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First Time To Post - Desperately Need Advice

My husband and I have been married for thirty-eight years.  We've been together for nearly forty years, since I was 16 years old.  We played together on the playground as children.   We have two wonderful children, three gorgeous grandchildren.  My husband and I are best friends.  We've always had the kind of relationship that others envied.  We've always had "date night" every Friday night where we would just go somewhere, sit with a pitcher of beer, and talk and laugh for hours.  We have continued to do this up into our 50's.  People who would see us would always be surprised to hear we were married for so long.  They thought we were on our first date.  Some even said they suspected we were having an affair because of the way we were interacting with each other.  Our kids have always used our relationship as a model for their own.  They had a front-row seat their whole lives to see the tender, unselfish, respectful way we treated each other.  We very rarely even had a cross word, let alone an argument.  He's my soul mate and I love him with every part of my being.  My husband would always describe me to people as "pretty much perfect" as a wife.  My family would always tell me they could tell how much he adored me by the way he looked at me when I would walk across the room.  I've always gone to great lengths to take care of my health, my looks, my body, and I've done that out of respect for him. 

A few years ago we started experiencing some pretty serious financial difficulties.  I bring this up because this is the reason that my husband is giving for what happened.  (The woman he's involved with is very wealthy)  About a year and a half ago, my sweet, unselfish, non-materialistic husband turned into an entirely different person.  He was suddenly very critical of me, withdrew from me and from the kids.  Most times when our grandchildren would come over, he would just go in the bedroom and take a nap.  In the middle of our financial difficulties, he bought a two-seater sports car.  Talked non-stop about what failures we are. My response to him was always that as long as we were together, I didn't care what house I lived in or what kind of car I drove, what kind of possessions I had, that I felt very lucky because I had a wonderful husband, beautiful, healthy children and grandchildren, that I had a relationship with my husband that others envied, even after this many years, and I really didn't need any more in life than that.

About six months ago, I noticed that he was using an extremely large amount of minutes on his cell phone.  When I looked at the call detail, there were tons and tons of calls to one number.  When I called it, it was a woman's voice on the machine.  When I confronted him, he told me who it was and said, in these exact words,  "It's  (NAME)  and I'm leaving you to be with her."    I was so shocked that I collapsed to the floor.  He started spouting off this list of things that he hates about me and said he didn't love me anymore.  He said he didn't think I loved him anymore.  Said all kinds of things that I couldn't believe I was hearing.

I know this woman.  He's worked with her for nearly 25 years.  She's very attractive. I went to her 50th birthday party a couple of years ago.  She's been married to her husband for 37 years, but he's always treated her badly.

Because I was so emotionally devastated, I went to stay with my sister for a few days.  When I came home, he asked me to stay to try to work things out.  We've been trying to do that for the last five months.  For the first three months, I kept catching him talking to her on the phone.  They both bought pre-paid cell phones that they were hiding. When I caught him with it, he smashed it.  But then I caught him with another one.  He's telling me that they've both realized that what they were doing is wrong, but that he still has an "attachment" to her.  He said he wants to get her out of his life, but he needs to do it in his own way, that he couldn't just cut off complete contact with her.  He's insisting that she's telling him he needs to stay with his family and that she needs to do the same.  For the past two months, he says they have had no contact, but I am suspecting that isn't true.  He and she both have insisted that their relationship wasn't a physical one, which I also have my doubts about, but they are adamantly denying that they've ever been intimate.

I want so badly to mend things with my husband and get back to where we were, and at times I feel like that can happen, but at other times I'm not sure.  His idea of moving forward is to never talk about it, pretend it didn't happen and just move forward.  There are just so many questions that I have.  So many things just don't make sense.  I hate to just throw away what we had, after 40 years, without really giving it a shot, but is it really possible to recover from something like this, especially when in some ways I don't even know what I'm actually forgiving him for?  I'm terrified that maybe he's staying with me just to keep me quiet so that they don't lose their jobs.  Or maybe I'm just being paranoid.  When I first found out about the other woman, I confided in a good friend.  She knows people at his place of emloyment and it ended up getting all over the workplace that they were having n affair.  They almost lost their jobs.   I'm lost and sick and heartbroken.  I went from 115 pounds to 95 pounds in two months.  I cry every single day of my life.  I'm having horrible nightmares where I wake up screaming.  My husband has trouble having sex with me.  He says it's because I've gotten so thin and it makes him feel guilty.

My husband does not believe in counselors and won't even talk about it.  Because of his job, he has had contact with dozens of counselors on the and has lost complete faith in them.  He says they always pick their favorite and everything is based around that.

