seventy7
I have never posted before, so this is going to be a little long. First a little background on us as a couple. We are in our late 30's, and have a pretty solid group of core friends. Both of us have well paying jobs and respected in our fields. We have been married for 17.5 years, but together for almost 21 (high school sweethearts). We have 1 son, who will soon be a teenager. We were each others first, and only...up until 
her affair. 

**We made a ton of mistakes during our "discovery" period, which you will see below. I highly recommend grabbing some literature about affair recovery prior to entering the discovery phase. Tools will be provided that can help steer the conversation**

Speaking of, D-Day for me was Nov 1 2017. I found a post online indicating that she had been having an affair with a co-worker who lived out of state. She traveled often for her job (every couple months) and I recognized the name of the individual named. She never really talked about him, but I had heard the name in conversation before. On D-Day, my wife was actually traveling for work, but a different area of the country than from where her AP worked. I took a screen shot of the post and sent her a text, asking if she could explain it. She immediately denied it and said that she was wrapping up at the office and would call me soon. I anxiously waited by the phone, and about 20 minutes later, she finally called. I backed her into a corner with some additional evidence that I had, and she admitted to having a 6 month affair that ended in May 2015. I told her that I needed the full truth, or I was gone (mistake #1, don't give ultimatums). I immediately had my suspicions about the length of the affair, but had nothing to prove otherwise. To her credit, she jumped on the next plane home to talk things through. 

She got home the next morning and we talked for probably 4-5 hours straight. She would tell me bits and pieces of the story, and I would then badger her with questions or pick holes in her story (Mistake #1 on her part, if you want this to work, the WS needs to be completely honest up front. Spoon feeding facts is what I struggled with the most). After about a days worth of talking, the affair had now reached 1 year in length, but again was assured that I had the whole truth (Another mistake on both of our parts). She did not feel safe telling me the full extent of the affair, for fear that I would immediately leave, so she chose to give me pieces. I did not create an environment of openness for her, so I had to own that. 

Over the course of the next week, we read a couple of books/blogs about affair recovery. One that resonated with me was Surviving Her Affair. Its pretty well written, and gives a males perspective on things. This was something that I struggled finding immediately after finding out. My wife read the book "Not Just Friends", which I also read with her and was very insightful about walls/windows in a relationship. We also made the decision to seek counselling. We were referred to a marriage counselor with my employers EAP program. 

Reading the literature and seeking counseling was very good for us. We continued to talk through the affair, but we did have our hiccups along the way. A couple of times, I wanted to give up and walk out after finding new details about the affair, or a little wrinkle in her story. Both books, and the counselor, urged us to have full disclosure. Not only about the affair, but our marriage as well. With that, my wife came clean that the affair had actually lasted a total of 2 years, ending in Oct 2016. She said most of it happened during the first year and they only met twice in the 2016. In all, it equated to a total of 11 visits in 2 years. Considering that each trip was between 3-4 days, they were together about 30-40 days over the course of 2 years. Of course there was sexting/phone calls/deceit that you would expect for an affair that lasted so long, but she was great at covering her tracks. She deleted everything from her phone, and made sure that nothing was "backed up" to the cloud. I had nothing to go on, nothing to show that the affair was really over when she said it was. She told me details when I asked (again, caution to those that arent ready to be completely open during the discovery phase, my wife was completely open about details she remembered and it hurt...A LOT!)


In the 2.5 months since D-Day, we have made some pretty significant strides. We were communicating openly, getting to know one another again, going on date nights without my son, and even took a trip away for a weekend to reconnect. Sexually, we were in a better spot that we had ever been as well. Trust me when I tell you, Hysterical Bonding is a real thing Ã°Å¸Ëœâ€° I would literally shake sometimes when hugging her, filled with so much emotion that I felt like I was going to explode. There were times where we couldn't get enough of each other, but also times where the visions were just too much and would kill the mood. 

