What happens in an affair that makes cheaters play by their own rules with no moral stance about what they are doing?

cheaters play by their own rulesBy Linda

During one of our recent Affair Recovery Group sessions we discussed how the cheaters have their own story and play by their own rules.  They do not act in ways that would be categorized as typical human behavior.  

I believe they feel very little guilt and do not have much concern for the implications of their actions. 

I also think that is why it is so difficult for the betrayed spouse to deal with their behavior, since it is so different and far removed from the way we (betrayed spouses) would act. It is also very different from how the cheating spouse typically acted in the past.  It’s confusing to say the least.

I was able to truly understand this concept when Doug and I had a conversation this past weekend about Tanya’s husband and why he didn’t confront Doug.  I have witnessed through this website that many betrayed husbands do confront the other man and I was interested in why that wasn’t the case in our situation.

I know that her husband had found out about their emotional affair, and Doug had told me Tanya had taken care of it.  At the time, he almost made her sound like a martyr since she saved him from her crazy husband. This never did sit well with me, by the way.

When Doug told me how Tanya had kept her husband from showing up at our house, I was taken aback to put it mildly.  Tanya apparently told her husband that she would leave him if he tried to confront Doug.  Now how twisted is that?  

See also  Discussion – How are You Proud of Your Spouse?

She was the one who had the emotional affair, and yet she was the one who told her husband that she would leave if he confronted her lover!  Even more amazing is that he listened and obeyed her.  To me this confirms how much power the cheater believes they have.  They feel invincible.

I wonder what causes this.  How does a person project that kind of power and control over a person?  What happens in an affair that makes a person follow their own set of rules with no moral stance about what they are doing? I wonder who they think they are!

Unfortunately many of us betrayed spouses feed into their power by being a doormat because we are so afraid of losing our marriage.  I wonder what would have happened if Tanya’s husband told her to go jump in the lake.   I wonder what would have transpired if he said:  “I’m going to go tell your lover what I think about him.”  What would have been her reaction then?  Would that have provided the proverbial kick in the ass and knock some sense of reality into her?  She certainly wasn’t displaying the actions of a person who was acting rationally or with any sense of remorse.

I wonder why they feel they can play by their own rules.  Is it a sense of entitlement since they believe they deserve to be loved perfectly, and that nothing is going to stand in their way?  Do they feel that they have nothing to lose because they have their lover and everything else is unimportant? Is it the romantic notion that we all have, that love will conquer all?  I wonder what the betrayed spouse can do to get the cheater to play by their rules – the rules that most honest and moral humans follow.


    45 replies to "Cheaters Play By Their Own Rules During an Affair"

    • melissa

      You are absolutely right about the lack of guilt. It’s almost like moral rules disappear in an emotional affair. Possibly, the lack of sex absolves the cheater from looking at his (or her) behaviour, if he or she only equates unfaithfulness with sex.

      This also means that if the cheater thinks he is ‘doing nothing wrong’ (a phrase many of us have heard time and time again, no doubt), then there is no reason to feel any guilt. However, I do think there is an element of guilt but it is pushed down, not articulated because it would, obviously, upset the whole discourse of the ‘perfect partner’ out there and the ‘terrible spouse’ at home.

      It is also easy to justify this behaviour with the ‘I’m a grown up, I can do what I want’ line. This, perversely, is so childish! Few people understand that being an adult is not ‘about I can do what I want and so there!’ but being able to take the consequences of one’s actions into account and being aware of the potential harm we inflict on others.

      Another thought is about how the cheater can have so much power. My sister said to me recently that people often dominate/use power only as far as we let them. I think it is true, to a certain extent, but not wholly true.

    • mark

      Linda, I just went through this on Saturday. In the midst of another confrontation over finding out she was in contact AGAIN with the OB, I finally verbalized everything I had been thinking. Looking back, I said some very hurtful things, but they are things that needed to be said. I shouted out to her “who are you?”. “Where did my wife go?”. “You are not the person I married”, “You are not the mother of our children”,
      I think I might have even called her a cold hearted bitch.

      Everything just poured out. It sounds terrible. But I felt like nothing I had been saying had reached her. Hearing this from me Saturday and having my son validate my questions finally cracked her armor. It’s like she emerged from a coma. I know this sounds dramatic, but it was like a bad movie where the person who had been taken over by some kind of entity wakes up and blinks their eyes and finally has clarity.

      I know that hard times are ahead, but this is the first time since my first discovery of the affair that I think the ramifications of her actions have finally hit her between the eyes. I think she finally sees the level of commitment I have towards her and our family. I think she finally realizes that I, the man who can’t forgive anybody for anything, has the capacity to forgive the love of his life.

      I am still here, still fighting. I will not give up on her. She made a terrible mistake that I think she finally sees. I am becoming the person I should have been many years ago. My walls have come down. Maybe now hers are too. I hope we can begin to rebuild our life.

      • Yuki

        Like Linda, I am so glad to hear that you stood up to her and said the things you did. And I’m that you have hope again, Mark. I will continue to pray for you.

        I’m glad also to hear that you know there are hard times ahead. It seems that she now is starting to realize what she has done, but she is still mired in it. It will be hard for her to let go, even if she remembers how much she loves you. Be strong, Mark! I know you can be a wonderful husband.

