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Can I forgive this much deceit?(708 Posts)
I am trying to figure out whether I can stay,have couples counselling, and try and work things out. Or....whether it is just too much betrayal and deceit. My mind swings between the 2 on a twice daily basis.
Background: DP has cheated on me with 2 women. He met with each one 4/5 times during my recent pregnancies. He has also met up for drinks with a few more. He met then through married affair websites.
I found out about the websites 10 weeks ago, and about the women 3 weeks ago. He followed the usual script of denial, deleting, minimising etc. Then I was contacted by a woman and he had to come clean.
He has started psychotherapy to deal with his issues. He says it was about the buzz of getting girls to be impressed by him.
How do I work out what to do for the best? Obviously he is desperate to work things out. I am prepared to listen at the minute. We have 3 DC. 2 are very small. Help me to make sense of this please!
Two years is such a long time to lie to someone who you are supposed to love and cherish. Don't you deserve better. He is not treating you as his nearest and dearest. Who takes care of you when you are looking after your DCs? Do you feel loved? Do you ever want to sleep with him again?
I wouldn't. He has lied to you, his attractive, interligent loving wife, for years? Why? What more could he possibly want? LTB. He is dirty, cruel, selfish and deceitful. All this talk of therapy sounds like he has not taken ownership of what he has done. You are worth so much more. The Dcs won't always be this young and dependant; things will get easier in that respect. Emotionally they won't though, if you stay with him. Really, get rid and cherish yourself and your children. He doesn't. I wish you the best.
Therapy isn't a miracle cure and its no guarantee that he won't cheat on you again.
He's put your health at risk - and as he was sleeping with them during pregnancy he put your babies health at risk too. The latter would be enough for me to want to end it.
I can really understand why you want to give it a go. You love him, you have children with him and you don't want to break up your family. But these weren't affairs where he met and fell for someone he knew. These are affairs where he's actively sought out women to cheat on you with, mostly at times when you were vulnerable.
I'd not be able to forgive, I'm afraid.
I am going to say something now and I want you to know that my intention is not to upset you.
I understand, more than you can possibly know, all the feelings you are experiencing. I say nothing with the intention of hurting you.
I also hope it's not as waffly as I fear it is going to be. (just finished typing and I am sorry but it is. Just skip it if you can't be arsed. )
People say leave. It's always leave leave leave. People are so strong and decisive and take no shit when it's not their life and not their emotions. From outside the situation, leave is the right thing to do. But often when you are in it, you don't want to. Maybe you feel you're not strong enough. Maybe you're scared - of being alone, of not coping. Maybe of being in a bad financial situation. Maybe you'd rather be with someone - anyone - than be alone. Maybe it's a self confidence thing - you're so desperate to be loved that you'll pretend someone who can shit on you can also love you. Maybe being with someone is saying to the world LOOK! Someone wants me. And it's more frightening to lose that than to accept that the person you are with is a bastard. Maybe you feel you can't cope with children by yourself. Maybe you want to make it all ok in order to somehow prove that it wasn't all a lie, that he did love you-that he does love you, in spite of what he's done. There's a million maybes.
It's hard. It's painful.
But leaving is only one option.
You can choose to stay. But understand the choice you are making. You are choosing what in all likelihood will be a life of unhappiness and insecurity. Every time he is out, you'll wonder if he's off shagging some woman. Every time he gets a text message, you'll wonder if it's an arrangement. You'll have a hole in your stomach that burns you. It'll feel like a bottomless pit. Will you check his computer history? Install a secret key logger? Will you look at his phone when he goes to the loo? Will you get up early so you can search his jacket pocket? Will you believe him when he says he's going to the gym, to the shop, doing some overtime? Will your heart sink if he's late home?
You'll have to work so hard to trust him and will you ever stop wondering if he's going to do it again? And you will never forget that this man could tell you that he loved you, hug and hold you, look you in the eye and then go off and shag someone else. And come back to you so casual and happy that you didn't even realise what he'd done.
Maybe you'll be lucky and in the end you'll switch off and stop giving a shit if he's home or not, or what he might be doing. That's better than torturing yourself with visions of him slapping his sack against some woman.
Hopefully at least you will accept that it was never you, it was something fundamentally wrong with him. But you'll likely torture yourself for years before you finally accept that.
Sure, some people come through shit like this and are stronger, happier, blah blah blah - but I promise you they are in the minority. Most are never ever the same. For most, it's like a little part of them is taken away and replaced with a painful kind of nothingness. And they learn to live with it until it just becomes part of them and they can't remember what it felt like to not have that little piece of nothingness.
You will make a choice. Perhaps you'll choose to leave, perhaps you'll choose to stay. But take responsibility for your choice. Own it. Don't fool yourself that you don't have a choice. Whatever you decide from now on is all on you. You can't change who he is, what he is capable of doing to you, you can only decide what you will accept in life.
