Understanding the Pain of an Affair

Note:  This post is an excerpt from our book “Healing from an Affair: A cheater’s guide for helping your spouse heal from your affair” and is directed towards those that have been unfaithful who might not comprehend the immense pain of an affair.  Though the unfaithful can obviously be either male or female, this is written from a male cheater’s perspective.

pain of an affairMost cheaters (or ex-cheaters), have no clue how much pain we are causing, especially when we’re in our affairs and immediately after our affairs are discovered. We are too wrapped up in the affair or in our own issues to notice.

Many victims have said that the pain is worse than losing a loved one.

I think the main reason this is so is because the pain from infidelity is a pain that keeps on giving and it lingers in the victim’s mind for a long time.

Each time they experience a trigger, the pain is there again as if the affair just occurred.  They have many questions, emotions, images and feelings that constantly stir up more pain. The affair remains in the mind of the betrayed through every waking moment.

We’ve caused a severe trauma to our spouses, and it’s a trauma that they never deserved. So we have to do our best and work our hardest to help them past this. 

If for some reason you cannot comprehend the pain that you’ve caused or are choosing instead to disregard it, I highly suggest that you educate yourself and/or change your way of thinking right now.

Ask your wife about her pain after your affair if she hasn’t already told you.  If you’re afraid to do that at this point, do some surfing online and check out almost any infidelity forum or blog and read some of the entries from those who have suffered as a result of an affair.  I promise you it will be a real eye opener.

Unless you don’t have a sympathetic bone in your body, I think that the statements from your wife or those online will touch you to a point that you can really start to comprehend the pain of an affair. Understanding that pain alone can help to change your way of thinking almost immediately.

And if you haven’t figured out by now, this pain isn’t something that goes away easily nor quickly. This pain can last for a long time. Experts say it takes anywhere from 2 to 4 years for a person to recover from infidelity.  We are aware of some situations where the trauma has been an issue for 20 years or more. So this isn’t something that we should take lightly, but instead we really need to understand exactly what we’ve done and just how hard the road to recovery is and how much work it will take to help our spouses.

In case you still can’t relate, let me continue on so as to really drive the point home.

Your spouse feels shock, both emotionally and physically.  She’s exhausted, feels worthless and probably has lost a lot of weight from the crushing stress.  She has felt anger, sadness and despair and since she never saw your affair coming, it has crushed the hell out of her.  She may suffer from panic attacks and has totally lost her confidence, her self-esteem and cannot trust herself to make good decisions any longer.

There is a feeling like a knife has been stabbed in her back from your betrayal. There will be times when she feels as if her life is over.  In fact, she may have even thought of suicide.  She feels disrespected and wonders how you could have done this to her.  She trusted you and now everything she believed in as far as your relationship, your marriage and you as a person has been flushed down the toilet.

One of our blog readers writes:

“One story I read to my husband made him weep and I can’t remember what book it was in but it went like this… There was this wonderful, vibrant woman, mother of three, busy in her community, loving mother and wife. One night she discovered her husband of 30 years was having an affair (I believe an emotional affair). She went in the garage and hung herself.

To the victim, an affair is like being raped. Cheaters need to know the depth of their decisions. They need to understand that this affair will change another human being forever. Even though we recover we will be FOREVER damaged and changed. While we will learn to live with the change it is immensely unfair especially considering who you have hurt.”

 Are you catching on yet?


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120 Responses to Understanding the Pain of an Affair

  1. Cookiemomster April 19, 2013 at 7:25 am #

    Really nothing more to add here. It’s absolutely spot on! Everything written here could have been about me. It’s barely been one year and I believe my H thinks I’ve moved on because it’s been months since I last tried bringing up the subject of his EA for discussion, at which time he once again adamantly refused and insisted the only way to move on was to “move on”, leaving so many things unresolved and unanswered. If he only knew the things in this article maybe he could muster the courage to be involved in what I feel is some classic PTSD for me. Even after a year or more, the EA is NEVER far from my thoughts.

    • dave April 19, 2013 at 9:53 am #

      The constant thoughts are really wearing me out. Im 6 months into this nightmare and my wife is still a mess. She will pull away from the AP and then get close to me. Then she drifts back to that AP( I can tell just by how she acts) and puts a wall up between us. If only she knew how much I am hurting. Im just trying to be strong for our kids but its tuff. This has really made a mess of our lives. I started smoking when I found out and then quit after 3 months(which was not easy during this nightmare) I also drink to much now and need to get that under control next. I lost 30 pounds in the first month after I found out. I could not eat or sleep for months after dday 1. But after a couple of months I could eat again and I am much healthier now as a result of it. I started working out and eating right. I was never really overweight but now I am toned and hit the gym at least 4 times a week. Im in the best shape of my life at 40. Its amazing how much this pain changes you. I am a completely different person than I was before this happened. I wouldnt wish this on anyone(ok, maybe I would on the OM).

      • rachel April 19, 2013 at 1:05 pm #


        Keep taking care of yourself. You will get better. The tears are not as frequent. And most of all take care of those kids.
        Perhaps couples counseling could be a benefit for you and your wife.
        This site is wonderful. I have learned so much.
        Remember this isn’t your fault. Don’t blame yourself or beat yourself up. It’s all them.
        Good Luck!

  2. Keeping Faith April 19, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    It’s been 19 month since D-day of confirming my wife is a serial adulteress. I can’t get away from the affairs as she either texts or calls one or the other or both paramours daily. In her mind the physical affair is done and over. She thinks that we should all be friends!!!!

  3. Julie April 19, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    Thank you for this blog post. You don’t know how timely it is to my current situation. His affair has been over for a while (12/2011) but we are not moving forward in the recovery of our relationship. In fact, he wants to divorce because he isn’t happy and says I am not fulfilling some emotional needs. He says that nothing has changed. I always have been willing to work on our marriage, but the pain that I have been experiencing literally has me paralyzed. My self esteem is in the toilet, I live in constant fear that it will resume, or has resumed (even though there is NO evidence of anything), and I have lived in fear that he will pack and leave for good. This is not a good situation for my children (M-12, F-20 at school ). He does not understand that this pressure along with dealing with the the pain I constantly experience, the pain in which HE has caused, puts me at a disadvantage to work on this aspect of our marriage. Then he holds the threat of ending our marriage over my head which is not fair, but he refuses to see it that way. Yes, there are issues that he needs to address but he isn’t concerned with working on his issues. I will have him read today’s post and hopefully it will help him understand how unfair his demands are to me (and our family) after more than 24 years of marriage.

    • rachel April 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

      Our stories are so similar. My H had an affair with his ex g.f. from 30 years ago. D-day was 10/11.
      This shocked me. I had a hard time accepting it and was very angry. He said that he isn’t emotionall connected to me like he is her. I too still wanted to work on our marriage. I went to marriage counseling and hoped that he would show and he never did. My self esteem WAS in the toilet as well. In July of 2012 he told me that he didn’t want me or our marriage and that was it. My work was done. He wouldn’t file, so I did. I have to say after a really really rough road, I am so happy that I did. My self esteem isn’t in the toilet anymore. I have confidence like I haven’t had in years. He left in November of 2012 and I feel free to plant flowers wherever I want and move furniture wherever I want. It is truly freeing. The verbal abuse from him was never ending. I guess still is. He now does it by texting. At least it’s not in my ear.
      I have found with lots of therapy and working on myself that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I also have two children. The oldest is in college and the youngest is 17. They are what got me out of bed and out from under the covers. We are healing together. We are so blessed.
      Good Julie. Keep us posted on this wonderful site.

  4. EyesOpened April 20, 2013 at 5:27 am #


    Please keep making the effort. As a CS – I know my BH is suffering some of the same doubts you are. I do feel that there is a difference in the way men and womem process this trauma. I am generalising, but if you read the threads on this site, men seem more able to (I’m trying to choose a word here but finding it difficult) ride over emotions without disappearing down every potential hole on the way ….

    It sounds to me like your wife really wants to be there with you and is trying, but involuntarily finds herself triggered to think about the OM. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they are all good thoughts! She might be daydreaming along the lines of ‘Im sitting here with a man who has shown all this love for me, who looks great … How coukd I have done this to him?’. My H often walks off and leaves me to make me a cup of tea if he ‘loses’ me. It always wakes me up with a bump that he is there as always, being my rock and it makes me feel even worse for what I did!

    It’s not polite not to listen but sometimes it can happen. One thought might be to suggest for her to have her own counselling or read this site. It has been an immense help to me.

    Also, I realised that not every argument or disagreement we have is something to do with the betrayal. Sometimes we just bicker – we always have done – but for a long time I blamed myself for everything assuming it was related to my behaviour in one way or another. That’s a lot of guilt to deal with!

    Good luck. She is very lucky to have you there, still.

    • Keeping Faith April 20, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

      EyesOpened, Do you have suggestions on opening the eye’s of our CS’s?
      My wife has self esteem issues and gets her Ego boosts from other men. She has had several EA’s and 2 PA’s. She says she feels bad for what she did, she’s said “your too good for me”, “you would be better off without me”. Yet, after 19 months from D-day, she still has contact via text, or phone call with one or the other or both, daily.

  5. EyesOpened April 21, 2013 at 6:18 am #

    Keeping Faith
    My thoughts are that if she is telling you you are too good for her – then that is how she feels. If she has had multiple affairs then this is a deep routed and very disrespectful, let alone painful way for her to behave. I would be very tempted to call her bluff. Do you have children?
    I know if my H had walked out and left me or started a relationship with someone else it would have made me really address my behaviour instantly. Having said that, in the beginning I would have let him go. Now I truly appreciate his unfaltering love and patience – but it’s hard to believe your spouse will get to that point until she changes from the inside. My H allowed me to continue working with OM on the basis that I needed to change or there would just be another OM later down the road. That was very wise.
    Are your wife’s OMs single ? It sounds like she really needs to learn how to value your love and friendship and not take it for granted. I think you have to be strong and let her know you will no longer tolerate this behaviour from her and make her choose a relationship with you or them – and be prepared to walk if she chooses them. In my opinion if you don’t do this you will have a very unhappy existence – and my feeling is she would come back begging – but you would need to ensure that you let her do that. Do not give in before she begs. She needs to FEEL the pain herself.
    Those are very strong opinions for me to share with a stranger – so please get lots of advice. What do others think?

  6. EyesOpened April 21, 2013 at 6:25 am #

    KF – another thought is that the secrecy and constant texting is addictive. It’s like smoking – she needs to find another safe secret to replace the OM contact. This site has become my new special place. I comment, read, engage with 24hrs a day – it is a very good place to go. She would need to discover her own secret – but perhaps you could help silently!!!

  7. Paula April 21, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    This is the part that spoke most deeply to me, something I have known my whole life, and as a rape survivor, and watching my parents, and many others, divorce, it is VERY true, this betrayal is FAR, FAR worse than my violent rape, I moved on from that in a healthy manner, but this, I struggle with, and I know I will forever. I wish my ex-friend (the OW) understood this, and could empathise, but she can’t and won’t. My ex-partner does, he sees what this has done to me. He met me just eight months after my rape, I didn’t tell him about it until a couple of years into our relationship, and he never knew that he was my only sexual partner, as I felt because of the rape (by someone I knew, at 20) I couldn’t “claim” virginal status when I met my ex-partner, he didn’t know this until after his affair, I let him assume I had been with one other, the boy I loved before him, and I feel that was material, to me, and I should have told him – of course, it would not have stopped him from fucking my friend over and over, but at least he now understands better why I have been SO badly affected by their betrayal.

    “To the victim, an affair is like being raped. Cheaters need to know the depth of their decisions. They need to understand that this affair will change another human being forever. Even though we recover we will be FOREVER damaged and changed. While we will learn to live with the change it is immensely unfair especially considering who you have hurt.”