      • Steve


        Holly smokes…..the emotions I find on here are so much how I feel about my wife’s emotional affairs. She has had several during our 22 years of marriage. My wife has cheated on me in the past (8 plus years ago). It started as an emotional affair and escalated after confrontation with me to a real affair. We separated, worked with attorney’s and spent a small fortune reconcilling. It wasn’t until the 23rd hr. that she came back asking for a second chance after her “multiple male emotional attachments” wore of her tiresome lies and misfortunes. After spending many hours at home taking care of the kids, working, traveling and setting up babysitters to watch our very young kids I finally said enough is enough……I wanted to get out and experience the world too.

        It was a funny time for me…I had already given up on her, joined match.com and had 3 lovely women very interested in me. I was working full time, (executive level), I stayed in our home (she moved out with “friend” and we shared kid responsibilities. What sucked about this is that she actually had our kids stay with her and her male friend right from the get go. (talk about kids potential for being messed up. My oldest still talks about it and how she could never trust her mom after this event.)

        I was finally making the next big move in my life, I was on a short weekend trip with a new female companion…….we were about to culminate the relationship after a very romantic weekend and low and behold the soon to be ex started calling and texting me like a madwoman that she was asking for reconcilliation. $70K later after all the attorney bills were paid and “her extravagant lifestyle” supressed (credit card debt). I forced her into the counseling that she needed before I would ever consider having her again. After I didn’t care and I only directed activities through our mediation with attorney’s (ignoring her). She finally realizes what she needed…it was me???? Go figure, and I have always been a sap for true love, through thick and thin and all that mumbo jumbo.

        It was a rocky couple of months but we worked it out and luckily my job transferred me to California about 4 years later. (or so I thought)

        The next 5 years were good, mixed with good times, bad times and just raising a family in a very expensive place! We had regular dates, I traveled a great deal working for a startup which created a great deal of pent up anger in my wife. She was lacking the attention that a good looking, fit blonde MILF desired. (47 years old). We had our share of vacations, (some had to be to family), Vegas, Hawaii, Europe, Skiing etc. Some were attached to work trips because we tended to use vacation time up to visit both sides of our families and given the distance now between the midwest and California. With three weeks of vacation a year you have to be creative with your vacations. Long weekends, tagging onto business trips and quick trips to Vegas or the desert. It never seemed to be enough for her. This was all in addition to the cost of remodeling a kitchen, bathroom, landscaping etc on an overpriced California home.

        To add to the dangerous mix I lost my job in this tough 2010 economy. She went back to work…….I had to make it happen for her since she continued to be computer illiterate. She landed two jobs with my “crafted resume for her” One job started but ‘her dream job came soon after……she was now going back to her profession of interior design. She works at a major retailer that has designers to work with clients. She is really good at her work which led to “additional off the books type of work” for divorced/single males who work in the Venture capital world (very wealthy). Remember, I was now unemployed, taking care of kids and learning to cook other than grilling out. The kids soon saw a change in her like I did. Secret texts, email that she regularly chuckled at but never shared. Eventually, I decided to check her email and found numerous notes of infactuation, invitation and just overall sexual inuando.

        The phone bill had many texts to a regular cadrey of males. (both gay males (fun guys with no worries) and her select clientele who may or may not be clientele. I always seemed to be checking up on her all of a sudden. Always wondering why work was over and she was not home. Damn I sound like the jilted wife on a TV show or something…Ugh! When I confronted her about what I believed was going on….another emotional affair she denied it all and closed up completely. It continues, daily, frustrating me to know end. Even worse our kids find her boreish, shelfish and the like. (They are older and really don’t like interacting with her anymore. I always try to play the middle ground on that one. They ask lots of questions and I just say mom is going through a phase.

        I text her at the end of the night to make sure she knows I love her and I am the last one to “text her” before her other “emotional attachments do.

        Fast forward, Valentine’s day 2011. I drive to her work to deliver flowers, card, chocolate and a great Pinot Noir. She is very happy, likes the attention as I know she does. She comes home after work and a quick client meeting that turns into a return to home at 10 PM.

        She brings me a small box of chocolates that she bought as an after thought on Valentine’s day. (late afternoon purchase) No card, no emotional sentiment etc.

        At times I believe that I still love her. I profess my love for her despite the many mixed emotions I encounter. Emotional affairs are the worst and I have endured both. With a real live sexual affair you have a choice put before you, there is no doubt in your mind and the choices are more clear despite the hurt. Emotional affairs are just like many on this site have stated, they are childish, romps without the sex which allows a person to escape reality. I know my job situation didn’t make it easy given I was blessed with good income, great schools for kids and nice stuff. I would give it all up for a stable and honest relationship either with my wife or my next adventure.

        It is funny, I recently have received two job offers taking us back to the midwest. Both are great offers and would satisfy many of the career ambitions that I still have despite being a 49 year (overpaid) executive. What I don’t know is if the wife is on board with the move. The oldest kid will be in college and the youngest wants to move away from mom…..what do I do if my wife continues her emotional attachments? She says she still loves me. (rarely shows it) I have avoided all the traps of jumping into affairs etc. ( I am a fit, good looking male and get attention) and have focused on getting tht next job (seeking work is a full time job itself!!!).

