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Could I ever forgive?

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Hatemyhusband posted 12/19/2013 06:48 AM

23 yrs my husband was a dedicated husband and father. Our marriage role down. I shut down emotionally and physically as I dealt w blow after blow. My kids were challenging w educational needs and emotional needs. I worked full time in crazy busy job.
My husband was the husband who filled my gas take up to save me trip. Who guided me in a building w hand
On lower back. Who told me how amazing I was and strong I was. For 23 years

He stepped outside of my marriage for the last 2 of 25 years since we've been together. My friend, who is sneaky, manipulative preyed on him. I watched. I saw her and heard her comments on "how lucky I was to have a hot husband who adored me. Who worshipped me and kids. What a great dad etc". I backed away from our friendship as I saw her trying to pick up other men when we were out. I told my husband she was "going thru something"

He sat at sports gamed w her. She confided in him. Told him how hot he was. How lucky I was. She emailed flirty emails. Got him to work on her house. (I saw the emails).
And... My devoted husband got suckered in hook line and sinker. He "love feeling desired. I didn't make him feel desired and shut him out constantly". I'm not going to lie. I did. I was beyond stressed. No family to help me. Job, kids w issues, etc. I just felt like I couldn't be there for one more person. I needed space

He said he thought he was missing somethg but is more f- Ed up than ever. This made him hate himself. Feel like a failure to me and kids and to himself. He's embarrassed bc he was suckered in w a woman who had a plan. He was enjoying the attention. The feeling desired.

I've seen this man cry two/three times in 25 yrs. year rolling down when kids were born and when gpa died. In 2.5 weeks he has sobbed over 30 times. Sobbed.
He's begging me to forgive. Has been totally transparent. Offered to quit gym (she goes once in while) I have passwords to phone, cell service online to see texts and calls, he doesn't erase history on actual phone. He got an IC. He was always dead set against counseling (I have one for three years now). We r starting MC after holidays. Already made appt

I told him I'm not sure I can forget and I want my ducks in a row. I was honest. Told him I will c lawyer just to discuss options. He was devastated. Asked for more time. I shared I'm just consulting and invited him to come w me. Have appt jan 7th. He sobbed that day the most. Told me he can't lose me and kids. Can't live w abandoning us. I told him it's not his choice now. He begged he would spend life treating me like he did the first 23 yrs. and continue to be best dad (he really is! Takes day off if kids sick, takes to dr appts, plays w them all weekend long, helps w hw).
I shared I may not be able to be married to him. He offered option B. Pretend. Stay married. He will stay faithful and I can leave him when kids are older. I could go away, do whatever I want. He will sacrifice just to be in house w me and kids and helping kids grown into young men. He can't give that up

(He doesn't drink or do drugs. Goes out w friends once ever other month. Had boat but sold it last week now. Offered to sell before discovery day. He was meeting her some day b4 work or after for 15-30 m and bulk relationship emotional- texting w occasional hookups)

Oddly, I've had sex w him 3 times since DD. Why? Bc as we lay and talk an share emotions, we are drawn together. It's emotional. It's raw. It means something but I know I shouldn't be. Ughhh

Could I give this a shot? Does this sound like a workable relationship? Or should I wrap up the show and move the hell on w my life. My husband betrayed me after 23 years of being a dedicated man. He sold me out for trash. The man I love an adore.

jost1125 posted 12/19/2013 07:19 AM

I'm so sorry you find yourself here, but you'll get lots of support and advice from people who have been exactly where you are. It sounds to me like you definately have a shot at R. Keep reading here, maybe get him to read here-the healing library is great (upper left corner in the yellow box). Someone will be along soon, I'm sure, who is much better with words than I am, I just wanted to let you know that you've been heard and that there is always hope.
You'll make it through this.

spinning73 posted 12/19/2013 07:27 AM

Everything you are feeling is normal. Sounds like you have good plan laid out with counseling. You don't have to rush to any decisions. You will always have option to leave.

Read, read, read. It will help you normalize your situation.

See healing library top left yellow box. See "hysterical bonding" to understand sex since DD

Books to start:
Not Just Friends
How to help your spouse heal from your affair ( you both should read)

There are many other smarter, more experienced helpers on this site. Just quick note to let you know you are heard. It sucks we all have to be here, but SI is a great help.

confused615 posted 12/19/2013 07:45 AM

Forgiveness is earned. Over time. With consistent,remorseful,honest actions.

Tears do not equal remorse.

It's nice that he is begging for forgiveness..but he needs to show you..with his actions..that he is worthy of forgiveness..and your trust.

It will take time.

