Here are the 9 most common misconceptions about infidelity.

common misconceptions about infidelity

By Linda & Doug

As a psychiatrist in the Brown University faculty, Scott Haltzman, MD has been researching men, women, marriage and relationships for more than a decade. In that time, he’s learned a lot about infidelity. 

One thing he has realized is that when people find out about infidelity, they often make all kinds of assumptions about how and why people have affairs. Many of those assumptions are just not accurate and most of what you think is true just isn’t. 

Here are Dr. Hatlzman’s  list of the 9 most common misconceptions about infidelity, and the real take on what you need to know.


Scott Haltzman9 Myths About Cheating

9. Once An Affair Is Out In The Open, A Couple Can Never Be Happy Again

 Affairs happen, and people do recover – you hardly ever hear success stories because no one’s talking. Couples can learn to successfully rebuild their relationships, and many of my patients say their bonds are even stronger once they’ve worked things through.

Distinguishing infidelity fact from fiction can help you and your partner gain a better understanding of how an affair happens, what to expect if one does and what you can do to prevent infidelity. Truth is a powerful tool that can help you recover.

8. Infidelity Is Never About Sex; It’s About Other Marital Issues

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes extramarital “sex” is just about sex. For sure, some affairs are just about unmet emotional needs, but for some people – not the majority – an affair is just about going out and getting laid.

See also  Don’t Take the Cheating Spouse’s Story Personally

7. You Can’t Call It Cheating If Sex Wasn’t Involved

Many affairs happen without any sex at all. Is staying up half the night secretly texting an old classmate about your most intimate thoughts being unfaithful? The person doing it may not see it as cheating, but you can bet your partner sees it this way. When you give an emotional part of yourself to someone with whom you could potentially cheat one day, it’s cheating.

6. Affairs Are All About Sexual Attraction

Sure, yeah, some affairs are only about the sex, but lots of the time, affairs happen because of an emotional connection. Sometimes, hanging out together and sharing feelings is as far as the affair ever goes, although it’s true that the sense of emotional closeness often leads to sex.

5. Affairs Happen Because Of Problems In The Marriage

Here’s the truth: almost every marriage has problems. Affairs don’t happen because something’s wrong with the marriage; they happen, in part, because couples don’t know how to work together to solve the issues they have. Having problems in your relationship doesn’t justify cheating.

4. Once a Cheater Always a Cheater

Yes, there are some real scumbags out there, but not everyone who cheats is evil incarnate. Many affairs are a one-and-done thing. What happens after the affair can set a marriage on a course for stability, or blow it out of the water. After ending the affair, for healing to take place, the cheater has to tell the whole truth about the affair. Knowing the truth is the first step toward healing.

See also  Discussion – What Would Have Prevented the Affair?

3. After An Affair, Kiss Your Marriage Goodbye

Not so quick! Over half of marriages survive infidelity. Although the relationship may break up from other issues in the future, when couples are willing to work together, they’re surprised to find they can rebuild the trust. The most common reasons for marriage dissolution, at 53 to 55%, is “growing apart” and not being able to talk to each other.

2. Affairs Happen With People Much Younger Or More Attractive

Not necessarily! Think of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s affair with his housekeeper. You know what I mean. And, really, did you see some of the women Tiger messed around with? OK, sometimes the 60-something corporate CEO might seek out younger playmates, but, typically, paramours are no younger, richer or more attractive than spouses — they’re just someone new.

1. Affairs Happen Because Guys Are On The Prowl

No — most of time, an affair happens to people who aren’t looking for it. This is particularly true in cases in which a partner has only cheated with one person. Affairs often begin as feeling really comfortable with someone, like the person in the cubicle next to you at work. That coziness is followed by sharing intimate secrets, which can then shift into an emotional connection that’s consummated with a full-blown tryst.

Read original article here.

Scott Haltzman, MD, is the author of The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity, published by Johns Hopkins University Press.


Can you think of any additional myths or common misconceptions about Infidelity? If so, please share them in the comment section below. Thanks!

See also  Stupid Things Said While in an Affair


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A  member’s only area where the focus will be on recovering and healing from infidelity through interaction with us,  a supportive community, access to volumes of materials and resources, and guidance from those who have been down this road before.

We want to help you get to a better place. 

    57 replies to "The 9 Most Common Misconceptions about Infidelity"

    • exercisegrace

      Overall, a good article. But there is one statement I take some issue with.

      “Affairs don’t happen because something’s wrong with the marriage; they happen, in part, because couples don’t know how to work together to solve the issues they have.”


      He is right when he says all marriages have issues. Of course they do, because we all have issues, and put two or more of us together in ANY situation (work, church, school etc) and there are going to be relational issues. Most people KNOW this. And most people know exactly what those issues ARE. Many of us would have happily done our share. Many of us did. MOST of us had no idea that our spouses were struggling as deeply as they were. The REAL issue was an INDIVIDUAL FAILURE. If you can’t speak up and say that you are struggling…if you can’t speak up and say something is a BIG DEAL to you……if you can’t admit that it’s a mountain, not a mole hill (although most of time affairs MAKE mountains out of mole hills!!)….that is a PERSONAL FAILURE. Not a marital one.

