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I have some interesting thoughts on forgiveness... from just my own perspective but I am interested to know if any agree or condemn me for my opinion here.

Im 31, Been married 13 years. 18 months ago my wife was unhappy with our relationship and engaged in a 2 affairs i know of. The worst of which was an ongoing relationship with a man much younger then us. He made her feel happy, to laugh and gave her excitement but he had no job, still lived with his parents and had nothing to sustain her outside of emotional.

I found out about her affair, begged her to stop, I fell apart and became an emotional wreck for several months. I wasnt strong about it and now I hate how weak I appeared. She broke my heart and I cried like a baby more often then I like to remember. after being gone a few days she agreed to come home and work on the marriage. Within a few months of us going out just trying to be friends and alot of emotional contact she had began to tell me she loves me again and as of today we are in a state where we dont talk about it and we say everything is OK. I have told her many times that I forgive her and will never bring it up again.

But.. Here is the problem. Never a day in the last 18 months have I not thought about it, I forgave but I was bitter about it. As humans we want what we cant have. The fact that she didnt love me made me fall in love with her all the more and try all the harder to make her fall for me again. Worse yet it made me try to pretend to be someone I am not to win her back. I sent her roses a few times a week, I got her cards, wrote love letters, made mix tapes/CDs, all stuff I have never done before. I felt if I could have her again I would be happy forever.

As time has worn on I see alot differently. After I felt to have won her back I quit doing the super nice things and I wanted to be appreciated in return. Not for what I can offer as gifts or even as emotional support, but I wanted to be ADMIRED and to feel special just for being myself. I wanted her to enjoy the things I enjoy. My sports, my activities and even my job.

I now can honestly say it doesnt hurt anymore (what she did to me), but for the worst of reasons. I dont care anymore. I dont feel I love her anymore. She could cheat on my today and I couldnt care less. The spark has been gone from our relationship for years and the only scars and habits remain.

Regarding intimacy. It started to resume a few months after she moved back in but its once or twice a month. Very mechanical and there is no romance or desire. Its just sex. It is not the act of making love. In fact I cant remember the last time it felt like it should.. Maybe 3 years ago..

Recently I cheated on her. The girl really pushed herself on me and after a while I caved. She made me remember what it feels like to be wanted, to be desired and to feel special. She admired me and complimented me. She wanted more than anything what I have to offer, but why wouldnt she? Im successful, in great physical shape and I'm funny. I fancy myself a real catch to any woman. Since this event I have gone out on a few dates in nearby cities to where I live and met many nice girls. I have not slept with any others but I am intrigued to see who could be out there that I may really click with, and how much happier I could really be.


For everyone in an awful relationship WAKE UP! Realize you don't need this person to make you happy. Being in a relationship can be so satisfying and to have that special person close to you is an awesome feeling. So if you dont have the feeling anymore either get it or move on. Life is just too short.

Someday soon I will need to have that talk with my wife. I fear that when I tell her I dont love her any more it will spark her to feel exactly as I felt when she rejected me. We all want what we cant have. We all hate rejection.

Sorry for the type-o's -

Bring on the hate.. :D
 

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First off you were just rug sweeping, you never mentioned that you went to therapy or had any meaningful discussion of the things that led your relationship down that path. Now you yourself are cheating. For both your sakes seek outside help. Otherwise history will repeat over and over.
 

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Bring on the hate.. :D
Thank your for your insight and honesty. Affairs do irreparable harm and your honesty simply highlights that. Your actions after finding out about her affair were unsustainable in a normal relationship. She needed to reciprocate and she apparently did not. So now you lost interest. Why would someone hate you for being honest. I am hoping to get my wife back, and learning the mindset of other hurt spouses may or may not help. I can see the fact that your wife let you do all the work and did not act in kind, is what really pushed you away. She should have tried harder.
 

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If you dont love her anymore, why are you still with her?
We have one child. Hes 11. I want him to grow up in in a two parent home with structure. So much in fact I heavily weight the idea of staying with her for at least a few more years regardless of how unhappy either of us may be just for his sake.

I do care for her well being, and I do want her to be happy.

My point in posting here is to try and interject the idea that many people dealing with a cheating spouse and fighting to win the other back may just be dealing with rejection and loss more so than actually being in love with the other. A love that is not mutual is not love at all.....
 

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Thanks for sharing. I follow you to some degree. I love my wife in a very different way than before she cheated. I wouldn't say that I don't care anymore, but I know that I would be perfectly OK without her as well, I have even thought about what else is out there.

That being said; you say that you forgave her - well, you didn't, you say that you were bitter about it, IMO both can't be true. Forgiving means to let go of hate and bitterness and accept what happened (not condone or like it).

