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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all. I need some perspective and I hope someone here can provide that.

Background:
In June of this year I caught my wife cheating on me with another man. We have been married for 11 years and have two young children. Adultery has never been an issue in our relationship, and for most of our marriage things were pretty good – not great, but good. I am by no means an ideal husband, I drank too much and I was consumed with my job, (ironically my wife says that one of the reasons she is attracted to me is my work ethic). I also didn’t participate too much in helping my wife with the kids and the routine chores around the house. I want an absent father & husband. I spent time with my family and I consider myself to be a good father. I just didn’t help her with the ‘boring’ part of family life, like changing diapers and such. To sum it up… I was selfish. At the same time, my wife has never been the most affectionate woman, (I am the romantic one) and the physical side of our marriage, while never absent has always been lacking. I also want to add some context, I was taking an antidepressant since prior to being married to her. The only reason I mention it is because 5 months prior to catching her, my doctor and I agreed I could stop taking it so I weaned myself off of it. It was a rough few months but I never realized how ‘zombified’ it made me. My emotions and feelings were really subdued during our marriage – and that’s unfortunate, I wish I had never taken the medication to begin with. You will see how this is relevant if you decide to read on. That’s the background. Here is my abridged story:

Before I caught her:
A month or so prior to catching her, (from here on out the day I caught her will be known as that 'Bad Day’) I started having realizations about my marriage and our life together. As I said, I was getting off a medication that really suppressed my feelings and now I had all these emotions jumping around; I mean I would get teary eyed watching Herbie the Love Bug with my kids!! Anyhow, I realized how my marriage had really turned into a roommate situation. I wanted to fix that. So what’s the typical male’s solution to fixing a marital problem? Buy her something! I distinctly remember that I was sitting on my recliner with my laptop trolling the internet for something nice I could get my wife. I was really trying hard to find something that would say, “I’m sorry for not being a good partner all the time. I know that now and want to change”. I looked and looked and found nothing… then I looked at our dining room table and saw the pile of clothes sitting there. At first I got a little annoyed at my wife. I thought, ‘why can’t she put this sh*t away!’ That’s when it hit me… I have arms, legs, I can fold clothes… this is what I should be doing! This is what a partner does! This is what she means by help! Why didn’t I understand that before… duh!

The above may sound stupid and obvious I admit; but it’s the truth. Once I realized that my wife needed my help – not a gift – the understanding of how awful I had been really hit me. It affected me so much that I damn near cried the rest of the day. 11 years I’ve been here with her and I’ve never even offered to help her with that kind of stuff! A small point for my ego; I’m not the kind of guy who cries at the drop of a hat. I’m an amateur kickboxer and I work with my hands, I even skip taking a shower sometimes, (maybe that’s my problem, hmmmm). It might even be that getting off meds made me more emotional than normal, but whatever, it was an eye opening and necessary realization! That night, I sat down with my wife and told her I was sorry. I told her I wanted to fix ‘us’ and that my head was now on straight. She seemed to respond with some optimism; though it wasn’t the jumping for joy I had wished for and I’m sure she was skeptical. It was during this conversation also that she made an ominous comment. She said… “I still love you babe, but I’m just not in love with you” Ouch! I wasn’t really sure how to interpret that at the time. She saw the hurt in my face and followed up with some reasoning about marriages losing that ‘new’ feeling after a while and that’s what she meant… little did I know, there was already someone in her life.

After that night I spent every day thinking of how I could be a better partner. Dishes, laundry, kids homework, kids karate, etc but that comment stuck in my head. I remember thinking that things were worse than I thought between my wife and I and that made me truly sad, but I also remember believing that my wife would never leave or cheat so I have time to fix this… I was soooo wrong.

