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hard to forgive, trust, move on

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cali1002 posted 5/15/2013 10:45 AM

Hi, Iím new here. A little over a year ago I found out my husband was kissing (his word) a woman at work over a period of a couple months several years ago (like 7). She quit working there, Then he began coming on to another woman. He would say stuff to her once in a while, like every few months or so over a few years, telling her he found her attractive and wanted to sleep with her. Once when traveling for work together, he made a pass at her. She denied his advances. He mostly stopped, but would occasionally make a comment Ė nothing too major, just a compliment or something. Then he was having a meeting with her one day and again told her how heíd like to sleep with her, so she ended up suing him for sexual harassment, which is how I found out. We own a business, I work there part-time.

We are trying to move on. He told me how sorry he was, how much he loves me, gave me all these excuses as to why, how he wants us just to be a happy family blah, blah. We have two kids. He seems to be trying mend our marriage, spending time together as a family, doing things for me, being patient, etc., but I am having a really hard time forgiving and moving forward.

Thing is, there was this other woman, not one of the two above, and they had a very close friendship. He says they never slept together, but I donít know if I believe him. Last week, I found a bunch of old emails from her, like from 2008-9. Most of them were political jokes and stuff. Some of the others werenít. She was no longer working there (she had quit to go work somewhere else), was saying how much she missed him, calling him her buddy, her friend. In one email she said how he knew what a good listener she was. One of the emails was a joke about mistresses. One was how badly she wanted her job back Ė how much she missed working there, missed him. He told me she was emailing, calling, texting and that he wasnít getting back to her Ė this was a really busy time for us at work and we were building a new home. He did talk to her about why she couldnít come back to work there, which was business related, not personal. Iím not sure what else they talked about as I didnít hear the phone conversation. This was before the harassment suit.

Anyway, Iím rambling - trying to put 7 years of stuff into a short summary. I guess I donít really have a question. Just thought Iíd post this to see what people thought. He wants me to forgive & move on, says he had a bad phase where he was overly flirty, but he realized what he was doing was wrong and hurting me and he isnít behaving that way now.

mepe27 posted 5/15/2013 13:02 PM

Obviously, people here aren't going to have the full picture but just from what you have posted I'm not seeing anything that really tells me he's really changing his behavior. He got seriously caught and said he stopped, told you nice things about not wanting to hurt you but thats it. I think, for many WS, the initial instinct is to placate the spouse, tell them what they want to hear to try to get them to be "happy again" so they can continue their behavior. Yes a lawsuit would make that difficult, but imo, a person that seeks out attention from others in that way has an issue that needs to be resolved, a lawsuit doesn't make that issue go away, it just makes strong consequences for continuing the behavior.
I look at most affairs/flirting etc, like alcoholism. It's a way some people deal with stress/pain/whatever, rather than address the issue, whatever it is, they escape it for awhile, flirting is an escape for many, affairs are an escape and unless they work thru the issue that led them down that road it's going to keep coming up, or be replaced by another escape ( many ppl on here will tell you about porn issues after the A ends )

I guess what I'm saying is actions speak louder than words, in fact, his words aren't worth a penny b/c right now he's been mostly lying.
So if you are wondering will things change, is he still lying to you, can your marriage be healed, look at his actions. When you ask him questions does he answer to the best of his ability, is he willing to see a therapist or talk to someone about why he did this knowing he could be sued? How does he intend to never behave this way again ( I just won't isn't a real answer ) When you ask to see his phone or see is email how does he react? A remorseful spouse will do whatever you need to feel safe, a spouse wanting things to go back to the way they were will get angry, frustrated and blame shifting.

Watch the actions closely and believe them, ignore the words

doesitgetbetter posted 5/15/2013 13:15 PM

Based on the info, he's not been completely honest with you so of course it's going to be incredibly difficult to forgive. It's incredibly difficult to forgive when you DO have all the info.

Listen, if he was "kissing" a woman at work for several months, and then the very next woman he made the moves on involved him repeatedly telling her he wanted to have sex with her, then logic would dictate that he in fact had sex with the first OW at a minimum.

Get to the root of it, find out what the truth is, get him to a poly immediately, and THEN you can consider forgiving or not once you have all the info and know what you're supposed to be trying to forgive.

My H was immediately honest and remorseful from the very day I found out. He did just about everything that he should have done with some hiccups along the way but nothing major and definitely no lies about what transpired. Even then, it still took me 2.5 full years to forgive him, and that was with me working on forgiveness for most of that time myself.

Get the truth, then worry about the next step.

cali1002 posted 5/15/2013 16:03 PM

Thanks for your replies. Very helpful. I do think he is remorseful - says he will do whatever it takes. Listens and reassures me during my meltdowns, is patient with my mood swings. I don't think anything is going on since the harassment suit was settled last year. My problem is that I am unsure of his past behavior. I know that he has been truthful about some things, but what is he not telling me? How do I find out? Does it matter what was in the past and he is trying to work on our marriage now?

Our life is very complicated, so for me to just move out isn't a realistic an option.

I am starting counseling next week. He will go if I push him to, but for now, I just want to try to sort through some of my own feelings.

Titanium posted 5/15/2013 16:25 PM

I think you should both go to mc together. That way you will hear and see the things he is not telling and showing you.

MC are very good at getting the truth. If he refuses to go with you he is not genuine about saving your marriage and just protecting his arse.

He should want to do anything and everything you ask if he is really serious about helping you heal.

My pathetic WH lasted 6 sessions and then became obvious he couldnt keep up the charade. He's a great liar. You know your H and trust your gut all the way.

Put forgiveness aside for now. He needs to show you and attending MC together is a great start.

Hugs to you and take care of YOU

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