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father of 4 (54). Got divorced in 2009 after my wife had an affair, and wasn't; in a place to try to work on anything. Her head was somewhere else. I got custody of my 4 kids, and raised them. 2 were 6, and the other two 11 and 12. Shortly after I met or connected with a high school alum two years younger than me. I didn't know her, but I fell in love with her very slowly and cautiously. I know what people are going to say already- boy are you stupid- but here goes. She had told me that she had dated her husband through all of high school and college, never partied and was the valedictorian. All true. She then told me in a round about convoluted way that she got divorced because her husband worked too much, and didn't have any time for her....She had gone away to a family reunion(his side) and her husband got drunk and went to bed. She hung out with his cousins etc...Next dy someone has to drive a cousin to the airport, and she gets elected. Husband too drunk. Have conversation, etc, and "a hug goodbye was not just a hug" She felt something. (I already feel so finG stupid). She continues a phone relationship with him, her husband taps the phones and hears a lot of sex talk and they divorce. SHE ENDS UP dating him, him living in her house for 10 plus years with her 2 little kids a mile from her ex. Horrid story, unless you met her. So sweet, so kind, compassionate, honest...well, maybe not.

I took it very slow. I had been through an ugly divorce. Very ugly, and she both helped me and watched my ex abuse everyone. We vowed to be faithful, but not marry. I gave her a ring, as a promise to stay together. forever She fell in love quickly. We had a great relationship for 5 years. I had dated a lot, been married etc, and when I say this relationship was the best I mean by a MILE. Many miles. after 5 years, She took a new job and worked over 100 hours some weeks, traveling up to 5 days a week, and the relationship cooled, but it was still great and I knew I could always count on her. She was supposed to move in permanently but never did. Always an excuse, when this one goes to school, when that one goes, etc. She did stay over a lot, but this always bothered me.

