An Affair Hits Close to Home

happy-couple-200x300Yesterday I received some devastating news from my brother.  He told me he had fallen madly in love with someone and was leaving his marriage of 28 years.

To anyone this would be earth shattering, but to a survivor of an affair it was even more difficult to handle.  I had the opportunity to talk to him today and what we discussed has been tormenting me all day.

He told me that she was the women of his dreams.  He said they could sit for hours talking.  They both enjoy the same things and he said she is almost a female clone of him. She was outgoing, appreciative, beautiful and also madly in love with him.

He also said that for years — maybe even during his entire marriage — he had not been happy.  He said, “I love my wife, but I am not ‘in love’ with her.”

Apparently there was always a void between them. His children filled the void, but now that their kids are grown there was nothing left between them.

He believed that he deserved this and that life was too short and he needed to think about himself. It was everything I had heard Doug say.  To hear my brother say the same thing took my breath away.

In some ways I agreed with him.  He did deserve better.  His wife had everything a woman could ever want — 2 homes, diamonds, nice cars and she never had to work.  But she never really seemed happy.  She had some addictive behaviors that definitely put a strain on their marriage and she was content with sitting home and doing nothing.
 
I know my brother wanted more out of his life and his marriage.  He was active and adventurous, whereas his wife is not. So I could really see his side of this, but I want to believe that she also wanted more from her marriage.  I keep asking myself it this fair?
 
My brother met this woman nine months ago and almost instantly moved in with her.  My brother’s job is in one state while his residence is 600 miles away, which made this live-in situation very possible.  He would be with her during the week and fly home on the weekends.

Unfortunately, for many years he had been staying all week away from home or traveling extensively for work, putting his marriage in jeopardy all the while.

He convinced me that he really knows her.  They have traveled together and have been acting in every way as a real couple.  He dismissed this as being a typical affair by claiming it is different with them.

I am trying to understand that but it goes against everything I have learned about affairs.  Even though a few of his friends know about them, they are still living in a bubble to some extent.  His children live far away and the other woman has no children. All those responsibilities that plague a married couple for years are non-existent. They are living a perfect life centered only on them.

My brother tried to do the right thing.  He confessed right away when confronted. He decided to give his marriage a chance.  He left his AP for six weeks and spent all of his time with his wife. All the while he couldn’t get his AP out of his mind and said he felt nothing for his wife.  He had to go back to her.

I think that if Doug would have given our marriage six weeks there probably wouldn’t have been anything left there either.  It simply wouldn’t have been enough time. For one, he was still coming off of the addiction from the affair and I was a nutcase.  It is unfair to think that you can gain back all the feeling you have for your spouse when you are comparing them to the feeling you have for your AP.

The tormenting part is I have never seen my brother so happy. Today he appeared as a new man — free, alive, and totally different from the brother I have known for years.
 
Of course I have to think, did Tanya make Doug feel the same way?  Was she his chance for happiness and am I depriving him of this new wonderful life?  I really think being with me is where he is meant to be, and that being with his family was everything he needs. Again I have doubts.

I also worry about what Doug is thinking about this whole situation.  Does he hear about my brother’s happiness and wonder what could have been? I know at one time I was the woman of his dreams, but so much has happened between us. Is our marriage beyond repair?

This situation has definitely challenged my strength and confidence. It has stirred up feelings that I have tried to dismiss and given me insecurities and doubts.  I am trying to remember where Doug and I are at right now.  I know that we are in love and connected, and I try to hold on to what he told me yesterday — that he has never been happier.

I want to pretend that my brother’s situation has nothing to do with us, but it is so difficult to do.  I just want to keep moving ahead and stop looking back.

