I have been married to the same man for over 32 years and felt I was living the American Dream. We have raised 3 beautiful and successful children and are now "empty nesters". Because of a psycho relative my husband confided in 25 years ago, I just found out last week my husband was unfaithful one time (so he says). When I confronted him about this, he tried to talk around it but then finally admitted the details to me, over a 3 day period. He actually said he had felt so guilty and ashamed, he tried to forget about it. I have never seen my husband openly "weep" but he begged my forgiveness. I know my husband well enough to know he was sincere. She was also married with young children at the time. This happened at an out of town conference. After a long day of meetings about 10 Associates decided to relax in the hotel hot tub with a case or 2 of beer. I won't go into all the details but there was 1-2 hours of conversation out by the pool between the 2 of them. Apparently their rooms were in the same area of the hotel so they were walking the same direction when one thing led to another. I guess afterwards they both decided this was a big mistake since they both had families and neither of them had ever cheated on their spouses before. My husband had a rental car and admitted that just the 2 of them got off the property the next(last) night to "discuss" what had happened. He said they both felt so ashamed, would never mention it to anyone and would just remain friends. They worked for the same company but in 2 distant cities. My husband admitted talking to her on the phone a few times just to see how she was doing and then he left the company, never to talk to her again. I am now obsessed with finding out more about this woman even though this was 25 years ago. I told my husband that his affair was new to me and feels like it just happened yesterday since I just found out. Two things bother me-if they felt so guilty why did they go out together the next night (even though my husband swears nothing happened)? And why did he continue to call her occasionally? My husband admitted that she was very smart and attractive and someone he could have gotten serious with if the circumstances had been different. He admitted that he actually had feelings for her but loved me and our family. I really related with Elizabeth Edwards today on Oprah. She has written a new book about her husband's affair and he told her at first that it was just one time, only to find out that wasn't true. How do I ever trust my husband again? I want to believe him but once that trust has been broken, you don't know what to believe. Through my research on this woman, I do have her email address. Should I just let this go or contact her? I have forgiven my husband (as long as it is just the one time) and divorce is not an option.
No, I wouldn't contact her husband (if she is still married). I would just want to say some things to her basically to make me feel better and just to to forget about the whole thing and have some closure. I know it seems silly I am reacting this way and believe me I keep saying to myself "Get over it!" But as I said in my original post, this affair is new to me even though it is something that happened 25 years ago. It makes me question our entire relationship and only hope he is telling me the truth (abouth the one time). I almost wish it would have been a one night drunken quickie but my husband spoke of her with a lot of dignity and respect, almost as if this was an ongoing thing. He seemed to know alot about her and her family (her husband's name, where he worked, how many children they had, her educational background, etc).
I've always said, nothing good comes of an affair.
But ... by your own words, you indicate that you have been in a productive and healthy marriage for a quarter of a century since this event.
Approaching it as if it were yesterday, and obsessing about it can't possibly take you anywhere good. Trying to contact someone that has been out of the picture that long is not going to give you closure. I would actually expect that it will only compound your doubt and frustration.
You feel what you feel. I'm not telling you to ignore, minimize, or dismiss what you are feeling - but do put some serious consideration into what you require to resolve those emotions. You have been married for over 3 decades. You either have a very healthy relationship, or an extremely dysfunctional one to make it that long. If you go back over those many years I am sure you can pick out the highs and the lows as a couple as well as individually.
Just stop and do the math. Does the good outweigh the bad? Keep perspective on what you have built together before you decide that you need to tear it down because you question it's authenticity.
From someone with a simular situation...
I discovered a few months ago that my husband was knee deep in an affair. He has given me little to no answers - at least your husband has regrets and wept, BUT... knowing what I know now, I do not trust him. To be cheated on and kept in the dark equals lack of respect, low morals & total dishonesty! We are also in our 50's so this can still be on-going. I would not let this go without following up with what I know of her until all my questions are answered. If he cheated then, has there been others? Is there someone else now? Who knows!
Thanks to everyone for their insight and advice. I really don't have anyone to talk to about this and that's why I sought out this forum. I believe my husband and I need to continue this discussion because I still have lots of questions. The good times certainly outweigh the bad. If I can't let this go, we will definitely seek the help of a professional.
Beachlover, wow, I am so sorry for your pain. Whether it happened last week or 25 years ago, when you spouse admits they had an affair, it is some of the most difficult news to someone can ever hear.
This is why I always think that an unfaithful spouse should always tell the spouse what they did-even if they never intend to continue the affair/or have another affair again. You simply never know when someone will say something at some point in the future. The truth has an odd way of coming out. But, that is neither here nor there at this point.
Beachlover, do you believe your husband? If you do, then you will have to go from there and work to rebuild your trust.
