This is my first time posting, & while there’s a lot involved, I’ll try to be as concise as possible.
My husband & I got married very quickly, within a year of meeting, never lived together previously as it was long distance (international.) we’ve been married almost 10 years, with no children. we both brought a lot of our own issues from the past to the relationship, but we were supportive of eachother. In the past 2 1/2 years, we’ve relocated, trying to start fresh in a new country, but things seem to have gotten quite bad, fights are explosive, we both seem to harbor anger, resentment, frustration, both over the past & present.
About 8 months ago, when things were at a breaking point, my husband told me he was being come onto by a woman at work, and for the first time in our marriage, was considering it. I was shocked and hurt, but resolved to make a change for the better because I didn’t want to lose him. However, nothing seemed to change on his part, only get worse. I felt like anything I did, I was met with hate. Things hit boiling point when one day, I asked him if I could meet a woman he was friends with at work, trying to work on his complaint of me never making an effort with his friends. He became defensive, & it came out that he had feelings for her, he wasn’t sure he was in love with me anymore & there the woman hitting on him at work story was made up because he wanted to tell me, but didn’t know how, etc. He later said that this wasn’t true, he was just confused, & he never actually had feelings for her, but was looking for something that was lacking in our marriage. He claimed it was just emotional, never physical, but regardless, I was terrified he’d leave me.
I began to pull away, to try to cope, but completely unsure of how I felt. I was/am struggling with a long time lack of self esteem, & recently remembering some repressed memories of sexual abuse. To be honest, I put my head in the sand, because I didn’t know how to cope. I ended up meeting someone & a few months down the line, began to have an affair. I fell for this person, who wanted me to leave my husband. My friends, not knowing that I was having an affair, encouraged me to leave him. Over time, the man I was seeing ended things with me, with no real reason given. I was devastated & relieved all at once.
Eventually, I told him. When I did, he took it as I thought he would, & it broke his heart. However, I told him it only happened once & didnt tell him how emotional invested I was. He kept saying he didn’t want to live, & sped off in his car with a kitchen knife. I was terrified he was going to either hurt himself, or the man I was involved with. The police were called, & things were eventually under control. A friend of mine, who I’d only recently confided in while drunk, got involved, telling my husband everything, & when he confronted me, gave me the opportunity to come clean, but again, told me repeatedly how heartbroken he was, & how he didn’t want to live. I was so scared, I denied it, almost as instinct, obviously not thinking ahead, but only in the moment. Within days, we were in counseling, & he was diagnosed with a form of cancer.
I’m totally confused. I know what I have done is despicable, & I regret not coming clean immediately, but I was so scared & ashamed. I know I love my husband, but I don’t know if I’m in love with him. I still care deeply for the man I was involved with, & harbor extreme guilt over all of this. With his recent diagnosis, & still finding out his staging and prognosis, how can I do anything but support him, even though I’m totally unsure of what I want from all of this. I’ve pledged myself to him because I knew he was hurting, & I’ve caused this & it’s not his fault that this came out the same time as his health problems, but I don’t know how I feel about him anymore. I’ve struggled for years with being a people pleaser, with him as well, & have very low self esteem, so part of me is terrified of being alone or making a huge mistake, but another part just doesn’t want to break his heart by even bringing up my unsure feelings, especially considering how I’ve told him repeatedly that I am in love with him. I know what I’ve done is horrible, & expect a bit of hate from this, but any insight would be appreciated.