How to Move Past the Affair and Return to Love

how to move past the affair“Our relationship feels haunted!”

This is how it is for many couples trying to heal and re-connect after an emotional affair.

One of the biggest challenges is to move forward. You and your partner are both aware of the emotional affair and it can be a tricky balance to not pretend or live in denial, but also to not live in the past.

What happens for many couples is, despite the real improvements and changes, there’s a ghost that makes it impossible for them to get close, trust and be intimate with each other again. Maybe this is true in your relationship too.

Every conversation, moment you share and even when you’re kissing, hugging and making love, you’re not alone. The ghost of the affair lurks and seems ever-present. It’s distracting, upsetting and stubbornly refuses to go away.

Here’s the surprise and the key to getting past this stuck point: That ghost is actually NOT your partner’s emotional affair.

The ghost that’s preventing you and your partner from returning to the love, passion and connection you used to share consists of your beliefs.

You believe that…

  • You’ll always have to worry about another affair.
  • You’ll never be able to fully trust your partner again.
  • You aren’t enough to satisfy your partner.
  • Your relationship will never be the same.

It IS true that your relationship will never be the same, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to rebuild and reconnect. It all depends on how you handle the ghost which is made up of your persistent thoughts and beliefs.

The ghost wins if you allow your beliefs that convince you your partner will inevitably cheat again and your relationship will never recover to take over. You won’t be able to see it when your partner does keep a promise or does offer you a sign, with his or her actions, of trustability. Your relationship will feel forever haunted and the stress, strain and distance will only intensify if you don’t challenge those beliefs.

What you need to remember is that this ghost that may seem powerful and overwhelming is something you do have control and power over. When you recognize that the ghost is your beliefs, you can re-focus on assessing and changing them.

Here are 4 ways to get past the ghost so that you and your partner can start trusting and loving each other again…

1. Breathe.  Don’t discount your breath as an amazing (and necessary) strategy for dealing with your haunted relationship. Remind yourself to take several slow and deep breaths whenever you feel triggered, worried or anxious. Breathing from your abdomen not only helps lower your heart rate and blood pressure, it calms you down and allows you to view a situation more clearly. It reduces the chance of you overreacting and opens you up to solutions instead.

2. Question your thoughts. Beliefs are merely thoughts you continue to think. One of the best ways to move past your ghost is to not allow inaccurate thoughts to get bigger and grab your attention more than they already do. You can’t force yourself to not think a thought, but you CAN question a stressful thought once it comes up. Meet a thought like, “I can never really trust him again” or “She can’t help but cheat,” with the question “Is that really true?”

3. Be fact-focused.  Answer yourself honestly as you question your thoughts. Sometimes, your answer will be “I don’t know” or “Maybe.” The point here is to create room for the facts that you have. What does the observable and verifiable evidence you have right now tell you about the thought you were just thinking? What does the whole range of your partner’s words, behaviors and the way you two interact with one another look like? How have things changed and how have they not changed? The more you focus on the facts, the easier it is for you to re-direct your attention to what’s true now instead of allowing your worries and fears to dominate.

4. Plan for the future you DO want.  As you ease stressful thoughts and focus in on what’s really true now, your ghost will disappear. This might not happen immediately and it may reappear from time to time, but if you keep using these strategies, your ghost will not be the problem it once was.

You can begin to envision and plan for the future that you’d like to have with your partner. You can get excited about a return of passion, connection, trust and deep love that may not be the same as it was before, but could be even better.


Relationship coaches and authors Susie and Otto Collins have more powerful tips to help you move past the mistrust and hurt and get back to creating the relationship you’ve always wanted. They’re here in the free Rebuild Trust mini-course.  

 

 

 

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53 Responses to How to Move Past the Affair and Return to Love

  1. MissKitKat September 13, 2013 at 9:07 am #

    This is me right now.. My husband had an Emotional Affair with two different women… But only in April did he finally stop talking to the last one.. My marriage feels like the ghost this article talks about. And its my fault its like that. He has tried so hard.. And sometimes i dont see it because of my refusal to let go of the past. We went to an amusement park for a week in august while our three girls were at camp.. It was just us but it felt like three instead of two. One time in particular we were on seperate rafts together in the lazy river. He looked so relaxed enjoying the time with me.. He was holding my hand so we could keep our rafts together and it was like he had my hand and i was holding hers in the invisible but very noticable raft next ro me! Not him but me keeping her alive in our marriage.. I realize now i must let her go… I must forgive….i will lose a good man who simply made a mistake if i dont stop keeping her in our marriage… I love all of these article as they have helped me more then anything else!

