In this wonderful article, one of our members – Duane – offers his take on what one can expect throughout the affair recovery process as it relates to the 7 Stages of Grief after an affair – all based on his own experiences.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross first introduced The 5 Stages of Grief in her work with people with a terminal illness or who experienced a catastrophic loss.  In this post, Duane adapts and expands her model by an additional two stages of grief after an affair for his own purposes.

This is a great article that can really help anyone who is struggling through the healing process, whether you just found out about an affair or have been working through your own affair recovery for months or even years.

Many thanks to Duane!

stages of  grief after an affairThe 7 Stages of Grief after an Affair

“Every Step of the journey is the journey.”

Though every story is slightly different there is a script we all seem to follow, experiences we all share at various points in recovery. I thought it would be helpful to those who are new to this to get an idea of what to expect in the healing process.

Above all else know that healing will take considerable time. Be patient, be kind to yourself; it’s a process. But keep in mind always that wherever you are is exactly where you should be.

One of the first things I did after the news broke was to look up the 7 Stages of Grief (Shock, Denial, Bargaining, Guilt, Anger, Depression, and Acceptance.) I knew I was going to experience all of them, only I didn’t realize they repeat, overlap, gang up. Again, be kind to yourself.


Shock or The Honeymoon Phase:

If you’re reading this then you won’t need to be told about the shock and pain that will engulf you when infidelity is revealed. With me it was all consuming. I couldn’t eat, sleep, or concentrate. The only thing that mattered was finding my way free from the abyss into which I was pushed.

I thought getting her back would do the trick. I tried romance, sex, long discussions, crying, pleading; I was “there” for her yet allowed her her space. It seemed to work so long as there was movement. She was responsive, answered all the questions, gave me tons of physical attention, but we were both in survival mode.

She wasn’t being fully honest with me, or fully invested in our relationship. And in the quiet moments fear and anger took over; the pain returned as full as ever. Estimated time period: the 30 days post DDay.


Denial or The Honeymoon is Definitely Over:

She soon began to withdraw. I still held out hope for us. Our foundation was strong enough. I thought that we could weather this storm. I forgave her. I took a philosophical approach, a pragmatic outlook. This was a blip in our marriage, nothing more. She says she loves me and not him. What more proof do I need?

But the more I suppressed my anger, hurt, and disappointment, the greater those feelings became. There are three things that can’t be hidden, the sun, the moon, and the truth. As much as I hated the thought I simply had to allow the pain and anger to exist and run its course.

It took a while to learn, but I found it was ok to do that, to be angry, to feel pain. I had a right. I had been deeply wounded and it had to heal in its own time. Estimated time period: 30 to 90 days post DDay.

Bargaining or How To Be The Perfect Spouse:

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If I were better, stronger, smarter, taller, more handsome, successful, ambitious, if I had met her “needs,” then she would never have sought out another man. In hindsight this is utter, total Bullshit! Since when is anybody responsible for the happiness of another person? If we make someone happy then great, but it should never be a responsibility.

Alas, hindsight is such a gift.I tried to be more like him, or more of what I thought she was looking for, what she needed. I did exactly the opposite of what I should have done which is take pride in myself.

If I were to show her anything it should have been what she was attracted to in the first place. But again, it’s a process. Estimated time period: 1 year after DDay or one minute if you take my advice (for me it lasted about the entire third month post DDay.)


Guilt or How is this My Fault Again?

Part and parcel with Bargaining I took on the burden of her guilt as a way of being there for her, of being a perfect mate. I convinced myself that this affair had to be my fault because somehow I didn’t do enough. She didn’t blame me outright, as some betrayers do, but she let it be known that she was unhappy, that she had been unhappy for a while (she forgot to add, as all betrayers do, that the unhappiness was with herself.)

Luckily, my self-esteem was intact enough to realize this didn’t make any sense. Estimated time period: As with Bargaining this period lasted about the entire third month for me, but I would guess it could last 1 to 2 months or longer if one isn’t aware.


Anger or Now It’s My Turn:

Five months post DDay (and one month post Last Contact) my step-father passed away. He lived in another state so in going off to console my mom, my wife and I were granted a respite from the fear, anger, blame, needling innuendos, and the constant questions and marathon talks that followed.

My wife wanted to remain married. Her goal was and has been from DDay to have a loving, emotionally connected and fulfilling marriage with me. But she lacked the tools to take those steps fully and my ego would not allow me to release the anger enough to even attempt to trust her.

Five months post DDay and the wounds were still fresh, still tender to the touch. By this time I was convinced divorce was the only option, that she still harbored feelings for him (despite her telling me endlessly that this wasn’t the case,) that if it weren’t for our kids I would be long gone without a word.

This was the most destructive phase, but also the most cathartic. There are some wise folks out there who believe that the wounds we earn in life are what mold our character. They mature us in ways we never could have matured otherwise. But wounds this deep can only be gotten in battle. And I battled hard.

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The good is that I regained my confidence. I put my foot down, stating that if she wanted to pine over her man then she should do it on her own time in her own space. This was no longer my problem.

I began to look after myself and my interests. I started yoga, meditation, exercising, going out to meet new people, make new friends, and I delved into reading and found strength in renewal and the wisdom of those who had survived all sorts of traumas. I looked deep within myself and sought the truth. For the most part I liked what I saw.

The bad is that this was a struggle. I did things I’m not entirely proud of including confronting the OM and having my own revenge affair (which doesn’t work if one’s hearts not in it.) But I am glad for the insight at least my affair gave me, the self-loathing, the dopamine high, the fallacy that we are responsible for another’s happiness.

Despite what we believe our betraying spouses felt during their affair, it couldn’t possibly have been all sunshine and roses. Affairs are built on lies and secrecy. The constant guilt and torment must be unbearable. The childishness must be humiliating in the light of day. I can’t imagine anyone in an affair feeling good about themselves and I can see how far one would go to cast that awful feeling onto anyone else.

Anger has been the longest phase of recovery for me because I fought it every step of the way and because it needed to exist until I learned that I could deal with it while sitting still, by merely letting it be without marrying action to it.

The hardest lesson I have learned from this whole experience, and the greatest lesson, is that often times we don’t need to do anything; just let life be. It has made all the difference. Estimated time period: From DDay until one is ready to let it go, for me about 18 months – it could have been a lot shorter.


Depression or … just … God, does this suck:

There are varying degrees of depression. The major depression for me started in the third month post DDay (or March 2010). The realities of the affair hit my wife hard and she turned away completely. I have never felt so alone in my life, so worthless, so helpless. I started seeing a therapist; I took anti-depressants for the first time ever. Nothing seemed to make the pain go away but time. This lasted a month (I don’t have statistics but I’d wager the third month post DDay has got to be the worst of the recovery time).

Beyond that third month depression has stayed around for a good year and a half at varying levels. My revenge affair didn’t help as I experienced firsthand the withdrawal we have all heard so much about.

It’s real and is borne of guilt and shame, and the only thing to make it go away is another dose of drama, texting, meeting, ego-boosting, and what-have-you. I’m convinced it’s a hard-wired mental drug meant to promote the continuation of our species. Knowing that, it might give some of you a bit more patience with your addicted, dumb-for-the-moment spouse.

I also realized, curiously, that I had developed a habit of my depression over time. Like Pavlov’s dog I found when I was alone I would conjure up familiar anger and pain just because I was used to it. And when I would search for justifications as to why I felt this way I found it and earned my melancholy.

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Depression begets depression. I had to break the habit and couldn’t rely on my spouse to help me through it. I had to break it. Today it has dissipated, but it’s not entirely gone. It’s a process. Estimated time period: DDay until whenever, right? The worst of it though is during the earlier months.


Acceptance or the Never-Ending Story:

Acceptance is a weighty word since it implies surrender, but it’s nothing like surrender. We will never accept our spouse’s infidelity. We will only accept that it happened. There’s a major difference in that.

We grow wiser, our wounds heal, but the scar reminds us to be wary, to rely on ourselves first and foremost, and that at the end of the day we were never immune from such betrayal in the first place just as we never will be moving forward.

The only thing anyone can count on is that change will occur, which is a good thing because without change there is only death. The estimated time period for this phase is the rest of our lives because hopefully we’ve learned something here that will help us weather any and all future storms.

I was at a school concert the other night and in the row in front of me was a woman busily texting on her IPhone. The bright light was blinding me so I leaned forward to ask her to put it away. But in leaning forward I realized I could read her conversation.

The woman was there with her two teenage sons sitting between her and her husband. I wanted to say something to this woman about her “conversation.” But what would she say back to me? “How dare you. We’re just friends. This is none of your business.” She would be right, of course.

Every situation is unique. Still, I wanted to warn her about the process. I am strong enough now that the triggers don’t hit me anymore (yes, they do go away), and I wanted to warn this woman.

Two years out from my wife’s affair and there are more and more moments where I look at it and think it’s just not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. Even if our relationship doesn’t survive, at least I know I will.

I like my hard won independence. I like feeling that I have more control over the quality of my life, my happiness, my life’s goals. I’ve definitely lost something, but that’s part of growing up. I’ve learned to accept that. It’s all part of the process. And it gets easier. It gets better.


Once again, thanks so much to Duane for sharing his perspectives on the stages of grief after an affair based on his own experiences.

If any of you would like to share your thoughts or experiences please do so in the comment section below.

We’ve put together a program to help you learn about the five stages of the grief after an affair – and how to effectively deal with each step in the process.  You can learn more about it here. 


    221 replies to "Affair Recovery and the 7 Stages of Grief After an Affair"

    • csb

      I especially could relate to the “Depression” stage. I’t’s almost 3 months since DDay (very interesting to see that I’m entering the exact period the author calls the worst part of the recover time!)

      I too have developed a habit when it comes to my depression…hanging on to it, reminding myself of what was done and how I have the right to be sad.

      • Sally

        I identify with what you are saying.mine is into a little over two months. I go from anger to depression constantly.we have been married nearly fifty years. Thought all was well as old as we are. So it can happen to anyone. I just hope I live long enough to get over this.we are trying to make it work and I think he is truly sorry. I guess sex is just more important in a mans life. Anyway, I am trying to be happy and am sometimes. But when you start thinking it really is crushing.

        • Jenny

          Dear Sally, it’s a tough journey, heart breaking — to say the least. My d-day is 3 yrs behind me (in Aug). I now have good and bad days. Get a safe group, or a couple friends who understand.
          Your husband can want to be faithful, but if he is an addict… he needs help getting there. My husband never thought of himself as an addict, but he learned thru an EMB conference that he was. He seems to have finally gotten free from his cheating way ( and desires), but I have the hang up now as to how he could do this to me, and for 30 yrs.
          My heart goes out to you. ~ Jenny

          • Ron - Sad, depressed,angry, confused.

            I met a guy online FB and began a long distance romance that started slowly. It progressed more and more to the point where we were texting and face timing every day and multiple times a day. Such a nice young guy of 27, I’m 53. He was a Mormon elder and working for a 3rd party vendor at FB in SP. Anyway.. I decided to fly him to DC to meet me. I told him that if we didn’t click as a couple, we could at least have a fun time in DC. All seemed to work out well, romance was in the air. He asked if he could return to Calif. with me. I said I think he should return and we could continue our relationship from afar. We could meet up again. I thought that if this was REAL it would survive the long distance. I set up a date to fly to Brasil São Paulo to meet him on his home turf to check this all out to ensure I want getting too involved in some strange thing. Anyway that week went well and I truly was in love. We talked about a long term commitment then I told him that I would commit but he had to save money and bring himself to me in the US. We planned for December 2018. The eels passed then months. He finally arrived in April 2019. He asked to go to SLC first to visit friends then fly to SF where we would spend 2 days at the wharf before driving home to Sacramento. What I didn’t know was he had been chatting some other gay Mormon and had sex with him the night before coming to SF. I didn’t realize all this until last week July 22,2019 when I checked his phone and saw he was texting this guy and sending heart emoji, remembering their special time together and the desire to plan another meeting. Anyway I am totally crushed and don’t know what to do with this guy. He has no where to return and I can’t forget his deceit. I feel
            like such a stupid fool looking for love. He has apologized many times but you can’t un-break an egg. When I read the sweet cute messages between them, my face turns red with anger and I feel so stupid for getting involved. I don’t ever want anyone this close to me again.
            BTW – my ex-wife (of 16 years) did something similar and after reading the phases I realize why I felt so manic. She was meeting guys at motels. I was functioning but my brain was not. 7 years ago that marriage ended. I still hate her for treating me that way. The only person I hate on this planet thus far.

        • Cheryl

          Sally, I can sure feel your pain. 34 years nof marriage the last 8 have been affairs.
          So much lying and deception I can not bear it.

          • Leece

            Hello Cheryl,
            Feels like we lead parallel lives. My 35th anniversary was the worst day I’ve ever experienced. My husband finally came clean about the past 2 years and the numerous boundaries that he has crossed with a co-worker, a stripper and his massage therapist. Grief doesn’t even begin to describe the emotional turmoil my life is in. We are both in counseling right now with the intention of trying to make this work, but I am still so disgusted with him. I am empty, confused and broken.

            • Cinderella

              hello Leece, and everyone else out there in the daze of pain and confusion. I am so sorry for what brought all of us here, but here we are to support each other, so thank+you for this. I am almost four months into D-Day….I cried daily for at least the first three months. I found a great book on Amazon: How Do I Forgive You/and The Freedom Not To…..this gem delves into important factors and shows us that Acceptance is the way through the mess….acceptance that the whole hideous mess is real. Share your experience with people you trust, and that have your back with their full support….do things for you, therapist Vikki Stark in Montreal says ’Pour steel in your spine and fight for your life!’ AlAnon has great literature…Google-search some AlAnon quotes from ‘Just For Tonight’. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling, completely, and do not label your emotions….in a safe space just let it all out. I did tons of journalling which really helped, I would have panic attacks in the grocery store and start bawling….I literally lay on the floor at home when my body felt weak and shaky…..I just let myself be…I was so angry in the first three months, at my husband, at his girlfriend and on-line hook-ups, at happy couples in coffee shops, at the world. I took long vigorous walks in cold air which helped. I do a morning meditation/breathing/yoga posture routine which helps immensely. Hydrate well, take vitamins. Keep the body healthy and rest whenever you can, this will help take the edge off the busy-busy mind. Whether you stay in the marriage is up to you, but take care of yourself and take a long hard look at what your husband has to offer you, and if that is acceptable for you. The bewilderment that follows betrayal discovery is like living inside a Hoover vacuum…..when I find myself questioning things like, Was my marriage even real? why wasn’t I enough for my husband? I answer myself with I AM REAL, I AM ENOUGH. Do take care, do not isolate, celebrate what may seem like small things you accomplish daily (getting up, bathing, healthy nourishment, reading, see a friend)…..I hope this helps….

            • Shifting Impressions

              Thanks for your book recommendation…..I just started reading last night and it has really caught my interest. It has been over six years since d-day but I’m still struggling with the whole forgiveness thing. The author JANIS A. SPRING has a recalling interesting perspective.

              Also thanks for you your comment…..I totally agree.

          • tryingtogetover

            Also replying to Cinderella – ordering that book as well! Shifting Impressions, both of us struggle with the idea of forgiveness. I have never felt it completely, though I realize it is now sneaking in almost despite myself. I may have to write about it, but I want to read this book, too.

            • Cinderella

              dear Shifting Impressions and Trying to Get Over…I am glad you are looking into the book…I didn’t have the title exact, sorry about that…’How Can I Forgive You? the Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To’ by author Janis A, Spring. For myself, I need to heal and this looks like a long road ahead of me, but I am determined to not just survive, but in time, to thrive. I do not want to be tied to my pain and the death of my marriage as I knew it, I seek no revenge against my husband…I certainly am emotionally exhausted and need to get through the nightmare one day at a time….sometimes it is one breath at a time…that said, I will turn to the book and continue reading! take care dear ones, big hugs to everyone out there….you are not alone in this….!

            • Shifting Impressions

              Have you started to reading this book…..I can’t put it down. It is so helpful!!!!

            • tryingtogetover

              Cinderella and Shifting Impressions, the book is definitely helpful! If we all could I am sure we would have a great book-club meeting about it lol It is really forcing me to confront my (not particularly noble) reasons for not wanting to forgive. Basically, it’s making me evaluate why I fear forgiving. I have a lot of internal work to do on that front but I won’t rush it, I am just glad I am doing it. I was inspired to write a blog about it, so maybe that will go up sometime! Thank you both and I wish you both continued healing.

            • Shifting Impressions

              I’m glad you are finding the book helpful. I know what you mean about confronting the reasons I’m having trouble with forgiveness. I found after reading that I’m probably further along with “acceptance” than I realized. Also there are a few things my husband has not done that would most likely help me in the forgiveness area….the fact that those same things were listed in the book was really validating

              I also started reading another book that Janis Spring mentioned in her book. FORGIVING THE UNFORGIVABLE by Beverly Flanigan. Very interesting read as well. Yes a book club meeting would be something else!!!

        • Rosalyn

          Im So sorry for you Sally. I think men are just so gullible when it comes to another woman stroking there ego and telling them how great they are. I have forgiven but I can’t forget how much he hurt me. I could never do that to him. No matter how much somebody flattered me. But I do think he deeply regrets how much he hurt me, so I really must try to move on and put it behind us. We have been married 37 years this June and I don’t want this hanging over our marriage and happiness for whatever time we have left together. I really do love him with all my heart. I guess this means he doesn’t love me as much as I love him.

    • Michael

      Very well written. The time line is so close to mine. But I think Duane has made it further in the two years than I have.

      • Tryingtogetover

        @shiftingimpressions I am reading the “How Can I Forgive You?” book, it’s really valuable. Lots to think about!

        • Shifting Impressions

          I couldn’t stop…..such a timely read for me. It’s helping me understand some of my roadblocks to reaching “genuine forgiveness”. I also found that I’m further along in “acceptance” than I thought.

          I’m glad to hear you are reading and would love to hear your thoughts when you are finished.

    • Paula

      Agreed, Michael, my timeline is WAAAY more stretched out, a fact that I am not proud of, but have to keep trying not to beat myself up over. Big difference is I never even contemplated a revenge affair, just couldn’t do it (although I note Duane does mention his heart wasn’t in it) however, from what I’ve learnt, that is a more typical reaction/response from the male partner than the female one in a heterosexual relationship, just part of how we are wired a little differently. So good to hear from someone who is doing well 🙂

      • Wish|Didn'tCare

        It is not only a male thing. I am a women and had a 3-4 months revenged EA starting app.9 months after my husband came cleaned w. his affair. I never thought I could be capable of being emotionally enrolled w another person but my husband, but I did.

        The EA has widen my horizons and helped understanding some of the things and feelings my husband went through while he has been unfaithful. Even it sounds weird, this EA has helped me understand the world of secrecy, vulnerability, emotions, and has helped me heal faster.

    • ifeelsodumb

      I think when a spouse shows true, genuine remorse and takes the steps to help YOU heal, you will find that you can get past this much faster…and that maybe, as in my case, the anger still won’t be there almost a year later!

      • Ashley

        It has been six months since Ive known. I have never experienced anything like this in my entire life. I like to consider myself reasonably intelligent and can reason through all this intellectually but I don’t know how to even feel what I’m feeling, if that makes any sense. I am so…..lost. She was at least to me, the my best friend in the world we had been through so much and I was always ALWAYS there for her, and he was my HUSBAND. I may have had doubt’s in them individually but together I trusted and loved blindly, they were sleeping together for five years. They both have said it was just sex, bit have also said they love me. How can just sex be worth this ripping me apart over and over every day? I must have meant nothing. Every memory in that time hurts so much because it was a lie and makes me so angry and humiliated. …….I have so much more to say, I can’t see past this I can’t seem to get away from it being everywhere in everything,….. My joy is gone. Why am I the one that this has to destroy? I feel myself sinking deeper into this dark place. I just don’t know how to …..

        • Ashley

          I think its because it was THEM that it has trapped me. I got through and forgave him having a child with a woman and then hiding child support payments for years rather quickly. I didn’t know her and it hurt but it was like watching an action movie verses being in a devistating ten car pileup personally!

          • JennyLi

            Ashley, I’m so sorry for your pain. No one can fix it or cause it to make sense… for a good while. You have to just live through the pain, fighting to be a better you rather than a bitter you. Its a process. NEVER blame yourself nor get down on yourself for neg feeling or reactions. Its a process.
            Do not trust his words ever… learn to read his actions. I get that he never appreciated the forgiveness you so lovingly gave him the “first” time he betrayed you so horrifically. He couldnt do anything but “behave badly” because he is a sex addict. He will not change without help… counseling, 12 step program, and serious life changes. ( Im not a counselor— just seen, heard, and been through so much).
            If you even choose to try to stay w him …insist he goes to EMB conference. He may never change. Take care of yourself! Get into a support group and counseling to help your broken heart. You’re not alone. You were NOT the cause- HE has the problem.

          • leece

            Ashley, If she was truly your friend, then she would have honored that friendship before she decided to trample on your marriage vows. Your husband equally dishonored his promise that he made before God to forsake all others. Your friend is not your friend and if you have any prayer to keep your marriage together, then she needs to go completely away and agree to never see your husband again. She is a snake and isn’t your friend. If it’s “just sex,” as they say and no big deal, then why not ask you what you think before they consummated their affair. They minimize it and it makes you feel like you are making more out of it than it is, but you’re not. He cheated and worse than that, he cheated with someone that you trusted as much as him. They both betrayed you and it’s incredibly important that you get her away from you and your husband. I hope it works out in the end for you. Stay Strong Girlie and dump that Bitch!

            • Jenny Li

              Amen to what leece said!
              Forgive (for your sake) and move away from that “friendship”. That is truly a “Toxic friend.”

      • who'dhavethunkit?

        Amen! It took a while… but when you start to see it and feel it, you know your on a good road. That’s when my anger faded tremendously and it’s pretty well gone – as I’ve worked on other angers in the meantime and learned to accept what is, and change the narrative. Cool stuff…

      • Alexandra


        Would you be able to describe why you feel that when a spouse shows remorse, it’s easier to heal?

        • Jenny Li

          Just my thoughts; I think that a spouse who shows remorse is very important to the healing process for several reasons. It says he/she gets it, knows it was his fault, and knows it was WRONG. It gives one hope that the spouse may not want to return to that place of moral failure ever again because of their regrets. (However, an addict will return again and again until they learn how to break the cycle and stay clean.)
          If they own their actions, as remorse seems to indicate, they may be willing to engage in conversations about what you need to ask or talk about. Once through just wasn’t enough for me.
          And, finally. how could the hurt spouse hope to find love with an offending spouse who did not regret his/her betrayal?!

      • Cj

        That’s if your partner helps you through it and doesn’t push it aside like it never happened and gets angry when you bring it up to discuss because it haunts you… i didn’t recover from my spouse’s affairs for 7 long years and i still have insecurities because of it today sadly.. i do love him and have not caught him cheating since but i still have insecure thoughts sometimes

    • saddenned


      I relate to these stages. I am 9+ months from D Day…I would recommend counseling to help sort through the feelings. The recovery time is quicker. Not marriage counseling, I am talking individual counseling. This will help focus on you.

    • changedforever

      Wondering if there is a difference in the healing time periods of an EA vs a combo EA/PA (suffered from a BS’ perspective..?) Doug or Linda…wondering if Duane suffered from his wife’s EA or EA. +PA? As I’ve learned from all I’ve read & researched over this 14+ ‘months of hell’ – an EA if not eventually intercepted or stopped otherwise most likely is on is way to a PA (which is what happened in my H’s situation. He claims they jumped right into the PA but my investigation proves otherwise…the ‘feeling sorry for her/she had such a hard life/hero to her rescue’ stage WAS their EA…but as soon as the OW was out of ‘its’ recovery from its recent -back-then abortion, they began the PA.) It is always amazing to hear where everyone ‘is’ in their healing paths…I, too, relate to many of you in your stages of ‘limbo.’ Still not receiving the ‘crutch’ assistance I need & expect from my H @ this ‘stage’ of my recovery is so difficult. Read a great ‘prayer” from ‘Notoverit’s’ link to this site re: recovery from Adultery,’…evil truly played a part in my H’s affair: he involved ‘someone’ in OUR lives…not just his…who was quite like the devil, ‘someone’ who killed (multiple abortions,) destroyed (I.e., marriages/dated multiple older, married men,) all situations my H was aware of…and still, he pursued this thing.
      I know that as the truth continues to be unearthed its supposed to be healthy…but oh God it hurts. But knowing that it is God that will serve punishment…I will not do so. My H & I are of different faiths…and we have both ‘returned’ to weekly services. He to his Judaism (just recently,) me to my Catholic faith soon after Dday, I hope his is the lifesaver to him, as mine has been to me. Hold onto your faith or at least read ‘the Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne…and its sequel; ‘the Power.’ You will come away with what you need in spiritual survival. Best to you all & thanks for all you’ve been…to me.

