Marriage Crisis Management – The Ultimate Guide to Surviving the First Few Weeks After D-day

marriage crisisLast week I mentioned that it’s been five years since our D-day.  I think it’s safe to say that most of you are probably not quite that far along.  In fact, many of you just experienced your D-day.  This article is for you guys.

I wish that I could tell you everything that you need to do to recover and heal starting at D-day here in this post, but that is obviously not possible.  What is possible though is to give you a bit of a game plan or strategy to help manage the marriage crisis that is infidelity.

When infidelity strikes, the shock of the discovery tears your reality to shreds. Once this destruction happens, you’re overcome with shock, anger, blame, insecurity, confusion, and fear.  You’re experiencing a full-blown crisis. You need to be able to manage the crisis.

Most businesses, government agencies and educational institutions have policies and action steps in place should some sort of emergency or crisis occur. In fact, there are several crisis management models that exist for the various organizations to follow in the event of a crisis. 

It can be quite a complex thing to say the least and is outside of the scope of this post, but in general, crisis management models involve several steps.  For the purpose of managing the crisis of infidelity, and with the help of school system (since I’m a teacher) and behavioral crisis management basics, I propose the following steps:

1.  Ensure Safety

2.  Assess the Situation and Damage Control

3.  Get Support

4.  Create a Plan

5.  Adjustment

6.  Ongoing Assessment

These steps should be a decent guide for you starting with the discovery of the affair and through several months to years after D-day.  Though this isn’t a comprehensive guide or system, it should give you a solid knowledge of what you need to do. 

Much of this is based on our own successes and failures along our own journey to healing after an affair.

 

Ensure Safety

As a teacher, one of the first things that we are required to do in the event of a disaster or crisis is to ensure that the kids are safe and unharmed.  This too must be a priority for you initially.

After discovering an affair the sheer magnitude of the betrayal can send you into shock.  You can lose all sense of yourself very quickly.  You have to be safe.  You have to take care of yourself.

Here are some things to think about. 

First off, if there is any real or perceived threat to you or your family of a physical and/or violent nature, tell the authorities, get out of the house or get out of town if you have to.  As we’ve stated before, affairs can be life or death situations, so take the necessary precautions.

Assuming that is not the case… Take care of you and your needs first, both physically and emotionally.  Let the rest of the world mind its own business for a while. 

After our D-day I was a wreck.  I couldn’t eat or sleep and was basically miserable.  I couldn’t think straight, felt like a failure and even considered harming myself.  This is real serious and you’re probably not thinking rationally.

Allow yourself to mourn.  You’ve suffered a great loss and it’s OK to grieve over it.  It may be a good thing to schedule time where you can adequately reflect and perhaps spend a day or two in bed crying. Do it, and then try to pull yourself together, get back in the saddle and fight to survive.

Make sure that you are eating and sleeping so that you can maintain your energy and stamina.  This can be very difficult as you have no desire to do either, but you need to be able to force yourself to do both.

You may want to see a doctor to discuss what you’re going through and get advice on how to maintain your emotional and physical well-being.  You should also have the doctor check for any sexually transmitted diseases.

Meanwhile, you’re going to be on an emotional roller coaster for quite some time as one minute you might feel sad and depressed, and the next you are overcome with rage and revenge.  It’s important to try to get control over this as best you can.

  • Live in the present as much as you can. Focus on today and live one day at a time.
  • Don’t beat yourself up and do not blame yourself or feel guilty for the affair. This was not your fault!
  • Pay attention to what you’re telling yourself. Stay positive and remind yourself that you are strong, safe, and you can get through this!
  • Do not go through this alone!  Don’t isolate yourself from friends, family and co-workers.  However think carefully who you choose to confide in.  Try to choose someone who is removed from your situation someone who is not emotionally involved.
  • Try not to use your imagination to obsess about the affair details.  You will torture yourself.
  • Learn as much as you can about affairs, affair dynamics and relationships.
  • Try to deal with the pain you are feeling in proactive and positive ways and avoid turning to things such as alcohol, drugs and any other negative and destructive habits.
  • Pray.  I experienced some pretty tough times and prayer helped me to calm myself and fall asleep and I would wake up the next day with a renewed strength to get through the day.

 

Assess the Situation and Damage Control

You can’t manage a crisis effectively if you don’t really know all that you’re up against or the extent of the damage.

Think about the massive oil spill that happened a few years back in the Gulf of Mexico for a minute.  What did BP do shortly after the disaster?  They attempted to contain the spill while simultaneously trying to limit the negative impact of the spill on both the environment and the corporation.  In essence they were in damage control mode and tried to minimize the spill’s negative effects.  You need to do the same thing.

Information Gathering. One of the first things to try to accomplish is getting the details of the affair.   What kind was it (physical, emotional, etc)? How long has it been going on? Who is the other person? Where? What? Why? How? Basically, anything and everything you feel you need or want to know about the affair.  (Note:  You may want to wait for this step until you have gotten over the initial shockwave and have a decent handle on your emotions.)

As we all know, getting to the truth is typically much easier said than done but I won’t get into that in this post as we’ve addressed that several times previously.  Suffice it to say, that lies, stonewalling, gaslighting and denial will stand in your way of the truth.

