How long have we been together? How long has the affair been going on? Do we have kids? If we stayed together, would I be able to forgive ? Would I be able to trust him ever again or would I always been wondering? Do I think marriage counseling would be worth it? How much of myself do I have invested? Would I be better off moving on? What about assets?
There are so many variables. A long term affair would be tougher for me to reconcile. Short term and if he wasn't a serial cheater, I most likely try to work it out. If he laid a hand on me, we'd be through.
But I'd for sure confront him.
My father was a serial cheater. My mom suspected, I knew. I thought she should have left him, she felt sorry for him and stuck it out.
@hallmike Been together thirty years now. if he cheated on me at this point, we'd get through it.
Since he retired his old company about five years ago and started another, where he works in his shop at the back of our yard, he's home 24/7 and has a pretty fair backlog of work to do. He doesn't have the time, energy or money for an affair.
@nadroj I'm not a lawyer, and I don't know what state you are in, however, courts in general frown on preemptive strikes that remove the other spouses ability to pay for a lawyer. Asshole men use it against their housewives, so there are some protections. "Disappearing" and going on vacation are different. 48 hours after you disappear with no notice, your spouse files a police report, and they begin looking for you. Also, have you ever tried to withdraw large sums of cash? It's hard. That means your stolen money would most likely have to be transferred into a personal, non shared account, which the police would then monitor to try to find you. Now, if they are well employed, you told them to go fuck themselves, told family where you were going and just left? That you would have better luck with. Also, if you took all the money, y you would probably have to give half back in the divorce anyway, unless it was offset by other assets.
Talk it out, or at least give them a chance to spill their side of it. I'm not sure that lifelong monogamy is really natural for a lot of people, and there could be a whole side of it that isn't as it appears. Regardless of what eventually happens, freaking out and/or panic is likely to lead to regrettable shit in the long run.
My wife is the love of my life. She's more patient that I deserve and is the most loving and giving woman that I've ever known. My first instinct is to scream divorce, but the other part of me wants to understand and forgive.
This is likely a situation that I wouldn't be able to tell you what I'd do unless it happened. I hope I never have to go through that though.
@marklog Well, it's not Honey. But I can live with that. Wait. (thinking....) I have to admit, the "Honey" is usually followed by a request for some sort of physical activity that pulls me out of my comfort zone, such as help making the bed, cutting his hair, running a load of laundry...maybe not "Honey". And his brother's dog is named Honey....yeah, I may have to rethink "Honey". Hmmmm....
But Dianne, I'm okay with Dianne, since that is my name.
This is such a personal subject to broach. I can't really imagine my spouse doing anything to make me not want to be married to him anymore. I'm sure there's a line somewhere, but I'm not sure what it is, or under what circumstances it becomes unforgivable. I'm not sure that over a lifetime commitment that I can expect 100% loyalty and commitment. We're humans. Things ebb and flow. There are times when we're so rock solid, it's like we share a brain. There are times when having a conversation is so damn hard, it's hard to imagine that we'll be on track again any time soon. The one thing that's steady, I want him to be my person for as long as I can imagine & he feels the same. If cheating is your line, you react how you need to. I'm not sure a one-off is worth tossing out a partnership. I'm also not going through it.
I am sure that destroying their stuff, injuring people, etc. are just going to leave everyone more broken than they already were.
@Thumperchick I can think of a number of things I couldn't forgive enough to stick around...luckily I don't imagine her doing any of them so it's a null issue but things like kiddie porn, sexual abuse, dangerous drug use etc would cause me much concern.
This is something that's happened. I was able to forgive the one time, but made it very clear that a repeat would be the end. I think most people aren't made to be with one person forever and that it's natural to have more than one love throughout our lives. But if I'm with someone who goes from one mistake to serial cheating, our time together is done, and their time meaning anything to me is done.
