Caught him red handed

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-02-2013
Caught him red handed
12
Sat, 06-14-2014 - 2:00pm

I haven't been here for years, but now I feel the need; maybe to commiserate with others who have found themselves in this position, and perhaps have seen the light at the end of the tunnel.

My SO and I were together 10 years, never married in name, but it FELT like a marriage.  Before we met, there were always stories of he and his wife of 28 years cheating on each other, but I never had any evidence that the same thing was happening.  UNTIL.....I called him one night, there was no answer, and thinking he might be sick (he's had some health problems), I drove over to the shock of my life.  He and a girl coming out of the bedroom.

This was only a few weeks ago, and I understand I'm still in the angry and grieving stages,  and I am in the hands of a therapist, but I seriously don't know how to deal with these moments of crippling rage and anxiety.  Has he been making a fool of me all these years?  Has any of it been real?  I thought we were at the stage of life where we could be secure and comfortable (I'm 55 and he's 69), that this wasn't even an issue anymore.

I feel like a bomb has gone off in my life, and I don't know how to pull the scattered pieces back together.

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Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sat, 06-14-2014 - 5:07pm

You said, "...Before we met, there were always stories of he and his wife of 28 years cheating on each other..."  Does that mean you heard stories about him before you met him?  OR after you met, did he admit to having cheated on his wife--for years?   Either way, that's kind of a red flag.  And then there's the fact that you never married, and you "drove over", so you didn't live together either.

With the previous long history of cheating, and the fact that he's always held you at arm's length--so no divorce or alimony for a "so much younger" wife, there's a good possibility that he has been cheating all along.   WITHOUT all those things, my first response would have been that perhaps with his age, and illness, he's feeling his mortality, and trying to fend it off in inappropriate ways. Either way, if he is inapologetic, and refuses counseling, you should move on.

BTW, what did he say?  What did the woman say?  Was she younger too?   

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Sat, 06-14-2014 - 11:34pm

I feel the same way that sabertooth does.  How can it "feel" like a marriage, if after 10 years you don't even live together?  Usually if there are "rumors".......there is at least some truth to those rumors.  Have you ever even asked him about his marriage?  Because you don't live together, he might have been cheating on you right along, and you just happened to catch him.  You think because he's 69 he's no longer interested in sex?  My SO is a few months from being 80, and he's as interested as he ever was.  Sorry, but once a cheater, usually always a cheater, especially if he'd done it for years.  It's not a matter of not being "satisfied" with a partner, it's just a habit.......and has nothing to do with the partner.  Just out of curiousity, what did HE say when you caught him.  I'm sure he said he'd never done it before. 

You're wasting time and energy with anger and rage.  He did what he did, and now it's time to move on.  You can't change anything that happened, you can just concentrate on make a good and happy life for yourself.  You're only 55, you have a long time ahead of you, make the most of it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-02-2013
Sun, 06-15-2014 - 10:14am

In answer to your first two questions, I had always heard stories before we met about he and his wife having other "friends", and yes, he admitted to it during our years together.  His explanation (or justification) was that yes, I cheated, but so did she.  And, seeing it written out as you did, he has held me at arm's length.  That's exactly what was done.  

The night I caught him, he was so full of apologies it was almost like verbal vomit spewing from him.  "I'm sorry....etc etc".  A few days later, after I felt I could look at him without vomiting myself, I went to pick up the few things I had left at his house, and it was more apologies and begging for counseling to "see what is wrong with me (him)".

 I just don't think I have it in me to try anymore; in my heart, I think I have always felt something was "off".    Seeing it written out as you have done, everything you say rings true.  I simply don't know how to get past the sense of being played for a fool.  And I can't even really blame him....if it looks like a snake and acts like a snake, it's probably a snake.  I think I am really angry at myself for allowing myself to wear blinders for so long.  

As for the other gal, she's 51, so it looks like he is following the obvious pattern.  I'm not really concerned with the other girl though;  this is something within HIM.  I know I need to move on, but I haven't the vaguest idea of how to do that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Sun, 06-15-2014 - 12:11pm

People always make it sound so difficult.  "How do I move on?"  You move on by moving on.  I'm sure that your life in the last 10 years has included more than just him!  Or maybe it didn't.  What were you doing before you met him?  Do you have a job?  Do you have friends?  Do you have interests that you haven't pursued? Take up golf, or guitar lessons, or playing bridge.  All the things that you thought you might do someday........someday is here. 

