It’s been six months since leaving my husband for another man…

Guest post by Hetti Anne

It has been six months since leaving my husband. Six months since I left him for another man. Six months that I have been experiencing the utmost happiness, while also experiencing the most gut-wrenching guilt. Six months that I have been paying for my choice through reduced access to my most amazing children ever. Six months where I have stayed silent on this topic because of the guilt and fear of being judged for what I did.

I’m not staying silent anymore.

When I married I meant what I said in my vows, and never intended for it to be my “starter marriage” like some do. It was a forever thing. Or so I thought…

Unfortunately, some small differences grew to be bigger ones over the years. And for a while I was sitting alone at night working out a budget for “if we did split.” Could we afford the house and cars and daycare and child expenses, and everything else?

I loved my house and my neighbourhood, and I knew if I was the one to leave I would have to give that all up. We have children, and I had no idea how this would affect them — I had no idea how to co-parent, or how to share time, or any of those things.

But, as those lonely nights became more — with him downstairs and me upstairs — I didn’t know how much longer I could do it for.

Instead of facing my unhappiness and voicing my concerns I put on a happy face, sent loving text messages every day, and slept around in secret.

It didn’t make me feel good, the guilt was killing me. But, knowing that I could feel attractive and wanted again made me keep going back for more. Until eventually everything changed overnight. Someone who I had been attracted to for awhile showed interest. And, after the first kiss, I knew that I couldn’t stay married any longer.

One night, as my husband and I were sitting down to watch a movie, I blurted out that I had been cheating. I left that night and moved out soon after.

I never wanted to cause as much hurt as I did that night — he hadn’t done anything to deserve that, but I didn’t know how else to handle the situation.

It was selfish, and, for that, I live with the guilt of it.

My children suffered through three moves in six months — switching school, varying schedules, and parents with ever-changing temperaments. I can’t watch a movie with a mom and kids in it and not cry anymore, no matter if it is a happy or sad movie.

The nights my kids aren’t with me, I miss them every single minute. Being a “part-time” parent was never my wish. My kids can drive me crazy but I still want to be there for all of the insane and hair pulling moments. I want to be there to kiss them when they are hurt, and to tell them to go to sleep a million times each evening.

But I wake up now every morning happy — despite my homewrecker label.

The kids are adjusting, and opening up to me about their feelings. And I see a light at the end of the tunnel. If I could do it all over again I would try to do it differently, but I would still do it. Because, despite all the problems, and my guilt, I am happier, and that makes me a better mom and a better partner.

Who else has found happiness in leaving their partner?

Comments on It’s been six months since leaving my husband for another man…

  1. It is time to forgive yourself for all of the fragile hearts you fumbled with in the dark of your confusion.

    That’s part of a quote I read recently that struck such a chord with me. So many times, people try to tell us that it’s okay or we didn’t really hurt anyone. It’s important to acknowledge the ones we hurt, as you have done. But it’s also important to acknowledge that you cannot change that hurt. You can only forgive yourself and try to show more love and kindness and forgiveness. I’m sorry you felt driven to a path that caused such pain to so many people. I’m sorry that your guilt and fear over what people would say kept you quiet for so long. I hope you find peace and happiness and that you’re able to share that with your children, your new partner, and your co-parent.

    • She didn’t fumble his heart, it’s more like she spiked it in the end zone and then kicked a field goal with it.

  2. Just out of curiosity, I’d love to hear more of your story as far as why you and your husband were so unhappy… what happened, did you do anything to try to work on your marriage, did he know how unhappy you were, did you ever talk about it or go to counseling, etc. etc. The thing that struck me was the inclusion of the fact that you were still sending him loving text messages every day while sleeping around. Why? Were you just playing a role or trying to bridge the gap or covering your tracks…? As a reader it would help me understand where you were coming from if there was a little more to this story.

    I’m happy to hear you’ve found happiness despite the turmoil and obvious difficulties. I think fleshing out the background would help readers empathize more and make your story more relatable. Best of luck to you.

    • My marriage was not that bad, and my husband is a great man and great father. Unfortunately I don’t handle conflict well, and over the years found myself drifting apart from him as we had very different ideas and ideals of what we enjoyed. I should have talked more about it, we probably should have gone to counselling. I never wanted to hurt him and for a long time I figured that I better become a better person and change because my morals were lacking. But, I knew the discussion would be one of judgement, there were already hurt feelings from previous things done in the relationship that were always lingering in the background, even if they were never spoken about. The truth was that I never felt good enough for him, not being myself anyway. And, that isn’t to say that being a lying cheating wife I should have felt good, or he should have accepted me for that. Before any of that I had felt the same. I guess the lying and cheating was my way to “justify” my feelings.

      Obviously I have work to do on myself, I am not perfect. I do not think cheating on your partner is a good idea, and I recognize the hurt that it causes and I do not wish that on anyone.

  3. Just here to say that you are not alone. I have been in your shoes – going on one year. It takes a while to work on yourself, acknowledge the mistakes that you made/the pain caused to your partner, and deal with judgmental people who have their moral hats on (whether that be people in your life or other commenters on this thread). There’s a lot to this journey (positive and negative), and while I don’t have regrets of leaving my partner for someone else, I will always think of my past partner and wish him positive thoughts. Our journey is hard for people to understand, but your life is about your happiness, not theirs.

    Thank you for being brave enough to share your story, even though it must have been difficult and hard to do.

    • Yes!!! I don’t regret my decision to leave, just the way that I did it. And I will live with that because I made the mistakes, and I own that it was my fault. It still hurts sometimes though, and it will take time to get over that for both of us I think.