My kids adored her, but my oldest girl started to get jealous and try to get her in trouble with me constantly. There was always a rub. It grew into a huge problem so when my daughter graduated college and moved home, she left and went to her beach house an hour and a half away. recipe for disaster. she worked a lot and i visited when i could. She rarely came home. We have been together almost 12 years now, and with th twins going off to college this past september, I believed it was OUR Time! Finally. I asked her to go away for her birthday in sept, she didn't want to. I thought that was weird. She has been starting fight constantly for a few months at least, and acting different. I had a scheduled trip to go on this late Oct/early Nov., and what do you know, she started a GIANT fight right before I left. GIANT, about Nothing. For no reason and about the past and decisions we made together she now resents, and she went to the meanest places she's ever gone(my ex). I was floored. She's never been a yeller but has developed this 'Im going to say the meanest sh** I can when Im upset to get you mad. She even said "you want out of this relationship but don't have the balls to do it" I don't I LOVE her to the ends of the earth. That has Never changed. While I was gone all i could think about was her. I sent her messages but she never replied. She sent me a message "I need to get coats from your house when are you coming back". She also texted my son, my best friend's wife, my mom and another friend "when is he coming back" but never asked me. I didn't know any of this, but ghad a serious gut instinct kick in when I was away and immediately came home. I drove from Iowa to RI, to her house and she said this relationship has to end. I said I respect that, but I came here to look you in the eye and ask is there another guy. Her reply "yes but not on that level", then she started spewing a bunch of stuff about "meeting a lot of people guys and girls' and nothing physical, "get a lie detector test". I said no need for that, just go get me your phone. Her reply "Im not going to do that it would break your heart" We talked for a couple hours, she screamed and yelled and deflected from the elephant in the room as much as she could. I stayed calm and when about to leave I said, its been 11 1/2 years, I think you owe me the truth about the guy. she stared into space, her eyes welled up with tears and she said "i don't want this to be my legacy" and stopped. I said like because you did this before? She acted confused and started talking about a ton of other rubbish I redirected her and she pretended to not remember saying it. It had been one minute. She asked me to leave, and I did. A day or so later she sent me a text "I did nothing wrong and I am tired of your insinuations, they are further dividing us". I said you admitted it. She is disagreeing. I have been sick for weeks. I couldn't sleep or eat while I was away, I have lost 19 pounds, had cardiac irregularities, can't sleep..shaking from anxiety...just really sick. I trusted her to the ends of the earth. She won't call, text, or reply. when there has been any communication she Is trying to say I made this mistake or that(and I made some mistakes but not infidelity or stuff like that) for many years and she's angry with me. Also says I am trying to make this about a guy, and it isn't -it is about how much I suck I guess, or what I chose to do for the kids in 2015 or something Don't get me wrong, I have admitted and apologized for my mistakes, lack of judgment, anger, immature handling of situations etc. I am human- and I thought we were in Love.. Funny she just wrote me a long email about "what a great man you are" a few months ago...She says she Needs time to sort it out....with her own therapist, and she isn't communicating with me but suddenly is reaching out to my kids and mom........THOUGHTS TBH, I am heartbroken, truly heartbroken. I trusted her, and I still love her, and I anted our future together. I can't imagine this is just how abruptly our story just ends. Way too much good and way too many years of raising kids together, trips all over the place, vacations, and the best intimacy I have ever experienced. Im sick
Sorry this has happened. It is not unusual for a man to gloss over past infidelity, attributing it to some bogus outside factor. I did this,mas well. In reality, it is an indication of one's s hubris, to some extent. I rationalized it with my wife and( here's the hubris component), figured she would not do it to someone as great as me etc.
After reading thousands of infidelity stories, and speaking with hundreds of other betrayed men, I feel pretty comfortable saying that a history of infidelity of any sort( either a cheating spouse or as an OW to a married or committed guy), should immediately disqualify a woman from consideration as a partner.
But, it is water under the bridge for you and me, and you are already acknowledging the error. As I said, it is not an uncommon one, due to hubris, the KISA deal, and socialization of men failing to educate them to the true nature of women( not all, I know. But hypergamy etc.)
So, you are mid 50's? I am 67. I have had one serious girlfriend since my divorce 15 years ago. It lasted 9 years and we parted as friends. But, once I found out through her telling me she had once had an affair with a married man(she told me this 8 years in), I bailed. We still talk but I lost respect for her.
I think, after the shock wears off, the grief subsides, and the trauma is not so acute, you will be alright. You have 4 kids, and they can be a great source of joy( and pain, too. One of mine is a heroin addict, long term. Just a matter of time etc, but I still have hope for whatever reason).
Your girlfriend, now X, is just not a good person. Simplistic, eh? But , it is true. The recent stuff, which, undoubtedly, indicates cheating plus her history ( and, believe me, you know the tip of the iceberg((cynical, eh?)) ) is a good indicator of who/what she is. Do not doubt yourself on this.
Take it easy. You will not die from this. The trauma is great, and you may not be able to see this, but you can have a good life going forward. Life is never all,easy and happy for anyone. I think life is full of pain and hardship interspersed with times of joy and happiness. It is this way for all of us, despite outward appearances of having it all made.
I feel for you. This is a big loss. But, despite the suffering, please put this miscreant in the rearview mirror.
You and I learned a valuable but painful lesson. Have a meaningful life going forward. Enjoy the parts you can, and accept that life is really hard and seldom fair. Again, glad you have kids.
 

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I'm asking everyone looking for a different answer. I just can't believe it. Not her. My ex, ok. My girl...just no
What you have described is fairly conclusive. I have been through this twice, as well. Infidelity is pretty common, fairly widespread and pretty much equally distributed by gender. It is ,really, not that uncommon to be on the recieving end more than once, statistically. You acknowledge( again, like me) being aware of a history of cheating. It is really quite doubtful you know the true extent of her history.
One thing you might want to look at is whether you have qualities that are appealing to a narcissist or sociopath or bordeline( the Cluster B personality disorders). If you are nice, trusting, a bit naive etc, the disordered are drawn to you. They target you.
Your girlfriend has exhibited some behaviors( not just the cheating), consistent with a personality disorder. First, she cheated in th he past with her husband's cousin. That is fairly egregious and shows a clear lack of empathy( one of the hallmarks of the disordered).
She has gas lighted you, another red flag for lack of empathy. She is somewhat sadistic. One of your kids intuitively recognized what she is( not uncommon, particularly for female kids as it relates to other women.
I had to really educate myself on the red flags for narcissists. I was still very fit, making good dough, relatively handsome at your age and was approached by a fair number of predatory women. Start learning the signs. Read about personality disorders. They are far more common than we think or than some of the literature suggests due to the disordered seldom being diagnosed ( they avoid counseling like the plague).
 

