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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.

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.
VintageRetro's story is here. I'm pretty sure NLLH's was removed due to his request.

You will never forget. Its something you need to (eventually) learn to live with (but that doesn't mean he has to stay in your life).

Forgiveness is needed if you decide to stay together though. Some people can forgive, some cannot. Neither is right or wrong. It may be too early for you to know if you can forgive him or not. It's only been a month, right? At that point I was going back and forth on reconciliation or divorce every 5 minutes and forgiveness certainly wasn't happening.
 

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You will need to learn to take YOUR power back. You have handed HIM all YOUR power in the marriage. Work on balance - to regain your power.

it’s not surprising he’s been selfish throughout the marriage. He’s unlikely to change. How can you teach anyone to NOT be selfish? It only come when they are uncomfortable enough to change.. and you seem set on making HIM comfortable.

work on yourself. Make sure you can be OK without him! Are you dependent on his money? Could you make it on your own?

if things don’t change (yes, it’s uncomfortable) then you are left with a man and ho will cheat again to stroke his ego.

ask him how he plan to become UNselfish? How he plans to get rid of his ego that’s out of balance? Put the blame and the action onto him. It is HIS work to do and his mindset to change.
Stop feeling bad for him - he ruined your marriage!
 

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My husband admitted to a ONS very recently. He has, until this, been the most honest, reliable and trustworthy man I have ever known.
He then said that he knew of a place and told her to follow him! Then they both drove 10 minutes away from the bar, where they had UNPROTECTED sex in her car in a deserted parking lot.
He told me all of this A MONTH AFTER it happened. (The timing was suspicious, but he says it had been eating him up all month and he “never found a good time to tell me”.
My thoughts are that this was not a 'one night stand.'
By the way, all of his explanation are exactly opposite of what happens in the real world. Some women can be brazen, but not that much.
I'm thinking the mistress is pregnant and he's breaking it to you in stages.
Prepare yourself.
 

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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.
At this stage, this is really the only correct response to have.

You need to rapidly engage in ending the marriage. If you two were to heal from this somehow, it would need to be a new marriage anyway, he threw this one away already.
 

