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My husband and I are high school sweethearts, we went through 3 years of long distance when I was away in college and married the year after I graduated. 2 kids and 20 years later we are now seperated and he is now suggesting a divorce. Our marriage has not been perfect, but our love for each other has always been a strength and a glue for everything.

I am a people pleaser and am someone who gives without ever asking for things in return, he is innately selfish and although these things have always been an issue we never truely fought and in the last 7 years we had gotten to a very content happy place in our relationship. Almost 2 years ago he met another woman at a game and our lives have not been the same since. I saw the whole thing play out in front of me and he fought the idea of this emotional affair he was having every step of the way.

When I discovered evidence and confronted him he admitted to the situation but promised he just got caught up in it and he loved me and wanted us. A year and half later and now at 10 months seperated he continues to go back and forth with this woman who will not go away and he continues to lie about seeing her because he does not want to loose me but can not walk away from her.

I have made it very clear to him I will not share him and if he can not stay away from her then he should be with her. Every time i find out, we are at time 4 or 5, he comes back to me begging me to hold on and not give up on us because he knows i am his future. The reason he left last summer was because his guilt and shame due to his behaviors and how he had cheated and hurt me has lead him to feel "broken" and he stated he needed to fix himself before he can try and fix us and we would be committed during this seperation.

He swore he was leaving for himself and us and not her, but 3 months after he was out of house he was secretly seeing her again. I was sent pictures of his car in her driveway a few months ago, I am sure by the other woman, I told him I was not able to share him and I was not going to stand in his way anymore and he should go be with her. 6 weeks later he was back asking me to wait for him because it is me he wants but still broken and cant or wont do anything to work on us.

I do believe he feels "broken" and having an identity crisis? He has a complicated past and never dealt with any of it and basically the chooses he has made is also the 1 thing he has always been convinced I would eventually do to him. He has abandonment issues and has always believed people will leave him, so this is almost a self fulling prophecy. And on top of all of this his mother passed away unexpectedly and quickly a few months ago, his biggest fear in life has always been loosing his mom, again complicated history.

I have not opened myself back up to "us" still wanting our marriage but not trusting he was able to do what needs to be done to work on our marriage. A few weeks later and now he is starting to suggest he wants a divorce? I honestly do not want to give up on him or us but not sure what else to do right now. I told him we should just focus on being parents and hopefully friends right now and see where we are in the next few months.

I just do not want there to be any regrets and I feel like we need to do everything we can to try and save us, and I already know he keeps coming back for me because I believe he loves me and us, but he just can not forgive himself and believes I deserve better than him. Anyone else going through something similar? Anyone make it through this without a divorce? Any suggestions? Should I just let him walk away?
 

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My suggestion is to take the initiative and get the divorce process rolling.

Personally I would 100% not stay married to someone who was interested in someone else. And this is a repeat process for him.

I know divorce is hard. I divorced at around your age after a similar timeframe of being married so I'm not advising something I haven't done myself.
 

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I already know he keeps coming back for me because I believe he loves me and us, but he just can not forgive himself and believes I deserve better than him.
I must throw the bull$hit flag here. However, the fact is, you DO indeed "deserve better than him". But he doesn't "believe" that. The reason he keeps coming back for you and y'all is that you are:

someone who gives without ever asking for things in return
and the reason he keeps running off to the OW is:

he is innately selfish
and this cockamamie BS about "he just can not forgive himself".....if he said that, it's a total crock....

I feel like we need to do everything we can to try and save us
Yes, I believe you. because you are a "giver". But your husband does not feel like he needs to do anything to save his marriage.....he is a "taker".... there is no "us", only a "him".....
 

