Need Advice Please

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-11-2008
Need Advice Please
5
Mon, 06-17-2013 - 3:11pm

Hi, I'm mainly a lurker on here. I have a decision to make once and for all and would like some imput from others, other than my family or friends. Here is the short version of my story. My husband had a one night stand 3 years ago while deployed to Iraq. She got pregnant. He kept this and the fact he was paying her child support from me for a year. He told me 2 years ago. I chose to stay just for the sake of our girls. We are married in name/on paper only. No real relationship is left. Yes, we have been living together all this time for the sake of the kids. We live in a nice home on base. My daughter lovers her elementary school, which is in walking distance to our house. I have been becoming more and more angry and just an overall unhappy person over these 2 years. We get a long okay with occasional arguements over this issue. I try and not bring it up, especially in front of our girls. I would love to have our life back, the way things were before I found out. We do not hear from the woman. As long as she is getting paid, we wont hear from her. I am thinking (I have always thought of this, but stop short of doing it) of moving to Alabama. I have all my family there. I have stopped short of doing this over the years for various reasons. One being that my girls need to see their father. He is military and I do not want them growing up only seeing him monthly or on holidays when they have been use to seeing him. I realize this shouldn't be my problem, but it is. The other reasons are that I absolutely hate the town my family lives in. I grew up there and it was not a good experience growing up there. It is a very small town with no opportunities where everyone knows everyone, you get the picture! I have thought of him moving out, but we couldn't afford to live on the base and him off base. If I move, we both move out of base and get our base housing allowance money back to help with separate living expenses. The girls would live 8 hours away from him. I know I would miss him as well, I'm not gonna lie. I still love him, yes, I still love him. But cannot forgive him and certainly cannot forget this. Adultery is one thing, but having a long lost kid out there somewhere is another, you know? So, I'm torn with whether or not to move and take some seperation time to figure things out or remain in this current situation I have been in for 2 years now. I have tried counseling a couple times, and it has not helped. The counselors tell me to leave him basically and that he will do it again, etc, etc....I realize all this! I could try again to see someone about it, but cannot get the motivation to do it. So, maybe I can get some discussion started and some advice would be nice too. Thanks!

Avatar for purp2010
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-03-2010
Thu, 06-20-2013 - 11:47am

I think that you are seeing the wrong counselors if they are all telling you that he will definitely cheat again. What does your husband say? Is there really no way to forgive?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-21-2013
Fri, 06-21-2013 - 3:32am

I am two years past my husband affair. While there were no children born of this affair, there very well could have been...they had sex for two months. I am in a totally differant place than you are. I have forgiven...but am still forgetting. I have actually come to the conclusion I will never forget. But, I do see there is a place between the two that is livable and I am happy.  And everyday gets better.

Has he in the last two years given you reason to believe this could happen again?? Was this his first/only affair?? You say you "still love him" but can you live without him? ( I mean that hypothetically of course...we could ALL live without someone in our life )

The first eight months after the affair I "existed" in my marriage. I said I wanted to save my marriage. Went to therapy with him. I felt that just by being with him I was doing my part...after all "I" wasnt the one that created the chasm between us. At some point I rea;ized that not only did I still love him...I WANTED TO LOVE HIM. And that if I wanted to be with him I had to put myself out there and risk my soul and heart again. It was not easy. I had to work at forgiving him. I allowed myself to laugh with him again. I not only allowed him to touch me again..I made myself touch him. I found out after some akwardness that it felt good. I had not done anything wrong....why should I not let myself feel good. Forgiveness did not come overnight..it came a little at a time. But, it did come. We are actually doing better now then we were before the affair started. We talk more and share feelings more. Will it last forever?? I dont know...I just know this..as long as I choose to be with him I HAVE TO WORK at making my life happy and content. He has to work at making me feel that way too..but he alone cant do it. I have to allow him to do it by opening up the parts of me the affair shut down.

I have often wondered what I would have done/felt if a child had come from this affair. I have concluded it is not the child but rather what was done to make the child possible. The sex and the betrayal. The child would have been just another victim of their selfishness. I think I would have stayed and worked on my marriage. Probably ( most likely for sure ) would have made it harder...but I still would have. My mother once told me while I was going thru my marital problems that in the first ten years of their marriage my dad strayed once and had a six month affair. They worked thru it and had 36 more years together and were very happy...he never strayed again. I hold onto that in my insecure moments.

Do you love him?? Really, really love him? Not for the kids or security...but because you still see some "worth" in him? If so, I would try harder to forgive. I know that sounds smug...but I have been there. I was holding on to the hurt and anger so hard I forgot why I was staying. Once I remembered it got easier. It is OKAY to let yourself love him completely again. I am not saying be knieve and assume it can never happen again. But when I first met and fell in love with my husband I knew even then people cheat...he could cheat. I choose to take the risk. It's taking the risk again...only this time you know you will live thru it. You did the last time.

