Welcome to Our Journey From an Emotional Affair!

trust after infidelityHi!  We’re Linda and Doug and the purpose of this site is to share our story in the hopes that it will help those who are suffering, or have suffered from an emotional affair – or any type of affair for that matter. 

What may be unique about this blog, is that we will share our story and the underlying emotions that each of us felt along the way.  We will also be open to answering any questions and offer any kind of help that we can to any of you who feel compelled to ask or make comments.

We will also present tips and resources that we have utilized on our journey that have been highly effective for us, and should be for you too, whether you are in an affair or are a victim of an affair.

We are not psychologists or marriage counselors, or professional writers for that matter.  Rather, we’re just a normal couple that has been married for more than 30 years that has actually lived through a devastating emotional affair and have successfully mended our marriage. 

Our sincere hope is that you can learn from our experiences and from the community that exists on this site so that you can save your marriage, recover from the affair and ultimately strengthen your relationship.

 

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Survive and Thrive after Infidelity
You deserve to have a marriage that doesn’t just survive - it thrives!

We’re here to show you the right way to survive infidelity so that your marriage doesn’t become some sort of statistic.

We’ve been in your shoes and are in a unique position to put all of our experiences – both good and bad, successes and failures – and use them to help lead you out of the pain and into a better place.

 

Things to do First

If you haven’t already, please take a moment to subscribe to our blog and  when you do you will receive our popular free report:  “The 10 Most Important Lessons About Surviving Infidelity.”  All you have to do is click this link to get started. 

 

What next?

After doing the above, you may want to start reading some of our posts.  With over 1000 of them on the site it can be tough to figure out where to start. 

It would be pretty safe to say that the older posts would be more appropriate to someone who might have recently discovered an affair or is involved in one.  However, even the newer posts resonate with people regardless of what stage of recovery they are in and their comments will reflect that.

Since this blog documents our journey over time, you will see a natural progression in topics. There is a List of Categories as well as a monthly list of all of our posts going back to December 2009 on the Archives page.

 

Favorite Articles

Here are several articles that have been favorites of our readers  and a few more that are our personal favorites.

 

Top 10 Viewed Articles of All Time According to Google

Cheating Spouses – 6 Reasons Why Their Affair Won’t Last

When the Other Woman Becomes the Wife

Emotional Affair Signs

It’s Tough To Stop an Emotional Affair

When Affair Partners Marry: 9 Reasons Why They Might Fail

How it All Started

Getting Over an Affair: Dealing With Affair Withdrawal

Affair Recovery and the 7 Stages of Grief

Is The Cheating Spouse Living With Regret?

Real Reasons the Emotional Affair Happened

 

Six of Our Personal Favorites

My ‘Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda’ List

Stupid Things Said While in an Affair

My Letter to the OP After the Emotional Affair

Why Cheating Men (and Women) are Assholes and How They Can Become Less of an Asshole

Recovery and Trust After an Affair – Trusting the Rope

10 Elements of a Successful Marriage (How We Survived Two Weeks of Vacation Together)

 

 

Programs

Over the last few years we’ve put together some very popular programs based on our own experiences, surveys, research and with the help of other readers.  You can learn more about them here:  http://www.emotionalaffair.org/our-programs/

 

Infidelity Guides

We have also created 3 Infidelity Guides that include several posts that are topic specific.  They are…

Surviving the Affair Discovery (D-day)

For the Unfaithful

Rebuilding Trust

 

It’s a Community

We feel that it is absolutely extremely beneficial for you to read the comments that our readers have written in response to our posts.  We have a bit of a community feel here and the group is supportive and can offer a wealth of knowledge based on their own experiences. Don’t be shy!  If you have a question, comment or need support – post it!

 

How to Find What You’re Looking For

If you are looking for something on a particular subject, you might want to do a “search” using some keywords or phrases.  You can find the search button in the right hand part of each page about a fourth of the way down.  Additionally, you can always head to the Archives page.

 

Express Yourself!

Get involved with the discussions on various infidelity and marriage related topics.  They tend to be quite popular (as long as we pick a good topic!), and you can often find several informational gems that can be beneficial.

The following link will take you to all of our past discussions:

http://www.emotionalaffair.org/category/discussion/

 

Resources

For books, courses, websites, etc. that we have utilized along the way and recommend you can find them on our “Resource” page.

 

Get Help Now!

If you need immediate personal help from either Linda or Doug (or both), you might want to consider our mentoring program. For more information on this program click the following link:  http://www.emotionalaffair.org/mentoring/

 

Please Share It!

We would also appreciate that if you read a post that you really enjoy that you pass it along via Twitter, Facebook or any of the other social media outlets. You can find the little sharing buttons at the end of each post.

 

Contact Us

If you ever have the need to contact us, feel free to do so at:  http://www.emotionalaffair.org/contact-us/

 

Thanks again for stopping by, and we hope that you will join us and benefit from this journey from an emotional affair!

Linda & Doug

 

 

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197 Responses to Welcome to Our Journey From an Emotional Affair!

  1. Becky January 19, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    Thank you so much for this site. I am in the midst…well, actually the end of my husband’s affair. He is still talking with her and has pretty much said that he is going to continue. We’ve been married for almost 12 years, 3 kids. He’s a teacher, she’s a teacher. I’m not. She actually moved schools for an unrelated reason, but they still talk almost every morning while he is driving our kids to school. It got up to 2000 minutes at one point. It now has settled in at about 400 per month. I am at a loss. We actually have talked about getting a divorce, but I dont’ want that and I don’t think he does either. He just simply says he shouldn’t have to sacrifice something just because I ask him to. He was never like this before – but is now and I honestly have no idea what to do. We’ve been together for 16 years – since high school. I’m so overwhelmed and would love nothign more than to ruin this girls life. She’s 24. He’s 36. I can’t compete with a 24 year old and I shouldn’t have to. She only sees the part of him that he wants her to – not the part that can’t pay bills on time or is moody or is a workaholic.

    Anyway – just wanted to say thank you.

    • admin January 20, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

      Thank you so much for visiting our site. I hope that we can help. As I was reading your email I was brought back to a time where I was in your shoes, feeling the same way you feel and not knowing where to turn and what to do. Not knowing your situation or you personally, I feel that I can not give you specific advice yet. However I did think of several books, websites, and advice that I received that helped me tremendously which I would like to share them with you. As I began to compile everything in my mind I realized that I have so much to share that I thought I would put it in an article for everyone to see. However if you have specific questions or concerns please feel free to email us at any time. I hope to have the article on our site shortly.

      All the best,
      Linda

    • monica December 19, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

      I just found out my husband is having a EA. He met this woman on POGO while playing poker. I found their emails tto each other on his phone. He got really upset with me because I was snooping on his phone. I demanded that he stop talking to her and he refused saying that she made him feel good about himself and enjoys talking to her. I took the chicken way out and left. I am now in a different state staying with family. The EA is still going on. I feel so crushed and alone. He never calls me and when I call him he always says he is to busy to talk. What I want to know is how do I get his attention? How do I get him to stop talking to this woman? He says they are just friends but friends dont call each other baby and tell each other how much they miss talking to each other.

      • ifeelsodumb December 19, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

        Monica….can we have more info please? How long have you been married? Kids? And how long have you been gone, and how long has the EA been going on? Not knowing any of that, it’s hard to give any advice…this blog is the best place where you can educate yourself on EA’s and the “fog” that surrounds those involved in an EA…just keep reading!!! And take care of YOU!! You can’t change your H (husband) he has to decide HE wants to work on the marriage…until then, let your family and friends love and support you!

  2. Frances February 11, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    My husband has spent 2 years emailing a young colleague, half his age who was his intern for a month. Over the past 2 years they have exchanged hundreds of emails, text messages and some phone calls. They shares deep intimacies, they are mutually flattering. He is indirectly flirtatious through the song lyrics he sends her. He started hiding his emails (though he denies this), made several attempts to meet her while I was away, and finally started meeting her for dinner occasionally. Then has lied about this sometimes, meeting her when he said that he had a meeting, but then said it was because I was overreacting. After that he met her openly, and they feel free to invite each other to the theatre, cinema and concerts while excluding me. This all started while he was going through his midlife crisis, and questioning everything, including me. He has compared me to her, been critical of me, and unable to say if he wanted to say he was married.
    He says she’s just a friend, but that he needs her almost as much as he needs me. This is unbearable for me, and I have asked him to choose, although he says I’m overreacting.
    On the positive side, he says he loves me, but cares for her, and is not attracted to her. Our intimacy and time together have been improving no end, but I feel her presence in our lives like a stone in my shoe that I cannot get rid of. She has just invited him out again, excluding me, who she feels “uncomfortable” with.
    Am I overreacting?

    • melissa October 7, 2010 at 10:37 am #

      Hi Frances
      It’s really uncanny – your story is so similar to mine. Are things better now? If they are, what did you do to work things out?

  3. Becky February 12, 2010 at 6:31 am #

    I feel so sorry for you. This is a very hard thing to deal with, but deal with you must. He has to know exactly how unhappy & uncomfortable you are with this friendship, you have really got to get him to understand this is affecting your well being and happiness and from personal experience you need him to stop having all contact with her before anything more serious happens (if it hasn’t already). If he cares about you and loves you he should take all your feelings into account. Explain that it makes you feel undervalued, betrayed and all the other emotions that come into play with a situation like this, as he is having an affair, whether it is emotional or physical or both. If he refuses then you give him an ultimatum (her or you), sometimes this is the shake up they really need to stop doing what they think they can get away with. Then get some couples counselling. Take care and hope this works out for you. I am in the same situation and having a very difficult time.

  4. Frances February 15, 2010 at 3:21 pm #

    Thank you for your reply. My husband keeps trying to tell me I’m overreacting, especially when I say “It’s her or me”.
    Do ultimatums work? Or do we end up losing everything?

    • admin February 16, 2010 at 10:00 am #

      I think Becky is giving you good advice, Frances. Ultimatums can be a tricky thing as sometimes they can blow up in your face, but at least you know where you stand.

  5. Deborah Gadway March 11, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

    My boyfriend’s internet activity on sex dating websites is in my opinion emotional cheating. First of all, He password protects his laptop computer with his life, and never ever checks his email when I’m around or in the same room as him. He spends day and night in seclusion on his computer facing in a direction I cannot see what he is doing, and whenever I try to approach him on his secretive behavior on the computer he becomes very defensive and we end up in a huge fight.

    We’ve been dating for 2 yrs. now, we got off to rocky start and needless to say I broke up with him 3 months after we met and went back to this guy I was dating when I did meet my boyfriend. Within a month’s time we got back together and have been together ever since, however, when he moved back in after our breakup is when I discovered he had active profiles set up on several sex dating websites. This was back when he gave me all his passwords for his email accounts, and didn’t hide anything from me. I just happened to find out while in his email one day by mistake, and became curious and decided to investigate further. The more I looked into it the more I found out and what I found out was that after being back with me for over a month he was still pursuing women on these sites for discreet sexual encounters. I gathered all my proof with copies of his profiles on the different sites, showing dates he signed up and last dates he visited the sites and his profile bio’s on each, etc… and approached him with solid proof so he couldn’t lie his way out of it, but he still tried. I was devastated by this to say the least, and after we fought and talked about it he promised me that he would delete all his accounts on those sites and never do something like that ever again. So naturally I believed him, until about 4 months later when I discovered he lied to me, and he never stopped visiting those sites, as a matter of fact he had added a few new ones by this time, along with some naked photos of himself on a couple of the sites. This time it turned into a knock down drag out and ended the same way it did the first time, he told me he would stop and delete everything, blah blah blah. Well I didn’t believe him even though I told him I would trust him again like the first time, so I kept a close on eye on his activity and sure enough a couple months later the same thing again. Every time he would tell me the same thing, he said he wasn’t looking to cheat on me, said that he wasn’t talking to these women because he wasn’t a paid member on any of the sites and told me he just gets carried away sometimes by advertising himself single and looking and would never go through with actually meeting any of these women because he loved me and only me.

    He somehow managed to convince me that he was doing nothing wrong, and said he just did it to watch free porn, and I once again forgave him, and for my own peace of mind I convinced myself that I was overreacting to the whole thing and knew either I trust him or not, and I decided if I wanted to stay together then I had no choice but to trust him.

    A year has gone by now since all this began and I started to notice about 4 months ago he began to spend more and more time on his computer, and in the bedroom alone away from me. I started questioning his activities on the internet again and he becomes instantly defensive and argumentative every time I say something about what he’s up to. So I played detective, I found out his password to his heavily guarded yahoo email account and monitored it for a month to see what exactly he does on these sites, when he does it, and who he’s doing it with. I found out that he never stopped from day one when I caught him doing this, it almost made me sick to my stomach. Now I have given him an ultimatum, I told him I cannot trust anything he tells me because look how many times he’s lied to me about this same issue over the past 2 years. I told him what he’s doing is cheating, he’s sharing intimate and personal information with other women when he should only be sharing that kind of stuff with the only woman in his life, me. I told him that as of lately he doesn’t give me the time of day, let alone acknowledge my presence some days and I attribute it to him meeting someone on the internet that he’s spending time with day and night on the computer. I also told him in the bedroom there’s no intimacy or connection between us anymore, he’s so rigid and preoccupied it seems. He swears he’s not chatting with any women, he’s just interested in the porn and has no interest in anyone but me. He says he loves me and me only, however, I’m not so convinced anymore about what he tells me. I do love him but I can’t go on living in this relationship the way it is, it’s not right and I see his behavior as being extremely deceptive and sneaky. I don’t believe he’s ever met any of these women on the internet, however, I also don’t think that if he was given an offer that he would turn it down either. So I am at the moment confused, hurt, and lost, not sure what to do at this point.

    • admin March 12, 2010 at 8:07 am #

      Hi Deborah,

      Obviously I’ve made mistakes in my life and certainly the biggest of them all was having an emotional affair with another person. Let me also tell you that I am very pro-marriage/relationship and that a couple should do whatever possible to save their marriage and/or relationship. That being said, I feel that your boyfriend has some serious problems with commitment, honesty and more than likely may suffer from sex/porn addiction. In my opinion he needs some professional help to assist him with these issues. I suppose it’s a good thing that you are not married to this person, as I think it would be a huge mistake at this point to do so–at least not until he gets himself straightened out.

  6. Brenda March 11, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

    I would appreciate some advice. I have been married for 20 years. The marriage has never been volitile, abusive etc.. 2 years ago one of my husband’s male friends committed suicide. This devastated my husband. My husband began to blame himself for not seeing it coming. This event triggered a severe depressive state (still continues) in him and he began to question his whole life, he started to get irritable and said quite a few hurtful things.

    8mths ago he moved out of our home without discussion. He wants no responsibility and wants to make no decisions. The emotional affair part – There is a female at his work who’s previous partner committed suicide. This I believe is their emotional connection, My husband has told me about this person and that they are “just mates” however he buys her gifts – she tells him he is a beautiful and caring man etc… they lunch together& he takes her to medical appointments etc.(he does not know I know this) His daytime hours are spent with this person. This person is 10 years younger than my husband and is herself engaged to be married.

    He msg’s me in the morning to tell me to have a great day, he calls me at lunch time to see how I am going and calls me when he gets to his place from work. Almost every night he comes back to my place eats and just sits relaxing watching t.v and falls asleep in the chair (still treats my place like home). He has also stayed over a couple of nights a week as he was too tired to go home and says he is relaxed.As far as he is concerned we are still married we just don’t live together.

    My dillema – we do not talk about our relationship At All – I do not question his actions, his comments or his whereabouts (I used to before he left). He tells me what he is doing and what his plans are ,I go running to him when he calls in the middle of the night to rescue him from a drunken outing and he says things like I love you but I don’t think I can live with you again,the next day its like nothing happened. I do not tell him how I am feeling cause it makes him angry and he takes off. I never initiate the contact, He is the one who always comes to me.

    I know I don’t need him however I do not want to lose him. PS we also have two sons who live at home, however he does not seek them out when he visits. I have to tell him to say hello. One is 25 with a disability who he talks too, the other is 20 and they do not talk at all. My son hates his father for what he has done as is angry he has not sought help. This breaks my heart. Do I push for an outcome or just ride it out until he figures it out. At the moment he is eating his cake and enjoying it too. My head tells me to cut and run but my heart will not let go. Sorry for the essay

    • admin March 12, 2010 at 7:44 am #

      Hi Brenda, and thanks for commenting. The first thing that strikes out at me is that if your husband is suffering from depression, then he really needs to seek out a professional to get that under control. It’s tough to work on your marriage when you have something like that to overcome as well. It could also explain his actions and words towards you. Outside of that, it does sound as though he is having at least an emotional affair with his co-worker, but obviously has deep feelings for you at the same time. Assuming that he is not in a depressed state, you would want to demand that he end all contact with this other woman, which is difficult since they see each other at work. I would think that this affair will run it’s course rather quickly anyways, especially since she is engaged. Once contact has been ended, you can work together to discover each other’s most important emotional and physical needs and build from there.

  7. Darla March 12, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    My husband told me today that he doesn’t love me because he can’t trust me. I know it’s going to take a long time to regain his trust. It’s only been 4 weeks since my life fell apart, because of my dishonesty. I just wonder if he will ever be able to get past this so we can mend what we have left. Everything has been great for the last 2 weeks but today he starts the whole thing up again. I can’t go through another emotional upheaval like I had a month ago.

    • admin March 12, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

      Darla,
      It seems hard to believe that he has completely stopped loving you. Sure, trust is an issue, but that can be rebuilt. You have some work ahead of you though. Also, as with Linda, she goes through long periods where nothing is said, and then all of a sudden she has a relapse (for lack of a better term), and it’s been well over a year since my affair had ended. You just have to learn to be patient and let him vent and continue to do the right things.

      • Darla September 7, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

        As you can tell it’s been a while since I last visited this site. I found out after I went through this emotional roller coaster that my husband suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I have spoken with counselors to regain my sanity, confidence and educated myself on this disorder. Deciding whether to stay and deal with this has been very difficult but I’m still here. This disorder is only treatable if the person admits they suffer from it and wants to get help. This disorder was at the root of our problem!

        • Doug September 7, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

          Darla, thanks for the update. I will have to look more into NPD as I imagine it is a common disorder in many people who have affairs. So has your husband admitted that he suffers from it? Good luck!

    • Noles October 15, 2010 at 12:20 am #

      Hi Darla,it has been 7 months since my husband found out and always remember that trust is something you earn.It takes years to earn it and a split second to lose it.Be open and work hard and hopefully opne day he can regain that trust in you.I ma working my butt off to try get my trust back

  8. Last2know April 7, 2010 at 9:00 am #

    Doug, during the affair was there ever jealousy on Tania’s part when you casually mentioned Linda? And did you get jealous if she mentioned her husband or if she was hanging out with other guys at work? Also did Tania’s husband know about the EA? Sorry but I am Linda relived I am having one of those “relapse” days. I know I will be fine tomorrow.

    • admin April 7, 2010 at 11:00 am #

      Last2know, Yes Tanya was a very jealous person, and would be quite obvious about it whenever I spoke about Linda or about doing things as a family. It became quite annoying over time to be honest. I did not get jealous of her husband as she really never had too much good to say about him. Basically she was always complaining about him. I always had the feeling that there was no sense in getting jealous because after all she was a married woman. Yes, her husband found out about the EA after I had ended it. Sorry to here you’re not doing so well today.

      • admin April 7, 2010 at 11:45 am #

        Last2know, I am sorry you are having a bad day, I have those all the time. I give you permission to “relieve” me anytime you want. Your question allowed me to learn something new about Tanya and again I thought to myself “Doug, what were you thinking, yes you did lose your mind.” Today I will have an extra bounce in my step, knowing that she was not perfect and I have you to thank for that. Remember you are not alone, that you will be ok and tomorrow is a new and brighter day. Hang in there. Linda

  9. Last2know April 7, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    I am glad I was able to help the two of you since you both have been there for me. Doug I know you say you were not jealous of her husband but what about her talking and laughing or having lunch with the other men at work while you were still working together?

    • admin April 7, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

      Last2Know, The jealousy with other men was not an issue as 95% of the people in the office were either women or gay! The other 5% were older men or asses. Lol!

  10. jen April 11, 2010 at 11:13 am #

    my husband had an emotional affair about 2 and a half years ago with a co worker of his while i had severe post partum depression. I think he still blames me because i was so sick. His story has changed over the past 2 years and i still cannot trust him. When i get insecure and question his relationships at work he stomps off. I’ve caught him looking at pictures of girls on myspace, and facebook. I don’t feel he has any remorse and refuses to understand how I still think about his affair. We have discussed divorce because of lack of trust and fighting. We tried counseling now what?

    • admin April 11, 2010 at 11:21 pm #

      Jen, Thanks for commenting and welcome. It’s tough to give you much advice based on the limited information you provided. Do you suspect him of having some sort of affair now? Why didn’t counseling work for you?

  11. Leanne April 28, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    My husband had an emotional affair with a co-worker for a very short time about 2 months ago. They had been friends for yrs and it turned more serious after they worked together for a short stint. When I found out, he said it was heading towards an affair so he decided to discontinue the texts, emails and drink/dinner dates with her, but he didn’t. It kept going on for a week. I asked him to contact and tell her it was over. He said he would but after 1 week of me asking him everyday and him coming up with all sorts of excuses, he still didn’t do it. I was just about to ask him again because he said he would do it that day and then phone me when it was done, and his text went off. It was from her. I was furious and VERY hurt. He got defensive & told me he would just stop responding. I said it wasn’t enough and told him how it was affecting me so he finally phoned her and told her he wanted to stop.
    On top of all of this, he has a hard time telling the truth about things. He was brought up in a home where white lies were considered acceptable – as long as you tell partial truth. This has only heightened my anxiety.
    3 days later after he told her to stop texting him, he lied about his whereabouts. He phoned me after work and said he had to stay behind because of a problem that he needed to be there for. I called his work because I was suspicious & they told me he wasn’t there, that he’d left a while ago. I phoned his cell and he was at the bar with buds from work. He said she wasn’t there. When I confronted him later he said he was afraid to tell me the truth.
    Then about a week later while on a tropical vacation together, I caught him emailing her that he missed her tons. When I asked him why was emailing her that he sent it he actually was missing me….
    He still sees her at least once a week after work when he goes to the bar with co-workers or other functions at work. She still emails him periodically.

    He has never really taken responsibility and minimizes the whole thing – partially because they didn’t have sex and he says it’s over (but she’s still contacting him) and partially because he thinks one of the reasons it happened was because of me. Whenever I bring it up, he gets very defensive and we end up arguing.
    I keep thinking I’m crazy and should just be able to trust him and it’ll all go away.
    We are going to Counselling but I’m not sure the counsellor takes his emotional affair really seriously. She called it his reconnection with an old friend. (that got him off the hook I think)
    I asked him again last night to email her and tell her to stop emailing him. (after I found out she’d sent another email to him) At first he said he would and that he would say he loves his wife and this is affecting his marriage. Then later when I asked him when he was going to do it, he said he wasn’t going to. He said if he just didn’t respond that she would get the message. YIKES Can you help?
    Thanks, Leanne

    • admin April 28, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

      Leanne, Thanks for commenting and sorry to hear of your tale. Fortunately, myself and Linda have gone through the same as you and so have many of the other folks that comment on this site. Please take some time to check out the blog more and especially the comments. Everyone has similar experiences and are more than willing to offer some advice or direction.

  12. maryanna1962 June 9, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    Admin, I need some of your advice. This person that my husband had a fling with or whatever we want to call it, her husband keeps txting with all sorts of horrible comments. How should we deal with these txts ? Ignore them? Obviously he’s hurting bad over what his wife did and is trying to make our lives as miserable as he’s feeling right now and I can understand that, I’m also hurting but Im not txting horrible comments to his wife which I would be quite entitled to do but to me thats a childish approach. This guy is in his 50’s. You saying you had lost your mind when you had your “affair” made me laugh! Thanks for your help.

    • admin June 9, 2010 at 9:28 am #

      Maryanna, As hard as it might be to do, I’d ignore it. I bet eventually they will go away. If you responded to them, he most certainly would keep them up. Should they continue, you can always change the cell phone number. I guess you could even get a restraining order or file a harassment suit or something if you had to. Hopefully it won’t get that far. You are doing the right thing by not texting the OW. Take the high road and don’t give her that power. Good luck!