Some folks are ok with sharing their spouses. For lots of different reasons. In that case, live and let live works. I am going to assume (from your question) that sharing your spouse is something you don't want to do at all. I'm in the not going to share my spouse group, also. No sharing, not my husband.. My first marriage lasted 20 (all my young years) 10 of those years were totally wasted trying to be happy in our situation . Cause of kids, family obligations, money etc. There was no cheating involved, even without that added problem, we still ended up divorced. And we should have divorced 10 years sooner! That divorce, greatest thing he ever did for me. Started this comment 2 hours ago (too many phone calls) and now , well, I might have drank some. Ok, been 16 years with my 2nd husband, much better match. I I told him right from the go. I love you. If the day comes when you don't want to be with me? Just tell me, you don't want to be with me it's ok, if that's how you feel. I won't want you to be with me either. Too much rambling. Anyways, you deserve someone who only wants to be with you, period. If that's what you need.
1) Don't pander to your own insecurities. Seriously, instant fail! 2) Everyone wants fresh excitement and validation, even you! 3) You've surely been tempted yourself. It's a primal urge like hunger. 4) Speak with a Lawyer (secret backup plan, don't bring it up). 5) Talk to your partner about it. Don't be angry or dramatic. Remember points 1-3! 6) Poly relationships are a bit extreme, but might I suggest 'swinging'? Been there, done that, got the T-Shirt.
Communication. Understanding why your spouse felt the need/desire to find intimacy outside of your relationship would be the best course of action in my personal opinion. If it's something that can be improved/fixed, then go through and try. If it's not fixable, then end the relationship.
Everyone makes mistakes, but there are some thinks that you can never take back. In this situation, since you obviously didn't know about it, you now know that your spouse is capable of lying to you. Breaking trust is major, and it's very difficult to rebuild.
Ultimately you have to decide if you can let it go. Maybe not tomorrow, but 2-3 years from now? If you don't think you can, there is going to be this dark pit in your relationship that you will never be able to get rid of. What is the best course of action for you both physically and mentally?
If you, or anyone else reading this is in this situation, I am very sorry. You are an amazing person, and deserve to be treated with the same kindness and respect that you treat others.
Thanks to everyone who offered support, but perhaps I wasn't clear enough that this is hypothetical. I watched the Black Mirror 'The Entire History of You' episode with a couple 9.1 ABV stouts. It was emotionally powerful and made me think about what I would do if it happened to me.
@hallmike Ok, I never heard of Black Mirror, but I have netflix. So I'll check it out. So I guess lesson learned here, Is if anyone has a for real problem, they can't figure out. Lot's of folks here will offer a variety of support, advice, solutions, empathy or humour. That's pretty good.
@medz what's funny is there was another thread one time about about 3-ways (in a joking way). I think a couple of people including myself tried to post this, but every single time it was automatically replaced by another video. Glad you got it thru, because it is classic SNL.
I found out my husband, who had volunteered to go overseas, was living with a woman there. I sold his wedding ring and bought a lawyer with it. Got a divorce with a huge child support payment. We'd been married for 16 years. Suddenly all my friends and relatives came out with stories about him that they thought I knew. The wife really was the last one to know.
The day my divorce became final I married my current husband. That was 30 years ago.
2) Find a good therapist, pastor, someone for counseling and discuss your options. 3) Calm down and THEN confront them.
I've been there. Emotions run high, so get yourself grounded and have all of your ducks in a row before you do anything. Then when it all blows up...and it will... you'll be ready in every way.
When these things happen, we feel out of control. Instead of taking control in an impulsive way, take control of the circumstances that you can do something about. Think, don't react! Don't blame yourself without knowing what the heck is going on! (hence the therapy). Be prepared to leave or, better, let them leave. (hence, the lawyer). Know your options, know your options, know your options!!! Best of luck to you! It's rough...don't drag it out!
I stayed. Tried to make it work. I felt that marriage should be forever.
He refused counseling.
He kept cheating. He was pretty good at hiding it, at first.
