affair discovery

By “TryingToGetOver”  

The last thing I wanted to hear when my husband’s affair was discovered was how long and hard the road to recovery would be. But it takes work and time, and there’s no getting around it, only through it.

We are 7 months post Discovery Day number three (aka the time it finally “took”), and so I have been reflecting on the process. Many people in this forum are much further along than I am, so I am writing this for the newbies, the people in the thick of the awfulness, recently “hit by the truck” that is affair discovery. 

It Starts When the Light Shines In

Discovery Day is pretty much the worst for everyone, the betrayed and the cheater, as the ugly fact of the affair is dragged into the open. There are accusations, ridiculous denials even in the face of evidence, and everyone feels, at best, heartsick, and at worst, suicidal. But DDay is Day One of moving on, and that’s important to latch onto. There is hope at the end of the devastation.

In the meantime, Linda and Doug give excellent advice about taking care of yourself, and sticking up for yourself, during this stage. You don’t have to become a raving lunatic or judge or jury (though that might come out of you!). You can say, “I don’t think that’s true” to your partner’s denials. You can say, “I need to leave if this doesn’t end.” If you need a compass, make it your instincts and your own integrity and you won’t get lost.

In my opinion, outside help is critical at this point. My husband has called our therapist our “referee.” I see her office as a safe space to get out the words that are hard to say at home, where we work to maintain normalcy. We can let loose a bit in front of our counselor, who keeps us on track if we go on tangents and asks the pointed questions that need to be asked.

Withdrawal, Acceptance, and Sadness

Once the affair is discovered, the only way forward is to put your partnership on lockdown. As this site stresses, there can’t be communication with the AP, that has to end finally and completely. The AP can’t have a say in recovery if your couplehood is going to survive.

See also  47 Lessons Learned From an Emotional Affair

The problem with that is the cheater goes into withdrawal from the drugginess that is an affair. Their sadness is real, and their obvious ambivalence is gutting to those of us who have been cheated on. Not only did I cry my eyes out about the fact that my husband betrayed me and broke our vows, I then had to sit and hold him while he cried about losing his “best friend” who, apparently, wasn’t me. It was galling and ridiculous and insulting to say the least.

Our counselor would refer to much of what happened during initial recovery as disrespectful to me. But she also saw the larger picture and how hard it was on my spouse. We could see that my husband was stuck in a self-centered hole in his own universe and that he needed time to crawl out of it.

The number-one most effective thing our therapist did, in that first month, is something any couple could try at home. She asked my husband to pretend to be me. Like, to really pretend he was me, and then to say what he (as me) was feeling inside. It was like I could see the veil lift in his eyes as he considered, finally, what I was going through. He got some of the feelings wrong, but it was a start to him moving from catastrophic selfishness and into empathy. (And incidentally I did it too, I pretended to be him and said what I thought he was feeling.)

The Rollercoaster Rolls On

As weeks tick by and an affair begins to appear in the rearview mirror there can be many happy, normal days for couples. On the flip side, I can completely see how others come to the decision to split up after all that has happened. With distance and perspective you’re either going to see how much you value your relationship or you’re going to see that it is toxic, but either way, you’re moving into better times.

See also  Discussion – What Do You Most Fear For Your Marriage After Infidelity?

For us, we have grown stronger and more resolved, but my husband has put in an enormous amount of spiritual work to make that happen. He is also examining patterns he’s been in since childhood. Even in middle age and beyond we repeat familiar relationship dynamics from our past. It takes guts to confront them.

It helps us that he’s a big talker. I’m a journalist, so I pretty much just ask questions and do a lot of internal analysis. He speaks everything out loud. Sometimes I can tell he doesn’t want to answer me, but he does.

The surprise has been, for me, that my very up days can be quickly followed by down ones. I picked one girlfriend to confide everything to, and I tell her it’s like I’m on a spinning wheel. On a day when I feel “it’s all over, I’m fine” I know in the back of my mind that I’ll eventually be right back down to “I will never forget this.” I have come to accept that this is the feeling of emotions being processed, and it’s not fun but is necessary.

Recovery from the Recovery

Why do strong emotions keep hitting me even 7 months in? Once I got all the truth of the affair that I needed, I had to begin processing how awful my husband was during the early recovery. His wailing about missing her and lamenting the end of that relationship? We have to talk about that now, and he needs to know how much damage that did to me. I need to call him out on his insane justifications, like the AP’s husband being fine with her cheating. (Don’t get me started with the idea of willingly risking STDs and AIDS being the sign of an evolved relationship…so stupidly dangerous.) So that’s what we’re moving through currently.

