After an Affair: Confronting the Other Person

We wanted to share with you the results of our discussion from last week on whether or not you confronted the other person that your spouse or partner was having an affair with.  We had a ton of people who commented or emailed us with their experiences with this issue. 

Just about 60% of you had indeed confronted the other person after an affair in a variety of ways.  The preferred method of contact was by phone, with texting being the second most popular method.  In many instances, the affair victim knew their spouse’s affair partner personally, which we can only construe to mean that it made it a little easier for them to confront.

It was a mixed bag as to whether or not the confrontation did any real good in the overall scheme of things. 

While most of the victim’s spouses were upset that they confronted their affair partner, and actually did more harm than good to their relationship, many of the victims  indicated that the confrontation was a positive factor when it came to their own sense of empowerment and self-esteem.  It was a great form of release for them and made them feel better, albeit perhaps only temporarily.

On the other side of the coin, many victims commented that they saw no need to confront the other person as they felt it would do them no good both personally and in their relationships.

Dr. Robert Huizenga has done some research on confronting the other person, and he concludes that yes, sometimes it can be good to confront, and other times, not so good.  It depends on the type of affair, and the personality traits of the people involved.

He also offers a short video summarizing his research on confrontation that you can view below:

Everyone has their own style of conflict, which they tend to rely on when faced when an unexpected confrontation. Some people respond by backing down, some people respond by attacking, and some people will try to avoid the confrontation altogether.

Linda and I have always had somewhat non-confrontational personalities, but Linda has told me that at times she had thought about confronting Tanya, though she never did because she felt it would not do any good in the long run. It might have felt good to her and she might have had an advantage initially. But would confronting Tanya have actually helped the situation over the course of time?

Could confronting Tanya only further her resolve? Or would such a confrontation likely scare her away? Conflicts are much easier to start than they are to stop. So, Linda felt that it was best to avoid a confrontation altogether with her.

So what is the right advice?

OK, so here you are, you may feel the need to put everything behind you, but there is still the urge to contact the person who shattered your life. If you were really that desperate to move on, you would. You wouldn’t indulge yourself with thoughts about confrontations. You would somehow distract yourself and force yourself to let it go.

You are not concerned about this other person (nor should you be), but what you really want is for your spouse to feel pain. To have someone treat him/her the way he/she has treated you.

More than likely you won’t get any answers from the other person since you already know the important part.  You know where you are today, and whatever happened, it’s done now. It’s time to move on, and moving on means letting it all go.

On the other hand, if it will get you that much closer and faster to closure, then… go for it. Confront the person.  What do you have to lose? Who cares what that person thinks of you?

Confronting the other person after an affair is a choice.  It is a choice you make based on a variety of factors, feelings and possible outcomes. Many experts will tell you not to, which might very well  be the best thing to do.  Contacting the other person means giving that person importance and you do not want that. Besides, you never know what kind of person you might be dealing with.  Does “Fatal Attraction” ring a bell?  Then again, sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and say “What the f**k”  and just do it!

Dr. Huizenga is the author of “Break Free From the Affair” and several other books and guides.  You can access his site by clicking here.

 

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56 Responses to After an Affair: Confronting the Other Person

  1. last2know April 12, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    So here is my thought on “telling the other spouse”. If the OW’s H had decided not to tell me it might have ended THAT EA but how would I have known what to fix in my marriage? My H would still be lacking “something” from me and wouldn’t he have just gone on to another one? I had absolutely no idea this was going on-none what-so-ever. For all I know maybe she wasn’t the first. I credit the OW’s H for saving both our marriages and I am sorry but both betrayers should have to suffer the consequences not just one.

  2. exhausted April 23, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    Can’t believe it happened! I had received an anonymous package with his phone bill and texts at my work. Before i read it, I asked him about what might be in there. He confessed about continuing when he said he had stopped. I went and got his cell and could not find her number. I told him to call her. He did and handed me the phone. (can’t believe he handed the phone back) But it was 5 in the morning. She was shocked to hear my voice. I was able to verbalize my anger, frustration, and agony. I even told her she could have my “sloppy seconds”. It was the best thing i could have done at that moment. I eventually started to tell her how I had prayed for her for an entire year. I prayed for their working situation. I told her I had prayed for her before I prayed about my own cancer.

    I told her, “I hope you never need someone by your side so desperately and when you turn to lean, they are leaning on someone else”…..and yes I did tell her “what comes around goes around” (Taken from my hate list). I am not sure what she thinks…but strangely I feel the need to tell her I forgive her. But I will never be sorry for what I did.

    • admin April 23, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

      Exhausted, I imagine that made you feel better. Did the OW send the package to you? Was the affair then over at that point.

  3. exhausted April 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm #

    I am not sure….neither she nor my husband questioned the origin…which raises more questions for me….as for their relationship, my husband met with her that day and said it ended mutually. I have a question for Doug. Why does the affair spouse stay….I gave him so many outs and he still stays saying he loves me and leaving never crossed his mind at any point

    • admin April 23, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

      Exhausted, In my case I deep down still loved Linda, and I didn’t want to lose her or my family. I also started to see the imperfections of the OW. Many times the realization that the guilty party is going to lose what is so very important to them is enough to “shock” them back into reality.

