly well, now I'm considering going back? What is wrong with me? The part of me that wants to go back sees how much she's changed. She really seems like a whole different person. And I have witnessed this all year long. She's far happier than I have ever seen her (which I wanted for her for such a long time) and I was kind of suspicious that she was still seeing the guy but didn't really care since D. One of our friends set me straight that she's been keeping tabs on my ex to make sure she didn't slip up and assured me that ex has only been focused on getting back with me the entire time since the divorce. She has not made contact with OM at all. I trust this girl, so I believe her. Ex is very apologetic. I don't know how many times she's told me she's sorry that she ruined our future.

I asked her why she's still doing this? She still has her friends, her job, her f****ing reputation. I never took that away from her so why keep chasing me now that you're free to see whoever you want?

"I love you and I was a selfish b****. Please let me show you I'm not that anymore." I've never seen her that determined in all the years I've known her.

I think I'm a mess because of this. This sh*** still feels so surreal.

So sitting in my hotel room, sipping wine and typing on my laptop...Should I stay or should I go? I know it's not that simple, any advice will do. Kind of in limbo here.
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Old 22nd November 2017, 9:03 PM   #2
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How do you think she would have acted if the roles were reversed?
She showed you how little she respected you and your marriage and had
no problem putting your health at risk for STD's.

If you do not respect yourself then who will?

I wish you luck.
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Old 22nd November 2017, 10:28 PM   #3
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I vote no based on my own experience.

There's so many people in the world that would never cheat - she's not one of them!

I forgave the love of my life (and we had it ALL) at the ten years married mark. He vowed he had changed - would never do that to me and the kids ever again.

Another ten years passed... and yep, he cheated again! He just couldn't help himself.

I was his everything...yet he didn't have it in him to resist a gal who stroked his big ego.

And I kept my promise - I divorced him without any conversation (short of don't come home - I know you spent the weekend with your girlfriend).

12 years later and he still wishes he was still married to me. He's married again too, and I'm certain he's not faithful to her either.

Peace of mind has no dollar value - I no longer have the one person who vowed to love and honor me betraying me.


I hope you understand what I'm saying. I'm in my fifties and still 12 years later I still don't trust many men - some have earned my trust but it's not easy.

I am a catch. I love deeply. I am free from the torment he put me through.

Why would you want to take a chance on someone who stomped all over you? Don't do it! She had her chance and she gave you plenty of evidence she's not to be trusted. It would be difficult to ever respect her again.

Date worthy women - surely there's many that would treat you right.

Do more work on yourself to find out why you think going backwards is an option. Keep moving forward!

Fwiw - I love myself too much to allow anyone to treat me unkindly... you should too.

Last edited by S2B; 22nd November 2017 at 10:35 PM..
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Old 23rd November 2017, 12:01 AM   #4
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Hi Far, your story is at once, heart wrenching and also uplifting. I would say that you handled everything masterfully and whatever you are feeling now is a natural consequence of having loved someone deeply. Reconciliation is always possible and you will come across many threads here where this has happened successfully. One of the classic cases is that of Mrs. John Adams and her husband. However, the story of DKT3 and living DKT3 is also an excellent example.

I would suggest you read the thread of Deepremorse to get a perspective of someone on the other side of a situation like yours. This lady's husband is someone with iron clad emotions and has given her little hope of any reconciliation happening in the future and yet she soldiers on. I remember reading an account on LS of a gentleman who was in the military and posted abroad whose Fiancee was having a merry time in his absence. When he finally was released from the service and was working as a civilian back in the country, she still could not resist the temptation and cheated on him with someone from her office. Luckily for him he found out about her shenanigans before the actual wedding and called it off. The woman had a complete melt down and then begged and pleaded with him to give her another chance. At the last count, he relented enough to have occasional coffee dates with her but I do not think he ever got back with her. I do not know if you have much of your wife's history before you ever dated her but her behaviour then could give you an inkling about her personality and whether she is forever broken or can be and has been fixed now that she has got the shock of her life. She is 37 years old so there is no excuse for immaturity on her part. I would say, give it time between you two and definitely date other girls so that you know what is out there. As they say 'Don't carry all your eggs in one basket'! Warm wishes.
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Old 23rd November 2017, 12:32 AM   #5
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As an OW, I don't have much perspective on your marriage but I can tell you my view from the other side.

The lies and mental gymnastics that the WS has to do in order to maintain the affair is exhausting. My MM never talked negatively about his W but just from his tone and the the things he said to me I knew he had zero respect for her. He might have loved her, but he didn't much care about respecting her or her feelings. That told me that their M was never going to last.