  8. Broken2 April 21, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    The sermon at church today was about adultery. The pastor told the story of a friend of his who said he would never have an affair. He did. His wife found the letters he had exchanged with the OW. He came home and when he walked in the house he saw her crying and standing with the letters in both hands her arms out to both sides. He also saw through his own tears the image of a cross as he looked at his wife. He realized at that moment that he had crucified his wife. Crucifiction they say is the most painful way to die. Pretty powerful comparison.

  9. dave April 22, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    Thanks Eyesopened, It is good to hear your opinion on this. I have so many questions I could ask you about this. I can honestly say that my wife is acting (constant texting) like this is an addiction. I have been trying to let her work it out on her own but this is leaving me in limbo. I have been considering kicking her out but I would rather her decide if she wants to be with me without the pressure of losing her home and family. I am also worried about her because she is drinking alot now and is having trouble focusing. I am not sure how to handle this situation. We just had a weekend trip and it went pretty good. I do not think she was in contact with the OM at all. And if she was then she hid it well. But I can also see the stress on her face and would assume she is needing her texting fix. Our kids keep making coments about how they think mom is having a mid life crisis. Im glad they dont know whats really going on right know.

  10. dave April 22, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    Eyesopened, how long did it take you to realize that you still wanted your H. Were you ever to the point where you wanted to leave your marrage for your AP? If so, why did you stay and not move out? Were you using text to communicate? Sorry for all the questions. Just wanting to understand my wife better. Her head seems to be in the clouds most of the time now.

    • Rosalyn April 24, 2018 at 9:40 pm #

      Sounds like your wife is still in the affair fog. I know a lot of people don’t believe in the affair fog, but it was exactly how I seen my husbands affair. They convince themselves that you don’t love them anymore. And because the affair partner is meeting all of there emotional needs they are quite happy to go along and ignore you. My husband got to the point that he had convinced himself that I no longer loved him. I said to him after the affair was revealed, Did you every think about how I was feeling? He said no. I said I was the chump that was cooking your meals, washing your underwear, making your lunch, paying your bills and even mowing the lawn. I was cleaning the house and giving you sex whenever you wanted it, but you never gave me a thought. You know why? Because she was stroking your ego, telling you exactly what you wanted to hear. All the while she was ignoring her own partner. They were work colleges and had no pressure on there little romance. It all looked perfect to them. It totally devastated me I have to say. To the point where I did think about ending my life because the pain was so bad. I couldn’t believe that my husband would disrespect me so badly. I thought I knew this man better than anybody else. I thought we were best friends. I didn’t see it coming and that was so hurtful. When you trust someone with your life and they hurt you that badly you start to doubt your own sanity.

  11. EuesOpened April 22, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    Yes I did entertain the fantasy of moving out and in with AP. I had convinced myself that my h and I could live happily ever after as friends and that he would be much happier with someone else who could give him what he wanted. It was my belief that he no longer cared or truly loved me for me any more but just wanted me for the care, support and sex. There was so little sex involved in my Ap – and it wasn’t very good anyway. I decided that the OM must love me for ME. It was a fictional fairytale. I realised the depth of my h’s love by how much he fought for me and his dignity in dealing with the whole scenario plus HIS willingness to address our problems and not just blame me. I am 6 months on, and still miss the ability to text whatever I am feeling and that aspect of the affair. I have deliberately filled my life with different activities to fill the void. My biggest regret of the whole thing is the time I have stolen that I cannot give back to our children and the negativity and upset they have had to experience. It sounds to me as if your wife has been let go by one or another of her chaps. I think she is clinging on to another for an ego boost. I would guess that even if she doesn’t feel guilt towards you she will about the children.
    Sadly, I also agree that she has to come to her own conclusion and as mentioned previously you have to be strong and let her know she has to choose. She could go – but where would she go? How would they survive? What would the logistics be? My guess is her other ships have sailed. Your place is not to rescue her but to SHOW her how to respect you and herself – so you can look to the future as a strong partnership together ( not you rescuing her). She needs to love herself enough to start loving those around her. One last thing I’ve mentioned is that we CSs can keep a huge amount of turmoil bottled up. Another thing you can become addicted to. I’d try and go out with a big group of friends and have a real good belly laugh. Let her know that you love her beyond belief but you just won’t tolerate this disrespect . Tell her it hurts. Ask her to please give up and say you need help with the accounts or something !!! You sound fabulous (like my husband). I guarantee she knows it and is very afraid of the thought of being without you – but possibly entertains the fantasy that life might be better elsewhere. I’ve rambled on and am aware some of my thoughts contradict each other. If I can think of anything else I’ll post.. Laughter was what I craved most of all. That and lack of responsibility – well I certainly got that at the very high price of intense pain that I inflicted all round.

    • Linda April 22, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

      Eyesopened, I am curious when you said you miss the ability to text whatever you are feeling, does that mean during the affair you had the ability to vent about everything, your marriage, life, etc and someone was there to listen? Was it easier to do that with someone you were not committed too? I know that many of us believed our spouses were our best friends however after being together for so many years they get tired of hearing our same old complaints about our families, jobs, friends, etc. And they really don’t want to hear about our complaints about them, so was it different with the OP? I am sure that you could complain about your husband to him and he was more than willing to listen, in reality it gave him the ability to look better.

      I am curious though, did you ever get tired of listening to him? Did you find yourself doing it because of the attention and validation your received. When Doug and I would discuss his affair and the OW and her discontent with her husband we would both laugh because what she would complain about the same things I would have complained about. Doug said he would think to himself that he did those things also and that she was very nick picky. Was that something you would dismiss or try not to think about? Sorry for all the questions but I feel it benefits all of us to get inside the mind of the cheater.

    • dave April 22, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

      Eyesopened, Thank you very much for all the info you are giving me. It sounds like you went through many of the same things my wife is going through. she has even said some of these things to me like (You would be fine if I left) and (You would be happier with someone else). When the first Dday hit she would not admit to the A at all. I remember she kept saying that she felt like if she left I would keep going and be fine without her. She has not said anything like that for several months now. But I can still feel the emotional distance she is keeping in between us. The other night she told me she was the worst person in the world and that she cant believe I put up with her crap. Sometimes I feel like she is wanting me to end our M.

  12. EuesOpened April 22, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    Ok Linda. I agree with Dog. The om complained his w never desired him – or very infrequently. He said she had headaches and went to bed all weekend and was moody and unreasonable. Apart from the headaches it sounded just like me! I would tell him to look after the kids and stop texting to give her a break and help her – but then realised I was commuting the same crime!

    I am being honest here – pleases don’t hate me!!!! It’s like being in a playground with your best 8 year old friend… Every tim h did seething I didn’t like – I’d ‘tell on him’ and ap would sympathise and tell me h was a big meanie and ap would never do that. The only thing is – my h would never cheat on me, not get drunk and leer at other women and loves me. I just had it too good! I guess I miss telling tales and generally being in kindergarten!!!

    • Linda April 22, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

      Eyesopened, I think it is very insightful how immature the relationship really was. It is very difficult for the BS to understand this, most of us strive to have mature relationships and honestly the affair dynamic is very hard for us to grasp. We are thinking logically and everything about the affair is not logical. Many cheaters believe that they have found the perfect person, however if they saw them in their own marriages they would be shocked at their behavior. They are quick to make the OP believe they would never treat them that way but they do it over and over with their spouses. Of course they blame their spouses for their bad marriages.

      I can see the appeal, having someone to vent to on a regular basis and telling you what you need to hear. It would be addicting. Thanks for your honesty.

  13. EuesOpened April 22, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    Dave. I might have to retract some of my earlier statements – it does sound like she’s coming through the fog and getting there….. I’m lost as to what to say. It i think maybe you need to give her some time and find her someone you both approve of for her to talk to…. Hang on kids vying for my attention!

    • dave April 22, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

      Eyes, thanks again for the honesty. You are helping me understand and cope with a terrible situation. When you answered Linda’s question you really helped me. I often wondered what in the world she could talk about all day long via text to the other man. This has helped me understand some of the content and just how simple it could be. It was so bad at one point that she would have several hundred or more text’s a day. I shut that phone off and she went to get her own plan.(at least im not paying for it now). The noise the phone made was a huge trigger for me. Damn cell phones and facebook.

  14. dave April 22, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    Thanks for the everything Eyesopened, This is helping me understand and learn what she is thinking. I have been on these sites and buying books for months trying to figure out what is going on in her head. I know I will probably never really know but this can help me in making the biggest decision of me and my kids lives.

    • Tryinghard April 22, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

      What Eyes said. You have to put your foot down and set boundaries. It sounds like she is addicted to the technology of the texting secrets. My H only knew I meant business when I filed for divorce and went on a trip for a week and then later for another week. I threw a fit and said I had enough. If you sysy and take whatever disrespect the dole out it will continue and get worse. She needs to choose. Eyes put it to you very clearly. We are lucky to have her here for her input. I am also concerned about her drinking. It sounds like from here in cyberspace she has addiction problems and is a thrill seeker. I also know when I am too nice my H feels even more guilty. He always says I saved his life but he knew I was serious about kicking him to the curb. I still am. I have made it very clear I will not be disrespected in any way. No one, man or woman wants to be married to a doormat so I have erased the welcome sign off my back! You sound like a wonderfully patient man that any woman should be lucky to have. Please don’t let her poor behavior ruin your value. She’s not worth it.

  15. EuesOpened April 22, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    Linda – just reread my earlier post and horrified at my spellings dog=Doug. Seething =something. tim=time. Back to school for me!

    Yes it really was immature and again – it’s only your site that has helped me to see this.

    I was aware throughout that we were not suited to one another. I told him lots of times that even if we got together – it wouldn’t last. He often asked why but I wouldn’t admit it was because he drank too much, flirted too much, didn’t show enough respect for me etc. I used to feel sorry for his wife ….. Lots of the time I would give him advice as to how to treat her better. Sometimes it would work – and he’d be delighted that he’d made her happy for a day. I do think he loved her – but he honestly felt she’d fallen out of love with him – it was something we felt we had in common. This is all getting a bit weird. I feel like I’m in an episode of ‘In Treatment’! I really hope someone somewhere is finding all my talking helpful. This feels very self indulgent!!!

    • Tryinghard April 22, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

      You bring so much to this forum. You have not said anything wrong. Honesty is what helps all of us. You gave Dave some great advice. I am also so happy to see you are not living in the same delusions you were during your affair. You are a wise woman. Please keep posting you are really helping so many of us.

      • dave April 22, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

        Thanks Trying, I now I should have ended our relationship already. The only reason I have stayed to this point is our kids. It is good advice that I know I should take and my wife is running out of time. Right now I consider kicking her out or leaving at least 20 times a day. I am tired of being in limbo. I want to raise my kids and that is my biggest hurdle. I do not want anyone else raising my children and I do not want to keep them from their mother. ( they love and adore her) I am not sure what to do but I guess I will wake up one day and just do it. Thanks again for all the advice I just hope I will have the courage to follow it.

        • Tryinghard April 22, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

          Please don’t do anything rash. But we have to listen to our inner conscience. Staying for the kids could also do more harm in the end but I know I don’t have to tell you that. We also have to see the truth not what we want our version of the truth to be. Sometimes people are too nice and we get taken advantage of. Just make sure you have ALL the info you need to make a good decision for yourself and you children. You are the grown up and sane one in this relationship Good luck my friend.

          • dave April 22, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

            thanks tryinghard I will

  16. gizfield April 22, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

    Dave, I think you may be pleasantly surprised when you “lay down the law” with your wife. You have become the “authority figure” and she and her boyfriend are the “naughty children” sneaking around. She has continued to do this because she is getting away with it. She hasn’t felt any pain so she has no reason to change. she is probably getting a huge ego charge that you are still around after all this. She must really be “the stuff” in her mind. At some point you will get tired of being treated badly. This is when things will change. I got pissed off, and told my husband he could text and talk to whoever he wanted, all day every day, he could marry the bitch if he wanted. But he WOULD NOT be talking to me ever again. I know you want to believe your wife wil have a revelation, and turn into your perfect wife without any further action on your part but I think it’s doubtful.