I don't know why I'm even joining this forum.  I guess just to vent.  My self-esteem has gone to zero,  I've withdrawn from my family.  My kids have both told me they think I should leave my husband.  They're at a really bad place with him not only because they found out about the affair, but also the way he's treated them and me over the last year and a half.  They think I should let him go and and let him find out what he's lost, because until then, he'll always wonder if he should have gone with this other woman and he'll never have the respect for me that they say I deserve.  I'll be honest -- at times I do get the feeling that he thinks I should just shut up and be thankful that he's still here.  I keep trying to decide if I can live my life knowing that he feels that way.  But when I think of the alternative, I can't live with that either.  He's started to leave a few times, usually when I'm trying to discuss our problems, and I always fold and beg him to stay.  I know --  I'm pathetic.

At times my husband seems remorseful.  He sobs and holds me and tells me how sorry he is.  Sometimes he just looks at me and bursts into tears.  That's the person that I've loved and been married to all these years.  But then it's like a switch goes off some days and he's cold and rude when I try to talk to him about things.  He's having terrible temper flares, usually when we try to talk about what happened, and will get in my face and scream at me.  Is it just guilt for what he did -- or is it because he's still involved with her?

I'm so confused and miserable, to the point that I'm seriously considering suicide.  I'm sure what everyone will tell me is that I need to let him go, but I can't imagine my life without him.  He's truly a part of my being and I feel like a piece of me is already dead.  My husband and I have always talked about the fact that we would be one of those couples that, when we got old and died, the other one would die shortly thereafter.  I know now that was very true, at least for me, because I really don't want to go on living if he's not in my life.  I'm desperate for some relief or some advice, and maybe it will help to get advice from someone other than family and friends.

Sorry for the book, but it's very difficult to explain what's going on in just a few words.

Thanks

loradw loradw 46-50 48 Responses Apr 10, 2011

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please contact me. let me know you have read this. I have the only advise for you.

omg!!! i'm practically in the same boat. My husband and I have been married for 33 years. We have always been best friends and have never ended a phone conversation or left each other's side that we didn't say"I love you" until now.... caught my husband in a 6 month long affair. It has been almost 3 years now since that awful, dreaded evening that I confronted him.

You can still count yourself lucky, for the memories of a lifetime spent with love , infimacy and mutual undestanding. I had none of these for almost 40 years. Then, I cheated on my wife, with my full soul and body. Now my relationship has ended and the wife needs me, in her life, in her bed. We care about each other. It feels better, but I carry four decades of bad memories.
Is my marriage better than yours? I doubt it. What I'm saying is that it's not just the end that matters. It also matters how we spend most of our lives.
I hope it all works out for you.

I would be difficult but men like me go middle age crazy. They get the same as women I think, thinking about how it would feel being having someone new. I have cheated, with a friend that was going through the same type of searching, at that point in my life. I love her but not like I love my wife. I can say I cared about what was happening to her. It turn out to be a big mistake for me because it wasn't like the movie or fantasy I imagined it to be. We are still friends. We love each other care about what is happening in each other life. Marriage is a hard job. Everyone imagines it to be something when you are young and when you get older it is different.

By speaking out here U have made a beginning. I would suggest U talk to some real people, whom U trust & enjoy being with. For most problems in life, there is a solution. Wishing U come out stronger & better from this experience.

I am sorry that you are going through this...I think that I can help you. Want to do a Lie Detector Test? I will fly you to Los Angeles for FREE please call 323-451-2446
Denise

Hi there, I am all the way from Johannesburg South Africa. I completely understand what you are going through. My husband of 10 years cheated on me with a 22 year old. I was devastated, betrayed and humiliated. I think the primary reason was because i did not expect it. We were like you and your husband, made for each other, or so I thought.

The hardest part is rebuilding trust, and that is so hard when one day he is saying sorry, and the next day he is cold and cruel. The mixed signals make you despondent and angry, while the apologies give you hope.

I am also trying very hard to rebuild my life, so my advice to you is to no longer build your life around his. Join a gym, book club, anything to keep you occupied. Once my husband saw that my life no longer evolved around him, his attitude changed.

I bought gym equipment and excercise at home, no longer wait on him hand and foot. I read, go to libraries, have a movie club with friends, buy new clothes, do my hair and take better care of myself. I am not malicious or mean, but now its all about me, myself and I. I come first no matter what. I try no matter how hard not to let his betrayal affect me. I constantly tell myself, that I am an amazing person, honest, kind and loyal. I am a phenomenal woman a and I won't let anyone break me down ever again. We are still married, but now the only important person in my life is me.

Find something to keep you occupied and pray that God gets you through this difficult time.

May God bless you always, and keep your chin up. You are not pathetic. You are a phenomenal woman.

Great comment I am going to take your advice.

I am going to add to this great advice that part of that self care could be to go to a Counselor and have somebody (other than family and friends) to talk to. Even if you go by yourself.

your story is the same as mine. We have 3 kids. i cant talk to anyone, Everyone thinks we are the perfect couple. i cant even talk to my kids about. i gave her everything. we are still together. but she is sleeping with another man. We have been together for 30 years also. She was my best friend, I am so hurt and lonely. I not only lost the love of my life. But my best friend, The person i though i could trust most. What a lonely feeling.

