I have been married for 24 years and it's been almost 2 years since I found out about my husband's affair. We've been to counseling on and off with 2 different therapists during this time. He really wants to make our marriage work and I believe that he is sorry.
But I still can't stop thinking about the fact that he had an affair and slept with another woman. That he broke our marriage vows. During our marriage, whenever we would learn of people we knew who had an affair, I was always quite vocal that I considered an affair to be unforgiveable. So my opinion and probable outcome of his affair (divorce) was well known to him for decades prior to his affair.
We had been having marital difficulties for several years prior to his affair, and neither of us were happy with our marriage. But I never honestly thought he would have an affair. Not just for moral reasons, but for his own religious beliefs. He is religious and I am not. So in the end it is ironic that I am the one who would uphold the sanctity of marriage.
I have gone through the up and down trauma of the past 2 years thinking I can forgive and make this work. But I keep thinking that my only real hope of ever being happy again, being able to trust again can only come from a complete separation. The daily thoughts of the affair still occur. Every book I've read, website I've visited, friend or family member I've talked to keep telling me it will get better with time. Hang in there, it will work out. But I can't forget or forgive. How much time does this take?
Please, if you have been in a long-term marriage that was interrupted by an affair, how long does it really take? Or am I just one of those people who will never be able to get over the situation?
It took me 6 years to be able to finally come to terms with my husband having a affair , it took different stages and sometimes i thought i was ok only to find myself angry the next.. We screamed at each other sometimes but the hurt i felt was so over whelming i could belive that he would want to hurt me the way he did.. He couldnt tell me why he slepted with her other then she offered !! It has only been recently that i found that i dont have to feel betrayed or a victim i can honestly say I love my husband again i want him more then ever and i can see a future for us again .
If someone asked me if i trusted him ... i could only anwser that i completly trust him ,he has led a totally transparent life for me to be able to trust again he has givern me back my faith in him ,i probably love him more today then i did 6 years ago.. we have become stronger and more together
My situation is similar to yours...married 27 years, he had an affair, completely took me by suprisie. He deeply regrets it, has become totally transparent, etc. We have done so much talking, looking back at the things lacking in our relationship, and have found a better, stronger marriage because of it.
It has not been as long for me.....yesterday marked six months since his confession. I still have thoughts about it every day, too.
I don't think we can ever FORGET....but we should be able to overcome the pain with time.
Ask yourself this question: Does it hurt today as much as day 1? Probably not. If you were like me, I thought I would die of heartbreak at first. I cried for a week solid. I couldn't sleep. It consumed my thoughts. I saw her name everywhere.
After a while the crying stopped. As more time passed, it stopped consuming every waking moment of my thoughts. Yes, I still think about it....but there is a pattern of ever-increasing improvement, if you see what I mean. Are you seeing ANY improvement with the passage of time?
The pain is better than day 1, but the thought of the betrayal of our marriage keeps me from allowing myself to feel love or give love. And I'm not just talking about the sexual aspect of it. That is actually easier to overcome. It's the emotional aspect of giving of myself again and trusting.
I've always been a reserved person. Keeping my feelings close and my circle of friends small. On the other hand, my husband is handsome, flirtatious and extremely social. Our differences are what attracted us to each other initially. Now those differences seem to have torn us apart.
I can no longer tolerate his flirtatious behavior and his female friendships, which in the past I would have ignored. I am intolerant of any contact from a female that I do not know. And because of his profession (sales) his email and phone are filled with unknown females.
He says that he will never cross the line again from friendship to affair. That he knows the difference and won't let it happen again. But I can't be so sure and want all contact with females that I don't know to end. This is where we can't come together. He wants me to trust him and I want him to show me he can be trusted by eliminating all contact with these unknowns.
I am no longer willing to compromise this position. At the same time, I know that it is unfair to ask someone to change their personality.
Perhaps our differences are just too great in the end. He is a good man and a good father. And we are too young (in our mid-40's) to live in an unhappy situation for years to come. I just don't know how to turn my heart around.
"I am no longer willing to compromise this position. At the same time, I know that it is unfair to ask someone to change their personality"
I understand exactly how you feel. My husband is in sales also. Charming, handsome. His cell phone and email constantly overflowing. Me, I work from home. A few friends in the neighborhood, not much else in social contact except parents at sporting and school events.
Has he opened up and made all these things readily available for you to see if you want? My husband did....and for a while I checked things....but it didn't take me very long to realize he MEANT IT when he said it was a terrible mistake, one which he would never make again. The trust is returning....but even so, if I ever want to look at anything, I can. We have no secrets. He knows I post in this forum, and I have told him he can log in anytime and see what I say.
With his line of work, it seems all but impossible to stop contact with females (unless he changes jobs), but there still could be ground rules.....stop the flirtatious behavior, certainly never meeting alone with a female, etc., keeping you posted when he has to meet with someone, etc., whatever would make you feel more comfortable.
