devastatedmale

Hi all. The title pretty much says it all, but I found out about 5 weeks ago (December 15, 2015 to be exact) that my wife has been cheating on me for the last 15 years out of our 16 year marriage.

She started seeing/having sex with this guy on and off one year after we got married until last month.

I was obviously extremely shocked and is still very devastated. I thought about getting divorce from her right away, but decided to do my very best attempt to restore the marriage mainly for the children.

Since then, I have been doing everything I can think of to make her feel loved by me. I'm doing most of the house work (cleaning, cooking, dishes, laundry, etc) for her, leaving her a love note daily, sending her nice gifts, having a quality time with her, etc.

However, so far she's not really reacting to any of those. Rather, she often gets upset with me saying I'm doing too much, I won't last like this, I'm smothering her, she is an independent person and needs some space from me, etc.

I'm still going through severe devastation/depression caused by her betrayal, but doing everything for her.
I find it extremely unfair that she's not putting much efforts to heal my pain, but rather blames on me for the efforts I'm making for her.

I have talked with a lawyer for general consultation and have general understanding of my rights. (Not so pleasant though. In my state, she would retain the main custody, I would have to move out of my house, we would most likely end up selling the house, I would have to pay her for some job training/education, etc)
I plan to find a good lawyer for more detail consultation soon.

I have met with a marriage counselor 3 times after DD. She wasn't helpful at all leaving me no clear direction though. I'm working on finding a better one.

 

More details

1. Her affair with this guy is over.

I saw email strings between her and him indicating he doesn't want to see her anymore. She also told me she won't contact him ever in the future. I am 100% confident that this is her true intention at the moment. I do not have a full confidence though that she or he won't contact each other some point in the future. However, this would only occur after if our marriage is ended.

2. I did confront her about a week after the D day.

I was furious and slammed on her really hard. She was a huge mess and showed her remorse and apologized to me for what she did.

3. What she had to say after DD

It's been a rocky road since DD for both her and me. We have talked for a long time many times. She did say that she loves me, she never intended to leave me and wants to stay with me for the rest of our lives. I don't want to give an impression that she doesn't care at all about my feelings or the damage she caused on me. She did say she feels awful about my pain she caused and I believe that is her true feeling. That being said, her slow to little or sometimes negative responses to what I have been doing are killing me.

4. She also cheated with another guy

There was another guy she cheated with maybe for several years (2007 - 2011?) in addition to the first guy she started an affair with in 2001. She was still having an affair with the first guy, but as the first guy was so unfaithful/unreliable in their relationship, she started another affair with this new guy to supplement or compensate the frustration from the first guy (that's my theory).

I am certain that her relationship with the second guy had ended a few years ago.

5. Some details about the first guy

This guy was an old friend of hers from her competitive swimming team when she was either in high school or college. We moved to Northwest in 2001 for my job and he happened to live close by. I believe they decided to meet just as friends for the first time. Looking back I recall her telling me about him as an old friend living close to us.

However, when they met, she essentially fell in love with him.
"Back when we first met in 2001, I really fell hard for you. I mean, I was head over heels." This is an exact quote from her email to him sent March of last year, less than a year ago from today.

It didn't take long at all for them to start having sex and that's how this whole affairs started.

I'd like to point out that their affair started less than 2 years after we got married. We were a normal newly married couple back then or I thought. We would have typical fights/arguments sometimes, but our relationship was fine in general at least back then and I could not think of any reasons/things that would cause this type of betrayal at that time.

Anyway, after the affair started this first guy had been pretty unreliable or faithful to her in terms of maintaining their relationship. He'd often cancel whatever the love meet they planned at the last minute, would stand her up multiple times. etc.

It appeared that he would typically initiate by contacting to my wife saying I miss you and stuff once every a few months whenever he wanted to have sex with her. Then there were emails back and forth between them talking about what he would do in the bed with her, arranging the date/time/location for their affair meet.

