Will the pain ever stop after an affair?
by Fool2011, Apr 16, 2012
I learned a week before Christmas my husband had been having an affair for at least 6 months. I found a love letter from his girlfriend in his work bag. We have been together for 21 years. I have never felt so much pain. I can't get thoughts and images of them together out of my head. I don't know what she looks like but I picture someone much prettier. I do know she's 3 years younger than me. Of course. He travels so it's easy. He as a hotel room and he's in another state and they work together.
I'm tired of crying all the time and thinking about them. I cry in the shower, in my car to work, during lunch, in the car on the way home and when I go to bed.
We have 2 children and I don't want to hurt them.  I have thought of divorce but of course my husband is sorry...he lost his way...didnt realize what he had. All the typical answers you would expect to hear. I don't know what to do. I feel like a fool. I have always felt ugly and now i really feel ugly.  I had a feeling something was going on all last summer but I was told no and that I'm being ridiculous. Then the truth comes out only because I caught him. What if I didn't find that letter?
I have been told by others to let him go because he will do it again. I have been told I deserve better. My dad cheated on my mom. My neighbors I grew up next to, he cheated on her. My sister in law is currently having an affair, our newest neighbors are divorced due to an affair. Does everyone cheat now? Does anyone know what it means to be married? I have thought of revenge. I know there's one guy if I asked him to have sex with me he would. I've thought about doing it to put him in just as much pain as I'm in, but then I realize I'm a better person and I know right from wrong. It would make me just as sleazy as him.
I want to know if his affair is over. He says yes, I don't believe him. I want to know everything about her that is better than me....he won't tell.  I want to know if the pain will go away? Will I ever trust him again? Will I ever forgive him? Am i going to be made a fool of again if i stay? Will I ever love him again?
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Member Comments (105)
by Londres70, Apr 16, 2012
Let me start by saying I have never had to deal with a cheating husband.  I can't imagine the pain and betrayal you are going through.  

Have you all even consider counselling at all to try to sort this out?  He really needs this because he needs to FULLY understand why he resorted to this exactly.  Just saying he "is sorry...he lost his way...didnt realize what he had" isn't sufficient enough.  

It is unfortunate the number of couples in this situation; seems like it is an epidemic.  

Have you all had any major marital issues in the past?  

Will the pain ever go away?  That's a difficult one to answer.  
by ku111, Apr 17, 2012
I have been married for 20 years and something like this would cause a tremendous amount of hurt.  I guess I would want to know for a fact it is truly over and if it is truly over I'd have to have proof.  I really do think you can feel things when you have been with someone this long.  Do you feel it is better?  We would have to get counseling for it to ever work because we would need to know where it wrong, how to fix it and exactly 100% open about the affair.  I would except no less from my marriage if it were to work.  Regardless, this has very much effected you.  I would get individual therapy also.  I am kinda a guarded person and always have been.  My dad used to tell me a few things when I was growing up and it just stuck.  He would say there are only 2 people in this world you can truly trust.  One is yourself and the other is God.  Of course he also said sex means absolutely nothing if this is what your relationship is based on-friendship stands the true test of time.  I look at others who give themselves whole heartedly to their partner and I envy this but I have never been able to 100%.  Sad but true.  I hope you can get back to where you need to be.  I am most impressed by you being the better person.  I agree with not throwing a stone back (I'd probably want to-really hard!LOL) but I am me and could not.  One step at a time.  Get yourself better/stronger and then all will fall into place with him or without him.  Regardless, you will be in a better place.  ((hugs))  I wish you the best!
by TTinKKerBBell, Apr 17, 2012
I was married for 15 years and had 3 Children with a man who cheated countless, numerous times.  Every Feeling, every Thought, every Emotion, etc., You have described here is Typical, Normal, and Shared by every Woman whose Husband has cheated.  My heart is heavy for You.  This will be a long journey.

No, EVERYONE does not cheat.  You didn't, I didn't and the Husband I have today does not.  There are others.  This much I know is true.
by Carly1306, Apr 17, 2012
I've had a partner cheat on my before. But I was younger - about 19 at the time so it wasn't that much of a big deal in the grand scale of things. But, at the time, it hurt like hell.

My dad cheated on my mum 2 years ago. And even though myself and my brother were grown up, it was awful. My mum and dad had been together nearly 25 years, married for 18 of those when this happened and it ripped my mums world apart. What he did was cause arguments saying he wasn't happy just to cause trouble in the relationship and left. I had asked him if there was someone else, because I had my suspicions and he denied it. He lied. We found out a few weeks later about the affair and that he had moved in with this women, despite telling us and my mum that he was just 'staying with a friend'.

For your own happiness, and your kids. I say he's not worth it. I think your family and friends are right in that he will do it again. He's done it once, and got away with it for however long, and so he'll do it again, in my opinion. Guys are pretty simple minded (no offense to the men on this forum!) and they don't think too much about the consequences of things. He'll just see that he did something, got caught, so he needs to change the way he goes about it. It won't stop him doing it again.

You are beautiful and you are special and if he can't see that and appreciate you without needed something from someone else, then there is something wrong with him, and he's not the man for you. Maybe he once was, but something has obviously changed and I just don't think (personally) that there is any going back from there.

Trust can make or break a relationship and when that trust is gone, then there's no going back. Even if you think you can forgive and forget, there will always be those doubts (however small) at the back of your mind, and even the slightest (could be innocent) thing he does  or says, could make you doubt him. Do you really want to live like that. Do deserve so much better, and someone who appreciates you for all that you are and doesn't want to look elsewhere. You really do.

I do think some sort of councelling would be beneficial. It can help you work out your feelings and help your confidence and help you come to the right decision for you.

