Sex, Difficult Marraige

Updated on August 17, 2011
T.M. asks from Houston, TX
21 answers

Ok, I have been married 5 years to my husband. We have 2 kids together. From the very beginning, I caught him cheating. He was keeping in contact with an ex on a regular basis. That stopped. I got pregnant with my son. We were happy moved on from the past. We then got pregnant with my daughter who is 2 1/2 now. Toward the end of that pregnancy I found put he was having a full blown affair. I was devastated. I waited until the baby was born and left him. Moved 350 miles away from him. I took my kids with me. I was miserable staying with my parents and decided to move back to try to work things out. I then learned that once I left he became more serious with this woman (who happened to be a friend of mine). Not only did he continue that one but also starting seeing other women. We eventually worked things out and I stayed for the sake of put kids.

My husband coaches little league football. Last November I found out one of the moms was texting him. The exact text said " hey babe, hope u have a great day, muah" Once again I left him. He begged and begged me to come back and once again I did for the sake of our kids. He says he has been faithful since that November but, I am no longer in love with him. It doesn't really matter to me either way. I do love him but not "in love". I cannot make myself have sex with him. I am not interested at all. I do not want to be touched, hugged, kissed, cuddled,... Nothing! This is an obvious problem. I'm not sure how to fix this problem. I have suggested counseling... But he refuses to go. He says he don't need to pay someone to tell him what his problems are. I'm scared of change and dont really want to comfort zone... As bad as this sounds. Im a stay at home mom.

Do I stay and be unhappy or do I leave my security blanket and try to raise my kids on my own? He says he has been faithful since and honestly I do see a change in his behavior. I just can't forget the past.

I know what most will say... Leave... But only someone who has been in my shoes can really understand. The sex issue is a big one. Is it a phase or is the Passion just gone forever?

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your advice. Let me explain a little more... My mom is a drug addict who is paralyzed due to a drug induced stroke. She is a pain in the you know what to live with. Her husband is an alcoholic abuser. Be is mean as ever... It's hard to stay there. I really don't have anyone to help. I have considered women's shelters but that makes it even harder to leave. Counseling is definitely something I need. I know this. I had to have counseling as a child to deal with my difficult childhood and it made a huge difference.

I moved out of my parents at age 16, worked a full time evening job while I finished high school. I do consider myself to be a smart person. I have overcome a lot! I love my kids more than anything in this world. I want them to have a better life. I just don't know where to start without much support.

We did start going to church in November after our last ordeal and I have seen some changes but I still have no trust in him. How do I know that he's not getting better at hiding? Maybe it's good for now... Until he cheats again. And I have had STD testing. I'm one of the lucky ones. My whole thing is this... I believe he has made a lot of necessary changes. He's really involved with our kids and is always home. Do I give him another chance since he really has made changes or do I wait and see if it happens again and then leave?

More Answers


answers from St. Louis on

Um yeah, leave! I was a stay at home mom for 18 years. He told me he was having another affair when I was three months pregnant with our youngest. Not because he is such an honest guy but because everyone he worked with knew and would tell me. So I tried again because hey, I was pregnant, what exactly was I going to do to support myself and four kids.

So things continued to be bad and really even if he wasn't having an affair it always felt like it because the trust was just gone. My fave was he left his cell phone at home and our oldest answered. He was around 16 at the time, she was soooo stupid she didn't realize it was our son so started talking....he said my dad is at work and hung up. He then turned to me and asked are you going to put up with this? No way in hell. Now he swore up and down that was it, he would change since I was so insecure. Excuse me? I am insecure? You cheat! you cheat a lot!! Insecurity would be if this was all in my mind.

So tried one more time but he was then attacking the kids because they were defending me. The last straw was when he was out at the casino all night and picked some chick up there. No way in hell I was ever sleeping with that guy again. I filed two weeks later.

It took me four years to get my masters, not that I actually use it at the moment, and I have supported my kids ever since. You need to get it out of your head that you cannot support them. That it is easier to stay with him. If you stay your kids will find out and they will lose respect for you if they have any idea that you are allowing this to happen.

Best thing I ever did for me and my kids!!!!

I am insecure! stupid tool!!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

My first husband was a chronic cheater and I kept putting up with it. (He was also abusive.) It wasn't till he hit me while I was standing over my daughter's crib and got my blood on her blanket that I realized nothing is ever going to change.

Was it hard to raise my daughter at first...hell yeah. But I put my big girl panties on and remembered what it was like living with my parents. My mom stayed with my father (who was constantly cheating on her) and I hated every minute of it. When I announced that the ex and I were splitting I caught hell from my mom. Everyone else though was supportive. Once my mom realized I was doing just fine on my own and others were supportive, she left my dad.

