Monday, July 30, 2007


Posted By Anonymous.

As a person who writes as a form of personal therapy, it has been painful to NOT be able to write about the one thing that is devastating my life right now.

My husband had an affair. Not a physical affair, but in some ways this is worse. He had an emotional affair with an old girlfriend from his college days by email and phone. He alluded to something going on when he mentioned that he had been in contact with an old friend by phone, but when I checked our cell log I realized that they had spoken ever day for two weeks. Sometimes four times a day. For hours. He admitted that he had fallen back in love with her, and even worse, that the love he had for her (in their former relationship) was deeper than the feelings he had ever had for me. But he also realized that the past was past. That this was a fantasy with zero chance of being reality (she is also married with a son), and he ended the relationship completely and says he wants to repair our marriage. He also said that he has been depressed and unhappy in our marriage for some time.

I cannot begin to express in words the pain that this has caused me. I never, not once, realized that there was anything wrong. I honestly believed, to the bottom of my heart, that we were soulmates. That we had the perfect relationship. The very foundation of my world has been shattered.

My husband is a good man, a great father, and he seems genuinely remorseful that things progressed this far. But I desperately want, need, to hear that he thinks that we can move past this, repair our marriage, and be happy with each other. I do not want to lose him, even now. I love him as madly as I did the day we met. But he seems so uncertain himself, so depressed that he can't give me the reassurances I need to hear.

We have a two-year-old son whom we both love with all our being. And we both want him to grow up in a relationship that is happy and secure. I truly want to believe that we can give this to him together. I am willing to do whatever it takes to fix our marriage. My husband sounds so uncertain now that it breaks my heart. He tells me that he is still here. That he wants to try. That he still loves me. But he is unsure that we will be able to recreate something that will bring happiness. I don't know if he is speaking through the lenses of his depression, or from the freshness of having to end his affair, but it is his uncertainty, his ambivalence, that hurts far, far worse than the betrayal itself. It is the fact that he never told me there was something wrong that brings the most pain. I feel I have lost before I have even had the chance to try. I feel like the emotional rollercoaster, the fear and the pain that I am going through right now, will drive him away before we can heal. These are the darkest days of my life.

He has agreed to start counseling, and we are still together, but I could use some hope right now and some help getting through my days.


Kvetch said...

First of all, you did nothing wrong. He didn't tell you something was wrong and just like men, women are not mind-readers. Second, he did something wrong. Now he is waivering. He needs therapy alone as well as with you, or maybe he needs therapy alone only. You can't save a marriage alone. He betrayed you but is blaming the whole thing on being unhappy which he believes gets him off the hook. It doesn't. He won't reassure you but you have no reason to trust him. He did have an affair. He cheated. Send him to therapy on his own so he has a place to vent - go to therapy together so you can work on repairing your marriage. I went through it. It sucks. But the perpetrator, many times, does not realize that they have work to do. They expect to be ingratiated again without kicking some of their own ass first. Please do not be a doormat. I hope it all works out for you --- find an online community. The best ones are deep inside the internets. So dig. Good luck.

Kvetch said...

This is a great forum/message board. Better than anything else out there and I tried them all.

I got divorced over 4 years ago and I hang onto the link - just for situations like this.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you are going through this. It says a lot that your husband has talked with you this much about what he has been feeling. I understand your hurt that he hadn't told you anything was wrong but remember men are not masters of their own emotion. Use the fact he has told you what he has as the foundation for a new relationship with him with more open and honest communication. Some of the things he will tell you might hurt and if you want to repair your marriage you will need to be strong while you listen. If he feels he is hurting you with his words he will most likely shut down again.

I would ask him what it was about his relationship with this ex girlfriend that was different than the relationship you have with him. What things about her and his interactions with her made him feel that he had a deeper love? She obviously met some needs for him that he still needs to have met, and maybe trying to dig down to the bottom of those needs you can begin to help him see you as the woman who can meet those needs too.

You said he seems deeply remorseful and I would guess that will go a long way toward the repair of your marriage. Counseling is great for couples like you who desire to rebuild. There is also some medication for depression that is meant for short periods of time (opposed to being taken for the rest of his life) that he could probably benefit from. Helping to clear his mind while you two pick yourselves up from the devastation of this and build a stronger foundation for your marriage that will hopefully remain unbroken.

Good luck and good thoughts are with you both.

Anonymous said...

I've also BTDT. I'm 10 months out from finding out about my husband's 1.5-year affair. Kvetch and Anonymous were right on.

I just wanted to add that you need to remember to nurture yourself as well, not just the marriage. Remember that you ARE a person worth loving, whether it is by him or someone else. It is so easy to fall into that pit of despair, but remember that the affair was something HE did. Not you.

Also, neither of you should expect to get past this quickly. He needs to understand that he destroyed all of the trust you had in him and that it will take time for him to prove he is trustworthy again. He needs to do whatever YOU need him to do to earn that trust. You will be angry/suspicious/sad for a long time. This is a serious wound and it will take time to heal.

Finally, whether it's a counselor or a friend, find someone to lean on. You'll need someone to vent to other than him. Get those feelings out.

Good luck. I hope he gets the help he needs and you two are able to rebuild your marriage stronger than before.

flutter said...

I am sorry you have to go through this, and you may want to go through some counseling on your own as well as with him to deal with the trust issues you are bound to have as a result

The City Gal said...

I am really confused! Why men always get depressed in relationships?

Why? Why?

I had to let go of 2 boyfriends that really loved me, but being in a relationship with me made them very depressed!

Sometimes i wonder if there is such a thing as a "happily married man". They all complain and want to be single!

Can someone shed some light on this?

Anonymous said...

I have no advice. I just wanted you to know you're in my thoughts - take care of yourself and have faith (regardless of your religious beliefs) that things will work out for the best.

My husband recently told me he was leaving. I was devastated. I didn't bug him and left him alone for a few days, (because he's the type that needs to think things through by himself - he hates "discussions"). He decided that he had a pretty damn good life and wanted to work on our marriage. It's only been about a month since that happened, but we're working through it. And I believe that at the end of the day - we're moving toward something successfully.

Best wishes for you. said...

Wow. I came here looking for a giggle, and like last night's So YOu Think You Can Dance, I ended up teary-eyed. I am so sorry for what you're going through, and though I have no words of wisdom, I am so proud of you for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

i think showing up (not leaving) says a lot. i would consider that he has not left in the count of the words you are keeping track of.

Anonymous said...

i so hope that you're able to work things out. having depression myself it can be hard to communicate and just talk in general at times. counseling will help.

hang in there. we're all thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

I can imagine few pains worse than yours. You are brave. I agree with those anonymous posters (especially the one after Kvetch) who say that it is worth a lot that your husband is communicating with you openly. It's true that you don't want to shut him down by breaking apart, but you must be true to yourself, too. He has hurt you greatly. Don't neglect yourself. Counseling for you is important. A good friend if you have one to go to. My prayers are with you. Hold on. I think there will be an end to this that makes you a stronger, happier person.