Discussion: Why Do Men and Women Cheat?

why do men and women cheatWhy do men and women cheat?

This question has been asked forever and it’s an easy question – but with no easy answers.

One website that I found stated that there are basically two related explanations given for why men and women cheat.

(1) Because of problems in their relationship – something is missing, needs not being met, fading passion, loneliness, they find someone who treats them better or who appreciates them more than their current spouse, and so on.

(2) For reasons that are deep within our human nature.

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In a recent post on Marriage Sherpa, they mention that basically the “problem in the relationship” theory doesn’t float because it discounts one important fact: not all men and women cheat.  (The post was about why women cheat, but I think this applies to both sexes.)

If they were truly good reasons, then those reasons would be applicable to everyone – all the time.

The post goes on to say:  “The answer that is most difficult to swallow is also the truth: it’s a matter of personal character. Now, that’s hard for the cheater to hear, and sometimes, for the victim to accept. It’s easier to believe there is some reason that pushed the cheater to cheat.”

So…

Why do men and women cheat?

Do you agree with the theory that men and women cheat because of a character issue? Or, do you think there are other reasons for cheating? Why?

Please be sure to respond to others in the comment section.

 Thanks!

 Linda & Doug

 

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229 Responses to Discussion: Why Do Men and Women Cheat?

  1. E October 5, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    I agree with the two reasons, “problems” and “character”, but I believe it is the combination of these two, along with a third reason – “opportunity” that is dangerous. All of us have problems from time to time in our relationships but only some of us lack what it takes to not cheat during such times. I knew there were problems in my marriage long before the affair, but I would never cheat, it is just not in me. I believe my H had this dangerous combination going on when the “opportunity” came along.

    • Paula October 6, 2011 at 4:33 am #

      E, I agree, opportunity is one of the keys. In my case I re-introduced a dangerous person (his cheating ex, a friend of mine since childhood) to our lives when we were already struggling, but I wasn’t fully aware how much we were struggling as he appeared quite calm whilst the chaos was happening around us!

  2. changedforever October 5, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    Couple of days away from my DDay weekend ONE YEAR AGO, and its our 26th wedding anniv tomorrow, I think I can weigh in here with almost one year serving my sentence as a BS: I have devoured book after recommended book, been a constant supporter of this website (thanks again to Linda & Doug & all the posters for getting me to this day, honestly.) I know now having been thru what SOME of you have also been thru and most of which all of you have been thru (the EA/PA experience.)…I know now after reviewing and thinking this all thru (just this one exhausting year) that I NEVER would’ve chosen cheating & deceiving…EVER. and I had many passes thrown my way, I understand natural attraction & how to handle it. I also know that with all the trauma my family went thru just prior to my H choosing to go outside our marriage with a young coworker (who knew he was married,) that he was full fledged into his midlife crisis…I just had no clue … I’ve done a lot of research on that subject too.
    Try not to punish yourself for NOT knowing, and NOT seeing the signs. Just let the pain be experienced, get thru it day by day (I tell myself this too.) Do anything you can to create new memories while you heal (I so related to a poster’s comments the other day about ‘nursing your wound, & how to keep cleaning it’ (thru discussion,) until it heals.)
    Just be glad if you can that there is one sane, strong member of your relationship…the one who chose to pull the other into healing…YOU!) Remember your vows…for better or for worse … this seemed to help me reason with myself as to why I was continuing to allow myself to put up with all this suffering.
    Strengthen your inner self/your ’emotional,’ your physical self (try strength training!) And don’t forget your spiritual self. I needed all 3 to round myself out…it’s working.
    Best to all of you …and thanks.

    • PatSy50 October 5, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

      To changed forever. I have been reading posts for almost a year but have never posted before, but I can soooooo relate to u. My husband had an EA with a coworker almost 1 year ago end of Oct. And I found out about just a couple of days after my 39th anniversary. I did not see it coming! But then again I was not looking for anything. Had always trusted my husband totally. He thought there was noting wrong in what he was doing because there was no PA involved but when he read some info on EA’s it hit him that was cheating on me. As for the reason, I think he felt unappreciated in the marriage and there was not alot of communication about how he felt. It does not make it ok to get involved in an EA but in the end it was his decision. I would never ever become involved in an affair, it’s not me. I would like to thank this site for giving me insight on EA and how to cope. I am coming up on my 40th anniversary and we have been working on the relationship very well. I have had to trust him from day one because he works with this girl three days a week. And he is too close to retirement to change jobs. Boundaries are in effect. We can only hope for the best.

  3. Notoverit October 5, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    My favorite quote from myself about all this EA mess is “My head feels like it’s in a blender!” When I try to think about why my H cheated, all those thoughts start whirring around and it becomes difficult to settle on any one reason. Yes, we weren’t talking like we did when we were younger but we still talked. We don’t have children at home; haven’t for the last seven years, so I can’t blame this on having too much to do for us. We had settled into a comfortable routine and I was doing what I thought a wife should do – take care of things so he wouldn’t have to. Big mistake.

    So, to answer your question. I believe that my H cheated because it just felt good. There, I said it. No deep philosophical meanings to it. The whole mess made him feel good. The OW was and is ugly, fat and uneducated but she, to quote him, was bubbly. It made him feel good to sneak around and talk to her or constantly text her. Kind of like sneaking out of the house when you are a teenager to go meet your girlfriend that your parents have told you is not a “good” person. The thrill and excitement of doing the forbidden. As I have read in this blog countless times, there was nothing there except infatuation and obsession. No reality whatsoever. They both only put their best faces forward and didn’t deal with problems. (As I have later found out, this women is a certified nut job). He has told me countless times that it was the high, not the person, that kept him doing this. He broke it off immediately upon getting caught and has not shown one moment of grieving for her. So I guess, in my case, the reason was the fun. Maybe a little lack of character thrown in if I really think about it…

    • KelBelly October 24, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

      Notoverit, Did your H and mine cheat with the same person for the same reasons lol. It amazes me how many stories on here sound the same but the part that saddens me is that not one of the CS had the thought that made them stop and think how this would hurt their spouse. I am thinking all the time, what would this do for my H? Would he like this or that? What makes them capable of shutting of the part that make them stop and thing before they act.

      • sandra March 5, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

        so who are you kellbelly maybe you don’t really have a husband at all

      • tryingtorecover April 21, 2015 at 8:08 pm #

        Notoverit- my husband went through an exact EA scenario. He was able to end it immediately upon my learning, he said he felt no deep meaning though he stated it felt good to hear “kind words’ and play a game in a sense. His counselor stated that he has issues one of this biggest issue being: an love avoidant attachment that arose from his relationship with his alcoholic mother who he had to care for as a young child. He viewed me- our marriage at times as a burden…the way he viewed his mother- transference its referred to. Who knows if he will get better?

        I feel the same…in a blender…I continue to go to counseling myself (and marriage) and decided that I will continue to work on myself. I will take each day at a time and know that there is a chance we will not be together in the future and I will survive.

        We were married for 18 years and he spoke to her three times on and off for a decade… it was always a secret to me, but this last year they shared intimate details- “I love you, we should’ve been together in another lifetime, you fill my cup.” My pain lingers, but I claim no responsibility for his EA- I was just as lonely and we went to marriage counseling- and he never revealed this affair and asked for helped during any of these sessions. I know that I need to focus on myself and my children and that’s all I have control of.

        Best wishes to you all.

  4. Melissa October 5, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    I agree with character, opportunity and problems but I would also raise the fact that some people are unable to recognise those problems and express them, therefore looking for a way out, an escape. I would therefore add ‘awareness” or lack of, and that includes the inability to be honest with oneself and acknowledge the issues one’s facing and one’s own shortcomings.

    My H believed that there were no problems in our marriage, that we were happy when I know now for a fact that there was a lot of ‘unsaid’ (from both sides) but I also know now that he is not yet capable of verbalising / recognising the issues.

    I have been able to delve into these issues from my side but I’m pretty sure he is still not that clear about his motives and the reasons that pushed him into an EA.

    Like many here, I would never, could never go into an affair, it’s just not in my make up.

  5. Kathy October 5, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    I will add my voice to those who say it’s a combination of problems, character and opportunity.

    I would like to say, with regard to character, that I also had opportunities to be a CS many years ago, and we were having problems in our marriage at the time too. I really thought about having an affair; I mean I gave it SERIOUS thought. But then I would think about my husband and how much it would hurt him, and how much I really did love him, and how it would irreparably harm (and possibly destroy) our marriage. Although I thought about it, I didn’t follow through with it.

    So regarding character, it’s hard to accept that my H must have also faced that deciding turning point; the moment when he thought about it and made the decision to go ahead with it. What made the difference between my decision not to have an affair, and his decision to jump right in. Were our more recent problems more “problematic” than they were when I considered an affair?

    Here’s another thing to ponder: the OW in my H’s EA was also a certifiable nut job, AND she was a vulture just waiting for the opportunity. She’d had her eye on my H for at least a year before the thing actually happened. In my case, the potential OM was nothing like that in that he had not been nearly stalking me (like the OW did my H). I did not work with him, so I was not in the same environment with him every day. I did not have the same opportunity my H did, but even more important, in my opinion, is that the OW was far more aggressive in my H’s EA than the OM was in my potential EA. I don’t know if that makes any sense.

    • Paula October 6, 2011 at 4:49 am #

      Kathy, I also had the opportunity to cheat many years ago, but chose not to for many reasons, some of which were, he was married, his wife was pregnant with their third child, I didn’t know her, but couldn’t bear to think I could hurt someone like that, and I couldn’t bear hurting my OH, but most of all, I knew that I would never be able to live with myself. There was never any EA, we were old friends who hadn’t seen each other in many years, but had once been very close friends, and one night at a friend’s wedding he drove me home, I’d had a bit much to drink, but even then, I was clear-headed enough not to do it, even though I was very attracted to him, and he made very obvious advances. I was feeling neglected and lonely, I had one small daughter at home with my OH away and emotionally distant at a time of busy business decisions and tight finances, and I felt very vulnerable. I don’t think I could ever do this either.

  6. Norwegian woman October 5, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    He did it because it felt good. He felt like a king on top of the world. A wife, two lovely kids, a nice home, a good job and on top of that : A woman that thought he was the most wonderful man in the world.
    He did it because his character. He has mainly one focus, himself.
    He did it because oportunity came knocking. Both women took the initiative, and that made him feel desired.
    He CREATED problems in the marriage.
    I really don`t think that his concience was a big problem. His only concern was to get caught, because he knew all hell would break loose. But he put all his money on his ability to keep it hidden.

  7. Kristine October 5, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    I have to agree A LOT with what Melissa said. I have a hard time just chalking it up to problems, a character flaw and opportunity for my husband when he honestly was/is one of the most honorable, morally responsible men I’ve ever met.

    I believe my husband has issues with not voicing his feelings/concerns and not even realizing them himself to some degree. He’s not one to self-analyze, reflect, decipher when it comes to emotions and feelings. With himself or anyone else now that I think about it. I now know that my husband had been having feelings of unhappiness with various things in our marriage for YEARS. He suppressed it. Never said ONE WORD. I honestly never heard ONE SINGLE COMPLAINT that my husband had about me ever. Still didn’t say what those issues were during the phase that I thought was a MLC, during the adultery or even on his way out the door. It wasn’t until he left that I started piecing the small bits of insults and veiled comments together when I realized his issue was all about ME. Even to this day he has said very little about those issues as they bothered him in the past. I know what they are now and I address them but he hasn’t talked about how they bothered him then.

    Therefore, I think for some people who are emotionally out of touch with themselves and have communication issues, it can derive in something like this. My husband had suppressed and suppressed and suppressed and when he finally DID explode it was really an escape route. He didn’t explode to fix anything he exploded because rather than talk about it, he had already built up in his mind an affair and rewrote history that things were worse than they were and when opportunity knocked, that was his escape route.

    For insance, I wasn’t 100% happy with my husband as a husband. There were things he didn’t do that I wanted him to do but I never thought about cheating. Never would. Had opportunity. No desire. Not something I’d ever travel down I’m pretty sure.

  8. Notoverit October 5, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    Okay, so I kind of think along the same lines as Melissa and Kristine. My husband has the same problem. He simply cannot express his emotions or even give me a clue as to how he feels. He keeps saying (now that the EA is over) that he was raised not to express emotions. He never said one word about being dissatisfied in the marriage. I tended to try to keep the boat afloat and not rock anything by expressing myself (also bad). I would have done that ten years ago but I had also fell into a lethargy. Maybe all this was a culmination of middle-age, i.e. health problems cropping up, me taking a different course with my career, him being alone a lot even when I was in the room (any of you ladies every been there?). I, too, had many chances of having a “fling” outside the marriage but I NEVER consider it seriously. I had the “I’m Taken” button on and most men got that. Any way, I feel the blender starting to whir… I think it was a lot to do with escapism from day to day life, hence the fun. As Linda has always said, real life crept in. Once my H began to wake up to reality (before D-day) he had already begun having to eat Rolaids and Tums. HIs guilt was literally making him sick. I don’t know what else to say but that it was conglomeration of things which made him stray.

    Oh, and Kathy, my nut job also stalked my husband before she made her move. She made very sure to have all the similar interests that he had, even going so far as to adopt a horse (we have a LOT of horses). POOR HORSE! She also told everyone, before the EA started, that she was divorcing her husband (poor man still doesn’t know any of this and she’s still with him). Even after D-day to now (nearly a year), she’s still stalking. I sincerely think every husband should sit down, watch “Fatal Attraction,” and then be told about emotional affairs right from the beginning of the marriage. Boundaries should also be put in place. Now I have this EA mess to contend with along with a very crazy lady.

    Maybe Doug and Linda should write a handbook for newlyweds – “How to avoid screwing up thirty years down the road.” Maybe a discussion blog with everyone pitching in to say what newlyweds should know for the future. Like, TALK even when you don’t feel like it; never pretend things are all right; never do something you don’t feel comfortable doing in front of your H/W etc. Just a thought.

    • Doug October 5, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

      Notoverit, Hey that’s a great idea! I’m sure between all of us we could come up with a great resource for starry-eyed newlyweds!

    • confuse October 6, 2011 at 6:52 am #

      great idea about advising newlyweds. i agree about choice, character, problems, opportunity and human issues are all reasons why people cheat.

      Coming from a religous background, I have always thought I’d be one of those people who would never cheat.

      It was only 7 months after I got married when I sent message to a someone I used to be in love with after seeing him on FB. The “catch up” had turned into an EA for about 4 months. I ended it. I confessed to my H against my shrinks’ advice. wanted to split up as I feel like a mess but H is determined that we can’t just give up. I’m just glad that my H is a better person than the OM and better person than me for forgiving me and wanting to work on us instead of giving up.

      I’ve consulted few counsellors and psychologists about the situation. One said I had attachment disorder. The other said I just needed to work on the marriage. Some said I should think about whether i’m really commited or not. Some said the reason why I was still emotionally attached to the OM is because of our history (first love at 14, he came back and disappeared at 16, he came back 2 years later but still couldn’t work it out as I was overseas and his ex gf was still hanging around then he got married disappeared then contacted me again 2 years later and then no contact again until this year etc) and I’m looking for validation as that was an attachment that I tried to have that didn’t work out–ie unresolved issues from childhood. ie wanting to be reunited with someone absent (i’m adopted). trying to seek answers because I’m still wondering what went wrong and what I could have done differently. –in short the fantasy in my head wanted to continue.

      I take responsibility for what I did. I knew it was wrong and yet I chose to do it and let my emotions take over instead of following logic and morals. thank you everyone’s input and thanks to doug and linda for sharing all the info you have here.

  9. Notoverit October 5, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    Great Doug! Maybe you could do it next Wednesday and ask for everyone’s input. I think you could come up with some pretty sage advice, considering the wealth of knowledge your commenters have! My husband said he wish he’d known what an EA was before-hand. It could have saved a lot of grief. You two are perfect for the job!

  10. Anita October 5, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

    Its when inner desires respond with outward enticement, that infidelity starts.

  11. monalisa October 5, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    The answer to this is really quite simple. An affair is the result of CHOICE. Every person that cheats, makes a CHOICE to do so. It should never be called a mistake, because every time the cheater continues to dial a number, send a text, compose an email, send a link to an initmate song, or talk about plans to meet, they have put forth the effort and made the CHOICE to do so. They could have, just as easily made the CHOICE to do the right thing, honor their marriage vows, and halt communication. The reason they don’t stop the EA is because they don’t want to (another CHOICE) because they like it and they think they will never get caught. Everyone tries to over think this! So many attempt to find a way to make it look like their poor little spouse was “snared” by the OW/OM. Bullshit!!

    • Liz October 7, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

      I agree with you, the cheater made a choice even if the ow was the agressor. He could have just said no. Its all an illusion anyway, the mind being tricked into something thats was not really there, in my circumstances anyway thats how I Feel. 🙂

  12. Sad October 6, 2011 at 1:47 am #

    I also believe that it is a CHOICE. A choice to begin the affair. And making the same choice before every move (make plans to meet, text, call, have sex etc) to continue with the affair, ie consciously deciding, every minute of the day throughout the affair, that it is ok (for him and for everyone around him) to carry on cheating.

    While I am sympathetic that:
    1) my H’s ow was also a nut job and a vulture, and this made the OPPORTUNITY/temptation harder to resist,
    2) my H also totally suppressed and not voice his feelings/concerns about our marraige PROBLEMS,
    I think it is his CHARACTER, which held the last straw, to the CHOICE to cheat and to the ENDLESS DECISIONS MADE to continue to cheat for years.

    Dear Doug and Linda, a handbook for the newlyweds will prevent a lot of suffering due to ignorance about affairs and ignorance about how to maintain good loving relationship in marriage. Both my H and I have been grieving over our own ignorance on these subjects; wishing that we had been more informed somehow; wishing that my H has not been mislead by how affairs are reported by the media, its devastation minimized and even used as entertainment. Such a handbook will be a gift for happy, loving and everlasting relationships.

    • Doug October 6, 2011 at 7:06 am #

      OK, I guess the plan will be to use our Wednesday discussion next week for newlywed advice day. Everyone plan on coming back and offering your best advice on relationships, marriage and infidelity. Maybe we should throw parenting in there as well??

  13. Norwegian woman October 6, 2011 at 6:38 am #

    I agree with you Monalisa. There are too many attempts to make excuses and explanations for the cheating spouses. All of the BS have probably been in situations where we were the center of attention. We were in similar situations that our spouses were. But we actually made a CHOICE to act on it or not.
    They made a CHOICE, they liked it, they wanted it and they acted on it. Not because they had trouble in their marriage, were a victim of a predator or was unable to express their feelings. They certainly DID express it to the OP, didn`t they?

    • ifeelsodumb October 9, 2011 at 12:45 am #

      Oh goodness!! You are sooo right!! If I had a dollar for every time I’ve told my H that he opened up to HER and not to me, I’d be a rich woman!! He says lack of communication was the problem…thing is, I don’t have a problem talking things over…HE did and STILL does!!

  14. Broken October 6, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    It’s like putting a label or reason on the affair is giving our CS an excuse for their behavior and in saying that I believe it is character that is the cause. I believe you Norwegian woman …it was a choice pure and simple but it is our character that drives the choices we make in life. You and I would make the choice to never cheat on our spouses because our character (who we are inside molded by our past, present and future) says no. It pains me that I no longer think of my husband on the same moral ground I did a year ago….that the man I thought had impeccable character, integrity and standards has fallen from grace. He isn’t who I thought he was. I believe that is what is so often refered to as the loss of innoscense we all grieve over, What is even more sad is now that my older children know…they have said in their eyes he has been taken down a notch….no longer up on that pedestal. This is an excruitiating pain to him as well. My husband and I both have had difficult childhoods, struggles in life that most have never endured yet when it comes down to cheating he made his choice I know what my choice would have been because like many of you I had the chance. Same issue as my husband…a co worker….a very persitant coworker but not for one moment did I think about cheating. I think for all of us who have been through this and are the BS…..we are the strong ones….we are the ones with character. Its kind of ironic isnt it?

    Changed forvever…..just wanted to say good luck on DDAY. For me I built up in my mind how awful it was going to be. While there was alot of relection that day…all and all it was ok. I am actually relieved it is over. Its a milestone and I think you will be happy its behind you.

  15. Broken October 6, 2011 at 8:11 am #

    Also wanted to add when you guys were talking about helping newlyweds I had to laugh. There are always articles about how couples last so long in marriage….like its a miracle or something. I use to think wow I could write a book on that …been together 38 years. Had our ups and downs. Been though so much…sure could give advise on the subject. Then the affair happened and I was completely blindsided. It’s like what do you say? I thought I knew all about marriage, I thought I knew who my husband was, I thought I knew who I was then. How do you advise someone about what we have all been through…how do you put into words the devastation.

    • ifeelsodumb October 9, 2011 at 12:50 am #

      Broken…Ditto everything you said…we had a happy home…four great boys, I’m still in shock 10 months later..

  16. Notoverit October 6, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    I think, Broken, we tell them what we learned from our devastation. Like, if you’re not talking be worried and do something about it – don’t accept it. Another might be the damned cell phone – keep an eye on it from the start. Or know your finances -watch for signals that money is going somewhere. Things like that. Just a thought that maybe some of the things we have suffered could help someone avoid the pitfalls. Our suggestions do have worth – and yes we did learn things over these long marriages. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You will make it!!!

  17. Kristine October 6, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    In response to NW about it merely being a choice, for me, it’s not an excuse to find the meaning behind the choice it’s necessary for me to UNDERSTAND the choice. We were married for almost 16 yrs when all this occurred. He had the same choices all the previous years. Why now? What was the motivating factor BEHIND the choice and why was it there and not before? I had to analyze and understand that FOR ME TO HEAL. Just believing it was a choice would never let me heal, would never allow me to forgive, or trust because the CHOICE would always be there. It still is, I know that. We ALL have choices and not just concerning fidelity but in all areas of our lives but I had to be able to wrap my head around WHY this choice was made. My husband is not and was not a serial cheater. There are reasons behind that too I’m sure, childhood issues, father issues, mother issues, commitment issues – who knows – but I wouldn’t be able to get past serial cheating regardless of the reasons that would be behind that choice. I had to understand why my husband who never cheated before once and always walked a moral straight line fell into this. It wasn’t simply a CHOICE. He didn’t wake up one day and said “you know, I choose this route today!” No, it was accumulation of things going on in his head that I had no idea about. Understanding my husband’s lack of communication and ability to express what’s going on with him not only helped me to understand how he came to make this horrible choice but also answered some fundamental questions I’ve had all along in our marriage about the way he handled (or not handled) things.

    Funny thing is (if there can be anything funny) he did NOT express his feelings to the OP either. I read an email where she was asking him why he never said he loved her when she said it to him all the tine and why he never spoke ill of me. That confirmed he STILL wasn’t opening up about ANYTHING going on with him to anyone. He was just escaping and going the wrong way about it. Excuses? HELL NO! I wish to God he would have opened his pie hole to me and said something, lashed out, went to counseling, read a book, went to our pastor BEFORE he started this not while he was in the midst trying to figure out how he got into the mess he was in but BEFORE. Would have saved our family a lot of headaches, pain and devastation *but* knowing his issues now and seeing them laid out and having something we can address and work on, that helps ME heal, helps me move forward, helps us heal together and possibly if he does the work, can help him emotionally as well in his own life and put to bed some of the emotional baggage he’s been carrying around but didn’t even know he had.

    I also have to say it’s hard for me when I hear the “moral character” talk about the BS’. It’s so easy to do that but I don’t put myself on a higher ground than my husband even after he did this, or over anyone for that matter, any of the CS’. We all have sins we carry. ALL OF US. God forgives us all of our sins daily when we repent and ask for forgiveness and he tells us to forgive others not once but 70×7 – meaning KEEP FORGIVING DON’T STOP. We’re all sinners and none of us are better because we didn’t do the same sin as someone else. Knowing that keeps me from looking at my husband in a low light and radiating the light on myself as if I’m more superior. Like the book says that I read called “Helping Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair” the BS is called the faithful spouse but not the PERFECT spouse. We may not have made the grave errors our spouse’s did concerning fidelity but we are no position to cast stones IMO. When we do it’s real simple to put ourselves on a pedestal and judge and always hold that sin in front of our spouses and use it as a measuring tool.

    • confused 2 October 7, 2011 at 6:03 am #

      Thank you for your insights. I admire your compassion. It’s true that we ALL sin and God said cast the first stone if you have no sin.

      I understand that BS are really devastated and they feel victimized but is it reasonable to conclude that CS have lost their character or have no morals? Are all CS viewed as a cheater for the rest of their life?

      I admire all BS who are so so sure of their convictions,morals and their character when it comes to fidelity and they are so sure that they have and always will choose not to cheat whatever happens. Norweigan woman, do you really feel that you’re on a higher ground and have every right to throw stones? Do you really believe that your H can never measure up to you now?

      I can understand why a serial cheater can be called someone with no morals but what about those who cheated, repented and then never does it again?

      I read somewhere that although you trust your spouse you have to be realistic and accountable too. It’s not enough that you just trust completely because surely everyone is capable of giving in to temptation or making a bad choice so keeping each other accountable is realistic. I now know that certain vigilance would have been good.

      Coming from a CS perspective, I am struggling with the guilt and shame of what I’ve done. I was one of those who believed I’d never cheat and yet I failed. I do feel like my H is a better person than me. I feel like I don’t deserve him. I struggle now because I want to walk away. I’m so scared. I’m so scared that I was capable of it and I don’t know what to do with myself. I do feel like such a failure and I don’t know how to cope. I don’t know what to do and I know I’m to blame for creating the problem in the first place. There is no excuse.

      This whole experience had made me question everything. I question love, marriage, life, myself etc. Like betrayed I feel like I’ve lost faith in humanity too because I feel like this is what being in the wrong feels like. I’m no longer on the “good” side. Have I already lost my chance to redeem myself because I made a bad choice? Does EA mean I’m no longer the good person that I thought and my H thought I was? Does the 4 months of EA render the 4 and half years of faithfulness invalid?

      I would like to ask for help. My H and I have always struggled with communication and it’s worse now after the EA. I don’t know what to say. He says he still believes in us. We’ve only been married 1 year and 3 months.

      He asked how did I think EA would end up? why did I do it if I knew it was going to lead nowhere?

      I don’t know what to say. I don’t want to say anything that would lead to further hurt. is there an article here about how to discuss EA?

      • Michael October 7, 2011 at 10:12 am #

        Confused,
        Thank you for you comments. In a way they are words that I wish came from my wife. They are heartfelt words. They are honest words about how you feel. It’s been almost two years from the beginning of her affair, and we still struggle with communication.
        Have you said these word to your husband? I don’t know your husband but this kind of honesty is what I believe we need in our marriage.
        We all deserve that honesty in our relationships so we can make a decision on what is best for us. I believe a lot of wayward spouses keep things to themselves to serve their own desire not to be judged. And because they think it will hold what they have together. When in reality the dishonesty is what keeps them apart.
        If in honesty your spouse chooses to leave than that is their choice. It isn’t because you lied to keep him safe. It because you were honest enough to open your heart to whatever they choose to return to you.
        Certainly the honesty can be enough for him/her to decide that this relationship is not what they want. But if you make it past D-day there is hope that they will stay and show you how much they love you and how willing they are to make it better. Forgiving my wife time and time again gets harder each time. But I’m still here. I still love her and I still wan my marriage to be better.
        And Ill be the fist to tell you, I’m not perfect. I’m not without temptation. And I’m not innocent of ever doing something I’m to ashamed to tell my wife.

        • confused 2 October 8, 2011 at 12:52 am #

          Dear Michael,

          Thank you for your comment. What are you and your wife doing together to improve your communication? It is just about the EA or do you struggle with communication in general?

          The thing was I was going to counselling and I was told to not tell my H as it would make things worse and instead just work on making amends etc. I couldn’t not say though. and you’re right I thought it was because of dishonesty and secretiveness that EA had developed and put the distance between us so I thought if I just confessed then I’d be forced to be accountable. The deception had taken its toll on me and to be honest although it may sound selfish I did feel better after I’ve confessed.

          As we struggle talking about the EA we have been talking about it through emails. I find writing bit better than up front talking. I like hearing what you think as a BS as I do want to know what I need to do and what to say to help him and help myself recover.

          My H has been the one who has adamantly said we need to stay together as I had suggested we split up. He’s been really supportive and very encouraging about moving forward and trying not to look back. I had suggested we go to marriage counselling because I do feel like we need guidance on communication because I don’t want us to end up just “sweeping all the unsaid things under the carpet” while resentment build up.

          He’s been really patient. it’s been a struggle I know because even though he’s the one I should comfort, instead he’s the one reaching out to me as I find myself withdrawing often times because I’m so caught up and confused and depressed about it all etc

          Have you and your wife been to counselling? I just wonder that maybe your wife is not sure how much to say or is struggling with expressing herself too.