        Stay tuned, I have a period of time where I will be living in another city for work. This is needed until the kids get out of school and my overpriced california home sells for a loss. Financially, we stand to lose but emotionally just getting out of this mess makes it very exhilerating….I just want the “new life to start.” The MILF (wife) appears to be wanting to come but each day is a different “feeling” etc. I just wonder if it isn’t just a good time to pull the plug? End the relationship? Let her have her life? Give her half of our assets (which is none after a large mortgage payoff and a year of unemployment) and just start fresh. The only reason I hold back is the consequences of my youngest. Her emotional well being. The two of us best buddies especially given all the free time I have had with a lack of a job. She has been my movie buff, athlete in training and my ping pong buddy. She is excited about the move and she herself realizes that she doesn’t know if mom will make the trek back to the midwest.

        Stay tuned for updates from me I am finding I need an outlet for my pent up emotions……..maybe I just need to meet some hot MILF myself who doesn’t have the emotional baggage, a great education, a bit of money (job with real money potential) and wants to carry on a real life journey and share it in person and not via a text or email vs. an emotional or real affair.

        • Yolanda

          Hi Steve take your new job.. life keeps going..and cheaters suddenly never change. Now you’re first, your children are grown..and despite of thet..you need to have a life!!!
          Good luck, and be strong,

    • anaffairtoremember

      One commenter put it very well the other day when they said that the cheater is not in their right mind when the cheating is going on. I do wholeheartedly believe that. The person I was married to for 19 years and the person who stands before me today is not the same person during the 3 month stint of this emotional affair. It helps me to understand that because I am still so very hurt that the man that I thought had such moral character would have been so willing to leave his family for some fantasy – it continuously makes me feel de-valued that I was so easily expendable. There’s a line I would never cross and my spouse was willing to leap right over it, and that is something that you just can’t ever make go away. This is the thing with emotional affairs, some people justify their behavior by saying that since there is no physical contact that it doesn’t break your marriage vows. I think it’s this type of mentality that the cheater employs that makes it easier for them to look in the mirror each morning. Being able to not feel guilty while they are doing this is the one thing I don’t think I will ever be able to comprehend – but I’ll keep trying.

      • Tiffany

        I’m so glad others are experiencing this as well. Not glad that they are in pain but glad that I am not the crazy one as my husband has tried to make me believe that I am. He hasn’t even talked to his EA in almost a year but confessed to me that he fantasizes about her to the point that he is ready to leave and try to get her to leave. We have two young boys and so does she. I asked him if he seriously wanted to be responsible for possibly breaking up two families with young children. He says that he is a terrible person but I feel like he is saying it with his head all the while feeling like in his heart it is something that he needs to try. He says that she doesn’t even know that he still thinks about her. I had thought the affair was over and he was done with this but our relationship had been deteriorating ever since it happened and finally came to a breaking point. Only after I went crazy trying to fix myself over the last two months and finally was at a loss did he admit what the real problem was after we happened to see her at a store. They didn’t talk to eachother but he says that when he saw her that he immediately got so shaky he didn’t think he could even drive. I didn’t know she was there, I just saw him smiling at something and he lied about what it was at the time. When he admitted to all these fantasy’s I felt relief that I finally knew the real problem, but devastated because he still says he might want to leave to pursue this. WHAT IS HE THINKING? I can’t even comprehend this insanity. This is not the person I married. I can’t believe how manipulated I have been. Everyday I fluctuate in my feelings. One day I feel empowered and say I don’t care if he stays or not, the next I am desperate and needy. He has actually made me feel like this is all my fault and feel bad for HIM for going through this torture of choosing! I just keep trying to reason with him but it all reason in him has disappeared. Tonight I told him that I won’t ask him to leave but that I won’t ask him to stay again if he wants to go. I can’t keep doing this to myself. But the idea of having a conversation with our four and two year olds about where daddy is and why he isn’t here makes me feel like I have been punched in the stomach. All over a bunch of fantasies!

    • Yuki

      My husband is not totally out of the fog yet. While he now understands that what he did was wrong, he still sometimes says things that make me feel that he still thinks they had something special. That has a lot to do with the rules of their relationship, which I have slowly been figuring out.

      They made the decision early on that they would not leave their families. That was the first of their rules. They would wait for the day that fate would somehow bring them together. They talked daily about keeping that dream alive, waiting for the dream to come true, being the dream for each other, etc.

      In their eyes, this was the honorable thing to do. Having the affair was also then the honorable thing to do because they were soul mates who were meant to be together, but were stuck doing the honorable thing in a situation beyond their control. They both convinced themselves that their spouses had forced them into their marriages, and now they had to take care of their duties to children and finances and families. (My husband actually couldn’t wait to get married when we finished school.) So they would suffer together in secret until the day came when their dream would come true.

      They comforted each other and helped each other to follow their rules. In their six years together, they developed many rules… my favorite is that it was ok to have sex with your spouse because you have needs, but real intimacy had to be reserved for your affair partner.

      And here we are now, 4 months after D-day, and my husband is just starting to see how screwed up their rules actually were.