  17. Cookiemomster April 22, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

    This is one of the best strings we’ve had on this site for a long time. Not only does it address our biggest problem no matter what stage of recovery we’re in… whether one day or five years post d-day (i.e., our PAIN) but EyesOpened has also given all of us some of the most honest insight into the CS’s motivations that we’ve seen in some time too. All of us BS’s absolutely crave this type of information to help us process. And Dave, we all feel for your pain and send good vibes your way. Your wife needs to perhaps set up a private communication with someone like EyesOpened (maybe even EyesOpened herself if she were open to that type of thing.) She obviously needs professional help with her additive behaviors, but I think EO could help her see that the “grass is greener WHERE YOU WATER IT!”

  18. dave April 22, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    Thanks Giz, i know your right. It has been the roughest road of my life but I need to prepare to lay down the law and stop the madness. I am so tired of how she is treating me and it needs to stop. I am tired of my kids asking me when mom is going to be home because it triggers anger and im short with them. That is not fair to them or me. They are just worried about her because of how she is acting. I have some thinking to do tonight. She’s in the shower now and everything is going good today like nothing ever happened. We will see how it goes.

  19. EyesOpened April 23, 2013 at 4:23 am #

    I am not adverse to helping anyone – but Daves wife doesn’t sound like she wants help yet – if a person asked me personally I would – but I wouldn’t on behalf of someone else iykwim. I think Dave is in a massively difficult situation, but agree that his w knows in her heart he will put up with it, so won’t change until she is forced to choose. Dave – right now she is questioning EVERYTHING . Do you ever go out with your friends and leave her waiting at home with the kids? Has she ever been jealous of anyone in your past? An innocent flirt with someone will remind her that you are desirable, strong, your own person. I am not advocating tit for tat – but it would remind her that she needs to fight to keep you too. My h went for a very innocent lunch with a married female friend and they shared some kind and supportive texts afterwards – it just reminded me that someone could potentially be attracted to him too. It wasn’t all about me (note that when dday occurred he told me that loads of people wanted him and that he was thinking of taking up x,x and z on their offers … That didn’t work!!!!) . Right – I don’t want to cause panic but I think there is a possibility that (with encouragement from I’m) Daves w feels like she wants to go right now. The ‘why do you put up with me’ for me, was code for ‘please leave me, make this easy so I don’t have to hurt you’. My h kept reiterating that I was the love of his life but I didn’t feel it back at the time. I loved him and always have but I had just stepped off a thrill ride and couldn’t see that our life was ever going to match that. I know I sound boring when I keep referring to this site – but it wasn’t until I realised that my situation was nothing special – that I was not in love and not in an amazing unique once in a lifetime place – that I realised I wanted exactly what I had. My loving, gorgeous attentive husband – with all his faults and his ability to accept mine. I wanted picnics in the park on sunny days with my family – not snogs in a toilet!

    TryingHard has the right attitude. she is a person to be desired and cherished – not a victim.

    Other cs’s will read this and think ‘mine is not snogs in a toilet – it’s real love’. I did. We all do. It’s what makes it so hard to let go of. Remember – everyone on this site is aware of so much – we have all learned so much. I had no experience of witnessing other people’s perspectives or pain – no understanding. Dave – your wife thinks her feelings are unique.

    Thank you to all those with kind words to say to me on here. TryingHard, Cookiemomster,, Dave and Linda. I am astonished and grateful at your responses – and am so very glad if insight into my thoughts helps you with your questions. Emotional Affair dot org has literally helped me to save my marriage – I owe big time so am happy to answer anything (providing I don’t spend so much time here my h thinks I’ve started my affair again)!!

    • Linda April 23, 2013 at 10:41 am #

      eyesopened, again thank you for your honesty, I hope I am not driving you crazy with all of these questions. However I am curious about a few things. When I found out about Doug’s affair he told me the OW was helping him with our marriage. As comical as that sounds I think they both believed that story.

      You mentioned the same thing in one of your comments. You were helping him with his marriage. Do you really believe you were helping his marriage or do you think you were helping him survive his “bad” marriage by giving him advice to make it more manageable. Did you really want him to have a better marriage or did you believe that your advice would make it bearable at home because he really wanted to be with you and couldn’t.

      I am pretty sure that Doug’s OW didn’t advice him to take me away for the weekend, show affection and make passionate love to me. That may have helped our marriage but I have a feeling that she provided advice that would have kept us as roomates not lovers.

      I have read many books where both woman and men have justified their affairs by stating that their marriages are better because of the affair. Obviously it is bull but they believe it. They think because they are happier their spouses are happier too. Little do they realize that they are draining their marriages and putting all their emotional attention elsewhere. No one is really happy they are just shocked of the changes that are taking place and afraid to say anything about it. Thanks again for your input.

      • exercisegrace April 23, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

        I think the AP’s fool themselves into thinking they are giving advice and “helping”. But how can you TRULY help someone who is not being honest with you about the state of their marriage? They can’t even be honest with THEMSELVES about the state of their marriage. They are in an AFFAIR. As far as pushing someone to go out of town with their spouse, well……how successful is that really going to be? The AP might think because the weekend was a bomb, the marriage stinks and the affair is where the cheating spouse’s heart is at. In REALITY, the betrayed spouse is in an agony of suspicion. They know something is going on, they feel the distance their spouse is putting between them. They can tell that time, attention, emotion, maybe even sex is being withheld but they don’t know why. So time away ends up being stressful because the betrayed spouse is trying to get to the bottom of things.

        • Linda April 23, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

          exercisegrace, You are right on, I remember a time during Doug’s affair when we went away and I felt exactly the way you said, I felt Doug’s distance so much that I end up leaving early, completely confused as to what was happening between us. Little did I know that the whole time we were there he was in communication with her, even while I was taking a shower in the hotel room he was texting her. I wondered what was wrong with me or us. It was a terrible feeling, when I look back it makes me feel so betrayed, like the two of them were in on something that I no clue was happening. Like I was failing a test that I had no idea I was taking. I truly felt his distance that night and it haunted me for many days after I left.

  20. gizfield April 23, 2013 at 7:23 am #

    You are very welcome, Dave! One thing I dont think most betrayed spouses realize is how much power they actually have in the relationship. I certainly didn’t, or at least I was too afraid to let myself believe it. Not long after this started, one day I was thinking about what I could do about it. like you, I was horrified to think of some married-person dating skank being around my then five year old daughter. I was trying to figure what was holding the entire situation “together” and realized it was ME. As long as he was married to me, (shes single) they could use me as the bad guy that was keeping them apart. If not for me, they would have to pursue a normal relationship, not some sneaking around, I would be with you if I only COULD relationship. In other words, the gig would be up. as long as you are playing the game they set up, you will be playing by their rules, and you will lose. Like I said, I was too scared to test this theory at the time. Only one person with commitment can be enough to hold a marriage together. Your wife knows that, so she is not having to display any commitment. You DO hold the power in this relationship, even if you dont believe it. best wishes!

    • Linda April 23, 2013 at 10:29 am #

      gizfield, I completely agree that once the love triangle is broken the affair partners only have each other. They don’t have a third party to complain about their spouses bad behavior, no one to compare themselves favorably to. No more drama, “its the two of us against the world” mentality. Just the two of them alone in an unhealthy relationship built around the belief that they deserve better.

      It is so insightful to listen to a cheater and the dynamics of their relationship. It really opened my eyes to how crazy the whole situation is. It allows me to see it for what it really is, not this great love story but a very twisted attempt to fix something that is missing in their lives.

    • exercisegrace April 23, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

      We have a winner with your answer Giz. You just pretty much went right to the heart of affairs. They are ALWAYS predicated on the idea of “poor me”, “poor you”. Stuck with people who don’t “get us”, don’t “understand us”, don’t “give us enough”. They are sick and selfish to their very core. A script is written and the betrayed spouse is ALWAYS cast in the villain role to some extent. That is EXACTLY why marriages between AP’s nearly always fail. They no longer have a “bad guy”, a “common enemy”.

  21. EyesOpened April 23, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    What Gizfield says is true. I hadn’t realised that. I knew being with him wasn’t right but never had to be brave enough to face up to it. Thank you for that Gizfield.

    • dave April 23, 2013 at 9:15 am #

      Great advice from giz and eyes, It does sometimes feel like she wants me to end the relationship. That would make it so much easier for her (Dave dumped me because our relationship sucked) not because she is a cheater. I get it and might just deliver on that wish at any moment. I am ready to remove myself and our children from this situation. The more I have thought about it the more I look forward to getting out of this limbo and starting a new life. I am afraid and will miss her but I will not miss all the drama and pain this has brought into our lives. This settles it, the next thing she does wrong to hurt me or makes me feel like I am not wanted is it. She has been acting much better the last few days but I think she will get sucked back into it soon. If she does I will be able to tell right away. I will then demand her cell phone and password. When she does not give it to me I am kicking her sorry ass out the door. And hopefully that will remove some of my daily pain and suffering. Keep giving the advice you guys. It really is a great help to us all.

  22. Broken2 April 23, 2013 at 11:13 am #

    Linda I had to chime in here…..my husband said the same thing that the OW “was helping me to understand you better (me) and making our marriage better for it” Exactly how could she help him understand me when we had been together for almost 40 years and she is almost 20 years younger then him? I think it is just one more of the justifications CS uses to relieve the guilt a bit. What do you think eyes?

  23. EyesOpened April 23, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    Broken – yes I think it is a justification. I am extremely wary of fully being honest here be ausie I am concerned that my answers will feel like justification or defence Linda. However – you asked – so here goes. At the beginning – the thing we had in common was that we both found ourselves giggling and laughing like teenagers. For various reasons we had to work lots outside of normal working hours and a comraderie and friendship built up first. It started with quips like I would say my h had to have his wicked way before a weekend away or he got moody – and he would say his wife never let her near him etc etc.. We would talk about kids school difficulties and parenting issues and swap thoughts and advice and then mention that so and so was in a mood because xyz. The other would say – do you thinks its because. ..? And the conversation evolved and got deeper and deeper until you felt no one else could understand like this – then the electricity and chemistry got stronger over a couple of years – then We got drunk and kissed and the rest snowballed over several months. I actually DID book hotels for them because they were short of money and I wanted her to have a nice time – but she turned down several offers of weekends away. The one she took up she loved -and this bit makes me cringe with guilt -he told me they hadn’t had sex and I was pleased. I guess I pushed him towards her as much as I could to prove to myself he definitely didn’t want her. To prove what he was telling me was the truth. Writing it down is just horrible. My h has made a lot of changes in himself and so have I. Our marriage is now so very much better than it has ever been – but the thought of what I did to get here is awful. I just wish I’d known what I know now before. I am taking actions to move on and to show the sincerity of my remorse. My h hurts immeasurably but feels positive about the new ‘us’. I guess it’s easier for us because we can identify reasons – not so good if you just can’t find a thing to fix. For me – my h reacted the right way. If he’d have kicked and screamed I would have run away believing we had the worst marriage ever. He was strong, dignified and open to change and listening (but not being walked over). I will appreciate and love that always. I am aware he could do the same and break my heart one day – so I am as on guard and trying hard as he is every day to earn his trust back.

