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My husband still works with his ex mistress

Tagged as: Cheating, Marriage problems, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (27 August 2011) 7 Answers - (Newest, 28 August 2011)
A female United States age 41-50, *ach1726 writes:

I caught my husband of 16 years cheating on me last september with a woman who works in his office. He broke it off when I found out but he still works with her. I think about it everyday while he's at work. It torments me and I've told him that. He says he can't move to a differrnt office, but he has before. I don't gripe at him about it but am I wrong for being so upset and untrusting still? Do I need to let it go?

View related questions: at work, his ex, mistress

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A female reader, rach1726 United States +, writes (28 August 2011):

rach1726 is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you everyone for all the heartfelt replies! It feels so good to talk about it finally and realize I'm not crazy. I learned a lot reading these and will not take it lightly. Time for action. Thank you again!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (28 August 2011):

you're perfectly normal to feel the way you do. question is what to do about this situation.

it's not your responsibility to be OK with this. you did no wrong and you can't control your emotional reaction to his wrongdoing.

you need to bring this up and not keep quiet about it any longer. if he knew the full extent of how you feel he may (if he's truly remorseful) then be more motivated to change the office situation or even to quit his job. And if he's doing nothing because he's maybe still cheating or just downgraded his cheating to flirting or whatever, then you should know this.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (27 August 2011):

This is a horrible situation. I think he needs to leave this job in order to rebuild trust in the relationship. What is more important, you and you're life together or a job?

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A female reader, YouWish United States + , writes (27 August 2011):

YouWish agony auntFirst of all, he should be grateful you didn't kick him to the curb when you found out about his cheating.

Second, you have every right not to trust him. He was the one who shattered your trust, and he should never forget that.

That being said, this is a tough economic time, and it might not be so easy to switch departments. I know, that sucks, and you're not wrong to be untrusting.

Here are my thoughts -- he should make his desire to switch departments known to his superiors, but in the meantime, if he wants to rebuild your trust, he needs to adopt a policy of absolute transparancy with you.

This means that you see all calls, all texts, all email accounts, and all of his financial transactions. He should make not one single noise about you being controlling. If a guy truly feels remorse and loves his wife, he'll be more than willing to let you see every aspect of his dealings and communications with everyone.

It takes time to rebuild trust and a relationship, and his eager cooperation in making sure you feel peace of mind about his actions is the only way to save your marriage. Not enough time has passed for him to pull the excuse "It's in the past". I believe that it's possible that he can't yet leave his office, and it's not quite so easy for him to get a new job at this time, but he can ease your mind while he's there and keep working towards a new office situation.

Remember, you didn't cheat. He did. You forgave him and stayed with him. But trust and forgiveness aren't the same thing. Forgiveness is something you give freely. Trust must be built, and it'll take years. If you both work at it, it's possible that your marriage can be stronger than before, as bones that break and heal often are stronger than before the break.

Don't let it go. If he truly can't leave, then he needs to eagerly and willingly show absolute transparency to you.

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A female reader, bebe87 United States +, writes (27 August 2011):

bebe87 agony auntRegaining trust will be a long process in your marriage being that he has done the absolute worst thing. He must realize and understand that you too have feelings and you are broken down inside. You are perfectly normal to be struggling and having the worries you have. TRUST can be rebuilt, if not taken lightly though. Here is an example to ponder, and maybe even share this with him and remember this is JUST an example! Say you and your husband have a dog, one that you had since a puppy. Now we all know how loyal and forgiving animals are right, so say one day your husband has a really bad day and he comes home and for whatever reason the dog upsets him so he raised his foot and kicks him, really hard. From every time on when your husband raises his foot even to just put a shoe on the dog puts its tail between its legs and runs in fear, because he associates that with the 1 time he got badly hurt. SO back to your situation, when you found out that your husband cheated on you (that was him raising his foot and kicking you) so now every time he goes to work what do you do, you are re living that same pain as if it was the day you found out. He must realize that you, like any other human being must be dealt with rather gentle and must heal the pain that he caused you. Loving, affectionate, wanted, desired, understanding and 1 final last word have sympathy for you! Really define the word sympathy in your head, what does it really mean. Then ask him for that!

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A female reader, Lucky786 United Kingdom +, writes (27 August 2011):

Lucky786 agony auntNo I would feel the same as you. You won't be able to build any trust between you until he moves away from that office, away from her.

Before you do that, I think you both need to explore the reasons behind his cheating whether you do that privately or with a counsellor is up to you.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (27 August 2011):

This is totally understandable - he hurt you and should be bending over backwards to help heal this. If you are as important to him as he says, he should be moving mountains, let alone offices to consider your feelings. Ask him if the roles were reversed - how would he feel! Naturally, trust isn't something you can force, but he needs to regain your trust by showing he respects your feelings first of all.

To tell you the truth, as hard as it may be to consider - I would put my foot down on this one - tell him he needs to move offices for the sake of your marriage. If he doesn't, then you know his priorities, and you WILL move on and do MUCH MUCH better. I think if you let this go, you will only hurt yourself.

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