There are also still a lot of “triggers.” My most recent was my yearly ob/gyn visit. You can guess how horrific it was to screw up my courage and blurt out that I had been cheated on and lied to. I can only say that, thank goodness, most ob/gyns have heard everything.

See also  Survive and Thrive after Infidelity

It also hasn’t helped that the AP has peeped in. Her emails were diverted to his spam. She wrote a terse one-line apology in one, and another, longer demand for an apology in return! Needless to say, we didn’t answer either. My husband didn’t even read the second. And now I am well-versed in how to have spam filtered and deleted before it even comes in. The skills you learn!

Moving On

Many people here, like Linda and Doug, are years down the road and can see all the aspects of an affair with distance and growth. We’re getting there. We’re keeping our therapist appointment once a month. I’m slowly blurting out descriptions of all my various wounds so that my husband can help heal them. That is the ironic and weird part of affair recovery: The person who hurts you can also be the best person to heal you. Beyonce says just that in one of her many Lemonade videos, songs about her former-cheater husband, and she nails it in my opinion. (Incidentally, watching her videos on on YouTube really helped me early on!)



I thank you all for sharing your own hurt and healing. That is another thing to latch onto: You’re not alone. Many of us are going through this together. Famous people and not-famous people and friends and neighbors and probably even family. If an affair happens in our relationship, the best we can do is put in our all to recover. So hang in there with me!

(Thanks so much to “TryingToGetOver” for sharing her experiences with us.  We love to share articles from our readers.  So if you’d  like to submit an article for us to possibly post on the blog, feel free to contact us about your ideas.)


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    46 replies to "Affair Discovery – Like Getting Hit By a Truck"

    • TheFirstWife

      Really well written article. Thank you for sharing.

      It appears recovery and reconciliation are going well for this couple. A good sign is the cheating spouse agreed to professional counseling. I am sure that has helped tremendously.

      Unfortunately so many cheaters do not agree to MC or any kind of counseling. My H only went years after the A ended.

      I was intrigued by the point about watching your spouse mourn the loss of the AP openly in front of the BS. In my case my H came home one night, admitted the A (I was blind sided of course) and two weeks later he wants a D.

      Then I watch him mope around and be very sad after he “ends” the A. Treated me poorly. Blah blah blah as we all know this part of the A cycle.

      It’s so fun to live knowing you are being compared to the OW and in his mind, I cannot do anything right.

      I am still resentful (years later) that I had to stand by and watch my H be desirous of the OW. The disrespect shown to the BS is unbelievable!

      Great article / great points. I think the author is very lucky her H was committed to the M early on.

      I was not that lucky – I was dangling by a thin rope for 9 months to hold on to a 25 year M / and for many months I did not even know what was really going on.

    • Shifting Impressions

      I also think that this is an extremely well written article. But as TFW mentioned so many CS refuse counseling….as did mine.

      Also…I think hell would freeze over before I would comfort my CS about mourning his AF partner. Does that make me hard and uncaring?? I don’t think so.

      I also asked my husband to step into my shoes and to pretend to be me….alas, something else he refused to do.

      Despite that….we are still recovering and almost at the five year mark after d-day

      Thanks so much for sharing your story.

    • TheFirstWife

      I did not comfort him. I was furious he had the nerve to put me in the “I’ll let you know” category as to whether he wanted to be married or not.

      It was then I had the “her or me” showdown. His words were “of course I want you” but his actions were “I definitely want the OW”.

      I would never be that kind or sympathetic to him to help him mourn the miss of the OW. No way. I’m not that nice!! Lol

    • Hopeful

      I am a rare person where I find Dday to be positive. I never understood what was off in our marriage and due to gaslighting I hit a major low two years before dday. I won’t go into it in detail here. On dday there was a lot of pain and trauma. However within a few days I was thankful to my husband. For so long I had believed his narrative that i was the issue. It was a major ah ha moment for me. He was the problem. Of course lots to work through over the years.

      I also would much rather celebrate dday than our anniversary or many other memories from our 20+ years before dday. To me those were all fake. It is hard since dday is a “secret”. I wish we could celebrate that day and share that with everyone we know and our kids. I hate looking at our wedding pictures or talking about our first date etc.

    • Busa

      My husband had an emotional affair for “only” three weeks before I discovered it. He feels I should take solace in the fact that it was so short and didn’t become physical. It’s not making much difference to me. We’re onky three weeks past D Day but I feel the deep betrayal and don’t know if I can get over it.