    • dave April 23, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

      Hi Eyes. how did your h find out and what was his reaction? What was going on in your mind when he found out. Sounds like you were ready to leave. It’s ok if you dont want to answer. You have already been a great help in me understanding what the affair is like for the cs. I know when I found out for sure I had to wake my spouse up in the middle of the night and ask her if she was cheeting on me. It was one of the most emotional moments of my life. she denied it and said I was just insecure because I felt a wall going up inbetween us. I dont think either of us slept a second that night. We just laid there in silence all night long. That told me everything I needed to know. The next morning I checked the phone records and found thousands of texts to the same number. This was the worst moment I can remember EVER having in my whole life. Nothing compaired to it. Looking back I would say it devistated me to the point I had trouble not crying. It was wave after wave of horrible emotions. It did not matter what I was doing. My god, I am so happy that my emotions have calmed down. I still hurt but I can tolerate it now.

    • Linda April 23, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

      Eyesopened, I completely understand and how you could believe that no one could understand you like this. In many ways it does make me sad to think how difficult it is for spouses to have those kinds of conversations. It is much easier to validate and understand someone when you are not the person involved in the issues or you don’t know the other side of the story. You are able to be more understanding or objective when the decisions don’t affect you.

      Do you feel that you have are able to accomplish this closeness in your marriage? Looking back do you think this level of understanding during the affair was real? Since you have been on both sides, how can a person bring this kind of honesty to their marriages without feeling like you are complaining or always bitching about something? Or as Doug accuses me of doing all of the time am I making this out to be a lot more special than it really was?

  24. Keeping Faith April 23, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    Thank you, for all that you have shared.

  25. EyesOpened April 23, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    Dave. You and my husband could be the same person. My h found an email that was mis-sent and it appeared on his phone whilst he was working. He woke me up. I did not deny it. But I didn’t tell the whole truth either. I stopped the affair but then we started again. Next time om’s wife found out and called everyone at work and my h. It literally broke his heart. OM and I had a wind-down period till we agreed not to talk. Hard when you’re at work together. As mentioned before we felt cut off in the middle of perfection. Now I think neither of us can comprehend it ever happened. We have t spoken in a long time – it people at work can’t understand the progression. They know of all the anger and hurt. They just think everyone should be over it by now. It’s too hard to explain so I’m leaving work. Have I a fully answered your question in that lot????

  26. gizfield April 23, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    Dave, telling the spouse that they are “jealous and insecure” is the cheaters’ first line of defense. They are projecting what they are into you. lol.my husband’s gf told me I was insecure for snooping on him. I said yeah, it takes a mature woman to sneak around with someone’s husband behind their back.

  27. EyesOpened April 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    Yes EG. You are very right. She was suspicious and doubting herself – partly because of me. Because of Linda’s I hate You Letter – I know the damage I caused and am causing and I hate myself too now. That was a life changing moment when I read that. until that moment i thought his wife was being over dramatic. i will take that realisation and the moment I read it to my grave.

  28. forcryin'outloud April 23, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    Eyes opened. Many thanks for your candor, openness, and willingness to respond. You’re truly helping us BSs. I wish you the best with your marriage.

    Giz field. You hit the nail on the head with the CS/OW coming together over the “bad guy” spouse(s). As long as we are the villan they feel like each others hero.

  29. dave April 23, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

    Eyes, our stories are very similar. Sounds like they started almost the same. And I had the same initail response. I new she stopped contact and she looked like hell. She hated me and then I could tell it started up again and I acted like I didnt notice. I just let it take its coarse and started reading and doing research online. Trying to figure out what was happening. And that has lead us to multiple ddays and plenty more pain. I think something has changed this time. She seems to be paying attention to me again. This all started after last week in which she was pretty whacked out with her head in the clouds. Not sure if she is ready to commit to us again or not. I do know that its time to take a stand. Eyes, did you blame your h for having to go no contact with the om.Did you feel guilt or notice your husbands pain after he found the email. What kept you going back do you think it was the text messages?

  30. dave April 23, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    Thanks Giz, I should have went in with something solid to prove it so she could not lie about it. I was just so emotional that I was having trouble focusing. And I think deep down I was in denial. I really didnt want to know. It was about as bad as it gets to be betrayed like that. And for some reason after she betrayed me it gave her much more control over me than she ever had before. I was starving for her attention and was getting nothing emotionally. We were still very active at physical contact and have been throughout this whole thing but nothing emotionally. Weird situation to be in.

  31. EyesOpened April 23, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    Linda – I wrote a whole update and lost it. You are amazing. You and Dpug have turned a positive into a negative. I think you believe in God. Maybe he chose you two to help others? Look at the affair as a positive and forget her. Think of it as something that helped elevate your marriage to ‘unbreakable’ – she helped you! Step on her head metaphorically and forget her. She’s past and over. Doug loves you. The shower scene is gone and you have the new Doug and Linda now. What would happen now? I bet you’d leave the door open and chat. She is no longer there. Don’t remember her. It gives her too much power and importance.. I know. My ego was boosted by the fact his wife hated me so much. It validated our relationship . If she’d have come into work and smiled at me, held his hand and snogged him – I’d have wondered if what we had was real. The fact she told everyone and sent me emails reassured me that the relationship with him meant something to him. It meant I was important. Don’t give her that satisfaction ! Try not to hate me right now – I’m trying to help! X

    • Linda April 23, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

      eyesopened, I don’t hate you at all, actually I really like your honesty and insight, that it why I keep asking you so many questions. I feel you have so much to offer us and I respect your input. Thanks for the positive words, even after 4 years it is sometimes difficult to grasp everything that happened.

      You are definitely correct, I feel that we have climbed the mountain and have finally reached a point in our lives and in our marriage that is very special. I know that Doug and I made the right decision to stay together and fight for our marriage, it has been a long hard road but well worth it. The OW had nothing to do with that, it was our commitment, love and determination that saved us. I imagine she never realized how strong our connection was and that it would be very difficult to replace something so special.

    • Tryinghard April 23, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

      Awesome posts. Thanks for saying that Eyes. I’m sure the OW gets a big kick out of the power my H gave to her. He actually threw me under the bus in front her when I went to the office to confront her. You are right I have given her too much power because in fact she could have been anyone. Men go into these relationships for admiration. Women do it for love. All of you in this thread have said so many valuable things. giz I had to reread your post a couple of times it was so insightful. I hope you can feel all the support you are getting with your candor. I also hope you are getting some healing to by letting your story out with us. I don’t think anyone will think badly of your intentions. Yes the validation that the OW had such an impact on our lives may hurt but it also helps us heal by hearing the truth. I believe the road to NOT healing is when we fool ourselves.

      I have a lingering problem that is keeping me from totally moving forward. The last time my H had contact was the day before we left for a long road trip where I was told the whole story. He had seen her that day before we left. They had sex. They talked about getting another phone. She called him that night and left a voice mail “amazing” was all she said. He decided that night that he had to tell me everything. That was a 10 day emotional roller coaster. He said he realized he would have to tell me the whole story because he was afraid she would tell me or I would find out through my snooping since I already had DDay 1. I would have found out too because I was buying a GPS for his car. So the last time they met they talked about continuing their relationship on the really down low. Now his story is he was keeping in contact to keep her from telling me but that doesn’t explain them having sex. No answer for that question. He was determined to keep me from getting all the truth even though we were going to marriage counseling and he had fired her 30 days before. We got home and I went to work in our business full time. I had the GPS on his car for over a year and didn’t see anything except one time he drove by her house to see if it was for sale. He lied about doing it but I showed him the proof on the GPS. Since then I’ve seen nothing except he would drive around back to our warehouses stop for a minute or so an then leave. I think he had another phone, prepaid, he hid back in those warehouses. He claims the last time he spoke to her was the day before THE trip and has maintained no contact. He didn’t want to hear her retort on his decision. I wanted him to send her a letter saying he was coming back to me because he loved me and that their whole relationship was based on lies. That he always did love me and got caught up in all the lies and was afraid to leave for fear of retribution from her. This is everything he said in counseling and what he told me on our trip. He refused to write the letter. This hurts me. Now I can believe that he doesn’t want contact but I can’t believe she hasn’t tried. What does she have to lose unless she thinks he will try to collect the debt she owes for his rebuilding her house. It’s all she has. He swears he hasn’t had contact but my gut says otherwise. I think he has talked to her only to maybe say good bye, sorry or whatever. I don’t think he’s seen her. It’s been 18 months since that day and daily I still have this nagging feeling. Could she really just let a 4 year relationship go without even a good bye or fuck you? Maybe he can because he’s a man but I find it hard to believe she could. I didn’t listen to my gut feelings before and that got me where I am now so what if I am ignoring my feelings again?

      Sorry this is so long. Maybe someone will have an idea how I could get my H to admit it if he has talked to her. I do think if I found out he did I might leave because it would be the last straw. Sometimes I look at him and I feel he’s on the verge of telling me something but doesn’t. Am I being overly dramatic?

      • Strengthrequired April 23, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

        Th, you said what I feel and think. My h swears he hasnt contacted the ow, yet I don’t believe he hasn’t answered any of her calls. I don’t believe she has stopped.
        As for the goodbye letter, I wanted my h to send her a txt msg, or call her in front of me and say the same thing you said. He wouldn’t either which hurt me. I believe that is the least they could do to make it up to us for putting s through the hell they have. The ow needs to know once and for all where our h love lies with us not the ow.
        My h said he would, but I’m still waiting. Patience is a virtue, and good things come to those who wait I guess.

        • Tryinghard April 23, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

          Yes SR
          My H said he would to but still hasn’t. I think he thinks I’ve forgotten.

          • Strengthrequired April 23, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

            That’s the thing th, they think we will just drop it. Yet it is so important for you and me to have closure, as well as them.
            I worry about the no closure part when it comes to my h side. If there is no closure it can start up again.
            If there is closure, she the ow, sees she has been rejected, and won’t want to go there again, just to be rejected another time.
            The ow, needs to hear it, see it, that our h chose us over them because he loves us, not because of our children, and not because our h feels guilty for hurting us, but because our h truly loves us and wants us not the ow.
            Our h look at it, in a way where, if I just drop it, don’t contact the ow, then she will get the hint, he doesn’t want to be hurting anyone else, so just ignoring the problem it will go away.
            The problem with that, is there is no closure, not for any of us.
            ATM, I’m not pushing my h to do this, but once I see that our financial situation is better, he is in a better mind frame, not stressed, then I will be on his back about it. I will be reminding him on where his priorities should lie, who has helped him find himself again.

            • Strengthrequired April 23, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

              Th, I will tell you something, that I always think about. Even with a letter of closure, txt msg etc, how easy is it for our h to take it all back, and say to the ow, they only did that to get the w off his back.
              I guess I have become accustomed to the devious mind of the cs, just so they can continue to have their cake and eat too.

  32. EyesOpened April 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    So sorry – meant to say a negative into a positive!!!!!!

  33. Strengthrequired April 23, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    Eyes opened, thank you for your honesty and openness.
    I believe I have given the ow unnecessary power over me, I believe she id get a thrill out f knowing how much pain she caused my family and to me, especially me.
    I guess as a bs, you hope to touch the compassionate side of the ow, by having her know what she has done, all the hurt she has caused, you hope that she will stop and step away and let the h and w work on their marriage, not just keep trying to break up a family.
    She hoped to destroy my family, so she could have it for herself, so no amount of trying to wake her up would work.
    Yet in a way you feel like you have a load off, letting her know you know what she is upto, when you don’t say anything, you feel as though they are empowered to keep thinking it’s ok for their secret ea to continue, they believe you don’t know so it’s ok.
    Yet on the other hand, you feel like an idiot either way, whether you say something or not, because you let her know you know and it continues, or you don’t say anything and it continues, you still feel like a fool, you still feel and hear in your mind the laughing behind your back.
    Your still feel the smugness she has for her still having her ea with your h.
    It’s like damned if you do and damned if you don’t, situation.

  34. EyesOpened April 24, 2013 at 2:45 am #

    SR – you have voiced something I have thought whilst reading posts from BS’s. I believe you are right in saying that if the CS writes a letter or makes a call – they could just follow up with another communication that says to the AP ‘that wasn’t me etc’. My opinion is that if they refuse – like it or hate it – at least you know what’s what.

