Battle Wounds From the Emotional Affair

wounds from the emotional affairIt has been over two years since I found out about Doug’s emotional affair and I can honestly say that I rarely have crying spells anymore.  Once in awhile I will lie in my bed and let loose but these moments are few and far between.  I now go long periods of time during the day when the affair never enters my mind.

During our several road trips this spring I have found myself not spending the entire time reliving the affair or thinking about the OW.  All in all, I rarely bring his emotional affair up anymore.  I have stopped asking questions and comparing myself to the OW.

Basically, I feel that compared to last year at this time I have made great progress.  I really never believed I would ever get to this point where the pain would not be a constant reminder.

However, there are still things that I just can’t let go of, even though we have discussed them a thousand times.  I guess they will always be the battle wounds associated with the emotional affair, but maybe with time I will be able to erase these triggers as well.  Here they are:

1.  During an affair your spouse basically is conducting a whole other life. It’s a life that we have no information about.  Sometimes I will ask Doug questions while we are driving places like if he had been to this park, or knows about a certain restaurant, etc.

He often looks at me strangely when I do this, or will comment like I have lost my mind, but honestly I do not know how they spent their time together, and I often wonder what his life was like when he was with her.

2.  I still have difficulty watching romance movies. I convince myself that I will be okay on the rare occasion when we do, but once they get into the love stuff I find myself wanting to escape.  I think about if that was how they were when they were together.  Did Doug say those things to her?  I get really upset because before the affair I felt this love stuff was special, but it is not as special anymore because he shared it with someone else while he was married to me.

Friday night we watched one of these movies with our daughters and I had to get up and walk away. At times I feel sorry for myself, and it’s then when I really hate Doug’s emotional affair and how it changed my life.

3.  I think one of the hardest battle wounds I carry is still allowing Tanya into our bedroom. When I am with Doug I still wonder if he touched her that way, if they were physical and what they had together.  It is something that I still can’t let go of.  I find myself staring into space thinking about it and then trying to snap back into reality and the moment.  It is something that I would do anything to let go of.

4.  I still find myself wondering why he did this to me. You know with time I have been able to see things more realistically. I feel I have a pretty good handle on what was going on with our life at the time, but I wonder what was happening with Doug that allowed him to do something like this.  I have a difficult time understanding what he believed she could have given him that I couldn’t.  I have a hard time understanding what he was running away from, and what he was looking for.

I know that with time, these battle wounds from Doug’s emotional affair will also disappear, but for now they still occasionally enter my mind.  I know that I need to live in the present and not dwell on some of these things, but at times that’s easier said than done.

 

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36 Responses to Battle Wounds From the Emotional Affair

  1. Morrigan May 31, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    Hi Linda, I sadly think about all the above too. My SC has looked at me much as you said Doug has when asking a question about a certain place, rest. etc….I know nothing about that other life, those friends. All I know is he doesn’t have contact with them anymore. But it is apparent there was a part of his life I wasn’t involved in, it hurts.

    I am not happy you feel these things, but I am happy you shared as I am having a hard time right know coming up on 1 yr. since D-day. Everything is flooding me right now and I broke down crying in bed this morning, something I haven’t done in quite awhile. I kind of feel like I am in that crazy state again, that place I was right after D-day. I just keep telling myself that the summer coming is a trigger, that I will get past it, this summer is a test that I can ace. I just get so fearful…I never want to be hurt like this again and I fear if I let those walls down and begin to trust then I am opening myself up to hurt.

    But I want to be happy, I want myself whole again.

    My hardest is questioning how this could all happen, how could he do this. What happened to “we make quite a team, we can do anything”? I feel like I was thrown away. I know you shouldn’t ever base your self worth on another person. It’s just so hard when the one you love and trust trashes you.

  2. roller coaster rider May 31, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    Linda, all so true. I guess our recovery is going to be individual, just like we all are. I am only 11 weeks out, and sometimes I find I am (nearly) unaware of what happened to change our lives so much. The physical part hasn’t been much of an issue because H has told me it wasn’t very good with the OW, and honestly it’s one of the best parts of our relationship. But I am going away with my sisters for 4 days this week, and thinking about that is hard…almost makes me not want to go, because it was while I was away that the affair started and there are still trust issues. And H just said again last night, how hard it is for him to really talk to me. He claims it has nothing to do with me, but I think it does. It’s our personalities, and mine is much stronger. I don’t know what to do about it, but I would sure welcome any and all advice. Doug?

    • Doug June 1, 2011 at 9:20 am #

      RCR, Am I to assume that your husband feels that he just has a hard time really talking to you because it’s his personality, and that’s the way he’s always been with you? If so, that’s a hard thing for someone to change without a good deal of effort. I think it helps to have a little leading from you to help him to feel comfortable and vulnerable enough to open up. As I’ve said before, I was like that way previously – pretty much guarded – and I can be to some degree at times even now, but I have learned to better be in touch with my feelings and to realize that it is OK to share them unsolicited. If I do, I know there will be no judgments from Linda. It’s been a process, as it seems that everything is.

