Discussion: What Have You Learned About Yourself as the Result of the Affair?

It’s discussion Wednesday again!

One of the things that I first learned about affair recovery was the importance of taking care of myself – basically getting strong both emotionally and physically and tending to my most important needs.  When I mentor someone this is one of the main aspects that I like to stress.

While in the process of taking care of one’s self and perhaps to a greater extent, while experiencing the trauma that infidelity creates, we typically learn a great deal about ourselves.

Life is filled with times of transitions, times of change, times of trauma, times of death and times of crisis of varying degrees. When confronted with these challenges we can choose to face them head on, or we can turn and run.

Believe it or not, infidelity can be an impetus for you to evolve and develop into the kind of person you are meant to be and that you truly want to become. And this goes for whether you are the betrayed or the cheater.

With this in mind, and whether you are the betrayed or you are the cheater…

What have you learned about yourself as a result of the affair?

How has the experience changed you?

Please be sure to respond to each other’s comments!

Take care!

Linda & Doug

 

 

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178 Responses to Discussion: What Have You Learned About Yourself as the Result of the Affair?

  1. changedforever January 4, 2012 at 6:30 am #

    Maybe I am not as far into recovery to notice that this is who I was meant to be. I do not like who I am (but am still trying & do have some better days more often now,) and miss a lot of things I formerly was: trusting, happy and in a marriage I assumed was a partnership to carry all the burdens which come with life: raising children, juggling careers and looking forward to the future. All that I have become (strong physically, spiritually,) I still wish I could’ve become without this great fall I encountered. Maybe someday I’ll be where you are Linda…but I am truly not there yet…where I am now? Able to help others ‘just encountering the road to recovery or stuck in a place I was…’ before I found this blog…thanks for being there for constant support.

  2. csb January 4, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    I have learned I must survive without the sense of security and comfort I thought I had in my marriage. I’m almost 3 months since dday, I never thought I would be able to face the world after the discovery. Like ChangedForever, I do not like who I am right now….suspicious, void of happiness, generally hardened. At least I’m not a sloppy mess laying on the floor begging for answers anymore!

  3. Bewildered January 4, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    Like Changed Forever and csb I too was trusting, and happily married. My husband pulled so much wool over my eyes I have become hardened, suspicious of his every move and frankly can be a royal bitch to him – what we are working on is him just doing what I request as to not make me the bad guy all of the time. I have learned that I deserve to be treated in a certain way and never again will I compromise that. As much as he fights them they are my boundaries and if he can’t respect them too bad! I learned that running yourself ragged to please someone else will never work to your advantage. Its far more productive to step back, take time for yourself and appreciate the small things in life and the people who treat you right.

  4. ifeelsodumb January 4, 2012 at 9:55 am #

    Hmmm, My first thought was ” I DO NOT like who I’ve become”! then I saw that changedforever and csb wrote the same thing! Guess it’s a common theme amongst us BS.
    What I’ve learned in the last year about myself? Still not sure yet…it’s an involving thing right now…I think right off I’d say that I’m not as strong as I thought I was….I’ve had several friends divorce because of infidelity and I always said that I would divorce my H if he did THAT to me….and here I am a year later, working on my marriage and it’s such a long, painful process…we are doing much better, mostly good days, with a few bad ones mixed in…but I’m a different person now….and I have to accept it, whether I like it or not.

  5. Elizabeth January 4, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    Well,i was still wondering that myself to the stage where i thought “what did i do to deserve this” and the truth is i was ashamed of myself for letting someone,control,change Me from the person i was when we first met to who iam now.I am not ashamed of what i have put into my childrens life,when you become a parent it is one of the unselfish things to thankfully give over…you.But i changed so many times to suit my CP, he made me what i was and i let it happen,and he did not change a dot when we became a couple with kids.I cant express enough on the artical 7 stages of grief,as i said before it has now become my Mantra,if anyone has not read it yet please do,there may be nuggets in there to help.

  6. Alone January 4, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    I am the cheater. I am a completely different person now. I don’t know how to return to the person I was before. That old person is completely gone. I don’t think the world is perfect anymore. I’ve learned not to judge others too hard, because anyone is capable of making a mistake. I’ve learned that everyone is carrying some sort of burden. I’ve learned just because it looks good on the outside to everyone, a person can be a total mess inside. I’ve learned that I am a much weaker person than I ever imagined I could be, but I’ve also learned to hide my feelings, to go on anyway because you have to. I’ve come to learn what true self hatred and depression really means. I don’t know who I am anymore… that happy person I once was is long gone. But as a cheater, you don’t deserve sympathy. You created the mess to begin with. You have to clean it up.

  7. Jessica January 4, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    I have learned I am much stronger than I thought, and I’ve come to this conclusion only recently 17 months Dday. I have learned who and what is important. My kids and then myself. I take much better care of myself both mentally and physically. I have learned not to be judgemental of others trying to rebuild their marriage after an affair, I too used to say if my h ever had an affair our marriage would be over, and in some sense the old marriage is over. I never ever thought I would say this but some aspects of our marriage now are better…….

  8. Bewildered January 4, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    ifeelsodumb – I am in the same exact boat as you and have always maintained that no second chances would be given but, I think its because we are strong that we are fighting for our marriages.

  9. saddenned January 4, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    I agree. I am now 10 months out from D-Day. I have spent the last 10 months soul searching and exploring who I am. The fact of the matter is, my marriage needed work. The love was there, but it need nurturing. Through counseling I am putting myself back together into a new and improved me. Someone I can be proud of with or without him.

    You can learn something about yourself and you can improve the marriage.

    My husband used to describe me as a tazmanian devil because I would spin out of control when I got home barking off orders. Now he said that doesn’t apply anymore, that I am much more pleasant.

    I can’t say that any of my self exploration was easy, but it is something I would never change.

  10. csb January 4, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    ifsd – I totally agree about not being as strong as you thought! I was the one that everyone came to for advice, always supporting everyone else, solving my own problems. I keep trying to find that person in me again.

  11. Toomuch January 4, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    What I have learned about myself is that I am extremely understanding, accepting, and compassionate. I can understand and accept how and why the EA happened. I know that sounds strange but it is the lies and deceit that has continued that I struggle with. I wish my H would just come clean with everything so I know what I am dealing with instead of telling me half truths. It comes down to trust I think. If he trusted me enough he would tell me so that we could move forward instead of me living in limbo. He has all of the answers and I just have pieces of the puzzle. I think the biggest thing that I have learned is that I can’t change him only he can do that. I love him and will work on the marriage but I need to see that he is willing to make the changes. Words don’t work anymore, I need to see action. I know I have read that love is a verb and I hope that he learns that…I already have.

  12. Dee January 4, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    I’m 5 years out and the first 3.5 years were very painful. I lost my sense of security, I no longer felt ‘special’, I became obsessed with all aspects of affairs and with the OW and her movements/life……but I am here to tell you, although it took a long time for me, I have emerged from the whole traumatic experience a better person.. Yes, I have compromised myself on occasions, yes, I mourn what I thought we had and yes, I am no longer the trusting and open person I once was, but I am more confident in my own ability to survive what life throws at me, more realistic in my expectations of others and have forged a new and in many ways, much more honest and respectful relationship with my husband. I still can have my bad days when triggers still occur, but I don’t dwell on them anymore and I have concentrated on improving my life as an individual. I’m tired – it was one helluva battle, but one I’m beginning to see the future much more brightly and am calmer and more optimistic…Don’t give up, lean on your support networks, whatever they may be, treat yourself (and others!) well and the light at the end of the tunnel will appear….

  13. Swivet January 4, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    A week and a half out from the last D day, Christmas day, I found that I am stronger than I thought because divorce does not scare me as much now, I hope it does not come to this. I too am not the same happy, trusting, and less suspicious person I am now. I know time will heal the wounds, wounds hell! Severed limbs, shattered heart, and blunt trauma to the head. What is amazing about this is that my wife knew how much I despised cheaters because that person has so much trust in the spouse. The only thing I know about myself now is I am less trusting and am very depressed and I know people at work see this also. I am embarrassed this happed because it shows that I couldn’t take care of my family and give them what they want. I thought I was doing a good job providing for my wife! WTF, I guess I was wrong. I am venting because I am getting angry, I need to go to the gym!!

  14. JS January 4, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    I have learned, as others have said here, that I cannot rely on the security or safety of my marriage, and for years I thought I could. I have learned that I am the only person who will truly have my best interest at heart, and only I will take care of myself in the way I need. I’ve learned that I no longer believe that love is magical or mysterious – it’s intentional. Sure it starts with a spark, but it continues out of commitment and a decision to be dedicated to your partner – and it takes work. I’ve learned that people who love me can hurt me because of their own internal issues despite their very best intentions toward me, and I’ve learned their actions don’t mean I’m flawed or too fat or stupid or any of the other things I thought about myself after I discovered my H’s EA. I’ve re-learned the good things about myself in the last 18 months – I’m loving, generous, thoughtful, and loyal almost to a fault. I questioned all of these things for many months because of the hurt from the EA and my H blaming me for everything that was wrong in his life. I actually feel like I’m a stronger person after his EA than I was before. He senses this now and tells me almost daily that he is haunted by what he did to me and how he treated me and that he cannot forgive himself and he’s so afraid I’m going to leave him now. I’ve learned that he’s going to have to get over those things himself, and it’s not my job to make him feel better about what he did. I’ve learned that I am worthy of being loved, and that there is nothing I can ultimately do to stop my H from having another EA down the road, and that to continually worry about that isn’t good for my psyche. If he does this again, I’ve learned I’m not strong enough to walk away, where I wasn’t before. I guess I’ve actually learned quite a lot about myself!

  15. D January 4, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    If anyone can believe what a self-serving pathetic loser the OM is, after two years he emails my wife to ask if they can talk. This is what I’ve learned:

    I’ve learned that love is pliable, that it can ebb and flow and that it’s nothing like the storybooks or movies; that it’s better than anything so artificial. I’ve learned that it can’t be stored away in a box of precious memories or displayed like a jewel under glass. It’s something that needs to be nurtured yet challenged, rolled around in the mud, in the rain to test it’s durability. Tugged at, pulled on, stretched to it’s limits so that ultimately we can know if it’s strong enough to represent who we are as individuals. I’ve learned that it should be given freedom and flight, room to expand and contract in order that it exists not because it should but because it can.

    My wife deleted the email without a response. Now excuse me, I have to punch someone in the nose. Win.

  16. csb January 4, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    Swivet – I too am embarrassed, and feel like a failure, unable to “keep” my marriage. In my case the OW was a train wreck (alcoholic, serial home wrecker, deserted her children when they were young, and not attractive at all), so I can’t help but compare, especially since she is all the things my H abhors! I used to be so joyful, finding happiness in the smallest things and always looking at the bright side, but now I am the total opposite. I’m not sure of your situation, but with me, this blind sided me, my H always commented on how “happy, close and great” our relationship was. Now, how can I ever trust my judgement again? Guess I was in a parallel universe! Hang in there!

  17. D January 4, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    Hang in there Swivet. This is not your fault and all those things you thought you were, you still are. Maybe you’ve learned you can’t be or provide everything everybody needs, but in time you’ll see that’s all an illusion anyway. Be glad you’re free of it. Take care of yourself. Spend time with some good friends or find someone (qualified therapist) to talk to. You’re not alone.

  18. blueskyabove January 4, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    csb,

    Being able to trust your own judgement again is, IMO, a big part of the pain you are feeling. A part of who you thought you were is gone and it’s scary, but that trust will eventually return. In the mean time be kind to yourself. I believe that for the first time in my life I am finally learning to love and accept me…warts and all.

  19. Swivet January 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    csb and D – thanks for the encouraging words. This blind sided me also, my work has me travel a lot and my first trip will be in Feb and I’m not sure how I will handle it but I will have to.
    csb – I have to say that your post in the blog Learning from the Holiday Triggers helped me out so much. I actually feel good about myself because I realize now this I had nothing to do with this, our marriage was not that bad for her to do this, and I am worth being married to. I also realized I don’t need my wife, I want my wife and I was getting these mixed up. I know the pain will still be here for some time and I will have up and down days but hopefully with my new outlook these days will be less. I hope my wife hears the difference in my voice when she calls because I will tell her that I don’t NEED her but I WANT her, big difference. I will also tell her that I can’t stop her from having another affair but if she does then out the door she goes. From here on out my self therapy begins!!!
    D – I love the way you express yourself, very well written and to the point. Both you and csb have helped me tremendously and I hope I can pay it forward to another person struggling through an affair. Thank you two again!

  20. Swivet January 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    JS – Good for you! I too found out today that I am strong enough to walk away and I can be a good, loving, and trustworthy husband to either my wife now or to somebody else down the road. My wife says it scares her and fills her with dread to think of us not together, well I hope so! This morning my wife said she needs to find out why she did this to me, I can’t wait to hear what she found out! I know this might be months down the road but I will wait. My wife is a good person and I know she did not set out to hurt me, she made a BIG mistake! I am not making excuses for her, I know the kind of person she really is, not the one she is and started out to be three months ago.

  21. E January 4, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    I think those of us (BS & CS alike) who are fighting for our relationships are a lot stronger than we sometimes feel! I often have to remind myself of that. I have learned that I can be a very selfish person. I think I always knew that, but I realized it more as I thought about the years that led up to my H’s affair. I am not taking responsibility for his actions, but I am taking responsibility for my part of the breakdown of our relationship. I would like to say something about feeling safe and secure in our marriage – I personally feel that I want and need that feeling again. I believe it is vital and it is something that I deserve and all of you deserve as being part of a committed relationship. BUT – I have learned not to take that safety for granted. That is exactly what I did and I won’t do it again.

  22. Hopeful January 4, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    I have reclaimed myself throughout this process, and I have discovered that I am stronger than I ever thought I was. In my case, my H has been emotionally withdrawn from our relationship for years. My attempts over the past few years to discuss his withdrawal were never very successful. As a result, as I now realize, I began to feel really bad about myself. I took his withdrawal personally. I felt unattractive and unlovable. If my husband didn’t want to be close to me, I must not be worth it. My self-esteem suffered. His EA was just the culmination of his years of withdrawal. I can see this now. Through this ordeal, I have come to separate myself from him and I understand that his actions are his actions, and I do not derive my sense of worth from him. If he says something unkind to me (which he did many times during his EA), I recognize it as his unkindness, not necessarily a true statement about me. (It still hurts, but I am able to separate his comments from my sense of myself). I know now that I deserve to be treated with love and respect, and I will not settle for less. This past summer, when my H was in the midst of his EA (but denied that he was having an EA), I hit rock bottom. I knew that he was lying to me daily, and I felt as though I had no control over my life. But, with support from great friends and family, and through self-examination and lots of reading, I have emerged whole and strong. I have confronted divorce, and while it is not my first choice, I am no longer afraid of it. I am confident, and I know I will be fine. I am taking care of myself for the first time in years, and it feels great. I know that I am lovable and fun and worthy of a good relationship.

    IFSD, I do not think that staying with a CS is a sign of weakness. I think it’s a sign of maturity, integrity and commitment and, for many of us with children, it’s evidence that we will work really hard to achieve whatever we believe is best for our children.

    If my H and I eventually separate or divorce, I’m sure that I will grieve, as divorce is not something I ever wanted or expected. However, I am confident that I will be able to handle whatever happens. I may even be better off. I cannot change my H. His emotional withdrawal and his EA are his issues for him to own and deal with, and I will no longer allow myself to feel bad about what he has done.

  23. ifeelsodumb January 4, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    Alone….good to hear from you! Been thinking about you over the Holidays…praying for you also!

  24. Paula January 4, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    I have learnt that even the most fabulous of people are human, we are all very fallible. I thought I already knew that, but maybe not. I have learnt that I have some hidden strengths, that I can “bear” a lot. I have learnt that I am MUCH weaker than I thought, that I had/still have, my self-worth wrapped up in my relationship, that I need to separate my sense of self from this mess. I have learnt how disappointed I am in myself that I haven’t picked myself up, dusted myself off, and carried on, no matter how unrealistic that may be, I still hate that I am still a mess. I have learnt not to trust anybody, that everyone will eventually let you down, so don’t go there in the first place – I wish this was not the lesson, but that is how I have reacted, just wall myself off from everyone, and you can’t get this hurt again. I pretend to my “friends” and family, because I can’t make this better, and I don’t want the real world to pity me. I’ve learnt that life is crappy really, and that my happiness previously was all an illusion, a lie. I’ve learnt that love does not conquer all. I’ve learnt that time does not heal in the way I thought it did. I thought, at the beginning, that I would feel so much better, and so much stronger for facing and fortifying myself on this journey, but I was wrong. I’ve learnt that keeping your friends close and your enemies closer, is not quite as good a plan as I was led to believe! I’ve learnt that sacrificing your own hopes and dreams for other people doesn’t pay off, you should stay true, and at least develop your own separate set of dreams, if you haven’t already, I just took on his, and put them inside me, and gave it evrything I had, and now it feels like there’s nothing left for me, I’ve depleted the tank.

    Very negative lessons, sorry, but reality for me. I’m sure better people than me have put a much more positive spin on this, and learnt more constructive lessons. Maybe I was just deluded about how we felt about each other, and what the consequences would be should we trip and fall. There’s a lesson there, too, lol!

    I hope my lessons learned are actually more positive than this, and that this period is just another step along the way…

  25. roller coaster rider January 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    What have you learned about yourself as a result of the affair?

    First, I learned that I became a member of an amazing group of an online community of people in pain. Everything written above by each of you is something I can relate to. Shortly after D-Day, I discovered a deep well of pain, a feeling of insecurity and unbelievable fear that bordered on panic as the love of my life had betrayed me, lying to me repeatedly over many months and shattering our marriage covenant. After I chose to try to work on the marriage despite this horrifying discovery, I discovered a strength within that despite the insecurity I felt, caused me to set strong boundaries and insist on no contact, as well as the certain consequence of divorce if he did not commit to our marriage and to me 100%. This was actually a pretty big change for me, as I had regularly been manipulated by him and forced to ‘be the bad guy’ whenever his behavior in the past had been out of bounds (mostly involving drug use, especially after we had kids).

    D-Day #2 was Sept. 18th. and I moved out of our house that day. I learned that although life was still painful, I didn’t fall apart and I was finally able to take care of myself instead of focusing on him all day every day.

    He still claims to want some kind of hope with me. I learned that the decisions I make for myself need to be made independent of what he wants or hopes for. I waited so long to see real change. Sometimes over the four decades we spent together, it seemed like change was happening. But what began fifteen months ago has changed everything for me, because I cannot be married to someone who cares so little that he would repeatedly do what he did despite the pain he knew it would cause me and our children.

