Dealing with jealousy can be a very difficult thing to do after your spouse has betrayed you.

When your spouse cheats on you and destroys your self-esteem and breaks your heart, your natural reaction is to turn your pain inward onto yourself.  You are overwhelmed by negative thoughts:

  • Why did my spouse cheat?
  • What did I do wrong to make him/her cheat?
  • Doesn’t my spouse find me attractive enough to be faithful?
  • What was so great about his/her affair partner?
  • Am I inferior to the other woman/man?

That affair has cost you plenty in terms of loss of self-esteem, emotional energy, negative thoughts, painful memories, and perhaps uncontrollable jealousy over the other person.  It’s important however, not to waste your time or energy dealing with jealousy of the affair partner.

Steven Stosny, Ph.D., the author of How to Improve your Marriage without Talking about It,” and Love Without Hurt,” identifies two types of jealousy:   Simple and Complex.

Stosny states that:

“Simple jealousy starts as a feeling of discomfort at the prospect of losing reward or affection to someone else. In complex jealousy, the prospect of loss feels like unjustifiable self-diminishment; you become smaller and less valuable, because someone is manipulating or betraying you.

Simple jealousy motivates reward/affection-seeking behavior – you try to be more cooperative, helpful, or loving, and that usually gets a positive response sufficient to alleviate the discomfort. Complex jealousy motivates attack, either overtly or in your head. It makes you devalue and try to control others, which invariably makes things worse.”

Based on Stosny’s distinctions, after an affair we are typically dealing with complex jealousy.

If you are feeling jealous over the other person and what he/she might mean to your spouse, you are taking precious energy away from yourself and giving it over to someone—and a situation—that doesn’t deserve it.  You are going to need that precious energy infused back into you, effecting positive changes that will help you heal and rebuild your self-esteem.

I realize that in practice this is very difficult to do.

Have you experienced a great deal of jealousy over the other person?

If so, what has the effect been on you and on your marriage?

Have you been able to control your jealous thoughts?  If so, how?  How has that made a difference?

Please remember to respond to each other in the comment section below.

Thanks!

Linda & Doug

 

    52 replies to "Discussion – Dealing With Jealousy After an Affair"

    • rachel

      This is what haunts me daily. I’m really not sure why? The treatment that my H has given me over the past 25 years was awful. I look back now and there was no love from him. Only when he wanted something was he nice then it was like we were strangers again.
      I feel jealous for anyone that gets him. I’m sure he will flaunt it with his other women in front of me and I’m sure that he learned something from our crumbled marriage so he will treat them better then he ever treated me.

      • Carol

        Rachel, it’s almost a guarantee that his treatment of them will deteriorate over time. You know what he’s like in intimate relationships! Without a lot of work, those patterns don’t change, and it’s really obvious he’s a coward who’d rather run than change. What kind of a man flaunts new women in front of his soon-to-be ex? A jerk, that’s who. As my grandmother used to say, tigers don’t change their stripes! It’s a safe bet he’ll do the same with others.

      • exercisegrace

        Hold your head up dear! You deserve better. He will treat them the same way. Regardless of what he has learned, he won’t change into a completely different person. He has his other women because they are willing to feed his selfishness. That will NOT last. Flaunt the happiness I hope you find without him. You deserve it. My grandmother used to say the same about tigers and not changing their stripes. She also used to say that living well is the best revenge!!!!!

      • Amanda

        Rachel,
        Someday you will get to the point where you won’t even care what your exhusband does, it will no longer matter to you. Once you fully grieve through this your own life becomes brighter and prettier as it blossoms, and all of this will become the past. Also forgiving him frees you
        and allows you to move forward.
        Grieving a loss takes time, but when your done, you will be ready to move ahead with your own life, and the past will
        be just that, the past.

        • Amanda

          Rachel,
          Your grieving right now, and as impossible as this seems
          someday you will be able to let go and wish your exhusband well.
          Im am living proof of this, my own exhusband is remarried and I gave him and his current wife my best wishes, and
          wish them both happiness.
          When I first divorced I didn’t feel much different then what you do now. I took it one day and one step at a time, along
          with forgiving him. When I accepted that he could love someone else instead of me, that became my turning point. By me letting him go, and accepting that our relationship was finished, I was able to move forward with
          my own life. Once I found my happiness, peace and joy
          again, I was able to extend that to him, and wish him
          happiness in his life.
          Rachel as you can see, this is only a season in your life
          and your saddness and pain will pass.
          I promise this grief will not last forever.

