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I discovered my husband was having an affair....

Discussion in 'Family, Home & Health' started by Crystal_Dreams, Feb 2, 2018.

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  1. Gussie
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    by Gussie » Feb 4, 2018
    Hi @Crystal_Dreams

    I am so sorry that you are in such pain. Sending prayers your way.

    I believe that people can change if they whole heartedly want to and work to get there.
     
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  2. JDDN
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    by JDDN » Feb 4, 2018
    I completely understand if you need a break from all this :(2. I had been meaning to post a link to a GREAT interview by Terry Gross on Fresh Air. It was an interview with a couples therapist who is a specialist on infidelity. She touches on some fascinating topics. And no, it's not about how it'll never work after an affair, lol. The therapist's name is Esther Perel and she has a TED talk called 'Rethinking Infidelity' and a book called "The State of Affairs."

    https://www.npr.org/2017/12/13/5701...-a-therapist-recommends-rethinking-infidelity

    Crystal_Dreams, you are strong and brave and you will survive this. I don't think ANY of this is easy and I think you are doing the best you can for the best of reasons. Take good care :kiss2:.
     
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  3. partgypsy
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    by partgypsy » Feb 8, 2018
    One thing I suggest, is put away your engagement ring for awhile. It's just going to be painful looking at it, put it away until you want to wear it. In addition to working on your marriage, start thinking about, what YOU want out of life. Maybe individual counseling No matter what happens with your marriage, whether you stay or leave, it will make you a stronger person to yourself and everyone else who loves you. Hugs.
     
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  4. JmeeMrie
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    by JmeeMrie » Feb 8, 2018
    That's awful. As someone who has been lied to by someone I loved I totally understand where you're coming from. My ex is actually a great guy he was just too selfish to be who I needed/wanted him to be (honest &faithful). So my advice is to feel your feelings and do what's best for you. I know it sounds simple but sometimes it's hard to do. Whether that means reconciling with him, or moving on with your life just make sure it's what is best for you. And I also love that you are starting your own project ring from you to you!
     
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  5. luv2sparkle
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    by luv2sparkle » Feb 8, 2018
    @Crystal_Dreams, I just want to say how sorry I am that you are going through all this pain. It is the worst kind of pain, the betrayal. I am amazed at your grit in trying to put things back together. It takes a lot of guts because you have to face the hurt every day. I don’t think I could do it. I am thankful that you are financially independent and can leave if you want to. I hope you will if you get one second of doubt in thinking that he is not 100% sincere and honest with you. You deserve better.
     
  6. Bron357
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    by Bron357 » Feb 9, 2018
    Sending you some hugs and then some more hugs.
    Just a day at a time.
     
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  7. jaaron
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    by jaaron » Feb 9, 2018
    Ah, Crystal_Dreams, I wish I could give you a great big hug. Clearly, I can't, so I'd like to offer a slightly different perspective from what seems to be the majority response here- a couple that we are very close to went through something similar, but actually worse, than your situation and have come through with a truly happy and solid marriage.

    I'm not going to lie- it took a long time and there were agonising moments along the way, when both doubted they could make it, but as they realised, there were going to be moments like that if they had decided to separate.

    From being very close to the situation with them, I would advise
    -as much as you are able, take care of yourself. Whatever gives you a little peace and happiness, grab it. If work is a solace, work. If massages or running or knitting or whatever helps, do it.
    -realise that everything you are going through in terms of the PTSD, feeling uncharacteristically weak, etc. is totally normal. It's not you- it's you in this moment only, and it's ok
    -finding a therapist you click with can take some doing, but keep at it
    -if you are going to couples counselling, make sure it's not it's 'this is a no blame zone' type counselling. I actually think the first couples counsellor our friends saw set things back. The second was ruthless and really helped the husband look at his actions in ways he hadn't.
    -do NOT accept any blame for the affair. If you want to look at the marriage and your role in it, that's fine, but you are not responsible for his bad choices. If he was unhappy, he had many other options that didn't involve lying and cheating.
    -establish whatever boundaries you need, and be assertive about them, but make him responsible for finding ways to make you feel safe.
    -he MUST find a good therapist and really do the work to understand himself and the choices he's made.
    -remind yourself that it's not weak to stay- it requires just as much courage, if not more at times, as walking away, and that it's ok to be on the fence for as long as it takes. You don't need to leave OR recommit to the marriage right now.

    I don't want to give false hope, but watching our friends really changed my thinking about some pretty rigid ideas I had, and I truly think that if both of you feel the marriage is worth saving and are willing to put in the hard work, it can be done.