    D-Day #3 (with a different OW) was sometime early in December. I have changed a lot apparently because I don’t even care what the day was; all I know is that it is more indication of the broken, messed-up person my H has become. In general, I have to say that the past three and a half months have been remarkable, and I’m continuing to change and grow.

    I am now working with a new counselor, a life coach, and my desire is to prepare myself for a wonderful future. I’ve been looking at the gaps…ways I was not given what I needed or wanted by the significant people like my parents and aforementioned H. In this process, I have gained understanding about the relationship choices I made, and why I would settle for less-than-acceptable behavior from him even prior to marriage. I’m not a young woman, but I realize that I could make the same mistakes again if I don’t allow myself to heal and grow; this new year is a gift and I want to cherish and appreciate the opportunity for growth and change that I’m continuing to have. I want to tell each of you how much I have learned from reading what you write, and I want the very best blessings in life for all of you.

  26. blueskyabove January 4, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    I believe it is on Dr. H’s website that states it is the BS who has the most potential for growth after discovery of an affair. Reading some of the posts above confirms this for me. It is heartwarming to read how much more self-esteem many of you are showing than when you initially arrived here at Doug and Linda’s blog.

    Anyone (regardless of which side of the triangle you are on) who has the desire to grow and learn from such a devastating situation deserves to feel good about themselves. It’s why we are here…to become the best we can be in this life.

    Good post, Linda.

  27. roller coaster rider January 4, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    blueskyabove, I love your name. Last week I bought a shirt made by a company called KAVU: Klear Above Visibility Unlimited. That’s what I want, and I’m still climbing.

  28. Norwegian woman January 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    Toomuch
    What I have learned about myself is that I am extremely understanding, accepting, and compassionate. I can understand and accept how and why the EA happened. I know that sounds strange but it is the lies and deceit that has continued that I struggle with. I wish my H would just come clean with everything so I know what I am dealing with instead of telling me half truths. It comes down to trust I think. If he trusted me enough he would tell me so that we could move forward instead of me living in limbo. He has all of the answers and I just have pieces of the puzzle. I think the biggest thing that I have learned is that I can’t change him only he can do that. I love him and will work on the marriage but I need to see that he is willing to make the changes. Words don’t work anymore, I need to see action. I know I have read that love is a verb and I hope that he learns that…I already have.

    That is my problem to. The story doesn`t match up. They are probably just half thruths and half lies and keeps me too in a limbo.
    I know, with my whole heart, that he hasn`t told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth yet. But he insists that he has, over and over again. I don`t believe him, and it is the biggest problem.
    One of the things I have learned about my self is that I can trust my gut.

  29. DJ January 4, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    We all go through so much that I doubt any of us will ever be the same. But we have talked about this – would I go want to erase the past 15 months and go back to the way it was before? I wish I could have learned all this without the pain and devastation, but no, I do not want to go back. I am a deeper, more empathetic woman now and I think I am better for it. Scarred – yes. Cynical – sometimes. But closer to living with my priorities set straight? Oh, yes, both for myself and for my marriage.

    I also now have a deeper understanding of people who suffer with emotional trauma and devastation. I can reach out like never before to help someone whose daughter is dying of cancer or the someone who thinks life is not worth living. The reasons may be different, but the pain is the same. And we have lived it. We know. And I have found that I can make a difference to someone who needs it. That is priceless.

  30. Hopeful January 4, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    NW,
    I too believe that my H has not yet told me the whole truth, though he says he has. I too trust my gut, and I know that there is more to his story. It is frustrating to know that I will probably never have the whole story.

  31. Toomuch January 4, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    So true Norwegian woman! The gut never lies. Unlike our spouses.

  32. Notoverit January 4, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    I am so surprised at how much we all share in this journey. I could have written every single comment except Alone’s – sorry – even though you are a cheater you deserve to be applauded because you ARE trying! Don’t beat yourself up too much!

    I along with a lot of you seemed to have been the “fixer” as my psychologist called it. The go-to person who can solve everyone else’s problems. I used to be open and caring. I actually tried to help others. None of this applies to me any more. I learned not to trust – you’ll just get betrayed. I learned not to be responsible for other people and their actions – you can’t change people, they have to change themselves. I learned not to expect much from others – you’ll just get disappointed. All pretty selfish, something I wasn’t before. Maybe we all put ourselves out there and these affairs taught us that you can’t do that. I think most of us didn’t focus on ourselves but chose to help others, much to our detriment. I have learned to be stronger and not to take crap any more, not from anyone. If that makes me bitter, then so be it. I will not survive another blow like this EA so I have to protect what little sanity I have left. I don’t think I am a better person because of the EA – what’s to like about a curmudgeon? But, I decided that me is the most important person I know, at least for now. Maybe that view will change in the future. I have learned that everything is fluid and my perceptions will and do change.

    And SWIVET, I tried to reply but the program won’t let me! Please, please don’t say you couldn’t provide what your family wanted! You are not to blame in this. Your wife’s selfishness is what is to blame. She, like all of our spouses, did not appreciate what she had – guess she woke up. Never blame yourself – no one made her have the affair; she chose. Work on yourself and take care of you. It’s a long journey but you will come out of it.

  33. D January 4, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    Paula, chin up. Everything you mentioned is really just an awakening. You may see many negatives in what you say but in reality you are only discovering your independence. It’s true that people may let you down, but you always have you. They may not love you as much as you expect, but you can always love yourself. I read your words and see not despair, but hope. You are seeing the foundation to your own power. Ok, so maybe you feel stripped away, naked, vulnerable, but you can now choose how and what you want to be. It’s an exciting time, really. Have fun.

  34. Paula January 4, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    blueskyabove and RCR, great posts. Thanks.

    I know my post sounded very negative, I know I can’t feel like this forever, I will get through it, but it’s taking a very long time!! I think it will eventually be on my own, I just wish my youngest kids were a little older, as I am so reluctant to put them in a reduced postion (schooling won’t be as good if I leave, won’t be able to afford it, etc) I just “suck it up” and carry on – to the outside world, but you lucky readers here get the “real” feelings I have about it all. I have learnt a bit, but the annoying thing is, I already knew most of this stuff, I’d seen it with parents, friends, etc. Infidelity is one of the deepest cuts there is, and I’ve suffered a few, but never like this. I would have preferred a death, certainly not of a child, but of spouse, etc. I’ve had a few people close to me die, parents, friends, even two friends’ suicides, and it is incredibly sad, and I know I shouldn’t have said that out loud, but MY suffering was not on this scale. (Selfish thing to say :-( )

    I just struggle with the whole concept. Why, if I know so much, have accepted so much, understand it all, accept I didn’t see any damage I was doing, have a partner who accepts responsibility, is genuinely remorseful, patient, understanding of my grief, etc, etc, am I not in a better place now??? And when will that start to happen? More questions for the counsellor, lol! Am I just weird, will I never feel better about myself, it’s so disappointing, because I try and try to forgive myself, and go easy on myself, but this is where I always seem to end up again. Stop the world, I wanna get off stuff. Uurggh!

  35. StrongerForWear January 4, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

    Well, I’ve learned much and much I wish I could have learned without this waste of time and all of this pain. I loved and love my husband so much. I have devoted so much energy and care and support. I have sacrificed and molded myself around his needs in ways I was not even aware of completely. I think I’m a strong woman, and, ultimately, I know I am, and yet, I found myself making myself smaller and smaller and putting up with more and more abuse, neglect, and sub-par support. I found myself losing sight of who I was and what my worth was independent of my relationship and the love I received from my husband. I didn’t see it happening. I put up with more, I fought for what I knew to be true less, and, eventually, convinced myself that I was worthless, unloveable, ugly, not pretty or smart enough, deserving of bad treatment. This all happened slowly and I am ashamed and humiliated and appalled that I allowed it. I knew that my husband was disappearing and what not surprised to discover the EA, yet, I had convinced myself (due to his insistence that my accusations were ‘crazy, evidence of my own wounds and neediness, etc.’) that I was imaging everything.

    So, what have I learned:

    1. trust myself. trust my instincts.
    2. you cannot, ultimately, rely on anyone to be true or faithful. anyone can hurt you. there is little you can do to prevent this, so keep your eyes open and
    3. rely on myself for validation and love myself. know myself and know that i am lovable, amazing, beautiful, smart, talented, generous, supportive, empathetic, understanding, and a catch. and …wow…i am. while i am not there yet, i feel like this experience has finally shown my the underbelly of my lack of self-confidence and shyness and inhibition and failure to love myself. i am so over it: i am so awesome.
    4. develop the areas that i rely on my husband for. develop myself and my own network and my own people and interests. get the heck away from him and find a whole lot of meaning and pleasure outside of my relationship to him! yippee. again, i’m not yet there, but this is pretty exciting actually. i’m just trying to do this in a healthy way and not out of vengeance (see how you feel when i disappear buster=not the goal i have but…)
    5. do not isolate myself. if my husband is an ass, i am talking to my gfs. i’m so over protecting him.
    6. i need to develop my sense of self and spirituality. there is more in this world than the success of a romantic relationship. i can derive connection, meaning, and fulfillment in other ways. while i deeply love my husband and hope to work things out with him, it is very liberating to embrace this one. i don’t need this marriage to succeed to be happy.
    7. i need to ask for more, expect more, etc. from my husband. he’s awesome in his own way, but upon reflection, i can really see clearly how he failed in his EA and long before was selfish in ways i didn’t see. boy, i’m over it.
    8. my husband and i are really working hard on our relationship. it is a process and an ever-evolving process. this is hopeful and we will have learned to be together, really be together, consciously, evolving, loving, adaptable, and if we pull it off, our love will be stronger and sweeter and more precious. this will have been worth it all.
    9. love isn’t enough to prevent this, nor is it enough to heal from this. love isn’t worth the pain i went through. i won’t go through it again for my husband who i love so much, but…i’m out and knowing i am strong enough to leave is liberating. i will.
    10. also liberating were the wave of possibilities if i did leave. wow, all the new possibilities and opportunities that i could and would go for if i were alone. new relationships. new opportunities. i’d leave the country to teach. i’d ….well… it would kinda be awesome, actually. now, am i committed to working it out? yes. do i love him? yes. but i’ve learned i don’t need him and that i’d find pretty spectacular paths without him. learning this was good for me. so, i’ll discover a few new paths now with him with the knowledge that i’d leave if he ever treats me poorly again, let alone have an EA.

    ultimately, i learned that it is best to love yourself and know yourself and know what a healthy relationship is and fight for that and get the heck out when your partner puts up walls against you over and over.

    hugs to all BSes and CSes who have seen the light and are fighting for their relationships with earnest remorse and commitments to their spouses and to their own self growth.

    SFW

  36. Paula January 4, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    D, thanks for your comment. I was WAY better than this for the first two years of this journey. I don’t get it, I’m much worse now than I’ve been at alomost any point along here, and it’s just exhausting, and I’m miserable now. I really thought I would be a lot more accepting and happier with my life, as I have doen a lot of work, I have got a lovely man, he made an awful mistake, acknowledges this, etc, but nobody died, just my innocence, safety and trust. I just can’t get past it, it is still the thing that clogs up my brain 24/7 and it’ll be three years before I know it. I SO want to “get over it.” Very bad couple of months, starting to feel like it will never end, actually, in a way, it will never end, because you can’t undo this stuff, but I knew that at the beginning, so why am I so low again?

  37. Husker January 4, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    I’ve always honestly believed that my wife is the smartest woman I’ve ever known. I’ve learned that this is not true as she is unable to see the glaring results of what her EA is doing to me, our son, and herself.

    I always thought that I was good at working out problems. I’ve learned that I’m not as good as I thought. I’ve had to finally bottom out to admit to myself that I need help, and that I can’t fix my wife or even myself. I’m now looking for a counselor who can help me rearrange the pieces of myself back into the person I should, and want to be.

    I’ve learned that I am way to dependent on my wife in many ways.

    To this point, I’ve only learned “bad” things. I am hoping that over the weeks to follow, I will learn good things to help me be stronger, happier, a better dad, a better friend, and even a better husband . . . no matter what direction my wife thinks she wants to go.

  38. Hopeful January 4, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    Paula: How long ago did you discover your H’s EA?

    Stronger for Wear: Your first paragraph summarizes exactly how I feel and what I went through. Exactly. I too “lost sight of who I was and what my worth was independent of my relationship and the love I received from my husband.” I too didn’t see it happening. I too am appalled that I allowed it.

    It is so helpful to know that I am not alone out there!

  39. Dol January 5, 2012 at 7:33 am #

    Paula: sad to hear you’re so low again. Only 9 weeks in myself, I’ve noticed cycles of pain that I can’t really explain. They seem to have little rhyme or reason that I can spot, except that something external has changed. For me I think it was just all the Xmas toing-and-froing churned things up.

    I guess the best we can do is to accept that sometimes it’ll knock us on our ass, but that it’ll get better. Do some things to reset your brain: exercise is probably top of that list, or getting out in nature… don’t fester, if you can help it… easier said than done, of course.

  40. csb January 5, 2012 at 9:30 am #

    Paula, I thought I was moving ahead (two days till my 3 month anniv of dday). I suddenly climbed back into my “pit of dispair” yesterday. All the old emotions, physical sickness, etc. are here again. A few days ago I posted I had a feeling of apathy….strange how it can change so quickly. Not even sure why I’m in this place again. I know this is all part of it, and this is how it is now, I guess I just get sad when I think of what I thought we had and how it’s not there anymore. I’m trying very hard to get back to that place, but everyone I talk to said I have to recognize that relationship doesn’t exist anymore and we have to start a new marriage. It’s just hard to find a new way, with new feelings, after all that time.

    Here’s wishing everyone the energy and strength to “climb out of the pit”!

  41. Swivet January 5, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    notoverit – thanks for the encouraging words. Yes I realized yesterday that I am not at fault. I too am the person that is putting the most work in repairing our marriage, I always put my wife first and she will now see that will be different, I will be putting myself first or at least along side of her.

  42. Swivet January 5, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    Husker – I also relied on my wife too much. Luckily I have found an inner strength in me yesterday that has allowed me to have a couple of “good” days in a row. I am well aware that I could come crashing down this afternoon or tomorrow but I know that with or without my wife, hopefully with, time will heal.

    Hang in there and help yourself!!

  43. Anita January 5, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    Hello,
    I am currently in the process of editing my writing on my
    marriage annulment. I saw this post and wanted to give
    my experience in this area.
    The affair and divorce were the beginning of my own self
    growth. My thoughts and God’s commandment’s on extramarital affairs are the same,
    its wrong and a sin. However, we do live in a fallen world,
    and forgiving is important. Some couples are able to
    survive a affair, and others divorce.
    I have learned to trust God, and stop worrying about
    things I have no control of.
    I have learned I have control over my own thoughts, and
    I can think good thoughts. I also have learned we can’t
    change the past, but we can forgive it and let it go, forgetting
    what lies behind and pressing on to what lies ahead.
    God asks us to place our trust in him, not people, people
    are humans and are not perfect, that why we forgive each
    other.
    We can’t control what others do, but we can control how
    we handle it.
    Extramarital affairs are sin, and is an injustice. Also its a
    failure in the commitment. Some marriages survive this,
    others won’t, but it takes two to make it work and fidelity
    has to be present at all times.
    Blaming is useless, its a waste of time it won’t change the
    past.
    Its what God says about us, that’s important. This is what
    changed my life for the better.

  44. blueskyabove January 5, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    Paula,

    You said it yourself- you already know most of this stuff. You are so close to turning the page on your story, your life situation. Like D, I see hope in the things you are saying, the words you are using. You are on the cusp of what could be a huge life transformation. There are some wonderful resources available that can guide you in helping change your perspective. I, personally think you are ready for them.

    Just some suggestions: Anything by Mike Dooley, Wayne Dyer, Eckhart Tolle for starters. They each have their own way of presenting the same message. Some are more intense, some more light-hearted. Mike Dooley’s daily reminders from the Universe brighten my day. You can sign up for them on TUT.com. Eckhart Tolle has given me a sense of my personal power that I thought I had lost and discovered I had just temporarily misplaced instead. I don’t think I would ever have valued it as much without the crisis that entered my life. That was the catalyst that ultimately pushed me forward and I have to admit that I have learned to be grateful for it.

    “Sometimes life is like reading a book. Days, weeks, even years just repeat themselves…until you turn the page. Letting go isn’t giving up. It’s understanding that the best is yet to come.” Mike Dooley, “More Notes from the Universe”

  45. D January 5, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    There is also this wonderful piece that Linda posted a few moons back called the Awakening (http://www.emotionalaffair.org/the-awakening/)
    I found such inspiration from this. I printed it out and read it as often a necessary to get through the darker days.

  46. blueskyabove January 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    D,

    Thanks for bring this article forward. I wish Doug and Linda had an area on here for placement of inspirational messages. Hint, hint.

    • Doug January 5, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

      Blueskyabove, Funny you should mention that, as I was thinking the same thing last night! I will fiddle around with creating a page for just such a thing. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be easier said than done!

  47. Jessica January 5, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    @D,
    Thanks for the link, very powerful article

  48. Patsy50 January 5, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    what I have learned from husbands EA is that anything can happen in a long loving committed marriage. I have learned to communicate better with appreciation and thankfulness to my spouse. I have learned to accept what was wrong in the relationship and work on it to make it better. I have learned to never trust blindly but trusting is important in order for the new relationship to work. I have learned to “shed my old skin” like a snake does and the new skin feels great. And remember the love that I had for my husband 40 years ago, is still the same love for him today and stronger. He has shown remose for what he did in his words and actions. And last, I have learned to forgive him and know I Will survive.

  49. Swivet January 5, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    How long does the BS hang on when the CS does not help you heal? I am not totally convinced she has broken it off with the OM, she says she has not communicated with him, I can’t prove other wise. She says she wants to work this out but she is not sure if she can do this for years. I would love to hear from you all.

  50. Paula January 5, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    Hi all, thanks again, for those who asked, I am 2 years, 8 months since Dday. blueskyabove, I have read all of those authors, thanks for the recommendation though, not many of them really touched me, unfortunately. I just feel so annoyed that despite lots of education, lots of understanding, I feel worse, not better. I can’t work out what the heck is wrong with me. I avoided this kind of thinking for two years, “it’s not me, it’s the situation,” but I conclude that it must be me, because I was pretty damn good in the beginning. That’s not to say I wasn’t in shock, I wasn’t gutted, but I felt so healthy about it all, something bad had happened, it was over, and we were dealing with it. My OH said the very same thing to me this morning, “you were so damn great, really hurt, really sad, but really positive and strong, I couldn’t believe how wonderful you were.” He is now thinking I can’t be happy with him in the picture, I wonder if he is right, his very presence seems to suck the life out of me, I can’t bear him touching me, which was NEVER a problem before. I never want to be touched by another human being, I struggle to hug my own children, total sensory shutdown, I was such a tactile person before this. Was I lying to myself somehow? I don’t think so, I knew the damage, I had the STI to prove it, lol!! Sorry to be such a downer, this was never the me I knew for the previous 43 years! How do you ever feel safe again, with friednships, relationships, when two of the people closest to you run an affair right in front of your nose, in your home, etc, and you were so stupid, you didn’t even know?

