My wife had multiple affairs

totallyscrewedJanuary 17, 2011

I wanted to get other peoples opinion on what I'm going through and if staying is the right thing. I caught my wife having an affair almost 6 months ago. In those 6 months I have found out about two other men she has had contact with but none sexual she says. The last one she had an 8 month sexual affair with, the second was an old boyfriend that I just found out recently from removing the hard drive from her laptop and reading an old email that she had fallen for him and thought about having an affair with and the first was a 28 year old that lived across the street from us which she said was "just friends". This was all during a 1 1/2 year span. She is 41 and we have been together for 25 years. 20 of those years were from a really good marriage. We have two teenage sons. She has admitted her wrong doings and has said she was sorry for what she did and that it will not happen again. She has lied to me for so long and I have have caught her in lies when she supposedly was telling me the truth. She has admitted to me that she has dumbed down her discretions as to not hurt me so bad. I finally got out of her that she felt like she was getting older and wanted to have sex with someone else before it was too late. My question is should I believe her that nothing happened with the first two chumps even though she said nothing happened with the 28 year old and that she had a thing for her old boyfriend?

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"My question is should I believe her...."

Re-read your own post. Self-answering question, seems to me.

Trust is everything. Obviously you've lost that. Good luck with patching this one up. Can you last long enough to get your teenagers properly launched?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 11:32AM
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Sorry. I chose the wrong words in that. I should have said "I don't believe most of what she's telling me". And yes trust is everything and loosing that is the worst of all. As far as our teenagers are concerned, that's the main reason for me staying. Our oldest son is mentally handicapped and it's rough from time to time with him and our youngest would be devastated if we split. We both have lost our good paying full time jobs due to the economy but barely making it with part time jobs. I guess I feel stuck with nowhere to go. The last thing I needed after loosing my job was to find her whoring around.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 12:16PM
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Does it appear to you that trust can be regained? Is it possible to put the past behind and leave it there or is she likely to go 'round again? This is a hard, painful thing but if you've got the facts down and acknowledged perhaps there's someplace better to go with it all.

If you can't do it there's likely no hope. If you can do it, you're talking about a new start -- with NEVER a mention of any of it again, ever. It's off the table. Doesn't get to be brought up again even in moments of emotion, stress and anger.

Frankly, most people aren't capable of this. But if you two are, there can be a new beginning. Otherwise, I think you're talking about an "arrangement" to last as long as needed to get the kids up-and-out.

The mentally handicapped child surely doesn't make any of this easy. And, surely, your changed work situations are major stressors. I hope you may be able to manage it for a least a while for the kids' sakes if not for your own.

Wish I had more wisdom to offer.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 3:15PM
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well if i were you i would never believe a woman who after having a husband and sons is having affairs with men younger than her.
i mean what did she want?

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 12:52PM
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Well, there's then and there's now and there are these two people and what they'd like to do about it. Seems a rough, sorry road to me but I do know several who have travelled it successfully. And many others who chose not to.

I am reluctant to advise what these two should or shouldn't do from cyber-distance but I do know a little about what's required for the task if they choose to undertake it.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 12:56PM
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Answering the previous post. She liked the attention she was getting from other men. Our marriage was just fine until we both joined f'ing Facebook in late 2008. Apparently the men just came out of the woodwork and she liked the attention she was getting. She was like a kid in a candy store. And that's when the thought of "I wonder what it would be like with someone else" came into play. In case your wondering, certain people were being hidden from me on Facebook and of course the vicious cycle of lying starts from there if not sooner. Facebook has not only ruined my marriage but countless others. So for any readers that are married out there......DO NOT JOIN FACEBOOK AND IF YOU ARE GET THE HELL OFF!!! It causes nothing but problems trust me. It's really sad in this day and time that as adults some can't control their selfish urges from a stupid piece of software. What does that say about our integrity as "caring people".

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 9:10AM
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Does it look like it can be straightened out? Seems like you're dealing with some immaturity, too.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 1:25PM
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There are a lot of temptations to stray in a marriage.
Perhaps your wife felt there was not enough attention in her marriage..that is what should be addressed, if that is the case. What can you do to show her more attention ?

I am not a fan of FB either.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 7:46PM
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Asolo, do you have any suggestions on how trust is regained?

(Same boat, - although all kids aren't teenagers yet - won't bore you with the details.)

Thank you in advance for any help you can give on the trust factor.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2011 at 6:30PM
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Answering popi, That was just one reason that was stated in her discretions. The only problem with that reason is that it's the typical whoa is me response that women use to justify what they've done along with "I didn't think you loved me" response which is total BS. Whatever they think the reason is doesn't justify having an affair so giving any type of response is basically pointless in the matter. The sneaking around behind your partners back because things aren't working out like you wanted is completely selfish and childish. Marriage is work and it's a partnership and it's not about you!!! Buy yet advice from counselors, friends so-called experts etc., seem to think that it must be something that the betrayed must have been part of to make someone do something like this. I'm black and white in my thinking and you really only have two choices to make in marriage if you feel that you've come to a crossroads....either put up with it and make it work OR get the hell out and divorce. It's only the right thing to do. Now in saying that I'm going to have to take my own advice and pick between the two choices. What I don't get is why can't people make this decision before the damage is already done?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 9:39AM
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The trust thing....always tough and always takes time. Begins with acknowledgement. Parties have to own their stuff...and the gravity of their stuff. Most people can't do that. Most people rationalize and excuse themselves 'til the end of time because it's less painful than admitting guilt and moving ahead via committing to change. Also troublesome because, even if they do, can the other party believe their pronouncement? Easy to get into a circle.

