(Closed) Cheated with an ex, contemplating leaving my husband. Please help

posted 9 years ago in Emotional
Post # 47
11265 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

@Undercover1234:  you should never have married J.  you yourself said that you had your doubts.  you just did because you didn’t want to disturb anyone’s complacency.  it appears that J enjoys controlling you.  he has done it throughout your entire relationship and you enabled him to do so.  you have missed out on a lot of your life but you are still young and still have a chance to start fresh on your own two feet. 

you are obviously not happy in your relationship because if you were, you would not have cheater on J and you wouldn’t have feelings for someone else. 

if you want to stay with J because he takes care of you, then you need to accept the fact that he will control your entire life and you will never really be happy.  things are not going to change.

my advice:  seriously think about what you really want in life.  set some goals for yourself and set out to achieve them.  you need to decide what is going to make you happy. 


Post # 48
367 posts
Helper bee

@Undercover1234:  “Reading over this, my relationship sounds so horrible but day-to-day life really is fine.My family LOVES J. He is hardworking and honest and takes care of me. Everyone would be SO disappointed in me if I mess this up. Plus, is it fair for me to completely turn J’s life upside down when he gets no say at all?”

I think you need to focus on what is right for you and J specifically – not on what other people will think the “right thing to do” is, or what would be “fair” to him. Blaming yourself for “messing up” the relationship is unfair to you, and will only make you feel guiltier. It sounds like J hasn’t supported you emotionally and psychologically, and PPs have pointed out that he sounds controlling and psychologically abusive… I am not trying to defend cheating, but you seem to feel that you are the only person who has made any mistakes in this relationship. I just want to point out that you didn’t take a perfect marriage and “mess it up” all by yourself – it was already “messed up” when you cheated, and feeling guilty now will not help you move forward or fix the problems. Stop blaming yourself for messing up your marriage, and starting looking forward and deciding what you are going to do to get yourself out of this painful situation.

If you don’t love J, then something needs to change. I think the fact that you have cheated should be a wake-up call that you need to do SOMETHING to make yourself happier, because clearly your marriage was not making you happy enough if you were seeking companionship and intimacy elsewhere.

Now, I personally don’t think you should stay married to someone you don’t love. Obviously, only you know for sure whether your relationship is worth saving, but it sounds like you want out. You say he takes care of you and you have a good daily life – but you’re not happy. As for the question of whether it is fair? If you care about J’s feelings, and you don’t want to be with him, then personally, I think it’s unfair to trap him in a marriage with someone who doesn’t truly love him. I think it would be more fair to let him go and find someone else… (Also, you obviously shouldn’t stay in a marriage based on other people’s opinions of your spouse. They’re not married to J – YOU are. They might be sad that he’s not part of the family anymore, but they aren’t the ones who have to live with him every single day, so you don’t need to take their opinion into account when trying to figure out if you want to end this marriage. That will only make you feel worse.)

I definitely think you should go to counseling by yourself and talk through this with a therapist, to help you clarify what you really want to do. You may also want to involve J in counseling, but I think individual counseling will help you focus in on the right decision for your situation.

Finally – I suggest you cut contact with C for the time being. I am saying this because I know a lot of women would be tempted to jump into a relationship with him immediately, and I want to warn you that I think it’s a bad idea. You need to figure out what is going on with yourself and your marriage before pursuing any kind of relationship with him. I think that having him around will only create drama and stress for you. Clearly, you’re attracted to each other and care about each other – but you’ve cheated on your husband with him, so that’s going to stir up confusing and upsetting feelings, and that makes it impossible for him to be like just any other friend. You need to have friends who will support you and make you feel safe and normal during this time, and the guy you cheated on your husband with is NOT a good candidate for that position, no matter how much he wants to help. Maybe you can try to have a friendship or relationship in the future, but for now, I think you need to focus on you and J and stay away from C.

