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#425662 - 02/18/13 09:25 AM Husband's affair
Jemma Offline

Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 22
Loc: England
Three months ago my husband left me for a woman he'd been having an affair with. He came back within a week and told me he'd been abused, and also told me that he'd seen the abuser four years ago and since then had been visiting prostitutes.

He'd kept the secret of the abuse for forty years, and now its out in the open he's crying a lot, almost like having a breakdown.

I've been helping him get therapy, and doing research about the effect of abuse in men in later life, but I still feel betrayed and jealous, especially of the woman he had an affair with. He said it started because he just wanted sex, but all the kissing and cuddling ignited feelings in him and he thought he was in love with her. The affair lasted a couple of months, but he finished it and came back home and hasn't had any contact with her since.

Whenever I have sex with him now it brings up all these feelings of hurt and betrayal, despite the fact that he claims if it wasn't for the abuse he would never had done any of it.

I could sort of cope with the hookers because there was no emotion attached to it and he was repeating the abuse. With the affair he said he wanted to 'give her pleasure' when having sex.

He says he always really loved me, and still does and desperately wants to stay with me. But part of me still thinks that if he'd really loved me he wouldn't be able to hurt me this much.

How can an affair be part of 'acting out' the abuse?

I'm really mixed up. Help.


#425690 - 02/18/13 04:11 PM Re: Husband's affair [Re: Jemma]
confusion4life Offline

Registered: 02/12/12
Posts: 109
Loc: Italy
anything can be acting out because of the abuse. anything. he cant use it as an excuse, but basically anything is possible. my husband abused our daughter and i would have preferred an affair, believe me.

a survivor can not love because he cant not trust the same way like you expect it to be. the feelings for others are less developed because after all there is this hurt kid in the size of a man in front of you.
the affair could have been a try if things are different with her than you, maybe she was his fixation which he created during the abuses, maybe she was just more similar or more different from the abusers than you...anything is possible.

the problem between you and him is that he has not been honest to you. he needs to fully open up about how he feels and whats going on in his head regarding fantasies and so on.

i really wish you good luck!
everything is always okay in the end, if it's not, then it's not the end

#425706 - 02/18/13 07:14 PM Re: Husband's affair [Re: Jemma]
Jemma Offline

Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 22
Loc: England
Thankyou, Ela, for your reply. Actually, I think she was similar to the abuser. She definitely manipulated him, although it takes two!

Thankyou also for putting it into perspective. We also had a daughter and he never abused her. I'm so sorry for your sake. God, abuse is such an evil thing.

I'll talk to him about what's going on in his head.

#425859 - 02/19/13 08:37 PM Re: Husband's affair [Re: Jemma]
HD001 Offline

Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 276
Loc: us
acting out is a way to try to escape a way to try and fill the hole that the CSA leaves behind. I'm willing to bet that the affair had to do with the CSA and is not a reflection of his feelings for you.
That being said I still think that your feelings are normal. I often feel like maybe my H just isn't that into me and he has never cheated (that I know of). If he where to have an affair it would shatter me no matter what his reason was. I honestly don't know if I would be able to forgive him. I think the hardest part of being a supporter is being caught in the crossfire between the survivor and there acting out or self destructive cycles.
Just because this kind of thing is common doesn't mean it doesn't hurt like hell. My heart goes out to you.
Everything comes from within

#425915 - 02/20/13 09:06 AM Re: Husband's affair [Re: Jemma]
Jemma Offline

Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 22
Loc: England
Thanks HD001. I'm really trying to get over this and have booked counselling with an organization called Mankind. Its so difficult dealing with his abuse issues as well as my hurt feelings.

I don't know if he's using the abuse as an excuse or not. Perhaps its impossible to tell, and I'll never know.


