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AlexFL posted 10/29/2013 19:35 PM

I feel horrible. He cheated and I ended the relationship. I'm trying to be strong and say enough is enough (isn't the first time we are dealing with ONS). I am afraid I'm making a big mistake. I know he loves me. Our family and business will be turned upside down. How do u forgive and try again when you did forgive before and before and before. I hate that this has happened. We had issues but I thought we were happy.

iwillNOT posted 10/29/2013 20:12 PM


I have been following your posts, and I am so sorry for the pain you are enduring.

It seems as though you had only the choice to keep with the status quo( he cheats, you forgive, repeat), or to draw the hard line and say no more. I feel the decision you have made to no longer tolerate being cheated on and lied to, is a very loving act towards YOU. You are valuable, and you deserve love, respect, loyalty, truth, trust. You are valuing yourself now in a new way; his response is his choice and his to own.

Please stay strong and know you have supporters here.

Raven96 posted 10/29/2013 20:15 PM

I am so sorry. He has hurt you over and over. Enough is enough.

He didn't care about your family and business being turned upside down when he continuously cheated.

This will get easier. You have to stay strong for you and your children. Not having to worry about where he is or what he is doing is going to be so refreshing once you're past this first part of uncertainty.

I am keeping you close in my thoughts.


AlexFL posted 10/29/2013 20:41 PM

Thank you all so much. I just feel like I should be tougher. We were together since teenagers. He is all I know. For me to say forget it happened and come home, puts everything back together except me. If you knew us a few years back you would see how good he was to me. I have no idea what happened and why it became ok to cheat and lie. He has told me that he can't do this to me anymore and that I need to let go. He is sorry. He says he holds on to hope that somehow this could work out but he knows that is selfish. I told him the forgiveness would be the easy part. The insecurities and untrusting and suspicions are the hard part. I don't believe him now when before he was all I ever believed in. I don't know who I am without him. I don't know if I want to know. He hasn't been an angel, he isn't very social, he gets grumpy but he always made me feel special, always a hard hard worker, always did the best for his family. I just wish I could get him to open up about what changed a few years back. I don't want to believe this has always been going on. But I do believe this has been happening the past few years. How do you let go of someone you were so close to. It's like I'm having to cut off half of me. I just don't know if I'm strong enough to do this. Idk if I can tear my family apart. I just also don't think my mind can wonder and be suspicious and resentful either. It's not my nature. I hardly feel there's a glimmer if the person I was left inside. I was happy, always smiling and laughing. And after the 1st infidelity issue my insides turned dark. I've tried and tried. Only to be disappointed again. I am such a wimp. I should have did FU. YOU WORK ON YOUR ISSUES ALONE - stop dragging me through this crap--I'm outta here-- but I just can't say for sure im ready to handle that. He has been my best friend for 24 years. We barely ever made connections with anyone else. We were a perfect balance of friends, fun, crazy(good crazy). People were so jealous of what we had. He asked if we could see a counselor. I said I don't know if I want to spend another year working on things like we did this past year, just to end up in the same situation. I really really though last year was the last time we would ever have to worry about this infidelity stuff. It was going great. The last 9 months were like old times. So why did he do it again. Why??

SerJR posted 10/29/2013 22:21 PM

Alex... a gentle 2x4...

If he loves you the way you deserve to be loved, he would stop. Period. Repeat that to yourself however many times it takes to sink in.

FWIW I felt the same way when I went through this. It was hard when I thought I had caught glimpses of the person I thought my xw was. But that's just it... she wasn't that person. I was holding her up to the bar I had set and she wasn't willing to reach that high. My conditions were not unreasonable by any stretch of the imagination. I had a hard time reconciling the difference between who she was and who I thought she should be. But eventually I realised that those two weren't the same and that I had to let go or get dragged under the surface for good. I still coparent with her, and to be honest, I think my willingness to stick up for myself prompted her to take a look at her own self improvement as all that was left was her. But that never would have happened if I had done otherwise. It takes action to make change. And it takes courage to take action.

Maybe he will make the necessary changes and you will reconcile. Maybe he won't. But you have to be willing to let him come to that on his own... and part of that means willing to walk away.

