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Hi this is my first post as you can see, I have been searching for a place for advice on how to handle my colossal screw up. And I hope I found it.

So here is the background, I'm 36yrs father of two wonderful kids(11/17). And the "Former" wonderful husband to my best friend of the last 17yrs. We meet in high school married, had a child very early and have been together ever since.

We have gone through our ups and downs in the last 17yrs. Neither of us have been perfect(no affairs or anything) and we know it. We have soldiered on though and developed a wonderful and happy trusting relationship together. We have really developed into each others soul mates. I can honestly say that there is not another person in this world who would ever replace my wife. And I don't ever want anyone else to replace her. So with that being said I'll get on with the story.

So last Friday before I went to work we were discussing our continuation in our Adopting process, we are currently enrolled in a china adoption processes. It's been ongoing for about 6yrs. Life is very good for us , we have the "normal" worries a mom and dad have about their kids at this age(social, school, sports) but we are very stable. So anyways, I get to work and about 3 hours in to my shift I get a call from my wife saying how she Hates me , she can't believe I would do this to her and she has never really known me in these last 17yrs. If we didn't have these kids and more money she would divorce me tomorrow. So I'm thinking WTF, what did I do. And I'm freaking out as she is laying this all on me. Then she says it. And I will admit I am not proud of what is to follow. But it is done and I can"t undo it.

"I Found The Tape You Made of Us......

Now flash back to 10yrs ago, We have always had a healthy sex life. And we do to this day. I have always been extremely attracted to my wife. Even through the pregnancies, the changes it makes to ones body, I have loved her and been attracted to her as if it was the first time I laid eye on her. We have experimented a little bit at this point in our marriage(about 6-7yrs), nothing to crazy. I will say that I had always wanted to make a tape of us. I had asked her about it and never really persud it. She had said no because she was to self conscience(sp) about the way she looked. And like I said, she looked perfect to me. So one morning while she was getting ready for work I got it in my head that I would try and get us on tape, and then maybe show it to her and hopefully she would like it and we could do more. Now please before all the moral battering begins, I was 25 and I sometimes was kind of impulsive. I didn't think of the ramifications of what I was really doing. Just that "hey maybe she will dig it" SO I did it and got a short 5 min video of us. I asked if she would be willing to do a tape again a day or so later and she again shot me down, so I tucked the tape away for a later date. Hind site 20/20, I should have gotten the point and just threw the damned thing away. But I didn't I tucked it away and forgot about it.

Now back to the present, While looking for something else last Friday night she stumbled upon this tape. The one I had forgotten about and never destroyed. In the last 10yrs. since that tape I had never tried to make another one. I have always been honest with my wife and since then we have had a great relationship. Both in the bedroom and out. We are completely compatible with each other.

Now everything is ruined, She won't look at me she doesn't want to be near me. She has asked me to leave. I sleep in another bedroom. When I sleep at all. I have lost 15 lbs in the last 6 days since this has happened because I can't eat. I don't know what to do. Or if there is anything I can do. I tried to tell her that it was a stupid mistake I made 10yrs ago,That I'm sorry, but she doesn't care. She says I have ruined any trust that we had and that the person she loved wouldn't have done this to her. I tried to tell her that I can prove to her that I'm not like that, but I don't know how. Like I said in the beginning There was nothing wrong with us, we were in a perfect place in our lives, so I don't know what to do. Can I fix this? Or has my marriage been ruined on a 5 min tape made 10yrs ago?

Please help I am lost with out her. She is everything to me. I don't want to lose her, or my family.
 

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Well it was something pretty stupid. And not distorying it was even stupider.

That said, it's really stupid to end a good, long term marriage over a 10 year old video that has sat unnotice in a closet all this time.

Your wife is going to have her fit over this as she should. But I doubt she will give up an otherwise good man, good husband and father for this. If she does she's not a very brite woman. Does she realize how hard it would be for her to find a man who cares for her the way you do?

Empathize with her, appologize till the cows come home. Buy her flowers. Grovel... until she forgives you. But don't let it go on beyond some reasonable period of punishment. Don't let her punish you for the rest of your life over this.
 

