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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Facts:
-My husband cheated both physically(once) and cyberly(videochats, phone text/calls, email, instant messages) with an ex from 2009-2014
-married aug. '07
-had a daughter '08

We are currently living apart with joint custody of our daughter, however we've worked a lot out since Dday and am hopeful we can grow stronger from this and remain married. And although we are working everything out there's that one wall I have to climb over that I really don't know where to start.
It's the TIME! I feel like it was basically our entire marriage which is hard to swallow, but not only that my daughter is now 6 and it pains me to think about how he really wasn't present during those years because he was preoccupied with someone else. And even if I can get over the time I almost feel like I need to hold this grudge for her, because she doesn't know whats really going on and she's too young to really grasp his choices or actions. I just picture her this little baby just wanting the attention of her parents and her father texting away somewhere else. does that make sense? holding on to, basically not forgiving, for the child? I don't know any incite on this would be much appreciated.
Also I want to say that when I did confront him about everything we basically laid everything on the table, it was complete honesty on both parts about what our marriage is, how we both feel about each other, our marriage and ourselves. And because of the honesty that's helping us move forward but I can't completely recommit without knowing if I can ever get over the time aspect.
 

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Questions:

Is he still in contact with OW (other woman)?

How long ago did you find out?

How did he respond when you confronted him?

Who initiated the separation?

What are your parameters for ending the separation?


So sorry to hear about what you have gone through. Those of us who were victims of our spouse's infidelity often get triggered by certain "what-was- he/she-thinking?!" moments. For me, I struggled getting over my wife's boldfaced lying. Just ate me up inside.

The best way I can answer your attempt to understand and heal...is that you ought to realize that people who are in affairs ought to be equated with an addict and his/her drug. An addict will lie, cheat, steal...in the most unsavory and unthinkable ways to maintain the high. In an affair relationship, your husband got sucked into the huge emotional high and euphoria of the relationship...and erected enormous self-lies (denial) that he used to keep telling himself that he could end it whenever he wanted, that he could control himself, and that he wasn't risking damage to is marriage or to his relationship with his daughter. Meanwhile, you are probably sensing that he is pulling away and being irritable towards you and paying less attention to kid. This is what broken addicts do.

It helped me to see my wife this way...to understand that she acted irrationally because she WAS irrational. Don't be fooled by how civil, cool, or logical they may act about it, 'cos while in the middle of it, they are dumb teenagers who chose to give up their brain for some feel-good stupidity. I would call infidelity a "selfish disorder". They are so wrapped up in selfishness...and it feeds upon itself...and they come up with these magical justifications to keep it up. This is why I asked the above questions...because they concern how long ago he has been out of his affair cycle (because 5 years is a long time!) and how committed he is to end the behavior and be a husband/father.

Still, even if you can rationally understand things...there will be a long period where your emotional side needs to deal with the trauma. You also will be reflecting on the entire path of the marriage, asking yourself, "Was it all a lie? WHO IS MY SPOUSE???" Take the time during the separation to get your head around this...accepting that it DID happen...and getting to a place where your heart and your head can get into agreement. We can be so ambivalent about things, especially when part of is mad and want to bail, but scared about it, plus the very-common decision to make it work for children. Tough, tough calls. All I have to say, if you decide to work it out, then you need to INSIST you get a marriage/husband that you deserve out of this...accept nothing less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Questions:

Is he still in contact with OW (other woman)?

How long ago did you find out?

How did he respond when you confronted him?

Who initiated the separation?

What are your parameters for ending the separation?


So sorry to hear about what you have gone through. Those of us who were victims of our spouse's infidelity often get triggered by certain "what-was- he/she-thinking?!" moments. For me, I struggled getting over my wife's boldfaced lying. Just ate me up inside.

The best way I can answer your attempt to understand and heal...is that you ought to realize that people who are in affairs ought to be equated with an addict and his/her drug. An addict will lie, cheat, steal...in the most unsavory and unthinkable ways to maintain the high. In an affair relationship, your husband got sucked into the huge emotional high and euphoria of the relationship...and erected enormous self-lies (denial) that he used to keep telling himself that he could end it whenever he wanted, that he could control himself, and that he wasn't risking damage to is marriage or to his relationship with his daughter. Meanwhile, you are probably sensing that he is pulling away and being irritable towards you and paying less attention to kid. This is what broken addicts do.

