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Question
Posted by: ms | 2009/11/06

Coping with your husband' s history in cheating on you

I have written a lot, but I had plenty on my mind.

Did you ever came to a time in your life where you felt your brain is standing still and your ability to solve your own problems just disappeared? Well I am there for the past three months and this is also the reason for me writing - hoping that someone can share some ideas / experiences in helping me solve my problem.

Four months ago my husband (been married for 10 years), admitted having sexual relationships with two other women and this is also where my heart went cold and my ability to think rationally went for a loop.

I would like to share the story with you. It is not the normal betrayal story and it will also give you a better picture of where I find myself and why I need some suggestions on what future decisions to make. Your input will be much appreciated.

Just a quick background of myself: Currently employed as a Manager at a very large company, have 2 daughters aged 5 &  6, absolutely love life, very positive, outgoing personality and will always look for the good / strong points in a person. That is me in general, however I find myself these days struggling to be outgoing, struggling to trust men and having problems solving my own love problems.

Now coming back to how things went wrong.
Four months ago my husband admitted having two sexual relationships with two other women. According to him, these were two very short term relationships, three years ago. I was blown away. Was it because we had a bad marriage, or did we fight a lot? During our 10 years of marriage we never had big fights. The times we did had fights, it was minor and the reason was most of the time unclear to me, reason being, it will always revert back to a sex issue that was never the real reason having a quarrel in the first place (Not that sex is an issue).

On the first day after hearing the news, I was devastated. I just did not know how to handle this information. On the second day I was angry with anyone who might have had an impact on my husband’ s actions and only on the third day I started making peace with the idea, and forgiving my husband for what he did. Things were semi normal again.

Here is where things get interesting. About 3 weeks after this event, I read an interesting email on my husband’ s phone. On the day, my husband’ s phone was lying on the table where I was sitting. A message alert came through, and on the bottom of the screen popped up the first sentence of the mail. It was from a lady at his work and it was about an arranged lunch between the two of them. Because I did not know what was going on between the two of them and did see them driving together to work on previous occasions (according to my husband, it was because she did not have transport to work), I decided to phone her myself. Only problem, I did not have her telephone number. It then came to my mind to phone my husband’ s ex secretary and get the number from her. She left the company about 6 months earlier.

The thing about this ex secretary was that I suspected my husband of having an affair with her, but each time I confronted him, he denied it and said that she had no friends and he is just being a friend to her. He even brought her home twice to sleep over at our house. The excuse was that when her husband is on a business trip, she is scared to stay all alone and she has no other friends in town. Due to the fact that I felt uncomfortable with her coming over, I made my husband stop letting her coming over anymore.

So, the morning when I phoned the ex secretary for the phone number, I chose my words very wisely. On greeting her, I told her that I am feeling down, for my husband told me about THE sexual relationships, and that I came across a mail between him and another secretary. The response I got from her was SHOCKING. I don’ t think someone has experienced something similar to this.

Out came all the truth. She and my husband had a sexual relationship for nearly 5 years. They made a sex video together and best of all she is still in love with him. Now, hearing about the possible affair with her “ enemy” , jealousy kicked in. She was so angry with the “ other”  woman and how my husband dumped her for the “ other”  woman that she seemed to forget that she was actually talking to the wife of the person she is having an affair with.

A phone call was made to the current secretary, and yes, they also had a sexual relationship.

The disturbing thing that came up during these discussions, were that both women had babies recently, and both women can’ t say for certain whom the father of their babies are. There might be a possibility that my husband is the father of their babies.

As you can imagine, my life came tumbling down. For more than five years my husband lied in my face and I did not know that. I tried to believe what he told me to be the truth. For many days after this shocking revealing of the truth, I felt like a zombie. My heart was, and is still, broken and I thought of divorcing him. Only problem is, how can you turn your back on someone you cared for, for so long, and the father of your children, just like that? Not as easy as you think. We had some discussions and decided to give our marriage another change and that is what we did.

And this is now why I am coming to you, asking your input.
It is now three weeks after the decision and my heart still feels like a rock. My “ spark”  is not there anymore. I struggle to open my heart and fully love my husband unconditionally again. Not even mentioning the fact of trusting him again.

How does he feel about our current situation? I don’ t know. We don’ t talk much, if we do take the conversation to this direction he tends to go into a blaming mode. Blaming me for bringing it up again and not able to let it go. Yes, he feels bad about what he did.



