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Advice needed: Choosing to stay with still cheating spouse
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confusious posted:
Here's the quick and dirty of the past cheating...My partner cheated 3 times that I know about, I confronted him all three times and we went to counselling and thought we had worked it out and the issues were resolved. I am pretty certain I am wrong. I KNOW if I tried I could get proof yet again and he would admit it yet again. But I found myself wondering the other night, "why bother"? I am not going to leave, or lets face it I would have left by now. Wondering why I won't leave? Of course I know I deserve better treatment, and I am certain there is a man out there who wouldn't do this to me. And while some of you believe he doesn't really love me if he is willing to hurt me like this I would disagree, he does in fact love me, and I truly believe (after much personal thought, and soul searching), that he is incapable of monogamy. Am I ok with that? NO! However, I have no intention of leaving him. I will tell you why...I have 2 children (previous relationship) without an involved father, and one of them is hugely depressed because of it (ie. cutting, antidepressants, Ativan for panic attacks, and sleeping meds), my son has autism and constantly tells me he doesn't have a dad, I continue to tell him my spouse is his father and he seems to be accepting that lately. Truthfully, my spouse is a wonderful, kind hearted man and father who loves my children dearly. He also has 2 children from a previous marriage, and their mother has all but forgotten about their two children, I am their surrogate mother for the past year now (since their mother gave up on them). Without me here his children would suffer greatly, he would not be able to work in his career any longer and my children would suffer hugely too. I don't want to start over AGAIN. I love him so much I would be devastated without him, and I'm not prepared to destroy this family over one issue, albeit a HUGE issue, but honestly it's the only one we have. so, now I need to figure out how to LIVE like this. For the most part I know many of you aren't going to agree with my decision, but there are some of you who are doing the same thing as I am. (and no, my self esteem isn't crap and I don't have daddy issues.) How does a woman "do" this? I thought of looking at him or just simply sending him an email stating my conditions of his "other life" while away working. I thought I would tell him I know it's happening and I'm not ok with it, but I'm more not ok with destroying our family, that I would do everything to keep it together even if he won't. I was going to add that if he chooses to continue this behaviour than he has to show enough love and respect to our family to NEVER EVER have us find out again! That if he hurts my children or his in the process of his behaviours then I will be forced to leave and I will take HALF of everything (I intend to have this signed), I also plan to tell him that if I catch him then I will have free rein to do the same to him for each and every time I alone catch him (the idea of me being with another man horrifies him (hypocritical I know), and I intend to tell him that his extra curriculars are not to ever interfere with our lives. Also he will be expected to use protection and have bi annual std testing done. I think if I lay out the ground rules and the consequences to screwing it up, then we have to most chance of actually being happy. I am ok to live in my bubble, I like it in there, I'm not ignoring that it's happening, I know its happening, I just don't want it slapped in my face nor have our children destroyed by this either. Our family works well together and other than that everything else is almost perfect, I couldn't ask for anything more (besides fidelity). Please anyone else man or woman who is living like this, please please I really need some advice on how to make this work like this.
Thank you. p.s. please to anyone who disagrees with my lifestyle choice here, there is no need to try and hurt me for my choices.
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queston responded:
I think you're being very sensible about this. (Really.)

However, it's only sensible if you can actually live with it. (And I think that seems to be very much an open question from your post.)

I think you're on the right track: if this is the course you want to pursue, then you need to sit down and have a very frank negotiation with him. Ideally, this would take place with a mediating third party: a counselor, spiritual advisor, etc. Don't soften in any way the fact that this is not what you want, that it hurts you deeply, etc. If he chooses to continue fooling around, then he at least needs to know how hurtful it is to you.

Finally, if you go down this path, you are going to need a lot of help yourself in actually being able to live with this decision and still have a meaningful relationship with him. Counseling would be really beneficial.

Know that many, many marriages have endured under these circumstances: you certainly wouldn't be the first. But it's a tough road and can only work (IMHO) if you can get past the pain and resentment and simply accept that he is not a monogamous person.

And, BTW, if you have any desire to pursue sex outside the relationship, the same rules (do it, but but be safe and discrete) should absolutely apply to you. What's good for the gander is good for the goose.
 
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georgiagail replied to queston's response:
You have nobody to convince except yourself that this is the life you want...and you're sure trying hard to do exactly that.

So what if he doesn't agree to any of your "ground rules"??

Gail
 
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kramer1961 replied to georgiagail's response:
Everybody makes their own deal in this life.. I understand what you're doing and why, but who can reconcile you to it but yourself?


The dictator Nikita Khrushchev once told a story about a pig farmer in Siberia who's barn burned down. With no other place to put the pigs, he moved them into the house. He didn't like the smell, but eventually he got used to it.

In time, you will either get used to the smell, or you'll move on.

As for setting rules for your husband, I think you've made it abundantly clear that he can do what he likes.

You are there on HIS terms. If it wasn't so, you wouldn't be having trouble adjusting, he would.

I'm sympathetic, because I suspect you're in a tough spot, but he's already let you know what the deal is.

kram
 
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confusious replied to queston's response:
Thank you,
I didn't even think about having a third party there to negotiate this with us. I think that's a good idea. I also will be attending counselling to learn this new way of life. I love him so much and my family, I want to make it work and I will try my hardest to adjust and completely accept.
I don't know if I could step outside our relationship with another man, but you are right, the rules have to be equal in the event I choose to.
 
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confusious replied to georgiagail's response:
I am trying to make it ok in my head. I know that. I just don't know what else to do. I'm not willing to leave, I don't want to, I want to make it work because I truly love him and our family.
 
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sluggo45692 responded:
I'm glad you have a sharp eye on your relationship and life. Some people would just throw everything away. You sound like a good mother and woman. Your hands are full with a special needs child, an emotionally upset child, and 2 abandon children. We all have to do what we can to protect and nuture children.
I agree with what the other folks have posted. Make your you get the support and love you need. A 3rd party mediation would be a good idea. Really make sure of the every 6 month STD work up is done. Also advise him if he produces another child, you won't be around. You have enough on your plate.
Get everything in writing and filed. Make a contract. Get counseling and remember that no one needs to judge what another person has to do to keep the family together. If it's not illegal (stealing/selling drugs), there is not judgement involved. I hope he's the guy you say he is. Good Luck
 
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dfromspencer replied to confusious's response:
THAT, is going to be the hardest part, making it right, in YOUR head! That's tough to do. I don't condone his cheating, I think he should be put out to pasture?! You do NOT deserve what he is dishing out!!! You sound like an intelligent, kind, caring individual you are going to have a very hard time accepting this!

The first thing you need to do is, get a third person!!! You will need a witness! Lay down the law on his cheating ass! Sorry, my ex-wife cheated on me, I know how you feel!!! Your trust has been shattered. So, put everything you said, in writing, I would even get a lawyer involved. He could tell you how to make everything legally binding. Just in case, you know?

Counseling, lots and lots of counseling!!! That can help you accept what is your new lot. How sad! I am almost crying for you, I can feel your sadness in your words! At least you have come to an acceptance. That helps. I feel its so sad you cannot even confide in a friend? As you said, you don't want anyone to know you are not a loving, caring family? So, if not a friend, find a counselor you can be comfortable with, and let him help YOU!

I know this will be very hard for you, but please try to move on, sexually?! You need not suffer that, also?! You are still a WOMAN, right? You still have sexual desires, right? Don't deny yourself for him, piss on him, he started this!!! You GO girl!!! As that saying goes? Go, get out there and live!!!

I wish YOU all the best life has to offer!!! Good luck!

Dennis


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