As a matter of the fact, some of their emails were so sexually explicit. It was just like what you would see in porn movies. This was a typical cycle once every several month and lasted essentially for the last 15 years.

6. One more suspect...

From her emails I read, I have a reasonable reason to believe she was at least flirting with one of my son's soccer coaches around last August till recently. I confronted her about the coach and she did admit she sent some inappropriate email to him, but denied there was anything beyond that. I am not sure if she actually slept with him, but do believe it was more than just emails as she described. She sent an inquiry to a local photographer about getting semi nude pictures taken for "his" birthday. The date wasn't either the first or second guy's birthday but did match the coach's birthday. She also sent an email saying loves and kisses to the coach, which she tried to delete.

I never saw a clear evidence that she had an affair with the coach though. They still might have had sex as they did go to overnight/out of state soccer tournament a few times without me last year. I believe the affair might have actually happened, but was more just for sex and she never had emotional attachment to the coach.

7. Some facts about our 16 year marriage

We have not had sex for 10 years or so. (My youngest kid is 11.) I am a normal, athletic/healthy male (I ran 30 miles last year.) and always had a desire toward her. However, she kept rejecting me while having sex with at least two guys multiple times.

We haven't slept in the same bed again for the last 10 years or longer. I also expressed my desire to sleep in the same bed. Her responses have been I snore (true!), I don't get up right away when alarm goes off, sort of lame excuses. I did think it was strange, but sort of got used to this over years.

8. I was not perfect

I don't want to give an impression I have been a perfect husband. I did cause fights, talked her down, said nasty things to her that I never should have. I even threatened to divorce her out of anger when we fought.

Even after the affairs became known to me, she kept referring to those things I did. However, most of those happened last several years as our marriage wasn't going well.

I don't think things I did were directly caused her affair certainly not in 2001 or even around 2008 when she was very active with sleeping with two guys.

9. Sexual items

After DD, I expressed my desire to have sex with her still. (I sent her a long and polite email about this, which she never responded) When I finally asked if she saw my email, she denied my desire instantly saying that's a low priority for her, she's not ready yet, it will take time for her, her focus is the peace in the house, etc.

I did see several emails she sent to those guys with her naked pictures including closeup of her private part when she was "frisky". I believe the guy sent his picture back in return. (She sent to both guys at the same time!)

I also saw her selfie picture in what appear to be a hotel room that I have never seen before.

Those pictures really destroyed me. Reading about her affair is one thing, but seeing your wife's naked photos as a hard evidence was beyond devastating. I could never forget those from my memory until I die.

 

Not sure how many would read all of the things I described here, but if you did I thank you for your interest and taking the time.

I'm obviously going through a trauma and probably not thinking clearly (as you can tell from this long posting...).

I'm desperate and appreciate any comment, suggestion or opinion you may have for my pretty messed up marriage.

Thank you.

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SmallPaws44
First and foremost, I'm sorry you are here and that you are dealing with this.

The betrayal you describe is massive and I can't even fathom it but I do understand why you are absolutely devastated. You know about two affairs for sure but as you think about the soccer coach, it seems that something was happening there. Even if it wasn't consummated, she was chasing after him, which is nearly just as bad.

I would say to stop doing all those lovely things you are doing for her. You need to take a step back and not be so available. You need boundaries so that you can feel safe. There is a useful article on the main site about how to win back your wayward spouse but you can't follow the tips as a means of manipulation. You have to have your heart in it and be willing to ultimately walk away.

Right now, I think you need to focus on yourself and your children. You need to make yourself happy and if she wants to participate in your life and your marriage, she needs to decide that for herself. However, she has been checked out for 15 years of your marriage so you may be dealing with someone who doesn't have the self-restraint to stop her addiction to affair behaviour. She may actually have a form of sexual addiction (this is just a theory, I could be very wrong). 