      • maryanna1962 June 9, 2010 at 9:32 am #

        Thanks Admin. We figured it would be best to ignore them as well. A restraining order or harassment suit would be the final straw to be honest, we live in the same area. Whats OW ? Pardon my ignorance.

        • admin June 9, 2010 at 9:51 am #

          Sorry, OW means “Other Woman” It took me awhile to catch on to all these acronyms as well!

          • maryanna1962 June 16, 2010 at 11:03 am #

            Hi Admin, the texts keep coming. Even if we change the cell number, theres always the possibility that he’ll obtain the new no and this cell number actually doubles as a work number. I’ve rang our cell provider to see if we can have his number blocked but they don’t seem to have any software. Its wearing at this stage plus I’ve found 2 lumps on my breast and am awaiting a mammogram so I/we don’t need all this extra stress at this time nor do I/we have the time or space in our lives for it at the moment. Any suggestions ? Thanks

            • Doug June 16, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

              My 19 year old son, the cell phone expert 😉 says that it is a possibility to block a number through your phone–not the provider–but is not available on every phone. Outside of that, I hope that you are not answering the texts, and you might want to consider some sort of restraining order or harassment charge just to get him to back off. You don’t need to call the cops, but perhaps your attorney can send him a letter (or call him) to scare him a bit.

              • maryanna1962 June 16, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

                Hi Doug, thanks for getting back to me. No, we’re not answering his texts. I must check some more into the blocking of his texts. I went online but couldn’t find any software there either

                • Doug June 16, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

                  You might want to check your phone operation manual

                  • maryanna1962 June 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm #

                    Great idea – never thought of that ! Thanks

                • michael June 16, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

                  Quick little bit I found on verizon was a spam block for certain phone numbers. You can add numbers to block calls and text from that number. If your on verizon I can help you find that.

                  • maryanna1962 June 17, 2010 at 9:04 am #

                    Michael, thanks for that. Unfortunately I’m not on verizon.

  13. michael June 17, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    Ok. Another thought on this is to do another thing I did. I eventual told her that was unfair of me and I removed it. It was wrong to try to force her not to speak to him. And I think it was a good reason for her to use another phone. Another way I blame myself for pushing her that far.
    You can on most phones lock it so only numbers in the phones phone book will be allowed to call in and be called from that phone. That’s common on most phones I’ve seen. Its one way to limit a childs phone use or a phone you give an employee. Its a setting thing. Trust me if it can be done I can learn how to do it.

  14. Sandy July 15, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    My husband ended my emotional affair with a man that’s our friend. I was releived at the end, it all ended amicably and we all remained friends. The man and I still had open public conversations and no threats, it was all good. Now, when we talk and all is friendly, I am fine. Two days ago we had a meeting together and I was shunned purposefully. he would not have eye contact with me and made sure not to speak to me. A week ago all was fine and then all of a sudden it wasn’t. Now I feel awful and I’m doubting everything. I resent that this person’s attitude toward me can effect my mood and my happiness. The affair is over, the texting/emails are over. My husband and our friend have repaired their friendship….so what happened? Is there another woman who has replaced me that has made him treat me badly? I know I’ve done nothing to cause his anger/ignoring since I’ve been out of town for a week, so why is he suddenly not speaking to me? I feel depressed over this but can’t ask him what’s wrong b/c his response will be “nothing’s wrong”. He will not share if there is a problem, but I can’t go on feeling like this from the person who made me feel so good is making me feel so bad!! Any insight on this?
    thank you

    • Doug July 15, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

      Hi Sandy, and thanks for sharing. My first thought is that your emotional affair is not over–at least in your mind. I guess it is always possible that he may have found someone else, or perhaps he was told to stay away form you by your husband. It’s tough to say. Why does it matter though if the affair is over?

  15. jay July 16, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    Doug and Linda:

    Your site has helped me tremendously over the past few months. Everyone has had so many wonderful and helpful things to say. Unfortunetly for me perimenopause, depression, a teenager that I just can’t seem to help and this EA was just to much for me. The last few months you all have made my life bearable but now I am too tired to fight the fight anymore.

    Thank you all for all you have done. I wish you all happiness.

    • Linda July 16, 2010 at 10:45 am #

      Jay, Thank you for the kind words. If I’m understanding you correctly it sounds like you are going to let your marriage end. If that is the case, please get yourself strong and prepare for what’ is ahead. Best of luck to you and we wish you much happiness as well.

  16. Jules August 1, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    My husband sought the ‘services’ of a masseuse just over 2 1/2 years ago. I found out, I forgave for the sake of our children and throwing away too many years. I didn’t talk to anyone. He went to counseling a few times. At the time, he finally told me he was sexually abused by some boys when he was young. First I had heard of this and we’ve been together since I was 14. He wanted me to go to counseling with him and I refused. This was not my problem to fix. At the time, I told him I would forgive and move on if he laid everything out on the table and agreed that I would be the only woman in his life from now on. He agreed and said there was nothing else for me to know. Well, guess what? Yesterday, I inadvertently found a text he sent to a woman. I was dumbfounded. He has been talking with and seeing this woman for 3 years! He won’t admit that it’s an emotional affair and neither will she. I have talked to her and she is nothing more than an enabler. When I asked him what the hell he was thinking, he told me he was lonely and confused and needed someone to talk to. What? I’ve stood by him through so much and withstood embarassment and alienation for him. He has never been there for me emotionally, but I’ve always managed to pull myself up and deal with things and move on. We have both lost a parent and he all but ignored them and me when we needed him the most. I have told him to get out and I will be filing for divorce on Monday. I am 39 years old with 2 teenage daughers. I have nothing other than them. I have run his company for 20 years and completely devoted my life to him and our family. When I leave, I will not have so much as a tent to raise my girls in. No money, no job and no where to live. I’m scared.
    I just don’t think I can forgive him. He wants us to go to counseling, but I’m not willing. There are too many lies and I’m just emotionally spent. I’m still not over him paying for happy endings. I don’t think I can ever love him again – I look at him and don’t recognize him. I’m angry beyond words. I never envisioned anyone other than him in my life and never, ever though he would hurt me like this. Can you please give me some advice?

    • Doug August 1, 2010 at 10:04 am #

      Jules, Thanks for sharing your story. Sorry to hear that you are going through this. The first thing I think that you should do is slow down. Don’t do anything until you have calmed down emotionally and sat down and thought this whole situation out. You need to determine logically the pros and cons of what you are doing and the effects it could have on yourself and your family–without all of the anger and other emotions that are circling through your head at the moment. After doing that, perhaps you can discuss things rationally with your husband and make some progress that might include counseling. Things may work out, or they may not, but don’t act so hastily. Best of luck!

  17. Aroha September 28, 2010 at 6:34 am #

    For the past few months I have read and re-read the posts, forum and comments on this life-saving site. I am truly moved at the generous sharing of deep and often painful emotions from men and women of all ages and stages of an affair. When i was preganant with my first son (he turns 21 late Oct), i suddenly saw babies, pregnant women, strollers and that other aisle in the supermarket.

    When I found out about my husbands affair Dec 2008 I suddenly heard (and recalled) many, too many, stories about affairs. Someone who knew someone who had betrayed love, a cheating heart. It totally flawed me. Still does. So thank you for letting me share some of my story, as it does help. I totally flipped out when i heard my husband/partner of 22 years had been having an EA with a work colleague. looking back i did a lot of unhelpful things, and wish i had focused more on me. I wanted to save our realtionship and did not want a broken family.

    He went away for 6 weeks, comes back, not happy, the ‘relationship’ he thought he wanted with ow wasn’t going to happen, she went off with someone younger (he’s now 61) and that made him incredibly jealous! I started reading and researching but still couldn’t put a real strategy in place for awhile, plus slowly things kind of started returning and we had some great times. He’s a musician, writes amazing songs, love and ‘unlove’ songs, so he’s definitly in the ‘i love you, but not in love with you’ category! he sure will be writing a few songs from this experience i’m sure…anyway…fast forward to around nov last year when i noticed a few far away looks and odd behaviour, then the classic ‘i need some space’ line in January..i stupidly didn’t see the flashing neon sign!

    I kept my distance, would ask if he was being totally upfront, (said he was) but sure enough in April he came clean..(i found a toll call to a place 9 hour drive away)…turns out he had been texting/phoning another ow who had been a previous work colleague who had shifted. I almost laughed as i pointed out that she and previous 0w were bound to find out about each other, (I would love to know if they have).

    I went into shock, deep depression, couldn’t work (he left about the same time my job was made redundant) …I still wanted the opportunity/possibility of reconciliation but i don’t seem to be given that choice. By this time i’m reading your site, put Dr Bob Huzienga’s suggestions into place but no difference it seemed. What gets me, is that often when the betrayer is found out, they’re very remorseful and don’t want the marriage to end, and seem relieved to have been found out…unfortunately, my husband seems to swept up so much with the ‘high’ that he’s hooked and the damage it’s doing to me and family he’s not facing or just doesnt care.

    When he told me in late June he was going to spend a week with her i couldn’t take it.I decided on a ‘no contact’ boundary, haven’t really seen him since. if he texted me it was usually for something, which i ignored. this great fog had completely swept him away, blinded him, he struggled no more and he let the tide take him out.

    Where there was once a roomful of laughter is now quiet, where the conversations flowed around the dinner table, now the boys disappear into their rooms, sadness hangs in the air as much as i try to avoid it, to move around it, replace it, i can’t seem to. for the boys, their father was a big part of their lives, cooked dinner most nights, a large presence but he’s gone. The dynamics of the family have changed.

    I amvery grateful the boys are still here, I am very grateful i now have a part time job, the ripple out effects are huge, financial burdens – and now it will soon be our son’s 21st at the end of october and i can’t believe what was meant to be such a wonderful, special time, is not what it ought to be. I am meant to be meeting my husband in a couple of days to talk about the birthday, this will be the first time for 3 months and i’m focused on being cool, calm and confident, but there’s another part of me that is so angry it’s going to take a lot of strength to keep peaceful.

    Healing alone is horrible, how i wanted to have the opportunity to rebuild and have the relationship that i know is possible, better. Even after everything that has happened, i believe in the possibility of what could be; i have to face the fact he is probably still in touch with the ow and if that’s true, i guess i go back to ‘no contact’ as i don’t know how else to handle it.

    I really don’t even want to be at my son’s party if he’s going to be there as so hard to look at him knowing what he’s doing. We were such a team, particularly around his music work (which i got plus publicity etc etc) and now i’ve been cast out of that as well. Sad to say, he also left his first wife (30 years ago) when he ‘fell in love’ with someone across a crowded room, type of thing…and that didn’t last…a year or two based on guilt. (oh and she’s friggin emailed a few times over the years, latest a few months ago saying ‘you were the love of my life, any chance of getting back together!! there’s gotta be a movie in here somewhere…between all of our experiences!!)

    I’ve seen him struggle with boundaries, and i know he’s not a bad man, at his ‘core’ a wonderful man, but he just seems to want to get that beginning ‘feeling’ back again…the one that fades, as i pointed out, the new becomes the old…thanks so much for listening…i’m just scared in many ways about this meeting…oh to be able to just hug and say all the things you would ‘normally’ say, but that has to be zipped up and stored for now. My plan is just to listen and not say too much….sorry if i’ve rambled on…

    • Doug September 28, 2010 at 7:29 am #

      Aroha, Thank you so much for sharing your very touching story. The story reminds me of those I’ve seen about drug addicts, who can’t break away from the high that the drug gives them. It’s unfortunate that he can’t see – or doesn’t seem to care about – the pain that his actions are causing you and your family.

      • Aroha September 30, 2010 at 6:27 am #

        Hi Doug
        Thanks for your reply, I saw my partner for a two hour chat today for the first time in 3 months. Weirdly ‘normal’ with the smiles and thankfully no anger jumped out; mainly talked about our boys, work and general things. I tried very hard to be calm and confident and not mention the “A” word, though it did slip in when i said it was important to me to keep a no contact boundary if he was continuing to have an affair. (there was no definitive answer to that so i presume he is and i just don’t want to go there at this stage) He doesn’t come across as someone ‘happy in love’ that’s for sure.

        I sensed he would like to keep a conversation going, and open to a family dinner but said that as i didn’t want the contact he keeps away. So, here’s the dilema, there’s a part of me that does want to keep the convesation going, that does want to say to him that i want to have the ‘best’ sort of ‘relationship’ we can have. Start slowly but eventually i thought it might be healthy to sort out ‘us’ as much as we can. To speak our ‘truth’ and to learn new ways of communicating. No matter if we remain separated, i’m looking for a breakthrough so we don’t remain in this experience always. I ask myself the question, do i want to us to try and heal our hurt in a ‘charging neutral’ sort of way! or whatever way that works..if that makes sense.

        To me he looked kind of haunted. I also felt a sense of sadness, and flippancy, and he wasn’t in any hurry to leave and we hugged, which i hadn’t planned on and it was difficult to let go. It’s so hard to be hard-nosed and to come across as all in control…confident…full of ‘i don’t care’ type of attitude; being so careful of what not to say! walking on eggshells and all that…and i have to remember, he’s not exactly making moves towards me, there’s no talk from him about being sorry, no hint that he hates where he is…but it was the first conversation for awhile…up and down on the rollercoaster…

        My current thought of the day is ‘change the way you look at things and the things you look at change’…here’s hoping…all the best to you and Linda and everyone here….

        • Doug September 30, 2010 at 6:59 am #

          Aroha, From your comment it seems as though things might be getting better, and that he is missing you. The impression I get from you though is that there is basically no communication between the two of you. If you want to get back together, you have to communicate. Tell him exactly what you wrote here. Tell him what you want and need, and that you hope he can oblige, but if not, that’s OK too–because you are a strong woman and you will be fine.

  18. chelle October 14, 2010 at 7:24 pm #

    My husband of 9 years had an emotional affair with a teacher at his school (he is a principal). They spent many hours texting, emailing and talking on the phone. It has been almost a year now. During the year he said many hurtful things to me regarding our marriage. How I didn’t “get him” and she did. How he wasn’t sure he loved me enough etc… He was also battling depression during this timeframe, so I tried to do everything I could to make his life easier. He attended individual counseling and we went to marital counseling. A few months ago, it was almost like he snapped out of it. He was happy, loved me more than he realized and thought all was well. He seems to have been able to move on, yet I cannot. I still think back to all the lies and deception. I am getting very bitter about how I have seemed to make all the sacrifices, such as taking care of our 3 young boys, all the housework etc.. So he can go do things he enjoys and isn’t tempted to find emotional support and the excitement of a new relationship else where. (this is what his therapist recommended) I tell myself I should just be happy that when he is around us he is happy and not the miserable person he was last year, but I still continue to struggle. When will my pain go away?

    • Jessica January 29, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

      That’s where I am now and I don’t know how to get past the pain. I asked him some questions today and he got very mad and left. He has been doing everything to make this up to me but now I am the one left with all the hurt and pain. He doesn’t know how much of a toll this has taken on me and I don’t know what else to do the therapist hadn’t helped the doctor only wants to give me anti depressants

  19. mil November 13, 2010 at 4:48 am #

    Doug and Linda, please could you tell me where to find your posts describing how the affair was discovered and feelings at that time.

  20. Pauline November 15, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    It’s been 10 weeks since d-day and I am in counciling and my H wants no part of it although he is the one who had the affairs. Both started on the internet. Both women live far away lthough he met with one womanin June and they were intamate. Both affairs are over as both woman thought that he was single. They were both devestated to findthat he lied. he says that 36 years is worth trying to save the marriagebut he takes no steps to do that. He talked to his doctor and and was put on medication for depression. We were both active in our church and he no longer wants any part of that. Anything that could help us he has walked away from. Everytime I tryand talk tohim he becomes defensive and he has alot of resentment towards me. All i know is that I still cry every day and I feel like a fool for even loving him nd still being the wife in every aspect of the word. I am emotionally drained. Any advice?

  21. LostinSanDiego November 15, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    Hi Doug and Linda,

    I have been with my husband for ten years. We have four children together. Four years ago, my husband (who is in the Navy) went with a friend (also married), to San Diego and ended up going out with two single girls staying out until 4:30 a.m. The night he went out with them, I knew something was us because he started yawning around 6:30 p.m. and told me he was going to go to bed. So, I said goodnight and let him go. Anyway he ended up coming home and eventually came out and told me what had happened, but denies anything happened and that he only went out as the D.D.???

    Okay so let me back up a few years. Before I met my husband I had been in another long term relationship with someone who had an cheated. Not only did he cheat on me but he cheated on me with my best friend. So we ended up ending our relationship because it wasn’t the first time he had cheated, so I lost my partner and my best friend.

    Okay so back to my marriage! From the very start I was suspicious of him. I didn’t trust any man or woman for that fact and he said he understood why, but promised me the sky and the moon and said he would do whatever it took so that I would trust him. I caught him in what I would consider a lot of lies, and half truths. I believe because my mother always told me if there isn’t anything to hide, then why hide anything. I am an open book and have given him my passwords for my facebook and email, and skype accounts. There have been a lot of instances like this in our marriage. I had a co-worker spot him picking up another girl at a barracks room every day. I confronted him about it and he lied. He continued the lie up until I told him that she had seen him every day because he drives right past her house, and then back again. So he finally admitted to it.

    Anyway after this “Trip” to San Diego he said he didn’t want to lose me and wanted to go to marriage counseling. So we ended up going to marriage counseling for nine months. I have a problem with trust and I know that I do. It really bothers me up to a point to where I am actually condemning myself for the way I feel. I can’t help it though it’s all part of my past. “Trust,” was one big thing I myself worked on outside of marriage counseling on my own with our therapist. I worked on two of my biggest fears; which were one, learning to trust my husband, and two, learning to trust women again so that I could make friends.

    I didn’t realize it but after my ex and my best friend had betrayed my trust I realized with the help of our therapist that I didn’t trust women, and I tended to cling to older women as mother figures for many different reasons, one of them being because I wouldn’t have to be afraid my husband would cheat with them. So after nine months of therapy working on myself and on my marriage, I felt great! I felt like a different person and I had confidence in my marriage and my husband. I for once in my marriage felt like it was actually going somewhere, and there was a connection that I felt been there before.

    We eventually ended up moving to San Diego because he is in the Navy and well we move where they tell us too. Once we got settled in I did something I hadn’t done in six years. I actually tried to make friends, and I ended up making friends with Andrea a girl whose husband works with mine. Her husband ended up deploying before mine and I promised him we would take care of her. So Andrea decided she wanted to move up by us. So I allowed my husband to go help her get thing’s in order while I watched the kids and helped my best friend. So after a few months, I started to wonder if something might be going on with the two of them. She was around a lot, and she needed his help a lot. There were times I saw them making intimate gestures towards each other and there was even a time that I thought I saw something going on in the kitchen but they must have heard me and quickly resumed whatever they had been doing in the kitchen.

    My husband was getting ready to deploy and we had all gone up to Oceanside for a halfway bash, and my husband and my best friend on two different occasions when the other wasn’t around, let me know they had feelings for each other. I HIT THE ROOF!!! I was an emotional wreck. My husband had been treating me like the crap on his shoe and now I know why. I asked both of them on many different occasions if something had happened between the two of them. Both of them repeatedly said no, and when I confronted my husband with my suspicions he told me I was being psycho again, and I was making it all up. I felt crazy. I felt like maybe I was losing my mind.

    My husband deployed and the farewell was nothing but a party for me. I thought our marriage was over as I knew there was something he wasn’t telling me. I knew in my heart and soul that I was normal, and not crazy. I had even taken myself to see a psychiatrist thinking that maybe something was wrong with me and maybe I was wanting to look into the situation more than what was really going on. He didn’t seem to think that anything was wrong with me, but that I was obviously anxious and rightly so. He prescribed me an anti-depressant and after seeing me for a couple of months an anti-anxiety. It helped a lot and I was able to cope for the rest of his deployment.

    So a few weeks after my husband comes home from deployment, on Halloween of 2009 before we took the kids out for trick or treating I had received a mistaken text from a guy friend who was texting his girlfriend telling her he loved her, and my husband flipped out. That evening after trick or treating is when my whole world fell in. My husband tells me that he and my best friend had carried on an affair before he left, and he had lied to me about it the whole time. He had made me think I was the crazy one for months, and I actually felt bad about it. He even told me that she had planned to try and get me to mess around with someone while he was gone so that when he returned would be able to carry on the affair with him and they could actually have ammo against me to have sex. I did it, I fell into her trap in a moment of weakness and pressure from Andrea I fooled around with my single marine friend, I originally didn’t feel bad about it because Andrea kept telling me you know your husband is doing it to you, so why should he be the only one. After all he had already crushed me right before he left by telling me that he had feelings for someone other than me, but also my best friend of all people. I am not making excuses for myself in any way shape or form because I know what I did was wrong.

    So once again for the second time in my life I lost my best friend and my husband. I also had been witness to Andrea’s multiple serial affairs. My best friend in fact was a serial cheater and I felt horrible because I really liked her husband. She told me probably a thousand times that she needed me to babysit because she was trying to find a job so that she could move out and file for divorce when in fact she was looking for another husband. So not only did I babysit for her while she “looked for a job,” if in fact that was what she was doing but, I also watched her two children while she attended her therapy sessions which obviously were not helping her. I wanted to tell her husband but in my own defense I didn’t tell Andrea’s husband because he was out in the middle of the ocean somewhere on an aircraft carrier and I didn’t want him to do something crazy. I didn’t have any time in between when he got home and when my husband got home to tell him, however another of Andrea’s friends whose husband was also friends with her husband found out that Andrea and her husband were having a long distance emotional affair and sexting each other. She did write Andrea’s husband before that and I didn’t think or feel it was necessary to cause any more pain than was needed for him at the time.

    Andrea in fact wanted me to sleep with her husband. She tried to get him to make a move on me, and when he wouldn’t she even went as far as to trying to get me to make the move, I always flirted with him a little bit since day one, but I politely refused as I was already upset with myself about what I had done with my single marine guy friend (well single at the time we fooled around).

    After a lot of tears and a come to Jesus moment, my husband and I decided to try to work through because we have four children involved, and we do love each other very much. He actually started reading your blog, but I couldn’t because I was too pissed. In fact I still I am. As of now I am back to my trust level minus 10 from where I was when we first started going to marriage counseling.

    Now a year later and he has deployed again and I have noticed some odd things happening again. He has started to treat me differently again and I feel as though he may be cheating again, but he refuses to say anything and continues to tell me that I am trying to find things that “aren’t,” there. He thinks that by his telling me I should just be over it.

    I am still in total disarray, and I feel like I am going crazy again. I don’t want to be this way, but I am being super suspicious again. I don’t trust him and continue to question him. I don’t want to be this way, and am calling to try to get myself some help while he is gone. I need to find myself again. I know I am a beautiful woman, and I know that I can do it without him but my self-esteem is gone.

    I just recently found an email and Skype account that he says he knows nothing about. He plays like he is dumb even though I am able to log into the Skype account. Before he left he had taken my laptop with him TAD for training that he needed while he is deployed and when he brought it home a new program “windows messenger live” was installed and his username automatically populated the messenger but I can’t figure out the password and he denies it. He still denies it even though I had the computer two years for school before he ever touched it and I never downloaded that program.

    I feel like my life and my world are coming to an end. I don’t know if I should leave him or if I should stay with him and live with his constant betrayals until I have my master’s degree and can stand on my own two feet with four children. I had a great job making a lot of money before we moved to San Diego but left it to follow him to San Diego and decided to go back to school because the economy is crappy.
    I know that by staying in a relationship where my husband is cheating on me even if my children are not aware of what is happening, they will grow up and feel as if it is okay for their spouse to walk all over them and lie to them, or with my boys they will feel like it is okay to cheat on their wives and disrespect women, by making them feel like my husband makes me feel.
    I am lost, not to mention alone since my family lives in Wyoming. I don’t know anyone here since the whole situation happened because I have once again closed myself off to normal friendships other than a few really close girlfriends who have been with this through me. Even still they live more than an hour away.