    • Andrew

      It really is amazing just how screwed up the cheating spouse’s thinking and rationale is during an affair. They believe that they are doing what is right in their minds, and cannot even see beyond the fantaasy tunnel they are looking through. They can’t see the whole picture, or all the damage they are doing not only to the betrayed spouse, or kids, but to themselves. They are on a road to destruction, and they can’t see that the bridge is out at the end of that road. Everything is all beautiful to them on the affair road, but it is like the old hollywood western towns, a bunch of false fronts, with no substance behind it all. It is all an illusion, but a very powerful one to them, no less, which has twisted their thinking and morality to such a degree that they no longer have morals. I asked my wife one time not too long ago if she and the OP were dating. She told me that how could they, she was still married? I told her that she is having a relationship with him, and not me, but we are still married, so what’s the difference? She honestly believes that what she is doing is ok, because they aren’t actually dating, and that we are “separated”. The only separation is in her mind though, because we still still live together, and she takes advantage of all the benefits of being married without the responsibilities and obligations. I can’t help but laugh at some of the things that my wife says to justify her affair.

      It is crazy how they believe that they have so much power and control over the situation. Unfortunately, we as the BS, have given them that power and control, through our actions and reactions. We want to keep our marriages and spouses so badly that we do anything to do so, such as begging, pleading, promising change, crying, threatening, and other general wrong behavior, that it give the CS more power to have the affair. That is because it only drives them away more, and makes it easier to justify their actions to themselves. They are in control at that point. Once we the BS realize that our behavior is having the opposite effect that we desire, only then can we take away that power and control. In order to do that, we must become indifferent to the affair, and act like we don’t care, even though it is tearing us up inside. Yesterday, I was in turmoil inside all day, but I acted as if nothing was wrong with me, and I tried to present my best self to my wife. It was extremely difficult, especially since I saw the card professing her love to the OP, and that Valentine’s day choclates that she was going to give him. She gave me a card from the kids, with only one line it from her: “you are the best daddy”, and signed just her name, without Love before it, yet pours her heart out to the OP. I am very happy that I got the card from the kids, don’t get me wrong, but I’m sure all of you can see the flawed actions on my wife’s part. This is just another example of the screwed up thinking that goes through the CS mind. Now, I acted like I didn’t know about the card and chocolates for the OP, and just went about being happy anyways, regardless of what she does. It is hard, but not impossible.

      Linda is right that we cannot be doormats though. We do have every right to get mad or angry at times, but the key is all in how we express that anger. We must be the mature one in the situation. An affair is the most immature and selfish thing a grown adult can do. So, we must be the adult here, because the CS is acting like the teenager that has no respect for their parents and rebels and does what they want. Quite a challenge, but it can be conquered.

      • Doug

        Andrew, I think the key to getting through this is to act in a way that is true to ourselves. Behave in a way that we can be proud of and know that we are setting a good example to those around us. I would have loved to do some things that would have been considered immature but I also knew that after the fact I would have to live with myself . I choose to handle this situation with character and integrity. Linda

        • Yuki

          Yeah, I’ve had thoughts about doing a lot of things, like go and take out the OW! Or send an email to everyone in their alumni association. Or tell everyone about the lying cheats in their midst. Or call the OW’s husband and tell him everything – as far as he knows, their affair ended over 2 years ago, and he never knew any details.

          But I have also chosen the higher path. There is no good to come from any of those actions, so I will refrain.

          I still wonder about telling the OW’s husband. He was apparently so distraught the last time he found out that my husband said he fears for her safety if I were to tell her husband more. At first I thought my husband was just trying to protect the OW from me, but I’ve read so many articles about the danger in revealing affairs that I’m afraid my husband may be right. What if the OW’s husband did go beserk? I don’t want to take that chance.

        • Andrew

          Linda, you are absolutely correct! I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to realize a lot of things, but there’s no sense in beating myself up over it. I agree that you should act in a way that is comfortable to you, and as a good example, but not in a counterproductive way. I know I did many times, and regret that, but I have to move forward. My wife is still planning on moving out next month, and as much as it hurts me to let her go, I am at peace, because I know I am doing everything I possibly can to save my marriage, and if she still wants to leave, I’m ok with it. I want my marriage to work out, but I know I can’t force it, and I just have to be the best I can be if she changes her mind. Thank you, Linda for your response. I have gotten so much help from this site. I’m still believing in my marriage and in everyone else’s!

    • Norwegian woman

      This is something that puzzles me still. All the things he said….. How could he? What was he thinking? Who was he? I still get moments of intense anger when I think about it. The citizism before I discovered it. I was hopeless and did everything wrong. The quarrels he made up to make me even more hopeless. The reasons why he was involved with her. All her fantastic qualities, as a contrast to the image he had built about me. Him defending her and telling me what a caring person she was even months after D-day….
      My only comfort is that he was dead wrong. Her character is quite oposite of mine. She goes from relationship to relationship, being kicked out againg and again. She has a awfull relationship to her grown-up daughter, she had told him she worked with elderly people because she cared so much for elderly people, the truth is that she was a kitchen assistant in a home for elderly people…
      Now he is terrified about what he was about to get in to. A lying, self-sentered love-junkie……… Not the caring, wonderful woman he thought she was……
      He sure was in a daze, unable to see who she really was……
      I hope that he sees just how fogged his vision was, and that he realizes that an affair is a path to distruction because of it.
      But the wounds he has put on me….. they will never disappear.

