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I messed up big time


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

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Old 5th October 2018, 1:19 AM   #1
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I messed up big time

After 17 years of marriage, I admitted to my SO that I have been cheating for the past 17 years. It's been a rough week for both of us, and I would imagine for my SO. We are in counseling. For now, we are in the same house because we have two teenage kids. It's been challenging to live under the same roof. Yes, it's all my fault, but it's gut-wrenching. Through our counseling sessions, I've expressed that I would like to make it work. I was told that the person needs time to heal and figure out next steps. I wish I knew of those next steps. I feel like I'm in this limbo state.
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Old 5th October 2018, 1:31 AM   #2
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You're in a state of limbo? How about your wife?

I have to ask how you pulled it off; I noticed in August you posted about making many contacts on Tinder.

After seventeen years of making decisions for her, it's time to let your wife make her own, and I only hope she opts for divorce.
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Old 5th October 2018, 2:18 AM   #3
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There's something about the aging cheater that makes him (or her) decide to face the music always. I think they're confident deep down that, while there might be some upset for a while, at some point he'll be forgiven and they can "move on." Why after 17 years? Is the AP also aging or are you losing her for some other reason? Or are your kids getting old enough you worry they might figure things out and be scandalized by your behavior? Are you worried about how retirement will change things? Are you expecting her to keep it a secret from everyone?

My husband didn't have a 17-year affair—at least not that I know of—but I think he saw himself differently. For whatever reason he confessed and I think had the idea he'd make it up to me (which he now realizes is impossible). He thought it might be volatile for a while but expected things would settle down, and no one needed to know but me. He knows a lot better now, that it's not so easy, quick or complete.

For one thing, once a liar and cheater, you can't expect to be fully reinstated with the unconditional trust given a non-cheater. Nope. No one can expect that degree of pardon. It's not vindictive or even conscious; it's simply the result of deep betrayal. You abused her trust; you can't change that. Betrayal is a kind of abuse and long-term betrayal is too scarring for a marriage to 'fit' the same as before.

All that taken into account, you can't expect for things to ever be like they were. It's all in your wife's hands now, but things will change. Don't have any expectations and be grateful if she's even willing to work things out. You did what you did and you can't change that. You can forgive yourself and decide to live your life as genuine and open as possible, but forgiving yourself and wanting to move on can be misleading and hurtful to your wife because it looks callous. You can't be too humble and even then she still might not be able to work it out with you. It's sad for everyone.

Last edited by merrmeade; 5th October 2018 at 2:50 AM..
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Old 5th October 2018, 3:24 AM   #4
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Disgraceful

Quote:
Originally Posted by whydontwe View Post
After 17 years of marriage, I admitted to my SO that I have been cheating for the past 17 years. It's been a rough week for both of us, and I would imagine for my SO. We are in counseling. For now, we are in the same house because we have two teenage kids. It's been challenging to live under the same roof. Yes, it's all my fault, but it's gut-wrenching. Through our counseling sessions, I've expressed that I would like to make it work. I was told that the person needs time to heal and figure out next steps. I wish I knew of those next steps. I feel like I'm in this limbo state.
Best thing you can do is spend nearly every second of your life devoted to restoring the spirit of the person you emotionally killed. Start with that thought and go from there. Least you can do.
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Old 5th October 2018, 10:12 AM   #5
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For close to two decades your wife has been living a lie.

There are no steps. You stole 17 years of her life that she will never get back.

There is absolutely nothing you can do. It's all up to her. The best you can do, is understand that for the next several years she is going to ride a roller coaster of emotions like she has never felt before...
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Old 5th October 2018, 11:09 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by whydontwe View Post
I messed up big time. After 17 years of marriage, I admitted to my SO that I have been cheating for the past 17 years.
I can't tell from your post, which doesn't exactly drip with remorse, whether you think the "messing up" is the cheating or the admission?

whydontwe, at least be honest with yourself. You're not a candidate for monogamy in general or this marriage in particular. Let your wife go, work on living up to your financial responsibilities to her and the kids and let them try to repair the damage you've caused without you.

Though I doubt this is what you'll do...

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Old 5th October 2018, 11:48 AM   #7
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Seventeen years... I don't think I can even.

