TimK
we are out about 5 almost six weeks since I busted her out. The affair she has was a lot of sexting and talk about so on. She told me that she only met up with one guy one time and that was just coffee. I've had my doubts about that. 

We had some issues many many years ago and started to see a professional to work things out. We've gone back to him now twice and he is helping us with getting back on track. He gave me one "big" piece of advice. From here out don't ask questions about the past, don't ask for anymore details. When you ask for the who,what,when, where and why's you only get hurt by what you find out. He said that in his 20 years he's never had a client that took that advice. I promised I would, and I intend to keep that promise. 

I've done my best to keep looking forward and not get stuck looking back. However I keep wondering and thinking something is going to happen, some bomb is going to get dropped on me. 

The night I confronted my wife and busted her out, I told her she needed to lay it all out there, put it out there so that I can work though it. That I was giving her one opportunity to tell me everything, I had to ask questions and drag most of the information out of her but I got some. She said that's it. A few days or a week later I asked again before we move forward, she assured me there was not.  

Although I'm supposed to be looking forward, moving forward and not looking back I've found myself wondering and craving some information, truth. I had a gut feeling and my gut has never not once steered me wrong. I jumped on craigslist and ended up tracking down a post looking for her. I confronted the guy and he not only took the post down but didn't email me back. 

Inside this post was some information that would prove, if true, that my wife did not disclose everything and the stuff she did disclose was lies. I took a screen shot and sent it to her and I was flipping. I told her I wanted a divorce and all that stuff that comes with that type of conversation. I didn't call her names or insult her in any way, but it was a pretty heated conversation. She told me that she had talked to this guy but what he said in his post did not happen. I told her to swear on our daughters life, and she did. So at the time I decided to believe her, that's a pretty serious swear.

Here comes the HOWEVER....I've been thinking about it non stop and I can't seem get past it. I can't seem to put it behind me and move on. Since "D Day" as most seem to call it I've been put on a few different meds. Anti depressants, anxiety pills, beta blockers, blood pressure pills, and one to help me fall and stay asleep. Before this I took a pill for stomach acid and that's it. 

So here is what I need advice on: 

I love my wife, I want to spend my entire life with her, and I do want to move forward in our marriage. There are a few red flags that tells me she is and was lying to me, things that would be hard to explain to you since you don't know her. If what I think she did she did do, I would most likely be able to get past it, but lying I can't. Now I'm clever and sneaky enough that if I want to I can get on craigslist and I can post and answer posts like I am her. I could find this guys she talked to and then confront them, I'm going to guess that at least some of them (I don't know how many there were she was talking to) would give up information and tell me what really happened. I could take her phone and I could restore messages, photos, and all that. I think I could do all this and most likely do it quickly. I might find out that she is telling me the truth, I might find out that she's lying and has been the whole time. I might not find any answers one way or the other. If I find out she is/was lying she's gone; if I find out that she's been telling me the truth then I can put it all behind me; if I don't find any answers then I'll spend the next week or two in sever anxiety and a state of constant cruddy. I'm already having sever panic attacks and at least two of these three options would increase the anxiety and give me more attacks. I know she's had no contact with any the the guys she was chatting with, cause I was able to get into her accounts and see. I also have been monitoring her phone and I haven't seen any evidence that she's been doing it. 

So what do you think? Do I leave well enough alone, quit looking for things, don't try to find anything more, and move on? Do I do my investigations and make the discoveries (even finding nothing is a discovery)?

Oh yeah let me add one vital piece of information: When my wife got home from work she used my email address and confronted the guy on craigslist and said don't put this stuff out there I didn't meet up with you I didn't do those things you said and so on. We have not heard back. 

Folks I'm in a fog and I don't know where to turn, I feel as though I have no one to talk with, no one that understands where I am or what I'm going through. The one friend that I've confided in is a mutual friend so I don't want to give out too much information and have her and my wife's friendship effected, plus 2 years ago this gal had a very extensive affair and she tends to defend my wife. So I turn to you here. I know this isn't the make all place and no one can make my decisions for me, however I need to hear some different points of view so that I can make the decision. Right now I'm just toying with the idea of not doing a thing, separating from my wife for a couple 2-4 weeks and see where we are at then. I think doing an investigation would be exhausting and do me more harm than good both physically and mentally. 

