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    theChump's Avatar
    theChump Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Nov 6, 2010, 10:18 AM
    Caught my wife on Facebook
    I'm a married father of two children, 1.5 and 3 years old.

    On Thursday, my wife came home pass out drunk. She didn't tell me she was going out, and just came home as if she was coming from work, but basically went upstairs and passed out. Her phone beeped, and I saw a text message that read, "God how I love you". This was from a former employer she still does business with on occaision. And this guy is a complete scumbag. He's 50+ years old and basically only hires secretaries who will have sex with him, and she used to be his secretary.

    For the first time in our entire relationship, I decided I needed to check up on her. She left Facebook logged in, so I went to view her messages and my worst fears were confirmed. There were a number of sexutally explict messages she'd sent to some other man.

    I confronted her about it, and she immediately said it was just goofing around and it was only a couple or 3 times she'd sent this guy these messages. She kept saying 'it's just words'.

    That sadly, was the beginning of a downward spiral of more lies. The next day I confronted her with another lie, that she had changed her Facebook password and continually told me the wrong one. She claimed she didn't remember, but after 20 min of denial she finally admitted she knew she was lying cause she didn't want me logging in from work (which is apparently when most of these messages are sent).

    More came out, 3 or 4 messages turned into 4 weeks of multiple messages per day. Hundreds of sexually explicit messages. Again, only after denying it for hours did she finally come clean. She immediately said she went and blocked him on Facebook, but only after sending him one more 'good-bye' message which she immediately deleted so I couldn't see it (or so she claims).

    Last night I left her. I went and slept in a motel. I have never felt this type of pain before. I have never spent a night away from my kids in their entire lives. I'm the one who puts them to bed, gets up in the middle of the night to handle diapers,milk,nightmares, etc. I really don't have any social life, I spend every minute I can with my kids. In hindsight that was the first clue, I had become their mother cause she was so busy on Facebook. She's been on there for 3 years now, spending countless hours while I watched the kids.

    This morning I logged into her Facebook account and found another lie. She did not block him, she only defriended him. I confronted her about it and again she lied and claimed she didn't know the difference. After 10 min of denial she finally came clean and said she did know the difference, and she did not block him.

    So, that's where I am today. I'm exhausted. I'm broken. I haven't eaten since Thursday, and only catch small naps before I wake up and start thinking about my kids.

    Is there any hope? Hundreds of messages of graphic stuff, she tried to cover things up, and even now, after leaving her she's still lied to me about blocking this guy. She kept asking me if I want her to delete the account, she's asking me, cause she wants to keep the account, but will only delete it if I tell her to, only if our marriage depends on it.

    Is there any hope? Even as I type this I'm weeping at the thought of not seeing my kids every night. No more fruit cup treats sitting on the kitchen floor, no more bed time stories, no more hugs good-bye when I leave for work. It's tearing me apart. But she can't stop lying, even now when I'm sleeping in a motel, she's still lying and covering things up. And when I catch her she keeps denying it. Her immediate instinct is to deny and lie, even when I'm pointing to the proof right in front of her face.

    Is there any hope? For the sake of my kids is there any hope?

    And to add to this.

    She just called me because our youngest son has been crying uncontrollably and she doesn't know how to make him stop. I don't know who she is anymore. I wonder if she's making him cry just to get me to come back. The fact that I'm even considering that...
    Vando's Avatar
    Vando Posts: 17, Reputation: 6
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    #2

    Nov 6, 2010, 10:44 AM
    There is hope. My parents split up when I was about 3 years old. My father cheated on my mom and had two more children later in the years. Your children will realize when their older how a great father you are to them, trust me on that. My mom has giving me a lot and I owe her my life. You have two choices, one is that you can ignore your wife and focus on your kids or two pretend to get even by acting like it doesn't bother you or you have someone else aside from your wife. She'll realize how "happy" you are and would want to figure out why. As for your children, keep doing what you are doing with them. Because in the long run it'll pay off.
    GGertie's Avatar
    GGertie Posts: 36, Reputation: 5
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    #3

    Nov 6, 2010, 11:08 AM
    Goodness, Honey. First of all, go home and be with your children. If you wife is as irresponsible as you say, they need you - for their safety, security and to provide stability in their littles lives.
    Secondly, at a time when your wife is sober and seems relatively non-defensive, let her know that you are concerned both for her and for your marriage and ask if she will go to counselling with you. If she will not go, then you should get counselling for yourself.
    Good luck. I hope things work out for all of you.
    theChump's Avatar
    theChump Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #4

    Nov 6, 2010, 07:52 PM

    Thank you for the responses.