      • Kris

        I’m right there with you NW. I had to hear so many nice things about the AP even for a few months after he returned. Now he realizes how distorted his thinking was of her. Now he can see how she PLOTTED to get him. How “nice” of a person is that who would set out to do something that destructive? He hates talking about the real her though because he feels like a fool now that the blinders are off. I can’t get enough of it though. After how much he threw her in my face and spoke so highly of her, I can’t get enough of hearing about it and if he feels like a fool so be it! I get why he wouldn’t want to talk about it. How foolish it must be to know you almost gave up your family for someone who was NOT what you thought. I know he hates himself right now but I need my ego stroked after it being torn down for so long.

    • Monalesia

      I can tell you that I did confront the OW. I wanted her to know that I am not the helpless little victim of her and my husband’s selfish actions. I not only called her, but I insisted that my husband listen to the entire conversation. After an extended conversation with that lying piece of trash, I proceeded to call her husband and let him in on all the fun that his wife was having with my husband. Of course I allowed my husband to listen to that call also. To say the least her husband was completely taken aback and never suspected a thing. Well that was certainly something he and I had in common. Lastly, I made a call to her supervisor at her workplace, due to the fact that most all of the texting, calls, and emails were done while she was suppose to be working. I am not saying that the route I took is right for everyone, but it worked for me. Did I care if my husband objected to me making these calls? Hell NO.

      • ChangedForever

        Good for you – you are so courageous! I wanted to do this SO BADLY – but just never had the opportunity and the hurt was SO intense on my part… may still happen though – as the OP has the gall to continue to live in this area until her summer job comes around again (which is where the SA happened with my H) – I guess lifelong unemployment doesn’t give you much opportunity to do that much. But I continue to reap the benefits of working so hard to save my marriage – hope you are doing the same – let me know how you are doing.

      • angeleyes

        I did the same exact thing you did except I went to the bitch’s house to confront her and she wasn’t there but her husband was and so I started showing him the phone bill to my husbands cell and showed him all the times he and her had spoke and went off because he didn’t have a clue just as I didn’t. He called his wife and told her I was there , she calls my husband and tells him what I have done and he chews me out but I ignored him and told him if she was going to destroy my life I was going to destroy hers and let everybody know what kind of person she was. She knew my husband was bi-polar and her being a nurse took advantage. So then the next day I went to her work and told two supervisiors and her boss she was suppose to be dealing with the elderly at the nursing home instead of calling and speaking to my husband on their time and if they didn’t do anything about it I was going to go higher. They spoke to her and word got around so she has a name for herself now. I wasn’t going to let it go. Then when I had gotten enough nerve I confronted her and she was shaken like a leaf but I told her how it was and if she ever came around my husband again or I caught wiff of it I was sicking my attorney on her and take everything she has including her wages and I meant buisness. Nedless to say she longer has no dealing with my husband but now I am having a difficult time getting over everything he told her because I have copies of his texts, and I have him on camera kissing her and he knows I could take him to the cleaners but he acts like what he did was no big deal and I should basically get over it after it has been 9 months from the time I found out. We argue all the time and he has gotten very verbally abusive because I want to talk about the affair and how it hurts me and ask why he did it and he avoids it by argueing and saying mean things and threats all the time like I am suppose to bow down to him which I feel like he is the one who needs to do everything to prove himself. Anyway that is part of my story and I thought it was interesting how you and I did the same thing. Anyway I am still with my husband trying to work it out we shall see what happens.

        • Doug

          angeleyes, Thanks for sharing your story. I’m not sure of the extent of your husband’s relationship with the OW, but do you think the way you confronted and handled her has caused some deep resentment with your husband? Other than that, it sounds like your husband needs to understand that healing is a process and he can have a lot of influence on whether it’s a shorter process or a longer process based on his level of commitment, cooperation, communication, etc. I don’t like what I’m reading though about the threats and stuff. Please make sure you are in a physically safe situation first and foremost! Then do your part by creating an environment that is conducive to talking – to blaming, no judging, no arguing, etc. Maybe he’ll start to open up.

          • ppl

            problem is never with other person but with your spouse. you cannot intimidate the world to stay away from your spouse. I never confronted other man because i saw no point in it. he wasnt taking advantage of me, my wife was. HOWEVER, cheaters always seem to blame the spouse for the way they find out, not their own responsibility. my wife complained for weeks about me reading her email. it indicated a lack of trust in her. never mind that i discovered the EA and admission of inappropriate e mails. it was all my fault. it wouldnt have been an issue if i didnt find out. i am convinced that if i found her in bed with him, than she would claimed it was my fault for not knocking before entering the bedroom.

        • Vettegirl08

          Hi angel eyes, I came across these posts while trying to figure out my own nightmare that has happened and I could really relate to your post. I see that this was back in 2011, do you mind me asking how things have worked out? I am so very lost, sad, confused, and everything else and feel exactly as you did by wanting to talk about it and him getting mad because of it. If I hear, “it’s over, and it was no big deal. so more on” I’m going to scream! Anyway, I don’t know if this is still an active blog or not and this may not even get to you but it was as if you were speaking through me (all except the part about confrontation). Thank you for sharing some of your story…..while it may seem odd I want you to know that it helped me to hear that someone else had felt the same way and gone through some of the same feelings and emotions as I.

