View Full Version : Is there any hope?
12th April 2002, 03:14 AM
I am on the verge of deciding to give up on my marriage but finding it difficult to take that final step.
We have been married for 17 years and have 5 children (4 adopted). 4 years ago my husband had an affair which dragged on for almost 10 months. 5 months into the affair I became pregnant - a miracle after 13 years of not conceiving ! It wasn't exactly the long awaited pregancy I had dreamed of - plaqued with stress, lies & deceit. I was in hospital for blood pressure, he would lie continually about seeing her & she would ring the house and ring off or not speak even when he was away. She attacked me 3 times in the supermarket & he just stood there & let her!
I felt totally devastated, upset, lonely & unloved. I tried talking to friends, family & a counsellor but realised no-one could help me. No-one could tell me what to do & I didn't trust myself to make the right decisions. I never felt so alone.
Ultimately, I decided to stay with him for the children. I was afraid I would not cope and was desperate to be loved. I thought I could sacrific my own life. I hoped he would be sorry and provide me with the reassurance I needed. But after 4 years of waiting I am coming to the conclusion he never will.
He said he was sorry - eventually, but he does not seem to realise what I need to recover. I have told him & asked him so often but he doesn't seem capable of saying or doing the things I need to feel that he loves me and is committed to me. To me his reluctance indicates he doesn't.
Because of this my self esteem is still very low and although I know he is making me so unhappy, I can't stop hoping he will love me. Neither can I seem to muster the courage to file for a legal separation. I know he will fight me tooth & nail for the children and I am afraid I won't have the emotional strength for the fight. Each day I say 'I'll leave it one more day to see what happens' when I know in my heart it will be the same.
How can I stop 'needing' his love or develop the courage to escape this nightmare. I wish I had let him go 4 years ago - it hasn't been worth it trying to keep the family together.
15th April 2002, 05:31 PM
You certainly sound very unhappy. Have you been able to pinpoint what is really upsetting you?
Is it that he seems to have taken what he did so lightly? Is it his present behaviour towards you?
Perhaps now you might be more able to benefit from some support from counselling. You seemed to have written off all your support mechanisms. Is that really wise? Counsellling and the support of friends can help you to rediscover your self worth. You have five children, who I am sure think the world of you. You are giving them the best possible start in life by loving them and being there for them. I am sure you have a personality, gifts and talents that make you unique and valuable as a human being. You can do things to recognise your worth as a person. You can choose to love and value yourself too. Perhaps if you stop looking to your husband to fulfil your self worth and emotional needs you may be able to grow stronger as you say.
It may be that your husband believes he cannot give you what you say you want, but that doesn't mean that there is no future for both of you. There has been a lot of hurt in the past and there may well be a lot of guilt and despair in your husband and it does take time and patience to overcome that and rebuild. Have you had a chance to browse through the area on the site about affairs (http://www.2-in-2-1.co.uk/marriageclinic/infidelity/). There may be something there that gives you an idea or a hope to start from.
16th April 2002, 05:17 AM
I found your story very moving, and am sorry that you haven't found a way to move forward. Often I think it helps to know that you aren't alone, and there are literally thousands of women who have survived affairs (the word is so tame isn't it?), and I'm one of them. We all know what you're feeling and the pain and suffering that has to be endured. Irrespective of whether your husband is happy or wants to stay with you or not, YOU still have to put the hurt somewhere and move forward. You can't only move forward IF he does or says this or that, you have to do it anyway. For you and your children who are all depending on you. I think of it (or compare it) to a scenario, say, where my husband may have died. Yes I would be sad etc etc, but eventually I would have to move on with my life. It would be a waste of my life to dwell until I die about something I couldn't change no matter how hard I wished.
Please read the articles on forgiveness (http://www.2-in-2-1.co.uk/marriageclinic/relbasictopic/forgive/) - the turning point came for me when I realised and received very good advice, that the forgiveness was for me. Not him and "letting him get away with it". But for me. You sound as if you are in a depression, and I hope you are getting medical advice for this. It is a difficult enough time to fathom, without trying to look through fog as well. Whether he's dead or alive, staying or going, YOU still have to deal with it. It won't miraculously disappear whatever path you take.
Sadly, you may have to face the fact that your marriage will not work under any circumstances, and there are thousands of couples who have dealt with this as well. Believe it or not, there is life after divorce. (I've been divorced too). And to put a different slant on things, maybe you are just keeping yourself from meeting the most wonderful person on earth!
