Cheating husband... and forgiveness

Raye - posted on 11/06/2016 ( 12 moms have responded )

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For those of you that know me, sorry I haven't been around in a while. I mostly logged in from work, and they cracked down on internet use. And, from the title of this post, you can probably tell I've had some personal issues to attend to, also.

My husband got reacquainted with an old girlfriend, and began an inappropriate relationship with her for about 5 months. He claims they didn't have sex (which I believe from what I've seen of her texts and e-mails), but he said he loves her and they were planning on a life together. Well, I found out. I always thought I would leave... instant divorce was what I always said would be the consequence for cheating. But I couldn't give up on my family. Even though the kids are my step-kids, I love them dearly, and they love me. My husband said he never stopped loving me, and he has chosen to stay with me and work on our marriage. We are in counseling, and are trying to work on our differences and meeting each other's needs. I'm trying to forgive.

Here are my issues:

* He never officially broke up with her, he just stopped communication. There's an e-mail account that she still writes to (roughly 6 weeks now after he stopped writing back) that I can see. And in addition to saying how much she loves him, wants him, and misses him, she's finally starting to show that she's upset about his silence. It's a matter of time before she gives up on him, but I hate that he's too cowardly to just tell her it's over. He wants to just avoid the whole thing and forget about it. Well, I can't forget. It hurts me that she's still hanging on and he could possibly have the temptation of still having that avenue open to him (until she ends up hating him for his cowardice). I can't make him officially end it, and I promised I wouldn't contact her either. I thought I would feel better seeing her torment that he's abandoned her, but it doesn't make me feel better. He continues hurting two people he claims to love versus face any discomfort of his own by telling the truth.

* I have trouble believing his promises to me after his lies. He's doing and saying a lot of things that are "right". But while starting to rebuild with me, he continued secret contact with her for a month (first by phone until I hacked his phone, then by e-mail which it looked like he stopped before I found that). It's extremely hard to trust that he flipped this switch in himself and is all of a sudden so committed to me. And if he can just flip the switch from one woman to another how can I believe it won't happen again? He seemed to honor his vows enough to not have sex with her, and I do believe he has love for me. In any relationship staying committed is a choice (which he seems to have made). It's just trust doesn't come easy after being devastated by something like this.

* I also want to feel that he really did chose me for ME, and not just because he could have lost his job, his kids, money, etc. if he divorced me and news of the affair got out. I promised not to be vindictive if he chose divorce, but there would be circumstances out of my control and it would be a very real possibility for him to lose everything. Is he just trying to save himself, or does he really care about me? I guess it could be both. It's just that I love him so much, and I think I deserve someone that loves me as fiercely. I think he's capable, I'm just not sure he's there yet, no matter what he says. He says he's so lucky to have me (damn straight he is!) but he was willing to give that up a few short months ago by being involved with her, so what should I believe?

I want my marriage to work. I guess I'm just looking for how to trust and get back to feeling "normal". There are triggers (things that cause me to remember some of their conversations I've read) that hit me out of the blue and make me want to break down. I hope I can let go and not let these things have such a big effect on me. I know it'll take time, but some days it seems to get worse.

Any constructive advice would be appreciated.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jodi - posted on 11/06/2016

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Raye, I'm sorry to hear what has been going on :( What a difficult time for you.

It really sounds like until he can completely end everything with this woman, and actually tell her, it will be difficult for the two of you to move forward. The fact that he is avoiding telling her is something I think I'd struggle with. Has that been discussed in counselling?

Anyway, we are around if you just need to chat or vent :)

Michelle - posted on 11/06/2016

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It sounds like he really needs to work on his communication and fears of upsetting people. Most of us don't like to hurt others and it can be a hard thing to tell someone something that you know will hurt them.
I hate doing it as well and part of my job is just that.
I can understand your fear that he could be just keeping her in the background just "in case". That would be hard to get past.

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Dove - posted on 11/12/2016

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I don't know how I missed this before. Tons and tons of ♥ is all I've got!

