Just had confirmation of husband's affair. :(

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-21-2012
Just had confirmation of husband's affair. :(
23
Sun, 10-21-2012 - 5:47pm

Hello all - hoping for support and advice during this time. 

I've been married for 21 years and I thought I had a relatively strong and loving relationship.  We didn't argue, were very busy and didn't have much time for connecting, but we were both dedicated to our kids and vacations and family time seemed to make us all happy.  There was a lot of stress with the two teenage daughters last year and it was a depressing time for me.  My husband worked all of the time and was never there to help parent.  I dumped a lot of complaining about the kids and him being gone during the times we were together.  But at the heart of the matter, we had such a deep history and he was such a man of integrity and pride that I never questioned his fidelity.  

Then when my daughters and I went to visit my family on the east coast in June, he moved out while I was gone.  No discussion, no warning.  My girls and I came home to all of his possessions missing. But he still denied having an affair, just said that he was unhappy, had been unhappy for a long time and didn't think he could be happy at home.  He needed time to himself.  I was angry, devastated, confused, abandoned.  My kids were heartbroken, they have many friends with broken families and always had a great deal of pride in our family.

So I've been slowly putting the pieces of my life together over the past 4 months. I've been in therapy since this summer and have read lots of books, really worked on myself and my relationships with my daughters.  We've come together and have had a calm and peaceful home for the past few months.  Through myself self discovery, I decided my marriage and family was important to me and I couldn't end it without trying everything to save it first.  So my husband and I Went from having no contact at all for the first couple months, to trying to talk about the kids only, trying to get a communication rhythm going again.  He finally agreed to marriage therapy and we were actually supposed to start this week.  But then my daughter found text messages on his phone the other day that made it clear he was having an affair.  I confronted him and he finally admitted it.  And it's been going on since we were gone this summer, don't know how long before that.

I feel like I'm all the way back at the beginning of this nightmare.  I naturally suspected an affair when he left, but I totally believed him when he denied it.  But even then, my girls would say he texts someone nonstop when they were spending time with him and I still suspected.  Knowing for sure has really set me back emotionally.  I don't know if I can still stay committed to trying to work on my marriage.  Through my research and therapy, I can see how we let our intimacy wither and that gives me a greater understanding of how he could have an affair.  But I want to hate him!  Not have compassion for him!  

I saw him briefly today when he was dropping my daughter off and he mentioned our marriage therapy appointment this week.  I asked him what his intention was, if he was still going to continue his relationship with the OW or work on our marriage, because he can't do both.  He said he saw no future in the relationship with the OW, but he wasn't ready to end it.  And he was willing to see if there was anything salvageable in our marriage.  So now I feel like a second option, a Plan B, a back-up woman, and I don't know what to do!

Is trying to save our marriage worth all of this pain?

Rebecca

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
One week out and you're still bleeding and in shock. Ever see Dr. Phil? When a couple is on there in big trouble, he frequently tells them you're not through with a marriage until you have completely earned your way out of it. Meaning you've exhausted all avenues to see if you can work it out. I think he's "had time" after 4 months, he needs to decide who he wants and that's if you still want HIM. A therapist many moons ago told me in all his years of marital counseling he had never once seen a couple separate and then get back together. I don't know if that's common or if his experience was really rare, but I was surprised at that statement. The feeling you aren't sure you could ever get over the betrayal is very common, I've dealt with the same issue myself. I've read in some books the average is three years before most folks start to move forward one way or another, but I know statistics do change. This crap is very confusing and sort of super glues your feet to the ground, so you have a very hard time "deciding" on anything. It's hard to give up and hard to stay together. But I agree it's time for that ultimatum - you need to know and the truth is you have control over what takes place, it's not just what he decides, since he got you into this and seems to be pretty uncaring, it's time to stop dancing around things and get your answers so you can start to decide on your future. You deserve that.

 

Avatar for pater_familia
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008

rebinsonrom,

2 years of staying married to someone but not working on the marriage?”

No, that would be a disaster. What I meant is that it takes two years to work through your feelings.

