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HELP Should I take my Husband of 30 years back,after he cheated 8 years ago.

Tagged as: Cheating, Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (1 December 2011) 15 Answers - (Newest, 3 December 2011)
A female United Kingdom age 51-59, anonymous writes:

Hi should I forgive my Husband of 30 yrs. I found out last year that he had a 2yr affair with a woman he did a job for .This happened 8 yrs since when we were going though a really bad patch, I still carnt get over it and its been a year since i found out hes done everything to try and get my forgivness, hes put me 3 adds in the local paper asking for forgivness and apologising, took me abroad 3 times, bought me flowers every 2 wks, took me out for meals every wk, bought me a new ring,sang songs on the karoka for me,said hel sign the house over to me,does all cooking and cleaning, hasnt left my side unless i ask him to, got on his hands and knees begging me to take him back,asking me t marry him again,been to counceling, hes even been to see the other woman to get her to confess what sort of a relationship it was, He says it was just for sex, never took her anywhere or bought her anything.Friends with Benefits just a quickie in her house when he had finished playing pool every other wk,when i, thought he wo havin a couple of beers with his mates. Hes being so nice and romantic its hard not to still love him,I made him move out but he is always here, we have had some brilliant times over the years and wev got 4 boys 2 still at home 13 an 16, But when I have had a drink or am due for a period I just crack up hit him and call him all sorts but he wont give up..PLEASE HELP ME

View related questions: affair, flowers, period

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A reader, anonymous, writes (3 December 2011):

re Bluecow you realy know how to sock a punch dont you

a never said a blamed the other woman more than him, a blame them both more so him cos yes am married to him, but it takes 2 to tango and she knew she would be helping to destroy my life and my four kids life so dont give me its all his fault they both had a choice, the loads of single men out there t shag, leave the married ones alone, why would you want to share. and I know the woman in question and she is a slag her husband divorced her 11 years ago cos she slept with his brother, plus loads more, so dont give me the crap u spouting out please,dont bet on nothing that you dont know iv heard a taped conversation on what happened n she dont know that either. common sense only....Just hope it never happens to you think you will feel differently then. thanks for your answer

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A reader, anonymous, writes (3 December 2011):

re Bluecow you realy know how to sock a punch dont you

a never said a blamed the other woman more than him, a blame them both more so him cos yes am married to him, but it takes 2 to tango and she knew she would be helping to destroy my life and my four kids life so dont give me its all his fault they both had a choice, the loads of single men out there t shag, leave the married ones alone, why would you want to share. and I know the woman in question and she is a slag her husband divorced her 11 years ago cos she slept with his brother, plus loads more, so dont give me the crap u spouting out please,dont bet on nothing that you dont know iv heard a taped conversation on what happened n she dont know that either. common sense only....Just hope it never happens to you think you will feel differently then. thanks for your answer

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 December 2011):

if it were me, I wouldn't take him back. Yes you did treat him very very badly at the time when he had an affair. But the honorable thing for him to do was to divorce you. Not to keep quiet and instead go behind your back and have sex for two years with another woman to ease his pain and get his needs filled and then lie about it for more years to come.

if he had left you for treating him so badly, at least you would have known just how unhappy and miserable he was with you. He would have conducted himself with integrity. That would have opened an opportunity for a possible future reconciliation.

By creating a web of lies, he took the cowards way out. I'm sorry but I just don't respect a man who would do this. that's just me, though.

If you can live with knowing he had a Friend with Benefits for 2 years, that's your own business. But be aware that human psychology being what it is, I think there's a good chance this issue of his past FWB may come back to haunt you so I would be wary of brushing it aside. You see, sex between consenting adults bonds them together. The key word here is 'consenting.' In distressed marriages, there may still be sex but where one or both people are not really willing or consenting but feel obligated or pressured and that's why they do it. that kind of physical relations doesn't lead to emotional bonding, more likely it further destroys the relationship.

