marital affairBeing involved in a marital affair is surrounded by fantasy and illusion.  The most difficult part for me was that I was also drawn into the fantasy.   I romanced Doug’s emotional affair just as much as he did.

By romancing the affair, I mean that I didn’t follow through on some of the most important things a betrayed spouse should do when recovering from an affair – to look at the affair as it really was – a betrayal of commitment. 

Instead, I looked at it as if it was something magical; something out of a romance novel that we all long to experience. Today I am going to debunk some of the fantasies associated with affairs.

Fantasy 1: The betrayed spouse is sacrificing everything just to be with their affair partner.

Reality: They are not really sacrificing anything because they believe they will never be caught.  They are not thinking about their spouses or their family, but only about their selfish pleasure they are receiving from the affair.  Only after they are caught, when the guilt and shame set in, do they fully realize the implications of their actions.

Fantasy 2:  The affair just happened.  They just clicked.  They weren’t looking for an affair.

Reality: Everyday we meet someone who we have something in common with, or have a personality that we find attractive.  However, how we deal with this depends on how committed we are to our partners and what kind of boundaries are in place to stop things before they get out of hand.

The affair partners may have “clicked,” but somehow they also sent a message either verbally or with their body language, that they were interested in something more.  At that point they had a choice whether to act on it or walk away.  They always had a choice.  It didn’t just happen.  The affair partners tell themselves that it just happened to alleviate the guilt and to make it appear a lot more romantic than it actually was.

Fantasy 3:  The affair partners put so much time and effort into the affair and to be with their affair partners.

Reality: I believe the most difficult realization that most of the betrayed spouses deal with is knowing how much time the affair partners spent texting and talking on the phone to each other.  We also know that during the affair recovery our spouses are not putting in half the effort we believed they displayed during their marital affair.

I have given this a lot of thought and I wanted more than anything to have that much attention from Doug.  Then I really started thinking about how much effort he did put into his affair, and realized that it didn’t take that much effort at all.

 

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Heck, he worked with Tanya, so all he had to do was show up at work every day, take frequent breaks to talk to her, and take her out to lunch.  He wasn’t making dinner for her, or getting up early with the kids so she could sleep in.  He was only going to work!

He also mentioned that when he changed offices to a different location, that maintaining the affair became a pain in the ass.  It wasn’t so easy and available.  I imagine the ease and lack of responsibility were very appealing during the affair, but when it became more difficult and required more work (like being in a marriage) it lost some of its sparkle.

As far as the 100’s of texts and long phone calls…well if any of you have teenagers, then you know they text all day long.  It really doesn’t take much thought or effort as they are mindlessly moving their fingers and spewing things that they really don’t remember or mean.

I understand how the texting in an affair can be exhilarating and addicting mainly because the messages received are like forbidden fruit, and no one knows but the cheaters.  I imagine it can be even more exciting when they receive a text in the presence of someone else – like their spouse.  The level of excitement from texting has to wane at some point in an affair and eventually will become a painful habit.

As for the long phone calls…well I imagine that initially it was very flattering to have the opportunity to talk about yourself and your situation to someone that will find everything you say exciting and new.  Unlike your spouse, who knows everything about you, and who 25 years ago stopped laughing at your silly stories that you have repeated a hundred times.

Just as with the texts and phone calls, the excitement and newness of the lunches and secret meetings will eventually wear off and it will take more effort to maintain the excitement that was once provided by the affair.  In many cases the effort was something the cheating spouse was trying to escape.

The truth is that most wayward spouses (as well as betrayed) became very lazy in their marriages.  They stop putting forth the effort to curb the boredom that happens with living in the reality of a marriage.  A marital affair provides an opportunity to receive a tremendous amount of admiration and validation without showing much creativity, planning or effort.

Please note: Dealing with the fantasies of affairs, from the standpoint of both the cheater and the betrayed, is the topic of our first session of the Affair Recovery Group.  There are still some open slots available, so if you want to check it out, click: The Affair Recovery Group.

