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    NowWhat's Avatar
    NowWhat Posts: 1,634, Reputation: 264
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    #1

    Mar 1, 2007, 09:16 AM
    He's had an affair, what now?
    My husband and I have been together for over 12 years/married for 11. We have a young child. I have been at home with our child all of her life.
    About 2 years ago, I found out the he was having an affair. He said that it never turned physical. If nothing else, it was an emotional affair. Well, I took him back. He begged me stay and acknowledged that he messed up. I told him that there were certain things I needed from him in order for this to work. And for a while, things got so much better. I actually caught myself saying to a friend that maybe the affair was a blessing in disguise because we were closer than ever.
    About 6 months ago, our lives began to fall apart. Lack of communication, compassion, etc.
    Well, earlier this month, I found out he was still having an affair with this person and it has been going on for 3 years! I was shocked and devastated.
    I knew we had some issues, but I never anticipated this. Especially after he saw what he did to me the first time around.
    Let me say, that I love my husband. I love my family that we have built together.
    I am having a real difficult time dealing with the betrayal and all of the emotions that come with something like this.
    Unexpectedly, I am also having trouble letting go of this man that I have loved for most of my adult life. A HUGE part of me wants to try and get through this together. I just don't have any clue of how to do that. I just know that it is almost impossible to imagine my daily life with out him in it.
    I guess my question is this...
    Is there anyone out there that has been in my shoes and has seen the other side of this? Have you been able to keep your marriage in tact? If so, HOW DID YOU DO IT? I have so many questions for my husband - I need full disclosure to even determine if this relationship can be saved - I just don't know what the right questions are.
    Can you ever truly trust again?
    Wildcat21's Avatar
    Wildcat21 Posts: 3,582, Reputation: 435
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    #2

    Mar 1, 2007, 09:24 AM
    Quite honestly - I DOUBT it was never physical.

    Here's the problem - the trust is broken - and seems to be liar. Not good. A BIG TIME LIAR!!

    You could go to counseling - but I would only to that with an honest person.

    This is the way I look at it - IF wanted to work o nthis he would have ended that affair. BUT, he didn't.

    Why on earth be with a liar - a cheater who kept cheating - and someone you probably could NEVER fully trust - he kept the freaking affair GOING!! Hello?? He with another women.

    This guy is having his cake and eating it too.

    Personally - I see no reason to save this marriage - let it go.

    How ca ngive an once of love to a liar and a cheater??

    Get a good lawyer - yesterday.
    NowWhat's Avatar
    NowWhat Posts: 1,634, Reputation: 264
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    #3

    Mar 1, 2007, 09:35 AM
    I know I should leave. And I do have an attorney. I also know that after 3 years - I am sure it is physical.
    I wish it was just as easy as cutting him loose. He and I are tied together forever. And before I rip my child's life to shreds, don't I have to make completely sure that everything has been done? :confused:
    I don't know how to turn off the love I have for my husband. I am still trying to process all of this. Wrap my brain around it all. Myself worth has just left the building. I am questioning everything I do and everything I am.
    Saying that I am confused is a HUGE understatment. I guess I am wondering if there is anyone that has been in my shoes and seen the other side with their marriage intact.
    Is that even possible?
    Wildcat21's Avatar
    Wildcat21 Posts: 3,582, Reputation: 435
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    #4

    Mar 1, 2007, 09:54 AM
    I know it's not easy.

    But this guy totally has lied to you. He is with someone else. You're not tied together with him - because you actually don't know him really - for him to do this to you.

    You will be so much happier with this guy - and he REALLY isn't someone you know.

    He has ZERO respect for you. ZERO.

    Yor self worht is to your kid... but that doesn't have to include him. And WHO brought you down? This loser - and that's wha the is.

    There are a lot of grea tguys out there and he's is NOT one of them!

    There is no rreason to stay with him. You want to stay with him as he poops on you and sees the other women? Now that's unhealthy.

    AND why on earth do keep making excuses for this guy and why you should stay with him??

    Lets make this perfectly clear...

    1. He has bee cheating on you for THREE years. CHEATING.

    2. He said he'd stop - yet he didn't.

    You need TRUST and RESPECT in a relationship - you have neither.
    kp2171's Avatar
    kp2171 Posts: 5,318, Reputation: 1612
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    #5

    Mar 1, 2007, 10:18 AM
    The extent of his deceit is bad news.