  4. exhausted April 23, 2010 at 6:29 pm #

    I think my husband feels the same way…at least that is what he keeps saying

  5. Wondering July 13, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    Is it possible for the other party in an affair a good person? Regardless what they were told about the marriage.

    • Doug July 13, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

      Wondering, Thanks for commenting. Yes, I believe that a person in an affair can be a good person. Often they are good people who just made bad decisions.

  6. Wondering July 13, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    what if the other person knew she had children, was married and did it any ways. What if that other person knew her husband wanted the relationship to work told him specifically he’d never talk to her again but did it any ways.

    I couldn’t be that guy. I don’t understand how someone, anyone could be a good person and commit such a selfish act. I can’t understand the character of any person who can do this.

    • Doug July 13, 2010 at 5:11 pm #

      Wondering, Yes certainly that person has some character flaws and has made some selfish and inappropriate decisions. To some he would be considered a bad person. Others may view him as a decent guy who made some stupid decisions.

    • Michael July 13, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

      Well I would wonder more about the wife you knew her husband wanted to make things work but continued to let him talk to her. Or continued to call him for months after telling her husband she wouldn’t.
      If they still talk, or talked, it falls back onto both of them to set a boundary against their affair partner. If either of them were ready to end the affair. They would have been unable to communicate. But on both of their heads is the need to.
      It doesn’t make either one a bad person. It means both are still making mistakes.
      Their are people out there ( my wifes OM ) who it is part of their character to cheat and make excuses why. Without looking in the mirror and fixing them self. Just look at him on his 3rd marriage. He currently has 3 kids from multiple marriages and whatevers.
      He has a kid from his first wife. Cheated on his second to get with his third. She had e kids from 2 men before him. And then he was cheating on her with my wife (a girlfriend from high school) because he said his wife was cheating on him with her ex.
      So if you can follow that it makes for some real weird family functions. So yes their are people out there who just aren’t good people.

  7. Wondering July 13, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    How can my wife, who says she couldn’t do it with a married man, still think he is a good person?

    If she couldn’t be the one to do that how does that make it ok for him?

    How does one possibly think that any reason is ok for this to happen?

    • Doug July 13, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

      OK, now I’m confused.

    • Michael July 13, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

      Its completely text book for her to protect the other man. Pull blame on herself and say how he’s not like that. He’s sorry for what he did and felt. “He help me through a bad time in my life” etc…
      This is all the same that most of us here have heard. For some god awful reason they still think of them as a good person that “she” drug into this. It was a bad choice on both their parts. And both have to learn that and change themselves.

  8. Pauline October 23, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    I actually feel sorry for the OW. She didn’t know my H was still married. He told her I left 2 years ago. She told me everyting about their EA.She feels that she is in love with him and she is heart broken. She has apoogized over and over again to me and it’s not her fault. By the way my H fels he is in love with her also although he has broken it off with her.

  9. Joel October 24, 2010 at 8:51 pm #

    In my case he knew that she was married and had Kids,when I found out who he was through her cell phone I talked with him then eventually confronted him.He actually laughed and mocked thinking it was funny….I eventually got into a confrontation and kicked his ass right infront of others.When he was laying on the ground in pain I asked if he still thought it was funny……perhaps not the best way to confront cause I got in trouble for that….but looking back I still don’t feel sorry for it.

    • Doug October 24, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

      I don’t really recommend physical confrontations, as many bad things could potentially happen as a result. But I do see where you probably felt very satisfied after doing so.

  10. AA Woman November 2, 2010 at 2:42 am #

    I had been feeling for weeks that a relationship he had with a woman from church was more than “just friends”. My husband became distant and less affectionate. I went through his phone and saw that he called her almost as much as he did his mother. I confronted him, but all he seem to care about was my invasion of his privacy. That was until I told him to pack up and leave. Then he wanted to talk. He told me he has “feelings” for her, the nature of which he is still unable to define. I think my anger and tears started to make him face the fact that he had done something wrong and he kept saying I’m sorry. Well I did confront this woman. She doesn’t think she did anything wrong, but in the process of our conversation she told me that she has been in a similar situation before. Now she has disrupted my home and our church, and will probably do it again. So sad.

    • Doug November 2, 2010 at 10:05 am #

      Thanks for sharing your story, AA. I’m amazed at the number of stories of infidelity that occur between members of a church.

  11. Wondering November 2, 2010 at 9:16 am #

    It’s been a while since my last post. I’ve done a lot of heeling in this time. The anger, hurt jealousy and dispair have long but past.

    However now I’m feeling these trust issues filter into the rest of my life. My wife wants to try and work on our marriage I know for a fact the affair is over. However I can’t stop thinking about it or wanting to know details and answers for it. I do not trust her at all. Too many lies and not enough truthful answers.

