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Can our marriage survive the years of lies and betrayal

heartbreaker2020 posted 6/13/2020 14:03 PM

This is an heavily edited version of my first post as I felt I had revealed to much information.
My husband and I are both 51 and have been together nearly 34 years, married for 10 of those years. We had a wonderful life together, I loved him such much and still do and he worshipped the ground I walked on but all that came crashing down 6 months ago when after a night out, my husband asked as he has done in the past if I have ever cheated on him with anyone and I finally confessed to him that I had, but all the other times when asked I had 'lied' to him for fear of losing him. The morning after I had forgotten what had been said until my husband brought it up. I told him it was a one night stand (another lie) with a work colleague at a Christmas party some 27 years ago. My husband was distraught, mad, angry, every emotion going through him, me I was crying for telling him, for the thought of losing him and what I had done and seeing him so upset. Through all the stress of the situation I ended up in hospital and when I came out my husband was distraught at the thought of losing me he let the matter drop.

Lockdown beginning of April unbeknown to me, my husband had been struggling with this for the last 4 months, me I didn't know, how would I, because we went on holidays, he showered me with love all the time, left love notes all over the house and texted me his love. So in April when he told me he didn't believe me I then knew I had to admit the truth about what happened and that I had lied for all these years to him. Never did I imagine the utter devastation that I had caused. My husband spent the first 3 weeks crying, shouting, begging for me to tell him all the details and I struggled with this believing I couldn't tell him everything because I had shut out what I had done all them years ago to the point that even I believed it hadn't happened. But as the weeks went by bits of imformation came out but it still wasn't enough and I brought the most special person in my life to contemplate suicide. Eventually we talked and I told him what I could remember, the sex was after works parties and of the stolen hand holding and stolen kisses, which made feelings involved and the length of time it went on, which was from first betrayal approx 12 months. I loved the feeling I felt not the person. I even wrote a letter a few weeks ago detailing what I could remember (at my husbands request) but he doesn't believe he thinks he was Plan B, he wasn't, he believes I have cheated on him with others, I haven't. This was my one and only betrayal and a massive one at that. Why doesn't he believe, because of the years of lying I have done he can never trust me again.

I am so sorry and ashamed of how I have dealt with this so wrong, right from the beginning from what I did, what I had done and what I continued to do. I somehow thought that if I could make him see how long ago it was and what a great life we had that I stood a chance of not losing him.....'Big mistake'. What I then didn't realise was the enormity of the betrayal and the years of lying made it so much worse and by not telling him back then I took his choice away and all those memories we had where now tarnished. I have completely broken my wonderful husband and I can never forgive myself for that. He drinks everyday just so he can pass out for a couple of hours without having the recurring nightmares of what I have done.

Where are we at now. My wonderful husband tries every day to have a normal day, we try and act normal but it isn't, normal does not exist anymore... We can't talk about the past, I have taken that away, we can't talk about the future because I have also taken that away, so all we have to do is talk about what I have done. Every day consists of nothing but tears and my husband is totally and utterly exhaused and lost and still thinks suicide is the best option to end his sufferng. We still have intamacy but we both know this doesn't change things, but for me I just thank him and love him more for allowing that closeness between us because it may be something that we never experience again. He is leaving me as soon as lockdown eases in 3 weeks and its getting harder and harder for us both, i'm scared that little bit of love he has for me will disappear. Is he leaving for good, none of us knows, but the chances are he will be looking to start a new life elsehwere, the only thing he does know is he needs to get away and I totally understand that. The chances are that he may never come back and I totally understand that too. Because of the years of lies and the number of lies I have told him, he now feels he can never trust me again and it breaks both our hearts, but he is the one paying the price for what I have done and doesn't deserve this, me I deserve everything that is thrown at me.

Remorse, regret, devastated, ashamed don't even come close to what I did and have done to the most precious man in my life. Every day a piece of me dies in seeing what I have done to the man I love, I will never forgive myself that I have litteraly killed him, because that it what I have done. I have caused so much damage and destruction I don't even know if it is possible to even turn this around. I would do anything in my power to make it work again.

Is it possible to move on through this? how do we move on from here? I would like to hear from other people in similar situations on how they got their marriage to survive.

BraveSirRobin posted 6/13/2020 21:56 PM

Hi heartbreaker. Welcome to SI.

Our stories share so many similarities. We're also 51 and together for 34 years. My A was decades ago, before we married, and at the time, I confessed a minimized version that my future husband accepted. What I admitted was plenty bad enough, and he reasoned that I wouldn't have bothered to confess if I wasn't going to tell him the full truth. He was scared of losing me to OM and played the pick-me dance. After I went NC, I thought we could rugsweep and move on with our lives.

Something about my story ate away at my BH over time, and two years ago, he started asking pointed questions. I was scared, protective, and thought I could fix everything by lying "for his own good." I trickle truthed for weeks, refusing to understand that that was the worst kind of abuse. Eventually, I let go of the outcome and told him everything. He was devastated, furious, and at one point, suicidal. He couldn't believe I had manipulated him and taken away his right to make informed decisions about building a life with me. I couldn't believe that something I did more than half a lifetime ago could destroy us both. It was a very dark time, and my heart goes out to you.

Is there hope? Yes. At 20 months past D-Day 2, we are healing. The steps were very gradual, and we definitely aren't all there yet. For instance, it was a big, big deal that we were able to celebrate our anniversary recently; at first, that was off the table, and he had to white knuckle it through even a common date. Our lives were essentially in stasis for a year, with significant consequences for us financially and in our family responsibilities. But we have arrived at the point where we know we are all in, that we still love each other deeply and want to be together.

That's the good news: it's possible. The bad news is that no matter what you do, there are no guarantees of success. There are only guarantees of failure. Do not lie, ever. Work hard with a counselor to figure out what made you broken enough to cheat. Have patience, have courage, and start to build yourself into someone who can live alone, because you might have to. Sometimes it is just a deal breaker. Every wayward who is even given a chance to rebuild is one of the lucky ones.

If BH and I had been able to come to SI after D-Day 1, everyone here would have told him to run away from me screaming. It would have been good advice, too. Many still thought that when we arrived, and probably some still do. And yet, somehow, here we are.

heartbreaker2020 posted 6/14/2020 04:22 AM

Thank you for sharing your story and I am so glad that you have both managed to work through this and have come out the other side, it is inspriring to know. Whilst I have had all those years of lying, nothing could have prepared me for the devastation I have caused, especially taking away his choice and ruining all the happy memories we have shared. My BS has had less than 3 months to try and deal with this and each day gets harder and harder for him. I so want to try and help him but I fail everytime, I either say or do the wrong things, he doesn't believe me or trust me and can never again.
My BS has told me he loves me but god he hates me so much and has told me it is over but I have told him I will not give over fighting for us to have a future again. Unfortunately my BS does not even see a future for him let alone us. I pray at least that he can get through this, with or without me. Again thank you for sharing your story and good luck.

BraveSirRobin posted 6/14/2020 06:43 AM

Every day consists of nothing but tears and my husband is totally and utterly exhaused and lost and still thinks suicide is the best option to end his sufferng.
Unfortunately my BS does not even see a future for him let alone us.
Please take this seriously. Call a counselor at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 to see how you can get help for him.

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