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Husband isn't sure he can give up his "friendship" with woman he had an affair with!

Tagged as: Cheating, Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (18 February 2011) 15 Answers - (Newest, 21 February 2011)
A female United Kingdom age 41-50, *ulabelle writes:

I discovered by husband was having an affair nearly two years ago. It nearly destroyed me and our marriage. He admitted he was in love with the other woman and was going to leave me for her. In the end we worked through it (or so I thought). For 6 months after discovering about the affair he continued the affair. He then ended it just over a year ago and promised never to contact her again. However just before Christmas I found out that he was back in contact with her. I even caught him at her house last week. He insists that they are just friends and wants to continue being her friend. I have told him to choose between his marriage or her friendship. He is not sure he can live without her 'friendship' as he does not have many friends. Should I end the marriage or accept their friendship (if that is what it is)?

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A female reader, chocoholicforever United States +, writes (21 February 2011):

You've asked him yet again about the other woman and again he gives another non-answer which is basically saying yes he's still seeing her. He either has blatant disrespect for your marriage and you, which is a horrible way to live being married to someone who has so little regard for your well being. or else his bond with her is just too strong, maybe they are meant to be together. Or maybe it's both.

And now he refuses to talk about it and wants to carry on as normal. what an utter insult. He's been caught in his affair numerous times, caught out on his lies, and he still feels he has the right to shut you up and pretend that all is normal? WTF?

Maybe he really was going to leave you for her the first time but then she backed out which is why he agreed to stay with you and "work through it". Maybe he's only still in your marriage because she's not available and he's just biding his time until she becomes available. Why hold on to him, when he would probably have no qualms about dropping you like a hat if the other woman's situation changed tomorrow?

Many people are too afraid to divorce, or are too afraid to be alone. the misery you are familiar with is more comforting than the unknown. Don't get me wrong, it is do-able. I know people who have been married over 40 years where the husband is STILL having affairs and the wife knows it and has been hurting all these 40 years. They will probably never get divorced. It's their choice to live a half-ass life because they're too afraid to seek something better. But this 'comfort' of living with familiar misery, comes at a steep cost. they have their nice house and dinner parties and their vacations together to keep up the facade, but the wife has a drinking problem and has been on anti-depressants for years with no hope of ever getting off it because she's dependent on them just to get through her life, she lost her career long ago cos of depression, she also decided not to have more children because she was never sure when the day would come when he'd finally run off with a mistress, so she had to give up her dream of having a big family.

...it's just not worth it. Whatever you may gain by holding on to the marriage (or rather, whatever you may avoid losing), you can end up losing so much more.

Do you remember when you used to be truly happy in your life? I bet you haven't felt that way for at least 2 years, since you found out about his affair. Maybe it's been longer than that, since an affair usually doesn't happen out of the blue but after a marriage has already broken down. Try and remember a time when you were truly at peace and happy with the world. You have the opportunity to get to that place again, but not as long as you continue to stay with him.

How about seeking out a divorce support group or forum, get the support you need to develop the strength to leave this marriage because the longer you stay, the more unhappy and upset you will be because your husband has told you over and over again, multiple times, that he's just not going to stop seeing the other woman. And something tells me that one day he will run off with her eventually like he had blatantly said he wanted to, he's just biding his time. If you end the marriage on your own terms you will feel a lot better than having the marriage end from him running off with someone else.

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A male reader, Capri2 Argentina +, writes (21 February 2011):

It won't be easy at all. But I don't reckon you can build a family with a guy who thinks he can have another woman the time he thinks it's needed to "sort things out". What the heck is he thinking? You have to overlook he's cheating you just because he says so?

This is wrong at so many levels.

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A female reader, lulabelle United Kingdom +, writes (20 February 2011):

lulabelle is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thanks to everyone for helping me. Some of you have really taken the time to write long answers which is sooooo helpful. Everyone thinks I should leave him. You are all saying what I know in heart is the right thing to do...leave him. He has just cooked a fab meal and had my mother over. You would think he was the perfect husband at times but I know deep down he isn't. I asked him again tonight about the other woman. He just says ' he will sort it.' I told him he's not on Eastenders! He just refuses to talk about it and wants to carry on as normal. At least he has agreed to look after my little girl at the end of the Month while I take a break in the US. It's just so hard to end it as I don't want to break my daughter's heart and I know it will be hard to cope without him. I am going to keep reading your answers to give me the courage and the boot up the backside I need. Big thank you everyone. lol

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (20 February 2011):

He is not sure he can end his friendship/affair or not sure he still wants to be married to you.

He is telling u loud and clear than she is more important to him and that she will always be in his life.

He is also telling you he doesn't care about your feelings, doesn't respect you and doesn't bother much about your marriage.