It breaks my heart to think of you losing your marriage after 24 years, and when I read your post, it certainly sounds like he is truly remorseful, determined to never repeat his mistate, that you love him, he loves you, and that he is a good man and father....... I think this is all about rebuilding trust for you....
Is there NO WAY to compromise that will help you find trust again?
Because if your answer is no, then I would sadly concede that divorce might be the answer, because I believe a marriage does need trust to survive.
I have a similar situation to you only we had a good relationship. One our friends used to say they wish they had. In fact one of our friends told me....and it turns out my H was having an affair at the time..."I only wish I could say the things your husband says about you. He really loves you." Just goes to show you he's a good liar. We were married for 15 years, together 23 when he decided to cheat. I'm not over it. Its been 8 months. I think I would be doing far better if I didn't find out myself and he confessed. He does live a transparent life now, but I'll never forget what a good liar he was and how he fooled me. So I have the same question. Will I ever trust him again. Does he deserve my trust? Would I be better off with a permanent separation and maybe one day finding someone who will put me first and would never do this to me...I have to say that what he did has made me not love him as much as I once used to. I would have done anything for him at one point. I wouldn't now. I feel his love is and has always been conditional. Do I want conditional love...probably not. I'm hoping he can prove me wrong.
As far as your situation, your husband being in sales will be impossible for him to avoid women. However, I do think that you are justified in feeling he need not have friendships with women outside your circle of friends. He doesn't need to be a friend of a client to do business and he doesn't need to be so flirtacious. So point out specific things and tell them it hurts you. If he feels you just need to trust him and is upset you don't, you need to remind him he had that trust and it was abused. It will take time to gain it back and there is no way to just get over it just like that.
My husband and I only have emotional online affairs. It does hurt that another person can come between a marriage couple. I hope you can repair the unhappiness that led to the affair, rather than focusing on the other woman. It think it is easier to save a marriage by falling in love again, rather than analyzing the hows and whys of what broke it apart. Good luck, and sorry I don't have better advice.
I am a victim...and survivor... of infidelity...I suffer from post traumatic stress disorder, the result of being blindsided by my husbands affair. I had seen little red flags while he was having an affair, but somehow couldn't comprehend what was actually unfolding, until last year.
Married 21 years...2 gorgeous children, great dog...loving husband...or so I thought... Rumours circulating...which he told me were lies...had no reason not to trust him...there was something a little off, during the 2 years, before I actually found out...now looking back, I can see all of the little red flags, I chose to ignore. I did not want to lose my family unit...that was my whole life.
We had purchased a new home outside of our community, the old home was in our possession...we had a huge argument over an employee, rumours he was having an affair with her...we did not speak for 2 weeks... He got up one morning, told me he was moving back to our old home...I was in shock...but figured a little space would do us both good. I was lonely, in the new home and hoped he would trade spaces....After two days, I decided to go to our old home,and speak with him about trading places...when I arrived there were new dead bolts installed on the doors...I rang the doorbell and knocked...he would not answer...I went to the kitchen, only to see a vase of flowers on the windowsill...I rang the doorbell again...he finally answered...I ran passed him, up to the stairs....only to see his employee, in my washroom, applying her make-up....Shocked was not the word! I could not speak, as I collapsed to the ground...I looked up at her, as she looked down at me...she had the biggest SMIRK of victory, on her face...I could not speak, only to ask, "how could both of you,do this to me?" I wondered where was my husband...who is that stranger? Everything went blank...I had amnesia for 5 days.....I had a mental breakdown.....
After a month of therapy, many tears and sleepless nights...that pit in my tummy, it would not go away. There was no relief or escape from it...I still have it from time to time.
My husband showed up on my doorstep, shortly after my month of therapy...I was passed the anger phase, thank God...we went for a walk around a lake....we were supposed to talk about finances but the conversation became intimate...he apologized to me...and asked for forgiveness and a second chance....I decided to give him that chance...8 months ago...things are better than ever between us...
Even though I have moved forward, I still have feelings of insecurity...not from anything that he is doing, just from the emotional trauma I was subjected to...he has gone above the call of duty...he is the old husband I knew and loved.... I try to deal with it on a daily basis...some days are still pretty raw and tough.
There is no easy way to destroy the life of a loved one....I know I would have been hurt...in a milder, more gentle way, if my husband had to leave because he was unhappy...it was awful, finding out, he really had an affair for over 2 years...and moved the other woman, in to our family home...and bought her flowers, the day after leaving me.
I am not the same girl who fell on the floor...I have picked myself up...I look for answers...there are none for me...reading similar stories gives me perspective...and it is nice to know, despite not wishing this kind of hurt, on anybody else...that I am not alone.