The Affair:
First let me be clear. I am not a jealous man nor am I a controlling spouse. I have always respected my wife’s privacy. I have never tried to control my wife’s behavior nor have I ever done the ‘trust but verify’ thing with her. I just trusted her. With all that said and for reasons I still can’t explain, the day before that Bad Day, I had a sick feeling. Don’t know the origin but it was strong enough that when my wife got in the shower that morning I activated the built in tracking software on her iPhone, (find my iPhone is on all iPhones). I didn’t really know what I would find out. Maybe she was going out with her friends after work instead of working late? I don’t know and I felt so guilty for doing it… but I just knew something was not right and I needed to know what that was. The next day… the Bad Day, during lunch I checked on her. She was at a local restaurant near her work. Nothing unusual but it really ate at me. I was 30 miles away at work but I just had to go and see if something nefarious was going on… so I did. It was weird. I almost turned the car around 20 times. I kept thinking I was going to make a fool of myself or how I had so many more important things to be doing rather than playing Inspector Clouseau. But I persisted… sometimes I wish I hadn’t. When I got there, I parked far off and watched. I saw her exit the restaurant with another man. At first I wasn’t really alarmed. I wasn’t sure whether it was a coworker or what. I didn’t confront her immediately because I didn’t want to embarrass her or myself if it was benign. After they parted, she called me. I asked her what she did for lunch and I got the lie, “nothing, I stayed in the office”. Now I knew. I remember the complete and utter shock and disappointment and sadness that hit. I remember envisioning divorce court and custody battles and the upcoming fights and arguments and sadness. I’m not religious at all but I distinctly remember feeling anger and rage at God most of all. I felt I was being punished somehow; I finally get off medication and realized how messed up my marriage is and I want to be a better husband; I get filled up with hope and optimism about my marriage and then this happens? If at that moment Jesus decided to reveal himself to me I think I would have done a roundhouse kick to the side of his head!

Ok, so to move forward 30 minutes to the confrontation. I went to her office and she met me outside, (I’m not the type to make a scene). She admitted the affair. She really didn’t try to lie. She was hysterical and upset but she didn’t lie. I don’t remember everything that was said that afternoon but I do remember begging her not to leave me, which still surprises me. I usually have more self-respect than that. When I asked her if she would stop seeing him, she said, “I don’t know” which felt like the knife twisting. I just took it for granted that once caught, the cheater stops! How dumb am I? When I asked her if she wanted to see where this relationship went she said, “maybe”. I was unbelievably distraught and heartbroken and even more than the affair, I was deeply affected by the fact she was possibly choosing him over me. At that moment I thought she was taking my family and leaving to live with ‘him’. I didn’t know if this thing had been going on for a few days or a few years. It was the lowest and most hopeless I have ever felt in my life. I still have some resentment toward her for saying those things… but I’ll go into that later.

The Aftermath:
I didn’t know it at the time, but almost the entirety of my wife’s affair was via email… and I happen to be an excellent computer hacker. In the days after the Bad Day I was able to gather every email and text message and phone record. I saw everything. It was painful but also relieving to know that everything she said happened was verified by the facts in her emails. For one, my wife said that she never had sex with this man. I was doubtful but that was proven to be true in her conversations as well as her GPS records in her phone, (I’m scary huh). Also, the conversations they had were ‘weird’. He did all the talking and courting, and my wife’s responses were almost childlike. A lot of short sentences and vague answers with little revealing about herself, except she did make it clear she was married with kids! Furthermore, she even bragged about my boxing and handyman skills to him, (I thought this was really weird). Anyhow, to sum up the details, there were about 140 emails, 80 text messages, 5 lunches together and he kissed her 4 times. That’s the extent of the affair. I am certain that is as far as it went as the facts bare that out. What troubled me so much then and still even to this day was that in the days after I caught her, she was very sad and depressed which made me think she felt there was much more with this man. I even asked her if she thought she loved him and she said, “I don’t think I do”… The vagueness of this statement hurt sooo much!

One more thing about this man; it’s not really that relevant but I’m going to put it out there. I have a close friend who owns a Private Detective Agency. As a favor to me, he put this guy under surveillance for a few days and what he found was profound. I don’t want to get into details but to sum it up, this guy likes to go after married women. I guess I can understand that to a point; a scorned married woman isn’t going to give you any grief and if you accidentally get her pregnant or give her an STD… well what’s she going to do? Tell her husband? Doubtful. Anyhow, I never revealed any of this to my wife because I don’t want her to feel like she was used. My need for revenge wasn’t as strong as my desire to protect her. This also was surprising to me. I would have thought rubbing it in her face that Mr. Ideal was really a predator would have been damn enjoyable.

Today:
Fast forward to today – 6 months later. We are in counseling and I must say that our marriage has never been better. I don’t drink any more, not because she demanded it but because I don’t desire it. Putting the pieces of our life back together was very hard for the first few months. I almost left after the initial shock wore off but I realized that I share some responsibility in getting us to this point so I owe it to my wife, myself and most importantly to my kids to make things work. Don’t get me wrong, my wife’s decision to go outside the marriage is all hers. She owns that sh*t and she has agreed with that statement. My culpability is from my lack of attention to her needs as a wife and mother. Today, I help her with the chores and I actually look forward to it. I must say that I honestly can’t believe she did all this on her own for so many years. I really left her high and dry as far as a partnership goes. I know that know. I own that sh*t!

