I am exhausted after 5 years of fighting to save my marriage

I am exhausted after 5 years of fighting to save my marriage. The first year I didn't even know why I had to fight for it but the next year I learned a little about why. Then as time went on I learned more every year. Surprises seemed to have stopped Jan 2019 when I had physical details about his affair that he could not deny and we have been struggling ever since. I am so tired of struggling but just can't seem to end things. I love him and he is a good man and I do believe he regrets his mistake and would not repeat it but that doesn't mean I don't still have insecurities at times. My worse thought is, I was so trusting before even when I had proof of wrong doing how can I not trust gut when things seem off. I have not shared our issues with our family. I have only talked to two people in my life about this and I am sure they are just as tried as I am hearing about it since nothing seems to change. I feel like I can't even talk to them anymore because I know I would be tired of hearing a friend complaint if nothing ever changed. We have been to counseling and the last visit to our counselor in 9/2021 she said things would not improve if neither of us changed our thoughts. We left there thinking we were heading for divorce. However, after we talk, due to the love we have after 25 years, we always say we will try again to fix things. Things just don't seem to change. There are good times in between so during the bad times it seems there is something to fight for. But I am so tired of the ups and downs. I am scared to make a decision that I might live to regret. I am a planner and know what kind of future we had planned and how my life would be completely different if I get divorce. My husband is not will to do a separation. It is all or nothing. It really scares me. I do love my husband but I am tired of hurting him and myself over and over again. He is just as tried as I am but wants to stay together. I feel our major issues come from the changes in my husband since the affair. We use to do things together and I would do things without him with family or friends. Now days as long as I only do things with him and family and do the things he wants, things are great. Problem with that is the things he wants are things I have a problem with. He never had issues with my going to dancehalls with my family out of town if he didnt or couldnt go. For years this has been the case. It was never alot but if I went to visit and we wanted to go out it was never an issue and I never thought twice about it. This was one of the things I loved about my husband. He was very secure and trusting. My husband also went to bars in the past without me. It was never alot but it did happen. However, now he does not want me to go out to a bar or dancehall without him for any reason. He says he has always had a problem with this but never said anything but just can't keep it in anymore. I have a hard time believing he had problems with it for 20 years and never said anything. He also is now concerned with what I wear when I am not with him. He doesn't think I should wear yoga pants to work even if my top covers the bottom. He hates it when I wear dresses if they short. Basically, he does not want me to wear anything that might get a man's attention. Now if I am with him, then it is fine. I have issues with this. Should I have issues with this? Am I wrong about this? Social media is now limited to females or family. Before it was anyone I knew that I wanted to add. Never had any problems from my social media. However that is where his issues started. It then turned into an affair with his co-worker not with the girl from his FB. He hates my best friend now, bcz she knows about the affair and supports me. She has never made ugly comments about him or pushed me to leave him. If anything she has encouraged me to stay or not do things that might upset him. However, because she knows about his affair, he thinks all we do is talk about him. He now hates her and really would like me to have nothing to do with her. She is my coworker and we do not hang out that much outside of work but when we do it always causes an issue. Her just texting me has been an issue or just the mention of her name. I went and visited her home last week while my husband was at work and bcz I didnt tell him he got upset. Was I wrong in not telling him I went over there to avoid any conflict? I don't feel I did anything wrong. I have never hidden things from him before but now it just feels that keeping things like that to myself is the better option. It is not like I am seeing a guy. I feel like he would be ok with my hanging out with anyone that does not know about his affair. That just doesn't seem fair to me. I feel I am the one being punished for his affair. Any thing I want to do with someone else comes back to why didn't I want to do that with him. However, he never plans anything and we do lots of stuff I plan together. Just talking about a girls trip with my mother in law and a couple of her female coworkers that I do not know in the summer of 2022 upset him. Even though we will plan a trip together in 2022. We go on lots of trips together. He said he has no issues with girls trips but I have recently had a lot in a short time and he feels I just want to get away from him. These trips are a one night trip to a concert with my best friend in Sept for my birthday that she planned. Then I went to a concert and stayed over night with his mom and my sister. I had talked about doing a sister only trip after Christmas because I was on break from work and figured since he had to work and I would not be using vacation it would not be a big deal. The trip didn't work out but he was still upset I was planning it. He said he could have used his vacation to go. But then he would not have had vacation for a future trip we will plan. Do you think his behavior now is controlling? He does not think it is. I think it is, but then I wonder if I am being unfair. Am I wrong in my thinking? Should I only wear things that he approves of, be friends with people he approves of, only do things with him? New addition to all this stress is that my 16 year old son has started noticing the tension and stress with us. He has no idea about the affair. I do not want to cause any issues for my son. And I would never tell him about his father's affair. I feel there is no need to hurt that relationship. Can you see why I am so tired now?

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FranklyMe's picture
(755)
Jan 6

@Exhausted78 I hear you and praying that you figure it out before spending to much time like I did. Iife is to short to spend it with someone who doesn’t deserve you.

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beth65's picture
(39755)
Jan 8

At first I thought he is the one who cheated and he is trying to make you make changes, did not make any sense to me until I read the others comments. He should be sucking up to you, not punishing you for what he did. Adding insult to injury. But also maybe your husband thinks that if you go out looking attractive that you will attract someone like himself that will prey on you. Assuming you're not going out dressed provocatively, I do think spouses have some say in that, I wouldn't want to be with someone who goes out looking like someone I would be embarrassed for people to know I'm with, can you put your foot down with him and tell.him he needs to respect your choices that you're not the one who cheated and he needs to shape up. You've been plenty patient with him after he hurt you and he needs to make it right and quit hurting you. And respect you. And support you. ​Period. Until you actually cheat he needs to stop treating you like you're a cheater. Just because he cheated doesn't mean you will. I imagine it's not that easy though.

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(470)
Jan 8

@exhausted78 It is amazing to know that unfaithful partners are so brave when it comes to doing the deed and taking the risk to betray but not so much to be vulnerable again. Your husband would have justified/rationalized his cheating in his head. The concocted truth that made it 'OK' for him to cheat is now haunting him. The thought of 'if he could do it so can you' must be killing him. Also, in his mind the fact family and friends know about his affair and if you get into an affair he will not have any moral ground to call you out. It is a very very unsettling feeling for the unfaithful partner and their insecurities play out in the way you explained. 10 years is a long time find stable ground. I guess you are at a point where you need to re-decide or re-affirm the rules. Best of luck. Hope you and your husband are able to find a path forward.

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