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Brilliant. Thanks.

"I think I will look back and believe that whatever gave peace to my soul was the right choice for me."

Well said. Thank you for being open and honest with your feelings. And thank you again for being a good friend to Tertia.

I'm sorry you are in such a painful situation.

I'm a bit confused. You wrote that you trust your lover to end it "in his way in his time."

But then you called "the other woman" to ask her to "please not intrude in our family."

If you trust him, then why contact her?

And you also said that "she may have a conscience and she may not."

So, if she stays away from your family, she has a conscience. What does it say about your lovers conscience that he persued her?

I agree, you must do what you think it is right.

However, I wonder if it is possible to make good decisions, to protect yourself properly, when you acknowledge there is hate and anger in you, but you simply refuse to deal with the correct source of those feelings?


I am reading this with eyes wide open. I am VERY sheltered (and I know it) and I tend to not even think on this level. You have really opened my eyes to the pain and hurt that so many of my friends have endured that I simply could not grasp at the time. I still can't fully understand it, and I really don't want to. But, at least now, I can acknowledge the pain and the tough decisions that have to be made when in a relationship such as this. I can at least not shrug off the bad moods or the curt words that my friends with broken hearts use with the rest of the world.

THANK YOU for being so open and honest with your feelings and your life.

Thank you for posting this. Like you, I too was very black/white in my thinking. It was a lot easier for me to see things that way than have to deal with the realities of life, which are gray and every shade in between.

About 6 mos into our relationship, my partner hurt me very deeply. Previously, I would have been the first person to say, If someone does that to you, they are out, no ifs ands or buts. But when it actually happened, that just didn't feel right. I knew in my heart that the right thing to do was stay and work it out. It worked out for us.

Thank you again for sharing your experience.

As a grey person myself, i know there are so few decisions i've made in my life that I could say were 100% correct. you just do the best you can with what you've got and go forward from there. I think it's encouraging that you can talk with your hubby about it- but hope some of the discussions revolve around why he was interested in pursuing another option in the first place.

Tertia rocks and so do you. Thanks for a great post, my thoughts are with you and your family.

Thanks for sharing. I hope all goes well with your family.

I just wanted to say that I really understand what you've written. I won't go into my loooong story but I know enough about this issue to know that your decision is incredibly difficult. You are weighing up the lesser of two evils and I have to say that you are doing it with a lot of grace. I know that your first choice would be for this not to have happened but that is out of your control. You are choosing your husband and family and you've considered this enough to know that this is the right thing for YOU. And really that's all that matters. My mum left a cheating husband (my dad) and has gotten a lot of kudos over the years for being strong and brave and not taking crap. She has epitomised the independant single mother and I've always admired her. But she is sad and lonely and I think that she regrets being so black and white with dad. If she'd accepted his apology and his pleas to give it another chance then she may now be celebrating 30 years of marriage and looking forward to retirement with her husband. For a long time I swore that I'd do the same thing if my husband cheated but now I understand that this is definitely a grey area. Sometimes you hurt yourself the most by being unforgiving. I really hope that things work out for you and your husband. You seem to be considering all of the issues and as long as you keep making the right decision for you then you’ll be OK. I wish you all the best.

Grace - a measure or time to get it right.

Every since Christ hung on the cross mankind has been living in a time of 'grace'...a measure of time to get things right.

it's a gift He gave us. We give because we received.

Mercy = Unmerited favor. It, also, is a gift we give because we have received.

Love = Grace and Mercy liberally applied to whatever wound/hurt/destruction that comes our way from another.

Love, Mercy, Grace are not possible w/out the ability to Forgive.

Forgive = setting aside MY right to demand justice in any situation. It doesn't erase the situation, it releases it from controling you, me...whomever.

True forgiveness is a decions you make in your MIND that permeates to the heart through....grace, that measure of time it will take for you to get it (forgiveness) right.

If you are going to stay, you have know these things. These things are the color of Grey. But usually, they bleed red. The heart bleeds red when it is broken. But it heals.

YOU are in control of how it will heal. Will it heal Grey? the color of love, grace and mercy?

or will it heal black, the color of cold.

Infidelity is not about you. It is completely about him. Generally, it is rooted in unloving, i.e., he doesn't connect with the true essence of love. He (she) may speak it out, but they don't really understand it.

They haven't lived it, haven't been given it, don't know how to recieve it or hold it.

I could really move into this incredilby deep, but this may be enough.

If you stay, if YOU want to be content, you must go back to the first part of the post.

You MUST commit to forgive.

It can be done.

lv, bp

That's lovely bp, if you believe it. :P

well hell no i don't believe it!!!

made good copy tho.

and, of course, living life w/out an ounce of forgiveness has been proven to make one....unhappy, to say the least.

Proven, scientfically and medically!

