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Dealing with the aftermath of husbands cheating

Community Member

Hi everyone,

Feeling like I have been on a rollercoaster for the last 10 days and trying to make sense of everything, including my emotions.

Started Monday a week ago when, remembering hubby had told me the day before he had a Christmas email from friends of ours, I picked up his iPad to see what they had to say. All the usual Christmas catchup, what children were doing etc. then I saw the email next to it. With the first line of conversation showing. “I love you”. I asked for an explanation obviously and all that happened was he grabbed the iPad off me and muttered it was nothing, just someone he was talking to online that he had met on Instagram. I looked her up - she is a 29 year old blonde who is everything I’m not. And he is more than twice that age and I am 50...was 50...51 today! He refused to tell me anymore so I packed a bag and went to Mum’s. The following day I came home, he still wouldn’t talk, so I threw him out instead. Each subsequent day we tried to talk and the story expanded from ‘absolutely nothing that wasn’t general chit chat’, to ‘have developed feelings for her’. I logged into his account and started trawling (he uses one of two passwords for everything which isn’t bright if you are cheating). By the end of the week I had found 7 girls, and he admitted to online sex chats, exchange of naked photos etc. but what really hurt was that every time he told me something, he swore I now knew everything (I kept insisting I needed honest disclosure). So, bottom line from him is that because they never touched in person it wasn’t so bad and that he has been honest because he didn’t lie in his responses, just didn’t tell me anything I didn’t directly ask - that withholding information is not lying.

I didn’t eat for 5 days and vomited even water back up. Now I just feel numb with intermittent bouts of extreme emotion where all I can do is sit and let the pain wash over me. The timing wasn’t great. In those 10 days have been an anniversary (26 years), New Years, and my birthday. Which isn’t helping at all.

I had no idea this was happening, I have never even checked his Facebook posts before, never bothered to see who he followed on Instagram, never looked at his email (prob why he wasn’t worried about the password thing). I went crazy after this, logging into everything, trying to find out what I could. Eventually I realised that this was both unhealthy and that he had started to cover his trail by deleting everything...

Sorry, for dumping!

13 Replies 13

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi again

I'm glad you returned and felt comfortable doing so.

I'm sitting here with my good wife and we both agreed- cheating is cheating. Then our smurks were the same when you quoted him "that withholding information is not lying". Sorry, withholding information is deceitful.

I see a clear problem you have here. The lack of confidence to be decisive in your actions. It isnt uncommon of course, you do not want to believe this is happening, you dont want to believe he has done this and said what he has said, you dont want other women to admire him, want him, take him away from you...the list of emotions go on and on. But also, you dont want to face separation that will upturn your life and go about the grief process let alone wonder what life you are going to have to seek.

So working through these emotions might well take some counseling.


Community Member

Hi Defencewife

Internet stuff like this is huge. Your husband is caught up in what so many people are. It is a recognised big problem with youth. It’s addictive with instant gratification. Your husband would not really know who he is talking to and sending/receiving pics to.
I would suggest you research this sort of stuff further. You could start from esafety commission site.
Of course your husband isn’t going to disclose everything, that’s how these things work, it’s the same with youth.
I can feel how distressing this is for you understandably.
I hope you can work through this and get your marriage back on track if this is what you both desire.
This sort of stuff is everywhere.

All the best.

Thanks Flowertop, actually, the cheating itself is less the issue, it was the deceit that unfolded over the following 7 days as he lied and then, when I challenged him admitted a bit more, swore he had told me everything, and then I caught him out with something else. And I am not talking small things. So all I know is what I found out for myself by searching his Instagram followers etc. this makes me feel like I still can’t trust what he says. And that isn’t acceptable to me in a marriage. Infidelity I could have dealt with.

He just says it felt good for his ego to have all these 20 something women chasing him online. Of course they all asked for money fairly quickly except for the one who developed a much deeper relationship with him. Another issue I can’t deal with is that they were the same age as our daughter.

How would I ever trust him if he can’t tell me the truth even to save our marriage?

thanks for replying all

The age topic is subjective, everyone seems to have a different view. Eg two single people meeting up and forming a relationship, one 52yo and the other 31yo it wouldnt be open to much discussion.

However as another example- my now wife and both our ex's were brother and sister. Her father married another sibling 20 years difference and that woman was one year younger than than his daughter now my wife. What was bad was that he had an affair with this woman while he was married to my wifes mother. Now, they have broken up and he has pursued my ex wife, 4 years younger than his daughter.

I dont know what it is with older men wanting much younger women but it is common. It sure would deflate your confidence. I often wonder in these situations if you were to ask him "does this mean we can have an open marriage, that I can also have affairs to"? I wonder what he'd say.

"And that isn’t acceptable to me in a marriage" Sums it up really.

However, what do you have to lose to seek counseling? What counseling will do for you is allow you clarity, allow you to listen to his reasoning and release any guilty feelings you might have lingering from - not being a good partner type issues. The other thing is- if he wont go you can go alone. It's all about you now and your health.


