A betrayed spouse writes to his wife as to why it’s so important for him to know the details of the affair.


By Linda & Doug

We’ve addressed the importance of full disclosure and providing the details of the affair by the cheater a few times.  In fact, Sarah P. wrote a nice article as recently as April.  But the other day we came across a wonderful letter on the Marriage Advocates site that we feel might benefit some of you.

Perhaps you might want use the letter as a template, edit it to fit your situation and then present it to your spouse. (If so, you can click here for a text version of the letter. Once open, save to your computer or copy and paste it into your own document.)

If you’re the wayward spouse, maybe this letter can help you can gain a clearer understanding of the effects your affair has had and maybe help you see things more through the eyes (and the reality) of your spouse.

Anyways, we hope this is helpful!

The Need to Know the Details of the Affair – “Joseph’s Letter”

I know you are feeling the pain of guilt and confusion. I understand that you wish all this never happened and that you wish it would just go away. I can even believe that you truly love me and that your indiscretion hurts you emotionally much the same way it hurts me.

I understand your apprehension to me discovering little by little, everything that led up to your indiscretion, everything that happened that night, and everything that happened afterwards. I understand. No one wants to have a mistake or misjudgment thrown in his or her face repeatedly. 

No one wants to be forced to ‘look’ at the thing that caused all their pain over and over again. I can actually see, that through your eyes, you are viewing this whole thing as something that just needs to go away, something that is over, that he/she doesn’t mean anything to you, so why is it such a big issue?

See also  The Results from the Emotional Affair Journey Reader Survey

I can understand you wondering why I torture myself with this continuously, and thinking, doesn’t he/she know by now that I love him/her? I can see how you can feel this way and how frustrating it must be. But for the remainder of this letter I’m going to ask you to view my reality through my eyes. 

You were there. There is no detail left out from your point of view. Like a puzzle, you have all the pieces and you are able to reconstruct them and be able to understand the whole picture, the whole message, or the whole meaning. You know exactly what that picture is and what it means to you and if it can affect your life and whether or not it continues to stir your feelings. You have the pieces, the tools, and the knowledge. 

You can move through your life with 100% of the picture you compiled. If you have any doubts, then at least you’re carrying all the information in your mind and you can use it to derive conclusions or answers to your doubts or question. You carry all the ‘STUFF’ to figure out OUR reality. There isn’t really any information, or pieces to the puzzle that you don’t have.

Now let’s enter my reality. Let’s both agree that this affects our lives equally. The outcome no matter what it is will affect us both. Our future and our present circumstances are every bit as important to me as it is to you. So, why then is it okay for me to be left in the dark? Do I not deserve to know as much about the night that nearly destroyed our relationship as you do?

Just like you, I am also able to discern the meaning of certain particulars and innuendos of that night and just like you, I deserve to be given the opportunity to understand what nearly brought our relationship down. 

See also  Why People Cheat in Relationships

To assume that I can move forward and accept everything at face value is unrealistic and unless we stop thinking unrealistically I doubt our lives will ever ‘feel’ complete. You have given me a puzzle. It is a 1000 piece puzzle and 400 random pieces are missing. You expect me to assemble the puzzle without the benefit of looking at the picture on the box. You expect me to be able to discern what I am looking at and to appreciate it in the same context as you. You want me to be as comfortable with what I see in the picture as you are. 

When I ask if there was a tree in such and such area of the picture you tell me don’t worry about it, it’s not important. When I ask whether there were any animals in my puzzle you say don’t worry about it, it’s not important. When I ask if there was a lake in that big empty spot in my puzzle you say, what’s the difference? It’s not important. 

Then later when I’m expected to understand the picture in my puzzle you fail to understand my disorientation and confusion. You expect me to feel the same way about the picture as you do but deny me the same view as you. When I express this problem you feel compelled to admonish me for not understanding it, for not seeing it the way you see it.

The Real Reasons Cheaters Don’t Want to Talk About Their Affair

You wonder why I can’t just accept whatever you chose to describe to me about the picture and then be able to feel the same way you feel about it. 

So, you want me to be okay with everything. You think you deserve to know and I deserve to wonder. You may honestly feel that the whole picture, everything that happened is insignificant because in your heart you know it was a mistake and wish it never happened. But how can I know that? Faith? Because you told me so?

See also  Affair Recovery Survey Results

Would you have faith if the tables were turned? Don’t you understand that I want to believe you completely? But how can I? I can never know what is truly in your mind and heart.

I can only observe you actions, and what information I have acquired and slowly, over time rebuild my faith in your feelings. I truly wish it were easier. 

So, there it is, as best as I can put it. That is why I ask questions. That is where my need to know is derived from. And that is why it is unfair for you to think that we can effectively move forward and unfair for you to accuse me of dwelling on the past. My need to know stems from my desire to hold our world together. 

It doesn’t come from jealousy, it doesn’t come from spitefulness, and it doesn’t come from a desire to make you suffer. It comes from the fact that I love you. Why else would I put myself through this? Wouldn’t it be easier for me to walk away? Wouldn’t it be easier to consider our relationship a bad mistake in my life and to move on to better horizons? Of course it would, but I can’t and the reason I can’t is because I love you and that reason in itself makes all the difference in the world. 

Once again, you can click here for a text version of the letter that you can edit/print and use as a template.  

Here are some additional posts that are related to effectively communicating after an affair:

The Big Five: Gottman’s Communication Techniques to Talk about Infidelity

Effective Communication – What is it and how do I do it?

8 Communication ‘Don’ts’ After the Affair

As usual, please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below.  Thanks!


*This article was originally posted on 8/18/2015 and updated on 10/27/2020


    70 replies to "A Betrayed Spouse Needs to Know the Details of the Affair"

    • TheFirstWife

      Wow. So well written and explains so much. My H will be reading this tonight. BTW I thought the analogy was a good one about the tables being turned and how would you (The Cheating Spouse) feel if this happened to you?

      I would love to hear some feedback on this topic. My question is do you think your spouse would stay married if they were the betrayed? Would we as the cheating spouse be worth it to them to stay and try to repair, recover and rebuild the marriage?

    • Strengthrequired

      tFW, I don’t think my husband would have stayed if the tables were turned. I believe he would not have. He tells me differently, but I don’t believe him.

      I read this on another site one day, What this husband wrote his wife was well written, and how the cheating spouse couldn’t understand how it feels to be left in the dark after reading this would be beyond me.

      • tryingtorecover

        When I first found out abut the OW I asked my husband this very question- would he stay with me if the tables were turned and he stated “no” unequivocally. A few months later when he moved back in and wanted to work things out with me he changed his tune… he stated he would try. I believe the cheater states what they want their spouse to do at that time.

        He refused to disclose all the information about his EA and I went to the extent of contacting the OW to get answers. He said that I’m loving in the past and I’m “stuck” when I’d ask questions…. He wasn’t willing or able to help me heal. In addition to this he remained unwilling to share some accounts.

        Ten months following D day we’re still at the point where he still won’t share his phone account records, even though he states he isn’t speaking to the OW. I’ve decide I need to move on considering the lack of empathy and disclosure of information. If I’m unable to receive 100 percent transparency I can’t rebuild trust. I just asked him to move out and he’s been in his own apartment for a week now…. I miss him, but I remind myself that there’s so much I still don’t know and the pain he caused- I may be avoiding more future suffering.

        Maybe at 40 years old I’ll find honest love with integrity. After 21 years of being together this seems like the affair itself- an illusion. I still pray to be cherished, honored and loved by a healthy man someday.

