Crawl71

The following account will reveal the damage I have done. My Wife and I have been married for 19 years, been together for 23 years and have known each other for 32 years of our 43.

About 8 years ago, I started down a very slippery slope of what ended up being an emotional affair with a former Jr. high school girlfriend that contacted me on Facebook. The further along I got in the communications, the more I was sucked into the fantasy of things, up to the point that I decided I would leave my wife (of 15 years) and kids and move half way across the country to be with this person who I didn’t even really know and hadn’t seen in 20 some years. My Wife desperately tried everything she could to get me to work things out. I gave her so many excuses, including telling her that I didn't love her but she was the persistent one trying to save our marriage and family. I finally managed to get my head out of my a** and let her know that I was willing to work things out and that I wasn't going to be leaving. We had one disclosure talk and from that point on, we didn't talk about it much and more or less swept it under the rug, trying to put it behind us.

Fast forward to a little over a year ago (just after our anniversary in May 2013), after many company changes due to never really being happy and a move to a new house at my request and feeling lost, I signed up on Ashley Madison. This led to me emailing several women over a 3 month period. Three months later in August I met up with one lady for coffee and then met my AP (a coffee in a park). It didn't go any further than that and I continued my ‘search’ on AM. In late November I sent the OW an email and we started communicating again. We decided we’d go out on a ‘date’, December 12 (my in-laws anniversary) and spent the evening out for dinner and a hockey game that followed by making out in my truck. From that point on we’d get together whenever we could and I was throwing out every lie I could come up with in order to spend time with her. After a short time we started planning a ‘getaway’ for the New Year. I started laying the groundwork for a ‘work retreat’ in the Mountains. On the evening of January 9th, my AP picked me up and we headed to the mountains for two days where I completely destroyed my vows by sleeping together, while having dropped all my family and Coaching responsibilities, leaving my wife carrying the responsibility while I was out acting single.

After the two days and leaving the mountains, I raced down to be where I was supposed to be with guilt all over my face and spent the next day and a half acting like nothing had happened. Over the next couple of weeks we got together as much as we could and had arranged another rendezvous.

In late January I woke up one morning to discover that a text string I kept had been read. I immediately figured that my wife had been in my phone but she never said anything over the next couple of days and of course I never either; hoping that I was just imaging that she knew. A few days later, after the kids went to bed, My Wife finally confronted me and said ‘she knew’ and ‘I knew she knew’. She told me that was my time to come clean and all I offered up was the acknowledgement of it but told her I wasn’t talking about it and didn’t know if I wanted to fix it and then in usual fashion, I shut down and once again let her do all the talking.

After that night, I stayed in my shutdown mode and continued to see the OW, including spending the better part of superbowl Sunday with her before racing out to be at a hockey game. I had continued to lie about it, all the while She knew. The day after superbowl Sunday, I did the unthinkable, lied again, made up an excuse to want to be alone and went to a hotel and slept with my AP again. That same day I had sent an email, that was a pretty sad attempt to explain my actions and saying that I knew this was about me and how messed up I am. I ended it just over a week later but didn’t bother to tell my Wife that I had nor did I give her the opportunity to be a part of it, saying that I was trying to avoid the whole thing and hoped it would just go away on its own.

About 3 weeks after ending it, we finally sat down for our first (of what took 4) disclosure dates. I would like to tell you guys that I did the right things but the first statement out of my mouth was a lie and she let me know she knew it. As the conversation went on, I continued to lie, deceive and minimize my actions. With some of the story out, we pushed forward. We have done and gone through a lot over the last 15 months and the trickle truth continued until January of this year, I was still lying to her and to myself. I knew I had to come clean and get to ground zero but I knew that the things I still had to tell would make me look like a monster and so I held onto them and She knew because the story didn't add up. On January 1st we finally hit ground zero (full-disclosure) and it included how I had lied about being with my AP during one date when in fact I had slept with her after confrontation; after being asked to choose my Wife.