    So how can I talk to my husband and try to get him to open up about what he is doing, and why is it that he keeps lying to me. I want to check out of our marriage completely at this point and just live together with our children until I finish school but go our separate ways as far as our marriage goes. He tells me he doesn’t want that but his actions and lies say something completely different. I feel that I am being drug around on a chain and I don’t think it’s fair.

    • Doug November 16, 2010 at 7:54 am #

      Dear Lost, Wow, what a story! Thanks for sharing. It seems to me that though you admit to having issues with trust, they appear to be somewhat justified. Your husband’s actions over the last several months are not very conducive to trust, nor, quite frankly are some of yours. Somehow, you both need to restore the honesty in your relationship, practice total transparency, reconnect on an intimate level, and work to satisfy each other’s most important needs. You may want to consider starting therapy again to help you along. Without trust you will always live a suspicious existence–which is no way to live.

  22. Roger November 23, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    Good morning Doug,
    My girlfriend and I are still having severe bumps and bruises in our quest to repair our relationship. She asks me constantly to tell her things that she doesn’t already know but I’m having a difficult time because I feel she knows everything that I’ve done and admitted to. Yes, she had to discover them on her own so I understand that she may feel as if she may discover other issues and infidelities in the future but there are no more. I’ve been humiliated and shamed by the things I’ve admitted to her and have no problem doing it again if there was something to tell. How can I reassure her that all is in the open. I have no more secrets. We’ve been to counseling and the counselor has told me that I seem to be sabotaging our recovery. I want to move ahead and keep trying to repair what I’ve damaged. Any advice?

    • Doug November 23, 2010 at 9:36 am #

      Hi Roger, That is a tough predicament, as Linda went for a time feeling that there was more to learn. In fact, she still asks questions all the time, but they are more about the dynamics of the affair. She wants to really understand why it happened. This may be different than what your girlfriend is seeking, I don’t know. But it is natural for her to want to know everything and not trust that you have been completely open and honest. After all, affairs are all about lies and deceit.

      Why does your counselor feel you are sabotaging your recovery? Do you argue when your girlfriend asks you questions about the affair? Do you get defensive? What are some of the reasons that you can think of that your girlfriend may not trust that you have been completely forthcoming? In our case, I feel that by me being willing to answer all Linda’s questions, proving that I’m remorseful and showing her that I love her in a variety of ways, she began to trust and believe me again.

      • Roger November 23, 2010 at 6:00 pm #

        Yes, I do get defensive and angry sometimes when she asks me about the affairs. Her mistrust stems from the fact that I have lied to her even after the affairs were discovered. I have committed myself to telling her the truth now and want to do everything I can to make her happy again. I think I ask too much of her as far as her remembering all that we have discussed and all that I have told her. I need to be more patient and understanding of her hurt. It makes me feel like I’m not alone when I hear other people say that their own relationships are where mine is and that I’m not alone in my struggle to make the one I love happy and trusting again. Thanks Doug.

        • Doug November 23, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

          Roger, I too at one time got angry and defensive when asked questions about the affair. The key is to put yourself in her shoes and try to understand what she is going through and how she feels. Understand that she needs to know certain things and that many times what you say will go in one ear and out of the other. I’m certain we have discussed the same topics over and over, but it’s key that I understand that she needs reassurance and that often our discussions are emotion filled and need to be reiterated.

          • Roger November 24, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

            So from what I gather is that what her and I are going through is normal. Sometimes I feel like giving up but I love her so much that it hurts me to even consider life without her. Right now times are tough and we are going through a non-communication period where we just say enough to one another to get by. I told her yesterday that I miss her and she responded by saying “and I miss being happy”, so if she’s not happy what can I do? I reassure her everyday that I love her and that there are no more affairs happening. I’m afraid of having to live without her.

            • Doug November 24, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

              Roger, Linda has made similar statements in the past. Just keep doing what you’re doing as far as showing remorse and being attentive to her needs. I would suggest though that you try to improve the communication. If you don’t talk about it, she will wonder and suffer. You may also try to re-establish a connection by getting out and doing some things you both enjoy together. Have some fun. The pain is incredible that the victim feels and it takes time to get over it. Hang in there.

          • Noles November 24, 2010 at 11:36 pm #

            Roger,i feel exactly the same as you and at the moment i feel that if i let hubby go,he would be happier and would meet someone who would not let him down like i did.I love him and cannot see my life without him,but am i being spiteful as it keeps coming up he is not happy.I am stealing his happiness by causing so much pain.I have no idea what to do and feel like running away to make everubody happy

  23. Tara November 24, 2010 at 8:51 pm #

    Hi!
    I was wondering if someone can help me with this because I feel you guys can listen and perhaps give me insight and encouragement so here goes:
    I am a 44 year old widow (no kids) who has never so much looked at another man for twelve years until last year when a new man was hired at my company. You guessed it- he’s married. (Two kids). I’m the third party in an emotional affair.
    It started out as a courteous professional relationship that became closer as I have helped him fit into my company (he’s the laboratory director at my biotech firm). He’s always been appreciative of my work and help and has always told me so. I care so deeply for him, and he’s made it VERY clear that he cares for me. He’s said that he’s very much enjoyed working with me (although he has a stressful job: he oversees THREE other departments besides mine) and I have to say I am in love with him.
    We had a frank discussion about what’s been going on and have MUTUALLY (with NO hissy fits) agreed that the best thing was to bring the relationship back to a strictly cordial PROFESSIONAL level; and that a physical relationship is NOT going to happen.
    I am seeking counseling regarding how to deal with this and my counselor (SHE) has been great. I’ve been trying to plan my life in a way so that I could be happier; by that I mean finding activities that will keep me occupied in my down time outside of work. But it’s been so difficult. I’m sort of a lone wolf. So part of my plan is to resolve to spend more time with relatives and friends.
    My question is, what else can I do to get through this? What can I do, short of quitting my job?

    • jessica December 2, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

      Tara,

      I hope things have not progressed since your last post. Good to hear you are in counseling for help. You need to stay away from him as much as possible, forget about him, and move on. If you continue this relationship you will go through unbelievable pain and his family will be hurt in the process if you two are discovered. It’s toxic. Trust me, I have just been through this and it’s not worth it. You feel bad now? Multiply that x10 after you two are found out.

      There are single men out there that will give you 100% of themselves and the love you seek. If you have hobbies, find activities revolving around them. You will meet many people through those avenues. I have friends that have been successful through some of the dating sites.

      I know it will be difficult to cut him out emotionally, but you must for your own sanity and self-respect.

      Good luck to you.

  24. konan December 2, 2010 at 3:39 am #

    need hepl she is lying to the kids to contiue seeing him while saying she still loves me but wants to see whay this new man can offer her in a way of happyness im resigned to waiting but how long everyone is against them her family and his as he was married with kids 2 but i feel that ther common opposition is pushing them together so they have no time to discover what they have as a couple i wont leave my kids so she goes out each night with him and just sit in his car all night as neither have spare money then she comes home openly admits they had sex in the car and gets into bed. When shes out she at the start i bombarded her with deckarations of love and how i want her back,but now i dont she texts and rings me to find out what im doing is she worried she is loosing me as an option should i continue with this as i still want her back

  25. konan December 2, 2010 at 9:09 am #

    please hepl me i’m snowed in with kids while she can get to work by foot so she continues to see him and im home looking after kids alday
    Help!

  26. Vicki December 16, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    I had an affair with my co worker, I no longer see him. its been a year since we last talked. I feel he is tormenting me at work. He comes around my office laughing and joking with other people. He will not give me room too heal. He called my husband and informed him of our relationship. He had sex with another women on our job and pregnated her. I was so “in love with him” and believed he was my “soulmate” It took me one year too break it off, and I was devasted. i cannot not speak to him or socialize after work with coworkers if he is there. They believe i am still in love with him and is allowing himtoo have power over me. I am working on connecting with my husband, he gave me a ultimatum I choose my relationship with my husband. It has been very hard, cause of my depression and withdrawals from this relationship ar work. He will not give me space and i donot talk too him. should I call him and ask him to please give me space at work and stay from me. I try to avoid him. but he keeps appearing in my life. i have lost friends made a decission to stop contacting friends who socialize with him because I no longer want to hear about him or not. but I feel so ashamed that I am still feeling this pain and shame.

    • Doug December 16, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

      Vicki, Thanks for sharing. That is a very tough situation when you still have to work with the other person. If it were me, I would ask him to please leave you alone and give you the space you need. Have you told your husband about the situation?

      • Vicki December 16, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

        No, I have not told my husband, I am afraid too. I like my job and I dont want my husband coming there…if that happens I can get get fired. I feel so guilty, and I have put him thru enough. I got me into this, I need to get us out of this. but my affair partner is not making this easy. He is awful, and people at work think I want them to choose. I just want him too stay away from me. this is hard cuz people at work adore him, and me they think I am just stupid for falling “in love with him” whew, If I could advise anyone an affair is totally not cool will not help you thru your midlife crises. I want too stop this rollercoaster, but i cant rush time. it appears men get over this pain so much faster than women, my husband its not struggling like me and I am the one who had the affair, emotional attachment — go figure.

  27. Kathy January 11, 2011 at 5:50 pm #

    Thank you Doug and Linda for this site. It means so much to get help in this difficult time! I posted my story over on the forum, but I’d like to post it here too so I can get feedback from others who maybe don’t use the forum.

    I’ll try to be as brief as possible. I’ve been talking about all of this to my daughter, my son and my friend, but I think they’re as tired of hearing about it as I am of going through it and talking about it.
    My husband and I have been married for 27 years, and we’ve known each other for 28 years. We have two children in their 20’s, both of whom live at home.
    For about the last month and a half I could tell something was wrong with my husband. He was moody; alternating between great sadness and anger, with some apathy thrown in for good measure. My instincts told me it was something bad, but I didn’t want to think about the possibilities right away.
    I should have seen it coming. He did something similar about 20 years ago. It even happened with a woman he worked with back then, and it was also an emotional affair (to start with) back then. He has always excused it by saying that “they never did anything until after I left”.
    Fast forward 20 years to the moodiness I was describing. I knew what it most likely was. I asked him on New Year’s Day what was the matter. At first he said he didn’t want to tell me because he didn’t want to make me mad. I told him I wouldn’t get mad; that I was worried about him. I asked him if there was anyone else, and he said no. Then he said he didn’t want to be with me anymore; but he wanted us to be friends. I told him fine, that I would leave, and he seemed really happy with that. He said I could take whatever I wanted. He couldn’t have been more “kind” and “helpful”.
    The following day I found a phone message from the OW. She was asking how he was, telling him the kids and her husband were gone to church. The clincher was the “I love you” before she hung up. I don’t remember what had led up to me finding that message, but somehow he admitted that he and this woman at work were “fond” of each other. I don’t know, I think “I love you” goes beyond “fond”.
    That evening we argued, I think, and he went “to the dollar store”. Later I saw him texting, and I saw texts between them where they’d met in the parking lot of the dollar store.
    That night I thought about all of it, and I decided that I wasn’t the one who wanted to separate, nor was I the one seeing someone else, so I decided I should not have to be the one to leave.
    I told him this the next morning, and he got soooo mad at me! All the kindness, helpfullness and “you can have whatever you want” went right out the window. That night when he came home (after he tried to figure out a way he could “spend the night at a motel to think about things”, but we couldn’t afford it) we got into yet another argument to the point that I called the police. I ended up leaving because he’d been drinking and they wouldn’t let him drive.
    The next day when I came home he called me from work and told me to call an attorney, so I did. Later that day he came home from work after talking to his boss, who told him he should be the one to leave since he was the one who wanted to call it quits. His boss also told him to try to come to an agreement with me because divorce attornies would be very costly.
    So, we talked a lot that day and he even hinted that, if it didn’t work out with her, we might get back together. We talked about finances, etc. He was planning on moving out that coming weekend.
    The next day he was sick when he woke up so he didn’t go in to work. And the OW flipped out! She kept texting him every 5 or 10 minutes. She was demanding, threatening (literally…saying “there would be trouble”), you name it. He finally saw what I’d told him just the day before; that he didn’t really know her, and that from what I knew of her (yes, I’d met her at various company functions), she would be a demanding, controlling b-word.
    He finally called her that day and told her it wasn’t going to work out, and that they would have to deal with it so that it didn’t jeopardize either one of their jobs.
    All throughout this mess, even when he was “fond” of her, he still said he loved me and “wasn’t trying to hurt me”. We decided to stay together.
    This is where I explain why I feel it’s all my fault.
    Throughout our marriage I’ve had issues with intimacy for various reasons, the most recent of which is a terrible depression exacerbated by the deaths of my mom and dad five years ago (just 9 months apart). I was an only child, and I took their passing very, very hard.
    My husband says it has been 7 years since we’ve had sex. I don’t know. He may be right…I wasn’t keeping track. I just know that, at one point, he told me he was tired of always being the one to initiate anything, and if I wanted him, I’d have to be the one to start it. I didn’t like being given an ultimatum for something as deeply important as sex, so I just didn’t do anything, figuring I’d show him. As time went by and nothing happened, I just stopped thinking about it. Plus, he is not terribly romantic anyway…in fact he was often crude in his overtures to me, which did nothing to help my libido. He’d get mad at me if I complained about it, saying that he should be able to talk that way to his wife. I don’t know.
    So now, he just turned 51, he’s feeling pretty bad about that, and because he has diabetes he also has ED. And now it’s all my fault (according to him) that he didn’t “get any” for years and years, and now he “can’t” do anything.
    I’ll tell you, I am the poster child for what NOT to do to hold on to your man. Over the years I really let myself go. I gained a huge amount of weight, I stopped working, I stopped wearing make-up, I basically stopped caring about my appearance. He’d bought me a nice ring to replace my wedding ring (I’d gotten too fat to wear it), and then I didn’t want to wear the new ring because it was really expensive and I didn’t want to lose it. He never said anything, but I know it bothered him that I didn’t wear it. I also had started smoking again after my parents died, and he didn’t, and that has bothered him for years.
    So now here I am, still together with him, but feeling hugely inadequate and terribly at fault for what has happened. I told him I would lose weight, I would get a job, I would quit smoking, and I would do whatever I could to help him with his ED and that I would not push him away anymore (which he has often accused me of doing).
    But now with all this added pressure and almost zero self-esteem, I worry constantly. I can hardly eat. My digestive system is really messed up. I want to be happy that he’s still here, but I’m terrified that it literally is too little too late.

  28. Janet March 3, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    I don’t know where to start….. I have been married for 20 years and now getting divorced.

    Our finances are horrible. I think he drinks too much and he doesn’t. I don’t think it is right for him to have his own checking account all of a suddent and he thinks I am controlling. He feels there is no communication and he is right but I am only around him when he drinks and he is not enjoyable to talk to when drinking. He feels I don’t need to know who he is talking to and texting all the time and I am not okay with that.

    Long story short, he is having a relationship with another married women at his work. She is 7 years younger than us. I know it has been going on since at least October but I am sure much longer because once I got a hold of his phone bills and confronted him he said he has been talking to her for a long time. He said they have not had sex. They are on the phone together all day and I could only see phone calls and then in the evening they would text. When I would call him during the day I would get my head bit off and told he didn’t have time to talk he was working.

    Although I never would have left our marriage for all the other reasons, this I can’t overlook. My children (18 & 15) have seen me trying to hold on for a while and respect the fact that I never turned to someone else as he has.

    They now hate him and he blames their hatred towards him all on me. I have not hidden any details from them (right or wrong) about what is going on. They know right from wrong and what he did to our family is wrong. I belevie that you respect the vow you made no matter what, unless their is abuse going on.

    We were the couple that rarely had any big arguments. Neither like confrontation and I thought we were going to grow old together.

    Over the last year he refused to close the estate bank account he had to set up 2 years ago when his dad passed. He has no money to put in it and lets it go negative, then he lied about a bonus he got and told me he didn’t and he put it in that account. I went bolostic!! He ended up putting what was left of his bonus and some other money he had put in there into our joint account. We need every dime to make ends meet and still stuggle. Our boat was repossed this summer…yet, another stupid decision we made.

    His phone started out as a company phone but about 6 months ago his company quit paying for it and now he/we have to pay for it and even though we could save $75 a month he refuses to come to our plan because he says I don’t need to know who he is talking to and texting.

    His defense for all of this is that I have a control issue. But in my defense, I beleive life sucks bad enough without adding to it on your own. I strongly beleive that you choose to be happy or unhappy and that once you get married you stay married for good or bad. He did what he did and now he wants to try to blame me for why he did it, for the kids not respecting him any more and not wanting to be with him at all.

    I don’t know if talking to everyone in the world about my problems was right or wrong? I don’t know if sending hateful text to the other women and leaving voicemails for her was right or wrong? I don’t know that telling my kids that there was another women was right or wrong? But I do know that is what I did. It was like I went through all the same cycles of grief as if I lost a loved one.

    I jsut hope I can find someone that will love me for who I am and treat me good. I am scared of being all alone and not having anyone to share my life with.

  29. cindy March 25, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    Help. My husband has admitted to an EA with a family friend. He no longer has contact (i think) and wants me to forget this happened. He answers my questions, is transparent and says he wants to stay married and everything will be back to the same in no time. My problem is he has never accepted respoinsibility and he doesnt feel remorse or guilt about the EA. He claims it was all my fault and if i had been a berrter person, wife, etc… it would not have happened. I have tried to explain to him that if he feels no remorse or guilt or responsibility , whats to say he wont do it again . all he would need is another excuse. Right? Also, he feels bad for the OW for the sadness he has caused her and he feels guilty for leading her on. But me, nope. Am I wrong to think we have a chance if he doesnt even feel bad a little? Help please

    • Kathy March 31, 2011 at 9:36 am #

      Cindy, I read something yesterday that I hope might be helpful to you. It was an article about why men cheat, and I thought this was particularly insightful. It said, “you can’t make someone cheat any more than you can make someone drink or abuse you”. It was HIS decision to have the EA, regardless of the excuses he gives. My guess is that since he is denying all responsibility for his behavior and still feels bad for the OW, then he is not entirely out of the affair fog yet.

  30. Mrs1980 April 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    What do you do when your husband won’t admit ANYTHING?
    I’ve had rumors get to my parents about his behavior at work with a woman, I found pix of this same woman in his phone, I found cute drawings, ect that my husband made for this woman on our home computer when I was out work-which he then hid. My husband has prob texted back and forth with this woman 300-400 times in 6 month peorid but each text would have part work related then part other cute flirty convos in it. I have been trying to talk with him for 4 months about all this. He admitted he finds her attractive but that’s it. He lied about the drawings I found 3 times saying some other man in the office did them. Finally he admitted to doing them. But he doesn’t think he has done anything wrong. He says he wants to be with me over and over and that he wants to make me happy but I continue to tell him that if he just told the truth me the truth and details-I could start to move on. I just want to understand why-and if I was lacking something or my treatment of him was lacking something-So I can make myself and our relationship better. We fight 3-4 times a week about it. I texted the OW and she denied everything. Do you think it’s possible he was infatuated with her and it was not reciprocated? Either way-I just want to know everything so we can move on. Our last fight-he told me I cannot ever talk about this ever again (2 days so far and counting! I feel like an addict!) but I explained to him that us not fighting over it doesn’t mean I am not hurting and sad. Help! We’ve been together 12 years and he’s the only man I have ever loved and/or been in love with. I am so close to going to a bar w/o my ring and seeing if anyone would flirt with me-like he has flirted with her.

  31. ppl May 24, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    there can be many reasons for affair but one i really dont see explored here is midlife crisis. statistics on marriage recovery from midlife crisis are said to be extremely poor but i dont see any statistics. also not clear whether methods addressed here help with recovery from midlife crisis complicated by affair. what do you address first? any discussion or referral to a source of information would be appreciated.

    • Morrigan May 25, 2011 at 10:14 am #

      I too am very interested in this subject!!! Please if you would let me know of any resources.

      • Doug May 25, 2011 at 10:26 am #

        I am actually working on a post about mid-life crisis today. I hope to have it done for tomorrow.

  32. InTheFog May 25, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    Doug,
    I’ve often wondered about how having started (and finished) having a family changes our needs and wants in life as female and male individuals.

    • Doug May 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

      Interesting question. I can’t say that I’ve ever asked myself that question. Perhaps the needs are basically the same as they always were, but life just happens and each parties in a marriage often lose sight of them.

  33. InTheFog May 25, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    I was thinking on a biological level. Until we produce offspring we’re looking for the best mate to reproduce (strong, healthy etc). After that we have done what we were created to do so perhaps instinct drives us to want a mate who will look after us, be it with affection or attention.
    Just something that I wondered, I’m not sure myself. Are we made to be monogamous for our whole adult life?

    • Doug May 25, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

      That’s a good question and we have had that debate before on the site. Check out: http://www.emotionalaffair.org/open-discussion-are-we-really-meant-to-be-monogamous/

      I was unaware that you have been a betrayed spouse before. Was that from a previous marriage?

      • Chris June 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

        Doug and Linda,

        I have included Linda in this reply because I have experienced her side of this issue. I am not really sure what I am doing here (this site) or why I am writting. I have reasearched the issue of emoitional affairs and still do not know what to do. My wife and I have had a troubled marraige for quite some time now (10 out of 12 years) and it has culminated in the possibilty of divorce and her confessing to an emotional affair although she does not refer to it as that. In fact she displays ALL the signs discribed in your article “EmotionalAffairSigns”. She has been telling me for years that she has been unhappy and felt that I did not love her, but I continued to ignore her pleas. I can barely explain why I ignored them other than I was not sure how much I loved her. Now that the very real and imminent possibilty of living my live without her exists, I searched my soul an figured out that I do love her very much and want her in my life. But, the damage has been done (the affair). Through the pain, and fights and counseling we have decided to try and not only make our marriage work, but to imporove the quality and intimacy of it. She has made it clear that if things do not improve, then she is gone. Much of this needs to come from me since I addmitadly have been the one who has been holding back. I am deeply hurt by all this and the connection my wife has with her “friend”. I am trying to make sense of it. I am not even 100% sure of the scope of it. But it is in my mind and difficult to deal with. She did tell me about it, but made it sound like it was more of her obessing about idea than it was mutual. She did say, however, that she liked it and did not want to stop. I am just not sure of the extent. We still have difficulty discussing sensitive matters and I do not want to keep throwing this in her face. We had to stop counseling for time being because we left each session in a fight. With all this, things have started to slowly improve and I can feel her drawing back to me. I have realized and can feel the deep love I have for her and have made real pogress in showing that to her. She has told me that it feels good to her and she wants it to continue. I have read that one method to get the unfaithful spouse to stop the affair is to remove the reasons that they desire to have one – provided that the reason is known. I believe I know, but again I am not 100% sure. Regardless, that is what I am followingthat advice. Not just because its a possible solution, but beacause I truly love her and I want her to feel it. Still, the pain is there and know it will have to be delt with eventually. I guess I am just afraid to “rock the boat” right now.

  34. InTheFog May 26, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    It was someone I lived with whom I had been in a relationship with for a few years. I had all of the suspicions and no evidence. In the end I left because it was a destructive relationship. Of course then afterwards things came out. I put my total trust in him but to be honest I don’t think that guy is capable of being faithful to anyone. For him its about sex I think and wanting to always be told how great he is. But in finding my now partner I swapped one ‘jail’ for another.

    I know exactly how it feels to be the betrayed one. Why doesn’t that feeling make me stop? I don’t know. I think that feeling is why I feel so bad towards his W. I suppose I used to worry my previous cheating partner would be whisked away by the OWomen but in truth looking back it was all sexually driven and they’d never have put up with his vanity and constant need to be adored. I was prepared to put up with his cheating behaviour if it meant he didn’t leave me. How I have changed!

    In my situation I have no intention of stealing away the other party and I never ever ever want his or my partner to know. It upsets me to think about how she would feel- makes me feel sick to the core. My own partner would maybe hurt me physically and that scares me. So why do we go on? Because we are a support in those times when they don’t support us. I want to support him without my own agenda- and he is supportive of me too. Either of us would support ending this should the other one make that decision. The thing is neither of us want to.