I don't know who I am without him.

When you've lost your way, you've gotta look inside. There is something there. There's always something there. Maybe it's just a faintly glowing ember, but if you can stoke it, it will light the fires of truth, love, and courage to serve as a beacon to light your way.


AlexFL posted 10/29/2013 23:05 PM

I really appreciate all the responses. They help tremendously. I found that I really don't have anyone to talk to. I don't want to discuss it with the few friends I have. I find in still protecting his honor but at the same time I don't want to be embarrassed or mortified by telling them this has happened again. What if there was a reconciliation. Then they'd look at me like I'm stupid. I have allowed myself to be mistreated the last couple years. (Prior to that I can't complain. Like I said we have regular issues but we were strong together). I'm so sad for myself that I feel I can not make a decision or anything without his approval or maybe not approval but without his input. Why didn't I get angry and leave? Why am I compelled to continue to take this when I know I can't. Am I that afraid of change it is it truly that I believe this to be more of an illness and how can I turn my back on someone I their time of need. What about my needs. I don't deserve panic attacks everytime he is late, or goes out. I am obviously very shaken cause my posts are reflecting insanity and I apologize. It feels better to get it out and discuss it but it's been a couple weeks and I still frozen afraid to make a move in either direction. I feel like mentally I'm not able to keep on this emotional wave. I feel useless and hopeless. I know I'm a good person but I feel so guilt ridden to end this and see how bad he is hurting and at the same time I feel numb and not really present.

SerJR posted 10/29/2013 23:09 PM

What about my needs

Well... do you have an answer for this? What are your needs?

idealist posted 10/29/2013 23:38 PM

Hi Alex,
There are two things which grabbed my attention. The first I share with SerJR and it is this:

I don't know who I am without him. I don't know if I want to know.

Alex, I am so sorry for what this seperation means - a loss of identity. To be ripped apart. You merged your identity with this guy and it seems that felt really, really good. There is a rich skein of consequence here for you. (Why was that so important?) It will take time and it will not be easy. But on the other side there will be a more whole and complete Alex. This should have been a part of the last 24 years no matter what, Alex. You're worth it.

The second notion is that you continue to take responsibility for whether the relationship "works" as he has made his wishes clear (let's just put this behind us) and you "seem" to be the one preventing a "happy" future. F- that, that my brother. You have allowed yourself to be manipulated in the past. Call this for what it is. The baseline is that he threw the relationship (and the business, all of it...) away. Any discussion must start from there - that is the basseline. (not the lie of the apparently happy home).

Alex, take care of you (and the kids). If a reconcilliation is to come at some future time it will come because he has matured in this area of his life and can actually be a full partner to you. (I believe people can be "mature" intellectually, spiritually, etc, but still be selfish adolescents in their primary relationships)

It is early Alex. Give yourself time to figure this out. Get to know yourself and your needs! And feel your anger, feel yourself.

Raven96 posted 10/30/2013 07:14 AM

Hi, Alex. This was on my FB page this morning and I thought of you:

"Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tiptoe if you must, but take the step."

It applies to all of us, but I especially thought of you this morning.

I hope you were able to get some sleep last night. Do something for YOU today. We are all here for you!


betrayedme2 posted 10/30/2013 08:00 AM

Alexfl, We can relate. After spending that many years with your partner, it's hard to see yourself without the other person. I was together with my wife for 22 years. At first it was nearly impossible to see myself without her. But she hurt me, repeatedly. She also hurt our kids and family, not physically, but emotionally. It's not a life I could continue. I loved her dearly, but the love was not returned. Fortunately we're trying to reconcile without divorce. But there came a time when I had to stand up and say NO MORE and I came to peace with a divorce. When she KNEW I was serious, I could almost see the light bulb flicker in her head. I too didn't, and haven't, told anyone for the exact reasons you mentioned. Only you know what is right for you and your situation. I'm glad I didn't with a R going on. If I had chosen D, everyone would have known. Be strong, stand up! If D is in the cards, friends will know. It's understandable to be afraid of their pity or their judgment. It's all so difficult and I wish there was a magic pill to give the WS. You'll read here of people who had to D, then enter into reconciliation.

