I get that you are embarrassed because you think that his cheating reflects something bad about you. That he cheated because of something you said, or didn’t say, something you did or didn’t do. The truth is he cheated because he wanted to. He made the choice to get attention that he didn’t deserve from other women.
Cheating is a choice not a mistake. A mistake is adding salt to your coffee because salt and sugar look so similar. He chose to pursue other women all on his own. No one forced him to cheat. No one put a gun to his head. Don’t you dare take the blame for him deciding to cheat. Don’t let him disrespect you by blaming you for his bad choices.
Your self worth should not be attached to this man. You are fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and you should not feel less than how God made you because of your husband’s weaknesses to go outside the marriage. You had an open marriage and didn’t even know it. According to the Bible, you can divorce him because he broke the marriage covenant first.
Cheaters are shallow people who have nothing to offer anyone other than grief and pain. Shallow people cheat with shallow people. They are hallow on the inside. They try to fill up their emptiness by having sex with other hallow people, but they both come up empty. The cheaters have nothing to offer each other. These people are broken, and you should see your husband as a person looking in all the wrong places to fill his soul. Sad really.
I was dating this guy in college who one day told me that if we ever got married, he was going to cheat on me. At the time, I was very young, and upset as to why he would tell me such a thing. Luckily, I quit seeing him. He used to tell me about when he would visit brothels which didn’t sit very well with me. All these years later, I count my self lucky to have left him behind. I dodged a bullet with him. I have to give him credit for at least knowing himself well enough that he already knew he was going to be unfaithful. I was never going to be his one and only, but one of many. I don’t know what ever happened to him, but I would venture to guess his life was filled with pain and misery.
He at least told me what he was going to do. I have to give him credit for telling me in advance what my life would look like, and it was not going to be pretty. He knew himself. Some people never disclose their true intentions and wind up hurting others.
It makes you wonder why people are never satisfied with what they have. They have to constantly look for that missing piece of the puzzle. Maybe he didn’t get enough love from women, and this is why he cheating.
In the eighties, there was a British soul and pop band called Simply Red with the lead vocalist named Mick Hucknail. One of my favorite songs was entitled STARS. Anyway, growing up Mick’s mother abandoned him and his father for someone else. After Mick became famous, he said that in one year he had slept with over 1,000 women. Some days he had sex with 2-3 women. Years later, he was able to look back at his life and realize that he was seeking love from women to make up for being abandoned and not getting love from his mother. He publicly apologized to all those women he used to make himself feel better about himself by using them for sex just to get attention.
I don’t know if your hubby has abandonment issues. There are some questions that you need to ask which might give you a clue about his background.
1. When did he start having sex? If it was as a teenager, studies have shown that the earlier someone starts having sex, the more likely they are to cheat.
2. Was he exposed to porn at an early age? Porn messes with your brain and distorts sex as not being something special.
3. Was he sexually abuse as a child? This will make a person become promiscuous.
4. Was he physically abused? Hurt people hurt people.
5. Is he a sex addict? He has to have sex with multiple women.
All these events will cause people a skewed look at sex. Sometimes people will hide these events in their lives, but their problems will eventually appear in your relationship.
I don’t know if you have heard of Ester Perel. She is a famous therapist in NYC. She has a podcast that you can listen for FREE at stitcher.com. It’s from her series WHERE SHOULD WE BEGIN. One of her podcasts is entitled THE ADDICT. It’s about a couple where the husband had been unfaithful for most of their marriage. After being found out, he confessed to being exposed to porn at a very young age and being sexually abused by a close friend. He cheated on his wife for 22 years all because of his experiences as a young boy. She had no idea about his history which was front and center in their marriage right now. The wife’s daughter will not allow her children to be around grandpa because she is afraid he will do something to the grandkids.
I don’t know your husband’s background, or if he had any experiences that affect him today. Have the conversation to try and figure out why he does what he does. If he doesn’t know, he needs to go to therapy. If there are no consequences for his actions, he’ll very gladly keep doing what he’s doing. You have to change the dance by putting boundaries in place. Example: If he’s still seeing someone behind your back, he’s out of the house. Disrespect is not tolerated.
There are some videos on YouTube by Affair Recovery that address ambivalence on your husband’s part.
1. What do you do when your spouse is ambivalent?
2. Changing the dance of ambivalence
3. When they won’t decide: Understanding why a spouse won’t commit either way
4. When you don’t know who to choose
5. It’s time to cut the anchor
6. When betrayed spouses are perceived as needy or codependent
7. Ambivalence is always the end of the marriage help for those in crisis due to infidelity
8. They get to say no, but life is going to change ( My favorite video)
9. The Day Samantha Told Me She Wanted a Separation
Dr. Phil has a video that I came across entitled Dr. Phill to Betrayed wife: Don’t blame yourself for husband’s affair.
You need to know that being needy is not good. Don’t beg them to stay or bribe them, or plead with them to not leave you. All this screams that you are weak and will make them run the other way. You have to be strong. Like Lady Gaga, show him your POKER FACE. No crying, no pleading, no begging, nothing. Listen to Samuel’s videos. They are very helpful. Once you have set your boundaries, if he breaks your boundaries, follow through with consequences, or he will never believe that you mean what you say. It’s hard, but you have to become a WARRIOR and stand up for yourself. You are not a doormat. If he senses that it’s OK to clean his boots all over your doormat, he’ll keep doing it and not respect you at all because you don’t mean what you say.
Watch those videos, and see if there was anything in his background that could have contributed to him being a serial cheater. If he wants to be with you, there needs to be total transparency pertaining to passwords. There should not be any secrets between married people. If there is any contact with his AP, he needs to tell you right away. He needs to cut contact with others decisively. Being in contact with his AP while trying to reconcile with you is prohibited. If he’s living in the same house as you, throw him out. You have standards, and he’s not living up to them.
I hope some of this is useful. Stand up for yourself, and don’t let him walk all over you. Be a WARRIOR not a doormat.
Best of luck to you. Stay strong.