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<p>I'm not sure whether or not I will continue this marriage. I love dh very much, but if I do stay how do I go about forgiveness? What does he have to do to earn back my trust? His affair was online, and I have proof. He first tried to come up with a story that the girl took things too far by sending naked photos, and that he immediately deleted the pictures. I made it clear to him that I knew he was lying because he forwarded the photos to another email account that I didn't even know he had. There are two emails that I found. </p>
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<p>I am not afraid to end the marriage. I have plenty of support and will be just fine. But, we do have a child together and I do love him. I know I'm rambling, but I was hoping for some type of resource that anyone has found helpful in going through this, whether you stayed with your spouse or ultimately left. I will see a therapist myself asap. At this point, he would go to therapy without a doubt if I told him to. I just don't know how to trust him. Please help</p>
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<p>I don't have any wise advice at the moment, as I am in the middle of pretty much the exact same situation, but I just wanted to post something since I saw a good number of views, but no responses yet.  I know it's a very hurtful situation.  I have been trying to just take one day at a time and tell myself that whatever my decision is, I don't have to make it right this second.  I don't know if that is smart, or just dragging things out, but we'll see what happens!</p>
 

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<p>Have you heard about survivinginfidelity.com?  I've never been on it.  But I've seen several people on these board suggest it when people are in situations like yours. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I think there is also something called marriagebuilders.com. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>People on those sites might have some support that would be useful to you.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I'm sorry you're going through this!</p>
 

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<p>I'm so sorry.<img alt="" src="http://files.mothering.com/hug2.gif" style="width:38px;height:16px;" title=""></p>
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<p>I second the suggestion to not feel like you have to make an instant decision.  Take your time, figure out what you are feeling and what exactly you are willing to do to save your marriage, if anything.  It shouldn't matter what anyone else thinks.  In this type of circumstance, you will get many opinions but in the end, all that matters is what you think is best for you and your family.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Again, I'm so sorry. </p>
 

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definitely go to <a href="http://www.survivinginfidelity.com" target="_blank">www.survivinginfidelity.com</a><br><br>
those people have lived through (or are living through) exactly what you are at the moment. people who haven't been through it can't understand. they just can't. they may think they know what they'd do in your situation, but they don't.<br><br>
counseling is a must. you need to go on your own and, ideally, your dh should go on hjs own. but marriage/couples counseling is vital. i know it's hard with jobs and kids and stuff, but i don't think very many people make it through infidelity in their relationships without counseling.<br><br>
give yourself time. you *don't* need to make a decision right away. you just don't.<br><br><img alt="hug.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif">
 

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<p>I haven't been in your situation but I do go on marriagebuilders.com general board and they have a busy section of the forums about infidelity. I definitely second the idea of going to talk to other people who have been there, I know for me everything would very much depend on his ongoing behaviour, and whether he was willing to put in the work to earn back your trust and build your relationship again.</p>
<p>Huge hugs for what must be an incredibly painful time and I hope you can find support and help.</p>
 

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<p>I'd start with counselling, preferably both individual and couples. For me that would be mandatory.</p>
 

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<p>Wow, I couldn't read without posting. I am so sorry, how painful that must be for you <span><img alt="mecry.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="width:40px;height:15px;"></span>. I agree with the other posters about not making any rash decisions based on emotions. I know emotions are running really raw right now but if you and your partner are both willing, this marriage can be repaired and be better than you ever thought it could be if you are both willing. I know this because I have personal experience, except I was the one who cheated, many years ago. Since then my husband and I are happier than I ever could have imagined and I can say with 100% confidence infidelity will never be an issue in our marriage again (on my side and I am almost equally as confident on dh's side).</p>
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<p>I would say the first step is your partner taking complete responsibility of his actions. Complete. No matter what was going on, no matter your shortcomings (if any), the act to be unfaithful or not was completely <em>in his hands</em>. Secondly, I would advise counseling for both of you, together and separately. It may take 'trying out' a couple different counselors. You want someone who is compassionate to you, but ALSO who is compassionate to your husband. I don't mean someone who 'let's him off the hook' by any means, but one who is working toward forgiveness, rebuilding of trust,  and unity as a couple as the ultimate goal.</p>
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<p>For now though, I think the very first step would be asking your husband point blank, "are you willing to discontinue any and all communication with any female with whom you've been having inappropriate conversations/pictures/etc with and are you willing to make your life (online and off) an open book to help repair this marriage?"</p>
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<p>If he says yes, then go from there to some counseling. That's really the first step because if he's not willing to do that, I don't see how anything can move further.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Again, I am so sorry you are going through this.</p>
 