Choices are not always good. It's not like we agonise over Choice A - great and wonderful thing v Choice B - shitty crap painful thing.
Mostly - it's a case of pick your pain. Choose your steaming pile of crap.
I wish you the best of luck in whatever your decision is. At the end of the day, it's your life and you'll be the one living it.
"He says it was about the buzz of getting girls to be impressed by him. "
he gave you this red flag himself, out of his own mouth! Read those words. Read them. Buzz, 'getting', 'impressed by him'.
My husband's explanation: OW was a 'fantasy' that made me 'feel good'.
Please see the objectification, but don't leave yourself out. You are a thing, too. He cannot connect enough to make friends. He cannot connect, full stop.
Good luck Alpha, so sorry. Chumplady.com. I quote her a lot, because after 15 books on affairs, 3 years of therapy, multiple reconciliation and marriage healing sites, she tells it exactly like it is. She really does.
I hope you throw him out and watch him 'change' from a distance. But you will do it in your own time and at your own pace.
(Does he earn well? Is he a partner or a husband? If I were you, if you were foolish enough to not be married I would insist on marriage now for him to 'prove his love', to get the legal contract, make him sign a post nup and then at the FIRST sign of further narcissism, file. He has played you, so protect yourself by playing him). But I am a bitch that way.
Brialliant posts from WellWobbly and Hecsy. Read them OP.
I hope you are ok and not too distraught. I realised we are all being very practical and "LTB". If I was there with you I would give you a hug and a strong Baileys coffee .
He could have got women to be impressed with him without the final step of sex.
Why did one of them contact you if they met via a sex for married website? That doesn't make sense. Unless she was more than a once off married. I think she was an affair.
Simple fact is he wanted to fuck other women.
If these women were or were not from a site looking for sex they may have been round a few pathetic cheating men so massiveBL get yourself to the STI clinic asap.
LTB you cant change him or save him from himself.
Leave give him two years to sort himself out then start relate. This is not going to get better in a few weeks or months. The foundation of your relationship needs rebuilding and he needs to sort himself out before you can sort out uou as a couple.
In the two years you may find someone else, see he cant change or find out that you cant forgive him but you will protect yourself emotionally, financial and your health.
I will go a bit against the grain and say that yes, I think people can change. I know because I am one of them. I don't know how common it is, maybe I'm just a rare occurrence? But it's not impossible.
BUT I think you need to separate that question from the question of what you actually do right now. I think he is actually more likely to change if he is not living with you. He will be forced to do it for himself and to really invest in it. And if he drops out of therapy after leaving, well, you will know for sure he was just giving you words about change.
What other support do you have in real life? Because while I do think it would be good if he moved out, you obviously do need help and support, with two small babies and some health issues.
I can understand how frustrating it must be right now because in essence you are trying to read the future, to guess what will happen. But you can't read the future, and you will drive yourself crazy trying.
Better to focus on today and what is best right now. Personally, I think that means he moves out and continues getting help, and you get support from other sources.
Maybe you can't predict where you will be a year from now, but if you try to do what's best for you every day, then you will naturally go down a path that is best for you, if you see what I mean, and it will take you somewhere good.
Basically, the question of whether he can change is a big distraction. Focus on YOU and what you need, right now.
wellwobbly thank you - how does he demonstrate through actions though? We arent married. My exDH was very slow giving me a divorce and DP and I wanted children. I was late 30s so we decided to try for children and then get married once my divorce was through. We got engaged in March lol!!!
hecsy I know that this isn't about me, or something I have/haven't done This is about HIM and his selfishness and weaknesses.
Will there have been others? Why lie now, when it would make no difference? Whether he met up with 5 or 15 doesn't really matter does it. Why not confess all - put all cards on the table?
On a practical sense can you get an older Aupair/mothers help to move in. Someone who can help with the children so that you don't have to rely on your dp. I think him moving back in now is a big mistake, practically yes and for your health yes but for the relationship -NO! You have dealt with this since having a new born without a chance to just recover from that.
Get him out.
Get the help in you need and give yourself time to make a decision.
Take the pressure off yourself in fact and put not pressure on making any decisions (only thing that worked for me)
It sounds like he is desperate to work out his own issues, however these have nothing to do with you, or with the way he treated you.
Fantastic post Hecsy, I lived what you wrote!
THIS - Hopefully 'at least you will accept that it was never you, it was something fundamentally wrong with him. But you'll likely torture yourself for years before you finally accept that.'
It isnt you Alpha. It is him.
Because he doesn't want to feel bad. It might make him feel worse if it was 15, but 5 he can cope with. A one night stand doesn't count if you've got deeply emotionally involved.