Post # 51
1841 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

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@This Time Round:  this.  This.  THIS.  I am a survivor of mental, emotional, and sexual abuse and J’s behaviour and the way he is treating you, every day, is ABUSE.  The things with C shouldn’t have happened, but it’s not uncommon for an abused partner to seek fulfillment from someone else.  Don’t beat yourself up about it.  When you decide to leave, make sure that you already have any original documentation (car titles, birth certificate, bank account information) that you need to start living on your own.  I understand that you feel that J is not violent, and will only be “blindsided” by your desire to move on, but please do not underestimate him.  It has been proven (unfortunately) time and time again that abuse escalates, and there’s no way of knowing what the trigger might be.

<<<BIG HUGS>>> girl.  YOU CAN DO THIS!!

Post # 52
2401 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

You cheated. End of story. It doesn’t matter what your husband did to you. You cheated. Now, be a big girl and end it because he wont. 

Post # 53
3682 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

You’re clearly unhappy.  You don’t really have a good life with J.  You have what he wanted you to settle for.  You missed out on so much because you chose him over your own happiness.  You need to take back control of your life.  J is a controlling needy jerk.  In your shoes, I’d find a way to leave.

It doesn’t matter that your family loves J.  They don’t have to live with him.  They don’t know the real him.  The J they love is not real.

I don’t know what you should do about C.  It could just be a rebound thing for you.  Or exciting becausevhe’s like forbidden fruit.

Post # 54
4304 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Of course she’s going to make J sound like the biggest piece of shit on earth before she leads up to the fact she messed around with someone else.  This whole post strikes me as someone who is confused & trying their best to minimize what they’ve done to make their decisions seem less impactful.

If J was such a bad guy & husband, you should have left him.  This situation is getting worse by the day, and quite frankly I don’t think you are the victim.

That said, you both deserve to be happy & feel loved.  I would respectfully leave the marriage & try some independent counseling before running off with C.  Good luck.

Post # 55
1064 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

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We only have ONE life. Be at peace with yourself. Maybe you need to be alone for awhile and learn about yourself. The best of luck to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Post # 56
8035 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@Undercover1234:  J is controlling. Plain and simple. Yeah you’re in a hell of a situation, but he is a master at manipulating you. It’s kind of scary to read.

I would get the heck out.

If you said that he was just boring and you’re tired of this stable adult life, I would kindly suggest to you that you need to grow up, but this is not the case. He is emotionally abusing you. Controlling you IS a form of abuse. It’s scary. You should be allowed to go out w. friends… that isn’t even a question. You obviously resent him for not letting you do research opportunities, internships, etc. He really has you under his thumb.

As far as the guy on the side.. I would try to distance yourself from him as well. You need to get out on your OWN. Forget men for a while.

Go see a divorce attorney… you will be thankful you have. There are laws in place to protect you. You can get out. Don’t feel guilty for what impact this will have on J… he has it coming!!

Post # 58
5657 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

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@Undercover1234:  I just wanted to come back and say, 24 is so yong in the grand scheme of things. Yes you have experienced a lot but you also have a LOT MORE to experience. I felt like an utter failure in my life at 24 and it had nothing to do with a guy or marriage, I just made really poor decisions and I had to dig myself out of a huge financial hole and I hadn’t even graduated college. I finally picked myself up and dug myself out, went back to school and graduated, met my now almost husband and we have a wonderful life together. You can certainly still do a lot of the things you always wanted to. Just know it’s never too late to claim your own life and do what is right for you!

Everyone makes mistakes, what matters now is how you move forward. One of my favorite thingsthat my mom always said is that we do the best we can with the knowledge we have. Sometimes in the end you find out that that “best” wasn’t right, but you just have to figure out where to go from there.

Post # 59
4304 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

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@Undercover1234:  I know you didn’t say it, but other posters comments echo that sentiment since J is “controlling” & “manipulative”.  There’s no way for us to know the ins & outs of your marriage & the 6 years you’ve spent together & I just feel like there’s that old saying there’s your side, his side & then the truth.

Unfortunately like you said this whole thing is just a big ole mess now.  But hopefully there is a way that you both can admit your hand in the end of the marriage & walk away amicably.  Although a lot of bad things happened, the rest of what’s left doesn’t have to be ugly & you can move forward in a positive direction.

