Coping with the Pain of Infidelity
We received an email the other day from a reader who writes the following:
I have been in contact with you during the last few months. Your site continues to be a great resource for me as I have come to terms with what happened in my marriage.
We are the couple that just started dealing with our issues after shoving them aside for 25 years. We went to counseling briefly, but both got busy with careers and were able to bury it for that long. Since my retirement I guess I finally had too much time and began to think about the emotional affair. Long story short we are dealing with and making good progress.
I could not help thinking about all of the people that have followed your website and struggled with even more intense issues than what we have.
I have spent my career in education. I have worked with kids in crisis, so most of the time I have been on the other side of the desk trying to help them. This is a first for me to be he one seeking the help.
I have attached an article that I would like you to read. I find writing has helped me through this. If you think this might be something others would find beneficial please feel free to use it on your website. 


Coping with the Pain of Infidelity

By Anonymous

The hardest part of facing the effects of a wayward spouse’s emotional affair is having to face it alone. Yes. The articles, therapists and experts all tell you to find someone to talk to. A friend. A therapist. A family member.

Here is the problem. When you reveal this to others it will in most cases hurt the person you confide in. It certainly puts your partner in a bad light. It may hurt your kids if they find out. It puts a burden on others that they do not deserve. If the friend you confide in is close to you and your family, it will cause them stress as well.

See also  Discussion: What is the Perfect Marriage?

My problem is that I’ve only discussed this with my spouse and our shared therapist   So basically, I have been alone in my struggle in dealing with her emotional affair. I want so much to tell someone. But I can’t. I know it will hurt others. So, what to do?

I have thought about finding my own therapist but I don’t want to go through all of this again. It was hard enough the first time. I find that working through this by finding strategies that work for me is best. I think each of us have to find a coping skill that meets our own needs. Keep looking for something that is right for you.

It seems to me that my need to tell someone about this is selfish and ego driven. Why do I want to tell someone? Do I need to have someone feel sorry for me? Do I need to show someone how good I’ve been to hang in this marriage when most guys would have left? Why is there a driving need to do this when I know it’s just being selfish?

Will the pain go away just because I tell someone?  Will the memories both real and imaginary fade away because I shared my story with others? The reality is there is no guarantee that my confiding in another person will stay private with them. After months of therapy the memories still haunt me. I know now they always will.

I think men tend to keep these feelings to themselves while woman have friends they can confide in. The hardest part through all of this is putting aside our pride. Keeping our ego in check. Not allowing the thoughts and pain to consume you every minute of every day.

The bottom line is that my coping skills are reduced to writing down my feelings in blogs like this. What does this accomplish? For me it is a way to express myself about the affair and the pain it has caused. Even if no one ever reads this, the process has been therapeutic.

See also  Post Rerun: My Emotional Affair - Selfishness Personified

Each of us has to find a coping skill that works for us. Some of you have prayed. Some of you have read everything you can to find about affairs and recovery. Some of you have self – medicated through excessive use of drugs or alcohol. Some of you may have tried to take your life or know someone who did.

Here is what I do know. All of you who are reading this are suffering from some level of PTSD and are just trying to cope with your pain. However, you have something that can never be taken from you. That “something” is your soul. Your soul, that makes you who you are and always will be.  Your soul (the inner beauty), that part of you your partner fell in love with to begin with. You need to remember who you are and all the good things about you that make people love you for who you are. This will always be with you. The pain consumes us at times and masks the true personality that exists inside each of us.

Whether you decide to stay in your marriage or not, you have to count on those thousands and thousands of good memories about yourself. Try to focus on why you were loved. That is the person you really are. That can never be taken from you

I have been married to this woman for over 35 years. There are hundreds of thousands of wonderful memories. There is one very big negative – one that takes up a lot of space in my brain. I considered leaving the marriage several times as we worked through this   But each time it was those great memories that made me stay. Plus, I realized my wife is human. She made a mistake. One she has to live with the rest of her life. Every time I get angry about the bad memories I have to think about the one she has. I’m not sure which one of us struggles more. By the way, finding empathy in others provides you with the ability to forgive. This is another key to easing your pain.

See also  5 Ways to Cope with Trust Anxiety

My therapist asked me this question “Had this affair happened when the two of you were still single would you have stayed in the relationship?”   My answer based on my age at the time was “No!”

The answer was no because I did not have those great memories. I did not have children. I did not have our friends and family. I did not have the history that we have together today. You have to decide whether to leave the marriage that you are in. It’s a big decision. One that only you can make. There are plenty of articles you can read to help you through that process. Even if your partner left you, you still have something of value. You!

My purpose here is not to help you make that decision. My purpose is to help you rediscover your own worth. To remind you to push away the pain and anger and remember who you are. Do not allow the wayward spouse to take away the very essence of your being. You are worth the fight. You deserve to be healed. Your friends and family deserve YOU!  Never give up on YOURSELF!


Awesome advice.  Thanks for sharing Anonymous!


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    148 replies to "Coping with the Pain of Infidelity"

    • TheFirstWife

      This was one of my therapist’s points.

      Affair has nothing to do with the betrayed spouse.

      The marriage can survive infidelity if both parties are willing to work at it.

      The betrayed spouse now has to make changes to accept their spouse for who they are now and not what they were in the past.

      The betrayed spouse has to regain their self confidence.

      The marriage will undergo changes as a result of an affair.

      And the betrayed spouse will determine if he/she can remain in the marriage.

      Here is the example my therapist used. You rebound from an affair and realize that your spouse is now a liar. Your spouse was always a liar but it wasn’t usually about anything significant or important. Now since the affair you realize your spouse has always been less than honest. It is up To you to decide if you can live with someone whom you now recognize as a liar.

      It is the same for a spouse who has been cheated on. You now have to decide if this is something you can accept. Is this something you can live with. You have to accept that it could happen again and your spouse may decide to cheat again. Some spouses or able to live with a serial cheater where as others cannot tolerate or accept it.

      It is a choice the betrayed spouse must make.

      It is important that the betrayed spouse feel validated, supported, regain their self-confidence and feel empowered to make decisions about the marriage and their future.

      However it needs to happen – those things help the betrayed spouse.

    • Shifting Impressions

      Thanks for sharing Anonymous
      Writing was cathartic for me as well. I accidentally stumbled on my husband’s EA a few weeks prior to our fortieth wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary, right!!! That was a little over three years ago.

      I don’t know if I would have made it through without the support of a few close friends and my adult children. The thing is sometimes we think our secret is safe…..but we should never underestimate what those close to us “pick up”. Some saw it in my eyes and my oldest son heard it in my voice. Those close knew something was very wrong.

      If we chose to share what is going on it puts us in a very vulnerable position. I know you don’t want to cause anyone any pain……but in my opinion, good friends help carry each other through the storms of life. Vulnerability can be scary but by being open and vulnerable we open the door for others to be that way with us. I have carried friends through their pain and they have carried me.

      Yes, this has been painful for my children…….but they have been and continue to be quite amazing. There have been lessons about life here for all of us. One of the difficult aspects of infidelity is that it is so often shrouded in secrecy.

      My husband and I are still together and are still, albeit slowly, making progress. Something that we can embrace as a family and something that my children can learn from.

      Of course it is a very personal choice whether to go it alone or to find support in close family or friends. The thing is, I have come away from this with the knowledge that my friends and family are “gold”. I would rather have the pain of the truth than the pain of keeping secrets.

      • Mary Ann

        Your post mirrors mine. My husband and I were together for 42 years. Four days before his 70th birthday and 2.5 months before our 40th wedding anniversary he packed a bog and left while I was at a Dr. appt with my sister. Our son texted me and said dad came home and was upstairs. I said probably packing. He knew I wouldn’t be home so he took the cowardly route of not having to talk to me. Our own confronted him at the front door and told him what he was doing wasn’t right and he replied “I know”, and walked out. So many things went on for the next seven weeks but he did return home after seven weeks. That was 14 months ago. Reconciling was very difficult at first but it gets easier every day. The problem is, I’ll never forget. I forgive him but I can;t forget. The whole incident is unbelievable, confusing and hurts so much. I literally felt my heart breaking I’m my chest. He always told our son, “If anyone ever hurt your mom, I would kill them”. Yet, he is the only one who ever hurt me. Why? I don’t know.

        • Shifting Impressions

          Mary Ann
          My heart goes out to you…..I am so sorry. Being betrayed by the person closest to you is excruciating to say the least. five and half years later I still don’t know the WHY and have come to believe I most likely never will.

          Was there another woman involved? Does he show any remorse? Were there lies and deception? Do you have anyone helping you through this? Is your husband willing to talk about what happened or does he just want to move forward without really dealing with it? So many questions…I know. But I think it helps in our recovery to ask ourselves these things.

          • Mary Ann

            I read the article (probably again but don’t remember reading it the first time) and came across my post. And again, I don’t even remember writing it. It’s now been 22 months and it seems while we were making progress; lately we’ve just been co-habitating. Yes, there was another woman involved. After he left I found 400 +/- text messages on the cell phone bill for a 4 month period. He has said he’s sorry a hundred times but only when I try to talk about things. I’m sure there were lies and deception but “a person doesn’t know what they don’t know”. I have got it to talk about it a couple more times but shortly into the conversation he finds a diversion and we have never got to the end. He says. “It’s history, we can’t change it”. Or, when I try to talk about it he says, “Oh, Mary Ann” and walks away. He just wants to act like it never happened. Our son was living at home when this happened so he knows everything. He is also a Social Worker so he’s been invaluable support for me along with my sister. I did have a counselor/therapist who was great but I stopped going. However, I’ve been thinking of going back. I know he loves me but then I think, “if he loves me he would help me get through this”. We are in the process of selling our house and I told him that after it is sold we need to go out separate ways. That’s after he refused to read some articles after asking him a number of times. I told him I can’t do this by myself. I can’t be the only one working on our marriage. He’ll be 72 in April and I feel like the only reason he came back (not “home”) was because he knew he would be taken care of. I’m tired of being the wife, mother, secretary, tax preparer, accountant, cook, cleaner, etc. – the one doing everything. At least if we separate this time I’ll know in advance, I’ll know why and I’ll have had a part in the decision of it happening.

        • Rosalyn

          OMG. I know exactly what you mean about the pain in your chest. When my husband of 34 years told me he was no longer in love with me and that he loved another woman. He said we’re soul mates. My heart broke and those words are burnt into my brain. I told him to go. I told him you have just broken my heart. You can go and be with her! Don’t think your coming back here when it all goes to shit when you find out your don’t even know each other. Go I said, your not the person I thought you were. Go on Go! He didn’t leave. He won’t talk about it. He knows how hurt I am. I will never trust him like I did before. I thought I knew him but now I have doubts.

    • Hopeful

      For me I have chosen to share this with no one. My husband, me and my therapist are the only ones who know. My husband told me I could tell anyone I wanted to and even our kids but we would discuss that first together how to handle that. We have been together for over 25 years but our kids are still here. I felt that if we were both committed to working on our marriage that it would not benefit them to know at the ages they are. If we got to the point of separating we would tell them as much as possible. As far as others I feel the same as the article. I felt anyone we would tell it would change the dynamic of our friendships. I know others would not want their husbands to be with mine and ultimately I think most people are uncomfortable and scared. If this happened to us, the happiest and best couple they know, then what could happen to them. I also know how things go and did not want to take a chance that it would get back to my kids. My kids early on would ask why I was so quiet but that was about it. We never discussed it when they were home. They also have noticed their dad being more present.

      One thing that stands out to me is that my husband has expressed how he feels he has transferred his guilt and shame to me. For 10 years he hid this and once he told me it was such a relief and he never dreamed we could work this out together. But he feels like I now hold the shame he did for years like a huge secret. I do feel more distance from my friends since this is now part of who I am. This is how he felt with me and grew detached even if he was not active in the affair. I am still not sure how to deal with this since there is no solution I see.

      In the end us working through this together and supporting each other has brought us more together and closer than I could imagine. We have found a new level of our relationship through this healing process. I feel like my husband treasures me more than ever before. For us this process has worked and I am glad we made the choices we did. However I understand everyone needs something different.

      • Shifting Impressions

        You and I have talked about this in earlier posts and I totally agree it’s a very personal choice whether to share the info with anyone or not.

        My husband also told me I was free to share this with anyone I saw fit. And yes it did change the dynamics of those friendships…..amazingly enough it changed them for the better. They became richer and and more authentic. I made sure those I shared with were “friends of the marriage”. They actually helped me see that there was more to my husband than the affair. Their support helped keep me standing.

        My children were a fair bit older than yours, I believe and no longer living at home. My oldest daughter came to pick up her little ones…..I was babysitting the day I stumbled across the emails. I had no intention of telling her but we are close and she knew something was terribly wrong. She is in the mental health field and has been a rock of love and support.

