Dave Carder says that in essence it doesn’t matter why men stay after an affair. The fact is they did and now it’s time to go to work.

why men stay after an affairBy Linda

Last Thursday I wrote a post about how I still felt the pain from the thoughts of why Doug really decided to stay in our marriage.  Today I wanted to follow up on that a bit and share with you some wonderful information from one of our favorite authors, Dave Carder.  Dave is a marriage counselor and the author of two books:  “Torn Asunder” and “Close Calls.”

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my emotions that I temporarily forget vital pieces of information that I have either read or heard in the past.  I don’t in any way fault myself for that, as we all know that emotions can be quite powerful and can overtake us at times.

I realize I get caught up in the reason for why Doug stayed, but in the short audio that I’ve included in this post, Dave says that in essence it doesn’t matter why men stay after an affair.  The fact is they did and now it’s time to go to work and correct the deficiencies in your relationship if you want any chance to save your marriage.

To paraphrase Dave Carder in the audio:  “You never lose infatuation (the drug that fuels the affair) as it’s stored in the brain.  The cheater’s feelings for the betrayed spouse is stored in the brain as well but they’ve been encumbered by all kinds of pain, hurt, hostility and history.  These encumbrances need to be stripped away so that you can rekindle the infatuation between the two of you…”

The following snippet is from an almost hour-long interview we did with Dave and is included as a bonus with our e-book, “Journey to Trust:  Rebuilding Trust After an Affair.”

In this 5 ½ minute audio, Dave discusses the reasons why most men stay in their marriage as well as an interesting technique he uses to help break the addictive forces of the infatuation that is felt for the other woman/man. (By the way, I’m giggling at the beginning of the audio from something funny that Dave had just said – not because this is a funny subject!)

See also  Discussion - The Cheater's Rights After the Affair

You can either click on the mp3 link below and a new window will pop up with the recording, or you can right click the link and “Save Link As” to download it to your computer.  Alternatively, we included a little audio  player that you can click the play button and listen to it immediately.


I hope you were able to get some benefit from what Dave had to say.  Now hopefully I will remember what he said when – and if – the thoughts of why Doug stayed resurface again.



    39 replies to "Dave Carder on Why Men Stay After an Affair"

    • Notoverit

      Okay, so how do you strip those encumbrances out of your brain and your spouse’s brain? I get the need to work on things but how do you get rid of all those negative thoughts? I think that is what I struggle with the most and sometimes those thoughts become hurtful words. How do you stop it?

    • Paula

      Notoverit, you sound like me, we are obviously programmed a little more deeply to hang onto hurt, ruminating on things over and over, thinking that it will protect us from making the same mistakes again, feeling the same pain again, I KNOW that doesn’t work, but I also struggle with the “what is the magical technique all these people use to turn off the negative stuff?” Wish I had found it, too. The thoughts no longer become hurtful words though, there is a big part of me that now feels like the punishment is now almost getting bigger than the crime for my OH – I have absolutely no desire to continue to punish him. But I continue to beat myself up over it all, despite my best intentions. Have you thought about counselling – or more counselling, I did a lot of searching for individual help, wondering what was wrong with me, why I can’t “get over it” as the saying goes, we’re back onto couples help again now, hope it does what it says and actually helps 🙂 If I find anything, I’ll let you know Notoverit!!

      • Notoverit

        Oh, I have been in counseling. It does help but I still struggle. I guess we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t doubt ourselves sometimes. I am getting better about the thoughts but sometimes they just creep up on you. I have seriously been meditating and trying to place those thoughts in a box which I can lock up when I feel the need. Sounds funny, but sometimes it does work to just set the thoughts aside and entertain myself with something else. This was a suggestion from my therapist. I guess I just have to work harder. It is getting easier.

    • Dee

      I want to know why, after 5 years, I still have trouble getting over it…Is it something in me? Did it tap into some deep insecurity? We’ve been to couples counselling, I’ve read the books and the websites….It doesn’t hurt as much as it used to obviously….but, will it ever go away?. Sometimes, I look at my husband and he’s the man I married – full of integrity, kindness and love and at other times, I see this stranger, a man I do not know…..and so the trust disappears as soon as I feel this way. Can someone please tell me how I get over this and stay with him?…..sorry, very tired and a bit down…

      • Rosalyn

        Hope you can get an answer to this question because I need an answer to this also. It’s been 4 years for me and sometimes I still wonder who this man is. I think the thing that hurts me the most is he opened up to her and told her exactly how he was feeling but he can never do that with me. I do nothing but support and respect him but he will never tell me how he is feeling. I’m still hurting.