    Now, I'm not saying that a single one night stand is better... or maybe I am.

    I mean, I'm committed to my wife and she is to me. But if I found out that on a business trip she had a little too much fun... yes, id be hurt like mad. Yes, id really have a hard time trusting her...

    But you are talking about systematic, planned, premeditated deceit.

    I really feel for you. A friend of my wife's went through a similar thing, only she found out just once, after a rough patch, that hed had a long term relationship out of town and they never patched it up again.

    I know you're feeling the same things she went through. She WANTED to be married. To HIM. She never wanted a divorce, but she needed one. He moved on and married the other person. She is still sad that it all happened, but she knows now, 2 years later, that it was better to know and get on with her life, since he was already in the process of leaving her.

    The time he is spending on this other relationship is time you were owed.

    I cannot speak for someone else, let alone someone who would do such a thing. Maybe there can be reconciliation. I doubt it. I think he's "wired" differently and there's not a lot you can do when someone is so willing to go to such lengths to deceive.

    If you are wanting to stay, and boy... that seems risky to me, obviously a counselor can help you get started. This thing is so big you probably need a third party to try to keep you both in line. Even if he's not interested, you might want to find someone to talk to about this.

    I'm not a fan of running to a counselor all the time. I think it gets thrown around A LOT as an easy "answer". But there is a time and place for help. I think this is one for you.

    I'm in a great marriage, but we had a period where we struggled with finances after a job change and a child was born. I tried to bear all the emotional weight myself and it almost crushed me. I became fundamentally depressed, but hid it pretty well from my wife. It was awful. In hindsight, I should have sought someone to confide in outside the marriage and friendships. Something to think about.

    My stepdaughter and wife found a counselor at one point when the daughter was struggling with some things, and it honestly helped them both.

    I'm inclined to feel like seeking help is a sign of weakness... that I should be able to deal with things myself... but it's a twisted way of thinking. Takes a strong person to seek the resources needed, when needed.

    Hopefully others will chime in here. Most will probably say your relationship is terribly broken. In some ways, you don't even really know what your relationship even is... you have your perspective, but that has not been his reality, or even The Real Reality.

    Sorry to hear this. Wish I had more to offer.
    Wildcat21's Avatar
    Wildcat21 Posts: 3,582, Reputation: 435
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    #6

    Mar 1, 2007, 12:04 PM
    I think you want what you HAD. That seems to be gone.

    Personally I bet you don't know him today. He can't be the same man. People change and he defintely has.

    And I bet he won't go to a counslour right??
    NowWhat's Avatar
    NowWhat Posts: 1,634, Reputation: 264
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    #7

    Mar 1, 2007, 01:18 PM
    We have actually been to a counselor. It was the first time around. He has never been one for communication and asking him to talk about things with a complete stranger... well lets just say it didn't work for us.
    Part of what has been said is right, I do want what I had. I guess I have rejection issues and this is just so hard to stomach. I mean, I have never been a big believer in divorce. I took my vows very seriously and I know he apparently didn't. I just need to make sure that my next step is the right one for me and my child.
    robynhgl's Avatar
    robynhgl Posts: 112, Reputation: 25
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    #8

    Mar 1, 2007, 01:32 PM
    You want what you 'thought' you had.

    He's an immature little boy who can't talk to a 'stranger' in order to possibly fix your relationship---BUT he can talk to a stranger and eventually blab all of his 'personal' stuff to her... and have sex with her too. Good Grief! He needs to GROW UP! And you're just allowing him to be like this because you're accepting his excuses and passing them on.

    What about you? I'm sure you didn't feel the need to go out and mess around... why didn't you do it? Is it because you are an adult who takes her marriage, family and her moral values seriously?

    You keep accepting him back and accepting his behavior, he's going to keep doing it. You need to put your foot down and issue an ultimatum. He can either be a husband and a father or he can leave and be 'single guy'--but he can't do both.

    If he decides to stay, you'll have to deal with the fact that he's done what he's done and move forward. Obviously you're going to have trust issues--it up to him to fix those by regaining your trust and doing what's right by you and your child. If he decides to leave, you know that he was never going to become the man you had hoped he could be and you'll be able to move on with your dignity intact.

    The biggest thing to remember in all of this is--HE IS THE LOSER, not you.