      • SadSuzie October 12, 2011 at 8:46 am #

        How to help your spouse heal from an affair. I’m the BS and I bought this book for my husband (although he hasn’t made much effort to read it because that means he has to actually talk about the affair and be supportive of the process….CS’s don’t seem to want to do that). This is exactly what the BS is looking for. If you truly want to help your marriage and MOST importantly want to understand the pain from the BS’s side and what we NEED to heal than buy this book. It’s really is a short read, but communicates concisely what issues we want addressed. Just the fact that you bought the book on your own and told your husband that you want to understand what you have to do to create trust and rebuild your marriage through the healing of the affair would have been a big kudo for any of the BS’s that are on this site…..This is what we are looking for….that effort from the CS to take responsibility for their actions and LEAD the healing efforts.

  18. InTrouble October 6, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    I’m reading “When Good People Have Affairs: Inside the Hearts & Minds of People in Two Relationships” by Mira Kirshenbaum. It’s pretty interesting and I recommend it if you’re pondering this subject.

  19. Norwegian woman October 6, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    Kristine
    I am not putting Bs on a pedestal, but we DID NOT make this choice even though we could have. Are we perfect? Of course not. Nobody is. But in this perticular area, we most certainly are NOT at the Cs level, and have every right to throw stones. I can not se how it helps either me or my Cs to try to tell myself that I am not perfect, so I am no better than him. I am.

    I have been there too. I have felt the exitement when a man can`t take his eyes off of you. How good it feels to be told how woderful you are. How desirable you are. And YES, the lack exitement in our marriage was there at the time. I have recieved messages and phonecalls. I could have pushed it a little further. But I did not.
    It was not my ability to express my feelings that stopped me. It was not my needs being met, because there were times they didn`t. It was not our togetherness, because I was often lonely. It was a choice. I loved my husband, and couldn`t bring myself to do this to him. He was the father of my children and the one I married. He didn`t deserve to be degraded like that. I knew that the only way to experience to fall in love again, was to leave my husband, and I did not want to leave him. Despite the fact that he wasn`t perfect, and did not allways meet my needs for affection, love and attention. Despite the fact that we both wasn`t good communicators.

    I made a concious choice. My husband sadly did not take the same choices I did. He did not feel that the fact that he had married me, that I was the mother of his children, that I have been by his side all of these years, was enough to treat me with dignity and respect. He made a choise to NOT let these factors influence his behaviour. Because he wanted what he wanted when he wanted it because it felt good for HIM.

    I really thought that he had the same standards for me, as I had for him. I turned out to be an illusion.

    Believe me, I have tried to explain it in many ways. He was confused. He wasn`t able to communicate his frustration. He did not have his needs met in some area, and that made him feel lonely and desperate. But it didn`t help me. It only boils down do one thing. He made an extremely egoistic choice with no concern for me. I thought he was a better man. It turned out he wasn`t.

    • Kristine October 6, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

      Oh I’m sorry NW I wasn’t saying YOU were stating that at all – just responding in general 🙂 I apologize if my post sounded that way 🙂

  20. Norwegian woman October 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    And for the record…. Now I have to make a coice. And that choice is based upon his choices to be transparent and do what he can to help me feel some kind of security again. If he chooses to first and foremost care for himself rather than focus on how he can make it up to me, things are not looking good for our marriage. He have to choose what kind of man he wants to be. If he can`t be the kind of man I thought he was and I deserve, he has made a coice to loose me.

    Forgiveness is a nice word. I can forgive him, but I can never forget the pain he brought upon me. My innocense is gone. It is my own fault that I was naive and measured him to me. That is my blame in this. But his affairs…….. it was his choice.

  21. Paula October 6, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    I think arming/forewarning newlyweds, whilst it sounds a noble idea, is pretty pointless. How many of you didn’t know about the devastating effects of infidelity? I did, I’d lived it and seen it with family and friends, and I thought we had great, open communication, were on the same page about it (and everything else), we were still madly in love after more than 20 years, etc, etc, but it happened anyway. I have lost faith in human beings’ ability to be good to each other. It still happens, no matter how well educated, no matter how much you talk about NOT doing it to each other, about respect for each other, even if the love fails (not cheating while still together, getting out of one relationship before launching into another.) Look how many of us managed to think we had lovely marriages, to really good men/women, and yet, decades later, look at the devastation this very lovely, good, moral and loving person has caused.

    Like everyone else here, yes, opportunity, character, problems, blah, blah, blah, but just don’t make THAT choice, you IDIOT!!! Why can’t they think, fast-forward in their heads, realise that this doesn’t solve anything, just creates a whole raft of new, far worse problems, grrrr! I just don’t get that, this choice is forever, the effects of stepping over that line last forever, no matter how well you patch the marriage, it’s still patched, not bright and shiny anymore.

    • confused 2 October 7, 2011 at 6:18 am #

      Dear Paula,

      they say that marriage is about unconditional love which is why many fail because most people do have conditions about love or they are not capable of loving unconditionally or choose not to.

      we did sign up to not just for better but also for worse.

      do you feel that since you now see your marriage as patched and not bright and shiny does that mean it’s less valuable? do you view it as damaged rather than repaired?

      • Paula October 11, 2011 at 11:29 pm #

        confused2, probably, I don’t think I want used goods, lol! I’ve tried to learn to love things the way they are now, but not doing too well. Oh, by used goods, I don’t mean that I was his only lover ever, I just mean I don’t see him as the strong and tender, loving person he had shown me the previous 21 years, I now know he is capable of such cruelty, even though he was never thinking about me while he was with her, he was guilty of cruelty by omission, much like starving an animal.

  22. Anita October 6, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    Forgiveness is what God asks us to do, its not for the other person but for yourself, some people don’t care whether their forgiven or not. But, by you forgiving them it takes the poison way from you, while the other person has gone on with their lives, your not left stewing in the poison. Now read Romans 12:19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Galatians 6:7 ‘”Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
    I hope this helps, but you also have to remember this is done in God’s timing not ours.

  23. Paula October 6, 2011 at 9:32 pm #

    Or if you aren’t religious, Anita, the concept of karma is helpful 🙂 As this off FB yesterday:

    “No need for revenge. Just sit back & wait. Those who hurt you will eventually screw up themselves, & if you’re lucky, God (sic) will let you watch.

    I thought it quite funny! Gotta laugh from time to time 🙂

  24. Briana @ 20 and Engaged October 6, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

    I think those are 2 broad enough categories for every reason to fit in. As unfortunate as it is, there’ll be people who justify why they cheat, but those who’ve been cheated on should try to figure out if the person is justifying it or if they’re giving an actual reason (although it’s still an excuse).

  25. melissa October 7, 2011 at 6:59 am #

    Like many here I believe in choice and self-restraint but I think EA, by their very nature, are not always a very clear cut ‘choice’, unless you are very aware of yourself and understand your own emotions (for example, I do like to be admired but someone who flirts a bit too hard will immediately cause alarm bells to ring in my head. Similarly, I might see someone I ‘fancy’ but I also have an internal alarm system which says ‘nope, nice to look at but really not worth ruining my marriage for’).

    However – and this may be sexist – I’m not sure that many men are that self-aware. I also believe – and this is NOT an excuse for CS’s behaviour – that an EA is sometimes something that people fall into after a while, it’s not an immediate ‘bolt out of the blue’ choice. From what I know of my H’s EA, it seems to have started with a request for professional help at a time when he was vulnerable (and yes, fear of waning sexual powers was, I now know, a huge factor in his unhappiness). It seemed innocent at first, even virtuous to him (although it was anything but as it fulfilled a need my H was not even aware of), he felt he was doing something worthwhile (!!!).

    Then it started slipping into an EA. Lunches turned into dinners. Meetings turned into visits to her flat. He invited her to industry functions instead of me. He asked her to spend a weekend with him abroad (I don’t think that ever happened). He wrote her notes of longing (‘I miss you so much’) like a teenager. The number of calls increased, they became longer…

    From what I can see, there doesn’t seem to have been a strong ‘choice’ but rather lots of small choices which at the time seemed to him to be totally innocent but quickly descended into lies and deception. I think that several times during the EA, my H realised deep down (and maybe without even expressing it to himself) that he was doing something wrong (he was often sick after seeing the OW) but could not turn back and, I’m quite sure, the thrill of the chase was keeping him ‘alive’, therefore creating a very vicious circle.

    Of course, he should not have made these choices. It’s quite likely I would not make these choices myself. But at the time, whilst ‘in the fog’, they seemed very innocent to him and he would not have thought about the damage he was causing. Again, I do not find this is an excuse for his behaviour, just an explanation.

  26. JC October 7, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    Wow, lots of great stuff here. I think its wonderful to write and really “let off” its cathartic isn’t it…?? and I have to agree that EAs happen because of opportunity and certainly a character flaw. Many people don’t because they make a difinitive choice not to, sure there are problems, raising children, job stress, lack of sex the whole gamut but its really escapism. After 10 yes, 10 years, healing for me is really just beginning because my husband finally, finally is just now truly realizing how badly he hurt me and acknowledging for himself what a real as….le he insists he “was” and is really doing better now. Its an uphill struggle because he’s beginning where I have left off years ago so his work is really cut out for him. But one thing I found interesting, Dr. Willard Harley ( a tremendous counsellor) has a theory about emotional needs and how important these needs are for both men and women and what can and does happen when these needs are not met. Usually sex for men and conversation for women but there are others and what my H and I found out is that he had always had a powerful need for admiration which I really did not meet usually because I was the primary parent but he got involved to “assauge” his ego I guess, but the earlier article about a man’s sexual prowess which may lead him to cheat is so on target especially when this particular “need” is unmet. I can so empathasize with this …… its not an excuse, cheating is so crappy and the bible is very clear…..it says the sin of adultery is never wiped away….and it is something that will always linger even if/when there is reconcilliation because u may forgive but you will never forget. Every blessing.

  27. Alone October 7, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    Hi confused 2 –
    I am also a cheating spouse about 4 months out from D-Day.

    I’ve been mulling over this question for months – why did I cheat? In my situation I was not looking to cheat. I had no plans for that nor had it ever crossed my mind. I knew it was wrong and I have always prided myself on how honest I am. This sort of thing does not fit into my character or morals. And yes, this had made me second guess everything: myself, my life, my marriage, my thought processes, etc. I always saw the good in the world before, lived in a bubble. It’s hard to accept that I was the reason the bubble popped for my husband and I. I view the world in a completely different way now. And myself.

    Back to the why I cheated… the EA with some physical (not full blown PA by any means) started off as a friendship that grew every day. I felt/still feel emotionally bonded to this OP. Felt as though I was helping him with various issues in his life. And yes, he helped me too at a time when I was sad and looking for something fun in life. In my mind, we had a very special friendship and understood each other. Looking back, I now realize that he might have been more interested in the physical attraction; I guess that is typical of a man. But for me, I had made a very good friend that I enjoyed spending time with and could talk to. That was a nice feeling, not to mention all of the compliments that he gave me. I guess, as sad as this is, it felt great. So I kept going. I tried to tell my husband that I was sad and that I was going through a mid-life crisis but I don’t think I communicated that well enough. Meanwhile, this OP was there for me. Funny thing is, when I look back and miss the OP, I miss our friendship, the innocent part before we “admitted feelings for each other”. Admission of feelings was the first step in crossing the line and everything went downhill from there. I regret reciprocating those feelings to him very much. I could have saved everyone involved much heartache.

    Obviously my husband and I had communication issues long before the affair. I am not good at communicating my needs. Never have been. Now that the affair is exposed and he knows that I have been struggling with the loss of this other relationship, the friendship part, he has a hard time wanting to communicate with me. I hate it so much when he asks me questions about the EA… because I have no good answers. What can I say to change it? Take it back? I can’t undo the hurt I have caused. I can’t automatically turn off my feelings for this other relationship. So I hardly respond. When I try to respond, he says he’s heard it all before… so I feel that my words have no meaning. That leaves us in one big fat mess. For months I have been emotionally distant, feel empty, but now want to really start working on things. However, at this point my H is now emotionally distant. He is tired of dealing with the situation. I am too. What should I expect after the way I have treated him? I swear, a one night stand would have been easier than this mess I have created. We are starting counseling soon. I am hopeful that this can move us in the right direction. Along with a lot of prayer.

    Sorry for the long post. This helps me a lot though.

    • Saddenned October 7, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

      Alone,

      You have to be patient with him. His mind is going a mile a minute too. Let him know you feel bad. Tell him you love him. Focus on the positive and pull yourself out of the negative thinking. Reassurance is what he needs. He will open up if you reassure him. Do you love your husband?

    • confused 2 October 8, 2011 at 1:52 am #

      Dear Alone,

      Thank you for your comments and it’s good to hear from a CS perspective. It’s also been 4 months for me.

      I know exactly how you feel when you talked about questioning yourself and everything else in life and being so depressed as a result of the guilt, shame etc. Not only do you feel so bad about how you’ve hurt your husband but also you are grieving a loss because of your feelings towards the OM and also feeling so bad about yourself and your choices.

      . The counsellors have asked me the same thing. What did I feel was lacking in my marriage that I did it? My H kept asking me why. God knows I’ve asked couple of confidantes and different counsellors, read books, looked at different websites to try and understand.

      The thing is I should have really known better I really do. Unfortunately sometimes we don’t even realise we have wrong beliefs or have a self sabotage pattern until you hit rock bottom and get help.

      In my case, the OM was the man I have always thought was my ‘first love” I had my heart broken repeatedly over 12 years of on and off contact.

      7 months after getting married I had dream about this guy and saw him on FB and carelessly sent a message. The issue is I felt that I never had the chance to have “closure” witht his guy –in the sense that I never had the chance to rant basically. I rationalised sending a message as “it’s just an email to say hi”. but I think my real motivation when I first started talking again to him (it’s been 3 years since we last had very brief contact) was to ask the questions I had over the years and to say things I never said before. Obviously very wrong thing to do and futile as if he didn’t care about breaking my heart before when we were still single, what would it be to him now that we’re both married to other people?

      I do get what you mean though about feeling “loss” because you have an emotional attachment to the OP because you thought you understand each other and you thought he made you feel good etc. You also thought you had a “friendship”.

      During the EA I thought maybe if my H wasn’t depressed I wouldn’t be so unhappy or that maybe I don’t really love my H because I’m still not over the first guy but that’s just an excuse. Like my parents said I already knew my H had depression and anxiety before we got married so why suddenly do I want to split up over it? I think now I was trying to find a way out of the mess I’ve made and couldn’t bear to face H and wondered how it was going to be with us after what I’ve done.

      I too am emotionally withdrawn and depressed. After EA and confession it was because I was having “withdrawal” from no contact with the OM and then I bounced and was back in the gym and back to trying to keep busy and being the “happy attentive wife” to back down again because so ashamed, guilty and confuse.

      All the best to you and please let me know if counselling has helped you and your H. i’ve asked H about marriage counselling but he said he’s had enough of counselling (he’s had 11 sessions of CBT for his depression and anxiety) and he thinks he and I will be ok. he said we just need to communicate more.

    • Holding On October 8, 2011 at 7:46 am #

      Alone,
      Again, I am thankful that you are here to share your side. It brings a lot of light into my husband’s possible feelings. Thank you for sharing. Does he also have questions about himself and his character and why he made those choices that hurt me so much? I just wanted to say thank you for allowing me to see the opposite side in a compassionate way. I feel for you and can see the steps you are trying to make to fix this.

      I also can see how it is soooo confusing on how to fix this mess after. It is really hard to deal with all these emotions and feelings and thoughts after an EA. (On both sides, I guess.) I’ve been up all night trying to figure out this whole thing and where I go from here. A couple nights ago I flipped out on my H with a new set of anger and called him a jerk and a slimeball for his choices in the EA. He’s been a little distant…I wonder why?!?! I was talking about THEN. He isn’t a jerk or a slimeball now. Or before the EA, but it is difficult to escape from what happened and not take it personally FOR ME. I thought I was starting to let go, but I’m back in the thick.

  28. Anita October 7, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    confused 2 yes marriage is based on for better or for worse, however when your spouse cheats on you, you also have a choice to stay or to go. When you choose to stay you do it with the knowledge is your spouse is capable of cheating again. Unfortunately there are no guarantees for you that they will stay faithful. Learning to trust and respect them again is a gamble. I took the gamble and wouldn’t you know after all the effort and tears he cheated again. At this point for better or for worse wasn’t even a concern anymore, it became I am not putting up with this any longer, straighten up or get out, he chose to divorce, the coworker and him had a relationship for about a year. Then the midnight phone calls would come, he would be crying on the other end, GRIEF had finally hit him. But our divorce was already final. I forgave him, and told him to forgive himself, and wished him the best. He is remarried now and I am happy for him. He has settled down again and I am very grateful that he has, for our childrens sake. My children are adults with their own children, but watching their dad go through an affair was heartbreaking for them. So fast forward a few years to now. When I stumbled across this sight, I am heartbroken for those of you going through this now, my heart goes out to you. What ever you decide, do it with prayer. Last but not least forgive them and let God do the rest.

    • confused 2 October 8, 2011 at 1:09 am #

      Dear Anita,

      I admire your strength & compassion as after what you went through it’d be so much easier to be bitter, cynical and angry.

      Did you regret giving him another chance or do you feel it was better that you tried than to have never tried again?

  29. InTrouble October 7, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    Alone — Have you read the book I referenced above? I think you should. I have found it to be tremendously helpful.

    • Paula October 7, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

      InTrouble, I, like many others here, have read the book, and I know “good people” do bad/damaging (whatever label you want to use) things. I found the book didn’t tell me anything new, I got no further insight into my situation. The problem as a BS is you can have all the knowledge, desperately want it to fade from your mind when the CS makes genuine efforts to restore trust and shows very genuine remorse, and still be in a bad place. I can’t make it go away, after two years and four months, I still have it as the wallpaper of my mind, I NEVER forget about it, I still have nightmares about it every single night. I just want a break from it, “stop the world, I wanna get off,” type thinking. It’s exhausting. I wish someone could show me how to stop thinking about it, believe me, I’ve tried everything, distraction, CBT, etc, haven’t found the answer yet.

      • confused 2 October 8, 2011 at 2:03 am #

        Dear Paula,

        I worry that my H is feeling like you too. I wonder whether years from now he will still also be thinking about it. Please let me know if you do find something to help you cope.

      • blueskyabove October 9, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

        Paula,

        You mentioned CBT. Does that mean you believe your thoughts have a role in how you feel?

        As to your later post in this thread – maybe you have reached a point where you just need to stop asking ‘why’. Initially after DDay we all seem to want to know ‘why’ as if discovering the answer to that question will make it all better. It doesn’t. Eventually, I took the initiative to decide the answer for myself and that burning question seemed to lose a lot of its power over me. I have discovered that asking ‘why’ disempowers a person. Asking ‘what do I want to make of this’ does the opposite. That put me in control instead of being at someone else’s mercy.

        The past only exists in your memory. You can’t touch it, taste it or smell it. You can only give it power with your thoughts. You have already proven this to yourself. If hidden inside every obstacle is a blessing, if all challenges are a sign of spiritual strength and the readiness of the soul to evolve even further, then maybe you just need to have more faith in your own abilities.

        I’m going to assume that you drive a car. Have you considered the fact that every time you drive down the road you are living by blind faith? Faith that all the other drivers will stay in their own lane and obey the traffic laws? If you are able to have faith in total strangers, then surely you can have more faith in yourself. You absolutely CAN have power over your thoughts. It isn’t an insurmountable challenge. It takes a lot of energy (as you noted) to keep rowing upstream. I don’t know you personally, but I can tell you that it is prematurely aging your body. (Did THAT get your attention enough to want to find a solution?) Find whatever it takes to realize that you deserve better from yourself! Don’t let this continue to run your life.

      • melissa October 10, 2011 at 8:13 am #

        You’re not alone, Paula. A couple of years down the line and I still wake up in the middle of the night and think about my H’s EA. There are good days and bad ones when it’s eating me alive, when the smallest trigger drives me to despair. I yearn to feel ‘normal’ again and I wonder why I’m hanging on to the pain so much, what does it really mean to me? That I’m preparing myself to be hurt again? That ‘forewarned is forearmed’? Being in a constant state of fight or flight is no good, though, it’s exhausting, as I’m sure you know. Take care of yourself and hang in there.

  30. Norwegian woman October 7, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    Alone
    I understand that it may have begun innocently and that you were not looking for it. But when feelings started to build up, didn`t you make choices to go on because it felt good?
    Do you think that you wouldn`t start the friendship if you were good at communicating your feelings? Would it have stopped you from pushing on, when you understood that this was crossing the line? What do YOU want your husband to ask you so that you could convince him that this will never have happened again and that you were trustworthy?

  31. Notoverit October 7, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    Alone,

    Have you completely cut off contact with the OP? Or does he work with you? Sometimes that is hard if the OP is still around. I would suggest being very transparent with your H. He needs reassurance that you won’t do this again. And as for the questions, you need to tell him that you need to feel safe in honestly answering him. The mistake I made at first was to listen to my H and then, quite wrongly, jump on him. That was not the right thing to do. Read some of the other posts to get a handle on how the BS feels and what they want in the way of answers. There’s a lot of stuff in this blog that will give you some guidance on how to come clean about what you did and then let you give your husband the assurances he needs.

  32. Anita October 8, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    confused 2
    This will be my last post, as I stated earlier on another post, but I wanted to answer your question. As far as the marriage went I do not regret giving my ex husband another chance. In the process of healing from the divorce, it helped because I knew it was over between us, and I wasn’t left with the feeling of what if I had tried again. I wish you the very best!

  33. ifeelsodumb October 9, 2011 at 4:09 am #

    A question I’m hoping someone can answer…My H was involved in a EA with an old GF….it lasted about 4 mos. It ended when I found out about it…he says he was ready to end it anyway, that he was really feeling guilty…whatever! Anyway, it’s been 10 mos now, and the pain and sense of betrayal isn’t AS bad..it’s still there, I don’t think it will ever go completely away…My question is, My H says that there was NEVER anything sexual between them, just a little flirting and lots of talking about the past, etc. and I WANT to believe him, except they sent over 3000 pics in the 4 month period and talked on the phone for hours each week and had 80-90 text a day…am I being a fool? He said the pics were just pics of scenery, our pets, house, stuff he worked on for his job, etc…
    I just can’t get it out of my mind that he’s lying to me….and how can I heal completely when I feel this way? He lied to me for 5 months after I initially found out “just to protect me” ….At first he said they had “a few” phone calls…what he didn’t say was that they did have a few phone calls EVERYDAY…it was only after I started digging around did I fully realize the extent of the relationship…thousands of text mess. pics, hundreds of hours of phone calls..she lives several hundred miles away, thank goodness, otherwise I’m thinking it would have been a PA….though he denies that would have ever happened!
    So is this possible, just to be emotionally attached like he’s admitted that he was…thinking about her during the day, wanting to be able to talk to her, etc…but not to get into anything sexual?? We are doing so much better, more good days then bad….but this is bugging me and I can’t let it go!! I want COMPLETE honesty from him….he’s told me I know everything now…but I’m just not sure!! Do ALL EA’s turn sexual? Am I naive to believe him?? We are going away for the weekend, to a Love and Respect live conference and I want to use that weekend to talk this through…and hopefully put it behind us!!
    I really appreciate reading all the responses on here…I have no one to talk to…the few ppl. who know NEVER ask me how I’m doing…I guess they assume since I have a smile on my face, I’m ok!!! Well, I feel I should be in Hollywood, making mega bucks, cuz I’m a GREAT actress!!! No one would even guess that inside my heart is still in pieces, and I don’t trust my H AT ALL!!!!
    I went to a counselor a few months back…he said I need to dwell on all the “good” years we’ve had, and not focus on the few “bad” months…Oh brother, like THAT helped!!!! Anyway, any feedback would be appreciated!!!

  34. InTrouble October 9, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    Paula – I agree that for a betrayed spouse that book might not be helpful. Can I ask you a question, and believe me when I tell you I Do Not want this to hurt you, but when I read many of the posts on here I just can’t help wondering about this. If you are so unhappy why don’t you leave your spouse and start a new life? Thank you for your honesty.

  35. Paula October 9, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    InTrouble, you’re right, I ask myself that question every single day, I still love him very intensely, and I think that’s why I can’t shake the pain, we still really enjoy each other’s company, we are still each other’s best, best friend. I feel a little like a battered wife when I say that out loud, I love him, but maybe he’s not good for me anymore!We have two school-aged children, and one at university, and all our assets are owned by his family trust, which leaves me very financially vulnerable. That said, misery is not a great companion. We are booked for some intensive therapy with my “last resort” and that starts in two weeks. I am hanging on desperately for this, and it will determine whether I stay or go. It’s very hard, way harder than I imagined, to let go of someone you love, and have done so for 24 years, because he made a mistake that you are not able to dig deep enough to find a way of forgiving him for. I know I sound like a complete misery guts here, this is my dumping ground! Sorry all.

    Ifeelsodumb, it’s so hard to comment without knowing the details, or you two. All I can say is that it certainly is possible for it to have just been an EA, but, the problem is, he has caused so much doubt, and we all understand that. My advice is, get your sexual health checked out, just in case. I’m hoping he is now telling you the truth, and it was “just” an EA. Only time will reveal, or heal, much love 🙂

    • ifeelsodumb October 11, 2011 at 12:59 am #

      Paula,
      I know it didn’t turn in a PA…she lives 800 miles away, thank goodness and he was home every night with me…plus she has a husband and 3 kids so I’m sure she couldn’t drop everything to fly here…I just want him to open up more….it’s been 10 mos…and I’m still doing all the work to make my marriage better, and to heal myself…after reading some of the posts on here…I’m realizing something I never knew before…My H is a VERY selfish man!!

    • SadSuzie October 12, 2011 at 9:21 am #

      Paula, I feel stupid sometimes wondering why I would stay being so unhappy…..problem is, my unhappiness is with his honesty with the affair…Like you, we have a wonderful time together, and then i think…is that enough or is that just being familar. I have been married 30 years and alot of them have been unhappy and I feel safe saying these things on this site because I don’t get a response back of how stupid something sounds even if I know it sounds crazy. I think going through this is like battered wife syndrome. PTSD…although someone once said PTAD, post traumatic affair disease…because I definitely feel like I’ve experience the devastation hit. We all seem to struggle trying to get HONEST answers out of our husbands…..yet the CS on this site state they don’t want to be honest because their feelings are still connected to the OP many times and they know that is devestating….which of course makes me more apprehensive about our recovery. If the CS is really that engaged in the OP…..then are they staying in the marriage out of obligation or do they truly know the OP was not right for them and they are just withdrawing from the “high”?

      • Paula October 12, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

        Hi SadSuzie. You are so right, I question my sanity in staying often! What really bugs me is that we had 21 really wonderful years, we both agree that we had a really fantastic thing. Unfortunately, we hit a rocky spot, with lots of stressful stuff all going on at once, and I had recently re-introduced his old (cheating) girlfriend, who was a friend from my childhood, into our lives, and they betrayed me by having a full-blown affair for 15 months, in my house, in my holiday house, attending significant birthday parties/functions, taking our kids away overnight, etc. I feel REALLY stupid, it all happened right under my nose, while friends were questioning their friendship, I was defending it. He is the epitomy of remorse, he can’t believe he did it, and I can’t move on, as I’m stuck in a pretty miserable place now. I don’t really know why, as my OH has been very honest with me, and done everything he needs to do, with the exception of replying to her for two years if she ever contacted him (pretty big exception, I guess!) He finally worked out that that small amount of contact, even though it was innocent, I saw it all, was killing me. I kicked him out (again!) and after a month, he came home, and I am as certain as I can be, that he hasn’t contacted her since, oh, BTW, he slept with her again, once, a couple of days after I kicked him out, lol, this time he did wear a condom! (she gave us an STI) She lives several hours away from us. My feeling was always that he never had closure with her, and that was why he couldn’t resist replying to her. He denied this, saying she was a cow for not apologising to me, and that he was absolutely sure he didn’t want her. I had said that if she was “the one” for him, then he should pursue it. He never initiated contact. I had asked him to change his mobile number, at the very beginning, as that was her only method of contacting him, but he dug his toes in, suggesting that it would be too inconvenient to his clients, etc. I told him that was a load of BS, one group text to let them all know would have sorted it. He now feels that he made a HUGE mistake in not taking that step, and is kicking himself over and over for being such an idiot (again!!!) I just want some peace back in my mind. Do you throw away 24 years, and a really amazing friendship, put yourself in a precarious financial situation, with two kids still at home, because he made a mistake? I don’t want to, but my sanity is at breaking point. I feel really sure that I never want another relationship, he is/was the love of my life, he used to bring out the very best in me. I know that is an obvious thing to say, but I really do believe it. My natural state is bright and bubbly, but this has dragged me down, on the outside I’m still me, but on the inside, and what goes on here, on this blog from me, is dark and depressing.

  36. confuse 2 October 10, 2011 at 8:06 am #

    i feel so dumb

    i’m sorry you are going through this horrible time.

    I was a CS and I can tell you that in my case the EA wasn’t sexual at all. If you read more articles about EA you’d see that not all EAs lead to PA or you’ll see that it’s not all necessarily sexual. The OM was an ex bf when I was a teenager and we mostly talked about the past, what could have been what might have been, stuff we didn’t know about each other, what life’s like now etc.