    • Better

      We just had our 18 year anniversary. Im extremely jealous that for ou last year anniversary and this one, that my H has given me nothing! Money is tight, however, he gave her a very expensive necklace for no special occassion (not that it matters) and I continue to struggle with his Ea. He took time out of his busy day togo and pick out something special fo the OW…and I get nothing on our 17 & 18 year anniversarys? Thimgs are better between us..but i feel so worthless due to his effort to make specil days “special” 🙁

    • Lynsey

      For me, there is absolutely nothing to be jealous of in the OW. She is conniving, manipulative, and uses others for her own self gain. In the case with my husband, she used the fact that for a very long he was interested in her to get him to buy her clothes, make her car payments, buy supplies for her “jewelry” business. (she strings beads together & sells them at craft fairs.) It was an off again, on again EA, and anytime she surfaced, it was when she needed a sugar daddy. She has no self respect, and no morals to knowingly carry on with a married man. She also works for a mental health facility doing intakes, so she gets firsthand knowledge of who in the community has issues, and she probably uses that info to use and abuse another unsuspecting soul. Actually, she has quite a reputation for having both EA’s and PA’s with many many men, especially wherever she happens to be working. Doesn’t bother her though. She uses them until they wake up and realize that she’s only in it for her own personal gain. Jealous of all that? I think not. Angry at my husband for falling so low, yes.

    • Gizfield

      I am totally with you, Lynsey, my husband’s girl friend was nothing to be jealous of. In fact, I tHink they may be the same person. Not really, but she is a gold digger as well, and I would bet if he had more money he could be with this tramp. Such a nice basis for a relationship, in my opinion. He knew her probably about 20 years ago and she “rejected” him. I met her about 12 years ago and she literally jumped off her chair and flung herself on him.Hmmm. I met her a few years later when she was about to dragg her child across the country to pursue her dream relationship with a pilot, who dumped her when she confessed she had been a prostitute at one time. Lol. She has “rejected” my husband yet again, but lost her shit when I confronted her about him. Guess we all have different definitions of rejection. I am not trying to defend him, but I honestly dont think my husband had a serious relationship before I met him at 36, and he is clueless that she was playing him. Oh, well, I an divorcing his ass as soon as I get the money.

    • Gizfield

      I also monitored their communication for a while without him knowing, and I think she was also dating someone or had some other guys on the string as well. Like they would usually talk at weird hours, like she was hiding from someone as well. Of course, thats neither here nor there, just interesting. A cheater cheating. I bet that goes on a lot. He told me she would “never do that” because her ex, not sure if they were married, cheated on her. But this is the same guy who said she wouldn’t have sex with a married man because she had “such high morals” . It was probably ugly of me, but when he said that I laughed right in his face and said “just so you know, if she wouldn’t have sex with you it was not because you are married, it is because she didnt want to!” I also told him she was probably sleeping with everybody else she knows, lol. But again, neither here nor there is it?

    • Better

      Im not jealous of the OW. Shes not prettier or smarter than me. Im jealouse of the fact that my H gave her everything I ever wanted from him. His time, his thoughts, some of his past that he kept hidden from me, his romantic side…etc..

    • Disappointed

      I feel the same as Better. He gave me nothing or his worst. He wanted to give her his best.

    • Gizfield

      I may be the exception here, but to me there is absolutely nothing as “cheap” as talk. Most of my least favorite people that is all they do. Talk, talk, talk. Usually endlessly about themselves, and act like they have given you the Crown Jewels or something. It is actually that you have given them something cause most people are just not interested. There is nothing easier to do than make promises you dont have to keep to someone you can walk away from at any second, no strings attached. Fantasy Land and Reality World have nothing to do with each other. If their love is SO special, and great, and wonderful why aren’t they together? Cause it’s BULLSHIT and they KNOW it.

      • chiffchaff

        Your comment about it being easy to make promises to someone in fantasy land is very true. This has been something it’s taken me a long time to get my head around – he was overtly sexual with her in online communications but never had to perform as a result, so it was risk free for him and her. He could promise her the world from 6,000 miles away and never have to deliver.
        I think there was also an article on here some time ago about how easy it is to fire off text after text without much thought, so BSs also shouldn’t get hung up on the insane frequency of their CS’s communications. The comparison was how much teenagers text each other nonsense a million times a day by text.
        I have been complexly jealous of the OW because my H was attentive to her needs at a time when I really needed that attention from him. I’m no longer jealous of that.