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I don't believe you've ruined everything. However that being said it is more than just the video...but a violation of trust. So, in the back of her head she is wondering what else you may have done in the last 10 years that she doesn't know about..or wondering if you put it online..etc. Also perhaps the chance that the kids could have seen it or come across it at some point.

It will take some time for her to get over it. Especially if she is so against video making. Try to get her at a time when you guys are alone and ask her to tell you how it makes her feel, and what other concerns she has. Give her space too. Good luck.
 

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My ex h did this without my permission and I can't tell you how violated I felt. It was awful knowing he did this without my permission. I found the tape right away and it did not end our marriage. There were other factors that ended the marriage. I never got over the fact that he did this to me. Luckily I got a hold of the tape and destroyed it.

You need to be upfront and honest to your wife. Let her know that you didn't watch it. Tell her you tucked away the video in case she agreed to the taping.

You will probably get through this, but currently your wife does not trust you. What you did was very disrespectful 10 years ago. You may even need to get some MC as help. Or your wife will need time to cool off.

I'm not sure what my reaction would be if I found something like this 10 years later. I don't know if I'd be less ticked off and violated.
 

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Tell your wife you want to talk to her privately for a few minutes when SHE has time.

Sit down across from her, hold her hands, look her in the eyes and say, "I am VERY sorry about making that tape when you were VERY CLEARLY against it. It was very wrong of me and I regret it sincerely. I understand it is less about what is ON the tape and MORE about violating your trust. I get that. PLEASE let us find a way to work through this. Tell me what your fears are about this situation.

Are you afraid I made more tapes and didn't tell you?
Are you afraid I showed them to others or posted them on the internet?
Are you afraid the children saw them? Or COULD have seen them?"

Then SHUT UP and let her express her fears and anger. You may nod in understanding, but SHUT UP and do NOT attempt to defend yourself, or make her feel better or anything else. JUST LET HER VENT HER ANGER/FRUSTRATION/WHATEVER uninterrupted by you.

When she is done (and she may very well be crying by then), tell her that you can really see her side of it (and if you DON'T, go tell your sister what you did and let HER hit you in the head with a 2x4 until you DO).

Tell her that you will do WHATEVER it takes to help her feel better and more in control of this situation. Does she want you to take a polygraph test? You will be VERY WILLING (don't say 'happy', ain't nothing happy about this situation) to take one and answer ANY/ALL questions she has about this situation. Does she want to get rid of the video cam and just shoot still shots of the kids and family events? Then you'll throw it out, donate it, sell it on Craig's list, whatever. Does she want to talk to a counselor (with or without you) about how violated she feels? You will support that 100% from watching the kids to driving her there to whatever she wants from you.

Let her lead and you SHUT UP about the situation. Now, if she does NOTHING proactive about the situation for 3 months, but just wants to bring it up and throw it in your face, YOU NEED TO STEP UP AND SAY, "(wife's name), THIS is NOT solving anything. Nothing has changed with regard to this; you don't feel any better about trusting me, I don't feel we're moving forward together in resolving this. It IS TIME we see a professional together so we can get control of this situation in a mature manner. We've tried it ourselves without success LONG ENOUGH." Then do it.
 

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I would be pissed at you & destroy the tape. Her nuclear reaction to this one indiscretion seems extreem. There has got to be more to this story.
 

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I would be pissed at you & destroy the tape. Her nuclear reaction to this one indiscretion seems extreem. There has got to be more to this story.
I disagree! As a woman, I would be concerned about whether there were more tapes, longer tapes, more explicit tapes, tapes that other people loaned him, etc. And I wouldn't think he was in ANY POSITION TO BE BELIEVED when he denied it.

Just My Opinion
 

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Ya know.. Slowlygettingwiser has a point.

She could be very worried that you have other longer tapes made. Or that they are not hidden in the house. You've broken a trust issue here.
I still say, show her this thread.
 

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I used to have the same feelings as you & even took "private" photos as well. I wasn't proud of it but the few that I took we're stored in encrypted files on my iPod touch so her or anyone else would never stumble on them. I only kept them for a short time before I deleted them, still encrypted.
I think my wife would have been ticked as well but not enough to ruin a marriage. She actually let me take a nude one while on vacation years before. You made a mistake but you didn't put it on the net or anything, nobody else saw it so that is forgivable to me. If she would throw away 17 yrs for this, then you weren't as strong as you thought?
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
So it's has been a little over a month since my initial problems started. So I thought I would give a little update on what's been going on, and how we have been doing.

