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He needs to go through his thread and read the things people have suggested for him to do, and make a todo list.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
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writer, when will he be taking a polygraph test?


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
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Originally Posted by markos
He needs to go through his thread and read the things people have suggested for him to do, and make a todo list.

I will let him know to check it. Today has been kind of crazy with the holidays.


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Originally Posted by markos
writer, when will he be taking a polygraph test?

I honestly don’t see the need for one at this point. My husband has told me a lot of very difficult things. If he was still trying to hide something, I don’t think I’d have all of the details I have. I can’t imagine anything much worse than what I already know. What motivation would he have for revealing the multiple affairs he’s had over the past two-and-a-half years but hiding something else. Everything he’s told me has been damning enough.


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Originally Posted by Prisca
Quote
I’ve labeled myself a serial cheater because I am.

He has admitted to it now, writer.

Originally Posted by Dr. Harley
So whenever the spouse of someone with multiple affairs asks me what he or she can do to help save their marriage, I must tell them that the procedures we recommend will work for those who want to stop cheating. Our program will help them achieve that objective. But if they don't want to follow our program, I have to assume that they will continue to have affairs for the rest of their lives. And their spouses should assume the same thing. To avoid the suffering that comes with infidelity, I encourage them to divorce as soon as possible.
What to Do with a Serial Cheater

Your husband:
1. Admits to being a serial cheater
2. Hasn't followed the program
3. Has had multiple chances to follow the program, and still doesn't

You must, for your own sake, assume that he will continue to have affairs for the rest of his life. You will continue to be subjected to this pain. To avoid this suffering, Dr. Harley would recommend you divorce him as soon as possible.

Do you acknowledge that your WH is a serial cheater? In the past, I know that there was a reluctance to admit that. I'm wondering if that has changed.


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Originally Posted by SusieQ
Originally Posted by Prisca
Quote
I’ve labeled myself a serial cheater because I am.

He has admitted to it now, writer.

Originally Posted by Dr. Harley
So whenever the spouse of someone with multiple affairs asks me what he or she can do to help save their marriage, I must tell them that the procedures we recommend will work for those who want to stop cheating. Our program will help them achieve that objective. But if they don't want to follow our program, I have to assume that they will continue to have affairs for the rest of their lives. And their spouses should assume the same thing. To avoid the suffering that comes with infidelity, I encourage them to divorce as soon as possible.
What to Do with a Serial Cheater

Your husband:
1. Admits to being a serial cheater
2. Hasn't followed the program
3. Has had multiple chances to follow the program, and still doesn't

You must, for your own sake, assume that he will continue to have affairs for the rest of his life. You will continue to be subjected to this pain. To avoid this suffering, Dr. Harley would recommend you divorce him as soon as possible.

Do you acknowledge that your WH is a serial cheater? In the past, I know that there was a reluctance to admit that. I'm wondering if that has changed.

We actually re-read the “What to do with a Serial Cheater” article together a few days ago and we both realized that he doesn’t exactly fit Dr. Harley’s definition of a serial cheater. He much more closely resembles the person who has multiple affairs, especially when it comes to intent. My husband isn’t the type of person who just goes out and tries to pursue as many women as possible just for the thrill of the chase and to put another notch in his belt. He wasn’t that type of person before we got married and that description doesn’t fit him now either. I feel, and he feels as well, that he definitely has had a massive problem with poor boundaries and a long history of looking outside of our marriage to get his needs met. But he didn’t pursue women with the sole intent of having as many affairs as possible just for the thrill of doing so. For him, it was always more feeling that there were needs that weren’t being met in our marriage (which I fully acknowledge because they weren’t being met for me either) and, instead of trying to resolve that with me, he would look outward, to a co-worker or an old girlfriend from high school to try and and get those needs met.

His affairs have some commonalities. They all started with being unhappy and unfulfilled in our marriage. So then he would start emailing a co-worker or reaching out to an old friend. They would be platonic at first and then evolve into complaining to one another about how unhappy they were with their spouses, which would lead to them eventually evolving into developing feelings for each other as they met one another’s emotional needs. His affairs were mostly emotional, and pretty much exclusively involved women who he didn’t have much opportunity to actually see in person on a regular basis.