    BTW--The best revenge is living well... take it from someone who knows.
    redneckchick's Avatar
    redneckchick Posts: 23, Reputation: 5
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    #9

    Mar 1, 2007, 01:33 PM
    Once a cheater always a cheater...
    momincali's Avatar
    momincali Posts: 641, Reputation: 242
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    #10

    Mar 1, 2007, 02:05 PM
    I feel horrible for you. I'm so sorry that this is happening. It's hard enough to hear it the first time but to take a 2nd blow that was even harder than the first is 10 times as bad.

    So what do you do now? I think right now you put your life in order. You accept the fact that a marriage could be saved if the other half was honest, respectable and wanted to save the marriage. The truth is he's neither of those things. Would you really consider trying it a 3rd time? Don't teach your child to be treated with such disrespect and lack of consideration. Don't teach your child that it's okay to stick around when you're being lied to and cheated on and made a fool of. This man has no conscience. He was only sorry because he got caught, but he never had any true remorse, or he would have ended it and done whatever it took to never do it again.

    It will be hard. But it should be even harder to stay with a male who has so little consideration for his wife and his child. It should be harder to stay with a male who puts himself first, no matter the costs. Personally, a male like that completely and totally disgusts me, his actions are repulsive.

    Make sure your lawyer is THE BEST. If you ever spent lots of money on something, this needs to be it. The gloves need to come off. Bet your life that he will try to change your mind, cry, beg and swear that he will change and that this time it will really be over. It isn't true. Not a word. People like him and his girlfriend need to accept responsibility and be accountable for the damage they've done. If you don't fight for your own dignity, he will continue to do it to you and others. Has he had a child with her yet, that you know of? I hate to bring that up, but it's always a big possibility. Be strong and true to yourself and your child.
    kp2171's Avatar
    kp2171 Posts: 5,318, Reputation: 1612
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    #11

    Mar 1, 2007, 02:37 PM
    Some of what I'm going to add has been stated already, esp by momincali's advice...

    First, you are not a fool for trying and wanting to make this marriage work. Bad things can happen in a marriage, deliberate or by chance, and I have great respect for those who try to honor their vows and are willing to work through some really ugly times.

    I think when he cheated on you first, you were absolutely reasonable in your actions. You sought help. You gave the marriage and him a chance. And you did it with all your heart. You did your part.

    Now you still want the marriage to work... but, as mentioned, you don't even really know what the marriage is from his side.

    I just can't imagine telling someone to try a third time, especially after such designed deception. But no one can really decide for you when its time to walk away. Most of us would say its time.

    My brother-in-law is going through a bad divorce. He has cheated on his wife more than once. He has betrayed her financially and emotionally. She made some judgement mistakes along the way too, but never anything that compromised her vows.

    After a dozen years of marriage, she has finally decided she can live a more stable life without him. I can tell you she ABSOLUTELY never imagined her life without him, and doesnt want this. But she knows she needs it. The turmoil he's introduced into her life also envelops her children.

    You seem to be where she was a year ago. Wanting to be with the man he COULD have been, but not willing to live with the man he IS right now.

    Sad thing is, sometimes the man (or woman) who has done wrong becomes the person they needed to be after a divorce. They suddenly become the attentive parent or caring partner because they know what they've lost. This makes the other partner crazy, because had they been this person all along the marriage would have been intact.

    I'm glad you sought help before. I still think some outlet to talk to someone will be important, no matter what path you take. You know you're going to be dealing with much of this for some time.
    NowWhat's Avatar
    NowWhat Posts: 1,634, Reputation: 264
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    #12

    Mar 1, 2007, 03:25 PM
    I am so lost right now. The logical side of my brain is not chiming in right now. Most of everything that has been said here makes sense to me and things that I have thought about when I first found out.
    The emotional side of my brain is taking over. We were supposed to be together until death do us part. I wasn't supposed to be divorced or a single mom. Not all of our times were bad. I have to hold on to that.
    I wish there was a clear cut answer but it just isn't like that. If I could take the emotion out of it, then I think I would know what to do. But, I have loved this man for so long, my mind and heart doesn't know how to do anything different.
    Is it possible for a good man to make a mistake and then learn from that mistake? Or since he has crossed the line he can never go back? I just so confused ALL THE TIME! With all of this, I love him and I don't know how to turn it off.
    kp2171's Avatar
    kp2171 Posts: 5,318, Reputation: 1612
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    #13

    Mar 1, 2007, 03:50 PM
    I think its time for a serious talk with him about what he wants.

