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...my wife started her PA

strangely, I am calm in saying this and while there are still some small residues of anxiety (hence my name, I will be always be "almost recovered") I have finally come to a peaceful place.

In the next few days I will tell my story for a few reasons-

1) to get the damn thing off my chest, I've spilled my story on other boards but never in it's entirety. I am hoping for some catharsis through my past self.
2) to look back with hindsight vision and see what I did wrong and what I did right in order to help others not make the same mistakes or learn from what worked
3) to offer hope, I realize that what my wife and I have managed to accomplish in the wake of destruction is something that isn't easy to do but can offer a glimpse that if two people are willing that it can be done
4) to share and commiserate with others who have also exposed themselves and their story, it's only fair


I will post my story in bits and pieces as to be detailed and hopefully you won't find this to be too boring or self-indulgent.

Comments are always welcome
 

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Part 1-

Family history of infidelity

Winter of 1988- I'm 18 and it's my first year at college and I'm a 3 hour drive away from home. It's Thanksgiving break and I hop on a train and get picked up by my father who I just absolutely idolize and adore; we were very close at the time. On the 40 minute ride home, he's rambling about many things and seems quite excited about something. Eventually he starts to talk about how he understands how marriages fail and how people grow apart. He complains about my mother in a lot ways and while I was uncomfortable with the way the conversation was going, I sympathize with my Dad's situation because I identified with him more than my mother at the time.

Christmas of 1988- I'm home from college again and on the 27th my father announces he's taking a walk in the park near our house. This isn't odd behavior for him to do as he is very active with biking, canoeing and hiking. Though it was a bit strange considering the weather was cold and cloudy. I catch up with friends in the neighborhood and come home and notice that even though it's 8 hours later, my father isn't back. I ask my mother, "That's weird, 8 hours is really long for a hike isn't it?" I find out months later that my innocent inquiry was what set my Mother into looking at my father's activities closely.

February of 1989- I come home for a surprise visit. (more really to see my high school girlfriend at the time) Dad picks me up again and starts to tell me how glad he is that I came home because I'll be needed. He then drops the bomb that he's been having an affair and my mother found out. He has to consider everything that's happened and doesn't know if he wants to stay married. Thus he is taking a 4 day trip to Puerto Rico "by himself" to think things over. He also tells me to be nice to my mom and that they are having dinner out that night to talk before he leaves in the early morning. Needless to say I'm devastated by the news. My bubble has burst. I get home and my mom gives me a huge hug and cries. They soon go out to dinner and I have my girlfriend come over and lean on her. (interesting footnote- I lose my virginity that night)

The next morning at around 5am I wake up and see my mother standing over me shaking like a leaf and crying. She's clearly having a breakdown. I find out that my father wasn't going alone (he lied, dummy me) and was going to PR with his mistress. This moment changes my life as everything I knew has completely been set on its head. I get her to the doctors and she gets meds. It was a horrible weekend to say the least. I find out things about my father's lies and start to see her side of things very clearly. I do my best to take care of her and even missed a day of school and went back to college late.

My father comes back and says he ended it and will go to counseling with my mother. I think things will get better.

Think again.

Over the next three years I have to be the one who my mother relies on while my father continues to have on again off again affairs with the same woman. In a lot of ways, our roles reversed as I became parental to my mother in my early 20's. I began to despise my father as I watched my mother make many changes to make him happy (like losing a lot of weight and doing things he liked) yet he couldn't do the one thing to make her happy and stop seeing this other woman. I was really thrown in the middle in many ways. My mother even begged me to call my dad one night to get him to come home when she knew he was at her place.

Needless to say the stress was unbearable and that coupled with my blossoming bipolar disorder I eventually drop out of college.

The whole situation really made me hate both my parents in a lot of ways. My father for obvious reasons as I really admired him and modeled myself around him only to find out he was terribly flawed. Now while I didn't hate my mother, I hated the way she wouldn't stand up for her self and just leave the bastard. I also dreaded whenever I saw my home number on the caller ID at college because I was afraid I would have to deal with the same @#$!* all over again. I began to harbor feelings that she was pathetic to take him back over and over again. Understandably I feel horrible that I felt this way about my parents but looking back I see why I did.