      • Hetti, are you still happy with your new man? I’m in a dilemma with my marriage and I wonder if I can talk to you about it.

      • Hetti, I know this is an old post from you but I am in this place for 5 years with someone I love and trying not to hurt my family while I am hurting from loneliness. You said you would do it differently, how would you do it in hindsight ?

      • I was the one that was left in a similar situation. It has been 3.5 years and I’m still in deep pain. Not to say I should not have moved on for my own self and for my kids who were also blasted by this separation.
        It is true that how you leave makes a big difference. All I wanted was the opportunity to see if my spouse and I could have sought counseling and drug in deep to plant new seeds of love. Could we have persevered and come out of the other side more in love, and stronger because we whether a tremendous storm.

  4. I was in a very similar situation. I am extremely happy with my new husband, more than I thought possible. However, the guilt that you talk about is tremendous for me. I feel terrible for cheating on someone who was, overall, a good husband. I never, ever would have thought I would leave him. I really can’t get over the guilt I feel, even though I am happy and feel like my new husband is a true partner to me. This is something I haven’t talked about with anyone (the guilt) so, thank you for sharing.

    • It’s hard to talk about because cheating isn’t a good thing. I am lucky that I have some amazing friends who support me, but I lost of friends in this too because they think I’m a terrible person. I may have made a terrible choice, but that doesn’t make me a terrible person. At least that is what I keep trying to tell myself.

  5. I don’t understand this post. Is the reader supposed to get some sort of value or lesson out of it, or is the author just declaring her facts in the situation? Is it “offbeat” now to cheat on our spouses? Or is the revolution in no longer feeling bad about it?

    • Valid questions. I think Offbeat tries to provide a forum for people to discuss things that have always been kept quiet out of propriety. There have always been cheating spouses and there have always been people who were happier with their new partners than their old ones. But those weren’t topics people talked about, so the people struggling with guilt or misery or fear felt very alone. What is “offbeat” isn’t so much the story as it is that we can bring these topics into the light so we can stand together and say, “Yes, I’ve felt that way too. I didn’t realize it wasn’t just me!”

      I would venture a guess that no one at Offbeat expected this post to be uncontroversial. If it doesn’t float your boat, that’s okay! Your opinion and perspective are valid. Thank you for sharing it with us.

      • I don’t think I can sum up our reasons for publishing this post, and many other controversial posts like it, than this comment! Thank, Cassie. You nailed it with “Offbeat tries to provide a forum for people to discuss things that have always been kept quiet out of propriety.”

        As the person who accepted, edited, and published this post, I have to say it really personally resonated with me. My husband left me, totally out of the blue, and devastated the FUCK out of me. And, then, a few months later when we were both out of a bad relationship, when we were both with people that made us happy, and both living better lives, I couldn’t stop thanking him for making what must have been the hardest choice he’s ever had to make thus far. This post actually reminded me to thank him again.

        Relationships are messy and wonderful and awful, and I believe that ALL those messy/wonderful/awful stories are worth telling and reading.

      • Unfortunately, “happier with a new partner” lasts as long as romantic love, 2 years. Then the new passion dies and there is a need to monkey branch to a new shiny fresh partner. This behavior normally goes on until the woman hits the wall and is no longer attractive, with 5 kids from 4 different husbands. At that point her mileage and baggage are too high, and she gets a cat or a few cats because nobody wants anything to do with her. It is best to look in the mirror and examine what causes this behavior.

    • Everyone has a voice. This author is allowed to express hers. Offbeat is providing her that space.

    • I feel terrible about what I did. Any because people are judged so harshly when they cheat many have to live with guilt and negative feelings, and lost friends and have no outlet for that because they are the one who caused the pain, so they don’t get to claim that they have any.
      I am learning many lessons everyday since I left, and I will live with the guilt too. I’m okay with that, or becoming okay with that anyway but those in a similar situation can see that it is okay to feel bad and say so! Sure, I screwed up and I am not asking for a free pass on that, just the ability to explain my side of the story and realize that it is not a guilt free/ pain free ride on this side either. And, I do not want anyone’s sympathy, or think I deserve it! I know I was 10% in the wrong, and that is the choice I made and the consequences I live with. But, that doesn’t mean those in the situation should have to stay silent

      • You’re are certainly free to make any choices you want; right or wrong. 10% wrong….really? I think you forgot a “0” on the end of that 10%.

  6. I appreciate the author’s writing this because it is interesting to get a glimpse of a perspective we don’t often hear from.

    But I’m afraid I still really can’t empathize. Especially when we have no real picture of what was wrong, what (if anything) was attempted to make it better, etc… I am divorced myself, and there are things I could have done better. But when I found my relationship lacked intimacy, I bent over backwards to make stay honest- we had a thousand difficult discussions, we opened our relationship, and eventually he chose another woman (and a general “life of polyamory”, which I found didn’t suit me) over me. Frankly it would’ve been easier to cheat, but having been on the other side, I couldn’t do that to someone.

    And, jesus, you can initiate a divorce without throwing the extra pain of “I’ve been cheating on you and I’m leaving you for him” in there, yikes. Insult to injury.

    • Just throwing my voice into the discussion as another person who has been cheated on…

      The author of the post is not obligated to share every last detail of what was clearly a painful experience for all involved parties with us, a bunch of random people on the internet. While we may not understand — and may never understand — it is my personal opinion that it is not whether or not we hurt others in this life that defines us, but how we react to hurting them.

