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Wanting to hear from survivors of infidelity

Bailey13
Community Member
Hi, I have been on the receiving end of a cheating husband (married 10 years, 2 kids). I know the majority will say reconciling will never work but I'm not ready to write it all off. I'd love to hear from anyone who has stayed in their relationship after being cheated on and how they are coping or managed to find peace, if that's even possible. My husband is very determined to rebuild or marriage. I sway day to day from feeling positive to not comprehending how it could possibly work. I'm feeling really stuck and scared of making everything worse either which way I turn. I don't want to fully invest myself back into our relationship unless i can cope with the lies and infidelity creeping up on me all the time. I trust that he loves me and would never do it again, but i don't trust myself to be able to get over it enough to not allow my hurt and sadness to interfere with our marriage. Anyone been or in a similar situation with some advice for me?
24 Replies 24

Guest_9809
Community Member

Hi Bailey. Its a tough ask isnt it, having to deal with the pain and betrayal of infidelity? You're right, most people will say that you cannot mend the broken layers of trust in your relationship after being cheated on.

My husband has cheated on me. It hurt so very much! I had not the slightest idea it had been going on, and I only learned quite by accident. He denied it of course, until he could deny it no longer when he was forced to tell me I needed to see my GP for some STD tests. He tried to blame me, but my blood tests came back clear. His did not. So he finally admitted that it was a one off indiscretion, and that it would never happen again. He threatened self harm if I left.

We'd been married for about 10 years, and I loved him. So I forgave him and we went about our lives as before. Then it happened again! Again caught out by accident, an email he'd left open and I mistakenly read. I didnt want to know, but couldnt avoid the fact that he is simply a serial offender. He believes he has every right to do as he chooses, and has no hesitation in lying about it.

However I have remained with him. I feel an obligation to do so, and our lives are so entwined that I cannot really see a clear way out of it. He also needs me, and that is a surprisingly strong incentive to stay. He tells me he loves me, and that his dalliances mean nothing. Despite his cheating ways, I've chosen to believe him.

So yes, I have been in a similar situation to you, and I am still in that situation. I know he still cheats whenever he goes overseas, which is at least twice a year. I think he takes better precautions now, and I also insist we use protection ourselves. Knowing I cant trust him is painful, and I sometimes wish I didnt know. But what is done is done, and we make the best of a bad situation.

You say you wish to remain in your marriage. A couple of suggestions for you. I would suggest you attend some sort of couples therapy to try to get things back on track for both of you. Learn about why people cheat in the first place, maybe even ask him. You need to get the anger, pain and betrayal off your chest, so speak to a trusted friend or family member. Get tested for STD's if you havent yet done so. Dont make any long term decisions in the early stages. Dont try to 'get even' by doing the same thing he did. Dont say things you dont mean, or make idle threats. Dont blame yourself for your husbands actions.

I wish you luck Bailey.

Taurus

Ken1
Community Member

Hey Bailey13,

I do not have experience with infidelity in a relationship but hope to offer some support otherwise.

I don't think you should immediately write it off at all, especially when it comes to marriage. Your own timing to make your own decisions is important and valid.

I like to believe that it is possible and while potentially many relationships where cheating has been involved may not recover, I can't believe that it is the case for everyone. Undoubtedly your husband had certain reasons for doing what he did and these are reasons that I'm sure can be overcome. If he's willing, loves you and is sorry for what he did, then in my opinion, the rest is up to you to decide.

I think so long as you guard your heart and surround yourself with really good friends that can help you in making some tough decisions and can look out for you, that you shouldn't be scared. It won't get worse until it does, and there's no point imagining that into existence.

If you feel like you're really struggling with the lies and infidelity, you may find that seeing a counsellor a couple of times would help you sort out your thoughts and emotions. They can help you find things you didn't even know you felt or thought.

I think there are some important decisions for you to make absolutely. But make sure that you don't let the worry and fear of the outcome of those decisions prevent you from making good ones. Talk to people who know you and love you, see a counsellor if you want to, and take as much time and healing as you need to be sure in what you want.

Hope this is helpful.