      Affairs don’t happen because “WE” have issues, they happen because ONE spouse has an issue. And for whatever reason, chooses ESCAPE instead of seeking to solve their issue in a healthy manner. I don’t know about you guys, but if my husband had been honest about his depression, his issues, feeling like we were being consumed by ‘busy”, whatever? I would have GLADLY gone to counseling and made any necessary changes.

      To ME? Affairs are a personal, individual issue. They are a moral failure on the part of the cheater. UNLESS the cheater has done all of the above and their spouse refuses to change or get help. Even then…..there is no excuse for cheating. Marital issues are completely separate. No less serious and SHOULD be dealt with. I just don’t buy into wrapping them into reasons to cheat.

      • Redemption

        EG: I can’t add anthing more other than to say I feel your words were my experience with my husband. You have voiced an exception that paralleld (sp) my own history. When I look back on pre-affair and affair time (while I still didn’t know the truth) I can recall it was always me approaching him looking for answers as to why we were derailing. I would describe to him what I felt and was feeling and ask him to talk with me. But he would never engage in conversation. He was always going to think about it and get back to me. Yea, like that happened. I could never understand why. I was so naive I actually felt sorry for him when he said he was going away “golfing” for a long weekend again because he worked hard and said it was the only fun he ever got. He has acknowledged since that it was me who was constantly trying to maintain our marriage but we are still working on him even being able to verbalize simple common sentiments/feelings. Sentiments that are more than him saying “Love You”. Not just talk about work, friends, etc. but honest to goodness “feelings”. I don’t want to hear just the words, I want to feel the words. I do not want to live in a less than state of marriage. Although I’m afraid it is still a case of the old adage ” . . . there are none so blind as those who will not see”. We are working with another “expert” and I may be a fool but I am always hopeful for the future. That being said I have told him I will either have a meaningful marriage again or no marriage. It is up to him now. I have done too much of the hard work keeping this relationship together so now I expect he either lives up to his words to finally sort himself out or I will build a new life that does not include him. I am strong enough again to do this. Seperating/divorcing would not be my first choice but I could if I had to. He is the one that cannot see any future without me or our family. And while I have chosen to remain, I have always been able to see my own future, I just couldn’t see the face of the person I was finally choosing to be with.

        • gracefortoday

          Redemption, I can relate to SO many of your comments. I remember being so fearful of the distance I was seeing in him. I begged, pleaded and sobbed for him to “talk to me”, “tell me what you are thinking”. I suggested counseling so many times. It all fell on deaf ears as he pursued the path his depression, and his whore, led him down. We had our own version of a “golf” trip. He was going away for business (she was traveling too) to a place we were familiar with. I surprised him (by spending money we really didn’t have at the time) to upgrade his room to an ocean front view. I was so happy that he could “de-stress” and “relax”. I remember asking him to set boundaries with her, not let her come into his room, etc. because at that time I felt that she was attracted to him, but I firmly believed he would never fall for her baloney. He acted like I was NUTS. Of course he wouldn’t!! What kind of guy did I think he was??!! Stupid me. They had been in a PA/EA for months by that time.

          My husband has also never been good at verbalizing his feelings, other than ( as you said) the basic things. Our therapist said I have done the emotional “heavy lifting” in our relationship and it is time for him to mature emotionally and carry his weight. She also said it won’t be easy for him and it will take time. I never thought after being married for 27 years we would be dealing with this kind of issue. But I also am not willing to throw away what has been a good marriage all these years over some worthless whore.

          • exercisegrace

            OOPS Redemption, that was ME above. I don’t know why I have two log in names on this system.

      • Heather

        I totally agree with your response to this particular statement. I too was cheated on by my husband for 2 years building up to our 25th anniversary. For several years before he began investing his time, money and emotions in OW, I approached him many times, even writing to him so he could fully absorb what I was trying to say to him. I knew for sometime that things weren’t right and asked him many times what was wrong, what was I doing wrong, I even pleased with him on several occasions with tears and a real sense of desperation, but he continued to say no it wasn’t me, it was him and that he would try harder and to give him another chance bla bla bla. But my gut told me there was more to it than that, and there was. I feel it was so unfair of him to ignore all my pleas and reasoning to address our issues. As you say every marriage will face challenges, issues and bad times, hence those cleverly thought out vows we take…for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer, because we never know what’s ahead, but we always want to know that our closest will have our backs, not cheat and betray us. It’s very very hard to come to terms with the fact that he never even gave me a chance to try and address our issues, instead he selfishly put his energy into another relationship that would give him the gratification he needed to feel good . My husband is almost unrecognisable 2 years on from that man I discovered who was betraying me I’m glad to say, but the feelings of betrayal and abandonment will stay with me for maybe the rest of my life, if not a very long time.
        It’s so easy for people to say, well there were problems in the marriage, but does that ever give anyone the right to betray ….NEVER !