    • Gizfield

      I totally agree, Chiffchaff, about it being “risk free.” No blood,.no foul as they say. I have had no luck with getting my husband to understand that jealousy and disgust ARE NOT the same thing. Cause that is what I feel, not jealousy, so dont flatter yourself there bud. I remember the article about the excessive text messages too. Someone, maybe Linda, made the comment they want someone to text them hundreds of times a day. I sure as hell dont, I would kick somebody to the curb if that went on very long. I like texting but after about 4 or 5 of them I am done. I just want it to stop. I have friends who it is just about impossible to get away from when they start emailing or texting, or even talking for that matter and it drives me insane. Nobody is that damn fascinating, not me, not you, not even the Dos Equuis man, lol.

    • Gizfield

      I found a pretty effective way to deal with “triggers” as well. I read a book, or at least part of it, did I mention I’m ADD, called The Flinch and the basic message was that whatever made you flinch and look away was exactly what you need to confront. So I decided to drag all those bad boys out of the closet and Fire Away. If it is something I like, a song or whatever I reclaimed it. if it is something I dislike I ridicule it, like sushi. This dumb bitch actually wrote a text that said “Sushi. Love it.” I kid you not! He replied “Mmmm”. You just can’t top that so why try, lol.
      Anyway, the first time I did this was July 4. We were having a good day, had been to eat and going to fireworks later. There was a Twilight Zone marathon on and I said something. He said could I stop “chattering” or something to that effect. I was SO hurt, like I had been slapped in the face. I thought to myself, that is not normal, what is really going on? Then I realized it was the memory of the crap he had written Whore. “I would talk to you til the phone lines went dead, I always have time for you, I’d talk to you for days, etc.etc.etc” Well, you know what? Too bad we can’t test that theory, cause I guarantee you if he’d been listening to this bitch all day, every day for nine years, which is how long we have been married plus three years dating, he would be the same self absorbed jerk with her that he is with me, and everyone else. And, yes, he would consider her fascinating babble “chattering” as well. Score: Me, one. Trigger, zero. Lol.

      • Carol

        Giz, you made me laugh out loud with your scoring. Your attitude is so great.

      • exercisegrace

        Giz, I think that’s a great way to deal with triggers. I think up to this point my focus has been on trying to push them as far away from me as I can. It has met with only limited success. They tend to sneak right back up on me later. I am going to have to try this.

    • Gizfield

      I think the psychological term for that may be “desensitization t therapy,” possibly used for OCD behaviors.

    • Dee

      I kid you not…..My husband actually said that the OW who he had known (not very well) for approximately 1 year ‘understood’ him more than people he had known for over twenty years!!!!!! (obviously meaning me) . At the time, I was soooo jealous that this young woman he worked with had managed to get him to open up about his unhappiness at home whereas I had been trying to for months…until of course I realised that the OPPOSITE was true of course…he had the EA with her precisely because she DIDN’T know him and certainly DIDN’T understand him….that was our Issue…..I knew him and understood him and that frightened the shit out of him……he was (and still is to an extent!) much more comfortable being with people who don’t know him…intimacy scares the living daylights out of him….once I realised all this, I was no longer jealous…just sad.

    • exercisegrace

      Dee, you make an excellent point here. Many if not most times, affairs are a “bail out” of reality. My husband found someone willing to lavish attention on him 24/7 with nonstop emails, texts, chats etc. He could construct an alternate reality with her that reflected only his BEST characteristics and cast him in the BEST light. He could relinquish fault for anything bad or negative in his world. I was the villain. Did he THINK she knew him well? Probably yes, at the time. Now he can see the truth. The one who knew him the best, the good the bad and the ugly (and loved him despite or because of it) was me all along.

    • exercisegrace

      Jealousy? Oh yes. Of what? I would be hard pressed to say. I am physically much more attractive than the COW. She outweighs me by about 100 pounds. Fit? Let’s get on the treadmill and see who drops first. Friends? She has very few, and was universally hated by our customers and our employees. Integrity? Well she was having an affair with a married man, in his home. Enough said. Values? She lied to him completely about her faith and her beliefs. Morals? None. And when the affair ended? She tried to burn our world to the ground, in a no holds barred, lawyer it up, total bout of extreme ugly. Even her own attorney called ours and said….this woman is legit crazy.
      Can’t speak for anyone else, but my husband definitely “affaired down”. I suppose the jealousy comes in play with the amount of time he allocated for her. He owns his own business and I have always been incredibly supportive with how much time he has to devote to it. Perhaps too much so, and to my own downfall. Perhaps if I had demanded that he take time off, demanded that he attend more of the kids’ school and sports functions, I wouldn’t even be here. Who knows. But I AM resentful of the time he gave her to text, im, email, stolen phone conversations etc. If he had given me even HALF that attention we wouldn’t be in this position.

