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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been married to husband for 28 years. He cheated for over 20 of those years with many women. I found out through text messages on his "secret" phone that he "loves her so much." He referred to her as baby, sweetheart, doll, etc. Of course he said that he only told her what she wanted to hear. Reading those messages were especially very painful because he never said those things to me. He has always been a selfish type of person. We got married in college because I was pregnant. Subsequently we had another child. I have never truly been happy in my marriage. I just went through the motions of creating a family and raising our kids. He has never made me feel special or truly loved. We have grandchildren that we both are crazy about. On the flip side, we both love traveling, going to movies, out to eat, going to plays and concerts, etc. But I just can't get past on how he professed his love to the OW or how charming he was to his many past girlfriends. I told him to never tell me he loves me because he gave those words to someone else...not that he would any way. He wants us to work on our marriage and swears that he has "finally" changed and prays often. I can't seem to get past the hurt. I don't even want to trust him for fear of being a fool again. As I'm getting older, I now want to feel special and loved...just not from him NOW. I did before but I feel 2nd best. I'm really not sure why he's trying so hard to stay in the marriage especially if I've never been worthy before of the emotional high he gave his girlfriends. I don't feel I really know him after all these years. I definitely don't want to let my guard down because I'm always afraid he will start up again with his cheating. I do not trust him.

Our grandkids will be so hurt should we divorce because of how close and active we are in their lives. We are the "stability factor" in their lives because neither of them are in a two parent home. I'm the most happiest when we are with our families. I have the absolute best mother-in-law and my entire family loves him. He has been a great provider and an awesome grandfather now. So, as you can see, it's all about family. That is why I'm struggle with whether or not I should leave the marriage. I will lose the family unit we have created. I just don't know what to do.

Do married men in affairs really tell women they love them just because that's what the OW wants to hear? I think he realized he was living in the fog but that still doesn't help the way I feel.
 

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He has cheated on you for 20 years. I'm sure this is not the first time he has told someone that. You just need to decide if you want to continue o be cheated on for the rest of your life or if you want to let this go and find someone who will love you and only you. It seems simp,e, but you have all of that history and a family with this man. I get that. It would still never be enough for me because I would want to be happy, and I couldn't be happy with a man like that.

This is your choice. You have to do what makes YOU happy. He has been doing that all along.
 

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You will find many examples on this forum of how detrimental this situation can actually be to "the kids" or "the family," as so many tend to cite those things as reasons for staying in a bad and unhappy marriage. Your kids and family are not stupid, they will sense yours misery and suffer right along with you. In mos cases, it is far better to get out of a toxic relationship, heal, and find happiness. When you are truly happy, your kids/family will know it and thrive along with you.

You deserve to be with a man who will love you and make you happy. Your husband is a serial cheater and the chances of repairing the relationship are almost non existent. Once he feels you are placated enough, he will resume his dysfunctional behavior, and continue to cheat.

Now this is obviously not set in stone, but the vast majority of serial cheaters fail to reform. Is he worth the tiny percentile probability of success? Has he ever made you feel so special that you will have something unshakable to draw on when things are hard? After 20 years of cheating on you, what will he actually need to do to gain your trust? I can't even come up with a theoretical answer for that last question.

You still have plenty of life to live. Dump the toxic serial cheater, and go try to find yourself some real, honest, love.
 

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How old are you?

Do you have a job outside the home? Can you support yourself?
 

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Do married men in affairs really tell women they love them just because that's what the OW wants to hear? I think he realized he was living in the fog but that still doesn't help the way I feel.
There is no telling why married men tell woman they love them, it is all based on the individual, I have never been one to group people together and make a claim against them ALL as a whole.

I have a question... who cares? Who cares why YOUR husband is telling woman they love them? You cannot control his actions or who is sheds he affection towards, all you can do is control your reaction toward his actions.

By reading your story, you been in this loveless marriage for 28 years now, you chose to stand by his side. That is where the questions should be directed towards... YOU.
 

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20 years of many affairs , I don't think he will ever change his ways. It's been a major part of his lifestyle for 20 years.its obvious his moral code doesn't include fidelity and he has no love for anyone but himself.

I think you rest assured that he was feeding her nothing but a line because its what serial cheaters, players do. It's also what he is still doing to you.

Serial cheaters don't just change after 20 years. Does he now have ED problems and can't cheat like he once did?
 

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Why does he want to stay in the marriage so badly now? First thing that comes to my mind is that you can probably make the divorce a very costly proposition for him, you'll put quite a crimp into his lifestyle.
 

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Why does he want to stay in the marriage so badly now? First thing that comes to my mind is that you can probably make the divorce a very costly proposition for him, you'll put quite a crimp into his lifestyle.
Financial suicide
 
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I would presume he wants to stay in the marriage because he has always cheated on you, consequence free, and feels you'll continue to rug sweep it.

Why wouldn't he want to stay and eat cake? You've allowed him to do it until now.

There is no chance this man will reform. Right now it's a matter of you regaining some self respect.
 