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Oh Woundidwife….I’m so sorry you are here. I know your pain. My husband was one who would never have betrayed me either. Yet here I am.
First of all, you are in shock. It is way to soon to think about forgiveness. Don‘t give that any more energy. As others have said it’s too soon to go down that road. DosEquis speaks wisely. Right now you just need to try and breathe. Drink lots of water and try and eat without throwing it up 30 seconds later. I know I felt like a nauseous zombie for quite some time. You really don’t even know half the questions you are going to need answers too yet. That will come.
Right now he deserves none of your sympathy. In fact you would be doing him a disservice by giving him any. He needs the cold hard slap of reality that he can only get by going through pain and watching you go through the pain he needs to know he caused. Whether you stay or go, he will not grow or change without seeing that.
You’re going to go through stages of shock, pain, fear, anger, extreme anger, numbness and back around again. When you hit the anger stage, you are going to yell things that would make a trucker blush and feel damn good afterwards. That was really quite cathartic for me. That’s all normal and you need to get through it in any way you feel you works for you.
You’re desperately trying to figure out why? How could he? You don’t understand because you can’t put yourself in that position. You don‘t betray someone you love. It’ll make you crazy to try and understand. You won’t. So try not to expend the energy on that either, though I know you will. You are mourning the death of your marriage and a man you thought you knew. Both are going to be forever changed. The ground beneath your feet has crumbled and your sense of safety has been obliterated. That’s going to be a struggle to get back, but you will. Slowly.
Whether he changes and you want to build a new marriage with him isn’t something that should be on your radar yet either. It can take 2 to 5 yrs to heal (whatever that means) from betrayal in the best of circumstances. I’m in year 9 and I still question my decision to be here working on this. I have a decent case of ptsd, anxiety, depression and the triggers are still endless. Mine was a brutal double betrayal that encompassed every major holiday and life event including the birth of my youngest. She even had the nerve to show up at the hospital and bring me flowers and he allowed her to intrude in that space and steal that memory from me. There are some things I will NEVER forgive. That is one of them and that’s ok. I don‘t feel you have to forgive whether you choose to stay or divorce. You’re under no obligation to do so. I don‘t even know if I agree with the concept of it. I think infidelity and betrayal, like death, is just something you come to accept and learn to live with. Or not. It takes time and you are so early in this journey.
A few things I found that helped was working out like crazy, listening to music (loud angry music) and floating. The sensory deprivation floating. I don’t know if you have that in your area, but I would highly recommend it. I can honestly say it saved me. It was the only place where I could turn my mind off and find some semblance of peace even if for just an hour. Find your “things” that get you through. I rarely post on these forums, but I read voraciously. Took what I needed and disregarded what didn’t apply to me.
One thing I wish I would’ve done is run a phone recovery app on his phone much earlier. if I were you I would tell him you want to see all his texts/emails/chats for that night and the past few months. Take a look at the cell phone bill and see if there are any odd numbers you don’t recognize showing up with great frequency. If nothing else just to satisfy your mind that this was a one off situation. If you see odd things on the phone bill or he doesn’t immediately hand you his phone and give you all of his passwords then I would say you have an issue. Let him know that this isn’t an option. There are recovery software programs out there. Super easy to use. I used Fonelab. It recovered some texts and pics on one of his devices 3 yrs into our reconciliation process that he said didn’t exist so it is a highly valuable tool. The longer you wait though, the more data is overwritten so the sooner the better. All of these things will help ease your mind a bit. It won’t take away the pain of the moment, but down the road you will be thankful you did. And don;t feel bad or guilty for asking for these things. Toss that bs out the window. He lost the right to privacy…Period. If he guilts or gaslights you at all, tell him to pack his **** and get out. That’s another thing I wish I would have done is find my strength sooner. It would have served me well.
Anyways, sending you big hugs. Know that you are not alone! Like I said, I don’t post, but your pain and shock is so heartbreaking I can feel it. You will get through it though there will be days when even the thought of getting out of bed is so heavy that you can’t breathe. It’s ok to stay in bed. Sometimes you just need a safe, quiet place to cry and be alone. Cry, scream, break those ugly dishes you’ve always wanted to get rid of. Getting that toxic energy out of your body is so helpful! Honestly, I still have those moments. They’re just not as frequent. Just make sure you stay hydrated and eat little bits as often as you can and try not to stay in bed for too many days. It can lead to some serious depression.
Keep reading. Make him keep reading. Linda’s book is a great start for him. I am blessed to have had her as my therapist for the last 3 yrs and she is spot on.
Know that you are strong and freakin awesome and you WILL get through this even if it feels like you have a knife spinning circles in your stomach and your ears are ringing from the pain right now. You will get stronger. Just don’t rug sweep any of this. He needs to be accountable. And as hard as it might be for us nurturers, don‘t let that side of yourself feel too bad for him right now. He made choice after choice that got him here knowing exactly what the consequences would be. I know, I did the same, but you will not heal by discounting what you need because you feel bad for what he’s going through. This isn’t about him anymore. It’s about you. You don’t have a choice but to go through this. Neither does he. And he needs to be helping you every single miserable step of the way.
Sending much peace and strength your way!
 

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Discussion Starter · #153 ·
NicoleCJ,
Thank you so much for your post. I really appreciate you taking the time to write that for me. (You are correct in that I truly am CRUSHED.) I am wondering after 9 years if you feel that you made the right decision.
I can’t see into my future, but I know I do not want (and probably won’t be satisfied—let alone happy—with) a life of distrust, anger and triggers. That is just not who I am. (Because I am such an upbeat person normally, the few close friends and family members with whom I have confided were shocked to learn that I have been living in the controlling marriage that I have been. I am quite sure that I will never go back to that, so if permanent changes are not made by my WH, I WILL walk away. I deserve to be happy—no matter what that means for the relationship. I am just not sure how much time I will spend waiting to see if his improvements are permanent or if I/our marriage can really heal from this at all.) I told him what I thought was obvious yesterday: that the last 27 years has been trashed for me now, like they never happened. This really hurt him because he said those 27 years are what keep him hanging on. I told him we were on very different ends of the spectrum, as the way I see it, he is the one who decided those years had no value and threw them away in the first place.

