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Husband lies to me for 26 years. Can we stay together?

 
 
Reply Fri 10 Mar, 2017 04:59 am
I've been married to my husband for 26 years. We got off to a rough start...we were both 18 and I was pregnant. His parents didn't know about the wedding when it happened (he lied and told me they knew). We didn't live together for the first few years of our marriage. Hubby went away to school and I continued to live at my parents house. This went on for 3 years. After he finished school we started to live together and we had 2 more children. It wasn't until 6 months ago that I found out that while we were apart my husband cheated on me early in our marriage. He also didn't come to me with this information, it was drug out of him. Now I am facing his betrayal double fold because he lied for so long. He cheated on me with 3 different woman. I feel like my entire marriage has been a lie. He has been a good husband most of the time. He tells me the reason he didn't tell me was out of fear that I would leave him. I know the reason he didn't tell me was because he was being selfish. I am not sure I can stay married to a man who is capable of this kind of betrayal and deceit. We are in counseling, individual and couple counseling. Also, while we were living apart he didn't tell anyone he went to school with that he was married or that he had a child. He would come back to visit me during that time and have sex with me. That has left me as feeling used. I want to forgive him someday but not sure I can stay with him.
 
Fil Albuquerque
 
  0  
Reply Fri 10 Mar, 2017 05:11 am
No idea...what do ya think?
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vikorr
 
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Reply Fri 10 Mar, 2017 06:00 am
@Helpless in Seattle ,
How long has he been faithful to you for?

Is the current state of your marriage about who the two of you are now, or who you were decades ago?

He chose to marry you because the two of you got you pregnant. There's a decent percentage who won't do that.

While the hurt is understandable, there are many ways that this can be looked at. That said, I am not saying that you should stay with him.

I really wouldn't be asking other people, because they aren't you, they don't have your values, they don't have your emotional needs etc...and because of that, they can't truly advise you...just give you things to think about. Only you can determine whether or not you should stay with him.
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CoastalRat
 
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Reply Fri 10 Mar, 2017 06:51 am
@Helpless in Seattle ,
Quote:
He also didn't come to me with this information, it was drug out of him.
I'm trying to figure out how the subject even came up between the two of you. What, were you sitting around one night watching tv and you just casually asked if he ever cheated on you 26 years ago?

You say he has been a mostly good husband for 26 years. Other than during this time apart early on, has he been faithful? If so, then I think he has proven himself to be committed to you and your marriage.

Look, I'm probably one of the most vocal on here about being faithful to your spouse. And I certainly understand how this revelation from 26 years ago hurts you and that you feel a sense of betrayal. But people do make mistakes. And, based on your life together since he seems to have been a good husband and father (unless there is something you have not mentioned.)

Based on what you have written, give it time. Give the counseling time. Make an effort to forgive. Sometimes it is warranted and I think this might well be one of those times. It may take a bit of time, but you have 23 years of faithful marriage marred by a few early years where the two of you chose to live apart and he failed to stay faithful. (Please understand, I am not trying to minimize the fact that he cheated and pretended he was not married. He was wrong to do so. But 23 subsequent years of faithfulness should count for something in his favor, assuming he has been faithful.)

Good luck to both of you.
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saab
 
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Reply Fri 10 Mar, 2017 07:09 am
Coastal Rat - gave you a good advice.
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Helpless in Seattle
 
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Reply Fri 10 Mar, 2017 11:11 am
Thank you to all who have take. The time to respond. How this knowledge came out was when I spent some time with his cousin. She made several remarks about his behavior during that time so I questioned him and would not let up. Then he finally gave me the truth. He has been a committed husband since that time...I think. Ya see, now I question everything and my marriage feels like a farse.
saab
 
  5  
Reply Fri 10 Mar, 2017 11:52 am
@Helpless in Seattle ,
If you could measure the good time against the time your husband lied, which one would win? The good years or the couple of years when he was young and lied? Add a lot to the good years for him marrying you when you were pregnant.
I think the good years would win.
Honestly the one who is not so nice in this story is really - in my opinion - the cousin. After years she starts to tell you things, which should have been forgotten and absolutely not talked about.
Does/did she try seperate you in one way or the other?
I think we have all some time in our lives been in a situation we have known things we could have told and did not. Otherwise we are just gossiping.
You and your husband should stick together against the gossiping cousin.
All the best for you and your husband.
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spitmanfl
 
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Reply Wed 15 Mar, 2017 05:31 am
@Helpless in Seattle ,
Hi Helpless. I'm brand new to this forum. 3 years ago, I was brand new to infidelity, after 27 years of marriage. Only I wasn't, really. Like you, my husband had cheated early on in our marriage and I never knew. He had actually had 2 separate affairs during the first 7 years of our marriage and I honestly knew nothing...I was busy with the first of our two babies, etc. After 27 years, I got an anonymous email that I absolutely thought was bunk...but it wasn't. UNLIKE YOUR HUSBAND, mine was now in another affair and someone knew and decided to let me know. At first, he lied about the present affair. I never would have known about the original affairs, but eventually through counseling and as his heart changed, he chose to tell me all the truth. I'm sure you understand my overwhelming devastation. But it was also the place in which we could begin to build a new marriage.
Now, what we both see, is that those 27 years of original marriage always had the layers of lies, and impeded our ability to be truly emotional intimate and connected. With those gone, and eventual forgiveness, along with learning new ways to be open and honest and safe with and for each other, I can honestly say we have an amazing marriage.
Personally, I would not make my goal to JUST stay together. I was prepared to move on without him because I could not live with lies or disconnection or without passion, trust, etc. That isn't what I have now, though. Our marriage is scarred and bloody but oh, so beautiful. I wouldn't trade what we now have for anything but it took courage, commitment, love and grace to build.
I hope you find your path to healing completely. My heart is with you.
Helpless in Seattle
 
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Reply Wed 15 Mar, 2017 05:06 pm
@spitmanfl,
Thank you spitmanfl. I want to believe that we could have an amazing marriage. Everyone who knows us knows how much he loves me and he isn't that man anymore. I know I will forgive him eventually but currently I am grappling with his complete selfishness and cowardness. I'm also grappling with being married to this man who is capable of this betrayal and feeling like all those years are tainted. You are right, grace and forgiveness are key. Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to share a bit of your story. It's somehow comforting to know you aren't alone.
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AffairNinjaTurtle
 
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Reply Mon 27 Mar, 2017 02:33 am
@Helpless in Seattle ,
Let the past live in the past.
Ask yourself, is he unfaithful now?

And I don't only mean sex, I mean emotionally? Is he?

If he is not, then you torture yourself with anger with no obvious reason. A young man, away from home, had two sexual encounters three decades ago.

If he is however distant, even if he has not a sexual affair at the moment, it is something you need to think.
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ctdans
 
  0  
Reply Thu 15 Oct, 2020 01:54 pm
@spitmanfl,
Holy cow you are a saint. If I ever do something wrong like your hubby I hope my wife is as forgiving.
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