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Handling Infidelity in a Marriage

Hi, first time here. Been married for 11yrs now. Love my wife dearly but i commited the unforgivable sin. Cheated on her with my ex who happened to be her cousin. She also introduced us. This has has completely devastated my wife and i don't know what i can do. Every discussion we have she brings up that betrayal. What can i do to save my marriage coz i love her and we have 2 beautiful kids. Pls advice.
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134578 tn?1614729226
What can you do to save your marriage? Well, you have to be willing to go a long way to fix it, and mean it. You're going to have to apologize, and to convince her by how you behave that you will never, ever even think of cheating again, and you are going to have to be able to handle her justifiable anger with patience for a long time, and probably on top of that, you're going to have to be a perfect husband forever. And, frankly, even then she might never  fully trust you again. (Why would she? You screwed around with her cousin after you got married to her.) Are you up for all that to save your marriage, or do you think it sounds like too much work? As far as she's concerned, fidelity was part of the deal when you married, and you walked all over her trust, and with her relative, what a betrayal. Of course she's furious, hurt, and torn up.

Are you seeing a counselor? He or she might be able to guide the two of you to some kind of way to work this through. But there is no simple fix, and acting put-upon that she keeps bringing it up is no way to begin if you are serious about saving your marriage.
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2 Comments
Thanks for your advice. I have been faithful ever since and don't intend to repeat that mistake again. I understand her anger and I always want her to vent it out whenever she wants. I want us to move on and i am willing to do whatever to make it right. Sometimes, i get a hint that she has given up on the marriage and she is waiting on the right time to ask for a divorce. What can i do to make her believe that i have changed.
You haven't said how long it has been since she learned of the infidelity. I would not push her to "move on" if it has been a relatively short time, even if it flays you to hear her bring it up. She has the right, after all. If she is continuing to go at you about it and it has been 5 years, that's one thing. But 5 weeks? That would be another. It takes time, and you really can't say to her "let's move on," without it sounding like you are saying "just shut up already."
973741 tn?1342342773
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi.  First, forgive yourself. Cheating is, of course, a terrible thing to do but I do view it as a mistake like any other.  What did you learn from it? That it is NOT worth losing your wife over and you only want to be with HER. That's valuable information. Share it with her over and over and over.

Are you in counseling?  That is a great place for a couple to work on this.  And if she continues with a counselor on her own, that helps too. That is a great place for her to 'vent'. She's hurt.  She's trying to process it all.  

Should it go on forever?  No, absolutely not.  SHE has a responsibility too to move on from this.  It double stings because it is a family member she can't just be done with (as in she will see her at gatherings). But how long this takes is open for debate and you have to be patient.

We have two members here where the man cheated and the woman took a long time to get over it.  It has now been years and they are still together.  

One thing you can do is have vent free times.  Okay, we are going to grab an appetizer and hang out at this restaurant for an hour . . . let's make it vent free, problem free time for one hour.  Couples who fight a lot are often recommended to do this because this is how they reconnect and have a little fun together to rekindle things.  That one hour or two hours of 'nothing heavy' and just being in each other's company.  

This is a difficult situation but many MANY get through it.  It's hard on you because it is easier for you to just move on and try to forget.  But not so easy for her yet.  She'll get there, give her time but do NOT minimize her feelings.

And truth is, often in cheating situations, it is a wake up call for a couple to work on their relationship.  It can be an indication that emotional space has developed.  And hey, when my kids were young, I can see how this happens.  A woman is so engrossed in parenting that being sexy or taking time for the partner is something you have to 'make time for' rather than your priority.  

