It’s Tough To Stop an Emotional Affair

Stop an emotional affair

In the end, stopping the emotional affair has to be a decision made by the cheater.

I am finally convinced that there is little that can be done to stop an emotional affair.  This article details how hard it was for Doug to end his affair and how frustrating to me that was.

I recently came to this conclusion after a comment that Doug made a couple of weeks ago about what pushed him to think about ending his emotional affair.  He said that my reaction when I reviewed the phone logs was a catalyst for him to end the affair, but that ending the affair was still a process.

I know this is not new information to me but in a very strange way it still hit me very hard.  I suppose that it really does take time to fully recover from an affair, and I at least have to hear things over and over again before they finally start to sink in.

Recently, Doug and I had a discussion about this “process” and I felt more like a person looking at it from the outside – almost like I was in an airplane viewing the timeline from above. It was really a strange and unsettling feeling for me.

When I look at the actual progression of trying to get Doug to end the affair, I realize that nothing that I did made much difference at all.  The emotional affair had such a strong hold on him that traditional thinking, methods and ideology had no affect at all. It was something that he had to do on his own.  As he has said previously, the pain had to override the pleasure.

I thought back to the day I found all the calls on his cell phone. A day you would think that the shock of being caught in the act would have brought some kind of action or guilt to the cheating spouse.  What happened instead was denial, justification and an intensifying of the affair.

Later, I tried to fix our marriage by offering opportunities to connect, spend time together, communicate and be intimate.  Did those actions stop the affair? No.  Instead it provided an opportunity for Tanya to reassure Doug that I was just being desperate, that I should have been doing those things before and that I only wanted him because someone else had him.

Those actions added more confusion to the situation with the result being the affair relationship and Tanya coming out on top. It was another opportunity to put up a wall between our marriage and open up the flood gates to allow the affair to prosper.

It was a time for the two of them to discuss their relationship, their future, all the feelings and emotions and what they were going to do about the situation.  At the same time, I was still in the dark about the affair.  I was still trusting and believing Doug and just trying to save my marriage.

The reality was that all my efforts to reconnect with Doug could not stop the affair.  It had too much power.

A couple of months later, I felt in my heart that my efforts were not as productive as I had hoped they would be.  The wall was still there and I felt like I was really losing my mind.  During that time I was overly vigilant with everything that was happening around me and with every action and conversation with Doug.

This was the time that I finally demanded he tell me what was going on.  Of course he did confess a portion of it, and I again believed everything he said was true.

He downplayed the affair, their relationship and the ending (or not ending) of their emotional affair.  Of course all of this was very painful for me.  He watched me have panic attacks, crying spells, lack of sleep, weight loss, hopelessness and helplessness.

I WAS desperate. I loved Doug, and deep down felt he loved me.  I wanted to do everything to save our marriage. But again this wasn’t enough to end the affair.

The pleading, crying and begging had little effect.  The only repercussion was that it forced Doug to make an effort in our relationship to curb my emotions, insecurity and to lesson his guilt.  It also forced him to lie and sneak around even more.

He was trying to maintain two turbulent relationships which was wearing on him (Tanya was also becoming emotional and desperate).  However, the power and control of the emotional affair was still winning.

Fast forward another month.  Of course I knew deep down that the affair was still going on and everything I had read indicated that I needed to take a stronger stance.  So I demanded the phone records.  After I reviewed them I told him he could leave.

This is the point that Doug has told me (much later of course) that he knew he had to end the affair.  Again he said it was a process, and of course it didn’t end that day.

The thought of that still produces so much anger because I looked at the previous four months to this occurrence as the “process.”  I wonder what it took to finally end it.  What kind of hold did she and the affair have over him that seeing his world crumbling around him didn’t seem to make any difference?

I will never understand the power of an affair and how someone could let it continue when they are hurting everyone around them.  The only thing I could do is accept and forgive, which has been the most difficult thing I have ever had to do.

I hope that Doug can look at this process the way I have and learn from it, so his insight could help others that are going through the same thing.  I know there are many things I could have done differently to have sped up this process, but I believe in the end, stopping the emotional affair has to be a decision made by the cheater.

Additional Resources

How to Stop an Affair by Exposing it – Dr. Harley’s recommended way to get a cheater to stop an affair.

More articles about Ending an Affair

Break Free From the Affair – the best book for determining the type of affair and predict how and when the affair will end.

Affair Recovery Group – learn real life ways on how to recover from an affair based on our own experiences as well as direction from therapist, Jeff Murrah.

 

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727 Responses to It’s Tough To Stop an Emotional Affair

  1. alice March 15, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    I can’t understand how a person could continue to carry on an affair while having to see the trama take its toll on their spouse.

    Doug…when you saw Linda was having panic attacks, losing weight, etc. what exactly did you say to yourself to justify continuing your actions?

    • Doug March 15, 2011 at 11:46 am #

      Alice, I can’t believe that I was such a selfish person at the time either. That is a continual source of guilt for me and probably always will be. It is something that I am unable to forgive myself for.

      Obviously at the time I was not thinking rationally. I was in the fog and made the mistake of discussing all of this with Tanya. She of course would help me justify things by saying that Linda was only acting that way out of desperation. The bad feelings, guilt and emotions at home were overshadowed by the feel-good feelings of the EA.

    • Yuki March 16, 2011 at 2:26 am #

      My husband actually said the same thing one day when we were reading about a man who didn’t stop his affair for several months after his wife found out. My mouth dropped. I pointed out to him that his affair partner had done that exact same thing. Her husband actually found out twice, and in neither instance did it stop her at all. She just became more careful and deceitful. The second time he was unable to work for several weeks. He lost a bunch of weight and said life was not worth living. But still she did not even think about breaking up with my husband. They continued another two years before my husband slowly withdrew from her and then broke it off. I did not find out until two months after the “breakup.” They were supposedly trying to be “just friends.” That cliche would almost be funny if it weren’t so pathetic.
      My husband agreed to no contact as soon as I found out, but I don’t think he would have if I had found out earlier when they were still together. My pain and suffering would have made no difference then. That says to me that the affair relationship is the top priority when it is at its height. Nothing else matters.

    • GG March 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

      Doug didn’t have to say anything. It was all about him, his needs, his wants, his happiness. He doesn’t care about Linda.

  2. alice March 15, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    Oh and another question I’ve been struggling with….Linda, when you discovered that Doug wasn’t going to end the affair, were you worried that the EA would eventually turn to a PA?

    And Doug once Tanya knew that Linda knew….did she push for the affair to become a PA? I have read that a lot of OW push for sex becuase they think once the wife finds out it’s a PA the wife will dump the husband.

    • Doug March 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

      Alice, Tanya had suggested a PA, but it had nothing to do with Linda knowing about the affair — at least she didn’t say that was the reason. Perhaps though it was an ulterior motive of hers.

      • Doug March 15, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

        “Alice, Tanya had suggested a PA, but it had nothing to do with Linda knowing about the affair — at least she didn’t say that was the reason. Perhaps though it was an ulterior motive of hers.”

        I am sure all of you know how difficult it is to read something like this and if it had been a year ago I definitely would have asked what her reasons were. Now I really don’t want to know because I am sure they are all based on illusion. However I do have to chuckle when I think that she would have given him a reason like that, she was not that stupid. I am also sure that he never believed that she had motive when she was telling him that I didn’t love him, or care about his feelings and I just wanted him because he had someone else. The most disturbing aspect of this is she didn’t even know me, knew nothing of our relationship, only the one-sided information Doug gave her and she felt knowledgeable enough to give Doug advice as to what to do and Doug believed her! It is all beyond comprehension and as Doug said he was not thinking rationally.
        Unfortunately I spent the first year of our recovery trying to prove to Doug I wasn’t that person they believed I was and that I unconditionally loved him. I had to explain to him that both of us were to blame for the problems in our marriage, it wasn’t all my fault. I had to show him that some of the beliefs he had about me were magnified a hundred times while he was in the affair and my behaviors weren’t as bad as he made them out to be. I was acting in this way because I loved him and things were getting better between us, not because someone else wanted him.

        “The bad feelings, guilt and emotions at home were overshadowed by the feel-good feelings of the EA.” This is something I will never understand. How can the affair continue to provide those feel good feelings when it is causing such turmoil? I asked Jeff this question during our last conference and he said that there is much pain and guilt during the affair but somehow they justify it by believing it is worth it. How can being with the other person feel so good when it is producing so much pain ? Linda

        • GG March 18, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

          Linda,
          You put way too much into this marriage. Having to prove to your husband who you are??? This Tanya shaped your husbands view of who you (his wife) are? How dare he allow another woman to step in and control his marriage!

    • michael March 15, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

      Alice,
      Interesting timing. My wife and I were discussing along this line today. My wife was the Other Woman. I asked if his wife ever found out. My wife said OM’s wife knew.
      She said that OM told her that his wife was cheating on him at the time. That it was over between them.
      All stories he used? (I knew of a guy who actually made up fake separation paperwork to show the girl he was with.)
      OM played on her heart and she just fed into it and Tried To Help “HIM”. She felt all the emotions of her high school days with him. And she trusted him.
      Looking back at his and his wifes facebook they seemed to be quite the happy couple. I know that doesn’t mean a darn thing but just the comments and pictures didn’t make it out to be on the verge of divorce.
      And knowing how she was she would have done anything to win his love. I’m still on the fence of whether my wife actually slept with him. I may never know. There’s just to many red flags to miss. Does that change anything? No. if OM wife found that out I’m sure she would have been gone in a heart beat. After all her kids aren’t his and she is his third wife.

      • alice March 15, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

        It boggles my mind as to how any woman could think a man who has gone through three wives and is currently cheating on the 3rd (for whatever reason he may come up with) would be a trustworthy person capable of being in a healthy relationship?

        Clearly, he’s FUCKED. He isn’t capable of being in any sort of relationship. I hope your wife sees one day what a huge bullet she dodged. There is no doubt that if she had left the marriage and got together with him – he would soon be cheating on her.

        • staystrong72 March 18, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

          I have even pointed this out to my wife. I asked her if the OM has cheated on his current wife. My wife’s reply was yes. WTF! I looked at my wife and asked; “Then what makes you think that you are so special that he wouldn’t do that to you once the reality of life sets in?” Of course I get the stupid look. Women actually think that they are so different and special that it wouldn’t happen to them. Wake UP! Just read the posts right here and you will see that you aren’t any different. The problem is that a lot of times they wake up and their spouse has moved on with their lives. Start acting like responsible adults and living a real life.

          • mark March 18, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

            Same thing here. The ob (otherbastard) was on his second marriage and cheating on the same. I’d tell my wife the same thing. It was so transparent. Then after the second time I catch her texting him four months after the original discovery she tells me, “he’s not a bad person”. Bullshit. I know she can’t call him a bad person because then she’d have to admit the same about herself. I refuse to think this bastard is a “good person”.

            • theresa February 5, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

              Mark, this is great! You win the alphabet medal hands down. And it’s sex indiscriminate.

              ob – other bastard

  3. melissa March 15, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    I totally agree with Linda’s post, it seems that nothing I did changed my husband’s conviction that he had done nothing. And despite my tears and heartbreak, a few sessions of counselling which he stopped quickly, he lapsed and the relationship started again – more lies, more sneaky meetings and phone calls. That was when I gave him the ‘her or me’ ultimatum and started detaching myself from him as much as possible.

    Creating some distance took courage but it seems to be working – at least on the surface as my husband is still not prepared to talk about the EA and I still don’t trust him. But we do seem to have a better relationhip at the moment, spending more ‘quality time’ together and enjoying each other’s company as well as being more aware of each other.

  4. Roger March 15, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    I’m at the same place that Melissa is. When I initially found out about my W’s EA, I did everything I could to try to hold our marriage together. I was clinging to anything. This lasted for about a month or so, but then I realized that I couldn’t do anything about the situation. All I can do is work on myself and change the things that I was doing, and hope that our marriage would win out. We are still in the middle of the storm though. I have detached from my W, I don’t talk about the OM or the EA with her at all, and I usually don’t initiate conversation with my W. I do do all the things I can to show her I lover her, but I don’t go out of my way. It seems to be working as my W is seemingly becomming more and more conflicted with the whole situation, as opposed to before, when she seemed to be happy to lead a double life. I hope that my marriage will win out, but at this point, I am at peace with everything because it is out of my hands.

    • melissa March 15, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

      Roger,
      I do hope things work out for you.
      Melissa

    • staystrong72 March 18, 2011 at 1:37 pm #

      Amen, Roger. That is exactly the approach I am taking. Though it is tough to do, I am actually reconnecting with my wife. We had a set back yesterday when I found out that the OM contacted her. My 5 year old told me that he called. What strikes me as odd is that all this conflict and turmoil my wife is feeling can easlily be resolved by her making a simple decision. Piss or get off of the pot. Once a decision is made everything else in her life will fall into place. I don’t know why people like to have this added stress in their lives. Life is too short to complicate it and waste precious time.

    • GG March 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

      Why do you sell yourself short Roger? Believe me, the more time this EA has to bloom, the less your marriage will be worth. Marriage is between two people. If you allow another person in emotionally or physically: there is no marriage.

  5. Donna March 15, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

    Oh goodness me, I cried so hard when I read your post Linda. This is just me, it is really scarey to read it on here from another person. I had panic attacks too as well as I got to the point where my body was having what the doctors called an internal fit. My body would react like that of an epileptic, I would have a seizure and it would happen 3 sometimes 4 times a day which ended with me in hospital. This terrified my husband but not enought to end his Ea/PA. sO MUCH SO THAT HE DROPPED ME OFF AT THE eMERGENCY dEPARTMENT AND WENT OFF AND HAD LUNCH WITH A FRIEND WHO HAD COME OVER FROM THE MAIN LAND WHERE I had 2 more fits. My body was having an internal screaming fit and this was my bodies way of dealing with all the emotional rubbish it was dealing with. He says to me that he is so in love with this woman that not even what I am dealing with can stop the connection. He said it is like me having to give him up,even though we have had 4 kids and 15 years together, they have had what… 2 years! I will neer ever understand the thinking of a cheater.

    He is home with me while she is divorcing her husband, just need to deal with my suspicions and deal with that roller coaster that we are going through. I know it will end eventually, it is just hard waiting for that day and for him to be so darn remorseful that he will never want to let me go for fear of losing me… I wonder if that is just my dream or if it can actually happen.

  6. mil March 15, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    Perhaps I’m lucky that my H has never said he was in love with the OW but then again I assume he is lying. I did read texts from each other talking about loving and missing but he insists it was all a ‘game’. Linda, your talk of the ‘process’ of ending the EA sounds very like my H’s phrase which was ‘it had to be phased out gradually’. Now would that be for his benefit because he didn’t want to lose the ego boost and kick the EA gave him or would it be because he felt he owed her something and didn’t want to hurt her? Probably both.
    Linda, did Doug ever tell you exactly what the ‘process’ entailed or do you think they just carried on until forced to split up? My H was so horrified when I discovered about his secret phone that they literally cut all contact that day and I rang her to warn her off. I truly believe it stopped there and then although I originally discovered his EA nearly a year before and thought the fright would be enough to stop it then. He claims the secret phone was needed for confidential work problems (her boss had tried to commit suicide and my H was sorting out the practice, which was actually true) and he said all the flirting sexy stuff had already stopped. I find this hard to believe, why stop something you enjoyed when you had a secret phone to carry it on, or is he telling the truth because he realised what he nearly lost in which case I am wasting my life punishing myself and him.

    • Norwegian woman March 16, 2011 at 4:49 am #

      This was very much like my own experience….
      My husband tells me he never was in love with the OW. It was just the “thrill” that made him hang on to the relationship. I find that very hard to believe. And I struggle with the feeling that he is lying about his feelings. They had contact for 1 1/2 years with a sexual meeting after 4 months. He insists that they never met physically again, just phoned and mailed to each other for another 5 months. After that the contact was more sporadic, but he never stopped it, even though he tells me he just wanted her to “dissappear” and stop calling him.
      But he never told her to stop. Never.
      He sticks to his story of her beeing “nothing” for him, even though all his actions is of a person in love…… And frankly….. I have a hard time believing they never met physically other than that one sexual encounter. We live in the same city….. and they had glowing contact for the 5 months following their meeting….

  7. Lori March 15, 2011 at 7:46 pm #

    Excellent post!! Hang in there everyone – every post, every comment helps more than you know! Don’t let the EA define you… I think I have and I don’t know how to stop it.

  8. alice March 15, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    Donna
    My body was having an internal screaming fit and this was my bodies way of dealing with all the emotional rubbish it was dealing with. He says to me that he is so in love with this woman that not even what I am dealing with can stop the connection.

    What a crock. That is only something someone under the fog of infatuation would say. He certainly doesn’t share any real love for this woman.

    I really do hope that when the difference between infatuation and love suddenly becomes clear to him, he gets on his knees with guilt and remorse, crying and sobbing and begging for you not to leave. I hope that day is soon.

  9. FinallyOutofIt March 15, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    Great post Linda – it’s been awhile since I last posted on this site. I remember the last time I thought I was “out of it”, but Karen somehow rightfully called me out for still being on the fence. Not too long after that, I realized she was correct. I was just about over all of it, but not quite. A few months later, I can finally say that I’m “Out of it”

    I can certainly testify that it is indeed a process. I can’t wrap my head around continuing an affair once a spouse found out, but since I wasn’t dealing with that, I can’t make a comment. I always seemed to me that if my W found out, that would bring about an immediate end. Apparently that might not have been so easy based on the stories on this site…

    Anyway, just wanted to say thanks again to Linda, Doug and everyone else on this site (especially Karen). While my actions didn’t deserve kindness, I thought everyone held their tongue and was truly trying to be helpful. So thanks…

    One other comment I wanted to make – I remember reading through so many stories where the spouse wanted to know answers and continued to ask them for a long period, but didn’t understand why the CS didn’t like answering them. Well, at some point, I think the CS just wants to move on. I know with me, that’s one reason I stopped coming and posting on the site. I think I’d had enough of thinking about it – seemed like I needed to move on and not think about it all the time.

    I can understand why someone would want to know all the truth and continue to ask questions – I get that. But the flip side of that is, the affair is continually in the mind of the CS and they can’t move past it and forget it. When I was over it, I wanted to stop thinking about it completely. Had my wife continually asked me questions about it, I think that would have made the recovery harder… Just my 2 cents.

    Good luck to everyone – I hope that the rest of this year brings the peace everyone is so desperately seeking…

    • Doug March 16, 2011 at 8:33 am #

      Finally, Good to see you. Linda and I were wondering a couple weeks ago as to whatever happened to you. Well it certainly seems by your comment that you indeed are completely out of the fog and the affair is over. I’m glad that you were able to accomplish that. I hope that you have been able to learn a lot about yourself as a result. Best wishes to you as you attempt to rebuild your relationship with your wife.

    • blueskyabove March 18, 2011 at 2:05 am #

      How could you possibly know what the “flip side is” when you have not chosen to experience that?

  10. Bigmistake March 16, 2011 at 12:14 am #

    For me it is a process, but the process is mostly internal. I don’t want to hurt anybody, but I know all I’m going to do it hurt everybody. The OW and my wife. It’s inevitable, but the process is accepting that. At least to me.
    I’ve been having an emotional affair for the last two years. It started on a project at work-the two of us alone for days. We’d worked together and sort of knew each other, but not well. We became instant friends. So comfortable with each other, we went on break together, lunch, emailed each other all day long. She asked me to walk her to her car after work. She was married and I was married. So what I was attracted to her? I said nothing about it and she said nothing. Then one day she looked up my home phone number online and called me after my wife left for work (she works overnight). We talked for hours. I hid none of this from my wife, I was completely honest. But my wife is very assute and was not comfortable with our friendship. The OW’s husband also wasn’t happy and we both told our spouses if they trusted us to leave it alone, we weren’t doing anything wrong, we’re “just friends.”
    A couple months later we had escalted to hand holding and going out after work and not quite explaining where we had been. I still don’t quite know how it happened, just one day I knew what we had done was not appropriate, but I liked it so I didn’t say anything.
    We did have conversations about our spouses-complaints, but it wasn’t all about that and eventually we rarely talked about them at all. It was about us. I even skipped out on a family vacation just to be at work and see her.
    The OW told me she loved me one day-that’s when I knew it was serious. I went home, told my wife everything and stopped it right there. the OW and I argued, cried and stopped being “friends.” My wife was all “I told you so,” and angry I let it get that far.
    The break-up lasted about three weeks.
    She was all I could think about and she continued to be nice to me, smile at the sight of me and we still worked together. I was weak. We’ve been seeing each other since March 2009. We hold hands, kiss, talk ALL the time. We haven’t crossed the last line-haven’t even dicussed it, like we both want to know it isn’t really serious if we don’t do THAT. But it is. Over the past year we both received promotion and over the summer we will travel, literally the two of us alone for a week at a time. Three weeks total. We’re discussing what we’ll do in the evening time, touristy stuff together. A few weeks ago an older co-worker became a grandmother and the OW and I got her a gift from the two of us. Like we were a couple and not hiding it from anybody. People have been saying things all along and stare at us, but we ignored it-they didn’t really know us, but this made it official. We are a couple and everyone knows. This was the slap in the face I needed. I know I have to end it-I have to delete her from facebook (which is great-you can chat and leave no record) email, phone, but in the end we still work together and I can’t afford to leave my job and worked hard for this promotion. Should I tell my wife or just end it and leave her none the wiser? The books I’ve read go both ways on this. If she isn’t going to know why hurt her? And honestly is the best policy. I love my wife and mainly want to tell because of the guilt. I feel so guilty. My family has fallen apart-my wife and I never talk anymore and she doesn’t know why. I hid it so well. Always working late, putting the OW first-taking time off together so I would get home on time every once in a while. I am in the process of ending it, but really do I tell my wife? I’m afraid of what it will do to her. And I’m feeling selfish (as if I hadn’t been feeling selfish enough the last two years…) I guess, I don’t want to have the argument/fight this needs to be? How do I complete this process when I will still be stuck working with the OW. My wife wanted me to quit when it first came tolight. After all the hiding and lying she has every right to ask me to quit-and that will ruin our family financially. OUr budget is pretty tight. I found your website a few weeks ago-part of my “process” of breaking up with my girlfriend. Any insight offered is appreciated.

    • Doug March 16, 2011 at 9:09 am #

      Bigmistake, Thanks for sharing your story. Sounds pretty familiar in many ways to my own. You have a tough decision to make, but I think you answered your own question when you said that you mainly want to tell because of the guilt you feel. It will continue to eat at you until at some point you cannot take it anymore. More than likely at some point, your wife is going to find out anyways. You or the OW will slip up somehow and that will be all she wrote.

      There was a similar series of comments on this which you might want to check out: http://www.emotionalaffair.org/keeping-things-secret-within-an-emotional-affair/
      Scroll down and read the comments for this particular post, and then you might want to read the posts and the comments that were posted for several days after as the conversation continued for several days.

      As far as your work situation. I think you realize that if you continue to work with the OW, that your EA will pick right back up again. Perhaps you should start the job search process now before summer comes along in hopes of landing a new job prior to your traveling with her. I can’t see anything good coming out of you staying on the job with the OW. Any chances of getting a transfer of some sort?

      • Bigmistake March 16, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

        Doug-thanks for pointing that out. Once I realized my EA needed to end I started reading books. Not “Just Friends” and your webite are the most helpful pieces of information I’ve located. I have begun looking for a new job, reluctantly. I told my GF (OW) that the situation is too stressful and we need To focus on our spouses. Neither of us want to leave them and she is step-mother to two boys she’s raises since diapers. She could truly lose her family if we continue. She intends to go work where ever I do, she would miss me too much. After two years together this is SO HARD and I don’t know why I put myself in this situation, but getting out is truly heartbreaking. I love her. I love her enough to tell her to forget me & fix her marriage like I want to fix mine. Our teenage children are acting out, our families have been neglected so we could focus on each other. I’ve directed her to this site to set her off on the path to redemption. Again, I just need you to know this site makes me feel less alone and I hope it does the same for her. I’ll return. Thank you.

        • Doug March 17, 2011 at 7:18 am #

          Bigmistake, I want you to step and think about what this is doing to your wife and your family. You are very concerned that the OW will lose her family, have you thought about what your wife is losing? I will tell you she will feel like she has lost everything in her life whether you decide to stay and work on the marriage or leave. Your family is falling apart because you have neglected them and I believe they are smart enough to know that something is wrong they are just too afraid and in denial to confront you. I suggest you begin looking at the true reality of the situation, not how much you love each other and will miss each other but what this “wonderful” relationship has done to your life. You need to remove yourself from this fog that you are in. I commend you for wanting to go back to your wife and work on your marriage, it will be the biggest challenge of your life but well worth it. I highly recommend that you read some other books in our library. Good luck. Linda

        • Linda November 2, 2012 at 3:07 am #

          BigMistake
          Let me tell you where I am now and what pain you will be causing by not stopping what you are doing. My first comment is, if you are going to have an affair, have the decency to get out of your marriage out of respect for your wife, then go for the OW. Don’t put her through the pain that I have been going through for many yrs.

          My CH had an affair 28 yrs. ago. I found out when the other woman’s husband sent me a letter telling me about it, along with the love letters that my H had written to the other woman. I was the wife who worshiped her husband, loved him deeply and put up with a lot of things due to my love for him. I thought we had a wonderful marriage, never thought he would ever cheat on me, NEVER! When I got those letters and threw them at him, which of course he denied and lied about what really had took place. Part of me died that night. I tried to make the marriage work, forgive him, do counseling, almost committed suicide twice as my mind just couldn’t stand the pain of the betrayal, the lies, etc. I suffered from panic attacks, depression for many yrs. Looking back on it now, I was only 40 yrs. old, was a nice looking woman, kept myself in shape and gave my husband everything he needed in a marriage. It took one little “bimbo” who decided to flirt with him at a business conference/lounge later, he took the bait and then their 3 yrs. E/A S/A? began. I never suspected a thing, he was home all the time, a little late but I attributed that to his job. Drank a little more and was impatient. The 2 weekends he went off with her, I thought were business conferences. He thought he had it all covered, I wasn’t getting hurt, he said that he wasn’t going to have sex with her as that would be crossing the line, but yet slept in the same bed with her on 2 weekends. I still don’t know if they had sex and 28 yrs. later it’s killing me inside. If they did I would divorce him. The E/A had been the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. It had taken a terrible tole on my life and health. I am now 68, depressed as it’s all come back to me, as my questions never got answered. I don’t know if I love him any more and this has been a horrible yr, of arguing, etc. My point of telling you all this is this. My H told me that he never planned on leaving me, he just enjoying being with her, she made him feel good, extra “new” flattery. He never thought that I would divorce him, he could have lost his job as she worked for his company. Her husband knew about it and could have come to his job or our home and created a problem. Our children were affected when I found out, one daughter moved out of our home.

          You need to think about all this, if this “slut” and that’s what I’m going to call her, as any woman that goes after a married man deserves to be called that. If she is what you want, over the wife who loves you and has stood by you, then you have two choices. 1. Stop the affair and definitely don’t work in the same job environment. 2. If your not going to stop the affair, be a man and tell your wife right away so that she can decide what she wants to do with the rest of your life. BE A MAN AND MAKE A DECISION! Don’t let your wife go through the pain that I’ve been through, we don’t deserve it.

          Linda

  11. Jessica March 16, 2011 at 12:28 am #

    Doug

    What stopped you from having a PA?
    And why did you not leave your marriage?

    • Doug March 16, 2011 at 8:27 am #

      Jessica, Having a PA was just one of those lines I would never cross. Perhaps subconsciously by not doing so, it made it less of a betrayal–and made me feel less guilt. I never really seriously ever thought about leaving my marriage. Tanya and I talked about it, but she had more of a desire to leave her husband than I had a desire to leave Linda and my family. In fact, I really never considered it. I could never do it for a number of reasons…Deep down I knew I still loved Linda and we were reconnecting nicely, I didn’t want to leave my family and there are too many consequences and complications with divorce – family-wise, friend-wise, financial, etc.

  12. HurtingHubby24 March 16, 2011 at 12:38 am #

    Sorry, I’m in a really bad place tonight and I know this will be long. Glad I can come here to vent and share. There really is not much you can do, is there? I’ve been doing a lot of thinking today, and I’ll take a shot at answering the question, “How can they continue in the affair when they see the terrible pain they are causing”?

    The answer (in my opinion) is that it’s probably because they are just that kind of person in the first place. Really it shouldn’t be surprising at all. Think about it – this is the same person who spent months actively plotting against you and your happiness, and who didn’t give a flying flip what it would do to you. Is it going too far to say they were actively plotting against you? I don’t think so. As every adult who’s ever been attracted to anyone knows, within about 20 seconds of any serious flirtation, your mind starts thinking about where things could go, what that person must be like, if you could have a chance with them, etc etc. That’s pretty much human nature. That’s why a person thinks about if they ought to try and kiss their date on the first date or not (those thoughts are already going on!)

    The perfect example is my wife. For months now I’ve listened to her go on about how she didn’t mean for any of this to happen, how she didn’t see it coming, and how if the guy just hadn’t persisted in flirting with her, none of it would have happened. And today I realized, bull crap. To set this up – when this started last March, she had lost her wedding band so was just wearing her engagement ring while we looked for it. Anyway, she started going out three nights a week to work on her novel (my idea) while I stayed home with the kids. She picked out a coffee shop nearby. It was there that she met the great looking, 7 year younger college student, who became the other man (he worked there part time). It wasn’t long before he was flirting with her, buying her drinks, talking to her on breaks, and coming in on his nights off to see her. Things developed, she started taking off her ring when she went in, and after a couple months he asked her out. They had one date and made out afterward outside of the bar, and a couple days later I figured it all out via phone records.

    In the three months this was going on, she NEVER ONCE told him that she was married and had 3 kids. It was a total shock to him when I informed him of these facts. Now I don’t know about you all, but anyone I’ve known for more than about 5 minutes knows that I’m married and have kids. That’s a pretty big deal…. when someone asks about you, that’s just the sort of thing that comes up. The fact that she didn’t tell him that on DAY ONE or WEEK ONE clearly indicates that she wanted the affair and was considering going for the affair from the get-go. Taking off the ring when she went in is beyond obvious. It didn’t just happen, it wasn’t some random event – she was pushing for it from the first day she met him. And so it goes – I believe that unless your spouse has the IQ of dirt, they knew what they were doing and what they were hoping for from about 5 minutes into the initial flirtations with the other person. Emotional (and physical) affairs do not “just happen”.

    Sorry I know this is getting long, but this leads me to a final personal conclusion. There are 3 types of people in this world: 1) People like most betrayed spouses who would never do something like this, generally tolerate way more than they should, and would probably be sick inside if they so much as took a step into an affair. I’ve heard it said that “it can happen to anyone”, but I think that’s a load of crap. 2) Stupid people who, seriously, have to be dumber than a rock to not see what they are doing or to get roped into a one-night stand. If your significant other gets caught in an affair and immediately repents and turns themselves around, odds are they’re not a bad person, but that they could also be outwitted by a marginally competent hamster. 3) People who would sell their mother into slavery if it would get them something they wanted. These people can certainly change, but that’s who they are when they start the affair. They know what they’re doing, they know it’s wrong, and they just don’t care. They may be in a “fog” now, but they sure as heck weren’t in the “fog” in the beginning when they were scheming and slithering around in the shadows.

    So of course they can continue the affair when they see how much you’re hurting. They didn’t care in the first place.

    • Yuki March 16, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

      LOL! Hurting – I love how you state it in the extreme – but yes, I quite agree with you. I suppose I’m also in a really bad place, and feeling very angry. I have had the opportunity to have affairs, but it’s like you said. For us and most faithful spouses, right alongside the realization and excitement that comes with an attraction, thoughts of what is actually happening and the consequences come to mind. I HIGHLY doubt I could ever cross the line. My husband knew what was happening and purposefully hid it from me. He was totally self-centered and selfish, easily blocking out of his mind the consequences of his actions. He knew he was risking everything for her and did it anyway.

    • mark March 18, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

      amen, brother

      • Yuki March 20, 2011 at 12:50 am #

        Mark! Haven’t seen you post in a while. How are you doing?

    • truthseeker June 23, 2012 at 1:33 am #

      Hurting hobby24 Thankyou for this post ..the raw truth..like it is..enough said..

    • Exhausted October 20, 2013 at 5:44 am #

      Hello hurting,
      My thoughts exactly. Everybody likes to think there is grey but in these cases there is only black & white. My husband ‘s excuse that he never mentioned his wife & children was that she probably knew. How? In my case you talk about what’s important to you after months of interaction you would think even by accident you would mention your wife and/or children so in my conclusion it would take a concerted effort to not mention a large part of your life. Of course mentioning children would mean you would have to explain their mother and what was going on there, so best not to bring it up I suppose. I don’t know that I’ll ever be ‘over it’ as ‘it’ is him! He made the choices that has impacted so adversely on my life and also on our children because even though they don’t know what their father did – they now have a mother who is very different than the one they had before. A more sceptictical, less trusting, harder version of the mother they had before. A mother who wants to teach her children trust and respect but does not have either for their father. I’m not overly bitter but I fear a little twisted.

  13. PTY March 16, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    I tend to agree with Dr. Frank Pittman that once “romance” enters into the equation, the affair partners have a temporary insanity. A lot of us call it “fog”. Not sure if there is anything we can do to change that. If we try hard, we are “clingy”; if we don’t try, then it is proof we have given up and accepted it. Maybe we just have to hang on for the ride.

    • Doug March 16, 2011 at 9:16 am #

      PTY, There may be some credence to what you say, as in most cases (according to Dr. Willard Harley) the fantasy will fade and the affair will die on it’s own.

      • PTY March 16, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

        Unfortunately, there may be a lot of collateral damage along the way. It may “burn out” more than “fade out”

  14. melissa March 16, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    Hi Doug
    I think you’ve nailed it. Many of the CS think that an EA is not a real affair because there is no sex so it’s fairly easy not to cross that line because that would be going into the big scary world of ‘doing something bad’. My H kept saying he had no ‘relationship’ with ‘the woman’, even though he lied and cheated to see her and admitted (after quite a while) that he ‘perhaps was infatuated with her’. I tried to explain that a relationship is something that happens when we have interaction with anyone (neighbours, teachers, friends…) but to no avail. As far as he was concerned there was no relationship and that was final. I’m not sure how he thinks now, though.

    This insistence on equating a PA with a real affair and allowing oneself to believe that an EA does no harm is the reason why BS have such a hard time getting their CS to understand their pain and also to let go of the affair – in their logic, why does one have to let go of something that is not there and does no harm anyway? Little do they know of how many boundaries they’ve crossed, how heartbroken they’re leaving their wife or husband and how difficult it will be for them to gain trust ever again.

  15. Jessica March 16, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    Melissa, you are so right on every point. When I first found out my H said he didn’t sleep with her so it wasnt an EA it want until a week later when I went thru his past phone bills and was even more devastated to learn the truth and how long 7 mints this went on for. Until this I had never even heard about EA. I appreciate all of Linda and Dougs honesty in their writings I never would have made it this far.

  16. Kathy March 16, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    After our D-Day my H also insisted it was not an affair and he was not cheating! I didn’t even think to ask him what he would call it, then, since he was hiding phone and text messages, keeping his phone locked, going to work early and staying late, and then when it all came out, he was ready to leave me for her! I would call that cheating and an affair!

    Hurting and Yuki, you both have it exactly right. I would only like to add, I wonder how my H would feel if the situation had been reversed. What if I had been as self-centered and selfish as he has…what if I was able to see another man and just look right past any suffering I was causing my H. I honestly don’t think he would forgive me. I honestly think, if the roles had been reversed, the harm would have been irreparable and we would not be together.

    • Yuki March 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

      Absolutely, Kathy, my husband has actually admitted that he would probably not be able to forgive me if I had an affair. It’s that selfish streak – they can dish it out but they can’t take it.

      My husband is normally a private, quiet person. So even under normal circumstances, he is not very expressive about his feelings. It was all very different between him and her – in every email he professed his undying love and did all sorts of romantic things. But I guess that was the fantasy world of their affair. With me, it has never been that way. But every once in a while, he gives me a gem that I hang on to when the going is tough. One day, a couple of months after D-day, he told me that he is so grateful that I have decided to stay because he knows he could not do what I am doing for him. He said he would make sure I never regret my decision. Since then, we have had huge blowouts, he has threatened to leave, he has told me that I should find someone better, and I have questionned whether he truly loves me or if I’m just the default partner that comes with the package deal of his family and lifestyle. But somewhere in the heat of it all, I always remember that day when it felt so real as we talked about those things, and I remember why I’m still here.