    Again – at the risk of churning up emotions …. For the BS to understand – they need to do everything that they are asking the CS to do. (In my opinion). They need to temporarily put their own pain aside and understand what is happening in the CS’s mind to be able to gain any perspective or control of the situation. Lets, for the sake of argument say that the CS and their AP have convinced themselves they are soul mates and have planned to be together. They have created Gizfields scapegoat (their true partner). Right in the middle of all that – true partner steps in and calls it a day. CS feels that they are giving up their once in a lifetime opportunity and choosing the right path to stay with their true partner BUT on top of all the CS’s grief and soul searching, lack of people to gain good guidance from – they are left with a partner they have convinced themselves they may not want, who is demanding they ‘show’ their love to and insists that they say honest,hurtful things to their AP. if they were able to really, truly turn from lover to hater so quickly – they would probably never have concealed their affair from the BS in the first place. The secrecy of the affair is shrouded under the disguise of not causing the true partner hurt.

    For me, it took time to grieve my loss too (as previously mentioned – I had no idea how common and rife infidelity is. I thought this was a one in a million situation that no one else had experienced) I am not asking anyone for sympathy. I made my bed and I along with all involved, am dealing with the consequences of my poor choices and learning what an idiot I was.

    TH – you are such a kind and giving person online. I KNOW your husband knows his wrongs.

    If my AP sent me a letter after all this time – all it would prove to me is that I still have a place in their lives (where I don’t belong). To another CS who isn’t as remorseful it may just prove that they still matter. I think your h’s know this and it may be why they don’t want to send the letter. Just my opinion.

    • Tryinghard April 24, 2013 at 8:16 am #

      Thank you so much for validating that because that is exactly what my h says. He says by writing a letter she will think he still cares which he says he doesn’t. He is also not a spiteful, deceitful yes but not spiteful person. He has been very remorseful and I just don’t think he had much emotional energy in that relationship. I think she did and I’m only saying that as a woman. I think he has a much harder heart emotionally. He says this is the best way to hurt hurt. No contact. You are spot on with your above statements. We have to take ourselves out of our own stories and put our own hurt egos aside. Otherwise we are only doing the same thing our CS did by feeding our own egos.

      You have been great. I hope you will give yourself some credit and replace your feelings of guilt, negative, to feelings of gratitude, positive. You made a poor choice but you are evolving, growing and learning and changing for the better. Your husband is a lucky man and I hope he knows it. Sometimes crappy things have to happen before positive things can happen. It’s a wake up call for all. This will not define me and it should not define you. Hugs sent your way:)

  35. EyesOpened April 24, 2013 at 3:13 am #

    Keeping Faith, Forcryinoutloud, Dave, TH, Linda and all.

    This outpouring is very good therapy for me. It is a selfish act which seems to be helping some people. I just want to say thank you to YOU all for your encouragement.

    I believe we are all here to learn something from one another – and I am learning so much from everyone here too. Thanks again for helping me to understand what the people I have affected are going through .

    I have despised myself for a long time – and that makes it hard for me to give the attention and love to the people who need it most (my husband and children). You are making me feel a positivity which is showing elsewhere in my life (according to my h). He says I seem to be getting the counselling I need. So he’s happy too!

    Heartfelt thanks for making me feel welcome when I know lots of you must want to scream at me!

  36. Strengthrequired April 24, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    Eyes- i for one don’t want to scream at you, you have been respectful and compassionate to us the bs, you have not said anything that is in bad taste.
    We help you understand the bs, and you help us understand the cs, from how you felt while in the fog, to now while recovering from the fog.

  37. EyesOpened April 24, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    Hugs received TH – thank you – here’s one back :-). Thank you too SR.

    • dave April 24, 2013 at 9:18 am #

      Eyes, you are a huge help in me understanding my situation and I thank you for everything. It is helping me heal and teaching me to look at both sides. I think my W is going through some of the same things you did. As she keeps moving closer to me and then pulling away I now understand some of the things she is struggling with inside. Again, THANK YOU and I will probably ask you more questions in the future. Until then I will be hanging in there and hoping for a bright future with or without my spouse. Either way I will be just fine. But I would rather it be with her and your info will help me make that decision.

  38. Strengthrequired May 3, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    I’m starting to think that maybe cousin it is right, maybe my h does want to be with her. Maybe that is where his heart is.
    I am feeling like I have had enough of these low miserable days/nights, where my mind doesn’t get peace.
    Every time I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel, it goes dark again. I just want to be able to smile again and be happy, preferably with my h.
    I hate these times.

  39. EyesOpened May 3, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    Sorry to hear you are down StrengthRequired.

  40. dave May 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    I know how you feel strength, It is a rollercoaster ride with many ups and downs. Mine has never left but she is sure distant at times. I hate it with a pasion but I am giving her space and time to get through it. I am just working on me while finding new hobies. I am meeting new people and it is helping me cope. Every day I feel a little better and think a little clearer. I keep telling myself that this will pass like everything in life does. Things will get better one way or the other.

  41. Strengthrequired May 7, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    Thank you eo and Dave.
    Dave, my h hasn’t left, but stays overnight for work alot, which gets me really nervous. There are times I’m ok with it, other times I can’t help but let my thoughts control me. Always the what if?
    Like today, I feel ok, tomorrow probably another story. In all logic I understand why my h needs to stay overnight for work, I understand it, it’s when I find I can’t get in contact with him, that’s when I feel nervous, anxious, and let my mind take over.
    I shouldn’t because I need to let go and let be what will be, and just watch the changes my h makes, all the positive ones. That’s what I need to hang onto.
    I tired of all the roller coaster ride of emotions thought, I understand how this can be PTSD., as I am positive I’m struggling with it.

  42. EyesOpened May 8, 2013 at 2:38 am #

    SR – you just reminded me of something. When I was with OM – I would get annoyed if he didn’t text me regularly – I assumed he was with another OW!! Anyhow, he would complain that his w wanted constant contact with him and he would complain about it – but then she went away for a few days and was having such a great time she ignored all HIS texts. Drove him mad. Made me smile to think she was making him uneasy – and she was blissfully unaware of the effect it was having on him. Just a thought that popped into my head. Hope you’re having a good day when you read this ( and you Dave).

    I’m going to work. I work in close proximity to OM – but maintaining NC. Trouble is – he now won’t even respond to work emails (we are talking infrequent final approval only prrofessiinal with other staff copied). I understand and appreciate the reasons why – but it is actually preventing me doing my job. I’ve handed my notice in but am thoroughly miserable as I wait to go. Not able to work, not able to walk out. Karma!

    • Tryinghard May 8, 2013 at 7:47 am #

      This must be so frustrating professionally. Maybe he thinks others are responding to your answers without him having to. Ignore it. Also on the personal side maybe the fact that you sent a heartfelt apology to his wife has made her look and question him more and well he’s mad. It’s easy to blame the OW and we want to because it is unbearable to blame the one that we love and we transfer our ire to the other person involved. Kind of like a knee jerk reaction. You played an intrusive role alright but you didn’t hold a gun to his head! May e she’s put him under more pressure. Too bad for him. He’s an asshole he deserves what he gets from her. I still think you did the right thing by apologizing to his wife. Hold you head up and don’t give him anymore power than you already have. It’s time Peter Pan grew up and faced the music. Courage!

    • tryinghard May 8, 2013 at 10:29 am #

      I wrote this reply to you at home and then driving to work I had an epiphany that I needed to share with you.

      By sending that letter to his wife you created a paradigm shift. Through your apology you aligned yourself with his wife. You gave yourself and her the power thru your apology which said to her, no way would he ever be back in my life and he was the biggest mistake I ever made. By expressing your regret for the relationship it took all his power away and wounded his ego. An ego you helped pump up. Previous to your letter he had the power over both you and his wife. She had the uncomfortable thought in the back of her head that there was always a possibility he could go back to you and he probably thought there was a possibility too. In other word his toe was still in the proverbial waters. Now he knows there’s no chance and his wife can no longer make you the villain so ALL the onus is now on him! I am certain there are more conversations going on in that home than he cares to deal with now in light of all this. Now that you aren’t the villain he’s under more of a microscope for his choices. Plus now he knows he can’t run to you for solace. You shut that door. Now he’s going to make you pay professionally and that is sad for you and your career,. You aren’t the first woman who has made such a dumb career blunder by, as they say in the US, dipping your pen in company ink. The female always pays for that error. I hope you are documenting everything to protect yourself professionally. If he stands in the way of your work go to his boss but you need to be careful because the boss will see you as the jilted lover trying to get back at him. You may think people at work don’t know but trust me they do and they have talked. If he isn’t leaving the company it sounds to me like you have no other choice but to find another place to work. You will find it very difficult to progress. This is just a sad part of being a female in the work place. I just wish other smart capable female professionals knew how this crap not only ruins their life privately but also professionally. No one in the working world cares what your personal story is as to why you chose to have an affair they will judge your character and integrity and it will have an impact on your professional credibility. It doesn’t make any difference if you are a CEO or a secretary. Women are judged more harshly where this is concerned. He will be excused because well “boys will be boys”. It makes me sick for all women, but alas this is the way of the world. Women have to work twice as hard to get half as far. You still did the right thing. Yes Karma is making you pay the price but keep doing the right thing. Be the smart woman I know you are and everything will work out. KEEP DOING GOOD! You’re awesome!!! Too bad my H’s OW is not as smart as you, she could use a friend like me!!!! BWAHAHAHA I crack myself up!!!

  43. Strengthrequired May 8, 2013 at 6:51 am #

    Eo, your right about the no contacting at all. If I don’t call my h or answer I know he gets worried, nervous the same as I do. One day I didn’t go outside and wave goodbye to my h, as we do every morning my h leaves for work (when he is home), I was caught up with something and missed going outside. He called me not long after asking what happened, why wasn’t I outside waving goodbye. You see he has gotten used to that, andmwhen I didn’t he thought I had forgotten about him.
    It’s funny you know, when it is him not calling or txting it doesn’t matter, but if I don’t he wonders why. Ye then doesn’t understand why I get upset if I can’t get ahold of him. I keep reminding him, if he is away he needs to be contactable incase of an emergency, or incase I need him lol.
    My h doesn’t like the thought of me being with anyone else, I think that was one of the reasons he chose to come home at the beginning of his ea, he didn’t like the thought of me ending up with someone else and our kids being raised by om. Also I gave my h quite bait of space when he did move out for a month, I wanted him to have time to think, yet the ow cousin it wouldn’t give him any time to think things through. It’s funny my h still wanted to pay for everything, support me and our kids even though he wasmlooking at leaving me for the ow. How long do you think it would havemtaken the ow to get upset with him paying everything for me. Have caused alotmof drama for them. She wanted everything form herself. I know my h wouldn’t have been able to keep it up though because he wasn’t thinking clearly and running two families would have sent himmmore over the edge. He didn’t like the idea i didn’t want anything from him. If he left, I wanted nothing from him.

  44. Strengthrequired May 8, 2013 at 6:59 am #

    Thankyu too eo, i did have a nice day today, i hope you had a nice day too. I hope your transfer comes through soon, it must be pretty uncomfortable for you.

  45. Gizfield May 8, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    You’re right, Eyes Open, he was seeing someone. His wife. The marriage bond is much stronger than the Affair partners want to believe. looking back, on times I knew my husband was pursuing his girlfriend, we had a lot of REALLY good times. So did he become like Marlon Brando, and be an academy award worthy actor, or was he actually enjoying himself. With horrid, fat, lazy ME? Of course, he was. Men that do not love their wives leave. Others cheat. I’m wondering if his complaints about his wife wanting constant contact might have actually been directed at you. he didnt want to risk pissing you off but at the same time letting you know to back off. Just an opinion.

