What if healing and moving on after infidelity means ending your relationship?moving on after infidelity

By Linda & Doug

There are a lot of books about affair recovery, healing and moving on after infidelity, but they all seem to be written for couples who want to stay together after an affair. What if that’s not the case and you decide that you must end your relationship, and move on?  Or maybe you have already made that decision.

Perhaps you have gotten to the point where counseling isn’t really helping or you’re sick and tired of rehashing your relationship. The damage has been done and it’s more than you can take.  Whatever the reason, you’ve decided to give up.

Or perhaps you had made the decision to leave some time ago and are having a difficult time healing, forgetting and living the life you want and deserve.

You simply want to stop thinking about the affair and your (ex) partner, but it’s difficult as they keep popping into your head way too frequently. You need them to go away – to heal – to move on.

Just as important, down the road when you meet someone new, you don’t want to carry emotional baggage and trust issues from the infidelity into the new relationship.

What’s the best way to do this?

There isn’t a simple answer to this question. You can’t force your brain to stop thinking about something when it is still processing a major event.

For a period of time, your life was deeply connected to someone else who is no longer around, so lots of things about that time are going to make you think of him/her. You can’t change that, and it’s healthy to just accept the situation and the hurt you are experiencing.

What you can change, though, is how it affects you going forward. How long are you going to let it affect your life?  Feeling really upset about your (ex) spouse’s infidelity has nothing to do with the choices you make on a daily basis going forward unless you let it.

Moving on after infidelity doesn’t mean changing your feelings, it means taking control of your behavior and beliefs in regards to those feelings.

As for counseling, it’s up to you to decide whether it’s helpful or not. But you might have success with a different counselor if this one isn’t working, or you might have more success with this one if you let the counselor know that what you’re doing now isn’t working for you.

See also  More Consequences of Infidelity

In the video below, relationship expert and broadcaster Lucy Beresford has some interesting thoughts on moving on after infidelity and whether ending the relationship is the best course.

Some Suggestions for Affair Recovery, Healing and Moving On After Infidelity

Let it all out. Be easy on yourself. Allow the grieving process.  If you feel like yelling, go find a place you can yell and just let it all out. If you want to cry, don’t hold back. The more you try to hold it back and pretend you’re not feeling anything, the more you end up thinking about it.

Let yourself feel whatever emotion your situation calls up, because you have to feel it to really be able to let go. Don’t fight it or push it away.  Fighting it means you are putting off dealing with it. You’ve lost a huge part of your life. It is okay to feel however you feel.

Then, after you’ve let yourself grieve or rage, try to dismiss the thought from your mind and focus on something that is actually relevant and important to your present life. You are on a long, hard journey towards the new self you will become without him/her. Each intrusive thought is a step away from the person you were in that relationship. Feel it, acknowledge it, and let it go.

Affair Recovery and the 7 Stages of Grief After an Affair

Get busy. Do that thing you always wanted to do but didn’t have time before because you were with your partner.  Take a class or join a health club and do something you’ve never tried before.  Maybe try to learn a foreign language. Convert your anger into energy and inspiration toward a new activity or hobby. Obsessively throwing yourself into a new project like a book, website or business helps.  The actual activity helps keep your brain occupied with something interesting and not on your situation.

Get strong.  Are you able to work out? Go running, go to the gym, take karate lessons – something physical. Physical exertion is an awesome way to work out the feelings you’re experiencing right now – and it’s good for you!

See also  How to Stop an Affair by Exposing It

Meet new people.  Not necessarily for the purpose of starting a new relationship though. Join an activity group or go to more events and just meet people who are interesting and fun. Meetup.com is good for this!  New friends, places and habits not associated with the previous partner help.

Major changes and fresh starts help. You might want to symbolically start a new chapter in your life by changing your cell phone number, your email address and discard anything else that you could that was associated with the old you.

Make new memories of the self to supplant the old memories of the self. After all, identity is primarily composed of memory, thus the sooner you can replace the memories of the previous you with memories of the new you, the faster you will reshape your identity.

Staying After Cheating: Is It the Right Thing to Do?

