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My husband cheated and I don't know if I should stay

 
 
Brielle
 
Reply Wed 11 Jan, 2017 04:14 pm
My husband and I have been married for 10 years and we have two young children. In the first year of our marriage, he had a short fling with an employee at work. It was, from what I understand, purely physical. He apologized and swore it would never happen again. Things went well for several years, we had two beautiful children, and I thought things were okay. However in the past two years he grew a little more distant. This past weekend I got a new phone and signed into our iCloud and found messages from a person named "Brian." I had noticed him messaging this person in the past, however, upon actually opening the messages, I saw that they were saying how he couldn't wait to see this person and then I saw a picture of "Brian", who was actually a woman. They were talking about a sexual encounter from the night before and he was telling her how much he loved her. I confronted him and he admitted everything. He met this girl playing a game online and has been talking to her for over a year. Last summer we took a trip clear across the country and he booked me a spa day, which ended up being the first time they met in person. Since the summer, he has apparently flown her out here, over 3000 miles away, at least four or five times. He admitted that he is in love with her, but he said he would end it because he also loves me and he doesn't want either of us to have to be part time parents. Neither of us could bear having less time with our children. We are both people of strong faith and believe in trying to keep a family together. We agreed we would speak to our pastor the next morning before church. At the meeting, my husband swore he would do everything in his power to keep our family together. We talked about our feelings And although I was still obviously devastated, I felt a little bit better about things. I had him send a goodbye message to the other woman and thought that would be it. However, he also got a new phone and had left his old phone at home, and curiosity got the best of me. His old phone still had all of the same apps on it, and I opened up the one they met on and he was still talking to her-- this was just one day after our meeting at the church. I told him again he had to get rid of her or else I would have some things to say to her. I think he has cut off communications but I worry what is in store for us. I love him and I love our children and I believe very strongly in the vows that we took when we got married. I am not sure what to do. Any thoughts?
 
jespah
 
  4  
Reply Wed 11 Jan, 2017 04:28 pm
@Brielle,
Bring this to your pastor, who I take it you are working with like a counselor. If, however, you would consider a couples therapist, that could be another option.

But either way, use sunshine as a disinfectant. Right now, it's been secretive and that may be a part of why your husband is getting this kind of a high from things. So get it out in the open with your pastor and hash it out as well as you can.

And make your feelings known. I am assuming you are hurt (I know I would be). And maybe angry. Or feeling betrayed, etc. I don't want to tell you your feelings, of course. Those are for you to feel. But get them out there. Don't just take it.

Your husband needs to hear it, not just from you, but also from your pastor, that his behavior is unacceptable. He said he would change and would cut off all contact, and he has not. And that is a corollary betrayal on top of the initial affair betrayal.

I would also suggest you talk about money when the three of you meet. Find out just how much your husband has sunk into this affair. Because flying someone across the country ain't cheap.

In the meantime, I would also suggest talking to your pastor on your own. And see what he (she?) says. Because I know you believe in your vows and I do respect that, but you are placing yourself into a tough position if certain responses are utterly off the table. Maybe they don't have to be, or you can do something else. Plenty of people co-parent effectively in a separation situation.

And of course your children come first – but you are not doing them any favors by ignoring the elephant in the room. They are absorbing lessons about interpersonal relationships from both of you. It's up to the both of you whether you want those lessons to be about taking a lot of guff for the ultimate purpose of staying together, or about being independent, or about standing up for yourself, or something else. You have the power to direct this narrative.

Best of luck to you.
Brielle
 
  2  
Reply Wed 11 Jan, 2017 06:18 pm
@jespah,
Thank you so much for your timely and incredibly thoughtful response. We have met with a therapist along with a couples counselor. Everyone seems to think so far that you can save something if you both really want to, I just hate not knowing if he really does. I did ask about the financial aspect. Between the trips and gifts, he has spent at least $10,000 on her. It makes me sick.

I know the mantra is once a cheater, always a cheater. I love him so much and believe that deep down he is a good person, I just don't know if I can look past this, even for the sake of our family. I feel like I may always be questioning his intentions. It was such a huge betrayal this time because it was so much more than physical between them. He is walking around like a kicked puppy and he told me to my face that it's because he misses her. Each time we meet with someone new, I get to hear again how much he loves her. It's just so hard to take.
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Wed 11 Jan, 2017 07:41 pm
@Brielle,
And he's not being fair to you, either.

