How likely is it you will have another affair?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2011
How likely is it you will have another affair?
15
Thu, 08-25-2011 - 5:21pm
After the affair is discovered by BS, trust is shattered. My husband tells me that I am more "safe" now than ever as he had a wake up call after his affair was revealed. He has been on a road to learning about himself and what he thought about our marriage. In my mind, I see my husband as a man who's depth of deception is unfathomable. If he can do that, what else can he do? My question is this: how do you know you won't slip again? How easy would it be to slip again?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-16-2011

I can say with every thing in me, that as long as there are healthy boundaries in place in my marriage, this marriage will not have to endure a betrayal like this again. Part of healing from having an affair is looking at why you did it in the first place. I have learned so much about myself and what made it easy to let down my guard with xap, that I know I will never allow that to happen again. I would leave my H before putting him through this again. Some of his family have the mindset that once a cheater always a cheater and before I had an affair, I probably would have felt the same. But now that I am aware of just how damaged I am inside, I am doing everything I can to not allow myself to self sabotage my life anymore (I have been doing it in different ways all my adult life, the affair with the help of my therapist was what made me see it).

Until I am in a healthy place, I have put protective mechanisms in place. I am very careful when talking to men. During the time of my A, I must have been giving out some type of vibe as I have never been hit on so many times in my 17 years of marriage as I did during the A. Now I give off a 'Are you for real' vibe if a man looks twice at me. I don't privately chat to any unrelated male on social networking sites except one of my closest friends, who has supported my H and I both through everything. Our conversations are generally around uni (as we both study) and how my H and I are going. If I ever sensed the conversation is skirting close to the boundaries, I would not hesitate to cut him out, close friend or not. I know he wouldn't though as he has a genuine desire to see my H and I have a wonderful marriage.

I will be honest and say, where I am at, right now, if I didn't have those boundaries in place, it would be easy to slip (more back into reaching out to xap then other men) especially due to my vulnerability at this stage. I know there will come a day when I will feel it is safe to once again have male friendships but I will never allow the conversations to lead into the place that I allowed them too at the beginning of my A.

Standing, I can't imagine the pain that us WS's have caused to our spouses. I see it eveyday on my H's face in one form or another but from what I have read, we can't truly know the pain we have caused. But if your H is anything like a lot of the WS's who post on this board, then he will also not want to ever cause so much pain to you again. It is good he is learning about himself as it will help him take steps towards putting healthier boundaries in place.

Trust is not going to be easy to get back, for those of us who have experienced a D-day, but I truly hope there comes a time, when I can go out with my girlfriends and know that my H won't be at home with his skin crawling, wondering what I am up to. I will do whatever it takes to get to that point. I am an open book to my H and share everything with him. We have both learned trust is a two way street. We need to trust eachother in saying where our heads are at, without worrying that the other person will shut us out or make the other feel, their thoughts and pain isn't valid. We have also learned that we need to be honest about our feelings even if it causes hurt for the other. The hurt of knowing what the other is feeling and thinking is better then the hurt of betraying. That is what will help make it 'safe' for you and him, both.

The core of who you are is not always obvious to everyone. But to believe what others may believe of you can cause you to deny yourself, the wonders, of who you really are.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2011
Thank you for your post. I was curious about how strong that new boundary is. How striong the pull or temptation is or could be if the right individual was there. How easy would it be to slip a little, then a little more only to back to where it was. This time with more deception to avoid being caught, to lose all the ground that was gained. To avoid hurting your spouse/partner, knowing they'll leave this time yet not wanting to live without them. It is an awful place to be. You take care of you. Visualize barbed wire around your fence if you have to. Men are now "its"- neutered ""its". Not tempting at all!
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-16-2011

Standing, the barbed wire is a great visualisation. And a great one to see around the marriage itself. Sort of protecting both spouses from any would be interlopers.

