Broken2018
On 7/19/2018  I caught my wife red-handed communicating on Facebook with her AP. Unfortunately I didn't see any of the actual conversations. I already knew she had been up to something and I was pretty sure that certain something was an affair. I even voiced my concerns and pointed out how obvious it was, but I just didn't have the proof. After 22 years of marriage you easily start to see the subtle changes. Beginning on D-day, she claimed it was just a 4.5 month emotional affair mainly consisting of Facebook Messenger communications with her ex high school boyfriend. I told her she was lying, she admitted that he came to the store where she works on 2 separate occasions. I could tell there was more to the story because nothing was adding up and my gut was not buying it. So she finally admitted that they met and drove for 30 min. and made out while still driving. I had a hard time buying the story but according to Google maps timeline they never stopped the entire route. That was what I learned on D-day. Two days later I drug it out of her that there was another meeting/make out session in which they parked in a secluded area. Then for the next year nothing but trickle truth & lies. 80% of the details she has admitted to are things I uncovered as a result of my own investigations. There has been sporadic information she has revealed over the past year & a half. She has been adamant that they never had sex of any kind. But she has also said after every new detail that has surfaced "That's the whole story" or constantly saying "I've told you the whole story" or "I'm telling the truth"....... But I have yet to feel I have all the main details or even the majority of what went on. I definitely don't have a good understanding of  this whole mess.

   My first question is how often is a so called emotional affair just a cover-up for a full on physical affair?

 Next question is considering the details of my wife's post affair story, what are the odds she is covering up the worst parts of her affair?
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ThrivenotSurvive
Emotional affairs can be just that.  But that doesn't change two things - Betrayal is betrayal.  Emotional affairs are still a betrayal.  

Secondly, your gut hasn't been wrong so far, so I am going to say that it isn't likely that it is now.  I think one thing you will find that we ALL agree on here is that we should have trusted ourselves more.  We knew things didn't feel right - but we tried to believe what our spouse was saying.  So I say this - trust yourself.

When you finally hear the real, unadulterated truth - even hen it doesn't match what you dreamed up, you somehow know.  I don't know if it is in their body language or something in their eyes... but whatever the case, you experience it differently.  It's like you just know that this is it.  You may not have every detail, but the "meat" of it has been revealed.  If you don't have that feeling, it is probably because you don't.    
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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seventy7
Broken - I am sorry that you have found yourself in this place. I won't go as far as to tell you that there is definitely something else going on, but everything that you have outlined above seems to point in that direction.

Like you, I kind of had a gut feeling that something was going on. I would notice the late night texting/emails, but she always told me she was responding to a project at work. Finally I was able to find some evidence that confirmed my gut feeling. I confronted her with it, and she immediately tried to play it off that it was just casual flirting, then they just went to lunch a few times, then it was they sexted a little, then it was "we kissed once", then it was "we hooked up once"...you get my point. In the end, after telling her that I couldnt deal with the trickle truth any longer and was fully prepared to leave, I found out the full scale of the affair...2 full years of a fully emotional/physical affair. God damn it hurts to type that out...