You do what is best for you. Period! If you feel it is time to move on from your marriage. You do it. I was sitting in the lobby of my souse’s shrink and this lady sitting across from me saw me walk in with my spouse and could see that I was sort of freaking out. We spoke for a bit while we waited and she told me that she got divorced after 30 something years of marriage and that there was life after divorce. Even a good life.  You mentioned that he wanted to have his affair and keep his family in the wings. What I was suggesting is that if you were exploring taking part in repairing your marriage that you consider the 180 list while doing that. The 180 is about keeping the ball in their court. As you move forward with life, you make it clear that you have no time for nonsense. If THEY want your attention, it has to be in the realm of good behavior on their part.  The person who cares the least in a relationship has all the power. Even if you care the most, you have to present yourself as the one who cares the least. That’s not to say you are rude, just aloof. This shows strength and strength is attractive.

As for dating, everything I’ve read says to spend time alone allowing you to grieve and to just be yourself for a while. I see people around me rebound into relationships only to watch them implode after a short while because of all the baggage and unresolved issues. My sister in-law tends to pick up a new kid with each implosion. Ugh!

The main thing is that we are all imperfect. Consider taking time to shed the baggage, become a better you before building your next relationship. In doing so, you may find that you are worth taking the time to find a really good person to spend your life with. It’s worth considering.

 

Thomas

We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.

Avatar for pater_familia
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008

rebinsonrom,

Thomas

We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2012

TRUST IN ALL RELATIONSHIPS IS SOMETHING THAT MUST BE FOUNDATIONAL TO EVEN BUILD A LASTING AND BONDING LIFE WITH ANOTHER IN A COMMITTED STATE.  ARE YOU ABLE TO BE TRUTHFUL TO YOURSELF CONCERNING YOUR WILLINGNESS AND ABILITY TO FORGIVE TO THE DEGREE TO REMAIN IN THE MARRIAGE AND THE HUSBAND IS YET NOT HONORING THE "FORSAKING ALL OTHERS" VOWS TO WORK ON YOU AND HIMSELF?

pport and advice during this time. </span></p><p><span style="font-size:10.5pt; font-family:Arial, sans-serif">I've been married for 21 years and I thought I had a relatively strong and loving relationship.  We didn't argue, were very busy and didn't have much time for connecting, but we were both dedicated to our kids and vacations and family time seemed to make us all happy.  There was a lot of stress with the two teenage daughters last year and it was a depressing time for me.  My husband worked all of the time and was never there to help parent.  I dumped a lot of complaining about the kids and him being gone during the times we were together.  But at the heart of the matter, we had such a deep history and he was such a man of integrity and pride that I never questioned his fidelity.  </span></p><p><span style="font-size:10.5pt; font-family:Arial, sans-serif">Then when my daughters and I went to visit my family on the east coast in June, he moved out while I was gone.  No discussion, no warning.  My girls and I came home to all of his possessions missing. But he still denied having an affair, just said that he was unhappy, had been unhappy for a long time and didn't think he could be happy at home.  He needed time to himself.  I was angry, devastated, confused, abandoned.  My kids were heartbroken, they have many friends with broken families and always had a great deal of pride in our family.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:10.5pt; font-family:Arial, sans-serif">So I've been slowly putting the pieces of my life together over the past 4 months. I've been in therapy since this summer and have read lots of books, really worked on myself and my relationships with my daughters.  We've come together and have had a calm and peaceful home for the past few months.  Through myself self discovery, I decided my marriage and family was important to me and I couldn't end it without trying everything to save it first.  So my husband and I Went from having no contact at all for the first couple months, to trying to talk about the kids only, trying to get a communication rhythm going again.  He finally agreed to marriage therapy and we were actually supposed to start this week.  But then my daughter found text messages on his phone the other day that made it clear he was having an affair.  I confronted him and he finally admitted it.  And it's been going on since we were gone this summer, don't know how long before that.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:10.5pt; font-family:Arial, sans-serif">I feel like I'm all the way back at the beginning of this nightmare.  I naturally suspected an affair when he left, but I totally believed him when he denied it.  But even then, my girls would say he texts someone nonstop when they were spending time with him and I still suspected.  Knowing for sure has really set me back emotionally.  I don't know if I can still stay committed to trying to work on my marriage.  Through my research and therapy, I can see how we let our intimacy wither and that gives me a greater understanding of how he could have an affair.  But I want to hate him!  Not have compassion for him!  </span></p><p><span style="font-size:10.5pt; font-family:Arial, sans-serif">I saw him briefly today when he was dropping my daughter off and he mentioned our marriage therapy appointment this week.  I asked him what his intention was, if he was still going to continue his relationship with the OW or work on our marriage, because he can't do both.  He said he saw no future in the relationship with the OW, but he wasn't ready to end it.  And he was willing to see if there was anything salvageable in our marriage.  So now I feel like a second option, a Plan B, a back-up woman, and I don't know what to do!</span></p><p><span style="font-size:10.5pt; font-family:Arial, sans-serif">Is trying to save our marriage worth all of this pain?</span></p><p>Rebecca</p>[/quote]

