| | Re: My Story
Hi FindingMe - It sucks that you're here. Dealing with a cheating spouse is one of the worst experiences many people face. Trust is broken and lives are torn apart. You don't have to be ruined by infidelity, though. You can choose to survive and become better for what you go through. It sounds to me like that's your plan.
Many people on this site and in your circle of friends will tell you that you must file for divorce immediately. Many of your friends and people here will tell you that every cheater is a low-life scumbag. I disagree completely with both of these points of view. Sometimes cheaters are scumbags that deserve to be divorced, but it's not always true.
I don't think that divorce is always the answer. It wasn't the answer for me. I've taken a fair amount of criticism for the details of my story because it took a while for me to investigate and then longer to work through the issues. My marriage is now recovered and better than it was before his affair. Part of the reason I didn't file for divorce was that I didn't get married for things to be easy and I wasn't willing to throw in the towel when it got difficult. That's not to say that divorce was never an option - it's just that I didn't get to the point where I felt comfortable that it was the answer for me. I also still had hope for my marriage and for my husband and I wasn't ready to call it quits until I was certain that it was dead.
My husband made some truly terrible choices. That's a profound understatement. He was selfish and thought only of himself. He made decisions that put all of us in danger. None of this made him a scumbag, though. He hurt me deeply and there were times when I wondered if I could still love him. I never thought of him as the low-life many people say that cheaters are. Don't get me wrong - some cheaters truly are low-life scumbags, but an affair doesn't make that automatic.
In your situation, it sounds like you have a bit to work through and you may not have many resources to help you figure it out. This is a good place to get some insight by reading and posting. Just remember to always keep your own situation at the front of your mind. The people here don't know all the details of your story - only you know everything. Don't take advice from someone just because they have "experience" and you "don't" - you're the one who must live with the results of any decision you make. Not one other soul has to live with the results of the advice they give, so just keep that in mind as you read.
I think you're very smart to work on making sure you can support yourself and your girls if you need to. Even if there's no divorce you never know what else might be around the corner. In these times, being able to support yourself is very important.
You say that your husband is trying to make amends for his actions, but what communication have you had about trying to save your marriage? Have you told him what it will take? Do you even know what it will take? Are you willing to try to save your marriage or do you just need enough time to become stable enough to leave? You need to have answers to these questions for yourself so you can proceed the way that will meet your goals.
Your anger and pain is very normal - everyone goes through that. Don't think you're odd or anything like that. The important thing is how you plan to get over it. It takes time, but it also takes a conscious effort to get over it. You can choose to continue to be torn up over what happened, or you can choose to make decisions that will help you move past it. Sounds to me like you're trying to make decisions to strengthen your life no matter if you divorce or stay married.
The real truth is that you don't have to decide today if you're going to stay married or not. It took me about a year and a half to decide. I'm not sorry it took that long and I know if I'd ended up divorced I wouldn't be sorry it took that long to decide. The wounds don't heal that quickly and making a life changing decision when you're hurting so deeply isn't always the best thing to do. I'm just sayin'...
I hope you'll cut yourself some slack and look at your whole situation objectively when you can. Make your decision when it suites you to make it.