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A CHEATER'S CRY FOR HELP
Hello everyone. Some of you might have read my posts on the "Separating from the Other Woman Thread" which was started up by MallowPuff. I am in need of some insight and tips if anyone can help.
I am married with 4 children. Over the years I have felt lonely, bored, depressed and not supported in terms of housework and those types of things. Overall my husband is a good guy and he is a fantastic father. I cheated on my husband and he caught me about a year ago. We stayed together and tried to work it out. If I'm honest I didn't make much of an effort and I ended up cheating again with the same person. My husband found out a few weeks ago. At first he told me we were over. That very day we were due to drive from Sydney to Qld for a holiday. I had to pack the car up and take the children on my own as he refused to come. He was in a bad way. After being in Qld a few days my husband arrived. It was OK but he wasn't really speaking to me. I want to make the marriage work and provide a safe and loving environment for our children. My mother-in-law has told me that is what my husband wants as well but I have not seen any sign of that so far. At the moment we are only communicating by text. He texted me a few days ago and pretty much told me he hated me. I think he might really mean it. Every day he texts me demanding that I tell all of my family and friends that I cheated on him. He claims this will help the situation. The thought of doing that is mortifying. I am already struggling with the situation and deep depression which I am fighting every day. I have flat out refused to do it and explained to my husband that it won't help. I told him that exposing me to public humiliation and shame is not going to help with healing. I asked him to consider whether he truly believes that is a path toward healing or if painting me with the scarlet letter is more about him getting revenge. He won't listen to me he just keeps repeating the demand. I understand that if it will work out that it will be a long road and I need to be patient. My main concern at the moment is that I think my husband hates me and I'm not sure he can change that. The other concern is that there are no positive signs at all. He has not made one positive suggestion for dealing with the situation in a healing way. Couples counselling is one the cards but he just doesn't respond when I mention it. If anyone has some insight that can help I would be grateful
Hi littledove. I think you just have to give it time. Ultimately your husband holds the cards at this stage. He will need time to work out which way he wants to go. And he's going through a form of grieving process - which of course includes anger. This is reflected in his demands for you to go all out and confess your sins to the world. I don't have much advice around this, however just go easy on the texting. Just put the requests to tell the world aside for now. You still have boundaries and if you're not comfortable doing something then you have the right to refuse. He's obviously really angry and hurt so just let him simmer down and somehow deflect those types of requests. What I've found though is that if someone is extremely angry then counselling is counterproductive and a waste of time. It will however be essential in the medium to long term.
In the interim obviously focus on the really important stuff - especially your children. they will be sensing what's going on as you are probably aware. Don't look to them for comfort. As hard as it is you need to continue to be their rock in these uncertain times. If you have a close friend or family member confide in them and let all your emotions out to them. Get individual counselling if your husband isn't ready.
Ultimately he's going to decide what he wants. And you need to decide that too. You did what you did for a reason, which is likely complex and intertwining.But you do need to work out what you want. If you really really want to be with your husband you need to commit 110% to the recovery process. And he'll need to as well, but unfortunately he'll always have that "affair card upper hand" that he'll try and trump you with. It's not easy but there is always hope for a successful marriage recovery after an affair. Trust needs to be regained and that will take time.He may demand that you be open with your communication devices such as phone. PC and email - you will need to comply with this. It's also reasonable that you confirm that you have ended things permanently with your affair partner.
It's too complicated to cover things in one single post, but essentially time is what it takes. The outcome is uncertain which sucks the most. Just commit yourself to personal integrity from now on, whichever way you decide to go. Remember that you can't control how he feels. He needs time to grieve. Get individual counselling if you need to. Talk with close friends. Look after your kids. Be kind to yourself
There maybe comments by me which you may upset you, but I'm just replying to your comment, and if they do then forgive me.
If you didn't have any children then the marriage would be over, because he has no trust in you and may expect for this to happen again, but the kids are the only reason why he is staying in this marriage.
I always suspected that my wife (ex)was having something on the side, but I didn't actually know nor did she own up if she was, but if she was then our marriage would have ended straight away, because a 'sorry' from her doesn't mean anything to me.
I'm sorry in saying all of this.
I don't think that by telling your family and friends would serve much purpose and would only compound the situation by splitting up friendships and connections, and this would only make things worse.
I do hope that all of this can be settled, but I'm afraid it would take an enormous effort by both of you to become happy once again. Geoff. x
Thank you so much Geoff & Apollo Black for taking the time to reply. I found your insights very helpful and am grateful to receive them. I think there is wisdom is what you said and I thank you for your honesty.
Pretty much everything you suggested is what I am doing so it is nice to know that I am on the right track.
Your insights about the anger really resonated with me and have helped me to understand that whilst the anger is still there not much progress will be made. Being aware of that helps me accept that I can't do much to progress things other than letting time take its course.
No matter what the outcome is I want to be well and I will keep working on that.
Thank you .
It was hard for you to write in to BB and tell us about yourself. So congratulations for getting this far.
Both Geoff and Apollo have said most of what I would say, so no need to repeat it. Well there is a need to repeat one thing. Telling your family about your affair because your husband wants this, will only lead to more problems in the future. People tend to take sides over things like this and the poison can stay in the families for many years.