Hi there,
I feel so sorry for your sorrow, but please, see yourself for what you are a very strong woman, I know that you are really hurting right now, and you think that there is never gonna be anything good about life again, but please let me assure you, there is light at the end of this very long tunnel that unfortunately you have to travel down to be happy again, your husband is being sexual with this other woman and too lie to you and blame you is just his way of denying it and making you feel bad in return. Go get counseling and there is lots out there that will help you, you need to get your self confidence back and then work from there, this is the time for you, you do anything it is for you not for him, make him see just what he has lost when you no longer do anything for him, take up a hobby for yourself, so that you have something to think about other than your sorrow, chin up my friend it will all work out in the end

Yep/ definatley sexual. My husband dud the same with a woman who portrayed herself as my friend- great friend she was. At first- he said it was emotional- two years later after I continued to be married - (thinking I was insane) he admitted to having a sexual affair- all while we were a happy family- having camping trips, birthdays- etc.,, it's not emotional- dont let him fool you. He's a PIG. It's not worth the pain to try to rebuild.

Be strong honey you deserve so much more. I hope things work for you could an intermeidate 3rd party help? Like a councilor or something. I hope all gets back on track for you..

Tears rolled down my eyes reading this. I felt like I was reading part of my own story. My husband left and does not want anything to do with me or our children. I am pathetic for wanting him back. My kids do not want me to get back with him and they will never forgive me if I do. But for right now my husband doesn't love me and that hurts. I don't know what to do either but just know you are not alone.

You are so awesome, I feel like I am reading my own story. but there are some things I think you should consider. I am a christian and I am outside of the USA. Your husband is not bipolar he is however soul-tied to this woman and the relationship. This is a spiritual condition that happens when we share our bodies with someone else other than our spouse. Check your area for a church that deals with deliverance ministry and try and get him there. There is NO POWER like the power of God. In my circumstance, I got my husband to deliverance ministry and just in time too....... was he over it, certainly not at first but continuance and faith are the keys. Although in my own heart I would tell you to kick him to the curb, in my spirit I am asking you to do this and trust the Lord. We are still married 28 years but I do not love him...... and that is so weird. I do everything for him up to and including sex but for the last 11 years when I was so angry and hateful that I almost totally emasculated him and he now has E,D at least now he can't have a physical affair lol...... but I don't/can't love him. His fidelity was tied to my love for him, this man was technically a virgin when we got married, and what I have discovered about him has so disappointed and destroyed me so I have no foundation to love him. His behaviour totally transformed my life and I am no longer the person I was before I knew him and I hate the person I have become so the resentment continues.... but I am on anti-depressants now so its a little better. Sweetie, love yourself first, and know that you are not alone. I am praying for you.

I am 43 and thought we were happy too. By now I have had a few kicks to the teeth and it hurts, but I learn to dodge bad people as a result. I journal to vent, otherwise I could wear out every friend or family member. Your thoughts have been my thoughts. While writing : " you portray yourself as a family man, a godly man, and honest man, and the list goes on. You are none of those things. You have no heart, you have no soul. You are exactly what every human is most fearful of. You manipulate and make everyone believe you are one thing, when really your completely the opposite." What got me to shake off our 14 year relationship was the term " you are exactly what every human fears the most." I say it often to give me strength, as long as I see him as a monster, which he is, it gives me back my power. No one can make a victim out of me if i no longer have to beg to be loved.Get an attorney, get it spelled out your rights, and what to expect financially. My brother has a slogan : Cheaper to keep her. He will pay dearly not just financially, but in family relationships. Let the bastard go, his future will be to rot alone in a nursing home.

go and get counselling either alone if he won't go, or together, it really helped me!! I'm 40 and my husband is just like yours, and he is my whole life too. It really DOES help!!!!

I too have a story about my cheating husband who I feel that I still love and I ask my self why after he cheated 5 yrs ago with a married female. Her husband came to our home. Our son and he begged me not to get a divorce and I did'nt. I just found out he was cheating again. He started to act differently,. I must admit that the trust was gone after the first time. Why do I still love him? After 25yrs I found out he is a liar, not responsible. He left us after I discovered the phone calls, Packed his truck up while I was working and our son had stayed home from school that day. He did it in front of him. I just happened to come home from work for a early lunch. He said he was depressed after some bad decisions he made on a job he'd been working for 25 years. I feel like my heart is broke in two. He has not been supportive with helping me financially at all. He won't talk to me. Saying that he thought
this was what I wanted. I never cheated. I don't knoew what to do but keep going to this job I'm working and be supportive to our 16yr old son who is smart, intelligent and hurting. He left the wed after Labor day and has not spent an hour with him total. I ask him to come and lets talk, he won't. He's blaming me. He's not looking at what he's done, just at the rude comments I made to him when he promised to pay a bill and did not, or put our bank acct in the negative, Just found out he's been lying about his age all these years. So now what? There is a whole lot more to be said. I just don't know anymore. I was a great wife to him.