  2. MissKitKat September 13, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    Our marriage counselor had us read Gary Chapmans Five Love Languages.. Its perfect if you can just let go of the past and love like you wont get hurt…. Right now im reading his other book The Four Seasons of Marriage.. Our counselor is trying to get me past the ghost in my marriage. He knows its what has held me back…. What doesnt help is my Anxiety issues. I finally realize i need meds to help me get control of my emotions.. My anxiety may be whats causing me to hold back and pick fights…. I hope i get past this point so i can be happy too..:-)

  3. livingonafence September 13, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    I like the ghost analogy, but the rest of it? To me it’s very untrue. I wasn’t obsessed with ‘another affair’. I was obsessed with the fact that, since we met, it was me and him. Now? Nope. He let someone in. He wanted someone else. The ghost was the tainted relationship that wasn’t, and isn’t, special.
    He could never cheat again. He could be the greatest husband in the world. He could love me more than anyone has ever loved, and he will still be the man that cheated on me. That can’t be fixed. It’s something we learn to live with, but it’s there. It isn’t as prevalent as before, but it’s there, every day.

    Kitkat, why on earth after such a short time do you think you should have gotten over this? He just stopped 5 month ago. Don’t push yourself, please. It will eventually blow up if you don’t allow yourself the time you need to heal properly.

    I hope things work out for you.

    • Paula September 13, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

      Man, LOAF, you always say what I am thinking! I am also one who has struggled with the “taint” – I haven’t worried about the “next” time he cheats – a little bit suspicious in the first few months, checking phone, etc to see if he really was finished with her – a bit tense if he needed to go somewhere overnight without me (to our holiday home – where it started, and where he took her several times as is it reasonably remote, easy to “hide” her.) But the main problem for me was the fact that our “pure” relationship was tainted. And there were always three in the bed – I know he didn’t want her there! I didn’t want her there either, but I couldn’t seem to shove her out with my foot! And mine has been incredible in the aftermath – the guy I loved came back, and then some – but he is always the guy who cheated on me, gave me diseases and wrecked my mental health. I accept the permanence of it, but I am still not so comfortable with it – especially the “not enough” aspect – which of course is silly, his issue, not mine, but you feel less. Very less. No matter how much you know, no matter how you rationalise it – I wasn’t “enough” – hey, the best marriage therapist we saw showed me that I have never been enough (in my mind) so I know where it comes from – this was the one thing in my life I saw that I was incredibly successful at – my love – my family, our stability but still great passion – not so, just as useless at that as all the other failures I have suffered. Silly stuff, but so clear.

      • DJ September 13, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

        Exactly.

      • Battle born September 15, 2013 at 11:47 am #

        Paula, you are not “not enough” to all of us here. You are a strong woman. Strong enough to share all of your feelings, good, bad or ugly. Strong enough to stay and work at your marriage as along as you could. And strong enough to know when you needed to stop for the sanity of self. Your love for your. H, family and others proves that you are not useless and not enough. It is they who make you feel that way that are… The rest of us love and admire you!

        • Paula September 17, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

          BB, that is very sweet, thanks. I do actually KNOW all of this, I know I am fab (lol!) but knowing it and FEELING it are still a long way apart, and the gap hard to bridge. I even knew the background psychology of all of this before any affairs, etc. I knew the “not good enough” theme running the system! I also knew it was NOT true. The MC who pointed a lot of this out says that almost everyone, except those “special” people with extra high opinions of themselves, narcissists, sociopaths, etc, have the “not good enough” background operating system! It is there, but I know it is rubbish. I know that when I apply myself I am a wildly capable woman – hey, I have six A+s in my environmental planning paper thus far (nothing but net!) to prove I can do stuff that is challenging! And good passes in the other papers as well – I know I am not as stupid as my psyche loves to tell me ;-)

          • DJ September 18, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

            Paula – after going back and reading the comments following mine, I felt bad. I hope you didn’t think I was agreeing with the feelings you have about yourself. I have the highest regard for you. I have told you before that I look for your comments here on EAJ because they are insightful and honest, and I usually feel exactly the same way you do.