But FWB situations are different because by definition they are fully consensual relationships. Since there are no strings attached with FWB (whereas in marriages there are LOTS of strings attached), there really is no reason that the two people involved in FWB would continue to seek out sex with each other other than that they actually want to, specifically with each other. And this kind of consensual sex, especially with the same person over a long period of time, creates emotional bonds and attachments. that's probably why it went on for so long. Of course he has legal and public commitments to you not to her and that probably stopped him from going further with her (or maybe she called it off because she wanted something more otherwise he would have continued it for longer). he may claim now that it was meaningless, but I think that actions speak louder than words. I don't believe it was entirely meaningless and for him to claim it was, is like trying to minimize what he did.

In the end, you have your own reasons for wanting to take him back. So if you really want to take him back, then go ahead. But I hope you will at least heed the warnings of the many people here so that you know what you are getting yourself into so that your choice comes from a more informed position.

if you haven't gotten your tendencies to get violent when upset, under control, then you are just as likely to break apart this relationship as he is. The same issues that drove him into his 2-year affair years ago, could come back and drive him into another affair again in the future. If you're going to make this work you are BOTH going to have to undergo significant personal changes.

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A female reader, So_Very_Confused United States + , writes (2 December 2011):

So_Very_Confused agony auntFWIW, my mother after 25 years of marriage forgave my father an affair... he even moved out for a few months.

they got back together.. he never even looked at another woman till the day my mother died in his arms...

if you love him still or again

if you trust him or even if you WANT to trust him and YOU want to take him back then do so.

DO NOT live your life to make anyone else happy.

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A female reader, bluecow United Kingdom +, writes (2 December 2011):

bluecow agony auntwhy do people insist on blaming the other woman?

She isnt the one who betrayed her marriage vows... HE DID

She isnt the one cheating and lying to you..... HE DID

SHE simply slept with a man for a 2year affair. Yes he was married and yes she knew about his marriage (I would love to bet they discussed his marriage - you mention it was in a rocky patch)... but she wasnt the one cheating.

If you think it meant nothing to her, think again. Regardless of whether it was a FB type arrangement or not, there has to be at least friendship there for things to have gone on for so long. The same goes for him, he wouldnt have continued seeing someone for 2 years just for a quickie. If all he wanted was sex, he would have pulled a different one nighter each week.

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A female reader, Miamine United Kingdom +, writes (2 December 2011):

Miamine agony auntAll types of different views, but I guess most of us are talking from our own experiences. Divorce him or keep him, it's up to you, not up to other people. You know the man better than us. Just wanted to share my own experience, and it worked out right for me. Other people's experiences may be very different.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 December 2011):

He didnt tell me at the time because he darn't, It was me 8yrs ago that wouldnt sleep with him, it was me that told him i didnt think i loved him, me that kept going away to the caravan with the kids for weeks on end and would not talk to him, he wanted me to be with him and love him but at the time I couldnt. No he still shouldnt have gone with the other woman but she slept with him there and then first time,he told her he couldnt continue because he had no condom she jumped up and said shed got some,too good to refuse when u getting nothing and your wife says she dont love you eh, If you read further down the page this girl didnt want a relationship either she was a single mum and wasnt bothered was just happy to have sex 2 to 3 times a month when h could get and I know he wasnt there no longer than 30 to 45 minuets because he played pool with friends first then they used to have a drink then he would make his exscuse n sneak over to hers wich is a 4 miunet walk from ours, he never bought her nothing or took her any where . and I know this as she told someone I know she was seeing other men at the same time, hence he never gave her oral sex and always used a condom he didnt know where shed been, I am a very strong woman and he has been terrified of me finding out, the thing that hurts me is that I started to come round and tried again so he eventually stopped goin but he should have told me then, but he knows at that time i would have gone, where as now we were getting on brilliant, wev both made big mistake his bigger than mine but we do get on great and 30years is alot to throw away over some slag,just hard to forgive and it takes a long time and when i am ready i will go back to councelling.U said define (Didnt mean anything) means friends with benifits. oh and ave looked at phone records it was only 2 sometimes 3 times a month on a mondays about 11.00pm and he was always home for 11.45 and in bed, Iknow because i was there. Thanks for your answers..