    • Dee

      Oh apologies, what I meant to explain is that my husband has admitted in unguarded moments early on that he came back for our youngest daughter’s sake initially, although he says that he loves me, and always did (I think!). The EA I can move on from, but this…..I almost wish he’d never told me that..and lied.

    • Dee

      What I am so angry about (with him or with me?) is that he lied about his feelings for her, told me that it was just a flirtation and that he ‘hardly knew her’. I believed him and then spent the next 2/3 years finding out the truth, that when he came back, he still believed he was in love with her. I’m angry that he took my choice away; to decide whether I wanted to stay with him after knowing the FULL truth. I let him back too soon – I can see that now and then spent the next year confused and hurt whilst he ‘pined’ for what he had lost…sorry, end of ramble…

    • DJ

      This is the thing I struggle with the most – why is he here? I am preparing a post for my blog about this very thing. I’m pretty sure he stayed for the money and the kids, although he tells me he stayed because he loved me. After a year of struggling through this hell, things don’t feel very much different. I am stronger and have learned to deal with it a little better, but I am still asking many of the same questions. And the biggest is – why is he here?

      I enjoyed the audio, Linda. Thank you. It helped to hear that. Maybe I am not giving him the chance to dig down and find his love for me under all that pain.

    • Limbo

      Linda- thanks for the audio.. Dave makes a lot of good points! After listening to the audio about 3x’s, I got to thinking what if I let my H listen to this..? Would it hinder or help? Since the EA that my H had was long distance & we are 7 mo post DDay, I would never refer to the OP as a “girlfriend”. I guess that point is irrelevant because I DO see her as his infatuation.
      My H just started to see a therapist (2 sessions to date) but only history has been discussed so far. I am anxiously waiting to join in at some point.. Therapist will let me know when.
      Do I offer this audio to my H???

    • Paula

      Dee, sadly, it will be with us forever, I really feel for you, five years is a long time, and I understand what you say about letting him back too soon, and the fact that because you didn’t have all the facts, you weren’t able to do it any other way (choice.) He has made a difficult journey, even more difficult. Being disempowered by another is a terrible blow to your self esteem, you continue to fight, to try to make your voice heard, that’s me, trying to re-assert some control over my emotions and the direction my life is taking. I am just coming up to two and a half years, and wondered about my struggle, my OH also did “other” things to prolong my recovery – not with any intention to hurt me further, but just without any proper understanding of the process and what I needed most, even when I was telling him directly what I needed, he was doing what he thought “best,” which wasn’t best for me. He now understands that, and kicks himself for it, but for two years, he just didn’t really “get it.”

      I really struggle with the reality of what Dave is saying here, about it doesn’t matter why he came back, I hear and understand what he is saying, but I don’t think I want that life, or that man, who doesn’t value me, and my input, it feels like a default position, to come back to the wife, because she’s a bit of a doormat, and it’s comfortable. I hear that he says the love “re-grows” or is re-discovered, but that just doesn’t seem like enough to me, I want to be the great love of my OH’s, as he has always been to me, not just part of the package that comes with the children, the house, the joint assets, etc, it just isn’t enough for me, I need so much more than that, and I never used to, I need so much more than I ever did before.

      Limbo, it’s very hard to give the right advice here, you know your H better than any of us (I know, you thought you did, right, lol) go with your gut, maybe he needs more time before you listen to it with him, or maybe he needs to understand that you are trying to understand and have empathy for him and his feelings, too?

      Notoverit, yeah, I have done the box with the lock thing, too, didn’t work very successfully for me, long-term, also had quite a lot of CBT stuff, recording thoughts, feelings, trying to control them, not let them control me, still struggling though. I wish you much love and the strength to keep up the fight.

      • ifeelsodumb

        Your posts are always just what I need…what you say makes so much sense to me…Thank you!

    • Alone

      Hi Dee,

      I am a cheater and just read your post. Your last post gave me a completely different perspective on things. You said you are angry that your H wasn’t truthful about his feelings for the OW and robbed you have your choice whether to stay or go.