            So I was agreeing with how affairs make us feel. I feel the same way you do — not enough. Even though I know on one level, a level of reasoning thought, that these feelings of inadequacy are not based in truth… on another emotional level, I can’t help but feel it.

            It’s getting better but I am still a long ways from being the confident, secure person I was before.

            • Paula September 18, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

              DJ. No way did I think that! I feel I “know” you somewhat and you are a kind, sweet, uplifting person. So not in ANY way did I think that! Besides, even if for some reason I did ever feel someone was judging me, I am totally secure in my own sense of self. It would slide right off these days ;-) one of the benefits of being one’s own cheersquad!

      • Strengthrequired September 18, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

        You know Paula, I think all of our spouses are going to have that shadow over them now. Even if they are them old selves, it doesn’t change the fact that they cheated and tainted our marriage our love because of it. I hate knowing even for a second that another woman had my h heart and so called “love”. It sickens me a great deal. I’m embarrassed for us, I’m embarrassed for him and I’m embarrassed for myself and our children.
        Unfortunately we can’t change what our spouses did, we as the bs have to keep removing that third person from our minds, because they don’t deserve to be there, and we sure as hell

        • Strengthrequired September 18, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

          And we sure as he’ll don’t deserve that ow’s ghost haunting us everyday as we try and get our marriages back on track. Our families deserve to have peace and we deserve to live happy without this ow continuously haunting our lives. She has no place in our lives, so we shouldn’t give her the power to invade our lives any longer.
          Easier said then done, I’m still trying to get my head clear of her.
          I guess I will try and keep the faith that time really does heal all wounds.
          One thing I Have noticed in myself, I’m trying to be strong, trying to believe that I will be ok if my h and I parted ways. I feel like I prepare myself for the worse now, so if anything happens I won’t go stir crazy with grief again, but the truth is no matter how much I try and protect myself, I know it will tear me up inside again. I know it will be still so painful, and that worries me.

          • Rachel September 18, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

            As much of the b.s. That has gone on the divorce is like a knife in your heart. Very similar to the day he spilled his guts about the other women.
            My ex keeps texting to meet him at different places.
            Not sure what he’s trying to pull.
            I’m not going thru this again, once was enough!

            • Strengthrequired September 18, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

              Thats what’s scares me Rachel, I feel so much for you in so many ways, I know how much it would kill me if it came to that for myself and my h. I just don’t know how I would be able to cope, I try my hardest to be strong and trying to show my h that if you choose her so be it, I will be fine and can move on, because what else can I do, yet i know it would set me back so far, it would definately feel like the end of me.
              I’m so sorry Rachel for all you have been through and still going through, I try and find the fairness in all of this and there just isn’t. I try and find forgiveness towards the ow in my life and I just can’t. I just find hatred.

          • Sadsomuch September 18, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

            StrengthRequired- I am trying to do the same. I have a list of things that will need to be done if we divorce and how things will be split. My H really doesn’t like that but somehow I needed to have a “plan B” ready. It makes me feel more secure. I too have issues with the ow’s ghost. Sometimes I just tell him “go get her if she is so special and wonderful” even though I really don’t want him to leave but the pain gets overwhelming sometimes. Sometimes I really believe that I am not enough, yet other times I look at him and wonder is he really enough for me. Yes we also have the choice and they need to be enough for the wonderful people that we are.

            • Strengthrequired September 18, 2013 at 11:22 pm #

              Sass much, I say the same things to my h, just go to her, she wants you that much. If she is always going to be around then I don’t want to be. I’ve told him that. Yet the truth is I don’t want him going to her, I don’t want to break my marriage. I want my h to be able to tell his ow to go and get a life, move on and forget he ever existed, if she ever contacts him again.

  4. MissKitKat September 13, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    I am no where near over it. That i do know. He knows that too. I just mean i also need to control my emotions because it really does make it hard to function. I allow myself time to cry and time to be hurt and angry.. But i think for myself i really let myself go to far. I guess i feel like i was letting her control my life.. When she could care less about me. She doesnt care if im hurting or not.. Its definately a process! And its so not an easy one!! One day at a time…

  5. MissKitKat September 13, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

    I still feel like im not good enough even though i know thats not true. Easier said then done though… After my husbands EA i felt like someone died. Now im starting to think it was my self esteem! In a sense i guess you are changed forever… Im also afraid still if i make him mad he will go back to her again.. I feel like i walk on eggshells even though i shouldnt have to… Maybe i need to forgive him for my own well being and not his.. I dont know. This is the hardest thing i have ever had to deal with..