  17. Broken March 16, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    In August I found out my husband was having an EA with a woman at work purely by accident and through the cell phone bills. This was 18 months long. My self worth has been destroyed and my life turned upside. I have been married 30 years. My husband ended the EA the day I found out and she no longer is at his work. As far as I know he has had no contact at all with her. I have complete access to any and all of his email, cell phone, any social accounts. He hides nothing but at times gets irritable when we talk about the EA but he reluctantly will. Of course he just want to put it behind him. When I first found out he said it gave him a thrill and they had “moderate” feelings for each other whatever that is. He denies saying that though on the day I found out.My feelings are on a roller coaster and the pain is so intense some days I can’t take it. He is trying really hard to change and to save our marriage as am I. I just wonder will this pain ever go away and when will I trust again? He was staring into my eyes the other day and he said he loves me so much but could not see that love for him anymore. I fear he may be right. The anger I feel is awful. I have never contacted the OW allthough I have wanted to. Somedays I think I would rather not be with someone who could be so selfish and hurt me this way. Is this all I have to look forward to for the rest of my life? I was a fool to believe that he would never hurt me this way. We have been together since we were 14 years old (we are now in our 50s). He went through some bad times at work but we have been through worse when he turned to her for supposrt. He told her some things that I had shared with him in confidence and he shared the good and bad about our relationship. We have 4 children and 2 grandchildren who would be devastated to hear that the man they think their dad is, is really a lie. I am so tired of pretending that I dont hurt to everyone else and tired of smiling and acting like all is well with us when inside I am dying. I tried counseling but it doesn’t help. Where to go from here? Will this pain end? Is this normal to think this way? Can you ever really trust your spouse again after such a betrayel? I just don’t know. Today is one of those days I want to throw in the towel.

    • Devastated November 27, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

      I stumbled across this site and your post just now. I’m married to a good man for 20 years now. He began an EA six weeks ago while on a cycling trip in Spain. I did not go on the trip. I found 70 emails between the two of them in a two week period! He denies having anything but a friendship with this single woman who so 20 years younger. We have been through hell. Counseling has been mildly helpful, and my husband swore to me, promised and reiterated that he would never have contact with the woman again. I asked him last night if he has been in touch with her and he said yes. He mailed her a notecard (with a bicycle on it) with an SD card of all of his photos and videos from the trip. I’m once again totally devastated. He gave me his word. I will never trust him again. He was very defensive and said that he wanted to close the chapter with the OW and that she had asked him for the photos. I believe they will maintain some sort of contact. In everything I’ve read about EA’s it is clearly stated how terribly critical it is that all contact is severed. We have a 17yr. Old daughter who will be going to college this coming summer. In my heart I believe my marriage is largely over. Ugh.

  18. Josh March 16, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    I’m a middle aged married male with kids in a very intense emotional affair (over a year) that started when I reconnected (she emailed me) after 20 years with the one person that I always had thought was ‘the one’ (I had never told her but did not long after we reconnected) Now it has started to get physical. My whole life is upside down, I’m doing things I never would have considered. This ONE PERSON is the only person I had such a weakness for. I can’t stop it. More to the point, I’m sad but I don’t really want to. I know I risk losing everything, but part of me thinks maybve its time to start a new life. I have found this site and am reading everything. Is there a discussion group to deal with this? PLEASE HELP!!

    • HurtingHubby24 March 16, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

      Well Josh,

      My advice is that it’s wrong for you to have your cake and eat it too. Would you want to be living in the dark, thinking everything is great, while your wife screws around on you? Of course not. So you have a choice. Either get your act together, cut the crap, and devote yourself to your wife…. or tell her flat out what is happening, and leave with the other woman. You need to pick one or the other – playing the field and sneaking around in the shadows is not fair to anyone.

      Frankly, if you think it’s time to start a new life with another woman, then I think maybe your wife ought to be able to start a new life with another man. Someone who will love her, honor her, and be faithful to her. I’m not advocating cheating and I’m not advocating divorce, but if you “can’t stop yourself” and are going to keep this up, then at least have a small speck of decency and let her go so she can find someone who will treat her right. (You might want to consider, by the way, how you’d feel about another man making love to your wife, taking your kids on vacations and to ball games, sleeping in your bed, and living in your house courtesy of alimony money from you. Because this is most likely what WILL eventually happen if you decide to keep cheating on your wife and/or leave her).

      Hope you’ll think this through clearly and be fair to your wife, one way or another.

    • Norwegian woman March 17, 2011 at 2:44 am #

      You sound like my husband… He also reconnected with a past fling. Lost his head and fell deeply in love….
      I found out, and he stopped. Today, he is so greatful that I found out, because he was living in a bubble, with no contact with the real world. The fantasy of her, had nothing to do with who she really was, but it took a while afterwards before he found out..
      First. A woman starting an affair with a married man…. What does that say about her integrity? Is that the kind of woman you will risk loosing your wife, who has stood by your side through thick and thin ? Do you want to switch from a woman standing by her man, to a woman who wants what she wants, and she really doesn`t care how, as long as she gets it?
      Of course, you probably think that you are so special to her that she can`t help herself….?
      The OW showered my husband with compliments, how much she had thought about him over the years, how she had regretted that it did not become him and her, what a wonderful person he was, how attractive he was, a good listener, a wise person. How she had exactly the same interests as him, wiew of life etc. My husband thought he had found his soul mate.
      She thought that a man that cheated on his wife was wonderful and wise ! Think about it! Another warning sign of her integrity.
      Of course, she wasn`t really a copy of my husband. She was being kicked out by the man she lived with, and she was desperate to get another. In her past, she have moved all over Norway to get men. She just HAD to have SOMEONE, ANYONE. And my husband took the bait. All she had to do was to tell him all the things he wanted to hear, make him believe they were soul mates and she would get what she wanted. She made a pass on a married man because she had no integrity.
      My husband was so dazzled that he could not think straight. At the time he did not think about the fact that I had stood by hi throughout the years, had his kids, taken care of his needs, created a good home, loved him and accepted all his good and bad sides. I had seen him at his worst, and still loved him. I knew all about his insecurities and faults, and still loved him.
      The other woman had never seen or went through all this. With her he was all that she created. Warm, wise, thoughtful, smiling, kind, loving etc. Would she think as highly about him if she had seen his grumpy, egoistic, unkind sides?
      He knew I loved him just the way he was, because I had INTEGRITY. He knew she loved him because she had never seen all sides of him. Because it was a FANTASY.
      It was a easy choise, when he had some time to think. But it wasn`t easy. It is hard to come to terms with the thought that the affair is only a fantasy, not reality, and that no one lives forever in a fantasy. Reality comes knocking after a short while…..
      My husband took the right choise. The thought of what he was about to do, makes him cold with fear, guilt and shame today.
      Switch to reality, before you loose it all…….

    • Norwegian woman March 17, 2011 at 2:54 am #

      And about the fantasy of “The one”.
      Have you ever heard the expression. He met Lisa and knew that he had found “the one”. Three years later he married Mona….. After this woman (who probably dumped you at that time – and you couldn`t believe it), you found another “the one”, that you married….

    • blueskyabove March 18, 2011 at 3:25 am #

      What are you honestly looking for on this site? You say you “can’t stop it”. You say you “don’t really want to”. Are you expecting validation? If so, then you are on the wrong site. I suggest you go to http://www.ivillage.com and check out the MAS (My Affair Support) board. There you will find tons of justifications for continuing with your affair. You will also get to read about all the incredible, out of this world sex with your affair partner. In other words, you can continue to feed the fantasy.

      If, on the other hand, you are truly seeking help then your first step is to stop lying to yourself. For example: you can’t refer to it as “an intense emotional affair” if it has become physical. They don’t go together. It’s not that complicated.

    • J March 20, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

      This is about physical affairs but I found it really good- that being divided, torn between two people, is the inevitable result of an affair and not because of special meaning in your affair.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/12/fashion/12Modern.html?_r=1&ref=modernlove

      • Doug March 20, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

        J, a very good article, thanks. Linda

  19. FinallyOutofIt March 16, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

    Josh, I can relate a bit to your story. Not so much the reconciliation with an old friend, but being in an affair with those feelings of wanting to start a new life. Luckily for me, the OW got scared and pushed away. But I was all ready to walk out the door…

    After getting out of the “fog” and thinking through the affair, I realized how much of a fantasy it was. Trust me – I don’t know how you spend time with the OW, but it’s not real life. I’ve been there – the feelings, the emotions, the sex – all of that. It’s a huge rush and feels great. Finally a woman shows you the attention you crave. I get it, I really do. But it’s not real life.

    You don’t say anything about your relationship with your wife. Or the situation the OW is in. But here’s what I also realized. You need to look at your relationship with your wife and with the OW separately. It can’t be a “I’ll leave my wife for her”. I firmly believe you need to look at your marriage first. Do you want to stay married? Have you done everything you can to stay married? Would you leave if not for the OW? If after all that, you decide to leave, then get divorced. THEN, look at a relationship with the OW.

    This might not be what some on this site want to hear, but I would never tell you that you wouldn’t be happy with the OW. Perhaps she is the “one”. But while you’re in this fog, you can’t think straight. Plus, you’re experiencing the best parts of a relationship with her. There are no dishes to be done, no garbage to take out, etc. That’s why you need to be clear about your current relationship. You need to figure out if you want to leave – because of the situation, NOT because of the OW.

    • Karen March 17, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

      FOOI: So glad to see your update!! I can tell you’re in a much better place from your fence-sitting just a few months ago. And your second post in this section I completely agree with!!!
      Imagine that :)

      My H and I are making slow but sure progress in rebuilding our marriage, and it is very, very tough as I have no trust in him.
      While that would seem to support your decision not to reveal your affair to your wife and seek forgiveness, I’m hoping for your sake that your OW or her H does not have a vindictive bone in their bodies and that you’ve done an exhaustive job of erasing all traces of your affair. As you can see from reading here, even if the affair is over when it is revealed, the damage to the BS is very deep and long-lasting. Forgiving yourself for that is part of the work that you have done or need to do in the future.

      The other “issue” I see is what you learned about yourself (Doug mentioned this also). Hopefully my H has learned that he is prone to letting his selfish/narcisstic traits overtake his moral compass very easily and that my H likes to take the easy way out rather than doing the tough work necessary to develop skills he does not innately have, like communication for one. Is this issue common among all CS’s? Maybe. And I already adore your wife as I know she must share the BS trait of never imagining their spouse would have an affair and that, despite problems in their marriage, know they themselves would never cross that line . . . ever. And your W and I also have in common that we picked a spouse to marry that, while imperfect at best, is able to correct his/her actions (okay, maybe a bit on the slow side) to match the moral code that is required if one is going to stay married. Otherwise, get out of the marriage. (Yes, I am a very black and white person)

      I have learned much about myself also – the affair was not my fault although I contributed to creating the environment in which it happened; that I am a classic codependent (still working on that); and that I would never cause my H to suffer the pain that his affair has caused me.

      Hoping your marriage, now that you’re fully in it after a long absence, will thrive as you and your W grow old together :)

      • FinallyOutofIt March 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

        Thanks Karen – I am definitely in a much better place. Reading through your post and the others on this page definitely supports my decision. I can’t see the OW saying anything and it seems doubtful her boyfriend would find out at this point. But I suppose that’s always out there…

        The idea of taking the easy way out definitely would seem to fit. During the time I was thinking of leaving, I remember reading (either on this site or elsewhere) that simply changing your spouse doesn’t fix anything. Meaning that whatever problems you have with your current spouse, will eventually be repeated with your new one. Unless you fix the issue – often which is probably communication.

        And yes, my wife definitely shares that trait. It would seem that the two of you have quite a bit in common. Maybe that’s why I like you. :) (not like, like – you know what I mean).

        I can’t say that things are all great at home, but all in all they’re better. We still have plenty of up and downs. But we’re trying….

        I do appreciate all your help and forcefulness – I hope you and your H’s relationship will thrive as you wished for me…

    • blueskyabove March 18, 2011 at 2:13 am #

      You know all of the buzz words, don’t you? Here is reality: if you are still looking for the “one”, if you think it’s someone else’s job to make you happy, then you are still clueless. Is your wife also entitled to be clear about the current relationship or are you the only one who gets to make all the decisions?

  20. Yuki March 17, 2011 at 12:39 am #

    I recommend you read the blog Secret Life of Jane. Her February 25, 2010 post is titled 30 Reasons to Stop an Affair. She had an affair with someone she thought was her soul mate. To the right side of this page is a link to her blog.

    You’ve already screwed up, but maybe this will help you see the light. There is never any good for anyone on any side of the situation in an affair.

  21. RR March 17, 2011 at 12:49 am #

    hi Linda,
    I have been reading alot about the 180. Is there a difference between what you were trying with Doug, the backing off and working on youself while loving and supporting him, and the 180 method? Maybe you have read enough about this to give me a clearer perspectinve. Maybe others can give me more insight into this…

    • Doug March 17, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

      RR, I guess what I did was more I backed off and started doing things with my friends, worked out, etc. I also tried to implement the suggestions made in the book “Divorce Remedy” no more begging, pleading, calling all day, asking out on dates etc. Just focused on me and tried not to bring up the affair so much. The book has good suggestions on how to approach a situation like this differently than what you may be currently doing. Linda

  22. GG March 18, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    Your post angers me. Doug doesnt’ deserve you.
    He chose to go outside his marriage and continued to do so even though you found out about it. How does a person continue to rip the heart out of a woman who is his wife?
    Tanya will get hers, what come around goes around, Karma is a bitch. How dare this woman get involved with a married man!

  23. Jessica March 19, 2011 at 12:05 am #

    Broken,

    Your words are my story. One day on this site I asked if leaving him would make this pain go away? All the answers were no. IRS been eight months since Dday he has been doing everything he can to make it up to me and sometimes I’ll go a week two weeks feeling better and then wham depression. I still could never imagine someone I trusted could have done this.

    • Broken March 22, 2011 at 10:43 am #

      Hi Jessica,
      Thanks for your reply. Today is one of those days I feel like giving up. I feel so needy and I hate it. My H is trying hard but he has been irritable and I cant seem to say anything right. We talked about the EA alot the first few months but now I am afraid to bring it up…it is never the right time. I cant continuously beat him up over it. How long should it be before you dont talk about it anymore? I feel like I constantly need reaasurance from him that everything is allright. I hate feeling that way and that makes him mad at me. I can’t always expect him to act happy and “perfect” towards me because we are all human and everyday is not a perfect day. I am so sad today and so ready to not feel betrayed and angry. I look at the OW face on her facebook pic…and I cant believe he did this to me. I hate him and love him all rolled up into one emotion. Did you stay or did you go? How long has it been for you? Are you still hurting? AM I crazy?

      • melissa March 22, 2011 at 11:35 am #

        Broken, what you’re going through is awful but it’s quite normal. No one can say how long it’ll last and I fear it’ll never completely disappear from your life and your mind: it’s happened, you can’t erase it. I don’t mention the EA any more because it brings out the worst in my H and I still don’t trust him and he knows it. I need re-assurance, which he does not always provide at the right level (he re-assures me that he loves me but not that he has ‘come out of the fog’ and has no contact with the OW, which is what I really want to know).

        Like you, I look at the OW’s pictures or what she posts online and I keep tracks on her, sometimes a lot, sometimes not that much. So you see, you’re not alone.

        Hang in there and keep being strong, look after yourself.

        • Broken March 22, 2011 at 11:59 am #

          Hi Melissa,
          Your right it happened and I can’t change that. I just absolutely long for the feeling that our marriage had, just the 2 of us but that is gone now. I want August 24th back…the day before I found out. I want to stop feeling this way. I want these thoughts to stop dominating my mind. I want to sleep at night again. I want to look into his eyes and say I love you without hating him at the same time. I want my life back. I fear the only way that can happen is without him.

          • melissa March 23, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

            Broken, I know how you feel. I also longed deeply for the time ‘before’ but now I just long for the trust I have lost but I’m also grateful that I am learning to be more aware of my husband.

            He was in this EA for seven years ( on and off, I guess, I don’t know much about it). Yesterday I asked him why he’d changed and he would not reply but he now seems to be looking at me like I exist again, he says thank you for small things, he seems happier. Before, he had gradually become either totally disinterested or extremely critical of me. It’s like he was looking OUT not looking IN and I barely existed in his life except when it was convenient or when the OW wasn’t around. I feel we have both lost seven years of our life together and I feel very sad about that but I am hopeful that, maybe, we’ll have both learned a lesson and it won’t happen again…but I dare not be sure.

            • Linda November 3, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

              Melissa,
              You said that your husband was in an EA for 7 yrs. on and off. Mine was in one for 3 or 4 yrs., can’t get the truth about that from him. He says 3, the other woman’s husband says 4. Why can’t he just tell me? My H actually went off on 2 definite weekends and slept in the same bed with her, but swears that they didn’t have sex as that would be crossing the line for him. These weekends were 2 yrs. apart, so I sort of believe him, because why would someone wait 2 yrs. to have sex again? I was just curious if you felt that your H’s affair was a S/A also due to the length of it. My H didn’t always see her as often as he wanted due to getting away from her H and 2 children. I still questioned if their were other weekends but I looked and I couldn’t find any evidence of any other weekends in the 3 yrs. of receipts that I looked at back then. 25 yrs. ago, we didn’t have access to computers like everyone does now. I threw all those receipts away, stupid me, but had decided to move on and had for 20 yrs. If I want them back I have to pay about $300 for them as the bank is no longer in business. Anyway, that’s not what you were talking about, sorry.

              I too feel like you and Broken, I would give anything, even 25 yrs. later as it’s all coming back to me to go back one day and never know about that A. as it was over, supposedly. The OWH’s letter said that it was still going on, but I can’t find any proof. In a way I feel that it was as my H didn’t seem remorseful after I found out, he seemed more angry and defensive like maybe he was still seeing her and because I was told about it, he had to stop it.

              I thought that I had such a wonderful 25 yr. marriage, loved him so much and things have never been the same. I did move on and chose to love and forgive him, but unfortunately due to his behavior these past 4 yrs. of drinking to much, due to stock market loss’s or problems in our family he sure wasn’t support of me. That made me even think that their was another A going on, but it wasn’t. Still not sure what was happening, but I didn’t feel the love and support like I should have been given. So all the memories and me looking at my life with him showed me that I did all the giving and him the taking. Only now is he trying to save the marriage and I don’t know if their is any love left. It’s all so very sad that a man who never intended to marry the OW would destroy a relationship that he had everything he needed, along with so much love.
              Linda

  24. pete March 19, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    So I have been reading with fear. I need help. My wifes best friend whom We have been friends with for several years, recently (about 2 months ago) had a vehicle accident. She is single and needed a lot of help dealing with things, ie insurance new vehicle etc. She and I have spent huge amounts of time together last 2 months. She came to rely on me for much as she was unable to work or anything physical, home chores etc.
    My wife and I have been married for 36 years and I have never been unfaithfull and have hated thoses men who are. This has caught me totally by surprise, but I just can’t seem to quit thinking about her. I text her and she returns. I am becoming convinced that she is feeling the same. We have so much in common and we love the same things including my wife. But I can’t help but think I’m being unfaithfull. Nothing has been hidden from my wife, except how ive been feeling. My wife is part of our friendship. After reading all this info I wonder if I can stop my feelings. I have not crossed the line physically maybe Im nuts. After all of this I have become convinced that I need to cut this off now. I have to do so while at the same time finding a way to avoid hurting both my wife and friend.

    • Donna March 20, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

      Pete…. STOP RIGHT NOW!!!! PLease, this is coming from a betrayed wife. YES, you are cheating on your wife, emotionally with her BEST FREIND. My husband did this with my best friend, however they crosessed the line and it became emotional like yours has and then turned physical. I now am dealing with the rejection caused by my husbands actions and now have lost a friend.

      You say your wife knows all but your feelings. Anything that you are keeping from your wife… about your feelings is a secret and it is betrayal. You like the feeling of being theere or the hero for this woman. She is the poor broken puppy and you are the rescuer. I have seen it all before far too many times. She is making you feel good for all the hero like qualities you are showing her. You may know her because she is your wifes best friend, but I bet you that if you crossed the line and hyperthetically moved in with the ow you would see a totally different person.

      I repeat… STOP NOW! RUN and shut the door on her. Do not tell the ow why you are doing this, you owe her no explaination. She is not yours to worry about. You have a wife, she is what you should be concerned about and only her.

      PLEASE, I tell you this because you have no idea what you will get yourself into if you cross boundaries. The turmoil, the destruction that will happen. Well done for coming on here and before it is too late. Please keep us updated, I want you and your wife to be happy, not you and your wifes best friend. Good luck on breaking away and closing the door. Keep posting and asking questions. Good Luck!

      • pete March 21, 2011 at 6:22 am #

        Donna I am sorry for your situation. Thanks for the reality check. I DO NOT WANT this to go further. I have stopped things after I made that 1st post, I thought. After your comment I see I need to take things further to stop things.

        • Donna March 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

          I am so VERY PROUD of you and for talking to your wife. Because of what you did shows the love and respect you have for her. I too like so many others wish my husband had the respect to do what you have done, so I too applaude you.

          I too had not heard of emotional affairs before, to me it was just an affair. My husband started out by texting and talking every day and then it increased to 4 or 5 times a day and sometimes more. The other woman was my very best friend in the whole world, she was more like a sister tio me. I actually saw her 4 or 5 days out of the week and spoke to her on the phone ALL the time. Not once did I pick up from her that something was wrong, where as with my husband I new something was not right from the second time we met tis woman and her family. She was married at the time with 4 children too and we have 4 children too.

          There was a connection, she liked cars just like my husband, she was in a crappy marriage and so she would ask my husband for advice andhe would give a male perspective on things and then he started asking her questions for a female perspective about our marriage. They “thought” they were trying to help each other out in their marriages. Because they started to complain about the spouses they then created another common bond and it went from their. Myhusband and I were not in a bad marriage, more like in a rut. OW was in a crap marriage and so my husband became the rescuer tothis woman and she was the broken puppy and looked after her and fed her ego and because he ws doing that for her she was all grateful and ful of praises for him and stroked his ego. Before long the hand touching began and then more phone calls and more distancing from me and his 4 children and then the arguments and the more lies to cover up his 1st lie. All the while I was thinking I was going crazy because he made me out tothink I was imagining things. Little did I know I was right on, I just never once thought of an affair because I trusted the both of them. I actually thought I had the problem and was a terrible wife and ws the one who needed to apologise for being a terrible wife.

          Not long after they became intimate and onl;y were going to have sex once and then break it off and it happened liket his for nearly 18 months. I found out 9 months into the affair and I thought that wouldbe it, over and done wiht…not so. 9 months later and huisband moving out and him saying he wants his marriage but not being able to break it off with other woman and vice versa.

          My husband has been home now for 8 weeks, and I still do not know 100% if it is over with this OW. His actions say yes, but this once VERY trusting wife and person in general has had the very core of my soul shaken so severly that I just don’t know if I an trust him on this part. It is going to take years of recovering fromt eh aftermath of what he indulged selfishly in.

          He did say to me, if he had known what it was going to be like he NEVER would have entered an affair. No one would, so once again, I am so very grateful for your questions and your thoughtfulness to get out of something now before you destroy your wife. Yes, you may have stuffed up her friendship with best friend.. but you onow what… you are more important than the best friend and she will thank you for your actions one day. As for the best friend, if she apparently feels the same for you, then I am afraid, sheis not the friend she wants in her life. Been there and done that and I say she is better off without her… and so are you. Good luck in your recovery, it will be a process and please don’t be tempted to call her or text her or facebook her to ask hoiw she is doing, that is the slip up so many fall into and then it starts all over again. The sooner you withdraw the better off you will be. Good Luck!

          • pete March 21, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

            Thank you again and I hope the best for you both. Im glad I was able to listen to you all before it got that far. Its going to be a long battle I think, Resisting the contact is proving difficult but I will succed and I hope your husband will succeed as well and you can get back to a life resembling what you had before.

    • Doug March 21, 2011 at 9:53 am #

      Pete, Thanks for sharing. That certainly was good of you to help out your friend in her time of need. But it’s time that you back off from helping and concentrate your effort on your relationship with your wife. It may be difficult for you due to your feelings, but it is for the best.

  25. blueskyabove March 20, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    pete,

    Yes, you need to cut this off now. Do not expect your wife’s friend to take the initiative. If your suspicions are correct and she is indeed feeling the same way as you and has done nothing to stop, then you need to realize that she is not acting as if she is your wife’s best friend. Or yours either for that matter.

    You stated that nothing has been hidden from your wife except how you have been feeling. Does that include the texting? Has your wife read them? All of them? It is vitally important that you do not lie to yourself.

    My advice to you is to be absolutely transparent with your wife. Tell HER you need her help. Get your wife on your team! You can only avoid hurting your wife by being open and honest before this goes any further. Yes, it might be a tough subject to bring up, but I promise you it’s a walk in the park compared to what you will be facing later if you continue down this path. Keep nothing hidden including your sudden feelings for this other woman. It is the secrecy that feeds the fantasy of an affair.

    As Dr. Phil says, “If you want to know if you’re having an affair, ask your spouse.” That is really the only person’s opinion that matters.

    • pete March 21, 2011 at 6:34 am #

      So to both you and Donna I have now talked to my wife about what has been going on. I even had her read all the texting on my phone. Initially she thought I was overreacting. I showed her what I had read here and your comments. I feel 100% better however we have a lot of work to do to mend.
      What boggles me is that I never intended this to happen. I am religious and have prided myself on helping others and on my principles regarding the opposite sex. I feel ashamed and had never even heard of emotional affairs before this.
      Thanks for the push and thanks to the creators of this site.
      My deep regrett is that I have allowed me to possibly ruin my wifes friendship. stupid!! My wife still thinks I am overreacting but will talk to her friend and see ……… thanks. by the way pete is not really my name might as well come clean with everything!

      • blueskyabove March 21, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

        Pete

        Bless you for going to your wife with this! Just reading that you feel 100% better is evidence to me that you made the right decision.

        If it’s any comfort most of the betrayed spouses here probably hadn’t heard of emotional affairs either. I think it’s safe to say I speak for all of us when I tell you we would have been so grateful to have had our spouse trust and respect us enough to talk to us in the beginning. Who knows how many people you have helped by posting your fear and concern, and your decision? I applaud you, Pete.

        Oh, and just so you know…blueskyabove isn’t my real name either.

  26. Iva March 21, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    I gave my husband a choice to drop the OW and commit to fixing our marriage or leaving. After a little over a month of thinking he left. He now lives with her (as friends only) and another male friend of ours. I want him back even though I realize I deserve to be treated better. I did all I could to be loving and supportive and become better and fix anything he complained about and I begged and pleaded and all that stuff, but now I am just going on with my life with our boys, holding on to hope even though it dies a little everyday, It has been almost 50 days since he left and over a month since I last confronted him or begged or pleaded. Our marriage wasn’t bad, we had things stacked against us but there was light at the end of the tunnel but she came and he gave away everything that matters to her, even if they are only friends.
    I do not know what to do now, I do not know if he will ever get out of the fog.

  27. Broken March 22, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    Pete,
    When I read your first thread I felt nothing but anger towards you because I knew the pain your wife was soon going to be feeling. I am not proud of you as someone else said because bottom line you cheated on your wife and you could have helped it and walked away along time ago. Cheaters don’t deserve praise. You can help how you feel about the trash that is your wifes friend. You can help your behavior and saying you can’t is nothing but an excuse. I have spent the last 8 months reading everything I can about what my H did to me. Would you like to know what the pain feels like. Many experts say the pain is equivelant to what woman feel when they are raped. So I hope from this day forward you do whatever is in your power to love and heal that woman that has stuck by your side for all os these years. Pull away from the trash that has betrayed her because her true character should be measured by the fact that she is cheating with her friends husband. Don’t kid yourself YOU CHEATED. You cheated in your heart and to a woman there is no greater betrayel. Boo hoo she needed your help. That was the excuse the OW used with my H because she was going through a divorce. Nothing but excuses from you, from my H and the trash woman you deal with. Don’t walk away, RUN AWAY and don’t look back. Your wife deserves all of you. There can be NO CONTACT with the other woman ever again.

    • pete March 22, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

      thank you and I can feel your pain in what you have said.
      I agree with everything you have said. And I never said that I could not change, I am in the process with my wife. That was why I searched out what was happening to me and ultiimatly to my wife. I am gratefull to her and to all of you. If I wanted to continue I never would have written what I did. I appolagize to you for your husbands actions on behalf of men. I do not expecct praise I only expected help because of my actions.
      Sorry once again.

      • blueskyabove March 22, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

        Pete

        Just for the record I stand by everything I posted to you earlier.

        It’s possible that either I or others misunderstood your initial post, but based on my interpretation, I gathered that you didn’t understand and didn’t like what you were suddenly feeling toward this other woman and therefore, you sought help. I wish my husband had sought help instead of allowing it to develop further.

        Good luck to both you and your wife.

    • pete March 22, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

      broken
      just to add to my last staement, I did not even realize what I was doing until about 3 weeks ago. I felt bad and started trying to understand what and why I was doing these things. I admit I was flattered by the attention! I admit it I was feeling things I had not felt in a long time. And I new it was wrong thats why I took the action I have. Everything is now done. Instead of my wife being hurt she thanked me for talking to her. We together feel we were in a rut that was at root, in part, of the problem.

      NO EXCUSES I screwed up. My advice to other men who find themselves in this situation. Don’t wait, stop now and talk to your wife! Its the only way.

      • blueskyabove March 22, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

        Pete

        I don’t think you screwed up. You ALMOST screwed up. You COULD HAVE screwed up but you didn’t.

        “Instead of my wife being hurt she thanked me for talking to her.”

        You made my day with this statement. It feels good to have you confirm for me that I actually knew what I was talking about! OK I have to stop typing now ’cause I need a hand to pat myself on the back. Thanks.

      • Broken March 22, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

        Pete…your wife must be a saint because I don’t care if my husband told me or I found out the way I did the pain would be the same. I also have a REALLY hard time believing that anyone would not know what was happening to them especially in this situation but I have never been the cheater only the cheated upon. Everything is not done…it’s only the beginning. You owe your wife all the time and effort you have inside you to make this up to her. It doesn’t just …poof….go away. I am not sure what you told your wife because my husband told me he got a “thrill” out of the phone calls, text messages, etc and that he had “moderate” feelings for the OW. Thrill, mild, moderate, intense…it’s all the same. My H had feelings for another woman, he supported her, betrayed my confidence and hid it from me. He too said the week I found out that he was going to tell her goodbye and tell me because it didn’t feel right and no longer wanted to communicate with her. The pain is no different for me. I hope it all works out for you. Your wife sounds like an angel and a much better person then I could ever be. I forgive my husband but I will never forget. Time has only provided a small amount of healing for me and I pray for more. I use to look forward to 5 pm (the time he came home) now it represents an hour where I have to put on a happy face and act like what he did doesn’t hurt anymore. I dont think anyone who cheats deserves praise. We all have choices in life…we all have crossroads in life and opportunities to make the right choice. I am glad you have walked away and I hope you stay away. My only concern is for your wife. I hope she finds happiness.

        • pete March 22, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

          Broken
          my wife is very forgiving, will she forget – probably not. I really don’t deserve that anyway. Is she hurt – yes. When I realized what was going on I made a change. I searched out what was going on. I was not caught. I told my wife everything. I hope in time you will find it in your heart to forgive AND forget. Only then can things return to semi normal. Like I said before I am not seeking your forgiveness only hers, and I have cut off the OW, but I do understand your need to lash out at me. Thank-you I needed that.

  28. Jessica March 22, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    Broken,

    Sometimes I wish I never knew. Today for the first time in a long time I didn’t look at her facebook and didn’t look at the phone bills from last March, a good day so far then a good friend calls to go out for her birthday next week its her 40th and the Restaurant she wants to go to is. ….. A place my H took her to lunch at , all my happy feelings are gone he has even ruined where I can go have a meal at.

    My trust is gone I don’t even know Pete and I was thinking did he really tell his wife all the truth? And will his wife end up on this site soon?

    • pete March 23, 2011 at 10:43 am #

      I have been awake most of the night and I could not help but think about you. I was wondering, Are you being completley honest with your husband. You said to me anything that you keep from your mate is a betrayal. You said you put a smile on your face when he comes home and pretend everything is ok. To me that too is a betrayal. No your not in an affair and I understand your lack of trust. Im thankful I never got as far as your husband did, thanks to people like you. I have listened to everyone here and followed through. I honestly did not understand where I was until I looked here. But no excuse,
      I did tell my wife everything… have you? It seems to me that this is the way to deal with your pain, not by pretending everything is ok. Your husband needs to know these things, everytime you feel them! Pretending is fantasy is it not, that does not solve problems only compound them. I hope with all my heart that you can find a way to deal with it. Again I apolagize to you and hope that your bitterness and lack of trust can be overcome. Life’s curves have not been kind to you, my wife, and so many others. Perhaps counselling will help if you are not already there.

      • Broken March 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

        Pete,
        Thanks for thinking of me. I am not quite sure what you mean that you didn’t go as far as my H because to me it was the same. We are 8 months into the recovery process and have discussed everything over and over again. I feel like I can’t continue to beat him up over a mistake that he made everyday. The feelings I have are my own and I have to learn to deal with the way I feel or leave. He trys very hard to make things better for me and I see no purpose to slap him in the face on a daily basis with what he has done to me. I did go to a counselor, a very good one at that, but it didn’t help.
        When we have those discussions regarding the EA, I feel better afterwards and he feels worse so what good can become of that? I have to admit I find it hard to believe that if you truely told your wife everything that she would thank you for it. Perhaps we are dealing with 2 very different things here. Nope you don’t need anyones forgiveness but your wifes and like I said before she must be saint to just let this go and move on or you didn’t tell her everything or this is a totally different beast. It really doesn’t matter. My anger and hurt are my own and no different then anyone else who has gone through this or ever willl. I have forgiven my H. I have been with him since I was 14 years old and we are now 52. I grew up with him and built a life with him. He has destroyed the sanctity of our marriage and it will never be the same….ever. I grieve for the way I felt before he allowed someone else access to our union. Before he shared his hopes and dreams with a stupid whore who’s H just got done cheating on her and she was divorcing him….so go figure. Make another woman go through the same hell you just went through…I don’t get it. So now I have become someone I don’t like. Someone who is sad all of the time, who doesn’t trust anymore, who feels angry most of the time. My H knows how I feel. I mostly act happy because I have children and a grandchild that lives with me and they deserve a happy home. They deserve to never know what their father and grandfather did to me because he didn’t do it to them. He is a good man who made a mistake but I can’t help how I feel. I don’t have much compassion for men or woman who cheat on their spouses. I once told him that we could work through anything in our marriage but cheating was a deal breaker for me. I just never thought I would actually have to deal with it. I am not the bad guy here Pete. I am not betraying my husband and I am honest with him. I even care about not making him feel bad it. I own my feelings and maybe someday when it doesn’t hurt so much I can live again. I hope everything works out for you.

    • pete March 23, 2011 at 11:06 am #

      Sorry Jessica I was responding to Broken and I read your post thinking about her Its been a long couple of days.

    • Broken March 23, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

      Jessica…I thought the exact same thing inregards to your last statement. I just don’t know how anyone could say thank you for telling me that.

      I know how you feel anout the restaurant…..my H use to go to this sports bar with everyone from work including her and when I drive by it I feel like puking. I also look at Facebook amd the cell phone bills…almost waiting for him to slip up but he hasn’t in 8 months. I went a couple of weeks even forgetting about it but it’s back. I have triggers that make me feel bad.

      I don’t know if I wish I never knew…I am sure eventually I would have found out.

      Anyways take care. I hope today is better for you.

  29. Jessica March 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    Broken,

    I hope you have a good day too. Everything you write is what I feel, this past weekend I was ready to leave I just couldnt take the pain anymore but after a huge emotional conversation with H decided to really try again it’s a struggle everyday I am 52 we have four kids one grandkids and one on the way all our future plans seem so distant I can’t barely think past a week. There’s no way I can beat him up everyday for what feeling but he knows were not okay were not there yet he asked me this weekend will I feel this way until he dies? And I said honestly I don’t know and that in itself is horrible for him and me. My friend said I will start to feel better after the one year mark I sure hope so she went thru this but her husband also had a PA.

    • Broken March 23, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

      We are the same age , have the same amount of kids and soon will have the same amount of grandkids. I feel the same way. I struggle everyday with these feelings and it is old and tiresome but they just won’t go away. Gosh I hope your friend is right and the 1 year mark is the ticket. How long has it been for you since you found out?
      I still feel the need to talk about the EA but like you I don’t want to continuously beat him up about it. So what do you do? I just suffer and don’t say anything and then I can’t take it anymore and we talk about it. He gets extremely sad and I feel better…that’s not healthy either. Do you just stop talking about it? I just don’t know. I am so super sensitive to his every mood and emotion and I hate being so needy. I have always been strong and independent, now I am a puddle of mush. When he is in a bad mood I think, probably talking to her again when I know he isn’t. But….really do I know he isn’t because he lied to me for 18 months and hid what he was doing like a pro so how do you really ever trust again?
      No one knows what my husband did. No family or friends know. My best friend is the wife of his best friend so I can’t tell her and I would never want family to think poorly of him even though he deserves it. So I have no one to talk about it with.

      My H told me my neediness gets to him sometimes. I was like really….then I guess you should have thought about that when you were having fun. I often wonder what they were thinking. Did it ever cross their minds that this would end and the people they are married to would be devastated. Was it worth it? I spend days not doing anything, I can’t seem to even do day to day things like I use to. My mind is never far from drifting back into the reality of my life. That angers me. The man I love, the man I thought would never hurt me like this…took away my happiness.

