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post #31 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 08:29 AM
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

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Yes, Legend, I 100% think that my depression was a contributing factor. I know that for a long time I was basically wrapped in a gentle woolly layer of numbness. It's hard to have a good marriage with anyone in these circumstances. Was it my fault that I was sick? No. Could I have gotten better quicker? Probably. Should he have handled my depression differently at the time? Yes - we've started to have several discussions around this and what we both should have done differently. .
You're lying to yourself.

In your first post in this thread, you clearly state that this guy has been cheating on you since BEFORE you even married him, yet you're making excuses for him by claiming your depression contributed to his behavior this time. Your depression lasted for 2 years so it's obvious you WEREN'T depressed the first time he chose to cheat years ago, so what convenient excuse does he have for the first time he did it? And I hate to say it but god knows how many other times it's happened that you DON'T know about. In either event, don't make excuses for him by blaming your depression for being part of the reason he chose to cheat just because you want so badly to forgive him - again.

And do know that cheaters lie their faces off. If you only have proof of a kiss, that's ALL they're going to admit to. He's not stupid, he's not going to shoot himself in the foot and admit to having sex with these women if he doesn't have to. That's not rocket science. So of COURSE he's lying about not having sex with them. Jeez.

Since the local yokels are less than enthusiastic about giving a polygraph regarding infidelity, I highly suggest you throw your net much further out into the waters and find one who does. What's the point of doing a poly with an examiner who doesn't believe in getting the truth out of a cheating liar? You might as well have the mailman administer the poly. Don't waste you money with the locals.

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post #32 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 12:28 PM
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

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My husband has cheated on me … again.

Anyone got any wisdom for me?
I only got that far. Words of wisdom, leave him.

STAY ON TARGET!
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post #33 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 12:58 PM
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

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Yes. Give him this list. Tell him once he completes it, you will consider giving him a third chance:
He must go to his parents with you and tell them what he's done and apologize.
He must go to your parents with you and tell them what he's done and apologize for hurting you.
He must contact OW's husband and apologize.
He must go back to IC and allow you to come to one session every month or two to get his IC's opinion on what's going on.
He must find a polygraph company and set up an appointment, for which you will set up the questions.
He must go to a lawyer and set up a postnup agreement so that if he cheats again he walks away with nothing.

If he's willing to do those things, you might have a chance.

And fwiw, when a cheater admits to kissing, they had at least made out. When a cheater admits to making out, they really had sex. When they admit to having sex once, they did it multiple times. This is true nearly every single time. So please don't do any of this without him taking a polygraph.
THIS!!!

OP, would you feel okay elaborating on your depression issues?

Personally, I think you must go see a therapist, work on yourself. Most of us come here broken hearted because we believe the person we love is the only person who will LOVE us. This is not the case. I feel your pain, however, I also feel you are letting your husband manipulate you. Does he know he is manipulating you? I don't know. I do know that a man who cries because he is confessing to an affair is doing his best to manipulate you.....

His were crocodile tears. I am almost 100% sure of this. I feel for you, you will have a very difficult time detaching from this man. Be strong and work on you. Be you.

I say Left, but mean Purple
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post #34 of 56 (permalink) Old 09-20-2016, 12:54 AM
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

I think you are giving your husband too much of the power play here. I feel like he cheated and his "remorse" and words of regret are bs, since this is not his first rodeo. He hasn't been held accountable so it is likely he will continue this behavior.
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post #35 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

I just wanted to give an update on where things are with me – for what it’s worth, my WH and I are still trying to R. Most days, it’s going quite well. Most days. (I am going to respond directly to the earlier comments here later - thank you all for them.)

Firstly, I told my parents what was going on. They were very supportive and told me that they both stood behind me no matter what decisions I ended up making. But, probably understandably because they have a vested grandchildren interest, they also both told me separately that they hoped that we'd be able to reconcile. I did realise that the first time this happened, I was too ashamed (go figure!) to tell people what was going on in my life. I felt humiliated and that everything had somehow been my fault. Whilst I don’t feel the need to humiliate my husband as part of his route to a possible reconciliation, I don’t feel any concern in telling anyone whose support I might need at this time.

