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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I have had trust issues with my current wife now for years

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I have had trust issues with my current wife now for years and even before we were married that came from past child hurts and relationships and even some that I thought existed within our relationship. I am guilty of maybe exaggerating issues and maybe even making things up in my mind that never happened. Anyway because of this and the way I felt I built walls up around myself and between us and never fully allowed myself to trust her and love her the way that she says she loves me. This caused of course many bad arguments and distant between us over the past few years. We have tried counselling and all that and things were getting better for myself and her and us, until we moved away and went somewhere else to live for work. Then things slowly got bad again between us again and my doubts about her and us and the trust issues arouse again. The past fights and of course the new fights eroded our intimacy together as well and which I of course took it further and read more into it than what it was or is. By suggesting that she does not want to be with me physically because she is with someone else and so on. She has refused intimacy with me on many occasions, both sober and after drinking. This of course making the cycle worse and repeating the bad behaviour over again. The funny thing is we both madly love each other and most of the times things are great and we feel connected in ways both of us admit that we have never felt in any other relationship. We have fun together and are never bored and are each other’s best friends and want to spend the rest our lives together. We talk about everything and share and are open and honest with each other as far as I know to the point of sharing some pretty scary stories of past wrongs in our lives and relationships and have felt safe within each other’s arms while doing so.
So the problem comes from the other night when we had a large fight again and I was in one of my moods and she went to bed drunk after what was a fun flirty night with lingerie fashion show form both of us. She refused sex again and I was upset and so I went to sleep on the couch down stairs. Well I being upset and sexual aroused and after drinking I made a bad and very poor decision to call a call girl. I wanted to call it off from the moment I called and said yes to having her come by; I wish I had. However I had her come over and we kissed. Then she started to perform oral sex with me with a condom on and I could not get fully erect and so I did a little oral on her and tried to get hard. However I could not and she tried to get it into her with no luck, she however still made me cum with some rubbing. I was not feeling good about the whole situation and very sad and ashamed of myself and asked her to leave. I was crying and ashamed and could not look at her. This all happened downstairs on the living room couch while she slept upstairs.
I now feel so full of guilt and shame and hurt and disgust at myself for allowing this to happen. To hurt the one I am supposed to love and the one that loves me. The one that I have trust issues with and the one who always says she trusts me completely. Then I am the one to go and do something like this. She is supposed to be my friend and lover. Funny and not so funny that It takes or took something like this to kind of jolt me and realize some of my feelings. I now know how she must feel when I accuses her of things and how much hurt that must cause her and how much pain I put her in for doing so. I also now realize that I have been blocking our love and intimacy by my actions and the way I fell, not her. I know realize how much I really do love her and do not want to hurt her or continue the same pattern and or actions and truly want to make her happy and do the right thing by her. I want to love her and be the man that she wants and deserves and make her happy. Should I tell her as I have told her everything about what I have just done, as I feel she has a right to know and is supposed to be my friend, my lover and we are supposed to have trust in each other? I feel that this erodes that trust even more and is unfair to keep this from her. I feel she deserves the choice on how to feel about this and to react and make decisions accordingly. I am not sure how this is going to affect her, me and us long term whether I tell or not tell her. All I know is that I do not want to do further damage to her, us or myself and I love her and want her to know and finally show her how much I love her.
1/ Is it selfish or selfless, not to tell her or to tell her?
2/ Should I walk away and leave her, after telling or not telling her?
3/ Is it crazy to believe or does it make sense that something like this kind of wrong can make things right? That I might now realize like I said above and do what it takes from myself to make her happy, give her what she needs, wants and deserves and that in that process it will help me as well?
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.
It is always a difficult decision whether or not to tell your spouse when you have an affair. But what you want to consider in your decision is the fact that trust is the main component needed for a healthy and growing relationship that includes intimacy. And also, you want to think about the potential for you to feel close to your wife given that you are hiding something from her. Another point to consider is the effect on your wife should she find out from another source that you had this affair. All of those factors go into making your decision.
It is not selfish to want to tell your wife what happened. You are intimate with each other and know each other better than anyone else. Telling her is not only a way to clear all mistrust between you, but it helps your relationship recover. The only issue with telling her is how much it may hurt her. And with that, you need to be prepared. She may react with anger, hurt and she might consider divorce. But as long as you are prepared to help her through that and you are willing to be an open book regarding what happened, then she can recover.
With any marriage, as long as there is hope both people should continue to try to keep the marriage going. So give your best effort to work this out and see where it takes you both. The worst thing to do at this point is to walk away and never try. You may always wonder if things could have improved and your marriage would have lasted.
It is not odd at all that it took this incident to help you realize that you want to be with your wife. It is often that "peek" at the other side of things that helps you to see that you are missing out on what you already have. So what you feel is very normal.
In order to fix your marriage, try these steps:
Let your wife know that you are aware you hurt her and especially that you took away her trust. Ask her what you can do to regain her trust. Be willing to do what she asks (as long as it is reasonable and not hurtful). Let her know that you are wrong here and that you are willing to do what it takes to fix what happened.
Be willing to become an open book in your marriage. If it makes your wife feel better, let her see your cell phone, read your emails and check your accounts. This will not be forever, but just until trust is reestablished.
Consider seeing a counselor with your wife, if she will go. If not, go without her. Let her know that you want to be sure this never happens again. And if she doesn't go with you initially, keep encouraging her to go eventually.
It may take a while, so try to be patient. Your wife may go from angry to hurt then to ok only to go back again. And the issues you were dealing with before may play a part as well. While you are working this through, you can also use self help to work on your marriage. Here are some resources to help:
Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken: Finding Forgiveness and Restoration by Cindy Beall
Not "Just Friends": Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity by Shirley P. Glass and Jean Coppock Staeheli
I hope this has helped you,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