hello i read your post and i feel your pain im going thought the same married 25 years im been cheated on at this point and again i dont want to live with out my husband eather i cry every night i just want him to reliese he made a mistake my leaving his family we had good time i dont no what happen but im willing to try and fix it but i dont no how i just want my husband back if not then i dont want to live any more

Oh goodness - I just found out last year that my husband of over 50 years has been addicted to ****, ***** clubs, prostitutes, and street hookers all our married life. He projected himself to me as a man of character, very religious and raised his children in church, yet he was living a double life - one of sleaze and one hiding behind his Christian wife who adored him and trusted him with her life. I never suspected a thing - he lied continuously to me. Not the man I thought I married. I thought our marriage was perfect. What do I do now with the info he volunteered after all these years. He has destroyed our marriage, home, family, and his character and reputation! He was fired from his job over his womanizing on the job with me, his wife, working at the same place! He was meeting a teenage ***** and took her to my home, my bed, and they spent weekends together when I went out of town to visit relatives - in fact, he called her to tell her I was gone and to come over. He was in his mid fifties at the time. I cannot let it go, cannot forgive him, I do not trust him, do not respect him, and my love has turned to resentment and hatred for shaming me and betraying me publicly at my job, home, and church!!! Bringing the **** to my bed, spending the weekend and other days I was gone to my bed and to ***** clubs, buying her alcohol and getting her and him drunk - my heart and life is in pieces.....I cannot go on! I cry continuously, I scream, I curse, and my anger is out of control. He sometimes retaliates, but usually just walks out of the room which reinforces he never really loved me - he denies that vehemently!

Wow!!! The devil is a liar...... I feel everything you have and I can completely empathize with you and how you feel. I tell my children never blame yourself for how you feel, just don't act on how you feel and I would tell you this too. But, dang...it's hard. Most ppl don't understand and realize how you feel when you think you are married to an image, and when the reality hits you as it did you and me after your investment of so many years, you now have wrinkles and perhaps a little too much weight so that adds to how horrible you feel and you certainly don't deserve it, but let me share a little story that I hope will help you. Oh, I am a christian so if you are not, pls. don't be offended. When I found out about this last emotional affair.... I cried night, I cried day, I slept on the floor, I couldn't work, I couldn't eat, I couldn't even bathe..... one night through my tears, I hear a voice speak to me so softly but so clearly " You should count yourself blessed to share some of the rejection that I shared for you" I stopped crying immediately and began to focus on someone who had borne so much more that you or I but still loves. Ask the Lord to give you His agape love which has no bearing in emotion, so you can function. This will release the Lord to begin to deal with your husband..... up to and even taking his life for your sake. You are his daughter and He loves you unconditionally.... I love you too and send warm regards

Hi, <br />
<br />
This is my take on it:<br />
<br />
They were definitely sexual. The 2-seated car was for them since he was doing the carefree thing.<br />
<br />
You should get his texting history from the first phone. It's available online or you can subpoena it.<br />
<br />
He acts angry at you because you've already communicated to him that you'll let him be the victim. Ugh.<br />
<br />
He isn't the prince you thought he was. No man is. And we certainly aren't Cinderellas. <br />
<br />
He won't go to counselling or talk about it because the guilt is overwhelming. <br />
<br />
Please follow the advice of your children and leave him to rot in the sewage he created. <br />
<br />
You are a one-in-a-million woman and your life is speeding by. Erase the fantasy ending and create a new fantasy.

Ouch.....sometimes life sucks & u just have to live through the difficult times. Focus on the good & the bad will work itself out.what will be will be. You cannot control the outcome but u can control how u react to it.choose wisely .....ur family still needs u. Good Luck & God bless.

Hi. I have experienced the pain you're going through. I would highly recommend a book that helped me make sense of how a seemingly perfect husband could totally do a 360 on his marriage. Read "Love Must Be Tough."

It looks like it has been awhile since Lora posted. I pray she is doing well.

Your husband might be in a depression. Sometimes I think we do talk too much, if you choose to forgive him,knowing all the details will only make you more angry, so maybe its better to just forget. One would think, you wouldn't have to worry about your man at this point at this point in your life, Sorry for your Pain.....but Remember, Your probably a great catch, and if you do split the sheets, you may be surprised with a new relationship!

Learn to enjoy you , and become a total person

I just saw this site and your post and tears rolled down my face - I know what you are feeling. I too have been married for over 19 years and found out my husband was cheating on me. He has apologized and we are trying to mend things but how do you begin to let yourself trust them again - sorry and its not you it is him and we tend to blame ourselves as women.