I'm sorry you're here. I know you've been struggling. If you go the route of D, you will find yourself again and you'll LOVE yourself. Have confidence in yourself. Your business wasn't all him, I'm sure you're a big part of that success. Take pride in what you have accomplished, don't let his actions tarnish YOU. You know you deserve better. You know your family deserves better. You've given him chances and he makes his own choices. We are powerless over the choices they make, but have the POWER to make OUR OWN choices too. You DO what YOU need to do.

If you choose to R, YOU hold the power and he follows the rules that I'm sure you've read here and have of your own. Going out by himself after work? NO MORE! Coming home late from work. He's on the phone with you from the time he steps out of work to the time he walks in the door. I'm sure you (have other rules.
If you choose D, it is NOT the end of the world! That was hard for me to understand. You'll get through it, survive, and thrive! I sympathize with you there also. They're the only reason I didn't D, and the reason I waited so long and gave so many chances to my WS until the time I felt there was no alternative. I'll have to let others speak to how kids bounce back, and I know they do.

Wish we could all be there to give you hugs personally, but for know, here's a big electronic hug coming at you! (((AlexFL)))

solus sto posted 10/30/2013 08:03 AM

(((Alex)))It does feel horrible, even when it's the right thing to do.

Even when you've been placed in an untenable position, with the person who's supposed to be your partner, the one who is supposed to love you the most and place you above all others, chooses to place YOU in the position of doing HIS dirty work: ending a marriage he, really, already left, it hurts like hell.

And when YOU feel responsible for the end of the relationship, it feels even worse.

Thing is, you didn't end it. He ended it the moment he touched another woman. And he knew that. He chose to do so anyway. Maybe he figured you'd stay. Maybe he figured he'd engage in a game of chicken with you, daring you to end it, but believing you would not.

To this day, my husband insists I ended our marriage. We've been separated for over 3 years, after YEARS of infidelity and lies. But it's somehow easier for him to believe I ended it. Whatever. It ended the first time he walked into a strip club, really. Because even though that predates me kicking him out by a good couple of decades, that's when he left the marriage.

Alex, your husband did the same. He left the marriage already.

YOU did not end the relationship.

He did. With his decision to cheat.

Nevertheless, I completely understand the sense of responsibility.

Don't buy what he's selling. This is not your first experience with infidelity. That, in and of itself, tells you how seriously your husband takes you, takes marriage at this point.

But remember: no decision you make, really, is irrevocable. If at some time in the future your husband chooses to step up to the plate, and take REAL action to become a safe and trustworthy partner--there is NOTHING to prevent you from re-establishing ties and working to create a new, healthy relationship. Then again, there is nothing that requires this of you; if you've reached your breaking point, that's okay, too. That he chose to place you in this horrendous position is ...well, all on him.

HE made the mistake, Alex. You are doing the only sensible thing to do in your situation: protecting yourself, keeping yourself safe, learning that you CAN live without his chaos (and that, likely, you prefer this to the walking on eggshells living with a cheater requires).

This isn't about your marital issues, or your happiness. It's about his brokenness.

If and when he chooses to address this, you can reevaluate your decision.

In the meantime, yes--it sucks. Family and business do suffer.

What sucks the most is that the person who was supposed to be your partner in all of this CHOSE IT FOR YOU.

Please be gentle with yourself. Start by removing the responsibility for the end of the marriage from your shoulders.

Then, on a more basic level, make sure you are eating well, exercising each day, getting enough fluid, and getting as much rest as you can. These things help.

betrayedme2 posted 10/30/2013 08:09 AM

Just wanted to add to my earlier post. Once I made the decision to D, I can't explain how much weight was lifted from my shoulders. I came to peace with it and accepted it. I know I quoted here before abut PTSD that you first have to accept that it happened and that we're powerless to change the past. I accepted that it happened, I was powerless to change the past and powerless to make choices for my WS, and accepted I would D. I was no longer scared. If you choose to D, I hope you have the same experience.