      • roller coaster rider June 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

        Thanks, Doug, for your input. It really is partly my H’s personality to be a man of few words (at least around me) but I think he realizes now that our relationship will only impr0ve if he does the uncomfortable and opens up. I am working on not being so free with my opinions and just speaking less. I don’t know if it helps or not. I relate to what Linda has said about doing so much to fix things. I can’t fix this, but I want to be open to changing my own style (if that’s the right word). I don’t want H to feel like he’s off the hook because I’ll just take care of it, or like he doesn’t have to talk because I’ll just fill in all the gaps. Sometimes I can’t stand that I am so emotional and he just seems so emotionless.

  3. Melvin May 31, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    A fifth for me is the “Relapse” condition. It is a wound that I visit daily. Will she become unhappy again and return to her EA ways? With her ex ? Another newbie ?

    DW does work that is very social and business friendly. She interfaces with many different businesses and has to network with lots of various men throughout the course of the year. She attends luncheons with them, after hour parties and various other social events. She gains great satisfaction from her work and her self-esteem is much higher. She has told me before of certain gentlemen flirting with her and paying compliments. And of course I am still struggling with the trust issue. Combine it all and you get the “Relapse Fear”.

    Once Bitten, Twice Shy.

  4. elph May 31, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

    if i ever reach that level to think back about this with my wife, the list will be far and wide…but nothing cant be fixed if you put in the time and effort, and by you i mean my DS/WW.

    But ill add one of mine which may be the most difficult, yet the easiest to track and fix.

    when i started getting my red flags in lat jan/early feb, i researched spy programs for my wifes blackberry…

    suffice to say, i have almost every text (because she used to delete them) from feb 18 till yesterday.
    she only knows of a few that i used in d-day on apr. 4th. Till then i was researching, how to fix and confront, etc.

    unfortuantly for a spell they had suspicions that my wifes phone was bugged, so they went to code words, but i figured them out. the texts also help me construct a better timeline, daing the affair starting sometime late sept/early oct. So when i found out they were already 5 mos. in which is why i saw her talking about leaving me and starting a new life so soon(my wifes account is that it started mid jan, right after he served his wife papers)

    any way, through these texts i see words ill (fiesty, awesome) never want to hear her utter again, pet names(superman, powergirl), references to places they want to go (disneyland, maui [oddly enough we went to maui for our honeymoon],
    products and codewords for innuendos (patron, get a burger king chicken sandwich)

    not to mention how she would text him things while i was in the hospital getting a checkup for a possible enlarged heart.

    how is this easy to track n fix?
    in theory, i have a ton of stuff on paper, black n white. and ill get images from stuff listed in the article.
    but i can write notes, and if we get to that point i can ask her straight from the texts, or make certain demands like dont eat hear or no more patron in the house (despite the fact that every time she sees a bottle shell think of him) i can also get explanations of things easier without wondering… the bad part is that it might lead to more questions…

    i know while shes having the affair shes not quite herself, so it will be easier to wade through these things…but at the same time pat of how shes acting is something ive wanted out of her for years, the flirting some of the ideas i see batted about, i wish she was that creative…but the texts would be a jumping off point.

    sadly i dont think well make it. she switched to her own individual plan, but couldnt get a new phone. so while i cant see the phone calls made, i can still see texts. a few minutes after establishing the plan she texts him with a” hi handsome, time to luau” (see the maui reference)

    when she got home i lost my shit, and basically said everything i shouldnt have but thats been bottled up over the past 3 months(which has felt like an eternity)

    so ill probably be filing for legal separation seeing how ive tried everything, but she so knee deep in the fog i have no chance…
    theres a part of me thatll hope that will snap her out, but i think shell move out and continue the relationship, and those thoughts we all have will get worse…

    the other kicker is i went to her job and did a full exposuer, everybody at work knows, some of the more influential people ther in terms of position and friendship dont approvem and she still trying to be sneaky…shes even taken off her wedding ring…

    im pretty much out of hope at this point…

  5. Candace May 31, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

    My H said something last night that brought all the hurt back. He did it innocently enough & doesn’t realize it yet as I asked him to leave me alone today. We were at several get togethers this past weekend & I watched him like a hawk. I just do not trust him. So sad, but he just doesn’t seem to see how bad this has affected me. How I wish I had thought to purchase the software to track his texts, but I was in such denial for so long. Now we are trying to make our marriage work but it is soooooo hard! We were at home when his comment triggered all the emotions, cannot imagine what it would be like out in public. Once again I am so confused & just don’t understand how he could have done this to us, me, the kids.

