I have been married for just over ten years. We had a very strong relationship that i thought nobody could shake. We fought the world it seems just to be together and get married as we are from different religions. I had to let go of my entire family cousins aunts uncles etc etc as everyone had disowned me. However we made it successfully through these years because my husband has kind heart, loyalty and honesty was my pride! His genuinely kind character managed to earn my dad's respect after ten years. He had to change religions in order for my dad to start talking to us again. I am known for having the most innocent and good hearted husband. I would have never in a million years expect that he could EVER betray me.
However, it happened. The person i trusted most betrayed me. We have beautiful kids together that he loves more than life itself. Last month i was reviewing our phone bill like usual to see if there are any billing errors when something caught my eye. There were 2 pages of the same number repeatedly over and over being called on my husbands cell. I checked the number on my phone and learned it was a co-worker. They had been calling each other daily for the last couple months behind my back and i had no clue.
When i confronted him, he said he knows that i would not have allowed him to talk to a girl so he hid it. He only did it cuz she was a friend in need and he was giving her advice / emotional support to get through her recent divorce. I could have understood that had he told me. Still would have been uncomfortable but would have let it go. But in this case he hid it from me and it was going on for a couple months with more and more time being spent calling each other.
Due to some financial difficulties my husband and i have had to start working 2 jobs 7 days a week. Yes i accept that we sort of lost touch cuz we always working and have no time for each other. However it did not give him the right to find a companion. I am suffering the same but i didn't go find someone else.
Point is that I am stuck in phase 3. It has been several weeks since i found out. My husband has been crying and begging for forgiveness but i can not find it in my heart to forgive. He is adamant there was no lust and he was sincerely only helping her out by offering advice. I think its BS that someone has that much advice to give and I wanted to kick him out However, due to the forced promises of close family and friends they had convinced me to not kick him out for the kids.
I am having a very difficult time. One part that feels sad and lonely wants to forgive him but the other part can never see him as the man i loved ever again. Everyone sees that its best for him to stay for the kids and i get that but everyone forgets to think about how i feel. What about me? Why should i live without true love? I'm still young and my life is shattered. I feel like no one understands my pain.
My parents whom recently accepted me will not be able to bare the pain of seeing me get divorced. I will die in shame from all those people who disowned me when i got married. Not only that, i am in a lot of debt that i wont be able to pay down on one income alone and will end up hurting my close family and friends if i am unable to pay their loans that i owe.
What's making this so hard is that one day im totally fine and talking to him, joking etc but when i cool down, all the bad memories come back and reality hits me that he is a cheater a liar. That's when everything goes south again. Im giving him mixed signals of what i wanna do. He thinks i'm trying to make him miserable n not get over it but truth is i can not control my emotions. I am happy one day but spend the next 3 days in anger and bitterness.
I dont know what to do with my life. I feel i have nothing in life to be proud of anymore as he was my pride.
I hope u can give me some insight. Thank you and i look forward to hearing from you soon.
The goal of this website is to give support to people who are facing problems in their relationship related to cheating, abuse and narcissism. I am living in Europe and English is not my native language, I wish you will excuse me if I make some grammatical errors. I decided to write in English because I wish to reach as many people as I can around the world.
Thank you for your email. I understand how painful it feels to experience something like this. You wrote: When i confronted him, he said he knows that i would not have allowed him to talk to a girl so he hid it. He only did it cuz she was a friend in need and he was giving her advice / emotional support to get through her recent divorce. It is possible that your husband is telling the truth in that sense that he did not have an affair with this woman. Having said this, it is clear your husband knew he was doing something that would upset you if you found out, but he chose to do it anyhow, so even if your husband did not have an emotional affair with this woman, what he did was still wrong.
No one is "perfect", we all make mistakes every now and then in our lives. It can be that your husband got excited of the whole new situation, the secrecy, intimate conversations with this new person in his life, etc. Your husband's mistake was that he gave in to the temptation of developing a new relationship (although not necessarily a romantic one) with a new person behind your back. This does not mean he wanted to change you to this woman: If he wanted that, he would not behave now the way you describe he is behaving. Based on your description it seems clear that your husband wants to be in a relationship with you and not with this other woman. So most likely in his mind you are still number one. He made a mistake, and now you need to decide if you are able to forgive him.