Also; you say that you care about her and want her to be happy - that does not go with the fact that you are cheating on her. I don't think she will be especially happy about that.
 

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We have one child. Hes 11. I want him to grow up in in a two parent home with structure. So much in fact I heavily weight the idea of staying with her for at least a few more years regardless of how unhappy either of us may be just for his sake.

I do care for her well being, and I do want her to be happy.

My point in posting here is to try and interject the idea that many people dealing with a cheating spouse and fighting to win the other back may just be dealing with rejection and loss more so than actually being in love with the other. A love that is not mutual is not love at all.....
If you read your original post and this its very contradictory. You care about her and her happiness, yet you cheated on her, knowing how that hurt you?

I know you are not here to justify your reasons for cheating but to make POINTS, but I have to say your points are a little "OFF".

I think that child would be happier to be with a mother and a father who are mutually happy, even if alone. A house with structure isnt necessarily a house with love and respect and Id much rather my children grow up with love and respect for others then for "structure".
 

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I have told her many times that I forgive her and will never bring it up again.

But.. Here is the problem. Never a day in the last 18 months have I not thought about it, I forgave but I was bitter about it.

*******

Recently I cheated on her. The girl really pushed herself on me and after a while I caved. She made me remember what it feels like to be wanted, to be desired and to feel special. She admired me and complimented me. She wanted more than anything what I have to offer, but why wouldnt she? Im successful, in great physical shape and I'm funny. I fancy myself a real catch to any woman. Since this event I have gone out on a few dates in nearby cities to where I live and met many nice girls. I have not slept with any others but I am intrigued to see who could be out there that I may really click with, and how much happier I could really be.

For everyone in an awful relationship WAKE UP! Realize you don't need this person to make you happy.
I agree with cpcan, you didn't forgive her at all. What happened was you told her you forgave her. And you tried to change and improve the relationship. But after a while, you gave up. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I gather that you feel you put the effort in, but she didn't meet you halfway. You changed, you tried your best to improve, but she still wasn't as present in the relationship as you needed her to be.

That's a theme in more than a few threads--lots of effort to win back the cheating spouse, but as time goes on a deadening and emotional detachment as the reality of what they did sets in.

But your advice, unfortunately, seems to be: if you're in an awful relationship, do as the cake-eating cheaters do, and shop around for a replacement on the sly. Don't bother telling your wife, because...what, she cheated first? You deserved to have the vows honored, but she forfeited that right?

I completely agree that some people are chasing after the wind, wanting their cheating spouse to be someone they're not and settling for a life of pain because they are willing to live like doormats. That said--did you ever go to marriage counseling, with someone trained in infidelity (most marriage counselors are not)? Or was this a do-it-yourself-buy-the-cheating-wife-roses kind of patching up, that was too much rugsweeping and false "I forgive you's" without a lot of self-examination on her part? For example, what's with the promises to her to "never bring it up again?" I would never, ever make such a silly promise to my husband who cheated on me. It sounds to me like perhaps you didn't discuss it enough, or in the right way. It's almost like you were the one making it up to her, rather than the other way around.

I will tell you a secret: the most successful reconciliations I've seen integrate the fact that the affair happened into the marriage. You read that right. Until you can mention it without the two of you reeling in pain, you haven't exorcised its power and damage over your relationship.

You should admit to her now that you are cheating (-ing because cheating isn't just sex, it's also dating, which you are secretly doing). It's up to you whether you want to request counseling or file for divorce. But what you are doing is every bit as cowardly as what she did to you. Grow a backbone and tell her the truth and leave her if that is what you really desire.
 

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If you read your original post and this its very contradictory. You care about her and her happiness, yet you cheated on her, knowing how that hurt you?

I know you are not here to justify your reasons for cheating but to make POINTS, but I have to say your points are a little "OFF".

I think that child would be happier to be with a mother and a father who are mutually happy, even if alone. A house with structure isnt necessarily a house with love and respect and Id much rather my children grow up with love and respect for others then for "structure".
Thanks for your commentary.

I say I forgave her but truthfully I dont think I did. I had a fantasy in the moment that we could be happy if I put away what she did. So I just shut it out and hoped everything could be OK. Also, her condition for coming home was that I could never ask questions about her affair. I had to put it in the past and never bring it up. Which I did, possibly this caused deeper issues in myself.

I care about her as a person and It would make me happy to see her happy. I don't have malicious feelings towards her and I dont want to cause her pain. Ideally we could just be friends who have a child together. I cant fathom how I could love her again like a wife. I truly don't believe she loves me either, but I think she is trying too. We are both stubborn enough to continue the charade that is our marriage.

