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Lost, confused and heartbroken after husbands affair

Community Member

Hi all, I'm new here. I'm not one to air my dirty laundry in this kind of forum but I have zero support and need some outside perspective.

After 10 years of marriage, 15 years in the relationship I had my world turned upside down by infidelity. Not just a fleeting affair, but it turned out my husband had been seeing a woman from his work for sex for 8 years!!
We (I thought) had a pretty good, normal life. When I found out, he promised to stop and break all contact. He moved jobs and we have since moved town. I have had to quit my job of 10 years. I have fallen apart. My family have abandoned me because they see it as me being in the wrong (They have very strong religious beliefs).
For his part he has been very supportive of what I want. However he says he stopped loving and caring for me, throughout those years and figured I would always be there when his 'fun' with 'her' was over. He tells me he loves me now and is extremely remorseful. We have spent hours fighting and crying. It's been many months and things for me, just seem to get worse. I feel deeply depressed. I am seeing a psychologist, but its like once every 6 weeks.
I don't know where to turn. I don't have any financial backing and currently don't feel I can work (due to my mental state). I have zero support, other than him.
I love him, but I'm not sure if I can deal with all this information. The more I learn about his past feelings for me, the more disgusted I feel. I don't understand how he could treat me this way. He was a master of disguise. I am not an idiot, how could I be so fooled?
Leaving doesn't feel like a viable option. But how do I deal with this?
He promises from now on to be the best partner he can possibly be, but how do I trust him? And worse...how do I trust myself?

I have been left with nob confidence, I feel everything I have ever worked for both within and outside of my marriage is destroyed. I am struggling to see a way forward. I don't know what to do.

11 Replies 11

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Dear To Old For This~

I'm very sorry this has happened to you. something unexpected and really deeply affecting. If it was me I would think it would make me question my judgment, question my inability to see signs and probably my inability to sort it out with a clear resolution. Sadly none of this is deserved, and there is a no way you are foolish to have loved and trusted.

When you love someone you do look at them in a special way and it does not occur to be suspicious. We simply assume they feel the same way. When not looking out for suspicious signs everyday life goes on and we treat everything as normal. Then this disaster happens and there is no clearcut answer.

To have a family that does not support you now when you need it it horrible, I cannot imagine how religion could be a stop to care and concern. I suppose at least your husband is showing signs of remorse, I guess that is something.

I think it is a real pity you had to give up your work - I presume for the move. If it was me the occupation and financial independence of employment would be a very big thing. Being stuck at home makes your world small, with your husband being a very large part of it. Being out of the home for a portion of each day can lend perspective - plus there is a degree of freedom.

I know you don't feel work appropriate at the moment, however it might be something to consider, the benefits might come to outweigh the downsides.

As for leaving, now might not be the best time to make a decision, and with trust - he has well and truly blown it. Earning it back - for me - would take years, with constant proofs offered all along.

You do need support, and if no family, perhaps a friend? These is of course this Forum, we do understated and do care.


Thank you Croix

Yes as life does we deceive ourselves. I spent so many years throwing myself into my very busy full life. I had a career, family (kids are all leaving home, so I'm empty nesting as well), a farm and husband. I always felt I made time for him. I took care of him. We went out for date nights and holidays all the things you are meant to do.
As I said, he was a master of disguise; in hindsight he manipulated and gas-lit me for years.
On the other side of this disaster I look around and see I have let so many friendships slip, because of him. I feel I have lost my place as a mother (with kids moving on with their lives), wife, farmer (as we have now moved, I just could not stay in that house any longer. We haven't even sold it yet.) And worker.
The other woman has stalked us both relentlessly and living in the same small town as her and having everyone know our business was just not an option.
I know it sounds dramatic, but I feel I have lost so much of my identity. I have no one to turn too. I am in a new town where if/when I feel I am strong enough to get out meet people and make new friends, I don't really want them to know all my secrets either.

Gah! There is no easy way out of this I know. But there must be something I can do.

Dear To Old For This~

I guess the first ting you can do is probably one of the most important, realize you are the same competent person. Look at the things you have listed:

A busy life you engaged in wholeheartedly
A career
Plus I'm sure an awful lot more.

This is a terrific base to build your life back up, not a new life, but one that takes the experiences and strengths from the past and combines them in a new environment. I'm sure in just about all these endeavors you have had setbacks and have dealt with them.

You have not cowered in your house in the original location, besieged by this woman, but taken the radical action in moving that the situation called fo. In a lot of ways the really hard stuff is in hand.

As a first step, as I mentioned before, how about out of the house regularly? Volunteer at the library if you are not up to a job, maybe go visit someone, perhaps an old friend. I don't know, I'm just making up suggestions to get you started, you will have a much better idea.

