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  #1  
Unread 27th September 2011, 11:12 AM
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Surviving Infidelity

Has anyone here had a marriage recover and thrive after repeated infidelities? Is it possible (in reality not in theory) to heal and actually have a good marriage? Can a cheater stop being a cheater?

If so, what did it take? What was the turning point? How did you know your spouse was truly reformed? Or if you were the wayward spouse what was it that flipped the switch for you and led you to change your ways for good?

Also, if you remained married after multiple affairs, are you glad you stayed married? Did you stick it out only to be sorry now?

Joy
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  #2  
Unread 27th September 2011, 06:26 PM
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Joy, I am a separated woman. My husband cheated on me just prior to our tenth anniversary. While he only physically cheated once he spent an inordinate amount of time during our marriage perusing porn, strip clubs, and strippers. I left him 13 months ago. I found out the truth one year prior to leaving him. I spent that year in prayer and trying to force myself to "get over it" "deal with it" "forgive and forget". I finally left because I knew in my heart of hearts that I could never completely forgive him enough. It would be (and is) always in the back of my mind. Because of his many deceptions I can not fully give myself over to him. I hear his voice and think that whatever is coming out of his mouth must be a lie.

He tells me I am beautiful and I remember how I was never enough before.
The other day in an email that I had stated I wondered why I couldn't keep my husband faithful he replied that I have a faithful husband now. Really? Cause that is not the way I see it.

Maybe he has changed. He is working on his relationship with the Father. I see that. But, he is human and I don't trust him. I refuse to continue putting myself through that HELL! I got really sick during the last 5-7 years of our marriage because it was so stressful.

I refuse to do that to myself and IF he really has changed then he deserves a wife that respects him and believes him AND THAT IS NOT ME!

Only you can decide if you can move on with him or without him. I understand wanting to hear other peoples stories. It gives our confusion validation. But, just because I couldn't continue in my marriage, or Jane Doe and the other 20 or so couldn't continue doesn't mean you shouldn't.

If you want to work it out with your husband you will need to truly work on YOURSELF. Yep, I said on yourself. Because if you tell him you want to work it out then you cannot beat him over the head with the past (not that you should beat him with it if you divorce him either).

Do you still feel love for your husband? Can you still picture a happy future with him? Do you think you can not live without him?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions then I believe you should do your best to forgive him and work it out.

As long as you feel safe emotionally and you believe he has changed Go for it! But, if you do not believe him you can choose to continue working together to see what happens or you can leave. The ball is in your court now.

Whatever you do, do not forget to spend hours and hours with your Heavenly Father. Find out what He wants you to do

I am sorry that you are enduring this pain. I believe it is one of the worst heartbreaks we can suffer in a relationship.

God Bless you in whatever you decide.
Sandy
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  #3  
Unread 27th September 2011, 06:31 PM
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Oh and one other thing

Once a cheat is not always a cheat.

My first husband and I cheated on each other. Nothing to be proud of. We were young (not an excuse), but more importantly we weren't Christians.

I NEVER thought of cheating on my second husband. Even though we have been separated for a year I have remained faithful. I will remain faithful to my vows (he broke them not me) until I can divorce. The only reason we are still married is because I am dirt poor now. In nursing school working really hard to make a better life. I worked for my husband the whole time we were married. Didn't receive pay, didn't build up my social security.

I also believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that my first husband has remained faithful to his second wife. They have been married since Jan 1996. I think for most people that cheat when they are young and stupid they realize that it hurts themselves and their families in such a manner that you never want a repeat!

Sorry for being so long winded. Hope you don't mind. I sure wish that others had told me fully of their experiences when I first posted on here.

Again, Blessings my sister.
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  #4  
Unread 27th September 2011, 08:39 PM
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Hi Sandy,

Wow our stories sound so similar! Thank you for sharing with me. I do love my husband but I don't know if I can forget enough to stay married. I could have at first but after several failed attempts to reconcile, during which time he did not completely give up other women, I don't know now. I feel like if I knew for sure that he was truly sorry and not going to cheat again I could, but how on earth can I know that for sure??

I stayed for a year and a half after my initial discovery and we have been separated a little more than two years, divorce to be final Oct. 28, so I have given this a lot of time. My past is not stellar either. I know I have changed. I know I have been faithful to this marriage to this very minute which is not something the old me would have done. I guess that is part of why it is so hard to walk away. I want to believe so much my husband can change too.

Your husband sounds so very much like mine with the comment he made about you having a faithful husband now. Mine is promising the moon and the stars, going to counseling on his own, he has always been active in church (which makes me nuts because he lives such a double life), and swearing he sees the error of his ways. Problem is he has been saying that for most of the two years we have been separated yet he has continued to lie and date others at the same time.

Ugggg! I wish I could have Wonder Woman's lasso so I could wrap him up and get the whole and complete truth about his past actions and his current intentions once and for all!! I am so afraid of walking away and this being the one time he actually, finally, is sincere.

I have been praying so hard for God to make the right decision clear to me, I have been seeing a Christian counselor myself, and reading my Bible. I am obviously very thick headed because if a clear answer has been given to me I have failed to recognize it. I will continue to spend time with God. I really appreciate your kind words.

Please don't apologize for being long winded. I am terribly lonely and grateful to have the communication. Please feel free to share as much as you like! I certainly need all the help I can get.

