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I love him, but is it enough to stay married after his cheating?

Community Member
Never EVER thought this would happen. We were the golden couple. Everyone has always remarked on our perfect marriage of 38 years! Our kids have put our relationship on a pedestal. We have the perfect family dynamic! He was my best friend, my soul mate. Childhood sweethearts...And then BAM! All this exploded two weeks ago when i found out he had been having a 9 month relationship with a co-worker. Needless to say, he broke down, he is distraught, ashamed, a broken man who has begged for forgiveness and....has threatened self harm. I have been on auto-pilot for the past two weeks, in survival mode making sure that he is ok - booked him into hospital (to ensure that he wouldnt go through with the self harm), have sent him to an air bnb to go and recoup, making sure that he checks in every two hours to tell me he is fine - all because i LOVE him dearly and could not imagine how devestating it would be for our family if he did do something to himself! As for me, I am empty. Empty of everything, especially emotions, which is the worst thing of all. I think i have spent so much focussing on seeing he is ok, that i have forgotten about myself. Bottom line, i dont know what to do. Quite honestly, I am petrified to start over at my age (early 50's), cant imagine being single (hell i was blissfully happy two weeks ago!) and unfortunately if things couldnt get any worse, I became a victim of Covid, having been retrenched a week ago! So...no jobs, no prospects for me to even have a choice in moving on. To make matters worse, the OW still works in the same department as he does, and although he says that he will move into a different section, away from her, to minimize contact, and swears blindly that it is over between the two of them, the fact of the matter is that she is still there. I have asked him to resign, but he says that he cannot, because he needs to be able to provide fo the family and it being Covid, he will never be able to get a job elsewhere, earning what he does.... So what do i do? Rational side says, we need the money, so he needs to stay in the job even with the OW being there. The emotional side of me says NO way! I am in a catch 22 either way! Please help...........
16 Replies 16

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Good Morning and my heart breaks for you for what has been happening and the love you have and show for him.

Perhaps he might have been put into a situation where attention from another person lead from one thing to something else, only to gain validation or admiration in a different way, and it could have started by the OW asking him for his opinion on a matter she was stuck in and needed his assistance.

This is something you may or may not want to know at this time unless it's handled by a counsellor, but if it was me (after 25 years marriage) I'd only wish for us to get back on track and maybe alter how we were once behaving in our marriage.

Remember we may make statements that we don't mean, simply because our nose has been pushed out of joint, that's understandable because trust has been broken and the link between the two of you has been severed, but it can certainly be repaired.

There is always a great expression I remember and I mean this in the most polite way 'it takes 2 to tango' and now he has told you then the connection between him and the OW will fade away into obscurity.

Can I suggest that this long marriage can be repaired and going to see your doctor would be an unbelievable help.

Hope to hear back from you.

Take care,


Community Member

Hi there,

Feeling for you so much.

I can understand that auto-pilot mode and feeling numb.

It sounds to me that you know in your heart that you do want to stick with it and to work with your husband repair your life-long marriage.

Having lived through this myself, I well remember my husband’s face, body and whole being... he was beyond wretched.
Beyond. He crumpled. And I did too. For awhile.

I know of several mature woman friends who have endured the same....I know several who went for rebuilding their life with their spouse (with rich and enduring outcomes)

Nothing will feel really normal or ´right’ for a long time to come - but it IS possible to get to a place where you BOTH deeply cherish that you are together still, and the pain recedes...

I just feel for you being in this nightmare, just know.... it passes.

You both have a bit of circumstantial sorting out to do, re his work etc.

But firstly, please do get yourselves into counselling.

You are on auto pilot now, but I suspect sooner or later you will start ‘feeling’ a lot, with some intensity - and managing the onslaught of those highly volatile emotions could be very hard.

Not all is lost......ever.....it will be a hard old path ahead, don’t expect too much of yourself.....but do, do get yourselves help.

This is life. People can slip off course. How often do we hear of mid-life crisis for women and men?
It’s devastating, heartbreaking and a million and one things that can leave us feeling lost and broken.
Your husband needs to understand how utterly betrayed you will feel... And with counselling, there needs to be some deep conversation about his work situation.
From my perspective, it’s how it affects you and how you feel secure that’s number one.

But yes, you can both pick up the pieces. It’s possible.
One day at a time - just remember, you are not alone.

I’m so sorry you have to endure this.
I just wanted to reach out with some shared empathy.

I’ll be here to listen if you want - OK? 🙂

Hi, welcome

Normally I’d say it’s unlikely your marriage will survive but I think yours will. His regrets, your achievements and your love for him make it more than possible.

I would urge he finds another job.

Good luck and as he is full of regret, get back on track as soon as you can.


Community Member

Thanks all for the comforting words. In some cases so much better than seeing a therapist! I'm on another forum as well, and from what i am hearing from everyone is to:

1/ FGive myself time to heal

2/ Not make any rash decisions and take as much time as i need to work through everything

3/ try to reconcile with hubby, especially since we were a match made in heaven (and yes, whilst it may seem cliched, i really believe we are)

4/ Get him to resign, especially as a way of moving forward in our reconciliation. It seems that all the other betrayed spouses who partners are still working with the co-worker find that it removes a lot of triggers and stress from their relationship with them not working together. As one of the forum people put it....." He needs distance from the OW, he needs distance from the triggers at work, and honestly, he needs a fresh start. And I as the betrayed spouse need to live without unnecessary triggers and fear.

Community Champion
Community Champion

38 years

I like the way you have taken on board the supportive suggestions by other posters and detailed them clearly.

Of course it is your decision to decided what works for you.

It is early days and you are in shock.

I am pleased you reached out here for support.

Feel free to keep posting here when you wnat to. You are not alone and there is support here and understanding.

Thanks so much! I suppose my detailing everything is partly because i have always been in total control of what i do and helps me think a little clearer. I am very organised and efficient and to have something like this happen has totally thrown me off course! Detail is what i thrive on as it helps me make sense of this nightmare. I am also desperately looking for the answers, which i know no-one can give to me. Its almost like wanting a rule book where someone says 'turn to page xxx for the answer on what to do'.

Community Member
Thanks so much for the lovely words!

Thanks so much for this. It sounds by your message that you had the same reaction from your husband as i did and that you have been able to work things through, which is hopeful...

Thanks so much for your support and its lovely to hear your positivity and encouragement!