Thanks TonyWK,

truth is, I can’t see me wanting him back. He has been selfish throughout the marriage and this is just the last straw.

counseling for me sounds like a good idea though. And for the record, we are talking a 35-year age gap.



Hi DW,

I'm so sorry to hear what you are going through. But I agree cheating is cheating as far as I'm concerned and withholding information is the same as lying. And sadly he has already proved he has been talking to multiple different women and not telling you unless you outed him.

Also, sex chats and swapping nudes is not ok unless you have previously agreed that it is, that should not be downplayed.

I am in a very similar place myself, just found out my husband who apparently had received a lot of spam with multiple sites mostly advertising cheaters, hookups and discreet meetings as well as legitimate dating sites that needed verification,all with a profile date of birth and logins had been all spam. Yeah right!I never believed him,but shut my mouth. I only found out last week he had purchased a second ipad with data,im guessing this is his work one as i can see he has logged into facebook with three different devices.There is so much more ive found including illegal activity but ill stop there.

I am currently seeking out my legal options , he wont move out and as we are renting if i was to throw his things out and change the locks i could be sued for doing so. I get by on a Disability pension, and have 2 young kids and no family so my options are limited.

I really hope everything works out for you and hopefully some counselling for yourself if thats the way you want to go will help you deal with what you are feeling. xx

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hey Defencewife.

I just want to say I feel your pain. I caught my partner cheating almost 2 years ago. I asked to use he's phone when I unlocked it up popped smutty messages from a 'friend' saying all the things she wanted him to do to to her that weekend. I hit the roof. His defence was that they only ever fooled around and never did the deed. He then accepted yes it was cheating. I agreed to give it another shot.

About a year later I noticed foul messages with her again. Turned out this time he was deleting their cyber sex messages. Well most of.

He didn't understand why I told him that despite promises he continued to cheat on me with her. He didn't see the issue as it was to him just messages on a screen.

I told him to look up psychological cheating and then asked what he would do if someone did that to his sister's. I told him it's still cheating, told him I deserve better and seriously considered ending it.

I gave him one last chance and even told him that I'm an idiot for doing so, that he didn't deserve after all the hurt he caused.

It hasn't been easy but slowly he's gotten better, he cut all contact with her and has freely admitted that he is lucky he didn't up out the door.

It's sad how so many men don't see messages or cyber sex as cheating they still only see the physical act as cheating.

I'm sorry you're going through this, the only advice is do what is right for you. I'm sorry you're going through this emotional rollercoaster

Hi Mary Ploppins,

I don’t understand how they can think this behaviour is not harmful to the marriage. The focus is away from us and, at the very least, they are creating fantasy relationships with images that are often not even real. Their expectations become unrealistic (yep, I look fabulous if I download the image of a swimsuit model and say it is me) and don’t involve the day to day realities of a personal relationship. Yes, there are nights I lie on the couch is my old pjs...but so does he. And he doesn’t send those photos!!

In my ex’s case (yes, he is my ex now in my mind), the women have turned out to be scammers but some will go much further to involve the men before they hit them up for money. Which of course they do in the end. He now acknowledges these were scams but that has actually made him position himself as the victim and he uses words like ‘lured’. No my dear, you responded to a half naked 29 year old... that was your choice. You sent naked photos and sex messages (which he was still denying until last night). I wish they would just grow up and take responsibility for their behaviour, and see it is real and harmful.

It is harder in your situation with the children because we always hold our children foremost in our thoughts and we make a lot of sacrifices for our children, including our own happiness. Good look with the legal advice, it will be interesting to see what they say. I have booked in for counselling, I have made the decision that I want to be healthy and grow from this. It hasn’t changed the situation but makes me feel more in control. I r,ember Barnaby Joyce’s wife using the breakup to get into body building and make herself fabulous. I am going to find a way to grow whether he is there or not.

keep in touch and talk as often as you want.



I'm so proud of you. See, after 11 years of emotional abuse this so called tough ex prison officer, Air force etc guy was compelled to leave and I was left dangling as to my future.

I recall my first night away from my young kids and ex saying to myself "I will leave you in my wake" and I did.

I decided I'd never have a child support payment that was late (14 years and all were on time). I decided to build my own home

I decided to be the best part time dad I could become

I decided that regardless of how she still treated me, when picking up or dropping off the kids, I would treat her with dignity

I'd left her the 100yo house and I took the garage as my settlement and relocated it. Our kids would stay in their home, less instability.

and so on.

Once I finished my home and was living in it my kids had their first weekend in it. Fairy curtains, fairy doonas etc. wow!. Then dropped the kids off. I was exhausted but proud.

Then 2 weeks later I got a letter from child support. She was claiming that "as he has a new house and I have a 100yo house, I deserve more child support". I was shocked.

As it worked out she wasnt entitled to any more money. But it is an example of how these events can be taxing on your mental health. That is why it would be a very good move for you to get your own counseling. Yes, you are decisive which is great but the inner anger/disappointment will take time to get over, the quicker the better.


Beyondblue topic the best praise you'll ever get