My husband and I are in a long distance relationship and have been having problems for some time. He asked for "time" and "space" a few months ago and, although I had my suspicions for a while, I have just confirmed that he is having an affair with one of his co-workers.
Although I was kind of expecting it, when I finally got my husband to admit it on the phone last night, I was quite numb. I told him that I did not approve of the relationship (and the fact that he has decided to go on holiday with her rather than visit me), but that I was still willing to work on our marriage. He said he didn't want to hurt me but that he was almost certain he did not (and would not) want to work on our marriage. I told him I would give him another three months (until he is due to come home for another visit) of "time and space" and that, if he felt it was acceptable to become involved with someone during that period, perhaps I would too.
In the cold light of day I'm not sure what I should do. Given that, I had agreed to give my husband time and space (and never really clarified what that meant to him before) and then reactively told him I may become involved with someone else too, should I just leave the situation as is? Should I get in touch with him again and say that although I accept we have significant problems in our relationship, we are still married, and it is completely unacceptable that he has chosen to become involved with someone else, and that, even if we do end up going our separate ways, it will never negate the fact that he was unfaithful in our marriage (if you can call our current relationship that?). Or, do I just stop all contact with him?
The other option I've been looking at is exposing the affair. It seems to be more effective with women than men though...?
The OW is single and, as she lives abroad, I have no idea who her family are. If I did expose the affair who should I expose it to? My husband's family? Our friends? The place where both my WH and the OH work? My husband and I are both intensely private people, if we did ever reconcile, I'd rather not have everyone know about the affair. Equally, my husband loves his job and, if it did have any negative repercussions on his employment (which I doubt it would), I don't think he would ever forgive me.
I'm thinking that if I did expose the affair I should only do so to my husband's parents and siblings and to her friends on Facebook.
Does anyone have any experience (positive or negative) or exposing a WH?
It sounds like he has been gone from the marriage for a while now. It also sounds as if you are kind of checked out also.
Giving "time and space" is BS. He needs time to do what? Continue the affair? He has told you that he is almost certain the marriage means nothing to him. Believe him and plan from there.
Initiate divorce now.
And why are you worried about what he would think of you exposing the affair? He would never forgive you? Are you kidding? Was he concerned about your feelings when he went on holiday with OW leaving you alone?
Exposing the affair is a tool to help kill the affair and get the wandering spouse to wake up and possible heal the marriage. In this case, I don't see that happening.
So expose far and wide if you need to do that to help YOU recover from this betrayal. Do not worry about what he will think. At this point it has to be about what is best for you.
How long have you been married? How long have you been apart? And how long do you plan to still be apart?
Can't really be in a marriage if you're not around each other. I know with the current state of the economy some people have to make sacrifices to put a roof over their heads and food on the table but at what cost. Only a small percentage of people (from what I've seen) can handle this situation.
No, we didn't really discuss what time and space meant. He asked for it at Christmas and I guess I was so shocked and sidelined by it all, and was probably afraid.
Yes, the OW knows he's married.
My H has said that he still loves me and doesn't want to hurt me, but that he's almost certain doesn't want to continue our marriage. I appreciate his honesty and do know he is genuinely struggling with guilt and not wanting to be the 'bad' guy. I also do desperately want to reconcile.
I guess I'm hoping that the whole thing will blow over, (read somewhere that most affairs only last 6 months??) and that if I wait it out (yet show him that I'm still getting on with my life) he MAY decide to return.
Perhaps falsely hopeful I know...but if there is any chance I'd take it.
We've been married for 12 years, apart for 9 months. Initially he was only meant to be there for one year, but he signed another year's contract. I was hoping to move out there with him but he has made it clear that he does not want me to do that (and now I obviously know why).
We have lived long-distance before and never had any issues so I didn't think this time would be any different...
expose the affair it will make it more uncomfortable and inconvienent to continue, plus you have a better chance to R with more eyes.
Be warned he will be pissed, but sometimes you have to push them away to get them back.
