Woman reveals why she took back her husband who cheated on her multiple times and then blamed her

Daily Mail
You might think I’m a fool, but here’s why I’ve taken back my cheating husband TWICE. even though he’s lost count of his one-night stands
You might think I’m a fool, but here’s why I’ve taken back my cheating husband TWICE. even though he’s lost count of his one-night stands Credit: Kawee - stock.adobe.com

Late last year, I found a handwritten note on the doormat. A sense of foreboding washed over me; somehow, I just knew the contents would be bad news.

Hands trembling, I read the curt lines from a man I’d never met. It informed me that my husband of ten years had been unfaithful — with his wife.

Worse, being colleagues, everyone in the office knew. He signed off with a brisk “I thought you’d want to know.” I crumpled to the floor, sobbing in the hallway of the beautiful five-bedroom home we shared with our three sons.

Sign up to The Nightly's newsletters.

Get the first look at the digital newspaper, curated daily stories and breaking headlines delivered to your inbox.

Email Us
By continuing you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

Deeply hurt and utterly humiliated, I was convinced our marriage was over. Fast forward nine months, however, and Nick and I are very much still together.

I have absolutely no intention of leaving him. Even though I now know he has slept with at least a dozen women behind my back. I say at least, because he says he can’t remember the exact number.

Many will wonder how, and why, anyone would overlook such extensive betrayal. Yet while our children were firmly in my mind as I made my decision to stay, I’m remaining in the marriage for me, too. Because I still love my husband and find him as attractive as when I first laid eyes on him 15 years ago.

I’m also realistic. There’s no such thing as a perfect marriage. And I have to accept that — embarrassing a cliche as it may sound — I had become one of those wives who leaves their husband at the bottom of her to-do list. Post-children, there was no semblance of the thrilling sex life we’d enjoyed before.

It’s why I’ve made the decision to forgive his infidelities not just once, but twice. Yes; that letter wasn’t the first time I learnt he’d been unfaithful. But as mad as it may sound to those reading this, being forced to take stock of our relationship in this way, and assess what really matters to me, has made our marriage better than ever.

Ironically, I met Nick through work, too. Then in our late 20s, we worked for the same chi-chi global hotel chain and bumped into each other at a beach bar in the Maldives.

He had penetrating blue eyes, an athletic body and the chiselled jaw of Thor actor Chris Hemsworth. He also made me laugh a lot.

Within a year, we were a couple and looking at buying a place together.

We married in 2013 and our eldest son was born the following year. I took a career sabbatical but Nick’s glamorous jetsetting continued — something I now realise made his cheating easier. While I made over our gorgeous Oxfordshire farmhouse and grew our family, he was typically away one week in four. I never felt the need to check up on him, as we chatted regularly.

But in 2022, a year before I received the note about his infidelity, I discovered a hotel receipt in his office with two names on it: his — and a woman I hadn’t heard of.

At first I assumed there had to be a logical reason for this; they’d hired a room for a seminar, or meeting. Yes, Nick has always been a flirt, he’s very charming and does flatter other women even when I’m around, but I never thought he would actually cheat.

But the receipt clearly stated it was a bedroom. Time stood still as I put two and two together.

I Googled the woman and learned (thank you, LinkedIn) that she was at the same Las Vegas conference as him. Nick was out with the boys, so I waited until the morning to confront him when the children were at school.

He was extremely contrite; there were tears as he kept on saying: “I have no excuse, I’m a fool.”

I was utterly stunned. I was pregnant with our third son at the time, which left me oscillating between utter fury and knock-me-down heartbreak. But I never considered leaving him. Instead I did a good job of convincing myself it was a one-off and that I was partly to blame because we rarely had sex due to the pregnancy. I was not about to contemplate a future raising three children alone.

The mistake we made was never to sit down and properly talk it all through. Overwhelmed by family life, and focusing on my pregnancy, I just wanted to forget about it.

As for confiding in friends, it’s not something you want others to know about — it’s too humiliating. Especially when you do decide to stay, knowing that people will pass judgment on you as well as him.

So I let it slide; something I learned to regret. Because precisely 18 months later, thanks to that letter, I discovered Nick had done it again.

By then I was a 42-year-old stay-at-home mum of three. How could he? This time I was determined to tackle the issue fully.

When our sons — then nine, five and 14 months — were in bed, I calmly put the letter on our kitchen island and asked him to confirm if the story was true.

“Oh, god, I’m a mess!” he gasped. “This is a mess. I’m so, so sorry.”

My heart pounded and I was utterly convinced we were finished. And there was worse to come . . . Feminine intuition compelled me to ask: “Is this something that happens often, Nick?”

Showing little emotion, he told me there were “at least” a dozen other occasions when he’d had a one-night stand over the past five years of our marriage. In that moment, I didn’t dare ask whether they were strangers or women I knew.

Such was my shock and distress, I actually rushed to the toilet to be sick.