He was a deadbeat that kept quitting jobs because he didn’t like them instead of finding somewhere else to work. Leaving me saddled with all the bills.
I still stayed and tried to make it work.
His excuse for not sleeping with me was that he wasn’t attracted to me anymore since I had gained weight after high school.
His excuse for not kissing me anymore was that he didn’t really like kissing.
Got to the point where I didn’t give a shit about anything anymore.
I made a friend online.
Met that friend in person.
Kissed him and realized that I no longer loved my husband because if I did, I’d never kiss that guy. Truly realized my ex was a piece of shit, and I didn’t want to be a cheater like he was.
Found out he was in love with someone he was currently cheating with by seeing it plastered all over Facebook a week after we broke up. Figured that if he could fall in love that fast, he didn’t love me at all.
Realized I made the best decision of my life.
Slight regret that I wasted so much of my life with him.
No kids, married to her under 1 year. Got an annulment.
I’m not still angry 30+ years later, but I caught the useless fucking cheater-whore-bitch.
The worst part was that she demanded to get my '72 Chevelle and that her parents could afford to get her a scum-sucking bitch lawyer.
The best part is the wonderful woman & met & have been married to for 30+ years. It all worked out (except for that Chevelle. I saw it later, it literally had dingle-balls and fur in the windows, was jacked up in the back a foot, had pimp rims & looked like shit).
Do you still want to be with them. Were you also distant or considering cheating? Kids? Cheating with one person or many? Why cheating? Cheating for how long? Emotionally or only physically? There are a ton of variables.
When I was younger I just didn’t understand about the character flaws that lead to massive dishonestly or abusiveness or irresponsibility - in an intimate relationship; or a friendship, acquaintance, or biz relationship. I was all about fixing things and being at fault and not giving up; and if things went wrong, had I been perfect? How could I expect others to keep their word, not lie, not abuse and manipulate, if I were not perfect and irreproachable in my own life? Cycle of misery on both sides, often enuf.
Finally I got it. Some people - some of whom I am quite fond of - are so damaged, or so unmotivated to try to see the impact they have on others and change, that no outsiders can get them to seek a different approach.
I finally learned about boundaries. That education only took me many decades. I am happy that the millennials often seem to be more savvy, tougher, and less vulnerable that way than my peers growing up.
I missed this thread the first time around and feel like having a storytime, so here’s my experience.
I was a stay-at-home mom with a newborn. I was unhappy and pretty sure my (ex)husband was using throughout my pregnancy but had no proof. One day, while he was at work, I found proof. I called him at work and told him he needed to bring his ass home and pack his shit, but didn’t tell him why. He kept asking why and I just kept repeating that he knew what he did. He ended up admitting that one night when he told me he was working late, his boss was blowing him (his boss that was at our wedding years before and was supposed to be a friend). I took the baby to my best friend’s and stayed for a few days. Then I got scared because I had a newborn and no real income and agreed to work it out. He promised to stop using and go to counseling. We went to see a pastor who was of the mind that a man only cheats if his wife isn’t showing him the proper respect. So yeah. I stuck it out for a few more years while I tried to get my shit together. I ended up falling pregnant while asleep and resigned myself to my life. Then I found out he was hiding money and using again. I kicked him out, borrowed money to hire a good attorney, and moved out of state a month or so later with my current husband. Got Ex on tape admitting to drug use and got supervised visitation. Ex wanted to party and not pay child support and was facing jail time. He agreed to sign over his parental rights to my husband so that he wouldn’t have to pay future child support. My husband adopted my beautiful babies and we’ve lived happily ever after.
@JerseyFrank I’m a deep sleeper and he was a three stroke joke, especially when unprotected. By the time I woke up and realized, it was over. I wouldn’t trade my youngest for the world, but those were some dark days for me.
@f00l Thank you. I’m sure he’s getting his. An addict and alcoholic who can’t stick with recovery makes their own karmic reward. I’m happy with my children and I being safe, loved, and stable so the past no longer effects me.