    • Morrigan

      Can people talk a bit about how their spouses are handling depression? My SO is 6 months out of last speaking to the OW. He ended it and it was an EA (which he does not think is cheating btw, because he did not sleep with her) But he made the choice to end the friendship as it was hurting us and not what he wanted. He spent 6 weeks in turmoil over the summer, at the time he was about 75% honest with me, telling me he was confused, to give him time, space, that he didn’t know what love was etc, we had just had our 13 yr. anniversary, we are not married, but we had just bought our first house and BAM this all went down. I now know that the issue really for him is commitment. He told me he can not commit to anyone. He has had such an abusive life growing up and had such pain that I feel he truly fears the intimacy. There a lot I could talk about with this but it would take days! But one thing happening as of late is the depression, and its bad, but he says its not depression. IT is the winter, and with his career he has 2 months off of work, he normally goes to visit family during this time but hasn’t this year. He isn’t going out at all, at home and has all the classical signs of depression and I believe, guilt. I am beginning to the time alone at home has him thinking about it all too much. Not that it’s a bad thing, but in this case i believe it is, as it is now effecting us. The last discussion/ argument was Monday and he said things that I don’t believe are thru, trying to push me away, yet he is still there. But now I have doubt he wants to be and even though i know I should not take anything said personally, I am wondering if he feels trapped here with me in this relationship that he said I am delusional about, that it was fading fast. Fading fast says to me, “not done yet” I know we both need to work on us and ourselves as individuals. However, I feel as though he is in so much pain. Have others seen this in their SO after they ended the EA, how far out, 2, 4, 6 8 months???

    • betrayed man

      I verbally confronted om via phone, former friend. Beyond that I determined any energy towards him was not worth my time. I know he suffers guilt as his spouse has told me so let them suffer.

    • Steve

      Tiffany et al.

      I wanted to follow-up on my situation. As before two beautiful girls (one 18 and on her way to college and one talented middle school girl).

      On my last post I was unemployed executive in Calif. I have since accepted a job in Milwaukee. The job has been going fine. My wife gained new space to continue her regular texting, emails, and phone calls to her new found friend. This one seems to have stuck vs. the others she pushed away not knowing how to handle all their interest.

      On several occassions her calender (work) or calls to work (she works retail) don’t match up with what is stated at home. The text trail is pretty easy to follow as she sets up her next rendezvous with Michael. Michael is a good looking, divorced 42 year old male….I met him on one of my Look sees on her whereabouts. She was at his house helping him do laundry and all the other “wife like duties.” Funny she was incredulous that I came to door and had regular conversation with Michael who stated he thought she was divorced….ahhh so the story continues…I am the ex. At least she should say she is having an affair to him directly and that she is unhappily married….

      The new man Michael is astonished based on his reaction. I have given him my business card in case he wants to call and talk. Grab a coffee. Actually he seems like a nice guy caught in a trap. Someone I would potentially identified as a friend too. If only she had brought him into both of our lives. She always refused that. I will be curious if he ever calls.


      So three weeks forward after numerous work trips back and forth the Milwaukee I have a chance to spend some time with kids at home….low and behold she has another anomoly in he schedule…my gut feeling is that it doesn’t seem right. Yup she was back over at his house. This time I walked around like the “sneek” I am the asshole that I am (per her) and eventually knock on the door. He answers and again is surprised to see me. This time I go down the littany of evidence that she is indeed still married, not separated, that we actually had sex (two nights ago) and that she tells half truths. For example she never graduated from college but Uses the University of Michigan as a reference point for her education. Never earned anything.

      She also states she is an interior designer….she is good but never trained in the methods. Also told her friend several other non-matching stories that she most likely told him.

      Today was the day I finally said NO MORE shit. I will get killed by the attorney’s my kids are afraid of her…she has not been around much while I have been trying to figure out how to relocate my family to Milwaukee hoping that this was a phase….a phase that has repeated several times in our 23 years of marriage.

      It won’t change…friends recognize her for what she is and keep trying to get me out, trying to help with sound legal advice etc. This time it will happen. I am done. Her mother has given up on her as well.

      Our house is now for sale (relocation company) and I can’t even answer the questions of what “stuff will be moved” I don’t want anything….just my kids. All the material things are so far beyond me. I told the wife she can have the bad luck cheaters bed. (that is an older story that is a fun tale as well). My luck has to change. The new day, has come and I need to focus on my kids and my new work. Concentration is so hard and I fear I may fail, but I can’t, I can’t for the kids I can’t for myself.

      I actually have also been interviewing locally in Calif to see if I can find a situation that will keep me closer to my kids…..

      I am a good looking fit male age 49…it is now time to have my fun. Anybody who needs nurtuing, companionship and conversation I am open to anything as I sit her late at night frustrated, lonely and feeling it is all my fault. 734-368-7299.

      Just keep telling yourselves it isn’t your fault. You may have created some problems but no marriage deserves these sorts of behaviors.

      • mark

        Wow, you moved right down the road from me. (about 40 miles). I was born and raised in a suburb of Milwaukee.
        I’m sorry to hear that your wife is still in total denial. Hell, it sounds like you have a better job than I do and I always wanted daughters, so maybe we could get married and start a reality show. ….

        ok, that was a joke and I’m totally heterosexual.