    CS, would you really want to know everything that they’ve talked about or are you just concern whether they were sexual?

    I confessed to my H and the truth did come out in drip feed sorry to say. When I was in the affair fog I acted very selfishly and when you actually tell the the truth the realisation of how horrible you acted just brings about the overwhelming guilt and shame of it.

    • ifeelsodumb October 11, 2011 at 1:05 am #

      Confuse 2 Thanks for being so honest…can you tell me how long it took you to get over the OM? I wonder about the witch he had the EA with…I hope she’s suffering like I am and missing him like crazy!! Which is kind of stupid cuz that might make her more inclined to try to contact him again! I’m sooo messed up still, lol!!! We had another blowup tonight because he FINALLY admitted that he hasn’t been giving his all to help repair things and help me rebuild my trust….I’ve known it in my heart all these months, but for him to finally admit it..well, that hurt!! :/

  37. Jan October 10, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    Doug, I have a question for you and you may have answered it in some other post but I have not been able to find it. Did you ever come to a clearcut answer for yourself and Linda as to why you had the EA. What do you think was your character flaw other than selfishness and being immature? What was the issue/issues from perhaps your past that made you want to relieve your teenage years?Did it have something to do with a midlife crisis? Yours and Linda’s situation could have been written by me. Thank you for your honesty and being so forthcoming.

    • Doug October 10, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

      Hi Jan, Besides selfishness and immaturity I would have to say that not adhering to appropriate boundaries and inability of communicating my needs to Linda should be included. I don’t know that Ii necessarily wanted to live my teenage years per se, but many of the elements of a forming a new relationship were present with Tanya, just as they were when I first met Linda (and other girls before I met Linda). There was a newness and excitement to it. There could have been a mid-life crisis element to it, as at the time Linda and I both attributed it to that, but looking back I really don’t know if that was really the case. I had no thoughts of time passing me by, nor of my impending death or anything like that. Though it was at a time when my relationship with my son was changing due to graduating and moving on to college, etc. I had up to that point spent a ton of time with him over the first 18 years of his life. There was also a lot of crap/stress at the time due to the poor economy affecting everything at work. I guess all of the above could have contributed to my insanity at the time. Regardless, I certainly made bad choices and handled it in the worst possible way.

  38. Jan October 10, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    Thanks Doug for your honest answer. I have been a regular visitor to this site for several months now but had hesitated until now to contribute or ask any questions. My question is what was your reasoning for keeping it platonic? I am having a hard time accepting that my husband now wants to work on our marriage. He had an EA with a woman he had worked with she had transferred to another position within the company and supposedly their EA actually started via facebook. There was never any meeting in person or physical contact according to him. He said it was just having his ego stroked that did it for him and he did not want all the mess that went with having a full blown affair…he was justifying it was ok because nothing physical was happening. I am having a hard time believing he did not intend for it to get sexual. He calls himself a Christian and that was the reason for the contact initally she came to him for a sympathetic ear and he was so wise with the advice he gave…which he usually was. He is 50 and she is 35 and I am sure I would have been flattered too.

    • Doug October 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

      In addition to the same answers your husband gives, it was just one of those lines I would never cross. I think also in my mind by not doing so it made it less of a betrayal–and less guilt.

  39. Candace October 10, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    WOW this discussion has my mind in a whirl. I do agree with Monalisa. Cheating is a CHOICE made by each individual. Sure there may be problems/situations in the marriage that contribute to the CHOICE, but it is a CHOICE.

    What I find shocking here is all the people saying they would never have an EA, it is not their character, they had their chance but declined, not something they could do, etc. Prior to my H’s EA I would have said the same thing. Now, I cannot say that without a doubt I would never. When I look around my life & my H’s, friends, co-workers and relatives etc. I now realize how easily affairs can happen. Our casual laid back society seems to encourage it at times. This is scary to realize that what you believe to be a good strong marriage can be changed with one wrong choice made by one spouse at a weak moment. I now do realize that a marriage takes lots of work and love and should never be taken for granted.

    • confuse 2 October 11, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

      Candace, I agree with you. Everyone is capable and affairs can happen to anyone.

      I believe in this world, all evils are possible. I also now believe that contant vigilance and accountability are essential in a marriage.

  40. Alone October 11, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    Dear ifeelsodumb –

    As a cheater, I think I can chime in on some of your questions. It’s been 4 months, and I am still not 100% over the OM. Maybe men move faster on this, perhaps to men who cheat it’s more about sex (although I was not in a physical affair there was A LOT of inappropriate flirting) so they can move on from the OW more quickly. For me, as I have posted on this site a couple of times I feel like I lost a friend. I miss my relationship/emotional connection with the OM and try not to think about him. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to work on marriage, just means that I do miss that other relationship.

    Also, your question about do all EA’s turn sexual. I don’t know the answer. But I will tell you in my case, it started as an innocent friendship and then the OM brought sexual overtones in a big way to the relationship. There was some, very limited actual physical touch involved in my case, but we were trying very hard not to go down that road… because it’s one thing to flirt, etc. but quite another to have a physical relationship. Sounds sick, but I think this is how “we” justified that what we were doing was OK. Not right, but OK because we were not having sex. I know this is a very inappropriate and wrong manner of thinking…

    And speaking on behalf of the hated cheaters, I truly do hope you and your husband can work all of this out and have peace and joy in your life again. That’s what I want for my husband and I… I realize I’ve made a huge mistake that we have to live with the rest of our days. And it’s totally my fault, my doing.

  41. Alone October 11, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    Dear confused 2 –

    Thanks for your comments. I can tell from your comments that you really do want to make things right with your husband. I think that is great.

    My husband and I start counseling this week. I am hopeful that it will help us communicate better and move in a good direction. I’ll keep you posted.

    In your post to me you said that you were emotionally withdrawn and depressed. To say that I have been depressed and withdrawn too would be an understatement. In fact, there are many days when I feel I have no ability to be happy ever again. I’m so glad that you can understand what I am saying about the “loss” that I have felt because you feel it too. It’s a really hard thing to admit that you miss the other man because they made you feel good and yes, you thought he was your friend. I know, I guess I’m still in the “fog”… I also lost a number of friends from this situation and literally overnight, my entire family and social circle changed. What a sad and pathetic state of being that I have created for myself and for my husband.

    If there is anyone reading this who is starting an affair, or in an affair, or thinking of having an affair: PLEASE SAVE YOURSELF NOW. You will only bring utter destruction to your family, friends, and yourself. This never ends in a good way, and everyone is heartbroken and left to try to pick up the pieces.

  42. Alone October 11, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    Hi InTrouble –

    I will order the book you suggested. It looked very good from what I could see on Amazon.

    I hope you are well… been thinking about you and praying for you.

  43. InTrouble October 11, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    Alone — “If there is anyone reading this who is starting an affair, or in an affair, or thinking of having an affair: PLEASE SAVE YOURSELF NOW. ”

    Oh boy, ain’t that the truth. When I think about the path…and what it’s done to my life…what it’s still doing to my life. And it keeps getting worse. When this really ends I will have barricades around me that no one will ever breach again.

  44. confuse 2 October 11, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    Dear Alone
    On my good days, I want to make things right with my H. On my bad days, I just want to leave and get away from him. It’s a shame to admit that but it’s true. The guilt, shame and doubt are making me depressed and withdrawn now and not the thoughts of the OM.

    We actually discussed this last night and he said I need to stop withdrawing from him. He said I’m being selfish and that I need to stop self pity and thinking my life is terrible. I said of course I know that there are a lot of worse off people than me. I want to snap out of it but it’s a struggle. I feel terrible about myself.

    I believe you have to mourn your “loss”. Even though it was a fantasy, in our emotions it was real. When we emotionally attached to someone we have projected our happiness to that person and when that person is gone –we feel we have also lost (the projected) happiness. If you have imagined and dreamed about (fantasy) life with the OM you also lost that fantasy life.

    We made a harmful choice but sometimes we just can’t help how we feel. My H said he understands that I still had feelings for the OM (who was my first love & biggest heartbreak) but what he can’t fathom is that I acted on it.

    The lesson is that we should just not give ourselves opportunities to emotionally invest on someone other than our H in the first place. Also the best way to help us get over OM is to continually remind ourselves of reality.

    My H and I went have gone to counselling separately and he doesn’t really want to go to couples counselling although I have suggested we go. I’ve consulted few counsellors and they’ve got different opinions and may confuse you more. I hope the counselling will be beneficial to you and your H. How have you been trying to make it up to your H?

    So your whole family and friends found out about your EA? I can imagine that would be even worse.

  45. confuse 2 October 11, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    Dear ifeelsodumb

    My additional comments to your original post, you’ll find on the other articles here that as the BS it’s your right to ask all the questions you want to ask and to get complete answers and to know the whole truth if you ask for it.

    However you’re also warned that you’d have to be prepared to hear it. Sometimes hearing the whole truth can backfire in the sense that it might just fuel more anger and hurt which will delay recovery. If you blow up at him when he tells you the truth then the more he’ll keep the truth to himself because he won’t want to deal with your anger and tears.

    It’s selfish of him I know but this is just the way human mind of a CS works. No matter how hard it is you have to try to stay calm if you feel like blowing up then walk away and come back when you composed yourself.

    About this recent post, I can see already that the truth is already damaging you more. Your H just admitted a truth to you and instead of acknowledging that you’re finally getting from him what you wanted (the truth) you’re just saying that it hurt. There’s no avoiding hurt with the truth unfortunately so you have to think about how much more hurt you are willing to take in.

    I would suggest that you think about which truth you’d want to hear about. What happened during the EA is just pure selfishness and stupidity and it is up to you if you want to hear ALL about it. It’s kind of like someone telling you they were sick, you’d ask about the symptoms but you wouldn’t want to hear all the yucky details right? My H has asked all the major questions (ie was it sexual, when and how often we communicated, are we still communicating etc) but didn’t get into the details.

    I think it is understandable that you would want this OW to suffer and hurt even in an ironic way of missing your H. Everything you are feeling is normal. I believe the OW would have suffered and might still be heartbroken. If it helps, she’s likely very jealous of you. I’m saying this because this is what I felt like about the OM’s wife.
    About getting over the OM, it’s been 4 months since we last communicated.

    Like your H, my OM was an ex bf. There is a history there so a bit complicated and also this was the guy for some reason (revealed in counselling but prior to EA I didn’t know why) I couldn’t get over. It was on and off contact the last 12 years. I now know and accept that No Contact for life is required.
    I don’t know the details of what happened with your H and the OW with their history. How long were they together and why did they break up? Depending on what happened, you can assess about how your H is feeling and how he can get over this OW.

    In my case I know I’ve overreacted and I’m more emotionally invested than what was reasonable so counselling has helped me understand why I felt like I couldn’t get over the guy after all these years. Also I have learned to focus on the reality of what happened with us rather than romanticizing the love story –eg it wasn’t fate that kept us apart but that he just didn’t genuinely loved me back & chose not to commit. Also I focus on the reality of now instead of trying to go back to the past.

    In truth, I don’t know if I can completely get over the OM because it’s been 12 years and he broke my heart 3 x but I still chose to contact him due to lingering feelings and questions. I think in reality he will always mean something to me. Unfortunately I attached to him in that way from my early years but now I just need to choose to not act on those lingering feelings and let him and myself move on to the separate lives we’re meant to live. Hope this post helps you.

  46. ifeelsodumb October 12, 2011 at 1:23 am #

    Confuse2…yes, it has helped me…and reading this blog the last few days has helped also…I DO realize that I don’t want to know anymore about what he said to her…it DOES hurt to much…and really…what can I do? It’s done and over with…knowing the facts won’t change a thing…So I told him tonight that I just want to concentrate on us…I want our marriage to be better than it ever was…I WANT TO TRUST AGAIN!!! And I soooo want to get HER outta my marriage..she’d interfered for to long as it is!!
    My h and I get along great…as long as the EA isn’t mentioned…so I have to TRY to put it behind me…and as long as he’s reassuring me that it IS over,it’s not going to happen again, EVER, then I feel I can get past this….I feel hate for the OW…and that is so unlike me, so that’s another issue I have to deal with,but not yet….First I need to have total trust in my H…and after reading this blog I know that’s going to take time…
    I hope things get better for you, Confuse2…I really do.

  47. SadSuzie October 12, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Trust…such a hard thing since he was so easily able to deceive me over and over…..and even though I might have been suspicious, I could never catch him….so not only do I have years of suspicious that kept me hostage, but now the years of pain once the truth has come out (at least the truth I’ve found out, nothing that he has ever revealed,,,,that might be the most significant sign he isn’t ready for an honest and transparent relationship)

  48. ifeelsodumb October 12, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    You’re right, Suzie…if he hasn’t come to you and told you what he’s been doing…then he’s not wanting that type of relationship with you…maybe it’s time for you to move on…without him! Only you can decide that though…so sorry for all you’re going through!! ((HUGS))

  49. Melvin October 12, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    ifeelsodumb,

    Lots of similarities with your situation.
    -10 months out.
    -4 months of high contact with an ex (fiance for me, GF for you) with inappropriate sharing of pixs, texts and plans.
    -it was “just two people talking” until I found some loving texts.
    -she has “told me everything” but I believe she hid some bad parts.
    -we get along great as long as we avoid discussing the EA.
    -there were miles between them (thank goodness) so I believe there was no PA.

    They were former lovers and she did admit that a PA probably would have occurred if they were closer in proximity.

    Did your H apologize ? Did your H promise to never do this again ? Is he proving that he deserves your trust ?

    My DW has. So, I am choosing to put this EA in the background and focus on the positives. We both still have our health. A wonderful family. A common love. Money to scrape by on. We enjoy each other’s company. These days, that is about as good as it gets.

    Best advice I can give – keep the radar on, just don’t make it the main focus of your life.

    Best to you both on your upcoming conference. Wish we could attend, sounds pretty neat.

  50. ifeelsodumb October 12, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    Wow Melvin…you’re creeping me out!! Please tell me your real name IS Melvin…if not, please don’t tell me it begins with J and that you live in the North East….I mean, how weird would THAT be…that you could turn out to be the OW husband!!!! YIKES!!! LOL!!! Hey, I MUST be getting better if I can joke about this, huh? 😉

    My radar IS on…all the time, but you know, I’m realizing that IF he wants to cheat again, with the OW or someone else…than that is his choice…I’ll then know that we never had a chance and I’ll do what’s best for me and my children… He knows this already so the ball is in his court at this point in our marriage!

    I really do feel that he is telling me the truth, no contact since D day, and that he is TRULY sorry, but goodness, not trusting him is SOOOO hard!!!
    I know time heals all wounds…but this wound is so deep. If he only knew how much he has hurt me. If I could have one wish, it would be that my H could walk in my shoes for just one week so he could FEEL this pain….sigh…

    BTW, you can find a L&R conference on here..http://loveandrespect.com/events/ they have conferences all over the country, some are live with Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs in person or a video conference. We went to a video conference in March….we really learned A LOT…it didn’t heal the hurt, but it did help me to better understand how to fix what was broken so hopefully this won’t happen again.

  51. confuse 2 October 12, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

    Dear ifeelsodumb
    Thank you for your kind words.
    I am encouraged that you are striving to focus on the positive and live in hope. I can see your fighting spirit coming out. You can do it. I think by focusing on what you can control and what you can change then you’ll feel less powerless therefore gaining more strength and going forward to retrieving some balance in your life
    I would also recommend that you also do things for YOU to help you feel better and not rely just on H to help you feel better. I can imagine that your self esteem has taken a battering and depression is a struggle to recover from.
    I think because you are experiencing so much anger it’s being channelled into hatred for the OW. In time hopefully this will abate and you will learn to eventually let this hatred go. It would be a shame if this EA change you from being not hateful to being hateful.
    I’m guessing that since you are going to this love and respect event then you and your H must be Christians. I think this helps. My H and I are Christians. After EA, my H became more serious about praying together and having devotionals. I think he felt that since we were slack before then that’s why we went through EA and also we know we can’t rebuild without God’s help.
    I think it’s helpful to be specific about recovery steps and to have a realistic measure of progress. I don’t think it is realistic that you can totally trust your H again. I don’t expect my H to totally trust me again. I said to my H that I’m happy for him to check my emails and my phone randomly. He said he doesn’t want to. But I feel that this is helpful for him to be reassured no more contact with OM and also helps me to be accountable.

    • ifeelsodumb October 13, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

      Yes, we are Christians…I think that’s why this has hit me so hard…It’s so out of character for him…He even allowed me and to nominate him for deacon, during the time he was carrying on with the OW!!! Good Grief!!! Can you believe he even took pics of our church and sent them to her?? Sheesh! That “EA Fog” is so thick it even makes the brain cells grow sluggish!!
      Of course, as soon as I found out, I told him he can’t possibly be a deacon, so he declined the position.
      L&R really has helped us, I’ve learned that I wasn’t showing my H the respect he so desires, and he wasn’t showing me the love I desire…it’s a work in progress, we aren’t there yet, but we will!
      We have a son in bible college wanting to go into the ministry…I mean, if people knew about this, they would be shocked, truly shocked!! We are the “perfect couple” …lol!! Riigghhttt!!! I should be in Hollywood, I’m such a good actress!! And that opens up a whole new set of problems for me…I feel deceitful for acting like nothing is wrong…and I have to deal with that on top of everything else!!
      So now we have decided to set aside Fridays as the day that we can talk, ask questions, start to heal…TOGETHER!!! I feel real hope for the first time in months…
      We are doing the same as you, for the first time ever, praying together in the morning before he leaves for work and in the evening before bed…I have asked him for years to do this, and he wouldn’t…My H has a hard time with showing his emotions, and that’s why we’re are in this mess today!
      So that’s where we are today, I’m not settling for anything less than him opening up to me…especially since he opened up to HER so much!!
      Reading this blog has helped me a lot!! I’m finally seeing that me doing ALL the work has been wrong and he says he understands more than ever that I need this to be the two of us working on this. So please pray for us…and I’ll certainly do the same for you 🙂

      • Kris October 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

        That is awesome to read how much your husband is doing to help you heal and for you both to heal the marriage. My husband also has issues with being emotional and discussing his feelings. He didn’t even do that with the OP so he hasn’t even addressed that he knows he has those issues. I pray we will come together in prayer daily and read devotionals without me always being the one to bring it up. I would love for my husband to set aside a day where we talk and discover things together. Your update gives me hope!

        • ifeelsodumb October 13, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

          Kris, how far are you out from DDay? It’s been 10 mos for us and we are just now starting to be able to talk with out me getting angry and crying…and while he still doesn’t open up to me the way I WANT…he is doing so much better…we actually have talked these last 3 days, and it’s been pretty good…I have a lot of anger and resentment towards him that I have to deal with…like I was REALLY heart broken and angry because he didn’t change his cell number or get a new phone until 5 mos AFTER D-day! And he KNEW how much I hated his phone…the chime every time he got a text was such a trigger to me. And he kept telling me he loved me and wanted our marriage to be OK…but he kept the same darn phone and number!!! In MY thinking…if he loves me…WHY not change it for me!!??
          But now, after reading this blog, I can better understand why he didn’t…I feel he was still in the EA Fog for the first few months and that’s why he didn’t change the number…maybe he was hoping she’d call??..and that is going to be the first question I ask him tomorrow (we have agreed to set aside Friday evenings to talk, read this blog and ask any questions that I need answers to) And also, to be fair, I suggested to him that he write down any questions he has for me and I will answer them also….
          One last thing, and I promise, I’m not getting paid to endorse this book, LOL, but Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs has helped us a A LOT!!! Not made everything perfect….but honestly, I don’t know where we’d be if I hadn’t read it…I suggest it to everyone I know…whether you have a great marriage or a troubled one…this book really does help open your eyes to what your spouse thinks and feels!

          • Kris October 15, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

            IFSD (I feel so dumb),

            We are 17m out from D-day but my husband moved out for 3m so we are 14m out from reconciliation. I’m going to order Love and Respect. Actually I think I have it but some of the stuff I’ve read from other reviews made me turn away from it because it sounded like the author did a lot of blaming of the woman. Time for me to find out on my own. I swear I have a library here of books about marriage, adultery and communication issues.

        • ifeelsodumb October 14, 2011 at 2:16 am #

          I pray you can both come together and talk…I think that’s the only way to get through this…it’s either deal with it or walk away…I can’t live this way anymore and I don’t want to walk away from my marriage…but what I have learned from reading on here is that the CS HAS to step up to the plate and do more to help the BS heal….we haven’t been doing that in the last several months…I was doing all the work and he was letting me! Well, that has changed and it’s already made a difference for us!
          What makes me sad is that I really don’t think I’ll every trust him 100% again….He told me a while back “I just want back….the way you use to be…I just looked at him and said “She’s gone, and you did that”. So yes, we ARE recovering, but it’s a long process, painful at times…and it does change you both.

      • confuse 2 October 13, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

        Dear I feel so dumb.
        I like your sense of humour. You are a true positive spirit.
        The Hollywood comment made me laugh.

        I totally understand the shock. My H was shocked (I am too) because I’m a minister’s adoptive daughter. I have always been taught and expected to do the right thing. I had the “good girl” image. I’d never thought I was capable of cheating.

        When my H and I were dating I was very open to him when another guy gives me attention or ask for my number even though he got very jealous and sometimes angry then. He was also in regular contact with an ex gf initially and I never worried about it. We thought we had a stable relationship and we trusted each other completely.

        However the EA happened because I made an “exception” to the rule by contacting an ex who I considered a “friend” and we were in different countries and both married and I thought there wouldn’t be harm in a casual “catch up”. LIES.

        This is the consequence that I struggle with the most. Just dealing with the guilt. My H just wanted to just move on but I’m still withdrawn because of how badly I think of myself now but as my H said I can’t let this defeat me because otherwise how can we move on?

        I realised that expecting “perfection” from ourselves and our spouses is just unrealistic. Also when we think life is perfect or our spouse is perfect then we just end up taking life/our spouse for granted. By doing this, we really set ourselves up for a massive fall. Being Christians we already know that no one is perfect. We all fall short which is why we need the grace of God. If God doesn’t expect humans to be prefect then why do we expect people (our marriage and many other things in life) to be perfect?

        Both my H and I also felt worse when we were with people and had to act like our world had not crashed. However this is life, as much as we want for the world to stop when we’re suffering, it doesn’t.

        Happy to hear progress with your H. Yes, you are the wife so he needs to open up to you. It’s good that you are working as a team and agreeing to specific recovery steps. Very encouraging. My H and I also struggle with talking about emotions so I get you.

        Thanks for your prayers and I’ll make sure we pray for you too.

        • ifeelsodumb October 14, 2011 at 2:32 am #

          Dear confuse2..I am praying for you!! Your H sounds like a great guy and that he really wants to move on past this!! Please don’t let this destroy you or your marriage! Forgive yourself!! You made a mistake, but I can tell you are sincerely sorry and THAT makes all the difference!!
          You know as well as I do, that God can take something “bad” and turn it into good….for the last 10 mos. I have kept thinking of the life of Joseph…what his brothers intended for him, to kill him and when that didn’t work out, they sold him as a slave…Yet, God turned it around and made it all good! God is sovereign and we have to trust in Him…I have to admit, there are days that I get upset with God…I question, why didn’t I notice the signs sooner…why did God even allow this to happen…but I also have hope that what I feel is a hopeless situation…He can turn into something GREAT!! I still struggle with not trusting my H…I really don’t think I’ll ever trust him ever again…but that’s MY thinking…not God’s!!
          Remember, With God ALL things are possible!!

          BTW, does the OM’s wife know what happened between the two of you? If she does, maybe an email, apologizing to her would help you with some closure?? My H tried that, went through my FB inbox to the OW’s husband…no response, but at least he tried…just a thought…also, would you mind telling me how long it’s been since Dday for your H? And how long the EA lasted? Have a great weekend…do something FUN with your DH…and don’t let the enemy keep beating you up!! 🙂

          • confused 2 October 15, 2011 at 5:41 am #

            Dear Ifeelsodumb,

            My H is a good guy. He’s given me some tough love talks lately. He said I need to snap out of it and need to stop acting like my life is so terrible. It’s so true. So many people out there who are so worse off.

            I still wonder what is the point of life if people just end up in a cycle of hurt and failure. Pain is inevitable in life. Is it even worth it?

            I ended it 4 months ago and it lasted 4 months. He said (most likely lied) to me he’d leave in a year’s time.

            As far as I know, the OM’s wife doesn’t know what happened.

            As for closure, one of the shrinks said to me that there’s no such thing.

            I thought talking to this OM again was supposed to bring me closure. Unfortunately I had an obsession with the “why” and thought since I never got the chance to get mad and ask all the questions I had in the past, this was my chance now. This guy (first love & first and worse heartbreaks) had a habit of disappearing and appearing in my life on and off when we were younger.

            I realised there’s something wrong with me because I haven’t learned to let go. My feelings for the OM was one of the reasons I broke up with the boyfriend I had before my H and nearly broke up with my H after a year of dating. It seem that I was really that fixated and emotionally attached to OM that I won’t let myself move on and be really happy.

            It’s not really realistic for a heart to be broken so badly that you can’t wholeheartedly love again is it?

            The hard thing is my H and I are newlyweds. It’s so messed up that I broke my H’s heart because of the one who broke my heart.

            I’ve consulted different counsellors and one has questioned my love for my H and has advised me that if I feel like I’m not ready for marriage after all I should get out now to avoid more hurt later.

            not good. but just trying to believe that we call all get through this somehow.

  52. Melvin October 12, 2011 at 11:40 pm #

    Hey ifeelsodumb,

    Yes, I am Melvin and actually from the NorthEast. And my middle name starts with J, as if we need more coincidence. LOL. I like that you are getting better and having some fun here. We all need some laughs now and then.

    Glad to know your marriage is on the mend – it appears that your H is remorseful. That’s huge. Some days the pain for me is also real deep too – and “I feel so dumb” – usually triggered by a cell phone subject, like when I pay the bill or see a number on the billing that looks suspicious. Makes we wonder if I will ever fully trust her again. It usually takes a day for me get over it. Like you, I have realized that if she is going to cheat again, I can’t stop her. I have come to terms with it – for the most part – I am prepared to “walk away” if it comes to that. So far, that does not appear to be the case. There was a time when I was so upset that I actually considered cheating on her to “even the score”. Not that I had an opportunity. So glad I didn’t yield to that temptation. That would be “so dumb”.

    Finally, thanks for the conference link. I am going to talk to DW and see if we can attend one.

    Best to you and your H on your road to recovery.

    • ifeelsodumb October 13, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

      LOL!! SOOOO glad you are Melvin!! Whew!! Would that have been weird or what?? 😉
      Yes, please check out a L&R conference….it didn’t “heal” us obviously, but it helped me better understand my H and some of the things he was feeling, so in a way I can understand how he got to the point where he felt the OW could meet his needs. We still have a long way to go, but I know in my heart…we WILL get there!! Will be praying for you and your wife, Melvin!

  53. dazedandconfused October 13, 2011 at 5:51 am #

    On the surface, everything is going well with my H 1 year out from Dday #2 (EA continued long distance for awhile after initial discovery of EA/PA with old high school girlfriend). So I should be feeling hopeful and good, right? Then why do I feel so empty inside? I am beginning to wonder if I can ever get over this betrayal, and for the first time have had fleeting thoughts of calling it quits. I’m not sure I can ever feel truly loved and cherished by him again. He is trying very hard, but it feels like he dwells on my shortcomings in meeting his needs instead of madly loving the hugely imperfect me. It feels like he is looking at the situation analytically instead of from his heart. He also recently said he thinks he probably got married too young and that it would have been good if he had sown his wild oats more before marriage. He says he loves me very much and would never want to lose me, but I have this nagging feeling that he is still searching for something that for whatever reason I have not been able to give him. I’m just not sure if I can do this anymore…feel like I am begging to be loved unconditionally and cherished, and after what he did I’m not sure if I will ever be able to feel that from him again. I feel guilty that I am feeling that way just when he feels really good about us and our future together.

    • ifeelsodumb October 13, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

      Hi Dazed…I’m sorry that you are still feeling so empty inside…I know that feeling quite well…My first thought when I read your post…”Her husband should read this!” And maybe that’s what you should do…sit down with him, ask him if he will do something for you…and have him read your post, and tell him you wrote this from your heart.
      Maybe if he sees in print, what you are feeling, it will help him to realize just how much you are hurting.
      You are in a different situation from me, in that the EA never went into a PA…and also, that you have TWO D days to contend with…to be honest, I really don’t know where I’d be today if I had found out that he had contacted her again and that it had turned into a PA.
      I would suggest that you try to talk to him, honestly about what you are feeling…see if he’ll read some of the postings on this blog. My H has read some of them already, and our Friday talks will also involve reading the posts on this site and discussing them…my H NEEDS to see the pain that he has caused and I feel him reading this blog will help him to understand better how damaging an EA is, based on what others on here have written…our stories are all different…yet the pain is the same!!
      I have also found strength in my faith…I have memorized most of Pslam 91 and it has really helped me a lot….also Psalm 34:4 “I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from ALL my fears”.
      I’ve lived with A LOT of fear over the last 10 months…I haven’t worked at all during our 25 yrs of marriage….we both agreed that I would be a stay at home mom and home school our kids…and the thought that I could be on my own raising our 3 children, while he imagined himself in love and leaving me all alone, well, that scared me to pieces!!( Btw, he has adamantly told me that he NEVER once told her he loved her… but of course I have doubts because the trust is gone.)
      And I have lived with the fear that I might find out, by checking his phone and email, that he has been in contact with her again and then our marriage would be over because I won’t live like this EVER again!
      We are doing much better and it saddens me that we have this dark cloud hanging over our heads…I just hope and pray that as each day passes, I’ll be able to see the sun more and more, peaking out from around the dark cloud of betrayal…Just hang on Dazed…just hang on…get him to talk to you, show him you love him and want a future with him! Will keep you in my prayers!

