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Hi, my name is Donna. I am having a very hard time forgiving. My husband confessed to an affair he was having prior to him leaving for duty overseas. He had plenty time to tell me before he left, when I had my thought he was having one.
He lied over and over again. He said it was just a kiss. She too was married and has a child. So, I went to New York to see him off for his tour. I forgave him. Thought it was all in my head. Felt good about us again.
Then October 26, 2010, the night of my 9 year anniversary, he called me and confirmed the short affair he had. My world fell apart again. He still had 3 months left of duty. I heard from his Chaplain there, and my husband seems to be remorseful.
Now its March. He came home in January. He says I think about this too much. It will be a year next month that the affair took place. He had time--lots of time on his tour in Afghanistan to think about this and deal with his grief.
It consumes me--knowing he slept with her and made love to me before and after. We have a 4 year old daughter together, and my 12 year old calls him Dad. He has been my son's father since he was 3. My son's dad committed suicide 12 yrs ago.
It seems I keep coming across things that trigger the thoughts and illusions of them together. However, I know he loves me, and I do love him.
I just don't know if I can get past him doing this to us. This can't be healthy. I don't know if I am staying for my love for him, for my kids, or our new home. I don't know if it's my heart or my mind.
I feel cold at times. How does one get over it? I pray everyday. Some days I just want out of our marriage.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Donna, and thanks for telling your story here. What you're going through is extremely difficult, without question. No one can tell you the right thing to do...only you can make that decision.
On the one hand, keeping your family together is a good thing, and that's what you've chosen to do so far. No one can fault you for that.
On the other hand, you have all of these emotions you have to live with, day after day. I will try to help.
Whether you stay in your marriage or not, it will help you to focus on taking care of yourself, and to get your focus off of your husband's unfaithful actions. I'm not suggesting you forget that it happened, I'm just saying that it does not do you any good to be consumed by those thoughts all of the time. You have better things to focus on.
The best thing that could happen for you is for you to realize the wonderful person you are, and focus on creating a good, happy life for yourself, and for that to get so strong that your thoughts about your husband's past actions fades into your memories. This would be good whether you stay with him or not.
It might also be good if you and your husband could get into counseling, if he's willing.
I suggest you read the following page, and use the exercises and resources that fit best for you: overcoming jealousy
Believe in yourself and the goodness in your heart, Donna.
My very best to you,
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