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Advice for the adulterer to heal


Lovely888
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Prior to my individual meeting my husband had retrieved the recording devices from my car and heard enough conversation that confirmed there was indeed a physical relationship but also that it was over. He shared that with the therapist unbeknownst to me. I meet with the therapist and still denied the physical affair and then we met again as a couple. It wasn't until after my third visit with the therapist that I was informed that they both knew I was lying.

 

Wow, bad move on the part of the therapist. How are you supposed to trust someone like that?

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I acknowledge all basic human needs. You didn't need to have sex outside your marriage. You wanted to. You had the choice to divorce first. A harder choice, sounds like, but a choice. Instead you chose to lie and cheat.

^ This is what it really all boils down to. The hard core truth. All the rest is nothing but weak, feeble excuses to make one feel better ... "but I did nothing wrong! It wasn't MY fault!" etc etc. Selfish self-pity never wins brownie points or sympathy. This was all self-inflicted. It was your choice - no-one held a gun to your head and forced you to go the route you did.

Edited by Capricorn3
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I'd turn this around and keep the focus on you and your self-healing and growth. There's nothing good that comes out of staying in a marriage that is built on deceit but it appears that you both are not looking for divorce or to dissolve the marriage.

 

I think that the marriage itself will affect you worse in the long run if you choose to stay. People generally believe that leaving a marriage is easy especially if there are serious issues at play. It isn't. It may not be for awhile longer until you come to your senses and realize that this isn't benefiting anyone, most of all yourself. The problem with your marriage in particular is it seems like it's been semi-functioning (a pseudo-marriage) or coming together of two people living two separate lives without confidence or trust in each other for awhile, years. The dysfunction is now a way of life and that's all you know. How much longer are you willing to make this a norm for yourself? What keeps the both of you together?

 

I don't see your husband as a hapless figure in all this and if he wanted to he could separate and file for divorce. He knows everything you are and yet he chooses to stay and work on it or make changes to his life so both of you have equal parts to play in how you see your future with or without each other. He is not a poor fool who is somewhat immobilized and powerless.

 

If you've both decided to work on the marriage, then work on it. Take care of all those resentments and fill your time up with things that are worthy of your time. It's normal to feel lonely from time to time but don't make it a mainstay or a way of life. You get to make the decision whether you want to stay or go and so does your husband.

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Originally Posted by Lovely888

Prior to my individual meeting my husband had retrieved the recording devices from my car and heard enough conversation that confirmed there was indeed a physical relationship but also that it was over. He shared that with the therapist unbeknownst to me. I meet with the therapist and still denied the physical affair and then we met again as a couple. It wasn't until after my third visit with the therapist that I was informed that they both knew I was lying.

 

Wow, bad move on the part of the therapist. How are you supposed to trust someone like that?

 

Just an FYI--Most ethical therapists who counsel couples will not counsel either separately.

 

You're learning WHY.

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I don’t see that the therapist nor your husband went out to humiliate you.

 

What I see is that you were presented the opportunity to be honest and open.

You didn’t take that opportunity. And if you are going to lie to a therapist you are going to lie to your husband and continue to do so.

You had the chance on neutral ground to wipe the slate clean.

 

The humiliation you felt was brought upon yourself .

 

And now you can no longer take the higher ground with your husband.

You both cheated. You are equal.

 

The fact you lied in therapy suggests you never wanted to go to therapy or work on the marriage.

It sounds like you were happy being in the marriage to keep up appearances whilst having an affair.

 

But you don’t want to have to work in the marriage behind closed doors when it’s not about keeping up appearances to extended family and friends.

 

Does remaining being married equal a social status to you?

Is that what’s causing your loneliness?

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I don't feel sorry for you. It really doesn't sound like you even feel bad about your affair. You're expecting people to give you sympathy? You won't be getting any from me. If you don't want to divorce then why were you making no effort whatsoever to work on your marriage? It doesn't sound like you were supportive to your husband when he went through a bad time and was clearly depressed. I think the overeating was a sign of depression and that's how he dealt with his emotions. His snoring wasn't deliberate but seems like you took it to be his fault?

 

Instead of supporting your husband and trying to work things out, you just began sleeping with another man. Now you're annoyed you can't see your lover anymore. That's not how this works, you don't get to have your cake and eat it too. You weren't even going to admit to the affair until someone sent the note. You pretended you were working on your marriage in therapy but you just kept lying.

 

Also what's the point in being in a marriage where you both cheated, there was no sex for three years. I think your marriage is basically dead. Why bother.

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Thanks Maritial. I'll check out the book. There is some relief and comfort to simply know that these waves of sadness are not uncommon and make me an even more horrible person!

 

I understand, but it's worth it to admit to yourself the Truth of what really happened and that you did make this choice.

 

It's that old quote... "Sooner or later, EVERYONE sits down to a banquet of consequences."

 

You have to deal with the consequences... your husband does, too, but you can only control you and your response moving forward.

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Part of growth is feeling remorse. If you don't feel remorse, that's not a good sign.

 

Also... the annoying nerd in me wants to add... the affair passion and love, it is a fantasy. Most couples who try to marry or continue a serious relationship with their affair partner bottom out and fail long-term, because it was all a fantasy. That's part of why the feelings are so intense... it was an escape. He (your lover that you miss) is probably not what you thought he was and would have been a terrible let-down. Maybe not, but if you want to know statistically what happens, it usually doesn't end well if it started like that.