 

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21 Responses to An Affair Hits Close to Home

  1. Rushan May 25, 2010 at 7:39 am #

    That is a difficult situation. I had the experience that when I found out about the ow my brother was there with me and told me he also had an affair with another woman a few years ago, he said he wanted to interfere with our marriage and told my husband it isn’t worth it, his relationship with the ow will not work, but he refrained from it and let me work it out by myself. My husband is now trying his best to make amends but I still feel uncertain but I am going to see what to do. My brother said he can see my hubby is doing his best to make up for my hurt and I must keep on trying. Divorce must be the last thing you do after you’ve tried lots of other things, he has the experience and knows it isn’t always working out like you would’ve liked it to do if you divorce. The children isn’t happy there are sstrained relationship with the family, etc. He told me to keep on trying to take my hubby back and solve our probolems. Well we are doing our best and will see what will happen. I know it is difficult for the cheater like for instance when we watch tv and it is about cheaters, extra marital affairs etc. my husband doesn’t want to look and start talking about other things. I do not know why but maybed he is ashamed or he thinks about the ow. Will never know because he doesn’t want to talk about it and her.

  2. Broken May 25, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    This is my fear also, that my H would be happier with the OW, although he insists that he wouldn’t and does not want to even be with her. How do I know for sure? I actually told him the other day, that he is welcome to leave whenever he wants, I don’t want anyone to stay with me out of pity. I want him to be here because he wants to be here. If he thinks the grass is greener, then let him graze somewhere else. It’s all very confusing when your not sure the love they have is real or not.

  3. lass00 May 25, 2010 at 10:18 am #

    This is also my fear I have seen email to her in the past that he said he has never been in love like he is with her. So why is he with me our childern are grown and he could of stayed with her and he is still trying to contact her. Maybe he is sorry he made the wrong choice.

  4. michael May 25, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    Its so difficult to hear about it, when it is someone close to you that is on that side of it. When my best friend (more like my brother) was going through his multiple affairs, I couldn’t help but think what it was doing to his wife.
    I struggled with being a friend to him and his wife. I have known then both for the majority of my life. And it was hard to see her when I knew about him.
    He was happy during that time. He and I always were outgoing and social. But his wife wasn’t. He worked and she stayed home with the kids.
    So when he found someone who would go out and have fun with him, he was attracted to that. He could party and live that rock star life then go home and have the comfort of his wife and home. He was getting most of the things he loved in life from both of them.
    For me as a friend I enjoyed the rock star life with him a few times but I was still grounded at home. I knew what I couldn’t do without. That life meant less to me than it did for him. But I was there as his friend. And supported my brother in his decisions.
    After his fairy tale life crashed around him. I was scared to even see his wife. How could I hold my head up as a friend to her knowing what I know.
    That’s when something amazing happened. She talked to me. She found me to tell me it was ok. She told me that she didn’t hold me responsible for his actions. And she thanked me for being a good friend for him. That meant a lot for me.
    I don’t know if she ever knew how much I know. Or if she ever felt like asking me. But she did make me feel loved as a friend still. It was such a good feeling.
    So when my friend was faced with a decision of what was most important to him he chose to seek help and stay with his wife. He decided that it was the right choice for him.
    He still has his moments and temptations but he knows what he wants to keep.
    He told me the other day. “I owe (his wife) this, I owe her the chance to finish school, decide what she wants and he is there for the kids” he said she may not provide everything he needs, but she does provide the most important things he needs, and can’t live without. I have to say I have learned a lot from him and I hope he has leaned a lot from me from each of our experience with infidelity. We can all learn a lesson from the people close to us.

  5. michael May 25, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    Ok so everyone has said they fear that their H/W would be happier with the OW/OM. I’m sure I feel that from time to time to. But I’m at a better place I’m my head now. If my wife felt that she would be happier with him she could have left, but she didn’t.
    I have read the emails I have read what my wife has written me. And I have found cards that she bought that were probably intended for him. I know she had, during the affair, a strong connection with him that dates back well before me. I know all of this by what I have discovered myself. She has yet to share any of these feelings with me.
    The point of this is I can’t demand or make her share any of this with me. My wife hasn’t and may never connect with me in the same way. But we are connected in so many other ways. In ways that are important to me. If I could have all of her I would probably be much happier but I am ok with what I get.
    I repeated to myself, and to a friend who is having a rough time with his girlfriend, I get what I get. I get what I deserve and the rest would just make it better.
    Yes sure I would like, like she had, all my needs fulfilled. But at what cost?
    Its a choice of what is most important to you. And I think / hope that my wife has made that choice without reservations and without a sense of missing what she really wants. For it is her happiness that I want the most. Even at the cost of mine.