If the parties can manage that part -- and most can't -- the next step is some version of "starting over". Part of that is that nobody gets to bring up the dirt again. Like in never. Not when you're angry and arguments start. Not when you're drunk. Never....under any circumstance. It all needs to stay gone -- like it never happened.

Then time has to pass. A lot of time. Suspicions can fade to oblivion over time when they're starved of reinforcement. This, too, is hard because even the smallest transgression kicks everyone back in the hole. And if the people aren't capable, they will have wasted that much more time.

I think OP has a shot at it because they seem committed to letting the kids get older before the hammer drops in any event. That's sort of "free" time to work on it. Whether or not they're capable, only they know.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2011 at 10:04AM
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I'll disagree with the "never bring it up again" but will agree with the notion of never using it as a weapon.

If it's healed, then bringing it up as a discussion point is not problematic, and if those pains still exist, then you'd BETTER talk about it. Otherwise what you have is cheap forgiveness and stifled intimacy.

I do believe in not feeding the fear... but if the fear is there, or the hurt, it best be dealt with even if it's 20 years later.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 2:16AM
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Sadly for many marriages, the human species was never biologically designed to be monogamous. Yet we have the full force of religion and society trying to make us that way. Some people are able to do it, some can't. The ones who give in to their natural urges are usually severely punished for it. So much pain and trouble for ourselves and our mates because we try to be something that is against the basic nature of the reproductive urge. In time, Mother Nature cools us off a little and we are free to be as virtuous as people in a storybook. Meanwhile we are all in the thrall of our sexual needs and nobody is above it, really.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 3:22AM
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Get out will never me, from the sounds of it we married very similar girls. The truth is something my ex was never very fond of. She had 2 affairs, and even after I confronted her about them, and told her what I knew...she lied and lied and lied...then I'd find out more, and she'd lie more.

Thankfully I got out after the 2nd one. 50% custody of my kids sucks though...I wish she would have just vanished so I could have them full time.

Men usually get the bad rap...but trust me there are just as many lying cheating women out there.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 5:41PM
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Please consider seeing a qualified marriage counselor. Your wife should have a complete psychological workup by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist. She may have a recognized psychiatric condition such as Hypersexualism, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or Borderline Personality Disorder. Some characteristics of these disorders include low self-esteem issues, compulsive lying, wreckless behavior, and impulsivity. The victim can feel emotions such as guilt, anger, lack of trust, and inadequacy. Empowering yourself with the knowledge that your wife may have had a legitimate mental disorder can be helpful to you. It does not excuse the misdeeds; but it will reinforce the reality that you had no responsibility for your wife's conduct.
Your marriage can survive with therapy. Even if the marriage is not salvageable, the therapist can help you through the grieving, forgiveness (forgiveness is a gift for YOU), and healing processes. You deserve no less than the best in life.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 10:11AM
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"Parties have to own their stuff...and the gravity of their stuff. Most people can't do that. Most people rationalize and excuse themselves 'til the end of time because it's less painful than admitting guilt and moving ahead via committing to change."


    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 2:13PM
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totallyscrewed hasn't responded in six months. Suspect the issue resolved one way or another. We don't get to know.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 9:42PM
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Does it matter if she had an affair with other people? She had an affair. Doesn't really matter how many. If you don't think the marriage can be repaired then just leave...

    Bookmark   August 9, 2011 at 10:09AM
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If the genders were reversed and we were talking about a husband that was having multiple affairs, would the advice be different? Would we be asking if the wife gave her husband enough attention as if it were her fault? I agree about the socialization for monogamy despite our biology. But beyond that, trust is a big factor. That was betrayed. And it's difficult to get that back.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2012 at 9:45PM
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Do you still love her? Does she talk to you about your feelings and hers? Do you care if she does talk? Can you feel good about staying with her despite what she has done, despite her penchant for secrecy? Does she respect you? Does she find you exciting to go to bed with? Except for her duplicity and lack of fidelity, are you getting what you want out of this marriage? These are things you can answer before deciding. My wife has cheated on me three times in merely brief sexual affairs; never told me; I discovered them; I stayed. I enjoyed being with her, we were compatible in many ways.

How did I cope? For one thing, I felt myself superior to her partners and didn't feel much jealousy or shock. I thought she cheated out of vanity--the need to "see" if she was attractive to others. For another, I had felt strongly attracted to other women, and so now I no longer felt guilty about my feelings for other women nor in giving in to those feelings from time to time ... I admit I'm aware of my wife's comings and goings but don't particularly follow her closely nor surveil her movements and activities. If I feel jealousy ever it's because I feel she hasn't shown me the proper respect and have told her so outright, without waiting, and angrily. I'm not any kind of meek person. I know this answer won't satisfy those whose values exclude anything but the Absolute Closest & Most Faithful, but there it is. Ours is not an open marriage; ours is good but not great. My wife doesn't like discussing "problems" although I do. I could take the marriage or leave it (I figured that out by myself; I chose to "take it" despite her lack of communication on some intimate issues, because the issues about which she communicates change from year to year, and I'm expecting she will be able to talk about more things.)

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 1:22PM
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I would like to know what the outcome is on this situation? I also am in the same situation with my wife so I feel for you and your story.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 10:20AM
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Whoa Dratit! We have a lot of the same views. You have to decide if you can be with this person knowing that they need the attention of more than one person from time to time and decide from there what to do.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2013 at 2:44PM
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