So - my husband has been cheating on for 8 months

Last night a woman called to tell me that she and my husband have been sleeping together for about 8 months. He travels and I never suspected a thing. I feel like I have been kicked in the stomach. He admitted to it but only after repeated questioning. He told her he loved her, he told me it was just sex.

I want a divorce and marriage counseling is not an option at this point. If it was a one night thing I could have gotten past it. But a lie of this magnitude I cannot forgive. We have two young kids and I am at a total loss as to what to do.

Any advice? I am posting under a fake name because I am so humiliated.

Sorry to hear about it psuedonym. I would hope you’d take a stab at counseling for the kids, but I can certainly understand if you choose not to. Best of luck.

I’d give him another chance, assuming there aren’t other issues involved. I wouldn’t forgive and forget, but divorce seems drastic, without first trying to discover the reason he felt he needed to cheat.

I would skip the counseling and get right to kicking his butt out on the street. A man who would lie, to this extreme, to his wife and his children for 8 months doesn’t deserve a second chance. He also doesnt deserve your tears.

Who cares why he cheated? Most of the time, men cheat just for the sex. They don’t need any other reason. It’s not an emotional thing. Trying to find out why he cheated implies that the OP is somehow to blame. She isn’t.

A betrayal of trust for eight months is a deal breaker, IMO. He deserves no second chance.

If you’re a good and decent mother, you’ll come around to realize your inability to forgive him will wane as concerns about your children’s future begin surfacing. Your personal feelings of anger and betrayal will eventually take a bact seat to the needs of all 4 people involved.

One day in the not so distant future, you’ll either look back and ask yourself, ‘why did I thrown down this no-marriage counseling gauntlet’ and regret it -or- take comfort in the fact that ‘at least we tried

I’m sorry about what happened to you. You need to take some time, wait for the newness and edge of what happened to you to blunt a little and then, hopefully with a bit of a clearer head, determine what’s best for yourself and your family; whether it be taking him back unconditionally, with counseling, or not at all.

I hope it works out for you.

And lastly, you shouldn’t be the one to feel humiliated – you didn’t do anything wrong.

Zev Steinhardt

Give yourself some breathing room. Don’t make major decisions while you’re this upset. You can ask him to go live elsewhere, but let yourself calm down before you do anything you can’t undo if you feel differently later. There are probably some Dopers who can give you tips on starting to protect yourself financially while things are being sorted out.

Why is counselling not an option?

in this order:

  • get a lawyer
  • get a divorce
  • fuck his best friend
  • get on with your life

God, that’s devastating. I am in no place to give advice, but I would recommend that you hold off on any sort of divorce/custody conversation until you’ve had the opportunity to cry and grieve and calm down a little.

A divorce (especially w/ children) is never easy and you need to give yourself a little time to recover from the initial “punch” before you launch into legal proceedings.

Is there somewhere that either your husband or you (and the kids) can stay for awhile to remove yourself from the situation while you sort things out?

And document EVERYTHING. Get the woman’s name, get her # from caller ID if possible. Get dates, times, etc. You may need this information for legal purposes later on.

I wish you the best of luck and I am so, so sorry that this has happened to you. Please, I know that it’s hard, but don’t internalize this. It is HIS selfishness and disregard for your feelings that brought this about. Please don’t think it’s anything that you did/didn’t do. It’s so easy to let it affect you like that, but I promise you that this isn’t your fault.
You’ll be in my thoughts.

I can state from experience that staying together in a loveless marriage for the sake of the kids is not doing the kids any favors. I used to pray for my folks to split up so i wouldn’t have to listen to the fighting any more. I was relieved when they finally decided to separate. It was the best thing for all of us, not just them.

Divorce his ass, hit him for everything you can possibly get in the divorce. Squeeze him to the fucking pips. Scum deserve to be punished and learn lessons. This was not a “oops, I couldn’t control myself” one-off (which still isn’t right). This was betrayal and lying over a long term.

One (known) affair, no matter what duration the infidelity lasted, does not a “loveless marriage” make.

