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My husband wont end his affair

Tagged as: Cheating, Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (29 May 2011) 12 Answers - (Newest, 2 June 2011)
A female United Kingdom age 41-50, anonymous writes:

Hi, i was hoping someone could advise me on my heartbreaking marriage.

3 years ago i found out my husband was having an affair, he swore he would give her up but he never did.

Throught the 3 years ive found upto 30 secret phones - i bin them but he just buys another one. I found a secret email address used to contact her. He even left us for several days on holiday last year saying he needed to 'sort his head out' and it later came out that he had infact been staying with this woman on the other side of the island.

Ive caught them together hundreds of times and ive had eqaul amounts of spats with this woman over the years but nothing seems to get rid of her- shes been pregnant by my husband 3 times, 2 abortions and 1 misscaraige. My husband even bought her an eternity ring.

Throughout all of this my husband constantly tells me he loves me, buys me flowers, he even arranged marraige counseling at one point but it didnt work as he wouldnt give up this other woman. Ive kicked him out several times and he has always gone straight to her, but while hes there hes on the phone begging me forgiveness using the kids as as an emotional pull.

We have a great lifestyle, hes part of a family busness so we dont go without. Our kids are fantastic, very clever and funny children. To everyone else we are the perfect family but inside i cry myself to sleep.

I cant divorce him as i am strict catholic, my family would disown me if i divorced as that has never happened in my blood before.

My husband has admited he loves this woman but that he loves me also and cant give up our life. We have bern together 24 years. This woman is only 24 herself! Please somebody give me a way to get this woman out of our lives.

View related questions: abortion, affair, divorce, flowers, on holiday

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

..also your husband has already impregnated his mistress THREE TIMES. If this doesn't render a marriage covenant broken by whatever religious law, I don't know what does.

If you continue this marriage, chances are high that at some point in the future you will be dealing not just with an unfaithful husband, but also a child of his born to his mistress. You will be even more miserable. You should leave him before it gets to this...

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

I'm very sorry to hear of your situation, but I think you're asking the wrong question here. You're asking for "a way to get this woman out of our lives"

but that's missing the point. Even if this woman were physically out of your lives, your husband's heart will always be with her. (and some new woman might come into his life anyway and then you'll be back to square one) She is not the problem, your husband is. It's not her job to stay out of your lives if your husband insists on making her a part of his life. She's not forcing him to be with her, he willingly goes to her. It's your husband's job to protect his marriage and he's refusing to do it.

You said it yourself - your husband WON'T end his affair. he has made his choice. You are free to make your own choices too!! Your choices are to live with the marriage on his terms and his only - meaning sharing him with his mistress. Or, you can divorce him and restore your dignity and self-respect and have the chance for a better life where you may find someone new in the future who will be a true partner to you.

I think the reason your husband wants to maintain your marriage contract (though not the marriage relationship since he's already turned his back on that, obviously), is for entirely selfish reasons. He's afraid of losing something by divorcing you. whether it's access to the children, public embarrassment (especially when the affair becomes known as the reason for the divorce), loss of income, whatever. He's hanging onto you not because he loves you but because he "needs" you to fulfill some sense of security in his life or to avert some insecurity. These are selfish reasons born of weaknesses within himself that he's not taking responsibility for, which is why he is hurting everyone around him. He may be emotionally attached to you (he doesn't hate you), but he doesn't love you as a husband should love his wife.

I worry that your children may also come to disrespect you if you stay with him. They may still be too young to understand the concept of adultery but some day when they are grown they may come to disrespect you for devaluing yourself by allowing yourself to be debased and degraded this way. If they already know about your husband's adultery now, you could be setting a bad example for them by continuing this kind of a marriage. Your husband is showing them it's normal and OK for a spouse to cheat, and you are showing them that the other spouse has to live with it and be destroyed by it. You are telling them that standing up for yourself is not allowed or not a good thing, they may grow up to have a very messed up view of adult relationships and marriage.

if you divorce him, you could be teaching your children the value of self respect and of the sanctity of marriage. By continuing this marriage you could be modeling to your children that marriage is not meant to be something special between two people but rather some perversion of what other people say it is.

