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Now What??? (LONG)

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Hi everyone...


I'll just get right to it and tell you my story. My husband had an affair with someone when I thought things were going well between us. We have some of the most beautiful and lovable children. Our families thought we were just perfect but then he slept in some other woman's bed for several months. He even told me he purposefully went looking for an affair because he really thought I was having an affair because sex was difficult one night. My doctor had put me on medication which for some reason made it hard for me to enjoy sex yet my husband thought it was because I no longer desired him.


I unfortunately found out through someone else of his affair and confronted him on it. He denied it like most people would but then finally fessed up to it but not face to face..he called me from work. I was devasted...of course. Our relationship has not been the same since then. Well why should it be as there is no longer the trust I had for him. I love him dearly but always think to myself that if one little thing goes wrong again then he'll be out looking for sex again.


We went through counseling but its just there. Nothing bad yet nothing good. Its been about a year since his affair and I can't look at that man the same way. Yes I do love him but like I said there's no trust. I dont' have the feeling I had inside like before. The completeness, the warmth, or compassion.


Now what, this story gets better. As much as I hate my husband for what he did, now I feel like I am the villain. I met a man whom I was not attracted to or anything. I see him once in a while because of work. He also knows of some of my friends and coworkers and he also knows of what is going on in my life (well just the basics). He and I used to have really heated discussions about life in general. I'm not saying that we used to yell at each other but they were deep discussions and I enjoyed them because it made me think and it was nice to talk to someone challenging. My coworkers and I went out one night after work just to get away and unwind and they invited him as well as people from his office. The night went well with all of us and it was time to go home. He walked me to my car as we parked in the same garage. For some reason at one moment we turned to each other and then we kissed. WOW! The walk to my car was quiet of course and then when we finally got to the garage and my car, we kissed even more and passionately. I can honestly say that I had never felt a kiss like that before.


That was several months ago. I see him from time to time and we go out for lunch or coffee. I've never had sex with him and he doesn't push it. We do however talk about having a romantic dinner sometime. We do talk a lot on the phone and via email. You can tell the chemistry is there between us. One time for coffee, there was an elderly couple and they made the remark to us that they could see the honeymoon still continues. We just went alone with their story. I think I forgot to say that this man I am having "my affair" with is single and I am still married.


I dont' know what to do because I am falling for this man. I feel as though I've turned into my husband and I hate that. I really didn't go and look for someone else as my husband did. I am so confused and I guess I do need help from others. As for my marriage, its fine with the exception of my husband's affair.

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First off, welcome to enotalone!


Because you have children, if there is any chance at all of saving your marriage, I think you need to do everything in your power to keep it together.


Yes, it was wrong of you to kiss another man, although of course it's not quite as bad as what your husband did. I think that it is extremely detrimental to your marriage for you to keep meeting with this guy. Especially if you realize that you're falling for him, you should try to stay away from him and if he invites you out again, you need to tell him the truth: that you feel really guilty about this, and hipocritical for how angry your husband's cheating made you, and that for your kids' sakes, you are going to try and recover your marriage. You have seen, first hand, how painful this is and the horrible strain it puts on a marriage, I think it would be very difficult for your marriage to survive a second affair, from either you or your husband, and it's very important that, if at all possible, you maintain your relationship.


From your post when you say your marriage is fine, except for your husband's affiar, it seems like you can salvage your marriage. You may not get the fairy tale "Happily Ever After," but maybe the next best thing.

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Unfortunately, I know exactly how you feel. My story is similar, but not in all the details. Sex with my wife was rare and not great, yet it was she that went and had an affair, after 18 years of marriage and 5 kids. Things seemed to change drastically after the affair, but have slowly declined to the state they were before.


I too have lost a certain comfort with my wife, the trust. Even the love that was always there, and was reignited to new heights after the affair, now seems to be going, leaving a warm kind of affection and not much else. I too have a co-worker, to whom I was always attracted, but had always deliberately avoided, exactly for this reason. Very recently, we've started having coffee together, seeing each other at work on a daily basis (but nothing more, yet). The temptation is there, my wife had an affair, why shouldn't I? The logical reasons are all there, I've got kids, the other woman is married with (older) kids. But my heart is telling me something else.


There is even a good logical reason for having an affair. My wife has a feeling of being in my debt. This is a certain barrier between us, a point that gets used (even uncounsciously) by me to hurt her at times, a weapon in my hand if you like. My doing the same thing would wipe out this debt, eliminate this weapon. Silly reason, I know, but it is there in the back of my mind.


Balthamos is 100% right of course. But an affair is so explosively bad within a marriage. The pain, the loss of trust, the loss of respect. This feeling of "she did, why shouldn't I", this wanting to return some of that hurt, the idea "2 can play at this game". Balthamos is right. Is he right enough though?

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Years ago, I took the next step you guys are contemplating.....I did it. I had an affair too, he's had 3, why could I not even things out?

Well, you cant.

It does not make it better, you still feel hurt, and then hurting him back, makes you feel even worse! They will find out, they always do. So if you step over that line, makes sure which side of it you want to be on.


I always say, you don't just "have" chemistry with a stranger, you are looking for it. If things were really wonderfull at home, you would see other people on a platonic level, not*see* them and feel all exited.

