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Trying to get over cheating wife
May 14, 2006
5:10 am
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SingleBeachDad
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4 months ago my wife told me she need space, so we separated. I hired a private investigator and found out she was having an affair. I filed for divorce, got physical custody of my 3y.o.daughter and child support. I have found out she had six different affairs, she admits them and blames it on her child abuse. I love and care deeply for this woman, but she tells me she wants to work things out. She continues to e-mail other men and continues to go out to bars. I know I need to push her out of my life, but I am having such a hard time with it. Any insight would be appreciated.

May 14, 2006
6:05 am
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alycia
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Firstly i am sorry for what you are going through.

I kinda went thru a similar thing to you.... I was with my babies dad for 4 yrs and in oct he left us when she was 4 mths old...

In the four years together he broke up with me once before.... 3 yrs ago for someone else, made up something else then came back after he got her pregnant.... i knew none of this til recently....he said he was leaving for other reasons.

He left again oct 25 last yr, miraculously he had someone else by dec, i would say october altho his mum says dec... he says feb.... U dont leave it all to go to nothing is how i see it...

I am proud of u for hiring a pri detective, i wanted to do the same as i wasnt convinced he just wanted out but i knew in my heart there was someone else so i saved my money by going with my gut feelings...

I dont know who i lived with, he changed after we broke up, i see a side i obviously never saw before, like for eg, suddenly he thinks he is my best friend and he will call all the time,

There is too much to mention, he treated me so coldly when he first left, probably more signs of another woman, he even reached the point where he wouldnt wait for my baby to go to sleep, he would leave midway thru her bottle as i guess he had a lady to call.....

I want to say one thing to you, once a cheat always a cheat, he cheated on his wife too, yes it is quite a story....

I dont buy her bs blame it on the childhood abuse issues, i really dont, that explains nothing, my ex had a cold father, he never uses that excuse cause plain and simple he is just a bad man, an asshole and needs no excuses ....

My ex is 40, went to a party last night, called me this morning drunk, why... u tell me???

He wont change, your lady wont change unless she seeks some serious counselling.

I want to say one thing, i also have custody of my baby and he sees her sometimes, i lived, u will live and i am so glad it all happened in some ways...

I am free now, he used to come home drunk sometimes from soccer training, sometimes not come home, as wonderful as we had it, holding hands on the sofa, going here, going there, it wasnt settled....

I want you to know no matter what u decide the pain does subside, u realise one day it is the best thing they could have done and you do live despite how much u think u are going to die from the pain....

I want u to think more of urself than to settle for someone who can cheat so much, its an illness perhaps, sometimes they cant stop themselves.... i am sure my ex is the same.......

I am sorry to have put so much of my story into it but to give advice i needed to tell it and i want u to know u arent alone....

You have a child to consider and so do i and he is not a dad that she deserves full time, i am sad she has such a deadbeat dad but i know she will be fine as she has a very cool mum hah...

You dont need a party going cheating woman who had it all and had no idea, what is wrong with these people?

In closing just know u arent alone by any means, the pain does go, u and ur daughter do deserve so much more......

Please look at ur daughter like i have looked at mine and know she deserves a settled life, people cheat but i cant imagine how when kids are involved as stupid as that sounds...

Good luck and please focus on the bad if u do decide to go ahead with being apart, please remember my words, the pain honestly does go and one day you realise its for the best....

It does still hurt occasionally but not like it did, both us girls are so much better off now.....

Take care okay.......

May 14, 2006
7:40 am
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Dear SingleBeachDad:

I am very sorry for you and your daughter's pain. I do understand that you need answers.

Your wife may be a sex addict. And yes, sex addicts may have been sexually abused as children. Sexual addiction like any addiction is a compulsion. Sex addicts may use sex like alchoholics to numb their feelings.

I was involved with a sex addict and he was sexually abused as a child. He is in counseling now and it seems to be helping him.

Your wife needs to seek counseling for her childhood trauma and addictions.

You may also benefit from seeking counseling.

There is a lot of information on the web. If you google "sexual addiction and family" you will find resources for the addict and families of addicts.