These are just my opinions from what I have been thru. Some might not agree. I just know it is working for me...for us. Wink

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 06-21-2013 - 11:27am

I do not think that a one night stand necessarily means that the guy will cheat again and I am very surprised that counselors told you that.  There are the serial cheaters that we read about--the guys who get caught (having on-going affairs not a ONS), say they are sorry, wont' do it again, but eventually they stray again and there is always something going on--I think in that case, the spouse is pretty dumb to stay and figure the guy isn't going to cheat again--there is no remorse there.  Then there are the people who cheat but are sorry for it.  My exH did cheat on me--we were having problems in the marriage (well, he was unhappy, not me) and I asked him if he had been w/ someone else and he admitted it.  He said that it made him feel guilty so he broke it off.  Now he easily could have lied because there is no way I would have found out--this was the days before cell phones & internet.  I really believe that it was not in his character to do this & I believe that he never cheated again even though we did end up divorced--but it was not because of that and it was a few years later.

I think that you aren't doing anyone any favors by staying in an unhappy marriage and holding on to a lot of anger & resentment--how is that going to make your DH want to stay with you?  Your decision about whether or not to leave him might end up not being your decision after all--maybe he'll get sick of being with a woman who won't forgive him and is always angry & fighting and will figure out that he's better off without you.  I'm not saying that you shouldn't have been angry but 3 yrs is a long time to hold onto anger if he's not showing any signs now of being unfaithful.  If you decide to stay with him, then you should decide to stay in the marriage--not just staying with him for convenience.  If you feel that you can't ever forgive him, then you should get divorced.

You also act like the only possible choices are staying with him or going to Alabama to a place where you don't want to live.  It makes things more complicated that he is in the military and might be transferred to different place--otherwise I'd say if you move out, live where he is living.  I agree that if at all possible you should keep the kids where they can see both parents often--and you might not be able to move them out of state anyway if you get divorced and he doesn't agree.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-11-2008
Fri, 06-21-2013 - 12:06pm

Thanks everyone for replying back. I wasn't for sure if anyone was going to reply so thank you. I may not be able to answer everyone's questions but will try. Yeah, I think I had some bad advice from those counselors and probably need to allow myself to try again and do my research better. I have tried to allow myself to go there, to forgive him but cannot seem to do it. I feel it lets him off the hook and says, oh, okay, what you did to your family, possibly your career, keeping it a secret from me for a year, etc... well, it's okay, I forgive all that. It's layers of forgiveness and I'm not there yet. It's been 3 years, but I have known about it for exactly 2 years now. I know he probably gets tired of this topic coming up from time to time. I do not walk around being mean or angry at him all the time. He is free to leave, if me getting upset over this at times is getting to him. But he knows this threw me for a loop. Especially with the way he told me. He waited until we moved from Ohio to Florida and told me while we were cramped up in a hotel room waiting on our furniture to come so we could move into a house we had rented. My only choices are to move or stay here. With his allowance for housing being so high, we cannot afford for him to move off base, while me and the kids stay on base. Off base where we live isn't the safest, so, we chose to live on the base after a year of living off base here and not liking it. I would love to live in the same city as him at least and try seperation. But we just cannot afford that. He has told me there has not been any other one night stands, affairs, etc... We have been married for 9 years. I realize it could have been situational, being in Iraq and all. My relationship with my husband has been good over the years. Before we were married, he wasn't always faithful to me. We waited awhile before we married because to be honest, I did not think he was the marrying type of guy because of his flirtatious (sp?) behaviors. I feel as though he would have never told me about the one night stand if she had not come up pregnant. I feel this may have very well been a set up for future affairs. But because of the way this turned out, her having a child, us being without a good amount of money each month now because of him paying child support to her, etc...I do not think he will repeat this mistake. He says he has learned from this and will never do this again. He says this was the biggest mistake of his life and he doesn't know why he did it. I honestly think he thought that when he told me, I would have instantly forgiven him and we would have just moved on from this. Uh, no! There were no problems in our marriage other than him being deployed at the time. There will be no contesting of anything if we get divorced. He is the one who caused this marriage to break up and all my family lives in AL. I have no friends or family here where we live. For 2 years I have chosen to stay so he can see the kids. It is just getting to the point where I do not know if I can continue to do this. I do still love him and would love for us to get our life back. But I do not know where to start in trying to forgive him. I will allow myself to look into counseling again and see if it can help this time around. Thanks again for the advice and input and for sharing your experiences with me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 06-21-2013 - 11:36pm

I think trying counseling again would be a good start.  You can't look at forgiving him as "letting him off the hook."  It's actually beneficial for you.  There's a saying that holding on to anger is like you drinking the poison and expecting the other person to die.  The more you don't forgive him, the more miserable you are going to be.  It's not like forgiving him and starting over is saying that it's ok that he did this--he already knows it's not ok, but it's really the only way to hold onto your marriage.  And maybe you will have back tracking, but you can at least make the choice to try.  Just think--if one of your kids does something wrong, you correct their behavior but you don't hold it against them forever and keep reminding yourself of it.  You try starting off on a good foot the next day.