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    43 replies to "Debunking Some Marital Affair Fantasies"

    • Jeffrey Murrah

      Linda,

      Well worded post. You nailed many of the issues concerning fantasies and affairs from the spouse’s position. The fantasies can be destructive no matter who has them. When one party is in fantasy la-la land they are not dealing with reality or being ‘in relationship’ with their spouse.

    • Yuki

      Interesting – I was just thinking about these same things as I was reading and participating in the posts for the past week. You’re absolutely right, Linda. I believe I am now ready to stop obsessing about the details, and move forward. I’m kind of afraid that this is just a good day, and I’ll fall into that hole again tomorrow, but I’m going to read and re-read today’s post to help me move along. Thank you, Linda!

    • Lesia

      I read several times, the statement about thinking they won’t get caught. I had never thought of it that way. Every time I ask my H why he took such a great chance of losing everything he just says that he never thought about it. I guess you have just answered that question. It is probably because he never intended to “get caught”. I think he thought that he could have it both ways, and no one would be the wiser. How stupid!

    • mil

      Yep Lesia, my H actually told me he thought he would never get caught and that’s why he didn’t think he was hurting me or particularly doing anything wrong!! How arrogant is that really?
      It means he had no guilt until he was caught then of course the guilt kicked in big time. It might have been nicer if he’d said, ‘I was terrified every day of being caught as I felt so bad about what I was doing to you’. Then again he says because it meant ‘nothing’ there was nothing to really feel guilty about.
      As Yuki said, we will NEVER know the whole truth and for me personally this is why it’s sooooo hard to move forward. It’s CRAP.
      Even with romantic meals and gestures, the betrayal might be eased but it has happened and NOTHING can ever change that.

      • ruth

        I tried and tried to help my h see how hurtful it was and how I just cant forget. Finally I looked at him and said if I have been raped do you honestly think I would ever forget it like nothing happened. Now he understands the damage he did and how I have to live with his mistake. Time will tell. Sorry if that seems a little rough for any one but honestly I just didnt know how else to put it for him to understand.

    • Vanessa

      “Even with romantic meals and gestures, the betrayal might be eased but it has happened and NOTHING can ever change that.”

      I can totally relate to this, Mil. My husband is trying very hard to move on with us and work on our marriage but I live with the pain of his affair every day and it is very hard to move on for me. Our d-day was Oct. 21 2010, and we were making real progress to move on until he told me last week that he indeed loved the other woman when I questioned him about a playlist of songs about secret love I found. And this brought a lot of feelings back. The timing of his affair was horrible and this is where I have trouble moving on. It started a week before I gave birth to our second child and continued for 4 1/2 months.

      I do dwell on the details too much and I know it. They texted over 3,000 times a month and to me that is just insane to me. I have moved on from wanting to know what they were talking about but the number of times they texted gets to me.

      But I do believe in the fantasy of his affair because he did not know anything about the other woman that was true until their relationship was over. He even told me he felt “betrayed” by her.

    • Lesia

      Mil, I can’t help but laugh when I read your part about how he said it meant nothing. My H said the same thing. He also said that he was trying to find a way to “get out of it”. HA! Sure is funny that he got out of it real quick when he got caught. Why would someone spend so much effort and time trying to hide emails, texts, and with my H even hiding her cell phone number under one of his friends name on his contact list……if it meant “nothing”. Give me a break! I believe that all men are cut out of the same cloth and just come in different colors and sizes.

      • Larz Weigell1

        Lesia,
        ‘ sorry to “Break YOUR bubble” but I am one of THOSE who IS not one of the typical MEN, NOT cut from the SAME CLOTH! I have always respected MY VOWS and although was NOT the BEST of HUSBANDS would NOT CHEAT on MY Wife or compromise MYSELF / MY integrity. I represent maybe a dwindling minority, but I am DEFINITELY NOT ONE of the typical MEN as YOU have described.