    Having someone to support you in what you want to do feels good. Someone who will listen when the person who should be listening isn’t- and when you’ve tried and tried to no avail.

    The best way to describe it is that before the EA I felt alone in a crowded room, and now I don’t. I suspect this is how the other party feels too, hence we carry on.

  35. Noles May 26, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    It has been 15 months since my husband found out about my indescreation,It has been hard work for me to make him fall inlove with me again.I am lucky that he gave so much effort to reconciling our 23 marraige.I will continue on a daily basis to be the type of wife he needs andnever want to disappoint him again or hurt him.I also did the 40 day love dare last year July and i still try to remember what i learnt on a daily basis whilst doing it.My husband love the person i have become and coomunication is better than ever before,which we should have had previously

  36. InTheFog May 26, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    Thats wonderful Noles- sounds like you both want to try. Its an evolving thing, I think my partner thinks since he has me there’s no reason to try. Its good to hear something positive has come out of your situation.

  37. Saddenned May 26, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    InTheFog,

    If you know how it feels to be the betrayed one, and you know the feeling of not being able to trust and having the rug pulled out from underneath you. Why do you continue? Temptation is a battle we all face, even your spouse who does not know. You have a choice. Tell your spouse how you feel “alone in a crowded room.” Give your spouse a chance to help. Be honest with your spouse. It is not fair, to “have your cake and eat it too”. You need to end it, and tell your spouse what was going on. He will respect you for it. You are human and you are going to make mistakes and they can be forgiven, so I am not here to judge, but I think it is time to distinguish between right and wrong.

    • InTheFog May 26, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

      My spouse knows about my loneliness in our relationship. He thinks I’m nagging when I bring up anything emotional. I’ve tried and over many years.

      He will never forgive me he would make my life hell either together or apart. We have children to think about and I’m not sure he would. It would be about punishing me at any cost.

      End it? Do you think we haven’t tried that? Easier said than done. But I am here to try to get to a place where I know what to do.

      • Saddenned May 26, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

        My spouse thought I would never forgive him either. He thought that I would up and leave him with the short end of the stick. But guess what, I realized what we had was special and realized that I had shortcomings too and that we were just “existing”. He may surprise you, I know I did my Husband.

  38. Noles May 26, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    Thank you so much.I am so proud of myself and the person i have become.My husband is also told me that he is proud of me and that i made such an effort to make him fall in love with me all over again.It feels like we have just met and i have not been this happy for a very long time.I want to be an example to others i hope.But for that i need to keep up with the person i am now.

  39. Moggy July 3, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    Hello Doug and Linda
    Firstly, thank you from the bottom of my heart for this site. I don’t know how I would have made it through these ten weeks (D day) without you both.

    This site has made me feel like I have friends far away who understand what I am going through. It helps a lot to know I am not alone and that some of the things I feel are perfectly natural under the circumstances.

    I found out about my husband’s emotional affair with an old university friend ten weeks ago, while I was still grieving for my father who passed away six months earlier. The pain of the affair, I can honestly say has devastated me more than my father’s death.

    My husband had the affair two years ago and never told me. He didn’t even think it was an affair and actually told me he was doing this to help our marriage. He had gone to her to get advise about our marriage problems. In particular my depression. He actually ended up embroiled in an affair.

    Only now when we have talked has he seen it for what it was. The lies, deceit, broken trust. He says he ended it by committing to me and my son in his mind. He is horrified at what he has done.

    The problem with this is that I didn’t know he was committing in his mind and the problems in the marriage were still there. It would have been a time bomb waiting to go off. Also I feel, by not telling me about the affair, it makes the chance of it happening again more likely. If I had never found out he would have never have know what devastation and distraction these things leave in their paths.

    I am broken, but trying my best to understand and be objective, but these stupid little things known as emotions keep getting in the way. I am so tired it physically hurts and feel like I am floating through a limbo land most of the time. I want to just run away. But I know that life really throws some shit. Thanks for listening .

  40. blwolfeyesbabydoll September 23, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    First I would like to thank you for sharing your story and the road to recovering. I wanted to give a little back ground on my situation. My H and I have been married for 6 years. My H is an Iraq War Vet and is suffering from PTSD and TBI. We have 3 children together.
    Last year, my H has been in contact via Facebook and phone with an old aquaintance from school. The communication, which was mostly sexual from what I saw,only lasted a few days before I found out and I made him cut all contact. I even called her and talked to her about the situation and told her that all contact would cease.
    About a month ago, my H got back in contact with her. BTW I should add that we are in TX and she is in FL. This contact only last a few days again. This time the conversation that I was able to see involved talk of my H divorcing me. Of course this was devestating.
    When I have talked to my H about why he does this and says the things he says he is not sure why. He is very wishy-washy and I am not sure how to even proceed. He has said that he is seeking freedom and when I ask freedom from what he is seeking and he says it is to be able to do what he wants and he says that financially that is not possible for our family. He has also expressed repeatedly his desire to stay with our family but I am not sure if that is what he really wants. He has also said that he doesn’t tell me things because he doesn’t want to hurt me, but not knowing is making it more difficult to help us. Our communication is getting better but we still have a long way to go. In my opinion I believe alot of our problems stem from the PTSD and I know that he will have to work with his therapist to resolve some of those issues. I am currently seeking help myself both to better understand the PTSD as well as working on what I can do to help with my marriage.
    I might also add that our family is planning a move in a year or so to FL to be closer to my H family. So I think the biggest problem that I have with all of this is the lies but also the move is concerning to me of course especially since the OW is in the same area we will be moving to.
    I initially told him I would not be going to FL as of yet but I have been thinking that if I want to work out things with my H that it would be better if we are together to do that. Any thoughts?
    I would love to hear from anyone who might be dealing with the PTSD in conjunction with an emotional or even a sexual affair. I also would like some opinions on forgiving and trust. I know everyone and situation is different but how soon is too soon to forgive and to trust again? I just want to be able to move on though I know it will be difficult.

  41. Lynne September 23, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    blwolfeyesbabydoll-

    Take his words of wanting “freedom” at face value. Don’t try to rationalize them, decipher them and think you can change them. My advice would be to separate yourself from him while he works on his PTSD challenges and such. He’s done this twice now, so it is NOT an isolated incident. First and foremost, you MUST take care of you and your children.

    All the best to you.

  42. Laura November 2, 2011 at 1:10 am #

    4 years ago my husband had an affair with coworker who was 20 years younger than him. It continued for about a year with sexual intimacy, but per my husband, no intercourse. Before this he had several emotional affairs, the one affecting our marriage the most being an old college girlfriend. He had continuously placed the old girlfriend before me, and would lie and hide his calling her 3-4 times a day for most of our marriage. After the sexual affair and therapy. it was established that he couldn’t speak with his old girlfriend and that he was having an emotional affair with her.
    We had an agreement that if she contacted him, he would be honest and above board and tell me, then we would decide how to handle it from there. It was also established that if he ever hid communication or lied about communication with other women that would be grounds for me leaving and the marriage ending. We set these boundaries with the help of our therapist.
    I just found out that this summer my husband received an email from his old girlfriend informing him of the death of a close friends Father. My husband proceeded to email her back (several times) and then talking with her on the phone. I found out by chance, as he was not forth right with the information and proceeded to lie to me. So I left and am contemplating what to do next.

    Any thoughts?

    • Healing Mark November 2, 2011 at 9:02 am #

      Hire a good divorce attorney? That is, unless you insanely enjoy being married to someone who is apparently very consistently and conciously unfaithful to you, especially after you guys set up some very specific boundaries for your marital relationship.

  43. Weddingnextmonth November 3, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    Hi,

    I’ve never posted on a site like this before but I don’t know what else to do.

    My fiance and I have been together for 5 years, and are getting married in 2 months’ time. He’s been having all kinds of stress at work lately, and handed in his notice this week. The next day he was quite upset and said that his bosses had been talking him round and making him see that he was a lot more valued than he realised etc etc. He’s now pretty much decided to stay.

    A couple of years ago, he was having an emotional affair with a woman on the other side of the world, which I found out about and we nearly split up over it. Since then I’ve been quite insecure, no matter how much he says he loves me, and after his emotional day above I checked his phone. There was a message from him the day before to a woman whose name I’d never heard (I’ve since discovered she works at his office). It was in response to her saying she was sorry he was leaving, and he’d said to her “I was dreading telling you the most. You make every day special and I’m so glad I met you.” Since finding your site, some things have really hit home – particularly the signs of an emotional affair and the fact that, although he’s always telling me about his female friends, her name has never been mentioned…and yet he’s this close to her?

    Should I bring it up with him? I know that if I do, I have to admit to having snooped at his phone, which I’m really not proud of. Part of me is tempted not to say anything yet and see if anything else comes up…although that will mean more snooping. I’m scared he’s staying at the job because he doesn’t want to leave her – but then again, when he was upset about changing his mind, the first thing he did was to come to my office for lunch and to talk about it. That’s the thing – as far as the other signs of an emotional affair goes, the distance and having less affection for the spouse, there’s none of that. Everyday he tells he how lucky he is to be with me and how the wedding can’t come soon enough. He tells me he loves me several times a day

    So confused and desperate for advice. What do I do?

    • Healing Mark November 3, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

      Good God, communicate for God’s Sake! If you and your guy are not close and comfortable enough right now to talk about the things that are bothering you or that you are wondering about, you should think very carefully about whether it is time for you to get married. And if you haven’t already done so (my wife and I had to in order to get married in our church), get pre-marital counselling. I’m no marriage counselor or pre-marriage counselor, but from the facts, questions and emotions exhibited by your post, you need some professional guidance as to where you should be at this point of your relationship if you are going to get married and to what you should expect and plan to do once you do, if in fact, get married.

      By the way, if your guy did, in fact, have an emotional affair in the past, I don’t understand why you are even the least bit concerned that you took a look at what might be on his phone. For a person who is acting within agreed upon relationship boundaries, there is not going to be anything on the phone that is damning (although texts like the one you describe can be difficult to interpret out of context so that is a danger you face when you look at things like that). Unless you promised him that you would never look at his phone by yourself (why you would have done that I can’t imagine), and broke this promise, you have nothing to be ashamed or worried about. And even if you did, under the circumstances, it’s not surprising that you broke such a stupid promise.

  44. Whirling November 21, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    I am sitting here when I should be at work. I don’t know what do. It’s been a very long weekend. I haven’t slept or eaten. I can’t concentrate enough to even watch tv. Mostly, I just wonder around the house.
    He went to Chicago on a business trip for 4 days. He called at night but didn’t text or email. I got a weird feeling. Woman should always listen to their gut feeling. Texting me friday at work to say we needed a heart to heart. Got home friday to hear he had met someone through which was professional and could make good contacts. About 5 minutes into the conversation, I found out they had dinner the first night. Then she texted him the next day so they had drinks that night. Then he came back. As the conversation went on he had discussed his first marriage and our relationship with her and she had lots of good advise. A note here she had been engaged 3 times and but never followed through. Oh, and he was attracted her. I thought I had been sucker punched. I never ever thought he would do this. I couldn’t say anything I just walked away. There’s been alot tears. He doesn’t think he had done anything wrong. He apologized for hurting me. But wants to stay in contact with her as there is nothing wrong – she’s a friend now. On Saturday, I said he has to terminate texts, calls etc with her. He said he would. Yesterday, I said I wanted to be cc on the message. He said he wouldn’t do that. So, I said ok then I want to be included on the texts. If you have nothing to hide, then it shouldn’t be a problem. He said I was too angry to have her address and we should just concentrate on the positive and work on our relationship. I said I couldn’t work on our relationship until we/I had worked through this.
    Did nothing wrong eh?
    PS she also has been texting him since he returned home and him her. He told me he would tell me who she was, but she doesn’t want that as she works at a prestious store and is afraid to lose her job. BOOHOO!!! shouldn’t have thought about it before she got into our relationship. He said he ended it today.

  45. KH December 2, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    Hello all,

    I stumbled on this site by accident, and I couldnt stop reading. I very recently found out my wife of 2 years has been having a one month long distance emotional affair via facebok. Our relationship has not been good for about a year now (we have been together 5), I have been stressed and not pleasent to be around. I feel like this was the reason she found comfort in another man. Virtually every moment she was not with me she was talking to him, their messages get very detailed on how their going to get married, have kids, sexual incounters, etc. She has only known this guy for a month. I dont understand what has happened, why she could do this to me. We have spent alot of time talking about the affair, she has been very open and honest about it. They no longer talk, they have cut off all ties. I originally was going to end the marriage, I contacted a lawyer, and was prepared for the end. Then she came home, she broke down, apoligized said “I dont know who I was for the past month”, she desperatly wants to work things out. I have agreed, I setup a counseling session and we have confronted issues with ourselves that we have kept inside for so long. We are getting along better now than ever before (not what I expected). However, I still feel myself having questions and doubts, sometimes I think shes lying, or I start to think about their messages to eachother and I slip into a state of anger, fear, betrayel, etc. Am I a fool for taking her back? Am I setting myself up for another affair in the future?

  46. Sidney December 2, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    KH,
    Sorry you are going through this horrible time. I just wanted to comment on one thing you said in your post. You said you didn’t understand why she could do this to you. In my opinion, the cheater isn’t doing anything TO YOU, they are doing something FOR THEM. Your wife probably wasn’t thinking about you at all…..she was only thinking about herself and how thrilling her new ‘relationship’ was and how this other man made her feel. Cheaters are selfish like that…..they get caught up in the excitement….the thrill….the newness….the secrecy,etc and they think of nothing except that. I would suspect if you polled those involved (past or present) in an affair, they would all say something similar….that they never intended to hurt their spouse….because (in my opinion) it was never ABOUT the spouse….it was always about THEM.

    Good luck to you in your recovery and whatever path you choose for the future of your marraige!

    • ifeelsodumb December 5, 2011 at 1:34 am #

      You are 100% correct, Sidney!!

  47. Helena December 20, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    What is the “180” that I’ve seen references to on this site a few times? What does the “180” refer to?

    Also, what if my SO refuses to acknowledge that the term “affair” even applies, though he has agreed to cut off all contact with the OW? If he does cut off all contact with her, can that be enough for me and our relationship to recover?

    He has told me he is sorry for the pain he has caused me, but he is still very defensive overall and tells me that my coldness towards him encouraged him to interact with the OW, which I feel is not much different from blaming me for the affair, and that really hurts. The reason why I’ve been cold towards him, though, is because I’ve been secretly aware of his interactions with the OW. I kept this awareness a secret for many months before confronting him about it because I couldn’t take it anymore. So, there’s a kind of chicken-or-egg argument going on.

    Can I take what little he is willing to acknowledge and make something out of it that is good enough for me and our relationship to recover? If cutting off all contact with the OW is as good as it gets, is it possible that it is good enough?

    • Doug December 20, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

      Hey Helena, This post might help explain the “180” strategy: http://www.emotionalaffair.org/do-a-%E2%80%9C180%E2%80%9D-to-save-your-marriage/

      Certainly cutting off all contact is a requirement for you to recover and that is a good start. At some point he needs to take responsibility for his actions and the pain it has caused you. Do not take the blame for his affair. Only you will know if taking what he is giving and making something good out of it is enough for you to recover and heal. I’m sure that most others on this site are of the opinion that more is needed though.

  48. Swedishhill December 21, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    I have a horrible story to tell, and I am sure that not many people have had to deal with this in particular. I have been married to my H. for 13 years and have been a couple for almost 18. We have had problems for the past year and I admit that I took him for granted and was unloving at times. We have a 9 y/o daughter and I have a 21 y/o from a previous relationship. She was 3 when H and I met. She ended up moving out at 16 and having a baby and lived with her BF in another state. Since then she is single and lived with my Mom. We sort of lost touch with her for several years. This past August she came to live with us. H and I were drifting apart and they became very close. So close that an affair ensued and he says he fell in love with her…… I knew something was up but had to have proof. The morning I found out I had checked her phone and text messages and discovered that they were an item.

    It started simply enough with good intentions and according to both of them she pursued him. He works away and thought it would be a good idea to take her on and train her in his field.He had what I believe were good intentions. We all supported his idea and took care of my GD, while they worked. Since I have found out we have been on a roller coaster of tears and anger(mine). He wants to come back but he still loves her. He knows how bad he screwed up but does not want to hurt either of us…. and he does not think she should have to move out. He took me and our Daughter away for the weekend and on the way home a shift in his attitude took place. He started pushing me away and hung out with her(my oldest D) I flipped when he said that she was coming with him to work for 10 days and that he wanted to prove to me that they could just work together and nothing more. Also a side note my D does not really want to end it, but while they were away she did.

    He ended up getting an apartment because it made sense for his job. I lost it while he has been gone, I was close to having a nervous breakdown. He recently texted me (they are not home yet) and said ” you win, she ended it so now I really don’t have a say” WTF? Now he seems down and very depressed. I have decided to take a step back and let him stay in his apartment for a while. I know he loves me and is consumed with guilt and confusion. He told me that my D will not be coming with him again. After the Holidays I am going to ask for a separation. This must sound crazy, but my H was always an upstanding guy and a wonderful Father and Husband. He is going through something and had a lot of panic/ anxiety before the affair. He said that all of his anxiety went away when he got close to her. I think deep down he wants to make it work but does not know where to start and how to get out of the situation.

    Any advice would be helpful, although I am sure most will say “Leave his ass behind” That is not an option at this point.

    • Lynne December 21, 2011 at 10:53 am #

      Swedishhill-

      First, I have to say that it broke my heart to read your story. It is certainly bad enough to deal with an affair, but for your H to have one with your daughter, I don’t think I can even express the right words…..plus, they would probably come out in a way that is not helpful to you. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

      Your H clearly has VERY BAD boundaries (as does your daughter, however, he’s her stepfather and should have been the one to say no when she started pursuing him) that need to be addressed IMMEDIATELY.

      In my opinion, these are things that I’d recommend you do NOW!

      –Your daughter has got to move out. If she thinks she’s old enough to have an affair with her stepfather, then she’s old enough to take care of herself and her child. How could the two of you possibly coexist in the same home right now.

      –Do not allow your H to come home until he undertakes some serious counseling. He needs some in depth work to find out why he would ever turn to your daughter, knowing the devastation this would ultimately cause. He is not well! Come on, he says he’s in love with you daughter–OMG!!!

      –Take care of yourself! Get to counseling as fast as you can and don’t agree to anything with him for at least 6 months. You truly need some space to work through this for yourself. I’m not clear on why you would say that its not an option to leave his ass behind, as he’s already out of the house. At this point, you are in the drivers seat and can make any choice you want. Don’t be swayed by others, do what you need to do for YOU!

      I will be thinking of you and wishing nothing but the absolute best for you and your 9 year old.

  49. Lynne December 21, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    Swedishhill-

    I would also add that it hardly matters at this point that he WAS a good and upstanding man……he isn’t right now! And right now, you have to deal with the person he’s become, which is a COMPLETE ASS!!!

    I’d minimize your contact with him and only speak to him as it relates to your youngest child. He needs to be alone with himself and feel the full effects of his ridiculous choices.

  50. Jessica December 21, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    @swedish hill,
    Their relationship was incest, he was her caregiver from 3 to 16.

    Hopefully you can find if you haven’t already a good therapist to guide you thru this.

  51. It's me January 3, 2012 at 1:28 am #

    Just found this site, wow! This would have been a great help to me 5 years ago when my 21 year marriage was ending. Five years on the other side of it all I just wanted to post that it does get better, life does go on, and not all marriages are worth fighting for.

    I will share my story. My husband and I had two teenagers, had been together since our freshman year in college, and lived a normal, average life. I used to tell people that my husband was the nicest person I’d ever met, he was very mild mannered and not much of a talker. I was an Energizer Bunny and filled the air with constant activity and chatter. I never really thought about how that must feel from his perspective, and in my mind I thought the fact that we seldom argued meant that we were happy. I never really worried about him having an affair, because to do so would mean that he’d actually have to talk to someone.

    One day a man left a message on our home answering machine asking who from this number had been calling his wife’s cell phone. I asked both of my kids, and then called my husband at work to ask him if he’d every heard of the person. They all said no so I deleted the message as a wrong number without a second thought.

    Fast forward a few months and the husband who I’d always proclaimed as the nicest person I’d ever met suddenly starts to pick fights with me over random things of absolutely no consequence. Weird. So one day I just asked him what the heck was going on, we were in the car on the way back from Lowes. His response was “Do you really want to know?” Then he proceeds to tell me that he’s in love with someone else.

    Now all of the things that you see in the movies and read about in the books don’t really happen in real life in these types of situations. I was speechless. I didn’t yell, I didn’t cry, I just calmly asked him a few questions and told him to make a decision, end it and stay, or choose her and leave. Without even a second glance back, he left.

    So, as it turns out, he was not the nicest person I’d ever met. He packed a bag and drove to her house, moved in with her and her children. I filed to divorce the very next day, found out on Sunday, filed on Monday. My divorce was final 2 months later. He married the OW almost 6 months to the day after our divorce was final.

    From my perspective, the second he chose the OW, my heart just closed off to him. The point of no return. I really admire all of you who have the energy and strength to fight for you marriage, but to me it did not appear to be an option. It all happened so quickly, like I was watching someone’s life.

    Our 13 year old took it the hardest, and within six months was diagnosed with both depression and anorexia. The only thing he felt he had any control over was what he ate, and I think he felt that someone he could use it to punish his dad. But, the nicest man on earth blew off his own flesh and blood kids, and did not have any interaction with them until his 10 month marriage to the OW began to implode.

    He sent me an email telling me he was divorcing in which claimed that he was actively pursued by the OW, entranced by the excitement of it all, and wasn’t thinking straight. I don’t have any idea what he’d hoped that the outcome of this email would be, but in the 5 years since our divorce I have only laid eyes on him when I had to at our children’s graduations. I was just so over it. My friends and family waited with baited breath for the day I would finally implode or fall to pieces, but that day never came. I wish I could explain it better but I can’t, not even five years later. I don’t hate him, I don’t love him, I don’t even like him. I am absolutely devoid of emotion when it comes to him. It’s the weirdest thing.

    Instead, I went to work on my own life. I immediately went back to college to finish my undergrad degree, which is something I’d always wanted to do but life got in the way. My daughter and I shuttled my son back and forth to all of his doctor and therapy appointments, and a year and a half later he was released from all treatment. To this day my ex-husband has never once acknowledged how ill my son was, or that he had to spend a month in an in-hospital anorexia treatment facility when he was a freshman in high school. I went on to grad school, and my kids graduated and both went on to college.

    And here we are, on the other side of it, and both of my kids are healthy and happy and I am content with my life. While my husband has remarried and divorced, and been through 2 additional relationships, I have been in college. I complete my MBA this spring.

    Our journey as a family and my journey personally has been a gift. I never would have left my husband had it not been for his affair, or rediscovered who I was as a person separate from my roles as wife and mother, or dared to envision a new life for myself. I still claim that my 21 years of marriage were happy ones for me, I cannot speak for him. But, I also firmly believe that when one door closes another opens. It’s all about choices.

    And as a sidenote for all of you suffering now feeling you don’t compare to the OW/OM, I don’t really think that is the issue. The issue is the excitement and thrill of it. Often times the OW/OM does not hold a candle to you, but once a person knows you inside and out it’s hard to keep the surprise alive. In my case, OW was 10 years younger than me but not very attractive, was herself married to husband #3 at the time of the affair, and had miscellaneous children from various relationships. She was just looking for better prospects for husband #4. At first I hated her, but that phase did not last very long as she was not the one who I’d exchanged vows with. My ex-husband tried to throw her under the bus and blame her for everything when their marriage imploded, but I wanted to validate what others have said here that once the bloom fades they all realize that they’ve just traded one set of issues for another. No one is perfect, and commitment to each other is key.

    I’ve come to the point in my life where I can stand firmly on my own two feet, make choices that I want to make instead of those I feel I have to make, and have renewed confidence and zeal for life. I just think sometimes Plan B may be the best option, and I wanted some of you to know that.

    Blessings in the new year to you all.

  52. Notoverit January 3, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    Thank you It’s Me. Your words came at a low point in my battle over the EA. You reminded me that it’s the thrill and not love. I really appreciate it.