Two books that have been helpful to me are by Dr. Patrick Carnes:
"Out of the Shadows" (on sexual addiction) and "Betrayal Bonds". The second book is very helpful for understanding why people remain in relations with abusive partners and how to break those attachments.

I wish you and your daughter well.

M & S

May 14, 2006
9:17 am
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SingleBeachDad
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Alycia,
First thing, Happy mothers day!
I agree about the change, it's like she is not the same person that I married. She was extreemly cold after she left. And now she acts so sweet. She has started counseling last week and this weekend she calls her best friends boyfriend from a bar at 1 am to come out and party?? I just don't understand how you can leave a family for a life so shallow. I am sorry you are going through the same thing, and I wish the best for you and your daughter.

Thanks again for the reply.

May 14, 2006
9:30 am
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fishstock
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I'll tell you first hand SEX ADDICTION SUCKS! I guess anything sucks that makes your life unmanageable, unhappy and shameful and yet you cant stop. I think the only thing that may be worse is being in love w a sex addict. Just know that what she is doing has absolutely nothing to do with you. Your decision is a tough one though, it sounds like you really care for her. For sex (any) addict, typically they have to reach their own bottom. A point where they say "i have to stop by any means necessary and need help to do it, I'll do whatever it takes"!

Unfortunately, unless you've seen this in her, there may be more instances of her "acting out".

Also, I'd be careful just ending the relationship without fully understanding how and why you got into this. You may wind up in the same place with someone else.

Best.

May 14, 2006
9:58 am
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bonni
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singlebeachdad,
I don't think its ever a good idea to deprive a child of its mother, unless the mother has been abusive to the child. I do think that childhood abuse can result in the kind of odd behavior you describe. If she was abused and this acting out is rooted in that, then you are punishing both her and your daughter for a crime perpetrated by someone else. That strikes me as unfair. I would strongly encourage you to be involved with counseling and at least try to give the mother of your daughter the benefit of the doubt.

I was date-raped when I was 19. For about five years after that, I was somewhat promiscuous, mainly driven by alot of alcohol to block out the pain. I felt like the rape damaged me and that I no longer had any worth and that i had no choice other than to allow other men to use me when i was drunk. I woke up one day and didn't like the path i was on and decided to make changes. Five years of self-destructive behavior from ONE acquaintance rape when I was 19.

As I understand it, memories of child abuse can be repressed and then brought out by one's own children reaching the age of onset for the parent's abuse. Cheating on you was wrong, but the harm she is doing to herself is much worse. I'm sorry that you are hurt, I hope that won't prevent you from protecting your child by helping her mom get through this without completely destroying what's left of her life. She probably doesn't feel she deserves to live in this world because of what happened to her, i know I still feel that from what i experienced, which pales in comparison to child abuse. Maybe those nagging thoughts in the back of my head are right, that we are both damaged goods and don't deserve to be a parent.

bonni

May 14, 2006
4:01 pm
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SingleBeachDad
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Dear Moon & Stars
Part of my problem is, I feel that she has an illness and the good part of me wants to help her but at my own expense?
My emotions are like a rollercoaster, I have gone to seek counciling for myself and my counsler says to detach myself from her. I will try the books out that you have mentioned and thanks for the reply

SingleBeachDad

May 14, 2006
7:58 pm
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SingleBeachDad

You seem very compassionate to recognize that your wife may have a problem. Nevertheless, if she is an addict, she needs professional help.

See also the website for sex and love addicts annonymous (SLAA). And, Dr. Carnes' book "Don't Call it Love" is geared to the sex addict and the road to recovery, but it would help you to understand the compulsion.

I think that you can be supportive and learn all that you can about the issue. But your first duty is to your own self and mental health and that of your child.

I do understand what you mean about an emotional rollercoaster. I have been on one for a while. Detaching is the answer. You cannot solve her problem as much as you would like to do so.

You may also want to read Melodie Beattie's "Codependent No More". The first chapter is about detaching. I know this because I just reread it for myself šŸ™‚

If you search this site at the top in the box "search this site" you will find a number of threads on sex addiction and detachment.