    Can you find a way to sit down with him, and as calmly as you can, get him to open up with what he's been thinking.

    He probably has a lot to say... and it might take you really restraining yourself... but maybe if you tell him "here is your chance to explain what youve been feeling" maybe you can better understand.

    Ultimately, it makes no difference how badly you want the relationship. He's got to want it as badly. Really, more at this point.

    If, after all of this, he isn't working like hell to keep you, if he's not acting like hes about to lose the love of his life, then he's just coasting.
    Squiffy's Avatar
    Squiffy Posts: 499, Reputation: 84
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    #14

    Mar 1, 2007, 04:06 PM
    I have been in your shoes. My husband cheated on me, we had a daughter who was just a baby at the time. He admitted he had been seeing this other girl, but denied any sexual involvement. We rekindled our relationship, and I fell pregnant with our son. It was as this point I found out they were still together, in fact she had left him because I fell pregnant, he had told her we just lived toether for our child, obviously got caught out by us having another baby together. We decided to stay together, I didn't want to be a single mum, and I didn't want to lose him. Our son was born, we were OK, not perfect but OK. Our son was just 4 months old when I found out he had got himself another girlfriend. It had to end there. It is terrifying being in this situation, I loved my husband, and couldn't imagine my life without him. But I knew I could never trust him again, and what is a relationship without trust? Dead. I took my ows very seriously, but he just didn't. I honestly don't think someone who cheats, especially in the way your husband has, can ever be trusted again. If he loved you, and was sorry for what he had done, he wouldn't have carried on doing it. I don't think you can cheat on someone you love, I know I couldn't hurt someone I love in that way. There is life the other side of this. I am now getting divorced, though my soon to be ex husband and I are now re building a friendship, for the sake of the kids really. I have a new partner, who I have been with for two years now, and I can honestly say I have never been happier. There is life after all of this. But it's a terrible time to be in. I hope you are OK.
    robynhgl's Avatar
    robynhgl Posts: 112, Reputation: 25
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    #15

    Mar 1, 2007, 04:35 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by NowWhat
    Is it possible for a good man to make a mistake and then learn from that mistake? Or since he has crossed the line he can never go back? I just so confused ALL THE TIME! With all of this, I love him and I don't know how to turn it off.

    Yes--it is possible. But, you also have to ask yourself if it's possible for you to live with a man who's done this. Ultimately, you're the one who will have to look at him each and everyday, with the knowlegde that he hurt you in such a way. You'll also have to deal with it without throwing it back in his face every time you get angry or upset or you're feeling bad about things.

    I can't tell you what to do, no one can. It's a decision you have to make. Everyone has a different way of dealing with this kind of stuff... and it's funny, but a lot of people who say they'd never forgive an affair will forgive when they're actually faced with it. And, some people who say that they would, can't when they're faced with the harsh reality of it actually happening.

    You need to figure it out yourself--is this marriage WORTH salvaging? Is he really willing to do what it takes to save it? It's not a decision that you can make in a few minutes or even a few days... it may take you a while to weigh out the pro and cons.
    momincali's Avatar
    momincali Posts: 641, Reputation: 242
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    #16

    Mar 1, 2007, 06:53 PM
    You know, you asked if its possible for a good man to make a mistake and then learn from it. Yes. It is. Good men don't mean they are perfect men, they fall like everyone else. They realize their mistakes and learn so as not to cause more pain.

    Your husband, however, didn't make a mistake, he made a choice. A very poor, self-centered one. He made the same choice, twice, that you know of. His actions are flawed because his character is flawed. Now, who doesn't have a flaw in their character? No one I know. But the degree of his selfishness is hurting people. You, your child, his family, your family, and in a matter of time, this person he's having the affair with because in all likelihood, he will cheat on her eventually.

    The confusion you feel is normal. Emotions love to take the lead and it's done easily because we allow it. But, sometimes our emotions can get us into a heap of trouble and lead us down the wrong path. No one can tell you what to do. You have all the facts, your instincts (not emotions) are telling you whether this guy is trustworthy, you have to make the ultimate decision.

    Robyn brought up a good point. Can you live with someone who has done this to you, twice? If you leave, you will miss him and be sad and feel cheated and frustrated that things turned out this way. Marriage is supposed to be forever, you kept your end of the bargain, why didn't he?

