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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Around five years ago I had a one time only affair with my wifes best friend. Their relationship has since dissolved due to this but my wife doesn't know why. both families have kids and were very close.

since the affair I have been guilt stricken to the point of contemplating suicide. I've been in and out of counseling and on and off various antidepressants. I've not told my wife because I need to bear the burden of my mistake, not transfer the pain to her. I am however at my breaking point. unable to get out of bed all week. on the verge of possibly losing my job. should I tell her?
 

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So you've spent five years, depressed, suicidal, obviously not the best husband or father you can be, and your wife has no idea why?

What a selfish thing to do. Your poor wife. She has been living a lie for 5 years. On what planet is that fair to her??? And your kids. You robbed them of their father.

Tell her, then move out and let her divorce you. Then get back into counseling and fix yourself.
 

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I am sure if you have read most of the posts are by betrayed spouses (BS). So it does take some gutst to post here. So far you have been deressed and suciadel not a good Dad or Husband and you have killed your wifes friendship and she wonders why.

Affairs are for selfish reasons your wants. You need to man up on this and come clean. She may walk or she may want to work on things that is the ganble. But it is a gamble you need to take. You need to come clean.

You need to get it done and then be prepared for the fallout from your wife. You need to understand she has a right to be angry and hurt.
 

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Tell her. It's better than the alternatives. It gives her the power to influence the outcome, where as all your current actions have left her with someone who isn't being the husband she deserves, yet she has had no way to fix things.

Suicide btw is the cowards path here and it won't help your wife's pain or suffering at all. Only her having the truth will do that,
 

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I vote with the others to tell her but you need to understand something going in.

At this point your affair will not be the thing that hurts her the most.

What will hurt her the most will be that you have lied to her, deceived her and concealed it for 5 years. That you have had so little regard for her that you let her think some of your problems were her fault. That you did not love her enough to give her the truth or believe that she loved you enough to over come your infidelity if you'd only been honest about it.

The lies are the bigger problem you have now. The infidelity is bad, the lies are a killer. You still need to tell her, just understand what the problems are. Oh - and if you can't give her the FULL truth the first time - keep your mouth shut. Don't you dare have lied to her this long and start giving her trickle truth now. Either let it all out or keep it all in.
 

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Everyone so far says the same thing so I'll just comment on another point.

What I don't understand is why you feel guilt to this degree.

Let me explain, usually people who will cheat, let me correct that people who would have sex with their wife's best friend usually are missing the thing that gives a normal person guilt. A good person would feel tremendous guilt but then again a good person wouldnt screw his wife's best friend...ever.

So...what's up? Why all this guilt? It makes no sense to me. What circumstance made you do this? I just don't believe you feel all this over a ONS with your wife's friend. You have it in you to do it but not live with it. That's odd to me. Most people who have it in them to do it also have it in them to live with it.

Sorry, the senseless things I see destroy lives on this forum make me really sad.
 

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Whatever counseling you have received is not helpful because you may not have told the counselor the truth or they may have told you to keep it a secret? You know the ramifications of telling the truth to your wife, especially 5 years after the fact. She's going to go through it but you will find your healing in being there for her if she lets you or when she is ready. So, my best advice is to tell her. Get a good therapist for both of you and deal with it.

You are a good man. Why? You have a conscience and that's a hell of a lot more than any woman could ask for. If you didn't have a conscience, well that's a whole other story. Many WSs don't feel guilty and some that do, it's temporarily so because they got caught. The WSs who have a conscience are genuinely remorseful and volunteer the truth to their spouses even before getting caught and never cheat or lie again. Just my opinion.
 

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I would be interested to know what these counselors said when you told them about what you did.
 

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A good counselor is supposed to guide you to do what YOU think is best, weigh out the consequences and results and support you through it. A good counselor is not one who makes decisions for you or tell you what to do but will redirect you to making your own decisions. Did you tell any of them that you wanted to tell her?
 

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My $0.02: If you tell her, you'll AGAIN be doing the selfish thing. In other words, don't think you'll be doing her any favor by letting her know. You only want to tell her because YOU want peace of mind. That, to me, is again very selfish of you.

You can't undo the past, but you do control the future. Just promise yourself that you will never cheat on your wife EVER again. Get out of your emotional state of mind and try to be a good husband. Buy your wife a gift before you go home tonight. Take her out to dinner. Hold her really tight tonight and thank God that you still have a wife.