        I can’t say

        • Victoria

          This is 2021 and I’m reading your post for the first time. I wonder if things worked out for you? I hope so I have been married twice and the first one left. It was truly easier that way. This time I am 69 compared to 26 … not so easy to just leave. I had faith and lots of hope in starting over at 26…. but now it’s rough.

          • Karen

            Oh Victoria, your story is exactly the same as mine! The only difference is I’m one yr. younger on both accounts, amazing!! If I was younger, I’d leave again! I can’t even imagine leaving & trying to start over at 68. I’ve decided to stay & try my best to work through it because I still love him dearly. There are also now children, grandchildren, & now 3 great grandchildren that would be affected. Not to mention a lifetime of goals, accomplishments & a lifetime of memories. I can’t just throw all that away. 40yrs. of being with him is a long time (a life time, since I was 27), to tell him to leave but I wish I could. Also, there’s not enough money to each be living on our own. I know these are sad reasons to stay but I don’t see any other options at my age. This is not where I saw ourselves in our golden years of our retirement!! I’m not sure I’m able to forgive him either, this has torn me to shreds & shattered my life, heart, soul, mind & total being. I don’t even recognize or know him or myself anymore. I even wonder if our years together have just been a lie?? I really don’t know anymore… I still don’t have all the truth, as I’m getting a lot of “I don’t remembers’ & I don’t knows’. I think he does know the answers but doesn’t want to admit to them. I guess I’ll never know but I’ll try my best to put our lives back together.

            • Lish

              Oh sweet Karen.
              I am going on 38 years old and our one year D day is next week. I am dreading it to my very soul. We have two kids together, they are 9 years old and 5 years old. We have been married for 14 years. We dated through high school and we married when I was 22.
              We had very small bumps in marriage, nothing major. We suffered with infertility and pregnancy losses. But everything seemed to make us stronger, until this.
              I feel like my whole world has shattered into unrecognizable and unrepairable pieces. I thought our lives were perfect until the day he came home and told me that they were fought by her husband. They had been in a relationship for a little over 3 years. I feel like such an idiot for not noticing or having any clue. I struggle daily with thoughts, and images that have been painted in my head of the details that have been disclosed. I want the details, but now they haunt me. Yet I still don’t feel that I have enough for me to be at peace with all of it. I have no idea if I will ever be at peace with it. I try! I try to act happy. I try to move on. But there are reminders and triggers everywhere.
              I had asked him shortly after discovery if the tables were turned if he would stay, and he said “probably not”. His justification for that answer is that men having a harder time holding grudges and letting things go than women do. No so sure about that.
              It is so much easier said than done, but if your not happy, do everything you can to get yourself there. I am trying. If I feel like I am in a constant state of misery, I don’t see myself staying. It’s not worth it. Life is too short to be miserable intentionally.
              I am not a materialistic person, never have been. My husband has spent more money on me these past 360 days (since discovery) than he has our entire marriage and dating. I will not be bought. Things don’t make me happy. Someone I can love and trust does.
              Good luck sweet Karen.
              We are behind you. We all want you to be happy. Happily ever after, with or possible without a partner. Both are possible if BOTH parties work everyday for it.

    • Tabs

      I asked my CH this exact question: What would he do if I cheated? I got a half-hearted “I dunno” answer. He didn’t know how he would feel and he didn’t want to dwell on it. He thought he would make the effort to try and be understanding. I get the feeling he just wants to placate me. I’m pretty sure I would’ve been kicked to the curb.

      I like the analogy of the puzzle and confusion. I’m going to read this letter to my CH and watch his reaction. He thinks I’m obsessed with the details. But as this letter so eloquently puts it, I just want the FULL picture.

      • TheFirstWife

        Tabs. I am sorry things ended up this way for you. I am sure you wished your H could have seen the light and done the right thing.

        I agree 100% that he must be hiding SOMETHING if he won’t give you complete access. My experience was I was told it the contact had ended. Yes it did for a few weeks and then it started back up again. Which is why he changed his email account password. I knew he did it but was trying to show him trust and faith.

        When he did finally end it he thought he could just gloss over it and I would never know the affair had been going on for the last 4 months. Long story short I cslled OW and found out it had been going on again

        The difference is now I have complete access to his phone, emails, computers, iPad etc. his doing not mine. He sends me his travel plans and meetings and dates and times voluntarily. Because it is the way he wants it.

        Me? I look at it sometimes but don’t feel the need to very often. But my H is doing everything possible to have us move on from this. He realizes what a mistake he made.

        I can tell you for 6 months I did everything I could to get him to realize what he was doing was wrong and how we could recover and salvage our marriage. He just took all I had to offer and did nothing. He is so ashamed of his behavior now.

        But I have to say you are spot on w/ your H. Unless he is willing to do something you are fighting s losing battle. If he cannot give you what you need then there is a problem. Your intuition is correct.

        You can csll this a mid life crisis or something else. It is cheating and it is wrong. My H had an EA for 2 years (before anyone knew what an EA was). I called him on it and saw how this girl wanted him as her boyfriend. It finally stopped after grad school ended but I was pusses with him for never acknowledgong my feelings or admitting she crossed the line. FYI that EA is now part of his most recent affair.

        Until they want to admit it you will bang your head against the wall with no changes being made. YOU will do all the work and drag them along. The end result will not be good. The cheating spouse needs to have the wake up call. If they are still in contact or in the affair fog, it is like talking to a brick wall.

        I hope your H wakes up soon and sees the light. You deserve better. So does your family.

        My advice – start plan B in case you end up apart. Protect yourself. All the best and prayers for a happy outcome.

    • Kate

      I’m stuck…so VERY stuck with the need to know issue. My 73 year old husband had an emotional affair with a 33 year old employee. There must be a term between emotional affair and sexual affair. There was physical kissing, holding, etc. there were 1500 texts and 600 phone calls in 3 months. She started carrying condoms in her purse, they would meet at our cabin, but he claims they never had sex. I NEED to know what they shared because without knowing, I feel like they still have a life together that I am not a part of. We are in counseling, but in feel like if he isn’t honest soon, I have to leave. We’ve been married 47 years, but if honesty isn’t there, can I ever trust him again and can I live without trust? HELP!

      • Patsy50

        An affair is an affair. Emotional or physical. Your spouse crossed the line! He had an affair period. How did you find out this information, from him? Bottom line is, he had an affair. Next is can you live with him knowing he had an affair. Sometimes knowing all doesn’t help in the healing process. As far as them having a life together, they had a fantasy together and yes you were part of it. Does your husband still see the affair partner or does he have no contact with her? It takes a long time to trust again and I believe never trust blindly. It’s been 4, 5 years this Oct. for my DDay. My husband had an emotional affair with a coworker 30 years younger then him. I asked some questions and my husband always answered them. I told him if he didn’t answer them I had the right to believe worse case scenario. And we really don’t know whether they are telling the truth to begin with. So go with what you know, decide whether you can live with him knowing he had an affair and your husband wanting to save his marriage by doing everything he can to help you heal and build trust again and move forward.

        • Virginia

          All good advice! Hope all is well now with your life.????????

      • Virginia

        Kate what has been your outcome to your husbands affair? Just wondered if you could share your outcome 4 years later. Your insight would be greatly appreciated!

