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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is my dilema & am looking for advice to help me sort through my emotions. My husband & I only seperated a few weeks ago by my choice. I felt I needed to time to myself to work on me & figure out if I should give him another chance.
Here is my situation in a nutshell: My husband I have been married for 12 years with 2 beautiful daughters. I had suspicions of an affair when I was 4 months pregnant with my daughter. Upon confrontation, I was told that it was not true & I was reading into things too much. 2 months later & lots of investigating on my part & unsettled feelings, I finally got the truth. He was unsure what his feelings were & we tried counseling - however - his heart & mind was not into it at that time. He decided to stay & think the upcoming birth of our child was a factor. It was my understanding that he was not to see the other woman. Unfortunately for him there was some unmistakeable evidence that he did, she was carrying his child. I found this out 2 months after my daughter was born.
He told me it was over between him & the other woman & I believed him for some reason.
Soon he came to see what a psycho she was & could see he was pulling away from her. At this point, I was still competing for him & afraid of losing him.
Things seemed to be improving & things getting better with us. Until I found another bit of evidence that he had been seeing her intimately even since the conception.
The only thing - I did not find out this bit of information until almost a 1.5 years later.
I am struggling with deciding if I should give him another chance before I throw in the towel - I think this time he has realized his mistakes & realized what he has with me & our children. If we go to counseling this time - I think his head & heart are in the right place unlike before - he was just going through the motions.
Or do I take the attitude that he has made 1 too many bad decisions & he has run out of chances? That if he has lied before, he'll do it again & I will get hurt again.
I am at a cross roads & trying to decide during our time apart which way to go . . . Any thoughts/advice are WELCOME!!
 

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As long as you continue to take him back he will continue on his path of pleasing himself at the cost to you and you children. Giving someone a chance after they cheated is huge but to have to catch him again? He will only get better at hiding it, and lying about it. I would think you are better off on your own.

draconis
 

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I wouldn't even think about giving him another chance unless he's ready to share all of the past information with you and that you have some sense that he is finally being totally open and honest about what happened. If you sense that he has gotten to that point, you should also feel that you understand why he strayed and decide for yourself based on what he says whether he can stay faithful if you stay together. If he has a child with her, I'm guessing he will still be in contact and at this point, I think it's up to you what your heart can take going forward. He needs to be 110% invested on living as an open book and regaining your trust over time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
not sure if I am responding to both previous post from swedish & dranconis?
To Dranconis - I agree that I have allowed him to repeatedly let me down, partly because I was not ready to take action from the information I had. Either it was I was a "new" mom again & just not in a state that I felt I could put my foot down & go out on my own. When I found out about the other child, I was still dealing with my self esteem issues from the affair & was still in the mind set that he chose to stay with me & was grateful & was afraid to do anything to drive him closer to the other woman. That is my biggest obstacle right now- that I feel that he has to be presented with the obvious and/or proof that he lied before he comes clean. I don't want to have to live my life always wondering & playing the "snoop". So if I decide to leave the relationship - that will probably be my deciding factor - that I am not able to trust again. And don't want to deal with the constant reality of the "other child".

To Swedish
That is what I am trying to decide - is he being "transparent" with me - he really seems to be making more of that effort in the last year. Due to him only moving out a few weeks ago, I am still adjusting ( I hate to admit it- enjoying my time alone). Prior to this, I was always giving of myself to him, the kids, work - to everyone but me. I have decided I am going to dedicate this time apart to me & find out what I like to do again, take care of myself & not feel guilty either spending the money or taking the time.
I know I will be OK if we decide to go our seperate ways because I have gone through the really tough emotional part already ( I am sure there will be more when/if we divorce) but I feel confident that I can do it on my own. I know he is having a much harder time right now with this due to: it wasn't his choice to move out, he is now having to grocery shop, take care of the girls 2x/week, cook, etc - all things I used to do for him - he had it soo easy.
Your point about "understanding why he strayed" I completely agree with & I admit to having some fault in our problems. I no longer blame myself for him making a very bad decision & breaking out marrital vows by committing adultery. I realize that he had options when that situation presented itself & he made the bad decision. After many long talks & reading self help books - I can see how I/we played a role in where our marriage was.
I feel that if we did decide to work things out - I know I have learned a lot about myself & would not make some of the same mistakes that we made in our marriage ( lack of communincation & not setting aside time for us/ date nights I think were our 2 biggest problems) - we became "roomates" & our lives became too routine.

