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My husband cheated, and lied. He swears he'll never do it again, but what do I do?

Tagged as: Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (23 March 2010) 2 Answers - (Newest, 23 March 2010)
A female United States age 51-59, anonymous writes:

I was 30 yrs old and had been previously married, My now Husband was 29 and had never been married before, We fell in love and spoke of marriage and decided to set the date to be married in Sept 1988, a couple weeks before our wedding I found out I was pregnant, we discussed this and were both a little suprised by happy, well a couple of night's before the wedding while just laying around he said he had something to tell me, He went on to say that he had cheated on me with his ex gf, I was devastated I cried all night long, but I decided since he was trueful maybe it was his way of being honest and up front with me so we could start a life together with any lie's or secrets so I forgave him, never to throw it up in his face ever again, we were married as planned, after we were married I come to find out he smoked weed alot more that he had ever admitted to, I've never had the habit, and I was ok with him smoking once and a while in the beginning, until he lost his Job of 16 years over it, then I felt I had no choice but to put my foot down about this problem since I was not working at this time and home with our Baby that had been born with a reflux problem and recently had surgery to correct, and we needed this Medical Insurance and Income badly from his Job, He immediately found another job and went to work but continued to lie to me about his habitmaking a promise to me he was not smoking weed anymore or doing anything wrong, again I believed him. later he found a better Job and about 2 yrs in to this job was layed off for the same thing, well it's out in the open again, he had LIED the whole time to me.I took our daughter and moved out the Family Home, until I felt he had his priorities in place.Well during that time he had called a GF of mine he said to talk to her about me, well she called me and said I think you need to come over here because your Husband is on the way over I think, and I believe he thinks I am going to sleep with him, I was devastated and of course I went straight to her house and he was pulling off as I arrived, his brother had called and warned him I was on the way, he found this out because I had taking my Daughter to my in laws to watch her for me and I made the mistake of telling them what was going on, I confronted him when I got home and he swore she was lieing and he went just to talk about our marriage problem's to her, because he had noone to talk to and that I did,I wanted so badly to believe him and also I knew in my heart that she was not telling me a lie. I had a simulair situation with another friend a few yrs earlier, she called me and said he was at her house knocking on the door and wanted to know why because she was in the tub and could not go to the door, but did how ever look out the window and seen the car and him on her porch, for 3 weeks after I confronted him he swear's she was lieing that he never went to her house, so I finally got the two of them together and got to the truth, He had indeed went to her house but again swore he was there to talk to her about our marriage, finally he did go and get help and completely walked away from this habit of smoking weed, and came to me and begged me to come home that he loved me and our Daughter and wanted our marriage to work and that he had changed completely and I loved him so much I decided to moved back home and we worked on our marriage and the fact that he had lied to me and it seemed to be going well with this behind us, well about 6 yrs later, he went into the Hospital with ulcers and I stayed day and night with him never leaving his side, and one day a phone call came in and it was a female co worker we will call her (kat)she called and asked to speak to my Husband not a hello to me at all just may I speak to A---, so I handed over the phone and during the conversation I could tell she was to have surgery of some type the next month or so well he got her home phone number and said he would call and let her know when he was released and how he was doing and he would also call to check on her the following month after her surgery, after arriving home from the Hospital maybe 30 mins I was still un packing his stuff and putting it away and he asked me for the paper I had written her number on and I just could not put my hand on it at that moment and he went crazy, and I said my God call work and get her number if you want to call her that badly, just to say you are home, and that was a red flag to me so I started being more aware of the situation, a couple weeks later her and her live in bf were moving and asked my Husband and a couple other co workers to help them in the move and since they all 3 worked at the same place I thought nothing much of it, well he left early that morning and when I got off work at 6pm he still wasn't home so I called him around 8pm finally and he said they grilled out burgers for the help of moving them well I thought then why wouuld they not say call your wife and tell her to come over and eat dinner with us because were going to grill later, but I brushed it off that neither of them knew me at all. not long after that he called after work and said he was going over to kat's house and hang a plant hanger on her front porch and I replied where is her BF and why cant he do that for her, Well I found out they had broken up and I told him he was a married man and I did not approve of him going to her house alone well just really didn't approve of it in any way, and he needed to come home and now not later, when he arrived he was very upset with me for telling him I did not approve and we fought over this for several day's and then she went in the for her surgery the following week and he walked in the house during the time I was finishing up dinner and said he was going back to the town they worked and she lived in to the hospital to take her apple sauce, this blew my mind I said WHAT your going to travel 35 to 40 mins to take her apple sauce at 7:30 at night, NO your not let her Mom or someone take it to her, he went and jumped