The first one, 2 1/2 years ago was with someone who lived 4 hours away and they only saw each other once. It only lasted a few weeks and I found out about it the day after it ended. The second one was with a co-worker and was completely long distance because it started after my husband began working remotely due to Covid and he never actually saw her again since he never returned to the office and they both eventually left the company. During that time, we were literally never apart and basically didn’t go anywhere other than to run necessary errands or do outdoor activities like hiking and we were always together. The third one took place over roughly the past year and was with an old high school girlfriend who lives 800 miles away from us. It was almost all long distance. They met twice, once a little over a year ago when my husband drove to Nevada from our home in Utah to meet his sister to scatter their dad’s ashes. The OP drove up from California to meet him there (his sister didn’t know she was there) and they spent one night in a hotel together. Then, they met in person again last July when my husband went to Kentucky for training for his new job. She flew there to be with him and they spent three nights together while he was there.

While I don’t want to downplay anything that happened, Dr. Harley has a pretty narrow definition of what a serial cheater is, and my husband doesn’t fit that particular description. I thought he did (and he thought he did) because of his multiple affairs. But after re-reading that article, we realized Dr. Harley’s distinction between the serial cheater and the person who has multiple affairs, and my husband seems to fall into the latter category more than the former.


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Walks like a duck...

He fits the definition just right.

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Originally Posted by goody2shoes
Walks like a duck...

He fits the definition just right.

If you read the article, he literally doesn’t. This is Dr. Harley’s distinction, not mine. I feel like it’s going to be most helpful to realize what situation I’m actually dealing with here, because the approaches are very different.


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If you have known MB since 2009, he sure knows/understands how affairs start.

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Originally Posted by goody2shoes
If you have known MB since 2009, he sure knows/understands how affairs start.

I found MB after my affair. Yes, he knew about it. He didn’t do much reading here though. I did. In fact, he thought I was spending too much time on the forum and was getting too emotionally invested in things here and he grew to resent it, which is why I ultimately left. I came back in 2019 after I found out about his brief 2-week affair, and I think he made a couple of posts then, but he still wasn’t really onboard with the MB program. We did a little reading then and did the emotional needs questionnaire, but he didn’t do any reading on his own.

Now, he’s actually reading on his own, reading with me, listening to the radio broadcasts, etc. He’s done the extraordinary precautions - ended all contact, sent a no-contact letter, closed all of the email and Signal accounts he used to conduct his affairs, given me all his passwords and access to all online accounts, he’s not on social media, he’s given me all of the information about the affairs and answered all questions, we spend all of our time together, etc. He’s finally acknowledged that we’ve gotten nowhere attempting to solve the problem on our own. He’s fully onboard with doing the MB program and we plan on starting the phone counseling as soon as he finds another job (he got laid off in mid-October) and we can afford it. I’ve basically told him we do the MB program and we do it right, or our marriage is over. And he agrees.


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Originally Posted by writer1
The first one, 2 1/2 years ago was with someone who lived 4 hours away and they only saw each other once. It only lasted a few weeks and I found out about it the day after it ended. The second one was with a co-worker and was completely long distance because it started after my husband began working remotely due to Covid and he never actually saw her again since he never returned to the office and they both eventually left the company. During that time, we were literally never apart and basically didn’t go anywhere other than to run necessary errands or do outdoor activities like hiking and we were always together. The third one took place over roughly the past year and was with an old high school girlfriend who lives 800 miles away from us. It was almost all long distance. They met twice, once a little over a year ago when my husband drove to Nevada from our home in Utah to meet his sister to scatter their dad’s ashes. The OP drove up from California to meet him there (his sister didn’t know she was there) and they spent one night in a hotel together. Then, they met in person again last July when my husband went to Kentucky for training for his new job. She flew there to be with him and they spent three nights together while he was there.
Let's not forget his contacting the old girlfriend that he had never got over, in 2017. If the one in 2019 is "the first one", what does that make this renewed contact in 2017?

Originally Posted by writer2 June 2017
Tonight, my husband dropped another bombshell on me (I don't even know how many this makes). About two weeks ago, he called his ex-girlfriend out of the blue. They've spoken and emailed several times since then, and have even expressed their continued "feelings" for each other. I'm pretty sure nothing physical has happened, since she lives 4 hours away, but definitely emotional.