        The thing is my youngest was living across the country and I had no intention of telling her. Unbeknownst to me she had stumbled across info regarding an earlier EA but kept it to herself.When she came home she picked up on my pain and figured I found out about the earlier EA. So a year later she came to me and there was another d-day for me as I knew nothing about the earlier EA…..except during that time I knew something was very wrong.

        As I said I believe there is a great deal of vulnerability in sharing our deep hurts with anyone but there can be great deal of healing as a result. This has been my experience but I agree this is a really personal choice.

        My husband is probably the last person anyone would think capable of having an affair but perhaps the knowledge that this can happen in any marriage helps destroy the “monogamy myth”. I believe, odd as it might sound THERE IS GREAT STRENGTH IN VULNERABILITY.

        • Hopeful

          That is great under the circumstance how you have been supported. We have talked about being totally honest with our kids. They are a lot younger. I guess I have strong concerns since they already side with me and have a stronger allegiance and connection with me. Honestly it was due to my husband’s detachment and avoidance of facing what he did. He has thought about telling his parents. Maybe it is me since I feel it would be a disaster if I told my parents. My friends have stated very strongly how they even disagree with how family members have taken spouses back after anything more than a one night stand and I mean gone on and on about it. Saying how stupid can someone be…and lots more intense than that. I will say I have surrounded myself with highly moralistic people. I grew up in a home where your word, morals, work ethic and honesty mean everything. So maybe it has to do with who I surround myself with. And my ultimate concern is our kids so for me I will continue with keeping it between us.

          My husband has had to explain himself more since his friends are living the same life. It is very noticeable how he has changed. He has said that we are in a great spot and we want to spend as much time together as possible. We do want to be with our kids these years now as much as possible before college. He honestly missed a lot and is making up for lost time. My friends have asked why I am quiet or not reaching out as much. Explain it similar. And to be honest over the years we planned everything and hosted it all. It was fun and we liked it but that all takes energy. So we have taken a back seat and neither of us has friends who plan so more time for us as a couple and a family.

          • Shifting Impressions

            I was raised that way as well and would never have told my parents. My father was no longer alive at the time and my mother passed away very suddenly five months after d-day. Those months after Mom’s death was a very emotional time. A year later we lost another family member……the grief of the EA and the two deaths had me spiraling down to a dark place. I never planned to tell my sister who I am very close to…..but one day she called and it all came spilling out. She also said…..I knew there something wrong besides the grief of losing our Mom. She has also been gracious toward my husband and supportive to me.

            As for the kids….my husband has alway been a very involved father. They are close to both of us. It was never really my plan to tell the kids as I metioned earlier it all sort of came out in the wash, Only my oldest son confronted his father…..and told him how angry he was that he could do that to me, (My son was forty at the time). It did not damage his relationship with his father.

            As for the few close friends they all have very strong Christian values….but over many years we have been there for each other. One had shared of infidelity in the very early years of her own marriage. This particular friend asked me many years ago what I would do if my husband cheated….I said I would leave him and take him for all he’s worth!!! I was so sure my husband would never never cheat. Wasn’t I smug and didn’t I think it was dumb to stay. It’s a different story when it actually happens isn’t it.

            So yes we must all choose what’s best for our own situations, I feel so very fortunate for the support I have and can’t help but wish that for all of you.

            • Hopeful

              You are lucky. Yes our parents are all young so they are around. And our kids are younger, not little but younger. My husband has been present but I am the primary parent by far due to his work schedule alone. And the only family I have is my parents so that is not an option. And the friends just are not capable based on what they have said to my face. Lucky for me I found the perfect therapist for me and that my husband has stepped up to the plate big time and made an amazing transformation.

      • GottaLoveMeFirst

        Hey there, curious how things turned out for you. My spouse and I are separating recently as he continues with the OP. I am 7 months post D-Day. I was able to hold things down around our kids those first few months and we recently told them (elementary aged) that we are having husband-wife problems and will need to change how we do things at home like spending time with one parent at a time. I believe he will move out fully over this summer. Hes dependent on me financially until he starts working and we reorg how we care for the kids so its taking some time, mostly bc he’s dragging his feet for a variety of reason (some selfish, some less so). He tried to reconcile with me a couple times but they were short lived, out of guilt I think. So this step is right for me right now I believe. I don’t think him and the OP can make it honestly but that’s his journey, not mine. I did a lot of fighting for him at first but the ball’s in his court at this point. I can’t make him stop or make him want me and our life more than anything else in this moment, but I can remove myself from the affair dynamics. So I make it my job instead to remain as kind and functional as I feel any coparent can be, and I’ve left it there for now. Your post made me think about when my kids are older. I plan to have a discussion with my husband about what will be shared if they ever ask about what happened in our marriage. Developmentally I’d like them to be in their teens or early 20s to have a discussion about the sad facts of affairs and human nature. But in reality I don’t know what the future holds. I believe this stuff is so wide spread and can also be generational that I don’t want my kids going in blind to love and marriage like we did. It doesn’t come with a manual after all. But my husband’s father did something similar when my husband was 12 and they were never allowed to talk about it. I think much of what’s happened to him and our marriage was about the life long holes he had in him that I really wasn’t tracking.

        Right now my kids just need to grow and be loved at this age is my opinion as my self-control shielded them from the chaos of d-day and its after math. But I’d be glad to know your thoughts about older kids as it’s been some time for you. For me I told 2 friends right away who were very trusted but both lived far away. As well as my grandmother who we all see daily. He later told some friends and several members of his family more recently, again I think out of guilt or maybe some kind of attempt to regain his integrity. I dont know.

        He doesn’t seem to know what’s next other than me driving healthy boundaries based on his choices, and him and the OP driving the fantasy meet ups as ever. Unsure if they made a plan for real life, but I tend to doubt it. I’ve had patients (I work in the mental health field) that lived out affairs for years before one or the other finally ended it. And so I’ve decided I just need to live my life in the interim. I am trying to accept that the interim may turn out to just be my life without him. As painful as it is to let go after 22 years and still being very much in love with him, I think setting us both free sooner than later is where I am focused right now.

        • Nicole

          The only thing that has kept me in my marriage so far is the podcast “The Empowered Wife”. I listen to it in my car ride to work or when I walk our dog. It’s been 4 years since I discovered my husband had two emotional affairs that had been going on for over half of our marriage. It’s been really hard.
          I want you to know that you are not alone. You are smarter than you think, and stronger than you know. You have the power to change your marriage in your favor.
          “The man may be the head of the household. But the woman is the neck, and she can turn the head whichever way she pleases.”
          ― Nia Vardalos

    • TheFirstWife

      It is hard to know who to trust with this information.

      My side if the family knew (as I was leaving him and planning a divorce) and they all felt terrible. However they are glad it worked out.

      His family he glossed over it – never gave details until I stepped in and laid it out for them. He tried to sweep it under the rug so to speak (typical).

      But with my friends I was careful. I didn’t want rumors all over and you just don’t always know who you can trust.

      Thank goodness for a therapist – they provide the best forum for you.

      My therapist was good at pointing out every time I made excuses for my H.

      My children don’t know anything except I did tell them after dday2 that we were having issues that needed to be worked out. I felt as teens that is all they needed to know at the time. And 3 years later they are resolved and all is good.

      • Hopeful

        Interesting and I thought about a new dynamic that would be created if he told his family. I mean I think they helped to create the foundation of his entitlement and selfishness. Granted I think in the end they would be crushed. Not sure how they would act on the outside.

        Yes thankful for therapist!!! So lucky I found the one I did!!

    • Shifting Impressions

      I know I have talked about sharing with a few close friends and family etc. but that has only been part of my journey of dealing with the pain.

      I went for individual counseling… husband did not want to go for counseling but was fully supportive of me going.

      Read everything I could get my hands on regarding infidelity.

      Gave myself permission to grieve…..lots of tears…lots of long walks and of course more tears

      Gave myself permission to be angry…..lots of swearing….when by myself.

      Poured my grief into my creative pursuits….lots of tears in my studio

      Prayed and prayed some more

      And I come here…….this site is an amazing life line for me. After all I don’t want to be calling family and friends at all hours. I can come here at any hour night or day. I read your stories and I feel your pain. I can pour out my story and your support is amazing.

      So thank you all for just being here.

      • Hopeful

        One thing is I did worry about over time if friends or family would get tired of helping cope or hear about it. I mean this has been a marathon. I know people that have had cancer and gone into remission sooner than my recovery and people have stopped being as connected as they were in the beginning. I also think society does not understand and is not aware of the dynamics and reality of betrayal. And honestly I have not heard one person say you should stay and work it out. But based on statistics they must. My husband has mentioned many men say they are staying because it is easier than leaving or waiting until the kids go to college so not to disrupt the family. He sees this with betrayal and just average marriages. Sad people cannot just be honest.

    • Rachel

      The pain of infidelity is so hard to move past. Who knows if some of us will.
      I am so grateful for this site. I don’t know how I would have made it through the dark hurtful times.

    • TheFirstWife

      And I think I will always have dark hurtful times. Infidelity is the gift that keeps on giving.

      But I can come here and identify with people who truly understand.

      And that is something that is so helpful.

    • Rachel

      I think if my ex would apologize for the hurtful words and actions I may feel better. Probably not, but who knows.
      And I know it will never happen as he would never admit it. He feels he did nothing wrong because I didn’t make him happy.
      Narsarsistic .

      • TheFirstWife

        Rachel. No one can make your exH happy

        Not even him

    • Matt

      Glad I found this site as I have no one to talk to as I do not want to involve friends or family.

      On January 17th, I found that my wife had been having an affair for the past 12 years, we’ve been married for 18 years.
      It was mostly emotional but had some physical episodes.

      She had been involved with this guy for 4 years before we met. He was married then also, she was his mistress. At that time it was a full blown, hot and heavy sexual relationship. She was in her early 20”s and he early 40’s. She eventually left him to find someone that could offer her a real relationship a family and future……..enter me.

      During our dating time and engagement as we learned about each other she had told me she had let him go, he was in the past…….blah, blah blah. He lives in her home town and I eventually met him. I’ve actually been around him a handful of times during our marriage, we had all kinda been friends, but at a distance as we live in a different city a couple hours away. At some point she started calling and talking with him and it grew again from there. I won’t bore anyone with specifics, but you get the point.

      Since we were married, we’ve had children, bought a house, zi completed school. All the normal stuff. My wife and I are really close, we have much in common, enjoy each other’s company and our sex life is great. We’re that “perfect couple” in our group of friends. Well except for the 4 people she’s confided all this in.

      To say the least I’m beyond devastated. We have been talking, it’s been good communication, she’s been very open with me since I approached her with the information I had gathered. We both want to work through this. She called him and told him it was over, no communication. However, I was a little unhappy because I wasn’t present for the phone call. Then she just ended up texting him in front of me a few days later saying basically the same thing….so I knew he got the message. I did this in lieu of another phone call because she said that would be too painful to talk to him again. Now she acts like she needs to go see him to say goodbye…….for closure. She wants to take a friend with her, a confidant no less. I don’t think I’m OK with that. Haven’t discussed this really yet, so don’t know where that’s going to go.

      I don’t know what to do, I just feel like running away.

      • TheFirstWife

        Matt. I am so sorry. You have been lied to for too many years.

        I can tell you from experience that if it were over, and I mean truly over for your wife, she would not “need” to say goodbye. She would not “need” to see him.

        I saw my H say “goodbye” to the OW but he was missing her. He lied to me for months saying he wanted our marriage and he was done with the affair. Good intentions but his actions and behavior the two months they were apart were telling. He missed her and wanted to be with the Other Woman

        When the OW called him and they were back together 2 months later, I could see a difference but had no idea she was back in the picture.

        It finally ended months later. How do I know? When she emailed him again trying to start up a third time he did not respond. He was visible shaking b/c he did not know what I would do. He was afraid I would leave him b/c of this.

        So the difference was when he was finally past it and wanted the affair ended, it ended right then and there. Nothing further.

        Your wife appears to be negotiating with you to have her cake and eat it too. Just my opinion. But I can tell the difference having been in your exact place. My H swore the affair was over after the first few months. It ended for 2 months and then resumed b/c she called him after being dumped by some guy. Boo hoo. My H went running back b/c he was still in love with her.

        So I have lived with the difference. The fact that she is still asking for your permission – I say FOUL!! She will see him whether you say it is ok or not.

        In my opinion the handwriting is on the wall.

        You need a counselor for you, a lawyer for advice (not saying divorce but you need to protect yourself and kids) -and you need to very calmly set boundaries with your wife or tell her to leave.

        She will not change unless she is forced to and may not even then. She may even go into a depression b/c of all the emotional turmoil -what she has done to you, children, herself, married man’s family etc.

        I wish you and your family luck as you go through this horrible time.

      • Trying Hard

        Matt- I am so sorry you have to be part of this group.

        Short answer to her need for closure? NO. HELL NO. That whole “closure” is silly soap opera drama. She will find another reason to see him. Trust me, it has to be cut off quickly and NC is instituted. Anything less is NOT reconciliation.

