OnTheMend2015
Hello!  It's been just a hair over 3 months since I found out the truth about my husband's affair.  I still struggle with some things, so I was on-line looking for some guidance and encouragement and came across this website.   I think getting my story "out there" and seeing/knowing that I'm not alone in this struggle will help the healing process along.  I would first like to say, to every one of you who were betrayed, I'm so very sorry.  It's got to be WAY up on the list of the worst feelings in the world!  I wouldn't wish it on anyone.  Not even the other "woman".  Because to wish it on her would be to wish it on my husband, too, who, as of now, I have chosen to give a second chance.  Here's my story....

I received orders for a 12-month deployment in Afghanistan and it began in April 2013.  August 2013 was our 10-year wedding anniversary.  When I left for deployment, our marriage was as close to perfect as they come!  We were genuinely happy and still crazy about each other.  Because my deployment was so lengthy, I was authorized 2 weeks of Rest & Recuperation (R&R) Leave and I chose to go home for the Thanksgiving holiday (Nov 2013).  Nothing seemed out of the ordinary at first.  My husband seemed thrilled to see me, the intimacy and the passion were there...all was right with the world.  I'd say about half way through my R&R is when I really started to notice that he was on his phone texting A LOT.  When I asked who he was texting, it was the same name every time.  Ashley (not her real name, but that's what I'll call her here).  I got the classic "We're just friends" response.  I became so suspicious, however, that I went on-line and took a look at the phone records to see just how much her # came up.  These two were communicating ALL day, EVERY day for WEEKS!!  From the second they woke up in the morning, multiple times every hour throughout the day, until they went to bed at night at 1, 2 sometimes 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning!! There were even a few lengthy PHONE calls between them while I was home on leave.  The calls were placed as soon as he left the house without me (to go pick up a pizza, to go to class, etc.)  He probably didn't even get out of the driveway before he had her on the phone.  There was no convincing me now that these two were just friends. To make a very long story shorter, he admitted that the constant communication was inappropriate and said that he would stop.  I went back overseas for the last few months of my deployment with a heavy heart and a gut wrenching feeling that NEVER went away.

Fast forward to February 2014 when I returned home for good - the gut wrenching feeling was still there.  All. The. Time.  Unfortunately, Ashley travels in the same circle of people that my husband and I do, so we would run into her quite often.  They were no longer talking, but every time I saw her, I couldn't help but wonder that I didn't have the truth about what really took place between them while I was away.  Because of the serious doubt I had about my husband's story, our marriage was now a major roller coaster ride.  I was successful in suppressing my feelings of doubt for about a week or 2 at a time and then I'd just blow up - begging him to tell me the truth.  He'd defend himself every time - showing no sympathy what-so-ever.  He acted like I was this crazy, jealous person and was verbally abusive at times to defend his story.

I finally got sick of the roller coaster ride and the CONSTANT wondering in August of this year (2015).  I contacted Ashley and told her I needed her side of the story.  She was willing to meet and while the truth was devastating, it was a relief to FINALLY know that I WASN'T some lunatic and that the gut wrenching, constant doubt was all valid.  What she told me was that a few weeks before I had returned home for my R&R leave, the 2 of them met at a sports bar and started flirting.  They exchanged phone #'s (obviously) and were in constant communication with one another and after just a very short period of time, he had invited her over to the house to watch a movie alone together.  Needless to say, they ended up having sex at that time.  In my house.  In my bed.  And while the communication appeared to have stopped when I left to go back overseas (I was still checking the phone records), it didn't.  He had bought a secret cell phone to stay in touch with her. According to both of them, the one time they had sex wasn't even close to satisfying, but that's neither here nor there (although, I'd be lying if I said that fact didn't give me a twinge of "satisfaction" that neither of them enjoyed themselves while they were betraying me).  She even told me that he said he was falling for her and that he was going to ask me for a divorce when I was home on leave!  Things between them came to an end in early January 2014 when, as she says, she grew a conscience and couldn't be with a man who would do that to his wife.  When I confronted him about my meeting with Ashley, he FINALLY admitted the truth!!  Couldn't really deny it at this point.  His version of some details were a little different, particularly that he was never falling for her.  Although, that realization came to him after things had ended between them and he realized he was confusing lust with love.  He has said that, in hindsight, she really meant nothing to him....he was just using her to fill the void he had from me being so far away and for so long.  I'm not sure I believe that 100% because when I was home on leave, the affair was still in progress!  He didn't stop communicating with her while I was home to fill this so-called "void".  If she was just a "filler", then why talk to her at all during that time I was home?? 

