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Forgive and Moving after Cheating- is it possible?

(115 Posts)
PrimroseDot Sat 10-Aug-19 13:18:46

Hello,

I found out a few months ago that my husband had cheated on me with a colleague at least 4 times over about 3 months. I was absolutely devastated but it all made sense after he told me a few weeks prior to me finding out that he didn’t love me anymore- I came on here for advice and a lot of people said there would be an ow, and there was!
Anyway I decided to try and forgive him, try and move on. I’ve concentrated on myself- joined gym, finally got back to my pre pregnancy body after 10 years! Going out more, seeing and being more open to making friends, basically never turning down any invites. I’ve had therapy for 3 months, just myself not couples as I felt I wanted to work on me not us first and I actually feel like I have the old me back. I didn’t realise but I had been so unhappy for the last 10 years, I feel like a different person. Our relationship is like a new one, I said to DH that the marriage we had is over and I feel this is all new. Things are good and he has changed a lot, I am happy BUT have a lot of doubts. I’m at peace with the fact that I could feel like ending it all tomorrow, and actually I’m not scared of being alone. Can I ever actually forgive him? It still makes me angry everyday, I still think about all the things he did and the lies he told. Will I ever stop thinking about it? I also have this fear that things will slip back to how they were and he will do it again- and I would have wasted all this time. Has anyone’s relationship survived cheating in the long run?

LondonCrone Sat 10-Aug-19 13:33:31

Mine didn’t, but we’ve gone on to be great friends — he’s a much better friend to me than he ever was a husband.

You’ve done all of the right things. I did the same, and once I wasn’t so broken I just naturally found myself in a place where I knew I couldn’t carry on with the rage and the suspicion — it just never went away. At some point it will become clear to you whether or not you can continue. If you can, wonderful. If you can’t, be open to a new kind of relationship or friendship. Nobody else can decide for you, and nobody else’s experience will be an exact model. Best wishes!

Hopoindown31 Sat 10-Aug-19 13:37:27

It can be, but I think it is rare to have true recovery. Most couples just rug-sweep it and it just poisons the marriage. I genuinely tried to reconcile with XH (naively) but really the trust was shattered and so we just limped on for a couple of years before realising it was over.

PrimroseDot Sat 10-Aug-19 14:29:01

I’m really afraid that it will get swept under the carpet. I just ant let go of what he did, and I can’t see that I ever will. I’m trying really hard and I am enjoying the relationship for what it has become but I really can’t understand how the trust can come back, it seems a really long way ahead to start to trust again!

howwudufeel Sat 10-Aug-19 14:31:49

You will get loads of people telling you it’s impossible but that isn’t true.

Parent999 Sat 10-Aug-19 14:46:53

I wouldn’t pay too much attention to the advice here. There’s a shocking amount of posters that have encouraged cheaters in other threads to hide infidelity from their husband.
Only you can decide if you can trust again. Trust is only faith anyway.

swissmilk Sat 10-Aug-19 14:57:41

I couldn't forgive and forget, especially it I wasn't dependent financially on them.
I would just go and live my best life, life's to short to stay with a cheater in my opinion, it would be to hard for me personally.

Tigger001 Sat 10-Aug-19 15:02:23

It's such a personal thing. You are the only one that can really say.

People will say they would never forgive (like I say), but we dont really know until we are actually in that situation.

I hope everything works out for the best for you.

Herefortheduration Sat 10-Aug-19 18:40:20

We are 11 years post his affair, in very similar circumstances to you. A few times over a 2 month period. I found out, he immediately put every effort into our marriage, no hesitation. He made all the right moves to put it right and so did I. After the initial hurt and arguments etc. We both worked hard on our marriage, I accepted my part in it and so did he, I told him he wouldn't get another chance and made sure he absolutely knew it to be true. I would say it took me about 3 years in total to forget it, I rarely give it a moments thought now, I'd never have believed you if you'd told me that 11 years ago. I'd say our marriage is stronger now than it was before, I know what the shitty times are like and I'm confident neither if us want that again but that we are strong enough to survive, most don't know that about their relationship.

Would I do it over again... I'm not sure, obviously I'm very happy I did it now but there were some awful times at the start which I know I couldn't live through again.

ChristmasFluff Sat 10-Aug-19 19:00:49

You are talking a lot about what you have done to repair things, but what about him? What is he doing to rebuild trust?

At the moment, you would be a fool to trust him, because he has proved he is untrustworthy. He has to be the one who regains that trust through acting in a trustworthy way over a prolonged period.

you also do not mention him having begged for forgiveness, recognising he was totally out of order, or taking any steps to address his moral failings.

Unless he does that, all that is happening is that you (the person who didn't cheat) are changing, and he (the person who did cheat) is staying the same.

Except now he knows he can cheat and you will stay.