The "Script" is heavy on minimising followed by blame shifting: "it was her fault, she threw herself at me" or "you were so distant, I felt vulnerable".
Xales -the woman who contacted me was in a relationship when they met (March 2012). He says he met up with her 5 times between then and October 2012. The had arranged to meet a few times afterwards but the meetings were cancelled. They met up again for coffee in Feb 2013 where she said that her relationship was over and that she wanted to see more of him. He said he didnt want to. They have had no contact since.
On the plus side he has taken responsibility for his actions - he has said it is all about him, and he is fucked up. Made it clear that he won't ever blame me or problems with us. So....It appear I have a full house of LTB?!
Why on earth did she actually contact you? What had he been saying about you/your relationship that made her feel she either could or should?
Nope. Not from me. I think you've got the right to make whatever choice is right for you. Nobody outside the situation can tell you what to do, we can only give you lots of things to think about when you make your decision.
I'm just saying choose carefully and take responsibility for your choice and don't be under any illusions and understand how painful life can be.
Additionally - one very painful thing I've learned is the number of people who feel you lose the right to moan once you've made the choice to stay (as I am getting the strong feeling you have. It appears you are looking for reasons to stay, for ways to stay). As my dear old dad once said to me (about something different but painful) put up or shut up.
I've sadly learned that many people stop giving a crap if you choose to stay in a situation but continue to want to talk about it. All they see is well, if you won't leave, why the hell are you moaning? So you may find yourself on your own with it. That's another thing to bear in mind too. Who are you going to talk to?
Knowing what I know now...
I wouldn't waste a minute longer on this loser. Life is short. He has seriously let you down. Why wait to see if he will let you down again. Because he will. I can assure you...
You have to ask yourself why all the confessional too after all his deceit.
He didn't think of it as a problem until he was caught. He could easily have gone to therapy before, using any excuse, or secretly.
By telling you everything (or quite a lot), and you forgiving him, he's carving out a precedent that you don't really mind it, and you can forgive it.
It would make him feel good about himself again, after being punished with a few weeks away.
It's very likely that he'd go back to his old ways.
Is he being very open about how he spends his time, his phone, e-mail, etc?
Do you want to police him all your life?
A fanciful idea that once kicked out the path would be free for her. She obviously has her own psychological issues as despite the site she was on she was deluded in thinking a relationship could come of it - that is messed up too.
Work on yourself OP, look at why you find it so hard to get rid of him and solve what is stopping that. This would not be time and energy wasted.
Thank you. I have spoken to only a couple of close friends. They will support me whatever I decide luckily. Likewise my SIL. I haven't decided to stay...or to go. My decision changes daily - that it why I asked for help to clarify my options.
cozie She says it wasn't her. I received a friend request on facebook from her. She can't explain it.
I am going to drip feed here - sorry.
Last year I saw a couple of messages on his phone between him and a girl. "wow - ive just seen you" "wow - ive just seen you too" followed by one from him saying "im in The Long Bar with my friend. I have told him about you - can't you come and meet us?". I confronted him at the time. He said that she was somebody that he had been in contact with on a dating site (we met on one) before we met. Said that she had contacted him out of the blue and that he had met her for coffee. He was so stupid/sorry. Nothing had ever happened/ever would etc. I was pregnant at the time, and I think that you don't see things as clearly when you are so vulnerable?
this girl is a frickin divorce lawyer!!!
I lived the latter, very painful, half of hecsy's brilliant post for about 3 years post first OW (that I know of). It almost destroyed me emotionally. I was on my own with it, really on my own.
No-one knew I'd made a choice to stay with a man who could profess to love me but could lie, lie, lie and lie. But everyone knew the day I found out about second OW (that I know of) and whether he's a changed man or not is neither here nor there to me. It's what he did to OUR marriage which matters.
By the way. My ex had therapy whilst he was having the affair and lied all through that too. He lied to his OW. He lied to our DC's. He DID blame me.
He is a therapist by the way.
I don't believe your P will change alpha. But like hecsy has said, you make a choice about staying regardless of whether he can and will. He is who he is.
I think what is stopping me is fear of change? What I thought my life was v. the reality is a lot to get my head around. Sometimes I find myself just pretending it is all OK. Other times I am a sobbing mess. I see photographs on the wall and divide them into 'before' and 'after' these liaisons.
So you caught him once and he was oh so sorry and it would never happen again etc etc and he just carried on looking for people to betray you with?
And you've caught him again and he's oh so sorry and blah blah blah - so what will be different this time?
Remember what Einstein said - Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
What makes you think he will stop? He's been doing it for years. You've caught him once and he carried on. You've shown him that he can do it and you'll believe him/forgive him. What in your view makes this different?
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