You wrote: Yes i accept that we sort of lost touch cuz we always working and have no time for each other. However it did not give him the right to find a companion. My husband has been crying and begging for forgiveness but i can not find it in my heart to forgive. He is adamant there was no lust and he was sincerely only helping her out by offering advice.
You are absolutely right, of course your husband did not have the "right" to search for emotional companionship behind your back just because you did not see each other often. Based on your letter, it sounds like your husband was not necessarily deliberately searching for someone and this whole situation was unexpected for him. I do not know the details, but based on what you told in your letter it can be that this woman has been the more "active" party in this scenario, in a sense that she needed emotional support and your husband was there to give it to her. I do not know her situation, but if she truly is going through a divorce (especially if she was not the one who wanted to divorce), she is probably in the middle of her own emotional turmoil, and welcomed an emotional shoulder.
Why people hide things from their spouses
Dear Friend, I am not trying to justify your husband's actions, I am merely trying to help you to see the situation from his side. Even though he did things behind your back, it does not necessarily mean he had a strong emotional excitement towards this woman. It can be that the situation itself was what excited him: The feeling that he was "needed" by this woman, the feeling that he was helping her, etc. Of course none of this justifies what he did (keeping this a secret from you), but it can make it easier for you to forgive him if there was no romantic excitement involved (of course it is quite difficult to know if there was or was not a romantic aspect in their communication, only the two of them know what was really going on, I simply wanted to point out that it is also possible that your husband kept this from you for the reasons he told you).
What matters the most in terms of your recovery is how your husband will behave from now on regarding this woman. If he truly wants to remain with you and help you to recover, he needs to quit all communication with her, at list for some time. If this woman is a smart person, she will understand your situation and will not want to harm your marriage by insisting on having your husband's support also in the near future. Only a selfish person would feel insulted if you request to cut contact in this kind of a situation.
Some people might say that your husband has the moral right to keep supporting this woman in her difficult situation, and that it is in fact you who is being selfish if you insist that he cuts contact with her. However, in this particular situation your husband made a mistake by hiding this woman from you and so he has created a negative feeling in you by his actions, and so it is his responsibility to fix the problem he has created. Because he chose to lie to you, he has now created a situation in which he cannot "have both"; he cannot keep you happy and support this woman in the same time. So due to his own actions he now has to make a choice between the two of you, and you are his wife, so if he is being sincere about his wish to remain with you, you should be a priority to him in this situation.
Phase three of the recovery process after betrayal
You wrote: What's making this so hard is that one day i'm totally fine and talking to him, joking etc but when i cool down, all the bad memories come back and reality hits me that he is a cheater a liar. That's when everything goes south again. I'm giving him mixed signals of what i wanna do. He thinks i'm trying to make him miserable and not get over it, but truth is i can not control my emotions. I am happy one day but spend the next 3 days in anger and bitterness.
Dear Friend, having such feelings is natural in your situation. I know it feels horrible to be in the middle of this kind of an emotional storm, but I wish it will help you to feel just a little bit better when you know that everyone who experiences this kind of a situation goes through a similar emotional roller coaster. You only found out about this matter a few weeks ago, that is nowhere near enough time to recover from something like this. So please do not think you are "stuck" in phase 3, there is no way you could have processed this matter in your head in this short amount of time.
Phase three is the longest of the different phases one must go through during the recovery period (to read more about the different phases during the recovery, see page How to Get Over Cheating) and it can take months, even years to get over it. This does not mean that you would feel angry and bitter for months or years to come. Most people start to feel gradually better as time goes by and towards the end, the negative memories enter one's mind less and less frequently. So please do not fear that you would be in the middle of this kind of an emotional storm for the next couple of years. If your husband is being supportive and is committed to help you to get over this by cutting contact with this woman, it will significantly aid your recovery process. Most likely you start to feel better during next few weeks and months and then as time goes by your feeling keeps improving until you are eventually able to put this episode behind you.