Trickle-truth is kryptonite for any chance at recovery. Your wife needs to understand that...The more that you have to "drag it out of her", then the more it is going to feed your feelings of insecurity and further hinder any trust in which you may have left in her. She has already devastated you by stepping out on the marriage, if she really wants to reconcile the marriage then a few things things need to happen...THESE HAVE TO BE NON-NEGOTIABLE'S, or it will continue to happen. 
  1. She needs to stop any and all contact with AP. A NO CONTACT letter needs to be sent to the AP (Letter, phone call, text...whatever it is, just make sure it is done.) You should be able to see the letter, and any response it may generate.
  2. Complete honesty on her part...and yours. For her, she needs to be honest regarding any questions you may have regarding the affair. You need to prepare yourself for what may come out in these discussions. Make sure you are in an environment that is safe for both of you. Don't give her ultimatums, just tell her at the beginning of the conversation that you need the absolute truth to move forward. She is likely scared that you are going to leave her if you knew the whole truth...so for you, you need to be up front with her regarding your intentions. If you really want to work on the marriage, even if she confirms your worst fears, then you need to tell her that. Both of you are trying to save something, just going about it in two very different ways. She hides and conceals, while you have to play detective. It doesn't work, and will only lead to further damage of the relationship. 
  3. PREPARE YOURSELF TO LEAVE...not that you will leave, but if you don't prepare yourself to be ready to walk away (do the 180), then your wife will know that and will continue to trickle truth. She has to know that you are serious and will no longer be someone that she can lie to or take advantage of. 
  4. TRUST YOUR GUT! It knew something was up at the beginning and you pushed it aside. I trust my gut over my wife any day, and she knows that. If it doesn't seem right, then its not right. If I ever get that feeling again, I won't give her the opportunity to tell me her side of the story. The way I see it, if I ever get that feeling again, its because she did something to make me feel that way...and why would she do that if she was really trying to reconcile? 

I know that I do not know the whole story about my wife's affair, but I know enough...maybe too much. I know way more than I wanted to know, and those visions haunt me endlessly. That is why you have to be prepared to hear whatever she may tell you. 

This is a great community of people on this forum. Without a couple on this forum, I know for a fact that I would not be alive today. 

As Keep would say, welcome to the worst club on planet earth. 
Male BS
D-Day 11/1/2017
It gets easier as time goes, but the pain never goes away
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Broken2018
Thrive & Seventy, thank you for taking time to respond. I'm not sure where I led you to believe that I didn't trust my gut, but that is & always has been my guiding light. That is what has gotten all the answers that I do have. My gut is what told me "keep an eye on that b---h". That's how I knew even before I knew. And I will always & forever trust my gut over my WW. Thank you once again and I'm not happy about why I'm here, but I'm glad that I am.
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Blessedby7

When you finally hear the real, unadulterated truth - even hen it doesn't match what you dreamed up, you somehow know.  I don't know if it is in their body language or something in their eyes... but whatever the case, you experience it differently.  It's like you just know that this is it.  You may not have every detail, but the "meat" of it has been revealed.  If you don't have that feeling, it is probably because you don't.    


I needed to hear this. As good as he's done/tried to do, I've felt for YEARS that I didn't have all of the information. And I've found more recently that has happened over the years, so I pretty much know it's true. He's never offered one shred more than I've confronted, and even than he just accepts it, doesn't deny, but doesn't acknowledge. I do believe he wants us to work, and I do believe he thinks he's protecting me. It's so easy when we're talking to believe him, but I need to learn to trust my gut too. I also need to be strong enough to demand healing for me, and us, in MY way and the right way, not just his way.
Female BS
Dday 10/12/2018

Renewing myself one day at a time. 
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Keepabuzz

Excellent advice already given. I would bet a paycheck they did a LOT more than make out!

 I would disagree on one point from the information already posted. You DO NOT owe her your honesty, you don’t owe her ANYTHING. She broke her vows and betrayed you!  You owe YOURSELF protection, and self care. I would straight lie to her if that would help you get the information you need.  You can tell her that you aren’t going to leave, no matter how bad the truth is, you just need to hear her say it to move forward. Then you can walk right out the door if so choose. I hold integrity in VERY high regard, but when dealing with a liar and a cheat, I do not see lying to them as bad or wrong. I lied to my wife many times after d-day. I didn’t want her to know where I was and what I was doing. So I lied, and still don’t feel a bit bad about it. I owed her nothing. Certainly not my honesty. Now, I don’t lie to her any more. But I certainly did when it was to my advantage and she was in damage control mode. 

