Time to Rewrite the Rewriting of History of Our Marriage

history of our marriage

It’s truly unfortunate that cheaters change the history of our marriage altogether in order to justify what we’re doing.

Over the last week or so Linda has been feeling really down and again has been having those feelings where she feels ‘stuck’ which has become an obstacle in her healing and affair recovery.

Well, the other day, she had a bit of a breakthrough where it appears that perhaps she may have pinpointed the reason that she feels stuck.

That reason relates to the rewriting of the history of our marriage while I was involved in my emotional affair.  In doing so, I said some things that were really not true or accurate with respect to my unhappiness in our marriage up to that point. It was all bullshit and was just a means for me to rationalize what I was doing at the time. What I said deeply hurt Linda and made her feel as though much of our marriage was a lie.

True, we were going through some rough periods at the time but it certainly was no reason for me to discuss our marital history or problems with somebody else.  This rewriting of the history of our marriage had a deep effect on Linda to the point where she feels as though she has been inadequate as a wife, and that if she would have been a better wife, then my emotional affair would never have happened.

In the many months since the affair has ended and I emerged from my stupidity, I’ve been able to understand and realize that all these things that I said before were nothing short of complete crap. I was rationalizing my actions and the reasons for the affair and it was completely wrong and unfair to Linda for me to do that.  The problem was with me – not her.

Now, in the wake of all of that, Linda has these feelings of inadequacy and questions our entire marriage.  She questions if we did truly love each other.  Did we really have something special and worth fighting for? She has asked me if I feel as if she pressured me into marrying her and having kids.   She wonders if I’ve been unhappy ever since we got married – or at the very least – since having kids.   She feels like she doesn’t know who she is anymore. She feels like perhaps she can’t love me as she thinks she needs to love me.

The other day as we were getting up in the morning, the first words out of her mouth were “You know you have to fix this don’t you?”  At first I didn’t know what she meant, but after a brief discussion she communicated her breakthrough to me.

The History of Our Marriage is What Holds Us Together

She told me that when she found out about my emotional affair the main reason why she stayed and worked on our marriage was because of our past, and the way she perceived our relationship to be.  My rewriting of history  took all of that away from her. 

If our past wasn’t worth fighting for why would she want to endure all of this pain from the betrayal to have a future with me?  She commented that she could have our present relationship with anyone and that it’s the past that bonds us together and makes it special.

By knowing the root of her feelings, I can now approach things in a variety of ways. Now my purpose has shifted to where I want to help her to remember and to realize that our marriage was not a lie and to basically take back everything I allowed her to believe. I need to reinforce that she was (is) a great wife and mother, that we’ve had a lot of fun together over the years and that we’ve had a very good life together.

Sure we’ve had some troubles and misfortunes over 32 years together but 99% of those 32 years have been wonderful. We have great memories together prior to having children.  We have great memories together since we’ve had children.  And we will have great memories together once our kids leave the nest and we start a new life chapter.

It’s truly unfortunate that I and other cheaters change the history of our marriage altogether in order to justify what we’re doing.  Though we don’t think about it at the time, we are creating lifelong pain and emotional scars for our spouses. And I know that deep down we all realize that this rewriting of the history that we were doing is nothing but fiction.

Sure, in many cases both partners have contributed to the deficiencies within their marriage, but that is no reason to have an affair and it’s certainly no reason to condemn the marriage in it’s entirety in order to justify having an affair with another person. I was stupid.  I was selfish.  I was totally wrong in rewriting the history of our marriage in the way that I did.

My job is clear at this point in time. I’m going to do whatever I can to jog Linda’s memory and to help her to remember that our life has been a good one, our marriage has been a good one and our future together will be a great one.

She made the comment that she really doesn’t want a new marriage, she just wants the good aspects of our old marriage back. I guess if you think about it, she’s absolutely right.


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89 Responses to Time to Rewrite the Rewriting of History of Our Marriage

  1. livingonafence June 7, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    Doug, thank you again for your openness. Your willingness to help Linda and to work to rebuild trust is admirable. But, do you really need to jog Linda’s memory? After all, she was hurt finding out what you’d said because it wasn’t her memory of the marriage. Her memory, it seems, is fine in that regard. However, proving to her that what you said isn’t how you feel seems to be what is needed here. She needs to believe that the things you say to her are the truth and the things you said to the AP were lies. She needs to believe you enjoyed your marriage and her, and that you mean it now when you say you are happy to be with her.

    This is a problem for many BSs, myself included. Is what I hear now, that I’m loved and this is what my spouse wants, the truth, or is it more lies and what he said to the AP is true, that I don’t make him happy and that he’s never been really happy being with me. Linda needs to believe that you have always loved her and still do. This, to me, is the big trust issue. It isn’t whether or not he’s going to do it again, it’s trusting that my marriage isn’t just a convenience for him. How do I trust that when I know what he said about me and us? How does Linda trust it?

    I wouldn’t worry about jogging her memory. It’s all there already. The issue is, is it there for you too?

    Of course, I could be way off here, but based on her concerns that it was all a lie, I don’t think I am. She’s worried that all of the sweet moments, happy memories and things that only the two of you shared weren’t the happy moments for you that they were for her. She’s worried that the things you said to the AP are what you feel and felt, and that it was much more of a burden than a source of happiness and comfort.

    Making someone trust your love for them is easy the first time around. After all, things are wonderful, you light up when they enter the room, you can’t wait to see them. After a betrayal, it isn’t as easy. They have reason to doubt your feelings. They know you will lie to them because it’s easier and there’s another motive involved. You’re around them a lot anyway, so any ‘lighting up’ can easily be perceived as contrived. As a BS, how can you know for sure? Your instincts have already proven to be faulty.

    Make Linda feel that you love her. Prove it again and again. Saying you love her now isn’t meaningful, since I’d bet you said it while you were involved in your EA. She’s doubting everything, so this second time around making her feel it is going to be a challenge, but it’s certainly not impossible.

    And most importantly, don’t give up. A month of loving gestures is wiped away in an instant if the CS becomes defensive. It gives the appearance that they’re tired of the act and want the BS to just accept it and get on with things.

    Linda’s memory is fine, with one exception – she’s probably forgotten the feeling of believing you truly love her and always have. That’s what needs jogging.

    • Battleborn June 7, 2012 at 11:58 am #

      LOAF, there you go again! What you write is soooo true. They told us they loved us before during and after the affair so how are we to trust what they say now. It’s has to be a combination of show and tell.

      I really liked your paragraph…

      Making someone trust your love for them is easy the first time around. After all, things are wonderful, you light up when they enter the room, you can’t wait to see them. After a betrayal, it isn’t as easy. They have reason to doubt your feelings. They know you will lie to them because it’s easier and there’s another motive involved. You’re around them a lot anyway, so any ‘lighting up’ can easily be perceived as contrived. As a BS, how can you know for sure? Your instincts have already proven to be faulty.

      I could not have said it any better than you just did. :}

    • Doug June 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

      LOAF, Great stuff. Thank you! You are very correct in your assessment. Perhaps jogging her memory was not the appropriate way to put what I was trying to say. I feel I do need to continue doing everything you have mentioned, but there are some things that Linda does need to be reminded of. Specific things that she can’t remember if we did prior to kids or after kids, etc. For instance, the other day she was dong some stuff in our basement and she was listening to Hooty and the Blowfish on her Ipod. She loved their music and it brought back good memories of when we saw them in concert, but she couldn’t remember if we saw them after we had kids or not. I was able to find the date that we went to the concert and it was indeed after kids. That was important to her and she thanked me for it. So it’s more little stuff like that.

      Otherwise, I get what you’re saying and agree 100%. Thanks again!

    • Carol June 7, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

      I agree with LOAF: the real trust issue for me is not (or not only) whether or not my H will do this again — but whether he means it when he says he loves me and wants to be with me. During the EA he’d wax hot and cold. Sometimes he was very considerate and loving, sometimes cruelly distant and cutting. So it’s hard to know what to believe. I just know that I can’t live the rest of my life unable to trust in what he says. I can’t love someone whose words I do not believe. He is trying to prove through actions that he loves me, but it’s hard sometimes to accept that proof, too. And I fear I can’t really love him — and therefore reestablish our marriage — if I can’t believe him or trust him, in that bigger sense of trusting what he says and feels about us, our marriage. I guess I’m feeling a little stuck today; it’s the 1-year anniversary of his make-out session with his EA bitch. 🙁 Thanks for the space & opportunity to vent.

