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Wife of 17 years cheats with THREE guys!!


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I just don't understand how I am supposed to forget. I feel fine...and then I am reminded of what happened. Yesterday, we were having fun working on a home project...and then I saw some pictures from her work Christmas party...where one of the guys was there...and it was just weeks after they snuck around me...and I was taking LOTS of pictures (I am a photographer) of her and her co-workers...many of whom knew. NOW, I feel like such an idot.


I just don't know how to process this feeling...I feel fine...and then I am overwhelmed with confusion...and hurt. I want to lash out at her...but I can't. I don't understand...and I want to ask her why...how.


We will be wathcing TV...and there will be an episode where somebody is cheating on somebody else. Like she watches Gray's Anatomy. I swear that show is EVIL...as all they do is sleep with everybody. No big deal...except when they are cheating with married people. It makes me feel really uncomfortable.


We cook breakfast together on the weekends. We did this past Saturday. She tells me what a wonderful husband I am...and it makes me sick. I jsut want to ask her why she did it. Why did she have to sleep with somebody else.


I can't even say anything to her. She is so fragile. She feels so guilty already. She already doesn't think she deserves to live. How can I be mad at her...but I am still hurt.

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I don't have anything that can help i'm afraid, this is just going to feel awful for a while. No easy way to manage this. But hang in there, it will get better. Good for you for stepping up and trying, this shows what a good and strong man you are. It must be so hard to have to be there for her while you are dealing with your own grief about the relationship you thought you had. Is there someone you can confide in who is a friend of the relationship?


Please remember, it WILL get better, every day that passes right now is taking you to that better place, and your own means of coping will improve. Once this has all passed, your relationship may turn out to be far better than it was before, with a much stronger compassion for one another, a closer understanding. The sadness you feel is completely natural - the grief process will do its thing and you just have to be kind to yourself and go through the motions until it passes.


Re the ADs, my understanding is that it can take two weeks for them to kick in. I suppose side-effects are always a risk, but in my limited experience the three people I know who gave it a try were able to function and see a future once they kicked in, which was a huge improvement from the hopeless, 'why even be alive' perspective that had been there before. The period for them to kick in, and sometimes to find they don't work and you need something else, seems to be an unfortunate reality, where you just need to spend that time with a clear focus on how the depressed person is coping. Perhaps there was not enough time for your neighour's drugs to kick in? Who knows when it comes to the way different people's brains are wired. I guess the best you can do is get a doctor you trust, keep doing your research, and get a second opinion if that seems appropriate. These should at least reduce the risk of getting the 'wrong' drugs.


Perhaps others have some useful input on this?

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It must be so hard to have to be there for her while you are dealing with your own grief about the relationship you thought you had. Is there someone you can confide in who is a friend of the relationship?


you just have to be kind to yourself and go through the motions until it passes.


Well, not really. Of our closest friends, 1) one is dead 2) another she slept with 3) won't talk to us because they blame my wife for the death of our friend or 4) don't specifically know...although I want to tell them. We have been making new friends...but I can't tell them either. Besides, what can they say. I know Ron wants me to get to a counselor. I haven't even been able to make an AA meeting since all of this (except for one the day I found out). Just too busy. When school is out, I have other work todo...or I am spending time wtih my wife. I can't imagine what they would say anyway. It jsut sucks...and I want the thoughts to leave. I want to be happy with her.


It is a rather difficult situation. I want to discuss this with the one person that was my closest friend. I don't have a lot of friends. Guys generally don't...at least my dad didn't...and I normally feel pretty good about not having a bunch of friends. But I sure feel alone on this one...except for this website. And I feel like she is going to find out. It is so difficult always being positive around her...when it is constant on my mind.


Thanks for the feedback...and the positive sentiments about what I am going through. I hardly slept at all last night. There is hardly a moment that passes that I am not thinking about this. Only when I am really busy does it leave my mind. I'll be waiting on a serve (tennis)...and the thought will cross my mind that she cheated on me. When I am alone and only semi active, it is really on my mind. I just want the thoughts to go away. I have never had a desire to go back in time to undo something...but I sure do now.

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The reason I suggest the counselor is because, when I was getting a divorce, I also had no friends to talk to about it. Not one good enough that I woudln't be afraid that it would ruin our friendhsip. I mean, it was great to have people to talk to to take your mind off things... or to go out.