    • Paula October 13, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

      dazedandconfused, don’t despair. I know exactly how you are feeling. I am two years and almost five months out from D-Day, my darling, darling boy also had a PA. I’m still struggling with the whole concept, walking around looking okay to the outside world, but completely messed up inside, as readers of this blog will be able to attest to! I am giving myself a time limit now, we are going to a new counsellor – we haven’t done counselling in a couple of years, mostly I went to psychologists/psychiatrists, to find out what was wrong with me, why I couldn’t “get over it” even though he wanted to be with me, and was completely remorseful for his selfish and dirty (no protection, got an STI) actions, and was prepared to do the work, answer the rotten questions, stay up all night with me while I talked, and cried, etc. This isn’t the man I knew and loved, this horrible liar, this dirty secret keeper, who is he? If this final round of counselling can’t get me to a better place, and we are having intensive (read expensive, lol!) therapy, nearly three hours drive from our home, it should be completed by Christmas, I am walking. I know he loves me, I know I love him, but I don’t think I can be with a man who could do this without talking to me about his problems, fears and desires. I’m completely heartbroken, this man is the love of my life, we had a really great relationship, and three pretty damn great kids, two of whom are still at home, we’d talked about what to do when under pressure, when feeling as if we couldn’t cope, what to do if someone else turned up, and we had feelings for, were attracted to them, but none of it counted, he ignored all that talking, and shagged her anyway, over and over, in our children’s bedrooms, living rooms, holiday home, she was a friend of mine, I trusted them both, etc, etc, you get the picture! I am going to expose myself to some very tough times, financially, if I leave. We have farmed together for 24 years, and my only off-farm employment in that time, was part of the cause of his distress, I was trying to re-establish a career that I hadn’t had for 15 years, and was trying so hard, and working such long hours, it caused a gigantic chasm in our relationship – 70 hour weeks and running around after three kids, and all their activities, with no help, in the form of cleaners, nannies, or even grandparents was near impossible, and I have very little confidence I will do well without him, financially, at first, at least. That said, I can’t stay this unhappy. I have some legal training, and yet still agreed to us buying millions of dollars worth of assets in his family trust’s name, leaving me very, very vulnerable, as I wasn’t a trustee, or a beneficiary, just the mother of the beneficiaries, lol! I have consulted a lawyer, not long after I found out about his affair, and we have made some changes that will help, and I know that was a huge leap of faith for my OH, as he was peeling back some of the legal protection he had in order to make me feel more secure, but in a recession, selling property is taking a huge capital loss, if we can sell at all. I am thinking quite hard about returning to uni to full-time study, which is a little daunting to someone who hasn’t done anything academic for over 25 years, but I know I’ll get there. Life has been hard for the last couple of years, but there are ways to get better, I just want to make absolutely certain that leaving won’t leave me in a worse place than I am now, hence the last lot of counselling, as I do still love him very intensely. Best of all, I have explained a lot of this to my love, and he understands, and I know we will remain the very best of friends, he’s always been that to me, ever since I was only 20 years old. What a shame.

      • confused 2 October 15, 2011 at 5:51 am #

        dear Paula,

        what a nightmare you had and is still living. i can’t even begin to imagine how horrible that is. how can you even stay and live in that house where every room has a horrible memory of betrayal. just reading your story is traumatizing.

        even after all he did you are still so sure of your love for him. it’s amazing.

        i hope your last rounds of counselling help you be happy and be in peace again whether you stay or leave.

        • Paula October 15, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

          thanks confuse 2 and ifeelsodumb. I am still trying, two years went okay, the first six months pretty great, I have just got sadder and sadder, with time, which seems weird! I feel like a spoilt child who has had her toys taken away, lol. I just loved what we had, sounds silly, but all our friends thought we had it all, we were the shining example of love and partnership, and he made me feel special and important for 21 years, I would twinkle and sparkle when out with him, we would always stare across a crowded room at each other, and my heart would leap with the love I could see in his eyes as he winked at me, and I can’t get those feelings back, so I’ve tried to change the way I think of us, to get around these feelings, but it doesn’t make me happy. Many, many people used to comment on how happy we appeared, and how much younger I appeared than my chronological age, they could never believe that I had a daughter so old, not anymore! There’s quite a lot of stuff in my past that has contributed to the way I feel, I know. Funnily enough, my youngest daughter is playing in a national (field) hockey tournament this week, in one of the cities that I went to uni in, and the city I was raped in. It’s the first time I’ve been back here in 25 years, and it feels surreal! Mostly good, though. Went past my old flat, which was really cool, driven past a few landmarks where wonderful things happened in my youth, with dear, dear friends, couldn’t resist texting one to let her know, and relive a silly, drunken, hilarious moment, that she provided me with! I just watched my baby, representing our province, play the first game of the tournament where I used to play, but of course they are on turf now, we played on grass back in the day – they won, yay! I have taken a week off work, and I’m here on my own until Friday, when my OH flies down, and that feels SO relaxing, and the relief I feel that no one here knows, and I can just be anonymous is unbelievable! I haven’t had a moment to myself like this since I had my first child, 19 years ago, I can feel myself exhaling.

          ifeelsodumb, I can’t imagine what your H’s cousins were thinking, I don’t even care if they always hated you, and I’m sure they didn’t, WTF, why do some people just not respect other people’s relationships, it is a puzzling question I have asked my entire life. Luckily my children didn’t find out until about 11 months after I did, shit, I was a great actor! By that time, I was able to talk with them calmly and kindly, and tell them that their father still loved them very deeply, and deeply regreted what he did, I never named the OW, but they all said, oh, I know who it must have been, and they were hurt, as they had all been on holiday together, but funnily enough, my eldest daughter told me later that she could never quite understand my friendship with OW because she is so shallow, and I’m not, which was nice to hear from a teenager, who appears to not rate you very highly most of the time, lol! They all SEEM okay, although my eldest daughter did defer starting uni, and one of my friends suggested it may be because she was trying to watch out for me, but I don’t think so, I think she was just confused what direction to take. We have been extremely careful to limit talk/shouting, etc, although I’m sure the youngest has probably heard the odd moment in the middle of the night when I’ve been sobbing, as the older two have bedrooms and bathrooms across a courtyard from the main house.

          I will be okay, just working towards the best solution for all, I’ve been very wary of thinking of leaving, as I thought our children were better seeing that we could work it out, it’s taken me a very long time, but I’m starting to feel more confident that I will have a bright future. RCRs post the other day, after leaving her H, has helped, too, not that I have thrown in the towel completely yet! Of to enjoy a glass of pinot noir, and just relax like I haven’t done in years, yay me!

          • confuse 2 October 17, 2011 at 12:04 am #

            Dear Paula,
            I too was sexually abused when I was a child and when you go through rape– just have this inherrent feeling that you’re not safe and you can’t trust anyone. You wonder whether you will ever really feel happy and secure again. I can understand why your H’s betrayal has re-opened this wound within you and also I get why you can’t feel this wound healing.

            Hearing about you and your H’s love is magical. Very few blessed people really get to experience that kind of love. I want to be able to say to you that it is possible for you to get that feeling back but to be honest I don’t know. I only want to believe that this is possible for your sake. Only you can determine if your love is worth fighting for and whether you’re able to fight for it.

            Very glad to hear you have had this chance to relax. I too went back to my hometown about 5 months ago and it made me feel homesick in a good way.
            When I read your story and others (like i feelso dumb’s) and stories of about how your kids have been affected, it just makes me want to cry. Also even more remorseful.

            My H has began to question me whether this blog helps me or will it just make me feel even more depressed. He asked me what answers am I looking for in the net? I said this blog has really helped me and it feels like therapy. He was also a bit amazed that betrayed spouses like you and ifeelsodumb have been encouraging even though I’m a CS. I just said we can all learn from each other’s mistakes and successes.

          • ifeelsodumb October 17, 2011 at 9:22 am #

            Paula….I feel such sadness when I read your postings…to think that you and your OH have such a great love between you…and he betrayed that for 2 yrs! My H’s EA was for 4 mos. and it was just an EA….and I know how I feel, so hurt and betrayed!
            Of course, maybe if he didn’t tell HER and his cousins that I ignored him, and showed him NO affection, in spite of the fact that we were “romantic” on average 2-3 times a week…and at my age too!! LOL!! Maybe I should feel better that he was lying to them, the same way he was lying to me!! And he also led them to believe that he was doing ALL the laundry, vacuuming, cooking dinner, etc…Oh yea, I’m a real prima donna, sitting around watching soap opera’s and eating bon bons all day!! LOL!!! While my dear H did do a lot around here, we were a team, working together cooking dinner, picking up the house, etc……and that’s why I’ve had such a hard time dealing with this…the stupid lies he told about me!!
            I can reason it away because he was in “the fog” but still, how do you ruin the reputation of the person you say you never stopped loving? My H’s family has always accepted me, loved me…even put me on a little bit of a pedestal…but now he’s ruined all that!! The last time we were back home for a visit, his cousin, yea, the one that is the friend of the OW, actually pulled me aside and told me how much she admired me, and that I have it “all together” and my boys are some of the most well behaved kids she’s ever seen!! Well, let me tell you…she doesn’t think like that anymore!!! My H took me right down with him…I can honestly tell you…they hate me and feel sorry for my H, that he’s married to me….how sad is that? And he did that to me, the woman he said he never stopped loving…sigh….right, right, gotta remember that, he NEVER stopped loving me… :'(
            Also,Paula, can you tell me how your children reacted when they found out? I have 4 boys, the oldest is married just over a year…he was the first one I told, a few weeks after D-day…he kept looking at me and asking me if I was ok….we’ve always had a special bond, so I guess he just knew something was up…He cried when I told him…the other 3 boys found out a few months later…I described in another posting how they reacted.
            I have noticed that when I’m upset, they ALL watch me more closely, so now I leave the house when I have to have a good cry!! I’ve been on more “shopping” trips where I come back empty handed, than I ever have, lol!! Hmmm…on the other hand…what great revenge that would be…if I actually WENT shopping…might have to give that one a little thought, hehehe!!
            Anyway, my youngest, he’s 11, tells me and my H
            “I love you” all the time now…and he’ll take our hands and hold them and say “We are a family”. I know he’s trying to get reassurance…Why can’t these CS think about someone other than themselves???!!??!!

            As for my H’s cousins? Ha! What a piece of work THEY are! Back in July my H wrote them an email, apologizing for involving them in this mess, trying to take FULL responsibility…even though they carry some of the responsibility also…anyway, they both sent back a scathing email to us…the one pretty much blamed me for EVERYTHING…told me to go F myself…and the other sent an email, blaming my H for breaking her friends heart…AGAIN!! WHAT??? Are you kidding me??? She’s a married woman…what about HER husbands heart??? Anyway, she then sent our email address to the OW, who sent us a “nice” little email, telling my H that he’s doing “penance” just to make things “right” with me, that they did nothing wrong and she can look in the mirror everyday and feel good about herself!!
            Oh, and in the email to the cousins, he mentioned that our boys knew all about it, I mean, seriously, are they SOOO delusional that they thought this would stay a secret in our house…when I’m on the edge of leaving and disrupting ALL our lives?? Seriously??? And they, of course, accused us of being “bad” parents, this should have been kept between the adults, etc…and the OW said the same thing!! Can you freaking believe that?? She tried to lecture ME about being a better parent!!! Grrrr….all I can say is that she had better thank God that I really AM a nice person….I could SO destroy her!!! I can see her AND both her daughters FB pages…one little inbox to both of her daughters, her mother in law, bro and sis in law…of yeah, I could seriously do some damage!! And I have thought of it…but my boys have suffered enough…I’d hate to hurt her kids by letting them know what a lying skank their mother is!
            Well, sorry, this is another long rambling post….It’s just that it feels so good to be able to “talk” about this to others who understand…I only have 3 ppl that know…my best friend, who I really shouldn’t have told, but she was once married to a cheater, so I thought she’d be very supportive, but is now in a wonderful marriage and since my H said he was sorry, it’s all right now :/ And my mom…well, her way of dealing with things is, “it’s all water under the bridge, just get over it” and she refuses to talk about it…she’s very close to my H and this really upset her when she first found out…but her advice to me is to stop talking about it otherwise he might leave me for her…real reassuring there, right??
            And the 3rd person is my older sister…who I might add….started an EA 7 yrs ago with a guy on the computer, and it ended up destroying her 35 yr marriage…and she then moved 2000 miles away to be with the guy..who was still married…and lied to my sister, got her out there and then pretty much abandoned her!! So for the last 1 1/2 yrs I’ve been trying to talk to my sister about how wrong she is for what SHE is doing…and for 4 mos during that time…MY dear H is doing the same thing to me!! How messed up is that?? Praying for you Paula…I really am!!

      • ifeelsodumb October 15, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

        Paula,
        Reading your posts on here really makes me sad…It’s so obvious that you and your DH have a great love between the two of you…I hope and pray this counseling works for you…I really do! You have a double betrayal going on here…your H and your so called ” friend”…that’s what I’m dealing with…my DH’s betrayal and that of his 2 cousins, who “helped” set him up with his old GF, a longtime friend of one of the cousins…he didn’t see it at the time, OF COURSE…Men can be so dense sometimes!! UGGHH!!
        And the kicker…the 2 cousins still don’t think they’ve done anything wrong!! Well, they are out of our lives now….that’s part of the no contact deal with my DH…no contact with the OW or the cousins…any contact without me knowing is a deal breaker…I’m outta here! I’m like you, I love him immensely…which is so weird, because I’m still so angry at him for doing this to us!!
        We have talked all our married life about how selfish having an affair is to each other and especially to the children…when our children found out about this…it was after a HUGE fight, 4 mos after D day…my 15 yo son climbed up on my lap and sobbed like a baby!! And he towers over me!! He was so heartbroken!! Our 11 yr old went into his bedroom…and started praying!! Asking God to help us and then he drew a picture of me, my H with God in between us…how precious is that…but sad also. He has such a strong faith in God and so do I…and that’s what has been helping me these last 10 mos.
        They have NO idea the damage they can cause by being so incredibly selfish!! Please hang in there and try to forgive! What you have together is so special!!

    • confuse 2 October 16, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

      dear dazed,

      there is no time limit to grief. so even if it’s been a year there’s really no should or shouldn’t. everything you are feeling is normal and I feel that it’s really sad that you’re feeling guilty because it’s not your fault. Yes you have control over your own feelings but at the same time healing after trauma is very difficult.

      i find from the comments you made your H had some mixed messages there. He might have said those hurtful things (eg he should have sowed his oats before he married you and he felt like he got married too young) when he was still in the “fog” or maybe he said those things because he was also trying to find reasons why he did what he did. I can see why you are still feeling hopeless and doubtful about your marriage.

      However he did say he loves you very much and doesn’t want to lose you. Has he been showing you by actions that this is still true?

      truth is whatever you think your H is looking for that you feel you haven’t been able to give him– is probably his own inner self issue. I don’t feel it is realistic to expect yourself to be able to give EVERYTHING that your H needs to your H and vice versa. Some people need to figure out in themselves why they are unhappy and sort themselves out because no one else can fix them, they’ll have to either find a way to fix themselves or accept that they can’t be fix and move on.

  54. karen October 13, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    I must have missed this post as I know I would have agreed with the premise that it boils down to a character issue when spouses cheat. We BS’s always want to find out another “why” or blame it on the OW or OM, or even ourselves (LOL), but I feel those are circumstances that lend themselves to making the decision to have a EA or PA easier, BUT ultimately it’s the CS’s character “deficiency” that is the nail in the coffin, so to speak. It’s a tough pill to swallow to realize you married someone with this character “deficiency,” but I’ve worked through that by acknowledging we all have character issues. Is this one that our beloved CS’s have any worse than our own? Ouch, that hurts to think of that when I want to throw his character “issue” in his face. I choose to focus on how my CS is dealing with his character issue going forward in an attempt to recreate my marriage, the old version of which is now dead after the EA. Oh, and forgiveness is just an absolute necessity, whether you stay married or move on.

    • ifeelsodumb October 17, 2011 at 9:33 am #

      You are right Karen…I feel in my H’s case…it’s all about character…his father was a cheater also…I just asked him that the other day…you SAW what your mom went through…so why do this to me?? He had no answer…counseling is in our future…he just doesn’t know it yet!! Oh, and I don’t think I mentioned this on here before….this isn’t the first time my H has had an EA…he was in the military and went over seas for a year and met someone there…we were newly married, 2 yrs, and had a small baby, I forgave him then and then buried it…so yea, I think it’s a LACK of character…and that is a scary thing to me because unless they accept that and fix it….I think it WILL happen again!!

  55. dazedandconfused October 14, 2011 at 3:34 am #

    ifeelsodumb, your words really helped me – thanks! I can relate so much to your feelings. Interestingly, I did share the feelings I shared here with my H this morning. He held me and said he would never want to lose me and that is more important to him than acting on an emotional or physical attraction by crossing boundaries in one way or another. My problem is that I can’t stand that he has and maybe continues to feel tempted. I want to be able to make his heart sing and for him to want to be only with me like he used to. I don’t think I can be happy with him “following the rules” but wishing he could be with other women too. That’s how I feel about him and it makes me so sad that he doesn’t seem to have the same commitment and devotion to me. But being without him sounds even worse, so where does that leave me?

    You should feel thankful that your husband’s affair didn’t cross the line into a PA and that he never told AP that he loved her. In my situation both things happened and the world as I knew it ceased to exist. I have not been able to regroup and find a “new normal” that makes any sense to me. I’ll keep you in my prayers too!

    • ifeelsodumb October 17, 2011 at 9:36 am #

      I am VERY thankful she lives 700 miles away… I think it would have turned into a PA…he say’s it wouldn’t have…I don’t believe him!! We are going to go to counseling…I’m going to drop that bomb when we go away for the weekend….we need it and I want to do whatever it takes to fix this problem so it never happens again!

  56. Jan October 15, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    Doug, Ihave been wondering how you kept the relationship with Tanya going if you were not making any sort of promises to leave your wife and family to be with her? Did she just assume you would eventually do this or were promises made? I am trying hard to understand all of this. Thank you for your honesty and openness, it helps a lot of hurting people.

    • Doug October 15, 2011 at 10:31 am #

      Jan, There were never any promises made on my end or hers. She pushed for me to leave and I think that she probably had confidence that I would at some point.

  57. ifeelsodumb October 15, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    Doug,
    Maybe I missed it on here somewhere…but was Tanya married with a family? If she was, was she planning to leave them for you? If she wasn’t married with a family, I think that makes an EA a little bit more intense…since she has no one to answer to…My H’s OW is married, with 3 kids, the youngest with Down Syndrome…so her leaving for my H was really not a possibility…it was all a fantasy of compliments, admiration and unfinished feelings on HER part, from 27 yrs ago, when he broke things off with her very abruptly….Does anyone have any thoughts on this…married OM/OW verses OM/OW? Has it been easier for a CS to leave or want to leave if the OM/OW wasn’t married? Just wondering…

    • Doug October 15, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

      ifeelsodumb, Tanya had two older kids that were married, so she was an empty nester.

    • Paula October 16, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

      ifeelsodumb, our OW was/is single. 45 years old, never been in a long term relationship, longest was with my OH, about 2 years, when she and he lived a couple of hours apart, a fact that my OH had always told me was the only reason it lasted as long as it did, he only saw her on weekends!, she’s never lived with anyone, or lasted more than a few months with anyone, I wonder why?!! One small son, conceived by “stealing” semen out of a “booty call” partner’s used condom, although, to our group of friends, she lied at the time, and said they planned a child together, and as soon as she got pregnant, he got cold feet, and left. My OH even said, in a moment of poor understanding (of my feelings) “I didn’t feel too bad because I wasn’t hurting some other guy by shagging her.” (I later asked him to think about what he said, he was more concerned about not hurting some other (fictitious) guy than he was about hurting me and his children!) So, I think you’re right, a single OW/OM is more dangerous, it is easier to leave, he had played out all of those scenarios in his head, where they would live, how we would divide assets, share custody, etc. He said one of the things that “swung it” in my favour at that VERY confusing time for him, was that he could visualise very clearly, him changing his whole life for her (his multiple cheating ex) and me being very cool and understanding, and our deep friendship staying intact (driving her nuts!) and us meeting for coffee while kids were elsewhere, during a custody swap over, etc, and him looking at me, moving on with a fabulous new life, looking gorgeous and happy (I wish, lol!) and him confessing to me that he had made a huge mistake, he still loved me, and she was cheating, or he thought she was cheating, or even not cheating, but him longing to be with me, because she was a high maintenance bitch! Great, yay me, I win, apparently…..

      • confuse 2 October 17, 2011 at 12:06 am #

        Paula, it’s hard to fathom how your H is telling how you’ve “won”.

  58. confuse 2 October 16, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

    Dazed, ifeelsodumb, and Paula,

    Given the chance, it’s human nature to seek resolution from people who have broken their hearts or who they once loved in their past. Apparently there are some emotional attachments in life that even when broken (sometimes voluntarily sometimes not) – unfortunately some people who haven’t learn to let go or don’t know how to are still sometimes subconsciously and sometimes consciously seek a chance to reconnect whatever it takes.

    Unfortunately, there were women before you that your Husbands emotionally connected to before you were married. Once upon a time, these OW’s were in your place in your H’s life. They were the ones your H said “i love you’s to. They had probably imagined having a future with your H but for whatever reasons it didn’t happen and whether those reasons were valid or not, it still hurts a LOT.

    Just like what you are doing now, — wondering how he could hurt you like this, wondering what you did to deserve this, wondering if you can ever get over this pain, angry because you feel you didn’t deserve to be betrayed–they would have experienced that too.

    By the way, I am by no means justifying the OW’s wrong actions but I just feel like I can relate a bit.

    I was 14 when I first met the OM who I’ve always believed was my first love and the one I just couldn’t get over. I wasn’t allowed to date then so our relationship didn’t last long and he moved on. He came back 2 years later and he said he still in love with me and he’s going to break up with his gf to be with me. Then he disappeared with no explanation. He did the same thing another year later. After he got married no contact for 2 years and then out of the blue he emails again and was trying to be friends and apologising and said I was the one that got away. I said no we can’t be friends again and we stopped contact but 3 years later he’s on FB and asked me if I still thought about him and us.

    Logically I should have been over this guy a long time ago and should have accepted that he was no good to me but emotionally I was left wondering and was still carrying the pain from the past which in turn I had mistaken for love.

    This OM had said to me he would leave his family in a year to be with me. He said he and his wife didn’t have a problem (although he did comment that she was overweight) but it was just that I was the one he really loves. I can’t believe he expected me to believe that.

    I wished that I had never met the OM at all. If I can go back to that time when I was 14, I’d run away from him.
    This whole experience has made me conclude that life is not fair and the sooner we accept this the sooner we can accept the reality that whatever we do, whoever with, we’re going to experience pain or cause someone else pain.

    If you could go back in time, do you wish that you didn’t meet and fall in love with your H?

    It’s just that it sounds to me you really really loved your H and you’ve had all these years together and your kids. It’s such a shame really.

    • confuse 2 October 17, 2011 at 12:35 am #

      I just wanted to add that before the EA, I didn’t really know much about the OM so I could romanticize our past and he had stayed on the pedestal in my mind.

      but when we spoke again this year he has revealed to me what he was like when we were young–drinking, drugs, strip clubs, promiscious, cheating–

      he also told me about how his wife checks his phone and emails coz she knew what he was like before they got married.

      now that I can see the reality of this OM I feel I have now had as near as closure as I can. when he chose not to be with me when we were young, I thought I had missed out on my happiness. but now I realise it wouldn’t have worked out and that’s why it didn’t happen. now I see it as because he chose to not be with me, I was actually saved from dealing with his issues. It wouldn’t have been the bliss I had imagined it to be.
      It’s just said that EA happen for me to realise that.

      it’s said that I didn’t know that sometimes you have to find your own way of healing and to find answers somewhere else. if you think the person who hurt you can give you answers-you think wrong- they don’t always have the answers and sometimes you just end up getting even more hurt instead.

      I think I learned that things really do happen for a reason and sometimes we don’t realise the reason until the damage has been done.

      • ifeelsodumb October 17, 2011 at 10:39 am #

        Confuse2,
        The way I see it…you are BLESSED that he broke things off with you all those yrs ago!! My goodness…what a loser the OM is!! PLEASE if you’re not in counseling…GO!!! But “shop” around and make sure you find someone who is pro marriage!! And to my way of thinking…It would almost be a blessing to his wife if she were to know what a lying cheat he is!
        And be thankful you have no children yet…this affects the whole family and it’s even more painful for me because my boys know and were hurt by the EA… Work on yourself now…get over this other guy for good, let your DH help you!
        Right now don’t make any big decisions about marriage, the feelings are to close to the edge…
        Turn to God, read your bible…that will be your biggest source of comfort right now…
        My sister is dealing with the aftermath of her own EA that turned into a PA…it ruined her 35 yr marriage!! She is guilt ridden now, in major debt, gave up a great job for him, two jobs actually, since she left him, went back home, found a great job, then left after 6 weeks to go back, because he promised THIS time to get a divorce, oh yea, did I mention he’s married with FOUR kids :/ traveled over 2000 miles away, several times, almost trashing her car, lost the home she had lived in for 20 yrs…she was in the “fog” so much, she gave her ex the house, for a measly $300.00 a month “allotment”, she ruined her reputation with her church and family…our mom wouldn’t talk to her for almost 10 mos….she’s a real mess!!! And in the midst of talking her through all this…my H starts his own EA!!! AUUGGHHH!! He hears me on the phone, crying with her, pleading with her to leave this guy who is screwing her life up so bad…and he does the same thing!! Yea, counseling is in our future, you betcha!!!
        So I understand your guilt…I see it in my sister all the time…but she IS moving forward…divorced, and she really, really regrets that now! She really does love her ex….but he got married 1 mo after the divorce was final…as soon as he told her he wanted a divorce, after dealing with her EA for 6 yrs, he met a lady online….5 mos later they’re married! Don’t make this same mistake!! I say if your H can forgive you and wants to move on….then YOU forgive yourself and do the same!!
        That’s the hardest part for a BS….forgiveness…I’m still not there yet myself…I love my H immensely, but there are days when I question if I even know this man that lied to me so easily…”EA fog” or not! We celebrated out 25th anniversary during the middle of his EA…I asked him if he felt ANY guilt at all for talking to her the day of our anniversary, and the next day, after a very romantic dinner out and a wonderfully romantic evening in our bedroom, His response “No, not really”….so how do you forgive that? Do I just chalk it up to the EA fog? He wasn’t thinking clearly? I just don’t know!! He stands by what he has told me before…”we were just friends, just talking…yet he admits that he was “infatuated” with her in the beginning….
        So if your H is able and willing to forgive you, please let him!!! I wish I was there in my healing…maybe with more time passing and counseling… praying for you, my friend!! ((HUGS))

  59. confuse 2 October 16, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    i haven’t seen a lot of cs posts.

    just wondering about how to deal with guilt and how to be sure of your feelings for your spouse.

    i get that others have been in marriage for years and have kids etc but got caught up in an affair for some reason or another but really do love their spouse and family and prepared to work on recovery but what about those like me who have no kids yet and have only been married for over a year?

    feel like a hypocrite if I say I love you to my BS. How do you recover emotional and physical intimacy when you’re not sure about anything anymore? because how can you say it and really mean it after an EA. As if the BS really trust and believe it anyway.

    • confuse 2 October 18, 2011 at 6:29 am #

      Dear IFSD

      I am dismayed to read that your H has had an affair before (how do you know that the overseas affair wasn’t a PA?) and has done it again. I think the reason he lied about u not just to the OW but to your family is he was trying to justify his wrong actions by deluding himself to making you the bad spouse and also if it somehow gets out that he was having an affair then people would think it was because you were a bad wife.

      By the way how was recent episode an EA if he’s told you that they didn’t talk about feelings or he never told the OW he loves her? after cheating and ruining your reputation, how can he expect you to believe that he never stopped loving you?! I’m telling you now He’s lying. I can’t believe that he told you he didn’t even guilty that he talked to her even on your anniversary and it seems like until now he’s deluded himself into thinking that what he had with this OW wasn’t an Affair?! He would have had to stop loving you to “love” or even be infatuated with the OW. When I was in the EA, I stopped loving my H. I stopped saying I love you to my H. I was emotionally and physically distant to my H. 4 weeks into the EA I told my H I wanted to separate. That was the time I started going to counselling on my own.

      you’re right about shopping around though as there were counsellors who had encouraged me to walk out on my marriage.