Michelle - posted on 11/12/2016

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I was also going to say we have a private group for the "old timers".

Oswald: start a new conversation instead of not trying to help someone else.
Michelle,
WtCoM Mod.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/11/2016

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Mr allen, this is not the place to post a new thread, and I an fairly certain that your post has nothing to do with the OP.

If you feel that you have not been treated fairly in court, get an attorney and pursue your case.

I will say that it's pretty rude to button into another's thread and try to take it over.

Raye, honey, I cannot say I've been in your shoes, but if you need a place to vent that won't be taken over by irrelevant responses, check your pm list. I think I sent you a link to our private group. If I didn't, let me know! Hugs and love to you!

Oswald - posted on 11/07/2016

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I have a problem of my own. My baby's mom hates me ( l understand that), but why should she prevent me from seeing my infant son? I kills me, I'm so in love with my infant ( innocent ) son. I've raised 3 grown children, why would a famity court judge ( or the system ) , think that i, a loving and caring father , won't be a suitable parent ? I'm devastated by the way the system is set up !! My infant son doesn't breast feed ( mom's medical problems prevents that), so , why can't I be the primary care giver , and custodial parent ? Why is the system biased against a caring father? I filed for custody , she ( we're not married ) , filed after me ( custodial parent) , yet at the end of everything, she gets custody , no job , , living in a shelter, other children, what makes her more loving and caring than me ? Why , why ? NYS

Michelle - posted on 11/07/2016

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My ex husband was the same. The only time he would "talk" was when he was drunk. Then of course he wouldn't remember the conversation the next day so it would be the thing over and over. That went on for a year before I had finally got enough courage to leave.
I understand how you feel about him not having actually called it all off with her. I sort of understand the reasoning about not contacting her as well. If he did contact her he could chicken out and not actually tell her it's over and then the lines of communication would be open again.

Raye - posted on 11/07/2016

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Michelle, communication has always been an issue with him. He can talk all day long about anything unrelated to him, but when it gets personal he clams up.

Jodi, it did come up in counseling that he couldn't face ending it with her. The counselor said that if he really did stop contact he probably shouldn't reopen it for any reason. I sort of understand the reasoning, but it doesn't give me closure.

Back when they were still talking, she gave him until February to end things with me. Since his silence toward her, I don't know that she'll hang on that long. She seems to be getting more upset that she hasn't heard from him. But part of me is going to be terrified for another four months that the possibility might still be there for him to get back with her. I would hope she would have enough self-respect to not want anything else to do with him. But judging by her decision making so far, I don't think she knows what's best for herself or her son. I don't understand how people can be so selfish to put their family at risk for the temporary thrills of an affair.

Raye - posted on 11/06/2016

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He has never tried to blame me. Although I take some responsibility for issues in our relationship, the affair is 100% his fault. He should have chosen to talk to me instead of avoid and find comfort elsewhere. He's still avoiding by not telling her himself that it's over. And that's what drives most of my fear now... that he hasn't learned the lesson that avoidance causes problems.

Ev - posted on 11/06/2016

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I will also admit to one thing about my ex. I did not know if he was cheating for sure or not because I could not prove it but for some excessive calls to a woman he met in a chat room online and that I met later at a get together with some of his other online friends. She called me a year later to ask how I was after our divorce had been final. I suspect she had been in constant contact with him over time. Even when he hatefully suggested any sort of counseling, I would not do so because I felt he would place blame totally on me. I guess I just did not see a lot of red flags going on then. I see them now.

Michelle - posted on 11/06/2016

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I'm the same as Ev.
My ex husband cheated on me so I know how you are feeling. I tried to make our marriage work for another 2 years after I found out but there were other problems in our marriage and I had to leave.
We are here to listen (read) when you need to get things off your chest. XXXXX

Ev - posted on 11/06/2016

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I have no advice to give here. What I do have is the capacity to listen and be there for you as a friend.

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