After the betrayal of his emotional affair I had questions running through my brain…Was he planning to leave me? And the question that always haunts me… “Why did he stay?”

after the emotional affairBy Linda

“There were never any promises made on my end or hers. She pushed for me to leave and I think that she probably had confidence that I would at some point.”

That was Doug’s response last week when he replied to a question from a reader about if he had promised Tanya that he would leave his marriage for her.  And even though we have discussed this subject together many times before, seeing it in print was a major affair trigger that sent me back to a dark place.

I do not want the person who asked the question to feel bad about this, as it is a legitimate question.  And as I mentioned, it is not really new information to me, however it provides an example of why affair recovery takes so long and is so difficult…and triggers can be hell.

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There are many aspects from the betrayal of his emotional affair that I have dealt with and accepted because they are no longer triggers for me.  I am able to push them aside and move on with my day.  At times though, the thought of Doug possibly leaving at one point can still be very raw in my mind.  

See also  Recent Changes To The Site

It has been very difficult to process and fully accept.  It can stir up a tremendous amount of pain when I think about it.  However, bringing it to the surface allows Doug and I to address it and allows me to feel the pain, which I believe is a healthy thing. I hope that eventually the pain will weaken and go away.

Many thoughts ran through my mind when I read those words and even though Doug was blindsided by my reaction to his two sentences, obviously it is something that really still hurts me.

My first reaction was questioning him as to why she was so confident that he would leave.  What did he imply or tell her that would allow her to be so confident?  When was he planning on leaving?  What were his plans if and when he did leave? And the question that always haunts me… “Why did he stay?”

Dave Carder on Why Men Stay After an Affair

I think deep down I know the answer and I believe that is why I have so much pain with this trigger.  I have not been able to accept that initially he decided to stay because of our children and finances.  I needed to know that he came back because he realized he loved me and that he didn’t love her.  However he would be lying if he said that and that is what hurts more than anything.

You know I have this image in my mind that I play over and over again:  Doug leaving to be with her and then he realizes how much he loves me and how unhappy he was with her.  He comes running home and begs forgiveness and we live happily ever after. 

See also  Welcome to Emotional Affair Journey!

Things really didn’t pan out that way though.  Instead, I begged him not to leave.  I told him I was sorry for everything I had done in the past – and he stayed.  Not the best way to save a marriage and maintain your self-esteem after an affair.

I know from experience and everything I have read that I need to let it go.  I know that I cannot change how he felt at the time and his motivation for staying. I need to look at why he is here now.  I know that he loves me more than anything in the world and he looks back at that time of his emotional affair with disbelief that he could have felt that way about me and our marriage.

I know that if he could, he would do anything to take that period of time back – but he can’t and the scars are still there.  The insecurities of why he didn’t want me, thinking there was something wrong with me, etc. come flooding back and it hurts so much and I want them to go away.

Why Save the Marriage? Why Not Just Be with the Other Person?

I don’t want to feel this way anymore and I hate that every once in a while these emotions come flooding back.  Occasionally these feelings that are buried so deep within me and have been dormant for so long suddenly erupt and I can’t stop them and it feels like I am reliving the emotional affair all over again.

I wonder is that’s how we are meant to handle a trauma.  Is it okay to feel the pain every once in awhile to remind us of how far we have come and how much stronger we are than we were before?  Would it be healthy to forget it completely?

See also  Cheating Spouse Gets Dumped On

It is a part of me, just like every other experience in my life, and now it does define a part of who I am.  I know that I will never be the same person again, but in many ways I am smarter and more in touch with myself than I have ever been.

I know that many of you who have just begun your journey might be discouraged by my post, but take it as a learning experience.  Learn that it takes time – lots of time, and that there will be setbacks, memories and an occasional surge of emotions along the way.  Know that these setbacks are okay and that they are all just part of the healing and affair recovery process.  Use them as a way to learn more about yourself and your relationship.

Additional Resources

Interview with Peggy Vaughan – Washington Post article dealing with numerous questions, including what prompts a cheater to leave the marriage and what keeps them in the marriage.  Peggy Vaughan is the author of several books on infidelity and relationships.

“Why Do Men Stay in a Marriage After an Affair? I’ll Tell You” – Article by Katie Lersch 



    67 replies to "After the Emotional Affair – The Thought of Him Leaving Still Causes Pain"

    • InTrouble

      I wonder if the question of leaving vs. staying is sort of jumping the gun in an EA. It seems to me that the question, “Do we move it on to a PA?” precedes it.

    • Alecia

      Wow. You said this so well. This still happens to me occasionally. A couple things we’ve learned through the recovery process…it ultimately doesn’t matter “why” your spouse decides to stay. Yes, it hurts that they didn’t necessarily stay because they decided they loved you more. But they are in a fog. They don’t know what they are doing or feeling. And if we are being honest about affairs and how they work, what they felt at the time for the OP wasn’t based on reality but fantasy. I would also have times where thoughts/conversations would hit me all over again and I would come to new realizations or be handed new pieces of information that put the whole story into better perspective. Someone once told me that this happens because we can’t handle all of the information at once. Whether it’s God protecting our hearts, or our brains just piecing things together and coming up with new questions little by little, either way we are better able to handle all of the information when it comes a little at a time rather than being assaulted with all of it at once.

      • Doug

        Thanks Alecia…good stuff. We actually will have a bit of a follow up post on Monday touching on much of what you mention. It will include a short audio from Dave Carder who also says that it doesn’t really matter why they stay at first.

        • Paula


          I agree, the staying for financial/children reasons is tough. In my case, that didn’t really happen, he stayed because he realised she was too high maintenance for him, and cold, and unloving, etc, and then he realised I was still the same person who he’d always loved, just got a little lost there for a bit, both of us! The tough part now is, I am mostly staying for financial/children reasons, and I still love him with all my heart, but I’m very, very hurt, and struggle with the pain, I have been fairly honest about that with him, even though it does hurt, it hurts both of us, and I’m sick of hurting him, I can stop that by leaving, it won’t stop my pain, but I can put an end to his. We are still working on it, but there is now a deadline, as this is nearly two and a half years, and it’s too long to be this wounded.

          • blueskyabove


            I recently received the following email from an inspirational site that I frequent occassionally. Maybe these words will help you see your current situation (i.e., your struggle) differently.

            “…that it is okay to be at a place of struggle. Struggle is
            just another word for growth.
            Even the most evolved beings find themselves in a place
            of struggle now and then. In fact, struggle is a sure sign
            to them that they are expanding; it is their indication of
            real and important progress.
            The only one who doesn’t struggle is the one who
            doesn’t grow. So if you are struggling right now, see it as
            a terrific sign — and celebrate your struggle.”

            I realize how difficult it may be to see this whole ordeal as a gift. Maybe that is too big of a leap for many right now, but taking a break from self-punishment is vital to one’s well-being and sometimes we need to be reminded that we are worthy human beings. We all seem to be on the same journey-just at different positions on the path.

            4+ years post DDay

            • Paula

              Thanks so much blueskyabove, I really appreciate that, I guess I just wish there was less struggle, and I could see more growth, as I am so disappointed in myself, I was sure I was going to be okay, as I am one of the lucky ones, my OH came to the conclusion he wanted me, not her well before I ever even found out, and I saw that as a huge positive. I just still feel so broken

            • Anita

              I agree growth is good for everybody, and we should follow God’s for the path of our lives. I beleive if God gives you the grace to stay in a marriage by all means do it.
              But he also gave me a way out. Matthew 19:9. Matthew 5:32,
              This is Biblical.
              My spouse did not remain faithful to me, I was tired of trying to keep him faithful. There was more to my life than having a spouse that didn’t forsake all others. I decided it was more important to me to remain faithful to myself, then let him continue to treat me that way.
              I continue to grow and change because I love God. Not because of a marriage or divorce. My journey with God is just that, because I love him. My walk with God is about my life and following the path he gives me.
              Did you know God divorced Israel, (Jeremiah 3:8) but in(Hosea 2:15) the Lord desrcibes the “door of hope” available if His people turn back to him.

