Blessedby7
My WH has been doing almost all the right things to help me heal, except communicate.  We talk, but it's all surface stuff like his work,  the kids, what work still needs to be done on the house.  Anyway,  during and after Dday I never really did any digging beyond *this* affair. I've been on his computer a few times and once found an inappropriate comment he made to a female subcontractor he was going to potentially hire to do some cleaning. It doesn't look like he ever hired her, however she just recently messaged him asking if he had any work for her. He hasn't responded, and I've not ever confronted him about it because we've been in an okay place and it was a couple years ago. 

A few days ago I was once again on his computer and found some comments he made to some memes in a private group on FB. One showed a woman with her breasts bouncing as she's shaking out some spices, and his comment was "I like spices". The other was similar. This was a huge trigger for me because this is a private group consisting of people he was deployed with when the affair began. They know her, they don't know me. They knew about the affair. I feel like this makes me look like a fool. I can just imagine these guys seeing his comment and laughing at me for being stupid enough to stay. I feel like it makes me look weak and like I'll just sit back and take whatever he does. I also almost feel guilty for letting this hurt me because it's "just a little joke among the guys".

Anyway, this is now triggering a huge need in me to go back and not only search for other comments in this group,  but also search his messages over the past year to see if there were any other affairs I don't know about. Not only that, but it makes me want to go back and see if the OW and her husband are part of this group. 

Do I want to know, or is that going to mess with the progress we have made? Should I let it go? And why do these comments have me feeling worthless and cheap all over again? Why do I feel almost as if he's had another affair?
Female BS
Dday 10/12/2018, but major trigger dates are 10/5-10/7 (wedding anniversary) 
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Fionarob
I would guess the reason this makes you feel that he has almost had "another affair" is because these recent things you have found were secret and hidden from you, and therefore it takes you back to that feeling of being lied to or betrayed in some way.  It reminds you of the feelings you felt when you first discovered the affair.  For many of us, it's the feelings of deceit, being lied to and being betrayed that hurt way more than the fact that our spouse had sex with someone else.

If you have been making progress and your WS is genuinely concerned about helping you heal, then you should be able to approach him with this and ask for his help, to explain what you have found and how it has made you feel.  However, we all know that's what would happen in an ideal world.  In the real world he may get defensive, want to know why you have been looking through his computer, want to know why you are still suspicious. 

I really believe that while there are unanswered questions or suspicions (the possibility of other affairs) that you will never be able to move forward.  However, many WS will tell the bare minimum that they think they can 'get away with'.  There may be other affairs, but they know you will never find out, so they keep that from you.  Only a person who genuinely understands how the truth is the only way for us to heal properly, will lay themselves open and tell everything.

Personally, I always knew that my WS was keeping things from me and it ate away at me and our marriage.  He was always defensive, told me the minimum information and lied continuously.  He couldn't see that all I wanted was the truth, no matter how painful it might have been.  Only you know how your WS will react to you bringing this up - but that doesn't mean that you should bury it and try to ignore it. 
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hurting
Fionarob said it perfectly. I am a firm believer in bringing things up if they bother me now. I used to try to excuse things like this before d-day, in an attempt to not rock the boat. In my mind, by not calling him out in it, I made his behaviour ‘acceptable’. I’m all for bringing up anything that will bother me now because of this.

At the same time, it would not be unlikely that the WS may become defensive etc. When things like this have happened in the past, I would approach it poorly by essentially losing my sh!t when triggered, and becoming angry and sarcastic while crying my eyes out. The ‘better’ way that may be to bring it up with him in as calm a manner as you can. Tell him how it makes you feel and why, and see how he responds. Of course, this is more than I was actually able to do myself for a long time... but it is the approach I am trying to take NOW. 
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ThrivenotSurvive
It is my opinion (take it for what it is worth) that there is not a "better" marriage or true reconciliation without the ability to discuss anything that is bothering you.  Of course, most WS hate being reminded that we don't trust them 100% or that we still have triggers etc.  But those that "get it" realize that we don't want these feelings EITHER and that they are the ones who caused them.  So if they want to be with us, they've got to suck it up and deal with them.