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My husband and I are high school sweethearts, we went through 3 years of long distance when I was away in college and married the year after I graduated. 2 kids and 20 years later we are now seperated and he is now suggesting a divorce. Our marriage has not been perfect, but our love for each other has always been a strength and a glue for everything. I am a people pleaser and am someone who gives without ever asking for things in return, he is innately selfish and although these things have always been an issue we never truely fought and in the last 7 years we had gotten to a very content happy place in our relationship. Almost 2 years ago he met another woman at a game and our lives have not been the same since. I saw the whole thing play out in front of me and he fought the idea of this emotional affair he was having every step of the way. When I discovered evidence and confronted him he admitted to the situation but promised he just got caught up in it and he loved me and wanted us. A year and half later and now at 10 months seperated he continues to go back and forth with this woman who will not go away and he continues to lie about seeing her because he does not want to loose me but can not walk away from her. I have made it very clear to him I will not share him and if he can not stay away from her then he should be with her. Every time i find out, we are at time 4 or 5, he comes back to me begging me to hold on and not give up on us because he knows i am his future. The reason he left last summer was because his guilt and shame due to his behaviors and how he had cheated and hurt me has lead him to feel "broken" and he stated he needed to fix himself before he can try and fix us and we would be committed during this seperation. He swore he was leaving for himself and us and not her, but 3 months after he was out of house he was secretly seeing her again. I was sent pictures of his car in her driveway a few months ago, I am sure by the other woman, I told him I was not able to share him and I was not going to stand in his way anymore and he should go be with her. 6 weeks later he was back asking me to wait for him because it is me he wants but still broken and cant or wont do anything to work on us. I do believe he feels "broken" and having an identity crisis? He has a complicated past and never dealt with any of it and basically the chooses he has made is also the 1 thing he has always been convinced I would eventually do to him. He has abandonment issues and has always believed people will leave him, so this is almost a self fulling prophecy. And on top of all of this his mother passed away unexpectedly and quickly a few months ago, his biggest fear in life has always been loosing his mom, again complicated history. I have not opened myself back up to "us" still wanting our marriage but not trusting he was able to do what needs to be done to work on our marriage. A few weeks later and now he is starting to suggest he wants a divorce? I honestly do not want to give up on him or us but not sure what else to do right now. I told him we should just focus on being parents and hopefully friends right now and see where we are in the next few months. I just do not want there to be any regrets and I feel like we need to do everything we can to try and save us, and I already know he keeps coming back for me because I believe he loves me and us, but he just can not forgive himself and believes I deserve better than him. Anyone else going through something similar? Anyone make it through this without a divorce? Any suggestions? Should I just let him walk away?
Get divorced he is not committed to you
 

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I think he’s lying and trying to spare your feelings, while trying to get out of this marriage. This is the cheater version of “it’s not you, it’s me.”

Let him get out of this marriage.
 

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Going through loss yourself on top of having him desperately ask you to remain in a neutral position isn’t fair to you. It also sounds like he loves you, but is very lost and confused. The only advice I can offer you is this: I think you are making the right decision. Focus on yourself and your kids. Love him from a distance and offer him compassion because of his confused state and recent loss. his struggle is internal and he is seeking something external to fix the problem. In my personal opinion, external things or people does not fix issues. I’m a believer that everyone is responsible for their own decisions. I also believe that every choice and action offers lessons to learn. However, you don’t need to immerse yourself in his world with him. You are going through your own grief by your experience of this betrayal. I don’t know if you are a spiritual person, but by putting your focus and trust in someone bigger than you can offer a lot of peace and comfort. I offer a prayer for you and your family.
 

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Make the choice for him.
Go ahead and file.
You can always delay or withdraw the petition if he honestly and legitimately shows remorse.
However, you'd be much better off flushing him.
 

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First of all, you need to wake up and let go of that romantic view of your marriage. It’s not real. There is no “us” to give up on now. No great, endless love. What you have is a very selfish man who’s been playing you for quite some time. You need to step back from him and all the BS he’s handing you as you sit around waiting on him.

As to what he’s actually doing? One possibility: He wants the comfort and security of marriage plus the fun and excitement of a side piece. He’ll tell you whatever he has to in order to keep you hoping he’ll eventually choose just you. But he likely won’t. Why? Because he wants both. My suggestion is quit listening to him and focus on building your life without him. Maybe one day he’ll come back. If he does, then you can decide if you still want him (I would not recommend that).