      • Doug

        Changedforever, I’m not sure about Duane’s situation as it relates to an EA + PA. Perhaps he will comment. What you say is true about the importance of holding onto your faith – no matter what it is.

      • Who'dhavethunkit?

        Changed forever – and you are. So am I; BUT, there is hope for a great life ahead if you can be a bit patient, a bit selfish, honest with your feelings, and treat your WS as a friend, who has kept making bad choices and who needs to change their story while you don’t get too sucked in, but want to support if and when you see signs of change (gasp for air); and don’t look to your H to be your support and source of happiness for a while… in fact, really ever. That MUST come from YOU… and I believe, God!

        Our 27th anniversary was less than a month away from my first D day. I say first, because, while his was not an EA, I was told that there were multiple affairs that started with illicit massages 20 years before. Boy! Did I feel like a chump – the real devastation actually began the next day… But at least the distance and indifference toward me over the years made sense and I realized that I wasn’t going crazy! I had carefully approached him twice about my feelings regarding his “secret life” (trying to leave the door open for some confession) over the last couple of years, and was summarily dismissed and the regular spotlighting began. On D day he SAID he wanted to try and work things out; so, did I. But I HAD NO IDEA what that was going to entail. I just knew that our 27th meant nothing to me and I told him so.

        He tried to talk about renewing vows on our thirtieth and I said, “You mean our third?” I knew that hurt, but so was I. Then as a sign, the diamond of my ring fell out of my wedding ring. Crazy. It’s still glass for now. I said, “I feel like we are engaged, but still deciding whether we want to go through with the marriage”. I also had a terrible time sleeping and shutting down my thoughts, so would go out to the office in back and pour over the internet trying to figure out what happened, what I should do, whether I should stay, why would my H stay, and was mostly terrified. I came in one night after he came out to coax me back into the house, and as usual I was shaking from my core and couldn’t stop. This night when we got into bed, he put his arms around me and held me close, while whispering in my ear “I got you, I got you” – and we started to talk that whispered kind of talk we hadn’t done in years. At one point, I could tell he wanted to say, “I promise I won’t ever…” and I stopped him and said “No promises… we just need to take one day at a time. I don’t even know what I want to do. Let’s just see how things go right now and if we wake up each morning and still want to try, then that’s what we’ll choose. How does that sound?” He agreed with some sadness in his voice, and I was able to get to sleep. The next morning, I went out to the office and There was a note on my computer that said, ” I CHOOSE YOU!” For about three months or so, he found clever ways to tell me that, even when he was on the road, as he travels a lot for work. (I know…)

        Now, there were many other D days after that, but not of new Affairs, but of me finding out new aspects of his past infidelity that I am sure he NEVER meant for me to know. It took him several months to close everything down, but I believe him when he says there was no sex or enjoyment, just desperately trying to make sure there would be no repercussions for him or us in the future. That was hard for me to buy, but after reading about the withdrawls of a WS today, suddenly, his demeanor during that time makes sense – hot and cold. He had built an entire other life (that I found out in the ensuing months) that had become a place to go and forget about how angry and hurt he felt from a desperate childhood and with a persona that had been carefully constructed for the world since he was probably 8 years old. He had to build new routines and healthier ways to cope. He pretty much had to change his whole reality.

        The detachment was the only thing that might have given him away, and because I was so happy to have met him and married him – and thought of him as my best friend – I never saw it. Well, his secret world began to unravel, and I believe God helped to put the evidence in my lap and gave me the clarity to see it for what it was. Each time I came upon something new he would come clean. It took about 9 months for me to get the whole picture. I even spoke to the most recent OW (plural) who confirmed that he had said it was over – “Don’t contact me. I’m married, and she knows everything, and I want to work things out with her”. I gave them a little advice about dating a man twice their age who always met at Starbucks or a hotel room and never shared any personal information, gave them money when they said they needed it, took them on business trips, (even new breasts for one) blah, blah, blah – which made ME feel better. In return I heard their whiney voices say that they did as told and stopped calling. I verified that with the phone records and other sources. My H also had put us into deep debt with his infidelities and trappings, which was another form of D day!

        I reveal all this to tell you that my life was pretty hellish for that first year. Triggers were intense for another, at least. But, there was lots of movement on his part to change. He even shaved off his fireman’s mustache that he had had since he was 17; and he had always sworn that it was NEVER coming off. We worked at making new memories, and I found a TV show as I was channel surfing at 3 AM one night called Marriage Today. We both attribute most of our marital success because of what we learned and committed to after watching that program for months (we taped it and watched it together).

        He found a faith and place to go when he needed solace, and learned to forgive. He also took the lead in our relationship to put God first, and we both rely on the Holy Spirit to work within us, despite our failings. Really! What a difference that has made in both of our lives and in our marriage. I don’t usually talk about this because I was raised that faith is a personal experience and don’t want to proselytize, but I will say that it has been the key to our survival and individual growth and change in the past 2 and a half years. It took me a bit longer to get there and it will be a life long journey for both of us, but we have a beacon that guides us every day that we had ignored too often prior to D day.

        We do find joy these days and have really started laughing together again. I’m actually planning our future with a partner who never wanted to plan anything, except short term entertainment – “You know, we could get hit by a bus any day” and oh! Did he like to spend money… Now we work the finances together and he is even more watchful and prudent than I – a 30 year banker! This year we are two weeks away from completing a whole house remodel that we had said we would do 15 years ago when we purchased this old house – as Owner Builders. We were down to studs and have been living in the office in the backyard with two cats since January. We are still married and happily in love. Who’d have thunk it? I honestly now look upon the whole experience as if we found out that he was diagnosed with Cancer, went through the battle for his life, went into debt and both came out healed. I have the chance to live out the rest of my life with a husband whom I love and feel loved by.

        Yes, I’m changed, but the work and even the intense suffering was worth it. I’ve learned so much from this site and hope that I can pay back with some hope and insight to others. I have certainly learned from many here. Thank you from the bottom of my heart; You gave me an important place to heal!

    • D

      Brief history, changedforever. My wife was in a full on EA/PA that lasted 18 months. I really was clueless during the whole thing. I was one of those who felt amazed at how perfect our relationship was and discovering she was having an affair was as devastating a feeling as I ever want to experience. To make it worse, the OM’s wife shared with me their entire history in emails that the dumb ass OM neglected to delete. Reading comments like “Whenever D asks me what I’m thinking about I have to lie,” kind of rips a hole through one’s heart. And you can imagine that wasn’t the worst comment. I was pretty much out of commission for three or four months. I think I might have dealt with it better if it were only a PA. I’m guessing a man can understand that a lot more. But her giving her heart to someone – even within an addictive state – is heart-wrenching. But I have to say that wasn’t the worst of it.

      It was how she reacted after the affair that really hit me. The withdrawal, the turning away from me, blaming me, that was worse. But it helped me be a stronger person.

      A friend of mine just found out his wife has been having an affair. It breaks my heart. Part of the impetus to write this piece was to show that we as individuals can and will recover, but also I wanted to point out that as much as we might value (or have valued) our marriages, it is not what defines us. I can’t say this will work for everyone but it was very helpful for me to literally let everything go, the expectations, considerations, respect, anger, love, history, desire, joy, any and all anniversaries whether they pertained to our relationship or the affair specifically, and see if anything blossomed organically anew. I had to let my wife stand on her own merits without any help from me and see if there was something new between us to sustain our future together.

      It has definitely helped. I heard a quote today, “Holding onto resentment is like swallowing poison and hoping the other person dies.” It helps to let go.

      • ifeelsodumb

        D, what is this “withdraw” that you and others talk about? Is this common after an EA?
        I’ve come to terms with my H having the EA for the most part…it’s the way he treated me AFTER that I’m struggling to forgive….some days it seemed like he was there for me, actually very few days when I think about it….and other days he just wanted to act like life was normal and the EA never happened…and other days he was cruel to me…when I was crying and upset, he’d walk away and act like I was bothering him…so is that what withdraw is, where they just act like you mean nothing to them?? Is this common after an EA?

        • D

          Withdrawal from the addiction of the affair. Your husband created a habit for himself with the OW. In breaking that habit it’s like letting go of a drug. And he’s going to come down from that hard. Instead of the constant stroking of his ego he’s going to be confronted with some ugly truths about himself, his character, and how much pain and damage he’s caused. He’s going to be angry, and unfortunately he’s going to be angry with you because you are the one stopping him from getting his high. But you can’t take this personally because it has nothing to do with you. Depending on how honest he wants to be with himself, this withdrawal could take some time.

          My wife’s withdrawal didn’t begin until I confronted the OM and she realized that she was really cut off. She turned on me in a big way (this was that dreaded Third month.) Last Contact occurred the following month and I’d say it took her a good six months after that to really begin in earnest working on herself.

        • norrine fay

          This happened to me too. I find I could deal with the affair although it was painful. It was the withdrawal, lack of empathy, mind games, emotionally cruelty and sarcastic comments that cut deep. I could not understand it. This website has made me realise this behaviour is the norm for some partners who won’t accept responsibility. Really all the post has allowed me to deal with this behaviour much better. Otherwise I would be still living in an emotional and confusing fog. Thank you so much. Words can’t express my gratitude

          • FuzzyAK

            Thank you for pointing this out. I am month 4 from DDay.

            My W had a EA/PA with my best friend of 20 years. We have been married for 18 years and she came forward after she got pregnant with his baby after 6 months of the PA. I have been kind, forgiving, and graceful, but that has not done a bit of good, though it may pay off later if she gets her head and heart right.

            She treats me the same just as you described…withdrawn, lack of empathy, emotionally cruel and treating me as if she is the betrayed spouse.

            Just got past the 3rd month of agony and fighting depression, but just kept running to Jesus every time I felt it well up inside of me. I also would call counselors to get affirmation and support. I am feeling much better in this 4th month though I am now dealing with anger more. I don’t desire any revenge or violence, I just am angry that those 2 could steep to such immature, dishonorable, selfish, lustful actions with no regards to the children or commitment. It is sick and perverted.

            What I hate the most is how she acts like he is some kind of hero…HA…he is a scoundrel and categorized as one of the worst kind of men one could be grouped with.

            I have cut off communication with her except in relation to the kids. I am finding myself and becoming intra-dependant and I will be the winner in all of this.

            Now she is living in a Hotel while still seeing him and doesn’t want reconciliation and says she wants a divorce. Though she is getting counseling and I think she is considering reconciliation for the kids sake. But that is not enough for me at this point. As one person said, I will only consider reconciliation when I see remorse, deep repentance, and empathy for the damage she has caused the kids and to me and to Christ. Part of this means 100% cut off from the OM. She has to accept me as the father of the baby and I will happily raise the baby as my own child. The OM gets the minimal legal access to the child if any and she will never be part of the interchange for visitation etc.

            If she can’t come to these terms, then I will move on the better man and father of our 3 kids and maybe someday I will find another wife who I can build a life with for Jesus.

            I feel better just writing this 🙂

            • Jill

              Now that some time has passed I’m wondering how things have turned out? I really feel deep sympathy for you and your children! U had two big hits your best friend? Jerk!!! And a child was conceived during this horrible event! I hope all is well with you????????

          • JOHN KAIMINS

            I agree TOTALLY. This is EXACTLY how my wife treated me when I “cut off” her Infidel Lover. Reading all the posts on this wonderful site makes it much easier to come to terms with how she is treating me.

      • Alexandra


        How are you two doing now? What did it take from your wife to realize that you wanted to rebuild the marriage?

      • Johnny

        Yep, PA is more easier to deal with. I dreaded & stop to follow my wife conversation with her AP partner because of something that you read too.

        Now 5 months after D-Day, nothing is improving. She already had affair & BLINSIDED me too, for almost a year.

        The COVID 19 & lockdown make it easier for her to do so.

        So all in all its already almost 18 months. I guess our marriage is seal already.

        From your experience, at least she did try.

        Me, Kapoot.

        After the D-Day, (past 5 months) beyond reasonable doubt, that she did meet & check in the hotel thrice already. I am not count the whatapps msg & sexting.

        The rejection on me at the same time make things more hurtful & difficult. She is even mocking my lame effort to puring her with my love or shared my care toward her.

        I don’t know. I guess, now, I shall counting my days till it’s over. Still, I lover so much. & my son also what all I got now. I don’t know how to restart life without both of them.

        I give her one year or so but after 5 months, I know already the outcome. As I grown weaker & more weaker & their relationship is grown stronger & more stronger.

        I have not talk with anyone else till now. But the feeling of to blew it out, yeah, I read & comments here randomly. It’s a sign that I will succumb to this, not very long.

    • changedforever

      Thank you Duane…for sharing even more. When you mentioned letting things go, such as anniversaries, does that mean you no longer acknowledge them (I.e., my 25th wedding anniversary was horribly soiled…they had lunch & dinner together while I worked & waited for him to come home ‘from a friend’s house.’ ) finding this out ripped my heart completely from my being. We’ve gone thru one of these (wedding) anniversary dates already. More ‘inside’ suffering for me. I don’t want that date anymore…and I loved that date/that time of year. After discovering they had 11 months of inappropriate contact up until June of this year, no date is unsoiled. He worked hard to take me away during that time, but it was still ‘that date’ we had to get past. I am 14 months past DDay#1. I have also always been a ‘date-remembering’ person…it was always a blessing…until the affair & all the revelations of the years of other EA’s. Not remembering dates is a curse now. How did you let go all that you did…pls help me with this, any advice even a starting point would be so helpful.
      My H has not given me any special attention since that anniversary date in October (which was 4 days prior to DDay#1.) You seem to be where I need to be and I am nowhere near where you are. Stuck in a bad place…and here come the emotional holidays…again.

      • ifeelsodumb

        We just passed our 26th anniversary…My H wanted to take me to an expensive restaurant, to make “new” memories, because last year, he was involved in his EA during our 25th anniversary. I just couldn’t do it…the day means nothing to me anymore, he has ruined it.
        We will renew our vows when I feel I have forgiven him completely….and maybe that will be our “new” date that we will celebrate??
        At this point, I just don’t know anymore…I told him today that I think that maybe he waited to long to come around, to finally decide he wants to fight for our marriage, too little too late, ya know?
        Because I feel such incredible sadness inside me all the time, I can’t seem to shake it….

      • Heather

        I’ve just read your comment and wow does it hit a nerve! It’s very powerful stuff and while my H and I are trying to recover 8 months from DD ( actually loads of DDS as so much then come out after that first one) I really relate to you. I too have found inner strength from yoga, friends who have been through the same and this site in particular where I can read up on useful advise and how other people feel and cope and yes we all feel pretty much the same when this happens to your marriage. My H is a pretty emotionally distant man and I’m the opposit so I have always wondered really if we just aren’t really a good match, but through all of this recovery … I have wanted to let him go, believing it’s obviously not right or it wouldn’t have happened and yet he won’t let me go. He has hurt me so much and although he says it was only an EA, I will never ever know the truth and that really plays on my mind because he knows that I probably wouldn’t have him back if he had and he has lied to me so much… I just don’t know what to believe anymore! He is now finally really trying and doing a lot of what he needs to be doing to show me he wants to recover and is committed but why do I feel so ambivalent? Is this normal? It’s so hard and yet you say about the intense suffering ( I can certainly relate to that) was worth it … That I still wonder about? I used to love my H deeply, but now I don’t… I just love him at what feels like surface level. I am changed and will never be that same person … I am stronger now but know I still have a great deal of pain trapped despite endless days and nights of tears and more tears… My H has not shed a single tear and that I really struggle with? I just don’t know what I want anymore…I’m inspired by you though and think.. Yep keep going give it more time, so perhaps I will as he is really trying so much now and our home is now much calmer and although at times I don’t want to come home and just want to run away, he accepts these moments and will give me my space, hold me and try to reassure me that we can get through this!
        We bought a puppy ( 6 months into our recovery) to help us heal and she has been wonderful. She has helped to bond us all and has filled our home with love, joy and hope and I know even if we don’t stay together, she will stay with me and be at least one good thing that came out of this most awful time in my life! Thank you for sharing your story .

        • who'dhavethunkit?

          Heather – I’m so sorry that you are facing this very difficult and very emotionally sad experience, but it sounds like – with your husband. I know those feelings of ambivalence very well. That’s why I told my H that I really didn’t know what I would eventually do (nor did I know what he would eventually do – even though he said he would never leave). I just had to trust each day as it came. I wanted a good, loving and trusting future together, but wondered if that was really even possible. But, I continued to take each day as it came and as life went on we did too.

          I wrote a lot about what I found out and how it might relate to us. I began to understand a little more about what happened through talking and asking questions. He was never happy about answering and, in the beginning, it was a lot of “I don’t knows”. This site let me know that this is normal. I, too, had a couple of friends who were wonderful to talk with as each level of discovery brought new and hurtful information. They taught me the art of listening unconditionally and kept me honest with myself by asking me questions, but never beat my H up, even when things seemed so bizarre to me. They really helped me to explore my feelings and options. In turn, I committed to be a better listener to my H.

          Both my friends – and this site – gave me the courage to press on. When things got emotional, or my H was just too defensive (and sometimes shut down) often I still gently and quietly pressed on – one more question or clarification… I also let him know how I was feeling. In the beginning the triggers prompted some angry talks, which really went nowhere – except he began to see my intense hurt. I think it scared him sometimes. I made a point of not being mad at him in the beginning, or I don’t know if I could have been civil or loving or effective in being a partner in anything if I hadn’t done that. Instead, I transferred it to the girls (GGs – Gutter Girls as I called them). He had a single friend (long gone before D day) who used to delight in talking about other married couples’ problems or infidelities – people I didn’t know. And I used to say, “I’d have to kill you if THAT happened”, or “I’d leave you in a heartbeat” if you ever had an affair… And, of course, I never really thought it could happen to us! Hummmmmm. Not so easy after 27 years, and most of them were pretty happy.

          Because of his childhood, which he told me about early on before marriage, I knew that he had felt smothered among many other things, and so I always gave him space and lots of trust. I, too, don’t like someone breathing down my neck, but my nickname is True Blue Ody Calonie (from a childhood cartoon). So, when things got incredulous, I was able to remain calm and listen. It has taken a long time, but I have been able to put the pieces together to understand his need for distraction from his ever-present despair, and hateful feelings toward his life and who he thought he must be. But I will really never understand his decision to DO what he did in acting on those disappointments and insecurities. As time went on, it got easier and easier to talk to one another and I tried not to make any discussion unbearable, because I always hoped that he would be more forthcoming in the next one. Those discussions often turned into talking about our future and making plans or sharing dreams; but certainly not in the beginning, or even in the first couple of years. And – again – in watching Marriage Today together, we heard that you marry the person who can heal you – as you heal each other. Now, I believe that’s true. And – I began to forgive (not condone) my H, and soon the GG’s, too. Their lives must’ve been just as tough; and I hope they are able to reach out to God and stop using married men for their gain. So, Heather, there may be a lot of pain in your H’s life that he has learned how to mask behind his emotional distance. Maybe…

          My H found TM and taught me. Your YOGA sounds like a great idea. I swim. I have always been more outgoing and trusting and I believe, that that is one reason he was drawn to me in the first place. I could open doors. Today, you’d never know he is the same guy. He is outgoing, and friendly, and strikes up conversations with strangers – in a good way… He seems genuinely interested in others, when that wasn’t the case before. He knew how to DO good things, and was a first responder for 22 years; but real interest and concern… I rarely saw it. Now, he’s the guy I thought I’d married 29 ½ years ago.
          Heather, you also mentioned that he hasn’t shed a tear. Would you believe? Neither have I. I am a strong person, and I found that in the beginning I couldn’t let myself go in that way or I might not be able to survive. I’ve watered up at some movies lately, but no crying jags, yet… and I WAS DEVASTATED. I was just determined not to be a victim; and that’s a personal thing with me. My H, on the other hand, has been very emotional; and, I appreciated that, as it was congruent to the moment and authentic. I’m glad he could cry. I knew he felt awful for what he had done (or didn’t do) to our marriage. We all show emotions differently, and your H may just be trying to hold it all together.

          We also had a furry friend – a cat that literally wandered into our lives as a kitten and had become our ‘child’. We poured our love into that boy each day and shared our adoration of his antics and fun behavior. After 4 years, he walked away a little over a year ago, and we were heartbroken. We both think he was sent so that we didn’t stop loving, when it was too hard to love each other. As my H said “Loving Punkin was a way I could show love to you through loving something you loved.” Interesting…

          At some point you may begin to feel that this period and process of discovery can go beyond the bounds of infidelity, and, reach into places that you didn’t even know existed. The vows “for better or worse; in good times and in bad…” They really mean something. Do you think in every other way your H is some one you can respect? It’s your call. And don’t beat yourself up because of your ambivalence or surface feelings right now. I can so understand. Take it a day at a time, take your time on this site and know you can make it – with or without your H. That is a very freeing notion. The rest will come with time and patience. Then you can make your “informed’ decision in your own time. Is there any hurry? Make everyday count. Blessings to you, Heather.

          • Jenny Li

            Awesome post. So insightful, helpful, and healing. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Broken

      Duane…I have to say that is one of the best posts I have ever read. It is absolutely true…all of it. I am 16 months post dday and my biggest problem right now is dealing with the constant reels in my head that I can’t turn off. I have to learn to let it all go…its no longer healthy for either one of us. Affairs are awful blood sucking parasites. I think for the most part I am stronger and he actually looks like he has aged…alot. I like your analogy…dumb for a moment spouse.

      Thanks for a great post.

    • Donna M

      I am 1 year out of D day. I have gone through it all and still going through it! I can relate to all stages. I am back to the Anger :(… The OW is still writing to my H and reminding of what they had and shared. He has no contact with, we are not sure how she’s even getting his new email address. He is not hiding the emails and has been showing me, I have his email set up on phone so I can read his any times of the day. All part of trying to gain the trust back. Now I find myself wondering is it even worth it! She has threaten to go to My H 90 year dad and visit him, if he doesn’t call her.
      Seems now we are fighting more now then ever. We don’t know how to make her stop. My H has stopped talking to all people that know her, yet she keeps getting the email address. Its getting to the point of I want to confront her at her job. He told me yesterday that he would do that with me tow. Now today seems he didn’t want to. I feel like he protecting her and what they had once again. I feel my feelings mean nothing to him. They are both to blame for what happened, but he at least stopped all contact. She can’t call him or text him due to he blocked her numbers.
      I’m so confused and I am trying to trust him, I have thrown in face that he is afraid of seeing her, because of what they had. At this point, if he does see her and wants her back GO, I am not going to sit hone anymore.
      He has standing by my side, but has also thrown in my face, That”s right poor poor pity you!
      My question to everyone, he has emailed her a few months ago, and now in an email she wrote I know its your wife writing it. SO we can’t just send an email. Do we confront her????

      • D

        My advice would be to ignore her completely. Your husband seems to be showing signs that he wants to be in your marriage. That’s a huge step and one you might take comfort in. He’s showing you the emails, supporting you, being truthful.

        The OW is vying for attention and she’s not getting it because your husband is choosing you, yes?

      • ifeelsodumb

        Jan. 1st 2011, I KNEW something was going on…Jan.3rd 2011, he finally confessed…Today, Dec.23, 2011 My anger is back and I’m struggling to deal with it! S I understand completely!
        It didn’t help that the other day, while talking, he said “It was ONLY four months”!! meaning the length of his EA…I looked at him and said ” I don’t care if it was only four HOURS, it was wrong”! Of course, he tried to explain that he meant that some others are for 2 yrs or more…so yea, that didn’t help, to hear him try to make an “excuse” for himself!!
        And now he’s bulking at counseling, we have an Appt. set for Jan 3rd…well, I’m going, with OR without him!

        • Donna M

          It’s sad how some things just set us off. My H said the same THING. It was only Urggg. I had to remind hi that they worked (they shared the same office) 10 hour day’s and then would stay 2-3 hours after work, and still not good enough he would call her while he was driving home, then come home eat and tell me I need to go buy (whatever he needed) and call her again, when he wasn’t chatting with her on FB. Even the 10 min drive to go see his dad. Sick. Even on our Vac, we stayed local at a Hotel, he left so he could go see her for 5 mins. This was the day I found out. I happened to be behind him without him knowing, I heard him say “I miss you you too, I love you, ok let me see what I can do”. REALLY!!!!!! then he tells me, well its not as bad you think..Guess he is right it was WORSE then I thought!

        • tash

          I went without my h and I’m glad I did. I needed some me time. To talk about how I felt. I wanted him to go at first and he did to a couple and lied his way through it lol. I look back at me then and feel sorry for how much pain I was in. Now I am angry…stay angry. I went to counseling for me because at the end of the day if our relationship ends I still have to know how to heal. I have to learn how to deal. I don’t care about us anymore…..if we work it out we work it out but if we don’t I have to know how to live with that. So counseling for yourself is a great idea.

