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    This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
    Advice please
    An_229331 posted:
    I just need some feedback and advice. I will give you alittle background, before I state my problem. I am a mother of two girls, a toddler and an infant. I am in my mid-twenties and have been married for eight years to a person I dated a while and knew my whole life growing up. Recently my suspicion of infidelity has been verified by my husband. He confirmed that he was unfaithful to me while I was pregnant with our first child, with a female co-worker of his. Lke I said, I had and idea something had happened, but I guess I was in denial and tried convincing myself otherwise to spare my own feelings. However, I feel so disconnected to my spouse and that "special" feeling I had towards him is gone, to the point where if I see an old picture of us together, I think to myself "I wish I still felt that way about 'us' now."
    I love him very much, more than I can put into words, but the hurt I am feeling seems to be slowly devouring me. I want to stay in this marriage for my girls and try to make it work, but I am afraid. I am scared that my marriage will turn out to be nothing but a shadow of angry and pain. He sites the lack of sex in our relationship at the time to be the reason for his mistake, but I cannot understand it, no matter how many time or ways he explains it. I don't understand how you knowingly cause so much pain to somone you say you love, because of a sex drive. I don't understand why he didn't come to me and talk if loved me and didn't want to hurt me, I don't understand how he says he didn't plan it, when he is the one that brought the condom ( I was pregnant and on birthcontrol for years prior, it wasn't mine.). I just don't understand how he can say he loves/loved me and hurt our family so much. I really don't have anyone to talk to and I don't know what to do. I want to work it out, but I don't know if I am strong enough. If you are still with me, thanks for reading this much.
    tlkittycat1968 responded:
    There are men who love their wives and family yet still have affairs. Some men also see sex as "just sex" and have no idea how it will affect their spouse.

    You both need counseling.
    Larissa_1985 replied to tlkittycat1968's response:
    Counseling is not an option because of money and time reasons right now. It's something I've already tried to accomplish.
    3point14 replied to Larissa_1985's response:
    If you're unwilling to make the time or find the money for counseling, which would at least up the chances of your marriage surviving, you're already kind of making how much effort you're willing to put in known. If your marriage was something you were still invested in and he was someone you'd really want to make it work with, money and time would be things to overcome, not reasons to avoid help.

    I don't mean to be accusatory, but it does seem like you've decided that you don't want to stay married to this man. It's eating you up inside and casting a huge shadow over all of your happiness. You need to evaluate if this is something YOU want to do, not something you will do for the sake of your kids. As much as it's their family, it's your life as well and there's no reason you and your husband can't be good co-parents.

    If you're asking how he could do something so awful it's probably just pure selfishness. I've cheated in almost every relationship I've been a part of, and it had nothing to do with the other person, really. It was just easier to get emotional/physical gratification elsewhere, and I didn't want to put in the effort with my primary relationship. When it came to sex, I felt bad about making them feel bad about the lack of sex, and figured if nobody found out, what would the harm be? I'm not saying this is the case with your husband, and I know this isn't great to read, but you were possibly the furthest thing from his mind.

    Was that pregnancy planned? Could he have been freaking out at the thought of being a dad? I'm not saying that's a good reason to go out and cheat, but it could've played into his reasons.

    I feel terribly for you, and can't imagine how much hurt you feel. It's hard enough being the mother to two young girls, and to have this on your plate must feel like a lot. I think though, if you want to stay married to this person, it's going to be a big battle. You're going to really have to forgive and really be open to those old loving feelings come back without bitterness and anger. It's up to you and only you though, if you even want to do that. You're not a bad woman nor a bad mother for finding this inexcusable, and shouldn't have to make a marriage work for the rest of your life for anyones' sake but your own.

    Best of luck, and my heart really does go out to you.
    alaska_mommy responded:
    Please take what I have to say with a grain of salt, but my mom stayed with my dad all through our growing up years and into our 20's, even though she really didn't like him much but wanted to keep the family together for our sake. Well, we ended up finding out he'd been cheating for about 5 years at that time (my early 20's). Their divorcing was the most difficult thing I had to go through up until that point in my life. It devastated me, and I did not speak to my dad for several years after that. Our relationship is only now (at 29) just tentatively coming back together.
    What I mean by saying all this is, even though my sister and I were adults at the time this happened, it was still extremely difficult for all of us. Please consider that, even if you hold the family together despite feelings of enmity, that if it does blow apart in your kids' later years that it will still be a huge emotional situation for them. Even if they are adults.
    So, I would take that into consideration if you envision it being easier for them if you waited until they were older.
    Also, say you stay with him but continue to have feelings of hatred/animosity and unforgiveness toward him. Your kids are going to have a somewhat unstable family unit, because they will know, whether anything is said or not, that something is wrong between Mommy and Daddy. It can really make home life for kids difficult because of constant anger and irritability on the parents' part. The kids may always be wondering what they did wrong to make Mommy or Daddy so mad.
    I say ALL that to say, please really sit down and think about what you really want out of this. If you really want this to work and the love to come back, please get some professional help. If you really don't see it working and you don't want to go through with it, please don't drag it out and wait years and years to split up with him, for your kids' sake. They won't benefit from you being a martyr.
    alaska_mommy replied to alaska_mommy's response:
    I just reread that and I might have sounded kind of harsh. I guess past hurts for me are speaking here...I really wish my Mom had gotten out a lot sooner. I'm sorry all this happened, there's no explaining away an infidelity...he was wrong, he did wrong, and there's nothing he can say to make it less wrong or to exonerate himself. You have every right to feel the way you do, and no one here can tell you that you have to forgive and forget--only you can make that kind of decision. I just don't want you to think that staying makes it better for the kids, because it doesn't really, in my opinion.
    stephs_3_kidz responded:
    I personally do not think you can work through this without some sort of intervention. I am not sure I could forgive my husband if he ever cheated on me. I know I'd never forget it.