  6. Paula September 13, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    MissKitKat, it is the hardest thing, no question. Eventually you will learn and trust YOURSELF enough not to walk on eggshells – we all eventually realise that if he leaves and goes to “her” then so what? Who wants to be the version of themselves that only exists to please someone else? That is what he chooses, good for him – good luck (mostly these women/men are just appalling, the fantasy fades and it doesn’t work.) All the resources I have had contact with say forgiveness is for you – absolutely – but it comes in dribs and drabs, if at all – even when you really, really want to be able to forgive, to release YOURESELF. Mine says that in the end, what he did was really UNforgivable. He has a point. So, my forgiveness is partial, I forgive him for the choices he made when under a lot of pressure, but I don’t really fully forgive him for how I am now – sort of, but not quite fully. The selfishness of me, me, me IS kinda unforgivable, huh? And, yes, my self esteem still hasn’t fully recovered, and I don’t think it ever reaches the same point, however, I am proud of myself (mostly, lol) for how I have handled things in the past four years, especially, but I miss the old me, I don’t think she will ever return, she is damaged, and had to be repaired, rebuilt, not ever the same as the original, not ever quite as strong as the original, a few cracks showing, but nevertheless, still here, surviving, thriving in some small ways, but a bit stunted in others, a bit of a bonsai version of the old me.

  7. MissKitKat September 13, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

    You are right about if he leaves and goes back to her.. Why would i want to be the second person.. I dont… I do forgive him for his mistakes but sometimes i get angry at him for what his mistake has done to me.. We also have three kids.. They are doing very well which is suprising. But they dont know much. They know we had issues but i didnt drag them into it by telling them. They deserve to be kids!:-)

  8. MissKitKat September 13, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

    I know i will never be the same again either…. But i hope the new me will be stronger and wiser in the end.. I still feel so emotionally and mentally tired.

  9. MissKitKat September 13, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    I guess we are all kinda like refurbished cell phones after being hurt this way.. Lol! I know my last one broke down alot and had good days and bad!! Lol! Yep thats me!!!

  10. Rachel September 14, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

    Well as of yesterday, my divorce is final. I went in with my head held high.
    I sat in the court room my ex sat across from my staring. I made eye contact and he kept shaking his head.
    I ignored him.
    He then asked my attorney if he could speak to me in private.
    So out the door I went with him. His head was down and he said ” I don’t think I want this”. WTF was all that I could think. He waits until two seconds before the judge comes in????? He was served July 21, 2012 . My attorney came out and asked me what’s going on? I said he doesn’t think he wants the divorce. My attorney asked me what do you want? I said, let’s go!
    My ex husband cried during the entire thing. His attorney rubbed his back. I did feel awful for him but this is what he said he wanted.
    What was I suppose to do say ok let’s try at our marriage after you have been nickel diming things for the past year. I have paid 11,000 for this divorce. And that’s just for me!!
    When it was over my attorney scooted me out into the elevator.
    Does anybody have any answers why he would do this??? I do feel guilty. If he had said this during the 90 day cooling off period I would have given it a shot. Would it had worked, who knows?
    I stopped at my friends after the courthouse and received text messages from the ex. He asked me to meet him for coffee. I said no.
    He asked me to meet him at his fathers grave he had two chairs and two snapples waiting. I said no. He texted me again and said please change my mind and the snapples are getting warm. I said no.
    Help, help help. Does this make any sence to anyone???
    I feel like I was hit by a train!

    • chiffchaff September 16, 2013 at 9:11 am #

      Rachel, you mentioned a few times that your ex has narcissistic behaviour and I’d say that it looks exactly like classic narc behaviour again to do this. don’t feel guilty. you need to live your life knowing where you are and who you can rely on, not pandering to the weird whims of someone so emotionally stunted as he sounds. IMHO he would have to change his ways over a very long period of time before I’d even consider talking normally to him again after what he’s put you through. he had his chances. he blew it.
      it’s now his problem, not yours.