If you have no one to confide in, the world becomes a very lonely place. A counselor was jus the trick for me. It allowed me to have someone who would actually listen, provide some feedback and, most important of all, let me know that my feelings were normal. It sped the recovery trmendously.


I went there saying I didn't want "therapy", I just needed someone to talk to. I found that the thoughts didn't go away until I started expressing them and letting me feel my emotions and letting go of them too. It's a healthy process and one that is very difficult to do on your own.

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I am new to the forum and first want to say that I think it is great to have so many viewpoints to help you get new perspective on your situation. I hope I can help.

First, it doesn't sound like a situation where a single cause can be found and fixed to make things right. Her depression is likely complex as well - ADs might help (I know several people who are thriving because of meds that help balance their internal chemistry), but it sounds like her self-esteem needs some repair as well. There are clues - she wants you to be hip and young (you are an extension of her in many ways and it sounds like she is having trouble aging and moving out of her 'fertile' years), she is worried about her own looks, she has failed as a student - which may be more difficult since she is married to a teacher, and now she has failed as a wife and as a friend.

I don't suggest forgiving her everything - she needs to know how much it hurts and why. It might actually help. You love her, she is capable of really hurting you - she is worth that much.

Infidenlity often starts with a poor self image. You want to feel wanted and you think so little of yourself that you don't think your spouse should care.

I encourage you to see a counsellor - since you can be in the role of husband and healer.

You also say that you discouraged her from continuing in school. How did this make her feel? Like a failure? Perhaps you were right, but maybe she should be steered into something where she can see realize some personal success. Academics is really not for everyone. There are tons of successful people without a college degree.

My advise - let her know you are hurt and need some healing. I doubt she feels that she deserves your forgiveness. Tell her that you are hurt because you love her and because your marriage is precious to you. But your healing time is your issue and together you should focus on the future. With time will hopefully come trust. Fighting about trivial things like fashion is normal - so try to find a way to lighten it up and not to make it an extension of the bigger issues.

So good luck to you - you sound like an incredibly caring and tollerate guy. Some day she'll know how lucky she is - and hopefully she'll know that she deserves it.

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Hello. Thanks newmomq for taking the time to write such a thoughtful reply. You hit the nail on several areas. Since my last visit here, my wife told a a friend of hers that she has been getting closer to since the suicide of their mutal best friend. My wife had been having a great deal of stress over the fact that she didn't know if this new friendship was being founded on secrecy...so she told this friend...who was very nice about it...unlike another friend who has completely disowned my wife.


Anyway, point is, my wife told me what happened...and it naturally brought the topic up...which for the most point, I have been avoiding...I don't want her to know how bad it really hurts. It is obvious that she is in a great deal of pain. I would say there is no doubt in my mind that she is sorry...except their was no doubt in my mind that she loved me when she was obviously hidding a great deal from me.


Anyway, she asked me point blank how I was feeling and doing...and I told her not to ask...that I didn't want to tell her. Well, I did. I told her it still really hurt. I told her that not a minute passes that I don't think about what she did...but that I was firm in my resolve to put it behind us and to focus on the solution. She cried. And I told her not to ask me again how I felt...because I didn't want her to feel bad. She said that she felt bad no matter what and that she wanted me to be able to talk to her about it. I told her that I didn't want her to think that I wasn't upset...or that it didn't hurt...but that I would not discuss it with her again...so not to ask.


I would like to say that I have felt better...and for the most part...I have...but it still surprises me how many times it crosses my mind. Just about any time that I am free to think...my thoughts wonder to what she did. Especially when I am driving around, to and from work etc. I try to listen to music to block the thoughts from my head, but it just doesn't leave my mind.


As far as the school issue, yes, it did hurt her. And you are quite correct about the failures, etc. She is working on it...and I think she is doing better...as least in her verbage. She is really hard on herself. She is petite, and in good shape, and quite pretty, but she is very derogatory toward her appearance...so you are quite correct again in the low selfesteem. What is frustrating though is that even though she may have initially seeked the attention of SOMEBODY...she didn't get it from them anymore than she was getting it from me. Which makes me sick to my stomach that she slept with somebody for nothing. I was here...we just weren't communicating real well.