        Just my opinion. And yes I know the feeling of running away. Give your wife a little taste of what she’s about to lose. get those balls in YOUR court. Your hurt, your rules. PERIOD.

        • Matt

          FirstWife and Trying Hard,

          Thanks for your responses, we actually had a really good day yesterday. We talked for many hours. She has dropped the “need” to see him, I think she sees that would just reopen the few wounds that have been closed.

          Absolute NC has been instituted by me. I know that if she wants to talk to him she will find a way, but she also knows that if she does and I find out, I’m done, no questions asked, no second chances.

          I will add to the story that just before I confronted her I found out through a mutual friend (one of her confidants) that she was wanting to end the relationship but had been struggling to do it because she knew she would be sad and depressed and didn’t know how she was going to hide that from me. The confidant actually showed me the text conversation between them where she said that. My wife doesn’t know that happened and never will. Yesterday during one of our talks she told me she was glad that I found out and confronted her and said, “I’ve been wanted to end this for awhile but didn’t know how, you gave me the push I needed to end this.”

          I feel she is sincere in making this right, I can see it in her eyes and her actions, she hasn’t withdrawn from me, she’s done quite the opposite actually. She knows and I’ve made crystal clear what she has to lose. While I feel like she is honestly trying to put this is in her past, my guard is far from down, my eyes are wide open.

          Again, I appreciate the advice and you sharing your stories. It helps a lot. Though I am loving and supporting her I’m not giving her any slack. She is also loving and supporting me back, she knows how deeply she’s hurt me. I’m going to look into a counselor for my healing. To be honest the best way of dealing with stuff for me would being out on my mountain bike in the woods and riding as hard as I could for 4 hours…….unfortunately I also happen to be down with a broken leg, so that’s out.

          I’ll be back with any updates, questions or just to vent (unless there is a better blog topic for that). This site really has been a HUGE help.

    • Rachel

      Matt, sorry to hear that you are going through this. Set some boundaries with your CS.
      This is so unfair to you. Perhaps a marriage counselor will help??
      Good luck. You came to the right place, this site is wonderful with great people.

      • Matt

        Thanks Rachel,

        Sorry for the ignorance…..what is a CS?

        • Doug

          Hey Matt, We should probably have an acronym glossary or something that would help the newer folks. Here are most of the ones you might see on the site: CS = Cheating Spouse. WS = Wayward Spouse. BS = Betrayed Spouse. AP = Affair Partner OW = Other Woman. OP = Other Person OM = Other Man I may have missed some. And BTW…I’m sorry for all that you’re going through. I think that most people on this site would agree that your wife going to meet the OP for ‘closure’ is not a good idea.

          • Matt

            Hey Doug,

            Thanks for the info. I agree it’s not a good idea. I think she’s just reaching for straws just so she can see him again, even it’s for the last time. She knows I’m against it, but I can’t really stop her.

            I’ve been very supportive of her, showing her love and understanding, there’s been only one heated discussion, mostly calmy talking. But I’m getting to the point where I have to focus on myself and my healing.

            • Patsy50

              Matt I am sorry to see you on this site, but also glad you are because there are so many here that can give you very good advice. I think if your wife really and truly has ended her affair. Has told him over the phone and texted him in front of you that it’s over. It should be over! There’s no reason to see him again. It’s over! If she insists on still going to see him, tell her you will go with her. I bet money she doesn’t want you to go with her and so it sounds like they are starting the affair up again. Big red flag! It had just been a month since my husband told me about his a
              EA and his company Christmas party was coming up. I asked him not to go to the company party because you see he was having an EA with his coworker. He told me he has to go because his boss expects employees to attend. So I put on my big girl panties and attended with him. It was very very hard for me but I was not letting him go alone. Best of luck to you

            • Matt


              I can only imagine how hard that was for you.

              After a lot of talking yesterday she’s dropped the “need” to see him again for closure or whatever. I think she knows that would just rip open whatever wounds have managed to heal so far.

              She told me she couldn’t tell him goodbye in front of me because she knows it would just hurt me more, said she would just rather not do it.

              And I have boundaries set, there is to be absolutely NC and if I found out it’s happening I’m out, no questions, no second chances, I’m leaving. But at the same time I do honestly feel she is going to try her best and put this where it belongs… the past.

            • Anonymous


              Stay strong and keep focused on your strengths. As I wrote in my article “Coping with Infidelity” (see this website) each of us has to find what works for us.

              Your wife has to figure out why she could not break away from this older guy. That relationship started before you met her. Most likely those are issues she has to work through with a therapist.

              I know it hurts but remember who you are and why you were loved in the first place. That might help as you work to get through this.

              Hang in there. It will get better.

            • Disillusioned

              Matt, it’s an awful thing to be going through. I can’t eat or sleep and keep shaking. And I can totally understand you wanting to jump on your bike, because I bought some running shoes this week to just run and run. We attended marriage counselling but it turned out that he was lying to the counsellor about his affair, so it wasn’t the greatest start to a reconciliation. Do you have family that you confide in? I didn’t tell many people about my H, so he didn’t really feel the shame that he should have done. I’m sick of considering his feelings all the time because I’ve put myself last, and now I’m depressed and struggling to cope from day to day. I would never advise you to do something you feel uncomfortable with, or might regret. But you are well within your rights to set some boundaries and lay down the law a bit. I am fed up with selfish people like my H trampling on others, so that they can sneak around and have the time of their lives! I wish you luck.

            • Patsy50

              I am glad to hear this. Again she already told him it was over between them, so no need to ever do it again. Boundaries are a must and taking care of yourself also. Now your journey begins. As long as both partners work together on their relationship you both will succeed!

              I was married 40 years when my husband told me about his EA with a coworker 30 years younger then himself. We worked hard to get to where we are today. I wish you the very best in your journey.

            • Hopeful

              Matt, I agree that even if it is just you seeing a therapist that deals with these issues would be the most helpful. They can help you navigate this and support you. My husband had two affairs over 10 years. He ended both before dday but when there was contact one of the boundaries was I needed to be shown it and we would decide together what to do. Our marriage had to be the priority over everything else. So when one would contact him then we would talk about it. Every time he said he did not want to reply and we would discuss it. I found this to be important because it made me realize he was choosing our marriage not his interested even if it was just to protect himself from feeling shame.

              Find someone that has experience in dealing with betrayal or marital issues. And if you can make sure they are licensed. My therapist most of all was the biggest support on a personal level and then also gave me great advice. I had no one to share any of it with besides my husband.

          • Trying Hard

            You did BFA=Big Freaking Asshole 🙂

            • Doug

              Boy, you may have just opened a huge can of worms there! I’m sure we could get quite creative with some acronyms! 😉

    • SoManyTears

      When I accidentally discovered that my H had been having 2 affair (one for 15 mo and another for 11 years) it was him that told everyone. He told as many people that he could that I was upset with him because I “THOUGHT” he was messing around on me. Very damage control. He joked to many that I had to “babysit” him and that I was menopausal. Swore he hadn’t done anything wrong. Lies! I told a few people, asking for help, because I was absolutely blindsided! In the 11 years, that we’d been married, we’d never even had an argument and, I felt, something was horribly wrong! I needed answers and prayers for my poor husband! However, he’d gotten to everyone first…even before he was caught and I looked like an idiot. He’s since told me he was ashamed and didn’t want anyone to believe that he’d done this. Said he wanted to “throw everybody off”. Yeah, he threw me under the bus BIG TIME. He still swears he’s MOSTLY innocent. I guess if I didn’t mean enough to him to stay faithful, I didn’t mean enough to him to be devistated by his actions after. It has been almost 4 years since DDay and we are barely married.

      • TheFirstWife

        Somanytears. Wow is that nasty. I don’t know how you can stay with someone like that.

        He basically painted you as a crazy person.

        If that were me, I would have been one of the betrayed spouses you see that takes out a highway sign outing the cheating husband. Complete with photos. Hahaha

      • Trying Hard

        So Many–I have a friend whose husband did the same thing. He tells everyone she is crazy, menopausal, drama queen, trying to control him. You name it. She’s also found FIVE throw away phones in 2 years!!!!

        Yep they do it to throw everyone off. They do it because they want to get their story out first and if you live in a small town they know how fast gossip spread and in my friends case, her husband IS the town gossip!!!!

        Sounds like your husband fits in the category of BFA!!!! (see above comment)

        • TheFirstWife

          I think I wrote something confusing. My H did not paint me to be crazy or anything like that.

          I was saying IF he did I would have gotten revenge somehow. I would not have taken that lightly, sorry for the confusion.

      • TheFirstWife

        SoManyTears. I am so sorry for you.

        I think your last sentence was very telling in the fact that you are barely married.

        I hope you are at least doing something for yourself that is positive. If you must remain married, I hope that you realize that his affairs have nothing to do with you but everything to do with his lack of character, poor choices, self-centered behavior, and selfishness.

        I hope you have a Plan B for yourself.

        I hope you can find a good therapist or counselor for yourself too

    • Shifting Impressions

      That is major manipulation by your husband…..complete disrespect for you. If he was “mostly” innocent why was it necessary to put you in such a terrible position with friends etc.

      What are you doing to take care of you??? I am so sorry you are going through this.

    • Disillusioned

      Wow! The lies these men will tell to save their own skin. That is one of the most hurtful aspects of affairs. When I found out about my H’s affair he swore that she had pursued him and got her claws into him. It turns out that this is the most commonly used excuse, as far as I can see. I was devastated when I found out five years ago that he’d had an 18 month affair with a co-worker who I also knew. It was difficult because it was therefore a double betrayal. But counselling and this website got me through (thank you, Linda and Doug). However, he insisted there was no sex involved because he said he couldn’t go through with it. I’d already found receipts for hotels, but he said they massaged each other. That’s a bad enough image to have, but better than sex. Over the years it hasn’t rung true so I’ve broached the subject again, and as always, he insisted he couldn’t do that because it was a step too far. The lies that have come out of his mouth over the past five years about other things regarding the affair have frustrated me so much. But I clung onto the thought that at least they didn’t have sex, because I so wanted it to be true. I really wanted to stay with him, so I only told my sister-in-law about his affair. I desperately needed to speak to someone who knows us both, and she has helped me get through it by reminding me of all my best qualities and that this is not my fault. So in other words I didn’t tell our friends or family, in order to protect him. And last weekend was the first time in five years that I actually felt connected to him and happy! We discussed this and we both felt the same. It’s been a very hard road, but fortunately he’s been very remorseful and was always loving and supportive regarding my triggers. However, on the Sunday night of my blissful weekend I discovered an iPad that I didn’t know he had, and found a very explicit photo of the OW, that has rocked me to my core. There were also videos but he snatched the iPad away before I could see them. So for five years I’ve clung to the hope that they didn’t share that intimacy, but they did. And it hurts like hell. I am disgusted that my husband had these things, but very distressed that he held onto them for five years. My head has not been in a good place since then and I think I should try anti depresssnts, because this shock and the crushing disappointment and grief, has affected me so badly that I’m finding it hard to function. The photo I saw was vile – a close up of something of hers that I never wanted to see!!! But the thing that is bothering me the most is that I didn’t see the videos! I am so so curious about what they got up to and filmed, that it is consuming me! But he’s deleted them and now I will never know. This situation is worse than five years ago because the hope I had that the relationship wasn’t physical has now gone, and he’s still lying after five years. I love him and hate him at the same time and cannot see any hope for us. He’s very upset that it has all come out and wants us to try again, but I’m repulsed right now. So we’re in separate rooms and I’d rather find someone decent – not easy after 31 years of being with one person!

      • TheFirstWife

        Disillusioned. I am so so sorry. And I agree with Rachel. She has great advice.

        I want to share a piece of advice that my therapist gave me during the time of my husband’s affair. One of the things that my husband has maintained is that they did not have sex. The other woman also told me they did not have sex. To me it doesn’t matter if they had sex or not, as that is a detail that is somewhat on important given the bigger picture.

        What I mean by that is you are not really upset by the fact of sex versus no sex. What is bothering you more is that he has continued to lie about everything. I think the devastation you are experiencing is because you clung to The belief that he was being open and honest.

        I understand exactly how you feel and the position you are in. When we had DDay2 I I was sure that there was no hope for our marriage. I beg my husband to please be honest with me so we can very quickly get past this. I asked him some questions and I was so impressed that he answered honestly and truthfully. It wasn’t until the other woman sent me all the emails that I read, wearing I realized he was still completely lying to me about everything. There was nothing in the emails that suggested they had sex. But he made it out to be that she went after him, when in fact he pursued her.

        But as my therapist pointed out, it was a detail. It doesn’t change the fact that your spouse is a liar and a cheater.

        I think you know deep down the extent that your husband and his affair partner engaged.

