My husband of 20 years is having an affair. He's been with her 9 months or so. He claims he wants to stay with me but that needs time to end it. Don't worry-- I'm know that's a bunch of bull. He just wants to have his cake and eat it too.

I don't know what to do. Should I try to fix myself so that he'll love me more and leave her (maybe if I'm thinner, sexier, funnier)? Should I leave him and stay away until she's gone? Should I remain in this marriage and find myself another love? I know you can't tell me what to do- just thinking out loud about what the options might be.

I can't imagine the pain ever going away. It hurts that he is willing to buy his happiness/excitement at my cost. He says I haven't done anything wrong and he says he knows that this is hurting me. It's so odd to think of my best friend as the enemy- but that's what he's becoming. He is the one destroying my happiness and quality of life.

I don't know if it's possible to rebuild a happy marriage. For any survivors out there-- does it ever get better?  Will I ever feel whole again?  I would love a small glimmer of hope.

Thanks for listening
Hobbled Hobbled
2 Responses Aug 8, 2011

There is always hope. The first thing to do is take care of yourself. Go to a therapist to help you get through all of this. This has nothing to do with whether you are fat or thin, ugly or beautiful. Get legal support and know your rights. Yes, you can have a happy marriage again, and again you can rebuild your marriage. Does the pain go away forever, no!. My husband had a long term affair years ago, and spent a tremendous amount on the affair. I went for legal advise, mental support, and with a lot of hard work we have made it work. In ways it is much better. Do I still have my moments, yes; however, I try to stay in the present. Do I worry that he will have an affair again,absolutely not.

well, the most importantly things to consider is ..a) how was your marriage before the affair, b) how is he treating you now...and how did you find out about the affair..c) is in-love with the other woman, is it an "emotional"affair or purely fun and sexual affair. If it is an "emotional" affair you have more to worry about as far as the survival of your marriage. <br />
My one bit of advice to you as to what not to do...don't yell at him..don't demonize him. Yes, he did wrong..but if you appear as if you would be willing to understand and be forgiving he will see that quality in you and it will draw him to you. You don't want him back out of a sense of guilt or because you threaten him..but he should come back bec he wants to mend your relationship out of love.<br />
Even the most loving of spouses look outside of the marriage sometimes, for many different reasons. Doesn't necessarily mean they've stopped loving their spouses or their commitments to their spouses.<br />
I speak from experience dear as the "other woman"...I too had an "emotional" and "love" affair,more those two elements than sexual. And my husband eventually found out some of the details....not all!!!! And he never will...no need for him to know, too much pain...I am still with my husband and will be. My other love's wife knew about us almost right along...and she spied and yelled and involved their grown child in the whole drama...we haven't seen each other for many many months now. I know we will always love each other...but we acknowledge that it must be over...but his wife still spies on all his emails, phone calls...has spied on me, knows many things about me that is a mystery as to how she obtained certain information. And even opened up a "chat-room" site in his name to see if I would join it to try to communicate with him..so she went fishing, and she caught me!! I did try to communicate with him,mostly bec I was so surprised that he would join a chat room...didn't seem like something he would do...The wife then used that information, private (or what I thought to be private) messages to him...printed them all up and sent them to my husband. Do you think her husband, the man I was involved with, appreciates she did that...no, I can tell you he does not. <br />
So my advice is...be cool...go out and do things for yourself...keep talking to your husband, but in a reasonable tone....and if he was a good husband before the outside relationship and YOU want to continue the marriage...tell him kindly and gently that the affair must end bec it is just too painful for you and that you can try to understand and the two of you can take a new path down your life together. Please feel free to contact me with any comments about what I wrote...positivie or negative.<br />
And best of luck...I really do empathize with the you in this situation. As I did with my lover's wife, until she grew dark and started threatening me and my family. Don't go that route!!!