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Has anyone ever forgiven an affair?

(229 Posts)
queencerulean Wed 01-Nov-17 22:06:38

Just that really. Has anyone taken back their dh after they’ve had an affair? And if you have, have you ever really forgiven them or trust them again?

It’s very early days since I found out he’d had an affair so I’m not about to rush into any decisions at all. Right now I haven’t got the emotional strength to go through all the details on here but he seems genuinely sorry and is begging that we talk it through in counselling.

Obviously I’ve told him that we won’t talk until I’m ready but however much I believe that he’s sorry, my instinct is to walk away.

I guess I’m just after perspectives of whether people have tried to work it out, come through stronger or tried and realised that it was just too big a thing to work through.

lunabear1 Wed 01-Nov-17 22:19:50

I haven't personally but my mother has. Long term Partner had an affair... she forgave him as he fed her a sob story then several years later he did the exact same thing and had got engaged to this girl whilst still with my mother. Years later she married a friend of 30+ years (although had lost touch for around 15 years) after they fell in love. He had cheated on both his first and second wife but my mother believed it was different as they had been friends for so long and she knew him so well. 5 years into their marriage he'd been working away a lot and my mother had a gut instinct something wasn't right turns out he had been leading a double life and had a partner in a completely different area.

In conclusion. Once a cheater ALWAYS a cheater. It may not be this year or next, but it will happen again.

Best of luck and im sorry you're in this awful situation xx

Florence16 Wed 01-Nov-17 22:20:15

I think it does depend on the context and what feels right. The fact your gut says you think you should go is an indicator for me. My friend felt she should leave because her friends and family wanted her too, but deep down she didn’t. She is a year on and happy, but her situation was quite unique. Don’t make a decision that isn’t your own xx

Florence16 Wed 01-Nov-17 22:21:38

I must say I do not agree ‘once a cheat always a cheat’. People make fuck ups, people can and do learn from fuck ups. There are plenty of people on MN who have cheated and bitterly regretted it and never done it again, for a start.

queencerulean Wed 01-Nov-17 22:24:51

Thanks both for your perspectives.

As I said, I’m not rushing into any decisions but it’s just so confusing. If you do forgive them, do you do it straight away or can you forgive them after going through counselling?

I’m not really expecting any answers right now and I know everyone’s circumstances are different. I guess I’m just musing....

NoMudNoLotus Wed 01-Nov-17 22:26:36

Yes i have - and i dont regret it. At all.

queencerulean Wed 01-Nov-17 22:28:16

I’m totally torn on the ‘once a cheat always a cheat’. It’s pretty much what I always thought. But now I see that h changed before and during his affair and became someone he doesn’t recognise and wants to change back to who he was ie the good husband and dad

PerfectlyDone Wed 01-Nov-17 22:31:42

I am sorry you are going though this thanks

I decided to give relationship counselling and our marriage my ongoing commitment over 2 years ago when I found out about H's on/off sexual affair that had been going on for 4 years.

We are now separating as the 'new' OW is 'important' to him.

Clearly he had checked out of our marriage over 6 years ago, I was just a bit slow to fully appreciate that.

V best of luck.

fairygarden Wed 01-Nov-17 22:35:29

Once a cheat, always a cheat is bullshit. How can you decide that for every case?

I cheated on my husband with my current fiancé and my fiancé also cheated on his wife with me. We are very happy and neither plan on cheating again.

lunabear1 Wed 01-Nov-17 22:35:54

You have to do what's best for you OP.

Whilst you husband wants to go back to the person he was before his affair it's not quite that easy in most scenarios. Also you'll have changed. My suggestion would be to try the counselling on the basis you decide what you want to do at the end. It's a safe place for you to get the answers you undoubtedly want and atleast you'll know you gave it everything you could.

(Sorry if this double posts the last message I typed crashed as so was posting and I can't see it so I assume it hasn't actually posted...)

lunabear1 Wed 01-Nov-17 22:36:57

Fairy - with all due respect I don't think anyone preplans to cheat on their relationship.

