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Discussion Starter · #122 ·
Yes. He is willing to tead it. He has been researching every day ways to help me. I came home earlier than he expected me one day last week, and he was blubbering as badly as I do. He said he has been doing that every day, but makes sure that I don’t see it: that he is trying to be strong for me so that he can help me heal from this monumental betrayal. He knows he likely lost me forever, nbut is still trying to help me heal in order to one day try to salvage our marriage, even though I am unsure that I will be able to continue the relationship. I am still in disbelief and tomorrow will be a month since I have known. I am still very physically ill and have full days where I can barely function. I cannot reconcile the man I knew with the actions he took. Un.f****ing believable! Thank you all for the supportive posts (and for repeating the book title). I really can’t handle much more negativity right now. I am pretty fragile and like someone said, don’t need the beating. I knowthe situation I am in. This was NEVER supposed to happen, but now, I am expected to try to forgive the unthinkable. Not sure that I am even capable of that.
 

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I can go over the stupid crap female cheaters say if you would like? They are usually the ones screaming they were forced or drugged. Since we are talking to a betrayed wife, didn’t think that would matter. Though it is good to note if this woman turns up having cheated on her husband and then that guy comes searching for the dude that took advantage of his poor, poor wife.
I've seen women and men cheaters use a lot of the same nonsense excuses myself.

I did misread your post however and I realize what you were saying. Sorry about that.🙂
 

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Ma'am, first of all, I am so sorry you find yourself in this mess of his making. As a man in a 2nd marriage now of many years, it is staggering to me that a guy his age with 27 years of marriage to a good woman, looking at what could be some of the best years of your lives ahead of you (grown kids, retirement years, grandkids, etc) would, in one dumbass moment (understatement), turn his life into a dumpster fire of betrayal and shame. But, he did just that and served you an open faced shyte sandwich of betrayal and awful choices. As they say, it takes all kinds I guess. As SG0007 said, "Sometimes people just go batshit crazy." But I digress.

I want to suggest a complete reframe of your situation as to not just being a binary decision of forgiveness or not. There is a third option, at least for now, and that is mere acceptance. You accept that it happened and kick the can of "forgiveness" down the road, for a while at least.

You are in the first month. This is very very early. Your emotions are still in the ICU, hooked up to life support. Way too early to talk of forgiveness IMO. Just focus on acceptance for now. This will give you the head/emotional space you need to start to find some sort of equalibrium in your life again.

Take care of you. Get icy not hot. Eat right, exercise, lean on close friends and family, keep posting, read. Keep a buffer of space between you. As others have said, Id definitely consult with an attorney to at least know what the D landscape would look like for you.

Make no mistake, should you decide to stay, this will be a ground-up rebuild. Can a new M rise from the ashes of the old? Yes, and people DO recover and rebuild. It takes a lot of time and a ton of effort. You do at least have a WH who confessed and is distraught. Thats something.

You may decide that you simply want to have a funeral and bury the old marriage through divorce. Thats ok too. The marriage vows are well and truly broken.

The purpose of my post is to support you. To help you see your current situation differently. To back off the "forgiveness" issue that seems to be bearing down on you hard.

Breath. Blow out the stress.

Strength and clarity to you now and in the days ahead.
 

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Yes. He is willing to tead it. He has been researching every day ways to help me. I came home earlier than he expected me one day last week, and he was blubbering as badly as I do. He said he has been doing that every day, but makes sure that I don’t see it: that he is trying to be strong for me so that he can help me heal from this monumental betrayal. He knows he likely lost me forever, nbut is still trying to help me heal in order to one day try to salvage our marriage, even though I am unsure that I will be able to continue the relationship. I am still in disbelief and tomorrow will be a month since I have known. I am still very physically ill and have full days where I can barely function. I cannot reconcile the man I knew with the actions he took. Un.f****ing believable! Thank you all for the supportive posts (and for repeating the book title). I really can’t handle much more negativity right now. I am pretty fragile and like someone said, don’t need the beating. I knowthe situation I am in. This was NEVER supposed to happen, but now, I am expected to try to forgive the unthinkable. Not sure that I am even capable of that.
This is the time to be selfish. You do what YOU need to do.

I know it's probably hard to see someone you have loved for this long feel the way he does....but he did it to himself.

In your shoes (sort of), here's what worked for me. I worked out like a madman, and made myself feel way better about my appearance. I also acted confident (granted this took awhile for me to do - it wasn't right away).

This does two things. First, it is good practice for your health and wellbeing. Second, it makes your partner realize what he's missing.

Clearly, there was something not quite right about your marriage before this incident. He was angry about something, and used that as justification to do what he did. Something was off.
 