One thing I’ve learned in all this: I will never take my marriage for granted ever again. You get as much from marriage as you give to it.

As far as whether she loved that other man or not, a week after that Bad Day, my wife came home and apologized with tears in her eyes. I won’t go into details of the 4 hour conversation we had that day, but I will say it was very soothing. She repaired a lot of damage that evening. In short, she expressed her want to make this marriage work and more importantly she wanted our marriage to work because she loved me, not just because it was the right thing to do for our kids. She also said that she now realized she never really cared about the other guy. She said that she realizes now that he was just entertainment; a distraction that took her mind off of her unhappiness.

That’s what I need help with. Maybe I shouldn’t care since things are much better with my wife and I. But I still replay that day with all her ugly words in my head. When she told me she might want to “see where things went” with this man; when she said she didn’t think she loved him; and how could she say all of that when I know she saw the hurt in my eyes. She dismisses those words now as meaningless drivel on an emotionally charged day; but above all, the one thing that really sticks in my head is the sadness and depression she had in the days after she cut the affair off. Can a woman use a man as a distraction? Probably, but would a woman jeopardize her entire family to do so? It actually was her therapist that put that concept in her head. He said that her frustration with her marriage, (me) could have manifested itself as alcohol, drugs, food, or whatever. It just happens to be that it was this man. Does that sound plausible? I guess it makes sense… but her lack of understanding of her own emotions still troubles me. I know I need to move on. I know that no matter what I’m staying with my wife and we will be okay, but I just want these thoughts to go away. I want to believe her when she says he was just ‘entertainment’ and not my replacement. I understand that some of this may be male ego, but it is what it is.

This is very long winded and I still didn’t cover even 10% of the goings on that happened, just the essentials. I was just hoping that some on this site might be able to chime in. I hope you will be thoughtful if you do so. I just put the most painful experience if my life on the web. Please be honest but kind.
 

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Let me start off by saying that there is no justification for someone to have an affair no matter how bad their spouse is. They can leave but they cannot cheat.

You go into your innumerable faults and then list how you are fixing them - what about your wife's lack of affection and how she is fixing that?

She cheated and is making YOU do the work to get her back, fair huh?

Next, she showed you she has the capacity to lie. The fact that she followed such a predictable script of ILYBINILWY (check out how many other threads in this forum follow this exactly) means she had sex with him too.

This guy wouldn't go looking for married women to become their friends or steal them away from their husbands and have to support them financially. He wants one thing - SEX, and I sure as hell would bet that he got it.

Your wife told a minute amount of the details and manipulated you into believing the affair was your all fault. That's my 2 cents. Stand up for yourself because this will just happen again.
 

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Sorry you had to come, but glad you found us! Your story is, sadly, not all that unique.

I am glad her affair remained emotional and did not go physical.

You both seem to be working on your marriage, which is good.

Others will come along and add their perspective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Let me start off by saying that there is no justification for someone to have an affair no matter how bad their spouse is. They can leave but they cannot cheat.

You go into your innumerable faults and then list how you are fixing them - what about your wife's lack of affection and how she is fixing that?

She cheated and is making YOU do the work to get her back, fair huh?

Next, she showed you she has the capacity to lie. The fact that she followed such a predictable script of ILYBINILWY (check out how many other threads in this forum follow this exactly) means she had sex with him too.

This guy wouldn't go looking for married women to become their friends or steal them away from their husbands and have to support them financially. He wants one thing - SEX, and I sure as hell would bet that he got it.

Your wife told a minute amount of the details and manipulated you into believing the affair was your all fault. That's my 2 cents. Stand up for yourself because this will just happen again.
I appreciate your reply. You should be careful however with blanket statements and generalizations. I did take responsibility for my part of our marital problems - NOT HER AFFAIR. She owns that one. There was a lot of problems in our marriage and I'm no fool. I've been around the block and I'm not nieve. I still have anger about what happened, but not every woman who cheats is the devil.

I didn't get into the changes she has made our marriage. Yes, she puts out a lot of effort to show me she loves me and she's sorry. I don't need to explain what exactly she does to show me that, but I'll say I am very satisfied with her effort.

I'm not the most forgiving person but this is one case where ego needs to be set aside - if anything for our two kids who think the world of us. It's been 6 months and her sincerity has held. I forgave her but I'll never forget.