You mention you haven't had a sexual relationship for 10 years. Are you still emotionally intimate or has that also suffered? It sounds like it has. In order to reconnect, there will need to be a lot of work on her side in order to regain trust and that is work that she needs to do. You also need to know that these affairs are about her and NOT ABOUT YOU. Your marriage may not have been perfect and you have done things or said things that were hurtful, we all have, but ultimately, it was her choice to stray. And that straying has everything to do with her and nothing to do with you. When there are problems in a relationship, we can either face them head on and work with our partners to resolve them, we can end the relationship, or we can seek solace in the arms of another adding to the issues that are already present. The first two options are the right options. The honest options. The final option is because the person who strays is unable to deal with issues in their relationship and in themselves in a proactive manner. So, your marriage may have had issues but her decision has nothing to do with you.

Just remember that you deserve to be loved, cared for, and to be happy. I wish you the absolute best and please keep us updated.
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Kalmarjan
Devastatedmale,

Welcome to these forums. I wish I could say I'm happy to see you here...

You've quite a story there. There's a lot going on there, and it looks like you had a lot of dedication going into your marriage, and yet still.

You've done a lot of right things. Except for one thing.

You need to worry about your needs here. You need to work on you. Forget about your wife for a bit here. Believe me, there is enough thinking about her needs to go around right now.

I am on the road, so I can't link through mg phone, but check out the free resources on the forum here about winning your wayward spouse back. Most of the advice seems counter intuitive, but I think you'll find it makes loads of difference in your situation.

So far this has been all about her. He needs, making her feel loved, etc. It's almost as if you are taking the blame for what she has done. (On a subconscious level.) Believe me when I tell you that this has NOTHING to do with you, it's all about her.

Right now you are more or less in the friend zone, am I right? It's like for the last 10 years that's what you have been getting, while your wife was off being "inappropriate" and cheating her way to get her needs met. It's a huge slap in your face. This is what can totally destroy a man. I know, I've seen it first hand.

My advice is make you a priority. Get into shape (if you aren't already) and start to focus on your healing.

It's your wife who messed up here. It's her that needs to make amends, and make the effort to clean up this mess. No one says you have to be the one to "win" her back. Trust me on this... She stands to lose a lot more than you because you have one thing she doesn't in this situation. The truth, and your fidelity.

Honestly, right now in her position, she is a multiple cheater, has no clear sense of any sort of boundary, and it sounds that while she appears to have remorse, she has no problem letting you fulfil all the duties of being a husband while she is off banging, setting, flirting with whoever meets her fancy.

If you are not okay with that, it's okay to stand up and say you're not. But, work on yourself first and get you to the point where you could be ready to cut ties with her. I can guarantee you that the relationship you are in will go exactly the way it's supposed to then. It may not be what you think you want, but it will be what's best for you.

Because in all of this, you deserve to be happy, have a faithful partner. You deserve better than what you've got so far.
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kaleidoscope7
Hold the press!

Get this woman to go get a full STD panel. I don't care if you haven't been sexual for however long (my first marriage was like this and I do understand). Get her to get a full work up. Because this transgression was huge. If "the first guy" was at all capricious with her -- canceling meets at last minute and being absent weeks or months in between? This guy was screwing other people. Sad that your wife got entangled and entranced by the magic of inconstancy. While it may be just an unfortunate circumstance of scheduling or anyone's insecurities or uncertainties, make no mistake: that mystique is also a seduction technique and it is taught to those who would be "pick up artists".

Sending sex selfies -- to two men at same time! No judgment here, to each her own. But I'm calling sex addiction, and I'm calling it from within treatment for it. She's married. She's been lying for a really long time, not just to you but to these other men and most drastically to herself. The level of betrayal here is massive and there's a lot of work to be done. By her.

You stop catering to her like she's some kind of ornery princess. She's a broken child who has been exceptionally bad. Don't reward it. Now is the time for consequence. That can still be loving -- but it can't any longer be on you. The consequences are for *her*, and for her benefit.