        I think what we continue to struggle with is recognizing and accepting our spouse could do this to us. It is unfortunate that I have to now look at my husband in a whole new light because of his past affairs. Due to my husband’s self-centered behavior, I now suspect that the nights where he came home late with no phone call and just thought he could walk in the door at 3 AM – I suspect he may have been with other women. Of course he denies it but I recognize he had opportunity and who knows what he did with those opportunities.

        I no longer believe everything my H says. He lost that trust with me when he continued to lie about the details of his last affair.

        The devastation that I suffered with me to make some drastic changes in my marriage.

        I went to therapy for years alone when he would not go. He thought he could manage this on his own and if it wasn’t for my therapist I would have divorced him years ago. My husband did more to screw up our marriage after the affair ended.

        I have a Plan B in place for me and as my children get older I recognize that I needed to make some changes in my life. I make sure I am happy and fulfilled. Every day.

        I got through this with sheer determination b/c I was not going to let my H drag me down. I was depressed and unhappy for too long becaus of him.

        I wish you the best but please know you have options. You can get past this – whether you stay married or not. I have made my own life now and things I choose to do – do not always include him. That’s just the way it is.

        My H is remorseful and sorry for his cheating. However he is never going to be completely honest. He is a coward in that respect. And I now know it.

        • Disillusioned

          The FirstWife, you have hit the nail on the head – I knew deep down that they were having sex – It’s the lies that hurt so terribly. You have done so well to make sure that you can focus on things that make you happy. I’m not there yet and keep getting waves of despair and misery. I think I’d feel a bit better if I could just sleep. I wish you lots of luck if/when you have to resort to plan B. I know that if I can eventually meet someone decent I will wonder what on earth I ever saw in my husband.

    • Rachel

      Disillusioned,The cheating spouse will lie lie lie to protect themselves. They say that there is never sex therefore it is not considered an affair in their eyes. This is terrible what you have been going thru. They just care, only about themselves. Such selfish individuals. Therapy and anti depressants have helped me. It took the edge off, but you still feel the pain. Therapy also helped and this site, well, I’d be lost without it. Know one knows what you are going thru unless they have experienced it.
      Is the other women married? If so maybe her husband needs to know what has been going on.
      I understand your feeling about being with the same person for many years. I was with my ex for 30 years and I personally could not go thru another minute with his abuse to me. Every day is a challenge, but it is better that being disrespected by that piece of sh*t that I was with. As for finding someone decent, they are out there. They have been thru the same thing as we have. Trust me.
      Stay well, take care of you.

      • Disillusioned

        Rachel, thank you for that. Yes, she is married with three grown up sons. I feel sorry for her husband that he doesn’t know, but I can’t bring myself to tell him. I don’t really know him so I could approach him, but I wonder if things will get nasty. Have you found someone else since you split with your H? Dating again is so daunting to me, but you’re right – being used and disrespected is very damaging. I really hope you are more content now, than you were when you were putting up with things in your marriage.

        • Rachel

          Yes, I have actually found someone 3 months after my divorce. We have very similar stories, he was married for 27 years, 2 daughters and his ex wife was seeing someone she worked with. Denied the whole thing, but as of lately she is still with him. This has opened another can of worms as now everyone now knows that she was lying saying that they were just friends.
          Last thing on my list was to meet someone else. I was done!! But I have met the kindest man. Doesn’t complain about what I do or don’t do. Always tells me that I look nice and doesn’t tell me what I should or shouldn’t wear.
          He’s very supportive of my bad days, and I of his. Nothing challenging or stressful about our relationship. No more walking on egg shells. And no verbal abuse what so ever. It is nice.
          Best of luck to you, it is a tough journey but you will make it. Remember the words of the song, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

          • Disillusioned

            Rachel, I’m so pleased for you that you have found someone that you can trust and relax with. It must be wonderful! It gives me hope that maybe it can happen for me. Where did you meet him? It’s so strange that I am in this position because since we got together all those years ago, his friends have always teased him about “punching above his weight,” because he’s no Brad Pitt. But he is a charmer and very amusing, so very good company. However, the AP is unattractive and the last person you’d expect your H to fall for. I guess that’s easier than having my H fall for a beauty queen, but looks don’t seem to come into it. It’s all about the connection, which to be honest doesn’t make it any easier. Even after five years he is still lying, which makes a little part of me die each time. It’s so draining and I know I definitely need to meet someone else. My children are older now and away at university, so it is becoming an option. I think that meeting someone who has also been through it is probably a good thing to do. But where are these people? I’m thinking maybe singles nights are a good idea, but I’m not single yet… ! I think I’m so keen to meet someone else because this pain is so intense, and I’m scared I’m going to reach out to my H for comfort, and end up in the same position where I’m worried sick about what he’s up to when he leaves the house.

    • Trying Hard

      Hi Matt–It sounds like you are on the right track with your wife. I am happy for you. Sounds like you’re being very cool and supportive when you can but also not making yourself a doormat. Congrats.

      Look we women are dramatic, well some of us more so than others. The whole “closure” deal I am sure is influenced by movies, music etc. Plus damn it’s hard to say goodbye to ANY relationship. Never the less, it is imperative that she NOT contact him anymore.

      I understand her saying she didn’t know how to get out of it. My husband said the same thing. He was scared to death of the OW plus she would passive aggressively make threats ie “I know all you secrets”. Well it took my bad-ass to get involved after DDay to let her know taking over my life was not going to be easy. Maybe as she waited in the shadows and her cockroach self got the crumbs of my life during the affair worked for her once the affair came out of the shadows it was game ON!! I was just crazy and intimidating enough to make her run the other way.

      Now that is not to vindicate my husband and his choices. Oh hell no. But I know the driving factor of the affair for almost 4 years was 1. I was unaware 2. he was positive she would go all Fatal Attraction and rat him out and well his life would be hell. He counted on the fact that he treated her poorly and gave little time and attention to her that she would tire of the affair and leave. She didn’t. So yes I can see where weak people get caught in that trap.

      You’re going to be fine. And yes keep your eyes wide open for a while. She has a lot to prove. She needs to be very transparent. Do not be afraid to look through her phone and computer and car for anything she might be hiding. Look for those apps that magically make texts disappear and change phone numbers. She’s not to be trusted yet and I truly believe if the BS forgives too soon another affair will occur. Ask me how I know….

      Good luck to you Matt. You got this. And I hope you are talking to your own therapist alone to help you get through this.

    • Rachel

      Just have to update with my continuing story of my ex.
      I received an email yesterday, “any chance I can stop by for a visit”?
      WHAT???? Who the *#### does he think he is???????????????
      I have not been answering his emails for over a year but this one I had to because I don’t want him at my front door, because you all know darn well that he will show up!
      I answered No, No chance. Leave me alone!!!
      Haven’t heard back from him which is good.
      Yesterday was MY sons 21st birthday. So I’m guessing he wanted to “join in” for OUR celebration.
      Gosh, he just doesn’t stop!!!!
      Shortly (after my taxes are completed)I’ll be able to change my name and delete my email.
      A day that I CAN NOT wait for.

    • Rachel

      I spoke too soon. His email said we need to coparent. He could come over and help our sons fix their cars and do homework. Said he could fix things around the house.
      I think this fool needs a restraining order.

      • TheFirstWife


        There are no words!!

        If it were me at some point I would set up a meeting for coffee (at a public place) and not show up. And I would do it enough times until he got the message.

        But that’s just me. This guy just will not get it.

    • Trying Hard

      Rachel–Um, aren’t your sons grown and in college?? I mean WTF he wants to “co-parent” now? LOL where was he when they were younger and really needed that help? Oh, yeah he was screwing around with skanks right!!!

      If your sons needed anything from him couldn’t they go to his house? This guy/father is crazy and desperate it seems to get back into your life for whatever agenda he has cooked up. Think it’s killing him you have a new man in your life, you are happy and moving on and he can’t stand the fact that his good old reliable kibble dispenser is no longer available to him. I can only tell you ignore, ignore, ignore. I know it’s probably easy for me to say but this guy is so pathetic. I mean what can you REALLY do or say that hasn’t been done or said in the past. So you are so correct to say NO to him, stay away.

      Jeez he gives a whole new meaning to “like a dog on a bone” when it comes to harassing and hovering!!!

    • Trying Hard

      LOL and I think First Wife has a great idea. Yes set up a date away from your house and then don’t show up!!! Very good idea.

    • TheFirstWife

      Rachel. I think it is KILLING the ex that you have moved on

      That is his biggest issue. He just cannot accept you have a life away from him.

      A better life. You rock!!!

      • Rachel

        My oldest son will be 25 soon and my youngest turned 21 yesterday.
        I think that was the reason for the first email about stopping for a visit because we had a fun filled day planned WITHOUT HIM!!!!!!!
        He just infuriates me!!! I don’t know if I should ignore him or call my attorney.
        I don’t want this jerk at my house and he is so stinking cocky he will show up!!

        • Trying Hard

          Rachel– I thought so!!! So seriously he thinks you’re going to buy the “I can help the kids with their homework” What??

          LOL oh hell no don’t call your lawyer. That will cost you money!! You got this. Tell him to leave and if he doesn’t call the police.

          Keep telling him to piss off and hang up. It is not your responsibility to facilitate his relationship with his sons.

          Hmm sounds like maybe your sons don’t want to have too much to do with him.

          • Rachel

            Little does he know that my son in college doesn’t do homework here. He does it in college!!!!!!!
            Actually the kids don’t see him much. Only for holidays, birthdays etc. we don’t discuss him.
            My kids are busy like all kids and when they aren’t, we hang out.
            Just wish he’d leave me alone. It’s almost 4 years and He’s as draining as when we were married ????!!

    • Robert M.

      So let me tell you all about some recent detective work I did. I noticed a text from her phone to a local number twice in the same minute. The text was deleted, which I found to be odd. So I had a PI look the number up for me. It’s a Text Now number, an app that allows you to call and text over WiFi from a new number.

      So I went to the website and attempted to register with her email. It came back as already being used. Suspicions confirmed.

      Fast forward a couple of days later and my wife, in a condescending manner, unfriends the other guy from Facebook and deletes his number from her phone. Oh joy! She then goes on to lecture me the next day about how I’ve blown this out of proportion and how I am not supporting her. This also all coincides with her going to another state for ten days, which is where she has to settle her dad’s estate and where the other man is. Coincidence? We all know the answer.

      Thanks again for your support on this forum.

      • Trying Hard

        Robert M–Wow you are brilliant! Good job. But playing marriage police is exhausting. I would confront and don’t give her a chance to lie to you. I’d be upfront and tell her you know exactly what she’s doing with her little secret texting apps. I heard this morning on the news these secret apps are growing in popularity so good luck to all of us!!

        • Robert M.

          It is definitely tough to keep up with this stuff, especially with all of the technology out there.

    • Rachel

      It certainly is Robert M.
      In my day of the ex I was going to buy a tracking device under his car, but figured why bother.
      No they have trackers on phones.

      • TryingHard

        Yep I used one of those. Worked great except when it didn’t. Yep now I see everything on Google where he is what he searches but I hardly ever check. Don’t care anymore

        • TheFirstWife

          Yep don’t care anymore either.

          I think if I have to check up on him for any reason, we should just divorce. So not worth it. A waste of my energy.

          • Robert M.

            It’s definitely not worth it and this’ll be the last time I do it. There’s nothing else to look for. I have enough clues to know that I’m being deceived and it’s up to me to make a decision now.

            • Trying Hard

              Whoa, whoa, whoa Robert as long as your wife is still in the “affair fog” and lying to you, HELL YES you have to check. Sorry bud :(.

              Look I am sure you are vacillating whether to stay or go. She will say what she wants you to hear and you are going to believe her because you soooooo want and need to believe her. DO NOT PUT YOUR BLINDERS ON YET. You keep your eyes WIDE open and check check check. You will get all the info, or not that you need to make your decision whether to stay or leave.

              I’m 5 years out. I know what to look for now. I don’t need to GPS but I have that info on his Google account that I have the password too. I can see all his activity on there that I need to see. I just don’t because he has open and honest and forthright for oh about 5 years now. Trust me he will NOT get away with that crap again. I am holding him to his promise and I will never ignore those red flags. Trust me if I had a reason to check or felt something in my guy, I’d be checking!

    • Hopeful

      I will say I went through a phase of about 7 months of checking. After dday 2 all trust was eroded and probably into the negative. At one point I was done. I think there is a time and place especially if you think they are still active or have contact with the ap. But over time I think everyone is right this is no way to live. I also agree with technology there is no end. And if someone wants to they will get a throw away phone. They will find a way. You can create fake emails etc… it is all so easy now. I got to the point where I told my husband that I expect to have access and transparency to all devices and accounts. I need all passwords and can open any device at any time. If I find out there are any secret devices, apps etc that will most likely mean separation and a long list of things to even consider moving forward. No contact and this are non negotiable. If he were to guard his phone then I will assume the worst. There are no secrets. I made this crystal clear and so far so good. I said the exact same thing that I will not be in a marriage where I have to be a private detective, police officer or your mother.