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I too, forgave when he cheated at the ten year mark. After much counseling together because he “was SO sorry” I came to understand MY boundary - ok, I’ll continue with the marriage you ruined - then one you keep trying to repair. BUT - you do it again - even something that looks remotely close to this again and I will divorce you without even discussing it with you.
I found out again at the 20 year mark - blatant cheating. Gifts for her galore too.
So I divorced him. I’ve never regretted leaving him! His 3rd wife is now divorcing him after 12 years together… for guess what? Yep, he cheated - he just doesn’t know how to NOT cheat!

you can stay = you have no idea if he will do it again - or not.

I wish I hadn’t wasted another 10 years based on the fact that he knew he wasn’t capable of being who I needed him to be.
It’s my understanding that the marriage record for cheater’s second, third or fourth marriages is dismal, awful. Like they fail miserably close to 80% of the time.
 

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It will take time for you to sort this all out, but if it were me, I'd ask him to stay somewhere else for a few weeks, so you can think on your own. He's going to be in your face everyday, crying and carrying on...so you don't leave him. It's not fair to you, and you should take some time to think on your own for a while. If he can't handle that, then he shouldn't have cheated. This burden rests entirely on him, not you. He sounds like he knows you'll stay, that all the years you've invested, etc...

Not a legal separation, just ask him to go somewhere else for a while. If you don't trust him, then therein lies your answer in terms of remaining in the marriage. To me, once trust is broken, it's a tough road back to normal. You may have a ''new normal'' if you choose to stay, but it sounds like he's just going to be in your space day in day out, pulling out all the dramatic stops to force your decision to stay.

Just my two cents.
 

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I think it's important that you both give yourself permission to end things with your head held high as well as recognize that he's not who you thought he was.

This doesn't mean you have to end it. It means that you're taking the power and that is mentally freeing. And seeing him for who he is will reset your starring point

And who is he? You can answer thar best but based on your story he's a guy who decided to pay you back by ****ing another woman. He's not a poor victim....he made a decision to pay you back for whatever he perceived you were doing. He's a guy who dealt with what he thought was a small kitchen fire by blowout up the house.

Now that doesn't mean he lacks good qualities or that it's not worth giving reconciliation a shot. I means that you have to do it with your eyes open as to who you've got. You'll have to decide if you can live with that. I couldn't but others can and do.

Just know that real reconciliation can take years and there's no guarantee, so you'll have to decide if you want to invest the time. And there may come a point where you need to cut your losses. You will never look at him the same again, so you'll have to decide if what you're getting is worth it.
 

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Has he had any consequences from you?

If he hasn’t - he just gets the idea that he can do it with little changes. Consequences that show him you may consider leaving him are key. Consequences that make him stop and think next time about what he’s doing to others.

as much as you may not want him to hurt right now - it is critical that he hurts badly.
 

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He says the guilt was killing him. Every time I woke in the night, he was awake, so I think that is true. (He had a vasectomy about 18 years ago and we are both in the clear for all testing—3 weeks after the event.). He never even considered his own sexual health!!!

I am beyond devastated.
There have been several men and women that the guilt tears them up. They then confess to what has happened. So he can be telling the truth about this.

This can also be the first time this has happened. It could also have been the last time in a string of ONS.

It looks like the two of you had clean STD screenings so he didn’t confess because he caught something.

You need to decide what YOU can and can’t live with. It is your choice to work it out or end the marriage.

If you were only looking for an excuse to end the marriage, you have it like you said. File for divorce and move on with your life.
 

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The flip side is , he could be telling you the truth. Guilt is powerful ju ju . And it could be he is extremely sorry and that's why he told you . My advice is look long and hard at it . Be solid to yourself with whatever decision you make. You can try R if you know in your heart he's sincere .

I know many on TAM scream divorce. Take everything to the extreme, and interject there own stories of horrible infidelity. Projecting that into your thought process . It's not all bad , and you probably need to hear it....Yet don't let it influence Your decision making.
Best wishes , Jimi
 

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I just do not even know where to start.

HOW does someone FORGIVE something like this?!!!!
Time and healing.

I suggest reading some stories on here.

No Longer Lonely Husband’s story

and

Vintage Retro’s story.

They will show you how each moved forward. One staying and the other ending the marriage.

I always say divorce the cheater. There have only been a few times I suggested R where the cheater showed real remorse and was doing everything in their power to fix it. You are the only one that knows your husband. You’re the one that sees his actions and know if he is actually doing the heavy lifting to repair what he has broken.

Two things in his favor, he never tried to blame shift and he confessed. So many betrayed spouses have to find out themselves that they are with a cheater.
 

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There have been several men and women that the guilt tears them up. They then confess to what has happened. So he can be telling the truth about this.

This can also be the first time this has happened. It could also have been the last time in a string of ONS.

It looks like the two of you had clean STD screenings so he didn’t confess because he caught something.

You need to decide what YOU can and can’t live with. It is your choice to work it out or end the marriage.