    • RecoveringMommy

      Linda, I could not have said this better myself. You have hit the nail on the head. I can tell you from my experience that there isn’t a “better” reason for staying. My H’s reason for staying is that he realized he loved me and didn’t want to live the rest of his life without me. The fact that at some point he felt he fell out of love with me and in love with another woman still hurts like hell, even if what he was feeling was based on fantasy.

      And Alecia, I agree with you on finding out tid bits of info at a time. My personal belief is that it was all God at work. He promises to never give us more than we can handle. There is NO WAY I could have handled an information overload at first. And even now, over a year and a half post D-day, I still have “light bulb” moments where I think of something and it makes sense or helps fill in a gap.

    • Atwitsend

      Thank you for your words, but I have to say that Doug being willing to talk about his EA and you being able to discuss things with him when the triggers happen has to be such a blessing. My H will only talk about his EA when I bring it up and gets on the defensive or shuts down, because of this I’m not seeing the healing process moving forward it has been 16 months since the second d-day. He says just wants to put it behind us and move forward and that may be what he wants/needs but Im starting to feel that my marriage is over. We are physically close (but that was never our peoblem) but other parts of our marriage are dormant, we do things as a fmly and enjoy eachothers company but to discuss feeling or anything outside the what did you do today, finances or the kids that’s where or discussions stop, its the elephant that’s always in the room….

      • ingoodtimesandbad

        This message was just what I needed today. I’m almost 2yrs out from finding out about affair #2 and about 18 months since he came back home after I told him he couldn’t have her and me both. He initially came back only for the kids and financial reasons. It does hurt that it wasn’t because he knew he made a big mistake but I had to realize that he was still in a fog. He still planned on moving to Alaska when he first came home. But that day came and went that he was supposed to leave. Little by little, we are growing closer but I feel it is only on the surface. He still refuses to talk about the affair or even our relationship. “Your pushing” is the response I get when ever I bring up the subject. Part of me feels that if I don’t keep on pushing, we’ll end up like before because we weren’t talking. Another part feels that I should just stop trying so hard. He should be the one trying to fix this!!! If I do let go, will he ever realize what I need from him? Will he just bury it all and not deal with it at all, which will bring me to resent him? He thinks that I’m trying to control everything and if I don’t get my way than I’m mad. Part of that is true. But what I want is a better marriage for both of us and I can’t do it myself. He needs to open up.
        So since so many of us are in the same boat, it seems our CS can’t handle the truth right now themselves. They are trying to be more involved with small talk, kids, finances. It’s not the total openess that we want and need but I got to have faith that God is still working on them as well as us! This isn’t going to get fixed overnight. Two years does seem like a long time and we should be closer than we are but at least he is still here. One day at a time. I’m reading a book called Whale Done. What I’ve learned is that we have to celebrate the little successes. Reward the progress. Look for good, not the bad. You will always find the bad when you look hard enough. Their attitudes will change when ours change. We remind them of their failures and they just want to run away and hide from the pain they caused. It would be easier to run away than to work through the pain they see us in. So work on ourselves so we don’t feel that pain. Good luck to us all. May God help us see that there is still good in our CS that we have to give them time to heal also. Be strong! Be positive! Easier said then done some days. Take time away for yourselves. We are all here to support each other when our CS can’t be there for us. Don’t give up.

    • Notoverit

      I wasn’t ever confronted with the leave vs. stay question. I don’t think he ever even considered it. I might be in a unique situation. He said he didn’t want her, it was the act of doing the sneaking and hiding that was thrilling to him. I get confirmation of that because when I found out he immediately stopped talking to her and never tried to make contact with her again. Of course that infuriated the OW and she kept trying “Why won’t you speak to me or even look at me?” (They worked together and he avoided her like the plague). He now tells the therapist he doesn’t know who that person was that went around texting and talking on the phone in the wee hours of the morning. It seems strange to him, as well as to me. And yes, I do have triggers but they are getting less and less as time passes. I am probably about 19 days from my first anniversary of D-day. I’m not looking forward to it but I will get through it. I don’t know why he chose to stay or if was ever an issue.

      • ifeelsodumb

        It’s the same with me…I so clearly remember D-Day @2:30 in the morning, he FINALLY confesses after hours of lying…he was texting his cousin, etc…anyway, my very first question as I sat there crying was “Do you love her”? He sat back, like he was shocked and said, “NO”!! And I didn’t really remember that until a few weeks ago…so much goes through your mind that you have to process that you DO forget some things!
        Today I’m feeling more at peace, but the whole thing about this crap…and yep, that’s the word I would use…is that tomorrow, I can have triggers all over the place and the peace can be gone in a heartbeat!
        We found out Tuesday that his company is wanting him to travel more, including some over night stays…I’ve already warned him….this is going to set off triggers for me so be ready!
        Some days I want to scream…”Let me off this roller coaster”, but unfortunately, that’s not going to happen…this is with me for life…and that in itself is something new to deal with..I’m not ever going back to the old ME…and I miss her!!! :'(

    • Norwegian woman

      Atwitsend. You took the words right out of my mouth… Exept the physical part. Before this, he was all over me all the time. After a period of passion after discovery he isn’t so eager anymore. I can not find out if it is that sex with me after his affairs is dull, or if it is him knowing that the whole truth can come out any time( i think i only know bits of it even though he says he has told me everything.) i often believe it is the first option….

    • InTrouble

      Notoverit — Probably not unique. as the CS I have never wanted to leave my H for OM. Not for a second. And OM did not leave his wife for me. There are all kinds of affairs I guess.

      • ifeelsodumb

        Can I ask if you and the OM saw each other? Or was it more a email, texting type of EA? I think that makes a HUGE difference! My H’s EA was all long distance, so I think that made it easier for him to break things off and have no contact.

    • Atwitsend

      My H said at some point he and the OW discussed that it could never become physical ( neither could go that far as to hurt their spouse).Right!! There was no problem with telling another person (other than their own spouse) “I Love You” ” I miss You” I’m not sure about your friendship with the OM but i just am having issues with my H telling another person, things he should have been saying to me. Was your “friendship” with the OM that close? Was your husband ok with you having that type “friendship”?
      I’m wondering if this goes back to an earlier post about these type friendships helping with your marriage. Not sure of the title of that post.

    • Atwitsend

      I think that the whole truth coming out and not being sure of how I will respond is the reason he will not discuss the EA. I have tried to tell him that discussing it helps me to heal ( but still nothin). After some talk and trying to help him understand what it is I need he says, “I might surprise you, I might bring it up next time” NOT….. I am In aww of the BS that are examples of a work in progress, my concern is it takes two for a progression.

    • Alone

      Hi Atwitsend,

      Yes, I am back. Feeling much better after a couple of days of not reading. Thanks to you and Ifeelsodumb and others for their sweet posts.

      Anyway, I find your post about the affair not becoming physical interesting. Actually, myself and the OM had the exact same conversation. We could justify an emotional affair by not acting on physical desires. We felt that to cross the physical line would cause too much hurt for our spouses. Actually, having been through this now, I think the emotional affair is much, much worse than a physical affair.

      Ifeelsodumb – I agree with you. I think affairs that are on-line are much easier to move past. More of a fantasy world versus seeing the affair partner on a very regular basis. Again, just the way I see it.

      And about this post from Linda. As I posted last week from the cheater’s perspective… we probably have different motivations for staying with our spouse. But the point is, we did stay and chose YOU. And we want to work on our marriage.

