Tough to rebuild. My advise, remorgage the house, pull all your cash out of everywhere and squirrel it away. She has probably been planning this a long time, your turn to catch up. Saving it for the kids isn't going to work & is a big waste of time, that is where you have been for the last 10 years and didn't know it.
(Way OT). Wife really blind sided me tonight! Infidelity!
if you decide to seek professional help and you're willing to keep the marriage together and your wife is willing too then i would recommend that you both start with one counselor. the counselor may start with separate sessions and then bring you together. personally i think it's important that the professional knows both sides from the start and can quarterback & manage accordingly. if you decide that you can't continue in the relationship then you can seek someone on your own. also, divorce mediation is an excellent alternative to divorce lawyers -- my first wife and i used a mediator very successfully. i'm very happily remarried, btw, so there will be light at the end of the tunnel.
hpl, so sorry to hear about this. lots of good advice here, nothing to add other than an incredulous "ten years?!"
Very sorry, man. I can't imagine how painful it must be. Ten years is as long as most marriages these days. That is some sense of entitlement she must have felt. I wonder if she told you only because she feared you would soon learn from the guy or other spouse affected. Truly wish you the best.
this is awful news, I am very sorry for you. good advice from the others here.. what exactly made her say something now? If you cannot look into her eyes and find the peace, love and warmth you once had with her then its over.
I've been down this road. It's been 19 years since my ex confirmed for me what had been painfully obvious for well over a year - that she had been carrying on an affair with her boss. At the time we had a two year old. I really can't offer much advice other than what's already been offered here, but I will say that best thing you can do for your kids is to reach a resolution that will bring you peace as quickly as is reasonably possible. For me I felt that I had to understand her motivation and my part in the situation, and I had to try and forgive her. I've had only limited success with this, but its certainly helped me move on and raise a happy successful daughter. I know it's cliche, but one door closes and another opens... Been happily remarried for 15 years with three more beautiful daughters.
My only advice is to be very cautious of other's advice on what to do as this is a very personal journey you are now on, and no two situations are alike.
Having said that, your head is spinning right now (not to mention your stomach) and it is highly unlikely that now is a good time to be making major decisions. Many others did mention taking time to process, which generally is wise.
Also try to remember that as crazy as your emotions are right now, you will have to wake up every day for the rest of your life and look at yourself in the mirror. Taking the high road - as impossible as it seems - will likely give you little satisfaction in the short term, but will almost certainly give you bigger rewards down the road.
The situation is devastating and sucks. Best of luck and hang in there. Remember, time heals. You don't know that now, but it's true.
It sounds trite, but do you still love her? I had some friends where the wife cheated after 21 years. They both see therapists, and he says he is happier and their marriage is better now than it ever was. Good luck.All opinions expressed are unofficial, and probably wrong.
hpl, i hate to pry, but did you have any suspicions at all about what was going on? ten years is a looooong time to carry on something like that. surely there were clues in retrospect.
She came clean because the guilt finally got to her somehow, which is kind of odd after ten years though. Affairs rot away at you from the inside. I do want you to consider something and think about it long and hard before you attempt counseling or therapy. Someone who carries on a ten year relationship behind your back--doesn't matter if it's a mutual friend or not--is the epitome of a cake eater and sociopath. Your wife has lived a double life for ten long years! She is a pleasure seeker; selfish; suffers from a decision making disorder; has a strong sense of entitlement; has bad mouthed you to her affair partner in order to justify the affair in her mind; did I mention selfish?
This is not a one night at some company sales meeting in Bermuda or something, but a protracted scam that these two were involved in without any regard for your feelings. If she was having flings with different men where emotions weren't involved, that is a whole other scenario, but ten years with one man?? There are some SERIOUS emotions involved between these two.
Man that's gotta hurt, sorry to hear that. As others have said, take your time to digest and then make the decision that's best for you and the kids. Only you will be able to decide what that is.
Keep the shrink out of it if you can.The wise man said follow me...and he walked behind.
just to be clear: some of us are suggesting counseling (MSW), not a shrink. big difference.
I agree with Entheo. I work in mental health and you need a counselor or psychologist, not a psychiatrist. Do you have a pcp? If so ask him/her to refer you to a trusted counselor. And both of you need to be seeing the same person, both individually and together. This is very important as the person you see needs to be seeing the big picture, not just your version.And this is also VERY important...make sure you document in writing everything that happens between you two post-confession.Dates, times, quotes etc. This will give you much credibility with your counselor, lawyer, judge etc. You don't want to have to rely on your memory during a time of such turmoil.
How old are the kids?
Kids are 8, 10 and 12. She assures me there are mine, but she has no credibility at this point. Says she is will to allow complete access to facebook, email and such and has claimed that it is over and they will never speak again. Says she will do what ever it takes to make it work.
Of course they were together as little as a month ago. I will say that the frequency could not have been that much as we are busy with all work and kids stuff. Of course they have been "running" together lately.
I am pissed because by finally admitting it she now gets to heal. Not sure I really had any suspicion but it's been going on so long not really sure. Trying to do the necessary daily tasks and pretend everything is normal, but of course it's not. Sort of in a fog. I have insisted counseling which she said she would do but did not think we needed it! We and of course she needed it a long time ago. She did bring home a church brochure, but I am not religious and will not be judged for that! Besides the hypocrisy of it all is crazy. So looking forward to sharing my feelings! I think I am going to treat myself to a new powertab. Thanks for all the comments, suggestions and good wishes.