      Did you ever contact the OW? I never have but am tempted to. My H said it would embarass him but I could do it.

      Don’t you feel like…what do I have to look forward to with this person. Feeling like this forever? Yet the history is there, the love is there. I guess just wait it out for me and hope one day I wake up and the pain is gone.

      Hang in there.

  30. Broken March 23, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    melissa
    Broken, I know how you feel. I also longed deeply for the time ‘before’ but now I just long for the trust I have lost but I’m also grateful that I am learning to be more aware of my husband.
    He was in this EA for seven years ( on and off, I guess, I don’t know much about it). Yesterday I asked him why he’d changed and he would not reply but he now seems to be looking at me like I exist again, he says thank you for small things, he seems happier. Before, he had gradually become either totally disinterested or extremely critical of me. It’s like he was looking OUT not looking IN and I barely existed in his life except when it was convenient or when the OW wasn’t around. I feel we have both lost seven years of our life together and I feel very sad about that but I am hopeful that, maybe, we’ll have both learned a lesson and it won’t happen again…but I dare not be sure.

    Melissa,
    That’s a good way to put it…to be more aware. My H is the same way. Tries very hard to listen more, to be more mindful of my needs. I have asked him why he didn’t do this before I found out about the EA. It’s is strange but I think they take us for granted and use it as an excuse to justify their behavior. Makes you think there is something wrong with you but in reality it’s the other way around. I guess in some ways things are better. In August when I found out,,,I thought it was one of the best months we had ever had. I guess thats what makes it so painful is that even when I thought we were doing great he was cheating. Makes it hard to trust. Did you know the OW? I read that if you are thinking about leaving (which I have) to be with someone new because they haven’t cheated on you…that you have a much larger chance of the new person cheating on you then your spouse especially in an EA. The pain you have both experienced teaches lessons. Take care.

    • melissa March 24, 2011 at 3:45 am #

      I sort of knew who she was but had never met her, except briefly once or twice in the last couple of years. She works in the same industry as my H. I confronted her a couple of times on the phone (the first time after D-day and then when my H and her got back in touch behind my back, allegedly for ‘work-related things’. She sounds selfish, immature (she’s in her late 30s) and seems to have a network of men she can call upon when she needs help (emotional, car trouble, work problems…). I think my H felt at some stage that he’d gone too far and was trapped as I did not know anything about their relationship, but he could not stop it until i found out. I suspect she used him but he lapped up the attention (men’s ego is sometimes very fragile, isn’t it!).

  31. Broken March 23, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    Jessica the post date today at 2:01 pm was in response to your post to me…sorry forgot to put your name on it.

  32. pete March 23, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    well here’s a twist for you, My wife has now said after talking with the other woman that I am the one with the problem and I am over reacting. OW has assured her that there is nothing from her end. She, my wife, is not going to stop their friendship. this is well… not good for me as she is over a lot. Maybe Im just crazy. Im done with this ….. frustrating and I’ll just bury my head in the sand. Hope for the best.

    • Donna March 23, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

      I am sorry this is tough for you Pete. As for the “best friend” I would not trust her at all. As I have said before, been there and done that. Why did she call on you so much? why was she so dependant on you all the time for help? of course she is going to say what she did to your wife. Of course she would not come out and be honest. Of course your wife will believe her. My so called best friend later told me she was honest with everything else apart from anything to do with my husband. They are cunning and sly, so of course your wife will believe. She needs to watch for the signs. You need to show any text messages or emails or anything that she may send to you in the future if she does and vice versa. You need to let your wife read this post. I am serious, this ow is cunning and knows all the tricks. Keep us posted.

      • melissa March 24, 2011 at 3:46 am #

        I agree with you, Donna. Pete, if you felt there was something ‘strange’ in your relationship with this woman, then your instinct is right, it wasn’t healthy or ethical. Keep away!

    • Morrigan March 24, 2011 at 9:49 am #

      Hello Pete, I also want to express to you to please be aware and be careful. Currently I am watching my own friends got through this. And yes, she will deny it all to unfortunately save her own ass or because in truth, she may not have sorted out her own emotions as of yet. I have watched painfully as one of my male college friends (married) physically flirt, text, email etc with one of our female friends, who also volunteers at a foundation we have all been at for 15 years. When confronted he denies it all, and hurts our female friend, it’s been a cycle now for about 3 years. Every time he is confronted, he denies it all and says she is the one over reacting etc. At this point he has been confronted by 3 mutual friends, as we all have witnessed the inexcusable behaviors and wonder what the hell he is doing. And to be honest, as a female here, I think women are much more cunning in this fashion then men, not meaning to insult anyone. So please just be AWARE, do as others suggest and be up front and honest, show texts emails etc to your wife. Let her know that you just don’t ever want anything to be misunderstood, just don’t “play the game”. Some people are really great at it.

      It’s been very hard to watch my own friends going thru all of this as I am 9 1/2 months D-Day. I see it happening with so many people around me that I am beginning to think people can’t be monogamous. It’s just all really sad. You did the right the thing Pete.

      • pete March 25, 2011 at 1:00 am #

        Morrigan I will thanks I don’t want this to happen, I’ll try to keep positive.
        Tonight she cooked dinner here, she served me my plate, presentation is everything you know,she even dished it up. She poured me a drink. And I said thank-you. And I think I am crazy…………….

  33. Jessica March 23, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    Broken
    I will write back later my phone is having issues……..

  34. jessica March 24, 2011 at 12:33 am #

    Broken,

    I found out 8 months ago, July 27, 2010. I found out overhearing a phone conversation he was having with her breaking it off, telling her he couldn’t see her. My stomach was in knots, I couldn’t breathe, it was like an out of body experience. (his EA lasted 7 months)

    There are times when I have felt like calling her, from his phone, but then I don’t. There is really nothing she could say or do to help me and I would probably end up helping her more. She wasn’t understanding why he ended things with her, she emailed him three times afterwards, left him an emotional voice mail and even went to his office, he wasn’t there. He didn’t respond to any of those times so she finally called him from someone else’s phone, he was mad and told her she has to respect what he’s asked of her and not to contact him anymore. He never told her why their friendship had to end he just ended it. He immediately called and told me about each time she contacted him.

    I still don’t know why he got involved with her, she is a huge mess, had an affair with a married guy, got divorced from her husband in January 2010, her 16 year old son got in a physical fight with her and she called the police on him, this woman has very few friends and is a mess. He knew her for 15 years a business aquaintance, and said he was trying to help her….. she latched onto him and is crazy, he says it just happened…. what just happened this went on for 7 months, it wasn’t a one time lunch “date” this was calls, text, emails and many lunches….

    As much as I could see where she was the one in the beginning who was calling him, I blame him 100% (pete the same 100% at fault) because my H took that vow for better or worse, we used to joke no one gets out of our marriage alive, till death do us part…. now I cant even utter those words. So now its the worse…….

    There are times I have to decide not to inflict my anger and hurt on him, because I do know he is trying and I do know he feels remorse..and basically I love him and don’t want to hurt him, just for him to understand how much I do hurt. But other times I do because he is the one who caused this.

    I am coming to the conclusion that I can’t expect him to heal the hurt that he caused. I am looking for a new therapist to try and help guide me.

    I told my sister in law, big mistake, leave family out of it. My friend has given me the best advise but I don’t want to abuse our friendship by dumping on her everyday.

    • Broken March 24, 2011 at 10:20 am #

      It’s good to hear you feel the same way especially in regards to talking about it with your H. I hold my tongue alot when I want to talk about it for the same reason…to not hurt him. Is that like crazy? They hurt us beyond words yet we are worried about that but it’s true. I can’t beat him up everyday and expect us to heal. I agree with you as well, that we can’t expect them to heal us…we need to heal ourselves. I do feel that we should expect certain behaviors to be there on their part. I went to a therapist allreadt, didn’t help me at all. I actually felt when I was telling her everything like I shouldn’t feel the way I do. Anyways didn’t go back.

      I wondered about telling people too. I guess I definately won’t after what you said.

      I feel like calling the OW too alot just to see how deep it really was. I don’t know why I care about how much she felt for my H. I just do. I want to see if he told the truth about the EA.I have read that most H do not tell the whole truth and afterward don’t tell you everything because now they don’t want to hurt you more. I need the WHOLE truth…just give it to me and move on. Well at the point where I don’t bring it up anymore. I try and hang onto the good times we are having now together but it’s hard.

  35. Broken March 24, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    Pete,
    The OW sounds like a very manipulative person. Lying to your wife will get her what she wants….time with you. Take the lead and stay away no matter what. I dont understand your wife at all. You have told her your feelings on this matter yet she still wants to be around this OW? It doesn’t make sense.

    • Broken March 24, 2011 at 10:24 am #

      Pete I also wanted to say that (and I mean no disrespect to woman) we as a gender are very manipulative. We can pretty much get anything we want from a man by saying and doing the right things and that includes taking you away from your wife. If she has feelings for you all she has to do is lie and you’ll still be there and she’ll still have her friend. Not quite sure what she told your wife for her to remain friends, If my best friend of 40 years went after my husband she would be GONE. No excuses and no words could make that ok. Good luck.

  36. Jessica March 24, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    Broken,

    Now that I know I want the truth all of it that is why I ask him the same questions over and over. Doug has really helped I saw a post last night where you asked him questions and he answered them it helps to get the insite from his perspective. My H keeps saying I have the truth but he is out of the fog and so his answers are from how things are now, and he really doesn’t want to cause me any more pain. I told him I want to know everything I don’t want some crazy person showing me emails he wrote and being surprised he says I know everything I don’t know if there was a way I could get copies of every text and email I would.

    I wouldn’t get any peace from the OW it would be her warped perspective and not reality plus my H ended it and her motives might be to lie and so I don’t want that drama or her in my life she is not a person I have any respect for or would have as a friend her moral character is despicable. My H was married he should have been off limits.

  37. pete March 25, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    This is my final post here I don’t think I am doing any of you any good. Good luck to all of you in your recoveries. I am a little closer to understanding myself now, and the depth of thinking wrongly of someone else and You have all helped, especially you broken. I really hope you will recover soon and you and your husband can resume as normal a life as possible.
    You have all helped me to be honest with my wife but especially to myself. In time my wife will see and hopefully I can keep myself in check.
    Thanks again and apolagize if I have caused anyone any pain.

    • Broken March 25, 2011 at 10:30 am #

      Thanks Pete….good luck. You’re going to need it.

  38. Jessica March 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

    Broken,
    Did you decide to contact the OW? Did your H say he would go to counseling with you?

    • Broken March 25, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

      No I never contacted her allthough some days I really want to. My H said he didn’t care if I did but it would embarass him. Whatever that means.. I know the OW, she use to work with my H and I have been at parties and other functions with her. I think back on those times and wonder what she was thinking when she was looking at me, I wonder if there was any sense of wrong knowing she was talking to my H and acting like she was my friend. I could never do that to another woman so it’s hard for me to understand how anyone could be so deceptive. My H first said he would not go with me to counseling and then said he would because he wanted to do whatever I needed him to do to help me heal. I never asked him to go….I went alone. The only good thing about it was I could vent my anger with the counselor instead of with my H otherwise it was a waste of money.

      Would your H go with you? How are you doing today?

  39. Jessica March 25, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    Broken,

    My H has honestly done everything I’ve asked and then some . Lunch time is always very hard, he’s a director and takes my calls at lunch because he knows I get anxiety if he doesn’t. Today he was going out to lunch with a group he asked me beforehand if I was okay I said yes then he called afterward, I am thinking this is so stupid on my part.

    I never met the OW and she doesn’t work with him I couldn’t imagine how you feel actually knowing her.

    How are you doing?

    • Broken March 27, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

      Sorry it took me awhile to get back to you….I work weekends. I feel the same way when my H goes out for lunch or if I know he’s out with work. I get filled with anxiety. He travels alot and I dread when he leaves. He too has done everything right. That’s what is so frustrating that the bad feelings hang around.

      The OW wasn’t a friend….she was his friend. I only knew her from office parties and other events when she was there. I remember going to a girls night party and she was there. She stared at me alot and whispered to her friend while staring at me and I thought it was strange. Now I know she was after my H and that I was the fool because he was talking to her and sharing his hopes and dreams with her.

      I look at her pic on facebook and want to puke.

      Hope you had a good weekend. In away the weekends are about the only time I am too busy to care about my life.

  40. Lori March 25, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    Hi everyone – I’ve been getting emails on this string because I made a comment early on. I want to say that I think all of you are remarkable people who have unfortunately gotten into a mess. Everything about EAs – Are. A. Mess. – period. From the obsessing that we, the betrayed partners endure, to the cheating spouse who just wants to ‘move on’ and forget about the damage because, well, we’ve forgiven them. Unless you have been betrayed, you can never ever EVER imagine the pain. It pierces the heart, infects the mind and attaches to the ego. One day you’re perfectly fine, happy knowing that you’ve moved passed the affair, the next day the most innocent of things can trigger a reaction that you never ever imagined – from passing a restaurant, to hearing a song, to having a 10 year old say…”daddy is playing Words With Friends with Gini” (or insert the OW/M’s name here) while you’re sitting in Costco and you’re entire world deflates but you can’t get mad because the kids are with you. And then when you do get mad, you’re portrayed as the ‘crazy’ one, the one who is making much more out of it then should…. And then you start to believe it. At least, that’s what happened to me. Then I found this site and all of you….. and we are all going through this together, and it’s a terrible way to find bonding between us all because of the subject, but here we are. My heart goes out to all of you who have recovered from this, who has a partner who has decided to stick it out, who chose you, who is working through the pain and hopefully getting to a place of real love, understanding and family. It will be worth it… I envy you. My cheating partner didn’t choose me – I gave him an ultimatum and he didn’t choose me. We weren’t married, but I have been with him for 4 years and I tried to get Gini out of his system. He had NC with her until recently and he’s now again ingrained in her life. I not only lost him, but his 2 wonderful girls that I loved as much as they were my own. And, I can’t see them. He made this out to be all my fault, because I’m making much more out of it than it is. Well, for those of you that talk about wanting to know what their emails say to each other; I say, no you don’t, you don’t want to know. Because, if you knew the truth, it hurts that much more. I read so many of their thousands and thousands of emails and instant messages back and forth to each other. They had a nickname for me, besides ‘crazy.’ He always told me about where they were going and what they were doing, so that was ‘ok’ to him because “they were just friends!” He obsessed about her, and wondered why I ended up obsessing about them. She was on a pedestal, but I was in the outhouse. It wears you down… it makes you feel like any self-worth you have is gone… it just plain sucks!! I say, love is a wonderful thing and worth every ounce of pain – – if he wanted me back, I know I would try to make it work. But I can’t with her in the picture; it just goes against everything that is right, ethical, moral and with my own beliefs. So, even though he’s out of my life, I still come here to help me through the rough patches. It’s been hard this week because it’s Spring Break and I wanted for the 4 of us to be on our family vacation like I thought I would get an entire lifetime of. I’m sad, broken hearted and wish that NO ONE should ever feel like this. I know that you all know what I mean and all I can say is THANK YOU!! xoxoxoxox

    • Broken March 27, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

      Lori…..I just want to tell you that your post made me cry. I also could relate to everything you said and I read your post to my H….who is the cheater. He didn’t know that I go on this website. He saw me reading your post from my phone and I was crying. It was a way for me to express how I felt through another person. Thank you for your post.

  41. jessica March 27, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    Lori,

    I hope you find the peace that you deserve.

  42. Lori March 28, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    Thanks Jessica, that means a lot to me. Broken, I’m sorry you cried by reading my post, but I hope it was therapeutic for you. If we’re not growing and learning from our own mistakes, and mistakes of others, then we’re not truly living. Doug and Linda recommended a book called Real Love by Greg Baer that has helped me out, and if you haven’t picked up a copy, I highly recommend it as well. If you have a partner willing to work on your relationship, you have what you need. All you need now is more understanding and some helpful resources to get you where you want to go. Real Love will help me in my next relationship, if I can ever find one. I won’t lie, this breakup has torn me up and I’m trying to recover. If anyone knows a good blog or resource for me, please let me know. I feel like a fifth wheel coming here when my ex-partner isn’t willing to work it out with me.

  43. jessica March 30, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    I am going to back out of my friends birthday party dinner this week, I just can’t go to the restaurant and have a good time. I also can’t go to his work either, I feel like everyone there must know she used to stop by and pick him up for their lunches……
    I do feel some progress though our youngest baseball season has started back up, and oldest daughter is enjoying her pregnancy and sharing everything with me. For the first time in 8 months I have been concentrating on that and enjoying the baseball games and haven’t really thought about the OW that much, it was nice to finally laugh and enjoy the moments. The sadness is still there deep down, but not consuming my every thought.
    I will buy the book Lori has recommended.

  44. Brian March 31, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    My wife told me in early February that she wasn’t happy and she “was not in love with me anymore”. We’ve been happily married for 18 years (or so I thought). Needing answers, I checked the phone records and, sure enough, found that she had been texting excessively to a certain number for several months. I confronted her about it and she admitted who the OM was and that she had been to his house (inapprpriate!) at least three times but they were “just friends” and did nothing physical. Meanwhile her effort towards me and our marriage has been zero. No emotional or physical connection or even attempts to. She said she needs space and I have backed off. We are both starting counseling individually and, hopefully, we will start marriage counseling together soon. At this time she is unwilling to end the EA (she would call it “friendship” although they are in contact everyday, texting mostly). She has mentioned separating and I told her she is free to go, but she will not leave the house and I don’t think I should have to leave. We have two boys.

    What should I do? Should I stay home and ride it out hoping the EA will die? I’ve been waiting for couples counseling to see where we end up but at this point I think she is looking forward to a new life with him so I’m not optimistic…

    Linda, you said in an earlier post that you and Doug started reconnecting, having fun, being more physical, and that might have influenced Doug to have second thoughts about what he was doing. Doesn’t that fly in the face of the “Love Must Be Tough” approach. I guess I’m having a tough time walking the line between healthy distance and giving love to reconnect. Any advice would be helpful.

    • Doug March 31, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

      Brian, yes in the beginning we did do things together to reconnect, more physical, etc. but at the time Doug was denying his affair. So while things were getting better I always had a feeling that there was something holding Doug back, well of course I found out later he was involved with another woman and didn’t want to give up either relationship. Eventually I needed to change my behavior because Doug was having his cake and eating it too. We didn’t stop doing things together, and being intimate, I just told him that I would not share him with another woman and I was going to move on with our without him. If the affair would have continued I would had to incorporate other techniques, but luckily it did end and I didn’t have to use all the tough love techniques. Linda

  45. Roger April 6, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    I need help from anyone who can give it. I come to this site because it offers many “success” stories in that many of the CS’ have ended the EA and decided to work on their marriage.

    Sadly, that is not my story, yet. Dday for me was 8 weeks ago. When I found out, it was strictly and EA, but I think it has since progressed into a PA (don’t have any real proof, but I have a pretty good hunch). My CS says that she loves me, but not in the way that she should, that she loves me like a brother or a friend. In full disclosure, I have not held up my end of the bargain, as I took her for granted. I see the error of my ways now, and I am actively trying to work on fixing what I need to fix in me. My CS, on the other hand, says that she can not live without her AP, that she has given her heart to him, and that if she were forced to stop talking to him, she would enter the greatest depression of her life. I asked her why she hasn’t left me, and she said that she doesn’t want me out of her life, and that she wanted to talk to a counselor before she made any rash decisions. I asked her why she wanted to talk to a counselor if she were so sure that he was the one for her, and not me. She said because it would be a nuetral sounding board, one who is not me, him or her family. These seem like such mixed signals to me; on one side, she is sure, knows what she wants, and won’t commit to working on the marriage issues; yet on the other side, she won’t leave because she can’t live without me, and wants to talk to a nuetral person before making a decision.

    Over the last 2 months, I have learned that she is very resentful for the way that I neglected her. She won’t let it go at all. She won’t give me a chance to fix what I need to fix. Anyone out there have any advice for this situation?

    I believe that she is in the “affair-fog,” but she says that she is head over heels in love with this guy, and that she can’t live without him. She said that even with no-contact, her feelings will not fade. I laughed because she had just gotten through telling me how her feelings had faded for me because I neglected her.

    I am not sure if there is any hope, but I want to keep fighting, to stay in the marriage as long as I can. I will keep working on myself, and hopefully I can be one of the stories where my CS has decided to work on the marriage. Any comments would be appreciated.

  46. Jessica April 6, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

    Roger,

    I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this please take care of yourself first.

  47. pete April 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    Well here is an update for those of you who are wondering.
    Its been a tough few weeks. But I finally had enough and confronted the other woman in front of my wife. We had a 3 hr conversation and set boundaries that would completely prevent a further reliance on her part, on me. She confessed that she had developed feelings but was feeling guilty towards her friend (my wife). We have come to an agreement that seems it will save their friendship. It needs to be stressed that things were at the beginning stages of a possible E A. (some of you probably think it was already an EA).She will limit contact with me although she will be here for meals etc once in a while. We enjoy friendship with one another and will try to be casual friends but no contact that does not include my wife. My wife is happy that I put it in the open and has to work at forgiving the OW even though she claims she was not trying to steal me away and I believe her. I think I was overly attentive and caught up in the moment. I am grateful to all of you for posting your stories because I think I could have fallen into a fullblown emotional affair and perhaps even beyond had I not had access to this information. It was research and finding this site that I even became aware of EA’s. IN a few other places I read that EA’s often start because of flirting with one another which seems innocent at first but can start a fantasy in the other persons mind and ultimatly the heart gets involved. That is what happened to us and that was the start of the mistake. Part of our aggreement is that my wife calls the shots, everything goes through her. Some of you may think this will not work. We would welcome your comments, And by the way my wife has read all my posts here and is helping me write this. She no longer thinks its just my problem but ours.
    Thank-you

    • blueskyabove April 7, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

      Pete,

      Thank you for the update. I, for one, have been wondering about you and your wife. I’m glad to hear you are working together on this problem.

      To be honest I initially felt uneasy when you said there would be continued contact with your wife’s friend. That isn’t the normal recommended procedure. But then I realized that nothing about your experience has been normal. You chose to seek information rather just ‘go with the flow’ of your feelings. You then chose to tell your wife. Now we learn that the three of you confronted the problem head on. I am impressed. Each of you showed concern for someone else’s well-being. That is a rarity for those of us who have come face-to-face with this experience. I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe things happen for a reason. And based on that I’m sure I could learn a lot from your example.

      There must be a lot of mutual respect and caring in your marriage. Best of luck.

      • pete April 8, 2011 at 10:44 am #

        Thank you We will let you know if it works I too am a little uneasy about the continued contact. I have to be on guard that I am not just acting out the part of standing back, but so far it seems ok and the ow is keeping her distance well so… we will see.

  48. melissa April 7, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

    Pete, this is great news. I think you’re doing the right thing, especially making sure that you are not alone with the OW and that everything is transparent. In many ways, what is hurting so many of us BS more than anything is the secrecy and the lies – had my husband told me he was attracted to someone 30 years his junior but that he was aware it was ‘not right’ and he wanted to respect his marriage vows, we would have found a way to talk things through and build boundaries, he probably would have realised it was a stupid infatuation and we would have avoided a lot of heartache and the daily uncertainty of not knowing whether or not we will still be together and ladck of trust (for me).

    As far you you are concerned, being aware that you might fall into a trap/enjoy the attention/flirt (as you said earlier on, you felt something was ‘not right’ and your instinct was correct) is important. That awareness is paramount, as are the boundaries you are agreeing with your wife.

    This said, most advice is to cut absolutely all contact but your situation might be different. Try, every day, to look ‘in’ towards your marriage and your wife and not ‘out’ of it.

    • pete April 8, 2011 at 10:53 am #

      Good advice on looking into the marriage, comparing ow with my wife is out of the question. I think this will work but it is very stressfull for us. I am not sure that really the friendship will survive in a long run. There is a lot of tension, but my wife and the ow do not want to throw away what they have.

  49. pete April 18, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    Well here is another update. It took about 2 weeks of me ignoring the OW, except for pleasentries when she came over, for things to come to a head and she finally attacked me. I could feel the presure building in her each time she came over and so could my wife. Without the attention from me it has all ended and now she is gone from our lives and my wife is now angry with her. It seems the advice found here to sever association is correct, the friendship can never go back.
    Its to bad really as she was a good friend for my wife and now I feel guilt for wrecking that. I have come to realize that she was after me, when it started I don’t know, but like a fool I responded the way us guy’s do. Sorry ladies.
    Well back to repairing my marriage.

  50. melissa April 19, 2011 at 5:06 am #

    Hi Pete
    It’s probably for the best. You and your wife will make better friends, who respect you both as a couple.

  51. Broken April 19, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    Pete,
    Not sure how old you are Pete but there’s an old saying “If it walks like a duck……..” I am glad your wife has seen this woman for what she truely is and that is no friend of hers. I don’t think you can continue to blame your gendor on your lack of seeing what was going on. You were an active psrticipant just like my H. It was thrilling for you and him to have this new found attention. My H OW was going through a divorce and “needed” someone to talk to. Woman like that are a disgrace to our gendor. They are selfish, self absorbed witches who don’t care about the families they are ultimately destroying for their own desires. There is no excuse for my H behavior either and he uses the same lame excuse you do…I didn’t see what was happening. That isn’t something I will EVER accept. Time goes on and I still deal with incredible pain but I try to control what I think, learn as much as possible and move on. I don’t know what books they recommend here but I just finished “Not Just Friends” and thought it was the best book I have read on the subject so you might try it. You may see yourself in it and your wife may find comfort. ANyways Good Luck

  52. ppl April 19, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    i agree, just finished the book. author should be nominated for nobel in medicine

  53. Jessica April 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    Broken,

    I was wondering how your doing.. I will order the book who is the author? I hear you about the OW and them being a disgrace to our gender. She is someone I would never be friends with, and now I have lost so much respect for my H. There really isn’t anything he can do to gain that back.

    • Doug April 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

      Jessica, Not to hijack your comment, but the author is Shirley Glass, and “Not Just Friends” is one of the best books I’ve read on this subject. It is actually the very first book listed in our Library. I highly recommend it.

  54. roller coaster rider April 22, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    Linda, thank you for being so honest. I think I am going to get a lot of help by reading what you have written. I have wondered how a fairly secure and seemingly successful woman like I thought I was could turn into such an insecure, clingy, self-doubting wreck but I do know that when I first found out I told some of my close friends and family that I felt like Japan. I also told my husband I wish he had just shot me because it would have been faster and less painful. I know it’s unreasonable to expect to feel good all the time even though we are working through things and it seems like our communicaton is better and closer than it has been in the past.

    • suziesuffers April 22, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

      I am so there with you. I was always successful in my career, but deep down there has always been a self esteem issue….well, does infidelity drop an extra bomb on that one. The pain I feel over and over is unbelievable. The OW who probably couldn’t give a darn about my H or me now…..has totally taken over my life….and my thoughts. HOW dare she!! How Dare He!! Put me through this living H@##!! 2 years since D day….and I don’t have an hour that there isn’t some thought of his infidelities…..but I think the only pain my H has is when he sees me in pain. I don’t think he gives much thought to her. I don’t think he really thought what he did was all that bad since we were in the process of separating again due to his poor behavior…..so he had a “right” to such out Do you think he ever felt that way!! no….AND SHE certainly never felt bad (addicts never do!!). I’ve never felt more like dying than when I found out about her……..and the others……..and the lying and deceit. 2 years from D day…..and I’m still painfully in the middle of this mess….wondering what my purpose really is…trying to work with a spouse that is clearly broken at his core……..or just escape the pain and RUN!!!!

      • Roller coaster rider April 28, 2011 at 12:15 am #

        Suziesuffers, I just read your post from today, and I think you and I have a lot in common, and so do our husbands. Mine just keeps falling into this depressed state and doesn’t want to talk…it’s kind of like falling backwards with nothing there. And what you said about how much do I accept that is just plain unacceptable? It’s been so long.

  55. Roller coaster rider April 23, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    Maybe your purpose isn’t just about him. Even if he doesn’t appreciate your loyalty and sacrifice on his behalf, at least you can look at yourself in the mirror and know you’re doing the right thing under incredibly hard circumstances. What I read yesterday from this website and the posts is that I need to be brutally honest and recognize there could be some reasons my husband chose to be with another (not good reasons in my opinion, but reasons nevertheless) and I want him to think about that, too. I really want him choosing us and our marriage because it’s what he really wants… If your husband is broken at the core, he needs help

  56. Marie April 24, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    Omg! Linda? Why did you stay!? Please tell me why? I adore that you started this site. I admire Doug for his bravery within furthering the psyche field. I have to know why you stayed in such transparent gross abuse? I applaud you both for helping so many.
    What horrific abuse. I am shocked beyond words! I send you, Linda quantum physic hugs! You are so wonderful.

  57. Marie April 24, 2011 at 10:40 pm #

    Please put links to codependency on your site. So many men and women that have been betrayed need to join a support group. Do suggest that the betrayed leave right away unless finances prevent this. Linda … The health risks … Life threatening risk Doug set you and his kids up for are so severe … From strokes to heart attacks to cancer! I am in shock! It took me awhile to recover. But I kicked out immediate. I am just in shock! Thank you again both for sharing.

  58. Broken April 25, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    Marie….a support group would be wonderful. Do they have such a thing? I disagree with you however that the betrayed spouse should leave unless there is a financial issue. That is an individual decision and I am not a professional but removing yourself from the situation will not allow for the interactions that must occur for a marriage to be saved. Perhaps for a short time to gather your thoughts but not forever. If I had left my H and I would not be together today. We are building on a daily basis a new marriage. Cant do that apart.

  59. Brian April 26, 2011 at 6:38 am #

    My wife’s been in an EA for months now but insists its “just friends” even though all her contact with him is done secretly… excessive texting daily, secret meetings at his house where “they just talk”, etc. Not surprisingly she tells me she is not in love with me anymore. W e are both in individual counseling right now and hopefully we will get to couples counseling soon. For those of you who got the “just friends” line from their wayward spouse, how did you get them to realize/admit it was an EA, quit it, and recommit to the marriage. I’m reading and following “Break Free From the Affair” which is very good but the strategy of backing off is a bit frustrating in that it’s a passive kind of solution. I’m willing to take the time to see things through but has anyone have any thoughts about what else I should do? Is giving her a book on EA’s a bad idea? Seems like it would do more harm than good…

    • roller coaster rider April 26, 2011 at 10:12 am #

      Brian, she is in denial and until she comes to her senses, your frustration could possibly feed the fantasy she has with him. I confronted my husband twice and point blank asked him if there was someone else and he said no…which was a total lie. D day came on March 13-14 when I caught him once again texting secretly, after being on the phone and out of reach the night before. I think he finally ‘knew that I knew” and I wasn’t taking no for an answer. He also later admitted that his conscience was bothering him so much that he had even been praying, “God please stop this.” Ironically, he had broken out in terrible shingles and then got a staph infection with nasty huge boils weeks before D day…
      Then the anger came, especially after all the lies. It is an unbelievable pain. His affair was both emotional and physical, but I don’t think that really makes much difference, although it might make the cheater feel somehow better (Doug, what do you have to say about that?) The infidelity is still very real. We have been together for 40 years this June, married 35 in August, and our friends and family said “you are an institution”…
      Not so much…

      • Doug April 26, 2011 at 10:37 am #

        RCR, I think that to the cheater (while the affair is going on), that they will feel “better” if it’s an emotional affair versus a sexual affair. I think there is a belief that it is less painful to their spouse, but we all know that is not the case, and in many cases an EA is more painful.

        • roller coaster rider April 26, 2011 at 11:27 am #

          I can see what you say is true because for me, it would have been less painful (maybe) if my H had had a physical ‘fling’ but this emotional connection with the OP especially when he has for so long refused (or been unable) to connect with me that way is what I can’t bear

      • Brian April 26, 2011 at 10:44 am #

        I agree… my frustration could be a negative if I let it. I’m trying to act upbeat around her, no sad sack moping around. Not easy. I’ve been taking care of myself, exercising, running, getting out with friends… it helps.

        Most of what I read says that the EA will inevitably fade… I wish I could be sure. We had what I thought and all of our friends and family thought was a great marriage, soul mates and all. I’ve now learned that any marriage is at risk if one of you lets their guard down…

    • Doug April 26, 2011 at 10:43 am #

      Brian, We’ve received comments from others who have stated that showing their spouse a book on EAs, this site, or even a journal entry from yourself that shows the pain her EA is causing can be quite effective. I guess you always run the chance that she will totally reject such an idea and it could end up backfiring on you, causing anger and resentment, but it might be worth a try. Have you asked your counselor what he/she thinks?

      • Brian April 26, 2011 at 10:50 am #

        Doug,
        Coincidentally, my counselor recommended “The Emotional Affair” which is very good. I also have “Not Just Friends” which as you say is very good. I have a session this afternoon and I will ask her opinion and post back her thoughts. I do keep a journal and will keep that option in mind as well.

        Thanks for the advice and thanks to you and Linda for this website. Nice to know I’m not alone…

        • Doug April 26, 2011 at 11:14 am #

          Brian, I also wanted to let you know that I think that backing off is effective, but in many respects is really more beneficial for you. In my opinion (and what worked in our case), a combination of different strategies is more effective. For example, while backing off and taking care of yourself, it is helpful to try and reconnect to some degree with your wife. At first it can be as simple as re-engaging with her by doing such things as working together on a family budget, discussing some issues that exist with your kids, researching together the best new washing machine to buy, etc. Nothing Earth shattering or affair related, but just gradually getting her to re-engage with you and the family. You know your wife better than anyone, so you might know what sort of things might work. Linda was more or less flying blind at the time and didn’t know what she knows today, but we started reconnecting by going out and doing some fun things together –happy hours, going out with friends, discussing our kid’s activities, etc. It won’t make the affair come to a screeching halt, but I believe these little reconnections or re-engagements have a compounding effect over time.

          • Brian April 26, 2011 at 11:27 am #

            That’s been my dilemna… I feel if I give her too much space we’ll just grow further apart. What I’ve been trying to do is maintain contact with her by discussing issues concerning our boys, our house, finances, our families, etc and avoiding he relationship stuff. It’s like chipping away at an iceberg but I’ll keep trying. Right now she shows no interest in going out with just me but we have gone out with friends (with kids) so hopefully we will continue to reconnect inch by inch. Thanks again.

            • Doug April 26, 2011 at 11:37 am #

              Brian, I think that eventually your chipping away will break the ice, but it makes it a lot tougher while she is still in contact with the OP. Hang in there!

      • Brian April 27, 2011 at 7:13 am #

        My counselor recommended waiting until we start couples counseling which begins in two weeks (I wish it were sooner!). Her reasoning is once we start discussing the issue of the EA my wife might be more agreeable to the idea of reading about it. I agree.

        I’ve been trying to give my wife the “space” she said she needed however I have not left the house. Like we discussed, I’ve backed off as much as possible, however, last night she said she wanted more space and brought up the subject of separation, me leaving the home (of course). I asked her what she thought that would accomplish and she just replied that we will talk about it in couples counseling. If we agree to not “date” other people, then it might be helpful for her to figure things out, but, naturally, I’m wondering if she wants this just to be free to pursue her affair.

        Not very optimistic right now…

  60. roller coaster rider April 26, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    Oh, and by the way, my H said toward the end he was saying to the OW, “Let’s just be friends.”
    Yeah, right.

  61. Broken April 26, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    Roller Coaster Rider,
    For what its worth I’m going to share with you my experience…where I have come from and where I am right now…9 months since I found out about my H EA. These are purely my opinions but I can feel your pain…can feel Brians pain as well. My H cut off all contact with the OW the day I found out…..In fact he cut off any friendship he had with any single woman who he was just friends with. He did it for us because I asked him to. For your healing to begin there can be no contact between them. The pain I felt that day and have ever since has been some days unbearable. At first I lived minute to minute in a fog…I couldn’t even function. What I required from my H and he willingly gave to me was every detail…everything I needed to know about his EA. There can be no lies…no twisting the truth because I was waiting for him to slip up…believe me I checked…he never did. I felt the need to talk about the EA often at first and well it made me feel better it caused him great pain…it still does. This is one area he needs improvement because he doesn’t like to talk about it today….but he will. By the way we were the couple (together 37 years) that everyone envys…..the institution…the stable rock. Soulmates…..I wanted to leave…I was so angry with him and wondered how he could ever do this to me…how could I ever trust him again? I longed for that innocense we shared…that partnership that had never had anyone else in it untilshe came along. Can’t ever get that back and I grieved for that. I wanted to run from the pain…told him that as well. I didn’t. I stayed. Had I left we would not be together. You will never have back what was there before…you have to start over. At first we just sat together, sometimes in silence, sometimes we cried. We laid together at night and talked. We talked alot. We made a date night and we still do it today. We went away for a few weekends alone. No kids. We walked on the beach…drank somes beers. Started to rebuild a marriage that quite frankly I didnt know was broken. If my H wasn’t trying the way he does we would not be here. He works hard at always being acountable, always calling me, send me text messages for no reason, His life is an open book. It has to be that way….for now. Does he slip up…he sure does. I am so sensitive to his every word and so needy it drives me insane but I feel like…he did this to me He will have to live with what he caused for as long as it takes me to heal. I have days where I slip back into hell but those days are fewer. I want to trust him again…but I don’t yet. I want to get up in the morning and have a whole day where it doesn’t cross my mind…not there yet. Take care of yourself. This has caused me not only mental anquish but has affected my health. I now have high blood pressure and I am sick at least every month, sometimes twice with a cold or thr flu. It’s getting better. Exercise and eat right….. You are worthy and worth it. Life will get better…I promise you that. Today we have a new marriage…a marriage that is more sensitive to both of our needs. It isn’t perfect but it’s a start. It’s only a start and it has been 9 loooong months. I still look at her pic on facebook. I still go over and over my life for the 18 months my head was buried in the sand. It’s almost like everything I did those 18 months was a joke….a lie. I don’t beleive you can push your H or W to change or to leave the other person…they have to want it as much as you do. They have to want to save your marriage as much as you do. You can’t push yourself on them because people will run from that. We never told our kids…I know some people think it’s necessay…I personally don’t. My H made a mistake that nearly cost him everything he holds dear but I don’t feel the kids need their image of their father to be shattered like the image was for me. Good luck friends. It will get better. I am so sorry for your pain.