I know she is greatful for me...and that she is truly sorry. It just hurts when she tells me she loves me because I think..."but you told me you loved me two years ago when where sleeping around, and then last November, and then in January". One of those time, I was on a student field trip, out of town, camping with my students. I remember she told me she loved me that night...right after she had invited a guy into our house!?!?!? Then the next time, she left the house while I was gone for only a couple of hours...met the guy and did it in a car right out in the parking garage!?!?!?! I mean, how can you (menaing me) forget something like that????? The five times she went to the couples house are just as objectionable, as is the one time she was drunk over at the same house with the third guy, but it is that one guy at work where she just seeked him out, invited him to our house, went up stairs and slept with him in our bed...that really pisses me off. And now that I think about it...whose car did they do it in???? I don't know what, but that just really pisses me off the most.


Coming up on a month of knowing...and I still want to just throw up when I think about.

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I'm glad you can identify with someone... I have been in a similar situation... not as extreme, but similar. Love comes in so many different flavors that when someone tells you they love you, you just really don't know what they mean someimes.


I will stick to my earlier and consistent advice of getting a therapist or counselor... I know you don't want to hear it. You are probably too "man" enough to want to seek the help of "someone that can't possibly know what you are going through"... and, that's fine...


Keep toeing the line... vent if that helps... when you decide you *really* want to get through this... well... step up and do what you got to do...


Cuz, now... all I hear is the same vent coming from you. You have every right to be angry and upset and, yes... sad. Either allow yourself to feel that in private, or go to someone who can help you feel it. Bottling this stuff up, like you are, will do *way* more damage than good. I have been to that place... it's not a good place. It's not even a place you would wish on your enemies... though, you may like to see a casual acquaintance there sometimes... but *never* you!

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3 times, 3 guys, I couldnt forget, or forgive that bro. More power to you if you can. Im just not sure why she would be any more sorry now than she was after the first time, the second time, and the third time...


Id probably be more surprised if she didnt do it again, than if she did. But maybe she really is remourseful.... good luck.

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I will stick to my earlier and consistent advice of getting a therapist or counselor... I know you don't want to hear it. You are probably too "man" enough to want to seek the help of "someone that can't possibly know what you are going through"... and, that's fine...


Keep toeing the line... vent if that helps... when you decide you *really* want to get through this... well... step up and do what you got to do...


Cuz, now... all I hear is the same vent coming from you. You have every right to be angry and upset and, yes... sad. Either allow yourself to feel that in private, or go to someone who can help you feel it. Bottling this stuff up, like you are, will do *way* more damage than good.


Sorry Ron if I seem like I am venting the same stuff. I was just responding to the new post made wtih some good insight and feed back. I am not one to tell 5 people the same story. It isn't like I am posting this stuff in new threads, or other online sites. It's not that I am OPPOSED to seeing a counselor. This is only the third week to "know". Her counselor is willing to see us both and/or me. But he doesn't have any open appt to see me after school. He was going to cancel another person to see us both...but neither my wife nor I wanted him to cancel on somebody else. So, I have been on standby waiting for an afternoon spot to come open. The receptionist has called a couple of times with openings that came open by cancelation...but they have all been during the school day. I COULD leave...but getting a sub for one class period is a real pain in my scheduling day as it takes me LONGER to prepare a lesson for a sub, than it does for me to prepare what the students really need to be doing right now. I know I am just making excuses. I will evnetually get in to see him. I know I could go to another, but then I would have to explain EVERYTHING. This counselor actually saw both the husband (the one she slept with first) and his wife (the one who killed herself).


In fact, I sat in a suicide grief class with this counselor leading, etc. for 6-8 weeks BEFORE I knew the real story behing everything. He is a good, christian based counselor. I have appreciated the work he has done with my wife...and in the couple of times I have talked with him and his comments to me about how I have been dealing with things.


Point is...I will get into see him at some point. In the mean time, I have just been looking to you guys on how to deal with this.


Although I will go see him...I still feel like it will be a waste. I have wanted to hear from other people who have gone through this exact thing...what did they do to move on? What are some specific things they tried to forgive and forget? How long did it take? Did (or has) their been any successes? Or are we doomed? I have also been using this as a way of writing about my feelings. This counselor is big on getting you to write...as he has my wife write a journal every day.