BTW congrats on nursing school! I imagine it is very hard, but you must be so proud of yourself (or at least you should be) for having the strength and determination to improve your situation.

Joy
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  #5  
Unread 27th September 2011, 10:21 PM
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Hi Joy,

I have only been married about 5.5 years and for about 4 of those my husband had emotional affairs. I DO believe people can change but they have to want it obviously. We were young when we got married and as Sandradee0303 said it's not an excuse. But, for almost a year now I am confident my husband has remained faithful. It's been a real struggle for me to let go of the past, especially since every time it happened I hadn't even had the chance to get over the last. I really recommend a book by Stormie Omartian called The Power of a Praying Wife. It is so incredibly eye opening. I couldn't put it down. There's a reason it spent 27 straight months at #1. As soon as I finished the book I felt lost, I didn't want it to end. One thing I did every time my husband strayed was build walls to protect me. But those walls didn't protect me at all. I had to realize I had to give my burdens up to God and tear down my walls in order to move on. I had to allow myself to be vulnerable again. My husband just went to Vegas about a week ago with some friends. For the first time in almost a year I felt like I could relax and trust in God that it was going to be ok. And it was! We'll never forget the pain our husbands actions have caused. If it stopped hurting I'd be a little worried. I also recommend looking up Ron Carpenter's relationship builders. Very eye opening as well. God can resurrect even the deadest of marriages. I used to work at a clinic with kids who had ADHD or Autism. We did biofeedback and neurofeedback. Some parents would get so upset with us saying that our treatment wasn't working. But there was one parent that really got it. After having those same feelings, the light bulb finally went on. In order for her child to change, she too needed to change. Once she did she saw the huge changes in her child. And I believe that to be true in our situations. I'm not saying we are the reason our husbands strayed but as the book will tell you, that we too have to change. Another thing I've read about is the movie Fireproof. It introduces the book The Love Dare. These are the next steps for us. I've heard amazing reviews about them. Good luck with nursing school and you will be in my prayers.
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  #6  
Unread 27th September 2011, 10:39 PM
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Zackswife I will get the book. Thanks for the recommendation and for sharing your story. What do you think changed for your husband? Do you feel it was a response to your changes or was there a turning point of some sort for him first?

And it is Sandradee0303 who is in nursing school. :-) I am certain we both would appreciate your prayers though!

Joy
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  #7  
Unread 28th September 2011, 12:42 AM
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Sorry for the mix up on the schooling. But you will both be in my prayers. I'm not entirely sure what changed. I think he just realized that he has, and I'm not trying to brag here, a great woman at home who loves him immensely and who has proven that she's going to stand by him through "thick and thin". It did take him leaving for about a week to come to this conclusion. While it was hard and I don't normally agree with separation it was what he needed to open his eyes. He got a little dose of reality, what life would be like without me. Unfortunately, although we've really come a long way with that situation, we are on the rocks again due to a completely different issue, kids. But I hope and pray God will bring us through this storm stronger and better than ever. As for the book, I know you'll love it. I think it's even a good read for women prior to getting married. Helps give a little view into the realities of marriage and helps to bring realistic expectations into a marriage. Wish I would've know about it before I got married. They also have one called The Power of a Praying Husband. This one spent 19 consecutive months at #1. The husbands actually came to the author and asked her when she'd be writing one for the husband. I think that says quite a bit. And then there's the one I will be reading next, The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage. You can order all these on Amazon.com for much cheaper than at a book store. I hope it'll help you as it has me.
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  #8  
Unread 28th September 2011, 01:47 AM
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yes u can recover
yes u the marriage can prosper..

for a friend it has. it takes time.
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  #9  
Unread 5th October 2011, 11:08 AM
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Just thought I would give a quick update...

After much prayer, discussion with my family, and our marriage counselor, I decided to let my husband know (through our counselor cause we have been no contact) that I was open to conversation. He called me the next day and we went to dinner. We have been talking daily since and have a joint counseling session scheduled for later this week. We desire to cancel the divorce and for me to move back home. We both are in agreement that God hates divorce and that he can restore our marriage. It is very, very scary though!! I have heard all the pretty words from my husband many times with no follow through but at the same time I have been hit pretty hard recently with the fact that I am not supposed to be trusting in him to make things right, I am supposed to be trusting God to take care of me. I think I am able to do this only because I firmly believe that even if my husband is unfaithful again I will be okay because I am doing what I truly believe God is leading me to do in trying once more. I also have been convicted in my heart that although I thought I had been giving my husband "chances" to reconcile I have not completely let my guard down and worked on the unforgiveness in my heart. I have been so concerned with trying to protect myself from getting hurt again that I haven't been able to let go of the situation enough to let God work. I feel like if things do blow up in my face after this attempt then I could honestly say I did all I could, but until I lay this at God's feet and work on myself and leave "fixing" my husband up to God I don't see how I can leave with a peace. I am so excited and terrified at the same time. I know there will be ups and downs and I have never prayed so hard in all my life!

I will try to update on our progress from time to time in case it may help anyone else.

Joy
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  #10  
Unread 8th October 2011, 05:35 PM
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God's blessings be upon your marriage. I hope it is all you want and deserve it to be. You are a beautiful woman.
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