Nick went on to explain that he’d got into a cycle of the “odd” one-night stand after our second son arrived. He said he hated himself for it and didn’t even know why he had risked everything in this way. Crying, he begged me to believe that it was only ever one-night stands rather than longer affairs.

He argued that the first one had only happened when he’d drunk too much and should be excused as a mistake. After that, he confessed, the cheating had become “easy” to justify to himself, because there was no emotional investment.

He’d even drawn up some “rules”: he never brought someone back to the marital home and never slept with the same woman twice. As if any of that made it better! And he’d clearly broken that rule by sleeping with a colleague twice — as her husband had detailed in his letter. But just as I thought my head couldn’t spin any more, Nick suggested I should take some blame. After all, I was a “football mum, on the PTA or at the gym and had no time for him”.

When he went away for work, he even had to pack his own case — poor diddums!

That’s when I lost it, shouting at him for daring to turn the blame on me.

It was only later, once my initial anger had abated, that I began to consider he may have a point.

Admittedly, before children we’d have sex four times a week and it was now twice a month if we were lucky. I did rebuff him sometimes when he tried to initiate intimacy but I was exhausted.

Nick said as a result he was in serious need of some attention. If a girl made an advance, he’d think, “Oh well, it won’t hurt”. (Yes, he actually said those words. He even had the gall to reason he never made the first move. I nearly threw something at him.)

If we weren’t parents, I would almost certainly have walked away. But our boys didn’t deserve to have their world ripped apart. My own parents split up when I was six; Dad left and Mum had several unsuitable partners. I saw my father fleetingly and Mum poisoned me to his unfaithful behaviour. I didn’t want my children to be caught in the middle like that.

After a sleepless night with Nick relegated to the guest room, I told him I needed time to think. He didn’t move out, and we tried to keep things as normal as possible in front of the children, but I took a couple of months to conclude that I did want to try again.

I’m sure many of you are thinking at this point that my decision was foolish — that he had already proved that once a cheater, always a cheater. Yet his infidelity wasn’t the only thing I had to consider.

I couldn’t deny Nick is a fantastic dad, who spends hours with our sons, outside with them in all weathers playing football. He takes parenting responsibilities very seriously — if not his marriage vows.

I did a lot of soul-searching, too. We had drifted apart post children. We hadn’t had any deep and meaningful conversations for a long time. In the early fog of motherhood, I had lost interest in him as a husband, only interested in what he had to offer as a father and a provider.

Things had been so different in the early days. Then, we had felt like sexual soulmates who thrived on having an adventurous sex life. But, after three C-sections, that sensual version of me had died. I didn’t have the same desire any more, and when we did have sex, I just wanted it to be over.

Nick had often complained that date nights were a thing of the past, that we should take a weekend away together without the boys. He’d even asked me to join him on one of his work trips but I dismissed every offer as unthinkable. It never once occurred to me that there would be a veritable carousel of women waiting to take my place, providing him with the physical intimacy that was lacking in our marriage.

Every time I think about it — and the fact that even he’s not sure of the exact number of women he’s cheated with — it’s a punch to the stomach. Yet despite this, I’ve made the decision that, five or 50 women, it doesn’t matter.

I try to focus on the bigger picture instead — that no one is perfect and that we’ll get through this. That I’m the only one he’s ever had an emotional connection with. And that he’s promised he won’t do it again.

You may be rolling your eyes at this point. But I’m making the choice to trust him for the sake of our marriage, our children — and my sanity. I’m seeing a therapist and Nick has volunteered to see one, too. He has also accompanied me to some of my sessions, which helped him understand the impact of his infidelity.

I asked him how he would feel about another man bringing up his children, because that could well happen if he goes down this road again. He looked utterly disgusted when I asked what if I’d cheated. I’m certain I wouldn’t be given a second (or third) chance.

For now, though, I take each day at a time and can appreciate it’s been a massive turning point in our relationship. As a result we make time for each other, talk more and have sex at least twice a week, sometimes more. We’re back to being friends with a spark, rather than just co-parents.

And even though I’ve chosen to stay at home with the children, Nick helps with the daily domestic routine, which means I’m not as tired.

I’ve even been away on one work trip to Spain with him while Mum looked after the boys, and I had a glimmer of that sexually carefree woman I used to be.

Yes, Nick still works overseas on a regular basis. Frankly, if he’s going to stray he could do it in the next town as easily as another country. Temptation, if you want to see it like that, is everywhere. I’ve made the choice to trust him, so that’s what I have to do.

But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have those nights when I’m on my own and wondering: ‘Will he stray again?’ Because I can’t, hand on heart, be certain that he won’t...

- Names have been changed

Comments

Latest Edition

The front page of The Nightly for 24-06-2024

Latest Edition

Edition Edition 24 June 202424 June 2024

What a climate change. Albo takes punt on this once pro-nuclear Liberal to lead his renewable energy battle.