    • roller coaster rider April 26, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

      Broken, I really, really appreciate your taking the time to share this with me. I have also insisted on certain conditions. The night I started finding out, I made him call her with me in the room to tell her I knew. At that time, he said, “My wife knows and we probably aren’t going to be able to see each other again.” The next day he went to see her and tell her it was definitely over. I also required him to tell our four adult children because I didn’t see how I could pretend everything was okay as we are all pretty close. I wonder now if that was the right thing to do. The second day after finding out I didn’t want to see him or talk to him so I told him to leave. I took off my wedding ring and said that he had broken our marriage commitment. I also told him I wanted a legal separation and property settlement agreement because I wanted to know where I stood financially, and as he is a lawyer I told him to draft these documents as if he were my attorney and I came to him with this story of infidelity. He did everything I asked, lived with his sister for a few days and then found an apartment. Within a week, he was texting me and I would occasionally talk to him on the phone. We made a counseling appointment, and there were many other things that happened, but the most amazing thing from my perspective is that God healed my heart to the point that I really wanted to take him back, and did so. There has been a little more counseling and a need for more yet, but we are still together and still working on, as you said, starting over. This website has been very beneficial to me, and I think to my H as well.

      • Broken April 26, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

        Hi Roller Coaster
        I am glad you are working it out. It’s really..really hard. Probably the hardest thing we will ever have to endure and I have been through some bad things. This tops it all. The whole thing just makes a person feel out of control and so needy. I am looking forward to the day I can get up and never think about her or what happened . It’s hard for both of us allthough I felt little empathy for my H until recently. I realize he hurts too. I know he thinks I look at him diferently then I use to and maybe I do but I forgive him. It can’t happen again and I have made that very clear. I guess it is just day to day from now on. I know he longs for me to trust him again…not sure that will ever happen as I was lied to for 18months but we’ll see.

    • Brian April 27, 2011 at 7:26 am #

      Broken,
      Thanks for sharing. It seems that despite everything thats happened, you and your husband still share a bond of commitment and are working things through day by day. Unfortunately, I don’t feel my wife and I have that bond. The book “Not ‘Just Friends'” has a section that describes our situation… emotionally involved affair/ emotionally detached marriage. It’s hard to feel optimistic.

      I wish you all the best.

  62. Jessica April 26, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    Brian,

    I had no idea my H was having an EA but I knew there was a distance I thought it was due to his brothers death. I finally started doing things for myself but also included him on more family and friend events this cut into time with the OW and the more he spent time away from her the more needy she became and this is when he ended it and I found out, I overheard that phone call. I don’t honestly know if he would have ended it sooner if I found it.

    • Brian April 27, 2011 at 7:34 am #

      My wife is increasingly resistant to doing things with me although she will include me in family events. I think we are approaching a tipping point to stay together or separate. The next few weeks will be very telling.

  63. Jessica April 26, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    Broken,
    I started crying half way through your posting and couldn’t stop. Then I re-read it and still cried, your words are again how I feel. Somedays are better but today isn’t my H is really trying but not as much as I need, he said if it helped me I could call the OW but he would be embarrassed whatever that means?? I am menopausal so that is a good excuse at times but I work in healthcare and called out sick last Thursday and Friday not the first time since DDay and now anxiety about going into work tomorrow…..

    • Broken April 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

      Hi Jessica…I didn’t mean to make you cry. I think about you often and wonder how you are doing. I once told my husband I wanted to call the OW and he said the same thing…that he would be embarassed but I could if I wanted to. I guess you have to do what feels right. I wanted her to tell me she really wasn’t interested in my H and this was all a big mistake…obviously that wasn’t going to happen…nice to think about though…so I didn’t call. I figure what is she going to say to me that I really care about hearing? I don’t want to talk to someone whos character is so flawed that they thought it ok to try and take my H and the father of my children away. Someone that tried to destroy a family…. but you have to do what will help you to heal. You are what is important. Did you get that book yet , Not Just Friends?….I bet it would help you alot. I know work has been really hard these last 9 months and I had just started at a new place and had a really hard time learning what I needed to learn even after doing it for 30 years. Jessica dont be so hard on yourself. If you are having anxiety see your doctor…I did and she put me on some meds temporarily…I am not a person who likes to take meds but it helped. I forced myself to walk and swim…last thing I wanted to do but it helps. Try it if you can. Don’t feel guilty for everything I know you are going through. Can you tell your H what you need since you mentioned you didnt feel your needs were being met. I wrote down everything I felt…I still do and then I read what I wanted to read to my H. Some of it was really mean so I didn’t read that to him but some of it he needed to know. Can you try that?

    • Broken April 26, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

      Jessica…By the way the menopausal thing….me too! Sucks doesn’t it???? LOL

  64. Jessica April 26, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

    Broken,
    My H ordered the book for me thru amazon (I could have done it myself but wanted him to do more and this was on the list) amazon said 4-14 days.
    I just want to fact check a few things with the OW but she is a Stupid selfish psycho and I really don’t want her in my life so I haven’t made that call.
    I knew this week would be hard being Easter week I prayed at church extra hard for us. Mothers day will be the next hard trigger day.
    Maybe I will take your advice about needing something my doctor prescribed some antidepressant in October when I went in for an awful body rash and depression but it made me mad that I need to take something because of this, last Friday when I went in again for another flu illness she asked me to think about taking it.

    Thanks for your postings I was tempted to print yours put and show it to him, I will try and read him some of my thoughts but at this time there is too much anger.

    If at all possible some good has come from this we do communicate much more often and much
    more, he is am active part of the family and taking on more with the kids and grandkid.

    Thanks for being caring

  65. Broken April 27, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    Brian,
    I think your gut feelings are right on…your wife wants you out of the picture to pursue her EA. I hope you don’t give into that request. She is still seeing the OM. Have you thought about exposing the affair to her friends, coworkers, family? Many people have said that is what woke their spouses up. Don’t really know but it seems like you are the one having to make all of the changes and you are the victim of the betrayel not her. I didn’t find counseling helpful but I sure hope you guys do. Wish it was closer for you because for some reason your wife is using that as an excuse not to talk about whats going on right now. Good luck

  66. Brian April 27, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    So do you think I should stay in the home and bite the bullet hoping the affair fades? Supposedly they all do in time. As far as exposing the affair, I’ve thought about it, but I can’t see how we could ever reconcile after going through that ordeal, do you?

    Not many options for me and none are pretty. Sometimes I just want to drop the ultimatum “it’s me or him” but right now I know it would be him given her state of mind right now.

    Arrrrggh!

    • Doug April 27, 2011 at 9:11 am #

      Brian, there are some different schools of thought when it comes to exposing the affair. In my opinion, I agree with you in that at this juncture you would be taking a huge risk of alienating her further should you do so. It may result in you driving her even more to the OP. Though there may come a time in the near future where that might be a more viable option for you. Dr. Willard Harley believes that exposure is a good effective strategy, and he claims to have a high level of success in treating infidelity. You might want to hold off on making any decisions until after your joint couples counseling session. Maybe things will become more clear after that. Just wondering…Is the OP married? If so, does his wife know about the EA?

  67. Brian April 27, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    Hi Doug,
    No the OP is not married and I do not know if he ever was or whether he has kids or not. I believe he has a girlfriend but they are obviously not exclusive. I do not know if she knows about the EA.

    My lawyer tells me to stay in the home and my gut tells me to as well. Don’t want to be seen as abandoning my family and don’t want to make it easier for her to pursue the EA.

    It’s gonna be a long, tense two weeks at our house… so different from the happy home we had just six months ago…

    • Doug April 27, 2011 at 10:38 am #

      Brian, I agree with staying in the home for the same reasons you mentioned. Keep doing what your doing, and hang in there over the next 2 weeks.

      • Brian April 27, 2011 at 10:40 am #

        Thanks, Doug. Thanks, everyone. You all give me a clarity of though I wish I always had. I’ll keep you posted…

        • Doug April 27, 2011 at 10:50 am #

          Brian, Something that I feel might be helpful to you is to look at today’s discussion topic and try to think about how this whole thing has made you stronger. As you go through the next 2 weeks, remind yourself of these strengths and perhaps they will help you through. Whether you list them on this site or not doesn’t matter, the point is to know that you are a strong person and you will make it through.

          • Brian April 27, 2011 at 11:37 am #

            Thanks Doug, I will try to do that.

  68. Jessica April 27, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    Brian,
    Are you both seeing the same counselor?

    • Brian April 27, 2011 at 10:30 am #

      Jessica, more and more I think staying home is the right decision. Besides, this situation is not my choice why should I accomodate her? which I’ve done for far too long…

      Yes, we will be seeing the same counselor for couples sessions. I am seeing someone else individually.

  69. Broken April 27, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    Brian….You should proably wait and see what happens in counseling. I’m not a big fan of letting people have whatever they want when they are hurting me…no killing me…..but I realize everyones situation is different. I made my H call the OW the minute I found out. I told him right then and there he would have to make a decision now that I am what he gets and if that wasn’t good enough for him then HE needed to leave….I wasn’t leaving. Finding out, telling the OW, giving him the choice of leaving or losing his family all happened within 1 hour of me finding out. I wasn’t willing to mold myself into someone that I am not and to play games with him. I am the victim not the other way around. It was a wake up call for him. Allthough we have never told our children (they are all grown adults) he also knew he that he would lose the relationship he had with them because none of them would tolerate what he did to me especially our sons. So I don’t know if you have kids, don’t know what your wife stands to lose should this come out. Stay strong…let the story unfold and soon you’ll know the direction this whole mess will take. Take care of yourself.

    • Brian April 27, 2011 at 10:37 am #

      Broken, you seem to be an amazing woman and your husband is lucky to have you. I only hope I can be as strong going forward as you seem to have been all along. For some reason society always expects the man to leave the home thinking the kids (we have two boys, 11 and 14, btw – yes she has a lot to lose) should be with the mother. I intend to stay and be strong. Thanks for your inspiration!

      • Broken April 27, 2011 at 10:59 am #

        Right now their mother isn’t thinking straight and they need a daddy too. Hang in there.

  70. Jessica April 27, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    Brian,

    I would stay at home as hard and painful as it maybe I don’t think we would be together if we lived apart. My H didn’t think he was having an affair because it wasn’t physical it took time for him to accept that it was an EA, to be honest neither him nor I ever heard this term before.

  71. Broken April 27, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    Brian
    Glad you have decided to stay put for the time being. It’s going to be hard but you can do it. I know it hurts like hell….something you never thought you would ever have to feel. Just ride with it. I am not as strong as I appear…some days I was just a blob of emotion and believe me I let him see that. I let him feel the awful pain I was feeling and then let it go. I hope and pray for you Brian that you can get your wife to see what she is doing and all that she will lose. Right now she is in denial …in a fog. One thing I did that REALLY helped was writing down your thoughts and what you are feeling. Mine were really ugly and I never showed him the ugliness but I did eventually read him some of it and he cried. Try it…it helps release the anger. Take care Brian……you can do it. You are worth it and so are your kids.

    • Brian May 4, 2011 at 9:09 am #

      Now she is finding apartments for me to rent… this could get ugly if I stay. It would be tougher on our boys if we get too adversarial. I want to talk to my lawyer before I make any moves. She should be the one moving out…

      • Doug May 4, 2011 at 9:17 am #

        You’re right. She should be the one to move out. Absolutely talk to your lawyer first. I imagine there are some tricky laws that could affect you if you were to move out – and none of them in your favor.

  72. roller coaster rider April 27, 2011 at 11:08 am #

    Brian, I agree that you should not go anywhere. Your boys need to see the strong and loving example of a dad and husband because this will help them so much when they are older. Hopefully they will never be faced with the kinds of choices you are having to make right now. I am so sorry for your pain, and I will be praying for something to open your wife’s eyes to the truth of what she is doing, and what she is doing to her precious family. When I was a teenager, my brother died as a result of a medical mistake and my mother became a terrible alcoholic. My dad was not the greatest as he too was in a lot of pain, but his presence made a lot of difference. Don’t leave.

  73. roller coaster rider April 27, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    Here’s another book title that might bring some comfort to someone who is going through a lot of pain, as it seems we are all experiencing right now. It’s called A Grace Disguised, how the soul grows through loss. The author is Jerry Sittser, and although his loss is/was different than ours, his writing is extremely helpful (or at least it was to me).

  74. Brian April 27, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    Broken, RCR, thank you both for the words of encouragement. It’s very easy to get dragged down by all this. I will be strong, for myself and especially for our boys. They are so great… we can’t let them down.

    I am keeping a journal and it does help to organize my thoughts and is a good way to vent my emotions. Thank you both for your thoughts and prayers (I’ve been praying a lot lately). Know that you are in mine as well.

  75. Kathy April 27, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    Brian,
    I would just like to add my voice to the others and encourage you to not leave.

    On my d-day, I was initially going to leave because I didn’t know right away that his “not wanting to be with me anymore” had to do with another woman. Also, he was being so reasonable and so generous (“you can take anything you want!”) The following day the truth of the EA came out, and I put my foot down and said I would NOT be the one leaving since I was not the one who wanted us to be apart in the first place. If he wanted to be with her, I wasn’t going to make it easy for him! Suddenly all his reasonable-ness and generosity went right out the window.

    It put a huge wrench in their plans, as suddenly they were forced to consider things like finances, living arrangements, etc. All the hearts and flowers were fading fast as reality collided with their fantasy. Although the EA didn’t end when my H said it did, it seems to have ended now (last contact between them to the best of my knowledge was February 28).

    I also keep a journal and I just lay it all out in there! No holds barred! It definitely helps me.

    I hope and pray things will get better for you and your family.

  76. Brian April 28, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    Kathy,
    More and more , thanks in part to all of those here who have voiced their opinion, I feel that staying is the right thing to do. It may make her more adversarial but by leaving I feel like I’m giving her permission to escalate the EA to a PA. Besides, as you say, I’m not the one who wants us to be apart so why should I leave? And as RCR commented, I need to set an example for my boys.

    My prayers are with you as well. Thanks for your thoughts.

  77. Jessica April 28, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    Brian,
    Glad to hear that you decided to stay I was wondering what you decided to do. I’m glad you found this site. My greatest comfort at times have been from “friends” on this site.

  78. roller coaster rider April 28, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    Brian, I am also very encouraged by your decision. I agree with Jessica about the support and comfort to be found among the friends here, and I will continue to lift up the next two weeks in prayer for you.

  79. Brian April 28, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    Jessica,
    I’m staying for now. Seems like the right thing to do. I’m trying to keep the marriage and family together so why leave, right?

    I’m glad I found this site and people like you, too. Thanks for you concern. It means a lot to me…

  80. Brian April 28, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    roller coaster rider,
    Thanks for the support and prayers. I will need them. Will keep you posted.

  81. S April 28, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    Broken,
    Thank you for sharing -I needed to read your words today. I am just about 4months since D day – I thought I was doing better last month – but then the last few weeks I’ve been obsessing, moody, needy, and H doesn’t know why I’m trying to “bring things up again when it was all settled and we’d moved on.” I am fairly confident that the EA is over (was an old flame, who thankfully lives several states away) as I check phone, e-mail, FB, and can see no sign of contact since DDay – actually he blocked her from e-mail as she kept e-mailing and texting (can’t block from text) – although he didn’t reply to her texts – he would show me them and then delete. She hasn’t tried to contact since mid-February) But I hate the person I am now – suspicious, moody, emotional, needy, insecure – and he’s already tiring of dealing with it (even though he did this to me). I think he liked the immediate post DDay me – where I was so attentive and anything he did was fine with me – we spent a lot of time together and were in the “being in love is so great” stage – which was nice- but I still have things to deal with and he’s done. And as you said about talking about it hurting H – I think that’s a lot of it – H has low self esteem and I think talking about it makes him feel worse about himself – and we really need for him to have more self esteem – not less of it – but any advice on how to empty my mind – or insight as to what I can expect now that we’re 4 months out and still moving on? Thanks so much! I’m so glad I found this place!

    • Broken April 28, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

      Hi S…..gosh you sound just like me. We had that “honeymoon” stage for awhile and I actually felt better then around the same time you are at….then it hit again. The horrible feelings came back and the depression set in. I felt the same way you do…..always searching the phone, emails, his every word, every mood for some indication that he was still cheating on me. Never found it. I actually still look but not as often. I think it speaks alot of your H that he shows you the text messages…he needs to make sure the OW understands what no contact means. I think you have a right to talk about how you feel and what happened…..I had a need to know every detail and he told me every detail. It was also at about 4-5 months that I noticed my H tiring of talking about the affair. I could tell by his facial expressions that he felt like he had talked about it enough. I still needed to talk but I forced myself to bring it up less and less…..we have come to the point where we will make a time to talk about it. I write down everything I need to know and then let it go. Sometimes now we can even joke about it but thats not often. Try to talk about it in a way that isn’t blaming and cruel just a need to know thing. I know exactly how you feel….becoming something you don’t like. Bottom line is…you didn’t do it to yourself…it was done to you. You should be able to take all the time you need to heal…we are all different. I am the type of person that likes to read alot and know all that I can know about what is happening in my life. So….read alot, get some books. “Not Just Friends” is awesome. It’s only been 4 months for you, thats not a long time. It takes time to even reach the point where you can say your marriage is in recovery and after that they say it takes 1-2 years. They can be good years though……I am walking away from this a different person…stronger and wiser. I dont trust my husband…not sure if I ever will again as he lied to me for 18 months and allthough I am still very needy….I am to the point where I am in control of myself again…..you’ll get there. It helped me to get away from my thoughts to stop the searching and do something else. It also helped to write my feelings down. To say in my private thoughts that I hated my H for what he did to me. It’s ok…everything you feel is ok and it’s right and your not crazy (which is how I felt for awhile). Your H owes you the time it takes you to put all of the puzzle pieces together…he needs to be totally accountable to you (sounds like he is). Day by day S thats all you can do…sometimes minute by minute but its going to get better….I promise.

  82. roller coaster rider April 28, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    Dear S,
    I also have a husband who has low self-esteem in general and is now really suffering as he watches me wade through all these emotions. I don’t know if this would help you, but we changed H’s telephone number and that gave me some peace of mind. What has helped me most in the past 24 hours (aside from just having grace to do one thing at a time, and trying to enjoy the moment) was the thought of “I am going to be fine, with or without him” and I know that is true. It keeps me from losing focus on what I have to do right now, which could be practically anything EXCEPT obsessing about H or the OW.

    • Broken April 28, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

      Hi Roller coaster…I am so happy that you are telling yourself that you will be fine. Thats a big step and you will be. Changing the number is a great idea as well. Isn’t so hard NOT to think about it?? I remember at first sleeping was the only freedom from the nightmare but it gets better. Take care.

  83. Broken April 29, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    Big….big….big…. leap of faith today…actually right now, my H is going out after work with his friend (male) to the bar he use to go to with the OW. Yes back to the days he would never call and I would be sitting in our bedroom alone…waiting. I told him he could go…he called …he asked. Calm my freaking out mind and heart. We went out last night for our weekly date night and it was absolutely perfect. I need to learn to trust again but I am feeling some feelings I don’t like right now. Please make it go away. I have to be strong….time to let go. If anyones around…talk to me!!!

  84. Kathy April 29, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    Broken,
    I can totally understand why you’re feeling the way you are. I don’t know if this helps at all, but you are strong for letting go and taking that leap of faith to trust.

    You will get through this and you will be fine. It may be that showing him this trust will encourage him to continue to be trustworthy.

    Maybe you can find something to do that will occupy your mind while he’s out. Watch a movie you love, or maybe a hobby you enjoy.

    • Broken April 29, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

      Hi Kathy thanks for the encouragement…actually went swimming. It was a hard night.

  85. Jessica April 29, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    Wow you are over coming a huge obstical!! keep in touch

  86. Jessica April 29, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

    Broken,

    Just got off plane visiting grandson for the weekend on the flight was thinking about how to face fears I have and then your posting. You have such strength keep going forwards

  87. Broken April 29, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    Hi Jessica…have a nice weekend. Try to enjoy yourself. You be strong too. H is actually on his way home. He called me quite a few times and answered whenever I called. I did it but I am so glad its over, My heart is racing…I hate this feeling.

    Again…..HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND>

    • Brian May 2, 2011 at 8:19 am #

      It sounds like you both are doing the things you need to do, step by step… stay strong.

  88. broken May 2, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    I guess…he got mad at me this weekend and ignored my phone calls and then lied about ignoring them..he fessed up but I am really sad today

  89. Jessica May 2, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    Broken,
    Hope you are taking care of yourself, in the past I didn’t pay much attention to ignored phone calls and now today they are a trigger.

  90. Eve May 2, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    I am sorry u r all going thru this truly am
    I must admit I am the other woman only emotionally but this is bad enuff in itself
    I live for his texts n chats n his wife has no inkling of this or my husband although I am over emotional all the time
    I know this is truly futile as a relationship and I don’t want to hurt anyone but I cannot help this
    I truly feel in love
    if someone had told me I wud ever do this I wud laugh at them
    however I have
    I don’t feel love I did for my husband anymore although he is a great n good man
    still I cannot help myself
    do not think it is any less emotional for the person who cheats
    I feel a total creep but nothing can fill this void of emptiness
    thanks for listening
    if any of you would like to comment please do
    I don’t feel proud of any of this

  91. Roller coaster rider May 2, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    Eve, try to fast forward and see where you’ll be if you don’t do the right thing now. You may not be able to help how you feel but you can still DO what is right. Taking what really belongs to someone else is never right, and if your husband is great and good, then tell him the truth and end this today. The love you used to feel for him can definitely be restored, and it really is a lie that nothing can fill the void of emptiness. Do the truly loving thing, especially for the sake of how you feel about yourself. There are many avenues for finding help. If you don’t take action now, it most likely will not get easier. Your husband deserves the chance to show and tell you how much you matter to him. Your feelings are a slippery slope.

  92. PTY May 2, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    Eve, the fact you are here is a good sign. Take advantage of the resources on this site and many others. I wish you the best.

  93. jessica May 2, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    Eve,
    What you feel isn’t love, it is an obsession with someone who isn’t available to give you the love and life you deserve. Your H deserves the truth so he can make his own decision if he wants to stay and make the marriage work or leave, he doesn’t deserve the lies, these are the hardest to forgive and to recover from.

  94. broken May 2, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    Eve….I don’t have much sympathy for anyone who cheats on their spouse and yes you can help what you do. You are an adult,I assume, and as an adult you can control everything you do. Right now you are selfish and blind to the incredible pain you will soon cause your husband and children, if you have them. Your husband derserves the right to make a choice to fight for his marriage or leave you and so does the wife of the man you are messing around with. You are a liar and a cheater…shame on you. I feel so bad for your husband….the pain you have caused him is horrible.

  95. suziesuffers May 2, 2011 at 11:23 pm #

    Eve…..the pain we do through because our spouses have cheated on us is incredible. We have created lives with our spouses, and as everyone has mentioned the “life” you’ve created is based upon a fantasy even though it feels real. I know you think this is the “real” thing….and as my husband said to me about the OW….I had never felt that way before…well, I might say the same thing in a drug induced trance, but it’s not permanent and it only ends up creating lots of problems for lots of people. You didn’t mention any children, but it will harm them. And everyone says that someone that has chosen to find their “soulmate” by stealing another’s spouse will not only lose respect for themselves, but always be suspicious that this person could “fall in love” with someone else down the road when things get tough. I know this is all going in one ear and out the other because you “feel in love”….like you’ve never felt before. I suggest finding a therapist and talking to a neutral party that might be able to help you. If you don’t have insurance there are counselor’s that work on a sliding scale. Talk to someone. I don’t know that anyone can “convince” you to leave this affair and work on your marriage…as Linda said, Doug had to find that way on his own and but it didn’t hurt that she gave him a bit of a nudge. Find help….deceit and pain are written all over your life and I hope you find in your heart the courage to do the right thing.

  96. Empty and Numb May 3, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    This is “Marie” … now under “Empty and Numb”. This web site has been a blessing. I had more healing to do. I adore Linda. I applaud Doug for waking up. I am currently finishing a book based on affairs and will be including (with her permission, hopefully) this web site and quotes from Linda.

    What I don’t agree with is this “Fog” BS and most of the “Affair Experts”. They don’t even touch the real issue. A longterm cheater has always been a fraud.

    Here is why … I have researched affairs for almost 17 years … to include posing as a cheater on cheating web sites.

    I wanted the “Happily Ever After”, too. I couldn’t do it. After a 1.5 years in therapy … my narcissist wasn’t changing fast enough … and I was in the end stages of codependency while finishing my residency.

    I needed an equitable relationship, restitution … and that was something he was unable to do for his family. I couldn’t put my kids through it.

    Long term cheaters are passive, passive aggressive … All vary into Narcissism. Long term cheaters are under achievers, lazy and have always been frauds. Those of us that went into marriages with Long Term cheaters suffer from codependent/depressive/dependent traits. We are the perfect mix for one another.

    The cheating/victim marriage was dysfunctional from the very beginning … progressed as responsibilities starting rolling in. Victims were the “Directors” and cheaters watched their victim spouses lose their minds.

    There was nothing missing in the marriage to make a cheater cheat … except that they were no longer gaining the “narcissistic supply” they needed to gain from their victim spouse because they had drained them of everything. It is this covert and this sadistic. Bored with their drained spouse … they tra-la-la off to find more “Narcissistic Supply” … rather than turning toward the marriage to voice their concerns … become accountable and responsible. These types can’t be wrong … they are always right. And, the power struggle ensues.

    That would be too hard to admit fault or change … meet someone half way for a long term cheater. Yes, the long term cheaters are that stupid to think “The grass is greener on the other side” … and they really do fall in love with the other person … just as they fell in love with you. It is the “Love Drunk” stage. Is it real? No! But they don’t care.

    Yet, we … as victims have always known this about our long term cheaters and did what ever we could to change them.

    These character or personality disorders are almost impossible to change. And if they can change … They can only be modified. And, that goes for cheater and victim. I am a recovering codependent … I am also an MD … it goes with the territory. So, keep that in mind.

    Also keep in mind the traits within these disorders vary. Not all match but we all match many. Also, in my research … healthy adults leave immediately when an affair of any kind occurs. Why? No healthy adult will stand to re-parent a cheating spouse. That is too unhealthy for all involved … to a healthy person. They have more pride in themselves to stand for such a mortal attack on something so sacred

    Spouses who immediately leave when they find out they’ve been cheated on long term are not bound by any religiousity of any kind … but are deeply rooted in ethics and spirituality.

    A long term affair to healthy people … is a mortal wound to a marriage that never was one to begin with.

    This is what I have found … unless it is the short term “fling” type … I have described. Any one of us can fall into a fling … a temporary loss of control. If we have done so … than it is owned right away by the cheater. The healthy couple get into counseling and this can be repaired … easily.

    The long term cheater and victim can heal too. But both must heal. And this is what marriage counselors are not treating. This is what Affair books do not tell you. And, I especially despise the affair books that place any of the blame on the victim … even if indirectly.

    What needs to be treated is the cheater and his/her personality disorder and the victim with his/her personality disorder.

    Again, there is no fog!!! This was a dance carefully chosen by both cheater and victim. The only fog was that the abuser/cheater was always the abuser … the victim … always the victim. Sadly, the victim didn’t realize it but the abuser knew exactly the “Mindf&*ck” they were putting on the victim … and didn’t care one bit! In long term cheating marriages … the marriage was doomed and dysfunctional from the very jump.

    I have been remarried for 17 years to an amazing MD, as well … I have a wonderful life and when I healed from codependency … became completely independent … I opened my life up to real love. Yet, I will always be at risk for codependency. So, I am very careful to make sure things are equitable for me … that my relationships are reciprocal … and I associate with deeply connected and spiritual human beings … not scripted ones. We all face crises … it is how we handle it that counts.

    As for my passive aggressive narcissistic ex … Adult children want nothing to do with their father and he has never had a solid relationship. Due to getting my children out … keeping them in therapy and not hiding a thing from them … my children recovered and didn’t repeat. I helped (when they were minors) them to maintain a healthy relationship with my ex … was never mean to my ex and lived by the example that, “I am so more worthy than your abuse and I feel sorry for you” … always found the strength to place kids first … explain facts … and never degrade their father.

    My children have grown into successful professionals … 3 MD’s and one CEO. I taught them that marriage is a business and requires and “ever changing” business plan … down to include sex, who will take out the garbage, take care of this and that. My children went through 2 years of premarital counseling (still have one on retainer to check in when needed) and filled out “post-nups” … so if the marriage ends in divorce everyone is on the same page. We are all deeply spiritual and base our lives in that. So far … their marriages totally rock and I adore my in-laws. This is what smart people will do in the future and many are already doing. Those that are rewriting your marriages should do that right now!

    My kids have it in order and that I take partial credit for. I didn’t keep them in abuse and I made sure that they knew everything and therapy was a priority … as well as spirituality.

    Codependency is deadly … Can lead to autoimmune disorders? PTSD, major depressive disorder, stroke, heart attack, cancer. Please get the help you need.

    There is a minimal chance that the narcissist and codependent can heal together … without a proper therapist that knows what they are treating … and of course the willing Narcissist changing.

    If the cheater/narcissist suffers a “Narcissistic Wound” (this is a small window where they are disgusted with themselves and suddenly wake up to real ethics) within that they can actually feel the pain they’ve caused others and want a different life.

    The codependent/victim takes care of themselves and refuses anymore BS … the narcissist can make complete restitution and become more than half of the marriage for at least 2-6 years while the exhausted codependent heals … you have yourself a marriage. Thus, you graduate to the 10% of married couples that have an amazing marriage!

    I agree … leaving or staying is a personal choice. I do not agree staying where there is abuse … is good for the children. Those that don’t have their kids in therapy and are suffering and affair of any kind … are setting their kids up for failure. Depending on age … a kid 11 and over must be told the full truth. Nothing swept under the carpet.

    I disagree that problems (depending on the child’s age) should be kept from children. If you and your spouse are living in an affair … children need to be in counseling. They hear and feel the stress … this will stay with them and prevent them from a healthy adulthood.

    And I don’t judge those of you that wish to be abused by your cheating spouses and endure that kind of suffering.

    Also, finding the right therapist … is very hard. So many head shrinks are NUTS themselves. LOL!

    Yes there are support groups out there for codependents. If there are not … Alinon is a great place to start. They deal with codependency. It is a deadly disease.

    Again … I know I’ve repeated so much … but I want you all to wake up. And maybe this can help the long term cheaters? I also want the victims to know … they are worth better than that!

    Many of my links and other posts are on here … under “Empty and Numb”. I hope this helps because I truly feel all of your pain … even the pain of those that are cheating. My pain … it still can sometimes feel as if I am right there in my marriage with my ex. Thank you Doug and Linda!!!

  97. Broken May 3, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    Marie…I found your comments offensive back where you advised Linda that everyone should leave when they have been cheated upon. (Quite a few posts ago) I don’t care how much of an “expert” you are that advise does not apply to everyone and truthfully I resent you saying it and the implication that those of us who stay are somehow codependant. This is suppose to be a website (at least I thought it was) for the average person to support one another not a place to plug your book. Could be I am all wrong. So happy your kids are all MDS and CEOs….good for you. Guess what my kids are all successful as well and I chose to NOT tell them about their father. I chose to spare them that pain because THEY deserve not to feel it. I think you make some pretty blanket statements that don’t apply to everyone. I am so glad you don’t judge us victims who want to be cheated upon…I am sure that is what all of us wished for. Really??? Good people make mistakes. Good people deserve second chances. Good people deserve to be forgiven. Truely I am glad I don’t live in your world where everything is black and white.

    I will agree with you on one thing (if that really matters) the fog thing is a bunch of BS…..a great big excuse. So is the I can’t help myself BS and I didn’t realize what I was doing BS as well.

  98. Empty and Numb May 3, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    Broken … again … these are all my opinions that I’ve developed on my own and through much research. What is right for you … is right for you. It is not right for me. And, I judge for myself … I couldn’t do it.

    If you think for one minute your kids don’t know … think again. Unless, they don’t live in the same state or under your roof.

    How ever you wish to deal with what you have … you have every right. Please stop transferring judgments I make for myself … as directed toward you or any one else.

    When I speak … I speak as if I was the one in the same position. I have said constantly … that everyone has to chose for themselves.

    I am so sorry you are hurting. It is not fair. I wish you the best. I’ve only had good intentions … never to hurt … just to express myself as you have. And, I think that is what this site is for. I am not sure I found any rules to direct otherwise. If you know where these rules may be on this site … please direct me.

    Also … a lot gets lost in translation within writing. I wish only the best for everyone … and to let people know what I’ve discovered.

    I have no wish or need or want to direct anyone’s life but to make them aware that there is a lot out there that may resonate with people … that they are not seeing.

    When a long term affair occurs … one has to dive into the entire marriage. The average is what I’ve found and that is long term cheater carries passive, passive aggressive traits with narcissism mixed in. Victim … carries codependent/depressive/dependent traits.

    When in counseling … this is what needs to be treated to make the marriage whole. Again … we are talking averages and norms … not special cases. There are always exceptions to any rule.

    I do wish you well and please know … I empathize with your pain. I’ve been there! XO

  99. Broken May 3, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    Marie…..fair enough. …and no my kids don’t live with me (they are adults) and will NEVER know what happened. It is my personnal opinion that our kids don’t need to know every detail of our marriage. Life is way to hard without adding the pain of what my H did to their lives. It is my opinion that my H hurt me not them and I choose (independant thinking) to not harm the relationship he has with them or damage what they think of their father in any way. He offered to tell them…I said no. I don’t feel the need to round them all up and say look what dad did….doesn’t work for me. I don’t agree with the whole family, friends, work, etc being told about an affair. I know some “experts” make their living by pushing that concept. Like I said before people make mistakes and when they are doing everything humanly possible to correct their mistakes then raking them across the coals doesn’t seem right to me. Do I and did I hurt….hell yes and I feel for every person who has been cheated on but I think every person is different and every situation is different….there is no black and white. You did say that everyone should leave when there has been an affair unless there is a financial situation and that is wrong. I would have to agree with you in a serial cheating situation…thats it. I am in no way codependant, dependant or whatever you want to call it on anyone. I make my own choices. People need to make a choice about what is right for them. Staying, leaving, forgiving, not forgiving, therapy, telling, not telling….all choices we all have to make.

  100. suziesuffers May 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    Marie, I agree with many of the things you state here….I think it’s more the “tone” of your blog that might be alittle “overbearing”…..but as a victim we’ve all been the codependent director…directing how we think others to should their lives….because after all, we know how we live our lives and we believe everyone should mirror that. I’m not attacking you, I state this about me….I know that has been my contribution to my marriage….although which was first the chicken or the egg. Was I codependent director and choose my husband, or was it the dysfunctional marriage to an alcoholic that created a codependent director….at some point, it really doesn’t matter, because here I am in my FULL glory!! I believe there is a certain “obsessive” fog. Have you ever seen someone on drugs? I have. They will go to any means regardless of their own safety or anyone elses to obtain the drug….well, I think affairs are alittle the same. Someone takes alittle drug because their distressed, next thing they know they are in full blown addiction….something like the CS…just chatting and getting to know someone, and one thing leads to another and the next thing they know their in an affair. I’m not sure a full blown addict sees their addiction, UNTIL their are enough consequences to SHAKE them into reality. Could it be the same with the affair? OH……I’m not giving my husband an excuse by any means. Just like the drug addict, no one forced you to take the first hit…..My husband KNEW when he was starting to get into dangerous territory, but choose to go anyway. Did he know right from wrong? Well, I think when it they chatted maybe no….but then there’s the next step…dinner, lunch…that’s when that little voice in his head said, I’m now doing something that feels good, but I don’t think is quite right. After all, my husband knew better than to rob a bank when he was having financial problems. But you don’t go to jail for affairs. It starts out like stealing pens from the office….no big deal, you deserve them, you work hard. Next thing you know you are taking more and more supplies and still justifying it because you somehow deserve it.

