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Arundhati, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Licensed psychotherapist, Published Wellness Author
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I am 72 days in to discovering my wifes illicit sexual affair

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I am 72 days in to discovering my wife's illicit sexual affair and have no idea what to do in regards XXXXX XXXXX reconciliation or filing for divorce. We've been married for over 9 years and have two young children. I feel completely trapped, isolated, and helpless. Most of what I've found out I have had to gather from the other man's wife. My wife has been caught in lie after lie over the past couple of months despite saying she is being completely honest with me. She claims to be remorseful and also proclaims her love for me, but I just don't have much faith in what she is saying. I also have reason to believe that she wanted to pursue a long-term relationship with the guy, but he chose to go back to his own marriage instead. She allegedly made him the offer more than once that if he left his wife, she would leave me. However, she emphatically denies any such claim. Previously, I would not have thought twice about ending my marriage as I know I will have a nearly impossible time forgiving and forgetting the whole affair, especially the sexual/physical aspects of it. But now that I am a father, I feel I need to consider what divorce will do to my children and I want to protect them. Help please!!!!!!!!!!
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Arundhati replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for writing in to Just Answer.

I'm very sorry to hear what you're going through.

From what you describe it sounds like you are unable to regain trust of your wife because there has been many occasions when her words have been inconsistent with what you found out from the other person's wife.

This trust issue is very important as without that it will be hard for you to get past this and move on. So I'd encourage you to bring up the trust issue with your wife. One thing to keep in mind is that staying in touch with the wife of the person your wife allegedly had an affair with will only lead to more complications and trust issues. This is because it is quite likely that the man might have changed the truth to suit his own circumstances so what you hear from his wife may not be the absolute truth. I would encourage you instead to talk to your wife instead about being honest and give her the benefit of the doubt.

Some key factors that will determine whether you will be able to stay on in the marriage are a) your ability to regain trust of your wife b) your ability to truly let go and start afresh and not hold on to these memories

None of the above 2 factors are easy yet they are critical in your ability to continue in this marriage.

That is why I would encourage you to try to see if achieving the above is a possibility. Something that can help you on this path is ongoing couple's counseling with a psychotherapist to process your feelings of hurt, the trust issues and how to move forward. You can also try and give yourself an internal time line to see work on this. If at the end of the time line you set yourself, it still feels close to impossible to let go of the past then it may be best to evaluate steps to end the marriage.

I hope this was helpful.

Please do let me know if you have questions/thoughts/reactions to what I wrote above.

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I should have mentioned that everything that the man's wife has told me, my wife has ended up admitting to although sometimes only after attempting awkward denials or trying to make less of the severity of the truth. The only things she continues to deny are those things that stand to make her look even worse or that would surely make reconciliation more unlikely. Throughout the process she has demanded I stop talking to the other man's wife and at times I have done so for long periods of time until I sense she is lying and hiding the truth again. Then when I resume talking to this other lady I do indeed discover much worse truth that my wife was obviously trying to keep me from discovering. I am just not sure she is capable of complete truth and I want every single detail so that I know exactly who and what I am dealing with.
Expert:  Arundhati replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information.

It sounds like your wife has been withholding information as much as she can. I understand your need to have all the details. I think there has been a huge breach in trust and until you can regain that trust in her it will be hard for you to feel at peace, since you'll constantly be left doubting her. Do you think you can raise this topic with her? That if the two of you cannot rebuild trust then continuing the relationship is going to be very hard for you.

Another way to look at it is to ask yourself what you would need to see in the relationship with your wife in order for you to be able to continue in this marriage. And then to discuss with her if she is willing to meet those conditions, create that environment that will enable you to stay on.
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