It helped me to see my wife this way...to understand that she acted irrationally because she WAS irrational. Don't be fooled by how civil, cool, or logical they may act about it, 'cos while in the middle of it, they are dumb teenagers who chose to give up their brain for some feel-good stupidity. I would call infidelity a "selfish disorder". They are so wrapped up in selfishness...and it feeds upon itself...and they come up with these magical justifications to keep it up. This is why I asked the above questions...because they concern how long ago he has been out of his affair cycle (because 5 years is a long time!) and how committed he is to end the behavior and be a husband/father.

Still, even if you can rationally understand things...there will be a long period where your emotional side needs to deal with the trauma. You also will be reflecting on the entire path of the marriage, asking yourself, "Was it all a lie? WHO IS MY SPOUSE???" Take the time during the separation to get your head around this...accepting that it DID happen...and getting to a place where your heart and your head can get into agreement. We can be so ambivalent about things, especially when part of is mad and want to bail, but scared about it, plus the very-common decision to make it work for children. Tough, tough calls. All I have to say, if you decide to work it out, then you need to INSIST you get a marriage/husband that you deserve out of this...accept nothing less.
Is he still in contact with OW (other woman)?
No, he cut off contact completely. He called her and told her what happened and to never try and contact him. He deleted all social media where they would converse. And not because I asked him to. When I confronted him I said he could go to her if that's what he wanted. Because if he truly loved her he needed to be honest with himself and go to her.
How long ago did you find out?
April 2014
How did he respond when you confronted him?
He knew I was upset because I had stayed at his mothers house the night before, and only told him I was upset and needed to get out of the house. His mother was in a similar situation and we are extremely close so I went there for guidance as well as to clear my head. I arranged for my mother to take my daughter for the day so we could talk alone at the house. I didn't see his physical response to my news because I asked for us to sit back to back on the floor because I couldn't even look at him without crying. Plus I told him he wasn't allowed to cry while I talked and he was only allowed to be honest. Then I asked him questions which he answered honestly through broken voice. He was in shocked that I found out, and also unaware of what to do or how to act. Later he admitted to having a blackout/panic attack, while I was packing my things to move to my mothers. I remember going in the backyard because I could hear him crying, and I went to comfort him. I hugged him and told him he'll get through this but that I have to leave because of whats happened.
Who initiated the separation?
I did, I took our daughter to my mothers because I didn't want to be in that house anymore.
What are your parameters for ending the separation?
I'm not sure, I told him I at least need 6 months living separately and we can re-address that once that time has passed

Thank you for your response, it really helped me feel less alone. I think validation in 5 years being a long time is what I needed. As well as how I'm feeling. It's hard because I've been reading all these books about forgiveness, and affairs and children and divorce, but none talk about time, or about basically an entire marriages length.
And honestly I want to get past it all and want it to all work out but its another leap of "faith" that I thought I was done with when i took my vows.
I know now that I'm mature enough to do it though. If this happened 10 years ago I would be petty, and immature wanting to destroy both parties with yelling matches and thrown out clothes. But I'm not a child anymore. And the thing about marriages falling apart, it's almost silent, it's acceptance of actions and foot steps walking away. At least that's how it was for me. It wasn't like some movie. It was just a deep disappointed saddened silence.
 

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No, it does not make sense to not forgive "for the child".

The child will benefit for the next 12 years from an intact home. It does not make sense to hurt your child for the next 12 years due to the fact that he was not fully present for the first 6 years.
 

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Your entire marriage as you knew it has been "rewritten" in one painful discovery. Infidelity is hard enough, but to know that he was involved with someone else the WHOLE time you were married would be a very hard cup to drink. You thought it was one way, turns out it was another. A BIG "another."

I think you are doing the right thing... live separately, give yourself time to sort through your feelings (I think it's going to hit you in waves), and clear your head.

Only after some time, distance and clarity will you be able to determine whether or not this is something you can accept or not.
 

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He sure didn't wait long to stray. He was with both you and this other woman for most of your relationship and most of your daughter's life. I'm sorry - that's a hard pill to swallow. I don't know if I could forgive/forget given the short time it took him to cheat and his lack of respect for his wife and family.

But if you want to keep your family intact, no, don't hold a grudge. Hicks said it well: If you stay, your daughter will need you, and she'll need a stable environment. Punishing him through her will only do more harm (to all of you) in the long run. Do, however, demand what you need for your own sanity in terms of reconciling. If he's truly "gets it," he'll understand what he put you through and do what it takes to keep his family together.
 

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I am betting this is pretty fresh since it ended just this year. It is all about time for an R and you have a very long way to go.

Have you started or are in MC? What are you doing for yourself?
 