So...while the affair took place and ended almost 2 years ago, I've only known the truth for 3 months.  He was lying to me for THAT long!  I struggle with the lengths he went to deceive me and trying to make me believe I was the stupid, crazy one for thinking anything happened between them.  I still struggle with constant thoughts and visions of them together; laughing and flirting together and getting physical in my house!!!  He said the only other physical activity that took place between them was a few make-out sessions in the parking lot after they hung out together somewhere for the night.  I can't remember the last time he's made out with me!!!!  I wonder what sort of things he said about ME to her. 

Most of all...I struggle with my decision to give him a second chance.  I have ALWAYS said to him - from DAY ONE - that there are only 2 reasons I'd leave him...if he ever hit me or if he ever cheated on me.  How much of a schmuck must I look like for sticking around after the truth came out??  .... We went to several weeks of couple's counseling and it really helped with my anger and the way I interacted with him after the disclosure.  I will admit, at first, I was very combative (if you will), attacking him verbally for the pain he's caused.  Like everyone else who's been betrayed like this, I don't understand why!!!  How can anyone do this to someone they supposedly love???  And the whole time he was having the affair, he was telling ME that he loved me and missed me over the phone (I called him daily, usually 2 or 3 times a day to stay in touch!!).  So, how do I know that he's being honest NOW when he says those things???  I struggle with the nearly 2 years of LIES and deceit - it astounds me!!!  And now he's at a point where he doesn't want to talk about it anymore.  If I ask any questions or want to discuss something, he feels like it's a setback and that it will do nothing to help me move forward so he just doesn't talk about it at all.  So, while he was very cooperative for the first several weeks, he's over it and refuses to understand that MY recovery will take a lot more time.  I feel alone in this fight to get my head right again.  And, like I said, I often question my decision to stay.  How do I know that it's the right decision??  Because right now, I feel like it was the pathetic and weak decision.  The affair is ALWAYS on my mind.  It's almost ALL I think about!?  It feels like it'll never end!!!  My marriage feels tainted; like damaged goods.  His loyalty - the fact that I would've bet my life on him never hurting me - is one of the things I loved most about him.  That's totally gone now. 
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Tim2014
Welcome here but sorry you're joining us!! First let me say I'm. A vet myself so thank you for your service! Well you on a boat with all us other bs and we have felt thought and have done all the things you've stated!
Nothing different all story are similar with their differences! I understand how you feel but only you'll know what's right for you! First we all have said che stings the deal breaker but once confronted you have choices to make! The only thing for sure its not your fault your wS made a choice now he's the one that has to decide how to man up and face what he's done to make you feel safe! As you read posts here you'll see geniue wS have had to face the music once they realized what they wanted they were losing!! Yes we've all been lied to deceived but your choice to give a second chance is not lame but it's his choice to either get in the game and do whT you need or he's not going to get that second chance! Sorry you're here

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Kalmarjan
I want to start off by saying, welcome here. It sucks that you are here, but at least you have found a community of people whose stories may help you come to terms with what happened and help you get to the thing that matters in this situation. You.

I am a WS, and while the story you lay out has some points that differ, most of it reads like a plagiarized book. The worst part is the gaslighting you had to endure, and compounds because you were over serving your country. I have no words, except to say I'm sorry that it happened to you.

So, I hope you find what you are looking for. There will be times you read things here and want to reach through the monitor and choke the person behind the keyboard there. But, it's an opportunity to really understand both positions, and an opportunity to work on you, your needs, and what you need to happen in order to be happy with your situation (if that is even possible.)

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Anna26
OnTheMend2015 wrote:
  He has said that, in hindsight, she really meant nothing to him....he was just using her to fill the void he had from me being so far away and for so long.  I'm not sure I believe that 100% because when I was home on leave, the affair was still in progress!  He didn't stop communicating with her while I was home to fill this so-called "void".  If she was just a "filler", then why talk to her at all during that time I was home?? 



Most of all...I struggle with my decision to give him a second chance.  I have ALWAYS said to him - from DAY ONE - that there are only 2 reasons I'd leave him...if he ever hit me or if he ever cheated on me.  How much of a schmuck must I look like for sticking around after the truth came out??   And, like I said, I often question my decision to stay.  How do I know that it's the right decision??  Because right now, I feel like it was the pathetic and weak decision.  The affair is ALWAYS on my mind.  It's almost ALL I think about!?  It feels like it'll never end!!!  My marriage feels tainted; like damaged goods.  His loyalty - the fact that I would've bet my life on him never hurting me - is one of the things I loved most about him.  That's totally gone now. 




