Reaching out

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2014
Reaching out
11
Thu, 08-14-2014 - 9:04am

Hi! I'm back after about three years (under a different name). I got amazing support on this board and remain very grateful for it. Still, was not strong enough to end my affair back then. I finally did it properly a few months ago. I have cut off contact with ex-AP completely and have been repairing my relationship with my husband. Actually repairing is not right: I'm trying to build something new with him. It's been going well - ups and downs, of course, but I've been committed and patient and brave. UNTIL. Last night, I had a one-night-stand with another guy. I won't go into details of how it came about. But it broke me. What it has shown me is that, even as I have been working on my marriage, I've still been keeping options open to get involved with another person, just in case the marriage doesn't work after all, I guess. To make sure I will be loved and desired and protected one way or another. A sort of twisted insurance policy, which manifested itself in seeking attention from men. And ended in this mistake. And now confusion and PAIN I cannot describe.

All that has happened has led me to resolve this: tonight I'm going to tell my husband about my affair and hope he will be willing to build a relationship with me that is based on complete honesty. I will admit I have a serious problem and hope he might forgive me and help me deal with it or at least stick around until I deal with it. And if not? Scary thought. But at least I will be rid of a poisonous lie.

I'm so scared! I've decided to reach out to this wonderful community, because of the support I experienced last time I was here: both the words of advice and encourgement I was offered and the positive energy that filled me with hope and courage.

Is there anybody out there?

 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2012
Thu, 08-14-2014 - 11:11am

I agree with the poster above. Keep your guilt to yourself. Confessing isn't going to make him feel good; it could destroy him. Deal with it yourself and get some counseling.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Thu, 08-14-2014 - 11:12am

'...tonight I'm going to tell my husband about my affair and hope he will be willing to build a relationship with me that is based on complete honesty'

No, please don't. It won't achieve anything remotely  helpful to your r-ship. You are hoping to be able to share the pain you feel but he isn't a friend or a sibling who will console and support you. He will be hurt beyond belief and most likely incredibly agry. He may not be able to forgive you, and then what? You will have that side of things to deal with as well as what you're going through at the moment. What he doesn't know can't hurt him. Why  would you want to hurt him, so badly,  unnecessarily? If you want your marriage to survive IMHO you have to suffer in silence and somehow try and drag yourself out of the pit. Complete honesty between intimate partners is not always the best way of dealing with thing, despite what many self-help books will tell you. Real life doesn't work in black and white. I speak from experience.. believe me, I  know what I'm talking about. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2006
Thu, 08-14-2014 - 12:04pm
I agree with the others. Telling him will cause him unnecessary pain and he may not be able to forgive you. Get yourself counseling to deal with the guilt and the underlying causes of needing a 'back-up plan.'

I'm a runner...it isn't just what I do; it's who I am!

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Thu, 08-14-2014 - 12:48pm

I'll join in with everyone else.  Dumping your guilt on your husband will do NOTHING for you, it will just hurt him, so you'll both be suffering!  Is that what you want?  I'm sensing that you're a very needy woman, you are really afraid to be alone in life.  You need to assure that you have approval from a man, any man......because you don't love yourself very much.  Why, only you know!  Bad childhood, early rejections, never were given self esteem.....who knows!  But, you need to work on YOU as well as your marriage.  You said it yourself, a twisted way to make sure that SOMEONE, ANYONE loves you.....and you're desperate for that because you don't love yourself.  You need to get help for that.  Hopefully you can work out your problems in your marriage, and get on with your life.  Sharing the guilt will not help you.  Learning to love yourself, and not depend on approval from a man is what will help you most.  You've made mistakes in life, there's not another human being on this earth that hasn't made mistakes!  You will hopefully learn from your mistakes, and never make that same mistake again.  But, being human, you might make different mistakes....we ALL do!  The trick is to forgive yourself, learn from it and move on.  If you love yourself, you can forgive yourself, too. Please work on that.  Don't look to any other person, even your husband, to make you feel like a good lovable person.  Having affairs, one night stands will only tear down your self esteem, because youre an intelligent person....and you know very well that you were used by these men......NOT loved by them.  Hug your husband!  Kiss him!  Tell him how much you love him, and don't expect him or any other man to make you feel good.  You have to do that for yourself......and when you do, it will rub off on your husband, too.  Good Luck to you!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2014
Thu, 08-14-2014 - 2:45pm
Thank you all for what you said. I can't write much more just now as I'm dripping win tears and snot in a fairly public place after reading Fissatore's post just now. But I'm taking i all to heart.
Avatar for wClarity
Community Leader
Registered: 11-04-2012
Fri, 08-15-2014 - 11:55am

I'd hold off spilling your guts.  First, I'd get into counseling for support and guidance...and talk over how confessing to my husband may help or hurt the situation.

