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XP: If your spouse has had an affair...

I recently found out that my husband was having an affair with a "friend" of mine. Initially I ended up taking the kids and moved into my mom's house, but have since decided to give him another chance. I always thought cheating would be a deal breaker for me, but I am hopeful I can move past this.

We have two small children together. We married 3 years ago and had kids very soon after. Got caught up in life and forgot to nurture our relationship as husband and wife. No excuse, but I know that's what led us here. In an odd way I believe an affair may have saved our marriage. We are back to how we were years ago. Enjoying each others company, really talking... cuddling, kissing. Little things we were just forgetting to do. 

So my question is, do you have any tips for coping and moving on? This is all very fresh still. I know I can't be too hard on myself and it will take time and work on both our parts to heal. Anything I might not be thinking of that I/he should be doing?

 TIA
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Re: XP: If your spouse has had an affair...

  • I haven't been in this situation. If you are willing to stay and become a strong couple again do not hold his affair over his head. Don't rub his face in it and constantly remind him how horrible he is for doing it. If he's really sorry his guilt and seeing your hurt is punishment to him. Not saying the affair can never be discussed but not in a hateful, acusitory way. 

    Also get checked for STDs. 

    Good luck. Crossing my fingers he never does it again.  

    Eta: He ever cheats again or you think he may be leave and never look back. No regrets because you have him a second chance when most wouldn't. 

  • DH and I went through this. He didn't have an affair, he just cheated once, but it still sucked. I found out about it in May, which was about a year after it happened.

    As PP said, do not hold this over his head. If you are truly going to forgive him, then you need to really forgive him and not keep bringing it up. While at the same time, you need to communicate with him. You both need to realize that this isn't just going to go away: the hurt feelings will still be there. Right after I found out and realized I would give DH another chance, I kept shutting him out when I felt bad about it. I would get really depressed and not tell him why. This isn't a good thing to do. You both need to work on this together, and communication is key. Holding it over his head and telling him how you feel are not the same. So when you are thinking about it and it makes you sad and he asks what's wrong, just tell him. Don't say it like "you cheated on me, so of course I'm sad." I usually say "I'm thinking about what happened and it still makes me upset, even though it happened so long ago." Then we will talk about positive things together. It could be things that we've done before, or things we hope to do in the future (like buying a house or having kids).

    HTH. Please feel free to PM me if you need anything! This is a tough thing to go through, but you can get through it if you work hard. GL

  • i've never had to go through this, thankfully. PP had some great suggestions. I would add therapy to that though. Marriage counseling would probably be very beneficial.
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  • Thank you for the helpful responses :) I do have an appointment for counseling for myself in a few weeks and I'm going to look into marriage counseling as well. It's nice to hear from others that have experienced similar issues.
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  • I'm glad to hear that you are working on your marriage. I have heard that sometimes an affair can bring a couple closer together afterwards when the cheater is truly sorry and both partners are willing to work it out.

    As pp have said, it may be hard, but don't hold the affair over his head, but he is going to have to work on gaining your trust back.

    The best of luck to you. 

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  • image NurseRobinson:

    I'm glad to hear that you are working on your marriage. I have heard that sometimes an affair can bring a couple closer together afterwards when the cheater is truly sorry and both partners are willing to work it out.

    As pp have said, it may be hard, but don't hold the affair over his head, but he is going to have to work on gaining your trust back.

    The best of luck to you. 

    While our's was more of an emotional thing (he was on match.com) and we were not yet married I think the bolded is true for us.  The night I found out we were up all night long (partially because I couldn't quit puking) and he stuck right next to me.  He followed my lead and did whatever I needed.  I had questions and he gave me answers.  He let me look at his profile/history on there and there was a girl that he had talked with.  I was able to read through the convo and it was all fairly innocent.  While he didn't feel any connection and he claimed he was just looking to see what was out there it still really hurt.  He told me that the night I found out was when he realized how much he didn't want to lose me but couldn't blame me for leaving.  I decided to give him another shot.  I won't lie, it wasn't easy to trust again but we eventually got there.  A year later he proposed and we married a year after that.  It sounds odd but any time we would watch tv if a dating site commercial came on he would change the channel.  I know that a lot of it was he was still feeling guilty and beating himself up over it but I also think he was worried about my feelings too.  We would talk about it if it was on either of our minds and the open communication was key!  We are honestly so much closer now than we were before.  It's like we appreciate our relationship and don't take it for granted anymore.  Not that I'm recommending everyone have some crazy drama added into their relationship but it's not the end of the world necessarily if it is.