"You MUST commit to forgive.
It can be done."

Well that part is very true, but I would add that it can be a long journey to complete forgiveness and it is also very difficult.

Thanks for being so honest about your situation.

I used to preach to my military ex that life isn't black and white, it is shades of gray. I never got that acr to him.

However, since being divorced (2 yrs) and dating and a single mom, I crave the black and white; I want order and control where I never did before.

I need to get back to accepting shades of gray and, yes, that does translate to some level of forgiveness in a hurtful and disappointing and discouraging situation.

Thanks for this number: "Mostly I learnt that I was responsible for my own reactions. Things happen in the universe but I decide how that will affect me."

I think I used to under-react in the shades of gray days; now I over-react. Sure would like to find that balance.

Although I cannot comment on infidelity, I will say that I am THRILLED to read the candid trials of a single/divorced/struggling mom like myself. Although the world must be full of them, none seem to blog!

Wow... I read your post with utter respect... and a unique understanding.

I'm going out on a limb to admit... I've been in this situation... on BOTH sides of the equation. And it's awful... on both sides... but you can survive.

I have been the dreaded 'other woman'... fallen madly and deeply in love with a married man who had children... he was unhappy... I was unhappy... through circumstance, we found solace in eachother. We lived on opposite sides of the continent and while there were times he was tempted to leave his family... he didn't. I understood that. I encouraged that. And I could never have lived with the guilt had he actually left them... yet I was in agony without him. Twisted? Definitely. Painful? I can honestly say I have never been more tormented in my life.

Fast forward a few years... I'm married to a handsome but insecure scoundrel. In time... I become a cuckold to his antics. When we'd walk down the street and women would make eye contact with him, I never knew if he had slept with them. I'm humiliated. long after our divorce, I met many many women that he'd 'known'... and all were shocked to learn of my existence. I became a skeleton of a human being in that relationship. I bought into the belief that it was MY fault... that I wasn't able to satisfy him. He had me going to therapy to fix my insecurities about these inconsequential physical encounters... GAWD it seems so ridiculous in retrospect... this went on for years. It finally ended when he slept with a mutual friend of ours... he had led her to believe that we had a completely 'open' relationship and that this was ok... I never held her remotely responsible... even if she didn't believe the 'open marriage' business... it was his responsibility to uphold our marriage... not hers. Eventually, she was HORRIFIED to discover that our arrangement was not what he had led her to believe. However, I couldn't BARE to have any evidence of her in our lives... even though I didn't hate her. HE however... thought this was ridiculous, and that I was punishing him by denying him from having a friendship with her. I finally said 'her' or 'me' and he begrudgingly agreed... or so I thought. Until one day when I was out with a client and I saw them together.... with MY DOG... looking like a happy little family. That was it... it ended then. The physical mechanics of ending took another few months... but I was now dead to this relationship.

So...here you have two extreme examples of infidelity. In the first instance... my paramour has since gone on to have two more children and is in a very healthy, happy, monogomous marriage. Even though at one time, his wife ostensibly knew about us... but denied it to justify staying. In the end... it worked for them. And made them stronger.

In the other example... you have an example of infidelity that could not be overcome... it was damaging, demeaning... and left me nearly suicidal.

I come away from these experiences with an utter lack of judgement about people's choices in their relationships... YOU DON'T KNOW UNTIL YOU HAVE BEEN THERE.

As a little girl... do you think I thought... "When I grow up I want to have an affair with a married man and potentially ruin his family." or "When I grow up I want to be humiliated by a perpetually cheating husband."


Nobody does.

The world IS indeed grey. And those who don't acknowledge that are either fortunate enough to lead very blessed and perfect lives... or have yet to experience a painful compromise in values.

To Tertia's friend... my heart goes out to you in this difficult time... I truly hope it works out for you both in a way that leaves you whole and healthy.

To everyone else... keep an open mind and resist the urge to judge.

Crawling back off the limb onto the safety of the tree trunk....


Great post! I can relate in that my husband (now) cheated on me while were engaged. I broke it off with him, he broke it off with her and we tried to reconcile for a few years; went through therapy and eventually got back together; worked through the huge issues of trust, etc...got married and after three years, are much happy than before. He is a different person. He has proven that to me though I do occassionaly have memory lapses about that but they get far and few between as time goes on. I never blamed "her" as much as I did him. She just happened to be there when we drifted apart. I blame myself too but I know we've both learned from it. Our communication skills are much better now and I think we are much better off because of it. I did not have one second thought of marrying him on our wedding day. Our day was perfect and it was our new beginning.

I have always said that you cannot judge someone until you have walked in their shoes. What a brave post.

