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Wife slept with someone else during separation

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Old 15th March 2019, 7:00 AM   #1
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Wife slept with someone else during separation

Hi all,

I am really desperate for some help as I am currently just living in devastation.

There is quite a lot to cover but I will try and keep it as limited as I can.

I (35 yo) have been with my wife (31 yo)for over 15 years and we have been married for 9 years. We have two wonderful children who are 10 and 14.

Our relationship has always been volatile and honestly unhealthy. We got together as teenagers and we both had very bad childhoods so things were never healthy.

Over the years I realised that I have been very abusive to live with in a number of ways, which is absolutely devastating for me as I am not an abusive person psychologically. I am now a 3 year recovered drug and alcohol addict, I have a history of mental health problems and last year we got to the bottom of most of it which is that I am autistic and have severe ADHD. Whilst abusive behaviour can never been excused or justified in an way, it did go a long way for us both to understand why I couldn't process things properly over the years and had strange outburst reactions to sometimes very trivial things.

Anyhow, since I started maturing (this is an ADHD thing) and also getting sober 4 years ago, I have been on a big spiritual and self-development journey. I have become a totally different person and tried to fix all the parts of my life. Unfortunately my relationship has been the hardest as we were constantly out of sync and in many ways I didn't appreciate enough what I had.

Last year things seem to have taken a turn for the worst. I told her I wanted to separate in June but she begged me back and wanted to change so I did. We tried MC but it was an awful counsellor which made the relationship worse.

Fast-forward to December, I had been trying and trying but in hindsight she had checked out and things were not good. We started using another house to share and started living separately but staying together as a couple to try and create space. We were seeing a new MC which seemed much better and we were having the rest of December off until a new appointment at the start of Jan.

At New Year my wife wanted to separate as she "needed space to heal". Because of all the guilt for my actions over the years I really wanted to give her what she needed so I agreed that this was the right thing to do.

I asked her about boundaries for other people and she said "I don't care if you have anything from coffee through to sex with someone else thats upto you, but if you are getting emotionally involved with someone then we need to talk". I told her that it was the opposite for me, and that if she was even planning to go out drinking and kissing men etc. then I wanted to know so I could process it and prepare myself.

She refused to divorce as she kept saying "in case we can make it back together in a year or two" and things like that, and throughout the whole period she would send me texts saying things like "Do you think you will ever want me back" and "my heart is always yours" etc.

We were also sleeping together throughout. I had a business trip and when I got back things seemed better between us, the sex and messages from her carried on and I thought there was light at the end of the tunnel. I had by this point realised what a total ****ing huge mistake I had made in not valuing her enough before and being more flexible to accommodate her little quirks (the autism makes this very hard for me).

Without getting into all the detail, I found out she had been speaking to other men, and then after days of badgering she confessed she had kissed this other man. None of her story stacked up and I was trickle-truthed for a week until Valentines night when she admitted she had slept with this man, and I was ****ing devastated. My wife is a very loyal person and never once in our 15 year relationship has she even kissed another man, and I have always been very secure in this.

At this point I became a complete mess and started self-harming and basically got into a full nervous breakdown (which I am having individual therapy for).

So basically, over the course of the next entire month, none of her stories about how and when this happened stacked, and through a combination of MC and my insistence I have finally had the truth.

Within less than a week of us separating, she went out and got drunk and slept with someone else. It is killing me inside.

When I first found out about the sex, she told me she was sober (which I couldn't understand) and that the sex was average.

The truth is that the sex was drunken passionate sex which she described as "intense", and this fact alone has really rocked me. We have had a tricky past sexually and it took us many years for me to be a confident and caring lover and our sex life last year was the best it has ever been.

I just can't believe another man has been intimate with my wife of 15 years. I am constantly having intrusive thoughts and images and I have been crying daily for a month. On top of this I am trying to look after my kids and run a successful business that I own. I have been suicidal many times through this process.

At the moment, we have been back to MC and we are (after a lot of work from my side), trying to open the door back up. We have had a weekend away together (BEFORE I had the final details) and spent nice times together this week.

But the biggest sticking point for me is she doesn't not see this as cheating. The most I have had out of her is that she finally agreed that yes she emotionally betrayed me and lied and what she did was wrong, but that technically she still feels the act itself wasn't wrong.

I just cannot seem to move on without her acceptance that this was ****ing wrong to me and cruel. I believe I can rationalise what has happened. I know our relationship was horrible and I have been a complete cunt over the years and that this has culminated in this disaster.

But her seeming stubborness to be just really apologetic and accepting of my view of these facts is a real sticking point for me.

I truly love this woman with all my heart and I want to spend the rest of my life with her, she is beautiful and very special and has stood by me through absolutely terrible times. I know at a high-level I do not want to lose this over a sexual encounter, but I am a very spiritual person and sex for me is so precious and special and I cannot believe another man has experienced her like that. I cannot believe he has touched her private parts, been inside her etc. I just can't seem to have any reaction except that of a broken child.

The combination of the act itself and then her refusal to accept it as an outright betrayal has left me head ****ed.

I am waking up crying, crying a lot in the day, I have been mentally self-harming myself still too, and I'm just so upset.

I would really appreciate your views on the factor of the "betrayal" itself and if I am just going mad here, and I would really like some helpful advice on how to get over the fact this has happened.

Sorry for writing so much, I just didn't know what else to do.