      I see why your emotional wound is so deep. Sad to hear that his dad had cheated too. Have you scheduled marriage counselling yet?

      After I confessed to my H, he wanted to contact the OM and his wife but I said what’s the point? I’ve ended it and we stopped contact. I too had thought that maybe his wife needs to know.

      but I thought why would i spread the misery just so I could expose him? It’d have been like trying to get revenge. I thought for the sake of their son, I wouldn’t let her know. He would probably lie to her about it anyway. I bet he would tell her that he didn’t really love me or that I was stalking him or something. if he ever contacts me again the first thing I would do is tell the wife then my H.

      I cringe and I get so angry at myself for letting myself listen to this OM. Sometimes I laugh at the ridiculousness of it all and yet sometimes I want to keep weeping that I put myself in such a stupid situation.

      the OM wanted the EA go on for another year. he said he couldn’t just leave due to financial reason and also he’s worried if he leaves that his wife will not grant access to his son. Apparently she has threatened before that if he cheats she will fight him for full custody and she thought she would get full custody because of all the “dirt” in his past. (i’m wanting to hit myself on the head again to think that I have wasted years being infatuated to someone who clearly only loves himself). This was the point that reality had ran me over and thought need to end this right now!

      so sorry to hear about your sister. SINS –such damage to life.

      Thank you so much for your encouragement.

      I had always believed that the worst thing that could ever happen to me was to be divorced so as my H said we have to commit to not letting Divorce be an option.

      –not that sometimes Divorce might be the best option for some. I do believe that in some cases it seems like the best or the only option.

      prayers and hugs for you too.

      Please feel free (if you are willing to) to keep me up to date with your progress.

  60. Paula October 17, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    confuse2, just to clarify, when I said only long-term relationship the OW had was 2 years with my OH, I meant before he and I met. She is an ex-girlfriend. I have suggested to him, that there must have been unfinished business, that he must have harboured feelings for her for decades, and he refutes this, saying he never even LIKED her, yes, there was sexual attraction, that only started again when he got lonely and angry at me for working so hard, and not seeing the damage I was doing to our relationship by doing so (I really didn’t!) but even that attraction was all surface stuff, as they have never really hit it off in the bedroom, a fact he says seems so odd, and he found so frustrating, after all, an affair should be fireworks and anticipation, but she would just want to sit and chat and have coffee/wine, and the obligatory &$%# afterwards, how sizzling!!!

    He was always, and, I guess, with hindsight, so am I, puzzled that I kept in touch with her for over 30 years (we grew up together) as we are very different people, and he thought she was a skank, as she cheated on him, with several people. Quite a few of my friends, even long-term ones, didn’t really understand why I was so tolerant of her, as she actually is not a very pleasant person, even discounting the affair. Their PA/EA lasted about 14-15months, he tried to break it off after less than 6, but she emotionally, and financially – I know, very Fatal Attraction – blackmailed him, and he tried to spread the contact out after that, using one of his single distant friends who was attracted to her, and that she was a bit attracted to, as a bit of a decoy, to try to get her to transfer her feelings to him, he kept telling her how M really liked her, and he was a good guy, AND AVAILABLE, why didn’t she go out with him, and see where that took her, so that he could extricate himself from the bad situation, as she kept telling him that she would tell me what they had been doing every time he would say, we need to stop this, I really love Paula, and I don’t want to do this anymore, it’s been a HUGE mistake. (I can’t imagine how this would make someone feel, I certainly wouldn’t want to be with someone who says they love someone else, not me!) Guess what, he thought he’d eased out of it really successfully, I had made some big lifestyle changes, quitting the job that had cased so much pressure, to throw myself back into our joint business fully, and really re-connecting with him so lovingly, he told me he thought he was the luckiest guy in the world, the dragon who lived in our house for a couple of years (me!) had gone and he had his sweet girl back, THEN he began to fully realise what he had done, I guess the fog lifted very suddenly, he felt repulsed by himself, to have done it, and he then was rapt he had got rid of her, and so cleverly, I would never know, and be hurt, he really believed she would never tell, but she told me anyway, about a month after he ended it, when she realised that he really had left her, and he wasn’t going to be her knight in shining armour, protecting her and her son, and financially providing for her (she is a corporate accountant, and wanted to retire, maybe just do the odd short-term contract)

    I have asked him what he thinks would have happened to us if she had never told me. He believes he wold have kept the secret for life, but he is unsure of the effect on him that it would have had, as he was showing signs of ill-health for the last year of their affair, with dietary intolerances, causing much discomfort, and him (read me, really! men can be so slack!) learning to avoid certain foods and drink, blotchy skin, racing heart rate. Once he finished with her, all of those symptoms magically disappeared, and he realised that he had done it to himself. I had been managing his diet and health very carefully, but, of course, she probably didn’t understand (not sleeping with him overnight!) and he didn’t look after himself quite so well when with her, and in retrospect, those nights (after wining and dining – all daytime occurences, bar one) that he climbed into bed and suffered all night, were after he had indulged in foods that upset his system!

    • confuse 2 October 18, 2011 at 8:00 am #

      Dear Paula,

      Thanks for sharing your story.

      I’m a bit confuse.

      So your H told you that the OW is a high maintenance B-word and that even in the past he didn’t even LIKED her, tells you he hasn’t been harbouring any lingering feelings for her, tells you that there wasn’t even a physical chemistry so why in the world did he even start an affair with her?! there must have been something that attracted him to her because otherwise it just sounds like he cheated just because he could.

      Either he’s lying about what he really felt about her or he just really felt he needed to take advantage of the opportunity that presented itself in a form that he can shag (unprotected!). or did he really think because you were (to him) a workaholic dragon, he deserved that chance to let off steam by having that affair?! or was he trying to prove something to this OW who cheated on him years back? It’s mind boggling.

      I got scared for you when you said you had no legal access/rights to your marital assets until you were granted access by your H after you found out about the affair as a “leap of faith” to make you feel secure. As a wife you should have had access all along anyway. Please I beg you now that you know what your H is capable of, please get to know everything that your H owns and get the whole picture of your marital financial position.

      Sorry to say that I’ve seen the worse happens as I work in the financial industry and I know of a woman who’s husband of MANY YEARS cheated, left her for the OW, took all of their assets and have somehow hidden them legally, left her liable for the business debts and then brainwashed the kids so they would be against their own mother and was also granted full custody of the kids.

      I can only pray for you and I hope that somehow you can find healing and forgiveness. I believe that if you decided to leave, although it is scary and challenging to start over, I believe you will be ok.

      Because of your love for him and maybe he really does love you too and maybe he won’t do it again–maybe there is a chance that your marriage will recover and be good again.

      Either way, You are stronger than you think.

      • Paula October 23, 2011 at 1:27 am #

        confuse 2, I believe that my OH had a “nervous breakdown,” that he just did erratic and irrational things because he was in meltdown, there was a heck of a lot of stressful stuff going on in our lives, and my usually calm, centred, strong, capable boy, just “lost it,” and didn’t know which way to turn, because I wasn’t there for him. (This was because he didn’t tell me what was going on, he had to be the “big, strong man, and deal with it all himself, no running to me to hold him up, he now knows how stupid that was.)

        When asked about how you have an affair with someone you don’t like very much, his answer is that, obviously he must have been attracted to her, sexually – they went out for two years in their youth – and when he was in trouble, she was a very willing ear to spill his woes to, and, more importantly, have some light moments with, he just started falling, and couldn’t stop himself, he said it was like tumbling down a steep hill, he just couldn’t seem to grab onto anything that would hold. Every time he would reconnect with me, briefly, he would tell himself he needed to get rid of her, what was he thinking, then I would “disappear” emotionally again, and she would be warm and comforting. I get it, it makes a lot of sense, he was having a breakdown, with heart palpitations, panic, etc, and he acted out in this way, she made it so easy, she was nice and I was a dragon. I know I probably was, no excuse though 🙂 I don’t think he is lying about any of this now, I think he was using her as an escape plan, he just didn’t have the guts to leave me first, so thought he’d have another woman ready on the bench! He’s admitted to as much, and it makes him feel ashamed and weak.

        This is a guy who fully recognises the damage he has done, and the fact that nothing he can do will ever restore it the way it was, and wants to help me get to a place where I can live with it, as he says he loves me even more now than he ever did, and doesn’t know why, because I was really good to him for two decades. He looks back on the way he got to carry on with his life after our chilren were born, because I was so encouraging of him to do so, that just because one of us had to look after the children, the other didn’t have to always put off social engagements, too. He feels like he abused this privilege now (I never felt like that, but he has a point!) I still went places, but not so often, obviously you can’t drag infants and toddlers to pubs and clubs, but they did come along to plenty of parties and BBQs, that kind of thing.

        • confuse 2 October 23, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

          Dear Paula,

          It sounds like you and your H had some serious heart to heart talk and it sounds like your H is being really honest and open with you which is great (really hurtful for you but do you feel that that it’s better that at least you’ve extracted the truth out of him?).

          I think in this case you now got some real answers to the “why” questions you’ve had. I hope it is helping you in your recovery.

          • Paula October 24, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

            Hi Confuse 2, yeah, my biggest problem is that we have been open and honest, from D-Day, he answered everything I asked, sometimes it would take a while for him to find the words, to articulate things, but I haven’t been any more hurt by what he’s had to say, I actually understand a lot of the misery he was feeling at the time, it was pretty damn awful, I was feeling the same way at the time, I just didn’t turn to someone else, I was trying to turn to him, but he kept telling me he was fine (big, strong man, needed no help) so I think I thought it was all in my head, and there was something wrong with me.

            I just want to feel better, I don’t understnd why I don’t, I don’t think I have a serial cheater, it looks like I have the old OH back, but I just can’t trust myself to trust him, and my heart still feels so broken, and I just don’t feel safe, and I wish I was okay!!!

            Off to therapist today, wish us luck…

  61. Alone October 17, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    Hi Confused 2 –
    I think most CS are too scared to post. I mean after all, we created all of this mess and heart ache for everyone. It’s hard to admit how wrong we are, how selfish we have been. It’s also hard to admit that you still have feelings for the other person and perhaps you aren’t sure about your feelings toward your own spouse.

    I’ve had a few thoughts this weekend about things. I don’t think most people will be happy with what I am about to share, but it’s my perspective as a cheating spouse.

    First of all, my affair was emotional with very limited physical. “Love” was involved. I very much was connected to this other man. I am not a newlywed, and I do have children. My husband is also a wonderful man and has been good to me over the years.

    The affair ended when we were caught. I don’t need to go into the details, but it ended abruptly with no closure at all. I have effectively spent the past 4 months since it ended trying to talk myself out of loving this other man. Making up reasons to hate him, making up reasons that we would not work, that the relationship was wrong, etc. It has been the hardest thing I have ever done. I know betrayed spouses don’t want to hear that. But I am trying to choose my family, and it has been hard to let go of this other person.

    I think that in the case of some affairs, there are some pretty serious feelings involved with the cheating spouse. These feelings can’t be turned off automatically as a betrayed spouse would like to believe. Also, if I were a betrayed spouse I would not believe everything the CS says. The cheating spouse will absolutely say what they need to and do what they need to in order to keep themselves out of more trouble because the guilt is A LOT to handle. If you want answers to questions like “did you love him/her” or “did he/she mean anything to you” please don’t expect a straight answer, especially not right after D-Day. We will do what is needed to diffuse the situation and make it look like it didn’t mean anything. The bottom line is that in many of these cases it DID mean something and they DID love the other person.

    So then, why do cheating spouses stay with their partner? Because we know that it is the right thing to do. Because we know that this other relationship is morally wrong. Because we have children. Because we know that our spouses have been good to us. Because we are not totally and completely heartless as some people might think.

    To your questions Confused 2 – the guilt nearly destroyed me after D-Day. If I did not have children, I would have ended it for good. I could not handle the guilt and shame and facing my husband, family, and friends. I was also truly mourning the loss of the other person. I am slowly getting better – with a lot of prayer and time.

    At this time, I am really trying to move forward with my husband. I feel too like a hypocrite if I say I love you. It has taken me time, (and I am not totally there yet to be honest), to have those feelings of love again for my husband. He doesn’t know this of course, because I had to hide how I really feel. But as I have posted before, I have been distant and he can sense that in our marriage.

    I guess the thing that the betrayed spouse needs to realize is this: If you’re spouse truly cuts-off all ties to the other person, and they stayed with you, then they have CHOSEN you. If there are serious feelings of love involved with the affair, it will take the cheater some time to get over or at least learn to let go of/suppress the feelings for the other person. This isn’t a fast process. It is going to take a lot of time to recover the emotional and physical intimacy again. Confused 2, I truly don’t know how to get back the emotional and physical intimacy, but I am trying to reach out to my husband and be engaged in our life.

    What a freaking mess.

    • ifeelsodumb October 17, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

      Dear Alone..thank you for being so honest…I do wish more CS would post…It helps to better understand both sides…I wish my H’s OW would have shown true remorse…maybe I could forgive her more quickly!

  62. Alone October 17, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    Dear Confused 2 –

    One more thing. I was very surprised by your post asking for responses from the CS. You sounded so sure that you loved your husband and knew what you wanted. I feel pretty weak because I still “love” this other person. But maybe it’s natural for us to be confused for a while when we have a relationship with someone else. I don’t think either of us want to admit to ourselves or anyone else that we don’t love our husbands. We just can’t admit that, right? Because that feeling is wrong. And what we felt toward our affair partner was wrong as well.

    • confuse 2 October 17, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

      Dear Alone,

      Thank you very much for posting. I really appreciate your response as I can empathize with you. I also think that we can all learn from each side of the EA both the BS and the CS.
      Did you feel like because you didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to OM you are still seeking “closure” which is what makes it harder for you to cope with the feelings for him?
      The only thing I’m really sure about is I’d never ever let the OM in my life again.

      A lot of the posts in this blog are about wanting the truth but also see a lot of fear of the truth. I also feel that truth seem to be subjective sometimes. Eg. Some CS have said stuff as truth when they were in the EA but when they were out of the fog and came back to reality they come to realise that they were talking nonsense but at the time they said it, they felt it was true. So this is why I fear saying stuff to my H sometimes because what if I’m just saying things I will later regret? I have already said things I later regretted so this is why it’s so hard to communicate.

      I feel we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about what we feel as CS because even though we did the wrong thing –we also suffer and we also struggle and we also need help.
      Unfortunately I’m not always so sure that I love my H and not so sure about what I want which is why I was requesting other CS to share their insights, feelings and experiences because I want to know what is “normal” and what isn’t in our journey to recovery. I had also thought that the reason why I’m so unsure whether I really do love my H and whether I really do want to stay in the marriage is also because of what I did and what I felt for the OM.

      The shame, the guilt and the doubt really are barriers to recovery of the marriage of the BS and CS. 6 weeks into the EAI already told my H I was having doubts and was going to go to counselling because even at that point I was already thinking of leaving the marriage because I didn’t want to stay married if I still have this feelings for someone else. I think since you and I both felt so guilty and ashamed this shows that we are truly remorseful about doing the wrong thing but the wanting to end the marriage because we don’t want to deal with the consequences –I feel logically this just makes us more selfish. I get you though wholeheartedly because I do still have thoughts of leaving the marriage because I feel too bad. I don’t know if I can honestly say and wholeheartedly mean that I love him and want to stay with him after what I did. In a way I wonder if he is better off without me and whether he is better off with someone else who doesn’t have the issue I do.

      However, do we really want to do the wrong thing again? No wrong can right another wrong. I know you are a believer and you know that evil is always around to trick us into doing the wrong thing and we let it which is why we did the wrong thing in the first place.

      I think we all know that sometimes we just can’t help how we feel. We can try to change it or time may help fade it or somehow we learn to cope with it but the feeling is still there. I’m the living proof of this as I’ve been infatuated with the OM since I was 14. And I hear you alone, it takes time get over someone you “loved” and loss. Sometimes emotions just don’t care about right or wrong. It doesn’t differentiate between reality and fantasy. Sometimes the things that make us human are the things that make us our own enemies. This is why we all need help with self control.
      The reality is there is no one person for another person and that we shouldn’t project our whole being and happiness unto a person be –whether the OP or our spouses. I think in the end it all just boils down to humans always seeking total happiness and contentment and we wrongly believe a person (OP, BS) or (or things—wealth, success etc) will provide it. As long as we are flawed humans we’re always going to feel incomplete & unhappy about one thing or another.

      The shrink said I need to remember what I admire and love about my H so I can recover the “love feelings”. Fact is I do remember and I do feel like I’m better off with him than with the OM and I do remember how we were happy before EA . When my H forgave me and when he continues to support me through my dark days, I feel like I’m going to get back the love for him and our marriage back on track. Nothing worth having is easy to achieve. I am one of those people who took love for granted and naively believed that I’d have a “happily ever after” after saying “I do”. Maybe this EA was a way for me to learn quickly that marriage is hard work and unless you put in your all then it will not work.

      Maybe in time, after you have mourn the loss of the OM you will see the EA taught you lessons about life and love and made you appreciate all you have more. I guess right now maybe you’re feeling like by choosing your family you’re just doing the “right thing” but not your heart’s desire but maybe eventually you’ll see you already have your heart’s true desire.

      I ask you if you didn’t have the EA, you’d still have the same feelings for your spouse right? So you must still have that love within you all these time after all these years. It didn’t just disappear because of the EA. It’s more that you lost sight of it or you put it on the back burner because of how your feelings developed for the OM.

      My H is a good man too and we are blessed to be loved and forgiven by them. This is true love don’t you think?

  63. Melvin October 17, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    Hi Alone,

    “First of all, my affair was emotional with very limited physical. “Love” was involved. I very much was connected to this other man”

    Yes, this was the situation with DW as well. Her Ex-Fiancé and her had a very strong connection many years back. When we started having problems with our relationship, she found solace with him and renewed that strong connection. I do believe she still has a hidden love for this man, even now. Yes, she can love more than one man, however the key is that she is committing herself to me and not him. Abiding by the “no contact” rule is therefore a must – I have to believe she is following this today (I hope). Phone blocked with her permission. Unfriended on Facebook. E-mail blocked. This was important for me to begin rebuilding trust in her. I know she loves me – she says so every day. And yes, what a freaking mess it is.

    Time heals all wounds. Fortunately, we all are young and have lots of time on our side. If we use it wisely, anything can be overcome.

    Best to you and your H

  64. confuse 2 October 18, 2011 at 6:48 am #

    dear i feel so dumb,

    just saw your post to Paula where you told her about emails from the OW and the cousins and about what your mum and your bestfriend have said to you. –I’m flabbergasted! No wonder you need this blog to vent! Just remember that when you are weak, He makes you strong. It’s amazing that you manage to get out of bed, dealing with all the things you’ve dealt with since D day.

    • ifeelsodumb October 18, 2011 at 10:34 am #

      Confuse 2…Saw this on a friends FB status, thought it was appropriate for both of us…”This hard place in which you perhaps find yourself, so painful and bewildering, is the very place in which God is giving you opportunity to look only to Him, to travail in prayer, and to learn long-suffering, gentleness, meekness–in short, to learn the depths of love that Christ Himself has poured out on all of us.” (Keep A Quiet Heart)

  65. ifeelsodumb October 18, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    Confuse2
    Maybe today I should change my name to i last name to ifeelsonumb…..In talking last night my H told me he feels he didn’t love me, before during and after the EA, after the EA for a “few” months, but he knows he does NOW :/ I knew this in my heart, I mean seriously, how can you hurt someone you profess to love so much?? But to hear him actually say that…I’m numb!!
    Everyday I find this is so much deeper than I thought…We HAD a good relationship before this…we REALLY did!!!It was perfect, we had drifted apart a little…but we spent time together, had romantic bedroom time, I didn’t ignore him at all!!! Is he just making an excuse? Did he REALLY feel this way and never say a word to me about how he felt?? Really?? I’m just like your name…so confused at this point….do I even KNOW my H at all??
    I remember the first words I said to him when he confessed to his EA… My first words…..”Who Are You??” “Do I even know YOU?” And to this day…I still ask myself that!!
    No, we haven’t started counseling…I have to find the right person….I would love to go to our Pastor, but I really am ashamed and embarrassed…and I don’t want my church family to know…and I’m afraid they would find out! Trying to protect my family…the boys don’t want their friends knowing…too bad my H didn’t think of THEM when he started this whole mess!!

    • Paula October 18, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

      confuse2, the resaons for the legal loopholes are deep. We never married, been living together for 24 years, my choice. This is fine under our country’s laws, you are still entitled to half of all assets (less what was brought into the relationship by one or the other partner) after 3 years of cohabitation. My OH owned a farm when I met him, and we together bought his parents’ farm some years later, BUT, for ease of borrowing, etc, we bought it in his family trust, of which his mother was the trustee that had the power to appoint/retire trustees. I was not a trustee at the time. We have changed this, I am now a trustee, but neither of us are beneficiaries, our children are the beneficiaries, and his mother (who I love, don’t get me wrong) is off the “books”. The limited liability company that operates our farming enterprise, I had no shares in, that has also been changed, I now own 33% of the shares. I pushed for 50%, but there were large taxation problems with this, that I understand, and 33% probably reflects my direct input into the farm really. I said the easiest thing to do when we bought our lake section, and built our dream bach on it, was to do it in the family trust name. I am responsible for suggesting and approving of this (I studied law at uni, so not a comlete idiot) because I was so dumb, I just completely trusted him to ensure that should anything happen to our relationship (and I didn’t really even think about affairs, really) we would ensure that the other was treated fairly. My biggest financial fear, is that we now own a 1200 acre property in a large dairy farming area, but it is not convertible to dairy farming, and may well have limited appeal to potential buyers, as selling would be the only option to get any money out of the operation. Recessions are great for large capital loss! It was on the market for 7 years before we (read he!!!) bought it. I had serious reservations about this decision at the time, it’s a gorgeous property, but in no way as profitable as the previous property (his family’s fourth generation owned farm, that we sold) was, and we both knew it, he was just looking for a lifestyle change, that would still give us a reasonable standard of living, and he does get a great deal of pleasure from it. My reservations about buying the property are part of the reason he uses to explain how he got involved in an affair, he was angry with me for not wholeheartedly embracing what he had decided on, as I always had in the past. He says he thought I had “opted out” and I suppose, by getting off-farm employment, and throwing myself into that (to keep my sanity) – I did – a little.

      I hear what you are saying about the OW, and the way he feels about her, don’t worry, I question it all, too. I brought this woman back into our lives more closely, as she had moved back to our country and I thought it would be nice to reconnect with her, we had been in touch over the years, as a group of friends. Unfortunately, she arrived in our house, etc, when unbeknownst to me, my OH was having a major life crisis, his sisters were suing us, spreading vicious rumours about our ethics around our very small town, and our group of friends, his budgets on the new enterprise were being blown (it was a desaesed estate, and very much more rundown than we first saw, requiring large capital injections) She turned on the sympathetic ear, and I had absolutely no idea that she was driving down to meet up with him, maybe once or twice a month, sometimes a lot less, he estimates they met up less than 7 times in the 15 month period, whilst I was at work! He was working his butt off, and we were in crisis, I knew that, but he wouldn’t explain why he was so “off” I said to him when I found out, “we were so stressed and busy, with not a moment to ourselves, how the hell did you find the TIME to meet her?” Even his mother said that to me, “when would he have had the time?!!!” The OW just made their meetings calm and fun, listened,relaxed him, shared her hopes and dreams, and basically was on her very best behaviour. The chinks (her real personality) started showing through after about their third or fourth hook-up – her word, ugggh, and he realised he’d screwed up, and needed to stop it, but she dug her claws in, and no excuses for him, but he desperately started back-peddling, reminding her of their differences, how they could never work as a couple, how he was a rugged farmer, with little finesse, and she is a city girl, who loves the metrosexual, etc. HOWEVER, and my big annoyance is, WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG TO STOP IT!! He answers that he was sure he would be able to get her to see that they were not a good match, and she would quietly let go, and drift away again, BUT, she did the opposite, we would go to the races, to watch our horses run, and who would happen to turn up? We’d be at a friend’s BBQ, and who would walk in? I’d organise a long weekend at the lake, and who would arrive? Mind you, one Easter, I invited her, in retrospect, I think I may have been clicking onto it, I rang her, and told her that I was going with the kids, and my OH would be joining us a couple of days later, would she like to come, and bring her son? I think I was testing her, I thought, if she is shagging my OH, she won’t come if he’s not there. But, she did. So I was once again, thrown off the scent.

      Every time he said,” this is the last time,” or put her off, by not being able to make it to a “hook-up” (he did this often to annoy her into dropping it with him) he would hope that she would get the message, but she would respond with, “oh well, she needs to know then,” striking terror in his heart, this is when his health started to deteriorate.

      So, I guess it is easy to see why he doesn’t like her very much. I have suggested to him that maybe he was harbouring some sort of grudge about her previous cheating, and maybe he could hurt her this time? He doesn’t think so, he just answers with, “it was 25 years ago, I got over it, really quickly really, after I met you, and I realised what a real, loving, trusting and equal relationship was, I never really thought about it again much, because I realised she didn’t mean very much to me at all, so I wasn’t really hurt anymore.” He says his biggest regret is that he has $%@ed up the trust, one of the greatest and purest of things that he had ever experienced, and he knows he can never make up for that, or recapture it, it will always be fractured, and we had such awesome trust (that’s why I was okay with him taking her overnight to our bach, with all thechildren once, our friends all gasped, and I said to them, it’s fine, like they’d do anything when we all waved them goodbye!) and it makes him so sad, that he got so screwed up that he fell into the typical male mid-life crisis pattern, and he did it with his eyes wide open. He just says, at the time, he was so miserable (TELL ME YOU IDIOT, I have been a mind-reader most of the time we’ve been together, but I got it wrong, this time) that he thought, “I really just don’t care if this all explodes in my face, because maybe that’s what needs to happen, in order to move out of the misery.” I have told him that is the wimp’s way of dealing with problems, and COMPLETELY selfish, I was always going to get hurt, and even if he didn’t love me then, he did once, and should have had enough respect for me to leave before he got involved with someone else.

  66. ifeelsodumb October 18, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    Opps!! Sorry, Confuse2.. Meant to say it WASN’T perfect….we had drifted apart a little… 😀

  67. Anita October 18, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    ifeelsodumb,
    Go to Probverbs Chapter 5 and read all of it, and start reading your Bible, these questions that you have will be revealed to you in the Bible it will make so much sense. By yourself a concordence, or use the one in back of the Bible if it has one, get a Bible that explains what the verses mean. Knowledge is powerful. If you ask your pastor for a privite meeting, he will keep your confidentilty. He will direct you into a path and help you understand. Let this be the time you come closer to God, I promise you will not be disapointed.

    • ifeelsodumb October 24, 2011 at 9:18 am #

      Been doing that all along, Anita…that’s what has made me stay and fight for my marriage! Thx!

  68. confuse 2 October 18, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    Dear i feelsonumb,
    I’m feeling a bit helpless after reading your post. Not sure what to say to make you feel better when you feel numb.

    I’ve mentioned before that things don’t have to be bad in a marriage for a person to stray. Things really could have been fine in your marriage but because opportunity presented itself, he chose to take advantage of it. In this case he should go to counselling on his own to find out what his personal issues are and how to recover before he joins you in marriage counselling.

    We can all sometimes be blind to our own faults. Women and Men often misunderstand each other so there might have really been times when you could have made him feel ignored without meaning to. This is something to be explored in counselling. He needs to specify instances that made him feel like his needs were ignored so you can both work on addressing this issue going forward.

    I felt the same way with approaching a pastor from our church—too ashamed too scared of being judged. They’re supposed to keep things confidential but still too scared. I hope you find the right counsellor soon.

    After reading a lot of the articles and comments here I feel like we all really need to keep in mind that we, our spouses and our marriages are human which is why we really need to be vigilant and never let our guard down because we all know how weak and selfish we can be. It seems to be that affairs are like cancers—it can happen to anyone.

    No one and no marriage is risk free so how can we think that our spouse and our marriage is an exception? It just really feels that instead of being complacent and thinking it can never happen to us or our spouses wouldn’t cheat maybe we should have been thinking the opposite so the blow wouldn’t have been such a knock down.

  69. melissa October 19, 2011 at 3:43 am #

    Alone
    You touched a raw nerve and thank you for posting and giving your side of the EA. I just wanted to give a personal example of how CS justify their actions and lie to others – but also to themselves.

    I know that my H invited the OW to an industry event (several, I suspect) because I found an email from him telling her where to meet etc. Why did he not invite me? I was hurt and upset.