That brings us to yesterday. For some reason I couldn't get the thought of not having closure out of my head. I needed to find someway to prove that the affair had really ended in Oct 2016 like she said it did. I found a software that will restore deleted messages from your phone, even the photos that were sent within the message. I figured that would be my ticket. If the texting stopped in Oct, then it must be over, right? Well, when I told my wife I needed her phone and what I planned to do, the look on her face was complete fear. I picked up on it immediately and asked what I was going to find once I plugged it up. She sat there for about a minute and said that she had sexted 2 other guys, but never did anything physical with them. It only happened 1 time with each guy. The first was in Aug 2016 and the other was in Oct 2017...literally the day before I found out about the affair. This hit way too close to home and I freaked out. I locked myself in my office and plugged up her phone. The program was good, and gave me a lot of deleted messages, but there were chunks missing. I found the sexting from 8/16, but not the one from Oct 2017. One good thing, was that it does appear the actual affair ended as she originally stated. My wife said that the sexting with the other guys was just goofing around. One guy worked at her office. They would flirt a little, casually joking/etc, and one night he sent her a pic of his D. I can see in the text message that she played into it and they role played for about 10 minutes, then it was over. She never sent him a photo of herself. She did come clean that he tried to send her another one a couple months later, but she did not entertain him. The guy from Oct 17 was actually a pretty good friend of mine. The guy is a kind of the jokester in our group of friends, and had been known to send photos of his D to the other wives. I had asked my wife before if he ever had, and she said no. 

All in all, yesterday was a complete disaster and I feel like we are back at the beginning, in regards to recovery. We were doing so well, and I had told her on several occasions that it was ok to come clean with anything that she had and I would stay. In all honesty, If I was willing to stay after a 2 year affair, what does a couple sext sessions really equate to? But that is where I get stuck...all of the trust that we had built since D-Day is gone and i am feeling hopeless today. I actually submitted a request online for a consultation with a divorce attorney. I am sitting here wondering what life will be like without her, and I cant envision it. I want her in my life. I know we had a rough couple of years (I was emotionally checked out because of work issues), but we are good together. She never let the affair interrupt our daily life. We still did things together, and were the "happy couple" at all the parties. I know that was all for show with her to hide her affair, but deep down I know she is a good person. She is extremely remorseful and takes complete responsibility for her actions. I will give her credit for that. But finding out a little more info so long into the healing process has my head spinning. 

I know I through a lot of dates at you, and its a long story, but I hope that someone can relate and provide some insight. 

Again - I want this to work, so please hold the "kick her to the curb" comments. 

Thanks
Male BS
D-Day 11/1/2017
It gets easier as time goes, but the pain never goes away
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Jennifer
Seventy7,

What you are describing is a normal part of the process. One minute you are fully ready to work on the relationship and give grace and the next minute you want nothing more to leave. You will be triggered by obvious things, like the sexting, and you will be triggered by things that seem random and unrelated. This is a roller coaster of emotions that nobody asked for or enjoys.

What is important is giving thought to whether this marriage is worth fighting for? Is your wife doing the work to fix her own brokenness that led her to this affair? Is she helping you heal and is attentive to your pain? Does she offer comfort and reassurance while trying to earn your trust back? If she is not doing these things then you may still be vulnerable in the relationship.

There is no right or wrong choice. Only you feel is the healthiest for you and your family. Hang in there!
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Trinity
Seventy7..

I am 7 month out from D-Day and although the back and forth has lessened, it still happens.  Just as you described, one day feeling hopeful and the next feeling hopeless and defeated.  I think all of on this site who have been betrayed can totally relate to what you are going through.  As Jen put it, IT is really part of the healing process and it takes some time.

If I can give you a bit of advise, please do not make any rash decisions right now.  There is no sense in trying to figure out anything because so much is going to change.  Things will not look the same to you next month and surely not a few more months from now.  For me, any decisions that I made right after I found out were certainly clouded and not very advantageous to my marriage or to healing.  