        Larz W.

    • BreeAnn

      Vanessa, I too found a playlist of love songs he made for her. I’m still dwelling on the details; especially on anniversary dates. I forgot all about the playlist until last week – that was the 3 year anniversary of finding it. He also texted his EP 100x a day. I unfortunately had the opportunity of reading their emails and instant messages and it made me sick. Most of it was random stuff, but they had a negative nickname for me. I finally confronted him and he did break it off w her (2 years ago today). But, we didn’t make it and we broke up 4 months ago. As soon as we broke up he reestablished his “friendship” with her within weeks. Now he wants me back only if I accept her because they “are really good friends.” I’m sorry your H cheated on you at all, let alone on the timing; that must be very hard on you. We’re all here to support you during this time. Be strong!!

    • Yuki

      I can so relate to all of you here. My D-day was just a few days before yours, Vanessa – October 17. And I went through the slow evolution and changing of the story, too, from “just part of a group of old classmates who sent each other forwards” to “a relationship but I did not love her” to “I was sometimes confused” to “I did fall in love with her” to “I thought it was love but it was just affair fog.” The story slowly came out because I kept pushing. The story just didn’t make sense. Just last night, we went through it again. I asked him to tell me how he remembers it now, with all the new knowledge we have read about affairs and relationships. He did, and I think I feel that I have the story straight. For now, anyway. We are having a nice family meal that he cooked tonight. I am going to try to not bring it up at all tonight. Wish me luck!

      • Doug

        Yuki, This type of situation was brought up the other night in the Affair Recovery Group. Jeff Murrah had a great response:

        “In understanding what’s going on with the affair, much like the greater part of an iceberg, is under water, the greatest part of our personality and who we are many times is undiscovered.

        It could very well be that the answers that you got four months after the affair was discovered and finally talked about it, may have been the truth in everything they were aware of at that point.

        At the eight-month mark, they suddenly come up with some new insights and new details. In this case, it’s mainly because the healing and the changes of the relationship are now going to an even deeper level, and they’re able to recall more and put more pieces together.

        As you move along and get to the twelve-month mark, there may be even more pieces that start coming out, are able to talk more.
        In each of these situations, the four-month, the eight-month and twelve-month, the person took you as far as they could at that point, because they weren’t even aware of what was going on at those deeper levels.

        As they’re able to talk more and they feel safer, they’re able to understand more the depth of what happened and be able to share that with each other.
        That’s one reason why it seems that everything changes so much, because sometimes they really have told you all the truth that they know of at that point, because they haven’t made all the connections that were actually there. Things happen on a deeper level than people realize with an affair, and sometimes it may take them a year or two before they realize how deep things were in their life.”

        • Yuki

          Doug, thank you for sharing Jeff Murrah’s comments on the slow revelation process. I believe we are now at that point where my husband has told me all he knows and remembers. And I know the story will change even more as time goes on, but that it is not because he is purposely lying to me. However, up until now, it was not so. He knew he had been in love with her and had had an affair. He just didn’t want to admit it, so I had to find evidence, which I did. Only then did he tell me the truth. That was very damaging to our relationship and has made it really difficult for me to move on. But I am making progress now, slowly.

    • Donna

      thank you for this post. I for one make the affair out to bigger than it probably is, I get caught up in it. The love songs they made on cd for each othere, there are hundreds of them. To me, love songs are a real trigger for me. I struggle to listen to them on the radio without feeling li,e I am going to have a melt down. However, I soldier on and will not let it show.

      My husband still says that he loves the OW, this makes me feel just great. Why the eck would he want to stay with me and our family if he loves this ow so much. I JUST DON’T GET IT!. I know we have children and he loves the, but why stay with a woman you don’t love like the OW. I am baffled.

      • Doug

        Donna, it’s nice that your husband has been contacting you regularly while he’s away. I hope that he is able to “fix” himself while he’s away and realizes at the same time that the OW is a fantasy.

