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First post. Married 22.5 years, high school sweethearts,

SadDadOfFive's picture

First post.

Married 22.5 years, high school sweethearts, with about a 9 month separation about 12 years ago. 4 kids before that, and one after. There was infidelity during our separation, but when we got back together my wife got sober and has stayed sober for nearly 12 years now. I thought these were our golden years, our happy second act. I thought as long as she maintained her sobriety, I would never even have to think about the possibility of her cheating. Well, 3 weeks ago tonight she confessed that she’s been having an affair with someone she met in AA for the past 3.5 years. I have been a f—king wreck ever since. Can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t focus on anything.

It started 4 summers ago, was an every week thing for a few months, and then “stopped”, only to become an every 4-6 weeks thing ever since.

We had a regular sex life the whole time. Not perfect but probably weekly on average, never more than a couple weeks.

I feel like an absolute fool and a sucker because as soon as she confessed it to me I immediately knew who it was. The whole timeline flooded back to me. I remember her telling me about him when she met him, like a normal thing the way she’d tell me about anyone. Then I didn’t hear much about him after that. But I’d get suspicious once in a while, something didn’t feel right on certain nights when she would go visit a certain female friend. I’d find his number in the cell call logs. But again, somehow I NEVER CONTEMPLATED the idea she was having a sexual affair. An inappropriate male friendship maybe. But it couldn’t be anything more. Goddamnit I feel so stupid.

She told me she loves me, said she was sorry dozens of times, and has been generally remorseful and understanding. We have our first therapy session this week. But the last few days I can tell she’s already getting weary and feeling a little conflicted. Her female friend- the alibi- passed away the other day after battling cancer for a few years. She has been wanting to contact the AP - whose number we agreed to block- to tell him. I will not budge on this and think it is insane that she would even suggest it. She apologized tonight, but I feel like she’s going through withdrawal symptoms and it irritates me.

Thinking of her with him all those times is consuming me. I can’t keep the thoughts out of my mind for more than a couple minutes at a time. I worry that our sex life will never be healthy because one or both of us will be comparing it to what she had with him. I can’t possibly compete with the excitement of secret steamy affair sex. Even if she loves me and is committed, how is she going to be satisfied with normal married lovemaking when she’s been accustomed to sex and flirting and sexting with someone exciting for years. And how will I ever be able to feel like she isn’t comparing me all the time... or if we do have great sex, that she isn’t bringing stuff into the bedroom that came from her experience with him.

I just feel so hopeless tonight.

I do love her, and I know she wants to make it work and restore what we had. We talk about how many great years there could be ahead of us if we can just get through this. And I absolutely hate the thought of my kids going through a divorce (particularly because it wouldn’t make any sense without the context of their mom’s unfaithfulness, which I would be a monster to tell them about).

I feel like time is going so slow, like I’m trapped in a waking nightmare. Like I’m losing a battle with my own mind. And like all the burden of saving the marriage is falling on me. I am trying to think positive thoughts, tell myself that the past is in the past... but I need to start coping better really quick, or my whole life is going to fall apart.

Thanks for reading. Best to all of you.

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View 28 More Comments
Kas1966's picture
Dec 13

@ByeByeBaby good luck in whatever you choose.

devastatedinptbo's picture
Dec 14

@ByeByeBaby I'm sorry you are going through this. Yours sounds so similar to my situation too... At our marriage counselling on Tues, our therapists said from their experience, most long term relationships go through infidelity. I had no idea. So sad.

Jennipain's picture
Dec 15

My ex had the affair with women that were not good looking but they raised his self esteem. I don't think men go for good looking but more for someone that is going after them and giving them that good feeling inside. I have never cheated but yes when I stray it's at good looking men but that is not what is going to make you happy. As I have gotten older I think that looks have nothing to do with it but who the person is inside.


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