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Infidelity and second chances should I give him one?

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Mandy7 posted 3/3/2014 04:23 AM

Hi I'm in pieces and don't know what to do. I've been with my husband 20 years we have a 10 year old daughter and 7 year old son we also foster a 6 year old girl. We seem to have everything you could dream of enough money, perfect jobs, joy and happiness, nice cars, perfect kids but where do you go from there when you've reached all your goals. I know my husband is displaying every sign of a midlife crisis and is struggling maybe even depressed. He's 38 & I'm 37. I found out 2 weeks ago he's been having an affair for 4 months with a girl 24 year old who has a toddler. When I found out he said he'd hoped I would because he was trying to break it off with her for a while. He says he feels sorry for her as she was physically abused by her babies father and her mam has kidney failure. I held him close while he cried for his loss after he ended it with her. We planned how we would try to save our marriage we researched on the internet how to cope with the addiction of an affair etc how all contact had to be severed and things have been great. We spent 24/7 together for 2 weeks, made love every day went out together and he showed me every text and call she sent him in the first week and we handled them together telling her to back off he wants to be with us. it seems he really wants to make things work. Even planning an expensive holiday for us in 5 months time. But I found him phoning her when he was drunk tonight in the toilet and I checked his phone and he'd been phoning her all day from the toilets while I was at a football match with him. He's saying he's been telling her all day she's not worth losing his family for but I don't know if I believe him why would he keep phoning her could it just be because of the huge amount of alcohol? He's begged me for another chance saying he slipped up and wants us he's broke down screaming in the foetal position asking me to help him. He broke his heart saying goodbye to the kids. I was so mad that he'd been speaking to her today and my lack of trust made it worse, I shouted at him really angrily telling him he's ruined our family and he's had his chance. so I phoned his sister to come and get him. He was in a hysterical state when they arrived and had to be helped out of the door. It broke my heart but I felt so betrayed! He came to me and said he was sorry when he left but I said I don't want to hear it. My daughter heard everything and is devastated. She's texting him and calling him begging him to love me and pleading for him to come back. I can't function I'm having what I think is a panic attack, struggling to breath, pounding head, vomiting, shaking etc I can't cry as my daughter is beside me. I don't know what to do, I love him so so much but I've sent him to his sisters and I don't know if I've been to hard on him and he won't come back. Should I call him to work on helping him again and try to save our marriage or should I leave it up to him to approach me? Thank you for listening I've got no one to talk to and would love a third parties perspective on this. Mandy

Balaclava posted 3/3/2014 05:21 AM


I am so sorry for your pain - it is still so fresh. I am not in a position to advise as I am still learning the ropes of the path to recovery after infidelity - though there are many people on this forum who are wise and willing to help.

I think you are being amazingly strong. You have time to sort through your thoughts before making or receiving any contact with your husband.

There is some great reading in the The Healing Library - however I found it pretty tough reading when it was all so fresh.

Find some IC asap and look after your precious children.

Whatever the outcome you WILL be OK .... so give yourself a chance to think and breathe before you rush into any major decisions.
Best of luck....keep posting.

Mandy7 posted 3/3/2014 05:36 AM

Thank you Balaclava for your reply it's a very lonely place to be when you feel you have no one to talk to, knowing there are people out there who can relate to your feelings is such a big help! I'll keep you posted thanks again x

I think I can posted 3/3/2014 06:16 AM

You have done great so far--you have let him know that you will not accept this. Don't rush to contact him. I'm sure he will contact you, and you should be ready with a list of what will be necessary for you to let him come back. Starting with all passwords to every account, and complete NO CONTACT with the OW. Possibly no drinking, at least for awhile. Do not let him blame you in any way for this, or be the victim.


jjct posted 3/3/2014 06:35 AM

Sending you strength (((Mandy)))

I believe you did the right thing.
He BROKE the NC boundary - so here are the consequences.

Stay strong!

Notice this too:
(I'm not there & I really don't know, but)

Becoming helpless, and lying down in a fetal position, having to be 'helped up and out' seems a bit

I'm guessing that his dramatics are about the consequences to himself (AKA "Regret")

as opposed to:

"Remorse" - which is concerned about the pain he caused you and your DD.