Thanks all for taking the time to read this whole rant and help me out

Tim
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Anna26
TimK wrote:
we are out about 5 almost six weeks since I busted her out. The affair she has was a lot of sexting and talk about so on. She told me that she only met up with one guy one time and that was just coffee. I've had my doubts about that. 

We had some issues many many years ago and started to see a professional to work things out. We've gone back to him now twice and he is helping us with getting back on track. He gave me one "big" piece of advice. From here out don't ask questions about the past, don't ask for anymore details. When you ask for the who,what,when, where and why's you only get hurt by what you find out. He said that in his 20 years he's never had a client that took that advice. I promised I would, and I intend to keep that promise. 

I've done my best to keep looking forward and not get stuck looking back. However I keep wondering and thinking something is going to happen, some bomb is going to get dropped on me. 

The night I confronted my wife and busted her out, I told her she needed to lay it all out there, put it out there so that I can work though it. That I was giving her one opportunity to tell me everything, I had to ask questions and drag most of the information out of her but I got some. She said that's it. A few days or a week later I asked again before we move forward, she assured me there was not.  

Although I'm supposed to be looking forward, moving forward and not looking back I've found myself wondering and craving some information, truth. I had a gut feeling and my gut has never not once steered me wrong. I jumped on craigslist and ended up tracking down a post looking for her. I confronted the guy and he not only took the post down but didn't email me back. 

Inside this post was some information that would prove, if true, that my wife did not disclose everything and the stuff she did disclose was lies. I took a screen shot and sent it to her and I was flipping. I told her I wanted a divorce and all that stuff that comes with that type of conversation. I didn't call her names or insult her in any way, but it was a pretty heated conversation. She told me that she had talked to this guy but what he said in his post did not happen. I told her to swear on our daughters life, and she did. So at the time I decided to believe her, that's a pretty serious swear.

Here comes the HOWEVER....I've been thinking about it non stop and I can't seem get past it. I can't seem to put it behind me and move on. Since "D Day" as most seem to call it I've been put on a few different meds. Anti depressants, anxiety pills, beta blockers, blood pressure pills, and one to help me fall and stay asleep. Before this I took a pill for stomach acid and that's it. 

So here is what I need advice on: 

I love my wife, I want to spend my entire life with her, and I do want to move forward in our marriage. There are a few red flags that tells me she is and was lying to me, things that would be hard to explain to you since you don't know her. If what I think she did she did do, I would most likely be able to get past it, but lying I can't. Now I'm clever and sneaky enough that if I want to I can get on craigslist and I can post and answer posts like I am her. I could find this guys she talked to and then confront them, I'm going to guess that at least some of them (I don't know how many there were she was talking to) would give up information and tell me what really happened. I could take her phone and I could restore messages, photos, and all that. I think I could do all this and most likely do it quickly. I might find out that she is telling me the truth, I might find out that she's lying and has been the whole time. I might not find any answers one way or the other. If I find out she is/was lying she's gone; if I find out that she's been telling me the truth then I can put it all behind me; if I don't find any answers then I'll spend the next week or two in sever anxiety and a state of constant cruddy. I'm already having sever panic attacks and at least two of these three options would increase the anxiety and give me more attacks. I know she's had no contact with any the the guys she was chatting with, cause I was able to get into her accounts and see. I also have been monitoring her phone and I haven't seen any evidence that she's been doing it. 

So what do you think? Do I leave well enough alone, quit looking for things, don't try to find anything more, and move on? Do I do my investigations and make the discoveries (even finding nothing is a discovery)?

Oh yeah let me add one vital piece of information: When my wife got home from work she used my email address and confronted the guy on craigslist and said don't put this stuff out there I didn't meet up with you I didn't do those things you said and so on. We have not heard back. 

Folks I'm in a fog and I don't know where to turn, I feel as though I have no one to talk with, no one that understands where I am or what I'm going through. The one friend that I've confided in is a mutual friend so I don't want to give out too much information and have her and my wife's friendship effected, plus 2 years ago this gal had a very extensive affair and she tends to defend my wife. So I turn to you here. I know this isn't the make all place and no one can make my decisions for me, however I need to hear some different points of view so that I can make the decision. Right now I'm just toying with the idea of not doing a thing, separating from my wife for a couple 2-4 weeks and see where we are at then. I think doing an investigation would be exhausting and do me more harm than good both physically and mentally. 

