Found out tonight my wife had an affair

    It feels weird to type that subject line. This stuff always happens to someone else. When she told me I felt nothing. It was like I was just watching a movie. I still can’t process it. I don’t feel extremely mad, or sad, or what you would think. 

    Over the past few years I’ve been dealing with what I thought was a refusing disinterested spouse. Our marriage has been sexless for a few years. I wasn’t the best husband, but I was trying to make a living while she stayed at home with our kid. She kept saying no, gained weight, I found it harder and harder to initiate. 

    It turns out she just didn’t want sex with me. She found a better option with a friend from her college days. Making up stories about hanging out with her girlfriends so she could see him. Apparently, this went on for years.

    From our first year of marriage, she was super conservative about sex. Never wanted to go beyond the basics (if you know what I mean). Now I find out that my sweet innocent little wife was constantly out with another man for years while I was at home thinking she just had a low labido. What an idiot I was. 

    Now I find out that this guy has all sorts of x rated photos and videos of her. That’s why she told me. This dude was going to send them to me if she didn’t continue the affair.

    What in the world am I supposed to do? I have a little girl who does not deserve to live in a broken home. That little girl loves both of us and I can’t imagine kicking my wife out because of what that will do to my kid. 

    Looking back, I knew something was odd about their ‘friendship’. I guess I was too afraid of what I would find if I dug into it. Besides, I thought, this innocent, prudish, bible study leading, kindergarten teacher, Christian wife would never do that. I should just trust her right?

    Looking back, something was even more off about another ‘friendship’ she had with a trainer at the gym. I’m pretty sure now what was really going on.

    I get that she doesn’t want to hurt me but I don’t think she really desires me. I think that has been the problem all along. 

    Sorry for the long rant. I needed to get that out into the world. 

    This can’t be real…

    Cot Asked on August 12, 2020 in Infidelity .

    Depends on several things; first is do you still love her? As a christian can you forgive her and see yourself in the marriage many years from now. Also depends on how long you have been married AND where are her feelings on staying together? list goes on.

    on August 13, 2020.

    NOTE: @tbe0116 has responded but because of the current glitch in TMB it can’t be seen. For those that want to read it, see here:

    https://qna.themarriagebed.com/member/tbe0116/?type=answer

    (phones will have to copy/paste that link I think).

    -Scott

    on August 13, 2020.
    Add Comment
    16 Answer(s)

      tbe, my heart breaks for you as I was going through the same thing 14 years ago yesterday, (Aug, 12th, 2006). I remember that day and the weird things that had gone and feelings/wonderings I had with my then wife, now ex by her choice. The numbness…the anger…the wonderings…what if’s…it’s all normal. I remember typing in the adultery section on the old TMB forums that my wife of 16 years and 18 years of ministry together had chosen to live a double life traveling on the road for p/time work. She filed for divorce about a month later and the rest is history. It was a unbelievable, surreal experience from the ministry and 3 sons standpoint as well as the fact that she went against her upbringing.

      There’s so much I could to say or advice to share but that really depends on your situation and her state of mind. Off the top of my head:

      • take care of your heart and mind. Find some SAFE people to share with and hold you in prayer. (I define SAFE people as ones who’ll let you vent but won’t pour gas on your fire. They love you enough to listen and kick your butt when you get out of line. Some of my people had never been in my situation and some of them had. I could call them day or night and when I was done, I’d moved back from the proverbial edge.)
      • Get a good CHRISTIAN counselor to process your needs.
      • Forgiveness and trust are two different things. REMEMBER that!
      • IF you desire to remain married, don’t settle on trying to quickly resolve everything and try to put your marriage back together…or you’ll end in the same place again. Your marriage will need a NEW foundation to remain and that can only happen with counseling for you, her and together.

      Again, my heart breaks because I understand well the ache, the replaying of tapes and times and wondering what happened, questioning everything.

      KNOW THIS: your wife is in a fog. Nothing is real to her, she’s been living in a fantasy. While there may be some truth to what she’s saying about your relationship, she’s apparently operated for years of justification, rationalization and all out lies, so accepting her at her word and the “why” is foolish for you to do. My then-wife/ex now told me 1/2 of the excuses/”reasons” listed on two pages in Dobson’s LOVE MUST BE TOUGH book about her affair. It was crazy and surreal.