So now let me tell you how I think you can hopefully learn from my/our experience. First and foremost, if you're considering an affair; DON'T. There is absolutely nothing more painful than doing this to your Spouse. You will take everything she has/is or will be and the devastation is unfathomable. If you're considering it, do the honorable thing and either talk to her or leave...those are your two options. What I have done to my Wife is absolutely horrible and there is not one part of her that deserved the treatment and pain I have bestowed on her. If its too late for the option above, then be brutally honest from the start. Yes it will be the hard, you will want to do everything you can to protect yourself and her from the damage but let me tell you that stringing along the lies will only make it worse and it will constantly set you back in recovery...believe me when I tell you this. Our marriage was on life-support because of my continued deceit and lack of willingness to fully disclose all my sordid details. Any progress you make under those lies will seem worthless. You will have shattered all trust and in its wake the only thing you will have is to be completely honest.

During all this time, in spite of my kept secrets, we had both been very active in reading articles, books and websites to try and gain some insights on how to try and recover from this and for the first time in both of my affairs I am making a very concerted effort to understand myself and why I do these things; to get to the 'why' of it all. My heart is absolutely in this (and my Wife acknowledges that she feels that) and I am truly listening and empathizing, feel an extreme amount of guilt and shame for everything I have done and put her through. I have removed all passwords on email and facebook so that she can check up on me and have installed a GPS tracker on my phone so that she can verify that I am where I say. I am trying hard to learn to express myself instead of the usual ‘I don’t know’s’. I signed up for and did a handful of email therapy sessions with a counsellor through a program at work but they weren’t ‘infidelity specific’ and don’t know that they really served the way we had hoped as he more or less congratulated me for what I was saying so my suggestion is, if one doesn't work, try another and another. I signed up for Hope for Healing which made a huge difference, making me look deep inside myself; my Wife has completed the companion program (Harbouring Hope) as well to help her. I have also been working through Recovery Nation, but it doesn't stop there if you hope to recover for this; we're looking at all options for further help on the heals of this.

I can only hope that something I have written here will help you wake up to the devastation that affairs will cost you...of course the full impact can never be expressed here in a blog. The recovery is a very long and painful one, none greater than your Spouse but if you really care, it will be a long and hurtful one for you as well as you both process the pain and agony of your actions. Do whatever it takes, BE HONEST and learn from people like myself. All my previous lies continue to haunt us in the light of trying to clear them up...those I remember and those I don't.  

I'm still working on the 'why's' and 'justifications' for what I have done and know that this is going to be a major key in survival.  I can't guarantee that my marriage will survive and I lose everything that has ever mattered to me; my wife and kids, but I will work tirelessly to do everything I can to try.

Quote 3 0
TimT
Thank for sharing this, Crawl71. It seems obvious that you have made the turn toward healing, toward helping your wife heal. Good. I hope your story will encourage others to consider...
Quote 0 0
TimeToFly
Crawl71 wrote:

 

 

So now let me tell you how I think you can hopefully learn from my/our experience. First and foremost, if you're considering an affair; DON'T. There is absolutely nothing more painful than doing this to your Spouse. You will take everything she has/is or will be and the devastation is unfathomable. If you're considering it, do the honorable thing and either talk to her or leave...those are your two options. What I have done to my Wife is absolutely horrible and there is not one part of her that deserved the treatment and pain I have bestowed on her. If its too late for the option above, then be brutally honest from the start. Yes it will be the hard, you will want to do everything you can to protect yourself and her from the damage but let me tell you that stringing along the lies will only make it worse and it will constantly set you back in recovery...believe me when I tell you this. Our marriage was on life-support because of my continued deceit and lack of willingness to fully disclose all my sordid details. Any progress you make under those lies will seem worthless. You will have shattered all trust and in its wake the only thing you will have is to be completely honest.

I have removed all passwords on email and facebook so that she can check up on me and have installed a GPS tracker on my phone so that she can verify that I am where I say. 

I can only hope that something I have written here will help you wake up to the devastation that affairs will cost you...of course the full impact can never be expressed here in a blog. The recovery is a very long and painful one, none greater than your Spouse but if you really care, it will be a long and hurtful one for you as well as you both process the pain and agony of your actions. Do whatever it takes, BE HONEST and learn from people like myself. All my previous lies continue to haunt us in the light of trying to clear them up...those I remember and those I don't.  

