HELP! Husband is cheating

Hello all,

I am truly struggling here. I have been married for almost 5 years and I have have two children. After feeling like my husband was up to something I started doing some research. I found a dating web site where he has been chatting with women and setting up dates for the past two years. When I had confronted him before that things “felt off” he just said that he had been looking at porn and didn’t want me to know. This is the second time he has cheated on me. The first time we had been dating for three years and he slept with someone else.

I have no idea what to do or who to talk to. This is the father of my children and I don’t want to go humiliating them by complaining to everyone about him. I don’t think I can trust him anymore but I don’t know what to do… I’m so lost. I can’t tell my parents because they’ll never forgive him which would be awful if we stayed together. We’ve never been on the same page with my faith (it’s always been something he dislikes about me) and if it was just me maybe I’d end it and be done…but my poor children. I don’t want them growing up in a single parent home…

So lost. Please pray. Advice?

I don’t know if I would be of any help to this, but I will just recount a conversation I had with someone who have the same problem like yours. Her husband was also cheating on her, and she knows it. I asked her if that bothered her. Her answer is telling: she said as long as he comes home to them and takes care of the kids, then she isn’t worried. She said sooner or later he will get tired of going around and will become serious. I don’t know if that helped any, but I did remember that woman’s courage for not letting the issue affect her. IMO marriages begin to unravel once one party begins to become affected and let it get to him/her. Then the fighting begins. Then the blaming starts. I am not saying you have to sit back and watch. Talk to him, but be calm about it. Don’t blame. One of he biggest faults that can happen is once one starts the blame game. No one wins there. It will only start a vicious cycle. Listen to him and understand. He might be stressed, and finding a way to relieve it. Something might be triggering his actions. It can take awhile to sort it, but number one is to remain calm.

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I will definitely keep this in mind when asking him.

From the canon law:
Can. 1152 §1 It is earnestly recommended that a spouse, motivated by christian charity and solicitous for the good of the family, should not refuse to pardon an adulterous partner and should not sunder the conjugal life. Nevertheless, if that spouse has not either expressly or tacitly condoned the other’s fault, he or she has the right to sever the common conjugal life, provided he or she has not consented to the adultery, nor been the cause of it, nor also committed adultery.

§2 Tacit condonation occurs if the innocent spouse, after becoming aware of the adultery, has willingly engaged in a marital relationship with the other spouse; it is presumed, however, if the innocent spouse has maintained the common conjugal life for six months, and has not had recourse to ecclesiastical or to civil authority.

I think there are some safety concerns here, namely the possibility of sexually transmitted disease. You should definitely protect yourself from a spouse you suspect has been unfaithful. You do not have to have sex with your spouse unless/until you want to and he has had successive consecutive negative tests for all STD’s.

I strongly encourage you to talk to a priest and seek counseling from a therapist who specializes in dealing with the trauma related to spousal infidelity.

God bless you.

You didn’t sign up for an open marriage, did you?

He is putting you in danger by exposing you to STDs, financial jeopardy and jealous third parties…none of which you signed up for.

He is a repeat offender and has been looking for attention from other women for the past two years.
That is outrageous at best.

You need to speak to both a trusted priest and a good counselor for yourself and figure out what you want to do.

You also need to be tested for STDs and stop intimate relations with him because you will continue to be at risk for STDs every single time.

The Church does not require you to be a martyr for your marriage. It does NOT expect you to put up with any kind of abuse (and adultery IS a horrible form of abuse).

This is something that will also affect you children as well because it will teach them that adultery is okay.

My recommendation is separation, getting to know the financials of your family and getting papers together and at least speaking to a lawyer…just to find out what your rights are.

NO ONE needs to tolerate adultery. NO ONE.

It is not a condition you signed up for and you are certainly not a failure if you cannot endure his abuse anymore…and neither does the Church.

I recommend at least taking a look at this sight…they have a ton of good information when it comes to dealing with infidelity. It is secular but still a wealth of information and good people:

survivinginfidelity.com

I will say some prayers for you.

You need to understand that you DO NOT need to tolerate this or put up this…you have rights within your marriage and you are entitled to be treated well, cherished and loved.
Your husband is doing NONE of the above by treating you this way.

Remaining calm might work…but this is terrible advice all around.
No one should be expected to pretend that everything is fine and you should just tolerate this behavior.
There is nothing wrong with getting angry. Getting angry at the way you and your children are being treated by a man who promised to love you above anyone else and to treat you with the respect and dignity you deserve.

Being told to just put up with it is the wrong advice.

It is dangerous to your health and wellbeing at minimum.

What will happen when you visit the OB and are told that you have contracted an STD from your husband while you have remained faithful?

Something else to consider…because it can absolutely happen and they teach this in schools…STDs can be passed through kissing as well and he could put your children in danger just by kissing your kids.

That is why you NEVER tolerate a cheating husband and an open marriage against your will.

It could be seriously dangerous to your health. It’s also dangerous to your children and their wellbeing as well.

The marital funds are at risk as well…especially if he is taking these women out on dates and spending money that belongs to you and your children on other people for his sinful pleasure.