Confiding in a trusted friend is a good idea so long as the friend can be trusted. Maybe counselling will help you at least. I tried to get my husband to go to marriage counselling, not because either of us had cheated but because things were not going well. He refused because he did not have any problems.
Keep your chin up and care for the children as best you can. Stop answering texts that demand you tell all. If it does become overwhelming, then see your GP about getting some counselling or go to Relationships Australia. I believe their fees are quite low. Write in as often as you need. This is a safe place to vent your feelings without judgement from anyone.
Taking it all on board
glad you've found the forums too, and have somewhere to seek guidance and help!
have you found counselling/support to look into some of the 'why' the cheating occurred, and how you can process what happened on your side? For my my psychologist has identified a couple of triggers, root cause situations, that are areas of risk that can lead me to trouble. These are also trigger situations for my wife, who now, knowing what happened, cause her to crumble if she knows I'm heading into those danger zones (ie it's a trigger for her to remember my behaviour).
Example, I like fishing, and wanted friends, so joined social fishing groups. In one of the groups I found someone who liked me, started a friendship, turned into an inappropriate relationship. So for now, not only is there no social fishing groups, there is no fishing at all. As fishing is now just associated with danger for both me and my wife. I liked fishing, kinda stuffed that up!
On the hate front, my wife is also dealing with the love/hate dual issue... and it must be torture, and I sometimes just have to sit there, listen to the rage, and let her know I'm still here, and I understand, and yes it is unfair, and it's not of her doing, and she didn't get us into this mess, and it feels horrible. I feel like it's just part of my penance, something I have to bear. But then the hate dies down, I'm still there, and we try to heal.
And yes, time. It seems like it's going to take a lot of time, and whilst I'm impatient and rushing forward, it's no longer my timeline we are working to, that's we are healing to, it's my wife's timeline, and she's many weeks behind. I've known about the situation for too long, and it's just fresh for her, 2 weeks, wow.
So please, make yourself safe from 're-offending'. keep your chin up, and give it time. And get ready to face the rage, when it comes, and remember it's about him now, much less about you. Oh and as Apollo said, hopefully each of you can find a trusted friend/counsellor each. My wife has both, and it's been so helpful, to validate some of her thoughts/feelings. To let her know that some of this is normal, the anger, the rage, the feelings, the tears, and that given time, it can get better.
Oh and my wife has all the passwords to my accounts, facebook, email, phone etc, it's all out in the open now. It has to be, even if it's her making sure I don't start even a google search fishing.
I am on the receiving end of infidelity & while I agree with some of the comments here I have to say I completely understand your husband's wish for you to confess, if that's what you call it. I have horrible anxiety about the rumours that are circulating about me & my marriage & fear of running into people I know for what they might ask/say, that kind of confrontation/judgement terrifies me, I avoid seeing people because of it 😞
I love my husband, that's the fine thread that's holding us together because everything else that was valuable in our relationship is gone- trust, loyalty etc. My dream of being old & grey with 50yrs of being faithful together is gone. I'm grieving hard. If he openly confessed what he did & express his love fit me, it would be the ultimate apology & proof he really does love me & not just staying with me for the kid's sake. BTW I realise how selfish of me that is because it would only make my life a little easier, not his, but when you're heart's broken it screams really loud & somewhat irrationally for a fix.
By speaking up he'd be taking responsibility & set the record straight on all the rumours the other woman has started. Simply telling me he loves me is really hard to believe now, by telling a few friends has a bit more of an impact.
I'm not trying to convince you to tell your friends & family I'm just trying to help you understand why your husband wants you to. My husband would never do it & I don't expect you will, but if you can understand where your husband is coming from it might help you. Such an extreme request is evidence of his pain, I'm sure deep down he doesn't want you to go through that.
Keeping showing him you love him & you're sorry. Keep accepting his rejection until he's ready to give back. I hope you feel he's worth the strength you will need for that. I'm sure if you manage to prove your love for him he will eventually be ready to meet you half way.
Obviously I really have no great advice, never thought I'd be in this situation so never mentally prepared myself for it, I'm a mess right now. I just hope by hearing my story it helps you understand how your husband must be feeling & work out what he needs from you to help him heal.
I really hope you can make it work. I'm doing everything to keep moving forward with my husband but it's not easy. Everything was great before my husband cheated, so I'm trying to remind myself of that and stay positive.
Look after yourself, all the best!
Wow guys. Once again I am blown away by the brilliant insight offered.
Thanks MP. Good to hear about your progress and also get some tips from you. You've helped me fortify myself for that storm.
Bailey 13 . Thank you so much for taking the time to open up so much to me. I really appreciate it. You seem like a wonderful person. You have opened my eyes. I have also been getting some excellent counselling which has been super helpful. Like you have suggested I am thinking about how I can reach a compromise on the issue. I have started speaking to friends about my marriage problems but not told them anything about the cheating. I have one friend who I think I can open up to about that and I think I will do that. Maybe that will help my husband a little. I don't want to tell my family as they are very traditional and will totally flip out and it will be too much pressure on me. I'm trying to think of other ways I can fulfill husband's wish at least in part. You've really given me so much to think about.