  51. E January 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Paula – I don’t know if this will help but according to my therapist – we can jump between the stages of grief in random order. Could it be that perhaps you never got to this “stage” or part before, so it is hitting you now? Not sure if anyone can speak to that.
    Swivet – That’s a tough one to answer. I can tell you that I held on for 6 mos before H started helping me. He was still deep in the fog until that time.

  52. Swivet January 5, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    Paula – I wonder if you really dealt with it when it happened? I am not a psychologist or anything close but just reading your post I have to wonder. I am almost two weeks out from the 4th dday and I am confused on what to do, my wife is not helping me heal and she has done nothing to start earning my trust.

    I am sorry that these thoughts are smothering you and you are not stupid, they are for hurting you. I can tell you are a very sweet and loving woman. I will pray for you.

  53. Anita January 5, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    Paula,
    You were hurt by two people that you were close to, what
    they did was wrong. Forgiving them will help you heal, forgiveness is for you, because it releases all the the posion that you are carrying inside. As far as your relationship with
    your SO, sometimes an affair changes who we are and we
    realize we no longer want to be with that person.
    I was one of those. Even though my ex came with the
    divorce papers I was ready to sign them. Forgiveness
    also means you don’t have to stay in the relationship
    with that person.
    My divorce freed me from having to live in that situtation.
    When my ex was involved in his affair, my feelings for him
    changed, I no longer wanted to be with him. My children
    also hated seeing their dad treat me so awful, by his cheating. My oldest daughter asked me why I let her dad
    treat me that way. Even though our divorce was hard on
    them, they were relieved to see us go is separate directions.
    Paula it has been a few years, so I have had time to get over
    all of this.
    When others treat us badly we forgive them, but we do not
    need to stay in a relationship with them either. You are
    a special person who deserves to be treated with respect,
    if the person your with can’t be faithful to you then,
    you have every right to leave them.
    It takes strenght to standup for your self and say I will
    no longer put up with such treatment, and it takes strenght
    to walk away. When your spouse cheats on you, this is
    one of those times, if you can’t get over his affair

  54. Anita January 5, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    Paula,
    I know finances can be a reason why people stay in a unhealthy
    relationship, but it also can be very liberating to go out on
    your own. I down sized after my divorce, and I started over.
    My life is simple now, my children are grown up, and have
    good jobs and education.
    It took strenght on my part to walk away from all the
    material goods, and realize my happiness was not in those
    goods. I married at a young age, however I had a couple
    years on my own before I got married, so I knew I was
    capable of being on my own again. Its very important to
    know you can survive on your own, it gives you back your
    power, so when a relationship goes south, you have the
    power to walk away.
    There is also satifaction, in knowing you can have a good
    life on your own. That’s the key point here, you can have
    a good life on your own, you need not to stay in a relationship where your spouse cheats on you.

  55. Jessica January 5, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    @Paula,
    It sounds like post traumatic stress, and maybe now the gravity of the whole EA is hitting you. The stage you are going thru is one I and many others have gone thru.

  56. Bobse January 5, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    Strength in myself, finally!

    1.5 years from dd. I didn’t give up on my marriage, But gained the strength today to let it go. The om keeps reappearing in her life and she can’t shut him out. I love my wife and the family we built, but can no longer accept the pain. This site has been great! Thank you all for sharing.

  57. blueskyabove January 5, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    Paula,

    I went through a lot of what you are experiencing. Initially I felt as if it wasn’t that big of a deal and I could handle it and then I started believing in all the negatives. It was a non-stop pity party in my head for quite a while. I lost faith in everyone…shut out everyone…started reading everything I could get my hands regarding affairs and let all the experts convince me that I was a poor, pitiful victim. SOMEONE DID SOMETHING TO ME THAT I DIDN’T DESERVE! That’s what they all told me. It took me a l-o-n-g time to climb up out of that hole. It took me at least two years to stop beating up on myself and tentatively START to believe in myself again. Just when I thought I had it licked I’d find myself right back in the darkness again.

    This was not the first time I had been betrayed by my H, but it was definitely the worse! Something inside me wouldn’t allow me to let it go. Even though I knew it was detrimental to me I continued to punish me! The affair might have been over but I didn’t let that stop me from wallowing. It didn’t even matter that no one was privy to my thoughts. I didn’t really need anyone. I managed to keep all the negative crap alive all by myself. I got really good at coming up with “what if” scenarios. When my H couldn’t remember things that were said between him and his AP I convinced myself that I HAD to figure it out on my own. Geez! what a load of bs! During all this I refused to read or listen to the authors I mentioned to you. I already knew what they said. I had read it all before. Hell, I even believed it before…before the affair that is. Now I doubted everything. There were times I even wondered if it was some kind of cruel joke God and the Universe was playing on me. THAT hurt more than the affair. I guess I hit rock bottom because eventually I let myself start reading again and I am really glad that happened.

    All my life I have looked to others for validation of my worth. Not any more. I have gotten far more out of these books since the affair. Before the affair I read the books because I wanted to become a better person than I thought I was at the time. Now I know I already was a better person than I thought I was at the time. Now I can validate me. This is a freedom I have NEVER before experienced! Contrary to popular belief I’m beginning to think my H’s affair WAS all about me. But then, I’m someone who believes that the story about the “Two Souls Sitting Around in Heaven” COULD HAVE happened. I can’t prove it but no one else can disprove it either. I know my soul has a purpose for being here and it isn’t to experience misery.

    I would like to encourage you, Paula, to pick up one of the books again and maybe discover something that will touch you this time. Obviously I don’t know you personally, but I know within my heart that you are worthy of so much more of the goodness life has to offer than you are presently experiencing.

  58. Paula January 5, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    Thanks blueskyabove, and everyone else. I know what you’re saying is right. I have re-read some – to be honest, self-help books are not my favourite thing, I am not American, and I guess, in my culture, we struggle with all of the well-meaning advice, as much of it seems pretty plastic, and paint-by-numbers to me. Whilst I applaud, and am very glad that many of you have a religious faith, it is not part of me, although I am not a complete heathen, I do believe in doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, etc, I am a compassionate and loving person. I know many of you find great comfort in this, and that is wonderful!

    I’ve been to two different counsellors, two psychologists, and a psychiatrist, who had me on anti-d meds for a while (much to my disgust) – tried three different types, none worked (I gained 9kg in the first month, which didn’t help matters at all) which just frustrated me further. I actually did a lot of venting/grieving/talking with my OH for ages and ages, it didn’t ever lessen. The only way I can shut up about it is to shut down emotionally. I know this is wrong, but I haven’t found another way. I KNOW I can be on my own, I’m comfortable with who I am, and what I can do, I just CHOOSE not to be for now, as I am damned if I will put myself and my children through financial hardship at this point as I feel I did very little “wrong” here – yes, I wasn’t perfect, but I tried pretty damn hard to be, I was juggling so many balls! And I could have improved some aspects of my behaviour, had he told me he was struggling. If he was unrepentant, I would have been outta there like a shot, but he is hurting, too. He did something that is really out of character, he is disgusted with his behaviour, can understand it, but wonders why he chose to create such havoc instead of just talking, obviously we can’t change the past, I thought I was helping to build a better future, but I’ve fallen in the deepest pit yet, I just am so sick of the exhaustion of having to be mentally switched on all the time, to fnd off the negative thoughts, to stop the sick sexual (violent) imagery, day and night. I thought the latest relationship counsellor would help me with this, but he so far just wants to talk about our childhoods – bit over that, have done it a few times, lol!!

    I am certainly wallowing a bit lately, it disgusts me, I’m trying not to, just venting all of the “pus” out here, sorry guys! My real life is reasonably functional, despite how crazy I seem here. Probably need to give it a rest, and let some other people post, lol!!!

  59. JS January 5, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    @Bobse – I’m so sorry for what happened today. Best of luck to you as you move forward. :(

  60. Anita January 5, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Paula,
    You have conrtol over your thoughts, you can choose to
    think good thoughts or bad ones. When you start to think
    a bad thought replace it with a good thought, it will also
    improve your mood. But you have to want to do this.
    Paula, I don’t let the past control me, I control how feel
    by letting the past go. I live for today, yesterday is gone.
    Paula if I never forgave others and I held on to all that
    unforgiveness I would be depressed. In fact if I thought
    back on all of the cruel and mean things that have happened
    to me in my life time, I wouldn’t even get out of bed, I could
    just lay there and stew in my grievances. But I value my
    life and forgiveness is part of that. I control how I feel by
    not letting other people’s offenses hurt me, I am not a
    people pleaser. I live to please God.

  61. Workingthruit January 5, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    I’ve learned to not be as judgemental to others situation. Not to let any relationship that is important go on auto pilot. Not to allow food to soothe the loneliness and boredom. Take care of me so I can be best me to others and fill my own contentment bucket. I loved my husband more than I ever realized. Exercise (Zumba) and south beach diet have been some tools to reshape me and my life. I’ve improved as a person, I have learned the EA was not my fault. I’ve learned about my husbands weaknesses, his midlife crisis (learned lots in that topic too). I’m a strong person and after 9 months since d day, our marriage is good thanks to my efforts. Husband has a lot of work to do. He doesn’t know it but my timeline at this point is 1 year from d day- April. I need to move on if he doesn’t do the work to get thru the midlife crisis and the guilt he feels. I know I will always love him, but I have to love myself first and foremost :). I love this site, and I’m proud of all my peers for their strength!

  62. Anita January 5, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

    Anita
    Paula,You have conrtol over your thoughts, you can choose tothink good thoughts or bad ones. When you start to thinka bad thought replace it with a good thought, it will alsoimprove your mood. But you have to want to do this.Paula, I don’t let the past control me, I control how feelby letting the past go. I live for today, yesterday is gone.Paula if I never forgave others and I held on to all thatunforgiveness I would be depressed. In fact if I thoughtback on all of the cruel and mean things that have happenedto me in my life time, I wouldn’t even get out of bed, I couldjust lay there and stew in my grievances. But I value mylife and forgiveness is part of that. I control how I feel bynot letting other people’s offenses hurt me, I am not apeople pleaser. I live to please God.Comment awaiting moderation.

    I meant to say I control how I feel by not letting other
    people offenses that hurt me, control me, I forgive them
    instead, I am not a people pleaser, but I live to please God.

  63. Paula January 6, 2012 at 1:51 am #

    Me too, Bobse, you’re a good person, you already know that, my very best wishes

  64. Hopeful January 6, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    One aspect of my H’s EA that I cannot seem to get past is the fact that my H purchased at least 2 gifts for his GF, including an expensive piece of jewelry. Every time I think about the fact that he was selecting and purchasing personal gifts for the OW while lying to me, being unkind to me, picking fights with me about inconsequential matters, and attending marriage counseling with me, it makes my blood boil. He claims that he purchased the gifts for her as a thank you to her for listening to him, but I think that is nonsense. He has ceased contact with the OW (at least he says he has) and expresses remorse for his actions. I just can’t seem to get past the gifts. What was he thinking? And as for the OW, what kind of person accepts gifts from a married man? She apparently was going through a “rough time”, having just separated from her H of many years, but so what? I would never accept personal gifts from a married man. Has anyone else’s CS given gifts to the OW/OM during the EA?

  65. Dol January 6, 2012 at 9:30 am #

    Hopeful, yes my partner did – not expensive ones, mind, but yes. Just a couple of little somethings from a tourist attraction she was visiting. Bought things for me too – and justified it somehow to herself because I got a little more spent on me! She also made him a birthday card and sent it to his work.

    What you’re describing, the “who the HELL IS that person?” It’s incredibly common. It’s one of the big psychological weights tied round our ankles that can sometimes pull us under, because we’re trying to reconcile who we thought we knew with the person taking those actions. A lot of people say “it’s the fog” and deal with it that way, and I have found that useful. But it’s not easy.

    I feel like I’m very much at the beginning of what I’m going to learn. It’s already taken me and shaken everything up like a snowglobe – nothing’s going to be the same again. But I can’t see where it’s going to end up. Just today, I randomly discovered another email that I think shows my OH was economical with the truth. She’s now incredibly angry and probably going to a friends, and appears completely unable to deal with this. I’m not sure who I get to be angry at…

  66. Hopeful January 6, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    Dol, thanks for your comments. I have been telling myself that it was the fog, but as you say, it is not easy. Selecting, purchasing and giving gifts are such intentional acts that I just cannot understand how my H could have engaged in that behavior. While married to me. It defies comprehension. Regarding emails and texts, I do not have access to my H’s accounts, and so I have not had the pleasure/torture of reading any of his communications with the OW. Part of me doesn’t want to. But more of me wishes that I could read all of their exchanges so that I know exactly what went on. Maybe the gifts speak for themselves. I have also toyed with the idea of contacting the OW (I do not know her) and letting her know that I think her conduct in accepting the gifts was despicable. But I always end up concluding that by contacting her, I am acknowledging her disgusting existence.

  67. LoveMe2 January 6, 2012 at 10:49 am #

    Bewildered could not have said it better. The one thing I have learned is that pushing yourself to the limits, to the point that the stress starts to make you ill, is not worth it. In the long run, you loose yourself in physically as well as emotionally. For what? To be taken for granted at the end of it all? It’s not worth it. I found out about my husband’s affair early in the affair. I tried to stop it to no avail with my classy ways but when I saw that was going no where, I decided to start working on myself. No more 16 hour days trying to make money to pay for mortgage. Nope. I figured, if he has time to have an affair, then he has time to make / look for this money. No more running home to cook, clean, do laundry. No more staying in on Saturdays when he supposedly went to play golf or do whatever it is that he had to do, working around the house and/or doing extra odd jobs to make extra money to pay house bills. No more foregoing all the things I like to do to save the money for us. No more. Period. From that point forward, I decided to take care of me. I decided to work less, catch up with much needed rest, to stop worrying about mortgage and bills, and to take care of myself from the inside out. I learned how much I am truly worth and that I do not need to kill myself to be loved. I learned how strong I am as a woman, as an individual. I learned that I am free. Free to do anything and everything that makes ME happy!

  68. Surviving January 6, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    The calls, texts, emails, lunches, secrecy and gifts are all part of the “dating” game, sometimes the bs behavior may even mimic the same behaviors they exhibited when they were dating you, it was the case for me, and the hardest to forgive. This meant accepting the truth of his feelings for her and the truth of their relationship. In my case she had just left a long term marriage and lived the attention my H was giving her. Theirs didn’t become a PA althought many do. Why? Because she only discussed herself and her issues and he felt she didn’t care about him. He decided he wanted to be with me…the wife who did care about him. I didn’t find out about them until it was over, and had to go through all the pain.

  69. JS January 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    @Hopeful – the only gift I can confirm my H bought his OW was a nice bottle of wine for her “girls night” with her friends. Writing that makes me want to vomit. Anyway, I can only confirm that one gift because I was only able to read about 5 emails between them. I have no doubt he bought her more, and I don’t believe him when he says he didn’t. This was 6 months into their EA, and he admitted after I saw the email that he bought her the same fantastic wine he found for me prior to the EA. That was our favorite wine to have at home and I have since told him I never want to see it again.

    I found out he took her out to lunch constantly, and, of course, he paid. It pisses me off to no end that he used OUR money on that hag. He also took her to restaurants that he had previously told me he didn’t like, or restaurants he’d never take me to – one lunch tab was $60 (the only tab he charged) because they used to drink together at lunch. Ironically, we only work about 4 blocks from each other and he took her to restaurants that I very well could have stumbled into and seen them together. What balls he had. I found out that after that one charge that he realized might make me wonder, he started doing everything financial with her in cash. He is self-employed, so his deposits can be minus whatever cash he wants, and I’d never seen debits of cash for what he spent on her, so I’ll never really know what he spent. But I digress…..

    The gift part of this is what really lets me know how deep his feelings were for her. He’s not a gift-giver. He’s very tight with money. He never picks up the tab for anyone. But he did for her. I agree that he was “in the fog” but it hurts badly to know that while in that fog, he treated his affair partner better than he treated me when we were dating.

    Since the regret has kicked in for him, he has become much more generous with me, buying me some nice gifts over the past year. I wish I could believe they weren’t out of guilt, but I just don’t know.

  70. Paula January 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    Hopeful, yeah, gifts are hurtful, mine bought her a painting, that I know of. Better place again today, back on the normal-Paula path, I still do get the crazies every now and then, sorry all. Anita, I’m much more self aware than you probably realise, but when you and your partner stay together after infidelity, there are more gigantic hurdles than anyone realises. You think the decision to stay together, because you still love each other, is going to help soothe the wounds, but the other person still being here is a fresh wound every day, sometimes. It is quite difficult to “get up” every morning. I feel that had we separated, I would be further along, as you are not constantly reminded of the pain, when looking into your partner’s heart, and wondering where the person you adored disappeared to, and whether they will again soon.

  71. Been There January 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    I learned that I can learn new skills that normally my husband would take care of and that there are many people to reach out to for help. Having been married for 15 years before my husband had his EAthenPA he always cooked on the grill. When I had car problems, he would take care of it. Well this summer, while he was in the throws of the PA, I learned how to grill. I got a good mechanic I trusted and reached out when needed. I found out my neighbor is willing to help with advice on how to change the propane on the grill. I learned how to become more resourceful since I was forced to do so. As a result, I’m more confident in reaching out to others who can help me with house stuff and they are willing to offer assistance.

  72. D January 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    Dol, I hope it’s encouraging that two years later I look at my wife’s behavior and comments (seriously, who in the hell is this woman?) and find it all more laughable than sad, like looking back at bell bottoms or bedazzlers and wondering what were any of us thinking? I read ALL the emails between them, some of it really graphic, most of it more embarrassing than if I had overheard two tweens suffering the pangs of first love. It hurt at the time but now it just makes me laugh. It’s hard to take someone seriously if they’re going to say the things they said, or do the things they did. I hope I can offer some hope that this behavior is more like temporary dementia than actual mature decision-making that poses a threat. This is the one major hindsight I wish I had known.

