I can't make you happy, unless I am (Ziggy Marley-True to Myself)
Its more of a hard-headed approach, not only considering love, but also looking at the marriage as a business; conducting your life as contentedly as possible, and rearing a happy family. Naturally, you have a much better chance of success with a mate who doesn't cheat before the ink is dry on the marriage certificate.
Incidentally, the best of luck with your reconciliation. I admire your positive approach.
But, I do think you have a different set of obstacles when you don't have years of faithfulness before the A. I can't base my decision to stay on the fact that my spouse gave me years of love and respect. In some regard, I feel like I'm taking a bigger risk. I've decided to try to believe that he's changing, but I think it's harder because I question who the real him is. People who have been together longer are more able to know who the real person is I think.
Together 8 years
DDay: June 24, 2013
On a side note, my H and I are 16 1/2 months from dday and have a much stronger relationship than we ever have. It can be done and I hope all the best for you.
Just saying if you truly believe there is a chance, that you can both over come this and he can do the work to make sure this never happens again, kudos to you for wanting to try to make it work.
Together 2 years
my ONS->1 mo EA abroad
after D-Day BF admitted he had broken NC with EXGF (EA)
That being said, you feared how we would respond because we might disagree with you. And I don't believe that you're completely convinced yourself of your stated position.
I believe you when you say that you and your husband have discussed things that should have been discussed before marriage. I also believe you that you both want your marriage to work, and that he is remorseful.
I think you need to do what you feel is right for you, and I don't think anyone here would disagree with that. Some of us are sour on relationships...understandably so. I know that I am.
We all wish you the very best in your future with your husband and in your personal life aside from your marriage. I think all of us cringe when a new member reveals their pain, all of us cringe when a seasoned member makes a new discovery of betrayal. We tend to protect each other here, and we tend to circle the wagons. We do it because we're maybe a little older and wiser than we were yesterday. Please take that for whatever it's worth.
My personal belief is that it makes more sense to seek counsel from the older, wiser people than it does to seek counsel from those our age or younger. But you do have to make your own choices. And please believe that we will support you no matter what you decide to do in your marriage. Sometimes we're a little overboard because there are things in our own lives which are out of control, and we don't want to see anyone else experience the pain we've gone through.
If you take nothing else from any of us, please hold off on having children for a while. Once kids are added to the picture, the foundation of your decisions will be permanently altered. Hugs. You really are safe here.
My H cheated from the time we met until I found out, 6 months into the marriage.
Starting a relationship on a lie is never beneficial. You are lucky you learned of the lie early regardless of the path you chose from here on out. It's always easier to handle knowing what you are dealing with than being lied to, gaslighted, fobbed off etc.
I have been reluctant at times to post here, for fear of hearing ...
In my time on SI, the things that were hardest to hear were the truest. When I came in 2008, I didn't believe a single thing anyone told me. And hence I wasted 4 years thinking I was dealing with an A, but instead it was all false R, and As plural. If I had listened to what people were telling me, it wouldn't have taken me 4 years to see that my xWH was not remorseful, and was not capable of being faithful.
Is our situation really worse or more unsalvagable than say, the H who cheats at 10 years & lies about it for 10 more?
You can't look at it like this. Betrayal is the worst for everyone, regardless of it's form. If you allow yourself to say, "well look at so & so, my situation isn't *that* bad", it'll condition you to accept what actually is unacceptable. Starting a relationship with another person when you have sworn before the state/god that you are forsaking all others is not ok. It doesn't matter when in your relationship it occurs or how often, once is bad enough.
You're here, so your question isn't how bad is it (the A). Instead it's, is he remorseful (actions not words)? Is he a good bet? Has he shown a propensity to lie to cover up whatever (not just affairs but anything)? Can I get past this? Can I trust him? Can I be okay with what happened? Do I want to run the risk that it won't happen again? And so on. These are your questions now, and no one here is trying to answer them for you. They are merely giving you a window into hindsight, knowledge based on years of seeing what usually happens, years of seeing 1000s of other SI members relate their experiences. Stick around long enough and you can't help but see a pattern. You are free to try to buck that pattern. Goodness knows I did.
There have been times when someone has posted a response to me that I felt was out of left field or a bit harsh, but one thing I know for sure - they were posting from a place of sincerity. People here want to help. They have good intentions. Doesn't mean you have to like what they have to say or follow their advice.
I will also tell you that those responses that struck me the wrong way? Were often exactly what I needed to read. Even if they were off-base, they made me examine my situation from a different angle and with someone else's lens. I've never found that re-examination to be a wasted effort, even when it didn't change my opinion.
