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Husband has cheated...Help

(26 Posts)
Mumlife30 Wed 05-Aug-20 01:42:03

Hi everyone.
Sure this has been posted loads on here, and it’s also my first post, but I’m a bit lost, just need to get it all out and don’t really know where else to go.
I have just found out that my husband (Married for 14 years, together for 17) has cheated on me. At first He told me that it was just messages but after messaging the woman to ask her what has been going on, she said they had met up several times over the last six months or so. I confronted him and he said he had slept with her once and doesn’t know why he did it. They have continued to message on and off since then, however he is adamant they have not slept together again. Although she has told me otherwise. The messages I saw was asking him when he is going to come and see her again, although he replied saying he was too busy.
Ordinarily, it would be fairly simple - he’s cheated and I would leave him.
However, I have suffered with sexual problems pretty much as long as we have been together. Vaginismus which resulted in a low sex drive which has meant our sex life has gone from occasional at best to non existent. We’ve not had sex for years and I know I’ve been pushing him away whenever he shows any kind of really affection as a result, because I’m so scared that any touching or affection would then lead to sex.
I feel like I am as much to blame for this as I understand, to some extent, why he did it. Outside of sex, I love our life together and I don’t want to lose him or the family we have built together (we have a son). I feel that as I can sort of understand how this has happened, and my part in it, I owe it to him to work on it to see if we can make it work. But it’s so raw right now that I can’t see how I can forget about it. All I can see in my head is him with her and knowing that he has touched someone else, and someone else has touched him, is killing me. Stupid I know as I’ve not exactly been forthcoming with that so I feel like I’m getting possessive over something I don’t deserve to!
I guess what I’m hoping you can help me with is whether it’s possible to get past cheating in a marriage. I know we need to work at things, but will I ever be able to get the image of them together out of my head if I was to stay and try to make things work?
Apologies for the rambling post - like I said I think I more just need to get it out and I really don’t want to talk to my family and friends, who all love him, if there’s a chance we can make this work.

OP’s posts: |
Aquamarine1029 Wed 05-Aug-20 01:50:30

Clearly, he shouldn't have cheated, but I don't think a sexless marriage can survive unless both involved are happy with that. I can imagine your husband has felt very rejected for a long time. No sex and you don't even want him touching you. That's soul destroying, I'm sure.

He should have been adult enough to end the marriage rather than cheat, though, and I'm sure you're feeling betrayed.

This is a very difficult situation all around, I'm afraid, and a solution seems hard to find.

stellabelle Wed 05-Aug-20 02:00:19

All I can see in my head is him with her and knowing that he has touched someone else, and someone else has touched him, is killing me

Unfortunately it's glaringly obvious why he did this - no sex and you don't even want him to touch you . Sorry to be blunt but if you don't want him to touch you, why be surprised that he wants someone else to touch him.

Outside of sex, I love our life together and I don’t want to lose him or the family we have built together

But with no affection between you, you are really living like brother and sister. Fine if you both wanted to live like that, but obviously he doesn't .

If the primary cause of your rejection of sex, is the vaginismus, I'd suggest that you might want to consult a female gynaecologist for some sympathetic treatment options.

vegansprinkle Wed 05-Aug-20 02:13:57

Nothing new to add. Sorry you are hurt and he has gone about things incorrectly but he obviously isn't happy.

Sugarpea123 Wed 05-Aug-20 02:17:55

If he wasn't happy in the marriage, he should have given you an ultimatum to seek help, or leave. Cheating is a cowards way out of that. Cheating is cheating. There are no excuses.

Mumlife30 Wed 05-Aug-20 02:25:11

Like I said, I really do understand why it has happened and that’s why I want to try and see if I can look past it to work on it. I have seen various drs and gynaecologists about it over the years but they have all fobbed me off as when it comes down to it, I can have a smear etc. So physically it seems to be fine. So I have been told it’s just in my head and I need to make more effort with Foreplay etc but that never seems to work. I then had a traumatic delivery with my son which left me with a third degree tear and needing Follow up appts which was when things really went downhill as it was a long time after that before I felt comfortable to sit down let alone have sex. My husband has always been supportive of it and has never told me it was a problem for him and said he was completely happy with things as they were. So this has come a bit out of the blue. As I said I’m not really blaming him as I get it. I’m shocked and hurt that he didn’t talk to me about it before but I get it. Since I found out, he has also been telling me that it was a mistake and sex isn’t that important to him. But just because I understand why, it doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to think about it happening and forget it. I feel like if you can’t forget something like that, then there is no hope regardless of what I do to work on it. I guess I’m mostly wondering if anyone else has stayed in a marriage after an affair and has been able to get past all of that?