Document anything that you see, hear, dates, phone calls, phone logs, times the cheater is away that is not normal etc..  It will help later when you attempt to separate the reality of the situation and what the cheater is telling you.  It will also give you concrete evidence that you are not crazy. 

Since I was experiencing all of those things from Doug, I had to use alternative methods to get the answers I needed.  I became an internet research freak, spending hours at a time searching for answers and for signs of hope.  I happened onto Dr. Huizenga’s site and bought Break Free from the Affair which helped me to know what I was dealing with and my realistic chances for saving our marriage.

Selective Disclosure. Try not to let your emotions get the best of you by running and telling everyone you know. In my opinion, it’s important to find out as much information as you can before you tell the kids, friends or other family members – if you tell them at all.  

Kids (especially younger ones) don’t need to know everything right away as they will usually wind up taking on the shame and guilt of the parents.  Your friends and family members’ seemingly well-meaning advice may not be in your best interests just yet.  And do you really want the whole world knowing your business anyways?  You may not care and have no problems telling your entire circle of friends, but I didn’t want to travel that route.

No Knee-jerk Reactions. Another important thing to remember is that major life changes or decisions should not be made at this time.  You’re too emotional, and whether you believe it or not, you probably are not thinking clearly.

Make a promise to yourself to give it some time before you make any life-changing decisions.  It could be 3 months or a year.  You decide.  Just be fair to yourself and give it 100% effort.  That said, if this is your spouse’s third affair, there is abuse or something like that, then I think it’s OK to ignore this rule.

 

Get Support

I didn’t mean to imply by my statements above that you shouldn’t seek support from friends or family.  You shouldn’t try to go through this marriage crisis alone.  However, it is important to know that you must be very careful here.  The wrong support system can do more harm than good.

Though your need for support is strong, be smart in who you confide in.  It’s probably best to try and talk to someone who is either trained in dealing with infidelity (therapist or clergy) or who has experienced it and survived it themselves (support groups, forums, blogs, mentoring). 

If none of those are realistic solutions for you then by all means friends and family can be a great alternative.  Just be sure to set some ground rules and don’t be tied to their advice should you not fully agree with it.

If you aren’t familiar yet with my whole story, I did confide in a couple close friends but found their advice to be too drastic.  If I would have followed it, Doug and I might not be married today.

Oftentimes you really just need someone who will listen.  Advice is typically not very useful early on after D-day as most people are too emotionally distraught to think clearly or make decisions that are in their best interest.  However, having someone who will listen is important.  Feelings become less intense and less intrusive when they are shared with people who care.

It is highly unlikely that you will get the support you need from the unfaithful spouse.  It’s possible, but unlikely.  They’re usually too worried about saving and covering their own asses to be of any good.  That being the case, any attempts to get support from the cheater will likely result in your negative feelings intensifying.

Find someone who will listen and take your needs and desires into account.  Find someone who will not make judgments and who is a friend of your marriage.

Go to a therapist on your own, do not rely on the cheater to make an ongoing commitment to therapy.  This should be for your own benefit, then when it is time you should attend some kind of couples therapy.

 

Create a Plan

Once you’re to the point where you have a feel for what has happened, it helps to make a plan for how both partners want to resolve the problem.  Is there a genuine concern, expressed by both parties, to try and save the relationship?  If so, where do you start?  What must you work on? 

I believe that creating a plan to save your marriage at this point is a little premature.  You’re not ready yet.  You have to deal with the betrayal and focus your efforts on surviving it. Work on this first then you can work on the marriage.

So how do you create a plan for surviving an affair?  Good question.

Let’s start with understanding where you are at now and where you want to be.  You are more than likely fully aware of where you are now emotionally and physically.  Knowing where you have to get to before you can start to work on repairing the marriage is a little harder to define. 

Does this mean you have to forgive first?  Do you have to get past the obsessive thoughts? Does trust have to be rebuilt before it can happen?  What about respect?  How can you repair a relationship when you don’t respect your spouse?  Is your spouse helping you to overcome the shock and awe of D-day?  If not, what does he or she need to be doing?  I cannot tell you or where you need to get to.  That’s up to you.

There are a ton of questions that you need to ask yourself (each of you, actually) so that you can set realistic goals or benchmarks before you can formulate a plan for attaining them.  This will require sufficient self-reflection as well as effective communication with one another. 

For example, after some careful thought, you may feel that one thing that has to happen before you can commit to and work on your relationship is that you have to have a greater level of trust in your spouse.  That’s certainly a realistic expectation.  Now, you need to define an acceptable level of trust somehow and then determine what’s got to happen for you to get there.   Make a plan.  Be specific.  Spell it out so that there are no gray areas. Write it down and come to a mutual agreement.  Sign it as if it’s a contract if that works for you.

Remember that it’s up to you.  Trust may not be necessary for you to start to work on your marriage.  It may be that you need to get a handle on your emotions and understand the “why’s” first.  You may need some therapy to help you with overcoming the trauma.  You may need to confront the OP.  The point is that YOU need to be in control and work towards what YOU need.

 

Adjustment

To me this step deals with coping with what has happened, understanding that you cannot change what happened and that your life and your marriage are now forever different.  You cannot deny that it happened so therefore you have to adjust. 