I know a counselor is helpful. Bottomline, I guess if I felt bad enough I would do whatever I need to get to him. But I don't think it is about being "man enough". I just don't think there is a lot he can tell me...that I can't learn from guys like you...that have been there. In fact, I would expect about the same sort of treatment that you just gave me in your last post. You know, the "Ok now, that's enough...quit feeling sorry for yourself. You may be paying me to listen to you, but it is time for you to quit living in the past, quit focusing on the problem, and start focusing on the solution, etc.". Ok, so maybe no counselor would ever say that...but I equate going to a counselor about the same as going to an AA meeting and saying, "I am having a problem with a resentment"...and then turning the topic over for the group to talk about. You only make that mistake once...even in AA. For the next 55 mins, you are in the hotseat...and they are telling you what you already know.


It's not like I want to woller in self pity...and I am looking for you guys to pity me. And it's not like I don't know what I need to do to get past this. ](*,) I am just still deeply sadden by it. When I look at my wife, I think of how she cheated on me. I shake it off my mind...and try to focus on the positive things...but I just still don't understand the mind of my wife, that I thought I knew pretty well. I may never understand her. Actually, my thinking lately has been that she must have been fairly psychotic. As I wrote to my wife just today (she has a meeting with her counselor right now) that I just don't understand how she did it with a stranger in a car in a parking garage. We are talking about a girl who doesn't even like the blinds open at our house...at night...and we sleep upstairs...and are not right next to the window.


It doesn't help that I happen to by in the BUSIEST part of the school year. My wfie and I started a evening Spanish class. It has been fun studying with her...but it is making the amount of free time even less.


Thanks for the feedback Ron.

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3 times, 3 guys, I couldnt forget, or forgive that bro. .... good luck.


Well, actually, it was 8 times, with 3 guys. She didn't want to tell me spefici details when I found all this out on Spet 9th, but I dragged it out of her. She said the counserlor said it was not good to know specific details. But to me, doubt and not knowing is worse than knowing. Can't process what I don't know. So, she told me all of the specifics.


Actually, I look at the first guy. His wife asked my wife to sleep with him...to help her out. She had just had their second baby...and she couldn't keep up with her husbands needs. So, she asked my wife as a favor. My wife said no at first. But the friend kept the pressure on...showed her some video, etc.


Now I don't know how much of what my wife did was "being a friend" or how much she wanted to go ahead and do it. But, according to all three people's story (well, one is dead...but from what I heard she said) was that my wife did not agree to it at first. They apparently slept together three times. Each time the wife was in the other room...and according to my wife and the guy, they wouldn't even finish...but the guy woudl go finish with the wife.


But whatever, that set up a nasty chain of events.


My wife was riddled with guilt. She had effectively isolated herself from me by harboring such a horrible secrete. I can see how that lead to the 2nd guy. That last two times. Then, the third time was while she was drunk. According to my wife, in her recent honest discussion, was still completely an accident. Although, obviously, the propensity to stray was there, drunk or not. She says that she had broken it off with the 2nd guy, and was changing her ways. But, she was still quite depressed. Not seeing a counselor yet...got drunk...and selpt with the 3rd guy, which is when I caught her in the middle of the night.


Anyway, point is...why should I forgive her? Becuase it is the right thing to do. Now actually doing it...that is a different story. Still waiting for the peace of forgiveness to fall on me. I know it will happen in time. I just still feel the pain in my chest...and my stomach...and my eyes. The energy it takes to stay strong and positive is exhausting.

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It's gonna be tough to let go of the feelings. You sound better now than you did, so it does seem that things are improving for you. I know you say the time alone is rough, but you might think, if you're able to, to get away by yourself for a day or a weekend. Get outside and enjoy a bit of nature away from everything.


The only way to get over your feelings is to feel them, and then let them go. Not too fun, that's for sure. Don't forget to fogive yourself for anything you think might have contributed to what happened. Forgiveness starts with yourself and recognizing that you are human... just as your wife is human. We sometimes do bad things or make mistakes... but it doesn't mean we are bad people.


Hang in there buddy.

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I honestly cant see how a. she could have ever did any of this and been in love with you and b. how you would ever believe anything she said ever again in regards to her feelings for you.


If given the opportunity to sleep with a friends wife because he coudlnt get it up, I would tell her to go to a bar, or call an escort service... I wouldnt hop in bed with her. Who cares if she did this as a friend for her friend or not, she most certainly wasnt being your WIFE when she did this. You were most certainly the LAST thing on her mind.

