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Advice PLEASE! Choosing to stay with still cheating spouse


confusious

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Here's the quick and dirty of the past cheating...My partner cheated 3 times that I know about, I confronted him all three times and we went to counselling and thought we had worked it out and the issues were resolved. I am pretty certain I am wrong. I KNOW if I tried I could get proof yet again and he would admit it yet again. But I found myself wondering the other night, "why bother"? I am not going to leave, or lets face it I would have left by now.

Wondering why I won't leave? Of course I know I deserve better treatment, and I am certain there is a man out there who wouldn't do this to me. And while some of you believe he doesn't really love me if he is willing to hurt me like this I would disagree, he does in fact love me, and I truly believe (after much personal thought, and soul searching), that he is incapable of monogamy. Am I ok with that? NO! However, I have no intention of leaving him. I will tell you why...I have 2 children (previous relationship) without an involved father, and one of them is hugely depressed because of it (ie. cutting, antidepressants, Ativan for panic attacks, and sleeping meds), my son has autism and constantly tells me he doesn't have a dad, I continue to tell him my spouse is his father and he seems to be accepting that lately. Truthfully, my spouse is a wonderful, kind hearted man and father who loves my children dearly. He also has 2 children from a previous marriage, and their mother has all but forgotten about their two children, I am their surrogate mother for the past year now (since their mother gave up on them). Without me here his children would suffer greatly, he would not be able to work in his career any longer and my children would suffer hugely too.

I don't want to start over AGAIN. I love him so much I would be devastated without him, and I'm not prepared to destroy this family over one issue, albeit a HUGE issue, but honestly it's the only one we have.

 

so, now I need to figure out how to LIVE like this. For the most part I know many of you aren't going to agree with my decision, but there are some of you who are doing the same thing as I am. (and no, my self esteem isn't crap and I don't have daddy issues.) How does a woman "do" this? I thought of looking at him or just simply sending him an email stating my conditions of his "other life" while away working. I thought I would tell him I know it's happening and I'm not ok with it, but I'm more not ok with destroying our family, that I would do everything to keep it together even if he won't. I was going to add that if he chooses to continue this behaviour than he has to show enough love and respect to our family to NEVER EVER have us find out again! That if he hurts my children or his in the process of his behaviours then I will be forced to leave and I will take HALF of everything (I intend to have this signed), I also plan to tell him that if I catch him then I will have free rein to do the same to him for each and every time I alone catch him (the idea of me being with another man horrifies him (hypocritical I know), and I intend to tell him that his extra curriculars are not to ever interfere with our lives. Also he will be expected to use protection and have bi annual std testing done.

I think if I lay out the ground rules and the consequences to screwing it up, then we have to most chance of actually being happy. I am ok to live in my bubble, I like it in there, I'm not ignoring that it's happening, I know its happening, I just don't want it slapped in my face nor have our children destroyed by this either. Our family works well together and other than that everything else is almost perfect, I couldn't ask for anything more (besides fidelity).

Please anyone else man or woman who is living like this, please please I really need some advice on how to make this work like this.

 

Thank you.

 

p.s. please to anyone who disagrees with my lifestyle choice here, there is no need to try and hurt me for my choices.

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Well you seem to have it all worked out already.

 

All I see is the tale of a man getting his cake and eating it too. He gets the loving wife at home and the family and he also gets to sleep with whomever he wants whilst you sit at home hurting and sad and wondering which woman it is tonight and whether he's going to be having safe sex or not. Or if oneday the condom breaks and he gets a random woman pregnant.

 

I'm not judging your choice. Lots of people have open marriages. I don't see this one as fair because he gets the open marriage and you don't.

 

I honestly do think you are in denial if you don't think the kids will suffer from having a mother/step mother who is miserable due to her unfaithful husband. Also they will catch on when their older. Also what happens if he gets emotionally connected to one of these women?