      • Trying Hard

        I think our MC was very wary of the success of our reconciliation. She had first hand evidence what a big liar he was. I told her, in front of my husband, that I had put a on his car. And that he had lied when he did a drive by her house and I saw it on the GPS. I wasn’t mad he drove by, no, wait yes I was, but I was madder still he lied about it and I had firm evidence. I gave him every way out to own up to it before I showed him the evidence. Um yeah he was shocked that I had done that. She smiled and gave me a thumbs up. She looked me straight in the eye and said ‘you keep your eyes wide open’ and I did.

        Now, while I still keep my eyes wide open, I don’t do much surveillance but you never know so I do random checks every once in a while. And I wholeheartedly agree, being the marriage police or Mom is not a good role in any marriage. I just believe in the old adage “trust but verify”

    • TheFirstWife

      Robert. I agree you still need to be vigilant. You need to be checking. You need to disbelieve her words UNTIL she has proven herself. The worst thing that could happen would be for you to completely and utterly trust Her – only to find out some new information or that the affsir started up again.

      People who are providing their experiences are not one or two or three months past Dday.

      There is a difference – I just hope your wife continues to prove to you that she wants your marriage to succeed.

      • Robert M.

        Let me clarify a couple of things:

        1. I don’t trust my wife.
        2. I’d like to keep checking on things, however, it’s hard to do since she has moved to a different platform on a device that I can’t access

        • TryingHard

          Robert–the fact that she moved to a more secretive clandestine platform in and of itself tells you all you need to know.

          • Robert M.

            Indeed! And I plan to see an attorney soon as well.

            • TryingHard

              Robert– doing so will shake her little world and good for you. It’s good to have your legal ducks in a row. I do wish she would wake up and stop her craziness.

              Regardless what you decide. You will be good. Her not so much if she keeps choosing her path of self destruction.

              I believe in taking a hard line, tough love. If she decides to snap out of it you guys can make your marriage work. But as long as she continues with her subversive behavior and remains in contact with her affair partner unfortunately you have to move on with your life. It’s not fair and it stinks.

              I’m hoping she wakes up

            • TheFirstWife

              Robert. I am do sorry it has come to this but given all that has transpired I think you are going the right thing. You need to protect yourself. You don’t need to be taken advantage of either.

              Her actions clearly show that she still wants to have a relationship with the other man. This OM is a force in her life she cannot lose. She will always put him first. Her pattern of behavior shows that.

              And when you end the marriage you will get the tears and sobbing and empty promises. She will cry how she loves you. Blah blah blah. And in a short time she will be right back where she is now. Lying and cheating.

              As soon as she gets comfortable enough and thinks you trust her – unfortunately I have seen this pattern before. I had hopes based on what you were sharing that she had remorse and really wanted the marriage to work.

              But she has proven in a short time that she is selfish and wants the comforts of marriage AND the OM.

              So sorry for you. You at least did all you could. I hope you come out of this nightmare soon and can stop tracking her. That is just the worst. But evidence can be helpful in your case too.

            • Robert M.

              Thank you. She is out of town until next Friday and I made an appointment with an attorney. I don’t know my wife anymore and prolonging this agony is not an option.

              One question: call her out on the texting app or keep it to myself?

            • Tired

              Hi Robert. Keep it to yourself this time. Once she knew that you knew it seems she just became more devious. I went Through this with my husband. Unfortunately I didn’t take my own advice and I told him when I found things. He just became so sneaky that I couldn’t find anything. But they were still in touch. Finally he came to his senses and ended it on his own. Nothing I did or said made a difference. He had to come to the realisation on his own that he would lose me if he kept doing it.

              Seeing an attorney might just shock your wife into seeing what she has to lose. I hope that’s what will happen.

              My husband said that he was just too emotionally involved to turn it off like a tap and that’s why he kept responding to her. Maybe that’s the case with your wife and she will come to her senses as my husband did. Unfortunately when there is turmoil between you and the other person is still in the picture they tend to see you as the baddie and hang on. It’s so terribly unfair.

            • TheFirstWife

              Play it close to the vest. I worked for a divorce attorney so you need to protect yourself.

              Make sure she cannot drain your bank accounts.

              Have all your financial papers in a hidden or safe place. I had all my important papers stored off site when I was in a place of potential divorcee.

              I opened bank accounts in my own name in case my H decided not to provide for me & kids. Emergency $$

              Build up your cash reserves. You may need it.

              Have an exit plan – who is leaving residence if it comes to that.

              Play it close to the vest at all times. Trust me on this one.

            • Rachel

              The first wife is soooo right. Right after d day I changed my life insurance to my children. He doesn’t get mine but I get his because he didn’t change his. Withdraw money before going to an attorney. You will have to split all$. If you don’t want to leave the house make her leave. My ex wanted me out and I wouldn’t leave.
              I got a safe deposit box with my name only to stash all of my goods.
              And don’t let her know anything that you have as evidence. And get as much evidence as possible!!!
              I wrote down all that was said to me and in the end it paid off.
              I hoe it doesn’t come down to this, but you need to be prepared. Good luck and keep us posted here.

            • TryingHard

              Hi Robert–for now keep it to yourself but continue gathering evidence. Most states are no fault and the dishonesty Durant play into the case. But judges are human and they do pay attention to this crap. It may mean a judgement could be more in you favor

              This very move will shake her up. The last thing you want to do is to let her know your methods. It makes them go deeper. She will probably get a throw away phone. They all end up doing this. It’s in the cheaters handbook. Look fir that as well.

              But I implore you get a really good lawyer. I got the best and my h lawyer warned him if my lawyer that he was a bull dog itching for a fight. Scared the crap out of him. I’ve heard that the national firm Cordell and Cordell are good lawyers. They only represent men. But who knows??

              Your lawyer will give you good advice. Listen to him and let him do his job. Do what he tells you even though it may seem harsh. Mine locked my h out of the house with a restraining order. This brought the shitshow home to him. LOL he even suggested we use the same lawyer. Yeah, NO.

              Look I don’t think you guys are hopeless but it’s wise to get council and shake her up. She’s making you a doormat. Don’t be the doormat. I hope she wakes up before it’s too late. All of us here have said the same thing “who is this person”. Heck 5 years later I still say it!!

              You got this Robert

            • Disillusioned

              Robert, I seriously wouldn’t mention the app. I told my H I’d found his secret iPad, so he grabbed it off me and deleted everything! I’m such an idiot, and I bitterly regret being so impulsive. And whenever I want to ask him a question about the affair I do it face to face, so that I can tell if he’s lying (hopefully). I’m going through it again after a five year reconciliation! I always said it would be over if it ever happened again. Why the hell am I still here? It’s because I have no family to stay with, so staying here is my only option. But by staying here I end up sleeping with him, and all the excuses he gives me become blurred and more believable! Aaaagghh!!

            • Robert M.

              Thanks again. The urge for that “ah-ha! you’re busted!” moment is strong, but I agree with your advice. The pattern is exactly as you say: I discover something, she moves to some other method.

            • TheFirstWife

              Robert. So sorry you are still dealing with this.

              There is some very strong emotional connection with this OM and your wife. I was suspicious when she said she wanted to see him one last time.

              I called BullS*?% on that. That is not someone who is putting the marriage first. She is putting him ahead if you.

              Good luck – I don’t see good signs but I hope she wises up soon.

            • Robert M.

              She never said she wanted to see him one last time, but she made it a point to keep tabs on him with Facebook and refused to close things out until the recent fake out where she pretended to stop contact after she signed up for a new way to call and text.

              I go see an attorney tomorrow,
              my wife comes back Friday night. She has been very pleasant to me during this trip (guilt?) but I’m still having my PI check on her these next couple of days. It’ll be tough to find anything but it’s worth a shot.

    • Hopeful

      I agree you need to be vigilant due to where you are and her current behavior. Also I think trust cannot be had I the current state of your relationship. Just take it one day at a time.

      • Robert M.

        Thanks, much appreciated.

    • TryingHard

      Robert// you are being very very smart. Good luck to you

      • Robert M.

        Thank you.

    • Disillusioned

      Robert, don’t fall for the pleasant act. My H said he ‘loved’ me while he was seeing someone else. They have to maintain an act of normality, otherwise they get found out quicker. And to anyone who is reluctant to tell anyone about their spouse’s affair, it’s not a burden because your friend or relative can go off and forget about it – they are not living it. I didn’t tell my H’s family because I was trying to protect them, so five years later the affair seems to have resumed – because there was no shame at the time. Shame can be good to quash the thrill and excitement they felt, so I would say to consider that. Otherwise it could come back to haunt you in the future.

      • Trying Hard

        Dillusioned–I completely agree with you. Once the affair is out in the light of day suddenly it loses it’s allure.

        Upon discovery I called each on of my husband’s top management and told them about his affair with the woman he hired to work for him. He was so adamant about keeping it secret. They would have found out anyway as my son worked for his father, but I made sure my story got out first and that I was pissed and that life as THEY knew it was not going to be the same should a divorce ensue.

        On the day after he left I threw all his clothes and shoes on the driveway and soaked them with the hose. Yeah, we live on a golf course and it was a beautiful day. Didn’t take a genius to figure out what was happening at my house. You can imagine all the lost golf balls people just had to come look for in my yard!!!

        I may have and surely did embarrass myself as well. Made no difference to me at the time. My husband was mortified and well he should have been. I had no ego where that was concerned. Huge lesson to learn. If you have to keep it secret, it’s not good.

        My husband has lived with his shame but now it has transitioned to guilt which is a different and good thing. I couldn’t care less what anyone thinks of me. What’s important is what I think of myself. Those who know me know I was correct, a little crazy but correct.

        I don’t recommend doing what I did but I had no idea how to move forward after the devastation of DDay 1. I had no idea about the resources such as EAJ. I was alone and desperate and pissed. I was angry and angry people do crazy things. They do things they would normally never contemplate. But to keep it secret for your OWN ego’s sake is biting your nose to spite your face. So yes, I believe your husband has simply breathed a sigh of relief that he got away with it once he can do it again. They learn how to take the affair deeper underground and all the technology today makes it that much easier. But all the technology also helps the BS find out what’s going on too. And you correct they will put “nice” on the throw you off guard. “This is for your own good that I’m not going to tell you” gggrrr like fire on a firecracker!!

        I commend Robert for hiring a PI and an attorney. All the stuff needs to come out. As long as his wife is acting in a less than honest and clandestine manner there if no other option for him.

        I hope your husband figures things out or at least you do.

        • Robert M.

          I talked to my PI this morning and he advised me not to spend any additional money due to the difficulty of covering the area that my wife is in. It’s nice, however, to have someone available if I can pinpoint something, need a number looked up, etc. I’ll remain vigilant and won’t be revealing what I know until I need to.

          @Disillusioned, Thanks for the advice, which is important right now. My friends have advised me of the same thing, as certain activities taking place between husband and wife can constitute a reconciliation.

          • Robert M.

            The appointment with the divorce attorney went well, and there’s a chance that I could pursue adultery. It’s hard to prove in my state, however.

            All this stuff has my stomach in knots. Now that my wife is coming home tomorrow, she , in typical fashion, is resorting to being nasty again versus nice prior to/during the trip.

            • TheFirstWife

              She is being mean b/c she is acting like a spoiled brat. She won’t be able to text and chat and have compleye freedom while out if your sight.

              She will have to go “underground ” with her affair.

              I have seen and lived that behavior. My H wanted to go to an event. I said no. He whined, begged, pleaded, fought back and basically tried every ploy possible. I said no.

              Anger beyond belief!!

              So look to the reason for the anger.

              I’m just unsure why adultery is hard to prove in your state. I’m shocked that is not a valid reason for divorce.

            • Disillusioned

              Robert, it’s outrageous that our partners feel they can treat us like this. I think they would find it difficult to find another partner that is as tolerant as everyone on this site. And most affair partners are ditched when they are finally free to be together because they realise what they’re actually like! It’s tragic that we have all this stress and anxiety – what did we used to think about before our partners cheated?! Do you and your wife have children together?

            • Robert M.

              Yes, we’ve been married 10 years this month and have an eight-year-old daughter.

            • TheFirstWife

              Robert. I completely understand why you are trying to make your marriage work. The thought of divorce a few years ago broke my heart for my children.

              He was/is a great father. I tried very very hard to withstand everything b/c I felt I needed to try to make it work. I did not want to be the reason the family split up. I believed I could turn this around.

              Until the day came and I found out he was still cheating and I snapped. Calmly I said he must leave. He refused!!! But I no longer cared b/c I knew I would have a better life w/out his drama and crap. And lying and cheating. I knew my chikdten would be fine and we would survive as a family.

              THAT moment was when he decided to turn it around. We are still together 3 years later. He has changed. We are still a family and happy.