Please know that nothing you did made him decide to betray you and the family. This is 100% on him. Did you contribute to the problems in the marriage? Yes. But the affair is 100% his to own.

To answer your question..yes. You can forgive. But you shouldn't be concerned about that now. If you decide to try to R, to give him a chance, concentrate on healing, not forgiving. If you forgive, truly forgive, it will come in time.

I told WH I would never forgive him. Ever. I also told many members here on SI that forgiveness was not necessary to R. And Im still not so sure it is. But,I forgave WH last month. Because he is not the same man he was. Because he worked hard to become a safe person for me. Until your WH does the same, concentrate on healing. Not forgiving.

[This message edited by confused615 at 7:52 AM, December 19th (Thursday)]

Crushed15Feb13 posted 12/19/2013 07:46 AM

I am so sorry to read your story - its sounds so much like mine I felt every word. For me it was 30 years of marriage, 4-5 years of an affair. My wife too loved the feeling of being desirable, and fell under the spell of a completely selfish, evil man who preyed on women. She lost sight of me because of it. I was completely oblivious to what was going on until I got a call from the other man's wife last Valentine's Day. How could they POSSIBLY do that to us?

I'm sorry for the all the pain you're feeling in your heart right now. I feel it too, still, everyday.

It sounds like your husband is trying to do the right thing, and "gets" it. The books will help, especially the "How to help your spouse". It may be a comfort to you to know how normal your feelings are.

And definitely read the FAQs for each of the spouses for additional perspective.

I'm so sorry for the grief you must be feeling now. Take care of yourself as best you can, and know you are not alone. Give yourself time before making any life-changing decisions.

[This message edited by Crushed15Feb13 at 7:51 AM, December 19th (Thursday)]

justpeace posted 12/19/2013 08:07 AM

Your post could of been mine back in 2007. Many of us can relate to every word you are saying. I am sorry you find yourself in this position, you will find so much info and support here.

There is always hope, and sometimes hoping is all you can do to get through the toughest hours, days, months even yrs. Terrific that you are considering your options, you are taking control. Perhaps giving yourself time to grieve over the loss of the marriage you used to have, give yourself time to think,feel and heal before making big decisions just yet and take care of yourself.

In Jan 2007 after D day, I considered D,OW was my friend too. I didn't trust fwh anymore....but what I later realized was that I don't have blind trust in ANYONE anymore, ok, I can live with that. FWH did so many things RIGHT before A and after A and has always been a great father, I decided that perhaps I should try to forgive him for the thing he did very wrong(although it hurt worse than anything I have every endured and sometimes I can still feel the sting) compared to all the many, many things he has done right. It has been hard and took a very long time to get to where I am today but I am glad I took my time.

Good luck to you, I wish you the best. Take care of yourself and take one day at a time- you will make the right decision for you and for your family, don't hurry, take some time to figure it all out.

bionicgal posted 12/19/2013 08:33 AM

Justpeace - that is beautiful.

HMH- I am 6 months out, and can totally relate with your post. You have embarked on a terrible journey that you did not choose. It sounds like your husband is a good man who did a reprehensible thing, and it is truly one of the oldest stories in the book. My H cringes when he looks squarely at how "typical" he was -- midlife crisis, responding to praise, being desired, etc. My H's affair was also with a "friend;" I now think people should get a sticker on their wedding licenses that reads: "Watch our for those closest to you!" The situation was totally common - and yet, unfortunately devastating.

I think many of us here are surprised at how we feel when we find out. We all expect to be enraged -- most of us expected that it would be a dealbreaker. The thing is, when you really love someone, and have built a life with them, it is not black and white. So, cut yourself some slack, and give yourself time to figure out the best plan of action.

My suggestion with the sex is to use it as a tool to bring you closer. (You can look up Hysterical Bonding to see why some people feel an increased need for closeness.) Personally, the sex has been a godsend for us and I choose to see it as a gift. We had a very similar intimate relationship to what you describe pre-A, and the situation has totally changed that for us. Sorry if this is TMI. I just want you to hear that it can be a very good thing.

Hang in there - lots of people have tread the path before you. I hope for strength, faith and love for you and your husband.

Hatemyhusband posted 12/19/2013 11:08 AM

Thanks for thoughts. My husbands A was two years. He describes it as a friendship with occasional hookups. I saw her bait him. I watched it. I warned him she was on the prowl BUT I had faith in my H. I trusted him. Something I can never go again.