    • Linda June 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

      LOAF, boy you hit the nail on the head, that is exactly how I feel, I know how I perceived our marriage, but now I doubt that Doug felt the same closeness and commitment. And by his actions both during the affair and for some time after Dday my perceptions could be correct and that really scares me.

      I do agree that after some time it isn’t trusting that they will have another affair, that is not the big issue. It is trusting that they feel and felt the same about us and the marriage that we did. Were we on the same page.

      I believe that is why I keep questioning him, about our parenting expectations, how we spent our time. Did he want to do those things or did he just go along because he felt he had to.

      After an affair the BS questions everything about the past, because it is not so clear anymore. I feel like I have lost my memory and don’t know what was real or fake.

      You are correct, Doug doesn’t need to jog my memory, somehow he needs to prove that he really did love me and was happy that I was a part of his life. Not just someone who was the mother to his children and the keeper of his house.

    • Survivor May 16, 2016 at 6:43 pm #

      Broken 2 well said!!! We all take their words as BS!! I feel played and always will!! He made the choice to be with the home wrecker! He made the choices to have sex with her!! There’s no fixing this! No forgiveness!! No more being made a fool of They ruined our live.admit that because you either live with a cheater or are divorced from a cheater!! Thanks

  2. Battleborn June 7, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    Doug, What you say is true and I agree with Linda that I want the good aspects of my marriage back. BUT, it is really hard to sort out the true good past when the CS has done what she/he could do to destroy it. Was my marriage good dating back to 1993 or 2001? Were our romantic getaways really good for both of us or was he lying then, too? The questions go on and on… doubt creeps in along the way and BOOM there I am again, wondering what was true and what wasn’t.

    I think this post is an important one that all of BS’ need help with. Our emotions have been toyed with so making sense of what is good and what isn’t is really, really hard.

  3. Traci June 7, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    I have been married for 32 years an with this all coming about has made me rethink my whole married life. Did we marry to young! Did we just stay married because we had children! The times I thought were good were they really! I can’t seem to remember the good times all that comes back to me is the not so good times.

  4. Battleborn June 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    Oh and I forgot to say, my CS said that one of the reasons he kept seeing her was that he liked the way she lit up the room whenever she saw him coming her way. Geez, sounds like they were in love just like we were in the beginning, huh? BARF

    • Paula June 7, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

      Battleborn, my ex always said that about me, the entire time all of the first 21 years of “us” – he felt a room wasn’t fully lit, or alive, until I walked in. He misses my sparkle, and the way he would always look over at me and immediately warm, and if he managed to catch my eye, start to tingle all over, I haven’t felt tingly or sparkly in three years!!

  5. Gizfield June 7, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    People, if your spouse married you and they are still married to you, it is because they WANT to be.! Cheaters especially, do what they want! Whatever they use as an reason for staying is actually an excuse for not leaving. those who want to leave do so. Sometimes you can over analyze things :~)

  6. Anita June 7, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    I can only speak for myself, it took writing the history of my
    relationship with my exhusband from the moment we met
    to our divorce, for my annulment process, for me to grasp
    everything, it was then I had a complete understanding.
    Its not about the other woman, its about the healthiness
    of the marriage, his infidelity was wrong in every aspect,
    but I had to go deeper to why he didn’t value the relationship, why didn’t our relationship develop and grow.
    What happened? Sadly I found my answers already in
    our courtship, we married to young and for the wrong
    reasons. My exhusband wasn’t ready for a lifetime of
    fideltiy and he didn’t know what he wanted, so years
    later he involved himself with other women. So it
    boils down to at that time in his life he wasn’t ready to
    give up other woman for the rest of his life, and stay faithful
    to our marriage.
    By me findly understanding this, it brought me into total
    healing and forgiveness.

    • Anita June 7, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

      Now when someone asks me what happened that we divorced, I have a simple version. My exhusband and I
      married to young, he hadn’t finished seeding his wild
      oats yet.

      • Anita June 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

        I also had to take responsibility for my actions. I can remember being told by my parents and my church, not to
        have sex until I was married, keep that for the right man,
        who will wait for you until marriage. Being young and naive
        I thought that advise was old fashioned, and I didn’t listen
        to it, and I ended up pregnant, and we married, both of us
        were way to young, green behind the ears, didn’t have a
        clue. Fast forward to my exhusbands last affair, I asked
        why did he committed adultery, he gave me the most honest answer, and it stung but he was honest. He
        told me that when we married, he did it because he thought
        it was the right thing to do, but he wasn’t ready, he said
        he felt like he missed out on someting by marrying too
        young. So my parents and my church were right after all.
        I should have waited for a gentleman, and done it the
        right way. However I have my children because of my
        exhusband so good came from it after all.

  7. Gizfield June 7, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    We dated 3 years, I got pregnant, now married 9 years. No way a fraction of that time spent texting, calling, generally mooning over someone can compare, although they would like you to think it can. It is just not true. Linda, you have been married 32 years! That tramp is a bump in the road! On his death bed Doug will think of you, not whats her name.Cheaters cling to what they had because it’s ALL they had . “They” had a date?” “We’ve” had thousands…same with calls, emails, gifts, sexual encounter s, you name it

  8. livingonafence June 7, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    Boy Gizfield, must be nice to have everything so worked out and not be bothered by cheating. I’m curious – did you cheat, or did your husband? I’m also curious why you visit this site at all since you obviously don’t have any problem with cheating and view it as nothing more than a bump in the road.

  9. angelwings June 7, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    Seems like we all have something more in common besides our CS. We too married young and I was pregnant. Our children were one of the main reasons we stayed together when we had problems. Although our marriage started out rocky, these past few years had been good ones. We grown up together, knew each other well, or so I thought. My H EA was with an ex girlfriend who moved away. So I now feel the “what ifs” What if she hadn’t moved away? What if they had ended their relationship on different terms? What if he had feelings for her all along? Oh too many “what if” in my mind. Something I deal with on a daily basis. Although my H reassures me all he can and has done so many things right since Dday, I still wonder. Trying to rewrite our marriage to have a happier ending, but all these ‘what if’ get in the way.

  10. crios June 7, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    This is a good post D @ L. I am the CS and wife has told me something similar y does she have to rewrite our marriage or for that fact start a new, since i am the one who ruined it and put us where were at today. I do agree with what she is saying because I comprised our 17 year marriage. I too think that we want and she wants all the good aspects of those years we had good and great times before and after kids. We also had some troubling ones but seemed to manage through them. My EA put us on a different level and its been hard on my wife due to me. We are still trying to make things work and I do thank her for that affording me that opportunity. I will continue to do my best to getting back to the strong man that i was. I also want to say i do love her and my stupidity and selfishness put all at risk. Thanks Doug and Linda you have been a great help to me and us.

    • Battleborn June 7, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

      crios, If you are as sorry and repentent as you say, then good on you. I wish my husband would say the same thing to me. He is a private person and sucks when it comes to saying ANYTHING about the affair. Not meaning that he does nothing, but speech is not his forte.

  11. chiffchaff June 7, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    This is a good post. Thanks.
    My H, as Doug says, rewrote our marriage in order to justify what he was doing rather than face up to his weakness. It’s the deception, when everything about him seemed normal, during his affair and then the downright hurtful rewriting to justify it afterwards that made me doubt everything about our marriage. And also doubt if I ever knew this man at all. He has described himself in the absolute crisis period of two months ago as ‘selfish stupid’. I am hoping he’s more like ‘unselfish wiser’ these days.
    I too would appreciate my H reminding me often what it is he likes about me, why he’s with me, why he married me in the first place to make me feel like it wasn’t all just a dream that’s been erased by 18 months of selfishness on his part.