In the end, I released my husband to be free to make up his own mind. He had a definite time period in which I would wait, but I literally told him that he only had one life to live, and if he didn't want to it to be with me, then so be it. He stayed, and our life has turned around. Surely you don't want someone with you because of guilt or obligation - you want them there because that is their choice. I don't mean to make it sound breezy, those were my darkest hours.
I know it's difficult for you to see that you have choices too, but you do. You have survived infertility, five children, loss of trust, and you can survive this too. You are a woman, and you can do anything!
If you can be happy together and stay married out of choice, then work like blazes to pull it back together. If not, acknowledge the loss and the fact you tried for four years, and move forward to a brighter and better future. Don't hang on out of fear, your life is passing you by, and it is a wonderful life with or without your husband.
I truly hope you can get something out of this, and I can help in some way. Just know that you are not alone at all.
17th April 2002, 11:45 PM
Thank you for your comments and taking the time & trouble to reply. I have found it very helpful to have other people comments on my situation. As I mentioned I don't trust my own feelings and to see anothers presecptive is helpful in knowing am I being reasonable or not.
It is his behaviour now I have the problem with - he doesn't seem interested in my life or talking to me. Having a conversation is a struggle to tear him away from the T.V. I'm tired of trying. I need him to show me that he is concerned about my happiness & life but he comes across to me as selfish and only concerned with his own happiness.
If I try to talk to him he is either disinterested or trying to escape, leaving the room every 5 mins. If I speak he interupts to tell me he is doing every thing I want when I know he is not. If I say something, he ignores it and continues like a record stuck in a groove.
I know I need attention, interest and conversation but he always argues he is providing this. Again this week I decided to try again but things are turning out the same. I wish I was stronger and could do without the attentions of a man.
I read the sections on forgiveness & affairs before posting my message and found them very useful. I am made to feel that I am unusual but reading these I could see I was the same as any other in my position. I take my vows very seriously and wish we could find a way through but for this I feel both parties need to see what the problem is and want to fix it. I feel I see the problem but he doesn;t want to admit the problem so denies every I say. Surely to fix it, both paries need to see the problem & want to fix it - I have a problem making him understand what the problem is.
I don't want a divorce, I don't want to start again, I don't want my children to experience my pain but I don't want to be unhappy for the rest of my life or feel alone.
I did feel alone during the affair - I did not find help from anyone and although I have considered going back to the counsellor I am reluctant as it did not help me to deal with the problems. No body helped me. I'm sure I am depressed. My husband thinks depression is a weakness but he went to the doctor for pills for me during the affair so I feel he thinks 'just pop a few pills & you'll be fine' - not my responsibilty.
I know I'm not mad but he has just walked in from the pub and is starting yet another row. Putting me down. I have to find the strength to leave - how can I do this to my kids so I don;t have to put up with this again?
18th April 2002, 12:47 PM
Hello again. Have you ever thought of what the opposite to love is? It's not hate, it's indifference. This is how it appears that your husband is treating you, and I understand that this is soul destroying stuff. You don't have to tolerate that behaviour from anyone not even your husband.
Sometimes if I can't think of a path to take, I wonder what advice I would give to my children if they came to me with the same problem. Of course I love my children, and would tell them what I thought would be in their very best interests. Have you been kind to yourself in this way.
I think it would be good for you to see a counsellor, not to fix your marital problems, but to work on your own self-esteem. If you become strong in your own mind, everything else will follow. Become an example to your children by overcoming adversity and not letting the childish actions of a "man" destroy your life. Is he the sort of male you would like your daughters (if you have a daughter that is) to become dependent on in life. Or would you like them to share a relationship with another being which is based on character, quality, integrity, and equality. From what you have described, your husband doesn't bring any of these aspects to your life........and you're pining away after him?
A very dear friend of mine (quite a new-age babe) gave me some very good advice once and I remember if often in times of stress.....It's OK to wallow in self-pity for a time, but after a while it becomes self-indulgent and boring. You need to find a point where enough is enough, and you continue to live your life in your way and wait for no stragglers who don't want to come on the journey with you.
I hope I haven't been too tough, remember I've been there too. No-one is put on this earth to make us happy, that's our job.
21st April 2002, 11:40 AM
Well, things came to a head this weekend and I now know for certain that he will never be able to give me what I need to rebuild our relationship. The hope has gone......forever.
In many respects he would be a good person. He works hard, is a good father and is good around the house. The ONLY problem is the relationship between him & me. No, I wouldn't want my children to live without emotional satisfatcion as I think this is the most important aspect of life - without it, other aspects of life have little value. I have learnt it is a basic need, the same as food & water and you cannot live without it & keep your sanity.
