Cheated, left, now what?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Cheated, left, now what?
11
Tue, 05-04-2010 - 10:23am

I don't see anyone posting here with the same situation I am in. My husband began an affair several months ago. I only found out about 3 weeks ago. When I confronted him, he moved out. I have begged him to work things out between us. So far, nothing. He comes to see the kids, do things around the house for me, pay a few bills, but he goes home to the married couple's house he is staying at. He came to the house the other day and said he decided he wanted a divorce. I asked him how he could decide that when he had told me the week before that he didn't know what he wanted but he would always love me. He claims he has been depressed, and he felt unwanted and unappreciated by me. I told him I felt the same things from him. He tends to shut down when he is upset, I mostly explode. Lately, I have felt that he was extremely irritable, or easily angered. He quit showing me any affection, and any advances I made toward him were rebuffed. He never reciprocated for birthdays, Mother's Day, etc. He has promised his parents and me that he will go to counseling (I already have started going), but he continues this relationship with the OW. He misses being there to tuck the kids in, acts like he cares about me when he is around, I am so confused.

I love him, and have for our 18 yrs of marriage. He said he loves me too and always will, but has been unhappy for 2-3 years. He never told me this. He has yet to start counseling. My counselor told me to put his feet to the fire, but I am afraid if I do that he will leave and never come back. I told him that I can forgive him for that affair because I know that my actions and behaviors towards him influenced his feelings. I know it was his choice to make. I guess I am really just venting here. I have prayed A LOT, my family and friends are praying for me too. I just don't know how much longer I can go on not knowing what he is going to do.

I know if he does want a divorce, I will be devastated. I don't see how he could throw away a life of love, children, and devotion for a woman with a history of breaking up marriages.

Sorry to ramble, just want a shoulder to lean on.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-03-2009
Tue, 05-04-2010 - 11:17am
...I think you should trust your therapist...or, find another one...I'm not sure that you'll find one that will advise letting him act like he's part of the family unit while simultaneously living with another woman though...
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2004
Tue, 05-04-2010 - 11:28am
Hugs to you. I know this is hard. You can not choose for him and you dont want to force him to be in a marriage he does not want to be in. You need to put him in his place and tell him to make up his mind. YOU DESERVE BETTER than this. You will be okay. sure its going to be hard but you will survive. Take it one day at a time and move forward.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-03-2010
Thu, 05-06-2010 - 1:27pm

I am so sorry green-


I absolutely KNOW your pain. Although my story is a bit different. I know the shock. The thought of being on your own. The actual thought of a divorce. The pain in your stomach all of the time. I am so sorry.


Try to be strong. Even fake it if you need to. YOU should go see a lawyer just to get info - a free consultation. Get the best one you can. Talk to several lawyers if you want. Then your H cannot see those same ones. They are yours. Give him less options. Save money. Prepare. I remember my H actually saying these words to me "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst"..and I did. I applied to schools, moved out. Started packing, started moving on. Because I didn't want to be married to a man who didnt want me. I kept one thin "string" attached to the marriage and to him. I prayed for the marriage and for him. I wrote him emails and sent him articles, because I knew he wouldn't look for that info while being in fantasyland affairworld.


For my H, reality hit. The grass wasnt greener. Seeing my packed boxes in the basement changed him. He finally cried. He freaked. Too much history and good times to throw out. I was strong and doing those things listed above did 2 things. They helped me to keep moving forward, even with a few stumbles. And they helped my H to see I was strong and ready to move on without him. It makes husbands stop long enough to think rationally.


One similarity between your H and mine...my H was unhappy as well for many years. Felt unappreciated. dont get me wrong. I loved him and still do. I appreciate ALL that he does and more...I just show that appreciation differently and he is just beginning to see that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 05-07-2010 - 12:20pm

I am an oldtimer and what I am going to write here is going to seem harsh and I am sorry, but you are living in fear and this situation will not change unless you begin to move forward with or without your H.

