Family, Life And Style, Marriage

Family, Life And Style

Should I forgive my husband for cheating on me with his ex-wife?

Should I forgive my husband for cheating on me with his ex-wife?

14.2.2020

Should I forgive my husband for cheating on me with his ex-wife?

Take time to ponder if you want to spend the rest of your life with someone who was never really with you in the first place, says Annalisa Barbieri

After 30 years of marriage, I accidentally came across pictures of my husband with his ex-wife, and after confronting him found out they had been having an affair that spanned well over a decade. It may have ended five years ago, but he can’t remember exactly. I knew they had stayed in touch, but he always assured me they were just friends. She is also in a second marriage and we both have grownup children. My husband and his ex never had children together. Several times she visited us. I did not like it, or want her to, but her feelings were always more important than mine. He assured me again that they were “just friends”. I trusted this man with my life. He knew I thought he was faithful: I was not suspicious; there were no hints. I could kick myself for being so stupid. He also gave her money, many times. Now that he is caught, and believes a lawyer has the pictures, he is distraught and begging me to work things out. I am devastated. We are nearing retirement, have built a beautiful home, and had many plans. I cannot believe he really ended his affair years ago. I feel I still don’t have the truth. Of course, if he convinced me for 20 years that they were just friends, I’m sure he can convince me it was over years ago. Regardless, the betrayal is beyond anything I have ever experienced. I don’t know how I can stay and stop obsessing over what he did. Thank you for any insight you can provide. I think you did have hints. I think you felt uncomfortable when she visited – your instinct was telling you something wasn’t right. I’m telling you this so you can see that you weren’t stupid, but trusted your husband when he “assured you” they were just friends, and so squashed those feelings. It’s no crime to trust and believe what someone has told you. Most people go into a marriage thinking their partner is being faithful. Otherwise, why do it? You ask how you can stay and stop obsessing over what he did. My instinct is usually to be conciliatory and try to mend things, but here I’m not so sure that’s the right thing to do. Your husband has shown you that, over a significant period of time, he didn’t think of your feelings at all – it wasn’t just a brief lapse in judgment. He lied, and basically led a double life. Or, as psychotherapist Chris Mills (whom I consulted, and who has significant experience in couples’ therapy) said: “Your husband’s first marriage never really ended, it just carried on in a different form.” Furthermore, now that he has been caught, your husband is begging to stay, and not taking any responsibility for what he has done (which was evident in your follow-up email). So he’s duplicitous, immature and can’t take responsibility. Let him put that on his new dating profile. Mills described this as underdeveloped integrity. “What I want to zone in on,” he said, “is that you are not stupid. The impulse to love is entirely dependent on our ability to trust. You are the one here who is healthy, who was dedicated to the relationship, who was faithful. Your integrity is strong.” Mills noticed you didn’t ask what you should do next, you asked for insights; he thinks that maybe you aren’t ready for the next step. “The temptation may be to pack your bags, but I would say take your time: you need to make sure that what you do next is for you, not for him. And because you’ve been in this relationship for a long time, it’s quite a process to emotionally disentangle yourself from it. Don’t kneejerk into doing something you’re not ready for.” Take some time out, enlist the support of your friends and vent to them. That way you can try to stay factual when you talk to your grownup children – he’s still their father, let them make up their own minds about what he did. Go and see a lawyer to see where you stand financially. Let your husband wait, with no answers or reassurance, while you ponder whether you want to spend the rest of your life with someone who was arguably never really with you in the first place. This won’t be easy. As Mills said, “Your husband has been withholding one key piece of information which undermines everything – that he’s been seeing another woman.” He was in a relationship with her while he was married to you. That wasn’t part of the agreement. • Send your problem to annalisa.barbieri@mac.com. Annalisa regrets she cannot enter into personal correspondence. Comments on this piece are premoderated to ensure the discussion remains on the topics raised by the article. Please be aware that there may be a short delay in comments appearing on the site. Topics Read more: Guardian Weekend

'Cheating husband' caught with pregnant woman on antenatal ward by wife's palThe woman has no idea how to break the heartbreaking news to her best friend, saying she completely 'adores' him A catch 22 situation. You upset her when you tell her or she is upset when she finds out you knew but didn't tell her. Personally I would go with the first option (because she will find out).

'Cheating husband' caught on antenatal ward by his wife's best friendThe woman has no idea how to break the heartbreaking news to her best friend, saying she completely 'adores' him Damn the best friend caught em

Chris Evans' Virgin Radio absence explained after star-studded event with ex Billie PiperCHRIS EVANS - who fronts a self-titled show on Virgin Radio - was noticeably absent today after hosting an event last night, which was also attended by his ex-wife Billie Piper.

Justin Theroux's sweet birthday message to ex-wife Jennifer AnistonTalk about amicable!

Fergie 'excited' to land book deal after Prince Andrew's Epstein scandalFERGIE gushed today she is “so excited” to land a new book deal as her ex-husband Prince Andrew continues to be embroiled in the Epstein scandal. Sarah, Duchess of York, revealed she ha… Oh dear oh dear, what a surprise not,

Neil Jones: Strictly pro hits out at 'loved up couples' after swipe at ex-wife Katya JonesNEIL JONES took to Twitter to admit he is less than impressed with seeing 'loved up couples' posting photos on Instagram in honour of Valentine's Day, after the pro took a cheeky swipe at his estranged wife Katya Jones.



Women can fall pregnant in swimming pools 'even without penetration'

Harvey Weinstein found guilty at rape trial

Coronavirus latest news: disease spreads across Europe into Switzerland, Croatia and Austria

Avoid building new homes on flood plains - EA boss

Coronavirus: Two schools in Cheshire shut down after students return from Italy ski trips

UK 'would be insane' to let in chlorinated chicken

Yorkshire Tea 'shocked' by Sunak photo backlash

Write Comment

Thank you for your comment.
Please try again later.

Latest News

News

14 February 2020, Friday News

Previous news

Argentine researchers find distant Tyrannosaurus rex relative

Next news

Romesh Ranganathan: We’re having a romantic weekend away – just me, my wife… and the kids
Women can fall pregnant in swimming pools 'even without penetration' 'Anti-Greta' teen activist to speak at biggest US conservatives conference Greta Thunberg meets Malala at university Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai meet at Oxford University Singer Duffy 'drugged, raped and held captive' Bluetooth sensor 'can detect heart failure 10 days before it happens' Coronavirus in USA: Officials warn Americans to prepare for crisis - follow live updates Singer Duffy reveals she was drugged and raped while being held captive Spanish carnival's Holocaust-themed parade of dancing 'Nazis' sparks outrage Jamaicans whose removal was ruled unlawful by courts still detained and apart from families two weeks on Drinking two cups of milk 'increases breast cancer risk by up to 80%' Scientists 'develop an oral coronavirus vaccine using baker's yeast'
Women can fall pregnant in swimming pools 'even without penetration' Harvey Weinstein found guilty at rape trial Coronavirus latest news: disease spreads across Europe into Switzerland, Croatia and Austria Avoid building new homes on flood plains - EA boss Coronavirus: Two schools in Cheshire shut down after students return from Italy ski trips UK 'would be insane' to let in chlorinated chicken Yorkshire Tea 'shocked' by Sunak photo backlash Two Saudi diplomats thrown out of UK over alleged drink-driving Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai meet at Oxford University Men jailed for smuggling 29 Vietnamese people into Britain on yacht Iran's coronavirus death toll rises to 15 amid surge of new infections Celebrities promoting veganism 'damage farmers’ mental health'