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Continuing marriage after affair-I feel trapped

Community Member
My husband and I have been married 8 years and have 2 kids together. A year ago I discovered after he didn't come home one night that he was having an affair. It was months of texting and phone calls behind my back and then this one night. He never came clean, I found out from a friend who knew the other girl and actually contacted her. She told me everything including screenshots of all their conversations. He led her to believe he was separated and wanted to be with her. I initially moved out with the kids, but have found myself back in our home. Things aren't the same. He is very remorseful, said he will do anything to make it up to me and for the most part he has been really good. He's a very good looking guy, gets lots of attention and people always love him. The trust for me is gone. My feelings for him have changed, I don't want to be physical with him and suddenly everything about him annoys me. I have tried to stay for the kids. They love him and he loves them. But I can't go on living like this. Every time he texts or makes a call or is away from home I always think the worst. He doesn't make me feel secure or loved. Has anyone stayed and had a successful marriage after an affair?
14 Replies 14

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Saz86 and welcome to the forums.

Bleh. I generally avoid cheating threads because the idea of it makes me feel ill but just wanted to point out something you wrote....

I have tried to stay for the kids. They love him and he loves them.

Whether you leave or stay doesn't change that your kids will always love their Dad and that he loves them. Yes one day if they find out why they might be furious but staying in a marriage without trust and hostility will do just as much harm. We have friends who stayed together for the kids and she openly tolerates him. They are both miserable and it affects the kids just as badly as if she had left him.

Now this...

But I can't go on living like this.

Do you want to try again? Can't blame you in the slightest for not wanting him to touch you. Plus he hasn't even owned his actions.

This is solely your choice and about what YOU feel (not him and not even yoyr children). He doesn't get a say or get to make you worry about the kids. He lost that right when he chose to have an affair.

In my view the questions to think about are...

  • Would I ever do that to him?
  • What would I be doing to work to regain his trust?
  • Is he committed to marriage therapy and being honest about it?
  • What is he doing to change personally or changing his habits/routines so that he never does this again?
  • What do I want to do?
  • Is this forgivable to me?

Just my view. Sorry it is probably unhelpful. I avoid this topic because it makes me want to smack ass hat spouses with a frying pan.

Take care of you Saz86. Whatever you choose the kids will be just fine. They have two parents who love them and long term will want you to be happy most of all even if that is seperately.


Hi Saz,

Did you ask him why?


Community Member

Hi Nat,

thanks so much for taking the time to respond to my post. And for your valid input.

I guess what I'm struggling with is that I don't know why he did it. He can't even give me a reason. I believe I have been a really good wife. I'm naturally a very loving person. He is from a different country so when we moved here together (after living in nz with his family for a while) I had to assume much more responsibility. I've taken care of all the bills, the car the kids activities and most of the parenting. I guess I've been more like his mother over the years.

We also have a daughter with lots of severe allergies, eczema and asthma. So her care has taken a lot of my time. But I believe I've always given him my love and attention.

Its hard to process how the man you love can betray you so badly. Of course now he says it was all a big game to him and he never would have left me for her. I feel like he wants to have his happy family but have his fun separate too. He threatens that if I leave him he will go back to his country as he can't live here without me, which is not what I want for my girls.

Hes being model husband now, helps out around the kids, works 2 jobs to help pay the mortgage and is helping more with the kids. I just feel any connection we had is gone. I was hoping that by staying that it might come back. I also hate questioning his every move, every text and call. If he's late home from work my mind wanders.

I hate feeling this way and not knowing what to do. I can't concentrate on any aspect of my life at the moment. I just need to make a decision.

Thanks for listening to me.

Community Member

Hi Saz86,

I have been one to judge the action but not the character. We've all said a lie but it doesn't make us liars; we've had a drink but that doesn't make us drunks. This is a big betrayal from him and he needs to own up to the responsibility and the consequences of it. Trust me, the question of "why did you do it?" may never have an answer and may not have anything to do with any failures from your behalf. It is normal to feel every emotion that you are feeling but at the end of the day it comes down to one question that each one of you has to answer, perhaps with the help of a counselor, so you can move forward:

- What do you want?

He may have made a mistake but maybe he doesn't want to be with her. You may be hurt but you may still want a life with him. Without worrying for the time being how you are going to get past this act of betrayal and the emotional fallout that comes with it, at the end of the day, your life as a couple and as a family comes down to the answer to that simple question. Why? Because the only way to recoup your what your marriage is to have both of you pulling from the same direction.

It will not be easy and I agree that it shouldn't be for the kids as you came together before the kids and will be together after they leave the nest.