      • Michelle C

        Yes. Yes. yes. A-men.

    • Gizfield

      To me, the thing that is most infuriating about these so called “emotional affairs” is for two people to do something this heinous, then act like they did nothing wrong. Dont sit there and DATE some whore while you are married ( or they are married) and act like you didn’t know it was wrong. People who dont think they are not doing anything wrong dont HIDE it. Are you really that stupid?

    • Gizfield

      On the same note, I guess they dont “know” becoming a pathological liar is wrong either…

      • exercisegrace

        Sometimes the LAYERS of who they become is just jaw-dropping, mind-numbing, incomprehensible. One small decision to cross the very first line sends them spinning out of control into a black and sordid place.

    • Strengthrequired

      Giz, ohh they know it is wrong, most have an excuse for their disgusting behaviour, they were depressed. Boohoo, I was depressed, but I didn’t lose brain cells and decide that dating another person would cure my depression. Those brain cells they lost were the ones that gave them capacity to know what was right and wrong, and also gave them the ability to hold into their good morals instead of losing them.

      I’m still waiting for my midlife, lol.

      • exercisegrace

        SR, I like your comments. My husband says his affair happened mostly due to the severe depression that clouded his judgement. He says he “went crazy” for awhile. Our therapist agrees that depression definitely impairs the decision making process. However, she also holds him accountable to the choices he made. Depression may have been a contributing factor but it certainly didn’t cause it. I struggled with this concept and sometimes still do. I was depressed too! We were going through some truly awful circumstances that were completely beyond our control. YET. I didn’t run off and join the infidelity circus. I know that his depression took him to some very dark places. I struggle to balance being accepting of this, and driving the point home to him that if his depression ever worsens to that point, he HAD BETTER figure out how to deal with it in a healthy way. He HAD BETTER have some plan in place to prevent him from diving back into the cesspool of whore.

        • Strengthrequired

          Eg, my h told me, he lost the plot…. That was at the beginning of his ea. I didn’t know it was happening at the time, yet he sure did.
          Seems a lot of people fall to the stresses of midlife crisis and depression, and use it as a way to try out someone new.
          Where is my midlife, I want to see if I decide a new man is a better option, and makes me feel better. ( just kidding) yet at least I would know how wonderful or not so wonderful he felt.

          • exercisegrace

            SR, ha ha ha ha ha. One night after a nice “encounter” my husband commented on just how nice it was! Very meanly I replied that I wouldn’t know….. *I* have never been with anyone but him and have no comparison. He traded the purity of one and only for the chance to stand in line and ride the rent-a-whore. I said I would take his word for it, ha ha. Needless to say, my comment didn’t make him very happy!

            • Strengthrequired

              Eg, hahaha, my h rented a home for his ow, she definately was rented out as a renta whore, lol. Why do these cs have to choose such an expensive hobby? My h told me the other day, she was a fad. Lol
              Thank goodness that fad, faded and didn’t last, god only knows where we would have ended up, with that expensive hobby.

            • Strengthrequired

              Ohhh eg, I get really sarcastic when I talk to my h at times, I really do need to settle with the sarcasism. Lol. I tell him a lot, gee cousin it would enjoy this, ohh cousin it would enjoy that, ohhh I bet you would love to meet up with cousin it here, or there. Lol. It’s a wonder he hasn’t gotten sick of it. Hehehe
              Yet makes me feel good letting him know what an ass he was.

    • Gizfield

      Oooo ps , Strength, I responded to you but accidentally put it under the What Would You Do if Your Spouse cheated again post, lol. sorry.

      • Strengthrequired

        Lol giz, I responded to you there.

    • Gizfield

      Amazingly, I heard that exact phrase. “went crazy.” I have to say, Yes, you did. What of it? Doesn’t change a thing.

      • exercisegrace

        It really doesn’t change anything does it? I am just as broken. It doesn’t matter if he chose to cheat, cold sober and knowing exactly what he was doing. It doesn’t matter if he was depressed, crazy and manipulated by a serial whore (which he was). The end result is the same. I have told him over and over. When you pull the pin and throw the grenade, the person who gets their limbs blown off doesn’t really care that you are sorry. It doesn’t lessen the trauma that you wish with all your soul you could “unthrow” that grenade. It doesn’t matter what state of mind you were in when you threw it.

        Don’t get me wrong, there ARE some things that matter. It matters that he IS sorry. It matters that he is trying, attending therapy, and by all appearances is the poster boy for repentant cheating spouses. I read a news article today where a guy going twice the speed limit hit and killed a child on a bike. After the trial he flippantly said to the grieving parents……shit happens and life goes on. OMG. So yes, attitude DOES matter. But dead is still dead, all the same.

