Recovering from Infidelity

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    My husband of 11 years cheated on me with a young woman at work. 15 years younger than me. She has no kids, no responsibilities and no care for others so she helps facilitate this feeling that my husband latched onto “looking for happiness.” He was going through a seious challenge to his career and profession. It was a bit of a mid-life crisis for him. Well once I discovered the affair I threw him out and the relationship with her fizzled after 9 months. He is back home but I cannot seem to move forward from the pain, the humiliation and the rage. I need help accepting and processing the pain. My husband is still consumed with his own pride and his resolve to be completely honest is slow in happening. I am trying the best I can pushing the limits of my patience and my mental health. I do love him. And I know that I am co-dependent and yielding to his narcissistic selfishness. I can’t let myself be vulnerable with him anymore. I don’t know how we can move forward. Any advice?


    You have answered your own question when you admit that you are yielding to his narcissistic selfishness. You still love him and you want to be back where you were before his infidelity. This will never happen.
    It is so hard to break free from a loved one when you still have that love for them, but believe me, staying with him will just prolong the agony, like scratching open a wound.
    My mother gave me the best advice I ever had when I was with my child’s father. She told me that I would have a lonely life if I stayed with him. She was right, but I could not see it until years later when I was ready to stop making excuses and enabling his behaviour.
    You are strong and you do not need to be co dependent. I understand the loss you feel when you have invested a lot into a relationship, but move on. I hope you posting on here means you are ready to do that.


    I spent a year helping a parent with alzheimer’s and end stage lung cancer. I started drinking heavily to cope with the grief or rather, not knowing how to grieve in a healthy manner. At any rate, during this time in my 20 year marriage, my husband buried himself in alcohol, Facebook and Poker. After the memorial service, my oldest child asked if I knew what dad did online? What I found completely annihilated my sense of self and life as I knew it. I discovered an alter ego comprised of internet infidelity and sex addiction. I tortured myself looking through emails, chat logs, browser histories and saved pornography downloads. I simply could not believe what I was seeing and that he was meeting 22 to 27 year old women online and engaging in this type of behavior through Facebook social media and chat forums! I thought his alienation and isolation was in part his way of grieving. I confronted my husband and asked him to participate in couples counseling and he simply refused, saying the problem was mine. He maintains his innocence as he has not “physically” consummated a relationship with these women and the “friendships” are innocent and that he has done nothing wrong. He moved into our garage as we could not afford to separate and finally moved out of the family home at my request at 2 years of separation. At this point, I suffered depression and anxiety. I was an emotional wreck and could not stop crying and had daily panic attacks and could barely function.

    The shock I received was a catalyst to my own recovery. I started by getting a physical and walking every day. I joined a gym. I then went to grief counseling and joined a women’s support group and learned the differences between physical, emotional, mental and financial abuses. I started working with a therapist after finishing grief counseling and joined 12-step groups for alcohol dependency and another centered around relationships and co-dependency. As I started getting physically and emotionally better, learning to process my feelings and to be honest with myself, I went back to college to continue developing myself while figuring out exactly what my priorities are. I am also caring for my children whose lives had been shattered too.

    What I have learned is that, I cannot control people, places or things. The only thing I can change today is how I perceive the circumstances of my life and the choices I make. I work hard at self-acceptance and compassion for others while still honoring myself. I read a Taoist blog by a certified MFT once that stated, “once an infidelity has occurred the marriage is over as the foundation of trust has been broken”. That does not imply that a new relationship cannot be started, however the trick is leaving all judgement behind. Another family counselor said that without both partners willing to commit to the relationship 100%, that therapy would be doomed to failure as it takes the effort of both partners willing to be truthful. Today, I have come to realize that I cannot personally live in a state of distrust, doubt, suspicion, insecurity or paranoia. To me, that is a prison of negativity suffocating my spirit. I want to share my life with someone positive I can grow with spiritually. For my own emotional sobriety, I cannot live in denial enabling destructive behaviors, mine or theirs. I have come to realize, I love him enough to allow him the dignity to choose his own path, while I continue mine in a different direction. I know who I am today and that is enough.

    I hope the experience of my journey eases your path in some small way. I wish you peace and joy. Namaste

    Yeng Oliva

    I can definitely relate to your situation even though I didn’t marry that person.. I too have been in that kind of relationship which lasted for 2 years and maybe 8 months of giving that person a chance since she asked for forgiveness which I thought was sincere.. I was blind for that 2 years and 8 months I have been fooled for a reason that I thought that person loved me but when I knew that she was cheating on me and that she was just using me, my world fell apart.. she broke up with me for another person back then and then we got back together after a month because she admitted that she made a mistake so I gave her a chance.. 5 months later something was bugging my mind and maybe I felt that something was wrong so I checked her email and boom I read a lot of messages conversations between her friends that she was just toying me the painful part was that she three timed me and hooked up with my friends ex without me knowing.. and then I forgave her after that because she again asked for forgiveness so I gave her a fourth chance then I caught her again then gave her another chance because she begged.. but during this last chance this 5th chance that I gave her something changed within me its like I’ve been trapped with emotions of paranoia, suspicion, insecurity and the like.. and then I kept asking myself am I still happy? and I wasn’t anymore.. so I broke it of with her funny thing is that she didn’t run after me anymore..after a week or so she began flirting with someone else and I was shocked on how fast she can recover because even though I was the one who broke it off I was really falling apart.. then after a month she was with someone else.

    you know what’s been bugging me how does she do that? saying “I love you” to different persons at the same time lying cheating for the sake and fear of growing old alone.. I can’t seem to forgive and forget what she has done as of now but maybe someday I’ll get there.. I know it sounds bitter but I’ve blocked her in all my social networking account and just severed our communication.. I did that for myself because I fee so helpless here she was happy and okay and carefree.. as if I didn’t exist, maybe because I was the only one who invested my feelings and time to her and well she never did.. It still hurts but I need to move forward I’m falling apart but someday I’m gonna be whole again.. it’s hard but life goes on..


    thanks for all of your comments.

    we have two small children so that is why i am attempting to reconcile with him and work things out.

    the affair is over. he is remorseful and we are attending marriage counseling. his pride still gets in the way. he thinks that by not telling me the whole truth he is protecting me when instead he is protecting himself.

    i am working on empowering myself. understanding that yes, i cannot control him or lots of things in our marriage. i can only try to work on myself, being a supportive wife and a good parent to my kids. it is hard. i am not at the forgiveness point. we have a long way to go. but working on finding acceptance… that bad things happen in good marriages is what i seek. i dont accept that my marriage was. i believe, as he has said, he was depressed/angry and he sought out a damaged person to act that our with. its frustrating. i would have never done that to him. that’s the painful part.


    you’re an amazing woman. im going through a very similar thing with my 4.5 yr relationship. you’re courage inspires me.. may i ask, where you turned for wisdom in these dark times?


    i know what you mean. my ex-boyfreind also dumped me after 4 yr relationship and was in love with another girl within a few days.. people can be very heartless. god bless us who are committed and still recovering.


    stop counting on him.
    stop relying on him.
    become independent.
    don’t expect much from him.

    give it another shot for your kids but do not have the same level of faith or expectation from him as you may be crushed again otherwise.

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