How am I supposed to get past this?

Jennifer - posted on 08/26/2011 ( 30 moms have responded )

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Ok ladies, this could get a bit complicated but i'll do my best to keep it short. Just after our anniversary in June,my husband unexpectedly left me. He told me that he had been unhappy for a while and had finally had enough, all the while not mentioning anything to me. Come to find out, he had developed feelings for a friend of ours and she was claiming that she was going to leave her husband for mine and they would be together.Anyway, after talking to some family, my husband decided to come home and try and "work" things out with us because he decided he felt bad for not letting me know how he felt and for blindsiding me with everything. I agreed to let him come home with the stipulation that he was to have no contact with this other women, who was also trying to work it out with her husband. After being home for almost two months, he just informed me that they had been talking on the phone secretly in order for him to clear his head and to figure out what he wanted. As a result from talking to her, he came to the conclusion that he wants to be home with me and our kids and that she was just feeding him lies, grass is greener on the other side of the fence kind of thing. I'm more than thrilled that he is commited to me and the kids, however, i'm not thrilled with the way he came to his conclusion or the fact that he lied to me everyday for months about talking to her.
I don't know how i'm supposed to be able to move passed this, I can't just forget about all the lies he's told me and now i'm constantly wondering what else he is lying to me about and how am I supposed to know the difference. I feel like i'm the second choice and as his wife and mother to his children, shouldn't i be the first choice? I want to talk about things and try and work past them but he doesn't want to talk, he just wants to forget and move on. He's had time to process everything and be at the point where he can move on but i haven't gotten there yet and don't know how to if he won't let me talk things out with him.
What would you all suggest?

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Krista - posted on 08/26/2011

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I want to talk about things and try and work past them but he doesn't want to talk, he just wants to forget and move on.

That, in and of itself, is unacceptable. He lied, hurt and was unfaithful to you, and just expects bygones to be bygones and for you to get over it?

No. That's not going to work.

If he expects you to take him back, and to someday get past this, then HE has got to suck it up and WORK on your marriage with you. If that entails talking, then so be it. If it entails going to counselling (which I would recommend), then so be it. If it entails you having the passwords to his email, and checking his phone at random times, then so be it.

He does NOT get to dictate the terms here. He screwed up, and he should be doing whatever it is that you need him to do in order to regain your trust. But this whole "get over it, I don't want to talk about it" attitude? That is incredibly disrespectful, and is completely inconsiderate of the fact that he hurt you so badly.

So I would ask him, "Do you actually even care that you hurt me? Because if so, you need to fix this. And it's going to involve you doing stuff you don't want to do, like talking about what happened. And if you don't respect me enough to do whatever you can to fix what you CHOSE to break, then we need to have an entirely different conversation."

FHONTANIEC - posted on 08/26/2011

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I totally agree that you can not work past something that you are not able to understand and the only way to gain that understaning is for you to discuss it. there can be no resolution without reason. It appears as if he is calling all of the shots with no regards to his family! One thing that sticks out the most to me is that even after he returned home he continued to lie, sneak, and be unfaithful, and then he was bold enough to tell you he had done so and within telling you he also made it clear to you that he only made the choice to stay with you because she told him lies! So I guess the point I'm trying to make is , what happens when someone else comes along that he finds interesting and that person is not lying to him? Where will you and your family be ranked then? I know from experience that counseling is only beneficial if both parties are willing to work on the marriage, and part of doing so is effective communication. Again, speaking from experience, you cannot make someone stick around if they don't want to because eventually they will leave or force you to leave through their actions/inactions. The best advice I can give you is keep your ears closed and your eyes opened wide, meaning he will tell you what he thinks you want to hear to get what he wants, however his actions will show his true feelings. Oh and always look at what you are going through as if it was a friend/family member going through it, what would you tell them as the outsider looking in? Goodluck and I am sorry you have to endure this :(

Fay - posted on 08/27/2011

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Forgiveness is a gift given, but trust is earned, not given as a gift. You will never trust him until he has earned it by showing his commitment to you and your marriage. You're the one who has to decide what will show you that commitment. He's the one who has to decide whether your respect and trust is worth effort on his part. Without counsel or at least open and honest dialogue, there's only more pain ahead, for both of you.

Michelle - posted on 08/26/2011

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first off I would go see a therapist just you in the beginning then eventually once you are sure of what it is you want to be discussing and working out with him bring him into the sessions, tell him that yes you would like your marriage to work and you are glad he chose you and the kids but that you want to go to marriage counselling to make sure whatever issues brought this on get worked out permanently I wish you well\

[deleted account]

He also doesn't have the right to just come back and think everything is cool & move on and just forget about it. You should be the first choice, and he should be doing what you want to do fix this marriage. If he really cares about you he needs be their with you talking about it and definately seeing a marriage counselor.

