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HomeRelationship AdviceMy (41F) husband (42M) says he cheated because he felt like it...

My (41F) husband (42M) says he cheated because he felt like it was his only chance to do so.

My husband of 22 years cheated with a 23 year old intern at the company he worked at, and I found out because he subsequently fired from a position he had been performing well at for the past 3 years because of the affair.

For a little bit of backstory, my husband and I grew up in the same small town but met when we were both enrolled in a local community college. He was in a bookkeeping program and I was studying to become a licensed nurse practitioner.

My husband later told me that by the end of date 3 he was set on doing anything so that I would be the one who he married. He always came off as a very shy guy, and could not live down the time he sat on a barstool and it broke in front of everybody, because he always struggled a lot with his weight. I always felt that I was pretty average looking but had enough of a love for soccer and ballroom dancing that it was pretty easy to stay in shape. However, my husband kept saying that he didn’t deserve me and that I was the most beautiful girl that ever gave him the time of day, and he was shocked when I said yes to a date.

He proposed after only a year of dating and I accepted. However, I had to beg him to wait until we graduated, accepted jobs, and planned out where we were going to live before we had a wedding. I felt like I was pulling teeth because he was jealous that my ex from high school was at a top 20 college and had started a successful business with his roommate, even though we were thousands of miles away and I did not want to talk to an ex who had cheated on me several times during our senior summer. Every day he asked why we couldn’t just go to the courthouse that day even though we only ended up waiting a year after his proposal to get married.

Now we have been married 22 years and have 3 kids together. I am a nurse at an adult daycare and my husband started off as a bookkeeper for small businesses. Small businesses in our area tend to come and go and finally he got a job at a larger regional company where he fit in well with his new coworkers and was promoted.

This all came to a halt Friday evening when he broke down and told me that he had been fired and he had it all but lost it all. He had been an irritable, angry person for the past few months so I knew something was wrong and now he confessed it all. He said there was a 23 year old who interned in his department and he supervised most of her work. He said that he was shocked when she seemed to express an interest in him and thought it was too good to be true. He said she wasn’t as attractive as I was when we first met but that she looked similar from afar, was fit, and kind to him.

One day they stayed late at work after an office party and one thing led to another and they started sneaking off to local motels to sleep together. It all came crashing down when higher ups noticed dubious activity on his company card and when the rumor mill caused a coworker to follow both of their cars to a Super 8 and come back with pictures.

I guess to keep me from finding out he started paying for the affair at his company’s expense. Lunch and dinner bills for two, paying for her gas bills, etc.

He was fired first without any severance, everybody seemed to be told, and his boss threatening to press charges. His mistress was initially allowed to finish out her internship, which ends in December, but they got photographic evidence of her getting a cash advance from my husband’s corporate card at an ATM and is apparently being fired with a small severance and some signed agreement. This evidence will probably further tip the scale as to whether my husband might face criminal charges.

After telling me all this my husband started sobbing and saying that the company was so good to him and I was so good to him and he ruined it both. He said that his only explanation was that she reminded him of me when we were first married, empathizing she was less attractive. He said that he still struggled with his weight and was ignored by most people outside of his family, but she paid attention to him. He said he couldn’t help it and it felt like he was getting older and still gaining weight so nobody would find him attractive soon enough. He said his judgement was clouded and didn’t realize that this when this woman told him she had extreme anger and impulse control issues that she was briefly hospitalized for, and was estranged from all her family and friends, she meant it. He even defended himself by saying that he thought that if the company would give her an internship she could not be insane and that she tricked everybody.

He apologized and asked me to forgive him, saying he loves our kids and to please not leave him.

What do I do? I knew something was up and asked him more than a few times what was going on. He responded with silence, slammed doors, and withholding of affection and sex. After turning 40 I was looking forward to our future. We live in modest circumstances, knew we would never be anything more than average income with our combined salaries, but I thought we’d be happy. That we’d save for our three kids ( aged 13,10, and 8) to go to college and hopefully a bit of a cushion in case of health issues or emergencies. I always thought, after getting cheated on in high school, that I’d get up and leave if anybody did it to me again. But I feel paralyzed and cannot face my husband, even in therapy, because the explanation he gave me was so maddening.