  12. Paula June 7, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    I also think it a GREAT post. My ex and I have discussed this ad nauseum, this very thing – if I thought one thing about our relationship, and he thought another, who’s version was the “correct” one. Doug, I think you’ve nailed it – obviously everyone sees things subjectively, but objectively (or as objectively as possible, lol) the “right” version was closer to mine. We WERE really great, it wasn’t my imagination – my ex has confirmed this, over and over to me – and admitted his fault in re-writing things temporarily to justify his actions. I LOVE what Linda said about not wanting a new marriage, but wanting the one she thought she already had, SNAP! Me too. I have spent three years trying to let the old one go, and build a “new” one – when I didn’t want to let go of the old one, it was AWESOME! Part of the grief process. Thank you for articulating this so well. Whilst LOAF and Battleborn’s original comments were both articulate and “right” – it is not JUST trying to get the belief back in the things a BS hears from a CS, I also was being told how much he loved me before, during and after the affair, how do you then believe any of that, I didn’t feel any different whilst he was shagging my “friend,” I still felt as loved as ever, if he did this so smoothly, maybe he’d been doing it for the entire time we had been together, it seemed like second nature to him. How do you believe him when he so very sincerely says he TOTALLY understands that question, but swears he has never done this with anyone else, or the same person, before this awful time? Yet another part of the puzzle is this very thing, this re-writing by the CS, do not adjust your set, there was a transmission error, all of the self doubt a BS feels stems from this very thing – if we were so great then why did he/she do this to me??? (Yes, I know, they didn’t do it TO you, they just did it, you were just a casualty of war.)

    • Linda June 7, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

      Paula, I agree and even though our marriage wasn’t perfect I always believed we were totally committed to each other. I always felt that we had something that many of our friends didn’t. Now was that real or something that I only believed. I guess what I want back was that feeling and the safety that I felt.

      • Paula June 8, 2012 at 3:55 am #

        Oh, Linda, thank you for responding. If anyone here thought there was ever perfection, they should have never got married in the first place! Unfortunately, even though we had/have really good men, they stumbled, and unfortunately, I don’t think we will ever have the safety back, I truly hope you have something just as good, that compensates for that feeling, and I believe you will. 🙂

      • Rachel June 8, 2012 at 4:32 am #

        Same for me too. Yes, we had many rocky patches but I always felt committed. Never once would I have thought of looking up an ex. That would have been such a betrayal to my husband and boys. But my husband didn’t have a problem doing it and that’s my problem that I can’t let go. How could he have done that?

        • Anita June 8, 2012 at 9:05 am #

          Why does do some people cheat and others don’t. You would think the betrayed spouse surely would have the
          biggest excuse to, since it happened to them, and yet most
          of the betrayed spouses don’t, so what stopped us from not returning vengence back.
          For me I knew it would be wrong and I didn’t because of
          my beliefs. Yet somehow my exhusband didn’t stop himself from cheating, even when he didn’t have an excuse.
          I even asked him before his last affair if he had one moment of thought of I need to stop now, he answered
          that he did, but the excitement and forbidden fruit was
          what led him to jump off the cliff. Even though he knew
          he would end up at the bottom, he still did it anyway.
          Why? I think it boils down to each persons internal
          conscience, and set of beliefs, and how strong those
          beliefs are. Also its rebellion towards God. Also its
          in a way a rebellion towards the spouse. They know
          its wrong but they do it anyway. Only they can stop
          themselves, and change the condition of their heart
          towards God and you.

          • Anita June 8, 2012 at 10:45 am #

            When infidelity occurs it produces so many problems.
            For myself we divorced and I healed without him, and forgave him.
            For those of you who stayed married, its a long hard
            road. I give you credit for hanging in there.
            For myself, I knew he couldn’t do enough and say enough
            to bring back what was lost.
            My best to everyone.

      • Broken2 June 8, 2012 at 10:51 am #

        Linda I know exactly how you feel. I feel stuck too. We also always said we had a marriage our friends would be jealous of and my husband still says that and I think to myself wow wouldn’t they be floored if they knew about the affair and if that was and is true then why did he cheat? SOmeone posted a comment on a pic of my hubby and I dancing at our sone wedding about “a true love story” and I scrambled to try and remember if that night she was in our lives and our sons wedding was a joke too. The lines of truthful reality become blurred. I haven’t spoke to my husband on this subject yet and I need too. Thank you for bringing it up because I too often feel like I want our old marriage back not this new one and was everything a lie or wasn’t it? How do we believe that it wasn’t? Be strong Linda…
        Doug my husband always says it was his fault…he was stupid…it had nothing to do with me. How can that be?
        I feel like Linda….wasn’t I a good enough wife or mother…I tried so hard yet it wasn’t enough. Can one person in a marriage truly be at fault? I maybe the only one with their head in the sand but I believed our marriage was incredible…yet he obviuosly didn’t. So what parts of our “new” marriage does he truly beleive are incredible or is he just saying the words like before? Hard road.
        I LOVED Hootie and the Blowfish!!

    • ocanas June 9, 2012 at 6:10 am #

      I believe I also want the good things from my old marriage, but the EA is such a big “before and after” that I’m not sure if I want to keep trying to find out if the good things were really good for both; or if I rather grief for the old one, let it go, and see if this new one is worth fighting for. Can I really grief just for the bad parts?. You can tell I’m ambivalent at this point – 1 year after D-day.

  13. crios June 7, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    Battleborn thanks for those words, i will tell you it has not been easy for me to talk about it,because i am ashamed of all my actions I think bringing up my EA sometimes causes much pain for my wife understandable. I will continue to do what i can to salvage my marriage

  14. Gizfield June 7, 2012 at 5:05 pm #

    Living on a Fence–please dont think I feel cheating is ok because I DO NOT, under any circumstances! I believe it is the most serious offense you can commit in your marriage except abuse. I meant that most Other Persons are not that important in the scheme of things and in time will be pretty much forgotten. It’s not that they were any body’s Great Love, it is usually that they were 1) convenient and 2) available.

  15. Gizfield June 7, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    By Available, I mean the Cheater has observed their potential partner enough to know that they either dont have a spouse, that they will not tell their own spouse who might beat their ass, or the cheaters spouse who will not react well and divorce them etc. also, they probably won’t pursue some one who doesn’t show interest in a relationship with another person ‘s husband/wife. In other words, some one who observes boundaries…

  16. Gizfield June 7, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    I forgot to answer your question, Fence. Yes, my husband did cheat on me, with someone he knew from 20 years ago. I think they may have casually dated. I guess they lost contact but he could have found her if he wanted. She resurfaced at a club though mutual friends while we were dating . I suspected nothing, but should have by the way she launched herself from her seat onto my boyfriend. Then I saw her one more time, at the same friends house. She and her daughter were about to move across the country so she could shack out with a pilot.my husband and I were married by then and our child had ben born so it was several years.

  17. tsd June 7, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    I am having a hard time with this one…I think when any change positive or negative occurs In a marriage, a shift occurs. Therefore, it’s up to both husband and wife to mutually change and rewrite future because past is documented.

    My problem today, after confronting husband with this very subject last night, was “you’re tying everything I do into my past mistakes”. I told him he wasn’t doing anything for us, at all, and he thinks he is…so when I asked what are you doing, he said, I’m coming home, I’m talking to you…and I said, wow…then i asked “when you asked me what my needs were and I gave them to you, how vocal or active are you in providing?” His reply, I don’t do any of them…so you see my dilemma …

    I read too much into our past drama, and he reacts by retreating or ignoring when I question how we can change… It always comes back to me and how I have been reacting to our present…he says I am holding back his change because I go back to the problems of the affair…wth…

    So in order to proceed with HIM and HIS changes that will benefit US, I must let go of past and future…he only wants me to live in the present…um, ok…And not to teach or tell him what to do….this is only 10% about the ea, and 90% about changes that need to occur to HAVE a future together….

    So this rewriting a marriage is confusing…you can’t go back to what you had, you can only revisit memories. You can’t go back to simple times, cuz you’re not sure if it was real, pressed or lies…you can’t repeat that security and comfort feeling cuz a new emotion is present.

    I equate it to your first comforter as newlyweds…I don’t have that anymore…I’ve replaced it several times…we still sleep together but the top layer is different. We wanted a different color, and different texture or pattern…we changed, and so did our comforter…

    • ocanas June 9, 2012 at 6:22 am #

      I’m in a similar position tsd. A book that is helping me a lot is “Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to stay” from Mira Kir….

      I clearly stated my needs to my CW just after D-Day a year ago, some of those are being addressed very well, but some big ones are not. And after a year it should be clear to me those will never be addre ssed – so 8’ve feeling exactly what you say should I let go of both the past and the future.?