        • Strengthrequired

          All the sorries in the world doesn’t change anything. It cannot be undone. We can’t forget, but we definately can move on past this time of our lives. Maybe even laugh at them for their stupidity.

    • theresa

      The WS says he’s sorry, it will never happen again. I don’t why.
      And thinks this is enough.

      • Strengthrequired

        Theresa, the past can’t be changed, but our lives can improve. We just have to be willing to try and find out.

    • Gizfield

      Eg there was a thing going around facebook awhile back. About a dish. It said
      “take the dish and throw it on the floor.
      Is it broken,? Yes.
      Tell the dish you’ re sorry.
      Is it still BROKEN? Yes.

      I think it’s great when the cheater is remorseful, sorry, better person, etc. but it never erases what they did. It cannot be undone. Nothing can.

      It’s awful about the bicylist. Poor family. We had a similar story here recent ly. Drunk chick killed a 13 year old boy scout, changing a tire, in front of his mother and sister. No amount of sorry could ever be enough.

      Saw a story on Sharon Tate murders the other day. Tex Watson (hope thats right) and some of the others are now Christians. Tex married while in prison and had four children. Sharon and the other victims are still dead.

      • exercisegrace

        Exactly so Giz and that is what enrages me sometimes. He did it. It’s over. It can’t be undone. So NOW WHAT? It basically falls to ME to make something out of this mess. Up to ME to decide to have a good and happy life anyway. To not let this eviscerate our family. Why does the heavy lifting…….one way or another ALWAYS seem to come back to us?

        • Gizfield

          My exact question, E.G.. SO What Now? I feel like I’ve put so much more into this than he (or anyone) could ever deserve. So I guess now, I’ve quit “putting”. We’ll see how it goes.

        • Strengthrequired

          Eg, it does feel like the heavy lifting is left on us, the bs.

      • Strengthrequired

        Giz, what about the plate not breaking? Pick it up throw it again and again until it breaks. Then say sorry for breaking the plate. Then that gets taken as deliberate, because you really wanted to break the plate

    • Strengthrequired

      That’s really sad about the child. Some people have no remorse.

    • Gizfield

      Lol, I love it ! A few months ago my husband had a tick on him and I got it off. Ewwwww. He got another a few days ago and I wouldn’t even look at it. what is with these things. ? I’m a city girl. I dont do ticks. He had another one today, and said I’ll have to get you to check my back. I said ” you’ll have to call your other girlfriend for that, lol.” I dont think I’d ever even seen a tick before, they are bad this year.

      • Strengthrequired

        Lol giz, I tell him that if anything ever happens to me, he already has a replacement in call. He gets upset and tells me, nothing is going to happen to you, no one takes your place. Lol
        Ohhh really, I think, I’m sure cousin it will be swooping around waiting to pick up the pieces if something did happen. That’s what vultures do.

    • Gizfield

      I NEVER mention his girlfriend or the adultery directly. I do make sarcastic remarks and jokes about cheaters and girlfriends in general. I guess I’m just passive aggressive that way, lol. If I say anything directly he gets nasty and defensive, so why bother. I still get my point across.

      • Strengthrequired

        Giz, that part about cousin it, is what I think when he tells me no one takes my place. Lol
        That’s me thinking yeah right.
        My h is working in another state this weekend, and he was telling me about more work he is hoping to get by this customer. He was saying how he could end up working away at least once a month. This time I did say, I’m sure this working away is a good way of getting cousin it to meet you. He said, no I’m working, I’m there to make money not lose it. Hmmmmm, still makes me uneasy.
        I guess he at least acknowledge that when she was with him he lost money.

    • Rachel

      Ugh!! I have to see the ex at my sons award ceremony tomorrow night and graduation friday night. Someone please give me STRENGTH!!!!

      • Strengthrequired

        Rachel, sending all the strength vibes I can muster up for you. Hold your head up high, and laugh and smile, and let everything roll off of your back. Don’t let him think at all that he affects you. Imagine him as just another person, not your ex.

      • Saw the Light (formerly Roller Coaster Rider)

        Rachel, what has worked for me is the “person on the bus” mentality. This is where you remember that your former spouse is just another person on the bus, no more, no less. He cannot hurt you anymore (this is theoretical, mind you, but you fake it til you make it, if you catch my drift).

        Better yet, pray for no eye contact, no conversation whatsoever. I stressed and stressed over the marriage of our daughter last fall, and when all was said and done, he came and went and I had virtually no contact with him…and had a great time!

        I do wish you well.

        • Rachel

          Ok great, thank you both. Haven’t seen him since the divorce in September. So I like the no eye contact idea. And just another person in the crowd.
          I will hold my head high. And the smile will just come naturally. I’m so proud of my son!!! He’s been thru hell and back. Thank you !!! You’re the best!!!!

