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Discussion Starter #1
I'm desperate for advice. I've got myself into a very bad situation and everything I could do seems useless.

I'm a mad hatter. I cheated first. It was bad. I did everything wrong. What's worse was after being caught I made matters worse and now everything is crap. I didn't respect my husband, myself, or my children and family. I did some very stupid things and then ran from the consequences.

My oldest hates me. My husband is having an affair.

I need advice. I have pretty much all I think I'm going to get evidence wise, but I have no idea how to confront. I have no leg to stand on. I had an affair. There was no good reason for what I did and then I rugswept and manipulated gaslighted and lied lied lied. The worst was the blame shifting. I said and did some horrible things. He still doesn't know the extent of my affair. How am I supposed to handle his infidelity when my sin looms large? How am I to be anything other than a hypocrite? I feel like such a monster for what I've done to him. Part of me thinks I deserve this.

I've been lurking here and other sites for a while and that was what showed me how badly I had handled everything. I knew I handled it poorly for a while now but always hoped time would heal our wounds without the need for me to come clean.

That info also helped me come to the conclusion my husband is in an affair and completely detached. As well as the knowledge to find enough evidence (not as much as I would like.) I wish I had acted sooner and now everything is slipping down the drain.

I want to save my marriage. I do. I love my husband. I didn't appreciate him at all. I mistreated him. But I can't live without him. The thought of my family splitting rips me apart and I know its all my fault.

I'm so scared a confrontation will be the beginning of the end. I'm scared that the mask he is wearing will fall away and he will walk out on me. Walk out of my life and into HERS.

I think my husband is planning on getting our youngest into college before divorcing me.

Once the youngest is gone in 2 years I think he will leave. I feel like there is a time bomb strapped to my marriage, and it has a hair trigger. I'm so afraid to do ANYTHING right now.

I'll add a timeline soon.
 

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What doesn’t your husband know about your affair?

Does he try to hide his affair? Who is it with?
 

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Well first of all thank you for being honest not just with us but with yourself...

honestly that is the most important thing...your want to save your marriage...how far are you willing to go to save it?
have you thought of going away for the weekend with your husband, away from distraction away from the family, just you two and be upfront and honest about your transgression and then ask him to talk about his.....tell him that more than anything you want to save this marriage because you love him and you have not been a good and faithful wife...i would bring books for both of you to read, his needs her needs, the 5 language of love. read them for hand if you can...also affair proof your marriage....you both need to hit rock bottom together before you can rebuild your life together, you both need to come from despair in order to repair. there should be no he said she said, no accusation, no who did this first because that is only going to end thing faster.
 

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Just divorce.

Tell him you know he’s cheating, don’t care about the details, and just want to divorce amicably.

It’s gonna happen anyway — why not get out in front of it?
 

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I have some questions....

Do you know who the other woman is? Is she married?

How long ago did your affair end? How long did it go on after your husband found out about it? And how long was your affair?

When did your husband's affair start?
 

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Since your husband is running out the clock (waiting for your son to leave), you have time to work up and implement a plan.

Any thoughts on whether you should confess first or confront him first? I think you confess first. Hopefully his response among other things (within a few days or weeks) includes confessing to his affair. Postpone confronting him until you have a clearer picture about whether you can save the marriage (I'll think you'll know when the time is right).

How you segway into the confession is critical.

Here's some points to address:

-Why are you confessing now? (guilt or other reason?)
-Ask for 90 days before he gives you an answer to D or R.
-Why did you cheat? (deep reasons and take full responsibility)
-Why are you suddenly realizing you love him? (your rediscovered appreciation of him is caused by ...?) (what specific qualities or behavior do you love?)
-Why are you now a safe partner (no more cheating)? (counseling, self help books/reading, new boundaries, who are you now?)
-How will you show remorse for the devastation to your marriage and pain caused your husband?
-Why should he believe you (since you're an admitted liar and cheat)? (transparency, full accountability for your time, post nup...)
-Does he suspect that he's just a safety net or paycheck to you? (if yes, then I don't know how to answer this...)

The above is just a start....offers some of the points you'll need to cover when you confess.
If it was me, I'd write down some notes and speak from the notes just to make sure I cover everything.
 