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  1. Well that’s certainly an interesting explanation: “Yes, I cheated, but only because … I had the opportunity to. Who knows when this chance would come around again?”

    The thing to keep in mind here is that _he didn’t just cheat._ He cheated, he abused his position, he stole from his company, and he threw away your family’s financial security, all while treating you like shit (and consider that he may well have been planning to leave you for her before he got caught). Maybe you could forgive him for being unfaithful once. But it’s beyond me how anyone could forgive what he has done.

  2. Nah this affair would’ve lasted longer if he didn’t get caught/fired. This man threw the marriage away for a thrill & the reasoning behind his infidelity is pitiful! He lost his job & his mistress! Youre all he has left & now he’s begging for you to stay…the audacity of this man.

  3. Your husband is a weak excuse of a man. The trust is gone forever. Woe is me, I’m fat and old and fucked the first young thing that was nice to me. The best advice I have is to find a good lawyer. You can do so much better than a weak, vile wretch. Not only is he a cheater, but he did it with an intern. That’s a huge violation of ethics and he will likely be blacklisted for this and never work in his field again.

  4. Funny he throws in he dosent want to lose you or the kids. He didn’t give a S#*+ when he was taking his clothes off multiple times, though.
    Leave! You forgive him once, he will do it again.

  5. From a legal standpoint, and for financial self preservation, divorce is the best option. He is unemployable right now, and might be facing criminal charges.

    Divorce him now before he gets eligible for alimony. To others, it will look like you’re kicking a fallen horse, but this means ensuring your and your children’s well being and survival. You can still be with him, but there should be no legal ties.

    As another lawyer said, lawyer up yesterday.

  6. This wasn’t an drunken mistake at a company party. He had an ongoing affair with someone he was in a position of power over. And also decided. Hey I might as well steal from my company as well. He’s framing this as he’s somehow the victim because he’s fat now? These acts aren’t some reliving of youth or bad self esteem. They’re completely morally bankrupt and actually illegal. The only reason he’s not in jail is since it’s an accounting firm and they had someone embezzling in their company it would be really bad for their reputation. I really don’t think this is forgivable or fixable. Again this wasn’t a slip up or a mistake. It was calculated and illegal. Your best bet is to get to a lawyer immediately

  7. He had an ongoing affair.

    He had this affair with a much younger person who he was in a position of power over.

    He committed actual crimes, felony larceny, to not just keep his affair off radar but for personal gain.

    He is giving you misleading, bullshit excuses for his behavior instead of being accountable.

    I am NOT one of those commenters who always advocates for divorce, but in this case, why would you stay?????

  8. Leave him. He made a decision that cost him his livelihood, career, and family all to get his dick wet to have a relationship with a 23 year old. He only told you because he lost his job otherwise he would still be doing it. But now he needs you to financially support him for cheating. Leave him to his disrespectful, corrupt once in a lifetime opportunity and don’t bother indulging this man for the rest of your lifetime. Get a lawyer to get out of the marriage.

  9. Accountantant at large firm here, what he did was absolutely vile, he may be black listed from other reputable firms for this, they do not mess around with morals when it comes to positions of power dating those beneath them especially an intern. I think it’s best to be rational about this, he is a cheater, he cheated not once but several times, each time was a conscious choice to betray you, your kids, and everything you have built. I would suggest distance stay with your parents bring the kids, tell them what he did, then I would put my time into research about infidelity, whether you choose to stay or not, just because your 40 doesn’t mean you can’t still have a new fulfilling love life with someone who won’t cheat on you.

  10. #Lawyer

    I know what your husband did was terrible and its an emotional situation. But OP, I hope you had gotten yourself a lawyer *yesterday*

    If there is a possibility they may press criminal charges, you must protect yourself and your kids before it comes to that.

  11. The thing that really stands out to me here is that he was irritable and angry for a few months during the affair.

    I can tell you WHY.

    He had found a young thing to play pretend with and have fancy lunches in hotels with – and he was mad that he was ‘trapped’ in a marriage with 3 kids.

    He was living his young stud sex fantasy and going home at night to chores and routine was screwing up his new life.

    He didn’t end the relationship. It was ended on him with possible criminal charges.