You may always love her, but you deserve someone that respects you. Her sitting you down and gaslighting you about how you need to share your feelings and not hide stuff from her while she's lying to your face is the most disrespectful thing. You deserve more than that. Is she only sorry she got caught? She didn't confess any of this or ask for forgiveness. I would stay far away from someone so selfish.
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Old 23rd November 2017, 12:34 AM   #6
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She tried blaming you while she gaslighted you! ...all the while she was cheating.

She's only sorry she got caught... if you didn't have evidence she would still be making you feel at fault.
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Old 23rd November 2017, 12:45 AM   #7
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I am going to stick my neck out since this is my first post, but your story struck a chord with me. I come from a very close knit family of five siblings and I helped my youngest sister through a very similar situation with her former H, now current H. They were married while he was in the Navy. After his tour of duty she learned that he had cheated while overseas and divorced him quickly, without any attempt. After she relocated to the Midwest, he followed and pursued her. He was persistent. She gave him a chance, they talked, went out for coffee, went to a movie, over the course of many months she confided she believed he had changed. Eighteen months after their divorce they remarried, and they have now have two sons and are enjoying the marriage with no further infidelity issues. My sister confided that she is glad she followed her instincts.

The accepted wisdom is once a cheater always a cheater, and that the trust issues will be too much to overcome. But every situation is different. You have been put through an emotional ringer. What do your instincts tell you about her changes? You describe that she has gone to great lengths to change for the better. Are they for real? Do you care? You acted decisively once you found out about her affair but you must have lingering questions. You are in a strong position being divorced with no children. Of course letting her in opens you up to being vulnerable to more pain, but you also could gain a lot more if she is sincere and you still have feelings for her. I would at least spend some time talking to her, have coffee, go for a jog, whatever suits you. If it all strikes you as not right or genuine cut it off. But itís amazing what you can learn by talking and listening in a non confrontational manner. Either way you may feel better in the long run to know that you at least gave her the chance to talk. I just wanted to post to say I have personally seen an unfaithful spouse change and grow after the divorce and become a great husband and father.
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Old 23rd November 2017, 12:55 AM   #8
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There is a lot of regret in a cold divorce. My approach was cold, almost robotic. Had her served at work, I asked for a two hour head start...needed two hours and fifteen minutes. I got the call that they were about to serve her, I rushed home to gather up my stuff, but she started blowing up my phone then caught me loading stuff up...

Leading up, she knew something was off. She became very clingy and every day for several weeks wanted to have the "are we ok" conversation. I went along. "Everything is fine" or "we'll be ok" or "it's going as good as we can expect". It seemed to offer her a small level of comfort. In hindsight, I wish I had have handled it differently. I wish I had sat her down and explained to her I couldn't continue the Marriage and why.

The confrontation with a $h!t show. She was a mess, "your a f'n lair, you said everything was fine, I hate you how can you do this, what about the kids". At that point I was disconnected almost like I was watching the whole thing on TV. I just stood there with no emotions. At one point she sat behind my car in the driveway to prevent me from leaving.

The problem, that 30 or so minutes haunted me, and still does to this day. I was angry, but she still deserved more then that from me. This is the woman I went to high school prom with, a woman who I can't remember not being in my life, the mother of my children.

My actions made me feel better while I was planning it, now? Only regrets.
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Old 23rd November 2017, 12:56 AM   #9
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If she's done the work like you said she has - what did she tell you was the reason she cheated? And what has she accomplished about herself that indicates she won't cheat again?
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Old 23rd November 2017, 2:54 AM   #10
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I actually know of a couple of marriages that worked out after a divorce and remarriage. If you want to try again with her then do so. It's your life and you can live it the way you want. If you do decide to try again then protect yourself with an iron clad prenuptial agreement. That way the only thing you are in danger of losing is your time. If it works out, then great. If not, you walk away with what you came in with. People can change. I seen many do so. I once knew a sergeant (I was career military) who thrived on danger and combat. He would make the statement, "I'm staying in the Army as long as they keep making guns and killing people." He ended up falling in love with and marring a Bible believing Christian woman who turned his whole world around. He became a totally 100% different man. It is only natural to be leery of the person who cheated on you. Maybe even live with her a couple of years before you even consider marriage. Weigh your pros and cons. It's your life. Live it the way you want. I do wish you well.
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Old 23rd November 2017, 8:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S2B View Post
I vote no based on my own experience.

There's so many people in the world that would never cheat - she's not one of them!

I forgave the love of my life (and we had it ALL) at the ten years married mark. He vowed he had changed - would never do that to me and the kids ever again.

Another ten years passed... and yep, he cheated again! He just couldn't help himself.