      To me, it truly seems like the author is in the middle of a process, looking at the choices they made and what lead to them, their own pain and the pain of their family, and that they need to be witnessed in this process. It’s such taboo to talk about cheating, even if the relationship is unhealthy (which I don’t mean to imply this one was, as you’re right that we don’t know many details). Perhaps this is one of the few ways the author could truly feel witnessed and heard and able to talk about their experience at all.

      • Of course, she’s not obligated to share every detail with anyone. But when choosing to write an article looking for commiseration, empathy, & understanding, leaving out crucial details to humanize your perspective will negatively affect that message.

        Without it, this reads like “Yeah, I did what I did and it was bad, but I want permission to not feel bad about it anymore.” Maybe that is what the message was supposed to be? It’s still unclear.

          • What’s the point of marriage then? Seems pointless if you can just leave a life-long commitment (Your vows do say this) just because you don’t want to put effort into the relationship (Which she admits).

            I mean, let’s face it. Marriage is a sham. People don’t even really honor it. Seems like this world should just abolish it and be done so to save all the honest people of the world from actually believing when someone says they’ll love them till final days.

          • “Wanting to leave is reason enough to leave.”

            Very true, but does that by itself justify leaving in *any* manner possible?

            If spouse is a danger to self or others, then yes, grab the kids, yank that yellow handle and let the ejection seat take care of the rest. No looking back. No regrets.

            BUT…if there was no danger, just a lot of unspoken, glossed over unhappiness that’s been jammed between the seat cushions, then perhaps husband should have been given a *chance* to rectify the situation. Therapy. Counseling. Heck, even just an honest heart-to-heart.

            If he chose to do nothing, or be a phallus about it, or if all good faith efforts failed, then fine, it may well be time to leave. No shame, there.

            But dropping the hat trick of bombs that 1) wife has been unfaithful, 2) she wants to split up, and 3) she is moving out tonight is kind of a manipulative exit, really. Husband was robbed of any and all agency in the matter, as the decision was made *for* him behind his back long ago.

            Not liking confrontation isn’t a sufficient excuse.

            I hope OP has learned better coping behaviors for when things get rough.

          • Marriage is about committing to working together to create a healthy relationship despite being unhappy.

    • Judge much, A? Not constructive to tell the author off by your last sentence. What’s done is done. Don’t be an ass about it.

    • Sure, I could have left him and not told him I was cheating. But, at that point everything needed to be laid on the table and the truth needed to come out. Not because I wanted to hurt him more, but because if I didn’t someone would have told him and that would have been worse.

      Should I have tried harder, maybe. Should I have done more, likely. But, I didn’t. Relationships are unique to each couple/ group of people and this is how mine played out.

      I’m glad that you and your ex stayed honest and tried to work things out. And I’m sorry in the end it didn’t work out.

      That isn’t my story though, and I know I caused pain and I hate that.

      • Honestly, having been in your exact position Hetti, it’s nice just to read that others have experienced it and continue to ruminate on the same sort of feelings.

        And no, I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m looking to share

      • You should go back to your husband and start fresh…your husband has now fear of loosing you, he will obey anything you say….. Keep your communications with your husband open and everything will be fine

      • My ex wife cheated on me and is one of the most painful thing i ever felt, i wish she should have just divorce me before cheating or at least not tell me, know i have grown to almost hate her for all the 22 year i spend with her just to trow them away. It feel like she die. hate , anger sadness, i wish all the luck to your ex husband.

      • I really get you and what happened in your marriage.
        I understand you for jus blurting out about your affair. I did the same. Not because i wanted to hurt him but so mich had been building over the years and when i met this new guy, i felt or at least thought i was happy. Only to realize 2 years later how i could have tried to work things out. I did it all counseling, separation but it didnt work out. Right now i have discovered im not happy anymore. The person who i thought was ‘the one’ has broken me with his cheating, lack of commitment and it has killed me inside.
        Im slowly trying to build myself up by upgrading myself so that i make a life for me.
        My ex has since remarried, has a child and i know he is now happy.
        I avoid him at all costs because it pains me more.
        He was physically abusive but most times i pushed him to it because i needed validation.

        People talk about me, they judge me, but its ok. Im looking to healing inside and building myself.

  7. As the one who was cheated on, I find the author’s perspective of being the cheater interesting. I remember trying to work it out, the thing about working it out, well it only works if both want to do so…. In many relationships this isn’t the case. I think about all the time I wasted on trying to get him to workout our issues, meanwhile his whole immediate family and his circle of friends were helping him to continue the relationship with his mistress. There was so much more I could’ve been doing to myself happy instead.

    It’s never easy to walk away from a relationship no matter what side you are on. The hurt is real and it may never go away. Everyone deserves to find their own happiness, and in a perfect world that would happen not the expense of others, but the world isn’t perfect.

    Also when it comes to the loss of friendships, it’s hard, over Tim I found that the loss of them was actually a good thing for my mental health. There was no risk in being told updates on the X and that makes it easier to pretend they don’t exist and at times keeping yourself sane.

  8. Though i empathise with what you’ve been through, and the hard choices you’ve made, I want to ask you to examine why you felt the need to include this line:

    When I married I meant what I said in my vows, and never intended for it to be my “starter marriage” like some do. It was a forever thing.

    It feels like you’re trying to distance yourself from other people who’ve had their relationships break down by invalidating their reasons while elevating your own. There’s no wrong reason to end a relationship, and I think it’s important for you to embrace that fact to help you move on from your marriage. You are exactly the same as people who had “starter marriages”. They didn’t make those vows thinking they were anything other than a “forever thing” and they went through the same pain and guilt and grief you have. That they are on the other side, and can look back and call those relationships “starter marriages” now is because they’ve accepted that those relationships didn’t work out the way they hoped, learnt from them, and are ready to move on with that experience to guide them.