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010

 I am going to tell a hard truth.  You realize that the relationship was dying on the vine.  Like many the relationship was the last thing on the list of to do's.  So he had enough.  It was not such a great thing to him.  Yes he has a lover?  And yes he does not need to give anything up.  That is not realistic.  The current idea that he give up his happiness is unreasonable.  This lover is just that.  This is not an affair.  He moved out!  That shows deep unhappiness. 

   First work on yourself.  Self reflection,professional help to see clearly.  Yes he might come back then he might not.  You will need to let go of the cultrual supposed to be's and deal with your reality.  What are you willing,to do and can you sustain it?  Many people react in a crisis then go back to old familiar behaviour after the "crisis" has passed.  That defeats everything. 

IMO value judgements cloud reality.  One must deal with what is, not what it is supposed to be.

dragowoman

Avatar for pater_familia
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008

rebinsonrob, 

First I want to say that I'm sorry the boards are all screwed up right now and threads are hard to follow right now. I hope you stay with us during this transition. It isn't normally this messed up. 

I'm sorry I didn't figure out how fresh you are to finding out about the affair. I've been there and I'm sorry. This is an awful time. Keep posting and asking questions ok.  

Thomas

We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.

Avatar for pater_familia
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
XXXs, You have no idea why or what happened. For all you know, the relationship was first on her list and last on his. Maybe he was just a selfish and thought more about himself than his spouse and children. He had a thousand ways to deal with whatever, and instead of looking to solve his problem within the context of his family. He chose a selfish, unreasonable, self-destructive, morally bankrupt reaction to deal with whatever messed-up jumble is going on in his head. God help him and the families he has trashed.

Thomas

We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-28-2012

Here's my opinion, take note it's from a man in late 20s and i'm unmarried. but i do work in a company (industry complex) with lots of elder folks who speak a lot about their issues.

In a place where I work there are three men in their 50s who divorced their women by their own decision, which is rather rare when you think about it, after so many years. One of them cheated on his wife and talked like it was nothing, telling us younger ones how easily he engaged a random girl and started an affair. Kind of crappy, silly when you hear it but it's disgusting when you know it's coming from a middle-aged, married man with children. And in fact he did it in a similar way you described - after 19 years of marriage he simply decided to cheat on her when they went on holidays to her parents, he simply decided to pretend he needs to stay for something, he's not feeling good and that there is also some problem at our company so he's forced to stay as a reserve shift in case the company calls for him... then he moved out of the house at some point when they were with her parents and he went after younger women. He found some girl in her 20s and started a relationship. And he has been going for 9 months, without any serious intention to make anything out of it.

Other two guys simply walked out. One of them told her wife he's leaving her on her 20th aniversary, which he says he regrets only because it was stressful, NOT because he did it, but he regretted picking that day. Another one decided to do it before that, just like the last one (the cheater). In fact, they said they had no heart to psychologically stay for 20 years mark. They all said they planned to leave more than 10 years before, but due to children they decided to stay until they get older, to avoid most of the drama. They felt they'll not see them at all if they divorce earlier and they still had to repay the house they all lived in. Divorcing and leaving the place would make it hard to be able to pay it off, so the bank would probably take the house and they wanted their children to have it after both they and wives die one day.

