Here are the "facts" I have come up with.
- He doesn't love me since he had cheated on me both emotionally and physically for 1.5 years.
- He/We want to try to work things out only because we have two young children together. If no children, we wouldn't talk to each other. He would have left long time ago as he said. But now he is willing to compromise and reconcile because he wants to have the kids with me. It's a package deal to him. It's not me that he wants, but the kids.
- He cheated emotionally initially. I forgave him since it was only emotional to me back then. But then it went to physical. He had been lying to me for 1.5 years because he said he hadn't talked to her every time I asked about it. Now he had been forced to come clean and he apologized and seemed remorseful. But he didn't do any within 1.5 years. Should I give him another chance? Does he deserve a "third" chance?
- He didn't treat me well in the past during our 10 years relationship. So he didn't care me much even before he started cheating. Now he realized he has been an asshole to me the whole time and never gave me a fair chance. He promised he is fully committed to change, to work on himself. He will never cheat in this life time anymore. But he did tell me back then if he ever slept with that woman, he wouldn't dare to come home. He did come home every night even after the deed. Should I believe him this time?
- This third party or the other woman that he had the affair with is an ex-girlfriend from 20 years ago. They never had the closure although he left her after a year of dating at that time. They never had sex back then since she was a Christian. He got married with someone else and divorced a few years later. Then we met and we got married (with different (wrong?) reasons: I wanted to start a family since I was in my mid-30's and he unwillingly did it because I took good care of him but he didn't really love me that much when we got married. We kind of both knew we were not compatible the whole time. We had kids a few years later after 8 cycles of IVFs because of his genetic problem). This other woman (also married and miserable in her own marriage) and he re-connected 1.5 years ago when our second child was born. He "came clean" after he was gone to see her for 6 hours three weeks after our second child was born. I told him to stop talking to her. He said he stopped but in fact just kept lying each time. Starting in last July, he went back to work in office so they started seeing each other. According to him, they met 5 times and he slept with her (they did it in her car each time) for at least 4 times. Things should be easier to fix if he really stopped back then and tried to focus on us but he didn't. I suggested couple therapy back then but he didn't bother to do anything. I regret so much everyday that I didn't check his phone the last entire year..I should also have kicked him when it was just emotional but I just gave birth at that time so I needed all the help.
- I know this husband of mine that if he is fully committed, he would get the job done nicely. He said he is fully committed to this relationship and will try to be a good husband and father this time. I feel bad for myself if he really could change and I just give away the good version of this man that I re-shaped to another woman. Should I consider to take him back and hope for the best? Maybe he really will change this time? But he is 45 already with one failed marriage before me. He didn't cheat in that marriage. Accordingly to him, he never cheated before. But even fully committed is probably not enough for me anymore. I need someone who truly loves and values me which he never did in the past. I was never a wife he expected although he said I had many good wife materials. But we were not compatible and didn't know how to compromise.
- He said he cheated because he felt miserable with me especially my parents moved in to help us with the kids since our first child was born 4 years ago. He felt he was left alone in an island because the three of us (me and my parents) had many different opinions and views from him about many things while living together. I understand the part that he said he didn't get what he wanted such as support and empathy from me especially after my parents moved in. I got that he didn't get it from me so he ended up getting that from someone else. But in fact, we all had sucked up each other the past few years including my parents. We were all miserable. Now he got kicked out after I discovered the cheating. He said he finally realized that he shouldn't have treated my parents like that in the past. He took them and also me for granted. My parents have been trying their best to help out as much as they could. They are in their 70's already. Other parents would have left if they were treated that bad. They only stayed because of their grandkids. They never got paid and do much longer hours than nannies.
- I had felt miserable since he told me he fell in love with the other woman 1.5 years ago. I thought he did stop but just didn't care about me the whole time. I told him to move out several times last year because I told him that I couldn't live like this anymore even before the discovery. I told him that my 2022 couldn't be again like last year before. But in my heart, I still wanted it to work. I even booked our first couple therapy session a week before I found out the discovery, hoping that was my last resort.
- I'm very old fashioned so sexual/physical cheating has always been a deal breaker to me. If he didn't sleep with her, I would have taken him back as the first time. I could probably accept it if it was a fling or one night stand or he physical abused me. He clearly knew this part of me since I told him that before. I still don't know how to get over it. I don't know if I ever will. I have been seeing therapist on my own besides our couple therapist once a week. I hope I could get over it and forgive him. I know if I can't, then I won't be happy in my future relationships whether with him or someone else.
- As both my own therapist and our couple therapist pointed out that I still love this man. If not, I wouldn't feel that angry when I talked about it/him. I understand it's a conflicting feeling that I also hate him for hurting me so bad. He ruined our marriage and damaged my life. My life was simple before. He made me a worse person over the past 10 years. But I also don't want our kids to grow up in a broken family. If he could really change, he could be a good husband and a good father. But can I trust him that he could finally leave his mistress behind this time? He said he didn't think about her until he started to feel miserable and she reached out to him a few years ago. He said he had always pushed her away when things were ok between me and him back then. They just kept in touch by saying hello with each other every once a while. I really don't know if she was the cause of our toxic marriage. He said it was our bad communication. During our marriage, he rarely opened up his feelings to me since he didn't know how because he felt I was very difficult to talk to. I tried to talk to him but he always pushed me away.
- It has been almost six weeks since the discovery day. He hasn't done much to me the entire time except booking appointments for our couple therapy sessions. He said during our last session with the therapist that I don't seem to have desire to work with him. On the other hand, he has been spending a lot more times with the kids since he only gets to see them on weekends now. He even read many books to our 4-yo the first weekend he came back to visit. He didn't read these many books with her all these years. In the past, he always just hid in our room and played with his phone. We felt like we gave him too much me-time back then. So now he is a changed man? I honestly haven't done much with him these days either since I'm still not sure if I should invest more time or energy with him. I don't want to get hurt again. I do want to participate our family events which normally I plan since he is a homebody. I did give in a lot more than him in this relationship. I took care of him (maybe not fully emotionally). I did love this man with all my heart before even he didn't treat me well in the past. Maybe that's why it hurts so much. How could I ever trust him again? He is going to leave his brother's place where he has been staying. So he will have his own place next to our building as he even planned to move out before the discovery. I don't know if he will keep in touch with the other woman. But he said he already removed all his social media accounts including Facebook, Instagram and What's App where they usually connected to each other before. He even allowed me to check his phone and installed tracking app too. But do I want to depend my trust based on a device or an app? I don't want a life like that either.
I know the decision is mine in the end. But I would like to see if you guys could give me a bigger picture or something I can't see at the moment on my own. What would you do in my case? Especially those who had been in the same boat before.