Your Age: 41-50
Length of Relationship : 21 years or more
How long ago did the betrayal occur?: It's been a while - over a year ago
How did you learn about it?:
I had moved for a work assignment while my wife and youngest son stayed in the previous location to allow my son to finish his senior year of HS. Following his graduation, my wife dropped my son off and announced she was staying in her apartment in Virginia. Her ostensible reason was "she needed to find herself" and was comfortable there. I immediately suspected an affair and asked in which she denied anything was happening. I believed her and agreed unwillingly to her plan.
Fast forward 6 years and she announces she wants a divorce. I asked her again if she was unfaithful and she denied it other then a "flirting" incident, but my long simmering suspicions prompted me to start snooping. I found indicators in her web history with searches on pregnancy after 50, how fast a pregnancy test takes, and how to terminate a pregnancy. By this time in our marriage, we had not had sex in nearly 2 years and a virtually sexless marriage in the 4 preceding years.
Finally, I was able to access her iPad and found the smoking gun--emails between her and her paramour starting 6 years prior that indicating a sexual and emotional affair over at least 2 years. When I confronted her she denied the obvious, showed little remorse, and refused to provide details. I have no idea how long she has been screwing other men.
Describe how you are feeling now, or how you felt when you found out.:
I had long suspected so the shock was not as extreme as expected. Nevertheless, I cycled between rage, hurt, and frankly jealously. The interest and love she gave to her affair partner was what I wanted from her.
How have your normal habits changed (eating, sleeping, etc)?: Sleeping pattern is off and loss of appetite, difficulties concentrating
What are you using to cope with your emotions? Is it working for you?:
I've turned back to Christ. He has been missing from my life and I needed his solace, love, patience, and forgiveness to cope. I've also started to exercise more to deal with the emotional toll. Journaling has helped, along with therapy, prayer, and confiding in family and friends.
What are your next steps?:
While I offered twice, she had no interest in reconciliation or marriage counseling. Next I will complete the divorce process, heal my heart and my mind, self-examine my faults and ask for Gods forgiveness, learn from our mistakes to prevent it from happening in future relationships.
What emotions have come up for you as you've been going through this? (select all that apply):
Shock/Disbelif, Anger, Sadness, Betrayed, Devalued, Relieved
What emotions are missing from the list?:
Rage, jealousy, worthless
What advice would you give to others in this situation?:
Listen to your instincts, rely on close family and friends, self-examine, take the high road
What else would you like to share?: It was extremely painful experience, but I know I will make it thru and hope to learn how to be a better husband, lover, communicator, and friend. I've discarded my wife, although a part of me will always care and love the mother of my boys, she is someone who no longer shares my values, faith, dreams, and interests. I wish her happiness in her life, have forgiven her because I don't want to carry the weight of anger and disappointment in her.