LoveGirl

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (19 February 2011):

What he's not unsure of is the fact he'll lose you, because it's obvious, that doesn't scare him enough to stop contacting this woman. You'll always be there, supportive trying to fix this marriage, he's taking you for granted. This is not a friendship, he is not a child, who can't go and make friends (as pathetic an excuse I've ever heard) Get a lawyer and start divorce proceeding, that make wake him from the fog he's in, if he truly loves you then it has to be on your terms, cut all ties to this woman or lose you forever. He has to make amends to you not you giving him concessions. I wish you luck.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (19 February 2011):

Maybe you should have let his affair destroy your marriage two years ago. Then by now you may have found someone better rather than still being stuck with a scum like him.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 February 2011):

fact: you found out he had an affair. he didn't get overwhelmed with guilt and tell you by himself, did he? if you didn't find out then, you might still be unknowing. he is able to lie and cover up very well.

fact: after you found out, he admitted he was in love with her and wanted to be with her. Wow. most cheaters would deny and insist it 'meant nothing' and beg you to take them back. But not him, he brazenly tells you he wants to leave you and be with her because he's in love with her. This is a HUGE red flag for your marriage. this is not just a one night stand, he actually loves her and has a bond with her. He's not a player, it's the same woman all this time, that means he actually loves her. That means there can be no hope for your marriage!

fact: after discovering the affair, still he continues it. Not surprising, if he really loves her as he said he does. This was your second red flag that this kind of affair is the kind that really makes a marriage out of the question!! you are just an obstacle to his relationship with her!!

fact: after he supposedly broke it off with her, yet again you find out he's been in contact with her. By now this really shouldn't have been a big surprise to you anymore, by now you only have yourself to blame by still being "with" him for him to cheat on you... and again I doubt he came clean and told you of his own accord instead he probably lied and you found out on accident as with all the other times. this really really shows just how deep is his bond with her that he is willing to become a liar and cheater (no one is proud to be a liar and cheater) just to be with her. or maybe it shows how weak-willed he is that he can't stay away from her. either way by now you should know that your marriage is a sham. WAKE UP!!

fact: even after you tell him to choose you or her, he still insists he can't live without her 'friendship.' You know as well as everyone else what this means and what it spells for your future (yes, you will keep on finding out that he's lying when he says he's not seeing her anymore). Even in the face of an outward threat from you, he brazenly refuses to give her up.

OK, how many red flags do you need waving in your face before you will see the truth that this situation will not change to be what you want? he's never going to be "in" your marriage, even if he stays with you. She will always be in the picture, he will always go behind your back. don't waste anymore time and energy on this guy.

maybe at this point you're just being territorial you can't stand the idea of losing something that rightfully should be yours therefore you keep hanging onto it. if so get over this delusion because it's harming you. the more time you waste, the longer you stay with him hoping and waiting, the more you will be hurt. you need to cut your losses and leave now. any further hurt will be of your own doing because you refuse to save yourself.

(written by someone whose husband cheated, tried to 'work it out', never did work out and finally ended it after years of wasted time and hurt because of delusions that things can be worked out)

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (18 February 2011):

Hi

I think in fairness you BOTH need to face the truth and let go..so YOU have a chance at love...i think he has tried to deny his feelings and sadly you are loosing. Some couples can live like this....but it is a life that is half lived and a lie....Forget him and her for now ...Don't you deserve a man that loves all of you ...warts and all...treats you special but above all WANTS TO BE WITH YOU .....BEST FRIEND...LOVERS...ETC..?

No way on this planet i would play second fiddle...i am too selfish for that...maybe you should be a little selfish. You have years ahead of you to find true happiness and live fully. Good luck...but your choice whatever you decide i wish you luck. My auntie found true love at 59...had a second marriage and lived such a full life....after her first husband never showed her love.

Get excited about a new future...begin again... join dance classes... art classes...meet new people..live for you ...not as A SHADOW willing to accept crumbs, go for the best....play first fiddle.

Good luck :)

spunky monkey

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A female reader, chocoholicforever United States +, writes (18 February 2011):

You asked 'Should I end the marriage or accept their friendship (if that is what it is)?"

The big question is CAN you accept their "friendship"? Is that even feasible? Really ask if your truly accepting their friendship is even a viable option on the table for you to consider....somehow I doubt it. Just keeping quiet about it while simmering and repressing your true feelings, is NOT accepting it, it's not resolving anything and you'll just prolong this situation and be asking the same question a few years from now.

to be honest I think you should leave him. He already ended the marriage long ago, he even said he wanted to leave you. Some things, once broken, can't be repaired and recognizing this is healthier so you can move on because continuing to try to glue back something that can't be repaired, is just hurting you more.