  46. Gizfield May 8, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    Also, I don’t know how anyone else feels, but getting an “apology” from someone sneaking around with my husband is totally IRRELEVANT to me. It’s just words, and like the complete affair relationship, crap and lies. I need no “favors” from this woman.

  47. Gizfield May 8, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    I’m pretty sure the earth world have to realign itself on its axis before I would side with my husband’s Gf on anything. He has suffered quite enough from this. She has suffered none. I would personally feel any letter or whatever would be condescending, because that is just how she is . As to letting me “know” it’s over, forever, also unnecessary. If my husband is done with me, it would be either her or someone else. She’s nothing special, just “the path of least resistance”. In other words, someone he could trust not to rat him out to ME.

    • tryinghard May 8, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

      The point was for EO to find some relief. No one ever said she should ask for forgiveness. I’m sure the W of EO’s MM didn’t ask her or expect her apology. I’m sure she never wanted anything from her except maybe not sleeping with her husband. But she did and it can’t be undone. She owed her an apology and I can’t imagine that her sincere apology did any harm to the wife. Sometimes we have to be the change we want to see. I also completely understand your thought process on this. I don’t care about hearing from the OW either because right now I still loathe and vilify her! AND she hasn’t sent me an apology. Who knows how I will feel if she ever does. All I know is when I focus my attention on my H and my marriage and work on not blaming the OW I find healing. Yes I hate her, yes I think she’s an opportunistic whore, yes I think she’s a waste of good oxygen on this earth BUT she did not hold a gun to his head to be with her, give her money blah blah blah. That is the fault of my H. I hope if your H’s OW sends you a letter you pitch it in the trash. We’ve already been thru enough and if it would hurt you to acknowledge it I hope you don’t. If she does maybe just maybe she will have learned a lesson and that is all we can hope for.

    • Strengthrequired May 8, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

      Giz, I understand how you feel, I dont want anything from cousin it, no apology in the world will make me believe she has changed her ways, would think it was just another ploy to get me off track and let my guard down.
      I would much rather her stay away from my family and my h and never contact him again. Not ever. Yet I would love to see a massive argument between them, that would be like icing on the cake. Just to see them hate each other. Sigh, how nice would that be…. Lol

  48. EyesOpened May 8, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    TryingHard your wisdom and empathy is absolutely incredible. I’m going to read your post several times over. Thank you. My boss is also his boss – and has been as supportive as possible but no one can undo the knot I tied except me. Lots of people at work know because his wife called them on dday. It helps that they are aware on many levels, but as I mentioned before – unless you’ve been in an affair or know someone who has – it is unlikely that you would fully comprehend ‘no contact’ – especially when the CS’s work together. The OM would lose a big payoff if he left – and I didn’t want his family to lose that on top of everything else – this contributed to my final decision to leave. It was easier for me leave .. I think!!! Anyway – you should write a book TH. you are a born inspirer and wordsmith!!

    Gizfield – It is possible he was projecting.

    • tryinghard May 8, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

      LOL well I try and thank you for the kind words. I can’t imagine writing a book but who knows maybe. I will be glad when I am back on the road to normal and don’t even think about this stuff. I the mean time I get a lot of solace from sharing stories and hearing other people’ insights. What makes me the saddest are those new to this hell. The poor husbands and wives that are starting down this healing road. I wish we could all learn by each other’s mistakes and it always amazes me when I hear a new story. Particularly from the high profile people that make the news. I mean really politicians today didn’t learn a lesson from Gary Hart? Do they really believe these relationships are so great and “special” and that they are so good at covering it up that they aren’t going to be found out? You would think Tiger Woods fiasco would have warned all men! Here’s a man that had everything but because he chose to be with every piece that crossed his path he lost everything. No matter however great he becomes in the future, he will be remember for having the shit beaten out of him by his beautiful Swedish wife with his own golf club when she caught him cheating! I’m a golfer and know a bit about it. Golf is 90% between the ears and Tiger will never be the competitor he once was. He may win some, but he’s a disrespected has been!

      I can feel the remorse and genuine willingness to be open and helpful to those of us who hurt here and your input in invaluable. I’ll stick up for you any time. LOL I may not let you near my husband though—KIDDING!!

  49. EyesOpened May 8, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    Thank you SR. VERY pleased to hear you had a nice day.

  50. EyesOpened May 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    TH – you are most definitely right. And come to think of it – without the ‘safety net’ of someone else there in the background- – the CS (yes me) has to confront head on what is real and what isn’t . If your AP ditches you and your H/W feels they can’t live with the betrayal and ditches you too – you’ve lost everything …. For nothing. A very scary thought for any ‘remorseful CS.

    SR – the fact you are so independent – I am sure is very very attractive to your H!

  51. Strengthrequired May 8, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    EO, ohh my I look at all the errors in my post, my darn iPad.
    I would hope so, my h is the bread winner in our family while I raise our children. I look forward to going back to work, but need to wait a couple of years just yet. My h wants me to wait until the youngest goes back to school.
    However, if my h left me, I literally want nothing from him. To me it is, I am no longer his partner for life, so I am not his to worry about, to look after and provide for.
    I truly don’t need a man paying for me, if he has chosen another path. We would no longer be a team, I would want and use my independence.
    Yet the ow cousin it, although she has a h, whom she is separated from, she wanted my h to pay everything for her, she acted the poor victim, “ohh poor me how am I going to raise my children, it’s your fault I didn’t leave my h earlier, blah blah blah”. So of course my h being her family thought he had to help her, of course as well being a hero too in her eyes, although it was all manipulated by her. She by no means acted independent.
    I don’t understand how someone can take from a person that they know has a family, yet find it so easy to take from this man without any regard to his children, just out for their own benefit.
    I teach my girls to be independent, I instill in them that I want them to have good careers, and not to rely on any man to keep them financially. I don’t want them to be dependent, I don’t want them ti be in a position where they need a man to support them and expect that man to support them. Don’t want them taking from anyone. They are still young right now, so hoping it sinks into them. Lol

  52. Strengthrequired May 8, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    EO, sorry wanted ti say that it’s good to have you You should be proud of how far you have come.

    TH, you have been a wonderful support for all of us here, even on our down days. Lol. I can see how much you have helped EO.

  53. dave May 9, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    Hi everyone, I’ve been having a rough week. I keep getting angry at my CS for nothing. Not sure if I can get past the trust issue. I also keep thinking about seeing other people. It really sucks not getting the attention you need from your CS because of all the (Head worms) they have post affair. I find myself looking for it elsewhere. I could easily become a CS right now if im not careful.

    • tryinghard May 9, 2013 at 10:23 am #

      I forget time frame you are at in all this. I am in my second year. The movies still play in my head. I’ve learned to just accept them. Sometimes I address them to my husband sometimes I don’t. It’s the new normal. I think I will always have them. Don’t have an affair. You are lowering your bar by doing that. Your wife did that and look what happened. Also is it fair to bring someone else into this? No! You wife should be doing everything in her power to make it work. You cannot do it alone. Instead of having an affair do you have other interests ie sports, working out, hiking clubs, theater etc where you can form supportive alliances without having an affair? You may have to face the difficult reality of understanding that you cannot live with this betrayal and that things will never change. If that’s the case you may have to consider divorce. My son tried to do this and is now getting a divorce. The main problem is now they have a child. It’s a mess. Maybe you can put your pride aside and deal with the worms as they are, just worms. But if you are not happy staying in the relationship for your children is not worth it for them or you. You need to think of yourself and your children. Sacrificing your personal happiness for them never works. Maybe you and your wife need more conversations. Maybe she needs to really get that you are pissed that she did this. I don’t think showing anger in these cases is bad. It gets them out of their personal fog and look at what they are really doing. She can’t be ok sometimes, she HAS to be ok and remorseful ALL THE TIME until this whole crazy business is healed. This is not on her timetable it is on your timetable. She has to put some skin in the game! I’m sure some of her attitude is her guilt and let me tell you female guilt is HUGE. I’m sure she’s probably thinking why the hell is he forgiving ME, why should her AND maybe she doesn’t really want or need it?? I’m just sayin… Life is too short to be miserable. BTW I know your feeling about having an affair. I’ve thought the same but then my sanity kicks in and I don’t. Don’t want to but I sure as hell should have!!! I needed the ego boost, BAD!!!!

      • Janet November 25, 2014 at 1:36 pm #


        I suggest you don’t lower yourself to her level. My H cheated on me while I was pregnant with his second child. I found out in my first trimester, and the stress and pain of it all, I miscarried. It was too much for me to handle. When I went to the hospital, my H did NOT show up! I was furious and I felt insulted! I blamed him for my miscarriage and it tore me apart knowing he wasn’t there for me when I needed him most. A couple months after my miscarriage an old high school friend (OM) messaged me saying he was sorry for everything I was going through. I talked to him about everything, and little did I know one thing led to another and I became the CS. I felt guilty, because I felt like I let it continue to happen to get back at him for what he put me through. Like I wanted him to find out, but I didn’t want to be the bad guy. My H eventually found out (when he did, I had broken things off with OM for months now). I completely destroyed not only him, but my family, my son and myself. I will forever feel guilty for doing it and seeking vengeance, but it is NOT the way to go. I know how you are feeling and you may want to act out and get back at her. But, think about your children, what will they think. If they don’t know that their mother cheated first, because you didn’t want for them to hate her then you go out and do it. Your wife will let them know that you cheated, and your children will hate you for it. Because they will tell you that you could have been the better man, and divorced her. Yes, they will hate her for a bit, but in the end she is their mother. They will forgive her. But if you stoop down to her level then what are we teaching our children. I continue to feel guilty day in and day out. I wish I could take it all back.

    • forcryin'outloud May 9, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

      Dave, I understand you feeling that way…been there. But don’t do it. Just look at your wife and see what it has done to her soul, look at your children and see the uneasiness they feel. Your need to take care of yourself by forcing your wife to either go “all in” the marriage or remove herself from it. Her actions are pecking your self esteem to non-existence. Been there too.

      Like TH said utilize a hobby or interest. Therapy during this time frame is helpful but if that’s not possible a male confidant may help. Plus do something nice for yourself. No matter how small or big. My pat on the back became nice handbags (probably not your thing – haha). Even now when I have a basic outfit on I’m rockin’ some style on my shoulder. Plus I always get compliments on how great they are which is a little boost to the ‘ol ego. Maybe you wear a suit and tie somewhere- it’s working for Justin Timberlake. Anyways, you get my idea. But whatever you do don’t go down the dark humiliating path of cheating. My H’s EA was over 4 yrs ago and he still cannot forgive himself even though I have.

      • dave May 9, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

        forcryin’outloud, I needed that. The uneasiness in the kids smacked me right in the face. I need to regroup. I need to continue to be the solid and responsible parent for my duaghters. They deserve better than this. And I have seen what this is doing to her soul. She looks like she is in constant pain. One day I hope she realizes the pain she has caused me. But it will not be because I cheated. Im just angry.

  54. Gizfield May 9, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    Dave, don’t do it!!! You will feel horrible about yourself!! At least tell her you want a separation, or divorce, or something.

  55. Gizfield May 9, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    Everyone always says “Once a cheater, always a cheater ” but if that were so why I didn’t I cheat on my current husband for revenge? Like you, I considered it to hurt him too, but it’s just not WORTH IT. Plus, I didn’t want to, lol. It’s just so immature and childish.

  56. dave May 9, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    Thanks for the advice you guys, I am really not sure what I want to do. If we didnt have our kids at home my decision would be easy. Maybe it should be easy anyways. I will not have an affair because unlike her I will not put my family at risk. Or risk hurting anyone else. But I think I would enjoy getting to know some new people and starting over. Have any of you just got a divorce and started over? If so, did it stop some of the pain and suffering?