      Hope you each have a good day.

    • Atwitsend

      so glad to see you back. I thank you for the information that you have been so free to give. The info you posted with examples of text was such an eye opener. It helped clear some question up that my H refuses to answer. I know that he hasn’t told me everything, but telling me himself can’t hurt me worse than the answer that my mind fills in the blanks with.
      I appreciate your openness.

    • workingthruit

      Linda, I can relate to your post (as usual)- I want a romantic reason for staying versus being afraid to leave me, financial I earn twice what he does, etc. I too begged him to stay, apologize for all the wrong I did in the marriage and for months he waivered in wanting to be married (Mid life crisis) and I still hung on. I have come to realize that I was exhibiting “codepency” behaviors. I was abandoned by my mother at 18 and am going through this almost 18 years after that. My knight in shining armor, was my husband. Ironic, isn’t it? I dealt with my mother through adjusting to her moods and allowing her behavior to affect how I felt or what I did. My husbands EA put me back in that role again. I think I always was the one who took charge of handling issues as he could not deal with problems well. So in some ways, I’ve always had a codependancy. However I hit rock bottom over the past 8 months when I found out.

      I now have a renewed strength now that I’ve identified the codependency factor and I’m stopping my behaviors and stepping back (so he can step up for once). Funny, in two days it’s already made a difference (he keeps coming to me now to talk, etc) and I feel more empowered. I’m letting go of the desire to control the situation and just letting life happen. Guess what, if he’s stupid enough to leave or mess up again- I’m going to be okay.

      I recommend “Codependent No More” by Melody Beattie

      • Linda

        workingthruit I have read the book as well as many others on that subject. I learned a lot about myself and my behaviors, however it is difficult to step back and let someone take over. For I while I felt I had lost myself in the process. Now I am realizing that I have so much more to offer than always fixing and taking care of everyone and everything. Linda

        • Workingthruit

          Linda, perhaps the betrayed go into codependent mode as a survival tactic, we feel abandoned, we latch in tight, we initially are the only ones really into saving the marriage. It really makes the playing field unfair. I’m now striving to balance the scale or I’m ready to move on. 🙂

    • Atwitsend

      Ok workingthruit,
      Got to ask….help me out with the stopping behaviors ( like?) and stepping back. Sounds like you are getting the response I’m looking for. Him talking!!!!!!!

      • Workingthruit

        I’ve stopped being an advice giver. I love but love with distance. I stopped working sooo hard to connect and make sure he and “we” are ok. I’m not going to obsessively check his emails, phone or ask him questions about “how things are going at work with OW”. Last night I told him I’m not goingto be the crazy woman I’ve been in these ways and over doing it with affection and care. If he makes a bad choice it’s my last straw and I’d appreciate him telling me if something happens where marriage boundary line is crossed with ow or anything for that matter. I’m going to be ok no matter what even if it means we are not together. I’ve also lost 75 pounds in 10 months, so I feel great and it gives me something positive for me to focus on. I’ve stopped obsessing if he seems moody (mid life crisis), I can’t let him dictate how I feel. I care about him and am supportive but I’m not his mom. I’m a strong woman with needs. If he doesn’t step up and do more to care about my needs as I do his, I’m not going to settle. I used to settle but he took advantage of that and had EA. I need to let him step up more with dealing with problems and not rescue him, I held back his growth, but no longer!

        • Lori

          WOW, well said. I’ve also stepped back, and made that decision to do so consciously several months ago. I’ve had mixed results and am constantly disappointed that he’s not doing more, not following through on his commitments. But I refuse to be the one to fix this. It’s his screw-up and his responsibility to make it better, so the balls in his court and I’ve told him so. I wish I had more positive action from him, but he is trying in little ways. I agree in that I will never ever forget this and have serious doubts that I can ever forgive. The issue I stuggle with now is how do I move on? I’m really stuck here.

    • Notoverit

      Taking care of everyone else’s problems — sounds very familiar. I have had to step back and bite my cheek to keep from offering advice. My husband seems confused about my behavior. He was so used to me taking care of everything. I still do things but not as much. I ask my husband what do you want to do with this or I say hey, you take care of it. Our checkbook has been in a mess since (LOL) but he is now appreciating how much I used to do. My therapist says okay for now but not to continue to heap things on him. She said we need to have a balance of responsibilities. If he has a problem now, he asks and communicates what he thinks. It’s a small step but it is working.

    • Alone

      Hi Paula,

      I was just reading your post. You said that you don’t want to hurt your husband, but I think you leaving would hurt him a lot. And it would hurt you too. If you leave, both of you will still be hurting. I don’t think the pain will stop for either of you.

      As a cheater, I don’t know what it’s like to be betrayed in this manner, and I don’t know how to help you forgive him, but I think if you can just let it go, it sounds like you would be able to reconnect with him and move on.

      It sounds like you have A LOT of hurt, but maybe if you can focus on the fact that he chose YOU, then it can help you forgive him. As a woman, I can imagine that is a lot easier said than done.

      • tryingtoowife

        Your words feels so good to me. I have a great friend, who knows about some of my struggle in staying with my husband, because the hurt I feel for his betrayal is so consuming, and I dont seem to be able to get through it. My friend uses a lot of tough love on me too. But, I heard so many times, that if I can not move on, I should leave, so we both can be happy again, and not live in misery. We don’t leave in misery all the time, as we are still great friends, and we both are still working on building all the good feelings that one day we had in our relationship, and we still do so much together, as a family and as a couple. But, something is broken inside me, and I don’t know how to fix it. I have a great H, who truly regrets and is remorseful for what he did, but the things I know (the details) wont leave me alone and this is like a huge barrier between us! I became a very angry person, as he has never seen in our time together, but I learned to change it into something more useful. But I was also trying so hard to heal and was so exhausted that I asked him, if we can just let it be for a while, I don’t forget the A, but he and I need rest too, and I just want try living ‘normal’ life for a while without thinking so much about working on it. We have had some rest of the pain, but I know that is there just waiting to twist my insides again with its full strength! But it is OK, I am not hiding from it, I am just gathering strength to face it again! :-))
        What you wrote here, is what I believe, that we we are not going to be better off if we are separated, but I sometimes believe also that I should not stay together if we are still in so much in pain! Although you are CS, your comments has helped me to see my H side too. It took me a long time to accept that he hurts too, because I could only see that he had a choice, I did not. Your comments shows me how people sometimes just do things that they might regret, even something as serious as a Affair, which hurts everyone involved, without even noticing it evolving and happening, and you just getting consumed by it, until is all this mess we know of. I am trying to learn to feel more compassion towards my husband, he is a great guy! Thanks for your words. I think that If I am the only woman he wants (now) I have to open my heart for him a bit more, because I am the one he chose. wishing you all the best on your recovery too.

    • Alone


      One more thing. I just finished reading Torn Asunder by Dave Carder. Not sure if you have read it or not. One thing that really struck me from the stand point of the cheater, is that the BS has to get good and angry in order for real healing to take place. I felt like this was really emphasized in the book. This actually helped me, because my husband was VERY angry at me for several months. And I mean extreme anger (no physical violence, just anger). At that time, I thought we would never be able to move one. But after reading this book, I know that was something he had to experience. It wouldn’t be healthy if he just buried the anger and went on. This also helped me understand why he wasn’t “chasing after me” following D-Day. I actually thanked him last night for getting good and mad at me. Weird right?

      Anyway, my point is that maybe you didn’t have a chance to release your anger. So maybe that is why it’s more difficult for you to move on.

      I know, as a woman that if I experienced this I would just want to bury it, go on, forgive. I know myself, and this would be my reaction if my H had cheated. I would have done everything in my power to try to keep him. I think this is a natural instinct by women, to nurture and forgive. We don’t get angry like that… So anyway, it was good to learn that my H’s anger was actually good for our healing process.

