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Feeling a lot of guilt

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have only been separated for a few months, but I know our relationship is over. He cheated on me many times, over many years. We had other problems as well. Communication, money...i am feeling so guilty. We have 5 beautiful children together and it seems like wh is finally trying to put in the effort to fix his problems. He says he wants me back and seems like he does. The problem is I do not want to try again. I found out about his affairs 3 years ago when I got a call from the husband of the woman he was cheating with. We talked, I cried and I went back. Than it happened again a year later and again I went back. This last time I again was called and told that they were talking again. This is when i found out that there were other woman as well.


I know that it seems so clear to some, RUN as fast as you can he has a huge problem.


Other people say "Go to therapy. If he shows remorse and you both work hard, you could reconcile."


I do not want to run, but i do not want to reconcile. I just don't see the point. We were married for 17 years and he was not faithful for much of those years. How is some therapy going to change what happened? I will never forget. i will always be wondering if it is happening again.


So here is the guilt...The five kids. I feel like even though i was not the cheater, I am the one ending the marriage. Some days I feel like I need to go back to my husband because of the kids and all their needs. I look in their eyes and know that they blame me. WH wants to reconcile but because I don't it is my fault that my kids will be children of divorce parents. I feel selfish.

post #2 of 10

He ended the marriage by breaking his vows.  And here's the thing - if he really understood the enormity of what he's done, he would not be pressuring you now.  He would understand that it takes time and a huge amount of tangible effort to change, on his part.  He would understand the need for separation while he goes to therapy and whatever else to understand and change his behavior patterns. 


I know you don't want to disappoint your children, but you cannot pretend to feel something that has been destroyed.  If he is a good father and an amiable co-parent, you can still do things together as a family sometimes (if that isn't too emotionally difficult for you at some point).  But being with someone you can't trust... that to me is a deal-breaker.

post #3 of 10

This post has been removed due to privacy reasons.

Edited by rainbow_mandala - 11/16/12 at 4:02pm
post #4 of 10

You've taken a lot more than most people would from their spouse. I know it's not easy, but free yourself of the guilt and try to remember that you weren't the one who wrecked the marriage, he was. Every single time he cheated, he chose to further destroy your family.


As MissLotus suggested, there are options. You can potentially coparent with him...as for your children, they will eventually understand. They deserve a happy mama, and going back to that marriage won't do that.

post #5 of 10

He really did leave you.  I can totally relate the feelings of guilt.  I felt like I had ruined my kids lives.  I have been married for 16 years and am leaving because of a pattern of domestic violence, which IMO in on the same level as serial adultery.  I felt really guilty at first and had a tremendous amount of fear that my kids would blame me for breaking up the family, especially with STBX in their ear saying it was all me.  That guilty feeling has faded as i have gained clarity about the reality of my marriage (from time away, from seeing a therapist, from a DV support group).  It seems like the more secure that I am with my decision to leave, the less the kids question/blame me for it.  So far, anyway, we are definitely still in progress.  Hugs to you, honey.  No one deserves to be treated like that.  One thing that helped me was, would I want my kids to end up in a relationship like this one?  Did I want to part of modeling that for them?

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Wow self respect. I have to work on that. I have to admit that as soon as I left the relationship I felt a huge relief. Like I was finally free. I am not happy every day. Right now it is only about 50% of the time. I am experiencing what my friend calls the divorce diet. I don't diet, but I have lost weight. I am trying to do things for ME. I am jogging again. I am also loosing a lot of hair. I was told that is also a symptom of a separation.


I know it is probably too soon, but I am already dating. It is just coffee, but I need some interaction with adults and it makes me feel like after 5 kids i am not this unattractive mom. I am up front about how many kids I have and the fact that I am not looking for anything but a friend. Strange how many guys are okay with that and are also hurting.


I have to work on my trust issues. I, for obvious reasons, do not trust any guy. In my head i am always questioning every word they say. 

post #7 of 10
Originally Posted by sren View PostIt seems like the more secure that I am with my decision to leave, the less the kids question/blame me for it.

This idea has been key for me, and I see it with all the mommas on here. I was sad/hurt/angry that my marriage ended but I was absolutely sure it was over and that we were better apart and that's how I related everything to my kids. I didn't even get into blaming anyone around them, I only focused on how things were going to be from then on. I still hurt on my own, I still sobbed every single day for well over a year, but I kept that part away from my kids. I hated feeling like I was lying to them, pretending everything was fine when I felt like I was dying, but they wouldn't have understood it anyway (they had just turned 7 & 3 when EX moved out, they're 11 & 7 now) and it really worked out fine. My oldest's teachers and classmates didn't even know that his parents were divorced 2 yrs later.


You get ok with where your life is right now and your kids will be better than fine. They need a momma who's happy and fulfilled with her life. It might be rough for a while but there will come a time when you can't remember the bad times much.

post #8 of 10

Whenever I felt "out of control" or in despair, I would ask myself where I was with respect to HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired). Attending to those basic needs at least made me feel like I was taking care of myself. It took a little while but eventually, I could move beyond the basics and find myself again.

post #9 of 10

I know how you feel...I am the one who left but I was not the one who ended the relationship.  My ex was the one who disrespected me enough to treat me horribly for years, and then allow it to escalate (despite my begging him to get help) into violence.  I enabled him for years, but when I realized what I was modeling for the kids, it was clearly unacceptable.  On the other hand, there are days (rare) where he has nice moments, there are hours when I get buried in some good memories or saddened by the state of my current finances and exhaustion, and there are the tears from the children begging me to get back together...and I waver.  But I regroup, breathe, and know that this is truly the right decision for me and my two kids (as well, I believe, for ex).  


You say you feel selfish.  Sounds like you are, in fact, behaving in a very unselfish way...

post #10 of 10

I love this... and it is so true for me. I am here too. I also ended the relationship before my son was even born. I feel very guilty that my son will likely never know his father, but for my ex it was an all or none situation... complete reconciliation or no contact. I refused to reconcile after multiple infidelities, followed by violence in the face of confrontation, and so he has no interest in my son. He ended BOTH relationships, not me. And yet, even with knowledge of those facts, I can't help but feel like it is somehow my fault... all I can surmise from this is that I am still very co-dependent and in no position to be attempting a relationship at this point until I've undergone sufficient therapy to overcome this. :)

Originally Posted by tccandlsccmom View Post

I am the one who left but I was not the one who ended the relationship.  


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