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Heartbroken and confused over husbands infidelity

Freckles1984
Community Member

I find myself in a very depressing confused state.
It was supposed to be a happy time achieving milestones in our life as a couple... things had been rocky during the last 3 years of our marriage but I always excused my H bad behaviour, his laziness and lack of support. In turn I started to become less interested in sex and in being affectionate as a defensive reflex?

We married when I was 23, he was 35 and sex was great, everything was new to me and I felt deeply loved and cared for. We moved to Australia to start building our life together. We’ve been here for 13 years now and have a beautiful 4yo son. My H was the Center of my world and we had a good partnership, I always supported his dreams and endeavours. At the same time I have been trying to build a financially stable future, working hard and slowly achieving our goals.

The relationship shifted when our son arrived, I started to demand more from my H, I asked him to start looking after his health and to be more involved with our son. I know he loves him deeply but at times it felt like he was annoyed when asked to mind him or play with him. His phone or computer where more important.

My H behaviour only worsened with time, he would be more irritable, disconnected. I am working full time, shift work, 24/7 shifts and coming home to look after our son, I wanted to have some appreciation by sharing some of the load at home but he would barely give me anything and he would complain about the lack of intimacy.
He has been my only sexual partner and although I felt like exploring with him because I truly love him and only want to be with him, my needs we’re not met therefore I would not feel enticed to have sex at all.

Going to mid 2019 and I was at a breaking point, I had decided if things did not improve I wanted to divorce. We were overseas visiting family and they all saw the situation, we love each other but this could not continue. We came back and went to 3 sessions of couples therapy. It was useful in the sense I opened up about many things one of them my sexual frustrations and we started working towards repairing. 

a series of health issues came, he had a surgery sep 2019 then things started to decline again. Covid arrived, I got an unexpected surgery in may and fast forward to November I discovered my husbands indiscretions, I confronted him and he has been paying for sex since 2018. All started to make sense and now I am destroyed! HELP

11 Replies 11

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion
Hi, welcome

I understand, your first love, a child and planning for a future then bang- it's all gone. Very painful and a grief period the go through.

Some people can tolerate such a situation and remain together, most cannot. Assuming you are one of the latter, then you should consider a new life and that might need to include a change of job to cater for your child.

Emotionally expect this trauma to take a long time to heal. I hope you don't give up on love itself.

We are here for you.

TonyWK

How can I leave everything behind?

I feel empowered sometimes and think it’s better for me to just go...

But then I think of all the dreams I have of a happy United family for my son... I want my victories and my fails to be shared with him... all the love I have for him even through this, and then I think something must be wrong with me, how can I still love him?

I have my own childhood traumas of abandonement as my father was selfish and left us for a life of lust. So what my husband was doing cuts deep inside of me.

He is deeply remorseful and says he was living a parallel life projecting his frustrations and shortcomings and feeling empowered in a very selfish way and never measured or even though of the consequences of his actions.

He was not only lying to me but to everyone around, he is in debt now, with covid he lost his job and only was able to get a part time job. Yet he didn’t stop his visits to escorts.

He has fallen into depression and quite honestly I haven’t been able to take care of myself as I have been supporting him trough this.

we have commitments together, not only our son but a mortgage, among other things.

I asked him to move out before Xmas so we are separated but he has full access to seeing, visiting spending time with our son,

I am lucky my mom is here visiting and have been a great support with minding of my little one as neither myself or the H are in great shape right now...

This was soo unlike him that everyone is suffering, his family, my family and the close friends that have come to be aware of the situation.

I don’t want this to be the end of us but at the same time I don’t know if I will ever be able to move past it...

The grief in these situations usually has sequences. Sadness, loss, anger, guilt maybe and resolve.

Until all those are covered it will feel like you'll never get over it.

I've had 4 long term relationships all over 7 years duration. I know the feeling.

Sadly there is little others can do to make it easier.



TonyWK

Hello Freckles1984, and a warm welcome and pleased Tony has replied to you.

What your husband has done doesn't necessarily mean the end of him being able to see your son, this can and probably will as well as making contact with you on a regular basis, but for him to be your first intimate love is a behaviour by him that's not suitable in a marriage unless an acceptable agreement has been made between two people, this, however, has not been the situation.

There are several issues that need your attention, and the first is you have to look after yourself, which includes your son and need to plan for the future, you can't move forward until you accept that your husband may not change, but you can love him, in a totally different way, love for each other changes over our relationship, it's not how it was when you first met and perhaps it's a caring love.

If need be you can sell the house, the debt he has accumulated by visiting these escorts is his responsibility, that's what he decided to do behind your back and by selling the house will free him from this debt, that's not your concern, but if you choose you can help him, but after you help yourself.

