Those who stayed/tried to after being cheated on, what has been the pesonal toll. - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Those who stayed/tried to after being cheated on, what has been the pesonal toll.

We never hear this part of the story and no one ever warns people who are thinking of R what this will mean in this way. So honestly what do you think staying has done to you, your self image, your self worth, self confidence, friends, family, kids, your health ...

PS I see I missed and R in the title, (Freudian slip?)

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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 05:06 PM
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Re: Those who stayed/tried to after being cheated on, what has been the pesonal toll.

I'm not sure how to answer this, how to separate my 'self worth' into pieces. Because that's what you're asking. My self image/worth/confidence has always been pretty healthy but took a nose dive right after D day. No matter whether you stay together or not, anyone who gets cheated on is going to wonder if it was because of something in them. But I'd say today it's better even than it was 7 years ago before he cheated. But I credit that to my age more than anything - the older I get the better it is, really.

My friends, family, kids and health didn't suffer much if at all. I'v always been pretty independent, my kids were older and being a single mom wasn't new to me. Once I let him move home they were pretty much happy for us.

I don't think there are any scars hanging around now for me. I haven't triggered in probably a year? Two? I don't even remember. And that is despite hanging around on TAM Don't get me wrong - I suffered horribly right after D day, but being one of the lucky extremely rare few who actually has a truly remorseful spouse was what did it for me. If I'd been married to most of the WS's I read about on TAM we would have never in a million years gotten back together after I kicked his ass to the curb.

People don't get a free pass to cheat just because their marriage sucks.

Our R
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 05:17 PM
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Re: Those who stayed/tried to after being cheated on, what has been the pesonal toll.

I stayed and we worked to recover our marriage after finding out that my husband cheated. We both used the MB material and it went very well.

There really was no personal toll. The damage was done when he cheated. The recovery was healing and helped me to deal with it.

But there were issues that were beyond his cheating. Basically, I think he had a nervous breakdown some a few years later related other issues in his life that had nothing to do with me or our marriage. After years of trying to get him to deal with those issues I finally divorced him. If this had not happened we would probably still be married today.

We are still friends. I helped him start a business which he still works. I still help him some with his business. And he helps me when I need things... like when I got out of the hospital last year and needed someone there with me most of the time.

I know a lot of people who have recovered their marriage after infidelity. In talking with several of them about this they basically say that the infidelity was in the past, they worked through it and have worked on things so that they now have very good/strong marriages/relationships.


Infidelity is bad. But it's not the worse thing that a person can do to their spouse... try living with someone who is physically violent.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 05:21 PM
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Re: Those who stayed/tried to after being cheated on, what has been the pesonal toll.

To address the self worth issue... his infidelty does not affect my self worth. He did it. Not me. My worth does not change because he did something stupid/horrible.

My first husband cheated as well. By the time I found out that he had cheated, I could care less. He was a mean, abuisve (physical and emotional/verbal) and all I wanted was to get me and my son away from him. His cheating was a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of his behavior.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 05:25 PM
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Re: Those who stayed/tried to after being cheated on, what has been the pesonal toll.

Sorry about posting in 3 segments. I keep re-reading the posts above mine and more things come to mind.
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Originally Posted by sokillme View Post
We never hear this part of the story and no one ever warns people who are thinking of R what this will mean in this way. So honestly what do you think staying has done to you, your self image, your self worth, self confidence, friends, family, kids, your health ...
Staying did not harm me in any way. It did not harm any of the things you listed above. If anything I am stronger and know that I can handle any **** that life throws me. And I can handle it with grace.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-06-2017, 06:23 PM
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Re: Those who stayed/tried to after being cheated on, what has been the pesonal toll.

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And he helps me when I need things... like when I got out of the hospital last year and needed someone there with me most of the time.
Despite what happened I'm glad he is there for you, when you are in need as you are there for him.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 02:28 AM
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Re: Those who stayed/tried to after being cheated on, what has been the pesonal toll.

For me, staying and trying has given me closure on the infidelity. It means that the strongest, most recent memory I have of my husband is of someone who stood by my side again and tried - to repair the damage, to address my questions, to help me heal. It has been about allowing mutual vulnerability - so some kind of trust can re-develop. Which is particularly important when you have children. So whether we stay together or not, I think that all those have been beneficial - to my sense of self-worth, health and family.

I do think that the offending partner has to be committed to trying as well, and willing to face up to what they did. I can't see that living in some kind of semi-armed truce would be useful. I can also understand that sometimes the betrayal is so egregious and the damage so great, that the betrayed would heal quicker alone. That has to be their call. There should be no shame or blame attached to deciding either way for yourself.

I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 03:11 AM
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Re: Those who stayed/tried to after being cheated on, what has been the pesonal toll.

In some ways it strengthens you, it took its toll on me later when I had time to really look inwards and combined with his alcoholism and stress of constantly moving. Now I can safely say, if he did it again, I know I would be ok, I know I wouldn't blame me, and I know I would walk away.

The major downside is that you never look at them again in the same way, they are forever flawed, (but aren't we all as human beings) but for me there is no guilt, I often think, he is bloody lucky to have me. I mourned us for many years, it was a deep grief. Perhaps we are building something new, only time will tell.