Secondly, as I said in an earlier post, I met with the OW's husband. We compared notes and I found out that I had been given a far clearer picture of the truth than him. I am not sure, but when I last communicated with him they were separated and it looked as though a R was unlikely. The OW has since written me an apology email. Which was weird. I responded (after a week or so) that I hoped that her life will come right. Her first marriage broke up because her husband cheated very blatantly on her. And I know that she feels very guilty about pursuing a relationship with my husband. I don't feel very much animosity towards her at all. This worries me slightly (am I nurturing a boiling pit of rage somewhere and haven't noticed it yet?). But really, this has become less and less about her. (I haven't stalked her online for at least a few days ...) My pain comes from my husband breaking his promise to me. She had not made me any promises. As far as I am concerned, my WH is 100 % responsible for his actions and decisions and their impact on me.

A few weeks ago, I followed up on another thread suggestion here and looked at my husband's Google location history (from his maps timeline). Wow. This lead to me being able to analyse a great deal about his comings and goings before and during the affair. Maybe I should make a separate thread about trickle truth, but even at an intellectual level, I was interested by how different fact and my husband’s recollections were. He minimised so much - for example, he would tell me that he’d been past her house on the way back from work 2 or 3 times for 20 minutes each time. Once I was able to see it on the map, it was more like 6 times and, while some of them were for 20 minutes, others were for almost an hour.

After my first post, a lot of you challenged my "they only kissed" statements. I admit that I had doubts. Otherwise I probably would never have posted here. After I found out how much they could have been alone (he said someone else e.g. her kids were always at her house when he was there), I was becoming more and more convinced that they had had sex. My WH told me that he wanted to have the polygraph, and that he'd feel the same in my position. So I finally found a really nice examiner (Google search infidelity+ polygraph + mytown) and my WH actually did a polygraph. The whole experience was incredibly surreal.

Anyway, it came back good. i.e. he wasn't lying about the fact that they had only kissed - no other sexual contact of any kind (I was pretty specific about what this could have been). The examiner also asked him whether there had been anything else of significance (statements of love etc.) that my WH hadn't already told me about. And the answer to that was also no.

I’ll write up what I know of their affair “story” in the next post. For anyone who interested or who might learn something useful.
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post #36 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 12:05 PM
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

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Originally Posted by Mizzbak View Post
My husband has cheated on me … again.

Anyone got any wisdom for me?
Yes... Whatever you do, don't R with a serial cheater.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizzbak View Post
I just wanted to give an update on where things are with me – for what it’s worth, my WH and I are still trying to R.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” - Maya Angelou
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post #37 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-20-2016, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

I was re-reading my post of a few days ago and realised that "for what it’s worth, my WH and I are still trying to R" sounds a bit wishy-washy.

If our marriage were a house (which has suffered significant fire damage), then we're currently living in the garage. We're now past the stage of agreeing that we actually need a completely new house and are currently in the process of drawing up plans. We have architects/therapists involved. And we're both trying to figure out how to do it much, much better next time. Do I think that my husband was the one who actually lit the match? Yes. Do I acknowledge that between my husband and I and some other marital/life debris there was a bunch of flammable stuff lying around? Yes. Am I still (somewhere in the back corner of my mind) reserving the right to throw in the towel and run home to mama? On not so great days, indeedy.

Anyway, I wanted to reply to some of the comments that you'd all made:

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Originally Posted by BetrayedDad View Post
Yes... Whatever you do, don't R with a serial cheater.
I was first going to respond in kind with some kind of glib and hopefully witty quip. (DYK that EnviroKidz makes a crispy rice cereal with the cutest cheetah in its logo.)
Then I was sufficiently motivated to go and read some of your story, and so I will try and respond to your comment in a little more depth.

