I have been married for 15 years and my husband wants to leave me for his mistress of 3 years. 18 months ago I was diagnosed with an earlier stage cancer. No sooner did I start to recover from a very extensive surgery, my husband got fired from a job he had for 27 years. Financial devastation followed. I stood by him. 3 months after that I stumbled onto his affair. It took a while for the whole truth to come out, but he told me it was over and he never stopped loving me and couldn't leave our family. He said loosing me would have been the worst thing in the world. Now another 3 months have gone by and he has decided he can't live without the mistress. He loves her. She gave him everything he wanted in a relationship. All I do is cry. I tried seeing a counselor and it doesn't help. I don't want to go on a "journey". I just want my life back. I have young children. We are financially unable to have separate residences. My life has been my family. I let go of outside friends, hobbies. I am lonely beyond words. I live each day hoping he will tell me he's changed his mind again, but knowing he is probably just finding ways to sneak to see his mistress. I have nothing. I have nowhere to go. This is more pain than I have ever felt in my whole life and it somehow keeps getting worse. I don't know how to make it better.
I might not be the best person to offer marital advice, since I'm only 25 and never been married.
All I can say is this - you're strong and you deserve to be treated better! Tell him that it's time he behaved like a father and a husband, and he needs to show you and your children some respect. There's nothing manly about sneaking off and having an affair. Have you told him how you feel? You should, in a calm way and privately. Ask him to help come up with solutions to keep your family together and financially stable, and then make sure that both of you do them. I'm sure you know by now that marriage requires compromise, but you should never have to compromise your happiness and well-being because he wants to have fun on the side.
If he is well and truly in love with this other woman, then find a way to make it work including her. Yes, that's a hard pill to swallow, but you could keep your family together and not risk further financial troubles, not to mention the benefit of your children being with their father. I hope that he -is- a good father, despite his extracurricular activities.
If you can't work anything out, after you both really put effort into it, then it's probably time for the big D. You shouldn't have to stay in the relationship if he won't put any effort into it. You deserve to be happy as much as he does. But if this happens, then make sure that he will be paying for it dearly, so your children will be cared for. Even then, have him stay involved with them! It's always best to have both parents around.
Good luck! You sound like a strong person, and you shouldn't ever forget it!
Thanks so much for your encouraging words. It's such a tough situation and I never thought I would be the "pathetic loser" woman to stand by my man despite the fact that he treats me horribly. Truth is, it's just so much more complicated than that. I've had those calm conversations with him. In fact, I've yet to yell or scream or be mean at all. And, that is bothersome to him. I just can't show anger because there is too much pain and fear. I am in a completely vulnerable position-I financially can't be on my own yet, I'm in the midst of health crisis with no health insurance outside of a few more months of COBRA, I really don't have any friends or outside interests. I have put all of my energy into my family and my kids the last few years. I have no idea if he really loves this woman. But it's not like he's a teenager. He's way old enough to know life is more involved than that. I don't know how you can throw a family out the window . It's been a total roller coaster ride. He gives me mixed messages all the time. I am a bundle of emotions and really have a hard time functioning in daily life. It's truly awful. I am trying hard not to make a rash decision and be adult about the situation, but to being miserable really is not a fun way to live.
You're not pathetic at all! Keep reminding yourself every day, look in a mirror and say it. It's hard, but you need to believe it - you are strong, you can get through it, and you deserve to be happy! He needs to know that you -are- angry, that you're hurting and worried about yourself and your family. Don't say something you regret, but show him a little of that anger - it will tell him that you're stronger than he believes. Ask him straight up if he is in love with this woman, and remember that it's not her that you should be angry with. He is the one who stepped out. Make sure that he knows that you want things to be figured out as soon as possible, but not rushed, because you can't live like this. You shouldn't have to, especially with your health how it is. All the stress is certainly making it all worse, tell him that.
I definitely understand the financial and health issues, it sucks so much. =\ I really wish you the best with that in itself. It's so hard dealing with health problems without insurance, especially when you can't afford to go without.