I made myself a promise that I would never cheat on my girlfriend/future wife and would try to repair a relationship or get out before seeing another woman. I also promised to myself that I wouldn't forgive anyone who did the same to me.

A year back from dropping out of college I lived at home with my mother and my brother. Just when I thought they would get officially divorced they reconciled. I wasn't too happy with her decision but realized that it was her decision. I began to distance myself from them and stayed out late getting high or drunk and struggled with my bipolar disorder. I used any excuse to stay out of the house. I would often work 80 hours a week as a retail assistant manager getting extra shifts at other stores in an hour radius when other managers called out or were on vacation. (it was at this store where I met my now wife BTW)
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
It is end of winter in 1994 (February?) and my parents have been back together for almost year now. There are no signs of my father cheating on her, but I admit at this point I wasn't looking nor caring if he did, I just wanted nothing to do with it. One day, I come home from work and see my parents at the kitchen table looking woeful and they're asking me to sit down as they have something to tell me. I think to myself, "Oh great, here we go again!"

The news was far worse-

My mother was diagnosed with stage 5 colon cancer and it had already spread to her liver, where several inoperable tumors resided. Her chances of living past a year are not good.


I do have to give my father some credit as he really did take care of her that year and made her happy. She passed almost a year from her diagnosis. Fortunately it didn't get really painful or bad until the last 2 weeks of her life. We had her in our living room when she finally passed away early in the morning the day after my brother's birthday.

At this point I had patched things up with my father for the most part, especially having witnessed his care taking of my mother. We agreed to start a business together and I ran it while he funded it while he worked at his regular job.

It's November of 1995 and my mother has been dead since February, our business seems to be working and taking off (we're doing it out of the house and we started to look for warehouses in the area). My brother who is a math guy did the accounting on the side while he held his teaching job. He calls me up and tells me he forgot to pay the phone bill and if I could write the check and mail it. I can't find the bill in the bills due folder- I figure it must've been mixed in the house bills. I go downstairs and start looking through my father's bills. For whatever reason, my eye catches a glimpse of a weird charge on his credit card bill. It's from August (when he took a trip to Vegas for business) and the charge was for $72 for "The Chapel of Love".

"wait what?!!"

That's one of those quickie marriage places! My father has been secretly remarried less than 6 months from my mother's death! I start to scour his credit card bills and discover that he had dinner on Valentine's Day 3 days before my mother's death at an Indian restaurant. I know that the total of this bill is definitely a dinner for two. The bastard had dinner with his mistress and now wife while I sat next to her watching her die on Valentine's day. Back in February he had told me he needed a small break that day and went out to dinner- I thought nothing of it at the time and understood needing some time away after spending over a week at her side. Being Valentine's day wasn't even a consideration for me.

I packed my things, found a place to live with a friend and left the business (my brother took over, I became a car salesman of all things). I didn't speak to my father for 3 years. It wasn't until I went to get engaged and wanted my mother's stone for the ring that I spoke to him.

In some ways this was good for me- I finally started to control my bipolar disorder and I learned to support myself. I was just so angry at the lies of my father. Was I disappointed he got married so quickly after her death? yes But it was his life and he couldnt hurt my mother anymore. I just didn't want to be a part of his life for a period of time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I should mention that my wife and I were getting serious during this horrible time period. She never shrank away from all of the stress during this time and that's when I knew she'd be a keeper.
 

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It is end of winter in 1994 (February?) and my parents have been back together for almost year now. There are no signs of my father cheating on her, but I admit at this point I wasn't looking nor caring if he did, I just wanted nothing to do with it. I come home from work and see my parents at the kitchen table looking remorse and they're asking me to sit down as they have something to tell me. I think to myself, "Oh great, here we go again!"

The news was far worse-

My mother was diagnosed with stage 5 colon cancer and it had already spread to her liver, where several inoperable tumors resided. Her chances of living past a year are not good.