      True repentance will be demonstrated with an internal motivation and then external demonstration of action OVER TIME!

      tbe, I’ve seen people put things back together after an affair and thrive, I’ve seen it blow up again later, and in my situation, she wanted a divorce (I didn’t want) and she’s been miserable ever since, including a second marriage failing in less than 3 yrs which she jumped into with an angry, emotional abuser (who had made NATIONAL news from our small community a few years earlier because of a fight he was in, yeah, I was scared for my sons) and her  jumping from man to man (and bed as well), while I’ve went on to work on my healing and God has restored the years I lost of a growing sexless first marriage and the singleness of 10 years to bring an amazing women in my life, who is my dream come true in life,  ministry…and yes, the bedroom. That didn’t happen without God’s direction, His work & healing in my life over a decade, in my wife’s life (she was married many yrs to a serial adulterer) and setting healthy boundaries in the singleness and in dating.

      No matter what happens, there is hope in God. He is faithfulness! He sees & collects your tears!!! (Psalm 56:8) He hears your cries and prayers!!! Let Him know how you feel. David did throughout the Psalms 20’s – 70’s. He has big enough shoulders to handle your anger and even foul words you that come to mind. God loves our honesty and vulnerability…and that’s when He does His best work…when we have nowhere to go or look but up and to Him!

      Feel free to PM me or just post here as you have questions.

       

       

      Under the stars Answered on August 13, 2020.
      Add Comment

        tbe,

        with slightly different circumstances, i’ve been where you are now. It was over 30 years ago, but the memories and the pain are still real to me.  The woman I had loved and wanted to give my life to betrayed me for another man.   We had been married over 10 years, had gone through some rough times in our relationship and I was just beginning to see great things for our future, when it all came apart.

        I spent about a year living one day at a time,  trying to get from one day to the next fulfilling my parental and other responsibilities.  I was fortunate enough to have access to good counselors I could talk to regularly, and was also and most importantly learning to form a deeper relationship with God during this time who sustained me through it all.

        You can survive and make it to the other side of this, whatever that may be.  My prayer is that God will comfort, strengthen, sustain and guide your decisions during this most difficult time.

        Queen bed Answered on August 12, 2020.
        Add Comment

          Joe Beam is good. His Intervention Document and the 4 Phases is INCREDIBLE!!!!  He used to be on a different site and I’ve experienced what it’s like to have my former spouse living in an “altered memory state” in order to live with her sinful choices. I never thought it to be true until I went through it with my now ex.

          In the “Altered memory state” a person could literally have sex with someone and only believe they had only hugged & kissed. I swear to you, it’s the truth. I wouldn’t have believed it EXCEPT that I’ve lived it and thought I was going insane with my then wife (now ex). She’d say the STUPIEST or cruelest things and then deny it when I brought it up later. I told people I’d bet my paychecks for the rest of my life this happened was how sure and serious I was, then someone brought me this document by Joe Beam and I realized how bad her brains had become in order to live in her fantasy. Sin destroys the mind and it did my ex’s.

          Under the stars Answered on August 13, 2020.

          Interesting.  I found the document that you are referring to.  Podcasts also.
          https://marriagehelper.com/intervention/

          There is also a 5-part podcast on YouTube.  Search for Joe Beam limerance.

          Thanks!

          on August 16, 2020.

          I’ve read and listened to a lot of Joe’s stuff. Definite value there.

          on August 17, 2020.

          …and I watched my dad live out an entirely different life at the same time he was married to mom. It is indeed possible to compartmentalize so effectively that you believe the altered “reality” more than the truth.

          on August 17, 2020.
          Add Comment

            I don’t have any words of wisdom for you but I am praying for you brother, and for your child and unfaithful wife.

            On the floor Answered on August 13, 2020.
            Add Comment

              My heart breaks for you. I can not imagine what you are going through, but my husband and I have walked alongside many couples who are in your shoes. At first it will be surreal and you will feel numb because so many of the truths you believed about your spouse are now shown to be lies. Most likely grief and even deep sorrow or depression can follow. It is going to be hard but do not shut other people out. You need a mature Christian counselor/leader to walk alongside you in this. You can’t do it on your own. There are some good resources at www.affairrecovery.com to help you process your feelings (they are in the free section, I do not suggest signing up for any of their paid products this early in the process.) Jesus can raise the dead and he can heal a broken relationship, but it is going to take both of you inviting him into the center or your turmoil.

               

              Queen bed Answered on August 13, 2020.

              That’s a great site, and I really like Samuel’s video posts, which can be listened to while doing other things since the visual component isn’t really needed. Thanks for linking/sharing.

              -Scott

              on August 13, 2020.
              Add Comment

                @Scott – YES! YES! YES!  Thanks for filling in the gaps Scott! Everything you said is so true!

                @tbe – Let me add a further response to something you said.

                What in the world am I supposed to do? I have a little girl who does not deserve to live in a broken home. That little girl loves both of us and I can’t imagine kicking my wife out because of what that will do to my kid. 