    • tryinghard May 9, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

      It’s funny you should say this. No I have never been divorced and the thought of it at my age literally sickens me. I wouldn’t know how to be divorced and neither would my husband. We were high school sweethearts. That’s how much history is there. Here’s what I can tell you. My son was married to his high school sweetheart in 2005. In 2007 she had an affair with a co-worker. She moved out and he tried to talk to her to no avail. He filed for divorce and low an behold when she realized what was happening she decided she wanted to make it work. my son is very laid back. Super cool guy. They went to marriage counseling for over a year. Things seemed ok but I knew she was still doing the happy hour thing after work. Not cool when you are trying to heal from betrayal. Then in 2009 they had a beautiful son. That’s when the wheels came off the bus. She made his life a misery. He has done everything to make her happy to no avail. Two weeks ago she moved out and left him and her son. He’s over it. He’s tired of bending over backwards. He has taken on most of the responsibility of taking care of his son. He’s a wonderful father. She’s a depressed neurotic and still seeing a psychiatrist. Personally I think she needs to ask for a refund!!! He told her he can’t wait to find someone new and have an adult relationship with them. Yes emotionally I think he is moving on. He’s sick of it. No body feels bad for the relationship ending and we are all glad the fool is out of our lives. Yesterday he was laughing and I actually saw my old son. Before the drama, no stress other than his worries about his son. Starting over is scary territory but you sound like a wonderful man and I am SURE you will have no problem finding someone BUT you need to deal with bigger issues before going out and looking. BTW my grandson is a chick magnet, he is soooo cute!!! My son will have NO problem finding someone else. The sharks are already smelling the blood. Be cool, make a pro and con list to help you decide to stay or leave. How old are your kids? You are a smart articulate man. You will figure it out. I think Karma is tapping you on the shoulder saying, “are you sure you want to do this?”

      • dave May 9, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

        Hi Tryinghard, my kids are 10 and 15. They are great kids. They are my life!! I really am not sure I want this anymore. I want someone that is trustworthy and responsable. I have spent months reading books and listening to Mort Ferel CD’s. I have learned alot about relationships because of this. I have spent at least an hour a day in the gym almost everyday for months. I did all this for my wife. But all of the sudden my feelings are changing. I really am starting to feel as though my life would be much happier without her. On the other hand she is still all I think about. So I guess im not ready to make that choice yet.

        • tryinghard May 9, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

          Good for you. Keep working out. Build your life around your daughters and your interests. Of course she is all you’re thinking about, she has pulled you into her crazy orbit!! Get your business lined up. Get your escape plan ready. You’ve anything a person can do to make this work and just because you are thinking of her doesn’t mean she is your destiny. Sometimes it’s just time to call it a day. I am constantly re-evaluating my position. I don’t know if you live in a “no fault” state or not but adultery is still an offense. You may have to share custody and that’s ok. Your girls I’m sure love their mother regardless of her poor choices and that is NOT an indictment on her mothering. Maybe some of this anger is directed at yourself too? I get that I was very mad at me for being so stupid. Sometimes I’m still mad at me for being stupid. It’s ok but eventually you DO have to quit being mad at yourself because you are all you really have. YOU did not make this mess. YOU are not sentenced to having to live with it. YOU have a choice! Maybe you need to have ONE more heartfelt talk with her and let her know how you are feeling and specifically what needs to change for you to stay. Be honest with her (ok don’t say anything about thinking about having an affair). Lay all your cards on the table and if it doesn’t change pray to God to take the human love you have for her out of your heart so you can move on with your life, the one He wants you to live. Please keep taking the high road. Do not slip into the gutter. Good Luck and keep us posted.

          • tryinghard May 9, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

            I hit post before I looked at what I had typed. Anyway I didn’t mean to say you had an affair. What I meant was you were thinking about having an affair. I think expressing your unhappiness to her is enough. It should get her attention. Let her know you mean business. You love her but are ready to leave. There WILL be a last straw and it’s probably right around the corner, That is why I suggested you get your business lined up. If there were ever a time to not leave this up to serendipity it is now. Be a good Boy Scout and Be Prepared. Hey BTW can you talk my husband into reading all those books, articles, and blogs. He’s read 1 and maybe 1/2 of another. He knows it all now!!! BWAHAHAHAHA

  57. Gizfield May 9, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    I didn’t think you would be a cheater, Dave, you sound too nice. No, I’ve never ben divorced. I was married 15 years before, to my first husband who died in 1999. I wanted to leave him but he always threatened to kill me and make my life miserable (r) , lol, if I did so I stayed. Thats all a distant memory now, so yes, it can go away.

  58. dave May 9, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    Giz, thats terrible. I glad your not in that situation anymore. I think I have been way to nice and understanding to my CS. I really have let her walk all over me. I am tired of being nice to her and waiting while she does her (I am a space cadet with my head in the clouds thing). I think I must be in the angry stage of recovery!! DDAY December seems so long ago.

    • Curious March 17, 2017 at 9:29 am #


      Curious how this all turned out. I’m 6 months into a hopeful recovery with my wife after something similar. Being that this post is almost 4 years old was curious where things are now.


  59. Gizfield May 9, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    Thanks, Dave. Dont feel bad about being angry. The therapist I went to after my husband’s death said anger is sometimes the only defense mechanism you have. Whatever you decide, make sure to process your feelings properly so they dont come back to haunt you later on. Like you, with current husband, I just literally was done with him. If that was all he had to offer, it was just not good enough. His road whore was welcome to him. Or any road whore, didn’t matter to me. THAT is what pulled his head out of his ass, finally!

  60. Gizfield May 9, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    I am happy to say that the sweet, loving man I married finally came back to me when he experienced life without me. He was always different when he was under the influence of his Turd, lol. He always wondered how I knew. Well, it was cause he was a creepy, negative little creep when he had her nasty ass to run to with his problems, or a shoulder to bitch/cry on about me. If you dont think ONE PERSON can infest your entire life with poison, believe me they can. Co cheater, friend, relatives, co worker. One is all it takes.

  61. Lola January 19, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

    7 years and counting …33 years married…and counting ….He moved out to ‘have a separate life’ just before Thanksgiving 2013. He had one long term 14 adultery plus concurrent others short terms…2 years each…Had two children with the OW …the main one….

    This is a highly educated, high profile, man who has no desire to endure the pain he has caused but is ‘sorry’ …..he is a sad case…and has dug our family into deep debt trying to ‘care’ for the OC ….but hates the OW .

    I homeschooled our children and we had begun our life in marriage in the faith together…but corporate life offered him too many ‘options’ for pleasure….guess when a person cuts themselves ‘free ‘ from caring what GOD offers and thinks…then anyone else better look out!

    Triggers are less ….’life’ goes on but is certainly been full of learning how the God of the Bible weighs in on how to go forward in such a marriage …it is all about knowing that HE is going to work it out for the best for those who will put their trust in Him …it does not necessarily ‘fix’ the pain or the loss but it is rooted in the expectation of something GOOD being a result of going through instead of choosing the CS ‘option’ of escape and not dealing with it ..

    Our children , though adults are also “learning ‘ …it is one heck of way to LEARN …the man they ‘knew’ as their great father has been revisited in terms of his character..and indeed this causes those betrayed to review their ‘skills’ to evaluate all things .

    Having deliberately ‘given’ the OW children on her demand and having planned them ..but even then not intending to marry her as she wanted to be a ‘single mom by choice’ …has still left us deep in debt and him broken AND our children getting a taste of feeling they were ‘not enough”

    That adultery is destructive to many many …is an UNDERSTATEMENT!

    Meanwhile the OW goes on in her life…getting government aid as well as a healthy provision from our family since we would not want those kids to suffer….She is not home with them even though she does not work …she basically got the children to give her 20+ years of income..Some days the kids do not even have food in the house as she takes the money and does whatever she wants.

    Hubby has moved out rather than work on the marriage mess …even with forgiveness and my agreement to keep paying even more than the state would require ….despite our drop in income.

    Some people do not appreciate anything they have or get …sadly

    I continue to learn …and I think I am getting a “PHD” …piled higher and deeper! Wheee![not!]

  62. Lola January 19, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

    That is …7 years after D DAY.,,,yes the struggle goes on even with much patience and effort and forgiveness,…when the CS refuses to ‘endure’ the consquences that he sees in those he hurt….escape was one of his ‘go to’s’ in life rather than deal ..even now as he realizes he can run but can’t hide from himself~

  63. Tryingtounderstand February 2, 2017 at 12:20 pm #

    Its only been a few weeks since my husband of 6+ years and almost 10 together found out I had a 4 month affair when i was out of the country. During this time, I knew i was unhappy and thought i had expressed it to him before i left but i was wrong. i suffered from Post Par Depress and I got lost in my own misery I could no longer see anything else. I didn’t deploy thinking I would ever do anything like this in my life and I still cant quite understand how my morals and my character got so lost in it all. But it did. Not only did i not tell him after him questioning it multiple times, i hid it for almost a year after. I am now very close to term with our second child (which he doesn’t believe is ours and i do understand why). I am such a selfish person and i know that i hurt him. I want nothing more than to repair the damage i did and i have tried all the wrong ways to do so to the point of accusing him of taking a condom with him to meet friends. He found a group last week that has actually helped him and he was even considering having sex with me again last night and i accused him of cheating because I was so terrified that what i had done had drove him to it. Even though we had a very long talk yesterday and i felt good and thankful that he was telling me anything. He explained how every moment he is thinking about it and going out and doing stuff helps him not think about it where as seeing my face everyday is like torture. He wants to stay for the kids and i do truly believe he still loves me and wants a life with me, i think he just believes i am to selfish to ever not do it again. I have made a vow to myself that i will never do this again. I am struggling to understand how deep his pain goes. I want to understand more than anything so i can back off and give him his space to deal with his own emotions but i just keep throwing mine on to him. I dont know how to control it and he believes that is the root of the issue is that i will never be able to control my emotions or myself. I have been in therapy for a month and i really am trying but i need more help. I need to understand how he feels that every good memory we have ever had prior and post affair are irrelavent to him now. He says anything that was bought or made in the last year makes him want to burn our house down, and the mear thought of touching me makes his skin crawl. I tore myself apart last night after saying what i said. How stupid am i to believe that he can have sex with anyone. Then he wanted to come home and be with me and i ruin the one night he has had peace in a week. To make matters worse, we sleep in the same bed so our child isnt confused and doesnt think anything drastic is happening. he doesnt think i know him anymore and im scared that i dont. I am scared that i spent so much effort focused on me and being selfish that i lost site of who he is. Even though i think i know, everything i do is wrong for him and i question it. I love him more than anything in the world and at the time of the affair, no i would not have said that, however after coming home (not immediately) but after trying to balance our love and understanding of each other and the love languages that we both had, our marriage was so amazing. he feels its because i needed to go seek someone else and in another 5 years will do the same thing. I dont think that at all and i understand why he believes that but i am struggling to understand how much i have hurt him and where he is coming from. I am trying everyday but its always the wrong way. Everyone tells me to back off give him space and he says the same and i need to find myself by myself and he wants to do the same before he can make a decision to stay or leave, but i cant stop focusing on how to get him to stay. Make him see what hes missing if he leaves… that is what he says…. I want to understand and i am desperate to gain any kind of guidance.. the books are not helping and me being pregnant isn’t helping because i cry … how do i show him i really do care without smothering him to death. Regardless of his decision, i truly want to understand how he feels so i can help or i can empathize and do what i have to for him to be happy.