  6. stuckinlimbo May 31, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

    I’ve been reading everything on here every spare moment I can. Never posted. I found out about my H EA in April 2011. The problem im having is i feel like it is all my fault! After I had my second child (when she was 3) i started taking depression meds. The last 4 year were the worst ive felt. The depression had such a strong hold on me that it affected my personality and my whole life. I was lazy (tired all the time) didnt want to do anything (even though i pushed myself alot). My H tells me how long was he suppose to wait for me to get better, he was alone, he felt defensive when he talked to me. His EA started 1 1/2 years ago with OW. She would just pop in his shop to talk. Then she moved out of state 100+ miles away. He said he had a dream about her and called her.
    Funny thing is i remember a yr 1/2 ago and he started to pull away from me in a big way. My depression worsened. I changed jobs several times trying to make myself happy. Then i came to the realization that the meds. were not doing what they were suppose to and the Dr. didnt seem to care how i was feeling. So i weened myself off of them. And thats when the cloud was lifted.. I felt like i was normal. Then my H tells me he isnt happy anymore.. I couldnt understand it.. I checked his phone records and thats when my D day happend. I confronted him (he lied at first of course) than i told him i unlocked his phone with her #! and saw the text he sent saying thats why he loved her. There were pictures of her, none of me. and he changed my name to The Boss! (phew that felt good)
    (come to find out i only had postpartem and took those f&ckn pills for 10 yrs. of which the last 4 were progressivly worse)
    I kicked him out. Because he didnt want to stop talking to her. He wanted to work it out, but not let go. I couldnt understand it until i found this website. Not even 24 hrs after i kicked him out he bought a plane ticket and flew out to “see what it was that he could of fell for another woman” (he came clean on his own a few weeks later, didnt want me finding out and calling it quits 4 good) He said he didnt go there for sex, if thats what he wanted he could have found someone alot closer. Ive asked a few times what it was then, and he still doesnt know. Does anyone here have any insight? He said he did find out that he doesnt like her lifestyle and shes kinda the same way with him as everybody else (FAKE)
    Than a card came in the mail from a jewlery store thanking him for his purchase. He hasnt bought me any jewlery in six years!!! He did lie about how much it was said it was on 40. Than he had to fess up and told me it was about $300. He gave her the jewlery when he was in the airport on the way home. Said he didnt want to give it sooner so she wouldnt feel like they had to consimate their relationship. ???
    Still dont know if its the truth. But I do kinda believe him. 6 yrs after we were married he had a sexual affair. When i found ou I did what most 25 yr olds do, I got him back (regret). But he said that taught him a hard lesson and he would never put things where they dont belong ever again, not while we’re married.
    Next scenerio (everything was getting better,,,until..,) I went to his shop after an argument and went thru the computer and found his seceret facebook account.. He was looking thru her photos, he says, because he couldnt talk to her anymore he thought it would be easier to let her go if he only looked at pictures. He found out how wrong that choice was. I tried ending it. He begged for another chance. I love him so i tried again. I knew from what people say on this site that the cheater will find ways and slip up in the begining..so i swallowed my hurt and tried again.
    My problem now is I am still wondering what he is doing behind my back. I check everything and he leaves is cell phone out all the time. But i cant help wondering if he has a throw away one or if hes using someone elses. or Email or anything. How does anyone know if the cheater is being honest.. Help!

    Sorry for the long post..have a lot bottled up.. FYI weve been married almost 17yrs married young.

  7. RecoveringMommy June 1, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    I just discovered this website via google a week or so ago and this is my first comment. My D-day was April 29, 2010 so I just passed my one year anniversary. I’m right there with you Morrigan. I stumbled upon my husband’s EA purely by accident through email. My entire world absolutely crashed down around me. The OW was someone I thought was a very close friend and I had also just given birth to our second child 7 weeks earlier. His EA lasted for 10 months. He firmly stands by the fact that there was not sex involved, and I do believe him. However, the thought that I can never “really” know for sure makes me sick. By the grace of God, we were able to put our marriage back together and we have a better marriage now than we ever have. He immediately ended all contact with the OW and he knows that I monitor all his email accounts and facebook. I’ve found myself feeling down the last week or so, not because of anything he’s done or said, it’s just hard to explain. But I’m sure everyone that reads this understands where I’m coming from. Him having the EA is so completely out of his character, I really had no idea there was anything going on. I’ve grown alot and healed alot over the past year but the pain of the situation is not completely gone yet, but it’s definitely better.

    • Morrigan June 1, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

      It is definitely better. I hate the relapse. And I am going thru a fearful bout right now concerning letting my guard down, I am sick of checking up on things and want it to stop, plus everything I have up on ends up being legit.

      It was also very out of my spouses character to do this too. And I am sure everyone here will probably say the same about their spouses. How can it happen then? He had always stated in the past if cheating happened, the relationship was done. he had even been hurt like this before in the past. I read the forty.sixty site on mid life transformations and crisis and everything fits to T, but that doesn’t help me understand how he could do it.

      I just don’t get it.

