Revelation of adultery in 20 yr marriage


I am new to this website. I came about it while searching for information on adultery in a Catholic Marriage. I am impressed with what I have read on this forum and hope that someone can give me some advice. Just prior to Christmas, my husband was terminated from his job due to insubbordination & immorality. This was a result of a coworker filing sexual harrasment charges against him. As a result of this event, my husband confessed to me that during the past 13 years of our almost 20 year marriage (anniversary next week), he has had adulterous affairs with several women. I was completely blindsided by this revelation. During the past 20 years, I never doubted my husbands love of me and our two children. He has been a wonderful husband. Since his revelations, he has been very apologetic and remorseful but I have not been able to forgive him. We have been going to professional counseling but I feel his efforts have been minimal. I had to beg him to read a book our therapist suggested. He said he has learned his lesson and won’t cheat again. For the past three months I have tried to reconcile but the hurt seems unbearable. I don’t feel like I can ever trust him again and I don’t know how to get over this.
I have not disclosed this to my family or our priest. We are in the process of a short sale on our home and we have used all of our savings to get through the past 3 months. I work by my salary is a fraction of what his was. He has been unsuccessful in getting a new job. I feel like the walls are closing in.

Well, all I can say is what an awful sense of timing that revelation was, and I am so sorry that you are in my prayers. Since there is no charge for an appointment with your priest, I’d go that route and make an appointment to talk with him. You have a lot of very hurt emotions to work through here, and regardless of the outcome, there is no reason for you to hold this kind of burden in your heart when there is a compassionate and wise priest with whom you can unburden your soul, who can offer you support and guidance as you navigate through this morass. God bless you.

I’m so sorry about this. This must be so painful. You poor thing :frowning:

I am terrible sorry you are going through this. My prayers are with you

God Bless

I will pray for you as well. This is a terrible burden to bear especially on top of the financial burden caused by his job loss. Has he even tried to explain why he had the affairs?

I’m glad you have a professional person to discuss this with. Sometimes it’s very difficult to share with someone in your family or with a friend, or even in confidence with a priest. It takes time and the God’s grace to forgive. I will pray for you, and for your husband that he may be able to earn your trust.

God bless

He claims that these women, all professional contacts, pursued him. Most were one nite stands while at business conferences, 2 were office associates with several lunch time rendevous’. He claims it was a lack of self control and had nothing to do with his love of me or our children. Thank you for the prayers.

It takes time. Please stay connected to Jesus through your prayer & the sacraments. Praying for your finding forgiveness & for financial recovery.

**I am so sorry you are having to deal with this betrayal.

I have heard great things about a Catholic program called Retroville, where the husband and wife in a hurting marriage go for the weekend and really comunicate with one another.

Besides that, all I can offer you are my prayers for the next few months, and a big** :hug3:

There is a site on the group forums called forgiving the unforgivable, infidelity. Maybe this group can help you get some support while you are going through this. I too am so sorry that this is happening to you. I will definitely pray for you and your husband in front of the most Blessed Sacrament tomorrow.

You are very much in my prayers. Don’t be surprised if your emotions feel like they are on a roller coaster- its normal (according to my doctor). It hurts and I am sorry that you are dealing with so many difficulties.

I am so sorry you are going through this. My divorce was just finalized - one of the problems was adultery. The only thing I can say is see your priest - and don’t accept his excuses - that is bad behavior - I would bring that up in counseling. I also would get yourself tested for STDs as soon as possible.

He cheated on you for 13 years with many different women, thus putting you at risk and lying to your face on a daily basis, he has possibly recently harassed a woman at work (maybe because she didn’t wanna be his next mistress?) … and NOW he is remorseful?
Sorry but I cannot say with any good will that I think you should forgive and forget… I dont think you should share bed with this man anymore, and I sure hope you children will never discover how basely their father has treated their mother. When a person cheats, he cheats on the whole family, not just his spouse… Your husband sure did a thorough job.

I am so sorry to hear of your situation. It sounds incredibly painful. I am glad that you are able to get some counseling and agree that it might be helpful to talk to a priest you trust. Get whatever support for yourself that you can.

When I have been through really tough times the main thing that helps is to cling to God. I found that listening to christian music can be healing at times.

God will not let go of you. Turn to Him to get you through. He has promised that He will not abandon you. I will pray for you that you will know God’s love in the midst of this situation.

Thank you for coming here and sharing your story. Please be assured of my prayers.

I could not help but noticing in your post that you seem impatient with yourself in that you have been unable for forgive him and are still trying to reconcile.