      I acted/am acting the exact same way that your H did with my OH. It never crossed my mind that I was robbing my H of a choice, his decision to stay or leave. I honestly thought that suppressing and/or denying feelings that I had for the OM was what I was supposed to do — the right thing to do. I thought that is what my H wanted me to do. I guess in a way, this is just one more example of how a cheater acts completely selfish. I was truthful about the details of the affair, but never about my feelings about the OM. Of course, my H is no dummy and figured out my real feelings.

      The sad fact is that I know that also in my case, as yours, that my actions have prolonged our recovery and made this a harder process than perhaps it could have been.

      And one more quick note about Dave Carder’s audio file. I agree about the feelings of infatuation for my H still being there. I have just come to realize that they were buried by my feelings of infatuation for the OM. As those feelings dissipate, the feelings for my H are starting to return. It’s not that those feelings weren’t there, they were just buried under a lot of confusion, etc. Hope that makes sense.

      Thanks everyone. Best wishes to all of you.

      • Init

        I feel the same… I took away my W’s choice to decide to stay or go…

    • JS

      I have watched a couple of episodes of the recent Oprah Lifeclass shows, and one struck me deeply the other day. It was an episode where Oprah is talking with an author and counselor named Iyanla. They are both speaking with an audience member who is still ruminating about her divorce and her ex, and I got the impression that infidelity is what did them in, although the audience member didn’t specifically say that. Iyanla referenced her own relationship of 40 years that began in her teens, and she said she and this man are no longer together because “he changed his mind. He just changed his mind. It’s just that simple.” I found that to be SUCH a simple yet powerful statement. And as I compared it to my own situation, I asked myself why we are still together, why we are struggling through the aftermath of the EA, why he came back instead of trying to make a future with the OW. And I got two clear answers: He changed his mind BACK and decided I was a better choice; and the reason we are still together is that I never changed my mind about who or what I wanted. I still wanted things to work. I wasn’t looking for someone else and I never changed my mind. But the idea that either one of us at any point has the right to change our minds is a very, very freeing thought to me. We’re not bound to each other – I don’t own him or his love or commitment and vice versa. I may decide that the struggle to rebuild the trust is too much for me, and I may change my mind about him one day, who knows. He might change his again, too. There are no guarantees for either of us. Why he came back is somewhat irrelevant to me at this point – I just know he did…..because he changed his mind.

    • Jessica

      Great point he just changed his mind. In my case he saw the OW for who she was and decided he wanted to stay with me. I asked my therapist what if she wasn’t so crazy and then he would have left me for her? My therapist said only an unbalanced person would have been interested in him. So ultimately the decision has been mine to stay or go, and like you said there are no guaranties.

    • aaron

      I can’t speak to why MEN stay, but will say that I could not and would not stay with my wife if she couldn’t love me on my terms–the terms under which we entered our marriage. Her EA made me seriously question what I mean to her and “how” she loved/loves me.

      I told her that I don’t want to be the secure and comfortable choice. I don’t want to be the easy option. I don’t even want to be the guy she has a “mature” love for. I want it all. I want the romantic love, the friendship, the companionship, and the feeling that no one could be as special to her as I am and vice versa. Is that unrealistic? Maybe. Is it unfair to her? I don’t think so. I deserve to have someone in my life for the RIGHT reasons; that is, the reasons that are right for ME. Life is too short to just settle into what you know if it isn’t what you really want.

      As a male and as the major breadwinner I realize that it is much easier for me to lay down these conditions and stick to them. I have the ability to be much more independent than she does. For that reason, each person has to define for him/herself what they want from their spouse and the relationship. For me, however, I am holding our “new relationship” to a higher standard.

      • Doug

        aaron, I am sure that many woman and men could learn from the way your handled the aftermath of the affair. You appear to be the minority who’s self-confidence wasn’t affected by your wife’s EA. Many of us have secure jobs and are independent enough to make it on our own, however we chased after the cheater and begged them to love us. I wish I would have done things differently as I have mentioned many times before. Something happens emotionally to the BS and everything gets turned around like we are the guilty party and need to change and make amends. I hope everyone has learned that it shouldn’t be that way, the BS has just as much control as the cheater and you need to do what is right for you. Thanks for your comment. Linda

      • Init

        hey Aaron, are you still with you wife then??