First I would like to answer some of the Questions people asked/posted in their comments to my original posting.

The tape I made was the only one. It was for my own viewing and I never had the intentions of showing others. It was only about a 4-5 min tape made while my wife was getting ready for work.

There is not more to this story than what I have told, I think my wife’s poor self image, and the fact that she felt so betrayed caused the "nuclear" reaction.

Now on to the update. So I spent the first two weeks in our spare bedroom, and on the couches since my wife had a hard time even having me in the same room as her. I would make up stories to the kids about falling asleep watching football or something along those lines. We had talked about it some, and she asked me to go stay with my mom for a couple weeks. I talked her out of this because I knew if I left then it would be for good. If she had to deal with our 17yol son( he can be hard to handle sometimes), and a 11 yol daughter who has never known anything but her parents together, crying for her father every night. It would make her resent me and what I did even more. I know this from personal experience, because my father walked out on us when I was 7. I spent many nights crying and screaming for him to come home. It really took a toll on my mother. So after about 2 wks we started interacting some, not a lot, but it was a start. I kept telling her how sorry I was, how much she meant to me. How I never meant to hurt her and how I was going to prove to her that she was my whole world. So I proceed to do everything I could think of to show her what she means to me. I send her flowers; I write her notes and cards declaring my love for her. I clean the house and make her dinner every night. Anything I can think of I do. So some time has passed and things are calming down between us some. We have spent some nice weekends together, made it through Thanksgiving with out to much drama, and even proceeded to get our Christmas tree together. We are not fine by any means. There are times when she tells me that things are different between us and that I have changed everything. To which I tell her that they will be different, but hopefully we can work through those and get back to, if not "normal" to almost normal.
We have been intimate on several occasions, which were fantastic as always. Although after our first time she told me that she felt guilty and that it didn't mean anything. I said that it meant everything to me and that she is still a woman who has needs. I am very competent at satisfying her, and I take great pride in it.

As good as things have been going there are also some points that I take concern with. She has a tendency when ever anything goes wrong; to suggest that I move out, and that it would help her make sure that this(our relationship) is what she really wants. Even if it has nothing to do with what the problem is? I don't get that. She also will not, and has not said since this has all happened that she loves me. And she refuses to be the one to initiate any display of affection. I always catch her reaching for my hand or arm, and catching herself and pulling it back. She will hold my hand or lean her head on me if I initiate it, but won't do it herself. I have showered her with affection since this all started and try to tell her endlessly that I love her, but I will admit that some days I am tired and I might not do it as often as other days, or I might have something else on my mind for whatever reason. She will tell me on those days that I am not trying very hard to show her how much she means to me.

It gets very frustrating some times, but I know I created this mess and that it is what I have to deal with if I want this to work. I thank everyone who has helped with their thought and input. This is a very challenging time for us. It is defiantly not how I pictured our lives going. And I defiantly wouldn't have though that something like this could cause such a devastating effect on the woman I love. I just hope that she comes to realize how sorry I am, and how much she means to me
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I defiantly wouldn't have though that something like this could cause such a devastating effect on the woman I love.
I'm wondering if that "defiantly" wasn't a freudian slip, OP? :)

Perhaps what's going through you W's head is "Do I really know him? I've trusted him all these years, yet he made a tape of us after me expressly telling him not to." She's possibly wondering if you showed it to other people, if you actually made other tapes that you're not admitting to and if you are in fact telling her the truth about all this.

The only thing you can do is win her trust and promise that this will never happen again. Communication is key and you need to convince her that you are sorry and that you are telling her the truth.
 

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yes it was a slip, it was supposed to be deffently. My spelling is horrible, so bad that some times spell check says "WTF".

Those are some of the exact words she spoke to me. I have been trying to show her exactly that. Thanks for the heads up on the spelling.:eek:
 

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I agree with many her - the reaction is a bit too much. I would get really angry and the husband would be in the dog house for long time but DIVORCE? People forgive affairs and that's much bigger betrayal
 

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You are wise to no move out. I agree that if you do, your marriage would most likely be over.

Give her some more time... hopefully she will not go on like this much longer.
 

