Relationships Community
6.38k Members
Avatar universal

I had an affair

I don't know what to do.  I have been married for 12 years.  I recently had an affair that lasted over 3 years.  I feel so guilty.  My husband does not know about it, but suspected here and there.  I always said if he had an affair I didn't want to know about it because what good would that do me except just hurt me.  I think he has adopted that attitude also because I think he "knows" but doesn't want to believe it so he doesn't.  The problem is I just can't hardly live with this guilt.  It is eating me up.  I hate that I did it.  I still think of the other man everyday.  I still love and miss him.  Its been 8 months since I had sex with this other guy. I know I need to just not think about it and go on living my life, but this consumes my thoughts every day.  I worry constantly that my husband will find out.  He will be devasted.  It makes me hate myself.  I want to run away.  Plese don't ever get involved in anything like this.  I just don't know what to do. I feel like I should just go ahead and get a divorce before he finds out because I can't live this way.  If not for my affair I think our relationship would be ok.

I know that no one here can really help me.  I guess I just needed to release.
35 Responses
Avatar universal
If you had an affair for 3 years. and did not think of your husband why are you thinking of him now, also the man you had an affair with had no scruples he knew you were married and you knew you were married, so confess, and what ever will be will be   luck  jo    the grass is not greener on the other side
686059 tn?1293833827
When you take the sacred vows to honor and obey (mutal that is) for better or for worse, for sickness or in health, till death due you part. What ever happened to these vows? Your concscience is bothering you, because you know that what you have done is wrong and, it's also, mortal sin "Thout Shalt Not Commit Adultery". Were fortunate that God is a God of forgiveness.

If you are no longer in love with your husband then I suggest that you get a divorce. You have disrespected your husband, yourself, the other man, God, and if the other man is married, his wife also.

You need to move on with your life and make sure that you never see or contact this man again. These are the type of situations that you hear on the news (murders).

If you love your husband, stay with him, respect him and if you tell him, he will either divorce you or forgive you, but the relationship will never be the same, since trust has been broken. I hope this serves as a lesson on how not to destroy lives, especially your own.
686059 tn?1293833827
ps...if you are Catholic, your going to HAVE to go to confession immediately, because you have moral sin on your soul.
Avatar universal
Thanks for jumping on me.  I did state my regret and I release it was wrong.  It is already eating me up so much I have trouble sleeping, eating and just plan living.
686059 tn?1293833827
I'm not "jumping" you. The reality of what you have done is jumping you and it's time to  correct what you have done to yourself. If you value your marriage, don't tell him, unless you want all hell to break loose in your home, but make sure this will never happen again and make sure that this other man doesn't come back to haunt your marriage. Make sure the relationship is broken off for good and begin to honor and respect your marriage and move forward.
303824 tn?1294871401
What made you have an affair in the first place? You said if not for the affair, you think your marriage would be ok? Then why do that to your husband and yourself? The guilt will continue to eat you up. Talking with someone (professional) may help. Maybe some couples counseling too. There was a reason behind the affair that needs to be addressed so it doesn't happen again.

What made you decide to stop seeing the other guy? 3 years is a really long time and obviously there are (or were) feelings involved, so what made it stop?
686059 tn?1293833827
Also, another option is to talk with your husband regarding the issues in your marriage. Communicate what is making you unhappy and suggest that he attends a marriage counselor to sort out your problems and get to the root of the problems. You can save your marriage and by have an affair, it has only made matters worse, because your conscience is bothering you to the point where it is becoming emotionally debilitating and it will affect all other aspects of your life. Your marriage is salvageable, but get to the real issue of the problem and you can put all this behind you. Best wishes....
Avatar universal
why did you cheat on your husband in the first place? it's always best to come clean. take the consequence of your actions. even if that means a divorce. you'll feel better and he won't be in agony over if you did or didn't. eventually he'll find out and what happens will be worse. maybe now if you confess than you can possibly do marriage counseling.vb            
940642 tn?1336063511
I listened to a podcast about this very subject yesterday.  First I want to say that I do not think that cheating is right, moral, etc...  but you already know that.

Everyone will probably jump on me for saying this, but at this point I think you need to weigh the options of which will do more harm...  Keeping the secret (and NOT cheating anymore), or telling your husband and ruining his life, your life, your childrens lives, etc....

At this point since he does not really "know", you are only ruining your life. Perhaps that is the cross you have to bare.

Personally I would not tell him.  I would get therapy so that you can understand why you did it, learn from your terrible mistake, and work to make your relationship as good as it can be.