Before I make the decision to try to work it out again & seek couples counseling - I am going to ask him for proof that nothing is going on with the other woman. I hate to ask but he has created that lack of trust factor - not me. I plan to ask him to show me his last year bank account files, I want to check his work emails & if he balks, I know that it is over. If he has nothing to hide, I may consider trying to rebuild that trust.
I do love him & he is a good father. We have had so many wonderful memories together & deep down I hope we can have many more. But again, I don't think I can bear to be hurt again & am not sure I should risk it based on his history.
I think he has tried to improve his ways but I am not sure if it is just wishful thinking & if I am seeing what I want to see? . . .

Regarding the other woman, I am not threated by her anymore & I even told him. I told him if he went with her I would feel sorry for him. I have been thinking if I do decide to work it out - what would "I" want to happened regarding the other child. My 7 & 2 year old know nothing about the 1/2 sister now. I am leaning towards keeping it that way. He currently sees the other child 2 nights/week. If we continue - I am going to demand more time with our family. I feel bad for the other child & her manipulative mother because this child did not choose these circumstance to enter the world. However, I did not choose to have such a complicated marriage as it has turned out to be. I do admit having choosen to stay thus far but am at the point of re- evaluating that choice & giving it carelful consideration.
whatever decision I choose - it is going to impact my life & my childrens lives forever & that is the weight I am currently carrying.

THANKS FOR YOUR ADVICE - please keep it coming as I have not share all of these detail with many. So venting & getting feedback it helpful.
Hopefully I can give you a supporting word when you need it most.
 

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I have decided I am going to dedicate this time apart to me & find out what I like to do again, take care of myself & not feel guilty either spending the money or taking the time.
I know I will be OK if we decide to go our seperate ways because I have gone through the really tough emotional part already ( I am sure there will be more when/if we divorce) but I feel confident that I can do it on my own.
This is great to hear. You are in a much better position today to make choices for yourself for the right reasons.
Your point about "understanding why he strayed" I completely agree with & I admit to having some fault in our problems. I no longer blame myself for him making a very bad decision & breaking out marrital vows by committing adultery. I realize that he had options when that situation presented itself & he made the bad decision. After many long talks & reading self help books - I can see how I/we played a role in where our marriage was.
I feel that if we did decide to work things out - I know I have learned a lot about myself & would not make some of the same mistakes that we made in our marriage ( lack of communincation & not setting aside time for us/ date nights I think were our 2 biggest problems) - we became "roomates" & our lives became too routine.
This is a great foundation to begin to rebuild your marriage, if you choose to do so. I hope your husband has been able to see the issues as clearly as you have.
Before I make the decision to try to work it out again & seek couples counseling - I am going to ask him for proof that nothing is going on with the other woman. I hate to ask but he has created that lack of trust factor - not me. I plan to ask him to show me his last year bank account files, I want to check his work emails & if he balks, I know that it is over. If he has nothing to hide, I may consider trying to rebuild that trust.
I don't blame you a bit. The hurt you have suffered is only complicated now that there is another child involved.

I can see where finding out 1.5 years later that he was not totally up front with you only compounds the trust issue. I can also see that all of the evidence you have posted regarding his deception all fall in the time where he was involved with her and it seemed he was having conflicted feelings flip/flopping between you and psycho-woman so it doesn't necessarily mean he just an all around liar that can never be trusted...it might be that he was confused about what he wanted at the time and once he decided he wanted to work on your marriage, he didn't want to risk you walking out or hurting you further by telling you the most recent infidelities. Bad/wrong/selfish yes, but he has now put himself in a position where he needs to make an effort to regain your trust...open book...I agree...he should not even blink if you ask for proof or feel the need to check up on things until you get some sort of comfort level that he's on the up and up.

How have things been going for you lately?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Swedish - haven't been on in awhile & it's late now. so I will make this quick ( not that I ever have short posts).
Honestly, I think I am leaning more towards divorce at this point & never imagined I would be feeling this way so soon after our seperation ( 2 months).
But he was over a few weeks ago, when our daughter was home sick. And I saw his wallet on the counter & peeked. Saw a receipt for an expensive dinner on a night he supposedly sees his other child. My heart sank - as I think this was deciding factor.
I figure, why even ask about it - because I don't expect an honest answer. Isn't that sad?
It is disappointing that not even 1 month into our seperation - he has found ( or maybe just never left his company). I was hoping that the seperation would be his "hit me over the head" moment -that he finally realizes that I wouldn't tolerate his unfaithfulness & if he didn't get his act together - that we were over.
He does not know that I saw the receipt & as he has operated in the past, as long as I don't know it is OK.
Hope had been keeping me going & I was still hopeful even though we were seperating - thinking it would only reinforce with him what he had risked & what a good thing we had.
I had even thought in my time of reflection - "what would I/we do differently when/if we have a fresh start?"
But now that I have found this receipt - I don't even know if I will give him the benefit of an explantion - because I really don't want to hear it. More lies & BS - . . .