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I've read all you've wrote and I can empathize with what you're going through...

About her reaction then -
I know many here feel that the wife is over-reacting...partly because taking sexy videotapes of one's spouse is not really uncommon, hence anyone would find it difficult to side the wife over such an extreme reaction....if anything, everyone sees your mistake as being a violation of her privacy - not more...

However I wonder if there are cultural differences in play here... I wanted to ask, are you from a different culture? The culture that I come from (i.e. back home) the primary reason sexy videotapes (blue films) are secretly recorded (even by spouses) would be to sell them on for money... what I'm trying to say is that what's normal/acceptable in one culture isn't in another...

Either way, you've broken her trust so you have to work to rebuild it and sounds like you are trying hard...if it's self-image issues and mistrust that's caused her reaction, I hope she forgives your actions soon enough...from your last post it sounds like she's coming around...but yes, its not wrong to gently let her know that you're trying quite hard and that you'd hope to see some effects soon enough...

As for now -
You are doing everything from your end...in fact, possibly a bit too much!
I don't think you should be bending over backwards to overdo it as that would drive her away too... she needs to see you as an equal partner who's committed a mistake and making up for it...not begin to see you as someone below her...

I'd think that you should steadily continue to make her realize that she's your life while yet giving her her space and you having your's (daily words of affirmation, a few physical touches everyday, maybe get her a bouquet/card once a week, help with some of the housework/kids etc) ...if she's had grievances about things that you haven't done in the past (like unfixed shelves etc) then now's a good time to do it...
However, I don't see that doing all the housework, showering her with attention/affection during every available spare moment, buying her loads of gifts, expensive dates etc is necessarily the way... show her you love her on a regular basis, but don't lose your identity while doing so...she's more likely to be attracted to a confident husband who accepts his mistakes gracefully and marches on calmly with his responsibilities, rather than one who appears insecure and is trying too hard...
Imagine this, once she accepts you and things fall back to normal, she might become resentful that you're not continuing to do all these things as she might have gotten so used to feeling 'entitled' (and I already see traces of these expectations in your last post)

By the way, the 'move out' threats should not be used as a shield during every major argument...if it were to really happen one day she'd realize how devastating that would be to such a committed couple...so gently remind her to refrain from using such threats in future...
 

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I don't know - this sounds similar to my predicament, though one step further. I had a journal/note entry about about sex life (when we are intimate), along with other entries on our disagreements, her being pissed at me etc. she discovered this and now wants to divorce me.

While I can understand a woman being upset with being video-recorded with knowledge of her being naked or intimate, I think your wife is taking this way too far. Guys are visual and if you love your wife and live the way she looks - especially w/o clothes -there is temptation to record. I'd love if my wife recorded a video of herself in sexy underwear or clothes (she is extremely attractive). I'm not saying its right, but it's not like you were having an affair.

In my opinion - she's holding this grudge way too long. Everybody makes mistakes.
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You are doing everything from your end...in fact, possibly a bit too much!
I don't think you should be bending over backwards to overdo it as that would drive her away too... she needs to see you as an equal partner who's committed a mistake and making up for it...not begin to see you as someone below her...
As a woman, I have to say that THIS RIGHT HERE is the God's honest truth!!! Do NOT become her doormat because you made a (really stupid & deceitful) mistake. She will not respect you if you're forever grovelling to her and begging for forgiveness. You've given her a month of butt-kissing, now KNOCK IT OFF and be a man!

Secondly, her perpetual threats to have you move out EVERY TIME she is unhappy about something in your marriage is childish. Tell her that those kinds of threats are unfair. Buy a book on how to fight FAIRLY and READ IT, ask her to read it, too.

If she STILL continues to threaten to have YOU move out whenever she's unhappy, remind her that the door opens just as wide for HER azz as it does for yours...she can walk!
 

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yes it was a slip, it was supposed to be deffently. My spelling is horrible, so bad that some times spell check says "WTF".

Those are some of the exact words she spoke to me. I have been trying to show her exactly that. Thanks for the heads up on the spelling.:eek:
OP, she will probably get over this in time. It's something you did a long time ago, and it sounds as though you guys have a good marriage.

You've apologized, told her it will never happen again and perhaps it's now time to let nature take its course.
 
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