So at this point you have to grieve for the loss of your marriage as you once knew it and prepare yourself to cope with the new reality.

Since this post is focusing on the early days after D-day, it’s difficult for a betrayed spouse to look too far into the future and into what the reality of their relationship will become.  All you can do is focus on the present and make your adjustments and cope based on the here and now.

That said, wouldn’t it be nice to know what to expect down the road?

Here are just a few of the things you may experience in the coming weeks and months.  First the not so pleasant things…

  • Obsessive thoughts about the affair details.
  • An emotional roller coaster ride.  You will go from happy to sad to angry and everything in between.
  • Struggles with self-esteem, insecurity and feelings of worthlessness. Always wondering and worrying if you are good enough.
  • Loss of trust and respect for your spouse.
  • Comparing yourself to the affair partner – not usually in a good way either.
  • Sense of loss and grief with respect to your relationship.
  • Wondering if your relationship was all a lie.
  • Not knowing if your marriage will survive and concerns for what will happen to your family.
  • Wondering if you will ever get over this.
  • Diminished or total lack of desire for sex and intimacy.

And some of the more positive possibilities…

  • You can understand human nature and relationships much better.  The knowledge will help you regardless of what happens with your current relationship.
  • You can take what you will learn and create positive change for yourself and your relationship.
  • When you survive this you will know that you are strong enough to survive anything.
  • You will know and understand yourself better than you ever have before.
  • You will come to the realization that change is taking place inside of you and that only you control how that change will affect you.
  • It can serve as a catalyst for the unfaithful to gain knowledge and make positive life changes.
  • This crisis has a way of breaking down walls that have been built up over the years and there is the possibility that a new and stronger foundation can be built. 
  • Your “new” marriage can be better than the old one.

It’s important that you take an active role during your adjustment period.  That is, don’t just sit back and take a wait and see attitude.  Time may indeed heal all wounds, but in the case of infidelity if you take that posture it will take you much longer than if you permit yourself to reach for it.

 

Ongoing Assessment

With any crisis management program there has to be a constant monitoring of effectiveness and updating of procedures if warranted.  The same goes for infidelity crisis management.

Some thoughts on some things to watch out for…

  • Be aware when there is any sense of backsliding or if you simply feel that things are not progressing as you would have hoped. 
  • Monitor your day-to-day thoughts and feelings by keeping a journal, taking notice how you are affected by certain events. 
  • Take note of what triggers get to you the most and how they affect you. 
  • Communicate often with your spouse about your needs and what he or she can do to help you.
  • If you are seeing a therapist or counselor, keep track of your progress and the effectiveness of the treatment. Don’t be afraid to speak up if a different approach feels warranted.

Remember that just after D-day your goal is survival and self-care.  Also remember that this is a day-to-day thing.  Some days you will feel pretty good while other days you may feel horrible and think the world is going to end.  That is normal.  Expect this to happen and do not beat yourself up for allowing it to happen.

Having said that, if you feel that you are not progressing or that things are getting worse, then make adjustments to your strategies and consider that perhaps you need to seek professional help as soon as possible.  Remember that you are in control.  This is your plan.

No matter how much pain you are in after D-day, remember that it’s a temporary state. The marriage crisis mode that you are now experiencing will not last forever.  Although you might not think so right now, you can and will survive and there will come a day when this no longer hurts.

For those of you who are “newbies” please let us know what you are struggling with in the comment section below.  For those who are further along and have made it through the first few weeks after D-day, I’m sure you have some good advice or can share some experiences that can add to what I’ve written.  Thanks!

 

 

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35 Responses to Marriage Crisis Management – The Ultimate Guide to Surviving the First Few Weeks After D-day

  1. Doug October 9, 2013 at 6:41 am #

    No one is struggling with D-day or has any advice to share based on their own experiences?

  2. chiffchaff October 9, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    I think the immediate aftermath of discovery is so much of a blur that I definitely made it up as I went along and got quite a bit of it wrong. You have pretty much covered everything Doug.