    • April

      Vanessa, I also have found that my husband had and may be has his EA when I was pregnant with our second baby and I did not confront him. It is almost a year after now, and we have a 2 years old and an 8 months old children. I still never confronted him because I realised it that he really doesn’t do much for his EA with his ex girlfriend except for some e-mails, once in a while he sends her little presents. I know that one was sent for her birthday in October. But he comes home after work, buying things fou our house, we planning our vacations, have sex almost every night, he gives mi the opportunity to stay home with our babies while he plays the role of the bread winner (I am a colledge educated woman and could be working, but prefer to be a stay home mom when the kids are very young). When I found about the affair, I desided not to confront him out of fear that he will not stop his EA but he will become smarter and will hide it better. This way my fantasy would be much wilder about what is going on in his (and my life).
      If we did not have children, I wouldn’t tolerate a bit of anything from his emotional affair, but we are where we are. I do not have any relatives or any one else to protect me or help with my problems. I decided to get the best I could from the situation that I am in.
      Linda and Dough, thank you so much for your website that very informative and helpful for me. May be I am not dealing with my husband’s emotional cheating in a correct way like most of your readers and that means I am on my own la-la planet. May be I will regreat it later. But I feel I can always do it other way.
      Thank you everybody for the comments. I whish you all best.

      • Doug

        April, thanks for sharing. Am I understanding you to say that you know about the affair, but have never addressed it with your husband? I understand your reasoning not to, if that’s the case, but I imagine it has been difficult for you.

    • Yuki

      I did make it through the night without bringing up the affair at all. But we were both rather subdued and depressed – I think the hurt still shows in my eyes, and I couldn’t hide it.
      Talk about love songs!!! It’s the biggest trigger of all for me. They shared love songs on Youtube all the time, and sent each other links through emails. (I have copies of about 100 of the hundreds, maybe thousands, of emails they exchanged.) In the emails, they would quote from the song and say that it matched how they felt. “Their” song was From This Moment On, which he also mentioned in an email that he sang to her the time they met each other. I can only listen to Christian radio now. Any other station will play songs that will set me off, and I’ll be crying my eyes out in seconds.
      All the romance in these songs also makes it impossible for he and I to be romantic with each other now. They were together for six years, so there is nothing we can say or do or listen to that they did not do together. And I cannot stand the thought of experiencing the same situation or song or favorite lines as her. So we do not say anything beyond “I love you,” and even that sometimes brings up thoughts of them saying it to each other. I guess time may dull the pain. I don’t know.

    • Kathy

      I’m a little confused by something my H did/said regarding a love song. The other night we watched CSI New York and they played a song by 3 Doors Down that talks about how “we’re apart, but we’ll be together in my dreams”, that sort of thing. Suddenly H says “I really like that song” and he starts looking it up on the computer. And of course, since he just ended it with his EA (except they still see each other at work), I couldn’t help but think he was thinking of her! I almost started crying and he asked me what was wrong, and I just said it was such a sad song.
      I hate, hate, hate wondering if anything/everything is still about her!!!

      • Doug

        This response is actually from Jeff Murrah. It went to my email for some reason:

        Kathy,

        It will take a while before the other woman is completely out of his heart and head. Ending the affair is the first substantial step.

        Jeff

        • Kathy

          Thank you Jeff. I believe that I’m one of the fortunate few who found out about the EA before it had gone on for very long; it had only been about a month and a half. It’s hard for me to say whether or not he still thinks about her in “that” way, as she really upset him when he saw what life would really be like with her. She dispelled the fantasy all by herself, and he had to wake up and smell the coffee. Getting out of the EA and staying with me is indeed a HUGE first step for my H, and now I’m working on fixing the things I did wrong that sent him seeking emotional attachment elsewhere. I love him with all my heart and things are defintely looking up.

