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User Topic: "If we weren't M"; "If we didn't have children"
lost_in_toronto
♀ Member
Member # 25395
Default  Posted: 8:26 AM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I was 35 when my partner of nine years cheated on me. We had lived together for years, owned our home, had so many plans for our future. Those plans, by the way, did not include marriage or children.

I find it really hard when people suggest that because we weren't married I should have left. Being married or not would not have changed my level commitment to the relationship. He was my life partner.

We had also spent nine really wonderful years together, encompassing my late twenties and early thirties. I didn't want to leave behind that history, I didn't want to leave behind all we had worked for together. Most importantly, I really really loved him.

About a year after the A I got pregnant, and our daughter is two years old. I will do everything in my power to make sure she grows up in an intact family. I don't know what I would do if he cheated on me again, though - I think I would leave. Once was enough. But now that we have a daughter? The thought of losing her full time, the change in her quality of life, not having us both to put her to bed at night...the reality is, I just don't know what I would do if it happened.

You never know until you're sitting in it, right?

All that being said, I have to admit I read stories of people who have been together a year or two years and their partner is already cheating on them, and I want to yell RUN! as loud as anyone. I try hard to remember that when someone JFO they need support in the moment, not necessarily advice about the future. It's tough though; through experience reading here, I do think that people who cheat two months into a relationship are probably less likely to reform their cheating ways.

It's funny, I do believe in R and forgiveness, but I also find myself often nodding my head in agreement with cayc.

Mostly though, I've read your threads PL. People are enraged on your behalf. That's why you've gotten the slam the door, don't look back advice. When people reference that you don't have ties like children, they are referencing that the D process is easier - not that the emotional component is - and that's the genesis of the "easy" reference.

Like this. Totally agree.

[This message edited by lost_in_toronto at 8:32 AM, October 7th (Monday)]


Me: BS/39
Him: WS/37
DDay: August 23, 2009
Together 14 years.
Reconciled.

Posts: 1670 | Registered: Sep 2009 | From: not toronto anymore
honesttoafault
♀ Member
Member # 27105
Default  Posted: 9:13 AM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My WH cheated on me when we were engaged. He apologized gave me all kinds of excuses told me that if we were really married, he would never cheat, blah blah blah.

I loved him so very much and we'd been together for 4 years that I believed him.

Well, he continued to cheat after the M, married someone overseas and had 3 OC's with her.

It is very, very difficult to break off a relationship if you love them very much. But R is extremely hard. I feel if they are cheating with you in the beginning when the "in love" feelings should be strong, then what will happen later?

It is hard to R, but harder to D when there are kids involved.

I believe the advice is sound if you are not M and have no kids to run. It does not mean that the pain is any less.

Perhaps the mods should have a thread in the I Can Relate area for people who are not married? The pain is just as strong as those who are married.


Posts: 1939 | Registered: Jan 2010
catlover50
♀ Member
Member # 37154
Default  Posted: 9:28 AM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yeah I am another that has the unfortunate experience of knowing what I would do if we weren't married or had children and he cheated on me.

Because that also happened. We were living together at the time.

I let him TT me and went on to marry him.

Although I don't regret marrying him, I have told him that I would certainly give our daughter the advice in a similar situation not to marry. I actually said that I considered it a "mistake" to marry him, knowing what I now know. He had way more issues than I was aware of, and I was too young and naïve to know what I was getting myself in for. I thought being married would change him. I made all sorts of excuses. Sigh.

So I certainly don't judge people in those situations, but can also see counseling people to strongly consider their options.



Dday -9/24/2012
Reconciling

Posts: 1735 | Registered: Oct 2012 | From: northeast
ReunitePangea
♂ Member
Member # 37529
Default  Posted: 9:28 AM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Think of it like a long walk/hike that you went out on. After awhile you start to get tired and have to decide if it is going to be easier to continue on the journey to the end point or to turn around and go back.

When you have kids, married for years, etc. you have a lot invested in the journey. Turning around and going back may be a longer walk/hike than continuing on. If you don't have kids and are not married perhaps the shorter route is to turn around. Each person needs to evaluate their own situation but I think the above is why sometimes those that are not far on the journey are given advise to run.