372900 tn?1315512302
You are not being fair to your husband.  You cheated on him and you still love and miss the guy you had an affair with.  Your husband deserves much better than what you have given him.  You need to tell him and then separate.  You can't go on in a marriage when you love someone else.
372900 tn?1315512302
BTW~counseling won't help for the simple fact you love the other guy.  How is a marriage going to work when you aren't going to put forth 100% to make it work?
684030 tn?1415612323
I know that the guilt is gnawing at you.
Maybe, reflecting on the past affair is punishment enough. Understand why it happened; learn from any insights about yourself and your marriage that you may have gained from it; and don't do it again.
But, I think that you should stop beating yourself up over it.
Oh, and I see nothing productive coming from telling your husband...
sure, it'll get the secret out in the open and release some of the anxiety and tension that you've been holding in all this time... but, imagine the collateral damage and fall-out that will ensue as a result. It could devastate him.
Avatar universal
Hi, I feel your pain, but you need to tell him.  I know it sounds awful to do so but you are married and you must come clean and try to work it out.  If not, you will be thinking about it all the time.  The guilt will make you into an angry or depressed person.  Its only fair to tell him.  Mistakes happen, and he can either forgive you and leave.  Sometimes these types of things make a relationship stronger because it make the couple resolve problems that they didn't know were there.  I would say that there was some specific reason you had this affair, but you have not disclosed that.  If you know why you did, explore that and try to figure out why you did it and try to explain to your husband what happened.  He will be upset, devastated, angry, hurt, jealous, all these things, but you have to suck it up and except it as it comes.  If you do still love this other man, stop wasting your husbands time and leave him.  If you love your husband and want to work it out, then tell him...please because the lie and deceit is what hurts the most.  Think about it.  Keeping it from him makes your marriage basically a sham because you have not kept your vows and you made this mistake.  Don't torture yourself or him any longer.
134578 tn?1578157483
I disagree on the issue of telling the husband, if the wife has left the affair and wants to stay in the marriage.  It will ease her guilt at the huge cost of destroying his life.  I'd try counseling (solo) first, and talk it all out with a dispassionate professional.  Then decide what road to take.  
902589 tn?1268148853
If you still love and miss the man you had a 3 year affair with then why the heck are you still with your husband? I'm not even going to go into how wrong cheating is because everyone has already said it.

Basically it is up to you to tell your husband but i personally think that you shouldn't just so that you can live with the guilt because you deserve to live with the guilt for breaking your vows in the first place. Also then he won't be affected with thoughts of why you did it and if he was lacking something in him to make you do it.

I can't believe i am saying this because i hold marriage vows very seriously and hate divorce, but you need to divorce your husband. You are obviously not committed to your husband and obviously do not love him if you claim to still love and miss the man you had an affair with and it's not fair to your husband for you to tag him along when you are not putting 100% into the relationship.