Male BS, D-day July 2015, trying to stay out of the dark.....
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Sadie
If I had a dollar for all the times my wh said-that’s it, now you know everything-then more to, then, that’s it...I could retire early and live a very comfortable life.  On a private island.
     It is very true that you just somehow know when you have the truth.   You just know.    
I was never able to retrieve texts, but I was able to dig up some pics they sent, which is how he finally realized I wasn’t buying the whole nothing happened/just this happened story.
good luck.
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Broken2018
Keepabuzz & Sadie, 
 Thank you for your input, which just agrees with what my gut has told me. I think plain old common sense would actually draw the same conclusion. But the difficulty I'm having is due to the "not being able to see the forest for the trees" syndrome. When your living out this kind of nightmare it's hard to see the whole picture and make unbiased decisions. It's also difficult to trust your own views & opinions when your dealing with a gaslighting manipulator that's trying to make you doubt everything that you have discovered.
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Sadie
Broken, absolutely!   This is why bs’s are counseled to not make any rash decisions in the beginning.    I did everything wrong in the beginning, mainly trusting everything he told me.    I was flying  blind.    I hadn’t yet found this site, and didn’t look very far into google or books or anything.   Why would I?    I knew he would never have a physical affair, especially with HER.  I was having a hard enough time figuring out how he could have an EA with HER.  I knew her.  It was all just so impossible........till it all wasn’t.      
      Instead, what I SHOULD have done, was insist on all social media being shut down, total access to all electronic devices, a phone number change, a no contact letter, a written timeline, a polygraph.......
      with all that, I would not have suffered through a full year of false reconciliation while he was still in contact with her, nor would I have had a second d day.         
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AnywhereButHere
Hello Broken,

As a BS of an emotional affair, I have difficulty with how the penetrating sex act is taken to be the delimiter between what is to be considered an emotional affair and what is to be considered a physical one. My wife and her AP did not have any physical contact from what I can tell...and mainly because HE didn't want it. All he wanted were bare foot pics for his fetish that she was only too happy to give him. If there had been ANY physical contact, even 'making out', I wouldn't be calling her affair an 'emotional' one.

My point is that if your wife had make out encounters with her AP, then her affair was a physical affair and you should treat it as such. You will still be obsessed with the question, "So how far did it go?" ...as I was with my wife's emotional affair, "So how bad did the flirting get?". But as far as your posture and how you approach this gut-wrenching matter with your wife, I wouldn't seek comfort in labeling it an 'emotional affair'.
BH, 5+ Mo EA, DDay 3/8/18
"...regarding all as God after God."
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JORGE
 
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I would straight lie to her if that would help you get the information you need.  You can tell her that you aren’t going to leave, no matter how bad the truth is, you just need to hear her say it to move forward. Then you can walk right out the door if so choose. I hold integrity in VERY high regard, but when dealing with a liar and a cheat, I do not see lying to them as bad or wrong.

Agree completely. You need to make informed decisions and can't do so without critical decision making information in hand. If she won't provide it, you'll have to obtain it in ways you'd prefer not to, but may have to. She's thinking, the end her relationship with you, so this say's she's not remorseful because she's only thinking of herself and not you. Being remorseful entails, her thinking of you, and not herself, so you'll have to prioritize your future independently and do what's necessary. 

Once betrayed, you have a right to be selfish from the standpoint of doing what's reasonable to protect and heal yourself, because she's shown the capacity to make a multitude of independent decisions that exposed you to emotional, physical and psychological harm, so you have to go into self-protection mode. A friend of mine did what keepabuzz recommended. He told his fiance he was committed to staying with her if she told him everything. She told him everything. He immediately said, I lied, but wasn't sorry as her transgressions were more egregious than originally thought and that he's ending the relationship. 

I believe he did the right thing, as he was about to marry a woman who had a long term physical relationship for more than two years, which spanned  the entirety of their relationship and engagement. My friend had to manipulate her to protect himself and was justified in my mind for doing so. His fiance was a flight attendant who leveraged her schedule to facilitate the affair and her AP had a position to that required heavy travel, so the affair could have maintained itself for years undetected, minus a slip up, which is what happened. Her AP's wife found out, contacted my friend, they secretly compared notes and confronted simultaneously. 

Slightly off subject, but the importance of notifying the other betrayed partner is clearly revealed in the experience of my friends betrayal. Had he not been notified by the other betrayed partner, this would have taken a completely different course. 
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