    I need advice as to how to get past this trailing bit of anxiety. I beleive in forgiveness I do. I believe I can forgive.It’s forgetting that’s the hardest part.

    • Doug November 2, 2010 at 10:04 am #

      Wondering, I’m glad to hear that you are progressing with your healing. All I can say to you about the forgetting aspect, is that you more than likely never forget, though the images and triggers will start to dissipate over time, as will the need to know all of the details. Which by the way, you may want to consider if you really want to know all of the details. Eventually, if your wife is transparent and continues to show you that she is doing the right things and deserves your trust, it too will return. There are several posts and resources on this blog that deal with trust. Just do a search for “trust” and you should find some helpful info. Good luck.

  12. AA Woman November 3, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    I asked my husband to un-friend the OW and delete her number from his phone and he tells me that he has moved on and that I he doesn’t like that I am forcing him to do something then says that it’s not about her and I either trust him or I don’t. He still seems to be under the impression that since he didn’t sleep with her that I should feel hurt or betrayed. This is getting to be too much. In the 4 days that this has all erupted I have lost 5 lbs. I don’t eat or sleep very well. I let him come back home but when it’s time for bed I change in the bathroom and sleep with a line of pillows down the middle of the bed. He doesn’t understand why I should feel hurt and just wants to act like nothing happened.

    • Doug November 3, 2010 at 11:03 am #

      AA, your husband seems to be having a hard time realizing the impact of his actions. He needs to be educated about emotional affairs, but I’m sure he will resist that as well. You need to calmly communicate how his actions have impacted you both emotionally and physically, and that he betrayed your trust even if he did not sleep with the OW.

  13. DrowningInLimbo November 16, 2010 at 11:53 pm #

    Doug,

    How long did it take for you to call off the affair after Linda backed off?

    In the same boat now as my wife has an emotional affair with a man in a different city. She swears that they have never met, but doesn’t really matter, they talk more than we do. I made all the mistakes posted by Linda and have now decided to back off. However, it is difficult to stomach her texting him almost every night before bed, or taking herself away from me, after the kids are in bed, to text him!

    I know it is different for every relationship or instance, but how long did it take?

    • Doug November 17, 2010 at 8:10 am #

      Drowning, I’m horrible with remembering time frames, dates, etc. But, it actually didn’t take that long at all to call off the affair, a few weeks to a month or so. Like you say, it’s different in every situation, but for us it was quite effective. Best of luck to you.

      • alycon July 20, 2011 at 8:16 am #

        Doug, my D day was 11 months ago. I’m not even sure that my H has actually ‘called it off’; he says he hardly sees her any more but he recently told me he asked her for a disk that he had filmed so that he can give it to another young woman (who is engaged to be married and who he says has a great body and has posed half naked in men’s mags) who he won’t stay away from; he says it’s just work and he’s only filming with her. But I can’t believe him because he went out of his way to please the other one too. He’s always saying ‘NO’ to me and ‘YES’ to other women!!!!!!!!! And when I became angry and told him he was breaking his vow to keep away from the first one all he could say was ‘I’m bound to bump into her’!!!!!!!!!

        I told him this morning that I’m not happy about him going out of his way to get this disk for this other girl and approached his ex EA in order to get it. He said he’s sorry but I’m under no illusion that he won’t now give the other woman the disk. I told him he’s making too much effort for a woman he claims he’s only friends with and his behaviour matches what he was like first time around, that by making the effort to get that disk for her he’s acting as if he’s attracted to her. I’m so utterly sick and tired of having this out with him; what has to happen before the damage to me, us and our marriage sink in?

        You know, the irony of it is that he’s told me that he doesn’t mind me having male friends because he knows he can trust me!!! I’m not interested in male friends outside our marriage because I need one IN it!!!!

        So what advice would you give to me now? What steps do I take to nip this in the bud once and for all? Or is my H a truly lost cause? I really can’t take much more of this.

        • Doug July 20, 2011 at 10:11 am #

          Alycon, If you are expressing your desire for him to adhere to certain boundaries that are necessary for you to heal, regain trust, forgive, etc and he is not doing so, to me it shows his lack of commitment and selfishness, among other things. I went back and read some of your earlier comments and it appears to me that your husband is only interested in himself and will do or say just enough to keep you from leaving. I also seems as though your history with him has been a continuous repetition of one hurtful thing after another. I think that he knows that he can get away with this crap with little or no consequences, so therefore he continues to treat you badly and act in a hurtful narcissistic fashion. There is a chance that no matter what you do he will never change, but I believe until you really make him understand and follow through on the consequences for his actions and to see and feel what he could potentially lose, well, then he’s going to just keep doing what he’s always done. I think that you should research ways to deal with narcissistic men. I also think that tough love is in order and that you need to require him adhere to certain boundaries and if that is not done that there will be consequences, which might include you leaving him. He also needs therapy. You deserve to be happy and to be loved and life is too short to put up with what you are putting up with.

