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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I have been married for 30 plus years. We have 5 children and 3 grandkids.

In July 2009, I discovered that she had been cheating on me for about 12 years. We have recovered and are doing very well. It may seem hard to believe but it's true.

If there is anyone who sincerely wants to overcome the pain of an adulterous relationship, I may be able to share some things that can help you. The things we did to get our marriage back on track are working for us.

I really believe that our story can help others who truly want to restore their marriage and trust. Let me know if you would like any advice.
 

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Best,

There is no cure all, the personalities and lifestyles too varied to cookie cutter a thrill pill.

You post less than a year out, you have forgiven its the forgetting part that many times will be the deathblow to a relationship.

Yes, there is precribed steps do they work with any cetain level "no".

This matter go's from one extreme of makeup to the unmentionable.

Peace be with you.
 

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I too have been married 30 years, and we suffered through affairs and the aftermath for much of this time.
We stayed together because we are both stubborn and wanted to do the right thing and we kept hoping it would get better (still working on that)
BUT ... I am trying to wrap my head around the idea that you just found out about this in July of this year and have already moved past it.
O.k., I'll bite, what could the both of you possibly have done that would bring that type of resolution so quickly or are you still really just in shock and denial??

For those others of you that are struggling with a spouses affair or your own, it is possible to work through it and stay together. It does dramatically change the level of trust and I believe happiness you experience for a long time. But hey, none of us married just to be happy did we? We married to be in a partnership for life and sometimes (often) it means asking for and offering forgiveness.

Best to you all who are still working this out.
 

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yes please, i could realy use some words of encuragment!!!

seriously, i am truely interested.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the skepticism in regards to someone being able to overcome the pain of adultery in such a short time...so let me clarify.

I didn't say that we are past it, but that we are successfully overcoming it or to be more specific, I said "The things we did to get our marriage back on track are working for us."

I know for a fact now, that it is something that I will never completely forget...never. To me, it wouldn't be much more painful if one of my kids passed away. And that is definitely something a parent would never completely get over.

But just like there is a process that works for overcoming grief when a loved one dies there is a process that works if both parties want to save their marriage. Emphasis on "both parties".

I am at work right now so I can't spend a lot of time on this post but will respond again this evening.
 

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Here are a few things that have helped us. Number 1 is that she was truly sorry. You may think, yea right...12 years and now she is sorry. Well, it's a long story (and I may get into it sometime) but when she confessed to me, she was so upset that she ran to the bathroom and vomited several times. My wife has only thrown up one other time in our 35 years of marriage (food poisoning).

Her emotions were very high and she begged me not to leave her.

My emotions were equally out of control and I was hyperventilating and felt at the same time that I was having some sort of "out of the body" experience or a bad dream and I needed to try to wake myself up really fast.

Someone who has never experienced being cheated on can never really know what it feels like, but if you have been cheated on than you know what I am talking about.

(The previous paragraphs don't even come close to describing how I felt and the flood of thoughts that ran through my mind faster than I can remember them now).

Of course I immediately thought things like:

I can't live with her anymore
I will kill him (I know who he is)
I can never have sex with her again
I can never trust her again
I can never trust anyone again

After about an hour of crying and wailing (honestly I think the neighbors could hear me even though the doors and windows were closed), I decided I had to get out, drive around, collect myself, just do something.

I went into the garage and backed the car out. She came outside and asked me where I was going. I told her I didn't know I just needed to drive. She begged me to come along so I let her in the car and just started driving.

About three blocks down the road I said: "Don't think for a minute that you are going to blame me for any of this!"

It was quiet for a moment and she said: "So you don't think you have any responsibility in this?"

(Without getting into a lot of detail right now at least, let me just say that even though I had been faithful to my wife our entire marriage, I wasn't a perfect husband by any stretch).

When she asked me that question, it was sort of like the reality of my short comings was made crystal clear to me. Mind you, I don't take blame for what she did and she doesn't blame me. But I do now realize that there is a great deal more that I could have done to meet her emotional needs over the years...and I didn't do them.

We drove and cried and drove and cried. We headed out into a desolate area near our home and just drove and cried some more. She was sobbing and telling me how sorry she was and bad she felt. She started trembling uncontrollably at one point where I seriously thought she was having an emotional breakdown. I told her I was going to take her to the hospital but she refused.

At some point during the drive, something changed inside me. Up to that point I felt "gutted". I felt like I wanted to murder her lover. I was so full of hatred for him, and hurt from she had done to me, despair, anguish....really bad pain like nothing I ever thought I could endure.