Florence16 Wed 01-Nov-17 22:40:16

My friend definitely didn’t forgive right away. Even now I don’t think she could say she’s ‘forgiven’ but she’s gotten past most of it albeit still has tough moments. They both had counselling and her DH was diagnosed with Aspergers. A lot of people would say bollocks, but I’ve known them both quite well for over five years and it totally fits, he was always a bit quirky and people often wondered how they got together because they thought ‘she could do better’ etc. I wouldn’t have put them together myself to be honest. He really doesn’t understand people having motives that aren’t very straight down the line, nor can he read into situations in terms of where they are going eg. Flirting. He was having a shit time at work, hid it from her because he thought he was failing and she’d leave him, and then women at work started pumping his ego and bitching about the bosses and invited him out for drinks etc and he went with one and off it went from there. It snowballed into a big shitstorm and he didn’t know how to get out. He didn’t own up to it, but he did cut this woman off who then told my friend. She took some solace from that because no he didn’t tell her, but he stopped it. It’s tough because shit still trickled out even a good few months later, he hadn’t owned up to everything, but hand on heart, I don’t know if I’d be completely honest if I thought it would do even more damage. It’s really hard. Equally I don’t think I’d ever cheat. I just know I’m not good at admitting things, which is why I try and avoid messing up in the first place. I do believe people make mistakes and can learn, but the context is important.

HumptyDumpty9 Thu 02-Nov-17 00:01:35

My DP also had an affair found out about 4 months ago. I decided to try give things a go after we seperated for a few weeks. It all depends on the circumstances really. Our relationship was in a very bad place we were both very unhappy and just did not communicate how we felt we each other. I think we both felt we were stuck because we have a DD. Not that a relationship being in a rocky place in anyway condones an affair. I decided to give him a chance mostly because we have a DD and also because i cheated in the past. And i dont believe in once a cheater always a cheater. I have only ever cheated on my DP once and would never do it again. I was young at the time and you do learn from your mistakes.

My DPs affair has been a big wake up call to us both. If we had continued on the way things were we would have broken up anyway regardless of the affair. Though i do find it very hard at the moment. I feel that i hold back emotionally from him and i know i can never forgive but can hopefully get past it and recognise our problems and build a better relationship. Most days though i am just wracked with hate for him and flip from wanting to work things out and throw in the towel. It is so difficult and the hurt is still there and feels like it will never go away no matter how much he tries to make it up to me. 4 months on and i still feel no closer to knowing what i really want

ferrier Thu 02-Nov-17 01:53:25

Four months is a very short time Humpty. flowers

sofato5miles Thu 02-Nov-17 02:09:34

I know of several marriages that have survived affairs. Both of women and men cheating. I think friendship groups, assets and children hold more marriages together than fidelity. But on MN this rarely seems to be the case, where the zeitgist is much more hardine.

Realistically, most people cheat at somepoint according to (very difficult to prove) data. The thing is to work out what YOU want to do and not let someone else's agenda dictate it.

BeerBaby Thu 02-Nov-17 03:02:21

People do and can change! I have numerous examples of people making mistakes. Having affairs and managing to patch it up. My mil had an affair. Left my fil for 6 months (lived on her own, ended affair) moved back in and they were happy from then on.

They all have one thing in common. They all took at least 6 months to live separately. They all ended the affair instantly and cut contact with the other person. They all were properly devastated at what they'd done and put changes into place instantly. Eg stopped drinking alcohol, stopped going to certain events alone, sought help for depression, left jobs etc. They all poured everything into their marriage and were honest with their cheated on partner.

I don't believe once a cheat always a cheat but you have to work out as a couple why the person cheated. What needs changing in the relationship for it to work. You both need to really want it to work.

You can only go forward you can never go backwards to the person you were before the affair. That's not going to work.

queencerulean Thu 02-Nov-17 09:54:24

Thanks all. It’s great to get your insight.

As I said, it’s very early days-12 to be precise since finding out. I’m not about to make any decisions but he’s pleading for a chance to make it work. I’m just not sure I will ever get to a point where I can get past the lies and deceit and hurt he has caused but it’s interesting that people do.

I do plan on having joint counselling but only when I’m ready and only when we’ve both had some separately. He’s already had a session and I have my first this afternoon.

TheFaerieQueene Thu 02-Nov-17 09:58:48

I did. I then married him and divorced him. I think you can guess some of the reasons I divorced his cheating abusive arse.

GrowThroughWhatYouGoThrough Thu 02-Nov-17 10:00:30

You can learn to forgive if you want to but forgetting is a lot harder I’m just over a year down the line and certain things trigger a memory and then it all comes back. It is getting easier but it’s still bloody hard some days

Sooooooooooooooooooooo Thu 02-Nov-17 10:13:29

Of course this ‘once a chest always a cheat’ thing is bollocks. I cheated on an ex-bf years ago, who I had stupidly got back together with. I was young, naive and he was a twat but I feel terrible about it, it’s not something I would ever do again.