Thanks all for taking the time to read this whole rant and help me out

Tim




It's a difficult decision and you are right, only you can make it. But do you really feel it would help, or do you think that even if you did investigate and discover what you thought was the all truth, that you  might still be continually thinking, what if there is more, if I found this already, what if there is another account somewhere? Where does it stop? 
For some time, I turned detective too, because it was the only way I could find anything out, or prove anything. Your wife appears to have given you the full story at least, but I guess in most of our minds there will always be that lingering doubt, no matter what, until the trust is built up again.  I still feel that I haven't had the full story but I have managed to stop the investigations!  And I always had that awful feeling that I was doing something wrong, like I was spying. Which seems ludicrous given what I was going through, surely it was justified?

The trouble with playing detective is that once you've confirmed something, you never quite believe that there won't be another time that they met, or texted, or lied to you. It's like the discovery of something breeds more lack of trust and because you can't trust the whole cycle starts over.

One of the things in my case was that the minute he left the house, I was down the road to check her car hadn't gone too. (My mind said), to meet him somewhere.  If her car had gone, I still couldn't prove she had met him, it just gave me more anxiety that she might have.

And I can understand why you think it might get rid of all those doubts once and for all, every new piece of information that comes out sets you right back to square one, with all the anxiety and uncertainty.  It's an unbelievably tiring situation to be in.

I do feel for you because it is so hard at first to let go of all these feelings.  The thing that helped me be calmer, was that we actually separated.  This isn't always advisable, but I had a specific reason for doing this in that I knew the affair was still continuing, even though he knew I knew about it.  And that was more than I could bear. And I felt better because I couldn't actually keep checking up on what he was doing, in the end I kind of forgot to worry about it. But separating is not without it's risks.  And after almost a year of living apart and still no further along, still no decision about anything.

I've probably not really answered your question, but I hope my thoughts were helpful in some way.

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TimK
Well as you said there really is no "answer" but what you've said is something that I needed to hear. I certainly appreciate your time to reply. I really need some friends that I can talk to to get me through each day. Thanks
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surviving
TimK - I didn't do detective work when I confronted my WH.  I wish I had.  If I had more proof, maybe the affair wouldn't have lasted 14 years. 

However, I totally disagree with your therapist.  You have the right to ask questions and ask as many as you want.  The other side of asking questions, is you can NEVER unhear what the answers are.  I have asked questions and have learned so much about my WH's brain and actions.  If I hadn't asked all those questions, he wouldn't have discovered how his actions have hurt me, how his brain was wired differently because of porn, and how he has damaged this whole family.  He also discovered how his parents raised him affected more than his childhood.  In my opinion, you can't not ask questions - how will you ever learn what was going on, what needed work in the marriage, and whether or not your spouse is ready to make a new marriage, or it is time to leave.

You don't have to do anything I say, just giving my opinion and what I have learned since DDay which was 29 months ago.
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TimK
I apologize I wasn't clear on what the therapist said and meant. What he said was don't ask questions about the details. "You went here with person a and you did acts a and b in positions 1,2&3"

He did say ask questions about how and why and why needs to change and so on, just not the dirty details. Those dirty details will hurt and I will reopen the wound each and every time I find out a new detail. And so far he's right I'll have a couple of good days and then I'll discover something and I'm back to square one in my healing.

Thanks for taking the time to share with me I greatly appreciate your point of view
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Graceandhope
You may need to take some time and decide to stop looking for stuff. See if you can give yourself some space to process all that you do know. You already know she cheated. You know you feel anger, hurt and betrayal. Process some of this, let yourself process some of the anxiety. You also know she lied and is capable of lying. If you truely want to know what she is thinking , feeling, and what happened both of you need to get to a place where you can talk calmly, where she can answer your questions and feel safe to do this. Yes she did this but she is trying to minimize collateral damage. She won't be able to if she feels/knows that if she answers wrong or her answers don't match you will throw her out.

You will need to get to a place where you can listen and accept what she says with minimal emotional response. Ask what you need, let her answer and acknowledge the answer. It is an odd thing.

Try to stop digging, it will never really stop if you don't . I don't think your therapist is right to tell you never to look back at this point. Looking at you and looking forward is good but at some point you will need to feel she has both stopped but has given you all the answers you need to move forward. This may take a number of conversations and can be sort of scheduled, just try to not have it be all the time if you want to work toward the future.

As you, if you two can work together and build some of those connections back it can help build that trust, minimize some anxiety and build into honest conversations. It can also help to remind yourselves what it was you had in the begining. But you have to give it time and space.