Guys, be carefull, you are playing with fire, and you are bound to get burnt. The thing that worries me, is you HAVE KIDS. We did not have any back then, so I burnt only me, and could put my live back together easily, don't cause the little ones pain they don't deserve, if you do, make sure it is what you want, and you can handle it.

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I feel your pain my firend. My gf of 3 years cheated on me because she thought I was cheating on her (which I wasn't). I know what you mean about not being able to trust. We reconciled and she is working her butt off to regain my trust. I am still haunted by the mental images of her having sex with another man though.

We broke up for 3 months in this time I kissed someone else like you. It made me feel bad, then good, then bad again.(Similar to you) I also would like to "settle the score", but I know I would hurt her and I would feel very guilty because when I make her cry I want to die. I know this sounds terrible, but I feel like I have the upper hand, or as a previous poster mentioned "a weapon in my hand." I know no matter what I do in the relationship, she has done the ultimate f' up, not me.

As far as the chemistry between you and your co-worker goes, be careful. Remember the children. They should be the focus of you AND your husband. I am not married and don't have kids, but I do know children get hurt when their parents only think of themselves. If there is any way to salvage the marriage, please try, for the kids.

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I thank you for your comments. My kids by the way are no older than 4. I am thinking about them and sometimes I think it would be worse for them to see that their parents can't be loving towards one another. I guess this is primarily because of me. My spouse has been kissing my butt to regain my trust but the thing is that I dont' think I'll ever get it back. As dad420 said, he is still haunted by the mental images of his gf having sex with someone else. I have those visions too and I get them when I tried to be intimate with my husband. I couldn't do it and I cried. I think most of us have done that when we tried to get the intimacy back in our marriage after an affair.


As for the other man, nothing has happened except the kissing. The problem is that I still think about him and when I see him, I get butterflies in my stomach. I haven't heard from him lately and its tearing me up inside because he's busy with off site assignments. Maybe its a good thing that I haven't heard from him but it hurts. Oh this just sucks because I get hurt by my husband and now because of the his affair, I end up trying to get the affection from someone else and I feel rejected again.

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The following story is true:


My mother had an affair on my father that lasted one year. My father confronted her about it, she stopped, he decided to stay with her, and they have now been married 43 years. Their marriage has only grown stronger.


They BOTH worked their butts off to "get over" the affair. They went to counseling together, my mother had individual counseling, they had a lot of support from their close friends at church, so they weren't isolated. And it took a long time. Like a few years. But they did it and this story DOES have a happy ending.


When one partner cheats and comes back and begs forgiveness, it's not enough to promise and promise and promise that it will never happen again. Since the trust was broken in the first place, making promises isn't going to help anything. Not only that, but the whole idea of "earning back" the trust is flawed, in my opinion. Yes, trust must be restored, but what usually happens is the cheater makes many many many promises to BE GOOD, while the one that was hurt sits there and waits for the cheater to screw up. And eventually, the cheater is going to get pissed off at having to BE PERFECT, and expresses that anger in some way - a big fight, or something else that gets out the anger passively but doesn't solve the problem.


Basically, I think that many affairs happen because of underlying issues in the marriage - and working on THOSE issues will restore trust, not promises to be good. I'm glad to hear that you and your husband went to counseling, HeartisBroken, but did it help? If not, why?


I guess I'm finding it hard to believe that your husband would run out and have an affair because of ONE night of difficult sex. Is his ego so fragile that after ONE night of feeling rejected, he ran out looking for another woman to make himself feel better? And if that's true, what does it say about the communication between you two? Why wouldn't he have come to you first and told you how hurt he was, and ASKED you if you were really rejecting him, and basically TALKED this out, before breaking your heart and cheating on you?


There are some serious problems here, and NO WONDER you are feeling on edge, unhappy, and looking for something to make you feel better. You're only human. But I'd encourage you to not make the same mistake your husband did. If you're unhappy, WORK on the problem with your husband, SHARE your feelings and COMMUNICATE. Go back to counseling if you have to. The answer is NOT to just let him kiss your butt some more, because that is obviously not making you feel any better.

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Thank you for your reply.


It was more than just one night of difficult sex of course...actually several months of it. I was recovering from childbirth and as many of you know, it takes a while for a woman. I did tell him I was having some problems however he didnt listen to me but rather thought I just did not want him anymore. Also, my husband's ego is quite fragile in my opinion. He's not very social and has little friends. You are right to say that to restore trust, there has to be more than just promises. I've heard the promises and that's about it. There are more fights and sometimes I just don't know where they come from. I have a hard time communicating with him because he doesn't want to talk but rather point the finger on someone.

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Yeah, that pattern - the one about not wanting to talk and pointing the finger at someone - is a problem. The fragile ego also sounds like a problem, particularly if it led him to such a gross misunderstanding of your level of desire for him.


Maybe you could tell him that kissing your butt is probably getting old real fast for him, and maybe there are some other ways to restore trust..? Like working on some things to change in the relationship..? And then take turns...?


E.g. Start with one each - he names something, and you name something. Be specific - not "we need to communicate more" but "Every other night for 20 minutes we talk about anything that might be bothering us. I ask you, "is there anything that's bothering you?" and you ask me the same." Just an idea.

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