Hello, I was also touched by your story. From what you have said, I cannot help but think your husband has some serious depression issues. The mood swings, the looking at your an bursting out crying. You don't know if he was crying because he missed you or needed you or felt bad for what he's done or if it was because of this other women. I also hate to call people like her 'women'. The definition doesn't fit for me. A woman is a strong responsible female. You are that definition. I know you are conflicted. I have only this advice, at the end of the day, you only have yourself to answer too and your maker. I recently read an article that said the one thing they wished they had never given up in their relationship was their integrity. It's something only YOU own. It's YOURS alone. And you deserve to keep having your integrity in your life. I wish you the very, very best. <br />
Ks

i am really touched by ur story, i am not gonna give u advice becuase i am mess myself, i am in da same situation ,after i guess six month of him tryn to change and me faking that i am happy, still nothing to seem to get better, my pain is still there. i tried to kill myself also but my dad rushed me to the hospital ,i know it’s really sad to take ur own life but i am glad i went throw this because after that i reliased someone like this doesn’t deserve my tears, dont deser me.....i am still with him and i dont know why..i wish that you find your peace soon because this is the worst pain anyone can go throw

Hey, it's me again. I've been reading quite a bit on another site and thought I'd pass it along to you. There's some very thoughtful and informative people writing here as well:<br />
<br />
http://www.loveshack.org/forums/search.php?searchid=15937853

Hey, You are not the one at fault here! Why end your life. This man has loved you for a life time and you have loved him. Its easy for others to say leave, but you would be leaving behind a life of memories and everything you have ever experienced has been with this man by your side. Take your time to decide how you want to proceed, you do not have to decide today, it may be years before you know what you want. You need to take stock of your life, look after yourself and put yourself first without feeling guilt for doing so. This is something which you will find alien, having been Mother and Wife for most of your life. Your husband is weak and probably in a state of panic knowing he could end up alone, which is why the other lady is being kept on the scene. He has shared your heart and taken love from you for years. Explain to him how you feel, if he wont listen write it down and leave it for him to read, this way you will not argue, but at least he will know why you are so devastated. In the note tell him what you need to get you through this situation. He's a man, so dont take it for granted that he automatically knows what you need to get you through it, they think differently to us ladies. Take strength from the way he treated you in the last year and a half. Take strength from the fact that you put up with it the last year and a half, and know that you are loved by your family. You must learn to value "You". Take your time and learn about what you need. Tell him again and again what you need and get his agreeance that he can give it. Attack is the best form of defence, don't allow him to do this to you. If he gets moody, leave him until he isn't, why should you take on his guilt. He is playing on your soft side when he does this to you. There is no right or wrong in how to handle this situation, other than you need to protect yourself. Put yourself first, be totally selfish. When this happened to me, I couldn't cope with the negative feelings so I packed a bag and took off for a five days - the hardest thing I'd ever done. I switched off my phone for the first three and by day four I was ready to look discuss a future with my husband of 25 years. The holiday is a brilliant idea to heal, but I think before you can heal with him you should heal yourself. If you cant do it alone, please ask one of your children to go with you. To heal you need to focus on happy memories and try to replace the bad ones the reason you are even considering suicide is that you are not having any happy days, help yourself and make. My thoughts and prayers are with you. x

Just wanted to say thank you again for all the comments and suggestions. I think I was very fortunate to find this website.

I'm not sure the link works that I recommended. Here it is again (how to rebuild trust after an affair):<br />
<br />
http://www.ehow.com/how_2173928_rebuild-trust-after-affair.html

A couple more things; you are NOT pathetic. You are reacting in a totally normal way for a person who has gone through what you have. I acted the same way as you did at the time, but now I've developed a tougher exterior. I've told him that if he deceives me again he will be gone - I will not be hurt like that again. <br />
<br />
I no longer totally trust him and am always watchful... I check his cellphone, emails and phone records regularly. He has created secrets between us where there used to be honesty and total trust, and I feel awful about that. I've also become a jealous woman....it bothered me immensely when he went for lunch the other day with an old (female) friend that he used to work closely with. I even feel stabs of jealously when he eyes the pretty girls and women at the mall. I never used to be that way, and I hate that part of me, but I try not to let him know how I feel. <br />
<br />
I've heard that trust can be restored after years of acting in a trustworthy manner and I'm hoping that's true. An old dutch proverb I like: "Trust comes by foot and leaves by horse."<br />
<br />
Financial difficulties are FAR more damaging to a man's self worth than a woman's. Men are constantly comparing themselves to other men around them. We just went through something where there was the possibility that we could go bankrupt, and my attitude was similar to yours....we have each other and the family, etc. He agreed with me in theory, but he was totally depressed, couldn't sleep, obsessed constantly about it. Your husband could be telling you the truth when he says that some his financial troubles played apart in his bad behavior. I know that my husband had some health issues and personal troubles at the time he started his own on-line affair. <br />
<br />
When you think about it, it's not women who jump off of bridges when the stock markets fail. <br />
<br />
More later.....