I'm not trying to say you have not faced true disaster, I am saying you are equal to the occasion (and are allowed to vent when you need too). Your husband was a most silly and shortsighted person not to realize the treasure that was beside him


Dear Too Old For This

I'm just checking in with you--how are you doing? 8 years is such a long time for a man to carry on that deception, and to expect you to still be there for him whenever he decided he was done with the other woman...Your husband has not treated you well here. I hope you realise it is not your fault, in no way is it your responsibility that he decided to carry on an affair for so long. It sounds like you have supported him and contributed to your shared life. You did not deserve this.

Has your husband shown any remorse? Any real understanding of what he has done? How do you feel in the relationship now, or have you ended it? Either way, are you coping?

Croix has listed all the reasons you are worthy and strong. You are, and if need be you can rebuild your life. You have all the tools. You may feel you have lost your identity, that is completely understandable. We give so much to the 'we' it's hard to separate the 'I' from that. But there is an identity inside which is yours, and is not dependent on your relationship. It is you and with some time and space you can find it again.

I wish you the best,


Hi GoodWitch,

Thank you so much for checking in on me. I have my ups and downs. I discussed medication with my GP and we both decided to see how I manage with new changes in the coming weeks.

My husband was very resistant initially to see how much harm he had caused. He felt once he had ended his 'other relationship' that all should be well and back to normal. Together we have done a lot of research and worked through his issues and they are 'his issues'. For all accounts, I have not been the perfect wife, none of us are, but I have not done anything to deserve this.
We have been stalked relentlessly for months by the other woman, to the point of needing to seek out legal advice. She has shown her true colours to him and I in turn have seen how very twisted and manipulative she is.
He claimed he felt in part 'trapped' with her and I called him out. But I do believe he was scared of the fall-out and as such it was easier to continue, even when he knew it was wrong.
There is much I don't understand, but as I say I need to keep aware that they are 'his issues' to deal with and I have to deal with my own. Most of which have been brought about and caused by his selfish, cruel behaviour. These are scars I have to learn to live with.

Further to my story
It's been a really difficult time for us over the past 9 months as we struggle to work out what happened in our relationship, how we got to this point and what to do about it going forward. We are both struggling with waning mental health. But we have been getting closer and slowly better.

All that aside- the other woman will not leave us alone. We have ignored her phone calls, blocked her number, she will call on other phones. She turns up at his work, leaves notes on his car. Approaching us and our adult kids in the street. Again we have tried not to engage.
We moved towns, he changed jobs, I left mine and am currently unemployed- his previous boss (who was one of her friends) told her everything she knew.
I asked hubby to call her and tell her, once and for all it's all over.
Now she is texting me, telling me she knows where we live and will be coming to visit. That she is going to be our worst nightmare. I told her that I am going to the police. She laughed at that. I am getting a constant barrage of messages, telling me I am ugly and I don't don't know how to dress and basically attacking me. Telling me she loves my husband.
This is a woman who is almost 60 years old, not some high schooler.
I have had more than enough. I am not okay with any of this. I don't know if the police can or will do anything, but I will have to go and see them. I am embarrassed and ashamed at having to tell my story. All of this comes on top of trying to deal with what the husband has done. I have next to zero support from anyone other than him. It is effecting every aspect of my life. We moved in an attempt to start a new life without any of that kind of nonsense. I really think she has issues and I am worried about what happens next.
I am feeling extremely anxious and concerned.

Dear Old For This~

You sound cautiously as if things might be improving with your husband and that he may be feeling more responsible for what he has done. I do hope that is the case and not just me reading things into your words.

I guess in one way now is an opportunity for your husband to start to earn back a little trust and show care for oyu by dealing firmly and consistently with this woman at every opportunity. A restraint order (name varies from state to state) might be a start, something the police will advise you about - my apologies if you have investigated this already. Some jurisdictions also have anti-stalking legislation.

Does this woman have family or occupation that can be approached? She most definitely does have issues.

I'm sorry you are unemployed at the moment, do you thing there are any prospects where you are?


Thank you Croix

I am cautiously optimistic about our future together. I have an appointment with my psychologist yesterday who also recommends seeking a restraining order. She feels this woman is unlikely to give up.

The woman has no family. She has a professional job. On the surface she is not "the type" you would expect. I think that her behaviour has come as a massive shock and much needed wake-up call for hubby.

As for me, I am working on getting myself back on solid ground before I look for work. One day at a time.

Thank you for your support. I really appreciate it.

Dear To Old For This~

I'm probably too romantic but it is lovely to see someone not give up and try to preserve a relationship despite such serious problems. I had a lot to do with broken families in a previous occupation and it was always very sad.

I have a feeling you are going to sort it out.

It may be overly optimistic but perhaps that woman's bizarre behavior will bring the two of you closer together. There is nothing like a dose of reality to make a person start to value love and a family. While of course I don't know I'd guess there might well have been an element of fantasy in your husband's conduct, this would certainly shatter any illusions.

Hang in there