    You need to do the same, and embrace the lessons your starter marriage taught you about communicating your needs. Otherwise every relationship is a starter marriage, or a non-starter.

    • I was talking about the people who legit go into marriages thinking that it will not be their last. Those who joke about it, but honestly believe that it is their first marriage, and not their last. That’s fine if that works for them, but it wasn’t what I thought when I got married

      I get that marriages break down for all kinds of reasons, and have no judgement on that. Just that I had thought it was my one and only marriage when I entered into it

  9. 2 things, Hetti:
    I’m not sure why you’re not able to be with your kids, but think of all the incarcerated mothers who have committed actual crimes they severely regret and will never be with their children. What you’ve done is not so big if you look at it from their shoes. Maybe that’s not helpful, but it’s what came to mind for me, reading this.

    A good friend once told me guilt helps no one. Martyrdom (i.e. repenting/feeling guilt) helps no one. Once you have acknowledged what you did wrong and vow to do better in the future, it’s in your own and your children’s best interests to have compassion for yourself (not to be confused with self-pity).
    Much love. Marriage is hard. Mine failed immediately after vows were said in total earnest (cheat-free, but misery-filled just the same).

    • I share custody of my children, but am not the primary caregiver as I didn’t want to uproot them from their home when I left. It’s hard having him use them as pawns when he is made at something I do and then decide to reduce my access and claim that it is better for the kids that way. We are working on it, but have a long road to go. I just try to be the best mom I can be when I do have them, and let them know how much they are loved by everyone.

      • Telling your spouse you cheated on them, then leaving him, and leaving him with most of the responsibility of raising the children is a lot for anyone to deal with. Regardless of how painful it is for you to not see your kids, from his perspective, he’s just been dealt a couple of pretty big blows that he’s had no control over, AND he might feel like you’re not carrying your share of the parenting responsibilities. If you’ve started a new life with the person who you left your spouse for, limiting access might be honestly what he feels is best (right or wrong, it’s not an illegitimate feeling, and doesn’t necessarily mean he’s being vindictive).

          • I get that you cheated,but did you really think you leaving the kids in their home was a good idea. I’m sorry, but putting another man ahead of your children is selfish. You may not think so, but I’m guessing dad is trying to explain many things to them in your absence. It’s a cop out,and flowering it up doesn’t change anything. Your selfish,and I think your relationship with your kids will never be where you want it to be. Forget the pain they have gone through and will take with them in life….just saying

  10. I resonate a lot with this. I was 100% committed to my marriage and thought I’d never give up. Until I was so miserable I felt I was sinking. Fortunately we had no kids to complicate things.

    Thanks for sharing your processing, healing and internal battles.

  11. Interesting look into what can happen to relationships/marriage. Having worked very hard at a marriage that ended in divorce I wonder if the author has learned enough from the divorce to prevent being unhappy in another few years (months, etc) with the new person. It’s often not about the other person, but about our own weaknesses and areas for growth. I’m still friends with my x-husband and I have tried very hard to remember the lessons learned from the end of that marriage. I hope that the author can do the same.

  12. Thank you so much for writing this!
    I have been looking for a post like this somewhere on the the internet since May, since my story is quite similar, although no kids or state approved contracts are at play.
    The whole story is below, as it got quite long, but I have a few BURNING QUESTIONS
    (for Hetti, or anyone, who also has been through this):
    – Do you ever feel guilt for not trying to save the original relationship?
    – How do you cope with anniversaries, important dates, your songs and places you went together?
    – Do you share your guilt and grief with your new partner, or do you try to keep it to yourself?

    And now for the story (though it is more me, trying to get it out of the system):
    I thought my ex was The One. The first guy I really trusted. The first guy I wanted to marry. The first guy I told I loved him and believed it.
    We moved in together 2 weeks after our first kiss, but we knew each other 2 years prior.
    We knew we had the same values and the same life plans.
    I don’t want kids, neither does he. We wanted to buy an apartment in the same part of our city, we both love cars, architecture, theater, etc., you get the picture.
    I was really happy with this guy and meant it, when I told him, that I wanted to be with him for all the years to come.

    But this early December, a week after we went to check out first apartment to buy (and then agreed to postpone our home buying plans for a year or two for financial reasons) I found myself at my company’s Christmas party at 2 AM starting a conversation with a coworker I had never talked to before, but had definitely noticed.
    We talked all through the night til 7 AM, I did not mention my boyfriend the whole time.
    I wanted to kiss him when we were leaving, but I didn’t and did not show any intention, but there was a weird moment nevertheless.
    He friended me on Facebook after he woke up and asked if I wanted to see him before the end of the weekend (party was on Friday, so this was Saturday noon, approximately).
    I made up a generic excuse that I was busy, still no mention of boyfriend.
    Only in the afternoon, I found the courage to tell him.
    We did not speak together until Tuesday. Some coworkers were asking what happened, as few of them knew we were together the whole night talking (there were a few of them with us at the afterparty).

    We made a pact to be friends and were so naive we believed it for a while, but we texted constantly.
    A week later, there was a good bye party for another coworker, where we told each other we fell in love with each other. I knew it was wrong (as polyamory was not an option for my ex, which I knew from conversations we had before all of this started), but I wanted him in my life so badly.