  6. michael May 25, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    Linda,
    I was curious, I know you and Doug have said you kept what happened pretty much private to you. But does your brother know about your struggles? Do you think knowing about your feelings would have changed his head around when he caught someones eye?
    I’m sure six weeks was a short try at repairing the marriage but how about six months? I haven seen minimal change in my wife’s character in five months. And I don’t know if she has seen a change in mine. I know I have tried. I know I am different, but does my wife see it the same way?
    Their is a chance that his wife is just not ever going to be what he needs. Maybe he knows that and his choice is to get the things he sees as the most important things to him.
    Hopefully he has thought about it that way. Hopefully he is clear enough in his head to make that decision. And Hopefully if his decision turns out to be wrong he will understand it was his decision that brought him to whatever his outcome is. We are all individuals, ultimately responsible for our own actions and decisions, and accountable only to ourselves.

    • Linda May 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

      Michael, My brother does not know, though I really wanted to tell him and talk to him about our situation. I think that he is blinded by the illusion of the affair at the moment and probably didn’t give his marriage a fighting chance during that 6 weeks. I’m going to call my sister in law and talk with her to try and comfort her as well, and discreetly share some of my wisdom gained from our experiences. Though I want my brother to be happy, and I have never got along with my sister in law that great, I don’t agree with what my brother is doing to her and the rest of his family. She has been very much responsible for my brother’s unhappiness over the years. I think he is done though.

      • michael May 25, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

        I know that my wife never really gave our marriage a fighting chance for the first few weeks after my d-day. She continued to talk to him and he was “helping our marriage”. She even disguised a shopping trip with a friend, a trip out of town for me with my niece for a sport” as a possible way to go see him again. And probably still planned on seeing him when she went to the show she worked at in February.
        One thing I was thinking of the other day was how she said she didn’t want to hurt me anymore. That’s why she lied and hid things from me. Thinking now, I just wish I would have said “don’t use me as an excuse for your bad character”.
        It has been this reason that she has used to cover her lies and to keep things from me. If she truly wanted to be free from her hurt and pain. The truth would have been what I deserved. She should not selfishly keep me around by lieing to me and hiding things from me. I don’t think she will ever change her ways.

        • Doug May 25, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

          Michael, I used that excuse at first with Linda, and eventually I kept letting the truth out in bits and pieces, until it was all out on the table. It is very liberating and eased my mind once I did so. I’m sure that can be the case with your wife if she could just open up with you.

          • michael May 25, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

            At this point I don’t think she ever will. She is and always has been only concerned about her feelings. Like her communications with her ex. Her communication with her high school guy friends over the last few years. And her feelings of regrets and what ifs.
            She feels as long as she keeps those in check. I should just get over it. Who am I to need her help? Who am I to think I can help her with those things? Its not like I’m her “best friend” I’m just her husband.

  7. Lili May 25, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

    Reading all this stirs things up in me. Whilst I haven’t had a friend who had an affair, it was my partner of 11 years I found out about. Won’t go into all the emotion of it, let’s just say it was the most emotional pain I have EVER been through, I cannot describe it and for the people who have either not been through it or are on the ‘cheating’ side, the pain we go through is something I would never want to put anyone through ….
    My absolute best resolution of all this was to share with my friends, not as a blame game but to reach out for help and support and then for her (yes her!) to make the decision of what she wanted.
    Of course as mentioned above the ‘addiction’ to the affair partner is what has to be broken, the stars in their eyes (ie that affair partner is the bees knees, seems at the time to be icing on the cake and compared to the wife/husband/partner) and that can be the hardest part.
    My partner decided we had to fix things and went to counselling, the Beyond Affairs workshop with Anne & Brian Bercht & ongoing Imago therapy.
    To say that it has turned things around 180 degrees is an understatement. I cannot value highly enough all of this because our rship is better than it was before it first started. There are still ‘affair’ memories that come up and play out but with the help of all the above it has made a huge difference.
    We talk differently, in fact everything is different, better, clearer, more loving and adult and real.
    I urge anyone who has gone through an affair to go check out Anne & Brian’s site and look at Imago therapy which are the tools that help understand why the affair happened and so much more.
    Warm wishes