      • Linda

        Kate: I came across your story and identified with some things. My husband and I have been married 48 years. I found out about his affair by accident – he was careless. I confronted him and he admitted it. This happened over 3 years ago. I am now 73 and he is 69 but it had been going on for several years before I found out. She was 10 years younger than him and 14 years younger than me at the time. They worked for the same company but 1200 miles away. Fast forward, he felt sorry for her when her husband died from suicide. He was sympathetic and gave her a shoulder to cry on and that’s how it all began. An emotional affair developed and eventually became sexual. She came to town and asked him if he could get away and meet her with the express intent of having sex. He did and they did. For the next year he lied and managed to travel out of town and meet her. When I caught him, he readily admitted everything. I wanted to know everything. Why – it’s my nature to want to know the whys of anything. I had to know how and why this all happened. I wanted to understand where this was headed and how he really felt and what kind of a woman would cheat with a married man. Over time, he told me pretty much everything I wanted to know. Did it hurt – yes. Eventually answers became I don’t remember which was code for I don’t remember. We are still together – I’ve told him many times to go but he never did. My trust s gone and my feelings are not the same. I don’t love him in the same way. He refuses to admit his mistake and that he was wrong. I will not forgive him for that. I never thought this would happen to me. Due to the emotional stress, I had a heart attack a month after finding out about the affair.

    • Shifting Impressions

      Hi Doug
      I wrote a comment but was blocked when I tried to submit it.

      • Doug

        HI SI, we surely didn’t block you so I have no idea why that would have happened. Another reader mentioned the same thing a week or so ago. Ah… I love technology 😉

        • Shifting Impressions

          I know….gotta love it. Well It’s working now.

    • Shifting Impressions

      For some reason I was able to submit that I was blocked. I will try again.

      This letter says it exactly. If my husband only knew how not filling me in on the whole picture is such a road block to us “moving forward” as he would like. The excuses “I don’t remember or “I don’t know” simply don’t hold water and are actually just another type of lie.

      How long does one wait? In November it will be two years since D-day

      He is doing so many things right but I have made very little progress on getting the whole picture.

    • Joey

      My ex at the time told me she wished that I had an affair – she wouldn’t have cared if I met someone else because if I was truly happy and truly in love with the other woman, then she would understand. But I don’t believe that for a second. I think it was just something she said to make herself feel better. If the roles were reversed, she would have been livid and kicked me out of our place before I could have even blinked.

      I did walk in on them so I didn’t just have to hear the details, but I saw them firsthand. I think it is very important to know the why, what was going on in the relationship before the affair – but knowing all of the sexual details and what was said between the affair partners (I know it all) hasn’t helped my recovery at all.

      Most of what my ex and her affair partner said to each other were complaints about their betrayed spouses and then they would validate each other. Seeing what she said about me was very detrimental to my recovery and only recently have I accepted that it was all BS. I mean – at the end of the day – the only thing they had in common was their unhappiness in their relationships and that they deserved better – but all they got in return was another unfaithful, broken, and selfish person to inflate their egos. When I look at this situation from that perspective I wouldn’t want to trade places in a million years. My ex is lost and broken – and it may sound corny, but I am proud of myself for keeping my integrity in all of this.

      • TheFirstWife

        Joey I agree with you. What they tell their “soul mate” is justification for the affair.

        I had a conversation 2 days ago with my H about the topic of would you want to know what other people really thought about you. Later I the evening I explained to my H how I found out what he really thought of me when I read the 9 months of emails between him and his OW.

        They did not say really mean things like I’m stupid or ugly or anything like that. But it did mention how tired he was of living with my disability/medical condition and the fact that he has been unhappily married the last 2 years (news to me and no sign of that). Now my disability is not a big deal and most people would not even know it existed. But he is tired of dealing with it (really!?)

        When I explained how shocking that was to hear, I realized he felt terrible and knew how hurtful it was.

        And I believe he never would have stayed with me if I had cheated on him. He would have packed up and walked out. No second chance.

        I am so stupid b/c I honestly believed he cheated b/c he was bored and looking for something exciting. I thought it was hanging out and having fun with someone else. I never thought it was revenge or really had much to do with me or us. He always seemed so happy and in love.

      • Shifting Impressions

        It’s not that I want to hear about every detail….what I need to know is what it meant to him, how far was he invested….where was it going???? Things like that. He is not an impulsive person….so somewhere along the line he made a conscious decision to become involved in an EA or perhaps things got away from him, but it lasted over a year….until I discovered the emails, quite by accident. So he made a daily choice to betray me and engage with someone else.

        So when this usually thoughtful person tells me they don’t know those answers or “can’t remember” what he was feeling……I just don’t buy it anymore. Just another lie.

        It doesn’t sound corny at all…..I am proud of myself for the very same reason.

    • Joey

      I also think in many situations, the unfaithful spouse doesn’t really think about if the roles were reversed. For many unfaithful, they say they had the affair because the betrayed spouse wasn’t meeting their needs. So then they find an AP who is in the same situation and they validate each other. When in the affair, they are so high on how perfect their AP thinks they are and really start to believe that they are the perfect partner/spouse. If this is the case, then “obviously” the betrayed is 100% at fault for the deterioration in the relationship. The AP sees how wonderful the cheater is – why can’t the betrayed see it?! I think because their thought process is so irrational, they honestly think they are so good and did everything right in the relationship, the betrayed would never have a reason to have an affair.

      But that is what many unfaithful don’t understand – not only did they cheat, but they were just as guilty as neglecting their betrayed. I mean – how can you be good at meeting someone’s needs when it’s all about “Me, Me, Me!” Honestly, I don’t think I will ever understand the thought-process of some people. Unfaithful actually have the balls to blame their betrayed for emotionally and physically engaging with another person?!

      • TheFirstWife

        They place blame to justify. Like a child.

        It would be too painful to face up to their own actions and admit they were wrong. The AP says they are wonderful and the CS “deserves” to be happy. And the cheaters will convince themselves they are not doing anything wrong.

        And what happens (in many cases) when one marriage ends and the person is available? The other AP disappears. And the relationship is over. And typically the one left in the lurch tries to resume or rekindle the relationship or marriage with the BS.

        It is all so cliche and obvious. Luckily some BS’ wise up and see it for what it is. Desperation. Others stay and try to make it work, but some days I feel like that is so hard. I just hope it is worth it.

        It just brings so much more baggage along with it to try and make it work. But I keep hanging in there even though there are days I have doubts I can get past it. For the most part I am happy and I truly value my family and my H.

        But sorry there are some things that will always be there. And that is how the person you lived and trusted most turned out to be a liar and a fraud.

        • allen

          yes I totally understand, like you I feel your pain that someone you love and gave 110% of your soul to was a fake , fraud, liar, not what they betrayed themselves. It is heartbreaking to know that your life has been a lie. Married to my high school sweet heart for over thirty years and found out that she has cheated on me several times with friends and strangers from the beginning. Why I ask you, why do this to another human being, cause so much pain? I only found out because after all this time she felt safe to tell me on my bedside at the hospital where doctors gave me the news….. I was dying of heart failure and couldn’t promise me I would live to see morning with 5% of a working heart. A lot of tears where shed at that moment. Can you see what I have been dealing with two devastating life changing events at the same time. My wife’s cheating my entire life and my life, hoping to see the next day, the next hour! Please go and hug your family and tell them you love them and be happy you get to because just maybe it could be a lot worse than it is, thank you.

          • Shifting Impressions

            My heart goes out to you….I hope that against such odds that your health situation will improve. I have always believed that it is better for the cheating spouse to come clean but in your case I am shocked at the utter selfishness your wife has displayed. I am so sorry….I simply don’t have words.

            You are in my prayers.

      • Shifting Impressions

        I agree…that’s another place that he “won’t let himself go”. How would he feel If I had betrayed him.