My WW cheated on me when we were first dating. If I found out then rather than 14 years later I think I would have run.


BS - Me 38
WS - Wife 39
D-Day - Oct 12
Married 10 years
OM1 - 12-year LTA
OM2 - 9 month A turned into open relationship with couple for another 1 1/2 years

Posts: 485 | Registered: Nov 2012
NoAnswers37
♀ Member
Member # 40592
Default  Posted: 9:42 AM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

All that being said, I have to admit I read stories of people who have been together a year or two years and their partner is already cheating on them, and I want to yell RUN! as loud as anyone. I try hard to remember that when someone JFO they need support in the moment, not necessarily advice about the future

I'm afraid I fall under that category and at times feel a bit pathetic that I am battling with these emotions when I wasn't even with him that long. No time really compared to others.

But, we never know what other awful things some members have over come in the past, which could all add to the immense pain of the betrayal. It was a true miracle that I trusted and loved a man as much as I did. I am not naive and do not fall in love easily, but I did! And then that was taken away, so the pain is real. Really real.

In time I will be glad that I found out now before I married him and had children (I know what it is like to be a child in that situation so am already fiercely protective over my future children... if I am blessed enough to have any) but for now I just need a bit of support to get through the first through months. Which is why I turned to SI.

It is also incredibly hard watching what feels like everyone in your age bracket (and younger!) settling down and marrying. It has nothing to do with jealousy at all, but you do get a sense of feeling left behind, which adds to the pain.

I have been so grateful for the support I have received so far, but respect that my situation may seem trivial to some.

[This message edited by NoAnswers37 at 9:56 AM, October 7th (Monday)]


Live without pretending
Love without depending
Listen without defending
Speak without offending

Posts: 122 | Registered: Sep 2013 | From: England
Kierst13
♀ Member
Member # 39197
Default  Posted: 9:43 AM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have some thoughts on this. I often do not respond to threads where people have not been together very long, i.e. 5 or more years. I keep my mouth closed because my first thought is "It hasn't been very long and they are already cheating, get out before you invest more of yourself and your time into that mess of a person". I earnestly believe whether married or in a relationship, if it has been a short time, cut your losses. I keep my trap shut most of the time because I know it will fall on deaf ears.

**This next part will ruffle some feathers, but this is in general and is not aimed at any one person, so here goes. Consider yourself warned **

When I hear people say if it weren't for the kids they would have left. I think, then you should leave. If you are not or cannot fully and completely R, you do your kids more harm than good by staying. You may think you can have the appearance of a happy and healthy marital relationship, but kids are intuitive, probably more intuitive than adults.

They can sense tension, they can see the subtle differences between the way mom and dad act towards one another. They hear more than we give them credit for. They are not deaf and they can play their video games or watch TV in the other room and still hear what is being said. They internalize it and they learn how to be treated by a spouse and how to treat their future spouse by watching and mirroring US.

There is no pretending to be happy with your spouse where kids are concerned. They know when things are even slightly different. They see it, they hear it and they learn how to be people from it.

Staying for the kids, without full and honest R from both WS and BS, does more harm than good. Period.

/off my soapbox


Story in my profile
He lied, I gave the gift of R
He became the model remorseful WS...all while lying and seeing her
Am I done? Yes I am!

Posts: 347 | Registered: May 2013
OldCow18
♀ Member
Member # 39670
Default  Posted: 9:46 AM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I don't know where I'd be if we didn't have kids and he did this, I truly can't know what I'd do, but I do know that in my situation right now, my kids are the driving force in trying to R even though I want to give up. If this ends badly I have to be able to look into their eyes and tell them that I did everything I could to save the marriage.

ETA - Just read Kierst's response, the issue is that early on you just can't know how it will go, R is such a long painful roller coaster of a process, I have to try for my kids, if it doesn't work than I have to leave for myself.