    The texting continued and we started seeing each other once a week. I took him shopping for gifts with me. When Christmas Eve came, and I was home alone since my ex went to see his parents, we texted til 4 AM.
    I was still convinced there was a way out of this, and did not have any plans to go on, but also I did not want to apply the brakes. So I did not.
    We exchanged Christmas gifts in early January and we hugged for the first time on the same day.
    We started going for tea or coffee at work.
    We started hugging regularly.
    At the end of January, we have already kissed.
    I think the relationship with my ex was doomed the moment I told this new guy not to plan anything for the last week of February, as my boyfriend went to a conference out of the country.
    We spent the whole week together. We slept together, in an innocent way, every night.
    We cooked and baked together. We were in a relationship for that week.
    On the last day we slept together.
    I knew one of the relationships should end. But I was so torn.
    We cried together almost every time we saw each other.

    My relationship with my ex started to crumble.
    We used to spend all the time together and now I was away from home two to three times a week
    (which I do not find unreasonable, within different circumstances) which caused huge fights.
    I was stuck for two more months. I knew any decision I would make someone hurt, so I just did not make one, but I was hurting all of us three all the way.

    In the end, I made up my mind, and chose a life with this new person, over the steady love and certainty. Only time will tel if I was right, but I just could not go on like that and the ship has sailed now.
    I do not regret it, as I am much happier with him, than I was with my ex.
    We laugh together all the time and I believe we will handle all the sh*t life throws at us.

    (Later I realized what exactly drove me away from my ex.
    Some of it was housewife impostor syndrome – he was six years older than me, so he had a car, we lived in apartment filled with all of his nice stuff… combined with confusion between feminism and capitalism has made me asses my value as a women and in this relationship as much lower than his, since I only made about a third of money he made. I never felt like my opinion on what to do and buy with the money mattered as it mostly was not my money.
    If I had worked on this issue, we could have saved the relationship.

    If I fought for my freedom to be out of the house three times a week, we could have saved the relationship.

    Etc., etc.)

    So on the other hand, I do really regret it.
    I know that my ex is at fault too, but the vast majority of cause and guilt is mine. I know that. And I feel guilty and I regret every day what I did to the person I once wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I hope he heals and learns to love again. I hope life treats him well. I hope that one day he might forgive me, but I cannot expect that.

    I know I am a cheater, but I also know that things are not black and white and I also need to forgive myself, which as of now, is far from happening. In this whole triangle, I also hurt myself, as I did things I never thought I was capable of. I have a really hard time trusting my judgment now.
    I keep telling myself that I think I am happy with this new person, but I thought that before, so how do I know this will last and I will not run away again, even tough I know I never ever want to do anything like this again, since I know how much hurt it causes.
    I get better at forgiving myself, but it’s a loooooooong way.

    So this is my story, raw and unedited. I hope it helps someone else too. Whether to know they are not alone, or to understand what is going on beneath the surface.

  13. I just wanted to say thank you for telling your story. I’m still with my husband, but I cheated on him several years ago. He was utterly poisonous and bitter at life, and I withdrew from him and became highly depressed. Unfortunately, a coworker of mine was also having problems in his marriage, and we confided in each other until we reached a point we shouldn’t have. I’ve never been able to tell MY story because any forum I’ve come across is immediately blockaded with the “cheaters are the scum of the earth” types of people. No one bothers to be open to listen to the REASONS. There’s never a good justification, but I wish there was more understanding.

  14. I came across this article as I am considering leaving my husband. Thank you, thank you, Hetti for writing this. It encouraged me that regardless of my decision I can and will be okay. I am also not alone.

    Any advice for making the transition out of your marriage while dating another man? My guy is wonderfully understanding and I want to help him as he tries to support me. Thank you!

  15. Any update? Is the original author’s relationship still holding steady? I would really like to know. The problem with forums in general is that people do not always articulate themselves and tend to be somewhat one sided and economical with the the truth. Walking out on a marriage sometimes is unavoidable whether it be for a lover or for other reasons. We do not know the details and nuances of each individual relationship and rely on the subjective version of the author which is cool with me and I accept that our experiences might differ.
    Sometimes,however, the entitlement to “happiness” which seems to override all; our vows, integrity, authenticity becomes a convenient and appropriate excuse for the collateral damage caused by our actions. You should not have to justify your happiness, be prepared to pay the long term price if you gained your happiness at the expense of others. Real life is dealing with kids, budgets, household problems the mundane and routine stuff even the things about our partners that annoy us. Staying committed to the process……I honestly do feel, and our author stated it well we never enter into a marriage to someday abandone our partners…but I suppose the pursuit of happiness trumps that….making marriage a total farce…we should just be honest enough to own up to it and stop trying to justify pulling the trigger…..

    • Minakelly, I have to respectfully disagree. There are many wrong reasons to leave a marriage. And, in my opinion, there are only a few good reasons to leave a marriage.

  16. Look, if you’re unhappy, and the planets align in such a way that you have a good person, possibly attractive, in front of you…who wants you too…and you somehow pull of being alone with them…you will cheat. You can deny it all you want, but you’re probably either 1. Happily married 2. Someone who wouldn’t have a place to pull it off or 3. Someone who doesn’t have a person in their life they would cheat with or don’t have the opportunity to meet such a person. Feeling deeply unhappy in a marriage is awful. “Well then just leave.” Lol. Easier said than done..esp if your partner is a nut bag. How about just don’t judge people. That’s God’s job anyway.