 There is NO POINT at being angry at yourself.  You did what you did......you did it in good faith.  You were wrong.  Life contains mistakes, and if you learn from them, then you've accomplished something.  You can beat yourself up, but that's not going to change what happened.  You went into it in good faith, and you got "played".  That's on him, not you!  You aren't responsible for "not knowing"! 

I've done some dumb things in life....and I've learned from those dumb things.  Not to say I won't continue to do other dumb things, but I haven't repeated the same mistake twice.  I live my life to the best of my ability, and if someone screws with me, it's on them, not me!  I believe in this quote:  Yesterday is HISTORY, Tomorrow is mystery, and today is a gift, that's why it's called "the present".  You can't change history, and you prove nothing by wasting MORE of your life beating yourself up.  Get out and live life as best you can.  Enjoy it, because it goes by faster than you realize! 

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-02-2013
Sun, 06-15-2014 - 6:30pm

Well, actually, no...there was nothing in my life except raising my kids and being with him.  Lost touch with friends, lost interest in hobbies, even lost my job and went on disability because of a bad car accident.  Ten years of being out of touch with the world, and trying to remember who I was before all this happened.  I'm pathetic....

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-13-2006
Mon, 06-16-2014 - 12:44am

You are NOT pathetic!! Don't think that way!!! Word of advice...NEVER lose touch with friends when you're in a relationship because they are your back bone when things tend to go SOUTH in a relationship...your true friends will always be there for you in times when the person you're in a relationship isn't......

It will be tough for you but you need to take it one day at a time..please..please take it one day at a time.Get back in touch with the friends that you can...start to reconnect with them...you should get back in touch with you and what you love about yourself and find a hobby that you like OR go back to what you use to do for fun...one day at a time. People like him...they are the ones who  are pathetic!! They will ALWAYS be alone on the inside while always having people around them on the outside. You need to remember this saying" what goes around comes around"..He WILL get what is coming to him eventually BUT by then you would have already moved on  and thank your stars that you are not his next victim. The hurt and betrayal that you're feeling...I know it is extremely painful but each day it will become a little bit less and less...Like Fissatore said...it's on HIM for what he's done..not you!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-02-2013
Mon, 06-16-2014 - 7:28am

Thank you, honestgirl.  Intellectually, I know you're right; I simply don't know where to start picking up my life again.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-04-2006
Mon, 06-16-2014 - 12:35pm
Is there something you've always wanted to do but didn't because you chose to spend time with The Cheater instead? Do it! Try a new recipe, read a great book, get a Netflix movie you always wanted to see, visit a place you've always wanted to see, start crafting...whatever! When you've done the thing you always wanted to do, then do the next thing. And so on and so on. It really is that simple. Right now the only thing holding you back is you, so don't be your own worst enemy, do something fun.
Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Mon, 06-16-2014 - 8:34pm

   IMO there is nothing to get all upset about.  You assumed the relationship was what monagamous?   Was that discussed?  Of course he did not expect you to come over unannounced.   In 10 years living is seperate abodes does that not ring a bell?   He is not a villain.  He is who he is.  Many people do not want a monogamous relationship.   Many people of both sexes do it by default.

    If this is not something for you then that's fine.   He was not making a fool of you at all.  Nothing in you posts reveal that at all.

   I agree with Fissy:" You're wasting time and energy with anger and rage.  He did what he did, and now it's time to move on.  You can't change anything that happened, you can just concentrate on make a good and happy life for yourself.  You're only 55, you have a long time ahead of you, make the most of it.:"

   I suggest looking at it from a different viewpoint.    With him as a friend a sex friend perhaps but to enjoy playing the field.  Do the  things you like to do.  Be very honest with yourself.  Drop all the learned baggage.  Try on different  styles and see which fits.

chaika

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-02-2013
Mon, 06-16-2014 - 10:28pm

I DID call first.  He has some health problems, so when he didn't answer, I got worried.  Yes, it was discussed and agreed to be a monogomous relationship;because anything else wouldn't be suitable for either of us.  We didn't have to live in the same house to be faithful....or so I thought.

Xxxx...I'm sorry you think I have nothing to be upset about.

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