In ways, I think I have lowered my expectations of him and tend to find happiness in my own self, in what I do and whom I am friends with. We get on well but I doubt if I will ever love him the way I did, that is the price we both paid. In the past I would worry and be upset if things were bothering him about work, family etc. Now I empathize but just move on thinking to myself, you are a big boy you can handle it. I no longer put him first the way I used to, if it suits me yes, if not then I don't. Maybe I have settled, but I am happy enough the way things are.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 04:51 AM
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Re: Those who stayed/tried to after being cheated on, what has been the pesonal toll.

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In some ways it strengthens you, it took its toll on me later when I had time to really look inwards and combined with his alcoholism and stress of constantly moving. Now I can safely say, if he did it again, I know I would be ok, I know I wouldn't blame me, and I know I would walk away.

The major downside is that you never look at them again in the same way, they are forever flawed, (but aren't we all as human beings) but for me there is no guilt, I often think, he is bloody lucky to have me. I mourned us for many years, it was a deep grief. Perhaps we are building something new, only time will tell.

In ways, I think I have lowered my expectations of him and tend to find happiness in my own self, in what I do and whom I am friends with. We get on well but I doubt if I will ever love him the way I did, that is the price we both paid. In the past I would worry and be upset if things were bothering him about work, family etc. Now I empathize but just move on thinking to myself, you are a big boy you can handle it. I no longer put him first the way I used to, if it suits me yes, if not then I don't. Maybe I have settled, but I am happy enough the way things are.
This awesome post is spot on.

I had some self esteem\self confidence issues in the immediate aftermath. I did some foolish things that I thought would help me regain them. I put my WW through hell and made her prove herself to me. There was no pick me dancing or being an easy plan B. She is in many ways a different person now. I too learned I needed to do some self-introspection and figure out how I was going to cope with what had happened. I think I have grown as a person and I know I can deal with whatever life throws at me. My mettle has been tested and I made it through. In an odd way, I think it has given me more self-confidence and esteem. I don't derive my self-worth from my wife and I never have. I am much more aware of relationships with my children, friends, and extended family. I appreciate these relationships a great deal more now and I handle them with care. I don't get involved in other folks' drama anymore. I have more than enough of my own. I've become more understanding, patient, and caring. Maybe I'm just getting older.

Like aine, I have mourned the "what could have been". I don't "love" or respect my wife like I used too. I don't need her either. I know I would be fine without her. I know I wouldn't be forever alone if I choose to divorce her. I have some lingering resentment for the turmoil she chose to insert into our lives. I am a bit conflicted about staying and I wonder if I'm settling. I consider my options often. More nowadays since the nest is almost empty. There is no easy path after infidelity. I do think divorce would have been easier for me. If I had a "do over" I would have divorced immediately and not put myself through this ordeal. Now that some work has been done by us both, it's much more complex.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 05:11 AM
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Re: Those who stayed/tried to after being cheated on, what has been the pesonal toll.

I now realise that many of the issues in my marriage relate to my wife's health issues rsther than her cheating.

Although I suspect that her cheating was related to the health issues.


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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 05:49 AM
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Re: Those who stayed/tried to after being cheated on, what has been the pesonal toll.

Wow this is a hard question to answer without writing out a novel! I have typed and deleted over and over, geesh.

Short answer...The last ten years of my marriage was lived under a cloud of suspicion and apathy. Even though I knew I was a good man 100% committed to my wife and my family in the back of my mind I had this doubt that I had done or must be doing something wrong. I kept my eyes open and saw more bad behavior on her part but kept my mouth shut because I was tired of trying to argue, and I kept doubting my own thinking.

In the end most of her friends turned against her, part of her family also, even her parents came to me and thanked me for putting up with her as long as I did. That's when I realized I wasn't the one that was ****ed up, it was her. And that made me very sorry I didn't divorce many years sooner, I was ashamed at myself for enduring all those years of misery.

Long term it did change me. I am confident in myself and in my philosophies, yet seem to almost expect to be disappointed by the people in my life. I have found it's simply easier to lower my expectations.
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 03:34 PM
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Re: Those who stayed/tried to after being cheated on, what has been the pesonal toll.

Interesting responses.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 10:03 AM
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Re: Those who stayed/tried to after being cheated on, what has been the pesonal toll.

Well it completely killed my ego, my health. I'm absolutely sure women deal with WS differently that do men.
Personal toll....years of questioning her texting and leaving has made me completely apathetic about our relationship.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 10:23 AM
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Re: Those who stayed/tried to after being cheated on, what has been the pesonal toll.

At the risk of commenting while still early in the process. One thing I do think is helpful to me is that by considering reconciliation I feel like I will be able to tell my children in the future (regardless of how it works out) that I did not act rashly.

My wife was rash in her behavior. I feel good that I am not reacting too quickly in return. Best case, things work out. Worst case, when my kids are in tears down the road they can at least trust that their Dad tried his best for their sake. I don't know, maybe that's selfish, like I'm trying to build myself up while tearing her down -- but I trust that that's just the reality of her actions. I'm not trying to make it worse, and I do think it will be helpful to my kids to know that I spent A LOT of time thinking about the best course of action.
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-10-2017, 10:25 AM
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Re: Those who stayed/tried to after being cheated on, what has been the pesonal toll.

hasn't made a damn bit of difference to me. i dont really have any self confidence issues when it comes to relationships. i never have. i dont view people in terms of "good enough" or "not good enough", however. i dont think of people or myself as good or bad.

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