Keeping it together for the kid may be just an excuse to try to avoid the complications of separation. I don't believe my child can see our martial issues, we never argue or fight and we put on a good show. She doesnt even mind when I am gone nights or out late with my friends.

I understand that I may have some deep issues to work on.
 

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Also--I can't help but ask--how do you know for certain she isn't still cheating on you or that her old relationship fully ended? That would explain why she didn't put the effort in, and why you were the one apologizing to her about bringing up the affair when you felt compelled to talk about it.

I really dont. In fact it would explain alot if she was still cheating on me.
 

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I agree with cpcan, you didn't forgive her at all. What happened was you told her you forgave her. And you tried to change and improve the relationship. But after a while, you gave up. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I gather that you feel you put the effort in, but she didn't meet you halfway. You changed, you tried your best to improve, but she still wasn't as present in the relationship as you needed her to be.

That's a theme in more than a few threads--lots of effort to win back the cheating spouse, but as time goes on a deadening and emotional detachment as the reality of what they did sets in.

But your advice, unfortunately, seems to be: if you're in an awful relationship, do as the cake-eating cheaters do, and shop around for a replacement on the sly. Don't bother telling your wife, because...what, she cheated first? You deserved to have the vows honored, but she forfeited that right?

I completely agree that some people are chasing after the wind, wanting their cheating spouse to be someone they're not and settling for a life of pain because they are willing to live like doormats. That said--did you ever go to marriage counseling, with someone trained in infidelity (most marriage counselors are not)? Or was this a do-it-yourself-buy-the-cheating-wife-roses kind of patching up, that was too much rugsweeping and false "I forgive you's" without a lot of self-examination on her part? For example, what's with the promises to her to "never bring it up again?" I would never, ever make such a silly promise to my husband who cheated on me. It sounds to me like perhaps you didn't discuss it enough, or in the right way. It's almost like you were the one making it up to her, rather than the other way around.

I will tell you a secret: the most successful reconciliations I've seen integrate the fact that the affair happened into the marriage. You read that right. Until you can mention it without the two of you reeling in pain, you haven't exorcised its power and damage over your relationship.

You should admit to her now that you are cheating (-ing because cheating isn't just sex, it's also dating, which you are secretly doing). It's up to you whether you want to request counseling or file for divorce. But what you are doing is every bit as cowardly as what she did to you. Grow a backbone and tell her the truth and leave her if that is what you really desire.


Wow. Thanks.

I am guilty of a doityourself reconciliation. I am being very much a coward by not addressing the issue with her. Maybe I do resent her... and feel I'm getting even.... not really the way I want to feel about myself...

"It's almost like you were the one making it up to her, rather than the other way around. "

Yes, that was exactly her attitude. But It was her way or the highway. I choose her way. But That's was how she dealt with the guilt, blamed me for her actions.
 

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Thanks for your commentary.

I say I forgave her but truthfully I dont think I did. I had a fantasy in the moment that we could be happy if I put away what she did. So I just shut it out and hoped everything could be OK. Also, her condition for coming home was that I could never ask questions about her affair. I had to put it in the past and never bring it up. Which I did, possibly this caused deeper issues in myself.
Well there you go, that in a nutshell is why you are detaching and she remained detached.

You needed to talk about the affair together or with professional help, you needed to fight, to argue to cry. Even if you divorced and dated again, as I am doing, it would have been better, but just sweeping it aside as if it never ever happened, that never solves anything. She hurt you. She needs to know that, to hear your pain, to apologize, to ask your forgiveness. She did not, and that is why you are angry. She didn't meet you half way. Maybe she doesn't know how. Get professional help. I did. You can't treat yourself, it's too difficult to see your own issues, you need an objective outsider.
 

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Don't try to justify your own cheating by dragging your kid into it. If you don't want your wife anymore then leave her.

I totally get that she snuffed out your affection for her by cheating on you. I even get that you want a stable household for your child.

However, you have abandoned the moral high ground by doing what you have done.

This is no good example on how to live for your kid.

Basically, my message to you is to move on.

This way of living you are currently doing is destructive.

Deceptive lives are toxic.
 

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her condition for coming home was that I could never ask questions about her affair. I had to put it in the past and never bring it up. Which I did, possibly this caused deeper issues in myself.
This was a huge mistake, but common for "do it yourself" without doing any reading about affairs. You have a lot of questions and a lot of hurt and a lot of justifiable anger--and you've stuffed it down 'for the sake of the kid.' And what it's done--it hasn't gone away. It's built a brick wall between you and your spouse. Not discussing it was a concession you should never, ever, ever have made.