  73. JS January 6, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    @Paula – you are so right about your “fresh wound” comment. Sometimes things will be ticking along just fine between us and then he’ll say something totally innocent, and somewhere in my brain it reminds me of his EA, and it’s at that time I realize that if we weren’t together, I wouldn’t have that trigger. Then I have to put on that fake smile to act like nothing is wrong, or I tell him what I’m thinking which leads to a “here we go agian” discussion. I also agree that a big fear is that if they “left” you once before (in their hearts), who’s to say they won’t relapse and leave you again. It’s not that he’s doing the wrong things now even, it’s that there are constantly reminders around me all the time – the suit he bought while he was seeing her, the truck he bought while he was with her (that he still has and that I ride in – in the same seat she did while they held hands across the console), etc. If he weren’t around, I wouldn’t see those constant reminders.

    I’m glad today is better for you, and I hope tomorrow is even better than today.

    @D – I wish I could always think from the perspective that this was temporary dementia for my H rather than true love. I still wonder far too often if he still feels she was his “soul mate” and that he stayed with me because of what he stood to lose in terms of his home (I own it) and seeing his children every day rather than just certain days in the week. That’s a hurdle I haven’t cleared yet. I admire how far you’ve come.

  74. Paula January 6, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    JS Good call! I live in the same house he shagged her in, all over the place, children’s bedrooms, couch I sit on every day, all the many places I imagine (kitchen table, etc, you can imagine my thought processes in the past) many places on our farm (there’s a lodge at the back of it that they used as their “hook-up” place) in the family car, our holiday home (in our bed, and our eldest daughter’s bed.) Driving to my work, I drive part of the route he would have driven whilst driving up to her house, whilst I was at work – I actually passed him coming home once, but thought nothing of it, he was wetting himself with fear, lol! The text alert on his phone, which he fianlly changed recently, yay, even I didn’t realise how much I tensed up every time he got a text, until it was gone. The list is endless, lol, 15 months is a long time :-)

    However, I have reclaimed all of these places as MINE, not hers, changing linen at lake, using lodge as our romantic getaway place from the children, he occasionally surprises me by taking me down there, and cooking beautiful dinners for me, and making love in the candlelight, he’d never been a cook before, but has made huge strides in learning to cook wonderfully well, etc, so the triggers are all around me, but I mostly cope pretty well with them. He is very aware of all of these triggers, has done what he can to help me with them, and has been honest and open about answering my questions, helped me choose linen, and otherwise reclaim my own living space. Once out of the fog, he was horrified at how callous he was, not only by doing it, but the manner, she was supposed to be my friend, in OUR homes, special places, inviting her on holidays with us, etc, HE doesn’t know who that man was, lol! Just goes to show, even really good people do bad, selfish, thoughtless things. He really was in a very dark place, and he said his survival mode (using her to soothe his troubles) was extremely selfish and single-minded. For the first time in our lives, he didn’t care what happened to me, he was just trying to drag himself back from the brink of despair. The real boy is back, and loving, completely devastated, nearly as devastated as me. You don’t think good people can get into this situation, that they will “think” their way out of it, but he says he just lost it, there was no logic, no care, just me, me, me. So, D is right, it is often just a bizarre form of dementia, not all cheaters are unsalvageable! You sound like you are doing (mostly) pretty well, good for you :-)

  75. Roller coaster rider January 6, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    Gosh, D, when I read some of what you write I so wish I could believe my H (or ex, more precisely) would ever wake up and become someone capable of mature decision-making. How long would be long enough to wait for evidence of that? And Hopeful, my ex bought the OW and expensive jacket for Christmas last year, paid for car repairs at least twice, helped work on a house she was moving into, and gave her $1000 after D-Day #1. Beyond that, I really don’t know for sure but isn’t that enough? Anita, yes, forgiveness is crucial in order to avoid bitterness and move toward healing. It’s a process and a decision, and something that takes strength and determination…just like the choice of one’s thoughts. I wanted to believe that my commitment and loyalty and love would someday yield good things in my marriage. Turns out, it takes two. My kids have all turned out pretty well, despite our family dysfunction, so I’m very grateful for that.

  76. Anita January 6, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    Hi Paula,
    I’m glad you are having a better day.
    I do understand your pain, I had lived with it earlier in my
    marriage, my ex husband’s last affair was not the first time
    he cheated me. However, on his last affair, my feelings for
    him changed, so by the time we divorced I wanted him
    out of my life.
    I lost what was important in keeping a marriage together,
    I lost my respect for him, and I didn’t trust him. I guess
    you could say I no longer saw him through rose colored
    glasses. His words meant nothing to me. It’s hard to
    keep a marriage live when you no longer respect the person
    your with. Even though I never told this to my ex husband
    I know he felt change in me, its pretty hard to hide negative
    feelings about some 24/7.
    So he came with divorce papers and I signed them.
    Our marriage was in a total break down at the time of our divorce. He also was involved with the other woman at
    that same time also.
    I once had some tell me that, your spouse can only hurt you
    so much, before you begin to not care for them any longer.
    This happened with me, he had hurt me so many times that
    I lost those feelings that are needed to maintain a relationship/marriage.
    So my divorce is something I embrase, I no longer have to
    deal with a cheating husband, or his lies. Instead my life
    is happy, the drama of the past gone.

  77. Anita January 6, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    After our divorce I forgave him, and we get along fine now.
    In fact he called me a couple of weeks ago, over a question, and we talked about our children and grandchildren. So
    we are very civil with each other, and he’s remarried to
    someone he met later after his affair ended. Our families
    are still involved with each other, and do holidays and
    birthdays and ect…We all put the past behind us and get
    along just fine.

  78. Husker January 6, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    Hopeful
    Has anyone else’s CS given gifts to the OW/OM during the EA?

    My wife gave her EA OM a “loan” of $6,000. She came home and told me she did it, but she did not talk to me first (because she knew I’d say no and she was going to do it anyway). Yes, I was (still am) VERY upset. He claimed his wife was gambling the money away so we were “helping them out because that is what friends do”. Turns out, OM’s wife was just stuffing money away in preparation of leaving him. That was back in June. He has not paid any of the “loan” back and my wife does not seem to mind.

  79. dazedandconfused January 6, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    Someone posted a Multiple Sclerosis poster on Facebook a few minutes ago that said “We don’t know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice we have.” I could relate with that! I have grown so much since I found out about my H’s EA/PA with an old high school girlfriend in March of 2010. I am definitely wiser, but it is a wisdom tinged with sadness. I just read a book that made a big impact on me. It is called The Hero Withon and it was written by Carol Pearson. She goes through the hero archetypes that people often adopt throughout their lifetimes (similar to Joseph Campbell’s work), and I realized that I have been stuck mostly in the Victim archetype, although there is increasing evidence of the Wanderer and Warrior archetypes. It made me realize that I don’t have to dwell in the Victim role, that there were other ways to be, and I found that incredibly liberating! Before I felt that it was up to me to save our marriage (deep down), and I finally said ENOUGH! to myself! I feel like a huge weight was lifted from me, and I no longer obsess about monitoring his email, Facebook, etc. now I see that the choices he makes are HIS and that I will be fine no matter what he does. I still get sad sometimes, but I feel so much more solid than I did early on. I have gained so much wisdom and comfort from all of you since I found this website, and for that I will be eternally grateful! Here’s to a much better 2012 for us all!

  80. D January 7, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    RollerCoaster, waiting for the fog to lift is infuriating because from our (sane) vantage point nothing they do makes logical sense. My wife was terrified of losing me (she told me then and now) yet still couldn’t shake her feelings for the OM. She had to mourn his loss and I just had to wait with patience and understanding (WTF?!?) But here’s where I turned the crucial corner: I simply stopped waiting for her. I told myself I was moving forward with her or without her. Of course I would rather reconnect with the woman I’ve loved for 20+ years but if she was “gone” then there wasn’t anything holding me here. And if she needed time to understand then good for her, but I wasn’t waiting. It’s amazing what a simple change in perspective does. Suddenly, I was too preoccupied to worry about how she felt or what she was doing. When she went out at night with the girls and I was left to wonder if that’s what she was really doing, I steeled myself against that fear, focused on my independence that night and realized how freeing it was to be alone with my boys or myself.

    It turns out we stay together, but that perspective has served me anyway. I’ve regained that independence we all seem to have relinquished to marriage over time.

    Don’t wait.

  81. ifeelsodumb January 7, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    D,
    I have read over some of your previous postings…and I have found great comfort in what you have written! So much of what you write parallels what I am thinking and feeling!
    I’m in a much better place than I was 1 yr ago..the thoughts of divorce aren’t there….mainly only on the “bad” days…: /
    My biggest hurdle these days is going back in the past, to forgive him for the affair from 24 yrs ago…BEFORE I can forgive him for THIS one! I’ve realized that I never forgave him, and even he admits that he didn’t suffer the consequences from that first EA…and I believe that by just burying it like I did, it made it “easier” for him to have THIS EA…I know we are going to need counseling, and we had an appt. for this past week, but I canceled it. I don’t feel ready for it, and my H is not really wanting to go…so I know I will end up going just for me, and that’s OK, because after reading your postings, I’ve realized that I want it…just for me. So thanks for sharing so much of what you have gone through…
    I previously wrote “…I think right off I’d say that I’m not as strong as I thought I was”….But you know what I’ve figured out, after reading all these posts..I AM a strong lady…I’m fighting for my marriage, I’m taking care of myself and my boys, I’ve been putting one foot in front of the other for the last 12 mos and for the most part, I’ve been doing it alone!
    My H recently decided that he needs to do more, and the sad thing is, I now have more walls that need to be broken down, than the time right after DDay…and all because he let me do most of the work for this last year…It was very selfish of him..and I see that now…He was thinking only of himself during the EA…and for the year afterwards, as he admits that he thought it would all go away on it’s own.
    So while I have hope that we will make it, I also deal with a lot of sadness each and every day, because I know I have changed, and I have lost my belief in my husband and my marriage and I know that I have many more years to endure this sadness and pain….

  82. Paula January 7, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    Oh, the gift-giving, just remembered, he gave her $10 000 after he ended it, she was blackmailing him, had been emotionally for several months (end it and I tell Paula, etc) that’s when he realised she was a bunny boiler, lol! The funny part about that is she is better off than us, but she thinks we are rich, I think that was part of her attraction to him.

  83. Anita January 7, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

    dazedandconfused,
    You are right, we do grow and become stronger after we
    experience something that was painful in our lives.
    Also when ever I feel down about something, all I have to
    is take a look around and see that others have it way worse
    then I do, it wakes me up to, that my life isn’t so bad after all.
    I seen some sad situations, and now I consider my life
    Blessed. Wish you the Best!

  84. D January 7, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    Bunny boiler. lol!

    Ifsd, I’m so happy to hear you recognizing your strength. No one really gives us credit for what we agree to sacrifice for our marriage, what we are willing to endure for the sake of our kids and for love itself. I kept hearing about couples who made it through and felt their relationship was stronger than ever, richer, more rewarding as a result of the affair. I kept wondering, “well, when the f*** is that happening because I ain’t feeling it.”

    We’re not quite there but I can at least see how we might get there someday. There’s something that awakens in you when you realize you can express your darkest feelings, your deepest fears about your spouse, your marriage, even yourself, when you can tell your spouse to his/her face that you hate them (and mean it) and yet find your world doesn’t explode as a result. Tomorrow is another day.

    If trends continue I see a future where an affair is a given, like puberty or menopause – it’s just going to happen in life and we’ve just got to see it through. I wonder if spouses would try not to take one another for granted as much?

  85. roller coaster rider January 9, 2012 at 12:19 am #

    In some ways, having an affair is a lot like puberty and menopause rolled into one fun package, thanks for the analogy! Get this, we are getting divorced, probably this month, and we have had two long telephone conversations in the past week, where I wonder if there could/would be a possibility of a real do-over someday, where we are both whole, healthy, mature adults able to bring to the table what we were sadly lacking thirty-five years ago…weird…

  86. B January 9, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    Haven’t been here in quite a while, hope everyone’s new year is off to a great start. Things with my wife and I had been going great. 4-6 months of trust and communication, things going very well. We even went out by ourselves (without kids) on New Year’s Eve for the first time in 15 years. I was under the impression she was no longer having an EA or whatever it was, until Friday. She has gotten a new job (same field, different company) and we were going to dinner with the kids to celebrate Friday. Earlier in the day I had sent her a beautiful selection of tulips to congratulate her. I got home and she thanked me for the flowers, I got ready to go and we were preparing to leave. I needed to look up the directions for the restaurant, so I grabbed her phone because it was close to me (done this several times int he past 6 months) and all of a sudden she grabs my arm with a look of terror on her face. I asked her what she was doing, she simply said, I need to call Lauren (our daughter) back, she just called. I told her she could wait a minute and she knocked my hand so the phone went flying across the room. Then she clutched her chest, started crying, and passed out. No kidding, she was unconcious and on the floor. I knew then something was wrong, so I checked her pulse, and doused her with water. She came to, claiming she didn’t know what had happened. I immediately looked at her phone and saw he (OM) had emailed her. It was a conversation between the two of them that where she had emailed the words “Wake Up Call” and he emailed back “I’m sorry I did not get this message, my phone was not working all day yesterday. Have a great weekend”

    Her excuse: He called her from a blocked number and she didn’t know it was him, so they talked for a minute and then she hung up on him. He called back, and before she could hang up on him again, he asked her to send him an email in the morning because he needed to wake up for a meeting.

    Now all of us BS’s have heard a ton of excuses, but this one for me has to be the dumbest I have ever heard. He can’t use an alarm on his phone? He can’t buy an alarm clock? He can’t call anyone but another man’s wife? Please, I thought we had fixed this, I thought the marriage was almost all the way back. I think I am married to a manipulative liar, because all the work vanished over the weekend. She tells me it was nothing, tells me it was stupid, tells me she loves me and doesn’t want to lose me, tells me yet again how sorry she is and it isn’t what I think it is (that it is more of a brother-sister relationship). I think they use the phrase “wake-up call” as a meeting point for sex or something else. Can’t believe she wants me to believe her again, can’t believe I look so stupid this morning.

  87. ifeelsodumb January 9, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    Not stupid B….just trusting…trusting that your W wants the same as you..a marriage filled with honesty and commitment. Obviously, she doesn’t. How sad.

  88. Anita January 9, 2012 at 9:55 am #

    Hi Rollercoaster,
    I am sorry you are going through all of this, Unfortunately
    there are no words that I can say, that will make your pain go away. Its a process, and it takes time.
    You will go through many different emotions and feelings
    for the next couple of years. Your going through the worst
    of it right now, and it does get better, slow but surely.
    Once I got through the grieving process, I started to enjoy
    my new life. The first thing I noticed about being divorced,
    was it didn’t matter what my exhusband did, it no longer
    effected me, he was free to do what he wanted, but he could
    not longer hurt me anymore. That in its self was huge for
    me, also I no longer had to wonder if he was being faithful
    or not. I got to claim my life back, and it felt so good.
    Instead of my life being based around a husband who was
    unfaithful to me, my life is now based on healthy good
    things, along with my faith, my joy, love and peace have
    all returned.
    Also you are in control of how happy you want your future,
    to be. I know right now your grief is overwheming, but it
    will get better. I wish you the best!

  89. Surviving January 9, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    @B,
    Not sure of your story, the EA with you wife doesn’t sound like it is over. Is the OM married? It sounds like your wife loves you and doesn’t want to leave… but what is it with the EA that she can’t let go of?

  90. JS January 9, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    @B-
    I am SO sorry to hear this. I was so happy and hopeful for you a few months back when you exited the blog to work on your marriage and it seemed as if things had really turned a corner.

    You do not look stupid – she does. You have done everything in your power to fix what you could, and she has not held up her end of the deal. I can’t imagine what you are going through today. I’m sorry.

  91. Alone January 9, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    D –

    I wanted to reply to your post dated January 7, 2012 at 10:26 am.

    I feel that my H could have written this post, about me having to mourn the OM. I am glad that you became empowered and stopped waiting for your wife. Us cheaters treat our spouses like shit, seriously. I honestly don’t know how you BS’s can take it. I don’t really think cheaters deserve a second chance. Maybe if we have a stupid, drunk one night stand yes, but all this other hell we put our spouses through, via an EA or a SA… not sure we deserve a second chance. You BS’s are obviously extremely strong people, even if you don’t feel like you are.

    I think D, that my H is now at the same point as you. He’s not waiting on myeto get my act together anymore. It’s now or never.

    B – I am sorry that this is happening to you. Reading this as a cheater, made me sick. Please God, don’t ever let the OM contact me again…

  92. Anita January 9, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    Hi B,
    Sorry! You gave your wife a second chance and she
    decieved you again. You did the right choice of giving
    the second chance, because now you know what she’s
    capable of doing. Now you have to make the hardest
    choice, give her yet another chance or move with your
    own life. I wish you the Best!

  93. Dol January 9, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    D, just wanted to thank you (again) for your comment: crystal-clear eloquence, as usual, and it does give me hope to know a time might come when it all seems daft.

    B: that’s so awful, I’m so so sorry. Have you been allowed access to her emails? You’ve read the ‘wake up call’ one? Have you checked the deleted folder? Your partner needs to start being immediately open and transparent – the initial response is clearly not a good sign. I’m not sure what others would say here, but on reading what you’ve written, it seems like she is nowhere near ready for the level of transparency and honesty required to allow you to believe her. Without that ability to at least work towards trust, it’s going to be next to impossible to progress.

    It’s (hopefully) likely to be less bad than you think: betraying spouses can find it hard to kick the habit of even the excitement of very mundane email contact. It probably doesn’t mean they’ve been arranging anything more serious – but your partner needs to know that unless she can immediately start being completely honest, it’s no surprise your worst paranoia is going to take over the show. That will be horrible and destructive for both of you.

    I don’t know if you’ve done anything like this, but you need to perhaps make a written agreement. It should never have been possible for ANY contact to occur without her telling you. Those rules need writing down and she needs to commit to them. That has worked for me and my partner, throughout times when she’s had to struggle hugely with the addictive urge to contact the OM. She’s known that if she did, she’d face the choice of lying to me and breaking our agreement, or having to tell me she’s failed. At that point she knows she’s playing Russian Roulette with our future. One rule is, of course: tell me if there’s any contact whatsover from the OM, accidental or otherwise. Another: tell me if you end up finding loopholes to ‘get a fix’ like checking their facebook profile.

    But until you’re able to feel like she’s capable of being honest with you, of putting all her cards on the table, you’re going to struggle.

    I’m so sorry you had to go through so many months of building up hope only to have it shattered like this.

  94. Anita January 9, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Hi Alone,
    Your honesty is nice to read about, and it makes alot of
    sense. When you said that the cheating spouse treats the
    betrayed spouse like —-. That was the part I had to deal
    with in my divorce grieving process, why did I let him
    treat me that way, for so long before I finally stood up to him, and
    told him to straighten up or get out. He brought the
    divorce papers and I signed them.
    On the other side of the coin, I knew why I let it go on for
    so long, there were many reasons, however in the end
    his affair made me realize, that he no longer was the man
    I wanted to be married to.
    Your last statement about the OM not contacting you is
    very honest. I am sure it does take a long time to get over
    the OM and its nice to see that you are making others aware
    of the importance of no contact, when you still have feelings
    for the other person.
    Alone, I know this has also been a hard long journey for
    you. I wish you the best!