    – tell him to find somewhere else to sleep for a couple of weeks. Tell the kids he is going on a work trip. (Make him take a suit and other clothes for interviews. He might have to get something blue collar or fast food to get money quicker.)

    – call a lawyer and find out your options before alimony kicks in

    – register for full custody of the kids (tell him that if he disputes it then you’ll tell others family/friends about his behavior). You can decide visitation based on how he behaves over the next couple of MONTHS.

    He is on best behavior now because he is trying to salvage something. I think you will see that irritated, ANGRY man as soon as you stop seeming like you might forgive him.

    Get him out of the house. Find out your actual options.

    Apply for child support.

  12. I mean this isn’t just an affair. He had a relationship with an intern as a person in a position of power. He decided to commit crimes against his company as part of this. He made every single one of those choices. This wasn’t a mistake he made one night. I would have trouble viewing him as a good person after this and would not be able to respect him enough to stay married that’s for sure.

  13. What’s telling is that he didn’t confess out of guilt. He confessed when he knew he’d be found out by you soon. And prior to that he treated you poorly while he was banging the intern.

    To me, that says a lot about his character and is a pretty big sign that he’s a douchebag to the core.

    If you stay, set severe boundaries. He needs to present you with a clean STD test, for starters. Put sex on the back burner because you aren’t ready for that right now. Go to therapy separately, and make him attending therapy a requirement for him staying. Tell him that his behavior going forward and especially the way he treats you will determine whether he keeps his family.

  14. First off, I’m sorry this happened to you. Second, please lawyer up. If cheating is a dealbreaker for you like it is for me, you’ll leave this man. I know it’s hard, having devoted so much to him but staying and ending up resenting him would be a lot worse. Stay strong.

  15. So he isn’t staying loyal to you because he loves you to much to hurt you like that. He was only doing it because noone else wanted him. If the only thing keeping someone from doing something wrong is the consequences they may recieve then that person is a piece of shit full stop.

    What he did was not only morally bankrupt but very illegal. This is an accounting firm and they probably don’t want the news to spread that someone embezzled while working there so they won’t press charges BUT he will still be blacklisted from most bookkeeping jobs in the future.

    He is trying to get sympathy from you and presenting himself as the victim when he betrayed you, your kids and the life you’ve built together. This wasn’t a drunken one night stand where he immediatly confessed. This was a several month long affair where he would routinely meet up with this other woman that is honestly young enough to be his daughter. Every time he did that it was another betrayal in a very long line of betrayals against you. It’s not a mistake but a series of conscious choices that he made.

    Maybe he is to pathetic to cheat on you again but the only reason he wouldn’t in the future is because he is incapable of doing it. If you choose to stay then remember that. I would encourage you to get out now and get a lawyer. You can still find someone else who will treat you better than this.

  16. Honestly, it sounds like your husband’s self-esteem issues and shallowness make him a relationship liability. He sounds so desperate to be perceived as attractive and virile that he will do basically anything to have his yearning validated, no matter who he hurts in the process. He betrayed you, your kids and himself. It also sounds like this is an old axe that he’s grinding around not having gotten enough attention or had enough sexual options in his youth to soothe his ego. He sounds like he feels entitled to being wanted. Desperate and sad. He needs lots of therapy in order to get away from being a slave to these stupid, immature beliefs about sexuality.

  17. He confessed to you, after months of gaslighting you about it … only because *HE HAD TO*.

    There was no way you would not find out about why he was fired (this is going to blow up even more & has hurt his future career-wise)

    He’s *NOT* sorry he had the affair and cheated on you for months…

    He’s sorry he got caught and knows he is most likely going to destroy the family with the law-suits that will come from this.
    If he hadn’t gotten caught, he would have continued with this.

    Getting attention from someone younger is a compliment, yes… most married people would take it as a compliment and that would be the end of it… because they know they already have a loving spouse of decades at home.

    So using that as an excuse is very lame.

    Blaming her because she’s got anger issues… doesn’t even make sense. Most likely that’s just something he’s telling you for you to feel pity on him or her… idk.
    I’d be more worried about how many other times he’s cheated.

    It’s really convenient the only times he has told you about are the times he’s faced with serious actions and can be legally proved.
    Do yourself a favor and protect yourself and your kids.

    Also, get a full STD screening stat.