  8. Terri May 26, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    Wow! I can definitely see how this affecting you–not only as a sister and wanting to help your brother, but individually as you compare his A with Doug’s. I can tell though his situation does seem far too gone to turn back from. I guess when was with wife those 6 weeks–she still didn’t know about the affair. Right? To me if that is true then he really wasn’t giving her a chance. Even if she knew she might’ve been feeling worse.

    In my situation, my H met a woman on line who is in Canada-we in TX-he met Jan 16th-within 2 weeks it was more than friends-and it was emotional from then until now-EXCEPT he lied to me the whole time even when I suspected cheating. He said he had work related training-in MAR.-really he flew to Canada for 4 days to meet her(I don’t believe it was sexual even then-he says so, but a later email I hacked from his acct. sounds like they had not yet and would be when she came here for 7 days mid April.

    He moved out in with his mom because I TOLD him to to be closer to work and to ease stress until his “next training or so I thought. He even worked some of the days she was here–met his sister, mom, maybe other family. Had sex(not great evidently) and then she left Thurs. He came here on SAT. but would not stay the night. That night I took my ring off–next day he finally told me the truth which was a relief. At least it confirmed I wasn’t crazy. I rationalized hey I can get him back –she is in frickin’ Canada and I am here.

    We had sex that day and the next day. Then I said I was going to LA to a casino/resort myself SAT.-Mon. come home to appt. w/lawyer. But that he owed it to me to stay in a hotel and take me to dinner and really kinda “break up”.

    He did and even tho we have been a couple for 24 yrs. that was the most intimate and best sex to me–we have ever had. Then my lawyer said file for divorce because he was planning a trip in May to Canada for a week. She said I had no choice or he could stay and I wouldn’t get any support and I am jobless. So by the second week from discovery I was in a court house file a TRO/divorce when I still an emotionally wrecked zombie.

    Maybe it was inevitable, but I felt railroaded by him, circumsstances, and my own ball-busting lawyer to do it. Now I fired her and am working “Pro se” w/him and hs lawyer. Which is better–his atty. actually talked to me for an hour in his office yesterday for free! He thinks my H is making the biggest mistake of his life which I concur with. Anyway, I still hold out hope, but my H is adamant about coming home. He doesn’t want to lose his GF of 3 months–but giving 24 yrs and 3 kids up.

    The comments about she is a clone and perfect for him are dead on. It is a long distance Romeo and Juliet romance–she is married w/5 yr old. They can only be together IF after divorces he moves there on her terms for at least 2 yrs. Then she says she wants to move here. Which is total BS. Her husband will never allow his child to leave Canada. So my H still is so hoodwinked it is ridiculous.

    He and I have had sex 7-8 times since April 18th and 9 days of that he was in Canada. I am trying to blow him off–or at least I am not going to initiate sex. He always loved me and sex was his way of showing it. Now he says sex is not as important–he’s 43 I’m 44-it is to me. As long as she is not coming back here anytime soon–he can’t go there court orders and no money, I just need to bide my time. I am trying to be a friend for us and our kids and not chase him,but it is hard. I am addicted to him! I say today I will not call, text, see him or email. Then I at least one anyway. Any suggestions from you and Doug??

    • Doug May 26, 2010 at 10:49 am #

      Some story Terri. I can tell you that your husband has no clue what he is doing. He is willing to risk his marriage and family for an illusion. It sounds as though the unusual circumstances about citizenship may prevent them from getting together, and that will probably contribute to the eventual death of the affair. You are doing the right things by backing off and not chasing him. Take that a bit further and start doing some things that you have always wanted to do, exercise, build a solid relationship with your kids, etc. Have you ever discovered what was missing in your marriage (in his mind) to cause the affair in the first place?

