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I ruined his trust in me. Is it hopeless?


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I am deeply ashamed to admit that I have ruined my marriage and relationship with a man I have spent the almost my entire life with. I cheated on my husband, betrayed him and was disloyal, confessed my sins and am now praying for his forgiveness and reconciliation.


I take all the responsibility for my actions and I am trying to own the consequences. I do not blame my husband for what I've done. He's angry, he's betrayed and I don't know that he can ever see me the same again.


For anyone out there that has been through this - how do you get through it? For those who have been cheated on, could you ever forgive? If not, why? It seems insane to my husband that I could do this to him and still claim to love him, yet I do, deeply, intensely. I made huge mistakes that have cost me and my family greatly, but I would do anything to take away this pain I have caused everyone. We have three young children and they have spent the past 5 months without him at home with us. He has reacted in ways that I never imagined but I can not blame him for it.


Is it possible for him to move forward with me, even though he's holding onto his anger? He says he wants to be with me, if I can show him I'm a better person, If I can show him something that will matter. But he says he doesnt know what that could be or how I could do it. He says I have to be the one to "try" and have to show him "something" before he wll try. He says he loves me, but that he needs to know who the "real" me is, and he doesnt even think that I know who the real me is.


I'm so confused. I desperately want to have a future with this man, I desperately want my family back together. But I don't know how to make it happen.


We did go to one counseling session - which was a failure - and he won't go back.

I ruined his trust in me, is it ruined forever?

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As far as trust being ruined forever. I would say yes, but to what degree only time will tell. This will always be in the back of his mind and you may have to compromise your freedom in order to "prove" your trustworthiness.


I have not been through this myself but I would think you need to let him be for a while and just be there for when he wants to talk about it.

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I am one that would not forgive you. Cheating is not something you can ever take back. If you loved him then why cheat? If he has been gone for 5 months that doesn't look good, but at least he is trying to figure things out. My grandmother got cheated on and over 30 years later hasn't gotten over it.


Somethings are irreversible. You need to tell him why you did it, what you were thinking, how you felt. It's going to be so hard, but if you hope to fix things. You gotta talk about them and leave no question unanswered. Otherwise he will always hate you in the back of his mind.


This is a sad story, but maybe he will forgive you.

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I have been on the receiving end of cheating. Never cheated.


Forgiving is one thing - something I am learning is for a person's own best interest.


Remaining in and moving forward in a relationship with someone who has betrayed you is another.


They do not have to go together. One can forgive and still choose to walk in life without the person who has hurt.


You have to face this possibility and get to a place where you are okay with that.


I am deeply ashamed to admit that I have ruined my marriage and relationship with a man I have spent the almost my entire life with. I cheated on my husband, betrayed him and was disloyal, confessed my sins and am now praying for his forgiveness and reconciliation.


Praying for an outcome as you desire? For something that is outside of your control as well. Hmm. Maybe I have a different idea of what praying is all about.


I thought it was about giving it all up to 'god' or the universe or whatever, and looking for some wisdom or insight or opening or something from a higher source other than the very self same places that got us in trouble to begin with.


So that you can follow up with action and do what is good and right.


What is done is done. All you can focus on now is dealing with what is happening.


He sounds willing to listen, to give you a chance.


Stop recruiting him in your efforts to settle your own wrongs. Take full charge of your actions and what led you to them.


Whether he forgives you or not, whether he will allow you into his future or not.....are you determined and willing to do what needs to be done?


If you are not, you should say so.


What leads people to cheating is dishonesty - with themselves and others.

Not to mention failing to take accountability for how their actions affect others. Accepting concequences to actions.


There is a seed of selfishness in it.


So work on that: Being dead honest. Taking full accountability. Thinking as in others shoes.


good wishes. For all involved. A special wish for your kiddos.

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Sorry to hear what you're going through. I wish I could post more but I gotta go to work in a few minutes and my comp at home doesn't work. Anyways let time pass by, eventually he'll settle down and come to terms with you. You would have to be very patient and tried answering every single question he has for you, even if he wants more details.


To answer your question if I would ever forgive cheating. I would only forgive as a person but that doesn't mean I would stay with them. Forgive as in moving on with my life yes, but forgive as in still being with them, NO.

