This past week I found out my wife of 9 years has had an affair with a friend from her work for the past three months. They have worked together for 8 years and it apparently changed recently. He is also married. Everything I have found out has been passed to me from others and when first confronted she lied. She finally admitted the affair and it has been devastating.
I can't seem to cope very well, thinking about them together. I am torn up inside. I can't understand how she could just throw it all away. We have two young children and are both in good careers. I thought I had a good thing.
So, my inital reaction last week was deep hurt. I had some real hard times and still do. I have had two therapy sessions and it helps to talk some. I have another one tomorrow.
I gave an ultimatum and told her that I was going to give my two week notice and leave the area. I mentioned to her that if she wanted us to have any chance at all she could resign and leave the situation. She then put in her notice on Monday. She has been w/her job for 8 years and is leaving a good job. She has been quite upset, but said she wants to work on us and realizes she has to leave the situation. So, she made the move and I will not leave her high and dry. I will try.
Problem is, I am sick w/jeasouly, hurt, anger etc. I don't think I can ever get over her lies and deception. I don't trust her at all. One minute I hate her and the next I love her. My feeling is that we will struggle for a while and in the end it will not work because I will not be able to trust her or forgive her.
Remember this she is willing to give up everything for you, that right there says she knows what she did was wrong, has taken all the blame and is willing to do whatever it takes to see the marriage works. She made a mistake, albiet a big one. At this point she can do nothing more then she is and only you can give more. What is the harm in giving her a chance. Taking what has fallen apart and rebuilding it better then before with stronger communications and better understanding. Find out all the faults of the marriage including your own and fix them.
She has gone farther than anyone I have seen on these forums after cheating to make it work again.
Will it take a great deal of time to rebuild the trust ~ Yes.
Will you always worry, wonder ~ Yes.
In the end you have to ask yourself if this love you have for her is worth the chance to make the greatest relationship you know in the future or if you are willing to just throw away everything here and now.
I know what it is like to have a wife cheat on you. It happened in my first marriage. But I learned more about what I thought I was doing right (but was getting wrong) then all of my other relationships together. My ex-wife's cheating wasn't just because of her being selfish. It was because I didn't hear what she was saying because I was convinced my working so hard was for our future and she was lonely in the present. You see it took the divorce to understand I was perfect even though I didn't create the [sin] I did help to cause it.
If you have a chance to make it work take it. If it doesn't work atleast you know you tried.
What does forgiveness mean to you? The answer is as different as there are people on this planet. But one of the the things that most can agree with, is that a large part of forgiveness deals with letting go of the past. Obviously in your present situation that is not going to be easily attainable but is possible in the long run. Furthermore, forgiveness and reconciliation are two very different things. You can have forgiveness without reconciliation and vice versa.
I also was cheated on by my ex-wife and though she was extremely remorseful, I just couldn't reconcile that her affairs had been going on for decades and felt like I had the best years of my life stolen from me through her lies and deceit. Ironically, it wasn't until I chose to divorce her that I was able to start the process of forgiveness which set me free from the past.
I can understand my ex-wife as well as your wife's fears about the consequences of revealing the truth, but that is something that they should have thought about before they started lying and deceiving to have their affairs. My point is that forgiveness is a lot easier to attain when a person is forthcoming with the truth and that is something that was not the case in both of our situations.
Divorce or no divorce, your children will forever tie the two of you together, so for your children's wellbeing as well as yours, you should consider acknowledging and making peace with the unchangeable past. Besides, it is much healthier and less traumatic to deal with a divorce if both spouses are on speaking terms, but that can't happen until the past is put to rest.
Location: Temporary Resident of Earth Lord Only Knows Where Next
Re: Having problems forgiving
I agree with both points above. Many good points. I will encourage you to move forward with her. This will likely be a long process for you but people can forgive. Not forget, but forgive. You are probably in one of the worst moments of you life right now. There is a good chance things will go up at some time in the future. Communication starts forgiveness. Time breeds forgiveness. Love fosters forgiveness. Use them all to rebuild things. That she up and quit the job is a great start for you both but the road will be long. On your journey both of you need to better understand your needs in the marriage and make sure the other understands them as well.. My best wishes to you both.