  18. Gizfield June 7, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    I break these posts up instead of one long comment because I am on an Android and sometime s thing s just disappear. Oh well, back to the story. When my child was 5, this woman called the house. Husband asked if I heard it, said it was an old friend. Proceeded to change house phone to cell phone, to save money, traded van for suv , got tattoo to cover scar from heart surgery. Lots of weird behavior. 6 months later he is “in love” wants divorce. I disagreed, and it is 3 years late r. Now if this was such a Great Love why didnt he pursue her in the 15 years before he did??? I believe most Cheater s still love their spouse. They either become disillusioned with themselves and project it onto the spouse, because it’s easier than seeing their own flaws or it may actually be disappointment in the spouse for being a real person. Just my thoughts…

  19. Gizfield June 7, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    Oh, he also quit wearing his wedding ring, supposedly something to do with work, and put cell phone on lock. And my dumb ass still trusted him, lol. Cause I thought he was a “good man. ” Trust is the cheater’s best friend, lol.

    • livingonafence June 7, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

      Gizfield, I apologize if I sounded harsh, but your posts came across as a bit, well, cold. Between the ‘overanalyze’ comment and the comment about the OW being a bump in the road, it seemed as if you thought anyone dwelling on their CS’s affair is creating drama where none exists.
      I agree, trust is definitely a cheater’s best friend. My H told me he was talking and texting with his ‘aunt’. Nice, huh? So there I was dumb as could be trusting him and believing this crap, and then when I looked on his phone…well, let’s just say it obviously wasn’t his aunt.

  20. Carol June 7, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    Hi, Gizfield — I actually found your comments helpful today in a weird sort of way. I think in my mind I have built up the OW to be so great — so alluring, so attractive, younger than me, talented, a famous singer (ackgagretch) — so much better than me: a middle-aged, slightly dowdy mother of three and fairly conservative (if successful) professional. So I found your statement about the OW not being all that — because if so, the CS already would have left — helpful in a strange way. I still think my H behaved fundamentally like a selfish, heartless coward: he didn’t want to leave, he just wanted to ‘seize the day’ – his words – when the opportunity to mess around with this ‘famous person’ – his words again – arose. So it is very hurtful to think that he was willing to throw away my trust and love for basically nothing. At the same time it’s helpful to be reminded that that is what the bitch really is — NOTHING!!!!

    Here’s another thing that might be helpful to some — forgive if it sounds preachy: I read the post on the Higher Healing level from Rick Reynolds about narcissism today. He points out — correctly — that Narcissus isn’t really in love with himself; he’s in love with an *image* of himself. And he’ll do anything to maintain that image, even rewriting — or in the case of the myth, truncating — his own history. So today I’m trying to think about the things my H said during the affair as if they were statements reflected in fun-house mirrors: distorted, warped, crazy-making as they were, they are just that: crazy, designed to maintain his own stupid navel-gazing image of himself as so dashing and witty and worldly that he was able to attract an opera singer. (News flash: it’s not that hard to attract that whore . . . 🙂 )

  21. Rachel June 7, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    We are all so similar in so many ways. Those hurtful words said from the CS. Why? Wasn’t the cheating hurtful enough to accept? These words are what hold me back. These hurtful words play in my head daily. And now my H insists that he didn’t mean them. So like many have said, if he ever again says that he loves me, does he really mean it?
    Being the BS is living HELL!

  22. Notoverit June 8, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    My H and I were having this exact discussion a few days ago – what was our marriage like before the EA mess? Neither one of us could say anything except sit there and look at each other. The drama and hurt from finding out about his EA changed me. I became bitter and hurt, not wanting to think about anything except his betrayal of our 30 years together. The only thing I could do at the beginning after D-day was throw instances of things I did to further his career, help him, support him and, damn it, make him the successful man he was. I just kept saying it belonged to me because I was there for the hard times and I’d be damned if some bitch was going to come in and take all that from me. Materialistic? Yes, but it was all I had. I overlooked what we really shared in all those years.

    My H has said that he never intended to leave me, not during the whole affair. My response was “then why bother?” HIs response has always been “I don’t know. It just made me feel young; it was flattering and she seemed bubbly and happy which was intriguing.” Later on, after D-day, he found out that she had QUITE a few mental problems and he wasn’t anything but a way to further herself. Big hit to his ego.

    All I have ever gotten from his view on our marriage is that it was in a rut, boring, that we did the same things over and over again. He wanted some new and exciting – a lift to his ego and to feel young again. Don’t we all?

    The hard thing I have been going through lately, much like Linda, is what were we like before the EA? I just have a hard time remembering. Maybe I don’t want to, maybe I just can’t. All I can remember is doing everything possible to make my H’s life easier when he came home. I thought that was the way to show I loved him. But I lost myself in the process. I changed dramatically – do it yourself; I don’t care if dinner is on the table; I am not paying the bills – you do it; if there’s a problem, you handle it. My H has stoically taken all this and I finally realized the other day – he does love me and he is trying to do things to show it. He doesn’t talk either but his actions are trying to show me, something he was not doing before and during the EA.

    I guess what I am saying is we are now rewriting our marriage. I will no longer be ignored and taken for granted. He realizes he was doing this and I think is genuinely sorry for it (I think he misses the “nice” person he was married to -LOL). Marriage is not one person giving all the time and the other one taking. It has to be equal. That is what our marriage was like before – equal. I intend to get that back.

    • tsd June 8, 2012 at 9:00 am #

      Notoverit, wow…you said what I feel… my cs wants me and our marriage how it was before his ea, I was like you…give, give give…support, love, subservient the works….I did lose me…now I have a voice because of the ea…he needs to get over it not me. I can be same loving person but not the doormat he stepped on…I was ignored and taken for granted. This discussion was one we just had, And he reminded me that I take for granted all the stuff we have…I said I didn’t marry stuff…I love what he provides and I thank him for his hard work in providing this stuff, but I don’t love the stuff…I love him, and I don’t rally have him anymore….you get actions and not words, and I don’t get either. It’s back to the dance Doug and Linda quoted week back…that same dance is the vicious cycle that doesn’t change in our marriage. I’ve identified the cycle, and the loop is stopping us from really finding peace….

      • Notoverit June 8, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

        Hey TSD. Yeah my H said that about “stuff” too. I told him I’d rather eat dirt. Meaning, I would do without all this “stuff” because it wasn’t what mattered. HE was what mattered. That shut him up. I supported him through med school and residency by practicing law. I was good at it and I loved it. But I gave it up for him to pursue his career and to raise our son. I know I shouldn’t have but at the time it seemed easier. To quote a friend of mine (also an attorney) – “he’s scared because you own him.” Not true, he was scared because he saw what he had almost lost – love and a friend – me. Stuff is stuff as George Carlin said and losing it doesn’t matter. Losing the love of your life, now that’s something to think about. He has.

    • Carol June 8, 2012 at 9:35 am #

      Hi, Notoverit — I went through something similar after D-day. In the case of my marriage, I worked a demanding job but arranged my hours so my kids were never in full-time care. My H almost never expressed gratitude for this or even recognized the stress it put on me. I did all the laundry, paid all the bills, managed the finances, did the taxes, did most of the yardwork, took care of my car, did the shopping for household and kids, washed dishes, etc. He did very little regular housework. And the thanks I got for all of this labor was an increasingly distant and hostile husband and then the EA. So on D-day I snapped. How dare someone take me for granted after I sacrificed so much for our family? He always felt ‘entitled’ to pursue hobbies, etc. at the cost of our family; some days I barely had time to shower. The unfairness of our lives together coupled with the radical betrayal of the EA just killed something in me. I have not paid a bill since. Nor will I do his laundry. Nor will I hire people to help mow and maintain the lawn. Etc., etc. I was done. I absolutely agree: marriage has to be balanced. I read somewhere on this site that the CS has an affair not because he/she isn’t getting enough from the marriage, but because the CS has not *given* enough to the marriage. Boy, was that true in my H’s case. He was checked out emotionally and in so many other ways. He told me he wanted me to stay in the corner — stay put, as his wife — while he went out and ‘explored the options available to him at mid-life.’ What a load of shit. I told him he could explore away but that I was not an ‘option’ and so he could get the hell out. Within two days he’d totally collapsed and decided he wanted back in. But I still won’t pay the bills. 🙂

      • livingonafence June 8, 2012 at 10:06 am #

        Carol, that’s a really interesting post you’ve written. I too worked, paid the bills, did the shopping, most of the cooking, everything. My H couldn’t have paid the bills if his life depended on it. He isn’t stupid at all, but he had NEVER done it, ever. He generally did the laundry, and he took care of the dogs. Too well, because most of his time on the phone with her was when he was outside with the dogs. His one main job, and that’s where I get burned???