  3. CBB October 9, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    On the spot CC. But the ‘new kids on the block’ might need some help here. Problem is no-one finds this site on DD-day. Part of the ‘reaction’ has already started an it is sooo overwhelming I’m not sure I would have been able to follow my own advise. Doug, I like your strategy approach which gives a checklist of principles to take care of and pitfalls you might not think about straight away and warnings for the most important mistakes.
    In my case I probably sensed the EA before it actually started. I told my husband in tears one night it felt like he and our ‘friend’ were falling in love. We were on holiday together (both families, six children total). The way he reacted and told me firmly he wasn’t going to change his attitude just because I had this crazy imagination gave me the gut feeling I was right. My H and the OW are coworkers as well. Some strange situations encountered earlier that year suddenly made sense. Should I have told him? I still think so, would the outcome be the same? Probably. It was only after that holiday I found tracks of phone calls at nights were I had a meeting, text messages piling up. I tried to find proof, I think you should find and keep the proof because the lying after DDay can make you even more insecure. It’s a hard one but I think you need it. I remember trying to get hold of his cellphone before he erased the message, I could only catch a few messages but they still flash in front of my Eyes when a trigger comes. I used them to make him admit he was lying but then of course he new a was checking his phone and the bills. I thought he understood and stopped the contact. But they had actually turned to office-mail. +/- one year later he accidently mentioned his password so I could log-in and have the biggest shock of needing a DDay 2. I’m sure this site prepared me somewhat for it (only then he got out of the fog). They change passwords every three months so had to trust him since then. Then the horror started as I suddenly realized the OW was a narcistic woman turning very nasty once she was confronted with my findings. So the real message I think I would give new-ones in the very beginning: only trust your self and try to get your act together for the outside world. It is either it’s an eye-opener and you’ve been there before and you want out, or you never expected this possible from your husband and ‘friend’. If you want out you need to be well prepared so think straight, get the right professional help and plan your exit (somewhat like Tom Cruise’s wife did..). If you think this is not possible, it’s some stupid mistake your H and/or friend will surely realize don’t count on it. The shock of their reactions after DDay2 were a bigger one than the EA in itself. Although the copied texts and mails are just a handful I still need them to prove after 2,5y this was not just a good friend and I don’t see things that aren’t there. It also reminds me of their reaction once I start believing them. Don’t do anything drastic before you know where you stand. If it’s over, taking a month or so before deciding will not change anything. Although you need to put your foot down asap. maybe not an ultimatum but just let them know you will not tolerate this behavior. And for the OW beware of the ‘bunny boilers…’ I had a letter ready to send for my ‘ friend ‘ the OW, so glad I never did. As she turned out she would have had my weakness on a silver platter to use. Beware of talking to family and friends connected to your H as long as your marriage is still an option. Even if they’re supportive it will also change their views on your H later on. But take care of yourself ! Suddenly I was to much of a wreck even to just survive and If I ended up in divorce I’d be an easy pray. So I told myself : If he doesn’t want me anymore no use in begging him to stay. So I started to run our family life as if I was divorcing, taking care of me and the kids, distancing myself a bit from my H so the pain would be bearable. It helped me a lot, I felt stronger by the day, and for my H I was suddenly more interesting again. It ‘s only then I could start working on all of this mess. Take care

    • Doug October 9, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

      Thanks for sharing CBB. You’s be surprised how many emails we get though from people who just found out. I’m sure they can use all the help that we can give them. (BTW…gotta give credit where it’s due…Linda wrote this)

  4. CBB October 9, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    Don’ want to sound sexist Doug but of course : I should’ve known . LOL

  5. CBB October 10, 2013 at 3:11 am #

    Maybe we could use some input from CS. I know it’s risky but the fact you’re on this site means you’re probably interested in understanding and helping yourself and spouse. Not your grief, pain, guilt ,excuses …(not this time) but what gave you the wake-up call, what reactions got you out of the fog, when did you realize the devastating mess you made, when did you realize you made that choice and felt responsible for your actions, which reactions of your BS got to you, which made you run away, which got you frustrated made you give up…

  6. Gizfield October 10, 2013 at 7:12 am #

    CBB, it’s been over 20 years since I’ve been a Cheater, but I wil l give input as best I can. I will first say that I was never Caught, only suspected. I had an on again, off again affair with my high school boyfriend when I was about 30. I didnt make a distinction back then, but it was primarily Emotional rather than Physical in that we only had sex once, the last time I saw him. I had one of those ephipanies that you hear about in that any feelings I had toward him totally disappeared, literally on the blink of an eye. I justremember thinking What on earth do I see in this guy?

    I think most cheaters who are caught expect to be given their Walking Papers right then and there and it’s an extreme shock to them when they are not. When my husband told me he had been dating someone and wanted a divorce, what did I do? Tell him I want to save the marriage and become Super Whore. Eeeew. I think this was a mistake, and if I had it to do again I would have at least Separated from him for at least a month and made him Win his way back into my home and bed. I feel a lot if the issues betrayed spouses deal with is that the Cheater is worried about their affair partner and losing them, when they should be worried about losing their spouse and family. Once you give them a second chance, I feel like they dont take you seriously and that most betrayed spouses are doing all the work. so the Cheater feels like they dont have to. Just my opinion.

  7. Lynsey October 10, 2013 at 7:56 am #

    First and foremost, the BS should never blame themselves or feel any inadequacy. Somehow, I never fell into feeling like this and it helped to get me through. This was a stupid choice on the part of the cheater. Don’t let the CS blame you. The AP is NOT better than you. They are manipulative scums who know how to stroke egos to get what they want. Also, knowledge is power. Research and read all that you can about EA’s/PA’s. Take advice from this site and recommended books, audios. Only you know your spouse, so use what you think is best. Be prepared for lies,lies and more lies after D-Day. It’s rarely “over” after d-day. As already mentioned, get proof, make copies of emails, etc. They hurt so much to read, but in the early days, confusion, reigns and emotions are high. These will keep you focused on reality, especially if the CS is a stonewalling you. Most often, the CS remains in the affair fog and you will be stuck in limbo which is most frustrating. Set limits, timelines and boundaries and stick to them. I wouldn’t wish this hell on anyone, but with work, your marriage can survive. I’m 20 months out, and am on the way to a better marriage. It can be done. Good luck and hugs to all.