I've recently been through a very similar situation.<br />
<br />
My husband and I have been together for thirty seven years, meeting when I was 17 and he was 18. We too had a wonderful relationship and raised, and are still raising, four children. Nine months ago I was driving in the car with my 11 year old son who had borrowed my husband's cell phone for the drive. While playing with the phone, he discovered a fake facebook name and asked me about it. When I checked out the site I saw that someone had written a comment to a woman telling her how he thought she had a lovely face and how he liked how she didn't take life to seriously, etc. At first I thought it must be someone else's site that my husband had been checking out, but there was a familiarity in the writing style. I took the phone home and stayed up all night on the internet trying to figure things out. That was the first of many nights I spent gathering information before I confronted him. I became an amatuer spy and actually managed to find out quite abit about it all: it started out with chatting occasionally on facebook, then private accounts (needed, he later said, because she made inappropriate remarks that might be "misinterpreted" by me if I saw them) and some extremely raunchy sex talk every night after he retreated to his room "for a good night's sleep". And then there was the daily texting and phone calls and evening coffee dates<br />
. <br />
When I did eventually confront him, I did it in such a way that he had to admit to it, but of course he lied through his teeth about how long it had gone on, etc. He then called her and had a short (at my insistence) conversation to tell her it was over, etc. But he too complained that he wasn't able to end it properly and talk about it all. He continued to be evasive with my questions, and I knew he wasn't being totally truthful, so I decided the only way I would find out what had happened was to call the other woman. I did that about a month after it happened, and found out a few things before she called him and they had the opportunity to get their stories straight. (There was a kiss in a car, a few extra coffee meetings, etc. that he hadn't told me about). I continued to talk with her secretly by phone, and then my email for six months. She was willing to talk to me because she knew I had the power to destroy her own marriage. My husband apparently didn't like me talking to her, so he made a few secret calls himself (four) to ask her what I was telling her and what she was telling me, etc.<br />
My hunger for knowledge about the whole thing is still obsessive. I can't stand that he had a secret life for six months (actually nine months if you count from when he first changed his password on facebook). He tells me that I should be over this by now, and we should move on with our lives. He too gets extremely mad at times when I talk about it. It's the guilt...he doesn't want to be reminded of what he has done, and he doesn't like to be seen by me as a creepy philanderer....he hates that he has fallen so terribly in my esteem. I'm living abit of a lie, basically, not always of course, but most of the time. I put on my happy stepford wife smile and go about my day. Superfically our relationship seems to be pretty good. I know that by treating him really well most of the time (lots of sex....we can all be prostitutes when we need to be, ha ha) I am keeping my options open. Not that I'm planning on leaving my marriage, but if I ever did leave, I want it to be my idea. <br />
I also I need to talk about it all (I can't explain this...but I do feel better after our talks). I believe men at heart are simple creatures (and what I've read lately seems to confirm that): lots of sex and little nagging at home and they're as happy as clams. By keeping him happy at home, and not going on and on about it all, I can bring up the topic at an appropriate time every so often (I'd like it to be once a week) and he is much more willing to talk about it. I have this burning need to find out the truth about it all. He tells me that I know all there is to know, but I know that there's a few things I don't and it drives me mad. The way I see it he has no right to tell me when I should be over it. I'll be over it when I'm over it, period.<br />
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I do love him, but probably not as much as I did. I know that occasionally when I think of something he did I have a sudden feeling of hatred towards him. And with that hatred is a primal urge to hurt him in the same way he hurt me. ( I know I would be much more receptive now to another man's charms.) Sick, I know, but I can't help it. And I really hate that I have had to spend so much of my precious time dealing with all of this, obsessing about it. <br />
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I don't like to give advice, but I thought that by telling you of my experience you wouldn't feel you were all alone out there. Personally, I feel that your husband has to be totally truthful to you. There are statistics that show that the majority of marriages that survive this kind of thing are ones in which the wife is allowed to ask as many questions as she wants and the husband gives her truthful answers, no matter how hard it is for both of them. There is an excellent WikiHow article which I printed out for my husband about how to restore a spouse's trust after an affair. He did read it and it did help him understand what I'm going through and what he can do about it. Here it is:<br />
http://www.wikihow.com/Rebuild-Your-Spouse%27s-Trust-After-an-Affair<br />
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I really believe there is no way you are going to be able to get past this without knowing more of what happened. Your husband needs to tell you the truth (if that's what you really want....some people don't want to know the details). If you believe that he is still communicating with her, there are ways to find out. Let me know if you'd like some ideas.<br />
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What you have experienced is trauma. (The weight loss is typical....I too experienced it and am still not back to the weight I was). Your reality was totally changed in an instant when you found out about his affair (sexual or not). You might want to read something about it. There's plenty on-line. Recovering from trauma is very gradual and I would suggest that you try to do things that give you pleasure, walks on the beach with the dog are comforting for me. Spend time with your children.....they are still there and always will be, and they will love you forever. It has also helped me to think that I can enjoy my life independent of my husband. I've taken up yoga, and just bought myself a kayak. Things for me are much better than they were nine months ago. Please, please don't even think about suicide. These things will pass, and gradually this awful time will become a distant bad memory. <br />
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I have tons more that I could say, but I've said more than enough for now. I'm not proof-reading this or anything, no spell-check....just a muddy stream of words I'm afraid. Thanks for inspiring me to tell my story too.