I hope you can find the strength to leave him and make a better life for yourself and your kids. Talk to people in your religious faith who are more open minded, to get different perspectives. Too many people - when it comes to religious views on marriage and divorce - follow the letter of the law and ignore the spirit of the law. Many religious leaders misunderstand and/or push people to follow the letter of the law as a way to further an ideological or political agenda and not because following "the law" actually leads to any good outcome for anyone involved.

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A female reader, StillStanding United States +, writes (30 May 2011):

I left my husband of 22 years (two children) 1 year ago. He was having an affair with the neighborhood trash off and on for 10 years. I was never able to catch them in the act, but she took pleasure in playing the cat and mouse game. I was devastated. But, I finally found the strength to get out, when I realized I loved me more than I love him. Now he is devastated. She thought that once I left, she would have him all to herself. She was wrong and she is miserable. I have never been happier than I am now and he is doing everything that he can to make me happy, but I don't need him anymore. No one knows your heart and you are the only one who can decide when you have had enough. The only thing that I can say to you is that people will treat you the way you let them treat you. This is not about the other woman (although she has issues of her own), this is about your husband who is suppose to love and respect you and if he can't give you that, what is there to save?

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A female reader, silverlining United Kingdom +, writes (30 May 2011):

silverlining agony auntBecause you husband got this woman pregnant you should be allowed a annulment! They can be hard to obtain but its worth a go! There are solicitors that specialise in them

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A male reader, eddie85 United States +, writes (29 May 2011):

eddie85 agony auntSadly, there is nothing you can do to stop your husband's cheating. If after 3 years and being caught multiple times, he hasn't stopped, he probably will never stop until the woman / women he is seeing call it off.

I believe he is using the fact that you will not leave him because of your religion to go about his business guilt free. He uses material things to buy some time and peace at house, but the end result is that he is going to carry on his affairs. After all, there are really no repercussions to his behavior and you are powerless to punish him in any way.

I'd urge you to seek counseling for yourself to help empower you in dealing with this situation. In addition, you may want to talk to your local priest. My understanding is that the Catholic church DOES indeed allow divorce for adultery (you may not be remarried in the Catholic church -- but double check that with your priest if that concerns you).

I'd also be extremely worried what this household turmoil is doing to your children. Do they detect what is going on? If they do, they may learn that what their father does is acceptable behavior.

Hopefully you'll find the strength to either quietly accept this situation or seek outside help to give you the strength to make a change.

Good luck.

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A female reader, Anonymous 123 Italy + , writes (29 May 2011):

Anonymous 123 agony auntThis woman is not going to leave and neither will your husband leave her. He's having a ball...great family, submissive wife, children at home...and a young mistress on the side.

Its upto you to decide what you want. There's no reason to continue in this marriage because its a sham and its not going to change. You and your family might be extremely religious, but tell me OP, which religion prescribes that the man can go gallivanting while the woman has to bear it all without a peep out of her? Religious doctrines were there for a purpose...to instill a sense of morals. It was to make you, the believer, feel good and empowered. No religion ever calls for suffering of anyone.

You might be the perfect family now, but when your children realize the truth about their father, they will question you, about why you have tolerated this nonsense for so long. Your family WILL stand by you once they know the truth about your husband. No matter how staunch their beliefs are, they will definitely stand by you because you are not wrong. No one in their senses will disown you OP, if they do, they are as pathetic as your husband.

OP now its all in your hands. Your husband wont change; even if he leaves this one now, there will be a new 24 year old in line. You can bin 300 phones of his, he'll get a new one. You can confront the mistress all you want, he'll buy her back. You can throw him out as many times as you want, he'll plead his way back. This cycle will continue as long as YOU dont put an end to it OP. Its all upto you. Take a decision, throw him out once and for all, get a divorce and break free from the shackles. Thats the only thing to be done.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (29 May 2011):

It's fine, you have a great "lifestyle" and you're catholic and can't divorce, so this will continue and nothing will change.