        I hope things turn out for you. I know exactly how you are feeling and I wish you the best.

    • EnoughIsEnough

      Everyone’s posts really hit home! I divorced my husband after 19 years and one actual affair (11 years ago). Long story, short. He’s Bipolar, went off meds in 2009 because “there is nothing wrong with me”. 6 months later began flirting and inappropriate behavior with a troubled 15 year old we allowed to stay with us because our teenage children had asked. Within 3 months he moved out in an apartment and took the 15 year old with him. 6 months later came begging me not to divorce him and I and his daughters were “his world”. He had confessed to “just sleeping in the same bed”, a single bed, with the girl for 6 months until she moved out. Social Services wouldn’t do anything because her disturbed mother said that it was just fine and dandy for her to live with this Angel-yes, she called him an angel. She doesn’t know that they slept together and may have a different take on the situation if she knew.
      Since that, here is how it played out. Get rid of girlfriend says wife, ok says husband (for 2 weeks) then back with girlfriend. Wife says get rid of girlfriend, husband says ok (for about 2 weeks). You get the gist. We were up to time number 5 this January when he emotionally collapsed and I fell for it once again. He even threw me a bone and said here’s my phone records and my password to my email. A woman’s intuition is I think close to 100% accurate. Caught red handed this past Friday using his X-Box to communicate with her via text and voice chat. That explains the 9:00 curfew he had every night and just HAD to get back to his apartment.
      LESSONS LEARNED: 1. Once a cheater, always a cheater. 2. Cheaters are very crafty at manipulation and I will no longer fall for any emotional “heart tugs”, from him anyway. 3. I CAN do this as I am very intelligent, svelt and pretty and DO NOT deserve to be treated like a doormat.
      Thanks for letting me rant…It feels good especially with those who know EXACTLY what I am going through.

    • EnoughIsEnough

      Steve, You sound like a great guy and I truly understand the hurt you are feeling. Good for you (and me) for finally saying enough is enough. I’m near Madison and 44.
      IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Our only fault is that we have really huge hearts that were just crushed into a billion pieces by someone who we thought we loved and loved us.

      • Steve


        Feel free to text me when you think of it….734-368-7299….just identify yourself…..and we can chat.

        • EnoughIsEnough

          Hi Steve,

          I only use my cell for basically a back up or emergencies and my preferred mode of communication is actually Facebook, [email protected]
          Send friend request if you need to rant/chat.


    • Kris

      Two things:

      1) who’s to say if the story is true. I believe betrayers and AP’s project themselves in a way they want to be portrayed. They put their best foot forward and will try to pour into the other person what it is they’ve been desiring so they are that “perfect person” to them. Perhaps she all along wanted Doug to believe he was first in her life, first in her heart and telling that story is to keep that going. Protecting him at all odds — and all that bullshit.

      2) please really consider NOT using the word LOVER when refusing to the AP or referring to the betrayed spouse. I can’t stand it. It’s a word that is something we the SPOUSE are to be to our spouses. Someone else is not a lover they are an affair partner, they are part of a destroying act. Lover is a positive word and it’s hurtful to the betrayed spouse to see the AP referred that way. I can’t stand it, it’s a trigger for me. It makes me sick to my stomach to think when she talks about my husband she refers to him as her lover. GROSS.

    • kikky

      Why do they do this to us? Treat us with no-typical human behavious. Do most cheaters go through mid-life crisis at the same time? My husband thought that he was a superhero. I guess he started to wake up when he was looking at a $500,000-1 million homes with OW. WE already had a wonderful home and he started to wake up. What a trigger for me was my H’s grooming kit. He would take that back and forth. And now when i look at it, it reminds me of her when they were together. My H was shot down so many times with obstacles. I don’t know he kept going.

      • Francis

        Oh please my wife’s OM was in the special forces 30 years ago. He was almost crippled in a battle. Now he is out of shape diabetic and eats and drinks everything that is bad for him.. He even told her that if they ended up together he wanted her to get him in shape(she’s a Fitness Pro Competitor).
        When I told her how some of my friends thought they saw them together and wanted to confront him you know what she said! Oh, I would like to see them try he is very adept at defending himself. When I said he can’t raise his arms above his head she says, oh I am sure his legs are quite capable…WHAT…was she even thinking, maybe that he could run away! I started calling him Wolverine !

    • Francis

      So, my wife told me that if I go after her ” friends” career she would have to leave me. Well, when I felt that I had pretty much won her back I went full barrel. Can you believe that he blames me for getting him fired from one of his employers. This tour guide who used his job to meet women was fired because of my letter. Not because of what he did, not because many other people have complained, not because the tour company has a reputation to protect…NNNOOOOO it was my fault!

      Oh I sent the letter anonymously so as to protect my wife and our family name. But this was cowardly according to the self serving creep. He claims he only got fired because the president of the tour company is over protective of his young beautiful wife and feels that she may one day be a target of something like this…can ANYONE believe my wife’s affair partner told her that!

      Is this guy a sicko or what!

    • Strengthrequired

      He seems to definitely have tickets on himself, that’s for sure. Lol. Good in you for sending the letter. My husband said something to me similar in the early days. If I was to make her look bad in front of anyone, he would never forgive me, or something like that. Honestly forgot what it was, so long ago. Lol

    • Gizfield

      My husband told me I would “make him look bad” if I exposed what he did with a skunk behind my back. I said “sorry, you made yourself look bad by doing it in the first place.”

