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He Cheated With A 22 Year Old

by Julie

My husband is 47 and I am 51. We have had two years of hell with health, on my part and money/work problems. I have always been happy in the 11 years together we have had and thought he was. Looking back over the last few months I knew something was wrong but couldn't put my finger on it.

I checked his phone and searched his pockets but nothing showed up so I assumed it was all ok. Last week I read a message which confirmed my fears. My husband had been having an affair with a 22 year old girl who was a virgin. I cried/shouted and felt sick to the stomach.

I haven't told my side of the family as they would never have forgiven him. I have decided, after him promising it won't happen again, to give our marriage one last chance. However, I can't forgive, but am trying to heal. I can see his point of view that I haven't paid him much attention the last few months. We are trying to make extra effort with time cuddles and talking to restart our marriage. He says he has loved me all the way through and it was separate to our marriage.

I now feel that I am comparing my aging body to this young girl who is still trying to contact him. How could I compete with that? I also find myself checking his phone, coming out of the shower and leaving it running to check if he is calling her etc.

He says he loves me and he wants to share the rest of his life with me. I did offer him the chance calmly to go if he wanted to. He says he now realizes what he had and has and it was a big mistake that shouldn't have happened. I want to believe him and give our marriage 100%. How do I learn to trust again. How do I get rid of the knots in my stomach. I don't want to drive him away with my jealousy.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Julie, and thanks for telling your story here. Your situation is obviously very painful, and you are faced with a big challenge going forward. I will try to help you.

Regarding trust, this is what I suggest:

1) Trust yourself to know when and how long to keep trying. Trust yourself to know when you need some distance for your healing process, and don't expect yourself to recover overnight. Trust yourself to know when and if you can trust your husband. Believe in yourself, your gut feeling, your intuition.

2) Trust your husband to be exactly who he is. He is all of what you love in him, and he is someone who has been unfaithful. You can't make any of that go away, and it would be a mistake to try. Love and accept him exactly as he is, while keeping yourself safe in the ways you need to. Don't dwell on what he did, or wonder if he will do it again. He either will or he won't--and if he's smart, he won't.

Learn to love yourself so much that your thoughts are, "If he's smart and fortunate enough, he will be a man who is worthy of being with me. I am a good and amazingly wonderful woman, and I will be loved and cherished by my loyal and faithful husband."

It might also help you to write a description of the dream that has died. You had a dream that your husband would be faithful, and that has died. You are living a new journey now. Grieve the loss of what is gone, and embrace and make the most of what is. Easier said than done, I know, but it will help.

Oh, by the way, regarding your aging body, check out my program called Elegant Aging: Growing Stronger, Deeper, Wiser. It will help you to embrace and even benefit from your aging process.

Make up your mind to make this the best thing that ever happened to you, and it will be.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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Jun 10, 2010
similar situation
by: Susan

Dear Julie,

Unbelievable! I have huge empathy for what you are experiencing. I am presently in a similar situation.

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