    • Alone

      Aaron –

      I have to tell you, I love your post. My H is the same way as you. Even though I cheated, he is not about to let me walk all over him. He wants it all as well… and deserves it. I had a hard time at first not understanding why my husband didn’t try to win me back after the affair. He was not about to chase me. But now I get it – he is confident in himself. As he puts it, “I KNOW I am the better man here… if you want to throw it all away for this douche bag, go ahead”. The work to fix this marriage is all on me. Now that I am several months out from D-Day, I really appreciate this confidence. It actually makes me WANT to stay with him… wonder if your wife is feeling the same way?

      Great post, good for you.

    • Irish Kate

      There is a certain sadness that comes with the fact that the CS did not choose love at their decision for staying in their marriage…..

    • Broken

      Linda I mean absolutely no disrespect and perhaps I did not understand what Dave Carder was saying but if a man stayed with me because it would save him $30,000 then I wouldn’t want him. That interview seemed extremely shallow to me. Again perhaps I misunderstood. Iwould never give my husband 90 days to make a choice…..I gave my husband 24 hours. No contact or get out. I think CS lose the luxury of time the minute they cross that line. I am sorry but it no longer is about them its about us the betrayed. Please dont take my comment wrong and I dont want to make you upset but I disagree with the therapist.

      • Rachel

        I’m with you on this. Glad I wasn’t the only one that didn’t agree with or care for how Mr. Carder approaches this particular type of situation.

      • Doug

        broken, I agree with you, even though Dave Carder says that it doesn’t matter why they came back it doesn’t make the reality of the situation any easier. The pain is still present, it just gives the cheater some kind of justification for their actions. If I had the insight and confidence I do now I would have done the same thing as you, it is her or me. Unfortunately there are many kinds of situations that are present during an affair and each one will need a different kind of intervention. The main problem most people face is the unwillingness to let go of the OP. I am not sure what is the most effective way, tough love, or how Carder does it. I guess whatever means possible to try to save a marriage, because we know that a marriage cannot recover when a third party is involved. Linda

    • Broken

      Linda…Hey everyone is different…we all have to do what we need to do for ourselves. The road as we both know is long and hard. Saving a marriage is yes the bottom line. I just dont agree with using as an excuse of money to get a man to stay. That to me is like saying my value is $30,000. I am thankful I did not have to deal with the OW the way you did. You are very strong.

    • SamIam

      I also wish it was love that made him want to stay. I saw anger, disbelief, hatred, and fear in his eyes. I don’t think he even believed he had been caught at something, more or less in an affair. He thought I had gone crazy! Then he become mean and cruel. He had never been mean or cruel to me, ever~ I did not know this man. I want the ‘old’ man back~ the one that was kind, funny, trustworthy, morally upright. I want him here for love not out obligation or for financial reasons. I want him here because of me. Not because of the marriage, or the family ~ I want him to say it is me that he wants. And I want him to do the work. I am tired of looking for a ways to get through this. He was careless, I was not. In fact I was working even harder to make his life easier. I was worried about his health. I was worried about his parents. I was worried about his children. And yet he found the OW to stroke his ego. Some days are better than other as we are about 10 months out.

    • Reallywilling


      Me too …and it is five years out …he is here …no contact …but not really energetic in the ‘process’….Life is ‘comfortable’ here….

      He has been ‘trained’ to be passive and the receiver of all the attention and affection …

      Sigh….tired tonight.

      Maybe tomorrow we will go deeper…..but superficial is the game of those who are too self centered and immature to want to be what marriage requires and rewards one with .

      His loss …but mine and our kids too ….31 years and counting .

    • Pmsvbsgb

      Let me first thank everyone for your words. I have needed this.
      We have been married 10 years. My H has always flirted on line and talked to women on FB. I got tired of this and moved out last spring. Then I found out about the OW he has been with 18 months. He kept going back n forth between us all summer. We tried our marriage again these past few weeks but he went back to her again last Thursday.
      I’m at my wits end! Everytime he comes around, I get hopeful. But it never lasts and then I have to go through all the depression again. I’m three days into my recovery and certainly recognize my obvious addiction to him. I guess I just take it minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day. I just pray that GOD will keep me from walking down that road w him when he crashes again.
      I will pray for all of you and for GOD to sanctify and strengthen your spouses so you can have peace n joy in your marriages.