  18. From the way you say things, it sounds like this guy’s self worth is highly dependent on the attractiveness of the woman he’s sleeping with. If true then he sounds like a guy who’d cheat on you again if another attractive woman fancies him. He won’t say no.

  19. All it took was for someone to give him a little bit of attention. Let that sink in. All this time he wasn’t faithful because he wanted to be, it was because he lacked opportunity. I’m sorry this happened to you but I think you should leave him. Cheating is a series of deliberate actions, this didn’t happen on accident and from the sounds of it he would have cheated more often if more women paid him attention.

    Also he only stopped because he got caught, this had the potential to go on for years had they not been caught. He didn’t confess to you because he felt remorse, he had no choice because he lost his job and might be facing criminal charges. Lawyer up and ask him to move out.

  20. Just because he hasn’t been arrested yet, doesn’t mean he’ll never face charges. They may be gathering evidence now to charge him. OP, as others have said, this wasn’t a one time, drunken mistake. He was choosing to lie and cheat on you for months! And was stealing money from his job. Leave with your kids and don’t look back. Get a divorce attorney and make sure you are not tied to any of this mess. I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

  21. He’s saying that if given the opportunity he’ll cheat so how can you ever trust him again? You’re going to spend the rest of your life paranoid that he’s met someone, especially as he now knows how his behaviour with you changed so he’ll be better at hiding it. His vows mean nothing to him; you deserve someone who is committed to being faithful to you rather than someone who will be faithful until anyone shows an interest. Because the rational that he may never have the chance to cheat will always be there; it could always be his last chance to cheat so he’ll always cheat. I think you should leave him.

  22. He only told you about the affair because he was caught/fired. He told you he only started the affair because the AP showed him little interest when no one does because he sees himself as “fat “. So what if he’s only with you because of this. He’s right, you are too good for him, you deserve better. (sorry if poor english)

  23. Jesus, what a thrash. “Honey, don’t worry, she reminded me of younger you but a litlle bit uglier”. Throw the man away, I’m sure you can find someone better – the bar isn’t high, so it won’t be difficult.

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  25. OP there are two connected but connected issues here.

    1. The infidelity. Right now I hear guilt and regret at what he has done to HIS own life. Not yours. Not the kids. Does he have remorse? At least he’s not blaming you for his affair. But if he doesn’t get done help to figure out what kind of home he’s got in him, he will do it again when faced with the same chance.

    Regarding the affair, read this to see if there is any remorse:

    If you want to learn more about recovery from this, also read Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass. It is the go to on the most common infidelity there is – the cheap workplace affair.

    2. His workplace misconduct/crimes. As others have said he is likely never to work in accounting again. And criminal charges are likely. Whether reconciliation is possible and you ever end up being with him in the future, it may be the right move for you and the kids to separate from his sinking ship. You should talk to a lawyer. And not his criminal defense attorney.

    Finally, two subs to look at:
    r/survivinginfidelity and r/AsOneAfterInfidelity. The first is a general recovery from infidelity sub that tends to recommend divorce. The second is for those trying to reconcile.

  26. He had an ongoing affair and it only stopped and he only told you because he was fired. He even tried to defend himself while “apologizing” he’s not sorry for what he did, he’s just sorry he got caught. He was hoping he could even blame the whole thing on her, I personally wouldn’t forgive him. Who’s to say he’s not going to get insecure again and go fuck someone else? Please at least get tested.

  27. So you need to deal with the stuff that is important first. Paying the bills. I would expect him to go and find a job, any job asap, possibly that isn’t local to you so you don’t have to see him. He has to sort out his priorities and stop making excuses.

    He has done nothing to earn your forgiveness, words are not going to cut it. Love doesn’t pay the bills. If that means he has to stay elsewhere then so be it. Reality sucks for him.

    He has been vile and stupid and he needs to accept that he doesn’t get to ask for forgiveness and to accept that you may well split over this, it cannot be swept away in a day with a sorry and don’t leave me. Forgiveness is your privledge should you want to do it, but it is something you cannot demand.

    Whatever happens is now on your terms always and forever.

  28. Your husband seems like he plays manipulative ‘victim’. Gross.

    He has made a series of bad choices leading to the implosion of your lives.

    There is no coming back. I hope this has opened your eyes to who he really is.

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