                It’s not fair. DIVORCE SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!  You did not choose this, your wife did. She choose her actions and there is NOTHING you did to warrant her choices. (Usually, female affairs are due to a emotional holes needing filled; it’s typically not about the sex.)  Whatever the issue(s) may be in her and/or your marriage, they did not make her make that choice, she choose to sin and break her covenant with you and God.

                A separation WITH A PLAN for reconciliation and accountability is probably in order. That can’t happen if she doesn’t want to drop the relationship NOW and stay married. Know this, your daughter also deserves a health dad (& mom) and you can only control yourself and you need to get healthy so you can offer your daughter that. It probably isn’t going to happen with the two of you in the same household unless your wife is ABSOLUTELY broken and repentant, sorry enough to NEVER do it again and NOT just that she got caught with her pants down and legs open. Even then, taking time off would probably be a good thing and having good friends or family who can watch your daughter so you can go see a counselor would be great.

                Under the stars Answered on August 13, 2020.

                I agree with these thoughts. In my opinion, your daughter is better off in a semi-peaceful house with you alone than trying to exist between you and your estranged wife. I know the difficulties there – I was that child. It will be easier on her to just tell her that her mom and dad are working on some things that are best done apart for now, the plan is for this to be temporary and she had nothing to do with it. Then all the “discussions” that will come can be best engaged in outside her presence more easily.
                if it were me, I’d stand firm, instruct the wife to leave the house and the daughter. She will rebel,  but this was her choice. She will say the daughter needs to go with her, but she has given up that privilege. She can earn it back.

                on August 13, 2020.

                Also, and I hate to be that guy, but @tbe needs to consider whether he should do a paternity test on his child or not. Given that this seems to be a years-long (or even relationship-long) thing, real consideration needs to be given to the possibility of a different biological father (assuming, of course, the child isn’t adopted in the first place).

                Some people never want to know. Some want to know, but knowing won’t change how he interacts with his child. And then there are some that want to know and it will change how he interacts with their child. He’ll have to determine where he is on that spectrum and weigh the pros/cons, but it is his decision.

                -Scott

                on August 13, 2020.

                I also had that thought, but did not bring it up. Having been the kid who was good enough until a blood child came along, and then was quite clearly discarded, I SINCERELY hope finding out would be unimportant and that if he did find out would make no difference. I know people think there’s something magical about being connected by blood, but don’t forget God sacrificed the blood of his only begotten Son in order to save all who are willing to become his children by adoption!

                on August 14, 2020.
                Add Comment

                  So sorry, TBE.

                  “Now I find out that this guy has all sorts of x rated photos and videos of her. That’s why she told me. This dude was going to send them to me if she didn’t continue the affair.”
                  Ok, so at least she was planning to break it off with him.  Do you know if she was doing that for the sake of her marriage, or is there another man?

                  My belief is that forgiveness and reconciliation is best.  But I have never been in your shoes and do not know what you are feeling, so don’t listen to me. But certainly, get more info and find out what your options are. Professional counseling is a must.  Whether she is willing to go with you or not will it itself say a lot about whether she is truly repentant.

                  Another resource if you are interested in saving your marriage.  Joe Beam at http://www.marriagehelper.com.  He specializes in saving difficult marriages where the other spouse is not interested in staying, but it is a useful site for anyone.  Hundreds of videos.

                  Praying for you.

                  Queen bed Answered on August 13, 2020.
                  Add Comment

                    tbe,

                    I am very saddened to read about this betrayal. Affairs like this may be the worst thing one spouse can do to another. @NewWifeNewLife covered most of the important stuff, and he certainly understand this is a way I do not (and hope never to), but I wanted to mention a few practical things:

                    • You are in shock, or at least you were when you typed this last night. As that wears off, the emotions will come. Having a support network in place when that happens will help a lot.
                    • While @NWNL is correct that you can’t do a “quick fix” on the marriage, you do need to be “quick” about acting now. That means your wife needs to terminate ALL contact with the affair partner(s) immediately. Complete cold turkey. If a need is felt to send some sort of message, you or someone else should do it, not your wife.
                    • Related to acting quickly, find a safe place for your daughter to stay, such as grandparents’ house (maybe easier said than done in the COVID-19 era), take time off work if possible, and spend the time putting the pieces together. You are in triage mode now.
                    • While a self-confession is normally a good sign and leads to the highest rate of successful marriages afterwards, that is only the case where the self-confession was completely voluntary. That does not appear to be the case here–she appears to have only confessed because she was in a bind.
                    • You (and your wife) need to undergo testing for STDs/STIs. You may need to submit for more testing in 6 months as well since some diseases (e.g. HIV) may not show up in testing if only recently acquired.
                    • Watch out for trickle truth. Many/most wayward spouses will attempt to give you the bare minimum confession, letting more information drip out over the course of days/months/years. This is an incredibly painful and cruel way to treat the betrayed spouse (you). You need to get the full, uncensored truth as soon as possible. She needs to turn over any and all digital privacy to you so you can find everything available (though many will have covered their tracks by deleting evidence).
                    • If the affair partner(s) have significant others, you need to contact them. This is also a way to get to the full truth, as the affair partner will likely share different information with their betrayed spouse than what you receive.