    • changes

      how are you getting along with your H. I’m 15mons after my EA and we are not making progress. I see hatred in my H eyes, i have apologised and apologised but he can’t seeem to let go. I tried talking to him this morning to give our marriage another chance but he won’t listen, he said he was tired trying and that i should please myself. I feel so alone and helpless, I love him so dearly and want my marriage to work. I am so sorry for my mistakes and wish i could take it all back. I’m so lost

    • Alone

      Hi Changes,

      I am getting along with my H alright. We aren’t really that connected, but I know he wants this to work, so he is trying and so am I. I am hoping it just takes time, but hearing that you are still struggling 15 months later really worries me.

      Is your H saying he wants a divorce? Were you able to let go of your affair partner? The not letting go has been the biggest issue for us, the biggest hurdle. Is that what your H means when he says you should just please yourself? Have you been to counseling? We started counseling a few months ago. I think it is helping a little bit.

      Changes, I am 110% convinced that men who are cheated on handle these situations a lot differently than a female BS. I really feel that our H are so hurt, their pride is hurt, that is makes it that much harder on them to forgive us. They are men, and we disrespected them in the worst way possible. My H has told me that he feels that he is showing weakness by taking me back – not a very masculine thing to do. I don’t know, maybe some of that is playing into your situation as well. Maybe this is just my perception, but it feels like the Hs that are cheated on just have a harder time forgiving, and taking their wives back. I think this is because men are more secure with themselves. It’s like this, does my H need me to survive and be happy? NO. Does he want me to “survive” and be happy? YES But it’s going to be under his terms. I didn’t get to just waltz right back into our happy little life. Not by a long shot.

      I’ll be praying for you. Hang in there. Let me know if there is something else you need. You sound so depressed, just like me.

    • Paula

      Alone and changes, I certainly agree that men and women handle these things completely differently, and their (mens’) pride is hurt, but ours (BS women) is too, one of my bigger hurdles is the shame I feel, that I wasn’t aware that this was going on, that I must have been so useless in bed, not in tune with what he needed, etc, in all aspects of being a good partner. Depression is a given, on both sides, this is big. Bigger than any of us ever realised, even though I realised it was huge, it’s been even bigger. Whatever happens, please do not beat yourself up about this forever, it’s awful, but we all make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes are because we are very unhappy and confused, and we make a bad call. One thing we all learn from this, is there really isn’t a black and white, there are so many shades of grey. You are both doing everything in your power to heal, and help your Hs heal, you can’t do it for them, but you will, whether together or alone. We’re here for you, and I feel completely for you both, it could have been any of us, much love.

    • Alone

      Hi Paula,

      Thank you for your very nice post. The fact that you would reach out to two cheaters, wow that says a lot about the awesome person you are! Thanks for making me smile today. : )

    • chely

      I too wish I had handled things differently. My husband and I are still together, five years out from discovery. I believe that he stopped seeing her for awhile. However I now am fairly certain that it has begun again. He says that he choose me, but it doesn’t really feel that way. Maybe she wouldn’t leave her husband, maybe they realized they would have to admit openly they were/are involved. Or possibly when he consulted an attorney he realized how much he would loose financially (20 yrs married). whatever the reason we are still here. Happy??? Somedays yes, somedays puzzled as to why he is still here.

      While a few times we discussed what had transpired, and he gave a few answers to questions. His approach to getting past this was to focus on us and our future, rebuilding the connection that we started with. He wanted me to get over it and move forward. So I decided to try it his way. I made the decision to forgive him and move on. In many ways it works, sort of. We do things together more, we vacation, spend time with family, talk about our future, work on projects around the house, make love regularly. But my gut keeps trying to talk to me, telling me something is off. And many times I feel like he has to force himself to pretend to be happy with me. It has made me realize, that he may be with me, chose to stay because it’s the right thing to do, but he doesn’t DESIRE me. His face doesn’t light up when he comes home at night. No I’m a given, he has never had to fight for me.

      All of this has stolen my peace of mind, I do not trust him. I believe he is still involved with her, despite the fact he never admitted to a physical affair, but evidence tells me otherwise. I told him when I forgave him that I didn’t want our old marriage back, it was a poster child for dysfunction. With him being a covert, nice guy, narcissistic emotional abuser, I let him manipulate me back into the same situation. It’s hard to admit that I allowed it to happen to me again, just sweep it under the rug and move forward. I tried to trust but when it’s not earned by actions it is only superficial at best.