    The thing is, if you're determined to move on and make the marriage work, you HAVE to forgive. And that's easier said than done. But you can't repair a marriage when there is no forgiveness. How do you do that? I don't know. That's why I think you guys need counseling. You need someone to help you move forward in the direction of forgiveness if the marriage is to be saved.

    If you can't forgive him, nobody's going to fault you for that! I know I would completely understand if you couldn't. So that having been said, if you can't forgive him for what he's done then it is unhealthy to stay in that relationship. You will always feel anxiety and stress, hurt and anger, and probably have a LOT of bitterness toward him.

    I would say you have two real options right now: Seek counseling and try your best to forgive and move forward, or seek a separation/divorce.
    fcl responded:
    Look, you've tried working it out by yourself and you are just digging yourself in deeper. You HAVE to get help to get past this (huge) obstacle. If you don't you are going to drive yourself crazy. Please, please, please go to counselling. This is not going to sort itself out by itself.

    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    Twotoned responded:
    I'm sorry you are going through this

    I myself am going through much of the same thing. My wife of 17 years cheated on almost 2 years ago I still love her but that special connection is gone and I don't see it coming back.

    If I didn't have small children I don't know if we'd still be together, probably not. But because we do have small kids and I want the best for them and I do still care for my wife I'm going to do my best to make things work. It is hard sometimes but if you actively work on it and have the mind set to make it work then it can. For me it has gotten easier as time passes.

    I understand a lot of people think its best to split but there is no doubt a stable, happy, 2 parent household is best for children. Not that a single parent household can't work because it surely can.

    Provided I show my wife the love and caring that a husband should, treat her well and set a good example for my kids, the situation can come out well. We get along great now, as we did before. The kids have a very stable environment that they couldn't have if we split. We have a very good life and I think it would be selfish of me to ruin that for my kids if I don't need to. I remember when my parents got a divorce when I was small; it was very hard for me. I don't think it's easy no matter when parents split.

    If things were to get tense between my wife and me then I would probably rethink this decision but as long as things are going so well then I'll continue on this path.

    People make mistakes and do bad things to people they love sometimes. Some people are selfish, others greedy so on and so fourth. No one will know better than you withier he loves you and wither you can still build a happy life with him. You just need to figure it out

    It's really not a cookie cutter type of situation, one size doesn't fit all. You need to find out for yourself what is best for you and yours. A councilor can greatly help you determine this but if you can't afford this then use whatever supports you can find. (Like here)

    I really do wish you the best and hope things get better for you. We are here come back anytime you feel the need.
    Larissa_1985 replied to Twotoned's response:
    First I would like to say that there is no possible way to afford counseling right now. I'm a full time stay at home mo and work at night for minimum wage and my husband doesn't make much more than me. So I Not building obstacles, if I am not watching my girls I am at work. Believe me when I say that I truly wish counseling was a option. I love my husband and I just want to be able to look at him one day wining anger and pain. If we didn't have children, our marriage would most likely be over , but they aren't the only reason I'm staying, the majority of it. I do love him and he is my bestfriend. I'm just very confused and hurt, this is one of the hardest things I've ever had to emotionally deal with and I've gone through a lot in my life so far, so for me that is saying a great deal. I just never imagined pain to this extent or being hurt by a person I care for so much and love this deeply.
    Larissa_1985 replied to Larissa_1985's response:
    Sorry for all the misspellings....stupid autocorrect on my iPhone.
    ImMe26 replied to Larissa_1985's response:
    If you take the $60-100 a mth you pay for your Iphone cell phone bill, you could see a marriage counselor once a month with that. Thats a start. Sacrifices are needed and if you want your marriage to work it takes work and putting fourth true effort.

    There I just gave you a way to do it.
    Don't put off tomorrow, what you can accomplish today!! Procrastination is a KILLER!!--ME(26)SO(28)DD1(10yr)DD2(8yr)DS(2yr)SO's-DD(8yr)DS1(6yrs)DD(5yr)LUV THEM ALL ALWAYS WANTED A HUGE FAMILY
    tlkittycat1968 replied to Larissa_1985's response:
    Do you go to church? If so, talk to your pastor/priest. The county also has low-cost options.
    elle0317 replied to Larissa_1985's response:
    I want to stay in this marriage for my girls and try to make it work

    Those words stuck out like a sore thumb to me. The reason I am picking on those words is because if you don't resolve this problem and continue to stay with him, the girls will suffer. Yes, you may be together but the resentment/tension between you and your husband will be so great that your girls will notice. They will grow up learning yours and your husbands behaviour and thinking this is what's normal, when it's actually very unhealthy. So re-think that statement and ask yourself if you want your girls to end up in a relationship just like yours. How can they possibly know any different?? You have to show them, not pretend (or as you stated a shadow of hurt and anger) either as children can see right through that too. I speak from experience, as a child whose parents were in the same situation as you and your husband.

    Counselling is much more affordable than a divorce, is your husband willing to fix the problem he created? By him blaming you (lack of sex) he is not taking responsibility and taking away the validity of your hurt and pain. He needs to actively repair the damage he's done and the first step is placing the blame where it belongs, with him. If he truly loves you he would do anything to repair the damage to this relationship.
    butterfly19790424 replied to ImMe26's response:
    I agree with the others. If the marriage is going to work, counseling is needed. For your daughters sake, especially. Kids can feed off tension. They pick up on everything.

    If you can't find cheap or free counseling via your pastor, then sacrificies will have to be made.
    A true friend is someone who knows you're a good egg even if you're a little cracked

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