    My wife wouldn't ever intentionally hurt our kids. She loves them and I'm aware of it. What I meant to say was I don't feel like I know her, and on Wednesday the thought of her doing such a thing wouldn't ever have popped into my mind, but today it did.

    I did feel better after writing this and seeing some responses. I'm not sure if it's the writing or simply thinking there is someone out there that cares. I started to analyze what exactly I'm feeling and what our next steps should be. I've honestly never felt this way. Even after my father died, which was excptionally hard on me, I didn't feel this way.

    She has been asking me to go to get help, but I'm having a hard time deciding if it will matter. I'm a little calmer now, I'm struggling to understand what all these emotions mean and if there is any way to recover that broken trust.

    I don't think I can pretend everything is okay and just ignore my wife. I just can't live like that our kids are pretty observant and they've already picked up on the drama. I also can't have someone else on the side. I'm just not wired that way. I think it would do much more damage to me then to anyone else.


    Just_Another_Lemming's Avatar
    Just_Another_Lemming Posts: 437, Reputation: 211
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    #5

    Nov 7, 2010, 06:11 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by theChump View Post
    She has been asking me to go to get help, but I'm having a hard time deciding if it will matter. I'm a little calmer now, I'm struggling to understand what all these emotions mean and if there is any way to recover that broken trust.

    I don't think I can pretend everything is okay and just ignore my wife. I just can't live like that our kids are pretty observant and they've already picked up on the drama. I also can't have someone else on the side. I'm just not wired that way. I think it would do much more damage to me then to anyone else.
    First, I don't agree with the above poster that you should pretend everything is okay and ignore your wife. No one can realistically live that way and no one should be expected to live like that. What a miserable existence to contemplate!
    Nor should you get yourself a little something on the side. That is what an immature person would do. It would not only compound the problems in your life but would send absolutely the wrong message about what is a healthy relationship to your children.

    Your wife has broken your trust. She needs to own up to that and explain why she has done so. From what you have written here, I think whether you want to repair your marriage is something you don't need to answer right now. You need (and deserve) honest answers from her and I think the only way you are going to be able to wade through all the garbage is to find a qualified marriage counselor. You both need answers as to why she has chosen the path she has and figure out if the problem can be fixed or if you both need to go your separate ways. Please don't dismiss the counseling concept. If she is willing to go, this is really your chance to get some straight answers from her. A good counselor will be able to sift through her lying and deception and get to the root of why she appears to be determined to undermine the marriage. She may not fully understand the reasons for her actions, or all the possible repercussions, herself. She may have unconsciously wanted you to find out about all of this due to her lack of care to cover up her trail. Your questioning what was going on began with her coming home drunk and passing out. If that isn't a cry for attention then I don't know what is!

    Second, why on earth have you left the home? You are denying yourself the joy of being with your children. Your wife has betrayed your trust, not the other way around, and you shouldn't have to be the one to suffer the consequences of her actions. You want to be with your kids, then damn it, be with your kids! You don't have to sleep in the same bed or room with your wife. This isn't the 1950's where no matter who is at fault, the man leaves and sends his spouse money. Tell her to either go sleep on the couch/spare bed, or to go to a hotel. She needs to understand what it might be like to lose her family and this would be a great start for her. At the moment, nothing has really changed for her except you are out of the house and she can continue her interactions with these men. Force her to change her life to be without her children, to be as isolated as you are now, and maybe she just might have a clue as to how much pain she has caused you.

    Just keep in mind, if the worst should happen (you can't reconcile and you do divorce her), you don't have to give up custody of your children. You can retain custody and win child support from her. Use that money to pay for childcare while you work. No matter what happens, you do not have to give up living with your children.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7692
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    #6

    Nov 7, 2010, 08:14 AM

    So tell her to delete her accounts, and to start going to AA,

    It all starts with came home drunk, and you did not even question that, only the other things, If someone needs to move out ( even temp) it is the wife and you keep the kids,

    But I would consider blocks on computer, get rid of site, and counseling
    Jake2008's Avatar
    Jake2008 Posts: 6,721, Reputation: 3460
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    #7

    Nov 7, 2010, 08:40 AM
    Why was it you that had to leave, and not her.

    You are the primary caregiver to your children.

    I agree with Chuck that not only does she have an alcohol problem, but in addition to that, she has behaviour that goes along with that. Lying, deception, and in her case, cheating and lying and deception.