Give love and accept love.  Let other people love you and find ways to be loving towards other people. The time leading up to the end of a relationship is hell on your self-esteem and your sense of your own desirability as a partner. Spend time building up your other intimate relationships. Reach out to family and friends. Spend time with them doing things you enjoy together. Lend them an ear, lend them a hand, cheer them up, laugh with them, dispense hugs and compliments.

Doing this will help you to remember that you can be loved – just as you are.  And even though you might be carrying a lot of baggage, you are still someone people like to spend time with. Remember that even though one person was untrustworthy and unkind, there are plenty of others who are the opposite.

Know that the kind of love you give is love that other people want, even though one person rejected it. Spending time with the people who love you will go a long way towards losing your baggage.

Laugh about it.  This may sound silly and unimaginable, but it can work.   Laugh at this and help your mind realize that there were ups and downs, the same as anything, and in the end, it didn’t work out. By laughing at it, you transfer the power from the fear of it happening again into the vault of experience that will enable the next steps in your life.

See also  After the Affair: I am Angry

Realize that there can be a brighter future ahead.  Your relationship and what you have gone through have left you with broadened experience and increased maturity. You have the opportunity to be very careful in your future choices. This means that when you meet someone new and establish a new relationship, that person will be the sort of person that makes your ex seem like a shadow, and you will wonder how you ever settled for him/her.

Your future partner will be the sort of person who will aid you in processing and letting go of the baggage and issues you bring with you. These things won’t frighten or turn him/her off.  This person  will be instrumental in re-establishing in you the ability to trust and to live abundantly.

Transitioning to a Survivor After Your Partner’s Infidelity

Let time take its course.  All of the points mentioned above make the time it takes easier; you still need time, and a lot of it.  However, you might try to give yourself an end date for your grief.   You might come to find that the grief isn’t productive or healing. 

So pick a date a few weeks in the future and tell yourself that it’s okay to totally immerse yourself in your grief up until then, but then you have to stop. By indulging yourself, you can make it easier to nip any useless, negative or spiraling thoughts after the deadline.

This is a significant turning point for you. Rehashing the relationship was a way of hanging on to it. Now, you’re at the point of actively letting go.

You’ve got the power and the freedom to set the course of your own life again and now that you’re smarter and grounded you’re ready to move forward.

One day, you are going to get through an entire day without even thinking about what happened–and you probably won’t even realize that you didn’t think about it. 

All this said, it will be a long road to affair recovery and moving on after infidelity and you’ll probably find these thoughts recurring for quite some time. Don’t get discouraged, and be patient with yourself. You’ll get through it.

*Originally published on Oct. 13, 2011 and updated on July 27, 2021


    35 replies to "Affair Recovery – Moving On After Infidelity"

    • Roller coaster rider

      For me, this is just what I need for where I am at. It’s so cool how things come when you need them…

      • Doug

        RCR, I’m not going to lie, I thought of you while I was putting this together. Hope all is well!

    • Roller coaster rider

      All is well. I am happier than I have been in a long time. Thank you for thinking of me!

    • Atwitsend

      I’ve. Been reading here for a whole, but have never responded. I’m about a year and two months past second d-day. I’ve done all the attempts as many of you have, to get answers. I’ve been trying the backing off method lately. We have children, and weve been together 25yrs, so I’ve been giving it my all to make it work. I’ve done alot of self healing, and And that is ging well but I’m at a stand still with him. The EA started with a reconnection on FB with an old girl friend and went on for about a year. There has been no contact (that im aware of) since the last d-day To this date I’m still getting the “we were just friends” line. In the beginning I just looked at it as “the fog” But to this date I’m still getting that line, it’s like he still doesn’t see it as what it was/is. Of course I get the, I’m sorry, It will never happen again so on and so forth. But Ive got male friends..none that I’ve ever said “I love you” to, not one that I’ve ever bought a pay as you go phone to hide calls and numerous text daily and I most certainly have never used visiting family out of town as an way to visit one.
      This is my issue, if it’s been this long and he sees it no different today than then What am I still doing here? Am I fighting a loosing battle.
      Tried to give enough details to help understand, hope enough to help but not to much rambling.

