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How do I remain dignified?(74 Posts)
Hi all, I'm new to posting. The last few weeks have been utter hell! I discovered that my husband had been cheating on me with a girl he worked with who is half his age. When confronted, he admitted everything - we've shed lots of tears and I'm still struggling to get through each day, but I love him dearly and desperately want to get back on track, which he says he wants too. My issue is that whilst he's at fault, I'm finding it easier to blame her, and am struggling so hard to maintain my dignity as I battle with hurling abuse at her, ruining her life the way she has mine, and quite honestly just want to make her pay for what she's done. I've asked him to put in for a transfer, which he has done but could take time, but how to I cope in the meantime? I'm no young girl and my head tells me to leave it be now, but my heart has been ripped in two.
So sorry you're going through this. Yes it is much easier to blame the girl because it's not her you have to put your trust again after it being broken so devastatingly. But do remember she's the least at fault of the two of them. You really can't know what he told her, how he went about it. I think you need to focus on the damage your husband had done. The grief you must be feeling. Most of all yourself. Be kind to yourself and find ways to take care of your inner most needs. Most of all and I think you know by the sounds of it, you need to let the girl be now, for yourself. For your dignity. Be strong.
It's got nothing to do with 'dignity'. You aren't being true to yourself. It would be 100 times easier to go and spend all that anger on the young girl, but (while she hasn't exactly behaved honourably) she is not the person you should be angry at. You should be angry at your husband. But you can't do that because you desperately want this to have not been his fault, because you love him.
So you have all this anger swilling around, which you can't let go of to your husband, so you fantasise about letting it lose on the OW, but you know in your heart of hearts that's not who you're really angry at...
You do not have to suck this up. You do not have to push your anger down. Let it out, but point it at the right person.
And note, I'm not saying LTB because I know that some people can come back from this kind of betrayal. But I know sure as eggs is eggs that isn't possible unless you are given the time and space to work through your feelings.
What is the current state with your husband? What has he been saying/doing (apart from crying). Do you want to explore what's going on here - there are lots of great posters who will help you work through your feelings if you want to, but maintaining your dignity won't be their first priority!
Sorry you've had such a nasty shock. It's always easier to want to keep going with the person you've got a connection and to blame the 'other' person. It also suits the cheat to go with the version that they were led astray, 'weak', flattered, etc How long had it been going on, do you know? Given that you say you discovered it rather than him volunteer the information... if you hadn't done so, would it still be going on? Are you confident you've got the full story?
If you feel you're losing your dignity it's because you are shocked, panicked, desperate for things to go back to normal, willing to do whatever it takes... and conscious that you are compromising all your self-respect in the process. It's a recipe for self-hatred.
I often recommend to someone in your position to take time out to think. Tell the cheat to step out for a while, however remorseful they are, and allow yourself to experience the real emotions rather than suppressing them in an effort to cope or to make things work again. Stepping out makes the cheat know you're serious and also gives them chance to reflect. You don't tackle the 'OW' because she could have been anyone, frankly. No-one can lead a faithful man astray...
When you feel calmer... and this can take weeks ... then work out what you actually want. If it's a split, it's a split. If it's a reconciliation, work out your conditions whether that's counselling, full disclosure, a location change, shift in attitude, or whatever. Good luck
To be honest you are both absolutely right. I know I'm pointing it in the wrong direction, but she's trying so hard to cover her tracks from her own family (she's only recently married!) that I almost feel I shouldn't be the only one who's left broken by this.
He's quite a flirty person in general and he said he just let it get out of hand. To me that's no/a very poor excuse.
We've spent lots of hours talking and discussing how and why this happened. The truth is we have had a difficult time recently with family issues which has put unnecessary pressure on us, and rather than talk to each other we drifted apart a bit I guess.
I want to be able to move on, and he assures me that he wants the same and that he knows he made a terrible mistake and has caused a lot of hurt.
One minute I feel ok, but the next I can see them together and it cuts me two, my stomach knots and I burst into tears.........I'm just filled with so much anger and hurt.
"The truth is we have had a difficult time recently with family issues which has put unnecessary pressure on us, and rather than talk to each other we drifted apart a bit I guess."
