Once a Cheat, Always a Cheat?

Once a Cheat, Always a Cheat?

by So Confused
(Anaheim, CA)

My husband and I were going into our 4th year of marriage and I noticed that he started becoming very distant from me. We have different work schedules so we don’t have very much time off together and he would often go on mini trips on his days off because he said that he doesn’t just want to sit around on his days off.

I know, that should have been a horrible sign for me right there, but I trusted him completely. For about 6 months, I tried everything I could to make him want to spend more time with me and I asked him to go to marriage counseling with me. He told me that I needed to go see a counselor first because I needed to be okay spending time alone. I started to have suspicions about him having an affair but he denied it.

We separated for a couple of weeks, then he told me that he would try counseling and then at the first appointment he said that he thought that we should divorce. I was devastated and angry.

He wrote me this letter about how our differences were so great, etc. but I was done.

I went out and met someone else almost instantly and he was wonderful. He wanted to spend time with me and make plans with me; something that my husband had not done in a long time.

Shortly after, my husband came back and said that he wanted to try to save our marriage. I believed him and thought that we would start talking and working on things but we didn’t. He continued to ignore me and told me that “he just needed to figure himself out.” I was so hurt, angry and confused. I was pretty convinced that he had had an affair but I had not proof.

My husband shared a list of ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ about me that devastated me, he complained that my breath smelled and that I snored so I had my tonsils removed–yes, I was that emotionally beaten.

I secretly kept seeing the other guy for a long time because my husband would say that he was still trying to figure out if he wanted to be with me and I couldn’t handle that but for some reason I still didn’t have the strength to leave him.

Financially and emotionally, we are co-dependent on each other. Even though I was angry and hurt I still felt comfortable having my own place instead of trying to stay with other people.

After about a year of misery, I finally told him about my affair and the next day he finally admitted to me that he did have an affair the year before. In some ways I was glad that I finally knew the truth but yet all of the pain and suffering became even more real to me than they had before (I don’t think I even realized that this could happen). I told him that I thought we should end our marriage because people who love each other just don’t do this to one another. He told me that he still wanted to try to make our marriage work. I told him that I would try but that I still wanted him to sign the preliminary divorce papers that would take 6 months and another filing to become official.

He threatened the guy that I had been having the affair with and so my affair ended but this made me angry because when did I get to know about and stop his affair? He never would have known if I hadn’t come clean first. He also told me that they didn’t always use protection like we had which still makes me sick. Of course I went out and got tested but I still don’t think I can be with someone who was so careless with my heart and body.

The past 6 months I have been in a constant tug of war battle with myself. I will probably order the Should I stay or should I go book since I’ve listened to so many other audio CDs searching for some peace and guidance.

I’m exhausted with my thoughts and disgusted with myself. I’ve gone to counselors but everyone pretty much has the same message: “you have to make the decision” I’ve been living with friends and family for the past few weeks really trying to take the time to think about how my life would be without him. We have a meeting with another marriage counselor this week but I’m not sure what that’s going to do for us. I constantly feel like if I were to make the leap to try to trust him again that he would do this to me again. Everyone tells me there are no guarantees no matter who you are with. We don’t have kids but I have always wanted at least one and everyone tells me that having kids is very challenging on a marriage so I just don’t think that we could ever handle that now.

So what do you think? Once a cheat, always a cheat? Can we make this work?


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