I am a 45 year old career woman--a product of a 20 year marriage to who I thought was a wonderful, honest, loving and caring man. Those feelings and my life changed drastically about a year ago when I found out how unfaithful he had been to me.
We got married 20 years ago. We have 3 amazing teenagers. My husband is a pediatrican. He would spend long hours at work--working in one of the busiest practices in our area.
One evening, an ordinary evening...no different than any other, my children and I had just settled in from a long day at school and work. Suddenly from the front of the house we hear commotion, arguing--confrontation. I look out my front bay window and notice my husbands car sitting in the driveway with the engine running. I look towards the end of our driveway and I see my husband standing at the curb arguing with a woman. I looked for a while because I had no idea what was going on. After 5 minutes of glaring out the window, I put on my coat and I stepped out the front door. I asked my husband if everything was ok. The woman he was arguing with, began to walk towards the house where I was standing. My husbands rushes to jump in front of her as to block my view of her. She was a young woman, very short and very fiesty. She breaks away from his block and introduces herself. At this point I am still very very confused. She proceeds to tell me that My husband and her were in a 6 year relationship and he was the father of her 5 year old child.
Suddenly the earth fell from beneath my feet. I was so numb--felt like the blood was sucked out of me. She proceeded to argue with him about child support. What I gathered from the rest of the bickering was that she followed him home without his knowledge. It was a terrible scene and the most humilating thing I had ever experienced. I told my husband to get her away from the house or the police would be called. When she heard me say those words, she jumped in her car and drove away.
I stood there on my front steps quickly trying to process what just took place. My husband drives the car from the driveway into the garage and enters the house from the garage entrance leaving me standing in the cold. I walked into the house after several minutes, look him dead in the eyes and asks was that all true. He said yes, he wanted to tell me but didn't want to hurt me. I became irate and started screaming obscenities. I told him to leave before I hurt him. He gathered some things and left the house. By this time the kids had come into the room wondering what was going on.
We lived apart for almost 9 months. During that time, he and I went to marriage counseling 3 times a week. We talked through the issues that lead to the affair among other things. Counseling is great, but you have to apply it on a daily bases. At the completion of our counseling, I was still very broken and confused. Three months ago he asked if we could get back together and I allowed him to come back and re-join the family. Nothing was the same--because he betrayed my trust.
Last month, he wanted to have his 5 year old come over and bond with our kids. It was the holidays so I said to myself, why not? He brought the child over and I couldn't handle it. I stayed in my bedroom the whole time the child was there and cried my eyes out. That night when he returned home from taking the child home. I told him, I could not deal with him anymore--I told him it was over forever. I told him to leave the house and never come back. I told him I wanted out of the marriage immediately. He left without incident.
Now I need to pick up the pieces of my life that were so badly shattered. Please give me some advice or where to begin to rebuild. My self esteem is low. I'm depressed daily. Any sound advise is greatly appreciated.
Holy. Wow, what a story. I am SO SO sorry he did this to you.
Good for you for being strong. I often counsel newly betrayed spouses to kick their cheater out the minute they find out - that's what I did too, and it was a great decision. In our case, we're reconciling, but I don't think I could have in your shoes either.
You sound very strong - I know you probably don't feel that way most of the time, but by your post I can see that you are, really. Keep doing what you're doing. You WILL come through this better for it. You already are.
Im so sorry you are here. What a horrible way to find out about your husband. I know that no way to find out is good but you must have been so unprepared for what happened.
I dont blame you for not being able to be with him because of the child. It would be a constant reminder of his betrayal. I cant imagine having that wound reopened every time you saw the child, and its not even his fault.
I feel so bad for you and I know it must be so hard for you.
You need to take stock of all the positive things in your life and build on them. Remind yourself of all the good things in your life that you are blessed with. Work out, socialize, get out of the house and keep yourself busy. There is a whole world out there for you to explore.
You WILL get through this. We all do. Hang in there and best of luck to you.
Obviously your husband was away from you for a while while he was working, so you have been doing your own thing with kids etc... Those things are good things and those are memories you want to keep. You will only have so much longer with the kids so enjoy them.
Find a hobby you want to do, write a bucket list and get on it. I had a lot of anger as a guy. I took it out at the gym and I feel great. I found someone new. She is great. Letting go of the pain is hard but you can do it. Focus on yourself.
I wrote a list of 10 things I wanted to do with my life. I set goals. I wanted to bench 275 in the gym.., I hit that last summer so I set new goals. He did not define your life. You had happy times together and apart... Find things that you enjoy and pursue them. The pain lessens with time. God bless.
I cannot imagine your pain. But I have felt some measure of it in my own experience with infidelity.
Let me focus on the positives - you kicked him out. Stay on this forum long enough, and you will read story after story where the betrayed spouse continues to stay in limbo - undecided about the relationship, allowing the spouse to continue the torture. You, on the other hand, stood up for yourself and sent him his way.
Second - you deserve better and now have a chance to give yourself better. Work on your own goals, work on your children, work on your hobbies. Make new friends and enrich their lives.
Third, and this may help with the pain, always remember - HE betrayed you. Nothing is your fault. HE did what he did, and will have to live with his conscience and the consequences.
Your pain will subside. It is hard to believe that right now, but ask folks on this forum, the pain always subsides. Sometimes, it even disappears.
This is a terrible story. I'm so sorry he did this to you. I know how you feel because I too was cheated on. The only differences are their was no child fathered (as far as I know) and you were able to seperate from him. I am still trying to fight through my issues towards a separation and divorce. The folks here have really given you some good advice. Move on with your life. Continue to empower yourself and your children. Although it may feel like it, your life is not over. You have many more wonderful chapters to write. It is his lost. Just imagine, a 6 year affair. You did the right thing! He already started another family so let him go finish what he started. Try to get as much out of him as possible through your divorce. I wish you the best.
Have you started the mechanics of the divorce? You need to find a tough family law practice attorney. You also need to come to the resolution that your children will at some time have the opportunity to bond with their step-sibling.
They will undoubtedly feel conflicted due to the pain the child's existence and the circumstances that brought him to life cause you. You should discuss this with them at some point. Not now but soon.
It will be useful for them to examine their feeling for their father and their step-sibling in relation to you. Family counseling is a good idea - look into it.
Do you know if the OW is still in his life? That will complicate the dynamics of your kids interactions with their father. It's a mess not of your making and it is very unfair that you are dealing with this. But you need to stiffen your resolve to be the best mom you can be. Be the best person you can be.
The posters above have given you some good ideas think about them as you prepare to move forward.
First, a 6-year affair (6 years!) and then a child --- this is anyone's nightmare. It's no wonder that you are so destroyed.
I would keep your H 'kicked out' forever. There are absolutely no words for the sort of human being who leads his life this way. No words. He's not fit to act as any kind of father to your children, in my opinion. Some role model.
You need time and more time. You need serious counseling help. The PTSD from something like this can be very serious and lasting.
How are your children reacting to their father? What do they think of his secret second family?
MsMittens, I have been lurking on this board for the past 2 months but haven't got around to narrating my life shattering brush with the issue of infidelity. I will ... Real soon.
Like you, I thought we had a perfect marriage (with rare days of disagreements but never a fight). He is highly respected in his industry and worked damn hard (in hindsight, not as hard as our son and I thought, taking into account the time he spent with OW in their 2 years illicit relationship). I am numbed. I have analysed and re-analysed our lives together and I couldn't see any clues that he was leading a double life.
Right now, I just wish I could reach out across the screen to give you a BIG HUG. Stay strong.