  14. newlywed November 25, 2010 at 6:23 am #

    I am newly married(2mos) to someone I new as a child. We re-connected after 20yrs. He expressed his desire to date me but I was not ready. We did eventually date long distance for a few months and became exclusive. We married the following year and it has been 2 months. I had my suspicions and actually alled the weddin goff because of the diatance. He was oversees until we married and will be returning soon. I recently found naked photos in our basement on an old hard drive that provoked me to dig more. After researching further-I confronted him. I have an email to someone from his past-in which he tells her that he cant wait to spank that “booty” and would provide a hotel for her to visit him or vise versa. 2 weeks after we started dating. I figured it was quite possible that he would have to tie some loose ends since he had been asking me to date him for 7 months or so, but he was totally out of line. He said he didn’t know why he said it because he knew he wasnt doing anything. There were other friends that I was suspicious of. After this email-I told him to come clean about everything. I went through each photo of all of these women and asked what the story was…Granted they were all before me, but many were not cut off. I checked his call logs and found that he really ontly talked to me, his mom, and sporadically to oters, so his mess was happening via messenger/sms. Some of the women are oversees, and he told me that 1 came to his hotel his last day there and gave him a massage. Really-she rubber him, he got aroused but told her to stop. Really?! I don’t believe it, so I logged into the account and called her tonight. In her broken English, she tells me that she was only there to help him with his luggage. She says he was asking about another one of her “girls” that was not available. Now who is lieing? I asked him tonight about calling her and he told me he felt I was looking for an out…Well you should have thought about that before you decided to carry on inappropriately. 3rd eprson he reconnected with began to re-hash their old times and, according to him, he told her they could not have those ype of conversations.,..his call log reflects he did talk briefly to her as he stated after that. BUT…he took a trip home in which he text her and called her. WHY?! He said he was just checking on her because she had a baby…So-Is it yours? No! Ok-so I do not tink Im over-reacting. I am not going to let him just slide by. All of it is emotional–but the hotel one is too questionable. I told him I am ivorcing and this is not what he wants. I gave him an ultimatum letter-create new email account/delete any/all that I know of/unknown old sex partners from FB/Skype and any other social system and…attend counseling. He has agreed but it has been 2 days-so what’s the hold up. I told him today-I will wear my ring when you take care of your committment to rebuilding-since you broke your promise/vow to me. Should cheaters be made to suffer? Sorry so long but I had to get it out and there is a wealth of knowledge here.

  15. gusgel50 December 1, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    Well today marks 1 week that I have had no contact with my EA partner. It marks two weeks since we basically began the process of breaking it off. Every minute is hard and the urge to contact him is great. I am working on hard on not giving in because I love my husband and I want it to work. I am also fighting the temptation because I love the other man too much to break up his family either. The crazy part is I was happily married and so was he for the most part. We simply reconnected after 15 years of no contact. He was a high school boyfriend of mine and even back then we had nothing in common. That was the initial attraction when I was a kid and I believe to a large degree that was the attraction this time areound as well. I was born with all the advantages in the world and he lived in a trailer. I do think we really and truly loved each other back then and the way it ended really always left a big question mark in my mind. We did not break up because we didn’t love each other. We broke up because I went off to an ivy league college and he went to work driving a truck. The day we broke up is the last day we ever saw each other. We never ran into each other again. And therefroe had no real closure. He was the only guy I have ever dated taht I did not run into again after the break up at some point! Fast forward 15 years and low and behold he appears on my FB. We instantly reconnected as if no time had passed. For the past 4 months we have e-mailed and phoned thousands of times! We never did see each other… although it was discussed. As I was in the process of breaking it off his wife discovered my e-mail address (at this point my husband already knew.) So she sent me an e-mail desperate to know what was going on and did not want to be living in the dark. (She knew that I was his first love many years ago.) I told her some of the basics but I downplayed the truth to a large extent. I made it seem more like a friendship than it was. I guess I was trying to protect him. She pointedly asked how long it had been going on and I never explicitly answered that question. (This e-mail was a week ago) Now I am feeling like I should tell her more of the truth about the nature of our relationship and when it started because my husband knows all the details. And because if I was in her shoes I would want the answers. ( I highly doubt he will divulge much of the truth to her..) But then a part of me says that I need to just leave it be and that what happens now is between them and is not my business. What do you think I should do? I need some advice!!!

    • Doug December 1, 2010 at 10:12 am #

      gusgel50, thanks for sharing your story. As you said in the beginning of your comment…”I love the other man too much to break up his family either” would leave me to think that the best course of action is to bow out and just leave it be. You telling the wife more info might just break them up, and it doesn’t seem like that is what you want to do, nor do I feel that it is your responsibility now that you have broken things off with him. Let her get the answers from her husband by herself -if she really wants to know.