        Anyway, I kept trying to make him happy by doing more, being supportive, trying to make his life easier. It seemed the more I did, the more he pulled away. I’d try harder, and he’d pull more. I couldn’t win, and then he cheated. I was enraged! To top it off, I make significantly more money than him, and by significant, I mean my salary is more than 5 times what his is.

        In counseling, I started to see that maybe he didn’t feel like he was contributing. I was doing so much that he felt as if he didn’t matter. He felt unneeded. This only added to the sense that life was passing him by. Not only was he in a boring relationship that he couldn’t remember NOT being in, but he wasn’t even a major player in his own life, let alone feeling like ‘a man’ compared to his wife.

        The line you quoted about it not being what someone is getting from a relationship but what they are giving really says a lot. If a person feels like an observer in their own marriage, how connected to it can they be? Add that to a very independent person being a little resentful that he is in this long term relationship – he never pictured himself in a serious lifelong relationship and, even though he was where he had set himself, there was a piece of him that resented that his life was not the way he had pictured it, and as we became more disconnected, this became ‘my’ fault – throw in a little social networking and an ex girlfriend that was just as miserable with her life as he was with his, and you get an EA.

        I think it’s interesting that so many of us have such similar tales. I’m starting to believe there are only 3 or 4 scenarios in which people have affairs and while the details can be very different, the ‘big picture’ is the same.

        • Linda June 8, 2012 at 10:33 am #

          LOAF, I believe that your situation is very similar ours and many of the BS on this site. Since we began this blog I have read so many comments from wives who were the bread winners, took all the responsibility in the home and then their spouses go out and cheat. As unfair as it appears I believe that many husbands just stopped feeling important in their lives and marriages. They also felt bored, (which I feel if they would have taken or was given more responsibility they would have been too tired to be bored)they met someone who showed interest and a bit of excitement and that was very desirable to them.

          With our failing economy I believe there are many men that feel the same way our husbands did and unfortunately the wives are too busy keeping it all together to notice. And at times are angry that they have to. Wives need to understand the way men think and how they value themselves. They put so much stock into what they have accomplished, where they are in life, Compared to women who place their value on the quality of their relationships.

          Looking back I regret not being more aware of what was going on with Doug. Although my intentions would good by being an overly responsible wife, it allowed Doug to become a bystander in our lives. He was not invested in our relationship, therefore breaking our commitment was easy.

          • livingonafence June 8, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

            bystander – perfect word!
            I have those same regrets. I spent all my time trying to make sure everything was taken care of and I was so busy with this that I forgot to take care of my marriage. I don’t blame myself – he could have at any time made an effort too – but he didn’t. He took the easy path to feeling important. Sometimes when I realize this, I actually feel sorry for him. It’s sad to think of someone so disconnected from their own life that they feel alone and unimportant. It doesn’t last too long when I remember all the damage his remedy to his situation caused.

            I now spend more time on him and his needs. This isn’t out of fear of him mentally detaching again. Well, some of it is I’m sure, but really it’s more to make our marriage a better one. I pay attention to his reactions to my actions more. I’ve learned a lot about him from this, which is odd since we’ve been together for 16 years and I thought I knew everything about him. I do this to ‘train’ myself to pay attention. At first, it was a very deliberate thing, and now it’s becoming more of a habit. I want it to be second nature.

            I do not agree with his actions at all, but I have learned something from all of this. I’ve learned that I need to pay more attention to my husband. Sure, he took me for granted in a big way and got involved in an EA, but I was taking him for granted too. I took for granted that he loved me as much as when we first met. I took for granted that his interest was the same as mine. I took for granted that I had him and always would. Now some would argue that the things I took for granted, particularly having him and that I always would, are normal assumptions. They are, but there is a limit to everything, and when we let every other detail in our lives take priority over our spouse because, hey, they’ll be there later and THIS is important, we might find out this isn’t the case. Our spouses are people too, and they want to feel important and needed. I was showing him that didn’t need him, and by letting everything else steal my attention, I was showing him that he wasn’t important.
            Please don’t misunderstand – will he ALWAYS come first? No, of course not. I’m not going to be focused on him all the time, and I shouldn’t be expected to. But I will find some way, every day, to show him that he is important to me with my actions.

          • Notoverit June 8, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

            You are right Linda. I guess in our efforts to “show” our love we cut them out of what they needed. My counselor told me that my H needed to feel useful – the white knight who rode in on the charger and saved the damsel in distress. Kind of pissed me off at first – the OW was in no way a damsel. But I got to thinking about it and I see what she was saying – my H needed to feel needed. Simple. I just thought all those years that I was showing him my love which he took for granted. Well, he can be needed now – cut the grass, feed the stock, help clean the house, wash the dishes, help cook meals, take care of the bills, listen to our son when he has a problem, deal with his own mother (instead of me doing it), wash his own clothes, etc. etc. I did it all and I refuse to do so any more. He’s screwed up the bills a couple of times and I’ve offered to help (one was the mortgage and I didn’t want to lose the house LOL) but he says he can do it. So I let him. i have had to step back and let him become an equal partner. Maybe now I can be the damsel.

            • Paula June 9, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

              I agree, Notoverit. One of the first things my ex said about the OW was that it was so nice to feel useful! I was understandably disgusted! Growing up in the 70s and 80s, we “girls” were taught to be independent, NOT be 50s housewife saps, not able to change a lightbulb! I did it all, too. Not much I haven’t attempted, despite living with this man since I was just a very young 20 year old. I wield a chainsaw, a hammer, a power drill, etc, with the best (well, maybe not always the best, lol) of them. I pay the bills, organise EVERYTHING, cook, clean, laundry, calculate taxes, build pet shelters/tree houses for children, you name it, I’ve a least had a really good go at it. She (never married, never in a committed relationship, at 45) called him up to break up concrete, clean her guttering, paint her spare room, change her tyre, etc. I would have felt like I was using him when I was perfectly capable of doing all of those things in my own house! My pride still won’t let me play the simpering woman who can’t change a tyre!! I know they need to feel they are participating – but where is the line? There are times when my ex says/said to me, “oh, I’ll do that, it’s too big/difficult/heavy for you.” Often I would carry on, “proving” my worth, but just as often, I would let him “feel like a man” by helping out, or conceding that, yeah, I did need help, and I always let him know I appreciated it, as part of our partnership. I don’t know where the line should be drawn??? Why do we need to stroke these men’s egos so much???

              • Greg June 9, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

                Paula, one thing you have to remember is that while women were being taught to be independent and that they could do everything a man could men were still being taught to hold a door open , take care of all the physical work around the home, be the provider, and in general be the classic image of a man. This has caused a big difference in self image of the two halves. We as men expect to take care of things and be the providers but women are basically telling us that they don’t need us to do anything for them. It can be demoralizing. It has become even worse with the current generation. Boys are now constantly being told that they aren’t as smart, do stupid things, and need a woman to make sure they don’t hurt themselves or other. Just watch TV commercials to see the message that it being sent. You will constantly see men being portrayed as bumbling idiots, one of my favorites is the Digiorno Pizza one in which the husband tries to convince the wife that the pizza delivery guy made the foot prints on the floor but she sees the pizza box on the counter and he is made to look stupid in front of his friends. Yes it is a funny commercial but it portrays the husband as either a liar or to stupid to know that he left the box out right in front of him. Neither is a good image. Or take the girl power T-shirts you see that say girl’s rule boys drool’ , there is a great message for young boys. I see it too often at work since my business caters to teenagers and when boys and girls come in together the boy is always being told what they are getting, not being asked what they would like to get.
                Now don’t get me wrong I want girls to have as much power as boys, I have two smart and funny girls for kids, but I don’t want dither side having more power than they other. It takes a balancing act to divide the household work load between both partners. For my wife and me we split the tasks by what we are good at, so I have car washing, yard work, doing the dishes, getting the kids ready in the morning and making their lunches,an so on. She does the majority of inside cleaning, folding the laundry, making dinner, and so on.
                OK, I’m done ranting. 🙂 Just touched on a sore subject for me as I have been getting sicker and sicker of how men are portrayed on many commercials and TV.

