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My Husband Hid His New Female Friend from Me - How Can I trust Him Again? Print E-mail

 

Dear Maria,

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.

____________

Dear Friend,

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.

Warm hug,

Maria

 

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  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


 

Comments (8)
  • hastoloverush  - I disagree
    Ummm-I do not understand the advice of how to save this relationship. In my not so humble opinion, he is not worthy of your interest.
    HE WAS MARRIED.
    As having been a victim of "the other woman" I made myself a promise. I will never ever date someone elses' man. flat. It busts all the laws of girlfriends. And karma can be a real witch, if you know what I mean. I realize your innocence in not knowing about the ex but now you are reaping what was sown, in a sense. This is not said to make you feel bad. If you must stay then read Loving the Self Absorbed. At least you can salvage what may be left of your sanity with the tips and help offered in the book. Also the website narcissism cured.com shares a perspective where the wife and husband both worked on themselves and developed goodness in their marriage. So although it will be hard work-mostly done by you-you CAN save this. Idk why you would want to, though.
  • Judith Clark  - infidility
    :angry-red:
  • Tiffani  - Similar but I feel for u
    I have a similar situation but there was sexual attraction toward her from my boyfriend of 8 yrs with two kids together but she had none for him .thankful for this . Still it's been since October of last year and yet his emotional attachment is still making them both hide and lie to me she is a hooker druggie that has a mental condition and is always getting in trouble of course he bails her out behind my back has lost countless hours of time with our family because of her presence he gets angry because I find out he hides things still says I'm just being a snoop but my gut tells me to check up on it and proves to be right every time I love him with all my heart and I've been soooooo patient and try to get him to see how I feel and thought I made a break through but still hiding things about her from me even though I genuinely told him even if he had sex with her I would handle it just dont hide it he says he didn't and honestly I know he's not the type but he wanted to I know he says he loves me and he's here trying to get through all this I want this more than anything because together we are great and i dont see life with out him its just blank other than this set back I have a hard time dealing with it and blow up a lot and I am dealing with it better now of course but if it doesn't stop soon I'm worried ill push him away being an ***. He is the most amazing person even at his worst but I don't know this person he's been how can I get him to pull away from her without him thinking I'm the jerk I'm trying to show him that I understand and am open to forgive I am a Leo and always take on more than many can imagine for others I am strong hearted and pride myself in this along with honor and my den is being put in danger so I am not handling any of this well plz help
  • JJ  - What is happening with you now?
    Hi I read your story and he sounds like he's a real jerk who has no empathy for the pain he is putting you through.
    I had a ex who would accuse me of things he was doing. Its about them thinking they are God and above everyone else. He couldn't accept that he had flaws so he projects onto me what he was guilty of. Sounds like your guy
    Pay attention to all the things he accuses you of because that is what he is doing. Its called projection and he sounds like he is narcissist.
  • ranjana
    dear gennie, its not easy to forget the hurt that u r going thru.i can understand to a certain degree ur pain yet, for the sake of kids stick to him. trust may take time to build. start with forgiveness and may be affection first and love later.at the same time be a woman of the world dont be blind to people. humans have their failings,nobody is perfect.there are some lessons to learn in all phases of life. for u at this moment the act of forgiveness is the tough act.ur friend. ranjana
  • Gennie  - IT'S HARD TO TRUST MY HUSBAND
    hi my name is gennie,i have been married to this man for 6yrs and he has never trusted me.i fist met him 10yrs ago and we started seeing each other,he is a pastor i kept asking him when he would invite me to his church, we did many things together,including cleaning his church,went mowing yards together and finally he proposed to me.one day as we were cleaning the church i prayed to God that something wasn't right with our relationship and i asked God no matter how much its hurts me i wanted to know why he was so secret about everything he could only visit me on his lunch breaks and couldn't call me at night because he could not use his sister phone cause she was paying the phone bill and that he didn't like driving at night, it was about an hour drive to my home to make a long story short he also took me to his home where he said his sister lives and she was always at work when he took me there and we always made love their.on several occasion i would go with him to put invitation on other church doors and most of the times i read the invitations and i asked him why is it always states that he was married whenever we went to church organizations an it always stated a wife. so one day i told him that i was going to come to his church and stand up and tell his congregation that i was his fiance,what did i do that for he really got nervios and i said that me and my sister would come he still said that i couldn't come because he was married and that really broke my heart how can a pastor or any man lie to you for a whole year and 6months and you knew something wasn't right but i'm glad that i found out because the home that he was taken me too was their home and i didn't know i was innocent and was being taken to a death trap.for 2yrs i stopped seeing this man but he always tried to stay in contack with me,after years of not seeing him he got a divorce. we started back to seeing each other and we did get married,after being married fo about 6 months he stated acussing me of seeing someone else and i started finding emails he was texting other women and playing the same game he was playing with me,so i did text the other women that he had been lying to her and that i was his wife.he is still the same man that i met 10yrs ago and i am so tired of going through this mess with him,i have been faithful to him through out our marriage and he doesn't want me spending time with my family especially my oldest son,he acusses me of dating my own son and always calls him gay an which he is but that will never stop me from loving my son thats his life an i will always be his mother.my husband doesn't trust me and never has he will park down the street from where i work to see who i walk out of the building with and also call my work place if i dont answer my phone when ever he calls, he has called me all sorts of b... words and i am just tired of being in this kind of relationship,i know that he is a preacher but he should not behave this way and i'm at the point of trying to get out of this marriage,so i will continue to put it in Gods hands.I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE SOME FEEDBACK
  • gennie  - it's hard to trust my husband
    I would really like some feed back on the story i wrote to you on 7/30/2012 thank you gennie.
  • Anonymous
    Firstly, God will help those who genuinly try to be a wise steward of the rescources, gifts and blessings he gave you. You have a responsability to think and act in a way that is consistent with God's teachings and be authentic. It's then when you have God help with this and more.