 

There are just too many if's

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I can't relate personally and I think like most people I am shocked that you are wanting to stay with this man who cannot be faithful to you. But I will say this...as a child, my father was abusive towards the kids and my mom. When he wasn't in a rage, he was an excellent father that was caring and there for us always. Here's the thing about being a child though...when I was crying and hurt and upset after another incident, I was not thinking about myself...I was not concerned about my bruises or my feelings, after all I was a strong kid I could take it. But what I could NOT stand to see, what was particular soul crushing and traumatizing, was to see my mother hurt. Consider that your children are very aware of you. Your wellbeing is extremely important to them.

 

Okay so there is two points to this story. 1: my mom stayed with my dad, they worked on his emotional issues and although it was never perfect, I am forever grateful she did because I still have a wonderful father and two loving parents and I forgive everything else that happened in the past. So I'm not down with these zero tolerance rules on cheating...so I see where you are coming from. 2: Kids are more observant than you think. They note when you cry or act upset. They see that their "father" is cheating on you, betraying your trust, hurting you. On one hand, staying with him you are saving your family...but if this is your choice, please address this...my advice is do NOT let your children find out about this arrangement...

 

Also my advice is to seek therapy. If you are going to make this choice, prepare with coping skills when things start to turn south. Have solid expectations for him and stick to them. I'm sorry but I don't think threats are going to work. He doesn't respect you enough to stay faithful, why would he care about your threats?

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I will also throw this in. Someone in my family was with a man who cheated on her repeatedly over there 20 year marriage. They have 3 kids together. He left her for other women several times and came back and she kept taking him back because she wanted to keep the family together.

 

What happened? Her children grew up resenting him for seeing their mother upset so many times and for him being unfaithful. YET both the male children who are adults now have been unfaithful to every woman they have been with.

 

The repurcussions can run deep.

 

I'm not saying your choice is wrong. Or judging people in open relationships. I'm just saying sometimes the reality can be pretty scary.

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So what advice are you seeking, since that's in your thread title? You have all your answers already.

 

I think that you're unrealistc to think this won't be slapping you in your face, most likely in front of one of your children. You should be prepared for that happening. Just because you feel you're being noble by staying with a philanderer doesn't mean that you get to avoid the butt-whippin' that goes along with that course of action.

 

Your children's lives are already destroyed by the whole mess already. It's just that the destruction hasn't yet manifested. If you can go to your grave with that on your head, do so.

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Thank you all very much.

The advice I am seeking Kendahke is from other couples who are also living like this, and how they are actually doing it. The ground rules etc. I have never been in an open relationship before and its certainly not something I ever thought I would entertain. But when I have caught him a few times already and have had suspicions since (my first three suspicions were right), and I still haven't left, it seems to me that I won't leave anyway. I don't want to have huge fights if and when I catch him again, too hard on our family. And if I'm going to stay anyway then why have these huge fights? It's not worth the damage. Our children don't see me unhappy or sad, they constantly boast to their friends and extended family how happy we all are and how in love we are.

As I said part of our agreement would be that the kids would never know. And neither would I. It hurts me too badly to know. I am not capable of cheating on him but he doesn't need to know that that particular threat is empty. That threat is to encourage him to keep his activities very discreet and away from our family. I have no worries of him getting the other woman pregnant as he has had a vasectomy.

Emma, Therapy is an excellent piece of advice. I will put that in my agreement with him too. Lord knows I'm definitely going to need therapy to learn to live like this!

Thank you again!

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Cheating is never about cheating on others or being cheated, you can only cheat on yourself.

Because if you were so healthy and able to have a healthy relationship you would never even think about jumping in somebody s else bed, while your partner is waiting you at home.

So there is always more behind "cheating" we tend to see only the sexual act, that "OMG! My partner just had sex with somebody else! How could he/she? " Cheating, often is not even about "having sex" but rather having attention, boosting our ego, compensating frustrations etc.

So, I think the real question here is not how can you live with a husband who has cheated on you, but rather how can you cheat on yourself that badly, like accepting this man as your partner, who is constantly cheating on himself first of all, because he has probably no self-esteem. How can you cheat yourself by having so low expectations of yourself first of all? Just think about a bit who is cheating who here.