                • Paula June 10, 2012 at 12:25 am #

                  Greg, I agree completely!! Who thinks the dumbing down of men (and boys) is funny?? Not me, I find any of that type of advertising just outright lazy, and I actually have a great sense of humour. I just think it is a difficult balancing act for both genders to get it right, without offense, and in perfect harmony (sorry, 70s Coke joke) lol 🙂

                • Broken2 June 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

                  Greg….my hubby and I talk about this issue as well. We are in or 50s so this is from our age perspective. I think the womans movement was great for us woman…it launched us into the business world, enable woman to achieve goals never even thought of in the 30s, 40s or 50s but it also blurred the lines for men. I think it has had a profound effect on gender roles for men and woman…sometimes good and sometimes bad. I don’t think it is clear anymore what woman want from men. They want them to open doors and act like gentlemen yet they want the “bad boys”. THis list goes on and on. I’m sorry…this isn’t very popular but I am old school. I believe we have God given roles. I know my hubby says at work the woman whom he has the most respect for …who have risen to the executive levels and beyond…are those who don’t try and act like men. It is those woman who are smart leaders who retain that which makes them woman. Likewise I see from my own children a shift in the dating world. My oldest was one of those gentlemen type…an extremely smart young man yet gorls wanted the bad boys. My daughter found (shes 29) that many men her age are lazy, dont want to work, dont want to go to school, still live with mom and want her to support them. So as a society we have blurred those lines…..I think it is the children and the family that suffers. I often wish we could go back to a simplier time in life as a society.

              • Notoverit June 9, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

                I don’t stroke his ego. I sit back and watch him struggle with all those things I did for years without complaint. Yeah, I was one of those “girls” from the 70’s who could do everything. Now I like watching my H participate, i.e. flounder around. Kinda funny in a way. But seriously, I have backed off of trying to handle everything. He needs to be invested in this marriage, including the hard stuff. Makes him feel like he is contributing now instead of letting me do everything. Plus, LOL, my nails haven’t looked this great in years!

  23. CookieMomster June 8, 2012 at 9:46 am #

    Doug, Thank you for your efforts on Linda’s behalf and thank both of you for the service you provide here on this site. LOAF is right about you’re not needing to “jog Linda’s memory”. In fact, (at 98 days past discovery) whenever my husband attempts to bring up what we used to share as a happy memory from our past it acts more as a trigger to instant devastation for me because I was told by the OW that he described this same incident in a particularly derogatory way and I find that when he tries to do this for me that I immediately start crying and have to tell him that I can’t talk about that period in our life. Linda is absolutely correct that the rewriting of the history of our marriages is a major, major obstacle to our recovery. Because I’m only a little more than three months on this road, it is one of two things I’m dealing with. I’m still spending many sleepless nights obsessing over the “facts” of the relationship, now that the reality of it has become undeniable. Along with that is my husband’s rewriting of our history in order to make them both feel more comfortable with their relationship. I know that this rewriting is going to take much, much longer to heal…. IF EVER! I may some day be able to sleep through the night without running through some of the facts related to my husband’s EA with another woman, but I’m so very much afraid to believe his declarations of love because of how he described his marriage to her. I fear that when he tires of me once again the hurt next time will destroy me.

    • livingonafence June 8, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

      cookiemonster, I’m so sorry. I can only imagine the horror of sitting there when he brought up a ‘happy’ memory that you KNEW he had described to her as a terrible event.

      Your last line about him tiring of you is so sad. He didn’t ‘tire’ of you, he tired of his life. My H said some disgusting things about me to OW. I don’t think I’ll ever truly ‘get over’ some of them no matter how much time passes. I know this wasn’t about me, but isn’t there a limit to their actions? Fine, you were bored and feeling stale, but some of the things said should have made YOU shudder saying them. Where is that line?

      If they talked that much about you then you know two things for sure:
      1) They didn’t have that much else to talk about. If they were soooo in love, why did they need to occupy their time discussing you? Because they weren’t in love and really didn’t interest each other that much. Take away the foolish romantic things that fed each other’s need for attention and the sexual talk that fed each other’s need for stimulation, and you’ve got nothing. They couldn’t have nothing, so they found a common activity.
      2) Your H was trying very hard to twist his real life so that his actions were ok. If someone needs to talk that much about how miserable they are, they are convincing more than the listener – they are convincing themselves. Mixed with all the ‘woe is me’ crap they spew is a boatload of lies. I’d bet you heard stories of things between you and your H that were based in reality but somewhere along the way it turned into a work of fiction. Also, I bet he cherry picked the negative aspects of these events and made them the main story. It’s all crap. Your H was convincing himself that it had always been bad, and OW was glad to listen because it convinced her of how special she was to him.

      I’m so sorry for you. I know how much it hurts, but just remember, If you and your marriage were all they had to talk about, then you can be sure this really was all about attention for your H. He spent his time talking about HIM. She’s nothing. She was just someone willing to play along.

    • Butterball December 15, 2016 at 11:55 pm #

      I have the opposite experience. My husband criticizes certain things about me to my face and then says positive things about me behind my back to the OW concerning the same things. I don’t know what to make of it.

  24. Anita June 8, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    You stated ” I fear that when he tires of me once again the
    hurt next time will destroy me.”
    Actually Cookiemomster, you are stronger than you think.
    My exhusband cheated on me more then once, it didn’t
    take me long to figure out that I need to ended that unhealthy relationship.
    You are a strong woman, and if he does this again, your
    strong enough to leave that kind of relationship behind.
    Infidelity is not something we have to put up with, we have
    to choice to stay or to go.
    I also knew that my exhusband couldn’t say enough or
    do enough, to bring back what was lost, when he chose
    to have his last affair, it then became my choice to leave
    him behind, I also forgave him. However I knew that I
    could never get back what was lost.
    For me my acceptance came from knowing I would never
    have to deal with his infidelity again after we divorced.
    So remember your stronger than you think.

  25. Gizfield June 8, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    Cheaters truly are delusional. One day my husband was defending his Friend and told me “she has the highest morals of anyone I know”. SAY WHAT? I thought how can this guy believe that? He is an intelligent man. And I know he knows I dont believe it. I realized then any arguments like that they give are designed to convince themselves!!! If he admits the truth about her, he is admitting it about HIMSELF!

    • Anita June 8, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

      When I read this post, it could have been written by me,
      my exhusband and I had a simillar argument, my ex told
      me his affair partner “was not the flirting type”, my response
      back him was your right “she only sleeps with married men.”
      I wonder how many others B.S. heard this same type of
      “infatuation babble”

  26. Gizfield June 8, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    Oh, this is classic. Later on he said she wasn’t a “whore”because she wouldn’t have sex with him. Thatwas really you much for me. I actually laughed and said “just so you know, if she didnt f*** you it was because she didnt WANT to!” She was probably boinking somebody else the while time. Or she knows what I learned in college, guys I did not have sex with fell”in love” with me and wanted to get married. About 90% of the time, men think they are in love with you and it is actually lust. They don’t usually know the difference, in their defense. Once it is consummated, the relationship has run it’s course and they want out. After sex, women usually then think they are in love, just my opinion…

  27. Anita June 8, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    I hope everything turns out well between you and your husband. Maybe someday you can look back and see
    how far you have come.
    When my exhusband made that comment to me about
    his affair partner, it was within short time period from
    when he told me about his involvement in his affair.
    Since this was not the first time he cheated, my biggest
    regret was that I even stood there, and made a comment
    back. Of course highsight is 20/20. The moment I
    found out about his last infidelity, I should have divorced
    him. I wasted a another year and a half staying with him.
    I feared the unknown, however my fears were worse then
    the actual divorce. My divorce wasn’t anymore painful
    then his adultery, I was able to grieve it as one.
    I know now after going through everything, I would never
    put with a cheater again or make any excuse for their

  28. Broken2 June 8, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    The only person that knows about my husbands affair is my friend that I met on this forum…her hubby also a CS. She said something to me the other day that I have thought alot about and this really doesn’t apply to anyone who is a new BS. She said if I found out that either he or I only had six months left to live I would not take another breath or spend another moment thinking about this. This really made me appreciate my life now…that we have come this far. None of us perfect….all of us human…all of us making mistakes. I would never want to go through this ever again but I am thankful for my husband with all of his faults.

