The kickass survival site for anyone who's ever been lied to, cheated on and left for dead.
"Forgiveness does not equal forgetting. It is about healing the memory of the harm, not erasing it." ~Ken Hart
I really hope to forgive one day, I think my biggest fear is my husband forgetting the pain he caused me. I think that if I forgive then this experience wasn't as awfully horrible as it is. I have to say though as scary as this thought is just maybe this isn't the most horrible thing that could happened even though its felt that way for months I do have a good husband that made a horrible choice. He is my best friend and is an amazing father! I think life without our family would me much more awful.
I think that fear, that by forgiving we're somehow minimizing the pain, holds a lot of us back. The thing is, by forever holding our hurt front and center to ensure it's recognized, we're defining ourselves by it. My mother passed away around the same time as D-Day #2 for me. The fact that I can now laugh and enjoy life doesn't make losing my mom any less painful. But it doesn't define my life. It's similar with healing from cheating. That will forever be an incredibly painful chapter in your life...but it's only a chapter. Don't let it become the whole book.Elle
Never thought, in a million years, I'd be a 34 year old woman, Mama to 2 babies, looking at my destroyed marriage. We've been married for almost 5 years, together for almost 7, and I began to seriously believe my husband was having an affair in April 2013 and finally confronted him about his affair in May. Thing is, when I began to have serious suspicions in April, I asked him if he had been conducting himself appropriately, and that man lied like a rug! Bold-faced, stared me in the eye, and said he would never have an affair because, "I've been cheated on before, and I know how much pain that causes".The straw that broke the camels back was when I ran my husband’s credit report, and saw that he opened a new credit card at a jewelry store and then made various jewelry purchases. See, it swept over my mind somehow…how did he purchase a ring for me? I didn’t see any charges on our normal credit cards, didn’t see any charges from our shared bank account. Where was the money coming from? Even when I presented him all the evidence, he denied, denied, denied. And finally, when all cause was lost, he spat at me like venom, “well, you were really crappy to me, so I explored my options.” So I caused you to have an affair? Destroying this family was my fault? Did I not do enough to show you that I loved you? Rub your feet every night, bathe you every morning. I cook your meals, and make homemade baby food. I washed your laundry and tried to clean the house with whatever energy I had left? I didn’t show you how much I needed you, even as a woman who works full time outside the home (and brings in nearly the same salary as him), a full time Mommy of a 3-year old and a 10 month old, did I dare to go to that Zumba class? Did I dare go for an afternoon shopping trip with my best friend? Oh, I see.I see that in his mind, I deserved to be cheated on, beginning when our baby was just 5 months old, and me recovering from my second C-section delivery. The marriage had been bad for several months, so much so that I had convinced him to go to marriage counseling. He stayed for 4 sessions, and then ducked out. He has admitted that he had to leave counseling. Even he knew that there was no way he was going to be able to live a double-life with a PhD therapist on one side and his wife on the other. And after I confronted him about his affair, told him that I already knew about his 21 year old mistress and the gifts her purchased for her, then he begged and pleaded for another chance. He admitted to carrying on “web” affairs with at least 2 different women, exchanging sexually explicit pictures and messages. So, now there are 3 women you’ve stepped out on me with? He sleeps in the guest room, but always trying to come back into my bed. He’s sworn he’s broke it off with the girl, even though he works with her. I don’t believe anything out of his mouth. I wouldn’t believe him if I asked him what the weather was like outside. He has chosen to go to his own therapist. I feel he’s either lying to the therapist, or not giving the therapist the whole story. He’s trying to keep the affair a secret, and asking me not to tell his family. He says that I want to “socially shame” him. Seems like another ploy on his part to convince me that it was me who caused him to stray.I trusted him with our home finances, and he completely jacked it up. Now my debt is sky high, and almost all in my name. A divorce court could make us share the debt, but that is no guarantee that he will pay his fair share. I’m trying to pay off the debt so that I’m not in a worse position if I leave.How can I hope that he sees the light with his therapy but know that he’s probably a serial cheater, and will cheat again? And my boys- will they lose faith in love and trust even before they’ve been in love? And if I stay, and he cheats again, will it hit my boys harder than me?