I was his everything...yet he didn't have it in him to resist a gal who stroked his big ego.

And I kept my promise - I divorced him without any conversation (short of don't come home - I know you spent the weekend with your girlfriend).

12 years later and he still wishes he was still married to me. He's married again too, and I'm certain he's not faithful to her either.

Peace of mind has no dollar value - I no longer have the one person who vowed to love and honor me betraying me.


I hope you understand what I'm saying. I'm in my fifties and still 12 years later I still don't trust many men - some have earned my trust but it's not easy.

I am a catch. I love deeply. I am free from the torment he put me through.

Why would you want to take a chance on someone who stomped all over you? Don't do it! She had her chance and she gave you plenty of evidence she's not to be trusted. It would be difficult to ever respect her again.

Date worthy women - surely there's many that would treat you right.

Do more work on yourself to find out why you think going backwards is an option. Keep moving forward!

Fwiw - I love myself too much to allow anyone to treat me unkindly... you should too.
Unfortunately, this was my experience as well. 8 years in, XH cheated. I stayed, same thing - never would he do it again. 13 years later and after I had cared for him through illness and transplant surgery AND handled the financial affairs for our family, he did it again. I divorced him.

He admitted that while he was with new gf, as they were having some problems and deciding whether to stay together or not, he was looking at other women on line and she discovered it. I say admitted, but he didn't seem particularly bothered by it.

Do I think he regrets breaking up his family and losing all that we did? Yes. Has he said so? Yes. Would I trust him again. Emphatically, no.

He cheated on me when things were good and then he cheated on me when things were stressful. What's left? I'm not sure I believe once a cheater, always a cheater, but I do think there are people out there who do not do it the first time. Think about how much it takes to lie to your spouses face, gaslight them and actually blame them for your issues.

Anyway, that is my 2 cents. Best of luck to you. Give yourself time to get over this and you will find some happiness in your future.
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Old 23rd November 2017, 9:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesternCiv View Post
I am going to stick my neck out since this is my first post, but your story struck a chord with me. I come from a very close knit family of five siblings and I helped my youngest sister through a very similar situation with her former H, now current H. They were married while he was in the Navy. After his tour of duty she learned that he had cheated while overseas and divorced him quickly, without any attempt. After she relocated to the Midwest, he followed and pursued her. He was persistent. She gave him a chance, they talked, went out for coffee, went to a movie, over the course of many months she confided she believed he had changed. Eighteen months after their divorce they remarried, and they have now have two sons and are enjoying the marriage with no further infidelity issues. My sister confided that she is glad she followed her instincts.

The accepted wisdom is once a cheater always a cheater, and that the trust issues will be too much to overcome. But every situation is different. You have been put through an emotional ringer. What do your instincts tell you about her changes? You describe that she has gone to great lengths to change for the better. Are they for real? Do you care? You acted decisively once you found out about her affair but you must have lingering questions. You are in a strong position being divorced with no children. Of course letting her in opens you up to being vulnerable to more pain, but you also could gain a lot more if she is sincere and you still have feelings for her. I would at least spend some time talking to her, have coffee, go for a jog, whatever suits you. If it all strikes you as not right or genuine cut it off. But itís amazing what you can learn by talking and listening in a non confrontational manner. Either way you may feel better in the long run to know that you at least gave her the chance to talk. I just wanted to post to say I have personally seen an unfaithful spouse change and grow after the divorce and become a great husband and father.
Many people have done this with the same results. I think the
odds are in your favor because your WW has done the work
to make herself a better person.

Though I would not do so without a pre nup and maybe not
even marry her just move back together for a long, long time,
if never to marry.

Move slow, as if you just met. Go on dates and see how things
work.
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Old 23rd November 2017, 10:13 AM   #13
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If you can live with the fact that she gave what you held so precious to another man so easily. What are you getting back, will it feel like some else's leftovers? Like road has already stated, don't even think about it without a brutal prenuptial in place giving you almost everything if there is a new infidelity. Her word meant nothing then whats different now?
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Old 23rd November 2017, 10:55 AM   #14
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Sounds like a dealbreaker from your posts.

Donít waste time and life youíll never get back.

You keep talking and engaging just keeps you in this.

Only you can keep you where you are.

Thereís always some regret either way.

Figure out what you want then do what it takes to get there.
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Old 23rd November 2017, 11:03 AM   #15
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I have a lot of expectations of a WS before I would ever recommend that someone consider reconciling; they really do have to be truly remorseful. Sounds like she is. And youíd have to be truly forgiving (and go thru the typical 2-5 years for recovery).

Would I do it? F*** no.
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