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 December 2011):

"I know that his relation ship with her didnt really mean anything because the woman in question told his relation 3 years back b4 i knew anything that she had been seeing my husband and that it didnt mean anything and he told her that he loved me and his kids and would not leave me for her or anyone, and that it happened years ago."

define "mean anything"? ... he had relations with her for 2 years, behind your back. This doesn't sound like something that "didnt' mean" anything to him. If it was so meaningless why didn't he openly tell you about it at the time, or stop it sooner, or just not even start it? I'm sure he was adamant about not leaving you for her since after all he's got other things invested in the life he built up with you - like the house, the reputation of being a family man, etc. Those are the reasons he didn't leave you. but that didn't stop him from having sex with her, for 2 years, did it?

If you couldn't even stand to go to counseling, that means that you really can't forgive him. And that's very normal and it doesn't make you a bad person. If you can't forgive him, then staying married to him is going to be more painful than divorcing him. At least when you divorce you acknowledge that things have forever changed. When you stay married you're pretending that things are happy and normal when nothing could be further from the truth.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 December 2011):

TO anonymous,(Me again 30 yr husband) Ouch think your hurting more than me, I know hes not having an affair right now because he hasnt left my side for a year and i mean not left my side trying to make up to me, if it is only something in it for him why would he show his self up showing me and everyone else that he loves me what would be the point of that. Plus its me that will loose out not him he does everything for me and always has, think someone has done the same to you but showed no remorse, 1 year begging, helping, doing what i wish for isnt something in it for him is it,Yes he did it to benifit his needs isnt that what an affair is, bad times bad choices .and I will say that i am here and you are not and I know he definatley LOVES me and is sorry. Whether i forgive him or not is a different matter. Thanks for your comment. ps he also says he will take a lie detector to prove never done it before.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 December 2011):

Hi its me whoes been cheated on, I know that his relation ship with her didnt really mean anything because the woman in question told his relation 3 years back b4 i knew anything that she had been seeing my husband and that it didnt mean anything and he told her that he loved me and his kids and would not leave me for her or anyone, and that it happened years ago. Plus the girl who I briefley know and her cousins are what you might call very loose and all seperated form their partners everyone knows them as the good time girls.Which makes me really mad because she knew he was married with 4 kids but was happy to open her legs when ever he fancied a quick one, which i wasnt offering.We went to councelling for about 5 month on and off but I wasnt ready to forgive so wouldnt continue, he wants me to go back.He says he hates the pain he is making me go through and would do anything to try put it right, he says its the biggest mistake he has ever made and if he had one wish it would be to go back 30 years to when we first met and cherish every momment with me, and he could wish for his first wife back that died having his baby they both died he loved her but was only with her a few years b4 i met him, but says he just wants me.I did have thoughts about having an affair because we wernt getting on but was busy with kids and couldnt do that any way. Thanks for all your answers it really does help.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 December 2011):

if he really loved you, he would not have carried on for 2 years with another woman.

I think at the heart of it all is he loves himself more than he loves you, and is just living his life according to what benefits him.

The 2-year affair was for his benefit - obviously it wasn't for yours or he wouldn't have kept it a secret from you. He was willing to do something to benefit himself at your expense, and to do it for 2 years. He placed his own needs above yours and that of the marriage, but lied about it so you wouldn't know he is actually like this. this isn't someone you can trust.