Or.

Another possibility: He’s been stringing you along as Plan B while he focused on Plan A (her) to see where that went and now he really is considering divorcing you for her. If he does, it may or may not work out with her and, again, maybe one day he’ll come back. I still don’t recommend taking him back under any circumstances because he knows now what he can get away with and who’s to say this won’t happen again (and again).

What you should be doing is focusing 100% on you and making your life better without him and his BS. Because it absolutely can be.
 

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To answer your question: Yes, you definitely should let him walk away. But are you really strong enough to do that?
 

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@Utterly confused,

My take on this is that your husband has constructed a scenario in his head that allows him to feel justified in cheating. He knows you very well and knows that if he concocts a sad story you will fall for it and be supportive on some level. That's quite a con job.

Your husband has wanted to keep you in a position so that if his affair does not pan out, he still has you, plan B.

Have you still been having sex with him when he comes over?

At this point you should be interacting with him per the 180 (see the link in my signature block below). The idea is that you need to now protect yourself emotionally. That means interacting with him a little as possible.

I also agree with the others that it's time for you to file for divorce. A divorce can be stopped at any time up until the judge signs it. Also, there is always re-marriage after a divorce. The idea is that right now all of this is not real for him. He has you and he has her. You filing for divorce does a few things... 1) it shows him that you are serious that he is losing you. This is not his choice, it's yours. Up to now it's all been good for him because he's in control.. you are waiting for him. 2) it will put a lot of pressure on his relationship with his affair partner (AP). Up to now she did not have to meet all of his emotional needs because you are meeting many of them still. Take yourself out of the picture. Make her have to meet all of his needs. When this happens with an affair, about 93% of the affairs end.

Get the book "Surviving an Affair". It gives a good plan for handling things when your spouse cheats. Keep in mind when you read it that the book talks about Plan A and Plan B. Plan A is what you do in the first couple of weeks (or as long as you can) after you find out about the affair. Plan B is what you do if your WS (wayward spouse) refuses to end the affair... The 180 I suggest is part of Plan B. The purpose of Plan B/180 is that you protect yourself until one of two things happen 1) he ends the affair and decides to reconcile your marriage or 2) you fall out of love or 2) you decide that it's over (perhaps even fall out of love) and file for divorce.
 

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@Utterly confused,

My take on this is that your husband has constructed a scenario in his head that allows him to feel justified in cheating. He knows you very well and knows that if he concocts a sad story you will fall for it and be supportive on some level. That's quite a con job.

Your husband has wanted to keep you in a position so that if his affair does not pan out, he still has you, plan B.

Have you still been having sex with him when he comes over?

At this point you should be interacting with him per the 180 (see the link in my signature block below). The idea is that you need to now protect yourself emotionally. That means interacting with him a little as possible.

I also agree with the others that it's time for you to file for divorce. A divorce can be stopped at any time up until the judge signs it. Also, there is always re-marriage after a divorce. The idea is that right now all of this is not real for him. He has you and he has her. You filing for divorce does a few things... 1) it shows him that you are serious that he is losing you. This is not his choice, it's yours. Up to now it's all been good for him because he's in control.. you are waiting for him. 2) it will put a lot of pressure on his relationship with his affair partner (AP). Up to now she did not have to meet all of his emotional needs because you are meeting many of them still. Take yourself out of the picture. Make her have to meet all of his needs. When this happens with an affair, about 93% of the affairs end.