    Can't wait to see what you do with the OEC!
     
  8. StephanieLynn
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    by StephanieLynn » Feb 9, 2018
    First off know that you have a huge group here that support you in your decisions and are here whenever you need to vent or a shoulder to cry on.

    While I haven't been through infidelity, I did come to a point in my marriage where I had to admit things were wrong and unsustainable without change. It was tough, he was emotionally abusive towards me for years and eventually I "woke up" and came to the conclusion that it wasn't okay. Most people would have left but I didn't, because I realized that he didn't know better, because he learned these behaviors from my MIL whom I refuse to have any contact with. And you know what? It got better, not perfect but better. He was truly sorry and turned himself around which is worth more than any apology. Now there are limits, he doesn't get a pass to treat poorly because he had a bad day or any other reason, he knows now it won't be tolerated.

    Actions speak louder than words, sorry is just a word until it's put into action. At the end of the day this is your life and you are in control of your actions, you can't fix him or control him but you can 100% do what you need to do to be okay with yourself. Just know that you didn't make him have an affair, many times we blame ourselves thinking we could have been better or done something different but everyone is in control of their own actions and need to take personal responsibility for themselves.
     
  9. Matthews1127
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    by Matthews1127 » Feb 20, 2018
    I understand your compulsion to try to take some culpability for his affair; that somehow, you drove him to it. However, as much as I believe it takes two, I don’t believe that is ALWAYS the case. In your situation, I don’t see mutual ownership to the wreckage in which you now find yourself standing.
    As mentioned above, he made a conscious choice to be unfaithful. Part of your healing process is going to be holding him accountable for his choice to lie with another woman, and deceiving you. There are multiple variables that contribute to your pain, and you played no role in any of that.
    My husband works insane hours; sometimes he works night turn for weeks to months, and we are like two ships passing in the night. That doesn’t give me an excuse to be unfaithful. The thought has never crossed my mind, and the idea of anyone doing that to someone they pledged to love forever makes me physically ill. I pride myself on my faithfulness & loyalty. I know that he feels the same, and that he works hard to contribute to our marriage & to support our family. I am grateful for his dedication. Your commitment to your career doesn’t give him an excuse, either. In fact, your efforts to work & provide for your family can only benefit both of you, so he should be thankful he has you.
    Do what you need to do to cope, and work your way through this, but please do not blame yourself for his actions. There were so many other alternatives to deception and infidelity that he could have chosen, but he chose not to seek them in order to preserve your marriage.
    I admire your courage, and your choice to stay...for now. I hope he proves himself worthy of you.
    Prayers & love are extended to you. I have been away for a while, and you have been on my mind quite a bit. You are in my thoughts, and I want you to know you have support. I have shared your story with my DH because of his story. We both hope you find peace & Love, regardless of the outcome. :mrgreen2:
     
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  10. cmd2014
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    by cmd2014 » Feb 20, 2018
    Crystal_Dreams,

    Just wanted to say that I’ve been thinking about you and hope you are ok. I also wanted to apologize for any added hurt I may have caused. Real life is always more complicated than “what if’s” and it's hard to know what to do when there are no easy answers. I hope you are taking care of yourself, and that you still know that there is support here if you need it - no matter what you decide.
     
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  11. in-the-air
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    by in-the-air » Mar 18, 2018
    12 years though! That's so hurtful!
     
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  12. Crystal_Dreams
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    by Crystal_Dreams » Mar 19, 2018
    The affair lasted for 18 months to 2 years. We have been together for 12 years and married for 2 of those years. I just realised how ambiguous it was in my initial post.

    It took me a long time to come back to this thread. I was avoiding it on purpose because I started to react very poorly and I realised it was because I’m so sensitive and a bit unstable emotionally from what has happened.

    I wanted to say thank you to everyone here and their well wishes. It is difficult as I don’t want to tell a lot of people in my life (my family and a few close friends know). If we were in fact to separate, I would have no hesitation in making sure the world knows what he has done. But for now, while we are trying to rebuild... I judge it best to show some restraint, even if it is awfully tempting at times.

    We have found a new counseller who is MUCH more helpful than the last. He is also going to an individual counseller regularly now which he claims is helping him a lot.

    I still struggle every day. I cry pretty much every day. My rages and tears are less frequent now than they were and they don’t last as long... but they are still there. I still suffer from some PTSD symptoms. I get triggered by the most innocent words, items, phrases, names... anything can do it. It’s hard. I could never have understood how much pain infildelity causes prior to experiencing it myself. It’s on a level of its own...

    My husband is continuing to work on himself. I do see this. Changes are not instantaneous nor do they happen all at once... but there is some change for the better.