      • Paula June 1, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

        Ditto Morrigan

        We’ve been 23 years, and of course, during that time, we have had friends’ relationships fall apart, his best mate’s first wife cheated on him and left for the (second) other guy, also, this same person that came between us, his ex-girlfriend, supposedly my good friend (ha, ha, so I thought!) had also cheated on him, with more than one guy during their couple of years together, many, many moons ago, so there had been many frank discussions about what to do if ever in the same situation. One of the reasons I was a little slow to pick up on it, was the fact that she is a cheating little &%$#bag, and you wouldn’t go back there, would you?! My love and I were (and, I might add, still are..) the very best of friends, and I must admit, I kinda, in a way, thought we might just be “safe” from the pain of an affair, as we talked and shared ideas and morals. Unfortunately, things can and do happen to upset the apple cart. In our case, we had several, very stressful, life-changing things happen all at once, and I wasn’t always available to him, as I had been the previous 20 years, and unfortunately, his ex made sure she was. We’ve also just passed the 2 year mark, with two (4 months and 2 months) separations under our belt! I thought I was mad, completely unable to move forward for quite a while. It is incredibly hard, as Linda says, there are still some moments of self-pity, and great sadness. This never does, and never can, go away completely, and my other half didn’t really understand the implications of that for a very long time (why couldn’t I just get over it, we’re fine now, etc) finally, the second time I asked him to move out, he took the steps I didn’t really know I needed him to take, and I now feel like he fully understands my pain, and the fact that this is forever, it won’t go away, we just have to learn from it (that still annoys me, I already knew the permanent pain this causes, having seen it happen when my parents 20 year marriage fell apart, slightly differently, but same thing really – my Dad is gay – but same result, especially for my mother, she was an absolute star, and she made the most of her life, ensuring she became happy and meaningful again)

        I am in a much, much better place now, but totally relate to you all, especially Linda with her comments about less tears. I have never been a particularly tearful person, and was so frustrated with the buckets that kept falling, and for so bloody long! At least I now know I’m not super-sensitive, crazy, overly-emotional, etc, as I can see everyone else is/has suffered, and it may be that it is for a lot longer than you may ever imagine, but it does get better, you tell yourself in the throes of the worst of it, that it can only get better, as it isn’t posssible to be that sad forever, you can’t live like that. The pain I felt for so long did drive some wedges into some close friendships, and I knew I was doing it, but I seemed unable to stop the pain, or the venting of that from time to time to my best girlfriend. Thank God that phase is finally over!!

        I now do not believe that you ever rebuild trust the way it was, you just need to both learn to live with the “new” way your relationship works – in our case, lots of reassurance, lots of touch, lots of “checking-in”. I resisted that so strongly as I hate it, but am now accepting that this is the way we are now, and there’s no way around it. This is, in some ways, a whole new relationship, it’s changed, but we still love each other, and that is what is winning out, in the end, and we are adapting to accommodate the changes. One of the things I absolutely loved and treasured about us was our absolute trust and honesty, and my friends were jealous of how I never doubted my lovely boy’s actions or love, silly, silly me!

        Sexually, it can be tough, at times, in my situation, my boy told me she wasn’t really up to much – and I’m sure people think I’m and idiot to believe that, as of course, that’s what you tell the wife, if you want to stay – but he had told me she wasn’t up to much in the bedroom department before they started their affair, so I kinda believe it. Doesn’t stop her coming into our bedroom at times, but that also does lessen a little. I still work at things to get her out of my head at those times, it’s all about getting control of your thoughts, and that is sometimes a near impossible task.

      • Rachel June 1, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

        Wow, my H said the same thing (no cheating tolerance) and had also been cheated on in the past and swore he would never do anything like that to anybody, especially me. Then not only does he go and have an EA, but almost 10 months after DD he fessed up that is was also a PA and he knew what he was doing was wrong and chose to do it anyway. I’m only 3 months out from DD #2 and there are days when it feels like a semi drove through my chest, debilitating. He’s only 32 so can’t claim mid-life crisis but all the same…

        Needless to say I relapse a lot right now.

    • A Different Julie June 7, 2011 at 11:00 am #

      What do you all think? I had to make a decision to either move on or not with my husband. The constant rehashing of the affair is driving me nuts. My choice, hands down, is to move on to a future with my husband beyond that of which we’ve already experienced. The way I tick, I have to face an issue head on before I’m truly able to get passed it.
      So, I wrote a letter. As much as I wanted a face-to-face meeting with the OW to finally give her a face with my name (While confronting the OW over the phone one day, she blurted out “I don’t even know what you look like” as if it doing so would actually make me human…), I decided a letter would be more appropriate. I didn’t want to be tempted to ask questions and get answers that in no way would benefit the path chosen. So, here is the letter… With my H’s full knowledge and approval – for MY sake – it’s been 13 hours since I hit ‘send’:

      ,

      The last 8-9 months of my life have been an unbelievable hell recovering from the affair you and my husband engaged in. If anyone had told me that someday my husband would have an affair, I would have told them they were on crack. Unfortunately, as a result of being completely blindsided, it’s rare I go a day without a memory of a lie, the horrible ways my husband treated me, the knowledge that he was with someone else and the thought that in the course of one night, my life and marriage as I knew it changed forever. If you’ve not experienced betrayal of that sort, I can honestly say I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy.