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i was cheated on twice by my husband...without going into all the details, i will tell you this...he will never see you as the same (in his eyes you are a changed person forever)...and he cannot will the trust back onto himself...over time he might begin to trust again if your actions prove that you are trustworhty...i think it takes several years to recover from an affair whether you stay or go...but i also think therapy is a must if you want to try to work it out and stay...you should get individual too...it really does help!


i wish people who cheat would think about the consequences of their actions b/f they give in to their selfish desires...there is so much hurt caused by this behavior...if people would only get out of their current relationship first...easier said than done...i guess.


good luck with everything...i know this is very hard...

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If he decides to take you back, the trust may not be permanantly ruined. I look at it like starting over. It can get complicated like this, especially if you have kids.


In the very beginning of a relationship we usually don't "trust" the other person. We start at 0. Slowly, over the years we develop a trust with them, say at a 9 or 10. If you do something to break that trust, well all the years you spent developing it are erased, and you are back at 0, or maybe even into the negatives.


You have to tell him that you recognize that it might take another lifetime before he can fully trust you again and that things will be different. And you have to be willing to go through it all. If in 6 months he freaks out because you are late coming home from work from traffic, you have to let him have it. You have to be understanding. Even later, even when you think the trust is back and everything is back to normal, in a year when he gets upset that you spoke to another man at a friends bbq, you have to let him have it.


You see, its a big commitment on your end too. He will take a long time to heal, and you have to be willing to give him as much time as it takes. If you think you are ready for this, I suggest you tell him. It may help him see that you are truly sorry and willing to change.


Can you tell us more about the affair? It sounds like it was more than once, who was it with? Was there alcohol involved? I am only asking because I believe these are important factors that might lead to what he is looking for from you to "show him" that you are changed.

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There is always hope. It is possible for a relationship to work out following an affair. There have been several people here that have reported things being better after an affair. I am personally working on rebuilding my own relationship and I see a lot of promise in it. However, there are certainly a lot of relationships that never recover from that blow. Only you and your husband can determine if the particular circumstances of your relationship and the affair leave you both in a situation where you can or even should reconcile.


Make no mistake that if you do get back together there are no easy fixes and expect the rebuilding to take years, maybe a lifetime.


Obviously in order for things to really get better you and your husband will need to be able to work together and hopefully with a therapist. However, you cannot rush this for him. All you can do is let him know that you are willing to work with him when he is ready.


In the meantime, take some time to look at yourself and what you are hoping to get from life and this relationship. I second the notion that individual therapy can help you put things in perspective and direct you in asking yourself the challenging questions, like "why did you cheat?" and "what can YOU do to ensure it never happens again?"


What are you doing to show him that you fully regret what has happened, that you still love him, and that the trust can be rebuilt? As Scarew said the trust is probably negative right now and you are going to need to work hard with little and big things to get it just back to zero before your husband is going to be emotionally able to even consider rebuilding.


Good luck!

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was this an ongoing thing? or a one night stand sort of thing? To me, that would make a big difference in how I did, or did not give things a second chance. Do you have lots of guy friends? do you spend lots of time out of town? I think time, and depending on your normal behavior... maybe some sort of compromises or changes on your part to prove you wont do it again.

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I have been on both ends and it can work. As long as your honest with him.....and understanding of how he feels........give him time....and one day your marriage will be strong again. In my experience cheating wasn't about love.....it was about something that was missing. Were all human, we all make mistakes to some degree and sadly enough the ones you love the most are the ones who get hurt....you can put this back together again! It just takes time.....

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I was cheated on. It was very painful, after seven years to be tossed out like that is no picnic. I wanted to still work on our relationship, i was in love. She was so selfish, she'd use me and say one day that she loved me, and on another that she didn't want to be with me. SHE NEVER OWNED UP YO WHAT SHE DID! If you love this man you better own up to it, and even though there is already a lot of guilt and shame on your part, you are responsible for it all! you are responsible for the hurt you caused to that man, and the hurt you caused to yourself. All you can do is muster what strength you have and get ready for an uphill battle, because in the end after all if it your man may tell you "no."

If my ex had at least tried, it would have made me feel better, but she didn't try, and I felt worse. We don't speak anymore, and though I don't hate her, and I absolutely convinced that she never loved me, and she may have not even liked me after all those years.