    • Easy..abandon the institution of’s a farce anyway holding it up as some Devine standard is simply untenable and pretending to aspire to the ideals is ridiculous , especially with the divorce rate as it is….Commitment is hard work..staying devoted to someone is tough..making promises while you barely have reached adulthood which is binding on you for the rest of your life is evidently not realistic…Who is God anyway? These forums create the space for people to be judgemental..unfortunately highly contentious and controversial issues like cheating , abandoning your kids open a debate…the author mentioned that she was sleeping around…there were differences, what kind of differences? Did her husband catch her sleeping around? Was she in an abusive relationship..or is she simply a pathological liar? She does not want to uproot her kids, yet she mentions the many moves and changes that occurred..seems to me they have been pretty much uprooted. I do not know any mother that will pack up and go without her kids. In addition very few courts will be unsympathetic to the mother if she takes the children especially when they are still young..even more so if there are elements of abuse (which I don’t think there is).maybe I’m not moving in the right circles meeting enough mothers …there is hardly any context and automatically people will be judgemental..that is what humans do..anyway as long as she is happy..that is all that matters

  17. Is the grass always greener on the other side? Everyone can always make any choices they want; good or bad. Here’s my story and I’ll keep it short. We had a happy marriage together 10+ years (as my wife said so herself). She met a new coworker one day hit it off and began cheating on me pretty quickly. After knowing him for about 60 days she decided she wanted that relationship instead of our marriage. She stated “I didn’t know anything was wrong with our marriage until I met this coworker.”

    This coworker is twice divorced and still married to his third wife. He has a history of having affairs with married women and gets them to divorce their husbands pretty quickly (at least 5 times I know of). He always has three women on the hook so he is never without one. He has also served jail time for domestic violence. He has also “cheated” on my wife since she has lived with him.

    My wife isn’t a special “unicorn” that will change this guys behaviors. He is nothing more than a con-Man.
    My point is cheating is never a good thing. If he/she will cheat with you; they will also cheat on you. So before you jump to greener pastures tend to your own pasture first.

  18. Thank you for posting. I have been with my husband for 13 years and have been the victim of his incessant emotional, psychological, and physical abuse for the last 11 years. We have 3 beautiful children together and a beautiful home filled with beautiful things. We both have thriving careers and have an instagram perfect life. I have spent the last 11 years begging and pleading and praying for change. Our relationship is nothing but volatile. Toxic. Pure poison. When I would speak of something he didn’t want to hear of he would say, without any hesitation, “shut the F*** up!” He would call me every single name under the sun on a daily basis and if I talked back he would either threaten me with violence or act out his threats. Now I should say this, and this is something a lot of people may relate to, he never left visible bruises so, in my mind, I was not a battered wife. Here is what I have come to understand now: the absence of bruises does not mean the absence of abuse. What?! Mind blown! He’s never put me in the hospital or blackened my eye so that, my friends, is how I have justified his behavior. Now, enduring this treatment for years, I have become accustomed to the ritual of the abuse. The cycle, if you will. I would just wait for the bad to end and the good to start. I would tell myself that I could be a better wife. That I could make him happy if only…. the house was cleaner. Meals were all prepped. Laundry was done daily. I made more money. We had more sex. But guess what…. my efforts were never enough. I got tired of always being the one to try and be better. So I did something out of character. I stopped trying to be better and reached out to an old flame. Not just any old flame though. I reached out to the one that got away. My junior high love that I have known and casually interacted with for the last 20 years. We met up. And we fell in love all over again. We saw each other as frequently as we could and texted daily. He is everything I would ever want in a life partner. And my heart is drawn to him like a magnet. It’s always been him and he has felt the same way about me after all these years. We just have never been on the same page. Even now, we aren’t even in the same book as I am married and he has a girlfriend. But I want him in my life. I want a life with him. So what do I do? I finally get the courage to leave my husband. I left. And what does my husband do? He begs me to come home! Even after all the times he has told me that he hates me and that I am the worst thing that has ever happened to him, he is now fighting to get me back!!! And what did I do? I went back!!!! For the kids, I went back. So here my husband is trying as hard as he can to save his family, everything I’ve ever wanted, and I don’t want it anymore. I feel nothing. I’m numb. Dead on the inside. How can someone go from being the biggest POS husband to husband of the year over night? They can’t. This change will never last. Sure, he is being good now, but what happens when he’s pushed too far? I know what happens, I’ve seen it. We’ve been down this road in 2016 when I found out he cheated on me with a massage parlor hooker. He worked so hard to win me back. He bought me flowers and presents and cleaned the house and made dinner all the time. Then slowly he started to settle back into his old ways. Only this time, it was worse. It only ever gets worse. I truly do fear what will happen the next time he back slides. Maybe that will be the time I end up in the hospital. So, the questions I seek answers to are, should I stay miserable (because that is what I am when I am at home with him) and risk the almost certain recurrence of abuse? Preserving our family in the process and giving our children a mom and a dad that worked it out for them? Or should I follow my heart and leave knowing that he will never change? I know what happiness waits for me on the other side. Even if the other side does not include a life with the love of my life, I know that I will be truly happy living a life without him.

    I know what the answer is. I just don’t know how to make it happen. How do I get out? More importantly, how do I get out without hurting my children? The only thing that hurts worse than my own misery is knowing that they will be dragged through this and may not make it out ok.