    She has chosen to compromise her marriage, and she has made the choice to be content, up until now, with you assuming most of the responsibility and day to day care of the children.

    A parent saying they love their children, also means assuming the responsibility to showing that love by raising them. That 'love' word is used far too often to coverup and excuse bad parenting. Saying you love someone, anyone, has to be backed up with actions and behaviour that show it, otherwise it is meaningless.

    She did not just make a mistake in judgment. This wasn't a one time deal where she got herself into a compromising, uncharacteristic position, and did something one time, where she immediately had extreme regret, remorse, and embarrassment over. She continues to do, and would have continued to do, what she was doing, over and over and over again. That she got caught, does not change who she is, and what she has done.

    It would be foolish of you to accept any excuses at this point that would explain what she has done to herself, to you, and your children.

    If she will not leave the home, and let you resume being the main caregiver, then I would seek legal advice, and file for primary custody. For the sake of the children, they need you in their lives, and should not be further punished by the actions of their mother, by having you leave. You did nothing wrong, and nothing to cause this.

    Once the care and safety (remember she's an active heavy drinker here) is established, and you have solid legal advice on how to proceed, then, and only then, would I consider anything she says, in a reconcilliatory way, via her making changes.

    Whether that be rehab, or counselling, anything that shows she can address her own problems, take responsibility for them, and reach a point where she can SHOW you that she has made the decision to change her life around; otherwise, you have no reason to believe she will, but you will have already established a safe and secure environment for your children.

    While all the details are still becoming available to you, and this is still new and you are trying to process it, try not to think that everything will be okay if you just go home. It won't be. As I said, this is not 'just' one slip in character, this IS her character, and it is not a pretty picture.

    That you had to 'catch' your wife on Facebook to realize how bad things were, also shows that you had your head in the sand, and that there must have been clues along the way in the months prior. Don't put your head back in the sand now and pretend things will change, and be too quick to forgive.

    I hope for your own sake, and that of your children, that you will be able to find a way to be the primary caregiver, until such time as your wife has taken solid steps to find her way back to being a wife and mother, without the alcohol, and without the bad behaviour. That, is only up to her.
    s_cianci's Avatar
    s_cianci Posts: 5,472, Reputation: 760
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    #8

    Nov 7, 2010, 11:20 AM

    Taking some time away probably isn't a bad idea. I know it sucks that you have to be away from your kids but it almost sounds like she needs to learn to pull her weight where caring for the lids is concerned. And by staying away you're forcing her to do just that. I think professional marriage counseling is in order if you want to try and save this marriage. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
    theChump's Avatar
    theChump Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #9

    Nov 7, 2010, 02:16 PM
    Thank you everyone for your responses. My wife has also found this page and knows it's me, so she's reading all these responses as well.

    My wife isn't an alcoholic, this behavior is very uncharacteristic of her. I had a long talk with her yesterday night about it and it's pretty obvious that we've had a bad marriage for a while now. For the last 3 years I've been actively trying to make her happy, sending flowers, trying to corner her for personal contact and trying to talk sexy, try to get her to watch movies together, but I was almost always rejected. I thought most of the issues were from her recovering from having the kids and the 'baby blues', so I would back off and wait a bit before trying again, and being rejected again. But in hindsight this was a much larger problem. And also in hindsight, it's changed me. I think the constant rejection chipped away at my own self esteem, and I'm not the same person I was, and I don't like who I am. I used to be brave and confident, now I tip toe around her and can't confront her about issues cause she gets angry and immediately resorts to her most common rebuttal "So what are you gonna do divorce me?" It's like a dare, and I always backed down.

    The right thing to do was to throw all her stuff out on the front porch and tell her not to come back until she's better. I should've done that 2 years ago, but instead I tried to be the 'understanding' husband, and focused on the one thing that made me happy at home, the kids.

    To add a little more back story, about a month ago her personality completely changed. She was happy again, seemingly out of nowhere. She joined a gym, started listening to new music, and sudden she started initiating sex. The last time I remember her being this happy was our honeymoon. It was also about a month ago she started going out on the weekends without me. But at least she always told me about it, the Thursday night episode was the first time she just went out without any warning. It's hard for me to accept that. It seems like the real problem is she no longer is attracted to me, it takes another guy to turn her on. I should also mention on Saturday morning I locked her out of Facebook... and that same day she started smoking again after quitting 5 years ago. And today she really wants to get back on Facebook. So all the promises of quitting Facebook lasted all of 1 day. She seems depressed today, like she's lost her best friend.