        I did finally get him to admit that while he was engaged in the EA he was emotionally absent from the marriage. I knew something wasn’t right and tried everything I could think of to get him talking. I gave him every opportunity to come clean. The night before I discovered the emails I asked the difficult question “Is there someone else?” Of course he said no. I asked not really believing there was but because I didn’t know what else to ask….something felt so wrong.

        One thing…..I guess my instincts were right.

    • Shifting Impressions

      We don’t all need to know the answers to the same questions….each situation being unique. But I believe the betrayed partner needs to have answers to the questions that are important to them.

      When we don’t get them it feels like resistance and that resistance is a huge roadblock to moving forward.

    • patty

      The affair my H had was over several years! So, difficult to have all the pieces filled in! His actions have changed and I feel like we are on the right path. Unfortunately, I know I don’t know it all.

    • Tabs

      Like you, my H is currently trying to make amends. It’s been 4 1/2 years since the 1st dday. I am no closer to understanding why the cheating happened than I was 4 1/2 years ago. I asked a lot of questions, but didn’t really get any answers. Now I get the “I don’t remember, it’s been so long ” response. I feel it’s avoidance on my CH’s part. But, I have made the commitment to work on the marriage. As FirstWife said, I hope the effort is worth it.

    • theresa

      I haven’t asked WHY? for a long time. I’m sick of all the bullshit justifications and half-assed apologies.
      I’ve narrowed it down to two criteria
      1. He wanted to
      2. He had the oppurtunity

    • Eyeswideopen

      it will be 4yrs this Oct since finding out about my husbands 2 month (that I know) emotional affair at work. I found out via our phone bill. He was smart, left not one text from thousands, so I had no peek into the “real truths” that reading someone’s affair texts might allow you. I had to rely on him to tell me…. Ugh! Trickle truth is putting it mildly. I must say I had been forced to become a pretty great detective, and can probably get a job in the PI field, haha. Joking aside, it was and at times is still, one of the worse things about the cheating. Bad enough that your hurt beyond despair, that you feel enormously betrayed and that everything you once believed in, is stripped from you in an instant, but to then have to fight, beg and lower your self esteem even more than it already is (if that’s at all possible) to just get to the truth is devastating to say the least. I believe this alone, causes more setbacks and pain then anything else brought on by an affair. I suppose that is why almost 4yrs and I still have issues and do not feel I will ever fully recover and feel safe in my marriage.
      I can get past an affair, that it happened, that my husband used very poor judgement etc, what I still struggle with is, how after being caught and your marriage is imploding, that you as the cheater still won’t be completely honest about all? Your claiming to want to save your marriage and that you love your spouse and have woken up, yet you still feel the need to not be 100% trqnsparent? I’ve heard/read the articles (excuses) about the probable reasons some (most CS) do this, such as: wanting to protect the BS from getting further hurt, etc, and I just am not ok with that and will never be. I feel you owe it to your BS to give them everything they are asking for to help them, and you, in recovering. If a CS won’t/can’t do that, then how can you ever fully repair the damage? When one partner has more information than the other, your not on even ground and the secrets will always be secrets. We had just celebrated our 25th anniversary 6 months before the affair started, and had been together 32 yrs. I guess I still can’t wrap my head around that a person I’ve shared practically my whole life with, doesn’t feel that same feeling of alliance towards me, and allowed a stranger that he barely knew a few months before the cheating to destroy all the years we had invested.

      • Shifting Impressions


        You described the way I feel almost exactly. Thank you, it validates my struggle when you share yours.

        It also strengthens my resolve to keep asking for the truth.

        • Eyeswideopen

          Shifting Impressions, I am so sorry you, and everybody else here has had to go through this. It’s pretty darn crappy to say the least.
          I suppose though, our stories are different, we are all going through the same kinda stuff. It does help to know your not alone, and your not crazy! I am with you as far as wanting the truth. I am sure some people are ok with whatever their CS has offered in regard to the details, I am not. I don’t need every little detail. I am not looking to know what color shirt they wore, or any other needless information. I am looking to hear the WHOLE TRUE STORY. I want to know WHY? I want to know when it started EXACTLY. I want to know what was talked about in regard to ME. I want to know if the only reason he stayed was because he was busted and is a CHICKEN. I want to know how long he suffered when he had to give up his SOULMATE. I can go on and on. Maybe other people don’t need this, and that is ok, but I do. He had such a loss of memory in the beginning (pathetic), and never completley gave me the facts.

      • SHAPE


        what you’ve said is my story, too. I am 4 1/2 years out from Dday one, and then there were about 2 after that of times they reconnected through email briefly. I discovered those quite by accident. We have moved several hundreds of miles away due to my husband’s job change. AND, just 2 months ago I made another discovery, somewhat different, but nonetheless, he did not tell me everything.

        I must say that the last 3 years, he has been trying to help me heal, although it has always been difficult for me to ask him questions. I, too, got the “I don’t remember” answers. After this last discovery, I made it clear we either attend one of Brian and Anne Bercht’s weekend seminars for those who have had affairs, or I was leaving. And he knew I had the means and a place to go. so, yes, we are scheduled for a seminar in September. It is my last hope to be able to get him to be more open and actually ask me “What can I do to help you heal, and what more do you want to know?”

        He’s said he is sorry many, many times, but I need him ask me what he can do to help me heal and also ask me (instead of me bringing it up) what I want to know rather than my always being the one to bring up the subject.

      • TheFirstWife

        We were in the same exact place. 25+ yrs married and someone he knew for a few months. She was much younger, drama queen and covered in tattoos. Neck, arms, etc.

        Typical mid life crisis.

        Two nights ago I unleashed on my H all the crap – not in a hysterical crazy way but in a calm rational manner. I told him how HE pursued her, how HE made this affair happen and I now know all I need to know. Finally. Two years of asking questions and I can move past it. One of the things I learned was he only saw her 8 times. I had assumed it was 800 times. I also learned that he did not admit things to her that in the OW’s revenge mode she said he did. Those details were of importance to me.

        But you are right. He cheated b/c of opportunity and he wanted to. Typical coward move. Typical mid life crisis. However my H did ask for a divorce (twice) to be with her. However he never left me and both times changed his mind within a day.

        Which shows how confused they are. But it is no excuse.

        I asked my H the other night what he is not getting from me that forces him to go outside our marriage to get emotional support and fulfillment. His answer? I have been a jerk b/c you have always been loving and supportive and I was too stupid to see it until I almost lost you. Ding ding ding winner answer. Lucky me.

        NOW we can finally move on. I have all the answers. 2 years later. I would have wanted this years ago. Why don’t they get the honesty thing is important?

      • Truthseeker

        Monday will be 4 weeks since D.D.
        I worked 12 hrs for inventory , came home the basement door , because the top door screen was locked.
        My one dog ran a head thru the doggie door , and I used my key to unlock the door. He didn’t hear , he was too wrapped up in her.
        Turned the corner , and there he was sitting on our recliner, his cell to his ear and I heard a women’s voice loudly on the other end.
        My world shattered that day.
        Every day I live those moments over and over.
        We are at the pulling stage
        I pull for Information and he gives little drips.
        His wasn’t physical , but on line…. texts , chats phone and all that comes with it
        Waiting for the whole truths.
        What you all said above , is how I feel….

        • Lish

          I am so sorry that you had to go through that. My husband and his AP were caught by her husband. It did not end well! He came home and told me about the affair. It will be one year next week. I am dreading this “anniversary”. It has been the longest, blurriest year of my life, and yet I still can’t believe that that D day is just around the corner. We are doing a little better. But a lot feels forced. I hate all of it. My emotions are everywhere. It gets a little better with time. Long drawn out time. If BOTH parties are willing to put in the work. But if you are both not on the same page, you will be stuck. Work on it. Both of you. He he isn’t willing, it is not worth it.
          Best of luck!

