Not sure what to do . . . . .

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2013
Not sure what to do . . . . .
5
Wed, 01-23-2013 - 1:00pm

Hi, I'm new here and so I guess I will start with a little back story.  My H and I have been married for almost 4 years, together for 7.  I have one DS from a previous relationship but we do not have any children together.  My H has always struggled with attention, he needs a lot of it.  I've caught him multiple times talking to other women.  These are usually women he finds online and not anyone we know personally.  So this has been an off and on thing over the course of our relationship.  Needless to say I have trust issues.  About 2 years ago I caught him talking to my cousin who is also married.  I confronted both of them and cut her out of our life for the time being so my we could work on our marriage without distraction.  A few months ago because of family obligations that were coming up I reconciled with my cousin to try and make things less awkward at family functions, weddings, etc.  I thought things were finally going good.  My marriage was in a really good place and everyone was happy.  We all got along ok.  Then all of a sudden out of nowhere I find out my H slept with my cousin about a week ago.  Apparently, they had been talking since Christmas with her having initiated the contact.  He swears he's sorry and it would never have happened again.  He says he regretted it the moment it happened.  He's seeing a therapist now for depression and eventually marriage counseling but I'm just not sure what to do.  Every day is a struggle.  I keep having all these horrible thoughts and I can’t focus on anything.  I feel so sick and upset.  I’m sorry for the lengthiness.  I’m so lost and I have no idea what to do.  Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

Side Note:  My H is the only father figure my DS has.  He's very involved in his life which makes thinking about my options so much harder. 

Please help!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Wed, 01-23-2013 - 4:29pm

He has to EARN back your trust. This means complete transparency, meaning you have full access to all e mail accounts or other accounts that he has. Complete access to his electronic devices, meaning no code locking his phone or computer, and complete accountability for his time away from home. Whatever it takes to convince you he's not hiding anything from you. He hs to prove to you that he's being honest now. Good Luck

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-22-1999
Wed, 01-23-2013 - 9:39pm
Oh gosh, I am so sorry. This is just a double whammy because you just reached out to her. How awful for you. My H sounds a lot like yours. He had an overwhelming need for attention and the minute that I didn't give it to him he found someone else needier than him to give him the attention that I wasn't. Be sure that you get counseling for yourself. Our marriage therapist was wonderful I saw her a couple times by myself and that was so helpful. Also, be careful what you say to any of your family in this case, especially. I say this because if one knows many will know and if you stay with H they will always know what he did and will bring it up when you least need to hear it. Peace is correct your H must earn trust back. And 100% transparency is a must. I also say that counseling is a must as well. As for you make sure you eat and sleep. Honestly, after the blow you just had if you accomplish that and a shower, consider it a successful day for the next week. After that baby steps. It does get better. To be honest though, it takes a lot of time. Remember you don't have to figure anything out right away. Take your time so the decisions you make as they are major decisions. oh an read back through these boards. They were a life line for me for sure. good luck and hugs. Remember you will get through this.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2008
Thu, 01-24-2013 - 5:31pm

It's hard to know what to do.  The bottom line here is having been betrayed, so we'll all understand one way or another.  Him simply talking to other women wouldn't normally be a problem, but when the story goes way beyond that you can end up here.  I can understand your DH needing lots of attention, I'm married to one of those myself.  In his case he was the golden child of the whole family and got kept up on a pedestal....and then that older generation slowly died off.  I think it likely has a lot to do with him cheating, that and having terrible boundaries.  I hear a huge lack of boundaries with your guy, too - it often seems to go hand in hand, makes it so much easier for them to justify in their mind what they're about to do.  He has caused  your trust issue and it's his to repair, too.  It's good that he's in counseling and I'd recommend he let the therapist know that she is free to repeat every word he says to her to you.  When you're lost like you are (we've all been there, it's a club none of us wanted to join) you also need help to get your head on straight.  A craving for attention is no excuse to cheat, he had a zillion other options, incl. coming to YOU and trying to talk out what's bothering him.  We all need something, but you can't make choices that will hurt someone else to get that "something".  None of this gets better without him getting the help he needs and it takes serious time.  It's so hard for the spouse to get their arms around WHY, it makes you feel like you're nothing.  I wish I could tell you what to do, but since we're all unique people, we each have to test and try to figure out what really helps us stay sane until you know what is in your own best interest.  Lots of us tend to freeze and have no interest in doing things or being around people.  My own DH has told me if he COULD, he'd take on all the hurt he's caused me and feel it himself.  Only in a fantasy world can it be that way, unfortunately.  It sound so trite, but please find some activities to use as distractions, no matter what they are.  I read a lot, play my piano, take short drives, watch movies, and of course make lots of phone calls to a select few who have an inkling of what my marriage has really been like.  I hope you'll soon be joining him in his counseling, that therapist needs to have you both in the room to make observations since body language says a lot.  Just do not beat up on yourself - him cheating had NOTHING whatsoever to do with you.  It's all about him and his own issues. 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-23-2013
Fri, 01-25-2013 - 12:46pm

Thank you guys for the advice.  I'm still not sure what I'm going to do but for right now I'm taking it one day at a time.  I have ok days and bad days.  I have a son to look out for and a job I can't lose so I have no choice but to get up and face every day.  As for the transparency.  I already had that due to past problems.  I had access to everything but I couldn't control what he was doing when he was at work.  He would delete his messages out of  his phone before he came home and when he actually cheated he went to her house on his lunch hour.  I guess when you want something you find a way to get it. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-26-2013
Sat, 01-26-2013 - 11:50pm

wow.  I just wanted to say I felt like my story is so like everyone else's, why bother telling it?  But I joined because of what Myradorn said.   " A craving for attention is no excuse to cheat, he had a zillion other options, incl. coming to YOU and trying to talk out what's bothering him. We all need something, but you can't make choices that will hurt someone else to get that "something"."  I know I need to take responsibility in my husband's vulnerability that lead to the affair, but this made me feel so much better.  I'll tell my story when I get some more alone time and you guys seem so very caring and helpfull on a subject that just hurts so damn much.  Just wanted to say thanks and I look forward to hearing this group's advice.  Thanks for the quote, Myradorn.  I can't wait to say it word for word as soon as his cheating ass gets home...