      • Sisu

        My D Day was five days ago. My situation is exactly like yours. I get shaky and my heart races every time I start to discuss his EA. I don’t know that I want to lose him, but I also don’t know if I want to stay with him. I have kicked him out of the house, he requested 30 days to get his stuff together. I allowed that since he has a 15 year old child who lives with us and I’m trying to do the right thing for her. Never thought this would happen.

        • Stuck

          I’m two months from D-day. When I found out, he left me at a Disney Resort (I had planned a 70th birthday get-together for him). When I finally got home the next day, I told him to leave. He made me stay eight days at my daughter’s. He would not leave.

          He finally left and I was “allowed” to get back in the house. We only exchanged a few words. You know – it was all my fault. Said the marriage was over and he was done forever.

          No contact from him since he left. I’m paying all the bills and struggling to get the house ready to sell (I can’t afford it on my own.) I do wish he would eventually come back. I would like to work on our marriage.

          Feeling hopeless. Constantly crying. Still love him & miss him.

    • TheFirstWife

      Busa. I’m so sorry for you. It is just awful that do many people do not consider an emotional affair cheating.

      For so many – no sex = no cheating.

      Wrong wrong wrong!

      My H had a 4 year long “friendship / emotional affair”. He denied it. He lied and stonewalled etc. I knew it was going on. But he refused to discuss it or acknowledge it.

      Then it was over and never discussed again. Completely rug swept.

      And my reward for allowing him to rug sweep was that he cheated again. But this A almost led to our Divorce.

      Read the book Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass. Have your H read it.

      You need to get him to understand what he did was cheating. Because if he can’t or won’t take responsibility for his poor choices AND establish boundaries for future interactions, he may do it again.

      BTW this is not your fault. Do not let him blame you. Cheating is a choice. Please know that.

    • Busa

      TFW, thanks so much. I’m so sorry you had to deal with it AGAIN. I’m having such a hard time with this that I feel CRAZY. What did you do during this time to maintain your sanity and regain YOU? While I know we had problems, to me it’s the fact that it happened at all. And of course the obvious statement is that it would have continued if I hadn’t caught him. But he was acting stupid. He decided he needed to go wash his truck at 9:30 pm bc he wanted to freely call her. Red flag, right? I looked at our phone bill and found out right then. He denied and lied and then finally came out and admitted that he felt lonely and she paid him attention. He had no issues cutting off communication bc I kicked him out and consulted a divorce attorney. He stated to me that she wasn’t even attractive, (and she definitely wasn’t lol) but that she paid attention to him and made him feel special. It’s ridiculous to think that a destructive distraction was a better option to him than repairing his marriage. He’s seeing a therapist and is being transparent. He calls ME now when always from the house, etc. I see progress in him but not me.

    • Busa

      By the way, when he finally started talking and being honest I made him LISTEN to me. I poured my heart out to him, as far as what damage has been done, how I felt about him now, how I felt about me now. Once I saw his tears, I knew he got it better. It wasnt until i asked him to put himself in my position that he finally says that he’s, it was cheating. It was a betrayal. and he would be destroyed. I’m looking for your suggested book NOW

    • TheFirstWife

      Yes I have had the “lovely” experience of two A with my H. The first one he was not in love with her. But he loved the attention from her.

      I don’t know if he enjoyed the drama but he certainly chose to let it go on for more than a year.

      The second he was in love w/ the OW and after knowing her a few months he wanted a D.

      Like that was ever going to last lol!

      Two suggestions for you.

      Counseling – I did it for three years. Helped tremendously. I have a better relationship w/ my kids (teens no less) AND more confidence than ever. I realized his A were his choices and nothing to do with me.

      Second / YouTube video by Will Smith. Search Fault vs Responsibility. Short version – bad things happen to you – not your fault. But it is your own responsibility to heal and move forward. No one can do that for you. Only you can take that step.

      Unfortunately I only saw that Video recently but at year 3 from DDay from his last A I finally decided to stop living with his infidelity Hanging over my head. I needed to move on. I think the fact he wanted a D just did me in. Knowing he was so willing to kick me to the curb w/ no warning caused PTSD for years. Two or three long years.

      . I am no longer a doormat in my M. I realized I am not a coward like my H. I face things head on. I make good decisions. I am smart. Blah blah blah

      And if that’s not good enough for him then he needs to move on. Years ago I would never say that – I would be begging him to stay. No matter what.