Because at this point he was completely hooked that's why.  At first the WS thinks they are in complete control.  Each little step forward, each justification, every time they convince themselves, 'it's okay, it's only...'Then suddenly they are at the point of no return and it's like a drug they can't do without, an addiction and each little point of contact feeds the addiction even more.  There's a great word for the feeling of euphoria the affair creates, 'Limerence'  They are in their own little world and no one can touch them, but until they start to wake up to reality it's like nothing you say or explain get's through to them.  I call it cloud cuckoo land.
In my case I knew things were still continuing between them even though I had outed my WS. It didn't seem to matter that I knew, it still carried on, so I asked him to move out for a while. That was back in March and the affair seems to have been off and on but I have no idea if things continue now.  I've now just left him to it to make up his own mind, things may change in the not too distant future, I really don't know at the moment.

You're not a schmuck, you are an intelligent, hardworking and loyal person, but one who has had her loyalty tested to the limits by this incredible deception. But you are not alone in feeling like that!  I couldn't believe I didn't know, how could I be so stupid?  But of course, you don't know because it is all so underhand and secretive.   I suspect a lot of us, too, have thought, no second chances, there is no way I could live with someone that cheated on me, but we all surprise ourselves.
And we stick around because we still love and care for them and about the years we've spent together. You will question things, a lot. And you made the best decision you could at the time, and it's hard because you really don't know what to do. but it's important to remember that over time things may change. You may become more comfortable with your choice.  A lot of the time we decide to just stay in the marriage while things calm down and all the dust settles, because we really can't think clearly or rationally.  It's one of the most traumatic events that someone has to endure because it's done to you by someone who 'supposedly' loves you.
It's a complete nightmare, the last thing you think of when you go to sleep, the thing you vividly dream about, and the first thing on your mind when you wake up. And the shock makes you feel that everything you had has gone, they are not the person you thought, and it's all been such a waste.

 And we all feel like that at first. Someone said to me once, speaking about a family member who lost her husband after 60 years together, 'what a waste, and I said, how can it be a waste, when they spent their lives together?  It's not a waste at all.  And in essence it's a bit like that because you get to thinking, well, actually, it's not a complete waste, because I've lived that part of my life already, I did do and achieve those things, and enjoyed it at the time. The future I thought I would have might be different, but it's still my future and I am in control of it. That's how I now feel anyway. I try not to look on the past as bad memories because most of the time they were happy ones, if that makes sense?
Eventually things will become clearer, but you will have ups and downs.  In the meantime work on you and making you stronger.  There is no rush. In the end what will be, will be, but you will be ready for whatever life has to offer you.
So sorry you are in this place, and I really hope it all works out for you both,


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TimT
OnTheMend2015 wrote:
...I struggle with my decision to give him a second chance. I have ALWAYS said to him - from DAY ONE - that there are only 2 reasons I'd leave him...if he ever hit me or if he ever cheated on me. How much of a schmuck must I look like for sticking around after the truth came out??...So, how do I know that he's being honest NOW when he says those things?...And now he's at a point where he doesn't want to talk about it anymore.  If I ask any questions or want to discuss something, he feels like it's a setback and that it will do nothing to help me move forward so he just doesn't talk about it at all...

It's going to take you more than a few weeks (or even months) to get over this. Of course he's ready to be done with it because he experienced all of it; it's in his past. But you are having to process all of it now and without the clarity (the truth) that he had.

I hope you've had counseling help from someone who understands affair recovery, not just marriage building, because it really is important to be guided through the process of truth-telling and, then, for you to be helped in learning how to intentionally turn your focus from the past to the present/future. But it is ridiculous to expect you to do that if the past has not been processed openly and honestly. (You'll never get to real trust without that.)

Being surprised by your willingness to work on your marriage is a very common reaction. Betrayed spouses often say, "I never thought I would make this choice" when they come in for counseling. As long as you are making that choice out of a place of love & strength (not out of fear or desperation), then don't second-guess yourself. If you want to give this time, then do so. But, ultimately, your trust in your husband will have much more to do with the choices he is making now, not with what he claims to be true about the past. If he cannot remain committed to helping you heal and creating a safe place in your marriage, don't take on that responsibility yourself. Ultimately, you need to know whether or not he is willing to take on that responsibility.

One other thing... if it seems he HAS answered all questions about the past, then it will be helpful for you to be intentional about winding down questions/conversations about the past affair and focus on the present/future.There is no way for anyone to issue a guarantee that you know 100% the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. At some point, however, you have to either choose to act on belief or not. If his story is not changing anymore (and if you do not have evidence that he is lying), you either need to decide to act in belief or not. If not, then it may be wasted effort to keep pressuring him for information or change.
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