    • Vanessa

      BreeAnn, thank you very much. Sorry things did not work out or you and your H. We have thought about separating but are trying to work on things. It was very hard for my H to talk about his feelings in the beginning and still is. In the beginning after I found out he was very hateful to me but now he realizes what he did and how it affected others.

      Yuki, the songs are a big trigger to me too. We were out to dinner and one of the songs came on and we both looked at each other, he smiled but I had to leave and get some air and calm down.

      April, I can relate with not having any family to help out. We moved across the country recently and I have no family or close friends here, so it it hard not having someone to talk to. I do go to individual counseling and it has been helping me figure things out.

      This blog has been very helpful for myself, thank you Doug and Linda for sharing your story.

      • Kathy

        Vanessa, like you and April I’m also living far from where I grew up and where all of my family and friends live. Fortunately I’ve made a couple of good friends here, and they’ve been very supportive – true friends indeed! So much so that they are ok with H, and are thrilled that we didn’t split and are working things out. I also have my daughter and son with me (both in their 20’s), although I don’t like to burden them with too much of this. But since they live at home they can’t help but know what’s been going on.

    • Yuki

      I can’t say what your husband was thinking, but that sounds so much like my husband during his EA. Their favorite songs were just like that – being together in their dreams. And that was their standard closing for emails – “see you in my dreams.” I can’t say if this is the appropriate response, but I would tell my husband if something he did made me uncomfortable. What does everybody else think?

      • Kathy

        Yuki, for me I have to be very careful if/when I tell my husband something he’s done makes me uncomfortable. For one, I have to be sure I’m not over-reacting (which I’m finding out I do a lot). I tend to read more into things he says or does that isn’t really there, probably because I feel so insecure. I also have to make sure I time it right, and that I don’t come across as naggy, whiny, or clingy. Sometimes, and this happens for me more often than not, I just don’t say anything, and usually it goes away by itself. When I look back then, I feel relieved that I didn’t say anything or make a mountain out of molehill (as my mother used to say). I don’t know if this is the “right” way to handle things, but in my situation and with my H’s temperament, it works for me.

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    • Donna

      Ok, I am trying REALLY hard to not get causght up in the fantasy of my husbands EA/PA. As you all know, husband is away for 3 weeks, has not yet been gone a whole week yet. I wondered if I should call him each day, however have not as he has called me each night to talk and say goodnight to the kids. I have wanted to call him or text him but have refrained as I think I need to give him some space.

      He called again tonight, kids were in bed though as he only had me to talk too. He sounded so miserable, he hates being on his own and wishes he had at least just 1 friend tonight to talk or be with.

      I broke the rules and I wish I hadn’t, however I broke and told him that I miss him so much knowing full well he would not say the same to me. And I was right… he just said “I know!”

      AHHHHHHH! I hate that. I hate that I broke and I shouldn’t have, I hate that by his actions we are in this position, I hate that he just can’t come out and say I miss you too. Why the flamin heck can’t he???? I know why, because he just doesn’t!

      I am so sad tonight and am struggling because he was probably thinking that he wishes he was with her and could talk to her. I am sure he thinks she would make everything just fine and dandy right now. I know I sound angry and bitter and I hate that. I am not that person, I am a kind and caring and often too compassionate who by 1 thoughtless and selfish act has made my world topsy turvy and dirty and I am no longer niave like I used to be and believing people at face value.

      His actions have done this too me and our family and yet I still just want him to take me in his arms and love me and never let me go. Maybe i am the one defected not him. I am so hurt tonight and just don’t want any of this. I am so lonely too and don’t want to be. I am alone in all of this and I hate that.

      Roll on tomorrow as I know I will be better then, it’s late and I am wallowing in self pity and having my own pity party. I am stronger than this. I just wish I had my own little therapist sitting on my shoulder all the time telling me, “don’t sy that Donna, say this instead” If only hey? Sorry for the melt down, I just needed to get it all out and i have no where else to do it.

      Apologies again!