      OK, maybe a little off topic. Just another thought that I had. Thanks everyone!

      • Paula

        Thanks Alone, I agree with what you said, on an intellectual level, I have been desperately trying to “move on” – I KNOW I need to, but I just haven’t found the path yet. Don’t worry, I’ve been “good and mad” – at both of them, although I can’t express that to her. The double betrayal is doubly painful, and don’t worry, in the first six months or so, I showed it to him, a couple of in-your-face screaming, sobbing sessions, I slapped him bloody hard during one of these (not that I’m proud of that) etc, etc, but that anger does dissipate, thankfully. (M OH said to me after the slapping session, I don’t mind, do what you need to to get your anger out, as many times as you need to, I deserve it, he understood, and was so bloody amazing!) That happened after I found out we had an STI.

        The counsellor said to me, you’re really angry with yourself, aren’t you, and my eyes filled with tears, dammit, and I answered, that’s the crux of it, yes. In simple terms, I knew better than to trust a man (from my previous life experience) but I trusted him anyway (too much, I think now, but didn’t then, he’s always had friendships with women that other people didn’t really understand, and many stated they were envious of us and our happy and fully trusting partnership) pretty damn successfully for over two decades, and I know that sounds bitter, but I guess I must be becoming so, a little, and that’s what I have been desperately trying to avoid becoming. I don’t think my OH understood that I was angry at myself until then. I’m bloody sick of feeling so damn sorry for myself, it’s pretty pathetic, and I try to make positive choices, it isn’t my modus operandi, self-pity, and I don’t really understand why I can’t seem to move on, or why I feel this way, that’s why we have sought more help. I really appreciate your comments, as I read what I post here, and feel like such a loser sometimes, with the pain that gets dumped here. Thankfully, no one else gets to see me open myself up and expose all of this ugliness any more! Thank goodness I have this place to vent, although I realise that many here probably think I am quite nuts!! I do when I re-read, but it does help to “get it out” in a “safe” environment, thanks everyone

    • Anita

      Reading these posts brought back those same memories. I believe when an affair hits the marriage, a new painful journey begins for the betrayed spouse. I also in the beginning wanted to save my own past marriage. But in that journey I realized I no longer wanted to try and KEEP him faithful to me. That should have been there from the beginning. I wanted to be who I was, and if he left, so be it. Forgiveness should be given no matter what happens. Forgiving also can mean yes I forgive but, now I want to go on with my own life, and be free from all the drama. Divorce does hurt in the BEGINNING, but as you progress throught the stages, healing also occurs. Divorce got me off that rollercoaster. Into a much happier, PEACEFUL,
      CONTENT, life.
      As I have mentioned before it was my daughter that helped me put it together, by saying “why do you let dad treat you that way.” was my hugh wake up call. I wouldn’t expect my own children to stay in a relationship where their spouse was causing that much pain for them. Thats when I realized I need not be treated that way either. My ex was not that much of a prize where I had to stay and be treated like that.
      I have peace inside now.

    • Anita

      When I first got divorced, I went to stay a couple of weeks with my brother and his wife until I got my own place. I got to see what a healthy marriage exsisted of, where no infidelity has taken place. Yes they deal with everyday problems just like everyone one else. But neither of them have pain from infidelity, they trust and respect each other. They both know not to cross the line and bring another person into their marriage. Neither of them put themselves into a position where infidelity can occur. Both of them say they have no desire to cheat. They both laughed and said when we find the time to cheat and what for.
      They were so supportive of me divorcing, telling me that my ex had no right to treat me that way. Yes forgive him but go on with your own life forget about him.
      I know what I did to get off that painful rollercoaster, and I do not regret it.
      But I am interested to follow this site, to see to those of you who stay married if that pain ever goes away and you feel like you can be yourself again with out worrying if your spouse will
      do that again, or leave.
      To me it was more important to stay faithful to myself, and let him leave. But forgive them of course!

    • Anita

      I meant to put “when would we find time to cheat, and what for”

    • RecoveringMommy

      I’m going to post a link to a sermon series from a local church. The basis of the sermon is the biblical role of the “wife.” FYI, there’s also a sermon for the biblical role of the “husband.” I don’t mean to offend anyone that is not a spiritual person, but these teachings and others like it has been crucial for me and my H in over coming his EA. Some of what it says is hard to hear, especially as the BS. But take the affair out of the picture and compare it to how YOU were interacting with your H pre-EA. I hope y’all get something out of this…

      • Anita

        I understand that in marriage spouses should treat each other well. But if a marriage is hitting bumps along the road, they should get help, not affairs. In my case I was very busy, I never intended for him to look else where for attention, All he had so say was I’m needing some attention, I would have gladly gave him more responsibities, so he could have had more of my time. The Road goes both ways. Yes as Christ is to the church our husbands should be to us. But Jesus has never betrayed us. A Proverbs 31 10-31 I was trying to be that woman. But I messed up, and it was not on purpose. My exhusband
        knew full well what adultery was, and to continue that behavior
        is where Matthew 5:32 and Matthew 19:9 and there other ones if you want to look them up. God himself even divorced, read the above post, to Blueskys. But I guess we all have messed up.
        I chose the divorce option. Its our own journey with the Lord.

    • pam

      Wow, this article really hits close to him today. For the last year, I’ve been living in the aftermath of my husband’s EA. She is no longer in the picture. She has no connection to our lives at all anymore. My husband reassures me multiple times a day that he loves me, he wants to be here, he is not going anywhere, and that there is no one in the world as talented, wonderful and special to him as me and if he had left our marriage it would have been the most stupid mistake of his life. His words are like drugs on my wounds. They make me feel good temporarily but they wear off and the painful memories of his EA come and haunt me. I’m haunted by a past where I knew he was with her, where he lied to my face all the time, where I was emotionally abandoned and rejected by him. Every fight and argument with him in the past year, I’ve had the upper hand and I have had the power because I could throw his EA in his face and remind him of what a shitty husband he was to me. And yes, seeing him feel guilty actually made me feel good in a sadastic way. It was almost as if I was getting back at him for all the hurt he put me through.

      I had a bit of a breakthrough this week. I realize now that I want to move on with and I want to rebuild our lives together. I can’t recapture what we had before the EA: the feeling of security and contentment where I didn’t wonder where he was at night and I didn’t second guess his actions and words. But as much as I want to move on and rebuild, I can’t because I am still holding on to the past. I realize that I am holding on to the past because it’s the only thing I have to protect myself from the future and a possibility of being hurt so badly again. If I hold on to the past and remember the pain, I will protect myself at all times. I can’t be hurt because I’m not letting my guard down. I’m not vulnerable. I expect pain at any time and I’m so aggressive at defending myself and not letting anything bad in, I have prevented anything good in as well. I can’t move into the future with my husband because I keep living in the past. “When is he going to hurt me again? Why should I believe what he’s saying? He didn’t do this for me before, why should i be able to count on him now?” I have two options at this point. I can leave him, clear my head and move on from my past completely because he won’t be a part of it. Or I can take things day by day, try my best to let go and work through the pain that affects me and rebuild. It would be easy for me to go through the divorce right and sometimes that’s the right path for people. But I still love my husband. I love the man that he was before the EA. I love the man he is striving to be after the EA turmoil. I owe it to myself to learn to work through the pain and not just move on, but rebuild our relationship.

