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I Cheated, I Regret It (somewhat), And Now What?

First off, I will say that I am 110% in the "know" that what I did was wrong. I cheated on my husband, for 3 years with the same man. I fell in love with this man - he filled many voids that my husband could not fill. Now - I don't want to be with either of them. Easy to say farewell to the "lover", but how do I tell my husband this after he's trying to stay with me knowing what I've done?

We started dating when I was 21 - madly in love! Enjoyed each others company, had so much fun together. Then, we moved in together and he would play video games ALL the time (sounds trivial, but it's not!). I was living alone, yet he didn't want me to go out with my friends or have my own life. I was supposed to just be there. He wasn't talking to me or spending time with me, he just wanted a warm body. He'd play his games and then expect us to have sex when he was done and we'd go to bed. I should have left then, but I didn't. Again... MY MISTAKE. We got married, we had 2 children. Then, my father died. This proved to me that this man was not for me. He was not there emotionally as he should have been, he was still playing the stupid games and now not only ignoring me but also our children. Please know, that there were many times (before and after marriage/children) that I tried to end this. He cheated once, with a ******** (ICK!!) at his bachelor party. He promised he would change and would... for 2 months or so. NOW, today, we have 3 children and he knows all about the man I fell in love with. I told him everything - it is all out there. He wants to try and make it works but throws it in my face almost daily. For over a year...
I've cut all ties with the other man, and I want to leave my husband. Maybe this is my being selfish because I don't want to feel guilty every time I look at his face? But I truly believe that I just am not in love with him anymore. I want to love him, I want to grow old with him and be those "perfect grandparents" and watch our family grow together.... but do I stick around for that even if I know that we could both be happier with other people, or even alone?

I am at a loss... How do I, once again hurt a man that I have already destroyed? OR, is it maybe for the best so he can also be rid of what I've done and find someone to love him as he deserves?
taylor888 taylor888 31-35, F 6 Responses Nov 8, 2012

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I also been married young, at 17 & he's 18. We had 3 children. I filed a divorce after 7 years. It's because of his irresponsibility, of not having a stable work & being poor & not doing something about it. I became a stronger person. I have in a lot of affairs, some serious, some not, some one night stands. Im now 36, i'm living with a guy 6 years younger than me for almost 9 yrs & its not all fun. For so many times i tried ending our relationship but we have a child, he keeps coming back but he's a cheater. So am i. I don't care as long as he's good with the kids, the kids loves him & happy with him, we can work out some things..I know you'll have more experiences to come & every problem is good. Because with it we learn, we love, we shared. Everyone will hurt us in some ways, just choose the person whom you want to get hurt

I say seek counseling. That way you can say within yourself "you tried everything". However, we don't seem to realize that some times counseling can help couples see that they do need to separate. Staying in a failing relationship for the "kid's sake" is the worse advice to give someone. Kids are not dumb and that breeds an unhealthy environment of tension that will rub off on the kids. If you are not happy and miserable, how can you expect to commit 100% of yourself to your kids? What we teach our kids is "It's okay to live a lie." I'm not advocating divorce, but I **** sure ain't advocating being miserable either. We as humans, get married, make changes in our lives, and end up losing our true identity trying to please the other or make the other love them. You can't make anyone do anything. It only pushes them away. Maybe he knows you are always going to be there so there is no threat to change. If you do not love him, set him free to find love the way he feels he need it. It's not selfish of you to want to leave. He cheated, you cheated. It happened, now what? Make solid good decisions for you and your children and staying is not always the right answer. Kids get over it. As long as you both are constant factors in their lives they won't miss a beat. I speak this from experience and witnessing it being done today by a friend and his ex wife. Not to mention the kids like it better now because mommy and daddy are not fighting anymore.

I can relate to your story because even though I have been unhappy for so long I kept trying to stick it out and as crazy as my husband may be does love me for who i am and nobody has ever been there for me, now I don't want him because of all the previous feeling and now the guilt. I think we both need to be brave and move on as hard as it is. Although, it is so much easier to say than do.

Taylor: I am in your corner and will support you 100%. I too cheated and I tell you that if I have one regret, it is not leaving my H when it first started. Now, I am stuck and sad most of the time. I yearn to be with my man and hate being alone, which I am when I am without him. You need to do what is best for you and your kids. I decided to stay married for my kids. But, this sacrifice eats away at me diality.

If it weren't for the kids I'd say to end it quickly by leaving and not having any contact with him except as necessary to handle the divorce. Unfortunately, there are children involved. As someone else mentioned I would suggest counseling from a licensed, professional, marriage or family counselor. In a lot of cases you can find one for free. Where I live such free services are often available via the public schools.

Maybe try counseling ....the grass isn't greener on the other side....but he needs to change and invest in you....IMO