30 Comments

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Tabitha - posted on 09/07/2011

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one thing u need to remember is he is the one that fell for it dont take all the blame out on the other woman. He is the married one, he is the one that has kids, he is the one that is supposed to love u for better or worse, he is the one sneaking behind ur back lying to you......dont take my post the wrong way she is at fault too, but he also made those choices, give it ur best to forgive if u can but from someone who has been in that situation its not easy and the trust is extremly hard to rebuild, i tried and tried for years and for me it got to a point where i just simply couldnt do it anymore. And am now so much happier with a man that would never even consider cheating on me. Good luck

Cynthia - posted on 09/01/2011

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Good luck Jennifer, only you know what type of man your husband really is, weak minded to be lured away from his family or selfish and narcisstic. Either type if you really can't imagine your life without him, prepare for the best and worst outcomes. He may realize your marriage needs therapy to heal and go with you, or he may just not care enough to fix it. Then you stay and be an obedient wife or show your children a mom who loves herself and start a new phase in your life.
PS knowing how long you guys have been in a commited marriage helps, honeymooners would not be a good start. Be strong.

Jennifer - posted on 08/30/2011

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I just watched the trailer for "Fireproof"...it looks like it will hit closer to home than I thought it would as my husband is also a Firemen!....thank you all for recommending it

Rachel - posted on 08/28/2011

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what you're describing in your follow up post is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and it is very common afte you've experienced a severe trauma. People usually associate it with physical stress, but it's true of emotional trauma
as well. Its good that you're reacting out for nurturing support. You aren't alone in enduring something like this. And you aren't helpless. Who you thought you were (a wife in a stable marriage) may be gone, but you can build a better person in her place. Hugs.

Krista - posted on 08/28/2011

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Good luck, Jennifer. Just remember...we teach people how to treat us. Marriages can survive betrayals, they can survive breaches of trust. But there has to be respect there. Do not settle for less than being respected. Your feelings matter. YOU matter.

Amy - posted on 08/28/2011

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It's hard to forgive and forget; however, if he is good man otherwise it is worth it to keep your family intact. Look to the future and make each day better by loving your husband. If you haven't seen the movie "Fireproof" I highly recommend watching it, then do the "Love Dare" yourself. You may also consider marriage counseling. There is a reason for his poor behavior and you need someone to help you get to the bottom of it so it does not present itself again. You both deserve to be happy and marriage is constant work, so do what you can to strengthen it.

Sherri - posted on 08/28/2011

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I cannot blame you for how you feel and I commend you on trying to work it all out. Personally, once my trust is lost, that's it. So I think you are a very forgiving person to try to build that trust again. However, keep in mind this happened because he was not happy with your marriage. The fact that this particular woman was lying to him does not matter. Will he find someone else the next time he is unhappy? Will he continue to lie to you? These are very good questions and ones he needs to answer and explain.

The fact that he was in the wrong is why he wants to forget and move on because he does not want to feel as if he is wrong anymore. However, he does not get to decide that. That is your decision only and he needs to talk about it, explain what he was thinking, and grovel a bit to prove he is committed to you. I would suggest marriage counseling and if he will not participate, maybe you need to decide if that means he is not as committed as he claims.

Judith - posted on 08/28/2011

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why did he feel he couldn't talk to you when it is your life that is in the family and you need to understand how things got to the point that he wanted to leave and be with someone else. did her husband get the chance to talk to you and see how you felt and if things were going the way you wanted/ thats what yours did with her. MOST IMPORTANT WHAT DO YOU WANT OUT OF ALL THIS SHIT HE HAS PUT YOU THRU? if you give him this second chance and he makes a mess of it again, please know that you did all you could with what you had to go on, and that he is the one in the wrong for what he does. Please take care of yourself first along with your children

[deleted account]

i would suggest leaving him. he clearly has problems with honesty and it seems like you are his 2nd choice, like maybe things just didn't work out with this girl so he decided to stick round. that's not very comforting and it's not what you want to be. move on,kick him out, and get on with your life

Jennifer - posted on 08/28/2011

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Thank you everyone. It is so nice to hear so much support from women I don't even know. While the relationship my husband had with this other women never was physical then emotional attachment he felt towards her is just as painful. I am well aware of the kind of person she is, as this is not the first marriage she has tried to destroy, and I know that she was only feeding him what he wanted to hear. She took advantage of him and he allowed that to happen because we were having a down point at that time but then again, what marriage doesn't have it's up and downs. I am not perfect and neither is he and every marriage needs to be worked at everyday but I love my husband and am willing to give him the opportunity to show me that he can be trusted again. Everything is still new and very raw at this point and it is hard to not bring it up because it seems as though every little thing reminds me of it in some way. We both have a lot of work to do but we love each other and our kids at least deserve the opportunity to say that Mommy and Daddy tried everything they could........hopefully we will all get our happy ending, whatever that may be.

Melissa - posted on 08/28/2011

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Always put yourself first! Remember who you are and that none of this is your fault or because of something you did. If it were me I don't know how I would be able to move past being second best. I guess it comes down to just what kind of relationship he had with the other woman?