      In a true role reversal my H has admitted that he worries I will leave him. Because now I have the courage to do it if necessary.

      And BTW – I instituted the 180 at DDay2. Five years later I do not do his laundry. Ever. I do not do his errands. He cooks more often.

      I decided I was going to be just like the OW. Carefree. Put myself first. Go back to our relationship before kids in a way that I get to spend “me” time when I can.

      Not as a punishment but I decided to redefine my role as his wife. And it’s no longer in my job description to be his “mother” or his maid service.

      I did everything – b/c of his job he travels extensively. Like 4 days per week all over the world. Example: we moved to a new house. He left on Monday morning and came home Wednesday- our bedtoom was stripped of wallpaper and painted. Cleaned up and immaculate. By me. ????% done and finished.

      So yes – I took the opportunity to get what I wanted out of the “new” M. ????????????

    • Busa

      TFW, you come across as a very kind, considerate and nurturing person. You certainly didn’t deserve the treatment you received. You also seem to be very emotionally intelligent. I hope I can get there at some point. Good luck to you, I hope you find the happiness you deserve.

    • TheFirstWife

      Besa. Thank you. I have come a long way on a road I wish I never had to travel.

      The thing is I really am happy. Because I made some changes. He made changes.

      I fought hard for what I wanted in this M.

      I love my H. I always will. He is a good person. He just made some poor choices and his ego led him to think the first EA was ok.

      Looking back now he is grateful I hung in there with him. I think he is happier in some ways too.

      I hope you can get there as well. It’s been 5 years from DDay. And I think we have both learned to Cherish what we have.

    • Hopeful

      Busa, I would say that no matter how long or what type of affair it is the worst for each of us. We can always say at least they did not have sex, at least they did not love the person, at least they never met… we could go on. Any type of affair involves lying and deceit. And from what I have experienced and what I have read from others the wayward minimizes and plays down what they have done. To say it never got physical is beside the point. I agree the Shirley Glass book is excellent, one of my favorites. I also really like all of the Gottman books. I also like his article in The Atlantic, The Masters of Love. It is really good and started a lot of good conversation.

      Here are some suggestions that helped me early on. Go see a therapist even just for yourself. It is great to have someone that you can confide in and use as a resource and support. We set a time once a week to talk about the affiars, our marriage, communication etc. This helped us both. That way we were not talking about it all the time. I also tended to rant and go off on tangents without a plan. I wrote in a journal each day. Before we would meet I would look over my notes fro the week. It helped me figure out what I wanted to talk about. I ended up coming out of our talks feeling better. This helped us a lot. I also think setting very specific boundaries. I mean we went over each aspect of our days, weeks etc. We had an exact plan if one of the two ow were to contact him. Even now 3 1/2 years later we discuss boundaries. I would say they have increased with time and my expectations of our marriage and my husband have elevated.

    • Fragments of Hope

      I have been on a steep leaning curve since original d-day in Jan 2014 (emotional affair with second d-day in Sept where he went back for more chats despite my devastation.We went through so much supposed repair and some counselling but it was not smooth, he could not engage with my pain and there were various other incidents culminating in my discovering more lunches and chats with a new person last summer. That was the final straw for me and he went on couch and committed to transparency. What I wanted to warn the new discoverer is that the pattern and behaviour may be far more entrenched and complicated than you first think. My husband was acting out of an avoidance of conflict and true intimacy stemming from childhood and poor stress management that involved many friendships that went too far, extensive porn use at certain periods in our marriage, lies, deceit on various matters including some financial. Some things I knew already and As part of his transparency I discovered other things including a kiss with an ex girlfriend. He is finally in extensive counselling and in surveying the wreckage of the marriage and honesty I thought we once had. Whereas an affair can be a one time mistake during a difficult period, it can also signify a pattern of poor relating and deceit and may be the tip of the iceberg and can’t be recified without professional help.

    • TheFirstWife

      Fragments. Excellent point.

      How do you know when it is an entrenched behavior vs a one time or mid life crisis thing?

      I am fairly certain my H is not cheating now. But every so often I wonder if an EA coukdvstart up again (of course it could – that’s reality).

      But I wonder what the likelihood or odds are that it would? He has done nothing wrong in five years thatceould give me any doubt.

      But you never know.