I'm back with two more cents. That makes four now :) <br />
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I just wanted to disagree once more with the others who compared stories. Yes, I am a dreamer. And, yes, I am a professional storyteller. I live off writing stories and films. <br />
<br />
BUT, sorry, not all stories are similar. Simply BECAUSE we are human beings with individual differences. Each and every one of us is unique. Yes man are similar but they are not photocopies. Women are also similar but they're not photocopies. <br />
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I know our friend pektek gave the example of a glass up there as a symbolic one, but once again, and with all due respect, I disagree. Relationships between human beings are NOT that simple. And this is a 40 years marriage, not a 5 years marriage. No other man can put himself in the shoes of this lady's husband. And from what I understand, he still didn't really get a "major" chance to amend things with the help of his family. Please correct me lora if I am wrong. <br />
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On the other hand, I totally agree with all the friends that: IF given this major chance to fix things and you put in all your strength and he really blows it up, then maybe he doesn't indeed deserve you ma'am. However, I do encourage you to give him one more chance, a major one. And maybe you should tell him that this actually IS his last chance to fix things. He might not believe you, he might say HE will commit suicide if you leave him. It is THEN that you will need to be strong, to leave him without looking back, without feeling guilty. I might not be the most enthusiastic feminist here but I firmly believe that women have been inheriting this guilt feeling, generation after the other. YOU ARE NOT GUILTY. You can try to be good, but that doesn't mean if you fail, YOU have failed the relationship. He has already done that, long ago. <br />
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That's All :)

I'm a cheating husband and I first read this story out of remorse. Making my comparisons, I see you had a better marriage than my one. I don't have many pleasant memories to fall back on.<br />
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For decades, I was virtually begging for my wife's love. I asked her coutless times to "go on a long trip just the two of us". It never happened. She always had other priorities. A year ago, after 32 years of marriage, I still wanted her love. But it was the last attempt. The emotional link between spouses has grown thin, to the point of disappearing altogether.<br />
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Two months ago, I told my wife I was seeing someone. I did not expect much reaction, in fact I only wanted to explain why I was away for half a day on weekends. To my surprise, the wife became active. She wanted me back in any way. Last weekend, she even suggested we should go away on a trip, just the two of us. I could not hold back a laughter, but I quickly composed myself, knowing there was no point hurting a human being. Especially someone who's been at my side (but not too close) for 35 years.

Love yourself.... have strength and faith.... and whatever happens you know it is not you... don't let someone's else selfishness, not matter how close he is suppose to be to you, destroy your nice self.....<br />
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Find the strength you need by helping others, voluntary work with less fortunate people will make you understand you have so many blessings<br />
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you have been blessed with children, work a house and many blessings that others don't have<br />
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this is just a cloud ... it will go ... but don't forgive him easily.... make him pay :o)<br />
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Start ignoring him.... start taking care of yourself.... go out... hell even act that your are going on a date just to get him to appreciate you....<br />
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it is you who had to put up with him for forty years.... if he won't appreciate it.... you will have to teach him how.. but please don't break over this.. nothing in life should break you... love yourself if you want to be loved...

Lora, please keep your children in mind. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem!<br />
You will know what you have to do when the time comes.<br />
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GOOD LUCK and be in the Grace of God.

I just got home from work and saw all these posts -- and I'm truly touched. I'm sitting here with tears streaming. It feels good just to be able to express this to someone -- because I really don't like involving my children in all this, and I feel like I'm driving my friends crazy because I can think and talk of nothing else. They've been wonderful, but I just don't think it's fair to keep burdening them this. Again, thank you all so much.

I am so sad to hear this...I am going through almost exactly the same thing with my husband who I have been with for 20 yrs. Everytime we have troubles(alot) he runs to another woman, so after him doing this a dozen times I decided to leave and I am soooo hurt. He says it's because I don't love him. I too feel like I am dying! My advice from most has been to let him go and if he comes back he is yours. I should mention I have thrown him out many times...this is the first time I have left him...I think he is ready for this :( and I feel like I am dying! I could not go through it for a year and half, you will hurt staying with him or you will hurt without him, it is a very difficult decision to make.

Hello, <br />
I'm so so sorry you are going through this. My story is pretty much the same the only difference is that my marriage was for only 5 years and I was pregnant at the moment. I felt I lost so many years, I can surely imagine how you fee. I would normally tell you work on it and try to fix it, but he said the bursed out the first things that he felt and that is something he will never be able to take back. Exact same story...He tells you he'll break up with her, that he doesn't see her anymore...and the story will continue for as long as you let it go...Yes hurt you he stabbed you and broke your heart so badly that even if you wanted to put it back together you can't...not after so many years of sharing such a lovely life....He just broke a glass that even if put together will never be the same. You know...You need to love yourself more than you love him. He even hurt his kids...He is selfish, very selfish...even though he might be going through a mid life crisis...he could have done it differently...YOU ARE TOO MUCH FOR HIM...and he probably felt that he needed to be with someone lesser than you to feel better. <br />
I hope you see things differently soon, it's your choice but I do agree with your kids...The best for you and your family...