I suppose that all of us can be baffled by other people's relationships, especially marriages. Why some work (as weird, unbalanced and peculiar as they may seem from the outside) and others don't (as happy and normal as they looked - again from the outside). I think that in the end, it boils down to what each party gets for what they give.

I am a pretty analytical person. So I can tell you with reasonable confidence that my husband's second affair used up less than 100 hours of his life (this is an exceedingly generous estimate.) His first affair (more than 10 years ago - why does that make me think of Donald Trump?) was considerably less resource-intensive - again, let's be very generous - another 30 hours. My husband and I have lived together for almost 15 years. As long as I can remember, he has gotten up first and made me a cup of coffee, which he brings to me in bed. (I am not a morning person.) On a weekend day, sometimes he brings me 2 or 3 cups before I drag myself out of bed because I absolutely have to. (I am really not a morning person.) If I assume that each cup of coffee he makes for me takes 5 minutes to make, then he has spent more than 400 hours making me cups of coffee first thing in the morning. It is perhaps a foolish example, but it is also real. And I have a very long list of many more examples. Should my husband be reduced to being only a "serial cheater" when I try to decide whether my marriage to him is worth trying to save? Or can I acknowledge that he is an imperfect human being who spends most of his life trying very hard to be a good one - and like me, screws up on occasion? Please don't think that this means I feel that his sin against me is small. It is huge. And he knows this and has owned up to it.


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I think you are giving your husband too much of the power play here. I feel like he cheated and his "remorse" and words of regret are bs, since this is not his first rodeo. He hasn't been held accountable so it is likely he will continue this behavior.
Yes, Sephirox, I agree with you that he wasn't held accountable in the past. Our handling of his first affair was all wrong. He didn't really have to face consequences aside from some angst and guilt at the time. He got away with telling himself that it was an anomaly and would never happen again. Although he also went to therapy then, he didn't confront the cowardly, manipulative parts of himself that allowed him to cheat on me. This time round, he has had quite a different experience :
  • he had to take a polygraph to prove that he had disclosed fully and face up the fact that he can no longer expect me to just believe him and take his words at face value, possibly ever again
  • he has had to acknowledge that his actions and decisions have negated our marriage vows; and any action that I may or may not choose to take to follow up on that is out of his control
  • I have realised that although I may still love him, this doesn't mean that it is the best decision for me that we remain married. I made this clear in a very unemotional context, and frankly I think this is the one that scares him the most.
  • he got away with a "temporary insanity" argument last time, this time he has had to admit that he has a fundamental character weakness
  • this time, I haven't been "strong" and I have been brutally open about the extent of the damage that his infidelity caused to our marriage and me
  • last time, his actions were primarily against me, this time he has two sons in the equation as well. When I showed him proof that he had "used" them to see his affair partner more often and easily and that they had been at least partially aware that he was spending so much time with her, it had a big impact.

I'm not sure that he has "the power" at the moment. To be honest, I feel like I'm the one that is automatically in the right. In fact, I've started to realise that with time, we have to switch back to being equal partners. But this will take a while. And as to his remorse being genuine - I think that he has far more empathy and understanding of where I'm at than before. Last time I was spun tales of "not really being in love with you before" and "feeling trapped"; this time I've seen a far more honest acknowledgement of a fundamental character failing. Right up front. No justification. Just - I'm so very sorry, I was a coward and bastard. I want to make this right. Please tell me how.

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Originally Posted by ne9907 View Post
THIS!!!

OP, would you feel okay elaborating on your depression issues?

Personally, I think you must go see a therapist, work on yourself. Most of us come here broken hearted because we believe the person we love is the only person who will LOVE us. This is not the case. I feel your pain, however, I also feel you are letting your husband manipulate you. Does he know he is manipulating you? I don't know. I do know that a man who cries because he is confessing to an affair is doing his best to manipulate you.....

