Just had confirmation of husband's affair. :(

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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

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008

rebinsonrom,

Thomas

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

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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.

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.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-21-2012

And he moved out 4 months ago and has been using the "we're broke, I need time excuse" and DENYING an affair for the past 4 months.  He was finally caught just last week and had to fess up.  So I'm only 1 week out D-Day?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-21-2012

Thomas - yes, lots of counseling in the past 4 months.  I will continue until I get kicked off husband's health insurance Cry  You said it would take 2 years and I totally believe that, but 2 years of staying married to someone but not working on the marriage?  I've been feeling like it's ultimatum time.  File for divorce papers time.  Not because I don't want to save my marriage, but I truly don't know if I could get over the deceit.  I could if he were remorseful and tried to help me, but he isn't and doesn't care.  So what am I left with?  Would you wait it out awhile longer? 

btw, not ready for dating for sure!  I can't detach my heart as easily as my husband and I don't feel like I have anything to offer anyways.  Just a huge lump of tears at this point. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-16-2008

moving on = divorce, dating....

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008

rebinsonrob,

The bad news is that four months from discovery day is not a lot of time. Every book I’ve read and every shrink I've spoken with says it takes two years to process this type of emotional scaring. I’m sorry you are going through this. You have a lot to still process and you have some big decisions ahead.

Are you seeing a shrink?

Thomas

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

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Well, he made a really bad, sad choice to not see his kids more, just as he made a really bad choice to have an affair instead of getting help. Affairs do not fix problems couples have. It's always sad the kids lose out, they will likely need help, too. You do have a tough task - you have to hold tough with him if he truly will NOT give up contact, he has to know you mean it - he cannot have you both, what kind of life would that be? Do they ever wake up? Yes, some do - mine did. This is not about you, it's not even about your marriage - this is about HIM and whatever problems he has that nag at him, that is what led to his affair. We all have problems and we all make horrible decisions sometimes, but affairs hurt, they really hurt. There's nothing wrong if you still want to try - many of us just hang in there and hang in there, but that can't work if the guy is still in contact with the OW. We all understand feeling foolish that you still think of a future with the guy and we all understand your comment about not knowing who he IS - it's such a shock to feel so betrayed, you thought it'd never happen to you, you thought he'd never in a zillion years do this to you and your kids, because he's done just that. Get that counseling, it helps you start to get your head on straight again. Just do not beat up on yourself anymore, you've done nothing wrong and restoring trust is his job, if he wants you to stay together. If he gives her up, and if YOU want the relationship now, anything's possible. But I can't stress it enough - the very first thing that has to happen is he HAS TO GIVE HER UP FIRST.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-21-2012

Thomas, I read your posts last night and the 180 list.  :) Thank you for sharing.  I'm confused about moving on. I thought I was moving on, I was very active this summer and really dedicated myself to my kids and staying busy and trying to build new relationships.  Now, 4 months later, school and real life has sucked all the concentration about moving on, I started down this desperate reconciliation path with a husband that obviously doesn't care, and I don't know where to start moving on... again.  Just start getting busy again? It wasn't very fulfilling and there were no long lasting effects obviously.  But it was a distraction... is that what I need to do, just distract myself until my heart changes?  Maybe I've never had a clear view of moving on.  I've truly only been waiting...

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
A person who is in the middle of an affair can actually consider that they can have both their family and their affair. It is interesting that you used the term 180 because we have an 180 list. See my post on "Suggestions after discovery." for details on our 180. If you let him have both, he's going to take both. If you begin to prepare yourself to move on, really move on. It forces him to make decisions. You have to understand that the person who cares about the relationship the least has all the power. As you prepare to move on, you are signaling to him that he doesn't have any power anymore. The only power he might have is to start getting his shtt together. If he does, then it becomes your choice rather than his. Good luck. I'll be sending good vibes in your direction.

Thomas

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