    Broken, I also agree with you that just leaving isn’t always right. I think sometimes it is more motiviated in fear than in love, because we have invested alot into this marriage. Our spouse already has a replacement so they KNOW they are “loved”…..we don’t, so we feel abandoned and if we can only get them back we will “FEEL” loved too…..we are afraid we will never find another to love us. That’s our self esteem talking to us. So is it fear or love that we stay?? I sometimes don’t know. For now, I have 34 years invested, and I feel like MAYBE it can be saved. It worries me that it will never be forgotten. I know why CS move on too….facing their guilt everyday….out of sight out of mind. Leaving the spouse they cheated on gives them a clean slate…even if they don’t stay with the OP, anyone else would really never know or bring up the pain they created in the affair…….so they kind of walk, unfortunately we are continually blanketed not only with the pain of the affair, but now abandonment and self esteem issues that take years to repair…..but I bet the CS that moves on….does that…just moves on. Now, he might never heal, and like Marie said, just wander out there never really finding love, because all they want is to be “in love”….and all those fade eventually. So, how to we move forward…no matter whether we stay or whether we do…the first step is to heal ourselves. We are the victims, and just like PTSD, we will have to heal through this trauma to get our lives back. Prayers for us all to heal and find our strength to enjoy like and live in joy and happiness.

  101. roller coaster rider May 3, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    This dialogue has given me lots of food for thought today, and also I feel pretty anxious just focusing on this again, sometimes just want to go to sleep and stay that way. I really thought my co-dependence was better and want to believe that H is sincere but even he himself will say he doubts his own sincerity. But for the grace of God…

  102. Jessica May 3, 2011 at 11:39 pm #

    I just received and started reading “not just friends” a really good book I may be up all night reading it”

  103. laurel May 4, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    This is sure not too fun, is it? Brian, I am so sorry your wife is pressuring you to leave, and I agree with Doug: don’t do it without legal counsel. I want to speak to some of the posts yesterday from Marie, Broken and Kathy (I think>>>for some reason, I’m not seeing all the posts right now). The whole idea of being codependent really bothers me. I know it is normal to feel extremely insecure when your life-long partner goes off the deep end and starts doing things that completely challenge everything you thought you had worked so hard to achieve together. The one thing right now I know I’m learning is that I have the ability to talk to my H in a way I’ve never been able to before, but that’s because he wants to change. To accept anything less would not work for me. Maybe Marie is right and we would never have gotten here if I had just walked away many, many years ago (well, obviously, we wouldn’t be here because we’d be apart) but I also think that it isn’t codependent to stay if there are strong signs of having ‘hit bottom’ and waking out of the stupor of lies and wanting to be a truthful, giving, caring, emotionally vulnerable spouse. Marie, you said something about a piercing of the narcissim; that kind of rings true, but don’t you also think that at some level, we are all narcissistic? Even the extremely codependent person does things and operates out of a mindset that she/he will get personal needs met that way.

    • Broken May 4, 2011 at 11:24 am #

      Laurel I absolutely agree with you…my H and I would not have the relationship we have right now (albeit difficult at times because of the A). We communicate differently. I don’t know what it took to get here and I really don’t care…it just is.

      Brian I hope you stay. You didn’t do anything wrong and just because you are a man…that doesn’t mean you have to automatically leave. Your wife wants to make it easy on herself to continue what she is doing to you. It takes alot of nerve to cheat on someone and then go out and try and find them another place to live…..wow. I thought this was the week for your joint counseling sessions to begin? How is that going?

      • Brian May 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

        We have our first session on Monday…

  104. laurel May 4, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    Brian, I just saw where you wrote on April 27th that your lawyer told you not to leave. Don’t do it. Your sons need to see and hear you saying that you are fighting for them and for their mom. They may need to know what is going on, but again, I’m praying for you to have wisdom and for your wife to wake up.

  105. Jessica May 4, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    Brian,

    Your boys need you, it will also be very hard for them if you move out, you are the stability they need to help them through this. Follow your instincts, and your lawyers advice.

    • Brian May 4, 2011 at 11:28 am #

      She just texted me “The more we are together, the less I can stand you… I’m sorry I feel that way”.

      I know it’s the fog talking but it still hurts… guess we are done.

  106. Empty and Numb May 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    Laurel … I don’t know where all the posts went. There were others that had a bunch of questions for me. I would suspect … Doug and Linda are having web site trouble. It happens.

    Walking away is your decision. Having a quality life with someone who is reliable, ethical starts with you … or the victim. We teach people how to treat us.

    Codependents don’t love themselves.

    Within a “Narcissistic Wound” (google that … as well as passive, passive aggressive and narcissisim ) is the only time a narcissist can wake up. There is only a small window for the narcissist to see himself for the wretch he/she is. And if they can do that … rush to therapy and work hard to stay to learn real ethics and universal love … there they can heal.

    We all carry narcissism. Most of us have healthy narcissism.

    Codependency is deadly. It is a deadly disease. Women especially are prone to this. One, we are raised with the scripted belief to “be all” and be the “super women”.

    Then, in a marriage with a narcissist … we usually have kids.
    So, we go into super codependency trying to save the marriage.

    If kids are under the roof of a cheater … they must be in therapy and nothing can be swept under the carpet. Why? They hear all the fights. In so hearing the fights … this takes away their security and safety which can lead to suicide.
    Kids feel all the stress and they must have a therapist to help guide them. I don’t care if you are only fighting in your bedroom … they hear it all and must know the truth.

    If they are adults and out of the home … there is no reason to tell them a thing. No one else needs to know either … unless the couple chooses to do so.

    Lots of help out there. Whether people stay or not is certainly up to them. Again … narcissists will suck you dry and there will be an incredible imbalance that may never balance.

    If the cheater/narcissist can really heal … than they have to atone … make incredible restitution for a marriage they failed to attend to … a marriage where they fully took advantage of their spouses and they must now allow the codependent time to heal.

    Narcissists/cheaters must become responsible adults … over responsible adults, be over supportive and reassuring … and take on being the “single parent” in the marriage for at least 2-6 years while the codependent heals.

    They need to yield to the need of the victim on almost every level.

    Fling cheating can happen to any one of us … can be easily repaired.

    Long term cheating … that is not an accident. Long term cheaters … not only cheated with another person … but cheated all through their marriage by under performing on every level, covert power struggles and an inability to pull their weight and communicate their needs.

    “Fog” … yes! Both cheater and victim are in a fog. The “fog” I speak of is cheater … abusive. Victim … takes abuse … doesn’t recognize it because cheaters mindf*&ck their victims through covert abuse and lying.

    Therapists and Affair authors are not touching on personality disorders … nor are they breaking down the entire marriage to realize just what the “cheater” brought to the table … and the victim just rolled over to take … willingly and enabling.

    If one has a good marriage counselor … they break the marriage down to the inequities within the marriage and that it was dysfunctional an imbalanced always.

    Good therapists help rebuild (through exercises and organizational material to help create a household bible) the dysfunctional marriage.

    Long term chearters … again … they are covert abusers that got progressively worse when more and more (victims constantly wipe the cheaters ass, pick up for where “they forgot” to take care of things they said they would and the list goes on) responsibilities came along within the family and what was needed to keep the fire between spouses and raise the children.

    Long term cheaters expected the victim/codependent/directors to do it all. And, the victims did. No one can live up to that and they eventually burn out. So, the long term cheater has no more narcissistic supply from victim spouse cause he/she has destroyed them … and heads out to seek from another victim.

    Affairs DO NOT JUST HAPPEN! They are searched out, planned out, obsessed about. Why? Long term cheaters blame all their failure on the victim spouse and feel justified.

    The long term cheater searches for a long, long time. The long term cheater has played with fire on many occasions before an affair really takes place. Long term cheaters attract Long term cheaters. Again … I am talking about norms … not exceptions.

    The long term cheater has selective ethics (always has) and plays by his/her own rules and always has. They’ve always been right … the victim always wrong but they keep that to themselves.

    Cheaters start tapping until someone turns around. They tease and joke with people of the opposite sex looking for an open window … cause it feels good.

    They send out mating signals usually with any coworker or work associate they can find. Again, my opinion and 17 years of research.

    When victims wake up to the reality … they try to search for answers and do all the work because that is what they’ve always done.

    Cheaters behave the same way … because this is what they’ve always done … they’ve always abused. Again … this is just my opinion.

    I have interviewed over 100 healthy victims that suffered the wake up of their spouse having a long term affair. There was no question within their mind. Divorce was the only option.

    I have tracked the healthy victims. They went on to have very healthy lives and never looked back. Most found new mates that were within their ethics or microcosim. We all hum with those we are like.

    Most healthy victims married young and had enough of the over all marital abuse, pathological lying, laziness and under achieving of their spouses. This includes men and women.

    Most healthy victims married young and “Love Drunk” … and believed in the “Happily Ever After”. All was well until responsibilities started rolling in. Then it becomes a systematic break down. When life stresses move in, when responsibility moves in … this is where character is tested.

    The healthy victims were never going to buy into, “Good People Make Mistakes” because cheating is ridiculous and there are no mistakes within cheating. Cheating is deliberate … as is lying in any form.

    Healthy victims decided they have no time to reparent and stand for any more abuse or push their flawed spouse. How can you rebuild trust after that … was their overriding theme.

    Again, just my research and opinion. Again, everyone has to chose.

    Tone within any written form gets lost. I am sorry if I have come off brash. No intention there. I am also an MD … so Direct and Assertive has always been my nature.

    Healthy victims that did stay to repair … are those that found their spouses had a “fling”. Flings are always admitted by cheater and both get into counseling right away.

    Long term cheaters are looking for a new life, new love and new spouse. It is that simple. They’ve always been that way. This type of behavior … long term cheating … just doesn’t happen. It has always been there.

    It takes a special person to dance with a narcissist and that is a codependent.

    In my research … I have found healthy victims automatically leave a long term spouse because they wake up to realize that they never had an equitable marriage and were always abused. Cheating is no accident … there is no drug effect … it is a conscious thought … a deliberate thought … and one where they could care less who they hurt.

    I truly feel all your pain. I really do. And, I am sorry if I sound brash. I am also speaking on the norms. There are exceptions to every rule. And, everyone has the right to chose. XO

    • laurel May 4, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

      I will write more later but I found the earlier posts on page numbers at the bottom of this page. Thanks for your reply.

  107. Empty and Numb! May 4, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    Brian …. Good for you on your first therapy session!!! With my ex … It was therapy or divorce … Immediately. 1.5 yrs later ( marital therapy repair for an affair in counseling which is the best … Takes 2-4 yrs) with our therapists blessing … He told us … I’m always going to be abused and I should end it!

    Please make sure you get a good therapist that specializes in Narcissim and codependency. Ask around! Therapist are human and some can cause so much more damage.

    You’ll be looking for a kind that not only specializes but one that extracts information from the pair of you not implants information. Sending you lots of love!

  108. laurel May 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    Brian, what your wife texted you sounds similar to things my husband used to say and do to try to ‘bait and switch’ – what I mean is, try to push your buttons so you won’t focus on what is really going on and what SHE is actually doing. Don’t buy it. Yes, it’s intended to hurt but if you just ‘set your face like flint’ and do what you need to do, get your needs met in other ways, like what is going to benefit you right now and your sons…I’m so very sorry. I know how this feels.

  109. Empty and Numb May 4, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    A wiser person once told me …. Don’t listen to the words of another …. Listen to the behavior. In the behavior is where the depth of the truth in one’s character is and always will be! ;)

  110. Brian May 4, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    Thanks Laurel, trying to hang in there. Dont know this woman anymore. Can’t see any way to reconcile at this point…

    • laurel May 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

      Maybe she will blow it all up. Just don’t let her be the one to call the shots on where you live, and don’t let her be the one to define what’s true.

  111. laurel May 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    Marie, what’s your definition of ‘long term cheater?’ Oh, and don’t take this personally but being an MD I would think might make one prone to thinking very highly of one’s own opinion which is also a potential trap. I appreciate that you qualified your statements somewhat both yesterday and today, and acknowledged the (albeit minute) possibility of exception to the rule. You also made reference in yesterday’s post to spirituality. I think there are many opportunities for growth, change, revelation, and this is no exception. I also believe that we occasionally have opportunities to see a miracle, which has no scientific explanation whatsoever. And it’s true, we all must decide for ourselves what to believe, and what to do. I know I need wisdom, and I also do not want to live apart from grace. I need grace most of all, and I will not choose to withhold it either.

  112. Jessica May 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    Laurel,
    I agree with your comments to Marie.

    Brian,

    There is a posting Linda had on stupid things Doug said while in the E A. good reading.

  113. Empty and Numb May 4, 2011 at 7:50 pm #

    Long term is more than once. I don’t take offense at the indirect attacks.  It must relieve some stress.

    I know the victims are hurting and scared.  Something that I am saying is striking a massive chord with people and it appears you need someone to be angry with and that is ok.

    Again … I feel so bad because I know where you are.  You are desperate to hold on … To have someone assure you that your spouse is a “good person who made a mistake” and has gone temporarily insane.  

    You don’t want to believe that your spouse was always this way? I don’t know? I can tell you that the average long term cheater is a narcissist and the victim a codependent.

    If the victims can’t see they are codependent … And your health is in danger … then I don’t know what to yell you?

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. 

    I do not judge and can not tell you or anyone what to do.  So, please stip transferring your pain onto me.  I hurt, too.

    I just see so many victims living in pure hell and expecting change.  the cheating spouses could care less.  That is clear.

    These kinds of cheaters were always that way …. they always came first.

    Again, I don’t take offense at your indirect covert lashing.  I just feel bad for your pain. I still feel the pain and I exercise my techniques to get rid of it.

    I am amazed what you are all putting up with?  The abuse is horrific and for those that are continuing with the abuse without therapy and children under the roof … Both you and your children’s health are in grave danger.

    When I woke up to the abuse with my ex (both fogs lifted … Mine and his or victim/abuser) It is wild and unimaginable.  I shouted “therapy or divorce”!  

    I appreciate or empathize with those that can’t shout “therapy or divorce” but if you have children … Under your roof … you can’t afford to do this to your children … Keep them in abuse without a professional to speak with.

    And … yes … I am MD and after 17 years of research … I do know what I’m talking about.

    I am real sorry for exposing fears and hurting.  Never my intention.  I feel your pain.  I can tell most of the suffering victims are brilliant and beautiful.  You did not deserve this.  I  so sorry for your pain. Please get the help you need. 

  114. suziesuffers May 4, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

    Marie, I agree with some of the syndromes you’ve identified. I think many of us are codependents and we struggle with that. I worry too that your pain after 17 years is still seen here because of the anger you have that is triggered through these discussions. So I wonder what steps have you taken to heal? You’ve been in a “wonderful” marriage now for a number of years and I would have thought that might have eased many of the issues we have…..fear of being unloved, self esteem etc. You obviously have those covered with this wonderful husband you have. So are you still triggered by the pain? What actions are you taking to heal that pain. I’m 2 years from D day….and he has been a multiple cheater both flings and EA’s and the last one PA. Do I see it as a “progressive” disease? Yes, I do now….I didn’t know about his cheating until the disclosure of the PA. Was I suspicious? Always. His alcoholism was progressive too….until he found AA and has been sober 4 years. So am I confused many times about whether I want to continue in a marriage that is so severely damaged…..I ask myself that many times, and to tell you the truth, I’m in auto mode right now. I’m trying to explore how I feel about him too. Have I stayed because the pain of the loss is more than the pain of staying? I don’t know. And alot of that is because I don’t know me anymore. I don’t trust me anymore. I know I don’t trust him, but it’s scarier that I don’t trust me anymore. So on this journey of healing, regardless of whether we make it or not, I’m really looking at ME. Who I am and what I want….and maybe I wouldn’t have done this is if he had never cheated. All I can do, is what I can do today for me.

  115. suziesuffers May 4, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

    I think he became sober from alcohol, but internally missed the “high” and didn’t identify those feelings. As you said, the “chit chat”…putting it out there to see if they could “catch’ someone’s eye…attention, is a real ego booster. I think that gave him a high that replaced the drug/alcohol high…because alot of his actions were when he was sober….not mature in his sobriety, but not drinking. I think we would all like to “feel” loved, have someone pay attention to us…treat us as if no one else was around, give us ego strokes…..but we know it’s a cheap trick that ends when reality kicks in…..but some get “hooked” by the feeling and are reeled in…..not that they haven’t been putting the hook out there….but then they can act surprised when they are suddently “hooked” by these feelings….

    Brian….you stick with it. The words are the most painful at times. And unfortunately they stick with you for a long time…..except, NONE of the words spewed from her mouth are the truth. NONE of this is about you….it’s about how empty she is….nothing you created, something she never filled and she’s desperately clinging onto something she thinks fills that void….so throwing out all this stuff is just her diversion. She thinks that if she can hurt you right now, you will run and then she’s off the hook for taking accountability for this mess. You did NOT cause this mess..her character defects did. Stay strong, we are there for you!!!

    • Brian May 5, 2011 at 7:32 am #

      We had a long talk last night: She still says that she is just friends with the OP, mostly just texting, meets with him once every few weeks or so. Says he’s “fun to hang out with” nothing physical. She says she has no intentions of being in a relationship with him or anyone else right now.

      As far as us, she still does not feel “in love” with me the way she used to. She feels like our relationship is “suffocating ” her and she needs to be away from me for a while. She does not want a divorce right now but she thinks a separation would do us good. She wants to continue couples counseling during the separation. She says she has no intentions of being in a relationship with anyone right now. She assured me she would never accuse me of adandoning her and the boys but I wonder if the court would see it that way regardless.

      I don’t know what to do. I know she will not leave and if I stay the hard feelings will intensify… not good for us or the boys.

      • staystrong72 May 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

        Brian. Listen to me very CAREFULLY! You have done nothing wrong. You stay put in that house with those boys. This is not your doing. Tell her to leave if she feels suffocated. The reason she is stating that she will never accuse you of abandoning your kids if you leave, is because she has already sought out advice from a lawyer. That statement came directly from mine. My lawyer told me to stay put. Dont’t leave. The moment you leave she will use that against you. You cannot trust a thing your CS is telling you. Follow your gut. You need to become a ninja with your thoughts and actions. Tell yourself, “I am not the one confused, I know what I want.” This will be the hardest thing to do. You cannot let what she says bother you. Just tell her you are not interested and walk away. You need to become that strong, confident individual. Make her realize what she is going to lose. Make yourself and your boys the priority. Don’t talk to her and get wrapped up in her drama. You will drive yourself nuts. She is going to push your buttons.

  116. Empty and Numb! May 5, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    Suz …. The healing process is never over!  D-days always come up.  For me … They only last for moments. Yet, those moments are painful.

    I liken this type of abuse (which we codependents welcome and enable) to being repeatedly raped.

    My marriage is wonderful. Kids are grown and living the dream with all the healthy marital conflicts but those are faced as a team. My daughters are financially fit and have an exit plan … if something goes wrong.

    Personality disorders don’t manifest until mid to late 30’s.

    As much as I was not raised religious scripted …. I wanted that “happily ever after”! That was media driven.  I didn’t allow my daughters Disney and I taught my son how to play with dolls.

    However, “we” as codependents are just as addicted.  We are addicts to the abuse and notion we can control and change people.

    For instance …. It takes me out for weeks if I lose someone on the operating table.  

    There is a joke … Mother T … The biggest codependent (one of my heroines) … said on her dying bed, “I didn’t save enough”! Lol!

    I’ve clung to Buddhism to understand much of what I went through.  I believe the pain I still attach to … has to do with my research and soon to be published book.

    My current husband has coauthored with me my book.  He is a leading psychiatrist in this area.  

    What helps … Yoga, breath work …. Other forms of spirituality.  I’m Reform Jewish which the practice is really Buddhism. 

    It was so hard going through this because narcissists are really that cruel.  We allow them to make us into “Charlie Brown” and they are “Lucy” pulling the football away. We internalize their transference … to include “we are not worthy”!

    I had four small babies and was in residency.  My mother … worn out from being a single mother.  The rest of my family … Religious scripted.  I was judged and disowned and alone.

    The pain doesn’t go away, ever. I do count my blessings but I truly was in my end stages of codependency.  I was dying and somehow … I got out.

    It has been my healing to research why codependents chose so poorly and have the need to fix broken people.  It is because we feel we are not worthy and make ourselves emotionally dependent, financially dependent on abusers.

    This site has been so helpful.  If you need recommendations of books and or techniques that helped me get through … Let me know.

    And thank you for your kindness. It means a lot.

  117. Empty and Numb! May 5, 2011 at 8:13 am #

    Brian …. You must get a lawyer and she must leave.  Do not give up your boys.  Please do not give up your boys. The courts will see it as abandonment.  She needs to leave and you need to get your boys into counseling, depending on how old they are.  She is tricking you!

  118. Jessica May 5, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    Empty and Numb,

    Your postings actually appear to be very narcissist in nature you seem to turn most postings into a conversation about yourself.

    • broken May 5, 2011 at 10:40 am #

      Thinkin the same thing. If anyone disagrees with her it is because we are.in so much pain….I am reading all cheaters ar narcisstic and all of us who are cheated upn are codependent even though we didn’t know it was happening……but if we absoluyely make the choice to leave we are healthy because that is the same choice she made. I looked up narcisstic wound….supossedly the only small window your cheating spouse has to heal oneself…..what a bunch of psycho babble BS.Marie I mean no disrespect but of all of us here you seem the most angry and bitter. Sorry for your pain XO. I don’t feel the need to tell everyone my profession like you do ad nauseum but what I will say is a sampling of only 100 subjects does not even come close to giving you enough info for a conclusion

  119. melissa May 5, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    Touche! This is so funny in the midst of the angst and unhappiness a lot of us are feeling. Thanks for making me smile, Jessica.

  120. Empty and Numb May 5, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    The truly bizarre notion that I need you to agree with me is saddening.  Could care less if you do. The attacks are freakish but I understand the human condition.  

    It is like when I scold my cat … She immediately beats up my other cat.  
    So, you feel slighted … which is weird because I’ve repeatedly said … I’m not telling anyone what to do or needed anyone’s approval. 

     The need to hurt because you feel I am hurting you is also so beyond any comprehension. Again, human nature … “lord of the flies” mentality! And, nothing short of bullying.

    Yet, that is what truly BROKEN people do. 

    Yet, I’m wondering who really is behind the posts? Lol! Could it be a cheater? Lol! 

     I understand you like your misery and I did too!  I wish you luck with that. It seems that some just don’t want to face reality and like being abused.

    What you do with your lives is up to you.  My intention was to help.  Sadly, one can’t help a sadomasochistic person.

    Stay well in your fogs of self induced abuse.  That is your right and I am not trying to persuade anyone differently. Never have been! 

    Someone asked what my credentials were … and I’ve told them. I’ve tried to share my story but some want to remain “cry babies” rather than heal!

    Maybe one deserves what they get?  After all … We do get what we give and teach people how to treat us!  I’m glad it is working for you!

    Hey, I know loved my misery and self destruction until I woke up! And, I was fully responsible for my enabling.

    To attack when I’ve said repeatedly that I could care less what any of you do … is awful.  To attack when I’ve already said that this still hurts is just mean.

    But at least it makes you feel better and that is good but short term.

    Good luck to all and enjoy your abuse. You must like it a lot.  Lol!

  121. Jessica May 5, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    I will agree with your definition of insanity:

    Your posting and reposting of the same information and expecting different results is INSANITY.

    You are the one harshly judging others on this site.

  122. Roller coaster rider May 5, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    Just wondering if Doug and Linda would like to weigh in on all this?

    • Doug May 5, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

      Damn, I was hoping to stay out of this! ;-) Seriously though, I think there is no doubt that Empty and Numb has done her research and certainly narcissism and codependency play a role in many affair situations. In my opinion, to paint all infidelity cases with such a broad brush is not accurate. I do think that E & N in her own self-righteous way is trying to help, but saying the same thing repeatedly in such a negative fashion is counter productive.

  123. Roller coaster rider May 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    P.S. If I say my intentions are to help, how do I then turn around and say “I could care less what any of you do?”

  124. Empty and Numb May 5, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    My intentions are to help! I’ve never cared what people do with my information.  I’ve posted my research … You agree or don’t but to attack just shows why you are where you are. 

    What you do with your lives is your business.  
     
    It is clear … I have helped some.  I’ve also posted to release my pain, too.  But I guess there are unwritten rules I’m missing? And, a way in which I am supposed to be myself! Lol!

    Again … I wonder who is really behind these posts.  I suspect a few things. Hence … I’ve come to do what I set out to for those smart enough to dig deep and evolve within their lives.  Ya can lead the Cows to the water but you can’t make them drink.

    It would seem that this had gone to a bizarre childish level of some weird form of bullying to make yourselves feel better for staying in misery. 

    Have at it! Lol!

    I don’t know how many times I can try to be nice cause I know you are all suffering.  I get I’ve struck huge nerves and would never do so to hurt.

    But I really do wish you the best.  Instead of worrying about me … You should really worry about yourselves and I will do the same.

    What a bunch of high school mean girls but then again … Par for the way you lead your lives.  Yes … I do judge because I have been judged.

    Every assumption you’ve made … I’ve tried to explain otherwise and that is it.

    But I don’t take what you say seriously.  Your choosing to remain in abuse.  That can not be argued with. 

    I offered help and you want to call it psychobabble. 

    I’m simply defending myself and will no longer.  So … Let it all out.  If it makes you feel good to hurt others … Than so be it.  Was a nice visit. Helped me a lot. Thank you Doug and Linda. I wish you both and all well! 

  125. melissa May 5, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    E&N
    Your viewpoint is certainly of interest, it has struck a chord with me, and it is well worth researching but as Linda (and others) said, every situation is different.

    We can evolve but it is highly unlikely anyone will ever achieve perfection. We can but try…

    I don’t think it is productive to call everyone who has expressed an opinion about your posts ‘a bunch of high school girls’ – that is the position of the bully. Maybe if you looked at each post as objectively as possible and did not set yourself out to be the one who holds the truth, the only truth and nothing but the truth. Everyone is experiencing things differently, with social, cultural, educational and environmental backgrounds which all differ. If you are able to take criticism objectively, then you will not feel the need to ‘defend yourself’. If,as you say, you know how awful it is to be judged, the first thing I would do is try not to be judgemental and not to call others names.

    Abuse of any kind (physical and mental, affairs, cheating, lies, betrayal) is never a cut and dry issue and getting out of an abusive situation – or resolving it, however imperfectly – is difficult and takes courage and a hard, long look at oneself. The important thing, I think, is that whatever choice we make (to go, to stay, a half way house), we understand why we made that choice and live with the consequences of that choice in peace, but always striving to achieve more peace, more balance, more love.

  126. Broken May 5, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    Marie You said “the need to hurt because you feel I am hurting you is beyond comprehension” ….where in the world did you get that from???? You are all over the page. We dont even know you so why in the world would you think you could ever hurt anyone here? I truely think the person that hurts the most of anyone ….is you. Anger and jugement is all I read in your posts. You have a need to attack anyone that disagrees with you and twist around their words to make your point. You seem like a very sad person. I highly doubt you are an MD and if I ever was spoken to like you speak to me in a docters office….I would walk out. Your girls have an exit plan to leave their marriages just in case their husbands cheat? Wow how sad is that? In my world……the one with other adults in it……nothing is black and white.

    Everyone here is struggling with the same things. When you make blanket statements about what everyone should and shouldn’t do …you only cause more pain…..and when you become angry because people don’t agree with your every word then your credibility becomes questionable.

    I know it doesn’t matter what I say…..folks like you will sadly never change….and usually run when the going gets rough.

    Good luck to you…..come back anytime……it was a pleasure.

    Also….your “hunch” about people who question you? No in my case I am not the cheater…can’t speak for anyone else but I am not doing some covert operation to gain information regarding cheating…so in my case your “hunch” is wrong. Lol as you would say.

  127. Broken May 5, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    Brian staystrong is right. How are you doing today? Take care of yourself…I know its really hard. Thinking about you and hoping you are ok.

    • Brian May 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

      I’ve had better days… I’m torn between what’s best for me and the boys vs what’s best for the relationship because, ultimately, having the marriage continue is what’s best for everyone. If I stay, our home will be hell for everyone and any chance of us being together will be gone eventually. If I leave maybe it will give us the cooling off period we need to think. No easy answers…

      • roller coaster rider May 5, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

        What’s best for the relationship, in my opinion, is for one person to be stable, unmovable, unwilling to let another ‘take over’ and you don’t have to be in the same room or engage in any kind of dialogue. Brian, she may be saying one thing today and absolutely either not mean it or change her mind tomorrow. Granted, it might be less painful for you to be elsewhere, but as Doug and others have said, legally it puts you at a great disadvantage to leave. Giving her that advantage in the state she’s in right now doesn’t sound like a good idea; it seems more like giving in to the preschooler throwing a tantrum.

        • Brian May 6, 2011 at 8:33 am #

          You called it… she told me last night that she does not want me to leave… she does not want to upset the boys right now, especially our youngest. She feels like she can live with the situation as it is… for now. She said that, earlier, her emotions were talking but she’s changed her mind.

          We start counseling on Monday. There’s so much to discuss but I will try to be calm and make it a productive session. We’ll see what comes out of it…

          • Doug May 6, 2011 at 9:17 am #

            That’s good news Brian. It’s very hard, in my opinion, to work on the marriage when separated. I wonder though if it was really her emotions talking or if there is trouble in La La land.

          • Roller coaster rider May 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

            Brian, I know that shortly after D-day I told H I didn’t think I ever wanted to see or talk to him again, let alone sleep in the same bed. Now, just weeks later, I have feelings that are completely different and much of it has come from him showing me that he is willing to do whatever I need to see to prove that he loves me and is sorry. He knows this isn’t a short process, and that trust is very hard to regain. On your end, I think your wife will have a very hard time denying the unconditional love you are showing her and your sons and love is more powerful than anything. Just stay strong and take care of yourself.

          • roller coaster rider May 7, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

            Brian, I am thinking about your first session Monday and about what she said regarding the OP (‘just friends, only ‘hangs out’ occasionally, etc.) I hope she will be truthful with the counselor because I think it is very likely she is lying to you about what’s going on. I just want you to know that in the middle of this weekend, I am hoping you are doing well.

  128. melissa May 5, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    Last note on the latest post and I’ll hold my peace on this one (well, I hope so).

    I think that none of us here should presume and accuse or hint that some of us are not what we say we are.

    Maybe it’s true in some cases but it’s likely not to be the case (a lot of the posts here ring absolutely true). The first rule should be ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and there is no proof that anyone is bogus or fake or pretending to be someone else. If they are, it’s their problem and their lies will come to light at one stage or other … the issue we have to deal day in day out is trust in our spouses (or the lack of) and I hope that we can trust most of the people on this site. Their interpretation of their own and others’ situation, of course, is subjective but we are all subjective and view our life through many prisms, including our education, our values, our life experience, our friends’ experience. Nothing is clear cut, nothing is easy to work out. That’s life, folks.

  129. Brian May 5, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    I’ve had better days, Broken. Don’t want to leave but like an idiot I’m still trying to hang on to the possiblity we could reconcile, so I’m thinking maybe I should leave so we can cool things off a bit, maybe she’ll have second thoughts if I’m not around. I don’t know…

  130. Jessica May 5, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    Broken,

    I think you are right about Marie not being an MD I work for a very large Health Care organization and the as they call themselves Physician’s and Surgeons who also work in the research would use a much broader base for research projects and not issue such broad generalities.

  131. Empty and Numb May 5, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    The transference that some of you think I am judging … rather than telling you what I did, how I got out of it … sharing the pain I have left … and my story … is ridiculous.

    How many times do I have to say … I am judging for myself … what I did and what I would do if in some of your shoes … and what I have researched.

    Then … some freakishly think I am speaking to them and telling them what to do? LOL!

    I don’t know how many times I have to say … “There are always exceptions to the rule”? I don’t know how many times I have to say … “I am judging what I would do”. I don’t know how many times I have to say, “I am expressing my research”?
    I don’t know how many times … I have to say … “These are my thoughts and experiences”? WHAT DO YOU NOT GET? LOL!

    “Self Righteous”? LOL! That is amazing … coming from Doug, I think? I stumbled upon a web site that I thought helped people?

    I do think Linda and Doug’s posts do help. I didn’t realize that the victims want to stay stuck in abuse and like it. I thought … ya might want to hear some truth? LOL!

    But what I think this is … is more shining of the BS of long term cheaters and “Experts” selling “The Fog” of the long term cheater … selling their “fix it all” marriage guides.

    I don’t carry the same martyrdom that ya’ll carry. I think it is so sad. So sad … especially for the victims that have children under their roof and are not under the care of a professional psychiatrist or therapist.

    Yes … bullying because you can not seem to figure out that I am not judging you but judging what I would do … and letting you in on my research.

    You all must be exceptions to the rule. But … sadly what I see is severely codependent people who’s lives are in grave danger. Good luck with that!

    I don’t really have much more to say … I thought this was an adult site. But it isn’t.

    It is a site for codependents that want to control and gain back their “Prized” spouses. LMAO! WOW!

    Yes … when you attack me for my opinions and research … people are bullying. I struck a nerve. I get it.

    Every situation is different. I have been talking about averages. The sad part … is the victims what to change their spouse so badly … that they are living in hell. The other sad part is … the massive manipulation that goes on to change someone … and that is being sold here.

    YIKES!

  132. michael May 5, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    About E&N,
    There are interesting things in what she says. And things that don’t pertain to me. Like any book you read, like it or don’t like it. Certainly we would not camp out at a book signing of an affair repair book, booing, or yelling. Like anything else, take it or leave it. I personally don’t care if she is who she says she is. She has as much right to speak her mind here.
    Linda is a pretty good judge of what’s unacceptable. Doug and Linda have every right to accept or delete any comment they chose.
    Do I agree with her, mostly No. Do any of you agree that I should be here talking about how my wife lied to me again. Many have said “leave her” but I made a choice. Do I feel that I am abusing myself by not kicking her out, no. Do I think E&N should preach what she says was right for her and then turn around and say that she is suffering too. How is it that she made the right choices if she is still suffering?
    But when it gets down to calling readers on here “mean girls” or saying that there are those on here that aren’t who they say they are. I don’t care. But like I’ve tried to teach my nephew, responding in any negative ways by her or us is unproductive.
    If she wants my opinion she can defiantly ask it. And if I don’t want hers I can defiantly not read it. Although I read everything I can.
    But the root of it is, this is not a site for discouraging words. This is a site for encouragement and advise and a safe place to vent about the affair. If I wanted to know how much I’m f-d up I’ll go pay to see a shrink.
    No one answer fits all. And if you do the math, maybe a job for Doug to do, I bet the readers in here are a small percentage of the population dealing with infidelity. So we shouldn’t be treated as just statistics. If 90% of marriages end because of infidelity, it doesn’t mean 90% of us will chose that path. Although some may.
    Sorry, I just had to put my two word in.
    Its been a trying week, and I feel better every day. I’m stronger, understand more, and learn more every day.
    Right or wrong I chose my path. And I would never tell anyone that they should chose a path I tell them to.
    Its your choice. And for most of us our choice is the right one for us. Stay strong. Learn more.
    Dream of a better day.
    Believe that it will come.
    Inspire others to do the same.

    • Doug May 5, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

      Well put as usual. Michael.

  133. roller coaster rider May 5, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    Thanks, Michael. i really appreciate all that you said. I too feel like it has been a trying week, but a good one. I do believe a better day will come. I hope to inspire someone, but even if that never happens I will always be grateful for everything because somehow it all fits together to make me who I am.

  134. blueskyabove May 5, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    I must say this has been an interesting exchange of opinions…and that’s all they are, just opinions. Within each of us we have the freedom to accept or discard the opinions of others. All of us are affected by our own life experiences and our beliefs. The opinions of others do not define you, your choices define you.

    Since no two of us have had exactly the same experience in life, we are each magnificently unique. Your birth was not by accident. You have a higher purpose in life than you are currently allowing yourself to experience. Open your heart to the glory and wonder of You.

    As Eckhart Tolle states, “You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are!”

  135. suziesuffers May 6, 2011 at 1:48 am #

    I know I’m codependent. I don’t agree with Marie’s “tone” at times…..Marie, I think when you tell us we are basically fools for trying to save our marriages and we are only doing it because we tolerate the intolerable and enjoy the abuse…….I think it makes us defensive. We have already PILED a laundry list on ourselves because of our perceived failures because of the infidelity of our spouses. We compare ourselves to the OP, we reevaluate our history, scrutinizing all the “wrong” turns we might have made that could have forced our spouse into the arms of another. One more accusation can push us over the edge. So please help us understand your pain, because we can hear it in your story….but make it about what you suffered through and not a blanket accusation that we are all idiots because of the “abuse” we are tolerating by trying to save our marriages. I think you will find a much more receptive crowd. We are just a bunch of people gathered together to console each other through the pain of infidelity.