Hang in there and we are here to support you!
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4 Comments
Thank you. Your advice is well received. I will work hard to keep her. She is beautiful wife and a wonderful mother. I really messed up. She always asks me, WHY? Why do this to me? I have no answer for that because I really don't see why I did it. Its very hard on her.
Yes.  And honestly, it might help you to do some soul searching for the why.  Maybe it was just random chance but perhaps you have some other things going on.  Need for attention, need for more sex, need to feel special?  Need to hurt her, resentment, unhappiness.  You need to get in touch with it a little bit internally.  By the way, how did she find out?
Well. You see, the first time i saw her it was at my ex (her cousin's) place. I immediately said to myself this is the woman i was going to marry. At that time i was still fooling around with my ex but she had just ended our relationship. How she found out was through messages on my phone. She raised it and every time i became defensive and denied it. January of last year is when we had a big argument and that is when i had a realization of the damage i had done to my family. It is devastating.
This was an affair that was ongoing for some long time while you were married?
495284 tn?1333894042
She asked you "why you did this to her"...I dont believe you did.  I think it came from your own lack of self esteem, insecurities etc.  She is going to feel it was all about her as that is where our minds go.  I was a cheater many years ago.  It was easier to jump in the sack or backseat or motel room with someone else than deal with my own demons.  I certainly didnt want my then husband to know i was doing this.  Those moments of sex with someone else gave me that boost to my ego or so i thought.  We all like that instant gratification whether it be emotionally or sexually.  Black Velvet and dope was the driving factor for my indiscretions and total mind screw.  I am 57 yrs old
now and in a very loving marriage with a husband i adore and i wouldnt think of cheating on him mainly because of me as i would never lower myself to become someone's mistress again.  I wouldnt do that to him either i might add.

This will take some time.  Your actions will speak louder than words.  Maybe start out by going out on a date.  I like that you are allowing her to feel what she does.  I highly recommend counseling as this is something people can work thru.  Do you need to be punished forever?  No, there comes a time where you 2 need to move forward.  Trust can be lost in an instant and can take years for it to come back.  This will be a time thing now with you being sincere, open and honest.  Start out slow with your wife, reconnect, forgive and hopefully you 2 will have the relationship that is better than ever.  I wish you well as this is tough~
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1 Comments
Thank you for the advice. I want to work hard to win her back. She deserves the lost years of my indiscretions. Thanks again.
495284 tn?1333894042
Was this affair something that went on for awhile?
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1 Comments
Yes
134578 tn?1614729226
Cerezo, if you were having an affair for a long time with your wife's cousin, and have told your wife that now you want to just "move on," and find it vexing that she keeps asking why you did it, it is hard to see that your mindset is taking you to a place where your wife can ever forgive you. You sound like you think you had a right to do it and don't understand why she isn't going along with your moving-on plan.  Are you such a catch that a woman cannot say that what you did is insulting and a huge affront to her pride? If your wife had been having a long-term affair with your cousin and you had stayed faithful, and when you found out, she just shrugged it off and wanted you to stop asking why and wanted to just move on, would you just roll over and forget it?
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2 Comments
I fully understand. I have since come to the realization that it is about her and her pace. I am ready to wait and be there until she feels comfortable.  Also there is one thing that she want to do. She wants to meet the cousin? What is your advice?
You're ready to wait and be there until she feels comfortable -- if the situation were reversed and she was just waiting for you to feel comfortable, do you think it would work? Wouldn't you be so furious that you would be unlikely to be "comfortable" for a long, long time? I would think (again, if your wife were the cheater and you were the innocent spouse) it would take something a lot more active than the cheating party just waiting.
134578 tn?1614729226
If this is her cousin, what would keep her from meeting the cousin? Certainly she doesn't need your permission, right? And, do you think this would result in violence?
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1 Comments
I must be missing something here with her wanting to meet the cousin or do you mean she wants to get together with her cousin and discuss what went on?  How long did this affair go on?  Who called it quits or did it quit due to you getting caught?  Are you still in contact with the cousin?  If your wife and her get together i am sure your wife wants to know lots of details.  If you have nothing to hide anymore what is the harm unless she is going there to beat her up or something.  For some reason i thought you had just had a one night fling with the cousin.   It is a time thing, but you are both going to need some added help with this.  You need to figure out what was driving that destructive behavior and your wife needs help with the emotional pain, heartache and betrayal.
134578 tn?1614729226
If you genuinely don't know why she is mad or hurt, and why she doesn't just "move on" after you cheated with her cousin for years, I think you aren't going to be able to fix the situation and I can't imagine why she would want to stay married to you. This is because the error was in you, the error is not in her reaction. And if you don't accept that you are the one who made the mess and has the flaw, you will continue to imply to her that she should just forget it and stay your wife, and that is asking her to swallow a huge lump of unfair treatment by you without even reacting to how wrong it was. She deserves to know you have changed, if you have, and frankly it doesn't sound like you've changed anything, you're just trying to get away with your bad behavior.
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