As an OP wrote to you, your H really thinks you are going to be there for him forever. He is a cake eater right now. He has his soft place to land, he can visit his nice family life whenever he wants, he can get lots of Daddy feel goods, you begging him to stay and he gets to walk away as soon as it gets hard or starts to feel bad. AND, he gets to behave like he is single. He gets to self-medicate with this new and exciting relationship in which he has absolutely no responsibility. Win/win for him. He has absolutely no motivation to change.

My advice is to stop playing happy family with him because you are not a happy family. If he wants to be single, then stop acting like his W. You have to start distancing and protecting yourself now or you will be devastated. Your kids need you to be strong so you cannot afford to hold on to the fantasy that he is still the same man you married and that you can go back to how your marriage once was. He is not that man and that marriage was destroyed when he started his A. Is the man he is today the kind of man you would have chosen to marry? I seriously doubt it.

So, start with the 180. If he wants to see the kids, don't be there and start insisting that he do "visitation" some other place than your house. Stop asking him to do things for you that you can either do yourself, or one of your family members can do for you. Don't do wifely things for him like making appointments, or washing his clothes, or cooking his meals. Do not welcome him into your house as if he still lived there. It is no longer his home. Change the locks if you need to. Start paying the bills yourself, get a separate bank account and only deposit enough money to cover the bills into the joint account. See a lawyer as the OP said you should. Start planning now for the divorce he told you he wanted.

Ask yourself why you want to be with a man who doesn't want to be with you? I know it hurts, I know you still love him, I know you have history and a future you planned for, but no man is worth this sort of humiliation and pain. It is time to let him go.

It is more likely that he will come to his senses once the reality of what losing you really means and the quicker you can make that a reality for him, the better. You take the chance that once he does realize it, it will be too late because you will have moved on so much that you couldn't even consider it, or that he won't ever realize and if he does, he is too much of a coward to even try to make it right.

The best reason to take the reigns here and stop waiting for him to make a choice for you is for your own well-being. Making yourself strong and independent is the best thing you could ever do for yourself and your children. I know it is hard, but countless other women have had to do it, and you can do it, too. It is time to find yourself again.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-09-2010
Fri, 05-07-2010 - 10:45pm
So sorry you're going thru this Green - but I have to agree with pamm - totally - my situation was a little similar in alot of ways - just so you know, Pam hit it on the nail - STOP ACTING LIKE SOMEHOW IT'S SOMETHING YOU DID!!!! It's nothing you did, nothing justifies what he and OW did....
Do NOT accept what he is doing now, if he wants to be w/ OW, then so be it, can't be with you at the same time...
Do NOT beg him to come back - Do NOT say you can or do forgive him, you haven't even felt the full force of the pain yet, because you are in the middle of it, somehow they know, and he won't believe you anyway, PLUS - how can you forgive what he is done if he is still doing it????
Counseling, book reading, (I have a list if you need of ones that helped me through) and a good composition book to journal in and let every single word that goes through your head put to paper - it does help!!!!
Re read what Pamm wrote - and STOP acting as if it's YOUR fault - it is NOT - nothing you EVER could have done can justify HIM breaking HIS vows and doing what he's doing.... it'll be easier on you if you set boundaries - he doesn't want to be in YOUR home, package up the bills for him, ask him what day he'd like visitation with the children because he can't walk in and out of YOUR house when he feels like it, pack up his stuff and have it ready for him next time he comes over because he doesn't live there anymore. DO NOT feel sorry for him not tucking in the children, he felt something else was more important for him to do NOT YOU>>>> it was HIS decision... not YOURS>>>> And since you need to get rid of some tension, start moving the furniture around in YOUR place - he's not there, do it all the way YOU like it, or think you might like it, make it YOUR own, let him be shocked should he see it, and if he questions it, you can say it's the way YOU want it, since YOU are here - and trust me, some of that pushing around heavy objects will help too!
Hang in there and STOP blaming yourself!!! STOP!
Avatar for greenebeans
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-11-2010 - 12:57pm

