Marriage and the Husband-Wife Relationship/Is it too late???

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Question
My husband and I have been together 17 years, married for 16. The past 11 have been a constant struggle. While I was pregnant with our 2nd child, he moved out and had an affair, with my best friend from high school to make it worse. It lasted about 4 months before he moved back home, but he was in contact with her for months after that. We did counseling, which seemed to help at the time, but then we were told we were ok and no longer needed to go to sessions. So, we didn't go any more. We moved to another state, with his job but with having 2 kids under 5 at home, and him at a new job, i felt completely left out. He just kept working more & more. We grew apart again. We decided to move home, got a better job back home & I thought we were going to be better. Within 4 months of moving, he moved out again and had another affair with a girl he had worked with. That time, I fought every step of the way to keep in contact with him, and he did move back after about 6 months. And things seemed perfect between us, we were having so much fun & closer than ever before. But about 5 months later, I found that he was looking on porn sites etc and using the name of the last girl as his password. This went on for years. I confronted him, told him I knew and it needed to stop. But the damage to how it made me feel was done. I began to withdraw from him. So once again, we grew apart. Before Christmas 2011 I told him we were headed to divorce unless things changed. We did some things together, but I never felt like he was really trying and I know I didn't try very hard, I was tired of feeling like I was doing all the work, doing things how he wanted, but yet he was the one always doing stuff behind my back. He told me in July that he wanted our marriage to work, when I asked why he just said that he did but never once told me he loved me. Then in Aug I get a call, from the husband of the girl he had had the last affair with and said they were having one again. He tells me he never did, but I know he was talking to her for months, even went to help her one night & put her up in a hotel room (admittedly to see if he could do it and walk away from her) all while he was supposed to be coming to join the kids & I at the lake. So I kicked him out of the house. He actually ended up moving into the basement because I was afraid to be alone, this husband who had called is crazy & I was scared. He lived in the basement for 4 months, bought another house to remodel but remained at home until New Years. I forced him to move out. I begged him for space, he was constantly on me to take him back, that he would do anything promised me everything. But I just couldn't bring myself to put my trust in him at that moment. So he moved out and within 2 weeks, I was missing him. We met to discuss something one night, and I told him  I was missing him, missing us. He said he wanted to talk about it some more later. (He was taking kids to his house & when our daughter broke down, he invited me to go too. So I went & spent the night, but we never did finish that talk.) I didn't push it, we were getting along better talking, so I was just letting things go & see where it went. Then in mid March, my kids find a picture on his iPad of him with another girl. He started seeing her just weeks after moving to his house. He says I kicked him out, told him I wanted a divorce (which I did, in the middle of a huge fight we were having & he was saying horrible things to me), so he moved on and now he wants the divorce. We have talked some since I found out, and one time he said he wanted us to be a family so bad, but is afraid we will just end up making the same mistakes. He is now blaming me, that I didn't fulfill him and treated him so bad and that there is not way we are getting back together. I filed for divorce and he has been served the papers, but this is not what I want. I am now packing our house, which we sold and am having to move my kids and me in with my parents until I can figure out a house, which hopefully he is going to help me buy. I'm going to counseling myself just to help deal with all the confusion and pain, but all I really want is my family back. Everyone I know tells me to just move on, he'll never change. But even now, I still love him. I know we have both made mistakes of our own, but never once have I cheated on him. I feel like I'm the one losing though, me and our kids. He has his new house, new girlfriend, new life and isn't looking back. How can I get through to him? Is there any way under heaven, and believe me I pray constantly, to get him to come home & work on our marriage? I know there are things we can do to fix this, but I can't even get him to look in my direction. What can I do? Giving up after 17 years together is just killing me. I thought we'd have forever, now I'm staring at the end in a couple of months. Please help me get my husband back!

Answer
Hi Lorrie,
I'm sorry to hear about your situation; it sounds like you have been on a rough ride. There are a lot of things going on here which makes it very difficult to give you a quick answer (in fact, there isn't one). I have a couple of programs which help people work through this process, but I can give you a few ideas here to get you moving in the right direction:
- focus on your own happiness. How can you create a happy life for yourself, one that does not have to be dependent on your husband or your family? When you are a happy person with a future you feel better about yourself - and ironically you are much more attractive to others, including your husband
- look at your fears. What are you afraid of in the marriage ending? Being alone? Not finding someone else who will love you or who you will love? Losing the respect of your children? Making mistakes? You need to look at all of your fears and find a way to move past them and to see that they either won't happen or they won't be as bad as you think.

Currently you are letting your life be controlled by your marriage and your husband. If you do the above the "hold" will loosen and either 1) he will see the wonderful person that you really are and want to come back to you, or 2) you will realise you can be much happier somewhere else and you will then go and find it. You win either way.

I hope this is of some help. You can be happy again if you decide that you won't be dependent on anyone for that. If you step out in faith you will be surprised what/who comes along to help you.

I wish you all the best,

Liam

Marriage and the Husband-Wife Relationship

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Liam Naden

Expertise

I specialise in helping couples save their marriage and rebuild it after major hurts such as an affair. Creating intimacy, removing hurt, dealing with sexual and communication problems. I have two relationship-saver programs and a free podcast which are available from my website www.liamnaden.com and a free report, "The Five Keys to Saving Your Marriage Now" at www.growinginloveforlife.com.

Experience

Relationship coach with own relationship coaching business. Author of several books on marriage and intimacy. I offer two relationship saving programs: "Stop Your Divorce" and "Save Your Marriage" which have helped many couples save their marriage and rebuild their love and intimacy.

Publications
About.com Amazon Kindle: Author of the ""Growing in Love for Life" series of ebooks for saving and strengthening marriage.

Education/Credentials
Master of Arts (First Class Honors)

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