    • Paula

      Good on you RCR, so pleased to see you are doing well, I imagine the sloughing off of all of the negative of the past is difficult, but very cleansing, how exciting!

    • Roller coaster rider

      I won’t say there isn’t pain and challenge, but I am beginning a new life and it is good. Thanks for your well wishes, Paula, and know I think of you often.

    • SadSuzie

      Atwitsend, my heart goes out to you. The intense frustration of getting someone to admit what happened makes me want to pull my hair out. Every example and explanation doesn’t budge him. Like what would his reaction have been if you had bought a pay to go phone to contact an old boyfriend of yours….sent him gifts and travelled to see him. It seems that no matter how many examples I gave my husband on the EA’s he had or potentially was going to start and I caught him early just doesn’t connect in his brain that this behavior is INAPPROPRIATE!! Makes me feel the same way. If I can’t get him to identify that it was a problem, what will stop him from doing it again if he truly doesn’t see it as an issue. The simple statement that he won’t do it again doesn’t convince any of us since we don’t see the CS connect with the feelings that would reflect THEY believe there behavior was wrong, not just that they won’t do it because we are upset about “something”.

    • undecided

      I’m glad you addressed this issue. There always seems like a lot of pressure to try to stick with the CS and “let it go”, or “just get over it.” Even my mother thinks I should get past it, after all, he’s said he’s sorry. But I find myself in emotional limbo – leaving/divorcing seems so overwhelming, yet staying in this half-marriage is a miserable alternative. I’ve beenm married to my husband for 18 years, and we were high school sweethearts, and we have 2 amazing kids – I don’t even know how to be without him. Yet I find myself distanced from him, and though it’s been over a year, I am no closer to forgiving him. I feel irrevocably damaged, and don’t know if I can ever open my heart to him again. I feel empty and numb inside, except when I’m hurt and angry. Is it possible that this experience can snuff out the love you had for a person? I feel really stuck – damned if I do, damned if I dont.

      • tryingtoowife

        I also had been married for 18 years when my husband started his PA, which lasted for about 6 months, and I am 18 months since DDay and somehow I still feel as you describe here. My husband and I are good together. We can still have some fun and try to do things that keep us reconnecting, but it is though, very though. Actually it is a struggle! I started to believe, after some research, that I truly was suffering some form of Post Infidelity stress disorder. My husband bitterly regrets what he has done and has been doing everything he can to help me to recover. Off course, some things had to be pulled out from him like a painful tooth, because of his belief that I would hurt less if I did not know. BUT, I feel so stuck still. SO! why can I not move on, I thought? I NEED to find a way through this to save my own sanity, with or without him. I have been reading about Cognitive behavioural therapy, I found in this site a wonderful book about ‘Post Infidelity stress disorder’, I am really trying to change my anger into something ‘useful’, face my hurt and sadness totally and constructively. Bu trust? I dont think so. I feel that it will never be good again, and the issues of pure love as I used to have?! For me, these things goes hand in hand. Something is broken inside me, and I want to fix it, but can not find the tools for it. But I am working on it. Working on forgiveness to liberate myself from anger, opening myself to love again to fight the hurt. Shame that our special relationship will never be the same, after all he proved not to have been so special for him anymore. Even the things that my H does to pleases me, still hurts me. This is a very difficult time. It is when his PA started, 2 days before one of our anniversary celebration (what a lie we were celebrating!), birthdays, Christmas, all tainted. ALL dates have some form of bad memories attached to it. I am not bitter anymore though. I am just plain sad and so sorry for all we have lost. Still, he is a wonderful person as he WAS before. If I can get through this we might still have a good life together. I have not given up yet, but it is tough, and so hard, and I am going to get better and be happy again, even if in the end we have to part in different ways. But one thing I accept, it is going to take the time that it needs to take to feel normal again. I am conscious of time, but I am not rushing it. Good luck to you.