      • Terri May 28, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

        I really think that it is a midlife crisis. He has never had any mental problems before. We never fought or argued–alway best friends. He did not know how to COPE when the going got tough. We both lost our best income jobs, he has to drive and hour to work. He was never here-in the evening for “family time and dinners with me and the kids”. I couldn’t be his confidant because we were not spending enough quality time together. Money got lower and lower–the going got tougher. We both are guilty of not meeting each others most important emotional needs. I did not seek outside relief-or male friendship to fix myself and my problems, like he did. I realize it–he won’t yet. Even HIS divorce attorney sees this and can’t believe he is throwing away 24 yrs, me and our kids, for what–her?? In my view, a weak wannabe who could never have gotten someone like my husband before. He definitely “affaired down.” I think that just makes him more secure–she is easy-safe and is not HOT enough to dump him and move on. I feel very sorry for her. Oh well, Karma? Still in stage 1 love affair–selfish denial and justification mode. He may 4ever wander aimlessly in this fog–because I doubt they will ever co-habitate and deal w/the shock of reality. I think he wants the divorce to please her and make his own choice(even tho it is hers too). He tells me he is tired of always doing what everyone(DAD MOM, family, me kids, jobs) else wants, expects, and needs from him. I understand he has always been the caregiver–He needs to be the TAKER now. He was ripe for the picking by a needy manipulative woman (just like him–he says this cloneness is why she is so great) in an online emotional affair. He has never had such stress, turmoil, and upset about how his life has turned out. He was looking for ditching responsibility– escapism–it could have been in a bottle, pill form, or an emotional affair. He also had such low self esteem–I think from my distant and disconnect in the effort to protect myself–I contributed to his negative attitude. I assumed it would get better–never thinking infidelity could happen. We had and still have a great sex life.–That is not a predictor for stopping an emotional affair. However, this OW helped him rewrite history that stuff was really bad(it was not) and unsolvable. HE refuses IC or MC. Instead of staying his friend, and telling him to get counseling, communicate with me—she capitalized on his weakness. Therefore, she is deluding herself that she is “his Christian savior” not “an adultering homewrecker”. This time, he felt I was abandoning him as a partner being too involved in my hobbies and not trying hard enough to get a job. True, but not enough to hook up with a freaking married, lonely Canadian in my opinion. I would have looked to “affair up” with a single, confidant, good-looking, happy, sincere man–had I been looking.

  9. Linda May 26, 2010 at 9:13 am #

    I have really put some thought into the situation involving my brother, and because of that I feel the need to thank Doug. I want to thank him for having the strength and unselfishness to walk away from his affair and dedicate himself to our marriage.

    Initially it would have been easier and more enjoyable for him to continue but he decided to choose a different path and put his heart and soul into us. I know that it hasn’t been easy for either of us and at times we have both thought about walking away, but we haven’t given up and I know that it will be something we will never regret.

    Instead of sadly looking at the similarities of my brother’s affair and Doug’s I am looking at the differences and I want to acknowledge how blessed and fortunate I feel that Doug is the strong, unselfish man that I fell in love with many years ago. –Linda

  10. Amy May 26, 2010 at 11:21 am #

    I feel you are justifying your brother’s affair. Like it was OK for him to do what he did. An affair is an affair…PERIOD. It is WRONG. If someone wants to be with someone else other than their spouse then they need to get a divorce FIRST. Even though your brother is happier & his eife had her faults, it does not justify having an affair. YES, your husband felt as happy as your brother does…that’s why he turned to someone else. Just because someone you love cheats on his wife & is happier, even if she were the wicked witch of the West, it DOES NOT MAKE IT RIGHT!!!

    • Linda May 26, 2010 at 11:39 am #

      Amy, Not sure where you think I’m justifying his affair. If you’ve read anything on this blog, you would know that I would never do that. Just stating the facts from what he told me. Regardless, I can’t argue with the rest of what you said.