I would suggest going forward on two tracks. A councilor of war and a councilor of peace. Mentally keep the decks clear for whichever way you decide the relationship needs to go. So besides a therapist I'd also talk to a divorce attorney.
I wish you and your kids well.
You really need to see a counselor fast. It's something that you will need at some point or another so go now. And don't hesitate to search around if you don't like what you find at first. They are just like girlfriends, automobiles and bikes...some better than others. Do you have health insurance to cover visits? And please do not rely on the "therapy" of well meaning friends. There is probably no shortage of lay people who would love to tell you what to do or not do. It's usually b.s. All I'm saying is see a pro. And a lawyer.
hpl - I can't add anything different than what was posted above. I'm sorry for your circumstances and I wish for peace and happiness for you.
When things like this come up on the forum sometimes they hang with me and I keep thinking about them whether I want to or not. I was thinking earlier today about how you must be feeling and what you are going through. It is anybody's guess where you are willing or able to go with this but I was trying to think about it in a different way.
This probably will sound useless but…
I thought about the possibility that despite all the terrible things you are experiencing, at the bottom of it all you really would like to preserve your relationship with your wife. A big part of being able to do that is finding a way to overcome the stigma of having been a victim of a violation of the mores most of us grew up respecting and believing was the right and only way for marital partners to behave.
Last year I read the book "Our Oriental Heritage" written by William Durant. In his work he describes the cultures of the great civilizations that have arisen since the origin of man and many of the ones in between. As I read I was at times astounded by how many different definitions there have been for what constituted a proper relationship between the sexes. By the time I was finished it had been driven home how peculiar and basically unnatural our own monogamous ideal is in the grand scheme of things. If in your heart of heart you want to find a way to accept the hurtful thing that has happened to you and still be able to not think less of yourself for doing it, it might be beneficial to read the book. It provides a perspective most people never even realize is available.
Even though haters on this forum would have you believe morality is not a relative thing, it is only relative. We live mostly by arbitrary made up rules. If you found out that every marriage in the United States had been violated the same as yours or in even more extreme ways, maybe you wouldn't feel as bad.
There are lots of people in this country who believe in open marriages. They would be scornful of your concern about the fact that you are uptight just because your wife sought one particular kind of pleasure from another person. Personally I tend to be scornful of those kind of people (those who think open marriages are OK) but I realize in my scorn that I'm probably the one who is more close minded and have too much of a possessive attitude towards my wife.
I can't see myself ever voluntarily adopting a more open minded attitude about what we call fidelity, but if it was thrust on me with no other choice but to consider it, as in your case, who knows what accommodations I might be willing to accept if I could be convinced she otherwise still loved me. When I told my wife about your case her response was, "She probably loves both of them." If she did, William Durant wouldn't tell you it was unnatural.
HPL, i agree with Chick that you and your wife need to start professional counseling ASAP. that your wife doesn't think it's necessary is not surprising; after all there will/should be much that comes out that is very uncomfortable for her. i hasten to add that it will also be very uncomfortable for you as well, since the reasons for the infidelity involve both of you as well as the other party.
it will be hard work. many times you will come out of the session feeling worse. but it needs to be dealt with, not masked with placebos. and you need to figure out whether it's worth saving too (staying together for the children's sake may not be the right answer).
I'm wondering why she bothered to tell you at all. Especially since she had no suggestions on how your own relationship might be fixed. She could have just ended the affair and kept it to herself...ignorance is bliss.
I do believe that one of the major differences between marriage and co-habitation is the "for better or worse, till death do us part" pledge. Maybe this is the "for worse" part of your marriage?"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe." - Albert Einstein
sigh...hpl, I am so terribly sorry.
I just got caught in September carrying on a two year affair.
It is no fun.
This book was helpful in getting me to understand exactly how much trouble and pain I caused. Your wife is in denial about not needing counseling, because she just wants the whole thing to go away. I understand her feelings on that, I really do.
Find someone (a professional) to talk to as others have said. Check to see if your employer has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), I took advantage of it.
Take some time and as others have said, be honest about if you can forgive her. My situation was two years with someone 250 miles away. Your wife's was with a friend of the family for a decade who lives locally. I have to be frank with you. My wife would NOT have consented to try and work things out if my circumstances were the same as your wife's.
People say don't stay together just for the kids...but I know all too well how heavily the kids factor into these situations. I was thrown out of the house for a couple of months. It hurt SO BAD to not be there for my kids like I (and they) were used to.
PM me at any time bro...It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
I am just starting to process this and have now realized that for our 16 year marriage, she cheated for at least 14 of them. I want to give a heart felt thanks to everyone here. For a group of people I have never met face to face your’s I do appreciate you letting me share in my personal life.
My take so far from all of this is not to make quick decissions, I need help, and I don’t think my wife gets to be that person. I am going to seek counseling today for me personally and for us. As an engineer and as me I cannot tell you how it is going to suck to share my feelings but it’s the path I need to take. Thanks to madvac I think I have found an online group that might help. The next few years are going to suck one way or another.
Not sure yet but I might be gone for awhile. Maybe I will reemerge with a new identity. Thanks again.
Sorry to hear about this. I haven't read the other posts about what advice has been given to you...and I won't. I will offer what I, personally, can. I caught my wife cheating on me. She didn't volunteer the information, but it stings the same. I left that night and never went back (except to get my stuff). I, much like you (I'm sure), would have had a hard time trusting her ever again. The difference between me and you is that I had no kids and no property and we had only been married a year. No matter what you decide I wish you the best.
Nothing to add, but wanted to pass on my concern for you and my wish that you know you're not alone in all this.
This topic has been closed to new replies.