    I’m still walking on the fence about whether my marriage is salvagable. I know alot of the decisions I’ve made in my life were based upon my fear of abandonment and loss rather than for my best interest. This latest affair has actually brought that to light for me. As much pain as I’ve gone through during the affair, I’ve also gained some insight into me and why I make choices the way I do. I’ve grown. So were all these issues in me before I met him…or did they come about after I met him? Was I wounded when I came into this relationship or wounded after? Either way, I’m starting to heal now. Maybe he was wounded when he came into this relationship, and is just healing now too? Could we come together as two new people, now healed within ourselves to then have a NEW relationship? I don’t know those answers. I do know some of the readings state that the old relationship dies and you have to have a new relationship. Maybe that’s how it happens. I won’t know until I go down that road.

    Marie, I can hear your pain. Sometimes it feels like your attacking us instead of directing your anger towards your ex-husband. I think we are all angry that we have to make ANY decisions about our marriages because of infidelity and maybe that’s where you’re coming from too. You were FORCED to leave because you could not tolerate the behavior of your husband cheating…..and that is NEVER fair. I think we all have a right to discuss how WE feel. We are all fragile here and I think when we give suggestions to someone, they are just that…suggestions. We don’t try to DIRECT someone else to do what we did, we can only tell our story and let everyone make a decision as to what direction they want to take their life. I’m so grateful for the input from everyone on this blog…..after all….who can you talk to about this stuff….if you haven’t been there.

    I don’t know if Doug and Linda get kick backs for the referrals they give for Dr. Gunzberg, Dr. Huiezga, Jeff Murrah and any other endorsements they give out. But actually, right now I don’t care. The people that are posting here are in the same pain as me….and just knowing I’m not alone and my feelings aren’t crazy, is immeasurable.

    As they say….when you’re here, listen to what is said….take what you like and leave the rest.

    • Robin May 6, 2011 at 7:11 am #

      Suzie,

      Beautifully said!!

    • Doug May 6, 2011 at 9:12 am #

      Excellent post Suzie. I’m gonna add a few things… We started this site a year and half ago in the hopes that we could help others by sharing our experiences and by presenting resources that could be of benefit. One of the key elements that has been so positive is the sharing and support of others who have also suffered as a result of infidelity.

      We like to think that everyone who comes here can be a part of a safe community with the common goal of healing and ultimately saving their marriage if at all possible. Not all of the information that is shared by Linda and I, as well as you the reader, is applicable to every situation, but hopefully the ideas and support that are shared here as a whole can give sufferers (both betrayed and cheater alike) enough ammunition that they can gain strength and have the hope that recovering from an affair is possible and that they can have a better relationship down the road.

      The last year and a half has been a major learning and personal growth experience for both Linda and myself, and though much of it has been a result of our own choices to make changes in our relationship, reading books, research, etc., I would say the lion’s share of our growth has been achieved due to the contributions and the sharing of stories and ideas from those who contribute on a daily basis. The comments made by the readers are a daily source of conversation and/or debate between Linda and I, which has helped us to gain a better understanding within our own relationship on many different levels. Those who come here need to utilize the site similarly and understand that this is a place where it is cool to exchange feelings, ideas, advice, etc and make their own decisions as to what might or might not be applicable to their own situations.

      Approximately 1200 people a day visit this site from all around the world. Only about 1 – 2% make comments. Imagine if each person who visited shared what was on their mind at the time, or offered some helpful advice based on their own experiences. What a great stockpile of useful “stuff” we would have then!

      I hope everyone has a great day today and for all you Moms out there, try to have a great Mother’s Day on Sunday!

    • karen May 6, 2011 at 11:16 am #

      Suzie: Thanks for speaking for the majority of us, CS’s and BS’s, on this site – brilliant!!! Marie: I wish you the best in your healing going forward. Happy Mother’s Day all you wonderful mothers on this site!!!

  136. broken May 6, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    Suzi…..loved your post as usual. Marie has a very long way to go. She is very angry….

  137. PTY May 6, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    First, good to hear about Brian. Being a history buff, it is good to remembe George Washington really didn’t win a lot of is battles. His greatest skill was staying in the game, so to speak, until the great opportunity arose. I think that is how many of us need to look at this. To paraprhase Dr. Frank Pittman, sometimes if you can hang on long enough, sanity may return, and you may want to be around for that.

    Also, I am hoping some of the recent bitterness can pass. I think we are all on the same side here. Even the Cheating spouses are here to heal. We need to remember the real problem, and not get distracted.

    • Doug May 6, 2011 at 10:17 am #

      Well said PTY. We did an interview the other day with Dave Carder and one thing that he said that goes with what you say, is that getting them to stay is the important thing initially – no matter the reason – as it gives you the opportunity to get them to eventually see the light and to possibly work on your relationship. Nothings a given, but at least you have that chance.

  138. Jessica May 6, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    Brian,

    That is very good news

  139. Broken May 6, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    Brian….I am so happy for you. Staying is absolutely the best thing for your marriage but you had to reach that conclusion yourself. You can give her the space she wants within your own home. Stay the course. Sounds like there is trouble in paradise so to speak. I don’t think people can live a lie and be truely happy. It has to eat away at them. Anyways hang in there my friend. There is a window of hope…hang onto it.

  140. Broken May 6, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    I have a question? Is there ever a time to stop talking about it? Does it damage any progress you have made to talk about it as the months go on? I still feel the need but I can see by my H facial expressions (eye rolling) that he doesn’t want to. Why do I still have questions about questions that have allready been answered? If you are the person who cheated what do you feel when your partner wants to talk about “it”? Do you ever really trust again? While I really enjoy my H company and we have come a long way…I deal with these questions every day. I still have this broken record in my head that just wont go away. I have devoted so much time and energy to all of this and I grow weary. I also think alot about the OW. I think about the irony that this uninvited guest has stolen a part of me and has brought my marriage to its knees and she doesn’t even know it. I look at pics of her on Facebook (makes me want to vomit) and she is going about her life, running her marathons like nothing ever happened. These are the days I want to call her and tell her she detroyed my life. I assume she wouldn’t care. Thats it….bad day.

    • Doug May 6, 2011 at 11:46 am #

      Broken, Certainly talking about the affair isn’t something any cheater wants to do. However, if the cheater gets to the point that he/she can be empathetic and acknowledge the need for the BS to to so in order to heal, then it is something that they should want to do. I may be different than most CS here since this blog is a part of our everyday life, but I have no problems talking about it most of the time, though I admit I get frustrated answering the same questions over and over. That being said, I know from talking to Linda why she has the need to re-hash things at times and if my talking about it gets her closer to healing, then that’s a good thing. This viewpoint has come over a rather long period of time however, and certainly at first (and for several months thereafter), talking about the affair was the last thing I wanted to do. If you can create a safe environment for which to have those discussions it does make it somewhat easier.

    • Doug May 6, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

      Broken, I feel the need to talk about it stems from the fact that you still fear that you don’t know or understand everything you need in order to heal from the affair. I kept asking and searching because I didn’t feel secure enough to let it go. I didn’t feel that I was getting the responses and the reassurances that I needed from Doug in order to forgive, trust and recover.

      Until Doug really understood the pain his affair caused and what he needed to do to help in my recovery I couldn’t let it go. I know it challenged Doug’s patience but I also believed that it demonstrated how committed he was to our marriage.

      The affair was a life altering, traumatic event for me and I wasn’t able to stop talking about the pain and details just because a certain time had passed. Our communication about the affair and the OP was a process, our discussions and revelations changed with time. As our communication about the affair became less emotional, (because I had heard most of the details before) we were able to decipher it and have important conversations about our relationship.

      For a very long time it really bothered me that I kept obsessing about the OP and the affair. I wondered what was wrong with me and why I couldn’t let it go. Both Jeff and Dr. Huizenga pointed out something very important… for one, I had lost all of my sense of security and safety and that in itself takes a lot to get back. They also said that I can’t do that alone. I need Doug to be there for me 100%. His behavior and words were needed to help me move beyond the pain.

      Think about what else you need from your husband. Do you need more reassurances, do you feel completely secure and trust him? Have you talked about forgiveness, has he asked for forgiveness? Think about it. –Linda

  141. Broken May 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

    Doug…thanks for the insight. He has said the same thing…that if it helps me he will talk about it. Unfortunately when I push it and we do I can expect to have a depressed H and a bad night. It almost becomes not even worth it to make myself feel better so generally I just stuff my feelings away somewhere until the need to talk passes. When I ask the same questions of course I get that he allready answered them and he remembers everything I have asked him in the past. It seems as time goes further and further from DDay that it is less and less appropriate to talk about the A but I have such a need to do so. I wish it would go away. By the way I watched the Dave Carder interviews on utube and they were very good. Close call seems like another good read.
    What would be your definition of a safe enviroment? I believe I use to be a drill sargeant with my questions but now we just talk about it. Is there something I can do to make it less threatening? Something I can say to make him talk about it without feeling like I am trying to make him feel bad? That is what he thinks…that he feels persecuted over and over everytime I want to talk about it? I feel selfish for wanting to.

    • Doug May 6, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

      Broken, I think to have someone that says he will talk about it if it helps is a great thing. So many people on this site say their CS refuses to talk about it at all. So it seems your spouse is at least willing to help you heal.

      You need to stop feeling selfish for wanting to talk about it. Remember that forgiving, trusting, respecting, etc is all achieved based on your time frame -when you’re ready. Not when he is.

      I’m sure that you found out that being a drill sergeant did not help to create a safe environment. That’s one thing. Being safe also means not threatening, arguing, confronting, making fun of, ridiculing or attacking the person you are talking to. All of these things will make anybody shut down. You have to have the mindset where you will really listen and hear your husband out. Jeff Murrah likes to say that understanding is more important than agreement. It helps to use “I” words too. For instance, “I really need to better understand why…” “I would feel so much better if…”

      Believe me, I know how a discussion about the affair can ruin a good evening. Sometimes I think timing can be everything. Keep the conversations short, unless he keeps talking on his own. You may even try to schedule a time (or times) regularly to talk about it, and then promise not to talk about it any other time. Booze helps too ;-)

      We really think Dave Carder is great. His book Torn Asunder is also very good. We did a telephone interview with him for our book on trust and he has some really good things to say. He’s a no bullsh*t kind of guy.

  142. Empty and Numb May 6, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    Suze, I was a codependent and I’m recovering.  I appreciate your sensitivity. I felt and have went through what you have. For all the reasons I’ve said … It is still painful. Thank you for acknowledging my hurt.  It means a lot.

    I don’t know how else to explain what I have.  Yet, people seem to think I’m telling them what to do or judging them?   They are transferring my thoughts and opinions … and thinking this is what I want for them. And I am sorry if my writing doesn’t sit well! I’m not angry for being judged but saddened that people can’t understand things I’ve over explained? 

    I don’t mean to and would never think to hurt. Not my nature.  I am sharing my truth.

    Again what I am saying or writing are my thoughts, opinions, research, etc …. and what I would do … (in hindsight) if I were in this same position.  What ever anyone wants to do … Please do.

    What is really disturbing to me is that this blog (I know run by amateurs with great intent to help) is that there (again my opinion) are no warnings that codependency is a deadly disease.  That is frightening.

    What is also disturbing is that they are not warning or advising that the family (especially with children under the same roof) should be in counseling immediately.  

    These situations are EXTREME, LIFE THREATENING abuse.  Would one advise a spouse to stay with someone who is physically beating them every day??? No … There are shelters for this. 

    The covert abuse … this is all just coming to light.  Psychological abuse is far, far worse than any physical violence.  Think of the Japanese prison camps.  They used no violence … was all psychological.  

    Codependency of the worst kind …. is all I see on these posts …. especially from those that are the most angry with me …. which are the narcissists and codependents.  

    I also see the horrific pacifying of Narcissim and codependency.  It is gross.  The fog or that the cheater (Again my opinion and my truth) narcissist is somehow under a “drug-like” state.  And some of the other excuses … is beyond my comprehension.  And it is not the truth of what the victim is going through or the cheater. 

    Both longterm cheater and victim have been in a fog their entire marriage.  Victim … always abused … longterm cheater … always the abuser! Again …. These are averages.  There are always exceptions.  Again, my truth and my opinion.  Do what you will with it.

    The advice and blogs to massively manipulate the cheater to change is nothing short of significant misguided information and dangerous. Again, my opinion … Again my truth.

    Again … All my opinions … what everyone does is right for them.  I don’t know what more I can say to tell people to stop transferring my opinions … As that I want them to do what ever I did … or what I know is right for them.  My thoughts and opinions are based in 17 years of research. 

    As a health care professional …..  a warning not to be on this site of the deadly effects of codependency, the staying in the same house with an abuser … Especially if kids are under the roof … without advising that the whole family should be in therapy … To me … is nothing short of massive irresponsibility. Again, my opinion… Again, my truth.

    So, I hope Doug and Linda place the links up some where and give warnings.

    I don’t know if Doug and Linda get kickbacks but I sure would assume so. 

    My husband is investigating the authors they suggest.  A few are good … Others … Not so much. When my book hits at the end of 2012 … I am already slated for the talk show arena where this will all be exposed.  

    What is great about this blog … Is it gives people a place to vent.  I know it has been very helpful to me until attacked.  Yet, my husband said that is exactly what would happen.  People are so scared and hurt and they don’t want to nor are
    Ready to heal, wake up and get life moving in a healthy way.  Again …. His opinion.

    I do judge for myself …. And come from a place “what I would do” …. If in someone’s shoes. I know I have helped on this site.  I do know …. I’ve helped Linda and she is wide awake!

    No one should tell any one what to do but everyone can give their opinions or advice. 

    Can you imagine (if the family in crises is not all under the care of a good therapist) the effect this is having on children that live in the same house!?

    It will be interesting to see if this gets posted.  But, I hope for Doug and Linda’s sake …. They highlight the health risks of staying in abuse, codependency, narcissism and that therapy should be the rule.  

    Blows my mind!!!

    “self righteous”?  No!  Very concerned about the manipulative Advice given and warnings not on this site …. Yes! Good luck everyone. 

    Lastly … The wonderful love and support that is given on this site between people is. Magical for everyone! The love and compassion I see is outstanding.  And, I wish this would have been around for me when I really needed it.  It has helped me in so many ways.

    Apologies for the grammatical errors.  As a surgeon … I’m always on the move and responding on my iPhone …. Unedited thoughts, my truths and my opinions.

  143. Broken May 6, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    Doug and Linda…thank you for your advise. I am going to read your responses to my H. I think it makes him feel better that he isn’t the only one out there that made a big mistake. I allready forgive him….I guess that’s why I wonder why I still think about it all of the time. Albeit less time then say 2 months ago. We have wonderful times together, great talks, quiet moments but I still feel this profound sadness and constant rolling of the “tape” in my head. I can’t expect him to meet my every need and when he is depressed like he has been this week because of his work I think its all about me. I panic…whats wrong…is he talking to her again…is our marriage going back to how it was just after dday. Its ridiculous. Lately I just want to call her and ask her if she has any clue to what she has done to me? How this meaningless individual has destroyed everything I ever thought I knew about myself and my husband.

    Linda…I dont feel secure…AT ALL and I dont trust him…AT ALL. Last Friday when he went out I tried to stay calm, went swimming but I was really upset. I NEVER was like this before. My H traveled with a major corp for most of our marriage…I trusted him completely and never even though about him cheating on me. This is all new to me.

    Just wish I knew how to get the old me back for good. Wish I could let it go and trust again.

  144. Other woman May 6, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    Its a very trying time I am the other woman so I get no support from my friends I was expecting him to leave his wife and for us to be together she found out about me and now the wife who didn’t show him any attention for a year has now decided she wants to be with him and make their marriage work, this had been devastating and the hurt is almost unbearable at times he was wonderful to me during this past year and I’m having a hard time letting go

    • Norwegian woman May 6, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

      Don`t you understand? His wife was great all the time. He just made it up all the time. He had to, because he had an affair with you. How can you justifie cheating on your wife, if she is ok? He had to make her an uncaring bitch. But beneath it all, he loved her, because sh was all that he wanted. That is why he is married to her in the first place. You have been fooled.

  145. Kathy May 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    Other woman,

    You get ZERO sympathy from me.

    You’ve most likely only heard HIS side of the story. You don’t know what really went on between the Cheating Man and his Betrayed Wife. And even if she DIDN’T show him any attention, guess what? It’s none of your business! It never should have even been mentioned to you, because you are not a part of their marriage.

    You feel devastated? Good. You think your pain is unbearable??? Imagine what his wife feels! Oh, but you probably don’t care because it’s all about you, and he didn’t leave her for you. You know what? Too bad.

    I’m glad your friends don’t support you. I hope they tell you to your face what a rotten thing it is that you did, and that you find someone SINGLE to date (I hope you aren’t married too).

    I hope that you are here to learn and to find your way to heal and to never do this to anyone again.

  146. Donna May 7, 2011 at 12:06 am #

    Other Woman… I felt sick reading your post. You really are under an illusion. Short story… my husband had a emotion turned physical affair where he proclaimed true love with other woman. Was planning to leave me.. so he told he, but to me the wife told me that he never planned to leave. We spoke one day about how much the wife gets lied too, and he said.. actually you both get lied to just as much. What he as telling me, he was telling the other woman differently. 2 years later, the affair lasted 18 months, my husband is home with me and the other woman is moved away and now has a boyfriend.

    You have no sympathy from me either. You are doing wrong, you know you are. Look really deep inside and see the picture for what it is. I too am glad you are finding this painful, you have no idea the pain you feel when you find out youhave been betrayed by the one you have made a long life with and created a family with. Of course he was wonderful to you, how else would he get his cake and eat it too. Best of both worlds you see. His wife is not the ogre you think she is, if that was true he would have up and left if he was really in love with you. I hope you can move on and let this man make a darn good go at his marriage without you anywhere near him. In other words…. RUN far away and leave a married man alone.

  147. suziesuffers May 7, 2011 at 1:41 am #

    I am ALWAYS angry at the other woman……but my husband had to want to do the “tango” too….otherwise, nothing would have happened. I want to blame her solely because I love my husband and I don’t know her. I can hate her for what she did to my life….but I can’t hate my husband, I can only be hurt by him. I hope Other Woman stays on this site and reads about the pain felt by the wife that is at home holding it together while the spouse is out “playing” the field. I hope she gives us insight into how these affairs start, maybe to protect us in the future….and for her to understand that Kathy and Norwegian woman have stated, you really don’t know his wife. You only know what someone has told you in order to justify his behavior. If he had told you he had a wonderful and caring wife and loved her dearly…..would you have started an affair with him…..most likely not. He has to rewrite history and expand on any little flaw in order for him to feel better about his actions and to pull you in. I’m not saying he did this consciously or maliciously, it’s how people manipulate others to get what they want when they aren’t listening to that small voice…their conscience. My husband is telling me now that he told the other woman that I nagged and complained to him all the time. That I was a b&$tch. Well, I’m sure he didn’t explain that I was complaining because I was working 10 hour days to support the mortgage because he didn’t have any work self employed and his day started about 10….took a 1 1/2 hour lunch and ended about 3….and he couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t making any money…..Oh, no he never told her that…he spent money on her like he was loaded. He told her how proud he was of her work ethic, her interaction with small children, her decorating ability etc. etc. Flattery will get you anywhere. It was alot of “inflating” of egos….best foot forward…and since they weren’t living in the reality of a day to day life of bills, kids, job problems, healing old wounds created during a long term relationship..etc. etc….something that all would eventually be dropped in their lap….it was all the “magic” of the moment.

    Other Woman, I know you are in pain. You were betrayed just as we were by a husband that could not be honest with himself about what was going on in his head….therefore couldn’t evaluate his motivation for pursuing another woman while in his marriage. I absolutely do not condone what you did….but I don’t condone what my husband did either. You need a SINGLE man. If a man really doesn’t want to be with his wife, DO NOT HAVE any involvement with him….it could be something they work out…if not they will divorce and he will be single…..BUT do not start anything or WAIT in the wings for him acting as if you support his marriage, BUT if it doesn’t work, you’ll be there…that is totally unfair to the marriage by hanging a carrot out to see if you can lure him away….THAT would be totally your fault.

    I hope you preview these posts, you may not receive a very receptive audience at first because we may feel that YOU are the perpretrator. Destroying our marriages and our families, and although I do believe you had a large contribution, my husband always had the opportunity to turn away. The blame is not ALL on you, it’s shared by our spouses that thought the grass might be greener on the other side of the fence……but hence lives were destroyed and may never be fixed….all because of the selfishness of two people.

  148. suziesuffers May 7, 2011 at 2:06 am #

    Doug/Linda, it might be interesting to talk about codependency. I think everyone has it to some degree….and it can be confusing where it crosses the line between being “helpful and giving” to losing yourself because of someone elses actions. As I’ve “unpeeled” that onion, I have discovered many aspects of why I’ve made certain decisions in my life and working now on determing what my motivations are for trying to “keep” my husband and repair our marriage. Knowledge is power, and we could certainly use power and strength in our lives!!

    Marie, I hear many of the things you are saying and agree with some. I think children might need therapy to deal with the “tension”, especially when they aren’t privy to what is creating this tension. Stability is very important to children, and their sense that “something” is wrong, can create alot of pain within them. I would only suggest in your posts that when you state your opinion, be cautious on making statements that imply or state that something “always”….and then make a statment that but there are exceptions. Can’t be both always and exceptions.

    I have had two wonderful therapists, one told me that the words “never” and “always” are virtually impossible and that using them makes a statement that there can never be change or exceptions, which once again is impossible.

  149. Empty and Numb May 7, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    Thank you Suz. And I will soften that. Stay strong! Xoxo

  150. Bigmistake May 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    E&N, I’ve been reading your posts, you’ve certainly got people thinking and I hope I can clarify some things from the perspective of a CS. Shouldn’t leave it all to Doug…
    You’re right an EA does’t “just happen,” for me my wife and I stopped talking, we got too busy and complacent. I met someone and we clicked. That was not intentional, it did just happen. Both of us when asked would have said we were happily married. We were “just friends.” The first time we went out to lunch and I paid and we didn’t tell our spouses ’cause they “wouldn’t understand” the line was crossed and it was no longer “just happening.”
    This takes us to the “fog.” The fog, to me, is the complete lack of understanding the consequences of your actions. You are completely selfish and have blinders on so you don’t see the chaos and tension you’re family is enduring. I have two teenage daughters, we haven’t told them but they react to change and our home life the last couple of years has been tense. Why? ’cause I was in my own little world.

  151. Other woman May 7, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    We worked together at the same company for over three years, then we started working on a project together and this put us in contact on a daily basis. Our discussions at first were regarding the project and some work issues. Slowly we started talking about our personal lives and like Bigmistake above we started going out to lunch together once or twice a week. Sometimes I would pay and sometimes he would pay. I am not a therapist so I was listening to him as a friend. I don’t know if what he told me was the truth all I know is he seemed to have alot of time on his hands, I don’t know his wife and never met her. From what he told me about her she didn’t seem co-dependent at all, and maybe even the opposite. She was very busy with managing their two childrens activities, her friendships with other women and her part time job. He told me he felt like he came last in her life, that she only cared about him bringing home a paycheck and that she had given up on herself – meaning she stopped dressing nice, wore sweat pants all the time and had put on about 40 pounds.

    We still work for the same company, so sometimes I do see him in passing and I have to say he looks depressed. From reading some of the other posts I wonder if its because even though he choose his wife, his wife is still harping at him and nagging him about the Emotional Affair? It is painful seeing him and not being able to have a friendship with him, he tries to avoid me when we do have contact.

    • Gizfield October 12, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

      Other Woman, dont know if you are still out there or not.. News flash, if a man thinks it’s ok to cheat on his wife cause she gained forty pounds, he might not be the best relationship material, just saying. If you want to see what a really depressed, unhappy cheater looks like, come to my house.law says I can’t throw him out, yet. He cooks and cleans and hangs on my everyword, what few there are, like the guy in Trojan Twister commercial. Too bad I no longercare. He seldom leaves the house. Probably afraid he wont get back in. not so “cute” sneaking around on your wife, is it? I bet things just get better for him .

  152. roller coaster rider May 7, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

    This site has helped me so much in the past couple of weeks. The dialogue back and forth, and hearing everyone’s stories helps me to consider lots of things about what has happened in my life and why. We are all different, and yet so much of what we go through in the aftermath of the EA/PA is so similar. The OP didn’t know me well, but did know enough about me that she didn’t want to have a face-to-face conversation when I asked her to (I needed to see what she looked like). I wrote her an e-mail expressing not only my anger at what she had done to me but also concern for her as a person, and she wanted no part of it. She told me to send my H back so he could ‘finish what he started.’ Then she said she wanted no further contact with me. Fine. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t continue to wonder how it might have been to have my husband say to me, just once, “I am unhappy with the way things are right now. I am worried about my preoccupation with everything work-related, and that I never engage you in dialogue about what is important TO YOU. I feel that we’re growing apart, that we’re pursuing our own interests and that we don’t seem to be on the same page at all.” No, she absolutely moved in while I was on an extended trip (which my husband was completely supportive of), texted him graphically about what she’d like to do with him…and over the course of the next several months pursued him, while I was wondering what had happened to him, why was he so unbelievably distracted, and I actually asked him a few times if there was someone else…of course, he lied. I know now that he gave her the impression he didn’t know if things would work out for us, he led her to believe there was some possibility of leaving me but when she started pressing him for commitment he started to back off and eventually told her he wanted to ‘just be friends.’ As if…

    I know it wasn’t just her, and I know that without dropping boundaries almost completely, my H would not have gone into this infidelity. But I am not going to hold her harmless or do what my H did and feel sorry for her, because her life is hard and she struggles with child support issues from her first marriage, which may have also ended due to her unfaithfulness to her previous husband. And I most certainly am not willing to ‘send him back’ despite the fact that I told him if he wanted her, to please feel free…there was a choice to be made and he had to make it. Yet the irony is that I am beginning to see a relationship with my H that we never before experienced. For the first time, he is sharing with me and listening, allowing me to choose how we will proceed from here, expressing vulnerability instead of hostility, really and truly pursuing me, reading this blog and other books, making changes I had given up hope I’d ever see. Will it last? God only knows.

    Other woman, what have you learned? Is it still okay in your mind to ‘listen as a friend?’ No true friend is an enemy of another’s marriage, no matter what that person says about the marriage. Don’t deceive yourself into thinking you are doing anyone any favors, least of all yourself. Let’s just be honest about our real motives. I, too, got very good at finding fulfillment in my women friends, my adult kids, work, books, just about anything, because for years and years my statement to H about feeling lonely or disconnected or ignored meant nothing to him or were met with angry repurcussions. Harping and nagging? Really? You have no idea what the life of this married woman is like, but if her husband is talking to you that way about her, I would bet money he isn’t kind and tender to her, and it almost makes me want to yell thinking about the fact that he’s looking to YOU of all people to get his needs met. How can I be angry at you? How can I not be?

  153. Empty and Numb May 8, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    Thank you Big Mistake.  In my field … I am one of the guys.  And I’ve always had male friends … males I’ve play tennis with or go to rock concerts with or lectures … or just to grab coffee with. I have male friends dating back to high school.  Never have I crossed that line, opened my body language up for “mating”.

    I’m not going to call you a liar but I do not buy into … “one thing lead to another”!  

    I do know from my research … the anonymous cheaters tell me they were “tapping” for a long time before someone turned around for them to “click” with.

    They have told me that they felt real love which I do agree is lust or the beginning stages of courting. I also believe that long term cheaters have always been lazy and left their victims to do the work, would become frustrated when their victims became exhausted and have been under achievers of the relationship. Long term cheaters were not prepared to be spouses, nor parents. When life rolled in, got tough … they checked out.

    Again, my opinion.  Other than a fling … One time deal … This has been the average.

    But fog? Nah! Have not bought that one yet other than both long term cheater and victim were always in an imbalanced relationship … a fog. Long term cheater comes with the personality disorders I describe … as does victim.

    Again, my opinion and research.  My research has included polygraph tests.  The long term cheater knows what they are hunting from the start.  It is a long obsessive process of, “someone will appreciate me”! 

    And long term cheaters are very angry at their victim spouses and make all sorts of justifications …. Rather than turn toward them to communicate needs, offer suggestions of self help or therapy.

    Again … averages and based in my opinion and research.  Thank you so much for your post.  

  154. Bigmistake May 8, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    Other Woman, as a CS who came clean two months ago I understand why he looks depressed. Once you admit to yourself what was going on and see the repurcussions of your actions you rethink everything you thought you knew about youself. I hate myself for being so selfish, I hate what I’ve done to my wife; she did meet my AP because we were “just friends” and she is humiliated. Everyone in my office knows because we have gone from joined at the hip to awkwardness and silence. I’m in the process of finding a new job-a fresh start because she is a constant reminder of the pain I have caused my family. I shared my heart with her and I was wrong and my wife cannot stand the idea that we still work together. My stomach churns every day. Is today the day we end up alone together at the copier? Is today the day when she smiles at me will I smile back and start it all over again? How strong am I? I don’t know myself anymore and she only saw the one side I was able to show her so she doesn’t really know me either. I have to keep telling myself that. I’m sure I look miserable all the time too.

  155. PTY May 8, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    @RCR: GREAT POST. Living through that myself right now.

    @Otherwoman: I think enough of us have exclamied our anger at you, so I won’t. Just remember, you are not even hearing his half of the story, you are only hearing PART of his half of the story. I might suggest you go onto Amazon, where I have seen a number of books oriented toward the OW/OM, and how to break out of that cycle. As much as I can feel anger toward you, I do wish you the best. If you break the cycle, may be it will help your MM and his wife move on also. That is the closest thing there will be to a positive outcome in all of this.

  156. Brian May 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    roller coaster rider,
    I really doubt she’ll bring up the subject of her “friend” in counseling because in her mind it’s not the issue. She feels the issue is that she fell out of love with me… which it is, but her relationship with another man, where she is going to him for emotional support and companionship and not to me, can only have a negative impact on her feelings for me and therefore on our relationship. Who knows? She might come clean but I don’t think so. More likely I will have to bring it up, calmly hopefully. I’m getting pretty anxious about Monday…

    Thanks for thinking of us.

    • roller coaster rider May 8, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

      I guess the only thing to do is pray for the light to dawn and be as steady as you can. let us know how it goes..

      • Brian May 9, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

        Well we just had our first couples session… she says she’s not ready for separation or divorce and she wants me to stay home for now. She doesn’t know why she has lost feelings for me but she admits we have a lot of positives in the relationship (parenting, morals, roles). She said resents that she’s always the one to plan things for us to do and I said I would start doing more of that. She did say she wants more fun in her life and I totally agreed. We’ve been running the treadmill so long we forgot how to get off and enjoy ourselves. I’m certainly guilty of that. She’s not ready to date me so I’m not pushing it. She did say she would cut back on texting the guy she still insists is just a friend. We’ll see.

        Hey, it’s a start… certainly not out of the woods.

        • Roller coaster rider May 9, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

          It really is a start and I think she does see your strong commitment to stick with her and stay despite her terrible behavior as a sign she needs to think about long and hard.

    • melissa May 17, 2011 at 5:27 am #

      Brian
      It will take time. Take care of yourself in the meantime and hang in there.

      • Brian May 17, 2011 at 7:10 am #

        I will, Melissa… thanks.

  157. suziesuffers May 8, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    Big Mistake….It’s good to hear that the CS has remorse and shame for what they did to their spouse….but even people getting divorced without infidelity at times feel saddness for the loss. I guess my question is, it sounds like the CS still has tremendous feelings for the AP…you still have fear of seeing her…being near her. So, how do you know this isn’t the person you want to be with instead of your wife? Do you feel this is just infatuation? Do you feel your feelings are still stronger for the AP person than your feelings for your wife? Are you afraid if you got in a close situation with someone else you might be tempted again. I hope you can answer these honestly. Please don’t “sugar coat” the answers hoping it will make us feel better. I think we all need to understand what our spouses are going through and how to work through that ourselves….we all know the elephant is standing in the room….we know how she looks….but we don’t know through the eyes of the CS how she looks. My husband just kept telling me that he had never felt like that before…..which of course, broke my heart…and I of course don’t know how I could ever exceed those feelings…therefore never attain the level of “love” he felt for the other woman.

  158. Bigmistake May 8, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

    Suzie-I’ll answer your questions to the best of my ability, I don’t feel I am articulate enough to express myself in writing but here goes…
    I’ve seen all these posts where the CS is telling the OP all their frustrations in marriage, things they should be telling their spouse or complaining how she/he doesn’t understand them and they don’t talk. For me it was never like that. The Ow & I are both married & have children. We talked very easily, just complete comfort, like two olds friends seeing each other again. She has a twin sister and early on in our “friendship” remarked that I was as easy to talk to as her sister and she found that rather odd. We could finish each others sentences, laugh at the same jokes, read the same books. We once had a mini fight over a presentation we were preparing and another coworker commented that we “fight like an old married couple.” Do I think I loved her-yes. Didn’t you love your first steady boyfriend? You broke up, but does that erase the good memories? At one point did I wish I had met her first? Absolutely. But does that give me the right to flush 17 years of marriage? Absolutely not. I love my wife and yes we argue, but she put alot of work into me. We met at 18 in college and became adults together, in good tomes and bad. Now we’ll stay together through the worst time of our lives. I don’t love the OW more than my wife. I can’t even really compare them to each other. I did like myself more with her. I felt smarter, funnier, better looking, and I liked how she looked at me. I couldn’t stop thinking about her and looked forward to seeing her every day. Why don’t I want to see her? I’m afraid. I have never strayed and thought so little of the people I knew who did. Just because I have now joined that group should I change my opinion? I have to redefine myself and I don’t know if I’m strong enough to say no. Plus my life is an open book to my wife, I tell her every time the OW & I interact and I see the pain it causes her. My wife isn’t like everybody else on this site. I’m doing research and asking her if she wants to talk, she wants to pretend like nothing happened. So, I worry. About her, about me, about us. Everything feels magnified and I’m on pins and needles waiting for the other shoe to drop.

  159. Rx lady May 8, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

    WOW! I have been going through a lot of the same. After I found all the credit card info, he denied it and said it was for the 12 year old daughter from a previous affair before we were married. But does a 12 year old need things from Frederick’s??? He moved out a month ago. Said he needs his space to try to figure out his problems and is seeing a psychiatrist. Other woman is from church (shame on the pastor for allowing this even when it’s in his face). Needless to say my children and I will not be going to that church any more. Comes to see us almost every day, but I’m not sure why other than to get a free meal sometimes or remove more of his personal belongings. I want this to work out for us in the end, but I really believe he’s playing me, and so is the OW. She even harrasses my mom in church by asking to be friends and go out with her. What a jerk!!! Any thoughts????

  160. Jessica May 9, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    Big Mistake,

    Thank you for being so honest. Maybe your wife is only asking the questions she can bare to hear the answers to. How did your wife find out? How did you tell the AP it was over? Did you ever consider leaving your wife? If not why? If you had all these feelings for the AP why didn’t you just leave your wife?

  161. Kathy May 9, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    Big Mistake,

    Of course you felt smarter, funnier, etc with the OW. She hasn’t seen you at your worst…of course you liked the way she looked at you! She hasn’t had to juggle the bills with you, pick up your dirty socks, cook your dinner, take care of you when you were sick, put up with your bad moods, and all the other myriad things that go along with 17 years of marriage.

    After my d-day, I told my H I was going to call the OW and tell her what she was getting: how he throws and breaks things when he’s angry, how moody he can be, how he can’t put his dirty clothes in the laundry hamper when it’s just 2 feet away, how he can talk down to you in such a way that you feel like a moron…those kinds of things. Do you know what he said to me? He said “why do you want to destroy my happiness”!

    He knew she didn’t know anything about that side of him; the side that I’d been putting up with for 28 years. All she saw was the fun guy, the witty guy, the loving guy. I’m sure that he saw his “good side” reflected in her eyes, and he sure didn’t want her to know what an ogre he could really be sometimes.

    And clearly, by his remark to me, I can add “incredibly selfish” to his list of faults. He may have told her all sorts of things about me (presenting only my faults) (are you paying attention here, Other Woman???), but he sure didn’t let her see HIS faults!

    I think this is part of what is meant by “affair fog”. The cheaters only see what they want to see and/or what they are shown or told. There is another whole side to it all, but they only allow themselves to see the good sides of each other, and the bad sides of their betrayed spouses.

  162. Other Woman May 9, 2011 at 11:53 am #

    Kathy,

    I’m sure your H didn’t tell you all these things about him when you first meet him or did he? Have you read the postings from empty and numb? Sounds like your marriage and why if he is this way would you want him? Nagging him about the laundry hasnt worked for you has it? I wasn’t under the illusion he was “perfect” just that we connected and I fell in love with him and he with me. It is very hard ending the emotional affair, it is hard seeing him at work and knowing he isn’t happy with her he made his choice and I respect myself enough not to call him or “run into him” if it wasn’t me it would have been someone else and if their marriage doesn’t work out who knows it may end up being me.