I totally get why you reacted to the comments under the meme - and why he likely didn't think of it as triggering or "wrong".  For him it was a joke with buddies about liking boobs - just being "one of the guys".  For you it is shows the same mentality that got him into this situation and a complete lack of respect.  To make matters worse he's disrespecting you in front of people he's ALREADY humiliated you in front of.  Which takes something obnoxious in a post-DD world to a full on trigger.  It feels like he's showing them that he hasn't changed and he's still willing to disrespect you in front of them. 

I seriously doubt he meant it that way.  He has a way of interacting with these people that feels comfortable and he hasn't changed it. 

Neither of you is "wrong" per se - but in a post-affair world he has to understand that things have changed.  Things that wouldn't have been a big deal before are now.  It might suck, but it it just IS.  For both of you.  Because of your shared history he needs to understand why this is triggering for you and how it make you feel.  First - it is in poor taste for a married man especially one who has had an affair.  He should be HIGHLY sensitive to anything that makes you feel insecure.  But, in addition to that, it is ESPECIALLY wrong in front of these people.  Ask him to turn the situation around in his mind.  You had an affair at work - everyone knew about it  You reconcile - but he finds that you are commenting on hot pics of guys working out to your work friends like "I love a good barbell!".   Some people need to be helped to see how it would feel if the shoe were on the other foot.  This was something my husband only learned to do in the years after DD and it has helped tremendously - but in the beginning I had to walk him through it so he could really understand on a gut level why I was so upset.  

As far as looking/ asking about other affairs - that is entirely up to you.  There are two trains of thought on this - 

1.  One would say that, if you really feel he has made significant changes - is more transparent, more attentive, more emotionally available and seeks ways to improve and protect your marriage - than you are only asking questions that tell you about who he was then.  And that it doesn't give you any meaningful information to apply to the future.  
2.  The second train of thought is that any path forward needs to have ALL past transgressions revealed.  And that any WS deserving of a second chance should be willing and able to lay bare as much of the truth as you want to hear.  

I would say there is merit to both.  I, for one, asked a LOT of questions.  I needed to know everything.  And my husband was, and is, well aware that if I ever find that he held anything back, I will leave him.  Not necessarily because of what I learned about the past - but because HE wasn't the one that told me.  I have no place in my future for any more secrets between us.  But there are limitations to this - I didn't want to know every place they had dinner in a city I love and visit frequently - because that would have just given ME another trigger.  So I was clear about what I wanted to know. 

For me, I needed to know if there had been any other inappropriate relationships throughout our entire dating/married life.  And I was VERY clear about what I felt was "inappropriate" (flirting with sexual innuendo, sexting, emotional affairs, talking about wanting to be together (even if you didn't act on it), and then obvious ones - kissing, touching, sex, etc.)  After one disastrous attempt at being "hazy" about the duration of his affair, my husband quickly realized that if he didn't come 100% clean he was going to kill any chance of us being together so - he gave me a full data dump and invited me to ask questions.  And I learned there was more - but it all centered around the two months prior to starting the affair.  It was clearly him slowly loosening the boundaries that allowed him to get to the place where he could start an affair.  He'd made out twice with a woman he knew was only there on vacation and would soon go away. Says he didn't have sex with her because neither he or she were ready to go that far - she was separated from her husband and he wasn't sure he could "cross the line".  Later, during the affair, a woman at a bar came on to him (not the AP) and he kissed her too.  

As much as I didn't like hearing these things, it told me a couple things.  First, it reminded me just how little it had to do with who the AP was - and so much more about where HIS head was.  She didn't have some strange magnetic power over him.  She was just the person willing and happy to make it easy for him at a time when he was in a selfish, entitled, resentful frame of mind.  

Second, I would NEVER have been able to find out about these other two women.  One had only the thinnest of connections to his/our life (a friend of a very distant acquaintance that I barely know.)  The other had no connection to anyone.  He couldn't even remember her first name.  This led me to believe that he was really coming clean.  To date, I have never found anything to contradict what he told me then (even though I did some hard core digital digging in the early days.) This helped to begin to rebuild trust. 

Clearly - I did need to know a lot.  But not everything.  I made myself think about what I DID need to know (who/ what/ when) and what I didn't want to know (every place they went, etc.)  