Since regret is remorse's bastard cousin, and often *looks like* remorse - you need to watch and listen closely.
As new BS's - we want to see something, anything too, so often we have a tendency to "settle" for the counterfeit cousin.

Don't settle.

Do not try to "fix him" or "nice him" -
LISTEN. (for real remorse)
His affair had nothing to do with you.
It is not your fault in any way, shape, or form.

Keep posting Mandy.
We got your back.

JaneDeaux posted 3/3/2014 06:43 AM

I have no answers because I'm new here but I feel your pain. Take care of yourself and stay strong. The folks are great here and very insightful.

NeverAgain2013 posted 3/3/2014 08:26 AM

You're treating your husband's affair like it's some kind of disease or affliction he needs to heal from.

It's not.

It's self serving, selfish, self entitled, self absorbed behavior he's CHOSEN to engage in, just because the universe has been good to him and blessed him with many wonderful things and he was 'bored.' We should all be so blessed.

So his thanks for that good fortune was to run out and get involved with some young thing who supposedly needed saving? Shame on him.

I don't think you're doing yourself any favors rocking this guy while he cries his heart out about his lost love. I'd rock him alright, but it wouldn't quite be in the same way you did.

It's time to toughen up and stop mollycoddling this guy through his disgusting behavior.

He's betrayed you in a very ugly way - TWICE.

STOP 'helping' him. You're not helping, you're enabling.

Slam the damned door SHUT on the guy and cut him off at the knees.

Stop begging, stop crying, stop pleading, stop bargaining.


It's gotten you nowhere but walked on and disrespected.

Read up on the 180 and put it into practice NOW.


[This message edited by NeverAgain2013 at 8:30 AM, March 3rd (Monday)]

eleanor2012 posted 3/3/2014 08:31 AM


[This message edited by SI Staff at 8:43 AM, March 3rd (Monday)]

SadInNC posted 3/3/2014 08:45 AM

Hi. Sorry that you find yourself in this situation. I think you did the right thing by kicking his ass out after he broke the NC. That is totally unacceptable and you let him know it. It's so hard to see your kids suffer. Just remember that it is his fault. You did not cause this. Stay strong.

norabird posted 3/3/2014 09:03 AM

I'm so sorry. No, you aren't being too hard on him! His not being in touch with this woman is a clear boundary he has broken and there have to be consequences so he knows he can't just have his cake and eat it too and also to protect you from being hurt by his staying on the fence. Do not worry about alienating him from coming back--either he wants your amazing life together, or he wants to throw it away. If he doesn't want to fight for you, that is his loss but has nothing to do with you or whether you aren't being forgiving enough. You can't 'nice' him into good behavior.

Is he getting IC (individual counseling)? you could use it too as you try to navigate the awful hand you've been dealt. You should also see a lawyer so you can know your rights and protect yourself and your children.

His behavior is pitiful and I agree with the poster above who said the drinking needs to go.

Take care of yourself.

SeanFLA posted 3/3/2014 09:22 AM

Be gentle here but this was your first mistake whether you feel it or not:

I held him close while he cried for his loss after he ended it with her.

Wow you instantly allowed him to be the victim here not you. Allowing your HUSBAND to cry to you over losing his girlfriend. You kind of set the pace right there and it's why he acted the way he did.

There has to be complete NC and he already broke that. He's not through with her unfortunately and tried to take it underground. You did the right thing by kicking him out. Show him what it will be like and don't allow him to play victim here. You are the victim in all this, not him. It's been said a lot have to be willing to lose the marriage to save the marriage. Show him what it's like to lose it. Whatever you do, do not cry, beg or plead with him to end things with her. It will only cause him to think of you as plan B and drive him away further. Now show him the consequences of his lying.

[This message edited by SeanFLA at 9:24 AM, March 3rd (Monday)]

solus sto posted 3/3/2014 09:34 AM

(((Mandy)) I'm so sorry for your pain.

