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Wife cheated and I am broken

josh.throw
Community Member
I found out that my wife (together 12 years, married for 3, no kids) has been cheating on me (online affair, with plans to meet).

We have had our ups and downs, but always a strong bond and desire to stay with each other.

About a week ago - I walked into the bedroom and found her taking a nude of herself. At first, she said it was for me (something she has never done before). I took her phone and could see she had been sexting someone else for 1 week (chatting for 3 weeks).

There were plans to meet in person (he was going to travel from another country).

She claims she has become depressed during the last 6 months (which I wasn't aware of).

Prior to these 6 months, she said it was the 'best time in our relationship' ever.

In short, about 6 months ago I became sick. Bouncing from specialist to specialist with chronic pain. I think in time, I will get a diagnosis of something like MS or similar.

There has been (during this time) a lack of physical intimacy due to my health, but I felt connected (and she agreed I asked her today).

During the last 6 months, we have been doing things together as much as we can (daily walks, watching tv, and other little things we share - sending each other cute photos of animals, etc etc).

Most nights, I struggle with sleep, and we fall asleep holding hands.

She has been doing most of the cooking and cleaning (due to my health). I thank her most days, and she replies with a smile saying no need to thank her.

We have been isolated from most things with other people, due to covid (i can't get vaccinated fully and my Dad has been very unwell / at risk). Just a select group of people we meet up with.

However, she didn't want to meet up with her friends (even in a park) & also stopped calling her family as much (which I didn't realize).

This affair has come as a shock to me and my friends who thought we were in such a great place.

I love her with all my heart and I am wildly attracted to her.

I just can't trust her, she did this while I am sick, she was caught, didn't confess, didn't find the guilt to stop this herself at the time, and now claims it's because of her mental health that she did this.

I'm hurt, ashamed, and lost my feeling of masculinity. Most of all, I feel an overwhelming sense of loss for our relationship.

I can't rationalize this, & feel as though I will never be able to move past it.
7 Replies 7

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

My wife and I have discussed this many times if it happened and its consequences. We both wouldnt be able to trust again. But that's us and you and your wife isnt "us".

Therefore it is not possible to give you an answer as such a decision is based on whether you'll be able to trust again and frnakly, you'll need to overcome the initial grief you are currently experiencing, the grief of loss of trust and the feeling of disappointment along with your own losses like you mentioned- masculinity. All that takes time, whatever that timeframe might be (another personal decision).

It's a situation whereby you might well bounce around your thoughts- eg on the positive side )if you can call it that) - she hadnt completed the affair in terms of physically meeting up. Her claims about having depression I cant buy, we here have all sorts of mental challenges but I personally reject the notion they cause us or have a major influence on our desires to have an affair. It's like- you have a bad fortnight financially with bills, does that lead to an affair? I dont see the connection myself.

Then there is the evidence against her that you luckily found- had you not made your discoveries would she have completed the meet up and would have it become a regular secret event? In the future when a situation arises even overnight when you are not home (eg hospital) will she stray? All these questions are relevant and major for you to consider.

So on that basis if you are able I would take some time to think carefully and especially allow the grief to subside when you'll be able to make a decision less dependent upon emotion and more so on things like - her regrets, her pledges but above all your own gut feelings of what you can tolerate in terms of trust.

It is devastating but always remember, whatever your decision that this period is not the norm and one day down the track you'll find life enjoyable and rewarding with her or someone else. I know where you're at, I've had 4 long term relationships and the first 3 ended up failing. Each time I felt I'd never recover, but I did and moved on to find true love again in a better place with a better person.

TonyWK

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Josh.throw, thanks for posting your comment and pleased Tony has replied back to you.

I don't understand why a spouse wants to talk with an online friend, someone they haven't met and a person who discusses all the positives about themselves, whether they are true or just made up to lure a person in, nobody knows about until after the event.

The enticement of someone new, suggesting they will listen and understand what the person is struggling with is an unknown allurement that can easily break the trust in any marriage.

There can be no excuse why this happens, it's a relationship that pretends to understand which draws this particular person in, but in fact, maybe unsettling two families and with the possibility of affecting all relations.

Once a person is drawn into this type of contact, it's not easy for them to admit to it, or alternatively make up an excuse why it's happened and neither seem to justify the reason why.