      I’ve pondered time and time again whether or not you have regrets for willingly entering into an affair with my husband that could have potentially broken up his family – for no good reason. My boys, as well as ****’s son (the one who knows about the affair) were heart broken. My boys love **** and ****’s boys love me. They were petrified that life as they knew it was coming to an end –again, for no good reason. At the time of the affair, we were finally at a point in our blended family that all were well-adjusted and peace among all members was finally a norm. Whether you regret it or not, though, is for you to live and learn from – or not.

      I’m writing this to you because I’ve spent those months holding you just as accountable for hurting me as I did my husband. I’ve spent a lot of energy going over the facts that, with all of my wishing and wanting, I can’t change. The facts being, my husband betrayed me in the worst way with someone who knew he was married. Holding on to all of that anger has proven to be detrimental to my and ****’s recovery of the whole ordeal.

      I’ll always wonder why this had to happen and it has taken me quite a while to figure out it was not my fault. I’m still the same girl, obviously quite a bit wiser, who was relentlessly pursued by the man I’d decided to marry. That man is now relentlessly seeking my full trust in him again. Although he deeply regrets that it took shattering my heart and trust in him to figure out just how happy he really was with his life with me, I have to say that I wouldn’t trade places with him, or you, for a second. I simply can’t imagine betraying my husband in the fashion in which he betrayed me, nor could I imagine being a part of a situation in which someone would be devastated by my actions or involvment. He insists he’ll regret the affair longer than I’ll experience the pain of it. As much as I appreciate his regrets, I sincerely doubt it.

      **** and I have come a long way in our recovery and can now say we’ve truly seen each other at our worst. We now can whole-heartedly say that we both have learned some valuable lessons and will use those lessons to guide us down a much more fulfilling path in our lives together. We love each other more than ever because we were able to beat the odds and work it out as best friends/lovers/partners/spouses should. The recovery process has been tough but with every day that passes, we are both thankful that we were able to reevaluate what we want and it is, no doubt, each other.

      I don’t have the energy anymore to hate you or to care what you’re time with my husband meant or didn’t mean. I have no choice but to accept the situation for what is was and move on… **** and I have a lifetime of wonderful memories ahead of us and challenges I now know will never again come between us.

      As I’m sure you’re surprised to receive such a letter from me, I’m not expecting a response from you, good or bad. I do want you to know, for the sake of moving on and growing from this experience, that I forgive you.

      Sigh…

  8. RecoveringMommy June 1, 2011 at 9:00 pm #

    Paula, we are much in the same boat. The OW in my story was a girl my H had a brief relationship with in high school. They had not spoken in many years because her family had moved across the country. When my daughter, now 5, was 2 we discovered she had moved back here after college and our daughters went to daycare together. They were able to re-acquaint themselves at daycare functions and birthday parties. Our marriage was struggling and apparently so was her’s. They began sharing complaints and that led to secret meetings where they would console each other. She even used our daughters friendship as an excuse to see him. As families, we shared meals and playdates. She would insist on bringing her daughter over to play. So not only was this EA going on but it was happening right under my nose, and I never suspected it. In hindsight, in the discovery of the emails it was evident that my H was starting to try and break it off before I discovered it. She would not let go. After we reconciled he changed his phone number, email address, closed his facebook account, and changed jobs. Since we share mutual friends (that are unaware of the EA) she is able to somewhat keep tabs on us. We heard nothing out of her for a couple months. Then my H started receiving emails to his work account from an alias email address wanting to know how he was doing and that she missed him. He immediately told me and I immediately drove to her house and confronted her and threatened her with a restraining order. She has not attempted to contact him since.

    Please excuse the lengthiness.

  9. InTrouble June 2, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    “He immediately told me and I immediately drove to her house and confronted her and threatened her with a restraining order.”

    Since I am new to this blog, I am wondering if the efficacy of confronting the “other woman” or “other man” has ever been addressed. To me it seems about as effective as sticking one’s finger in the dyke. That “other woman/man” doesn’t care about you or your marriage, obviously. (I’m not saying that they shouldn’t care – just that they don’t.) It is your significant other’s fault, not the fault of the “other woman/man.”

    Just my two cents.

    • Doug June 2, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

      InTrouble, Confrontation has been addressed here, in fact Linda was interviewed by Dr. Huizenga about this subject. You can download the recording here: http://www.emotionalaffair.org/lindas-interview-about-confrontation-after-the-emotional-affair/

      It was also the topic of an earlier discussion: http://www.emotionalaffair.org/open-discussion-would-you-confront-the-other-person/

    • RecoveringMommy June 2, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

      I agree completely with you, InTrouble. It is 100% his fault. When my H came home and told me about the emails, my first thought/reaction was to confront her. I did not weight the pros/cons before going, I just went. I will say that was in the right mind enough to know that she didn’t care and they she would deny everything (which she did). I did it for me. It wasn’t a shouting match, it was actually civilized considering the circumstances. I was able to say some things to her and get them off my chest, and it actually gave me someone of a peace about the situation. Though I do think confrontation is not best in all situations.