  11. Strengthrequired September 14, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    I have felt for a while, with all the times your h was delaying his court that it wasn’t what he wanted. I’m sorry you are feeling guilty, but I think your now exh is feeling what he should have felt long before this day. The fear of losing his family. Now he has faced reality.
    It’s a shame that it came too late.
    I’m sorry Rachel, may I ask what is it now that you want? Do you still want a chance at working things out, or is it enough for you?
    Are you ready to move forward in your new life?

    Know I’m thinking of you, and I do wis you all the very best.

  12. Rachel September 14, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    Thank you strength . Yes, I am moving forward.
    I have given him so many chances and he had so many excuses why he didn’t want me.
    I have a long road ahead, but I’ll get there.

    • livingonafence September 15, 2013 at 9:05 am #

      Hi Rachel, do you think he liked playing this game? Cheaters live in some fantasy world and things become a game of sorts. As you said, you tried so many times, and he could just sit back and love all the admiration and you wanting him to come home and even your pain over losing the great him! Sick and twisted, but that’s how some cheaters are. But deep down he didn’t want the game to end so he always found reasons to stall this out. When those ran out, and you walked into that courtroom with your head high and not a tear to be found, it may have hit him – you’re gone. The finality of the real lose may have smacked him in the face. He may have woken up from the game for those few minutes and really felt the loss of you and your marriage and family. The requests for coffee and Snapple? I bet those were attempts to suck you back into the game. Nice try about meeting at his father’s grave. Way to tug on those heartstrings.

      That would be my guess as to ‘why’ he did all of this, but that might be way off too. You know him – why do you think he did this?

      All in all, I’m so happy that you held it together and that these games he’s been playing regarding the divorce are finally over for you. Each time it was postponed must have been so emotionally draining on you. Be proud – you made it!!

      • Rachel September 15, 2013 at 10:53 am #

        Living on a fence,
        My ex was always a game player. His flirting went way back and I always prayed that it woul end after marriage, kids etc. It never did. I got to a point that I hated going out with friends because the waitress was always more appealing to him than I was.
        The coffee and snapples at the grave was just a ploy to mess me up emotionally he would have wanted to hold me and one thing wouldnhave led to another. I feel very sorry for him. He is grieving his father. This has nothing to do with me.
        Last night he texted me to go out for a glass of wine. I declined. Geez, he’s never showed me so much attention even when we were married!! He also wants my account number to have the alimony and child support deposited into.
        I said no let the attorneys do that. He said that will cost you money. I said I have already spent a ridiculous amout on this, what’s a little more going to do.

    • Strengthrequired September 15, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

      I know you will get there Rachel, you deserve it too.

  13. Left behind September 14, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    Rachel,

    I wish I was as strong as you. My divorce trial/settlement was on August 22nd & I too paid way too much for the divorce. It was I who filed 1st, June of 2012; but I have never wanted the divorce.

    Everyone told me that I needed to protect myself & my daughter, by filing 1st. I have yet to figure how my filing 1st allowed for any form of protection.

    Before I had filed, he kept threatening to have me served, also he told me on Mother’s Day 2012 (of all days) that he had gotten an attorney & that I should find mine own (this was only the 2nd Mother’s Day since our daughter was born and was the 1st Mother’s since both of our Moms had passed away from cancer). Upon seeing he had really pulled money from our joint checking account to pay the deposit for his attorney, I felt that I no longer had any other choice.

    Despite all of that, & so much more, I was the one who was crying the day of the trial & asking him how he could have ever wanted any of this.

    I had dreamt/hoped for an experience like yours, where he would finally show some remorse for his actions, but instead I have to continue to share my daughter with a man who is proud & so very happy about destroying his family.

    Two weeks out from the divorce I still find myself wanting this all to just be a horrible dream, that I can just wake up from. I never, ever will understand how he can be so happy about ripping his family apart, to be with such a horrible woman.

    My family & friends want me to just be done with it all. My manager at work even gave me a Dove chocolate wrapper bearing the quote “Build a bridge & get over it” to hang up in my office for inspiration, but I just can’t seem to get there.

    Thank god for my daughter, because she is the reason I keep functioning.

    My older Aunts keep telling me I come from a long line of strong women, but I’m not feeling very strong.