  8. Gizfield October 10, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    I’ve thought about this a little more. I believe the two main mistakes BS makes in dealing with Cheaters is 1) giving them TOO MUCH INFORMATION and 2) TOO MUCH POWER. It’s like playing poker, showing the other person your hand and expecting them to use it to your advantage. By letting him stay, with no consequences, I never let my husband discover that HE IS HIS OWN PROBLEM, not me. If he had been left with only his whore and his freedom, he would have discovered that real QUICKLY. he didnt have to worry about the marriage cause I was doing all that for him. Big mistake. If he’d had to worry about where his next meal, or blowjob, (keeping it real) or ego boost was coming ftom, he might have taken a look inward. But he didnt have to, so he didnt. They very seldom do it voluntarily, especially without some outside influence, lol.

    • Strengthrequired October 10, 2013 at 10:16 am #

      Giz, I agree with what you said completely. In my case I think I was more afraid to lose my h, my children as well if she got her way. I could have lost my h, that was devastating enough, but I couldn’t bare not having my children. It would have really ended me to lose my family to her the ow.
      So I put up a good fight, I tried and failed miserably in some instances, and she seemed to be always on top, one step ahead. Yet I kept trying. Why I kept putting myself through this, because my children deserved me too.
      My h said, if it was me having the ea, he wouldn’t have been happy, but he too would have done what I did, fight tooth and nail to keep our family together, to protect what’s ours.
      I wonder though whether he really would have lived through what he and his skank did to me. I somehow don’t think he would have. Maybe I don’t give him enough credit, but I just don’t think he would.

  9. Gizfield October 10, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    If hes like my H, strength, hes pretty weak willed. They probably would not make it.

    Even the thought of this nasty skank being around my daughter for one second almost gives me a heart attack. I cannot even imagine. I know before I had a child I had noidea what a powerful motivator protecting your child is. If he really wants/wanted this scuz thats one thing, they are welcome to it, I’ll live. Bringing the trash around my child is a whole nother story .

  10. so naive October 11, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

    I absolutely agree with you Lynsey…don’t EVER blame yourself. We weren’t the ones that couldn’t keep our pants on. Just 2 weeks ago, I asked him if he was so unhappy a year ago then why didn’t he just leave me then before he went to bed with his mistress. He answered that he thought he could have it all. His family, his children, his life, me and his mistress. I think he felt entitled. After 24 years of marriage, I’m still having a hard time accepting the fact that he did what he did. I’ve learned you should always trust your gut feelings. I so wanted to trust him that I closed my eyes to what was happening. I had four Ddays of learning bits of his affair before my rock bottom 5th Dday just 8 weeks ago when I finally learned how far his EA/PA had truly gone. She lives half way across the country so it NEVER occurred to me they had met multiple times. Nine months ago I discovered sexual emails, my mistake was I confronted him that night about them; he swore he was done with her and I trusted him. If I had only watched for a few more days without him knowing, then I probably would have discovered then that they had already begun their PA. All the pain I lived this year may have been different if I had just quietly watched. I kept believing if I was the perfect wife then everything would just go away. It doesn’t work that way. Our H will continue to feel entitled until you put a stop to it. When she sent him my letter, he said he was relieved. He was tired of all the lies. He was lying to her as well. His mistress told me everything; she felt betrayed too. It’s amazing how quickly they become the perfect spouse when their dream world crashes in on them. Writing her the letter was the smartest thing that I did, I only wish I did it months earlier.

    • Strengthrequired October 11, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

      SN, i too wanted to just believe my h each time he said it was over with her. I guess we cling onto, as you said if by just being the perfect wife it will just go away. It definately doesn’t. Go away so easily. All because it wasn’t about us to begin with.
      I used to send txts to the ow, telling her what my h tells me about how he wants to be with his family, how he would tell me what he tells me about her etc, but all she would do is hang on tighter. I think the only thing I got from it was getting it off my chest, that’s it.

  11. so naive October 11, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    SR you are so right. It definitely wasn’t about us. After so many years of marriage, our H had forgotten how wonderful we are. When a much younger woman flaunted herself at him, he lost all sense of morality. I even sent her a few texts when I first found out, but he made up stories to her and she believed him; so I gave up texting her. These OW have everything to gain and nothing to lose. She even tried to contact him again since Dday. I’m one of the lucky ones and my H realizes that I’ve had enough of all the lies. He’s being very open, honest and caring with me; trying to make up for all the hurt he caused. I know it has only been a short time since Dday; so I continue to keep my eyes open. SR I’m so sorry that you had to go through this hell as well. I pray that our H continue to be the men that they promised us they would be.

    • Strengthrequired October 11, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

      My h ow was only 4 yrs younger than me and a cousin. He forgot me after all these yrs and 6 children together for a cousin and one who dropped him from her life for 20 yrs, until she needed someone to take the blame for not helping her leave her h (whom btw hasn’t divorced him, even though he was so terrible) and to also help her raise her kids an support her financially. God forbid she didn’t get to keep up with her cigarettes.
      If you can believe it, she told him that she loved him since she was 9 yrs old, and has always loved him. I don’t know about you but that is sick. Also if she was so smitten with him why did she wait 20 yrs before declaring her undying love, and why drop this man from her life for that long too.
      That’s not love and shame on my h for falling for it.