    • Paula

      undecided, I absolutely think that it can snuff out the love. Love and respect seem to go hand in had, and I don’t have the respect I always felt for my OH, and although I have questioned whether I still love him, I actually do. But even that doesn’t save me from the same feelings you have, empty and numb, except for when I make a real effort to reconnect and then I just seem to feel pain. I do believe we are irrevocably damaged, I, like you, have only been with this man, 24 years, three kids, I want no one else, ever. All our friends think I should be over it, like your mum, and I haven’t said a word to any of them in well over eighteen months, but somehow they all know I’m not, and “judge” me for that, like there’s something wrong with me for still being so messed up, never mind that he did this to me. Because of how I feel, I have felt I have distanced close friends, so I’m not tempted to talk about it with them, and really feel quite lonely. He always says, in moments of frustration that. “I didn’t do it TO you, it happened, but I wasn’t even thinking of you, so how could I be doing do it TO you.” Exactly. Not even thinking of me. Wish I could not even think of him! Even with a couple of separations, I never “didn’t think of him.” He’s in my blood, under my skin, I still worry about him when we are apart, etc. Our super friendship allowed us to still have happy contact during periods of separation (we have two kids still at home, under driving age) You just wonder what the hell makes them tick, you thought you knew this man, and this sweet guy would never dream of hurting you, and wham! Causes the worst pain you have ever experienced. Good luck undecided. Try to focus on you and what you can do for you and your kids, it helps, because if you do have to leave/kick him out, you will be a better and stronger person, and ready to do it, I know that is my aim at present, build strength again, to cope with whatever way the coin toss lands.

      • undecided

        Thanks for your thoughts Paula. Not that I want anyone to feel the way I do, but it helps to know I’m not crazy! I’m curious about the separations you mention. We’ve never separated, but I think about it a lot. I daydream about moving out (dream, because 2 kids and a dependent parent). I actually wish I had had the courage to kick him out when this first happened, or at other extreme moments since, or even now! Did the separations help your relationship at all?