It's possible to get the passion back. You both are going to need counseling, but you can work on it and get it back. Does that mean it's worth it? It depends, do you think it's worth it? Do you want to be in love with him again? Or do you want to just cut your losses and move on? Either way (whatever you decide) you should probably seek some counseling on your own.


6 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I have been in your shoes and I'm saying "LEAVE". What are you hoping for? After years and years of him cheating over and over again and you staying (basically accepting it!) you think he's just going to stop? Uh, no. Start getting a game plan together. I know its hard living with your parents but you can do it until you get it together. And financially he will have to pay so you are not alone trying to take care of your kids. This happened to me when I was 39 and I knew I could not take it one second longer. I was turning 40 and realized how fast life goes by and you can't get back that time. I kicked out my husband, focused on my business and kids, moved in with mom and got on with MY life. It is not in my kids best interest to be with a man who clearly didn't care about me or our kids. I wish you the best...lots of us have been thru it and have turned out in much better situations. I'm happily remarried to a wonderful man I trust more than 100%, he makes six figures, loves me and my kids and is a great husband and father. So don't waste your life with him. Get yourself together and live a happy life because you and your kids deserve it. Good luck!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Leave. He's shown you repeatedly that he doesn't respect or care about you. On top of that, he clearly says he doesn't want to change or make it better. The day will come when your children realize that their parents do not love one another and that their father is a liar. They will also think that is normal- you don't want your kids to think that it's okay to cheat or be cheated on.

He's being faithful right now, but it will happen again.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Birmingham on

Staying for the sake of the kids is not the best reason to stay married. Kids are smart and can tell when something is up. My mom stayed married to an abusive alcoholic for a long time because she was a SAHM and high school drop out. She went back to school, got a degree, and asked for a divorce. He stopped drinking and they are still married. It is one of the most dysfunctional marriages I have ever seen. She should have left him when she wanted to. We all would have been happier and better for it. But back to you...

It sounds like it is fear that is making you stay. If you leave, you are forced to work and provide for your family as being a SAHM would be nearly impossible. That would be a huge change. If you stay, you will be unhappy UNLESS you can get into some counseling and learn to truly let go and move on from the past. You need a huge boost of self esteem and to realize your true worth. If you don't want to stay and you feel like the love is gone because of his indescretions, then leave. Life is truly too short to live even one day unhappily married to someone who makes you miserable. If I were walking in your shoes, me and my children would have been gone. Best of luck! (((HUGS)))

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I haven't been in your position as a wife, but I have been in it as a child, and please don't stay "for the kids" b/c that doesn't work. As someone else said, kids are smart and what they are ulitmately learning is that the behaviors and emotions that are going on between the two of you is normal, when in fact, it's not. They are learning that this type of things is not only acceptable but quite possibly the way it "should be". I'm not trying to be harsh, I feel for you and I can only imagine the fear you feel, confusion and anxiety you feel, but staying with a person you are not in love with does no one any good.

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answers from Chicago on

I personally think he has a problem and um.... yes you need to leave him. Sounds like he has a sex addiction. As far as counseling is concerned yes you need it and he does too but I certainly wouldn't stay with him any longer. Leave him!!! Staying with a cheating...lying scum bag is bad for your self-esteem and is just as bad for your kids. Why do you put yourself through this?? He is a repeated offender and doesn't sound like he wants to own up to it especially if he won't agree to counseling. He'd have to fess up and air his dirty laundry. You're miserable without him you say but guess what sounds like you're more miserable with him.....And please do not have sex with don't know if he's contracted an STD with all the hoochies he's been with....Hugs

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would go to counseling by yourself. This will give you perspective, which is lost when you are so close to the problem. A good therapist will help you decide the big questions: to trust or to get the passion to get the strength to leave him if that is what you need to do and how to deal with the fear that is keeping you in this situation. Also, for him...a counseler will do more than identify his problems - he will help him communicate with you, help him know how his actions affect you, etc etc.

He should be transparent to you - you should have his email passcode, to be able to look at his cell phone whenever you need to. If he has nothing to hide then he should not have a problem with you looking at his records.

Lastly, you have to look at this situation for your kids. You and hubby are the role models that show them what marriage should look like. You are teaching them both everyday what 'normal' is. Do you want your son treating other girls like this? Do you want your daughter accepting this behavior from a guy? If you choose to stay, you both have to make changes - and your hubby will have to step up to the plate and make them with you but first you need solo counseling to get yourself to a good place.