  12. so naive October 14, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    SR she sounds like a complete user/leach and yes that’s sick. What was he thinking? It’s crazy that our H just can’t see them for who and what they really are. I asked my husband just the other day if he’ll ever hate his OW for all the pain she caused our family/children. I said she definitely knew what she was doing. He responded that he couldn’t hate her. He’s still taking all the blame and thinks she did nothing wrong. I wonder if he’ll ever realize how little she cared about our family, how selfish she truly was. She wanted my life and didn’t care who she hurt.

  13. Strengthrequired October 14, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    SN, that’s the problem Hun, we have good husbands that got led astray by a needy ow who was scared about losing her way of life, by not being able to support her kids or herself. Of course our husbands take all the blame, because that’s just the way they are, that’s why the ow tried to get what she could.
    My h really just felt sorry for her, what does that say about her. I just think our husbands got to deep into something they were unsure of how to handle, don’t forget these ow were needy, sorry sods that needed someone to help them, speaking for my husband he felt worried she would do something to herself, so he wad hoping she would get tired of him. Which we both know as women, that these ow who can stoop so low at trying to break a family with no second thought or even care in the world on who was hurt long her way, just o she can liv the life we have lived, steal our family and not care about the effects it has on our children because she wanted their mother out of their lives too, for her on financial gain, now that sort of ow isn’t going to just get up and go away on her merry way.
    Sounds like your ow is like my ow, are you sure they aren’t TH same. Lol

    • Strengthrequired October 14, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

      I wonder the same too SN, about whether he will ever have hate for the ow, yet I think that will come with time. When they si back and see how deluded these ow really are, how crazy they can be, it will hit them. My h already knows he dodged a bullet, he already knows she didn’t care about his family.
      Now this is crazy, my h ow wanted my h to treat her children as if his own, my h told her no, they are not his kids. She wanted him to give them things every time he gave our children something, he said no.
      My h even told her that he wanted nothing to do with her family and friends, yet she still wouldn’t let go.
      Now I’m not sure about you, but if I was in a new relationship and wanted to have this man in my life, if he didn’t want to anything to do with my family I would have said goodbye. Why would you want someone that doesn’t take all of you, and want to spend time with your relatives, yet that wasn’t her agenda anyway.

      • Strengthrequired October 14, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

        Ohh she used to get angry with him and argue about him not giving her children money etc. She believed that he had to do this for her.

  14. so naive October 15, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

    SR…wow she sounds like a true leech. She was so obviously using him. It sounds like he stepped in to be her Knight in Shining Armor and she took advantage of it; wanted more and opened her legs to get what she wanted. In that sense, she does sound like my H ow.
    My H met his OW about 5 yrs ago thru work. She was having personal problems and he started off and on over the yrs emailing and calling her to console her and he even mentioned her to me and at one point asked me if she could fly out and stay at our home while he helped her find a job here! I told him I didn’t feel comfortable having a total stranger stay in our home and I said no; about 6 months later is when they started their PA. I had always felt if you didn’t have trust you had nothing; so I trusted him 100%. She saw his goodness and took advantage of it and started flirting with him. He had just turned 50 and old enough to be her father. They started texting and calling each other ALL DAY LONG at work! I think it made him feel like a kid again. That’s when he got lost in the FOG…he lost all sense of reality. He was living 2 lives. She told me that he showered her with gifts…his gifts “were everywhere”. All the Thousands of Dollars of OUR money he spent on her; the plane tickets, expensive hotel rooms, clothes, gifts, etc. It just makes me sick and angry to think about. She can’t have children so they never even used protection. Good men are hard to find out there; so she set her sights on mine and was completely clueless to how many people she was hurting. She wanted my life so she believed all his lies. I think he was so deep in the FOG for awhile; that he believed his own lies too. Our 5 children (all teenagers including 2 daughters) saw me in pain and cry for the last year. They all had an idea of what was happening and he didn’t care. What a great example he was…what does that teach our children! The FOG he was living in finally lifted when I said I had enough and wrote her the letter. I told him it was important to sit down as a family (since they were all teenagers) and let them know it was over and we would become a strong family again. That was the hardest thing he did, but it needed to be done. Afterwards, the kids all gave him a hug and told him they loved him. He really needed that. The lies were finally gone.

    • Strengthrequired October 16, 2013 at 6:28 am #

      SN, doesn’t this part of our life seem to be never ending. I’m grateful to still have my h and my family still together, but honestly who expects some ow is going to waltz right in and try and take over after decades of marriage. You would think that after what I thought was a pretty good marriage, and considering we had been past 3 7yr itches that we were doing a pretty darn good job. Boy was I wrong.
      This ow is most definately a leech, ohh how she complpained to him how her h never took her anywhere in her 20yr marriage, how she missed her mother and father overseas etc, well my h thought ohh imwill do something nice for her and take her places since she had separated from her h, he then without me knowing paid her ticket to meet him overseas to see her parents, this is where she made her disgusting move on him, thismis where she started to put her intentions into overdrive on him, and also enlisted her family for help.
      She had to get him out of the country with me no where near him to make her move. You know out of sight out of mind.
      Somwhen he arrived back home he was a different person that left, he was not the person I know and love.
      I tell you it had taken months to even see a glimpse of the man I married.
      She thought she Had him when they arrived home seperately of course, didn’t think he would have feelings for me after she got to him. That was her mistake.