When he spoke about his affair, the cheater also told it bluntly that he started an affair because he couldn't get any other way to stop the marriage, among many other things. He was unable to do it. He said he distanced from his family (wife) emotionally long long before he did it to avoid any effects of divorce upon him, but he still couldn't walk in and just say he is quitting, because he couldn't deal with his children, to explain it to them. In the end, he didn't get the desired effect to get his wife filing for divorce so he did it instead, just like other two guys. In fact, the cheater prepared to cheat in his head LONG BEFORE HE DID IT, but he waited his children to hit certain age also because he wanted to avoid paying child support payments to his wife for most of his life, and he choose to live with them instead. He lamented how he even tried to file for divorce earlier but his lawyer said he's going to get ruined financially and so he decided to wait, first to pay off the house, then to get the children into their 20s to finish their education... but he couldn't stay in marriage until his second child had hit 18 years due to 20th year psychological mark, he felt he'll not endure it emotionally so he started cheating earlier and didn't bother much to hide it. He said he was relieved when he got caught and then he pretended like nothing happened afterwards.

So I guess if it's anything similar to that, your husband had made his mind clear that he'll cheat and leave you long before anything happened. You shouldn't bother much about it, but if you want to try to do something, you should give him an ultimatum - if he thinks of ever having you back, he should stop his affair, tell him that it'll never be the same because he cheated on you and if he still wants to try and fix things up.... well in that cause you should talk with him then and think well tell him what you think, you shold know bette what to speak with him if you do decide to do that. Vast majority of people wouldn't even bother to think about it anways, once a cheater - always a cheater, it's the rule for vast majority of people when you think about it.

But if you do talk to him and give a clear ultimatum to stop what he's doing, if that fails then you should know that it's NOT because of you. He (probably) made up his mind long ago and he just lost his last chance to fix it by refusing to accept what you said/demanded of him, to come back within a reasonable number of days and to stop his relationship immediately with that woman.... so that he can get another chance with you. After all, he has cheated on you. He is the bad guy, he is the jerk, not you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-21-2012

Wow thank you for all the comments and support.  The last couple weeks have been the worst ever. But  I am now able to look back at myself and my situation and see that I was desperate.  My husband and I had our first joint therapy session last week where he, again, played along with "hmmm, that's something to consider" blah blah blah.  But he also made a new point of saying that his feeling have deadened over the years and he's blaming me because of something that happened in our marriage 10 years ago.  We had another meeting the next day where he made it clear he's been stringing me along... lying to my kids about saying he'd work on our relationship... it's all been a lie because he's too cowardly to make his own decisions.  So - that's it.  

I really lost myself last week.  I lost my power and my fight.  I thought I had failed at life, almost like I didn't want to live.  But I finally got some of my senses back and realized that he spoon fed me his excuses and responsibility and I ate it up just like always.  I tried to fix him, I tried to do for him, just like always.  At the heart of the matter, he is a bad example of what a man with integrity is.  And it will be very hard to move on, but I KNOW I did EVERYTHING I could.  And I gave love and compassion, beyond what should have been expected of me.  So I pity my husband and other men like him.  Because he didn't appreciate the depth of caring and honesty and commitment I offered.  And he'll suffer one day, knowing he threw his family away because he had no pride and fortitude.  

Bless those that can stay dedicated to solving their marriage issues.  I would have.  But like one poster on this thread clearly pointed out, it would never have worked if he wasn't in it.  I have to figure out how to move on now, but I finally understand that the goal of moving on is acceptance.  And I understand that I want to be a person who can grow and evolve, not be an emotional cripple.  So either way I'll have a better life one day - not the life I had envisioned or wanted, but maybe a better life after all.

Thanks again all - Rebecca

Avatar for pater_familia
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008

"I finally understand that the goal of moving on is acceptance."

Hard stuff, don't be surprised if there are several ah-ha moments in the weeks and months to come. Make sure you take really good care of yourself. Eat good food, sleep, excercise, read good books, work your hobbies, immerse yourself in the kids. There is a really great life out there just waiting for you.

Post, vent, tell your story. We got your back.

Thomas

We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.