          • Strengthrequired

            Have a good time Rachel, I know you will be ok.

    • Gizfield

      I agree with Saw the Light. She knows her stuff. Just pretend like you dont know him. If you do have to look at him, make it a kind of vague, unconcerned look. Just try to focus on your son. I know my husband’s parents, the loon in laws, had to always make it about themselves. I later learned they caused me to not get married in my own church, with a reception given by my friends. Because they would cause some crap. We ran off to Florida to get married.

      Several years later I saw my brother and sister in laws wedding photos. Neither parent was there!! Talk about the epitome of selfishness. You make your own child’s wedding about yourself!! Anyway, you’ll do fine. He’s not worth your time, so just enjoy the ocassion and dont even think of him.

    • Tabs

      EG, GIZ, SR, I agree with your assessments. Nothing can undo the PA. Now what?! My H seems remorsefusl and wants to stay married. However, it’s really all up to me. Three years from D-day and I’m still debating if I made the right decision to stay married.

      GIZ, I make lots of comments, both indirect and direct. I get no response, mostly because he doesn’t want me getting face red mad. BUT, he heard the comment and understands that his PA is still quite fresh in my mind. If I’m upset, he can damn well know about it.

      • Strengthrequired

        Tabs, I think this is our new normal, always wondering is it worth staying married to the person we thought we knew. I honestly don’t think our cs truly understand how much they hurt us, and the impact of how much their betrayal affected us. My h actually thinks I should be over it by now.

    • Rachel

      Thank you, giz!!

    • 2redhorses

      Rachel. I feel for you. Focus on why you’re there, for your boy! It’s awkward to share the moment with someone you dispise I’m sure.

      I have to suffer with seeing my husbands whore almost daily. On the way to work, at school things, walking in town etc…
      My husband has cut off contact with all the friends we used to have with her and claims there is nothing going on and most days I believe him. But man, when I see her my pulse races, my hands shake and sometimes it feel myself holding my breath. I go into full panic mode.
      I just wonder when this will ever end

    • Tabs


      A new normal…. What a way to look at it. I was always under the impression that I could some how reconcile these feelings. But after 3 years, I should’ve realized I never will.

      • Strengthrequired

        Tabs, I think our feelings can improve, but in all honesty we are forever changed, we just learn to live with it as time goes by. I do believe we can have a better married life, with our cs. Yet it has to be what nothing want.

    • Jrs

      SR – new normal is absolutely right. There are things that wouldn’t have bothered me prior to my h’s affair, but now they are triggers for me because he did those things with her. I’m not sure those will ever completely go away.

      I check text records, I ask for transparency in his dealings with certain women, etc. Sometimes I get it, more often I don’t. I decided this week to stop asking for it. I’m going to see a counselor this week to discuss ways I can detach but stay in the marriage. I don’t know if that’s possible, but we will see. We have young daughters and he is a great father. Divorce isn’t an option for me at this time, but I need my sanity and have to figure out how to reclaim it when my h won’t do what I need for me to heal from this.

    • Strengthrequired

      Jrs, I can understand the reasons for being unable to leave, because of your young children. My youngest is 3 yrs and the second youngest is 5 yrs. the deserve to have their parents both together, as well as my older children, but these two have not had as much time with their dad as the others. Yet none of them should have had to feel someone else had their dad’s attention more than them.
      I hoe the counselling works for you, and if you are given a way of keeping your sanity, and also detaching yourself from all the thoughts, then let me know.
      My h tries to detach him from what happened, so he doesn’t always tell me things either. I would love to have that secure feeling back. Yet I think once we are back together completely instead of only seeing my h one full day a week, then I think, well I hope that secure and trusting art of me will gradually return.
      My h was away on the weekend, and ohh the thoughts I had, I would love to be able to not even think bad thoughts. He came home land had bought me a lovely necklace back with him. I know while he was still seeing his ow, I didn’t even get a thought, or even a look in. This is the second beautiful thing he has bought me in the past month, without there being any occasion for it, just something he wanted to do.
      I do think though, if your h is wanting to be with you, and puts the effort in to,showing you now, that you are important, even if he doesn’t like to talk about the ea, then I think as long as you both are reconnecting, then things can be better. I know it is worrying being uncertain about how much of your heart to give back to your ch, after what he has done, boy do I know, I do think though although we won’t forget, we can get to a better place, and be truly happy again. Possibly more closer than ever.
      I do think we need to focus on every thing good, all the subtle but noticeable changes our ch do,now, towards us. I think if we keep thinking about the good the are doing, then eventually the dwelling on the hurt and pain they put us through, will be out weighed, and those bad thoughts will become less and less.
      I think too, we know that after all we have been through, we will always keep,our eyes and ears open.
      Some helpful advise I was given by some of the lovely ladies here, was every time you felt those negative thoughts, picture a stop sign. I often see a hand held up, or even in my mind a loud stop…. I think practising that can eventually help especially if you feel so compelled to keep checking records, every time you feel that drive to just have a look, see that stop sign, and focus then on something else.

