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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.
post affair traumatic syndrome
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troubled31 posted:
my husband of 31 years cheated on me while we were separated. only separated for a month...
he & I are back together and very happy.
he was remorseful and i forgave him
question:
why am i still so obsessed with the fact that he had sex with another woman. i can't stop thinking about the details!
help!!
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darlyn05 responded:
There is no time table for things like this and everyone is different, even the circumstances leading up to things. Some relationships can survive and even become better than before after an affair. How long have the two of you been back together? What led to the seperation? What contact did the two of you have during the seperation?
 
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grimrider responded:
remind yourself that you forgave him and thinking about it all the time will only drive you crazy. its hard but possible. Wouldnt be fair to keep hanging it over him.
 
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troubled31 replied to darlyn05's response:
thanks for the reply.
we have been back together for 6 months.
we were unhappily just co-existing for at least 6 years.
I couldn't take the lack of passion and love in my marriage.he also had a really bad temper and very short fuse. he was going to strip clubs etc..
I asked for the separation. this same exact thing happened last year. we separated and got back together after months.
my husband dated at that time as well.

he said he was so so angry that i asked for the separation again that he quickly "dated" and had a relationship ONE month after our separation. he led me to believe we were going to counseling. while we were separated this year he asked me if i was dating and i said no, are you? he said he wasn't either, which was a huge lie. i filed for divorce after i found out about this other woman. he begged for forgiveness. i realized that i couldnt live without him. we were together our whole lives, since age 16.
i truly love him and he has made wonderful changes. my problem is i still have real bad imagery of him having sex with another woman. it creeps into my head a lot, even when we have sex now.....
 
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troubled31 replied to grimrider's response:
agree. thanks.
i am so happy being with him and he has made so many positive changes and i REALLY want to be with him. that is how i show forgiveness.
i have never been with another man. he was never with another woman until 6 months ago. he is very very remorseful.

it's just me. i've been told by so many people that men are different. it was just sex and loneliness. i hung out with girl friends and did not date.
i feel like he was weak and maybe i feel better than him...i'm not proud of that but i really really wish he could have been stronger.

the silver lining is that we are happier than we've ever been and the sex is better. i'm just really stuck on the fact that he had sex with someone other than me.
UGH !!
 
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darlyn05 replied to troubled31's response:
Did the two of you ever go to counseling?
 
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troubled31 replied to darlyn05's response:
no but i think it would be a good idea.
 
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fcl replied to troubled31's response:
Then you should go. If he won't go with you then go on your own to sort out your own issues. Please, for your own peace of mind make an appointment today.
There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
 
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stephs_3_kidz responded:
Remember that forgiving doesn't mean forgetting..you are making a conscious decision to forgive him and accept him back into your life, but you will never forget what has happened.

What's important now is how you deal with it emotionally. Of course you're hurt...being separated for a MONTH after 31 years or marriage doesn't give one the green light to have sex with another woman. If you are 100% committed to the two of you working together to save your marriage, then I think the others are right that getting some counseling for yourself to deal with your pain is crucial.

I wish you both the best, and hope that you are able to reconnect and repair the hurt.
 
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queston responded:
Just playing Devil's advocate a bit here...

If you asked for a separation, and he slept with another woman during that time, is that really "cheating?"

I'm not saying that it was a thoughtful thing for him to do. But to some extent, didn't you help create the circumstances that led to his behavior, by asking for a separation?

I'm not trying to blame you or anything. But I suspect that you'll have an easier time getting past this when you stop viewing it as something that happened *to you* (as the victim) and start treating it as simply something that happened.
 
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troubled31 replied to stephs_3_kidz's response:
yes you are correct and I have been in therapy for 3 years and we talk about my current anxities a lot. my pain is not going away fast enough. i think i also have trust concerns with my husband. he has done nothing at all to make be feel this way since we've gotten back together. it's just that when i "found out" about his cheating he lied and lied about it becaseu he was embarrassed and he wanted me back. the fact that he lied so easily and so convincingly keeps me up at night!
while se were separated he asked me if i was "dating" and i said no and when i asked him he said no. i learned afterwards that he lied to my face.
i feel so betrayed and played for a fool.
I filed for divorce only to then realize this was not what i wanted. he begged to come back into my life and i agreed. it's been 7 months and i still have some really dark moments. i was and still am shocked that the man i have been with for most of my life could lie like that and cheat on me. it makes me ill.....
Therapy has helped me in many ways but I want more help. I have started to work with a Life Coach.
 
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troubled31 replied to queston's response:
agree. my part was that i asked for the separation. he was really angry because the same thing happened the year before.
I was desperate, we were fighting a lot, he lied about going to strip clubs, and he has a bad temper.
I was looking at the separation as a big huge Time Out!
then when things calmed down a bit we would go to counseling.
he said he would get the counselor (because i have tried in the past without success) and instead he started "dating"!!
he fooled me and cheated on me and then lied about it to my face.
he said there was not intercourse and i actually believe him.
but still other "sex" did occur, he admitted that.
how do i forget? how do i trust?
I really want to be married to him, it's just hard and almost impossible to remove the images in my head of him having sex with another woman.
 
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queston replied to troubled31's response:
I know we're getting derailed on a tangent a bit here, but I'm not sure what you understand "separation" to mean. I would understand it to mean that there is a possibility that the separated spouses might date other people, unless there was an explicit agreement in place that this would not happen.

Honestly, if I were in your husband's position, I would probably consider dating other women. If my wife has ask me (twice, now) for a separation, I can only assume that divorce is very likely. (And you said that you said that you even did file for divorce once.) To be separated is to live as if you are no longer married, right?

You keep saying that he "cheated." I'm just not sure I see it that way, from the information you've given us. (Again, this is not to say that he is blameless for your marital problems or anything.)
 
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stephs_3_kidz replied to queston's response:
It sounds to me like, given his emotionally abusive behavior and propensity for strip clubs, that he just took the separation as a green light and went with it.

Maybe the guy should've seen the requests for a separation as a wake-up call that his marriage was in trouble, not as a hall pass. JMO

I always thought being separated was taking some time apart to clear your heads and figure out how to fix things, not take the time to make a new/different life for yourself.
 
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queston replied to stephs_3_kidz's response:
"Maybe the guy should've seen the requests for a separation as a wake-up call that his marriage was in trouble, not as a hall pass. JMO"


I agree with this, but it appears from the history that this would be very unlikely. Asking this guy for a separation seems a little like leaving a teenager home alone for the weekend. You can tell them not to have a party, but you have to pretty-much accept that they probably will.


And what would the teenager say? "Well, you should have known that this would happen if you left me home alone for the weekend." And, in their bizarre, adolescent mind, they're right, in a way.


I just think that in asking a spouse who has had fidelity issues in the past for a separation (and filing for divorce), you're not being too realistic to be shocked and appalled that he "cheated." That doesn't make it good or thoughtful behavior on his part, but it's certainly not very shocking, and is probably a possible scenario the OP should have accounted for in asking for a separation.


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