    • Hopeful

      Thing is hard: jealousy.

      After Dday, I became very jealous in ways that shock me. Obsessively comparing her face to my face, her body to my body, her accomplishments to mine, and I was inflating her and deflating myself, making myself feeling worse and worse. Surely, as the article states, she must have had something much more than I for this to happen. Surely, I must be lowly and boring and unattractive and …

      At any rate, I look back from a distance and see how damaging these states are for the BS.

      I really did a number on myself. And, seemed to forget everything that was working in my life and every way I was a good person. Underneath the jealousy, I felt worthless and abandoned and unloved and rejected.

      This passed through work, peeling off layers, counseling, healing between my partner and I, meditation, time, digging deep into broader issues that led me into the dynamic with my H and into why my response of self-demolition was so pronounced after discovering this. All was nested in larger issues.

      I guess I still sometimes feel jealous, though not really. Ultimately, she is just a damaged woman and a weak one who no doubt has good qualities, but can’t get her shit together. She is getting older and desperate to be young, creative, accomplished, loved, adored, and yet, she can’t figure out how to get the love she wants because she is chasing sparkling glints of a fantasy that is but a mirage. My H did a good job of showing her a glint for a stretch; she did the same. My H has grown, painfully but bravely, and she has not and will continue on as she has until she changes which will only become harder and harder for her to do.

      I know this. Letting go of even thinking about her is an ongoing project that becomes easier.

      I wish I could spare others from the aftermath, and articles like this help, but I think the feelings are natural given that the people we trust are betraying us.

    • Natalia

      After the initial shock of finding out that my H was having an EA (actually many EAs) I felt jealous of all the women he interacted with. Especially because I knew most of them an I wondered what he could possibly see in them. I was jealous that all these women, except one, were much younger than me. I didn’t see them as prettier, necessarily, but then again none of them had not carried twins for 37 weeks (5 lbs each one). But I quickly ditched that thought because if he “really” liked them, why didn’t he run off with one of them? Because he never intended on replacing me, all he wanted was to be “admired” by these stupid and insecure women. If he wasn’t being “admired” by me, he had no one to blame but himself because he wasn’t being very nice or understanding towards me for many years. And I’ve told him that his negative criticism and hostility towards me was killing my love for him. This woke him up and made him realize that he had a lot to lose.. I was angry because most of these women were full of problems and looked at him for support and he willingly to give it to them. Anytime I wanted support from him I was always met with a “rolling of the eyes” and “can’t you that yourself?” I told him that was the most unfair thing he could have ever done to me. He’s apologized and has changed his attitude. Then I became sad thinking how easy it had been for him to “give away” to those bitches the things about him that I loved: his smile, his jokes, his stories, his attention, and most of all his time. He took all of this from me and gave it to the first idiot that asked for it. He did not respect the fact that I thought all of that was MINE. The day I said this to him, he cried. Well, “cry me a river” like the song says, “cause I’ve cried a river over you.” I don’t feel jealous anymore, sometimes I feel angry, but I will always feel that sadness inside. And as to those women, all I feel for them is pity. It’s been two and a half years after D-day and I can say that I am in a better place. The triggers are much less and like someone said before, when they talk to their husband about the OW they SAY her name, which takes the power away from it. I’ve started doing that and BOY! Does that feel GREAT! At first even thinking about their name produced such an enormous trigger that I felt I was going to drown, but now it doesn’t do anything to me, it actually makes me feel strong to be able to say their name. Another trigger that I’ve conquered is to be able to read or see a movie about emotional affairs and not feel sickened by it. I know it does bother him if I bring up the subject, well… TOO BAD! You should of thought about that before you embarked on your fantasy tour! I will bring it up as many times as I feel it is necessary and if he can’t take it, then he will understand how devastating it was for me 2 1/2 years ago!