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<p>My DP has been unfaithful. We are still together a year after I found out. I can say this so far, it takes a long time to heal. Some residual issues remain. See a therapist together. Find the right therapist, make changes in that regard if need be. In our case there were multiple underlying issues that we were not addressing. The affair forced us to face those issues. If it was not for DD, I would not have stayed, but I'm glad I did. We are in much better shape now than before he cheated, though I definitely don't recommend infidelity as a catalyst for change. Take the time you need to care for your self and LO. Don't feel pressured to forgive before you are ready. It may get harder before it gets better. It did for us. I love DP, we still struggle, but we are a family. We get up every day and try again. <img alt="hug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"></p>
 

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<p>Such a multi-faceted topic... so much to address, but throwing in this small bit for now,</p>
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<p>I worked things out, to an extent, with my cheating partner (he'd cheated only once, but it was for a YEAR long, and he lied to my face about it when I'd ask him if something was wrong for him in our relationship).  Anyway, We did work some things out, but, in the end I lost major self-esteem from it, and honestly, I lost even more by trying to work things out with him.  I get it now, that by letting him take that much of my power and trust, that I essentially *gave* away my own power and trust within myself.  It took me a very long time to realize this, and much more time to actually stop anyone else from walking all over me for doing that.  I made myself weak by trying to let someone who trashed me back in.  Hope that makes sense.</p>
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<p>I knew I was good and deserve an honest relationship and someone who truly wants to live and experience life with me... but, for whatever reasons, I became enraptured in trying to forgive this person and I ended up losing a LOT of self esteem when he took his time deciding if he wanted to work things out, if he wanted to try our relationship on another level, ETC</p>
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<p>For me, it wasn't worth the tears or the time (regretfully, now, looking back thru time wasted)  to make myself think that he was my "ONE" and that I should try to love it again.   Kids or no kids... you can decide if you want to work it out with someone who has already proven to disrespect you, or for you to prove to yourself that you have the passion to leave a situation that makes you feel less than, in order to find yourself, wholly, that leads to another positive situation, and eventually, some person who loves you in a complete and respectful way.</p>
 

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<p>Being kind of a cold voice here:  please take whatever steps may be necessary in your circumstances to protect your / your child's financial situation.</p>
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<p>As for your question about how you can trust your DH?  He'll have to show you that you can.  That's a combination of time and some heavy lifting on his part.</p>
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<p>Be good to yourself.  Best of luck . . . .</p>
 