“The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.”
― Pema Chödrön
My WH was having an affair that started soon after we got engaged and continued through almost 2.5 years of marriage (so 3.5 years total). I am so sorry you are here and having these experiences instead of newlywed experiences I've heard about. Our situations are somewhat different since my marriage is longer and therefore had time to have major problems but I wanted to give you a little encouragement.
First of all, you know a lot of things. You know that your spouse cheated, that he is capable of cheating. You know how it feels to look at him now and you know some of the complicated emotions and thoughts that go through your head. You also know that people will have opinions, strong opinons, on this matter. Knowledge is power!! This is a good thing.
Second, you seem to have a remorseful spouse. This is truly the essential thing for reconciliation in my opinion. True remorse includes empathy. If you are getting that, and actions back up the words, you are light years ahead of me. Something I did was to list all the things I thought I would need for trust to be restored and for us to have a marriage again. Then I grouped them into a time frame (i.e. things that would happen immediately, 1-3 months, 3-6 months, etc) and watched for it to happen. Unfortunately for me after 4ish months I was still having new pain, new betrayals, and lots of sorry/regret but no true empathy or remorse. I filed for divorce and now I'm waiting. I feel certain that my WHs reaction and actions over the last 4 months made this decision. My point is that if you create a list of what you need to see (and share it with your spouse) then you will be able to examine it for progress.
Third, you have time. No one can make this decision for you and no one else has to be in your marriage to your WH. You mentioned you are 52 and so starting a family isn't an issue and I would guess that career/life decisions are a lot different at your stage than mine (I'm 32 and have no kids). This is another good thing in my mind because you don't have extra pressure. Please, take your time. Being angry and upset is no time to make a choice to end your marriage. However, having some accountability with a list, a friend, a therapist, or at least SI will keep you honest with yourself. A wise friend of mine told me recently to listen to the advice of others but to remember that it comes from an imperfect source. People who care about you will try to protect you and spare you pain. These same people will also accept your decisions, even if they disagree at first.
Take care, herongirl. Keep posting, keep going.
A lot of people (me included) think there are differences that point to the mindset of a WS depending on when the cheating occurred during the marriage.
When I made my marriage vows over thirty years ago, I was sincere at the time.
I had no thought or concept of breaking them.
Tragically decades later, I did.
Your WS on the other hand lied through his teeth while making his vows, in the full knowledge that he had no intention of keeping them.
He had already cheated and was going to continue.
Most people understandably, tend to view this mindset as morally corrupt and beyond salvation.
Sadly experience on SI and statistics agree with this view.
That is why the advice is usually run and save yourself further heartache in the future.
Just something to ponder.YMMV.
The odds are against you, I wish you luck.
"Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few." Pythagoras
There are two kinds of people in the world.
Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.
I have never once regretted leaving. Giving me a second chance without him was the best possible gift my POS ex could have ever, ever given me.
Then again, mine wasn't remorseful.
Only to discover a couple years later that their spouse had gone right back to their old cheating ways and the BS had just spent 2 or 5 or 10 years of their lives wasting it on someone who clearly didn't deserve it.
But by then, they've entangled themselves financially with homes, loans, cars, etc. etc. and have had kids together. That changes ALL your options. That's why you'll see people telling you to run while you can - not so much because you 'don't have the time invested with him' as you say in your post. I think these people learned that if they'd run when they had the chance, they wouldn't be in positions where their options are now incredibly limited after having kids and becoming financially entangled up to their eyeballs.
As the others have said, take what you need and leave the rest. However, those who say 'run' are coming from a place of regret for not having done so, but that doesn't make their advice any less valid.
Really, how could strangers on the internet be considered valid to advise in such an emotional and important area?
Get it off you chest, see how others handle their issues, stroke your self esteem, but make your decisions based on the facts and feelings in your life.
Professional help, or input from trusted advisers should always be considered.
I'd say the benefits of a forum like this are mostly for to vent, and gain perspective, not to receive informed, valuable advice.
I disagree. SI can be a great source of informed & valuable advice.
The trick is to discern where the advice is coming from and to filter the emotional perspective.
Is it from a bitter & jaded BS who divorced their unremorseful WS.
Is it from a BS who has successfully reconciled with a remorseful WS.
Is it from WS who hasn't fully 'got it' yet.
Or is the advice from a BS who is at the start of the process and who is full of righteous anger & rage.
Even professionals colour their advice with their own perpective.