My husband cheated on me for 5 years

Reply Sat 16 May, 2020 01:07 pm
I'm married for 15years and blessed with 2 lovely kids. He was everything to me. Very affectionate dad to his children. Will do anything for his children. I should mention that it was a perfect marriage until this Easter 2020. He watches porn without my consent and knowledge but I always end up finding out videos from his computer. I didn't like him doing that, I've told him that it hurts me but still he could not stop. This started from the beginning of our marriage. I still loved him and I knew he loved me a lot too so I let go. I started getting dreams of him with other woman for the past 3years. Recently this led me to check his computer and I found 40 sex videos of him and his affair partner on his computer. I couldn't breathe or feel anything inside me for several minutes when I discovered about his affair.
Our love life was regular. Had no problems on bed.
I've asked him if he was interested in anyone else other than me for sex and he has said NO.
I've asked if I was the only woman he has had sex with through out his life and he said YES.
A few times I've even asked him to have sex with another woman if he was attracted to someone else (but I said definitely not without condoms. Just to differenciate between wife and mistress.)
I regularly asked him these questions and asked him to promise me. He made false promises on GOD and my children to all of my questions.
Even though I don't want him to take another woman I still gave him this freedom only because I loved him so much and I didn't want him to end up choosing someone else over me but still he fooled me.

I am devasted. I'm unable to accept that he's been lying all the time. His affair has been going on for 5years (2015 - 2019). The videos constantly keeps playing in my mind. I'm shivering, crying and feeling a crushing pain in my heart. I'm having panic attacks during night. Unable to sleep or eat well. It's been a month now. I haven't changed a bit. I'm suffering. I've shut myself up. Feel dead.

He says that he has ended the affair last year because of guilt and regret. He feels sorry and is asking for my forgiveness. He says that he feels disgust when he thinks about his past. He calls it past already. He says that he tried to confess several times but didn't confess because he was afraid that I would leave him. I'm unable to believe anything he says because he didn't confess. He still gave me false promises even after I discovered the videos then when I showed him proof then he agreed. He says he was addicted and couldn't stop. He says he enjoyed sexual pleasure from the other woman. He assumed that I won't find, so he wanted to continue for sometime and then stop. He was confident and convinced that he could hide it from me. Actually true. I would not have found out because their contact was never through phone or emails. She was his colleague so they used work phone for chatting and to plan their meeting.

I have so many questions piled up in my head. I've become angry and violent. I don't intend or plan to hurt him or call him names but I always end up slapping him and calling him names whenever I ask him about this. This is not me. I've never been like this. I've never even raised my voice to him. He and I can't believe that I can yell this much. Recently he got frustrated with my behaviour and hit me back a few times.

I'm unable to forgive as he, didn't confess, has made false promises, broken mistress rules and gave my place to her, I can't accept that she was better than me on bed. I'm unable to accept that I'm not as good as her and that has damaged my self confidence so much.
I will forgive him someday for sure but reconciliation remains as a question mark. Should I continue to live with him for the sake of my innocent children or should I walk out this marriage. I don't want my kids to know about their father's betrayal even if I divorce. I need help.
Reply Sat 16 May, 2020 01:15 pm
I recommend divorce.

Divorce is not that harmful to kids (if both of the adults act like adults). Staying together in a horrible marriage is harmful to kids.

My advice is to end the marriage as a legal process. The process of divorce is the legal process of dividing up your stuff. The marriage ends; who is right or who hurt whom no longer matters. It is best to rely on the lawyers and to keep the emotional crap out of it. You have a time to grieve alone (your ex-husband will not be a part of this). Then you will heal and move on.

The best thing for the children is to come up with a parenting agreement that both of you respect. I split custody 50/50 with my ex-wife. We had a court ordered schedule, but soon we realized that if we cooperated and simply acted decently towards each other the schedule didn't matter very much. This did mean putting the children above our own personal feelings of hurt and betrayal.

The best divorces separate the hurt between two spouses from the need to work together to raise the children. This is difficult at first, but it gets easier and by far is the best outcome.
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Reply Sat 16 May, 2020 01:29 pm
Whoa, lots and lots (and lots) to unpack here. I am not a doctor.