      • Notoverit

        I believe I could have written every word you did, Pam. I am still struggling with the very same issues as you. I came to realize that holding on to the anger and hurt gave me a rush. Okay, I know that sounds strange but when you are feeling sad, depressed and hurt, the feelings of anger gives you an adrenalin rush. All those endorphins kick in and you are actually feeling something. I think you get kind of get addicted to it (like our idiot Hs did to the rush from the EA). So in a way, I was afraid to let go of that feeling – I just wanted to feel something, anything, aside from hurt. I had to overcome that and see that it wasn’t getting me anywhere to just be ANGRY. If I feel myself starting to build toward that, I tell him that I need a time-out and I walk away. I don’t want to get back into that loop of “What if you do this again?” or “Why did you do this?” or “Where was I when all this was going on?” etc. (I call it The Blender Thoughts – like my head is in a blender whirling around). If I get into the loop, I immediately start attacking and then the rush comes. I know it sounds crazy but once I realized I was doing this to just feel better (more self-righteous and more right), I knew I had to stop.

        You are completely right about owing it to yourself to move on and rebuild. Do it for yourself if that is what YOU want. I want the same thing so when I start questioning the past (which I can’t change because it’s done), I neatly place it in a box in my head and distract myself with something else. It’s hard to learn to do but I do it. Don’t know how to tell you to do it, just push the thoughts back and do something that makes you happy – a walk, a call to a good friend, just something other than thinking about what they did. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, they were exactly mine too!

        • Linda

          Notoverit, I have been reading another book by the author “How to Improve Your Marriage without Talking About it” It is about angry, shame, resentment. He says that the feeling of anger gives us power so we do not feel the pain. It is a temporary condition and often plummets, so we have to continue to feel anger and resentment to feel in control. It is an interesting book, I am not finished yet but I will write something about it when I am through. Linda

      • Lori

        I am amazed. I think you are channeling the thoughts in my head, Pam. I’m totally in self-protection mode. But when you harden your heart to not feel pain, it’s also closed to the good emotions too. I feel myself distancing from my friends, kids, family, not just my husband. I’m struggling like you to try to crack the shell around my heart, or at least soften it a bit. But it’s so hard!

    • Jan

      Linda, I thank you for telling me not to feel bad about the question I asked Doug. I would never want to be a part of causing you any additional pain. Can I ask you if he has given you an answer as to why she was so confident about him leaving you?

      • Linda

        Jan, he said she was just a “confident” woman, that was her personality. Of course that didn’t sit too well with me, in fact it made me very angry. I thought who did she think she was believing that she was so special that she could take a man away from a woman he had been with for 30 years and a family that he was completely devoted too. Did she believe she could be a better wife and partner than me? I also implied that maybe she was so confident because you allowed her to believe you were leaving. It wasn’t a very productive conversation and honestly I will never know and understand what was really going through his head at the time. I know it has little to do with where we are now, but the pain is still there.

        I told him the next day after our conversation, imagine what it would feel like to wake up everyday for almost a year wondering if this was the day I was telling you I was leaving. Everyday you had to worry when you came home from work if I was packing my bags, and you would have to tell the children that I didn’t love you anymore and that I had found someone else. Well that is the way I felt and even though you were physically here and said you wanted to work on our marriage the fear was still there. I worried if I made a mistake or wasn’t the wife you wanted me to be then you would leave. To see in writing how confident she was that you were leaving just ignited the pain that had been buried for some time. It was difficult to read how close you possibly came to leaving and how my fear was really a reality. Linda

    • Jan

      Linda, I know exactly how you feel. In my case she is 20 years younger and no morals but a lot of confidence. I like you am fearful I will run into her. I know she could care less but it sure doesn’t feel fair. I believe she was looking for a sugar daddy to bail her out of her crappy life. When she did not get what she wanted she just moved on. I have been following this site for many months but never posted until last week. You and Doug have been a great help to me. Thank you.

    • blueskyabove

      “…She pushed for me to leave and I think that she probably had confidence that I would at some point.”

      To me there seems to be a contradiction in the two parts of this sentence. If she was having to push him to leave, then it doesn’t appear she was really as confident as Doug stated. I’m assuming there was some resistance on his part and she knew it, she could feel it. If things had been so wonderful in la-la land she wouldn’t have had the need to push him to leave you, and the outcome would have been different. Just because Doug thinks she probably had confidence, etc. doesn’t mean she SHOULD have been confident he would leave you for her.

      I am also going to assume that he wasn’t being totally honest with her. Maybe it was just easier to let her believe whatever she wanted to believe rather confront the issue. I’m aware that we are only getting Doug’s interpretation, but I feel fairly certain that had he wanted to leave then nothing would have stopped him. If he was utterly and completely miserable with you, Linda, he would have left you.

      That image you have in your mind? Maybe things HAVE panned out that way after all.

      4+ years post DDay

      • Linda

        Blueskyabove, thanks for your comment, there is so much contradiction when you are dealing with an affair, it is difficult to understand what is real and fantasy. I think she wasn’t as confident as she allowed Doug to believe, because a confident person isn’t jealous, controlling and possessive. Those traits aren’t usually present when a person has true confidence.

        As far as saying that Doug just let her believe that he was leaving, he has commented many times that he just went along with it, knowing deep down that he would never leave. It basically goes along with the personality of not wanting to deal with the confrontation, not rocking the boat, especially when the person isn’t even your wife. Why add the negative when the positive aspects of the affair are so much fun.

        Thank you for your insight, I love how you add 4 years post DDay. Its like having an extra degree or expertise on the subject. We need more people like you who are willing to share their thoughts. I was thinking that if more than 70% of married couples who had an affair are still together, where are all of those people and why aren’t they sharing with the rest of us how they are surviving. We need to know that is it possible to recover and that down the road 5 or 10 years later, they are doing better than ever. Thanks again. Linda

        • blueskyabove


          Your reply confirms for me, once again, that you already knew all these things when you decided to take another trip to the dark side…you just temporarily forgot that you knew. I can relate to that. Your openness provided me an opportunity to help you remember . By being a little more removed I’m not as emotionally attached. I have been able to recognize things that might have taken me longer to see simply because you and Doug have been so willing to share your experience.

          I have been reading your blog since you started it and I can’t tell you how many times I have said to myself, “I remember feeling that way. I remember thinking that, too.” It’s as if you have been one or two steps behind me all the time. But that doesn’t mean that I haven’t learned a lot because of it. I know that if I am able to help you in any way that I, too, benefit…mostly because it forces me to “own my words” and define for myself Who I Am. I am more, way more, than a wife and mother, a friend or employer. I have started to accept that I am in this physical body to make a positive difference in this world. It might have taken a catalyst to awaken me from my stupor but I’m ready to rise to the challenge. I am just beginning to realize who I really am and it feels damn good!

          4+ years post DDay

          • Linda

            blueskyabove, as difficult as this is to articulate, it is almost like my logical, gut feelings play with the fantasy. I am a very sensitive, intuitive person, I feel have a good handle on people, what they are thinking and feeling. I don’t understand why this situation has thrown me for such a loop. The logical side of me gets it, I have a pretty good understanding what was going through Doug’s head at the time, and what kind of person Tanya was. The fantasy part often challenges that perception and I stop trusting my instincts and believing the fantasy. It scares me sometimes when I know what is going on in a person’s life without even being told because after the affair I tried to stop listening to my gut, it was too painful. Now I am having a difficult time trusting my gut again. Does that make sense? Linda

            • Linda

              blueskyabove, let me clarify, I feel like I rambled on. Last week my son came home from college and within 5 minutes without him saying anything I knew he was involved with someone. I am usually the first person to suspect if someone is pregnant or going through a rough time. I am just very perceptive of these things. With Doug I am pretty sure I knew something was off within the first couple months of his affair. I remember doing some things that were uncharacteristic of me, like going through his mail, computer etc. I am pretty sure that I refused to trust my instinct because I was so afraid of the outcome. Now that I have lived through the affair I question if I can trust my gut. Sometimes when Doug is having a bad day, is withdrawn or I see some of the behaviors that were prevalent during his affair my mind goes crazy. Am I ignoring the signs or am I paranoid? .. I feel that I can read everyone else so well, why do I struggle so much with Doug. I know it is not my job to read his mind, or know what he is thinking 24/7 I guess its more of a safety issue for me. If I know what he is thinking than I will be safe. It is all crazy and as Doug says I think way too much. I need to turn off my brain sometimes. Linda

    • Kris

      I think for the BS’s, we are having to deal with issues no matter what they are and where they stem from. That’s a pretty obvious statement so let me be more clear.