    When he was ‘in the fog’, though, I think it was very easy for him to justify his invitation and truly believe that it was justifiable and not an issue or a threat to his marriage to me:

    * he was ‘helping’ the OW with her career
    * He felt I was not interested in his industry/the people he worked with
    * He felt the OW ‘understood’ him and his industry
    * She was pretty and fun to be with (better than ‘the wife’) and made him feel good (his need to validate his ego was probably not conscious to him but it was there)
    * His wife was boring and uninteresting (and it would make him look ‘bad’ to his colleagues)
    * He could invite whom he wanted and so there (childishness)

    In the last couple of years or so I have accompanied him on several trips and met quite a few people he knows and lo and behold, this is what’s happening:

    * I get invited to events whenever possible, despite not being part of the industry, because people like my company
    * My H found that I am able to talk to anyone from secretary to CEO and that I find it easy to draw people out and get them to talk about themselves, not necessarily their ‘work’ stuff
    * I have made friends with some of his colleagues and we are seeing them outside of work
    * We can talk about the people and events we go to together, making us closer and allowing me to understand his work more easily

    I can’t be sure but I hope that he now sees that his previous ‘justifications’ to invite the OW were wrong and that it was his image of me which was at fault, not me personally. I also hope that he now values my company. So yes, CS do say one thing and believe another at different stages of the EA and their own justification ‘script’ keeps changing until they come out of the fog.

  70. melissa October 19, 2011 at 3:55 am #

    PS – this is my interpretation of what happened, I can’t know for sure. I don’t think we can ever know for sure what drives people to this kind of behaviour.

  71. Alone October 19, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    Hi Melvin –

    Thanks for your post. I agree, the no contact is a must. My husband flat out told me that if I ever contact the other man again, it is over between us. I have abided by the no contact rule.

    I find it amazing that several of the BS on this forum had multiple D-Days. In my mind, I have one chance as the CS, if I blow it, it’s OVER. PERIOD. My husband is not kidding around about this one bit. If I contact the other man, automatic divorce.

    This is a weird thought too, but I know that the other man’s wife told him NO CONTACT with me, and that if he sees me he can’t even look at me. In my mind, if we contacted each other ever again it would be for one reason only: that one of us was going to get a divorce and that we “wanted each other”… This of course will never happen. We know we were wrong for what we did even if we still want to have that connection. We can’t, period.

  72. Alone October 19, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    Hi Ifeelsodumb,

    I read your post about feeling numb. I feel terrible for you. That must be awful. I think feeling numb is a defense mechanism for us. When we can’t cope with something, our mind just makes us numb to it until later when we can handle the emotion of the situation. That probably explains your reaction of numbness.

    A couple of questions for you if you don’t mind? How long ago did the EA end? Was this just an on-line thing, or did he see this person on a regular basis?

    I am the cheater as you know. I will tell you how I am feeling and maybe this will help you with your husband’s response.

    Did I love my husband before the EA? YES
    Did I love my husband during the EA? YES, I think so. But “not as much”
    Do I love my husband after the EA? I don’t want to answer that question.

    Here is the deal, and I can’t speak for all cheaters of course, but in my EA I developed a VERY close connection with this other man. And I had a traumatic event that happened to me just as the EA began that pushed us closer. Now that the EA is over, I “feel” like I don’t love my husband because I do not have this emotional connection to him like I did with this other man. I have to believe that this is a temporary feeling that will go away with time… that my true feelings of love for my husband will resurface. They have to, I have to believe that. But right now I just feel empty.

    So when your husband says he didn’t love you before, during, and after the EA, he is probably being honest. BUT HERE IS THE GOOD NEWS: I DO NOT think that he would tell you this and then say “but I love you now” if he didn’t REALLY mean it. Does this make sense? At this point, he is being very honest with you. I believe him that he says he loves you now. Those feelings must have returned to him like I am hoping will happen for me. And please remember, he has chosen to stay with you and work on your marriage. I think this is important to remember as I posted earlier on this thread. He stayed and chose YOU.

    I can understand when you say you don’t know who your husband is. He probably doesn’t know who he is either… I don’t know who I am anymore. I didn’t know I was capable of doing this to my husband and family.

    Also, we just started couples counseling a couple of weeks ago. We were both disappointed, but agreed to give it one more shot. We have both consulted with our Pastors at our church, separately, but not together. In some ways I regret this. One pastor helped me some, the other one… I’m not sure he knew what to say other than “you know this is biblical grounds for your husband to divorce you right?”. I wanted someone to help me get back on track, but that just didn’t happen. I have found other ways to do that, like individual prayer and study and also this forum.

    One last thing. I am so sorry that your husband did this to you and that I have done this to my family. If we could change it somehow, we would.

    Best wishes. Don’t give up yet…

    • ifeelsodumb October 23, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

      Hey Alone and Confuse2,
      Haven’t been on for awhile, had to take a break…the postings on here really get to me, so much sadness and hurting.. 🙁
      Anyway, things are good here….My H and I have been talking more and that always makes me feel better when he opens up to me 😀 We talked more about his feeling he didn’t love me before, during and after the EA…he said that he didn’t mean he didn’t love me…he was just questioning how much we loved each other since we had grown apart…which I still don’t agree with, but he obviously felt that way…so anyway, he assures me that he DOES love me, and after reading a post that Linda wrote awhile back, about not being sure if Doug was staying because of the kids and finances or because he wanted to be with her…she said that when she started thinking that he was holding her hand, sitting close on the couch watching a movie, going out to dinner because he wanted to be with HER then she knew she had to accept that he was there because he loved her!!
      Well, after reading that, I also realized that my H has been doing that and more…roses, candy, date night, cuddling (so much so that our 21 yr old is grossed out…his words, not mine!! LOL!!
      So to answer I’m just trying to dwell on the future…is he still lying to me?? I don’t know…I periodically check his cell records, email, house phone, kids cell phones, bank acct.(to see if a trac phone has been bought,) etc….If he is or ever does want to contact her, he’ll have a heck of a job doing it!! LOL! But that’s his decision….and if I find out that he has, then I will be making the FINAL decision on this marriage!!

      Alone, you asked this question “A couple of questions for you if you don’t mind? How long ago did the EA end? Was this just an on-line thing, or did he see this person on a regular basis?
      It ended exactly 42 weeks tomorrow!!! Which is 10 1/2 months…seems like a lifetime ago!!
      Anyway, it was never an online thing, my H went back home for a weekend reunion and the OW was invited by his cousin to the reunion….personally I think they planned this and set him up…his cousin just happened to mention the night before ” Oh, BTW, so and so (aka THE WITCH) will be there tomorrow also”…as I later asked him “You haven’t seen or talked to her in 27 yrs, you only dated for 4 months, ALL of it long distance since H was in the military…WHY did they think you would even care”?? He now believes they set him up also…
      So they started out texting about a week after he got home, then at his suggestion they started talking on the phone, exchanging thousands of pics, etc…talked most everyday, from 1-2 hrs…he has a lot of drive time with his job so he had the freedom to do this.
      To this day he says he felt a little guilty, because he knew I’d be upset, but he said since it wasn’t a “romance” type of relationship, he justified it as 2 friends just catching up. and he knew he should tell her it was wrong but just never did…and yes, there was a “little” flirting but again, nothing heavy duty. He said they never mentioned leaving their families for each other…he knew he didn’t want her in that way…that it was just the attention she was giving him, that I wasn’t….My H said he figured it would die out on it’s own after a while, and towards the end when I found out about it, he was tired of listening to her complain about her H and kids and how she does everything around the house and he was relieved that it was over.
      My H has a very hard time with confrontation…so I can see him doing this…not taking a stand, just slowly letting things go away…he said he never intended to tell me about it, which I told him was VERY cowardly because when we do go back home for a visit, I’d look like a fool to those who knew..and what if his cousin said something to me?
      So here we are…I have to look at all the positives…he is spoiling me, tells me he loves me, when he has to be on the road for his job, he calls and talks to ME the whole time….this is the big thing I’m struggling with…I hate to see him get in the car and drive away because that’s when he’d get on the phone with her…and when he calls me I feel weak and unsure of myself, and I was NEVER like this before..but I have a hard time telling him to just call me when he gets to his business center, like I did BEFORE the EA….it could be 2 hours for him to get there and in that 2 hrs my mind can go in a million directions!
      But if he doesn’t call me right away, I start to feel panicked…like he’s got a secret phone he’s calling her on….sooooo stupid!! AUGGHHH!!!! I want the REAL me to come back!!!
      Sorry for always venting on here…I have NO ONE to talk to…my sister will listen, but she’s in recovery from her own EA that turned into a PA for over 1 1/2 yrs so I don’t feel I can turn to her all the time…
      I told my H yesterday, the holidays are coming, I want us to be normal…last year he was involved with her at this time….this year I want it to be about us! We are going away next weekend, a Love and Respect conference, then a couple days in the mountains…I’m planning on rocking his world so he thinks of NO ONE but me!! LOL!!! 😀
      I hope AlONE and CONFUSE2 that you can both forgive yourselves and move on…the fact that you are both on here speaks volumes to the sorrow you feel for the pain you have caused, which to me is HUGE ….We ALL make mistakes…I made the mistake of neglecting my husband and letting us get into a rut, and not even seeing it…and he made the mistake of not talking to me about what he was feeling and making the decision to talk to the OW…should I blame myself for the bad decisions I made…and not forgive myself? Or not forgive my H…he IS a great guy and I’m going to really try to let the anger go and truly forgive him!
      It’s all about choices…and I choose to move on…as hard as it is!
      Oh, and Confuse2…GREAT posts!!! You have a wisdom beyond your years…and Alone…I can almost feel the shame and sorrow that you feel, you express it so well, but you need to lift your head up, look in the mirror and say “I AM a GOOD person, I made a mistake, and I’m sorry, but I’m not a WICKED person!!” BTW, I like you both, I really do…and you’re the “dreaded” OW…go figure, lol!!!! Hope you both have a GREAT week!!

      • confuse 2 October 25, 2011 at 7:40 am #

        Dear Paula,

        when you go to the therapist, do you just talk about the marriage issues or do you talk about just yourself?

        It’s just that maybe there are other personal past emotional wounds that are still unhealed or not addressed that are hindering your present recovery efforts? Maybe something to be explored in therapy.
        it’s hard to measure progress recovery but because can’t expect the pain to fully go away but if it’s still literally too much to bear, there must be other other hindrance in your mind. Hopefully that will be revealed to you soon.

        • Paula October 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

          confuse 2, first time in therapy for a very long while, I started seeing a psychologist earlier in the year, and after two or three sessions he told me that he didn’t believe that there was anything “wrong” with me, per se, but that my OH had done some stuff that had re-opened old wounds, but that he was still doing some stuff that was not allowing me to heal (all this was already pretty obvious to me.) He then referred us to a couple who he recommended as the leading couples counsellors in our country. We met with one of them in August (they live almost three hours from us) and have only now just got the first four hour appointment finished. We are having intensive therapy, he recommended a week, but we couldn’t get the time away, so are doing it fortnightly in 2 x 2 hour sessions. Yesterday was the first. We talked mostly about why we act and react the way we do. He says he was never the type of psychologist (when in general practice) who delved TOO deeply into childhood issues, but does need a picture of why we are who we are. I think he nailed it, I think I am already very self-aware, and my OH, also, but a little less so. OH has always been fairly driven, he had his eyes on the prize, and tends to wall himself off from anything that might get in his way (me, sometimes!) whereas, I tend to over-analyse, and smell every daisy, and other not-so-sweet odours! So, really, I think we just got the childhood stuff dealt with, and we’ll talk a little more about the affair in the sessions to follow, with the knowledge of who we are a little more fleshed out.

          I know that the past is why I am not coping well. Deep hurt and pain from things that have happened well before this, even well before I met my OH, are causing me to stay stuck, and I’ve known it for a long time, I just haven’t been able to find a way of dealing with it all, and letting it go again, I did so once, very successfully, I thought, but it has all re-surfaced, with interest! I guess, I beleieved that my darling OH would keep all of my demons in mind, as he knew about them, and never re-expose me to any of them, my knight in shining armour went AWOL for a while. And that’s okay, to a degree, I have to stop being a damsel in distress (I didn’t know I was, but I can see it now!) and stand up more for myself. I used to be very strong, very opinionated (with a little age I thought maybe too much) but I realise that I have stamped a lot of that down, in order to co-exist more peacefully with a VERY strong-willed partner. I have put me last for too long, and I’m struggling to re-assert myself, doormat is probably close to some of the feelings I have about it all now, in retrospect, although I thought I was just co-operating and easing us through tough times at the time, keeping things as stedy as I could, for kids and him. I still raised my hand, and voiced opinions, but I knew that often he would just pay lip-service and nod sagely to my needs and desires, moving right along with his “Grand Plan.”

          I had a chat with OH this morning, and he feels like he’s squeezed the feistiness out of me and feels bad about that, and I tend to agree, but I LET it happen, in order to feel more peace, was I wrong? I think I might have been, as it meant he always got to do what he wanted, and I just adapted what I wanted to fit in alongside what he wanted. The assertive girl he met and lusted after, and chased down, has disappeared, and I’d like to find her again, but there’s so much fear that I just HAVE to overcome, there is no choice, for lack of self is no life at all, with him, or without him.

      • confuse 2 October 25, 2011 at 7:57 am #

        Dear I feelsodumb,

        great to hear from you. got worried about you. after your last comment about feeling numb, wasn’t sure if you were ok or not.

        the doubts about loving the spouse, and questions about the motivations about staying in the marriage are normal i think when we go through crisis like this. Alone and I were discussing that. so I think it’s great that you and your H are talking openly and that you are all romantic etc.

        it’s difficult not to get overly paranoid but hopefully you will feel more relax and secure in time (but obviously still reasonably alert and vigilant just in case).

        don’t take this the wrong way but i think at some level, you and your H have taken each other for granted. He felt it. You took for granted that he didn’t have anyone else who would pay him attention and talk to him for long periods of time. he shouldn’t have done what he did but the lesson there is to try not to miss a chance to give your spouse attention whether they ask for it or not–i think even in my case with my H we have already taken each other for granted. the EA and our other crisis (financial and health) brought about the issues (such as working on our communication), we need to work on in our relationship.

        I think we’ve all been proven that signing marriage contract doesn’t gurantee a lifetime of happiness and fidelity. People don’t lose their free will and human instincts after they say I do. Things can change. People can change. When we signed up for “for beter or worse” it’s quite literal. that was a clue right there that we can expect that there will be worse times. what else can we expect when we live in an unperfect world and we married an unperfect person?

        • ifeelsodumb October 25, 2011 at 9:40 am #

          Oh, I’m not offended at all! You are right!! We DID take each other for granted…and this has really woken the both of us up, that even after 25 yrs of marriage, we NEED to put each other first!!
          I told him last night that I’m starting to trust him again because I can see that he really is trying now, whereas before, he wasn’t…but I don’t feel I’ll ever get to 100% again, which is sad really, because that’s not the way marriage is supposed to be….He’s OK with that, he knows he betrayed my trust, and that this is going to be a long process for me to heal…

          I really do feel he was getting tired of the OW…she was complaining to him more and more about her H and kids…and let’s face it, when you are involved in an EA, all you want is the admiration, flirting, etc. NOT their problems!! That’s one of the main reasons for entering the EA, to escape from the problems in your own relationship!!
          So anyway, trying to put the anger to rest, trying to forgive him, and just wanting life to get back to normal as much as possible…
          I hope you’re doing better Confuse 2…you have a lot of wisdom in your posts…I feel that God is with you, helping you help others!! Have a great week!! 🙂

          • Paula October 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

            IFSD and confuse 2, you have both “got it!” The next thing is to use all of that wisdom in a productive and positive way, I’m sure we all can, I know you two will, because you want it and you’re prepared to work at it, to achieve what you need.

            IFSD, I feel what you said, about not ever being 100%, I guess that is my greatest fear, that I am now going to settle for less, and that maybe I need to leave, in order to get what I deserve, by actively pursuing a happier way, and putting the negativity of the past in the past, with a loving farewell. I just don’t know yet, but I sure am working on getting there, my boy is trying so hard to put himself right outside his comfort zone, to let his flaws out into the sunlight, and have “strangers” pick over their bones, in order to help me heal, and that must be very hard for him, he’s a proud man, and he has no guarantees from me, that this will “fix” us, but I do know that I have to fix me, and I do have an awful lot of admiration for him in doing this. He has assessed his actions, and his weaknesses, and where he has found himself lacking, he’s working on it, what a lovely man, he’ll make someone a great catch, I hope it’s me, lol!

  73. Alone October 19, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    Hi Melissa,

    Thanks for not totally ripping me up. I am being honest. It’s hard to be this honest to your spouse, because it brings more hurt. I am a person that has to get it out there. Thank you for listening to me and letting me write this stuff out.

    I know that cheaters twist things around. We don’t even realize we are doing it until the affair is over. It’s pretty messed up. And yes, the story does change. But I think it’s because our perspective of what happened and how we acted changes to. I can be honest about a few things now that I could not on any level tell my husband just a few months ago. This is a painfully slow process…

    You sound like a great lady and like you have good self esteem. Best wishes to you!

  74. Alone October 19, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    Hi confused 2 –
    I wasn’t ignoring you. Your post yesterday made me cry. It struck deep. I couldn’t reply right away, but here it goes now.

    YES – Cheaters are scared to post and get ripped. YES we know we did wrong, but we need help too, in order to make sense of this mess. I have absolutely been struggling, very badly the past few months. Honestly, it’s been a living hell, for everyone.

    First, I think there is a key difference between you and I, and something that I actually had discussion about with my husband last night. In your case, you came to your senses and chose to end the EA. This is HUGE. I did not choose to end my EA, and things were actually getting much, much more serious. This key difference is BIG issue to my husband. I didn’t want to stop. As my husband puts it, you only stopped because you were caught.

    You asked me if you thought I was struggling with these feelings for the other man because there was no closure, no chance to say good bye… the answer is an absolute YES. When we were caught, it was an immediate cut-off. I won’t go into details, but there was a big scene. Like a scene from a cheap soap opera. There was 0% closure and there is no way I will ever be able to get that closure from the other man. If I have any contact with him, it will be an automatic divorce for me. This is very much something that I struggle with a lot.

    You said you are sure that you don’t want the other man in your life. That is good. He actually sounds like a first class jerk. This is significant for you to say, I hope you realize that. There are many cheaters that are not thinking this same way. Do I want the other man in my life? Yes, I want his friendship. I miss it. But also no, because he was bad for my marriage.

    I agree with you that the truth from a CS changes as time goes by. As I posted earlier, at first I was not able to admit certain things to my husband. My perspective on several things has changed, therefore my version of what happened has changed as well. Also, at first I was very scared of what to say… what could I say right after D-Day that wouldn’t make things worse and bring more hurt and anger?

    Your next statement about whether or not you love your husband. At this point, I don’t know if I love my husband either. But I don’t want to admit that. I have children. My marriage needs to work. Understand what I mean? I have to believe that my feelings of love for my wonderful and caring and forgiving husband will return. I have to believe that. He deserves to be loved and respected. Truly, he is a great man.

    So, this is the part where I feel STUPID – the feelings I had for the other man were very intense. I didn’t know I could feel that way about someone. I am sure this is strictly infatuation, the “fog”. I have to tell myself that and believe it. But the other man told me he felt the same way, so further down the spiral we both went. How could I have let myself feel like that about someone else besides my husband? I don’t know! My husband and I met young. We got married several years later and we’ve had a good marriage. I never planned to stray.

    Here is something that REALLY surprised me after the EA ended: I thought my feelings of love for my husband were still there, I didn’t realize they weren’t until D-Day. So now, I kind of have this hole, I feel empty. I don’t think I felt this way during the EA because I had this relationship with the other man. But this big hole is there now. Those feelings of love aren’t there right now, and it surprised me that they are gone.

    Confused 2 – you don’t have children. You are probably pretty young, in your 20’s. I think you need to think long and hard about your marriage. Not about this other man – he is not an option. But about your husband and marriage. You need to do this now before you have children and decide what you want. You have an entire lifetime ahead of you. You and your husband deserve to be happy, whether alone or together. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not suggesting that you get a divorce but you have posted some pretty serious questions here. Questions you need to really think long and hard about. And you need MEGA prayer right now. So do I for that matter, actually, so do all of us.

    About the guilt again, I actually HATE myself. I literally hate to look at myself in the mirror and see who I am. I don’t know this person. I told you, I have been/am suicidal. I want to do the right thing. The best thing for my family but I can’t turn off these damn feelings. And right now I can’t get the old feelings for my husband back. I respect and admire my husband. But the “love” feelings aren’t there right now. I am waiting and working for them to return.

    Confused 2 – I so agree that emotions don’t care about right or wrong and that they don’t differentiate between reality and fantasy. I wish I could make them. I wish I could see this other man as a real jerk. You hit the nail on the head about “there is no one person for another person”. I have whole-heartedly believed this my entire adult life. I thought I was with the person God made for me, I believed the fairy-tale, totally. I felt VERY blessed to have my husband. I still do, but now feel confused about my feelings for this other man.

    Let me conclude with this: I told my husband last night… so many people go around looking for true love. My husband, despite what I did to him, still loves me. He wants us to work. I have true love right at home. How could I have let this EA happen? All I have ever needed in life and more is right here for me. And I so want to get us back on track. I want to recover those feelings of love for him and never let him go. Yes, we are blessed to have husbands that truly love us. We need to choose them.

    To any BS that read this, please don’t let this upset you. These are my thoughts only. They may not apply to your situation with your spouse. And thank you for letting me be honest. I know you don’t like to hear from a cheater. THANK YOU.

  75. melissa October 19, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    Hi Alone
    I would never rip anyone up. We’re all humans and we all make mistakes – true, my H’s mistakes can be quite huge, lol!

    Today I saw a glimmer of hope in the seesaw of ups and downs I’ve experienced over the last couple of years. For once, I didn’t dream ‘gosh, if I won the lottery, I think I’d be out of here’ (which, I think, would mean I could ‘punish’ my H).

    Secondly, My H was out at some work thing and I didn’t fret too much (although I did have a quick look at his email addresses that I know but did not find anything) so I must have been feeling insecure. Thirdly, he came back, we were both tired and had a quick siesta (just a siesta 🙂 but nice). He’s talking to me more, seems more focused on ‘us’ and happier. Is he over the OW? Is the NC rule working 100%? Has he really chosen me this time? I don’t know but it makes me hopeful.

  76. Melvin October 19, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

    Hi again Alone,

    Yes, multiple D-Days can be a concern. I guess it is different for everyone. Sounds like your D-Day was pretty serious. Can you maybe give us some details on what D-Day was like ?

    Our D-Day was intense. I wish I handled it differently. Thing is, I knew of their past relationship. She wore his ring for 2 years. They were 4 months from the alter, plans in place, wedding dress ready, invitations, the works. He dumped her on Valentine’s Day for her roommate, who he was sleeping with. She had nothing but negative comments about him for years My thoughts were she was so over him. I trusted her when she said she wanted to meet him for lunch and catch up. I reluctantly agreed. Bad decision. It grew into a mess. The thing is, he has called her twice now since D-Day, once to find out how she was doing and just recently to tell her of his mom passing. He called DW at work, she took the call and told me later that day. He is single.

    So, for me, the no contact is really for her to him. She hasn’t contacted him since D-Day (according to her). She has told him to not call her anymore. So, I am giving her rope on this, seeing how she plays it. It’s part of the trust rebuilding. I have told her, another slip-up and we are done. I pray I never have to make such a decision.

    Thank you for the reply.

  77. confuse 2 October 20, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    hi Alone,

    don’t worry i wasn’t thinking that you were ignoring me. sorry my post made you cry but i’m glad that in some way what I said connected with you to that level.

    I get what your H feels. I suppose he thinks because you stopped because you got caught rather than because you chose to, it made him feel second best. No one wants that. He’d be worried about how long it would have gone on and how far it would have gone if he didn’t catch you.

    About 2 months into the EA I was already drafting my goodbye email that I didn’t send til 2 months later because I just didn’t want to stop. I even moved out. Part of me was imagining what it would be like to be together (he was saying he’d leave in a year) but the other part of me just wanted to get off the rollercoaster guilt ride because it was making me sick. I stopped because I really just wanted to get back to to feeling normal. To just stop the constant guilt. It sounds selfish I know but that’s what I felt like.

    I don’t think my H felt any better about me stopping the EA voluntarily and about confessing. In the end he still felt like “a mistake to my true dreams” because I confessed not just to the EA but also that 3 years ago I nearly broke up with him because I felt like I wasn’t over the same guy. It’s hard for him to accept that I still wanted the guy I’ve wanted since I was 14.

    Just because I said I’d never let this man in my life again and I can now say I wished I’d nevet met him at all, it doesn’t mean I won’t admit to being crazy about him. To me what I felt for him was the cliches of being in love–that we were meant to be, that we had chemistry, that he “got” me, that just hearing his voice or seeing his name warms my heart etc.

    Question: Do you think that if it wasn’t forbidden, you’d still be believing that what you felt for this OM was that intense?

    I feel like because with teenage love and with most affairs–it gets stuck in the infatuation stage. It doesn’t usually get past that stage so you’d tend to stay in that thinking that -that connection was so special, so unique so exhilirating that nothing else matters and you just want to stay in that bubble world of just you and this person.

    Alone, i’m not surprise at all that you feel empty. I felt that too. The feelings for the OM just consumed my being and the rest of me was filled with guilt.

    I also know what you feel about being suicidal. You just want to stop thinking and stop existing because nothing make sense anymore, pain everywhere, overwhelming shame, you feel so bad you hurt people close to you, you also feel so lost, so confuse, you don’t know you anymore, you also feel so bad because even though you saw the damage, you still don’t know how you can stop wanting to be with the one you shouldn’t be with.

    I don’t know what to think Alone. I know what you’re saying about thinking long and hard and believe me I’m still thinking. You are right I’m still in my 20s. I don’t know what to think anymore as I’ve lost trust with my judgement.

    Hugs and prayers to you.

  78. Alone October 20, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    Melvin –

    D-Day was TERRIBLE.

    Imagine friends hanging out + good time + late night + alcohol +OM that can’t keep his hands off of me when he is drinking + wife sees something very inappropriate that is a lot more than just friends + big blow up from her + my husband finds out + screaming match + my friends and family hearing everything + confrontation between OM and my husband + confrontation between his wife and me + confrontation between myself and husband + no sleep + hungover = DISASTER.

    My contact with the OM was cut off IMMEDIATELY. Straight out of a cheap soap opera. It was hell.

    The OM was immediately “forgiven” by his wife the very next day.

    I was kicked out of my house and didn’t see my children for a week. I didn’t know if I was ever going to be allowed back home. Slept in the guest room for months. And I had to face ALL of my family and friends with plenty of consequences.

    The OM had no consequences.

    Talk about a double standard in regard to how cheaters are treated. (But I know I don’t deserve any sympathy, I cheated and was wrong.)

    I’m left with my head reeling with what happened, what it meant, and how it all went down. No closure and I cared VERY much for the OM.

    Probably more than you wanted to know.

    • Melvin October 20, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

      Alone,

      Thank you for sharing. The exposure to family and friends must be a huge burden to carry. One thing I did that I am glad is that I kept family and friends (and kids) from knowing. DW did confide to one of her friends – she needed post D-Day advice. Otherwise, I kept it “between the walls”.

      Try your best to stay even-keeled. Don’t let the trauma of the past overwhelm you. Best to both of you in your recovery and again, thanks for sharing your side of the story.

  79. Jan October 20, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    Doug, I am struggling with the fact that my husband as far as I know has no contact with OW. I still do not feel connected to him and I can’t tell if this is on my part or his. How did you and Linda reconnect and how long before you were able to get the EA out of your head and back totally with your wife?

    • Doug October 20, 2011 at 11:59 am #

      Jan, Are you saying that you are not sure he has ended contact with the OW? If he has not, reconnecting will be difficult.
      As I’ve stated before, I’m horrible with remembering dates and time lines, but to answer your question I don’t feel that it took too incredibly long – perhaps a few months, though Linda seems to think it took about 6. The EA is never out of my head because we blog about it 😉 However, any feelings for Tanya are long gone.

      We reconnected by just doing the little things that we used to do together – going out, doing activities we both enjoy, hanging out with friends, etc. Along the way, we also improved our communication methods which also helped us to reconnect on a more emotional level. Sex helps out too!

      • Jan October 20, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

        No I am as sure as one can be that there is no contact with the OW, it is that sometimes I realize we cannot have that kind of excitement that comes from the newness or infatuation stage of a relationship. He is now back to doing all the same things he always has done. The passion at times seems to be there but I have a hard time sometimes and I think he does too. We have been married 25 years and I need lots of reassurance that he did not just settle for me or want to give up his family. The woman was young and troubled and my husband has said he thinks she singled him out because he was older/stable and perhaps financially stable. He said in the beginning he was trying to give her advice on how to get her life straightened out and she told him how wonderful his advice was and how smart he is. He also told her he did not have anything for her except advice but as time went on she started to push back on the advice and argue with him about certain things. He of course was getting his ego stroked. He found out she had asked questions about him and now he feels stupid that he was perhaps just a potential cash cow for her. He told me after awhile that it had started to become not fun and still he did not put an end to it. There according to him was no physical connact at all and only facebook chats.