Beach123,
I am working on myself…doing things with friends and family. Trying to remember who I once was. Unfortunately, it feels forced right now…but my WH is supportive. (We both want to become the ones we married. We were SO in love at one time.). He volunteers to let me go through his phone and even suggested I place an app or two on his phone that help me to keep an eye on him right now. I wish I could say I was ashamed of doing that, but it has helped me trust that he actually is WHERE he should be WHEN he should be. I don’t know how long I may feel that I need to rely on that, but it does feel like a crutch because I really do not WANT to try to trust him at all. This is frustrating to me because I am also generally an avoider of conflict, so this is a highly stressful situation for me. I cannot hide from or ignore this situation, but instead, I must feel every soul-crushing moment of it. Most of this week has been spent crying, but yesterday was actually a kind of good day for me—one of the first ones since he confessed a month and 2 days ago. We are both in individual counseling (I told him he needed help as there was obviously something very wrong in his brain to have given himself permission to do something like this and I feel I need help finding balance in my life.) and joint counseling.

DosEquis,
Thank you again for your support. There are a lot of jaded and negative posters on here. I was hoping for more help. (In my mind, “Talk About Marriage” should not automatically turn to talking about divorce.) Even though my entire life has been disrespected, that doesn’t necessarily mean I am ready to run it through the garbage disposal just yet. My WH only requested—and is still daily begging for—a second chance. I have, kind of, granted him that, but that doesn’t mean I can predict the ending to my story.
 

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I really don’t think it has happened before, but this whole situation seems so extreme, so deliberate and intentional that I am really struggling…
He does sound like a good man who is demonstrating severe remorse and anguish over his many small decisions that led to this splitting within himself. In a sense it doesn't have anything to do with you, but he has to come into full awareness, honesty and vulnerability about himself while also being strong and steadfast for you to renew, and not many are capable of that. It's possible that this is a chance to get to new heights in your relationship, you'll have to be really brave and really patient and will go through hell on the way to that new place. I'm sorry for your pain.
 

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We might sound jaded, because we've been there and been there for others who've been down this road too many times to count. No BS ever believed their WS could ever do that unless they had an all-out crappy or abusive marriage. It's devastating to realize how much intent and deception there was in every action that led to their cheating.

As @Gabriel said, it's not about you at all. There's no going forward until he figures out why he never thought about you and your life together when he cheated. You have no control over anything but yourself, so it's beyond your power to fix anything he doesn't fix in himself.

I'm really sorry you feel this way, but know you're not alone, not now, not in how you feel about being judged. Many of us started like that, then realized we'd never be there same, never could look at our ex WS the same with any kind of trust and would certainly never forget what they did.

Have you gone to therapy? That truly was my lifeline sorting through how I felt about the mess my life had become.
 

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I am, definitely, jaded. Cynical as all get out. I never was like this before. I have just read so many stories similar to yours. And almost all the time when the betrayed thinks his or her situation is unique, it turns out to be not much different than the standard story. Extremely rare that a cheater confesses absent something making discovery likely. Very unlikely some random woman was the driving force and this was unplanned.
It's early. More information is likely to emerge.
Just how is it your husband does not even have her name and some contact info? They must have talked and exchanged some info that would help identify her. I really think you should consider a polygraph and a private investigator.
 

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My husband admitted to a ONS very recently. He has, until this, been the most honest, reliable and trustworthy man I have ever known. I have known about it for about 3 weeks (of PTSD Hell: intrusive thoughts, nightmares, paranoia, insomnia, diarrhea, etc.), and I do not even know how to begin process this situation.

We were married very young (I was 18 and he was 19). I have never had sex with another person. He had several partners before we were married and now this random stranger. I thought we were married “happily enough”, but if I had a good enough reason to leave, I could leave him…and the one he provided me was a doozy.