      I don’t have doubts about why my husband returned. My issue is feeling completely rejected and abandoned. My husband moved out a month after I found out about his adultery. Yes, his went to a PA level, in fact it was that from the beginning, not much of an EA to start. Anyway – when I found out he was pretty adamant about not ending it. He pretty much told me that to my face when I was trying to save our marriage. He chose to pursue the adultery. He now says that wasn’t the only factor in his leaving. He said he also just had come to this conclusion that he didn’t want to be married, to me, to anyone, wanted to be single and live the single life. He said when he left he had ideas in his head about being a single guy, not just with this OP but seeing what ALL his options were. I do remember him saying that once when I asked how serious it was with him and the OP. He said “she’s not my future she’s way way way down my future list”. Despite that though, he left. I felt rejected and completely abandoned and forgotten and overlooked and uncared for. I felt completely as if I had been erased from his mind and life.

      He was gone for 3m before he started making moves back home. I was praying the entire time. Didn’t ask for him to come home once or talk about us or our marriage. It was extremely hard but I knew if God was going to work on him and bring him home I couldn’t get in the way and it would have to be His way, not mine.

      So while I realize my husband came home FOR ME (finances were not an issue), I have the abandonment issues. The feelings of feeling rejected, not worth fighting for, someone else chosen over me. I don’t question why he came back but I deal with the other stuff. What’s worse? Is there one worse than the other? I don’t think so because pain is pain and this whole infidelity umbrella is big enough to hold a lot of issues under it and ALL OF IT is hard to deal with.

      So Linda know you are not alone in how you feel and that if it wasn’t THAT issue it would be something else. All of this carries a huge weight of change and horror and feelings of fear, triggers, etc etc. None of us are immune to experiencing something one way or another.

      I have a friend who’s husband left, moved right in with the OP which was 3 blocks away, filed for divorce and then married the OP 2 weeks later. We’re all in bad places and it’s all pain but for those of us whose spouses have come to their senses, we’re on a better path to healing. Most of the darkness has lifted and despite the pain that IS still left, there is much to be thankful for. I can’t even imagine the pain she carries daily knowing he left her, divorced and remarried so quickly to the person that causes her so much pain. My heart bleeds for her.

      Side Note: Does anyone else look at marriages differently now? I’m no longer all in love with marries that “look” happy. I’m no longer in awe of couples who are celebrating 25 years, 40, 50. You never know what someone has dealt with or will deal with. Nothing is promised anymore no matter how long you’ve been with someone or how well things look externally. I often look at couples that have been together a long time now and I wonder “what tears have been shed in this marriage and over what?” it’s not from a place of being cynical or sarcastic but really wondering. Really curious at what storms might have been weathered through the years together. What healing might have taken place.

      • Paula

        Kris, oh yeah, definitely look at all marriages very differently now, and I didn’t think I was that naive to start with! I remember clearly going to my grandparent-in-laws’ 60th wedding anniversary celebration many, many years ago, and Gramps getting up and making a really inappropriate speech about how he didn’t know why or how they were still married, etc, etc (it was a truy terrible marriage!) and the cringe factor, I’m sure some of the guests thought he was joking, it was his kind of humour, but we all knew he was deadly serious! I think there’s a great Bob Marley quote about everyone in life is gonna hurt you, you just have to work out the one’s worth suffering for, or something similar. I guess there’s a lot of truth in that. Since this happened to us, I have had SO many friends tell me about their parents’ affair drama, and how long they have suffered, or whether they fully recovered, divorced, realised they’d screwed up, etc. It’s just everywhere. And that’s just affairs, there are so many other sorrows, also. Makes you all the more determined to relish the happy, and the good 🙂

        Linda, I really understand what you said about intuition, I am similar, always the first to pick up on sadness, pregnancy, illness, good news or bad, and I think I’m similar in that I also intuited there was something amiss with my OH when he started sleeping with his ex, I actually asked him directly several times (even though it felt weird, and a bit sick, as I have always trusted him, never questioned him) in the early part of the affair, and then again at the end of it, when he was trying to wind it up (her texts became more urgent, in greater quantities, and at more times of the day and night when I was around, previously she had played by his rules and really only texted during my working hours) and I have never done that at any time before that, and he always had plenty of female friends, I just NEVER felt in the least bit jealous or threatened until this one. But I also, switched it off – after all, I was constantly being reassured that there was nothing wrong, and not to worry, it wasn’t in his makeup to be a cheater, that he only loved me, etc. I don’t know whether to trust my gut anymore either.

        All I know is, one day things will be better, I’ve done such a lot of work on myself, and he has on himself, and we continue to do so, whatever comes, we will still have had a life together that was mostly wonderful, and we learnt a lot from the parts that weren’t! We have discussed this so much, we know we have a very special bond and close, hugely satisfying friendship, and if it doesn’t work out, that will continue, and I am finally finding a great deal of peace in that.

      • JS

        I also am no longer “in love” with happy marriages or the idea of being in love, in general. I also do not believe I am cynical or bitter, I just feel that I’m a realist. Every long term relationship must have had its pain, and everyone who has stayed had their reasons. I don’t believe in fairytale love or soulmates any more, either.

    • changedforever

      Jan…your situation sounds like mine, but I don’t have any fear of running into ther OW (1/2 my H’s age)…already have, a number of times, I ‘knew’ her ((looks only) from the photos from my H’s cell. As she rode her bike past me the 1st time I was luckily with my friend who’s been helping me thru this horror. I was able to point her out to my friend as the ‘white trash I’ve been telling you about,…’that was karma !) All in earshot of the OW who rode quickly away. Other times were similar. It was an opportunity (the sighting) for me to tell my H & to let him know she was surprisingly similar looking to a ‘circus chimp on a bike,’ hence its nickname when I have to refer to it (as ‘chimp.’) Can’t use personification with something that would close in for the kill the way this thing did. Not with what I have to live with for the rest of my life (an ‘std’ in addition to the EA which turned into a PA… ) so don’t fear running into these types of people in your life…I don’t. When the other women who’ve crossed the line via texts & emails to my H (since DDay) he’s let me respond to them. That’s helped a lot as I know he can’t do it (so I gladly handle this: “this is ——-‘s wife, I have reviewed previous emails you have exchanged with my H, I am not amused, I have not yet decided if I will share those emails with your & (if married,) & since I do not consider you a friend of our marriage, I do not want you contacting my H again. The party’s over, you’ve crossed the line, find someone else to play with (& then I block their address.) I am the confident one now…yet I have morals. That’s how I deal with anyone thinking they have the right to ‘liberties’ with my H. That’s the only ‘feel good’ aspect of this ‘ride’ I’m on.
      Sharing your stories with my H seems to be helping him ‘understand’ too.
      R/Mommy, I have the same ‘light bulb’ moments as you…but mine usually occur after another trigger is divulged to me…by my H. That’s when -eventually- peices start to come together in my head.
      After 12 months of dealing with all of this…I don’t fhave the ‘fear he’s leaving’ via what’s in his texts anymore when they come (that’s how I found out he was unhappy…I recd a text from him that he was leaving his family….) but after all that time, when I suffer with the knowledge of another trigger he divulges, or a comment he makes…those feelings do come back. But they are fleeting now…& very few & far between.