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When I found out about my wife's affair...it seemed like time slowed down. 3 months was not a long time ago...not when referenced against behavior that lasted 5 years with OW, but 3 mos in your post-discovery trauma will feel like a lifetime. You have not even BEGUN to hit the hard part.

The truth is that your husband may or may not have bottomed out. Waywards that have been found out often try to keep the marriage afloat while taking the affair underground...not saying that is what is happening in your scenario, but going at it for 5 years and cutting it off would be tough for him...because it is such an ingrained lifestyle at this point. But this is the reason for a bold, no contact (NC) communication which it seems like was done.

I think it is very wise to make no guarantees to your husband. You may recognize seeds in your marriage that is worth honing in on to rebuild atop the mess, or this could have been the automatic dealbreaker for which many justifiably say, "i'm done"...especially if you will never be able to reconcile the fact that he cheated your entire marriage. That is a complete misrepresentation of what he vowed on wedding day. That is an angering fact, and it is going to take time to absorb and process all of it...and once you pass through it, you discern what remains in your spirit, mind, body concerning your desire to work it out or to let it go.

My concern is the mental well-being of your husband...that one does not play with fire so long that it doesn't largely screw them up. His "blackout/panic" is either an indication of his present ability to cope with his self-destruction or straight b.s. to garner sympathy...an either case, you are looking at some major arrested development...as this is a 5 year journey where he had experienced no personal growth...just double-minded duplicity. I hope your H has the ability to pull it together.
 

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How do you know it was just once (the PA)?

That's a classic line.. who gets together "just once"?
I'll say. My ex trotted that out and successfully dodged telling me the truth for many years.

Why? Because it was still going on.

A cheating spouse bets on your willingness to believe the best of them. So watch out.

And continued for about 9 years. Then she kept the deception going another 6 years.

I left her several years later and finally divorced her a year ago.

Do you get over it?

You fake it until you make it.

I remarried in march to a wonderful lady. But I admit I have scars. No affection for her at all, the ex.

Very glad to have dumped her and moved on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
2009-2014? That is five years. Wow.

How/when did you find out?
I found out in April of this year.
I didn't have my phone for a few days so I was using his tablet more and his phone. I went to check my Instagram(a social media app if anyone is unaware) and when I clicked on it "His" came up. which was surprising he didn't tell me but I wasn't really worried about it, until I noticed he was only following one person. Then I looked at her Instagram bc she didn't look familiar and noticed his very flirtatious comments. That was right before I was going to go to bed. He had an interview the next morning so I didn't bring anything up bc I didn't want to ruin it. The next morning I went though his phone to see if that girls name came up and sure enough it was there. When he left for his interview I went on his email account and looked through his sent mails(there was one) but then hit his "Chats" and it was ALL THERE. Every detail of anything and everything. I know the date he slept with her to every thought they had about each other. I printed out some stuff just in case he wanted to deny any of it, and for a reality check just in case I went into denial later. He told me the truth before I even told him what I knew.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
How do you know it was just once (the PA)?

That's a classic line.. who gets together "just once"?
She lives extremely far from where we currently live. And when they met up he used a work excuse for his time gone. However school and unemployment followed that "meet up" and I think it was just harder for him to lie and be convincing about where he was going. But honestly I don't really know, I didn't ask the OW. I asked him and since he was honest about everything else when the truth came out I'm hoping he's being honest with this aspect of it. Plus I read about 4 years of chats and it talks about dates and times and meet ups and wanting to see each other but it being too difficult and tricky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I am betting this is pretty fresh since it ended just this year. It is all about time for an R and you have a very long way to go.

Have you started or are in MC? What are you doing for yourself?
I'm not in any type of MC. He has been exploring different churches and reaching out to different people to get him on track with being a better person. Which is saying A LOT because he's very against organized religion. But I suggested it bc people who usually go to church are people trying to better themselves and I think sometimes you need to surround yourself with people going through similar situations, hence me finding this site.
For me, Honestly I'm spending a lot of energy on my daughter and making her feel as comfortable and adjusted as possible. I'm trying to keep a positive outlook on everything. I'm not bad mouthing him or pinning her between us. I'm smarter and more mature than that. Plus I know it only hurts the child in the end anyway, and that type of behavior is far from effective. I'm reading books, and writing and just trying to move past everything. It's hard though. My family doesn't know the "why" because he doesn't need judgment and my daughter doesn't need to hear whispers of judgment about her father. His family knows though. He told them everything, because he didn't want them think me leaving was over something petty.
 

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No, it does not make sense to not forgive "for the child".