At this point, I really feel that I have exhausted all my options. The only last thing I can possibly think of is telling him that he needs to seek therapy to find out about himself & what is causing him to lie, to find out what he is really looking for? if there is something in his past that is causing him to act this way? But not sure I want to stick around for him to find out.

I am now more in the mode of preparing for the next step & researching my options about our condo, etc. I have an appt. with my therapist this coming week - so hoping to get some professional guidance as to how to proceed.

This is not what I had hoped for but I can not control the decisions my husband makes & if he is to continue to make poor decisions, than I am better off without him. Only he can change & has not given me much faith in that, once again.

Wish me luck - will keep you updated.
 

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Hi Believer,

Sorry to hear the separation has not given him the wake-up call you were hoping for. I don't blame you for preparing for a future without him as it sounds as though he is not ready to be open/honest with you even at such a critical point in your marriage.

If he truly cannot see himself in a monogamous marriage, it would be nice if he would respect you enough to admit that, but it seems he's not even admitting that to himself.

He probably could benefit from counseling but I wouldn't blame you for not waiting in the wings only to find out he cannot commit to an honest monogamous marriage with you. Real change could take a long time for him just thinking since the separation didn't seem to rattle his cage.

Best of luck always, and yes please keep me updated on how you are doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Swedish - thanks for listening & giving an encouraging word. I like that term " critical point" in our marriage. It seems rather obviuos, that he does not see it as so "critical" & maybe sees this seperation as time live it up without the watchful eye of his wife nearby.
I have not spoken to him about my recent discovery ( the receipt) & not sure how I plan to do it at this point.
Being the practical person that I am, I will get all my duck in a row & be prepared on my end for the next step. In the past we were operating on his time table & when things were convenient for him. Mainly because I was so afraid to loose him or upset any smooth sailings we might have had.
Now the tables have turned in this scenario becasue he is the one being "hopeful" that we will get back together & not sure how I feel & what will happen next.

I guess my next stage in this process will be grieving the "loss of marriage" - what I thought it meant to be married. My dreams of growing old together & sharing my life with someone I love & thought loved me. Bringing myself to admit & telling others about our situation & not being "embarrassed" about it. I will need to find a new identity, accepting the reality that I will not be a "wife" for much longer. It is a bit scary but as I think about it more, it is the way things will have to be.
It won't be easy but I know that I can do it & still be a great mom to my kids. Just wish I had family near by to lend a helping hand.

My daughter finishes school next week & things are a bit stressful at work right now. so will hopefully figure out things in the coming weeks. All of this has been going on for over 3 years now, so I figure what will another few weeks make at this stage.
will keep you posted on the latest twist in my complicated life.

How are you doing? sounds like you & your husband are working through his affair. sounds like he is making the right decisions & sound committed to making up for his mistakes in any way to make you trust & feel comfortable. I wish you both the best of luck - and as you I am sure are finding out, it is a long & difficult process but hopefully you will reap the rewards of a fulfilling marriage that is even stronger than before. you can be the inspiration to others on this site:)
good nite
 

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Hi Believer,

There is this little nagging thought I'm having that maybe he had a business dinner or something innocent and it would be a shame to base such a big decision on that event not knowing the details. But I know you will question any reason he gives because he's given you so much reason not to trust & I understand that this might be the straw that broke the camel's back as you have been struggling with this decision for quite some time.

I am in my second marriage and I can tell you going through the grieving process is difficult, but necessary for you. I am fortunate enough to have some very supportive friends, but being the only one to go through a divorce I did have feelings of failure, embarrassment.

On the other hand, a huge weight had been lifted once I was on my own and no longer dealt with the daily emotions of being in an unhappy marriage. I was able to think more clearly and the time I spent on my own really gave me time to think about the relationship, where it went wrong, what I expected going forward, etc. Because when reading that most divorced people end up unhappy in future relationships for the same reasons the marriage ended I really wanted to make sure when the time came to date again, I knew what I wanted in a long-term relationship.

Having three young (at the time) children made for a very crazy life for me, but the weekends my ex had the kids I made sure to do things for myself. I took up violin lessons, went to the gym, hung out in the bookstore, took some mini-vacations and really tried to relax because it would have been too easy to stay home and do housework/yardwork when the kids were gone but I really needed the down time.

My husband and I are doing well. We are both committed to giving the time needed to heal and although it's a long process, it does get better over time. He really has put forth the effort to rebuild my trust and that's what keeps me moving in a positive direction. I think date night and spending time together in general has made the biggest impact for us because we really do have fun together.