His were crocodile tears. I am almost 100% sure of this. I feel for you, you will have a very difficult time detaching from this man. Be strong and work on you. Be you.
ne9907 - my depression was a pretty major one. I was never suicidal, but I was certainly emotionally unavailable for a large part of it. I was on some fairly strong drugs that definitely modified my personality during the time I took them, although I think that they were helpful in dealing with the depression. I just felt like a different person for quite a while. Coming out of it, I can tell you that my husband handled some of it wrong, in that he just kept taking up the load. He took over a lot of my domestic responsibilities to try and make things easier for me, but all that happened is that I felt less and less needed and relevant. So all in all, not a great situation. It is easy for me to see that he would reasonably have felt resentful and unappreciated by the time he started his affair. And yes, thank you, I am currently having IC. Do I think that he is manipulating me? Perhaps at the beginning when I first found out, although probably not consciously. Now, if anything I feel like I am the one with a more objective view, the one who is more in control.

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Originally Posted by She'sStillGotIt View Post
You're lying to yourself.

In your first post in this thread, you clearly state that this guy has been cheating on you since BEFORE you even married him, yet you're making excuses for him by claiming your depression contributed to his behavior this time. Your depression lasted for 2 years so it's obvious you WEREN'T depressed the first time he chose to cheat years ago, so what convenient excuse does he have for the first time he did it? And I hate to say it but god knows how many other times it's happened that you DON'T know about. In either event, don't make excuses for him by blaming your depression for being part of the reason he chose to cheat just because you want so badly to forgive him - again.
She'sStillGotIt, I did finally find a good, experienced polygraph examiner who confirmed my husband's truthfulness with respect to his recent affair and his interim behaviour. You're completely right that he didn't have my depression as an excuse the first time he cheated on me. I can find other "excuses" in terms of what was going on in both of our lives at the time, but actually what he did is not excusable. So the question is more about whether I can understand and forgive, rather than just excuse. For me there is a very big distinction.

I suppose the mental footwork that I'm guilty of at the moment is treating these as two separate situations. One happened more than 10 years ago. One happened this year. Yes, he was unfaithful in both instances, but the affairs played out very differently and happened under a different set of circumstances. I am not ignoring the past one because "It goes to show the character of the accused, your honour", but I can also admit that I am a very different person to who I was then (parenthood, if nothing else, has changed both of us). Therefore I must admit that he is also a different person. Clearly he still has the same fundamental character flaw that enabled him to cheat on me the first time, but if he has the strength of character to confront it now, then isn't this the better time to give him a second/third chance?

Last edited by Mizzbak; 10-20-2016 at 07:28 PM. Reason: finger trouble ... sigh.
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post #38 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-21-2016, 06:19 AM
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

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Clearly he still has the same fundamental character flaw that enabled him to cheat on me the first time, but if he has the strength of character to confront it now, then isn't this the better time to give him a second/third chance?
How is it showing "strength of character" because he got caught and can't lie his way out of it? You've got the BH of the OW to talk to, google history that proves his whereabouts, and WAY too much proof that he can't just deny. How is that considered him 'confronting' it when the simple truth is that he has no choice BUT to admit it?

Sadly, it just sounds as though you're willing to try to talk yourself into believing just about anything to stay with him.
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post #39 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-21-2016, 08:07 AM
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

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I am a pretty analytical person. So I can tell you with reasonable confidence that my husband's second affair used up less than 100 hours of his life (this is an exceedingly generous estimate.) His first affair (more than 10 years ago - why does that make me think of Donald Trump?) was considerably less resource-intensive - again, let's be very generous - another 30 hours. My husband and I have lived together for almost 15 years. As long as I can remember, he has gotten up first and made me a cup of coffee, which he brings to me in bed. (I am not a morning person.) On a weekend day, sometimes he brings me 2 or 3 cups before I drag myself out of bed because I absolutely have to. (I am really not a morning person.) If I assume that each cup of coffee he makes for me takes 5 minutes to make, then he has spent more than 400 hours making me cups of coffee first thing in the morning. It is perhaps a foolish example, but it is also real. And I have a very long list of many more examples. Should my husband be reduced to being only a "serial cheater" when I try to decide whether my marriage to him is worth trying to save?
Allow me to retort with an equally silly analysis.