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But I can't live without him. The thought of my family splitting rips me apart and I know its all my fault.
But this obviously isn't true or you would have never taken the risk. It sounds like you like the security and familiarity your husband provides, but don't look at him as a man, or see him as attractive enough. If that's the reason for wanting reconciliation, please just let him go.

You opened up the marriage, so don't be surprised that it's now open.

Get some therapy and find out your real reasons for believing that you love him. Then write him a letter confessing everything and stating your honest position.
 

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Just divorce.

Tell him you know he’s cheating, don’t care about the details, and just want to divorce amicably.

It’s gonna happen anyway — why not get out in front of it?
This is the most logical path forward since you have likely destroyed your marriage by your cruel behavior.

However, if you want to try and save it, you need to start with A FULL CONFESSION.

Leave out nothing. Include all the gory details.

Then let him decide.

However, I sincerely doubt you will come clean. You appear to be upset and desperate because you have been and are about to receive the consequences that you quite frankly, deserve, not because you are remorseful.
 

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Get the book “After the Affair” by Janice Spring. Read it, and find a good marriage counselor who has a lit of experience working with infidelity. The sex itself is not the big issue, it is the dishonesty, the betrayal. You can’t move forward into a new good marriage together until the infidelity is fully processed. Many therapists gloss over the recovery and go right into healthier relationship habits like communication. That stuff won’t help until the infidelity is dealt with.
 

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Foolishone,

You wrote, "He still doesn't know the extent of my affair."

You can't fix a gigantic pile of lies with more lies, perhaps do this, write out a timeline for your affair with all the details and the lies by omission. Then offer to take a polygraph. Eventually you will ask for one for your H, but for now lets deal with the first issue.

I suspect your H knows you are still lying, but just gave up hope and tried to find his happiness in another woman since he can't trust you.

Did you confess to the other mans wife?

Did you expose the OM?

If a coworker or boss did you go to personnel?

Are you still in contact with the OM or live nearby.

Have you been tested for STDs?

Read "surviving an affair" by Willard Harley

Tamat
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Let me start over. I didn't really cover much detail. Im sorry. There is a lot. First let me assure you i DO NOT SEE MY HUSBAND AS LESSER. Not one bit. This is my selfishness. My ap was actually short with a bit of a belly. It was emotional for me. I was all about ME. I wanted to be worshiped. Adored.

I and my husband are both 42. We have been married 16 almost 17 years. Dated for 2. We have two amazing girls. One 16 and the oldest is 18. Our oldest just started college. They were both happy accidents.

Me and my husband dated for two years before we got pregnant. We were not totally sure about us at that point. We kept putting off the wedding plans. When number two popped into the oven we knew we couldn't procrastinate anymore AND more importantly we where in a much better place then. We were financially better off. We were also madly in love. We never left each other's side. Sex was through the roof and we really felt like the worlds greatest team.

Everything was great. We didn't have much money and I have to admit I definitely beat him up about it. I and my husband hadn't gone to college. He didn't earn much, but we were happy. He was always a prince... And a bit of a rouge.

In 2010 my husband decided to quit his job and start a business. He always talked about it. It was his plan. I honestly never thought he would. He did. He ended up being very successful. But we emptied our saving and took a loan to make it work.

Those first few years of his business were the worst. I think that's when we became disconnected. We only saw each other in passing it seemed. I felt alone. Money was tight tight tight. I blamed him. Nothing was considered my fault.

What I know now is I should have spoken up. I should have been more open. I wanted his new business to work. It was always his dream. We both agreed sacrifices would need to be made. I nodded along to it all, but in my head, I knew I wouldn't like this.

I should have made opportunities. I should have done some initiating. I was expecting him to do everything. Build a future for our family be a great father. Romance me. He just couldn't do it all. Nobody really can. Not to mention I began what I assume my kids and husband probably refer to as the "***** years".

I picked fights with him. Nothing was ever good enough. Looking back on what I had become. I was an entitled little princess. I treated him very poorly. It wasn't all at once. It was gradual. I still don't know why I made him an enemy of my happiness in my head. I have more digging to do. I resented him. Like a little girl I was throwing a tantrum because I wasn't the absolute center of his world. How could I be? He had a lot to balance.