Bonnie

kestrel
Community Member
I was married for six years and we had daughter. After about two years I felt there was something wrong but she kept saying nothings wrong I still love you. I felt that she may as well not have been there, because she took very little interest in our daughter or me. Towards the end we went to relationship counselling where she said everything's okay nothing wrong with marriage. Second time I went on my own because she said we didn't need it cost too much. She after I blew up because her needs always came, our and I came very poor last. I found out later that at least for four years she had been cheating with an ex boyfriend. Then a lot of things made sense as I used to go to painting and music groups and if I said I didn't feel like going she'd insist I went and frequent suggestions that I visit relatives. I didn't suspect anything because it wasn't something I'd do though I'm no saint there were a couple of times I could have cheated but it would have only been sex not love. Later she started talking about getting back together but I couldn't trust her. I found it hard to trust other women after that. People do make mistakes and cheat, but I think if they've done it once it's likely to happen again. Some are faithful and some others aren't and think its okay. I think if a woman cheated on me I don't think I'd give her a second chance. If I cheated I wouldn't expect a chance, but I don't think I;d be cheating as its not in my nature.

MsBeliever
Community Member

Hi Bailey13

I have just found out my bf of 15 years has cheated on me again. The first time was early on in the relationship. We broke up but got back together. 15 years later and its happened again. I am numb and broken. I dont plan on staying with him anymore.. and I regret so much for having stayed with him for so many years.

I know what you mean when you say you are not sure if you can cope with the lies. It took me a long time to trust him again and even then I still got paranoid every now and then. I think as long as you are BOTH willing to work on the relationship then its possible to overcome this. Give it a chance especially if you still love him and he loves you. But know when its time to walk away. My mistake was I didnt when I knew in my heart I should have.

Resp_Adult
Community Member
10 years ago, my husband slept with two other women. We moved passed it - sought counseling. Earlier this year (I've just been told by my husband) that he'd done it again. He's just been diagnosed type 1 bipolar. Needless to say, I'm shattered and devestated - feel like an idiot. I can see the patterns now in retrospect - I will seek counseling I'm not sure I'm going to stick around for the third time. Feel ripped off, tired of being the responsible adult... Starting the anger phase. Good luck with your journey.

kanga_brumby
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Dear Baily I have some time back been in two different relationships. Two different women. Both of them promised me they wouldn't cheat on me. the first woman cheated twice on me. The second one found out about the first one. After discussions with me promising she would never do that. Within weeks she was with another bloke. Who was often threatening me in front of her and her children. Often bringing in his friends to back him up in a possible fight. Then to cap it all off another of her friends stole some checks from me. Then deposited one in her account. which then bounced. Costing the both of us money. I no longer in there company. Fortunately I did find someone who didn't cheat we hat two great kids. Unfortunately she got cancer and is no longer with us.

Kanga

Bailey13
Community Member
Thank you all for your replies and advice. You all seem incredibly strong. Sorry to hear of your own heartbreak though 😢 I did see a psychologist for a while after it happened, found this valuable in venting and releasing some of the hurt but not overly constructive as far as strategies and advice to overcome the issues. Haven't had any couples counselling so will look into this. I am not really accepting a lot of support from family and friends as the general consensus is they don't want me to stay with him. You guys... albeit total strangers... have been more helpful, so thank you again. I'm hoping at some point soon I'll find some clarity and courage to move forward one way or another. It's been a long time since it happened and I'm still struggling, it's exhausting!

Hi Bailey, and thanks so much for getting back to us.

I'm happy that talking about things here has been of some benefit to you. Its easy to listen to all of our experiences, but ultimately the decision whether to stay or go, is entirely yours. But it can help to talk about things. So please remember that if you ever want to have a chat or run things by us again, we are here.

All the best.

Taurus

Leo2017
Community Member

Hi Bailey13,

I'm sorry to hear about your situation, I too have been on the receiving end of infidelity (twice!),

The first time I did not manage my emotions nor the situation very well. I swept everything under the carpet and tried to forget - this did not work. It lead to many years of no communication with my partner, both of us dancing around our issues and never bringing them up because of how uncomfortable the situation was.

The second time probably didn't hurt quite as much as the first because I'd protected myself behind a concrete wall from the previous time (I still felt like i'd been run over by a bus). But this time I needed to understand the reasons why it had happened. We went to see a couples counsellor who was great at exposing our issues, but not so good at helping us repair. I am now seeing a different therapist who specialises in couples and relationships and seems to be better suited to my needs.

My partner is a long term sufferer of depression, and while what he did was not ok and very hurtful, it is giving us both the chance to stand in front of our issues and confront them instead of sweeping it under the carpet. I am seeing this as our second chance.

I wish you the best of luck, I know the hurt, anger, pain and loneliness that comes with infidelity. Rebuilding a relationship is a marathon, not a sprint, there is no quick fix, but I do think you both need to be 100% committed to wanting to make this work.

All the best,

Leo2017