    • Amanda

      Hopeful,
      I know your grieving right now and I understand that.
      Someday your going to be a older woman also, there’s more to it then ( getting older and desperate to be young, creative, accomplished, loved, adored). I had to smile when you said that because, a older woman is an attractive woman, who is creative and accomplished, and loved and adored, along with accepting that each grey hair and each wrinkle you realize your youth is gone, but it is
      replaced with something better, and that is wisdom.
      Hopeful, please don’t let what he did wrong, steal from who you are, which is so important because each time
      you drop yourself to the level of putting this other woman down it steals what was beautiful inside of you. Forgive them. When you forgive them, it sets you free, when
      you don’t forgive its like shallowing poison expecting it to hurt them, it also leaves you with resentfulness and bitterness. Forgiving them gives you peace and joy and
      happiness again.
      As I mentioned do not let what he did wrong steal from
      the being the person God created you to be and do..

      • Amanda

        Hopeful,
        One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is forgiveness, forgiveness is for you, even when others don’t deserve it. The power of forgiveness is letting something
        go, so you can continue to enjoy your life, it also makes you a meek person, NOTICE I did not say weak, I said meek, which is the complete opposite of weak. A meek person
        has their thoughts and actions under conrtol, verses a weak person who has their emotions all over the place.
        By taking our thoughts captive and not allowing them to
        rule us, we can replace those thoughts with postive thoughts and when we forgive we give ourselve the most wonderful gift that frees you, and allows you to enjoy your
        life again.
        I know it takes time to heal those wounds, and God will
        bind up the wounds of the brokenhearted, if we let him.

      • Hopeful

        Hmmm…Amanda, I think you are not hearing me. Indeed I am not an old woman and the OW older than me. I believe an older woman can be wiser, more beautiful, graceful, creative, and amazing. But, it is not putting the OW down, to say that SHE IS DESPERATE. She is a damaged woman who is desperate and clinging to any remnant of something (her youth, her images of fame, her fantasies) that she feels are slipping away. Trust me when I say that she is not ok as she is with being a graceful older woman. She is engaging self-defeating and self-destructive and harmful behaviors.

        I am not experiencing those things I describe anymore, at least generally speaking. I was just saying that I had experienced them and that it was a waste I agree. Seeing her as a damaged, hurting woman (rather than an evil hateful bitch) is an act of generousity and forgiveness trust me.

        • Amanda

          Hopeful,
          That’s good that your forgiving her.
          I know this hurts but your husband was the one who opened that door, he’s the one who brought her into the midst of your marriage when he should have remained faithful to you. I know that hurts, but he messed up big
          time and their wouldn’t be a another woman, unless he
          allowed it.
          Yes it is a big waste of time putting any engergy into this
          other woman, when it was your spouse that cheated on you.
          Now is the hardest part is working towards healing from HIS infidelity, and recovering from it.

          • Amanda

            Hopeful,
            When my own exhusband cheated, my first line of defense was to blame the other woman, well that lasted less than a day because a couple of my coworkers set me straight
            by telling me that, there should have never been another woman period, that was the beginning of me opening my
            eyes and seeing my exhusband without the rose colored glasses. His last affair wasn’t the first time he cheated so it became very clear his cheating was a choice he made, and I could no longer blame the other women.
            His last affair was the end of our marriage, and my journey
            to healing began after our divorce. As my healing was
            underway I had to ask myself, what did I do or not do that
            may have contributed to the demise of our marriage, I did have some blame, however I had to get to the real reasons
            behind his cheating. We married way to young and because of a pregnancy, had our relationship played out
            on its own, I am quiet sure we would have never married.
            The nice part of healing wheather you stay or leave the
            marriage is finding out what were the reasons behind
            their cheating, in my case it was relief to know that
            it was because we were to young and we didn’t have
            enough experience behind us in picking out our lifetime mate. I was able to fully forgive him, and we both get
            along and he’s remarried, to someone that he met
            later after our divorce.

    • Gizfield

      I’m finding out in life as I get older that anytime I run away from something I give it power, and anytime I run toward something I take away it’s power. Wish I’d know n that a few years ago. I did make a comment a while back about using the girlfriends name and how it seemed to take away the trigger power. She has a creepy old lady name and is the only person I know with it, lol. I also use her nickname too.. My husband also showed up with a damn dog one day out of the blue. I had suspicions and I found a email about the dog and it’s original name so I use that too. He recent ly admitted it was this bitch’s dog, which she had to take to the pound. Sure, she did. Anyway, in my mind I have renamed the dog to her name. I think I will start using it in front of him soon. It will be too funny. This guy is going to find out what a bitch I CAN BE pretty soon. I usually am not but his lying, cheating ass deserves it.

