how to cope with husband's "mistake"
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Old 07-05-2009, 03:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default how to cope with husband's "mistake"

I am brand new here and I apologize if this is not the appropriate place to bring this discussion. If it isn't, please let me know.

I am 29 and have been happily married for 6 years. My husband and I have a good, strong marriage and are both very good at communicating with each other. We are also very close. We have two kids but really try to keep our love for each other in focus and not get caught up in the minutiae of everyday life to the detriment of our marriage.

During my last pregnancy I went through some depression issues (caused by the hormones) and it affected our marriage. After the baby was born, I was fine emotionally. My doctors kept a close eye on me for post partum depression but I didn't have it. Oddly, its only when I am pregnant that I am depressed.

So my baby was born in January and I thought life was returning to normal. Then (to make a really long story short), I found out my husband had started becoming close to a co-worker (this was after the baby had been born), they had started a texting relationship and then meeting in a parking lot and riding into work together.

I found out because we don't have a texting plan and our cell phone bill was ridiculously high one month and I saw hundreds of texts between my husband and another number. When I confronted him about it, he told me everything. He even told me that one night that I was out of town he had asked her out to coffee but she had said no because she was worried that they were getting to attached.

He has apologized profusely, told me over and over again that he wants to be married to me and that he loves me and he hates that he hurt me. He maintains that it was just a stupid thing he did that was just lots of fun and he wasn't really thinking it through.

He thinks, because he has apologized, and genuinely wants to be with me and regrets hurting me, that I should be able to move on quickly from this and get over it.

The problem is that I don't see it the same way that he does. I think that he was on a dangerous path, and though he was only at the beginning of this path, he was still on it. No matter how much we talk about it, we cannot see it from the same perspective.

I keep wondering if I am just being too "female" about it and that I should just view it as a fun episode like he does. But I can't shake the belief that what he did was dangerous to our marriage, and it is very disturbing to me that he cannot see it that way.

He refuses to go to marital counseling. Again, he sees this as a mistake that I should be able to forgive and get over easily. My anger has worn off, and I absolutely want to forgive him. But I still feel betrayed and that has left me feeling a deep sadness that I cannot seem to get through. The fact that he went behind my back and did something like this without thinking about how it would affect me or our marriage scares me.

I feel myself getting depressed about this. I can't function well, I'm not taking care of my kids or my house the way that I normally do. But talking to him--for the first time in our marriage--has not helped at all. It has only illuminated the fact that we are on two different sides of the fence on this issue.

I guess that is the gist of it. Sorry its so long. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 07-05-2009, 03:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to cope with husband's "mistake"

What is stopping you from going to marital counseling alone? It will help you cope, and it may draw him in over the long run.
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to cope with husband's "mistake"

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Originally Posted by misse79 View Post
He thinks, because he has apologized, and genuinely wants to be with me and regrets hurting me, that I should be able to move on quickly from this and get over it.

The problem is that I don't see it the same way that he does. I think that he was on a dangerous path, and though he was only at the beginning of this path, he was still on it. No matter how much we talk about it, we cannot see it from the same perspective.

I keep wondering if I am just being too "female" about it and that I should just view it as a fun episode like he does. But I can't shake the belief that what he did was dangerous to our marriage, and it is very disturbing to me that he cannot see it that way.
I know just how you feel. I went through this with my H for years. He also thought i should get over some things he had done, and i questioned myself, thinking i was just being a 'girl'. but i couldnt ignore how i felt, no matter the stereotype.

i just kept at it. i never pretended to move on, and i let him know i still wasnt over it. we fought a lot. dont be scared by fighting. its part of marriage.

but you can still be ok. just realize these things take time. try not to get too defensive, realize he's just going to have to understand what it really means to apologize, but try to take care of your own happiness in the mean time.

it took my H about three years to genuinely apologize. but i had to do some work of my own along the way. i had to work on my boundaries, my anger, and learn to make myself happy again. but i never let him off the hook until he genuinely apologized.
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to cope with husband's "mistake"



He probably doesnt even realize that he did infact cheat on you in an emotional manner. Some people figure as long as it doesnt get physical its harmless.

**Bangs head against wall**

I would follow Sandy's advice and work on you first. Maybe you will discover something that was lacking in your marriage that contributed to this (not caused it all together, it was still his choice). perhaps he will see the light from your proactive attitude.

If he doesnt, prepare to get tough with him. Some people need a good smack to get their attention.

Take care.
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Old 07-05-2009, 07:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to cope with husband's "mistake"

I agree there has to be some issues that led him to want to have a texting relationship. Just apologizing and cutting off contact is not completely solving the marriage problems. It has been about 2-3 years since my husband started inappropriate online relationships with other women, I still am not over it. He still pleads innocence.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to cope with husband's "mistake"

thanks everyone.

i am right now in the midst of getting a referral for a therapist. even though he won't come with me, i still need help wading through all my thoughts and feelings and i think seeing a therapist will help.

i agree that there are probably underlying issues in our marriage that need to be worked and that contributed to his decisions to strike up this inappropriate "friendship". i am not afraid to uncover them and to do the hard work it will take to make our marriage healthy, but we need to have a third party help us with that.

you are right, he does not understand that what he did was cheating on some level. i have always been totally fine with harmless flirting. i don't care about that stuff because i have never felt threatened by it. i understand that just because you are married doesn't mean you stop being attracted to other people. but the fact that he went behind my back and made a point of hiding it changes everything.

i just don't know how i am supposed to get him to understand. at this point i am unable to and every time i bring it up he accuses me of dragging it out and rubbing his nose in his mistake. i am not trying to do that at all, i am only trying to get him to really understand the harm in what he did so that he is careful not to do it again. right now he is clinging to the belief that what he did was harmless fun; the only casualty was my feelings, in his mind. he doesn't realize he really jeopardized our marriage.
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Old 07-06-2009, 04:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: how to cope with husband's "mistake"

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Originally Posted by misse79 View Post
i just don't know how i am supposed to get him to understand. at this point i am unable to and every time i bring it up he accuses me of dragging it out and rubbing his nose in his mistake.
what i had to say to my H all the time was that i was not bringing all this up to live in the past, or to make him feel like a bad person. that was huge. he always thought i was bringing up the hurt to make him feel like a bad person. i had to explain to him that i wanted to heal, and bringing it up was the only way for me to heal. I also started asking him before i brought it up if he could respond to me. I started to notice that i would switch topics on him and go from a casual conversation, to all of a sudden being really serious. and he wouldnt respond. so I started asking him if he coudl respond to something that was very serious and important to me. if he said no, then i would back off. but if he said yes, i would start with my disclaimer, that i was not bringing this up to make him feel like a bad person, or to hurt him. i would tell him i recognized he was trying and that i appreciated it, but for me i needed to talk about it to heal.

i also printed off an article for him on what it means to apologize. the key thing i pointed out to him was that apologizing requires the offender to ask what they can do to make up for it. that was the biggest step. My H had to learn to humble himself and ask me what he could do to make amends.
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