Post # 60
275 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I see suggestions from many to seek professional help from a counselor. I agree with this. In fact, I AM a counselor. Though you are not one of my clients, I will point out a few things that I would address in a session with a client.

1 – You have allowed yourself to be oppressed by J. In every relationship, there are dynamics. The dynamics of your relationship are not healthy. J is not healthy; you are not healthy. You have fed off each other for so long that neither of you know how to exist without the other. This is why he feels the need to control you. He feeds off your insecurity in order to feel better about himself. Now, please don’t take me saying that you have allowed this to make you feel bad about yourself. That’s not my intention. My intention is to point this out so you have a frame of reference from which to work. But the fact that you entered this relationship so young and without having a sense of yourself is what contributed to this. You had no idea what a healthy relationship consisted of and what behaviors were appropriate and inappropriate. Your responses to his inappropriate actions, though you may not realize it, allowed him to continue and to elevate his oppression.

2 – Though this is not an addiction issue, I want to relate one issue to the 12 Steps. The first thing I think of is Step 9. For those not familiar, Step 9 states “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.” Think beyond physical harm – this statement encompasses emotional and mental harm as well. When we begin to discuss Step 9 and making amends, a situation of adultery invariably arises. One example is a man having an affair with his best friend’s wife. Should he tell the friend he has slept with his wife? Maybe getting it off his chest will be beneficial to his own recovery. But what about the emotional wellbeing of his friend, the security of the marriage? Can you see where this would “injure them or others?” Back to your situation. Will making this amend to J make you feel better? Possibly. Will it injure him? Most definitely. Will knowing the details of your indiscretions really be healing for either of you? But only you can decide where to draw that line. No counselor should ever tell you what to do in that situation. S/he can help you work through those feelings, but only you can decide your course of action.

3- Do you know yourself? How well? Do you know what your heart’s desires are? Your likes and dislikes? What you want from life? The things you’re good at, the things about you that need improvement? Make an inventory of these things. Take time to get to know yourself. Put them down on paper. Reflect on it once a day.
You’re really going to have to look deep within yourself. And it’s scary. It’s scary as hell. But the only way you can have a good relationship and be healthy for anybody else is to be healthy yourself. And right now you’re not. You lack self-confidence, you lack decisiveness, you lack trust in yourself. These are things you have to work on.

4 – Do you ever have internal dialogue with yourself? What are you saying to yourself in your daily routine? Are you beating yourself up? Do you talk positively to yourself? Are you even aware of it when you have negative self-talk? Are you able to catch yourself and direct your thoughts to those that are more positive and constructive? Right now it sounds like you put yourself last in everything. Well, put yourself first for once. Not J. Not your family. YOU. Figure out what is going to make YOU happy and pursue it. Forget what people are going to judge you about. People are going to judge you either way. Stop letting it affect you. Nobody else is going to put you first. Certainly not J. He doesn’t. So it’s time for you to put yourself first. Take some time away from the marriage. Sit down with yourself and really figure out what it is YOU want. You have given up so much for this man, but what has he really done for you?

You have some hard truths to face. I really do think you need to find someone to help you work through these feelings. Because you cannot have a healthy marriage (should you choose to stay with J) until you work on improving your own health.

Post # 61
684 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

It sounds like you are not in love with your husband. That is no way to live. Cheating is another issue and could be the result of feeling trapped. You could be rebelling and trying to make your own way in the world.

Now that you’ve rebelled do you feel any better?

I can’t be with a man who does not listen to me and who has that much control over me. I have been there when I was young too. I didn’t see it at the time but that comfortable life was a trap and I hated it. Once I got a divorce, I was truly happy for the first time in years. I found someone else who did listen and was eager to please me and find ways for both of us to be happy. You can’t keep living this lie with J.

On the other hand, you can’t trust C. Man like that are trouble. If they have no respect for someone’s vows or another man’s wife, you should walk away from him too. Think of him as your “ticket” to freedom but you can’t make a life with him.

This is the time for you to re-discover and re-define yourself as your own person. Think about walking away from both of them and concentrating on yourself, on your dreams, on your desires.



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