        • Paula

          undecided, my OH offered to “pack his bag” and move out when I found out. We were at a friend’s wife’s 40th birthday party, that OW was expected to be at, but didn’t turn up to. This was about a month after my OH had finished with her. OW texted me (she was my “friend”) early in the night to tell me ALL about it. I was surprisingly cool, and replied to her a few minutes later something along the lines of I know, have known for a while, I hope your mother is proud of you. (Her mother is a friend who taught our two younger children, and whose husband, the OW’s father, is a serial cheater, notorious for it around town!) I didn’t know, but I wasn’t going to let her gloat. I then carried on with my night, I was the sober driver, and when we left the party later that night, I was quite bright and chirpy, until we got about 25 minutes into the journey when I turned to my OH, with my cellphone in hand, and said, and anyway, what about this? Her message was showing. He went white, in the darkness, and said, it’s true, I’ll pack my stuff tonight. My heart dropped, I guess, even though I knew it was true, him admitting it made it “even truer!” I just turned to him and said, “I don’t think I want you to leave, unless you love her, and don’t love me, can we talk about things, I think I need to lean on you for support, I need you to help me get over YOUR affair,” He couldn’t believe I didn’t want to turf him out. I then asked him how many times he’d slept with her (at this stage, even though I knew they were friends, I didn’t really get the EA connection, I think I thought they were friends who had crossed the line, maybe once, hopefully not twice, and probably just very recently.) He answered maybe 5 or 6, I immediately thought, oh, shit, that means at least 15 or 16, so asked, “for how long?” When he told me he wasn’t sure but for a while, it was very on and off – he couldn’t really remember time lines well, and I asked him, when was the first time, and he said he actually couldn’t remember. I answered that seems very unlikely, he swore he couldn’t. Maybe he was in shock, maybe he really couldn’t remember, I just said, if you can’t remember, who else have you been doing this with over the past 22 years?!!! Later that night, he told me when he thought the first time was, and it made a lot of sense to me. He told me he remembered going over and over in his head whether she would be open to his advances, or reject him. I snorted and said, well, I could have told you she would be receptive! I knew. So, we were able to alk quite openly and lovingly EVERY day for about the first 5-6 months, it was amazing, we were so close again, he was SO appreciative of me, and of me sticking with him. He would have liked not to have to talk about it so much, as he said, it made him feel disgusted in himself, and remembering anything sexual with her made him feel a bit sick. I then plummeted after that, with a suicide attempt, shrinks, etc. Over a year in, I asked him to leave, that I couldn’t live with the pain anymore. He did so for me, even though he said he still loved me deeply. So, he moved into our farm cottage, we had about 2 months apart, but still living in very close proximity to each other, the kids didn’t even notice he was gone for a week! That broke his heart, but he then realised how absent he was from their lives, often, he does work ridiculous hours on the farm, regularly. However, once they asked where he was, and we chatted about things, they were very comfortable popping over to see him, eating at his house, or mine, etc. All was well and safe for them. We still saw each other every day, we were still each other’s best friend, and we continued to work alongside each other. He found it very hard, so did I, but I knew I had to do it, to try to change my thought patterns, as doing the same thing over and over wasn’t working for me. I eventually got to the point where I thought I’d be okay if he came home (providing he wanted to – he did) so we talked, and he came home. All was okay for a little while (but I still thought about it/talked about it all the time) and I again realised some months later that I still wasn’t any better, so we went through the whole rigmorole, all over again. This time, we had tenants in the cottage, and he moved into his maimai (a hunting lodge) at the back of the farm, with about a 2km 4WD track in and out of it, middle of winter) I told him, that I still loved him, but that he wasn’t good for me anymore, and I didn’t like myself whilst I was with him, and I needed some space to sort it all out, again, sorry. Apparently, he went down there and, “cried like a baby,” his words. He said finally realised that his actions had caused such annnihilation, and this might actually be the end. Eventually, the tenants moved out, and he moved back ino the cottage. Again, all went a bit better, and eventually, maybe about 4 months, he moved back home again. At the two year mark, I was in despair, I wasn’t ANY better, I’d by now been seen by a psychiatrist, on powerful antidepressants, that didn’t really help, but I out on most of the weight I’d worked so hard to lose, got myself off them, if anything, I was way worse than I had been at the beginning of the whole sorry saga. So, we talked, and I said, I think it’s time to call it a day, forever. So, back went his things to the cottage (we knew this wasn’t a satisfactory permanent arrangement, the closeness made things diffcult, because we still loved each other, and longed to be together when living that close.) He had coffee with OW the following day (after two years!) and went up to her house two days after that, and slept with her again. WOW! I was gobsmacked, maybe I was right to feel so insecure those two years, we talked when he came home from her place. As I said to him, you are a free agent, you can do whatever you like, but HER? What was that about, and why so fast? He said he wanted to see why she wouldn’t talk to me, what was it about her that made him eff up his whole life? And I answered, so that was what made you hop back into bed with her?! I said to him, can’t you see that doing that so quickly makes me feel like I was really nothing, I really did mean nothing to you for 24 years. He said he could understand how I felt that way, but it wasn’t true, he just “needed” to see what it was about her that had caused such chaos for him (and for me!) and that it was hideous, she really is a cold, dead fish, as he’d remembered. I said to him, well, when she took you up to bed, you could have said, no thanks, you don’t turn me on, imagine what that would have done to her ego.

          So, very, very long story, sorry, but the long and the short of it is, I don’t know that separation helped. It gave me something to DO, as I feel so helpless about my emotions most of the time, so I knew I needed to DO something about that. All I now know is that he says he definitely hasn’t been in touch with her since April (he hadn’t before that either, except when she texted him every few months, and he would reply (in front of me) to go away, please don’t contact him, etc, grrr. He says she does absolutely nothing for him (he already told me that erectile dysfunction was a huge problem with him when he was with her, he’s NEVER even looked like having that problem with me, QUITE the opposite! and I know he’s not lying, because I’ve seen texts between them about this.)

