She Cheated, I Forgave, Now What...?

In a nutshell, I thought my wife and I were perfectly happy. 5 years married, two kids, but we have a very interesting situation. I've always questioned if I REALLY love her because of her anger problems, and the fact we're just so different. Then, money problems set in and she had to return to being a dancer. Not the ballet type, the stripping kind. We're a very progressive couple so I was okay with it. It helped pay the bills, and she wasn't prostituting herself (some of you may instantly say "how do you know?" but I know she wasn't). So, after being alone at night with the kids for essentially 3 years, I put on a little weight (I'm talking 20 pounds, however I still look pretty good for my age (46)). She's 10 years younger, and has a smoking hot body. That said, she's not a supermodel, but who cares because she's MY WIFE and I'd love her if she put on weight.

So, this weight I put on evidently caused her to not be attracted to me anymore. Then, she tells me 6 months ago she's not feeling the same way about me. I always thought it would pass, because I was a good father, a good provider, and I could handle her "night job." We were a good team...

One night she tells me she has to go to her car and 45 minutes later returns. I think something's fishy so I ask what happened, she tells me she called a friend and that's it. I smell a rat so I access our phone bill and see she was on the phone to a number I don't recognize. I pay for one of those tracing services and find the name of a guy. I keep it quiet until a couple days later when I find her phone. I access her text messages and I can see dozens and dozens of texts to this guy. Professing love to him, him to her, and all the crap you'd think.

I'm in a rage and confront her. She admits she cheated, that he meant nothing to her, it was just about sex. Regardless, we discuss all the sordid details and she basically says she doesn't want to split up. For our children (age 6 and 11 (her son from her first marriage)) we decide to not divorce.

So now I have incredible trust issues with her. I know her email passwords and start checking her accounts - unbeknownst to her - every night. I've already told her to not speak to him anymore, we've changed her cell phone number, and we're doing everything we can to not fight. She told me she basically fell out of love with me and she doesn't know if she'll ever be able to again.

After a week or so, I check her accounts (which she doesn't check every day) and see an unopened email from him. I decide to read it, erase it, and then decide if I should mention anything. My anger gets the better of me and I confront her about it. She flips out and says why am I reading her private emails, and that she can't trust me anymore.

Essentially, we've ******** our relationship down to the core and will have to start over. Trouble is, I'm now wondering if I'll ever be able to trust her again. I still have the images in my mind of another man sleeping with my wife, and then I have to swallow the fact she says she fell out of love with me. Now, I'm not a bad catch. If you saw me, you'd think I was not a bad looking fellow. So I know I'd be alright if I did divorce. But I have the old-fashioned notion that she is my wife, and we've had 8 years together, and I want our kids to grow up with both of us around, and damnit, I deserve better than this!

Now that we're still dealing with the aftermath, she doesn't seem very "active" in the recovery process of our relationship. I'm doing all the work to try to be a better husband, but she's just phoning it in. Hardly a kind word, cold fish kisses (if any), and rarely any affection (we do still have sex).

So here's the big question: Do I surprise her with a divorce before she does it to me, or do I just wait it out to see what happens? I still check phone records to see who's she's calling/texting (not him, thankfully) but she's changed her passwords so I'm locked out of those. I'm obsessed with hacking her accounts to find out -- for my own peace of mind -- if she's still getting/sending emails to him. I don't think so, but....

I'm devastated, hopeful, honest, devious, reflective, and a host of other emotions. I simply can't get over the fact that she would cheat on me, but I do know that I am partly (although, minimally) to blame. I've now lost 20 lbs. due to stress, so I'm hoping she notices me...

And, I'm sinfully close to just going to find someone to sleep with just to get back at her. I would be able to, in a heartbeat, and I'd be much better at hiding it. Just don't know if I wanna "go there."

I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts. Just writing this letter has been cathartic for me...

TrustIsGone TrustIsGone
46-50, M
4 Responses Aug 19, 2013

<p>Man hope you are in a better place, but wake up brother she is on you.</p><p>She has successfully managed to turn the attention from herself and her foul behavour to you.</p><p>She fuc...ked up period. You have every right to access emails, phones ,etc. Her privacy means shi..t. She is only ranting on about privacy becuase she has something to hide. If she didn't have something to hide and was truly remorseful she would have no passwords.</p><p>My opinion kick her to the kerb. She doesn't love you just sorry she got cuaght and is now afraid of losing the luxuaries that marriage can provide.</p><p>As for emails phones etc, she can just as easily open up a new email account or buy herself a throw away phone to carry on her affair.</p><p>Stay Strong & Good Luck</p>

I wish I knew. Same problem here, it's just we haven't married yet. but we talk about it, she said goodbye too many times, but still open the door for me (and the other guy too). I suggest you get busy on something, stop thinking about her too much, it could poisoned you. begin to accept what's been happening and let her go step by step. forget the marriage, forget the vow, forget everything that bonds you two together. for her you become the third person now, no use to put her in priority in your life anymore. you have kids, right? focus on them, be good father for them, if your wife don't care about you, probably she don't want you to care about her too. if she brings this up (in case she's a manipulative type), don't get carried away, believe what you think and what you feel. go busy on your own life, have fun with kids, achieve something, be thankful of what's left ... one day, you healed as a better man, and she will leave you or stay. depends on what her true feeling is.

Thanks for the note. As much as I wanna try to "win her back," the hurt she's caused is almost too much to overcome. I have to wait things out and see if she can revitalize the love we once had, or steel my heart and prepare for a split. Each day that passes brings me a little more peace in dealing with what she did, and it brings me a touch closer to being okay with not being married (to her). We've enjoyed some good times since this has all gone down, so it's really up to her to see what she wants. I just have to focus on everything else that's important and hope that she's capable of figuring out what's right. Sometimes I think she's happier with the chaos that bad decisions bring, so I'm f**ked either way. We'll see...

I'm going through close to the same thing sadly. just without kids and my wife goes to college for now. It was extremely difficult when I caught her. She is still very passionate with me though and it doesn't make sense. I know that when women cheat they often have decided to already quit on at least some parts of the relationship. They often cut a lot of the emotions from their husband and get nearly completely devoted to their other lover. So it's like we the people who have been hurt have to than try and fight for THEIR love back. I know it isn't fair and I still think it isn't worth it A LOT but I guess we both just have to figure out what is best for US and if we want to spend the time winning back our own wives and mending our own hearts. hopefully your wife starts to help mending your heart soon because without her help the heart will never heal.