It always makes me sad to see this kind of self-blame when a husband cheats. He chose to do this to you - his wife. It is inexcusable. What you were going through at the time is irrelevant. You didn't go out and have an affair due to family issues, did you?
I am sorry this has happened. What a moron he is. Concentrate on you for now. Take him out of the equation for a while.
Yes you're right he did choose to do this to us!
Its funny - we've known each other for years and so many people always said what a great match we were. It took us almost 5 years to get together and when we did it just felt so unbelievably right. We've been married 4 years now.
It just never even entered my head that he would do something like this, despite whatever issues we may have been going through.
It had only been going on a few weeks - but I very much doubt if I hadn't caught him out it would have stopped itself - I guess I'll never know.
I think part of my problem in letting it out is that I feel I need all the detail from him - where they were, how he held her, what he said, I have no idea why I feel I need this. He obviously struggles with this as in his head that'd not us moving forward. Maybe he's right I just don't know.
Him moving out temporarily would be practically impossible, we have 3 children and both work full time, so we rely on each other for so much in terms of sorting the children and getting them to where they need to be. That said, from the weekend he's on a week of nights so I won't see him at all, which may indeed be a good thing.
Oh, it must be overwhelming, the desire to know the details. But you are only torturing yourself. You can never 'un-know' these things or erase the images they create.
I'm glad you are going to have some space from him. Having the man around you say you love must be seriously clouding your ability to think this through.
I think the question to begin with is can you move forward from this, not how. Don't run before you can walk. There is no rush, and god knows he should be patient. He has betrayed you, and you are in the position of power now.
He has a fucking cheek to assume moving forward is a given, given he's been sticking his dick in someone else... What do you want OP?
And - one final word for now - they are the ones with no dignity. Remember that.
You can think what you like about her, You can envisage all kinds of horrible fates for her if you wish. It is quite therapeutic. But keep it in your head! Don't say the words and most of all don't do anything about it.
You know the truth of it after all, she wasn't married to you, his was the betrayal not hers. She was guilty of being a little selfish and unkind perhaps ...but she'll learn.
"I think part of my problem in letting it out is that I feel I need all the detail from him - where they were, how he held her, what he said, I have no idea why I feel I need this. He obviously struggles with this as in his head that'd not us moving forward. Maybe he's right I just don't know."
No No No! There IS no moving forward until youi know everyhthing you need to know and he has done his very best to supply the information. He needs to understand that. Of course he wants to plaster over the fuck-off great hole he blew in the middle of your marriage - but that isn't his choice to make. It will take a long time, if it works at all. And it isn;t going to happen by pretending.
Thank you all for being so supportive. Of course you are all right and it does help me to feel that I can put things on here that I'm finding difficult to discuss with anyone else. Afterall, I don't want to discuss with my family or friends as I'm unlikely to get a totally unbias opinion and should things work out for us, it would make their relationships with him very difficult indeed.
Whether I can move on or not I suppose only time will tell. I know right now that I love him and I'd like to sort things out - I think I'm just worried that the damage might not be something which I can recover from, but as you say only time will tell and he needs to be patient if he wants this to work too.
I've been where you are now. You're embarrassed, devastated and don't know how to cope. You desperately want to keep all of this in-house, private, under wraps and your strategy, such as it is, can be summed up as 'ignore it and it'll go away'. Your fear of the reaction of others is because you know there will be urges to 'LTB' so you keep his secret and protect his reputation by lying to your family and friends. Your reluctance to ask details about the affair is because you think not knowing will make it easier to move on.
What this strategy achieves, unfortunately, is isolation. You will be bearing the pain of the affair alone and that causes enormous stress. Added to that stress are the hundreds of unanswered questions that will crowd your thought. You'll forge on because you desperately want it to work but the stress will occasionally explode into anger, depression and self-loathing. .... and no-one will know why you're so unhappy.
I'm so sorry because it's not something I'd wish on my worst enemy
You have only been married for 4 years and he did this ? Oh dear.
Great advice Cogito
OP when thinking about her, remember the lies he told you and imagine what she might have been led to believe if he was telling her only half this amount of lies.
It's ok to change your mind if you've promised not to tell anyone, really try again etc. this is very early days.
Apart from requesting a transfer and answering all of your questions without hesitation or complaint, what else is he doing to earn your trust?