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<p>I think you are mixing 3 issues, and that separating them might be helpful for you.</p>
<p> </p>
<ol><li>Forgiveness</li>
<li>Trust</li>
<li>Whether or not you want to stay married to him.</li>
</ol><p> </p>
<p>There are people who stay married but never forgive, and people who go separate ways but forgive. These aren't all dependent on each other. For me (and sadly I have been through this) I wanted to get to a point of forgiveness for my OWN sake, whatever I decided to do about him. For me, that was getting to a point of being able to face what happened, and move on. Not stay stuck. Let go. It was a long process and took a lot of therapy, but I can honestly say that I'm there now. Forgiveness doesn't depend on what he does next or whether or not you want to stay married to him. Don't rush forgiveness, because that can really just be a form of denial. I think that grief and mourning come first.</p>
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<p>Trust is different. You ask how you can trust him again, and the truth is that right now you can't. He broke it. For him to build it back is real work, consistently over a long period of time. Marriage counseling could help, as could figuring out what was wrong with the relationship in the first place, his character flaw that lead to this, etc. For us, it was about getting to root causes and making real changes. It took a long time and was painful. Again, don't rush it. You don't have any reason to trust him right now. You'd be a fool to. He needs to own up to that and get real about exactly how much he screwed up.</p>
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<p>Staying together or transitioning to co-parents is yet another question. I don't believe there is a right answer and a wrong one. I'm glad we worked through things. I'm glad for both our sakes and for our kids sakes. But honestly, it would have been easier to split. And if he hadn't been willing to change, grow, and be a better husband and father than he was before, I believe it would have been the right thing to do.   You don't have to decide this right now. You can have him move out for awhile and go to counseling together and see how you feel later. Or you can stay together now and separate months from now. You don't have to figure out the whole thing, just the next step. It doesn't have to be clear right now where that step is headed.</p>
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<p>Although what my DH did isn't my fault, I grew a lot, too. I've learned to set boundaries, take time for myself, and be very clear about my expectations for our relationship. I'm at perfect peace with us separating if he treats me with indifference, which was the only sign I had that something was wrong while he was involved with someone else.</p>
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<p>peace be the journey</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Linda on the move</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278870/dh-cheating-how-do-i-go-about-this#post_16043665"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><p> </p>
<p>. I'm glad we worked through things. I'm glad for both our sakes and for our kids sakes. But honestly, it would have been easier to split. And if he hadn't been willing to change, grow, and be a better husband and father than he was before, I believe it would have been the right thing to do.   You don't have to decide this right now. You can have him move out for awhile and go to counseling together and see how you feel later. Or you can stay together now and separate months from now. You don't have to figure out the whole thing, just the next step. It doesn't have to be clear right now where that step is headed.</p>
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<p>Although what my DH did isn't my fault, I grew a lot, too. I've learned to set boundaries, take time for myself, and be very clear about my expectations for our relationship. I'm at perfect peace with us separating if he treats me with indifference, which was the only sign I had that something was wrong while he was involved with someone else.</p>
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<p>peace be the journey</p>
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<p><br>
Yes to all of this.</p>
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<p> </p>
 

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<p>Go to Surviving Infidelity and also I think you need to snoop.  Chances are you have only discovered part of the truth and unfortunately many cheaters simply go further underground once caught.  Obviously, don't let him know you are looking.  There are many false reconciliations in cheating situations, hopefully you will not be one of them.</p>
 

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<p>Go to marriagebuilders.com</p>
<p> </p>
<p>There is so much to help you there...you don't have to know what to do yet. You have all the time you want and need to sort that out.</p>
<p>Sorry you are faced with this challenge. You can and will get through this and come out even stronger-- married to him or not.</p>
<p> </p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>frugalmum</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278870/dh-cheating-how-do-i-go-about-this#post_16044894"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Go to Surviving Infidelity and also I think you need to snoop.  Chances are you have only discovered part of the truth and unfortunately many cheaters simply go further underground once caught.  Obviously, don't let him know you are looking.  There are many false reconciliations in cheating situations, hopefully you will not be one of them.</p>
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<br><br><p>whoa. snooping just seems so wrong, especially when even thinking about building trust. i'm not really sure how to resolve this situation but i don't think that resorting to lying yourself is a good start...</p>
 

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<p>I'm going to personally disagree with that last statement.  In a strong marriage you shouldn't have any desire to snoop, but when one person has completely destroyed the trust with dishonest actions, I don't think there's anything wrong with snooping at least until that trust has been regained.  Chances are, that people who are doing that kind of stuff are just going to get defensive, deny everything, and do a better job of sneaking around if you ask them directly.  Also, it's not the OP's job to be building trust at the moment, that's up to her husband.</p>
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<p>Once my husband went to a party when he was pretending to go to work (3rd shift).  I watched him leave from a window and saw with my own eyes that he was wearing street shoes, and carrying his work boots so it would look like he went to work, yet when I confronted him later, he argued with me for three hours that I was just plain wrong, he had been wearing his boots.  Absolutely straight out telling me what I had SEEN with my own eyes was wrong.  Then when it became obvious that I wasn't backing down  (like I always used to) he admitted I was right.  Another time when I first found out about some dishonest things he had been doing via emails, I printed out all the emails I found.  And when I confronted him about that, he would deny EVERYTHING.  I constantly would have to say "well, actually, you DID say that, right here in this email on this date."  If I hadn't printed the emails, he would have just denied everything, told me I had misunderstood stuff etc etc and I would have ended up being very frustrated and confused.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>PlayaMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278870/dh-cheating-how-do-i-go-about-this#post_16045531"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>frugalmum</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278870/dh-cheating-how-do-i-go-about-this#post_16044894"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Go to Surviving Infidelity and also I think you need to snoop.  Chances are you have only discovered part of the truth and unfortunately many cheaters simply go further underground once caught.  Obviously, don't let him know you are looking.  There are many false reconciliations in cheating situations, hopefully you will not be one of them.</p>
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<br><br><p>whoa. snooping just seems so wrong, especially when even thinking about building trust. i'm not really sure how to resolve this situation but i don't think that resorting to lying yourself is a good start...</p>
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<p> on marriage builders i know snooping is one of the steps. she already has some information-she needs to really know what she is dealing with and how much. :hugs it has to be so hard. i wish you all the best!</p>
 