You don't have to decide today, tomorrow, or the next day whether to give your husband a second chance.

Take your time. Watch his actions. Do they align, consistently and over time, with his words?

The gift of reconciliation must be earned. Too many of us commit to it without even ascertaining whether our spouses really want to reconcile. We assume that, because we do, they do. Many want it only on the most superficial level--they want it only if there is rugsweeping and Insta-forgiveness.

Recovering from infidelity is a long-term project. Whether you reconcile or not, it typically takes 2-5 years. Sometimes, it takes longer.

At this point, with broken NC, you're past the "second chance." He already had that.

Take your time. Let things unfold. Make a decision informed by his ongoing actions.

jb3199 posted 3/3/2014 09:41 AM

First of all---sorry that you are here.
Second---please listen to the others here.

Yes, you are new...and I am sure that you are reeling. But if you keep reading and posting, you will see exactly how you should handle this.

The first thing...and most to ask yourself---what do YOU want? It seems like you would like to reconcile, but do not feel that you are obligated to do so. Your husband killed the marriage with his affair, and now you have the unenviable task of either leaving it, or attempting to try to help save it. There is no wrong choice, as long as it is what you desire. Do not sell yourself short.

The next step is to hold your husband accountable for his actions.

I don't know what to do, I love him so so much but I've sent him to his sisters and I don't know if I've been to hard on him and he won't come back.

He won't come back because you made him experience a little bit of consequence? If that is the case, then you have NOTHING to work with. It is going to get a lot worse for him before it gets better, so you need to tell him...point blank...that he is either "all in", or "all out". There is no in between.

Then watch his actions, not his words.

And by actions, like jjct stated, I don't mean being melodramatic on the floor. I mean productive actions---like a No Contact letter being sent(or re-sent), changing his phone number so she can't contact him, arranging for counseling(without your insistence), and so on.

He created this disaster; now he can go fix it.

And guess what? You are giving him the gift at an ATTEMPT at reconciliation. There is no guarantee that it will work. But the fact that you are willing to even try with him---he should be eternally grateful. If he isn't, then he is not a person that you should continue in marriage with.

Again, please don't sell yourself short.

Keep reading. Keep posting. You will get through this.

allusions posted 3/3/2014 11:55 AM

Hi Mandy.

As others have said, you did the right thing by kicking him out. He has to have consequences for his behavior.

I just want to touch on a few things here.

When I found out he said he'd hoped I would because he was trying to break it off with her for a while. He says he feels sorry for her as she was physically abused by her babies father and her mam has kidney failure.

It is very common for the wayward spouse to say they hoped their spouse would find out because they have been trying to break it off for a while. Is it true? It could be, but more likely it's that he was caught and it is a way to do damage control and make him look like a victim.

The affair partner seems to frequently have an abusive husband/boyfriend/fiance, etc. Most of the time it's not true and it's just HIS (your husband's) excuse or story as to why he got involved with her, or HER story to him to seduce him. Even if it's true that she's abused and her mom has medical problems, that's not a reason to have sex with her! If he wants to play knight in shining armor he can direct her to an abused women's shelter, not to his bed!

Stay strong.

castellana posted 3/3/2014 12:01 PM

I've found that every time I start to go into denial I have to pull up my file of evidence and it makes me hysterical and angry but does give me strength.

Mandy7 posted 3/3/2014 13:09 PM

Ok everyone thank you all for your replies to my first post they were helpful and informative. Yes I do want to save my marriage more than anything in the world but I do think the affair was the least of my worries after he turned up today. He said he needs time to think, he says he feels so deeply unhappy with life but can't put a finger on what is causing it, he says he's going through turmoil questioning everything in life, he says he's so sorry for what he's done and the pain he's causing to everyone. I know he's been this way for about a year now but nothing seems to improve his mental state. He also says hes never felt so bad and cried as much as he did last night. He said the last 2 weeks we spent working on our marriage, that I thought had been nice(although uncomfortable at times) had been so hard (he certainly looked like he was enjoying himself). He's told me he just can't think straight he needs to find out why he feels so low so he's decided to stay at his sisters for a few days. He said he won't be going to the OW as he knows that she is just another problem adding to his turmoil. I've told him he needs to speak to a doctor as he's very depressed. He accepted what I was saying whether he goes or not we will wait and see! In the mean time he's determined nothing should change at home for the kids and he will continue looking after us financially and he will see the kids every day. What's your opinion on letting him have open access to the home and children in this current state is it right to allow him to come and go as he pleases? When he left tonight he held me tight and said "I love you" should I take comfort from this... Knowing he's probably still contacting her! I'm so confused, scared of being alone, wanting my best friend back, worried for the kids, worried about his distress, I can't eat or sleep when will the pain ease? Any advice would be helpful x