      • Strengthrequired

        Of course he made himself look bad. Giz…
        I remember now, I wanted to go to the ow place of work and tell all of those that she works with and those who parents that drop off their kids as she worked with children, that watch out for your husbands ladies as she attaches herself to married men, and are you sure you want her near your children as I have 6 and she just broke all their hearts because she didn’t give a shit about them.
        Well of course my h didn’t want me to,

        • Francis

          Funny thing is that’s what we spoke about last night. I brought up how I read the comments DEAN made to his wife and how word for word they were exactly what my W said to me during her EA. It’s amazing how every word and action was 99% the same. She was upset with me but at least she no longer says, ” oh, you have it wrong HE’s different then other men, you just dint get it”. .
          I almost feel that now she gets a little angry because she sees what the OM WAS all about.

      • Francis

        Yes, yes! When I found out about their second meeting while my W was on a business trip I said to her ..” If you bring him to your room or if he is staying with you I am calling your boss right now”. After all I know she paid for at least one meal for him with company cc. ( she claims that she ate the app and salad and he ate the main course)(again he was free loading).
        She assured me that he was in his own hotel (which I confirmed), but guess what she said to me! If you tell anyone anything at work about how I met him one afternoon and skipped out on my trade show, or lie and tell them he stayed with me …I WILL GET FIRED..IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT.?
        Well, if she was planning to share her room with him or leave me why would I give a hoot if she got fired…why are they so stupid and blind when they do these things….

    • francis

      So my wife actually appoligized to me for he EA and said she was sorry it happened etc, but at the same time I knew that she was spending the last few days with him and going back and forth to work, Now last night she did not come home and I believe spent the night in his hotel room. This scares me! Did she cross the line and move to the next level…Did they sleep together? She was a virgin when we met and it kills me 30 years later if she is now with another man. She left me an email last night and I do not know if she is refering to that she had sex or that I had left her a confrontational VM. I just dont know anymore. here is her email “Francis – Things got over the top today! I need some time to think things through. Don’t go crazy tonight! Give me some space so I can think. Our Son will most likely be off tomorrow(Snow storm) so you won’t need to worry about school. I’ll touch base with you when I’m ready.”
      The thing is she has nothing with her except the clothes she wore to work yesterday.

    • Gizfield

      Francis I would not put a lot of stock in the fact that she doesnt have clothes, etc. with her. She could have them in her car or at the motel. In college, all my friends had “Shack Sacks” ready for those nights away from home, so women know how to plan ahead.

      • francis

        I can only think sjhe went out and bought some stuff. I know whats in her car since I had searched it before I left for work. she also would not have left all her blow dryers etc home. What I am looking for is advice on what to do next. What if she does not come home?

    • Francis

      So I dont agree. she may have gone shopping and purchased some clothes. I actually had cleaned her car out the night before and there were no clothes. Plus she left all her expensive face creams etc at home, I am really looking for advice on what i need to do next. Do I leave her, do I ignore her when she comes home. What do I do. What if she does not come home?

      • Doug

        Francis, I went back and read most of your previous comments to refresh my memory. It seems that she has lied to you and given you the runaround for quite some time now. It seems to me that you have given her ample opportunity to be honest and to re-commit to your marriage. I still do not know enough of your situation to tell you that you should kick her out, but if she does not come home I’d for damn sure consider it and at the very least get tougher on her. She will take as much rope as you allow her to.

        • Francis

          So doug, I have terrible news she has asked for a divorce. She admitted that my fears where correct. She was trying to stay for two more years until our youngest graduated highschool. She still says she loves me and that she did not mind doing couples things, making love etc. But she felt under the microscope. She feels that I would always be checking on her. I cant help but think that had i not spied on her this time even though I knew her EA was here maybe she would have come home and just maybe if I was the person she wanted me to be she would eventually tire of the affair and just stay with me. The thing is how long could I survive knowing that about three days out of every 1/4 she was going to hanging with him. she still claims there was no sex it was to fulfill an emotional void. She said that when I caught her this week and accused her of seeing him (Why shes upset I have no idea she was with him) I pushed her over the top and she made the decision to act sooner then later. She has only contacted me by email. She claims to be afraid to face me. I think thats because she does not want to change her mind again.
          I think this guy has promised her some better life in Israel and she is planning on moving there in about three years. I am devestated right now.

          • Doug

            Francis, I’m sure sorry to hear this. I have to admit I feel that her reasons are lame and certainly a deflection of what is really going on – the affair. Don’t beat yourself up. You did nothing wrong and you only acted as any person would have in your situation.

    • Francis

      Thanks Doug I agree. The sad thing is she has a terrific job and life. Plus she is forgetting her 15 year old son. Our other son is graduating college, but our 15 year old has an IQ of 157 and Anxiety of about an 8! He missed half the first semester of 10th grade due to anxiety. She was so so proud when he got in to school finally he is now in full time. She used to say she would not leave him. now it is almost 36 hours without contact except for a 2 minute call to him yesterday to say she was stuck at the hospital. What do I tell him tonight!? Why does she not think about him. How can a mother do this to her son?

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