What do you want Saz86?

What does he want?

I hope you find the courage to move forward and place every ounce of courage and effort to obtain what you want.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hi Saz, I have to say how sorry I feel for you for what he has done behind your back.
Cheating for me doesn't hold for anyone, he has broken your trust, his responsibility to the whole family and has lied accordingly just for his own benefit.
At the moment he is pretending to make up by helping around the house and with the kids and supposedly working two jobs and whether this can be verified and the actual hours he says he's working.
I'm really sorry but it doesn't matter how much you have shown him your love, it's been brushed off by wanting to be with someone else, and no it's certainly not a game he's been playing, it's much more than that, it's made a division between the two of you.
Your kids will still love him if you decide to leave him or tell him to go, that won't change until later on in life they learn of what's happened, then it's their own decision to make, but at the moment you have a difficult decision to make, whether you want to live a life that's comfortable and not always looking over your shoulder, that's my advice to you, because undoubtedly it's going to happen again.
Please I'd like to hear back from you. Geoff.

Community Member

Hi Dory,

i did ask him why because I wanted to know if I played any part in it. He said I haven't done anything it started out as a joke then he just got caught up in it.

He loves attention. I also found out at the time he was hitting on a few of the girls that worked in the same shopping centre as him. He denys it and says it's just his personality and he's just outgoing to everyone. That the girls must have taken it the wrong way.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Saz86,

Far out... Dump the chump and don't look back (sorry I just read this and it made me super angry...)

He threatens that if I leave him he will go back to his country as he can't live here without me, which is not what I want for my girls.

This is emotional blackmail. My ex used similar "if you leave me I will end my life". Regardless of his work hours and trying to help he's showing you the kind of person he is (that he'll abandon his children to spite you even though he is the one at fault).

Then this...

Of course now he says it was all a big game to him and he never would have left me for her. I feel like he wants to have his happy family but have his fun separate too.

What the hell!? Who plays games like that for fun? You want fun... You hire a babysitter and make a list of the kinky things you and your wife want to try. Send your own wife dirty texts and half naked pics not another woman! Happy family and fun aren't separate things.

He needs to take a big lesson in growing the hell up and acting like a adult. Urgh. Yuck. I'm with Geoff it would be no great surprise if it happens again.

Why is the emphasis on what you've been like as a wife? I've been a complete mess since kids and lost physical movement for a while. Dropped the ball on housework. Lost my libido. Wanted to end my life. And even though I worried hubby would have a gutful and leave I knew he wouldn't cheat. He would be a man and admit he didn't want to be with me anymore.

That was our promise to eachother. That if things are terrible or we fall out of love or are falling for another person we speak up and go to counselling. And if it doesn't change we split. Infidelity is not acceptable.

Most of all because we love our kids and want them to have a stable positive home. Once infidelity is involved in a divorce the chance of having a civil relationship is very hard.... And it will hurt our children. So as difficult as that promise was to discuss it is our duty as responsible loving parents.

Hmm feel free to show your husband this post if you think it will help.

Real men never use their care for their children as leverage to get their wife to do what he wants. He needs to grow up. And you deserve better.

I am sorry I'm quite aggressive on this subject. As always the only opinion that matters is your own ok.


Community Member

Hi M,

thanks for your insight. Lots of great points in there.

I guess the problem is I don't know what I want. Ideally you want your family to be happy and your kids to feel secure. One of the major reasons I have stayed is because I couldn't watch my daughter suffering whilst we were temporarily separated. It's hard to watch your child cry herself to sleep because she doesn't understand why he daddy isn't living with us.

I know what he wants, he wants his family. But he also wants to be flirtatious and get attention.

The thing that plays on my mind is how deceptive he was. All the time he was talking to this girl, he was also sleeping with me and still being my husband. How can one live a life lying to 2 people. I am an extremely loyal person and would never be capable of this behaviour. Now that I've seen this side of him I can't seem to see past it.

Community Member

Hi Geoff,

thanks for taking the time to reply to my post.

Thats exactly how I feel, like I am looking over my shoulder. It's not much fun. I don't think I have ever totally trusted him. Because of his flirtatious personality and also probably because of my own insecurities. So I'm not sure how I will ever get that back.

I met my husband 12 years ago. He was my first love. So I guess I don't have anything to compare it to. O don't know how to be treated any differently. But I agree he has been disrespectful and definately not shown responsibility for his family and our welfare.

Its just hard the concept of starting a new life effectively. Being comfortable is the safe option but not necessarily the right one.