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Forgive and Moving after Cheating- is it possible?(115 Posts)
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?
I am sure some couples can reconcile after an affair. My dh didn’t have a physical affair not even sure it was an emotional affair as it was one sided on his part he chose to lie and hide his messages and meetings with her after 4 years of being on a rollercoaster happy when I think he’s not in contact with her for months on end then it all kicks off again when he gets caught out
I’ve decided enough was enough I don’t trust him he’s betrayed me for long enough I don’t want to live with someone that I don’t trust or believe a word they say anymore. Was doing really well since discovering the latest lies in June but I lost my job this week so guess I am stuck with him here longer unfortunately
Am I just being a fool thinking this is a was a one off?
End of the day it doesn't matter. He did it, he's a liar, a cheat and he disrespected you.
He says once, but it could have been 20 you will never, ever know because they only people that do is the two of them. You can never be sure and you will always wonder. He might go away for work, or work late, or be late at a work function... But you will always wonder if that's what he's really doing from now on.
Trust is broken and you can never be 100% sure of the truth you can only go by his word, and so far he has proven he's capable of lying about where he is/was so his word doesn't mean much at this point.
Primrose, it’s impossible to know. That’s the trouble with liars - once you know they’re capable of lying to your face, it makes it hard to believe anything they say.
I completely understand why you are trying to stay - I couldn’t do it though. Gave it a year for the sake of the children but one day he went off to a sporting event for the whole day/night with friends and it hit me while he was there that this would be a perfect opportunity for him to meet another woman without me suspecting a thing or questioning it. I realised in that moment that I would never trust him again and things deteriorated from there.
Like your DH, after it all came out he did everything ‘right’, broke all contact, was full of remorse, and became a model husband and father but since I have started divorce proceedings things have turned ugly. He is being completely selfish and unreasonable and prioritising himself over the kids; I’ve actually been quite shocked by his behaviour. Now I’ve seen this side of him though, I know I’ve made the right decision. I think the ow did me a favour in a way as I could have wasted decades of my life on someone who really only loves himself, and if this hadn’t have happened it would’ve taken me a long time to realise it as he seemed like such a great guy.
I think you have to take things slowly and trust your gut. Some people do make it work but you have to do what is right for you. It’s tough to leave and have to share the kids, etc but I’m happier now than I was with him post-affair. Only stay if you genuinely think you can be happy. If months/ years down the line you are miserable and dying inside I think it’s better to leave.
Jabbercocky I agree with all you have said. Contact must be broken, there should be no negotiation around this. OW must remain in the past. If dh/dp has problems letting her go, he has no right to have you.
There are always consequences to our actions. Dh must be willing to accept them. Dh was part of a group that ow attends. When weddings/christenings and other celebrations come up, he will decline on our behalf and send flowers/a gift. A price he has to pay.
ugh today I have had a few wobbly moments. He swears that its never happened before, but I think the level of deceit as in booking a hotel 5 days after they has a ons, is quite full on for someone who has never so much as kissed someone else in all these years. Am I just being a fool thinking this is a was a one off? I've given him loads of chances to tell me anything, I needed to know the truth before I decided what to do, but I can't be sure. On days like this I feel like I'm just keeping going until it happens again or I find out something else and it will all then be over for good.
If the OW is still at his work he needs to resign immediately.
He needs to change his mobile number and close all his social media accounts.
If he has joint acquaintances with the OW he needs to cut them from his life immediately and permanently.
He needs to lock himself out of all his email accounts permanently.
These are not acts of control on your part. These are acts of love on his part to make you feel safe. If he has to take a menial job to survive, sorry but that’s the price you pay. Any other course of action is him not wanting his actions to have a negative impact on his life whilst watching them have a massive impact on yours.
Relationships can survive this sort of thing - but not by sweeping it all under the carpet.
needtorecover you have every right to walk away if he is not working on himself.
Too many people are quick to jump ship
I really dislike this attitude. I don't think walking away from a marriage where someone has broken a vow is something to he shamed for.
I didn't try again. I didn't have any desire to 'move on' with him or put myself through the emotional turmoil that is so evident on here.
I have one life and I deserve to he happy in it. I don't consider it to be a failing on my part at all that I walked away and I'm far happier now than I would have been had I stayed and tried to make it work.
I did all the things the OP has done - I worked on myself and I'm unrecognisable - in almost every way - from the person I was.
Walking away was the best thing for me.
faith he’s not though. That’s why I have to walk away.
needtorecover I cannot even begin to understand how you are feeling. The fact that you know he loved her. Nine months is a long time. Your dh/dp should be fighting for you right now.
Anyway primrose I’m sorry, I’m making this thread about me and it’s yours. I really hope you can make it work. If you can’t then remember there is no shame in walking away.
monmoney we tried 3 different ones and they don’t work for him. The only one he liked was the one that told me my reaction was the most extreme she’d seen. Needless to say I didn’t feel comfortable with her after that. This is why divorce is happening now. But I’m so sad.