      • Lynne


        I agree with “D”. Ignore her! There is absolutely nothing good that will come from confrontation. You won’t feel better afterward, but are likely to feel worse. If you do engage with her at all, you and your H are keeping the ping pong match going! Next volley, please!

        Whenever I see BS’s focused on the OW/OM it makes me cringe. I see this as focusing on the wrong thing, person etc. Your H should have kept his attention at home and HE is responsible for turning to someone else…’re married to him, not to HER, so her choices/actions are irrelevant!

        As to how she keeps getting your email address, there are a million ways to search email addresses on the internet. These are not as hidden as one might think. You can change it again, but she will most likely find it. I’m curious as to why you don’t block it from your email, just as you have blocked your phones.

        • Donna M

          My H just emailed her back to tell her what he thinks, The first email from him to her. She is now becoming a crazed person. I am not sure if they will let it through but here is her letter to him today.. BTW he never made plans with her for anything lol. She is reaching far. I have all her letters to him from when the EA was going on, she would write how cold he is towards her, and she knows he is only saying I Love you back, because she’s saying it.Her letter..
          ” tell me what I need to do to prove to you thel love I have for
          you. Do you remember last year, how you made plans to wake up in my
          arms Christmas morning? How you send to me, I was the only gifted you
          needed. Think to nov when you held me and said you love more then
          anything in the world. Do you know every time I see a car like yours my
          heart stops, I drive up to see if its you or her. When I see
          someone with green eyes I think of you and if you thinking of me. Do
          you remember when I said you have green eyes, you said no they brown, I
          said no they are green. You said well the she always say
          Steve can we pleae meet? Christmas night maybe at your dads? Remember
          how you said you can’t wait until they meet me.
          With all my love”

          As for us blocking her email, she makes a new one up, Normally Mrs. (Our last name)

      • Notoverit

        Is there no way to block her? I know you can set up numerous email accounts so that may not work. I don’t know if you’re in the U.S. but there is a federal law about cyber stalking. If she continues and you are in the U.S. print them out and take them to the FBI. They prosecute for this. Just a thought. Maybe you should tell her that it is a federal crime punishable by jail time. I had our PI do this – I refused to talk to my OW. He made it very clear that we would prosecute. Not a peep out of her now. LOL

      • Lucielle

        Its hard not to respond to this woman; you’re angry and rightfully so. When you respond, it gives her a lot of power that she doesn’t deserve. I have experience both as the OW and the hurt spouse and it has caused me and many others irreparable damage. This woman obviously has never experienced this type of infidelity herself, or she would understand the awful pain she is causing you and your husband. The best revenge? Completely ignore her. It will drive her nuts. Don’t even read the emails, just delete, delete, delete. Certainly do not respond anymore. Your marriage is none of her business. I hope you can find the strength and grace to rebuild your marriage. After 3 years of this business I am still trying, one day at a time.

    • Laura

      I am a little over 2 months after d-day, the holidays are here and it is even more painful, just thinking about all the things we could be doing for the holidays to be together as a family and spend this time with friends as well. Who would tell us we would be like this for the holidays. Sometimes I feel like its just a bad dream, but reality hits and it hits hard. I know I am not guilty for him having the affair, but he tells me its my fault that he went out looking what he was lacking at home, which was love, attention, support, I know I take responsability for that, but I did not put a gun to his head and said”you must go and find another that meets your needs” Why didnt he just leave? Why was it okay for him to let O/W into “our” lives. He tells me living with me was a living hell (for 12 years up until 2 weeks before d-day he was always loving, caring , even talking about having a second child, not a behavior of a husband who is in a living hell. He thinks his problems,sentimental, emotional,finanancial,(cheap excuses)problems are going to go away by having an affair, he is so wrong! Hes just added even more and aggravated problems for himself. He is still in the fog, and has not seen one bit of the tremendous damage, he has caused our family including himself. Now he blames me for the affair, I am hurting so bad, I wish time would fly( yeah right) because I know time is a healer, but for now I have to go through the emotional process, I have a lot of anger inside me and I hate feeling this way , but thats part of the process.

      • D

        There’s an Eleanor Roosevelt quote that says, “There are no victims, only volunteers.” I obviously have no idea what you are like as a person or a wife, but if your husband was so unhappy he had three choices to deal with that unhappiness, accept it, change it, or leave. Like I said, we should never feel responsible for another person’s happiness. You are not at all to blame for his affair. Your husband volunteered.

        • blueskyabove

          “…accept it, change it, or leave”. Have you read Eckhart Tolle? He writes a lot about acceptance, surrender, resistance and taking responsibility for your life. Many of your posts seem to come from a different perspective than most others. Have you always been so inclined or is this something you have discovered since the affair?

          4+ years post DDay

          • D

            I love your moniker, Bluesky. So hopeful. I think I got that saying from Eckert Tolle or Pema Chodron. I’ve been reading a TON since this occurred.

            My perspective has been hard won from this experience but I’d say I generally like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. People make dumb mistakes. We get angry and want to punish them, but what’s the point of that? Whatever they did is done. One can either dwell in that or move forward. And if one chooses to move forward, well then the question becomes what do you want your future to be, because, really, it’s a choice.

            I sort of feel lucky, too. My wife could have turned to alcohol or drugs, she could have spiraled into depression, she could have been suicidal. Instead, she chose the destruction of affairs in dealing with her demons, and that’s something we can heal from.

            And like I said, in the course of a 20, 30, 40, 50 year marriage, what’s 18 months?

            • Alexandra

              Do you mean 18 months was how long the affair lasted? How did she deal with her demons? What did you notice different about her?

      • FuzzyAK

        My W confessed and left me a week from her birthday, 2 weeks from our 18th anniversary, and I was in month 2 and 3 during Thanksgiving and Christmas. I know it hurts, but IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT and you will heal and be stronger!

        Do not accept any blame for the EA/PA! Every spouse is responsible to seek resolution to problems, not stepping out. It is a cop out, selfish, and deflecting and you will have a better chance of getting through this and reconciling with your H by being forgiving, but not accept blame for his lustful and selfish decision.

        Work on yourself and see where you did fail in hurting the marriage to improve, but NOTHING you did caused the affair. Working on your own weaknesses and also accepting yourself for who you are, as more than good enough to be married to, will make you stronger if/when he gets his head straight and accepts responsibility. This will keep you from being manipulated and probably victimized again.

        As long as they think the can blame you, they will keep being unfaithful.

      • Cj

        First of all it’s in no way shape or form your fault that he went outside the relationship let’s get that one husband did the exact same thing to me saying it was my fault…his problem was no communication…it was not my fault because he made the decision to go where he did instead of being a real man and talking about what was lacking on my part and solving it by cheating which is completely on him..i believed him for years that it was my fault and that i wasn’t good enough..after 7 years of torturing myself about it i finally saw the light and started realizing i needed to believe it wasn’t my fault and i needed to make myself happy for me it was a long sad time for i live for me and my children. If i ever catch him doing it again I’m just gonna to be done after 14 years i still love him and have come to trust him again..however it’s been a long road

    • D

      Not to be too horribly unsentimental but an anniversary is really just another day on the calendar. That isn’t to say that I haven’t cherished our anniversary or that I haven’t made the effort to create warm and fuzzy memories associated with that day. Believe me, I’m the nurturer in this relationship. But in moving forward it’s just too painful to keep focusing on what’s been lost, tainted, or ruined. I’ve found it more therapeutic to focus on now without attachments to what was. It has made a difference for both of us.

      It’s the same for their anniversaries as well. I used to keep track of the significant dates of their affair. Circling on the calendar all the times I knew they met, when she said, “I think I’m in love with you,” the dreaded DDay, but I realized I’m only punishing myself. My wife hardly remembers anything she wrote in those emails. She adamantly refuses to believe she ever mentioned love in relation to him. She isn’t marking her calendar or mourning their anniversaries. I think it was helpful for me at first to say, “On this day I will be really angry and resentful,” but it’s just counter-productive after a while.

      Unfortunately we attach ourselves to dates or memories I think as a mode of control. But we only control our reactions to events, not the events themselves and once the event occurs, both good and bad, it’s over. My sister died when I was 10. I don’t remember the exact date and I’m so happy for that because I seem to remember her life that way, not her death.

      The truth is we make new memories every second of every day. In letting go of our anniversary I’ve come to let go of seeing my wife as the person she was 20 years ago. More than that I’ve let go of the romanticism of our marriage. It’s enabled me to see us for what we are, and that’s honesty and truth, warts and all.

    • Anne

      Duane, this is such a great post, and it comes at a good time for me. I, too, have read the Kubler-Ross stages of grief and found many similarities. What has been difficult for me is the cyclical nature of the stages–you feel you’ve moved out of one stage and into another, only to feel a resurgence of anger, disbelief or other emotions that you thought you were beyond. The process isn’t linear, and that can feel frustrating and disheartening. I have struggled with depression, panic attacks, loss of sleep and general emotional upheaval. Even though I know it’s normal, there are days that I’m just so exhausted by the whole thing. I am 8 months post-Dday, and ironically, even though the affair is over and we’re on a path of recovery and marriage-rebuilding, there have been days that I feel more at wits-end than I did even during the darkest days of discovery. Some days, I’m just FED UP with having to deal with the emotional fallout and the disruption to my life. Reading your post gives me a renewed sense of hope and is a reminder that all these feelings are a normal part of the process. Thanks for sharing your experience and for being so eloquent in your description of the healing process. Best of luck to you.

    • Anne

      Duane, if you are still there, I’d like to ask a couple of questions. You said in the Anger section that your ego wouldn’t allow you to release the anger enough to trust her. Can you elaborate on that point? This resonates, but I hadn’t looked at it as a function of my ego (although in reading your post, I see a connection that my pride/ego is getting in the way of me letting go). Is this a fear of being hurt again? A desire to “punish” my spouse for his betrayal? How did you ultimately set your ego aside?

      Second question: You mentioned that you realized you didn’t need to marry action with your emotion, particularly in relation to anger. Again, can you tell me more about that? Does this mean that when you were angry, you didn’t express it?

    • D

      Hi Anne, I’m glad I could help. There aren’t a lot of “we survived” blogs out there because I’m sure once you’re out of the woods people would rather just move on. Eternal kudos to Linda and Doug for sticking around.

      First question: The ego is our inner child and like a child it is impatient and cries out when it doesn’t get what it wants. Like so many of us, I wanted things to be the way they used to be and I wanted that to happen right now. But there is simply a process we all must pass through in order to heal. There are no short-cuts in affair recovery and the more we try to find them the longer the process of recovery is going to take. We want our spouses to love us but they simply can’t do that immediately. We no longer want to be angry but we can’t do that immediately either. They have to grieve, we have to vent – preferably to a therapist who can offer constructive outlets. It simply has to happen organically. There will be pain and suffering and discomfort, but this is a serious wound, much more so than a heart-attack or loss of limb. This strikes at the very soul. We can’t force the healing process. We can only endure it. That’s not to say we have to be doormats. We can force discussions or reveal our hurts, but don’t expect solutions or changes to occur overnight.
      Second question: Likewise with the first question. Early on when I was angry or frightened or paranoid I would lash out or demand we talk or storm out of the house. After a while I found I didn’t always have to do anything at all. I sat on the issue for a while to see if it really bothered me or if perhaps I was just having a bad day. Talking about the affair less and less I found we had more room to communicate about our future, not our past. I don’t like to feel discomfort. I don’t have the patience for it. Or at least I didn’t. I have a lot more now than I ever did.

      • Jenny

        Love your quote, “We cant force the healing process. We can only endure it.”

      • Alexandra

        Hello Duane,

        I would like to know if you and your wife are still together? How is life now, years later and post D-Day?

    • ifeelsodumb

      I feel that I’m really past the EA….sure, it still hurts and I’ve had better Christmas’s in the past…but it is what it is. I had to build a bridge and get over it!
      The problem I’m having now is that my H is still not involved in the healing process!
      He finally ordered the booklet “How to help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair” and has been reading it for the last 3 weeks, it’s only 96 pages, a booklet really, and he PROMISED he’d have it finished by Christmas since he was on 10 days vacation, but he’s not finished with it….and I don’t know what he thinks about it, because he hasn’t told me anything about what he is reading. Of course, I’m THRILLED that he is reading it, but wouldn’t it be good for us to discuss what he’s reading? Or am I expecting to much?
      Sunday will be 1 yr since I entered EA hell…shouldn’t we be discussing how we are going to move forward by now?
      I get angry over the EA, but I can usually talk myself out of it…but the anger I’m getting now is because I still feel so alone in all of this…my H IS changing in some things, which is great! But the things he is changing are ‘easy’…spending more time with our boys, reading the booklet, etc…the HARD stuff, working on our relationship, opening up to me,etc… well, he’s still promising he’ll do that…he told me again last night, give me more time…and that’s the 4th time since October that he’s told me that. He tells me “You’ll see a change, I promise”…I told him last night, “You told me that 8 weeks ago, then again 4 weeks ago”…I still waiting to “see” a change…
      Do I just keep waiting? Do I accept that he’s not going to open up to me? Am I wanting to much from him? It has been almost a year, and he agrees with me that he hasn’t been there for me, that he’s let me do all the work so far…but I really don’t know what to do anymore.
      The only time he seems to get out of his comfort zone and start doing more is when I tell him that maybe a separation is what we need, that I’m tired of being alone in this…then he seems to be more on board with me, but after a week or two, we’re right back to where we started!
      He makes promises…then breaks them…he says he loves me, and I believe he does, but I also believe that he doesn’t “need” me in his life emotionally…if that makes sense?
      I don’t know how I supposed to start trusting him again, when he makes promises, then breaks them…I could excuse it in the first few months after the EA, we both made mistakes…but 1 yr later, I just think, if he REALLY wants our marriage to be better, really wants me to feel secure, shouldn’t he be doing more to show me? If I’m wrong to feel this way, please tell me…I’m confused!
      If I ignore the EA, and act like it never happened, put a smile on my face…he is happy! We are a “normal” married couple, going out to dinner with friends, shopping together, having the teens from our church over for food and games, etc. Mr and Mrs Normal Happy Married Couple….except inside, I feel my heart growing colder and colder towards him……He’s happy, I’m not. Is this the way it’s supposed to be?

      • Jenny

        This is like reading a novel, and i like to skip to the end to see if it has a happy ending. Im in the year 2017 (June).
        How does your story end? Are you happy together now? Did he stay faithful? Did your heart heal? What helped you most?

    • Paula

      Duane and Anne

      This is a wonderful summary of things! Anne, you’re so right when you comment that it is more exhausting after the initial shock, trying to find a way forward without dragging this along behind you, all the time. D, your insight and way of expressing yourself is of great clarity, and it’s very interesting to hear your process, I wish I was as far along in my recovery. I struggle to hold any hope, at times, that I will ever recover enough to function without the lead in my heart, despite much insight, good communication, huge effort and commitment from my OH – and he is SOO very patient with me now, although not so much initially – and counselling (’til the cows come home!) Endurance is right, some days you just wonder how long you have to endure before you call enough, I can’t take it anymore. I know I’ve endured several years, so must be able to do more, lol!!

    • csb

      No matter how much I think I’m starting to move forward without dragging my H’s EA behind me, it seems to rear it’s ugly head. I’m almost 3 months since DDay, and I am better than I was, but I’m seeing that no matter how much I try to only look at the rebuilding and good things, it’s there.

      I need some input/advice on my most recent event –

      My H and I have been together over 32 years. We almost divorced about 25 years ago because he was an alcoholic (4th generation alcoholic by the way!) and became verbally and emotionally abusive. He stopped for 13 years. He began drinking socially but it has escalated to at least 3 drinks every day again.

      I warned him that I would not tolerate being verbally abused again, and since the EA I have taken responsibility for voicing my issues and concerns regarding the marriage (used to keep quiet to avoid fights).

      His response was he will “do what he wants, and not be told what to do”. His EA was with an old girlfriend. I suspected something all along (1 1/2 years) and begged him not to bother with her. When he finally got caught and I asked why he did it after I repeatedly begged him to stay away from her, his response was “I guess I didn’t want to be told what to do, I wanted to do it and didn’t care what you wanted”. … Guess you can see the common thread here in his mind set?!

      My fear is that if he feels this way – he will do what he wants regardless, how do I know he won’t suddenly “want” to have another affair?! I should also mention, when he drinks, if other women are around he gets very “flirty”. Help please!!!!

    • Broken

      csb… are only 3 months past dday…you have a long ways to go….dont rush it.

      I use to worry alot about that too…ifr my husband really could change or how soon he would return to his old behavior. It still rears its ugly head on occasion and I see what he use to be.

      It has been for me 16 months post dday and I have been with my H for 38 years.

      The bottom line is you cant control what he does. You will never know if he will want to do it again and the attitude of no one tells me what to do has to go. When we are in a relationship there is no room for that selfish behavior. They have to want to put your feelings and your relationship first. Alcohol only adds to the fire. My H also gets very flirty when he drinks….I hate it.

      Just hang in there and take your time. Yiu can only control your behavior not his.

    • Anne

      Duane, thanks for your reply. This makes a lot of sense. The marathon talks, the vitriol, the snide remarks I make about the OW, the storming and venting–it takes a toll and feels like a setback. When I take the advice Linda has proffered many times about “backing off” things are easier and our conversations are more productive. And what you’re saying about holding back to see if it’s just a bad day sounds like similar advice. Sometimes I find that we just need to change gears. Sit down and watch one of our favorite shows together, work on a puzzle with our daughter, ANYTHING to get away from the heavy conversations about the affair. At this point, between marriage counseling and our individual counseling, we have explored the affair and why it happened. There isn’t much more to be gained by turning over every rock and opening wounds that have already started to heal. But it’s very hard. I really like what you said about the inner child. This really resonates. I’m impatient and want to feel better right away. But there are no shortcuts. I can already see that I will emerge from this process with a different set of emotional tools, as will H. In those moments, I can see how the marriage could actually be stronger because we have both used the opportunity to grow and learn (both individually and as a couple). But on the hard days, that’s difficult to keep site of. Thanks again for a great post. I know I will return to this many times as a reminder that this is all part of the journey.

    • D

      Ifeelsodumb, I know exactly where you’re at. You’ve endured a horrible year yet where’s the payoff? I can tell you that I really was hoping my wife and I had turned a corner after one year only to find that she still felt she had work to do before really committing to us. In some ways that was really good (and the fact that your husband is at least picking up a book is some progress), but it still wasn’t where I wanted us to be and that was frustrating. As recently as August (20 months post DDay) my frustration was so overwhelming that I thought for sure we had reached the end. But we kept talking, kept being honest.

      The sad truth is that we, the betrayed, are the ones who have to force the issue, to fight for the marriage, to make the sacrifices and swallow our pride. If our spouses were strong enough to do that they might not have strayed in the first place. But being strong sometimes means having to say, “I’ve had enough. Either you join me in this fight or you move on.”

      I tried ultimatums with my wife, pleading with her, reasoning, but in the end I feel it was when I (kind of) gave up that she began coming around. And having said that I can’t help but think that her “coming around” just might be a change in my own perspective because she’s really not acting too much differently, I may be just needing less from her.

      Hang in there. (and believing in your marriage does not make you dumb.)

    • D

      csb, we all face the issue of our spouses cheating again and simply put there’s nothing we can do about that. They will do what they will do and the only control we have is in how we choose our response to that. I will tell you that 3 months is a short time for both of you to expect serious changes in behavior. His response sounds like “fog talk.” I told my wife from day one that no contact was essential if she wanted to “get over him.” Six months later she rather sheepishly admitted that she had to learn that for herself. In my eyes it was six months wasted – but it’s a process for both parties. Patience is key here and he hopefully will come around.

      Everyone will tell you that this is the time to work on you. Forget him (cue Cee-Lo’s song) and find what will make you happy.

      I will add that I hope you never again stand for abuse of any kind. No one is responsible for another’s happiness.

    • Holding On

      This is a really great post, D. I really like the insights shared and the advice given in the comments. It is great to hear from some farther out, as it gives me a lot of hope that we can be in a better place.

      Thanks for all the comments, and Anne, I really liked all your questions, because those are things I am dealing with as well. I just had a marathon discussion…which started off horribly, but ended good. I am hopeful which was better than the past few days of despair, grief, and anger.

    • csb

      D- thanks so much for your response, this group is so wonderful and gives me comfort that I am not alone, or hiding in the shadows, trying to blend in and act like everything is fine!!

      I wanted you to know that something in your response really got to me…..I’m getting a treadmill today and going to give some thought to what I’d like to do for myself. I’ve been part of a “couple” for over 32 years, volunteered massive amounts of time to my children’s sports clubs, Sunday school teaching, PTA, etc. I honestly don’t know who I am or what I want…but I never stopped to think about that because everything always went smoothly.

      Funny…..the first song I heard today was Cee-Lo, and I took it as a sign (I’ll take anything I can get at this point)! Thanks again!!

    • ifeelsodumb

      Thank you D…I’m hoping that I can change my name some day soon…Maybe Ifeelsohappy will be the new me…one day!! 😀

    • csb

      I’m 3 months since dday (h had EA for 1 1/2 yrs). I have gone through many stages and emotions, however, I’m dealing with something now that I don’t understand.

      I suddenly have developed total apathy! I am basically walking around like a puppet, void of any emotion, good or bad. We are working on rebuilding and have made a committment to each other to try, but all we have is very basic, general conversation and performing necessary tasks together. I don’t seem to care if it works or not and don’t seem to have the energy to try.

      Has anyone else gone through this, what does it mean? I’m wondering if it’s a coping mechanism, depression, or if I really don’t care? I feel guilty, because I do think I want it to work and maybe this behavior is damaging to the rebuilding process. Any thoughts/comments are appreciated.

    • D

      csb – I definitely went through this stage and would be comfortable in guessing that this is quite a normal response to trauma. Be patient. One of the greatest lessons I’ve taken away from this whole horrible mess is the knowledge that whatever exists today is not necessarily what will exist tomorrow. In the words of Paul McCartney, Let It Be.

      Think of this like a marathon (which isn’t too far off, 26 miles, 24 months.) You’re in the third mile. Pace yourself. : )

    • blueskyabove


      Marathon…Great analogy! That’s worth posting on the refrigerator or maybe the bathroom mirror!

      • Susan

        What if your husband is not willing to talk about the affair? What if he is stonewalling, and then gets angry and defensive if you try to break through? How do you deal with the ongoing lies – about just about everything. I have been assured its over but she is studying and its the 3 month summer break now, so I guess its only over because she is has physically gone away. I get different answers – or no answers- every time I ask the same questions? He is constantly lying and then lies again to cover himself. I have found stashes of cash – hidden from me- stashes of porn, stashes of packets of viagra – we never ever needed to use that! He lies about the frequency of seeing her,even the length of the affair. He says “I love you, I want it to work but just put a lid on it and stop asking questions”. How do you turn off the mind movies in your head and how do you hold it together for kids, family and friends over Christmas. I feel like a wild animal in a tiny cage. I just want him to be honest, talk to me, soothe my anxiety and help me make sense of it and help me feel safer and better. I so want to trust him but he says I am doing the opposite and always trying to catch him out. I tried stepping back, putting on a normal face and being loving. I reach out to him, I initiate all our emotional and physical connections but he takes sleeping pills to ensure he can avoid me. I am desperate.I just want him to put his arms around me and say its going to be ok. I want him to understand the stages of healing and to be patient and kind to me but instead I feel like I am doing the penance for his crime. The nights are the worse because I cant sleep, I just obsess about every details and read non stop about healing from affairs. Its not the first time either and I admit that begrudgingly because people think ‘she must be a doormat’. But I want to stay married, I don’t want anyone else, I want to rebuild our lives. This should be the best time of our lives, kids finished school, nice lifestyle, great business, boat, pool, helicopter and airplane, living on a tropical island – WHY CANT HE JUST WANT ME!

    • Broken

      I dont know but I think apathy (which I feel even now after 16 months) is a form of protecting ourselves from further pain. It is completely normal…go easy on yourself. It truely is a marathon and you either end up saying enough or you move on with it. I am convinced however that this underlying pain is here to stay forever. Its always just below the surface and I am questioning if I want more then this for myself.

    • Fonnel

      I wonder how these phases play into my situation. It’s been 7 mos since DDay. However, I discovered that the affair had continued. Almost monthly I would discover the affair had continued foll

    • Swivet

      I think I hit all these everday for the last two weeks. I know it will get better and it has, it is just a matter of time and her earning my trust back! She knows this is going to be an uphill battle but I am grateful that she recognizes this, we both do.