AlexFL posted 10/30/2013 16:52 PM

Each time this has happened I swore I'd be stronger. I made a plan In my head. I'd pack up and leave and never look back and who cares if everything crumbled- but once again that is not the case. This time it has been a roller coaster but I'm more calm then last. Do to get me wrong- the anger comes and goes, the water works and self doubt creep in, but there's something different. He really wants to R. I really don't care at this point. If we R fine. If we D. Fine. (I say that but it scares the hell out of me). He is a manipulater. I realize that. He should have been an attorney. The great conversationalist. However I just really do not know if I want to R and try to fix it AGAIN. I want to get help and find out why I'm so codependent. I want to exercise without feeling bad. I want to not worry about anyone except me and the kids. I told him if he comes back I can't think of us as a committed relationship. I just can't. It's the only way I can not care where he is. It's not a way to love I know but mentally I am really tore up and list and stupid and I just want to scream and then I see him and I feel bad for him. Ugh. I really still do not know what more I can take. If we R I can tell u I will not have sex with him. So what kind of life is that. I could not have sex with him without a condom. I'll never trust him. I know people R and get through it but i just spent 9 months thinking it was all good- I thought we had R. But slap- here I am again. I wonder if I was independently wealthy or had a skill to earn enough to raise the kids - would I even give him the time of day- or am I just talking tough. I feel during this time that I have withstood so much and that I must be like a battered person in a sense that I know its wrong but yet I stay. I need a good job. Lol.

He is coming over tonight. I don't know why. All I do is tell him what an a%#hole he is and make him feel worse. I told him it won't work. How could we try AGAIN. Why would he want to continue doing this to me if he loves me so much?

I have thought of the future without him and with him. I have to work out. I want to keep my body in great shape. I started thinking - if in not with him- how will I go to the gym, how will I ever have me time. Then I took a step back and said he didn't walk me to the gym everyday and make me workout. Why am I setting myself up for thinking the worst. Maybe I'll get to work out even more cause I don't have to worry about rushing home to make sure he is there. I know I'm rambling but (the gym has been my savior- I was very scrawny growing up and going to the gym makes me feel do much better about myself, he seems to think that is superficial to go in the midst of this chaos- I think its a necessity. Thanks for listening. Sorry I'm all over the place with my posts. I just want to vent and get it all out. I hate myself right now. I hate that I'm not strong. I hate that I am this dependent on someone who cheats on me and has no excuse as to why.

betrayedme2 posted 10/30/2013 17:10 PM

Hey AlexFL, I was taking one last look before I sign off for the night. My wife is in a meeting after work tonight an hr away from home so my mind is reeling. This is the town she used to work and "he" still does...

Good luck tonight! And no, going to the gym is not superficial. Even with kids you deserve "me" time and if the gym gives you comfort, go for it!!!! (I could use a little more time there myself! )

Hopefully you've spoken with an attorney and have a financial profile of you, your husbands, and business. The attorney should be able to give you a very close estimation of what kind of settlement you could expect.

Again, good luck!

AlexFL posted 10/30/2013 19:59 PM

Had a long conversation this evening with WS. I tried to explain that since we've been down this path a fee times before and that nothing has changed, no attempt for counseling etc I really don't see how we could ever R.

He didn't fight it. We did bring up lots of other things that bothered us in the relationship.

Is it normal that when someone betrays you and really hurts you that your mind then recalls every thing they have ever done to hurt u. He keeps saying I should be glad to get rid of him because I keep telling him of all the awful things he has done in our 24 years.

I told him that I didn't really relive the past daily but after this latest infidelity I have been flooded with all the shitty things he has ever done. I feel that it's normal. Almost a body defense to help you get past the hurt. He says that I never let go of the past and therefore parts of the reason the marriage is failing.

He does take full responsibility for the ONS. And says he should have told me he felt he wasn't a priority anymore. That he should have communicated this again and again.

I told him what he should have said to me is "this is what I need from you, more attention, more affection etc and I have asked before so since I'm not getting it, and I no longer feel needed I am leaving". I would have had so much more respect for him instead of cheating on me for a 5th time. Truth is no attention is ever enough. Eventually I just throw your hands up and say F&@k it I can't live up to those expectations.