My first husband cheated on me. I've been there. He is now married to the woman he cheated with...and apparently she has quite the jealousy problem. I wonder why. I am now married to a great guy who treats me like a queen and I hope and pray we are teaching our daughter what a good relationship looks like.

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answers from Dallas on

If one of your children ever came to you in this situation, what would you advise them? I think you would certainly want them to be loved the way they should be. I like what JessicaWessica said "You sound like you're on pins and needles just waiting until you find out about the next woman. Who wants to live like that? Who deserves to live like that? Do you? " I think you know you deserve better.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

It takes a strong person to stay or leave, not one or the other. It takes TWO strong people to stay. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that your husband is strong. He doesn't want to make it work or he'd stop. My husband cheated on me and we had a few issuesfor a few years. We worked on it and past it, and we still have some issues related to it...but he is a good man and we both work hard every day to make us work. And I imagine even a perfect marriage is just as much work. Issues are issues. You decide what you want to deal with. We can't do that for you. We can only offer you words of wisdom and support. I will pray for you that this all works out how it is supposed to.

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answers from Buffalo on

Oh sweety, I feel for you. It is so easy for us to stay leave, but it is so scary. So much runs thru your head, money yadda yadda yadda, but let me ask you if your daughter came to you as you have come to us what would you tell her to do?

You would tell her to continue counsling, you will help her and she needs to leave the relationship as it is and find a man that will value you as you should. If it is good enough advise for your daughter why not you? Sweety he is the one with the problem and please internalizing this to yourself you did NOTHING to deserve this. How can you have sex with a man who has obviously embarassed you, disrespected you, and has put you at risk for diseases that normally you would not be.

Please again if you would tell your daughter or son to leave their spouse in this situation then there is your answer!!

Chin up you are a wonderful person and deserves someone who will respect you and the vows/promisses they have made to you.

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answers from Hartford on

Therapy isn't about "being told what your problems are." It's about learning how to work through those behaviors and to stop them if that's what you want. It's about learning how to work through other issues in your marriage and learning how to communicate and reconnect. A good therapist will not choose sides. A good therapist will guide both of you through this.

Without therapy in this particular instance, and obviously this is only going on this single post, I would have to say that your best indicator of his future behavior is his past behavior. Especially based on the fact that he's unwilling to go to therapy. He can't be so dense that he doesn't realize what therapy is all about.

Right now he truly has no motivation to change. So far, he does what he wants and while you leave him each time he gets out of line, you always go back to him. He has nothing to lose. If you don't follow through and stick with the consequence, he won't ever change.

Here's the thing. All of this back and forth and seeing you upset and seeing this dynamic in your marriage and seeing how your husband serially cheats on you ... that's as bad for the kids as it is for you. He's not just cheating on you but also the children, and they're going to grow up thinking this is all normal. This is how they learn what relationships are like. You don't want them to learn this way... you want them to model healthy relationships when they're older. So the cycle needs to be broken for good.

That means your husband needs to get to therapy and be willing to fix the marriage with you and stop his damaging behaviors for good, or you need to end it once and for all and not go back to him no matter what he says to you. You want to give him one more chance? That's up to you. But serial cheating is a deal breaker for me because that's not just a mistake or a marriage problem. It's abusive emotionally and frankly, it's disgusting since he's bringing other people into your marriage emotionally and sexually and he's breaking every ounce of trust. And he's also hurting his children each and every time.

You sound like you're on pins and needles just waiting until you find out about the next woman. Who wants to live like that? Who deserves to live like that? Do you?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Ok, totally crazy idea, but, maybe an open marriage would work? I know, I know. But clearly fidelity is NEVER gonna be his thing. I actually know a couple who live fairly happily that way, she does her thing he does his.

Even if he won't go to therapy, you should go yourself. Might help you find a little clarity. You're wanting a thing that doesn't exist, so you'll have to choose the lesser of two evils, sorry.

You DO deserve a better life than this.


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answers from Anchorage on

You say you keep staying for the kids, but allowing yourself to be treated like that is not good for the kids. Our kids learn how to function in relationships by watching their parents. I too have been in a marriage with a cheater. Once or twice I think can be forgiven, but at a certain point the pain they cause is just too great for love to overcome. I think you are well past that point. Get your resume together and start looking for a job. look where you are and where your family lives. That way when you do leave you already have work lined up and it will be that much faster for you to be able to get your own place. You need to do what is best for you and your kids, and allowing them to grow up thinking it is ok for a man to cheat on his wife over and over again is simply not it IMO. Also, as a side note, I have never seen a situation like this turn around with out both people agreeing and going to intensive therapy. If he refuses than he is not serious about making it work, which tells me he likes the way it is, he likes to cheat, and he thinks you will just keep putting up with it since you have so far.