      • gusgel50 December 1, 2010 at 10:24 am #

        Thank you Doug for the quick reply and good advice!! I know that you understand exactly what I am going through! I really don’t want to cause him or his family any more pain but at the same time I feel very frustrated that I had the courage and decency to tell my husband the details about the relationship which of course were heart wrenching and I have a feeling that she knows only a small tip of the iceberg… but again that is not really my concern. It is just hard to imagine her being in the dark or that their reconcilation could really work if he does not tell her the whole truth. (I have no idea if they are reconciling I think it is just as likely that she threw him out because they had many other unrelated problems!!) The other major struggle I am having right now is wishing I knew that he was at least OK. I will never have anyway of knowing that as we have no mutual friends and live far from one another. (Maybe I should look at this as a positive! ) Again I guess I just need to concern myself with the well-being of my husband and myself! Thanks again!

        • Doug December 1, 2010 at 10:29 am #

          No problem. I think you know that the best course of action is to maintain the no contact rule, and instead concentrate your efforts on repairing your own marriage. Try to let the OP go just as you did 15 years ago.

        • D December 3, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

          Gusgel50, ditto what Doug said. wondering if he’s ok is continuing your emotional connection and meddling in another woman’s marriage. Contacting him under the guise of your just concerned is merely an excuse to contact him. If you truly cared for him at all, if you truly want his marriage to succeed, butt out and never interfere ever again. You are not a friend to either him or his marriage.

  16. Wondering December 1, 2010 at 10:24 am #

    gusgel50, First off understand I was cheated on by my wife. So I apologize if this is maybe a little harsh.

    I have absolutely no sympathy for your situation and in fact I believe so strongly that there is a rift in your character. How deep that crack is I don’t know but still doesn’t change the fact that it is there.

    Your actions were not only selfish but hurtful and damaging. Your poor husband. Regardless of what was going on in your marriage or the fact you didn’t get closure with this other man doesn’t change the commitment you made to your husband, your family, friends and most importantly yourself. If you think for a moment there is any reason to justify this you’re wrong. Think of what your husband is going through. Think of what that other wife is going through. You’re concerned about telling her more??? Seriously butt out of their life forever!

    What you need to do is start mending your marriage and most importantly yourself! There is something wrong with your character and it needs to be addressed. The only thing you’re trying to do now is cure your guilty conscience.

    Think about what you believe in. Who is your role model? Are you a role model to someone else? Maybe a child. What would they think if they learn of this?

    As adults it is our responsibility to have this level of consideration every day! No excuses. Change! You can and have to change.

    • gusgel50 December 1, 2010 at 10:52 am #

      I agree with nearly everything you said Wondering! You are not being harsh you are simply telling it like it is. I will not be involving myself with him ever again and I will let his wife be and let her handle the situation as she sees fit. The most important thing to me is my husband and my marriage even though my actions these past months have not been in accordance with that priority. I do give myself a little credit for ending this relationship, refusing to see him in person, confessing my actions to all our close family members/friends and for removing all avenues of contact with him. And I agree that what I did was selfish and hurtful and many other nasty things. But I don’t think that necessarily constitutes a rift in my character. I made a series of bad decisions for a 4 month period…there is no question about that. I think my credibility and integrity are seriously damaged but I don’t think that means I have a permanent character flaw. I think it means that I am human and made a huge mistake. I also think it means with prayer, counseling, time, and sacrifice I can redeem and rehabilitate my character. I think that I have and will continue to learn a lot about myself (not necessarily good things) that will allow me to change and grow as a person and a wife. I will change and have already started that process. And yes I defintiely have a guilty conscience. Which also means to me that I have a conscience! I truly believe that some people in this world have none. Beieve me I am filled with guilt and remorse for what I have done to my husband and to the other parties involved. And I will work the rest of my life at being the committed, loving wife that I once was!! That is what my husband deserves!

  17. mil December 1, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    Gusgel50. I am the cheated on wife and it makes me mad that her husband doesn’t know anywhere near the truth as I’m sure she just told him her and my husband were just work friends and I was a neurotic wife who might try to contact him about some texts I’d put out of all proportion. The texts I read talked about him feeling randy at the thought of her in lace undies and she said she’d fallen for him and they both declared their love for each other etc etc. My H after over 2 years still insists there was nothing in it, just a game that went a bit too far.
    Would you mind me asking how much detail did you tell your H and what were the things you call ‘heart wrenching’?
    I am sure my H has not told me anywhere near the truth about the depth of their feelings and promises and plans and would like to know the sort of things you confessed to him as this might give me some idea of what my H is still hiding from me.

  18. Wondering December 1, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    gusgel50, I do feel regrete for making you feel more guilt. After all, you are probably placing enough on yourself.

    As human’s of course we are allowed to make mistakes. I believe sometimes people make excuses for them or justify them. That is where the error lies.

    I truly hope good things for you.

    I know that you can be the wife you long to be.