      We are here for you….

    • Jrs

      SR – I appreciate that guidance very much! It sounds like we are in similar situations.

      My h is very generous now with gifts and he never was before. These are “just because” gifts. He travels a lot for work (mostly day trips) and the other day he came home with something I had wanted for a long time. He said he knows the burden falls disproportionately on me when he’s gone to take care of everything and he appreciates all I do. He never did that during the EA, in fact he skipped Mother’s Day that year completely. So I do try my best to recognize those things.

      My triggers are mainly around new women. The AP is long gone. The behaviors of his that started the EA, though, still exist. Lots and lots of texting females related to work things, including on weekend nights, but doing it when I can’t see. When I see a pattern of a ton of texts to the same woman and ask why he’s using my time (our time at home together) to text her, he’s got no good answer. And when I ask him to tell me when he needs to text a client over and over on Saturday afternoon and give me full disclosure, he won’t do it. It’s things like that. He’s the type who likes the attention. He’s an attorney and some of these women seem to think he’s their personal counselor as well, and I’ve told him that’s crossing the line. It’s things like that. But after a long time of asking him to be transparent and he’s not, I realize it’s occupying too much of my time being worried and it’s making me feel massively paranoid.

      So we will see how tomorrow goes with the counselor. I’ll let you know what she says. Thank you for your kind words and best of luck to you in your journey!!

      • Strengthrequired

        Jrs, I am supposed to move back to my home in 5 weeks time and I have my moments of whether I can. I will of course because of my children, but I certainly don’t want to be made a fool of either, like during my h ea. it doesn’t stop my thoughts though, if moving back to my home, and really not knowing if my h is still seeing the ow behind my back, just to keep his cousin connection, which I believe should not be even considered, since they went beyond that status. I wonder whether my husbands family know things and have been told not to say anything to me when I see them, which makes me wonder how do I look at them without judging eyes.
        My h as I mentioned doesn’t tell me everything, and that makes me uncomfortable too, everything I get from him for the reasons him not being home for us is, I’m working, I’m not playing.
        I asked him to come hime this Friday, so we can have the whole weekend together, his response ” we will see, as he has had a short week because of his business trip, so let a few days of work due to travel”. My response to him, I that is not my fault, you went for work, you chose to stay there when there an extra day when work had finished, when you could have returned home that day, instead of staying.”
        I told him, that I’m tired of his work coming before us, the children and myself.
        Still not sure if he will come home this Friday or not, but wouldn’t surprise me, if he decides there is some more work he needs to do, so he will need to work Saturday, even though nothing is planned for him to do so right now.
        So that is a trigger for me. He doesn’t keep his phone on him thought when he is here, it is our time, yet it doesn’t stop me from wondering when he does have his phone with him, when we go out, and he happened to go to the mens room or walks away from us, whether he texts or calls someone while we are not around him.
        Your husband should be telling his clients that messaging him on the weekend or evening out of business hours is not appropriate unless an emergency.mmi would assume if it is an emergency then a call would be more likely to happen. I am not sure why messaging back and forth would be ok by him. He should be telling them, that they need to contact him during business hours.
        I just think like most of our ch, they like being the hero, to some damsel in distress. So of course the attention gives them that feel good feeling. It annoys me, that the only person they should be thinking of and spending time with is their family, yet they seem to let other things get in the way, when it comes to us. They assume we are going to be there forever.

    • Jrs

      SR – Bingo bingo bingo bingo!! They like to be the hero. Period. End of story. I need a hero, too. I need my husband to stand up,for the devastation in our marriage. I need my husband to say all this BS with these other women is a distraction from the woman I really love. But he can’t/won’t do that.

      If we stay together it will be because I will sacrifice what I need for his need to play the hero. I had a horrendous childhood. I am not playing the martyr. I’m breaking the cycle so my girls won’t marry smoke and mirrors. I married a man I thought would make a great husband. He is truly a fantastic father. He couldn’t give a shit what it takes to be a great husband. We had a blow up tonight about what I don’t do for him. I pointed out that this week while our girls are away at camp, I have listened to nothing but his work stories. I supported him when he started his own business 8 years ago and we have always focused on him and his business. Ok, fine, but at LEAST give me what I’m asking you for. Just tell me who these women are that you must communicate with at all hours!!!!

      I am, to quote someone I can’t recall, dead from the neck up. This is not what I want, but it’s necessary to get through this stage for my kids.

      Sorry to be so negative. A night’s rest will do me good. Hugs to you.

    • Strengthrequired

      Jrs, what you want from your h, for him to be your hero, I told my h exactly that. Instead of him being a hero to everyone else, he needs to be my hero. Yet for some reason, they know they have us, so it’s like they believe they don’t need to be our hero, only those who they feel sorry for.
      I’m sorry your h still doesn’t get it, in a way I believe they know that we won’t leave them because of the children, so they believe they don’t need to work as hard.
      Take care ok.