          Who knows, we are seeing a new counsellor next week, a few months of intensive therapy, and then I will definitely make my FINAL call, life’s way too short to be miserable. Problem has been in the past that I’m miserable with him, and I’m miserable without him. I feel I’m ready to be not miserable without him, if that is what the call is, but I’m hoping that this, very different approach – Passionate Marriage counsellor – may be able to help me be not miserable WITH him, as we do still love each other very much, and it seems such a gigantic waste 🙂

          • undecided

            Paula, I’m just reading your story today and it was so painful to read that he went back and slept with her again after TWO YEARS! I know what you mean about being miserable with him, miserable without him. It’s a bad choice really, which is the lesser of 2 evils? However, I couldn’t even imagine going back after that last betrayal. If I find out my husband has ANY contact with her whatsoever, it’s OVER, he’s OUTTA HERE!

            • Paula

              undecided, I hear you, but remember, I had kicked him out, permanently, I made that clear (well, I thought so at the time!) he was a free agent at that point, but it still hurts that he didn’t even stop for a breath in between, lol. My concern over the whole of the time all of this has been going on, is that I felt he had never got her out of his system, and guess what, I must have been right! He swears he has now, but, he also says he thought he had whilst we were trying to mend the relationship for those first two years, how do you ever trust a liar ever again? (My mother always told us as kids, to discourage us from fibbing, I’d rather a thief than a liar.) I just don’t understand what happened to this guy, why did it suddenly become okay to go against all he believed in, and do something that has hurt me so deeply – although I really never knew I would be THIS screwed up by it. I don’t give a damn how miserable someone feels, don’t bloody cheat, talk, I’m actually a really good listener, once you’ve got my attention!!! He says he had a meltdown, and nothing made sense to him anymore, and he got that teenage, self-destructive thing where you just take the risk even though you might die, the adrenaline rush. It is just so weird. If you met this guy, I’m sure most of you would never guess, he’s incredibly kind, with a fantastic sense of humour, and an inner core of steel, that I loved, and so did his AP, she desperately needed someone in her life like that, to balance her out, I know that, even our counsellor saw his very high emotional intelligence at our first session, and it’s not an act. Don’t get me wrong, I know he’s incredibly remorseful, he’s never kidded himself that any of this is okay, or that recovery would be easy. It has caused me to become completely insane, I don’t know who I am anymore, I used to be grounded, loving, fun, intelligent, forgiving, I don’t feel any of those things anymore. I KNOW the good guy is back, but I don’t trust myself to make that call, if that makes any sense. If I leave, I wonder if I’m cutting off my nose to spite my face, ie, “you cheated, so I left, ha-ha,” but feeling like I threw away the best thing in my life, still so confused after all this time, want to be a grown up, and make a good decision for my family, but most especially for me.

    • E

      Doug and Linda – What, if any, resources might you have to suggest when helping someone who says that they want to change? I have run into conflicting opinions on this subject – some people suggest to me that people cannot change! Some have even suggested that an affair with feelings involved will not ever end until someone initiates a divorce. I, on the other hand, am a forgiving person by nature, a believer in kindness and someone who believes that people can change if they really want to and if they themselves make the decision to do so. I have seen 1 post here that addresses this and it’s a great post, but was wondering if there were any other thoughts on this subject or resources or perhaps this could be a discussion topic sometime? Thank you!

      • Doug

        Hi E., Am I to assume that you are referring to changing a cheater? I will be happy to do some research onto the subject and come up with some resources. I agree that it would make a good discussion topic as well.

    • E

      Yes, exactly. Obviously, there are all kinds of cheaters so the answer could vary by this. I am not referring to a serial cheater here, but rather someone who always seems to be looking to outside sources for their own happiness. But then again, maybe they all have those same tendencies!? Thank you!

    • upsanddowns

      The EA happened 14 months ago. We decided to work through it and things were okay for awhile. Even though things were okay, I realized that I never had the opportunity to discuss and work through MY feelings, MY issues and MY concerns. He thinks that just because I stuck by him and we were able to smile and laugh again, everything was okay. But 14 months later, it’s NOT. I am so angry and pissed off with him. I just want distance and space. Sometimes I wonder if life would be easier if I just left him after finding out about the EA. I feel like I’ve centered my whole world around him. “If I make him happy enough, he won’t stray. If I make him laugh, he won’t get depressed. If I stand by and support whatever endeavors he wants to pursue, he won’t leave me.” But what about ME? What about what I want? What about MY needs? I’ve put myself on the back burner to save my marriage. I’ve put him before me so he won’t go anywhere and now I’m on the edge ready to fall off. I hate everything right now. I’m so angry and resentful that I’ve put myself last. I look at my husband and I see someone who is self absorbed, selfish and thinks of himself first. He’s generous with strangers, friends and clients but so selfish with his wife. I’m crying myself to sleep every night. Thanks for letting me vent.