Take good care of yourself first and foremost. I wish you the best.

M & S

May 14, 2006
9:23 pm
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Matteo
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SingleBeachDad,

I absolutely agree with Moon & Stars (love that name!). I was in a relationship with the sex addict, tried very hard to mend it, lost three years of my life... Detach, and don't try to help her on your own expense. Your child needs at least one stable parent. If she will get better in a few years, you might want to give her another chance; but then possibly not. Don't listen to empty promises or appearances of change. My ex would go to a support group meeting for sex addicts and straight from there to a date. All the best to you.

May 15, 2006
7:16 am
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bonni
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It makes me really angry that you can just completely throw a child's mother away because she has emotional problems. I feel like you are saying that all of us who have ever been abused or harmed and haven't made it through to healing without ever having made mistakes are disposable and without any worth to the world and don't deserve any compassion or concern.

Are you saying that only perfect people who never make mistakes can raise children? I'm not saying that you should automatically take this woman back as your wife, but I feel like you think she (and by extension me too) are garbage and completely unworthy of any compassion.

My husband has left me twice now, not even for another woman, but to perpetuate injustice in the world. I would never deprive my children of their father because he made a stupid mistake 20 years ago and is now bound to leave at the whim of a compassionless government. I don't like it, but I have compassion for him, because I made a promise before God to honor and cherish him, in good times and in bad. his problems are my problems, his suffering is my suffering. and he's not obligated to be there in my suffering - because his first obligation is the military. Again I have no worth or meaning in the world, except as a nanny and housekeeper. And because I am damaged goods like your wife, I feel like you think I'm not even good enough to do that.

bonni

May 15, 2006
10:25 pm
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pez
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Dear SingleBeachDad,

I can only reiterate what some very wise people have already said to you.

Ironically, inability to be intimate is equally as likely as promiscuity in children who have been victims of sexual abuse. It is an ugly event in a child's life.

Most importantly, you need to know It Truly Is Not Your Fault! I know these are only words, and I know from personal experience that they are meaningless until you Know them to be true.

I'm sorry to say this may take some time; but when it happens you will know it is a battle you will never have to fight again.

Pez

May 15, 2006
11:39 pm
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SingleBeachDad
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Bonni,
The last thing I want to do is "throw her away" when I took our vows I ment them. This is the mother of my child and I would not deprive either one of that. This is part of the problem. If I could throw her away it would be alot easier. It seems like the more we talk and try to reconcile the more insecure I become. Everyone I know tells me to get her out of my life including my therapist. I am at the point of being extremly co-dependent and it's not very healthy for me. I was more than likly co-dependent going into this marriage but was never introspective until now. We still talk every day and I am open with her but it seems to be getting harder.

May 16, 2006
7:09 am
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bonni
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SingleBeachDad,
It makes me feel alot better that you don't want to throw us away. One of the things that helps with the codependency is detaching with love. you can love someone without being wrapped up in their pain. You can't fix your wife. But you can love without letting her consume you. She is a wounded animal. So you have to keep her at a safe distance, without abandoning her altoghether to be consumed by the other animals who thrive on wounded prey.

If it were me, what I'd most want is for you to take care of our child. I'd want you to build a secure and loving environment so that she never feels abandoned or unloved.

I see a psychiatrist once a month. i don't know if I'll ever be healed in my heart, but it does help. As angry as you are for what she did to you, remember that she is harming herself more; you can detach with love. She can't detach with love from herself. She is sitting in this deep pit hating herself with all her being. She doesn't know how to love herself.

