I want to share my story of heartbreak to see if you and others, if you think it right to share, can help me see my way out of this pain and anger I’m feeling right now.
I’ve been with my husband for 18 years, married 10 next month and I’ve recently found out he’s been having an affair with someone at work that he manages.
I’d suspected it for a while, not least because last September I received an anonymous letter sent to my work informing me he was having an affair with her, but giving no further details.
I challenged him at the time of receiving the letter, and also insisted on speaking to her, but they both vehemently denied it. I said it was his ‘out’ – we hadn’t been happy in a while, and I was spending every weekend 200 miles from our house, looking after my mum who was in hospital and couldn’t be moved closer to us.
He always made it seem like I was the crazy one for thinking that way.
Stupidly, I believed his lies but never fully believed that theirs ‘was just a friendship’ as he told me whenever I questioned him about it. (In fact, he always made it seem like I was the crazy one for thinking that way.)
I finally found the evidence I needed in the form of an Air bnb review in July this year. Unbelievably, he’d snuck away with her for four nights just after lockdown eased, telling me he was going away away for a long weekend to have a bit of alone time. This was just two months after he and I had been away for a lovely two week holiday together.
Of course now he’s so sorry; he got caught up in a web of lies and didn’t know how to end it.
My initial response was to kick him out and file for divorce, but of course now he’s so sorry; he got caught up in a web of lies and didn’t know how to end it. He now wants to focus on us and get back to being a better person and a good husband.
He has finished things with her, doing what I have asked in terms of getting an STD check and setting up an appointment with a therapist, who we intend to then see together to help us talk things through.
My emotions are all over the place. One minute I’m so angry with them both and cannot feel anything but hate towards them. The next, I wonder if he and I can make things better again, if he does what he says he’ll do, leaving his workplace and moving to the countryside- something I’ve been wanting to do for a while.
I am able to take some responsibility for the breakdown of our marriage, as I can see where things started to go wrong but I don’t think I can get over his intimacy with someone else, and all the lies he’s told. It is especially difficult at a time when I was going through such pain and turmoil with my mum being so ill and so far away.
I hate feeling so angry and hurt, and not sure whether to stick to my guns and leave, or try to work things out for the sake of what was once a good relationship.
I don’t think I could ever trust him again and I worry that I’d just put myself through many more years of hell trying.
I know I’ll be ok without him as we’ve always had an independent marriage, but I love him.
I love him but I really hate him right now .
How do I move forward? Any help and advice is much appreciated.
Many thanks, B
PS. The one saving grace of our marriage is that we never had children, so that is one less worry to consider.
Some replies from readers (more comments on @Lifesrosie )…
“I am so sorry you have had to experience this, marriages can be healed after affairs.
I think the therapy you are planning will be really important to find your answer. Understanding why is really important for you to decide if you can have a different relationship with your husband, there comes a point where you will have to decide if you choose to trust and if he breaks that again it is on him, not you.
That’s not to say there won’t be doubts and nothing is 100% certain. Your cycle of hate, love, anger, sadness may last years.
Having an affair is such a cowardly thing to do and I can see how (and indeed have close experience) someone ends up staying in the affair because they don’t want to get caught and don’t know how to end it without risking their spouse finding out from the other person.
Only you can decide if you can choose to trust and move forward and as importantly, can you respect him again.
I wish you all the best and I hope that whatever you decide you have a really great life and the one you deserve.”
“I feel your pain and take as much time as you need if he won’t give you that then that will help you decide. I tried to forgive but never kidded myself I would forget, but for him that meant he had nothing to lose by doing it again.
I too loved him and didn’t want to face what his deceit truly meant and really wanted to believe in it being a one off mistake. 18 months on I am starting to see how much more complete I feel without the anxiety of being with a man who puts his own needs before what’s right.
Take a breath and listen to what you need ..x”