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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I may have to take a couple of day's leave to read through this one !
Men don't have affairs because of a "bad marriage", or because of fights, and it's rarely the wife's fault. Don't blame yourself. But it's a complex issue, best explored in therapy / counselling.
I wonder why he told you about the affairs when he did ( quite long after them ).
From what you say abou your concerns about the ex-secretary, she seems an odd choice as a confidant or to get the phone number of someone else you suspect.
NOw, her reaction is indeed the sort of situation which, if it was written up in a soapie, people would find far-fetched and unlikely.
If the facts are as you state them, your huisband is indeed a liar and a cheat - lying not only to you but to his mistresses, and cheating on them as well as you. Again, with all this going on, I wonder why he chose NOW to tell you about the previous affairs, while pretending the current ones were not happening.
It is frankly a grossly insufficient response to jusy meekly decide to carry on and |give the mariage another change" - exactly how many last cvhances does he expect to get ? At the least, don't leave it to chance or he will continue to do what he has enjoyed doing for so long. Insist that he join you ins eeing an experienced marriage counsellor to have any chane of actually working hrough all this usefully.
Trusting him again is siomething he must earn, not be given as a gift at no charge. And its unlikely you will easily start loving him again, as actually nothing has changed.
&he does not deserve to be loved again automaically and "unconditionally" even if he continues to cheat and lie ?
And refuse to accept the blame. What he did is so large that he cannot expect you to simply forget it and move on without the necessary work being done, together, with expert help.


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Our users say:
Posted by: Rick | 2009/11/09

Do yourself a favor and read the posts on the divorce forum. Many women in your situation. Its dreadfull I sure to be in this stuation.

Get out of this marriage, he stopped loving you the moment he slept with another woman, its that simple. No one in their right mind can do that and honestly say they love you. If you believe that you are not facing reality and are choosing to ignore the obvious.

He will never change and will continue to do this. You can choose to be a second class citizen in his life or you can choose to move on and forward away from someone who has NO respect and NO love for you.

regards
Rick

Reply to Rick
Posted by: Kristen | 2009/11/09

Hi ms, reading your post brings tears to my eyes - its so sad. Womens'  right - it really is every womens nightmare. Please be strong for the sake of your girls. They need to see you come out of this situation a better, stronger person. Which you will! First you need to get into contact with a good lawyer - sue the pants of the pig. Then you need to see a good counsellor to help you mend and repair. Your self esteem must have taken quiet a blow also. I can' t begin to imagine how you feel. I' m so sorry. Please know that no man that loves you will subject you to this behaviour. Kick him out - and get on with your life without him. You dont need a person like him in your life. Things will get better hang in there and take of yourself.

Reply to Kristen
Posted by: Kristen | 2009/11/09

Hi ms, reading your post brings tears to my eyes - its so sad. Womens'  right - it really is every womens nightmare. Please be strong for the sake of your girls. They need to see you come out of this situation a better, stronger person. Which you will! First you need to get into contact with a good lawyer - sue the pants of the pig. Then you need to see a good counsellor to help you mend and repair. Your self esteem must have taken quiet a blow also. I can' t begin to imagine how you feel. I' m so sorry. Please know that no man that loves you will subject you to this behaviour. Kick him out - and get on with your life without him. You dont need a person like him in your life. Things will get better hang in there and take of yourself.

Reply to Kristen
Posted by: Blossom | 2009/11/07

Hi MS , my husband had an affair 10 years ago, whilst I was pregnant with our second daughter. There was no problem in our sex lives or marriage, he was just lustfull and acting like a rubbish. I have come to realise this after initially blaming myself. HOwever, once I found out there was hell to pay. I contacted his employers, tracked the woman down, phoned her employers and went to her house. I made sure the whole world knew what was going on. I confronted her and nearly beat her up. I was so hurt I couldnt make sense of anything. The worst thing is, that out of all the good men out there I chose him and that pissed me off even more. I moved out and he came crawling back, beggin and pleading.
I felt sorry for him and gave him another chance. He has been a model father and husband for the last 10 years, but i still cannot forget. But I do know he wouldnt dare do it again.
I suggest you do nice things for yourself, join a gym, do you hair, nails, body boost your ego and confidence. Join your girlfriends, go out, talk to people you can confide in. I personallly wont give him another chance if I were you, he cheated with multiple people, who might even be pregnant. That is the deeds of someone who has no concience or love in his heart for the people he holds dear.
He broke your trust, took you for granted and exposed you to sicknesses, etc. for 5 years?!
Some men change, many dont

Reply to Blossom
Posted by: ms | 2009/11/07

Thank you in sharing your ideas on the current situation I am finding myself in. It is much appreciated. It does assist in helping what to do from here.