    • Alejandra

      First I want to start by saying thank you, you guys have been such a great blessing and help for me.
      my question is my husband still work with the other woman, it is extremely hard for me because
      my mind goes crazy with the thoughts of them having communication, I have ask him to maybe start looking
      for a new job and he said to me that he’s afraid of losing this job and not being able to find another jod because
      of the way the economy is. which I do understand but them what do I do to survive.Please help

    • cal

      I read this article because it was about grief, which I feel like I am going through right now, a mere 8 days beyond D-Day. However unlike the grief I went through when my mom died, this is one I cannot share with my friends and coworkers. I can not take a week off work, or even a day to deal with it. I can’t even let anyone know I am upset at all. And of course, the person who otherwise would be my comfort during a time of mourning is the one who caused it. It is killing me. Luckily I was able to start therapy this week- for me- to help me learn how to cope and what I want to do next.

      • Johnny

        Yes, same with me. Couldn’t & still not talk with anyone else.

    • Lynne

      Oh Cal, I remember how truly hard the first days are after discovery. I’m sorry that you’ve become a member of this club, but keep coming back here to vent, grieve and learn–this community can make a huge difference in providing you the care and support you need right now. Glad to hear you’re already in counseling, too. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

      • Lost

        I can’t really believe that I am writing this, but it has been 3 weeks for me. My H had an all online affair for about 2 years. I found it all on his phone. All the sordid details. We have been married for 20 years and have 3 teenaged kids. I thought we were good. This threw me for more of a loop than I could have imagined. I’m struggling with how much it hurts, the lies, with what we do now. Do we live together and try to get past it, do we separate and try to heal? I can’t believe I still have tears left, and I’m so angry I could scream. His guilt and remorse is making me crazy. Is he sad because he screwed up, or because he got caught? This is all consuming. I can’t stop thinking about it. Anger, sadness, denial, I feel like I am dripping in all of it. I want to save my marriage, but I just don’t know how. I’m so lost.

        • tryingtogetover

          SO sorry to hear this. All of us on here remember how painful the initial period is. And, unfortunately, the initial period is long, but those first few weeks are pure agony. I recently told my husband that no one and no thing has hurt me as much as he hurt me, and those first months were the worst. It is strange that the person that you love, and who deep down may love you, can be the one to break your heart. I think the advice on this board will be to not make a snap decision whether to stay or separate just yet. You will need to have a lot of talks, a long period of grief, and he will have to work like hell to heal you if he wants you to stay. Soak in the advice you’ll find here and feel free to vent whenever you need to. It’s totally normal for the thoughts to come constantly.

        • Leece

          Just reading your story brings it all back and my heart truly does go out to you and what you are experiencing right now. I am 7 months post disclosure of my husbands emo affairs. I got up at 4:00 this morning because Anxiety still causes my sleep to be disrupted. I’ve lost pretty much all of my clients and as a real estate broker, they were my financial lifeline, but forget even trying to function on a normal level for a while and believe me when I say, that it’s normal. You almost have to get use to a new normal for a while until you’re able to get some normalcy back into your life. My marriage is going on 36 years and I can’t even imagine life without him, but at the moment, I can’t imagine being with him, so even after 7 months,, it can still be a struggle. Your husband is probably telling you the truth and that he is sorry, but he made the choice to turn a blind eye on his vows and thankfully you caught him. He should be embarrassed and he should feel sorry, but unfortunately you both are now going to have to go down this road of turmoil due to his selfish decision. You’ll get past the really painful part and it will lessen it’s grip, but while you might forgive in the near future, you will not forget and it does make you stronger eventually. The best revenge you can have to balance this out is work on yourself. Exercise and start looking amazing. That will worry the shit out of him. Tell him you’re going out with a girlfriend and dress sexy. If he objects then tell him that you never had that option, must be nice. Stay Strong!!

    • kanzz

      Thanks so much for writing this. I really needed the validation. I’m only about 8 weeks in (following a 15 yr relationship). Had a tiny hint of suspicion in the past, but always thought it was due to my truly suspicious nature (after my first marriage of 20 disastrous yrs). Shock, Denial, Bargaining, Guilt, Anger, Depression… bouncing all around in those. I had to have photos to prove it to myself with the 1st husb. That would actually make it easier this time. Cheaters lie so well. But I know… I know.
      Blessings to all…….

    • Brokenhearted

      I just found out about a series of affairs my wife of 23 years has been having over the past 12 months. She has admitted to me that she has slept with 5 different men.
      I believe in forgivness and after 23 years, learning about such a thing is like having a magnitude 10 earthquake hit a mile off shore and while your’re watching the sunset on the beach. It has shaken me so hard that I have fallen down and then the tsunami swept me away, but I am somehow still alive amidst the devastation of what once was a storybook marriage.

      • moda

        Five different men? And you are sure she has taken every precaution? Or, are you willing to risk your health?

        • Healing Mark

          Brokenhearted. So sorry for your terrible revelation. If you somehow find the ability to forgive your W and eventually find yourself in a healty and happy marriage, by all means document the process and offer for a modest fee to share it with others. You may find yourself wealthier than you ever imagined.

        • Brokenhearted

          She has taken no precaution. I was stil making love to her during her affairs, not knowing she was seeing other men. If I am infected with an STD I’m infected. What else can go wrong. To top it all off, last Monday I got laid off from my job after almost 3 years. This has been some hell on earth for me. I have been rocked to my core. There have been moments where I feel as if I just don’t care anymore about anything and I have no fear of anything. I’ve thought about dying and it doesn’t scare me. It would be a blessing right about now, but I know I cannot give up. Those were just thoughts. Reality is I have a Son and a family to live for should it all fall apart any further. So far my W has been very supportive, she’s sorry, she told me she spiraled out of control, she’s shown remorse, she told her Parents, my Son, and my Sister about what she did and she’s stopped all of the nonsense that brought on my anguish. If there is any solice within this, that has to be it. She’s come to her senses, but it still hurts like hell. I feel like I have a ton of bricks on my chest sometimes. I got ativan from my Dr. and I take it when I can’t sleep. I will not get hooked. He only gave me like 20 tabs. I am exercising and looking for work again. Just keep me in your prayers because although I was doing great spiritually prior to this, I am now kind of waivering in my spiritual walk. I’m just angry. Sorry God.

          • moda

            Dear Brokenhearted: You got it.. you are definitely in my prayers. I do understand that wanting to die thing. Been in your shoes. I’m so sorry for your pain. You’re hurt, you’re angry; but you’re working your grief. It’s appropriate. The exercise is a good step. And I’ll pray you find work soon, too. Blessings.

            • Brokenhearted

              Dear Moda

              Thank you for caring. It’s people like you who make this world a better place by helping others to see that the sun is still shining behind the ominous clouds, stormy winds and pouring rain.

          • Broken2

            Broken hearted…I am so sorry you find yourself in the club of betrayed spouses. We all know how much you are hurting but you do have alot to live for. Number one is your son who never asked to be mixed up in all of this selfishness caused by your wife. Hating God is a normal response sometimes when we question why a loving God would let us hurt so much. I am sure he understands. I am so sorry about your job as well…just seems like alot all at once. The good news is that if you want to save your marriage it seems your wife has woke up from her cheating. Just take one day at a time right now and I am glad to hear you are taking care of your health…thats a hard thing to do when we just want to give up. I know money is probably tight right now but you can read alot on the internet and this forum that will help you in your journey ahead to healing. You and your wife have alot of work to do. As much as I have no respect for cheaters (that would include my husband) I have to say it took guts for your wife to expose her cheating to the family. Most dont. Remember it wasnt your fault…you did the right thing and remained faithful and true to your marriage vows. You have to talk and talk some more. You wife has to answer every question you want answered for as long and as many times as you need it. She must be totally transparent…passwords to all social network sites, emails cell phones. etc…. Dont give up on yourself….I know you cant see it now but many here have been where you are and have come out on the other side with a stronger marriage. Take care.

            • Brokenhearted

              Wow… You are an amazing person. Thank you for your kind words and understanding. It really helps. May God bless you in a thousand ways.

          • Emi

            Dear brokenhearted,
            I truly understand your anguish. I am 2 months post DDay. I have entered the different levels of anguish and despair. My H made a choice that has devastated me and my children (although my children don’t exactly know whats going on but they suspect). I to have questioned the Almighty many times. “You knew what he was doing. Why didn’t you stop him?” But I think i have only drawn more closer to Him (the Lord). My Faith has helped me become more stronger and confident within myself. Reading every body’s post has helped me feel better because I know that I’m not alone. There are people in this life that understand my pain. Hopefully we will recover from this grief and lead more productive and enjoyable life. Atleast we can move on within ourselves. We have that freedom. Those who made the dreaded choice to betray their covenant partners will be forever carrying a heavy chain around their hearts. We should not only pray for our recovery but also for the recovery of our mates. I am married to my spouse for 25 years. That’s 25 years of sacrifice, loyalty, loving, dreaming and building a ‘home’ gone down the drain. Anyway, like Dwayne said previously, we have to start a new day, a fresh start. My 24 year old daughter told me the other day…”Mommy, take of your wife hat and put on a friend hat. I know its hard to forget the 25 years of devotion and dedication you poured into papa but its time to forget all that and begin fresh.” I think i will take my daughters advice. What can i loose anyway at this point? i have already lost one dream. I must create a new one.

            • Rose

              Hello Emi.Been reading and scrolling comments of this group about EA/PA and thought this group is already not existing but when I saw your comments which dated 2016,I feel relieved.
              I,too is currently in the endless process of grief after the discovery of my H affairs for 7 long years(affairs/lyings occured sometime between years 1999-2005)which eventually started just 4 years prior to our marriage and when our firstborn was only 2 y/o.
              I discovered all about it and admitted/confessed to me(after finding out all of the receipts of the places he frequented,of the gifts that he gave his OW,his diaries during the affairs,credit card records,etc) only last May 2015.We are married for 22 years
              Yes!It’s been 22 months post DDay and I’m still stuck in grief.
              But opposite of some comments that I’ve read here that their H/W showed no feelings of remorse after doing the most vile and ultimate betrayal that they could do to their spouse,my husband is so cooperative,compassionate about my feelings,shows feeling of remorse and doing,not just saying things that proves he really wants our marriage to work and that he really made worst choices in the past.
              And the affairs had long been over for the past 12 years already but since I’ve found out all about it just almost a couple of years ago,the wounds are still fresh and raw.It definitely ruined my self-worth and self-confidence.We tried marriage counselings and are struggling to keep it secret from our 2 precious sons and our parents because we want to work it out ourselves.
              But how can we if I’m always bringing the past back during our conversations or arguments?It’s always at the back of my head and as much as I wanted not to,I just can’t stop myself from bringing it back or saying terrible things about my H,things that I couldn’t imagine saying to the man I loved so dearly.And I know I’m hurting him so badly.And I’m starting to hate my own self.But what can I do?I gave my all in this marriage and stayed faithful to him,not because I have to but because it’s in my nature and I believed that a spouse should behave that way for the rest of his/her life.
              Should anyone in this group please tell/teach me what stage of grief am I in right now?It will be greatly appreciated.Thanks.

            • Jenny

              Dear Rose, how are you doing now… a few more months down the road? I love the quote (i think by D), that says, “You cannot force the healing process; you can only endure it.”
              We are enduring. I think … since it is pretty much universal… it is normal for us to be experiencing these emotions. Some i know take 10 years to find a new normal. I dont like that idea… i already wasted 30. But like it or not , healing comes slowly. We do need to work through/ talk about the horrible betrayal we just experienced. We cant ignore it and hope it will go away. I say either my husband is willing to work thru it w me… or he’s not ( and that would be my sign to leave). Heck yeah we need to talk about it all the time— it was life shattering trauma. It destroyed everything we believed in, hope in, lived for (except our faith- and even that was shaken).
              Some betrayed spouses actually have ptsd.
              I’ve had counseling, am ready to go back for more. # i need to talk about it more # it doesn’t make sense to me
              Blessings to you my normal, and hurting friend.

            • Emi

              Dear Rose, it’s Emi. D-Day has been 1year and 2 months already and although I am stronger than I was a few months ago, I still cry a lot. I wonder sometime, why did my H do this act of violence against me and the children…and I get no reply…I have only been loyal, faithful, dedicated and a devoted wife and mother to him and the children….he still doesn’t feel remorse that he made that choice of being with her on and off for 7 years. He still communicates with her…he says that they are ‘friends’ haha. That’s a laugh…he must think I’m awfully dumb…actually sometimes I think that I am pathetic for staying with him. He wants to stay with me. He knows that he hurt me but doesn’t understand why his choice should hurt me. Some logic!!! Anyway, although I’m still hurting…it doesn’t feel like I’m dying. I’ve become numb somehow…I know that that’s not a good thing. I’m slowly changing…I don’t like this new me…not trusting…doubting my own abilities…I really hope that the change will be for the good…I realize that life is about change… nothing really ever stays the same…that’s just a childhood dream.

    • sadbuttrue

      2 weeks ago today I caught my husband of 14 years with my best friend. I am so devestated, the first week was like pure hell, I feel like he threw me and our family away. We’ve been together 20 years and have 3 kids, I feel like he valued that so little that he risked it all for a little excitement. We agreed we dont want anyone to find out and to protect our children from this so I have no one to talk to. He tells me its over and that he loves me and will do anything to make our marriage work out. He seems exasperated that I need to discuss the afair all the time and that I want to know why it happened. All he can say is he doesn’t know. He seems to want us to act like it didn’t happen and I just can’t do that. I’m hanging on by a thread.

      • moda

        Dear sadbuttrue: I think he can get OVER being exasperated! He should be able to deal with anything want to ask right now. He doesn’t know why it happened? Really? Pretty lame, if you ask me. No, you don’t just act like it didn’t happen. It happened. And you are grown-ups. He will have to be a man and own up to his transgressions. Just because he is saying he loves you and will do anything to make your marriage work doesn’t make it so. He is acting exasperated and saying he doesn’t know why it happened and wanting you to acting as though it never happened. What?!? You have every right to feel devalued. What a jerk.

      • Gizfield

        Sad but true, I would tell him to belly up to the bar and Man Up! Seriously, two weeks and he thinks it should all be behind you?? I dont think so…

      • Healing Mark

        Sadbuttrue. Great advice from Broken2 and csb. But also understand that while you need to get to a point that you can genuinely forgive your H for his “mistake” and begin the process of rebuilding trust, how you get there will be dictated by what you feel and need and how your H is able to assist in the process (don’t worry, after discovery of my W’s EA, my W often acted just as you have described your H acting, especially in the beginning, and our process of getting to the point where I genuinely forgave my W was difficult and exasperating much of the time for both of us). All advice is good but is sometimes helpful for others but not for you and your H. My W and I also decided to keep her EA mostly under wraps, which made marriage counseling even more important for us to get past my W’s EA. Strongly suggest you get the same both jointly with your H and some separate sessions with the same counselor for both of you. Also, when your H is acting in ways that you have described, at some point thereafter try (this was hard for me, especially early on, but eventually it helped me) to put yourself in your H’s shoes and imagine how you might react if things were reversed. Also, don’t try to make your H see and admit that he is somehow “wrong” to be reacting the way he is. Instead, concede that his reactions are normal but, unfortunately, are not helping what you guys are hopefully trying to accomplish which is to get past the affair and to establish a marriage that you are both happy in and wholeheartedly want to stay in. God bless you for what you have ahead of you but have faith that there is realistic hope for healing, forgiveness and future happiness notwithstanding the occurrence of the apparent affair.

    • Broken2

      sadbutrue….I just read your post but I remember the feeling of hanging on by a thread and I wanted to get back to you tonight. First off I am 25 months post dday, 32 years married, my husband had an affair with a coworker. Right now you have only just begun the process of saving your marriage and it sounds like your husband is remorseful and willing to move forward with the process. Your pain right now is overwhelming and I remember just barely being able to get through the day. First of all this is a LONG journey but you can get through it. You will be in denial and you will become angry and you will grieve for the marriage you no longer have because your husband let someone else enter that which was only shared by the two of you. You will make progress then you will go back wards but its all in the process and all normal. First off there can be NO CONTACT of any kind with the OW ever again. Then there has to be full disclosure of every detail you want to hear of the affair and as many times as you want to hear it and allthough your husband doesn’t want to talk about it anymore he is in for a big disappointment because we still talk about it 25 months later. Your hubby lost the right to call the shots the moment he crossed that line into the affair. He must become totally transparent to you…that means he must let you know where he is,,,give up all passwords to any social networks, cell phone records…etc. He must let you know that he knows and feels the immense pain he has caused you. He must be remorseful and sorry. He must be willing to put in the hard work and time necesary to heal from this nightmare and it takes anywhere from 2-5 years not 2 weeks. Seek counseling if you can afford it and read as much as you can on the subject. Remember you are not crazy and everything you feel now and are about to feel…its all normal. You have many decisions to make in the days ahead. I encourage you to put yourself first and know that you can get through it. Many come out on the other side of this a better couple. Take care.

    • csb

      SadbutTrue – when I saw your post, I scrolled back to the beginning of this topic , and there was my post – when I was only 3 months post d-day! I am here to tell you something I never believed when others here told me…you will survive this! It is not what you had planned for your life, but you are here now, so the challenge is to move forward.

      Like Broken2, I have been married a very long time – 30 years, together almost 34. We were always the “dream” couple that others envied, that is until his 1 1/2 year EA with an old GF. He also said he didn’t know why it happened and always thought of their relationship as just friends. It wasn’t until I found this site and printed out information on EAs that he admitted what he had done was wrong.

      I’m almost 1 year post d-day now, and it is very important that you continue to have open, honest conversations. Just a few days ago we had another intense conversation with lots of tears and emotion. Yes, I asked the same questions of him I did a year ago, I repeated the same concerns, etc. I’m sure my H wished I was past that but he also understands that it’s still painful to me and as long as it’s in my head/heart, then he has to deal with it.

      I wish you well, take it one day at a time, give yourself permission to grieve what you thought your relationship was!

    • Broken2

      csb…its strange to read old posts….I sometimes wonder who was that person??? Anyways sadbutrue….my husband then and now did not like to talk about the affair. He does it for the sole purpose of helping me. Today he cringes whenthe subject comes up and tries to avoid it but in the end is is always a good thing when we talk. You must talk about it because your life while the affair was occuring now seems like a joke. You have to be able in your mind to put back the pieces of your life and only your husband has those anawers. He needs to see the incredible pain he has caused you which comes out in those difficult conversations. It is raw right now and extremely rough. Of course he wont want to talk about the affair because who likes to be reminded of their failure over and over again. Most cheaters like to put the affair in the past and we the BS cant do that for a long time. SOmetimes you have to back off a little and try and keep the conversations short and consise. AGree on a time limited for discussion and no yelling and screaming. As you continue to read you will see that many on this forum will tell you they dont have a reason why the affair happened….me included. Many will tell you they saw no signs, thier marriages were great yet this occured. My husband says he just doesn’t know…many have referred to the affair as the perfect storm. She was just there at the right time..etc None makes it right in anyway but I am a believer as frustrating as it is for me that sometimes they truly just dont know why they did it. Make no mistake… is their doing not yours….we cant control the actions of others.

    • Dejay

      Well, this was a great post and I printed it out as a reminder. Like so many of the rest, my wife ‘rediscovered’ an old HS flame on Facebook and had an affair which last over a year. One of the forays they had took place while we were out of town on vacation; she needed to get away from the hotel for awhile (in a town none of us has ever ventured to, no less), only to return hours later claiming that she was lost (but carrying a phone with GPS on it) when she was really getting it on with the OM in other hotel across town. If I didn’t get in contact with the OM’s wife, this would still be going on to this very day.

      Although this took place over two years ago, I’m still not over it. I guess the reason being is because I played the role of the ‘good/nice guy’ who didn’t get dates in HS and college. I was the one who was taught to pay for dinner dates, buy roses, open doors, and do all of the nice, cordial things that a ‘real man’ should. And what was my thanks? Marrying someone who only regarded me as a financial safety net for her and the child she had with some ex boyfriend who dumped her months before. Of course, I’ll take the blame for putting myself in that position in the first place. Never marry the first person who says a kind word to you or sleeps with you; it’s no guarantee that they’ll think of you in the same way as you do them.

      On the grief scale, I’m still in the anger stage, constantly thinking of a way to get back for having the football pulled from under me like Lucy did Charlie Brown. From the emasculating e-mails and texts talking about how inadequate and out of touch his wife and I was, to the invites to have an all-day romp over her mom’s place while she was out of town (she has a key) and I was working, to her thanking him after one of their sexcapades for reminding her what good sex was. No man ever wants to be considered by their spouse as the third or fourth best person in the sack.

      And as for trust, forget about it. I cannot trust anyone who screws me over in that matter. There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t think about it, with the mind movies playing in a constant loop. Everytime the phone rings or her cell buzzes with a message, I have flashbacks of their affairs and I have a difficult time focusing on anything else.

      Oh well, thanks for providing me with a place to vent…

    • csb

      DeJay – Does your W still have contact with the OM, has she committed to doing everything necessary to save your marriage?

    • Gizfield

      These stages are well and good but I would like to add one more. The Apathy Stage. It’s my personal favorite, but beware, it is where you will see all the stuff you would rather not see. Long story short, I found out back in June that my soon to be ex husband was still on contact with his tramp. I threw him out but he begged and cried and I relented to go back to him. I knew in my heart it was just the last straw. I was just too emotional to move on at that time.

    • Gizfield

      Fast forward a couple of months. I began to feel the unhappiness I had put out of my mind. Then one day I woke up and was in the Apathy Zone. Just like that. What he said or did had no real meaning to me one way or the other. We went to the pool that day. He went off for a while, I realized since his Whore Phone was in the car, I had noworries, lol. I looked up, saw a slightly overweight, balding, middle aged man headed my way. Oh, thats Prince Charming himself, the star of our own special little love triangle. I saw exactly why he had an”affair” in that moment. I also ssw his girlfriend for exactly what she is. A pathetic 45 year old tramp who’s always relied on her looks, except now gone. Lets not forget me. A slightly overweight, fifty something year oldwoman, looking kind of sad and lonely. What a pitiful sight we all were in my mind. Thats what adultery is, just a sad situation any way you look at it.

    • Julie

      I know it’s been a while since this was written, but thank you to Duane for such a great post. I am only a little over two months since finding out about the affair. My husband had an affair with one of my coworkers who was a good friend, so this process has been especially hard since I see them both constantly. He has been extremely forthcoming and remorseful which has been helpful to a point, but she has been the complete opposite: denying it ever happened and thus making it impossible for me to see her side of it or forgive her. My husband and I have been seeing a counselor and it has been helpful, but recently I’ve been feeling a lot more depression, anger, and apathy. I was completely oblivious to the affair and thought we had a happy marriage so this whole thing has been very difficult for me. Lately, if we’re doing something enjoyable, I can’t help thinking to myself “we had good times like this in the past, and he still cheated on me, so none of this MEANS ANYTHING.” I don’t even know if that makes sense anybody else but me.
      We had a very nice weekend doing a lot of fun things but my brain will not let me forget what happened between them. I want things to work between us but I don’t feel like I can do this every day for the rest of my life. I’m tired of dealing with the pain that they caused. Is there ever going to be a day when it doesn’t come up? I’ve worked at my job for 13 years and don’t have to get a new one just so I don’t have to see her face every day…

      • Healing Mark

        Julie. Two months after D-day is no time at all. The bad news is that unless you are unlike any others who I have seen post on this blog, you will continue to feel the way that you do for quite a bit more time. The good news is that, if you are like many that I have seen post on this blog, myself included, there will come a time when life gets more back to normal and you find yourself not obsessing about your partner’s affair. Forget about the OW and how she has reacted to what has happened. Consider yourself very, very fortunate that your H has been forthcoming and remorseful and has not denied having ever done anything wrong. Hopefully, your marriage counselor can help each of you repair the damage that has been caused to your relationship and move forward with a relationship that is even better than it was before, the affair notwithstanding.

        Now, as to having to continue to work at the same company as the OW, that seems like a tough one for me. My advice, however, is to not give in too quickly to all the bad feelings you have when you see the OW, which feelings I imagine you will be feeling for some time going forward. Don’t make a rash move and quit your job just to avoid the OW, or take another job that isn’t something you really want. Ride it out the best you can and tell yourself that, although you don’t know now how or when things will get better, things will get better at some point and at some point you will be able to look at the OW and not feel the degree of pain your apparently are feeling right now.

        Again, hang in there and good luck!

        • Doug

          Hi Healing Mark, Long time no hear. How are things going?

          • Healing Mark

            Things are going great, and my marriage is now stronger since getting beyond my W’s EA and correcting some little things that over time cropped up in our marriage that really needed fixing. I don’t visit this site that often anymore, as it’s usefulness is no longer needed (and it really was useful when I still had issues arising due to my W’s EA). For some reason Julie’s post popped up on my phone (I imagine I commented here a long time ago and checked the box to be notified of further comments), and I felt compelled to add my two cents worth of advice. I say that I don’t visit the site. Actually, I don’t follow much commentary anymore, but do check out my email updates on articles and videos posted here. Every now and then there is something interesting, but I have to say that I know way more about EA’s than I ever cared to know about, and with one under our belts, I seriously doubt that either I will be having one or my W will be having another one. And hopefully the preceding sentence is not true simply because my W and I eventually end our marriage before having an affair, and it’s weird that one of the byproducts of my W’s EA is my and my W’s sense that an affair by me, or another EA or a PA by her, are much less likely now given the hell we had to go through to get past the negative effects/consequences of my W’s EA.