And yes - my wife told me details. I also hacked her email - personal and work - cracked her phone backup and recovered all her texts - deleted and otherwise - as well as pulled every piece of GPS data from her phone. I knew where she was for three months prior to the affair ending. If anything she told me differed from what I was able to factually verify from her data - believe me things would be different. Again, be careful putting everyone in the same box.
 

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For what its worth yes a man can be a distraction for a women...my wife had many of them thru our physically and emotionally abusive marriage.

It was the only thing she could count on, and when the distraction got to close and wanting more, then she would break it off and find another distraction that knew the score.

These bandaids/distractions my wife used were all but willing to accomidate her, but there are a few guys(OM) that wanted more and being used as my wifes play thing to get thru an unhealthy marriage were not that into it.

In fact there were one or two that turned her down when she told them she was married. But for the most part even the ONS were nothing more then distractions. Again many OM were disguarded by my wife when the distraction she was looking for became a hinderence and a pain when they wanted more of her then she was willing to give. Its kind of odd to hear a guy get emotionaly attached to a women they just met and after having sex in a hotel they want to get all romantic and take her out on dates.

The point being some OM knew the score and were fine with being that distraction for a few days maybe a week and some didn't and wanted to go out in public and meet the families.

I think me and you had that going for us....alot of guy aren't so lucky and the affair isnt a distraction but an emotional connect were the wayward has found there new soul mate. Those poor guy struggle so hard to let there waywards go. Believeing that there cheating wives will come out of the fog.
 

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Just wanted to say you found like a wonderful dude and your wife a wonderful lady, my sincere wish for a happy and prosperous life together!
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
For what its worth yes a man can be a distraction for a women...my wife had many of them thru our physically and emotionally abusive marriage.

It was the only thing she could count on, and when the distraction got to close and wanting more, then she would break it off and find another distraction that knew the score.

These bandaids/distractions my wife used were all but willing to accomidate her, but there are a few guys(OM) that wanted more and being used as my wifes play thing to get thru an unhealthy marriage were not that into it.

In fact there were one or two that turned her down when she told them she was married. But for the most part even the ONS were nothing more then distractions. Again many OM were disguarded by my wife when the distraction she was looking for became a hinderence and a pain when they wanted more of her then she was willing to give. Its kind of odd to hear a guy get emotionaly attached to a women they just met and after having sex in a hotel they want to get all romantic and take her out on dates.

The point being some OM knew the score and were fine with being that distraction for a few days maybe a week and some didn't and wanted to go out in public and meet the families.

I think me and you had that going for us....alot of guy aren't so lucky and the affair isnt a distraction but an emotional connect were the wayward has found there new soul mate. Those poor guy struggle so hard to let there waywards go. Believeing that there cheating wives will come out of the fog.
I appreciate the reply. One thing I've taken away from this experience is how common this is, (adultery). I mean most of my guy friends talk about cheating on their wives and I know a few of them routinely do. I never paid much mind to it until now. I see the damage that it causes to everyone around them - especially the kids! Fortunately our kids are still young enough where they didn't quite catch on to what happened, (I hope).

Are you and your wife okay now? I mean... I hope so.
 

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Have you dealt with the OM? He sounds like a predator on the hunt for marriages to end.

1. Have you posted him on cheaterville.com so married woman and husbands can find out what kind of guy he is?

2. I assume you found he was keeping time with other married women. Did you go the extra mile and warn the husbands of these women that they were cheating with this guy?

.....

As for your wife. One thing that just does not ring true is this: You say you didn't help with diapers, you didn't do house stuff etc. Did this OM do any of this stuff? Answer: nope.

So what in reality did this POSOM offer that you didn't?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Have you dealt with the OM? He sounds like a predator on the hunt for marriages to end.


Yes - I confronted him. He wouldn't see me face to face and wouldn't take my calls. I had to do it via text, email, and voicemail. Believe me... he's not coming around anymore.

1. Have you posted him on cheaterville.com so married woman and husbands can find out what kind of guy he is?


No! I didn't know it existed. You can bet your ass though I am putting him on there right after this post tho!

2. I assume you found he was keeping time with other married women. Did you go the extra mile and warn the husbands of these women that they were cheating with this guy?

This is tricky. The PI who observed this only determined they were married by wearing wedding rings. He has license plate numbers however there is a grey area in the law as far as having them run for info. My friend wasn't willing to get that info... I understand as he could jeopardize his license. I really wish I could get to those husbands tho. Man!


.....