Maby just some feedback on why he decided to tell me about his affairs. The 1st secreatry he had an affair with, told him that he must divorce me else she will tell the story of their affair to me and if that does not work, she will commit suicide. I don' t know if that was the real reason for telling me, but this is what he told me.

Reply to ms
Posted by: friend | 2009/11/06

Your husband actually really loves you but the problem is that he a sex addict. yYu said lady came to sleep at your house?
Just join him in the sexual relationship. Both of you will end up happy. Stay with him. But never do a swing! it will be a very big mistake.
You feel down and depressed. Did you ever try to have 3some? It is exciting and nice. If you don' t like it then leave him. You will lose him anyway then. You have a good job so you can support yourself. It will obviously be quick to get over him.
With the pregnant stuff? He was stupid so he must make a plan or just deny. Don' t give his dna to anybody. If you do have the sexual relationship with him make sure the other chick is ' clean'  and on the pill.

Enjoy

Reply to friend
Posted by: Woman | 2009/11/06

OMG, This reads like any woman' s worst nightmare! I am so sorry! You must get the help of a counselor immediately!

Not for your own sake, but also for the sake of your daughters. you might be thinking that you will stay with your husband, but think of your daughters. If you could imagine a future marriage for them, would it be the one you are living now? I am asking, because they see you as their role model - and they are likely to model themselves on you and choose the type of man you choose.

This is why your next steps are so very important and you need professional help ASAP!

You will not be able to think properly looking into your husbands cheating face. He needs to move out TODAY. Even if it is only for a trial separation.

Do you have a friend or two you can trust implicitly? This is a very delicate situation and you need a friend or a family member who can help you stand tall right now.

Find a good divorce lawyer and speak to them about your options. (even if divorce isn' t an option now). Obviously, your husband will have to get paternity tests done, because if those 2 babies are his, he will be responsible for maintaining them both for the next 18 years.

I don' t want to sound cynical, but if he admitted to 2 affairs, chances are that he had more. What is more, you do know that he will not change, he' s shown that when he had the second affair.

I don' t actually think he feel bad about what he did, he feels bad that he got caught! And you must never let him dictate the terms of either a divorce or a reconciliation.

Oh, I have the greatest empathy for you, I wish I could just hug you!

Reply to Woman
Posted by: Callie | 2009/11/06

Sorry hun, he doesnt feel bad about what he has done, and he will do it again. By blaming you absolves him - he believes he didnt do anything wrong. Sorry I am being so harsh but for 8 years my husband [stbx] had an affair with a work colleague... and things came to a head when she wanted him to leave me as our youngest was finishing school [ the excuse he used - couldnt leave while kids were at school] - i received a video tape of the two of them....

I cannot tell you how it hurt to find out this man I loved unconditionally had behaved like this... and to this day he denies that he is in the tape...

I have since then found out that she was just one of many..... I am going to counselling and this has helped me immensely. I urge you to go to counselling and to seriously start thinking about divorce as he is never going to change, no matter what he says...

There is no reason for cheating in a marriage....

Reply to Callie
Posted by: cybershrink | 2009/11/06

I may have to take a couple of day's leave to read through this one !
Men don't have affairs because of a "bad marriage", or because of fights, and it's rarely the wife's fault. Don't blame yourself. But it's a complex issue, best explored in therapy / counselling.
I wonder why he told you about the affairs when he did ( quite long after them ).
From what you say abou your concerns about the ex-secretary, she seems an odd choice as a confidant or to get the phone number of someone else you suspect.
NOw, her reaction is indeed the sort of situation which, if it was written up in a soapie, people would find far-fetched and unlikely.
If the facts are as you state them, your huisband is indeed a liar and a cheat - lying not only to you but to his mistresses, and cheating on them as well as you. Again, with all this going on, I wonder why he chose NOW to tell you about the previous affairs, while pretending the current ones were not happening.
It is frankly a grossly insufficient response to jusy meekly decide to carry on and |give the mariage another change" - exactly how many last cvhances does he expect to get ? At the least, don't leave it to chance or he will continue to do what he has enjoyed doing for so long. Insist that he join you ins eeing an experienced marriage counsellor to have any chane of actually working hrough all this usefully.
Trusting him again is siomething he must earn, not be given as a gift at no charge. And its unlikely you will easily start loving him again, as actually nothing has changed.
&he does not deserve to be loved again automaically and "unconditionally" even if he continues to cheat and lie ?
And refuse to accept the blame. What he did is so large that he cannot expect you to simply forget it and move on without the necessary work being done, together, with expert help.


Reply to cybershrink

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