      I think he may have tried to love me again, but possibly to much history stands in the way. Or as a narcissist there is no real love to be shared, only the idea of a loving marriage. Despite the good times it just doesn’t feel genuine. Now I think he has been moving money (as I have no access to his money) in preparation to discard our marriage. Possibly not, I know he likes the image of a perfect marriage that we put out to the world, if he leaves, he’s the bad guy. I think he wants me to be the one to leave, so he can play the victim and so the others (minions)can rescue him with plenty of supply. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m right but all I know is after 5 years there is no peace of mind in my life and it’s driving me crazy. The huge elephant in the room has never been acknowledged, he didn’t really care about how I felt, the pain I was/am in. He has not really changed his behavior in any way, shape or form, so the abuse continues, underhandedly, invisible to the rest of the world.

      But I don’t think I can take it anymore, I’m the proverbial mushroom, “kept in the dark and fed bullshit”. I realize the love I have for him (the man I thought he is) is real, maybe it’s only a trauma bond at best, but it makes it very hard to walk away from 20+ years of our marriage. In divorce my family is ripped apart, in-laws, grandchildren, my home, the best parts of our life discarded because I don’t have peace inside me. The support I need to get through a divorce from a narcissist is not there. I cannot find an attorney who understands the covert abuse I have lived with, how he operates and manipulates everyone around him. He is very good at “charming” people into believing his “truth” as reality. I don’t think I can survive the slaughter of my character to make him the “good guy”, he IS that good.

      The funny thing is I have no 100% proof that any of this is really going on. Technology (and his job) make is just too easy to hide things where I cannot get definitive proof. Maybe it’s all in my head and the paranoia is just me an insecure co-dependent never satisfied. But my gut won’t stop telling me somethings off, that I’m being played the fool and I just keep allowing it. I tell ya it is no walk in the park staying together with a spouse who wont change his ways.

      I ACHE TO KNOW THE TRUTH!! If he loves someone else, it will hurt but I can get over it, move on and heal in time. It feels like no matter what I do there will still be pain and hurt either way. All I know is that I don’t want to be a mushroom any longer. I deserve to know the reality of my relationship with him. I ache to know the truth!!

      P.S. I have gone ahead and given you my blog address for anyone who wishes to read more about my situation. But I no longer post or share anything on that blog as I felt that his minions had discovered it and cannot risk giving them anymore to twist and use against me. So please any comments must come through this site. Thank-you for allowing me to share. When there is really no one who I can say these things to, it really starts to eat you up inside. When you realize that he has never really loved you, in the way you needed to be loved. In an loving and honest marriage both working together to create the life and love we both deserve. It is a very sad realization.

      My best wishes to each of you who suffer in your reconciliation with your WS. I pray you will find the answers you need to heal.

    • Narc'd

      Cheeky, I am stunned! You have described my situation EXACTLY!!! Every thing you have described is what is going on in my situation. My husband categorically denies his affair despite the evidence. The problem is that the evidence isn’t hard proof. He won’t admit the affair because he doesn’t want to be the bad guy. I think he also doesn’t want the cost of a divorce. We’ve been married 35 years. I’m retired and he’s still working. He has a supply of cash but I don’t know from where. His job is such that he has little accountability so his affair is mostly while he’s at work. I have no way to “catch” him so he just keeps it up. I think he thinks he’s in love with her. I can’t understand why he’s not just giving up the marriage so he can be with her. I have been doing the mushroom life as well but I’m really getting sick of it. I hope we both get our strength up and move forward for our sakes. Life is too short to be a mushroom!

    • Narc'd

      Chely, sorry. My autocorrect changed your name. The above post was a response to your post. I will repeat it in case it needs to have your name to be forwarded to you.

      I am stunned! You have described my situation EXACTLY!!! Every thing you have described is what is going on in my situation. My husband categorically denies his affair despite the evidence. The problem is that the evidence isn’t hard proof. He won’t admit the affair because he doesn’t want to be the bad guy. I think he also doesn’t want the cost of a divorce. We’ve been married 35 years. I’m retired and he’s still working. He has a supply of cash but I don’t know from where. His job is such that he has little accountability so his affair is mostly while he’s at work. I have no way to “catch” him so he just keeps it up. I think he thinks he’s in love with her. I can’t understand why he’s not just giving up on our marriage so he can be with her. I have been doing the mushroom life as well but I’m really getting sick of it. I hope we both get our strength up and move forward for our sakes. Life is too short to be a mushroom!

    • Betterdays


      A points to consider.