Wow. You've got a LOT to grapple with. But it comes down to one simple question: are you better off with this guy or without him.I suspect the latter, given that he has not only lied to you about other women, but about money. He's clearly got some serious issues around impulse control, honesty and respect.Your boys will ultimately base their thoughts on love more on whether or not their parents can be adult and respectful with each other in terms of parenting. They certainly don't need to know the details of their parents marriage and/or divorce, if it comes to that.So make this decision based on what's best for you. It's more important that they see a woman treating herself with respect, in order to learn how to treat women...and themselves. Whatever your husband tries to say, you are NOT to blame for his deception/cheating. At any point, he had the option of telling you he was unhappy and seeking help for that.This is entirely on him. Similarly, you get to choose to tell whomever you want. The "social shame" comes from his own choices, not yours. He certainly didn't worry about humiliating you when he was buying his mistress jewellery. That's not to say you should "out" him...but do what feels right to you based, also, on what you want your children to know/not know about their father. No matter what he's done to you, they have the right to love him.Hang in there. He's made a mess of things but you sound level-headed and smart. You'll get through this. Not without tears and some time to heal...but you'll get through.Elle
Ok I need advice... It has been 1 year and 3 months since Dday. I already feel better most of the time about things then what I did. I have been really thinking about this whole forgiveness thing and one day I do want to forgive my husband bc he is a decent guy but I feel that there is something that is holding me back from completely moving forward. There is a part of me that still feels he is withholding the truth about an incident since Dday. This was a few weeks after discovering the truth about his cheating I was going what I felt was crazy I had to look through everything phone records credit card receipts I guess the usual pain shopping. When something I think my gut was telling me to look at his underwear so I started looking at all his dirty underwear and then I found a pair with what looked like sexual residue. I of course flipped and he of course denied swearing on everything which he's done before . Anyways we had been in marriage counseling and when I brought this up with her she said if you were to find out that is what you think it is what would you do and I said divorce bc we were supposed to be trying to move forward when and if that happened. So long story short almost everyrume we are intimate I am triggered by any residue I leave on his underwear, I just wish I knew for sure he was being honest, at the time i had hin call her and she told me she hadn't seen and didn't want to see him and wanted the whole thing to be over with. I guess she could of been lying to me too. But I guess at the end of they day I have stuck around knowing that he could of very well hooked up with her again and is lying to me or maybe I just want to hold onto something to keep me from moving forward. I think at the end of the day I become more afraid of what orher people think and sadly enough I care what others think of my husband. I hate so much that he made himself in to a scumbag cheat bc that is not the man I know and not the man he has proven to be today. It was as if he was abducted by duche bag aliens I guess that's what happens a when your working out of town for a year with newly divorced asshole!
I think it's time to put this one down and let it go. There's an incredibly strong tendency, when we've been hurt so badly, to try and protect ourselves by being hyper-vigilant and ensuring that there's nothing that can bite us from behind again. The thing is though that we can't completely protect ourselves. We can never truly know if anyone is telling us the absolute unvarnished truth about everything. That's why such a critical part of healing is learning to trust ourselves. And rebuilding a marriage in which there's honesty and transparency and a genuine commitment. If you're confident that he's learned a painful lesson from his cheating and that he's worth a second chance, then trust THAT instinct.Elle
Oct 27, 2013 will be one year since my husband of 19 yrs walked out on me and my 18 yr old son. Two weeks after he left an affair came out...his affair partner being my mother's best friend of 15 yrs (affair partner a few years older than I and was also my "dear friend"). So it goes without saying that my, my son's, and my mom's life were completely torn to shreds in a matter of days. My husband and I fell in love at first sight and have adored each other for almost 20 yrs. Unfortunately, we fell victim to the 2008-09 economic crash suffering his job loss & our money loss which ultimately led us to where we are today. After we lost large amounts of money, something we were always used to having, things got ugly...I mean ugly. I turned ugly, my husband turned ugly and even our son showed some ugliness. There is definitely blame to lay on all sides. But bottom line, my husband was pushed to the brink and bailed. And here's where the fight of my life began...Because of his affair, family & friends have no clue why I want him back. He has done some horrible things since he's