    Forget passive prayer. Doubt if its OK to just to ask God,
    "Hey Lord fix this while I'm watching my favourite soap! I'm counting on you and expect you'll have done it by then, Taa & Amen."

    You are dealing with a highly insecure man that it allows him to act outside of God's rules and teachings he'd know and preach about. It suggests his weaknesses overwhelm him.

    What is worrying is that this insecurity is making him controlling of you and has reached the level of trying to isolate you and jepordise your employment, hence safety in future independance. That's even at the possible cost to him of your extra income presumably shared.

    The fact he has reached the controlling aspect could mean danger for your intact well being or life even. These controlling compensations may be still at a stage they are curbed and stopped from escalating.

    So get a letter from your work supervisor saying that their business time is not for taking personal calls aside from extreme emergencies or children alone during a parents work time. Lunch times with workers personal cell phones are now what workers are expected to use in dealing with personal communications as text messages or incoming or responding outgoing calls.
    Have him suffer taking you and collecting you from work since he is wasting petrol going there anyway. Plus it may make him feel more part of things and secure.

    Re his attempts of isolating you from your family, you need to in all fairness look at how much of your time you use up interacting with your family. Your work day week and his pastor duties on a Sunday may leave him with less time spent with you and even understandably feeling neglected. Pretend that you too are tired of scattered family expectations despite their importance to you. Therefore you'd rather have them over each fortnight for a Sunday multi family lunch noon, including your son with him taking a welcoming part whenever he can. Point out to him honey works better than viniger, meaning especially re your son being influenced by what you see his God pastor strengths. Let your son know while you understand and accept him as he is you'd appreciate him remaining friendly and relaxed, but to curb any in your face gay views etc..Like refering to any male lover if needed, as just his best friend( as his lover ought be that too).

    What has happened to any of your couple shared activities of before? Re activate them.

    Ignore his insecure female love seeking. A really meaningless side issue in your relationship type. Don't get caught up in that childish drama. He may need bits of it to feel more adequate. It's pathetic, but his weakness and problem. While persuing such, if he does again, it will give you more time for what you may want to do. You may get lucky and he leaves with one.

    Do keep your job and some ongoing savings as well as a contingency plan were you to need to seperate. Though don't tell him anything about such.


    From now on never let him use expletives towards you, tell him you won't tolerate being sworn at.
    He can by all means state his frustrations, accusations etc., BUT only in civilized language. Swearing at you is unacceptable and will result in your going to stay elsewhere until he apologises for it.
    That you MUST act on and do keep a hidden suitcase of necessities plus enough cash for a night at a cheap hotel (so you aren't teeing up family or friends at short notice in his presence).
    So if it happens, you promptly and calmly get the case and exit. Just before closing the door do re state the, "I won't be sworn at, you'll need to apologise and will see you again when you have and are in a better state."

    This man does not seem like a narcissist, but has maladjusted coping strategies and some significant relationship issues.

    He's rather an old dog to readily learn new tricks. He doesn't sound impossible to have retrained. Though are you capable of being up to it?
    Have you sufficient personal skills to handle old dogs?
    If you don't have such skills a good counselling service could help him and you both, or at least evaluate the potential for you as a couple.
    Or do you care enough to bother?

    If you carried out the earlier suggestions I gave, they may help somewhat as a start.
    If he was unresponsive to to them it indicates he's a harder nut to crack, so then seek prompt counselling or quietly and carefully go if you have had enough.

    He's got big enough issues, but is no narcissist, despite his infidelity and maladjusted compensatory flaws.
    That's going by what you've described of his behaviours.

    Good luck, you've a lot of thinking re self and actions to get moving on with, including prayer to have the focus, wisdom and strength to effectively deal with these issues of this relationship.

    You'll get there and make the right choices eventually, as you have hung on to your identity and kept what and who matters.
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