            Take care and keep up the good work!

      • Linda

        Julie, I agree with Mark, two months is not a very long time and it is healthy to feel all the emotions you are feeling right now. It is also normal to feel bad with you are having a enjoyable time with your husband. Unfortunately what you are feeling is fear. You know that you have experienced these good times in the past and it is hard to comprehend how your husband could cheat and if these experiences mean anything to him.

        To be honest you will feel this way for a long time. The issue is your husband will have a difficult time with these episodes. He will not understand how your moods can change so quickly when you are doing so well. Again it is all about security and fear. When things are good and you are having fun you let your guard down, then you remember everything and all the pain both physical and emotional come shooting back.

        I will tell you it does get better and when trust begins to be restored. You also need to train your brain to try to put it out of your mind. It became a habit for me, when we were hiking, out to dinner, etc. I would picture the two of them together and imagine what they had done together. In my mind it became the three of us on these outings rather than a wonderful time just with my husband. It was awful and it kept their relationship alive and gave their affair too much power.

        If possible try to focus on the present when you are with your husband and save a certain time each day or week to allow your mind to wonder. It is also important to do the same when you feel the need to discuss the affair. However you are still right in the middle of discovery and trying to control your feelings is almost impossible, you need to do what feels right to you.

      • Jenny

        Yes, totally get it. You are normal. Fast forward to today… how are you doing?

    • Julie

      Thank you Mark and Linda for responding. I realize it will take a lot more time. I’m glad to hear things have gotten better for you both.
      Linda, you are right on the mark about the confusion that my husband is experiencing when we’re having a good time and then I go to my “dark place.” The problem is that the affair has been over for 4 years, so he’s had plenty of time to deal with / suppress emotions, and I’m just finding out now. I think he’s come to understand that he’s going to have to relive all of this if he wants me to heal. The issue for him is that he feels so much guilt and “self-loathing” (his words) that the thing that is going to help me heal is the thing that tears him down. What a tangled web…

    • WoundedHeart

      I find this site to extremely helpful. I am only about 3 months post DDay. My dilemma is slightly different in that my wife is still having the affair. I know that there is not much I can do to stop it. But it doesn’t mean that I am not going through the stages. I want to work on my marriage and yet my wife wants to run off with this other person. The sad thing is that they both are of different faiths, married and have children. They do not see the destruction that they are doing. I would say that I am in the anger state and am having difficulties expressing other than in word. I do hope that one day she wakes up and realizes that this is not what she thought and had it better not only for her but our children (4-1/2 & 2-1/2). We are only a week into a separation and truly am concerned that my marriage is over. I know that I will have to accept that when the time presents itself. I just need to have patience and hope for the best outcome.

      • Strengthrequired

        I’m sorry too wounded heart, look after yourself and those children of yours, keep looking in here at what people have been through, and gather your strength as your going to need it.
        One thing that has come apparent after reading alot about these affairs is most cases they don’t work, they don’t last, because eventually instead of hiding the people they really are, their true selves start showing and it isn’t as appealing.
        They realize life really isn’t greener on the other side, all the same problems they tried to run away from start reappearing,
        This site has been a huge help for me, especially when there seemed to be no hope left.
        I will say this, trust in yourself, this was not your fault, your wife chose to stray, so it was her problem.
        Trust in yourself that you will no when you no longer can fight, you will know. Let’s hope if that happens is not too Late for your w, I do hope she snaps out of her fantasy and starts turning to you for help.
        I know you are in a lot of pain, confused and trying to make sense of it all right now, but know that in here you are amongst people who know your pain and can support you through this days you need it most.
        Just keep getting yourself knowledgeable about affairs, and work out the best way that’s suits you to handle it in a dignified manner, because let me tell you, there were days here I actually felt pretty undignified to say the least, this days were at the beginning and I had no clue on how to handle our situation, I walked blindly through, with mistakes along the way, yet then I found here, which just reinforced that I’m not alone in this, I’m not the only one that lost part of herself in the reactions to my h ea, I stumbled through the best way I knew how, but there is a lot of helpful information on here that can make your journey easier, make you stronger.
        Also a lot of wonderful kind hearted people here, some even the cheating spouses that have seen the light and have put their prospective on how they felt during the affair, and what their wake up call was that shook them out of the “fog” they were in, and back to wanting to work on their marriages.
        Remember, no matter how this works out for you and your wife, whether you remain together or not, you can know without a doubt you held your head up high and did your best ti keep your marriage together, you can hold your head up high because you remained honorable and faithful in your marriage.
        Only the weak partner at the time is vulnerable enough to walk away from their problems and degrading themselves into starting a relationship with someone else while they are still married. It is the cowards/fools ways out, by not ending their marriage first before looking for someone else to stroke their ego.

      • Johnny

        Sorry to hear that too. I’m in 5 months post D-Day (the affair already running for a year before), & just like you, though I forgive & willing to give her time, she is very much in the affair & I could not foresee she will stop as I grow weaker & more weaker & their relationship look more stronger than ever.

        The AP is married too. Maybe that’s the only thing that make she is still stuck with me though I am be treated lower than a doormat already.

        Still I love her very much. & especially my son & us, the family. (Ironically it was her who want to leave me & the marriage).

        I don’t know how the end of you, but wish you well. Me, counting the days till it’s end. Looking 100% sure, the worst outcome, really.

    • Gizfield

      So sorry to hear this wounded heart, especially since young children are involved.

    • Amanda

      Thank you for sharing. Reading your post made me not feel alone. I’m in the first week, and grieved for a day and a half. Then, decided that I don’t want to be stuck in the cycle, so I started searching the web for similar stories. I don’t feel like myself, and the feeling was more extreme than losing a family member. In the moment, I didn’t think I would ever be able to be happy again, and sometimes I still wish I would cease to exist. I’ve always thought I was attractive, but I felt very unattractive. I blamed myself.

      My husband was a serial cheater. And, I wanted to forgive him. But, I don’t feel like he sincerely only wants me. I know that we had problems in or marriage about his work and family, and I didn’t make him feel respected/valued. After getting more questions answered, I realized that even if I had accepted and taken actions to improve the marriage at the right time… he has personal issues that may have lead to this path anyway.

      There is still a deep desire inside of me that he will come begging for forgiveness and feel strong remorse, but he is yet to do that. I wait by my phone hoping that he calls, but doesn’t. He did agree to try to work through it with me in counseling, but I was very distraught by the fact that he seemed to be able to go to work, the gym and carry on without showing real remorse. He apologizes and said he wanted to be with me, but never showed real remorse. I feel like I was chasing him, when it should have been the other way around. I’ve decided in my mind that it’s better for me to move on alone, but my heart lingers for his love (even though, I have a strong feeling in my gut, that he has not revealed all of his cheating to me).

      That’s where I am now. My reaction is foreign to me, and completely different than I was sure it would be, if this ever happened to me. My desire for him and lack of anger, makes me feel both pathetic and moral. I fear the grief returning, or other emotions that I can’t anticipate or have never experienced.

      Thank again for your post. I feel much less alone, and that has been VERY comforting.


    • Gizfield

      Susan, my best advice to you is instead of thinking about WHY he doesn’t want you is to instead of think about WHY do YOU want him? And I dont mean the person he was or might be, I mean the person he IS right this very second. He knows you are on the ruin right now, and like virtually all cheaters he is using it to his advantage. if you had just started dating and he was the person he is TODAY, what would you think of him? Not a lot, I’d imagine.

      • Strengthrequired

        Susan, I have to agree with his field, he is acting like all cheaters do. A selfish ass.
        It’s funny how the cheaters always seem to make sure they have the funds kept aside for their ow, they need to make a good impression on these gold diggers.
        Now do you think your husband is going through a midlife crisis? They seem to lose the plot pretty quickly once they start questioning their life and what they have done, blah blah blah.
        May I also ask how long it has been since his affair started and came out? He seems to be still in the so called fog. If he wasn’t then he would have been trying a lot harder to make sure you are ok, and wanting that closeness with you. I remember being the one that was initiating everything for months when his ea came to light, it was pretty draining, he did eventually though, more and more.
        When they are in the midst of the affair, they are no where near the person we are y used to, and I would hope like crazy that the person he had turned into wasn’t going to be around for too long, because ultimately , I didn’t like this person, he was selfish, cold and heartless, and I just couldn’t imagine living the rest of my life with someone like that.
        All the best Susan, I do hope it works out for you.

        • Strengthrequired

          Sorry, gizfield

    • CBb

      We all seem to have the same experience. Cheating spouse, OW, mid life age bracket for the mst part.

      And they blame us for the EA/PA.

      Really?!! We forced them into it.

      What a crock. When I finally threatened my husband and told him to leave and get out over his EA/PA, it made all the difference. He finally got it. He understood what he has done.

      But he blamed me for his unhappiness or whatever it was he felt that triggered this affair.

      I am only 2 months since DDay but my H is making huge efforts.

      The trust issues will now be huge for me. Need help getting past that. Or else I will sabotage our progress with my insecurities. I see a therapist who is great but I fear my own actions will cause more issues. Need help on this.

    • Dawnb

      I’d like to thank everyone who has posted here. Your comments have made this situation feel less isolating, and less like I am failing at my recovery.

      My husband of 12 years, and partner for 20, had an EA last year. It lasted for a short time, at its peak he phoned her 90 times in a month and a half. He didn’t tell me. I discovered it on my own. Thanks to geography, it didn’t become physical, although if she had been local, I am convinced he would have slept with her … often.

      March 14th marks the one year anniversary of the affair. Since Dday I have been a wreck. I lost 50 pounds in just over 5 months. I don’t sleep well and I am becoming angrier by the day. He wants to stay together and has been trying desperately to re-earn my trust. I acknowledge his efforts and know that I am very lucky in this respect. The decision to remain with him is my own, not his. If we didn’t have 6 year old twins, I would have left him a year ago. Children certainly change the equation. I don’t want to destroy their world because of my pain, or his stupidity, but it is so difficult.

      I am writing because it has been nearly a year since I discovered the affair, and I am no closer to healing than I was at day 1! Everything since that moment has been all about the affair. I can’t get it out of my mind and it colors everything for me … the past, the present, and most notably, the future.

      I know some of you have mentioned that a year is well within the time limits of recovery, but so many articles,etc. say that the betrayed spouse should be feeling better within months. I am not – it’s worse. We saw a marriage counselor but she couldn’t teach me ways to get past this. I want to recover. I want this pain to end, and I realize it’s effecting my physical health.

      Any tips to offer would be welcome – especially as I head into the one year anniversary. I know the next few months are going to be especially bad. Thanks.

    • Strengthrequired

      Dawnb, don’t let anyone fool you, it takes a long time to feel like any sort of recovery is possible. It does not take just a matter of weeks or months. I am just over two years since dday, and I am still recovering, just like many others here. All i can offer you in advice, is hold onto each improvement you see, these improvements will bring you closer to recovery. It takes time to get to a place where the ea no longer affects you, no longer haunts you, but each day is a step closer to peace.
      Do make see you look after yourself, you need to make sure you keep strong. When people think you should be over this sort of betrayal so easily, it makes me laugh, because honestly, it just doesn’t work like that. They are most likely people that have not experienced it before, so all well meaning they may be, you can’t rush the healing. I know we all want the pain to just stop, we all just want to feel better, like we used to, but forcing it just doesn’t work.
      You will notice that you may go through some step backs, and these step backs will get less often.
      Please don’t be too hard on yourself, this healing/ recovery takes time, there are no quick fixes, it just needs time, you need time. Just take a step at a time, and eventually you will see just how far you have come.
      One thing you need to do though, and that is to forget about the ow, every time you think of her, she just gains power over you, she doesn’t deserve that power. Every time you think of her, remember she is a waste of time and energy, and I can tell you something, I’m am sure she isn’t sitting there thinking of you, good or bad. The only thing she thinks of is herself.
      When you catch your mind wondering in her direction, stop yourself and think of your children, think of how much you love them. Don’t give her your time or energy, she is not worth the pain and torment you put yourself through.
      I know it is going to be hard, boy do I know. Yet you have to see that the more you give her power in your mind, you will go crazy. She really isn’t worth it.
      Come in here and you will see that, you will get loads of support and advice. Hang in there.

      • Dawnb

        Thank you so much! It helps to get it all out here. Not many people in my life are aware of the situation. They see me getting thinner, see my husband coming in for lunch every day, and then tell me how wonderful a man he is for doing so! I’d love to tell them, “Gee, thanks for the compliment, I wear infidelity well and it hasn’t left a mark on him!”

        I especially like the advice to not think about the OW and to refocus my thoughts to the twins. You’re right. I totally need to do that. I told my husband today that if I were to die within the next month, I’d regret the past year. I don’t feel like I’ve been there for them the way I’d like. I know I’m a good mom, but I’m not the mom I was a year ago. I’m not anywhere close to the person I was a year ago.

        I’ll stay connected here. It’s very clear that you all understand and are wonderful people. I’m sorry we’re connected through this pain. Thank you for helping me as I enter these next few months.

        • Strengthrequired

          Your welcome Dawnb, what I would like to stress is, you are not giving yourself enough credit. You are going through a great stress, yet you have to know, you have been there for your children, you have been fighting for your family all this time. Now that is something these ow, don’t understand. While she has been chasing after your h, you have been all along standing up for your children, your family, protecting them all along. She didn’t care, she wanted something she felt entitled to, your h, yet you all along held the upper hand, your children are what make you stronger, because whatever you do, you do it for them. They are what keep you going.
          It is hard, when you think that you gave failed them in some way, but you are doing your best in the situation still hand. You should be proud of yourself.

    • Strengthrequired

      Can I just say too dawn, when I found this site, I was already at my wits end. The people here have helped so much, so has all the information on the site itself. They say knowledge is power, I believe that, you will soon have the information here that will help you so much, move forward easier.
      Of course you will have triggers, but eventually they will be less.

    • Rachel

      Take baby steps.
      You are going thru a very difficult situation in your life. I’m sure you never in a million years have thought this would happen to you.
      Perhaps a different therapist?? If your husband is willing to work on your marriage and you are too, give it your best shot. It won’t happen overnight.
      Divorce is very painful and permanent. My ex husband didn’t want to work on our marriage. He gave me up. Now he is sorry and it is too late.
      Be patient with yourself and good luck.

    • Dawnb

      Again, many thanks Strengthrequired and Rachel! I’m finding your comments to be especially meaningful because you completely understand … not even my apologetic husband fully understands.

      So, I have an additional question. Do you ever feel guilty for feeling this pain? What I mean is, I find myself constantly minimizing. I shouldn’t feel this badly because, “It was ‘just’ emotional. It didn’t last ‘too’ long. He didn’t ‘actually’ go to bed with her. It could have been so much worse ….” I actually feel guilty for being this upset when I know others have had worse situations.

      And, Rachel, I’m almost considering a counselor for me – not as a couple. Our last counselor would often focus on my husband’s feelings/needs. I’m too angry to consider his needs. I acknowledge our marriage wasn’t perfect, but I didn’t go outside the marriage for solace. Right now, I’m a little callous about his needs.

      • Strengthrequired

        Dawn, sorry I have only just read your reply. I feel guilty about so many things. Like, I should be more trusting, I should give him the benefit of the doubt more, I feel guilty that he works hard, so I shouldn’t get upset that he wants to spend time with friends. So much more, yet after what I know about how little he regarded me and our marriage, he should be the one feeling guilty and remorseful. He should be the one that focuses on my feelings, instead of his own.
        As you can see, I’m still angry too.
        About a month ago now I found out about my h ea, turning pa. So that information, even though I felt it, set me back a bit with my recovery, and if anything just made me even more angry, angry and myself and him.
        Hope all is going well with you.

    • michele

      I have come to the conclusion this past week that men and women that engage in an affair are rapists. They rape a marriage, their spouse’s and children. It’s not a wonder the anger sticks around for a long time. I feel raped by my husband and the white trash, who is now married and was carrying around with my husband while dating the guy she married. I am stuck in anger !!!!! It’s been almost 2 years since I figured out what was going on…no sex with her, so they say, but just like lead blanket I am really angry. I hate the idea of going back into therapy again for his bad choice. Any suggestions.

      • Strengthrequired

        Michele, can i suggest keeping yourself really busy. I’m trying to do that, instead I find myself stewing over and over everything that has happened over the past two years with my h and his ea/pa. I Hate how my h did this to our marriage, I hate how he could stoop so low and hurt me as well as his children like he did and for so long.
        I see at times the man I married, then I think about everything, (he gives me way too much time on my own to stew over everything). And next thing I struggle to see the man I married, I see a stranger.
        All I want to say, is try not to give yourself to much time to think about it, because it makes that anger stick around.

    • Blindsided


      Thanks so much for posting this. I am three weeks post DDay and I have never felt so alone. I have asked my H the same questions over and over again, and the anger is just driving me totally insane. I never thought I would be in this situation. We have been together 10 years, and married 7. His affair lasted about 4 months, but it feels like a lifetime. I can’t get these images out of my head. I can’t stop imagining the intimate moments that he had with HER.
      He obviously wants to stay in this marriage and keeps telling me to look at this wonderful future that we have and blah, blah, blah! I have my moments where I want to say, “screw this! I am out of here!” But I love my husband. I have never loved a man the way I love him and the heart keeps telling me to stay and work it out. He is my best friend. We do everything together. I still can’t believe how he could have done this to ME.
      I also am having this INTENSE desire to get even and have my own affair to settle the score and then I can move on. Hopefully, counseling will help, but I have already started making moves. I have a long time friend who has always wanted to be with me, coming to visit in a few weeks. One minute, I want to do this, the next, I don’t. AHHHHH! This is killing me.
      I am so glad that I found this website.

      • Strengthrequired

        Blindsided, I’m so sorry you have found your way here, but also glad, that you did, because this site is a huge help.
        Now please do not have a revenge affair, you don’t want to feel worse than what you already do, and bringing someone else into an already undesirable situation isn’t fair either.
        I know you want your h to understand exactly how much he hurt you, I have often felt the same, just wanted him to feel the pain he inflicted on me, but it truly isn’t worth it. I don’t want to degrade myself like my h degraded himself. He was a man of integrity and morals, but became depressed and in the midst of a midlife crisis, and in the arms of a ow. Normally the person he would never have hooked up with, but due to the state of his mind, he did.. He lost his way, I didn’t he did. I am proud that I was able to keep my dignity and morals in tact, where he has to deal with those demons on his own, and knowing that he hurt the person he cared for most in the world, and also it lost his family and all we have worked for too, for this ow. Now I’m glad I don’t have that on my conscience. You will be too.
        Now if you want your marriage to have a chance at working, you need to steer clear of being tempted into gong down the affair path yourself. It truly is hard enough knowing that the one person you cared for most in the world betrayed you, don’t make things worse.
        Read here and learn about and gather information on the reality of these affairs, because they really don’t measure up to the relationship a married couple share, in real life.

    • mickey

      It seems to have been some time since the last comment, I may be reaching out to nothing. It’s been almost 3 years ago my husband was caught in his affair. Not that it makes it any worse, but he had been the assistant pastor at our church. My faith and identity was destroyed. He has only recently truly lived up to what happened “Still with excuses, and partial truth”. It’s funny (not haha) but when I met him I was a stripper, and he brought me to the Lord. … (whatever that means anymore) I have lost my faith. People in the church warned him that I could not be tied down, and he should be careful to marry a woman like me. Turns out I have been a faithful, and good wife 🙂 he is the one who should of had the warning label. I don’t know what stage I’m in, maybe the desperate, sad, depressed, drunk, suicidal state.

    • csb

      Hi Mickey,
      It’s been a bit over three years since I caught my husband too. We are still “together” whatever that means anymore. I’m still not sure to what extent he was involved or if it is even over. Obviously, I have trust issues.

      It is terrible that you were labeled the “toxic one” in the beginning. Does his congregation know about the affair? Are you still together?

      Like you, I don’t know what “stage” I’m in. I thought I’d be off this crazy roller coaster ride by now, sometimes I think I’m my own worst enemy and should just let it go. Just know you are not alone and you should take strength in knowing you proved them all wrong and you are not the “bad guy”!!

    • shockedandbroken

      I read all these comments and still feel alone.

      My best friend, lover, companion of 15 years (married 10 of them) whom I had placed so high on a pedestal, bragging about him to my family and friends as to his character and integrity… Informed me in April, after I had repeatedly questioned and offered total amnesty in exchange for honesty, that he had slept with his coworker numerous times. Their afraid lasted years. At the same time he was texting with two other women and having what I have learned are called emotional affairs with them to stroke his fragile ego.

      So, three women – one he slept with repeatedly, taking time off work (OUR vacation time) in secret – and a disease that I will now have the rest of my life, and his secret porn addiction that I can’t even go into here because I can’t bring myself…

      This from the man who was going to break things off and not marry me because he thought God was telling him not to because I was married before. This from the gentle sweet soul who kissed me every morning before he left and told me he loved me. This from the man who swore to me there was nothing more after I forgave him his kiss with the other (nasty, trashy) woman. I FORGAVE HIM.

      Now I am broken. His family has distanced themselves from me as if it were my fault (they only know part of the story). My family thinks I am crazy for staying with him. None of that helps. I didn’t make the choice to stay — I just knew that is what God wanted me to do. No big bright lights and angels singing, I just knew. And it is hard. And it sucks some times. And it is absolutely wonderful sometimes when I can see him actively trying and showing remorse.

      My therapist is treating me for PTSD and dissociative amnesia episodes.

      We are seeing a pastor together, she is great.

      I just struggle with so many questions!! While I know it won’t do me any good to know where and when he bought the condom he neglected to ever use, its little details like that that haunt me. It was all so secretive and well thought out. So intentional. He “can’t remember” and to me all of that feels like omission of truth which equates somehow to lies in my weary mind. I ask stupid questions that I regret, but what I am really asking is “what is the truth? Can you be trusted to give it to me now?”

      I feel like I am crazy after reading this. I just needed to let it out somewhere safe. I am tired of this taking TIME and of the pain I suffer because of his choices. The way he fed his ego. His total disregard for me and our marriage. And the fact that I was duped. That I knew something was wrong. That I should have gone with my gut when he couldn’t be separated from his cell phone. That I should have checked the texts that he can recall NONE OF now, not even partially. That when I smelled smoke on my husband or her on him, that the excuses he gave were lame and I knew it but let myself trust. That I didn’t follow him the day I knew he smelled too good and was way too excited to be going to work.


    • csb

      Shocked & Broken – how long has it been since you discovered his affair(s)? As I said, mine was three years ago, we were married 29 years at the time. To make it even worse, he has claimed he has erectile dysfunction for years, so it was very hurtful that I played the dutiful, patient wife while he was involved with another woman. Like yours, she was like the “town bicycle” (everyone had a ride), and my own husband even told me that other men had reached out to him to stay away because she was a home wrecker.

      Like you, we are still together. I have seen so many people say their relationship was even better than before after the affair, which I just can’t relate to. I wish I could regain the trust and feelings I had before all this.

      Do you believe he his done with his affairs?

    • shockedandbroken

      I do believe he is done with all of his affairs and other activities. I truly do. Not blindly believing him as I did before.

      I first learned of his closeness with the one he ended up in bed with after he admitted to me that they had gotten too close and she kissed him one day in 2010. He didn’t fight the kiss but did not initiate it. She came back after him via text, then things escalated until they slept together in early 2011. She had pursued him since early 2009, and I was more aware that’s what she was doing than he was at the time.

      I learned all the details of the two emotional affairs and the sexual one late April this year. In July I discovered his porn activities and August a secret bank account his parents set up for him so he could move out. Its fairly fresh, but recently has.hit me all over again.

      I just want the racing thoughts and doubt’s and questions to stop torturing me.

      To be honest my husband is wonderful right now. He is a new man. I can see it.

      I feel like my weaknesses right now, not the actual affairs, could be then demise of a beautiful friendship and potential new beginning of a stronger marriage.

    • shockedandbroken

      And in regard to the ED thing? My husband was having problems with that too. While he was sleeping with her and until everthing was out in the open. I asked him to go to then doctor and he wouldn’t.

      Funny thing is, he doesn’t have that problem at all any more. He is only having to “perform” in one place, so that’s part of it, but the interesting thing is that he had problems with her, too. For some reason that is refreshing to me.