[This message edited by OldCow18 at 9:49 AM, October 7th (Monday)]


Me, BW forty something, DD & DS,
Married to WH (49) 11 years, together 16
D-Day 6.8.13

Posts: 620 | Registered: Jun 2013
debbysbaby
♀ Member
Member # 32962
Default  Posted: 9:52 AM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think if I were to go back to the beginning when the first cheating occurred before we had children, but I were to go back knowing everything I know now, then yes, I definitely would have left in a heartbeat. And that said, I don't mean knowing how he would treat me but I mean knowing the reality of how these things usually wind up and having the view I now have that's not so rose-colored concerning people and relationships and Fidelity. The problem is, we don't come with the hindsight that would be so helpful. I'm a far better judge of character and I'm far better able to spot red flags now than I was when I met and got engaged to my expoopsmear. The person i am today would never have fallen for the person he was or is.


-betrayed almost my whole almost 15 yr marriage
-divorced since 2004

Posts: 869 | Registered: Aug 2011
Kierst13
♀ Member
Member # 39197
Default  Posted: 10:01 AM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

ETA - Just read Kierst's response, the issue is that early on you just can't know how it will go, R is such a long painful roller coaster of a process, I have to try for my kids, if it doesn't work than I have to leave for myself.

I understand that. I understand thinking "we have kids, I cannot simply bail", but when one or both spouses don't jump into R with both feet, do not use the kids as a reason to stay. Furthermore, realize if that is the case using them as a reason to stay is backwards thinking at that point, they should be the reason to leave, if BOTH parents are not fully committed.

I suppose looking back at my situation I think it healthier for all parties involved (especially the kids) if the BS would say to the WS "Either get your ass fully and totally in R, or get our of my house, I need to protect our children."

I tend to think the BS do way too much hand holding and coddling in R. A lot of times when I look at couples trying to R it's the tail wagging the dag.


Story in my profile
He lied, I gave the gift of R
He became the model remorseful WS...all while lying and seeing her
Am I done? Yes I am!

Posts: 347 | Registered: May 2013
hathnofury
♀ Member
Member # 32550
Default  Posted: 10:08 AM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

So many good points on this thread.

I don't think it is a general SI member's intention to devalue non-marrieds or married without kids relationships. Or shorter vs. longer ones.

The harsh truth is it is much more difficult to leave when you are married. The D process takes time and money, and often brings out the worst in people. You are often shafted for a lot of liability that isn't your fault.

When kids are involved, you have all that double. You often are forced to leave you kids with someone you don't trust, who destroys them emotionally and otherwise. The liabilities you incur on their behalf are often ongoing. Worst of all, you can never completely rid them out of your life.

So I believe the general intent of SI members is to avoid these scenarios when you have a choice. Not that your pain is less valid, your relationship less worth saving, or you are too young/ignorant to know otherwise. And the cold hard truth is taking this chance with a known cheater ups the risk, even if they are completely remorseful from the start and less so if not.

We mean no disrespect. Often we are just yelling at our past selves.


BS 43, SAWH 38. M 15years, together 17. Body count in the triple digits. Both in recovery, trying to R.
Three kids under age 11.

Posts: 1479 | Registered: Jun 2011
Kierst13
♀ Member
Member # 39197
Default  Posted: 10:10 AM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

We mean no disrespect. Often we are just yelling at our past selves.

Isn't that the God's honest truth!


Story in my profile
He lied, I gave the gift of R
He became the model remorseful WS...all while lying and seeing her
Am I done? Yes I am!

Posts: 347 | Registered: May 2013
SisterMilkshake
♀ Member
Member # 30024
Default  Posted: 10:14 AM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I gave FWH a "chance" because we had still had a young teen in our home. MisterSister had one chance to prove that he was all in and that he was indeed willing to do "whatever it takes to save our marriage" < his words.

To be honest, I can't say I would have left even if we didn't have a child still in the home. We have a long history. (over 30 years) A lot of it very good and happy. But, I do know, if fWH wasn't remorseful, if he expected me to "just get over it" and hadn't accepted full responsibility for the damage he had done, I would leave. I am done accepting less than I deserve.

I do know that when I was single and dating if I had even a whiff that one of my boyfriends was cheating, it was "buh-bye". I never let them explain, I didn't need "proof", I would go immediate NC with them. If you don't want me, and just me, fine, I had a lot of pride and I don't share.

For the most part, I am not one to say "Run!" to anyone except in extreme circumstances. I want everyone's marriage/relationship to heal and work. For some gosh darn reason I still believe in "happily ever after".