                    Again, I am so saddened to here this. Good luck moving forward.

                    -Scott

                    Under the stars Answered on August 13, 2020.
                    Add Comment

                      @california king,

                      That’s a bit extreme and not in line with biblical values (unless you’re a fan of the Pharisees).

                      However, if he does send me graphic material he’ll be in violation of revenge porn laws and will be convicted of a felony.

                      Cot Answered on August 17, 2020.

                      actually that is @MrMarried….

                      and I agree, that is not the way to handle this. Since you know about the photos, you should contact legal counsel on that matter. That shows you are proactive in the matter. The lawyer can send a letter to him and it will go away. If it doesn’t, like you said, he would be signing his own arrest warrant. Lawyer can make that clear.

                      on August 17, 2020.

                      Likewise, if you have full access to your wife’s digital materials (which you should at this point), any threat he made related to the pictures (specifically what you mention that she has to continue the affair or he will release the photos) is blackmail and you’ll have written evidence of it. The written evidence would do well both criminally and civilly in court.

                      However, I don’t think this is the type of “advice” that @tbe is looking for. He’s looking for marriage advice…

                      -Scott

                      on August 17, 2020.

                      Well, reading the story made me a bit angry, and you are right, sending his mom porn of her son wouldn’t be appropriate.  Since this is porn, we shouldn’t be sending it around.

                      I suppose this could fall under the ‘blackmail’ category.  I suppose it depends on state law.  Is ‘Keep having an affair with me or I’ll show these dirty pictures of you’ blackmail if it is not a financial exchange?   It would depend on state/national law, but it is probably against some law.

                      Threatening to send his mom the picture if he makes it public might be considered ‘counter blackmail.’ I made that up.  I don’t know if it is a legal term.  The idea is to protect his wife and kids from dirty pictures of movies of their mom circulating out in the public.

                      A celebrity admitted on his talk show several years ago that he was having an affair.  He’d gotten an envelope demanding money or else the author of the letter would expose him for having an affair.  He reported the letter to the police.  Law enforcement prosecuted the blackmailer, but they let the entertainer who cheated on his wife go free.  I looked up the penalty for adultery in his state, and if i am not mistaken, it was 20 years.

                      Personally, I think adultery is much, much worse than blackmailing a celebrity out of tens of thousands of dollars for not telling about their affair.  God had Israel but adulterers to death.  The legal system selectively enforces some laws.

                      But if the state has specific laws against broadcasting sex recordings, that is a contemporary issue and they would probably enforce that.

                      on August 17, 2020.
                      Add Comment

                        Sorry to hear that.

                        I never had something like this inside marriage. But before I got married a girlfriend betrayed me. I guess it is different for every person, but for me it had a HUGE impact, for several years. Some thoughts that helped me to stand up again were:

                          • why should I suffer and be down for someone who even doesn’t care about me.

                         

                          • Why should I have to suffer (me, the one that was not at fault), why the ones that wounded me seem to be enjoying life.

                         

                          • I realized it was not worth to be down, losing a whole life ahead of me.

                         

                        For a good relationship, TWO people are needed.

                        The question would be: now that everything has come to light. Does your wife regret what she has done, and does she want to renounce to that type of life and work with you to rebuild the marriage?

                        [Just to clarify: I am not saying this in relation to forgiveness. You should forgive your wife even if she doesn’t show any regret. I know it won’t be easy]

                         

                        If NO: then probably the best way would be to go separate ways.

                        Trying to force two people in a marriage where one person doesn’t want to be won’t give your little girl the ‘home’ you wish her to have. The fact is that it is a broken home already. It will be important to keep this in mind (reality) in order to look for solutions.

                        If YES: then there may be hope.

                         

                        On the other side, the Bible relates the story of Hosea and his VERY unfaithful wife.  That in some way can be related to a faithful God and unfaithful human beings, for who He gave His own Son.

                        Hosea and God show us that it can be done. But for me personally, I would struggle to continue in a relationship where the other part has been unfaithful.

                        I am just thinking out loud.

                        I don’t say you should continue or separate of your wife.

                        Maybe try to find professional Christian counseling. Even if your wife doesn’t want to participate, do it on your own.

                        Looking for external, neutral, professional help will be important.

                         

                        May God help you to handle this situation and show you the way ahead for you and your family.

                         

                        Add Comment

                        Your Answer

                        By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.