This is all to say - think about what you need to know and why.  Write it down.  Then after a couple days, take it out.  If you still want to know everything on there - schedule a time with your husband when you can be alone and ask away.  The cooling off period will help you focus on what it is that you REALLY need to know without giving you crappy details that only hurt you and don't tell you anything about the man you are living with today.  

One last thing - I have found that when I need to have these kind of conversations with my husband, it helps if I approach it in a very non-confrontational way.  I tell him that I am struggling with some things that I need his help with.  Then I will often remind him that I DO see all the changes he's made, the sweet ways he tried to make me feel loved and safe, etc.   And I acknowledge how much they are helping and how I think it is a large reason why we are doing so well.  But then I say, but something recently happened/came up that has really got me reeling and I need to talk it through with you.  If it is something HE did/said (rather than a trigger he had no control over), I will often say, "You recently said/did XX.  I know that you likely didn't mean it in the way I took it - but it really hurt me.  I made me feel XXX."  And then I explain why.  

I have found that by starting out the conversation with what he is doing RIGHT, he doesn't get defensive. He realizes that this isn't about HIM as a person always being wrong, but rather it is about a specific thing he is doing/saying.  And by telling him that I realize our perspectives may be different and he didn't intentionally mean to hurt me - it also give him room to "hear me" rather than immediately seek a way to defend himself.  Rather than seeing me as being critical or judging him - he sees me as being fair (noticing what he is doing right.)  I find that once he can see how it comes across to ME, he is very apologetic and doesn't do it anymore.  He comforts me and explains what he was thinking when he did/said it (which usually isn't a lot, lol.)

As I addressed these things- like stupid "man" jokes, etc. over the first 18 - 24 months or so - he started to "get it" more and more.  Now he just never does it.  He understands how it looks through my lens - and veers away from saying/doing things that would hurt me. 

So maybe this could be a good place for your husband to learn more about your perspective - how you see the world after DD.  And begin to learn a VERY important emotional skill that many people seem to lack - the ability to put themselves in the other person's shoes.  

Don't know if any of this helps, but whatever you do - don't just bottle it all up.  It will come out eventually - but you will have far less control of how it comes out if you've tried to squelch it.
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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Blessedby7
Fionarob wrote:
I would guess the reason this makes you feel that he has almost had "another affair" is because these recent things you have found were secret and hidden from you, and therefore it takes you back to that feeling of being lied to or betrayed in some way.  It reminds you of the feelings you felt when you first discovered the affair.  For many of us, it's the feelings of deceit, being lied to and being betrayed that hurt way more than the fact that our spouse had sex with someone else.

If you have been making progress and your WS is genuinely concerned about helping you heal, then you should be able to approach him with this and ask for his help, to explain what you have found and how it has made you feel.  However, we all know that's what would happen in an ideal world.  In the real world he may get defensive, want to know why you have been looking through his computer, want to know why you are still suspicious. 

I really believe that while there are unanswered questions or suspicions (the possibility of other affairs) that you will never be able to move forward.  However, many WS will tell the bare minimum that they think they can 'get away with'.  There may be other affairs, but they know you will never find out, so they keep that from you.  Only a person who genuinely understands how the truth is the only way for us to heal properly, will lay themselves open and tell everything.


Good points! I think what scares me is, while he does try to do a lot to help me heal, the one thing he hasn't done is just TALK to me. He's just going to sit there and listen. He may very well not do it again, but we won't talk about it. This is what will be the death of us at this point. 

And you're absolutely right, I'm not going to be able to truly move in until I get some straight answers on some things. 
Female BS
Dday 10/12/2018, but major trigger dates are 10/5-10/7 (wedding anniversary) 
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Blessedby7
hurting wrote:
Fionarob said it perfectly. I am a firm believer in bringing things up if they bother me now. I used to try to excuse things like this before d-day, in an attempt to not rock the boat. In my mind, by not calling him out in it, I made his behaviour ‘acceptable’. I’m all for bringing up anything that will bother me now because of this.

At the same time, it would not be unlikely that the WS may become defensive etc. When things like this have happened in the past, I would approach it poorly by essentially losing my sh!t when triggered, and becoming angry and sarcastic while crying my eyes out. The ‘better’ way that may be to bring it up with him in as calm a manner as you can. Tell him how it makes you feel and why, and see how he responds. Of course, this is more than I was actually able to do myself for a long time... but it is the approach I am trying to take NOW. 