The circumstances are seriously UNBELIEVABLE:
Two days before our 27th wedding anniversary, I was out of town for work. He was upset with me on a bedtime phone call, so he drove the 20 minutes into town to a bar at about 10:30pm, where as TOGETHER, we normally LEAVE places to be HOME by 10:00pm, because he always has to get up early for work the next day. According to him, he was drunk before he even left for the bar. He claims that he “didn’t know that purchasing drinks for this woman meant that he wanted to sleep with her”. He also “didn’t realize” that she was interested in sex until he said he was leaving and she asked if he wanted to go somewhere. He asked what she meant (yeah right!) and she had already been rubbing his inner thigh, but now touched his junk and told him he knew what she meant. He then said that he knew of a place and told her to follow him! Then they both drove 10 minutes away from the bar, where they had UNPROTECTED sex in her car in a deserted parking lot.

He told me all of this A MONTH AFTER it happened. (The timing was suspicious, but he says it had been eating him up all month and he “never found a good time to tell me”. I had suddenly been experiencing something like the WORST yeast infection of my life that I couldn’t shake...We have since both been tested—all clear—a month AFTER THE FACT. He tested BEFORE he told me so that he “would have all the answers for my questions when he told me, which means everyone in our doctor’s office knew before I did, and before I was tested!!!)

I did leave him the day he told me. I stayed with a relative for 3 days. I returned home on the premise that he agreed to leave. He has been agreeable. Because of his efforts, I allowed him to stay and though I am abusing him often with my angry words, it is also nice to let him hold me from time to time. This is messing with my head though. The one who ran my heart through a meat-grinder is the same one comforting me. (Is that screwed up or what?!)

There is no way to find this woman and I am severely angry and obsessed. He makes no excuses, says he has no idea why he did this, and that it has nothing to do with me. (Pretty hard to believe in light of the circumstances.) He is remorseful and just wants me to heal and return to our now “better than before” relationship.

I am just not sure what I really want or whether I can forgive this at all. As I said, I have never had sex with anyone else and have always been curious, but have not acted on my curiosity. He says the sex was meaningless (which makes no sense if the same act is supposedly meaningful with me). I almost feel that if I TRY to have “meaningless sex” with another man and CANNOT go through with it, (which I don’t think I even could), that means he is the most despicable pig on the planet to have been able to do that to me, and I should just leave him even though he really is trying to make amends. If I COULD go through with it, that might mean that it is just human nature and that I could forgive him. He had given me his blessing, but fears that I will find that the grass TRULY IS greener on the other side, which I doubt. I think I the experiment would only teach me that I probably cannot and should not forgive him.

We are already in counseling, both together and separately.

I am thinking a short, scheduled separation might remind me of the person I used to be before all of this and what I now am beginning to see was our depressing marriage.

Unfortunately, I feel like I don’t really have a choice but to forgive him. I don’t know any other life, and maybe the grass is worse on the other side, but I never had the chance to even sample it, so I wouldn’t know if I am missing anything or if I already have the best option for me—despite his horrible and DEBILITATING betrayal. I do believe that because of my COMPLETE DEVASTATION I do still love him; but if I want to stay with him, is it because I do still love him and WANT to be with him or because I DON’T KNOW HOW to live without him? How will I even know? I do not think I can make an informed decision. I am not even sure I CAN forgive this!!!!!

Any advice?
Get a legal separation if undecided. You don‘t want to be responsible for the bills he may run up during this time. Tell him if he wants to stay married he needs to go straight to the psychologist and have himself UnF*#$*ED if possible. You have a man with anger and responsibility issues. Neither of which is going to resolve itself. I advise to move on he refuses therapy. Its going to be expensive - my guess 200/ hr.
 

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Discussion Starter · #159 ·
BellaA,

It sounds as if you speak from experience. It is worth it? Should I put myself through all of the years of shyte it takes to heal, just to continue to be wounded, reminded, triggered, and suspicious of him for the rest of my life?
 

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BellaA,

It sounds as if you speak from experience. It is worth it? Should I put myself through all of the years of shyte it takes to heal, just to continue to be wounded, reminded, triggered, and suspicious of him for the rest of my life?
Typical recovery time from an affair is 2-5 years, depending on the people, the situation, etc. You have to look at the sum total of your situation.
  • how strong was your marriage before the affair
  • kids
  • length of relationship
  • your own deal breaker code
  • willingness to put forth the healing effort
Only you know the answer.
 
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