I personally don't think I would have either of you move out if your trying to move through this. I would encourage you to find someone (male) to talk to. Find some activities outside the home and outside of her to be able to distance yourself from it all when you need to. It will also help to remember you are a valuable person outside of your marriage.

Good luck. Your still in the early stages but it won't always feel this bad/erratic. But you may need to make the choice day to day to just be okay with what it is and what you feel today or I had a number early on where I said, to myself , that I was too tired of feeling this bad, today I'm going to leave it behind and do something for myself.
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TimT
TimK wrote:
...So what do you think? Do I leave well enough alone, quit looking for things, don't try to find anything more, and move on? Do I do my investigations and make the discoveries (even finding nothing is a discovery)?...

This is a dilemma often faced on the other side of dishonesty and betrayal. On one hand, you want to begin moving toward trust and avoid "sneaky" behavior by either partner. On the other hand, it is difficult to blindly trust someone who has been lying to you. We know that liars will claim to be telling the truth (that's what liars do). So how do you know whether your partner is being sincere in their commitment to honesty or is simply continuing in new forms of deception?

You have at least 3 options:
  1. Avoid any risk by refusing to work on re-establishing the relationship. I think any betrayed partner/spouse has the right to make this choice because betrayal does such deep damage to intimacy & trust. Rebuilding is a difficult process.
  2. Choose to act in trust, but verify. The verification can be secretive, as you've described in your possible scenarios. But the risk is that you begin making choices that (a) may continue to diminish trust between you and (b) may become obsessive, even if you don't want them to. When verification feels like a necessity, but I encourage a very open conversation about this ahead of time. It may go something like this: "I want to get back to trusting you again. I hope you understand that your promises were once easier for me to hold on to, but know I will feel uncertain even if you are being 100% open and honest. I assure you I am going to work with you to get to the place of trusting you again and letting, but for now I may need assurances. Do you understand if I sometimes check to verify that you are being honest with me? I promise I will always tell you after I have felt the need to do so; and I also promise that I will not consider doing this after _____ weeks/months of gaining confidence that what you tell me is the truth." I understand why this would be uncomfortable for most unfaithful spouses, even after they had come clean. But they should really be tuned in to what YOU need for comfort/relief.
  3. Choose to act in trust and let the future determine the security of your relationship. This is the choice I recommend. It leaves the betrayed partner feeling a bit vulnerable, but that can usually be worked through in time. And it avoids the potential pitfalls of choice #2. What you need to look for moving forward is not just the unfaithful partner's claims of honesty or even the lack of evidence to the contrary... what you need to experience is their ongoing investment in creating a safe place for you in the relationship and their continued efforts in the repair work. If you experience these sincerely & consistently, you will begin to trust again. (And this choice even leaves room for the unfaithful spouse who withheld some information -- perhaps out of a desire to do no further damage to you or the relationship, which I understand but do not encourage -- but moves forward committed to trustworthiness.)
There is no one-answer-fits-all to a question like this, but I hope that helps.
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nec
I don't know if you go see Tim Tedder but your therapists advice does not seem like that Tim T would give. I seriously think you need to go see him. He has a structured process to work through all of what you are saying. And your wife needs to go to therapy too or forget it an move on. I'm saying this based on the therapy I went through and that my now X husband did not participate in and after watching several couple work things out whose spouse participated in the process. You both have to do the work and it can work but if only one does, don't bother. Just my opinion. Go see Tim.
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sunflower07
TimK, I so feel your pain! I went through the same thoughts and feelings. I am now trying to stick to option #3 as Tim described above. I decided to take the high road. I also did some reading and realized that I needed to assume a position of power which is what happens when you don't go "down the road of craziness". There was a book that really helped me that was recommended on this site. It's called " you, him and the other woman". By Paul Coleman. I cannot tell you how much this book helped me. It's written towards women but the principles also apply for the man who has a wife who cheated. I'm so glad I found this book that Tim recommended in an email. My husband has committed to me that he wants to work on our marriage but I suspect that "she" is still contacting him. One thing I would also say is that you never really know what you will find out. Initially, I did some digging and discovered that his relationship with the other woman was emotionally abusive towards him. So, then I was faced with the choice about myself having to "rescue" him from the circumstance. This just added another layer of complexity that I didn't know what to do with and made things more complicated. Some things are just better off hidden. Option #3 is where I am focusing my efforts because I need things to be organized and purposeful. Hope this helps.
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