OP’s posts: |
Lookyloo Wed 05-Aug-20 02:26:01

Sounds like he loves you and that it was just sex. However, if you can't get over it, you need to end it. Things are already shite, so why stay for more shite?

birdy124 Wed 05-Aug-20 02:51:45

Was the affair more than just sex? Was it very emotional? I guess, with the info you provided, I could understand why he might seek sex outside the marriage (it's still a horrible thing to do). If they were "in love" or work together, or something gross, then I would be less willing to work on the relationship.

Also I'm sorry your doctors says it's just "all in your head". Western medicine has barely studied the female body, but instead of admitting that, Dr.'s love to blame it on a woman's mental health! envy

lilfaith2020 Wed 05-Aug-20 03:04:36

It doesn't matter what anyone says, there is never an excuse for cheating- whether he felt 'rejected' or not is irrelevant, he should have put his feelings across to you before destroying your trust and relationship entirely.

I'm not overly sure what advice to give here sadly, other than I don't believe it's that easy to trust again after something like this but I think a conversation should be had, realistically it's down to you and how you want to go forward, what feels right. It will be a hard road but well done to you for keeping it together so far!

Wishing you all the best xx

AgentJohnson Wed 05-Aug-20 04:23:09

It appears that both of you are ready to sweep this under the carpet. I doubt that the sex was a one off and he knows exactly why he cheated.
You can of course both pretend that this isn’t a a seismic event in your relationship but if you choose to do that, then what exactly is your marriage built on?

Clearly sex does matter to your H or he wouldn’t have sought it outside of the marriage and blaming yourself and ‘understanding’ why he cheated won’t stop the hurt.

He lied and he continues to lie and you both know it and you can’t regain trust with lies.

ivykaty44 Wed 05-Aug-20 04:32:38

What do you want to happen?

Do you want to stay in the marriage?
Do you want to divorce?

sofato5miles Wed 05-Aug-20 05:49:42

I don't subscribe to cheating is cheating, whatever the circs as it is painfully obvious why this happened.

You have carte blanche removed all physical affection out of your marriage and yet it still suits you. Your husband clearly wants more than you are offering but, from what he says, tried to suppress those needs to stay in the marriage.

He clearly wasn't successful and has hurt you badly but unless you both work on sorting your sex life out, he is likely to hate himself but do it again. Sex and affection are huge drivers for how we live and love as humans.

Sex therapy may help and i would focus on that. Unpalatable to hear but your husband's understandable needs are not being met, while yours are. If you still love each other and you can forgive you need to find a solution together, that works for both or accept that as a couple you cannot meet each other's fundamental relationship requirements. A very unhappy complicated situation.

I left a marriage for this very reason.

SoulofanAggron Wed 05-Aug-20 06:40:28

Don't blame yourself- he didn't have to have an affair.

Have you tried individual therapy to try and get at what in your past has caused the vaginisimus for you? Even if you have no sexual trauma, I suppose even finding it hard to relax could cause those muscles to tense.

But again- he didn't have to do that. xx

Hopoindown31 Wed 05-Aug-20 09:02:16

Your husband has made a mistake and cheating is wrong. He should have had the guts to tell you that he didn't want the sexless marriage he was in and asked for you to either work on it with him or to go your separate ways.

Then again, if you have not communicated properly with him about your sexual issues or sought help then you've made a mistake in assuming that your husband will just accept this. Trust me, I've had my own issues with my sex drive and buried my head in the sand, but I was very lucky that my partner actually started the communication and we worked on it together.

DBML Wed 05-Aug-20 09:18:22

Oh op, I’m so sorry you are going through this.

My husband used to suffer low testosterone and sex dwindled to once every 1-2 weeks, which for me was not enough and left me frustrated and feeling rejected (I have a very high sex drive, which can equally be a problem).
I love my husband immensely, he is my best friend and I am very attracted to him, but had he not sought treatment for his low testosterone, I don’t know what I’d have done. Cheating just for sex did go through my mind on a few occasions I’m ashamed to say...it’s an overpowering drive and rejection clouds your decision making.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is, it’s possible that your husband loves you very much and this was indeed just physical. It doesn’t make it right that he cheated. I didn’t cheat in the end, but my husband and I talked about our issues, so I knew he was trying to change things. I had hope - did your husband?

I think this is one of those relationships where perhaps you can move on together and become stronger. Ask for the full truth though first, so that you can begin to rebuild trust.

FruitLikeAPeach Wed 05-Aug-20 09:32:15

I do have to agree that this doesn't really seem as clear cut to me as 'cheating is cheating'.

So I agree in an ideal world he would have spoken to you first and said he couldn't live in a sexless marriage however, I can understand how this may have happened.