      • Amanda

        Gizfield,
        I can see from your above post that your hurting, and when
        we hurt we want the person(s) who hurt us to feel that
        same pain, so we strike out at them in hopes of achieving those same results.
        As a Christian we are told to pray for our enemies and replace evil with good, which is the complete opposite of trying to even the score, tit for tat.
        When we forgive them, we become meek, not weak, which in return makes us a stronger person. Being a Christian
        we WILL have our faith tested at times to see whats in us
        when difficult times come.
        Gizfield use this time to strenghten your relationship with
        God, and allow him to heal your brokenheart. Let this
        be a time for your own growth, which in return will make
        you stronger.

        • Amanda

          Gizfield,
          I am sure you have heard that saying (takes lemons and make lemon pie.)
          By you turning to your faith, and allowing God to heal you,
          you will become a strong woman from this all, and it will
          change you.
          After my own divorce, I was sour and bitter towards everything that happened, and I turned to my faith to heal
          me, from all those wounds.
          I now know who I am in Christ, and it has changed my life
          for the better, I now have a rock solid foundation, and I trust
          God in the midst of my life storms. I view life in a different
          way which gives me a great deal of peace joy and happiness.

          • Gizfield

            I appreciate your sentiment, and I am very familiar with forgiveness as I have done it many times. That being said, this woman has been extremely disrespectful to me, both directly and indirectly. I have no plans to forgive her, ever. The fact that I have not driven to her house, dragged her into her yard, and tried to rip her head off her body is a lot of forgiveness for me. The same goes for my husband. ANY CHANCES I gave him were also a form of forgiveness. Most people would not have even given that and nor should they, in my opinion. If it makes you feel better, great, but we are all different. Beyond that, it is between each of us and our Creator.

            • Natalia

              Gizfield: thank you for putting into words my sentiments about forgiveness. I have given my husband the chance of a lifetime so he should consider himself forgiven. As to the other women let them find forgiveness somewhere else cause I will certainly will not. I don’t blame them but it takes two to tango and they certainly knew what they were doing. They along with my husband chose to ignore my existence and carry on with their f%&#king EAs! Not anymore, I am making sure all those bitches know I exist and am watching them. As to my husband he knows better than to underestimate me ever again.

    • Lissa

      I was never really jealous of the OW, well certainly not physically but maybe jealous of her lifestyle (i too could have a nice lifestyle blog, and party with friends and appear all so interesting if i wasnt responsible for bringing in all the money and raising 2 kids!).

      What really got to me and still continues to be my trigger is the amount of flirting my husband did with every woman he came into contact with. While I have to believe most of this was innocent (chokes me even typing that!) – I can never get over the jealousy of all the compliment he has given other women. I have given him the ultimatum of no more flirting ever as it could lead to other ea’s just not sure he can stick to that 🙁

    • Lissa

      Also, been meaning to post this for a little while… There are so many books aimed at women telling them how to work on their marriages, how to understand and make men happy etc. can’t someone please write a book aimed at men entitled ‘101 ways to boost your ageing ego without having an affair’ or ‘get the love from your wife that you need – how to keep your wife happy so she doesn’t shut down’

      • Hopeful

        No shit, hear hear.

        • Dee

          Abso-bloody-lutely!!!!!

      • Gizfield

        Lissa, a lot of the information is contradictory to me. One sentence says it’s not your fault but the next tells you what to do to “fix” yourself so your man/woman won’t cheat. Well, they are either committed or they aren’t, that is the problem, not me or you or any other spouse. Stay married or leave but dont be a lying, nasty cheater.

      • chiffchaff

        they wouldn’t read it! my H wouldn’t read the book about how to help your spouse recover from your affair at the same time as saying ‘I don’t know how to help you’. It’s easier to place your whole faith in magical change through another person than to change yourself first. BSs to tend to be those people who challenge problems whereas CSs tend to be those types who, well at that point in their life, find it easier to bury their heads (or other parts of their anatomy) in the sand.

    • Natalia

      I recently read a book: When Good Men Behave Badly, by David B. Wexler. It explained a lot about my husband’s behavior. I gave him a copy and told him he NEEDED to read it. He just finished and the his first words to me were: “Thank you. I love you for opening up eyes and for straightening out my messed up life.”

    • Gizfield

      You know, I dont “blame” the other person, but we are not talking someone stealing your prom date here, we are talking full fledge ADULTERY here and no one commits adultery alone. And yes, I consider it adultery whether they had sex, or not. It is probably one of the single most destructive things going on in our society today. If you just ignore half the problem, it’s free to continue on, destroying lives, and families. just my opinion, of course.