  95. Paula January 9, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    B, I too, was so pleased we hadn’t heard from you for a while, I assumed (and hoped) it was because things were going well for you guys. My deepest, deepest condolences about your discovery, I wish I had words of wisdom to help you, please just know I am thinking of you, and your strength will get you through this period, just like it has had to previously, and you will survive and, one day, flourish.

    Like Dol, I also had an OH who would reply to contact with his “ex” for two years post dday, no initial contact (I only now believe this, 8 months since the last contact) and although, in our case, the replies were not loving, there was some caring, and I although I understood why (withdrawal, mourning the loss of someone close) I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t do as I asked, if he loved me as he said he did, and show me that by not replying. So, I thought to myself, as long as there is honesty, and transparency, that’s a start. He always told me about her texts, and always showed me, with the exception of one time, where he delayed for about a day (circumstances made it difficult to tell me privately – but I was extremely wounded he waited, and it put me back to square negative one about trust) and I did all of those obsessive-compulsive things all over again, checking his phone log, etc to see if he’d been deleting conversations (I had become very good at finding stuff that he was too technologically challenged to hide, lol!) I have read a lot about trust, and no matter what I have learned from the literature, from counsellors, etc, I am firmly of the opinion that trust, once shattered, is never rebuilt as strongly again, and you have to either like it or lump it. I think the naivety of trusting someone else to guard your emotional safety is probably about the most foolish, but human thing we do. I’ll never trust anyone like I did my love again, this concept, I have been wrestling with for over two and a half years, and I still don’t know if it’s worth staying with someone if you can’t get there. I do know that I am okay with who I am, I don’t blame myself anymore (except on the darkest of days where I still run throught the destructive, why, what did I do to make this happen, etc) and I am on my way back to being the independent woman I always thought I was. This action, of two people close to me, cut me off at the ankles, and created such self-doubt and insecurity, that I didn’t even know existed, and certainly wasn’t a part of who I had been at any stage of my life. I was so disappointed I wasn’t the strong and capable, fiercely independent woman I thought I was. I had a real giggle over Been There’s comments, and totally love that she has learned some wonderful new skills and empowered herself (the grilling, is that BBQing outdoors? the car maintenance, etc) I was that woman, I rarely had to ask my OH for help with “man-jobs” – as the eldest, and only daughter in my family, I took great pride in being very capable with repairs, could swing a hammer, chainsaw, clean guttering, etc, etc. My OH even said that his whimpering AP loved playing the damsel in distress, and it made him feel like a big he-man, to be able to help her. I get that, everyone needs to feel needed, but I can’t stand being so limp-wristed! At first I thought I should defer, and ask him for help (with jobs I was very capable of attending to) but realised that ws not being true to myself, and I was over-simplifying matters. My OH loved that I am capable, he just admired the difference with her, I’m not her, I don’t want to be her. And, I realised, I do ask him for help, when needed, just as he does me, it’s just not always on such gender-based lines.

  96. Broken January 9, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    B you’re not stupid at all…..you trusted her and she made a choice once again to deceive you. I can tell by your writing that you dont believe the excuses as well you shouldn’t. I feel so sorry for you and have been there. It isn’t uncommom for the OW/OM to try and contact our spouses as my husbands OW contacted him and he hid it from me. The blow for some reason seems even worse second time around. He did come clean and we both agree the contact brought us to a closer place and really showed him what a nut she is. I hope that happens for you but right now I know you are back to suare one with your emotions. I wish your wife would stop the excuses and the lies and just fess up to what it is. You can get past this too allthough its tough. Set backs are not uncommon. Hang in there.

  97. Swivet January 9, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    I feel today was a breakthrough for my wife. My wife is staying at a hotel and we had a bad conversation/argument last night and she said that she will be coming home on Tuesday (Jan 10th) since she left, one week. This morning she called me and said she went by the house while I was at work and asked why divorce papers were on the kitchen table. I told her I was filling them out, I also noticed she read some scripture versus I had been memorizing and she read the article “The Awakening” which I printed out for me to keep. This was the first time, besides when initially getting caught, she said that she was truly sorry and that I did not deserve this nor asked for this in our marriage. I hope and pray this is the beginning of her coming out of the fog. I might be fooling myself but I will take what I can get for now. She also told me there will be no more lies between us, mainly her.
    B – I have gone through the same thing but in a 3 month span, catching her and the OM three other times with their EA. I also felt stupid but we should not feel stupid, like others have posted, we just wanted to trust that everything was back to “normal”. Like my post above, I hope seeing the divorce papers was her “wake up call”. I am sorry because I truly know the feeling.
    I am a little scared with all of the posts that talk about the OM/OW contacting the spouse months later. One more time and I’m done with my W! I have gone through all this pain and will not do it again, she will hear this when she comes home tomorrow. She already knows there is to be no contact and she will block him on FB, she deactivated her FB account and she will change her screen name on Words with Friends so he can’t find her. I am putting trust in her not to contact him, stupid probably!!

  98. Bobse January 10, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    It’s so hard to push away and give up on something you want:(. My wife has had multiple ea’s over the last year with one that keeps coming back. Sometimes I wish she would leave an start a relationship with him, Because the reality of it would soon shatter the fantasy. Deep breath, Trying to stay strong!

  99. InTrouble January 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    Dear Alone – I am so sorry you are in such a bad place. I sincerely hope this New Year brings you some relief, whatever form that might take…Best wishes.

  100. B January 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    I have been through so many ups and downs over the course of the last 17 months. Wow, 17 months! It feels like I have just wasted time. We even took a trip to Disney this summer for our first family vacation. I thought these last 4 months had been almost perfect, thought there was no contact. Maybe that is why I am so shocked to find out they are emailing. If you take the time to hide something, there is something seriously wrong. Last night we had a huge fight. Today I have cleared my head and given her a very simple ultimatum. I have asked her (1) be open and honest about what this relationship is, no more garbage about a friendship that went to far. (2) Place a call to him in front of me and tell him it is over, that he is never to contact her again. (3) Be open and transparent with any email, facebook, cell phone, etc. I told her that is she can do those three things, I will work with her to repair this thing one final time. I also told her that she will have to earn every ounce of trust, the difficult way. I also told her that I know it won’t guarantee her from having a relationship with him, but at least if she agrees to these things and STILL finds a way to contact him, I will know she broke her committment to me and she will know she failed the marriage. I told her that this was the ONLY way to proceed because I have given her 17 months to end it her way. She has been told that if she can complete these three things (including the phone call tonight) then I am moving forward with the divorce. It is time. I know people say don’t give a cheater an ultimatum, but after 17 months of torture on and off, I have to consider my health and my sanity for our 4 children. I will stand my ground and I will not budge. Not now, not ever. It is time.

    • Doug January 10, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

      B., Sorry you’re going through this all over again. For what it’s worth, I think you handled this the right thing and that an ultimatum is more than justified. Let us know her response. Take care!

  101. csb January 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    B – Good for you! I know how difficult it is, we all just hope one warning or discovery will be enough, but that doesn’t seem to be the case very often. So does that mean she agreed to all three points? I still wish I had made my husband make that “break up call” in front of me, because I only know what he told me….looking back, I was an idiot…giving him his “space” to break it off?!?! I guess I was just in such shock and wanted it gone.

    Best of luck tonight with that call, I don’t know about you, but if it were me, I’d have a hard time keeping my mouth shut while she talked to him. If you intend on interjecting at all, I’d recommend writing down some of your points ahead of time, in the event you can’t think clearly during the call.

  102. B January 10, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    I’ll let you all know how it goes. Right now I’m sitting at my desk waiting to go home. I could have left 30 minutes ago, but I just don’t want to go home tonight. she hasn’t agreed to anything as I haven’t heard from her all day. I don’t plan on interjecting anything, I just want to sit by her side and see if she has the courage to do what needs to be done. Besides, if I interjected anything, it wouldn’t be verbal. If I had my way, I’d reach through the phone and, well you get the point.

  103. Paula January 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    Well done, B. I’m with Doug on this one, she has had “time” to sort it out the easy way, now she has to do it your way, simple. Good luck :-)

  104. Saddenned January 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    B,

    I think you are very brave to give an ultimatum. Hang in there. I see stories like yours and wonder how I would act if I had to face D-Day again. It makes me sick to think about it. The reality is, is the person we once married has changed in our image forever, or atleast it is that way for me. I think my strenghth would only take me out the door.

  105. Saddenned January 10, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    Can someone give me a cheating spouses perspective on why the EA or PA? Were you missing something in your marriage? Was it self esteem? What?

  106. D January 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    B – I have to say this seems the only course of action. Not everyone can wrestle with their demons. At least you are being honest and up front which is a lot more than she can claim. Best of all possible luck to you.

  107. Anita January 10, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

    Hi B,
    I understand your frustration, I have been there myself.
    We ended up divorcing, I can honestly say for me that was the right choice. I read your third request about being transparent, for myself this is where I drew the line.
    My life was more important to me than checking up
    on my ex husband to see if he was remaining faithful,
    if I had to go through so much checking up on him as
    though he was a child, it was time to end the marriage.
    Spouses are subpose to be each others equal, instead of
    a parent child relaionship. I give you credit for hanging
    in there. For me that wasn’t the type of marriage I wanted.
    I wish you the Best!

  108. Sidney January 10, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    Saddened…..I will answer your inquiry concerning the ‘why’ from a cheater’s perspective with a disclaimer…..that this is solely my thoughts and feelings (I don’t want to generalize all cheaters and their reasoning behind their choices) and that I am not justifying my actions or saying what I did was right (it was not). I am simply commenting on your questions in hopes that it may give some insight to the reasoning behind why a person may cheat.

    Whew.
    Okay, with that said…..I have gone over it and over it in my mind the reason I engaged in an EA. Personality flaw? Mid-life crisis? Husband not meeting a need? And the only thing I can think of is…..okay, probably not something a BS wants to hear…..but…..it was fun. It was exciting and it made me feel good (giddy to be exact). I felt things I hadn’t felt in years and….well, to be honest, I liked the way it made me feel (please no comments about how selfish that sounds….because I already know….). Did I know it was wrong? Yes. Did the addictive nature of the EA keep me involved? Yes. Did I want to hurt my husband? No. Did I think of the consequences? Yes. Did I care? Not at that point. I was so wrapped up in the fun of it, I didn’t think too much of anything else. I suppose at this point you could interject the ‘in the fog’ thing (which I totally believe in) because I look back now and cannot believe the things I did, the feelings I had, the words I said, etc. It was so uncharacteristic of the ‘real’ me. I got wrapped up in the thrill of it all.

    How did it start? One text turned into two….two into….well, you know the rest. And I have to say here….and once again this is MY opinion….but I honestly don’t think a CS intends to hurt their spouse. They did not set out to hurt anyone…they were doing it for themselves. They think only of themselves. They were doing it for THEM…..not to hurt their spouse. That does NOT take away the hurt and damage inflicted on the BS….please don’t take it that way. I said that because I honestly feel it is a selfish act….and that the INTENT of an EA is not to hurt the spouse. Again, my opinion.

    Saddenned, I hope this gives you some insight. It may or may not have any relevance to your husband and/or situation. I hope I didn’t offend anyone…..that was certainly not my intent. Just wanted to answer your question from a former cheater’s point-of-view…..

    Best of luck to you in your healing.

  109. Helena January 10, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    B, did you not make demand #3 before? Just curious. Just curious because I found out this past weekend that my SO got a phone call (which he picked up) and text messages from the OW and did not let me know, when I’ve clearly demanded that he cut her off and that he let me know whenever she tries to contact him, and that he show me any text messages from her, and he has promised to adhere to that demand. He deleted the text messages thinking I would never find out, but let’s just say I am more tech-savvy than he is, so I found out. Anyway, my point is that I’m wondering how many times I’m supposed to allow my SO to break his promise to be transparent before I bail out on him.

  110. Hopeful January 10, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    Thanks for your insight, Sidney. That makes sense. As a BS, I believe that my H did not intend to hurt me. That doesn’t really help much, though, because he should have known that his actions would hurt me, regardless of his intent, and that they did in fact hurt me. I don’t think he can begin to comprehend the depth of my pain. So that’s where we are.

    I continue to struggle with the fact that I know in my gut that my H has not told me everything about his EA. He has only confirmed things that I independently found out. He took a trip in the midst of his EA that was supposedly solo; I do not believe it was solo, but I have no way of confirming. I am trying to let it go, but it infuriates and frustrates me that he is still lying to me. For me, the worst part of the EA is probably the endless lying. I wish my H could feel what it feels like to be repeatedly lied to by the one person who is supposed to love you the most. He claims he is not lying, but I do not believe him. He has lied so many times before.

    When I tell him that I need complete openness and honesty, he says that I treat him like a child. When will this nightmare end?

  111. Holding On January 10, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    Thank you Sidney for sharing your perspective. I am actually copying and pasting because it is something I need to read and remind myself of during the hard times. It really wasn’t about me and in the thick of it, he didn’t think there ever would be consequences, as I would never know. And also, he didn’t want to hurt me. And the guilt he did feel during that time was making him plan to end it. I just need to remember it was about him and his selfish choices and that he did get sucked in.

    All hard things to think about and process, but it is similar to what my husband says as well. My husband also felt a lot of lack of respect and closeness from me. I was definitely a busy mom doing things for the kids and our relationship was suffering. He felt that it was pointless to talk about it because he had in the past and it didn’t seem to him that I cared about him or changing. He coped poorly. I did poorly as well. He should not have cheated on me, but there was a lack for him.

  112. Dol January 11, 2012 at 5:15 am #

    A tiny little decision on my other half’s part this morning and I’m feeling close to walking away. She’s meant to be going to her 1st post-xmas counselling session next Monday, and I need her to: she’s going into work and still struggling daily with her feelings for the OM who’s there in the dept next door, and it’s torture. I/we need help in knowing how to deal with that, what’s normal, what we might do to cope. She was going to go by herself so she could be completely open.

    This morning, she tells me she’s got a ticket for a gig for someone she really really wants to see on the same night, and could I go to counselling instead? It only puts off her session by a week, but it was a little lightening bolt of clarity: it seems to me she’s clearly failed to grasp the impact this is having on me. Every day knowing she’s going into work, knowing how much she’s wrestling with her feelings for this other person, it’s taking everything I have to carry on. My work is screwed at the moment, frankly. And she *knows* all this. Only last night I said I thought the relationship was slipping away. One more whole week without her even starting to find ways to deal with this? To, what, see a gig? Apparently, she’s ‘genuinely gutted that this clashes’. Oh, that’s OK then.

    Help me out here: am I over-reacting? I’m at work now, have just ended up hiding in the loos, sat on the floor. I feel devastated. I guess there’s no arguing with the way our feelings react, but it’d be good to know whether anyone thinks I’m losing perspective here. I was just envisaging going to that counselling session and saying, “no, she couldn’t come – there’s this amazing gig she didn’t want to miss.” It doesn’t exactly scream commitment, does it? Then I’m left with another week of daily torture before we can even start getting some professional help.

    Don’t know if it’s just because I’m past my tolerance limit right now, but I’m seriously wondering if I can carry on with this. She’s said she wants to feel like “life does go on outside of this catastrophe”. Not for me it doesn’t.

    Apols for coming here and venting. In a lame attempt to keep on topic, I’d add: the one thing I’ve learned is that I’m not a coward: if it comes to it, I will take an uncertain future over a dubious attempt to maintain the comfort of a relationship, if that’s what needs to happen.

  113. Notoverit January 11, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    Thanks for your input Saddened. Your explanation sounds exactly like my H’s – it was just fun. But there is still a question I have asked him about his “fun” that might sound stupid but here goes: Aside from the thrill and feeling good, what need did this “fun” fill in you? He can’t answer; says he doesn’t know. But my psychologist says that there was something in his life that this fulfilled. Sadly (sorry guys) men can’t articulate their feelings as well as women so I would appreciate it if you had any answers. I too missed having “fun” and would have enjoyed the thrill of feeling good but I didn’t engage in anything. I ain’t bad looking and have had a few men approach me but I immediately shut that down. He didn’t because the “fun” was just too alluring. He has said that at the first it was like you, a few talks, a few texts…and he knew he shouldn’t be doing it. But he did. What makes the difference in deciding to go ahead? Did you think anything was missing in your marriage that this fulfilled?
    I appreciate you being open and willing to talk on this site. I am not judging and am not taking a shot at you. I just want to know if you thought anything was missing or was simply the fun and that was it?

  114. csb January 11, 2012 at 8:13 am #

    DOL – You are completely right, your relationship should be put before some concert! You are not overreacting. That statement about wanting “life to go on after this catastrophy” rings true for my CS too…..of course that’s what they want…for them life was going on during the entire time they were having the EA/PA….it became a catastrophy when the BS found out! As I told my H, the CS are always fully aware and have every detail of the life they are leading, we (BS), on the other hand, have had everything about what we thought was our life taken from us.

    Please continue to be strong and know others are here who care and are behing you!

  115. csb January 11, 2012 at 8:20 am #

    Sidney – thank you so much for sharing, I appreciate the insight. I actually showed my H your message and asked him if any of it was true for him.

    My issue is that he has said since Dday (3 months) that he has no idea why he did it. Just like NotOverIt, I’d love to know what the difference was in deciding to go ahead, full well knowing it could destroy us. I have also told my H something was missing/wrong with our relationship for him to do this, yet he still insists everything was wonderful.

    I have to say, his timing was really bizarre with this, we’ve been together 32 years, kids on their own, just starting to live for ourselves -bought second home, started having “date nights”, dining out constantly, spur of the moment trips.

  116. Dol January 11, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    Thank you csb, it’s much appreciated.

    A few thoughts on the question of ‘why?’ It can be circumstantial: my counsellor talked about people being pushed past their usual ‘zone of tolerance’ either into hyper or hypo arousal, and reacting accordingly. Stress can do that, including anything from job problems to bereavement. Once in that state, a person can be especially vulnerable to the chemical high of even relatively minor attention – and it can quickly get addictive and out of hand. The high itself pastes over the pain very effectively.

    It’s definitely worth remembering that, from the cheater’s point of view, it’s a series of repeated, small choices, as discussed. One text led to another… and there will also often be a cycle of ‘cold turkey’ and re-engagement as they think they’re doing the right thing. (Though it’s clear from watching my other half, she was reasonably unaware her attempts to ‘cut it off’ were really another form of carrying on. E.g. cutting off by sending sad, heartbreaking songs about cutting it off, rather than – you know – saying “I’m not doing this any more, it’s over” and nothing else. In comparison, from our ‘bird’s eye’ point of view, we see the full sweep of the whole thing.