You telling her about your affair may make you feel better, but it will destroy your wife!
 

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All three have vehemently advised me not to tell her.
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High risk because if your wife finds out from someone else or the other person whose relationship has now broken down, that is a 1000 times worse than learning about the affair directly from yourself.

It is okay for now but for how long?'
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My $0.02: If you tell her, you'll AGAIN be doing the selfish thing. In other words, don't think you'll be doing her any favor by letting her know. You only want to tell her because YOU want peace of mind. That, to me, is again very selfish of you.

You can't undo the past, but you do control the future. Just promise yourself that you will never cheat on your wife EVER again. Get out of your emotional state of mind and try to be a good husband. Buy your wife a gift before you go home tonight. Take her out to dinner. Hold her really tight tonight and thank God that you still have a wife.

You telling her about your affair may make you feel better, but it will destroy your wife!
Those have been my thoughts all along, I just can't seem to let go of it. I've posted on three messages today and ur the first to say this.
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
A good counselor is supposed to guide you to do what YOU think is best, weigh out the consequences and results and support you through it. A good counselor is not one who makes decisions for you or tell you what to do but will redirect you to making your own decisions. Did you tell any of them that you wanted to tell her?
No
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I vote with the others to tell her but you need to understand something going in.

At this point your affair will not be the thing that hurts her the most.

What will hurt her the most will be that you have lied to her, deceived her and concealed it for 5 years. That you have had so little regard for her that you let her think some of your problems were her fault. That you did not love her enough to give her the truth or believe that she loved you enough to over come your infidelity if you'd only been honest about it.

The lies are the bigger problem you have now. The infidelity is bad, the lies are a killer. You still need to tell her, just understand what the problems are. Oh - and if you can't give her the FULL truth the first time - keep your mouth shut. Don't you dare have lied to her this long and start giving her trickle truth now. Either let it all out or keep it all in.
This. Quoted for truth.

Give her ALL of it. She may just be stronger than you think. And if she wants to R- boy you've got your work cut out for you and Ihope your man enough. If she wants a D- give it to her as simply and painlessly as you possibly can. Its the least you can do either way.

Good luck.
 

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My $0.02: If you tell her, you'll AGAIN be doing the selfish thing. In other words, don't think you'll be doing her any favor by letting her know. You only want to tell her because YOU want peace of mind. That, to me, is again very selfish of you.

You can't undo the past, but you do control the future. Just promise yourself that you will never cheat on your wife EVER again. Get out of your emotional state of mind and try to be a good husband. Buy your wife a gift before you go home tonight. Take her out to dinner. Hold her really tight tonight and thank God that you still have a wife.

You telling her about your affair may make you feel better, but it will destroy your wife!
You're advising to continue to keep his wife in the dark about his betrayal? Do you really believe she doesn't has a right to know that real state of her marriage? Do you really believe she has no right to know the truth so as to make a decision on her life based on that truth?? He is forcing her to live a lie, and she doesn't even know it. That's even more cruel than the betrayal and subsequent cover up.

No one has the right to make that kind of decision for someone else.

Yep, she'll be crushed, but she deserves to know...period. I also know that if jay doesn't do this, it will eventually destroy him. Just go back and read his first post. He's 3/4 of the way there now.
 

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You're advising to continue to keep his wife in the dark about his betrayal? Do you really believe she doesn't has a right to know that real state of her marriage? Do you really believe she has no right to know the truth so as to make a decision in her life based on that truth?? He is forcing her to live a lie, and she doesn't even know it. That's even more cruel than the betrayal and subsequent cover up.

No one has the right to make that kind of decision for someone else.

Yep, she'll be crushed, but she deserves to know...period. I also know that if jay doesn't do this, it will eventually destroy him. Just go back and read his first post. He's 3/4 of the way there now.
I would agree with you if this were an on-going affair, or if the affair resulted in the OW becoming pregnant, or if the affair resulted in the OP catching some STD. But, I'm assuming that none of those are present in this case.

We all make mistakes and judging from the OP's ongoing feelings of guilt, it appears that what happened five years ago was a one-time lapse in judgment. Provided that the OP is sincere and truly committed to providing a happy life to his wife and NEVER cheat again, you are absolutely correct, my advice for the OP is to not disclose his 5-year-old mistake to his wife.
 
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