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  • GL I hope that this is a one time thing and once you get past it you never have to go threw it again. My ex use to cheat on me. A lot. And every time I forgave him. I put up with it for 5 yrs before I finally got the confidence I needed to leave. It took me years before I ever trusted a man again. And at times my DH still pays for another mans mistakes when it comes to my trust.

  • survivinginfidelity.com as well as individual and couples counseling - at least a few sessions.
  • image erollis:

    I haven't been in this situation. If you are willing to stay and become a strong couple again do not hold his affair over his head. Don't rub his face in it and constantly remind him how horrible he is for doing it. If he's really sorry his guilt and seeing your hurt is punishment to him. Not saying the affair can never be discussed but not in a hateful, acusitory way. 

    Also get checked for STDs. 

    Good luck. Crossing my fingers he never does it again.  

    Eta: He ever cheats again or you think he may be leave and never look back. No regrets because you have him a second chance when most wouldn't. 

     I find the not rubbing it in his face comments....interesting.  I tried in the beginning but there was NO telling when or where or how I was going to fly off the handle.  And, you know what....it's perfectly normal!  Eventually, that initial shock wears off and you're able to deal with things in more of a rational manner....but, if you need to go there...GO THERE.  For your own sanity and do nothing but realize your reaction is normal and he should expect that you will have such reactions for some time.  I also suggest the book or CDs - After the Affair, Not Just Friends and Five Love Languages...this one is for when you begin to heal.

  • DH and I went through something very similar, except I was the one being unfaithful Huh? I never imagined myself being that type of person, but after months of our relationship lacking communication, feeling unappreciated, undesired, and basically like we were just two roommates sharing a home, I put up a wall and started talking to a fellow co-worker and it eventually led to a relationship. We only ever kissed, and I did tell my DH about it after everything had happened, and it almost ended our marriage. We were both very angry over how things had turned out, but honestly it ended up being what saved our relationship. I realized all that I almost lost and my H realized that the way he had been treating me the past several months was not okay.

    It's been a hard several months since the incident, but we are now more open with each other and communicate better than before. I made sure to get into therapy to get myself help and DH has gone a couple times, and it has really helped me to have an outlet to speak to (I live across the country from my entire family so it's hard to find people to talk to).

    If I could offer you a tip coming from the person who was in the wrong, it would be to try and keep your hurtful comments to a minimum. The first couple months after I came clean, my DH was constantly making rude comments about me and the decisions I had made, how it was all my fault, he had done nothing wrong in our marriage,etc. I understand that he was healing and was upset and this was his way to get it out, but I was already beating myself up over what I did and him acting that way made me almost throw in the towel for good. I promise you, if your husband truly loves you and wants to make this work, he already hates himself for what he has done and is trying hard to make things better. Now is the time to re-build your marriage, as long as you two have determined you want to make this work, keep that in the back of your mind and keep the negative comments in your mind. Good luck!

  • My XH slept with someone else 6 months before our wedding. Coupling that (and a host of other issues in our relationship) with the fact that he's gay, didn't make for a successful marriage. Definitely would suggest counseling, both individually and as a couple. My situation is a little different considering we didn't have children. If we did (and he wasn't gay) I may have put in more of an effort to make it work.

    Spend quality time together on a regular basis, just the two of you. Go out to dinner, go ice skating, take a long walk. Anything where you can relax and enjoy each other's company. Try to treat this like a brand new relationship, because in a way that's exactly what it is. Trust has to be built up again, and the only way to do that is to really reconnect with one another.

    It's not going to be easy but if you two are able to work it out it will absolutely be worth it, especially for your children. Good luck!

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  • Been there, some days I still feel hurt, but keep doing what you are doing. Love him more & more and it helps. Counseling & accountability to each other has REALLY helped us. Good luck, the hardest days are behind you.

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  • Thank you all for the suggestions and advice. It helps more than you know!
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