I am so sorry for your pain.

bonni

May 16, 2006
11:20 am
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taj64
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to me this doesn't sound like a very healthy relationship to stay in. It sounds to me like you want to stay because of guilt. Guilt is useless. Guilt is not going to hold your marriage together.Im not saying ending it but be realistic. Im sorry Bonni, i hope I do not offend you but it came across that you are trying to make this man feel guilty. that is the way it comes across especially when you said, "It makes me feel alot better that you don't want to throw us away". It really is a tough situation but staying out of guilt is wrong. You end up feeling resentful and even more disillusioned. It is not healthy to stay in a relationship with someone who cannot commit 100% to the relationship even if there is love for each other. Im sorry but not fair to you singlebeachdad to be on the sidelines waiting for her to decide to be faithful. What does this do for the kids to see this? You don't get married to suffer continuously like this. Sometimes letting go is the best alternative even if very painful. It allows you to find love that is better. Sometimes letting go is the only thing left to do and let her find her way to get better.

May 16, 2006
6:27 pm
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bonni
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Taj,
I hope you aren't misunderstanding me and I hope you aren't saying that this little girl should no longer have her mother in her life. Sure, letting go is probably best of SingleBeachDad. Is it best for the child? This child should lose her mother because the mother has emotional problems and has been/is being unfaithful?

I think that when you have a child with someone, you are obligated to have a relationship with them in order to raise the child. His wife's bad choices in her adult relationship with him do not necessarily mean that she should never get to see her daughter again.

I do think that taking a child away from a parent is wrong, unless there is abuse. My concern is for the child more than the adults. My husband was abandoned by his dad and his mom (divorce and nervous breakdown) at 14. My mom was abandoned by her father (jail, we think, that died with my grandmother) at 1. My grandmother was abandoned by her mother (died) at 5. Their continued pain is very sad to me.

Also, I guess I really identify with the wife. I have come so close to unfaithfulness, though I never crossed the line. I still have two male friends that I call to keep my spirits up occasionally - and my husband knows about it. My husband abandoned me with two small children for a year. I had to take care of everything on my own with no help AND I had to hide everything bad when he called, the depression, the suicidal thoughts, as I also had to take care of him. They just kept telling me that if I told him anything bad, it would distract him and that would get him killed. I am often so angry with him that I just want to drive into traffic and end it all and let him take care of everything, which he would never do anyway, as i have people lined up to help him. But my children need both their parents, even if one of them is just a walking shell of a wife. I've lost my husband, but they still have a father and I do have a parenting partner. I still take care of him, but i doubt that I'll ever trust him again. maybe i'm wrong to put their needs first, but i've lost my chance at happiness, my life is pretty much over. I can't discard my husband the way he discarded me, because I won't be the reason my children don't have a father.

May 16, 2006
6:32 pm
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bonni
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Also,
I meant to say that I do not think that SingleBeachDad should stay with his wife in the marriage. I just think that they have to be able to work together as parents for the child's sake. Even when the marriage is over, you are still co-parents and that has to be important.

Bonni

May 16, 2006
9:23 pm
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SingleBeachDad
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Bonnie,
When my wife left us, she was gone for three months with no concern at what it was doing to the children. I was also taking care of her 7 y.o. son from a prior relationship. I have treated the little guy like he was my own son. It was so hard when he would ask.. where is mommy and I had to tell him I don't know? I am a very sensitive person and this has been the hardest thing I have been through my whole life. But first and foremost the childrens well being is of the most impotance. My deliema is that I really don't want to split up this family but I don't think that I could ever trust her again. Another problem is she is renting a "room" from an older man and she wants to take my daughter there this weekend. I am not going to let her, for one I don't know this person and two there is a clause in our separation agreement that my daughter is not suppose to be around anyone of the opposite sex while in overnight care. This is going to cause a fight but I have to stand my ground.

May 17, 2006
7:03 am
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pinkcloud
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Dear SBD, i feel your pain and i see what awide loving heart you have, i find lots of truth in everything people wrote on this thread. as always it's important to chose a perspective that give the power and some sense of controll back to you. icome to believe that everything that showes up in our life is there for a very good reason. you have here a great opportiunity to work on your codependency issues while you aer in that relationship, whatever that mean to you. look at her as one of your best teacher in life who share this time with you in order to help you claim the strength of your spirit back and know your true worth.
from my own experience untill we don't deal with our own issues in life we will usually attract someone with the same problems. the good news here are that we see in others some painful reflaction of ourself, the good news are that if we face them we know we are need to change and we do have the strength to do so.
when we change people respond to us differently 2 things can happen - one - she will have to change as well. or you will stand so grounded in you own power that letting her go won't be so hard as it is now.
Good luck to you beautiful soul, i so bellieve in you.
ohh and last thing, english is not my everyday langua so forgive me if i made many mistakes but if i woul corect every single word i would never post anything here.... Love Pink cloud