      • Amanda

        Gizfield,
        You are right when physical adultery happens both are respnsible for their actions, however its the cheating
        spouse who is responsbile for staying faithful within
        their marriage. It is destructive to a marriage when
        your spouse commits adultery, whether they have sex or not.
        In my own opinion when a spouse falls in love with their
        affair partner and commits physical adultery, that is the
        hardest affair to recover from, I know some do, however
        sadly I know more that don’t and it sad.
        We do not live in a ideal world at this time, and I have learned to love the sinner, but hate the sin.
        Betrayel is hard to recover from, but I made that choice to recover so it doesn’t effect me any longer. I chose to
        forgive because I wanted to freed from carrying the bitterness and resentment. I did that for me, and I do enjoy my life now and I am very happy, along with being at peace with this all.
        Gizfield feeling anger is part of the grieving process, and
        that is a part of healing, however someday your anger will
        subside and at the end of grieving comes acceptance,
        that when you will be ready to forgive, because you will be ready to move forward with your own life and forgiveness
        makes you feel better, because then you can leave the past behind.

        • Hopeful

          Amanda, I think your message that you keep repeating is clear.

          • Amanda

            Hopeful,
            I wish you and your spouse the very best.

    • Disappointed

      I do blame the OW. She was the pursuer and portrayed to mutual friends that she was not. My H is responsible for his actions and for breaking his vows. The flattering games she played have cost me everything. NC for almost a year but he still has not chosen me and our life. Still on the fence. The mind games she played worked like a charm. She is his soul mate because they are both damaged. My animosity toward her has grown with the passage of time. She is not half the woman I am but she has taken everything from me that I most treasured. My H has said he cannot recapture his feelings for me because by being in love with her, he realized he no longer has those feelings for me. I pray for God to take my love from me because it hurts too much. Anyone but her will be settling. After 20 years I expected to mean more to him. I simply dont. The pain is unbearable.

    • hurt

      oh Disappointed! I feel your pain! My situation is so similar. I discovered one month ago that my H was having an afffair with my also married ‘best friend’. They both have serious alcohol problems and this disfunction bonded them together. She ‘understands him’ in ways I can’t because I’m not a disgusting self destructive alcoholic, She pursued him , made him feel good, while I was always making himfeel badly, begging him to stop drinking and damaging our marriage and family. Her own husband told me that no man in his right mind would choose her over me. I am absolutely repulsed that my H could be attracted to someone like her. I feel discarded and after 20 years together thius is what I get? the pain is definately unbearable, I feel like my heart and soul have been ripped out and destroyed. He tossed away everything I treasured like it was garbage for a little bit of her. I feel worthless, like our 3 children and myself, our life, our history, our hopes and dreams mean nothing to him. In my case he has broken off the affair and has recommitted to me, he says he loves me, not her and will do anything to make our marriage work. I feel like I am the one always trying to convince him that he doesn’t love her, that it was a fantasy and not real.

      • Gizfield

        I was married to am alcoholic for 15 years, and that beat the hell out of this by a mile. I would not wish that on anyone, excrpt maybe my husband’s girlfriend, lol. Sounds like they are “dry” drunks, not drinking but just still as f’d up as if they were.

    • WriterWife

      The morning after D-Day I looked at pictures of the OW (she was our friend so I had a lot). I found several from a mud run she and my husband (and their co-workers) had run together — I’d just watched because I was too out of shape. I remember looking at a picture of her flexing and smiling post-race and thinking, “Who wouldn’t fall in love with her?”

      Maybe I felt a flash of jealousy, but what I felt more than anything else was that I’d lost myself. Years ago, I’d have been that girl smiling after a race and flexing. So I decided to make a change. And what do you know? A few months ago my husband and I (and his co-workers – once the OW found out I’d be there she dropped out) ran that same mud race and I have a picture of me dirty, smiling, flexing and looking great 🙂

      I’m jealous of the time the OW stole from me. Of all the times my husband thought about her rather than me; of the months after D-day when he was so concerned about her over me. I’m jealous that she had the ability to capture and captivate him like that.

      But I’m not jealous of her – not really. She’s stuck in a miserable job, she has few friends, she’s totally alone and it’s unlikely she’ll ever find a partner unless she makes some changes to herself.

