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Thread Like Summary
Total Likes: 1
Original Post (Thread Starter)
by Isaiah46.4
Now if that's not a click-bait title that'll put butts in the seats, I don't know what is!

Sadly, though, it's true and I figured it's the best place to start in my intro to the forums.

We've been married 17 years and my husband had some indiscretions with his cousin that he admitted to me 3 years ago. The indiscretions themselves happened 10 years ago when I was pregnant with our 2nd. The indiscretions were inappropriate picture taking, phone sex, emotional affair discussions and attempts at a physical relationship that were rebuffed by her. He claims this is all that happened. He also says it was his cousin because they delved into inappropriate situations when younger/teens and it was the easiest/most risk free option.

More needed info: He also had a 16 yr porn addiction (victory over since a move) and spent 10+ yrs working over the road. We're new to the books but have read them all recently. Independent behavior is definitely our biggest issue.

Ok. So... I'm going to try and keep this short for your reading pleasure.

Here are the struggles I've had in the whirlwind since.
1. He lied about it for 10 yrs. I feel like if he'd told me right away it would have been easier than the extended lie. (How do I trust!?).
2. He made/makes excuses where if I had met his needs it wouldn't have happened. Granted, I do have a hand in it obviously but it feels like he's not being accountable/not even sorry.
3. Because it's family it brings it's own challenges. It's harder to break ties than with a work fling, someone at gym etc. We see her ALL. THE TIME. Same town. Same church. Close family. You get the picture.
4. Last year, we were at a breaking point and I was offered a job out of state. I didn't demand that we move but it was definitely not something he wanted. He reluctantly agreed. There were other issues too but distance was definitely needed here. He is definitely still punishing me for the move but a year later, I know that it was our only chance at a way forward. He was quite happy where we were. I was beyond miserable. Now he is miserable. Is this just recompense? Is this the whole get as far away from the OW as possible so justified? 🤔 I'm not actively trying to punish him but in creating an environment without her/family in it feels to him like a punishment. Eternally.
5. I have forgiven him for the infidelity but I struggle with the fact that he lied and lied for so long, how can I trust that's all that happened? The timeline is funny for me which gives me red flags but did he just forget critical pieces because he waited 10 years? Would additional knowledge even help me?
6. Seeing her is painful for me. It brings it all fresh again. (Hence the move) But how much can I realistically ask for when it comes to family functions as far as whether we go or not? Just recompense? Or am I just eternally punishing him?
7. Exposure: This is an old issue, never exposed to anyone. Infidelity has been discussed in counseling but I've left out who it was to protect him. Should exposure happen now? Too late? His family thinks I'm the problem already, they'd see exposure as me just airing his dirty laundry to make him look bad. Kids might make the most sense?

Thanks! ❤
Liked Replies
by SugarCane
Welcome to MB.

The steps to recover from an affair are the same, whether the OP was a cousin or not. You need:

1. A complete end to the affair. Complete no contact.
2. A change to the conditions that made the affair possible.
3. Transparency going forward, so that you can see each other's communications with other people.
4. An interdependent marriage, where there is no space for a secret second life, and where you meet each other's most important emotional needs and avoid love busters.
5. Exposure of the affair to critical people.

(There is actually a check list that we use that is more detailed than that, but I don't have it to hand. Someone will post it soon.)

The main thing that I can see your husband has not done is to end all contact with his cousin. If he doesn't do this, you, his wife, will never recover. You could achieve this, and exposure at the same time, by telling close family members about the affair, and explaining that you won't be going to family functions if she will be there. Explain also that this is why you are planning to move.

And then actually move.
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