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<p><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Tarielena</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278870/dh-cheating-how-do-i-go-about-this#post_16046264"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I'm going to personally disagree with that last statement.  In a strong marriage you shouldn't have any desire to snoop, but when one person has completely destroyed the trust with dishonest actions, I don't think there's anything wrong with snooping at least until that trust has been regained.  Chances are, that people who are doing that kind of stuff are just going to get defensive, deny everything, and do a better job of sneaking around if you ask them directly.  Also, it's not the OP's job to be building trust at the moment, that's up to her husband.</p>
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<p>Once my husband went to a party when he was pretending to go to work (3rd shift).  I watched him leave from a window and saw with my own eyes that he was wearing street shoes, and carrying his work boots so it would look like he went to work, yet when I confronted him later, he argued with me for three hours that I was just plain wrong, he had been wearing his boots.  Absolutely straight out telling me what I had SEEN with my own eyes was wrong.  Then when it became obvious that I wasn't backing down  (like I always used to) he admitted I was right.  Another time when I first found out about some dishonest things he had been doing via emails, I printed out all the emails I found.  And when I confronted him about that, he would deny EVERYTHING.  I constantly would have to say "well, actually, you DID say that, right here in this email on this date."  If I hadn't printed the emails, he would have just denied everything, told me I had misunderstood stuff etc etc and I would have ended up being very frustrated and confused.</p>
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hmmm.... i guess for me, morally, i could not do that. at some point, doing something morally wrong because someone has done something morally wrong to you is not justified. it reminds me of the whole, "he hit me first!" type of arguments i used to have with my brother. at some point, you have to look at yourself in the mirror and know that your actions leave you with no guilt, not because they are justified, but because they are the right thing to do.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>i'm really sorry that your partner attempted to deny evidence and confuse you and that you are at peace with the action you needed to take to protect yourself.</p>
 

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<p><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>jess_paez</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278870/dh-cheating-how-do-i-go-about-this#post_16046283"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>PlayaMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278870/dh-cheating-how-do-i-go-about-this#post_16045531"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>frugalmum</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278870/dh-cheating-how-do-i-go-about-this#post_16044894"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Go to Surviving Infidelity and also I think you need to snoop.  Chances are you have only discovered part of the truth and unfortunately many cheaters simply go further underground once caught.  Obviously, don't let him know you are looking.  There are many false reconciliations in cheating situations, hopefully you will not be one of them.</p>
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<br><br><p>whoa. snooping just seems so wrong, especially when even thinking about building trust. i'm not really sure how to resolve this situation but i don't think that resorting to lying yourself is a good start...</p>
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<p> on marriage builders i know snooping is one of the steps. she already has some information-she needs to really know what she is dealing with and how much. :hugs it has to be so hard. i wish you all the best!</p>
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so, i guess the logic is, you can't trust your partner anyway so it's okay if you invade their personal space without telling them. while it may be justifiable, it still doesn't feel right to me. i guess everyone has to make their own choices depending upon their personal values. if the op feels okay with it, then that's fine, doing it because a website tells you it's okay... well, it doesn't feel right to me, but it seems like this goes back to everyone making choices they are comfortable with for themselves.</p>
 
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