Some people feel like they cannot move on to rebuild without first creating a clean slate. And some feel they are best off taking it to their grave and just working hard on themselves to insure it'll never happen again.

And I would think that if you decide to fess up, the therapist would suggest you bring him along to your next session so you can tell him in the safe haven of the therapists office where she can help guide the conversation and keep it on track.  

Clarity

 

Community Leader,

Ending an Affair Support Board

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-10-2009
In reply to: nymann63
Sat, 08-16-2014 - 8:59pm

It's important that you do what you feel is right whether or not that is a popular option among the readers here. On reading your post I was very proud of you for choosing to bring your husband in to your truth. Then I was disappointed in those who told you to keep him in the dark. I can see how continuing to deceive your husband works to your advantage yet I do not know that this is the sort of life either of you would chose to lead. I do not see how you can heal as a human being while keeping such a secret from your partner in life. The absolute worst yet ultimately best thing that ever happened to me was my wife discovering my affair.

That aside, I want to shine a light on much of what Fissatore said. We do things like have affairs because we are trying to fill a void within our Selves, a void too large to deal with on our own. The only difference between us and other addicts is our choice of drug, and in our case it is what passes for love and desire that we crave. So whatever you decide to do with your husband please do get good professional help and deal with those hurt and broken places you have been trying to quell for so long.

One more thing I want to point out: it is not your marriage that is the problem, it is you. The biggest problem with a cheater's marriage is that we are in it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2014
Mon, 08-18-2014 - 6:04am

Thank you so much for your insights!

I haven't told my husband anything. As you, Fissatore, Clarity and others suggested I need to work on myself first. In the long run, I think I will need to talk to him, because I do not feel that otherwise either of us will live in a fulfilling relationship, that at least he deserves. I want to stress that I do not want to share the guilt. I just want him to see all of me (also the ugly - I think he idealises me at the moment) and allow him to make the decision whether he wants to share his life with me. I hope so.

What you say about additiction really resonates with me. Although I don't want to think about this in these terms too much, lest I make it into an excuse.

What I am trying to do is go on a "man-detox" (other than my husband) - I've become conscious lately of how I seek attention - with my eyes, smiles, etc. (I'm like the Evil Queen in Snow White, only instead of asking "mirror mirror" I look at the reactions of men to me). So I'm experimenting with avoiding contact where it is not necessary and keeping it more neutral/professional when I do have to speak to men at work or in other situations. It's hard for me, but so revealing and I'm hopeful it will be effective. At the same time, I'm spending time with girlfriends (whom I used to neglect when involved with ex AP). And I have a mantra/affirmation about loving myself - not sure that's working, but maybe I need to give it some time...

I would like to share this process with my husband. To do away with the secrets and to be held accountable. But perhaps not yet...

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2014
Mon, 08-18-2014 - 8:34am

P.S. I really value this forum  - for the specific advice, but also just as a place where I can share and not feel alone. What I didn't mention in my previous post is that I'm battling the temptation to contact exAP. He has been contacting me periodically since I ended our relationship and I have been ignoring him. But his latest message came just this weekend and I keep thinking about responding. This stupid, STUPID one-night-stand - which I sort of hoped would make me feel more independent from exAP and able to move on with my life - actually made me feel needier, more empty and confused than ever.... So I'm writing this now rather than writing to him!

I know I sound really pathetic! Means all the more that you've been there to support me. I hope I can get past this and become someone who can help others rather than wallowing in my own stupid problems!

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2006
Mon, 08-18-2014 - 11:22am
Block ex-AP so that you won't be tempted to answer. It helped me to block my ex-AP also because I wouldn't know when he stopped trying, which made me obsess less than I would have if I had just ignored his calls and known when he stopped trying.

I'm a runner...it isn't just what I do; it's who I am!

 

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