    • Fragments of Hope

      Hi TFW yes how do you know if it’s once off or a pattern. Repeat offenses once discovered would make it immediately obvious esp where you think that his expressed horror and remorse seem genuine. Bells should have begun clanging when my h went back for frivolous chats when he’d decided not to leave for the OW. In fact he”d done some counselling by then but he left after a few sessions and she wasn’t hitting the mark. I feel foolish but I was still in shock and confused. I knew about porn use previously and wasn’t happy with what I was getting in repair but didn’t see the whole picture until further things occurred and until he found an excellent counsellor. From what I’ve read you can try to judge through the quality of interactions, the feeling of authenticity, your own gut feeling of safety and respect or not. A lot does depend on how compulsive or addictive the behaviour is. And if it is, it will surface some way, not necessarily in affairs but other hidden activities.

      • Hopeful

        I do not think anything is going on at all with my husband and my therapist has felt sure of that too. My therapist said he would be a sociopath or the best actor ever based on what he has said and his actions that follow.

        I think each case is unique. I feel that the one off or one night stand only with no issues is very rare. I think anyone that would engage in an emotional or physical affair have pushed the boundaries already. There is a line and as it moves further away from the primary relationship I think that is an issue. Keeping secrets is a huge issue. I think sometimes an emotional affair could be more damaging that a physical one.

        For us I believe my husband grew up entitled and self centered. He did what he wanted. He pushed limits. He believed do what you want and ask for forgiveness later. He took all of that to an entirely new level. I do think these behaviors become habit. He not only was cheating, lying to me, but pushed it on everything else in his life. He surrounded himself with others who made him feel better about himself. These ow were nothing to him. Neither one knew about the other. The ow could have been anyone. I would say a lot of his changes focused on how he saw the world. He has told me that after dday was the first time in his life he ever considered someone else when making a decision. So for 20+ years and having kids he always thought of himself first. It is crazy but he was honest when he told me this. He has said he is so much happier now. And it is not always what he wants to do. He is the happiest he has ever been. He says he lives each day with complete transparency and authenticity. I feel like I would be able to tell if something was going on. .If he is off I ask him right away. I can tell and it is usually something with work. I still have access to his phone/accounts at any time.

        The only other thing I do now that was a suggestion of my therapist is to listen more. The idea was to give him a little rope and see if he hangs himself or not. I want to speak up often but many times I learn a lot about him if I stay quiet. He opes up more. This has taken a while to get to this point but it has been interesting.

    • TryingHard

      Gosh what a well written post and recount of your experience. I’m glad you’re doing well and on your way to healing. Everyone’s experience and ways they manage the trauma is unique indeed and yet so similar.

      Doug and Linda
      I just read your newsletter regarding TRUST and i have to say WOW. It is so so good. I’m going to be saving this one because the article not only addresses trust after infidelity but trust in general. So many of us automatically give trust or believe in trust because we want to. Seldom do we consider the intricacies in building that very important foundation that real trust is built upon. And you are so correct in saying if both parties aren’t building that bridge to trust someone is going to fall through the slats!!! So so good. I wish you’d have posted this as a blog post. Everyone will benefit from reading this. Thank you thank you for this very insightful letter

      • Doug

        We’re glad you enjoyed that TH. Trust is usually THE hardest thing to restore after it’s been destroyed. Thanks the feedback and good to hear from you!

    • Changed

      Completely agree that both articles “getting hit by a truck”and the synopsis on trust were terrific! Thanks you for sharing!

      • Doug

        Glad you liked them, Changed and Fragments. Thanks for saying so!

    • Fragments of Hope

      Yes I agree both articles summed up some vital points in a clear, relatable and concise way. Well done. Very helpful.

    • Lou

      Loved this article! I find It interesting when you said he had to say what he would feel if he was you and conversely same thing if you were him.

      As tough as It is an affair is a relationship the CS has had and it’s unrealistic, in my opinion, to expect them to drop It right then and there and never think about It again. I think it’s brave of the CS to admit they feel a loss.

      My CS was an idiot and had no remorse and still cheats on his significant other (who is not me) today. I think when your CS can admit their feelings – no matter what they are and knowing their BS won’t like it – I think that’s a good sign that you can work with that person. They are being honest.

      Affairs are terrible but both parties are going through something. I don’t feel bad for Cheaters as a whole BUT I do feel bad for cheaters that just got caught up in something & had feelings that swept them away. That can happen to anyone. To admit the feelings, admit the loss of that person they were attached to I think is brave to do considering the environment they would have to do that in.

      If we all put ourselves in each other’s shoes more I think we would move past hurt feelings and more Into trying to understand.

      Again, not all CS deserve understanding, compassion or any more of our time. Quite frankly most of them do not. But there are exceptions to every rule and I think admitting the hard stuff is a huge step forward.