4/ How do I deal with this short term and long term if I tell her or if I do not tell her?

5/ How do I escape the guilt and shame I feel? As I cry and cannot even look certain people in the eye anymore, as am that ashamed of myself.

6/ I want to hold her and hug her and kiss her and right now, I am trying to appear normal and show her what I was saying above about how much I love her and a new me, but right now all I feel that I do not deserve that closeness from her and that would be rewarding myself for bad behaviour. Is this a sign that I should tell her as she will eventually find out by my actions and I will tell on myself and or a sign that I may not be able to get over it and the quilt will eat me and us alive further harming her, myself and our relationship?

Am I betraying her trust further if I do not tell her?

Another counselor on here advised me not to tell her as that would be the real hurt and would cause further damage to the relationship at this point and would be selfish to tell her to ease my own mind. Why the conflicting views as I am so confused now?

If you chose not to tell her, then it depends on how much guilt you feel over what happened as to how you handle it. And if you do tell her, then the advice I provided above should help. To address any guilt or other feelings you might have, seeing a counselor would help a lot. This would be a long process to work out so talking to someone who would guide you would be ideal.
Shame is also a process to work through. The best way to start to deal with that is to decide to be upfront and honest about what you feel. Talk to your wife or others about your true feelings. Don't try to hide or hold back. By confronting your feelings, you can reduce or eliminate your shame.
Wanting to be with her but dealing with your guilt at the same time could be a sign that you need to tell her. Though another counselor may feel that telling her would hurt, it is ultimately up to you. And if you are feeling that this affair is preventing you from being close to your wife and making you feel guilty, you should factor that in to your ability to have a true, close relationship with your wife.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So is it wrong if I choose not to tell her to save her from further pain and our marriage?

It is not wrong at all. The only factors to consider is if you can live with your decision and still be close and intimate with her (including fully trusting each other) and if you are concerned she will find out otherwise. But besides those things, if you feel it is best to keep this to yourself, you can certainly do that.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If I do tell her, should I spare the details and just keep to the facts as to not make it worse than it is, or should I tell all?

I have heard that or read on the forums that most people would choose not to know of something like this if it truly was a one time mistake and not an ongoing or repeatable thing and that it actually helped the marriage by making the other person realize that the love them and brings them closer and that by telling you actually can harm the other person more and the marriage may not have a hope and or ever be the same. I do not want to lose her or hurt her and or the marriage at all, so torn on what to do and I truly want to be close and have learned something from this silly stupid mistake on my part. I do not want to have it effect her as well or our marriage as well.

You should tell her everything and allow her to ask questions if she wants to. The idea is to be as open and honest as possible so you both can heal.
It is not an easy decision to make, I understand. You might want to consider therapy first before you decide so you feel settled with your decision.
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