  53. csb January 3, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    It’s Me – thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s been almost 3 months since I discovered my H’s EA with an old girlfriend (lasted 1 1/2 years). He tells me there was nothing physical, she lives in another state, but I’m still not sure I believe him. Nor do I fully believe it’s over.

    I appreciate your insight and like you, I am working to rediscover myself and focus on what’s right for me. We are attempting to save our marriage, but I still don’t know if that is possible. I think I need to remind myself that it’s okay if things don’t work out instead of feeling the pressure to repair the damage.

    I’m happy to hear your children are doing well too!

  54. ifeelsodumb January 3, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    It’s Me…..Bravo, Bravo!!! I loved reading about your life and what you did to overcome your H’s betrayal!! Congrats to you for pulling it all together! Right now, I’m in a good place with my H’s betrayal…but IF I ever find out that he is lying to me about the OW OR he gets into another EA…our marriage is over! So I’m going to copy your posting and keep it…to read over and over again…so I can see that there IS life after divorce, IF I ever find myself there!
    Pat yourself on the back from me and tell yourself,” Job well done, Mom”!
    One question though…How is the relationship between your kids and their father? Just wondering….

  55. D January 3, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    It’s me, this is really great. I’ve remained married and things are coming together rather nicely for both of us after two years of rebirth. I thoroughly understand the emotional disconnect. I didn’t feel it at first, I was much too desperate and in shock, but sometime in the second year I just sort of gave up, not on the marriage or my wife, per se, but on caring about us. It was and is liberating. I sort of feel that, while I want to be married to her, and want to raise our children together, and want to share our future, I don’t have to. There are alternatives. It takes the pressure off of being what one thinks they ought to be for the other person and go back to being who they are.

    Thanks for the great perspective.

  56. Paula January 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    It’s Me, thanks from me, too. I wish I felt nothing for my OH, it would make things SO much easier. My Dad sounds a little like your ex, he was married to my Mum for 19 years, then left, at her request (for a man) and didn’t have much to do with us for about 10 years. (I was at uni by this time, so it didn’t really affect me much, but my younger brothers must have wondered what they did wrong for him to pretty much ignore them – although my Mum did make us keep ip the contact, we always had to call him, and try to visit him on Christmas Day, etc) I’m stuck. My OH has made all the changes he needs to, and I love him dearly, but I can’t move on with the trust issue, feel numbe sexually, and I feel bloody miserable. I want to move on and make myself a fabulous new life, but feel financially tethered here, and I can’t seem to find what exactly it is that I want to study (story of my life, started four different degrees, almost finished two of them, but don’t feel any passion for either of them to continue) I have made the decision to stay until our youngest leaves for uni, but that is five years away, would like to start to make inroads to a new life before then, but can’t choose the “right” path, still feel very confused and like a giant loser. I used to be so strong, so full of life, so bloody sure of our love, we were (and still are) so close – still don’t really “get” what happened, even though I know the factors that led up to him shagging his cheating ex GF for 15-16 months after a 22 year “break!” I keep seeking and seeking to try to find the path I should take, don’t know where to turn now, maybe just throw a dart at a list of degrees, lol! Looked at buying/starting a business, shackled by the economy, and the fact that all our money is tied up in land, and it’s not so easy to shift it at present. Excuses, excuses. Thanks again, It’s Me, I know I’ll (eventually) find a way.

  57. It's me January 3, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    Wow, what a warm welcome! Thank you!

    After I’d posted my original post last night I immediately wanted to delete it, because I thought “Who am I to tell these people that throwing in the towel is the right decision”, but I just wanted to pass on my story that it sometimes throwing in the towel really is the best decision. I also noticed two weird things I’d typed in my original post which are telling, the first being where I wrote “I never would have left my husband had it not been for his affair”, which is weird, because in reality he left me for her. I guess what I was trying to say is that prior to the affair discovery, it never occurred to me that my husband and I would get divorced. The other thing that I noticed is that I lapse back and forth between calling the kids “my kids”, when they are really “our kids” together. The telling part about that is that from the day my husband left, he ceased to parent in any sense of the word. The kids have said that their dad feels like a family member, like the kind who shows up on holidays with gifts, but not a father.

    Much like Paula’s mom, I tried to keep the lines of communication open between the kids and their dad from the beginning, but my ex and the OW were convinced that this was a ploy by me to interfere with their happiness, and financial well being. I’m not sure who instigated it but they both firmly subscribed to the delusion that my son’s depression and anorexia were merely a desperate ploy on my part to force my ex back home, and that somehow I held the power to get medical doctors, therapists, the hospital and our health insurance to go along with the charade. I think this is an excellent example of the illusion created within an affair, the whole “It’s us against the world” mentality. My ex-husband did not reappear in his children’s lives until the marriage to the OW ended.

    I also didn’t want to leave anyone with the impression that I didn’t love my husband and didn’t think my marriage was worth fighting for. As I’ve said, I thought we were happily married. The way it all played out for me though did not feel as if I had any options, they had obviously planned the big escape, and there was an unquestionable finality to it all from day one. I went through the stages: numbness & disbelief, anger, and sadness but I had two kids at home and was not the one riding off into the sunset. The anger and betrayal that I felt regarding my ex-husband’s behavior toward his own kids is what sealed the deal and probably explains my total disconnect from him, and kick started the beginning of my phase 2.

    Anyway, my main motive for posting is that I just wanted to chime in that throwing in the towel and walking away does not always equate with failure. So often the betrayed spouse is left to feel like they have to do all of the work to fix things, that they are to blame, and that it is up to them alone to save the marriage. This thought processes messes up the equality that must exist in a healthy happy relationship, and elevates the spouse who strayed to the position of the grand prize. When he first left my ex tried the whole “If you’d only been…” routine with me, but I firmly believe that it takes two to make a happy marriage and two to make a bad one. I certainly wasn’t perfect, but I contend to this day that I put my all into it whether he believes otherwise or not.

    Wishing you all only peace and happiness.

    • Doug January 3, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

      It’s me, I feel your comment was helpful to everyone not because of the choice you made but the way you went about it. I feel we can all learn from your story whether we choose to stay in our marriage or leave. What inspired me was the manner in which you chose to deal with this terrible situation and I hope that everyone can learn from your actions. The BS often puts all their needs and feelings aside just to “win” their spouses back. They never think about what they want and need to have a healthy life. I admire how you moved on with life and didn’t allow your husband’s actions to take away your dreams. I hope that anyone who has just started this journey will have the power to tell their spouses what they need from them to heal from their affairs. I hope they will have the strength to be completely honest and if the cheater can not give them what they need they will have the confidence to make a better life for themselves. Thank you for your story. Linda

  58. Paula January 3, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    It’s Me, certainly no need to feel you were suggesting we all throw in the towel! It is VERY important that we hear all angles, and that we are not blindly clinging onto an image of “perfect married life.” Without wishing to offend anyone here, I sometimes feel that many of the (women, especially) BSs here are desperate to stay married, but mostly for the sake of being married, not because it is genuinely the best option for them, for the long term.

    A footnote to your comment about your kids’ Dad, I feel very similarly about mine. He’s not a bad fella, he had some big issues to deal with, not easy to be a gay, married man, with a family, in smalltownsville, and only work out what it was that made him feel “different” after 15-16 years of marriage to a wonderful woman (he always loved my Mum, he still talks about her as the love of his life) but I never understood why he had to completely just “walk away.” He also is back in all of our lives, is loving his grandchildren (my mother died 10 years ago, they remained friends, also my stepfather who died a couple of months ago, got on well with Dad) and, regrets not being there, particularly for my brothers, who were just 13 and 15 when the marriage disintegrated. My youngest brother, particularly, went off the rails a little in his teen years, with dabbling in drugs getting out of hand, minor (but devastating to my mother) trouble with the law, etc. My stepfather actually met my brother for the first time, in the overnight holding cells of the police station, when he was about 18 or 19, much to my mother’s mortification, and same brother (who has turned out fabulous, btw!) says it was good stepfather turned up when he did, as he “kicked his arse” – to quote brother – a couple of times, and he is first to admit he needed it!

    I totally agree with you about the CS becoming the “grand prize” – you know what, mine is quite tarnished, in my mind, he was a pretty bright sparkly prize before he made such devastatingly selfish decisions – no one is perfect, but I KNOW I was doing my absolute best, and then some, at the time he decided he was SO unhappy, and that his selfish, single, ex GF, my so-called mate, could make him happy, and to hell with what I had sacrificed over the decades, my feelings didn’t even count, and that’s what really p&@*s me off! I didn’t even know he was unhappy!!!

    There are days I wish he had chosen her, I wouldn’t have this battle, the decision would be made for me. He had decided, he had ended it, and she couldn’t bear to see us so happy (we were by this stage, we’d made the necessary changes to our lifestyle to relieve the pressure we had both been feeling.) He was breathing the HUGEST sigh of relief, elated that although he had done a mad, mad thing, he had realised how stupid it was, managed, with great difficulty, to detach her claws from him (she was blackmailing him) and smoothly slid into a better relationship with me, where I was much happier, much healthier, and life was great again. He couldn’t believe his luck!!! Until she HAD to text me and tell me all about it.

  59. Paula January 3, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    Oh, just read that last post, I don’t want anyone to think I wanted to be ignorant, yes,in a way, ignorance was bliss, but I’m glad he hasn’t got to keep this big secret from me, he wouldn’t have learned anything if he’d kept it covered up, the next time it got hard, he’d be very tempted to have another affair, as far as I’m concerned. Certainly don’t blame the OW, don’t like what she did, but he was the one with the family, the lovely partner who did everything for him, and loved him, no matter what, his mistake, she was just a cow who put herself right in harm’s way, but I don’t “blame” her, he started it, he made sure it continued, he had everything to lose, she just wanted a nice guy to be a father to her ratbag son, a meal ticket, and to not be so lonely anymore, he made her feel good about herself.

  60. Cheated upon and feeling cheated January 27, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    Hello all I am new to this site. I discoveredd that my husband of almost 20 years has been having an EA for a year that ultimately turned sexual. Moreover, he hangs some of the catalyst for the EA/SA on me because he felt I was abusing the children (the woman he was seeing was a specialist in child abuse). I hope you all can help me find my way through this pain and anger. Right now I feel lost.

  61. ifeelsodumb January 27, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    Dear Cheated…So sorry you have joined the “journey”!! First, it IS NOT YOUR FAULT…that’s a load of BS!! All your H is trying to do is shift the guilt to YOU so he doesn’t have to examine himself to closely, because he will find that he is a lying cheater! First…READ this blog…I mean devour it!! I’m a little over a year past DDay, and this blog and the people I’ve “met” on here have been a constant strength to me!
    Second, go to Amazon.com right now and buy “How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair” by Linda MacDonald! Even if your H won’t read it, it will help you to better understand that YOU as the BS (betrayed spouse) have not done ANYTHING wrong!!
    Third, take care of YOU!! By this I mean do what makes YOU happy…spend time with your children, work out at the gym or take long walks, just concentrate on what YOU need to make yourself feel better!
    Is your H still in contact with the OW? If so, that has to STOP!! Anyway, please start reading this blog…it will help you a lot!

  62. Lynne January 27, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    I absolutely agree with Ifeelsodumb, CS’s follow such a CLASSIC pattern, and it sounds as if your’s is in the same camp……

    1. You made me do it! It’s your behaviors and actions that caused me to look elsewhere. No accountability, which is probably not something new with this person

    2. Shift guilt quickly! Here, let me put the monkey on your back, then I don’t look so bad…..actually, I’m the victim here!

    3. Don’t help with healing! Well if it’s your fault (not theirs) why would THEY need to help you heal, right?

    4. Just want this to go away and move on! It’s like they’re a small child who doesn’t want to be punished for their misdeeds, nor have to take accountability.

    5. Doesn’t want to tell the truth and bring everything out in the open! Why would they…..then you’ll know that they truly are a CONFIRMED ASS. If they remain slippery you can’t be sure of that.

    6. Won’t do the work! Again, acting as a small child dodging responsibility. If I do the work to help you heal, then I’m admitting my mistakes and weaknesses–who me?

    Hmmm, if the shoe was on the other foot and they were the BS, waht might they expect and need. When I asked my own H the question of how he might feel had I been the one to have an EA, he said “we’d have the conversation once and then we’d move on”. Yah, RIGHT!!!

  63. Anita January 28, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    Cheated upon feeling cheated,
    A specialist in child abuse, and it doesn’t occur to your husband, that the time he spent on his affair he neglected
    the best interest of his own children. Wow!
    The other woman doesn’t get by involving herself with
    married man with children, she’s not thinking of the best
    interest for the children. WOW!
    You mentioned this was a specialist, where did she get her
    education from?????

  64. Anita January 28, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    Cheated upon feeling cheated,
    First of all you need to remind your husband that the time
    he used in his infidelity was time that he took away from
    you and your children. He’s not fulfilling his role as a
    good role model. All the energy that was put into the
    affair, could have been used in developing your own
    children’s growth. It also could have been used in being
    a good mate to you. Even helping out some older person
    in something that was difficult for them (mowing grass,
    shoveling snow). Anything would have shown the best of
    him, sadly he brought out the worst of himself.
    Stay strong!

  65. Anita January 28, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    Cheated upon feeling cheated,
    As far as ( the specialist in child abuse) if having sex and a
    emotional affair with someone else’s husband is how she
    conducts herself in her job and personal life, then what does
    this say about her, need I say more.

  66. Anita January 28, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    Cheated upon feeling cheated,
    With all I mentioned, please stay strong, do not let his bad
    choices wear and tear at you, remember he is the one in
    the wrong, this is his sin, and it belongs to him.
    Carry your head high, and if he tries to shift the blame,
    remind him that he had others choices, that having an
    affair was his choice and he gets to own it. Remind him
    that he’s married, and an affair is a grave offense.
    He broke his marriage vows to you, and now the time that
    should be spent in family growth, now has a burden
    placed on it. Its sad when the cheating spouse can’t forsee
    the heartache that follows when they make a choice to give
    into temptation, its a double edge sword!

  67. Anita January 28, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    Cheated upon feeling cheated,
    I wish the very best to you in your journey, I found myself
    where you are a few years ago.
    My exhusband and I ended up divorcing and I just finished
    doing my part for a petition to get my marriage annuled in
    my church. I learned alot in this journey.
    You can only control your actions, and not that of someone
    else.
    Forgiveness is a must if you stay or go.
    When I was writing on my part for the annulement, things
    become more clear to me, and brought total forgiveness
    on my part. Of course everyone’s story is different from
    mine, and there will be different outcomes.
    But no matter what happens, you are a strong woman, and
    this journey will strenghten you even more.
    I wish you the best!

  68. Cheated upon and feeling cheated January 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    Thanks all for your words of support. 3 weeks past D-day, and it feels like a year. I’m past the anger (well, mostly) and working on the fear, the anxiety, and the pain. I agree that OW selfishly supported her own needs and his — and in her position, if she really thought I was abusing the children as he said, she was federally mandated to report it, but her “friendship” with my H was more important to her I guess. IDK her professional credentials but she has works for an organization that helps abused children in FL . And BTW, she is a bisexual that, based on the exchanges she’s has with H, might be in a sexual relationship with a judge! Maybe one she appears before? idk. Anyway, EA and SA with H was part of her “sexual journey of self-discovery” — in a hotel room in Cincinnati, 3 days before XMas. It makes me sick. But don’t get me wrong — I’m not in a place where I’m putting the blame of the affair on HER. HE made the choice, and HE ruined what we had. The big question is — where do I go from here?

  69. Anita January 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    Cheated upon and feeling cheated,
    I would start with a marriage counselor, even if he doesn’t
    go, it will help you with your journey.

  70. Cheated upon and feeling cheated January 28, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    Anita, R U ready for this? We’ve been in counselling for a year already! The counselor has asked him privately on more than 1 occasion if something else was going on, even asked him straight out if he was having an affair, and he said no! Now WHO goes to counselling, has the door cracked open for him by the therapist, and still doesn’t be honest — if not about the affair, then AT LEAST about your doubts about our relationship? Here’s your chance to get things back on the right track with yuor wife, and instead, you go have sex with another woman?

  71. Anita January 28, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    Cheated upon and feeling cheated,
    I wish the very best to you.
    I found my faith and prayer to be very helpful. Even when
    things do not make sense, at this time, it will help you
    stay strong. Forgiving is also something that helps ease
    the pain, it doesn’t make them right, but it takes the poison
    away from you.
    I am in the midst of my own annulement, I just recieved a
    letter back, and I need to do a couple more things, this
    has been a positive experience for me, it takes the blame
    out and replaces it with the facts, very healing.

  72. Trying to figure things out January 29, 2012 at 7:12 am #

    Dear All

    Thank you for the insights, knowledge and experiences. Unlike many of you, I am the perpetrator of an EA that had turned sexual (without actual intercourse) & I’m working on detatching myself from this OM so that I can concentrate on my troubled marriage.

    We have known each other for 3 years & I’ve been married for the same length of time (with husband 6 years). OM & me get along very well & I am very comfortable around him. I hadn’t realised how much I looked forward to seeing him until things had turned physical (hugs, play fighting etc) & I had to question what was happening in our friendship. I have always had a very open & honest relationship with this OM so I didn’t waste anytime in discussing the connection between us. We agreed it would be best to stay friends but he kept inferring he wanted to have sex with me. We discussed a SA at lengths & decided to go ahead with one. But it never eventuated because he couldn’t commit to it. We discussed this & despite my body and mind protesting, we made the decision to stop things at that point. I asked for space so I could get my head together but he contacted me one week later asking how I was doing. I told him not so great but that space was still what I needed. But I feel that I need to discuss several things with him that I haven’t yet been able to clear up in my own mind. Like did he use me to lift his self-esteem etc.

    I am working my butt off at processing what I’ve done & why I had an EA with OM and know the best things is for me and the OM to never have contact again so that we can move forward in our respective marriages. But some days are hard and I was hoping there was someone out there in a similar situation as mine? How do you work through things? I am considering counselling so I have someone to bounce my thoughts and feelings off. My H doesn’t know of this EA & I don’t want him to know because it will hurt him way too much & end our marriage.

    Ah geeze life is complex

  73. Anita January 29, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    Cheated upon feeling cheated,
    I had to be somewhere last night but it gave me a chance to
    think about your situtation.
    It reminded me of my own situtation a few years before.
    Its very difficult to work on a marriage when an affair is
    still on going, his affair has to end before any healing
    can take place in the marriage.
    Is he even remorseful at this point? How about you do you
    still want him? Is this something you can get past and
    forgive him for? Forget about the other woman, this is
    between you and your husband, it has nothing to do
    with her, yes she’s involved but its about your marraige,
    what is the underlying reason he chose to have the affair,
    this is where the problem is. In my own circumtance I
    learned why? It was because we were married at such
    a young age, my exhusband didn’t know what he wanted
    nor was he ready for a lifetime of fidelity. This was the
    underlying reason for the breakup of our marriage, part of
    him wanted to be married and the other part of him
    wanted to be single again.
    This caused repeated infidelity on his part.
    There was nothing I could do for him, this was something
    he had to deal with, he chose to divorce. So that was the
    end for us. It took time for me to heal and understand,
    when my own children reached the age that my ex and I
    were when we married, I realized just how young we were.
    I’m glad my children were older when they married.
    My ex did meet someone later after our civil divorce and
    he remarried. We are friends now and are very civil to
    each other. But as you can see its not about the other
    woman, she was just ignornant, and had her own issuses.
    Each marriage is different and each affair is different.
    I hope this helps.

  74. Anita January 29, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    Cheated upon and feeling cheated,
    When I asked my then husband why he cheated, he was very
    honest with me, and told me he thought he married to young
    and wasn’t ready. However at that time I thought it was
    an excuse and a cop out. Reality does have away of setting
    in and I had to face the truth, it was true we married at
    a very young age due to a pregnancy, sometimes those
    marriages work, and others don’t. Writing about our
    courtship for my annulment brought this harsh reality
    out. Being older and more mature I could see our courtship
    turned into parenthood and not about us as a couple, had
    our courtship been allowed to play itself out, I doubt we
    would have married. However if we did, at least we would
    have been more mature and ready for it.
    This where I was able to give total forgiveness, and I could
    see I also had a part in the demise of our marriage, it was
    very healing.

    I know how much pain and frustration your feeling right
    now but as the truth begins to unveil itself, you will begin
    to understand it so much better, right now I’m sure it
    feels like a maze.

  75. Anita January 29, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    Trying to figure things out,
    It may be helpful for you to read my above post. Were you
    ready for marriage, by that I mean did you understand that
    you gave up the right to any other relationship, and you
    were committing to stay in faithful to your husband.
    There will always be temptation out there, but its how
    you handle it, you need to run from it, otherwise you
    end up in the situation your now in.
    You have to do your part, its a choice.
    If you want your marriage to work, this other guy has to go,
    no ifs ands or buts. You also have control over your
    thoughts, you need to stop the thoughts of this other man,
    and focus back on your own husband. Its up to you, how
    much does your marriage mean to you?

  76. Anita January 29, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    Trying to figure it out,
    I am going to play the old mother hen here, so bare with me.
    First of all this other man is not a true friend, true friends
    don’t ask friends to have sex with them when there is a
    marriage involved.
    Second of all the play fighting needs to stop, if your going to
    playfight do it with your own husband.
    Your conversations need to be with your husband and not
    this other man, this other man doesn’t need to know your
    daily life.
    You need to put back all this energy into your own
    marriage.
    Yes this other man was using you, and not in a good way,
    asking you to sleep with him while your married woman
    should tell you what kind of person he is. Also is this
    other man married, I sure hope not, poor wife and your
    poor husband. Also if he is married why would you do
    that to his wife? Hard questions but again were you mature
    enough to be married?

  77. Anita January 29, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Trying to figure it out,
    Having sex with this other man will not solve your porblems,
    it will however add more problems then you ever wanted.
    Put the shoe on the other foot, if your husband was doing
    what your doing, how happy would you be? Not so happy,
    its a betrayel.
    Sometimes people have to go to the school of Hardknocks,
    before they get it, lets hope this won’t happen. Exercise
    good judgement and good choices its much more rewarding.
    Take Care!

  78. Anita January 29, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    Trying to figure it out,
    In your very last sentence, you have figured it out, you
    already know this is hurtful to your husband, also yes it
    could end your marriage. Also you know way down deep
    inside your past behavior was wrong. However by starting
    now to make better choices you can save your marriage.
    This other man has to go, no more contact, end it now!
    You don’t even need to see him, send him a text saying
    you do not want anymore contact period. No need to
    explain why, he’ll get it.
    Yes counseling will help and do it soon, they will help you
    move past this affair. Remember the other guy has to go!

  79. Anita January 29, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    Trying to figure this out,
    The sooner you end this, the better off you will be, just
    imagine how you will feel if you get found out, family
    members from both sides knowing your behavior, is
    this other man worth that?

  80. Trying to figure it out January 29, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    Hi Anita, all your points are valid & I joined this forum to gain others insight & to be asked these tricky questions. So thank you.

    I am not in contact with the OM at the moment because I needed to be away from him to sort my mess out. My marriage has been difficult for it’s duration, there are issues that both of us are responsible for & I have openly discussed our marriage problems with my husband. I was mature enough to marry but I was suffering from depression and low self-esteem when I did marry & I’m not sure I chose the right man to spend my life with. I believe this is why I have chosen to engage in the EA with the OM. He is married & yes his poor wife, of course I feel guilty for that, I am human & sometimes your emotions & desires do get the better of you. Self control is easy when you have the skills, I had been faithful to my H until one month ago when my friendship turned into more with the OM. No excuses of course. This may be lack of maturity, it may be lack of awareness, but I am being blatantly honest….I am also fully aware that the OM is imperfect & we had already discussed that neither of us would be leaving our marriages to be with one another.

    In my mind & heart I know that I need to cut ties with this OM completely and forever.

    Is there anyone else that has dealt with a similar situation to mine? How did you go?