    • Jan

      Thanks for sharing. I do not think my H ever intended to leave he was just so angry with me and because of issues with family he and I had come to a standoff more or less. In this case the OW is a single, never married has 4 kids all with different Dads. Life of the party cheap looking overweight, comes across as confident but probably not really that way. She was willing to settle for a pretend relationship via internet all the while thinking she could change his mind about something more. It never got physical as he said it was just an escape from our problems. He told her upfront it could never be anything else but I think she thought with her inflated ego she could change that. Nonetheless it still hurts even though I understand how it came about. We are in counseling and for the first time in several years we are open and honest with each other. We have way too many good years and happy times invested to let this cheap piece of trash take it down. Fyi I in no way put all the blame on her as he was the one who owed me his loyalty. He like Doug was able to justify since nothing was going on but talk that it was ok. This site has been so helpful to me. Thanks again maybe running into her will not hold the power I think it would.

    • Recovering Mommy

      Well in my case… My H says that he never intended to leave me for the OW. But in saying that, and knowing that my H avoids confrontation at all costs, I think it’s a safe bet to say that he never told her that he wasn’t leaving me for her. And knowing her, since she was one of my best friends, I think she felt pretty sure he would. I think in her mind, she had imagined this whole fairy tell about them living happily ever after and playing mother to my children. I think she is a very unhappy, insecure person so she tries to act confident to mask it. I think she tries so hard to win the attention of others. It really is sad, and had she not tried to break up my marriage I’d probably feel sorry for her.

      I had also had “gut” feelings concerning my H’s friendship with the OW. I knew they had dated a few times in high school and just convinced myself that I was being paranoid and never told my H how I felt. Our disclosure occurred because I happened across Facebook messages between them. This was definitely not something I was looking for because I never in a million years thought my H would cheat. I immediately confronted my H and he came partially clean. I packed my stuff and left for the night. We met the next night to discuss things, which mainly consisted of me unleashing my anger on him, and he told me the rest of the story. But I was never desperate to try and fix things. My first instinct was to pack my stuff, take my kids (4 years old and 2 months old), and leave. In my case, it was my H that was desperate to save our marriage. And to be honest (and I guess this is completely opposite from everyone else on here) the only reason I chose to come back initially was because I didn’t want the OW to “win.” Yes, I still loved my H and that factored in, but dammit, I was not going to let her continue a relationship with my H and become the stepmother to my kids. Then she would ALWAYS be in my life. And I wasn’t going to let that happen.

      But now we are 18 months post D-day and our marriage is better than I ever imagined it could be. Thanks to God, and Him alone, because we could not have done it on our own. I believe that for about 99% of the time, I’m “over it.” There are still times when the reality of the situation hits me and completely overwhelms me. But I don’t think “getting over it and moving on” means that those moments stop happening. I think it means that you learn how to deal with it, allow the thought to happen, and then put it out of your mind. I’m at the point where having those thoughts and “light bulb” moments are just a passing thing. They no longer ruin my day. I also think that you have to understand and accept that your life will never be the same, you can’t go back to the way it was before. And why would you want to? The marriage I have now is FAR better than before. I hope now that I can contribute to this site as an affair survivor to encourage people along their journey.

      **Sorry for the lengthy post!!

    • Rushan

      This was a very difficult weekend for me, and it all has to do with all the triggers. I remembered everything about the affair, everything that was said and done, and still I do not have clozure because H doesn.t want to talk about it. When is it going to end, when am I going to forget and carry on with my life and marriage? Is it ever going to go away?

    • tryingtoowife

      I often wonder if because I wasn’t threatened by my husband leaving me, I did not have to “fight’ for him, was one of the reasons for me to feel so stuck. No ofence to anyone here who have been through even more pain and hell in this matters. But like Recovering Mommy, I left my husband, 3 days after I was ‘informed’ by his the OW of their adultery, 1 1/2 month after he ended the affair, after enduring a well deserved hell with her. According to him, he never thought of leaving me and the children because there was never love with her. Well, he ended the affair, she made sure I found out, and I knew that it was the end for us. I left, with the knowledge that I would start divorce proceedings as soon as I was ‘fit’ to follow it through, but after lots of communication between us and pleadings from him to let him correct the hell he created, I came back to the house 3 weeks later, but not to him as per se. He asked me for time, and I realised that it was wise to wait to make such a life changing decision. And here I am still.
      But I still hurt and question a lot, because from the moment that he decided to engage in a relationship with the OW, he put himself in a position that he could have fallen in love with her and he would have left me. He forgot me in this process. He killed me off his mind and life. He nurtured a ‘relationship’ with OW. Outings, conversations and sex is part of the process of falling in love with someone, so I see it as an abandonment in itself. She fell in love with him (apparently), and he was risking the same happening. Luckily she was a nut case and the rest is as it is. I know that this is all – “what ifs” – but the possibilities where ALL there. Even coming back to me and family was part of his selfish behaviour, after having his cake and eating it, and back to his other life with his ‘lovely’ family, up to there, he had it all. So, as you can see, everyone has something that they question about. My H is a great person and has done all he can to help me to come back to him, but these question are there and time to time they surface. We are mending. As hard and difficult as it is, we are working towards it.
      But I still hurt and question a lot, because from the moment that he decided to engage in a relationship with the OW, he put himself in a position that he could have fallen in love with her and he would have left me. He forgot me and children in this process. He killed me off his mind and life. He nurtured a ‘relationship’ with OW, outings, conversations and sex is part of the process of falling in love with someone, so I see it as an abandonment all the same. She fell in love with him (apparently), and he was risking the same. Luckily she was a nut case/slut and the rest is as it is. I know that this is all – what ifs – but the possibilities where ALL there. Even coming back to me and family was part of his selfish behaviour, after having his cake, eating it, and back to his other life with his ‘lovely’ family. He is a great person and has done all he can to help me to come back to him, his regret is huge, but these question are there and time to time they surface. We are mending. As hard and difficult as it is, we are working towards it.

    • Irish Kate

      Linda my heart went out to you reading this post.

      Yesterday was our two year D-Day anniversary and I found myself a little pensive to say the least, I found myself wondering about the fragility of ‘renewed trust’ and how the smallest tremor has to power to break or crack this trust. To give you an example I woke up one night last week to find that my husband was not beside me, I got up and found him sitting in the living room having a herbal tea because he was unable to sleep (his dad was in the hospital), I immediately visually scanned him and the sofa for his mobile phone as I recalled in a nano-second that he often used to text his mistress at odd hours late in the night (or early morning). The rational side of my brain told me that it was perfectly logical that he would find it difficult to sleep due his father in hospital, that he would be worried, that he had given me no other reason to mistrust him, but the other side of me that was deeply hurt needed to be sure that I could feel safe that this was true. Its like I’ve finally managed to repair the gaping damage that was done when my heart was torn to ribbons, only 2 years later to realize that there are still tiny shards of shrapnel left ….

      Yesterday I sat on the beach and had a long hard think about where I want to be 2 more years from now, the answer isn’t easy to find…. I sometimes wonder where my life would be now had I left him 2 years ago and yet I can appreciate that he has done an incredible amount of work on himself and his marriage, we both have…. Is it worth the pain I wonder… I’m having a pensive day today.