A few things:
  1. This is Reason #8,241,961 why snooping is such a bad idea. It shows mistrust which is a big problem in any relationship.
  2. Much of the world has been under lockdown for a lot of the last 2 months or so. Are you slapping your husband and calling him names in front of your children? I'm not seeing where you could avoid having them around while that happened. That is a truly rotten thing. Fights are one thing (not ideal, but people do fight), even physical ones (lousy but sometimes heat of passion makes someone quickly slap maybe one time -- I am distinguishing this from abuse) -- but in front of your kids? And more than once?
  3. And.... your kids know something's up. I can practically guarantee that. They are witness to the peaks and valleys of your marriage no matter what -- and that's got to be triply so in quarantine. Unless your children are profoundly mentally challenged or infants, they have an inkling.
  4. Staying together "for the sake of the children" is always a lousy idea. Seriously. The sexual revolution and the major updating in divorce laws throughout the US and other western countries didn't happen just so couples could fall back on tired old 50s tropes.
  5. Staying together while miserable also teaches your children that love and happiness matter a lot less than appearances and cold, hard cash. Because...
  6. Divorce is expensive. And time consuming. And it can be soul crushing (or liberating; your mileage may vary).
  7. All of that having been said, we are in weird, unprecedented times.
  8. I have no idea why you decided to give your husband some weird pass to go and have sex without someone else. Mistress rules? What the hell? That was a setup for a gotcha moment if I have ever seen one. Why would you do that? To prove you were so loving that you would allow yourself to be a doormat in your marriage? A botched attempt at reverse psychology? To give yourself tacit permission in case you wanted to do similar?
  9. And regularly asking him about whether he wanted to cheat on you? Egad, at best that's annoying.
  10. A 5-year affair with 40 sex videos is a recipe for blackmail. You and your husband have no idea if his affair partner will leak the videos. Or even without videos, just blab that they did this (although videos are more compelling). Why would she do that? If she wanted him back. If she wanted money. If she was vindictive. Consider how your children are going to view both of you if this all hits the fan and they still haven't been told anything.
Telehealth exists, so take advantage of it. Talk to an impartial professional about your violence, your jealousy, and your nightmares. This isn't necessarily to stay together or to leave. It's to give you tools to better handle this.

If you want to stay married, then smacking your husband has to stop yesterday. You are borderline abusive if not there already.

Regardless of your husband's behavior, you are way over half at fault here. You may not see it that way. But if I was a judge listening to you both in divorce court, I would send you to counseling and give primary custody to your husband who, despite his deception and indiscretion, at least doesn't seem to be raising a hand to anyone.
Reply Sat 16 May, 2020 01:34 pm
I was focused on the issue of the kids (I am a big proponent of shared custody and a civil divorce).

I missed the issue of domestic violence. Eeks.
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Reply Sat 16 May, 2020 02:08 pm
Heh, I missed this part -
Recently he got frustrated with my behaviour and hit me back a few times.
I changed my mind on my ruling.

If I were a judge I would send the kids to foster care. This is such a damaging environment.
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Reply Sun 17 May, 2020 10:06 am
Husband returns at 6.30pm. My children sleep at 7.30pm in thier bedroom upstairs.. All of our arguments will start around 8.45 and will end by 11.30pm max and in our kitchen far from children's bedroom.
We both are very particular about not bothering or involving our children in this.

I don't like my husband watching porn or having a substitute for wife but I feared that pornography might end up real someday. I assumed giving him consent to have a substitute would make him be transparent with me and not because I could avail a same chance in future. I believe in love of life. I'm not like, if this goes then another fills up. No. I'm not an animal.

I do feel guilty and sorry for calling names and slapping him. I have apologised to him and have stopped completely.
Reply Sun 17 May, 2020 10:24 am
I have been married way longer than you have, and it never occurred to me or my husband to give each other some sort of free pass and rules about cheating. Egad.

Your kids are being awakened by your behavior. They may be covering it up. But the moment the hitting starts, things get loud, fast. Plus of course yelling. If your kids aren't deaf, then they are hearing you.

They are also observing you. If they are going to bed at 730 PM, then they may not be able to articulate what they are seeing and hearing. That doesn't mean they aren't affected.

Get. Counseling.
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Reply Sun 17 May, 2020 12:34 pm
Well ... couples DO get thru this. And you say you want him and he is staying, so it sounds like your marriage will continue.

So why are the two of you so miserable?

Your push and pull, passive aggressiveness with him in allowing him sexual freedom in the marriage has backfired for you. You must accept that you gave him mixed signals about all this. And now you play the role of the surprised martyr/ victim.

He, on the other hand, has made a fool of himself and these videos may come back to haunt him at the workplace. No- she wasn’t “better” than you, she was the sweets in the candy store where you allowed This little boy to shop.

Seems like all the ****’s on the table. You two need to decide if it’s going to define this marriage and keep you both miserable or can you get past it. When there are children, at least an effort on both parts is needed.

Get counseling ASAP. The first rule of counseling should be no physical altercations.

Join a gym to relieve stress on your part.
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Reply Mon 18 May, 2020 12:54 am
Thank you very much for your replies everyone. I appreciate your help and thank you for taking time to guide me through this.
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