I was thinking I would be bitter and ugly but I refuse to let love breed bitterness and hate. (Although at times it is hard to remember that)

I really wish he didn't cheat this time. I know he didn't mean to do it again, but he did and I'm left with the pieces. It wasn't his ego, it was an alter personality. Some how or another he gathered up the confidence to meet someone alone over the computer and have sex and then meet them again a week later for more.

I will tell you that I know it was not physical attraction that caused this- because the OP was not attractive at all. OP asked me "why would he cheat with me when he has you".

OP was very sorry and said they truly had no idea. I just thanked them for being completely honest (told me no condoms were used). I did say to OP "please respect yourself enough to have the person wear a condom, no one is worth dying for".

I don't even know what im typing. Sometimes I just type to get it out, sometimes it makes it more clear that this is actually happening, and sometimes I'm just hoping that someone reads this and can relate or that I'm really not as alone as I feel.

Skan posted 10/30/2013 22:17 PM

Limbo is a really hard place.

Nothing happens, when you're in limbo. Everything moves in a circular pattern. If only I...If only he...When I remember this...I'm afraid of that...If only I...

Circles. No ending. No beginning. Just a limbo of pain, un-ending pain. While life goes on, you get older, nothing changes, just circles in circles, circling again.

You need to break that circling break out of limbo. Yes, it's going to hurt. A lot. But guess what? What you're doing right now hurts too. A lot. And keeps on hurting and WILL keep on hurting until you say stop.

It's as if your leg was so badly injured that you needed to amputate it. But, being afraid, you only cut a bit off. And since you didn't get the infection, it spread, so you had to cut a bit more off. And a bit more. Dying inches at a time. Cutting more and more, deeper and deeper.

And if only you had taken your courage in hand, made the hard decision, and cut once, you would have already been healed, healthy, and walking around on that prosthetic limb. Maybe not as good as the original one, but functional, healthy, and able to explore life again.

Be brave, brother. This is your life. You don't get a do-over. This is it. If you cannot or will not find happiness in the short amount of time that you are graced to live, then you will never find it at all. And living a life, the only one that you are granted, in a circular-hell limbo is so horrifying as to not be contemplated. Choose life! (((hugs)))

mesoSTUPID posted 10/31/2013 02:51 AM

Alex.- I am so sorry. I too am a BS by a husband of 23 years. I have been with him since I was 13.

I was so cocky about my relationship I would've bet life and limb that my H would never cheat on me and yet here I am.

I know exactly how you feel about your identity. Everything I am is tied in to his man I have been with for almost 30 years. We have a business that would suffer a great deal if we were to separate and that's the financial. Emotionally our daughters and family would be devastated with a separation.

I am 20 months out from discovery. I have pondered and analyzed if I should stay in this marriage or not and at the end of the day it comes down to how much I love him. I love him so much that I cannot walk away from this relationship.

Part of what saves him is that up to today we've had more good years than bad years. Right now these last 2 years have SUCKED BIG DONKEY D!CKS but I can't deny there's been some fantastic years in our history and for that reason I stay because everyday he tries and usually succeeds at showing me in some way how much he loves me.

I can tell you from the bottom of my heart that these affairs have nothing to do with you. This is all him and his lack of self esteem and self respect. He needs counseling to figure out why he's repeatedly cheated on you.

If you do want to work things out, I recommend you post in the RECONCILIATION section. The advise there is more geared toward saving your marriage.


AlexFL posted 10/31/2013 20:39 PM

I am so grateful for all the posts. They really help. I have been so emotional and chaotic with the things I write, I'm surprised anyone can understand what I'm saying at all.

Today we spoke and he is willing to let go because he knows it will never be what it was. He was very emotional and apologetic. He said he started back with his counselor today and he is ready to take ownership of what he has done.

He said he knows this is his fault and not mine. He recognizes that there was trouble in the relationship and that he should have communicated that to me. He wants nothing more but to try AGAIN.