  15. hippee October 18, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    I’m struggling with the fact she hasn’t consented to end it. She broke contact 2 days ago(so she says) and doesn’t know if that will continue. She told me she thinks she may be in love with him and needs to figure out how she feels. She’s not sure if she’s still in love with me. I’m 17 days from finding out and confronting her and I don’t know which way is up. I cry for no reason. I want to expose the affair to his wife and all his facebook friends, I get furious, I can’t eat or sleep. I have lost 15 pounds in the last 17 days. I just can’t see why she doesn’t understand that if she wants to work on figuring out if our marriage is what she wants she has to do it without him. She tells me it’s not a choice between he and I but if he’s still involved how can it not be?

  16. so naive October 18, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    Hippee…I’m so sorry that you have been dragged into this hell like the rest of us. I don’t know your story but what you said here, but from my experience unless you put an end to it by contacting the other side of the affair it will continue. Multiple times I found out bits of what was going on and my H swore he was done and would never have contact with her again. I learned later that he would try for a day or two but couldn’t stop contacting her and they would just get more discreet about it.
    It sounds like she is very deep in the FOG still. I definitely wouldn’t announce the affair on FB, but personally I would contact him or his wife about what has been going on. You need to get both sides of the affair out of the FOG and have reality hit them. Until reality hits them both, she is going to continue to be confused. Sometimes they get so deep in the FOG that they start to believe there own lies. I believe this is the only way she will be able to think straight. Remember to take care of yourself. She will need to see how strong you are and how much you love her when the fog lifts. Hugs to you

  17. hippee October 21, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    We’ve been talking about where she is. We had a big blowup Saturday night, instead of letting her hook my inner child and allowing her to shut me out. I forced her to talk to me about it. She says she’s trying really hard to do the right thing, she’s made her decision, but he keeps telling her one thing and doing another. She has begun showing me every time he texts her. (twice yesterday) and that there are no responses. After our three hour talk saturday, where I came from a place not of anger, but unconditional love, whether I think she deserves it or not, when we got in bed, she grabbed my face , cried, and expressed to me how sorry she was that all this happened. I told her she was only vulnerable because we were broken, and equally at fault for the brokenness. She kissed me with a desperation and passion that I had not felt from her in a long time. It culminated with intamacy and now I’m not sure how to move forward. I’m praying to God for strength every day, I don’t know what else to do.

    • Strengthrequired October 21, 2013 at 7:51 am #

      Itnsounds to me hippe, that your wife has started to see what is right in front of her all along, you. They get torn between real life and fantasy, fantasy seems so wonderful up until the affair comes known it gets harder to keep blocking out all the people they are hurting around them.
      Sounds to me that you have finally started to break that wall that your wife built up. That is a great step in the right direction.
      It is a very confusing time for you, but you need to take one day at a time and watch all the improvements that happen. They may only subtle to begin with, but you will see it as a huge difference as time goes on.
      I thought I would never get to hold my h again once his ea came to light, I thought I was going to face the love of my life being with another woman, and see only hatred for me in his eyes. Yet compared to that moment at the beginning of his ea, it is a huge difference and I can see more hope for our future. Compared to feeling,Ike all was lost.
      If it didn’t work out, one thing I can always look back on and that is I tried for my family to keep us together. I did my best and can hold my head high.

      Good luck and I do hope each day for you brings you and your wife closer and this om of hers out of the picture really soon.

  18. hippee October 21, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    Thank you so much strength. I have been journaling about all of my feelings. When I get insanely jealous or angry I write it down. All the crazy viscious anger, so that I can process and when I talk to her about those things, I come from a place of unconditional love and understanding, not a knee jerk reaction to the hurt. That’s what precipitated the fight on Saturday, she read my journal after I saw that I had been crying. The things I write in their are raw and reactionary. She blew up. I chased her down and told her exactly that. Yes, I’m mad as hell, Yes I feel disrespected, and Yes this hurts more than anything ever could. But I need to process and grieve if I am ever to truly forgive her and live without bitterness in my heart. If you don’t want those reactions from me, then don’t read it. She can if she wants, I’m not hiding anything, and for the first time in fifteen years I’m an open book with my feelings. I’m hiding nothing. She isn’t attatched to her phone anymore, she admitted to me it was hard for her not to contact him (I explained it can be like an addiction, from what I’ve read) but she was trying really hard to do “the right thing”. I told her even though you two were “friends” (I believe he had ulterior motives all along, my wife is stunning) before. If you commit to this marriage you can NEVER be friends again. That will be a deal breaker for me. I wrote in my journal today, he keeps feeding her lines about needing space to figure things out, that he’s not sure, that he wants her to figure things out on her own, then 8 hours later he would text her like nothing was wrong, business as usual. He doesn’t want to let her go, no matter what he says. They’ve been arguing since I found out. I think when she told him I knew, I became a threat to his little game. He told her he didn’t want her to go to counseling with me, he told her it bothers him that I sleep in the bed with her, and I’m sure he’ll blow his lid if he finds out we made love Saturday night (that’s what it felt like to me for the first ime in years). He’s controlling and selfish in his own little way and I think she’s beginning to see that. She has opened up to me about her feelings in the last week, and I listen, regardless of the pain or how hard it is to hear, and treat her with kindness and compassion regardless of her sins or shortcomeings, as Christ demands. I just have to take it slow, it’s a rollercoaster. During the EA she met him twice, alone, and in cars in a parking lot and they kissed, nothing further than that. I’m trying to believe her and holding out hope that this is the truth, I’m also holding on to God and asking him to remove bitterness and resentment from her heart, and feel it with love to open her eyes to the beauty that is us, which can be recaptured and built stronger than ever before, What God has made, let no man put asunder……right?