He doesn't see it as a midlife crisis. Is embarrassed and ashamed and takes total responsibility but says it was need to attention and feeling important to someone. Uh, he bought a boat (yes, we had one years ago but two months into A he bought one and said "I want one". No discussion). He joined a gym and lost 35 lbs and in best shape of life. ( he needed to be fit bc of his job and demands physically, he said) Become cold an distant to me (said now bc he was angry w self he made self feel better by making it seem it wasn't bad). And slept on couch for two years (said mattress bothered back but was texting her when I fell asleep).
We had sex occasionally but he would no way initiate it as much as did before A. (Said was tired of trying to make me desire him and making first move all the time, when he was in fact screwing my friend)

If almost feel better if he chose a good person. A person he fell in love with. Instead, he said they had no plans to be together, just fill a void they both had.

He had guilt. Tried to stop but was lured back into it. He felt she may tell me or do something that would show the A.
Bottom line, a respectable, kind, gentle, sweet man with all the respect from society now hooked up with the town flirt. Took her to a seedy nasty pay by hour motel during the day. Hooked up w her in her home where she lives w husband and kids. My home once ( for quick screw) and the car numerous time.
As I told him, what have u become? It's disgusting. Literally disgusting. She is a teacher who would jeopardize career by texting him while she was teaching a class! Going to seedy motels? In cars?
I'm beyond shocked and hurt and disgusted. Not sure I could forgive this. It's very hard. Very hard. And I don't even know 1/10th of it!!!

myeverafter posted 12/19/2013 11:31 AM

Dang, I could have wrote your post, except we had only been married about 9 years at DD...

You got some awesome advice and it sounds like you have a good plan in place.

Read, read, and read some more. I am currently reading "I love you, but I don't trust you." She also wrote "Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay" which I haven't read.

I really liked Not "Just Friends".

devasted30 posted 12/19/2013 11:39 AM

After all this time, I finally realize that there are many stories to our WS infidelities but almost all have the same theme running through them. The husband felt unloved, needed ego boosting and just wanted the thrill at the time. Then was disgusted with himself and caught in a trap - how to get out without anyone finding out because OW could throw them under the bus whenever they felt like it.
My story is similar - with a few twists and turn because they all have their little idiosyncrasies but most are the same story line.
I never would have believed my husband would have cheated on me. I KNEW it was not in him. He would NEVER do that. He loved me and cared for me. I was the most important person in his life. He was my best friend and I was his.
Then my world fell apart. He left me. I was stunned.
I never would have believed that this would have happened to me. I never would have believed that I would continue to live with a man who had cheated on me - not once, but several times. I never would have believed that I didn't know this man that I was married to.
But, I am still here. I gave him a year. He lied to me for 8 months. I am not sure if I have the full truth yet. But, I am still here.
I WILL NOT EVER FORGIVE HIM for the things that he has done. But, I love him and I had planned my whole future with him. I am trying because I love him. I am trying because he really is the most important person in my life. I am trying for him, but most of all, I am trying for me.
Will it work? I don't know. But, I am trying.
Everyone seems to get hung up on the "Forgive" thing. Don't worry about that. That's not really important at this time. Right now, sit back and take your time and see how things go. If he shows true remorse, if he does everything you need him to do, if he continues to try to make up (not that they could) for the wrongs he's done to you and the kids, then maybe you can live with this and maybe eventually, you can forgive him if that is what you need to do. Time will tell.

bionicgal posted 12/19/2013 11:44 AM

Our situation:
Distancing while in the affair and before? Check.
Increased gym time (with her!) and best-ever abs? Check.
Sex in (our) vehicle? Check.
Sex in her (family) house? Check. Thank god I am a terrible housekeeper, or they'd have come here.
Unprotected sex? Check. (God save me.)
Physical contact at her place of work? Check.
Said he loved her? Check.
Thought he loved her? Check. (Sigh.)
Paying cash for cheap hotel so as to not arouse suspicion? Check.

So, just saying that you have every right to be disgusted. I am disgusted. Don't think that your WS is singularly bad though -- that is the nature of affairs. Selfish, broken people running around acting like 8th graders.

ETA: I apologize to the many, decent 8th graders out there for saying that.

[This message edited by bionicgal at 11:46 AM, December 19th (Thursday)]

Hatemyhusband posted 12/19/2013 11:57 AM

Wow. Sad to see I'm so not alone. It's all so similar. I hope no one else has to go thru this. It's worse than anything I've ever been thru, and I've been thru horrific things.

My H was a model H. A great guy. Better than the rest of the men out there..... Or so we all thought.

Crushed15Feb13 posted 12/19/2013 14:51 PM

Wow. Sad to see I'm so not alone. It's all so similar. I hope no one else has to go thru this. It's worse than anything I've ever been thru, and I've been thru horrific things.
My H was a model H. A great guy. Better than the rest of the men out there..... Or so we all thought.