  19. Well, I’m pretty much in the same boat except that I haven’t left my husband of 26 years yet. I married at 16 and barely knew him, no it wasn’t arranged but seem s like it. I didn’t know what love was and I thought as the years went by he was the love of my life. He basically was looking for a wife figure to do all the house chores and to show at family functions. On multiple occasions he’s tried to somehow complain about me not doing what he asks to my family…and of course my family said “you made your bed now lie in it” and that I must be a better wife for example: the toaster had crumbs on the bottom.
    He tried to just drop me off at the corner of my family’s house like I was a nobody and cried my eyes out saying sorry for I don’t even know what I was about 18 at the time. Well I finally was pregnant at 21 and in my 9th month and I come to find out he’s cheated on me for 4 years and the woman had no idea. I have my daughter there’s so much friction and silence and he smacked me a few times for messing up his relationship accusing me of lying lol and how I would get locked up for calling the other woman.
    Ok, few years go by I try to forget of course for the sake of my daughter and I have another daughter 6 years later (only Bc his parents pushed for us to have another child) I’ve asked and wanted children from the 5 years after having my second daughter I catch him cheating again and this time another woman and it’s been 7 years he’s been with her. I don’t allow him in the house anymore it’s over. 4 months later he manages to speak to my mom and another family member to come back and I got the old school lectures of how I should try give it another chance. I absolutely didn’t want to but again my mother pleaded and I said fine for the kids I’ll do it.
    I shouldn’t have bc 7 years later I catch him out on a lunch date for Mother’s Day with the same woman. This didn’t hurt Bc I just stopped feeling anything for him at all. I did cry Bc of my kids but I begged him to go and be with her and set me free. He apologized and said he made a big mistake inviting her. Swearing there’s nothing going on…meanwhile my kids are waiting for us to go out for Mother’s Day dinner together. I sucked it up like nothing happened and went home with him.
    This is the part where I meet someone we hit it off and since then about 5 years now we’re together but not together. I find it so hard to hurt the kids and leave, they’re old enough to accept it but I’m sure it will be hard on them. I am so very unhappy and I don’t love my husband anymore. This other man is way more attentive, caring, and he’s jealous which my husband never was I think Bc he never loved me. Feels good to have someone actually want to know how your day at work was or what your plans are or makes plans to be together. I’m looking to leave asap I’m
    Just so scared of my kids hating me and my family looking at me the wrong way. And no I wouldn’t move in with the other man, I’d live alone for a while.

    • I’m just now reading these posts, and your saga is probably still going on. I too, cheated on my husband and did it with a man who had been married for over 40 years. My marriage was almost 30 years. My boyfriend’s wife caught us in bed. We had been having an affair for over 5 years. I’m not proud of it, but it really is hard to “just leave”. His kids were grown and long gone. My oldest was, but my younger two were teenagers, ages 17 & 19 & still at home when this bomb was dropped on them. My husband was not a bad person, but we have been through so much financially over the last 10 years, I just never felt secure and anything he said or did. We have had more than one foreclosure (our home & some rental properties) and never seemed to have enough money to cover our bills. He was not a gambler, but he was a spender. I guess you could say I was just tired of it. Somehow in my mind–maybe subconsciously, I felt that being without him would not put me in any worse financial shape than I’m already in with him. My boyfriend & his wife were our friends. Actually, the four of us did a lot of things together. Because of what we did, I hurt her too & none of her extended family nor their kids will speak to me (of course). My boyfriend is not rich by any means, but made some good investments and has and income where he can live comfortably. We were caught last May, and my husband suddenly was able to qualify and purchase a home in September, something that I have been wanting to do since we lost our home in 2011. And he & my teenagers moved out. I cried the first night they were all moved out. I am still in this rental home by myself and wanted to stay at least until our divorce is final, but I just can’t afford this big rent payment alone. My kids do talk to me, even though they were pretty upset in the beginning. In fact, I have a good relationship with both of them. My oldest is the one that knows it all, even the things I don’t let the teenagers know. But he’s still okay with me. He gave us a rough time during his teens so maybe he just views us both as the black sheep of the family together. Lol. However, I’m in a position where I am now going to have to move. My soon-to-be-ex-husband made me “take custody” of our four animals which includes three cats. I have not been able to find a less expensive place to rent my animals, yet he won’t take even one of them to help me be able to move. Therefore, I’m now going to be moving in with my boyfriend in his house. That means that most likely my teenagers will never come visit me because although they are ok with me, it will take a long time before they’re ever ok with my boyfriend again. They loved him when we were all just friends. Of course, I can visit them, but I know that they will never visit me. I feel so guilty for what I did to my husband. Despite our problems, I think I did blindside him just like I blindsided everyone in my family. My parents are still alive and very healthy, and they’re going to croak when they find out I’m moving in with my boyfriend. I just don’t feel I have any choice if I want to live. My boyfriend & I both wanted my divorce to be final. Because his children were grown when we got caught, his is already final. I know in the end I will be okay, but this has been the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. I turned our lives upside down, but if I had left in another way and not cheated, it would be the same thing. Of course my parents are old-fashioned and my mom is still hoping that my husband and I will reconcile. It is just not going to happen. I think that maybe once my teens get a little older & maybe get out on their own they’ll come around some with my boyfriend. But I wrote this so you may have an idea of how your kids might react. I’d say if you can leave for good without letting it be known you have someone else, you’ll be better off, even if they’re doubtful about your relationship with the other person.

  20. Speaking from the experience of someone cheated on whose wife left me and my child for another man, I can tell you that your kids will grow up hating you. You may be happier now but that will not last. It will wear off over time and you are stuck in almost the same relationship you lost by cheating but you will have a trail of destruction left behind you. Paranoia will set in on both you and your p[partner, if you are willing to cheat with him you will do it to them and vice versa. You think that what you have is special(Didn’t you once believe your previous relationship was once special?) but once the routine of normal life sets in you will see that the reality is , its not a Disney ending, you are not a princess being saved by prince charming, you are just 2 selfish people who have to live with the guilt of everything you have done to those that you supposedly “loved”.