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Ya I think the important part is...if you are going to go down this road...you have set ground rules. I'm concerned he hasn't shown respect for your rules in the past...so this may be futile..but you should sit down and come up with a set of rules...where things can happen, when, under what circumstances, how he needs to go about it...etc. There is a still a change of spreading sexual transmitted diseases so put that in there too. Honestly, you could consider like a prenup type thing where you have a legal agreement and if it's broken, you can actually have rights to something...

 

But...like I say, he hasn't shown respect for you in the past about rules. Your threats, you getting angry, etc...doesn't affect him that much to make a change...so be cautious.

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There are precious few, if any, couples on this board that are into this arrangement.

 

If you won't leave, then that means that flagrantly violating your wedding vows doesn't bother you enough to apply stern consequences.

 

Your children are going to happen upon the truth of what is going on because the truth never stays buried. My parents never spoke harshly to one another nor disagreed with each other in front of us and until the day I found out that my dad was having an affair, I too thought that they had a happy, perfect marriage. Tread carefully and don't allow your pride to lead you down a path that has destruction waiting at the end of it.

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confusious,

 

I will not condemn the choice you make. Life and love is so complex - the only people who can ever understand the dynamics of a marriage are the two people in it, and in most relationships not even they understand it.

 

A hard confession for me to make - I was once the mistress of a guy like that. He loved and worshiped his wife, but had always cheated on her - first time the evening they celebrated their engagement. Since that day he fell from grace with scary frequency. After 10 years of random pick-ups we started our relationship - the first stable mistress he'd had. We were friends and I had no interest in him romantically, so we talked a lot about his problems as friends. He hated himself for his cheating, the risk it represented to his family - but he could not help himself. The girls he cheated with were just about sex and conquest - and they meant nothing to him. Neither he nor I could understand why he was unable to be faithful - he loved his wife more than most guys I know. My personal belief was that there was some insecurity, or " and madonna" complex fueling his pursuit. When he had me he stopped random pick-ups, and that stabilized him in an odd way. He said that period with me was the closest he'd been to being faithful to his wife. I kept encouraging him to get counseling, as it was not good for him and not good for his marriage - but he never did. He had been caught by his wife several times, and he suspected she knew he always would be philandering.

 

The guy sounds similar to your husband - he was a great person, great friend to me, very loving husband and father - but he had this inexplicable weakness / issue / addiction! My experience with him is certainly one of the reasons I will not condemn you for your decision. I understand where you're coming from: A cheating husband who is a good man is often a better choice than a faithful husband who is a lesser man. I know I couldn't make the choice you're making but mainly due to pride and a hot temper - so not because I'm stronger than you, but because I'm weaker than you.

 

Some additional ground rules I would lay down:

- no girls under X years of age

- never someone so drunk or drugged they don't know what they're doing

- never, ever, ever prostitutes

- never, ever, ever sex in your home or car or his office or (list them out)

- never anything meaningful (might think about saying never more than one night stands - but then that increases risk)

- always condom, and demand he gets fully familiar with symptoms of herpes (condom only reduces risk of herpes transfer by 50%)

- you will sue his a** off if you ever get any STD. In addition to the testing schedule you set up, he must do additional testing any time he senses ANY risk.

- testing is not cheap - several hundred dollars. Either specify a sacrifice he must make to compensate (e.g. drop some sports channels) or make it a ground rule that every birthday you will buy yourself an extra gift (luxury gift from you to you - for which he never gets any honor!) for a sum roughly similar to costs of testing (and make sure you do it!)

- this will never ever cast a shadow accross your front door - he is to keep it fully discreet, not picking up with friends of the family, colleagues, etc and he is not to pick up on anyone remotely associated with you or your kids.

- might think about setting cap of once per year, out of town, etc

- you probably want to get your head around whether you want him to tell you each time or you expect him to cover it up a damn lot better than he has so far vis-a-vis you.

- think about whether you demand he seeks counseling

- make it clear that you do not condone it at all, and that the ground rules are by no means to be taken as a sign of you accepting his cheating - if and when you get enough of it you may bolt even if he sticks to the ground rules, and you will do so with a clear conscious. He must take full ownership of the problem.