  14. Rachel September 15, 2013 at 1:22 am #

    Left behind,
    You are stronger than you think! I think the same thing. How could you leave us for a life of nothing?? And not even try to work on a marriage that you ruined by hooking up with your ex girlfriend from 30 years ago, the soulmate aka the married whore.
    I heard that you should file first and I’m not sure at all what the perk was in that.
    I’m still in therapy and feel it has helped me so, along with wonderful friends. And my best supporters, my too boys, my rocks. I dug my self out of a hole I was in and I will never be in there again.
    We have different stages during this nightmare so don’t beat yourself up with breaking down occasionally. This isn’t something that was ever in our life plan.
    And as far as your husbands happiness , I’m sure he’s miserable trust me he’s never going to show you.
    I have read many books but my two favorites are Runaway Husbands by vickki stark and The Journey from Abandonment To Healing by Susan Anderson.
    Also, this web site and the help and comments from others on this site. My therapist wants me to journal but I feel better venting here. It’s comforting knowing we aren’t the only ones going through this nightmare.
    Baby steps is what we need to take at this point of our life, we will eventually get there.
    Smile at that beautiful little girl. My smiles are sometimes fake at my 21 and 17 year old boys just so they don’t worry about me, more than they already do.
    I read this quote recently, Divorce can be the best thing to ever happen to you. The pain does heal and there is a whole new life on the other side.
    Peace to you and remember to, BREATHE!

  15. Paula September 15, 2013 at 2:36 am #

    Rachel, wonderful words to Left behind. You really are doing incredibly well, a strong, independent woman, who has been terribly hurt, but survived, and you are starting to thrive. Your boys sound just gorgeous, you have done a great job, despite their selfish jerk of a father! I think your ex had two things (at least going on here) 1. the finality of what he “chose” and 2. to mess with your mind, because he sees how well you are doing (even if some of it is a front put on for his benefit, to protect you from his ridicule/rejection.) And it nearly worked, classic passive aggressive behaviour, push you away, reel you back in, play with your emotions. Your great dress, etc must have worked, lol! So proud of you for not falling for his BS! Good girl. Divorce will be the best thing for you, no doubt.

    • Rachel September 15, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

      Thank you, Paula

  16. Left behind September 15, 2013 at 4:45 am #

    Rachel,

    Thanks for the words of encouragement, I defiantly will look into the books you suggested.

    I too had been in therapy, but the wonderful therapist I had been seeing, retired, & with the recent craziness with the divorce, I haven’t really had time to go see the new one she had referred me to, but I will try to get back to seeing someone.

    Although I had knowledge of this site for sometime, I only recently started reading the comments/posts. Wish I has started sooner!

    As for the quote you mentioned, my husband used those exact words the day he initially turned my world upside down, by telling me he wanted a divorce. I’ll never forget him coldly saying that I would likely find some day that “this divorce was the best thing that ever happened to me”, as if he already believed it was the best thing that ever happened to him.

    I prefer two different quotes. The vindictive side of me likes “there comes a time when you have to accept that you just can’t teach a pig to sing” & “A gem is only perfected by first enduring fire”.

    Perhaps your husband has finally seen that he has thrown away a Gem for fools gold.

    • Battle born September 15, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

      I like that LB. “a gem for fools gold.” Perhaps it should include coal, a very dirty substance that gives warmth to anyone then turns cold again… A perfect analogy for an affair, dirty, warm, then cold.

      • Strengthrequired September 16, 2013 at 12:38 am #

        Love all these sayings, le the coal too.
        I guess my h ow is a lump of coal, no matter how hard you try to ckean it you just keep getting dirty and not even fools golds can emerge.

  17. Gizfield September 15, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    Rachel, I’m really glad things are finally working out for you. You are such a sweet, wonderful lady. I’m not at all surprised by your husband’s recent actions. He sounds like he has a serious personality disorder of some sort. He’s probably had it sll along but kept it hidden, or maybe something happened to intensify it, like a midlife crisis. Sounds like he is on the path to being “the old guy at the club.” I’m not usually in favor of divorce, but it’s definitely called for in this case.

  18. Rachel September 15, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

    Gizfield, thank you.
    He’s not the man I married, that for sure. I think when he looked that beast up it totally changed him. Trust me he was difficult ult but I think I could have stuck things out. I do not believe in divorce either. Hard to believe that I’ll be circling divorce on all forms now. One minute I was marriedmand the next minute said ” you are no longer married” . I felt the knife go thru my heart.