              But the thought of living w/out his kids AND not being able to rely on me and having me as his wife and living separate from his kids was like the bucket of cold water.

              And he had asked for a divorce just the week before and then changed his mind (yet again). I was like a yo-yo.

              But we have recovered. But if I had to do it again I would have thrown him out week 3 of this nightmare and saved myself. It is hard when you are the only spouse doing anything to make the marriage work.

            • TheFirstWife

              Disillusioned. That is an excellent point. Would our spouses or partners tolerate ANY of what we have lived through?

              I think not.

            • Robert M.

              @FirstWife, I’m glad you were able to work things out, but I understand what you’re saying about wishing you’d left.

              My wife did go through this in her first marriage years ago so it’s almost like she wants me to experience all the bad things she has experienced.

              As a mother, she is great. She also does a lot of nice things for other people. It’s just that I’m evidently last on the list and she is staying around because I pay all of the bills. I certainly am not perfect, but I can’t fight for a marriage when the lies drag on and on and on.

            • TheFirstWife

              Robert bi continue to hope things change or you.

              But I also think you have to think of yourself too. Put yourself first.

              Never a right or wrong answer – always think of your daughter first. Your wife is a good mom but right now – not a good wife.

              I hope you can survive this incredibly bad period. I hope your wife wakes up soon and sees she has a H who loves her.

              No one is perfect but nothing you did warrants cheating or lying etc.

            • TryingHard

              Robert–nobody is perfect no marriage is perfect. May I ask is she having a revenge affair?

              I hate to say this but affairs for women are much tougher than men. Most women invest a whole lot of emotions in their relationships and I believe much more do than some men. Once they become involved there’s not much compartmentalizing as men tend to do. They are all in.

              They may go through the motions but their heart and mind are not in the marriage or with the partner in the marriage. So yes she’s playing nice because you serve a purpose for her. As in paying the bills. Well that sucks and it’s putting you in the daddy role. A role no man wants to be in any more than women want to be in a mommy role. Also it’s a tremendous in balance of power in the marriage.

              She’s going to wake up really quickly when she figures out she’s going to have to get a job soon. Most probably you will have to pay her support since you agreed to her being a SAHM but that should be temporary. She’s young enough to find gainful employment and she damn well should find a job. It’s unfair and cruel to treat your partner as a convenient wallet. I hope your lawyer fights the alimony and sues her for infidelity.

            • Robert M.

              No revenge affair. I was tempted by a woman six years ago or so but I completely walked away from it and never spoke to her again.

              In my wife’s case, she planted the seeds with this “friend” of hers a few years ago on Facebook. After her father died, he was helping her out and that’s when things took off. She came back home in October and I was devastated b/c I thought she wanted a divorce. She kept twisting the knife in me, blaming me for everything. My self-esteem was shattered but something wasn’t right. That’s when I figured out what was going on. She denied it, was more than happy to keep twisting the knife, but she eventually came clean on Nov. 10. They exchanged 1064 text messages in three months.

              What’s also odd is that my wife was trying to bring back intimacy to our relationship, which I appreciated, but she continued to text this guy the whole time that was going on. That just makes me feel gross.

              I went out of my way to be more attentive, date nights, etc. and things got WORSE. Everything, and I meant everything, was the wrong thing. It was her meds. Her dad dying. It was she was still mad at me. It was my anxiety. More and more signs, more and more evidence.

              I’m done at this point. I can’t keep playing these games. I have parents in poor health, financial concerns, etc. and I don’t need her adding more drama to the load. She also has her things to deal with, but it’s not excuse to play games with our marriage.

            • Robert M.

              My wife does work, but she doesn’t make as much as she used to so I’m paying for more than normal. The business she inherited from her add will eventually help her out, which may be something she is thinking about long-term with the other guy.

              Oddly enough, she’ll never say outright that she doesn’t want to be with him, but something more along the lines of it’d be later on or that it’s just not convenient right now. My favorite: if I was going to have a real affair, it’d be local.

    • Rachel

      I used adultery during my divorce and it’s not recognized in my state. I had a list of things that were said and had the other woman- aka soulmate, subpoenaed. The judge was on my side. I think after 25 years of marriage and the ex leaving for another women helped.
      And don’t let the nice attitude fool you, they always have a plan. You need to make sure that you keep one step ahead of her.
      Good luck!

      • Robert M.

        My lawyer said I could definitely pursue it. It can be used in my state, however, it’s just very hard to prove sometimes.

        • Robert M.

          Update: So my wife has two Text Now accounts. The first one appears to be one that was never used. This threw me completely off since the email account I knew of was associated with this one.

          As it turns out, there’s another GMail account and it’s linked to the account I figured out, which is a local number.

          Here’s to staying vigilant while trying not to go crazy!

          • TryingHard

            Robert M. I want you on MY team!!! How did you figure out there were two Text Now accounts? How did you figure out the second gmail account? Did you get the PW to it? Do you have incriminating evidence for your lawyer?

            Crazy is normal right now. Just make sure you keep your cool.

            • Robert M.

              I’d certainly love to help you! Here’s the pattern I found in order:

              1. Noticed two text messages (one sent, one received) to a local number I didn’t recognize on the phone record for 19 February.
              2, Checked wife’s phone. Text messages weren’t there. So…
              3, Called my PI, had him run a search on the number, which revealed that it was a number for Text Now, which assigns you a new phone number and allows you to text and call using an app.
              4. Went to the Text Now website, tried to register using wife’s email address. It said it was already in use. Text Now use verified…sort of.
              5. Wife issues a fake apology to me, says she’s tired of me being suspicious. So she unfriends the other man on Facebook and takes his number out of her phone.
              6. Wife travels from 28 Feb to 10 March. She is nice before and during the trip.
              7. Wife comes back. I look at her GMAIL account on a tablet she and may daughter share. Lo and behold it says that her text now number is about to expire due to lack of use. Huh? What? And the number isn’t the local one I found earlier. It’s from another state!
              8. I think things over. Looks like she was messing with this app before when her and her cousin were trying to figure out some things for the business. Then the number was never used.
              9. I go back to the Text Now website and try her main email address. No luck. I try her main email name with GMAIL. BINGO!
              10. She registered for this local number using another GMAIL account she set up, which only she has access to on her tablet that she keeps locked up.
              11. I’m still not crazy, but this is no way to live!

            • Robert M.

              Well, it’s not looking good. I called my wife out on the app. She was surprised I found out, tried to grab my phone to look at, and then made the excuse that she downloaded it because I was “too suspicious” of her.

              Later on, she said she used it to text him because he was needed to help out with a family matter.

              She has now admitted to checking out of the relationship and wants to separate.

            • TheFirstWife

              I am sorry to hear that she has decided to separate.

              Does she think this AP or OM is going to rescue her?

              Who is going to pick up the shattered pieces of her life when the house of cards comes tumbling down?

              I hope your attorney and counselor can provide some help to you. So sorry it came to this but at least, for once, she was honest.

            • Robert M.

              Yes, it’s a strange situation to live in the same home and know that you can’t do a lot to save your marriage.

              I’ve moved past the betrayal and recently asked a lot of questions to clear up some things that didn’t match up. I really don’t are about the issue any longer, but it’s heartbreaking to want to fight to save something while the other person doesn’t.

              The main issue I continue to have is that my wife deflects/projects everything back to me.

              I’m going to go to a counselor, which my wife says I need to do anyway, as maybe , just maybe, this could change her “hardened heart.”

            • Shifting Impressions

              I think that is classic “cheater’s behavior”….of course it’s everyone else’s fault. They do that to rationalize their own behavior.

              Go to the counselor for you, take care of you.

            • Robert M.

              Yep, that’s what I’m going to do.

              Her take on what happened: she needed comfort and she felt safe with an old friend to pursue it with. The hardest part of this whole ordeal was never getting the reassurance I needed to move on, especially with her justifying her need to stay in touch with him.

              Was I too suspicious? Was I unforgiving? I don’t believe so. And I’m not going to be hard on myself about it. There was a lot going on when I found out and betrayal just stinks. It really does.

              She said the other day that the other guy’s relationship wasn’t going well, then she said she didn’t know. Things like that make me nuts.

            • TheFirstWife

              Robert. Do not accept her blame that you “caused her to cheat”. That is utter crap. That is like the abuser saying to the victim it is your fault I hit or best you.

              She coukd have expressed Her feelings at any time. Or gotten therapy / counsrling for herself.

              I know what you mean about fighting for the marriage. I was in your place for many months. Then I finally gave up and quit trying and then finally, my H had to fight to keep me from leaving him.

              Not a good way to live. It is heartbreaking to see someone you love just throw it away, rewrite the marriage and expect everyone will agree they are right and it was ok for them to cheat.

              It took me 2 years after thevaffair to get past the PTSD I suffered. My H basically came home and announced marriage over!!

              Now I have gotten to a point that you are either with me or without me. We are either in the same team or not.

              And if I even suspect he is doing something he knows I would not approve then we are finished. Not even a conversarion is needed on that topic. It is crystal clear.

              I hope you can heal from your broken heart and put life in perspective with your wife. And I hope she doesn’t continue her patterns b/c she will certainly regret it one day.

              I hope you can get past this. Maybe back off from her a bit – don’t ask questions, develop your own routine and include her, but if she refuses then don’t push it. Her choice – no reflection on you.

              Get yourself strong, restore your self esteem and hopefully she will see you in a different light. That may want her to make some changes.

            • Hopefull

              Robert M, I agree go get your own help but do not accept her words of blame. A marriage takes two people of course and no one is perfect. However until she accepts how she violated your marriage and treats you with respect it is hard to make any progress. No one deserves this type of treatment. It is hard to go through. I will say my husband does not even remember things he said on dday and after. I think he was just in cya mode and do as little harm as possible. Kind of silly but this was his mentality at the time. We have gotten really far but it has been two years. So I do think their perspective can change over time if they get to the point they are willing to work on themselves and take the blame. Best of luck and keep us updated!

            • Rachel

              Robert that’s what they do, blames us for everything. They won’t take the blame as they are perfect. Hopefully she will go to therapy too.

            • Disillusioned

              Robert, that must be devastating to hear, but living with the anguish of not knowing where she is with or with whom
              Is draining and depressing – I should know because I’m living with it. The constant wondering is no way to live and you don’t deserve that.

            • TheFirstWife

              Disillusioned. Sorry you are still living like this.

              I know how that feels – wondering if he saw the OM/OW or if they spoke or texted, etc.

              I finally got past that with a good therapist. It was so hard but I honestly just stopped focusing on him and his cheating and spent time focusing on me.

              Best thing that ever happened. I don’t try to control him and have more self confidence in me.

              I don’t need him to survive and I have gotten to a place that I am good with or without him.

              And it is good knowing I have options.

              I hope you can get to the same place. Because it is so freeing when you realize the cheating is their issue and no longer affects who you are. I’m not saying it doesn’t hurt like hell – it does. But it no longer impacts me on the same way.

            • Robert M.

              So I haven’t mentioned anything about the affair since I asked my wife some questions about things that she said that didn’t line up. That was almost three weeks ago. Now, for whatever, reason, she keeps saying random things out of the blue like, “I wouldn’t be having an affair because…”

              She’s done this on multiple occasions. I don’t say anything about it, just let her talk. Is she showing signs of a guilty conscience?

          • TheFirstWife

            Robert. So sorry for you. Just when I think that things may be changing for you & your marriage, there seems to be another step backward.

            If I were in your position I think I would give up. I would just throw in the towel in disgust already.

            What does your counselor say?

      • Tired

        Hi Rachel,
        My daughter told me I was always not one, but Three steps ahead of my husband. And she was only 22 at the time. I’m seriously sick of the dumb justifications for his affair. He was a “victim” Im seriously thinking of leaving this pathetic fool. What was it that made up your mind to do it?

        • Rachel

          My ex clearly said 3 times in front of me and my boys (age 20 & 16 at the time), that he didn’t want me or our marriage. He wanted his freedom and it was time for him. Was leaving us to be with his “soulmate ” an ex from when he was 20 years old.
          He said if he wasn’t with her then, he would be in the future. My 20 year old told me , mom he doesn’t want you. So I filed.
          Best thing I have ever done!!!!

          • Tired

            Hmmm. Yes that would have inspired me to move on too. My husband is, however making an effort. So I’m not sure what I will do

            • TheFirstWife

              Tired. Right now I feel no pressure to make any changes. My H is working hard and right now we are good.

              But I only look to one day forward and take each day as it comes.

              Obviously after this ordeal there is no guarantees about our future. One day I may decide to leave for whatever reason!!

        • TheFirstWife

          Tired I think you will know when it is time to move on from your marriage.

          At least that is what my therapist said.

          When you can no longer tolerate the lies and drama. When you are not getting anything out of the marriage. When you can no longer live like you are.

          And if you feel you have given it your best and it is not working, then you can walk away without guilt or reservation.

          He deemed that a successful divorce.

