I belong to another infidelity site. A man wrote in and asked if he should tell his wife about an affair he had, ended and regretted. The affair happened a year ago, and his wife had no idea, and he had no intention of having another one. He had no idea what keeping this secret from his wife would do to his marriage. This is the post that I responded to him with:
I have been a member for close to 2 years, and this will be my first post. I feel that I have to give you some insight to your question. I am a 67, my husband is 68 and we were one of the few who had a very happy, balanced marriage.
But then I found out 22 months ago that my husband slept with two different women 40 years ago. He spent a night with one woman and never seen her again. A year later, he had sex with a family friend on two different occasion in our car, they stopped the sex, but she continued to be a family friend.
He did not love me enough to be honest with me. He did not respect me enough to admit that he had done this horrible things to our marriage. He decided to make all of the choices. To not only have the sex but then he chose to lie about it.
He became not only a cheater, but a liar. He stopped the cheating, but he continued the lie through out our whole marriage. It is the lies that have really hurt "US"
He trusted our female "friend" more then he trusted me. He trusted that she would keep this secret and that secret was between them every time we got together.
It is not important how I found out, he did not tell me willingly. But what it has done to our 47 year marriage in unbelievable. I have questioned everything about the last forty years. When there was not honesty, how could there be true love and respect. How did he feel he had the right to be the patriarch of our family and give out advice when he was living a lie. Why did he lead me to think that he had always been a faithful and good husband, when he knew he was not. How could he sit beside me in church and pray with our family when he knew the sin he had committed against us. The list is endless.
I feel very strongly that we would have gotten past him having the sex, my struggle now is realizing that I have lived with a man for over 40 years who was not honest with me. I feel completely disrespected by his lies. We had many talks about infidelity between us, we talked to people who went thru infidelity, he always made me and others feel that he was well above doing anything like that.
The added part for us, is that this "friend" continued to be a part of our lives. He had no trouble being around her, because they both considered it just a mistake that would never happen again. This fact still makes me sick to my stomach.
You draw on your past when you are going thru a tough time. My past was false. I look at old pictures and wonder what he was thinking. I was authentic in them, was he? I walked beside a man for 40 years that I THOUGHT I knew, and now fully understand that I did not know him at all. We were not even close to being connected the way that I thought we were. I have had to rewrite 40 years of my life with him. Any memory that pops into my mind now is reexamined for what it really was. A faithfull loving wife standing beside a man who said he loved her but was quite okay with also lying to her.
We are well into our recovery. We are completely different people then we were two years ago. He tells me repeatedly that he wished we had dealt with this when it happened. It was always a pain in his heart. His true remorse for when I did find out has helped us on our healing path. He fully understands that I will never look or feel about him the way that I did before discovery, but that our love is starting to grow again and we look forward to where it will take us.
It is just so sad that we did not have this "healing" love happen 40 years ago, because now we both just hope that we have enough years left to enjoy this time.
Be a man, and tell your wife. Let her see the pain you feel and how even you cannot beleive that you did what you did. When she is in her deepest pain, she will remember that you came to her with honesty and love, and that gives her a very strong message of your commitment to your marriage.
BE A MAN - RESPECT YOURSELF
BE HONEST FOR YOURSELF
LOVE HER ENOUGH TO BE HONEST WITH HER