Hi all. I'm 7-months from my final D-Day and my wife still isn't talking. When I say 'talk' I mean sit down and discuss our relationship in a constructive manner. We go from day to day, we say 'I love you' to each other, we often laugh, hug, our sex life is better than it's ever been, we talk about all sorts but never about her affairs unless I start that conversation and these always turn into stressful conversations that edge into an argument, then I get the quiet treatment for a day or two afterwards. I always come away feeling like I've done more harm than good.
What do I do?
There's a lot of history here. We were married 20 years last year. I say final D-Day because there were several, with a new affair or relationship revealed each time.
The first D-Day was May 2016 when I saw intimate text messages on her phone from another guy. She apologised and said it was a one-off. Her behaviour had been distant for several months but it seemed to improve. She put a lot of effort into our relationship.
Something must have happened because I began nosing around a few months later. I've helped my wife with her laptop so I knew a lot of her passwords and the rest were easy to guess or recover, so I soon had access to pretty much all my wife's social media and telephone records. I'm not proud of this behaviour.
She swapped high volumes of text messages in Jan 2017 with a second guy who lives locally to us. In a confrontation she revealed an affair with him ten years earlier that ended with an intimate sex act at his house. They had continued to message each other over the years because he wasn't happy in his marriage. After I confronted her she sent him a message (and showed me this) telling him that I knew everything and that she wanted no further contact.
Whilst monitoring her social media whilst she was away at an annual conference in Mar 2017 I saw an exchange between her and a third guy where they reminisced about their time in a hotel at the same conference the previous year. A sex act was described by him in graphic detail. When she came home I confronted her, she denied the sex act had happened, explaining that a less shocking but still intimate act had occured at another hotel a couple of months beforehand. I initially believed her. She sent a message to this guy explaining that I knew everything and that she wanted no further contact. Later on, after my paranoia wouldn't let go, I pushed her into revealing that the full-on sex act had indeed occured at the conference hotel. She admitted that the message sent to this guy was worded to be ambigious for my benefit. This full reveal took about 3 months, the most stressful time of this whole situation. That was my final D-Day: June 2017.
During this time I also discovered intimate conversations on different social media accounts between her and two other men. One of these was a real individual known to her -- when I confronted my wife she sent him the usual message saying it was over and showed me. The other man actually turned out to be a fake account that targetted married women, possibly for extortion, she blocked him.
I also discovered that my wife had been leading something of a second life on a certain social media site. We are both on this site but she hid her marital status and constantly hid and untagged my posts where we were both mentioned. She passively flirted when messaging men adding kisses and indicating to these men that she was separated: for example, by mentioning me as 'the kids dad'.
She also confided with several female friends, asking them for advice about one of the men she would later have an affair with. She also mentioned dating websites -- something she has denied using. Using this personae she would mention meeting other men, sometimes during trips with our sons -- she does not remember these conversations. She also mentioned losing a husband to cancer -- I haven't been able to ask her about this yet. This behaviour all seemed to start around July 2015 and it continued through to March 2017.
Her behaviour on social media has been as painful for me as discovering her affairs. I guess it's because it seemed so premeditated.
There are of course always two sides to any story. She has told me that I didn't pay her enough attention, that I was too critical, too controlling, not interested in her hobbies or work. She went elsewhere for this attention. I don't understand this because I remember asking her time and time again 'what's wrong' and that she said 'it's fine' every time. I believe that this lack of communication is related to childhood issues which I'll come to in a moment. She has since told me that her affairs aren't my fault afterall. I still feel to blame.
There's some other history about her family. She has a difficult relationship with her father. He is very much the patriarch and has always done all the talking whilst everyone else listens. No one in their family talks, that's just how it is. Her father has always been moody and he drinks a lot, less now, but I believe there was an alcohol abuse problem a few years ago. There are some stories coming out now that sound like emotional abuse throughout her childhood and one moment that sounds like physical abuse to her younger brother.
Apologies for the length of this post. I'm guessing I've probably lost most people by now. But it felt good to write.
I feel stuck.
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