    • hurt

      I’m jealous that he wanted her so bad that he risked everything to be with her. No one has ever wanted me that bad. 🙁

    • Gizfield

      I was jealous of this woman for a while, or thought I was but I’m not really sure that I was now. I was jealous of my husband’s attention to her, but not HER herself. I met her when I had only been dating my husband a short time. We were at a club with friends, when we walked in our mutual friend said “look who’s here, —-.” She literally launched herself off her chair and onto my then boyfriend. I thought who is this bitch up on my boyfriend? I dont remember anything more about her that nite. I only met her one more time. It had to be 3 or 4 years later, we were married then and our child was a toddler. She was at the mutual friends’ house, I guess because the next day she was moving herself and her daughter to California, to shack up with a pilot she met, that is like all the way across the country. We were there 5 or 6 hours, and I cannot even remember how she looked except in a very general way. Thin, I guess, blonde, glasses, blue dress maybe. Just some blurry vague image. I do recall her daughter being homely and a brat, and that she kept “chattering” about the pilot continuously. I was definitely not impressed by her so why should I start just because my husband wanted to screw her? Really. Their great relationship history, you ask? They lived in the same apartments when he was in his early 20s. Supposedly, they went out once, to a bar. She got drunk, took up with another guy, he left her and went home. Wow, what a great “bond”.if thats what this guy wants, hes welcome to her. The only disturbing part it that she resembles me in her characteristics, except probably “prettier” and younger by 11 years.

    • Gizfield

      I do remember thinking “I’m glad this chick is moving 3000 miles away so I dont have to see her again”. I am usually a friendly person but I just got a bad vibe off this girl. Turns out I was right, lol. I just want to know, if he was so “in love” with her, why didnt he drop me and pursue her the first time.we weren’t married, I know she wasnt , it could have been a clean break, but no hecouldn’t do that. I guess I was skinny enough to meet his specifications then, lol.

      • Lisa

        I am responding to all of the comments above. It appears we all carry the same pain that betrayal brings, where infidelity is concerned. I just found out my H of 28 yrs has been having an affair for the past year. It is totally out of character for him, or so I thought. We are high school sweethearts, married young. We are successful, though we had our struggles. We have had ups and downs like every marriage does. An affair never crossed my mind. I discovered his affair by catching him texting her. I thought it was just texting and talking, because he told me thats all it was, he swore it was over, only to find out it was a full blown affair, still going on. I think the second time when the whole truth came out, about one month ago, I bottomed out. I almost gave up and threw in the towel. I am strong in my faith and I can say, without a doubt, that my faith is what is helping me to seek forgiveness and reconciliation, instead of seeking resentment and divorce. I have always told my H that an affair would be a deal breaker. It’s THE ultimate betrayal. I still think so, but because of everything that Jesus has opened my eyes and heart to see, I can’t just throw in the towel on a marriage that I cherish. Forgiveness is not only about letting yourself off the hook. It is a life long lesson we have to learn again and again. People are not perfect. We all make mistakes. Sometimes so big it can destroy a relationship. The only difference that I can say with my situation and some of the other people who have been betrayed like this is that my H saw my pain and it almost crushed him. He really did a complete turn around and he felt my pain with me. I have never experienced pain like this, neither has my H. I saw a drastic change in Him. He is carrying the weight of what he did and I can literally see it. Don’t get me wrong. I am not just trusting him without a doubt. No way, but I can recognize a change of heart in Him for me that wasn’t there before. I am the one who is cautious. Even though I think he is really truly sorry, I find that I am still jealous and angry. Jealous because I needed him through a very tough year and now I know where he was. It hurts like nothing I have ever felt. But what she got from him for a few hours a week here and there, I can’t compare to what we have had for over 30 yrs. For those of you who say they can never forgive the other woman, just remember this. If you can forgive your husband, forgiving the OW shoild be easier. Why? Because you need to heal completely. You can’t heal unless you forgive. Forgiveness, true forgiveness is for YOUR healing, nobody else’s. Just you. I learned that recently. It releases us from a burden that was never ours to carry. Let those who tried to hurt you carry the burden of seeking forgiveness. Trust me it is their burden to carry, not yours. When we forgive something that is unforgivable, we resemble the One who also forgave us of our own inequities. We all fall short. Forgiveness is a strength, not a weakness. Try to remember that. You know you matter, even if your husband has forgotten that. You all matter to me. My heart breaks for you and with you because it just happened to me. It is still fresh pain for me. But I know who I am and who I belong to. I want to point your heart to the One who brings healing. He will never leave you or forsake you. Trust in Him to guide you. God Bless you all. I hope this makes sense for those who are still feeling so much pain. It is written, pain comes in the night but JOY comes in the morning. Seek that joy, and you will find it again.

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