#425941 - 02/20/13 05:34 PM Re: Husband's affair [Re: Jemma]
Gretta Offline

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 240

I am soo sorry you are going through this. My husband did basically the exact same thing except I caught him just at the cusp of starting up the affair. His reasoning for moving to a single woman was that he was afraid he was going to get caught with the prostitutes. He felt woman he was dealing with would have been safer and he wouldn't end up in jail. When I met the woman I was flabbergasted. She was not beautiful or skinny, she was actually strange and a bit of a barfly. My husband is attractive, I always say he has a very nice cover (crazy book inside but good cover) He could have done much better. I have also struggled with, did or does he really love me? My husband in the beginning was open and willing to get help which was huge. I didn't leave him because he was falling apart, literally crying and having terrible flashbacks. I would find him in the corner of his closet. I knew he sick especially when I met the other woman and I was shocked and I wasn't going to just throw in the towel. He couldn't help what had happened to him as a child.

Move ahead 2 years. He has come light years from where he was. I think the hardest part was I wondered if I ever really knew him? What was real and what was a lie. It appears he has the sexual addiction under control but it required hours of good therapy and group. He is now dealing with his problem with alcohol and lying.

I would like to say that we have our act together but we don't yet. I asked him to move out because of lies and drinking. It was hard but it was the final straw. We have a mutual respect and since we have three children I want to see him healthy. I am very hurt by the infidelity. My heads knows why he did what he did but my heart is broken and I need to heal.

He states he wants me and our family I guess we will see. The best advice I can give you is to take care of yourself. You will see that again and again. By nature you want to take care of him and here you are on male survivor trying to figure out how to help. Get yourself into therapy or support groups. Many of the women here go and love them.

Good Luck,

#426003 - 02/21/13 11:09 AM Re: Husband's affair [Re: Jemma]
Jemma Offline

Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 22
Loc: England
Hi Gretta,

Its good to hear from someone in the same situation. I don't feel so alone with this now.

I guess the only way I could cope with this pain was to tell myself it was all a result of the abuse. He said if the abuse had never happened he would have been different. If I hang on to that I'm Ok, but sometimes the pain just hits me.

The other woman was so unattractive, in her personality as well as physically, that when I found out who it was I laughed. My daughter said that proves he wasn't in his right mind. But she made him feel good about himself and gave him free sex.

I'm supporting him and trying to deal with the hurt as well, and its hard. I feel as if my feelings are secondary to his abuse. Hopefully the therapy will help.

Thank you Gretta.


#426093 - 02/22/13 03:18 AM Re: Husband's affair [Re: Jemma]
Esposa Offline

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 811
Loc: NJ
Just tonight in my own therapy, I told my therapist that the hardest thing about my situation with my husband is that I can't tell anyone why I decided to stand by him and give him some time, love and support. To the world, my husband cheated on me with my friend, continued the affair after I found out, abandoned me and my children - and then I just took him back. I can't tell people why I paused - why I didn't act on my first response. It's his story, not mine. And because I can't tell, I can't really find the type of support I need (other than paid for - and here on MS).

The pain of betrayal is mind numbing. I am very sorry Jemma that you are in this position, like many of us. And I will tell you what I tell others, what I tell myself when my soul aches - this was not about you. It had nothing to do with you. With time, grace, compassion and support, that will feel more possible.

I encourage you to be kind to yourself, gentle with yourself. Most of all, be patient with yourself.

#426138 - 02/22/13 05:23 PM Re: Husband's affair [Re: Jemma]
bodyguard8367 Offline

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""

Edited by bodyguard8367 (02/27/14 02:09 AM)
Edit Reason: SILENCED

#426389 - 02/25/13 11:45 AM Re: Husband's affair [Re: Jemma]
Jemma Offline

Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 22
Loc: England
Eposa, its exactly the same for me. No-one understands why I took him back - except people like you.

I'm gradually understanding its his stuff, although it impacts on me.

Thankyou to everyone who replied to my post. You really have made such a difference to how I feel about all this.

Jemma xxx

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