  19. indiaire December 3, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    OK.. I have been reading this thread and it nearly identically mirrors my story. My story is like gusgel50 in so many ways that it is scary. I guess that we think we are alon in our experiences but they are all pretty similiar. I too had an EA with a married man for months and I am married as well. My husband knows most fo the details and I ended it a month ago. His wife must have somehow also discovered a bit of something because she texted me a couple weeks ago to ask me what is going on. Although I have never met her I know she has knowledge of me being the only other serious girlfriend that her husband ever had. Anyway, I too protected him and told her that we were addicted to communicating with each other but that our communications were only wrong becasue we kept them secret. I made it seem like we were just friends. I did not tell her about the I love yous, I miss yous, and the discussion of future plans together. I am assuming that she is not so stupid as to believe that but she may and I don’t really care what she believes becasue it is not my business anymore. What I am concerned about is FB. Him and I reconnected on FB and used it at times to communicate. Several months ago we stopped using FB to communicate and he informed me that his wife and kids knew the password on his FB page and would use it from time to time. Well after the EA ended he took his FB page down for a week or so. But now it is back up and she has added her name to the profile name and is using it regularly. The reason I know it is her using it is because I know the password and I could not resist temptation to see if the password had changed and it hasn’t!! And when I logged in all the activity was her posts. I am shocked that he would not have insisted that they change the password because he knows that I know it!! I am working on my will power and I have not logged in for a couple of days but it is difficult. Part of me want to send her (not him because I don’t want to initiate anys contact with him) a text message telling her to please change her FB password because I know it. But I don’t want to “stir the pot” but at the same time I hate knowing it and I would hate to be her and have someone know my password. If it was anybody elses FB page I could trust myself to know the password and not login to take a peek but since this is quite a bit different I don’t trust myself. I know I sound like a weak person.. I guess I am. I also feel like he is doing this on purpose to leave me with the ability to log in??! I am sure this sounds so weird but what would you do? Tell her to change it OR live with it?!

    • D December 3, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

      Live with it! Exercise some self-restraint and stay out of their marriage. It’s none of your business what happens in their lives. You are only creating a bigger problem than the one you’ve contributed to. Sheesh, people, isn’t marriage hard enough without meddling interlopers? Get a grip.

  20. stupidandtrusting December 3, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    indiaire – how about you just don;t go there. You stir the pot that you say you don’t want to stir everytime you do. You continue hurting everyone in the process.

  21. dontunderstand January 12, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    My wife had an emotional affair with a medical student. She worked in administration while he was a Don Juan type of character who pushed all the ‘right’ buttons. I understand he was handsome, charismatic, and fun to be around. My wife worked long hours in a highly disfunctional office and his smile and charisma was the sole bright spot in her day (I understand). Well, my wife has been reluctant to provide details, but here is how it all went down. She begins working there. He sees her the first day and tells her how beautiful she is. The next time I hear of him is a few weeks later. My wife tells me he offered to bring her flowers. This guy was playing adolescent games with my wife (in her mid 30′s) so I thought something was wrong with him and that he might get the wrong idea if she continued to indulge his flirting. I asked her to stop. I hear nothing of this person for the next two weeks (she has now been working there for a month). I then board a plane for a business trip, and she dutifully watches me as I go through security. All is ok as far as I know. I then return two weeks later, she picks me up at the airport and she looks at me as if she hates me and is reluctant to hug me. She demands I take her out dancing. So, we go out dancing. We have a great time. The next day is a Sunday…again, we have a good time together. The next night she comes home (Monday evening) and tells me she ended an emotional affair with this person. I later learn that he had shown her how his culture ‘greets’ their friends (kisses on the cheek), and that the physical ‘spark’ from these kisses on the cheek had aroused passion in her for this person. I was stunned. We’ve been married a number of years and neither she nor I have ever considered infidelity, so I was thunderstruck. After ending the EA, she struggled with whether to maintain contact since she was a ‘client’ of his, so she just kept it ‘cordial.’ She went periods of weeks without even seeing him. Over the course of time, I learned he had made a fool of himself when I came by the office to see her (he quaked in his boots and was fearful I would confront him—I didn’t even know what he looked like but I learned I walked right past him). I also learned that he tried to kiss her once and that she was all he could think about (even though he also had a girlfriend). In the end, my wife left her work place but is troubled by the fact that she entered into a month long EA that she continued to crave for a period of time afterwards. She now claims she’s over it and is deeply ashamed. She is also ashamed she confided in some co-workers regarding this person. She would like ‘closure’ from the EA (a common discussion thread I see here), but I told her there would be none. He was a young punk with no respect for marriage or family. He only wanted one thing…so she just needed to get over it. So, she made no last phone call to say good-bye. I love her and forgive her, but I am still hurt that it happened at all..and that she considered a ‘real’ affair with someone who didn’t share her values. The strangest thing is that she once told me she wanted to meet with him for dinner/lunch/coffee so she could see if he had any flaws. Flaws? I told her I can think of one: he has no problem with marital infidelity. Emotional Affairs are a rough business. If you’re in one…get out…now! My wife is now having a hard time forgiving herself…and while our marriage has improved in MANY ways, I feel there is something missing….I feel she lets some things go now that she would have criticized me for before…I wonder if that’s because she’s fearful I’ll respond that at least I didn’t have an EA. I don’t know. It’s hurtful…and it’s hurtful that she allowed this pervert to smooch her on the cheek multiple times without telling me….until after the fact. I haven’t been in an EA, but after seeing the pain I feel, I’ll be on the lookout to ensure I don’t get too close with the opposite sex. Don’t understand.