It has only been a few months since being dealt probably one of the most painful blows that anyone could take. I don’t know anyone alive that would “feel” like they have forgiven the person and completely reconciled in just a few months. Jesus loves you and he will help you through this time. You probably long to have your old marriage back and have things the way that they were because going through this is too painful. I do not blame you for that but you already know this is not possible, your marriage will probably always be different.

Don’t judge yourself by your emotions, judge yourself by your actions. Love is what we do despite our feelings. For example, we may not “feel” like changing a baby’s diaper but we do it anyway out of love. In your case, you do not “feel” like being with your husband but are staying there out of love and trying to rebuild things. So you see, you ARE showing love even though you don’t “feel” like it. You ARE trying to forgive him even though inside you don’t “feel” like you are.

Thirteen years is a long time of betrayal. He said that he has learned his lesson and won’t cheat again. The two of you are having difficulty facing this and just want it to go away, I think I would be the same way.

I would seek a Retrouaville retreat and talk to a priest immediately. This is not something to be embarrased about, you are in a spiritual crisis and need a priest. If you feel like you can’t talk to your own parish priest then drive to see another one.

Also use the sacramentals: Holy water, blessed salt, a rosary. Bless yourself with Holy Water a lot this will give you strength. Please take care as best as you can.

I’m going to mostly echo what others have already said:

Cut him out of the “marriage bed.” This is a consequence men can understand, and it is fully within your right to do so, as he has broken his vows.

Get thyself to a priest!! They hear this stuff all the time. Even if he won’t go, you at least need to get stuff sorted out.

I’m surprised only one person has mentioned this, but GET YOURSELF TESTED. If your kids were conceived/born any time after he started cheating, consider getting them tested as well, because some STD’s can be passed to the child in utero/ during birth.

Also, if you’re not going to kick him out of the house, institute family prayer time. Every night. I don’t know how familiar you are with the rosary but the call and response nature of it makes it perfect for even little kids (or reluctant husbands) to follow along and take their turn. If your kids are older (like, high school) and you don’t think you’ll be able to get them home for dinner, let alone hanging around the house for another half hour, let alone praying for that half hour, start with just you and your husband. You can of course offer the invitation to the kids but right now that’s the least of your worries. :shrug:

:grouphug: from everyone here!

Many women have gone through this. First, talk to your priest. Then start your life. Find a better job. Tell your husband he must find work. He must be able to support this family whether you stay together or not. It doesn’t sound like you’d be able to separate right now because neither of you can afford it. Focusing on staying afloat will help you not to dwell on the other issues until you can afford to look at them. Plan on going back to school or starting a real career which will allow you to be financially independent.

How did the others turn out? One marriage is still going strong thirty years later. The other two ended in divorce with the wives doing extremely well not so their ex husbands.

I’m so sorry. This is awful. He put you in a mess and it’s up to him to clean it up. He better work his dang butt off for you or he doesn’t deserve you!

If he’s not willing to put 100% into the marriage to make things better…do whatever you want him to do…read a book, go on a marriage encounter, etc., then he doesn’t deserve you.

It may take you to leave him or kick him out for him to get it together and realize how much he has to lose…not just you…but his family’s trust and respect.

Don’t say anything to your children!! Maintain their innocence in this. It would damage them greatly if they knew.

I am sitting here stunned. You must feel so betrayed, to hear that your husband is not who you thought he was after all. 13 YEARS of cheating is a long time to sin and not repent. Frankly I just don’t think I could forgive that, at least I wouldn’t be interested in going on being married to such a person. But I am not the one who can tell you what to do.

How can you trust anything this man tells you when he has been living such a lie for such a long time? I am glad you have a job, he needs to get one too.

Please get yourself tested for STDs and do not be intimate with him for now. Not that it would be very enticing to sleep with a cheating spouse…:mad:

You will be in my prayers. Do not let your children believe that you did nothing when you found this out. They will find out eventually and then they will question you as to why you didn’t leave.

The kind of hurt and betrayal you have been through is not one you can just get over in a matter of a few months. Your feelings are just that, feelings. They have nothing to do with forgiving your husband. You are grieving the loss of a fundamental trust that was broken. The loss of a part of your life that has proven to be untrue, the sham of a marriage. They are hard hard losses to bear.

Forgiveness is an action and a decision. It sounds like you are trying to salvage your marriage, which is a step towards forgiveness. However, something that shatters your trust so deeply is not something that is going to be healed quickly. You may never get that trust back, especially after so many years of infidelity.

When I went through something similar, my mantra was “One day at a time”. I could only live for the day I was in. Expect to live a roller coaster of emotions while you are trying to process this all. It takes a lot of time.

Prayer really helps. That was my lifeline out of the marital disaster I found myself in. It’s a hard road, but you are not alone.

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