    I don’t understand why the wife would give up on the marriage so several years and then when someone sees the good qualities in him, then she wants him, she’s now willing to change and show some interest in him, take better care of herself.

    If she really cared about h why didn’t she do this before?

    • Robin May 9, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

      OW,
      Have you stopped to consider, if you believe your affair partner is a worthwhile person, that he may seem depressed and avoiding contact with you because he is deeply ashamed and cannot bear to look you in the eye. If you you came into his life at a time when he was dissatisfied, and the attention and sex felt great…but then he realized that he was going to lose someone he really loved and shared a history and life with, AND DID NOT WANT TO, so he recommitted to her – how is he supposed to act around you? At some point, he had to face the fact that he had been using you to make himself feel good because if he really loved you, he would have left.

      It takes two to make a marriage. My husband’s main complaint was that I did not seem interested in sex, and I wasn’t interested in sex with a grouchy, critical withdrawn man. When he changed his behavior – when he reached out to me, indicated that he valued me, worked to spend time with me – everything about our relationship changed. While he is VERY happy with the state of our current relationship, it does not lessen the shame and guilt he feels about the affair. He really cannot believe that he took actions that devastated the person he loves most in the world and he cannot believe that he USED another human being simply to make himself feel better because he wasn’t willing to be introspective.

      If your affair partner’s marriage fails, he will still the same level of pain and guilt and shame – and they have nothing to do with nagging about the laundry or spitefully making the poor baby suffer because he had an affair. Unless he tells you that he cannot live without you, you will probably heal faster by accepting that he made the choice that he wanted to make, and that recovery from an affair is painful for everyone involved.

    • Broken May 9, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

      When I read your first post it made me soooo incredibly angry. Then Kathy answered and answered again and she spoke for me so there was no need to WASTE my time on you…but this post takes the cake. You are an uninvited guest in their marriage. You have no business there. You only know what he tells you and EVERY relationship is seen through rose colored glasses at first. How about you marry and live with a man for 30 years. You bear his children, put him through grad school, move around the country for his career, nurse him when he’s sick, clean up his messes, comfort him when hes sad, do his laundry and a BIG HUGE yes you tell him to clean up after himself. That’s not nagging that is a marriage…that is reality….that is life. Then some W#$@E comes along like you and thinks that she is somehow entitled to this man. That their cutsie little relationship is what real life is all about. I don’t care if his wife is 300 lbs and lives in a bathrobe…it is still none of your business and shame on him for making it your business. His wife has earned the right to make choices for herself…you haven’t. Perhaps she is ill or depressed…perhaps he doesn’t support her….fact is it doesn’t matter. He is probably sickening sweet to you and answers all of your calls and texts and then goes home and has nothing left for his wife because he gave it all to you. He feeds your ego and you feed his and reality exists nowhere in that relationship. I have no sympathy for cheaters and the people who cheat with them. You are destroying a persons life…perhaps even a family and all you can think about is yourself and how “sad” he is. Boo hoo……

      • Survivor May 9, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

        All I can say is HERE! HERE AND BRAVO. You said it all and there is nothing more to add. Thank you!

      • crying May 10, 2011 at 11:48 am #

        YES! Can I print this and send it to my guys OW? and him? I don’t even know the extent of thier relationship or if it has ended or ever was, but I know where his emotional energy is being spent and it is not with me. Yesterday he actually ridiculed my feelings by saying that he had to tell her they can’t hang out because I hate her. I don’t hate her. I think she is a disrespectful person because she is such good texty, lunchy buddies with him, yet she has never spoken to me even when I speak to her and I’ve seen her at his workplace hundreds of times….. even way before I knew they were even friends. I think that texting and calling a man in a committed relationship 10 times a day and not even acknowledging his spouse exists is inappropriate…..even if he has given her reason to believe I don’t matter. I knew he had a close friend at work and I knew her name, yet it wasn’t until I placed the face with the name that I realized she was the one woman of the 20 that he works with that has never become friends with me and actually physically had been looking down on me for at least a year each time I saw her. I never paid much attention because she was a stranger and insignificant. Imagine when I found out she has actually been in MY life this whole time. I understand that my guy has been struggling with some unhappiness in our relationship and I understand his attraction to her and don’t condemn him for that. But after telling him how I felt, he actually turned it into my problem and blamed me for making him like her more and sneak around because I am the one who is not understanding. And now he feels sorry for her because with all her other troubles with “being a single mom, and she has meltdowns at work, and she has a lot of issues right now and she cry’s alot & now I am making her feel bad”. BOO HOO! He didn’t even tell me where I stood in all of this, but he had the consideration to tell her….. does he tell her that I am at home having a meltdown and crying a lot? No, he tells her I am a mean, demanding person. Yet she’s “just a friend”.

        • Broken May 10, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

          Please dont believe what your guy is telling you….please don’t accept the blame. You aren’t the one having an emotional affair …..he is. You aren’t pushing him to her he is doing it himself and blaming you…it eases the guilt and justifies the behavior. My H was also doing the same thing with a coworker. I couldn’t believe it when I found out who it was. She too would stare at me at parties and whisper to her friends when I looked her way. My head was so far buried in the sand I never even thought that about an affair possibility. In fact I had never heard of an emotional affair. He is cheating on you…..perhaps not with his body but with his heart. It is devastating and you have a long road ahead of you especially since he is still in that blame you…do what I want stage. I feel your pain. Be strong…you are worthwhile.

          • Cryng May 11, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

            Thanks for the encouragement. I know it isn’t my fault. I don’t blame myself. I am generally a pretty confident person and very aware of my faults….. some of which are not actually faults but I know that he does not respond well to certain behaviours I have, yet lately I can’t control those behaviours for his sake anymore. I know he doesn’t like to be depended on too much for comfort because he is afraid of letting me down. But I really really need his comfort right now. I guess I am usually the strong one, maybe even controlling at times. But right now I feel very weak and need him for comfort even if he no longer loves me. He really is a person where this is actually too much to ask, especially when he feels like the reason for my distress. He also rejects comfort from me, not just because of guilt, but he has always suffered from depression and often does not feel he is worthy of anyones comfort. I think this is part of the reason that getting comfort and attention from somebody he owes nothing to can be so easily accepted.

            I know, I probably sound like I am being a door-mat. Don’t worry I have gotten angry. But I know him better than anyone. We have been together 11 years and he has always been a bit of a loner. I often wish he would go out with friends more, or make more friends or even flirt with girls. I say ‘girls’ in plural because that’s what I mean, there is no focus in that. This has focus – way too much. He is a very very very good hearted person and I truly believe he does not mean to hurt me. He has other issues that he is dealing with (or NOT dealing with) such as depression and low self worth, people with these disorders eventually have no energy to purely love and make a deep connection. So I know it is easier for him to give his attention to somebody who is feeding his ego rather than somebody who is draining it. He sees me as the one draining him. It is just too difficult to stand back right now, even though I know that is what he needs from me and is probably what will bring him back to me.

            You know, even IF I am overreacting and this is not what it seems. The thing that really kills me is that I told him how my perception of this is really really hurting me and he is disrespecting that. That is something I never expected from him. It is a horrible way for him to finally prove to himself he is worthy.

            Thanks for letting me talk to somebody. I don’t have any money to seek the therapy we need and a little embarrassed to talk to a friend. I also know what he would feel BETRAYED if I went to someone else for comfort.

      • Cryng May 11, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

        …..and on a lighter note: The person who wants to attract him the most has become a puffy eyed, wrinkle faced, scraggly haired, frumpy old grouch because of all this.
        Thats the kicker!
        “Chipper, fun, happy, smiley me” has gone away right now and I am ashamed of that. But I’ll be back and sure hope he is around to see it.

        • Broken May 11, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

          You put yourself down alot….no one would expect you to ever feel cheery and happy right now. I know how you feel though some days I just smile and act like I am happy when I want to wring his neck. Early on I decided I am not playing that game anymore. If I am having a bad day…I am not hiding it to spare him…he needed to see and feel the pain he caused me. It has been since August that I have been dealing with this and it has been only recently that I have come to the point where I feel I can’t continuously make him suffer. He is however trying really hard…your hubby isnt there yet. You have to do what is best for you and your relationship. Trust your gut feelings they are usually always right on.

    • Norwegian woman May 9, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

      Other woman.
      Do you really think that he will not be moody, make you feel small and stupid, be egoistic, critisize you because you would have done it different? Did you think his wife knew all his traits when she met him and they fell in love? Don`t you think that she thought that he would be this lovely, fun, exiting person all his life? Like you think now?
      You ask why she wants him now that she knows these traits. I will have to ask you the same. Why would you want him when you know that he probably will be a moody ogre when you get to know him? Or do you REALLY think that YOUR loving arms and charming personality will make him a different man????
      The reason his wife wants him is that she, just like you, thought she had won the lottery. After years of ups and downs, children, bills and so on she KNOWS that he isn`t. But she also knows that NO OTHER MAN will ever stay perfect, fun and exiting. They have history, family and tons of tons of good times, true love and fun memories together. More than you have experienced with him. And probably never will. He also knows about all the love and fun they have had together, and recognizes that he probably never will recieve that kind of love again. The love that accepts his traits and bad sides. Because that kind of love only happens once. The first time you decide to bond yourself to another person ans start a family.
      He may be unlucky because of all the hurt he have done to his lovely, accepting wife. And everytime he sees you, he gets reminded of how stupid he was……. Have you ever thought of that?

      • melissa May 11, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

        Well said, Norwegian woman.

    • Re-loved August 24, 2014 at 11:01 am #

      OW-

      She did do this before. He stopped showing her affection and telling her – INSISTING to her – that he loved her.

      Imagine affection and love being the water in an espresso maker. If that cap isn’t on tight enough, only a trace amount of liquid will come into the glass. The cap on his love and affection – towards his wife and in his marriage – was slightly loose. When you saw that, responding affectionately as a soft spot for him to land? That was you loosening the cap even more. You gave the water an outlet and it backfired as steam.

      He’s leaving you alone because he never wanted steam. He wanted espresso. And he feels like a shit for 1) Having a loose cap and not tightening himself, and 2) For letting you loosen his cap even more… all he got out of it was a drop of espresso and worthless steam. He regrets it.

      When a woman doesn’t feel loved, she still does all the same things she’s HAD to do before… but poorly. It’s done but the quality isn’t there. She stops ENJOYING taking care of him and his needs because he’s stopped showing her love and affection. My motivation for taking CARE of my husband is to return the love I feel. If I don’t feel it – or feel that he’s letting it go elsewhere – OF COURSE he’s going to feel neglected. I want him to feel what I do, just to remind MYself that he’s capable of feeling anything at all! Don’t for a second believe we stop caring before bringing it up to him. By the stop we stop making the effort, we’ve already talked the issue to death, hoping some spark of anger will ignite the discussion that NEEDS to be had and begged for him to pay attention… that this IS A BIG PROBLEM. He won’t address it and emotionally shuts down to us. This is crushing. We take his worth of us, as he presents it to us, and bury it inside. He doesn’t care about our feelings, we think, and begin to believe that what we feel doesn’t matter. That WE don’t matter. Why should we take care of ourselves? We’re worthless!

      And to him, this is his wife nagging and neglecting him and “letting herself go.” You, OW, are the soft spot to fall… to tell you “his side” when he still has blinders on about it, himself.

      This is why they feel shame. Don’t for a second think it’s about feeling ashamed for stopping the relationship with you. It’s shame about what they’ve done and the close call of who they almost became… because they were too proud to be vulnerable>open>affectionate with their wives. <—Who want nothing more than REAL emotions from their husbands, whether good or bad. To share theirs with him, good or bad… because even if those real feelings hurt, they are true. They are solid. Whatever they lead to will.be.the.truth. And that will be good, in the end, even if the process is almost unbearably painful.

      The Other Woman is a distraction from reality. Nothing but steam. No substance to it. In the end, there's nothing to show for it but pain. He burned himself with you on steam and it hurts… and he knows that, between himself and his wife, all the blame falls squarely on himself.

      The shame and guilt is regarding his own behavior. And you're nothing but a reminder of it. Nothing.but.that.

  163. suziesuffers May 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    Big Mistake, I think Kathy has some valid points, that some of this is the “fog” of the excitement of someone new, although I think when you’re in this fog it’s hard to recognize it. I appreciate you’re honesty, as much as it’s difficult to hear that my husband too may be thinking as you do. Wishing he could be with the other woman, wishing he had known her first. So you are staying with your wife out of obligation? Because you love her and don’t want to see her hurt, but you’re not “in love with her” because those feelings have already been developed with the OW? How long has it been since you broke it off with the other woman? So you have alot more in common with her than with your wife? Did you ever have things in common with your wife? Can you try and do those things again with your wife to see if anything is rekindled? She may know you still have these feelings and that’s why she isn’t asking questions…she is fearful of the feelings you have for the OW. You sound like you are very open about the strong feelings you have for her, and she may not be ready to hear that you have given you heart to someone else and she may never be able to regain your heart and feelings. We all want to avoid the things we fear the most.

  164. Kathy May 9, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    Other Woman,

    Of course he didn’t tell me all the negative things about himself when we first met. These are things you discover as a relationship develops. This is why affairs are really a fantasy, because you rarely see the ugly side of the person you are cheating with.

    It is working through all the negative things, it is accepting that person and loving them anyway (over 28 years in my case), that makes people grow and makes a relationship grow into mature love out of infatuation and lust.

    The very fact that the cheaters are looking for “perfection” because they are dissastisfied with their “imperfect” spouses assures that the affair will very likely die out in time. (You can disagree with me all you like, but the cheaters’ perceptions are very skewed, as they only see the “perfect” side of the other.) As soon as the other AP’s bad qualities begin to appear, the fantasy will unravel, as it did in the case of my H and the OW.

    I have read the postings from empty and numb. It does not sound quite like my marriage except to say that we are two very imperfect people. Why do I want him? Because I love him. Because he isn’t always this way. Because I have a history with him full of wonderful memories that the OW will NEVER have. I have two wonderful, grown children with him. You get the picture, I hope. The point I was trying to make, and which seems completely lost on you, is that in an affair, you don’t see the ugly side of the person. You only see what they want you to see. And that’s easy to do when you aren’t living life 24/7 with them, seeing all the good AND the bad.

    I learned a very long time ago that nagging him doesn’t work. In fact, I haven’t said a word to him in years about the laundry, or other things, because I’d decided to choose which things were worth disagreeing about, and which were things I could just take care of myself. Out of love for him I pick up his dirty socks and put them in the laundry, because I don’t want to be a nag. But I’m sure this isn’t something he would have told the OW…because then he’d have had to admit I’m not a nag at all. My point was….these were some of the things the OW did not have to live with, did not know about, and he didn’t WANT her to know about!

    Did you read the posts by Big Mistake as to why he may appear depressed? My H has told me how bad he feels for what he did to me. Guilt will do that to you. He’s getting better, but he sees now, and admits, it was a huge mistake and he never loved her. It caused him nothing but trouble at work, and I think a lot of it has been stirred up by the OW because she can’t let go.

    It is doubtful that he loves you, especially since he decided to stay with his wife and work out his marriage. If he looks depressed, it’s most likely because he feels like a jerk for cheating on his wife, and for having to see the pain he has caused her.

    You need to take a long, hard look at yourself, and find what it is that makes you want to ruin other people’s lives to satisfy your selfish desires.

    As for the wife giving up on the marriage, you couldn’t be more wrong. After many years of marriage, both partners can be guilty of neglecting the health of the marriage and each other. That doesn’t mean that she gave up until someone else saw his good qualities. Marriages have their ups and downs, and you are 200% out of line for taking advantage of the man’s “down” time.

    If you really thought there was trouble in paradise for the man and his wife, the best thing would have been to tell him that he needs to work out his problems in his marriage and then you should have totally, completely and utterly backed out of his life BEFORE the affair ever happened. Then, if they couldn’t work it out and he was SINGLE AGAIN, you could then see about maybe a relationship with him. But to take advantage of the situation and purposely try to destroy a marriage takes a special kind of selfish, cruel, heartless b*tch.

    If his wife now wants to take better care of herself and do all she can to save her marriage, and he wants to stay and work it out too…GOOD FOR THEM!!! You need to get over it and find someone single, as I said to you before.

  165. Still Foggy but Clearing May 9, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    It is almost the one year anniversary of d-day and it’s been about 7 months that I’ve been reading this site. I think that Doug and Linda are setting a great example through their research and through their commitment to each other as well the commitment to this site.

    I’ve seen a lot of comments from betrayed spouses indicating that they wish the cheating spouse would open up more to them, give them an idea of what the hell they were thinking during the affair, and give them an idea of what they’re thinking now. One of the things that kept me coming back to this site was that not only were there comments from betrayed spouses, there were comments from the cheating spouses and the other men / other women as well.

    Recently, there have been a few people reaching out for assistance as they are struggling in the midst of the affair. Unfortunately, the anger and pain of the betrayed spouses sometimes appears to be an attack. Sometimes it’s even worse – I feel bad for some of the people that have come here for some wisdom and are met with hostility.

    I am not minimizing the pain that the betrayed spouses are feeling, but there may be layers of your spouse’s feelings, and even the feelings of the other woman or other man that you haven’t considered.

    I am the cheating spouse. It’s difficult for me to say that. Like many of you have expressed, I never thought that I would be the one that would end up in an adulterous affair. Parts of it took me by surprise. There was definitely a “thrill factor” that I never even thought would attract me, and so I was unprepared for it. As our friendship developed into an emotional affair, we drew lines in the sand and tried to not cross those lines. We were weak though and eventually we would cross the lines, until the affair was discovered. By that time, I felt like I was in love with the other woman, and she felt like she was in love with me.

    I betrayed my beautiful wife of 14 years – something that I committed to her that I would never, ever do. I now suffer the shame, guilt, embarrassment, and downright pain of knowing that I hurt the one person that I should never, ever have hurt. I feel so much ache because of the pain that I brought on to my wife, my children, the other woman, her husband, and their children.

    As much guilt and pain as I am feeling right now, I am still in the fog. If I were to be alone with the other woman, I don’t trust that I would make the right choices. I miss her so much, and I miss the feeling that I had when I was with her. I know that those feelings aren’t reality – I know that she and I probably couldn’t make it in a real relationship – and yet, the drive is so powerful for me to seek her out to be with her. There have been countless nights where I can’t sleep and I have the overwhelming urge to email her. I’ve resisted that temptation by coming to this website and reading the words of the betrayed spouses, reminding myself that my wife is feeling that kind of pain. (She doesn’t express it often to me – she’s valiantly and diligently working with me to save our relationship. Praise God!)

    For those of you that don’t believe in the “affair fog”, I’m gonna debate that and say that it does exist. I’m counting on it existing, because if it’s not an affair fog that I’m still struggling through, then I worry that it will never clear. I do have faith that it will get better though… that the longer I can withstand the “no contact” with the other woman, the more likely I will be able to get my heart and mind straight about what happened, learn from the experience, and keep it from ever happening again.

    Thank you to Doug and Linda and to everyone that participates in these discussions. You are helping a whole community of hurting people who have at least one common goal – they want to heal after an emotional affair.

    • Doug May 9, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

      Thank you SFBC for the kind words and also for your contribution. As I’ve said before, I completely understand the pain and devastation that the betrayed spouses are feeling, and I know that there is a certain amount of disdain in their hearts and minds for other cheaters, but there truly is an opportunity for both sides to help one another. The BS can get another perspective and into the mind of the CS, and vice versa. After all, this is basically the premise that this whole blog was built on. As hard as it might be at times, lets try to hold off on attacking and try understanding each other instead. In other words, lets have a safe place for communication for both sides. It could be quite helpful in the end.

    • Roller coaster rider May 9, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

      Still Foggy, my H also has said much of what you have expressed and I truly believe this is why I have hope for healing. I wish you the best.

  166. Broken May 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

    My last post was for the OTHER WOMAN

  167. Kathy May 9, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    Doug,

    Of course you are right, and I’m sorry for attacking rather than trying to be understanding.

    Other Woman,

    I also apologize to you for going on the offensive. In the past I’ve been able to keep myself from replying to others who’ve admitted as much, but something about your story struck a nerve with me. Some of the things you said are so close to my situation, it’s frightening. It’s hard for me not to see a woman who admits to being the other woman as “stand-in” (for lack of a better word) for the actual OW in my situation. You are not her (I hope), and I’m not being fair to you in venting my frustrations on you.

    I think it takes a lot of courage for either of the cheaters to admit to that here, and I will try to learn what I can from those willing to put themselves out there, and I will try to be more helpful in my replies.

    • Doug May 9, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

      Kathy, I am not singling you out in any way, shape or form. It just tends to be a common occurrence, which is also understandable. I appreciate all the contributions you have made and I’m sure that others have found them to be beneficial as well.

      • Kathy May 9, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

        Thank you Doug. I guess I’ve been feeling guilty for my posts because I did realize I was taking out my anger on her. Thanks again. :)

    • Still Foggy but Clearing May 9, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

      Kathy, my comments weren’t directed at you in particular. I actually wrote my comment a few days ago and only posted it today. Don’t beat yourself up – you are as entitled to your emotions as the rest of us here. We are all just struggling and trying to learn here. I wish the best for you, as well as “other woman”… I am particularly familiar with her struggles with trying to stay away from her affair partner and the pain and lonliness that she feels.

      • Kathy May 9, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

        Thanks SFBC :)

  168. Roller coaster rider May 9, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    I just re-read what Kathy wrote and it doesn’t seem like attacking to me. I would like Linda’s opinion on that. Her saying that Other Woman wanted to ruin someone else’s life may not be accurate, because that probably wasn’t really her goal but just by wanting the CS for herself it was evident that she didn’t really care about his family.

    • Doug May 9, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

      RCR, Just so we’re on the same wave length, I was not referring to her comment or any comment in particular. It was a general response to Still Foggy’s. Thanks for your contributions!

      • Roller coaster rider May 9, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

        I understand. Thanks.

    • Kathy May 9, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

      I am always amazed at how clearly many of you see things. Maybe I’m just not to that point yet. For me, it feels personal, like the OW wanted to ruin my life. But you’re right, that probably isn’t accurate and it’s more likely that she’s just selfish.

      • roller coaster rider May 9, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

        Kathy, I SO felt like it was personal, because when someone knows about the marriage and then refuses to respect that, it sure does seem like they’re trying to wreck your life. The other thing for me, too, was that (at least for a while) it hurt less to assume the responsibility was hers, not my husband’s

  169. PTY May 9, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    @ Other woman: You are correct. We all put our best foot forward in any courtship. However, for various reasons, in an affair, this all seems to get intensified. You may want to look at his article: http://www.surprisedbylove.com/pdfs/Affair_Love_vs_Authentic_Love.pdf., by a counselor who committed adultery.

    As to wife not having wanted to work on the marriage before, how do you know this? If it comes from your MM, please be skeptical. It is easy in normal circumstances to blame the other. In an affair, I think it almost imperative. Otherwise, the guilt would be even more overwhelming. It seems many affair partners view the “downer” of going back home as proof that their love for the Affair Partner is real. I think it is the guilt, but who wants to admit that.

    Again, I think is best for all 3 of you (plus children, if any) for you to move on.

  170. Other Woman May 9, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    Kathy,

    I apologize to you I hope you are not the wife but if you were I would say I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt anyone I wouldn’t wish this hurt and pain on anyone. I thought his marriage was over I feel in love and thought we would have a future together all I hear from friends are I told you so, co workers avoid me like the plague. As soon as he told me he wanted to stay with his wife that was it I was done. It doesn’t mean the feelings just go away it doesn’t mean I just stop thinking about him. I am just trying to figure out how on earth I allowed myself to get involved with a married man.
    I came upon tis website and it took along time for me to post but I had no where else to go

  171. Bigmistake May 9, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    Suzie, Jessica, Kathy-thank you for helping me feel that I can be honest. Let me try to elaborate and answer your questions and clarify my situation. How did my wife find out? I told her. About Six weeks ago. Turns out she had a pretty darn good idea. Receipts in my pants, my car smelling like smoke (AP smokes), long hairs on my clothes from close contact. Why did I tell her? My AP & I gave a gift to a new grandmother at work. We shopped & picked out the gift together. We essentially stepped out of the shadows and acted like a couple. No one was surprised, we got some strange looks and while the AP was ok with it-I realized a new line was being crossed. As I began to pull away her son asked me if I would be at his birthday party. The AP’s husband works evenings and hers us lots of free time to spend together. I know her kids and like them a lot. I couldn’t be there for his party & another round of guilt hit me. Look who gets hurt? All I’m doing is hurting everybody who doesn’t deserve to be hurt.
    Am I still in the “fog?” Yes and no. I know the past two years have been wrong and while we progressed to handholding we never slept together. Were there/are there strong feelings? Yes. Do I understand we were stuck in infactuation mode, with no way to progress? Yes, I do. Just because the foundation is weak, doesn’t what you feel less real. During the last two years (how long the EA lasted) I completely changed. Many of my coworkers have commented on my complete personality transformation, I went from quiet and unobtrusive to a major promotion and an intregal part of our company. My self confidence and self assurance are new and I’m incredibly outgoing instead of bookish and sitting by myself at break times. I didn’t see it at the time, but I changed outwardly for the better. Inwardly I’m a lying, cheating, selfish dirtbag.
    About two and a half years ago I found out some secrets about my wife. Things that she said about me to a “friend” and an inappropriate secret. And no she didn’t have an affair, but I opted to hid the fact that I knew. We didn’t talk about it and I should have. I let it eat at me and she never spoke to me about something she should have been able to share. I know what my catalyst was and I don’t blame my wife-this was my decision and I understand nobody is perfect (now). I am rekindling and we talk and we do have things in common, what we don’t have in common are things that I enjoy doing with her, because they make her happy. Like roller skating-I can’t skate, she loves it, so we’ve been going. I choose my wife not out of obligation, but because she deserves to loved for who she is.
    Did I consider leaving her? Six months ago I packed up my stuff one day while she was at work. I was close… The boxes weren’t unpacked until four weeks ago. My daughters were freaked for a few weeks-I said I was making more room by rearranging my stuff, no one bought it of course.
    How did I tell the AP? I told her I couldn’t be friends anymore, that I like her too much and that maybe under different circumstances we would have been friends (I’ve always been friends with women over men), but we’ve never been “just friends.” I gave her my copy of that same titled book, Not Just Friends” and closed my Facebook account. My wife wants to tell her husband & probably will.

  172. Jessica May 9, 2011 at 11:35 pm #

    Big mistake,
    Thank you for being honest and answering my questions. It gives me some insight and it’s less painful to hear the answers from you.
    When you were thinking of moving out was it so you could be with the AP?

  173. suziesuffers May 10, 2011 at 12:38 am #

    Wow….Big Mistake, thank you for your honesty. I guess I’m still mixed about your response in staying with her out of “obligation”. You state you’re staying with her not out of obligation, but because she deserves to be loved for who she is. I agree she does deserve to be loved for who she is, but can you do that if you still have strong feelings for someone else? Can you “truly” be in love with her….or do you love her out of familiarity, and having something is better than the risk of chancing an affair continuing, since you and the OW would both have to divorce your spouses, and then take a “chance” that you were still compatible enough to pursue a committment to each other. I hope I’m not pushing for too much, but since many of the CS’s are somewhat distant about the truth, and that seems to be the missing piece for us. As much as we all want to save our marriages, there is an element of fear that this might be a “charade” that our husbands have come back to us only because of their shame and guilt…and seeing the pain they created in someone they loved at one time…because I don’t want that kind of pity love, no matter how much pain this creates. I don’t want someone to “pretend” they love me in order to minimize their guilt for the pain they created. I do deserve to be loved for who I am….just as your wife does, but I don’t want to be taken for a fool again, falling for the lies. The first was lies about the affair..now it may be lies about the reason he wants to make this marriage “work”…is it more to relieve his guilt and shame, or is it truly because he knows I am the one he has truly loved and wants to rectify the “big mistake” he made… (no pun intended…lol) Once again Big Mistake, I thank you for your honesty, as difficult as it may be to be in the mind of the CS when he is still in the fog, it gives us more knowledge about what we are really up against in surviving infidelity…..and protecting our marriages in the future if they do survive.

    • Doug May 10, 2011 at 6:58 am #

      suziesuffers, great comment, I was conveying the same sentiment to Doug last night. We all deserve to have a spouse who loves us, who is here for all the right reasons. It has taken me awhile to come to this place, but I want a lasting, intimate love. I know that someone cannot give this to me if their heart is somewhere else. I know that in the beginning the cheater is very confused about their feelings however with time they need to figure out where their heart is. Linda

    • roller coaster rider May 10, 2011 at 10:29 am #

      I appreciate you saying what I wanted to express to my H this morning. I feel like I’ve lost my mind. I am choosing to believe, but sometimes I just can’t get past the pain and sorrow. My brain doesn’t work well either and it’s kind of scary. I lost my wallet in my own house, too, and that is freaking me out.

  174. Jessica May 10, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    Linda,

    That is exactly how I. Feel about it, I keep wondering is he here for the right reasons? and why didn’t my H just leave? Why if they are so unhappy that they create this secret life that they don’t just leave? Does Big Mistake stay because he knows it will never work with the AP?

  175. Saddenned May 10, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    Jessica,

    I personally think they realize that the “newness” will wear off and eventually reality hits. They will have similar problems with the AP. When you live day to day with someone, problems will arise and you will get in the rut. My H did the same thing and I often wonder why he stayed and he says he loves me and he didn’t know how much. His EA didn’t go that far, but the lies and betrayal was there. Choose to believe if you want to continue the marriage. Trust and have faith in God.

  176. Jessica May 10, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    Saddened, thanks I have released some of the pain to a higher power it was too overwhelming

    @the Other Woman
    what makes you think he was faithful to you? Every night he came home to me, every weekend he was with me, every holiday and family event he was with me. When he was sick I took care of him.
    Say he did leave me for you, would you ever trust him?
    How could you respect someone who would leave his wife for you just because she might have gained a few pounds after having 3 kids and going thru lifes changes? if someone is so shallow that all that matters is looks then you can have him, your looks will fade too, everyones does….

  177. Bigmistake May 10, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

    I wasn’t going to leave to be with my AP. I was so completely out of our marriage mentally, I just didn’t see a point in continuing. I’m glad I stayed-I think leaving would have been something I couldn’t take back. We have along road ahead but I won’t quit on us again. I think that’s what am EA is. Emotionally giving up on your marriage.

  178. Broken May 11, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    Bigmistake…Why did you emotionally give up? Was it intentional or something that spun out of control? Curious for my own reasons. Also I was wondering why when someone is in that position that they don’t just stop and talk to their spouse? Did you think about your spouse when you were cheating on her? Not being mean…again just want to know for myself. Thanks

  179. Jessica May 11, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

    @broken, thanks for asking questions above and hope you are doing ok

    @Big Mistake
    Thanks for your honesty. When you packed to leave did your AP know your plans? What was the timing in deciding to stay and ending the EA? Was it at the same time? Or had you already decided to stay but had a hard time letting go? Also I don’t know if your wife does this but I do, I bring up her name and ask questions, how does it make you feel? Does this remind you of the AP and bring up good memories and wishful thinking or do you see the pain it brings to your wife.

  180. Bigmistake May 12, 2011 at 12:06 am #

    I was’t planning to leave for my AP, I was beginning to fully understand my actions and their affect on my family. I didn’t tell my AP I was going to leave, we never discussed leaving our spouses. Again, for me it wasn’t about venting about my marital problems to another woman. So many people do that. I think they spin that yarn to make themselves out to be a victim-they want attention. Was my marriage perfect? Is anybody’s? Is it a valid reason or just an excuse?
    I did complain to some extent, so did she, but it was never the crux of our relationship. Both our spouses early on told us the friendship was too close; it made them uncomfortable and they wished us to not spend time together. We turned it on them, “don’t you trust me? We’re just friends.”
    I guess you you could say I made the decision to stay with my mind, not my heart. However, once I made the decision and spent time focusing on my wife (used some long neglected vacation time) and didn’t see or talk to the AP I could more clearly see the woman I love and have been taking for granted. The EA is truly like a drug and the feelings of “love” you feel around the AP are hard to let go.
    Why don’t your spouses leave? So many people have affairs but go back to their spouse. I think they feel taken for granted, theyare taking you for granted and eventually communication shuts down. Think about this-if they truly love their AP, why is so much of the affair talking a out the marriage? It’s a selfish action, but the thoughts behind it are of the spouse they miss right in front of them.

  181. Saddenned May 12, 2011 at 7:35 am #

    Bigmistake,

    So what you are saying is, you missed your spouse and the attention you got from her, so that is why you pursued an EA (assuming that is what happenned, sorry if I am wrong). My husband re-connected with an old school friend via facebook and they started to talk on the phone, text, etc. This went on for two weeks before he came clean and changed his number and got off of facebook. We are moving forward, went through marriage counseling and I no longer take him for granted. My question is, I guess am I still competing with an illusion of someone else? He tells me he loves me and didn’t know how much he did, but I worry a lot about “someone else”. I am 99% sure there is no contact ( the only reason I am not 100% is because I am still leary, only been 9 1/2 weeks since D-Day), but I still worry, not about her as much, but if someone else catches his eye. I really want to hear from someone with the shoe on the other foot because I want to make sure we move past this and I don’t dwell.

  182. Roller coaster rider May 12, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    Big Mistake, thanks again for the enlightening comments. Maybe that brings us back to Linda’s original thought here, that the BS cannot do a whole lot to stop the affair (pray??) because until the lightbulb goes on, the CS just can’t really be persuaded. I do think, however, that the BS has a responsibility to himself/herself to refuse to accept unacceptable behavior, to have reasonable boundaries, and for me, having a third party involved in my marriage was/is not an option AT ALL.

    • Brian May 13, 2011 at 6:38 am #

      This is what I have been struggling with… where to draw the line. At what point do I say “enough’s enough” and call it quits. I’ve tried to stay strong for our boys and our marriage but last night she said she was going out to eat. I asked with who and she said the AP, not even trying to pretend otherwise. Later, I went by his house and her car was there and the lights were off. So the EA has become a PA. This is only days afer our first couples session where she told me she was going to back off from contacting him. What choice do I have but to initiate divorce. She has no interest in being with me other than to help raise the kids, upkeep the house, and provide financial support. Hard to stay strong when she’s showing me no respect by blatantly pursuing the affair. I keep reading that affairs dont last but how much self-respect do I have to lose before it ends, if ever?

      Enough’s enough…

      • debbie May 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

        Divorce is not your only option. That only invites ‘other’ pain. You can set boundaries tho. Have you read “Surviving the Affair” by harley? He sets out ways to do that using tough love.

        • Brian May 16, 2011 at 9:12 am #

          I have not read that but I will. Thanks.

          We talked over the weekend. She insists they did nothing but watch tv. Still insisting just friends. Reminded me that we have only been to one couples session and she wants to continue. She also mentioned maybe we could go out on a date this week. I told her I’d think about it. As far as boundaries, I told her a married woman going to another man’s house is totally inappropriate. She replied that since it’s just friends, it’s the same as if she went over one of her girlfriends. I totally disagree of course.

          She still says she doesn’t know what she wants, needs more time. She said maybe it’s a MLC or some hormonal thing. I told her she should move out to get the space she needs but she said she’s “not going anywhere”.

          I have an appt with my lawyer this Thursday. My intention was to initiate divorce but now I’m having second thoughts. Once the ball starts rolling there’s no turning back. Don’t want to be in too much of a hurry…

          • debbie May 16, 2011 at 11:10 am #

            My H insisted the “just friends” thing for a long time too. Arghhh. I left “Not Just Friends” by Glass sitting around! He did finally understand that their ‘friendship’ was inappropriate and not so special.

            Her MLC comment was interesting. Has she seemed depressed in the past few years? Doing some other things ‘out of character’? My H suggested this early on too. If it is MLC, you may want to handle things a bit differently. Check out the info on it here: http://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/mlc.html .

            As for the divorce, you can do that anytime. DON”T do it in hopes of controlling her or getting her to change her behavior. It is good though, to know your rights and how to protect yourself.

  183. Jessica May 12, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    Big Mistake,
    Did your AP talk to you about your wife and her husband and how wrong it was what you and her were doing? After the EA did your AP have any remorse for her part in the EA? Did she contact your wife and express any remorse? Had your AP had affairs prior to this?

  184. Bigmistake May 12, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

    Saddened-I know for me I absolutely looked forward to any contact with the OW. It’s nice to share those stories your spouse has heard over & over with someone new & I honestly didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. I knew I had acrush on her and told her so, she had a crush on me too, but what does that matter if your “just friends.” An affair involves sex, right? She felt like the what-could-have-been. The first couple of weeks after breaking up I felt like I had given up on something that could have been great. It took a couple weeks for her flaws and my stupidity to sink in. There was an illusion to contend with, I married my first love-I have no real experience with heartbreak, but to give my AP was like breaking my own heart. Telling my wife broke hers. That broke my heart all over again. I’m who she always turned to for comfort & I can’t comfort her in this situation; it made for many sleepless nights and anxious conversations.
    Jessica-my AP has not yet spoken to my wife. My wife has been by the office and when the OW sees us she averts her eyes and keeps walking. My wife tenses up and calls her names under her breath, but no confrontation or communication has occured yet. My wife did send a detailed message to my AP’s husband & offered to speak to him. She hasn’t heard from him in return. Neither of us had an affair before and I don’t believe either of us was looking to have one-we just had so much in common it was hard not to talk to each other.
    I do want to thank all of you. I’m a CS and will wear that brand for the rest of my life, I really appreciate the oppurtunity to express myself here. It helps sort my own thoughts and I feel like there is light at the end of the long dark tunnel I choose to walk down. I hope my answers can be of some assistance to you all. Feel free to keep asking.