He's not the prize that two women are competing for. He is an albatross around somebody's neck. Don't let that somebody be you. Walk off and wish him best of luck with the 22 year old.
Words of wisdom cogito. The issue I was attempting to ignore was abuse but the result was in the end I was so disconnected from the people I'd been trying to present a good front to, that one morning I woke up and realised I was so distant from them really that it hardly mattered what they thought.
Thanks Cogito - you've hit the nail on the head really.
in answer to your question Vivacia - in honesty I'm not sure he is doing anything else. He's floated the idea of counselling - but I'm not sure how I feel about that............right now I'd much rather stick pins in him!
I feel he needs to make far more of an effort with the transfer - I need him out of there and quick. She only works part time, but for example because I know she's working today I'm constantly on edge and just feel sick to my stomach. That said, will I ever feel better even if he moves? will it just be someone else that takes his fancy?
Its the thought of the pair of them swanning around and acting like nothings happened that's killing me when I'm in pieces. I'm holding it together as best as possible for the kids and at work.
I think the bottom line is that I'm not ready to let go and walk away even though I know that so many of my friends and family would tell me to do exactly that.
I know that you recognise this, but...your husband is an absolute skeev. It is so fucking creepy to have a middle aged man look at a girl half - HALF!! - his age and be able to see her as a potential partner.
Life is not some kind of bizarre porn movie - 22 year old girls do not throw themselves at middle aged men unless they are seduced/manipulated into it. Unless your husband is: a millionaire, a rockstar, or an A list celebrity. No? Well then.
You have every right to be angry. Have you screamed at him? Told him what a useless piece of shit he is? Asked him exactly when he started seeing girls old enough to be his DAUGHTER as sex partners? Told him how disgusted you are with him?
If you haven't done any of these things, then it's no wonder you're angry.
I personally could not stay with someone who cheated on me. Once a cheater, always a cheater. And whilst others will argue differently, I believe that once trust has been well and truly smashed, it can never be the same. You can glue it together into some kind of shitty resemblance of trust, but it will eat you alive.
'That said, will I ever feel better even if he moves? will it just be someone else that takes his fancy?'
After only four years together, with three children to think about too? And she's half his age? And he's 'flirty', and describing this as 'just got out of hand'? And he didn't confess, and you think that if you hadn't rumbled him it would still be going on?
Yes, it probably will be a case of waiting for the next one to come along, I'm afraid.
Basically, his attitude says he slipped up. He doesnt think flirting (essentially, disrespecting you and your family on a daily basis) is a problem. You just have to draw the line before it technically becomes cheating. Ooh, naughty boy!!
He's not a keeper, OP.
It's up to you what you do. You could let her family know - I think I probably would, not a popular opinion on here generally, but I would feel just as sorry for her poor new husband as I do to you and would think it were the right thing to do to let him know what he's shackled himself to before he has a family with her.
You could ask your H to move out - whether he would might tell you a lot - an angry refusal is basically him saying tough, I'll act sorry but hey, you have no real right to disrupt my life - I'm more important than you and I don't really have a problem with what I did. That will tell you EVERYTHING.
You could try and push this down and suck it up, as you are doing - I don't think it will work long term.
Sorry this is so negative. It's just that every single aspect of this says that this guy is a wrong 'un - a disrespectful, selfish flirt and a cheat.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do. You will always find good advice and support here, though.
Sorry to divert but - kaykay - lots of women in their 20s have long-term relationships with men in their 40s. No coercion, seduction or millionaire status required. Your post is incredibly offensive to both males and females and hardly the point here, is it?
OP, it must be dreadful knowing they will see each other still. When is he on nights?
I don't think I've got the screaming at him phase yet although I'm sure that'll come. I'm still at the trying to talk and bursting into tears bit!
As for her family that was my original thought - I just want to ruin her life as they have done mine. I want her to suffer too, knowing that her family and friends and her husband of all of 9 months despise her and know exactly what she is...............see I start talking about this and all of a sudden I'm itching to get on FB and post it all over the place. I know exactly who her husband is, where he works etc it would be just so easy.
He works evening shifts usually at least once a week, although since I found out this has been on days where she doesn't work, which is helpful. That said next week he is working through the night all week so I won't see him at all and whilst that'd good from a "giving me space" point of view I can already pretty much guarantee I won't sleep!!
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