    My OH has talked about the fact that she doesn’t really know who that person was either, any more than I do. That’s a fundamental reason why CSs often react so poorly/angrily when challenged: making them face what they’ve done forces them to question their own mental model of themselves, when often they want to believe it was someone else. (My OH often uses the third person: ‘she is being really cunning today’).

    The ‘it was fun’ argument is true, to an extent. I think the most insightful thing my OH said was: ‘some part of me was unwilling to deny myself want I wanted’. Apparently it didn’t feel quite that conscious at the time, but she was able to be aware how it would affect me if I knew, but lie to me anyway. She also says – and sometimes still believes I think – that she thought she was protecting me from it.

    The common factor there is the affair ‘bubble’ and its impenetrability. My OH couldn’t possibly have thought I would ever read some of the things she wrote to him, or find out some of the things she did. She could only have been acting in that moment fully convinced it would remain forever hidden.

    So I get the sense from all this of the `why': a parallel reality branches off from their normal lives, and their minds create a set of coping mechanisms to deal with it. For a time, the high of it is in charge of that process. Later on, it ends up being both parties having to ask, “who the hell *was* that person?” and it’s not easy for either to answer.

  117. Sidney January 11, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    cbs….just curious (to help in MY healing)….did your husband say any of it rang true for him too??

  118. D January 11, 2012 at 8:53 am #

    Dol ~ it’s all completely normal. This is all very recent for you and I would advise you to brace yourself. This really is a two year recovery for both of you. My wife acted the same way and CSB is right to say that the CS lived the life, they know all the answers, they are ashamed and embarrassed. If I were in that position I would want to put everything behind me as well. This sucks for the BS but if you believe in your marriage, if you feel there’s something worth fighting for, then try to see this time for what it is, 2 really bad, challenging years out of 40, 50, 60 years of marriage. It’s a tightrope between expressing yourself and giving her space. She’s going to mourn her OM regardless of your ultimatums. It just has to happen. Hopefully she is looking inward at her behavior, asking herself serious questions. She’s at a crossroads right now, and so are you. This is that moment we’ve all heard about where “If you love someone set them free ….”

    I too found a quiet place in my office to cry, meditate, journal, or simply breathe. But when they say this is the time to work on you, they mean you need to stop worrying about her decisions, behavior, moods and focus on what you need going forward – with or without her.

    I went to counseling with my wife too but then she bailed on me. She said that she needed to work on herself before she could work on us. At the time it felt like she wasn’t committed. Looking back it was the absolute right decision. I went anyway without her, for me, and it was extremely helpful. All I did was vent about my wife (because I’m perfect and don’t need psychoanalysis – ha!) and after awhile I got so sick of talking about her and our marriage that I started talking about me. It was an awesome experience.

    How do you move a pyramid? One block at a time.

  119. D January 11, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    Holding On, you’re absolutely right to go a step further and ask, “why did you need to have fun?” It’s understandable to want to have some excitement in one’s life. We’re all guilty of some indulgences in our adult lives, indulgences that are most likely out of character with our age. But there are always underlying reasons for that. I know guys who want to relive their college glory days, others who are fighting middle age, others who HATE their jobs or suburbia or their life. So they do crazy things (and our culture actually condones this behavior – The Hangover?) But why do we act this way? Why are people afraid of growing up? I’m not coming down on Sydney (and thanks for the perspective) but simply saying “it was fun” is the tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot more going on under the surface. If folks are brave enough to dive deep in discovering what lurks beneath, they’ll have far more rewarding lives.

  120. Notoverit January 11, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    Wow CSB, same scenario on my end. Kids on their own, second home, going out, having fun etc. Been together 33 years. What’s up with this?

  121. csb January 11, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    Sidney – He always asks me if any of the CS on here have said anything that sounded like his story, so I was anxious to show him your post. He was pretty silent after reading it, however, he has said the same thing as you on the following points:
    At first he didn’t think it was really wrong, it was just two old friends reconnecting, although he know I specifically didn’t like/trust her and it would upset me if I found out he was talking to her .
    Althoug he originally didn’t see it as addictive or an EA after I pointed it out, he realized the desire/need to communicate with her almost daily was a problem.
    He didn’t think of the consequences at first, because he didn’t think it was a big deal, nor did he do it to hurt me. One interesting point was he said that even though he knew I didn’t want him to talk to her, he decided he wanted to do it anyway, no matter how I felt and I was not going to tell him what to do – in other words, no regard for my feelings.
    As far as being uncharacteristic…SO true, we’ve been together 32 years (married 30), always best friends, hell, I even built two additions on our home right next to him wielding a hammer and saw!

    NotOverIt – not that I’m happy you’re in the same boat, but so glad to hear I’m not the only one!!!! This is what is the most confusing to me….we did the whole “kids are our life, never spent time on each other, sports, PTA, Sunday School, etc” thing….nothing like this EVER happened!! While he was in the middle of his EA we actually planned two amazing vacations (of course they were ruined because of DDay), started talking about retirement plans – can you believe he actually had a conversation about one nice place to retire then I found out he knew about it through the OW?!?! We’re together 32 years, married 30….we started young with a family and it was finally time for just US. I was even encouraging him to retire early, told him we could live on less, etc! Even intimacy was better than it had ever been. I guess that’s why I can’t accept this. My problem now is I know we’re supposed to focus on each other to heal…date nights, etc, but it’s like I can’t even do those things since we were already doing them and it’s like a knife in my back.

  122. Holding On January 11, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    D – Actually the “It was fun” probably doesn’t apply as much to my husband as much as a liking the attention and admiration she gave him. That part was fun and enjoyable to him. It was fun to be liked by someone else. I have seen the tip of the iceberg and then did many deep dives OVER and OVER to try to make sense of the why’s and who my husband is. I have a pretty big list of the why’s and a big list of the foundation stuff that set the stage up nicely. Basically, a shut down of communication and intimacy between us. A withdraw and giving up of things being able to change between us. An actual negative feeling with the marriage for a majority of the marriage. (I was not aware of it, and would say it was not that for me and I would even say that it wasn’t that bad for him, but it was in his eyes. I was not meeting his needs effectively and it was never dealt with and changed enough for him to be truly happy. Sad. I didn’t find this out until after the EA.) A weak self-esteem in my partner that was heightened with over a year of unemployment, he actually was back to work 2 months before the EA. Me working nights and being away for much of our “together time” and this was a HUGE point that really increased his marital dissatisfaction at the time. I made some work decisions without his input and showed lack of respect for him which in turn lowered his respect for me to an all time low point. That’s the foundation.

    This started out as friending a college friend on FB. They just caught up but continued with communication with the occasional flirting and trouble in the OW marriage. He was listening and helping her. (Likes helping and feeling needed.) More choices to flirt and keep it hidden and say and do inappropriate things. (Liked the feeling of being liked by her. Started to get drawn into that “first love” feelings.) The big turning point was phone calls, late into the night (opportunity – I was gone at work, him lonely) for hours at a time. Phone calls at work. He even rationalized by thinking that maybe that was good for him to have a “friend” to help with his loneliness and dissatisfaction, a coping for while I was away. He also admits that he was weak spiritually, and when the time came to make those moral choices to keep it appropriate, he didn’t. He went contrary to what he knew was right and to what he valued. It is pretty shameful for him to discuss the EA because of all the things said and did that he was sure I would never know about. It was his own secret sin and he was planning on bringing the friendship back to appropriateness and even tried to quit a few times but was lured back for the attention and the feelings he was starting to have of needing that from her. The EA was only 2 months and I caught it from a photo sent to his phone, and the pics only just began.

    Whew. Thanks for letting me share the story. I hear the more times you can share, there is healing in that. And really trying to understand the foundation and why’s have helped me logically get how this could happen, but emotionally, it has been harder to accept what has happened. I’m 6 months out and on my good days I think I’m doing very well. Sometimes those bad days kick me back down to the floor.

    I know compared to some, my H’s EA is very minor, very short. I am encouraged my the strength of many of you dealing with some very hard, sharp wounds – PA, moving out, falling in love with the OW, the “I love you but I’m not in love with you”, the falling back in or not stopping of the A, just the fact of it being local and more “real” than a long distance/tech based EA. I stand in awe at the strength of so many. It gives me hope that if you can heal from your situations, I can also heal from my relatively minor EA. It is shocking how even “minor” can hurt like hell! We all wanted a faithful spouse. We all wanted complete fidelity. We all wanted honesty. Those wounds hurt.

  123. Sidney January 11, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    Notoverit,
    The questions you asked me are the same questions I’ve repeatedly asked myself. And to be quite honest, I’m not really sure….but I will write down that I think are the answers.

    1. What need did the ‘fun’ fulfill in me? It’s hard to say what ‘need’ it fulfilled. Maybe it was the need to feel young and carefree again….you know…before all the responsibilites of always having to be responsible. It allowed me to have that reckless feeling again?? I don’t know. Of the three questions, this one is the hardest to answer. Sorry…not much help.

    2. What made the difference in deciding to go ahead with the EA? Hmm….another difficult question to answer because I have been propositioned many times throughout my marriage and never once EVER considered cheating. I was married and I was not going to cross any line. Period. Why this time?? I have no idea. I think it was the chemistry with this particular man (sorry….I know that’s not an answer a BS wants to hear….just telling you how I feel). Another man could have said the same words and I wouldn’t have felt like I did.

    3. Do I think anything was missing in my marriage? If you would have asked me that 20 months ago I would have said no….but do I now think it had factors in contributing to me cheating? I’m not sure. I accepted a long time ago that my husband is not an open communicator. I knew that about him when we married and I accepted it. I also knew he doesn’t share his feelings, rarely compliments me, and is uncomfortable having ‘deep’ conversations (about anything). So to say was I missing anything in my marriage isn’t really what I thought about.

    Having said that……although I knew and accepted that is the way he is…..would have it been nice to hear he loves me? that I look nice? that he’s proud of me? that I do a good job with our children, the house, my career? that he’s still attracted to me? Of course that would have been nice. However, I never expected him to do all of that….I accepted that he wasn’t ever going to. On the flip side….was it nice to hear the OM say all those things to me?? Of course. He validated my feelings, complimented me, listened to my feelings, etc. He was doing all those things that my husband never did. BUT….did I ever feel like I had an EA because my husband DIDN’T do those things?? No. It was just nice to hear it. And who knows…maybe a therapist would tell me that unconscienceously I had an EA because of that…..I don’t know.

    Not sure if that helped you understand the mind-set of a cheater or not….hope it did!!

  124. B January 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    well, I survived last night. I’m still breathing and I’m not in jail. I wanted to shar a conversation my wife and I had before I arrived home last night. It was all texts and it was the only words we spoke all day.

    He
    “I am not throwing anything away and I will never let go of our marriage. What we have is special and I didn’t always show you that but I know what I have in you and I don’t want to lose it. Tell me what I can do for us to survive and I will. I can’t lose you and I won’t. We have come to far together in our relationship and our careers. No one helped usget here but you and I, that says something! No one is worth ruining our lives or careers over.”

    Me:
    “I thought that was true, I thought at this point that no one could come between us, but you let someone.”

    Her:
    “I know that my actions haven’t shown that but I believe that. I have fallen more in love with u in the last year than ever. I realize that in the past I hadn’t shown you the respect u deserve and felt like I had been doing so. I haven’t let anyone come between us on my side. No one could change how I feel about you.”

    Me:
    “you had but then you went back to him and didn’t even consider the consequences. Why on earth would he choose to call you? Why you?”

    Her:
    “I don’t know or care”

    Me:
    “I deserve to know everything, the lies and the stories are just too much for me to handle. Just answer this, how could I ever trust you again? How do I believe you after so many times of being let down?”

    Her:
    “You just have to do it with my help.”

    Me:
    “You had a choice and you chose to follow his request. Why don’t you understand how horrible your actions were and how many times you have ripped my heart out?”

    Her:
    “Okay. Fair enough. I didn’t think it thru and didn’t put you first. I get it. I am sorry. I guess I can’t do or say anything to make it better. I will suffer then.”

    Me:
    I’m not asking you to suffer, I’m not trying to ruin your life, i’m trying to protect myself from a heartache that I can’t live with anymore. I look like an idiot when I keep forgiving you and you end up mad at me.”

    Her:
    “I am not mad at you. I am mad at myself and hurt. I truly love you and have not been faking how I feel.”

    Me:
    “I do not think you are a bad person, I just think you are unsure about what you want, but you want me by your side to figure it all out. My love for you will never waiver, but my patience and tolerance for this situation is gone.”

    Her:
    “I know what I want and it is u. That hasn’t changed.”

    Me:
    “Everything i believed has been yanked away from me again. you just don’t get it. What else can I do to make sure we don’t have these problems? I wish I never would have seen the email, I was so happy with our reconnection but it is better to know upfront when the one you love is not being honest. It just hurts when you have tried so hard to give the one you love the life you think they deserve.”

    Her:
    “You have given me everything and that’s why I love you.”

    Me:
    “I didn’t want to have these conversations again, he should repulse you at this point. I’m back to searching for answers that will never come.”

    Her:
    “to say the least. I have given u answers, some of the ones you are looking for just aren’t true.”

    Me:
    “after all this time, I wish I felt stronger right now. I’m disappointed in myself for letting you get to me.”

    Her:
    “you are only as strong as u can be and I have everything to do with how you feel. I want to make you stronger and I have to do that. I can’t focus when my life is falling apart.”

    Me:
    “ok”

    so I got home and she had written a letter explaining the whole wake up call email that I saw as well as her fainting. According to her, he called her and she didn’t know it was him. He wanted to know if she knew anything about a girl in a dental office that he had started dating. she told him it wasn’t work related and hung up on him. He called back, she answered (she admits this was wrong) and he asked her why she hung up? what the big deal was, she told him he needed a wake up call and hung up again. He then emailed her and told her that he forgot to tell her congratulations on her new job. she said she deleted the email immediately, then emailed him back with the words “wake-up call”. the next day, she said she was shocked when she was standing next to me and the email came through from him because there was no reason for him to email her back with a response. According to her, when I picked up her phone, she immediately panicked and fainted out of fear. She didn’t want me to think she was cheating or had been doing anything behind my back so she thought of the first thing she could tell me which was “he needed me to send him an email to wake him up” she said they hadn’t spoken in so long that she was terrifed and she lied. she said that since she had deleted his original email, she knew I wouldn’t believe her so in an effort to try and get out of the situation, she lied, making herself look worse. she said she honestly didn’t know what to do and was scared that if i found out we would go back to the way we were with the fighting. She then said she was in love with me, that he meant nothing and (as she has told me many times before) she crossed boundaries, and took it too far, but it was never physical or sexual. she said she would never let it get to that point and he is irrelevant. She said “I felt flattered by him, he needed my advice, he wanted my help with his job. I felt important to someone.” She then said “I’m truly sorry I lied to you about this, I wanted to tell you but was afraid of what might happen. the things I was afraid of ended up happening anyway because I lied. Since I deleted the email, I had no way to prove to you what I was saying and it was wrong. I want to be trusted by you.” she then told me that she made an appointment with the counselor for us tonight because this episode (her lie, my reaction) makes her feel like every once and a while we should check in with her just for us. she gave me another note, that was a list of all the reasons she loves me, telling me that this was an honest mistake that she made worse, but wanted to prove to me that he means nothing and I am everything.

    She now has a new email address, a new cell phone number, and has said that she doesn’t want the progress we made to go up in flames because she was momentarily stupid. I was overwhelmed with emotion and had no response. I simply said “You should have been honest with me in the first place. Deception is what got us here and it will only put us deeper. I don’t want to control you, and i don’t care about him, he knows we are together, knows we have a family, and doesn’t respect you enough to stop calling you. It is immaturity at it’s lowest level.”

    Doug-
    after you ended the EA with Tanya,were there times you hid her attempts to communicate with you out of fear because you thought Linda might think there was still something there when in fact you were moving forward. I only ask because I don’t know what to believe this morning. My wife seems to be trying awfully hard in all apsects of our lives. If she was still in the fog, I just can’t see her acting this way and pleading in tears with me to stay. What do you think?

    • Doug January 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

      Hey B., Thanks for sharing your conversation with your wife. I know it’s hard to read into words from a text or email, but she does appear to be quite remorseful and admits she made a horrible mistake in judgement.

      To answer your question…No. I have never hidden anything from Linda since the affair ended. In my case, there have been no attempts by Tanya to contact me that I’m aware of. However, (and please keep in mind that we’re 3 years into this and we have rebuilt trust, etc) if she would try to contact me now, I would tell Linda immediately. 2 and a half years ago, if Tanya would have tried to contact me I could see how I might have possibly acted similarly to your wife. Linda and I were in the rebuilding stages and I wouldn’t have wanted anything to jeopardize that, so who knows, I might have panicked as well. And you know what…it would have been absolutely the wrong thing to do. Being transparent is what builds the trust, regardless of the situation.

      I think we posted about this not too long ago, but one day Linda saw in the history on our computer that Tanya’s Facebook page had been clicked on, she immediately thought it was me who did so. It wasn’t. It was actually Linda who had done so at some point in the past. The point is, I felt for the first time that everything that I’ve been working on and the changes I’ve made, the trust that’s been restored and the progress we have achieved in our relationship, etc., had just been flushed down the crapper in an instant – for something that I did not do. I bet your wife felt the same way. She did make a mistake by not telling you, and you have every right to be pissed, but I can see how it could happen.

  125. Saddenned January 11, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    Sidney, Thanks for the insight. As a BS you wonder what you did wrong and I just want to understand the CS. I appreciate the insight from you. Another personal question, do you think it had to do with a failing marriage?

  126. Helena January 11, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    The question that B posed to Doug is very relevant to my situation right now. Thanks to B for posing it – as well as sharing your experience – and thanks to Doug for answering it.

    My SO promised me a little more than 3 weeks ago that he cut the OW off completely, and that he would also let me know whenever she tries to contact him and show me any messages he gets from her. His promise gave me a lot of hope, and our relationship was doing very well for 3 weeks – it got better with every passing day, namely every passing day that his phone records looked to me like he was keeping his promise. We went to 2 couple’s counseling sessions over those 3 weeks, and I was starting to develop the wonderful sense of “him and me” – as opposed to “him and me and her” – that I hadn’t felt in a long time. He did show me a couple text messages he got from her that he didn’t reply to.

    So, it was devastating this past weekend when I snooped and found out he was on the phone with her (she initiated the call) this past weekend and didn’t tell me about it, and that he deleted text messages that she sent him immediately after their phone conversation.