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I am a realistic man. I understand and respect the direct responses, and that is what I believe too. But I am looking for all opinions, and maybe personal accounts of a similar nature that went differently. This isn't going to go differently but I'm not far removed from the shock, sickness, anxiety, palpitations, fear and sobbing...so.

In therapy this week, I told her you looked me in the eye and admitted it, TWICE, and let me be clear, I am not 90% sure, I am 100% sure. She sobbed and sobbed and deflected and said I was 1000% wrong. She said you want this to be about a guy. You want this to be that Im not strong enough to leave you on my own. You're wrong. I think she is trying t buy time so when it gets found out by more people, that we have been broken up for a while and it fits her narrative that she wasn't cheating, and it doesn't "become her legacy". She is really a sweet girl. Not *****y in any way at all. Easy to get along with, warm and affectionate. Our relationship went off the rails because of my daughter, and fights we had about her, and there were some other things as well I own, but I thought this was forever, even just a month ago.. On this forum I guess it is foolish to say I just can't explain how completely screwed up I am over this. I'm broken. You people know, some more than once(me)
Please, whatever you do, do not lay any of this on your kid. My second XW tried to drive a wedge between me and one of my sons(her stepson who could, in retrospect, see her for what she is). There is a reason that so many traditional fairy tales describe the archetype of the evilmstep mother( think Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Cinderella, etc).
By your own admission, you brought a woman with a history of cheating with her husband's cousin in contact with your kid( I did the something similar with my two boys from my first marriage. My second wife's s physical appearance blinded me to what she is. Made me ignore a clear sign of her true nature.
Ask yourself this, honestly: is it really possible for a kind, compassionate, empathetic woman Tom cheat on her husband with one of his relatives?. With distance and hindsight, the answer will,be clear to you. It is over the top egregious, as is a person now having yet a second affair( that you know of).
And, what type of brazeness and lack of empathy allows her to attempt to gaslight you now such that in your traumatized state you will question your perceptions. You have no history of auditory hallucinations, I presume.
 

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It sounds as though you are asking members to give you hope. To come up with some believable scenarios where your girl is really the angel you believe her to be. I'm sorry, but that is not the type of advice that will actually help you.

Reread your own first post and ask yourself if this sounds like a woman who loves and respects you?

Have you had the talk with your daughter regarding interfering in your relationships? She is now an adult and doesn't get a pass just because she's daddy's girl.
I would step back for a good long time before criticizing the daughter. Remember, this is a woman with a history of not just cheating, but doing it with her then husband's cousin. Then bringing that lowlife into her own kids home( the greatest threat to kids is from the boyfriend of a single mom, statistically).

It may well be that the daughter picked up on what this woman really is, since the daughter was not influenced by limerance and sexually generated dopamine. Seriously, can ther be any doubt that a serial cheater like this woman was sending out clues as to her true nature?
My second XW was , pretty much, a Victoria's Secret model looking type. I was oblivious to her nature for a while. Not so my kids.
 