Get her to the STD panel. This is chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, *AND* herpes, both HSV1 oral and HSV2 genital -- *AND* HPV, which will turn up either as genital warts or as potentially cervical cancer or maybe just a cervical dysplasia, which still will merit a nice biopsy or two, and more concerted attention in all her gynecological exams from now on. Oh and don't forget syphilis -- I thought that was eradicated for the most part in the Victorian years, but no, that one's still around too. Did I forget any? Hepatitis?

You make sure she understands she needs to get a work up for ALL of these diseases. Because somehow your wife is not understanding that screwing around with multiple partners under a wide umbrella of deception -- which each of those partners is also definitely practicing -- is actually more on the order of some kind of death wish.

My advice to you is to pull back and stop being soft. She hurt you, yes, and I can't even begin to get my head around how awful and unimaginably devastating it is to find out you've been lied to this long and in this way. I say this as a woman, a highly sexed one, and from several sides of affair perspective -- you need to get good and pissed about this. You don't have to be destructive, but you do need to keep your wits about you and stay clear who was in the wrong here. She was and she needs help. Help facing the consequences to herself, to her husband, and to her marriage. Very probably to her body and her reproductive health. Her indiscriminate sex could literally kill her.

Don't think for a second that anyone uses condoms for 15 years with a known sex partner. I am so furious at your wife for you.
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Anna26
Devastatedmale, I've just read all your post and I'm devastated for you!  It almost sounds as though, to your wife, the marriage ended years ago, or at least, ten years ago.  She certainly doesnt sound to have taken it seriously for a long time.

You need to give yourself some time here to take in what has happened, it's been a huge shock and it's still early days to be expecting big changes. 

I would agree with a lot of what the others have said here, it's up to her to prove to you that she is determined to work at your marriage (if you decide you still want it). Don't bend over backwards to accommodate her needs, she needs to be showing you remorse and a desire to change.  And that will be shown more by what she does rather than what she says. 
And please, don't believe for a minute that you are responsible for her cheating.  You are not.  If there were problems within your marriage (show me one that doesn't have them) that is something you can work together to restore, WHEN she has proven her own capacity for change.  She needs to figure out what her problem is and maybe counselling will help her or both of you

So, set your boundaries, tell her that you are willing to work on things, if you are, and then focus on you. By helping you be stronger you are setting off on a path that you know you can walk alone if you have to.  Step back from her and let her find her way back to you..
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devastatedmale
Thank you all for your kind words and sharing your thoughts.

Most of you indicated my attempt to "nice her back" is a wrong approach and now I understand that. I will read the information some of you mentioned on this site and will change my behaviors toward her.

Just to update the latest, yesterday was another bad day. A night prior I had another sleepless night by devastation, frustration and depression particularly thinking about things I wish she would do for me.

I ended up going in "her" bedroom to share my struggle and wishes in early morning. I tried my best not to be pushy or sound complaining, but communicated to her that I wish she would make efforts on her side, recognize/appreciate things I've been doing for her and my desire for more intimacy with her.

Regardless of my attempt not to blame or put pressure on her, she got pretty update and essentially stayed in bed for most of the day. When I came home from work, she was really update saying things like she can't enjoy her life at all anymore, she should spend all of her focuses on fixing my pains, etc.

I was somewhat pleased with some of her reaction indicating the need for her own efforts, but we talked more her focus shifted toward things I said/did that affected her negatively.

Particularly after reading comments made by all of you, I clearly started seeing her pattern of everything is so focused on herself and self absorbed reactions regardless of the situations.

I told my situation and her reaction to a counselor yesterday. The counselor also pointed out those self absorbed her way of thinking and thought my wife is not capable of seeing things clearly and not able to react normally to the situation (such as true remorse, efforts to work on my pain).