    • Anita June 8, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

      That’ s a very good way to think about it.
      For me I would want to spend it with my children, grandchildren, family and friends.
      Your right there comes a time when we have to leave the
      past behind and enjoy the here and now.
      My best to you.

  29. DJ June 8, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    Geez, it never ceases to amaze me how similar our stories all are. My coach calls it my million dollar question: is he really in love with me? It’s hard to believe after reading hundreds of emails and messages where he told her that he had never gotten over her and that it was a tragic mistake to marry me and From This Moment On she was The One. And then hearing about what a wonderful woman she is while still reeling from all of that… oh yeah, a wonderful woman who continued to cheat on her husband even after the poor man had two D-days with her and went through hell. She didn’t even try to break it off. She just got sneakier.

    This post came at exactly the right time. This is the issue that has me stuck. This, plus the fact that I am no longer willing to put up with his narcissistic, selfish crap. I have done my best for 19 months, but at this point if he doesn’t shape up, he needs to ship out.

  30. Anne June 9, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    I’m going to put forth a theory that may not be popular, but I believe it to be true. I don’t think our cheating spouses can solve this particular problem. Yes, they said and did very hurtful things during (and after) their affairs. Yes, our sense of the marriage was shaken. They can apologize, take it back, acknowledge that things they said were a feeble attempt to rationalize, blame and otherwise justify and duck the hurtful and destructive choices they were making. But I have found that these assurances, while appreciated and helpful, don’t really solve the problem. Sooner or later, I have to believe—deep down and in a very visceral way—what I know to be MY TRUTH about our marriage and about each other. We might—but don’t have to—see it 100% the same way. I didn’t believe him at the time he said many of those things to me; I knew he was rationalizing. Now he admits it, which certainly feels validating and helps the healing process. But the biggest lesson (and personal growth step) for me was in recognizing that I don’t have to let him define or tell me what to believe. I already know. I don’t have to trust his interpretation, I have to trust my own. Reassurances can be a bottomless pit and when I’m in a certain state of mind, nothing he says will be enough. But when I’m secure in myself and in what I know to be true about us, our marriage and our relationship, he could say anything he wanted and I would trust myself first and foremost. No one can tell us what to think or how to feel, and we shouldn’t allow them to if they try. If we expect our spouses to heal us or to make us feel better, we are making them responsible for our happiness—which was the very thing they were doing to us when they stepped out on the marriage. They were making it our job to fulfill all of their needs and make them happy. I think recovering from an affair is largely about realizing that the ingredients for peace and happiness are in us, not a function of what someone else does or doesn’t do. It’s liberating to experience this, and I think it makes the marriage closer and more intimate.

    • Paula June 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

      Very well said, Anne 🙂

    • Rachel June 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

      I respect your comment, but I am a bit confused. My H has said about 100 times that he has said and done to me during his EA with his ex g.friend from 30 years ago. He has denied saying most of the hurtful words but our son was there on d-day and heard the entire conversation. But that is all that he has done. I do expect him to heal me, tell me that he truly loves me, won’t do it again and is willing to repair us. Well he hasn’t and this holds me in my tracks. I don’t feel that he is responsible for my happiness I guess what I want is more of a commitment. I am almost 7 months from this nightmare and perhaps I am all wrong with my feelings and would love some advise to move forward and out of this mess.

      • ocanas June 10, 2012 at 7:10 am #

        Rachel, I’m reading a book that is helping me move forward from a similar situation “Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay” from Mara Kirshenbaum – it has a lot of eye opening questions that helps you define if your marriage is still too good to leave, or if it is really to bad to stay in.

    • livingonafence June 10, 2012 at 9:03 am #

      Great post Anne! I really agree with your part about us making them responsible for our happiness when that is what they did to us when they cheated. We are all responsible for our own happiness and our own choices. They chose to cheat. Are we going to choose to let that act define us?

  31. Rachel June 10, 2012 at 6:24 am #

    Screwed up my first sentence in the previous blog. Meant to say that my husband has said that he is sorry about 100 times for looking up the ex g.f. And for what he has said.

  32. Anne June 10, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    Rachel, I’ve come to believe that the relationship only improves when each person grows and matures individually. Then, they bring that new perspective to the marriage which changes the dynamic. If the CS is not willing to take a hard look at why they did this and to take responsibility for it, I think recovery is more difficult because our instincts will (rightfully) be telling us that they aren’t sincere or haven’t learned from this experience. But on the other hand, if we as BS’s don’t engage in the same process, I think we also contribute to a slower and more difficult recovery. My point about how the spouse can’t heal us is this: Our feelings about this situation reside in us. Our spouses can tell us they are sorry, they can end the affair, they can admit that they were in the fog and were saying and doing things that they now regret and didn’t mean. But our ability to trust and believe that message lies within us. Do we think we’re worthy? Do we trust what we know to be true about our spouse and our marriage? Can we take an honest look at ourselves and, without blame, acknowledge that we have areas for growth and maturity that, if addressed, might positively impact the marriage? If the answer to any of these questions is “no”, we need to examine why and work on it. Our spouses can’t make us believe them. They can assist us in our recovery through compassion, empathy, accountability and a desire to learn from what they did. But the rest is up to us.

  33. Rachel June 10, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    Ocanas, thank you for the book suggestion, I just ordered it from amazon.
    Anne, the fact that I am not moving forward could be because my husband is in denial that it was infact an emotional affair. He claims that it was looking up an ex g.f. Visiting her because he was in the area. They had four lunches together when she would meet him all over the state. They emailed and texted too many to count in one day. (barf)
    On d-day said he was in love with her not me, they are soul mates, she brings out the best in him. They are leaving their families to be together. He denied some of these hurtful words but our son heard them all as well as myself. Sounds like an emotional affair to me!
    He shut me out during this period and I asked weekly if he was seeing someone else and he lied to me and our marriage counselor.
    I am in therapy and he won’t go to couples counseling because he is too busy.
    The tables have now been switched and he blames me because I can’t get over this.
    I think it’s time to send the “I hate you letter” to the other women. She has been calling him every year on his birthday and when she has a work related problem she calls him too.
    Friday night he said again that he will file and get another job so he can buy me out and I can leave. Again more hateful words. My therapist said I should call his bluff.

    • livingonafence June 10, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

      Rachel – I had a funny thought – find the clip from Goodfellas where the wife is at the door of the apartment building buzzing the main character’s girlfriend and screams “He’s MY husband! GET YOUR OWN GOD DAMN MAN!” and send her that clip! How dare she be that involved in your life, and how DARE your husband claim it wasn’t an emotional affair! Talk about denial!
      I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. He knows he said those things to you – he’s too much of a coward to admit it.
      This ‘friend’, if she was truly a friend, would bow out and let him try to have a happy marriage.
      I’m with your therapist – call his bluff. He’s dictating the rules in the marriage. Tell him you’re not up for his version of the story.

  34. Disappointed June 10, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    My H acted like he lost the love of his life and soul mate when the OW said NC two days after I discovered the EA. Months later he got drunk one night over dinner and told me he was normal and not broken at all and that I am messed up. Also looked at me with disgust and said “you and I were never soul mates”. I said, and you and she were? Never got that far was his reply. I know that never would have worked. I know that could not have been real. But what I think does not seem to factor in. I think he still pines for that feeling, not even her. I want to save our marriage and he is in limbo. He wants to run away whenever he wants and refuses to grow up. I wish I could stop loving him, it would be much easier. I know there is a lot of good between us and much worth saving. But we are stuck.

  35. onmyway June 11, 2012 at 12:56 am #

    Ocanas, thank you for the book recommendation. It sounds as if many of us might want to read it and see what we can take from it ! Some might even find that their relationships are worth trying to save even if they may think otherwise, including myself and my husband.