The key for me in the healing process has been talking about what led to the affair. What was missing in the marriage that made her choose to stray and feeling some sense of control of the marriage by fulfilling those voids for each other. If she is truly remorseful and has agreed to end all contact and leave her job, the area, it really does show she is willing to do whatever it takes to make your marriage work.
The hurt and obsessive thoughts of your spouse with another is overwhelming at times and I did go through days where I felt resentment that my husband was the one who strayed and is now getting everything he felt was missing in our marriage and I was still feeling the fallout.
Time has been a great healer for me. There have been a few times since where my husband has broken down and cried. He just feels terrible for hurting me in this way. I don't think it's been easy for either of us but we are closer than we have ever been and we are focused on each other and our marriage. While I wish it never happened, I don't know that we would have gotten where we are today had it not. We both needed a wake-up call. So part of me can let go of the past because what we have today and forward is all either of us ever hoped for. I have forgiven him. Forget? Not likely to ever happen.
Location: Temporary Resident of Earth Lord Only Knows Where Next
Re: Having problems forgiving
Good point. Sometimes these things can lead a couple into a stronger marriage than they ever thought possible. You call it a wake up call. I’ve referred to it as a shot across my bow. Either way in some instances marriages will continue to deteriorate beyond repair without this kind of event. As hard as it may be for couples, it can also be an opportunity to find the love and relationship they’ve been missing for so long.
My feeling is that we will struggle for a while and in the end it will not work because I will not be able to trust her or forgive her.
You've only just found this out very recently so the shock and hurt are very fresh and strong. I am so glad to hear you have sought counsel and hope it helps you to get control of your thoughts. It did help me a lot.
My advise would be to hold off on any decisions on ending the marriage until the dust settles a bit. Rebuilding trust takes a long time but it can happen. It hurts that the blind faith you once had in your marriage is now gone, but rebuilding will depend on your wife's actions going forward. That she lives very 'open book' and gives you daily reassurance that her actions are consistent and not questionable.
10 months later, I still have days where I see my husband looking at his cell phone and my head starts spinning so I tell him that I'm getting bad thoughts and why...not that I expect him to never look at his cell phone but so he knows how I'm feeling and he's been very good about reassuring me and very understanding that I won't just 'get over it' over night.
You can slowly rebuild if your wife is by your side. Give yourself time to get over the shock and take it one day at a time. It's just too early in my opinion to know how you will feel a month or 6 months from now, but you deserve a shot at a strong marriage.
Oh, and batting cages...ball was OW's face...really helped release some anger...anyway, worked for me
I appreciate everyones replies. It helps me to get others perspectives that have experienced the same. I guess it wouldn't hurt so much if I didn't love her like I do. In the end my hope is that we can be closer and I can learn to forgive her. Everything is still fresh and I am sick over it.
I do appreciate the posts and will keep reading.
052308 0830-Went to another session w/ a counselor this evening. I felt we made progress. I have had a problem with trying to make her hurt these past few days, like I hurt. I have said some hurtful and I now regret saying them. I apologized the evening I said the things I did and also apologized tonight in our session.
I just start thinking about what she did and I get angry. I am going to try my hardest not to say mean things from this point on and walk away when I feel upset. It is unlike me, I am better than that and I don't need to hurt her. Anyway, I feel better writing about it and don't have an outlet other than the counseling I have been attending.
One of the things that a lot of BS (betrayed spouses) do is insist on getting all the gory details from their WS (wayward spouse). I was one of these and it did nothing but make the mental images I had of my ex-wife with the OM (other man or other men) far, far worse. It took me some time to realize that it isn't the quality or lack of quality of the OM in the sexual department but how much of a damaged a person my ex-wife was. During the time she was in IC (individual counseling), she revealed to me that as a young girl she had been sexually abused by her step-father and step-brothers. The sad part is that my ex-wife never told me about her tormented childhood until after I had my decision to divorce her. Would it had made a difference if I knew this before I married her? I really don't know for it wasn't widely known at that time that men and women who have been sexually abused, tend to become very promiscuous even when they are in committed relationships.