    I have a way of checking his phone records that I guess he isn’t quite aware of – he thought I would never find out because he thinks I’m stupider than I really am. But I’m not that smart, and I’m afraid someday he’ll really put one over on me if he hasn’t already done so because I won’t be smart enough to protect myself.

    He wavers between being very defensive and basically blaming me for his own deception, and crying and seeming very remorseful. He says he accidentally picked up the phone when she called, and that basically the reason why he didn’t tell me about it and deleted her text messages is because he got scared that it would upset me. He says the phone conversation they had was all about him telling her not to contact him anymore. And that the text messages she sent him basically said that she understood his position, and gushed about what a phenomenal man he is for standing up for me. If that is true, though, then it would have done WONDERS for my (our) healing if only he took the initiative to tell me about this conversation he had with her and showed me the text messages! It would have been exactly the thing I needed to get some closure on all this! Instead, I am left going crazy wondering what was really said in that phone conversation and those text messages, and 3 weeks of progress is undone.

  127. Paula January 11, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

    B, your story resonates with me so much. I especially relate to your comment about “he should repluse you at this point” – I feel the same way, it’s hard to understand, after the mourning period of losing the affair partner has passed, and realisation of how deeply they have hurt us, and the OP has hurt us, that they still may have “good” or “caring” feelings for the OP. I kicked my OH out at the end of April last year, and the following morning, he met her in a neighbouring town for coffee, and drove 2 and a half hours to her house two nights later “to talk” to try to figure out what it was about her that made him make such devastating decisions, and, of course, he slept with her again TWO YEARS since dday. I know we had separated, I had said I didn’t want to do this anymore, but sex again with her after less than three days of singledom, great way of showing me how much he regretted his affair! Why does the person who has hurt me more than anyone in the world (other than OH himself, of course!) not repulse him? Why is he not angry with her (my friend of 32 years) for hurting me and not apologising or taking any responsibility for my agony? That would make me really feel disdain for, and feel disgust in an AP if it was me that had the affair, once I realised I did love, with all my heart, my partner.

    I hope you guys can recover from this, you sound like you have good communication skills, the transcript of your conversation sounds very familiar to me! I hope she means what she says. Good luck :-)

  128. Notoverit January 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    Thanks Sidney. I guess that is what I have heard from my husband. I think it was basically ego – she fed his ego and made him feel young again. You know, the odd thing I noticed in reading your response – it would have been nice to have been appreciated. I did all the things you did trying to do what I thought showed my love but nothing was ever appreciated, no thank yous, nothing. Similar to you. If there is one thing I learned from the whole mess, I was not taking care of myself or respecting my own worth. I think I heard that in your post. You just wanted to be appreciated. Maybe we’re all similar, with problems. I heard my husband say the same thing – it wouldn’t have worked with anyone else. The perfect storm. She pushed and he took the bait and ran. He was open to it at the time – has never done anything like this before. He says what you do: I don’t know who that person was. I think he was in the fog, it was fun and he didn’t think I would ever find out so what was the harm. There was no sex, just talking and texting so it seemed harmless to him. I have said before, we need to educate the public – these EAs do a lot of harm. Thank you for responding. I know it is hard for you.

  129. Sidney January 11, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    Saddenned,
    No, for me, it had nothing to do with a failing marriage. I have a great husband and a marriage that I label as “happy” and “good.” My EA felt like a separate entity from my ‘real’ life and I never felt the two were connected. What I mean by that is…..I didn’t turn to the OM when things were ‘out-of-synch’ with my husband. My relationship with the other man was not based on how things were going for my husband and me. Hope that makes sense….

  130. ifeelsodumb January 11, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    Notoverit,
    Ditto everything you said! That could be MY H!! And thank you Sidney for opening up to us…it helps educate us!!!

  131. InTrouble January 11, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    D – You are a very smart guy and your wife (like me) is an idiot. People on here should read your posts 2 or 3 times.

  132. Anita January 11, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

    InTrouble,
    I don’t believe cheaters are idiots, I believe you gave into
    temptation and it birthed into the problems you have now.
    Temptations will always be there, but each person has to
    make a choice to run from it, or inch your way into
    something that you later regret.
    InTrouble,
    My exhusand’s affair hurt him worse then it did me.
    I forgave him, but the rest is between him and God.
    God is so good and loving and forgives us when we
    go to him. He fills the voids we have in our lives if we
    let him. I wish you the very best!

  133. Dol January 12, 2012 at 4:09 am #

    Helena, he needs to know that he’s absolutely not allowed to use his own judgement on whether honesty and transparency will hurt you! It can hurt, but that pales into nothing compared to knowing that they’ve been making their own judgements on what needs to happen ‘for your protection’. The honesty and transparency MUST be complete and total. Thank god, my OH has managed that – but only after some lapses and we actually sat down and wrote the rules down on paper, a copy each. She knows full well that any lapse at all is playing Russian Roulette with our future.

    Complete honesty and transparency about any contact, or related activity like looking at facebook pages, is the absolute bedrock of getting through this.

    One of our rules is: if the other person makes contact, I do nothing until I have told my OH. Then we decide together whether to respond at all. We’ve only responded once, at the very start. Since then, despite a few emails and other unhelpful workplace-related stuff, we’ve completely ignored him. That goes completely against what both parties sometimes want, which is to either vent or say something – but almost always, it’s best to completely deprive the thing of any oxygen. That has to be done together, though, and so requires that transparency again.

    Your OH should be left in no doubt that it’s not OK doing what he did and if he does it again, he’s risking your relationship.

  134. csb January 12, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    Sidney
    Saddenned,No, for me, it had nothing to do with a failing marriage. I have a great husband and a marriage that I label as “happy” and “good.” My EA felt like a separate entity from my ‘real’ life and I never felt the two were connected. What I mean by that is…..I didn’t turn to the OM when things were ‘out-of-synch’ with my husband. My relationship with the other man was not based on how things were going for my husband and me. Hope that makes sense….

    Sidney – This is so in line with what my H says! When I ask how he could have daily conversations with her, then come home at night and look me in the face and act like there was nothing going on he says it was like it was two separate lives…when he came home to me, she “just wasn’t there” in his mind. I asked if I was in his mind when he was having these exchanges with her, he said yes. So it was like leading a double life, separating the two, I guess that’s how he was able to deal with the guilt. I pointed out that it almost sounds like polygamy to me…..put one wife out of your mind when you go to the other one’s bed/house!!

  135. D January 12, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    The same thing with my wife, CSB. She called it compartmentalizing. I call it illogical. Something obviously happens with the rational thought process that allows the CS to do what they do in their affair, yet still continue on (and seemingly want to continue on) with their marriage. This is so in keeping with addictive behavior whether it be drugs, alcohol, or what have you.

    In Trouble, thanks for your kind words. I concur with Anita that cheating is not idiocy, it’s a sign of something within that has to be dealt with honestly and courageously. My wife did this horrible thing and instead of hiding or blaming others she’s been working on herself, asking very difficult questions, finding sometimes harsh answers, and being as honest as she could be with me the whole time. She also recognizes this as an awakening of sorts. The beginning of another chapter in her life, in both our lives. We’re both in our forties and yet it feels we are only now maturing into our potential.

    I truly believe that cheating (excluding serial cheaters) is not idiocy, it’s a mistake.

  136. InTrouble January 12, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    “I truly believe that cheating (excluding serial cheaters) is not idiocy, it’s a mistake.”

    I guess I think that’s very generous of you.

    Me, I just know I’m an idiot.

  137. B January 12, 2012 at 11:32 am #

    At some point we have all made “idiotic” decisions, that is expected. It is when those decisions become voluntarily covered up and shrouded in secrecy that we go from a mistake to being an idiot. Purposefull deceiving someone is not a mistake because you have to work at a cover-up. You could meet someone, have an inappropriate conversation or commit an inappropriate act, but if you know it was a mistake and you come clean with it, you are not an idiot. If you begin a cover-up and formulate a plan on when it can happen again, you are the village idiot.

  138. Disappointed January 12, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    It is 10 weeks since D-day. CS has apartment with lease thru May. OW out of picture since 2 days after D-day. Just realizing how long it will take to get past this whether reconcile or not. Family and friends already less supportive and interested. My life blown up and everyone else is business as usual. CS saying things like “you gave me everything, how can I leave you” but still protecting OW and talking about his love for her. Says he loves me but not in love and yet still wants sexual intimacy. Dont know if I am doing the right things and trying to be true to myself. Completely obsessed by the separation. Friend of OW feeling sorry for CS invited him for Xmas with her familyy and CS telling me how nice it was of her. Only makes me angry. He was with me for Xmas but let her think he was alone. Wondering who else the OW told he left me. We are not telling people until we reach decision about reconciling or not because we have a business. Why is he receiving sympathy after what he did. And why did he not say he was not alone? Answer: wants OW to think he has nothing to do with me any more. Playing this both ways. Telling me did not leave for her, but letting her keep fantasy alive despite staying with her husband “for the good of her two kids” Tired of hearing how noble and self sacrificing she is. I wanted a family and he did not, so I gave that dream up to be with him. And look where it got me. Cs could not text her enough, could not wait to share feelings with her and I get one word texts. In so much pain… Thanks for listening.

  139. B January 12, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    Disappointed-

    You hit on one thing that has burned me for over a year. My wife and the OM shared over 1200 text messages in a 7 months span. Her and I shared roughly 150. Plus, she would always be in such a hurry to get off the phone with me or not text me back because she as so busy “working”, but had plenty of time during the day to conversate with him. For the last year I have wanted to take that cell phone of hers and smash it into a thousand pieces.

  140. csb January 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    B – My H had daily texts, e-mails and phone calls with the OW. He tried to tell me it was just a “friendship”…my statement to him was “since when did you feel the need to have daily conversations with “Friends”?! Mind you, this is a man who always claimed…I don’t need friends, I really don’t like socializing. I couldn’t even drag him out to be with other people…all of a sudden he’s mister social butterfly! I think what really hurt me was that he was sharing things about my children with this woman…she had no right to even speak my children’s names! I’m with you, anytime I see him disappear with his phone (like he did last night), I get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach..took all I could to stop myself from grabbing it and breaking it.

  141. Notoverit January 12, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    As a matter of fact B, I did smash my husband’s cellphone (smartphone – yeah it was smart). I also received an enormous amount of satisfaction doing it. He never texted me before or during the EA – had over 600 to the OW in one month. So yeah, I took the offending appliance and smashed it.

  142. Notoverit January 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

    And, I might add, I made a point. He had no cell phone for a while. Gee, I’m sooo sorry. I think they don’t understand that the poor inanimate object is a very big trigger.

  143. JS January 12, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    @ B and CSB – exactly! I saw thousands of texts messages during the time they were together, yet there’s not even time to meet me for lunch or have a quick phone call about what we’re doing for vacation? Come on. Now when I hear, “I’m too busy to talk/email/text you,” I instinctively think, “I wonder who is getting his attention now.” I don’t truly believe anyone else is, but all the I’m busy talk is a big trigger for me, as is cell phone activity.

  144. Hopeful January 12, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    csb–
    I too was/am infuriated that my H shared things about my children with the OW. When my H told me that, I blew a gasket. I could not believe that he dared discuss my children with that woman. How dare he.

  145. D January 12, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    The long term spouse can’t possibly compete with the new fling. We don’t get those texts and phone calls because they see us ALL the time. That’s the excuse I get. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, right? My wife seems to call only to confirm things like she’s going to class, the kids are at so and so’s house until 6, or we’re out of milk. During the affair I was appalled to find emails I sent to her trying to insert some romantic playfulness into our marriage, essentially trying to start an affair with her myself. I would still try, but sadly it’s a wasted effort. This is the area that I feel may ultimately break us. It’s just not fair to withhold affection or interest. She may love me beyond measure, or can’t imagine a life without me, but if she never tells me that how would I ever know?

  146. B January 12, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    Exactly. we are the “old shoe”, the “comfortable shirt”. we are always there and taken full advantage of. This new person is fun, exciting, full of wonder. the problem is, when the Cs comes home, they have NO CLUE what this OP is up to. My guess would be they are probably out getting herpes somewhere. That wasn’t nice, but oh well…

  147. Anita January 12, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    B and D,
    I know the frustration you are feeling, its just so wrong that
    after being married that you would even have to go through
    this. Your spouses should have seeded all their wild oats
    before saying,”I do”, not after their married.
    However, someday your spouses will regret their actions,
    it maybe years from now, but it will happen. When the
    hype of the affair wears off, and it will, they will be left to
    deal with this in their own mind. When my ex husband,
    finally got around to grieving the loss of our marriage,
    we had been divorced a couple of years and I had moved
    on with my own life, at that point. My ex also had a prior
    history of cheating on me, before his last adulterous affair.
    Its been a few years so I have had the time to forgive and
    heal. When I write in here, its from a post divorce point of
    view, and it does make a difference, because I am no longer
    in love with my ex, so it much easier for me to write, but
    I try to remember that most everyone here is still in love
    with their spouse. I am waiting for my next appointment
    I’ve been in the process of getting my marriage annuled.
    The holidays and my work schedule have made this process
    slow, but I’m getting there.
    I remember being in both your shoes, its just so heartbreaking that you should even have to go through this.
    But the biggest thing to remember is only a seaosn in your
    lives, however it turns out you won’t remain in this level
    of pain, that you are in currently. One way or the other this
    will work out for you’s. For me after I grieved my divorce,
    A new life began for me, and its no longer has this kind of
    drama, and I am alot happier. When I was married it seemed
    I was always grieving my ex husbands unfaithfulness to me,
    my married life was based around his infidelity, and it seemed when I would get past what he did he, would do
    something again, this was no way for me to live. So for me
    my divorce has actually brought a happy life for me again.
    I am civil with my ex, and he’s remarried to someone he
    met later, after his affair ended.
    I wish the best for both of you’s, and remember this storm
    cloud will pass someday, and you will once again feel like
    yourself again, and when that happens it feels so peaceful.

  148. Disappointed January 13, 2012 at 5:56 am #

    It has been a comfort to me to come to this site and read the comments. Tonight my CS broke my heart again telling me he does not want to try to get back together or work thru this. He wants to maintain our business but “will not return to our marriage due to all your negativity that steals all my energy.” Tells me I have decisions to make. He has told me “if you are going to be a bitch you should at least look good” “you need to lose weight to even begin looking like a woman again” and the best since I wanted a family and he did not “if you had been a better wife and companion I would have been willing to have children with you”. Top it off with the fact I financially supported him for 15 of the 20 years. Dont know if I will be back here as my story of us appears to be coming to an end. And as it has always been, it is all MY fault. Including the affair…

  149. Dol January 13, 2012 at 6:59 am #

    Disappointed, I’m sure you know this already, but just to reiterate: your CS is talking out his ass. I’m so sorry you have to even listen to all that utter rubbish – do what you can to not have to be exposed to it, it’s completely toxic nonsense. It is NOT your fault. I can’t imagine how hurtful it is, but it does sound like you just need to get as far away from that sort of abuse as possible.

  150. Dol January 13, 2012 at 7:10 am #

    Hope it’s OK, I have a question: who here has gone away from the shared home for a time during the process of recovery? 10 weeks in, we’re struggling so much that we’re wondering if we need to get space from each other. We’re both scared we’ll find we won’t want to come back, but I’m personally struggling to get a grip.

    I’m wondering what experiences people have had of getting some space and moving out for a while? I am of course also scared of leaving my OH alone with her own mind, but then if I can’t learn to trust she can control herself, perhaps there isn’t much hope anyway… just don’t know how to come to a decision on this one!

    The default is staying put, but I worry we’re just going to tear each other apart. I also understand my OH needing to have some space where she isn’t forced to feel wretched the whole time: either fighting her own thoughts at work, or being faced with my seemingly clearly-visible-at-all-times broken heart at home. The heartbreaking thing is how easy and wonderful our love was before this, how well we worked together. Everything’s become painful, jagged and complicated, like trying to cross Mordor!

  151. Dol January 13, 2012 at 7:26 am #

    Disappointed, I should add: some of that sounds like things that CSs often say when they’re in attack mode, when their guilt and shame is forcing them to avoid looking at themselves. Anger directed at the BS is often the result. But it sounds from what you’ve written that he’s a very, very long way from having the self-awareness to know he’s doing that, or to know the further damage he’s causing. I could be wrong, so apologies for my rather black-and-white response in the last comment. But if this is typical, and he’s continually unable to back down, apologise and see where that behaviour is coming from, I don’t see what else you can do but get away – exposing yourself to it further would just be toxic. What does anyone else think…?

  152. csb January 13, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    Disappointed, I agree with Dol. He is in a place where he cannot/will not recognize what he has done, so he is redirecting the blame at you. In my opinion, healing of the marriage cannot take place until both partners are willing to recognize the issues, address them, and both commit to rebuilding. On the other hand, healing of the BS can only take place within themselves. I am not yet in that place (3 months DDay), but I do see only I am responsible for my well being and mental health.

    May I ask, is this behavior (mental cruelty, insulting, etc) out of character for him? If he always behaved in this manor, I’m inclined to think he will not change, and you may want to consider walking away. If this is out of the blue, then perhaps it is all part of what is referred to as the “fog” and eventually he may come to his senses, so if you really want to repair your marriage and believe the “old him” will come back, then maybe take a step back, but retain hope.

    My heart breaks for you, please know there are others who understand and most of all, believe in yourself….you are NOT those things he said you are, otherwise he really wouldn’t have stuck around 20 years!!

  153. D January 13, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    Disappointed, this is Not your fault!! There are three solutions to every problem, Accept it, Adapt to it, or Leave it. Having an affair is not solving a problem, it’s adding to it, and it’s a cowardly choice. Not talking about the affair, not asking questions, not being responsible is just as cowardly. I can understand the CS feeling like they’re being attacked all the time, but it’s not like we asked for the pain and we’re just trying to send it back to the source. It sucks that it hurts, believe me.

    Dol, my wife and I were where you’re at now. It’s a shitty place. Both of us were terrified to leave for the same reasons you stated and so we stayed. I did pack and left without telling her (high drama) but i only stayed away one night and it sucked. It helped somewhat because I realized this was her journey and if anyone should move out it should be her. She was too scared to pull the trigger though. And we slept apart for about three weeks much later, like in the 20th month, and that served its purpose too. But not talking so much about the affair with my wife was crucial to our healing. It feels impossible to do but a therapist is a good outlet, as are good friends, journaling, loooooong meditating walks, and doing anything to take your mind off of the affair.

    It’s hard, but not impossible.