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You're fooling yourself if you think you don't have low self esteem. Staying in this arrangement models this behavior for your children and gurantees they grow up to live an unhappy life like yours. Your daughters will grow up to be trampled on by abusers and your sons will be the abusers. Your kids would be better off in foster care than under this guys influence. Gather the the strength and do it alone - you already are anyway.

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>>I would do everything to keep it together even if he won't.

 

Here's the point... if you know that and he knows that, then he has no reason to change at all, and carte blanche to do anything else regardless of what you say to him.

 

Men who are repeat cheaters married to women who choose to stay after repeated cheating episodes learn that the only price they have to pay for cheating is you getting all mad for a while and things in a kerfuffle, but then it settles back down again and you don't leave. So if he's out and sees a really hot piece of arse, he will weigh his desire to get some of that fine new arse against how mad you'll be, and most likely will say to himself, 'ehhhh, she'll be mad for awhile, but she won't leave me, so i'm gonna go get me some of that hot poontang and if the wife finds out, i'll deal with it, buy her some flowers, say i'm sorry, and she'll eventually calm down again.'

 

Getting some paper saying you'll take half of everything is meaningless if it is not a legally executed post-nuptial agreement. To see what you'll get, you'd have to actually divorce and see what the judge is willing to award you.

 

Also keep in mind that men who are big cheaters like this eventually WILL leave you eventually. What will happen is he'll let you stick around and raise the kids, then when you're past the stage he'd had to pay child support, he can take up with a women 20 years younger than you and leave you flat. You're counting on the fact that he'll never leave you, but the womanizers I know who do this have a very high chance of leaving you eventually when he eventually meets someone who is so hot he'll cave to an ultimatum if she tells him to leave you, or else he falls in love with one of the women he is 'dating' behind your back.

 

So recognize that you don't have as much leverage/control as you'd like/hope with a man like this. He is spectacularly selfish to do this, and doesn't really care about your feelings as long as he gets his own way.

 

So I think the only thing you can really do here is accept that he is going to do this, and don't put any conditions on it because he won't abide by them, and you'll only get mad when he disappoints you again and again and breaks yet another promise. And also keep in mind that there is a good chance he'll leave you for someone younger once your kids are grown. Men who are big cheaters chase the next hot body, and yours won't be hot by the time the kid's are grown. Even if you keep yourself up, you are no longer young flesh, and that is what he will chase.

 

Also do not trust that he will use condoms. So you have to use them yourself with him. It sounds like you have enough kids and don't need more, so just accept you need to use condoms for live to protect yourself from this liar and cheat. Because that is what he is. You can choose to stay with him, but don't kid yourself about who he is, and protect yourself accordingly. Also watch the finances, to make sure he isn't siphoning off money to a hidden account somewhere that you don't know about so that he can make a quick exit when he is ready to leave for a new young trophy wife in 10-20 years.

 

What you REALLY need to do to accept this is to sit down and write on a piece of paper, 'I am married to a liar and a cheat. It is my choice to stay with him, and hence it is a waste of time to get mad at him when he does it because that is who he is and what he does. As long as I choose to stay, I need to accept that and let go of the anger and rage because it won't change him. A cat is a cat and not a dog, and he won't change into someone he is not just because I want him to change.' So you go into some serious reality where you recognize who he really is, and decide to accept it. Or you decide you can't accept it, and you leave. There is no middle ground.

 

btw, most women I know who put up with this leave eventually, or get left by their husbands. It can work for a while, but it doesn't usually work for life. This is not the 1950s when most women couldn't support themselves if divorced, and most men didn't divorce because the divorce laws were too stringent and required alimony for life (which they no longer do). So men like this usually have serial wives... they keep each for anywhere from 5 to 10 years, then swap her in for a new model. And their favorite situation is to have a wife at home washing their shorts and taking care of the kiddies, because that gives them more time to chase women on the side. They get a guilty pleasure and a sense of satisfaction from having their cake and eating it too. So this may work FOR NOW, but don't count on him sticking around once the kids are old enough he won't have to pay child support, or he meets another woman with enough money he can afford to pay you child support and divorce you and marry her without negatively impacting his standard of living (and yes, I know women this has happened to....).