I'm ashamed to admit that I have never helped him financially. I was a stay at home mother since the first child. That changed 3 years ago after D day. (More on that later.) I didn't help keep track of money. Pay bills. Anything really. I raised my children ( I AM proud of that) and cooked and cleaned, but past that I shoved all responsibility onto his shoulders.

I created much of my own trouble. And to make it worse I added to my husband's burden at every point.

It was a downward spiral which I only pushed us further and further into. My husband began distancing himself. Who blames him?

In late-2013 I met a man through my sister. He seemed charming and kind. He began to socialize with our group of friends. This wasn't some love at first sight. It was a matter of inches adding to miles. Looking back the om was seeking out every opportunity to be around me. He wanted to be my "friend".

Little by little, we spent more and more time together. He would sit back and let me whine and ***** about life and my husband and tell him about how awesome I was and how I deserved better.... I didn't, but I thought so. I didn't even know what an EA was at this point.

At one point my husband took notice of this "friend" and told me it made him uncomfortable how close we were. I brushed it off. He let it go.

In late 2014 things took a turn when my OM kissed me and confessed feeling. I remember being flattered. I turned him down, but really I should have just ended our friendship there. I still wanted to talk his ear off and hear about how great I am.

It was long before he started kissing me often and we moved past kissing. I'm ashamed to say that he may have pushed us into that direction, but I had no problem doing it. I take responsibility for that. I wanted an affair. I gave myself permission. I convinced myself my life was horrible. That I suffered because of my husband and that if he wasn't going to love me then someone else would.

I think SOMEONE is a good word to use. What I know now I believe ANYONE would have been fine. All they had to be was supportive and blow smoke up my ass.

The physical part of the affair lasted about 4 months before d day (and 2 after). When the ea started... I can't really tell. Does first contact count? The line is blurry. But i went full no contact in August of that year.

My d day was on April 3, 2015. My husband saw a few emails I hadn't cleared up. He had noticed signs and snooped.

What he had found showed clear emotional attachment. I love you's. I want to kiss you. Nothing more damning, but even a fool could read between the lines.

I lied. I got angry at him for snooping. I lied. He was furious. Demanded answers. I lied. He Left the house for a week no contact. That scared me. I thought something happened until his parents called to tell me he was fine.

When he came back he demanded answers. I lied again. Told him he knew everything. Told him it was just a friendship out of control. Minimized. Destroyed evidence. And manipulated him. I hid my oms name from him.

I honestly think I lost my mind at this point. I really didn't want to lose him, but neither did I want to face the consequences. I was sure he would leave if he knew. I swung between trying to love him back and hating him. Whatever could get a reaction out of him and keep him invested in staying. I could go on and on about what I did. Most of the stories here seem to have similar things. I was a walking disaster.

I berated him into accepting what he knew was probably a lie and used coercion and manipulation to get him to shut up about the affair. Eventually, he gave up asking. Eventually i think he stopped caring.

To add insult to injury I didn't stop the affair. We had a physical relationship for 2 months directly after d day. We had sex 3 more times. We met more than that, but i was mostly interested in emotional support. I was scared and i thought of my ap as an insider. It disgusts me that I treated that pos as a safe harbor. I gave myself another excuse. That it was all too hard to deal with my husband's craziness. That I needed this. I never told him we continued.

As I saw my husband's distress anger dejection it DID affect me. I ended the affair myself. I know that isn't something to be proud of but I did. I'll admit it was NOT only empathy that made me end it. My ap was beginning to show his true colors. He was always pressuring me for sex when i was really confused about what i wanted and where i was going with my life. The shine was off the apple. My husband was also completely detached at this point. He demanded I get a job to support my own spending habits or he would divorce. He demanded I do more to help. He stopped doing things for me. Big things and little things. He started worrying about himself more and me less. He was working out and lost the few pounds he had put on. He was dressing up. He was no empathetic to me at all. I could feel the grim reaper coming for my marriage.

A good friend who I opened up to also helped immensely. She coached me through ending the affair. She helped me start to understand the gravity of what I had done.

I looked back at what I had done and I was ashamed. So I buried my shame and decided to be a good wife. I would fix our problems without dealing with the infidelity.

For the last 2 years, I have been buckling down and doing everything in my power to get him to love me again. I read this site and many stories like mine. I have practiced letting go of resentment and working on coping mechanisms.