The fact that you're even giving him an ultimatum says to me that you should leave him. Because ultimatums don't really get what you want in situations like this. He may choose her. then you have to stand by your word and leave him. In which case why not do that already, without the ultimatum.

but even if he supposedly chooses you over his friendship with her, you will still not get what you want. You will forever live under the suspicion that he could lapse back into seeing her again, just like he did the last time. You will never know when this will happen and will always be paranoid to some degree. This is no way for you to live.

Furthermore a choice made due to an ultimatum is a choice made under force, it's not his own free will. I assume that when you want him in the marriage you dont' just want him there physically but you want his heart and mind to be in it as well, right? But that wont' happen if it wasn't his own free will. He himself said he cannot live without her. If you "make" him live without her, this won't improve your relationship at all, you would preserve the outward marriage but destroy the relationship between you.

He will resent you for making him give up something he didn't want to. So giving him an ultimatum resulting in him choosing you over her, is still a no-win situation for YOU.

He's already made his choice long ago. You're trying to force the marriage, maybe he was also trying to force himself in this marriage for whatever reason. But it's not working.

He can stay physically, but if his heart is longing for her, what good does it do to your marriage? you'll just be setting yourself up for a more misery.

You should leave him and move on with your own life, he already made his choice long ago he was just too coward to take responsibility for it and follow through the first time around.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (18 February 2011):

You should end the marriage unless you WANT to have this other woman in YOUR life too.

You should have left him the first time when you initially found out he had an affair. why did you think you could "work it out" when he even said he was going to leave her for you? Didn't the writing on the wall mean anything? that shows just how deeply he wants her, and/or how much he doesn't want to be with you. You should have ended it then and there. Instead of prolonging the marriage continuing to expose yourself to this situation and wondering why this is happening.

sorry if I sound harsh, but I believe that no self-respecting person should stay with a spouse who has cheated on them. To do so under the guise of "working it out" is to lower yourself saying you have so little regard for your own self dignity and self worth you would choose to give yourself to someone who obviously doesn't want you.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (18 February 2011):

Should I end this marriage?

Yes, unless you want to continue sharing him with another woman.

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A female reader, Ampersand Canada +, writes (18 February 2011):

Ampersand agony auntGoing by his past actions, it doesn't look good.

He had an affair, got caught, promised to end it (he didn't), finally ended it over a year ago, promised to cut contact (again, he didn't)! Seems he can't stick to his word when it comes to this other woman.

In all honesty I wouldn't wait around to catch him cheating a third time. You'll be forever stuck with the anxiety, paranoia and worry of him cheating while he's around her (I don't think any man is worth that, especially not a cheating one). The main foundation of any relationship is trust, you simply can't have a healthy and fulfilling relationship without it! I wouldn't give him the option of choosing...he simply doesn't deserve it!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (18 February 2011):

Are you willing to share him with this woman? He had an affair with her, if he is willing to work on this marriage with you then all ties must be broken with her, it won't work otherwise. I would decide for yourself what you are willing to accept then I would ask him to choose her friendship or your marriage, if he can't make a choice, then if I were you, I would make it for him and leave. You are only gonna have pain and misery in this situation. If you accept this friendship, you will be miserable. always wondering if they are "more than friends" and they probably will be if they aren't already. And mistresses don't stay mistresses for long. they want more, and she will pressure him to leave you. then what are you left with. No self esteem knowing you are sharing him with someone else, at your expense, and then he left you for her. I would solve this asap. And if they are just friends, why was he at her house and you had to "catch" him. If he wanted to be just her friend he should have spoken to you about it before restarting anything with her. So in my opinion, they are already more than friends. He needs to find other friends, male friends, go to church, join a ymca, it is up to him to find "appropriate friendships". this isn't an appropriate friendship.

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A male reader, Capri2 Argentina +, writes (18 February 2011):

In my OWN personal opinion you should end your marriage. He cheated on you with that woman. We are not talking about some ex girlfriend from his past, which can be really over. In fact, he doesn't think he can live without his friendship. Which makes me think he can live without his marriage.

This kind of problem is the reason why I don't think a relationship can survive an infidelity.

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A female reader, viccra78 United States +, writes (18 February 2011):

Let me start with saying that an affair is WRONG no matter which way you look at it.

However, I don't think that it is easy for a cheating spouse to leave the other person. No matter how wrong it is, they do develop feelings for eachother just like the relationship he as for you so I can see where he is coming from and I really don't think that he is trying to be hurtful to you.

Now after saying that, the only way for YOUR relationship to work is for him to have NO contact with her...plain and simple. No matter how hard it is for him, he needs to make that choice in who he wants because he can't have both.

If he refuses to give up his "friendship" with her then he has made his choice no matter how hard it is for him.

Good luck!

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