He's also made great strides at home with my kids. He's been spending a lot more time with them and realizes the positive impact it has on them & how much they care about him (even the eldest who is 18 and very difficult to live with at times)

I guess with every hurdle in life all we can hope for is to learn something that we can apply to our life in a positive way, even when the outcome is not so positive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Swedish - as usual, it's good hearing from you & finding out a little about your situation & what you went/are going through. But now, I am alittle confused.
You mentioned you have been divorced and in your second marriage. But you mention, that you & your husband a doing well but are committed to giving time to heal. Are you dealing with trust issues in your second marriage or are you referring to your ex from your 1st marriage. So depending on your answer - I have some questions for you . . .
In your closing comment - you mention that with every hurdle, we can hopefully learn something & apply it positively. similar to the saying that "things happen for a reason" even though we may not what that reason is right now.

I just replied to Cooper earlier & he too was inquiring about the "receipt". Just to give you an update, I have not taken any action. Only thought about what I might do. I need to meet with my therapist this week to help me sort out what to do next. As I metioned to Cooper, is that if anyone was reading our stories in black & white is it pretty straightforward, what we should do. But once emotions are involved - that is not as black & white. I keep trying to live my life - thinking I can deal with this & it's going to get better. But it just doesn't seem to be going that way. I gave the analogy to cooper of when I was in my previous job that was pretty much forced out of. My boss was making my life miserable & wanted me gone, but I chose to fight it & thought I could prove to him that he was wrong about me & that I wasn't going to give up. guess what - I lost. I didn't want to go, but when forced to - in the end, it was such a relief & in hind sight one of the best things to happen to me. ( so I now look at my marriage, and think maybe it could work out the same. I was fighting not to leave, my husband kept making bad decsions but I thought I could change his mind, but he kept making those bad decisions until I was forced to leave)
Besides the option I mentioned previously, about him going to counseling to find out why he lies, what he is searching for, etc. I really don't know what more I/we can do. . . And am getting exhausted emotionally that I am not so sure I want to keep trying anymore. That is where I am at today & will continue to think over one of the biggest decisions of my life. Will keep you posted.

As for you, hope you keep positive and all continues to go well with your second marriage.
 

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But now, I am alittle confused.
You mentioned you have been divorced and in your second marriage. But you mention, that you & your husband a doing well but are committed to giving time to heal. Are you dealing with trust issues in your second marriage or are you referring to your ex from your 1st marriage. So depending on your answer - I have some questions for you . . .
1st marriage there were no infidelity/trust issues...we were high school sweethearts and together 20 years...just grew apart in many ways...he remarried 2 months after we divorced and I met my now husband a few years later. We've been married 7 years and he had an emotional affair last July. It progressed to kissing (during lunch as they worked together) for a few weeks then he ended it and I found out the same day. Our issues stemmed from him not dealing well living with my kids and me withdrawing thinking he would eventually leave me anyway so we became distant and he befriended a woman from work who just went through a second bad divorce and started talking to him.

I'm glad you are taking the time you need to come to a decision. It's certainly not an easy one to make no matter which way you go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi there Swedish - how did you come up with that name? Are you scandinavian:)?
Anyways - thanks for clarifying your situation - I couldn't really respond appropriately until I understood where you were at. I am so HAPPY for you that you & your husband are growing stronger. Unfortunate as it may be through such a devestating situation but you sound like you are one of the "statistics" that will make it and that is GREAT news!!
Are you 2 going to counseling or working through it on your own? Did you find out about the other woman or did your husband come to you & confess. If it was the latter - that is a good sign that he has a good conscience & wanted to be honest with you & try to fix things before they got too out of hand. Does he still work with the other woman? If that is the case, how do you handle that - I would imagine that is very difficult.

As I had mentioned previously, I had "hopes" that my husband would finally see the light once we seperated. I have thought about "what if we get back together" - how would I want things to be different & what could we do to make our marriage stronger. I was in that mind set up until a few weeks ago. I was thinking positively & had high hopes - I went on trusting him again & BAM got hurt again.

I guess if you/we don't risk, you/we would always wonder "what if" & might never know if you/we could have made it. We are ''risking" to possibly love again or we have to face that fact that we are also "risking" getting hurt again. Of course we are all hoping for the love a second time but it may just not be in the cards for us with that person. Same with you, you are risking by "trusting' your husband again, but at least he is showing signs & taking small steps to regain your trust.