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I've been married to husband for 28 years. He cheated for over 20 of those years with many women.
Did you find out this recently, all at once? Or maybe you caught him many many times, heared false promises only to find out he was again at it?
Please, provide a summaty/timeline of your discoveries.
I found out through text messages on his "secret" phone that he "loves her so much." He referred to her as baby, sweetheart, doll, etc. Of course he said that he only told her what she wanted to hear.
Do married men in affairs really tell women they love them just because that's what the OW wants to hear? I think he realized he was living in the fog but that still doesn't help the way I feel.
He told it to every single woman he was trying to court. It's his modus operandi. He never told you becasue you are his wife, he's not in "courting" mode for you because it's innecesary. He already has you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
To answer a few questions...I found out for the first time around 7 years into our marriage. His cheating started years before then. I chose to stay in hopes that we could work it out. Afterwards, I did see signs and my spirit was not at peace but I convinced myself that I was paranoid because he had cheated before. This last time I caught him cheating also went back for many years. He still kept in touch with women that I knew from the first time he was caught cheating.

Money is not an issue. We are both professionals and can afford to live apart without struggle.

The thing is...we went to counseling with our associate pastor at our church. Supposedly, my husband is now a spiritual man who is striving hard to be the man God wants him to be. The pastor even asked me if I believe that God has the ability to change a man regardless of how bad that person has been. Of course my answer is yes due to my faith. I'm just still so bitter and angry about how he treated me and how he professed his love to someone else. If he is truly changed then that's great. I guess I'm just afraid he is temporarily "saved" now and that one day he will revert to his old ways. Also, I now question whether there are truly faithful people out there in the world that I'm also attracted to. Based on statistics, those people are few and far between.

I still want him to feel my pain and hurt. I've even considered a revenge affair with a single guy. I still don't know what I want to do. In many ways, I'm holding on to hope that he is TRULY a spiritual man for the long run. Go figure.
 

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OK Ill be the bad guy and ask the bad mean question.

Is he high income with lots of assets? I know a woman who is married for 35 years and deals with it because she likes her SL Benz and her $6300 a month no-questions-asked allowance. She has said openly she HATES him. Oh and as a bonus he is a drunk who once felt up his Sons fiance's ta-tas. Yes the fiance was GORGEOUS. (Turns out she cheated with his BF but that is another story.)

And I'll be bad again and squash your hope. I'm as likely to date a supermodel as he is as likely to stop his serial cheating.

Sorry for your pain. Sorry you are here. Sorry I'm gonna be the blunt one here. This aint the happy happy joy joy boards.

20 YEARS of cheating??? Time to take HALF.
 

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all religion aside, how 'bout being the man YOU want him to be..... the husband YOU deserve to have.
Exactly this. This is so wearying to see people sell themselves so short. You should love yourself. You should value yourself. You should want to live your life with some peace of mind and not in constant hurt.

At the very least, I would take some time off from this man who treats you like this. The grandkids will be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I truly appreciate everyone's advice. You have given me so much to think about. I sometimes think that we have been together for so long (I met him when we were freshmen in college...I was 17) that I can't imagine being without him not to mention the family we have created. It's just so hard to let go. I think I've gotten too use to the pain, lies and deception. In addition, after reading all of these different situations on this web site, I'm beginning to think that practically everyone cheats which means my chances of finding a good and faithful man that I'm also attracted to is quite slim. Again, thanks everyone for your input.
 

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I truly appreciate everyone's advice. You have given me so much to think about. I sometimes think that we have been together for so long (I met him when we were freshmen in college...I was 17) that I can't imagine being without him not to mention the family we have created. It's just so hard to let go. I think I've gotten too use to the pain, lies and deception. In addition, after reading all of these different situations on this web site, I'm beginning to think that practically everyone cheats which means my chances of finding a good and faithful man that I'm also attracted to is quite slim. Again, thanks everyone for your input.
No, you have that just a little wrong. Practically everyone COULD cheat, NOT everyone does. A lot of people, who were in the very same stressed marriages, did not cheat on their partners. There are steps that can be taken to reduce the chances of betrayal. It's not completely hopeless!
 

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I think you both should go to marriage counseling if you want to stay in the marriage. I don't know if I could get over this myself. I do know love is possible later in life. I was married to a man who barely gave me the time of day for 24 years. Now I am remarried and I feel like I am the center of this man's universe. Never too late to start over if you so choose.
 

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I truly appreciate everyone's advice. You have given me so much to think about. I sometimes think that we have been together for so long (I met him when we were freshmen in college...I was 17) that I can't imagine being without him not to mention the family we have created. It's just so hard to let go. I think I've gotten too use to the pain, lies and deception. In addition, after reading all of these different situations on this web site, I'm beginning to think that practically everyone cheats which means my chances of finding a good and faithful man that I'm also attracted to is quite slim. Again, thanks everyone for your input.
You are committing emotional suicide. THINK ABOUT IT! Do you really want to die in 40 YEARS never being in true love again?
 
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