BW (me) 50ish FWH 50ish
Married 34 years, 3 children
d-day 3/10 LTA (4 yrs./fucking & flirting)

"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson


Posts: 9710 | Registered: Nov 2010 | From: The Great White North USA
Dreamland
♀ Member
Member # 40488
Default  Posted: 2:59 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Sister milkshake said it well.

Any of my BF even hint or cheated I dumped there ass. If you can't be faithful I don't want you. But after almost 20 years together and a child I am more invested in the relationship. You see after all the years and history he behaved in a way outside of his moral compass. Had he cheated before children I would have dumped his ass. Because I would not want to expose my children to man who had no respect for me. Now I have to think do I break up our family.. She still depends on him even if she hates him for what he did..
And I consider it worse that cheated on the mother of his children. But I don't know that I can afford private schools and college on my own. Because I know too many dads that are deadbeats once the wife divorces them. So yes I mainly stay for my child and this is because he is remorseful and try's everyday to make things better. Otherwise I would not succumb to his indignation.
If you have no marriage and no children and he disrespects you. I think it's better to get your self a man that can respect you. You are still young. Because that is what I think about. Did I waste my time with this shmuck. 20 years. Was there someone else that would have treated me with respect and not cheated?? Hard to say but he better prove to me everyday that he is worth me staying. Otherwise he knows I'm gone.


Me-BS 50 Him-WH 47, DD17
Together since 1993, Married 19 yrs
DDay 3/12,4/12,7/12 EA-PA OW - 25 single husband chasing bastard whore

Posts: 515 | Registered: Aug 2013
hopefullromantic
♀ Member
Member # 16652
Default  Posted: 3:48 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My kids were already grown, so a split family was not nearly as much of a problem, but our history was. We'd had many, many, loving, happy and faithful years compared to the two that he was cheating. However, if the relationship was fairly new and untested except for the A then splitting up would be a rational decision to make before things got further complicated with mortgages and children.

Doubt that's what I would have done tho, had we not been married yet. Perhaps new love is the blindest. Which is why it is important to have people who care about you in your life, whose opinions you respect, who will try and help you see when someone is bad for you, because it is often too hard for us to see for ourselves. That's what the people here try to do for each other. We can have a more objective view of someone else's circumstances, even if not always our own. Isn't that one of the reasons we come here? To get perspective?


It's not really a fairy tale 'till the witch is deposed and a few dragons are slain

Posts: 1782 | Registered: Oct 2007
blindsidedbyhim
Member
Member # 30794
Default  Posted: 3:56 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

FELY compelled to chime in...
wh cheated when we were just dating but we were 5 years into the relationship and I was already 29 I forgave too quickly and he simply took his cheating underground for many more years. Our deal broke when he was caught cheating again with the same ow 10 years layer when I was 41.

I would run for the hills now if I was only dating him. I have 2 kids, I stayed another 3 years tried to R....my feelings just never came back the was they need to for me to love him without resentment. We are headed for D

It is a VERY risky thing to R when not married. For me, it was catastrophic.

I would have had plenty of time to find someone else. I realize that now.....LIFE is long.


ME 44
DS-10 and DD-11
DDay 9/19/10
Separated 6/1/13
Married 10 yrs, together 18

"Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be."
— Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)

The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was


Posts: 219 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: east coast
mrs. duped
♀ Member
Member # 28668
Default  Posted: 4:03 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

From the position of a 30-something who gave over their entire 20s helping a man establish a career-- and held off on children for the sake of that career-- it feels like a double-whammy. I've lost my partner. I've forfeited my future. Now some OW, who already has a child!, and is reaping the benefits of all of the time and energy I put into helping to build him up all of these years.

Phantom limb, I could have said this, word for word on my dday. The only difference being ow in my case was single with no kids but otherwise that was EXACTLY how I felt. I helped him thru med school, gave up a phd for him, invested all these years in him and some slut gets to move in, take away my future children along with all that I invested in his career!