    • Doug January 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

      Don’t Understand, Thanks for sharing your story. It can be quite easy to get sucked in to an EA, and difficult to get out, as you suggested. Best of luck to you and your wife.

      • dontunderstand January 12, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

        Thanks Doug. I’ve visited your website for the past month and finally worked up the courage to make a post. I kept the EA to myself and hid it from our family and friends. They would be shocked if they knew of the EA since my wife is known as a deeply religious person…heck, she is shocked herself. I’m trying not to be too judgmental since I’ve read that ‘anyone’ call slip into an EA if they’re not careful. And besides the EA lasted less than 6 weeks. So I’ll just try to be careful myself, and I have asked that she do so as well. She has promised me she’s over it…but you know how the human mind works…it’s easy to slip up and meditate on this guy putting his hands on my wife’s shoulders and kissing her on the check just to get a reaction out of her. It’s sick in my estimation. At any rate, it feels therapeutic to share this with ‘others’…even in a format that provides anonymity. Thanks.

        • Doug January 12, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

          I’m glad that this site has been of some help to you. Hopefully, both you and your wife understand the reasons for the EA happening, and you are making good progress in strengthening your marriage and preventing it from happening again.

  22. Infidelity Rage July 10, 2011 at 1:13 am #

    I emailed the OW to let her know that I was leaving my husband, not the other way around in case he told her that he left me for her. I just wanted her to know that he wanted me… and I wasn’t accepting. But I did end up accepting him…so… but yes, I did contact her. :)

  23. wondering July 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    Hi again,

    been sometime but needed some guidance.

    My wife who lied and slept with another man for months has been trying to get me back for sometime now.

    I try and forget but I’m just so sick by it and I really do not trust her. She has many times said one thing and then does another.

    She now as asked me to try and I am. We are seeing a counselor etc.

    We are seperated and she announced to me yesterday that a guy is going to be moving into the room in the basement because she needs the money. (I pay all the bills there btw) We have two children also.

    Am I wrong to be so upset and untrusting here?

  24. STILL STRUGGLING April 13, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    There was a sense of empowerment when confronting the OW by phone; however, it did not result to a face to face apology I was seeking. She did not have the guts to face me. But, it did give me the opportunity to ask some pointed questions of the OW, and I got a good sense of what kind of person she was. My discovery was rather disappointing, for I found out that she was not at all this wonderful person I imagined or my H thought. She was very cold and seeking no forgiveness from me or cared to apologize for pursuing my H. With some research, I found out she was not the good, kind person my H thought, and that she had a history of pursuing, older married men. So, in this case, I would say, “no” the other/affair partner is not a good person, but I am not saying that it is not possible – people do make mistakes. This does pose a question, and that is my H’s judgment. Evidently, she put forth her best when she was around him, and he was totally gaga, that it never crossed his mind that the many things she was doing, decent people don’t do.

    • Anita April 13, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

      StillStruggling,
      Yes your husband’s judgment was wrong, he’s a married
      man, with that comes responsibility to keep fidelity within the marriage.

      • Anita April 13, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

        StillStruggling,
        If you can forgive his affair and put it in the past, that more
        important then concerning yourself with the other woman.
        Forgive her and focus on your marriage.

  25. Metoo October 22, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    My husband had an affair for several months this past spring. To be honest, he has dallied a few times in the past (we’ve been together for 30 years now), but in each of those cases, I found out more or less after the fact and there was no real emotional involvement by either party. This time has been completely different – partly because I thought we were so far beyond this happening, and partly because I saw it coming and couldn’t stop it from happening.
    This woman came to our house in April to rehearse a song (they are both musicians), and stayed for 5 hrs. They began hanging out for 4 hour lunches, walks. I discovered a secret email account. I tried to do everything right – get to know her, make myself real to her, talk to both of them about setting boundaries, etc. It was horrible. My husband kept saying he had no intention of leaving me, and to just let him handle this. But, it just went on and on. Anyway, as of about a month ago, he had finally ended almost all communication with her, and defriended her on FB, and is going to counseling. He and I have had the opportunity to talk and talk and talk through this, and will continue to do so. But, I have such lingering and nauseating anger toward this other person – who is an adult, in a relationship of her own, and getting her Master’s degree in family counseling – this just burns inside of me that I made myself vulnerable to her – basically asking her to please respect my marriage, and then it just went on. And that she is on this particular professional path simply infuriates me (and I am a trained counselor myself.) Yikes. What a mess.
    Although I hear all the advice to leave it alone, move on, deal with my husband, it continues to make me angry that I am not allowed to speak my piece to her – that somehow I am supposed to remain a silent victim.

