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Discussion Starter #1
I'm posting this thread fully knowing that it will be controversial. I'm prepared to duck 2X4's so lay on if you feel the need. First, let me say that, had I the knowledge that I acquired from this forum, I would have taken a different path. If you look at my previous posts, you will find some discrepancy in the timeline. That was deliberate to protect anonymity. Dates are approximate. I apologize for the length of the story.
Now to my story. My wife and I celebrated our 25th anniversary in 2003. We went on our dream trip. People thought that we were newlyweds by our behavior. That year, she also went back to college to pursue her second degree. In 2004 things became a little strained. I was under a lot of stress at work, and having to work extra hours, as we had lost a partner. She was spending a lot of time at school and staying late to study. I chalked it up to the circumstances and believed we'd get it back to normal soon. You know the rest of the story. We were both changing clothes in our walk-in closet when I saw the passion mark on her neck. I questioned her about it. She didn't miss a beat, and simply said that I had done it. Not true; we hadn't been intimate in over a week. We had family visiting downstairs, and I chose not to create a confrontation at that time. My personality is that of a high achiever: "the buck stops here, failure is not an option, the captain of the ship is ultimately responsible," that sort of thinking. So I let the weekend pass until the relatives left. During that time I mulled over the situation, and concluded that this must have been all my fault. I became depressed. I considered suicide. I decided that I could not live with my failure, and came up with a plan. It was to look like an accident, which is really fairly easy, since as an outdoorsman, I have often seen accidents narrowly averted. On two occasions I almost went through with it. I was found out, and my plan was prevented. I hooked up with a very good therapist, who encouraged me to start meditation, and I read a lot of books on infidelity and how to recover one's self esteem. During this time I actually confronted my wife, and was met with denial and gas lighting. By then the signs of the affair were long over, and I had no way to confirm with evidence. During the years that followed I continued to get my act together (wish I'd done that 30 years earlier). We actually had discussions of infidelity in the abstract, regarding the how's, why's, and collateral damage of such a destructive decision. But she never actually admitted it. I stayed with her because I loved her, and because I did not want to inflict my pain on my children. I arrived at a peaceful state of mind.
Which brings me to today, and the topic of my thread. A week ago, we were having a conversation, and she remarked, " I want to thank you for not leaving me." I knew at that point, that if I wanted to get the full truth, that was the moment. But I made a decision. I am happy with my life. I have moved past all the pain and confusion of those years. The only thing to be gained, would be to allow her to assuage her guilt. I chose to let that moment pass.
 

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The 10 year span has helped you with the details. I found the same marks all over my wife on DDay. Details to me were important then. Here 10 years later they would not be. I think you did the right thing. Just keep her close and always have your guard near.
 

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Not everybody needs the details. You knew the basic truth and she knew that you knew. You feel that that is enough.

Having her implicitly confirm the affair, though, may, in fact prey on your mind. You may find that this turn of events brings the dirt out from under the rug. Time will tell.
I didn't want any details.

I think they would have destroyed me, to be honest.
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the conversation, guys. Let me share what I've learned. My therapist was a former evangelical preacher, turned Buddhist (now that's an interesting combination). We spent many sessions and a lot of hours discussing Ecclesiastes. One day he said, "The point of all this is: Can you live with uncertainty?" The answer was yes, in all aspects of my life. Interestingly, after the initial confrontation, which occurred two years after the affair, my wife, without any urging from me, became completely transparent. It was as if she'd found this forum and was doing all the things a WW must do to reconcile. I have verified from time to time by snooping, using the techniques that I found here. Nada. Now knowing what to look for, I think that if something were still going on, I'd see some sign of it. But of course, one is never certain of anything. But I can live with that. I will admit that there may be a little vindictiveness in deflecting what may have been, on her part, an effort to bring it out into the open. I read that as perhaps ongoing guilt and pain on her part. I was just not willing to open an old wound. I've made my peace with it - alone. She will have find her own way- alone.
 

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Thanks for the conversation, guys. Let me share what I've learned. My therapist was a former evangelical preacher, turned Buddhist (now that's an interesting combination). We spent many sessions and a lot of hours discussing Ecclesiastes. One day he said, "The point of all this is: Can you live with uncertainty?" The answer was yes, in all aspects of my life. Interestingly, after the initial confrontation, which occurred two years after the affair, my wife, without any urging from me, became completely transparent. It was as if she'd found this forum and was doing all the things a WW must do to reconcile. I have verified from time to time by snooping, using the techniques that I found here. Nada. Now knowing what to look for, I think that if something were still going on, I'd see some sign of it. But of course, one is never certain of anything. But I can live with that. I will admit that there may be a little vindictiveness in deflecting what may have been, on her part, an effort to bring it out into the open. I read that as perhaps ongoing guilt and pain on her part. I was just not willing to open an old wound. I've made my peace with it - alone. She will have find her own way- alone.
River Rat

All I will say is this.