My dilemma now - is what do I do?
I feel guilty that if I try to resolve my needs it will lead to my children experiencing similar pain to me. I really, really don't want them to go through this. I feel selfish, in wishing to pursue my needs. How can I meet my needs without disrupting my children?
True, they are already affected by the arguements and atmosphere in the home but I would like to find a solution which did not result in them being separated from each other as my husband & I try to sort out a life we can live with.
I have asked him for ways we can amicable work things out so everyone can be happy but he doesn't seem to accept this is happening
23rd April 2002, 02:52 PM
Yes, I am the GTR in the other topic, and I did reply to you somewhat in that topic. I'm sorry to hear that maybe you won't be able to work things out. Maybe he needs time away from you all to be able to figure out what is (or isn't) important to him. I left a marriage where I felt dissatisfied when I came to the realisation that I didn't want to live the next 50 years of my life that way. My two children were quite young at the time - 5 and 2.5. My husband was (is) a good father, provider, didn't abuse me or alcohol or stayed out. However, you hit the nail on the head by saying that emotional satisfaction was also a basic need. I didn't have a job and had been out of the workforce for 5 years. We were financially comfortable, so I could take my time to figure out what I was going to do.
He agreed to move out (he was devastated) because it would be less disruption to the children. I suppose he was also hoping if he gave me enough space, I'd go back, but that didn't happen and I had made my mind up beforehand that I couldn't see it ever being reconciled. Once my mind was made up, there was no turning back for me. It had taken me several years to come to that decision.
I enrolled in university and spent the first half of the year pursuing that and was being supported by the sole parent's benefit. I am not a "bludger" (even though I was being productive with my time), and decided that living off social security was not my scene and I also did not want to teach my children that it was OK to live off the generosity of the taxpayers who were out in society doing the hard work. So I went back to work part-time initially and worked my way up to full- time as the children become old enough to cope with each change.
In the meantime I dated several men, some single and some divorced with children. I ended up meeting my current husband and we have since had a child together and got married. I still work full-time and my children are now 12, 9 & 4. I am in senior management with the company I work for, am aiming to become a director of that company, and I also am studying towards my degree part-time.
I am just sharing this with you so that you can see what can be achieved if you are determined. My life has never been so difficult and challenging since I left my first marriage, however, I have also learned the greatest lessons and earned for myself, by myself, the most personal success and achievements. I've made mistakes too, but they've been my mistakes and I wouldn't trade them for anything. I remember my first husband laughing at me saying "you haven't got a career, you've got a job". Well who's laughing now, I earn more than he does!! I will concede that he has marvelled at how far I have come as someone without professional qualifications and only a high school education.
If you and your husband decide to separate, that doesn't mean he can't be involved in the children's lives. Why can't he live relatively close by and you each have them a week about, or 3 days of the week with him, and 4 with you? I invite my ex-husband to the children's school events which he attends with me (first day at school, christmas concerts, band performances etc). I give him copies of the school reports and pass on school photos to his mother. The children stay with his mother on school holidays, so they very much remain a part of his extended family. They frequently send emails to each other, and the children are free to phone any family member they choose. I believe my children are very balanced, and know where they fit into the scheme of things. I don't have any trouble with them fitting into either setting. Our arrangements are very fixed - the children know when they will be seeing their father, for how long, and that they can rely on it. They aren't sad or upset upon returning or leaving - they know they can stay in touch between visits and they know exactly when the next weekend will be.
Of course they are probably going to see the both of you upset at times, but that is the rhythm of life. If you have enough respect for one another as parents, the children will be fine with what you offer them. Seeing Mum and Dad depressed, arguing, dissatisfied, or not resolving problems, not showing warmth or affection to each other will surely be worse than separating. We found that if we set the tone of the way it was going to be, then the children never had a problem. We may have argued in private, but we did not disrespect each other as parents.
I hope this has helped in some way. You know where to find me if you have any questions about how I coped with things.
Take Care. GTR
5th May 2002, 12:45 AM
We have been trying to work it out but it doesn't seem to be working. I need him to show a comittment to our relationship.
This has manifested itself in wanting another child for me. IAfter being infertile for so many years I was delighted to have a child, dedespite our problems at the time. Having found I could have children I wanted another but this tme with love & affection and all the support I deserve. At 41 I don't have much time and feel the last 4 years have been a waste. He first said we'd try & only made love once a month, then he said he didn't want one. Then he said he'd give me the chance to have one but when it came to it he said he had a problem and didn't seem able. Now he is back to not want one as he is afraid it will be disabled.