Until OW is out of the picture you are in lossing battle
Yes, taking a more aggressive approach and exposing the affair would definitely upset him. I am obviously worried though that exposing an affair isn't a 'once size fits all solution' and, what may work for some couples, may not work for us. Knowing him, this type of aggressive approach would be something is unwilling to forgive. I suppose it is more as TDSC60 suggests that that, exposing the affair may be more about helping ME feel better.
If I expose the affair now I'm concerned that part of me will always wonder what if I had just waited the few months until (or if) he came back from the summer. I've given him 17 years of my life, surely I can give him another 2 1/2 months?
In the meantime though I suppose I could try doing more of a 180 and emailling him to say that, while I think there is a chance our marriage could still recover, it never will as long as he continues prioritising (and being involved) in his relationship with the OW and refuses to spend any time with me or work on our relationship. I'll accept that there are problems in our relationship but it is 100% his choice to be unfaithful and to abandon our marriage. I could tell him I need to start moving on with my life and I'm starting to make plans for the summer, so that, when he does come back for his holidays, he can stay at home and look after our house, pets etc while I go and do my own thing. By telling him it's his turn to look after everything here it would at least also perhaps prevent him from spending time with her during the summer.
Needs his space? Yep, that's what my husband said too and he was also working away from home on a contract. That space excuse is a load of garbage. Like your husband, mine decided one day that there was no hope for our marriage. He decided that on his on and his decisions are always correct in his mind.
Do the 180. I wish I had done it sooner than I did, but I think you should begin the 180 now. Consult an attorney, start getting things in order on your side. If the marriage works out, then you have really done no harm by putting your affairs in order. He is thinking of himself only and now it is time for you to seriously think about yourself and your future without him.
One school of thought is to basically wait-out the affair. They usually last about 2 years though, and for that entire time in order to justify why it was okay for him to cheat, it is likely your husband will cast you in a very unfavorable light (such as abusive, etc.). Also during this entire time, she will be there with him...and you will not. Since most affairs begin not "for sex" but because some need is not being met such as admiration or companionship...you tell me who has a better chance of filling that need? You--thousands of miles away? Or her--right there with him?
The other school of thought is that your husband made a promise to you to "forsake all others" and has not made any such vow to her--publicly or legally. In addition, chances are about 100% that if his company is an international company that they have some sort of Human Relations Policies on fraternization and sexual harassment between co-workers...and/or some sort of policy about using work time or resources for personal use. Thus, not only has he broken your vows, but he has most likely also committed an action that would result in his and/or her firing if it were to come to the light of day.
So...HOW does he keep it from coming to the light of day, keep the swanky job, AND keep the girl? By making sure that he blames you for "driving him away" if you tell the truth to anyone such as family or work!!
twl142, I have a newsflash for you. Marriages have survived one spouse or the other losing a job. Marriages have survived one spouse being fired! Marriages have survived one spouse being very, very angry at the other spouse. BUT NO MARRIAGE SURVIVES AN ACTIVE AFFAIR.
Thus...the second school of thought is this: decide to fight for your marriage, and in order to give your marriage the best chance of recovering, you just *MUST* end the affair. In order to end the affair, you expose the truth: that your husband is cheating on you with a co-worker. You would tell your parents and siblings, his parents and siblings, your employer, his employer, your pastor/minister/spiritual leader, and anyone who's like a lifetime friend who can talk some sense to him to give up this affair and put work into his marriage. You may also want to expose to the OW that you have no intention of allowing her to continue committing adultery with your husband while quietly looking on; inform her that you intend to fight for your marriage! When he is furious with you for dragging his name through the mud, you recognize that tactic as a diversion--all you did was tell the truth: it was his ACTIONS (of adultery) that pulled his name through the mud! When he makes threats you recognize that tactic--that is a drug addict screaming out in pain at the loss of their drug. And because you LOVE him you recognize that a marriage can survive anger, but it just can not survive an affair.
So it's up to you. School of thought #1....or school of thought #2.
Talin--While no one is blameless in a relationship I fully accept that throughout our marriage I have often been thoughtless and selfish and have taken my H for granted. I have taken responsibility for my actions, apologised to my H, asked his forgiveness and have been making a number of positive personal changes (which he has acknowledged). Beyond that there is nothing else I can do about the past.