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Mike and Rabican,


Wow! You two drive a hard bargin. I know she is wrong. And it still hurts. Everytime she tells me she loves me (nowadays), or I say something affectionate to her, it thoughts of how she cheated on me go racing through my head. Just last night, I laid down to go to sleep. She was already sleeping. (She had gone up about 10 minutes before me as I closed up everything, etc.) And I just lay there looking at her....and I couldn't stand the thought of what she did.


It is still very tough to digest. BUT, you have to consider our history. I was 21 when we started dating. She was 18. I am now 38. I am no spring chicken. I am not bad looking, but I have vitiligo, which I hate. I wear makeup for the first few months of school until my dark tan fades on my face...but my hands, etc. are just plain white. It's ugly. Forget the vitaligo...I just couldn't imagine dating again. Honestly, I now realize just how messed up my wife is. When we first started dating, I knew right awy that she was unnaturally codependent....she couldn't do anything by herself. About 6 years ago, she started, finally, getting to where she didn't need me necessarily around her constonatly, but she still wanted somebody. It was pretty strange.


And I did committ to staying with her knowing how dependent she was. For the first 10-11 years, she was home a lot waiting for me. Or, she would come up to work with me. I remember one year, when I did the school yearbook, I dedicated it to her because she worked 10-20 hours a week up at school helping me. Between the two of us, we worked 100+ hours a week.


I know this is only meaningful to me...but we have been through most of our lives together...well at least we have been together for more years than we haven't. We survived 6 years in our own business, both of us working side-by-side, having NO money, which is very tough. She was lonely, and it was frustrating. Ron reminds me to forgive myself...but I am to blame for many of the frustrations that we have had as a couple. Ultimately, she made the decision to sleep with another man, which still boggles my mind. But, it just proves how sad she really was.


I won't lie and say I don't imagine what it would be like if I told her to take a hike. Perhaps life would be easier not having to deal with her drama. But, I really believe it would be the wrong thing. I feel responsible for taking care of her. And, however right or wrong, I feel responsible for her happiness...which, for many years, I failed at doing.

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Wow... this one really hit home. Not only have I been reluctant (but eventually gave in) to medication (which helped me to a point and I no longer need or take it,) and not only have I been cheated on but my current boyfriend and I had been dating for almost a year when I cheated on him. (We have now been together for more than 2 years.)


First the medication issue:

Medication, would probably help. Medication along with counseling is not an answer but a step in the path towards getting your wife back to a state in which she feels like a human again. It sounds like she's been depressed for so long, she probably doesn't even remember what that is like!!! I was medicated for depression and anxiety in my first relationship (6 years with a child) in which I was being cheated on... I was medicated with Zoloft, was on it for only a few months (6 perhaps?) and was going to counseling up to a few times a week. The counseling sessions became less and less, and soon after so did the medication until I no longer took any. At that time I found a job (I was forced to quit my previous one due to my problems with depression) and ever since I have felt like a MUCH happier version of me. I didn't want to continue with the medication as I had problems adjusting the first month... dizzyness even while sleeping, shakes, chattering teeth (muscle spasms not coldness) etc. I thought that being depressed was better than the symptoms, but decided to stick it out for at least a month... but my body soon adjusted, the symptoms vanished and I didn't feel or seem different to my friends or myself, except that I had a much better ability to handle the issues that bothered me, ecspecially with counseling. Looking back it's almost as though the counselor helped me find the root of my fears and depression while the medication REMINDED my brain what it felt like to be normal, and how to cope with those problems... it did NOT make me a happy bouncy person, but it DID help me from not overeacting to every problem in life. Those 'good' pathways in my head had not been used in so long that everyone of my thoughts traveled down this deep dark path of all the worst possiblities of what would happen, and made me think all the worst thoughts about myself, who I was, and my 'value' in this world. Despite not only myself but everyone else telling me I shouldn't think that way, and that things aren't that bad... you just can't help it!!! That's why it's DEPRESSION and not just SADNESS. After taking the medication long enough that I 'got used' to travelling down the 'good' road in my head, whenever I would start to get depressed, or moments in life would make me anxious, I would stop... take a deep breath and tell myself no... this is the wrong way... things ARENT this bad... They are bad but I CAN handle them, and they WILL get better... and I would try to remember how it felt to take the 'good' path and think positive thoughts. To the present day this is what helps me get over the bumps in life and helps me from spiraling back down into that black hole.