He left you and your kids whilst on holiday to go have sex with her? What happened to honoring your vows? It seems you hide behind religion to put up with this kind of disrespect. Surely if you collect all the evidence you have grounds for unreasonable behavior and any settlement will make sure you are kept in this "lifestyle" you and the kids have become accustomed to.

Religion and honor my eye, so your family says its okay for your husband to philander and en pregnant women but would disown you for divorcing this creep?

I guess your kids are surrounding by great examples of how adults should behave :) Do whats right for you and your kids, that should be paramount, first and foremost. Divorce him, he doesn't love you or respect you and the kids or the sanctity of your marriage.

Good luck

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A female reader, Eyespy17 United States +, writes (29 May 2011):

I am also from a strict catholic family so I understand your concern. However - talk to your mom or dad or whoever you are worried will shun you and tell them how heart broken you are and what HE is doing. If you are catholic then he must be too? He is commuting adultery and hurting you.

He will never stop this affair and the woman won't go away until she is done or finds someone better. The real issue is that he has discovered you are a doormat and will continue to walk all over you.

You say you have a good financial situation?? I'd take your children and leave this island and set up a new life without him and without scrutiny of other catholic neighbors. Leave him and his mistress on the island.

Good luck. Be strong. And remember only you care about your happiness here.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (29 May 2011):

If you really can't leave, then play him at his own game. get your own bedroom and be married as far as the outside world is concerned if that is what you need to do.

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A female reader, chickpea2011 United States +, writes (29 May 2011):

chickpea2011 agony auntDear friend,

I was just browsing the stories, had no intensions in reply any of the questions, but your story made me so angry that I need to be honest with you.

I understand you completely, I know that you love your husband, 24 years invested, true catholic, no divorce in family history, but this is so wrong in so many ways...

I admire you for being so strong, you've been in this situation for 3 years? Caught them together numbers of times? Etc, etc, I am surprise you haven't had a nervous breakdown...

I know the feeling of being cheated, but what hurted me the most was the betrayal. I was in a relationship for 10 years. I felt as if my heart felt down to the ground, I felt numb, my heart was racing, hands shaking. Basically, the worst feeling I ever felt in my life, so I understand your pain.

You are a very strong woman. As I was reading your story, I didn't feel any anger? I am surprise? Besides the fact that you are still in the marriage for the children, family, I can tell you really love your husband. I guess this is what they call unconditional love? It takes a strong woman to forgive... I couldn't...

My honest opinion. It has been 3 years and I don't think your husband will leave this woman. This other woman and your husband have no class, any morals, integrity and character. How can they do this to you is beyond words and something I cannot comprehend??? Are they human at all??? Don't they have any remorse or guilt? How can you live, breath, sleep everyday? Really disgusting people, disgusting behavior and make me sick to my stomach how some people can be so selfish and so cruel.

I am also christian, I love and believe in God with all my heart.

To answer your question. I don't think there's nothing you can do in your power to separate them. You've been trying for the past 3 years? If nothing hasn't change, I don't think it will any time soon..

Advice to you is to accept and live in pain for the rest of your life. Don't even complaing to your husband anymore, because you know the truth & you're still together. If you want to complain, not happy with the situation then leave. I bet that's what your husband is thinking.

I respect the fact that your family have true values in marriage, but is this life you're living right now fair to you? I am sure that if you're honest with your family, if they truly love you, they'll understand you and support you.

So, either you get a divorce or accept as its and continue living this life...

God bless and I hope you find peace.. Good luck

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 May 2011):

Whether your husband says he loves you or not, you need to end this NOW. I understand how important it is, being Catholic with your principles about giving up on marriage etc and how your family would feel, but you really need to think of yourself, your children and your health. These emotional games are killing you inside.