As he is not able to express the forms of affection I need, the child as become an issue but for me it is really about commitment following his affair. he expects me to give up what I want & 'be Happy'. I can't. I do't feel he is committed and the child has become an issue.
I feel he wants everything his own way & I am supposed to give up everything I want & need. If I givew it all up we can be happy but I can't. I resent him for the control he exerts on my life.
I don't see any way out besides seperation. It not what I want but everything stays the same. If he could make me feel he was committed to me I might not feel so desperate for another child, maybe I could give up the idea, but it seems I am supposed to d without the child I desperately want & any effort in our relationship.
I can't see any light besides seperation. A;ll he wants is 'nice times' that don't address the real issues.
7th May 2002, 12:07 AM
Well, things have moved on big time since my last post !
We went out last night to a dance in an effort to work on saving our marriage. After a short while there, 'She' turned up with her husband. I saw this an an opportunity for him to show her he was very much with me. However, he would dance with me once she arrived and to cut a long evening short. He went up to her and asked her would she leave her husband & be with him. Apparently, she said yes. Her husband was irrate, I went home, he got home at 8.00a.m. saying he wasn't with her.
I went out with the children the next day to get away from him. He found out where she & her husband were, went to see them, and she & him talked more. He ran her home then came home wasing to talk. He said that she asked him for a commitment but when push came to shove he couldn't do it & he wanted to stay with us. I found out he had been seeing her still occasionally over the last 4 years. This story just didn't make sense to me - he wanted her, she said yes and then he doesn't want her eben although he probably wouldn't be with me either ! What has all this pain been for then?
He came back wanting me to give him another chance with promises of this & that. I had had enough & felt that I had to stop the relationship here. He wanted to stay in the house but I agreed with him that if he didn't I wouldn't begin divorce proceedings for a period of time, If he stayed in the house I would start them tomorrow. He accepted & is staying with his brother. He says he wants to put it right & I believe he feels so bad at this moment that he means it but can a leopard really change his spots?
Should I take the divorce now I have the chance or try to find a way to forgive him AGAIN in the hope things really will be different this time?
7th May 2002, 12:32 PM
Well it seems that now you have made some decision about defining some boundaries - he sees the mistake he has made and what he is about to lose. I think I said to you once before that once you make a decision and become strong in your own mind, the rest will fall into place.
If I were you, I would continue with the arrangements the way they are. Waiting a time to let things settle will not hurt either of you. Don't be too eager to "forgive" just yet. Wait and see what will happen, but in the meantime keep looking after yourself and get on with life.
Your husband was right not to agree to have a baby. Things are so mixed up for you both right now that you don't need the added stress of bringing another life into the world. Make the ones you are blessed with now your priority. They deserve that from you. It would be very selfish to bring a baby purposely into the world when things are a mess, you sound like a loving and caring mother, I'm sure you can see that it would not be sensible at the present time. Also, you need to give yourselves some space to get things back on track (if that is what is going to happen), not be overwhelmed with added responsibilities.
We all seem to get into bad habits, and my husband and I found that we didn't have fun any more. We both made a conscious effort to MAKE times fun. It did seem contrived and false at first, and then it became a good habit. We make sure we spend leisure time together - even if it's watching a comedian on video over a couple of drinks, or the whole family going to a new restaurant together, we make each other our priority and now it comes without thinking. One of the ways I got the ball rolling when times were very dark for us was I hired a singing telegram to go to his workplace (not crude or offensive), he treasures this memento to this day and part of the routine at the end said that this was sent with love from your wife who wants to see you smile again. You two probably need to lighten up as well and do some laughing. It is hard to be lighthearted when you feel like dying inside and your heart is broken, but believe me, it will make it easier. Create some loving and light and easy times. Wouldn't you want to be with someone who made you feel good about life?
It sounds as though things have turned the corner for you in the way you wanted. Don't rush it an effort to make everything cosy again, if you are meant to be together, nothing will interfere with that.
10th May 2002, 01:05 AM
Hi - Thank you so much for your help & advice. This bulletin board has been so much help to me in my darkest moments. Your messages have helped me to remain focused on what I want and options on how to deal with my situation.
Every day things seem to change. I think I know what is happening & then things suddenly change. It is very confusing.