          There are people trained in this area and it doesn’t have to be ugly and contentious.

          Divorce mediation is possible in many cases and it can be completed without a trial or long drawn out battle.

          Sorry you are still facing this. Hoping things will turn around but after awhile you just get tired of the disappointment.

    • Rachel

      Last week the ex was sent a letter from my attorney to stop emailing me as it is in the divorce decree not to harass the ex wife. Not to go on her property etc.
      Today my attorney emailed a letter that the ex sent to him. A 2 page letter on how he is a nice guy and he is not harassing his ex wife. On divorce day his head wasn’t clear when he signed the decree and dint not have clear understanding of it that he could not visit the “children “in the home.
      He said that I am not following the decree because I am not answering him thru emails about the “children”.
      He’s still looking for the 33.00 prior to the divorce that was used for my therapy. Yes, 33.00 and he makes 6 figures.
      He will be making a list of thing that he wants from the home when the boys move out or when I sell. He had 2 weeks after the divorce to remove what was his and didn’t. His reason was he didn’t want to upset the “children”.
      Mind you the children are 25 & 21.
      My question is, how in the world did I stay married to this clown for 25 years????

      • TheFirstWife


        He is delusional. I am sure after the trial that your attorney knows he is not a nice guy.

        Can’t you change your email address? I know you were talking about it. Maybe it can happen soon.

        • Rachel

          The first wife,
          Yes delusional!!!A letter was sent to him last week from my attorney stating to stop emailing me. It’s in the divorce decree not to or else the law will be involved. I had a quiet week until yesterday when my attorney emailed me a letter to him from the ex. Saying he wants to coparent and he’s not harassing me. Wants me to pay him money and wants to get his things from 4 years ago. In which I trashed all!!
          He always needs to have the last word. Cause he’s perfect!

          • TryingHard

            The whole he wants to “co-parent” adult children cracks me up!!! When he was supposed to be parenting when they were younger he was off chasing skirts!!! What a tool!!!he can “want” all he wants. No court is going to mandate that. As for his stuff direct him to the nearest dump. He had his chance. This guy is pathetic and desperate for attention. Tell your lawyer to tell him to piss up a rope!!! You’re done I wouldn’t even spend the lawyer fees to respond to his ridiculousness!! Can’t get blood from a turnip!!

            • Rachel

              lol trying hard. I know he is too much. I’m not spending another penny on this jerk!!! He is just so pathetic!!

    • TryingHard

      Hi Robert–FOO issues abound for all of us. To try to deal with those issues AND infidelity is daunting.

      You must put first thing first and the first thing that must occur fir any kind of reconciliation to begin is completely ending the affair and no contact strictly enforced. If the cheater refuses or is only half heartedly going along reconciliation is doomed.

      This is the point at which the BS must take the next steps, as you have, to get council and help i.e. a therapist to help you along the way. This is not easy being you have an 8 year old child. You will need guidance both legally and emotionally. Di not skip the therapy part. My son did this and completely screwed his divorce and life up. He’s in a worse place now.

      Only until a true commitment to the marriage and cutting off all contact with the affair partner can you begin to deal with other issues in the marriage. Until then those issues are a moot point.

      I’ve had both my parents die, I lost a business, my other business has struggled through a recession, family health problems, elderly in laws causing problems I’ve been there seen it, lived through it and of course surviving my husband 4 year EA and PA!! Never once have I considered having an affair. Matter of fact it’s the last thing I would do. Life’s hard and sometimes it’s shit. People get sick. People die, children get divorced , they struggle and you bear the brunt of it both financially and emotionally. Taking in an affair is an excuse for lousy character. And that’s what it is. Lousy character. One doesn’t have to remain a lousy character they can change but only if they are motivated to change. Nothing anyone says or does can make them change.

      I know you’re in a miserable place and I feel for you. I hope your wife wakes up and realizes she’s destroying both her, yours and your precious daughters lives by acting so selfishly. And I’m finding people destroy others lives frequently. It’s you who has to be the adult now in this situation for your daughters sake. I wish you well and prayers and good thoughts to you.

    • Matt

      I’ve posted earlier in this blog about my situation. It’s been a few days over 2 months since D-Day for me. After confronting my wife she decided to cut all ties with the OM, and she truly has been zero-contact. She is committed to our marriage.

      The hardest thing for me other than the pain of the affair are my conflicted feelings toward her. This affair lasted more than a decade, it was mostly an EA but had a couple episode’s of PA. Also this relationship stemmed from a prior affair she had with him before we met (he was married then too), it lasted 4 years and was never found out. I know she will always feel some sort of love for him, that’s what restarted this whole thing. I know she has her emotions to deal with because of this and it’s painful.

      My feelings are conflicted because on one hand I’m mad as hell and terribly heartbroken and emotionally drained. But then on the other hand it pains me to know she’s hurting because I love her so much……I just want to comfort her. Craziest emotion I’ve ever felt.

      We are however moving on quite well, we both feel we are growing stronger and closer as a couple already. We’ve really focused on quality alone time. I think honesty has been the key, my wife has been completely open and honest with me. As much as it hurts initially it erases all doubt and the unknown. She’s been amazingly supportive.

      That’s another thing different about my situation. My wife and I have never had a bad marriage, in 20 years we’ve always been good together, she just never truly let go of this OM emotionally and at some point it rekindled. She says she honestly can’t remember what did it, she just remembera calling him for some reason and that was it……nostalgia took over.

      All I know is my heart is twisted up like a braided rope right now and I love my wife so much it hurts…….literally.

      • Hopefull

        Matt so sorry! My husband had two affairs over 10 years. One was really sporadic the other a little more frequent but nothing intense ever. However it still hurt the same. It was really hard and took a lot of work. It sounds like you are both on track but make sure to give it time and not rush. Also I would fall backwards especially after we made major progress. when things felt “normal” again that was the worst. I started to doubt everything again.

        I saw a therapist which helped a lot. Also setting boundaries and expectations made the world of difference. You can do this and you have a great attitude. Your feelings of questioning and doubt are normal. We all go through that.

    • TryingHard

      Hi Matt–I am so sorry you have to go through this. We all know it’s awful and are intimately aware of the twisted heart and pain.

      Your wife’s deception was really bad, but I don’t think there is a good deception either. But honestly this AP sounds more like a bad habit, if that makes sense. A REALLY bad habit!!

      If she has come clean and wants to help in your healing (and at least to me it sounds like she is) it sounds like your marriage may just make it through this nightmare. I can’t make excuses for her because there are none. One thing I might suggest is it sounds to me that she has a REALLY hard time letting relationships go? I mean I know women, old women, that have had friendships since childhood. I know that’s not a bad thing but people change, relationships change, interests change and it’s always curious to me that people hold onto these friendships for so long.

      Also if your questioning her love. Undoubtedly she probably had some kind of deep feelings for this guy but ALSO undoubtedly she had not commitment to this guy. It also sounds to me that not only does she have a deep love for you but also a deep commitment. And that’s the difference.

      Also, and I really hate saying this and admitting it but we “love” many people in our life’s time. Our hearts are made big like that. People love their children, pets, homes, cars, food, there’s ALL kinds of love right? Well so yes, maybe there was love there BUT is it bigger and better and badder than the love she has for you?? I say NO.

      I know this is sooo damn painful. I know you are looking at her with different eyes now and thinking “WTF am I doing here??”. Betrayal is an ego busting-self-esteem-shattering fact. But, you are no less than what you ever were and that was a good, loving, faithful husband. This character flaw (whatever that is) is all on your wife, not you. I do hope she is in some kind of therapy to figure her “bad” self out 🙂 She needs help learning about boundaries and real love and commitment is. She sounds like a very weak person that needs to figure stuff out SOON.

      You can do this Matt. I’m an old lady and if you can do this I know you can!!

      But maybe trying looking at her with “new” eyes. Eyes that aren’t blindly leading you. Eyes that know what she is capable of and YOU love her regardless.

    • TheFirstWife

      Matt. So sorry for you. All of us here understand your feelings and pain and emotion

      It sounds like the OM was a manipulative jerk. It fed his ego to have an affair with your wife. He could have done the right thing but chose to keep her on a leash do to speak. Not excusing your wife but it takes 2.

      I think therapy for you and you alone is a great idea. It saved my sanity from the emotional devastation. Like you I had a good marriage. Only one major issue and I just learned to deal with it – my H would not pick up a phone if he was late. Just couldn’t or wouldn’t do it. I have up after 15 years of trying to change it but figured if that was my only complaint I could deal with it. He didn’t drink excessively or do drugs or anything that would cause suspicion.

      But when he came home 3 years ago and admitted his EA and I realized he was about to divorce me- I was unglued. I didn’t get it. No fights or arguments prior to this.

      Aha! Total mid life crisis. My counselor kept me sane and rational (we have teens home on summer vacation) and it was just all I could do to not let them see it.

      I think I could win an award for best performance by a mom who is about to be kicked to the curb for a much younger “woman” without letting her children know what was going on.

      So please speak to someone to help you. Someone you can get perspective from and guide you through all the emotions you will face. And advice on dealing with your wife as well.It can make a difference.

      Wishing you all the best.

    • Kittypone


      You wrote this comment on the very Dday for me… whole world spun out of its axis and I don’t want to recall how I felt that day……the lies, the gaslighting, the stonewalling…..I lived the whole nine yards….about five weeks later, when I figured out that my H was still lying and very much still involved with the OW, I did my own sleuthing around and I found out the info on the OW husband…. I contacted him myself and let him on about the “good friend” his wife spoke so much to….I sent him a video his “sweet wife” sent to MY h for his birthday so he could listen from her own lips how she felt for another man 17 years her senior and how much she loved him……you see, my H EA started on FB and he made such a production of “blocking” her from it….but that was it….he kept it up on WhatsApp and got to the throw away phone later on as well….he never even met the harlot in person, as she lives in another country 2,300 miles away from us…..but I got to taping him in his car for two weeks and that was all the evidence I needed….voice messages, singing to her, phone sex… name it, he did it….all that was in his hands to be able to carry on an affair with someone in another country whom he’s NEVER seen face to face, let alone kissed or held her hand or anything else…..his affair fog was SO POWERFUL that he literally told me over the phone that our marriage was over and he suggested I try to make a relationship go with a good friend of mine….he suggested to HIS OWN WIFE to try and start a relationship with ANOTHER MAN!!! WHO DOES THAT?!?!? It’s almost two years of the first D-day as there were several others, but with LOTS of therapy, mentoring, good friends, and hard work, we are to a point of some semblance of normalcy in our lives again….. I HAVE told him that if he screws this time around, he will be on his own as I will NOT forgive an infidelity a second time and our children are all grown and out of our home so I have no younger kids to look after and finish raising…..very clear boundaries are in place and I don’t joke around with those, so….I truly hope that this is a very dark and bitter period of our lives that will firmly stay in the past forever….some days are better than others, but I AM in a much better place than two years ago….thank GOD for this blog and all the support I have found in it…..

    • Stephanie

      Hi Matt,
      I am sorry that you are going through this painful ordeal. Your wife is doing what my husband did and that is fence sitting aka having his cake and eating it too! Until I took and stand and some control back and told him he had to move out. All along he felt the decision to stay was only up to him . I removed myself from the equation and told him I didn’t want to be married anymore . As soon as REAL REALITY hit him he was immediately regretful. He was in so much pain and shame and he soon realized what he had done and he didn’t want to leave us his wife and family . I wish you the best and a healthy recovery

    • Just Sad

      I’ve been reading these emails but never usually comment. This one really hit home. 20 year marriage down the drain when I found out my husband had been having an EA! Devastated is not the word but you all understand that. He made it a lot worse by continuing to lie to me & continuing to have contact with his AP for 6 more months. We are now 9 months since D-Day but seeing I was still finding things out up until mid January, it hasn’t done much for my mental & emotional stability! He didn’t think obviously that my tears & heartbreak & cut communication at all costs were making his life fair until I threw him out for a 3rd time. He didn’t understand at the time until then that all communication in that 6 months was initiated by her after I abused her via text msgs & she would run to him to be consoled because she couldn’t see anything she had done was wrong & he was just weak! He also didn’t realise until after the fact that she was continuing to use this communication to tear me apart & degrade me by speaking ill of me, hoping he would keep running to her. She did not want to lose to me. Third time is the charm though & my husband finally realised what he did & what he had by having me as his wife! So I’m now loved more than anything & im his world & there’s no more communication between them! But left alone with no one to talk to about this because everything written in that blog is in my head too. His family are awful to me, so called good friends iv found are only after gossip & my parents dont deserve to be so hurt with all the truthfulness. So battling my mind every day is excruciating & only having my husband to sort things out with doesn’t help my mindset when he has his own things to deal with. then he still has trouble being this completely changed husband when he takes my venting & crying & wanting to talk as personal attacks. But my memories of 25 years are gone & I don’t know what the future holds. But is it wrong to think that I feel I’m having to put in much more effort than my husband in order to recover from this?! My trauma is 24/7 but he had 6 years of private, selfish fun, outings, rendezvous’ & love but apparently nothing physical. But I’m left in the state Im in not knowing who to turn to & how to get out of bed of a day. I need something to smile about for longer than 2 mins before my mind gives me a reminder, trigger etc! I need happier, I just hope I finally get it. I also know reading everything from all of you is very helpful in not feeling alone. Thank you all.