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Learn to forgive and same with your husband. Forgive does not mean condone nor forget. Forgive means not holding onto past grudges, not wishing ill will nor stew in a lifetime of bitterness and resentment. Forgive means to truly and really move forward while leaving the past behind. Forgive means not to constantly dredge up past dirt anymore. Keep it in the past and let it remain there. Apologize sincerely, be humble, remorseful, improve, become a better person by your actions and attitude adjustment. Always show respect to yourself and your husband. Your husband needs to do likewise. Reprogram your brain. Forgive means to make sincere amends and heal.

 

It's not all on you here. Your husband isn't a saint either. Since you say his health had improved and your overall marriage is improving as well, then there's hope for both of you yet. Both of you can indeed have a happily ever after if both of you want it and work at it. All is not doom and gloom. Think positively.

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I have no doubts there was no future for me and the lover. If anyone thinks they can build happiness on the pain of others then they're not realistic. He filled a void and now I have a void that I'm trying to work through and fill at home.

 

To other posters who have shared their thoughts... yes of course I feel remorse. Isn't it entirely possible to have other feelings about it all or is remorse and shame the prescribed medicine? So many on here are bitter and seem to use this forum to lash out and shame like it's their duty.

 

So to the folks who offered real advice, Thank you!

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I have no doubts there was no future for me and the lover. If anyone thinks they can build happiness on the pain of others then they're not realistic. He filled a void and now I have a void that I'm trying to work through and fill at home.

 

To other posters who have shared their thoughts... yes of course I feel remorse. Isn't it entirely possible to have other feelings about it all or is remorse and shame the prescribed medicine? So many on here are bitter and seem to use this forum to lash out and shame like it's their duty.

 

So to the folks who offered real advice, Thank you!

 

No - you react to the remorse and shame by deciding -if you want to save your marriage -how you are going to make sure this never happens again and what the consequence will be -to yourself - if you break your commitment again - I'm not bitter in the least. I take issue with your claim you had "no choice." Of course you did. I'm not lashing out -just pointing out how bizarre it is to claim that you had no choice but to cheat on your husband.

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When posts like this get lost in the weeds, I tend to circle back to the title and question that is being sought.

How does the adulterer heal? With time. By making adullt choices. As others have mentioned previously, these are the consequenses of choices made.

 

Had you been legitimately cheated on or hurt by your husband, friends and family will support and comfort you.

Taking a lover you now miss, you get to work this out on your own.

 

If feel bad for your husband. I try to put myself in his place, putting all my efforts into my marraige, believing we are on the same and my husband instead is writing on an online forum wanting sympathy and longing for his lover.

 

The lover is a fantasy. Lovers are all fluff and fun. You are stuck longing for that high of that fantasy. It doesn't compare the routine of a marraige of long duration.

 

You need to be realistic and had this lover been your husband, the routine and grind of family, work and other obligations it isn't anything like living in lustful fantasy land you had with a lover. You lover would ultimately be the same dude you wake up to every morning with bad breath and sometimes annoying quirks. That's reality.

 

The fact that you still get indignant when others point out to you that you seem to lack any remorse or responsibility for your situation suggests you'll be stuck in this unsettled prediciment for some time to come.

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Speaking from the PoV of someone that has been on both sides of this equation... it takes some serious lack of integrity and selfishness to justify cheating on someone, and in my experience it's important to not only acknowledge that but to have humility and admit your actions caused great harm to your significant other. Many times when faced with great harms caused, our go to is to blame others for driving us to it... in your case, you blame your husband for letting himself go... instead of just admitting we made a really bad choice. At the end of the day the only way forward is to face the guilt and shame and acknowledge full responsibility for what you did.

 

Now does that all mean that you aren't allowed to have your own feelings of anger, resentment, or hurt? Of course not. All of your feelings are valid and it's important to acknowledge them. But using those feelings to justify an act that we all know is one of the worst and most painful betrayals in the world is not the way out here.

 

If you want support and help going through this, you need to own it and acknowledge the harm you caused... you need to stop blaming your husband for your actions... you need to face your guilt and shame head on and admit you made a really $hitty choice and you need to face the consequences. You are a lot more likely to get some empathy if you have some humility here.

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What's in the past is done. Whether they decide to stay in the marriage is ultimately their decision. Her husband can also leave or divorce her. They are choosing not to and to work on the marriage.

 

She's here to vent or receive help. I don't see how this marriage is truly, sincerely salvageable if there continues to be so much contempt. I think the contempt for each other or her husband is a problem. OP, if you can dig deep and uncover or repair that in some way or reverse that, find or rekindle your appreciation for each other, it may work. It's a slim chance but I think that's the only way.

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Where did I EVER state that I had no choice? Heavy Sigh!

 

Yes ,sigh. In two ways -one of which I quoted above but here it is again

 

 

"That's always the sentiment... suffer. Very little consideration or acknowledgement is taken into account of what drives a person to have basic human needs."

 

So you think that having sex outside of a marriage is justified as a "basic human need?" No, you had a choice as to how to fulfil the need you had for sex - you could have divorced your husband and gone and had sex with someone else.

 

And your claim that you "couldn't" get a divorce rather than cheat on your husband. You justify your choice as "too hard" to get a divorce. Which is why I agree with those who asked you to show humility and do some adulting.

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