I'm still working on the 'why's' and 'justifications' for what I have done and know that this is going to be a major key in survival.  I can't guarantee that my marriage will survive and I lose everything that has ever mattered to me; my wife and kids, but I will work tirelessly to do everything I can to try.



Thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm sure it wasn't easy to do but you've touched on so many important points. Although I'm a betrayed spouse there is so much in your post that hit home for me. 

Unfortunately it is too late for my marriage as my ex-husband was never able to end his affair. There was a lot of back & forth...wanting her, wanting me, but in the end he couldn't close the door, lock it & completely try to do the hard work to re-build our marriage. It may not have worked but we will never know. He gave up a lot...almost 28 years of marriage, living in our home, a relationship with our son, family, friends & the list goes on. I often wonder was it worth it?

I've said several times that it would have been so much easier if he was "that unhappy" to have ended things respectfully rather than end them because of an affair. You are right...the pain & devastation is unfathomable. If you haven't lived through it you just can't believe how it feels & it's horrible. It's a very deep pain. No one deserves to be put through this & that's what I finally realized.

I commend you for removing all the passwords...something my ex was never willing to do. Looking back that should have been a BIG RED FLAG. He actually ended up using an old email account so they could remain in touch while we were supposedly working on our marriage. Again my detective work found this out & when I confronted him he just became angry & tried to lie his way out of it. 

He never seemed to want to work "tirelessly" like you are trying to do to make things right & better. In fact I often felt like I was working harder than he was. He still can't tell me why he wasn't able to end things with her & try & make our marriage work. He always says "I don't know why" & I think to myself well that's a really poor answer. He's more interested in justifying the reasons he had to have the affair than in admitting it was wrong & he should have never done it. His refusal to take responsibility for what he has done has left me with so many unanswered questions. I may never get a true heartfelt apology for all the pain & hurt he has caused me. 

I hope that you continue to work hard for what's really important to you...your wife, your kids, & your marriage. I will always wish that my ex-husband would have wanted to do the same.
Quote 0 0
awaggoner1999
Wow...
I fear my WH will not have the courage, strength or stamina, to face the carnage he has wrought upon our marriage. He has in no uncertain terms told me that he will never tell me the truth, because he states that I have made my own conclusions, so it is pointless for him to try. To me, that is totally illogical. I have found significant enough proof to know quite a bit that is true, unfortunately.  ..and we are over 6 months past D-Day...
Coincedentally, he was actually an active user of Ashley Madison for nearly 3 years, before I caught him. He had reached out to over 50 women from Jun 2014 to December 2014, just prior to being discovered, and this was in addition to having an affair with a 26 yr old intern at work ( that he was in love with). I have no idea how many he actually had physical intimacy with...but I am nervous to know. I believe he owes me the truth. I have been limping along try to heal and not knowing for certain how far gone he is- or if he is really in the mariage to reconcile. I just dont know.
Thanks for emphatically stating that the truth is essential to the healing process. I applaud your courage and your willingness to share your stumbles with others.
Quote 0 0
TimT
awaggoner1999 wrote:
I fear my WH will not have the courage, strength or stamina, to face the carnage he has wrought upon our marriage. He has in no uncertain terms told me that he will never tell me the truth, because he states that I have made my own conclusions, so it is pointless for him to try. To me, that is totally illogical. I have found significant enough proof to know quite a bit that is true, unfortunately.  ..and we are over 6 months past D-Day...
Look at the attached "Successful Recovery" guide. You may also want to look at the "First Steps" guides in the download section of this forum. If your spouse is not willing to do these things, then real recovery (to intimacy and trust) will not happen. 

Of course, you will have to decide what you are willing to accept. If it is important for you to keep your marriage no matter what it costs you (a choice of sacrifice), then you can choose to stay and avoid divorce. But unless he decides to take responsibility for the recovery from his past behavior, you will remain unsafe in this marriage. (I hate to be so blunt, but it's simply the truth.)
Quote 0 0