I've stopped complaining and started carrying my own weight. I have a job and support my own spending. I have made time for dating and romance with my husband. I initiate sex. We have introduced new things in the bedroom. As long as it wasn't about the affair I was attempting to be open and honest about everything.

I thought I was slowly thawing his heart. He seemed to be less and less angry, but at times dejected and defeated. Then extremely cold. he changed slowly. He started smiling more about a year and a half after d day.

He seemed to forgive me. He was smiling more. And wasn't as depressed, though at moments he would get that 100-yard stare. He was working out and taking more time off to be with the kids and me. He was accepting me physically again and initiating. I was ecstatic. This is what I always wanted. Him home loving me and the kids. He set up his manager to take more responsibilities and worked a lot less than the insane hours he worked before.

I thought he had decided to commit to his family. To do his best to be a great dad and husband. I thought he had forgiven and forgotten. For a while, I really thought the affair had made our marriage stronger. I was a fool.

Things have seemingly been going great, until about 6 months ago. I found another phone. He had it stashed in the closet in his hunting boots. I heard it ding for a text notification. I found it and the front screen had a text message "I miss you so bad".

My husband used a smartphone with a fingerprint reader so later after he fell asleep I used his finger to open the phone.

Most of it was deleted. There was about 2 days worth of messages. Some photos of her. And a few videos. One of her giving him a blow job and one of them having anal sex.

The messages consist of what you would expect. The reason I said earlier that I have less evidence than I want is that I want to know how deep their emotions ran. It's eating me alive. What did he tell her? Are there plans for the future? Is this just sex?

Most of the messages are about sex. Little flirtations and I miss you. I miss your ****y. That hurt. It really did. Watching the videos was the worst. She is young. 29 at best.

I have seen all the posts of men who can't get over the sex. If I didn't SEE my husband with another woman I probably wouldn't understand. I do. How am I to compare? I feel old. Like an old sow.

I have been trying to dig deeper, but I must have tripped something in the closet to alert him because the phone has been gone since the first time I put it back in place. If I could find it I would load it with spyware. I can't access it's billing that I know of to see how much they talk. I ordered a var and put it in his truck, but I got mostly him singing to the radio. A few times he would call or she would, but it was business like. "Be there in 5. Can't wait to see you." That type of stuff.

Does it matter at this point? I want to know if this is just casual for him or if he has serious plans for being with her. It hurts both ways, but the first option gives me more hope.

Should I continue digging? What other methods are there? Hiring a pi will only tell me what I already know. He is cheating.

How do I even begin to unravel all this with him? There is so god damn much to talk about. I'm scared. He's going to just walk out.

How am I supposed to balance this? I'm totally lost. I have been locked in indecision for months.
 

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I'm sorry you are hurting. Regardless of your inexcusable behavior, your pain is unfortunate.

Having said that, I still see a lot of excuses and not taking responsibility.

As far as I am concerned, until you tell him the truth that your affair went physical, you are still cheating on him.

He probably knows, or suspects enough to know.

So now, you're both cheating! And you don't like it one bit.

While most will say his revenge-cheating is wrong, and it is, I get why he is doing it. He literally cannot trust you. You destroyed that bond and you continue to lie (cheat) to him to this very day.

Take responsibility. For real. Tell him the truth and accept your consequences. The consequences are coming. They are here, now.

You still move blame away from yourself:

i DO NOT SEE MY HUSBAND AS LESSER. Not one bit
But you did see him as lesser. You convinced yourself you deserved better than what he gave you.

In late-2013 I met a man through my sister.
What does that even mean? Come on, you sought out, yes sought out another man.

If you see him as an equal then you should provide him with all the truth you would want.

In late 2014 things took a turn when my OM kissed me and confessed feeling. I remember being flattered. I turned him down, but really I should have just ended our friendship there. I still wanted to talk his ear off and hear about how great I am.

It was long before he started kissing me often and
Take responsibility.

Did he just kiss you? You mean he knew you were receptive due to your behavior, no?

He did not just kiss you. You kissed each other.

Most of the messages are about sex. Little flirtations and I miss you. I miss your ****y. That hurt. It really did. Watching the videos was the worst. She is young. 29 at best.

