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Relationship advice My husband and I have been together for 18 years. Married for 12 years. I just found out that he had an affair 3 years ago on and off for 2 years. He currently started talking to another woman. (2 months now). I read texts between the two of them and "I love you" was exchanged multiple times. They have slept together and sexting was also involved.

When confronted he said "I didn't know how to tell you." He says he has been unhappy for a very long time and is no longer in love with me. He has been thinking about a divorce for quite some time.

This all new to me! I know we had some problems and hard times, but I wouldn't characterize these issues as a deal breaker. We went to couples therapy around the time the first affair was happening. He obviously lied through the whole thing.

I have reflected on what I have done on my part. I understand where he is coming from, but nothing makes cheating ok.

I'm actually still in love with him and would want to try to see if we could make this work. He doesn't know if he wants to because he fears he will just be unhappy again. He only sees negative in me. No positives at all. That hurts so bad! He is going through some mental issues and clearly needs help. He has seen a psychiatrist for depression and she diagnosed him with borderline bipolar. He just stared meds.

This isn't him at all! Maybe I'm just kidding myself! We were 16&18 when we met. I feel like I know he is still in love with me and cares for me. We do have a 6 year old son too. Anyway, I feel like divorce right away is wrong! But I can't fight by myself.
I've been trying to ignore texts and be distant.. Thinking maybe he will realize how much he misses me. No such luck.

How should I act?? Should I just try to move on and take it as its given? So many mixed emotions. Oh and he is still "talking" to the other woman! More for emotional support he says! Hahaha I'm not stupid. And she works with him. Are we just screwed? Help!

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I was married 24 years. Together 26. More years of my life with him than without. Although there was no affair, I walked away a few month ago because it was clear he wasn't feeling fulfilled in our relationship. We talked a lot, and he realized he's simply not in a good place himself right now, and just has no energy or willingness to work on himself, or the marriage. You're right - you can't fight for it by yourself, nor should you feel you have to. I know it's hard to give up on someone you love. That said, you may want to separate and see if that changes the dynamic or the way he looks at the marriage.

All of that said...
When someone shows and tells you who they really are? Believe them. I tried to make my husband someone he just wasn't. I didn't think he was being himself either. Truth was, and is, it was the first time he was showing me his real self. The guy I thought I was married to, didn't really exist except in my head. And that wasn't fair, to either of us...

Best of luck. The decision was by far the hardest part for me. Once I saw the truth of the situation and realized it wasn't anything personal, and accepted it. Moving on has been much easier than I ever thought possible. And we're both MUCH happier. We're still friends, and still share family events and even go for dinner once in awhile. Sad truth is, we're just better as friends than as spouses. Doesn't mean there is anything "wrong" with either of us. Just means we got as much out of that phase of our relationship as we could, and it was time for both of us to move on. Hope you are able to get some resolution and move forward, whether it's together or apart. <3

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Thank u mamabear! It hurts to hear but u may be right!
I'm still just in shock how someone can change that drastically in such a short amount of time.
Thank u for your story. I'm so glad it worked out the best for u!

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I hope you find your path of least of regret. It's so hard... I didn't walk away until I knew I'd tried literally everything I could to try and save the marriage. Which helped in the regret department.

And it's heartbreaking how quickly someone we used to know so intimately can become a total stranger. In our case? Around 4 months. That's all it took for my husband of 24 years to become a stranger to me, in nearly every way. It's disconcerting to say the least, and a bunch of other things when something like this happens. Because this is still so fresh, it's going to take time to work through it, whether that's together, or apart.

I wish you the very best of luck, and really do hope that he is at least willing to work on things and see if the marriage can be saved. I just ask you to take care of yourself in that process. I liken it to the oxygen mask portion of the spiel we hear from flight attendants. You can't be of any help to anyone else if you don't put your own oxygen mask on first. Taking care of yourself is not the same as being selfish, and I'd lost sight of that, and it showed in every area of my life. I don't envy the road you have ahead of you. Would appreciate to hear how things go?

Again, best of luck and hope you keep us posted. <3

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I guess what I would ask is Why do you stay?

He has cheated before and now does it right in front of you. He's indicated that he has not been happy for a long time.

So - what is this? mid-life crisis? or has this been there all along and you just didn't acknowledge it. If he has been diagnosed as "borderline bi-polar" has there been other behaviors like this? impulsive? gambling? manic?

I ask again Why do you stay?

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Why do I stay? That is the question.

Well, he is in the process of finding a place to move to. Probably not until mid October.
He has made it clear that he only sees negative things about me.
Thing is he is still "talking" to this other woman. He is still getting that "high" from it.

Ok well I see the lawyer in a couple of weeks. I also go back to therapy next week. He has been on vacation. I think once I can talk this all out it will help me. Every time I'm around him I have so much hurt and anger, so we argue. It's not helping the situation. We have to talk finances and come up with a plan together for our son.
I have to let go!!!! Time heals all. What's meant to be will be.

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BIG HUGS TO YOU!!! You're stronger than you realize. And you're right - be true to yourself, and whatever happens will be what's right. Call on your network of family and friends. And it's a very good idea to get to a lawyer, and a counselor, so you're already on the right track. We're here if you need us, too. Best of luck and you keep us posted plz. <3

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"He has made it clear that he only sees negative things about me."
"He says he has been unhappy for a very long time and is no longer in love with me. He has been thinking about a divorce for quite some time. This all new to me! I know we had some problems and hard times, but I wouldn't characterize these issues as a deal breaker. We went to couples therapy around the time the first affair was happening. He obviously lied through the whole thing."