Let me tell you now, he will never end this. He would've done that already. For you to continue to keep him in your life means you'll keep loving him and always hold out hope of regaining what you once had. He may be the man you married, but he's changed. Those vows he took now mean nothing to him. I don't think it's fair on you that you're trying to keep this marriage together when he's made no real effort (no, suggesting counselling is NOT effort). He has his cake and wants to eat it too. You deserve to be able to find the strength within yourself to end this marriage, without any judgement or criticism from your family. There is only one outcome for this and that's that this has to end.

You sound like a beautiful, warm hearted, loyal person who doesn't deserve anything this horrible man is putting you through. I know you love him with all your heart, but he is not loving you with his! I understand that love can't be turned off like a switch, but staying in this marriage filled with deception and lies will only kill you inside and never open you up to meeting anyone that treats you how you deserve to be treated - someone that values honesty, openness and loyalty, as you do.

I know this sounds heartless, but you have to think with your head and not your heart in this situation. Your heart's always going to tell you to make it work. You need to accept you're going to love him for many years, maybe forever, but he's not the right man for you. You will feel so much stronger inside ending it. The grief is horrible.. you'll experience the same emotions you'd feel if he died, but you have to tell yourself that the husband you had, the one that was honest with you and the one that you loved has gone now. A lier and manipulator remains. I really hope you take my advice. I know anonymous advice online doesn't mean much of course, but these situations always end the same. It's true that some marriages can be salvaged after an affair, but that involves ending it immediately, ending all contact, honesty, openness and commitment to making it work. Your husband is not capable of this! Do you ever hear any happy endings in situations that involve recurring betrayal like this? Please do the right thing for your heart. You deserve to be happy. Make that leap. Drop this guy and you will not regret it. Time really does heal this.

You wouldn't hit your head against a brick wall repeatedly because it would damage you and hurt terribly. That's what staying in this marriage is doing to you. I admire your loyalty and commitment to this, but it's really wasted on this man. Please leave him. Great woman like you, with morals and standards are such a rarity these days and believe me, someone out there will treat you like a queen. You just have to open yourself up to that opportunity. Let your husband have this 24 year old. He'll realise it's the biggest mistake he's ever made, but by that time you'll hopefully be on the road to happiness with someone else. Do the right thing for you. Take your family and what everyone expects of you out of this equation and think of yourself.

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A male reader, CaringGuy United Kingdom + , writes (29 May 2011):

She isn't going to leave. Ever.

You have a choice, really. You can either get a divorce and risk being disowned, or you'll just have to accept that this woman will always be there. Your husband doesn't remotely love you, and has no interest in your marriage at all. He knows that you are willing to accept this disgusting treatment - and knowing that, means he won't stop the affair.

He has everything he wants - a wife who will do as she's told and accept shit treatment, and a mistress who in turn will also accept shit treatment. He's got it all.

My worry is this - you'll continue to accept poor treatment from your husband, and one day your kids will find out. Then they will look at you, and wonder why you didn't leave him, why you didn't have enough respect for yourself, and why you were willing to leave them in a house with a man who has acted so badly. Your children will lose respect for you on the basis of that.

I personally think that you owe it to your children to leave this man and stop living a lie. They will be distraught if they find out that you stayed. They will blame themselves, they will turn against him and you because they will not accept his shabby treatment, and they will dislike that you didn't leave someone who treated you this way.

This marriage is over in everything but name. At least have some self respect and leave him. Yes, you're a catholic. But in my opinion anyone willing to cut you out of their life because you left a man this crap isn't worth your time anyway. And if you're worried about religion, I refer you to the commandment that forbids adultery, and also to the numerous references to God being forgiving.

I promise, no one in their right mind who has true love and respect for you will cut you out for leaving a man like this. Anyone who does it as useless to you as your own husband.

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