If you love someone and a problem arises, going to a stranger in this manner can weaken a marriage because the problem hasn't been discussed, it's been diverted to somebody else who may promise the world but damage the marriage instead.

If you will never be able to move past it then you need to establish whether professional help is sort after or whether a person who they have not met will continue or other people as well, rather than discussing it between the two of you.

Perhaps you could explore these topics with a counsellor and suggest to your wife that the same happen to her, rather than with a person who promises the world but may know very little.

Best wishes.

Geoff.

josh.throw
Community Member

Thank you, white knight & Geoff.

She insists that the online affair (which is very sexual in nature) was some kind of escape from the stress we were having (my illness).

While I can understand she didn't have physical intimacy with me at this time, I felt that our marriage meant more than that.

I absolutely worry about what may have happened if she wasn't caught. There appears to be no guilt associated with her actions until she was caught. Now she has regret and some concern for the hurt she has inflicted on me.

I'm not sure if those feelings are enough to stop this from happening again in times of crisis or the ebbs and flows of marriage.

I don't know if I can get past the broken trust and have a relationship with her. I fear the doubt and lack of trust will continue to eat away at me and I will always be suspicious of her actions.

I also can't help but wonder if I will (in the future) find resolution within myself and by then she has moved on.

So many unanswered questions, and concerns, probably a lot of confusion as well.

I need to regain some confidence in myself and recoup some masculinity. It's just difficult to do this when I keep coming back to thinking this is my fault.

Thanks again.

Hello Josh.throw, you can't blame yourself for any of this, maybe she was only concerned about herself and didn't want to help you or just wanted an easy way out but no one will suffer from any guilt until they are caught out.

Deciding whether or not you want to trust her is only what you can make, but suspicion and doubt will always make you wonder when something goes out of character and it's this doubt is something you want to battle through or decide to move on.

Confidence and self esteem will return when you can make a decision for yourself because a joint one can not be guaranteed, and please remember you can't fault yourself, you weren't supported.

My best.

Geoff.

Juliet_84
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Josh,

I’m so sorry. Firstly I’m sorry that you have been going through your health struggles. Eight or so years ago I suffered a stroke, but prior to that I had been experiencing persistent neurological symptoms (dizziness etc). It was incredibly scary to feel that your body is betraying you. Each time I googled my symptoms, I got back “MS” and was terrified to be honest of what it meant and what the future potentially held. After the stroke I was diagnosed with APS, a MS mimic, but I never forget how fragile I felt during that time. You are entitled to be sick and vulnerable during your relationship, for only 6 months no less, and not have somebody do this to you. It’s not an excuse for her to send nudes to someone else, particularly when you had been led to believe that you were in a great place. Like Tony said, she hasn’t completed the affair, so I suppose it matters whether you are the type who cares more about the actual fact of the affair or the intent of it. If it was me, I would want a better explanation than “you were sick a few months” as to why she did this. But I suspect you probably won’t get an answer that satisfies you in that department, as if there was one you probably would have already heard it. So your question now becomes whether you can move past this and whether you can trust her again? Also, if you are facing down a potential MS diagnosis, is she the type of person that you can trust long-term the next time that you become sick? If you are worried that someone new won’t accept you for your illness etc, I want to assure you that they will and that would not ever be a factor for the right person (I myself had that thought at one time but I know for a fact that it would never bother me for a second if the roles were reversed).

Hi Josh

Please read the first post of these-

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/staying-well/the-best-praise-you'll-ever-get

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/anxiety/worry-worry-worry

TonyWK

Ric65
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Josh, thank you for posting on this site. It means you have taken the situation into your control and the first step you have taken is reaching out to others. I kind of understand your situation just because I went through it myself after 18 years of marriage. Mine was a different situation, I was concentrating more on my career so that I could get into the office instead of FIFO, during this time, my wife got bored and turned to social media where there are a lot of players just waiting for these opportunities. What I did was reduced my rotation so that I could spend more time with her, and was just there giving all my love and support until she found out that online relationships are hard especially from a different country. I understand your medical situation, but just be there for her, its just like I said there are a lot of players out there who prey on ladies in these situations where they feel low and depressed. Avoid asking her about this as it will push her more into it as she will become defiant.

Be positive and spend this time on yourself, making yourself better. Keep doing things that make you happy and things that you love. Avoid checking her phone and her social media. Concentrate only on yourself at this time. Ric65