    I was feeling really down this morning. I came home after a night shift and all I could get out were broken sobs and gasps. No one is home to hear or see me anyway. I read through all your supportive messages though and felt a bit better. So THANK YOU.
     
  13. Gussie
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    by Gussie » Mar 19, 2018
    Just want you to know that I am thinking of you and sending prayers your way.
     
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  14. Crystal_Dreams
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    by Crystal_Dreams » Mar 19, 2018
    As an aside, although I am not to blame for his affair (AT ALL)! I do acknowledge that I played a part in creating the issues in our relationship which were pre-existing. I threw myself into my work to try to make more money for us. I spent more time looking at bling (does that sound ridiculous?) than with him. Of course, he was also to blame for not spending time together etc. but I realise there were problems in the relationship which i had a part in...
     
  15. ilovegemstones
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    by ilovegemstones » Mar 19, 2018
    Hugs to you Crystal Dreams. You are so strong. ❤
     
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  16. december-fire
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    by december-fire » Mar 19, 2018
    @Crystal_Dreams ,

    I'm so sorry you're going through this.
    As much as possible, try to find moments of calmness.
    Not easy given the circumstances, but important.

    With time, you'll determine what's right for you.

    Sending hugs, and comforting and supportive thoughts.
     
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  17. ILikeShiny
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    by ILikeShiny » Mar 19, 2018
    Sending hugs, @Crystal_Dreams. It’s such a sucky situation. I’m glad your family and close friends know what’s going on, so you don’t feel like you have no release. And of course we’re here to listen as well.

    Keep taking care of yourself (and cry as much as you need to!). Best wishes.
     
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  18. JDDN
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    by JDDN » Mar 19, 2018
    Hi Crystal_Dreams, I've thought about you many times since you started this thread. The work through all this is HARD. I'm really glad to hear you found a counselor who is more suited to the two of you. Just want to lend support your way and remind you to be good and kind and patient with yourself. We are here for you, whatever you need. I'm sending you a great big hug.

    P.S. I think you still have my email in case there's anything I can do hun.
     
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  19. partgypsy
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    by partgypsy » May 1, 2018
    I totally sympathize. Take time away, do what you need to do with self-care. Also don't forget to reach out to friends. No matter what, carving a life independent from him will make you feel better and give you the instinctive understanding that you WILL BE OK, with him, or without him. Also, once you get to this point, I think it is important for you as a couple to tell the story of what happened. For him to tell mutual friends what happened, that he cheated for a number of years and that you are working on the marriage. Don't HIDE this. It's really important if you really want to have something come out of all this. If he does NOT want to tell other people what happened, this is a big red flag.
    Myself, after a number of rocky years, him suddenly saying he's not sure he feels the same, and may leave me. Matter of factly, then making us dinner and us watching a dvd together. Him chatting cheerfully with the kids, no emotions or distress, the kids having no clue what is going on, while I was having an out of body experience. And I went through the same thing, after I told him, he either needed to re-commit and work on the marriage, or move out, and two days later finding incriminating email drafts, and more and more information over a period of months... In my case we were together for 25 years, married for 20. He was cheating on me 5? 7? years. I guess it depends if you want to include the emotional affair as well. I do carry responsibility, that things changed, that was not good. He became emotionally distant. I tried to be patient and focus on the family. I brought it up with him, that I wasn't happy with the way our relationship was, but he would say, if I was unhappy, then I was just an unhappy person. He made me feel like there was something wrong with me. He slowly cut me out of all of our mutual friendships, and then told me it was because they didn't like me, and I had no friends. I just internalized a lot of stuff. It was bad. I thought I was being the good, better person, but in reality, was it good that my kids saw me be treated that way? Treated like a doormat? With contempt? I regret that I had become more dependent on the relationship, the more he distanced himself, the more I longed for what we used to have. I wish I asked more questions, not just to him but to the people we knew, and not accept at face value what he was telling me. For us, it's way too late. He lied and covered stuff up and killed the marriage years ago. He even had other people lie for him, to the point I felt like I was going crazy. I'm going to court next Tuesday to get my official divorce. It's about a month plus 2 years since he left. Two years ago even contemplating this was devastating to me. Now it is a huge sense of relief, and feeling I got my life back. I escaped. Unlike many people around me who are outraged and angry and will never forgive him, I don't have anger towards him. It's like being angry at a dog because it won't solve an Algebra problem. I don't know if I'm making any sense. But you have a huge challenge before you. This may be the hardest thing you ever go through. And because of that there is also the potential for big personal growth. Hugs.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
  20. partgypsy
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    by partgypsy » May 1, 2018
    Editing to add, this is a song my daughter played for me 2 years ago (brave)
     
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  21. NewEnglandLady
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    by NewEnglandLady » May 17, 2018
    Crystal_Dreams, I highly recommend the book "Surviving an Affair" by Dr. Harley.