I am sorry that you had to find your way here [frown] but there is a lot of support and understanding available.  If you keep reading and posting here you will find some answers and a whole lot of people who know exactly where you are at right now.

"T"
BS - DDay July 2017

O GOD, take me, break me, make me. 
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seventy7
Thanks Trinity - An update. I decided to leave this morning. Not a rash decision, just needed to get away for a bit and clear my head, without the constant reminders everywhere. Gonna stay at a hotel for a couple days.
In my mind now, SHE is worth fighting for. We have built an incredible life together and have worked hard for what we have...and I honestly cant imagine my life without her in it. Even with all of the deceit and lies, i feel she is still a good person and a great mother to our son. I know that I dont need her in my life, but I want her. That is what i am holding on to. 
I know that she has some deep issues that she needs to deal with and she has started to see a LMHC to get some help. She is saying all the of the right things, we got together so long ago, we never really knew anything different. I am not making excuses for her, she made those choices, but she also never really dated before she met me. I can see where the attention/affirmation coming from someone other than me was nice. Especially since I was not there for her emotionally for most of 2014. 
Male BS
D-Day 11/1/2017
It gets easier as time goes, but the pain never goes away
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GingerHoneyBunny
Sounds good to move out a couple of days. I should have done that. But looks like I'm gonna move out for the weekdays for good due to work. Working 70km from home. Feel so much for you. 2 yrs is a long time. And still the sexting, sounds like she's not getting her boundaries right until now. You are her anchor guy, that might be why she still wants you, same like my case over here. But I can't figure out the affair,  If we are important. Why throw away years of marriages and children for some guy or woman out there? Is it because the other man or woman has become more important than all the shared years? Perhaps you will ponder on these as i am now myself,but just because you checked out on her emotionally, it's no excuse for her affair. That's really a conscious choice they made. 
Male BS, D-Day 22th September 2017.
Probably a 10 to 12 month affair (I think, cause no one seems to remember anything!) 
Bleeding heart...
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Trinity
GingerHoneyBunny wrote:
 Is it because the other man or woman has become more important than all the shared years? Perhaps you will ponder on these as i am now myself,but just because you checked out on her emotionally, it's no excuse for her affair. That's really a conscious choice they made. 

Ugggghhhhhhhh  !!!!!  It is the Million Dollar question.  Uggggghhhhhhh again !!!!!.  IS this impostor really more valuable/important/beneficial ??? 
Is this the beginning of the END or he beginning of something better. ???
"T"
BS - DDay July 2017

O GOD, take me, break me, make me. 
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seventy7
Trinity wrote:

Ugggghhhhhhhh  !!!!!  It is the Million Dollar question.  Uggggghhhhhhh again !!!!!.  IS this impostor really more valuable/important/beneficial ??? 
Is this the beginning of the END or he beginning of something better. ???
"T"

I really do hope this is the beginning of something better. I am sitting here in the hotel room...Its good, really quiet and I am really able to process some of my thoughts. And yes Bunny...I am also hung up on that question about if the affair partner was more important than me/us/family. The only logical answer I can get to is YES. At the time, the AP was more important. I am working on trying to accept that fact. 

I had the opportunity to talk to a really good friend today who provided me some good insight. He and his wife are a a couple that we looked up to because they were always so loving and compassionate with one another. It actually became a running joke at parties, they were the "get a room!" couple. PDA was not an issue for them. Well guess what...they weren't always like that. His wife had actually cheated on him a couple different times with different guys. I guess it happened several years back, but they were able to work through it and are now very strong. I would have NEVER guessed that was the case. He did tell me that it wasn't easy, it was often very ugly, he moved out for a couple months at one point, but they continued to find their way back to one another. He realized that he was willing to live with the pain of what had happened because she was worth it to him. However, he also said that he gave her a choice up front and told her that she was free to do whatever she chose. If she wanted to be a loyal to him, and stay together, then he would consider it a blessing. But if she wanted to gallivant around with other guys, then good riddance, he didnt need her to be happy. He was not going to torture himself anymore trying to hold on to her and control her. He made the choice to set her free and she chose him. 