I really dont [know]. In fact it would explain alot if she was still cheating on me.
I will tell you what happened to me:

2009--after months of suspecting something, found a secret email account open on our home computer. H had entered a 1.5 year (at that point) emotional affair, full of "I love you's" and 'youre may soulmate' etc.

He promised to end it, we entered marriage counseling. Went to MC for 6+ months. Relationship didn't seem to improve much. Sex rare, he picked fights, I often thought I was the one with the problem. I worked very hard on myself, changed in many ways, but communication was still not really there.

Feb 2012--yes, after 3 years of living that way, he accidentally texted me instead of her. Later found out he'd gotten back with her 3 weeks after DD#1 in 2009. All through MC. Lied to my face and our counselor's too.

I found the book Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass to be terrific. Other books like Surviving an Affair are recommended. Glass was a nationally recognized researcher on infidelity. What I learned was this sort of behavior is escapist and addictive. Looking back, I should have seen all the signs, but I was naive.

We have worked hard to put our marriage back together. That's because my HUSBAND returned to the marriage and did the hard self-examination of what he did and why. He understands that he has to win me back just as much as I have to win him back. Not saying it's easy or always even-steven.

But that was my experience.
 

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Thanks for your commentary.

I say I forgave her but truthfully I dont think I did. on.

It seems to me that if you are are truly to be friends after a separation, for the sake of your child at the very least, you would need to be able to forgive her (and she you).

Divorce will be so much easier if you can both get the resentment out of the way, rather than it sitting just beneath the surface. It is then that you will be able to be friends, rather than merely going through the motions.

As to your son, many children can sense when things aren't right between their parents even if they cannot explain/put their finger on it.

When can infidelity in a relationship, especially marriage, be forgiven?
 

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I can empathize with many of what feel.
I'm going to adress what worry me in your posts. I think you are firmly planted in the wayward think process. Not only you had an ONS you don't mention to have the intention of confessing but I't obvious you are rationalizing the cake eating lifestyle (so your DD have a unit family). After all you deserve happiness, right?

I'm sorry you rugsweeped your wife's affair. Don't abandone your core beliefs because of it. Confess, be honest with your wife, get a divorce.

If not, confess, try this time really deal with both set of infidelities, let the chips fall where they may, then try to rebuild the marriage.
 

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I can empathize with many of what feel.
I'm going to adress what worry me in your posts. I think you are firmly planted in the wayward think process. Not only you had an ONS you don't mention to have the intention of confessing but I't obvious you are rationalizing the cake eating lifestyle (so your DD have a unit family). After all you deserve happiness, right?

I'm sorry you rugsweeped your wife's affair. Don't abandone your core beliefs because of it. Confess, be honest with your wife, get a divorce.

If not, confess, try this time really deal with both set of infidelities, let the chips fall where they may, then try to rebuild the marriage.

That is very sound advice.

I have no doubt it is the moral high road, the ethical thing to do and the right thing.

I also understand myself better from many of your posts and for that I thank you all.

At this time I am going to continue to be naughty. I feel justified enough because of what she did to "Have my cake and eat it too" A part of me wants her to find out about it on her own another part of me wants her to leave me on her own.

I know I need help and I am an awful person for choosing the low road, but its crowded with those just like me, its alot more fun and I feel more alive then ever before in my life. :D
 

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I think the part about wanting what we can't have is very true. Human nature.

I sometimes wondered whether I would feel exactly as you do, had my wife worked on reconciliation. I know that it would have taken years to trust her again, if ever. So if she had thrown herself back at me, and really worked, I honestly think there is a good chance that my resentment of her previous treatment of me would have scuttled the reconciliation eventually. Of course, the reality is, my wife is still in a fog. And I am still working at not caring about her. Getting there...
 

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That is very sound advice.

I have no doubt it is the moral high road, the ethical thing to do and the right thing.

I also understand myself better from many of your posts and for that I thank you all.

At this time I am going to continue to be naughty. I feel justified enough because of what she did to "Have my cake and eat it too" A part of me wants her to find out about it on her own another part of me wants her to leave me on her own.

I know I need help and I am an awful person for choosing the low road, but its crowded with those just like me, its alot more fun and I feel more alive then ever before in my life. :D
Since it's clear you had a false R, but you don't want to leave your marriage because of your son, you did the next best thing in your mind to level the playing field by having a revenge affair. The honorable thing to do is to come clean and tell her you're done with this marriage because she could not recommit to you - so you decided to find someone else. Put your cards on the table and see what your wife says. If you both feel that it's possible to save the marriage, then go for it. Otherwise, let it go. You're not doing your son any favors by staying together and cheating on his mom no she cheating on his dad.
 
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