If you're serious about the harm you've caused, give it all you've got, because is in the end, it'll be what you're getting. If you're acting out of guilt, shame and remorse, those are your problems, not his. Leave him alone, if, like your affair, it is all about you.

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Can you tell us more about the affair? It sounds like it was more than once, who was it with? Was there alcohol involved? I am only asking because I believe these are important factors that might lead to what he is looking for from you to "show him" that you are changed.


Thank you so much for your advice... to answer your question about the affair, I have started another thread, that covers the background on our story and the affair... I'll copy it into this response.



My very long story... I'm the one who ruined it.




Okay, so here’s my story. I am desperate for any advice, I'm an emotional wreck and I'm the one at fault.


He and I met in High School when we were both 16. We are now 30, dated for 7 years before marrying, married 7 years, and have three young kids, ages 6, almost 4, almost 2.


We tried to do everything “right”… ie. Waiting seven years to marry since we started dating young. We were a strong couple, best friends, thought nothing could ever tear us apart. But I was insecure, and never really trusted that he married me because I was the “one” versus just the one that he’d known since he was 16. He grew up in an abusive household and I was the one that helped him through being kicked out at 16, living on his own, helped him cosign for his first truck, I carried us financially almost the entire time, until I went on maternity leave with our third kid.


We were sexually experimental – we said we wanted to experiment and discover things together – so we started going to couples parties and tried different things. And even though it sounded so idyllic – I was still insecure and didn’t know if this was just his way of being with other girls without feeling like cheating. We played around, but never actually had intercourse with anyone else other than each other.


Overall, I was always the more vocal partner – actually, too vocal. He started to feel controlled and stopped voicing when he was upset, to avoid the confrontation.


He also has a temper and feels it’s okay to say however he feels, no matter how hurtful it may be. He doesn’t care about tact or the consequences of his words, feeling justified that he’s “just being honest”. I’m the diplomat, always worrying about how my words will be taken and trying hard to not be hurtful on purpose.


After our second child, I had nagging suspicions that he had cheated on me, but never had any proof. I delved completely into “mommy mode” and he let me. We stopped working on being friends. My husband was still into the swinging idea, and kept telling me “If there’s a guy you want to sleep with, just tell me and we’ll do it.”. I didn’t believe that he was actually okay with it, I didn’t trust that he knew what he was asking for. I denied wanting to be with another man. In the meantime, I became close with a guy at work, started confiding in him about my relationship and other intimate info and eventually it turned into a sexual encounter. We “hooked up” (no sex) one night and then distanced ourselves for about the next month. I couldn’t believe what I had done and felt horrible. Then after happy hour one night, he asked me to follow him to a local park and we had our 2nd sexual encounter, which included unprotected sex for about 5 minutes of the experience. I stopped sex, but continued/finished with oral. Two days later I found out I was pregnant (with the timing of everything, I knew the baby was my husbands, as pregnancy tests don’t show up positive two days after sex.) The park I mentioned also happened to be the same place that my husband and I had one of our own first sexual experiences when we were 16.


So, I was a cheater. I was guilt ridden. I can’t even explain how ashamed I was (still am) of myself. And now I was newly pregnant again. But, rather than going overboard to make it up to my husband, I became emotional and paranoid and started obsessing that since I could cheat, he could too. I started watching him, invading his privacy and accusing him of cheating (I even tried to tell him once that a girl admitted the affair to me and all he had to do was admit it – it wasn’t true, I was just trying to “flush” the story out, I guess).


Eventually, all this crazy behavior pushed him further away. And he had always suspected that I had cheated with the guy from work, although I denied it.


Since we still pretended that everything was okay (I wasn’t going to admit the affair and he had stopped voicing his upsets), we started with the swinging stuff again after my 3rd baby was about a year old. It started with an occasional threesome (without sex between him and the other girl) and turned into almost a full relationship between the three of us. I became very insecure and tried to stop it, but my husband didn’t really listen to my concerns and felt I was being dramatic and jealous. After all, we were still both pretending, and he kept saying we were strong and I shouldn’t be jealous.


In October, we fought before going out to hang with friends, and he left. He hasn’t been back since. He didn’t even know I had cheated on him. He said he left because I needed to change and stop being so dramatic and to start showing him that I valued his feelings.