    • Tabs

      Has anybody given the letter above to their CS? I haven’t yet, but will soon. I’ve never been given a single true reasons for the affairs, just the excuses. So if it’s just because he wanted to have an affair and had the opportunity, then what is my marriage really about?

      • TheFirstWife

        His mid life crisis. That is what most of these affairs are about.

        Plain & simple. My therapist explained it to me. Not as an excuse but as a typical behavior.

        They need to prove something to themselves. Some buy cars, some go to extreme sports, others go to new career. And many cheat. It is a validation they “still got it”.

        Ego boost all the way.

        How sad. Normally good guys end up a typical cliche. The funny thing is that my H’s OW was not trim or slim (like me), had issues (I don’t) and basically was your basic 29 year old nut job looking for a father substitute. She saw $ and a great looking guy. Met her two criteria. Haha

        • tryingtorecover

          My husband’s wasn’t so much a mid-life crisis when it began, though I can see when it peeked and they were in the thick of it (body selfies, professing to be madly in love, gifts, etc.) was when he turned 40.

          Our marriage counselor stated it was definitely for an ego-bosst and my husband agreed, however she added it it had a lot to do with his early childhood attachment issues with his mother. She said that he was love avoidant and build a wall with me due to this attachment issue. He needed to fill that void with fulfillment from the OW, alcohol, food, exercise.

          My husband’s mother was an alcohol (she’s no deceased) and he had to care for her as a young child- so he views love as a chore. The counselor added that he looked at being with me as a chore and build misplaced resentment toward me. As this built it became easier to be attracted to the loving, doting, and free with meaningless compliments.

          So it makes sense to me that the OW was 9 years older than my husband and myself. It seems he was looking for a kind mother replacement as he viewed me as the wicked one like his birth mother from transference.

          My husband sees a lot of this now from therapy, though I am too scared to take this leap and stay with him. The affair took place for over 11 years on and off and I feel like I lived a lie for half of my marriage. He continues to tell white lies and frightens me despite the other obvious changes he’s made emotionally. I love him so deeply and he is the only man I’ve ever loved, but I don’t believe I am willing to take that risk at love and possible torment again…..

      • Shifting Impressions

        I didn’t give the letter but paraphrased in my own words. I tried this once before about a year ago with no results but this time, I believe he “heard” me.

        We are both working hard on this “road to recovery”. I used the analogy of roadblocks. Many things get in the way as we journey on and often there are roadblocks not of our own making that interfere with our recovery….such as illness or death in the family etc.

        I very carefully told him that me not having that complete picture was a roadblock to my recovery…..there was considerable openness on his part. Slowly but surely we seem to be getting to the truth.

        I told him that excuses such as “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember” were more than excuses but actual lies. He did not disagree or become defensive.

        Don’t know what I would do with out this site. Hearing your stories keeps me going.

    • Heartbroken

      My husband can’t even give me a reason why. His answer is always the same……” I don’t know”. The problem is he continued his emotional affair for an entire year after I found out but he can’t tell me why?! Has anyone else had this experience where their spouse has had such a hard time letting go for such a long period of time?

      • TheFirstWife

        Yes yes yes. Many of us have the same experience.

        My H came home and told me about the EA. On his own. I was happy he told me. Started to treat me like crap and lash out. 3 weeks later he instituted no contact with her. Still treated me like crap b/c he missed her. He longed for her. I could no do anything right. Started the “love you not in love with you” routine. Cliche and typical mid life crisis.

        6 weeks later they are back together and secretive and I have no idea whatsoever they are seeing each other.

        Doug calls this the affair fog. Some guys take longer to get past it. We betrayed spouses call it “the head up your butt” syndrome. They believe they have lost “their soul mate”. No you CS idiots you are infatuated with some one and missing the ego boost. In my opinion you can get a dog and pretty much get the same result.

        So yes many of us here have suffered with more than one affair. We refer to it as DDay1 and DDay2 and DDay3 etc. You are not alone here.

        Things usually don’t chsnge until the fog lifts and they come to their senses and see what the cliched typical mid life crisis damaged. Hopefully your CS will get it soon.

        BTW my H finally did realize his mistakes on his own but they coincided with me finding out about his affair part 2 and me telling him to leave. Boy did that have a sobering effect. I think when we BS decide to walk away, sometimes it is the bucket of cold water they need.

        You are not alone. By he affair fog is as bad as the actual affair. They just cannot see it. I told my H on several occasions if he wanted to be with her or talk to her, go right ahead. But be a man and own it. Stop being a coward. The look of shock on his face was priceless. Didn’t stop affair part 2 but at least I wasn’t being viewed as a fool.

        Read Doug & Linda’s post on Affair Fog. It explains everything. B

      • Strengthrequired

        My husband continued his affair for apparently just over a year after I found out. He told a friend that he regretted it going on for so long. Yet he also told me that at the beginning he wanted to hurt me. So I’m taking it as, it carried on so long to keep on hurting me. Nice hey, she helped him get so angry with me just before his affair with her, that he just wanted to hurt me. He believed all she said, that the reason he was so depressed was because of me, that I dragged him down.

        • TheFirstWife

          Okay this is what I believe. They will use anything they can to justify the affair. If the OW has any ammunition they will use it. They feed into the poor boy’s shattered ego by telling them all kinds of crap. And the idiots believe they are better than us.

          It sort of goes like this: OW: “I would never treat you like that! You deserve so much better!” Cheating Spouse: “I give her everything and do everything and she is _____ (fill in the blank with the crap they are telling the other woman).”

          So your hard working wife forgot to pick up your dry cleaning? Have an affair. Your wife is home sick with two kids and did not get your favorite meal made for you? Have an affair! Oh you got fired from your job? Blame it on your wife and have an affair. You can’t afford that new car you have always wanted? Blame your wife and have an affair. The OW will wholeheartedly agree with you that all of your problems are because of your wife. HAHAHA

          I laugh when I read this crap. Do these men honestly believe we are all so STUPID?

          Typical behavior – have a tough time with life (in general), have an affair, lie to your wife and family, spend $ on the OW, justify the affair with a bunch of crap and fuel the fire. Yes the wife is the CAUSE of your depression and unhappiness. Instead of getting help or talking to your spouse about what you are going through, you have an affair. Sounds like a logical choice to me!

          My H told me after 30 years of being together that I only married him to spite my parents. Justification of the affair. I never loved him all these years. Yup I am a cold-hearted evil witch who married him because I never ever loved him.

          Nice thing to hear by the way.

          So I think they say these things to hurt us during the affair and then have deep regrets. Unfortunately you cannot undo what was said.

          And yes he probably did want to hurt you. Same as my H. As the wife, we are standing in the way of their “happiness” with their “Soul Mate”. Or in plain English, we are stopping our cheating H from carrying on their affair, even though they know it is wrong.

          So in their revenge they are getting back at us.

          Which is why it is so hard to overcome and survive after infidelity. It is not just the act of cheating, but what the CS puts the BS through with their words and actions. It is not just the affair, but their justification and how they treat their spouse to get to the point where they can believe they crap they tell themselves.

          My H now wishes it had never happened. He has a hard time believing he ever said those mean things to me. But he did.

          • tryingtorecover

            Wow- “TheFirstWife” I can relate to so much of what you’re saying and honesty your posts have been a huge support. Thank you! I filed for divorce today and I’ve been crying all day – so please excuse any misspellings or grammatical errors!