You're absolutely right, I'm really good at allowing his behavior to become acceptable by just letting it go. This is an extremely hard thing for me to stop doing. 

I've been trying so hard to talk about what he does well, but dammit, even that is a trigger for me. FFS, I was complimenting him the whole time he was deployed and screwing around. I used to be very good at positively affirming him, and I really struggle with that now. 
Female BS
Dday 10/12/2018, but major trigger dates are 10/5-10/7 (wedding anniversary) 
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Blessedby7


Don't know if any of this helps, but whatever you do - don't just bottle it all up.  It will come out eventually - but you will have far less control of how it comes out if you've tried to squelch it.


This helped tremendously.  Along with the other comments it has helped provide a lot of clarity. Thank you!
Female BS
Dday 10/12/2018, but major trigger dates are 10/5-10/7 (wedding anniversary) 
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Blessedby7
Today I looked back into that group, and he's posted inappropriate pictures and made comments on others just within the last few days. To make matters worse the OW AND her husband are both in that group, along with everyone that knows about them. I feel sick. 
Female BS
Dday 10/12/2018, but major trigger dates are 10/5-10/7 (wedding anniversary) 
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ThrivenotSurvive
Have you and he talked about your feelings about the first post and why it was inappropriate and disrespectful?  Because if so, and he ignored it then it is a HUGE red flag.  I also wonder what the heck he is doing in a group with his ex-AP?  And her HUSBAND is cool with this?  Or her husband doesn't know and is being made a fool of by interacting with the guy who slept with his wife????  Oh there is a LOT wrong with this.
BS - Female
Married 27 years, one adult child
DD May 2016

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” - V Frankl
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anthro
Blessedby7 wrote:
Today I looked back into that group, and he's posted inappropriate pictures and made comments on others just within the last few days. To make matters worse the OW AND her husband are both in that group, along with everyone that knows about them. I feel sick. 


WTF.

Don't walk, run.
Formerly known as Anthropoidape... male bs, long affair, d-day Feb 2017.
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Crushed
You are a better person than I.  I would have already posted in the group and he would look the fool.  Along with the group knowing all her secrets
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Blessedby7
Have you and he talked about your feelings about the first post and why it was inappropriate and disrespectful?  Because if so, and he ignored it then it is a HUGE red flag.  I also wonder what the heck he is doing in a group with his ex-AP?  And her HUSBAND is cool with this?  Or her husband doesn't know and is being made a fool of by interacting with the guy who slept with his wife????  Oh there is a LOT wrong with this.


Nope, haven't talked. I'll talk, he'll listen, not really respond, then things are quiet for a day or two. At some point we will actually end up talking about other things because,  well, life, then things will go back to "normal" of him being affectionate, helpful, loving, and the cycle begins again. 

The group is the same disaster response group he deployed with when this whole sh*show began. Her and her husband have always been part of it. There's 2k members, as far as I have been able to tell there has been no *direct* contact. According to her father, who contacted me, her husband does know, but this makes me wonder. I can't imagine how he could be okay with it. 
Female BS
Dday 10/12/2018, but major trigger dates are 10/5-10/7 (wedding anniversary) 
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Blessedby7
anthro wrote:


WTF.

Don't walk, run.


If it weren't for my toddler and newborn,  I would.  I'm not financially able to otherwise. 
Female BS
Dday 10/12/2018, but major trigger dates are 10/5-10/7 (wedding anniversary) 
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Blessedby7
Crushed wrote:
You are a better person than I.  I would have already posted in the group and he would look the fool.  Along with the group knowing all her secrets


I'm pretty sure a few in the group already know, from my understanding that is what tipped the whole thing off and why she broke it off in the first place. If I was on my way out, then I might do it, other wise it just feels like something the "jealous wife" would do. 
Female BS
Dday 10/12/2018, but major trigger dates are 10/5-10/7 (wedding anniversary) 
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Keepabuzz
Blessedby7 wrote:


If it weren't for my toddler and newborn,  I would.  I'm not financially able to otherwise. 


Have you talked to a lawyer? You really need to know your options. Then take the best one out. 
Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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