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Deal breaker

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statistic posted 11/8/2013 11:31 AM

Like most people, I've considered infidelity a deal breaker. This is easy when it is only a hypothetical. Now that I find myself in this position, I feel as though I have no choice because of my previously held beliefs. I read about and admire those who have been able to reconcile, perhaps even thrive, despite infidelity. I've been told time and time again to slow down, think about it, each time I said I wanted to divorce. This makes me believe I am doing something wrong, impulsive, and ultimately regrettable. My WH has come around in many ways. No contact with the other woman (well, do we ever really know this?), marriage and individual counseling, answering most of my questions (with some frustration at times), and being completely transparent. I feel like I should respond accordingly and try to enjoy the shiny, new husband he claims he can be. I feel like I should reclaim all that I fear I've lost now and in the future. The problem is, I feel pulled away from him instead of toward him. I cannot get over my own personally held belief that his behaviors broke our "deal" and I cannot continue to be his wife. Our union broke when he cheated and lied to me in order to be with someone else. I do not feel like getting into the nitty-gritty about "why? what's wrong with him? what in our marriage made space for this to happen?" in order to work on the marriage. It is exhausting and I feel like it is a rabbit hole that leads me away from the ultimate, simple truth... He cheated on me. Ultimately, I feel guilty because I am not interested in trying harder to save the marriage. I think a bigger person might. Perhaps I will regret this. All I know is that I am not the same person I was before and neither is he.

careerlady posted 11/8/2013 12:19 PM

I was in a similar boat years ago. I'd always said infidelity was a deal breaker and sent him back his ring and went NC but then he acted so sad and was willing to go to counseling and had a decent "reason" (we were living 2000 miles apart at that time). So I gave him another chance. 5 years and one child later I find out he fathered another child while he was "grieving" and that he'd had another affair because he "gave up on us" when he found out about OC. I was a mother and reluctantly gave him one last chance which he mucked up with OW#3 cause he wasn't happy with my family or some other excuse. I then realized he's always going to have an excuse and act sorry and now I'm divorcing him.

But this forum will be full of people that gave another chance and got screwed. If you want a general discussion maybe post in general? I do believe in the unicorn of R but only if the cheater is morally appalled and doing EVERYTHING right and in therapy and self motivated and were a FANTASTIC partner before. Otherwise I think most cheaters have something deeply wrong with them and the BS should run.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 5:40 PM, November 8th (Friday)]

Gemini71 posted 11/8/2013 17:07 PM

You are under no obligation to R and give WS another chance. You are absolutely right, he broke your 'deal'. Those WSs whose BSs are willing to R should be on their knees kissing the ground beneath their BSs' feet. R is a gift, not a right.

authenticnow posted 11/8/2013 17:41 PM


You have a PM.

SBB posted 11/8/2013 18:46 PM

It takes one to destroy but two to R. I knew this was a deal breaker on DD but was not ready to accept it until a few months after Final S.

I think it was Aesir who said "It is really difficult to not attempt R with what appears to be a remorseful WS". It is so very true. Had the sad clown kept up the facade of remorse I would still be struggling in R to this day. It would have taken me years to build the strength and courage to walk away.

As it stands his lack of real remorse was a gift. It forced my hand way before I was ready to free myself. I had no other choice but it was still agony.

Something inside me was broken on DD. It was the spell I had cast on myself - the lies I told myself to help me tolerate what was becoming an unbearable M. The second he confessed to cheating that spell was completely broken. I was unable to rebuild my false construct.

The thought that haunted me all the way through False R was the thought of being on my deathbed 40 years from now with him by my side, my hand in his and one of my final thoughts being "did he do it again?".

Cheating is so much more than fucking someone else. He betrayed me well before he even got on that slippery slope. He turned from me in good times and bad when I needed him the most. He broke so many promises to me.

I thought it was my pride that stopped me from being able to fully commit to R - then I thought it was my fears, then I thought I just must not have loved him 'enough'. I had so many why's bouncing around my head about why I was unable to fully commit to R.

At the end of the day none of them matter. This was a deal breaker for me. Full stop. R and S/D are both very very difficult to get through - I don't think either takes more strength or courage - its pretty even, IMO.

I thought I had a better shot of surviving S/D with my sanity intact than I had of surviving R with my sanity intact.

When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.

I don't want to patch up my broken vase with gold - I want a new vase made up almost entirely of gold.