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answers from Toledo on

Unfortunately your right, id say leave, but I am not where you are. It takes a very strong person to leave. I left a very physically abusive marriage, yours is emotional. If you chose to view it this way or not, is up to you. The fact that he has done it repeatedly and you have taken him back each time gives him permission to keep doing it. He says he has stopped …for now, but when will it happen again? If he refuses to go to counseling then you need to be strong and do it for you and the kids. Your kids are using your relationship as a guide to what they will look for in a spouse of their own…one day when your child comes to you and says mom what should I do my S/O cheated and im heartbroken….what would YOU tell them?

Best of wishes.

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answers from Dover on

My situation has some similarities to yours, though certainly not identical. The one thing I can 100% vibe with you on is not wanting a bunch of people telling you to leave your husband, telling you that you must not have any self-respect if you stay, telling you that you're harming your children by doing what seems to be the best thing for you & the kids financially.

IMHO, you've got a couple of options. Go to counseling yourself & see if you can work it out in your own head what it is you actually want. I bet in the end you'll see that you're ready to leave. If not, you're going to need to accept the fact that you married a cheater & accept the role that you're playing in it yourself. There are definitely women out there who know damn well their men have affairs & staying married is worth it to them. That's likely not the healthiest situations to be in, but it certainly is an option. If that's the route you choose to take, well counseling can likely help you with the whole sex issue as well.

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answers from Naples on

Sorry that you are going through this. Do you really think that he has changed? Do you think a leopard changes their spots? Do you want your daughter to have the same kind of married life because she thinks this is normal.....moving in, moving out, cheating husband etc? Do you want your son to grow up and think that is how he should be as a husband? Do you realize that what he is doing could put your life at risk? If you really want to work on the marriage, I would INSIST on counseling & STD testing, maybe get his butt into church too, try to do some of the things that you used to like to do together when you were dating, and also have "family fun days" where as a family you go to the park, or a picnic, or play outside, have family movie night with the lights off, lots of snacks and cuddling on the couch...maybe it will come back to you. If it doesn't, and you find him reverting to his old ways....kick him to the curb and move on!
ETA: Maybe get the book "Too good to leave, too bad to stay".

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answers from Dallas on

T., I haven't read any of your responses so hope I'm not being redundant. I am so sorry you are going through this. I know you feel stuck. You have to find healing now so that whether you stay married to your husband or ultimately decide to move on, you will do it in a healthy way. Don't buy into that "love" vs "in-love" stuff. There's no such thing. You love your husband but you have no intimacy, and you have been VERY hurt! It's no mystery why you don't feel love for your man. The good news is ALL of that CAN be recaptured. Trust me, it can be.

In addition to that, men (and women) who are unfaithful to their wives CAN change. I have seen it happen. You can forgive him as well. And, you can heal. It will take a lot of work, but you are worth it.

First off, you NEED THERAPY. You should tell your husband that you need it for you, and that you would feel very cherished if he would decide to support you by joining you. If he decides not to go, then go by yourself. This is after all, about YOU.

Get the book "Shattered Vows". It has helped me tremendously.

Last but absolutely not least, find God. He has done amazing things in my life.

T., take care, but please do seek healing. I wish the best for your family.

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answers from Charlotte on


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I think you need to go to counseling to get these feelings worked out in your head. Really, he's cheated on you so many times, obviously you don't trust him and are disgusted and are probably emotionally holding yourself back from getting your heart broken again.

He isn't even interested in going to counseling to help save your marriage. Counseling is more than telling him he screwed up, it can do wonders for both of you. It doesn't sound like a person I would stay with if he can't invest in making his relationship better. I would ask him why he is so against doing something that would help your marriage get past the hard issues and move forward together? In any case, if he won't go to counseling, you should. Perhaps the marriage can be salvaged if you both choose to move forward and start a new life together. That would mean getting the romance, passion and trust back. Yes, it can happen, I've actually seen it happen in a few of my friend's marriages who survived adultery. But it takes time... and usually therapy.

This is a short little video about weighing marriage and divorce, I hope it helps:

Here's another about how to really show love for each other. Watch it together, it's only about 3 mins long:

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Get yourself together, get a job and/or go to school. Save money. Then leave him when you can take care of yourself. You can't trust him, but I wouldn't give up on trying counseling.

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