I do have to give my father some credit as he really did take care of her that year and made her happy. She passed almost a year from her diagnosis. Fortunately it didn't get really painful or bad until the last 2 weeks of her life. We had her in our living room when finally passed early in the morning after my brother's birthday.

At this point I had patched things up with my father for the most part, especially having witnessed his care taking of my mother. We agreed to start a business together and I ran it while he funded it while he worked at his regular job.

It's November of 1995 and my mother has been dead since February, our business seems to be working and taking off (we're doing it out of the house and we started to look for warehouses in the area). My brother who is a math guy did the accounting on the side while he held his teaching job. He calls me up and tells me he forgot to pay the phone bill and if I could write the check and mail it. I can't find the bill in the bills due folder- I figure it must've been mixed in the house bills. I go downstairs and start looking through my father's bills. For whatever reason, my eye catches a glimpse of a weird charge on his credit card bill. It's from August (when he took a trip to Vegas for business) and the charge was for $72 for "The Chapel of Love".

"wait what?!!"

That's one of those quickie marriage places! My father has been secretly remarried less than 6 months from my mother's death! I start to scour his credit card bills and discover that he had dinner on Valentine's Day 3 days before my mother's death at an Indian restaurant. I know that the total of this bill is definitely a dinner for two. The bastard had dinner with his mistress and now wife while I sat next to her watching her die on Valentine's day. Back in February he had told me he needed a small break that day and went out to dinner- I thought nothing of it at the time and understood needing some time away after spending over a week at her side. Being Valentine's day wasn't even a consideration for me.

I packed my things, found a place to live with a friend and left the business (my brother took over, I became a car salesman of all things). I didn't speak to my father for 3 years. It wasn't until I went to get engaged and wanted my mother's stone for the ring that I spoke to him.

In some ways this was good for me- I finally started to control my bipolar disorder and I learned to support myself. I was just so angry at the lies of my father. Was I disappointed he got married so quickly after her death? yes But it was his life and he couldnt hurt my mother anymore. I just didn't want to be a part of his life for a period of time.
WOW a secret wedding in Vegas? BTW, my Dad has always been a cheater as well, ever since I was a little girl I knew of his mistresses. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #7
really strange, isnt it? He actually married her and lived at home without her and never made any announcement or brought her home. (although she immediately shacked up much to my brother's chagrin after I exposed him)
 

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Thanks for sharing. Already, it shows some of the normal symptoms we see. And this was years ago. It does show the taking it deeper underground has been a pattern for a long time. Dogs bark, cats meow, cheaters lie and try to cover up their affair.
I definitely have a lot more perspective regarding my dad's affair after being on infidelity message boards for over a year now
 

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My father was also a cheater. I was only 5, but I remember meeting the woman( mom went nuts over that)! My mother found out on Father's Day when mistress 1 came to tell her about mistress 2; devastating for my mother. They did manage to move past all this after almost divorce. It is so hard to witness these things, but I know my parents did really love each other. They were married 22 years before my father took his own life. His funeral was the day of their 23 anniversary. He had so many demons; told his friends he didn't deserve me or my mother. I miss him so much, but at least he is at peace. Life can throw crazy things at you. On a positive, dealing with suicide of my dad at 18 and my H's EA have shown me that I am a fighter, not a victim. I have derived a lot of confidence from this ability to accept these things, learn what I can, and pick up the pieces. I do believe that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger! I also understand my dad and my H better after being on this forum. Thanks to all who share their experiences.
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Part 2-

My wife, our relationship and marriage

To this day my wife always says with a smile when we tell people how we met-
"I hated him at first, he was an egotistical ass!"

But, I tend to grow on people like a wart.

My wife was only 17 when we met and while I thought she was attractive I had no interest in dating a high school student as I was 24. Nevertheless, my wife was right in that I was indeed an egotistical ass as I was still trying to control the manic swings of my bipolar disorder. My wife was also a shy girl, not a social butterfly by any stretch of the imagination and I tend to gravitate towards those types of people. I hone in with my brashness and try to break these people of their shells.

We eventually became friends, would often go to diners or play billiards after late shifts or inventory at work, usually in groups. She graduated HS, and two months after her turning 18 we went to go see the Lion King in the theaters as friends. That night we found ourselves groping and kissing, etc.