      One, you don’t need absolute hard proof. This is not a court of law wherein you have to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt. If you have enough circumstantial evidence. Then you know and no point in burying your head in the sand.

      Two, everything you suspect is most likely true. You can start doing some detective work. Get a voice recorder to put in his car. Look up the phone records. Credit card statements. If you share google accounts, you have access to all of his phone activity and also his physical whereabouts. And once you figure out who the affair partner (AP) is google like crazy and figure out who the AP’s betrayed spouse (BS) is and inform them. Do all of this without ever leading onto your cheating husband that you know anything. This affair will blow up and this pain will be shared with the two cheaters. Once you get the other BS’s eyes are on the affair and you start collaborating with him, all of the pieces of the puzzle will start dropping into place. The affair partners will stop trusting each other because they know the BS’s are in contact and don’t know what’s being revealed.

      I understand all of the hesitation to notifying the AP’s spouse. However, the other BS will be so appreciative, that all of that fear will disappear the very second they profusely thank you. And know this, there is a great likelihood the other BS is having the save feelings you are having. Wouldn’t it be nice if you got a random call and the other BS has found all the evidence to confirm what you already know. It wouldn’t be nice, but it would be a lot of weight and burden lifted off your shoulders.

      There is a better chance than not that the two cheaters like things just the way they are. Neither want to give up their marriage life they’ve worked so hard to build with all the securities established. The family, finances, home, etc.. They are just caught up in the thrill, excitement and emotions of their fantasy relationship that is no strings attached.

    • Narc'd

      Thank you Better Days. No, I don’t need hard proof but unfortunately my spouse is also gas lighting our daughters. He is telling them that nothing is going on and I twist everything to make it look like it is. There is too much substantial evidence for me to buy it, but the girls say they won’t forgive me if I leave him. His cell phone is a company phone and I don’t have access to the records. I have a GPS in his car but she leaves every day before lunch time and returns every afternoon between end of lunch time plus travel time and his end of work day. Since he’s pretty free to do as he pleases, they could be going to a hotel every afternoon – probably do. He has access to money that I don’t know about so there is no money trail.

      The OP is a widow, so there is no other betrayed spouse. Interestingly, she started that relationship the same way. They had an affair and “it took over a year” for them to finally divorce. Those were her words. She’s a real predator! My husband is hooked. I’m totally crushed by all this and I will move on as soon as I feel safe to do so. Right now the financial world is pretty scary. I really don’t want to have to file bankruptcy or end up homeless. I will be contacting a financial adviser so I can get a picture of where things are.

      Thank you again for your support. Today is a really rough day.

    • Betterdays

      Hi Narc’d,

      So sorry for this. It sounds like a consultation with an advisor or a couple of divorce attorneys is the right call. You could also follow him yourself a couple of days. Or hire a PI if you have the funds. You could still do the voice recorder in the car. They are relatively inexpensive. I think the consultation to learn your rights and where you stand with assets and support is you #1 order. The kids will understand with time. The chances are, he’s going to be more afraid of the financial situation than you.

      • Narc'd

        Yes, I think so too. I’m just broken hearted and I know that once this step is undertaken, it will be irreversible and will be the final end of our relationship. Unfortunately, I feel it’s not going to go back to what it once was and this action is probably inevitable anyway.

        Thank you again for your support. It’s very much appreciated. This is a lonely journey as you hate to over burden your friends with all of this mess.

    • Southern Man

      I am another of the minority of men who lost no self esteem or confidence when the wife had an emotional affair. I knew I was the better man and figured if she didn’t have enough sense to know this, then she is too dumb to be married to me. When she asked if I would fight for her I said No, instead offered to take her to her other man and leave her there. I just turned away, stopped all intimacy and turned the marriage into nothing more than a business arrangment. Then as soon as the finances would allow it, moved out. I think it is true that a wayward spouse must experience pain at somewhat the level the BS has experienced it. They will never know how much it hurts until the abandonment has hurt them just as much or more. All of that happend over 30 years ago and we developed a really good marriage afterward but if she strayed again I would stifle any feelings I still had for her and dump her ass like I would dump a sack of garbage out by the alley. Life is too short to accept such disrespect from a partner who took the vows and then decided to change her beliefs to accomodate her feelings. Her paramour proved himself to be no more than a common liar. He courted and married another woman while maintaining his romance with my wife. She finally figured that one out. It was good for her to be dumped by both of us. God is good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.