And get therapy to either figure out why you felt the need to cheat in the first place and to make sure that it doesn't happen again.
Avatar universal
Maybe i came down to hard on you, but i have been thinking there is more here than meets the eye, you do not just have an affair for no reason, and i think.you may be holding back the true reason, either way i wish you luck and peace    jo
372900 tn?1315512302
Have you guys all missed the point that she's still IN LOVE with the other man?!  She thinks about the other man EVERY DAY!  No where in her post does it say she wants to make her marriage work!  What she's WORRIED about is her husband finding out!  In fact, she wants to divorce him before he finds out......which I think she needs to do AFTER she tells her husband.  He has the right to know and he has the right to be happy with someone else.
372900 tn?1315512302
I also wanted to add that when you're in love with someone else you are not going to give 100% to making the marriage work.  You are always going to be thinking about that other person.  Therefore, no amount of therapy is going to help you get over your feelings for another person and it's not fair to drag your spouse to counseling when you aren't going to be determined to make it work to begin with.  You will just be wasting everyone's time and money.
686059 tn?1293833827
If you are in love with the other man, I still say, don't tell your husband and spare him the horrible pain that comes with infidelity, but you ask for a divorce based on a loveless marriage.
134578 tn?1578157483
I agree with Judy.  Why scar him?  Either leave or stay, if you stay, your guilt is your cross to bear, but don't hurt him.  He is the innocent party here.  Don't add to the pain of your leaving (if that is what you do) by dumping a truckload of "you weren't good enough" on him (and while we're at it, some "never again trust a woman to be faithful either").  It will ruin his possibility of future happiness in another relationship, and he is (so far as we know) undeserving of that fate.
968185 tn?1248255581
Some people can be so judgemental, I know there is a lot more to this story than what you will or even could put into words. Nobody knows your husband better than you do, or your relationship for that matter. i would say if you love him and he loves you, you will have to decide- not to make yourself feel better or to save your marriage but you should think what your husband wants? You think he knows already, well if this is the case why would you tell him something he wants to pretend isn't happening? True he is probably suffering already because of what you did, but there are other ways of telling him you have changed than by hurting him even more. You can show him with your actions. Tell him you realize how much he means to you and you have done things in the past that were selfish, but you want to change. You want to make him happy and have a good relationship. Let him know you have grown up. If he is pretending not to know maybe he will realize what you are talking about and bring it up, in which case I wouldn't lie. He could also just keep quiet about it and hope you are telling the truth, but i think it will make him feel better to know you are changing for him. If he really doesn't know maybe he will think you are talking about the fight you had last week or last month, or how you often cancelled dinner plans or other plans to work late. If you think your husband would want to know about your affair, go ahead and tell him and see what happens. I think if my boyfriend cheated on me months ago but was no longer doing it and decided to be with me and only me, I would not want to know what he did in the past. As long as you do NOT repeat your mistake! If you don't love him enough to be faithful then let him go so he can find someone who will treat him with the respect every person deserves. At least be compassionate and care about him enough to do that if you no longer actually love him. Also, I would not tell anyone about this affair except a counselor or psychiatrist. If his parents or siblings found out they would be much less likely to forgive you than he would, and maybe he would be so embarassed and feel he wasn't good enough to keep you faithful he would feel he'd have to leave you. Leave the decision about who finds out about this to him if you tell him, I know I would be very embarassed if my boyfriend cheated and my friends found out, especially if they found out I forgave him, which I would if it was a one time occurance.
145992 tn?1341345074
I have been a victim of a long term affair.  My fiance had a 2 year affair and if he had ended it on his own accord and realized what a mistake it was but decided he loved me and wanted to work on our relationship and started treating me better, then I would not have wanted to know that it happened.  It has been the most painful thing to recover from.  It damaged me in so many ways.  I caught the affair and he has worked really hard on rebuilding our broken relationship through counseling.  He had feelings for this other woman and I'm sure it was hard to get over her for whatever reasons but that's the hardest part is knowing that he had feelings.  Sometimes ignorance is bliss.  We have come a long way and have worked on a lot of our issues but that stigma is always there on our relationship.  That trust is gone and I doubt will ever be the way it used to be.  I will always live knowing that he cared for another woman and that she had loved him.  That he had risked our family for this woman.  I always wonder about their relationship and what was so special about her that made him stay with her for so long and think about them laughing and having sex.  It's torture, and takes a lot of mind manipulation to get those thoughts out of my head.  It will take time for you to fall out of love with this man.  However, if you still love your husband and want to work it out with him, don't tell him.  But if you don't love him then end the relationship but still I wouldn't tell him.  Even though some think he has a right to know, it will kill him inside.  
960021 tn?1270662682
I've read through your posts, and I have to admit with 99% of the responses you're receiving here when they tell you that it would be within your best interest to come clean with him. Whether we are hearing the full story or not is beyond any and all of us, we can only go on the words in which you've placed upon this forum. There are always going to be members here who side with you, and then there will be people like me who disagree with your decision to both hide this from your husband and plan to forget this ever happened. Unfortunately, right now it would be within your best interest to talk to your husband about what YOU did to HIM. The only advice I see fit to give you at this current time, would be to put yourself in his shoes. How would you feel and/or react if you found out either from him or someone else that he did this to you?

I'd have a hard time believing you if you were to respond back to me, saying that it wouldn't effect you as horribly as it would any other normal human being who is in love with their other half.
960021 tn?1270662682
While I respect your opinion on this matter, I also have to disagree with what you're saying about any and all of the members who've taken the time to hand out the opinions from us that this woman has whole heartedly asked for at this time. I don't feel as though any member here has judged this women; But instead has given her the advice she asked for in the first place. Tough love goes a very long way in this day and age... Unfortunately for some, so does the truth.
Have an Answer?
Top Relationships Answerers
13167 tn?1327194124
Austin, TX
3060903 tn?1398565123
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
How do you keep things safer between the sheets? We explore your options.
Can HIV be transmitted through this sexual activity? Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia answers this commonly-asked question.
For people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the COVID-19 pandemic can be particularly challenging.
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.
These common ADD/ADHD myths could already be hurting your child