    I stayed at home last night, and slept on the couch. This morning after reading these responses I told her she's not sleeping in our bed anymore, she's on the couch. She was not happy about that, and I guess unhappy cause she read the posts before I did and maybe didn't expect me to actually do it. I sat there and reminisced about who I was before these last few years. I'm disgusted with myself for always backing down, for crying and weeping in front of her, for showing her what a complete pushover I've become. And kicking her out of the bed made me feel good about myself. I feel stronger, more confident, more independent. And yes, I did not cheat she did, and I'm not going to punish myself over it.

    Last night we decided to go see a marriage counselor. I'm willing to give it a try, I'm sure I've got issues too, and maybe my perspective isn't completely reflective of reality. I think a 3rd party would help in that regard as well as digging out any more lies that are still buried. But in all honestly I think once you've seen a man cry you can't really ever see them the same way. And today she's so depressed about losing her 'other' life that I'm not sure she really wants to try. I guess in some way's we've become more willing to try, and in others we're just giving up on anything working. It feels like the damage is too deep, the problems continued too long without being addressed. Now the 'understanding' me would chase her around and plead with her, but the old me would say 'If you don't care enough to try, then f-u".







    Just_Another_Lemming's Avatar
    Just_Another_Lemming Posts: 437, Reputation: 211
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    #10

    Nov 7, 2010, 04:53 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by theChump View Post
    To add a little more back story, about a month ago her personality completely changed. She was happy again, seemingly out of nowhere. She joined a gym, started listening to new music, and sudden she started initiating sex. The last time I remember her being this happy was our honeymoon. It was also about a month ago she started going out on the weekends without me.
    I never got from your posts that she was an alcoholic. I am glad that you both are trying the counselor route. If for nothing else, you appear to need answers to your questions so you can figure out where you want to go from here. I am also glad you appear to be getting your cajones back. Good for you! Keep strong. Find your way back to being your old self. You will find happiness again. Unfortunately, I don't think it will be with your wife unless she is willing to change her behavior and come clean with what she has been doing, and you are willing to forgive her. If she is reading this she is not going to be happy with what I am writing now. The quote I have pulled out of your recent post is important. Her actions are those of someone who has had a physical affair, not just an emotional one. The fact that she still wants access to her Facebook account shows that she really isn't interested in attempting to repair your marriage. No matter what the problems are in a relationship, no one should treat their partner as disrespectfully as she has treated you. I am glad that you have put your foot down. Continue to take control of the situation. If she doesn't like it, she knows where the door is. I wish you the best of luck.
    theChump's Avatar
    theChump Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #11

    Nov 7, 2010, 05:06 PM

    I also wanted to clarify. As far as I know my wife hasn't physically had contact with anyone. The only contact that I know about are these messages. In my mind, it's still cheating, and the fact that she continually lied about things, and didn't block this guy but instead just sent him a good bye 'don't call me' message seems to me to indicate she wanted to keep some line of communication open for the future. I also want to say what other's have said, I do not know how far this would've gone if I hadn't caught her.

    I've spent some time searching around the internet, it seems much of her behavior and mood change over the last month are tell tale signs of cheating. Even assuming there was no physical contact, this wasn't harmless, and ultimately the damage is the same, a breakdown of trust and honesty.
    DoulaLC's Avatar
    DoulaLC Posts: 10,488, Reputation: 1952
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    #12

    Nov 7, 2010, 05:38 PM

    Unfortunately the use of social networks, and even general computer use, while having some wonderful attributes, have also caused tremendous harm to relationships.

    People behave in ways online that they would never dream of in person. It is almost as though it isn't "real life" so it doesn't count.

    You mentioned that there were problems in the marriage for awhile, the contact with this man, especially online, has made it too easy not to face those problems because it is easier, and more exciting, to escape to a fantasy life of no problems, no work, all fun and games.

    Good that you are going to go to counseling. Be aware that if you don't feel it is helpful at first, don't give up. It takes time and sometimes a different counselor will be a better fit for the two of you.

    A third party, who has no emotional attachment, can be objective. People are also likely to be more forthcoming with their thoughts, concerns, and feelings with someone in that position.