      I do not blame the OW 100% for the EA though I do feel she shares in the blame along with my H. I actually had a great deal of sadness over the fact that I lost her as my friend over this (and yes, I know how twisted that sounds). I did tell her that I do partly blame her for the fact that she repeatedly came into my home as a guest knowing what they were doing was wrong. I also hold anger towards the OW and also my H for using the children in all of this. Not only did this EA affect me, my H, the OW, and her H… it also affected our daughters because they were bestfriends and all of a sudden they are not allowed to see each other.

    • Candace June 2, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

      I think it depends on the situation. In my case when I confronted the OW she was “petrified” I would tell her H. Turns out he had already caught them 2 months into the EA & they had promised to have no contact, but of course just got sneaker. So yes, it definately benefited to confront her & her H was able to fill in some blanks that the OW & my H did not tell me. I myself just could not not contact her.

  10. Paula June 3, 2011 at 2:17 am #

    I desperately wanted to talk to the OW, for a very long time. I wrote her a letter, asking for a calm and cleansing meeting, on neutral ground, my H said he would come too if I liked so we could all chat, she was a childhood friend of mine, and we included her in many family holidays, etc, despite the fact that I had always held some reservations over her character, as did my H.

    She was happy to keep in touch with my H, continuing to send him light and flirty texts, long after he asked her to stop. I begged him to stop replying to her unless she would talk with me. I couldn’t understand why he kept replying to her, and it has taken until we separated the second time, when he went to see her, to sort out why she couldn’t let it go, and why she wouldn’t talk to me, and most of all, why she did it. He has always taken 100% responsibility for this affair occuring, but we both wanted to know what her motivation was. He finally realised she was a narcissist and has absolutely no empathy for other people, something I already knew! He said he finally fully realised that she did absolutely nothing for him, that she was an empty, sad and lonely person. That helped a lot. I still wish we could have talked, she never had any insight into what happened to me or my children, and it would have been a help if I felt she was remorseful, or felt even a little guilt, but she never has. I have also found out that someone, and I suspect one of our “friends,” had been sending her abusive texts and emails. This staggers me, the OW thinks they were from me, thanks friend! When she first told my H about them, I thought she was making up stories to stay close to us, but they were real.

    We finally (seem to!!) have no contact, and that has made all the difference

  11. Norwegian woman June 3, 2011 at 8:48 am #

    I have confronted both OW. One of them lied through her teeth, the other one I cooperated with her husband to get to the truth.
    They both knew that we had contact and they really, really, really didn`t like it. Good for them.
    Still there are things that doesn`t fit the map, both for me and her husband. We do not stay in touch anymore, but I know that if there are any news, he will contact me immediately. And so will I.
    The other woman isn`t worth my time. She is too stupid and has so low integrity that she is just a laugh. It only makes me ashamed that my husband ever had contact with her and found her attractive….

  12. Lori June 3, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    To get back to Linda’s topics about battle scars. What I’m dealing with is a cracked self image and an inability to believe the positive things that my H tells me now (that he loves me, his world revolves around me, I’m beautiful, etc.). His EA devastated my normally high self confidence and image – I felt uninteresting, unloved, unattractive. And I guess I still do, and when he says the good stuff, I just can’t belive that he really feels that way, when not long ago, he had thrown me away for someone else – younger, thinner, in his line of work. I couldnt compete with that then, and I still can’t and never will. I’m afraid I can never recover and will never be able to believe him or accept his love. And if that’s the case, what’s the point of continuing to try?

    • JS June 3, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

      Lori-
      I feel the same way. Your comment, word for word, could be mine. I don’t if I’ll ever believe anything he says that’s positive about me. He lied so much for so long, the words seem totally empty now.

    • Candace June 3, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

      Did he tell you these things before the affair? If so, hang in there, it all takes time. I know it’s easier said than done & I have not been in this situation. In my case my H has always showered me with compliments, it’s when they stopped that I started to suspect some sort of affair.

  13. JS June 3, 2011 at 1:38 pm #

    Linda-
    Your comment “before the affair I felt this love stuff was special, but it is not as special anymore because he shared it with someone else while he was married to me” is exactly how I feel. We are trying to put things back together, and I believe on that he sincerely would like to make things work, but I fear that feeling that we have a love unlike any other will never ever come back. Love doesn’t feel as special any more, it feels scarred and like it as a big asterisk next to it now. I, too, wonder why he chose to do this to me. I look back on myself before I found out and I envision myself stupidly planning our family vacation or spending $200 on Sting concert tickets for us for a date night (he’s a huge Sting fan) or taking him out to a great restaurant and him texting her all throughout each event – texting her pictures from our vacation, even. So not only does love not feel as special, dates aren’t special, family time together isn’t special, and doing something nice for him just because I know it would mean a lot to him doesn’t give me that warm fuzzy feeling any more, because all those things were shared with her. It all feels rote. Yes, we may come away from this Ok in the end, but I don’t think the “magic” and the beauty of the love we had before will ever return. How could it when he could so easily replicate it with her. It’ s just not special any more.

