Re: Is it fair for the cheater to say "are you going to bring this up again?"
Its been 4 1/2 years and I'd say we have made a lot of progress and there have been really good times. However, life has really been difficult during that time for financial reasons, a serious problem with one of our children and other personal issues not all related to his affair. My confidence in myself was trashed as when I discovered the affair, he tried to make it all about me you don't do this, you don't do enough of that, you let yourself go (gained a whole 20 pounds since graduation), and other horrible comments.
When I told him I was filing for divorce the night I discovered the affair (a woman 20 years younger than me, a whol 18 years old when he was over 40) he suddenly wanted to work on it. Now he wants to take all those comments back. He has apologize and said it was about him and he was trying to justify his behavior but is that true?
I should add that since his business was going downhill I took on extra clients and was working from sun up until late in the evening and handling his business paperwork on top of that all while he was playing around. In the end it was fairly open too like he was flaunting it in my face and in the face of my kids! (He said she was a friend but she was always there at every family event etc.)
I wonder if I did the right thing by trying to make it work. I do believe he's truly sorry and he does try very hard to make it work. He has stepped up and tried to make life easier for me and he's there for me to talk to but I don't think I can talk to him about the affair.
I have had so many things happen that have damaged my self-esteem. I left my great job due to lack of benefits, to provide health benefits for my family (which he ended up needing for surgery) and to ensure I had a steady check (same money but now guaranteed) and its come with a price. Due to layoffs etc. (I'm still employed) there have been some issues that have made me feel not valued (change in location from literally uptown to a bad neighborhood to double my commute, loss of office, etc.) So when I said I was struggling due to confidence and told him why he got angry and said
"So you're going to bring this up for the100th time!" (the affair). Then "I'm not going there right now with you!"
Is that fair or am I being unfair? I wasn't blaming this issue on him but trying to explain why I lacked confidence. He told me that I felt the way I do now because I don't let things go.
Is he blaming me for feeling badly now? Is he right?
I don't know but those comments make me mad and I question my decision to stay with him and wonder if I've just wasted 4.5 years. He said he'd do whatever it took for as long as it took but I guess he had a timeframe...
Thinking about just myself, is it good to bring it up. I can't control how I feel so is there something that would help me. I try to change my thoughts when I feel this way or remember things he said or did. But my thoughts wander back. I'm not doing this on purpose I don't want to think about or remember things, I want to move on. I just haven't learned how to do that.
Whether I stay with him or not, this is one thing I need to learn to do for me.
One more thing I've told him several times it was important to renew our vows after all he broke them first ones right. It was a sign of a new beginning for me. He never did that and when I tell him that hurts me he says absolutely nothing. No response at all. Jeez was that too much to ask?
Should I just call it quits?
So here's my take on this, from the other side (the cheater).
You, like my wife, have had a lot of issues to deal with outside the affair itself. In my case, these issues pre-dated the affair by at least 10 years.
I don't minimize the effects my affair, or your husband's affair in your case, had on my marriage, but it wasn't the single issue that drove us apart.
With my wife, she went and then stopped going to marriage counseling because she, too, didn't like the counselor but wouldn't go to another. Why? Maybe because like you, there were other issues going on. I know my wife didn't want to address those other issues so reconciliation really couldn't move forward.
And I get frustrated when my wife brings up the affair, too. One thing that the marriage counselor stressed was that you can't fall back on the old issues if you want to move forward. And despite that, my wife would do just that, regardless of what we were discussing. Eventually it got back to the affair (but NEVER back to the issues before the affair).
I viewed it as her going back to the one thing she could put the blame on me, even if it was "I'm like this because of the affair" kind of talk. And when you have made an honest effort in reconciliation, acknowledging your mistakes, trying to regain trust, it does hurt that the affair gets the blame for everything.
And this is a big reason why I chose not to renew our vows. I knew that my wife continually falling back on the affair and never addressing previous issues meant that she wasn't fully invested in the reconciliation process and renewing the vows would have been a sham at that point.
I'm not saying any of this is your situation but I hope some of it helps.