I am the BS, and I am posting my story in the hopes that someone, anyone, (unfortunately) has been in a similar situation. To date even my therapist feels that my situation is unique and that has left me feeling utterly alone. My WS and I have been together nearly 15 years, married 12 years in October, and have 2 children together.
My WH, his AP, and I all worked for the same company, and I was friendly with her in the professional world, as was my WH. My WH and I live in the US, while the AP lives in India. In July 2017, I was laid off from the company, and shortly thereafter, the AP and I became FB friends followed by my WH joining the FB world. I knew she and him would talk, but he said it was work-related and being that they were in the same department, and I NEVER thought my husband would betray me, I thought nothing of it. In January 2018, I went back to school for my MBA, October 2018 I started a new job, and in September 2019 my husband was laid off from the company and started a new job.
Fast forward to quarantine 2020, and by May, I noticed him going outside to take phone calls around the same time each day far from my earshot. I would find him walking the woods of our property when he was supposed to be "cleaning up the yard," and then I heard him talking about his father's death on the front porch of our house when the window was closed and he thought I couldn't hear... He swore it was innocent and made me feel guilty for questioning his conversation by asking my permission to call what I found out later was the AP a couple days later. I started to consider that his phone never left his side, I had no idea who he was talking to and l was not comfortable not knowing what they were talking about.
June 5, 2020, we had a nice night together, homemade charcuterie, some drinks, binge watched Outlander... and I came up to bed to find his phone laying freely on my side of the bed. I picked it up, opened Whatsapp, searched her name, and my world was instantly shattered, my heart splintered, my world crushed, and my life sent into a state of vertigo. After hours of screaming, crying, anger, despair, and whatever else that transpired, I was told it was a 6m emotional affair with no sexual involvement. He immediately said that while he loves her, it is not the same love that he has for me, and that he never even thought of leaving me for her. I told him to choose right then and there. He called AP that night without hesitation to end it, and I called her as well to make it clear she is not welcome in our lives.
Fast forward 6 weeks, through endless conversations and tears on both our parts, he was remorseful, attentive, exactly what I thought he should be. Then I found files on his phone of Whatsapp conversations with the AP of a romantic (not sexual) nature from as far back as April 2018. I confronted him. He says he thought it would hurt me less if I didn't know how long it had gone on... my response was "F you, don't try to "protect me" or decide what I should or should not know." The "friendship" apparently became an EA about the time I began my MBA program (Mind you, we both work FT and have two kids together), so approximately 2.5 years.
We are now 10 weeks out, and there was been no contact, he has been remorseful, completely transparent, attentive to my needs, we have been able to start really connecting again, he has started counseling (I was already), we have MC coming up, and we are trying to move forward.
If you have stuck with me thusfar, thank you. This is where I am struggling...
1. Am I alone in the world where my WS truly had an EA with someone he has never met and there was no sexual involvement?
2. He says he loves her... how can you love someone that you have never met, someone that you have mostly conversed with via a messenger app. Due to the time difference, they very rarely talked via phone... is this affair fog?
3. Am I naive to think that our relationship is real while the one he had with the AP is not?
4. How do I begin moving forward instead of focusing on the details of the affair?
Thank you everyone for reading my saga. There is so much more that I know feeds into our situation, but this is the "short" version of the story. I am sorry we are all here, it is a sh*tty club to be in, but not everything in life is a choice, huh?