    • Saw the Light (formerly Roller Coaster Rider) September 16, 2013 at 12:15 am #

      Boy, I hear you Rachel. I am in the middle of my second divorce from the same man…he did suck me back in last year and now I get to go through all this pain a second time! What you said is so right, and the whole identity change is a bear (in my case, I was with my ex since 1971, so I’m truly starting over in so many ways). I am beginning a Divorce Care class which I think will be very helpful. Just like this EA site, it’s comforting to know that you are not the only one to have such a painful history. Everyone in the class is hurting. But we are going to go through this, and not go under. Like yours, my H became much more attentive after he saw there was no more opportunity. The manipulation, and passive aggressive crap! Now he is nearly losing his mind (I think) because I have had no contact whatsoever with him since the beginning of July and he doesn’t get to call the shots anymore. Every scrap of communication between us has to go through a third party. There are days when I just want to call him and rant. Then I talk myself out of it. More than anything, I want healing and I know now I won’t get there with him in my life.

  19. Strengthrequired September 16, 2013 at 12:39 am #

    I think all you women are just fabulous, you are all wonderful, and deserve nothing but wonderful in your lives.

  20. Rachel September 16, 2013 at 7:24 am #

    Saw the light,
    I was in the divorce care program last year. It did help me.
    I know what you mean about calling the ex and ranting. DON’T DO IT!!!!! my 82 year old mother tells me count to 10 and bite your tongue!! Hard to do, but I do it. Why bother is this crazy man going to listen to me?? No because this is all about him!
    It is time to move forward. Baby steps but it is time.
    In November it will be 2 years that he declared his love for the soulmate and 2 years that I have had daily headaches, stress induced IBS, sleepless nights and tears that don’t stop.
    It is now time to let me heal physically and emotionally. It’s been too long. I can’t let him win cause it’s about me now.

  21. Strengthrequired September 16, 2013 at 8:17 am #

    Yes Rachel, this is your time to heal, don’t ket anything. Anyone stand in your way. Your a strong woman and I know you are going to be great.

  22. Sadsomuch September 16, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    Help!!!The ghost of my husbands EA is forever in my arguments. Any arguement leads me to the inevitable “if she is so great just go to her.” Why am I always throwing her up at him? Soon he will go to her because I keep suggesting it. I always end up asking if he still has feelings for her and I always get the same answer “I don’t know.” What the hell kind of answer is that? Can a person truly not know if they have feelings for another woman? HELP!!!!!

    • Rachel September 16, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

      Sadsomuch,
      I also heard the “I don’t know about the other woman.
      I think they are so in the fog and consumed that they have no idea what is going on.
      Stay strong!

  23. Left behind September 18, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

    Rachel,
    I know how you feel. My divorce too feels like a knife in my heart. My ex is already messing with the custody arrangements for our daughter. Last night he was suppose to bring her back by 8:00, but instead I got a phone call from him @ 8:40, saying was keeping her over night & there was nothing I could do to stop it. That was on the tail of having my little girl tell me all about having stayed all weekend at the OW’s house with her Daddy & that they all went to Great Grandpa’s birthday party together. It hurts that his family is accepting her, while they have cut ties with me, especially when he lied to everyone, by claiming all they were until now was just friends. He also told me for the 1st time last night that my referring to our little one as “My baby” , in stead of “our baby” , is an example of why he has made his choice to be with the OW.

    • livingonafence September 19, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

      Jesus. He made the choice to be with OW because he loves having his ego stroked. It isn’t because you used what he considers the wrong pronoun. What an asshole to blame you.

      And calling you at that hour saying there is nothing you can do about keeping your daughter? HAHAHA. I suggest the next time he does that, you drive to his house with a copy of the court order and call the local police. Yes, there is something you can do about it. Please, stop letting this pig of a man walk all over you and treat you like trash. Stand up for yourself!

      About his family – I know it hurts, but they are his family in the end. If he brings his new girlfriend around, they will be nice to her. It’s like this in all families, not just this one. Don’t be surprised. It’s just a part of splitting up.

      One day, when your daughter is grown, she will marry someone. You may like this man very much. But if things don’t work out, for whatever reason, will you shun your daughter’s new boyfriend? Of course not. You want your child to be happy. They want your ex to be happy. I think often we BSs make that mistake of believing that our spouses’ family is our family. Just as your family probably hates your ex for what he’s done because, while they may have liked him before, he’s out now. There is no seeing who is right or wrong – they are YOUR family. Don’t take it personally. It’s just what families do.