            My husband said many of the same things- they had a “bond” she didn’t “judge him,” and she was always gave him “kind words.” Of course…. she wasn’t with him at home, no bills to share, responsibilities, or familial issues…not rocket science in my book.

            I also feel as though he did it to get back at me. The OW was the only woman in 21 years that I asked him NOT to be alone with outside of office or talk to outside of work with since she gave him gifts and expressed dreams she had with him in them. I believe he resented that I made this request viewed me in turn as a “mother figure” and rebelled. I referred it as a request and he said it was a demand..interesting. He stated that he believed I was “wrong” and they could be friends…right, ultimately and sadly, I was correct….

            He said she was “easy” and “safe” to talk to and didn’t see her as a threat to our marriage. He husband is very wealthy… she didn’t work – being very available. She was able to do things I could;t being a working mother of three. She had time, money and fake words as a narcissistic person does. very attractive to an insecure man. Her husband gave her a motorcycle, expensive retreats, white water rafting trips, she ran marathons, and expensive vacations… meanwhile I worked two jobs with three kids, college and plugged away. I tried my best, but I wasn’t good enough…. she was so attractive in all the things she did and represented though her husband afforded that. My husband was blind to that fact!

            As far as “soul mates”- my husband states he didn’t believe in that and he believes there’s more than one woman in this world for him…of course… not just his wife of 19 years….He believes in true love, but not soul mates… That would negate that I’m the only one for him… hence filing today.

            I’ve been crying all day, though I know it’s for the best. He doesn’t want me authentically. He may say he’s sad- it’s a guise. He’s embarrassed because he’s a narcissistic person and worried about perceptions in the community…. If her truly wanted me he would have fought for our marriage- not moved our after D-day, hid accounts (cell phone too), and been honest about the affair and other issues.

            I will survive- thanks of the support on this site to you all!! !

            • TheFirstWife

              I am so sorry it ended up this way. I know you tried everything. My therapist said you will have no shame or guilt if you walk away from the marriage knowing you did everything you could.

              The rejection is awful and painful.

              But I think you know you did the right thing. You are setting a strong example for your children. They will respect you in the end. Even if life is hard. You will eventually recover and be happier down the road.

              But what is to become of him? He will suffer as a father. His children will know what he has done. Cheated. He will be known as a liar and cheater in their eyes. Sad. Maybe he does not care if he is that self centered.

              And what will become of the AP? Is she getting a divorce? Will she dump him? Will he sleep w/ one eye open the rest of his life? She sounds like she will drop him w/out a second thought.

              And then watch what happens. He will wake up and realize what he did. It may take 20 years. Not that he will admit it to you. But the day will come. He will need his AP and she won’t be there. Nor will you.

              He will face things alone. I have seen this happen far too often. Cheating spouse goes running back to spouse when AP is gone. Typical.

              Except many BS are no longer around. They have moved on and found someone better.

              I pray some day you will too. You deserve better. I hope the divorce is easy and not a long drawn out battle. I hope he pays for alimony and child support and at least does right by you & kids.

              I hope your kids see him for what he really is. Prayers for you.

            • Strengthrequired

              Tryingtorecover, I’m saddened for you, I’m so sorry. Yet you have to believe you are doing what is right for you, for your sanity and peace of mind. Know you will prosper and are such a wonderful strong woman and mother. You deserve a life full of happiness, if your Ch did not want to join you on that road, then he is the one that has lost.
              One day he will see what he has done, but that is for him to feel regret over. You have nothing to regret, you tried, you loved, and like all of us BS here, you did nothing to deserve this.
              Please keep coming here, letting us know how you are. Hugs to you

            • Rachel

              Trying to recover,
              You will survive!!!!! One front in front of the other and if you can get into therapy please do.
              Remember this is him not you!!!
              My ex was a narsistic idiot as well and I think now that it is all good what has happened.
              God took me out of an ugly situation.
              You will be free from drama and live a happy life of freedom.
              Good luck!

            • tryingtorecover

              Thank you all for your kind words and support. I am in counseling and have been since D-Day. My counselor is amazing and she has supported whatever direction I chose to move in. Oddly enough, a day after the divorce papers were motorized my husband has been so sweet- sating how wrong he was and how he should have done things so differently….

              I will continue to be pleasant for our children. I plan to stick with my boundaries- if he’s willing to share accounts, participate in marriage counseling and be honest then maybe I will reconsider. At this point I have to believe he won’t change although maybe his counseling will continue to help his personal growth?? Who knows….I have to continue on my path.

            • Strengthrequired

              Hopefully tryingtorecover, your husband truly opens his eyes and sees what his stupidity is making him lose. I do hope all works out the way you hope.

    • Heartbroken

      Thank you sooooo much!!! I thought I was the only one with this problem. We have had 3 D days so far and I hope is over now. He says it is but has lied before obviously. It was definitely a mid life crisis. He is 46 and she was 33! I feel so old and unattractive. I love him but hate him for what he has done to us at the same time.

    • Heartbroken

      Oh and BTW, I did throw him out after D day # 3. He swears he hasn’t had any contact since then. I let him come back, but he knows this is his final chance!

      • TheFirstWife

        You hope he gets it now. ThIs should be his last chance. Keep close watch.

    • BeckyB2

      Just passed the 4 yr 1st dday the next one is in December the next one is in March then I quit counting . The TT lies denials he doth protested way too much to the point I told him for a full year I would love to know you protected me with such effort . His pros and hohos are numbered in the 15000 he was into porn rooms and the amount of pictures killed the computer his physical ones were gutter whores and junk yard sewer rats exNOTfriends and the I don’t know and I can’t remember hmm can I perform a lobotomy and claim I forgot I don’t remember? I hate the man who heartlessly deliberately chose a prostitute while I was pregnant (yep I got an STI he denied but my doctor put me on bed rest NO SEX at 5 months pregnant since his prostitute made me go into preterm labor )yes I found out dday 2 she was a hole his words he paid her to give him a bj for a 20$ bag of pot talk about cheap can we say two bit hooker yep she still is . I’m not sure I will ever believe or trust him his whole life has been one lie after another and conning or scaring people to avoid any consequences for his choices and his actions. His selfish immature self centered I see, I want ,I do ,I get , and I lie and hide it deny it and I get away with it whatever it has been NOT THIS TIME BUSTER. He has some choices to make he can come clean to our families to those he involved to cover and to join him he can tell the truth or we can have a very public divorce from North Carolina where I can and will sue the pants off every single whore he physically screwed and file charges for alienation of affection and Adultery and a shit ton of other moral and immorality charges possibly some child endangerment and neglect abandonment among other things . I WILL NOT EVER SIT DOWN and SHUT UP he knows he is looking at some jail/prison time since some of what he did is against state and federal laws(he signed my name to our income tax and signed the tax return check and of course I never knew or saw a penny of it just one of his many illegal crappy things he can’t remember) he wishes he could just disappear and make it all go away. The lies and the deliberate intent to cause me harm and our three unborn babies makes me want to spit on them all and shove them back under the rocks they slithered out from

      • TheFirstWife

        My heartfelt sympathies for you. This is one of the worst situations I have ever read about.