Accepting this has been almost as hard as accepting that my beloved husband betrayed me and my family in such a devastating way. Almost as hard as accepting that the man I thought I married never existed.

Only you can know where you stand here. Give yourself time to make that decision and work on understanding it and accepting it. There is no single 'right' answer for everyone. Just the right one for you. Nobody tells you that making the 'right' decision isn't easy. Not by a long shot.

Tripletrouble posted 11/8/2013 18:52 PM

I went through guilt when I tried R, because I felt like I was selling myself short. Then guilt when I filed, because I had no more to give and felt like a quitter. These emotions are all normal, and very common...that's why I love SI.
Give yourself permission to go forward on the path you know in your heart is right for YOU.

Chrysalis123 posted 11/8/2013 21:29 PM

The thing is you get to decide what you want to do. There is not a prescribed answer here. Follow your heart.

sudra posted 11/9/2013 06:32 AM

Don't feel guilty. It simply IS a dealbreaker for some. It's not necessarily "bigger" person who can R, simply a DIFFERENT person. Neither one is better or worse, simply a different person with different circumstances.

Take care of yourself and do the right thing for YOU.

realitybites posted 11/9/2013 06:45 AM

There is nothing wrong with absolutely knowing that this is a deal breaker. No one has ever said on here that the gift of R should be given, it is entirely different in each situation.

Many people mistake this for being super strong, I say there is no easy answer, you still cry and get mad and are now as you say "not the same person any more". It is a traumatic blow that will take some major healing to get thru, you have just decided you don't want to do it with the person who did this to you.

myperfectlife posted 11/9/2013 07:50 AM

I always said the same thing and judged people who stayed after infidelity.
Boy has this year changed me!
It's never black and white, unless it is.
If you can't look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day because you compromised your morals-well, why live that way when you have another option?
There's nothing wrong with expecting loyalty.
That's why we get married in the first place.
Don't feel guilt for being who you are...hold to your strengths.

jemimapd posted 11/9/2013 08:03 AM

Statistic, I think your experience is the same as mine: your WH confessed after you had investigated and busted him? Mine has never been 100% truthful and in the year we tried to reconcile yet more came out. When I found out that he had given a third woman money, I was done.

There was just too much disloyalty of every kind.

And his work at reconciling was always half-hearted, basically consisting of not seeing any other women. But it never extended to reading, recovery group work or being completely honest. He continued to lie and minimize.

Ultimately I filed to protect myself and feel safe again. I don't have to worry about him giving our money to OW, having unprotected sex or fathering another child.

sleepless34 posted 11/9/2013 14:59 PM

I agree with you about it being a deal breaker. The trust, the safety, the innocence, the bond is broken. It made me feel like he was a fraud and my whole marriage was not what I thought it was. He didn't even want to reconcile with me, he ran away like the cowardly loser that he is, but even if he had, I think something in me changed the minute he confessed. You are not the guy I thought I married and this is not what I signed up for.

I agree with what you said about the simple truth of it is that he cheated. None of the what's wrongs with hims, with the marriage, with you, etc, none of it justifies a betrayal like that. I am with you. FTG.

Other people have their stories and their reasons, and they are all different and whatever worked for them. For me though, that type of lying and betrayal changed everything. Game over.

jemimapd posted 11/9/2013 15:19 PM

You are not the guy I thought I married and this is not what I signed up for.

Yep. That's it. Next time my STBX starts trying to talk me out of the divorce, I'll say this. Nothing else needed.

SeanFLA posted 11/9/2013 15:28 PM

It's strange because many times I'm very jealous that many BS's get a remorseful spouse that tries to do everything right. And their WS's eventually want nothing to do with it. Then there are BS's like me whose WS showed no remorse and filed for D leaving us completely destroyed emotionally and financially. Not even getting to make the decision to stay or leave.

I've come to the conclusion that I don't know which one is better. Years and years of agony trying to R and trust again? Just to break up anyhow? Or them forcing the hand that they don't really love or respect you anymore and getting you off the torture table quicker?

Sometimes it doesn't take a stronger person to stay either. Many a BS's stay out of fear. Fear financially or for the feelings of their children. I believe if most of those had hit the lottery where money wasnt an issue anymore many would be long gone. Just my two cents.

ruinedandbroken posted 11/9/2013 15:56 PM

It's strange because many times I'm very jealous that many BS's get a remorseful spouse that tries to do everything right. And their WS's eventually want nothing to do with it. Then there are BS's like me whose WS showed no remorse and filed for D leaving us completely destroyed emotionally and financially. Not even getting to make the decision to stay or leave.