As to the trust:

I didn't have sex with the guy, we only kissed, but what I DID do was somewhat unexpected and yet somewhat not but it was all wrong (the first post I made on here was in regards to my BF's post about the issue if you want to know details.) I am extremely lucky, and thankful that my BF was also willing to forgive me. I had 'excuses' for my behavior, reasons why things happened as they did, as well as not really knowing why things happened as they did. (I realise that's a contradiction... but that's the way it was.) We are still together and happy with a much better trust between us. However, things are still not perfect nor will they ever be. Trust even 'repaired' is never quite the way it was initially. It can be better or worse, but never the same. The deal (From my point of view) is that 1- you give excuses to her behavior, so either you believe, or want to believe these are the reasons for it. IMO- these probably DO have SOMETHING to do with the reasons... they are most not likely the WHOLE reason. She may have other reasons, she may not be able to understand fully why (I know I still don't) but there is no one single reason, you will never get a fully satisfactory reason... so you're going to have to accept the reason she gave, or accept that you will never get a better explanation. 2- you dwell on the details and thoughts of her with 'him' or 'them'. IMO- this is normal. It took more than a year before it felt like my BF was finally letting those thoughts go. and yet even today he gets a look in his eye, or I say something that he responds to in such a way that I feel he is once again thinking of that period in our lives. It hurts... it hurts you, it hurts her... I also think this is something that will never go away, but it WILL get better as long as she doesn't continue to break the trust. It may also help to get all new sheets, or a new bed if you can. 3- Both of you not being happy together, and being 'stuck' - IMO-You need to break out of that line of thinking. Yes you are married, and I understand you feel that is a binding agreement for better or worse and that you will not break that for obviously any reason... but you are NOT STUCK! If you stick your fingers into one of those 'chinese finger traps' you are not stuck until you try to pull them out. You came into this marriage and have made it clear that it is a marriage forever- thus you are not trying to back out of it, and so you are not stuck in it, this is a choice that you have made and now you are at a point where you have to work hard to make it better. Hopefully she is also willing. You both have been unhappy for a long time, so you're going to have to start at the beginning. Go to a marriage counselor. Together. Compromise on the jeans... set aside a special night for the two of you to have a date, tell her you will wear the jeans at least that night as long as she lets you help her pick out an outfit. Surprise her with a backyard picnic, or a dinner at a hole-in-the-wall place that serves great food but is not well known (check newspapers or do a web search for local places.) Listen to her... truly listen... if she says she likes or dislikes something ecspecially if it's about you, or your relationship, don't tell her to avoid it, or that she shouldn't feel that way or any other "You should or You shouldn't" type phrases etc. tell her things like "oh, I hadn't realised you felt that way." and "wow, I can see why that would upset you." If she says that she really likes the way you look in those pants you hate, tell her something like, "They do make me feel uncomfortable as if I was wearing dirty clothes, but I am glad you like them. It does make me feel good to make you happy." Also, maybe you both could do some sort of volunteer work together, it truly makes you feel good to do something for others and it would give you guys something positive to focus on, and to talk about together as well. Whenever you guys are out on a 'date' ask her questions about herself... if you don't know what her favorite color is ask... or ask her if it is STILL her favorite, or perhaps even if you DO remember, tell her "I was wondering why your favorite color is (pink)" Remember to LISTEN... You can also write her love letters, and encourage her to write back. Or even just 'plain ole' letters. Tell her how you feel, and how you want to work things out, some of your thoughts on how you would like to go about this etc. This will not only help focus your thoughts, but also give you two a chance to communicate thoughts and ideas you may have trouble with outloud...


Counseling is going to be your best option... they will give you better ideas of what to do, and will be in the best position to get to know you both, your viewpoints, as well as the best help and advice.


PHEW!!! that was quite a bit of typing! I hope that helps, at least to get your wheels turning!!!