    • TrustingGod

      This discussion has interested me based on my situation due to the lack of willingness by a cheating spouse to fully disclose, and the comments about Tabs and others as to their CS’s response if they also had cheated. First for my story. In 2009 I found out my wife was having an EA. At the same time, she didn’t know I had been involved with porn and a PA. We didn’t do much about it, both pursuing our own interests after 21 years of marriage. Then in 2011 she told me she didn’t love me anymore. I got my act together, made dramatic spiritual, physical family changes, and stopped my porn and PA cold turkey. For 6 months there was no change in her, then I was convicted and confessed to my pastor then her my porn and several PAs. She asked me to leave the house. I agreed to come under obedience to church leadership, full accountability to other men including a deacon and confess to our 4 boys, her parents and mine, and other extended family. I was willing to do anything to show repentance and restore my family. I left the house and lived in an apartment for 27 months and away from the boys to give her a chance to “heal” as our deacon recommended. I knew the EA was going on but our pastor and deacon didn’t seem to think it was that big of a deal since she said it had stopped (it hadn’t). About a year after leaving the house, I found on our computer at home (I was able to stay in the house with the boys when she wasn’t there) 48,000 sexts with another man over a 3 month period. I took these to our pastor and he criticized me for looking and worrying about her. All during this time I continued to pursue God and was faithful to her. Then about 9 months later I showed her sister in law the sexts as our pastor refused to confront my wife. She confronted my wife and my wife supposedly admitted and stopped the EA. I directly asked my wife if there was anyone or anything else. She said no. She confessed the EA to our pastor as well. But for the next 5 months still no change. She then told me then she was getting a divorce. So 27 months after moving out and being faithful, I moved back in to our basement so I at least could be with our boys and we had run through all our savings. During this 27 months I was out of the house paying extra for an apartment, she said she would get a job but didn’t. After the holidays, she then told the boys she was getting a divorce. They laid into her, and surprising to me, the high schoolers were aware of that something was up on her side with some sort of affair but they didn’t have details. I had not told them anything. A few weeks later, to my surprise, she confessed to me she had a 5 year PA with a 3rd man, starting when I did, and continuing the 27 months I was out of the house trying to allow her to “heal”. And doing it in our house and bedroom. Amazing. She still won’t give me details or full disclosure. She confessed to our pastor and a few others saying “moral failure”, not the adultery she made me confess to the boys and others. Finally 3 months later she told the boys she had “moral failure”. Now 7 months after confessing, she still doesn’t want anything to do with me or the marriage. She is finally getting a job. She has not confessed to all the people she lied to and deceived when she was telling them about me. I am just trying to be patient. For some reason she confessed the PA, maybe God is still working.

      I confessed to her, on my own, my whole sin now over 3 years ago. She lied directly, deceived, and kept it up while telling others about me. For some reason of guilt or conviction felt she finally had to confess to the PA, maybe hoping I would agree to the divorce since I am disgusted too and can’t trust her.

      I do need full disclosure to heal and that has not been forthcoming since she doesn’t want to. I tried to ask questions in front of a counselor but she chose not to answer most of them. I was (and am) willing to do anything to help her heal. She does not care to help me heal.

      I keep holding out hope and asking for God’s help as I know that Christ said “what God hath joined together let no man separate”. My oldest keeps telling me to not give up. One of my high schoolers says that divorce sucks for his friends. I keep hanging on. I took the fall in front of my boys, extended family and friends and God used it to humble me and bring me to the cross. I pray for her true repentance. She is not deeply remorseful and it shows in her unwillingness to be fully transparent and attempt to reconcile. A counselor calls our situation an “Odyssey”.

      And our situation has the elements of what would the CS (me) do if his wife cheated. As hard as it will be to get over her betrayals, I am willing to reconcile and rebuild. It is not so much her PA for 5 years because of what I did too, but the 2 1/2 years of lying, deceit, telling everyone of my sins and mostly limiting my access to our boys while she was continuing in her PA. Her cheating was not revenge, it was going on the same time as mine and then continued. So I say to those like Tabs who asked your CS if the shoe was on the other foot what would he do. If he is truly repentant, he would accept her no matter what she did if she cheated, because he knows what he did wrong and is truly repentant and willing to accept her. If first starts with the cheater and his/her heart, true repentance/deep remorse, and willingness to do anything to rebuild the marriage and family, even if your spouse herself/himself also cheated.

      • TheFirstWife

        This is heartbreaking for all involved.

      • Tabs

        Thanks for the insight.

    • Tryingtogetover

      I hadn’t seen this before, thanks Linda and Doug for sharing it again these years later! I love a good analogy and this one makes sense to me.

      • Doug

        You’re very welcome! I’m glad you found it helpful.

    • Shifting Impressions

      Reading this letter again touches me as deeply as it did the first time I read it. After almost seven years, I have come to accept that I’m simply not going to get the complete picture. It’s like he threw the pieces of the puzzle back into the box and put the box away on some deep, dark shelf…..not to be looked at again.

      As always….it’s the master cover-up!! Don’t give any new information unless your betrayed spouse happens to stumble on it.

      We have come so far in our recovery yet not quite far enough. A few months ago my husband stumbled. Out of nowhere he sent a text to the OW. I stumbled across it and he went into immediate cover-up mode. Interestingly enough there has been a shift for the better ever since. It’s as if he scared himself. He is much more aware of what’s at stake.

      I have asked for the why and for more pieces of the puzzle but once again it simply does not happen.

      There is remorse and a willingness to listen to my pain. There is much goodness and much love. But he chooses not to figure out some of the pieces of the puzzle for himself, let alone share them with me. I’m not holding my breath. I wish that those who have chosen to betray would understand how the betrayed needs those pieces of the puzzle and be willing to give it to them. This is something the CS needs to to for themselves and for the BS but as always we can’t make anyone do anything. The only power we have is our response.

    • Theresa Ann

      Hey, is there a way I can access my husband’s phone?

      • Daisy

        I looked at our phone records though the at and t app. My husband had an emotional affair with a waitress that worked for him. I could actually see them through the cameras at the bar where he works because I found the password. I watched him follow her around all night at a Christmas party that I didn’t attend because I was a teacher and needed to be up early the next day. That was my first realization that he liked her. He came home that night and told me that she asked if she could give him a hug at the end of the night. Proud as shot. He insisted that her boyfriend was there and it meant nothing. That’s when I started looking at the phone records and saw how much they were sending each other messages. He insisted it was work related since he is the general manager and she was the waitstaff manager. Suspiciously though, they sent each other the most messages when I was not around and on days they wouldn’t work together…and they worked together a lot. I noticed that he started taking showers before his shift in the kitchen, which was off. Then he bought some new beard oil to make his beard smell good…all odd. Christmas the next year he went down into the basement to wrap a few more presents and while the kids and I were waiting for him upstairs he sent her a message. 9 am on Christmas morning and she was the first person he thought of while his family was waiting for him. When I asked him about it, clearly upset, he again shrugged it off. 4 months after that they were out at a bar together with coworkers and he told her he had feelings for her. He admitted this to me 5 days later after I continuously asked him why he had been acting so strange since that night. He later admitted that he was thinking of leaving me and decided to stay when he saw how upset our son was.
        It’s been two and a half years now. We’ve been through a LOT. I’m on anti anxiety medication to curb my ruminating thoughts. I drank wayyyy too much. I still want to know more. I’ve found out little things along the way. He went from, “I don’t remember what was said,” to divulging some details. He told me that he “didn’t realize his actions were a problem; just jokes here and there, flirty talk.” I don’t know why someone wouldn’t think that that was a problem. How he didn’t realize how cold and angry he was acting to weds me and the kids because he found someone who made him feel great about himself. I still think about it all of the time even though we have made great strides. I still want to know more, but he just gets angry immediately because he wants to let it go and move on. I want to move on too! I feel like understanding the whole picture will help me do that.

    • Anon2020

      What kind of phone?

