So, what is his advice for DEALING with the pain, the betrayal, the mistrust? That's what I need help with. Reconnection is good and all, but let's be realistic. Trying to recover from all the damage an affair does requires more than touch charges, talk charges, and date nights. None of that is going to help me reestablish trust, ease the pain of the betrayal, or erase the fact that my husband stepped out on me while our marriage was good and I was the supportive wife, dutifully raising our child and caring for our home-all the while waiting for him to connect with me.
And I know more than a few couples that are happily married and together as a result of an affair. My mother cheated on my father with his childhood best friend. The friend and my mom just celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. My uncle and his current wife were cheating on their spouses, they left them, and now have three kids together and have been married to each other for over 10 years. "Affairs don't last"...yeah, right.
If that's the kind of stuff he's selling, I ain't buying.
That is where I am...dealing with the affair. I think my husband has had more than one, but he will not admit or deny any of it. He is my best friend of 21 years, and husband of 10. We did not meet under the best circumstances, all those years ago. We were both married to other people, but our marriages to our spouses were already on the rocks.
We lived together for 11 years before we got married, we had a 7 year old daughter together. To give you an idea of timeline, our daughter is now 18. During the years before
we married, my 'husband' would spend 2, 3, 4 days away, and come home...with no explanation about where he had been or what he had done. He would say it was none of my business because we weren't married. I was so frightened and scared about being on my own I tolerated it because I had no job, no money...and our daughter to take care of. He provided a roof over our heads and groceries in the cabinet. The years wore on....and when our daughter turned 7, she asked me why my last name was different than hers. Well, that started the beginning of the really bad stuff between me and her dad. Her dad and I went to the courthouse and got married.
As his wife I started demanding to know about these absences. After we married, he didn't do it as much. It turned from being gone several days, to a very late nite, or one over night. When I would ask him about it, he always seemed to have a plausible explanation. I never followed up though to see if he was telling me the truth, because I didn't want to find out if he had cheated. I preferred to live in ignorance and strife.
In 2006, it finally smacked me in the face and I couldn't deny it any longer. Buy this time, our daughter was now 14. My husband's father had passed away, and I insisted his mother live with us who was suffering from Alzheimers. I do not have to tell you who 95% of her care fell to. I worked all day at my stressful job, came home to take care of his mother, give her her meds, feed her, clean her, and put her to bed. My weekends were non existent, the mother/daughter Saturdays I used to spend with our daughter stopped.
On the Saturday before Mother's day, my husband was out on a martial arts tournament weekend. These happened one a month, always within the state. He would drive to where ever it was, and come right back. But the last couple of months they turned into 1 and 2 night trips. I suspected. I went to our business that he ran, to get a little cash I knew he kept stashed there as I needed to grocery shop. I went in, and found flowers there...daisys, a bouquet laying on a counter. I broke in half. Life went on, and I still did not confront him. The following September, I was putting away his socks in the sock drawer, and something made me check the box of condoms he kept there. I knew it should almost be full. No, there was only two there, and one was a brand that did not belong to the box. Still, I did not confront him. By this time the martial arts season was done.
I finally confronted him on Christmas night. He would not admit or deny. And that is how we have been living life. He has said he was sorry he hurt me and would never do it again. I have been getting Mort's emails and have been reading them with great interest. Forgetting about the problems and moving on seems like a terrific idea. My husband moved out New Years eve, and we are both struggling financially. However, as I visit my husband at our business and we go on weekly dates, I can't forget the affair he won't admit to. I have no problem touching my husband, talking with him...he laps it up like water. I get big bear hugs from him in return, and he tells me how much he misses me. I miss him. But damn it...all the infidelity...all those years ago.
They say love is a crazy thing. I have no doubt we love each other. I can't get past it. I am sure he would love to live with me again and act like nothing happened. I am the one who can't do it. I have not looked at another man or considered one. After the failure of my first marriage, I made a commitment to myself I would never do that again. If I married again, it would be for life. So for now we are in limbo. He lives 20 miles away in a little three room apartment he shares with his disabled brother. I live in a big two income house struggling along on one income. We can come together and talk, have fun, eat out...do things together. But to have an intimate life under the same roof? I throw up a brick wall. I hope Mort's stuff can help. Right now it is only the emails. I have no money for anything else. Per one of Mort's suggestions, I have tried giving my husband things...since money is scarce for me, I have to be creative. One thing I bring him on these hot days after a long day of work is a large container of iced water, with slices of lemon in it. He loves it. I got a jar of his favorite jam...seedless blackberry. He didn't know what to say. And occasional touch, a simple kiss.
But in the back of my mind it is always there. "You cheated on me...you cheated on me..." It is eating me alive.