How do you rebuild yourself after your husband has an affair?

How do you rebuild yourself after your husband has an affair?  I thought I could handle it but it eats at me constantly and I have lost myself.  I question every thing even the smallest things.  I wonder if he loves me, how long will it be before we are going through this again, every time the phone rings or he 5 min. late.  I don't want to live like this forever and don't think he should either.  I love my husband and want my family to stay together more than anything in the world and I know if I continue on this way I will only lose my everything especially myself.  Please help!

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You were betrayed, possibly in the cruelest possible way. This is the man you took vows with, and he dsimissed them. This is not the kind of pain that just goes away...

Let yourself get angry with him, you are right to mistrust him. He should be working to regain your trust, not the other way around.

You are in no way the guilty party here...

I have been living that way for more than 8yrs now.  I totally understand how you feel.  I thought I had started to get the trust back, but just recently found that he had another affair in 2007.  I am so disgusted with him that I can hardly stand to look him in the face. 

I have gone to counseling alone, because he will not go.  I have decided the only way to make him see how much he has hurt me is to make changes that will affect him.  I no longer wear my wedding ring, I will not drive with him in his car, I will not invite certain of his friends to holidays or gatherings in our home because they knew of the affair, I will not speak to certain of his co-workers because they also knew of the affair, I wll not go to certain places with him because I know he was there with her, I turn up the radio in my car when we are driving if it is a song about a cheater.. just so he knows that I haven't forgotten, I no longer celebrate our anniversary.. it's just another day, I make sure he knows that other men find me attractive, and I make sure the he knows that I find myself attractive.

I think I have him living on the edge of his seat, and I don't care.  The damage done is sometimes far too hard to take.  Those are the only ways that I know how to make myself feel better. 

Try it, it might make you feel better too.

Well, I will cut to the chase. My husband cheated ...twice. The first we were seperated, the second his mid-life crisis (my feelings, not his explanation...there is none) Here is what has helped me.

1. He must be accountable to you as to his whereabouts, calls, etc. anything you need to know. ....without resentment at all times, as long as it takes.

2. You have to accept that it will take time to work through this and your relationship will never be as it was (how could it be?) Acceptance is part of healing. Accepting that it happened and it takes time to repair. NOT "accepting" that it was ok! He needs to completely accept responsibility and be remorseful about it.

3. If he lies about anything, anything, call him on it. He has to understand that his overall dishonesty has to be addressed. If you lie about one thing, you can lie about another, and he did.

4. Do NOT take it personally in any way. He is the guilty party. Even if you were not the examplary wife, he needed to work through the issues within the marriage. Not a 3rd party. If you have a long history together, consider that.

5. Research. I spent months looking into why affairs occur. What it is within a man to stray. If he is middle-aged, look into the mid life crisis. I believe it is real. We as women go through menopause, and men go through it as well, just differently. Their hormone levels change and many men react just as ours has nothing to do with his love for you. They want to remind themselves they are still attracted to other women, especially younger ones. I am in NO WAY making any excuse for his behaviour, just undertanding the reasoning. I fully believe that men who leave their wives during our menopausal years and our craziness then are pathetic. If I would have left my husband during this time, I would certainly be hypocritical. Younger men just need to grow the "F" up! (sorry, no other way to express this!)

6. Move forward when you can. We decided one morning to just put the past behind (NOT forget it, but learn from it) and beginning that day, we started our relationship as we did from day one. You have to get past the affair or it will eat away at you. Look to the future, with or without him, for your own emotional well-being. Remember, it takes a very long time and he must co-operate and be supportive and understanding of your needs. He betrayed you and has to be remorseful and accept responsibility. He needs to feel YOUR pain. If he is at all cavalier, he will repeat it again. (IMO).

7. If you truly love him, and he loves you, stick it out, if possible. It was a terrible mistake, and none of us are perfect. If you can regain trust, and get past this, you can work anything out in your marriage. It just takes TIME and courage. He has to be the one that works towards your forgiveness and earn your trust back.

8. Listen to your heart, think with your head. Don't listen to friends (talk if it helps though), you are the betrayed one and this is your life! Don't get "even", two wrongs don't make a right, and you'll feel all the worse!

I couldn't forgive and forget, I just moved forward and we are happier now than ever....5 years later! Good luck and pray for him and your marriage. Hope this has helped you, it's the most "awful" place to be in.

Life is what happens to yo while you're busy making other plans.

Thank you.  I am sorry for the pain you're suffering.  I hope your situation will get better for you.  It's not easy living this way.  When I made the decision to work things out, I didn't know how hard it would be.  You are right, sometimes things go to far.  You did not cause his actions but one of many who suffer the consquences.

May I ask you why you don't leave?

Thank you.  You've helped a great deal.  I am happy things have work out for you. I know it wasn't an easy road.  Your positive attitude is refreshing. 

I just found out my husband has had ANOTHER affair. To be honest, i'm done. He keeps crying to me telling me he will go to counseling and he will do anything to keep this marriage together. What marriage???? There isnt one when a spouse decides to date and sleep around. First I needed to ask myself, who ended the affair. In my case, it wasnt my husband either time. He didnt come clean w/ me either time. I found out from a very upset husband once, and the girl herself the second time. Its disgusting and in my opinion, its over. I have a child that means the world to me and I'll be damned if she repeats the pattern. Lets be honest here. I hate to use statistics, but a man who cheats and gets away with it, is 80% more likely to cheat again, than suddenly turn into the perfect man. I would ask yourself, these two questions.

1. Who ended the affair

2. Who told you about the affair

Your husband maybe has a chance if he ended it and actually came to you to tell you about it. If he didnt and like in my case, just got caught, he would more than likelt STILL be persuing her.

when i went through this we were not even married yet. i totally freaked out because i found out there were several situations and most with very young girls. i had been with this man for 22 years and never knew he was capable of such a thing. i ended up marrying him 1 1/2 months after finding out. it was crazy. i was only trying to hold on to some part of what i thought was my life being real. i honestly felt like my whole life with this man was a lie and that terrifed me. wrong reason for marriage. we have been married for almost 5 years now and i still think about it everyday and yes it causes problems. i am emotionally bankrupt at this point and would hate to see you the same way. if this relationship doesn't get better i will leave and never look back but i will also not look for another. don't let this get that bad for you. if he truly admits he did something wrong try to work it out but if he seems more sorry about getting caught get out. good luck and please try counseling if you can. no one should have to find out their life has been a lie.

Forgiveness is the best mantra.  You should forgive the cheating spouse for they would be in a weak mode afterall.  by forgiving a chaeting spouse,  you are incraesing the respect for you in his/her eyes. 

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