Our relationship, founded in friendship grew quickly, there was no awkward stage as we already knew each other well. My wife having had only one boyfriend prior to our dating was still a virgin, I had the honor of taking that from her. Eventually she moved in my apartment with me (after Mom's death and me shunning Dad) as I helped support her during her attending college. I proposed during her senior year and we planned on having our wedding after her getting a job in 12-18 months.

But as life usually does, it threw a curve ball at us.

She became pregnant with my first son. No biggie or real scandal as we already had plans to marry, we just moved up the schedule a bit. (she was just starting to show at the wedding) We had an offer by her parents to live with them for a period of time so we could save and have help with the baby and eventually get a house. The plan worked and before my son was 2 we had purchased the home we live in today. At this point my relationship with Dad became less strained and since the business was taking off and they needed help I was brought back into the fold.

side note- Early in our marriage I actually expressed concern to my wife (due to my dad and his excuses) that since she had next to no sexual experience that come midlife crisis time she would betray me and wish to experience someone else. She would always reassure me that she would never do that and loved me too much and I was stuck with her.

Soon after my second son was born (this one planned), we really were hitting our stride. Life was good, money was fine, two wonderful babies, sex life was good and frequent, we really enjoyed each other's company and most problems were minor.

Looking back the one dynamic that was bad was the fact that we are both passive aggressive. When one would feel slighted or not get their needs/wants met instead of expressing them in a open way we would try to guilt the other one or make sarcastic comments.

How many Almostrecovereds does it take to screw in a light bulb?

"that's okay, I'll sit in the dark"

to be continued later
 

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alas, after some really solid wonderful years of growth and happiness we ran into some bad luck

About 2 years after the birth of our second child my wife's legs kept feeling like they were asleep (pins and needles) and the feeling wouldn't go away. After several doctor's appointments, an MRI and a spinal tap (which she had a terrible reaction to), she was diagnosed with MS.

We both were stunned and scared of the future now. We were now looking at expensive drugs (even with insurance) to "maybe" help my wife's condition as she could look forward towards relapsing and remitting lesions on her neural network. Possible blindness, paralysis, wheelchairs etc

Fortunately, in the 8 years since her diagnosis, her condition is considered mild compared to some cases. Plus with new drug tests on the horizon my wife's outlook is much better now as it doesn't appear she will end up in a wheelchair or have anything too dibilatating. Nevertheless, we didn't know that then and it was something that weighed heavily on my wife. Even today, the facial tics and numbness in her fingertips drive her crazy.

And it weighed heavily on me as well. Yet because of my years of needing to suppress negative emotions due to my bipolar disorder I'm afraid I didn't address her the illness the way she needed me to. I know this now from after dday discussions but at the time I projected a apathetic attitude towards her MS, I felt that if I did this I can alleviate her stress if I made her think it wasn't a big deal.

Aside from the MS, my wife started to become unhappy in her job. Without going into detail, she worked a hospital job. She had the same amount of education and training as a nurse but her particular field never paid as well, never got recognition that others did and she had to deal with a lot of hospital bureaucracy. Add the fact that she is a wallflower type of personality she often felt left out of the group of coworkers.

Thus we decided together that while she was still young (almost 30 at this point), it would behoove her to go back to school to get a masters in another related field that would make her happy (sorry wont say what), get more money and more recognition. The problem was that in order to afford it and also have time for school and work at the same time she had to take the graveyard shift at a different hospital. (this also allowed us to pull the kids from day care when they werent in school)

This move proved to be a huge mistake, I believe it affected her MS negatively due to lack of sleep, it affected her emotional well being and we now spent a lot less time together and only slept in the same bed twice in a week. Thus our sex life dwindled to maybe twice a month as a result.


My wife and I viewed her night shift as a necessary evil that would eventually be over and something we would slog through to get to the golden ring.


Of course, having been lonely at night with the kids in bed and the wife at work I began to spend way too much time on facebook and playing dumb games like mafia wars and some online poker. I now started to divert my attention to reconnecting with old friends instead of where I should have focusing more.