    • I'm lost again

      Sadly I have two D-Days. The first was Oct 20th, 2007 when my H had a one night stand with an old girlfriend he had run into. It took three years to heal and I made most of the effort. I felt all that everyone has described here and went through it alone because he refused counseling. I finally got to a place where I felt safe and we have had a great marriage since then. I thought everything was going great. Then D-Day two occurs last Saturday 4 days ago. I had not known anything until that day because he was acting different. I caught him with another old girl friend in a hotel room with the assistance of her own husband.
      Right now I am just numb and trying to get my thoughts together to make a conscience decision. I know many of you would probably tell me to cut my losses and run. And it’s terrifying knowing I will be going through that emotional turmoil again if I stay. This time is different in one aspect. Last time I was the one that made all the effort to heal. This time he is bending over backwards to show me he is sincere. He changed his fb to both our names, I have full access to his phone, he has told me every single place he goes and who he is with. He has taken full responsibility and he has offered to do whatever it takes to make it right and keeps trying to talk with me about it. I am not ready to talk as of yet but I will when I am ready. I am the one who is being cold and impersonal towards him. My head says don’t forget what you already went through once and my heart says give him a chance to prove himself for as long as he makes the effort. I’m torn and numb. Thanks for listening…

    • chameleon18

      How about the obsessive stage? When does that end? The wanting to know everything. Details, over and over. Obsessing that this was a secret time in YOUR life that they gave to someone else. I’m about 8 months in and the questions don’t stop. I want the tiniest of details, do they help in my recovery? Probably not but they help my obsessiveness and anxiety. If I don’t ask it consumes me and I blow. When will the answers be “good enough”? Never I’m sure.

      • totally lost

        chameleon–You sound just like me–it’s going on month 3 since D-Day for me (also just shy of our 25th anniversary) and I can’t stop snooping through emails and bank statements even though my H has assured me his 3 month emotional and physical affair with a married (with kids) coworker is over. I know it’ll take a long time before this stops making me crazy, but why do I keep torturing myself with the details?

        I printed out the emails between them and keep them in a file. I tell myself I might need them for a lawyer or to threaten to show her husband should I catch them back together, but I know I just need them to make this all physically real. My H says he doesn’t even remember what he said in them, but I can’t believe that. Even after I had confronted him the first time—where he looked me straight in the face and said it was over and he wasn’t even talking to her anymore—I found more emails sent THE NEXT DAY (which also happened to be our son’s birthday) talking about getting together for coffee and kisses and she was still in if he was! She wanted to hear more about what was wrong with our marriage (how thoughtful!). He told her this would “all blow over in about 6 months and they could be together”… Meaning what? That I wouldn’t be able to take it and would divorce him? This woman had made it clear she wasn’t ready to leave her H and apologized that he was having to wait so long for her to make up her mind. I still don’t know what to believe.

        I confronted him again and he seemed to come face to face with what he had become and the pain he was causing. He promised that he would fix this and to the best of my knowledge he has. He claims the guilt was terrible and he hated himself but it sure looked all happy and fun in those emails. I still snoop through everything, event though I assume they wouldn’t be stupid enough to use email anymore since that’s how I caught them.

        All of these posts have been soooo helpful, but I hate that even after 2-3 years people are still hurting so much. I want to just run away from all of this but I realize this is part of me now and always will be.

        I’m not sure what stage I’m in–angry I guess. I wish I’d never married him in the first place and I hate that the rest of our marriage will be tainted by this. I’ll never trust him again–how can I possibly love him? Yet I’m not ready to give up and walk away. Why? Am I just afraid of the change or do I really love him? How do you know? He doesn’t want to talk about the affair and seems genuinely annoyed when I bring it up. I don’t know all the details and I assume it’s painful for him to have to look at me and tell me exactly what he did. And every time we talk about it, he reminds me how it was my fault that this happened–he thought I had drifted away and didn’t care about him anymore so when this girl in the office professed feelings for him, he felt justified to jump in.(Not to talk to me or even threaten a divorce).

        I can even understand how that happened, but I can’t understand how it didn’t occur to him a few days later what he was doing and end it. No, he decided to fall in love with her and the emails I found were almost word for word the love letters he used to send me–just a different name. They arranged to go on an overnight business trip together (and it turned out her meeting amazingly got canceled!) and that’s when it got more physical. He even got me to give him a ride to the train station… They stayed in the same hotel our family had stayed in a few months prior when visiting a college with our older son. There’s a charge on his Visa for a really expensive dinner out that night too.

        I so want to tell her husband–blackmail her with those emails to make her quit her job. I hate that they’re still working together. Then I picture her sobbing for him to come rescue her because her husband left.

        So where do we go from here? I don’t even know what I WANT to happen. How do you isolate your real feelings? What’s the difference between wanting him to choose me and just wanting him to NOT choose her? I hate that they both came through this unscathed while I feel shredded–no one found out but me–nothing in their lives had to change–especially hers.

        He tells me it was all just a fantasy and no one was ever going to leave anyone, but I don’t buy that. Now I expect him to fawn over me and sweep me off my feet to win me back–all the attention that SHE got–but for him it’s just back to business as usual.

    • Steve

      I’m approaching 3 years (in January) since discovery. My wife and I are going on a 3 day trip this weekend to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary. (I only count 11 years since her affair lasted 2 years). For me it was about accepting that for those 2 years I was not her man, he was! Basically, I didn’t exist, period. When I was finally able to accept that, recovery took off for me. My acceptance came about 6 months ago.
      Up until that time I was trying to convince myself and force my wife to say she still loved me even when she was having a physical affair with him that last for several months.
      For reasons I can’t yet explain, once I let go of trying to have it both ways, my wife and her lover, and my wife and me, at the same time, I was finally able to grieve the loss of both my wife and our marriage for that time period.

      • Strengthrequired

        Steve, that is a really good way of putting it. I told my husband after we celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary and he was still a year after that hanging off his ow, and our children and myself moving 2 hours away for another year and a half on top of dday, 2 1/2 years in total due to my husband staying and only seeing us on the weekend or every second weekend, that those years didn’t count for us as being married. He wouldn’t accept that. As far as he is concerned that time period counts. So instead of us going onto 25 yrs married, I say we are only going on to 23. there are those missing years, that we not truly apart of his life, how do you count that missing period as being married, sure on paper it says so, but the heart and head doesn’t feel it. Time stood still marriage wise.

        • Steve

          I absolutely agree! I could not have said it better. My wife doesn’t agree with me either, but she does not openly dispute my tally. I think, for me, it was he only way for me to let go of that time, to heal from the pain. I lost my first wife to cancer, so I’ve had the experience of death of a loved one, and now the “death” of my marriage for 2 years. I’m not sure many will understand this, but I believe I would choose the pain of death, over the, for me, what seemed like never ending pain, at the loss of my wife for 2 years. I hope that doesn’t offend anyone, it’s a hard concept to explain, and I’m talking about something very personal to me.

          • Strengthrequired

            Steve, many of us have said the same before. It’s hard knowing that you still love someone so very much yet they can deliberately betray your love, it truly is painful. he brought some ow into our lives, and it truly caused more pain and heartache than you ever expect. It is like a continual blow to the heart and soul, as you watch the person you love not reciprocate those affections, while you are stuck trying to make sense of why.
            You lose trust, you lose that safety, you lose everything you believed your marriage meant to you and your spouse, you lose that love you once had, you are left questioning your memories, and left with a marriage that is tainted and scarred.
            I understand exactly what you mean.

            • Strengthrequired

              Hey Doug, can you post this to where it was intended, I haven’t been able to get my post to stick. Thanks..

              Julio S, I feel so sad for you, I’m sorry you have found your way here, none of us ever expected to find ourselves here, or even looking for somewhere to help us understand the pain and trauma we face when our spouse cheats on us.
              Now when I posted the comment a while back it was in support of a fellow female betrayed spouse, it was directed at our husbands, in general, who took our lives into their own hands when they decided to get involved with the ow in their lives. We had no say, just like you had no say with what your wife did to you. None of us had a say, none of our spouses respected our health and wellbeing, it didn’t matter to them.
              Now I am sorry that you have taken what I had posted as something it was not intended to be taken as, because of course it is not just happening to women, it is happening to the men too.
              Now if you had posted, I would have tried to offer my support to you and understanding to you.
              I would like to say that there are many betrayed men that have come here, who have offered wonderful advise and wisdom, who truly understand how you feel, there are not as many male posters here as what there are female posters but they most definitely come in here and most definitely feel the pain and trauma of their spouses affair just as much as the women do, it is not gender specific.
              I do hope your wife realises the pain she has caused you and is now helping you and doing everything she can to repair the marriage. I do wish you good health and happiness as well as peace.

            • Steve

              Strengthrequired, I don’t know if this will help anyone going through betrayal via infidelity, and it makes no difference, as far as I can tell, whether you are a betrayed wife or a betrayed husband, but I have felt every emotion that I felt with my first wife’s death, with my current wife’s betrayal. I’m not sure I can discern any real difference on an emotional level.
              I feel for me to move on after the betrayal, I had to summon my experience in dealing with the death of my first wife. Life is about experiences, good, bad, in between. Just as we deal with a work related issue by drawing on our previous experience, I came to understand as I struggled with all of the emotions, you described so well, after finding out my wife had cheated, I had to put my recovery from her betrayal into some form I could understand.
              One thing I learned about death of a loved one, it is final. You may have “what if” thoughts, but ultimately to survive, you come to terms with the finality of death.

              So eventually I came to realize in order for me to survive, I had to put my wife’s infidelity into the same category, it was the death of my marriage at that point in time. Of course actual death and infidelity go their separate ways depending upon the course the betrayed relationship takes.

              I do want to say there is hope, there is joy, and there is even laughter after infidelity. My marriage is doing well, we, my wife and I, have worked very hard to repair the damage done. I think in some ways we may even have a better marriage now, though God knows I WOULD NEVER CHOOSE TO REPEAT THE HELL I’VE BEEN THROUGH!!!!

            • Strengthrequired

              Steve, if both husband and wife wish to make the marriage work then yes it definitely can, and I do believe you can smile and be happy again. The crying for me lasted everyday for close to two years, I had never felt such prolonged sadness, yet each day became a step closer to smiling again. I can smile and laugh with my husband now, yet I do believe the betrayed spouse has to over come so much, after being treated so poorly by the person they love. The cheating spouse can move on quicker when they decide the marriage is what they want. Yet we are left with the memory of how we were spoken to, how we were compared to the ap, all the lies and deceit, so although we can be happy again, I feel it just seems harder for the bs to get to that point.
              I am so sorry about the loss of your first wife, and having your second wife betray you the way she did, yet I am also happy for you that you and your wife are in a better place now, and that your marriage is better in many ways than what it used to be.
              I believe we are so lucky that we have been able to keep our families together, through such hard times, it certainly isn’t easy, yet a huge relief also.

          • Elder

            Totally agree, I would accept a personal death over infidelity. I fully understand.

    • totally lost

      I would love to hear about everyone’s experiences with counseling—together or solo. I’ve heard stories of counselors siding with one person, which doesn’t sound helpful (even if they were siding with me!)

      Do antidepressants help?

      After almost 8 months of promises that his affair was over and me finding out that it actually wasn’t (that’s happened 3 times), I’m starting to feel like an beaten wife who’s sure her abusive husband is really sorry THIS time. I’ve lost all trust and don’t know how to get past it. He still works with the woman he had the affair with and refuses to look for another job. Everything seems to be in my court—get over it. He tells me to trust him and move past it, but he’s been telling me that since D-Day almost 8 months ago—while he was still lying to me every day. The way I see it, he was the one who wasn’t moving past it since he couldn’t let go of his relationship with the OW. How can he prove to me that he’s sincere?

      • Jenny

        Totally lost, I feel so badly for what you had to go through. Your husband definitely needed counseling and a 12 step program.
        For me, counseling was another outlet to ventilate the suffocating grief that was crushing me. Our counselor was a very nice family psychologist, but he couldnt tel me how to make the pain/ triggering/ or anger stop. His answer was forgiveness. Yes I forgive my husband, i do love my husband, and I dont wish him to go to he** or anything… but forgiving doesnt take away the fear that he will do it again. Nor does it help you if he keeps lying for the next 2.5 yrs … about anything (“because he is innocent and doesnt want to get blamed for something he didnt do”).
        Only this year am i realizing for myself that this is a process of working to get back to a place where the marriage is happy…if that can truly happen after 30 years of betrayal. I may be too broken at this point. Every stupid thing he does makes me want out. We have been at this for almost 3 years. He seems like he’s not struggling with sexual integrity anymore, but he does really dumb things that trigger me. Sometimes i wonder how i ever fell in love w him. Other times I adore him. I wonder how i ended up here..married to a Stranger for 3 decades. Are we going to make it? Often i think we will, other times I’m convinced otherwise.
        Time. I just have to hope in time something will change, or I’ll know what to do, or the sadness at what was lost ..eases up.
        Id love to know how youre doing now.

    • ColdHearted

      Totally lost, About counciling I can say it is helping us, as each situation is different. H is going to a men’s group to help live “clean” while I am going to a women’s group to help cope and learn to love and trust again. After individual groups we plan to go as a couple. This is all through our church, which is very supportive! Hang in there and pray for God to show you the way. Breath and take it one day at a time.

      • Totally lost

        Thanks, coldhearted!

    • Myrna

      Thank you for your honesty. Your transparency was very helpful. At least I know I’m not crazy. Sometimes I feel like I’m losing my mind.

      I don’t like the person I am becoming. I am approximately 3mos post DDay – and still reeling. Some days I can hardly breathe. We will be married 40 years this coming December – and an affair was something I “knew” would never happen to us. It completely blindsided and devastated me. I am stuck between immense grief and rage.

      My husband’s affair was emotional, but it lasted 18months. The OW was an old flame who lived 2500 miles away – otherwise, I feel he would have met up with her. I discovered it by finding emails and Facebook messages saved on an external harddrive. I was searching for a slideshow I had made of our son’s wedding when I discovered it. Lucky me.

      She sought him out on FB and it went from friendship, to “what if,” to “love,” in only a few months. It even progressed to sexual pictures and a video – which I discovered while trying to get to the truth about the length and depth of it. Initially, he said it was only a few months, but when confronted with the truth (and desiring reconciliation) he sat down and wrote me a timeline and divulged all of it. He is very remorseful – and has given me access (and passwords) to his email , phone, and FB account. Honestly, it feels kind of like closing the barn door after the cows are out…but I still want/need transparency in order to rebuild trust. If that’s even possible.

      The affair lasted from March of 2009 to September of 2010. I saw texts from times he was with me – and finding ways to tell her he would call soon because he missed her. Others where he’s texting her telling her I’m asleep – and he just wanted her to know he loves her. Initially, when I found out, he said it was a long time ago – but he doesn’t say that anymore. He knows that for me, it was new. It’s still new. Here’s another kicker, he stayed facebook friends with her until I discovered it this past January. He actually asked if I wanted him to “unfriend” her. Really?

      We had been going through a lot at that time. We had lost our business of 15years, had gone through our 401Ks, and were about to lose our home. He was feeling like a failure. He tells me it was an “escape” – and I believe him. The thing is, I was going through the same thing he was going through – and I never sought comfort from anyone but him. I am beyond heartbroken.

      I never pursued a career – I was a wife, helpmate, and mother…and now a Nana. I never regretted that until now. I was happy with my life. My kids adore me, my grandchildren adore me…and he says (that even then) he adored me. I know the failure was his, so why do I feel like my life is a colossal failure? I know he was hurting then, but so was I. One huge slap in the face was that – even as he was telling another woman he loved her – he was telling me that as long as we had onto each other, we would be okay. The duality is more than my heart can stand. It doesn’t help to know SHE was the one who ended it. In all that time, he never felt enough love for me – or guilt from his own actions – to end it.

      We had so many mutual friends who admired our marriage – admitted they envied it. We have spoken at our church about keeping your marriage strong…and staying in love. I can’t help thinking about how cards from our married children have always included “thank yous” for the “example” our marriage has been to them. All our years together and we still held hands and had long talks and easy conversation. My husband was my dearest and best friend – but how can a best friend do what he did – and stay there for 18months with no conscience? How could he allow himself to fall in love with someone else, let alone get into our bed every night, hold me and profess his undying love and devotion?

      Our counselor assures us we can come through this stronger than we ever were, but I don’t believe that. I know I will never feel as safe with him as I did – even when he was doing this. He was my “safe” place – my refuge when life was falling apart around us. I believed that, why wouldn’t I? He always said what a blessing our marriage was. I had no reason to doubt him – and every reason to lean into those things with my whole heart. I feel like part of me has died.

      If anyone has any suggestions as to how a 58 year old woman can survive, let alone, get through this, I’m open to suggestions.

      • Jenny

        Are you still here, Myrna? I cried all through your post. I know your pain.
        In August 4, of 2014, I learned of my husband’s betrayal (no physical affair that I know of). Shocked to learn that he was addicted to porn and had been for most of his life… crushed to learn of many more devastating aspects of his sexual addiction throughout our 30 yrs together.
        [He wore a good mask and lied to me about who he was from the very beginning. I decided to say “yes” to this wonderful, kind man who said he wanted faithfulness as much as I did. ] We have five of the most wonderful children we could ever want. Our life(marriage) was “perfect” .. or at least it appeared so to me, the children, and our friends. Thus the revelation of his betrayal was beyond grief. Yes, we had a few little ” kinks” that were worked out earlier in our marriage– but i felt that i was being realistic about two people working thru problems that will arise. I recovered and forgave quickly.
        This time I am not recovering very quickly. I became an entirely different person. I got physical with him, broke a lot of his things, began to cuss at him, and began to verbally hurt him. I’m sure this must have begun in the anger phase (stages of death and dying). It has been a long journey, and i dont know how it ends. He is happy for the first time in his life to be free of his addiction( following an emb conference, 12 step program, and regular counseling.) He also wants to stay married. I on the other hand seem to be stuck in limbo between the joy of a trusting marriage…… and the fear, pain, and mistrust of being with a man who could cheat for 3 decades knowing that it would shatter his wife if discovered.
        I have been so lost , lonely, angry, bitter, hopeless, and sad. I’ve not discovered how to get rid of the pain… but if I do, I bet I would be a billionaire; I know I’m not alone. I think somehow the answer is in time passing to ease the pain.

        • Rose

          Hi Jenny.My name is Rose and I just read your story this morning and can’t help myself but to write to you.
          I am sorry for what you are going through right now.I know how you are feeling because I am also going through pain and grief at the moment for having been betrayed by my H of 22 years.
          But in my case,it’s so much worse because he admitted that from just a mere(as he described it)EA,it escalated into PA and lasted for 2 long years while we are “happily married” or so I thought.Then after that,had so many EA’s again with several women on several occasions which lasted for 7 long years all in all.
          The affairs happened and was over for almost 12 years now but the DDay was just May 2015.Almost two years but I am so much far from recovering from that very day.The Day that I almost died of so much pain from the ultimate betrayal a “perfect husband” could dare do to his wife.Yes!He wore a mask for 2 decades,totally living in lies and definitely made me believe that we always had a perfect marriage which was envied by relatives and friends!How could he?
          I felt so stupid and worthless because like you and Myrna,I gave my all to him and to this marriage!I was totally devastated,couldn’t focus in everything I do,unpredictable mood swings,being verbally abusive,always living in fear and insecurities and I tell you,it’s so ugly!I am a totally different person now and I miss the old me.I wonder where would that happy,cheerful,confident,gentle and loving wife/person go?
          After the DDay,my H has changed.He’s doing everything to make our marriage work,being submissive and open to anything,he never leave my side and takes me anywhere and everywhere he goes.
          But sadly,nothing works—for me.
          I’m caught between holding on and letting go.I don’t know if I will be able to trust in him completely again.
          Right now,all I can do is to stay and figuring out if it’s right and worth it to give our marriage one more try.
          But Jenny,I just want to tell you that it’s not our fault and not about us,but definitely says a lot about them.They were supposed to be mature adults who could think what’s right from wrong but they made a CHOICE—and chose the wrong and twisted road knowing how it would hurt and devastate us.For me,the damage is irreparable and even if I stay in this marriage—I know in my heart that it will never be the same ever again.
          Anyway,thank you for sharing your story on this wonderful page with all the wonderful people here who has good and compassionate hearts and always ready to give sound advices and console each other in this moment of grief and pain.
          Thank you and please take good care of yourself.I’ll be around if you need someone to listen to your thoughts.God bless you and everyone in this page.

          • Jenny

            Dear Rose, I cried reading your letter too. I thought i was over the tears, but i find the pain is Still…. just beneath the surface. I relate to, and find i care about you and Myrna (in a healthy way :), because of our shared experiences.
            The things you each wrote sounded just like what I’ve said, felt, or done. Immediately i knew…these ladies get me, they’ve been there.
            The comfort found with other hurting hearts on here (men and women) is no small thing.
            Thanks for the comfort, validation, and encouragement. Hold on, it won’t always hurt this bad. With or without our spouses, happiness and laughter will come again.

          • Jenny

            Dear Rose,
            other thoughts…
            Yes, thanks for the reminder that it isn’t about me. I know that in my head, but sometimes my heart doesnt get it!
            Also, as you mentioned, I felt ( feel?) pretty stupid. I often rambled on to him about “weren’t we blessed to be in a relationship where we could trust one another implicitly.” Also frequently told him I wouldn’t share him w anyone, that i was a jealous wife….not having any idea that i was indeed sharing him with thousands in the space of our marriage.
            I too am sorry for the painful experiences you have had to endure.

        • Myrna

          Jenny and Rose,
          Yes, I’m still here…still broken. Sadly, I found out in March of 2017 – 15 months post DDay – that while we were working on healing, my H was hiding a gambling addiction. I can’t really describe the depth to which this new revelation devastated me. There were so many times we would talk both in counseling, and between ourselves, how important it was to be transparent – no more compartments. Now I know that, even as he promised over and over, “no more compartments,” he was simultaneously putting us $70,000 in debt. I felt we were making baby steps of progress, but now, in many ways, I feel like I’m back at square one. I guess if there is a fragment of hope in this latest revelation, it is that he told me the truth himself…I didn’t have to find out on my own. He is (again) very remorseful. He is attending a 12step program and has rededicated himself to honesty. I believe he means it this time – but then – I believed it before. There is a part of me that feels like, while forgiveness is possible, trust may be be irrevocably broken. We so have good days, but then other days, I feel like a dark cloud is hanging over my life. He desperately wants to, “move forward toward healing,” while I feel stuck. I spend so much time feeling suspicious and unsafe. We are back in counseling – but hurt and anger are still my constant companions. I know he is discouraged by my constant two steps forward, three steps back, dance. Still, for the life of me, I don’t know how to make it stop. I miss “us.” He has been the love of my life since I was 16 years old. Now I am almost 60, and my life is shattered. I was so proud of our love – I loved our marriage to the depths of my soul, but now I look over the “nuclear winter” it has become – and I grieve in ways I didn’t even know were possible. I have given the best of myself to him. I gave him my whole heart and he destroyed it for a stupid fantasy. A fantasy SO selfish, it defies understanding. The gambling was just, “pilling on. I am a shadow of myself. I feel like everything that has happened has changed me in such a negative way. Where I was a person of faith, I am now full of doubt. Where I was strong, now I am weak. Where I was confident, I am now unsure. Where I was a person who encouraged others, I am overwhelmingly discouraged. This alternate mirror-image of who I was – versus who I am now, causes me to have so much resentment toward him. He wants “us” so badly now – but often I question whether I will ever be able to hand my heart back to him. Sometimes I feel afraid of him and I tell myself, I will never give anyone the power over my heart that I gave to him! I am so deeply grieved when I tallow myself to remember “us.” I am left with this quaking fear that says, “I will never love the “us” we are trying to become – as much as I loved the “us” we were before he decided he was the only one in our relationship who mattered. All of it is such a dichotomy. He is the love of my life. I desperately miss the person I knew was my best friend…yet at the same time, I also fear him. I saw a couple of quotes that made me shake my head in affirmation: “The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies,” and “Sometimes the person you’d take a bullet for ends up being the one behind the gun.” Both these statements are so true for my life. Here I am over 18 month post DDay, and they still ring true.