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Going to therapy to learn how to cope with your cheating husband? No! Never do that! Go on therapy to learn how to live without him! How to be a credible mother/parent to your children.

I know you think sacrificing your own happiness for the "happiness of your family" is a noble thing, the right thing to do right now, but the thing is your children know what is going on, they know you are not happy right now, and what they are seeing right now is just a weak, unhappy mother, they will never thank you for "keeping this big happy family together" they might even blame you later that you didn t show them otherwise, because they probably will copying you/your behavior and end up in a very similar situation that you are right now.

But sure, you can live unhappy, you can sacrifice, you can close your eyes, you can pretend basically everything, after all we are all choosing the alternative we can live best with. If you think you can live only by "pretending" it is going to be a good choice, your choice.

But maybe if you will go on therapy FOR YOURSELF and find some strength in yourself, you will be able to see things from a different point of view, and maybe change the things in your life you are not o.k with right now, like how your husband treats you. So if I were you I would just detach myself from my husband and his "cheating problem" and I would ask help to know myself better, to get myself better, and then I would see where to go from that point... So don't sacrifice yourself, just be fair to yourself, respect yourself more! Good luck!

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Roxxy,

This was very helpful. Thank you. Gave me a much better understanding of some things. Before I approach this with him I think I need to sit and talk with my therapist to iron out some details. Once I do that I will sit and confront him as well as get my lawyer to draft up a cohabitation agreement and my own written list of rules for him.

Thank you for your kind words and support.

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You're fooling yourself if you think you don't have low self esteem. Staying in this arrangement models this behavior for your children and gurantees they grow up to live an unhappy life like yours. Your daughters will grow up to be trampled on by abusers and your sons will be the abusers. Your kids would be better off in foster care than under this guys influence. Gather the the strength and do it alone - you already are anyway.

 

Ouch. This was a little harsh.

My self esteem is quite good actually.

And my girls are guaranteed to grow up to live unhappy lives. I think it would be worse for them if yet another of their families fell apart. They do NOT see my unhappy, they constantly boast about how happy we look, how they want to have a loving relationship like ours etc. As long as they don't know they won't be doomed for a miserable life. Many people live like this and it works. I am not telling my children this is ok and the only way to live.

As for my children being better off in foster care...you are out to lunch! they are loved, looked after and happy, foster children are fostered because they have been removed from horrible situations. A cheating spouse who would do anything for his children and loves them unconditionally, never puts a hand on them, loves and supports them, cherishes and guides them, teaches and protects them is not a father who shouldn't have his children.

As for doing it alone, I did for almost 14yrs. I can do it alone. I can start over and prosper, I can support my children alone, I can be happy alone. I'm happier with him, I love him and I don't want to do it alone. Hence, me choosing to stay.

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Lavender,

As much as I love him and as much as it would hurt if he left me after the kids were grown, I would be better able to accept the family ending when they are adults. It would still break my heart, but my "children" wouldn't suffer like they would now. My mother divorced 3x (yea I know), the first one I don't remember, the second one I was a teenager and it was horrible, the third I was an adult and only wanted her happiness, so I was there to support her but it didn't have a horrible impact on me. If I was my children's ages when the divorces happened for the second time and I remembered the first as well, I think that would have really messed with me much more than it did.

I know he doesn't want his kids to go through that either, so I am almost certain he won't be bailing while they are still young.

It's a risk I am willing to take. Regardless, they would be crushed, it's deciding which is the lesser of the two.

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I tried to get past cheating when it wouldn't be repeated - and couldn't. Mainly because my ex was so sure I had to be cheating to have lost a lot of the trust and love I had in him that he became obsessed with spying on my every move and leaving me with no sense of privacy or self.

 

But you're in a different situation - you have to accept this as a way of life.