He arrived the following day thinking I just meant he was to move out for one day. I had to reiterate my wishes and eventually he believed it & has now moved into a 2 bedroomed apartment. I am happy to now have some space and time to myself to think without him continually pressurising me. However, we run a business together and he is coming each day to work & spend time with the children. Work is proving very stressful and he follows me around. At lunchtime I try to stay away from him but he comes & sits with me. The first 3 days I coped quite well with this but today was rather volatile and in the end I just had to leave for awhile to give myself space.
He had told me on Monday that him & her were finished for good. however, on Wednesday evening she rang him again and they met up again to talk. He said he had thought it was finished but it wasn't so he met her this time. He now says it is definately finished (not that I could really believe it after being told that just 2 days previous) Anyway, seems she wants to leave her husband but he has now changed his mind & wants to stay here. I think his decision is largely based on the children & his work which he really enjoys rather than feelings for me.
However, today she has begun ringing me and then hanging up. I had this last time. She would ring when she knew he was out. I think it is her way of trying to intimate me. She would ring at least 3 times a day. Last time I had the phone company montior the line so I could prove it was her and then I challenged her face to face.
Today she has rung 3 times this evening - I am sure it is her as my husband regularly takes my daughter to swimming on a Thursday. She ran when she knew he had just left & again before he returned. This upset me greatly as I felt everything that happened last time was starting again. I expressed my concern to my husband who didn't believe me at first. I told him I expected another one of these calls later tonight when she knew he would be gone and sure enough it came at 11.25p.m. I rang him to tell him & he now does take it seriously and tomorrow we plan to find a way of dealing with this together.
I believe she is miffed because she wanted him to go with her, he has now refused and although to him she has seemed to agree & be reasonable she is trying to cause problems here so he will change his mind. What she doesn't realise is she is actually pushing us together as it is a problem we both have to deal with.
I know my husband thinks this is a way of getting closer to me to get me to change my mind and it is an issue that brings us together in finding a solution but I am still cautious not to let this blind me to all our other problems. However, if he deals with this well it will be a consideration in my final decision. If he still protects her - it could be the final nail in the coffin.
I await to see what tomorrow will bring - can you wait for the next thrilling instalment :-)
(see I haven't quite lost my sense of humour yet !)
22nd May 2002, 11:47 PM
I need some help with dealing with how things are for me at the moment and would welcome people's comments.
My husband is still sleeping out of the house, although he asks to stay almost everyday. He is here however at least 12 hours a day as we also work together. He arrives at 8.45a.m. & leaves around 9.00p.m. and spends the whole time teling me that it doesn't have to be like this. He has made his decision and wants to be here.
The problem I have is that although he says he loves me he also says he still loves her too. He is hoping if things work out with us the feelings he has for her will fade. I find this difficult to believe as this is the second time this has happened - why should it not happen again?
His obvious feelings for her make me very reluctant to rebuild our relationship. He goes on & on at me everyday that he wants to be here but I think his primary motivation is not me but his kids & work.
I find his feelings for her a major stumbling block in wanting to have a relationship with him and am wrangling with myself over this. Is it reasonable to expect him to have dealt better with these feelings before considering having a relationship with me or is it possible for us to successfully rebuild our marriage while he feels this way? I don't want to go back into another situation like this but I recognise that he cannot suddenly stop himslef loving her. I have asked him to go wth her if he feels that way but he won't. He just seems to be prolonging the torture for me!
Help Please !!
23rd May 2002, 03:26 PM
On the surface, you are very fortunate that your husband wants to try and rebuild things with you as many men do just literally walk away, but in your circumstances I'm not surprised that you question his motivation and his future conduct. You don't want to have to keep on going through this, do you.
You talk of the feelings he has for her. They are real, but love and marriage is about more than feelings. A common scenario for an affair is for one spouse to be dissatisfied in some way with the relationship and to find someone who seems more sympathetic or who makes him or her feel young, good, excited or whatever. The wandering spouse then convinces themselves that they have strong feelings for the new woman or man and that they are "in love". They think this gives them permission then to pursue the new relationship because it will make them happier.
What can so often happen is that they make the break and move on to the new partner and then experience the same disappointments and frustrations they experienced the first time around, leaving behind them a trail of destruction and pain.
Your husband will almost certainly have a variety of feelings for and about the other woman, but at present he seems to be acting sensibly and trying to rebuild what he has lost with you despite being very confused about his feelings. I know it must hurt to think you have to share his affcetions with someone else, but are you willing to allow him to show you he does care more deeply for you not her?