      • Anon

        Just sad

        I was in your shoes. My H did the same exact thing. 25 years of a good marriage down the drain b/c he refused to stop cheating (EA). Plus he kept telling me he wanted a Divorce.

        Dday2 was the final straw. He was dumping me for the OW. Upending our life, kids, etc. as he only cared about himself.

        I strongly recommend that you get professional counseling. It will save your sanity especially if you have no one to talk to. I didn’t talk to many people but a few family members were not supportive or helpful.

        And yes the cheater doesn’t care about the betrayed’s feelings. They are very selfish and mean, vindictive and nasty. Why? We are standing in their way. We are stopping them from the affair. They make the betrayed the villain to justify the affair in their mind. Think of it this way — you are asking your H to put out the garbage and the OW is telling him how wonderful he is and she would NEVER ask him to put out the garbage. 😡

        Regarding your healing. Unfortunately my experience taught me that your cheating spouse can only help you heal so much. The rest is on you. You will heal little by little and get off the emotional roller coaster you are on. And one day the affair won’t consume your thoughts.

        But you will have to choose happiness. You don’t want to live under the black cloud of infidelity forever. You will want to be free of some of the hurt and pain. So you will choose to be happy. You will help yourself heal and get to a better place.

        You will decide not to let the affair rule your life.

        • Just Sad

          Hi Anon. Thank you for your words. I love your “taking out the rubbish” analogy. It really is dead on isn’t it & so damn infuriating. Now after all the pain I’m suffering he is seeing how much wasn’t real & how much he was used for her amusement. That doesn’t sit well with him, that I know. But it doesn’t sit well with him finally because he can see the hurt his selfish actions caused me, instead of it not sitting well with him because she used him. That’s atleast steps forward there. Plus it is now a daily task for him to check what I might need. Even though he does have to push himself with that. But you are correct with the fact that I am the main person who is going to add to my happiness. That is definitely a work in progress along with trying to get out of everything from the past. It is very difficult not to revert back to the thousands of memories I have that have been ruined & all the awful things that he chose to do that caused me such hurt. Feelings of worthlessness don’t help either. It’s a definite struggle everyday but it is a struggle I am working on & trying not to let it get the better of me. Just the hardest work iv ever known.

    • Scott

      so I have been reading all these and WOW> I am not alone. I found out about my wife’s affair 3 weeks before our 30th wedding anniversary. That was almost 2 years ago still been ruff as I go through the motions. Her lovers
      wife contacted me after she found dirty pictures of my wife on her husbands phone. she sent them to me with the text. I was floored. she came clean and I we went to counseling. In between I recovered 2.5 years worth of texts and pictures and wonder who is this woman I am married to. I love her and she is sorry, but I have so much trouble getting it out of my mind. I ride a bicycle daily and work out daily to get my mind else wear. I pull on good memories to help. But as our counselor has said your marriage started all over, the old one is gone.
      I have found some solace in reading about other people and know I am not alone in this ugly gam. My wife is
      educated mother of 3 looks amazing in her 50s. she got involved with a former co worker while he was there. He left and it picked up she fell for all of it. they met several times a month at apark for sex. I learned they would text all the time and she would meet him when I was away at night, and the pictures have me so ashamed of this once beautiful woman in my eyes. I love her more now as we work but do not look at her the same. she volunteered GPS on her phone. I jus would love one day without thinking about it. I did confront the other guy I am afraid to say and I lost my cool and hurt him .I am not proud of that and do not like fighting of any kind. I pray a lot as I walk through these uncharted waters of my new life. I just love the postas it gives me hope for peace

      • Matt

        Hey Scott,

        You are definitely not alone. So here’s the best advice I can give you.

        Take care of yourself. You are the one that matters to you right now, your emotional health is what is important……. because believe me it will effect your physical health too. No matter how much you love your wife and she says she loves you and she’s sorry and she wants to fix things…….. this is the time for you. You must get yourself in the right frame of mind before taking on repairing a marriage and/or healing yourself.

        Some more advice, give it time and I mean real time. I talked to both Linda and Doug through my crisis (yes this is a crisis, a personal one) I thought in a year I would be over everything no matter how my marriage turned out. Man was I wrong, at year 1 I felt no better than day 1. Each of them told me to give it at least 3 years, I thought they were absurd…… it took 3 years and then some before I was TRULY ok, before I could think about or talk about it without anger or grief erupting.

        Like Linda and Doug my wife and I were able to work things out. BUT if that’s your goal it’s going to take total honesty from both of you. Most affairs are 2-way streets, so you as well are going to have to dig deep, remain calm and listen to your wife and to her “reasons” for the affair. Most likely a lot of it is going to be selfish BS, but there’s gonna some truth in it…….. though the affair is her doing, your likely to learn of some personal shortcomings. Take them and learn from them, make yourself better……. regardless of how your marriage turns out.

        DO NOT try to rush your healing and recovery, take it from me, it won’t work…… in fact it just made it worse for me. Also allow yourself to feel and experience your emotions, let them out. If you have to drive out in the middle of the woods and scream, yell, throw shit, cry, scream, beat the hell out of something…….. do it. But most importantly find a HEALTHY way to deal with this whether it be friends, exercise, a hobby, travel. This is your time to take care of you!!!

        Good luck man, this is not going to be easy, but it is doable and done right you will come out better on the other side.

        • Matt

          Also…… I want to say the people on here are amazing. You will get great advice from many people here that have experienced affairs in different ways. Remember affairs are personal, the way you react and deal with an affair is personal.

          Myself, I had to drop this website and these amazing people for awhile because I felt like it was keeping me “in” the moment hearing and talking to different people just starting their journey. I had to separate myself from helping others to complete MY healing.

          But now I’m back, and I am GOOD, I am HEALED and I am HEALTHY!! I’m not bragging or anything like that, I simply want you and everyone else to know that it is possible and that healing is different for all of us.

          God bless you all and I hope all of you find your peace and healing!

    • Matt

      Also…… I want to say the people on here are amazing. You will get great advice from many people here that have experienced affairs in different ways. Remember affairs are personal, the way you react and deal with an affair is personal.

      Myself, I had to drop this website and these amazing people for awhile because I felt like it was keeping me “in” the moment hearing and talking to different people just starting their journey. I had to separate myself from helping others to complete MY healing.

      But now I’m back, and I am GOOD, I am HEALED and I am HEALTHY!! I’m not bragging or anything like that, I simply want you and everyone else to know that it is possible and that healing is different for all of us.

      God bless you all and I hope all of you find your peace and healing!

    • Scott

      Thanks so much for the reply, yes I know I have to work on me and get me going and I am. this whole thing shocked me as we have been together for 38 years married 32, in 2016 was our year, we were getting out more
      kids moved out we had new friends going on trips, more in love than before and more adventures in our personal life’s together. Other couples always comment what was our secret to being like this, we want this. she would reply TRUST and RESPECT. That we have for each other. As I look back her friends fell in love with the guy that spoiled his wife and adored her, and I did. I tried to be there always emotionally spiritually and physically you would have never guessed we had a problem she hid it it well and like most of us we trust our partner. After I found out she said could not give me a reason for the affair. Our first counselor surmised since we had been together so young she may have wanted to find out what it was like to be with someone else. We switched counselors since this one was judgmental. Second one has been awesome. she with the help of new counselor said stress of new job, menopause, and yes she said she held grudges at me from years earlier. Grudges I said?? Well unfinished projects at home, um ok WE had those but our counselor and her said she may have used these as excuses to herself to justify the affair. I asked her was I mean treat you bad, not there for you, she said no I was amazing and she F’d up. So I am sure there is something on me and not sure what it is for her to use negative comparison on me. But I am sure there is something but will forever ask my self did you have to have an affair over it? Was it worth losing me our kids and friends over? Fortunately only our son knows of this and is currently not speaking with his mother, For me I as so ashamed and humiliated and embarrassed by this, One I had the world thinking how in love we were, and we enjoyed being together. My FB posts always showed our smiling faces and my comments would start with my lovely wife and I or Beautiful wife. I have since refrained from social media comments with pictures of us. My wife felt she was in depression all this time also, but I could not tell she was always smiling and having fun. So hence my confusion. she has kept pretty tight lipped on the details. I have given her chances to answerer my questions and she refrains or beats around the bush. Well Her lovers wife and I both have the text messages and pictures
      I just want the truth so I can close this chapter. She would like this to go away and i would if the tables were turned also. I know this going to take time as I close doors behind me. I met with a counselor who specialized in PTS and used tappers to help me get rid of the pictures I had scene and the negative thoughts I had and the thought of seeing them having sex. It worked well and I see broken glass when my mind goes there?? not sure why but helps. The only bad thing from that since I was so mad at this guy, was he put it to me, look this guy was a peace of garbage hitting on a married woman, he being married also, but he said, ultimately this is your wife’s fault, she held all the cards and could have stopped this if she chose to. Instead she chose to encourage it and tease him and bait him with pictures. This made me stop and think and yes hurt bad. . so I pray a lot and work out daily bike ride, I have not tried screaming though LOL.. Thanks for listing

    • Matt


      In regards to having friends that thought you guys were the BEST couple and wanted to know how to be so happy together, that was us to a T. ALL of our friends use to say that about us prior to me knowing about her affair. I too had many social media pictures up with the same phrases and the same happy couple smiling bigger than life……..a lot of those pictures have long been deleted.

      I hate that she won’t answer your questions. That was one of the top things our counselor told my wife, to answer my questions……all of them and honestly. Here’s some advice that my counselor told me about the questions (in the event your wife decides to answer yours). When you get the “real” answer to your question leave that one be, don’t come back to it and ask the same question again (unless of course there’s a reason, I.e. she contradicts that answer in a future statement). Also before you ask the questions make sure you want to know the answer, some honest answers can ingrain horrible images in your head and twist your heart into a knot.

      We too didn’t tell anyone about her affair at first and still to this day only a few of our very close friends know and our children, barring any further affair, will never know.

      Rebuilding is hard but it can be done, but she has to be willing to do the hard work too. Many times the person who had the affair just tries to ignore the entire situation in hopes it will “just go away”, while the person hurt goes crazy talking to counselors reading books and being a part of groups like this trying to figure out what went wrong. If your goal is to stay with your wife you might have to use some tough love. My wife also at the beginning behaved as you described yours….gas lighting, fence sitting, anything to avoid confronting what she had done, answering questions, etc. I basically told her I was willing to stay with her and work through this but she was gonna do what needed to be done or this was over. She told the counselor what I said (because in her mind all of this was none of my business, that it didn’t have anything to do with us, it had to do with her and she shouldn’t have to talk about it if she didn’t want to). You can imagine what the counselor said…….she told her she was way off base and that I had hit the nail on the head with what I wanted. She eventually came around and put in the hard work along with me and today we really are in a better place…….that’s no BS.

    • L.B.

      I disagree with the author of this letter when they say that wanting to tell someone what happened is selfish.
      Although talking about trauma is extremely difficult, it is also necessary for the healing process. This doesn’t mean that you need to relive the details, what’s more, important is opening about the effect it’s had. It is important to feel and express natural emotions that come up after a trauma such as sadness and fear.

      Avoidance may reduce uncomfortable emotions in the short term, but it will likely increase feelings of powerlessness, helplessness, and other PTSD-related symptoms in the long term. When individuals talk about painful experiences with a safe, supportive, and attuned human; they learn that the trauma can be dealt with and difficult emotions can be tolerated. Memories can be organized in a healthy way rather than developing problematic beliefs and self-blame (e.g., “this is all my fault.”).
      These 2 paragraphs are from an article on The Psychology Group website.
      Trauma Disclosures: How to Talk About Trauma and How to Support the Person Disclosing It,all%20my%20fault.%E2%80%9D).

    • Nicole

      Broken Heart Syndrome
      Yes, that’s a real thing. Technically called takotsubo cardiomyopathy, Dr. Andersen says the condition happens almost entirely in women. “We don’t understand it completely, but it may have to do with an outpouring of adrenal hormones, like norepinephrine, in response to emotional or physiological stress,” she says. “It completely stuns the heart.” Stress alone is a bigger risk factor for heart disease for women than men. Women who have had their hearts broken end up in the ER thinking they are having a heart attack. They mentally and physically really are showing signs of a broken heart. Many will be sent home being told they had a panic attack or anxiety attack which is partly true. But Broken Heart Syndrome is how the Heart Attack got its name. People can and do really die from a broken heart.

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