Get the book "Surviving an Affair". It gives a good plan for handling things when your spouse cheats. Keep in mind when you read it that the book talks about Plan A and Plan B. Plan A is what you do in the first couple of weeks (or as long as you can) after you find out about the affair. Plan B is what you do if your WS (wayward spouse) refuses to end the affair... The 180 I suggest is part of Plan B. The purpose of Plan B/180 is that you protect yourself until one of two things happen 1) he ends the affair and decides to reconcile your marriage or 2) you fall out of love or 2) you decide that it's over (perhaps even fall out of love) and file for divorce.
I will look into that 180 thank you. And what everyone has said so far is all true. I do not have my head in the dirt, I understand it all and I have over this time made my boundary and stuck with it, BUT he always comes back fighting just enough to make sure I am still here and unfortunately it's easy to let your want and desire to pull you back into old routines. I do not disagree that he wants both of us, and when he feels me leaving he pulls me back and the times he has walked away from OW he has always allowed her to pull him back because he wanted to be back with her. To answer your question unfortunately yes I was having sex with him the first 6 months we were living apart because the deal was we would stay committed, date, and be in each others lives while we worked on ourselves during seperation. However I was once again lied to and he started seeing her during that time but as soon as I found out I pulled all the way away and told him to go explore a relationship with her if that's what he wanted but that he could no longer have me. So when he realized she was the one to send the pics to me to force his hand he stopped talking to her again and when he was without us both 4 weeks later he was telling me it was me and only me but he still was not "able" to do counseling with me right now but he just needed a little more time. (Again he is severely mourning his mother which has just added a whole level to all of this) but I never fully opened up to him and really the only time we spent together was with our kids because I knew he was not willing or able to do any work. I plan on calling a lawyer and start gathering info that I need and proceed with all of that because I know it has to happen and it's really only thing left to do. I also agree that in the end of all this he will either return back to me ready to fight for me or he will really move on. Thanks again
 

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Going through loss yourself on top of having him desperately ask you to remain in a neutral position isn’t fair to you. It also sounds like he loves you, but is very lost and confused. The only advice I can offer you is this: I think you are making the right decision. Focus on yourself and your kids. Love him from a distance and offer him compassion because of his confused state and recent loss. his struggle is internal and he is seeking something external to fix the problem. In my personal opinion, external things or people does not fix issues. I’m a believer that everyone is responsible for their own decisions. I also believe that every choice and action offers lessons to learn. However, you don’t need to immerse yourself in his world with him. You are going through your own grief by your experience of this betrayal. I don’t know if you are a spiritual person, but by putting your focus and trust in someone bigger than you can offer a lot of peace and comfort. I offer a prayer for you and your family.
I am a spiritual person and I have been focusing on believing there is a path and a door for me and I just have to hold my faith. I have my own baggage from childhood like everyone else lol and i have always been an overly committed person which sometimes is great but other times is a flaw that keeps me in situations that hurt me just because i feel like i am wrong to walk away. I am learning that is not true and it is ok to put myself first.
 

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My husband and I are high school sweethearts, we went through 3 years of long distance when I was away in college and married the year after I graduated. 2 kids and 20 years later we are now seperated and he is now suggesting a divorce. Our marriage has not been perfect, but our love for each other has always been a strength and a glue for everything.

I am a people pleaser and am someone who gives without ever asking for things in return, he is innately selfish and although these things have always been an issue we never truely fought and in the last 7 years we had gotten to a very content happy place in our relationship. Almost 2 years ago he met another woman at a game and our lives have not been the same since. I saw the whole thing play out in front of me and he fought the idea of this emotional affair he was having every step of the way.

When I discovered evidence and confronted him he admitted to the situation but promised he just got caught up in it and he loved me and wanted us. A year and half later and now at 10 months seperated he continues to go back and forth with this woman who will not go away and he continues to lie about seeing her because he does not want to loose me but can not walk away from her.

I have made it very clear to him I will not share him and if he can not stay away from her then he should be with her. Every time i find out, we are at time 4 or 5, he comes back to me begging me to hold on and not give up on us because he knows i am his future. The reason he left last summer was because his guilt and shame due to his behaviors and how he had cheated and hurt me has lead him to feel "broken" and he stated he needed to fix himself before he can try and fix us and we would be committed during this seperation.