    I hope you find the counseling helps to resolve some of the issues your marriage has faced and that you and your wife are able to rebuild the trust you once had. You are correct, however, the onus is on her to show that she is willing to give it her all to help rebuild that trust. There can be no opportunity for there to be a chance encounter online with this man. Facebook has simply got to go... unfriending or blocking are not enough, the account gets deactivated.
    Jake2008's Avatar
    Jake2008 Posts: 6,721, Reputation: 3460
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    #13

    Nov 8, 2010, 08:38 AM
    When you said this,

    "More came out, 3 or 4 messages turned into 4 weeks of multiple messages per day. Hundreds of sexually explicit messages. Again, only after denying it for hours did she finally come clean. She immediately said she went and blocked him on Facebook, but only after sending him one more 'good-bye' message which she immediately deleted so I couldn't see it (or so she claims)."

    What did that mean to you. Harmless Facebooking? Didn't really mean anything, doesn't prove she actually had an affair?

    It's only words as you say?

    Added to her other behaviour, that which you were aware of, and that which you are still unaware of, particularly going out on the weekends without you, and add to that the fact that you know who this man is, and he has a rep for hitting on women, how does all of that play into this all being now, 'harmless'.

    The Facebooking and the texts, in the hundreds, with a theme that is sexually explicit, from a married woman to another man (is he married too?) is inappropriate, and breaks all levels of trust, as you have pointed out in your own words throughout your posts.

    I'm sure you realize that getting rid of the computer, or computer access, or cancelling the internet isn't going to solve anything. Most of these messages you said, were generated from her work, and you can't control that.

    Talk about risk taking behaviour!

    Please consider some distance, and some space, without your wife looking over your shoulder reading your posts. Allow yourself the dignity of privacy and seek counselling on your own to learn how to deal with this. That may involve your wife at some point, and I hope it does, but for now, I feel that you are hedging on your resolve to deal with this this, and that likely has much to do with you missing your children so much.

    To recover within a marriage after an affair which was a one time only, sudden break in an otherwise faithful honest partner is still a lot of work to overcome. Many never do, once is often enough to end a marriage. But you have much more on your plate,

    I really hope that you are able to find your way in this, and find some objectivity, and most importantly, good advice that doesn't influence you one way or the other. So that you can clearly make decisions that are in the best interests of yourself and your children.

    They have to come first.
    theChump's Avatar
    theChump Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
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    #14

    Nov 8, 2010, 04:25 PM

    Thanks everyone for the responses.

    Yes people do behave differently online than in person, but it's her real live home behavior over the last month that's the most disturbing. And all those messages and lies do mean something as well, especially coupled with her actual behavior.

    I did forget to mention that she recently started talking about a 'girls weekend getaway'. Yeah it looks really bad. It's that pattern of lying, the changes in her behavior, and just too many coincidences. That's why I'm worried that the damage is too deep. Maybe these are coincidences, but without trust all I can assume is that they aren't, that she's planning to meet someone. And that's why I wonder, even if she didn't physically do anything, does it really matter? Without trust, everything is going to look like the worst it could be. Maybe it was a harmless girls vacation, but who would believe that given all that I already know?

    Yes, I can't really stop her from getting online, or even pretending to be at work when she's not. But I'm keeping her Facebook account anyway. I'm not sure why, it just feels like the right thing to do, and I'm done ignoring my gut instinct.

    I didn't show her this page, she found it in the history list on the computer. In addition she's trying to get into my laptop, and according to her, "just to see what I'm doing". Now if I trusted her I'd believe that, but I really think she's just hoping I left Facebook logged in and maybe she could get back on even for a few minutes.

    Yes, I am hedging. I want to say it's a personality trait, but who knows. I've never been the type that has blind faith, but for some reason I did that with my wife and now I'm struggling, trying to sort these things out from a position of weakness, from shock and grief. I should not have slept on the couch, I should not have left, she should be the one who suffers for what she's done not me or the kids. I wasn't thinking logically, I was too upset, and how I reacted probably wasn't the best thing for my kids. I won't make that mistake again.

    We have our first marriage counseling session later today. I'll probably end up with my own personal counselor as well. My feelings are all over the place.

    I'm not sure I'll make it back here after today. I think once I have a professional to talk with I can focus on that help. I want to thank everyone who responded. I really needed to have someone to ask for help to make it through the weekend, and to hear the different opinions and analysis from other uninvolved parties. The Internet can be harmful for relationships, and it can also be a life line.

    Jake2008's Avatar
    Jake2008 Posts: 6,721, Reputation: 3460
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    #15

    Nov 8, 2010, 04:36 PM
    All the best to you Chump, I truly hope you can find some peace and direction through counselling.