    Sounds like your husband was involved in what Dr. Harley would refer to as a "garden variety" affair. Devastating for you, but ultimately they all follow the same blue print: marriage has taken a back seat, you spent less time together over the years, he had poor boundaries around other women, another woman started meeting some of his needs, and it flourished from there. The good news is that by making some changes, those types of affairs have the highest success rate if you did want to recover the marriage.

    Dr. Harley is about following a plan. It's not easy, but if done correctly and both the husband and wife are on board, it works. About 10 years ago a good friend of mine's husband had an affair. She asked me to be her intermediary and I read Dr. Harley's book to understand my role. There is also a forum (marriagebuilders) dedicated to his teachings, which I followed while I was her intermediary and have followed on and off since. Most don't follow the plan, but I've seen some great success stories of those who do.

    Thinking of you and wishing you the best, no matter what you decide to do!
     
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  22. chanieish
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    by chanieish » Jun 1, 2018
    OP, I teared up reading your post. I'm sorry this happened to you and I can empathize with your flurry of emotions right now. It will be hard, but you need to place the focus on yourself, on what is best for you. I hope you have close family and friends to speak with you during this difficult time. sad :((
     
  23. Crystal_Dreams
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    by Crystal_Dreams » Jun 2, 2018
    Thank you partgypsy, New England lady and chanieish... things have been challenging.

    We are slowly working through this huge mess he has decided to rip apart our relationship with. We had a pretty major setback with further lies uncovered about pornography use a few months ago which really screwed things up again. I have had to learn that I can check and try to control things all I like- all it serves is to drive me crazy. In the end, if he wants to act up, he can. If he wants to try to fix this... he will. The porn addiction part really makes it challenging though.

    This is a really hard thing for me to accept as I very much so need CONTROL in my life and this is the total opposite. I’m still working on it.

    We have mutual friends who know. One couple was because they were the ones I reached out to when I first found out- the other couple he chose to disclose it to after discussion with me and some encouragement. Both our families are aware. He told his parents voluntarily, but I have refused to see them since I found out as I feel they are no longer my family.

    I am hopefully slowly healing... but it’s certainly not a process that can be rushed. We are seeing a counseller weekly, and he sees an individual counseller for his own issues regularly too. I feel like he tore this massive wound into me. All I have left is a gaping hole with edges which keep on haemorrhaging. A wound like that doesn’t scab over and close easily. Sometimes the edges start to clot and the bleeding slows... but they still ooze. The slightest bump will start the haemorrhage afresh.
     
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  24. partgypsy
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    by partgypsy » Jun 4, 2018
    Why don't you feel like his parents are no longer part of your family? I would only do that, if they have somehow made clear they are taking his side, or blame you somehow for this. I bet they are just as devastated and disappointed in him as you are. My parents in law were very supportive. They did not approve at all what he had been doing, and I am still on close terms with my mother in law (FIL has passed away). I have a good relationship with my BIL and his wife. OTOH I've always had a cool relationship with my SIL. From the beginning my ex's sister acted jealous and resentful, like I stole her big brother away. She pretty much treated me like a 2nd class citizen for no reason while she doesn't act that way around the other SIL. AND when this was going down, she actually went out of her way to reach out, be kind and offer advice and LIE to cover up his affair which she knew about!!! I should have been suspicious that she was acting nice to me, in retrospect because that was out of character for her. Needless to say, I find it hard to be around her.
     
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  25. ILikeShiny
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    by ILikeShiny » Jun 4, 2018
    I’m so sorry to hear that the road continues to be rough. Hopefully all of his demons are out on the table now so you can truly know the extent of what you’re trying to work through. Continue taking care of yourself and being good to yourself. I’m glad you have friends you can talk to about all of this.

    Thanks for the update.
     
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  26. cmd2014
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    by cmd2014 » Jun 5, 2018
    As awful as it is to find these things out, at least knowing what you are dealing with lets you make the best decisions that you can for yourself about what you want to do about it. I'm so sorry that things continue to be difficult. I was hoping that with time this would have gotten easier. Keep taking care of you, reach out for all the support you need, and in the end, I hope that you will find happiness, either together as a stronger couple because of the challenges that you have faced, or as a stronger woman on your own knowing with even greater clarity what she does or doesn't want in a partner going forward. Relationships are hard. Everyone struggles in their own way, even if they aren't necessarily sharing that openly with anyone. You are not alone in feeling wounded, raw, blindsided, and wondering what the future holds. And you will get through this, even if it doesn't feel like it on any given day.
     
