19/9/18 UPDATE: https://www.reddit.com/r/survivinginfidelity/comments/9mpjlg/needsupport_im_surviving/
9/18/18 UPDATE: Thank you all for the support. It's so much to read and absorb. I'm still numb and in shock. I'm going to take some time for that to wear off before I consider my future. I've talked to my sister-in-law and she said my wife is a blubbering mess. Telling her she always knew this was going to come back to haunt her and that she had tried so hard over the years to make up for what she had done. They're trying to get her to go to a shrink, the same as my friends and family are trying to do for me. I haven't decided to stay in this world or not. I'm still thinking on it. I have no fear of dying, I've had a great life to this point. I have zero interest in any other life. A new life, a changed life, whatever. That doesn't appeal to me. I have to figure out if there is a path back to the life I had built with my wife and family. If there is, I'll stay. If not, I won't. Thank you again to everyone who took their own personal time to respond. I have read and thought about each and every response and will continue to do so. It's nice to think that the world is so cruel that a bunch of strangers wouldn't try to help someone they've never met. I'll post another update in the future. Thank you all again.
I'm not new to reddit. This is a throw away account for obvious reasons. I usually use reddit to talk about grilling/smoking/bbq, football, and electric guitars and amps. I'm a 51yo man with a 51yo wife who I've been married to for 33 years. We have three adult children. Daughters 29 and 26 and a son 22.
My wife and I have had a very normal loving marriage for 33 years (actually 33 as of next month). Sure we've had ups and downs over the years like any long-term relationship but we don't go to bed mad and we're each other's best friends. I'm a hopeless romantic. She's less mushy about romance but loves when I make romantic gestures and I do all the time. Love letters/texts/emails. Surprise date nights to do something fun (last one recently was a couple's cooking class and we had a blast). Sex every week usually Saturday and Sunday. Happy home. No complaints at all from either of us.
Quick background on me. I had a single mom and do not know my biological father. My mother kept every detail of him a secret and took that secret to the grave with her. My wife and our children have always wondered about that. This year for my birthday one of my children bought me a DNA test from Ancestry. They said we could maybe discover something about my biological father. Before I took it all the kids decided they wanted to take one too since they're bloodline also comes from my unknown father.
When we got our test results they were bizarre to say the least. I'm sure some of you have guessed but my oldest two children are not mine. We each got our results separately but the kids had been talking among themselves before they shared with us so they asked if we could do a family dinner at our house and they all came over. Dinner was fine but they wanted to talk to us about something.
Then the bombshell. They said they compared results and that the oldest two children are not my kids. The youngest is. They asked if we had anything to tell them. I said of course not, there has to be a mistake. I looked over at my wife and knew in an instant there was no mistake. She had a look of terror on her face like I've never seen before. At once this calm level-headed wonderful woman I've been married to for 33 years screamed out some kind of gibberish then ran for the bedroom and locked the door.
We all tried to get her to come out but to no avail. We're all freaking out at this point. She immediately texts our phones and asks that we all leave her alone for a couple hours to compose herself and then reconvene at the table and she'll join us. We did as she requested but I'll tell you what, that 2 hours felt like a lifetime and my brain was on overload as to what the hell was going on. I still figured this had to be some kind of mistake. Of course the girls were mine. Whose else would they be? My wife and I weren't partiers or swingers. We're Disney channel people, not Cinemax.
She comes out at about the 2 hour mark and asks the kids if they could please go and that she needed to talk to me alone and that she'd be sure to let them know what's going on as soon as she can. They protested vehemently but respected her request and left saying they'll be back if they don't hear something soon. I'm sitting there just blown away at this point like this isn't real. Like I'm watching a movie except that I'm in the movie.
She then tells me something that has caused permanent change in me. I hope not permanent but it feels permanent. She looks me straight in the eyes and says _____(my name), I had an affair many years ago. It was with ______ (one of our neighbors and friends from the same social circle at the time). It went on for about 4 years until I wised up and realized what a wonderful husband I had and that I needed to grow up and stop acting stupid. Then she put her hands on my cheeks to pull me in and still looking in my eyes said "you are my everything. I am your girl for life. I love you with all my heart. I did a very stupid and selfish thing many years ago. You did nothing wrong. You've been the best husband any woman could ever ask for and I hope we try to put this in perspective and recognize what a wonderful life we've had together and that we don't want this stupid, hurtful, mistake to ruin it." She then said she'd do whatever I wanted, answer any question, leave if I ask, but kept assuring me that I'm her everything and that once she realized how stupid she was being she's never even once thought about cheating on me for a second since it ended.
The man she cheated with is no longer alive. They didn't love each other but had convinced themselves that this sexual outlet from their marriages made them better spouses.
-What devastates me is that my daughters are not my biological children. They are also devastated. They want to know details about this man since he's their real father and that also kills me. They both assure me that I'm their father and they love me with all their hearts but we all know I'm not their father. The other man was. It's also worth noting that until this DNA test, my wife also never knew for sure.
-What devastates me is that the woman I held in the highest regard as far as love, respect, esteem, etc. carried on an affair for years. The woman that has loved me and honored me for decades also betrayed me.
-What devastates me is the question, was my whole adult life to this point a lie? Was my entire marriage a lie? Is nothing real in this world? She has been an amazing wife and partner. I've had ZERO complaints my entire marriage, even when she was cheating.
-What devastates me is this man died a few years ago of cancer and that I can't go talk to him man to man and possibly punch his lights out.
-What devastates me is that I was her first and only (I had only 1 previous teenage awkward quickie in the back seat of a car with a former girlfriend before my wife but that was it for me). Now I find out she was having regular sex with this man for years. How can I get over that?
This all happened pretty recently. Next month is our 33rd anniversary and I just don't know what to do. I asked her to leave and she has been staying with her sister and her husband. She is absolutely devastated. So am I.
Everyone I've talked with about this says that I've had an amazing life with my wife, she's a great wife and mother, she made a horrible mistake when she was very young, and to not let this ruin us. I get that over and over and logically I know that's all true but my heart right now is not being logical.
I was really happy with my life. I loved my wife and children with all my heart. Can I ever get back to that state or has this revelation permanently altered the course of my life? I'm absolutely lost right now and honestly wish I was dead. I'm very seriously considering taking care of that. If I can't forgive her and forget this then I'm going to kill myself. I have no interest in living a different life then what we've had. I'm not that fond of the world anyway except for my family.
Thanks for reading.