Dear Op, I’m sorry to hear this. But you list yourself as Catholic.
You DO know who to talk to. It’s your priest. Make an appointment today.
They’ve dealt with this countless times.
There is where you will find help.

Do you know for sure he’s actually meeting the women, or is he fantasizing online? I’m not saying that what he’s doing isn’t wrong and a betrayal, but it seems there’s an assumption that his chatting and setting up dates is leading to physical contact.

I don’t do those sorts of chat things, but I’d bet 99% of chats never move beyond the fantasy stage.

I definitely think you have problems to work out with him, though.

And how do you know it’s been two years? Were you really able to trace back through two years’ worth of browsing history?

Right.

And unfortunately, with HIV, it can take a while for a positive to appear.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Window_period

So, talk to your doctor NOW and no sex with him until you are quite sure that he has passed all STD tests and has ended his cheating ways.

Right.

I’d add that future children are in horrible jeopardy if they are exposed to STDs before or during birth. You might want to bring your husband in to an OB/GYN appointment and have the doctor or nurse share the information with him. (Even “just” herpes can cause blindness and death in infants.)

They might say “member since 2013,” like on CAF.

But that’s a good point about him possibly not actually meeting women. I wouldn’t bet too strongly on that, though.

I’m sorry to hear this. How awful for you to receive such a nasty shock. For your sake and for your children, do see a priest and a marriage counselor. A priest will help you discern what God’s will is for your marriage, and a therapist will help you implement it. I’m praying for you and your family at this time. God bless.

You know what’s funny? People telling other people who have been asked if they have any advice that their advice is BAD by someone else offering advice to someone they don’t know. :shrug:

Here’s what separation and divorce mean if in a valid marriage. Celibacy forever! or till that person is dead…If the separation works great but if not man what across to hold up.

To the OP Go Google the various forums where people discuss the damage that some of the commenters on here have done to relationships…specifically the one where a wife came on and was complaining about here husband and the husband found out and signed up to post on the thread she started its epic!

Go see your priest…go see a marriage councilor. The end :thumbsup:

…and go to your doctor and get tested now. And make sure your husband is tested. And tested again at appropriate intervals. And it is totally reasonable to stop having sex with him at any time if he refuses to get STD testing or is behaving in a shady manner.

Weighing life-time celibacy versus HIV/AIDS and/or a sick, blind or dead baby, I think life-time celibacy sounds amazing.

Here are some links, but I don’t suggest looking at the second one unless you still need convincing:

healthline.com/health/birth-acquired-herpes#Causes2

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congenital_syphilis

Remember, the OP has been married less than five years, they have two kids, and he has been “dating” (or at least looking hard) for the last two years. That means he started doing this when he was virtually a newlywed. That suggests a certain degree of compulsion and pathology on his part.

Yes.

Like the OP, I’ve also been married five years and have two kids (third on the way). But I do not worry about my husband cheating or even having a wandering eye, really. It’s not been part of our relationship history, so if he were to cheat, I might be able to take the advice that Milliardo posted, because in our situation it would still hurt like hell, but DH would be very likely to get over himself and come back to our marriage at some point. It doesn’t sound like that’s the OP’s husband, if he’s been a constant cheater their entire relationship.

(Though I’d still cease relations until I knew with reasonable certainty that all cheating had ceased and DH had a clean bill of health. That’s not being mean, that’s basic health and holding your spouse accountable for his own actions.)

Right. Married people, think about how you felt about your spouse when you’d been married under three years. At that point, did you even remember that other people aside from your spouse existed, sexually speaking?

It’s just plain weird and pathological in our culture (where we mostly marry for love) for cheating to happen before the three year mark.

I see that almost three years ago (when the OP and her husband (a non-Catholic) had been married about two years), he was having trouble with NFP and insisting on non-procreative sexual acts.

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=708582

Of course my point was not for her to just tolerate her husband; the point of the story is that the woman there was calm. She did not panic. She did not let her emotions get to her and lash out at her husband. And that’s what I said–she should be calm in all this, not give in to to the situation. Another point of the story is what the woman said: eventually the philanderer will get tired of it. There’s nothing fulfilling in going to other partners. It might sound exciting at first, but then he will continue on looking for something, and will wander from one woman to another. It doesn’t sound very promising, and it isn’t, but OP must find out what’s causing this: why is her husband wandering around. She hinted that it must be because he is having problems with her faith. It might be causing friction in their marriage. She then must take the time to talk it out with him and find out why that is so, and then both of them get to a point where they can be both comfortable with whatever is causing it.

This approach may work in some relationships.

And be a dreadful failure in others.

The starting point must be an aknowledgement of the error of adultery, and an agreement to stop. Yes, there is some blame involved here - adultery is a serious sin! Without that, any discussions may run the serious risk of enabling the adulterer - making it seem like it was the faithful spouse’s fault that they were driven to adultery.

As for philanderers growing tired and wanting to settle down - I wouldn’t count on it. I’d bet on the opposite. IMO a philanderer who gets away with it will typically keep on doing it.

My advice - as others have said - go talk to a trusted priest as your starting point.

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