He swore he was leaving for himself and us and not her, but 3 months after he was out of house he was secretly seeing her again. I was sent pictures of his car in her driveway a few months ago, I am sure by the other woman, I told him I was not able to share him and I was not going to stand in his way anymore and he should go be with her. 6 weeks later he was back asking me to wait for him because it is me he wants but still broken and cant or wont do anything to work on us.

I do believe he feels "broken" and having an identity crisis? He has a complicated past and never dealt with any of it and basically the chooses he has made is also the 1 thing he has always been convinced I would eventually do to him. He has abandonment issues and has always believed people will leave him, so this is almost a self fulling prophecy. And on top of all of this his mother passed away unexpectedly and quickly a few months ago, his biggest fear in life has always been loosing his mom, again complicated history.

I have not opened myself back up to "us" still wanting our marriage but not trusting he was able to do what needs to be done to work on our marriage. A few weeks later and now he is starting to suggest he wants a divorce? I honestly do not want to give up on him or us but not sure what else to do right now. I told him we should just focus on being parents and hopefully friends right now and see where we are in the next few months.

I just do not want there to be any regrets and I feel like we need to do everything we can to try and save us, and I already know he keeps coming back for me because I believe he loves me and us, but he just can not forgive himself and believes I deserve better than him. Anyone else going through something similar? Anyone make it through this without a divorce? Any suggestions? Should I just let him walk away?
Im sorry your going through this. Im in a similar situation with my wife. She is saying the same things although her affair is over the ph.
She has massive issues that havnt been dealt with.
The 180 does work but he really has to make the choice to remove her from the picture and find the real source of his problems otherwise hel stay confused.
It does sound like he has issues that havnt been dealt.

However as of now i would be doing the 180 and focusing on your faith and mental and physical wellbeing.

When it comes to interacting with him is he easy to talk to?
Can you have a logical conversation with him?
Maybe if you can show him what behaviours are known to be caused by his past he might get help.

All the best, you will get good advice on here.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Im sorry your going through this. Im in a similar situation with my wife. She is saying the same things although her affair is over the ph.
She has massive issues that havnt been dealt with.
The 180 does work but he really has to make the choice to remove her from the picture and find the real source of his problems otherwise hel stay confused.
It does sound like he has issues that havnt been dealt.

However as of now i would be doing the 180 and focusing on your faith and mental and physical wellbeing.

When it comes to interacting with him is he easy to talk to?
Can you have a logical conversation with him?
Maybe if you can show him what behaviours are known to be caused by his past he might get help.

All the best, you will get good advice on here.
Yes he is very easy to talk to in the fact that we do not fight, he is not angry with me, he has not once blamed me for anything takes full responsibility for it all. He does not communicate well and he ****s down, he is a runner and hider but not a fighter ever. He does know and understand many of his own issues and we have talked about many of them, I just do not think he can get out of his own way sometimes and refuses to see that there may be a different or better way of approaching it all. I have decided, and I did a while ago ots just now making it happen, that I can not fight for the marriage if he cant or wont so it needs to be done. If it's in God's plan for us then he will get himself back to who he was a come back, I am putting my faith in something bigger then us both. Thanks
 

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@Utterly confused, your husband is the same as every other garden variety cheater, he wants to have his cake and eat it. Which incidentally you are enabling by allowing him to come in and out of your life. Kick this POS to the kerb. Boohoo about his past, so many of us have ****ty pasts but it doesn't give us a licence to cheat. His problem is not his past it's his seriously flawed character.

Sorry there is no feeling sorry for him and using excuses of abandonment, etc, He is the one who abandoned you. When are you going to get righteously angry? This man has committed the most vile act against you, your family and your marriage. Stop playing the pick me dance.
You need to pull up your big girl panties and go scorched earth on this POS husband of yours. Let her have him. You must now SHOCK and AWE him.