 

The only way I could see myself living with it would be to set it up as a businesslike/roommate arrangement for co-parenting. Realistically, if I retained any feelings of wifely love and desire, I couldn't handle it.

 

I would have to be able to look at him, know he was sleeping with and whispering sweet nothings to other women, and HONESTLY not care beyond telling him to make sure he was home for whatever plans involved the kids. And not to ever plan on any intimacy with me.

 

That wouldn't be much of a marriage. But it would be the only way I, personally, could stomach it.

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Well, if he makes you and your family happy, what is your problem? Why ask questions about how to deal with it? Then just think about his cheating as it were his hobby.

Everybody has right to have a hobby. So everything is cool!

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I am very sorry for you. I never was in that kind of situation, and I hope I will never be.

An open relationship is impossible because in this case two of you would be free to meet other people and be intimate with them. He wont allow you to do that, but he does that himself.

A good father is someone who treats his wife in a right way, your husband has no idea of how to do that.

You are afraid to leave him, and you use guilt as an excuse. You will feel guilty in front of kids, you will feel guilty in front of him.

You want to be saint about it, stay for the kids, while he is just plain disrespectful towards you.

You said you don't want to leave him alone with two kids, because he wont be able to proceed with his career because he will be lacking time? Well maybe he will be to busy for cheating too, racing his kids when he will be left alone with them.

Its wonderful you want to sacrifice your marriage and your happiness for the sake of your kids, but till they grow up you will be fulling yourself. He wont let you be as free as he is, and that is abusive.

You already accepted your "faith".

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I am a bit surprised by the very black / white view a lot of people here have put forward. Life simply isn't that clearly separated into good / bad. Life is complex shades of grey.

 

I react most to this: "You're fooling yourself if you think you don't have low self esteem. Staying in this arrangement models this behavior for your children and gurantees they grow up to live an unhappy life like yours. Your daughters will grow up to be trampled on by abusers and your sons will be the abusers. Your kids would be better off in foster care than under this guys influence. Gather the the strength and do it alone - you already are anyway." This simply isn't true! Firstly, if it happens discreetly and without drama it probably will have no effect on the kids at all. If it comes into the open, then a good dialogue with the kids about it will dampen the negative effects, and can teach them valuable lessons about dealing with adversity - a big weakness in young people today because they are too bubble-wrapped.

 

I've been a mistress, I have a lot of male friends, I work in a very male dominated industry, and my ex-husband cheated on me. This has given me a lot of insight into extra-marital affairs, and in my view it is a lot more complex than the black / white view some have.

 

"I would not settle for a cheating husband or a bad husband." OK, but "Most experts do consider the 'educated guess' that at the present time some 50 to 65 percent of husbands and 45 to 55 percent of wives become extramaritally involved by the age of 40 to be a relatively sound and reasonable one." So odds are that half of you expressing this clear black and white view have husbands that are cheating on you!

 

I also react to the view of lavenderlove which uses way to broad a brush stroke. First, I think we underestimate guys if we portray them as these calculating, callous predatory creatures. I don't think guys take extra marital affairs all that more lightly than we women do (and statistics support this). Yes, having cheated once and got away with it the hurdle will be lower next time, but it's very, very seldom I've seen a guy do it lighthearted and without regard to his wife.

 

lavenderlove also expresses an inevitable path that cheating husbands will leave their wives to a mistress. It simply isn't true! 50-65% of guys are unfaithful before 40, but only 10% of divorces are due to a new relationship!

 

I tend to categorize cheating guys into four groups.

 

The despicable: Guys who have affairs because their wife has just had a baby and can't have sex for 6 weeks. Guys who on business trips, etc go to prostitutes. Guys who initiate sex with his wife's relative or friend. Etc. These just are really bad people in my book, and luckily are very few.

 

The addict: These guys have flings that mean nothing to them, it is merely sexual, driven by forces beyond them. To him, emotionally vis-a-vis the fling this means little more than enjoying a porn film would. Commonly serial cheaters. They know it is bad, they feel guilty. Beyond the guilt it doesn't impact on his relationship to his marriage. In my experience they do not leave their marriages for an affair - because the affair means nothing to them. This is a pretty small proportion of cheaters too.