  26. STILL STRUGGLING October 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    Dear Metoo,
    There are no silent victims in an affair. I think the OW’s partner needs to know what she is doing, and everything needs to come out in the open.

  27. Surviving October 22, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    Meetoo,
    You need to do whatever will help you heal from the affair.

    Hopefully more people can post what happened after the confrontation.

    Take care,

    • Healing Mark October 22, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

      Meetoo, I agree with Surviving. Do whatever will help you heal from the affair… as long as it is legal and perhaps carefully thought out by you in advance! So if you feel like confronting the OW will help you, then by all means do it. My thinking after affair discovery was to try to not hurt anybody else via my actions, so I elected not to disclose the prior existence of the affair to the OM’s wife. Had the EA not have ended about 6 months before its prior existence’s discovery, I believe that I would have disclosed what would have then been going on to the OM’s wife, but only if I had fairly strong objective evidence of the same.

      Post-confrontation, I gained a measure of peace of mind that the EA was not likely to rear its ugly head ever again. I also felt better that I had expressed my disgust and disappointment with this former friend (?) of mine, and laid out certain “ground rules” that I expected him to follow, as well as the likely consequences if he did not. I was pleasantly surprised that this jerk was really sorry for things getting out of hand for a short period of time, made no excuses for what had transpired, and apologized profusely many, many times. I got it. He had always found my W attractive and had told me many times over the years how lucky he considered me to be. Their personalities were very much alike. HIs confirmation of what I suspected had nurtured this relationship gone too far given that they were both married helped, and my take on our talk was that he had realized the error of his and my W’s ways, ended the EA, kept a safe distance for the previous 6 months (which I could and did confirm), and felt very strongly that he had learned from his mistakes and did not intend to repeat them. I realize that things could have been so much different, and that they were not is something that I have been grateful for.

      Final result of the confrontation is that the OM chose (apparently, and I realize that I may be wrong on this, but I don’t think that I am) to end all contact with my W. I believe that this is in part because the “high” and “joy” that he had previously gotten from his new relationship with my W was gone. I also believe that he recognized that his family and reputation were way more important than staying in contact with my W, and while I did not insist that he have no further contact with my W (long story, but b/c the EA had really ended 6 months earlier, I was reluctantly cool to allow VERY limited contact which, as I appear to have correctly anticipated, would not “work” for my W and the OM and would soon dwindle to no contact without having been caused by me), I was able, I believe, to make it very clear that no contact was what I preferred. I also made it very clear that if his actions toward and with my W even approached crossing our agreed upon boundaries, the proverbial gloves were coming off and I would do whatever I could to make his life a living hell. We both agreed that while he and my W had some plausible deniability with the first EA as some folks might well believe that things like this do sometimes “just happen” and that he an my W meant no harm and never “did it” which would really be “cheating”, this would not be the case with a second inappropriate relationship begun after the discovery of the first one. In any event, the OM believed, and I agreed with his assessment leading to this belief, that what little objective evidence of the existence of the prior EA I shared with him was enough to most likely cause his W to end their marriage and take their kids with her (I loved the look on his face when I bluffed and said that I had a lot more damaging evidence of this “dealings” with my W, and this act alone made the confrontation worthwhile for me).

  28. justbecause October 22, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    I sent a letter to the OW six months after Dday. Glad I waited that long as I learned more disgusting things about her. It was a loooong letter. I had spoken to her and her H shortly after the discovery. Then she called the polilce and said she wanted no more contact from me. I know the police as my relative was in the department for many years. I gave them the whole story and they agreed I had never threatened her. I showed them a message her sister, supposedy a lawyer, sent me. It WAS very threatening! All this going on while I’m trying to regain my sanity after discovering the EA. Thanks alot H and Ow.

    In the letter, which was awesome, I told her I was moving on and would not think of her scummy existence any more but with 2 exceptions – Sept 12 (her birthday) and March 29 (Dday). Then I will remember and be glad I am done with her, be glad I am so much better then her.

    Sept 12, I parked outside her workplace. We had never seen each other. She got out of her car, saw me and her mouth literally dropped wide open. I leaned against my car, looking so much better then her, being so much more confident then her, with my nose slilghtly tilted up arms crossed and just stared. It was awesome.

  29. Surviving October 22, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    Just Because,
    Perfect!
    I also wish I didn’t know her birthday
    but what a great way to celebrate it…

  30. Dakota February 20, 2013 at 12:23 am #

    In my case we are not married just living together for 5 years before the EA happened,,he described the Ap as a intelligent ,good person, that he can have an intelligent conversation with, and very compasionate and someone he had amanzingly in common with. Then when i discovered he said they spoked about her wanting to talk to me in person,,and he got the nerve to asked me if he can take me to her to speak obviously the three of us..he said she sugested and he agreed ..so i said no ..i told him i would talk to her when i felt like ..and rejected their offer ..and never confronted her..because i was very angry and affraid and of course i was not myself since i wasnt in control of the situation and they were..

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