Like many others on here the pain and hurt I feel is incredible. To say I am totally heart-broken is an understatement. Although sometimes part of me does just want to react and hurt him even a little, it is my choice to continue loving him and I am trying to do so as selflessly as I can.
Yes, going out there he has discovered that he has a huge need for appreciation. He says he never realised how important this was to him and how he never really felt valued in our marriage (I also think he felt quite unvalued and his confidence took a knock when he was unable to find a job here). Having recently read the 5 Languages of Love I realised that when I used to try to show my husband my appreciation I wasn't using the right Love Language (or expressed my appreciation of him often enough). His new job and the OW are filling this need at the moment and it is making him feel happy and good about himself. Although, during one conversation he admitted that the problems in our marriage aren't that bad and everything hasn't been awful, he is at the stage for the last several months where he no longer recognises that there was ever anything good in our relationship and views it as always being 'unhealthy'. I guess this is his way of trying to feel less guilty and to justify his actions.
Affaircare is right, living 2500 miles apart there really is very little way I can fill this need and cannot even try to compete with the OW.
My H has said that he doesn't want me to hate him and cut him out of my life. He has said that he is still happy for me to email me. I think though that he has built so many barriers and is so emotionally "checked out" of our marriage that doing a 180 would have little effect.
Exposing the affair is very tempting but, again, I'm worried that our relationship is too far gone for it to have any effect apart from potentially alienating my husband from some of his friends/family and possibly impacting his job. Apart from the fact that his job his fulfilling a major unmet need and makes him happy, I know my husband and, if my actions made him lose it he would never forgive me. (Being unable/unwilling to forgive is one of his main issues) Honestly, I am also worried that exposing the affair would also make me look somewhat desperate and needy.
Yes, I hurt, yes I want us to reconcile, and yes I know that if he were willing we could actually create a fantastic marriage. While I do think my husband is in a "fog", and I genuinely do not believe in divorce, I don't know if I can simply step-aside and wait out the affair. Ultimately if he is not willing, while I will still always love him, I will need to accept his has decided his long-term happiness lies elsewhere. While I do have moments when I want to hurt them both, I accept the most loving and selfless thing to do may just be to let him go and continue to pursue his happiness on his own.
As tempting as it is at the moment to even just contact the OW and tell her I'm not willing for her to just continue being involved with my husband while I quietly look on, I do think this would backfire and he would become quite protective of her. By physically rejecting me during his last two visits and choosing to spend his vacation time with her rather than me, he has shown me that his current loyalty lies with her...
I think I may take a few days to consider the different options but, am leaning more towards doing a 180. In the meantime any other thoughts or viewpoints would be really welcome.
No, I'm not checked out. During this crisis I've actually discovered depths of love for my husband that I never thought possible. I've just reached the stage where I've bared my heart and soul, been rejected and don't know if there is still any possible hope we can turn things around or whether it would be kinder to everyone to just try to heal and move on. It's also trying to find a balance between loving someone selflessly and being a door-mat.
I'm still leaning towards doing a 180 and have drafted a letter to my WH reiterating that I am committed to our marriage but saying that, if he isn't willing to work our our relationship or stop his A, while I'm not saying I will give up on our marriage I do need to start moving on and rebuilding my life--with or without him. I've tried to come across as strong and confident in the letter and not to make him feel guilty, or pressured. I think though, there are some places where I haven't been able to stop the hurt and betrayal I feel from coming in. The letter is around 2 1/2 pages long but, if anyone has time, I would appreciate any 'editoral' comments before I send it to him.
The other option I'm thinking about is telling him that I understand he is going on vacation with her to Thailand and can have his time and space to do that but, when he comes back, I am going to come over there and already have my ticket booked... I know this goes against a lot of advice...I'm just feeling that, had I not backed off and given him his space when things started to fall apart, his relationship with the OW wouldn't have escalated as it has and that, physically being there is perhaps my best chance of success...