Thank you for your time and help.
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Old 15th March 2019, 7:54 AM   #2
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To say that it was a confusing “separation” is an understatement. Generally, people who “separate” don’t continue to have sex with each other.

I realize that you tried to put a condition on her - she told you it was fine for you to have sex with someone else and you told her that you didn’t want her to do the same. But, if you are “separated,” you didn’t really have the right to do that.

And if you were truly “separated,” she had every right to have sex with someone else. My question would be, did she want the “separation” because she already had her eye on someone? The reason I ask this is because she gave you permission to have sex with someone else, obviously seeking the same for herself.

I realize that the fact that she has only ever “known” you has been a reality for you, but the simple truth is that this is not reality for most people. It’s something you will now have to learn to deal with if you plan to stay together.

Regardless, I’m very sorry that you are struggling. Please, continue with your counselling and seek crisis help if you need it. This relationship does sound very unhealthy, you will really need some support to decide if it is in your best interest to continue...
If they love you, you will know. If they don't, you will wonder all the time if they do...

Last edited by BaileyB; 15th March 2019 at 7:59 AM..
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Old 15th March 2019, 8:05 AM   #3
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"separation" was a very bad sign, and you made the mistake of still sleeping with her and carrying on like "normal" whilst she supposedly was "sorting herself out".

The fact she told you you could do whatever you liked during the split was the clue she was further away from you than you thought.
No woman without kids, who is heavily invested in a man, agrees to him going off kissing and sleeping with other women...
Technically she is correct, you were separated, so her sleeping with another guy was not cheating.
Separation is not something to agree on lightly.
NOW you have all the reasons why you split in the first place PLUS the fact she slept with someone else.
Guess it is time to pull the plug.
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Old 15th March 2019, 2:02 PM   #4
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Are you still separated? What do you want, the marriage or more time to decide? She has now if I understand your post correctly slept with two other men. If you are separated whats stopping you from dating? The imbalance she has created by sleeping with others will be hard to overcome, assuming she agreed to the same conditions as you. Some marriages shouldn't be saved. You need to both decide if your marriage is worth saving. Unless your both 100% committed to each other it will fail miserably.
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Old 15th March 2019, 2:32 PM   #5
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I'm autistic myself, and relationships can be really hard to navigate at the best of times.
If you don't mind a word of advice, I don't think you and your wife are suited to each other, at least, not as things stand today. A lot of water has gone under the bridge, and whether or not you can come back from that is debatable. Recovering a marriage requires both parties to be "all in', and I'm not seeing that in your wife.

Remember too, being autistic, it's so easy to get caught up in thought circles. It goes round and round, and you end up staying in a situation because it's "comfortable", not necessarily that it's a good place for you to be.

If I was asked to give an honest assessment of your marriage, it would be this. Your wife was cheating on you ( or she wanted to), and she thought that by giving you permission, she was covering her own rear as well.

Something else to keep in mind. A lot of nuerotypicals ( and those with personality disorders) will, often without realizing it, take emotional advantage of autistics. I've experienced that several times. Don't let it shake your faith in yourself and what you need.
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Old 15th March 2019, 4:26 PM   #6
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Sounds like she was really interested in saving this marriage. You also sound caught up in the past. She used to be that person you considered was a rock for you. That same person just showed you upfront she is no longer that person. You were both separated. Why wouldn't she sit you down and say she wanted to see other people and make sure you understood that was exactly what she was going to do. Why hide it from you if she really wanted to keep a good open communication with you and possibly have a chance at a future with you.

To me it sounds like she already had some guys lined out before she asked for the separation and she used that to see what was out there for her. You can either accept that and try to move forward or not. Your going to have to decide what you want out of this. If I was in your shoes and I had already separated once I would walk away and just try to build a great co parent arrangement with her. All the cheating aside and yes I see it as cheating when one person lies and hides it from the other person.

You stated you both had serious issues through out the marriage. Why stay with someone you have all these problems with and now she adds this to your relationship. Its hard to believe someone that really wanted to save her marriage and get you back in her life shows that by talking to other men and have sex with at least one that you know of.

I would stop MC with her and start talking to a lawyer and get myself into counceling if I was you. Your right you made mistakes in the past but that doesn't mean you cant learn from them and be a better partner for someone who will be only for you.

Last edited by Moderator; 15th March 2019 at 4:33 PM..
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Old 15th March 2019, 4:48 PM   #7
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Cheaters love to give permission to their loyal spouse to assuage their guilt of betrayal.

Toughen up and divorce her. she is not who yo think she is anymore.

Get tested for STIs, you may have been exposed by her reckless behavior.

it goes without saying that should stop being intimate with her.
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Old 15th March 2019, 5:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by HeadShot View Post
The combination of the act itself and then her refusal to accept it as an outright betrayal has left me head ****ed.
HeadShot - warning, tough love coming.

Were I her, I'd be wondering why you're focused on this "betrayal" (which she didn't agree to the condition, TBH) when you've spent most of the marriage smashing through the boundaries of a normal and healthy relationship.

By your own account, you've been drinking, using drugs, dealing with mental issues and abusing her emotionally. Fidelity isn't the only marital vow we commit to, lots of talk about "love" and "honor" and how you treat your spouse. So any surprise you might have about her disconnect from you should have left the building a long time ago.

Whether you want to stay married or move towards divorce, your outrage seems out of place and counter-productive. The real question is - where to from here?

Mr. Lucky
Happiness is not a goal; it is a byproduct -

Eleanor Roosevelt
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