As for your wife. One thing that just does not ring true is this: You say you didn't help with diapers, you didn't do house stuff etc. Did this OM do any of this stuff? Answer: nope.

Well... like I said, I wasn't an ideal husband. It's more than just diapers. I have some real black marks in our marriage. In addition to that... I never really spent any time listening to my wife. I was pretty bad. In fact she has had the same boss for many years and she would talk about people at work and I would always forget who was who. Every time she would mention her boss, I would say "who's that?" The point is she got attention from the OM, I didn't give her much. I am a work-a-holic who likes to drink. The problem is that I'm allergic to alcohol... I break out in handcuffs every damn time!!!

You get me?
 

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but I do remember begging her not to leave me
Man, whenever I read that on this board I just cringe. It makes me think that she's not doing the heavy lifting, instead you are. And it makes me think the thing has been rugswept in a fog of hysterical bonding and fake remorse.

Probably not the case in your case. You don't really go into enough of the details of what has happened since, and why they broke up, so I don't know. It's just such an upside down equation when the betrayed spouse is the one begging the cheater to stay.
 

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Ya were great, 3 years into a solid R, toxic friends gone, GNO gone, tools to affair proof the marriage check, understand who she is and what she is and now I can meet that need with out being affraid to share that with me.

As far as me, I'm good....52 session of anger management keeps me from hitting poeple and staying out of jail. Focus on a healthy balance of work and family and enjoying the time with the old lady now that the kids are almost out of the house.

I stopped slapping her around and she stopped sleeping around so life is good. The kids (22 d, 19 b) are productive and stay out of trouble...surprising.

I think they grew up watching what a phucked up set of behaviors there parent had and taught them selve to not be like us...sad but true.

I truely believe poeple can change, not for others but for them selves, and it will be up to others to stick around and enjoy the benifit to this new person.... I'm not sure if I'm talking about me or my wife or both! LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Man, whenever I read that on this board I just cringe. It makes me think that she's not doing the heavy lifting, instead you are. And it makes me think the thing has been rugswept in a fog of hysterical bonding and fake remorse.

Probably not the case in your case. You don't really go into enough of the details of what has happened since, and why they broke up, so I don't know. It's just such an upside down equation when the betrayed spouse is the one begging the cheater to stay.
Amen! Like I said, it surprised me as well. I never thought I'd react that way. In my defense, that was 5 minutes after I found out. After the shock wore off, I had packed my bags and moved out to a local hotel. I was so angry that I sacrificed my self respect during all this. Believe you me!

As far as her breaking it off... the affair only lasted 5 weeks. After I caught her she never talked to him again... as far as I can tell. She would have to be a complete sociopath to maintain the level of intimacy we have now and continue to talk to him tho - if that's that case then I'm f*ck*ed.

Her affair was stupid. Not just that she did it but the actual affair. It was like a Jr High thing. I can't really explain it. It was just lame and childish kind of...
 

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Amen! Like I said, it surprised me as well. I never thought I'd react that way. In my defense, that was 5 minutes after I found out. After the shock wore off, I had packed my bags and moved out to a local hotel. I was so angry that I sacrificed my self respect during all this. Believe you me!
Now THAT was the right reaction. Pack your bags and GTFO. Let her start to feel the consequence of her actions.
 

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Man, whenever I read that on this board I just cringe. It makes me think that she's not doing the heavy lifting, instead you are. And it makes me think the thing has been rugswept in a fog of hysterical bonding and fake remorse.

Probably not the case in your case. You don't really go into enough of the details of what has happened since, and why they broke up, so I don't know. It's just such an upside down equation when the betrayed spouse is the one begging the cheater to stay.
You make a good point , I don't want to answer for OP but I just have this feeling that there a degrees that take place and in some case of infedilty it not so much "I found my soul mate" or " it was my first love 80 years ago and it was ment to be" this and in my case is more about a distraction ...a band aid....a wayward spouse waiting for the betrayed spoue to star giving a damb enought to stop pushing th e WS around ( physically or emotionally or both).

Not to justify infidelity but to look a the degrees we all see when new guys show up with either EA's online or in person with a stranger or a EA with a long lost love, or a PA with an ex from 100 years ago , or a PA with the same person for 20 years, or a PA with some strang they just met....I could go on.

I gues there is only one big diference and that is the degree of emotioanl attachment that make a wayward walk away or stay just like the degree of betrayal were its deal breaker or not.

But yes if this is the first time infidelity has become an issue we need to warn them of the dangers of rug sweeping, like the time I did 13 years go plue 3 that left me a life time of regret.
 
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