Melissa - posted on 08/28/2011

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Hi. In order for you to move on and rebuild your marriage, you have to move completely past the experience. I suggest you speak with a counselor. Did you see sex and the city the movie? The part with Miranda and Steve comes to mind... He was genuinely sorry but she was so angry she refused to get passed out until they saw a counselor. I suggest you do see someone so that you can process your feelings. Good luck.

Rachel - posted on 08/27/2011

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I think you should be commended for being committed to work this out with him. Good for you. But he has a mess to clean up emotionally. I recommend Dr. Laura's The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands. If you are being supportive, you are more likely to get the emotional healing you need from him. Its more swallowing your pride, but building a GOOD marriage will be worth it. It sucks that this happened to you. Really really sucks.

Jeanne - posted on 08/27/2011

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Make an appointment with a marriage counselor/therapist. If you don't know any ask your doctor or clergy person to recommend one. Both you and your husband should go to the appointment, but if he refuses then go by yourself. You need to take care of yourself. Good luck!

Melissa - posted on 08/27/2011

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you need to find a good friend you can trust that you can tell this to knowing that she will not harbor ill feelings towards him. this is a hard thing to find, but if you can it will be the best thing for you. someone who will be completely honest with you. not someone who will bich with you, but someone who will help you fix the problems. while he did the cheating, you were probably not perfect. not that you are to blame, but everyone has room for improvement. i recommend the movie fireproof. and the book the love dare. if you can get him to watch and or read them too that would be a big step. if you are extremely blessed the friend will have a husband that will work with yours to help him realize where things need to be.
you need to take care of you. look at yourself and say what do i need to fix for ME not him. because if things dont work out, you need to be the best YOU for YOU to move on. and if they work out he will be blessed by having the better you for a wife and may want to fix himself to be worthy of you. i dont mean to sound cruel or harsh. and i am not blaming you. as i said we all have room for improvement and need to keep improving for ourselves. the only butt you can kick is yours. he has to fix himself. you do need to look at the whole situation and determine if you really are interested in making it work. ifyou are, awesome. it will not be easy, but i promise it is worth it.

Andreagressman - posted on 08/27/2011

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First, you have every right to feel the way you do. He did lie to you. Second, forgiving him does not mean you forget everything he has done. But it does mean that his debt to you is paid in full. This means that once you truly forgive him - you can't continue to bring it up over and over. That being said, forgiveness is a process and you should not expect to achieve this overnight. Finally, you may need to get some professional help with this process both individually and as a couple. By him refusing to talk about it he obviously isn't as committed as he says he is or he would do ANYTHING to make it right.

Julie - posted on 08/27/2011

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I agree with Krista E!!!! Forgiveness is important....but he's got to prove that he's trust worthy!! If he really wants to work it out he should bend over backwards to make it happen.

Fluttterby - posted on 08/27/2011

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most men i know would rather eat their own fingers before talking things out.. if you can talk him into couples therapy it might help a lot for all the different issues here.. if he refuses counseling at least get some yourself.. just being able to talk to SOMEBODY about it might help you feel better and maybe even help you figure out your next move.. it's hard to regain trust in someone but only you can decide if it's worth trying

Keli - posted on 08/27/2011

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that sucks! I understand why you would let him stay even if I don't agree. The key is to find YOUR stregnth and decide if you want him there cuz you love him or cuz you're used to him. Once you decide that, then HE needs to fix what he broke. And if he doesn't then you need to be ready to accept I or leave him. You can't always live in doubt and expect to be happy. There's a sayin in Spanish 'mejor solo que mala acompanada'. It translates to 'better alone than miserable with someone'. Good luck in making the right choice for you & ur kids

Jami - posted on 08/27/2011

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I wholeheartedly agree with Krista. HE screwed up and HE should do whatever you need to do to come to terms.

Tracy - posted on 08/26/2011

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Counseling would be good for both of you but if he refuses I guess you have to be able to find some sort of consolation from the situation itself. How long had it been going on before he left you a couple months or a couple of years? If it was a couple of months then he left quickly and I am guessing more out of guilt for what he was doing rather than thinking he was "in love" with this other woman. What kind of marriage did this other woman have to begin with did she instigate some of it herself because she was "looking" to get out of her unhappy marriage and your husband was the target. I am not saying any of this is the case but if it is you maybe able to put your mind at ease that you have always been the first choice and he was not happy with himself and knows he doesn't deserve you so he tried to get out with out dragging you under when he went. It is kind of like when you lose someone you love and find peace by knowing they are in a better place. Try and find some sort of way to rationalize it instead of feeling it with your heart that is the only way to heal. You can forgive but you never forget. Never live your life depending on someone else to make you happy, be happy with yourself first then find someone to share it with and that way if they leave you still know how to be happy on your own.

Megan - posted on 08/26/2011

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You guys definitely need some couple counselling! By all means, move on but you both need to process what has happened and work on re-building trust and intimacy issues.

Tamara - posted on 08/26/2011

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I am sorry if he isn't willing to communicate with you why would you want to be there? that i don't understand, I think that keeping honest and open communication is the only thing that keeps a marriage happy.

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