    Disappointed, maybe this is a book you could find some insight through? I say that because my own husband, after months of working very diligently to help me in my healing from his betrayal as well as working together on our marriage together, decided today (7 months later) that he needed to leave our home for some time to think. I know it is not about the other woman, it is about his own issues with everything he did, his ability to meet what he knows are the expectations I have of him in our marriage and his OWN expectations of himself, his frustration over two events this last week that were triggers for me where I admittedly over reacted. He says he just can’t take it. At least he talked about it and did not leave in a fit of anger as he did a couple of times in the past right after our D Day. I am not the one lacking faith in him, it is his own lack of faith. I can’t change that. Maybe I will order the book for us both. I would much prefer that he decide to leave me (or stay) because of a well thought out decision as opposed to feelings of inadequacy or being the bad guy if he left.

    Anne, I very much appreciate your comments on this thread. I agree with you that while we as BS’s do need and are right in expecting that our spouses assist us as we try to move on from their cheating it is ultimately up to us.

  36. onmyway June 11, 2012 at 12:59 am #

    A little O/T, but I had a nice discussion just a few short days ago with DH regarding my need to feel more empathy from him. It was while discussing this very blog topic. I often felt as if he was psychoanalyzing me and himself and taking the intimacy out of our situation. So often his apologies or acknowledgments felt a bit hollow though I believe they were heart felt . By him taking out “me, I, you” from our discussions he was distancing himself from OUR circumstances. He will often substitute ‘when someone does this’ or ‘someone feels that”. What was interesting is that he says that while he is away from me he often thinks about how I must feel and that it hurts him to know what he has done. He says that he is empathetic to me but has a hard time showing that despite being able to say he is sorry. He was not concsious of what he doing when we talked. I know he is overwhelmed and I don’t know if this is normal at this point. Not sure how we went from 0 to 60 in 48hrs, but we did and he is gone after 5 months of diligent work. He was very sad I know, it is not something he at all seems happy about. Any thoughts?

    • ocanas June 12, 2012 at 6:53 am #

      Onmyway, sometimes I wonder if, for us, it would have been better for my CW to leave for a little while; so the separation could help her put her priorities in the right place and put a ton of more effort into working on our marriage. If you guys are stuck and do not seem to be moving either towards fixing it or towards divorce, maybe this separation will help clear his mind – and maybe yours also. Good luck!

  37. Teresa June 11, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    Found this on DJ’s blog and I think it’s one of the most important statements I’ve read yet…..

    “There is a big difference between being sorry and being changed.

    To be sorry means to feel bad. It’s a temporary little prick of the heart.

    But change only comes when we’re repentant. Being repentant is a deeper conviction to actually correct and transform our behavior—our habit—our wrong tendency.”

    Can’t really add much more to that, it pretty much says it all!

    • Teresa June 11, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

      Actually, now that I think about it….I can add this…Doug is a perfect example of the above statement….He IS repentant and has changed….something we ALL want and hope for in our CS!
      I have a hard time believing that a BS CAN heal, IF they stay in a marriage where the CS is “sorry” but not repentant…a marriage is two people who come together, they are a team working TOGETHER to build a strong marriage that will enhance and protect each other and will provide a feeling of healthy security for their children.
      Not two people who are married and living separate lives, caring only for their own needs….isn’t THAT what got us here in the first place?? Just my thoughts… 🙂

  38. Rachel June 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    I 100% agree with your last statements. Doug is repentant and has changed. And yes I pray daily that my H could be even half like him.
    My therapist said exactly what you did. “a marriage is two people who come together, they are a team working together. Wish someone would let my H know there is no “I ” in team.
    Nice blog, Teresa.

  39. CookieMomster June 11, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    Is it me or has this forum subject generated a more frequent amount of responses than most of the recent subjects? I know I had to comment as soon as I saw Doug had posted. This is a subject that I think has affected all of us very much. I know that we’ve digressed into other subjects on this forum like we do on so many, but that’s just because there is too much hurt to cubbyhole it. Basically though, the history rewriting is a huge subject and has needed a forum of it’s own for some time. Obviously!

  40. CookieMomster June 11, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    Oh and BTW, I like the title Doug chose for this forum. It IS time for all of us to “Rewrite the Rewriting of the History of our Marriages”!!

  41. Holdingon May 26, 2016 at 10:28 pm #

    What happens when you get your wife on the rebound from her first lover, first love. That’s what I did and didn’t know it. We got married and she got pregnant 3 months later. For me it was love at first sight, and for some reason those first crazy feelings of love never faded for me, I’ve loved and lusted after her for 26 years now, and it was all a lie I think, I don’t think she ever stopped loving this guy, why do I think this, because that’s what she told him 23 years later, she had a almost 3 year EA with this guy, and probably more, I’ll never know because she won’t tell me anything.

    • Holdingon May 26, 2016 at 10:34 pm #

      If it was all a lie she is a really good actor, we’ve had a great marriage, not even any bad fights, we’ve argued but it’s never been anything bad and never lasted even a day

  42. Holdingon May 26, 2016 at 10:42 pm #

    I know this is an old post but I hope someone replies, I have no idea what to do, from what I’ve read it’s way harder to save your marriage after an affair like this, I think I know why, it’s not a stranger, a new person, with this guy she knows what she is getting, nothing new, but apparently she wants what he has to offer more then she wants me. I sure wish her affair was a fantasy. I’m not sure what happened, but I have a good guess, if this guy wanted her she would be gone, but he was seeing 3 others the same time as her, I think he got what he wanted and dumped her again because she got really mad at him and told me she would never speak to him again, I don’t think she meant to say it that way, something happened between them but she’s not telling. I don’t know if I can go on knowing she will leave if he wants her. I’m guessing about most of it, but that’s the only thing I have to go by.

    • Holdingon May 26, 2016 at 10:49 pm #

      Tell me if I’m gullible, this started in November 2012, from what I’ve found it really picked up from there on Google +. She flew home and was within 100 miles from him for a week in May of 2013, what are the odds of them not seeing each other, I was 500 miles away. She was sending nude pictures the month before and professing her love. It would probably have happened sooner if he hadn’t been in prison, he got out in October 2012, one month before he contacted her on facebook, I knew nothing for almost 3 years, her actions never changed, or maybe they did but she took advantage of my trust.

      • Holdingon May 26, 2016 at 10:52 pm #

        This came really close to costing me my life, and it’s not even close to being over, I’m not sure what to do, I don’t want to lose her but I’m not sure I’ve ever had her, I don’t think she’s ever been mine.

        • Holdingon May 26, 2016 at 11:03 pm #

          They only dated for 14 months before he cheated on her, they were each others first, she was 15 at the time, I met her October 31 1989, we got married February 2nd 1990, we dated 3 months, we married a week after she turned 17 and have been inseparable ever since, I’ve bought her anything she’s asked for and we’ve traveled the whole country over the years, I think we’ve seen all there is to see in America. She acted so in love with me that her parents signed the papers for us to marry, they love me a lot, and hate him, that’s probably why they signed the papers. There’s a little age difference between us, she was 17 and I was 23 when we married, I bought her 1990 corvette for a wedding present and bought her a new house, she was having a ball.

          • Holdingon May 26, 2016 at 11:26 pm #

            It’s hard to tell what she’s been doing these last 26 years, if you don’t love someone you don’t feel any loyalty to them either, who’s to say my 2 boys are even mine, because she sure rewrote our history, she has admitted the things she said weren’t true, but it still hurt, but it’s hard to say how many times she betrayed me. I should have known to be careful after she asked me if I wanted to make love on our 2nd date, I was terrified to even kiss her on our first date because she is so beautiful, when she asked I couldn’t refuse, I thought she felt the same way I did, I thought I was special to her, I had dated 20 other girls in my life, and I’ve never even come close to feeling like this about anyone, the only feeling I can compare it to is the birth of my first child, and that’s saying alot, I love my 2 boys, and I love her just as much, she is a part of me, a part I don’t want to go on without.

            • Holdingon May 26, 2016 at 11:41 pm #

              Oh yeah, her family is rich, millionaires, I’ve always been upper middle class, she was out of my leage, but the others guys family was always on welfare, his dad died of alcoholism, and he’s on his way, if I would have knew about him I would have waited to marry her, maybe.

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