May 17, 2006
7:23 am
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bonni
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SBD,
You've been put in a difficult situation and its not fair. I think you are making very good decisions and I wouldn't let my dh take my kids some place I didn't approve of either. Your wife isn't making good decisions now. I believe you are putting your children first. And I think that's where your focus has to be.

I'm still really really angry about losing my husband. I can see him sitting in the room with me and doing everything he can to make it up and all I can think is that with one phone call and a set of orders, my life is going to descend into chaos and despair again.

I don't know how to get rid of the anger, i just know that my children are more important than my anger.

bonni

May 17, 2006
11:46 am
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taj64
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Im a bit confused. Bonni, i cannot get into depth over this but in my post I was referring to letting go as in the relationship, not the children. I tried to reread the post and i didn't see where the children were not being allowed to see their mother. I don't know other than it was stated that he had custody but that surely doesn't mean the mother has no involvement. I personally feel that he is not throwing her out but doing what is best for himself and for his kids at this time. I meant that in letting go was letting go of something he cannot control and that is what is wife is doing as far as stepping out.

Nobody ever wants to split up a family, it is difficult to go through yet it is better to live this way or do you have a better chance separate? it is so tough to weigh. if you stay married, both couples have to work at it. She shows that she doesn't want to work at it. It is tough situation and i hope you get through this singlebeachdad.

May 17, 2006
10:17 pm
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SingleBeachDad
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PinkCloud, Thank you for such a wonderful reply, I belive there is a life lesson here and class is in full session. Is it that im too weak to let her go or that my love is strong. We both have seperate therapy appointments in the morning and a marriage counciling in the evening. I hope it will will do some good. I have made some pretty drastic changes in my life already. It's almost like I choose one road to go down and she turned and went down the down the opposite one. Bonnie, I can feel and relate to your anger, Every time I try to open up to my wife I get angry and loose sight of what im trying to do in the first place. I then end up feeling guilty because I'm reacting on "my" feelings and not what's best for the children. I would like to thank everyone for their replys they have been of some great help.

May 17, 2006
10:41 pm
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glittered when he walked
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singlebeach,

I too have a wife who had multiple affairs. I'd say heed the advice of your therapist...detach from her with love.

You love her..and probably always will..but is this relationship with her good for you on the whole or bad for you on the whole? What do you want? What's most important to you?

I still love my wife and she loves me..we just can't make a life together anymore. It's hurting me now...but at this point I'm so tried of the hurt of trying to make a life with her when there is little trust or respect. We just don't work together.

I hope you are graced w/ peace soon.

May 18, 2006
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In my opinion, there is a huge difference between abandoning your family and responsibilities for an affair (or several) versus being deployed as part of a military effort. I was abandoned by a military spouse, and I abandoned my military spouse for an affair. So I feel pretty informed on the topic. šŸ™‚

SPD, I wish you peace and healing. Something a wise woman once told me when I was at my lowest was "this too shall pass". Even if we can't see the point of the suffering right in this moment, the overall plan of our lives will become clear at some point. Just be patient, and just be.

May 18, 2006
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awall
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I'm sorry if this sounds rude but I don't believe in that "Sex Addiction" crap!
That's a $$$ money making phrase $$$ for the phycho-industry...
It's self-respect plain and simple. Sure there's issues that people have but come now. It's not an "uncontrollable compulsive disorder" !?!
I had a horrible childhood (you name it happened), but my gosh people...
Flush the pity pot and take responsibility for your actions! That's just nasty, stupid, and dangerous.

Single Beach Dad:
You Deserve Better and you know it! It's her loss not yours...

May 18, 2006
12:52 pm
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Awall, are you really sorry for sounding rude? šŸ™‚

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