    • Pearl

      Well written – you touched on so many feelings the BS goes through – particularly going from “it’s all over, I’m fine” to “I will never forget this.” many times a day – still and Dday for me was May 2014. I enjoy reading everyone’s comments, experiences and feelings as well. Like the article – my husband went for therapy – took a good look at his behavior throughout our (then) 25 year marriage and his childhood. Nipped the excuses post discovery in the bud (you weren’t paying attention to me – was that because I was picking out a headstone for our 14 year old that wasn’t gone a year yet or was it because I was helping another child pick out colleges (the older two of four children were in college still) – not to mention returning to work after being a stay at home mom for 20 years… that’s where the I’ll never forget this comes in – I hate how all our memories are tainted (“he was beginning an affair while I or we were …” or “He was in a hotel with her when I was driving four hours upstate to visit a college” etc) And like TheFirstWife – I put myself first now – he is an open book and his behavior proves that our marriage and our children are the only things important to him. Loved the Beyonce video – I’ve been meaning to read about (or listen to) their experience…. Love the part “True love never has to hide”

      • tryingtogetover

        Pearl, I suffer from the same thing, and technology isn’t helping. Facebook memories pop up from two years ago and I wonder if he was texting her that night etc. I know the one-year anniversary of the last time he saw her in person is coming up, and I want to ask what the exact date is, but also don’t want to know. It’s almost impossible to stop your mind from going there. One exercise I am really trying is to turn things around and appreciate that, on balance, he was with me FAR more than the AP. In fact, he said it drove her crazy that pictures of what he and I were doing together were always popping up on social media. The reality was he was living with and loving me and trying to carry on with her in secret, which was not a rich, rewarding or fulfilling experience for either of them, in the end. Though it all hurts me to the core, it must really feel like devastation to her. She’s a loser, in every way. “True love never has to hide” is indeed so true.
        On another note, it really warms my heart that so many of you liked my post! Thank you for your kind words. I love that there is this community of people willing to share their pain.

    • TheFirstWife

      Sisu. I’m sorry this had happened.

      What is your plan? Has he admitted the EA?

    • Sisu

      TFW, I can’t see my initial comment, or your response (I must be doing something wrong on this site). You asked what my plan is and if he admitted the EA. Yes, he admitted the EA and says it’s over with the OW. He and his daughter will be moving out of the house (it’s my house) in roughly 30 days. My emotions are constantly changing, so I’m not trying to make any big or long term decisions right now as far as our relationship goes. We’ve been together for 9 years, engaged for 7 years (we didn’t get married for financial reasons, but planned to when the financial barriers lifted), and living together for 6.5 years. We have both agreed we need space to figure out where to go from here. Neither of us was putting a lot of effort into our relationship, just letting it coast along on auto-pilot. The funny thing is, our relationship is better now than it was prior to D Day. (Now I can see the comments. Yay!)

    • TheFirstWife

      I’m sorry it has come to this but at least he admitted the EA. That is more than most of us get initially.

      I feel bad for his child having to be uprooted but he created this mess. He needs to fix it.

      I hope you can work it out somehow.

      And if you do I hope he realizes what a lucky guy he is. Not everyone gets a second chance.

      • Sisu

        Thank you. I feel lucky he and I can talk about this, respectfully live in the same home, and make this as smooth a transition for his daughter as possible. For all intents and purposes, she’s my stepdaughter. After D Day, she was a big concern of mine. She’s handling this amazingly well. Her dad and I are very open with her about what’s going on.

        He and I are really good friends and get along well. Like I said, neither of us was working on the relationship. Maybe when we’re living separately, things will become clear as to what needs to be done. I’m not angry with him, I understand why he strayed. In no way am I totally innocent here. Each of us failed the other.

    • TheFirstWife

      Sisu. I think it’s grest you are communicating better. Very positive.

      But just because the relationship was “not great” does t give him a pass to have an EA.

      If he was unhappy (or dissatisfied or whatever he felt) he should have discussed it with you. Addressed it with you.

      Not fall into an EA with someone else. That is wrong. That is not being upfront and honest. And maybe if you knew how he felt then you could have made changes. Try to make a positive change.

      But cheating? Not a good choice.

    • Sisu

      Thank you. This weekend was good and bad. I caught him lying about little things (I didn’t confront him on the lies), which makes me wonder if he’s still willing to lie about little things, he has no issue lying about big stuff.

      I don’t think this is going to work between us. He said he’s ended it with the OW, but I don’t believe he has.