Ok, I did it. I sat him down on Sunday and told him that I was to the point now that I was becoming angry at him for what he did. That he had NO right do it to me or our children. He is going to have to live with the fact that the choices he made with OW destroyed two marriages-ours and hers. I also told him to go home and lie in bed that night and THINK hard about how he would feel if it would have been me who slept with another man and lied about for nearly a year. Then he would only know HALF of what I am going through. Then, I went through the bills with him, we divided them up, he is paying 2/3 of childcare now. Finally, I told him he needed to choose two days to spend with the kids away from our home. He is getting them on Thursday evenings for a few hours and all day on Sunday after church. I also gave him permission to take them out other days of the week-IF we had no other plans, and he called to ask. I also asked him if he had started counseling yet. his answer was no, he is trying to see if his work benefits will cover most of it. His health insurance will cover all of it so I told him he needed to call for an appointment.

Last nite, he called wanting to come over to help me finish painting the bathroom and I told him no. He is getting the kids this weekend to take them fishing, and when they get back, he will set up their pool in the backyard. He will also teach me about the chlorination process.

Right now, I am still mad, but also fearful this will end in divorce. I will be left alone, hurt, angry, confused, hurt, scared, and did I say hurt?

I hope he goes to counseling soon, I would like to SOME sort of change in him. If only seeing his kids 2 days a week doesn't do it, he is worse off than I thought.

So, in a nutshell, I feel better for doing it. But I am still crying at the thought of what he did to me and what I thought was a happy marriage. I know what we used to have and I think its still there somewhere....he has buried it behind this wall he has put up inside himself.

Thank you all for the advice, and the understanding. I NEVER thought I would be posting in a place like this.

Lori

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-10-2009
Tue, 05-11-2010 - 1:37pm

Good for you Greenebeans!

Avatar for greenebeans
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-11-2010 - 1:42pm
He didn't say much of anything....wouldn't even look at me. he stared down at the table the entire hour I was talking. That's what worries me...does he feel guilty? Or is he letting me vent and get it off my chest so he can go on and not hear about it anymore?
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-28-2004
Tue, 05-11-2010 - 2:34pm

good for you.

Stand your ground and DONT give in. Its going to take some time but your on the right step.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 05-11-2010 - 5:24pm

Good for you. I know it is scary, but you have taken control and removed a great deal of uncertainty in your life.

Now you can expect him to get angry because you are not being the good little doormat waiting around form him to come home which is darned inconvenient of you!! You are not playing the game the way you are supposed to. One of the way WSs fool themselves is they think they are in control and they will be able to manipulate and control the reactions of those involved. When people don't play along, they tend to manipulate even more and loose patience with those who insist the emperor has no clothes.

So, he is will probably get angry, belligerent, he will belittle you and try to push those wife buttons that he knows so well in order to try to get you to lay back down on the floor in doormat position begging him to step on you. He holds the carrot of "if you were being such a b*&&^, I might consider getting back together," or if you do this or that I will give you this little cookie just to keep you strung along, or he will pull the poor widdle wounded me. You know him as well as he knows you and you know when he is being sincere. If you let him jerk you around now, this whole thing will be strung out for a long time and all that pain you are feeling now will not go away until you become numb to it and it will be too late to even think about rebuilding.

In an intact M, you don't want your H to be angry, so you work it out between you, but your M isn't intact anymore and it isn't your job to smooth things over for him anymore. Tell him it is a service you no longer provide because you are soon to be his xW.

At this point, it is hard to judge what is reasonable and what is unreasonable. It is very individual. Should you let him eat dinner at home with the kids? Sounds reasonable and is for some, but for others it isn't. If it is too painful for you or you feel like he is trying to take advantage of you or is pushing boundaries, trust your instincts and say no. It is OK to be the bad guy because he is much worse than you will ever be and you do him no favors by protecting him from the consequences of his decisions. My advice is to begin as you mean to go on. When it is clear that he is going to respect your boundaries, then give a bit as it is appropriate.

You have come a long way in a very short time. I know it hurts, but the steps you are taking will actually hasten the healing because it will bring the situation to some sort of resolution more quickly than playing the simpering BS who is too afraid to move lest she chase her cheating spouse off.

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