Let's assume tomorrow your husband decides to become a serial killer. He murders 2 people. If you add up all the time he spent stalking them, killing them and burying the bodies it might add up to 36 hours. However you have 15 years with him and he makes you coffee in the morning. So should be reduced to being only a "serial killer"?

YUP.

P.S. - I love a good witty quip. Feel free next time.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” - Maya Angelou
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post #40 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-21-2016, 08:57 AM
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

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I met with the OW's husband. We compared notes and I found out that I had been given a far clearer picture of the truth than him. I am not sure, but when I last communicated with him they were separated and it looked as though a R was unlikely. The OW has since written me an apology email. Which was weird. I responded (after a week or so) that I hoped that her life will come right. Her first marriage broke up because her husband cheated very blatantly on her. And I know that she feels very guilty about pursuing a relationship with my husband. I don't feel very much animosity towards her at all. This worries me slightly (am I nurturing a boiling pit of rage somewhere and haven't noticed it yet?). But really, this has become less and less about her. (I haven't stalked her online for at least a few days ...) My pain comes from my husband breaking his promise to me. She had not made me any promises. As far as I am concerned, my WH is 100 % responsible for his actions and decisions and their impact on me.
Mizzbak, this para stood out for me, particularly the bolded. This is all your growth with your eyes wide open... to direct any ill feelings at someone that you have absolutely no control over is wasted energy... but that said, you have no control over your husband's poor choices either.

The only promise you can make is your's to yourself, every other promise ever made from someone to you may end up an unrealistic expectation that disappoints, this is why I say the strongest promise is the one you keep to yourself and how you will hold yourself honorable and accountable.

Your husband broke his promise to himself to be many things for you, sadly you are left suffering the fallout from that broken self-promise. When that happens, all one can do is keep their boundaries clear and presentable so there is no question if those self-promises fall and you can focus on what matters... you.

Please continue to leave the hot coal on the ground... it will only burn you if you pick it up to throw, even with the slightest grip.


Last edited by Emerging Buddhist; 10-21-2016 at 09:03 AM. Reason: Mindful ETA...
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post #41 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-23-2016, 05:37 PM
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

I'm curious to know what steps you have both taken to ensure there is no THIRD time.
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post #42 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-23-2016, 08:20 PM
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

I think people can change if they have a come to Jesus moment and stand to lose everything. Serial cheaters are probably the hardest to crack. You have to have a contingency plan in place to ensure if this happens again....it could, you know exactly what you are going to do and you will follow through on it. It should be a policy of 'three strikes and you are out'
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post #43 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

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Originally Posted by She'sStillGotIt View Post
How is it showing "strength of character" because he got caught and can't lie his way out of it? You've got the BH of the OW to talk to, google history that proves his whereabouts, and WAY too much proof that he can't just deny. How is that considered him 'confronting' it when the simple truth is that he has no choice BUT to admit it?

Sadly, it just sounds as though you're willing to try to talk yourself into believing just about anything to stay with him.
Looking back over my initial posts, there is something that I didn't make clear. When I found out about the recent affair from the OW's H, he only had a very small part of the story (one kiss, just the once and some emotional sharing ... again, just that once). My first reaction when I heard it was to minimise it and I remember thinking "that's not so bad" (please keep vomiting noises down to a dull roar). My husband "admitted" to this. I took this at face value (yes, I know, deep in denial and you can all beat me up about it later). For around two weeks I wallowed in fuzzy feelings of forgiveness and my WH and I spoke at length about why our marriage had allowed this, why we weren't in a better place etc. Then my WH confessed to me, without any other evidence coming to the fore, that the relationship was not a one-time emotional ONS and that things had been a lot more serious.