      I will now change my focus to make sure I’m okay rather than trying to work on the relationship.

      My gosh how this makes me feel sick. I don’t want any of this. I wake up every morning and my heart is pounding, I sometimes get shaky and I have no appetite.

      Thanks for talking to me. It helps.

    • Tom

      I don’t see many posts from husbands who have been cheated on. I wonder why that is? My wife has been involved in an EA for over three years. I’m not sure how long,really. That’s when I first found out about it. CS had been getting her emotional fix from ‘naughty’ groups on Facebook and I think that’s when she stumbled on an old high school flame. Posts and texts flew back and forth and when I found some of OM texts on her phone I confronted her. She did all the classic things. Blamed me, angry about me invading her privacy, it’s just innocent fun, etc. Being ill informed, I accepted that I had a part in her A, and maybe it did play a part. But I recognize now it was just part of her rationalization. I wen to work on bettering our marriage and I thought she did too. But she changed all her passwords so she could keep he privacy. I wish I’d found this site back then, cause then I would’ve known the EA drug was too strong for her. O man, I’m having a panic attack now just writing this. Dday was last night and I’m having emotions I never experienced before. I was looking at our phone plan thinking about upgrading when I saw she had 1337 texts last month. That shocked me so I checked the month before….same story. So I printed out 3 months of text numbers and found she was in extended text conversations with three numbers. I looked the numbers up online and found one was the same high school flame. I followed the advice and lessons taught in your great resources. Stayed calm, explained what I found, showed her the proof and that this had all the indications of an EA. I told her I was still committed to our marriage and wanted it to work, but she had to decide if she wanted to as well. Then I watched for her response. She sat there stone faced for a minute and then said, ‘Whatever’. I left the room and went to bed. Couldn’t sleep, of course. Finally fell asleep and when I awoke this morning, she had slept in the guest bedroom. We are both off work today so late this morning CS stated that ‘We’d get through this’, so there is some hope. She still hasn’t owned it and still thinks it was not that big a deal. Time will tell, but if she’s still here, there is hope. Meanwhile, I’m in an emotional &*$#@storm and these posts and articles are a God send. Thank you and keep up the good work.

      • C.A.

        Here’s a post from another husband, and I don’t know if this will help you like it did me when I learned this one simple fact, but
        A. Your story has already happened thousands of times and therefore
        B .You are not going through this by yourself.

        So much of what you have described sounds like it came straight out of the same playbook my wife followed. Denial,gaslighting, rationalization, half-truths, indignant outrage at invading her privacy, discovery of thousands of calls and text messages, and her belief that I’d get over it and be fine, like it was a cold or something. It’s been Two years and two months since my D-day and although we are both much better now, I’m not “over it”.

        You are fortunate to have found this site. Once you learn of the affair and begin learning the sordid painful details, you also discover pain you never imagined possible, and don’t know how you can survive it. In my case I learned about Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also known as broken heart syndrome. It feels like a heart attack, over and over again, night after night, but without the closure an actual heart attack brings.

        If I had to go back through this all over again I would have followed more closely the advice found here and in other resources such as BAN meetings (BeyondAffairsNetwork). It is encouraging that your wife has said “We’ll get through this”. Mine said “Things will work out”.
        Reluctantly at first, she began reading the books I had purchased and asked if she would read. “The Monogamy Myth” “Beyond Affairs” and “Not just friends” were some of the most helpful and eye-opening, in my opinion. Over the next few weeks she slowly came around and agreed to the number #1 Rule of Reconciliation: Cutting off all contact with the AP. Rule of Reconciliation #2 would be Open Sharing of all Passwords. As long as either spouse in a marriage feels the need to keep things hidden from the other, there will be no trust.

        On these two things, No Contact and No Secret Accounts, be firm and stand your ground that this is non-negotiable. Until now, she has been able to have the best of both worlds. Cheating spouses need to face the reality of actually losing one or the other and making a choice.

        I wish you the best.

        • Tom

          Thanks for the support. The good news is that she has decided that she’d rather not lose me and we’ve been working at healing. I would say with great success. She’s cut off all her contacts and opened herself up to complete transparency. We’ve talked about the emotional impact her actions have had on me and it would be better for us if, when the residual emotions start to effect me, we talked it out. She’s more than willing, so I’m happy to say we’re on the road to recovery. I will reiterate, that without the guidance and support found here, I would not have known how to handle things in a way that would even give a chance for saving our marriage. Thank you again. I hope things work out for you all.