And now he's begging you to take him back...if he really loved you as he proclaims he would be so horrified and ashamed of what he did to you he wouldn't have the gall to show his face to you anymore let alone the nerve to ask you to take him back. If he really loved you, he wouldn't see himself worthy to be your husband and would stay the heck away from you because he would care more for your hurt and your dignity than for his desire to re-instate the marriage. If he really loved you he wouldn't be pressuring you to take him back. The pressure is because re-instating the marriage is for his benefit.

I believe he doesn't actually love you, he just needs the security of your 30 year marriage so he doesn't have to face an upheaval in his life now that he's grown accustomed to things.

And similarly you may not actually love him, but you just need the security of the 30 year marriage so you dont' have to face an upheaval in your life.

really ask yourself why you would want him back as a spouse when he's proven to be untrustworthy and capable of betraying you and keeping secrets long-term. How will you know he's not going to do it again, and why would you be willing to take that chance? How do you know he isn't right now in another affair and just keeping it a secret like he did the first one?

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A female reader, bluecow United Kingdom +, writes (2 December 2011):

bluecow agony auntouch, no wonder your hurting.

I think before either of you decide that the marriage will work you need to talk to more people - get some more counselling.

His betrayal wasnt just a fling, it was a 2 year affair. Obviously he would prefer you to believe it was just sex but your own instincts tell you otherwise. He is also trying to relieve is conscience by doing all those little thoughtful things, and gifts. I think if he actually admitted it was the affair you know it to be then at least you have a true starting point.

You violence is also unacceptable, and you need help dealing with that too. I suspect its because you are bottling up all your true feelings about the affair and all the anger and hurt that HE has given you. Its a natural reaction but not the right one. If he was the one hitting you (if you had the affair) there would be alot more said about it on here.

Please please go together and seperatly to get some real counselling. The people on here come from every walk of life, and give excellent advice (many times as good and even better than some professionals), but when situations are this complex I say get the real physical help you need... not an internet board.

While you are sorting this out, I would suggest that you minimise contact between you two. He needs to realise you need time to adjust and heal.... he also needs to fully come to terms with his responsibility in all of this, instead of ridding his guilt by buying you gifts and flowers. Why not agree to have dinner once a week, and lunch once a week on different days. DO NOT drink anything remotely alcoholic on those events and end the evening before you get tired and morose to minimise the risk of you hitting.

Marriages can and do survive affairs. They are often stronger when they do survive. However its not always the right option. Noone here can tell you whether your marriage is the one which will survive.

I wish you all the very best in the future and whatever way you decide to go. Please please keep us upsdated.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (2 December 2011):

I think its the fact it went on for 2 years thats the hardest to come to terms with. A one nighter is bad enough but 2 years is a long time

So what if you were going through a 'bad patch' at the time- did YOU go out and have a 2 year affair?? Thats a weak excuse.

So you are now angry, hurt upset, betrayed...was it the only time he cheated or the only one you know about..so many doubts

He does clearly love you,is sorry, and 30 years is a long time together,however its you that needs to be sure, to be happy, to forgive. This will take time...I don't know how you found out about it after 8 years but its a shock .. you need time to adjust and no matter how many flowers he buys you..its your choice, so talk go to counselling whatever .. do not be soft soaped by him...

I hope you can work it all out xx

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A female reader, chocoholicforever United States +, writes (2 December 2011):

I think that if you do take him back, you might want to continue counseling so that you can heal emotionally, not just suppress your hurt for the sake of the renewed relationship.

All of his lovely gestures now, don't erase or cancel out what he did. That's now how the heart and mind of the spouse who's been hurt (i.e. you) work.

If there's to be healing, it wont' come just from his begging, apologizing, flowers and gifts. There will have to be ongoing dialogue between the two of you, for a long time to come, in which he takes responsibility for the pain he causes you - not just trying to cancel it out with gifts and nice gestures now - and where you both explore and face what led to him cheating on you, and why it should be any different this time. This is a long and painful process and there may be a temptation to try to "short cut" it by quick forgiveness, but such quick forgiveness doesn't actually lead to permanent healing and the demons are still in the closet, and they tend to rear their heads from time to time in the form of mistrust and suspicion.