Like you mentioned about the "statistics" of 2nd marriages - they aren't so great. Not only did I not want to make a "rash" decision but felt I needed to exhaust all my options to save the marriage before I made any decisions. But in the back of my head, those statistics kept me thinking, that I better try to work on marriage #1 because statistically -it has a better chance. Not that I am even ready or even thinking of another relationship at this stage - it plays into consideration when you look at the picture as a whole. Before I get into another relationship, I need to take time now to "get to know me" again - "I" got lost in being a good wife, mother, employee and now need to figure out what I like & what I want to do.
I am hoping by going through this self - discovery process. When it is time to consider a new relationship I know who I am and most importantly what I want from a relationship & can voice those needs more clearly. I think too many people go from 1 relationship to the other without doing that self - discovery process inbetween & fall into the same issues that plagued their 1st relationship.

How do you feel you ensured that you were ready for marriage #2? What did you do differently this time?
You & your husband will be in my thoughts & hopefully can be an inspiration to many people on this site that with lots of hard work & determination - you can recover from infidelity.
 

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Hi there Swedish - how did you come up with that name? Are you scandinavian:)?
Yes I am, 1/2 of me anyway ;)

I went to counseling on my own as I was in pretty bad shape at the time. She saw no need for marriage counseling because she thought we were handling rebuilding our marriage pretty well on our own.

I had feelings something was up for a few weeks...signs were there and I broke down one night and just told him how I was feeling about myself/us (nothing about the signs that he met someone else) and he ended it on his own the next day and left his cell phone home by accident. So I snooped and at that point he could not tell me anything worse than what was going through my mind, which is what I told him when he came home.

He told me everything at that point. Just knowing that I loved him and cared about him was enough for him to end it on his own before it became a full-blown physical affair but per him it was definitely headed in that direction. I also became a pretty good 24 hour PI and was able to gather enough information to feel comfortable that he was truthful...phone records, flowers that were sent to both of us on the same day :( so I could verify that it was all in the 2 week timeframe he said it went on. Wow, this is hard to write about even now.

And yes, he still works with her. When he ended it, it was a 'we can still be friends' thing and I told him they crossed the line to keep a friendship and I will never be comfortable until one of them leaves (which is still true) so he did send her a followup letter telling her he could not engage in any non-work discussions, etc.

Needed an extra counseling session the week of his office Christmas party. That was hard. He stayed by my side the whole night and she always seemed to be lurking nearby chugging beers leaving her date alone at the table...and I must say I looked smokin' hot and she looked all slouchy and frumpy so that part was soooo sweet :D When my husband had to set up for a presentation, she had the nerve to sit at our table and start chatting to a woman...I just turned my chair completely around and watched my husband.

In hindsight, he does take full responsibility for his actions but felt somewhat manipulated by her. While she talked about relationship issues with him, he only talked about issues with my kids and she slowly turned that to negative discussions about me. So now, the sight of her annoys him as he feels somewhat deceived but that's fine the sight of her annoys me too.

As far as risk, I think there's a fine line between needing to put yourself out there and being a doormat. I think it comes down to the other person and what they are willing to do to rebuild trust.

What was really missing from my first marriage was feeling loved and appreciated. I felt used and as if I had a 4th child to care for. I had no one to talk to, no emotional support, no support with parenting, finances, etc.

My husband now is quite the opposite. He is very loving and affectionate and although I have always been very independent I feel that he takes care of me. To this day he says the only issue he has ever had has been dealing with the kids...I can't imagine walking into my life with no parenting experience having kids ages 4,6,10 at the time. The more involved he has become the more he seems to like them :) He is now able to see how much they appreciate when he spends time with them and teaches them things. He has done that in the past, but more for me to give me a break, but now I can see that he is seeing the reward of helping them grow. We feel like a family now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for explaining your current situation - from what you said it does sound like you & your husband are on the path to recovery. And that is wonderful news, espcecially on this site!!

As you mentioned in your above email, that you were sure it would have been hard for your husband to walk into a situation with 3 children with no previous experience with kids. I am sure there are many psychological issues to deal with with 'blended" families. Even though I am sure you husband had met your kids & spent time with them. It is quite different to do that, then to live with them 24/7. Just like a relationship, dating is different that moving in together.
I am glad he bonding with your kids, I am sure it is wonderful for them to have a "father" figure in their lives. Not sure how much their biological father plays a role in their lives. And seems like your husband is enjoying or reaping the rewards of kids unconditional love.
Best wishes - hope all continues to go well.
I plan to post a new thread relating to "asking for proof" - to help me with my latest dilema. I am sure you will be able to offer some words of wisdom or support. Not sure if I'll do it tonight but keep an eye out for it.
Good nite
 
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