          • Jenny

            Dear Myrna, i am glad you’re still here, but sad to hear of yet another great betrayal for you to work through. Your poor heart has been through so much!
            I think it is most difficult when one is married to a person who appears to be so honorable, loving, and faithful. The shock factor is magnified.
            Again I read your post which seemed to be my grief and thoughts on paper. BTW, you are a beautiful writer, and your words flow smoothly and clearly.
            After i discovered my husband’s infidelity (Aug 2014), I was like paralyzed, numb, and tingling. I went to bed and repeated over and over to myself, “What am i going to do?” The impossible happened, and i couldnt even go to my ‘best friend’ for help. Other Questions i repeatedly asked ( him) over the next two+ years…were WHY? ..and HOW COULD YOU!!?
            I never got an answer that satisfied the Qs. They just stuck in my mind and drove me crazy…seeking a “logical” answer that would make sense of it all.
            From day one i asked him if there was anything else to tell me. He had been advised by both his counselor (which we sought right away) and the leaders at the EMB conference to share everything ( if the wife wanted to know) openly and completely. No shades of Truth!
            My husband spent the next 2.5 years slowly leaking the truth, hurting me over and over. He also lied to me about things during this time. For me, day one of recovery begins when he quits hurting me. However, for some reason, i dont hurt like i use to. I can trigger in a moment, and be furious in a heartbeat, but the pain is different. I believe his sexual integrity issues are under controll, but the spinning of the truth to protect himself or make himself look better bothered me as much as the porn. No aspect of dishonesty is without pain.
            I sort of get his addiction, the pain of his childhood, multiple abusive situations, and the terrible parenting by his mom and step dad…. but I hadnt done that stuff to him; i was the wife who utterly adored him. I Never withheld sex. I praised him often, thanked him for working so hard for me and the children. But of course he was an addict for more than a decade before i met him, and for our thirty yrs together.
            It is hard to be facing 60 (this year) and know that he loved young sexy beautiful girls and imaginary escapades with them more than the real thing w me. It has been Difficult to think that if he didnt find me appealing at all in my 20s, 30s, & 40’s… how Im going to be attractive to him now. He says its possible , and everyday he becomes more normal in his natural desire for his wife as God intended. He acknowledges that the other girls are Not his and are poison to his heart and soul and mind! He keeps a routine call with accountability partners 5 days a week. They have become his best friends. It all sounds good, and it might be, but i am the one w the problem now. Out of the blue i can have deep struggles (pain, triggers, flashbacks, rage, cussing at him, depression, …).
            I believe I’m on a journey, not so unlike other victims of betrayal. Mine feels more complicated due to the length of time of the cheating, and my present age. I so wish i could look inthe mirror and see a youthful beauty; but instead, i see old and ugly staring back at me. It feels pretty empty at times.
            I’ve not given up yet. Maybe i wont. But never again do i want to go on this horrible journey. I dont like the new me, i liked the old, happy, confident, nice me much better. I too dont know where she went, perhaps she died and this shattered yet tougher me is all i have to work with.
            I am quite blessed to have a daughter who gets it, and sticks with me closely. She also loves her father, but thinks he behaved badly.
            Well thats enough rambling thru my entangled thoughts. This site is one of the best therapy sources I’ve found. Whether anyone reads it or not, it helps to get it out.

          • JennyLi

            Myrna, Thinking of you and your journey. Hope you are doing well. Merry Christmas! ~ Jenny

    • juan carlos

      Thank you. Devastating it is. Thanks for this mate.

    • JJ

      Hello. I am so glad I found this website. I have been reading and rereading various comments about restored marriages and it has brought me hope. I am the wayward spouse. I had an EA with someone that I have never met in person. The EA lasted about 2 months. At the time, I was reaching my wits end with my H having been gone for almost 10 months for work. At the time, it seemed like a great distraction, something fun to do to keep my mind off of everyday life, raising children alone. This EA took place almost 7 years ago. Discovery happened after I had a short flirtatious conversation with a coworker, which guilted me into telling my H. With that discovery, it lead for me to confess all my deepest darkest secrets to him, for fear of losing him. It’s been 9 weeks since DDay.

      This has been the hardest few weeks of my life. The emotional roller coaster has been torture. Our marriage had always been wonderful. We have been together 10 years, married 8. I have been with my H most of my adult life. I consider this to be the only “real” relationship I have had, even though I had been married before. It has always been one of those relationships that other people envied. Because of this, I have absolutely no experience with dealing with something negative in our marriage and have no experience in dealing with his anger when it is directed at me.

      I have no doubt in my that I want our marriage, that I want to be with him, that I want to keep my family together. I try to be patient, I try to be understanding. I am so remorseful that I have even contemplated suicide. Knowing that I have hurt my best friend is unbearable.

      He doesn’t know what he wants. He tells me sometimes he wants to work things out, other times he says he doesn’t know if he can get over it. He has trouble sleeping, he’s lost about 20 lbs. He has trouble concentrating at work. He ordered my phone records from 7 years ago and obsessively analyzes them, focusing on the time frame of the EA.

      I am really at a point where I don’t know what to do. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep. I find no joy in anything that I do. The only glimmer of hope that I have is that he hasn’t left yet. I keep hoping that because he hasn’t left, this means that I still have an opportunity to save my marriage. I just need some input right now. Someone who can offer me some hope.

    • JayJay

      It’s 4am and I’ve been reading these postings with huge interest. I’m not even one week post dday and utterly broken.

      These posts all appear to be about affairs that happened while people were still in their relationships.

      My partner left 3 months ago for a “temporary separation” so we could gain “space and perspective.” No one else must be involved he said (as if that would be possible – he’s left me with toddler twins and a 13-year-old).

      Last week on New Year’s Eve I was told by his sister-in-law that he had introduced a new partner to his parents the weekend before Christmas!

      I’m being eaten up with terrible terrible feelings. He told me he was seeking therapy for his unhappiness in our relationship (which he always blamed me for causing) and he has spent the 3 months visiting the twins every day and while here, telling me how he’s desperate for us to make it work.

      I can’t stop imagining the details. Our sex life was the one very strong thing we had. I’m stunned if this is true. I’ve not been able to ask him mainly because I’m too afraid of the answer.

      I was already wavering about our future but trying to work with him on finding a way forward because I love him (how I wish I could write “loved”). It’s so hard having to hold it together and keep my mask on for the sake of my girls.

      Every night is torture. My imagination plays out what he’s doing to her right now in bed. I drove round to his house on New Year’s Day evening and saw a dim light from where his bedroom was. It was 9pm.

      People keep saying I must know but I need to feel stronger before confronting him. I’m so desperate for this not to be true but feel in my heart it is.

      Any tips on controlling the obsessive thoughts about their sex life?

      Thank you for this post.

      • Jenny

        JayJay, how are you doing. I had no idea what to say about your situ. I have hopes that your spouse repented and came back a humble man. But you deserve better than what you were dished out.
        If you didnt get counseling yet , please do so for your sake. If your husband does show signs of remorse… suggest the EMB conference. It can heal a lot of wounds. Will set him on the right course if he is willing. It can show him why he did what he did, and how to break the ugly cycle.
        I pray you are finding hope and comfort.

    • Patti

      Today is 7 miserable days since dday. My husband of 24 years is right now at work with the ow as his “assistant “. He’s begging for us to work it out while at the same time telling me that he can’t just let her go professionally. I don’t know what stage I’m in. I don’t know what to do or how to feel. I’m just really incredibly sad and hurt. The ow is also married and her husband doesn’t know. I want to and believe that someone should tell this poor guy. Of course my husband begs me not to share this horrible secret with the ow husband. Even told me that I am pushing him towards her if I attempt to do that. Although he swears to the contrary I am not sure it’s really over. Someone please help!

      • Doug

        Hi Patti, I’m sorry that you’re going through this. You’re so early into things that I’m sure your emotions and such are all over the place. The important thing now is to take care of yourself, eat, sleep, etc. I’d also think about putting my foot down when it comes to them still working together. No contact is a must. Also, if it were me, I’d tell the woman’s husband, but again, that’s me. Not everyone would agree with that. We had a discussion a while back on that very subject. Perhaps you can get some perspective by reading it: Hang in there!

      • totally lost


        I’m in the exact same place, but it’s been almost 2 years after dday for me now. We had also been married 24 years when the affair happened. Still together for some reason. My husband STILL works side-by-side with the OW who’s also married with two small kids (she’s 15 years younger than me and looks just like a younger version of me with almost the same name—it’s weird.)

        My husband swears it’s over and nothing’s happening but insists on remaining friends with this woman—and it’s killing me because he spent almost a year telling me it was over and then I would find another email proving that it wasn’t. I keep telling me that even friendship is not an option and he needed to get his desk moved away from her and move to another team on another floor if he insisted on staying at this firm. He actually said he wanted to prove to himself that he could handle it. (Seriously????) Whenever I say that i don’t trust him being with her, his favorite retort is “But it was so long ago!!!” (Again, seriously???)

        They were “in love” and he was ready to leave his family as soon as she gave the word. Luckily (or not?) she never intended to leave her husband so he had no choice but to do the right thing and come home.

        I don’t know if her husband knows (I assume not) and I’ve gone back and forth about telling him myself. My advice for you at your stage is this: Don’t tell her husband. If they split, that will just free her up for your husband to run to—and to be her emotional crutch, creating a stronger bond. Don’t separate or kick your husband out. That frees him up to be with her without having to hide anything from you. He’ll just be happier about it. Make him stay home and look at what he’s done to you.

        Putting your foot down about anything is the hardest part. Believe me, I’ve tried and it just doesn’t work. If he was willing to leave me for someone else in the first place, threatening to leave just gives him what he wanted in the first place—but now it’s my fault and not his.You have to decide what you want. Do you want him back?

        I don’t know if i really do want mine back, but I can’t destroy my kids (one just went away to college and one will go next year—a time where they need to know that have a stable home to come back to). I can’t be the one to tear the family apart after screaming at him for almost tearing our family apart, y’know? But I feel like I’m going nuts.

        I think back to the very detailed emails they exchanged (that went on for months after I found out) and I remind myself that he’s not who I thought he was—why do I want him? I know that I can leave and be ok, but I can’t live with someone who has proven that he has no respect for me, who can go to work with her every day when I tell him how cruel that is and that it’s killing me. He can’t tell me he loves me when that’s his choice. I think he’s just here because he has nowhere else to go. He’s just trying to keep her in his life.

    • jJ

      I’m glad I found this site. So that makes me the spouse (husband) of a cheater and am trying to work it out. It seems most people in here are in that boat. It’s been almost a year since I began finding out, last contact was a month and a half after that and full disclosure didn’t come for months after that. But my backstory isn’t that important, same shit and I’m sorry you had to go through it. Sucks real bad. I came to offer advice, some of the things that kind of worked, almost worked, didn’t work, etc.

      Get good at lying, or at least hiding your feelings. They did it to you, so do it to them. Do it to keep the peace as best you can. Don’t lash out every time you feel like it. If you’re like me, that would be a lot. I still do a year later, but it does get longer between outbursts, usually after some trigger. I have a notepad app on my phone and started a file I called “Things I probably shouldn’t say” and wrote down most everything I felt like saying at any given moment. That way I knew I’d remember it so I didn’t dwell on it, it kept me from blurting things out and if the thought remained valid, I could bring it up later. Or I could delete it. I tried deleting everything at the beginning of the New Year, that didn’t work either.

      You can do most anything you want and no one will question your judgment. “Do whatever you can to have fun, even if you only think it might.” That is a meme I created. That was another coping skill I used, I created my own memes with my own photos and sayings. I wrote down positive inspirational messages to myself as well. I wrote a lot and am still writing a lot. Point being, anything you enjoy doing, did enjoy or might enjoy, do it. Your S.O. probably wants you to and has even told you, mine has. They know they hurt us and yet they want us happy. They don’t like to see us miserable and may not know how to fix what they themselves broke. It may seem like they are pushing us away, or not trying to make things better or whatever. I do think it’s important to spend some time alone, but not too much.

      Throw logic and expectations out the window. A lot of things are not going to make sense. Why? Why? Why? We will NEVER KNOW some things and should try and accept that fact. So don’t go and try and find out everything because you never will. At some point, you will have enough dirt to bury them over and over. I know it’s hard, but try and stop there. This is what they want and it pisses us off. “It’s in the past, let it go, why do you keep bringing it up, I’m still here” type stuff my wife keeps saying. We get no credit. If we could, we would let it go. I hate this. Hate it, hate it, hate it. It still consumes most my free thought and I can’t concentrate on shit. My first wife did this to me, too. Do you think I forgot about that? Expectations…Once my wife was caught with her 1000s of sexts and photos she sent to me and three other guys (I got the least of them, but whatever) I thought I would get more affection from her, all the “misguided lust” would come my way. But no. She shut down the whole machine. She told me she feels numb, nothing for anybody. Heartbreaking. I feel as though I am being punished for stopping the affair. “It feels like if you can’t love him, you won’t love me,” I told her. On this forum, I saw that is not uncommon. That was the most reassuring thing I got from here. If you can call that reassuring.

      Validate your own self worth. That is how a lot of affairs get started anyway, your S.O. may have felt unwanted, neglected, unappreciated, unattractive or whatever and used an affair to bolster their self-worth. Now it’s our turn. I’m not saying go and have a ralatitory affair. But I’m not saying not to, either. I had an EA right in front of everyone’s face and got nothing but support. A married woman I have known since a platonic high school summer 35 years ago posted on facebook her husband was selling a motorcycle on the east (opposite) coast. It was a nice bike at a nice price. Even my wife wanted it. She paid for the bike and I paid for everything else. I flew out there, stayed in a large tent in her family’s backyard for 3 days and spent the first two days riding with her husband. I love this woman so deeply, I could never have sex with her. We didn’t even kiss, but the hugs were incredible. She put hearts in her comments on facebook. Even my wife doesn’t do that. I also met a lot of people riding across country and spent a lot of alone time. A lot of people followed my trip on social media and that felt good, too. It was a great ride and helped validate my worth and desirability. Did it help once I got back? No, not really.

      Therapy? I was in therapy before the affair even started. I was in a near fatal motorcycle accident in 2004 that left me with health issues and I became depressed over my limitations. That didn’t help the marriage, either. She got tired of it, I feel. Her affair was revealed very slowly and I was in therapy the entire time. It helped a little – up until the therapist hit on me. Actually, I miss one of my therapists, the 3 others not so much. I was on antidepressants for awhile and they did more harm than good. GUYS, LISTEN UP HERE…antidepressants can make you permanently impotent! Or at least much more difficult to perform, they did me and that didn’t help things a bit. I told my wife I was having trouble and she assured me everything was fine. Yeah, right. She was cheating on my is why she didn’t care. Anyway, read the side effects. On top of that, they didn’t seem to do squat for me. Stay away from them, I advise. We have not done couple’s therapy. I don’t see her opening up as she suffers from DID – a multiple personality disorder. She says it was an Alt who had the whole affair, she’s a good wife and would never do that. Oh, and that Alt doesn’t like me. I try not to take it personally. Good luck with that. More advice, try not to take it personally. It’s not your fault, keep telling yourself that.

      Be consistent. I suck at this one. In a way, they don’t care what we do or where we go so long as we aren’t “all over the place.” I want to stay most of the time, but have started packing bags at other times. I’m nice, I’m mean, I’m sad, I’m melancholy, I’m overly affectionate. I’m working on it, but I can’t seem to make up my mind what the F I’m going to do and it frustrates those around me as much as it does me.

      Try to forgive them…For your peace of mind, not theirs. This almost worked for me, but the increased post affair neglect kind of put the brakes on that. I worked on, wrote and then read a letter of forgiveness to my wife and felt real good about it for about a week. It was worth the try. The forgiveness should be unconditional, without asking nor expecting anything in return. If you go that route, you must them make an honest attempt to NEVER BRING IT UP AGAIN. If you do, the forgiveness is a fraud. The pain and obsession now belongs to you. Like I said, I failed at this as well.

      Here are my stages, by the way…

      Denial. The initial shock. Who is this person? My wife would NEVER do that. I saw sexting on her phone first. I couldn’t even look at her for a couple of days. I felt I didn’t even know her. That feeling still lingers.

      Anger. It was coming and everyone knew it. She kept trying to justify it, putting blame on me and generally trying to make me show some emotion other than “the lights are on, but no one’s home” look. I got angry. I got very angry.

      The apologetic stage. She was sorry, I was sorry, everybody was sorry. I tried to get passed it and work on being a couple again and it almost seemed like it was working. Last contact and full disclosure had not happened yet. There was still bombs in the bombay. She was lying to me as well.

      What am I going to do now? No option seemed like a good one. While I didn’t want to leave, staying wasn’t any easier. No matter where I looked, there was pain. Suicide became an option for ending the pain. The main thing keeping me from checking out was my daughter. She would hate her mom for pushing me over the edge and that wasn’t fair. I even thought about talking all of us out so none of us would feel pain again.

      Bargaining/Overcompensation. Full disclosure came after my wife ended up in the hospital after her own motorcycle accident and I had full access to her phone. I found out I was lied to. I found out she spoke poorly of me behind my back. And I found out she did see her ex when she told me she hadn’t. She told a friend she “can’t be with him until the future changes and gives her that opportunity” AFTER getting caught. I would have killed myself then and there, giving her her precious opportunity. But I had a child to care for while her mom laid in the ICU. So I poured it on THICK. Everything I thought a good husband would do, I did and then some. It was working, too. Until she was released and started feeling smothered. She told a friend she went from getting too little attention to getting too much. She got an earful after that, yet the overcompensation continued. I tried more sex, more flattering, acts of servitude, gifts and more. It helped a little, but was too quick a fix.

      Depression. I felt I had tried most everything I could and nothing worked. I knew completely wallowing in my own self-pity wouldn’t get me where I wanted to go…It only got me where I already was. So I fought it with everything I had. And still do. If I honestly said what I felt like doing most, it is curling up in a corner and feeling sorry for myself until either someone pulls me up or leaves me to die. I could probably use a therapist.

      Acceptance. Yeah, I’m not there yet. Some days I get close. I tell myself it wasn’t about me, she didn’t mean to hurt me and she loves me. But I don’t feel she loves me with every fiber of her being like I once did. I feel I deserve someone who does and she deserves having someone she loves with every fiber of her being. She is adamant about staying and she should. I’m a great guy. Right now, the big question on my mind is, “Is she worth all this?” If not, then what?

      She is still recovering from her accident. She needs to heal. I need to heal. So I’m giving it some time. I went into the new year telling myself, “I’m content, I’m patient, I’m grateful, I’m hopeful.” Traits I’m lacking and feel I should work on. I don’t plan on ending the year feeling like that, though.

      I WILL BE HAPPIER…One way or another, even if I have no clue how at the present moment.

      Many words, I know. I hope some are helpful. Good luck and I’m truly, truly sorry you have to go through this too. Unless you are one of the cheaters…To you all I can say is, “I hope it was worth it.”

    • Rose

      I feel you jJ.I’m the one who’s been cheated on(by my husband of 23 years).I found out just 2 yrs ago that he had been cheating on me on the fourth year of our marriage that lasted 7 looong years.He frequented certain clubs/bars and had several female “friends “according to him(I have proofs,receipts,credit card records and all)but admitted to only one being physical and again according to him lasted for 2 years.And after that he hadn’t had any and others being mere friends or EA.And the worst,found out that he’d been talking to his Ex on several occasions through texts!(sometime in 2012)
      And yes!The affairs was over for 12 years now and he is a changed man but that doesn’t change the facts that he lied to my face,lied about his feelings,his whereabouts,who he’s with,telling me he was busy with work that’s why he couldn’t travel with me and the kids and all other BS!
      But when I found out all about it and he admitted/revealed to me everything,I was shocked and felt that the world stopped and out of anger,I punched him twice in the face real hard,pushed him and threw things on him!Then he fell on his knees,cried and said sorry that he had made wrong choices/decisions in the past and that he’s paying for that for a long time now because he’s struggling to forget all that he’d done and fears of being discovered/exposed and that his guilt is killing him for long but he just doesn’t have the guts/courage telling me because he just can’t stand the thought of me leaving him.
      To cut it short,I gave him another chance and up to this day,he’s been doing everything to win my trust and heart back and I tell you I’m seeing lots of signs that he really want this marriage to work again because he’s making lots of effort to reinvent things with me.
      But why am I finding it so hard to trust in him completely again?.And when I look at some photos or things,the past keeps coming back to me.How he made me feel,how he manipulated me and made me believe to be the person he’s not,having a double face and had been living a double life.Until now I’m still in denial and I still could not believe this is really happening to us!
      Any suggestions or advice on this?Please help:(

      • JennyLi

        How are you doing now? Thinking of you. Merry Christmas! Hope you spend it with those who love you and are loyal to you… so your holiday can be “Merry and Bright!”

    • Jenny

      Thanks for your post/advice. I know it was born of a painful experience. I appreciate your honesty in writing; I tend to want to tell my good , bad and ugly too.. though it might sound a little cra-cra. I have a need to be transparent, since that is what i wanted from my husband. This whole experience definitely brought out an ugly side of me that was never the old me. I think i felt like if for 30 years kindness, love, adoration, faithfulness, and support were not what he needed to be faithful, i might as well try giving him a little dose of the other. And i had plenty of anger to pile it on.
      I also have tried different aproaches and pep talks, and positive thinking, and “today I’m going to let it go,” etc. But in the end… it had to be faced and worked through ( i think)- which is painful. Often i want to run for the hills to escape the pain he brings me (his past, my present).
      Anyway, i like the edge of humor you have in telling your somber experience.
      Thanks for sharing. I hope you post more.

    • George

      I’m in so much pain and hurt. Just 48 hours ago my beautiful dream family and perfect life was woken to a complete nightmare. Just reading this hurts so much I can’t take another sentence. I love her so much but it’s killing me slowly, nail by nail into me as it unfolds.

      • JennyLi

        So sorry George. Whats your story? You’re certainly not alone. It is a long painful process. Get to a counselor if you can, or a trusted friend. You can’t hold it in.

    • Amanda

      I am in an endless cycle. I am simultaneously 6 years post D-day, 3 years post D-day, 15 months past D-day, and now 1 month past D-day. I feel guilty for wanting a divorce. I read all these stories about couples who have healed and made it work. I can’t keep going through this. This last time, my husband only took a short break from his other women and I was so desperate to not be a statistic and not be a divorcée that I refused to see the signs I know so well. Only when one of his other women texted him while he was showing me something on his phone, could I no longer repress my gut feelings. I’ve read so many articles that say the only reason for divorce is physical abuse but honestly, I wish he was beating me and breaking my bones instead. It would hurt less. My depression has gotten so bad this time that I’ve been battling thoughts of suicide and started drinking until I pass out every night to numb the pain and quiet my thoughts. Am I really so awful and weak for wanting to end this toxic cycle instead of continuing to fight for my marriage?

      • Shifting Impressions

        Infidelity is indeed a good reason for ending a marriage.I’m not sure what articles you are reading but physical abuse is NOT the only reason for ending a marriage.

        Only you can say when enough is enough but there is no reason to fight if your husband won’t give up his affair partners.

        Even the Christian faith allows for divorce is there is infidelity. I hope you find some help for you. Infidelity is abuse!!!

      • JennyLi

        Amanda, Infidelity is the Biblical reason given for divorce… not physical abuse… though both are good reasons for getting out of a dangerous situation. Dont wait for an STD, get out now. Anyone who would wish for broken bones in order to be free, has been through enough.

    • marty

      i have read most of these stories and some are similar but none are like mine my wife started cheating on me in our 7th year together when i found out it destroyed me my wife was a extremely attractive woman when we first started dating i would hear people say that she was to good for me so when i found out about the affair all of that made it real i lost everything i would get jobs i was a contractor at the time and set them up but couldn’t stay to do them i would check up on her all the time soon i was a wreck i lost the jhouse both cars i just stopped moving people who i thought were friends robbed me blind i just stood there starring at everything like it was a movie i ended up in therapy and she ended up with him after about two years of her going back and fourth between the two of us she said she wanted me we moved into her mother’s basement big mistake and an eye opener for me she told me years before that her mother blamed her for everything at the time i thought she was exaggerating turned out to be the opposite living there broke me even worse the mother inlaw relentlessly beat the both of us with put downs and blame guilt out right lying plus her son moved there with us he had been living with us when i had a house once there he revealed him self for the thieving liar that he was and for the whole time i was there he stole from us along with this my wife continued to see the other guy lying to me non stop i was in bad shape suicidal depression anxiety my wife was also being assessed for mental disorders turns out she had boarder line personality disorder it was brutal cause i could see the pain she was in and half the time she was at my side trying to work everything out but still running off to him which i understood i was a mess her mother was a nightmare my wife left home at 15 to get away from this woman and now in her 40s returned life continued there the wife and i continued to work on us she still saw the other guy but it was less and less the after 6 years of this i come home after being out alday to find her dead seems there was a mix up in some of the antidepressants she was on i moved out after the son and mother refused me access to any of mine and my wifes things my brother inlaw ransacked everything i managed to get a few personal items and thats about it im living in a nightmare of confusen guilt sorrow heartache hating myself its been a year and a half sense she died im still in therapy it helps but i’m still sinking

      • Jenny Li

        Marty, thats a terrible ordeal to endure. Good for you for getting counseling! It wasnt your fault, but you are left w all the pain. Your wifes family was messed up!!
        I’m sorry you went through this.
        I hope you begin life again, you deserve some happiness.