In the end love involves a risk. You can't guarantee this will not happen again. You can lay some ground rules as you have been doing and also ask him to try and find out and face up to why he has more than once been tempted to cheat on you. If you let him come back then he needs to convince you that he means it this time and that something has changed or will soon change to make the future different from the past.
31st May 2002, 01:48 AM
Thank you Kate for your comments. I have read them many times in the last few days.
However, it seems that he is still lying to me even now. Today I confronted the other woman. I needed to have my say & hear what she had to say. It became clear that some of the things I had been told in the last few weeks were not true e.g. who phone who, what was said, etc.. I also found out that although she has said she is going to try with her husband she is very sceptical that it will work out and seems to be ensuring she will 'be available' for this to start up again. She admits it is not over even although that is what I am being told. She says she is weak & can't resist.
I also discovered that my husband asked my daughter to lie for him too last weekend when he was supposed to be watching our children race in a swimming gala. She was there too & he disappeared to the pub most of the time. He told my daughter not to tell me he wasn't at the gala most of the time. Him lying to me is one thing but it has made me very angry that he told our daughter to lie to me for him.
This does not smack of a man who has realised his mistakes and is willing to change his ways. I am finally coming to the realisation that our only avenue is seperation. It makes me so sad that our 17 years of marriage has come to this but I cannot continue to live with these lies and have to consider both the future of my children & myself.
Thank you to everyone who has helped me over the past difficult weeks. I'm pleased I took the time to consider what was happening. It has helped me to see things more clearly - seeing what is really going on, not what I wish was going on. I think the next few months will be very difficult but I am at last sure of my decision - Thanks again.
4th June 2002, 01:43 AM
My life is like a rollercoaster - up one day, down the next - waivering still over a decision I thought I had made, as you will see from my last post.
The problem I am having is mainly around the children but also myself. The day after I posted my last message & decided this was it, I was separating from my husband, I felt extremely emotional for the whole of the next day. I was consumed with fear. I could see only pain whichever way I looked and it made me cling to the situation I knew however painful. My three year old woke up crying for his daddy and my older children keep asking if 'things are sorted out yet'. I felt so guilty and lacked the courage to do something that would hurt them so much.
In my confusion I decided to write down everything I would require to consider re-building the marriage and then wrote down my reasons for staying and for going. In doing this I could see that if I allowed a period of time I would be in a better position to assess if it was going to be possible for my husband to address adequately many of my reasons for going - not all but most. I could then be surer of my decision whichever way it went & hopefully we could at least be friends at this point which would help with arrangements for the children.
I had just about convinced myself to do this when I discovered that he had definately lied to me again since this all blew up. I was so angry & disappointed that I immediately reverted to my original decision to go but with much more vengance towards him. He was left under no illusion. I felt there was no hope he would ever change if he was now trying to save his marriage with more lies.
Then, again, I felt so bad and the influence of the children began to pray on me again. So I talked to him again and we are now back to allowing a period of time for change. I thought I would feel better, and I did a little, but I now feel very anxious over whether it will be possible for me to get over the hurt & how I will feel about him. Also the practical problems of her living in the same town, me seeing her, him seeing her & being tempted again & me feeling insecure everytime he goes to town. How can I deal these worries? What can be done practically to help me overcome these fears? Does anyone have any ideas?
Is it normal to feel so pulled to & fro or do I just not have the courage to separate, just as he didn't have the courage to leave his children. Is it possible for us to succeed & be happy if we only stay together because we lacked the courage to leave?
I really need to feel better but whatever road I chose I just can't seem to stop feeling so ill that I find it difficult to function.
4th June 2002, 08:42 AM
I haven't checked into this site for a while, I have responded earlier to your story.
Your husband needs to face why he is still pursuing somebody else. It's not the other woman's fault, it's probably not your fault - it is your husband's fault that he is still engaging in some way with another woman. He needs to really address why and you'll have to face that too. Why don't you just tell him that you're not prepared to tolerate his behaviour any further until he has sorted himself out and can make some real effort in either repairing the marriage or admit that he doesn't want to be married any more.
If he was genuine in his actions, this would be obvious and you wouldn't have doubts. Call it gut reaction, sixth sense or whatever you like. Where there's smoke, there's fire....I don't mean trust - this takes a very long and sustained effort to rebuild. I am talking about what you REALLY feel his intent and motives are.
You cannot get back on track without absolute honesty, pleasant or ugly. Often just a willingness on his part to be honest with any questions you have can be an indication of whether he is really trying to come to terms with what he has done. If there are certain questions that are *off limits* this should put up red flags for you. If he expects you to blindly believe him now when he has spewed out a pack of lies in the past, is really being unreasonable and unrealistic. But if he is willing to answer the questions, be prepared for the answer. Honesty from both sides can help to mend what led to the infidelity arising in the first place.