Suddenly, while she was sobbing and apologizing and begging me to forgive her, the feelings inside me changed from the anger and pain and I felt a very strong sense of compassion for her. I could tell from her emotional condition that she was truly sorry for what she had done. I could just tell. Don't expect me to be able to prove anything, please just accept the fact that I'm not a stupid person and sometimes you just know when someone is being real.

The first wide spot in the road, I pulled over quickly and threw the gear selector into park. She had her face buried in her hands, sobbing. When I pulled over she looked at me with a panicked expression (she told me later that she thought I was going to make her get out of the car) as I unbuckled my seat belt and then hers and reached for her and told her that I forgave her and I loved her.

She tried to push me away saying "no, no, you can't...I've been so horrible, no, no" and a bunch of other stuff like that.

I just grabbed her and pulled her close to me and cried and continued to tell her that I loved her, I was sorry that I had treated her so badly, I forgave her and that I would never leave her.

I'm getting pretty long winded here but the point that I want you to get is that hopefully from this condensed version of how our tragedy was revealed, you can see that we both somehow were able to accept our part of the responsibility.

Somehow I knew, that even though I wanted to, I could not call her names, I could not tell her I hated her, I could not say anything other than how I felt and how hurt I was. Somehow I knew (without really consciously thinking about it) that I would someday regret it if I spewed those things out of my mouth and verbally attacked her.

Somehow I was able to do what turned out to be the right thing (at least in our situation). And even after I forgave her, I still hurt, I still hated, and I was still crying. But I realized at that point how much I loved my wife, and oddly enough I began to believe that even though she did what she did, she still loved me. Knowing how much I loved her, and believing that she still loved me, gave me the strength I needed to start to work things out.

There is a lot more to the story of course, but suffice it to say that the biggest key to our success up to this point has been our willingness to work really, really hard...both of us....work really hard to get our marriage back on track.
 

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i am happy that things are working for you. i wish you two the best of luck and happiness in teh difficult road that lies ahead, but, it sounds like the both of you are committed and you both have a clear view of the road ahead. hopefully that road is truely the path to success.

please, if you are willing, i am very interested in your continues success, if you are willing to share more of it that is?

thank you and god bless.
 

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That's kind of the way my husband and I are when we fight - the love and compassion is so strong that we end up comforting one another.

Still, are you sure that was it? You've forgiven and that's it?

What is she doing to rebuild trust or do you just trust her blindly?

Also, what are you doing to meet her needs now that you realize she was having some of them go unmet?

Do you have any flashbacks or times when something triggers your fear or anguish? Or haven't you been in many situations with her since that time?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That's kind of the way my husband and I are when we fight - the love and compassion is so strong that we end up comforting one another.

Still, are you sure that was it? You've forgiven and that's it?

What is she doing to rebuild trust or do you just trust her blindly?

Also, what are you doing to meet her needs now that you realize she was having some of them go unmet?

Do you have any flashbacks or times when something triggers your fear or anguish? Or haven't you been in many situations with her since that time?
I'm not sure what you mean by your question, "you've forgiven and that's it?".

If you mean are you just going on with life as usual? Of course not. For 6 weeks all we did was talk. No tv, no movies no time apart except when I was at work. Absolutely no time apart other than my job. It's all we knew to do at the time. I didn't want to be anywhere else and niether did she. She does not work outside the home. From the very first day after she told me about the affair, every day that I was at work, she would call me when she left the house for any reason and call me again when she returned. That was her idea before I thought of it. She still does it today.


I have full access to her cell phone bill, email account and she told me she feels more secure knowing that I WANT to keep tabs on her. She has always had access to mine but then, there has never been any reason or suspicions on her part to check up on me.

The thing that makes this accountability work is that most of it has been her idea and she gives me absolutely no resistance. It is part of our plan to rebuild our marriage and not just my plan .

What am I doing to meet her needs that I wasn't doing before. Everything. For some reason, I almost immediately knew what I had to do. I can't explain it except to say, deep down I knew what I was with holding from her...and my new mission in life?...Make sure she never has to go outside our home to get what she needs.

The night she confessed everything to me, I thought we could never have sex again...I even said that to her. But after I forgave her, I knew I had to start immediately to get that part of our life back. So..the very next night we made love and went for about 65 or 66 days straight. Skipped a day and then started again. Not trying to break any records. Just a new attitude and reorganized priorities on my part. I had almost lost the most important part of my life and I was not about to let that happen because of anything that I was unwilling to change.

I began talking to her while we made love. Telling her how much I love her and how I was feeling and well, I don't need to get to descriptive except to say that our love life changed radically and it was something she had always wanted but I had been too uncomfortable to do. It is still that way today. Honestly, I was about a once a week guy before. Too busy chasing success. Worn out at the end of the day. What a waste of life.