I could only hope that eventually we get to that point...but I understand that I have no control of that. My wife needs to make the changes and be the healer going forward. 

Male BS
D-Day 11/1/2017
It gets easier as time goes, but the pain never goes away
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GingerHoneyBunny
I was just listening to Esther Perel talking about her new book,the state of affairs, it does seem that the affair relationship may just at that time be the better one for WS than the primary relationship. Its not gonna be easy, although it was only just 1 full blown affair, it sounds like your wife and mine have betrayed us multiple times and simply do not know how to set and respect boundaries with other men. Maybe its a constant or pathological need for attention. Yes, it is possible to get back together but its going to be unimaginably painful. As for your friend, multiple affairs and still getting back to his wife, my hats off to him. There are just certain things I am already very sure I cannot forgive, i.e, affair sex in my own house while i'm away at work, the length of the affair of almost one year which proves it was not just a fling,the level of effort, concealment and motive, the abandonment, that she even thought of leaving me for the AP....these things i really can get over. I guess that will be something that only you will know to what extent you can forgive. The affair sex in my own home is final nail to my heart. It hurts so much I am so numb that cant tear up anymore. 

Actually, even if you and I dont leave our wives now, we actually dont owe them anything anymore. Just like your friend, i've set her free in my heart. i'm perfectly fine if she wants her AP back, its just easier for me to conclude divorce rather than keeping it in deep consideration. I too realized I'm not in control of her, i'm not anything that can decide for her. its all her choices.AND, even if she chooses me, it feels like a g*d da*m consolation prize.  You may feel that too. Feeling cheap and ashamed for staying. But, setting the WS free also sets us free. We hold no more obligations to them too. This is something I realized now. I too can choose to leave anytime I want, especially for some one I feel would be better for me, or just to be alone and living my own life. Is my wife worth it? Is your wife worth it? Is your friend's wife worth it for him? I really dont know, we are married to people who are proven not to be able to be monogamous for whatever the reason behind their own broken past. Would you or me or anyone else stake the rest of their lives with someone like this ? She may abandon me again and put the blame on me again.this is not gonna be easy is a grave understatement. its gonna be HELL.
Male BS, D-Day 22th September 2017.
Probably a 10 to 12 month affair (I think, cause no one seems to remember anything!) 
Bleeding heart...
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GingerHoneyBunny
"All in all, yesterday was a complete disaster and I feel like we are back at the beginning, in regards to recovery. We were doing so well, and I had told her on several occasions that it was ok to come clean with anything that she had and I would stay. In all honesty, If I was willing to stay after a 2 year affair, what does a couple sext sessions really equate to? But that is where I get stuck...all of the trust that we had built since D-Day is gone and i am feeling hopeless today. "

Its not about what does the few sext sessions equate to...its about remorse and knowing the boundaries so that inappropriate relationships dont happen, which they dont just happen overnight but takes a lot of incremental steps and self justification to actualize. That's why you are getting stuck again. If you read my story, my wife finally told me about kissing some dude a few years back. Even now, she says it was just an infatuation, it was just a kiss at the moment, nothing much happened. My God, i thought, last night again I asked her, how did she get so good in keeping secrets from me. While she was remorseful about the current full blown affair, she did not seem remorseful or understood that kissing some guy while being married is still a big NO NO!!. 

So,thread carefully, think carefully. The WS needs to examine themselves and think it thru. Take responsibility for everything, sext, or kisses or whatever. No excuses. Same like you, I had defined myself thru this marriage which was a big mistake. I hope you will find yourself and strength again. I could not see my life without her. But now, I am able to see myself living without her and even being with other women. I am in a sense decoupling from my wife. Whether we stay together or not, I wont be tied to her too much anymore. I will be my own person. So should you. 
Male BS, D-Day 22th September 2017.
Probably a 10 to 12 month affair (I think, cause no one seems to remember anything!) 
Bleeding heart...
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