    • Jrs

      SR – you are right. They know we aren’t leaving, so they think it’s ok to keep doing.

      Well, I had a GREAT session today with the counselor. My h and I had both seen her years ago during and after the EA so she has good insight about him. I shared with her today what was going on. She said he has a large need to feed his ego. These texts and feeling needed by others is the fuel for it. She pointed out that I have asked repeatedly for disclosure from him and haven’t gotten it and asked if I really think that will change. (No.) So, I can continue to check text records and get upset about what he’s not telling me, which is getting me nowhere and starting to mess with my emotional state more and more, or I can imagine myself surrounded by a hula hoop and realize I can only control what’s in the hoop. I can’t control him or any other women.

      She also said me chasing him down about texts and what I need from him is likely feeding his ego, too. She told me to focus on myself. Stop worrying about all these other people and what may or may not be happening. She said to pointedly tell him I am not going to be checking his records or ask who he’s texting and I am only going to worry about what I can control.

      That might not be great advice for someone who has just discovered an affair, but I think it’s good advice for someone who is 4 years out and still asking for what she needs from her CH. I think this is where I need to be now. I think it will be a big surprise to him since I’ve been on guard for years. We will see how this goes, but I feel good about it. I’ve gone running the last two nights and plan to again tonight. I’m making time for myself instead of fretting about something I’m not going to get.

      She also said if all he wants to talk about is his work, listen for a while and then talk about what’s important to me or decide to go read a book or do something I want to do. She’s right. I don’t need to feel held hostage because of what he wants to talk about.

      Anyway, feeling good about my new approach and outlook. No idea what the impact will be on the dynamic between us, but it will be good for my mental state and that’s what matters most to me right now. 🙂 I’ll see her again next week to see how I’m feeing about this and go from there!

    • Strengthrequired

      Jrs, it sounds like you did get a lot out of your session, that’s great. She is right you know, we can’t control what’s others do, not our husbands or anyone else, we can only control what we do. I am so anxious about moving where I will end up being with my husband every night, only because I am so worried he will hurt me again, keep the secrets, and tell me lies. I just don’t know. He tells me things will be better when we are home there and he will be with us more often, yet after a conversation with him yesterday I am starting to think otherwise. He was working late as usual, and as I was talking to him on the phone, I said, are you going to be working like this when we move back? He said, it depends on the work that I have, I have to. I said, he needed to reorganise his time of work, of course I get the third degree that he has to work, to pay the bills, blah blah blah. Instantly, I went back in time, to before the affair, and how I was waiting for him at home all the time, just to decide to finish work and be with us. This was his excuse back then too. Yet how easy it was for him to dro “work” when she was in the picture.
      She took the time from him, that I wanted for his children and me, and since I moved away almost two years ago, it is worse than ever, and now I think he believes that going back to his old ways with work I should be happy, because I am seeing him more often than what I am now. It just seems like I am stepping back in time, but not to when I was really happy and had him around.
      I’m just not sure things are going to be any different. Yet it isn’t about me, it’s shut my children and they need him.

    • Jrs

      SR – I hear every single thing you’re saying. I have the exact same fears and I have the same anger about the time that was taken from me and my girls. But I’ve had it for 4 years and I couldn’t take it any more. It was making me crazy in my own head.

      My h had his EA with a coworker and it lasted for about a year. She is 17 years younger than me and drop dead gorgeous. I had 3 D Days with this hag. I was LIVID and ready to throw him out. She continued to work there for a whole year more. I worried every day what was happening. He was a complete ass to me at the time but I didn’t want the girls to be hurt if he moved out because they are so close to him so I sucked it up. It was really gut wrenching. Things got better but they never got back to what I hoped for. And now I realize I have pissed away the last 3 years full of worry. That’s not fair to my girls any more than his affair was.

      I have to make these changes in my head for me. They most definitely do not guarantee he won’t cheat again. But if he does, I will be so much stronger of a person and will know I did all I could to make it work. It feels very freeing. Not for him but for me. 🙂

      I feel like you are a kindred spirit and I so hope things work out for you and your family!!!