The other thing is looking for the weakness's in the boundary. For me, it is my desire to hold on to my past. My teen years were probably my happiest years. I felt free, I did what I wanted (was quite rebellious) and had a great group of friends. I then got pregnant and married at nineteen and everything changed for me. My xap was one of my teenage friends and when he contacted me on FB all these years later, the feelings I felt during my teen years were reignited and the walls easily came down. A couple of weeks ago I came across notes and letters from my teen years. As I read through a few of them, I instantly felt that draw back into that life. I started to miss xap like crazy again and was even tempted to look up friends on FB both male and female from that time in my life. But then my epiphany came. Those years are gone forever. And truly if I look at those years, they were not that great. I just hid the pain from my childhood in a new way. So I threw the letters out. I am very aware that wanting those years back is going to be the weak chain in my fence, so I have to make sure I protect that area more then others. If I was to have another male from my teen years contact me on facebook, I would deny the request, for my own protection. I have to double the barb wire around that particular area until I have been able to work through what it is that makes that part of my life such a stronghold for me.

This time with more deception to avoid being caught

I can understand how that is a very real fear you have to live with and I am sure my H does too. Without going into the long version of my A - when my H found out about the A (I told him), I left him. I then attempted to go NC and failed quite a few times. Each time my H asked me if I had been in contact, I told him the truth. The second to last time I went NC my H was incredibly supportive. Those three weeks as I struggled through, he just loved me and was there as best as he could while also struggling with the pain of me not being home. The last time I had contact with xap, the guilt hit like never before. My H had been so loving and supportive and I knew this time I may have lost him for good. I once again broke it off with xap and a week later moved home (I am on my very last chance with H). It has been nearly three months. I guess what I am trying to say is this, for me I could not live with decieving my H like that again. I couldn't even when we were separated and I was sure I didn't love him anymore. If he had responded differently throughout my affair, I couldn't say that I would have felt the same but he has showed me so much unconditional love and support, that I just couldn't and wouldn't be able to hide something like that from him again. I knew when I revealed the last contact that I had with my xap, that I may have finally put the last nail in the coffin but for me, I knew if I was to go back, I could not rebuild my marriage on lies and so was prepared to face the consequences of my actions by telling him the truth. Due to knowing I could not hide it from my H, this has helped keep me in line while going through the worst of the withdrawals.

Standing, all our journeys from affairs are similar in some ways yet different in other ways. I know you so desperately need to know that your H will not do this again and you want to believe him but even if I was to say all this to my H, he is still going to have his doubts. It is part of the consequence of what I have done. My H is actually more worried i will leave him then he is about me having another affair and nothing I say can alleviate that fear at the moment. It is only actions that will make the difference now. I truly hope for you and your H, that his actions will start to speak to you and help alleviate some of your fears.

The core of who you are is not always obvious to everyone. But to believe what others may believe of you can cause you to deny yourself, the wonders, of who you really are.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2011
Your husband sounds like a wonderful man with a big heart that is filled with love for you. I hope you can leave your teens where they belong, in the past with the young woman you once were. Say goodbye to her forever and learn to love the woman you have become. A woman who had to grow up all too fast with huge responsibility, stress and worry. Your posts will be treasured and remembered. They were very thought provoking for me and i admire what you have done. They also give me much hope. Thanks again from the bottom of my heart!
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-24-2011

Like a newly dry drunk, I am safe from ever having another A as long as I "check in" with EAS every day and stay absolutely focused on the long-term benefits of living my life with honesty and integrity over the short-term highs of an A. I