    • Anita

      First I want to say is, if it is possible to save your marriage I say
      go for it. On the other hand, how much is to much, before you finally throw in the towel. I divorced my ex a few years ago, I do not regret it. From the time we started our relationship to the divorce was 24 years and married 20. I forgave him five different times that he cheated on me. His last affair he worked with his affair partner, he refused to move to a different job. I tried to save the marriage, for a year and a half. The first year seemed fine, but the last 6 months before our divorce was a nightmare for me. He become a man I didn’t even know. He started to undermine me with our children, he would do things to try and upset me. If I called him out on those things he would leave. It went from bad to worse, he started doing other things I can’t mention. I knew there was something else up with him, that he confessed to me 2yrs after the divorce.
      I no longer trusted him, respected him, the love I felt was buried. Then after a huge argument, I called him the cell, he
      said he was headed home with divorce papers. My words to him were” bring them on.”
      Sometimes I wonder why I waited so long. Because I am so much happier. I know that spouses can change, and stay faithful. Nothing against the spouses who are trying to correct what they did. But I will never again give a man another chance, if they cheat on me.
      I know most of you would say why didn’t I leave the 2nd time it happened. 3 of them happened before we were married and I didn’t find out until a few years later. Things were still good between us. The 4th time he kissed a woman, I thought about leaving then. The last was a full blown in love with his affair partner, but I gave that last one chance,
      and before the divorce was final, they were a couple. But they lasted only a year. The rest of this is on another post.
      I forgave both of them.
      This is the part I was building up to. Divorce brought me a whole new life. The whole reason I even followed this site, was to let others know divorce is a option, and you do not have to remain in a marriage, when your spouse cheats.
      I never have to worry again whether he is cheating or not, it is such a relief. It feels so good to be my happy self again.
      When I read your posts everyone seems to be in such deep dispair. I wouldn’t go back to that if you paid me.
      However to those such as Doug and Linda who are on the right track again with their marriage and can help save others, I think that is great, and I commend you’s

    • sharkgirl

      not sure if this is the right place to post, I’ve not posted on here for awhile as it started to make me think that i’d given up too early. My husband was I believe in the affair fog and his all didn’t seem to be there in moving on and he just couldn’t stop contact with her. Divorce proceedings have started only I can’t help but feel now he may be realising so do we try again, do I say something because I don’t think he would say anything because he’s stubborn but I don’t want to appear needy or for him to think it’ll be easy or all is forgotten. I know it will take a lot of work but we have young kids and I so still love but am I been a fool what love or respect did he show for me, it was all planned and secretive because he knew what he was doing to me, to us. I know he told her all this heavy stuff but truly believe it’s not real, but now I know can I get over it. Why when he’s has had his chances hasn’t he left me for her or is it because he really thinks because of the age gap it wouldn’t work despite their ‘feelings’.
      I feel he needs to come back to me rather than me go to him, but i don’t want us to miss a chance because of stubbornness, yet i also truly don’t know if he is with her or not. Do i just leave it to fate, if we are meant to be we will, maybe we actually need this break.
      Just really need some advice from those who’ve been there.

    • Anita

      Hi! I just posted on the site of once a cheater always a cheater.
      In that post, you see I went through a process, before I was finally ready to let go off the marriage and divorce.
      Only you can make that choice for yourself. Its a process.
      When I signed the divorce papers, I was ready to move on with my own life. I have no regrets.
      You will know when ready to divorce. If your having doubts
      maybe your not done with your marriage.
      I wouldn’t let ego stand in the way of having a talk with your huband. At least it will be out on the table, and you will have your answer.