  185. Saddenned May 13, 2011 at 8:52 am #

    Big Mistake,

    I appreciate you honesty. I think you and your wife will be okay. I know my husband just wanted someone to “bat an eye at him”. I wasn’t doing that anymore, “guilty as charged. I was caught up in life. It took two to lead him down the path of of destruction and it is taking two to bring us back. I am deeply in love with my husband and I know that the guilt is a hard pill for him to swallow. Your post gave me strength to move forward. Good luck to you and your wife. Remember, we are all human and no one is above mistakes. Don’t punish yourself for the rest of your life, rather learn from your mistake and move forward.

  186. Jessica May 13, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    Brian,
    You have to take care of yourself first. If it were me I would ask her to move out.

  187. Jessica May 13, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    Bigmistake,
    Thank you for answering and posting here. It helps me to hear your answers I am trying to understand and make sense of something that had completely shattered me to my soul.

    While having the EA how did you treat your wife? Were you annoyed when she wanted time with you or did you make excuses not to spend time with her? When you were with your wife did you wish you were with the AP? Does anyone else in your family know about the EA? Have you thought about finding a new job? Your wife sounds like a very strong person to go to your work knowing so many people there know. How long has it been since Dday? What now are some of the flaws your AP has that you didn’t see before? Do you ever think that the AP is not trustworthy, to also do this to her husband and it sounds like she hasnt expressed any remorse for the EA unlike you but I could be wrong.

  188. suziesuffers May 13, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    It seems I’ve heard alot of the “we had alot in common” from either the CS or BS talking about what their CS said. What does this really mean? Are there specific likes or dislikes that you had that were similar and your spouse did not? Did you spouse ever have these things in common with you? Did you really lose these things in common or did they just get lost along the way. No….cheating does not necessarily involve sex…but I guess that does go along the lines that the CS feels that this is “just a friendship” and that justifies spending time with the OP and justifies the continued contact. Any time you invest more energy into a relationship with another person other than your spouse, it’s cheating. Suddenly you have chosen to “share” your initimate self with someone else you have betrayed your spouse. Of course, that may be where the “in love” feelings come, when someone becomes vulnerable to someone else. That may be why these EA’s are so dangerous. Vulnerability creates an immediate closeness….but because initially you are “just” friends you know you have very little to lose if you get judgement from this person….you have a spouse at home to fall back on, so you have the freedom to initially be very vulnerable without risk. Of course, showing that vulnerabilty to your spouse at times is “dangerous” in your mind because you want their approval and they also know you well enough that they could hurt you with information about yourself…they know what sensitivities you have and what buttons to push….the NEW person is just on their best behavior, like you, and everything looks rosy.

  189. Brian Too May 13, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    Hey everyone, you are all a great asset to those who visit the site. I have been visiting now for over 4-weeks and I have learned so much more. All these great tools I have from this site and other publication have made me a much stronger person, better father, and understanding husband.
    I too have an EA story that is in so many ways, similar to all the others, but in some small ways is different. I am a middle aged father of 2. I met my wife when I was in 19 and married at age 25. I’ve been married over 21 yrs. I have had a good marriage and was lucky to be brought up in a stable household. It is now going on 6 months since confirming my wife’s EA. She has been involved with this OM starting as friends for over 14 months. In the first 2 months I did all the classic wrong things, but have gained all the correct tools and help to gain confidence and understanding of this EA. I am on the right track and have gained so much self confidence and control of myself. I am a better person for my family and close friends. From time to time I still make bad choices, but with every bad choice I make two better choices the next time.
    Like all of your experiences, mine is close to that of Brian’s. I have (2) kids of my own. One is a pre-teen and the other is a young adult living at home. My wife tells me that she knows this is her problem and must get the OP clear from her mind before she can move on, or consider staying in a marriage, if she can even do that. The problem is, this roller coaster ride of emotion she is on, is not helping her stability. She has gotten more subdued and less open in the past month. Her circle of close people is very small (2-3) people that she talks to. My family knows nothing and her family knows much. She has a large family of 7 brothers and sisters. At a young age her family was very dysfunctional, which may be the root cause for her depression and problems now.
    Anyway, I am very close to my son whom is the young adult. It seems like we are even closer now, than before the EA. He knows what is going on and has had personal contact with the OM before him or I were aware of the affair. He is very disappointed in his mother and what she is doing. He has recently opened up to me, showing his hurt feelings regarding his mother’s actions towards him, his little sister and myself. His mother has, for simple words, has given up on him and says she is done raising him, which is so un-motherly. We all know you continue to raise and teach your kids throughout their life. She is also trying win over her daughter by spend alone time with her and not as a family unit. When my wife is gone visiting this OM in a different city for a day, I spend a lot of time with my son and daughter alone and as a 3 unit family. I am very genuine and close to my daughter. I love doing sporting activities with her and am her coach for baseball. It was just recently, when her mother did not show up to her game, because her mother was with this OM. She had an amazing game and the team won and she was so excited. My son was there also. Her mother had no intention of coming. This really bothered my daughter and she called her mother up that night and just gave it to her. I could hear the lies just pouring out of my wife. My daughter of 10 was reading right past them. I don’t know what to do. I am not sure even considering telling her or if any information will really help. I am afraid she is figuring it out on her own. I am also worried it will have great affect on her and what she thinks of her mother later on. I have had many single therapy sessions for myself and hope to get my children in which I know will help. My son is willing, but not sure of my daughter. I’ve come so far and so long. I have so many tools now, but this one is the hardest. I would love to hear from you.

    • Brian May 19, 2011 at 7:09 am #

      Brian Too,
      Sorry to hear about your troubles. Like others here have told me, be strong for yourself and your kids.
      I am wrestling with the same issues. My wife also comes from a large family with 7 brothers and sisters who have many issues and have certainly affected my wife. She has in many ways distanced herself from her family and our marriage, looking for new relationships to find happiness rather than looking inside herself for answers. It’s a journey I cannot help her with I’m afraid. All I can do is try to be a good husband and father and hope that she can see the light… that what has been so right for over 20 years can still be so. It’s not easy and some days are better than others, but I’ll keep trying for now. I need to know I gave it my best shot.
      Again, we need to be strong and try to be positive and upbeat. It makes all the difference and could help bring your/my wife back to the realization that the marriage is worth saving.
      Take care.

      • Brian Too May 19, 2011 at 9:34 am #

        Brian, thanks for the support. I have grown very strong for myself and for kids. I think the hardest was my coping skills. This also I have learned to overcome. I have always done the best I know how, but have always said ” I only have control over myself and not that of the other person” I have the Serenity Prayer in my office for extra support. As you have mentioned, being a good father and husband, despite the EA helps tremendously. It keeps us focused on what we can do to make things better. Hopefully the other part will happen from time and patience. You also mentioned that your wife is looking outward to find happiness and thus the EA. I was told by a close friend that you need to love yourself before loving others or being capable of finding true love. I know my wife does not love herself or what she looks like. It might even be the constant verification she is recieving from the OP that is getting her by from day to day, but this is only temporary. I know when she truley has to make a self reflection and look at her self deeply, she resents this. I know because I have been working out, taking care of myself, keeping up the home, spending time with th kids, and moving on. I think my W sees this and it bothers her, because she has to look at herself. Does you wife also have similar behaviors?
        I know it will be a long journey and I am ready for the challenge, becasue I am the only one that my kids have that is trying to keep the family together. They are counting on me to be strong. I think I have turned the corner, at least for myself and await more challenges to life. Brian, be strong and healthy.

  190. PTY May 14, 2011 at 6:09 am #

    @suziesuffers: Great post. I see that the OM/OW is often seen as a “great listener”. Of course they are; they aren’t the ones being trashed, they aren’t the ones who have made the CS unhappy, yet. I think the “yet” part deals with the fog, bubble or whatever you want to call it. That is one of the reasons affairs dont’ work as real relationships. So much of it is based upon attacking the primary relationship. When the CS unhappiness can’t be blamed on the BS anymore, then the next person in the blame game is the OM/OW. The problem may be that the CS is just an unhappy person.

  191. Jessica May 16, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Brian,
    Since he is such a good friend what would she say if you invited him over to your place? Have you met him?

    • Brian May 16, 2011 at 10:36 am #

      Yes, I know him… he’s been cleaning our furnace every year for the past 5-6 years which is how they met. I know where you are going with this, but I doubt she would agree to having him over and I would not feel comfortable with it even though they are “just friends”. Maybe if he were to come by with his girlfriend but not just him. My wife has never met the girlfriend btw, which speaks volumes…

      • Lori May 16, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

        My partner kept saying over and over that they were ‘just friends’ too and that their relationship was purely platonic, so I suggested the four of us go out for dinner together – which we did. Her husband sat next to her and my boyfriend sat next to me and we had a good enough time. That is, until later when I found out that they were texting each other back and forth about the boring conversation that her husband and I were having and my boyfriend said to her that ‘he should be sitting next to her and not me.’ OUCH… that sting never goes away. Turned out they were planning to go out alone a couple of weeks later, alone for dinner on a Saturday night and I thought it was SO inappropriate – for many reasons, not just because I was jealous and wanted to be included but I knew that they were involved in an EA, and it was a Saturday night and that would have left me without anything to do. He wouldn’t change his plans no matter how much I asked or complained or stated that it was wrong. So, I sent her husband an e-mail that followed up our previous dinner and I thanked him for a great dinner and suggested that we do it again real soon. I then stated that I thought it was too bad that our partners weren’t letting us come along with them on their dinner on Saturday night. Needless to say that their dinner didn’t happen and they declared a new nickname for me. Yes, my boyfriend and his EP started calling me BB or Bunny Boiler because they thought my behavior was outright psycho and crazy and that I was the one being irrational and crazy (like Glenn Close crazy). I write about these stories in disbelief that this happened to me, because it all sounds so immature given our age; however, the EA clouded his judgment and his behavior. I’ve written my story before on this blog, and I continue to read here for insight and help from others…. And every once in a while I’ll tell a part of my stories in hopes that you all who are experiencing similar things can know that you are not alone. Unfortunately, my boyfriend and I didn’t make it, and we ended up breaking up. I was with him for 4 years and it still is very painful for me. That was the first time I ever was betrayed by anyone, and we were planning on being together for life. I fell in love with his 2 daughters and thought that we were going to be a family for many years. Now he’s not allowing me to maintain communications with the 2 girls and my life is shattered. I have nothing but painful stories that an EA caused. Ironic, I’m the furthest thing away from being a BB – but during that time period where I was trying to get the truth, I felt obsessive tendencies that consumed my actions. It wasn’t pretty! There is nothing pretty, sexy, beautiful, cool, appealing, attractive, or fun about an EA. It downright S U C K S for everyone involved!! Good luck!

  192. melissa May 16, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    Brian
    Hang in there. You’ve been badly hurt and are weary but it’s early days. First of all, your W has agreed to go to counselling, that’s a very positive thing. Secondly, she says she’s not going anywhere. There’s probably no point asking her why at the moment but hold on to that question.

    As to the ‘just friends’, we all know how devastating that sort of relationship is but in her mind, at the moment, she DOES believe it’s nothing. It took my husband months to reluctantly admit that his behaviour was inappropriate. Saying it’s nothing or ‘there was no relationship’ (in my H’s case) is a defence mechanism against the enormity of what they have done.

    Keep safe.

    • Brian May 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

      Melissa, Debbie,
      I’m trying to give her the benefit of doubt that it is just friends at this point. She’s been reaching out to her female friends for years and they haven’t really been there for her… frustrating for her. So I can see how she values any friendships that she has, but she seems blind to the dangers of opposite sex friendships. I do understand the value of having a network of friends… besides the friendship of husbands and wives, but its a “slippery slope”…

      There have been some times over the past few years when she has seemed down and I became worried, but they didn’t last. I wish we had sought counseling then and maybe this could have been averted. I will check out the link, Debbie. Thanks!

      And I agree that I should not be in such a hurry for divorce and I will give her more time. I hate being so uncertain! Not fun.

      Thanks your responses and for thinking of us…

  193. michael May 16, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

    Brian,
    My wifes affair continued after the day she first told me she was talking to an old boyfriend. She blamed the problems in our marriage on me and told me how unsatisfying or relationship has been. She went on to say that he was just a friend and that he was helping her through a bad time.
    She continued to lie about what she was doing and that she never even saw a picture of him while they were texting. All lies that I later discovered. All part of her plan.
    On december 28 2009 I decided to send an email to his text phone to find out what I was up against. (You can read that exchange on my blog). She swore at that point that she was done with him. (Lie). I caught her on Dec 31 messaging on facebook. Then later on in 2010 I found out that she had continued for another couple of months at least.
    I hope that helped a little. I don’t know if you have spoken with him, but if I were you I would at least tell him what he’s doing is affecting your marriage. Is he doesn’t respect that, you will know how good of a Friend he is.

    • Brian May 17, 2011 at 7:05 am #

      I’ve wanted to confront him, tell him how much he is affecting our relationship, but my lawyer told me to avoid any contact with him as it could get me in trouble legally.

      She also tries to blame things on me… how I didn’t want to do things socially, etc. I admit there were some times when I worked 60-70 hour weeks all I wanted to do was relax at home, but 99% of the time I did want to go out and socialize and I always enjoyed myself. I think she’s just trying to justify her behavior. I’m not saying I haven’t contributed to where we are now but still its no excuse to go outside the marriage for an EA.

      She mentioned going out together this week, I said I’d think about it. There’s so much tension between us lately, I’m afraid it would be a bust… we used to be so comfortable with each other. I guess we have to start somewhere…

      • melissa May 17, 2011 at 8:22 am #

        Brian
        Your lawyer is right, confronting the OM will not help and you might hear things you don’t want to hear (possibly harsh things that were said by your wife in ‘the fog’).

        We are all guilty at times of not putting our marriage first but , as you say, this is no excuse for a W/H to seek solace elsewhere and destroy their marriage. Please don’t take the blame personally, it’s just a way to avoid responsibility and it will take time for this to pass. In a fit of rage , my H told me I was lazy and boring when trying to blame me for his EA. When I remind him of these words, he doesn’t even remember ever saying them (!!!) but he does praise me a lot more these days and is much more appreciative of what I do and who I am.

        However, I find it encouraging that your wife wants to go out. I know it’s hard for you but if you can find some peace within yourself to go out with her, not mention the EA and try and reconnect in any small way possible (just holding hands, watching the world go by), it’ll be a huge step forward.

  194. Brian May 17, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    If she still wants to go out I will agree to it, try to have a good time. Holding hands would rock my world…

  195. Broken May 17, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    Brian….Melissa is right,,you should try and go out if your wife is willing. It is these little thing things that will bring you back to where you use to be. A shared joke or story…a place you use to go with good memories. Try hard to not talk about the bad stuff during this time. My H and I go out every Thursday and have since 1 week after I found out. It was awkward at first and I felt angry and distant but it absolutely helped.

    I still have a real problem with the fog thing. Sometimes I think it is just an excuse but then again I have never been the CS. Still don’t take what they they personally. Much is said to justify the behavior and ease the guilt.

    Glad your giving it a go this week and put a hold on the divorce thing. If nothing else you can say you did everything possible to save your marriage for your kids.

    Good luck Brian. Know that we all feel your pain and you’re not alone.

  196. Saddenned May 17, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    Brian,

    I agree with Broken and Melissa. Give it a go. Don’t hold on to “what is” and focus on “what you want it to be”. I get upset and wallow in my own pity and then I remember what I want and I do stuff to better our situation and it ALWAYS has a positive outcome. Maybe a small thank you or wow you didn’t have to do all of that. My husband gets real excited when I get into his home projects and do little stuff to help out, it motivates him to keep “engaged” in us. It is a team effort, BOTH has to work at it. I am still learning this myself. Marriage is not about indebtiness, but rather working together and the pleasure being making the other person happy.

  197. Brian May 17, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    Knowing that she is involved with someone else, the “what is” as you put it, is definitely getting in the way of my feelings for her. I will try to focus on “what I want it to be” if she still wants to go out.

    I’ve been giving her space, backing off for a while now so it’s a bit difficult for me to put myself out there again. Got to remember that we were great not so long ago and that it’s worth the effort… for our marriage and our family.

    • Saddenned May 17, 2011 at 10:55 am #

      Brian,

      That is definitely hard and I cannot say that I know what you are going through because the fact of the matter is, my H’s EA was over before I knew it happenned. The “what was” hurts me though. The fog as it is put on this site is definitely an explanation. My H called himself ignorant when he came to his senses. I try to look at the positive outcomes of the whole situation. I have re-prioritized my life. My focus is now family before self and work. To be quite honest, I cherish those moments. Before I personally was so wrapped up in achievement and work, that my family got whatever was left. I have done a lot of soul searching since this all took place. I still have rocky days, rocky moments, but I have good moments too. I cherish every “I love you” or every nice gesture like I did when we were dating and I laugh more. The fact is, you know your wife and what makes her “tick”. Do something nice for her, make her smile. Have you seen the movie “Fireproof”. Great example. It is a must see for anyone who has been through or is going through an EA.

  198. Bigmistake May 17, 2011 at 11:45 pm #

    Jessica-
    Sorry I didn’t answer sooner, rough weekend.

    During my EA I was very distant from my wife, from my whole family. I spent a lot of time alone in my room either excercising or just staring off into space. When asked what I was thinking about I always responded, “nothing.” I wasn’t wishing I was my AP, but rather looking forward to the next day when we would see each other again. I had a very short temper, got irritated easily.
    As I began to realize I was in a relationship, I started having trouble sleeping and focusing at work. That made me more irritable. I told my wife everything at the end of March.
    Do I see my APs flaws. Yes. She is very selfish and I was not her first affair. She had a child with one and is on her second marriage right now. Did I care during the EA? Heck no.
    I am desperate for a new job. My AP and I are expected to go out on the road together for onsite trainings. We are steam of two and I can’t get out of it. I don’t want to spend two weeks in a hotel with her and my wife dreads the idea. I need a new job by Juneand we cannot afford for me to be unemployed.
    Do any of our family know? My mother-in-law knows something is wrong. I skipped a family vacation to be home alone with my AP and wife hinted it was due to trouble in our marriage. My wife has abest friend to listen, unfortunately her friend is pro-divorce, hence my rough weekend.

    • roller coaster rider May 18, 2011 at 11:12 am #

      Oh, Bigmistake, thank you again for helping shed light on what is going on in the head of the CS during an affair. I can’t think of anything worse than the upcoming scenario at work for you with the AP and extended time together, not just a hotel but travel etc. and no wonder your wife is freaking out. You say you cannot afford to be unemployed but I don’t think your marriage can afford for you to have to be with the AP like this…there just has to be another option.

  199. Broken May 18, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    Does anyone feel this way? My H is the CS. He is doing everything right to repair our marriage. Why is then that I still feel so incredibly pained. The last 2 weeks I have felt like I did the weeks just following discovery. I cant live like this. Is it possible that what he did has destroyed the feelings I had for him? Some days I still love him and others I hate him. I feel like I need to go away for awhile. Its been 9 months now. Should I just be patient? Should I leave? Its like I went 10 steps forward and 100 steps back. I dont get it

    • changedforever May 18, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

      I understand you – I am 7 1/2 mths past DDay and share your feelings. I have not been thru the year ‘anniversaries’ yet as Linda mentioned sometime ago….i always tell myself if i can get to Chirstmastime (past ALL the anniversaries I have ahead of me,) I think I’ll be okay. I savor comments from this site from those ‘ahead’ of me…and ahead of us… I’ll hang in if you will…

  200. Jessica May 18, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    Broken,
    YES! My H is doing everything I have asked and now even more this weeken a real nice weekend planned away for the two of us! And now even more triggers are coming up the pain isn’t there but the thoughts are still there I found out July 27 and now I wonder can I make it to that date.2

  201. Jessica May 19, 2011 at 10:26 am #

    Last night at my sons’s baseball game I could tell the coach was irritable i am team mom so I called the coach after the game. He was talking about some issues on the team. Later he sent me abtext that he was also having some personal problems with his wife, immediately I texted him back that he needs to discuss these with her and show her he cares about her. This morning it got me thinking what if he reached out to another person who started a whole different dialog about what a wonderful great person they were just feeding his ego is this how the EA start? Is this how the E A started with my H? I don’t think he reached out to complain about our marital issues because he’s pretty closed about that but I do believe she stroked his ego and from what he told me she told him was how great he was etc.

  202. Jessica May 19, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    This has been a week of great conflictions what if I reached out to him? Unlike Big mistake wife I had no clue, how could I have known last June 6 when he said he was boating with a friend bob he really went to lunch with her? How could I have known last June 26 when he said he went to an industry picnic with the guys he went with her? So now here I am taking medicine building a wall around my heart because I don’t ever want to feel this pain again I haven’t quite forgiven him and don’t trust trying to make some sort of sense out of this insanity. He is really trying is it enough?

    • Broken May 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

      Jessica…I feel the same way. I had no clue either and I relive those 18 months thinking the same things. Was he where he said he was….I will really never know even though I ask it over and over. During football season we go to our sons college games and my H always left during halftime to “tailgate more with our friends” turns out from our cell phone records he was calling her. Now at my son sgames if he leaves I feel full of anxiety and they will never be the same for me thanks to his selfishness. You put it just right…is them trying really enough?
      Its like those 18 months of my life were nothing but a lie. I equate periods of time with what he was doing and it isn’t fair.

      And Brian Too….I wish I could stop asking questions…and I hate those triggers. I have been having a hard week and my H said something that really hurt me last night. Then when I said I was hurt…he said I guess I have to sensor what I say sad I cant talk to my own wife. I just wanted to say well go talk to her then!!!!! But it truely sucks for him because”her” new facebook pic is with a new man. Funny he almost looks exactly like my husband and the guy is about 20 years her senior just like my H. Destroy 1 family move onto the next.

      Sad that we are left in ruins. Well I can only hope tomorrow is a better day. Tonight is our usual date night…I truely dont even want to be with him this week.

      • Brian Too May 19, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

        Broken, Just remember, everything you did was done out of love and respect. We are only as good as our parents. As my therapist says” We are all generationally deprived” meaning: we only know as much as we learned from our parents and our surroundings. It doesn’t always mean it is 100% correct, but it is all we have. Like I say to my W, ” This EA had to happen in our lives” If it didn’t happen now, it would be in the future. This is the only chance we have to correct the deep problems that our CS has in their relationship with us. I know it takes two, but we have a chance to learn, use these tools, and get our relationship and marriages back better than ever. Some won’t work and that is “His Will” As we know it is hard and takes time, but we didn’t get to where we are right now, and look back with regrets. We have the opportunity to move forward and be better than we ever could have immagined.
        This OW that was with your H, has no clue. She is jumping from one relationship to the next without getting help. This is the person who needs therapy and counseling. Its funny now how we know so much more. If only we had these tools before marriage. I guess it is up to us to spread the word. I try and give positive advise to all the newley weds and young parents so they have a great future. Talking to all of you makes my problems look so small. Remember the small things and your day will be great. Things like waking up, breathing, a hug or smile from your kids. The simple things. Everything else is gravey. :-) Have a great day!

  203. B May 19, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    Stopping an EA seems damn near impossible sometimes. My biggest problem which I’m sure others have is that no matter how much my wife seems to be trying, I still have moments where I wonder what she is doing or who she might be with. It is like a freight train of thoughts barreling down on you. Amazing isn’t it? No matter how much you do for yourself, no matter how confident you become, one timy trigger can set you back to square one (at least momentarily). I’m taking care of myself, I’m not asking questions anymore, I’m just being the best husband I can be for me, the kids, and for us. That being said, I still wonder what she may be doing at various times during the day. Deception came so easy and happen so often, it becomes hard to believe it has been turned off. Just a thought.

    • Brian Too May 19, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

      Hey B, Just remember the lies and all those hidden secrets will only hurt those that are keeping them. They cannot hurt you or your kids. They are only as sick as those who are keeping them. Sometimes the truth is hard and hurts, but will shine brite over all. Keep doing what you are doing. That is what I have, and know it cannot hurt to be true to yourself and your kids.
      Those triggers as you mentioned, are in all of us. Some just have a deeper hurt and are hard to close. Also, we all have to hurt and cry, its good for us. It brings out our emotions, vulnerability and shows that we are human. This will only make you stronger. Keep up the great work and don’t quit. We are with you mind, and he in spirtit.

  204. Brian May 19, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    Our problem is my wife still insists it’s “just friends”. How do I stop the EA when according to her none exists? Do I give her an ultimatum? Or do I just let it continue in the hope that she will see the light? How can she respect me if I let her walk all over me?

    • Brian Too May 19, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

      Hey Brian, You just tell her she is a married woman and married people don’t posses those feelings. We all have boundries and if someone lets another person into their life intimately or too close emotionally that is wrong. We all have vows when we are married, such as honor, respect, cherrish, and love before all. What would it be if we had none of these? We have to be morally correct and have some married life standards. Otherwise there would be chaos in all marriages. As we know, someone who is in an EA is not thinking clearly and thinks what they are doing is ok. It is up to the therapist to help them. They are the professionals. We just try and do our best. I hope this helps.

  205. Broken May 19, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    Brian…I wish I had something thoughtful to say to help you to get your wife to realize what she is doing. Just hang in there is the best you can do. Follow Brian Toos advise…he seems like he has been where you are right now and I am sure hearing from another guy helps too. I feel a little hypocritical saying being strong when I am a puddle of mud this week but not always like this and it will get better. Take care.

  206. Brian May 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    It does, Too. Thanks for reminding me of what should be obvious to me and her. We commit to each other to safeguard against such transgressions, no doubt. I’ve been walking on eggshells for too long I guess. Hopefully our couples counselor is up to the task. Thanks again.

  207. D May 19, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    There is definitely a “fog.” My wife ended it numerous times, but it took his wife finding the emails to really make it final. Even then it was four months before No Contact was instituted. I couldn’t convince my wife to stop. Even coming to his office and trying to reason with him or later threatening to get him fired wasn’t enough. They both needed closure, to mourn the loss of not only an intimate relationship but a friendship as well. (Do you know how embarrassing it is to hear a 44 year old woman whine like a 16 year old girl? Wrap it up, Juliet. It’s over.)

    What surprised me was that it’s the aftermath of the affair that hurts more. I understand the seduction and excitement, the getting in over one’s head, the losing control and feeling responsible for the other’s feelings while still trying to be liked, to at least appear honorable and unselfish. But I thought that when it ended that would be it. Here I am, waiting with open arms, ready to take the whole hell of the affair into my heart for you, for us. Yet, you’re asking me to wait, to understand, to be patient while you grieve your loss? WTF is that about?

    The affair lasted 18 months. It’s been just over 14 months since DDay. There is happiness on the horizon, but she still has no clue what it was she asked of me.

    That fog is thick. I’m convinced that Stephen King’s The Fog was really about surviving the hell of a spouses affair.

  208. B May 19, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    Brian-

    Try what I have tried. Keep your moments where you feel vulnerable and hurt to yourself. Don’t show them to your wife anymore. Instead, live your life and be yourself. She will begin to notice and she will take note. Doesn’t mean she will snap too right away, but it does mean she will have to look at herself and make a decision. When you are a shell of yourself, you give her all the excuse in the world to justify her behavior, but when you are strong and committed to making your home a happy one, she has nothing to do but look in the mirror and blame herself. That is what I’m doing and it just might be working. As sad as it sounds, you have to learn to play the game that never should have been played in the first place. It is hard, it can hurt, but from this point forward you have to ask yourself “What do I want out of this?” Then start acting on it and go get it. She will either come around and help you put it back together, or she will leave. Either way you gave it your best shot and can be happy knowing you weren’t the reason for any of it.

    • Brian Too May 19, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

      B, You hit it right on the nose. I feel exactly the same way. Be better for yourself. Love yourself and be true to yourself. You can’t change people, places, or things, just youself. Doing this will only help to gain better results. This forces the other person to look deep at themselves. It will only get better for you. Keep up the good work and stay strong.

    • Brian May 20, 2011 at 6:19 am #

      Great advice, and this is exactly what I’ve been trying to do. Have to do better keeping my emotions to myself though. Most times I do. I try to make sure I’m upbeat at home and have fun with the boys, be the good father and husband I’ve always tried to be. It can only make things better… regardless of her decision.
      Thanks for the great post. I might print it to remind me…!

    • Melvin May 20, 2011 at 8:40 am #

      Agree with the B. Speaking from a male persepctive and being in the same boat. With the No Contact rule in effect and my attitude adjustment (showing her the sunny side of me), things have improved at home. There are still those bumpy roads from time to time. Trying to rebuild trust is now the hardest part as her job is very social and male-oriented. Be all you can be and let the chips fall where they may. I know, easier said then done.

  209. Dazed May 20, 2011 at 1:47 am #

    I am wondering how many people here think that their spouses or partners were or are in a full blown mid-life crisis when the infidelity happened??? I think that my partner is a classic textbook case. He is moody, hides stuff from me on his phone and computer, is suddenly very concerned with his appearance, keeps pushing boundaries, has stated he feels trapped, etc. I have no actual proof of an affair or hook ups but his behavior is textbook for midlife crisis and infidelity. He talks about our future together, our goals but is insulted that I would even fathom he has been unfaithful. He says that I am pushing him away but I also have to protect myself financially since I am the sole income. I recently changed jobs and our lives and lifestyle changed on a moments notice. He suddenly found himself alone for a few weeks when we were relocating and we bought a home together. I am not sure what happened when he was alone but our relationship definitely changed. He says he is here to stay otherwise he would not have bought a house with me. He told me last week that I am his one and only and he loves me from the bottom of his heart. I have stopped saying that I love him for the most part. I know more about what going on with him than he thinks based upon his behavior. I see him reading emails or text messages on his phone and then he starts smiling. I haven’t snooped nor will I. My gut tells me there is more going on than he is admitting to. I love him and just want to feel secure again and that I can trust him. I can’t make him happy, he has to choose that for himself. I know that I will be okay no matter how it turns out. How do I move forward from here?

    • Brian Too May 20, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

      Hey Dazed, You may be onto something. I think it maybe the mid-life crisis or depression that helps push the spouce into the EA. It all their life questioning and “What if’s. When they start to guess at what their life could have been, then it may be the time to start seeing a marriage or personal therapist.
      Like Doug has mentioned in his blogs, the CS or both spouces should be totally tansparent. Even though there is no known EA everything should be open between spouces. If you have to hide cell phone conversations or text, it may be something to check. Normally it is doing things out of the ordinary. You know your spouce better than anyone else and know their behaviors. Typically most married men, as most women are predictable when you have know them for so long. If there are drastic changes, such as dress, conduct, and attitude it is ok to be cautious. It wasnt until I got the whole” I love you, but I am not in love with you” speech, that really made me think. Every situation is slightly different, but most have the same pattern. Make sure you ask a few other close friends or relatives and see if they notice any differences. Typically it isnt hard to see the changes. I know, because when I talked to my in-laws, theyknew something wasn’t the same.
      I hope this helps. Good Luck and stay safe.

    • Norwegian woman May 21, 2011 at 2:49 am #

      Dazed.
      As Brian Too stated, there is a pattern. It MAY be just a mid-life crise, but it sure looks like more than just that. The e-mail and phone-message thing is a huge warning sign. You say that you do not want to snoop. Well, then you have to get real with him about what you feel. He probably will be insulted, but if there is nothing to hide it should not be any problems to show you his texts and e-mails. If he refuses, then you probably will have to snoop. Anyway, he will know that you are on to him.
      If you continue to let this pass, you will only make it worse. You say that you have stopped to tell him that you love him. After a while, you will start to draw yourself away from him in other ways, and really make it easy for him to have an affair.
      If you really want to stay married and feel safe, you have to work on what makes a marriage good. That means that you are transparent, caring and working with the two of you in mind in everything you do. Both of you.
      Most of us in here, have been in the position you are in now. The way you react to the changes, most of us have done before. Being distant, holding back, not sharing, not talking about the issue and so on. It only made it worse. And I am sorry to say that most of us had to discover that our spouses DID have an affair. Trust your instincts.

  210. Melvin May 21, 2011 at 12:20 am #

    Dazed,
    I know that a mid-life crisis did play a part in my wife’s EA. We are becoming empty nesters, she was beginning to question her life after child rearing and was having some self-esteem issues. With that said, her EA was really about her being selfish and taking advantage of freedoms that she was given. My good friend has become an empty nester also and is having a severe mid-life crisis. The new hot car, private vacations, phone calls that he has to take in private. He shows all the signs of having an EA and possibly a PA, however, no one knows for sure.

    I would trust your gut on this one – it sure sounds like there is something going on behind the scenes. I found that the best advice came from my counselor and reiterated by others here, that being to always show your spouse your best side. Stay upbeat and positive. As you show your happiness to your partner, he might just see that he has the best thing right here in your home. Make sure to take care of yourself as well. Do you have arguments with him over this issue ? My counselor warned me against challenging my wife so as not to appear to be pushing her away. Instead, he suggested keeping questions short, brief and don’t be argumentative. Make your point in a calm manner, get feedback and don’t fire back.

    Not sure if this helps you or not. Best always.

  211. Dazed May 22, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    Thank you everyone for your support. Things have been much better the last week or so. We have started an ongoing conversation and dialogue between us that has had some positive results thus far. Just need to reflect more on all of it. One of the biggest things we identified is that we both have a Vitamin D deficiency cause winter/rain won’t stop. We decided to join a tanning salon at the suggestion of a friend who is a doctor. He said that in moderation the tanning could help us both with the winter blahs and it has! My mood and my partner’s has been so much better and has helped us to do something together and to aid in our being open to our dialogue. I am not pulling away from him just working on giving me and him some space to process. We have also been exercising together and individually which is definitely been beneficial. I have really trimmed down and he is noticing. My self confidence is coming back. We have also been joking around more and doing activities together that we have enjoyed and still enjoy. He is making an effort to be more affectionate and I am doing a better job of listening to him about his dreams, wants, needs and desires. We will see how things progress.

  212. Jessica May 23, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    We went away for the weekend and I did something I wish my H had done I told him the truth. I don’t like who I have become in this marriage and as much as I love him ( enough not to want to cause him pain) I don’t know of our marriage will make it. All this time it has really been about him, why he did this, what was he missing, why the deception the secrets what werehis feelings towards her, does he still care? is he leaving me for her? Did he want to leave me was he going to? the pain at times almost unbearable and now I’ve become this very insecure jealous anxious person. It was like a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders, he was emotional and vowed to work even harder he doesn’t want to loose me, we still have one in college and the youngest at home, this isn’t a life I want for them divorced parents. I don’t know what will happen I love him that hasnt gone away but I also need to get better. I will NOT look at her facebook page anymore I am done with her even if it means I delete my own page. It’s time to take control of my life and it’s been almost 10 months, with the next two horrible months of triggers ahead.

    • Brian Too May 23, 2011 at 10:29 am #

      Jessica, great job on releasing the weight. It is good to just say,” I am done with the pain” and let him have the burden. Remember this is not your fault, there is nothing you could have done. Let him prove that he is going to do what it takes to make it work. This OW is nothing and she will not contol you. She is just a character in his fantasy world. Take everyday, one at a time. Don’t hurry it. Cherrish every day with the children you have at home and away. They will help to be your rock until your H can repair what he has done. Only in his actions will you be able to see whether he truley wants to fix what he has broken. Be strong and have courage to change the things you can.
      My childen have become my rock and have given me strength. I have learned to be a great father and husband, and be a happy person even though my W is still so much in the EA. The hurt is no longer there when she leaves, becasue I have told myself, I cannot change this. I can only be better for myself and my children. I can truley see it. The fustration, anxiety, confusion, and uncertainty that she is dealing with. Like yourself, I have said, ” I am done with the pain” . I have no control , so let the problem be her own and no one elses. I will help when it is my time, but until the CS realizes the problem lies within, there is nothing I can do. I am free and am in a better place. Nothing will hurt us anymore, because we all understand, and now have the tools to be strong.

  213. ppl May 23, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    same thoughts here. effort too much. wife wouldnt even read on what EA was. when marriage councellor told me i needed to woo her back, it became too much. being pleasent, supportive of her desire for space, keeping house going, full time work while she is dysfunctional. I have checked out. anything she does is fine. i wont leave home until my youngest is launched to college in a year but i am three months from my year aniversery of living a separate life (in the basement) and find myself happy with it. she will make statements like “i know you will never leave me” a week before she renews contact with other person. my nly advice is ignore the speach, watch the actions. spying doesnt work. dishonest people are great liars and learn from previous mistakes.