    • Lori June 6, 2011 at 9:23 am #

      That’s exactly how I feel, Linda. He let someone else into our relationship, and it’s like I always feel her presence there. It can’t ever be the special connection that it was. I honestly don’t know how to get past it – it’s been 8 months and I just feel stuck in this place.

      • A Different Julie June 6, 2011 at 10:53 am #

        Linda, I second the need for advisement! I’m stuck in the same place Lori is and I thought I was crazy thinking that way. I can’t find the words to accurately express to him how it feels to have the ghost of his OW looming over my head all the time – regardless of how insignificant the affair was to him. He says he’ll always regret it happened yet thankful that it made him realize how much he loved me and truly wanted to spend his life with me and only me. I get it, really, but it doesn’t erase that violation – or interruption – of our bond. I didn’t need an EA and/or PA to realize how deeply I felt for him! I feel for him because I simply couldn’t live with myself if I did something like that to him. Wow… what a burden! Yet, I feel like I have to suffer the most for his bad choices. Ugh… I feel for you, Lori.

  14. A Different Julie June 3, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    I’ve been reading this blog for 9 months. It has been a go-to for me since I discovered a whole other ugly side of my husband existed. The affair began while I was out of town for 3 days; his EA/PA began one drunken night after I left and from that weekend, for the next 2.5 months, lies like I’ve never heard before spewed from the very face I was madly in love with.

    I’m reminded constantly of his actions because the OW lives just up the street from us. He went home with her from the local bar that used to be OUR favorite place. I see her almost once a week driving by, her kids go to school with my kids, she lives directly across the street from my son’s school, we use the same community pool, etc. She’s everywhere, if not physically, in my mind. I’m STILL in the mode of feeling like I’m competing with how special she made MY husband feel.

    I, too, ask random questions at random times and we’ve started a weekly “bath time” every Sunday to dedicate time to each other and to address concerns or subjects that require our full attention. Although we’ve been doing this every week for 6 months and it has resulted in significant progress towards recovery, I still don’t feel like I used to – that our relationship is as “clean” and innocent. I struggle trying to regain that extraordinary feeling of us as a couple. I still find myself asking the same questions expecting the answers to change at different stages of our recovery. Some actually have. I struggle with what questions are appropriate and which are acceptable. To me, it’s not fair that I STILL don’t have all the pieces to the puzzle and want him to tell me the details I don’t want to hear so I no longer feel someone out there knows more about my husband than me – regardless of what the details are.

    It drives me nuts thinking about all he said and did to/with her that resulted in exchanges of “I Love you’s” a week after they met. It has changed how I hang on to his words. I now know what he is capable of and I’ve never been so scared in my life to let myself invest 100% again. It hurts to plan my future and have to consider, in the back of my head, that he could possibly do this to me again.

    I have forgiven him but I’m not a stranger to breaking down in a split second, any time, any where because it still hurts so bad. It’s unreal how many triggers I live through every day and how often he gives me the look like I’m crazy for even THINKING he could do this to me again!?! How can I be so sure?

  15. elph June 3, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    at the end of the day, the innocence is lost, you cant replace it, you ant substitute it.

    and the biggest thing we all face is the need to feel special again.

    that lies strictly with the DS/WS.
    they have to work and adapt to make that happen, as well as both spouses have to work on fixing what was wrong with the marriage that created the vunerability to the affair. but without the DW/WS putting in the effort its all for not.

    if my wife and i get to that point (big IF)
    im buying her a thesaurus. there are some words she used with me that she used with him, things eve held on to for over a decade that isnt going anywhere…but here are others, compliments, that she have to replace…

    say handsome…i just dont want to be handsome to her anymore…that doesnt feel special….maybe dashing. now that feels special, it takes a little bit more work and removes another trigger…

    we want to recapture what was before…but at the same time what was before lead to where we are now, so what is ti from before that we want to recapture…it may be best to focus on that, and try and deal with the negative and push through to making the new memories, the new words and effort to not only make us feel special, but to make the realationship feel special too.

  16. RecoveringMommy June 3, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    Back to “battle scars”…

    My H tells me all the time now how much he loves me, how in love he is with me, how beautiful I am, and how incredibly sorry he is for all his put me through. And I believe he truly feels these things. But there’s still that unbelieving, untrusting part of me that wants to shake him and say “Then why did you do this to me?” Even now, over a year later, it’s still very hard to stomach all of this even though I’ve forgiven my H.

    Also, because the OW was so involved in my family’s life, there are so many places we all went together (my favorite restaurants) that even now it’s still hard for me to go back to. It’s very hard for me to go places I know they went together and but of them cannot be avoided. And for a while after D-day, I was absolutely horrified to go out of my house for fear of seeing her.