    • Anita

      When I did sign the divorce papers, yes the affair was a big part of it. But it went deeper than that, I wanted away from him. I moved to another state so I wouldn’t go back into that cycle again, of taking him back. I stayed away from him. The first couple of weeks were the worst. I had to break that emotional attachment. When I finally got moved , I vowed to myself not to think of him as a husband anymore, the lovemaking ect… it was hardest at night because I was attached, but I forced myself not to do that. Eventually that went away. I was in the grieving process then. There are different stages you will go throught. I got a book on divorce, each time I passed a different stage I knew it and it felt good,
      sometimes I would relapse, but I kept going. Getting through the first year was a victory for me. My second year brought alot of changes I was ready to be involved with the world again.
      I did things I wanted to do but couldn’t when I was married.
      I did that for awhile, but then my life began to settle down into a comfortable content lifestyle. Thats the part you know you survived, is when you feel content and happy again.
      As I have mentioned before, when I stumbled across this site,
      I see so much pain in the posts, but everyone will have their own journey. I know what I would do in those situtations, because I have lived through it. But everyone else has the right to their own choice. Just as I did. Wish you the Best!

    • Anita

      Doug and Linda I want to thank you for this sight, when I first saw it, I thought I could be helpful to others. Believe it or not it has actually helped me even though I have been divorced for a few years. It has helped me realize, that everyone here has to do their own journey to take,and they need to make their own choices for themselves, whatever that maybe. Also its time for me to get back to my own life and live. Thanks again,
      I wish you both the very best and to all the others.

    • InTrouble

      Anita – You give good advice, and I bet you’ve been a big help to a lot of people. I’m glad it sounds like your life is on a good track. Good luck.

    • sharkgirl

      We have e-mailed but I’m not sure he’s learnt anything from this yet or truly out of the affair fog yet. When I’ve mentioned he has to stop all contact with her as of now not heard anything else off him, spent most of the day thinking is he with her. How do you know what to do, will you ever truly be a 100% I don’t want to go through this again but if there is a chance I owe it to me and more so my kids. I guess fear plays a big part what’s out there for me, him been with her and it working and my kids having a life that I’m not part of. How much should he be doing in this fight when he was the one who fucked it all up, yes I hold my part in our marriage but nothing I did or didn’t do gave him the right to do that. It’s not even the affair so much now as the lies.

    • Feeling better, thanks

      This is exactly what I need to read right now having been dumped just over a week ago by my ex partly because they were having an emotional affair with a mutual good friend of ours. I’ve written out the section below and stuck it close to my bed to remind me of the person I next deserve to be with. These words help to empower me again as I have lost much self-esteem through the way in which my ex moved on and away from me:

      “Your future partner will be the sort of person who will aid you in processing and letting go of the baggage and issues you bring with you. These things won’t frighten or turn him off. This person will be instrumental in re-establishing in you the ability to trust and to live abundantly.”

    • Livingforme

      Thank you for posting this! I am Working on moving on, but experiencing all that you said. It is comforting to know that both the grief and anger are normal. I really like the idea about putting a date to end it. Our 37th anniversary is 8/19. It seems like a good date to just let it go!

    • Ruthy

      In a very tricky situation. Found out my husband a school principal was having an EM with one of his assistant principals in Dec 2020. It had been going on for 6 months. She is 40.and 16 years my junior, stunningly beautiful a mother of 2 and in a longterm relationship. Although they hadn’t slept together there had been lots of physical contact and discussions about building a life together. The dilemma is I also work at the same small school. He finished the relationship with in 24 hours of my confrontation. I found Watsapp messages with a ridiculous number of kisses. She had never apologised, they have to work closely together. Now they don’t hold hands under the desk. Clearly my working life is very difficult. HR are aware and she refuses mediation. Anyone else experienced anything like this.

    • Livingforme

      Ruthy,. I feel you! My situation is similar in that my husband was cheating both EA & PA with his Dental Assistant. He says that it is over but he works side-by-side with her, day after day. Their affair was 4+ years. There is no way I can ever restore trust with this work situation. He says she is a great assistant and he can not and will not get rid of her…. period. While sexual harassment could be an issue, his unwillingness to even try was a deal breaker for me. At the end of the day, you have to decide what works for you. and what you are willing to live with.

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