    • C.A.

      That’s so great to hear! One thing I didn’t mention is the subject of counseling. Upon discovery of the affair, one of the first things I did was to try and find “marriage counseling”. Unfortunately, at that time we were temporarily away from home in a region where there was not a marriage counselor to be found within over a hundred miles. But luck was with me, or so I thought, when I discovered a website for faith based counseling run by a married couple out of their house way out a rural area only 20 miles away. They were not licensed by the state and made this quite clear from the start.

      So we went together at first, followed by individual visits where I would go one week and my wife the next. The advice we were receiving seemed “off” to me. Both of them acknowledged previous affairs of their own. They had never heard of the books I had purchased or their authors, and actually discouraged any outside counseling or advice. I was advised to go back home (600 miles) in order that my wife and I could have some separate time away from each other. And since a drowning man can’t be choosy about his life preserver, I did as they suggested.

      This went on for a few weeks until we wer

      After a few more weeks of me flying back and forth from home and a few more counseling sessions,

    • C.A.

      After a few more weeks of me flying back and forth from home and a few more counseling sessions, we were invited for a social visit, just fun times, at their home for the weekend. While the ladies stayed downstairs in the hot tub, the husband showed me to our room for the weekend and that is when things got weird. He offered me his wife, “to make me feel better about myself”. What they wanted to do with us that weekend, was some spouse swapping, which was about the furthest thing in my mind. Needless to say, we left. So much for that “faith based counseling”.

      I’m telling you this because, in my opinion, you need to be extremely careful with who you can trust as you work towards saving your marriage. It seemed like during that most vulnerable stage of our recovery, all kinds of evil and deception threatened to capsize our fragile state.

      Ultimately, when we were finished with our time there and moved back home, we discovered a program called ReEngage through a church. It is a 16 week program for couples that had a major impact upon our marriage and our lives. After over 3 decades of marriage, our communication and relationship has never been better. I don’t know if it is available in your area or not, but if so, I would highly recommend it.

    • TryingHard

      Stuck— oh wow. At Disney of all places? That’s rough. I’m so sorry.

      Fist thing you must do is get to a lawyer TIDAY. When there’s infidelity there’s financial infidelity as well. You must protect what you’ve worked all your life for. You cannot do this in your own. He needs to feel the full weight of the law on his neck with orders of protection and alimony etc. he doesn’t just get to abandon with all the assets.

      I know you want him back and that may or may not happen. But sitting and waiting and hoping by being nice will lure him back doesn’t work. He need to feel the implications of his foolishness in real life consequences. He’s still responsible for household bills. Yes you may have to sell the house but he has to continue paying until it sells. Get a good bad ass lawyer. Protect yourself legally. It’s all you’ve got right now

    • Tim Davis

      Nice article, nice info for who is suffering from anxiety and depression.

    • StruggleStreet

      Here is what I know and can share with you. While there is a lot of hope of recovery and a salvaging of marriage on this site, it will never ever be the same. Its impossible to be the same people you were before he had an affair. I am four years past D day. It took me two and half years to find a way to forgive him and to actually tell him that. But that in no way means that I have forgotten. And I do not love him like I once did. I never will. If I had known how long the road would be and how much I would change and have to live with, I would have divorced him. It would have been easier. He is a devious man, and not someone I will every truly trust again.
      He met her at work, and the affiar lasted over a year. I found out about it and that ended it. Otherwise they would have continued dating for who knows how long. Maybe he would have left me for her. that would have been a gift. Writing this makes it sound like I am bitter – I suppose I still am in some respects. I loved this man more than you could imagine. I honoured our marriage. He didn’t deserve me then and he doesn’t now. If it wasn’t for the kids, I would have left long ago. So …. if you can get out of there and move on, then do it while you have fresh motivation. At least you’ll have your own self respect and an abundance of earned courage. Wishing you well.

      • TryingHard

        Hi SS
        I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m ten years out and I can’t say that I’d have been happier or better off had I divorced him then because I didn’t, so I’ll never really know. But there are some days even now I wish I had.

        I didn’t stay for children, I stayed because I believed I/we could get past it. You don’t. I think I’ve forgiven but I don’t know that either. Now, I really don’t care. I learned to detach and make sure he will never be able to hurt me again. I will never give anyone that power over me. I could divorce him now but to what avail? I’m too old and so is he. So I live with my choice and my decision. But NO it’s not the same nor is it better. But my life is good and i’ve become strong enough and smarter to know that my marriage is NOT my life.

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