The child will benefit for the next 12 years from an intact home. It does not make sense to hurt your child for the next 12 years due to the fact that he was not fully present for the first 6 years.
That's not entirely true. A child can adapt. This woman is projecting her fear of forgiveness onto the child but in reality, it is she who cannot forgive.

So now the father may be present, if they work this out--- but will the mother?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That's not entirely true. A child can adapt. This woman is projecting her fear of forgiveness onto the child but in reality, it is she who cannot forgive.

So now the father may be present, if they work this out--- but will the mother?
That's true I haven't completely forgiven him. But the issue I face is that I feel like I have to forgive for the both of us. 1. For my self and 2. for her.
From a mothers point of view I see it as someone has hurt my child, has robbed her of a happy home, a stable father figure(which is so important) and a family Christmas. And the parental instincts kick in, in which I just want to protect my cub and shield her from further pain. Now I'm not saying it's all for her because I have to deal with my share of forgiveness but I feel she does play a vital role in the process.
Should I just do this all for me and work on my issues solely. Then have him confront her when she's an adult about these issues where she can then make her own judgment about forgiveness or should I take her feelings into consideration. I would think it'd be the latter but I honestly don't know.
 

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You have to take care of YOU. Happy momma means happy kids.

She will find her way with your guidance. I confronted my father as an adult and got my closure on it all. My mother didn't talk to me about ANYTHING though, so that was how that was. I talk to my daughter about her dumb father. I never say anything bad, but now i don't have to as she's almost 15 and sees how he is. She says the bad things herself. He's a real piece of work, that one. She "gets it" as to why I HAD TO LEAVE HIM. She sees it. I didn't have to say anything. All I had to do was worry about MY heart and life...she benefited from that.
 

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That's true I haven't completely forgiven him. But the issue I face is that I feel like I have to forgive for the both of us. 1. For my self and 2. for her.
From a mothers point of view I see it as someone has hurt my child, has robbed her of a happy home, a stable father figure(which is so important) and a family Christmas. And the parental instincts kick in, in which I just want to protect my cub and shield her from further pain. Now I'm not saying it's all for her because I have to deal with my share of forgiveness but I feel she does play a vital role in the process.
Should I just do this all for me and work on my issues solely. Then have him confront her when she's an adult about these issues where she can then make her own judgment about forgiveness or should I take her feelings into consideration. I would think it'd be the latter but I honestly don't know.
Was he a good father before you knew about the cheating?

Did you feel that he was short-changing your daughter before you found out about the cheating, or is it something you realized after the cheating?

We all have different experiences. I don't remember all that much from the time when I was 6 or before. I have very few memories, just kind of snippets of small things, none particularly significant in my life, and just a vague sense of how things were. My own kids seem to be the same as me, I have a teenager and once in a while I'll say "do you remember this vacation when you did this?" from when he was 6 or even older, and most times he won't remember that much, or he'll say "kind of" but I can tell he doesn't really recall a lot of detail. Which seems odd to me, because when he was 6 or 7 or 8 or 9 seems like yesterday to me, and I recall very vividly all of the things we did on those vacations, and he really enjoyed them at the time. And my kids seemed like little adults at the time, they were very smart, so it is surprising to me that they have such vague memories.

On the other hand, I know some people who can recall in great detail events that happened when they were 3 and 4, and again, not really significant events, not life altering events, but they have fairly good recall of specific details, even of those early years, whereas I, and my kids, just seem to have a vague memory of how things were.

I guess my point is, how much is what went on with your husband and his cheating really going to affect your daughter? Can you be more specific as to why you think she is going to be affected by this?

I completely understand being protective of your child.

I also completely understand the thing about the amount of time your husband spent living a lie. My wife had a 3-year affair, but I never felt it took away from my kids, I felt she was a good mother, other than the fact that she was risking the family, but to be honest I never during that time that the affair was going on felt the kids were being short-changed. Afterwards I was angry at my wife not only for betraying me but also, and maybe even more so, for risking the kids' happiness and security of growing up in a house with both parents.
 

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What you asked was since he "robbed" your child of his full fathering presnece for 6 years, should you, on behalf of your daughter, avoid forgiving or reconciling.

If you think that the next 12 years will be the same as the first six, which you did not indicate, then you should be cautious.

IF you think he's changed, will be a good father, will be faithful, will be a good husband, then it makes no sense to punish all parties becuase of his past behavior. Your child wants to be raised in an intact home with both parents fully involved and creating a loving environment. Your child does not want you to deny them of this becuase you want to "go to bat" for her over what was done to her for her first six years. There can be no debate on this.

Maybe these thoughts is your mind's way of telling you that you don't trust him?
 
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