It’s the middle of the night. My house is still and I should be asleep. But my mind is off and running. The reality of life in the past couple of years settles like a fog. I made a decision that I question every day.

Let’s not beat around the bush with this, my husband cheated and I stayed. Partially because we had really young kids at the time and I didn’t know what to do, partly because I am a student and housewife and have little to support myself until I complete my degree, and partly because I had hope that we could become stronger because of it.

Delusional? Maybe. Has he changed? A little. Have I changed? A lot.

The happy person that existed before hasn’t returned. It’s still tough to smile. I still don’t tell him I love him. I still don’t wear my ring. Jaded is a good word here. But something holds me back from calling it quits. He is more invested in our kids and helping around the house, and he is more observant. There is good there. It can be seen. Just some reason life still seems to be waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me.

Yes, I told him I forgive him, but I don’t think I have, or maybe I just can’t. I don’t know. I try to make forward motion but the wall is still pretty high.

Time. I’ve been told that’s what it takes. It just keeps ticking on and I wait for change. Change in myself to not feel stained and used. Change to have my heart and head telling me the same thing (that people make mistakes and deserve forgiveness). Change to not question my decisions in life every time it’s quiet enough to hear myself think.

So here I am, admitting out loud what has been hiding for so long. Something only a few people know because there is such embarrassment to admit your husband cheated; let alone staying in the marriage. Before I always said if I were in this situation I would leave, no questions asked. But life is complicated. Severing something that has been around for almost half your adult life is harder than that in reality. So there we are back at time again. Time invested, time to heal, and hopefully sometime soon time to feel normal again. But never as the same person that existed before. That time has passed.

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  1. Anonymous March 27, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    I read somewhere, forget where, that time doesn’t always necessarily heal: time grows what is planted. Sometimes hurt gets planted instead of surrender and the hurt grows into resentment. I don’t know if you find that comforting, but I did when going through hard times.

    Marriage is so complex. You can hardly be blamed for doing what is essential for your survival, moment to moment. May you find peace and comfort and direction, and may you most of all know that you are enough.

    1. Anonymous March 28, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      Thank you. It does help. It’s been tough, so to feel a little acceptance and understanding is great.

  2. Anonymous March 28, 2017 at 9:43 am

    I’ve been there. Time does help to take away the rawness (even a few years past, it can still be very painful), assuming the cheating spouse does commit to staying and not cheat again. I too used to tell myself that I would never stay if my husband cheated. But I did.

    I think one of the most important things to remember is that despite what other people may think or say, you are NOT weak for staying. Staying is a sign of strength. It means you going through life with the pain that you feel (one can not imagine the feeling of betrayal until they feel it) and keeping your head held high and taking life one day at a time. And like you, I told very few people, ironically, mostly for my husband’s sake. And I guess for mine, because no one wants their peers constantly judging the person you choose to stay with. But that makes the pain and loneliness that much worse.

    The point of this comment is for you to know you’re not alone. And you are strong. And you have NOTHING to be ashamed of, ever.

    1. Anonymous March 28, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      Thank you. I knew I couldn’t be the only one who is going through this. Man, it is lonely not having anybody to share this with, but I’d take the loneliness everyday over the judgement. If you’ve made it, it gives me hope that it can be done. My day just got that much better from reading your reply.

  3. Trying to help March 28, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    I, uh, I’m a nerd. I relate to things through media. In the musical Hamilton, he cheats on his wife, and she forgives him, eventually, on her own terms, when she’s good and ready. And it is I think the most powerful moment in the entire play. It might be cathartic to listen to.

    1. Anonymous March 29, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      Thank you for your insight fellow nerd. I will give it a listen.

      1. Trying to help March 29, 2017 at 9:38 pm


        1. Anonymous March 30, 2017 at 11:03 pm

          Well that was intense. It paired well with the gloomy, rainy weather today. Cathartic was the right way to describe it.

  4. Time heals September 18, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    According to research it takes at least 5 years to heal from an affair .


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