‘I forgave my husband for his three-year affair – here’s why’
A woman who discovered her husband was having an affair for three-and-a-half years decided to “forgive” him - because she didn’t want to “abandon” him during his “darkest moment”.
Alexandrea Acevedo, 26, found herself reeling after learning her husband of five years, Michael, 31, had been unfaithful for the majority of their marriage.
The mum-of-three uncovered his deceit when she spotted a message to his lover on his phone in December 2022.
After confronting Michael, he confessed he had been seeing another woman for the last three and a half years.
Michael left the family home for a week while Alexandrea tried to work out what she wanted to do.
After being threatened with a divorce, Michael eventually began to realise that he needed to make a change.
Alexandrea says her husband was then “hellbent” on repairing their marriage and booked himself into therapy and Alcoholics Anonymous to prove it.
Seeing her husband’s actions match his remorseful words prompted Alexandrea to give him a second chance.
Alexandrea, an events designer, from Orlando, Florida, US, said: “When I first found out he had been cheating on me, I sat in a lot of hurt and anger and disbelief.
“I’d always talked very highly of him so to find out he’d had an affair was heart-wrenching for me.
“I went through the cycle of crazy emotions for eight or nine days.
“I would go from sad to hurt to angry to confused, then a little bit hopeful.
“He was doing everything in his being to reconcile.
“But when I started to soften, I let the words he was saying become more meaningful and I saw his words match his actions.
“I started seeing effort in him.
“He chose to pick up a bible, go to therapy and to AA.
“We’re now having conversations where he will listen properly and open up and talk to me.
“I have moments of weakness, moments of thinking that he lied to me for so long and what’s keeping him from doing it again?
“But he doesn’t want to give up and he tells me that if I give him a chance every day, he’ll continue to prove himself to me.
“I didn’t want to abandon him in his darkest moment because he’s always been a great dad and husband and I don’t have any large complaints about him or our marriage in general.
“When I found out about the alcohol and the affair I was just shocked and it put into perspective that he really needed someone.”
Michael, an industrial production manager, said: “At first I felt complete and utter garbage and then as time went on I kind of felt like the weight of guilt had lifted off my shoulders a little bit.
“It’s definitely the biggest regret or mistake I’ve ever made and it’s something that I’ll regret for a very long time - if not forever.
“I’m sure there were better ways of getting to a better place but this is where we are now.
“I’m as grateful as anyone can be for a second chance.”
Michael initially downplayed the messages as “random messages from a friend”.
But Alexandrea’s “gut feeling” told her there was more to it and she decided to have a thorough look through his phone.
After he was rumbled, Michael initially thought about taking the “easier” option of a divorce.
But a night of heavy drinking led him to a realisation that he had to attempt to put things right.
He said: “I thought it would be easier to get a divorce than make things better at the start.
“I didn’t think I could make things better and my mentality - with all these other things like the drink - was in the wrong place.
“But one night I almost drank myself to death over a weekend and I suddenly had a moment that I wanted to sacrifice everything.
“I knew I needed to make it better and I had to fix things, I couldn’t just walk away.
“The first thing was realising that I needed God in my life.
“I had denied all that stuff before but I realised that wasn’t the way to live.
“I knew I needed to get help with my drinking and to see a therapist to makes things better.
“Alexandrea was a lot more receiving than I probably would have been.
“At first I didn’t want to talk but she kept pushing and I finally opened up and started talking more and trying to make things better.
“We want things to be better, we’ve been pretty good and navigated things pretty well and I feel I’m doing better at talking through things.
“I’ve never been a talker and she’s always asked why I don’t talk and I finally realised that I need to talk.”
Alexandrea was best friends with Michael’s younger sister when they met in 2013.
The pair hit it off and tied the knot in September 2018 before welcoming their children - aged seven, five and 11 months.
She says the pair went through a spate of constant arguments in 2019 and even had divorce papers at the ready, but Alexandrea never suspected he’d been having an affair.
But her suspicions grew after seeing some texts and she started to think something wasn’t quite right.
Alexandrea had a snoop through Michael’s phone and was shocked to find a drafted message saying: ‘So, why do you think she’s going to start asking about that?’ to another woman.
She said: “I went through his phone - which I don’t normally do - and I found a drafted message with something along the lines of ‘why do you think she’s going to find out?’
“That was enough ammunition for me to confront him with.
“It was 5am, my head was going, thinking the worst, hoping for the best.
“My husband eventually told me the truth when he woke up.
“At first it was a lot of anger and hurt, a lot of emotions and I’ve always said that infidelity is a deal breaker for me, and he knew that as well.
“We were arguing a lot and I really had to pry the truth out of him and when he did tell me the truth, I asked him to leave straight away.”
Alexandrea was left hurt and betrayed while she worked out how to move forward.
She read book after book and spoke to family members for advice before she decided to stop looking for fault in herself.
Alexandrea said: “I was finding out more and more about his affair which was hard to deal with.
“To get to where I am now, I just stopped for looking for fault in myself and in him and stopped looking for reasons to feel bad in the situation and started looking for reasons to feel good.
“I tried to make the best of it, but I didn’t really know what that was.
“I started seeing effort in him.
“Before all this happened, he was stonewalling and wouldn’t respond to me. He was putting gambling, alcohol and even another woman before me.
“What got us here absolutely sucks, the betrayal and the hurt that I felt, I wouldn’t wish on anybody.
“But I feel like my husband had to go through those things or to hit rock bottom to grow up and to be a great husband and great dad.”
After sharing her story on social media, Alexandrea’s decision to stay with Michael was met with a lot of confusion.
One person said: “I couldn’t do it, he even kisses another woman and he’s gone. The trust is broken.”
Another added: “3 1/2 years????? I would feel like he was a stranger.”
Whilst a third commented: “One time is already something but for 3.5 years!?”
However, some agreed with Alexandrea’s decision and shared their own experiences.
One said: “I’ve actually been in your husband’s shoes before at a seriously low point of my life, the true sign is you have to want to be different to actually be.”
Another added: “I went through his. Took a lot of work but our marriage is so much stronger today than it’s ever been. As long as he’s an open book and y’all work.”
Alexandrea defended her choice to stay in the marriage and offered advice to others in a similar situation.
She said: “It’s a work in progress every day. I have my moments but he’s very adamant on trying to understand and is focused on helping me.
“We’re moving day by day and have faith that he is going to continue to do everything he can.
“I’ve seen this sign of my husband that I’ve never seen before.
“The love has to be there, it’s not a fleeting feeling, it’s a choice you make every day and when you stop choosing to love someone it’s easy to give up on them.
“The person who has done the affair also has to be willing to share the truth about everything in life.”