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Oh, and P.S. to the previous post: I commend you for your efforts, and your willingness to forgive. Keep in mind though, if what you want is the best for your wife, and her happiness... a trial seperation might be good... perhaps what she really wants/needs to be happy is a test run on independence... but that is something I only recommend AFTER you've given all your other options a try... I know that with how I felt after admitting to my behavior if he would have asked for us to be separated, I would have been crushed and barraged with thoughts that he didn't want me, didn't love me and I would probably have run. So if IT DOES come down to that, talk about it thouroughly and define the 'rules'... when, where you each would stay, for how long, whether or not dating etc. is allowed and if so, how 'far' it would be allowed to go, how finances will be covered, whether you guys will see each other, when and where, for how long...and decide what will happen if any of the rules are broken, and what the consequences would be (ex: divorce if sexual activities are participated in) etc. Make sure you let her know you WANT to stay together but that her happiness is more important and that you feel like this is your only option left to give her happiness, by giving her space to decide FOR HERSELF what it is she truly wants.

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Thanks Rustygirl. You had really good suggestions and insight. I will definitely try out some of your strategies. Thanks for taking the time to write such a long detailed and thorough response based on all of the input. I really feel like you understand the complicated relationship that I have been in for the past 17+ years.


As far as a trial sep, I know you were just suggesting it as a last resort...but as we are, we are actually doing quite well...but then I thought we were doing fine when she was sleeping around. But, regardless, I will keep the suggestion in mind if things get crazy again. It is just in my mind where I fight the battles now. I know she is still struggling with the guilt and I am struggling with the memory...but our relationship toward each other seems to be growing based on the present and the fun things we are doing together right now.

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I didn't post on this thread when I first read it---had to think about it for awhile. This will sound harsh and I'm sorry for that, but sometimes the truth is harsh. I think it's a good thing you don't have any children because I'm not sure your wife could emotionally handle the strain. Having kids certainly isn't going to make her happier or more balanced. I'm sure she's been down many times about the inability to conceive and I'm sorry for that. But bringing children into an already rocky situation isn't fair to them and won't be good for her emotional health.


You're being awfully good to her considering the knife incident, the affairs, etc... and that's commendable BUT she needs help. You're enabling her isn't helping her.


One last note and this is harsh too, sorry. The only version you have of the affair she had with her best friend's husband is your wife's and his----you don't know her friend's side, do you. And you can never know now.


I do hope she can get help and that the two of you can go to counseling together.

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Thanks s_finch. You are correct. Thanks for such an insightful reply...you definitely paid attention to the fine details.


I have thought for quite some time that there was a "reason" she wasn't getting pregnant. When we were looking at doing an IVF (after the three failed IUIs), I wanted to go to our pastor to consider the ethical issues of FORCING her to get pregnant. In the back of my mind, I have thought many times that she would not be able to "handle" it (kids that is). I figured God had already given us our answer to having children. And I thought doing an IVF was going to be too much. Well, the IVF failed, that was August last year. She took it pretty hard.


She loves the kids of our friends. Took all kinds of care of the kids of her friend who killed herself. I always asked my wife if she could just be happy with raising our friends kids...but that is before she slept with the husband...and then the brother of the husband, etc.


Well, in her defense...she did say she needed counseling a long time ago. I just had no idea how serious it was. At least she is getting help now. What a way to learn a lesson that your wife needs help!.

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Well, my wife went to the Psyc today...and was prescribed Zoloft. I have just been reading the side effects. 1. Weight Gain, 2. Lower sex drive.


Those two have got to be the worst combination. I just don't see how this drug is going to help her be less depressed. If she gains any more weight, she is going to get even more depressed. And if I get even less sex, I am going to get depressed!


I remained optimistic about this test on Zoloft, but that is because of you alls positive reassurance that the AD would help. Are you all SURE? Sure seems like some real nasty side effects.

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look, this situation obviously needs outside help, like a marriage counselor to decide whether the relationship is worth saving, or the two of you are going thru the motions while flailing about and battering each other emotionally... some people act out their emotions and find ways of distracting themselves (like affairs) rather than dealing with their life problems and any problems they may feel in a marriage...


i think a sponsor is a great idea when under stress to prevent you falling back into drinking, but there are obviously some deep issues going on in the marriage that need a marriage counselor too. if you don't have insurance to pay for it, contact your county or city for free counseling services, and someone at AA might be able to refer you to those services..


good luck, but be safe and be careful... sleeping around comes with some serious diseases these days, and she has cheated repeatedly recently, so protect yourself accordingly...