    But what will it be like if you stay? Who knows? Will you constantly be suspicious of him? Wondering where he is? Who he's with? What he's doing? Is he really where he said he is/was? Is he really going to stay or will he eventually leave, even though you gave him another chance? Will you be thinking of him when you're intimate, or her? These are difficult things to consider but they can't be ignored.

    I'm not trying to hurt you with this, but I really do want you to give this some serious, truthful consideration. Then, and only then, will you know you made the right choice.
    Nohitter410's Avatar
    Nohitter410 Posts: 187, Reputation: 50
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    #17

    Mar 1, 2007, 07:22 PM
    I think in this situation it is hard to leave emotions out of it but you have to make sure you are leaning on the right emotions. Rejection is hard but you were not rejected. He wants you but he wants you and your child and have a woman on the side. Is that the life you want because no matter what you say or do some men always have the wandering eye but only a lying deceitful guy goes through with that and only someone even worse can keep it from his wife for 3 years and try to hide every trail.

    THink about for 3 years he had another woman, you don't think every action, every step he took he didn't think how you will find out. I am sure he even used your child as an excuse to go see her. He is not the person you married and nor will he ever be. As hard as it is to end it with someone because he is safe and predictable in your eyes, he isn't. You may have had 12 years with this guy and we don't even need to bring up anything he did anymore. You know what he was wrong and total lack of respect for you.

    What you need to realize is this is a break you need. This is your chance to give your child a good life and teach them what life is about and spend time with them. Leave him and don't look at it like you are starting your life over because you aren't. You are just removing one person out of your life. ONE PERSON!! You may look at divorce as something not wholly and until death but I don't think there is also something else written saying until death even if the guy cheats and just hang out because the papers say we are married.

    You are a great woman and have a beautiful young daughter and I am sure other things outside of this man. End it, get it over with him now. He can see his daughter and maybe one day you can be civil but you aren't ready for that there are too many feelings involved.

    Here is one last thing: Let's say your daughter grows up and is in your situation with a child and her husband cheats on her and has a relationship behind her back for 3 years after he knows how much it hurt when she found out the first time. What kind of advice would you give her? Would you tell her to hang on for the sake of the child or would you tell her do what's best for you not what's best for anyone else. Get a support staff that you can TRUST beacause they are the ones that can get you through not a lying cheating manipulative BOY because he is sure as hell aint' a man.
    Vienna111's Avatar
    Vienna111 Posts: 8, Reputation: 1
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    #18

    Mar 1, 2007, 07:26 PM
    Now What, I feel so sorry for both yourself and your child, and truly prayer that the best outcome is achieved.
    In this instance the best outcome must be for YOURSELF (and little one), not husband.
    Don't feel bad about wanting to work through this, those sentiments emphasis how good a person you are, and even more so demonstrate how unfair and unjust this situation is.
    Would not feel to give any mass advice on marriage, but feel your trust has been abused which is unforgivable. What advice would you give to someone else on this instance ? I have often found the answer to that question is the best answer to all your problems.
    Take care, and keep your chin up YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG.
    valinors_sorrow's Avatar
    valinors_sorrow Posts: 2,927, Reputation: 653
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    #19

    Mar 1, 2007, 07:32 PM
    The trouble with cheating is it requires lies and until a liar clears up all lying at the source, you can't and really shouldn't trust them for anything, never mind your heart and soul. Lying is a total destroyer of all the good stuff: trust, intimacy, stability, respect, honor. My guess is you see what you need already --- "I need full disclosure to even determine if this relationship can be saved" ---- and you may already have an idea of how unlikely you are to get it. Don't start now by joining him in some strange way and begin to lie to yourself here. You have a child to raise who needs role models of what honest adults look like.
    sophia3x's Avatar
    sophia3x Posts: 14, Reputation: 7
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    #20

    Mar 1, 2007, 08:08 PM
    I know you are hurting.

    He is not.

    I have seen many women take men back after affairs and it rarely works.

    The part I HATE to tell you, the odds are there's more. More information you do not want.

    Your main question is how to keep the marriage intact. I would say not many. Maybe... maybe a marriage that could survive this would be one with long term respectful friendship that was once great and lost passion and went awry. Anyway, this does not appear to be that.

    This is NOT a time to put him on trial at home. It'll torture him and you. It's time to get counseling or maybe a trial separation. That's the only way to reach him and see what he's made of - and it may all just be lies. BE GLAD YOU KNOW NOW.

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