    Thank you

  81. Sidney January 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    Trying to figure it all out……
    Hello and welcome to this site! Sorry you are on this site, though, because being on this site means you are struggling with the aftermath of an EA (or PA). Regardless of whether you are the BS or the CS, the aftermath of an affair is difficult. Healing and recovery is a journey….and most of the time it’s a long and difficult journey. Most of the people that post are the BS….but I have found their thoughts, feelings, and perspectives are very helpful in the cheater’s recovery too. Like you, I am (was) the cheater. I too came to this site to heal….and, like you, find out the ‘why’ behind it all. Trying to understand yourself is tough…let me tell you!! The quote I hung next to my desk in my office said, “The most difficult phase of life is not when on one understands you, it is when you don’t understand yourself.”
    How true that was for me!!! I’d NEVER done anything like this before in my life (have an EA). Never ever considered it before (and I had opportunites to cheat)….just never gave it a second thought…because I was married. So..when I found myself entangled in an EA, I didn’t even recognize myself. I did and said things that were so uncharacteristic of my true self. I think that’s the part of all of this that I’m dealing with….why would I engage in such behavior knowing it was wrong….knowing that it went against everything I believed. So when you say you are trying to process why you did it…..uh, yeah…..I DO know. You are not alone out there!

    If you think counseling with help, then I recommend it. I debated it too, but ended up not going. You do what you feel is best for you! And….I wish you the best on strengthing your marriage. I wish I could help you on that one, but I can’t. I’m much to chicken to bring up ‘deep’ conversations with my husband. He’s not very emotionally open and does not like to communicate about topics like that. I am fearful of his reaction if I told him my true feelings about our marriage. I have read many, many times on this site that ‘if only’ the CS would have told their spouse they were unhappy in their marriage, they would have done anything to help correct that….but in my case….I’m not sure how my H would react. And like you, my H does not know about my EA. It would crush him.

    Oh, what is the time frame you’re in? How long were you involved in the EA and how long have you had no contact?
    Good luck to you!! Hang in there!!

  82. Sidney January 29, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

    Sorry for the typo…..that quote should have said:

    “The most difficult phase of life is not when no one understands you, it is when you don’t understand yourself.”

  83. Anita January 29, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    Trying to figure it out,
    Marriage counceling for both you and your husband would
    be helpful, they can help you sort through your feelings.
    You need to settle whats in this relationship before jumping
    into another one.
    If you suffer from low self esteem, that is something only
    you can build, by knowing your own value and worth.
    It doesn’t come from other people, it comes from God.
    When you see how valuable you are you begin to make
    choices that complement that.
    This other man belongs to another woman, and you have
    to except that. Also its important for you to learn boundaries. If you stay in the boundaries that God gives
    you will find true happiness. God Bless You!

  84. Anita January 29, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    Trying to figure it out,
    Of course you have self control, you just need to start doing
    onto others as you would have done on to you.
    If you need to build your self control start by giving to
    others, you be amazed how much your self centerness
    goes away. Start seeing how others would feel, its not
    all about you. Wish you the best on this journey!
    Keep blogging in here it will bring new growth, to you.

  85. Trying to figure it out January 29, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    Dear Anita – you are right of course, being found out would destroy way to many lives, not to mention my sanity. I agree that I need to end it NOW, oh thank you so much for your encouragement. Yes, it is the right thing to do. It is both of our faults that it got this far, I am taking as much responsibility for this madness as he should. But it seems clear to me that I am the one that is going to have to sever the ties. Why is it that the men don’t do it? Why is it that it is the woman that finds the strength to do that? Is it because he believes we can be friends again without the emotional attachment and physical connection? Any men out there that have had affiars before – can you shed some light here? I am seeing my Doctor this week to get a referral for couselling, I think it will help me alot.

  86. Anita January 29, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    Trying to figure it out,
    Something I learned in my own Christian walk was, when
    I give to others it feels good inside, and because it feels
    good I do it over and over, this in return builds my self
    esteem. When we release the good in us, God refills that
    within us. Also praying will help you overcome this
    situation, God will give you the strenght if you ask him
    to. God wants to be involved in every part of your life,
    he is so forgiving when we go to him. But you have to
    make the choice to go to him. It takes courage to live
    a Godly life, but it is so worth it. Its something you will
    never regret. Make that choice today and watch your
    life grow in ways that you thought were never possible.

  87. Trying to figure it out January 29, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

    Hi Sidney & Anita – oh thank you both so much for your support, you have no idea how much it means to me to finally be able to reach out and talk to people about this stupid mess I’ve gotten myself into. I know I’m the wrong-doer, I know I’ve made a mistake & I know I took the wrong path by being selfish and needing something that wasn’t in my marriage from another man. BUT I am SO learning! I actually took your advice Anita and text the OM and finished it on the spot, said no more, best of luck etc. Kept it neutral so only me and the OM would understand the content. He of course said “can we catch up for a cuppa to finalise”. Now what do I do?! I’m in tears as we speak. I now just want this to all go away so I can move forward with my marriage.

    Sidney – I understand perfectly what you mean when you say you don’t recognise yourself when it’s happening. I got totally lost and foggy in my head over this OM. We have known each other for 3 years, have been friends the whole time until a month ago when it turned physical. I’ve taken a week and half of time out from contact with him to make up my mind and today I did it and called the whole thing off. Friendship and all. What I feel is relief but pain also. I’m losing someone that was actually quite dear to me…ah geeze more tears. Part of the grieving process I guess, I know that sounds selfish that I should be greiving when I was the badie here, but I would never cheat on my husband unless I really felt a connection to someone like I did with this guy. I, like you Sidney have had other opportunities and didn’t take them.

    Wail, sniff, snort, sniff……will take it day by day.

    Thank you everyone x

  88. Confused Worried January 30, 2012 at 1:02 am #

    I just found your blog and need to tell my story. I have been married 21 yrs and have 2 teenagers plus I have a chronic health condition. I “feel” like my H is currently involved in an EA. it all started in March 2011. My H’s godfather was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and passed away 144 days later. My H was devastated. He spent vast amounts of time with his GF (godfather) and his Godmother during this illness. They live 3 hrs away from our home. He slept on the couch in the sick room and read devotionals and prayed with his GF. He went with his Godparents on a trip to the coast to ” help” his GF. Of his love for his GF I have no question. My problem is all the surrounding emotions/people. My husband’ s godmother didn’t have any children and my H has stepped into this role. Plus during this illness there was a lot of alcohol used to numb the pain of watching this illness decimate.
    This all occurred 6 months ago. To date my husband has started locking his cell phone, he is drinking excessively most evenings and especially during the weekend. And our physical relationship is different. I have been patient knowing the he is grieving. But 5 days ago I walked in on him having a conversation (via speaker phone) with a woman. When I enters the room he immediately disconnected the call and was flustered in the moments after. After I returned from dropping our children off at an appointment I immediately returned home to confront him on this issue. He has completely denied having an affair. When I told him that he was hiding something from me he didn’t respond. And denied an affair. His cellphone and computer are work issued and I don’t have access to his phone/text records. Same with his email. He travels sporadically with business as well. Ok so there where several single younger women involved in the support and nursing during the illness. Neighbors bringing food, people sitting out on the back porch drinking and visiting for long hours. Plus there where several nursing students hired to help care for his GF. But the one 23yr old married nurse has contacted my H several times after his GF passed away she also went on the trip to the coast to help with his GF’ s care. Plus my H has spent several nights at his God mother’s home alone. I am at my wits end- everything is different; his personality, the disconnection, the physical aspect. But he has denied any Affair. He is calm and not critical – very detachted. I have told him I dontx want him alone at his GM’s home or having any contact with the 23yro nurse. I didn’t recognize the voice from the speaker phone call. He told me it was some one from his corporate office. I feel like I am losing my mind. Sorry if this isn’t flowing well. This is all very new and fresh.

  89. Cheated upon and feeling cheated January 30, 2012 at 7:57 am #

    Dear COnfused and Worried–

    I think you will find the people on this site comforting and helpful, as I have being 3 weeks post-dday. Many of them have advice, and if you listen to your heart you will know which advice feels right to you. I can tell you this: if your gut tells you something is not right, then it is most likely true. My gut started telling me in late November, I confronted him with evidence in January and he still denied it for a week. Some people disagree with this method, but I absolutely did snoop/violate his privacy. I felt I had an obligation to find the truth and if, as I suspected, he was violating his marriage vows (and he did: EA turned SA) I would have the truth and if not, I needed to figure out why I felt so suspicious (ie work on me). So here’s what I did: I set up a “billing account” for him with his cell co. What that means is (if he doesn;t already have one, in which case you try to figure out his username and password) when you set it up you have the opportunity, practically hourly, to see the phone numbers that are texting/calling him and vice versa. When a single number kept popping up in his account at an alarming rate (literally 100s of textx in a day) I did a reverse lookup on that phone number — and found a name I recognized and knew immediately in my gut that this was an affair. I confronted him in front of our therapist (that’s right folks, were were in therapy for more than a year working on lack of emotional intimacy and he never once confessed, even privately to the therapist, who asked him at least twice “Is there something else going on because I feel something is”) which helped keep things from spiralling into non-constructive anger. If he still denies, there is no reason why you wouldnt be able to use what you know to ask him why you are feeling that his denial isn’t “the whole story.” Maybe he’s not having an affair, but your gut is telling you SOMETHING is going on, and as his spouse (remind him: for better for worse” and “be a counselor in perplexity” — if you used the same vows my church did)) you want to be able to support him in his troubles, but can’t if you don’t have all the facts.

    there is also software for purchase that helps you download all text messages (even deleted ones) if the content of those messages is important to you — I didn’t go that far, but surely contemplated it.

    So, if all you guys find this a violation of privacy, sorry. But given that I had to go to my doctor for a painful and humiliating series of tests to determine whather I had any STDS, I say it was worth it. Good luck and godspeed

  90. Sidney January 30, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    @Trying to Figure it Out….
    Well, I know it was tough, but I’m really glad you sent that text to end things. It would be wise NOT to meet him to finalize things….only add to the confusion in your mind. The more he’s on your mind, the harder and longer the recovery process will be. My OM did that a lot too…..we said we needed to end things and then two days later he’d send me a text. I didn’t want to be rude and ignore him….so….the affair continued. Being direct IS the best route and he needs to honor your request that over means over.

    I understand the tears. It’s okay. You will need to grieve. You just lost someone who is very dear to your heart….so let yourself grieve. But…stay strong. Do not give in to the temptation. This relationship is wrong. You are married. You need to stay focused on your marriage. And regardless of how you presently feel towards your husband, he is your husband and needs to be your top priority. Once your head is free of the fog, then you can rationally think about the future of your marriage (you mentioned in your post that it was a ‘troubled marriage’).

    Hang in there girl!! You made the first step in the process. I was there once myself (and it sucks)….take it day by day and slowly your head and heart will heal. Keep reading on this sight….it does help (it gives me perspective) and in time things will get better.

  91. Alone January 30, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    @ Trying to Figure it Out

    I’m also a female cheater. I’ve posted here a lot.

    Yes, I felt a very strong connection to the OM. People don’t see this part of it, but this OM was my friend that I knew for several years before our EA started. So yes, you have to grieve. And I know how hard this is, I know. At this point, try as best as you can to keep the no contact. Your H and his W don’t know at this point. If they find out because you continue the affair I can assure you that you will be in a serious world of hurt beyond your comprehension. And you can’t fathom the amount of hurt it will bring to them. What you, Sidney, and I did was wrong. Even though we didn’t mean for it to happen, it’s still wrong.

    Give your marriage an honest effort. Pray for God’s strength. Keep posting and reading here. I know your pain, but think also of the pain your H would feel if he knew about what happened.

  92. Lynne January 30, 2012 at 11:12 am #

    Trying To Figure It Out-

    Help your OM to truly get the message of NO CONTACT by NOT RESPONDING to his “let’s get a cuppa to finalize”! This is him testing you to see if you really mean it. The best approach you can take is to completely ignore his comment–no response, no comments, no nothing! If you respond in any way, you are continuing to stay involved with him. I’d suggest blocking his number and his email. This way, you won’t know whether he is trying to continue contact, which will lessen the pain over time.

    I know this must be very difficult, but if you are truly committed to saving your marriage, you need to put your husband first. To contact your OM again means that you are putting your husband second. I believe that people come in and out of our lives for a reason…..is it possible that the reason the OM came into your life was to teach you about the value of your marriage, not taking it for granted, and being recommitted to the man you married? Sometimes we just need a HUGE wake up call about what we really value.

    You can do this–you and your husband both deserve it.

  93. Anita January 30, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    Trying To Figure It Out,
    I have to agree with Lynn,
    You already did the hard part, meeting him will only make
    it worse for you, and may cause you the have 2nd thoughts.
    This is the time to keep yourself focused on other things
    that keep your mind busy. You may go through a grieving
    process, but if you keep going forward it will pass with time.
    This may be a good time to take a class, join a activity,
    anything to keep you focused away from him.
    The moments that you feel weakness and want to contact him, please don’t, it will only delay your healing process,
    so when those moments come, make an effort to do
    something else, that keeps your mind busy.
    You took the hardest first step, it will get easier with time.
    The very best to you!
    Just an idea when you feel the need to contact him, come
    to this site I am sure many people will help you through
    those tough moments.

  94. Trying to figure it out.... February 2, 2012 at 11:54 pm #

    Dear Sidney, Alone, Lynne & Anita – gals thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support. It has been a few days since my last post, I have been keeping busy & I wanted to share my developments with you all. After my breakup text, the OM texted asking if we could catch up to finalise. I wasn’t strong enough to ignore him, so I text him back and said NO, but we shared some words of goodbye. He too regrets that we crossed the line and have ruined our friendship because of this EA/PA. Now I wish so much that we had never been so stupid and let our emotions dictate & compromise what was a great friendship and worked for us. I can only say that I cried so hard and it hurt so much to say goodbye in those texts. That was five days ago and today I am feeling better. I still get a little upset if he pops into my mind but I am doing all the things you ladies have suggested. Keeping busy, concentrating on my H and our marriage, seeking counselling & reminding myself how lucky we were to not get caught and ruin so many other peoples lives. BUT I also wish to say that I am hurting still and the hurt isn’t going to pass me by quickly. What I felt for the OM was wrong but it was real. If we were both single and had our chance over, we would be together and we would be happy. I feel lucky that I have lost my heart to two men in my lifetime, some people never lose their heart to love and that is sad. So instead of hitting myself over the head for being a cheater, I”m going to smile and hold my head high and appreciate that I am capable of great love. I will keep up posts and read others to help me further heal. Because I know that there will be weak moments & I’ll want to see him or contact him & I’ll need you guys to pull me out of it!

    This site was an amazing find & I am so grateful to be able to share my experience without being judged.

  95. Sidney February 3, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    Trying to figure it out….
    So glad to hear from you…..I had been thinking of you. And thanks for the update. It’s amazing how similiar our situations are because I could so relate to everything you said in your post.

    First off, I’m glad you didn’t meet him in person. Doesn’t seem like a big deal to most, but to us who have been there….it IS a big deal. And, about replying to his text….that’s okay. I feel you need closure to this chapter of life before moving on to the next chapter (being EA free)….and saying goodbye in the manner that you need it will help with that closure. A friend of mine had her EA exposed and was ‘forced’ to end the affair abruptly and never had a chance to say goodbye to the OM….therefore, her grieving process has been very difficult for her. She really wanted closure and never had that opportunity.

    Okay…now what you said about “what you felt for the OM was wrong, but it was real.” Yes…those feelings ARE real. What you felt for the OM are very real and because of that, you will hurt during this time. That person is/was a huge presence in your life and it’s tough getting over that feeling of loss. I can tell you from experience that it does lessen…but it is hard to control where your mind takes you. I am 6 months out and I STILL think of my OM daily. You are in the early stages and just like stopping a drug, the first stage of withdrawal is always the hardest. Hang in there.

    Oh, and yes….please post when you are having a weak moment! We will encourage you to stay strong!!

    Keep smiling girl!!

  96. Anita February 3, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    Sidney and Trying To Figure It Out,
    I wish the best to both of you.
    In this journey, its best to figure out the exiting problems
    in your marriages, and address them, hopefully with
    outside help from marriage couselors, this will help both
    you and your spouses. Sometimes marriages can be saved
    others not, you should never leave a marriage for another
    person. If you do not love your spouses then, be honest
    with them, but don’t cheat on them, there are others ways
    to end a relationship, with counseling and honesty.
    However, I hope you both will give your marriages the
    best of your efforts, and this will end up just being a bump in the road.

  97. Trying to figure it out February 4, 2012 at 3:10 am #

    Dearest Sidney

    Let me tell you – it was hard, SO HARD to not see him in person to end things. I just knew that if I saw him, got to touch him again I would be toast!

    Do you mind me asking how your marriage is? Do you love your H? I love my H & despite us having problems in our relationship, we are good at communicating & we try to sort out our problems. This is why my situation with the OM is such a shock to me. To find myself actually thinking I would leave my H and be with the OM if he left his W and know, without a doubt that I would be happy with the OM is scary, sad, distressing, horrible….because you don’t ask to fall for him, it happened to me over a period of 3 years. I didn’t just meet a guy, think “oh, I might have a fling with this guy because he’s nice”, I found that my feelings deepened as I got to know the OM & it seemed almost inevitable that it turn physical, because you want to get closer to the person. The OM was also happy in his marriage & that’s what he couldn’t understand either. He often said it was surreal what was happening between us, because despite the fact that he was honest and said he loved his W and was happy and would always be with her, he also could see himself with me. He even went so far as to say if we could be together” it would be pretty much perfect”. Not that any relationship is perfect, but we knew each other very well & just knew it would work between us, even with baggage & problems we would survive & be together for the rest of our lives. Oh gosh, I’m getting a tear in my eye.

    Sidney – is this what happened with you in any way? Do you have some thoughts? x

  98. Sidney February 4, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    Trying to Figure it Out….
    My marriage…in all honesty, I have always described my marriage as ‘good.’ Early in my marriage I accepted that my husband was not a good communicator and although we never fight, we just never have ‘deep’ conversations. Never have. Mainly because I knew he didn’t want to, but also I’m not very open about my feelings either. Over the years, I would say our marriage has become more of a state of complacency….and sometimes I feel like we are more of “roommates who co-parent” then true husband and wife. I think if I ever told him that, he’d freak out….but I can’t imagine that he would disagree (except for the fact that his parent’s marriage is exactly like that…so he may possibly feel this is a ‘normal’ marriage). I don’t know since I never bring it up.

    But….for the most part, I am content and happy in my marriage and it never has entered my mind to leave the marriage. Ever. So, like you, when my EA started, I was shocked at my behavior. I love my husband very much and would have never allowed my actions to have gotten like they did (with another man). I didn’t understand myself…at all. I just got so wrapped up in the fun and excitement of everything…and to be quite honest….I didn’t give my husband much thought. It was like I had two separate lives….one with my husband and one with the OM. Oh, and just like your OM, mine too was in a good marriage (a marriage of complacency too….which I think tends to happen when you’ve been married for a while and you are both focused on the day-to-day things in life like your jobs, children, and other life commitments).

    The OM and I NEVER talked about leaving our spouses….that was never an option and something we knew wouldn’t ever happen. Now, we DID talk about the ‘what if’s’….mainly, what if we would have met 20 years ago (meaning before our respected marriages). We said from the very beginning that what we were doing was wrong and we did ‘try’ to end it many times. And…at the very end….it was all about our families….how we just couldn’t continue our selfishness at the risk of hurting our families. The thought of hurting them was more powerful then the thrill of staying in contact. We knew it was the right thing to do all along….just took time to finally fight off the temptation.

    Sorry, long answer to your short question!

  99. Trying to figure it out February 4, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    Hi Sidney – thankyou. What you are saying resonates with me a lot. Before I broke things off between us, we had already decided not to move to the next stage and have intercourse & stop the physical contact for basically the same reasons as you guys did. We didn’t want to compromise our marriages and hurt our H/W & families. But I think the OM thought we could continue to see each other as friends but I just didn’t trust myself with that arrangement. That is why I ended it. At this stage I feel that I love the OM, I knew him well enough to know that he wasn’t perfect, he had traits that annoyed me & I don’t see him as being ‘better’ than my H, he was a different person. But given time, I am sure I will see the situation a little differently, I may find that I did not love him at all & it was only a friendship attachment. Who knows.

    Anyway, thank you for your supportive comments & words of wisdom at this time in my life. x

  100. Sidney February 4, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    Trying to figure it out….
    One question I kept asking myself during the EA was…Am I in love with this guy or do I just love how he makes me feel. I debated it quite a while and finally decided that yes, I was in love with him. Now, I get that some would argue this point saying it wasn’t ‘real’ love, but just a fantasy…but I honestly felt I was in love with him. On the flip side, now that it’s over, I keep asking myself….do I miss HIM, or do I miss how he made me feel. Again, a very hard question to answer.

    Good luck and hang in there!

  101. Anita February 5, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

    Sidney and Trying to figure it out,
    I know you need the time to get through this process, however I believe your in love with the feeling of infatuation.
    You bullt more in your minds then what was in reality.
    First the affair was hidden, a secret, your spouses don’t even know. The secret forbidden fruit, yet if it was exposed
    would you stand by this other man, or would you quickly
    deny anything between you’s. Who would you run to?
    Your husbands or the other man, what if your inlaws were
    present, who you be able to tell them that your in love with
    the other man? If your love is a reality you should be able
    to tell the world. I am sure when you were dating your
    husbands and ready to get married, you had no problem
    telling the world you love them, it wasn’t hidden.
    Also could you tell this other man you are in love with him,
    with his wife and his and her parents, and children standing there. If this is real love you should have no problems letting these other people know, your in love with
    this other man.
    Also would this other man claim you in front of his wife and
    her family, and tell you that he loves you.
    If the love is real you should have no problem owning it,
    but since its forbidden, your love is the infatuation of it.
    I know this is a trying time for both of you’s, but your
    husbands are the real deal, and they were proud enough
    of you, to marry you, not hide you. Also they don’t have
    another woman on the side.

    • Anita February 5, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

      Also,
      If these other men love you, why are they still with their wives?
      Have they told their parents their in love with you?
      Have they ever put a roof over your head, used their
      income to pay bill, groceries, clothes, jewerly, insurance, cars, and ect….. Or does their income go to their wives?
      How about their good friends and coworkers do they know
      about you? Or do these people know just about their wives?
      Are these other men really in love with you???
      Your husband does all the above things for you, he does
      love you!

  102. Sidney February 6, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    Anita,
    I acknowledge what you are saying, but Trying to Figure it Out and I simply said the feelings we had for the OM were real feelings. We are not asking them for a life together. We are not asking them to introduce us to their parents or buy us a house or groceries for goodness sakes. It was a statement saying the FEELINGS were real. Also, we weren’t proclaiming their love for us…just how we felt for them. And of course they aren’t going to announce to the world about us….it’s an affair. But just because it’s ‘forbidden’ doesn’t make the feelings any less real.

    • Notoverit February 7, 2012 at 9:59 am #

      And, here’s a question all of us Betrayed Spouses want to know the answer to – What need did the OM fill in you? I keep hearing that this love happened over time BUT you were happy with your H. Obviously not happy enough. Was something missing in your life that made it okay in your head to think that you were in love with the OM? Even us betrayed spouses recognize we had something missing but what was it in your mind?

      • Trying to figure it out February 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

        Hi Notoverit

        Good question. I’ll try to answer honestly for you.

        I think what you are saying is – how can you love AP if you also love your H/W? That if you embark on an EA/PA with AP then you cannot be happy enough in your marriage. In some cases where people have affairs, this is probably the case. It sounds like this was the case with Doug from what he has said?

        From my personal experience, the OM in my EA was a lot more easy going than my H. BUT my H had other traits that trumped my EA. Because I knew the OM for quite some time I got to know his bad points, annoying habits etc pretty well. I am not certain that it is my head that is telling me that I feel love for the OM in my situation. It’s just a feeling, a kind of knowing that I do feel that way. I am in no way trying to justify why I crossed the line. Some things just are. Sometimes your heart can love equally. It does happen. You love your children equally. You love your parents (in most cases) equally. You love your friends equally.