      • Strengthrequired

        Jrs, kindred spirit, for sure. I know he you feel about just not being able to take the constant fear and always having that need to make sure your h is doing the right things and not still being a sneaky ass. My h affair lasted as far as I know about fourteen months. The hardest thing to have ever had to face was him being a complete stranger and making his children and I suffer by his actions, while he made sure his ow and her kids were ok.
        I am not sure how I managed to get through the days, and the nights, trying to handle my own emotions, as well as my children’s emotions, and then trying to help my h at the same time, one his eyes and see what he is doing is wrong. I ended up moving about 8 months into my h affair, they both were literally sending me to the looney bin, I was going crazy feeling like I needed to see if he was where he was saying and that he was doing what he was telling me he was doing when it came to the ow.
        I was tired of him leaving us alone, while he went out every day of the week. He knew I was at my wits end so he suggested we move up to our holiday apartment, and then we would look at selling up house and we would find a house up where I am now, once we find a descent area we were happy with. He said he would be with us every weekend, how he wanted to spend time walking along the beach and fishing etc.
        so we moved, turned out he was still in constant contact with the ow until approx four months after our move, and he was always dropping us to go back to where we moved from. It took him 4 months to change his address, which is when I believe was the time he stopped with her. Yet we really knows. So I ended up in my new address, turning into me and our children being alone anywhere from 5 nights a week to ten twelve nights in a fortnight.
        I’m surprised I’m still here with my h, yet I keep holding onto the changes he made, as my children need him, and god forbid I let another woman have my children with him.
        So in a month I am moving back to my home, and I am not so sure it is for me at all, I think it is mostly for my children. Yet I owe it to myself to see how things will be different when I do move, I need to let my h prove himself. Yet I find it so hard because the ow is my h cousin, and he will always have someone telling him how she is, or talking to him bout her, and I won’t even know.
        I am not sure what he tells me is true that he has no feelings for her anymore, that she means nothing to him, because I have heard it all before. I have had so many ddays, it isn’t funny, my last dday was when I found out about two months ago, that my h ea ended up a pa. That’s where I question whether I can move, or should I just run the opposite direction. Yet it all comes down to my children and what I feel is best for them.
        Did your counsellor give you ideas on what to do, when you feel tempted to check?
        I would love to see how this works for you, because I know I need to do something more positive. Instead of always worrying what my h does with his spare time, when he isn’t with me.
        I am so sick and tired of always feeling like I need to be on guard. He should be the protector now.

    • Laurie

      I can’t agree with you more

    • Need Out

      Unfortunately, back to the original article, therapists/counselors are still trained to treat the betrayed as 50% of the problem thus piling onto us even more trauma. My husband laid all the blame on me after finally confessing to a multi year EA, through 3 years of multiple counselors as I sat there in shock. I tried to follow all of the “advice” they gave me about what I had been doing wrong all the while he was sustaining a porn addiction that he was able to continue hiding from not just me but all of those “professionals” too. I still knew something wasn’t quite right but no one would believe me and belittled me for being unfair to him.
      Finally a new CSAT counselor saw his game and suggested possibly SA. He finally confessed right at the beginning of the stay at home orders so he could trap me here at least for a bit longer. Loving, equal partner, huh?
      So when I read & hear anyone who says or even implies that the betrayed has any ownership in the cheaters lying, manipulative, hurtful behaviors I just have to call BS, I won’t accept any of the blame anymore.

    • Phoenix2020

      My position on the “problems in the marriage” explanation has gotten much clearer in the three years since discovering my husband’s affair. Using this explanation is tantamount to victim blaming and just further injures the betrayed, who is already utterly shattered and already drowning in self blame. Therapists who start there may be well meaning, and they may be trying to keep the cheating partner in the room, but they risk sanctioning abuse by taking this position. The cheating partner will be all too willing to justify his/her actions by laying the blame at the feet of the betrayed. And it’s not just therapists who do this. Friends and acquaintances who are fond of the betrayer (who might just be a publicly charming but privately antagonistic partner) will be dismayed to the point of excusing the behavior by cataloguing the betrayed’s every flaw or failure. Too often, these ideas aren’t objective; they have been “seeded” by the betraying spouse to lay the groundwork for when the truth comes out or to justify their own cognitive dissonance. Maybe there’s just enough truth in them to catch hold, but you can bet the farm that those flaws, whatever they may be, have been exaggerated and embellished to the edge of grotesque.
      For me it’s the same as blaming the bank for being robbed. Sure there’s money there and all, and sure the tellers can be terrified into handing over the cash. But even if the security measures in place are imperfect, even lame, it all still boils down to the perpetrator’s decision to steal! Would a jury fail to convict because the vault happened to be unlocked at the time? The robbery may have been easier to pull off, but the decision to steal remains the decision to steal! It is so strange to me that this example is so easily grasped by the same folks who are so ready to blame the betrayed partner and problems in relationship (for which the betrayed partner must surely be responsible) for the unfaithful’s decision to cheat.
      I will say that my WS has grown a lot since our catastrophe, and the relationship we have now reflects changes that we BOTH have made, separately and together. I am deeply grateful. I will also say that, although he tests at genius level, it took the “bank robbery” illustration above for him to “get it” that he needed to acknowledge his choice to “rob the bank” and to dig into his own heart and mind to understand how he could have chosen to do such a thing. There was simply no productive way for us to look at changing our relationship dynamics until he could address that he not only betrayed me, but also his own morals and principles. Sadly, it cost us the long-time friends to whom he chose to discredit me. I don’t know what’s really going on with them, but in their shoes I think I would feel used.

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