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Infidelity and the lasting effects
Several years ago I discovered my husband was having an affair (lasting 3 months), we had been married for over 30 years. I thought it was a solid loving relationship. I felt like my world fell apart, my husband cut ties with the other woman(ow) and has continued to work hard to rebuild the trust. However I feel weak for staying with him, I obsess over the ow and need to know everything about her. I know this is not healthy and only hurting me but I can't stop. I have days were I am really low and just cry, I mourn the loss of what I thought my husband and I had together. Other days I feel like I can conquer the world, My love for my children and grandchildren keep me going. I want to stop obsessing, I want to stop thinking that I'm the loser. I knew the ow. She appeared to have everything, also married (no children) attractive and confident. I feel by posting this I may be able to connect with other people who have gone through the same. I desperately want to move forward but feel in a rut.
Firstly, welcome to the forums.
I haven't gone through what you have so I may not have the advice you are looking for, but just wanted to add my couple of cents in just for general advice and support as well. I understand your husband is working hard to regain your trust and build your relationship back up, obviously 30 years isn't something you just throw away but what have you both done to help re-build the relationship, have you possibly gone to see a marriage counsellor to help sort through things to have that sort of mediator in the room to really help work through all the problems. I understand you feel in a rut that you cannot get out of and it does seem like the easiest thing to do would stop trying to worry about what the other woman is doing etc but it is never easy to just stop I understand that, which sort of makes me believe you need to really work on fixing the relationship with your husband to truly move forward.
My best for you and your husband,
Welcome to the forums and for having the courage to post too
I feel your pain as I had a girlfriend that had an affair when I was with her for nowhere near as long...it was a relationship of seven years. She told me the affair was only 3 months but I guess I will never know how long. I had to leave her as the trust was gone (from my point of view)
I think you are an incredibly strong person not only to have forgiven him but to continue your long term relationship as well. That takes an incredible amount of commitment
Just my humble opinion from a guy in his 50's but I dont think you are obsessing at all. Your husband has undermined and destroyed the solid foundation of trust that is essential for any relationship to function even on a basic level.
You are not the loser in any way shape or form Jarh. Your husband is and always will be. Not you
This is only my opinion Jarh. It only comes from me. I just couldnt have a relationship with a girlfriend that demolished the foundations the relationship was built on.
You are not weak for staying with him at all. You are very strong to still be there. I wish I had your forgiving persona when I was going through the same. I do envy your strength
How would your husband feel about going with you to a counselor (of your choice) and let you vent your thoughts in his presence? I know that you will feel better as a result and partially adjust the rut you shouldnt even be in.
It may sound like a silly idea but you will really know how hard your husband is trying to rebuild the trust by his reaction to your request to see a counselor together. It will clear the air.
Im sorry that I havent had anything super exciting to say to you Jarh. The rut you are in has been made by your husband from what you have posted. Not you.
I envy your strong character Jarh. I really hope that some of this post has been of some help to you
my kind thoughts for you
I was also curious as to who it was, who was the person that had taken the love of life away from me, but could never find out, and she never mentioned who it was.
You can't feel as though you're the loser here, but look at it from another angle, maybe your husband felt as though he was not making you happy, so by having this affair was to try and find out how he had been behaving with you, maybe that's a foregone conclusion, but maybe it's not. Geoff.
Hi Paul , Thanks for your encouraging words. I feel stronger just reading them. We have tried counselling both together and individually. It did help at the time however I started to feel we were just rehashing the same stuff and I would be upset after every session. The funny thing is I never thought we had major relationship issues, everyone has minor problems but not enough to deceive the person you should care for the most. In saying all that, I think I will have some counselling myself. Thank you again JARH
I think counselling for yourself may be just what is needed... I am glad you have found the forums, so please do stick around as you can tell, people do reply and just want to help you.
as someone who has been on both sides of the ledger. When I had my affair to me it was a cry for help. I have difficulty in speaking to my wife and the women I had the affair with gave me what I was missing. I soon realized the love for my wife was a lot stronger and we had more that I ever would with the other women.
We sort help and it did provide some support. However my wife has had an affair with someone who she shouldn't have. It is hard to get over. My wife doesn't want our marriage anymore and that is difficult. Your husband is trying get him to answer your questions. But there comes a time you either have to forgive. You will never forget. And move forward. You have a lot of history. I don't think it's worth giving up on. He sounds like he is sorry and he loves you.
Just my story and opinion.
I wish I could tell you my story. But saying it publicly like this would give away too many details and put me in a precarious position.
I am in a similar situation to you. Mine is like a soap drama and it makes me violently ill just thinking about it. My life was destroyed, my world dismantled, my will and dignity stripped. I have spent decades with this person, from teen till past late aged.
I spent day and night, crying quietly in random bursts. I obsessed over the parties. I am pretty good with technology and discovered it by accident. I trust deeply and I don't snoop so it was a massive shock. What a day it was, what a betrayal, as I learnt she wasn't the only one but she was the most significant - not a one-off but a live-in - if it makes sense.
I ended up depressed, anxious, and starved myself close to death. I chanced upon help by a GP who ordered me to stand on a weighing scale when I pulled my shirt up for him to feel my heartbeat. I recovered from the hardest part. But harder still is realising I never had a life outside of him because he was my first and only. I mourned over the times I spent with a person I thought I knew.
The worst part was the lying. Not only in my face. But the fact I discovered he is a completely different person outside of us. And the part he made me feel it was my fault. It hurt so terribly.
I healed and recovered with therapy and am trying to live a life for myself before I do anything for 'us', if there will be any 'us'.
I won't tell you to go back to him, or to leave him, because this is your choice. Only you know intimately this person and your situation. But I want to tell you that any decision you make, before you make it, you MUST be able to:
1. Accept the situation and see it for what it is.
2. Realise none of it is YOUR fault in ANY way no matter what you or he say/think/imply and try to 'compensate' for it
3. Practice self-forgiveness and reflection - YOU ARE NOT WEAK.
4. Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling - emotions, thoughts, feelings, and don't shun it, just let yourself feel.
5. Not allow yourself to be pressured by anyone - husband, loved ones, friends - in the process. There is no obligation or timeline.
6. Find a non-judgemental friend or confidant unrelated to your husband/marriage/situation who you can trust.
7. Find yourself and your self-worth outside of this marriage and husband. Give yourself time to find this out.
8. Take every day one step at a time.