Hope to hear back from you.

Geoff.

Hi Geoff,

Thanks for your reply!

I am currently going to a psychologist, have been to 4 sessions on my own. However, I don’t seem to be able to advance in any direction, I just keep feeling sad.

I know either decision will be hard on me, but I keep weighting the options and trying to imagine my future in both scenarios and yet seem not to be able to see with clarity what to do.

I want answers, I want to know why this happened.

He has ask me from week 1 after the discovery to go to couples counselling. At the start he would ask with the aim of staying together, and he would cry and tell me he can’t live without me and our son. I even got worried with some of his attitudes, he is also depressed now...

We have had a couple tough conversations in which I have expressed my love for him and also made clear how I don’t know if I will ever get past the betrayal, the constant images in my head and my new found obsessive behaviour in looking at his phone records and emails... I was never like that...

Now after he has seen all the pain he has inflicted in me and how this has changed me completely, he still wants to go but at our last conversation he told me that he knew what he wanted but also was aware of my struggle and that either to end or save our relationship we would need a 3rd party to help, I agree but I just can’t move, I am soo immersed in this awful pain...

Betternow
Community Member

Hello Frekles1984

I'm so sorry to read your situation. I have been the victim of infidelity too, so I have some idea of the confusion, shock and pain. Unless a person has experienced it, it is difficult to understand the depth of the hurt. Like you, I was totally blindsided by my wife's deceit and we spent nearly two years trying to patch things up but to no avail. We had three children under 8.

Here is what I learnt from my experience. This may or not be relevant to you and not everybody will agree with me.

1. It is important that your husband reveals EVERYTHING about his hook ups. He needs to understand that you will forever be stuck with "mind movies" and anxiety unless he comes clean. You have the right to know as much as you require. If he hesitates, he is not serious about reconciliation (he may say he doesn't want to provide details because he doesn't want to hurt you more. I call that BS, the damage has been done, he no longer has the right to be selective with the facts)

2. STOP telling him you love him. That just provides him with fuel to keep you in the marriage.

3. I doubt you require couples counselling. In my experience it is the deceitful spouse that requires the counselling in order to try and get some insight on why they cheat. Unless they get to the bottom of their own issues, it will likely happen again. You may wish to consider couples therapy once he has finished his individual therapy.

4. The shock, numbness and indecision you are experiencing is very typical of a betrayed spouse. There are no short cuts to a quick fix. Your husband needs to understand that. I was locked in a spiral of sadness, grief and confusion for 3 years. Take you time, there is no hurry to arrive at a decision.

5. I doubt you will ever have an answer to the WHY question. I have spoken to hundreds of betrayed spouses and not one has ever received a satisfactory answer. Even when the deceitful spouse tries to explain WHY, it simply opens up more questions for the betrayed spouse and so the pain continues.

Infidelity is not necessarily the end of a marriage. It is very difficult to rebuild but it can be done. If you succeed in saving the marriage you and your husband must understand that it will never be the same marriage as it was before. It can't be. Once trust is broken it can take decades to restore, if ever. Some couples can live with that compromise, others can't.

Freckles

you have received some very helpful and supportive post. Betternow has given you a detailed reply with points to think about.

By writing your posts so honestly it will help many people reading who don’t post, so they will not feel alone.
Betrayal is a type of grieving as you are feeling the loss of trust. It does take time and you need space to make clear decisions. You ont need to be pressured as you need to take your time.

Hello Freckles, I have to say that Betternow's comment has so much merit and love it.

I agree you can't keep saying you love him to try and make him stop, what it does is give him the guarantee that no matter what he does you love him and I don't believe that it's this situation.

The scenario is there possibly does need to be a third person, but it's not an escort who is only after pleasing him and then collecting her money, who he may not see again, that I can't really say, but I'm sure she wouldn't want to be the third person with the three of you together.

There can never be an acceptable explanation of why he spends his money on these escorts, not unless two people have discussed this issue and come to an agreement, but this isn't the situation in your marriage.

If he's at home but deep in thought, what's he thinking about because what he says may not be true and whether you can trust him is a decision you need to make, unfortunately, guarantees are not found in relationships, it's too complicated for the human being, our life involves so many different avenues.

Trusting isn't a guarantee, may be you've trusted someone before but now struggling to decide whether or not to trust what he says, this doesn't necessarily mean you don't love him as I've said before, but if he has no respect to what you can agree on, then do you want to live in this situation.

My best.

Geoff.

Thank you all for your input, I really appreciate the time you put into helping me get some clarity.

would anyone know of support groups for people like me? Some space where you can talk to others that have gone trough this but in a more personal setting, face to face kind of meetings?