    • borr March 17, 2017 at 4:36 pm #

      I wish my wife said what you just said. I don’t know how to make him understand all that you express here but go to a CC and bleed your heart as you just did hear. if the CC cant make him understand that you are doing everything right. They will ask him what more does he need? I know all feeling he is feeling i have felt them myself. I have even imagined setting myself on fire to stop the pain. You have to have a lot of pain to imagine that self immolation would be better than sitting day after day feeling the pain of betrayal by the person you have felt was the safest. You cannot imagine the pain. but reality takes it to a new level. I accused my Wife three times before of the improper relationship, she did not stop, always just friends. there was pain and nervousness and a bit queasy. Then, one day my gut just told me check her computer. too many emails with devastation details and plans for their future, and her declaring love for him, i was the after thought. There is a book by linda mcdonald that is the best i have read. i would be recovered now if my wife would have done every thing or shit, even half of the stuff that is in the book. know that the wound that he is suffered is deep and not all recover. but you are on the right path. I cannot say more than that. be there for his pain tell him over and over. ” What i did was wrong, i am sorry i hurt you. I want to make this right. Please forgive me”

    • Shifting Impressions March 17, 2017 at 6:49 pm #

      You really do need to back off….it has only been a few weeks since your husband found out. Listen to him….don’t make your pain more important than his. You had a choice in this matter, he didn’t.

      My best advice is to get help for yourself….figure out why you did what you did. You need to earn back his trust……this will probably take several years. Show remorse, but in all honesty you probably don’t understand the depth of his pain.

      As for forgiveness, that too is a process. You need to respect what he is going through and respect his wishes for space……….otherwise in my opinion you will push him right out the door.

  64. Puzzled March 23, 2017 at 10:06 pm #

    Trying to understand: no offense but you have nothing to do but earn your husband’s trust. You chose this. You crossed boundaries. You betrayed your vows. Figure out why. Figure out how to love your husband and do everything to earn him back. This was your doing no matter how “unhappy” you were.

  65. Crushed May 8, 2017 at 7:28 am #

    Happened to me. Wife cheated. Went to M/C. Lost 70 pounds in three months. Got locked up under the Baker Act. Lost my memory for awhile. Threw up alot at first. 2 1/2 year later I still get nightmares and mind movies. Eliminated as many triggers as I could. We don’t celebrate her or my birthdays, our anniversary, Christmas ect. I removed all the pictures of our marrage from our home. Anything that would remind me of 25 wasted years. Drastic? Yes…but it helps. We are in recovery but those years are gone forever. I no longer count the years together. I no longer trust. Anyone. Maybe in time it will get better. But for now I put a steel plate over my heart. It will never be hurt again. I have gotten better. But I’ll never be the same. I will have a good marrage, but never a great one. For now I survive day to day. Depression has started to fade. Cheaters cheat with a smile on their face. They don’t think about the damage they cause until it happens. I pray every day God will heal us. One day he will hear me. I wish I never read her text messages or seen the pictures. The other man wrote and bragged about what he did. Narcissist military man. Bragged about making my wife his whore. Credit to his rank and an upstanding individual in his unit. I hope God’s justice is swift. I will survive, but the road is long and hard.

  66. Remorseful cheater October 2, 2017 at 9:35 am #

    An open apology:
    To all those who have been victims of adultery, I am sorry. I cheated on my husband and will do anything now to make him feel secure again. The issue is that I am the one that undermined the trust in our relationship. I cannot be the one to protect him, nurture him, and make him feel secure. My very presence is triggering. We are about 6 months in from D-day. The affair is over and I no longer communicate and make every possible effort to prevent any crossing of paths with my AP. I try to answer any questions my husband has, but inevitably, he doesn’t believe what I say as true…and that’s on me. It’s all on me. Cheating was a choice and I made it and I regret it. It’s easy to say we all make mistakes in life, but this is a mistake that seems impossible to come back from. Does it ever get better? Will my husband ever find some peace from the questions that constantly harass him? From the triggers that bring on flashbacks? From the fears and anxieties that I have caused? Is there anything that I can do beyond being open about where I am, what I am doing, and trying to answer any questions he has. Or will I forever be the cheating, lying, whore he sees me as?

    • Shifting Impressions October 2, 2017 at 2:23 pm #

      Remorseful Cheater
      It is a very long and hard road to recovery…no doubt about it. 6 months isn’t all that long.

      My advice to you is to follow your husband’s lead. Listen to his pain, answer his questions and show true remorse. Be transparent.

      Next try to figure out why….do this for you. Take full responsibility for your actions but get some help…try to understand.

      Will your husband get through this? Will your marriage survive? You simply don’t have those answers yet….and that’s okay.

      I think the heartbreak a betrayed spouse experiences is simply not understood by the cheating spouse. Give him time to work through his anger, grief and pain.

      In my opinion, one of the worst things you can do is make it “all about you”, something many cheating spouses do. They won’t let the betrayed spouse go through their pain because it makes them feel bad.

      That being said…..calling yourself a cheating, lying whore, serves no purpose at all. Not something your husband should be calling you either. You made bad choices, but you can learn from them. Get some help for you….figure out why. Hopefully you will be able to forgive yourself and move forward.

      Take care, I wish you all the best in this very painful journey.

  67. NoExcuses March 7, 2018 at 7:39 am #

    Since I cannot bring myself to tell my wonderful wife of 30+ years, I will just share a different POV.

    I had no intention of getting involved with my colleague of many years, Yes, she is attractive and funny and fun to be around, but I have never looked for an affair and had never thought of her as a potential lover. But she was enough of a teaser to get me interested and as soon as I realized that she was interested, we were both overwhelmed.

    While we can both regurgitate he entire list of excuses that all of you have seen, heard and read – suffice to say that I have been in a single safe, solid relationship with my W for almost 35 years (since HS) and she has been in a single safe, solid relationship with her H for almost 25 years (also since HS). While I definitely can understand what I see in her, I can’t understand what she sees in me, and she will say the same in the opposite direction. While she is only ten years younger – we are practically an entire generation apart (I have a grandchild that is older than her youngest child).

    There has been a conscious (and emotionally painful) decision on our part to keep physical aspects in the relationship “off the table” – because as she says “sex changes everything”.

    Emotionally, I am a wreck. I no longer know who I am, what I want and how I see my life in a month or a year. My W knows and suspects nothing (I am working very hard to keep my **** together) although is aware that the OW is a good friend of mine. I have lost sleep and weight, have spent hours and hours with a therapist and have gone through more emotional turmoil in the past 6 months than in my entire previous 50 years …

    I do know this:

    1.) I love my wife of 30+ years
    2.) My W loves me
    3.) I love the OW
    4.) The OW loves me
    5.) There are no easy choices

    I am torn, crumpled and clueless. I alternate between setting the OW free, setting the W free and jumping off a tall building.

    Yes – this should have never happened. But it did. It is what it is and here we are.

    What now?

    • Shifting Impressions March 7, 2018 at 11:10 am #

      I find it interesting that you say that your wife knows or suspects nothing….yet you have lost weight and sleep over this. Many supposedly “unsuspecting spouses” did not know what the hell was wrong with their partner during an affair but deep down knew something was off.

      I can relate…..my husband and I were married for 38 years and had know each other since HS as well when he got involved in an EA. My husband thought I didn’t suspect but my gut was screaming that something was off….I just didn’t know what it was.

      There is a saying “I would rather that you slap me with the truth than kiss me with a lie”. To make a long story short, I stumbled upon the affair totally by accident. I would much rather he would have found some courage and told me himself.

      Your wife has choices here as well…..you are living a lie. Not everyone agrees with me but I would rather have the truth. I won’t pretend to know what you are feeling but as the BS I can tell you I struggle with my husband’s lies every bit as much as the actual EA itself.

      What do you think will happen should you tell her the truth??

      • NoExcuses March 7, 2018 at 11:54 am #

        Shifting Impressions

        Since I am always trying to lose weight and sleep loss was easily attributed to a very stressful work project (and as I said, I am working very hard to keep my **** together) – my wife did feel that something was amiss, but the circumstances made it self explanatory.

        What do I think will happen?

        Considering her almost explosive response to my telling her that I had gone to see a therapist only after my second session – I don’t think anything good can happen.

        It would appear that my choices are to stay silent and eat myself away, or walk away from the life we have built over 30+ years.

        Yes, it is a lie (although I truly do not know what I would reply if I were asked a direct question). And what can I tell her – that I love the OW (married, 3 younger children)? That nothing physical has happened (as If that truly matters)? That I have no idea what to do with my life?

        And like I said, she is acquainted with the OW and knows that we are friends.

        Where does one go from that point?

        • Shifting Impressions March 7, 2018 at 5:13 pm #

          You only mentioned two choices…..

          The third choice would be to give up the other woman and stay silent
          The fourth choice would be to give up the other woman and tell the truth

          Why would she be explosive because you went to see a therapist??? Why do you think that made her angry? You said you gave what you thought was an satisfactory explanation for your weight loss and sleeplessness. How do you know she bought it??? Her anger regarding to your therapy might be related some how. When you are married to someone over thirty years it’s pretty hard to hide the deep emotions

          I have been on the other side….my husband was also under a tremendous amount of stress on business side….there were all kinds of plausible explanations for his behavior but my gut was still screaming that there was something more.

          I so wish my husband would have found the courage to tell me himself rather than have me stumble upon the truth the way that I did. The truth does have a way of coming out.

          What about the other woman’s husband….does he deserve this betrayal??

  68. NoExcuses March 8, 2018 at 4:34 am #


    Coming clean (regardless of the OW situation) will result in having to walk away – with a high degree of certainty.

    Keeping silent (regardless of the OW situation) will result in this continuing to eat away at me for the rest of my life.

    OTOH, what’s the point in airing out the emotional challenge, if all that’s happened is an emotional challenge. You may disagree, but I can take the view of “emotions will happen, what you do with them determines who you actually are”. And putting in the work and spending the time with a therapist may make coming clean absolutely worthless (other than to clear my conscience).

    W went ballistic over the therapist because I’d chosen to take my issueis to a professional before telling her about them (not that I could truly tell her the reason I felt needed one). And, while being an emotional wreck, I did my best to keep everything else going on as is nothing was happening.

    The OW has to handle her own issues with her H, I cannot do it for her.

    No one (or almost no one) “deserves” this – and I am in no way placing any blame on my W or her H, The OW and I have cooked this, and it’s ours to eat.

  69. raven May 20, 2018 at 6:26 am #

    My bf will never get it, he gets down right angry at me for still being upset a year and a half after I found out, but there is so much he hasn’t accounted for and refuses to, he says anyone else would have let go or left by now, it just my way of keeping drams in our lives. I’m sorry I did not ask you to make all these female friends, spend countless hours a day on the phone with them( each one git special attention for a couple months except one she got four months, ) . We had this talk about friends of the opposite sex they had to be willing to be friends with both of us. My guy friends all agreed, came around when both of us were home. not a single one if them did I keep a secret from him, he kept ALL of his female friends a secret from me for 3 years. He refused to ever let me use his phone, he cancelled the internet service so I couldn’t check cell records, and he looked me in the eye and bold faced lied to me because I asked him point blank if he was doing what he did in 2013 when we were split for 10 months. ( He had a female friend he talked to for upwards of 1500 minutes a month to, he used never use more than an hour a month on his cell phone)he said no, I’m not doing that again. He ignored me , pick petty fights with me, hit me, told me he didn’t like my male friends at the house and asked me to stop having them around, all the while, talking and hanging out with his female friends. I thought he was just on some control freak thing because he looked me in the eye and answered me , so I 100% believed him. It’s all I think about day in and day out, our house has become a science project gone bad, and I don’t care…. Any time I ask him to account for his birthday in 2015 , he flies iff the handles accusing me of screwing one of my guy friends and starts interrogating me about it. I have nothing to hide, I never once had any romantic interest in any if my guy friends, but he insisted that peoe he knows saw me cozy with my friend. I can’t get him to understand anything or even listen to me, or read what I write to him. I’ve told him this isn’t something you just throw over your shoulder and shrug off, I feel extremely betrayed but because ( so he says) there was no sex of any kind he feels he did nothing wrong because he knows how I am and that I wouldn’t have liked it since had to keep it a secret…so it’s my fault?? Yep that’s what I get. Please some one help me

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