Five weeks later, we were still in complete turmoil and I said I had had enough and we were done. This was the week of my husbands birthday. At a friends birthday party, I saw an old guy friend from work and made out with him. I then started dating him for the next two weeks. To make matters worse, this was a guy my husband had known and despised, especially since this guy had threatened to kick my husbands *ss a couple years back. I didn’t pick him specifically because my husband hated him, but I’m sure I was trying to hurt him. Truth is, I knew this guy wanted me and I wouldn’t be rejected. And for five weeks I felt completely love starved and abandoned. I needed to be held and this guy was convenient. I know it was wrong. I just could barely stand it when we lived together and he’d spend a night on the couch, nonetheless having left me and our kids for five weeks, not even letting me know where he was staying. He said I had been too controlling up until then and he was done letting me have any control.


The next day after I made out with this new guy, my husband came to me and asked if we were “free to date other people”. I said Yes, since he had left and had told me over and over how much he hated me. During these two weeks that I dated this guy, my husband and I talked, went to our daughters recital, had business issues to talk about, etc, so we were around each other a bit. He would be hot and cold with me, sometimes saying he was “trying” and when I’d ask him what he was trying for, he’d say he didn’t know. We had sex even though supposedly we were over, and I still dated this other guy, without my husband knowing. At the end of the two weeks, my husband came over to see the kids and was very affectionate with me. I didn’t know what to think. After the kids went to bed, he wanted to cuddle, then told me that if we were to have any future, he needed the truth and wanted to know if I had cheated with him or not with the first guy from my work. He said whatever I told him, we could work through it. I confessed that I hooked up with him (the first encounter) and then even brought up the fact that I was dating someone. I only told him bits and pieces of information, lying about who the new guy was and didn’t admit to having sex with the first guy. He called both guys – he told the new guy to leave me alone at least until we had actually filed for divorce – and when he talked to the first guy, the first guy was the one who admitted we had sex. What a mess. Over the next four days, I finally confessed all the details of everything, down to the most specific and graphic detail. I got tested for STD’s and am clear.


That was four months ago. Remember the girl that we had our threesomes with? Well, she was upset with me too, took his side and has been there to comfort him. They are now very close, even though he swears they haven’t done anything and are not dating.


It has been a horrible excruciating road – and I know it is much worse for him. He’s so consumed with anger, theres times he is caring and other times that he tells me I’m a wh*re, that I’m worthless, that my love doesn’t matter after knowing what I’ve done.


This is the thing – I want him back. I want my family back. I don’t want my kids to grow up between two parents. I’ve hurt so many people that I just can not look at myself hardly.


He says that if I can be “better”, then yes, he does want a future with me. But that I have to change the controlling side of me, I have to show that I respect his feelings, and that somehow I have to show him that he can trust me. He says the thing about “time” is b.s. and he needs to see something tangible.


Every conversation we have, he wants to relive all the horrible things I’ve done and keeps telling me that I don’t get it, that I don’t understand what I’ve taken away. I keep saying that I do know and I regret it, but I still believe that we can work through this and have the future we were meant to have.


Obviously, things could not have continued as they were. Something had to change. I guess that’s why I confessed to the cheating. I couldn’t go back to how things were, I wanted our relationship to finally be honest. We have worked out a lot in this time, talked about things we didn’t even dare to discuss before. We are so honest with each other that it can be painful. I am sticking it out because I believe that we can finally make each other happy, without all the b.s. and games.


He says he’s not sure. He says he needs to see that I’m better before he can even consider classifying our relationship as “dating”. But yet, we still have sex, talk about our relationship, see or talk to each other every day and share three kids together. No one has filed for divorce. This is not just “friends”.


My biggest weakness right now is that I’m an emotional wreck and I keep telling him that I love him, I miss him, I need him. And it seems to just push him away a little more.


I’ve had to learn a lot about myself. I’ve had to accept complete responsibility for cheating and I own the consequences. I just pray the ultimate consequence isn’t losing him altogether. I know the choice is not mine. I know that I could never cheat again – it is possible to do it, but the amount of pain it has inflicted I just could never allow to happen again. I’m just so lost. He’s been my everything for so long, he’s the father of my children, my love, my world. I know that I deserve his hatred and anger… but when he says that he does want to be with me if I can show him something tangible, I search and struggle for what that might be. I don’t know what to do. I haven’t had a social life at all since he found out, I’ve given him my email passwords, I’ve changed phone numbers, I’ve deleted my myspace account, I am with the kids 24/7, while he is living somewhere else and has the freedom to see the kids or me at his leisure. He says that none of these things show him anything. I’ve done better at listening to him, and have made good progress at not being controlling, but I still have work to do. He says its not good enough. But he still says he loves me.