If you were only looking for an excuse to end the marriage, you have it like you said. File for divorce and move on with your life.
Shame he did not have the moral fortitude and conscience to keep his pecker in his pants. If one has a conscience, guilt is unnecessary, because this would not have happened in the first place.
 

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DosEquis,
Thank you for this post. This one was very positive. You helped me eat some of the lunch that I had been staring at and had already decided to trash.
Im so glad it helped.

A big part of this is the pressure the BS puts on themself. They feel they have to "do something". Its way worse if you're a "fixer" (which I am), but guess what? You dont have to do a damn thing for/with him right now except watch him closely and see what HE is willing to do and his "doing" is gonna have to be monumentally beyond anything hes ever attempted in his life to this point. Literally, the largest effort of his existance. It will be life defining for him as to whether he can now make something worthy of your love and committment (IF you are even willing), or spiral into a train wreck.

For now, you do YOU. For now, there is no WE. No US. I dont want to hit a wound here, but dont be surprised if his hugs bring little to no comfort or solace as they are the hugs of a marital traitor. Your own Benedict Arnold, as it were.

One of the best advices I can give you is to NOT "turtle up" in your pain and anguish. Turn to trusted and balanced friends, family, a good therapist and keep posting here. You need people who are on "Team Woundedwife" to circle the wagons around you, let you weep, talk, sit in silence, go out to eat, get a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Whatever you need whenever you need it.

As with the other great posters here, I speak from a place of experience and great pain, long recovered thank God.

Strength and clarity to you. Im not kidding about the deep breathing and blowing out stress activity BTW. It helps. Do it every time you feel that wave of panic hit.

ETA: Get a massage....hell, get LOTs of massages. Nothing like getting stressed muscles kneeded...maybe even falling asleep on the table.
 

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I think it's important that you both give yourself permission to end things with your head held high as well as recognize that he's not who you thought he was.

This doesn't mean you have to end it. It means that you're taking the power and that is mentally freeing. And seeing him for who he is will reset your starring point

And who is he? You can answer thar best but based on your story he's a guy who decided to pay you back by ****ing another woman. He's not a poor victim....he made a decision to pay you back for whatever he perceived you were doing. He's a guy who dealt with what he thought was a small kitchen fire by blowout up the house.

Now that doesn't mean he lacks good qualities or that it's not worth giving reconciliation a shot. I means that you have to do it with your eyes open as to who you've got. You'll have to decide if you can live with that. I couldn't but others can and do.

Just know that real reconciliation can take years and there's no guarantee, so you'll have to decide if you want to invest the time. And there may come a point where you need to cut your losses. You will never look at him the same again, so you'll have to decide if what you're getting is worth it.
Great post, and to touch on it a bit more I think there is a lot of power and strength in not ever staying because of fear or pain… but to only reconcile from a place of healed and clear thinking. Reconcile because you are at a stable and good place and he is reconciliation material if that’s what you eventually choose.

I don’t think 99% of reconciliations come from that place of strength. They mostly come from fear I think. I also think that’s why most people fail at or have deep resentment and insecurity during their continued marriage.
 

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Great post, and to touch on it a bit more I think there is a lot of power and strength in not ever staying because of fear or pain… but to only reconcile from a place of healed and clear thinking. Reconcile because you are at a stable and good place and he is reconciliation material if that’s what you eventually choose.

I don’t think 99% of reconciliations come from that place of strength. They mostly come from fear I think. I also think that’s why most people fail at or have deep resentment and insecurity during their continued marriage.
I suspect that is because most people have no clue how to achieve that. And, if they did they may realize it isn't worth the effort, because I bet it does take an immense amount of work to get to that point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #140 · (Edited)
Time and healing. I suggest reading some stories on here. No Longer Lonely Husband’s story and Vintage Retro’s story. They will show you how each moved forward. One staying and the other ending the marriage. I always say divorce the cheater. There have only been a few times I suggested R where the cheater showed real remorse and was doing everything in their power to fix it. You are the only one that knows your husband. You’re the one that sees his actions and know if he is actually doing the heavy lifting to repair what he has broken. Two things in his favor, he never tried to blame shift and he confessed. So many betrayed spouses have to find out themselves that they are with a cheater.
How/where do I find these stories? There really haven’t been any consequences for him. I have basically shut down. I think I am in the “depression” portion of the acceptance process now. I am a fixer, too, and a nurturer, so I find myself comforting him!!! (To his credit, he tells me not to worry about his feelings—his do not matter now…only mine.)

He has now read the book (we both have) and was already doing basically everything in it to help me heal, by his own instincts, before he even read it. He does care, but it is so hard to believe that he loves me or ever did.

Reality is hitting me HARD. How little he cared for me to be able to do this. How selfish he is and has been for most of our marriage.

I am just so, so, horribly, horribly sad.

I am certain I will never be able to forget, and I do NOT think I will EVER be able to forgive this. I am not sure what that means for me moving forward.
 
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