This was prior to any Google history, credit card analysis etc. He was pretty honest. He didn't try and sugarcoat it. I got a lot of details. Not all of them quantitatively accurate - for example, he went past her house 6 times, not "around 3" and stayed for around an hour on 2 of these occasions, and not the "20 minutes to half an hour" he told me about (which as true for the other 4 times). But, there is nothing that I have found out since that he didn't tell me about at a generic level in this and subsequent more detailed conversations. For what it's worth, my IC therapist has since challenged me to recall any part of my life from 4 months ago (nevermind a part that I was really ashamed of) in quantitative detail and that was ... interesting.

Was he was calculating the probable likelihood of more evidence coming out and was looking to manage the damage as best he could. Possibly. Although you have to realise that my WH is seriously conflict averse. Ridiculously so sometimes. He also knew that the OW and her H were close to separation and she was unlikely to tell her husband more (the OW BH had already gone through all her undeleted emails and messages in detail). My WH didn't even know about the Google location history possibility then. He was very taken aback when I showed him how much I could find out that way a few weeks ago. And the Google location history, and credit card and cellphone records (when I later pulled them all together once the denial numbness had lifted and I was constructively ANGRY) corroborated what he had told me already. So, on the balance of probabilities, I think that he was driven as much by the need to be honest with me as he was by damage control.

Yes, I do think that I am putting a positive spin on things. But I don't think that I'm doing it blindly.
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post #44 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

@BetrayedDad - you strike me as a pretty black/white type of person. I'm more of a many shades of grey (absolutely no pun intended here).

May I ask, on the continuum of undesirable/immoral spousal behaviour from "flirting a little with a colleague at the end-of-year office party" through ONS's and EA's and PA's to "having a whole other life and family with someone else", where you would put the line? That would be the line that decides whether you as the hypothetical betrayed spouse would even be willing to try and reconcile/repair a marriage.

(Thank you - I have spent several edifying moments on the FBI pages understanding the differences between mass murderers, serial killers and spree killers. Anyone for Trivial Pursuit? )
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post #45 of 56 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 03:26 PM
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Re: Feeling a lot lost

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Originally Posted by Mizzbak View Post
May I ask, on the continuum of undesirable/immoral spousal behaviour from "flirting a little with a colleague at the end-of-year office party" through ONS's and EA's and PA's to "having a whole other life and family with someone else", where you would put the line? That would be the line that decides whether you as the hypothetical betrayed spouse would even be willing to try and reconcile/repair a marriage.
I suppose I try to be though in the past I have knowingly dabbled in the gray expecting that if I get burned again, I had no one to blame but myself.

In my youth, my line was an PA. I let my ex get away with a prior EA and in hindsight it was a terrible mistake. The EA was just a prelude to more pain. Despite my repeated warnings on numerous occasions that I would leave if she ever had a PA she went and had one anyway. Later on, I discovered it wasn't her first. I should of left after the first EA and I assure you I will never make that mistake again.

I do find some "sins" more forgivable than others I suppose. A PA is worse than an EA. Several PAs are worse than one. I do not reject reconciliation in its entirety. A TRUELY remorseful spouse is worth giving a second chance to. They are just exceptionally rare people. If the affair was very brief (less than say a month), not physical, the person fully confessed on their own without prompting, and they put in massive work to fix things then yes that person might be worth hanging on to.

In your specific situation? Absolutely not. You are too intelligent not to realize it is solely your codependence that is keeping you with him. That is not healthy for anyone and it's an issue you should seek counseling for. You are using the rationalization hamster in your brain to engineer an outcome that you can live with. If you spent half as much energy moving on from him, you would be in a far better place and a much stronger person.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” - Maya Angelou
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