    • Alison

      I know I’m super late to this comment party, but I’m here, nonetheless. I’m glad someone had brought up anniversaries, and even more glad Duane addresses how he felt about them.
      I’m going to be 2 years post DDay on June 7th. Six days after my birthday. The affair was seven months and was a PA. They talked about running away with my three boys. I had no idea it was happening and all I needed to do was check our phone records and I would have fallen over dead. ( I didn’t even see the phone records until last year, and I vomited for over an hour after seeing them.)
      I feel like the only times I don’t dread are June 7th- November 17th. Because she didn’t exist during those months of 2016/2017. Birthdays, Mothers Day, deaths. All marked by this affair and I can’t stand it. We tried celebrating our anniversary after DDay and she and her husband were in the same exact spot. I have an incredibly hard time with it. He’s been very dedicated to us but we lost everything. They lost their jobs (coworkers) She and her H stayed in state while we had to leave which broke me and the children (they have no idea). We lived in the PNW and had to move to the Midwest. We left behind friends, schools, our entire safety net. His new job is insufferable and takes him away so we don’t get to do counseling. He hasn’t spoken to her, zero contact, since June 8 2017. She wouldn’t stop harassing him and calling him, begging him to come back, and his brother finally called her and threatened her. Fighting afterwards was just awful. He told me he missed her, and cared about her. One fight he said she loved him more than I ever did. We had been married seven years. Known one another 15 years. But somehow this woman you’ve known through work for a year and through and affair for seven months loves you more than I ever did? I birthed your children. I keep our home and lives together. I go back to that all the time. Ive never felt such pain before, and I’ve been in a physically abusive relationship in the past. I told him I’d rather be hit over and over again than feel what I feel. And it’s true.
      It’s broken my connection with faith. She and her H are “devoted” Christians. She said, when I confronted her, that God has given her the grace to forgive herself and move on, and that she will pray for me, my anger, and my family. And all I could think was your prayers won’t help what’s happened. She’s eight years younger than me, has multiple degrees and her last job paid her over $250k. No kids. Not saying that she and her husband’s marriage will have an easy restart either, but not having to think about another’s person wanting your children does a lot to you. Especially when he didn’t say a definitive yes to her but also didn’t say no. I feel like I’m trapped in this depression stage forever. Having to start over in a new city, new therapist, has been difficult. But this our marriage. It’s never been an easy walk for us. A few months ago I finally said to myself she couldn’t handle this. She couldn’t wear my shoes. And I also have accepted the fact that they both showed one another only what they wanted one another to see/hear. You don’t create a lifetime in seven months. You just can’t. I know one day these dates won’t matter. The months will go by and be filled with new memories, I hope they do. I love my husband very much and want this to work. I just hate the constant back and forth of what ifs and triggers and crying. I wouldn’t wish any of this on my worst enemy.

      • Jenny Li

        Allison, I’m so sorry!
        Get a counselor who deals with addictions (will have insight into your husband).
        Time lessens that intense, unbearable pain.

    • Crazy2day

      Alison, I can only imagine how you must be feeling-especially since they spoke of your children. You’re obviously a strong woman. I am also a date person. My D day was December 12, 2018 so I have a long way to go. Many of the important dates and holidays from this past fall have been tarnished with what what I now know took place on those days. I feel like I’ve been dealing with all of the grief stages repeatedly and I know this is just the beginning. I can only hope that 2 years from now I’m in a better place.

      I’ve been married to who I thought was my soulmate for 19 years. Perfect looking marriage. I had no doubts that he absolutely adored me and I adored him. I noticed him getting some late night texts and that he actually was bringing his cell phone into the bed with him at night. When I checked the cell records I couldn’t believe the calls. He was calling a number repeatedly from the moment he left the house in the morning until he pulled into the driveway at night. After a lot of tracking I found out whose number it was, where she lived, and I caught them at her house when he should have been at work. It’s been a nightmare. The anxiety and emotions have been horrible. The worst part is that they have apparently known each other for years. The had an affair apparently 12 years ago. Stopped and just kept in touch. Then just madly rekindled it because she’s been through a rough spell and needed a shoulder.

      I still love my husband and can’t stop thinking of all the plans for the future we’ve made. I must sound stupid.

      What I would recommend to you (and what I plan to do myself) is to try and make some new important dates. I’m also going to start focusing on me and what I need. Focus on the present not the past. Then see what the future brings.

    • Jenny Li

      So so sad for all you have gone through.
      Don’t blame yourself, don’r bottle it up. Find a counselor or trusted friend to confide in. It takes time.

    • Sanders

      Hi All, I’m new to this site and it’s been helpful reading all your experiences and issues over the last few months. I have been with my husband for 26 years, married for 15 of those. In November 2018 my husband announced that he no longer wanted to be in our relationship, we had ‘grown apart’ which shocked me because we have never had trouble talking, laughing, getting on. I could see that as he was saying it he was convincing himself that it was true. I will admit that we had drifted a little emotionally due to silly work hours and running around after puppies/dogs. We were heading off course and I started to feel he was pulling away. I kind of knew something was going on when he couldn’t look me in the eye and in December he confirmed that he wanted to sell the house and move on. When I asked if he would be sharing with someone else he answered ‘eventually’. I wasn’t surprised due to how he was acting. Having read all about the stages of an affair, I literally witnessed every part of that. The adrenaline of the interaction with the AP, the come down when they weren’t in contact. Depression, breakdowns, the mental state of trying to cope with the lies and living a double life. Strangely, seeing all this going on right before my eyes has helped me heal fairly quickly. It’s made me understand that once on that emotional rollercoaster, he wasn’t going to be able to get off mid-way through, it had to be seen to the end. I personally experienced deep sadness and anger in the first few months, anger like I have never known! I was also able to read messages they were sending through FB, which surprisingly helped me understand their relationship. She was 27 years his junior. She had been dumped by her boyfriend so decided she was going to start a relationship with my husband. She knew he was married, she knew me, we have met several times and she was just a child really at 20/21 years old, mentally younger than her years and catching him at a vulnerable point in his life, an affair began. Don’t get me wrong, the blame is 50/50, despite what my husband has said to blame just him but as the months went I started to feel that she was loving the attention thrown at her but possible that she was starting to manipulate him to keep him interested. I believe fake illnesses were used, I read her skipping around his questions about whether she loved him. Throughout the whole period I pretty much stayed calm, showed him love, caring and compassion which completely through him off guard as part of his story to himself (and probably to her) is that I didn’t love him anymore but my actions were proving that wrong. She went from making him believe they would live together, picking out furniture also maybe have a child, even gave it a name, to then a month or so into the relationship saying she just wanted to go back to being friends, like before. So she got him hooked and ripped the rug out from under his feet. Months passed, and so much of the story which is far too long to put in words, it is now August 2019 and he has finally moved out of our home which we shared together for 25 years. I felt he didn’t want to go but felt he should because despite rarely seeing each other there was still message contact between them and still the possibility that she would consider living with him, although the last message I saw was him accusing her of seeing a boy from work, called her an unforgivable name and even admitted to going to somewhere where she said she would be and she wasn’t there, so he’s now checking up on her. Surprise, surprise, she lies!! The rot sets in because how can they trust each other when both have lied to each other so much already. Ironically, he has lied to her more than he has lied to me. Now two weeks living apart I still confirm to him that I care about him and if he needs me he just needs to call. He needs to sort his head out. I can’t even imagine how it must feel to have someone who was a major part of you giving up your entire life to be with, to then realise that they are playing games or just not committed. Surprisingly, just 10 months into this whole mess I feel strong, confident with myself and know that I will be ok and despite everything I never once doubted myself or lost my ability to still care and love for someone despite how much they were hurting me. That has given me tremendous strength and right now I have no anger towards my husband, I just feel the whole situation could have been avoided if he’d shared his thoughts with me in the first instance and not got drawn in to choosing to start an affair. He has to live with that decision, whatever happens. I stated many times that I would be able to forgive and work on our marriage, he knew where I stood but it wasn’t an option for him, it couldn’t be whilst still in the affair ‘fog’. All I can do now is look after myself and whatever our relationship becomes over time, I’m ready to deal with it. I wish I could pass on this feeling of confidence to you all that you do come out of something like this. I pray you all find the peace and happiness you truly deserve.

    • tryingtogetover

      I really like this post of Duane’s and have read it at different points in my recovery. It’s funny how each time a new line resonates with me, depending on where I am! Today it was, “Like Pavlov’s dog, I found when I was alone I would conjure up familiar anger and pain just because I was used to it. And when I would search for justifications as to why I felt this way I found it and earned my melancholy.” It’s almost like people who do self-cutting because they like to feel the pain. My husband will be away for work and rather than enjoy my time I will think back to his affair and basically emotionally self-cut with my thoughts until I feel bloody and depressed. My next goal is to get over this mental self-torture because it is pointless wallowing now. What was helpful recently though, on a painful trigger date, was talking to him out loud about it. It’s not like it changes things but hearing him apologize all over again and reassure me was nice. But I’ll look forward to the year when I no longer bring memories up, inside my head or verbally to him.

      • Sanders

        I had something similar at work just this evening. Started to remember certain things that were said before I was aware of the affair and I started to feel angry with him and sad at the same time. I was at work so had to snap out of it pretty quick, but it made me feel sick and I wanted to be nasty just to punish him. Of course I won’t because thats not who I am!

    • Leanne

      Do you have a loving and fulfilling marriage with your wife now?

    • Craig

      I am in day 1 right now. I think I’ve hit all the stages in one day. I’m sure they will cycle over and over. My wife is away with some man she met while on a business trip, under the guise of another trip. I figured it out and pieced it together right away. I called her out by phone and she admitted to it. She won’t even come back until the trip is over. I can’t even believe it. I’m stunned, shocked, hurt and even nauseated.

      The above article was excellent. Thank you for writing it.

      • Crazy2day

        Craig, it will get better but it’s going to take some time. I am almost 14 months post D day. I stopped crying every day sometime during the 4th month. I was constantly cycling through all the stages. I decided to give my husband a second chance, but even now I’m flooded with doubt when he is working out of town. What has gotten me through this? For one thing Spiritual Meditation. I’ve realized that I cannot control others. Only myself. You have to be happy with yourself. It’s going to take time.

      • Tryingtogetover

        Just sending understanding and healing vibes – it is the apocalypse but, strangely, you live through it. Let the thoughts and feelings flow and don’t fight them. Don’t let her pretend it’s all okay. Be clear with your anger. Hold your ground and set your boundaries. Mostly, take comfort in the fact that this very personal betrayal is a nearly universal hurt that millions of others have also gone through. Find support in these boards and in your life as well. We are rooting for you.

      • Craig

        It’s now day 5, I am still having trouble sleeping, yet somehow we have been talking more and more since she returned. I’m understanding it now. My wife had been unhappy for years, it turns out, as I have been distant. I work hard and do well, but have had my priorities wrong; saving for retirement was No 1. I didn’t pay attention to her and it pushed her away. I’m not blaming myself, but trying to understand. I was happy but she was not, not for a long, long time.

        Now, it seems we are healing. However, she has long since resolved to leave, and I think in separation we may be closer than ever before. I am going to let her go…..”if you love someone, set them free.” Only time will tell where this adventure called Life takes us.

    • Cinderella

      oh Craig, so sorry to hear about your horrid discovery….Day 1 is sheer torture….I am on Week 18 since Discovery Day…it feels like 18 months of hell. The initial shock is the worst…and yes, all the seven stages are there…they overlap and may not always happen in a particular order…but getting through them is paramount…reach out to friends and /or family ….reach out to solid folk you can count on….let them be your safety net…I reached out and shared my ugly discovery…I needed help because I felt alone, abandoned, terrified, bewildered….familiar and friendly voices on the phone brought a modicum of comfort….I also needed to tell others because saying it out loud helped me realize it was real, it was really happening…I did not want it to be real, but it was. 15 years together with my husband, my first marriage …..the deception and lying and disrespect from my husband is too much to bear. We immediately separated…the day I found out was the day he was not allowed to live in our home anymore…my heart was shattered into a million pieces….it still is….self-care is vital for you now….hydrate with nourishing things, no alcohol… when you can, get outside and walk walk walk in nature….try not to yell at the world, I certainly wanted to…I could write for days, but for now, take care of yourself and keep checking in here….lots of great support and info on this site! all the best… b r e a t h e……

    • Kat

      My DDay was Oct 18, 2019. It’s almost five months already since I’m in this shit and things aren’t getting any better. The OW is having their baby these days. My for 18 years husband was stupid enough to have drunk, unprotected sex with a random girl while on a business trip abroad. She is 22 y/s, I’m i my late thirties, he is 40. We don’t have children, this would be his first child and his next of kin. Every single person who knows about this situation advised me to dump him immediately and never look back. Currently I’m in Stage 4 ‘Anger or Now It’s My Turn’ and I’m not sure, if I want to move out of it. Blaming them both, cursing the kid, planning for revenge, fantasizing about me meeting a Prince Charming one day is what keeps me alive.

      • Craig

        Kat, is he still in the relationship with the OW? I think cheaters will cheat, unless there is something broken that is fixed. I’d get out, especially if he’s still with her.

        I’ve moved quickly along my stages of grief. I’ve been dating as we are divorcing, and lately I’ve been meaning to thank my wife for setting me free. I think I’ll be way happier in the end. I have lost a little faith and trust along the way, however.

    • Cinderella

      oh dear, Dear Kat……I am so sorry to hear of your situation…..Anger kept me from completely dissolving…..once I put Anger aside, I discovered how vulnerable I was….alone, afraid, scared, abandoned, bewildered….as many of us are…….the Anger was a buffer, a shield as it were, that protected me from feeling vulnerable. But I didn’t want to be consumed by Anger and started to look at what lay beneath it, and there was much vulnerability and sadness…..I am approaching the six-month mark since D-Day…it feels like six years and I have aged…I miss my husband, my friend, my partner, my everything soooo much but he made very bad decisions in our marriage, he led a secret life…..I feel your pain and wrath…..having a fantasy, for you it is Prince Charming, can actually help us feel sane and detach from the madness of the betrayal/cheating husband…..your husband has made a horrible life-changing choice… the end, no-one will be happy with what he has done… take care of yourself…..thoughts of revenge should remain thoughts, not action…..revenge never works out in the end…..make mindful decisions…..keep checking in here…..we are all here for each other…..but seriously, do take care of yourself 🙂

    • joni

      So sorry for everyone. So sorry. God bless and lift your pain and suffering. What I want to know is how everyone can hang in there for months or years hoping their prick will change and get back to some normalcy?
      8 months for me and I feel marriage counseling is not working. The only reason I am able to hang in there is because of a friend at work who has talked with me everyday for 30 or 60 minutes about how I feel. At night when I don’t sleep, 4 or 5 hours, I email her too. I don’t expect her to write back. I just want to vent and cry and scream. When Kesha in her song, Praying, screams, exactly is what I want to say. That is what I do every chance I get. How can anyone be so cruel? !!! Even the other woman.

    • Cinderella

      Hi Joni….thankyou for your well-wishes for all of us! I am so sorry for your pain….the horrid discovery of affairs/adultery is shattering to say the least. I am six months separated from my husband of 15 years. He and his latest hookup made a mockery of my marriage, she pretended to even be my friend. They met in AA. I had no idea of the their three year intimate relationship. I kicked him out. Lie upon lie is what he dished out to me for years. I read something useful, that I MATTER, as we all do, and that I AM ENOUGH….my husband has the problem with a dark secret life, not me. I worked thru Tracy Schorn’s book: Leave a Cheater/Gain a Life. It’s hard-hitting, she doesn’t candy coat nor give false hope. I caught my husband cheating five years ago…he promised to ‘get better’ and tell me everything but he lied, he just secretly found more and more girls and let me believe I was safe in our marriage . It took me a while to trust him again and he took full advantage of me, of ‘having his cake and eating it too.’ He isn’t cruel by nature, he’s vegan for God’s sake, cares about the environment etc but his cheating actions were cruel to me. I have another excellent book by Janis Abrahms Spring: “How Can I Forgive You? /The courage to forgive, the freedom not to.” There is a chapter written specifically for the cheater….I learned a LOT from the book and that particular chapter! I have heard that cheating isn’t just about the sex…there is a need to fulfill fantasies, keep secrets, fear of intimacy in the committed relationship….and then there is the baggage that we carry with us and bring into relationships…it’s a messy complicated road trying to sort through it all….make sure you take care of yourself…vitamins, try meditation, breathing exercises, talking with trusted friends….count your blessings, try not to rehash the negative in your mind….but do not deny how you are feeling…it is vital that you process your feelings…your cheater must show true remorse and want to change….if they don’t feel they need to change, they will not and you will sit screaming in a broken marriage. Right now YOU
      come first…be well…..

    • Love Is

      I have been a silent reader of this website for a few months now. I am so grateful for Linda, Doug and others sharing their experiences. You have gotten me through the darkest time of my life. Thank you and Happy New Year.

      There is nothing like cheating, is there. My partner cheated on me earlier this year with a younger woman while I was at home with our newborn. He blindsided his friends, family, his children and me. From happy and excited about the new baby and what was to come – to a complete stranger acting against everything he ever believed. And even acknowledging that he was happy before he met this woman – but could not live without these new “feelings”.

      Unfortunately, I clued onto the affair being the core of the issue a little too late. I believed depression to be the underlying issue, and I was taken along on the “values and identity shift” narrative my husband spun making me feel crazy and at fault. Plus it took a while for all the details to come to the surface. The fact it had only progressed to kissing before being brought to light definitely made it seem less sinister – but emotional affairs now in retrospect are so much more destructive. Now I have had the time and space to process it apart from him, I realise how the affair fog can consume a once rational and moral person.

      Seven months later and our marriage history has been rewritten. I am portrayed as a different person. And unfortunately my now ex-husband seems no closer to acknowledging and processing the affair. And he intends to begin a relationship with her when his medication settles and his sex drive returns.

      But the recovery process is beginning for me. Thanks to resources like yours, I have been able to step back from self blame and being caught up in his story. With counselling I am coming to learn that his consequences are his choice – not my problem. And while it is heart breaking to watch someone you love destroy themselves – you can’t make them see sense. So my focus has shifted to caring for the kids and trying to recover.

      I am sure there are many people like myself sitting on New Years Eve and trying to block memories and feelings. I am thinking of you all tonight as I sit in my own hurt and broken dreams. But it is really encouraging to know that I am not alone. And I would much prefer to be in my shoes than my ex-husbands tonight. I am no longer a victim, which is so freeing.

      Here is to 2021. To learning and growing. To establishing new and greater relationships and letting our communities support us where our partners have abandoned us.

      God bless.

    • In pain

      I don’t know if anyone will see this as this is a super old post but anyways

      so basically what we can learn from Duane’s experience is that the depression never fully goes away?
      This is so sad.

      I am about 2 month post dday. I was initially intrigued with this post because it matched so much with my experience. I also kind of had a honeymoon phase in the first month and is now going through the phase of discovering that I have suppressed a lot of anger and resentment and I need to get it out (fits perfectly with the second stage he was describing).
      Also, I’m getting this surge of depression (stronger than immediate post discovery) also similar to what it says on this post.
      And the conclusion is that it never really get away?

      If that is the case, after reading this I don’t think I can take it anymore. I’m not in a married relationship, it was just a long term (what I thought) committed relationship. Nonetheless I did want to save the (what I thought was valuable and meaningful) relationship.

      The post says “evert step of the journey is the journey” I don’t know if this is worth the journey.

      • Encouraging others through the pain

        I just wanted to reach out to you and let you know that I see you and I hear you. Please don’t get discouraged. Try to get professional help or support from a close friend or family. I hit so low at one point I nearly tried to end my life and I’m so glad I didn’t. I don’t want anyone to ever feel as low as I did. If you need someone to talk to, I’m here.

      • Was in pain

        Returning to my own comment after ultimately breaking up over cheating number 2.
        So it really wasn’t worth it after all.

    • Woundedwifeandmother

      My husband’s affair lasted 5 months and I’m now five months out from their last contact. (I don’t know what DDAY means.) It only feels like 3 months to me since it all ended 100%. The crappiest part of the whole thing is that I found out that something was up about 3 weeks into it, I was pregnant with our 6th child and I knew the other woman. I was even trying to be friends with her (before I realized around the end of the 5th month that the two of them actually had sex together.)

      I definitely went through cycles of the denial, anger, shock and grief repeatedly as I would beg my husband to stop talking to her and begged her to just go away for a while. I’m still struggling with anger and depression now and my hormones are still out of whack from giving birth 3 months ago and breastfeeding. I feel like I’m all over the place with these stages and I certainly feel numb most days. We want to save our marriage, at least I fought so hard to do so throughout the whole thing, but now I find myself at the part where I’m questioning everything’s realness.
      “Was our marriage a lie? Is love real? Are soulmates even a legit thing? Would i be better off raising these 6 kids alone? I most certainly do not want to remarry anyone else because who’s to say they wouldn’t do the same? Am I less of a person? Can I show my face around town? How can anyone knowingly sleep with someone else’s spouse?! A friend’s spouse?! While she is currently pregnant with his kid?!?!”
      All of these things hit me everyday and I just want to run away sometimes. I feel like I have noone to really talk to about how I feel without being judged.

      I just wish I could find one of these “success stories ” you hear about. Like meet or talk to someone who’s lived this, chose to work it out, and ended up better for it. I don’t remember where I was going with all this, but reading back i might be stuck in the depression habit as some of you have mentioned. I hope I survive this.

      • Karen

        Sorry to hear all the drama involved as I also have a lot of that. What I have learned is that you are responsible for you. You can’t change his mind or are responsible for how he feels. You have to learn to be responsible for your happiness. It will take time. I am three years in and I am just starting to feel regular. It was a slow process for me and I have learned to forgive myself for this. I am no longer with my husband as he is still as immature as day one of his affair and I have to move on for me and my kids. He has since gone back to the affair partner in November. Now I barely have contact anymore as I learned to keep my morals and values mine, not have them stolen or convinced otherwise by him. It has been very empowering. If your husband comes back then you want him to be there for the right reasons.

        If you focus on yourself and take time to figure out how to deal with this with grace you will eventually respect yourself and be able to show your face. It is not your fault, you do not need to feel judged, maybe try and figure out why you feel judged as a starting point and process those feelings into a new you. You have six children, focus on them and the love between you all. It is ok to have bad days, but you are entitled to good days just need to have baby steps.

        I also felt so much of the same things you have mentioned. How did I progress? With my everyday saying, “a little progress each day adds up to big results.” This has been my motto for a while and when I struggle it doesn’t matter how little that progress is, sometimes it is just about getting myself something to eat for the day or taking some deep breaths and not worrying if the kids see that. It took three years to see those big results starting to come, finally! It will come. You have this, but it does not solve itself overnight. Be patient and loving towards yourself no matter what type of day it is. Your soul will get healed, but not overnight.

    • Carol

      All those emotions and more are present in most cases. But don’t rely too much on timelines. Although we almost all go through the shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, etc. many of us will have mitigating circumstances which screw up the whole process. Like me, for instance. One year post and my H was just getting to the end of his disclosures – 15 women in all. And each disclosure sent me back to shock and awe D day. We went to a marriage weekend and my H said (in a private session with just the husbands) he had finally disclosed all his secrets. The 9 other men in his group all said “Wow, that’s great you were able to tell her and she didn’t walk out on you. I told her about this one affair, but I sure as hell am not going to go back into my past and tell her everything. She doesn’t need to know about those.” So many articles, books, seminars, etc. talk about getting over THE affair. Good luck with that. I just spent 2 days at a writer’s retreat, alone. My H told me he’d gone to a restaurant and listened to some music. I believed him. But that night, I had another of my famous PTSD nightmares, where several women are with my H, laughing at me and I’m screaming at them to get the hell out of my house. I still get them sometimes. It’s been 12 years. Sorry folks. Most of you are in for a long ride. I think of AA’s mantra – you didn’t cause it, you can’t cure it, but you can cope. If you don’t mind circling back to a stage and having a nightmare every now and then.

    • Gordon

      Cheaters deserve your hate – they have emotionally raped you and robbed you of the years spent in a false relationship

    • Johnny

      At the stage of trying to save the marriage, five months past after the D-Day ,still loyal & faithful.

      But day by day, grown weaker & more weaker. I promise her to give her the time to a year, but, 5 months past, my wife & the AP relationship grown stronger than ever.

      To Duane, you are lucky enough that she seems trying to make things work out.

      As for myself, I could not even ask for the pieces left in her to me. Am I a doormat, I think, even lower than that. The only thing that make me continue is because of my son, & because I lover so much.

      Maybe after a year, we already know the outcome. I don’t even care or feel anger about the betrayal anymore, just want to save my marriage only, but it seem, it’s a zero percent to me, since she started the affair.

      So for those, who still have chances to do it & the wife being remorseful, forget all the past & anger, & just do it, to save the marriage. All of our others feeling is definitely, not that paramount. & if I could have your chances, I definitely take it.

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