Although you are not to blame for your husband's choices, you do have to face the fact that you did contribute somewhat to what he eventually considered an unsatisfactory relationship. And you have to make the effort from your side also. Nothing is all one-sided. Granted, he could have chosen a different path, but he didn't and you have to see your part as well. What he did was a sympton of the problem, not the cause.
I am not being harsh, just realistic. I've lived through it too. Think of the infidelity as a huge resounding slap in the face for both of you to sit up and take notice.
8th June 2002, 03:08 AM
Thanks for getting back to me. After a number of attempts of supposedly telling the truth over the past 4 weeks - he has now come clean. Not because he chose to but because she rang threatening to come over to the house & tell all to me. He panicked and told me. This was followed by a meeting with her & husband, me & mine to sort out the issue. She came with her guns loaded. Obviously more things that had been said or done did come out in the coarse of the conversation but he was supportive to me even though she called him a liar.
Following this meeting, he says the anger he continually felt has gone - he finds this hard to understand but believes it is because he knows he has now told the truth. I hope this experience may encourage him not to start lying again but this is a worry for me.
Previously he was still telling me he loved her but now he says he saw a different side to her than he had ever seen before. This has changed his feelings. He has been VERY different from the previous 4 weeks and has been willing to answer all my questions now. He seems to be making a more genuine effort and is beginning to sound more genuine too. He wants to come home and says he will never do this again.
I am obviously worried that although he may feel this now, his feelings may change again and I could find myself in this predicament again. Or he may be still lying about whether he is contacting her now just so he can put the situation back the way it was. These worries do still nag at me & how will I manage to trust him again? I am considering that we should move away so she would be out of the picture & we can all start again in a place we don't know anyone so we learn to rely on each other & build a better bond. What do you think about this? I love my house but don't feel we have a real chance when she lives in the same town. He doesn't want to move as he says she will have 'won' then. Is this reluctance just ensuring the opportunity is still there?
I was interested to read another post on other women which said that men who do this are insecure. I had thought he was. He was always a flirt and seems to get pleasure from chatting & joking with other women. I accept your point that I too have to make changes if I want our lives to be different & I think this is probably the area I need to work on for him. It is difficult as I feel so hurt by his actions but I am going to try this & see how it goes.
Although I find it hard to make sure he leaves each night, I feel it is important for us to test out our feelings BEFORE either of us make that final decision to try again. I consider it a kind of courtship to re-kindle our love and by making it harder we will both make more effort, whereas if he were to move back now, he would quickly become complacent again. I really want this to be a complete lifestyle change for us so we can enjoy the good things in life together & happy. I just hope he will feel the same.
9th June 2002, 04:55 PM
Well, I made a start & things were going quite well (for all of 2 days) until her husband rang me wanting to meet. He had with him some letters she had written to my husband, me & my children.
They were supposed to be saying sorry but they included a list of all the things he said to her about me & all the things he said to her. She also exposed a number of things I did not already know, the most important of these being that she had been to my house a number of times when I was away, Had sex in our office next to the house while my son (aged 18months up to 3) was in the house on his own watching t.v. & that my husband had chosen to take my son with him when he met her on a number of occasions.
I was extremely angry about this. He has violated our house, not protected his own son & involved an innocent child because he could not wait until he was on his own. I feel he did not put the children first but himself and this gives me serious concerns. I NEVER thought he would not protect his children as he claimed this was the most important reason why he would not go with her. I am digusted with his total selfishness and how he has brought his sordid affair inside our house. This has destroyed the progress we had made over the past 2 days. I can now hardly talk to him.
He appears to be truely remorseful and is now more than ever aware of what he has put at risk. But what annoys me is that this is the third attempt to come to terms with all this. Just as I make some progress for myself, the fact he has not been totally honest is revealed again !! He seems to have thought he could put things right without being totally honest in the hope the rest would not come out. This makes me feel that he did not truely value the opportunity to put things right in the first place?
He is now desperate to save his situation here but I wonder if that is possible. I am so disillusioned by the way he has involved our children and how his priority was not first to protect his children. What does anyone feel about this? Is it possible for him to really love them when he was prepared to put them in this position? Or does he have a serious character defect which means he will always lie, cheat & put himself before his children?
Please Help !