Same here. I felt powerless because I never had any choice in any of it.

However, if infidelity is a deal breaker for someone that is certainly their right. Every person is different and I don't believe there is a right or wrong answer as to if you should R or leave. I just wish that I had been given that choice.

Phoenix1 posted 11/9/2013 16:38 PM

It was always a deal breaker for me, but I might have been willing to try to save the marriage had XPOS shown any remorse. But I did have a choice, though it didn't include R. I could have D immediately or I could stay for the sake of the children until they were all adults and CS or visitation nightmares would no longer be an issue, and hopefully they would not be as emotionally scarred. I chose to stick it out for the kids, and it wasn't out of any sense of fear. I knew I could never trust him again because he had no remorse and I just kept discovering more betrayal as time went on. The kids were never aware that there was anything different as I plastered on the perpetual happy face for them. XPOS reciprocated because he was happy about his perceived ability to cake eat, and he thought I was simply okay with looking the other way while he carried on his secret double life. I knew the M was on borrowed time and was making my exit plans. The exit just came a little sooner than planned and I reached my limit of humiliation.

I had told XPOS that infidelity was a deal breaker since we got married. He was just adept at hiding it for so long. I don't regret sticking it out for the kids, and if we had been arguing or fighting constantly to create a bad environment for the kids I would have D years ago. Our situation really only affected me, so it worked and I was willing to make that sacrifice for my children. Every situation is different and you just have to do what is right for you.

Thefly559 posted 11/9/2013 17:39 PM

I've come to the conclusion that I don't know which one is better. Years and years of agony trying to R and trust again? Just to break up anyhow? Or them forcing the hand that they don't really love or respect you anymore and getting you off the torture table quicker?

I feel this also! I think you are making the right choice , because there is no right or wrong choice. you set rules and boundaries and he broke them. you should be proud! proud that you are going with your gut , proud that you are keeping your word, and proud that you know and acknowledge your feelings ! I think like seanfl said that I feel almost thankful that she chopped my head off quick instead of torturing me with reconcile.

gardens64 posted 11/9/2013 17:52 PM

Its funny, the real deal breaker for me was the lying. My WH never admitted anything. I had to find it every single time. Finally enough was enough. How can you be married to someone you can't trust?

myalterego posted 11/9/2013 18:15 PM

I'm on board with the dealbreaker being the lying.

He was (I thought) remorseful 2 years ago when I caught him in the EA. Swore up and down it never turned physical. Recently, I've caught him emailing with another woman... and it sure sounds like it was physical. (what walks like a duck and talks like a duck...)

I thought he "got it" 2 years ago when he was crying that he didn't want a divorce. I thought I made it clear that he needed to come clean with everything. I thought he wouldn't risk his marriage and his kids' intact family life by doing the same thing again.

I thought wrong.

I just don't understand how he can so cold-blooded lie to me and still act like all is great at home when he is emailing someone else reminiscing about body shots.

I have not confronted him yet. I will give him an opportunity to tell all first before I share that I know more. How he responds to that determines if I file D papers or give him a shot to sign a post-nup. I am actively planning for the future. Giving my kids one last "normal" holiday season. (just typing this breaks my heart). It takes every amount of self-control not to just burst out "WTF!"

statistic posted 11/9/2013 21:24 PM

Thank you for the responses! Saying that your comments get me throughout he day would be an understatement. You all hit it on the head: I feel guilty about hurting him by leaving him and not giving our relationship a chance. After all he has done, I do not want to hurt him and feel guilty. I have come to realize that R or D are equally challenging, for different reasons.

It is entirely possible that he will alter his behavior and be an honest, decent, loving spouse. However, I am sick to my stomach anytime I think he is behaving suspiciously, deleting a text message or email, running late from work, etc. even for legitimate reasons. Can I be making mountains out of mole hills? Absolutely. But I have been burned so many times in the past, that I have trouble seeing anything but cheating. I am pretty confident that if he ever told me a sliver of truth, regardless of how painful it is or how high the chance of losing me was, instead of torturing me with trickle truth and allowing me to turn into a paranoid detective, then I might have tried harder. But I am tired. Oh so very tired.

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