My plan forward at this point is to follow the guidance from the articles on this site and see how she behavior will or will not change...
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devastatedmale
devastatedmale wrote:
Thank you all for your kind words and sharing your thoughts.

Most of you indicated my attempt to "nice her back" is a wrong approach and now I understand that. I will read the information some of you mentioned on this site and will change my behaviors toward her.

Just to update the latest, yesterday was another bad day. A night prior I had another sleepless night by devastation, frustration and depression particularly thinking about things I wish she would do for me.

I ended up going in "her" bedroom to share my struggle and wishes in early morning. I tried my best not to be pushy or sound complaining, but communicated to her that I wish she would make efforts on her side, recognize/appreciate things I've been doing for her and my desire for more intimacy with her.

Regardless of my attempt not to blame or put pressure on her, she got pretty upset and essentially stayed in bed for most of the day crying. When I came home from work, she was even more upset saying things like she can't enjoy her life at all anymore, she should spend all of her focuses on fixing my pains (said in more resentful way toward me...), etc.

I was somewhat pleased with some of her reactions that indicated the need for her own efforts, but as we talked more her focus shifted toward things I said/did that affected her negatively.

Particularly after reading comments made by all of you, I clearly started seeing her pattern of everything is so focused on herself and self absorbed reactions regardless of the situations.

I told my situation and her reaction to a counselor yesterday. The counselor also pointed out those self absorbed her way of thinking and she thought my wife is not capable of seeing things clearly and not able to react normally to the situation (such as true remorse, efforts to work on my pain) because of the issues she has.

My plan forward at this point is to follow the guidance from the articles on this site and see how she behavior will or will not change...
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Anna26
devastatedmale wrote:
devastatedmale wrote:
Thank you all for your kind words and sharing your thoughts.

Most of you indicated my attempt to "nice her back" is a wrong approach and now I understand that. I will read the information some of you mentioned on this site and will change my behaviors toward her.

Just to update the latest, yesterday was another bad day. A night prior I had another sleepless night by devastation, frustration and depression particularly thinking about things I wish she would do for me.

I ended up going in "her" bedroom to share my struggle and wishes in early morning. I tried my best not to be pushy or sound complaining, but communicated to her that I wish she would make efforts on her side, recognize/appreciate things I've been doing for her and my desire for more intimacy with her.

Regardless of my attempt not to blame or put pressure on her, she got pretty upset and essentially stayed in bed for most of the day crying. When I came home from work, she was even more upset saying things like she can't enjoy her life at all anymore, she should spend all of her focuses on fixing my pains (said in more resentful way toward me...), etc.

I was somewhat pleased with some of her reactions that indicated the need for her own efforts, but as we talked more her focus shifted toward things I said/did that affected her negatively.

Particularly after reading comments made by all of you, I clearly started seeing her pattern of everything is so focused on herself and self absorbed reactions regardless of the situations.

I told my situation and her reaction to a counselor yesterday. The counselor also pointed out those self absorbed her way of thinking and she thought my wife is not capable of seeing things clearly and not able to react normally to the situation (such as true remorse, efforts to work on my pain) because of the issues she has.

My plan forward at this point is to follow the guidance from the articles on this site and see how she behavior will or will not change...




Yes, she's been mired in the fog for so long that she doesn't know what the reality is right now.  You won't be able to tell her what to do, you can only gently and firmly remind her of what you need for healing and possible reconciliation.  I wanted my husband to make these choices for himself and because he wanted to, not because I told him to. 
Sometimes you can only plant a seed, and hope it grows...
And you won't be able to 'counsel' her, you have to work on you and she has to come to terms with things for herself.  And by that I don't mean she can't talk to you and explain herself, just that you won't have the capacity to soak up all her pain too.  You have your own to deal with and she needs another outlet for hers.
Things will work out in the way they have to. If you can step back from her a little she may realise what she is missing or could stand to lose, only time will tell, but whatever happens, be determined to make the best life for yourself that you can.
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