Look, no marriage is perfect, but regardless of how angry he may be at you for taking his toy away, he's just plain being nasty here.
0 Replies
 
Medusax
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Jan, 2017 09:51 pm
@Brielle,
Just saying... Life got SO much better when I decided to stop wasting my time on men.
0 Replies
 
TomTomBinks
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Jan, 2017 12:03 am
@Brielle,
Jespah gave you the best advice, but as a man I'd like to throw my two cents in. I understand you wanting to save the marriage, you love him and it would be best for the children. But that's going to take the both of you, and from how you describe it, your husband just isn't going to do it. He sounds selfish and immature, used to getting his way. Am I right? Do people (you, other family) cater to him? If so, he's not going to change. When he's no longer getting his way he won't have any more use for you.
I suggest you develop a strategy to get out of this clean. Be strong. Keep your future (and your children's future) in mind. Children need stability and this man will not let you have that. If he ends up giving up this girlfriend, there will be another one in a few years. You already know he's deceitful. He doesn't seem to feel he owes anybody the truth, not his wife or his pastor. And how committed a Christian do you suppose he is? I get the whole forgiveness thing, but you can spend your whole life forgiving this guy over and over. In the meantime, your children will be growing up seeing it all.
Your kids need a father they can look up to and you need a husband you can trust. Good luck.
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Thu 12 Jan, 2017 05:53 am
Quote:
We are both people of strong faith and believe in trying to keep a family together.


Respectfully, it really doesn't sound as if this applies to your husband.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Jan, 2017 09:25 am
Some guys cheat because they want excitement since they feel their own marriage has gotten boring or stale, others just like attention from women and the excitement of all that. Counseling will find out what happened.

In the meantime, he needs to show you that he has made an effort to break his tie with her. INSIST on this during this very difficult time between the two of you.
Brielle
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Jan, 2017 01:20 pm
@PUNKEY,
I wish I knew why he did it. I know that will come over time. In the mean time, it's hard to even look at him. He is so dejected and depressed acting and it's so incredibly frustrating. He keeps apologizing but it's like he is more devastated about what he "lost" instead of about what he did to me.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Thu 12 Jan, 2017 01:25 pm
@Brielle,
Brielle wrote:
I believe very strongly in the vows that we took when we got married.


great that you believe in the vows. a shame that your husband didn't/doesn't.

___

make sure the kids are involved in counselling sooner rather than later. even very small children know when there are problems between their parents.

make sure that you are using birth control if you decide to have sex with your husband. are you both being regularly tested for STD's. I'd recommend it for at least 18 months after your husband's last contact with the other woman that you know about.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Jan, 2017 01:27 pm
@Brielle,
Brielle wrote:
We are both people of strong faith and believe in trying to keep a family together.


what?

either he is lying when he says that or you are lying when you say you believe that. he has had two significant affairs that you know of - and have condoned by remaining with him

are you allowing him to stay in the marital home? what has he done to get the money he spent on the other woman back into the family coffers?
Brielle
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Jan, 2017 01:55 pm
@ehBeth,
We are still both staying at home. We own a business together as well so it makes it hard. I see him all the time and am always reminded of what he did. I just believe in til death do us part and I hate the idea of having to split time with my children.

At this point we haven't really discussed the financial portion so much. He spent a lot on her and it's upsetting, but I guess it's not really what I'm thinking about right now.

I hate this hopeless feeling. I love him and hate him at the same time and yet I don't know what I would do without him.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jan, 2017 03:46 pm
Pastors are not marital counselors, so please go to a licensed therapist who specializes in marriage problems.

You say his seems more "sad" about what he lost than actually being remorseful about what he has done to you. How do you know that?

You sound like you want to put the marriage back together again. You are going to have to understand what happened in the marriage to make him stray.

Is this a pattern he does, all to make himself feel better? Why do you permit this (with your staying with him)? Do you think the kids benefit from being in a home where all this is taking place?

0 Replies
 
 

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