There's a reason people are advised to LTB. Try reading chumplady.com and you will see why. She is anti-reconciliation - but even if you want to stay, read her to see how your husband's mind is working, and the dynamics the Reconciliation Industry tries to gloss over.

And most of all, this is on HIM not you.

Rainandspirit Sat 10-Aug-19 20:07:25

Can anyone explain what they mean by him having to work hard to make it work !! I am 10 weeks post founding out my H cheated on me and we have tried to make it work but for it I don’t know what I want from him . He has cut all ties told me everything I have asked . Keeps saying he loves me wants to be with. Me but that’s just words . I have good days and bad days but I just want to get off this rollercoaster of emotions. I just don’t know what I want from him.

Overseasmom100 Sat 10-Aug-19 20:14:13

You are going through the motions. Always starts with the honeymoon period then as it gets swept under the carpet it will eat away at you like nothing else. DH wont want to talk about it will get annoyed at you mentioning it. You will never trust him again. This is what happened to me.

PrimroseDot Sat 10-Aug-19 21:01:31

He has done and said all the right things- begging forgiveness, cut all ties (although already had), totally changed his attitude and approach to being a family. I have changed too but not for him (although I hate to admit this but it the situation pushed me into changing), for me. It’s good to hear that it has worked out for you hereforthrduration- I just can’t imagine ever trusting him again. I’m in that new relationship stage where I can’t foresee how long it will last- feels bizarre considering I’ve been with him for over 13 years! Some days I feel splitting and moving on would be easier. Trying my hardest but some days all I see is what he has done not what he is doing right now. Also what if he is acting the perfect partner, he acted or a lie for 3 months- something I couldn’t believe he was capable of. Agh this is such a confusing time!

PrimroseDot Sat 10-Aug-19 21:03:12

Some days I have no idea what I want from him. I’m trying to build my life back for myself rather than around him and what he wants.

PrimroseDot Sat 10-Aug-19 21:05:30

Has anyone had a good experience with couples counselling? I’m seeing my own counsellor but it might be good to go together. Although I don’t want it to turn into the reasons for cheating were xyz and both to blame as I honestly don’t feel like I’m to blame for his actions. We both are for the state of the relationship but I don’t want to it to be turned around on me and I’m scared counselling will do that

Herefortheduration Sat 10-Aug-19 22:08:25

I completely understand what you mean by not knowing what you want from him, I felt like that too, I doubted him and I doubted myself, what I wanted one minute wasn't what I wanted the next minute. Dh just rolled with the punches, so to speak. He was resolute throughout, never faltered from being a perfect husband but that too made me resent him, if he'd only been that for the two months before, he wouldn't be in so much pain after.
We had couples counselling, I mentioned it, dh arranged it. I tested him so much for years after. I can look back and see that was probably unhealthy but I had no control of my emotions, obviously it wasn't like that all if the time.
I spent the first 3 months just bloody exhausted from it all and some days wanted to curl up in a ball, but just like that I would then get strong again and we'd start to rebuild it again, 2 steps forwards, 1 step back.
It's daft little things that linger over years, it took me 10 years to buy him a loving greetings card again, I would buy him funny ones, even though I would say loving things to him, lol
The best thing I did was to forgive him and to start having fun again, making our relationship loving and fun was what gave me the confidence in that he'd never do it again. I didn't forgive him quickly though but it came to a point that I had to or I had to finish it; it was a big decision and only one I took after several months.

PrimroseDot Sat 10-Aug-19 22:19:42

I feel like I one step forward two back at the moment. I’m trying to have an attitude that what will be will be and just enjoy the moment, but sometimes I just have a flash of feeling the rush of emotion from everything that’s happened and it puts me back to that moment, and I resent that we are having a good time. I enjoy his company now, things are so much better in every way in this new relationship but I feel so sad that it could have been like this before and everything tainted now

Robin2323 Sat 10-Aug-19 23:14:56

But it couldn't be like this before.
You both had to grow / change.

It still very very early days.
It does get easier as time goes on.

It gets ti the stage where you think about it but it no longer hurts.