I will say that even though I had reconnected with old female friends I purposely allowed my wife to view any and all emails/FB messages that she wanted to and if I ever met with them I always tried to get my wife to join us and never put myself in a spot where we would be alone that wasn't a public place (and no bars) and always tried to include husbands. Mind you I didn't go galavanting around too much either, I had maybe gone out about twice a month if that.

so as we near my wife's affair I can say that looking back we had problems that weren't being addressed. But I was complacent back then, I didn't think we had anything too earth shattering to deal with.





I know now that complacency is your enemy
 

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alas, after some really solid wonderful years of growth and happiness we ran into some bad luck

About 2 years after the birth of our second child my wife's legs kept feeling like they were asleep (pins and needles) and the feeling wouldn't go away. After several doctor's appointments, an MRI and a spinal tap (which she had a terrible reaction to), she was diagnosed with MS.

We both were stunned and scared of the future now. We were now looking at expensive drugs (even with insurance) to "maybe" help my wife's condition as she could look forward towards relapsing and remitting lesions on her neural network. Possible blindness, paralysis, wheelchairs etc

Fortunately, in the 8 years since her diagnosis, her condition is considered mild compared to some cases. Plus with new drug tests on the horizon my wife's outlook is much better now as it doesn't appear she will end up in a wheelchair or have anything too dibilatating. Nevertheless, we didn't know that then and it was something that weighed heavily on my wife. Even today, the facial tics and numbness in her fingertips drive her crazy.

And it weighed heavily on me as well. Yet because of my years of needing to suppress negative emotions due to my bipolar disorder I'm afraid I didn't address her the illness the way she needed me to. I know this now from after dday discussions but at the time I projected a apathetic attitude towards her MS, I felt that if I did this I can alleviate her stress if I made her think it wasn't a big deal.

Aside from the MS, my wife started to become unhappy in her job. Without going into detail, she worked a hospital job. She had the same amount of education and training as a nurse but her particular field never paid as well, never got recognition that others did and she had to deal with a lot of hospital bureaucracy. Add the fact that she is a wallflower type of personality she often felt left out of the group of coworkers.

Thus we decided together that while she was still young (almost 30 at this point), it would behoove her to go back to school to get a masters in another related field that would make her happy (sorry wont say what), get more money and more recognition. The problem was that in order to afford it and also have time for school and work at the same time she had to take the graveyard shift at a different hospital. (this also allowed us to pull the kids from day care when they werent in school)

This move proved to be a huge mistake, I believe it affected her MS negatively due to lack of sleep, it affected her emotional well being and we now spent a lot less time together and only slept in the same bed twice in a week. Thus our sex life dwindled to maybe twice a month as a result.


My wife and I viewed her night shift as a necessary evil that would eventually be over and something we would slog through to get to the golden ring.


Of course, having been lonely at night with the kids in bed and the wife at work I began to spend way too much time on facebook and playing dumb games like mafia wars and some online poker. I now started to divert my attention to reconnecting with old friends instead of where I should have focusing more.

I will say that even though I had reconnected with old female friends I purposely allowed my wife to view any and all emails/FB messages that she wanted to and if I ever met with them I always tried to get my wife to join us and never put myself in a spot where we would be alone that wasn't a public place (and no bars) and always tried to include husbands. Mind you I didn't go galavanting around too much either, I had maybe gone out about twice a month if that.

so as we near my wife's affair I can say that looking back we had problems that weren't being addressed. But I was complacent back then, I didn't think we had anything too earth shattering to deal with.





I know now that complacency is your enemy
Have you ever considered writing a book?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
thanks for the compliment

before dropping out I was an English major and I have always enjoyed writing, prior to the affair I blogged regularly but stopped since I knew that all that would come pouring out of my blog would be crap about the affair
 

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thanks for the compliment

before dropping out I was an English major and I have always enjoyed writing, prior to the affair I blogged regularly but stopped since I knew that all that would come pouring out of my blog would be crap about the affair
You're welcome. ;) You are a good writer for sure. This "book" is definitely hard to "put down". But I have no choice, because it's not finished. :rofl:
 
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