        In my situation, the OM and I had to make a choice. And we chose our marriages (for probably different reasons). I guess we chose that over leaving our spouses because deep down in our core we are both good people. We knew that it wasn’t right to leave our spouses for each other. Now I think that really is love. It is love for our spouses – by not wanting to be found out about our EA & hence hurt them (our spouses didn’t find out about us), it is love letting each other go because we would rather be togther publicly (so chosing our current paths over a path of deception), feeling so bad for causing each other pain and saddness (because you really don’t want to hurt someone you love – again why we had to end our EA so our spouses wouldn’t get hurt).

        It may never be understood by a betrayed spouse because how can it when you haven’t experienced it. And for that it must hurt you so very much. I am sorry for your pain. I really am.

        I only wanted to be honest with you. And I hope that I have given you some understanding of how an EA can be experienced from the point of view of a (this, me) cheating spouse.

        Your thoughts are welcome.

      • Sidney February 7, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

        Notoverit,
        Yes…good question. And I really think every cheater you ask that question to… would give a different answer. Every person has their own reason why they choose to cheat…so I can only answer for myself.

        First, I’d like to comment on one thing you said….about not being happy enough with my husband. In my case, I was happy with my husband (at the time I started the affair). Did he completely fill my needs? No. But do I think that is the reason I chose to cheat? No. Not at all. I never based my actions with the OM on how my relationship was going with my husband. I suppose some people may have turned to their affair partner only during times their marriages were ‘ebbing, ‘ but that was not me.

        Do other CS have affairs because they are unhappy with their spouse and/or marriages? Possibly. I don’t know. All I know is that I didn’t. I carried on with the affair because it was fun. So maybe the need the OM met in me was that he….as I call it….gave me a ‘pep in my step.’ He made me feel alive. And….I think that may be common since I’ve read it before on this site….that the OP made them feel ‘alive’ and ‘awakened.’ Marriages get into ruts because of everyday life….jobs, kids, responsibilites, obligations, etc. I think an affair is an ‘escape’ from all of that. Does that make sense? I know it’s not an excuse…nor am I trying to justify affairs….just trying to help BS understand a possible reason for their spouses betrayal. For me, it was a break from my reality (not that my reality was bad or anything…because I have a great life…it just, for me, was an (unexpected) break from my reality. And once it started, it snowballed and then was just hard to get out of. Plus, I plain didn’t want out of it. I liked it. I didn’t want those feelings to end. I wanted that ‘high’ that the affair gave me. I liken it to a drug addict….they KNOW it’s bad for them….they know they SHOULD quit…..but they like how it makes them feel.

        I’m not sure if that answered your question or not. It would be so much easier if there were definite black and white answers for any of this……

  103. Lynne February 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    Sidney & Trying To Figure It Out,

    I do get what you’re expressing to Anita above, but I think we all wonder (when it comes to our CS) whether the love (or perceived love) is based on the object of their affection being “forbidden”. In other words, because these are limited interactions with the AP, and both of you seeing just the best sides of each other, how do you know it’s real love? Isn’t real love knowing all sides of someone (warts and all) and loving them in total, based on a true picture of them? When we only see what they periodically show and tell us, this isn’t based on an everyday understanding of who they REALLY are……when there are bills, and screaming kids, family challenges and exhaustion, and the typical arguments that couples have, this is the REAL DEAL! So I would think that you love what you know of them, but you really don’t know all there is to know about them.

    This is in no way meant to diminish the feelings you have for your AP, but only to suggest that there is more that lies unders the surface that you don’t know about this person. I see real love as ultimately being able to accept the whole person and all that comes with them.

    • Trying to figure it out February 7, 2012 at 5:23 am #

      Okay ladies, I’ve read all your comments & have taken some time to consider things. I’m having a sad day also so this may not be the most objective response.

      Marriage – yep, it’s the real deal. I agree. It’s the pleasure and the pain all rolled into one chaotic tapestry that we call a partnership.

      The love expressed by me (I can’t speak for Sidney) for the OM was a friendship love, like the kind of love you have for a very good friend. But I also felt after 3 and a bit years that the love had also evolved into romantic love. If we were both single we would have started a relationship which would have turned into a life long relationship – I have no doubt. This ‘seed’ of romantic love (which could be considered infatuation because I didn’t know my H at all when we met) is what I felt with my husband after I had been seeing him for a month and that turned into marriage. So I guess what I have been expressing is that what I felt for the OM was the seed of something real. I have never experienced love at first sight with anyone before, so I can only associate romantic love with my experiences to date.

      Again, what I did was wrong because I am married to another man & I should not have crossed the line with the OM. What I am saying is that having known this man for 3 years, I grew to have loving feelings of him despite his annoying quirks, despite his failings, despite the fact that he was married with kids, despite the fact that he wasn’t handsome.

      The hot debate of loves V’s infatuation is a valid one.

      Here is what I believe love is. Love is an appreciation of a person not just physically but mentally, emotionally, socially. Love is a commitment despite flaws you are of aware of and see. So at this point, I say that is how I saw things with the OM.

      Here is what infatuation could be described as. Infatuation is an instant desire which deals with the present time. A person feels a great excitement but that doesn’t necessarily translate to happiness. There are more doubts and unanswered questions with infatuation. Infatuation is a strong passion fueled by an attraction of some sort often times being a physical attraction which is sexually driven. Infatuation is often an unrealistic vision of who the person is and an inability to see one’s faults. Infatuation consists of a romance that is usually hot and heavy and starts quickly while also ending quickly.

      Okay – so would the OM raise his hand in the air and say “I love her & want to be with her” if we were in a room full of family and friends. No, he wouldn’t. Why? Because I don’t know if he loves me. I only know how I feel. And not once have I said that he loves me too. Only that I, me, myself, I felt that I could be with him. He gave me cues as to how he felt about me without actually using the I love you words. But nor did I exchange those words with my H immediately after our relationship turned physical.

      My OM is with his wife because he loves her and is happy with her. He was always honest about that with me. But it doesn’t mean he can’t fall in love with another person or that I can’t ever possibly fall in love with another person either. But we each had to make a choice and we both chose our current lives & that’s why we stopped with EA.

      I would be very proud & willing to say to my family and friends that I love this OM. But I can’t can I. Because we decided that we would not walk a path together. And people don’t need to know about what has privately existed between us. Having said that, it is a very valid point. And if I think about whether or not the OM would cry from the rooftops about me then I would probably say no. Because I got indications of this along the way. Again I am not bleating to all and sundry that he loved me too. Only that MY feeling were real.

      Thank you everyone.

  104. Anita February 7, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    In an affair I believe the affair parters feel something, what
    that is, is something other than what the Bible says love is.
    The only Love that I know is from 1 Corinthians 13: 4-6
    4 Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly;
    it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into
    account a wrong suffered,6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with truth.
    This seems to contradict, what someone may feel in a
    extramarital affair.

  105. Disappointed February 8, 2012 at 12:40 am #

    As a BS I don’t want to believe my CS could really love or truly be in love with the OW. I want that to be reserved for me, for us. He has taken that away from me with statements that he did not notice her for years and then fell in love instantly, that only she understands and shares his views on being with someone. He acts the victim not even admitting the affair and dismissing it as a flirtation. She is emotionally unstable and would never have left her cushy stay-at-home motherhood. He also says it was fun and an awakening, comparing it to his resignation to lead a normal married life of deadness with me. He blames me for his behavior and I do NOT accept the blame. But I become more convinced that the love is real to the CS and that is the blow that crushes me. Texting was all it took to bring my 17 year marriage to its knees, after years of sacrificing in support of his dreams. Fun was the only thought…. I will never understand… And it will never make sense…

  106. chiffchaff February 8, 2012 at 5:01 am #

    I find it very hard, as a BS, to deal with my H actually falling in love with the OW. This is because, due to the distance between him and the OW, he saw her for a grand total of 2.5 weeks over 11 months, the rest was by email, skype, text and BBM. It’s easy to project yourself as someone you’re not over that limited exposure. The time differences also meant that their interaction was limited.
    He also described that when he went over to ‘stay with her’ for a whole week (when he told me he was at a conference) it felt like a huge mistake. So, when he spent more than just an exciting hotel hideaway with her and saw her daily it wasn’t the same as it had seemed over texting. I feel that maybe this put him off actually leaving me for her. I don’t know.
    This affair has created a massive hole in our lives that I have no idea how to fill. My H wants to cover the hole up, and I can’t. The more I accept that he was in love with her the more I have to accept that I can’t cope with it.

    • Notoverit February 8, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

      Same situation here Chiffchaff. My H also thought he was “in love” with the other woman. He realizes now that it was not love, not real love. BUT, it hurts that he named it “love.” I can’t seem to get it out of my head either and coping is so very hard. My psychologist told me to try to think like him (kind of like an alien), see it from his point of view. To him it was fun, it was exciting and it boosted his ego. Still, it hurts. I guess time will be the only answer for us. Time and a lot of medication. LOL

  107. justsad February 8, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    I don’t even know where to post this so I figured here was maybe a good spot. And I apologize for the length of this post!

    So, I am 7 months out from discovering the relationship my H was having with a woman he knows through his industry. He swore he had no feelings other than friendship for her but did realize after I pointed out everything that this “friendship” was over the line personally and professionally. Texts at all hours of the day and night. He travels extensively for business so I had no idea (work phone) but once I discovered the text that tipped me off that something was off..while we were on vacation no less…I checked his personal phone and lo and behold she had texted him and called him many times on that as well. He agreed to end all contact with her. I okayed a final conversation to clarify everything so that she would be aware that I knew about her and that I had spotlight searched his phone and seen many texts that out of context looked pretty bad. Everything I have read points to her being more vested in the “friendship” than my H but he does admit that at some point he knew the texts had crossed the line and he did not pull the plug at that point and he should have. She by the way is married as well and over ten years younger than my H and myself. I wanted to talk to her which he told her and of course she did not want to speak with me. She apologized to me through him and said she realized I was right and that contact would stop.

    Now, since the two of them travel in the same industry circle I knew he may see her at trade shows which was not making me feel great. Thankfully we were pretty sure I would be able to attend the next show she would most likely be at with her company. But prior to that H screwed up by sending a work related email to her after another employee at her company requested some information from H for her. Yeah, I was not happy..this was about 2 and 1/2 months post Dday. Then I found out he had been sending her inspirational work type have a nice day ecards…he had forgotten he had set up an automatic delivery. Yeah he’s not always the smartest when it comes to remembering the little things…he has a high pressure job that consumes him at times. Again, I was hot pissed and we managed to get the automated sending account closed. This was maybe 3 and 1/2 months out. Then at about 4 months out I found pictures of the two of them together that she had sent him…they were on his computer and he didn’t even remember them being there. Pictures of her with her arms around him. Taken at dinners at the tradeshows both their companies have attended.

    All these discoveries obviously kept setting me back in finding my balance again. H was trying…we were communicating more (his travel is so extensive that yes I think we had grown apart which in no way justifies him finding someone else to share his time with even if it was mostly thru text and email.) We were making time for us to go out when he was home and having some good conversations. I went on the trip where we knew she would be. I watched her that one night but didn’t confront her. On the last day the opportunity presented itself…she and I were in the same place at the same time so I took a deep breath called her name and when she turned around I introduced myself. I took the very high road and was extremely polite…I told her I appreciated that she had respected our request for no contact but that I hoped she realized how out of line it had all been. She tried to tell me I needed to understand that they were just good friends, just close friends. To which I asked her how her husband would feel about that friendship? She admitted he wouldn’t like it and she wouldn’t like it if the tables were turned. I told her that a married woman doesn’t get to be close friends with another woman’s husband. I also asked about certain things, like the voicemail and middle of the night texts and phone calls. She continued to apologize for it all and for causing problems for my marriage. She said she would never contact him again. She did try to say she never sent him the pics of them together but when I asked if she wanted to see them since I had them she stopped denying them. A couple more points made by me and we said our goodbyes…shook hands and everything.

    I have been feeling slightly better having had that closure (and also hearing that she had changed jobs so it is unlikely they will see each other at tradeshows anymore), until this past week…my stupid H replied all to an email he received from a mutual friend to both of them not realizing she was in the recipients list. Yep..stupid. He didn’t realize it until he received an email from her! Yes, after being confronted by me and swearing no contact she took the slightest opening in the door…a reply all email from my H and contacted him. Now his promise to me has been that if she ever contacts him he would tell me before doing anything. He did not think she would contact him again after me confronting her but I told him I believed that whether it was 6 months, a year or more he would hear from her again. Now here is where he broke my heart all over again…instead of immediately calling me to tell me what had happened he decided to email her back! His ridiculous reasoning? He wanted to verify to himself that he was right in telling me that he had no feelings what so ever for her and that he would feel nothing when emailing her a response…which was just a one liner email. Are you kidding me? To me that only verifies to her that he is incapable as well at maintaining no contact because he misses the “friendship” and the attention. She took that one line response from him as the door opening completely and sent him a longer email. Which he responds to again (2 lines this time). Well she never got the chance to respond because I discovered the emails thst night when he got home from his business trip. We had a huge blow out…he of course sees again he made the wrong choice..says he knew it as soon as he did it but just really wanted to prove he was completely neutral in his feelings about her. He said he did it because he just didn’t buy it when I was telling him he had an emotional connection to her and wanted to verify that he was right. Just another example of how he thinks he knows how to solve this problem and doesn’t seem to see that when he asks me what I need and I am telling him it would be great to do what I say and not assume he knows best how to fix it all. I called her and left a voicemail reminding her of our conversation and that yes my H made a stupid mistake in replying all to the initial email but that she also should have not responded and that I thought I had made myself very clear to her before. Again I was polite but explicit that I was done with the contact. Yes I realize that H is the one who has a responsibility to me but I just decided that I was going to again make sure she knows that I know there was contact.

    So here I am again, completely devastated by his broken promise and his lies to initially cover it up (when I confronted him about it he lied.). He openly admits that he didn’t want to upset me but yet still fails to see that the truth may upset me but trying to lie makes it so much worse because the truth ends up coming out anyway. I am so sad because he had the perfect opportunity to regain some trust if he had immediately called and told me about the screw up with the reply all email. Instead he was selfish (his words) and he decided to email her to prove something to himself…to hell with my feelings and what I need.

    Now he is completely beside himself that he did this and is of course saying he will do anything to make it up to me. He is afraid he is going to lose me. But I have heard the apologies and the promises for the past 7 months. We have had so many conversations about trust and how to get it back and he goes and screws it all up so badly. He says he knows that he has destroyed the trust and that he will never stop trying to do the right things to restore it.

    We have been married for 16 years (together for 21 years) and have 2 great kids and I can’t picture myself without him but I don’t know how to forgive him for breaking my heart and for not being honest with me. I am just so sad. He is sad and angry with himself and beating himself up about it all and is also under some tremendous pressure at work at the moment. I don’t know how to be back at square one again.

    I am so sorry this is so long. I think maybe I just needed to vent. I keep thinking in the scheme of things it could be so much worse. He loves me and wants to fix it..he is just going about it poorly (understatement, I know). He had no physical relationship with her and says he was never vested in the friendship in any real way other than the fact he did like the attention, but the dishonesty and the huge broken promise about no contact have really just dumped me back to the bottom of my pit. He says all the right things, over and over, and I see in his eyes how ashamed and angry he is with himself for being dishonest with me, yet I feel so empty inside.

    • Notoverit February 8, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

      Well, it certainly is a start on both of your parts. I heard the same story, over and over: we were just friends, nothing to it, made him feel good etc. etc. etc. Then after a year of counseling, my husband decided to come clean – he sort of fell in love with the other woman but never told her. Yeah, talk about a set back. Sooo, my suggestion to you is to tell him that complete honesty at the first is VERY important. It seems like he is being transparent. Have you discussed his reasons for this EA? What need this filled in him? All the questions which most of us are still trying to find out. It will be hard on you and sometimes you will feel like giving up but if you love him then it’s worth it. Read as much of this blog as you can. Be careful to do it in pieces so as not to overwhelm yourself. Read books and talk. Talking it out is the most important thing. Good luck and, sorry to say, welcome to the BS club.

      • justsad February 8, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

        Oh, I have been reading this site since the first week…I actually posted way back then.

        I have given him every opportunity to be completely honest. We have had conversation after conversation. I have asked 100’s of questions ( some repeatedly) and he has done his best to answer them. He swears he felt nothing but friendship so doesn’t understand how I say there was an emotional connection going on. That is what led to him deciding to contact her to verify that he was right in what he believed…no feelings at all when he responded to the email. He knows that I want the truth always so that I can base my decisions and wants and needs on truth not lies and omissions. I always tell him I feel like I was handed a 1000 piece puzzle with like 300 pieces missing!

        We have speculated about the possible reasons for why the friendship progressed…the contact initially started because his company was doing some business with hers and she was rather standoffish to him. He decided he wanted to insure the business proposal worked out so he set out to “make her like him”. Yeah it worked. And then as they got to know each other more he enjoyed the attention and the chatting back and forth…he says basically all work related stuff ( they worked in the same industry so knew many of the same people) but also some stupid over the top stuff that I would consider flirting. My H is super personable and likes to be the life of the party and have people like and enjoy his company. He says he never set out to replace me with her..he just saw her as a work colleague/ friend but he clearly sees now how it all looks and feels to me. We have had our issues of feeling disconnected from each other due to his crazy travel but I didn’t find someone else to give my time to. I feel like all the times he was communicating with her was time that was stolen from our relationship. He sees how this looks now and even can look back and say he knew it had crossed the line but he didn’t stop it. He just would think “oh it’s just harmless texting back and forth”. Yeah, not so harmless.

        He feels awful. He wants to make it right but doesn’t know how and I don’t even know what to say to him after this lovely setback last week. I had been finally feeling like I had gained some ground and was going to make it and then bam, blindsided again. If he had just told me himself about the email mistake I think I would still be upset but the honesty would have helped so much. And I am just floored by his stupidity of replying to her email after all the hours and hours of discussions we have had about why no contact is so very important to me. He has openly said he was stupid and an ass and selfish and that he can’t believe he would jeapordize our relationship or hurt me because I am the most important person in the world to him besides our children. I am like well that’s great, but why couldn’t you just have done the right thing? And of course his timing for screwing up is always impeccable as he had to go out of town right after it all happened. I can’t even think too indepthly about it because it makes me so sad and I have to function for my children especially since it is always me here with them since he travels so much. I did tell him after last week that he needs to do some serious soul searching and figure out what the hell is wrong with him that he would break such an important promise to the person he professes to love so much. I am pretty sure in the midst of my anger I told him he had a serious character flaw and he really needed to do something about that.

    • Cheated upon and feeling cheated February 8, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

      Dear JS. I know this is a painful time and a painful place. My CS also lied multiple times — to both me and our therapist — until I provided “proof” of his EA/SA. It erodes your trust. It feels awful. Small things set you off crying. I hope you will find some peace and good advice here. Many BS’s were supporting of me.

      Do you have a therapist? I recommend one — for both of you or just you. Our therapist has been extremely helpful this year — at least to me (after all, he lied to HER for a year too!) and I have grown tremendously this past year. In the 4-5 weeks since D-day, she has been a tremendous resource to help me sort out the mess and with me and my H she’s helped set up some boundaries for continuing the relationahip.

      One of my favorite quotes came from this site: dk who said it but it really hit home for me. “What I’m trying to say is a huge part of the carnage is that the BS has to somehow (and I don’t know how!) accept that they can’t control the affair. They can only choose to stay or leave, and if they stay the quality of their marriage is going to hinge in large part on the desire of the cheater to fix themselves and their marriage. It brings up a whole other layer of trust: Can I trust my spouse to fix themselves? Can I wait for that? Will I still love him when it’s all said and done? Will they be deserving of my love?” As I said, I’m only 4-5 weeks out, so don’t have the answers yet, but then again only YOU can provide the answers that fit you best.

      Hang in there. Keep posting.

  108. csb February 8, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    just sad – so sorry to hear you’ve joined us here. My H of 30 years had an EA for 1 1/2 years with an old girlfriend he reconnected with through FB. I finally found a love letter from her and that was my DDay – 4 months ago.

    Like you H, mine to this day still insists it was only a “Friendship”, but when I began showing him some of the posts here he realized it was more. Like you, I asked him if it was only a friendship, why did they meet secretly for lunch, text, e-mail and phone every day? My biggest stumbling block in healing is that I still don’t think he fully realizes the scope of what they were doing.

    First and foremost, he needs to cut off ALL communication with the OW. I had something similar, she e-mailed him again and he just HAD to e-mail her back to “confirm he wanted no contact”….

    Anyway, please know you are not alone, although I know it feels that way right now. So many people here have so much to share and want to help you.

    All the best as you travel down this path!

  109. BDT March 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    I stumbled on this site out of confusion and the hurt that I have been feeling. I have a wonderful fiancé, we have been together for almost 10 years and have a 5 year old child together. Our problems started when he had an old friend who went through something traumatic. With no one to turn to, She came to my fiancé for emotional support. Before her accident they texted on a regular basis. She confided in him about her divorce, Often sharing personal things about her marriage. Looking back at his Facebook messages to her and through his text messages I learned he to was sharing personal info about our relationship, they discussed sex, flirted and a few times he said some rather unflattering things about me to her. My issues started almost immediately after her accident. He was very upset with what had happened to her, I was shocked at first especially hearing all of a sudden she was his best friend! Which was shocking for me to hear because I thought I was his best friend. He vowed to be there for her and immediately began texting and calling her to check on her. Alarm bells went off, When I noticed how deep and emotional the conversations between them got. He had been away working and I had barely seen him for months. I brought it up that I thought it was inappropriate how he was talking to her, He got very upset, as a result he started erasing their conversations and put a lock on his phone so I couldn’t go through it. It was difficult for me to sit back and watch as another women became closer and closer to my fiancé, it drove a wedge between him and I. He became upset that I was uncomfortable with the late night texts, and their heart to heart talks. All the things he said to her we’re words I had longed to hear myself. We fought about it almost daily, I said they were too close and asked that they no longer contacted each other privately. We fought some more and finally told his friend, that I did not agree with their friendship. Although they hardly talk, our relationship for the last 8 months has taken a major hit. We are barely friends and haven’t been the same since his friend had her accident. I have made a few discoveries about my fiancé, I saw to profiles to online dating sites he set up for himself, ( he says he got bored of Internet porn and only signed up to look at the pictures ) and I came across a few Facebook messages between him and an old flame, Where he brought up past sex with her and reminisced about a supposed threesome he almost had with her and someone else. He talks with her on Facebook and is even designing a tattoo for her. We fight about all of these issues all the time, he wants me to get over it , but I’m incredibly hurt and can’t seem to get past it. I believe he never intended to cheat on me with either of these women. But signing up for the dating sites have left me confused and put doubts in my head of how I can no longer seem to trust him. These are causing serious issues between us, he is constantly threatening to cheat on me and leave me if I can’t get past this. Do I have a right to feel hurt or am I overreacting? Any advice would be appreciated.

  110. chiffchaff March 2, 2012 at 5:24 am #

    BDT – I’m sorry to hear about what you’re going through but you have found a good place here with this blog.

    It doesn’t matter whether or not you have a right to feel hurt – you do feel hurt, and that’s what matters. Your fiance is doing things that hurt you and I wouldn’t say you’re overreacting based on what you have set out.

    Take your time to read the other articles on this blog relating to your situation and concentrate on yourself and what you feel rather than worrying or trying to work out why he’s doing what he’s doing (something I learned very late in this game). Take care of yourself and your child first. Ignore his threats and work out what you want in your future and whether you want someone like that, as he is now, in that future.

    Be kind to yourself and take care.

  111. pickng p the pieces March 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm #

    Just like to thank you for this site ,, as i desperate search websites, books & comments for answers…
    I have been living with my boyfriend for 9 years now at his home.
    In the hope that yes,, some great day ! we would get married & live happyly ever after…well on the hot summer of 2009, we went on a 7 days trip w/ him and my daughter that was visiting us from a diferent state.
    That is when I started to notice that he was keeping some mental distance from me..
    Not knowing what it was ..I just though that he was feeling a little odd and left out from mother daughter time..
    Any ways my daughter went home after we got back, And few weeks later I was due to go on a training session for small bussiness venture I wasplanning to do at home.
    Well I was planning this for month and he was very encouraging w/the idea.
    Needless to say that since before my daughter came to visit our sex life was getting deppleted.
    and when we got back from the trip he still was distant & I started to notice so I did not wanted to push the making love part…I though that if I go on my training for a week ..may be he will missed me and we can rekindle all over again..well I left and he did not look to happy, but we did not took the time to discuss anything..and I was excited for my week away..