in the shower and his phone rang and when I got to it by that time it had stopped ringing I looked up the number and realized it was the Hospital number and at that time a voice mail came in and she said never mind not to make the trip she would just get something from the nurse's station, so I told him she left a message and changed her mind, anyway the next day I found out he was seen at the hospital since his sister works there she mentioned about a month later she seen him there and wanted to know who was in the hospital that we knew, well this blew my top, because I had seen the week before where they talked on the phone for over and hour and I called her and askd why she was talking to my husband(a married man)and she hung up on me,I mainly called because he swore it wasnt her number on his phone it was another friends and I had done my homework I knew it was her number, and wanted to prove to him I knew. So I kicked him out filed for divorce and again he begged me back swearing he was just friend's with her and he would never speak to her again other that work related so two months later I let him move back in never to have that trust back fully because he admitted of going over to her house after work and having a drink or two, I watched the situation for a while and it seemed to be over, My Husband got a new job and I heard she also moved to a new job shortly afterwards, we moved forward and he was totally a changed person he has really been a gret Husband to me the past 4 yrs,( I Thought) but I had this heart wrenching pain for 4 long year's with all the lies and deceite it haunted me and left me with no trust for him, after everthing that had went on in our marriage the past 18 yrs I just started questioning his actions from the past over and over again because I was sure he had and affair with her, we were just laying in the bed getting ready to call it a night and we had been kinda argueing a week or so about his past with Kat and I told him it was a new year 2010 and I needed him to be honest with me for once in his life I told him he owed me that much after 22 yrs of marriage. I said I know you have lied to me about the fact that you have never had and affair on me in 22 yrs and I need to know the truth to move forward in our marriage,or I am out of here for sure. I said I know that you haven't slept with your ex gf but youh ave slept with someone I feel it in my heart, just knowing it was Kat and he had been lieing the whole time, well he came clean and knocked my feet from under me,he looked me in my face and said I'm going to tell you the truth about everything, I never stopped sleeping with my ex gf I slept with her for almost 2 yrs after we were married until the day our car caught on fire in her yard,that morning that he got out of our bed and was suppose to be going in to work early instead went to her house for a quicky, and note this was Valentine's day and then he had the firemen put a main hwy for the address on the report to keep me from finding out he was on the road she lived on at the time, now for yrs he told me the car caught on fire going down the hwy to work all these yrs,and the firemen and the Insurance adjusted kept it quiet to keep from hurting me since my Father had just passed the week before, oh yea he's good my Father had passed but to tell them this story and prey on there hearts for me, just to keep him from getting caught.( now that was good thinking on his part) well he claims this scared him so badly of being so close to getting caught he never seen or spoke to her after that day. Then he admitted my first friend remember the one that was in the tub well he went back later and asked her to fool around with him that same night and she sent him out of her house telling him he should be ashamed that he had a good wife at home, she never told me that part and I'm sure only to spare my feelings, and we were really never that close of friends again after that now I know why.Well then out of his mouth came the truth about the other friend of mine the one when his brother warned him I was on the way, yep that one to he tried with her also, and she told me she would go to court and say he came over for that reason but remember he lied to me he was only there to talk to her about our marriage, and again I forgave him, now to kat well twice I put him out over her, and when he got the new job July 05 I was sure the two of them never spoke or seen each other since, well the truth again he was seeing her up to a about August 06 but still swears they never slept together and that the last day he went to see her he asked could he kiss her she said yes and he did and said he knew then that was not what he wanted and got on his motorcycle pulled off to never go back again, this is the day he decided he had the perfect woman at home his wife and that he had been a fool and had hurt me way to much already and he was going to be the husband to me I always wanted him to be, and that's the 4 yrs I have been talking about that he had changed towards me helping more around the house spending more one on one time with me taking me out to dinner and dancing we have had alot of good time's in these past 4 yrs but I had that haunting feeling of betrayal from his past and now I know the truth. As Paul Harvey would say and now you know the rest of the story !! I guess my question is how do I trust him ever again because the 4 yrs I felt was good for us has all been a lie also when he made the decision not to be honest with me at that time or any other time before, I must add as if you didn't already know I do love my husband I deeply love him but I do not ever want to feel like I felt that night I found out the real truth about everything, ever again I was devastated now should I try and make my marriage work and reap the benefits I so long work hard to receive out of marriage or should I finally walk away since I can't be positive he wont ever do this again, even if he has sworn to me this time he's a changed Man and will never ever hurt me in any way again as long as he lives and that he would be a blessed man if Idecide to say with him, but also understands how much he has hurt me and if I feel I need to move forward in life without him that he understands that to, and wishes me the best. What am I to do ? ~Help I'm very Confussed~