      Again, please don’t let him push you around. You have a court ordered timeline for a reason. Make him stick to it. Show him you will defend yourself and your rights. Trust me, he’ll be surprised and will actually admire the new, stronger you. They always do – they’re so pathetically predictable.

    • livingonafence September 19, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

      Oh, his shitty ‘our baby’ vs. ‘my baby’ is just his attempting to justify in his head why he’s such a weak, pathetic whoreman that left his wife and small child to spend time with some dirty tramp OW. He needs you to be the bad guy so what he did is ok. Screw him. He’s nothing. He isn’t a man and he isn’t worth the air he breathes. I hope you show him this. I hope he knows that REAL men do NOT leave their families to be with some slut that is fine destroying a family. Real men do NOT treat the mother of their children like garbage. Real men do NOT say hurtful things to someone they’ve already destroyed. No, he’s nothing but a gutless coward looking to blame others for his shitty actions.

      But hey, maybe his whore will give him some disgustingly untreatable disease. If not her then the next one. Who knows, but if it happens, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

      This pig is truly a piece of shit.

  24. Rachel September 18, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    Left behind,
    They are so pathetic . He’s just using your daughter to anger you. And the word that he is saying are just to hurt you even more.
    As far as the custody and return time, tell your lawyer. But like everything it will cost you $$.

    • livingonafence September 19, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

      No lawyer needed. If the court order lists a time, or even a day. and he pulls this, just go sit outside his home and call the police.

      I think this man needs that. He’ll say ‘Oh , really nice having the police remove her!’ and that kind of crap, but he’ll learn not to push LB around like this. What a complete fuckhead saying there is nothing she can do about it. How’s a night in jail sound, you POS. Let your whore come bail you out.

      I don’t know him at all, and I hate him just from what I’ve read he’s done in this blog post.

  25. Paula September 19, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    God yes! Call the police. DO NOT EVER, EVER, EVER LET HIM BREAK A CUSTODY AGREEMENT and do nothing – that is a very slippery and dangerous slope. Fuckhead! (Thanks LOAF.)

  26. Left behind September 19, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

    Thanks everyone for your comments/support. He was not always such a jerk, in fact when I see him I often feel confused, because he still looks like the same man that I fell in love with…the man who would do anything for me and was so compassionate, but something went horribly wrong with him when our daughter was born & our Mothers passed away. I keep trying to convince myself that all he is now is the OW’s trash, but it is hard, because I still love the man he was, or at least pretended to be, and I want to believe there is still something left of who he was for our daughter.

    Rachel, yesterday I received the book “Runaway Husbands” & I found myself unable to put it down once I started reading it. It seems it is already helping me out of the black hole that I had fallen into after my divorce was finalized, so thanks again for suggesting I read it.

  27. Gizfield September 20, 2013 at 12:41 am #

    How long were you together, Left Behind ? And what ages are you? Maybe he is going through some kind if hormonal thing.

  28. Rachel September 20, 2013 at 2:04 am #

    Left behind,
    I know exactly what you are saying about your husband. Mine wasn’t always a jerk, just really difficult. The flirting was from day one though that just killed me.
    I’m glad you liked the book. I think I’ll start again. I feel very much like I’m on that roller coaster again and I’m not moving on.
    You sound like you love hard and deep like me. Not a fault of ours, actually a gift.
    Keep your head held high and enjoy your beautiful daughter. Our children are what keep us out of that hole and moving.
    Enjoy the weekend . They are the most difficult for me. Sometimes I can’t wait for Monday which is totally weird. Lol

  29. Left behind September 20, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    Gizfield, I met my ex when we were 18, our freshman year of college, in our biology lecture. We dated for six years before getting married, and we were a couple of weeks shy of being married for 14 years when the divorce was finalized. We both are 38 years old. One of the crazy things is that the OW is six years older, and she has a 9 year old son to boot.

    Rachel,
    You are correct in that I love deeply. The therapist I had been seeing had said that she could tell that I am fiercely loyal to those whom I Love, & that is why I keep finding myself wanting to defend him, despite everything.

    I also share the same feeling about weekends. I think they are tough for two reasons: 1) because during the week I’m so busy I don’t have as much time to think & 2) because on the weekends you have more opportunities to see other people together with their families, which makes me feel ever so more the loss of mine, especially the weekends I have to be without my daughter.

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