Also, she almost immediately began counseling with an incredibly brilliant lady (professional Christian counselor recommended by someone else). She went once a week for about 10 weeks. We scheduled the sessions on my days off so I could go with her. I would drop her off and go to the drug store and buy her nice card and meet her with the card when she came out of the counseling session. Then we would go have lunch and talk about it.

Of course I got counseling also, but I was meeting with another counselor. I wanted her to have her own private sessions with a female counselor so she didn't feel like she had to hold anything back because of me being there. The counseling helped her tremendously which in turn helped me.

Other things I am doing that I didn't do before: Clean up after myself. Voluntarily do the dishes and pick up the house. I give her a massage after we make love once or twice a week. The thing is I enjoy doing these things now. It's kinda wierd.

This post is really getting long. Once I get started, all of these thoughts start coming to me and I don't want to leave anything out because I feel like if I don't tell the whole story, someone will think that I'm not being real or whatever and that I must be naive to think that we could possibly have things together already. Trust me when I say, it is still very hard sometimes. The images that come into my mind were overwhelming and overpowered me mentally for a time.

I eventually learned to recognize those thoughts as "my enemies". The thoughts will try to destroy you. The thoughts will try to get you to hate, to curse and even to kill. I am now much quicker to recognize when my mind is going in the wrong direction and I am able take control of my thoughts back...most of the time anyway.

There is so much more to say about what has helped me, us deal with this. I will be happy to talk about it in more detail if anyone wants to know.
 

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I am VERY happy for the two of you!!

and WOW 65-66 days straight!!!!!:yay::yay::yay::yay::yay::yay::yay:

but seriously, i aintrigued, and very interested in your story and would love to hear more.

and even if no one wants to listen, why stop? it sounds like you are getting a lot from writing it and sharing it?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Here is something else that has helped me a lot.

I forgave my wife within about 2 hours of her confession. I forgave her because I could see that she was truly sorry for what she had done. I told her that I forgave her. Did I still hurt? Was I still angry? Was I still devastated? Absolutely!

But somehow, I knew that there had to be a starting point for us to recover. I knew that nothing that either of us said or did could change what happened. And I knew that I still loved her and wanted her.

Once I verbally forgave her, she told me later, she felt something inside of her change. Remember, she had been concealing this for 12 years and it was tormenting her.

I also told her in our talks later, that I could not and would not put myself through this kind of pain again. She understood very well, that if it ever happened again I probably would be gone (although I didn't say it in exactly those terms).

I then (through the advice of my counselor) told her that I reserved the right to ask questions at any time. I never asked her specific graphic questions about the sexual activity that took place. My imagination could pretty much answer these painful questions for me. What was the point of creating more pain for both of us?

But I asked her about times, locations, thoughts that were going through her head when she was involved with this guy, etc. She has answered some very hard questions. Some of those questions she could have answered falsely and I would have never known. But because she was willing to hold nothing back, I knew that she wanted to change. It took about 2 months for me to get the majority of the hard questions out.

But as we talked and discussed these things, I began to get a picture of what I had done or not done to make her feel like she had to go somewhere else to get her emotional needs met.

Here is a huge thing that I was able to do. I came to the conclusion that the wife I knew and loved was gone. It was as if she had died, left me or just didn't exist anymore. The relationship I thought we had, was a thing of the past. I was now married to a different woman. That thought created a strong sense of loss in my mind and heart. But the flip side of that way of processing things is that, I now have a new, better relationship with a new woman.

I don't have a crystal ball and I have no guarantees that life will always be as good as it seems with her now. But then, love is about trusting and being vulnerable. It's a choice I have had to make.

I have to tell you also that all of this is only possible for me because she has made an incredible effort to make me know that she wants me and not him. If she were still seeing him and talking to him, I can't say that I would be as secure and trusting as I am now.
 

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I can understand why you would say that. If it had never happened to me and someone else had told me it happened to them, I would have thought that guy was a fool for forgiving her.

In my situation, I love my wife so much that I am willing to give her another chance. If you read one of my previous posts, you will remember how violently ill she became (she vomited several times) when she was confessing to me. She begged me not to leave her.

The more important aspect to me is the fact that I "emotionally mistreated" her for many years. I felt a certain amount of responsibility for pushing her "into his arms". I know this guy and I know now that he is an incredible manipulator. He knew exactly what to say to her to get her to give in to his advances. He said all the things that I never would (until now...better late than never). He made her feel appreciated more than I ever did. She told me these things without blaming me, but just to explain to me how it happened.

He did not dump her. I caught them through her cell phone records after receiving an email from his ex-wife saying that they were having an affair.