I just really don't know. I think that since it's happened so many times, how many other times were there that I didn't know. I guess that's something I'll never know (but I know in my gut there were others)

Is there life with him after this many times of infidelity ? Is that fair to me? Do I even want to try? Do I dare go down this dead end road again? Do I really want to wonder what sites he is meeting people in now or am I suppose to become this super spouse that bakes cookies and cuddles up?

I have read many people say that if u do try again that you should have them call on their way home, they should let u look thru their phone, computer, check up on them regularly and I think --FORGET THAT- seriously, I don't want to be a prison warden. I would like someone that I do not have to worry about them being so flighty and needy to need to creep behind my back and screw other people. That's not too much to ask for.

There was a time I thought that I had the best partner...protective, good looking, stable, determined, treated me great---and now I have no idea who this alter ego is that lives inside him. He only comes out a couple times a year but each time it kills me.

If he wanted an open relationship he should have told me. I found that site and I found the OP and I pretended I was interested in a hook up. I led them on and told them to meet me at a hotel. I pulled my car behind theirs so they couldn't back up/ I hoped in their car and I questioned them.... I grilled them. At first swore didn't know him when I showed the pic... I assured that I wasn't there for trouble. I just needed to hear the truth- the entire truth. They felt very bad for me and had no idea the my WS was in a relationship. I assured that my commitment wasn't with them and that I appreciated their honesty. That's when I also found out no condoms were used both times they met (one time was on my bday, we went to dinner very early bd he had to go to the store...) FINALLY I had the proof I needed to move on without any doubt.

And here I freaking sit debating to call him. I think I am as f'ed up as he is. It should be cut and dry. It should be over. Why do all the other things that were good fill my head. Why can't I just not be so forgiving. Why do I always look at both sides to the story. It has been 5 times. He won't change.

I told him I was not willing to go any more. I was not willing to change. I would not have sex with him ever again, and I will not trust him ever again-so why does he even want to try to save it. Why do I even entertain the idea.

I'm not ugly, I don't have low self-esteem. I don't really feel like I need anyone in my life. I don't need sex. I don't feel like a partner completes me-- why can I just not walk away. Is it love, is it control, is it fear-- I am going to a counselor next week--

If you all don't hear from me - it means she put me in the insane asylum.

Please post. I really cherish the messages. This is the only place I have vented. I've tried to keep this on the down low because I don't want all the drama.

BAB61 posted 10/31/2013 21:43 PM

I have read this whole thread, and what I'm hearing is that you are totally conflicted about what you should do. Firstly don't keep let the blame be placed anywhere near you! It was his decision, ALL his. If he wants to R, by all means do so if you want to also. He needs to do the work. Counseling will help both of you. Individual counseling and couples counseling. My WH told me it was partly my fault for the A. I told him that no, it was all his. If he was unhappy in our relationship he should have addressed those issues and he CHOSE not to. All on him. I have demanded NC with the OW, and so far (only 1 week) that has happened. I expect her to contact him at some point. She will have to work for it since I have her blocked from his phone and he's blocked her from e-mail, fb and Skype. Which I check regularly. Like everyday. Total transparency is the only way for me now. I will pray for you (regardless of your religious affiliation or lack thereof) .... Love yourself - you have value.

AlexFL posted 10/31/2013 22:02 PM

I do have value... I do deserve someone to be faithful. I know affairs are from loneliness, fear or anger (or all 3)
I really wish he would have discussed it with me prior. We could have talked thru it.
Now it just hurts to think about it.
Thank you for the prayers. I am realizing that I have codependency issues, that I plan on working on. I also realize that is I choose R I will fill like an idiot for some time but on the flip side I'd feel if I D that I'm throwing In the towel. (I base this confusion on the good 20 years and not the last 4 years) ultimately it's getting to be decision time. He is beginning to let go (kinda) and I'm beginning to detach (kinda).
I really don't know, my thoughts change from one minute to the next. I appreciate the post on "limbo". I am in a very confused state. I am trying to follow what I've been reading, I've asked the higher power for help because this is too big for me to feel this alone. I know the right answer will come but I still feel very "removed" mentally. Maybe I'm still in denial. Yea I'm pretty sure I'm in denial/anger stage. I don't know what the bargaining stage is- but maybe I'll are it there to see.

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