  154. E January 13, 2012 at 9:00 am #

    Dol, my H said many times we needed to be apart, I believe because he wanted her and was feeling like he was ready to end us. After many Ddays, and him never taking the steps to leave, after the last Dday, I left. My H says me leaving was a wake up call for him. He was pleading with me to come home within 1 week. I stayed gone 5 weeks and things are much better. We still have a long road but I feel better about my marriage than I have on a long time.

  155. Disappointed January 13, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    The cruel comments I recounted were made over the last 5-7 years, not since the affair. Since he moved out we have been talking, apologizing to each other and enjoying each other sexually. He has been telling me I am beautiful which has not happened in years. All of those things I saw as good signs we could work thru this. But we have had the same conversation over and over. He tells himself he has been trying to convince me that I have value and I just keep being negative. He does not see how he hurts me and that he does not ever want to acknowledge my feelings. Little things like his new apartment is spotless but all these years he has been a total slob. With his actions he let me know he did not appreciate how hard I worked. He would only do what he wanted. He would refuse to help fold fundraising letters for our business and watch me do it all saying it was not his job. Any time I tried to talk about the affair he would tell me I was not seeing the real reason he left. Last night he told me that it was ME, who I am. That I am all negativity and he does not want to be with ME as a wife. My counselor tells me he is a narcissist and has to devalue me to leave me. I wonder if he thought he would finally hurt me enough that I would kick him out. I have dealt more maturely with the affair than he expected and did not give him the out. Last night when he said I have decisions to make I think he is still trying to get me tosay I want a divorce. I won’t do it for him. A good friend tells me that my CS cant be with me because I have not fought back and he cannot respect or want me because I have let him treat me badly. Since d Day he has said things I longed to hear and has been kinder. Did he just cut me off at the knees again so that he does not get tempted to come back? He has been saying “you have given me everything, how can I leave you?” Is this all just his excuse to leave someone who still loves him, despite all he has done? Just 48 hours before he was being intimate with me and saying how wonderful it was. Is he just broken… And will never see his part in all of this, just run away saying we bring out the worst in each other?

  156. Disappointed January 13, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    We should be in counseling to learn how to deal with conflict better. I dont think this is a “Way We Were” scenario where two people love each other but cant be happy together. How do I stop loving him and give up the fight for us?

  157. StrongerForWear January 13, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    Dol, Holy bonkers, your perspective and reactions and questions sound VERY familiar to me, so I wanted to chime in and say that there is hope and even in the midst of absolute hell, the “totally way better, we are finally breathing fresh air again” can return faster than you think. The devastation I felt was horrendous (still sucks, but seven months later…we are both feeling more ourselves and hopeful and loving. You are so not over reacting. You’ve made the choice to work on this with your wife and the only way through the thick of things is to walk straight into the fire. Forgetting, moving on, rebuilding cannot happen quickly or without a lot of pain and self-reflection on both your parts, but especially your wife’s part. She’s gotta soul search and face what she did and why, she needs to really connect with and feel/truly understand the pain she has caused you. My husband had an EA with a woman in his social circle that happened mostly through e-mail with some meetings. No sex. Romantic coded sexually charged ‘support’ bull shit headed in a bad direction, indeed. WOrst was the endless lies and lashing out at me when I called out the bull shit with no evidence. I feel like I had to break him down myself because he initially wasn’t telling me the truth and then didn’t seem to full understand why he did it or what the consequences were. I threatened to leave and it was no empty threat. Finally when the truth was out and responsibility taken more fully we could began anew. Individual and couples work. We made contracts. We ‘ve read books and blogs. We’ve tried to have fun and create new rituals to look forward to. This began to help but with horrible backslides. Then, recently, things have begun to lighten a bit. The road is still long but it I can do my work and don’t have the ‘i’m not good enough, self-hating’ experiences.

    Anyway, I meant to say that you sound pretty awesome, DOL and loving and stand strong. Your instincts and reactions are spot on. If it doesn’t feel resolved, it isn’t. Insist on change or prepare to leave. She’ll either change and fight or not. If she doesn’t fight…

    And, you are wise to know it takes time for the CS to come around. Give it time. You are strong and know that it is easier to walk away, so you are a good man for sticking to try and salvage. She should throw her arms around you and kiss you for being willing to go through hell for you. SFW

  158. Swivet January 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    Disappointed – I am truly sorry you are going through this. No man/woman should ever treat a man/woman with such disrespect!! When you first met he saw that you were a wonderful person and he wanted to be with you and I know you have not changed. He is the one who needs to search himself and realize he is a horrible person for doing this to you. Many people have posted that you must work on yourself first, I agree totally. Once you “find” yourself and become a stronger person then you can approach your marriage with more confidence that you can survive this without him, you are choosing to survive with him. You must tell him that if things don’t change then he will find himself without a wonderful person, YOU!!

    Dol – My wife and I separated for a week and a half, I know that is not a long time but several things came out of this time. I am to carry on a normal conversation without getting extremely angry and now I can provide a more conducive environment for conversation. The second thing is my wife has sincerely apologized to me during a normal conversation on the phone and she also said that she knows that she has ruined what our marriage had been and that I will probably never trust her 100%. Thirdly, this is when I found out that I can be strong and make it without her, I would rather make it with her though. Based on some sound advice from other bloggers and the book “Love Must Be Tough” I found the strength to stand up and quick being passive!
    Bottom line is the time away did us both good. Reading other blogs I am thankful that my wife’s EA was only three months and hopefully did not continue while she was gone. I have to believe and trust she will have no contact, very easy to say…

  159. Sigornii January 13, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    Alone
    This really saddened me. My partner slept with another woman for 9 months before telling me. He chose to end that relationship and I thought we were going to try to rebuild ours. But after our “healing time” holiday, he left me anyway. He never really gave me a reason why but I am sure he feels very much like you do. He has relocated to a new country, run away from everyone, the love and support he was offered and did not even tell anyone – that was left to me. I wish with all my heart that he had had the courage to face up to what he did so that he could begin to heal too, with or without me. I am always sad when I hear people say they hate their ex-spouse for their actions. Yes, it hurts and no-one should have to deal with that pain but the love I felt for him for the years we were together did not just go away. I do not want to be with him anymore but I hope he knows I still love him. His mistakes – and that is what they were – were not enough to destroy my love for him, just his own sense of self worth. Anyway, to get back to my point, I hope you move on and mend yourself. You don’t want to spend a lifetime feeling the way you do now and you don’t deserve to. We are human and we make mistakes – it is how we learn from those mistakes that is important. Good luck.

  160. Anita January 14, 2012 at 8:06 am #

    Disapointed,
    How awful that your husband is so mean to you. However, you need to see this for
    what it is. He doesn’t treat you with love and respect because it is not inside of him, he can’t give what he doesn’t
    have. This is not about you, its about a void that’s inside
    of him. You can’t give love unless you have that love inside
    of you. As hurt as you feel right now, you still are
    a loving person, and thats why you can give love, and respect to others. He’s hurting himself, he’s his own worst
    enemey.
    Hurting people hurt other people, this something he has to
    fix within himself. His crude remarks are a reflection of
    how miserable he is inside, however this is not about you
    its about his own issues.
    So all the cruel and mean things he has said to you, shake it
    off, and focus on your life. Give yourself extra special
    attention, and do things for yourself that bring enjoyment.
    We can’t control what others do, however we can control
    how we handle it. This why its important for you to be good
    to yourself. I wish you the best!

  161. Disappointed January 14, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    Thanks to those like Anita who commented on my posts. I understand my husband has less to give and that the cruel things he says are said for his benefit. He has said he is happier separate and I know that is because no one is there asking him for anything emotionally. I know the EA was just him medicating himself and that it was not real. I know it is over. What I dont know is how to stop loving him and wishing he’d want to return and try to improve things. It hurts so much to know that he would rather be alone than with me. I dread the next time he finds someone else because he is someone who will need the attention. How long will it take me to truly accept it is over in my heart? My mind sees how hopeless this is and probably always has been. And yet my heart clings to the hope that if I can set the right environment he could feel safe and not havee to keep pushing me away. My counselor thinks that I have a good understanding of everything. He says that my H has cast himself in the role of the hero and heroes dont file for divorce, so ultimately it will be left to me. My H has been very driven toward one goal and is realizing that his dream will never be realized so I think this is a bit of a midlife crisis. But my counselor says this is more about my husbands inability to grow up nd get beyond a self centered hero complex. The OW was someone he taught so there was some pygmalion complex there. But how do I really accept this so I can move on and have a chance to feel healthy actively reciprocated love? He has been the center of my life for 20 years. I so wish that there was still a chance for us. I will work on myself and by doing so maybe as a side effect he will see I can change some behaviors that pushed him away. But the difference will be that I will be doing it so I can be happy, not so he will come back. I know he loves me and it hurts that even tho we love each other it does not mean a happy ending. I know I will never love anyone like I love him. But I also know that I deserve to be loved and appreciated more than he is capable of.

  162. ifeelsodumb January 14, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    Great advice Anita!! You are right!! Disappointed needs to work on herself, and leave her H to work on himself! Some of these CS makes me think of that phrase, “You can’t fix stupid”! Not saying that CS ARE stupid, they just act like it at times! LOL!

  163. MH January 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    Please help!!!!!

    I stumbled upon this site a few weeks ago and I can’t tell you all how grateful I am for all of the information I have read. Long story short, I found out my husband was having an EA in August with a married woman he met through work but lives in Florida – we are in California. They are both photographers. He flew her out in June to photograph our family as well as shoot a wedding with him. While she was here they formed a “connection” and then “fell in love” through texts and phone conversations in a few short weeks. Since the discovery of the affair we have reconciled and split three times. This is our third attempt at saving our marriage but so far I’ve done all the work and he failed to go to counseling three times. He wants nothin to do with the other woman but yet he is not showing much effort to make our marriage stronger/better. As of three days ago he informed me he will be attending a national conference in Vegas for two nights and it’s very possible but not confirmed the OW will be there too. I have no doubt they will sleep together if she is going too. Not only did he promise me weeks ago he was not planning on going to the conference but he also claimed that he did not think twice about the OW being there. He has provided all pass codes plus I have access to the phone records and so far they have not been in contact since October. I am devastated he is attending this conference and when I confronted him he freaked out, called me an insane “b—-” and slammed the door in my face and has not talked to me since. I am at a complete loss. I am a stay at home mom with no income of my own with two small children. What I need to know is should I get a job an move out or stay as continue to be a doormat. I’ve sufferers years of emotional/verbal abuse and I’ve had enough. I am struggling with my decision as I don’t want to divorce but at tw same time I want to be free. I have an appointment to see my counselor next Thursday but I need immediate advice as I can’t concentrate or function. I’m sure there might be one or two of you that might have experienced this. If anyone has any suggestions or advice, I would more than happy to hear you out. I am feeling a little desperate and distraught today. I apologize for typos as I am typing from my phone. Thank you!!!!

  164. Lynne January 14, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    To MH:

    I am sorry to hear you are going through this. This site can be your savior! Read all that you can to educate yourself about your CS. They follow a fairly consistent pattern of behavior, and sounds like your H is behaving as most do.

    As to advice for you, the thing that concerns me the most about your post is, “I’ve suffered years of emotional/verbal abuse and I’ve had enough. I am struggling with my decision as I don’t want to divorce but at tw same time I want to be free”.

    If your H is verbally and emotionally abusing you, and this is a pattern over several years, I would encourage you to choose yourself and your children over him. Not only do you NOT DESERVE this, but it is modeling relationships for your children (no matter how young they are) that will ultimately be detrimental to your children and their future relationships.

    Your husbands anger and shutting you out suggests that this is his way of not taking responsibilty for his actions. If he can make you out to be the bad person (a bitch!), then he doesn’t need to carry the pain and dissapointment for a stupid, selfish, ash**le choice he’s made. Why would he want to look inward when he just blame you. Again, read everything you can on this site and others about the typical patterns of a CS once they have been outed.

    I can’t tell you what to do, but if my H was going to this conference, while thinking the OW might be there, and completely disregarded my feelings about it, it would be an easy choice…..his ass would be on the opposite side of the front door…..and his house key would be in my hand!

    Don’t accept anything less than being treated with respect, and in turn, do your best to stay calm and controlled in your interactions with him. Hold your head high–you did not make these choices (and they are choices!), he did. Whether he likes it or not, there are consequences for his actions. He can man up, be a big boy and work through it with you, or he should take his immaturity and lack of empathy somewhere else.

    Be safe. Stay strong. You will get through this.

  165. Anita January 14, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    MH,
    I have gone through this, and I hope I can be helpful.
    Use this energy for yourself and your children, do some
    extra special things with your children. When they are
    asleep take a nice bath with candles and just sit and relax.
    Pray, read, watch a funny movie, blog on here. Pamper
    yourself, no big decisions need to be made at this time.
    If you have close family or friends talk with them. My
    family was my biggest support.
    You can’t stop your husband from doing what he’s going to
    do, or not do.
    So focus on yourself and your children.

  166. Paula January 14, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    MH, my heart goes out to you, I think you’ve answered your own questions. You are feeling trapped, why not look at getting a job, it’s a step towards doing something independent, and if your marriage does not survive, it will give you something else to focus on, and some income whilst the divorce is in process. I know the feeling about if he goes he will sleep with her again, been there, done that. I think you need to trust your gut, and gather up all of your strength to look after you and the kids, for now, sometimes that jolts the CS into looking at you in a different light, but I wouldn’t count on it, best of luck, I hope your counsellor can help assuage some of your fears, a little, and that you can hang in there until Thurs, I know that feeling, the counting down of the days until you feel you are going to get any relief from the pain.

    Dol, my OH and myself have been separated a total of just short of eight months during the past 2 3/4 years since dday, the longest period being about 4 months. Whilst I am not a shining example of this being the best course of action, I HAD to make this happen, as I was heading off the deep end, and needed to take some ACTION to stop it happening. All three periods we had contact, all harmonious, we are still best mates. There was a certain amount of re-grouping, and a certain amount of re-assurance on my part that I would be okay, and I could still provide for my children, and, although I have always known I will survive (and hopefully flourish, lol!) it helped my confidence to be doing fine on my own. There is no right or wrong way to be dealing with all of this, just your way, trust your gut a little, think it through, and do what you feel may be the right thing FOR NOW, remember, nothing is set in stone. Breathing space was all I asked for for the first two periods of separation, I thought it was over when I asked him to leave the last time (last April.) I’m a bit better now, it’s a much longer journey than I imagined when I looked down the path on dday, and asked him to stay when he offered to leave (staring at the floor in shame) knowing it was going to take a while, but not really understanding the length of the path in full!

  167. ifeelsodumb January 14, 2012 at 11:02 pm #

    MH…Ditto EVERYTHING Lynne said!!! If this was MY H…I’d tell him, You’re going to the conference? OK, the kids and I won’t be here when you get back! Let him think about THAT while he is gone…if he goes! I’d call everyone I know, explain the situation to them, and ask if I can stay for a few days! Let him come home to an empty house…and stand firm! I truly believe what others have written, you HAVE to take a firm stand! Good luck! Let us know how it goes!

  168. Anita January 15, 2012 at 3:38 am #

    MH,
    Sorry, but I was invited to go some place at the last minute and I didn’t finish my last post.
    My advice was to help you until your next appointment with
    your counselor.
    Thinking about your future is a good idea, however don’t
    make rash decisions based on your emotions, let your
    emotions subside, then after you have calmed down you
    can make the best choice for you and your children.
    I wish you the best!

  169. Anita January 15, 2012 at 5:16 am #

    MH,
    This brought back a memory of when my ex husband was involved in his affair. I was at my brother’s place and my
    oldest daughter called me to tell me, her dad was at hotel,
    with his affair partner, they had checked in for the afternoon,
    my ex husband called my daughter for something, and the
    hotel name came up on the caller ID.
    My daughter was upset and didn’t know what to do, I told
    her there was nothing I could do. The damage was already
    done. That experience changed my feelings for my ex
    husband from that point on. It was my biggest wake up call.
    Later my daughter asked me “why I let her dad treat me
    that way.” She was right, and it brought me to a place, where
    I had to deal with the question (why?)
    ML, as a mentioned before, let your emotions subside, then
    make your choices.

  170. MH January 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your advice etc. As of now my husband had not booked his flight and I sent him a message saying that if he chooses to go two nights instead of just for the day to shoot a session then I am the wrong girl for him. He did not respond but has not booked his flight. Let me clarify they have not slept together yet because she is on the other side of the US and I saw one of her last emails after he cut it off telling him she regrets never being able to kiss his lips (barf). I left town to visit my mom with the kids because I could not stay in the same house for the weekend. With all my heart I want to be brave and tell him to leave or we are leaving if he decides to attend the conference but I also recently read that ultimatums are not successful. I’m such a mass ball of confusion. In anger he did offer or me to go with him but I don’t know what to think of that either. He has admitted that he is embarrassed and ashamed to discuss his “failure” as this has affected everything around us. His actions and words are so confusing and in the end I just want to do the right thing. It difficult to think straight when one’s emotions are out of control and suffering from a broken heart. :(

  171. Anita January 15, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    MH,
    There’s a song, One Day At A Time. That is so true, each
    day God will give you strenght you need if you ask him for it.
    MH, my faith helped me, when my ex husband was involved
    in his affair, also through my divorce, I leaned on my
    faith to heal my broken heart.
    Today when I was at church, one of the readings was about
    immorality, it is so true, why God forbids immorality.
    At some point you will need to forgive your husband
    wheather you stay together or not. I wish you the best!

  172. Sam February 22, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    Very late to this discussion but I wanted to share:

    I have learned than I’m a lot less forgiving or compassionate than I thought I was. I guess when you don’t really have any real “problems” it’s easy to preach love for everyone. I used to be that person. I could never imagine hating anyone as much as I hate the OW.

    I have also learned that I can be alone. My worst fear on Dday was that my marriage was over, that I was getting a divorce. I wanted to die. I don’t feel that way anymore. We’re working on our marriage, but I know that if we go our separate ways, I’m going to be ok.

  173. E February 22, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    Sam, you are well on your way when you can say that you will be “ok” – congratulations! As far as your hatred for the OW, I am still there myself – but it does ease a bit with time. I don’t think it makes you a bad person, I think it makes you human.

  174. JJ February 28, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    The biggest thing I have learned is that the issues surrounding my journey had far less to do with my marriage and far more to do with issues with myself. Mostly, “losing” myself, and at some point not advocating what my needs were.

    From many people I have talked to, it is not uncommon that over the course of time, in a long term relationship, you become accustomed to giving more of yourself than you can actually afford to give, leaving some sort of void within yourself. Life happens, situations change, (job changes, financial stress, kids growing up) and you lose the ability to adapt.

    The void may feel that it is within the relationship, or your partner, but it is actually within yourself.

    • ifeelsodumb February 28, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

      Wow JJ…that sums up my H exactly!! Wise words!

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