1. go see a lawyer to see what your options are, don't tell him. Get all documents copies and keep in safe place. Get the papers, beat him to the punch. Leave him no options.
Full 180 on him, no begging , crying, discussing, act as if you are moving on.
2. Tell his family and your family about what is going on
3. Go see a counselor for yourself and maybe your kids too.
4. Change the locks on the doors, he is not allowed to see the kids without making appointments. No popping into and out of your house.This is now YOUR home, he lost the privilege when he left you.
5. Ask the lawyer what rights do you have to keep him out.
6. Do you have your own money, job, etc? If not think about one and how much you can get out of him. Get a bull dog lawyer.
7. Go to gymn, do your hair, dress well and start to work on yourself and your own future without him.
8. YOu are too good for this man, you are better off without him.
9. Now start moving on making your new life a reality.
 

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@Utterly confused, your husband is the same as every other garden variety cheater, he wants to have his cake and eat it. Which incidentally you are enabling by allowing him to come in and out of your life. Kick this POS to the kerb. Boohoo about his past, so many of us have ****ty pasts but it doesn't give us a licence to cheat. His problem is not his past it's his seriously flawed character.

Sorry there is no feeling sorry for him and using excuses of abandonment, etc, He is the one who abandoned you. When are you going to get righteously angry? This man has committed the most vile act against you, your family and your marriage. Stop playing the pick me dance.
You need to pull up your big girl panties and go scorched earth on this POS husband of yours. Let her have him. You must now SHOCK and AWE him.

1. go see a lawyer to see what your options are, don't tell him. Get all documents copies and keep in safe place. Get the papers, beat him to the punch. Leave him no options.
Full 180 on him, no begging , crying, discussing, act as if you are moving on.
2. Tell his family and your family about what is going on
3. Go see a counselor for yourself and maybe your kids too.
4. Change the locks on the doors, he is not allowed to see the kids without making appointments. No popping into and out of your house.This is now YOUR home, he lost the privilege when he left you.
5. Ask the lawyer what rights do you have to keep him out.
6. Do you have your own money, job, etc? If not think about one and how much you can get out of him. Get a bull dog lawyer.
7. Go to gymn, do your hair, dress well and start to work on yourself and your own future without him.
8. YOu are too good for this man, you are better off without him.
9. Now start moving on making your new life a reality.
I appreciate the advice, and honestly more than half of what you advise I have been doing. I stopped the begging and pleading almost a year ago, i have asked him to leave and never made a fuss about him moving out 10 months ago. I have stopped asking him questions or telling him too much of my own life, I focus on me more now than I have ever in my life. He is broken and not the man he used to be and I understand that. He has never crossed a boundary I have set, never once blamed me for anything that has happened, does not start fights, never comes over to the house without asking, is amazing about making sure I have enough money to pay the Bill's. I have read enough and actually have a friend going through the same thing right now where husband are cruel and angry and blaming the wife, holding money from them calling names etc...my husband has never done any of that. The thing I know I do and what I know needs to stop is to hold my boundary and not let him come back when he has not done anything to prove to me things will be different. I know I have to call a lawyer and I am ready to do that.i read the 180 and for the most part i have been doing most of all of it for the past 6 months and when i do pull away and he knows i am he always comes running back but nothing changes and yes that is my fault and that is what needs to stop.
 

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He reels you back in because he wants to make sure you’ll be there for him if his new relationship doesn’t work out. Never, ever believe someone who’s actively cheating at the same time they’re looking you in the face and telling you they’re confused. No. They’re just buying time to continue cheating. I realize it can be difficult to see through all the BS when you’re emotionally invested in someone, and are still wearing those rose-colored glasses, but the truth is that if he really wanted you he’d be with you and not with her. It’s long past time for you to stop making excuses for him and instead focus on getting your life together. There’s a better one waiting for you.
 

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I have made it very clear to him I will not share him and if he can not stay away from her then he should be with her. Every time i find out, we are at time 4 or 5...
And I stopped reading here.

Look, I'm an advocate for reconciliation when it makes sense, but in the span of two sentences, you said two completely contradictory things. You have made it quite clear that you will in fact share him, just not without a little protestation.
 
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