It’s been nearly two years. I can’t fix the marriage alone and it feels like he’s checked out. Looking back I wonder if he ever really checked back in after the affair. He said/did all the right things initially but expected me to recover too quickly. It’s been the most traumatic thing I’ve ever dealt with and haven’t been able to recover quickly,if I fully recover at all.
faith it was emotional and sexual. He loved her. For nine months they messaged each other and met up. It’s a pretty hard thing to recover from.
needtorecover if sex was involved then I do not know how I would have coped. It was a kiss and cuddle. My dh was not emotionally attached and there were no date nights, poems, gifts, 'I love you's'. Still hurtful and painful all the same.
momoney Thanks. I lashed out for quite a while then realised I needed to choose to stay or go. I actually felt I needed to remind dh of what he had done - as if he might somehow forget!
@Needtorecover I am sorry to hear that. Have you considered a new therapist if he feels the one you've seen previously isn't working? Maybe talking to them before any sessions to see if they can help with areas he believes are the issues that haven't been addressed or helped by the current therapist?
I did 2 months therapy sessions alone, about 10 CBT sessions alone and then we introduced the couples one after my OH moved back home. At first I didnt see it working and I remember screaming at him and walking out of a session because I was so angry and hurt. Things between us got worse before it got better.
How long has it been for you, if you don't mind me asking?
momoney I’ve done both individual and couples therapy.
Apparently couples therapy doesn’t work for dh and he refused to go anymore.
@Alongtheway I apologise if I have caused any offence. I guess this is a sensitive subject and people will read into comments in their own TOV because we don't know each other.
I hope you have a lovely day and best wishes for the future.
Why am i going to keep bringing it up in a marriage I have chosen to continue with, it doesn't make sense
I don't either. Never mention it. Doesn't mean I've forgotten, or that it didn't ruin my life, or that I still personally don't go over it often, or that it caused lifelong debilitating depression and anxiety, etc.
Just because some of us can't let go or forgive doesn't mean we bring it up and talk about it all the time. Usually the opposite.
There wasn't any need for the sarcasm really
Apologies you took it that way but I took you're pretty offensively myself. Even the post above kind of alludes to what others must be doing like bringing it up etc. The tone is a bit off IMO and that's just IMO, anyway no need to further engage. Have a great day.
@needtorecover have you tried therapy (individual and couples)?
momoney I really admire that you can make a decision to forgive and move on. I have just not been able to do it. The hurt consumes me and that means I lash out (verbally) at him when I’m hurting because he caused that hurt. I genuinely don’t know how you let go.
@Faith50 We are still in the early days but I am glad to hear you're getting better each day xx wish you all the best in the journey ahead xx
@AlongTheWay yes i said work on yourself, but you've taken it out of context. What i meant by that whatever decision you make from the experience (to stay or go), use it as a learning to develop yourself and independence. I.e. have a life of your own, finances of your own etc so if you do want to split you are you not 'we' and have an 'I can do this'mentality, which sadly a lot of women are scared of.
Re: the moving on part, life is too short. I personally made a choice to forgive so working on forgiveness means moving forward. I never said I forgot, infact i think i said i haven't forgotten in one of my posts. Why am i going to keep bringing it up in a marriage I have chosen to continue with, it doesn't make sense. That would be a constant reminder and would just keep taking me back. If he does it again, he does it again and then what? I move to the next chapter of my life.
There wasn't any need for the sarcasm really. I get your experience is different to mine but you don't know me and I don't know you so our view on life, experiences and relationships are different. If you've not managed to forgive after 15 years then maybe it wasn't for you but I was simply sharing my experience ands views because working on myself (theough therapy) made it MUCH easier and at NO POINT DID I SAY it was the fault of the cheated spouse and the cheater gets away without any implications.
how have you managed to forgive? I seriously don’t know how to do it. I’ve tried and sometimes I think he wasn’t patient enough but I’m not sure I ever can.
I don't either. But I only half believe those that say they did. Anyone who knows me in real life thinks the same about us. And I'd say the same out loud. It's only here on these threads that pop up every few days that I admit I have never and will never get over it.
But it's good for the cheater if the other party just gets over it and they get their life back after having their fun... I just don't know how anyone can honestly do it. But up thread someone said you just need to "work on yourself" and everything will be better.....
Too many people are quick to jump ship
I wasn't and it's ruined my life. I don't believe once a cheat always a cheat but I do believe once trust is gone the hurt party never truly gets over that and will always be wondering what the other half is doing. But I'm still here after more than 15 years so I can't say I haven't given it a good go.
but i do believe once you work on yourself, you can really move on.
Oh now I get it. It's all my fault. If only I had thought of this over the years...
Honestly I'm glad you forgave and moved on, even though I think it's crazy just to forget how badly someone whos supposed to love you treated you but everyone deals differently, you are definitely in the very very minority but for those of us who were affected for life from it, "working on ourselves" isn't always the answer. Maybe it was my fault he did what he did and if only I worked on myself before it he might have stayed loyal... Who'd have thought that's how it worked....
But next time I'm going through a downtime because of it and am feeling at my worst I'll just remember it's my fault for not working on myself....
faith how have you managed to forgive? I seriously don’t know how to do it. I’ve tried and sometimes I think he wasn’t patient enough but I’m not sure I ever can.
I’m so sad to be getting divorced but I can’t seem to let it go. It hurts so fucking much and I’m not sure I can ever recover fully from the lies.
momoney Just over a year ago. The first two or three months were horrendous. The pain is no longer there. Sometimes there is sadness. It is fading each day. It helps that dh has been nothing but loving and patient.
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