View related questions: affair, cheated on me, co-worker, divorce, ex girlfriend, fell in love, his ex, lost his job, married man, moved out, my ex, wedding

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A female reader, Myrrh United Kingdom +, writes (23 March 2010):

Myrrh agony auntHello. I think you set a precedent when you forgave him for cheating with his ex. Instead of walking away, you married him.

The fact that he says he wants to be with you now is pretty poor. It should be....do you want him?! He may have been paying you some attention for a while but he should have been doing that all along. Not just when its suited him. And as you say, even thats all been a lie because hes watched you struggle with your doubts and suspicions all that time, while he denied everything. He probably thinks you will be impressed with his speech about understanding if you leave him. Thats a grandiose gesture because the reality is, he doesnt think you would do that in a million years!

Empty-1 made a point about the clock. I know that feeling as im sure you do! You end up watching and waiting for something to happen again while you count the hours and days. When something does happen, even if it turns out to be innoccent, the clock is wound back to zero and you start all over again. Its emotionally exhausting to live every day like that and im sure, over time, can start to damage your health. Lack of trust kills relationships and makes life totally miserable for the innoccent party. So if you decide to stay, you will probably never find any peace regarding his actions.

You could try telling him he has to leave for a while, so you can take a break from him and think about what you want to do. If hes really intent on changing his ways, ask him to go to marriage counselling with you and see how you feel after completing a course. Looking at your age, you are still relatively young. I would be inclined to rid myself of him and start a fresh life, away from the stress you have been living under for far too long.

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A male reader, empty-1 United States +, writes (23 March 2010):

My dear, I feel so deply and thoroughly for you. The ghosts your story raises in me, and echoes of my own are haunting and painful... I, too, know the anguish of deep, long standing, and repeated betrayal by the person I have loved most deeply, and trusted most thoroughly.

I cannot tell you that the pain and mistrust will ever stop. They won't.

I can tell you that you can learn to put them in their place, control them, and in that way, not allow them to ruin the happiness you can forge with the man you love,

However, this takes time. I don't mean months, I mean years. Multiple years, and the clock starts ticking over again whenever you find that you have been betrayed, no matter how long ago that betrayal may have happened.

Your husband MUST understand and appreciate the agony hew has caused you. He must understand the absoloute lack of trust that you will have for him for a long time coming, and that this is purely of his own making. He must admit to having done you terrible wrong, and that such actions come with natural consequences. Among those consequences is that you do not trust him in any way, shape, or form. He has proven himself to be mightily un-trustworthy. As such, you have the absoloute right to expect his 100% co-operation in verifying, in any way you wish his honest, open, and complete communication with you from now on. He absoloutely must be willing to surrender ANY semblance of privacy until you are able to put aside your mistrust enough to give him back some privacy, little by little.

This means you get unfettered access to his phone and the records / logs of calls and texts on the bill / online. He doesn't get to delete so much as a single text, you do that for him when his phone is getting too full.

He keeps his phone on him, so that you can call whenever you feel the need. He does not fail to answer when you call, unless you are aware AHEAD OF TIME that he will be out of signal.

You have the right to call him at work, at his workplace's land phone line to check that he is there. If he cannot recieve personal calls at work, he needs to find a new job where he can.

If you require he answer questions under polygraph, this can bring certain contentious questions to a place where you feel you have some small basis of a kernel on which to build trust.

You have the right to plant recording devices in your own home, on yours and / or his phones, and in his car, with or without telling him before / after. You may even rent (they're kinda expensive to buy) a remote GPS locater to place in his car from time to time to be sure he is where he told you he'd be. You have the right to show up at random just to be sure he is where he says.

You have the right to install hidden keylogging software / hardware on his computer. View his credit card statements, etc, etc, etc.

Any other ways you want to check up on / keep tabs on him, he has to aknowledge that you have the unmitigated and absoloute right to do so, without any resentment or trouble from him about any of it. These measures exist to help you learn, slowly, over time, that he is behaving himself and can be considered a changed, more trustworthy person.

All of this is extraordinarily difficult, and emotionally exhausting. To say nothing of the pain and doubt involved! Frankly, most couples in situations as deeply wounded as yours and mine do not survive. However, with dedication, determination, forgiveness, love, and time, healing can occur, and true strength in that love and trust can eventually flower.

Do, consider, however, with his track record, the likeliness that he will try and find a way around anything you come up with. How would you ever handle it if he went and bought a prepaid phone, and kept it hidden, speaking on it only outside of his car? At this point, you may need to realize that you deserved better from day one, and you certainly don't deserve all of the work, heartache, anguish, and pain that will come with trying to fix this marriage. You may, in the long run, be better off going out into the world, and finding better, as better, you certainly do deserve.

Finally, also realize that these things you may end up persuing, could land you in jail! recording phone conversations without notice or consent to the third party could be illegal in your state, and if you get caught, there could be penalties. These "rights" are relational, not legal ones, and are negotiated between the two of you.

Also, while he needs to understand that all of these measures are directly in response to the privacy he so thoroughly abused, it is likely he will have anger and resentments over some of it. Especially as months drag oin into years, and you suddeny find yourself with sharp suspicion and pain that you hadn't experienced in awhile and were unprepared to face so suddenly. Relationships are a two way street. Turning a one way street into a the other way street does not make a relationship work. It may be a necessary evil as a stepping stone towards a two way street, but it will cause damage of its own. Damage that may end up being greater than the damage you are trying to heal.

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