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Most affairs, the vast majority, go undetected forever. Much like murders, most of which remain unsolved.
You now know of two for certain with this woman. What are the odds, particularly assuming she is roughly in your age bracket ( and even if not), that you just happen to know about the only two times she has been involved in this type of thing?
In my case, with both my XWs, I had formed relationships with their families and friends which were very close. They liked me a lot and were aghast at the cheating, although, apparently, not surprised. Many of these people came forward later to tell me of my XWs histories, which were far more extensive than the ones my XWs had coped to during courtship( done preemptively, as I was sure to have discovered the most blatant ones).
It was amazing. Siblings, friends, even in-law parents now came forward. Everyone had been reluctant before as they were fearful of interfering.
Affairs are like the cockroaches you see when you first come into a room. If you see one, there are many more that remain hidden.
50 year old woman with two known affairs( one even being with her husband's cousin)? Only two, though? I'll lay odds and bet a year's salary there is a lot more to her history. Run.
 

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I am pretty beaten down. I have lost 19 pounds since 10/4. I am not ok physically or emotionally. can't process this yet, and I'm not much of a cook. The other problem here is my EXW has a big family, and they will certainly be doing something big(assuming without my son). That leaves me and him. My Mom just had surgery. Used to be SO and her Kids and Mom and an occasional kids friend. Prior to my parents divorce in 2003 it was 40+ people. My kids have been through a lot of difficult changes
This is the toughest period, the initial shock period. It is pretty brutal. You are on the "High Impact Infidelity Diet". Many go through this( I lost 47 lbs. from a fit, lean body in about 3 months. Folks thought I had cancer.).
Eat what you can. Exercise and hydrate. Easier said then done , but try.
I am 15 years post the second marriage discovery. And, my XW( both, actually), is a narcissist for sure. On some level, the cheating was a relief, my golden ticket out from an abuser. Yet, the betrayal still affected me. You are ,probably, not ready to accept or understand what many here can see and are telling you about. But you really, really dodged a bullet here. Does not reduce the initial pain, though.
Odds are high your girlfriend has a history of cheating far beyond what you know. As I said, that cousin deal alone has her many standard deviations from a normal person. Throw in that she then lived with the guy( a man who she knew for certain was immoral and a snake) exposing her own kids to him. That behavior is so astronomically repugnant it should, by itself show you what you were dealing with. But, it will take time for this to dawn on you.
I think, with time, various other strange, abusive behaviors of hers will be recollected, stuff that you glossed over, not realizing its nature.
One that jumps to my mind is how she interacted with your daughter. Any empathetic, compassionate ADULT, would have realized the trauma your daughter went through as the result of her mother'infideliy and the resulting divorce. Naturally, any child wants its parents together and has issues with the replacement. This was your oldest, right, the one with the greatest consciousness of what your first wife did. The one with the longest history in what she thought was a stable family.
Your girlfriend ( and my opinion is, of course, biased because she is a known serial cheater), should have bent over backwards to try to help your daughter adjust. I cannot imagine how your daughter felt being kicked out for a person capable of what we know your girlfriend has done.
I made a similar mistake with my son, the one now fighting heroin addiction. I tried to shield him from his step mom's antipathy, but was nowhere near assertive enough. To this day, it is a huge source of shame for me. My son loves me and I have apologized, but this still haunts me.
In any case, know that the massive weight loss is common. Anxiety, lack of concentration, forgetfulness, sleep disturbances - all par for the course.
They subside gradually over time. Hang in there. Rely on trusted friends and family. Let work know if it is affecting performance, assuming you have decent bosses etc.
 

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True. on one. Took it slow, has a lot of common friends, went to HS together, outside of this one incident had a great reputation and most people didm't know. I thought she learned a lot from it. enough anyways and people do stupid things. I forgave her

I definitely did not mate guard. Too torn between going to see her and being a Dad. Would definitely do that differently today

:break your heart" Is all I can think about. I just can't wrap my head around this...
No one needs to " mate guard" a person who has integrity.

Pray tell, how does onelearn something from banging her husband's cousin and moving him in for 10 years. Slow learner or a sociopath?
I hope, by now, you are beginning to really think about the gravity of this particular red flag.SHE CHEATED WITH AND FELT COMFORTABLE LIVING FOR A DECADE WITH HER HUSBAND'S COUSIN. This sishit right out of" Deliverance", or Hunter Biden's playbook( although his brother was deceased, so maybe a bit of a distinction).
 

