HoneyB (original poster new member #83229) posted at 2:56 PM on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023
It all came out at Easter, although I'd known at least a year and suspected longer than that. Since then it's been an endless cycle of him saying it's completely over, no communication etc and me finding out it isn't.
I thought we could sort it out ourselves, I mean, all he had to do was cut her out and that's it. Simple. Only it's not simple as he doesn't seem capable of doing it.
I really believed him last time, I knew she didn't want to be with him, and that reassured me. But I discovered he'd got himself another phone (I found the last secret phone just last month). There were old photos of her and he'd put her name as the sexiest woman on the planet. I said to him I assume that's not me then. He said she'd contacted him saying she's depressed so he got a new phone so she could reach him any time. I really don't care if she's depressed! She brought it on herself. I didn't! How does he think I feel?! Like killing myself sometimes.
We've decided to go to counselling. I believe he wants us to stay together but not that he wants to give her up. I just hope this will help. It's really the last chance saloon. It's terrifying thinking if this doesn't work, I'm out of excuses not to leave him. I love him so much, despite everything and I know he loves me. He just doesn't seem able to cut her out.
I don't know how I'll survive if we split up, I really don't. Especially thinking they'll be together. This endless cycle is causing me endless stress, anxiety, PTSD, depression. I feel it will all kill me one day. We'll have been together 25 years soon, I keep wondering if we'll make it. How do people survive this?
self-rescuer ( member #35059) posted at 4:04 PM on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023
So sorry that you are here. I too was with my husband for a quarter century and was terrified by the thought of leaving. He too wanted to stay married but didn’t want to give her up.
My tipping point was when I’d had enough of him making unilateral decisions for me. He had all the power while I kept trying to morph into what he wanted.
It was not acceptable.
Divorce was the hardest undertaking of my life.
Divorce brought me peace and joy and the life I desired.
How are you tending to the the emerging story of your life?
~ Carol Hegedus
HoneyB (original poster new member #83229) posted at 4:23 PM on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023
Part of me does think the only way I'll find peace is to finish things, because I'll always be suspicious. Saying that, I genuinely thought this last time was different. Unless he wants to finish things with her though, I suppose there's always going to be the risk of things starting up again.
I'm going to give counselling a go, and then I know at least I'll have done everything possible. Left no stone unturned.
He keeps saying I'm the one who decides if we're together or not, because he wants us to be together forever.
I keep telling him that's not true. (The first time he said it, I slapped his bare leg and yelled "how dare you!" I'm not an angry or violent kind of person). To be together he has to cut her out completely. By not doing that he doesn't leave me with a choice really.
I can get divorced and be devastated or stay together and put up with him lusting after and basically having a non physical affair with another woman.
How is that a choice???
My choice is to have my life back. He needs to do it though, not me.
sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 5:42 PM on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023
Gently, I have to ask: what do you mean when you write, 'My choice is to have my life back. He needs to do it though, not me'?
Your life has been changed forever by his A. You can't go back to your pre-A life. I think you know that, and that's why I asked my question.
Also gently, MC treats the marriage. Your M didn't fail. Your H failed and continues to fail. For your relationship to get rebuilt, your H needs counseling with a goal of changing from betrayer to good partner. If he won't drop his ap and change from cheater to good partner, your choice is as you've described it.
It's possible, however, that changing what you do might change what your H does in ways that will enable R, so my reco is to stop what you're doing now and do something else - like set some requirements for staying together and finding out if your H will meet them. The requirements have to be a lot stiffer than just going NC with his ap. He's the problem, not her.
I know you're in great pain. I know you're facing great loss because your H shows no desire to change himself. At the same time, you can heal. Your H can't do the work for you. You have to do it yourself. But you can heal.
Have faith in yourself. Read our stories. Find the similarities and differences. Look at what you want and the probabilities of getting it. Perceive - think - feel - decide - act. Your life is in your hands, and if you don't yet have the strength you need, you can develop it.
fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.
Gunnut ( member #63221) posted at 8:09 PM on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023
I’m afraid that you want your man and marriage so much, that your cheater knows that you won’t leave. If this is true, I think you’ll be in a lot of pain for a long time in your marriage. I think you need to get to a spot, where the pain from cheating out ways the benefits you get from the marriage. You seem like a sweet person, that’s good, but that won’t help you with your cheater, because that won’t shock him out of the affair fog. He needs to imagine life without you for that.
Maybe IC would be good for you to find strength to stand up to him or, for you to learn to be ok with him cheating on you. If your willing to be married to him at all costs, it’s gonna cost you dearly.
annb ( member #22386) posted at 8:48 PM on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023
Hi, HoneyB, welcome to SI.
You will survive no matter the outcome of your marriage.
Your husband wants his cake and eat it too, only you can close the bakery on him. Right now you have three in your marriage, and he's not doing anything to remove her from your lives.
Your marriage is not broken, he is, gently, I don't think counseling will work right now because he essentially has one foot in the door and one foot out.
Please find your inner courage and don't allow him to abuse you any longer. Find your self-respect.
Even if he gets rid of the burner phone, there's always another phone. He's putting her feelings above yours. Is she married BTW?
How do you know it's not physical? Cheaters lie and lie and lie again.
Take back your power and make decisions for your own life. He can either be in it without a third person, or you can move on to a life that's not full of questions and suspicions.
Saltishealing ( new member #82817) posted at 9:50 PM on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023
I am so sorry you are going through this. It is heartbreaking and impossible to heal.
I did not exactly have your situation by my WH started texting his AP while we were actively trying to reconcile for at least a month. He justified it as a friend in his mind because they would never see each other due to distance but he knows it was so so wrong and did so much damage to our relationship.
When I found his work phone with the texts I told him he was moving out and I was telling his and my family. Before that I wanted to keep things between us, but he needed accountability and some repercussions. We ended up not separating but I’ve kept that on the table and still do
That really snapped him out of that mindset and he’s been completely no contact since then. At that moment I think he knew that the tables had turned. I’m still not sure if we will reconcile but he’s been poster perfect since then. The sooner you stand your ground the more you will see if they will follow through with actions and not just words.
Beachgirl73 ( member #74764) posted at 10:10 PM on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023
I’m sorry you’re here. I totally agree with everything Salt just wrote. You need to expose his affair to family and friends to shine a light on what he’s doing. That will likely jolt him out of the fog and others will hold him accountable.
Stand up for yourself and best of luck to you. You deserve better.
The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 10:43 PM on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023
All great advice in the prior posts.
Here is my view of your cheating spouse.
He’s very willing to play the victim and force everyone else to make the hard decisions. His actions have shown you that he has not ended the affair, and will continue to lie and cheat. Selfish if you ask me!
The fact that he claims the betrayed spouse gets to decide the status of the marriage is clearly an indication that he wants to be the kind of person who blows up your life by having this ongoing affair, but if you throw him to the curb, he will throw his hands up and blame you for the divorce.
I think in your case the best advice for you is for you to put yourself first. You need to obtain your own individual counselor to support you through this nightmare and being in a state of limbo for too long.
I think you need to stop listening to the cheater’s words and recognize that their actions contradict their words.
I think you should have an exit strategy just in case.
I think the fact that he has broken no contact so many times is an indication that he doesn’t really understand what the word monogamy really truly means.
[This message edited by The1stWife at 10:44 PM, Tuesday, September 19th]
Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.