As per PP, sex and affection are huge drivers. I've been in a sexless and affection-less relationship before and it is hard to feel that constant rejection. Sex can be a powerful urge and I'm ashamed to say that it also crossed my mind too to just get that part elsewhere. I didn't and in the end the relationship ended but to be honest had the situation presented itself I probably could have done. I certainly couldn't have stayed in that relationship.

baileys6904 Wed 05-Aug-20 09:44:16

Perhaps instead of a doctor investigating the physical issue, perhaps see a psychologist regarding the mental health side. It sounds as though you have had traumatic mental experiences which need to be addressed before the physical side can.
I do hope you manage to resolve this, such a sad story for all involved, so wishing you well op

Pesimistic Wed 05-Aug-20 09:57:49

Unfortunatly I dont think it's fair on either side of the argument here no he shouldn't have cheated that is completely wrong and has broken your trust and your relationship, but you havent had sex for years either, I dont think a relationship is a real relationship if their isnt intimacy or any sexual contact between the two in a relationship, and it isnt fair to expect him to not have sex and turn his sexual needs off because your happy with what you have. He clearly is not as he has cheated. I think perhaps if you can treat your vaginismus or if you want to have a sexual relationship with your husband then you can attempt to rebuild your relationship together. If not then I dont think you should.

Mumlife30 Wed 05-Aug-20 10:22:29

Thanks everyone. I really needed to just get this out and really had no where to turn without involving people who are close to him. I completely understand it and don’t really blame him at all. It’s just so confusing as he is now the one begging me not to walk away, yet it was him who was unhappy enough to do this in the first place. I’m going to try again with getting some help - although it’s hard to know where to go when it feels I have tried so many things in the last 15 years without getting anywhere or feeling like anyone really takes it seriously. But I’m going to call try counselling as well to see if that helps. Thanks again everyone

OP’s posts: |
Opentooffers Wed 05-Aug-20 10:32:31

I had a third degree tear after giving birth, I remember the initial weeks of pain just sitting down, and only being able to walk short distances for first 12 weeks, I empathize with that. It does heal however, and no way was I going to let it ruin my sex life, it actually got better than ever further down the line, so maybe this is more than just birth trauma as years have passed.
It really shows that you can't ignore an elephant in the room like no sex and expect a relationship to tick on for years. Personally, I'd not be happy in a sexless state and would be addressing it myself after more than 2 or 3 months without.
It's sounds more like you need to see a sex therapist, or maybe just a psychologist/counsellor. Not being able to show affection for someone you love for years is quite a drastic reaction, and it's extreme to be so shy of your DH that you haven't been able to open up about your reasons. There's much more to love-making than penetration, so there is all sorts of things you could of expored together that could actually have been fun. You needed to have separated sex from penetration in your mind, it's sad that you didn't. I think on Ballance if you want to try and get through this you also need couples therapy as clearly you have been very poorly communicating with each other for a long time and need help opening up. If DH is just not the type of man you feel you can open up to, maybe he's been wrong for you all this time, unless you are accepting that it just all in your head - lots to ponder, but ignoring is no longer an option.

GroggyLegs Wed 05-Aug-20 10:35:24

mumlife - I don't really have much in the way of advice but I'm in a similar position & feel for you so much.

Nobody gets how painful it is to not be able to love your partner like you want to, and how bad you're made to feel - particularly in a world obsessed by sex.
People trot out 'seek help' but medical support is appalling - the number if times I've been told to 'use lube' by male gynaecologists 😒

I hope you & your DH can find a way through this. I really think I would seek counselling to find a way to discuss what's happened & see if you can work a way through this. Would you consider an open marriage, where you'd have an element of honesty & control? But I'd completely understand if you can't forgive - it's still a betrayal of trust.

It's a horrible situation for you both 💐

JudyGemstone Wed 05-Aug-20 11:18:39

Psychosexual therapy can help for vaginismus. You'll probably have to pay to see someone privately though, it's not offered on the NHS in many places

Skyla2005 Wed 05-Aug-20 11:57:15

There would have been other ways to satisfy him other than penetration A man won’t go that long with no sexual contact and no hope in sight of it. It’s wrong to cheat but he must have felt hopeless and desperate and he probably doesn’t want to split up the family. I think you could get over this if you could work on ways you could change to give him some pleasure and go from there. With time things may become easier and you could have full intercouse x

crosshatching Wed 05-Aug-20 15:05:53

Poor you OP I had a traumatic birth and was left with vestibulodynia for a few years following. It messed with my head and our bed for a long time. Couples counselling would be good for you but also personal counselling for yourself. That notwithstanding vaginismus is absolutely a medical issue and if you haven't been taken seriously it's time to push again, for your own future in or out of this marriage. Are you in the UK?

Yeahnahmum Wed 05-Aug-20 16:18:37

There is plenty of other ways to have sex.so you need to let go of the idea that all sex is penis in vagina.

Do not blame yourself for his infidelity op. Your husband cheated.. doesnt matter what circumstances led to that. He should have spoken to you about his needs not being met etc.

Also you don't 'owe it to him to make it work'. He owes it to YOU to make it work
(If you still want that)

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