I have seen all the posts of men who can't get over the sex. If I didn't SEE my husband with another woman I probably wouldn't understand. I do. How am I to compare? I feel old. Like an old sow.
Now that he got his groove back, you're getting just a taste of what he felt. But you don't understand for real.

He was out supporting and creating a future for your family while you were whining to, sucking and ****ing the OM.

What he is doing is trying to recapture what you took from him and continue to take from him.

And this hot young girl is blowing him and giving up the backdoor - and letting him video it?

Sorry, but I really don't see how you are going to get him back.

***

All you can do is come clean. Throw yourself on his mercy and ask for forgiveness.

Dedicating yourself to being the perfect wife while concealing that this dude was ****ing the **** out of you even after you got busted is not being the perfect wife.

That only helps you feel better. As if you can make up for your betrayal that way. The truth is you have done nothing to truly reconcile.

This is harsh, but it is true.

Stop worrying about better ways to spy or how to figure out his innermost thoughts and plans.

Do what you MUST DO: tell him the truth.

I wish you well in your journey to the truth and a resolution.
 

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What outcome are you looking for?

Do you want him affair free, and devoted to you and your family, having gotten over what he knows about your affair, without having to reveal the full truth to him?

Is that what you want help with?

Or just help busting him in his affair?

I can't imaging you even think an honest and transparent relationship is even possible now.

Btw a quick count tells me you have used "I" or "Me/My" a total of about 48 times in your first post on this thread.

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

Divorce him, and let him have some happiness!
 

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Like I told you in your other thread you treated your husband like ****,lied,cheated and gaslight him.Then when you come out of the fog and realize you were just a **** buddy to a player you suddenly rediscovered your love for your husband.
Did you expect him to be grateful?
Just divorce him,you aren’t attracted to him really,you just don’t want anyone else to have him.
And here is a really far out,unbelievable suggestion.Maybe try and be honest with him about your screwing around because I can guarantee he knows everything.
Karma really is a *****.
 

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What outcome are you looking for?

Do you want him affair free, and devoted to you and your family, having gotten over what he knows about your affair, without having to reveal the full truth to him?

Is that what you want help with?

Or just help busting him in his affair?

I can't imaging you even think an honest and transparent relationship is even possible now.

Btw a quick count tells me you have used "I" or "Me/My" a total of about 48 times in your first post on this thread.

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

Divorce him, and let him have some happiness!
I noticed the same think with the use of "I" and "me".

What really stood out were these statements:
  • Me and my husband dated for two years before we got pregnant.
  • I and my husband hadn't gone to college
.

It should be:
  • My husband and I dated for two years before we got pregnant.
  • My husband and I hadn't gone to college

The rule is that put yourself last when talking about others and yourself.

@FoolishOne, you writing is overly filled with "I" and "me/my". This gives he appearance that you are very self centered. This is interesting because you write about how self absorbed you had been in the past.

You might want to read through what you wrote and think of how you could re-write it without the over use of those words. Why? Because it's an exercise that could help you re-focus your thought process.

Also, there are some books that I think would help you. Read them in this order. (all are written by Dr. Harley)

"Surviving an Affair"
"Love Busters"
"His Needs, Her Needs"

I think that they will help you understand that has gone on in your marriage and how to get your husband to end his affair and then how the two of you can fix your marriage.
 

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You have multiple problems. Besides your husband cheating, the biggest is you're still lying and being manipulative about your affair. You're still making excuses for doing so. And like others have said your husband probably knows you never stopped lying or at best didn't tell him the full truth. Which is enough to kill your marriage right there.

You say you learned so much from forums like this, your friend, etc yet you're still lying, still trying to hide from the consequences of your actions, and as I said still making excuses. If you've read enough of these threads you know many times it's not just the affair that ends the marriage, it's the lies and how the cheating spouse behaves afterwards. As you said you did pretty much everything you shouldn't do when you were caught.

Your approach to treating your husband better and being a better spouse would have probably been received more positively if it hadn't come right on the heels of your cheating, gas-lighting, blame shifting, non-stop lying and especially your rug sweeping.

Anything can happen but at this point in time your marriage doesn't look very salvageable but I think you really need to ask if this is a marriage that should continue. It's good you've made some personal improvements but that might not be enough to save your marriage.