My mum, and myself, thought the world was over when this happened. But now, we're all happier than we've been in YEARS. She's out more than she's at home. She has a better social life than me, and I'm in my 20s!

I really do wish you the best.
by Fool2011, Apr 17, 2012
We did counseling two times and he doesn't like going. Thinks we need to do it on our own. He says he's been unhappy for awhile because according to him I am not affectionate enough.
by Fool2011, Apr 17, 2012
Thank you for your comments.
To kitkat1306- my worry is what you said. He will do it again...or is still doing it just is better at hiding it.
Thanks again.
by Carly1306, Apr 17, 2012
I think him saying you're not being affectionate enough is just an excuse to make it seem okay for what he done. Like you'll think 'oh poor him, it's my fault for not being affectionate enough so this is why he's had to go elsewhere' - absolute rubbish. If that were a problem, he could bring it up with you and you two could work on it as a couple. There's just no need to go looking elsewhere.

If it is your worry that he'll do it again, or get better at hiding then that really does show that the trust is most definitely gone from your relationship. He broke that trust, and quite frankly, he doesn't deserve it back either. It's not fair on you to have to be in a relationship where you would always doubt yourself and if you're being affectionate enough or always wondering where he is, what he's doing and looking at everything to see if it's suspicious or not. That's no way to live, and you deserve so much more than that.

Everything you're feeling is completely normal for what you're going through, so don't think you're alone in those thoughts. Not every man is a cheater. I think it takes someone very weak, to cheat. And do you want to be with someone who is weak like that? He might feel guilty or bad about what he's done, on some level. But he obviously can't feel that bad about it, otherwise the guilt would have made him stop.
by mami1323, Apr 17, 2012
I'm so sorry to hear of your pain.  I went through this with my husband.  It was over 3 years ago and he had a long term affair.  About a year and a half, with a girl who he met at his job.  He was a personal trainer and she was a member at the gym.  When I found out about it, my world was crushed.  We had been together for 5 years, which is a lot less time then you and your husband, although the pain still intense.  He cheated while we planned our wedding and all throughout my pregnancy and I found out when my son was 9 months old.  It is so hard to decide what you want to do.  Especially right when you just find out.  You go through so many ups and downs.  So many different feelings about it all.  One minute you feel like you love them, the next you despise them.  You want to stay and then you think it easier just to walk away.  My husband truly regretted cheating on me.  To this day, he feels remorse for it.  It caused so much pain and made me doubt him as a person.  Do I believe in once a cheat, always a cheat? No.  I do think people can change.  I don't think it's a mistake. I think an affair, especially an ongoing affair is done on a consious level.  They plan it, they know they are lying in order to sneak away.  Those things aren't a mistake.  I do think though that just because they do it that one time, they can realize how horrible it is to watch the person they love in so much pain, that they won't want to do it again.  The only problem is us believing it won't happen again.  I won't lie to you and say, yep, you will trust 100% again.  You won't.  But you will get to a better place over time.  The doubt will be there but it won't take over your mind.  You will eventually learn how to put the affair in the back of your mind.  You will learn to deflect the thoughts of the affair so that you can go about your day without letting them take over.  It takes a very long time though.  The first year after an affair is the hardest.  I to felt like a fool for taking him back and staying.  Now I feel it was the best thing ever.  My son has his father, I have my husband and we are a much stronger couple.  He's matured a lot, he puts his family first now.  You will fall in love again as long as your husband shows remorse, regret and has patience.  I also think you and him should go into counseling.  That was the first thing we did after the affair.  It is very hard to work things through without professional help.  Plus, you don't ever want this to happen again and a therapist can get to the bottom of why it happened and how to make sure it won't happen in the future.  Perhaps your husband was being honest about the affection.  It isn't an excuse at all, because he should've communicated that to you instead of cheating, however I wouldn't discount his reasons for it.  Maybe in his mind, you weren't being affectionate.  You both will have to work on things.  He will have to learn to come to you with his feelings instead of looking elsewhere.  Please know though that him having an affair has nothing to do with you though.  Even if you weren't as affectionate as he would've liked.  It's his responsibility to tell you.  Him having an affair was his character flaw.  Your husband will also need to be fully transparent for trust to be regained.  You need to KNOW that it's over with this woman.  Wondering if it is isn't enough.  I wish you the best of luck.  Please feel free to message me if you would like.
by TTinKKerBBell, Apr 17, 2012
I agree that the trust is gone.  
Can it be rebuilt?
Who knows?  (probably not......not completely)

This has Forever changed who You thought You were Married to.  What You have to determine is if You can live with the new issues that His affair now brings to Your table.  You have a 20 year Marriage and 2 Children.  No one just "walks away" from all that.  You must realize You are going to be Sad and Unhappy for a long time to come - whether You leave, or whether You stay - this has changed Your world and it will take a LOT of work, on His part as well as Yours !!   If He wants to stay in the Marriage I would give Him the ULTIMATUM of counseling - it doesn't matter if He doesn't "like" it !!  OMGolly, You don't like it either !!  but He didn't give YOU a choice in this matter.  Who cares what He likes right now??  He EARNED it!!  This is His "consequence" if He wants to save His marriage.  

Please, whatever You do - don't let Him make You feel that He did this because of You.   It's NOT about who You are - it's about who HE is.  Anyone who cheats has less Character, less Morals and fewer Standards than those who do not cheat.  No one cheats to "fix" what's wrong in a marriage and then finds a way to make You feel it's Your fault!!??  
(if You were broke and hungry - would it be Your fault if He sneaked around behind Your back and robbed a bank?)

Good luck to You from the bottom of my heart