sidney2718 posted 3/3/2014 13:56 PM

Mandy, I'm sorry you are here. It is an awful situation. But you are the wronged one. You and your children. Not him. Of course he feels miserable, he can't make up his mind.

You want to reconcile. You can't. First he has to totally break contact with the other woman. And of course that's difficult. She's human too. But you can't have a three-way marriage. One of you has to go. You want to reconcile, she has to go.

And I mean totally break contact. Not just play. He's lied about it before and he's likely to lie about it again. If he can convince you that he's broken contact, then perhaps you'll leave him alone and the two of them can steal some time together.

The only way to fight this is to gather some weapons. And the major weapon you have is divorce. It would be like hitting him upside his head with a 2x4.

What you have to do right away is find a lawyer. Get advice on your legal situation and the laws in your state (I'm assuming you are in the US). Then talk to the lawyer about filing for divorce.
You do NOT have to do that right now, but you need to keep it available as a weapon.

My guess, rotten as it may be, is that your husband is in torment right now. If he'd really decided to give up the other woman he'd NOT be in torment. He'd be on your side actively working to regain your trust. But he's not, at least not yet.

He wants time to figure out what he wants to do? Don't give it to him. If he takes it, file for divorce. You KNOW what he'll do with his time.

I know that this is not what you want to hear. But he has to know what his real options are. Right now what he wants is a return to the previous status where you and he were married and he had a "friend" on the outside and everyone was happy. You don't want that. So I repeat, you have to show him that you have weapons also.

I wish you the best and hope that it all works out for you.

Gordon14 posted 3/3/2014 14:23 PM

Hi Mandy unfortunately I know how you feel . My wife has cheated on me with a friend , both families have kids around same age as you have . We immediately got ourselves into counselling and I am hopefully it will work. It helps as I don't really want to talk to friends family or coworkers about this yet at the same time I want to scream out and tell the world!! So it is a good place to start and I think you can hopefully save your marriage.

lastdance posted 3/3/2014 15:37 PM

do listen to what Sydney 2718 wrote-----do not feel sorry for him------do a 180-----he is deciding to leave you or not----he is taking this time to be with the ow------do not fall for this-----he is out of the house,gives him time to see her without him having to answer to you----and still play house with you-------put your foot down----see the lawyer,even if you do not follow with it----but he will know he cannot play with you anymore-----honey so many of us have gone thru these drama games----don't believe him ------he is playing you------act now and be smart

brokenblackbird posted 3/3/2014 16:05 PM

There is a quote I love, "You are what you do, not what you say you'll do"

Your husband seems to be very fond of telling you what he is 'going to do'. How is he on actually 'doing'?

Get your boundaries down. If you want to R, then NC with the OW is mandatory. No sneaking calls in the toilet, no "oops, it was a mistake". He knew it was wrong, or he wouldn't have hid it. That is a calculated act, not a mistake.

I wouldn't give him free access to the home either. That will only promote cake eating. He'll get his happy little family and he'll get OW on the side. That sounds win-win for him.

Show him what his future without you is going to be like unless he make the changes he needs to make.

Stop giving him so much credit, too. I understand its hard. We are conditioned to make excuses for our husbands and wives - especially when they are behaving badly towards us and we don't want to believe it. But know this, everything he has been doing has been his choice. No one forced him.

Get angry. Create some boundaries and let him know what it will take to get you back.

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