And just a small aside to the OP: no matter how many times you read or hear ‘fuck him, call a lawyer or dump him’ - bear in mind the overwhelming majority of those sentiments will probably be coming from unmarried, college-aged people who don’t have children.

First of all, I’m so terribly sorry that this happened. It makes my chest tight just to think about how I would feel if I discovered that my wife had been cheating on me. You have my sympathy and my prayers.

But I’m curious about why the skank called you. Had he broken up with her? Was she feeling guilty?

I would just like to take this opportunity to respectfully disagree with JohnBckWLD.

Accepting his infidelity and keeping the relationship together “for the sake of the children” does not make you a good and decent mother, nor does it make you a bad mother.

Being a parent is about raising your children in a good environment where they feel loved and where there is a sense of security. Please believe me as the child of a HORRIBLE marriage. If you cannot forgive him (and I wouldn’t blame you in the least if you couldn’t), it is unfair to ask your children to live in a loveless marriage.

Shame on you, JohnBckWLD. She is not throwing down a gauntlet. She’s merely picking up the pieces of a life that her inconsiderate spouse has offhandedly shattered “for the sex”.

I used to hope that my parents would split up so I didn’t have to bear the utter, vicious silence between them. :eek: (They’d stopped talking to each other, and for the most part to me, several years before.)

The only bit of advice I might offer to the OP is to take all of the advice and suggestions you are getting here with copious amounts of salt. No one here is in the position or has sufficient knowledge of your relationship and the particulars to render ultimatiums about what you should or shouldn’t do. You may want to get some kind of marraige counselling not to save the marriage (if you don’t feel that to be an option) but at least to get the view of an impartial party who can listen to both sides of the story and assess the possible effects and ramifications on you and your children. As you (quite legitimately) feel sufficiently betrayed not to wish to repair the breach a traditional marraige counsellor may not be the best option here (and frankly, of those I’ve met I’ve rarely been impressed); perhaps you should look for some kind of arbitration or mediation. If you attend a mainstream church, look there first, as many pastors are experienced in such activities.

I’ve no other brilliant advice for you, other than to keep in mind what is best for you and your children. Vengence and castigation may been ephemerally satisfying, but ultimately, the best revenge is moving on and living well.


Been there so I think I know how you’re feeling. Not an easy situation but not one that needs to be decided on immediately. Not that I’m encouraging you to forgive, much less forget. Just take a little time to sort it all out in your head and come up with a rational plan.

Counseling may be of some benefit. I don’t know. How much better will it make you feel if the counselor agrees with you? Because he/she will. But so what? Do you really need anybody else to tell you that he was wrong to do what he did?

I know that it feels like you have to do something right now. Anything. Take some kind of dramatic and definitive action. It’s going to be hard to resist that temptation. But try. Leave the house for a while if you can. Take your kids to see family or just away for a few days to hotel and make a little trip of it if it’s within your means.

There is always time for lawyers. This isn’t a crime scene so timing, unless you think your husband will obscond with the family funds, is not a big issue. But just to be safe, do get current records of all the accounts and asset. Other than that, just breath and take the time to consider what you really want to do in your heart of hearts.

Good luck. Email me if you need to talk in private.

Honestly, cover your bases, take the time needed, THEN make a decision.

Advice from above, in this order:

  1. Get a lawyer.
  2. See a shrink.

You REALLY need to protect your children and yourself immediately. In modern society that involves a lawyer. Document everything from this day forward and discuss your options with a divorce lawyer. Tell the lawyer everything and what you are wanting right now - you can change your mind. DO WHAT THEY SAY.

THEN go see a shrink and discuss the issue with them. Allow them to help you formulate your own emotional response.

IF you reverse the above, you face a big potential problem. He has PROVEN himself untrustworthy. Make a fact based decision to begin with, then you can make an emotional one later.

But cover your ass now. You must think of your and your children’s welfare first, then about your relationship.

“Fool me once - shame on you. F*!k me in the courtroom - shame on me.”


I understand this is a terrible time for you, icantbelievethis, but it sounds like you may already have an account here. I’m going to have to close this thread, but please contact an administrator to work this double account out.

I’m very sorry for the pain you’re going through.