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2011
Kat- my week has not started out so great. Don't get e wrong, I have much to be thankful for. So much. Sometimes in feel my marriage issues are minute compared to what they could be: one of our kids sick or something. my emotion for the week has been anger at my husband. I am angry. His mother walked out on the family when he was just 8. It destroyed him. He became quite the liar as a result. I knew this prior to marriage 11 yrs ago. I can't say I was deceived. Because I recognized it as a defense mechanism for him, I made excuses to myself. There have been many things he has confessed to post affair about events in the past I knew were shady. there is one incident in particular I now have three versions of. I learned of the latest revision last week. As a result I told him i quit MC. Why should I continue to risk and invest when he isn't being honest? I just don't know what to do, what I am doing, blah blah blah. I told myself I wouldn't stay married for the kids. I'm a liar. It scares me to think I have the ability to forever change their little lives. I grew up in a nuclear family, I know it is partly the reason I am who I am today. Anyway, sorry to give you a long sob story. My husband has made many positive changes, but I just can't trust him, and I can't trust that it will last.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-24-2011
Still standing, I'm so sorry to hear you're having a hard week. Must be really tough when you want to give your children the stability and security of a loving family and your H isn't committing himself 100% to providing the honesty, trust and loyalty you need in order for that to happen.

In your situation I think that feeling angry is completely understandable. The important thing will be to use that anger as a driver for positive change rather than letting it turn inwards on yourself where it will fester as resentment. Will you continue with individual counselling to try and help figure out where to go from here?

Is there anyone else in real life who knows of your H's A who you can turn to for support? Does your sister know what happened? After much thought, my H and I disclosed my A to our best friends yesterday and I feel an extraordinary sense of relief to have their care and support in healing our M.

((Hugs))

Kat
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-16-2011

Still standing, I am also sorry that you are having such a tough week. My H also used to tell lies continuously throughout our marriage. He would say that it was so he could avoid confrontation with me (this was also as a result of his childhood issues) but what he could not see was that each time he lied to me it would erode away the love and respect I felt for him. Just prior to entering the affair, I was so unhappy due to his drinking and the lies that came with it and I wished I had left him at that point as I realise now, that would have been enough for him to have gotten his act together. Now that he has been on the other side of the lies, his perspective has changed and we both realise if this marriage is to have any chance at being a great one, there can be no more room for lies.

What Kat said about anger is spot on. I can understand your frustration at your H not being completely upfront. My H said to me, everytime I lie, even if it is just about how I am feeling and where my head is at, and even though I might not want to be completely upfront due to not wanting to hurt him anymore, what he imagines in his head is worse. After an A, there can be no more room for lies, even little ones. It can't allow the trust to be rebuilt on your part and your H needs to realise that. Even one little white lie can cause damage in your marriage as you are trusting him to want to earn your trust, if that makes sense. I hope he realises soon the enormous gift you have given him by wanting to give your marriage this chance and that he steps up and does what is necessary on his part to help you both rebuild your relationship.

The core of who you are is not always obvious to everyone. But to believe what others may believe of you can cause you to deny yourself, the wonders, of who you really are.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2011
To Kat and ready2moveon- thank you for your support and words of wisdom. I have no one I feel I can share this with in real life. I have kept way too much a secret for too long. I have faked it everyday at work for over three months. Some days id cry at my desk, but no one knows what i am struggling with. My 15# wt loss i explained as a result of lots of work. My husband decided to have his affair just as we started building our dream home. Minor complication!I have considered IC, but I am undecided as of yet. I feel I have done all I can. I saw a lawyer, I have money stashed, etc. Those things are done and in place. My husband is in IC w/a psychiatrist. I may be wrong, but I don't know how he can come to our marriage whole until he gets fixed. Sounds bad I know. I am talking about his abandonment. I am not going anywhere right now. I'm too emotional to make a sound decision. My husband has good potential and I feel he deserves that chance to finally try and right wrongs set in motion by a woman who no longer walks this earth. If we have to end our marriage I want no regrets. Thank you for your support. I would ask this of you or anyone else who reads this: what is/was the hardest part about telling the truth? Did you reveal all? Partial details? What did you fear the most with revealing the truth?
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-24-2011

Still Standing - I don't think there's any grief in the world - except perhaps

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