It seems my husband has never really gotten over this ex-girlfriend in all of our 24 years of marriage. The last time, when we decided to work on our marriage after I ended my affair, I swore I would never do this again and that I would move straight into divorce if my husband cheated again. I know that's what I need to do. Mentally, I know that. But my head is reeling right now and my heart is racing and I feel like I'm going to throw up and I have no idea what to do. You'd think I would be a pro at this by now, but I guess it's just something you never get used to.
I make that 4 in 4 years, but you're correct, writer. He does not fit Dr Harley's definition.

Keep meeting his ENs and he won't do this again.


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Originally Posted by SugarCane
Let's not forget his contacting the old girlfriend that he had never got over, in 2017. If the one in 2019 is "the first one", what does that make this renewed contact in 2017?
I make that 4 in 4 years, but you're correct, writer. He does not fit Dr Harley's definition.

Keep meeting his ENs and he won't do this again.[/quote]

Yes, he has periodically attempted to reconnect with this one particular ex-girlfriend over the years. This is the same person he still had feelings for when we got married and who he had an emotional affair with off and on for the first 10 years of our marriage. She broke up with him in college to marry someone much older and more financially stable because she wanted to escape a dysfunctional family situation. My husband had a very difficult time accepting the situation and she thought they could be “friends” still while admitting she still had feelings for him. My husband did entertain hopes that she’d eventually leave her husband to be with him, even though she told him she wouldn’t. I strongly suspect the three recent affairs are somehow connected to his unresolved feelings for this person. Apparently he also attempted to contact her via email during his most recent affair (with a different high school girlfriend - someone he dated for a few months before the girlfriend he had the EA with early in our marriage - who he dated for 3 1/2 years). But she has refused any and all contact with him and has changed her email and phone number so he was never able to reach her.

But yes, there have been 4 affairs in 28 years. Two were only emotional and two were emotional and physical.


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Have all his affairs been exposed?

The OW were married, so at the very least do their BHs know?


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Originally Posted by BrainHurts
Have all his affairs been exposed?

The OW were married, so at the very least do their BHs know?

The most recent one was exposed to the OW’s husband. That was the emotional/physical affair with an ex-girlfriend. The emotional affair with the coworker before that was not exposed because I have no way to do so. That OW isn’t on social media, no longer works at the company (my husband hasn’t worked there either since last March), and there really is no way to expose it. My husband thinks she may have moved out of the state. The affair that happened in 2019 was with someone who was single, so no one to really expose it to. As far as the OW my husband had the emotional affair with for the first 10 years of our marriage, that was exposed to the OW’s husband years ago. On our end, the affairs have all been exposed to our children and to my husband’s sister, basically everyone there is to expose to.


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I need help dealing with resentment.

There is the obvious resentment about my husband’s multiple affairs. I’m trying my best to deal with that. Some days I do better than others. My husband has done everything he can do on that front - ended the affairs and his secret second life that allowed them to happen, answered all of my questions, provided me with access to all of his online accounts and passwords, etc. We’re reading SAA and currently filling out the Love Busters questionnaire.

But there’s also the matter of my husband’s job situation. He’s been unemployed since October and since then we’ve been living off his unemployment and my income. I don’t earn nearly enough to support us on my own and his unemployment runs out in March and the situation is causing a huge amount of stress on both of us. He spends 40,hours a week job searching, filling out applications, going on interviews, etc. but so far, he has not received a single job offer. I know he’s trying and honestly I have no idea why he’s getting nowhere with his job search considering how many job openings there supposedly are right now. He has two college degrees and tons of experience in business and sales. Still, nothing. My need for financial security just isn’t being met at all and it’s causing even more resentment on my part.

Simultaneously dealing with these two situations at the same time is making things doubly difficult. I am trying my best to control my resentment and meet his needs, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult the longer he remains unemployed and unable to meet one of my important needs.

I’m looking for some strategies to help me control my resentment because I’m having a very difficult time avoiding angry outbursts and love busters right now, which I know I need to get under control.