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Truthfully, I do not think I ever fully normalized. Look, it has been 27 years since discovery of mynfirstvwife's serial cheating( found her writings in our desk describing her desire to " Sop my destructive habits: drinking, smoking, SEX WITH STRANGERS"). We had two toddlers at the time, one with Down Syndrome and autism. I had been taking care of them ,virtually, by myself as her commitment to cheating was very time consuming.
My second wife's s cheating was discovered 16 years ago. And, yet, here I am, still dealing with it( albeit by trying to help other guys get through it. ((When I first sought support way back, there was a real paucity of help for men. Almost all books used the feminine pronoun for the betrayed and folks had not caught on to the prevalence of cheating among women yet)) ). Fortunately, times have changed.
In any case, do not bank on normalizing. And, in your and my cases, that is a good thing. Our " normals" are what got us into these messes. Well adjusted, confident, ethical people simply do not get involved with known cheaters, like we did. We need to own that. Does not make us evil, simply very, very misguided.
You will see in the responses to you, many of the betrayed men pointing to MGTOW or red pill concepts. The temptation is to label these guys misogynistic. It is amazing how the research into infidelity leads many of us to MGTOW concepts, as well as to expertise (amateur) in Cluster B personality disorders.
I was never capable( thankfully), of returning to my naive baseline. I sort of mourned this, initially, but my cynicism, skepticism, whatever has served me well. I have a good life now, lots of friends, meaning, good relationships with kids and family( including ex in laws).
You cannot unseen or unknown what you now are aware of. There are, truly, monsters(sociopaths and narcissists) among us. With education, you can minimize your future risk of involvement with one. And, having now become aware of your own lack of perceptiveness, as regards recognizing these types( 3 times now? (( well, I am no better if you include girlfriends as well as wives )) ), you can take the necessary steps Tom wise up.
Yeah, it is innocence lost and, initially, that feels like a big loss. But, life is, actually, better when you live in reality. And, you will know that, other than something bad happening to your kids or loved ones, nothing can really hurt you so much that it puts you dow. The old " that which does not kill me" deal.
This whole metamorphosis is going to take time.
I found one of my now best friends on the internet during this ordeal. Our stories were so much alike. The time frames lined up( marriages, discovery, divorces, kids). We shared the same profession. We both played basketball collegiately. We were basketball junkies etc. We live on opposite coasts but visit each other and talk weekly.
I hope you find a similar source of support. Virtually no one who has not been through this will fully understand like a fellow betrayed. Seek out support.
 

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Another thing, the extent of the effect of betrayal, while never easy, affects some folks with a past history of abandonment more extremely than others. A good book on this is Susan Anderson's " THE JOURNEY FROM ABANDONMENT TO HEALING".
It is quite interesting how she describes the differences in the neurochemistry of how a previously traumatized (abandoned ) person's s brain reacts to betrayal like this. There are measurable difference in the nature and quantity of the chemicals released. I had a background that predisposed me to a pretty severe reaction (alcoholic dad, sexual abuse by a neighbor at age 11).
Perhaps read the book as you have now had multiple betrayals. This stuff does change one, not always for the worse. Empathy increased for me. Same with patience and compassion. My priorities are much different now,and I am much more assertive, less tolerant of crap from anyone. Pretty much fearless. I do not get nervous in court or in golf tournaments.
 

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First off, try to stay calm. If you cannot workout because of your injuries, walk, try to hydrate and eat well. You are in the very early days, the worst time. This will, very gradually, get better.
I went back and read the first paragraph of your first post and a couple of things occurred to me.
First, you got custody of your children in your divorce. This is a bit unusual for a male. You were, most likely, your kids main caregiver and the stable parent. But, this also indicates to me that your wife must have been a very screwed up person, not only since she cheated but her nurturing skills/ instincts were deficient.
Then, post divorce, you entered into a relationship with not just a known cheater, but one who became involved with her husband's cousin, was busted sexting him, and who eventually moved him in with her young children. Yet, you describe her as sweet, compassionate etc. You just accepted this woman as such despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Didn't t it occur to you how abberent her behavior had been? Her reason for cheating was that her husband worked too much? That is mind bogglingly ****ed up. Your subconscious must have taken this in.
Now, despite knowing her past( some of it. That which as well as her recent cheating
 