At first she denied it. For a few days after confronting her and her not saying anything, before leaving for work one morning I told her:
"...right now our marriage is at it's lowest point. I am going to give you all day today to decide if you want to tell me more about this. When I get home tonight I want you to tell me everything that is going on and has been going on. If you tell me "the worst" has happened, I will try to stay with you and try to work it out if you want to. If you tell me none of this is true, and we "get over it", but then I find out 2 or 6 months or a year from now that you lied to me, we will be done...forever".

That night when I got home she told me everything. After we both cried and went through the initial 2 hours of agony and everything else, she called him in my presence, and ended it. A few days later I called him and said a few things I probably shouldn't have, but in the process he agreed that it was over. He is probably looking over his shoulder every day wondering what I might do. I know where he lives and works and I let him know that.

Since then we have had an accountability agreement that is working. Again, I have to say that what makes this work for me is that by everything I see and hear from her, she is truly sorry and wants to start over.

The hard part to swallow for most people (including myself initially) is that it could be over so quickly after a 12 year affair. There is not enough time for me to tell you in this post how focused we both are in staying the course. All of the things we are doing to reassure each other that we are willing to do our part.

So far, I have been able to "act in faith" to restore our relationship. What I mean by that is in spite of my hurt caused by her actions and the anger I feel toward him, deep down I know what I need to do to restore. So, I just do it. It doesn't always feel good but I do it. I treat her like a woman who has been forgiven and her "evil past" erased. That's all I know to do and so far it seems to be working pretty well. As long as she does what I need her to do to help me trust her again, I am willing to stay with her and rebuild.
 

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And if she hadn't gotten caught, then what?

And you don't hold her as accountable for her actions as you hold him. She had 12 years of chances to tell him no. It wasn't all him for goodness sake!

Throwing up and crying aren't really great indications of someone that is sorry. Sorry they're caught, perhaps. Sorry they might lose everything, sure. But sorry they carried on an affair for 12 years? I'm sorry but I'm skeptical. How can anyone make up for 12 years of deception?
 

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If my husband had done this to me or I to him, we would be long parted....IMO, a 12 year affair is like two marriages going on at the same time...I have no doubts whatsoever, if I showed any affection for another man that it would be over....Saying this, as much as I love him and what I have said before, I would have the same feelings for him...We must be one lover and one mate...My thought on this post is that there had to be something big missing to start for this to happen....You can forgive, but can you forget???...
 

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Based on both of your responses then, I should kick her to the curb and tell her to get the hell out. Seems like you are playing judge and jury and have not met either one of us. You have no idea of the amount of counseling we have received and acted on. You don't know her and you don't know me and you seem to be looking for a reason to doubt her sincerity and my ability to forgive.

Are you unwilling to believe that someone has the capacity to forgive betrayal just because you don't think you can forgive? What the hell is that.


As far as it being as much her fault as the guy's fault...duh. My conversation with him was based on what he did to gain my friendship in order to get access to my wife. I'm not oblivious to the fact that she had to say yes for 12 years. But the rest of the story includes the times she tried to break it off and tell me, and he threatened to reveal it to our kids and other friends because he was afraid of what would happen to him. This is also part of the discussion I had with him. His motto to her (which I talked to him about and he did not deny) was "you lie till you die".

But I am beginning to have reservations about posting on this site any more. It seems that most of the responses are directed toward discrediting any level of success in restoring a marriage after adultery. Not everyone stays bitter and full of hate after they have been cheated on. There are those who really believe there is hope. And I'm not just talking about me. My motto is "as long as I am alive there is hope". And I will exhaust every option to keep what is valuable to me.

I was under the impression that this forum would be occupied by people who want helpful advice about what has worked for others. Apparently I was wrong about that. It seems more like (so far at least) a place to cry and moan and express one's bitterness and anger for the wrongs that have been done to them. I just don't have time for it.
 

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caroline,

that raises a question for me. is it really about forgetting? can any one aver realy forget? i don't think so, but what do i know? i am suffering with trust issues my self. my point though is that may be, just maybe, you don't need to forget the past to move beyond it and follow your heart? and he also said that she is rebuilding the trust, witch says to me that he has NOT forgoten, or even moved entirly past it yet. but, he is trying to move past it, trying to rebuild and trying to be happy again....

and i would argue that a 12 year affair would be more like an affair then another marriage? unless she lived part time with him, shared bills with him, and tried to do anything other then just hook up for some dates/good times now and then. there is a lot more in a marriage thenn their is in an affair.

should we really be second guessing his happiness and progress and reopening the wounds he is trying to heal? or should we be trying to support? isn't that why we all came here to start with, for support i mean?

:rant:
sorry best
 
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