I think that this is a really well written explanation of the situation that so many of us find ourselves in- trying to figure out the gray area. I know that I thought infidelity was a deal-breaker. But then when it happened to my couple, I realized that it seemed stupid to destroy my whole life because of some meaningless sexual encounter. I finally decided that our relationship was not based on sex, so why would I let this be the sole reason for us to break up. The real issue was how we had drifted apart and how communication had been lost. We took the time to work on these two things before deciding where our relationship was going. When I saw that things could change and did change, the cheating just didn't seem to matter. Ultimately, if my husband had not cheated on me physically but had developed a close platonic relationship with another women, one in which he felt comfortable discussing the issues that we never touched on, I would have felt much more betrayed and I don't think that we could have recovered. But because that aspect of our relationship remained intact, the bigger and more important part of our relationship, we were able to rebuild. After all this, I feel that couples who break up after a single sexual indiscretion couldn't have been very solid couples to begin with, because otherwise they would have been able to talk and work on the problems rather than just walk away so easily. Its funny how things change...

Just wanted to say I am in the grey too, and like you, it gives me peace too.

Thanks for sharing.

Thank you so much for sharing that intimate part of your life with us.

What an impressive post.

I can offer a similar perspective, though from the other side. My DH and I knew and dated eachother from a very young age before getting married. He is absolutely the love of my life. Early in our marriage however, I was very unhappy. In the years leading up to our wedding, we were living together under very stressful circumstances. In a very expensive area with low paying jobs. We were very poor and were struggling terribly, and DH was very unhappy as he had not yet found that job in life that made him happy and proud.

As a result, he shut down, and shut me out. We had virtually no physical relationship for several years. Despite my efforts to communicate, he would not address the issues. On many levels, I knew deep down that he truly loved me, but being isolated by the one person who meant the world to me was too much to bear, and I became increasingly depressed and bitter and angry.

As a result, I ended up in an affair with another man. I cared about this other man very much, but I still deeply loved my DH and did not want to leave him. But I became addicted to the "high" I got from my affair. It was the only thing that could make me feel good. Eventually DH found out about it, and his reaction amazed me. He was terribly hurt, but he did not leave. I thought perhaps *I* should leave (in fact I thought this would be my only option once he discovered the relationship - I was one of those black and white people once too!) Instead, he asked me to attend counseling with him, and to give it 2 months before making any decisions. I thought this was fair.

We ended up in counseling for many moths, and all this time, my outside relationship continued. I was too afraid to let go of that "safety net" right away. DH never asked me the details, and it was many months before he even asked *who* the other man was.

Needless to say, we worked out a lot of grief in our therapy together, and I finally ended the relationship with the other man. A clean break. I continue to be amazed with my husband over how he handled one of the worst situtations of his life. It took a lot of work for both of us, but I have an amazing marriage now, and am confident that we would never let such a thing happen between us again. We are stronger for it.

It *is* possible to handle betrayal with grace, and to forgive. My husband has not *once* brought up my infidelity in an argument in the years since it happened. Not once.

It doesn't have to be the end, and in fact, you can come through it with a stronger, closer relationship than ever before. We have an intimacy and friendship now that I could not have imagined 6 years ago. I love him more than anything, and he loves me fiercely too.

If you are in this situation and being pressured by family and friends to make a decision one way or another, I say ignore outside opinion if it is in conflict with what you and your partner feel in your hearts.

I'd just like to say that I wish I could hug you and make it all go away. That's my way. My husband and I have been very open and honest about how easy it is to slip. In this relationship, it is me that would be more likely to fall. (Audible gasp now) In fact, we had a "come to Jesus" talk about this maybe a year ago. I have never crossed the line. But even thinking of it in my head causes me grief to the point of agony. I do have a moral obligation to my husband and family. The only reason I even thought of straying was because of my belief that I wasn't desired. I layed it all out for my husband. I let him know what I need in order to be fulfilled in this relationship. I also ask him what he needs and believe me, nothing is more important to me than that. Our relationship is the bedrock of this family. More importantly, our relationship with God is the foundation of this family. So if I break relationship with my husband it is the same relationship I break with God. He established this union. He will uphold it as we are in communication with Him. Ask God for help. That's the best advice I can give to you.

A bit too late, but posted a comment on Other Woman - Infidelity issue any way...

My friend Meriel,
My story is, of course, different to yours... I do understand your position. I respect and admire you so much for your courage, strength and wisdom. But I cry for you now more sometimes than I cry for myself. I so do not want to see you hurting. Please, make it through! Please…

I think that grey is the colour we start to see things in after many life experiences, grey comes with years (sometimes literally as well), grey is a colour that by nature can add dimensions to our life, how we see it and how we choose to live it, it also allows us to become more compassionate human beings. Grey is perhaps about the getting of wisdom - it's often a very painful experience but one that etches something on our souls. Lovely post, sorry you're having to have this experience though. Tertia knows so many wise and wonderful women.
That's my spin on it anyway.

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