Are you in IC to determine what could let you do such a horrible thing for so long to someone you are supposed to love?

Be grateful for limbo, instead of the hell your wife has been put in.

Coming clean to her was the right thing to do, 17 years ago.

Your behavior is that of...

I can't say anything else without violating TOS. I don't think a single post (certainly not one as short as this) has inspired such venom in my heart.
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Old 5th October 2018, 11:48 AM   #8
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OP your other two threads are about dating.

I have to say, I'm flabbergasted. If all the premises of your threads are true, I just don't even know where to begin.
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Old 5th October 2018, 12:00 PM   #9
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If all the premises of your threads are true, I just don't even know where to begin.
You don't need to worry about where to begin.
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Old 5th October 2018, 12:27 PM   #10
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So why am I thinking you were caught cheating and giving an ultimatun - tell your wife or someone else would, maybe even the OW?



Just so you know, there's no easy fix, it can take years to reconcile a marriage. BS's are often encouraged not to make any life changing decisions for 3, 6 or even 12 months, but to be honest, after 17yrs of cheating I'd be surprised if she wasn't getting a lot of encouragement to go straight to divorce.


If be arranging IC and STD testing immediately. If leave MC for now, you have a lot of individual work to do Beit writing in the marriage.
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Old 5th October 2018, 12:40 PM   #11
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Ok, sorry OP for not actually addressing your question earlier.

Next steps? Be completely honest with your wife. Do you really think you can just stop "dating" suddenly after 17 years? Be honest with her about what "making it work" means to you. If it means you are going to be faithful then you have to convince her that can happen. That will probably be a really tall order.

Most importantly, be really honest with yourself. Why have you always cheated? Why do you want to stay married?
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Old 5th October 2018, 12:54 PM   #12
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op,
I know this advice may sound pretty off the wall, but there is logic behind it.


Your wife found out you have been cheated for nearly two decades. She may well be reeling emotionally and to sure what to do. Her trust has been shattered, and she may not know what she really wants.


you, on the other hand, have had all these years to prepare yourself for the affair(s) being exposed. you may well be somewhat relieved it's all out int he open and are ready to work on the issue.

You wife hasn't had the same opportunity.

My advice to you is to offer your wife a separation period for a set amount of time. Find a friend/relative to stay with, and make sure your wife has the emotional/financial support she needs during this time. Go to counseling sessions with her, but give her space. Encourage her to, while you are apart, to write a letter to you each day where she expresses her feelings, concerns and fears for the future. Have her send them to you so so can gain some insight into what she is gong through.



When the set period of time is over, go out to dinner with her and talk about what you both want to do next. Whatever her decision might be, respect it. he may decide to stay with you or to go, but it will be a decision she has made on her own.
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Old 5th October 2018, 12:58 PM   #13
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It's always a good day to start over!

<3, a fellow cheater.
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Old 5th October 2018, 3:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whydontwe View Post
After 17 years of marriage, I admitted to my SO that I have been cheating for the past 17 years. It's been a rough week for both of us, and I would imagine for my SO. We are in counseling. For now, we are in the same house because we have two teenage kids. It's been challenging to live under the same roof. Yes, it's all my fault, but it's gut-wrenching. Through our counseling sessions, I've expressed that I would like to make it work. I was told that the person needs time to heal and figure out next steps. I wish I knew of those next steps. I feel like I'm in this limbo state.
So the woman who picked YOU to be with her whole life finds out you were a fraud all along. It is hard enough to forgive a one time one off situation. You flat out chose to lead a double life. She will never be the same and how in the world could she ever trust you again? My heart hurts for her. I hope you get yourself right as I wouldn't imagine she will ever get over such betrayal.
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Old 5th October 2018, 4:55 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by MidwestUSA View Post
You're in a state of limbo? How about your wife?

I have to ask how you pulled it off; I noticed in August you posted about making many contacts on Tinder.

After seventeen years of making decisions for her, it's time to let your wife make her own, and I only hope she opts for divorce.
I pulled it off by using a Google Voice number and concealing the apps on my phone using a secure folder. I also used a fake GPS app to conceal my location. I also got a credit card that my SO did not really know about. Whether she decides, I fully accept. Just to add more fuel to the fire, it first started with paying for "services" then progressed to online dating.
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