11th June 2002, 01:18 PM
Things sometimes take a while to be revealed. Don't despair, you sound so much stronger than your first post, remember how far you've come and the fact that you're still persevering. I'm sure you thought you'd never be able to survive what you have. Well, guess what, you have survived.
Trust is a long term thing that will most likely take YEARS to rebuild. I don't think you'll ever be the same again, no matter who you're with. So you can forget about that old feeling you once had about husbands having the best intentions for their wives.
I'd be wondering what the purpose of her letter was - to interfere, to tell you the truth, to be spiteful. Who knows, but if I were you I'd listen very carefully to what she has to say. You mightn't like it, but it may be the only way to find out what YOU need to know. Lay the bait if you will, if she bites, find out what you need and then do what you need to do. Other people weren't so bothered by integrity when it came to pulling the wool over your eyes, don't be so loyal back. I'm not saying to intentionally hurt anyone, just find out what YOU need to know.
How would your husband react if you asked for the three of you to talk together - then you could gauge what was really happening. You know this woman, so it's no great secret identity being revealed. You get to ask your questions, she gets to ask hers, and guess who gets to answer in front of everyone.
If you have a gut feeling that you haven't got the whole story yet, there you go. Trust that instinct, it doesn't get lulled with lies or what it sees.
Good luck, and give yourself a huge pat on the back for getting this far. What did I say, you're a woman and you can do anything!!
13th June 2002, 12:51 AM
Hi! Thanks for getting back to me.
My husband asked for another meeting with her & her husband to reply to the letters she wrote but she chickened out & only her husband came. He was going to give it to her for all the trouble she caused but it was a bit disappointing when she didn't show. I believe she stirred the pot & then was afraid to come. She says she said all she had to say the last time - but then why write the letters?
It cam e out in the last meeting that she had been in my house too - in 3 seperate rooms while my son was in the house too. This makes me so mad. I had a real go at my husband who kept telling me he wanted to be with me but over the past couple of days he has made very little effort to show me that commitment. He comes to the house & tries to keep things as normal as possible. I feel if he makes so little effort now then he will make even less effort if I let him move back. This will be just the way it was before wehn I felt neglected.
My guts are telling me he just doesn't want it enough. I feel so disappointed when I have invested so much time in trying to come to terms with what has happened !!
13th June 2002, 12:13 PM
Hi there to you too!
I'd go with your instincts. They just tell you something isn't right, but don't usually elaborate which part!! It's probably best not to make a decision if you're feeling emotional, as emotions aren't a good base for making decisions.
Can you sever contact with him, at least for a few days, so that you can get your thoughts together uninterrupted. I would imagine it's very difficult with him in your face every day. I know you work together, but get him to handle the kids for a week (he's a big boy), and take a breather. Sometimes standing back from it all gives things a different perspective (plus it lets him know you're not afraid to be without him). Call in all favours if you have to, you won't need to elaborate with friends (if they don't know what's been happening), just tell them things are pretty rough at home at the moment, and you really need some space. Maybe some time apart would give him time to think (that's a joke - with 4 kids, there is NO time) as well. It's hard not to be all doom and gloom when everything's a mess.
Also, instead of focusing on what you think HE wants, focus on what YOU want out of all this. Don't do THIS only because he does THAT (if you get what I mean). Don't stay and work on the marriage because HE really really wants to. You both need to have the same goals for it to turn out the way you both want.
Keep us posted, and good luck.
19th June 2002, 08:29 PM
Hi ! Thanks for your comments. A week feels like a month at the moment as everything changes so much in a short time. It is no wonder that I don't know if I am coming or going.
Things improved from my last post and he did begin to convince me that he was serious in what he was saying and we went out a number of times, talk & enjoyed ourselves. He seemed different and I did begin to feel that it might work. I had promised myself that I would only go back into this relationship if I could be happy. This began to seem possible although obviously I have a lot of concerns & fears. Yesterday we fell out for the first time since trying to put things back together & today was even worse. It made me very afraid that things hadn't changed & I was going to end up in the same position again. We have since made up but I am still very anxious of making another mistake.
We had been planning for him to move back on friday & that I would put my wedding ring back on but my instant reaction was to put this off and give myself more time. I have to say he has repected this which I feel does show a genuine respect for my feelings at the moment.
We have been planning to go away by ourselves too at the beginning of July & combine this with another week attending my parents 50th wedding anniversary in England.
He seems to want to sort things out & if I can be happy I would also like to sort it out, somethimes my fears seems to get the better of me though. You are right about instincts though. I was told this by my counsellor too - to trust my instincts and I am keeping this very much in mind!
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