    I left and while I was driving down the highway I had this uncomfortable strange feeling in the pit of my stomach ..it was weird..I got to my destination..and call him …he sound calm natural but cold,, I could feel it in his voice. he agree on wake me up w/ a phone call at 5:30am, so he did that for the whole week.
    Next day I went to my first day of training and it was going great! there was so much to learn I was ,so excited ,,I call him during lunch, and let him know what I was doing and that i missed him & told him, wish he was there..he answered same way cold,natural,calm..
    After the 3rd day ..that weird feeling on my gut will appear out of nowhere..and an anxiety feeling will follow.. then will fade away when I was in training..by the 4th day his answer was the same we did not talk much & I was growing restless..I felt like I wanted to go back home and forget the training..but in the other hand it was already paid for, and I knew the righ thing was to finish..then go home..My sister were I was staying was trying to get me to stay for an extra day w/her ..but I knew I had to come home very soon…my gut feeling was trying to tell me all week..
    So finally i finish training and called him, he told me that if I wanted too why not stay another day or TWO MORE w/ my sis.. Well that is when I though I REALLY HAd To Come HOme..so I told my sister..Like this…When someone in any kind of way tells you not to worry..that is when you need to Worry…..So home I went after graduating from training and call him when driving from the highway.. to my surprise he did not pick up the phone.
    I left him message that I was anxius to see him again.
    It took 5 hours to get home and it felt like an eternity.
    I got home that afternoon after 4pm.. he was not home ..like I though,, so I started cooking a romantic dinner for two.. after preparing dinner I called him again.. about 6pm or 7pm he answer and told me real quick that he was a little busy but he was on the way home. well one hour, two, hour ,them three hours he did not came or call…about 10pm i call him and he said some old friend invited him for a beer and he went & that he was in the way home now..I said ok..then there was 11pm 12pm 1.pm..I really thoug something happened like an accident ..so I was getting worried and restless..anyways I kept trying to call with no answer on his part…than it came into my mind like a confused cloud that it may be something more and he was really beeing entertained..that is when I got upset ,,angry,,but really mad,,at him ..
    he showed up at 4pm…with a breath of beer and his eyes half closed …I went to the parking lot ..and asking what is going on…he said some old friends invited him for beers and he endup taking more than one..So I started to prove him who this people where..and asking for names and the whole story..I asking if there where any females he said yes that is when I grew more and more worried.
    So he was drunk I was angry but wanted to be with him..so he laid in bed I reclined my head on his bare chest when I notice the smell of strong ladies flowered perfume on his chest…so my heart drop..he was almost asleep …and I did not say anything else to him…until he was profound asleep ..I got up in tiptoes quietly grab his cell phone & went to other room…There it was a text from this female..telling him that she already misses him after the whole week the spend togethre …that something was growing between them…my heart drop and it shatters..my stomac started to ache..it was a horrible feeling…I am 51 years old he is 53, this female is around 42,,I though this man was for keeps, after beeing w/him for 5-6 years then..
    it has been a nighmare since them they broke up twice and he stills going trhoug the motions …he said she it is an emotional affair..when is it really gonna end? to be continue…

  112. HisBigSecret May 6, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

    My story is a long one and I don’t even know where to begin. I’ll start and share that we were married for 10 years/together 12 and currently separated for 1 1/2 years. My H and I are still very much in one another’s lives. He calls me numerous times a day, stops by – we do lunches/dinner and even attend concerts together. Very close to still having a relationship without the intimacy! He knows how I feel about him and my marriage values and morals are extremely high and he knows I wish to reconcile. He tells me that he is not sure what the future holds or that he is not sure he is ready to go down that road. He’s told me he still loves and cares about me although he’s not ‘in love’ with me.

    To back up a bit – we separated mainly because the trust was diminishing. H would escape online any time there was a conflict in our marriage instead of dealing with it head on. He chatted with other women while playing games on FB, joined porn sites etc. I found all of this out via a key logger and found out more than I wanted but it was an eye opener.

    We still hung out a lot during the first part of our separation as both of us were depressed and missed one another’s company and hated being alone. Plus we were running a company together so I seen him every day! Things changed when he started playing a game on FB and became addicted to it. It was during this time that he met the ‘other woman’

    About a year ago now I stopped working with him as it became too stressful for me to see what he was doing to himself. As well, the snooping was becoming an addiction for me and I needed to stop for my own sanity. I know I was wrong doing this as what he did or does now that we are separated really isn’t any of my business, or is it? I continue to struggle with this.

    His big secret is he is having an EA with a married woman – my big secret is that I know but have never mentioned this to him. A part of me wants to scream at him, tell him what an a-hole he is and to get out of my life. The other part of me knows that this is not the man I once knew and he is in turmoil, is depressed and is not thinking logically.

    I struggle with why does he want to remain friends? He’s told me that he ‘needs’ my friendship. During our relationship conversations I have asked him if there was any one else and of course he tells me no. Of course he won’t be honest with me – 1. he knows he’d lose my friendship 2. Of course he’s not going to tell me she’s married.

    So here I sit, still in love with my H and there he is ‘in love’ with a married woman! How do I win his heart back when he is in this affair fog?

    I have come a long way in the past year with fixing ‘me’ with knowing the things I was accountable for in our marriage. We have had long discussions of this. He has told me he was selfish and his escapisms were wrong and he knows now that he should have talked to me instead of running.

    I am in anguish with what I know. I feel for the OW’s H and family. A part of me wants to lash out and throw a wrench into their affair. I know the OW’s H is in the military so I’m sure this is why she feels the need of having an EA because of being lonely. This is no excuse! I have always been faithful to my H and even to this day I have been a faithful.

    I’m sure I left a lot out so if anyone has any thoughts or questions please feel free to ask. I’m just so confused as to what to do. If nothing is done, this EA could go on for years.

  113. csb May 7, 2012 at 8:20 am #

    HBS – I’m sorry you have joined us here, but you will find it a wonderful source of support.
    First and foremost – you need to tell him what you know about the EA. You will never be able to move forward without total honesty. He may still deny it, but at least you will know you have been honest and “come clean”.
    My personal opinion is that he is getting exactly what he wants out of your relationship right now…..friendship, companionship, etc. YOU on the other hand, are not getting what you want out of it.

  114. Primadonr May 18, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    Hi Linda & Doug, I would like to say thank you to you both, and to everyone else here for helping me see some light while going through the most horrific and terrifying times in my life.
    I found out about my husbands emotional affair 7 months ago. We were getting new cell phones and ran into a problem, I went to my cell phone carriers website and that’s when I saw the phone logs. I had never had any reason to check this. I will never in my life forget the feeling of doom I experienced as I scrolled through hundreds of texts and phone calls that didn’t include me, but was between my husband and coworker. I went into total shock. I never had a clue, my H never showed signs of anything amiss. My H & I just celebrated 25yrs married in April. The affair supposedly started in August. The EA lasted 21/2 months. I confronted my H that next morning, he admitted to it, but at that time, he claimed just really good friends. In the very beginning of my finding out, it was torture to put it mildly. It took many talks (mostly crying, yelling) to find out exactly what had/was happening. I told my H that they could not work together anymore, ( just a two person office) it wasn’t as though they could separate at work. He went to his employers and had her removed. That was the first real step towards healing our marriage. Within a couple of weeks after removing the OP, my H finally woke up. He cannot believe what he has done. He actually till this day cannot understand what led him down that path. My H believes it partly stemmed from stress at work and midlife crisis. He has never blamed his poor judgement on me, but I can tell you, that doesn’t matter, the blow to my self esteem is incredible. I can say seven months later, it is improving. Lots and lots of work. We have quite a way to go, but we are learning, thanks to places like yours and others! To all out there just finding out or even those further along in their awareness, I can tell you, it does get better. There will be light at the end of the tunnel! Thank you again, Linda & Doug, because of your hard work in saving your marriage, you have made it a touch bit easier for the rest of us.

    • Doug May 18, 2012 at 8:00 am #

      Primadonr, Thank you so much for your kind words and for letting folks know that there is hope.

  115. stunnedwife September 9, 2012 at 8:19 am #

    New member to a club that I would have never thought I’d join. Found out exactly 4 weeks ago about “her”. My husband’s EA. She is 25, living in Seattle, working the front desk at the hotel where he usually stays. (He spends either Sunday or Monday through Thursday or Friday every other week there for his job.) The way it came to light was odd. I was trying to talk to him about an issue we’d been having problems seeing eye-to-eye on (his refusal to call a cab after going out drinking with his buddies), and he absolutely unleashed with a huge pile of mean. Screaming at me about how he’d been unhappy for 12 of the 14 years we’d been married, how I was an awful wife who made him do everything, how he was afraid to tell me that he thought we had any problems because of my mental illness (I have ADHD, which I take medicine for… not something dangerous by any means), and how if I wanted to know why he needed to drink? I should go look in the mirror.

    I was horrified, and actually started to believe that I was ruining his life. I’ve tried so many times to bring up changes that I think would be good for us, things I need, things that we need to work on… and he has always in the past managed to convince me that I was blowing things out of proportion, how he was still the guy I married and he wasn’t going to change. I would back down and let us continue on our merry way. I went over to a friend’s house, told her and her husband what my husband had just unloaded on me, and the man’s reaction – the very first thing he said – was, “Is he having an affair?” I denied it, as he would never do that to me (his first marriage broke up because she cheated on him). My husband is the last person on earth anyone would suspect of having an affair. The man asked me to please check my husband’s phone to see if there was anything there.

    That night, about 11:30pm I went downstairs to get some water. His phone was charging on the bookcase, so I took a look. She had been drunk texting him all evening. Then I found several pictures he had of her. I texted her back to try to get more out of her (pretending to be him), and sure enough – there was a relationship. I woke his ass up out of bed, confronted him, and he lied lied lied lied lied. And I confronted confronted confronted. And I finally broke his story. But he kept lying to me over the next week about contacting her, how serious it was, told me she had quit her job at the hotel (which one phone call confirmed had NOT happened), and accused me of basically leading a witch hunt. I told him that night that as soon as the kids woke up in the morning we would sit down, talk to them, and tell them why daddy had to move out. He was so angry when I told him he’d have to move out. But I’m so glad I made him leave, because now we’re 4 weeks past and finally talking. I would have caved from fear and gone back to olden times if he’d been living here. Standing up for myself was my best decision.

    I’m going to go take a walk through your blog. Thank you thank you thank you for putting yourselves out there with your story / experience and being there for all those you help.

    • Doug September 9, 2012 at 9:18 am #

      Stunnedwife, Welcome to our blog. Thanks for sharing your story and we’re very sorry that you’re going through this. I’m glad that at least you have got to the point where you two are talking. Hopefully that will bring real progress for you and will lead you down the path to recovery and healing. I know you will find a supportive and helpful group here so don’t be shy about asking questions, etc. Take care!

  116. LoveMyDog March 30, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    Hi. Unfortunately I’m new here.
    My H was involved in a PA for 6 years. My teen kids found out and kept it a secret for 6 mos. I had just had cancer surgery and they didn’t want to see me hurt. They finally told me b/c they began to hate their dad…especially for continuing the A while I was so sick. Dday was 1 year ago.
    He moved out upon my request. We started marriage counseling. Something didn’t feel quite right in counseling, but I wanted to quickly move on and forget this experience. I asked my husband to move home 6 mos later. He swore the affair was over and he would never hurt me and the kids again.
    Three months later, I found my H in the driveway of his AP.
    I yelled, screamed, cried, and punched him in the mouth. (If you knew me, you would find this hysterical b/c I never raise my voice and am very shy.) It was like an “out of body” experience. He didn’t come home that night and moved into a rental apt.
    One month later, my H told me wants to divorce. (Wait a minute….YOU want the divorce?) He claims that although the affair is over he is “not in love with me.” I just found out that he bought a condo for himself. After 26 years of marriage and 4 great kids, he says he is not “husband or father material” and wants independence and to live alone.
    The AP is alcoholic, stalks my kids, bankrupt, and obsessed with my H. I do believe he has broken it off from her because of her crazy stalking behavior with my kids.
    I am most heartbroken about his asking for a divorce before he honestly gave us a chance. He wants us to be buddies and have frequent dinners and vacations, yet he wants a condo and to be alone. I’ve cried now for a year and miss the great guy I married.
    Should I just give up or back off until he grows up?

    • Melissa July 11, 2013 at 9:06 am #

      So sad for you but my only advice would be to back off for the time being. He is still wanting to have his cake and eat it (‘buddies and vacations’!!!) and does not seem to have taken responsibility for his actions.

      If you can find another counsellor, go for it (alone or together if he is willing), sometimes it is difficult to find a counsellor with experience of EAs, many of them just dismiss them.

      Take care of yourself, especially as you’ve had health problems.

  117. Terry April 3, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    My wife had an emotional affair that lasted for a couple weeks. She had the emotional affair with an old high school boyfriend. But not just any ex-boyfriend, but the one MY wife lost her virginity to. I just can’t get the images out of my mind. We live in different states and my wife claims there was never a desire for anything physical. Any suggestions???

  118. cathy July 10, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    I found this web site and thought i would check it out. i am so in need of advice. My spouse and I have been married 35 yrs this month. His mother passed away in January, 2013. For several yrs, he and i have been going to local huddlehouse for breakfast as outing on weekends. he would even eat there with friends from church and bring me breakfast when i worked… we were both friends with young waitress there, 2 yrs older than our daughter. she is married and has 2 children and attends church, etc… her mother died of cancer. my husband started talking more and more to her; i noticed a difference in the way he was behaving and treating me in feb., he was freezing me out. i kept asking what i had done, i was determined to fix whatever the problem was. he gave me several excuses. all off the wall reasons.. i walked the floor of the night and cried. was just miserable. my head was slowly putting things together, my heart would not let me accept. he was openly flirting with her when i was with him at huddle house when we ate breakfast. .. in march , his behavior became irrational when it appeared that i might be to sick to go to a cookout at this couples house.. later that week we were invited to go on trip with this family, she called me at work and invited me.. i discussed it with him when i got home and he immediately said call and let them know we can go…more irrational behavioral , not normal for him… i walked the floor that night and confronted him the next morning . i was trying to understand all he had gone thru with the death of his mother, he basically sat with her in the hospital until she passed away. he is the only son and the oldest for 4 children. i was trying to understand his situation in what he was going thru and used this to try to justify how he was treating me. when i talked with him. i asked him if ” he had let himself feel more for her tham he should as a friend”. he told he thought he had.. i felt with him being honest we could work this out, i told him that out marriage might be in jeporady, but not to put hers in jeporady and back off… he told later that day to call the couple and tell them we could not make the trip. i called and made excuses. .. things did not get better, he continued to ignore me and freeze me out. he would talk to me. when i tried to hug him , he pulled away. he had been doing this since feb… it was just getting worse. i continued to ask what i had done… the day before mother’s day, he told me his feeling’s for me had changed. he stated he no longer cared for me like he did when we were married. i asked how long he had felt this way.. he told me he had felt this way for over “2 years”. i found this a little unbelieveable and told him i had not noticed no difference in his behavior.other than that in the last several mos… i told him i felt he should have told me sooner if he had felt this was 2 yrs ago… mother’s day morning, he woke me up at 5:30 in the morning to tell he was going on a trip to a theme park with this girl and her family and i was not invited… (they only had room for one more person to ride with them) . when he arrived home that night. i asked him how his trip went.. i then basically told him that on our 35th wedding ann. i wanted a husband in the home that loved me, and if he didn’t care and didn’t know if he ever wanted to care (he stated he did not know if he ever wanted to have feeling for me again)., then he didn’t need to be with me. .. he started telling everyone i told him to leave.. i later found out he had been telling people we were separated back in april/may…. he had been locking his truck and hiding his keys to the truck… i was out of town to visit my child.. drove back and arrived back home at midnight. i felt like the Lord led me from that point on. the words emotional cheating came in my head, i never had heard of it and had no real reason to think of this.. i sat outside and searched sites and read on my cell… everything i read matched his behavior.. i was able to get in his vehicle, searched one time, did not find anything. forgot my cell phone, got back in to get phone; lost my balance leaning over the front seat and my hand slipped down in front seat and hit cell phone… i foung out he had been calling this girl on another phone on her cell phone and she had been calling him.. . i confronted him. i was hurt, betrayed. my head knew all along, my heart would not believe it.. he left to go to his sisters to stay. on the way to his sister , he went by the huddlehouse to tell this girl i was on my way to confront her.. . i did confront her.(i had confronted her after the mother;s day incident, and she claimed her spouse invited my husband and she knew nothing about it, i never believed thai. i just told her that i was owned an a apology by them and my husband and never brought it back up). when i went in and confronted her after i found the cell phone (and broke it). i asked her 4 questions and then left… ….1, how close to the Lord do you think you walk…2. do you realize that you and my husband have been committing infidelity or having an emotional affair…3. do you love him… 4. do you love him enough to leave you family for him…..

    the following monday , she supposedly told him that her feelings for him were those of a friend only… and he was not to call her again. he informed me that i caused him to loose a friend.. i asked why he purchased phone to talk to her in secret.. he stated he did this because he knew i would get mad…

    since june 7th. he has stayed at his sisters’ .. he has came to out home during the day when i have been at work. i have found out after the fact that he has moved some of tools and things out of the garage to storage and he had a vehicle that he removed from home and has stored in friends garage. i got worried and changed locks to house at that point .. these things were his , i had no problem with him moving or storing, it was just the fact, he did not feel it was important enough to discuss with me. he has continued to go to huddelhouse she works. he sits there in the morning from 6:00 to approx 9: to 10:00 and then goes back there before she leaves for the day to eat lunch… i guess you could say i was wearing a hair shirt, i was going in and eating breakfast and then going to work *( i was not sitting a the same table with him)…some one told me he was my sore and all i was doing was pulling the scab off everytime i went in there where he or she was at… i have not talked to him since last monday… approx 10 days. … i don’t know what he wants.. i don’t think he knows.. i think he is trying to find a place to rent. but he is not discussing anything with me… i have all the bills at home.. i work fulltime and during the day, i stay busy and don’t really have time to thing… at home of the night. i am by myself… don’t know what to do , where to turn., wished he had friends he would listen to that he would seriously believe that would tell him how what he is doing.. i don’t really think he cares.. ultimately he has turned his back not only on me but his daughter… he has only called her once since his mother died and that was only to inquire as to what i had told her regarding this situation with him and the waitress…. his concerned with only for her and not for his child… i welcome any advice … do i just sit back and let him figure things out and keep praying ….. i guess what i am saying is that i still love my husband.. but the man who is doing this to me is not the man i married.. i am so confused…

  119. csb July 11, 2013 at 7:49 am #

    Cathy, I’m sorry you have had the need to seek out this site, we are the “club” no one wants to join, but welcome anyway.

    My H had a 1 1/2 year EA with an ex GF he found through facebook. At the time, we were just about to celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary, so like you, we had survived a lot together and this was the last thing I thought would be thrown my way! DDay (discovery day, as we call it here), was 1 1/2 years ago for me, right now we are still together and he claims to have no contact with her, however, I still continue struggling with trust issues and question if I can stay in the relationship.

    You have found a wonderful group of understanding people here. While I have no magic answer or solution for you, I encourage you to vent, ask questions, etc. You are not alone.

  120. Rachel July 11, 2013 at 8:02 am #

    Cathy, so sorry that you are living this nightmare. Your story sounds very familiar. Sounds like your husband is deep in an emotional fog.
    My best advise is to change your beneficiary on all accounts and life insurance to your daughter. Try to set up a little nest egg for yourself in case this leads to divorce.
    See if he will go to counseling. They get so deep in the ” affair fog” they can’t see straight. If you really love him, and you feel you can trust him again be patient. Hard I know. Most important this is not your fault! They don’t like to discuss the situation and will find every excuse to blame you.
    Just some cheap advise from me. I am currently going through a divorce after 25 years of marriage. My ex sought out his ex from 30 years ago. Soul mates , leaving their families to be together blah blah blah. Well, she didn’t hold up her end of the bargain. Now he wants me back. Not happening! I would never ne able to trust him and I deserve a better life than wondering where he is every moment of the day.
    You are at the right sight. This has been so helpful to me and the people here become family. Such a great support system.
    Books that I can recommend- Runaway Husbands by vikki stark and The Journey from Abandonment to Healing by Susan Anderson.
    Good luck, stay in touch and BREATHE!

  121. Melissa July 11, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    Cathy, both CSH and Rachel give you good advice. This is really tough. It can go both ways (the ‘fog’ can be deeper than the deepest sea). It will take a lot of time, understanding, patience. You will encounter rage, setbacks, pain, shock, tears and you will think you’re crazy. Don’t. You’re going through the toughest of times in emotional terms. You will never be the same but I hope that, if you both want the marriage to work and succeed, you get there and you can come out of the other side, changed, challenged and different but stronger and happier.

  122. csb July 11, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    Another wonderful book that helped me to see that I wasn’t blowing things out of proportion and I had valid concerns….”Not Just Friends” by Shirley Glass.

  123. cathy July 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    Thanks for help. I have not talked to him in the last ten days. He still is in contact with his ” friend” when she works. He tells me every time I try to talk to him, we argue. What he calls arguing is when I an relating to him about his emotional attachment to this person and his inability to even talk to or tell me any of his plans. Maybe he doesn’t know what he wants. I guess I have gone for so long taking care of him , I am still trying to do that. Do I leave him be and give him space or try to continue to get him to face his betrayal? I am confused? Boy this real life thing is hard. I pray the good Lord will give courage and guidance . I am glad he led me to this site

    • Lorraine April 9, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

      Hi Cathy just come across this site. My husband of 40 years has had an emotional affair although he would not admit to it. She is only a close friend. I think when he hit 63 he had a late mid life crisis a younger female showed interest in him and he was hooked. Don’t think he even thought of how I felt. Has yours been resolved now, I hope it has because the hurt that we feel when it happens is indescribable. Don’t know if you will read this but I hope you are happy now.

  124. Anne April 1, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

    My husband is 42 and we have been married ten years with two young school age sons. He’s gone from being a fairly secluded (other than work) introvert to taking on significantly younger single friends at work, some female and hanging out with them a few times a week after work. He also video chats with an old girlfriend a few times a month, sometimes more and she makes bids for meeting him and playing a mistress role though I believe they have not actually acted on it. Obviously he enjoys her attention and likes the young energy of the friends from work. When I spoke with him about how it seemed he was opening a lot of windows to the possibility of an affair, he said that he knows and he sees it is a destructive trajectory. He says he feels so constrained and done with society’s rules for marriage and his job and people looking up to him. He describes himself as wanting to be free and not even caring if life implodes.

    I asked him if he would be relieved if I left and he said no, he “loves me to death and wouldn’t give me up.” He said he’s just greedy and he likes the attention and the flirtation with these women and he’s tired of an arbitrary social construct that says he can’t have it all. I feel depressed because I have no idea what to do and it seems like any action I take I might majorly regret later. Ironically, our relationship has been closer and warmer than ever and he points to that as evidence that him stepping out shouldn’t affect us. If I would just tell him to go ahead and sow his oats however he pleases, he would be happy but I think it would do a lot of damage to me over time.

    • Blue April 4, 2016 at 8:07 am #

      Hi Anne,
      Your husband ‘wants it all’ but I’m sure if you said ‘hey, I met this man and he’d like to take me out’ and then you act excited, dress up and come home glowing your husband’s thoughts would change. Similar to Bob&Carol&Ted&Alice movie. Everyone wants it all but life doesn’t work that way. At least he’s being honest, albeit deluded. Good Luck Everyone.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. One couple’s journey of healing & forgiveness: Coping with the aftermath of an emotional affair | HealingAndGrowth - October 31, 2013

    […] I cam across this very inspiring, eye opening and frank blog about one couple’s journey to healing and forgiveness following an emotional affair: http://www.emotionalaffair.org/our-journey-from-an-emotional-affair/ […]

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