  27. Crystal_Dreams
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    by Crystal_Dreams » Jun 5, 2018
    I haven’t spoken to anyone in his family (with the exception of his older brother as we occasionally see each other at work) at all since I found out- I just didn’t feel that I want to. I’m not even sure if his brother knows... but we keep any communication strictly professional.

    I guess I just assumed no matter what, they would side with him, though I have always had a good relationship with my MIL. Blood is thicker than anything else afterall. That probably isn’t being fair to them... but I also know that the atttitude of ‘if he apologies and promises to never do it again, then forgive and move on’ (rug sweeping much?) likely applies here and that is something that I ABSOLUTELY don’t need to subject myself to. I know they are disappointed in him. That’s fine by me. They SHOULD be. I just wouldn’t feel comfortable being around them as I am right now.

    I REFUSE to be told that I should move on and continue and be happy just because he has said sorry. I’m not after a repeat of the same crappy relationship and cheating. I’m here because I want a BETTER relationship in the future... that involves identifying and fixing all the issues that led us down this path in the first place. Some of these issues include me. I can acknowledge that- communication is a 2 way street. I focused way too much on work etc. but a LOT more of the problematic behaviours are his, and I will never overlook things like that again.

    This is part of me putting myself first I guess- I am not willing to and will not compromise on what I feel uncomfortable about (whether that’s with seeing his family or him going out). If he wants to work on saving this, I need to see that my feeling safe is a priority for him, which it never was before. He has been understanding of this and hasn’t pushed the issue, though has mentioned several times that they miss me.

    Looking back, things ARE a bit better now as compared to when I first started this thread. It’s a long and painful road though... and it’s nowhere near at its end.
     
  28. Bron357
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    by Bron357 » Jun 5, 2018
    Sending you some hugs.
    It is a long painful journey though I am happy that you feel there is some progress.
    Betrayal of trust requires a lot more than a “sorry”.
    It requires the rebuilding, from a negative position, back up to a satisfactory level of comfort for YOU. Not him, not his family.
    Personally, I feel he should explain to his family what has occurred. Not so they can take sides or offer advice or their opinion to you, but so they know you have been devastingly betrayed and deeply hurt by his selfish and inappropriate behavior. Your desire to avoid them is his fault and all of his making. You have been devastated by him having an affair, for many many years and by how you found out. He needs to tell them that you are healing and until further notice need space and time. Tough luck if he is ashamed and embarrassed by his behavior in front of his family, he did it, he wears the consequences.
    I’m sorry but he doesn’t deserve “privacy” would you rather his family think you have some unexplained and mysterious issue with them, that’s it’s you?
    No it’s him, all his fault.
    That said, what I might do in your shoes, what the lady down the street might do is totally irrelevant. It is your journey on your terms.
    You have the right to feel both loved, special and safe in your relationship.
    Whether this can attained, only time can tell. I wish you strength and fortitude on your journey, I hope that eventually you have grown as a person and the future, whatever it is, is brillant, bright and wonderful.
    You deserve no less.
     
  29. Crystal_Dreams
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    by Crystal_Dreams » Jun 6, 2018
    Thank you, Bron. You have managed to convey what I have been thinking.

    He has explained to his family what he has done (not like I’ve asked them to check lol). I don’t feel any compulsion to see them and I will do so in my own time when I feel I am ready. They are aware of this and respect it- I asked him to tell his mother to please stop contacting me and my parents as she tried to do at the start of this mess (they used to be quite close), and she has respected this, which I appreciate.

    I know his mother is worried about me and our marriage. It was HER son who made all these bad choices and screwed up the best thing that ever happened to him. His mother has always treated me well and has told me she sees me as her own daughter. I don’t want them to worry- but I’m going to put myself first and do whatever it takes for ME to heal. I will not put a time limit on my healing. It will happen as it needs to, and not a moment before. I won’t force myself into anything before I’m ready!
     
  30. partgypsy
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    by partgypsy » Jun 26, 2018
    I just want to say, it was healing for my relationship w my mil to continue. That she's Grandma to my kids, and that not everything ended because of the affair. I do have to admit i lost a lot of friends (as did he), basically couple friends who he lied to. They felt horrified by what he did. But at the same time he was the social butterfly and their social lives revolve around other couples, so that's that. The whole thing was very high school like. But i have "my" friends, and made some new friends so that is good.
     
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