As you know, I chose to try to R with a semi remorseful, passive aggressive rugsweeper. While I am grateful to now have my dd, I don't know if I made the right decision. I got to have the "life" I had planned, but at what price?


me: BW-36
him: WH-34
married 8 years; together 13 years
one dd=2 years old
3 month EA turned PA with coworker
D-day: April 19 2010.
Trying to R

Posts: 141 | Registered: Jun 2010 | From: michigan
Bigger
♂ Member
Member # 8354
Default  Posted: 4:29 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I left my fiancé just five weeks before our big white wedding.
I walked in on her having sex with OM and maybe twenty minutes later left our apartment never to enter it again.

When I have shared the story I sometimes get “well – you weren’t married” or “you didn’t have kids” as if that made it emotionally so much easier. Although I could probably concur with that sentiment regarding children then the formal definition of our relationship had NOTHING to do with the emotional cost of my decision.
We had about 6 years history; 2 as friends, 4 as a couple and co-habiting the last 2. We were madly in love and I was totally 100% happy with our decision to share each other’s lives together.

But I also knew that if she was capable of doing this to me now, in the early days when we should have been so into each other and so committed… Then she was incapable of being the woman I wanted. So I left. I ended it.

Early marriage or not-married simply make the technicality of separating easier. Emotionally it’s just as tough as after several years of marriage.
Children add a different and intense angle into the equation. Once you have kids it’s no longer only what’s best for you. IMHO it’s better to be from a broken home than live in one, but I feel a couple with kids should give reconciliation a good chance.
But if no kids, short marriage… I would definitely walk.


"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

Posts: 5557 | Registered: Sep 2005
Edie
♀ Member
Member # 26133
Default  Posted: 4:51 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It often feels to me on SI that there is no help for me except "get out of it"

This is truly exasperating, Kallipoea, given the huge amount of very good advice and support you have been given, and which you continue to ignore (as is your right, however to not even acknowledge it...)


Maybe a long walk in the Hindu Kush would do it?
BW (me) 52
FWS 55
Together 29 years; 2 DDs 15 & 12
Dday Dec 08 (confessed) Feb 09 16 other OW confessed. OW17 tried her unedifying hardest until Aug 09. R'd.

Posts: 5120 | Registered: Nov 2009 | From: UK
HurtButHopeful?
♀ Member
Member # 25144
Default  Posted: 6:24 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

When I hear people say if it weren't for the kids they would have left. I think, then you should leave. If you are not or cannot fully and completely R, you do your kids more harm than good by staying. You may think you can have the appearance of a happy and healthy marital relationship, but kids are intuitive, probably more intuitive than adults.

They can sense tension, they can see the subtle differences between the way mom and dad act towards one another.

Kierst13, I get what you are saying. I am one of those who sometimes think I am staying because of the children. In some ways R is harder than D. In other ways D is harder than R when you have children.

I am D from my first H, and we had no children. I have never seen or heard from him since the D.

In contrast, Mr. HBH and I have 4 beautiful children together, and because of that Mr. HBH will be in my life forever, whether we are M or D.

When I have thought I want to D, I start reading the divorce and separation thread here on SI. Upon reading other people's nightmarish lives fleshing out 50/50 custody, trying to R looks less painful for everyone involved. If H were still active in an A, abusive, or if there were screaming matches in the home, D might be the less destructive choice. In our case, R is the restorative approach.

Many of us do L our WS, we just have our own emotional baggage (A related trauma) that we sometimes believe would be more quickly diminishsed if we weren't still M to WS. In reality, since there is the connection with WS because of children, there wouldn't be a clean cut, and the pain would continue.
The better choice for me is to slowly whittle away at my own A related baggage while working on R.

Sorry if this was confusing.


Reconciliation means that we both are authentic and vulnerable. I still have my H, and he's a better man than ever!

Posts: 1716 | Registered: Aug 2009
gonnabe2016
♀ Member
Member # 34823
Default  Posted: 6:34 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Popping in real quick to say this to Kalli (haven't gotten past her response yet):
I wonder if the message would be the same if we were married. I see a lot worse things going on in the marriages here than in my relationship. Advice is different, I feel due to not being married

Kalli, from me personally: I don't care if your story was that you had been married for 45 years and had 15 children. My advice to you would still be the same.......


"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." - Sir Walter Scott

In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.


Posts: 8031 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: Midwest
Topic Posts: 69
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