Feeling a lot lost
My husband has cheated on me … again. I don’t know what to do. Even if I did, I don’t know whether I have the energy to do it. I love him very much. He says that he loves me very much. He wants our marriage to survive this; and is willing to do whatever he can to save it.
The first OW was someone he met online – the relationship started before we were married and then morphed into an EA that he carried on via email for the first year of our marriage until I fell pregnant with our first child. He had told me about a very passionate kiss before we got married (we took a break to rethink things before recommitting ourselves to the relationship), but I only found out the full story later by chance. There were actually secret meetings and phone calls, a ONS (stopping just short of sex) and, even after our marriage, a very emotional and romantic email exchange. When I found out by accident, I was devastated. I told him that I wanted a divorce, he (as non-confrontational as he is) fought back with how sorry he was and how he wasn’t going to let me throw away our relationship and family on something so stupid that he’d done. We went to MC and he went to IC. It was painful, but we grew up and grew together, had another son, and the affair became something of a badge that we had collected as a couple. Our experience together had made us stronger, more real and honest with each other. I can honestly say that I trusted him completely again.
More than ten years later (after I was treated for a major depression that went on for almost two years) I found out that that, for a few months earlier this year, he had another affair. This time, the OW was someone known to me (son’s school friend’s mother). My WH says that he has never had sex with another woman since he met me. He admits to a lot of kissing and hugging, secret meetings, flirtatious texting with this second OW. I found out about the affair when the OWH contacted me on a family holiday. (It had already ended by then – mostly due to OWH’s suspicions.) The OW had apparently come clean and finally confirmed the EA and that there had been “kissing”. My WH first tried to minimise things - a few weeks later he was finally more honest about the extent of what had gone on. He says now that he doesn’t have any real feelings for her at all, that he is deeply ashamed, that he felt “out of control” and “in a fog”. He says that he deeply regrets what he did.
In my calmer moments, I believe him. Sometimes I don’t. Mostly I try not to think about it at all. This second time is much worse. All the forgotten and forgiven hurt from the first betrayal has risen to the surface again. I am sad a lot, then I am angry and bitter a bit. Then I try to function normally - as normally as I can. My husband sits and holds my hands and says that he is so sorry, that he would do anything to save our marriage. He cries about how much he has hurt me, , then he holds me while I cry about how much he has hurt me, and he worries about the impact of his behaviour on our kids. I think he is genuinely remorseful (but then I think – what do I know?). I know that my depression wasn’t easy for him and that he did so much to keep our family functioning and healthy when I was getting well. I don’t know if I can trust him, don’t know if I should trust him. Am I stupid for even thinking of trying? He is a good dad and a good man. I want so badly to believe in him again.
Anyone got any wisdom for me?