I like the long trip idea, too. I also agree with OGJM that he is taking his anger at himself out on you. Respond with gentle dignity when he does this. Don't let him verbally abuse you as it will just make you both feel bad.<br />
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I am often surprised by how mid-life crises lead to such concrete solutions. Like-"I feel old, if I get involved with someone younger; I'll feel younger." In your husband's case--"I don't feel like a good provider. If I get involved with a woman with money, I'll feel better. And I'll take project all my feelings about not being where I thought I would be on to my poor wife." I'm kind of oversimplifying here, but it sure does sound like your husband got into a classic projection split here, projecting what he wanted on to her, and all the bad on to you.<br />
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It is lousy to be on the other side of those projections. You need to do everything you can to shake those off. He has behaved badly, not you. Assert yourself with quiet dignity again and again. My heart goes out to you. Good luck.

Oh, I like the long trip idea! Somewhere you both have always wanted to go.

Dear loradw, your story really moved me. I don't usually (probably never) write to reply on marriage issues, but here's my two cents on yours. <br />
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Your husband is angry at himself, but he is taking it out on you and the people around him. It is probably his unconscious way of punishing himself. Yes there might be external things involved (woman, alcohol, drugs) but from what you say it doesn't look the case - except for the woman. <br />
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Do you think you can manage to go on a long trip together? Fly out of the country to Europe or somewhere else. Go on a honeymoon that isn't very costly. This way you can pull him away from the "other woman" and help him to talk by having him relax somewhere different than the setting where all the trouble is happening. Changing the "environment" always helps. <br />
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I am sure others will chime in with better and maybe more realistic advice as well. Welcome to EP. You can vent anywhere you want on the internet, but on EP you usually find support and feedback :)

Somebody else needs to suffer for a while in this situation and I don't mean you. (find out where she lives, I"ll take care of it)<br />
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Do something to make yourself feel good. Do lots of things to make yourself feel good. Spend whatever money he has, if he doesn't have any, charge it. Nevermind saving for your old age, if you don't brighten up your outlook, you won't have any.<br />
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Redecorate the living room, Give yourself a makeover. Go to spas regularly and take your best girlfriend, the one that makes you laugh so hard your insides turn to jello.<br />
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Be really really good to yourself, eat very well, exercise, go to films, concerts, museums, indulge in your favorite hobbies. Force yourself to put any consideration at all for Mr. Mid Life Crisis on a low simmer on the back burner....he's wounded you and you need to heal. Let him know that you love him, you want him, but you are requesting some time out for you, and asking him to promise to wait for you...,.,its the very least he can do. That's what I would do.

Somebody else needs to suffer for a while in this situation and I don't mean you. (find out where she lives, I"ll take care of it)<br />
<br />
Do something to make yourself feel good. Do lots of things to make yourself feel good. Spend whatever money he has, if he doesn't have any, charge it. Nevermind saving for your old age, if you don't brighten up your outlook, you won't have any.<br />
<br />
Redecorate the living room, Give yourself a makeover. Go to spas regularly and take your best girlfriend, the one that makes you laugh so hard your insides turn to jello.<br />
<br />
Be really really good to yourself, eat very well, exercise, go to films, concerts, museums, indulge in your favorite hobbies. Force yourself to put any consideration at all for Mr. Mid Life Crisis on a low simmer on the back burner....he's wounded you and you need to heal. Let him know that you love him, you want him, but you are requesting some time out for you, and asking him to promise to wait for you...,.,its the very least he can do. That's what I would do.

Sorry about your pain, I can empathize with you. Going through a similar experience with my now ex husband, the best advice I could give you is please don't blame yourself. It seems like you had the perfect marriage, the lack of what your husband needed was on his part. I too felt hurt, betrayed and angry as I caught my ex with the other woman. It took a while to realize it had nothing to do with me. You seem like a very intelligent lady, please don't consider suicide. Think about devastated your children would be. Take life one day at a time, and remember everything is temporary. Good luck and I'm here if you ever need someone to talk to:)

Thank you for the comment and kind words.

I am so sorry for your troubles. I really don't know what to tell you, except that you need to follow your heart. Is there a possibility that drugs could be involved? It would explain some of the mood swings that your husband is experiencing. I am not a counselor and I have no formal training that would qualify me to tell you what to do. I am just a caring person that is here for you if you want to vent. I wish I had an easy answer for you and could tell you how to make things better. It seems that your husband has to be the one to want to work things out. I feel that as long as you are there he won't appreciate you or try since he is getting what he needs from you. I agree with your children. He has to see what he has lost in order to realize what he wants. Right now, he still has you there for him in every way. Just as he probably still has her there also. If he doesn't have you then maybe he will realize what he is giving up. You really need to focus on yourself and getting yourself back to where you need to be either way. When that happens then you are free to decide what YOU want to do about this situation. I'm here if you want to talk.