I feel exactly the same. How could she do it? How could she maintain the deception for 4 YEARS? Sex with him in our house, in our bed, in cars, in parks, in hotels. I thought of her as the best woman God ever made. Completely sensible and trustworthy. And now there is no ground underneath me.

Worse, she realized she didn't love him but just kept it up. It's been 9 months since my Dday, and it feels almost as bad as it did then. I definitely feel your pain.

bionicgal posted 12/19/2013 14:56 PM

That was my point really - it is all so similar. And sincerely, most of my friends would NEVER think my H possible of this. I certainly didn't. He is a kind, empathetic, smart, principled person. I am not joking! I didn't really ever imagine myself married, but he was so different --

I hope this makes you feel less alone. Our MC calls it CHF (or Chronic Human Fallability.) I think that minimizes the situation a little too much - for me, CHF is not paying a parking ticket, or a minor let down of a friend. But, his point -- people F-up. (Still minimizes, but maybe one day, I'll see it that way.)

But remember, the real measure of your H's character is what he does now.

HurtNewlywed posted 12/19/2013 15:29 PM

I'm really sorry that you're going through this, but you are certainly in the right place. As others have told you, what you are feeling is completely normal. You're in for a bumpy and very emotional ride. I would recommend that you see the lawyer and find out what your options are, without your husband going with you. Knowing that you have choices and what they will entail is a good thing. But I wouldn't recommend that you rush into making a decision about reconciliation or divorce just yet. You are still so emotionally raw and these decisions need time and clarity since they are so huge.

Don't beat yourself up for having sex with your WH. It's normal. It's called hysterical bonding. I didn't know that at first and I was confused and upset. I felt guilty and weird about it. But learning that it is normal helped a lot with that.

The best thing you can do now is make sure you drink plenty of water and make an effort to eat, even though you might not feel hungry for a while. Just as important though is reading. Read the posts here. Read the healing library. Order a few books if you want. There is one by Shirley Glass called Not Just Friends. I have not read all of it yet, but from what I have read it seems like it might be helpful in your situation.

RightTrack posted 12/19/2013 20:16 PM

Hate my husband,
Seeing the attorney is probably not a bad idea. Let him know what divorce will look like. No, if you are divorced you will not let him play house. Yes, everyone will know that you are divorced b/c he cheated on you and No, retirement is not going to be what he imagined it to be. Let him see the consequences of his actions. My husband needed to see this, needed some time on the couch at his divorced cousin's house. He needed to see how much his cousins' kids now hate their dad. HATE

You don't need to decided what to do now but neither do you need to be moved by tears. Tears are nice if they are a sign of genuine remorse but he's been lying for years so who can trust that?

Now's the time to lay ground rules. Maybe reading the 10 Love Languages and seeing what you need from each other. Establish boundaries. Let him know you haven't made up your mind yet BUT that if he ever does X Y and Z again you're GONE. You can ever write up a post nup based on those things.

Put some consequences out there for your husband and put yourself in control of the situation.

In my opinion it's too early to worry about forgiveness, for now try some day to day living.

Alex CR posted 12/20/2013 11:53 AM

(((Hatemyhusband))) So sorry you find yourself here but you are, IMO, in the best spot to find help.

I, too, would never have thought my H would cheat but he carried on a five year LTA with a woman overseas where he back and forth for his job while daily life, for both of us, was busy, crazy and our marriage fell to the bottom of our 'to do' list. In hindsight we can look now and see the mistakes we made that brought us to a point where H would cheat, but we can't go back and change the past.

Best advice I received here at SI when I first came was that I didn't have to make any life changing decisions right away ..that I should wait a year before I did. I'm glad I listened. The shock, pain and then anger stage I went through took almost a year. It wasn't until I made it through the anger that I could see clearly that I might be able to R with my husband, forgive, no, but R, yes....

And almost four years out my H has worked hard to heal us and has been totally transparent. I also have learned from this horrible breach in our almost 40 years together and work on us and keeping my H and our marriage as a priority in my life.

I haven't forgiven my H yet...don't know if I ever will and don't know if I need to. I do know I have finally accepted this is part of our past and as time goes on, it moves further into our past.

Our future is bright and I can truly say I feel joy again...for so long after Dday I couldn't feel anything buy pain.

Know you have a family here who have been through it and are here to listen or share what they've learned if you ask.

As to hysterical bonding, it's is bonding.....and is normal according to all the experts....enjoy!

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