    • Terri May 28, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

      I understand what you are saying–I have felt and lived it. It is not FAIR for a man to have his cake and eat it too. What I have also found with affairs–where the husband cheats–is that he is going to make darn sure he has his second choice waiting in the wings, before he tells wife about the affair. If there was no affair, there would be no separation and divorce(his words not mine). Maybe the only rational thought he has had. He knows it was wrong and is maybe sorry–but not enough to stop and get help and come back to his family. I do not consider him remorseful for the pain he has caused. THAT is why an AFFAIR is so wrong and SUCKS. I told him the same thing–if we had been separated or divorced AND then he met her it would be different. The funny thing is if that was the order–He would have never given her a second thought. She is his catalyst for the change. She is a tool–when we are divorced the whole dynamic will change. He will try to stick to his guns–but he will become miserable–maybe even live with her–cutting off his nose to spite his face” I do not believe it will ever get that far–that is my comfort zone–I do not delude myself–like both are–that it is a fairy tale w/a happy ending. They need to read Romeo and Juliet–the shorter the romance, the hotter it burns, like a shooting star, Pretty while it lasts, then it will be gone– burning itself up in its intensity(and stupidity) with the need to SHINE brighter above all others. If it doesn’t go with the odds–of burnout-so be it. I wish them well. I am going on w/o him. I told him at first I was willing to take him back when it fails with her. Even though he did not wnt me to “wait for him”. Patience is not a virtue for me and I am a very passionate and assertive person. Job I am not. I was going to give him a chance to come home for the summer–NC w/AP–spend time with our kids and me 1 last time–then still give him the divorce. He said no–he would lose her. So I wrote her about his lies and him beeing w/me. It would be nice if she kicked him to the curb. I think she is too deluded and needy–and willing to believe him when he tells her I lie and make things up. Talk about fog. I also told him–losing her–would be about as easy as losing herpes! :0 Sarcastic comedy is better than serious depression any day. Take Care AMY–we know all affairs are wrong–if our spouses or whomever disagree that is okay too.

  11. amyR June 15, 2011 at 1:02 am #

    I’ve read all your comments. Any man or woman who has an affair is a home rececker.I have a different kind of emotional affair going on . me and my husband are seperated .heading for devorse.He told me yesterday.My husband is having an emotional effair with his brother. when my brother in law lost his family for the second time he turned to my husband and being the sweet caring ,loving person i am i said go he needs a friend . and he went , and then his brother started calling all the time. I went with it for a few weeks till it started effecting are life.I needed him so did are daughter. but he didn’t care he was out getting smashed with his brother and god knows doing what. after a big blow out my husband moved out 1yr this june 12th. he spends every free time with his brother. and when he with me and my daughter which has been getting less and less for me. His brother always calls.Its like he’s his wife know he does stuff with him that he would never would do with me. every week end he takes are daughter and the 3 of them all go do stuff , hiking bowling, yesterday he told me he wonts adevorse.I think his brother his a peace of crap why would you wont to your brother to feel the same pain. He felt when he lost his family I know drinking is a big part of it. Of course i get all the blame . I’ve done alot of work on my self because are marriage wasn’t perfect. but i can’t even get him to see the new me because he’s always with his brother or just here to pick up are daughter. I feel so sick to my stomach , i can’t even emagine if it was another women. He can’t even miss us because his brother is always there to fill the void oh and can’t forget the beer. Does any one have any sugestions.we’ve been togeather 15 and half yrs and marriedalmost 13 and ahalf yrs. I feel bad for are daughter who’s 11yrs old . shes torn because if she was to say something to him she’s affraid she would lose him like i did.also i don’t wont a devorse. we just need to reconnect except it wont happen because there blood

  12. Dawn October 30, 2018 at 4:20 pm #

    I just stumbled up this post and I am so curious as to what happened with your brother and his affair partner. As this post was made 8 years ago, it makes me wonder if they beat the odds and stayed together.

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