    Take good care of yourself.
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    dv8r666 Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #16

    Dec 30, 2010, 11:16 PM
    Facebook will kill your marriage even if you have that perfect fantasy romance.
    Seriously, even well a weathered 20 year marriage did not survive being dragged over the grating board of Facebook and the temptation it presented to an adulterer. Sure humans are flawed, I am a prime example, but if her flirting turns to passion, the passion will turn to intercourse and it is over at that point in my books. These are selfish choices made by others that you cannot control. But you can choose to be there for your kids, which should be any parents primary goal. Its clear their mother is not willing to put others first, and eventually the "ME ME ME ME ME" will leave her alone and hollow, also something you cannot control. It is a natural logical consequence
    I no longer blame myself for the marital breakdown.
    I am still there for 4 year old son 100%.
    She is still on Facebook.
    I still get calls from her boyfriends.
    I still politely inform them to get an hiv test and a kevlar vest.
    c'est la vie, c'est la morte, mon ami.
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    Inspired Posts: 178, Reputation: 22
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    #17

    Jan 8, 2011, 07:14 PM

    We wish you all the best thechump and feel free to come back to this site anytime.

    I just wanted to mention that you had said that this feels worse than when you father passed away. My father passed away recently and I was very close to him. Yes it was very difficult to go through, but a betrayel involving cheating (which I have gone through as well) is the worst feeling in the world. Worse than a close family member passing away.

    I also wanted to mention that you seem like a wonderful person. The way you would try with her by being there for her, buying her flowers to cheer her up, seems like you got the short end of the stick. She should be grateful for a wonderful husband and instead she sounds like a very selfish person. You can do much better. I am glad you put her on the couch because it is SHE who messed up and should be sleeping on the couch. Take care and god bless.
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    #18

    Jan 10, 2011, 03:49 PM
    Your story is so close to what happened to me that I was shocked reading it. But my saga started Apr 2009 and it continues today. We are still trying to work it out, but the damage is immense. I also did everything I could to make her happy and actually just ended up enabling her dysfunctional and destructive behavior. Try 2000 texts in 2 weeks. Try "allowing" her to go sleep with the a**hole for the experience. I was in such denial and am incredibly embarrassed. Things are better now, as in, the affair is over, but the damage is done. I am so angry and distrustful. Counseling has helped a little in understanding how this happened, but doesn't come close to explaining her behavior and the way she destroyed me. Even now, I feel pathetic. 4 kids. They didn't deserve to be screwed up either.
    Please give us an update of how you're doing!
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    randomgirl22 Posts: 17, Reputation: 1
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    #19

    Oct 30, 2011, 08:24 PM
    I am not married but if you cannot be honest with each other you shouldn't be together. If she is doing that, and you at the end of this thought that she was making your child cry you should devorce her and you should take the children. You need to find someone new who will be honest with you, support you, and someone who you don't even think of them making your child cry. That is a really crappy situation and she seems like a complete lying skank. You should think of what is best for your children. If you leave with them now they may not remember it because they are so young. Good Luck.
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    #20

    Jan 31, 2012, 04:01 PM
    Wow. I had a similar situation happen last week. My wife of 21 years went out and came home very late, even put the car in the ditch a mile from home because she was impaired (not at all usual behavior). At 2;30a, after knowing how upset I was over her staying out to late with her friend and then driving home, she go a Facebook Message from the bar owner making sure she was home sae, asking to have lunch or dinner and providing his number. She was compelled to respond! Amazing! Now my wife is not cheating physically or even emotionally for that matter, but she is clearly getting something from Facebook I am not giving her. She has fantastic posts on her wall, positive friends and community. But like the situation above, there are lots of old friends from high school she hasn't seen in years that are now single and seem to be looking for more. The Facebook Messages from them are all about how good she looks, how wonderful things sound, etc. Flirty, but not over the top. So I poked around some and found more of the same. Again nothing sexual, just to close to the line exchanges.

    So here is my take - Facebook is really virtual reality, Friends you don't see, Friends you don't really know, Friends who don't really contribute to your daily life. She was getting something I was not giving, positive reinforcement of her identity as a person.

    We talked it through over some of the most heart wrenching days in our 20+ year marriage, she understands my perspective and says she will curb the private exchanges and keep it all up front. I believe her, I think she really consciously was not aware how harmful her actions were to me and how leading they were to the guys. But I also believe unconsciously she was getting something out of the "flirt".

    BTW- our kids, her friends and family, my family ( I don't have /want a Facebook account ) are all there front and center to see the Wall posts, photos, etc. What got me was the side bar private exchanges. What do you think?

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