Furthermore, there is a reason that your husband cheated on you and lied to you for so long. He may not know it himself. But infidelity is usually a sign of major problems in the relationship. He may have been very unhappy with you or with himself. So if the reason is not addressed, then there's a higher chance that it could occur again after taking him back.

So to me, what determines if you should take your husband back, is whether you feel you can face this issue down and work through it and not just avoid thinking of the past in an effort to move forward. It's OK if you can't bear to live with that pain and there's nothing wrong in saying No - many people can't which is why infidelity often destroys relationships (even if the marriage stays intact forever). But if you can, and you are willing to, then the next thing to consider is whether your husband can do that, or if he just wants to be forgiven on the basis of his renewed efforts, without acknowledging or facing his past wrongdoing (because that's painful for him too).

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A female reader, Miamine United Kingdom +, writes (2 December 2011):

Miamine agony auntOK babes, calm down, there is nothing wrong with what you are feeling. Remember, this is all new for you, for him it's 8 years ago. He's had time to work out his emotional feelings (guilt) in private. When people hurt us and break our trust it takes years for us to forgive and trust again. What your husband is doing to show you how much he loves you and how sorry he is, is perfectly proper and correct. As you say, it hard not to love him still with all the things he is doing.

Put it in context first - he didn't just go out and cheat, firstly you both were having marriage problems, and it wasn't a love affair, it was a sex thing done by an unhappy man.

Nope, not excusing him, just trying to explain. My ex done that to me too (he's an ex for a completely different reason though) We were having problems, I guess a lot of it was my fault. Went on holiday, came back in a happy mood, wanting to love me man. He looked shifty, wouldn't look in me eyes or hold me properly.. I just said, who is she, and why, and then he told me a story, just like yours. One time, sex only. I know him so well, so I believed him straight away.

IT HURT, IT HURT, IT HURT - but funny, I didn't want to kill him, just wanted him to hold me and tell me everything was all right. Couple of days later the shock went away, and then I wanted to hit him, and I did, I hit him and shouted and shouted. But that didn't make me feel any better.

I loved the guy, and I kinda understood that he was unhappy, I was away, he was a stupid idiot who made a mistake. I told him, it would take a long time to forgive, because everytime I closed my eyes I kept getting nightmares. I told him he had to treat me like a queen, be me slave, make me feel the most special thing in his world and then maybe I might be able to trust again.

TOOK ME THREE YEARS, and yep, I got flowers, I got tender treatment, I never had to do the dishes, he did the shopping, he massaged me feet. Indeed he made me his queen. And little by little the pain stopped, the nightmares stopped, I stopped thinking he's a cheat and a dog who should suffer some more.

One day I wanted him to do something, he refused. I started shouting about the affair he had. He laughed and said, you forgave me long ago for that. And I looked in my heart, and realised I had, and I started laughing too.

Yep it hurts, yep it takes a long time to forgive and trust again. Some people can get through this and get even closer (I did), some people can't and it breaks the relationship (and this is OK too) Don't be too hard on yourself, you are doing your best. Having a drink, being in a bad mood, getting cranky, yep, you hit him and blame him for everything... I did that too. If he loves you, it will be killing him to know he's caused all this pain, he won't be judging you..

As long as he knows that you love him and he really is sorry, he won't give up, he's there for the long run. Just explain you can't just put your feelings in a box and pretend that nothing happened, you got to work through things in your mind, you got to believe with all your heart that he'll never hurt you like this again, and this takes a long, long, long time.

Sorry Mrs Wife, don't you hate when men are dumb, and stupid but you still love them and you don't know how to stop. (is it awful if I say hit him again, but don't hurt him, just for me and all the ladies who have been hurt like this) Just do your best, and don't be too hard on yourself.

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