FWIW, when you described what your husband told you about his brief A, it is SO SIMILAR to what my husband did last year. My husband confessed within a few months, so that part is different. But the circumstances...an out of town trip, alcohol, the two of them were alone, it happened once...this is very similar.
I made the decision to forgive my husband and recover my marriage.
Beachlover, you mentioned that you would have felt better if it was a drunken ONS-well, from what you have posted here, that is kind of what it sounds like. Maybe they were friends and chatted for awhile afterward but it sounds like nothing ever came of it. At least you know this part to be true.
Please don't compare your situation to Elizabeth Edwards. Stay away from that drivel because what happened to her is not similar to what your husband did 25 years ago. Comparing yourself will just make you feel worse, most likely!
Maybe some counseling for you and your husband would help. But, if you truly believe in your heart of hearts that he was faithful ever since that time and you feel like the good times do outweigh this incident then work forward from there. Allow yourself plenty of time to mourn the loss of what you thought you knew and then begin again.
Please don't contact the OW--whatever she tells you will most likely make you feel even worse, IMO.
Allow yourself plenty of time to mourn the loss of what you thought you knew and then begin again.
I can imagine you are questioning your entire marriage at this point and your husband feels somewhat like a stranger to you right now.
From what you've said, it really does sound like he is being honest and has felt horrible about his indiscretion so it doesn't sound as though the years that followed have been some sort of secret life on his part.
It can feel like a double-edged sword to hear that he thought highly of this woman, but at the same time it shows he is being honest with you now rather than trying to play it off as no big deal to him.
I don't think there is anything to gain at this point by contacting the other woman. In my opinion, you will start to feel closure over time by talking it out with your husband and hopefully getting the answers you need (but may not necessarily want to know.)
I want to thank everyone for giving me their perspective on this.
My husband and I have vowed to make this one of those "ah-hah" moments where we don't take our relationship for granted. Even being married for 32 years, I am still finding out things about my husband and vice versa. I consider this a positive awakening and we have actually grown closer in the last week. We have talked more in the past week than we have in the past few months. As you can tell I have forgiven him because I believe him. I am trying to let the other woman go but in my "research" I did find out she may have had another child since she had unprotected sex with my husband. Now this is the only thing that I'm having a problem with. I don't know the birthdate. Does anyone know how I can obtain a birth record (date) of someone? My husband said at the time she told him there was no way she could get pregnant. I am assuming she was on the pill. At the time she had 3 young children at home. Any good websites to find out about a person (birthdate especially) Thanks.
For those that say just let it go...its simply not that easy. I know what its like only it was very fresh when I found out as it was still going on. I have been with my husband for 23 years. He slept with and had a relationship with an 18 year old for 6 months...he realized it was a mistake when I caught him...it would have been easier for me if he had chosen to end it. Anyway long story short we are working it out but I will tell you he lied about a lot. He wanted to tone down what really happened. My guess is your husband did the same and after all these years likely forgot a lot of the details but just the same your questions are valid.
The ONLY way to recover is he needs to be very open, he needs to honestly answer your questions and allow you to have them. When he answers them do not get angry as if you open yourself up to this then you can't be afraid of the answers. I have read the need to know all the details is due to a loss of control we feel and its the mind's way of getting a hold of the situation again so those details may very well be necessary for you (I don't mean graphic descriptions but rather what was said, why did you leave in the car together, etc.) You go ahead and ask,if he doesn't want to answer then simply tell him you can no longer trust him. If he wants your trust back he needs to do his part.
In my case, I found out something that happened 21 years ago on top of all of this. We were very young, the one and only time we ever broke up was when I was 19 and he 21. I knew after we broke up he'd been seeing a girl we got back together shortly afterward but he lied about it and he started seeing and sleeping with her before breaking up with me. I just found out because when I brought it up again(haven't in 21 years but in light of the recent affair I did) and he'd forgotten the story he gave me. He finally admitted it and I told him that he lied then, lied now how much can I believe is real over the 23 years??? See its that trust once its broken it is so so so hard to get back but he has to do his part. You two should see a counselor it could make this whole process easier.
You hit the nail on the head, you just found out so this is fresh for you. He's dealt with it 25 years ago and you haven't had that time to get over it.
My dear let it go, wow weeping and asking for forgiveness for a heart crime 25 yrs ago. I understand your needs but it is merely a witch hunt now, and if you get all her info.
I can only assume you are going after her "i.e" notify her husband.
If so with your posts, then divorce.
My god 25 yrs ago, sit have a cup of java and think about it before reacting.
I'm sorry but this is so wrong. Betrayal is betrayal and by never telling her he is lying, a lie of omission. That is today. Just because he got away with it doesn't mean it's erased. She feels betrayed and has to recover from that.