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Dear Writer 1,

I am very sorry to hear of your predicament. You deserve a husband who loves you and is all-in. There is something in the marriage vows of "forsake all others" that he promised you. There are no excuses for contacting or even thinking of old girlfriends - how immature. And the fact that a woman broke up with him in college is NEVER the reason for him straying now. Please realize that you deserve an entire man, not half a man with the other foot on the outside of your marriage. You have adult children together who are way past college age for crying out loud.

That said, your situations seems a carbon copy of what I remember from the other times you were here, especially the following patterns:
1. You are living in an appartment that you cannot really afford.
2. You take in family members who should help pay rent and trouble arises when they move out.
3. Your husband is unemployed or precariously employed.
4. Quite unexpectedly, the summer comes along and you are not payed because you work for the school district.

Other problems seem to have been resolved.
5. Child rearing problems seem to have been solved.
6. The added stress of caring for family members is solved - good for you.

The overarching problem on your side seems to be:
1. your lack of planning (there could be a trait of ADD here, just considering).
2. your endless creativity in finding excuses for inexcusable behaviour and decisions - and not holding him accountable enough that he succeeds in having relationships behind your back.

The problem on your husbands side seems to me that he is a b_m, who is actively looking for outside need fulfillment, action and entertainment.

Your solution is simple:
Money problems
a. go to the church and have them find someone to get help with your budgetting, including thinking of a housing solution that is affordable. You have been living beyond your means and having to move as long as you have been here. You cannot do it by yourself.
b. If I remember you are a teaching assistant. What is hindering you to do tutoring during the summer, or babysitting or mowing lawns or selling ice-cream on the beach or doing fun things with children who's parents are working, or other means of income? You can start planning that now.
c. If your husband does not have a job and is good at losing jobs, he should consider a second means of income. Preferably where he is not in contact with people real or imagined, without you present.

Affair problems
close the gaps. It will be easier for your husband if he knows he is being watched.

Last edited by happyheart; 01/05/22 09:36 PM.

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A few clarifications. This is the longest my husband has ever been unemployed during our 28 years of marriage. He never actually lost a job prior to the two job losses he has experienced in the past year. He was with one company for 7 years, another for 15 years and then left that company for a different job which he did for 5 years. It’s really only been since we moved to Utah and the start of the pandemic that he’s had trouble keeping a job. He’s been laid off twice since those two things occurred. His salaries haven’t always been the highest, but he’s had full time employment with benefits throughout most of our marriage.

Right now, we’re living in a small condo that my daughter owns and our rent is far below the going rate for where we live. It would be impossible to find anything cheaper with where rents are right now. We could easily afford the rent when my husband was working, but we won’t be able to afford it on my salary alone. Sure, I could look for a better job and have been (though my earning potential is much lower than his). But it’s a huge drain on my love bank being expected to meet all of the financial needs of our family while I’m the only one who is actually working right now and also having to deal with all of the issues surrounding his affair. I feel like I have needs too and this is a big one and it isn’t getting met at all. I don’t think having to find a different job and completely support the family on my own will do much to make me feel like my husband is meeting my needs.


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I feel sorry that you have been cheated twice by the same person. In my opinion, if a person commits the same mistake even after apologizing it, it isn't a mistake! I understand your love for husband and attachment towards him, but at times reality tastes bitter! Hope you will take a wise decision, whatever it maybe. Wishing you all strength and happiness.

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Writer I recently got a new job paying a third more than what I was making and would be happy to brainstorm here or on your H’s thread if he’d rather talk there. Is he plugged into the local unemployment office program for professionals? I had a friend who went there who helped me overhaul my resume with the advice she got. It took 6 hours but immediately I got recruiters reaching out to me on LinkedIn.

That’s the other thing is your H on LinkedIn? The job market is crazy hot right now they are staffing for the new year. Many jobs are not listed, and if he has the keywords by his name they can find him.

Is he willing to work remotely? That opens the doors to opportunities that may pay more than locally depending on how well they compensate where you live. That helped me too because they pay poorly here but I got a 100% remote job with a local company so they pay a nationwide rate.


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The company I’m working at is looking for software sales SaaS let me know if I should send the name of the company to the moderators I don’t know if they can pass it on to you.


Me 40, OD 18 and YD 13
Married 15 years, Divorced 10/2010
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