As for your husband, with your history, you should probably just confront. Although I'd be careful in your approach. While what you did doesn't give your husband the green light to cheat, as you said you don't have much of a leg to stand on yourself.
 

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You did well in expressing the depth of your deceit. However nothing can happen until you express this on paper and in person to him. Everything. I don't think you have much to lose, because you have nothing right now except a fake marriage that will probably end in a couple of years just as you mentioned. The degree of emasculation and humiliation was complete in that if there was a 50 point check list of worst case scenarios, and on what not to do, you went 50 for 50 and then some.

Coming forth with the truth will reset the marriage communication foundation, but it may be too little too late in not only was he made a fool of from the affair, but you admittedly didn't support him much and kind of worked against him even prior to your affair beginning, so his memories of the marriage will not start with the affair, it was a culmination of things of which was topped off with the affair. Having said that, nothing is impossible. In order to make the impossible, possible, you will have to be someone you may have never been before (at least with him).

You will have to take the lead by driving the entire process of wanting to reconcile. Before you reach out to communicate EVERYTHING, you must read how to help your husband heal from your affair. Unfortunately, you will have to deal with his pain and suffering before you can get to discussing yours. I would try to regain his trust over a few discussions so that he an see you're totally different. Afterwards,I'd bring up your wish for him to be exclusive with you as you are with him.

Lastly, everyone has different reactions to infidelity. I never knew how I would react until it happened with two fiance's of mine. Once I discovered, I immediately knew it was over and it was. I didn't know this prior to it happening I don't think, as it was a while ago. I do remember however that it was immediate. Not contemplating, thinking.... nothing. I was gone. Some men (the minority in my opinion from reading here and other sites) there is no coming back.

Others are reconciling immediately. What you have going against you though is your daughters are almost out of the house. You are right in seeing this as being his exit point. Even though I said it works against you, I also think it benefits you as well, as it gives you a couple of years to work on him and lots can happen during that period. Have to admit though, you have your work cut out for you as the damage caused by your non-supportive, verbally abusive and unfaithful ways, accrued over a period of time and inflicted massive damage to him personally and the marriage.
 

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I noticed the same think with the use of "I" and "me".

What really stood out were these statements:
  • Me and my husband dated for two years before we got pregnant.
  • I and my husband hadn't gone to college
.

It should be:
  • My husband and I dated for two years before we got pregnant.
  • My husband and I hadn't gone to college

The rule is that put yourself last when talking about others and yourself.

@FoolishOne, you writing is overly filled with "I" and "me/my". This gives he appearance that you are very self centered. This is interesting because you write about how self absorbed you had been in the past.

You might want to read through what you wrote and think of how you could re-write it without the over use of those words. Why? Because it's an exercise that could help you re-focus your thought process.

Also, there are some books that I think would help you. Read them in this order. (all are written by Dr. Harley)

"Surviving an Affair"
"Love Busters"
"His Needs, Her Needs"

I think that they will help you understand that has gone on in your marriage and how to get your husband to end his affair and then how the two of you can fix your marriage.
EleGirl,
Very thoughtful post. I hope she accepts your help.

She had both the excitement, and the security, she is losing her security, but I do think she has the beginnings of remorse, but it will be a lot of hard work.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thank you for your posts.

I believe the need for honesty dawned on me almost 4 months ago. I realized this is what lying get me... A sham marriage.

Actually sitting down and speaking about it is hard. I feel like it is lighting a fuse. Beginning of the end, but i should probably look at the beginning of the end as being when I stepped out.

The me and I before husband and him..... Bad grammar? I'm not exactly Shakespeare, but it might be a good idea to change that. I have been very selfish. I know that. Any way to help me see him and us before I should help. I have been extremely selfish basically our entire marriage. It was not so bad early marriage, but it never is, is it?

My plan is to come clean entirely. I don't plan on confronting at the same time. I would like to give him the opportunity, to tell the truth on his own.

I'm going to give up any more snooping. I got what I need.

I have to get the youngest out of the house for a few days to make this possible. She already suffered enough after d day because if me. I don't want her to see this.

Next weekend is a good option. I'm going to ask my daughter to stay at friends for the night and lay everything out on the table.

I don't expect much. I know I don't deserve much. I guess at this point I just want to understand if he still loves me. If there is then there is still hope.
 
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