TheStuffedPenguin Sat 10-Aug-19 23:25:17

Everything is tainted after an affair = as someone mentioned cards - trying to find a card that isn't OTT or getting an OTT one from them . Life is never the same again . What is it they say ? Get a new normal ? One where you question your present life all the time as well as the past ? Every action, every word now and then . You never forget .

canyoufeedthedog Sat 10-Aug-19 23:56:53

I didn't get any promises, he just said he regretted it. I was a mess for three years, second guessing, stalking her Facebook, looking at every inch of me to see if I was ugly, did something wrong, I eventually realised my well being isn't centred around him. He did me a massive favour in making me realize I'm okay in myself. I didn't do the gym, I didn't lose weight, I didn't get a new haircut, what I did was take back the responsibility of my own happiness, it's not reliant on him, a husband, a partner, it's about finding you, and for that I'm okay with my oh infedelity, it made me find me X

YouJustDoYou Sun 11-Aug-19 10:32:16

I'm 9 years on from finding out. Every now and then I wake up from a horrific nightmare about I and then just can't bear to have him touch me or can't even look at him for a while. I hate him in that moment. And yet we have a genuine, lovely relationship, it's just - you never truly forget. You never truly quite believe them, or forgive them. It's always tainting everything slightly suspicious. Most of the time it's absolutely fine. But every now and then I still have a wobble. I loved him so much, more than anyone I've ever met or have met since. And he destroyed all that. We've built a new life, but there's and always will be scars over my feelings for him.

LadyDowagerHatt Sun 11-Aug-19 13:18:56

I’m 5 months down the line after finding out about my husband’s affair. He is doing individual counselling and we also have couples counselling. It also feels like a new relationship in that we are talking about how we feel more than we ever used to and making sure we spend time with eachother - before it wasn’t a bad relationship I would say it was more ‘functional’ with looking after young DCs, house, working etc.

DH has done all the right things in terms of cutting contact with OW, being genuinely remorseful and upset about the pain he has caused, putting everything into being the best he can be for me and the DCs. I’m really struggling with the trust issues. We have done things like open access to phones, face timing, find my iPhone etc which helps in the short term but I don’t want it to be a long term solution.

I’m also struggling with the hurt and betrayal and, naturally that has led me to feel quite sad and angry. DH has been supportive but the problem is he then puts all his energy into trying to help me and worries about me, meaning that he focuses on that, rather than making me feel wanted and desired which if I’m honest is what I want more of from him. It’s a vicious circle!

The couples counselling has been helpful for me and there is absolutely no blame (I wouldn’t have accepted any if there was, he made that choice and he agrees). The counsellor got us to talk about our upbringing and our lives together and does lots of work on communication and rebuilding trust to help us move forward.

Rainandspirit Sun 11-Aug-19 13:36:54

I think you have hit the nail on the head for me ladydowagerhatt. I want him to make me feel wanted . I can get over that he has slept with someone else. But it’s the feeling of not trusting he is killing me. I though that I was at my lowest the 1st week after finding out but omg I have fallen so far down that it is sooo dark where I am
Now. I want to make it work but every day I am wondering where he is who he is talking to messaging. I have not gone through his phone as I know if I start that then it’s the end. And there is always that little voice in my head that says why brother he can delete message after reading it any way.
I want more then anything to move on and start to get out of this hole I am in but I feel it’s deeper I am going. Just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

LadyDowagerHatt Sun 11-Aug-19 15:00:57

‘Rainandspirit’ you are right, the trust is so difficult to rebuild. At the moment I know that we are living in a way which neither of us want long term i.e. me checking his phone, accessing phone bills etc. Our counsellor advised to do this now to give me the security I need and then in time as (hopefully!) I do not find anything suspicious I will start gradually being able to trust him again. I am not a naturally jealous or possessive person so I really didn’t want to go down this route at first but it has helped. Also if my DH is going out with friends I have seen the texts to arrange and then he texts them the next day so I know as far as I can that is where he has been - again I don’t want to be doing this for ever but for now it helps.

Our counsellor also advised us to both put our phones in the same place when we are in the house - this means that if he was to receive any incriminating messages I would be able to pick up his phone and see them. My DH has been good about giving me full access to everything which helps. I have her phone number and I sometimes type it in to his phone to make sure it is not stored under a different name.

I’m sorry to hear you are feeling so low at the moment - it is totally normal as you have suffered a traumatic experience. Do you think individual counselling might help you to make sense of these feelings? And/or couples counselling to explore the trust issues together?

PrimroseDot Sun 11-Aug-19 15:15:48

Sorry to hear your feeling so down Rainandspirit. I’ve had so many days where I feel like I’m on a downward spiral and really have to distract myself to stop myself getting to Rock bottom again.
DH will let me look on his phone whenever I ask but in reality I know he would delete anything straightaway so it has actually only made me feel worse after looking through it- I feel like I don’t want to do this forever or at all. I have her number, I have to stop myself all the time from contacting her again (sent a few harshly worded messages in the first few weeks, but never had a reply), I also check his phone incase he has her number stored but he has it anyway as it’s listed as a blocked number! I have accepted that if he wanted to contact her he would, there are loads of ways he could not just on a phone and me checking up on it won’t stop him if he was going to. It’s horrible I feel like all these years of complete trust gone and I’m in this insecure place. But I do feel stronger everyday and actually part of me doesn’t care as much as I thought about if the marriage doesn’t work out further down the line. He isn’t everything to me anymore and sadly never will be.

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