 

The serial monogamist: These guys often fall for a colleague or a friend or someone they meet through an activity. In contrast to the addicts these affairs are parallels to the marriage. The affairs are romantic, with feelings, dates, often known to colleagues / friends. They can span years! Often the married person falls in love, contemplates leaving his marriage, etc. I think this is the second-most common type of affair, and makes up probably 9.9% of the 10% of divorces due to a new partner. This is the one that will always scare me the most. And I think this is where many of the female extramarital affairs are.

 

The lonely: These are people who are having a lot of marital problems or are in a dead marriage. The affairs are either flings (to get comfort, affirmation, closeness) or they can be romantic parallels to the marriage. They often act as catalysts to a divorce but are seldomly the cause of the divorce. My ex had an affair like this, started 6 months before the separation. I discovered it after the separation but before the divorce - I never told him nor condemned him. We were in such a bad place I could understand why he did what he did. I am convinced that this is the biggest group of extra-marital affairs, for both women and men.

 

Confusious' husband seems to me to be what I call an Addict, and they are the most complex group I can imagine to be married to. The despicables I would dump in two seconds flat. The serial monogamist is in two relationships at once and because they are parallel I would need him to choose. Had he chosen me and we'd been married 7+ years I would forgive him and take him back, but would be worried of repetition. The Lonely you gotta save your marriage or quit it - the affair isn't really the topic. The addict is dedicated to the marriage, but has this weakness. I don't want to trivialize it, but the clear cut answer becomes less so when he never sees the flings as alternatives to the marriage and is devoted to the marriage, his wife and his family. And several of these guys I've met have been really good husbands and fathers - loyal, supportive and respectful EXCEPT for the sex. I really understand why she would be torn.

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I trust my husband not to cheat on me. If he ever proves me wrong. I'll leave him.

 

Our relationship hasn't been easy. At a time when we weren't getting on he started talking to other women. Nothing sexual or flirty but It was a slippery slope.

 

I told him if he did it again it would be over and I meant it. To me even typing to another woman online behind my back is almost enough to end a marriage over but I didn't because I believe in one chance.

 

At the end of the day. People should be able to live their lives how they please as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else. If you truly are commited to making it work then fair enough.

 

Set out your guidelines and see how it goes.

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Just because cheating happens often doesn't make it right. And since you've been a mistress, of course you would say things aren't black and white, what Lavenderdove said must have hit a raw nerve? With things like cheating and deceit, things can't possibly be more black and white.

I'd never go there, and I think Lavenderdove makes perfect sense.

It doesn't matter if there's regard for the wife or not, they still cheated. You make it seem like it's acceptable behaviour- it's not, and never will be.

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OP if you're not going to leave for yourself, at least do it for your children. Children are intuitive, and they learn a lot from their parents. Do you want your kids to grow up thinking cheating or being cheated on is normal? Do you want your kids to look at you with disdain? I'm sure they want a strong mother, not somebody who will let another disrespect them so thoroughly.

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>>>Yes, having cheated once and got away with it the hurdle will be lower next time, but it's very, very seldom I've seen a guy do it lighthearted and without regard to his wife.

 

She says this guy has already cheated on her 3 times! which proves my point... most repeat cheaters are not about caring about their wive's feelings, they are about scratching an itch and not particularly caring whether she likes it or not. If they felt bad about it, they'd stop after the first episode. I am far more hopeful when it is a guy who does it once and then feels so horrible about it and recognizes the consequences and damage it does his wife and kids, so he stops and vows to never do it again (and doesn't). But if he does it repeatedly, there's a good change he doesn't care about his wife's feelings all that much, he just cares about satisfying any selfish desire and to hell what she wants/thinks/how much it hurts her.

 

So my objection to 'repeat offenders' who do this again and again as much about their callousness and disregard and betrayal than it is about the sex. They just don't care about their partners and family all that much or they wouldn't do it, which is the saddest thing.

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