      On apple devices you cannot retrieve deleted texts or emails. FYI

    • Shattered

      I used your letter as a template and adjusted it as necessary to fit my situation. We had a discussion afterwards which resulted in being told he cooked dinner a few times for his AP. I still am struggling, probably worse now than earlier. Most likely because I expected we would be in a better place. I have had my suspicions about the possibility of an affair for about 3 years, with the AP I suspected after finding text messages between the two of them 4 years ago. I brought it up with him numerous times and wasctold I was crazy, it’s all in my head, etc. My husband checked out, had no interest in sex with me anymore. Would start arguments about anything, use me as a target for jokes, ignore me. I felt abandoned but continued being the wife and mother I always was. In early January I felt strongly about my suspicions and called the car dealership where he said his car was serviced about an hour away from home on his day off. His car was never there on the day he said. I also found gifts he had bought on Amazon (for her) that were mailed to work. I confronted him again and was told the gifts were for a coworker. After getting confirmation on a pandora purchase that wasn’t given to me I told him I knew and he needed to come clean. And he finally did. He promised me he was ending it but wouldn’t make the call in front of me to do so. She is employed by the same small company, 17 years younger, broke up with the person she was living with about 6 months after the start of their affair. She has been to my home and met my 5 children. I found out a month later they were still engaged in their affair thanks to Google maps. Then about 2 weeks later I found out from Verizon records they were still talking and texting. That she was having a hard time, he was concerned she would harm herself or go to human resources. They still work at the same company, Covid has most likely helped to create some separation but I still have my doubts. Why would a 32 year old woman waste 3 years of her life if she didn’t think he was leaving his wife and family. We listened to the audio the other night about the Affair Fog and my husband agreed that he felt the same way as Doug. But again 3 years? I have a hard time believing that it could last 3 years. My husband wants me to believe him but there are so many lies, omissions and half truths. He will not let me even attempt to retrieve the deleted messages. He recently started speaking with a counselor. I did as well earlier in the year. I feel as if I’m wasting more time on someone who is not going to change.

    • Anon2020

      Mine was in an EA 4 years. Completely denied and stonewalled.

      They know it’s cheating. They know it’s an affair.

      They just refuse to face the truth.

    • Anon_Healing

      This was so eloquently expressed, seemingly giving it the best chance to be compassionately received by a responsive partner. While reading this, in the back of my mind if a persistent voice that says, “Be careful for what you ask for.” Will knowing every little detail truly help you move on? I think this can only be answered individually. Some…many…will latch onto individual details and never be able to detach from the pain of those details, endlessly playing them over and over in their minds. The argument wins the most persuasive essay contest, in my mind, but what happens when you get what you’ve asked for? The movie “Chasing Amy” is about a man who is obsessed with the intimate details of his love’s former romantic/sexual partners. The more he knows, the more he is tortured. One size does not fit all here. What IS true is that for a marriage to survive after fidelity, there MUST be contrition and mutual work and commitment to rebuilding trust. There must be grace and compassion on both sides. The person who has been wounded must tend to their wounds with the support of their partner; Wounds are on both sides and in different areas. It must be a trusting team effort, and from this standpoint, I embrace this article. Some may need to know the details, AND will be able to live with them. It is up to the wayward spouse to be as transparent as is being asked, to rebuild trust if there is to be a “we” now and in the future. That’s the message here. Peace and healing for all.

    • Mitch

      I hear about the need to know details but the details are never clearly defined, details about where? When? And what was done physically? How far do I go about the details needed, I need help

    • Anna

      This is a very concise, logical letter. It states what needs to be said without delving into the enormous (natural!) emotional reactions the betrayed have, which only make the CS get so annoyed and defensive.
      In my experience and from my perspective almost 3 years past D-Day, even a common sense request like this letter will get a defensive response from many who have chosen to ruin their lives by having an affair. In my humble opinion, here’s why: their “truth” is what they can handle on any given day. This truth is not reality, my friends.
      For my H, it was true for him that I was this monster 3 years ago whom he could betray. He has a conscience and a moral code—he gave himself permission to break it by building me up as dismissive and unbearable. The reality was that we were facing financial ruin and I was digging my heels in to bolster our young family no matter what. He needed a new job? I became an excellent head hunter and was lining up interviews left and right, all while leading up to a high-risk delivery of our son, for which I made sure I caused him no inconvenience and did not allow myself proper postpartum healing. (Please don’t do this, sweet mothers!)
      His truth was that I was a nagging harpy shoving him off to job interviews. The reality was that he was waiting tables at a job he is masterfully good at, but one our family had simply outgrown. I built him up as being a wonderful employee anyone would be lucky to hire once they meet in person. He would grumble about being stiffed and the childish antics of working with college-age kids. I would say, “Okay, let’s move on to bigger and better!” while still laundering and ironing his uniform every day and being a housewife. He started to complain about me to a teenager half his age at work, who was only too happy to soothe him with, “I just don’t know WHY she would want to hurt you!” I saw her coming a mile away, it was clear she had an infatuation for him, despite her claim of being a lesbian who lived with her girlfriend. His truth during the affair became that this poor, misunderstood child just loved him so purely. Hey, guess what, she thought him being a middle-aged waiter was a great idea and never wanted him to leave a job that barely supported 3 children. Why leave their sacred hall of endless flirting? Not once did he see the reality of her motives being entirely self-seeking. I do not know the extent of what happened one night to wound him so deeply by her, but at one point, he put in a notice of resignation and came home contritely telling me he was starting to develop feelings and wanted to nip them in the bud and move on. He even apologized for how unlike the man I married he was acting. That was his truth at home, I will even believe he believed it. His truth at work was that she hurt his feelings and now she would feel bad by him threatening to leave. (He begged for his job back, the management could see the obvious and told him his notice would stand. It’s bad publicity when married people are cheating at your place of business.)
      The affair fog lasted really a bit more than a year. Each offense and blow to our recovery, his truth was that he was always the victim, that he was abandoned by her and he even claimed that she cheated on him by having a relationship with the very next waiter hired after he left. She did have a fling, she confirmed. My H felt wounded instead of seeing the reality and swallowing the humble pie to say, “wow, look what I almost destroyed my family for!” It is too humbling, I guess, to admit what a huge lapse in judgement he made. Better stick with the idea that he is the nicest guy who always finishes last.
      The fog has lifted after she publicly dissed him over a year ago. His truth changed dramatically at that point to wanting to drop it all. I was so wounded and triggered by finding notes and reminders (of their now-dead relationship) that we almost separated several times when I would literally have a panic attack and he would be angry by my “shoving it in his face.” He even concocted a story that everything he had told me was a lie and she was acting as a platonic, friendly accessory to get back at me and realize what I had in him. He now denies he ever actually wanted a relationship outside of our marriage. The memories are painfully engraved in my mind to negate that, of him in tears (which he never shed for me) that he wanted her more than anyone in this world.
      At this point, we do not have healthy, hindsight Linda & Doug discussions about her, but the plus is that we don’t talk about her At All. My heart goes out to all of you in the thick of the fog, wading through the half-truths, or picking up the pieces, even if you are doing it alone.

    • Puzzled

      It’s funny (ironic funny) that I continue to check in on this site. I’m not sure if it’s for support or to see if others who helped me along the way are still on here. I remember seeing this letter a long time ago and it still hits the same.
      It’s been 8 years and I still don’t know everything. I know she thinks all is good in our relationship but deep down I still hurt and wonder. Who was it?
      I miss the naive me who simply believed in love and had no doubts. Hope all of you, especially those who helped me, are not only surviving but also thriving. Recovering from our spouse’s affair and fighting every day to rebuild a marriage is not for the weak.
      Keep fighting to get answers and keep fighting for love.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.