    One other thing I found myself doing (not so much anymore) was trying to be her. I tried to started wearing dresses, skirts, and high heels as she did. I changed my hairstyle and my make up to “look” more like her. I didn’t even realize I was doing it at first and once I did I realized how silly this was and stopped.

    • elph June 3, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

      It’s funny, I’ve been trying to gathering as much info as i can, asking my wife questions and of course the texts, sonthat I can be as far removed from him as possible. That way if we reconcile I want to avoid things that will remind her of him, and set me apart.

      As it is shell recieve legal seperation papers, move out soon, and then they officially be together. And then they’ll crash n burn.

      When that happens I’ll find out if she wants to reconcile, or even if I’ll want her back. And if we continue, I’ll get my list and use that as part of making me special. Like say, he’s bald. So I’ll grow my hair out. He wears a uni for work. Tshit n jeans when off. I’ve become a shirt n tie guy. I find my self upgrading not only to set my self apart, but to make myself feel better. I feel like the new James bond.

      Oddly enough it’s makes me feel confident,too. I asked my wife what makes me attractive so when I start dating again I know what to focus on. One of the things she said was my confidence. Conversely I found out he has quite the amount of self esteem problems. Yeah. Good luck with that.

    • JS June 6, 2011 at 12:22 am #

      I started to do the same thing. She wore more makeup, so I started to, as well. She was blond, I was brunette. I started highlighting my hair. He loved it all at the time when he was, unbeknownst to me, still engaged in the EA. Now that he’s out of the fog, though, he wants me back as a brunette. Funny thing, though, I like being blond. So I’m keeping it, because it works for me and I’m tired of catering to him. 🙂

  17. Paula June 3, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

    Well said Elph

    Words, places, times, anniversaries, all feel not exclusive, or “special” anymore. We BSs feel no longer unique. Our special little love cocoon that we shared has been invaded and vandalised. I am only able to continue on with this man because I have come to a point where I realise, and more importantly, accept, that I can’t have the relationship I used to have. However, I am not settling for second best, we are in many ways, stronger and more caring than we were before. My H tries to reassure, to be considerate, etc. He can never erase what he did to my self-esteem, but I, and I stress I, can make myself feel better by making good choices, to look after myself! I remember saying to him not long after D-Day, that I thought there should be a statute of limitations on cheating, if you haven’t played that card before 7 years, 10 years, 40 years of age 20 years of marriage, all numbers we had well and truly passed (insert number here…!!!) you don’t get to at all!

    I felt so violated, no condoms used, and I am a complete freak for ensuring sexual health, but wasn’t able to avoid “a dose” because of their selfishness, much to his complete horror.

    Healing is a process, we will all have to work on it forever, but remember to have some fun along the way, you will get to that point if you’re not there yet. Try to remember that your self-esteem comes from within, it took me a long time to have any control over that.

  18. RecoveringMommy June 4, 2011 at 1:02 am #

    Our anniversary is extremely hard for me. My d-day was April 29. My wedding anniversary is May 1. I’m not sure if I’ll ever feel the same about it again.

  19. elph June 4, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    Recovering.
    Then maybe if you reconcile, you should renew your vows on entirely different date. New years. First day of spring. Heck a date close to the beginning of a new school year. Just something new. It might help with the cleansing.

    And get a post nup too. Just in case.

  20. StillMrs October 30, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    I too want to be special. I’m afraid of music. I never know which songs make him think of her or of me. So I have now switched to country music. He hates it, so I know he & his EAOW didn’t listen to any of that when they went on car rides or trips. All the songs are about me!! I confronted her fiance with the information and we became friends (with good solid boundaries) & he’s told me all I need to know to avoid being anything like her. Which I’m not. Like your wife, my husband picked someone he SAID was a lot like me, but turns out has none of the traits he loves & respects about me. I’ve read about a lot of men & women who have had PAs & EAs with people they really don’t like or respect much once they see them in the bright light time & familiarity seems to shine on people. It’s like they want to leave you, but they want to make sure you’re still there. Why else would she pick someone with low self-esteem if self confidence is something she finds attractive? Why does my husband look for liars & people incapable of love, loyalty, or being supportive, when it’s my unconditional love he always said is what amazed him about me? They just don’t want to lose us on some very deep level. They sabotage themselves. I knew how it would all play out. I knew he loved me even when he was saying (& believing) he never did. But boy do those triggers still get me. I don’t really understand how I can be so sure of my marriage while all these triggers affect me so much. He’s showing signs of finally getting what I’m going through & what I need, but he’s still lost in the fog. I know that. It frightens me. But I have faith that the foundation he so unceremoniously broke, was so strong that it will withstand all this.

  21. Crystal January 12, 2015 at 6:24 am #

    Thank you for reposting. No, I think emotional triggers as you mentioned will always be there. They become part of who you are – now. There is no way to sugar coat them and they will always conjure up the feelings of betrayal and loss. Maybe not as intense as they once were, but they will still come up and slap you in the face from time to time. We are going in 6 years from D day and the sad truth is I do not believe they will ever go away completely. I guess you just have to decide if you are willing to live with them or not.

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