Good for You!

Do not let anyone define you but you!

HM64
 

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I'd say it's different for each person. If you've forgiven her and there is no sign that she's cheating again there isn't a reason for it.

Only ask if you feel you want and can know. Why upset a marriage that seems to be going alright.

With mine I had to know everything up front. Unfortunately knowing everything only made it worse and I grew bitter. Now those mind movies are even worse and I find myself feeling angry every now and again even 4 years later. It even spawned the want for a revenge affair..

Let sleeping dragons lie, don't wake them up unless you're willing to fight them.
 

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I have moved past all the pain and confusion of those years. The only thing to be gained, would be to allow her to assuage her guilt. I chose to let that moment pass.
Perhaps she was wanting to confess and to hear you say you have forgiven her.

Maybe you missed your cue.
 

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Congrats on finding your comfort zone and living within it.

I do find it odd that no one is on here belittling like other similar threads, where acceptance is considered grounds for judgement and branding. Sometimes this place amazes me, how similar situations yield such different resulting posts???
 
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Which brings me to today, and the topic of my thread. A week ago, we were having a conversation, and she remarked, "I want to thank you for not leaving me." I knew at that point, that if I wanted to get the full truth, that was the moment. But I made a decision. I am happy with my life. I have moved past all the pain and confusion of those years. The only thing to be gained, would be to allow her to assuage her guilt. I chose to let that moment pass.
It's ok for me. A sound decision, taken after knowing every path at hand.

Implicitly she let you know she cheated on you, that she's sorry she did, that's she's grateful you didn't dump her.
You - also tacitly - accepted her apology and gratitude.
It seems you slowly managed to come to grips with what happened, on your own. Clear indicatiopn of inner strength.
You don't need the minutiae anymore.
Interestingly, after the initial confrontation, which occurred two years after the affair, my wife, without any urging from me, became completely transparent. It was as if she'd found this forum and was doing all the things a WW must do to reconcile.
This, along with her apology/gratitude speech is also indicative of soul searching, of affair proofing herself (built on remorse no doubt) and empathy. Maybe she was aware you checked on her once in while and decided to regain you trust.
I'd dare to say this conversation was another chance she's giving you to drag the truth out of her. She's, somehow, guiding you, telling you she's ready and willing to deal with it if you choose it.

You (as a couple) swept it under the carpet but it seems you guys dealt with it as individuals.

You are happy. She seems happy too.
It's OK.
 

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And yet because of the choice, you only know that your snooping has revealed nothing so far. Because you do not know the extent of her cheating, or who it is with, you cannot truly know it is over, or won't resurface, and that it isn't someone you still call a friend.

I could not live with such uncertainty of the past, because it denies me knowledge to use in directing my future.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Congrats on finding your comfort zone and living within it.

I do find it odd that no one is on here belittling like other similar threads, where acceptance is considered grounds for judgement and branding. Sometimes this place amazes me, how similar situations yield such different resulting posts???
I was expecting a much harsher response.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
And yet because of the choice, you only know that your snooping has revealed nothing so far. Because you do not know the extent of her cheating, or who it is with, you cannot truly know it is over, or won't resurface, and that it isn't someone you still call a friend.

I could not live with such uncertainty of the past, because it denies me knowledge to use in directing my future.
Shaggy, I have always respected your opinions. I understand your point. The memory still lingers, like an unpleasant odor. I still can recall all the sorrow, fear, and rage. I choose not to keep them in the front of my vision. I choose not to let the past plot my path into the future. Oh, and I'm pretty certain that I know who he is; I almost lost it and decked him at a public function. Glad I didn't. It wouldn't have fixed what's wrong with him, and it wouldn't have fixed me.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Since your mind is made up on your course of action I have only two comments.

Use paragraphs, that long posting was difficult to read!

Get tested for STDs. Since you are not interested in details from her, maybe you want to find out if there are deadly microbes from her encounter(s) swirling in your blood stream.
Sorry for the difficulty w/ structure. I know better. As for testing, I got that done years ago.
 

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Please, skip, just discard the entire post if you don't want to read about out desperate reaction after DDay1.
During that time I mulled over the situation, and concluded that this must have been all my fault. I became depressed. I considered suicide. I decided that I could not live with my failure, and came up with a plan. It was to look like an accident, which is really fairly easy, since as an outdoorsman, I have often seen accidents narrowly averted. On two occasions I almost went through with it. I was found out, and my plan was prevented.
Was your wife who found out your plans? Didn't she ask why? Didn't you have a serious talk about the reason of your depression? Did you put it on different issues aside your suspicions?
I find hard to believe she didn't blame herself and break down back then and even gaslighted you two years later. Maybe she thought confession would out you back rigth close the cliff.
 
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