    • My exwife cheated on me with her coworker & she is playing victim to justify her infidelity she got pregnant with her affair partner/coworker. I was the one who is emotionally & verbally abused by my exwife, I never ever laid my hands on my exwife.. she is always with her friends & coworkers house she will just come home if she needs to take a shower & prepare for work.. my exwife’s coworkers & friends knew and even supported the affair because she’s telling them that I’m a bad husband when infact I already forgave her from her past infidelity with my niece’s husband… I can’t imagine how horrible of a person my exwife is.. she has no remorse for what she did she is never ashamed of her infidelity and she is very much proud of it. She was never sorry & she always tells the people around her that I abandoned her when infact she is the one who abandons me to be with her affair partner we got a divorce during the time when she is 2months pregnant.
      Well I thank God He saved me from a toxic marriage full of betrayal and lies
      Thank God He saved me from a horrible person. Thank God He saved me from a person who only wants a greencard & my money she just used me for greencard.
      And I thank God also because I have no child with her. I signed a waiver that I was not the father of her child that’s why she will never get a child support from me.
      I’m happily remarried now & God blessed me with a loving wife & 3 beautiful children. If not for my exwife’s repeated infidelity & if not for my divorce
      I will not be able to be a father to an amazing children & I will not experience a genuine kind of love from my wonderful wife. Divorce teaches me that I deserve the best. I deserve to be treated with respect.

  21. To the author, I would really like to know how you feel now, one year later. Would you change anything to this article? Do you still feel the same, or have your feelings changed?
    Having been cheated on by my ex, who recently kind of abandonned our child, that I’m taking care of on my own, I still feel confused. It’s hard for me to see or understand why you would put your needs firat and foremost, at the expense of others. I suffered at times during our relationship, but I always put my family, and my son first. She cheated, and even though I think anyone can cheat given the opportunity, I’m surprised some people don’t have the decency to either ensure breaking up kindly enough, apologizing for the pain they caused others, or fixing their mistakes.
    My ex is still with the new guy, even though she seems to be hiding her relationship. She never apologized for what she caused, and that’s what has hurt me the most, to feel as though I don’t deserve some kind of apology for everything she’s put me through.
    My question to you is, have your feelings changed regarding what you have done? Would you have done things differently, or are you still happy with your choices?
    I’d really like to know.

  22. It’s hard to feel bad for you. I understand how you feel guilty and all, but honestly, I can’t believe that your pain can really be even close to the hurt you caused him. You did mention that you were also happy. At least you have that to fall back on. His pain was/probably still is ongoing with no relief. My wife is doing something similar to me and all I can tell you that it feels like I was damaged through this. I literally felt broken, betrayed, blindsided and worthless. Even though I knew I didn’t deserve this. I felt helpless to do anything about our grieving child. Angry that her ‘boyfriend’ didn’t have to sit there and witness the pain he helped cause our son. Angrier because her lust for him (happiness) mattered more than trying to protect our child from this. Angry at myself for fighting for someone who lied to and humiliated me. And hurt that she showed no real remorse through all of this. And yet we are supposed to ‘friends’ now. I’m cordial because of the kid, but it’s insult to injury. But at least she’s “happy” for now so I guess that’s all that matters. I mean apparently, this is what this is all about anyway.
    I get it, we all deserve forgiveness, and maybe that will come in time. But to me you sound like a rapist or child molester telling people that you feel a little guilty about what you did, but you’re happy now. You still seem selfish. Just like the rapist who just wanted ‘happiness’, he took something more than just sex. The damage to someone’s psyche and years of emotional trauma you caused on him and your child is what makes this so damaging.
    If someone is reading this and are on the fence about cheating or not, please just leave first. Especially if your s/o had no idea and did treat you right. You don’t owe it to them to stay, but you do owe them respect. The damage hurts worse than you could ever imagine. Just imagine how you feel if your new “love” did the same thing unexpectedly to you? Now add years, memories, special moments with your family and everything to mix. Likewise your spouse probably never thought you could do the same to them.

    • They will just understand the gravity of what they did to you if it also happens to them… sometimes cheaters will support fellow cheaters and justify their actions
      and some of their family members just accept & tolerate the affair.. I’ve been in that situation my marriage ended in divorce because of infidelity & my exwife got pregnant with her coworker.
      But I’m happily remarried now to my bestfriend & God blessed me with 3 wonderful children
      If only I could change my past
      I will not marry my exwife
      But if not for my ex’s infidelity
      I will not experience tremendous happiness now with my wife & children because I know I deserve the best.
      Cheating is always a concious decision and it was never an accident it starts from the heart & mind of a cheater.

  23. I don’t care if this makes me seem bad but I admire the author so much and I am glad she left her husband for the other man there is no point in going to counseling if you two are completely incompatible anyway and you already know that. The author didn’t go to counseling because breaking up was better than staying married. I am not married yet but your story glorifies cheating and leaving for another guy so much that I wouldn’t mind following in your footsteps go you, you sexy role model!

  24. Why marry if you cannot take your vows seriously… why marry if you think you don’t want to stay committed to one person
    Why marry if you can’t see your future with him/her? .. and if your spouse do the best for you & for your marriage in exchage you will cheat on him big time wow just wow..
    I hope some people will have even a little amount of conscience to know that cheating is wrong.. cheating is never justified ever.
    You can talk to your spouse if you do not love him/her anymore & get a divorce
    .. I think cheating is just for the cowards.
    Remember Be careful how you treat people
    What you do to others has a funny way of coming back to you.

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