left. For example, but not limited to, he bought a Harley motorcycle behind my back. He also was adamant about not giving up the affair. He claimed he "loved her" because she was "nice to him". This coming from the man that has kissed the ground both our son & I walked on. All that being said, he has been an amazing husband & father all these years. In my heart, all of this madness is situational and my husband is worth fighting for.However, I was still left alone observing the devastation of our life after months of crying, not eating, not sleeping, my bout in the hospital, months of all of us in therapy, our son not speaking to his father since Jan, and me losing the job I've had for 9 yrs while they told me I was "a value to the company until my husband left". I could not even imagine that after years of extremely hard work in order to give our son and ourselves a good life, we were here in what seems like an apocalypse. After months of the fight of my life...My husband has decided to come home. He said that his family has always come first in his life and he wants that again. He finally see's that I am still the love of his life. I have worked extremely hard from the very first day he left by looking in the mirror at all the ugliness I had become through our financial crisis. My son has worked equally hard to do the same. Although many of my husband's actions have been deplorable, I knew exactly why he left. I promised myself and my son that I would do everything in my power, including a great amount of change, to make our household good again so that his dad would come home. I understand there is a whole other chapter to this story, especially trying to rebuild trust and forgiveness will have to be an absolute must. But right now today, my husband told me that he loves me, something he hasn't said for 11-months. I will never take those words for granted ever again.
Tammy,You sound like a really incredible woman who has done a lot of hard, painful work. I congratulate you. I suspect, even if your husband wasn't coming home, that you'd be just fine. That you've come to recognize what's important and that you'd find a way to make your life wonderful. Kudos to your son too. You've both learned some painful lessons. And it can be hard to get to a place where we're thankful for those awful times in our lives. But that's generally where the most important lessons are learned.Elle
Elle, Thank you so much for your response and for your kind words. I know that we have a lot more hard and emotional work ahead of us. But I have come this far, I'm a fighter and I refuse to give up.A year ago in the beginning of my quest for knowledge I remember reading that the only way a marriage can truly survive betrayal is through dramatic change, forgiveness and moving forward without looking back. I'm definitely fighting for that.Thank you for access to such a wonderful site. It has been so helpful to know I am not alone along with your knowledge and genuine support. However, I can only hope to see more happy endings.
I found out Oct. 5th my husband had an affair for almost a year. It started last September and the OW ended it in Aug. I'm having an extremely hard time dealing with it because the OW works in my department at work. I am her lead. My husband also works there on another department. They would meet up when I would have to work longer hours. Since finding out my husband is telling me he loves me and can't imagine life without me. That the affair meant nothing and me and the kids are the most important thing in his life. We have started counseling together and him by his self. I just don't know if I can believe him. He says I can have full access to his accounts and check his phone whenever. But if he can hid something so big without me knowing how can I ever trust him again. Oh yeah I also found several naked pictures of the OW and a few other women on his phone. I just don't know what do or where to go from here.
I'm so sorry. It's hard enough to know about the affair; harder still when you have to see the OW every day. I'd be curious to know if you have any recourse re. having her moved to another department or some such. I can't imagine you can do your best work (or that she can do her best work) when you're in close contact. And you being her superior could be considered a conflict, no? Can you talk to someone at work about this?As for your husband, you're still really raw. Of course you're wondering whether you can trust him. He's shown you that he can lie and deceive…and that you don't see what's going on. That's one of the worst parts of betrayal -- we stop trusting ourselves. However, take him up on his offer to have total access to all his communication devices. Demand that he tell you of each and every time he sees this woman. You won't need (or want) this forever. Just until you get to a place where she's well and truly in the past.Don't manage his therapy, but ask to be kept apprised of what he's learning and understanding about his behaviour. All of this contributes to you recognizing that he really gets what he did…and that he understands how to ensure it doesn't happen again.In the meantime, figure out yourself what you want from a marriage. Were you happy with your relationship? Were there parts you wished were better? This is the time to reinvent your marriage, to ensure that each of you is getting his/her needs met. It's possible to get past this…but it's a marathon, not a sprint.Elle