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Sorry, got cut off.
In a nutshell , I hope you learn a valuable lesson from this. Once you recover, never, ever get involved with a woman who has cheated. Cheaters are, fundamentally, different than normal people.
You are paying a much smaller price here than you did when your wife cheated. This has zero impact on your finances or access to your kids. It sucks, don't get me wrong, but it pales in comparison to what many fathers have faced. They are crushed financially, and have limited access to their children. And, I know you went through worse hell the first in your marriage. And, I know you are sensitized because of the previous trauma. So, you have my sympathy.
But you really need to see this lying, gaslighting, serially cheating woman for what she is.
 

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Right, many of us made mistakes in overlooking stuff like you did. You are not a bad person, just a guy brought up in an era where males were indoctrinated with a lot of bogus crap as regards the nature of women. Flip the genders. Do you think a decent woman would have overlooked a guy having cheated on his wife and kids with his wife's cousin and shacking up with her exposing his kids to her ?
Infidelity has led to many men educating themselves on the true nature of women and the red flags indicating you have found a bad one.
Best way to heal fastest is no more contact of any kind. Frankly, the way you describe this woman, her work habits and values, she is no p
 

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You are right. I am not listening. I am hearing, but I am not listening. I am still squarely in disbelief, and the fact that she went off in therapy and swore up and down she isn't seeing someone, although I believe ZERO of that charade still screws me up and makes me feel the need to ask her questions. And she isn't talking to me. Strangest thing ever, just cut off. So frustrating and mean as F***
You are seeing the real her now.
 

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Simply, she fooled you. She was never who she pretended to be. Not a crime that you fell for it.
The red pill stuff has a lot of merit. But, you were dealing with a personality disordered woman. So, in addition to , perhaps, learning about the true nature of women and ethnocentrism, take a look at the information on Cluster B personality disorders.

Simply tell your kids the truth about finding out she was cheating.

Many of us were deceived as you were. Your life can be infinitely better without this woman.

It sort of boggles my mind, however, that you were willing to pay her salary so she would not work. That does indicate desperation, lack of self respect, and may have been instrumental in her losing attraction. Just way to differential and subservient. Women are not attracted to that.

Hang in there. You caught a break not being married to her. Your first wife's s cheating( a major trauma), may have set the stage for your being vulnerable to this latest cheater' s deception.

You have the financial resources and decent looks to attract women. But vet them better. Take off the blue pill goggles. I was in a similar position post second divorce. 52 years old, had a high paying job, still pretty fit. I had some hard and fast rules for dating: no one who ever cheated on someone or with someone was number one.
 

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Ok, crushed. Get a grip.
First, I do not think the moderators was addressing you, but, rather the folks posting to you.

Second, buying all that stuff for her and offering to pay a salary differential is nuts, even if you are wealthy. Did it not dawn on you that if she wanted more time around you, you would not have to pay her anything to do so? 100 hours a week, strictly voluntary? If she wanted more time with you, she would have made it happen, even without the bribe. I mean the answer is obvious, she did not want time with you.

And, I would take that as a compliment knowing her character. I hate to keep repeating this, but think about it. SHE CHEATED WITH HER HUSBAND'S COUSIN. How is that lost on you? She put on a good act for 12 years( you are wealthy, after all).

So, when did her devoting all her time to work become acceptable to you? Do you really think she was just working all that time? You know she is dishonest. Remember, she gaslit you brazenly re meeting and he other guy. I mean right to your face, in therapy, right?

Next time around with someone else, vet better and never debase yourself by. Buying her all that stuff and offering cash for her time. There is a word for this: prostitution. Let this scrawny, 85lbs woman go. Must have been like curling up with a sack of antlers.
 
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