My point is that while it is true that many affairs become possible because of unmet emotional needs in the marriage, there are other causes as well such as unresolved personal issues such as childhood sexual abuse, rape, bi-polar personality disorder, etc. Another type of cause is covered by the late relationship expert, Dr Shirley Glass in her book "Not Just Friends". Dr Glass stated that many affairs occur even in happy marriages and that it was because of the WS violating marital boundaries such as confiding in the OP (other person) about marital issues, spending time alone with the OP, feeling sexually attracted to the OP, etc.
But no matter what the cause, IF you and your wife are serious about saving/rebuilding your marriage, then she must never, ever have any contact with the OM (other man) and if there is an accidental encounter or a call from the OM, she must immediately tell you about it. She must be willing to become an open book and answer to the best of her ability any questions you ask of her as well being accountable for her whereabouts to you at all times. You in turn must avoid at all costs throwing the affair in your wife's face whenever there is a disagreement between the two and if you feel that you can't then immediately leave for a an hour or two until you regain control of your anger. Your purpose is to help create an emotional environment where she will feel safe in opening up to you and express her deepest thoughts and feelings (intimacy). Also realize that you will be (like all of us were at one time) on an ER (emotional roller coaster) that will very hard on you for the first year but that it WILL get better as long as you acknowledge that it is a one day at a time process that cannot and should not be rushed (trust me on this one).
You and your wife have an opportunity that very few people have in creating a happier and healthier marriage. I suggest that you run with it.
I am having problems sleeping. (I think it is about 2am right now)I dream about my wife w/the other person and end up waking up, upset. I am just having my own battle that I need to get over. It has only been a week and while I feel better for parts of a 24 hour period, I still struggle. I just realized it hasn't even been a week.
I thought heavely at first about suicide. There was a point when I had a gun in my hand and then I snapped out of it and called a friend. He has all my guns now. So, I have struggled with thoughts a few times and seem to be over that part of it. I don't like that I even considered it and don't want to be there again.
I feel beat down, tired and hurt. It has been a rough 6 days. Oh yeah, I went back to work today and it was difficult. People could tell I wasn't myself and were very in tune to me. I talked to a few I sorta trust and smiled my best smile to the rest.
My wife is playing it at her work that she is leaving to be with family and be a stay at home Mom, which is true. If they only knew th entire truth. I realize she feels bad and wants to save face at work and keep it quiet. Sometimes I wish they all knew and she had to deal with some pain. But, that isn't going to happen and I need to just focus on trying to get over this and make it work.
Getting ready to go golfing this morning. I really appreciate all the advise and it helps to have positive feedback. Those that are close to me and family have been more inclined to be angry with her and want me to leave the situation.
This site is helping me and I appreciate everything that has been written.
Thank you for the link to survivinginfidelity.com. I sincerely appreciate everything that all have posted.
I am very thankful to have found these two sites and see that what I am feeling is normal.
My wife tried to put some blame on me for her cheating today. While I will acknowledge that our relationship was lacking in areas, what she did was disrespectful to me, to her and to our marriage. I would not have done this to her or our marriage. The fall out from this has been difficult to say the least and I will not take blame for what she did.
I am probably repeating myself from earlier, but I want to be able to forgive her, move on and start over. Hopefully with her. We have two young boys and years invested in each other.
My thoughts are crazy though. Right now I can say I love her and want to make it work. Two hours from now I could be angry and thinking about having an affair myself, just to get even. That aint happening though. She claims she got caught up in the moments and being her own person. That is such B.S. She was selfish and really messed up a good thing.
I have made many mistakes. I want to find it in myself to get over it and forgive her. This mistake seems to have cut too deep and I just can't seem stop the blood right now. Plus, it hurts like heck and it stinks.
On a good note, we went as a family today and saw Indiana Jones. It was a good flick and the boys needed to do something fun. Tommorow we may take the kids and dog to the park. We have another counseling appt at noon. We'll see how it goes.
The following is not for you to use against your wife but simply as a statement of fact.
You may have negatively contributed to your marriage, just like she may have, but she is solely responsible for making the choice to have an affair. She could have chosen to approach you and expressed her strong feelings for the OM. She could have reached out to you for help but she did not because she was only thinking of herself.
Granted that a person could indulge in other similar destructive, selfish choices (i.e. drug addiction, alcoholism, gambling addiction, pornography, etc.) but none of these others can destroy a marriage as quickly as an affair can.