    • ifeelsodumb

      Irish Kate,
      I understand completely…this is the new “normal” for us! I just spent a wonderful weekend away with my H, attending a marriage conference of all things! The conference was great, I recommend the book by the conference speaker on here all the time!
      Anyway, We come home, had a great Monday, helped my brother and his family settle in, (they just moved here from out of state)…then when we take our youngest trick or treating…and I have triggers ALL around me!! Last year on Halloween my H was out of town on business….I was sending him pics via my cell, of our son in his costume, etc….and so was the OW!!!
      I’ve just excepted that we will have great days…then terrible days!! I just had a meltdown about 30 mins ago…my H is at work, he drives where ever the customer needs him and yesterday it was a 2 hr drive, today, 1 1/2 hrs…and I struggle with that because that’s when he’d talk to her!! He’d even pull over and talk to her instead of coming straight home…so I’ve gone from a romantic, sweet weekend away…to reality! This is life, I have to deal with it!! I just wish my H would have realized that this was going to be hard for me…
      And I hear ya about the phone…as soon as my H leaves the room, I do a quick scan, locating his phone…he’s been really good about leaving it in the same room as me, but still….it’s gets sooo old!! I’m trying to do like others on here have suggested…just leaving things alone.
      I want to move past this, my H wants to move past it…and for my family’s sake, I have to. I know in my heart that I will never forget the EA, and I know I will NEVER trust my H again. It is what it is…

    • Holding On


      I never commented on this post, but just wanted to thank you for y0ur sharing. Thank you for adding that last paragraph for all the newer to this people that might feel discouraged. Honestly, in the beginning, it was frightening to hear how far out from D-Day everyone was and how they were still working on HARD stuff. It still is a little scary!

      I think a lot of my anger and pain comes from the “never ending” feelings. It helps so much to slow down and take it one day at a time. To accept the feelings and thoughts, and let them come, but then dismiss the ones you have already processed a billion kajillion times! Accept that the past is in the past and we can’t change it. Accept that it DID hurt, it WAS wrong, it was a really BAD choice that we are living with. It is ok to not like this, to hurt from it, to be sad. I told my H last night that I can’t keep rushing to “feel better” to “be better” to “forgive” to “let go” to “move on.” It is frustrating to live that way and always want to be somewhere you are not. I just had to let go a little and accept that it is a process and see what I can learn from it.

      Again…lots of words I won’t be feeling on my bad days, but maybe I need to come back and reread how I feel on the good days when I’m back in the pit.

    • ifeelsodumb

      Back in the pit…wow…good choice of words!!!

    • Anita

      You mentioned your on a better path to healing since your husband returned home. And your heart bleeds for the friend who husband divorced her and married the affair partner.
      Yes at first your friend is more than likely in the most pain for the moment. However, when she get through her grieving process, and forgives her ex and his new wife, your friend will heal. The divorce then becomes part of her past, and a new life begins, this is the exciting part she’s single and free with new horizons, and brand new choices to be made.

    • Kris

      Thank you Anita but she won’t ever get to that point. She’s standing like I did for her marriage to be healed. So yes, she will be healed but it will be through God healing her during this process while she stands for her marriage. He might have married the OP but in God’s eyes it’s null and void and her marriage is still a covenant. I’m standing with her the way others did with me during my stand! 🙂

    • Anita

      Hi Kris,
      Actually in my church I am still married, However I am now just starting the annulement process.
      My civil divorce happened a few years ago and this is the last step to release me from the marriage. I am ready to put it all behind me.
      I excepted my civil divorce along time ago, I no longer grieve the loss of my marriage. I am doing the annulement because I want to be able to remarry someday in my church again.

    • Jan


      I having being crying for 3 days. It has been about 9 months since D day for me and it has been hard. He answers to my questions but I wonder is he being truthful as like in your situation the story changed over time as he said he was able to look at things like they really were. I do not think he has had contact with the OW but how can you ever be sure since he has lied so much. He even lied about trying to contact her about six weeks after our initial confrontation. He came clean this past weekend about that. All this after coming home to me crying telling me did not want to lose me and he couldn’t live without me. He even told me that the fb affair was not real and his family and our life was and that was what was real and important to him. According to him it was all fantasy and words only on fb after he met her at work and they became fb friends. She had moved to a different area and did not work together anymore. According to him this only started after she kept contacting him for advice then started complimenting him. She has never been marrried and has 3 or 4 kids all with different fathers. She is a lot younger than him and he now says he believes she targeted him perhaps to bail her out of her miserable sh***y mess of a life she had created. Evidently this is something new, that I heard about on a video clip attached to one of the links you guys provided. It is called poaching. Young unmarried women targeting older married men. Some of it is done for sport and some because they want to life (they think) the married stable man can provide for them. Sorry to ramble but I just feel lost as I do not know what to believe and that I am lost and scared. I am usely confident and capable but I just lost it this past weekend. He says he loves me and has never stopped but how do I believe that. PS we are in counseling but I question her effectiveness as she and her husband split up due to his affair, 3 months into our sessions with her. Sometimes I feel like I am counseling her. Please help me as I feel so lost and scared. We have been married 25+ years and have been through so much crisis in the past several years including 2 of our kids going through cancer, sudden death of my 47 yr old sister, death of his father, sudden death of our brother in law in a car accident. We got lost and now I feel even more so. How do I ever trust again. He said he was the one in control and he told her it could never be anything but what it was ……talking. How do I know what to believe anymore?

    • cal

      I discovered my H’s EA by getting an eyeful of Facebook messages between him and his OW. They exchanged words of love and sexual banter. They wished to undo the mistakes of the last 30 years so they could have ended up together. He joked about booting me out of the house and moving her in. Marriage came up. So why, when I confronted him, did he instantly say that he wanted to stay with me? That it was only me he ever wanted? That she was just someone to talk to because he thought I didn’t care about him?
      It was too hard to swallow. I figured that it was because he was unemployed, he is very sick and on my insurance. Because she is inconveniently situated 2000 miles away while his kids, friends, family and medical care is here. I couldn’t understand how he could possibly love me given all he said to her about me (betraying our confidences, constantly bitching about my flaws, even mocking me.) I still wondering that.
      After two days, with one false start in which he delayed breaking it off with her out of “courtesy” and the desire to stay friends with her, he swears he has broken it off. But, it’s only been 10 days so he could easily fall back in with her, or find someone else. If anything, I distrust this sudden desire for me most of all. If he really loved me so much, he should have come to me with his fears and needs. Instead he trusted her with all these feelings and only shared anger in scorn with me.

    • Gizfield

      One thing that is great to me, if they are lying to you, they are probably lying to the other Cheater as well. I honestly can’t think of a time through all this that I did not feel my husband loved me, I bet he didnt tell her that. The only confidence these Cheaters have is the reassurance of a liar, like we do, who’s telling them what they want to hear. I think in a out of instances too, there is fear of exposure from the AP if they dont get the answer they want.

    • Heartbroken

      Sometimes I wish I had gotten all the information all at once instead of the way it slowly trickled out. I was getting new info weekly and it seemed like once I dealt with one thing, another truth was revealed and I’d be hurting again. But 18 months since D day now, I can look back and know with out a shadow of a doubt if I had gotten it all at once, I would have made him leave. What hurts the most is that it took him an entire year after D day to cut all ties with her. The lies that were told in that year haunt me everyday! It has been 6 months since he has had any contact with her but we still have so far to go in our recovery.

    • Friend

      My issue is that I am dealing with triggers from today in time. My H has cheated a number of times (4), that I know of. There is some much hurt inside. He is also a pastor. He gets agree when I say I am insecure about some behavior of his. He as become very aggressive in response to my sharing how I feel. Just this week he got mad because I told him I was nervous that a large some of money was transferred into his private account. The next morning he got angry and through our conversation he forcefully gave me the bank account login and passwords, forced the paper on me by putting it in my car. Through his wallet on the ground, spilling everything out of it, and told me I could check what ever I wanted to check. He also now has said that I am trying to turn the kids against him. I am so frustrated and disappointed. Any support would we welcomed.

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