        • Doug October 20, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

          Jan, Linda has written a post on this very subject of “settling” that will be posted next Thursday. As part of formatting the post for her, I re-listened to an interview she and I did with Dave Carder when we were writing our book on trust. Dave (who authored “Torn Asunder” and “Close Calls” and is a marriage counselor) said that it doesn’t matter why he came back. Most men come back for family and monetary reasons. However, deep inside the brain there are still feelings of love and infatuation for you. You need to strip away all of the negativity and the pain and the hostility to get at it and rekindle it. I know, easier said than done.

          Don’t let him (or you) slip back into his old ways. Talk about how it scares you and figure out ways that you can rekindle your relationship.

          • Jan October 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

            Thanks Doug, I am looking forward to next Thursday’s post. One thing you said that deep in his brain there were still feelings of love and infatuation for me maybe what helps me most. I have had a really hard time understanding how he could say he loved me and never stopped but be involved in an EA with someone else. I have a hard time wrapping my brain around that. When we first had our confrontatin he said what we had was real and the EA was not real. Sounds like maybe he had some kind of reality check in place hopefully.

  80. confuse 2 October 21, 2011 at 7:24 am #

    Hi Alone,

    If you feel like you can’t fully move on without closure, why don’t you write a closure letter to OM (but don’t send it obviously) so you can express yourself and get it out of your system?

    I kind of see the internal debate in your posts. One hand you feel like he was the confidant you had when you were going through a tough time but the other hand you sound like you resent that he didn’t get punished as much as you have after D Day.

    I’m guessing you’re feeling like he was like a “soul mate”. because you invested so much emotionally by relying on him for support during a tough time that you’ve made him a part of you. You probably think that without him, you wouldn’t have gotten through. You feel like he was a part of you that got yanked off so you feel like you lost a limb.

    I have two suggestions. Either you just accept that your mind won’t let you think of him as jerk so instead just accept that in your mind he was someone you needed during a tough time but he’s played his part in your life and now that is finish. People come and go in our lives all the time and this will soon feel like a usual passing. Hopefully you will soon feel like he came and went rather than he got taken away from you.

    My other suggestion is get him off the mental pedestal. Believe he is a jerk.

    Did he stand up for you at D Day? I doubt it. What do you think he said to his wife about you? I’m sure he wasn’t telling her you were his soulmate or that you had an intense connection.

    Do you think he still waste time thinking about you or is he too busy moving on? Do you think he shed a tear when he lost you and your amazing connection or is he just sorry that he can no longer take advantage of you?

    i hope that you and your H make it you know. I hope that soon I will soon read that you’re trying to recover your marriage not for the kids but because you are reconnecting with your real soul mate.

    • Healing Mark October 21, 2011 at 8:25 am #

      My wife felt the need to write a “closure letter” to her affair partner, and ultimately had a “closure conversation” that helped her as well. I was dubious at first, but her thoughts on this matter were independently validated by our marriage counsellor and finally made some sense to me. In hindsight, gaining closure was an important step for us getting beyond the affair and for me being able to finally give her genuine forgiveness.

  81. Alone October 21, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    Dear confused 2 –
    You get me so much, it’s scary. I swear you can read my mind and can see into my heart.

    First, during the affair I was very guilt ridden and confused. One day, while with the OM, I dropped my phone in the middle of the street. I bent over to pick it up and almost got hit by a car. Funny thing was that if I had been hit, I would not have cared one bit. I would have been out of my misery. So I totally get what you say about roller coaster of guilt. Yes, we do feel empty now because the affair is over and all that is left is guilt. It’s a hard place to be.

    I also understand your connection to this OM since you were 14. That’s hard to break. And you did feel that he “got you”. I felt the EXACT same way in my situation. Yes, I thought this OM was my soul mate. He said he thought the same thing. So talk about some confusing feelings. You asked if this relationship being “forbidden” made these feelings more intense. In my case, I do not think so. And it is so hard to stop being with this person even though it is wrong and is destroying everything around you because you have this connection to them. To my husband’s point the other day – I didn’t want to stop this connection. And I really don’t think the OM wanted to stop either.

    I do have an internal debate with myself regarding the OM. I am still confused, as you, by my feelings for him. How can I be with my husband and still have these feelings toward the other person? That’s living a FAKE life. On the other hand, I get confused by why the OM would say and do all of these things and then just walk away. So, in a way, stupidly, I feel used by the OM. Maybe I was entertainment for him, or an ego boost… or both. And yes, I am angry because I had to face all of the consequences and he faced none. No of his family knows… but in my case every single important person in my life found out what happened. Try swallowing all of that and facing your family and friends. Let me tell you, I got my fair share of being rebuked. I got the message loud and clear.

    At this point, I have no idea how the OM feels about me or how we views what happened. I do know about a month and a half or so after D-Day that he told his wife he missed our friendship. I was saying the same thing to my husband at that point. Did he defend me to his wife? Not sure. I never blamed the OM, I have and always will take full responsibility for my own actions. I am a grown adult. I made my own choices. The OM made a point to tell my husband that the affair was not sex, that our friendship had gotten too close, and that it had “been hard on me and the OM” not to cross the line, that we tried to do the right thing. That last part pissed my husband off pretty bad because cheaters don’t deserve sympathy, but I told my husband the same thing, because it was the truth. I do know the OM’s wife asked him if he loved me. Of course he said “NO”. She asked him if I loved him and he replied “Maybe” which of course = YES. I told my husband I did NOT love the OM. What else can you say? I did and said whatever I had to in order to diffuse the situation after D-Day. It wasn’t until a few months later when my husband KNEW that I loved the OM because I was not letting go so easily. I have no idea what the OM is thinking or feeling now, but I know he choose his family like I am doing. I want to reconnect with my husband. That is my goal, truly. Perhaps writing a letter to the OM that I then trash would help. I might do that.

    Confused 2 – Do you think the OM in your case felt loss after the relationship ended? Do you think he loved you? Has he tried to contact you again after you ended it? Did his wife find out?

    Confused 2 – this is what I think we should do since we both have lost trust in our own judgment and decision making abilities. I think that we are only a few months out from the end of the affair. I think what we need to do is really try to work on our marriages. Stay, work on it. Wait for the feelings for our husbands to return. We have to give it a chance. If a year from now we are still “stuck” then maybe it’s time to move on. Our husbands clearly love us. And they didn’t ask for this, they did nothing wrong. We owe it to them, if they are willing to work on the marriage, don’t you think? And maybe, through this website we can support each other. Because this has been the single hardest thing I have EVER done in my life, and believe me, my life has not been a cake walk.

    To everyone else reading – sorry you had to read this rant from a cheater. It probably isn’t helping you. Thanks.

  82. Melvin October 21, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    Hello Alone,

    Can a person be in love with two people ? In different ways ?

    I am beginning to believe this to be true. For me, I know my DW has a true and passionate love for me (DH). I also feel that she has a deep love and connection with her ex. It disappeared and was sent dormant so many years ago when he let her go. She rekindled it in most recent years. She was the one chasing him, initiating most of the conversations and meetings. Before D-Day, I intercepted a text to him professing a long and hidden love for him and a promise.

    After D-Day, I made her promise to me she would abide by the NC rule. To this day, she claims to be meeting this promise. It has not been easy for her, I do know. She almost broke that promise when his birthday came up just after D-Day. A close friend talked her out of calling him. With all this said, I can understand the withdrawal symptoms a CS can go through with NC, especially when a deep connection has been made. Similar to an addict weening off a powerful drug.

    It’s now clear to me she will always have feelings for him. And that’s ok. However, she wants a strong and happy marriage. That is the one thing that supercedes all else.

    Life is full of choices. If you want the “one” thing, you can’t always have the “everything”. As my successful uncle just said at his brother’s funeral, “Find that one thing in life that you need, you desire, and go out and get it. All else is then immaterial”.

    Have you found that “one” thing yet ?

    Best always to you and your DH.

  83. Anita October 21, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    Alone,
    What you owe to your husband is the truth. Why do you not tell him the truth? If you don’t love him, he needs to know that, so he can make plans for his own life. Just as you are planning, if it doesn’t work out in one year. No one wants to be deceived.
    Then as least you will be single and you can wait for your other married man. If he decides your worth divorcing his wife for.
    Thats if your soul mates?

  84. Anita October 21, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    Alone,

    Have you ever though about the other mans wife, children, his parents. Remember his wife is the mother to his children, she also the mother to his parents grandchildren. What would they think about you and their son being “soulmates” what about his children, do they think that you are a “soulmate” to their father. Does his wife think you two are “soulmates.”
    Does this other man’s parents know, you are in Love with their son. Most of all What about his faithful, loyal, loving wife.
    who shares his home, and BED.
    Alone, why do you love her husband? Why do you want her husband? Also why do you want her life?
    You need to put your own life together, and leave hers alone.

  85. Anita October 21, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

    Alone,
    Also think ahead about this, if the other married man really wants you, he’s going to want his families approval. With his parents, he’s going to need to convince them, that his loving loyal wife is no good, and your a better choice even though you have betrayed your own spouse.
    Good Luck convincing his children that you are better for him than their own mother.
    Do you still feel like he is your “soulmate”, do you still feel like your in a fog?

    • confuse 2 October 24, 2011 at 2:44 am #

      Dear Anita,

      Alone has already posted before that she is fully aware that the A was wrong & damaging to everyone and that the OM will not divorce. She does want to reconnect with her H who is wonderful but she struggles because the feelings of being heartbroken.

      Our discussion was, she felt like the OM was her soul mate so it’s more about the feelings rather than the person. In reality she (like me) got sucked into the feeling of soul mate love rather than the person. It is just difficult to differentiate when the feelings are still strong. It’s impossible to just switch feelings off or cut off an emotional connection to a person (whether that person deserved to be loved or not, whether that person is right or wrong). She just needs some time to heal by mourning her loss, process what happened with this person and eventually to change the pattern of thinking that led her to feel this connection to this OM.

      People usually do project & associate their happiness & reason for being to the person they are “in love” with. When that person is gone or does something hurtful, it results in heartbreak & feelings of loss whatever the situation is. The emotions after heartbreak are very real to the person feeling it whether it’s a result of a relationship that was blessed by God or not.

      • Anita October 24, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

        confuse 2,
        I do understand when C.S. grieves, and I am sorry that you’s hurt. The relationship never went in to a marriage where it was acknowledged by the public, where family from both sides celebrated the union. When the betrayed spouse grieves, its
        from being betrayed.
        Linda and Doug I answered this last question.

        • confuse 2 October 25, 2011 at 5:03 am #

          Dear Anita,

          There were previous posts from BS who said that they’re going to give it another year/some sort of time frame/ultimatum and if they feel that they are still unsure and the pain is still too much they would end their marriage. No one had strong comments about that. No one said you should tell your CS now rather than wait a year and no one called that deceitful.

          Yet when Alone said to me that maybe we’ll see in a year’s time how we’re feeling and then decide what we’re going to do in our marriages, you said she should tell her H now rather than wait a year. Why is that? It just seems like it’s perceived that Betrayed Spouses can give timeframes but if the CS are the ones thinking about timeframes, we’re just bad people again. By the way, she never said she wanted to leave the marriage to reunite with the OM.

          I think we all know that things can change given some time and effort. That’s why we’re in this recovery blog. Isn’t it worth trying for another year? Her H wants to try too. In a year’s time she could possibly feel very much in love with her H again and secure in their marriage and she may have forgiven herself by then. However if the opposite happens, then at least they tried and they can then discuss where they’re at and talk about options then.

          How can anyone judge someone else’s emotional pain?

          I know it’s really hard for you to try and put yourself in Alone’s and my shoes because we don’t have the same sizes (you’re the BS size and we’re the CS size) but what if the shoes we refer to are the plain “how would you feel if someone you trusted and you believed cared about/loved you abandons you?” shoes?

          In Alone’s case (and mine too actually), there is also a pain of betrayal about the AP. Remember that the OM was lying to her and his wife. Yeah his wife is rightly feeling betrayed but Alone was lied to as well and it also hurts.

          I speak for myself as a CS that I know I legally and morally had no right to feel betrayed as an AP but humanly I felt it. I suppose that’s what hurts the most–to realise and accept that in the end I meant nothing to someone I thought I loved.

  86. Anita October 21, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    Alone,
    I want to share with you a real life experience that just had happened to me this past tuesday. My ex mother inlaw came up to me in the at work, (we work in the same place) she told me she was going over to visit her son (my ex), who lives in another state, anyway she hugged me and whispered in my ear so no one else could hear, that I was the one closest to her heart, and she mentioned she is nice to her new daughter inlaw, but she wasn’t me. Now my ex mom did not have to do that, I never expected to hear her say that. My ex’s new wife had nothing to do with our divorce, he didn’t meet her until a couple of yrs later. But the point is that because I am the mother to her grandchildren that bond is never broken.
    When I told my son, what she said, he said Oh Mom she talks that way about you all the time.
    Alone, I hope you can put your marriage back together, because, Bonds are not so easily broken.

  87. Anita October 22, 2011 at 1:43 am #

    Alone,
    As far as consquences, why he got none, and you did, well
    it shouldn’t matter to you. Its her husband. He’s married and since he’s not coming after you, should be a big hint that he still wants to be with his wife. He had the chance on the night of the big falling out to
    tell you and his wife and your husband that he was in love with you,
    he also could of said, I’m done with my marriage, I want to be with you. He had that chance to claim you, What Happened why didn’t he tell his wife and your husband that you were soulmates. Why didn’t you tell your husband and his wife you were soulmates. Why are you still grieving over a man who gives his paycheck to his wife, does the honey to do list, and of course, since their married they are Blessed by God, who says be fruitful and multiply.
    If he was so in love and proud of you why was he hiding you from his family, and friends. He doesn’t hide his wife he claims her. Everyone knows their married. She carries his name.
    Why hasn’t he contacted you, and fought for you. Could it be
    he wants his wife???

  88. Anita October 22, 2011 at 2:56 am #

    Alone,
    Please for your sake, and your childrens, get that other married man out of your head. He is not worth the break up of your family. Someday you do not want look back and have huge regrets. This season will pass, this other man has offered you nothing. He has lied to his wife, and to you, telling you want what you wanted to hear, smooth talker. He’s a player. Since he had no consequences, it increases the chance he will do it again, since you were caught he will move on to someone else. Yes I feel sorry for his wife, but maybe someday, he will get caught again, then what??
    Your husband, is not a player, he loves you. He stays loyal and committed to you. Alone, he is a gift from God. So many woman would love to be in your shoes with that wonderful husband of yours. Trust me other married man, is a nightmare, can’t trust him, he’s a player yuk!!!!!! Why would you want to bring a man like in your life, how many other women has he messed with???

  89. confuse 2 October 22, 2011 at 3:25 am #

    hi Alone,

    Of course I get you I’ve been there. I think it’s important for you to know that someone else knows what it’s like.

    However, I also know what it’s like when reality slaps you. To be wholeheartedly crushed to be told the fairy tale isn’t real but you have no choice but to accept the truth.

    These are more strategies that helped me in my recovery so hopefully you will find some useful tips in here.

    I suggest you try that intead of thinking that what you had with this OM is an intense connection (romantic), think “addiction” (disease) or a “biological & natural physical/emotional reaction” (science).

    Biologically there are chemicals in our brain that have the effects of heroin when we’re infatuated with someone. Just like Melvin said it’s like drug. thats why we feel like we can’t survive without that someone we’re infatuated with.

    You’ll have to stop thinking what you had was unique. It’s not. You’ve made yourself believe that you’ve never felt this way about someone before and that sucked you in.

    By the way are you and your H doing romantic things? I think this will help you recover the romantic feelings for him.

    You’ll have to stop thinking that the OM was your friend, that if you just stayed friends it would have been ok, or that your friendship was so special. At best you can consider him as someone that felt like a friend. My OM and I also started as friends when we were teenagers and he had used the “bestfriend” card to weasel himself back into my life after each time he let me down through the years and I’m telling you now that this friendship thing is a ruse!

    If your OM was a friend he would have genuinely cared about your well-being and cared about what’s best for you, that would have meant not putting you in a situation where you’re a OW/BS and basically just would not have put you at risk at all. You asked why did he say all those wonderful things and then just walk away. He said and did all those wonderful things because they reeled you in and he enjoyed the power he had over you. He’s really not that special. It’s not stupid. He did use you. Truth is, you also used him. You were making each other feel good.

    You said on your first post on this thread that you and OM telling each other about your feelings is the instance you crossed the line. I disagree I think this is just the instance that you admitted out loud you’ve crossed the line. You already crossed the line from the first compliment that made you blush, from the first look that made your heart flutter, from the first moment you started looking forward to seeing/talking/being with him.

    I guess this friendship things was your hook as well. So maybe this is something that can help you with your marriage recovery. reconnecting with your H as friends. Maybe if you start feeling like he is your friend you’d be more incline to share things with him so when things are tough he’d be the one you run to instead of someone else.

    I think you got addicted to the idea of soul mate love, addicted to the drama and the inevitable heartbreak. You’re probably going to say how can you say you want the drama and the pain? well if you didn’t, then you would have walked away because I’m sure you knew from the very start that there would be no happy ending. You both just liked the ideas of if-onlys but not enough to make it a reality.

    You’re saying that being with someone while you’re feeling so strongly about someone else is like living a FAKE life. I totally get that because I thought that too. I wasn’t one to believe that you can be in love with 2 people at the same time. but this is the mind tricks of the heart and also the consequences of adultery. it’s made you feel like your real life is fake and the fake life was your real life. how can the life you’ve lived for years and invested in more ways than just emotional, just suddently become Fake?

    I think we should not mistake intensity of feelings for love. Reality is anyone can develop intense feelings about someone else they are attracted to but it doesn’t mean it’s real or right. It doesn’t mean they should be with that person or that it is indicative of true love. Think about those who “love” the men who hit them, those who are codependent with alcholics and drug addicts, or those stalkers who are “obsessed”,

    When I asked you to think about what the OM in your case thinks and feels, I didn’t mean to encourage you to continue to waste your time caring about him. I just thought that if you think about how quickly his wife forgave him, he must have said pretty hurtful things about you and the connection you had. I would recommend that you try to stop caring about him because he doesn’t care about you.

    Alone– I think the reason I’ve remained emotionally invested in the OM through the years is I’ve always obsessed about whether he felt loss when he lost me and whether he really did love me. I too had wondered why kept saying he wanted to be with me and loved me and yet kept disappearing on me. I read this blog called Baggage Reclaim and I’ve learned that the more I wondered the more I continued to be emotionally invested in the loss and pain and have based my validation on him. I’ve mistaken pain for love. Felt like because it hurt so much then it meant the love was more intense. WRONG. It hurts because it hurts to be abandoned and it hurts to be lied to (repeatedly in my case).

    The last email from him was an email in response to my goodbye email wherein he said some pretty stupid things. As far as I know his wife didn’t find out.

    • Doug October 22, 2011 at 10:36 am #

      Confuse 2, I have been reading your comments and really admire how much you have learned during this recovery process. Both the BS and cheater could benefit from your comments. I admire how you were able to really remove yourself from the fantasy and dig deeper into the reason it happened in the first place. Some people stay stuck and want to either blame someone else or remain in la la land. You moved beyond that and should be very proud of yourself. Linda

    • Karen Klein October 22, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

      Confuse2: Brilliant post!!! Written without condemnation or judgment but with exhortation to stop dwelling on what was
      not only dishonest and hurtful to many others but also the ultimate fantasy of perceived true love. True love can only exist when both partners are available and not involved in any other relationship. Anything else is really a sham . . . the tough part is for the CS to look inside themselves and find out why they reveled and continue to revel in the sham and, instead, do the extremely hard work to change their character trait or deal with past hurts that makes them ripe for the sham. I’m not sure talking, thinking, and posting on here about one’s affair partner after an affair is stopped is part of that positive hard work that is needed. Just as us BS’s have to focus our ourselves, I think CS’s have to focus on themselves alone — not the OM or OW (after the fog has cleared for the most part) — and dig deep and do the hard work to recover. Stop going backward – only forward with your wonderful spouse who showed you such grace in going forward after your horrendous betrayal. Most spouses would have been out the door!!! Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth – it may find another barn and it will be too late. My best to all BS’s and CS’s on this site – we are all very blessed!!

      • Doug October 22, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

        Karen, great comment, we are so fortunate to have someone like you share your wisdom. Linda

        • Karen October 22, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

          Linda – I still learn things every week from this site, I consider you and Doug dear friends even though we’ve never met in person — is that creepy??? LOL Your posts are always very insightful to me and help me so much. I don’t comment much, but my heartstrings are often tugged by all the posters here. They come in waves, and I feel their pain. Maybe some would say it’s not good, but actually I find it somewhat encouraging as I am able to often say I “was” in the same place as that person is but I’ve moved forward and am making progress. Happy birthday to you and Doug!!! Welcome to the 50’s. It’s going to be our best decade yet 🙂

  90. Alone October 22, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    Hi everyone. Just wanted to say thanks so much for your words of wisdom. All excellent points. I get it. And just to be clear, I’ve made no attempt to contact the OM since D -day and dont plan to. I’m just sorting all of this out in my head. Your comments helped a lot. THANK YOU!!

  91. Alone October 22, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    Sorry for another post, but I dont think you understand how much all of your replies are helping me. And again, please know that I am VERY sorry for all of the hurt I caused my husband, family, and the OM’s wife. I know that what I did was totally wrong. This recovery process has just been so much harder than I thought it would be. So again, thank you so much for telling me what I need to hear and listening. Just this morning my husband said to me: I want you to love me and choose me. Broke my heart. That’s what I want to do…

  92. Anita October 22, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    Alone,
    I know you are going through a process.
    Yes your marriage needs attention,and needs to be worked on.
    But I want to go one step deeper. This is between you and God,
    I am glad to hear that you do Bible studies. Keep studying
    it with help rebuild your self esteem not mans way, but God’s way. If you have been studying the Bible for long, you will realize that God’s way is the opposite of man’s way. Being a christian isn’t easy, being spirtual is harder then being carnel.
    But if you do it long enough it becomes easier. The flesh wars against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh. This is where you need to decide that Gods way is best. When we step outside God’s boundaries, consequences and pain are a result of that. But I have great news for you, that means God loves you enough to let you go through this pain. Pain brings growth
    and its hurts the most we begin to change. When I was married I was not a forgiving person. The greatest gift I got from my divorce was forgiveness. Someday you will be able to share your experience to help others. God Bless You.

  93. Jan October 22, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    Confuse 2, this is one of the best posts I have read on here. Thank you for your honesty. Sometimes the kindest thing you can do for someone is be brutally honest. I agree with Linda…well said!

  94. Anita October 22, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    Alone,
    I want to tell you that when you work with God, he uses things in our life to bring us closer to him. When he allows things in our life to break us, thats when he comes in and restores you to who he wants you to be. Then he can use you as a open vessel to help others, and spread the gospel. Life is not about ourselves its about how to serve others. Thats what Jesus did for us. Alone, I know you will make right choices, for all our right choices and putting God first in your life. We will recieve our heavenly rewards. Plus Eternal Life.

  95. confuse 2 October 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

    Dear Karen,

    Thanks for your comment on my post.

    I agree that maybe this is not the right forum for BS to discuss things as it seems like Alone is right after all. We are hitting some BS nerves. Maybe Doug and Linda can have a separate space for the CS to discuss things freely without fear of offending BS? Or if Alone would like it, maybe Doug and Linda can give Alone my email address so we can email each other privately to discuss things.

    Although of course, I agree that it’s best not to wallow in the pain and the memories of the A, I disagree that talking and thinking about AP after DDay are not parts of the steps that CS need to recover. Alone is struggling with reconnecting with her H because she’s still struggling to get over the AP. Until her broken heart gets some healing from that loss, it’s not going to be ready to love her H and herself again. Part of that healing is having that chance to mourn and being able to freely express what she’s feeling about the affair and the AP and for her feelings to be acknowledged. I’m sure people have told her over and over that what she’s feeling is wrong but she can’t just switch it off because those emotions are real. The more she is stopped from expressing herself the crazier she would feel then that just stops her from moving forward. You don’t just stop “loving” someone just because they’re gone or because they don’t deserve it.

    When someone feels broken hearted, they lose sense of reality, they lose the balance in their life, they can’t just snap out of it so they ask lots of questions, they analyse the relationship, they wonder what went wrong, obsess about what could have, should have, would have etc,. It feels like the only relief from the pain would be to die/or be with the one who they believe can relieve it. For awhile it’s just too hard to see the big picture. BS are going through those emotional turmoil with their CS. Unfortunately for some CS they also go through the same turmoil for their AP plus also being broken about what they did to their BS. I’m sure BS think CS don’t deserve or have no right to be broken hearted about their AP but just like BS couldn’t control your CS emotionally attaching to the AP, BS also can’t control how the CS emotionally unattached to the AP.

    • Doug October 24, 2011 at 7:19 am #

      Confuse2, I disagree with you thinking that this is not the right forum for CS to discuss things. In fact, we need more CS on here to discuss things! Sure it might not be pleasant for a BS to read some of what you say, but I think that it’s beneficial for them as they can understand more of what’s in the mind of a CS. This is basically one of the main premises behind this site in the first place. That being said, if you and Alone would like to know each other’s emails, just shoot me an email and I will connect you two.

      • confuse 2 October 25, 2011 at 6:47 am #

        Hi Doug,

        I have read comments from BS about how CS are just SELFISH!! and HAS NO CHARACTER!! in those kind of context. every caps lock and exclamation points felt like a stab to the heart each time I read it but I don’t verbally attack back.

        Those no character comments hurts especially because you’re judging someone as a whole when you judge their character. Comment on the bad behaviour and the wrong choice but to label people– comment on your own cheating spouse if you want –but to generaly label all CS as no characters –it’s not like you know all of us personally—I personally feel that’s judgemental.
        Sometimes I feel like some of the comments make it sound like CS are from a different species. No wonder other CS won’t comment.

        I think it is inevitable that some comments would offend some people both cs and bs alike. but in general terms there are more comments that are more offensive to the cs than the bs. and yeah we CS accept it because we did something wrong so ok we acknowledge your negativite feelings & words so why can’t some BS extend some courtery to us CS as human beings who also have rights to express ourselves? We can all learn from each other.

        Judging from how many posts I’ve made, you know I like posting and i like coming to this blog. I even feel like I’ve made some connection with BS and CS alike. It’s great.

        But I think you Doug specially would get my point, Alone’s and sue 85’s point and other cs who are to afraid to post—if we want to encourage more CS to post then some BS will just have to back off a bit.

        • Doug October 25, 2011 at 7:40 am #

          Confuse2, I understand what you are saying completely. But that’s also the nature of the beast , so to speak. However, I’ve been doing this for about 2 years now, and I can honestly say that the BS who utilize me or pick my brain to learn and understand, far, far outweigh those who call me names, make judgmental comments, or generally just piss me off. It’s not even close.

          Those folks you speak of need to know that you are here to heal as well, and if they cannot see the benefit of hearing a story direct from a CS own heart and head and how it can benefit them in their own situation, then they are having a hard time seeing the forest through the trees. And the same goes the other way…You should hopefully benefit from those BS who have something constructive to say.

          I know that sometimes people say hurtful things and it’s tough not to take it personally, but the BS are in pain and I think they are more mad at their situation and their own spouses then they are at you as a person. Occasionally, you’re going to get a hot head who rants once or twice but then typically you never hear from them again. I’ve just learned to tune those people out and not give them the benefit of a response.

          Linda and I both really appreciate everyone’s comments and contributions, both CS and BS alike, and hopefully we can all learn from each other’s experiences. That’s what this site is all about!

    • karen October 24, 2011 at 11:28 am #

      Confuse 2 – I think we agree more than you think, and I don’t mind at all CS’s posting on this site. In fact, I think it is helpful. I’m sure some of the BS comments hit a nerve with the CS’s on this site also – probably some of my comments included – but I think the benefit to both far outweighs the negative.

      I can definitely understand that CS’s go through heartbreak at losing their OW/OM and that there is a healing process that must occur, but I believe that’s part of the getting out of the fog process, and the longer that drags on, the chances lessen that the BS and CS will reconnect. How long should a BS wait and be patient before the CS begins to put their energies in their marriage instead of dwelling in the sham of their affair? Even if the CS’s heart isn’t in it at the time, the long, painful process of reconnecting is, IMHO, the best place to put one’s energies after an A and also will assist in finally completely lifting the fog of the affair sham. The reconnections will not happen overnight and may often seem to be somewhat “forced” and even a bit “fake,” but it has much more promise than dwelling on a relationship that has no future with a CS.