Everything he's saying is a load of ollocks, HOPE2. It's called Demonization and can be mild or severe. Read on...

When a third party enters a marriage, certain psychological things start to happen in the mind of the cheating spouse. Their thinking becomes skewed in order to justify their their behavior. Denial of any wrong doing means shifting the blame and usually it all gets dumped onto the faithful spouse.

Normally a spouse who falls prey to an affair is a decent person that is aware of their behavior and how it is frowned upon by society. Even though they are aware of the immorality of their actions, they continue with the relationship, which means dealing with feelings of guilt.

The Blame Game:

Feelings of guilt motivates them to demonize the faithful spouse in an attempt to justify their affair. They will accuse their spouse of many negative and unforgivable traits and behaviors. The faithful spouse is portrayed as an inadequate partner, which left the cheating spouse no choice but to find an adequate replacement.

Not only will the faithful spouse be demonized, history is rewritten to make it appear that he/she has been inadequate for the entire duration of the marriage. The cheating spouse will recreate the marriage and what happened during the marriage to make it appear that they have suffered much pain and unhappiness throughout the entire marriage.

They may say things such as, "I was forced into marrying you" or, "You've never loved me the way I needed to be loved" or, "I have lived in hell for 20 years." He/She will say anything as long as it will enable him/her to appear to have been the victim of the marriage and fully justified in abandoning their spouse by blaming the wronged spouse.

You Pay for Their Bad Behavior:

The cheating spouse will tell their story often and to anyone who will listen, to the point that they will finally begin to truly believe that the left behind spouse deserves punishment. The faithful spouse is the offender and the persecutor and needs to be dealt with harshly.

Punishment will come in the way of financial withholding or worse, fighting over custody for any children of the marriage. They may begin to believe that the faithful, demonized spouse is not entitled to receive any future benefits from them, sometimes not even those allowed by law.

Shocked and Awed:

The faithful spouse will question their own sanity and replay their marriage in their mind trying to find some hint of all the unhappiness they are told of by the unfaithful spouse. They will question how their spouse, someone they have loved and trusted could betray them in such a way. First to have an affair and then to rewrite the history of their marriage in such a way as to try and lay blame at their feet.

The faithful spouse will wonder how their spouse could blame them for having to have an affair and how they could defame their character after many years of being given love, respect and trust. They will wonder how their spouse cannot see how their words and blaming does damage to the children by depicting their mother/father in a bad light.

The faithful spouse will question his/her own memory of what they thought was a happy marriage. He/She will wonder if the marriage was never anything but a sham and a figment of their imagination. They will wonder why the unfaithful spouse never complained if they were unhappy or why they never made a request for changes in the relationship.

Being punished for your spouse's cheating is an overwhelming state in which to find yourself. Recovery from the stress of such a profound emotional trauma is slow. If you have found yourself in such a situation, remember, with time comes healing and understanding. You will laugh again, love again and the sun will shine again. All you have to do is trust your memories, never forget that the insanity caused by an affair is not your fault and that you are not alone because in today's society cheating is the number one reason for divorce.'

In actual fact, if your lover is cheating on and demonizing you, clearly without any intention of stopping, then it's an excellent sign - FOR YOU. It means he accepts (despite you might not have...because he's had more time than you) he's nowhere near good enough for you (despite lacks the b*lls to do the decent thing in just leaving you already). Once freed, after a befitting recovery and adjustment period, you're finally positioned to do just that: gravitate/be gravitated towards by a MUCH (much-much-much-much-much!) BETTER MODEL.

Meanwhile, the cheater's already gravitated towards someone from his own league (which feels great to him as is why he only SAYS she's 'better' than you, rather than it holding any truth whatsoever or even being the distinctly opposite case).

In other words, you're far too good for him (maybe always were, maybe only more recently) and should be with a PRINCE! AND WILL! When. Not If.

Keep your teary eyes very firmly on that amazing prize. :-)

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That was amazing SOULMATE! I actually have read all of that as well. I understand it too well! I think that's why I'm still holding on (to nothing) lol it's like he has to wake up and get his head out of his a**!
But no... I found out he's very open about his new relationship with his gf. She is 11 years younger to boot. He justifies it all by saying they r in love.
Hearing that actually helped me to look at the situation differently. I look at him now and laugh. One day he will realize what he did. I do believe that. I just won't be there waiting anymore.
I've been focusing on myself and my son. Moving forward. 😊

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Even if he's capable of waking up, he probably won't (like you intimate in your 3rd para) manage it on *your* timeline. So your instincts are spot-on (salvation through your kids, it's called).

Very open, eh? *Interesting*. Can you describe that in more detail? / Are we talking 'flaunting it'?

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What I mean by "open" about it is from what I've been told is he's basically not ashamed/embarrassed about it. When approached he replys with "yup, me and hope2 r getting a divorce and me and (new gf) are in love!
Hearing that I was embarrassed for him. Lol

Like I said I'm just focusing on me and my son. I'm just moving forward and keeping busy. I'm feeling pretty good actually. Right now?!
One of my down falls is that I'm a very forgiving person. I always give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I believe people make mistakes and can change. Im not necessarily saying this is the case now, I'm just giving background on my personality.
So me being that way it is hard for me to throw my hands up in the air and walk away. BUT I am no longer fighting for a marriage by myself. So I'm letting go and letting God. I can't control anyone but myself. So thats the plan. 😊

We went over finances and he started packing last night. It went good and I feel good about it.

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