  19. Gizfield October 21, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    Hippie, you can think what you like, but if she is causing you to feel guilty about being mad about what she did with another msn, etc. shes not accepting responsibility and it will just go on as long as you let it. This is my opinion only. Unconditional “love” in these situations usually only gets you more of the same. Again, only my opinion.

  20. hippee October 21, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    I appreciate that, she’s not making me feel guilty at all about what her choices were. I told her that SHE made the choice and YES I’m angry. She’s struggling with herself. She’s feeling the pain and guilt of hurting me the way she did. And part of our issues has always been that her initial reaction to ANY conflict is to fly off the handle and shut down. This didn’t help us before and it won’t help us now. Even if I do it, reacting out of pain and anger only leads to more hurt, so I process, and then try and talk, with minimal controlled anger, tempered with love and kindness in an effort to get to the root of the issue, so that we can move forward, not stay stuck in a cycle of saying things to hurt one another. I was only referencing my part and responsibility in why we were broken. We BOTH share that responsibility equally. It’s what made her vulnerable to another man’s advances. The choice to accept and act on those advances? 100% hers, and I’ve told her that.

  21. Gizfield October 21, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    I wasn’t really saying (at least I didn’t mean to) that she is making you feel guilty about her choices, but it does sound like she is making you feel guilty about how you respond to them. It’s all about shifting responsibility from THEM to YOU. it’s the oldest Cheater Game in the book, and the most popular from what I’ve seen. Each person deals with this on their own way, and I’m certainly in no way trying to criticize yours :~).

  22. hippee October 21, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    I get it Giz. I just wanted you to know where I was coming from, and I do appreciate your opinion. Today I have a little hope. We have talked extensively over the weekend. I think she is being honest with me about how she feels. She tells me it’s difficult for her, and I think she may be beginning to see him for the mindgame player that he is. The fog may be lifting a little. Or she is lying to me and is going further underground. Either way, I need to resolve my own issues so that in the future this NEVER happens again, with or without her. I’m coming to realize that I am a kind and compassionate person who has let his self esteem issues go too long. I don’t deserve the pain I am feeling, but it’s something I need to grab ahold of and process, not bury, so that I may grow as a person.

  23. Gizfield October 21, 2013 at 10:15 am #

    You sound like a nice person. I’m feeling hopeful for you as well!

  24. hippee October 21, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    Thanks Giz. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my lofe and I’m in survival mode but I’m more ready and willing than ever to do the digging and and all the hard work. This sort of thing really makes you take a long look in the mirror and admit things I just wanted to gloss over before.

  25. tweet November 21, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    Interesting article in the Boston Globe magazine this past Sunday:

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2013/11/17/the-state-extramarital-affairs-getting-caught-and-cheater-meter/o3juJzkgQwkJ6GOu0bXliO/story.html

  26. Nortel April 9, 2014 at 8:43 am #

    My d-day was 7 Jan 2014 and he lied initially until he was forced to tell me the truth. I was so distraught, and not wanting our marriage to be over, I allowed him to be in limbo with both her and I while he was ‘trying’ to see if he can fix things with me, and keeping her as a ‘safety net’. This process absolutely killed me… I have no idea how I made it through. However, he eventually did leave her on 17 March, as I started putting up a fight that he must surely know by now what he wants, and he must just choose or i will leave. But Im left now feeling rather used and feeling like is this what I really want or not…he says he fell in love with her. I had a tracker on his car and I saw the many times he went to see her. I was able to snoop around on his phone until he caught me, but I saw the texts and am brokenhearted by the love i witnessed on the messages. Now that the OW is gone (as far as I can tell) I don’t have that constant pain everyday, however my H will not reveal any further details of his affair as he believes it was over in his head with us, because of how bad things were, and also that he will not be subjected to such questions. And it kills me because this means he won t admit his guilt. he even says he’s not ashamed of the relationship as it wastn an affair. he’s just glad that he didn’t divorce as he wouldn’t have the chance with me now to work things out…its so hard to believe him and trust what he says. And its hard to work on things with someone not on same page as you, as he doesn’t see it as infidelity and therefore i do not know if he knows the deep pain he has caused me, and how do i know it will not happen again? And Im also plagued by feeling that he’s in love with her and hence trying to protect the information and her. Or maybe he just chose to stay with me out of obligation. I’m just confused. There are days i feel like calling the OW just to hear some bits of truth to what happened as he wont tell me much…but i know its probably a bad idea as she will just laugh and know how much chaos she has caused for me…

    • Doug April 11, 2014 at 7:43 am #

      Nortel, thanks for sharing. We’ve seen many cases where the betrayed spouse who endures what you have, then end up wondering if it is all worth it and whether they’d be better off without their spouse. In my opinion, the battle is now primarily your husband’s to fight and he needs to do the things that can make you heal and “win” you back.

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