He finally agreed to counseling, the first session was last week - he hated it, hated the counselor, she was an idiot, etc, and says he'll never go back, new counselor or not.


I know that I’m a horrible person who has made horrible mistakes, but I still hope for my life back and a chance to show him that I have changed. He seems stuck and confused and I’m completely miserable. If there is any advice you can give me, I would be very grateful. My family is sick of hearing about it and I’m very alone.


Does it seem like there is a chance to make it work?


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If you're acting out of guilt, shame and remorse, those are your problems, not his. Leave him alone, if, like your affair, it is all about you.


First of all, I am very sorry that you've experienced this pain.


Your last sentence really struck me as wise and I really took a few mins to absorb it. I do not believe that the only reason I want to reconcile is due to guilt/remorse. I really do love him, after everything that has happened and I can't believe how stupid I have been and to take him for granted like I have. Thank you for your view - you can see my whole story above.

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As long as your honest with him.....and understanding of how he feels......../QUOTE]


Thank you so much for taking time to respond. I am trying to be patient, this territory is so new to me, that honestly, I dont really know how to be patient, if that makes any sense. It just doesnt feel right that he's not here and that I can't fix it.


I am trying to learn how to not seem defensive. He's so angry that I try to get him to understand my side, and that just makes him think I am trying to defend myself and he gets even more angry. I don't know how to come accross as understanding as he needs - he just takes it the wrong way.

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Stop recruiting him in your efforts to settle your own wrongs.


You had some very profound advice - thank you - what affected me most of all was this sentence.


I think you are right - now that I really consider what this means. Part of me wants him to forgive me so badly because then I can forgive myself or feel like things are okay again - but that isn't really helping him heal. He needs to heal on his own, without my pushing.


thank you.

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was this an ongoing thing? or a one night stand sort of thing? To me, that would make a big difference in how I did, or did not give things a second chance. Do you have lots of guy friends? do you spend lots of time out of town? I think time, and depending on your normal behavior... maybe some sort of compromises or changes on your part to prove you wont do it again.


I added my whole story above, to give some more background on my situation. Thank you for the compassion to respond!

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wow.... eh.. wow


Im not really sure what to tell you. My gut reaction, is that you two are better off broken up at this point. cheating can be a real kicker to get past, and the two of you have cheating plus a TON more drama and problems to get past. The swinging, lack of communication, tempers etc. There comes a point when I think people just cant go back... I think you are at that point. It would probably be an easier, happier road for you both to move on, find new people and just share whatever friendship, mutual interests (children) that you can. But I wouldnt look for more than that.


Thats just me though...


So if you want to work on things... Id recomment a relationship counsellor. Maybe sitting down with a unbiased 3rd person can help you guys sort this out. Id definitely think you have to stop the swinging, stop any friendships with any 'other guys/girls'. You need to focus on just the two of you and your kids... get any other people out of the picture. Take it one day at a time...


One thing that may help as well, if you are going to give things a chance, take some time to hash all of this stuff out and then vow to never speak about it again. It wont do you any good to keep rehashing this stuff over and over. So get it all out in the open, and then put it behind you. I did this with my gal, and we are getting along fine.

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Wow, well first off, its not all your fault. He left you before he even found out about you cheating.....just because you need to start to value his feelings and because your dramatic??? Ok.......


There is never a valid reason to go and cheat on your spouse but he has to take some of the responsability for the marriage ending up the way that it is. Who's idea was the swinging......and the fact that he is with the OTHER girl from your threesome......thats a little weird too. I dont know....Its defin a big mess but again, its not all your fault in my opinion.


Me and my husband have went through this, without the swinging..lol..and it can work out. Granted things aren't the same but its almost deeper, what we have. We got together when we were 16 and 19 and have been together ever since....(i am 30) we also have 3 kids and I think we didnt realize what love was until it was tested.......we passed the test but we have scars. We understand why we did the things we did, how it hurt one another and it just made each other more human.......does that make sense...lol. Good luck!

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