      Trying to understand the dynamics of what happened within the affair and the consequences to either CS when the affair broke up is, IMO, pointless other than it prolongs the affair fog and ultimately prevents healing or delays it at best. As a BS, I can tell you that the moment I forgave my CS was when our marriage really took a huge step forward in healing. I urge CS’s to stop thinking about “what was” in their A and instead focus on what “can be” in their marriage. It’s much easier to ruminate on the past than to roll one’s sleeves up and get to work on the present to make the future better. I’ve absolutely hated what I’ve had to do the last year and a half as a BS since
      D-day, but I can attest that it is starting to pay off . . . much slower than I’d like but that’s another subject 🙂

      I worry that Alone and other CS’s will prolong the fog for so long under the false but well-intentioned pretense of healing from the hurt their affair and OW/OM caused them and end up jeopardizing any chance for healing within their existing marriages. Faking connection and holding back on feelings and telling BS’s what they want to hear post-affair may be a recipe for disaster for CS’s – just don’t see how the risk of that
      is worth spending anything but a very short period of time dwelling on what was in actuality a fantasy, although a really wonderful one. Take care.

      • confuse 2 October 25, 2011 at 6:26 am #

        Dear Karen,

        I think in Alone’s case, people close to her found out about the A and turned against her. So from what I gather, she’s had really no one to talk to. No one anyway who can at least try to acknowledge that though she made a bad choice, she’s suffering too. I’m hoping she goes to counselling on her own so she can feel free to express herself without fear of judgement.

        I believe the advantages of a CS being able to talk about what they felt and/or thought about the AP and the A (not necessarily talking about it with the BS of course but with 3rd person like a trusted friend or a counsellor) as a healing process are

        1. to identify what patterns of thinking that led to the development of the emotional attachment with the AP
        2. to find out whether there were underlying personal issues that need to be address/treated so the CS wouldn’t be vulnerable to being caught up in an EA again
        3. to address what was real and what was not in the situation
        4. identify what needs were met by the AP and how the BS can meet those needs
        5. to learn realistic & effective strategies to cope with the effects of emotionally unattaching
        6. to get answers and try to find a way of resolution to conclude that episode in their mind
        7. to be able to express their pain, confusion, feelings of loss etc.

        I agree that sometimes the best way to move forward is to live in the present and plan for the future and don’t look back. but it is also true that sometimes where we are at present is because of the past and the only way we can understand is to go back.

        The issue in mine and Alone’s case is we are grieving an ambiguous loss. It’s like we lost a “dream” or “possibility”. We’re in this confusion of we’re grieving about someone who doesn’t belong with us but FELT like someone who belong with us.

        you asked how long must this grieving process for the AP/A go on and how long must BS be patient? I didn’t say that BS should have put it up with it if CS are taking too long to get over the AP.

        I don’t know how long as we all know everyone has different ways of dealing with grief and loss and different people have varying capacities for healing and maybe it would also depend on the situation. best to consult a professional.

  96. confuse 2 October 23, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    Dear Jan, Linda

    Thanks for your comments & encouragement.

    Like Karen said sometimes we have to look into ourselves and see what about the past that makes us ripe for the sham before we start to recognize and address self-sabotage patterns of thinking & behaviour. It took too long before I got a full reality check. I didn’t even realise I was bit crazy until I hit rock bottom.

    I’ll just share what’s been happening with my H and I. We’ve been great. We booked an overseas holiday trip and we booked a mini getaway next month. We’ve been laughing together. He says things that made me think “now this is the person who really do get me and who really does know me” and not the OP.

    Yesterday though, we were out in the mall and we were talking about our upcoming 5th year anniversary (of being together as a couple not the wedding one) in January. I was suggesting some romantic things to do, we were talking about gifts and he said “I’m not sure you deserve it”. This comment made me cry and now I’m back to the bottom.

    He said he was only joking and he even apologised for saying it. It’s not at all that I’m upset he said it. I knew I deserved that comment. I’m glad that he said it because I know the pain is still lingering and there are things he wants to express but haven’t been able to but it comes out in comments like that. He wants too badly to just focus on moving forward that we haven’t really talked about things like we should. I said we can’t just sweep it under the carpet and hope the dust stays there but it doesn’t because the dust blows out from time to time.

    I asked him what do I deserve? He didn’t respond. He didn’t want to talk about it. Now I’m just feeling sorry for us because we’re trying to move forward but we’re stuck in this “just not talking about what happened” so there are all these unspoken things still blocking our progress.

    • michael October 24, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

      The lack of true connected communication is a troubling problem that my wife and I have. I’m sure on some days I would have said the same thing. On any given day I’m sure I would have said it for one reason or the other.
      On days where I feel its behind us and I’m not thinking about the affair I’m sure I would have said it jokingly.
      Its the way our relationship was in the past. Open, jokes, “you think he/ she is all that don’t let me stop you.” Now after I found out she would, it takes on a whole new meaning.
      Then there are those days where I’m low and at the point where I would just blurt out “I’m not sure you deserve it” but I haven’t.
      Honestly you don’t deserve that comment if it made you feel bad. Its not for us to throw in your face. It would have been easier to say “I’m not sure we should spend that right now” or ” I’m not sure if nows a good time”
      But your comment did touch quite a few things that I’m dealing with right now and I may just have a new post soon. A story of roses.
      The time of year approaches that was tough last year and I’m sure it will come and go just as it did last year.
      Early November she started her affair.
      Mid November is our 4th anniversary. 15 years together.
      And December was when all hell broke loose in my life.
      I’m sure we’ll make it to another March.

      • confuse 2 October 26, 2011 at 1:37 am #

        Dear Michael,
        The “I’m not sure you deserve it” comment was made after I said something about “spreading rose petals around”. It’s ironic because we’ve argued about how I would like him to be more romantic even before we got married. Even back when I “deserved” it, he always said it’s too hard to be romantic and that he’s hopeless at it.
        I just feel like giving up when I think about how “is this the way we’re going to be from now on?” I know I did this to us but what is the point of staying together anymore if it now feels like he’s going to keep score? How can I not withdraw from him emotionally and physically if I feel like it’s not worth making an effort anymore because whatever I do, whatever I say, I can’t take back what happened. I can’t undo what’s already done. So how and when can I be good enough again? If the answer to those question are impossible and never, then I think I’d rather walk away now.
        I so agree. Everyone is hurt and damaged. It’s inevitable when A happens.
        In the ideal world, we will not be looking at this blog searching for answers & comfort.
        I formed a bond with the AP when I was 14. If I could go back in time to avoid him, I would. I feel like I’m in a better place now though because I understand why I feel the way I do about him. How about your wife? Has she had some counselling?
        What would happen to all of us if we only love and forgive those who “deserve” it?
        I know the AP didn’t deserve my love and yet I did love him. I know I don’t deserve my H’s love and yet he loves me.

    • Michael October 25, 2011 at 10:41 am #

      I just wanted to say, I think these conversations are exactly what both sides need to say and hear. Unfortunately most of us are not strong enough to say them to our spouses, bs or cs.
      Yes you may hear things that hurt. But you have to be able to express your hurt as well. Each of the comments about morning the loss of an AP stab at me. But I have to say I understand.
      It hurts to hear how honest you are about still loving the AP, but nowhere near as bad as it feels to believe that my wife felt/feels the same way.
      As you mentioned regarding Alone, so many people found out about my wife’s affair that it probably made things worse. Friends and family turned on her. I believe some of that had to do with the fact that she wasn’t honest to them either but it doesn’t change the fact that they made her feel worse about it.
      We (bs) have bad low points where we make statements that are going to hurt. Please forgive us. As we have forgiven harsh stabs from our spouses like, “I don’t love you anymore”. Or the stabs as we read our spouses text spouting undying love, lust for their AP.
      I can tell you I have taken it personal when a wife has said harsh words for the OW, because I know that could be my wife she’s talking about. And no matter the pain I have endured, she is my wife, she is still here, and I do still love her.

      • Doug October 25, 2011 at 11:19 am #

        Well put Michael!

  97. melissa October 24, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    I agree that it is a good thing to have both sides on this forum. Reading some of the posts from CS has been really helpful for me, trying to understand how my H might be feeling.

  98. Jan October 24, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    confuse 2, I hope you and your H are able to somehow get into a situation where you can discuss the affair. I for one know if you do not discuss it somehow it will come back to bite you. It is hard when things are going good to bring up something that may be preceived as negative, but that is why my husband and I ended up being in the mess we created. We would not really discuss anything we thought might rock the boat. You can be honest and still be kind. Have you tried telling him how you feel without asking for his input. Creating an atmosphere of transparency on your part may encourage him to do so. I am sure he is dealing with some underlying anger. Have you tried counseling? A good one is helpful but you have to be selective. Even though it has been so long it could prove helpful.

    • confuse 2 October 25, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

      Hi Jan
      I have suggested that we go to marriage counselling but he said we need to learn to work things out ourselves. We’re a bit hopeless when it comes to talking about things when in crisis. I’m the type to withdraw when I feel cornered & ashamed. He’s a man so he’s struggles with talking about feelings.
      Nonetheless, we did start talking about the A but he said it’s not helping because now I’ve just sank back into depression –which means I stay away from him and I get all quiet and just cry a lot and comfort eat. I think I’m just going to have to learn to toughen up.

  99. Alone October 24, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    I just wanted to take a moment to apologize sincerely for more hurt and anger that I clearly caused on this blog which is supposed to be a place of healing.

    I have to admit that after the comments on this blog the weekend, I was feeling very overwhelmed with guilt and more self loathing. After this post, I am going to take a break from sharing more as it doesn’t seem to help anyone and is actually really hard to do. I think maybe taking a break for a few days will help me get back on track. Yes, I mentioned the other man in my post last week. But most of my other posts, if you really read them were focused on trying to get back those feelings of love toward my husband and reconnect with him. I am really looking for a way to do that, it’s been harder than I ever imagined it would be and I need help. I’m sorry if my comments came across in another way.

    As a cheater, I tried reading and considered posting on other sites designed for cheaters. What I found is that most of these blogs focused on hating the wife of the OM, or talked about how much better the CS is for the OP than the actual spouse. I didn’t see how posting on or reading any of those other blogs will help me reconnect with my husband and fix this mess in anyway, shape, or form. This is the ONLY website that I found provided information to help me, as the cheater, move forward and repair my marriage. Doug and Linda, thank you again for hosting this website. It has helped me tremendously.

    Confuse 2 – thanks for “sticking up for me”. If Doug and Linda can provide our email addresses, that’s fine with me. I know it would be helpful.

    Thanks again. Best wishes to all of you. I feel like I know you, and just want all of us to be healed and be able to move on.

    • Doug October 24, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

      Alone, I just sent you and Confused an email with each of your contact information. Thanks for your contributions, and as I told Confused, I think they are beneficial to CS and BS alike. Hopefully, you just decide to take a few days off, but if it is a permanent thing, then best wishes to you and please drop by and give us an update at some point.

    • karen October 24, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

      Alone:
      No apology is necessary or warranted. I can tell you are a very caring and sensitive person. As Holding On has said, none of us BS’s posting have taken any offense at anything you’ve said – we’re all just trying to help each other. Sometimes the “tough love” is difficult to read, as I think it is for you to read from us BS’s, but it really is intended to help. Please do not conclude from our responses that we’re offended or hurt or angry by what you post. We may not agree, but then that’s good to get other perspectives, right?? Listening to just people who agree with us is less than helpful as we all have issues in our lives that we need to deal with. I wish you and your H the best going forward and hope you will at least lurk on this site as it really is the best I’ve found for BS’s and CS’s since my D-Day a year and a half ago. Take care.

  100. Holding On October 24, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

    Alone,

    I have appreciated the things you have shared and the insight you have provided. I can feel forgiveness and acceptance for your situation, and I try to turn those forgiving feelings I have for “strangers” on here for my spouse. Odd, huh? The closer I am to someone, the harder it is to forgive?? You give me insight into a CS heart and mind. It has been beneficial to me.

    I’m sorry if some of my comments have made you feel judged or unwelcome. I know in the beginning it was hard to read from you and InTrouble. But hard doesn’t mean I wish you find another place to post. (Actually, I would discourage you from going to those sites you mentioned. Not helpful!) Like Karen, I think the positive outweighed the negative.

    I’m sorry for my reply to your question on how my H and I are now. I really laid it all out there on that response and others. It was a rough week for me. I’m sorry if some of my words as a BS caused you pain. I know I cause my H a lot of pain through my words. I know I am having a hard time of forgiveness. I can’t remember who said it, actually many people have said it, that real change and moving forward comes after forgiveness. It’s time for me to forgive. It’s time for me to let go of all that garbage that went on and realize my H loves me. He chose me. He values me and our marriage. He wants to work on our marriage and make it stronger. He doesn’t want me to be sad, hurt, or in pain over his stupid decision. He wants to do anything and everything to make this better for me. I need to let him. I need to forgive. I’ve turned into this crazy woman “Holding On” to the pain, the anger, the EA. I”m the one who needs to let go of the EA. I’m in an EA Fog, too! I need to be “Holding On” to my marriage and to my husband. Even you sharing how your husband it trying to pull you forward and help you feel better is great for me to hear as a BS. A forgiving BS, one who is trying to move forward. I need that example as well.

    I just wanted to say I want you and InTrouble and confuse 2 to stay and know your contributions are important. But take care if you do decide to stay away.

    • confuse 2 October 25, 2011 at 7:16 am #

      don’t worry Holding on, I’m going to continue to check this blog and post if I feel like it. thank you for caring about my contribution.

      it’s so true–easier to forgive a stranger than to forgive someone close to you.

      i also find that we also seem to care more about what others think than what our spouse think. example, dressing up to go out. why can’t we look good when we’re at home with just our spouse as a spectator, the one person we really want to be beautiful for? –sorry random rambling.

      great to hear you’re moving forward by forgiving. not sure if you are believer but Jesus said love your enemies. and after the EA for sure your CS feels like your enemy. who would think that an enemy deserve to be loved? and yet God said love them. If God himself can forgive those who sin against him over and over, then surely us humans can forgive too.

  101. michael October 24, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    Alone,
    My best wishes to you. I’m sorry if you feel anyone was upset by your post. Many may find it difficult to separate what you feel with what they think their spouse feels. I know I have before.
    What this site is for me is a way to deal with my thoughts in a rational prospective. We all hurt, we all get confused by our thoughts, we all struggle.
    In here you don’t have to do it ALONE.
    Just make sure you find an avenue that works for you. I can tell you have so much to say and a very hard time saying it. It will get easier the more you do it.

  102. Sue85 October 24, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    Alone,
    Please do not stop posting. As a fellow CS, it is nice to know that there are others out there who feel similar to me and what I’m going through. I too have searched for websites from the cheater’s point of view, but, as you know, most of them are from the BS’s point of view. Because, as you also know…..there are tough feelings that we, as the CS, experience. You are NOT alone in your struggles. I have a feeling that there are many CSs who regular this website but are too afraid/intimidated to post anything. I made two posts months ago and was villianized for being a horrible person….which, in return, caused me to not post again. I have, however, followed the discussions because it has helped me understand the severity of my selfish choices. In fact, the posts from the BSs were a catalyst to my decision to end my EA. I had no D-Day….we were not ‘found out,’ but I struggled with the WHY I was continuing with the EA when everything I was and about knew it was wrong. Why would I carry on like I was when I knew it was wrong??? (now I know it was the fog).

    I didn’t mean to ramble, I just wanted to tell you that you are not alone and that if you writing here helps in your recovery, then please don’t stop. Something too….that may help….from the beginning, I’ve kept a personal journal on my feelings and that has helped tremendously (for me)…..and maybe it could be good ‘therapy’ (as I call it) for you too.

    Hang in there!!

    • confuse 2 October 25, 2011 at 7:18 am #

      Sue85, please post more often. don’t let the previous experience stop you. there are a lot of BS who are nice.

    • Doug October 25, 2011 at 8:06 am #

      Sue85, Please don’t be intimidated to comment. I went back and looked at your post and the resulting comments, and the person who villianized you is the same person who likes to have a go at me every so often as well. The rest of the comments and/or questions were pretty much constructive I thought. Obviously there are some real tough emotions flying around by everyone concerned. There are gonna be times when someone says something that you don’t want to hear or is hurtful. Try to understand where they are coming from and that they really aren’t lashing out at you personally.

      • Sue85 October 25, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

        Thanks Doug….I appreciate it. And yes, now that I’m out of the EA, I can totally see clearly on all perspectives. My emotions are not raw like they were when I previously posted…..therefore, I don’t think I will take the harsh comments to heart like I did. It was just at a time when I was engrossed in my EA and I was struggling considerably.

  103. ifeelsodumb October 24, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    ALONE,
    I understand taking a few days off…I just did that very same thing, but I do hope you come back!! I welcome your comments, it’s helps me to see things from the other side of the EA…I can tell you are really struggling with everything, and I think you need us…as much as we need you! None of us are perfect….I think we all need to remember that!

  104. Atwitsend October 24, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    Alone, I really hope I’ve not seen the last of you. I have learned alot from your perspective. My husband will not talk to me about his EA so I get alot of info from the other side from this site.
    Take care of yourself above all

  105. E October 25, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    I know this is way off off the current subject but I am just going to jump in here and ask for some help if anyone has any opinion to share – several D-days over the past 6 mos (same OW) and after the last one just a few weeks ago I left. This was a last resort – “it’s her or me”. My H even agreed that he thought it would be a good idea as I really think he wanted it to be her. After about a week, my H started begging me to come home, telling me once again “it’s over” that he would do anything to fix this. When I saw him he appeared to really be at rock bottom. He appears to be very different this time around – broken and remorseful like I have never seen before. I have not gone back, but am very tempted to do so, but have been burned so many times – he says he will give me as much time as I need. He is doing everything that I’ve asked of him. Question is, we have a trip out of town this coming weekend with friends that has been planned for months … and of course he wants me to go. I do want to go, but am trying to figure out if it is the smart thing for me to do. Btw, it is still my goal to save my marriage, but I refuse to continue in my marriage as long as OW is around. I am tryng to keep my head out of the clouds, so to speak … any thoughts? PS – I’ll take advice from BS’s and CS’s alike, I appreciate all perspectives!! As Doug said –we are all here to heal!!

    • Doug October 25, 2011 at 11:26 am #

      E, I think that the fog might be lifting and your husband has finally come to the conclusion that the grass isn’t greener with the OW. Like IFSD said, perhaps it’s because you backed off and gave him a little “tough love.” I agree with what she said too, in that you should go on the trip if you want to – for YOU. Have fun, don’t be clingy and set some ground rules. I’m sure you will probably have a talk about things, and make sure you let him know that you want to save your marriage and what he needs to do to make that happen. He has to play by your rules now – whatever they may be.

  106. ifeelsodumb October 25, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    E, I would go on the trip…but keep your H at arms length…let him know that you are tired of the games and you are working on yourself now…that he can come along for the ride, as long as he realizes that it’s just the two of you…the OW is gone for good!! There is a post somewhere on here where Linda discusses this and she said to just back off and work on yourself…sound like that’s what you are doing, and it’s got his attention!!

  107. E October 25, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    Thanks so much Doug and IFSD! That is what I have been thinking. Backing off is tough! Staying that way until real change is seen is tough too!! Thanks for the encouragement I needed that!!

  108. confuse 2 October 25, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    Jan mentioned something about how people have A because of the “newness”. In my case it wasn’t newness but familiarity. I think when the AP is someone from the past you have a shared history and you feel you know this person draws you in. The AP in this case reminds a CS of a certain time in their life.

    Also I learned that in the case of where the AP abandoned/betrayed the CS in the past, this person becomes a very powerful person in the CS mind. There are all sorts of feelings that linger on. If that CS has abandonment wound that has never healed & was never fully understood, when they come to contact with that AP again those feelings (both good and bad) can be triggered again still as strong as ever.

    Even when we distance ourselves to the person we feel is the source of our pain, the emotional wound can still remain even when significant time has passed. This maybe something that we all have to bear in mind even if we do decide to leave a marriage/relationship because we think the pain of betrayal is too much.

    • ifeelsodumb October 26, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

      You hit it outta the ballpark again, confuse2!! My H’s OW was an old GF that he dated for only about 4-5 mos…and most of that long distance since he was in the military! She was a friend of his cousin. The rest of the family didn’t care for her, she ran around with a rough crowd, so my H broke things off with her, met me a couple yrs later and we got married.
      A few months ago, my H and I get a rather nasty email from the cousin, complaining how my H “broke her friends heart AGAIN”, and “wasn’t it enough that you did it before”!!
      I mean, really, you just kinda have to laugh at this point!!

      My H’s cousin is upset because her friend was hurt when my H sent her , the MARRIED OW, an email telling her that there will be no more contact…because his WIFE found out and I was understandably hurt and upset!!
      I think the OW has NEVER let go of the fact that my H broke things of with her yrs ago…she didn’t have closure…and it does worry me a bit that again..there was no closure for her this time either…except the email she did send us a few months ago, telling us she did nothing wrong and can hold her head high…uh, yea, you do that, honey, all the while you lied to your H during the EA and when he found out and you snuck around for another month, talking to MY husband!!
      I’m still mad at myself that I didn’t contact her H to let him know she lied to him after he found out about the EA!! Auugghhh!!!

    • Anita October 27, 2011 at 7:08 am #

      Start praying to God to help you to be delivered from this bondage.

      • Anita October 27, 2011 at 7:12 am #

        Confused 2 I meant to post it under your comment. God can help you to be delivered from all this bondage. He will help get you on the path you should go.

    • Liz October 27, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

      My husband began an EA with his old college girlfriend , they connected on facebook. Thank God it only lasted 7 weeks. I found , by accident a few text from her on his phone. He ended it immed. . We really worked on our marriage and things have never been better. Its been a year since d day. So yes, I agree with everything you posted.

  109. Michael October 26, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    My wife’s AP was a man from her past so I know what you saying.
    That is what makes it so hard when she dismisses it as “it didn’t mean that much”

  110. JoAnn October 30, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    My husband’s EA was with an old friend that he had never mentioned to me. She contacted him on FB to reconnect with old friends. He had clicked her as a friend then undone it before I knew about it,, He says because he knew it would cause problems. So one day I was at work, he called her from our home while I was at work. Then it just took off from there. She lives 1000 miles from us but he says he didn’t tell me because of the way he travels..( he’s a truck driver),, yet he never goes to Florida!!! So that was a lie….It lasted 5 months until I got gut feeling and checked phone records…When confronted of course it was “we are just friends”…. I am still not able to get him to admit to anything because he feels ashamed and upset that he upset me…(didn’t think of that before did he)… I am here physically still, but emotionally I think I am done… It has only been 1 month since Dday,, but he won’t talk about it, and just asks me if I want to seperate he will still pay the bills so that I am not just feeling that I have to stay because of debt…. ( how thoughtful) So since I confronted him he brings up separation of money, how much more he makes than me, and that it is HIS bank account that he just added me to it…. Yet in the next sentence tells me he loves me…… I think I need counseling…. because I am lost and numb…
    I guess the worst part of this is that I am his 3rd wife,, he was married to wife #2 for 12 years and for the last year of their marriage he slept on the couch,, they lived separate lives yet he wouldn’t leave her… And dummy me started seeing him the last few months of his marriage,,( I guess after he knew we were an item then he told her he wanted a divorce..( Carma sux) So now we have been married for 9 years.. guess he’s bored again..!!
    Well vented enough for now….

    • X-Unknown November 2, 2011 at 11:04 am #

      Checking phone records was how I discovered the Emotional Affair. She claims it was nothing, a sister brother thing, an emotional affair. I won’t be as surprised if she admits more. I wanted to write you about seeing someone for help. Depression / Anxiety stuff? See a doctor and stay ahead of that. A therapist can be a huge plus – you can talk to them and it stays there. Friends and family will complicate things.

  111. Tom November 30, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    Like this is a hard question?

    Because they are too immature and morally bankrupt to simply communicate with their spouse first.

  112. Solo January 14, 2012 at 6:23 am #

    Hi
    i keep wondering what’s are the problems which lead to cheating, i was checking our life and i feel it was great till couple of months may be from April to August, before it was good i was always making sure to say good words treating her a lady never asked anything for me we were sharing our lives together, i never left her alone at home, we were spending our days together all day long except at work, recently i was getting busy on laptop playing games only, because we had some fights about TV (ironic) than we found out that our life is incompatibe as per her, and i’ve been away not taking care of her even though i explained for her that i told her several times to stay away from one man which i felt he isn’t descent, she didn’t listen to me so i choosed to be away from her emotionally and physically but at the end we had the fight and i tried my best to win her heart back but it was too late as per her and she left, dam how comes this happen to us i still love her honestly and it’s killing me…. am completly lost without her i feel my life worth nothing please if any1 can help, not to win her back but to understand my mistakes and learn from them.

  113. X-Unknown January 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    Solo – that may all be true but consider this. YOU didn’t have the affair. I often wonder what I did, what I could have done to avoid it. Wondered why the signs (Obvious) didn’t urge me into more action. This is a path to madness. I do therapy (And some meds) to keep from having my head explode (Or in the blender as someone else mentioned)

    We are working on our marriage and couples therapy is where we really talk this over and work it out. Right now its serious level stuff. Her saying she is (was?) in love and while it might not be a physical affair that really hurts. Don’t let it screw up your head (as much) 😉

  114. Solo January 18, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    Hi X-Unknown
    thanks your reply, yep my head is in blender i can’t stop thinking for the last 3 months i’ve been stuck i didn’t know about the signs well because marriage is built on trust and i never thought this might happen to us, so many persons said this, and the bad thing that i don’t know if shall i stay waiting for her, not because this is what i want but i am worried if she will be hurt, honeslty in my society this is unforgiven and i was not able to confront her because i knew after the separation and till date i feel i wish i knew before just to make her knows what she has done and how bad this hurt, but it’s too late now..anyway i don’t know for how long this might take more, even i tried to date new pereson during this period and the feeling was awfull, i felt am cheating and i imagined her doing this while we still married, it really sucks i know they say men are more tough but in love there is only feelings. anyway i’m changing my country and moving on, i hope this is the solution may help me to move on.

  115. X-Unknown January 19, 2012 at 1:18 am #

    I don’t know if this helps anyone but I talked to my GP about this and was told that I can’t imagine how many people are in the same situation. It may be awful but apparently its not uncommon.

    Hang in there everyone. A few things I’ve been told and that I think are good is

    Take care of yourself. Whatever ends up happening you need to be ok. Depression? Anxiety etc? Talk to a doctor and stay ahead of that stuff. You can’t let it destroy you *get you fired from your job, etc etc etc.

    Read some of the (many) books on dealing with infidelity. It seems to have helped me get a handle on this since I was not thinking this kind of thing would happen.

    Breath regularly. I know that may sound odd but ask yourself are you holding your breath all the time? Google square breathing.

  116. zjogger October 21, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    I think for my husband it was loose boundries, the thrill and hard life stuff with bad coping mechanisms. When life got hard and unbearable, she was his alcohol. She assuaged his fears and made him feel like a god. I think he set him self up for the opportunity though with weak boundries. I have talked to him before about his level of close communication with women and his facebook chats. He says he is allowed to have a deep level of friendship with women. So perhaps he is naive too about how marraiage changes opposite sex relationships, or maybe I am too damned old fashioned,LOL

  117. Gizfield October 24, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    My husband defended his rights to female friends. He values his “privacy” and doing what he wants.

    He dated a chick he lived in the same apartments with 20 years ago three years ago. He later maintained a secret three year “friendship” while lying to me about it. he now lives in his mother’s spare bedroom. If you put a secret friend above your marriage and and family, you have a serious psychological problem. Just saying.

  118. stillsad October 2, 2013 at 3:49 am #

    i never got a confession, yet the signs were all there. when confronted (still to this day think i made him all the “wiser”) i got denial. i’m so confused, frustrated and exhausted because i don’t know whether it stopped at all. My marriage is still in trouble despite my continuous efforts to communicate this. PS i’ve been married for 2 years! how embarrassing and humiliating.

  119. Exhausted October 19, 2013 at 7:43 am #

    My husband decided to chat up an actress (a very ordinary one) 16 yrs our jr. He had written a script & met her years before for voice over work. Anyway I discovered a txt & it all came out. ‘ I wrote this part for a strong beautiful woman & youre the one I was thinking of’ or ‘Bon chance ma cherie’ as she was going for a job . Nice. Of course it was all my fault blah blah. I have come to realize that he very minute my husband sees me in a vulnerable position he acts out. He did it when I was pregnant & finally admitted to heavy flirting with a coworker among other things, whatever that means. If I try to communicate I’m attacking if I don’t speak up I’m holding a grudge. I read the books and did the soft talking the I’m sorry but I feel uncomfortable and would like your help etc I got an angry its always about you. I’m exhausted & I am just creating a life for myself where I do not need him on any level except for his children.Yes I know not good and I fully expect this marriage to finally peeter ouy. The problem is as she is an actress she pops up on tv in ads or cameos from time to time & of course I’m back to D day. He is inept & just wants us to move forward. Really? you think I dont? Do you think I like feeling like **** every time I see her? I could move forward if my husband owned what he did recognized his role to grow up and I could feel safe & depend on him. So I could trust & respect him. That’s an epiphany I cannot see being fulfilled. So just because I caught him before the physical (lucky in different cities but he would have met up ) I just want to feel safe in my own home not always wondering what he’s up to on the computer in he next room as he did before, honestly the laziness coupled with the huge disrespect I honestly don’t know how he will ever win my respect again. So tired.

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