Don’t rush into anything OP. He may be desperate to make things work but it could well be a sign of wanting to brush things under the carpet and carry on. Do what works for you. He has to take full responsibility.

GrapesAreMyJam Thu 02-Nov-17 10:35:46

I have. Nearly four years ago actually. I have times where I think about it, but it doesn’t hurt anymore or upset me. We’ve both changed a lot and our relationship is in a really good place.

jeaux90 Thu 02-Nov-17 10:53:55

OP it depends on what you want and whether you think you can trust him again by working through it. I walked but then my ex was a narcissist and a serial cheat and I think it depends on the circumstances.

Affairs and marriages are not black and white contrary to popular belief on here.

Myheartbelongsto Thu 02-Nov-17 11:14:45

I personally wouldn't forgive and I didn't.

Whatever the excuses I would imagine the sneaky phone calls, texts etc and then I would imagine them having sex and I couldn't get past it.

It also turned my stomach to think I'd be kissing the same mouth that went down on another woman and that was the decision made for me.

To be cheated on is the biggest betrayal IMO and I deserve so much better. In hard times I was still giving him the best of myself and he was giving all sorts to another.

There are so many lovely men in the world why would you stick with someone that shat on you. Nah not for me.

I have no time for anyone that cheats, absolutely none.

A friend of mine was having an affair with her next door neighbour and when she confided in me I just left her house and that was the end of our friendship.

There is no reason good enough for having an affair. Yes life gets busy, boring, spark goes etc but that's when you talk to your partner not fuck someone else.

I would never marry someone that I knew had cheated. It's who they are isn't it.

My ex husband was stunned when I called time on our 12 year marriage because he knew I had loved him so much but it meant nothing to him did it.

We went to counselling a couple of times as I wanted to break up amicably but he wanted the counsellor to be on his side and validate his reasons for doing it.

6 weeks after he left I met my boyfriend who is the loveliest person I have ever met. He treats me with absolute respect and we getvon together so well.

I will never sell myself so short again and neither should anyone else.

I do believe that once a cheat always a cheat.

Wishing you all the very best op.

And fairy cos I think she's definitely going to need it!

Kr1st1na Thu 02-Nov-17 11:32:28

I stayed with my husband after an affair.

He went to counselling with me and talked all about himself and the bad things that have happened in his life. I barely got a word in. The counsellor found him charming and they had one one one meet ups.

I gave up going as they didnt need me there .

He also went to individual life coaching as he needed more time for himself hmm. Given that he already spend 24/7 doing exactly what he wanted , it’s hard to see how that was possible.

He claimed all this was “ working on our marriage “.

He never fully admitted what he has done with OW and there were very complicated problems aftrerwards, as they worked together and she committed fraud in the company, there were two court cases.

He minimised it all along, insisting it was never physical as I couldn’t “ prove it “.

He became very angry when I wouldnt just forget what had happened because time had passed.

Then after two years of my being a supportive wife while he spent family time and money working on his issues , he walked in one night and announced he was leaving. Right in the middle of our teenagers GCSE and A levels . It was all planned in detail.

I wasted two years of my life patiently waiting for him to deal with his problems and “ giving our marriage a chance “. When In fact he was just playing for time until it suited him to leave. And of course hiding assets.

hellsbellsmelons Thu 02-Nov-17 11:42:31

You need some space and he needs to stop with the pressure on you.
Tell him if he truly loves you then he needs to leave you alone.
You are doing the right thing in not making any immediate decisions.

For me, I couldn't forgive.
I was going to but every time I looked at him, he just wasn't the same person to me.
I never thought he would hurt me like he did.
The actual real pain, the hurt, the betrayal, the lies, the deceit.
I was never going to forget so I had to split.

It would also depend on the type of betrayal for some people.
So a drunken ONS might be easier to forgive than a prolonged affair with months or years of deceit and lies.

It's been 12 days - you really won't know yet.
He needs to give you space.
He needs to go and get himself some counselling.
Why do YOU need it?
You didn't do anything wrong.
It pisses me off when a 'D'H says this.
He needs solo counselling first.
Once that is making progress then you can have joint counselling to see if you both want to move on and resolve things.

Don't let him put any blame on you.
And don't let him fool you it was just a 'mistake'

I believe once a cheat, always a cheat but I've been cheated on with both my long-term partners and they both went on the cheat again and again, so I would think that.
I've no doubt there are many out there that this does NOT apply to.
I haven't met one yet though!

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