You wrote: I am having a very difficult time. One part that feels sad and lonely wants to forgive him but the other part can never see him as the man i loved ever again.
It is true that this incident has changed your relationship profoundly, but that does not have to mean that your relationship is now destroyed. You need to consider the big picture: You have been strongly in love with your husband, you have concurred many obstacles together, you have children together etc. These are not small matters, and if you walk away from your husband, it is a great loss for both of you. If your husband had a romantic affair, and especially if he had multiple affairs, your decision would be much easier; in such a situation it is quite hard to regain trust and recover.
In this situation, however, your husband has not been having a romantic affair (according to his words), so if you choose to try to stay together and forgive him, the forgiveness is easier than if he had a real affair. It is still hard to get over this, but if you choose to stay and if your husband is being supportive, you will eventually get over this. If you do choose to remain together, this episode has most likely shown your husband how badly something like this can hurt you and if he truly values your relationship, he will refrain from getting himself into this kind of a situation in the future.
Is it possible to regain trust after betrayal?
Dear Friend, from your letter I get the feeling that this is the first time something like this happened in your relationship. You said yourself that part of you wants to forgive your husband. If you ask for my personal opinion, based on everything that you have told me I would not end the marriage because of this incident, at list not right away (but of course you are the one who knows your husband the best and so you must make the final decision on your own). If I was strongly in love with him, I would give this man a chance to prove that he has learned his lesson and that he will never do anything to hurt me like this again (if he does something similar again, it is a completely different situation and I would be forced to carefully reconsider my decision). If you truly love your husband (and based on your letter I feel you do) do not end your marriage when you are in the middle of this emotional storm, let yourself cool down a bit and observe how your feelings evolve during next few months. If your feelings are not starting to improve, then consider again what you wish to do.
You wrote: Everyone sees that its best for him to stay for the kids and i get that but everyone forgets to think about how i feel. What about me? Why should i live without true love?
Your husband made a foolish mistake, but he has made it clear that he wants to remain with you and does not want to leave you. I believe your husband still loves you, otherwise he would not want to stay with you. If you choose to stay with him, it does not automatically mean that you are facing a life without love. Yes, your relationship has changed, but it does not mean that love is gone. You need to give yourself time to recover and when you are no longer in the middle of the emotional storm, you are able to analyze your situation more clearly.
You wrote: My parents whom recently accepted me will not be able to bare the pain of seeing me get divorced. I will die in shame from all those people who disowned me when i got married. Not only that, i am in a lot of debt that i wont be able to pay down on one income alone
You are still in the middle of an emotional "hurricane" and for that reason I advise you not to make quick decisions, instead give yourself time to cool down and only then make the decisions that will affect the rest of your life. If you have a chance, I warmly recommend you to go to talk to a counsellor about your feelings, talking with a professional will help you to clear your thoughts and reach a decision as to what you should do next.
You wrote: I dont know what to do with my life. I feel i have nothing in life to be proud of anymore as he was my pride.
Dear Friend, I understand so well how you are feeling at this moment. I have been in a similar situation, so I wish you trust me when I say this: You feel horrible for a while, but that state will not last forever. Sooner than you now think the pain will start to subside, and eventually you will feel alright again. I know it feels now as if your world is totally crushed, but when you are having a low point, remind yourself that what you are feeling is a perfectly normal reaction in your situation: If you did not feel the way you do now, there would either be something wrong with your emotional mechanisms or then you would not love your husband. If you would not love him, you might still feel insulted over this incident but you would most likely not care so much about him hiding this woman from you, and definitely it would not cause this strong pain.
Your pain is an indicator of your love for your husband and you now need to decide if you are willing to fight for that love and try to forgive your husband for his foolish mistake. If your husband is not going to hide things from you in the future, there is a good chance that your relationship can continue and you can resume your happiness and trust in him.
If you wish to submit your own story and get feedback and support for your situation or if you wish to contact me for any other reason, send me email to