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  • 1 month later...
just a suggestion, have you ever thought of adopting children?


Funny you should ask that. I have always thought my wife couldn't handle kids. She did great with the kids of other parents. But it was nice when it was time to go home.


I now understand that there is a LOT that contributed to her depression...and all of the "events" that have happened in the past two years. I used to think the lack of kids was a large part of it...but now, I see that the depression was much deeper, going much further back.


Well, I have been wanting to visit back here and post an update. It has been almost three months since I learned of how messed up my wife really was. She has been on Zoloft for the past 1.5 months, and she is definitely much improved in terms of general happiness.


She is more like the little girl I started dating when she was 18 in that she is wanting to be with me no matter what, trying to help me with all of my responsilbilities...and she seems like she is legitimately happy with spending time with me and doing things together...even if we are just working. She has happily vounteered to start assisting with the weddings I do. She is offering to come up to help me at school (although I decline the offer) and she is always asking what can she do to help.


But I am really confused.


1. This behavior seems to be a lot of what I THOUGHT was causing her to be depressed in the first place...and that is her not really being happy with where she is in our life. We are playing more...went skiing during Thanksgiving break, went camping this last weekend (even if it was a student field trip) and we are back to doing everything together...just like we were for the first 15 years. Lots of sex (just not satisfying her...see below). But the first 15 years ended with 2 years of her sleeping around. Now, obviously there is a lot more to it than just that, but at least on the surface...the first part of our life together produced a rather unpleasant result.


2. Must she really be medicated to be happy???? One of my students designed a Health Poster (required for class) that read, "A Happy Family is a Medicated Fammily" with a bottle of pills as a clip art. I looked at that pictures and just wanted to laugh, cry, etc.!!! That is so true!!! I was happy before she was medicated...and before I knew the truth that she was so UNhappy, she cheated on me, herself, etc. Now, she is happy (thanks Zoloft) and I am sad.


Now that the medicine seems to have levalized her (she went in after three weeks...and he kept her on the same dossage), I have been recommending that she cut teh dosage in half. She has been gaining wait RAPIDLY. She eats as much as I do...and is always hungry. For 17 years, she would eat HALF what I ate. I always had to be careful because I would eat her leftovers. And, although she is happier and wants to have sex more (although partly to keep me happy)...and I can not "satisfy her for anything!! It is classic side effects of zoloft. I have sited the pages to her...but she is hesitant to cutting the dosage. I showed her a site where a lady explains that she has to cut the dosage in "THE" two weeks of the month when she really needs the full amount, but to improve sexual satisfaction and wieght control, she cuts the pills in half.


I guess the thing that concerns me is how will she ever get off the pills? I have asked her to increase her counseling sessions to work through the issues that reult in her feeling depressed WHILE she is on the zoloft, but she is not making it a prioirty...and I don't want to put any pressure on her.


So, anyway, although more time has lapsed, and I think about it less often...I am still very saddened by all this. Just last night, watching the end of the season finale of Heros, and one of hte main charachters had his wife cheat on him. His partner is trying to give him advice. My wife and I just sitting there...it is very awkward. It is amazing how often cheating is mentioned on TV. I personally don't even like watching Sopranos anymore...and I wish she wouldn't watch Greys Anatomy. I actually think that GA specificially desensitized her into some of her indescretion.


The worst part is that anytime she says something nice to me...like how much she loves me...or what a great guy...or how cute I am...it just makes me want to be sick. No matter how good a mood I am in...the second she says, "I love you" I flash back to reality that she cheated on me. I will be cooking supper...she will thank me for cooking and always cleaning up etc., and I will be reminded of what happened...thinking to myself, "yeah, if I am so great...why did you cheat on me???".

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Well, I have been wanting to visit back here and post an update. It has been almost three months since I learned of how messed up my wife really was. She has been on Zoloft for the past 1.5 months, and she is definitely much improved in terms of general happiness.


It sounds like your wife has some serious depression. I also read that they put her on Zoloft. Be VERY careful with this medication. It does wonders for many people, but for some (me), it causes suicidal ideations. I acted on mine and spent 2 weeks in the hospital. Make sure she doesn't drink while on it. This, I believe, is why I had such a horrible side effect. I'm sure she will be fine on it, but just wanted to warn you to be careful

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