      • Kathy

        Donna, I’m so glad to have found this site where we can share our hurt with people who are going through similar things and who understand!
        Your post really touched my heart, and I feel for you, I really do. I’m also heartened that you realize you are stronger than this, although at times it can feel so overwhelming. Keep on hanging in there!
        I don’t know how others here feel about religion, but my faith is one thing that has helped me. I pray a lot about all the things that are happening, including things I should, or should not, say and/or do. A lot of times it seems like I get the answers I need because the thought will just come to me like, “don’t say that now” or “try doing this”.
        I try not to overanalyze everything I do and say, but it’s been hard. It is getting a little bit easier after reading some of the blogs and comments here.

    • AlmostOutofIt

      I think music is one of those things that allow people to express things much better than they could otherwise. There was one song that really hit home and a few others that seemed to fit. I did play this really amazing jazz album when we were together. Ticks me off now because I can’t listen to it anymore without thinking of her. I really loved that CD…

      BTW, one song that does make me think of the OW, but helps now is the new song from Sara Evans, “A little bit stronger”. It’s about a woman in a breakup – but the point is that she’s getting stronger each day.

      From own experience, I can understand why a H just wants to move past an affair. Obviously there’s the hurt they caused, but I think (at least for me it would be) it would also be that I wouldn’t want to constantly think of the OW. Most likely the cheating spouse is going or has gone through some feelings of withdrawal. By constantly being reminded of the affair, the CS can’t get over it themselves.

      I know everyone wants to know the truth and wonders if their spouse chose them for them or because of the family situation. Either way, they did choose you. Focus on that and on how to make your relationship better. Try not to focus on the hurt, the past or why they made their decision. They chose to stay with you – be happy with that and work at making sure the temptation doesn’t strike again.

    • melissa

      Great post, Linda, very well observed and analysed. I think that as a rule men are less likely than women to be asking themselves questions about whether what they are doing is right or wrong or is likely to hurt their partner/family. My H does not seem to realise he was having an affair at all and has said many times that he ‘didn’t do anything’. Heck, he did not even want me to use the word ‘relationship’ when I talked about his link to the OW, he kept saying there was ‘no relationship’. His lies, betrayal, secret meetings and calls/texts to the OW do not count as guilty behaviour in his book – or at least it did not at the time.

      Secondly, men are better at compartmentalising. My H believes we were happy during his EA but having read some of his notes to the OW, it’s like I did not exist when he was in fantasy mode, I’d totally gone out of his mind. He wrote a ‘wish you were here’ note to her about a place we stayed at and never mentioned I was with him at the time – and yet, he remembers the trip as happy and fun, now I realise he wasn’t really there at all.

      Also true, Linda, that the effort CS put into an EA is not as huge as BS think it is. When I discovered my H’s EA, the only negative thing he ever told me about the OW is that she was a pain and he had tried to ‘get out of it’ several times. I believe he’d realised deep down how needy she was and was starting to get out of the fog (after seven years!!). This said, he relapsed several months after D-Day. Despite his original promise, I have no idea whether he’s still in touch with her, he’s very good at hiding and lying, although he seems more ‘present’ these days. Like many of us here, the thought that never leaves me is whether they are still in touch and I’m just stupidly not seeing it.

      • Kathy

        melissa, my H also really didn’t think he was having an affair because “he didn’t do anything”, and he got angry when I called it an affair or cheating on me.
        Once we were able to talk calmly, I was able to explain to him that there IS such a thing as an emotional affair. I also told him that while I certainly wasn’t condoning his actions, I could understand why it happened because of things I’d done or not done. The choice was still his to make, but I stopped placing all the blame on him.
        I know this may not be true for a lot of couples, but in my case my errors were glaring but I couldn’t see them until this happened.
        Off topic, I was wondering if anyone can tell me what some of the abbreviations mean that you use? I know “H” and “OW”, “EA” and “CS”, but what is “BS” and what is “D-Day”? Thanks!

        • Doug

          Kathy, So did he finally agree that he had an EA? BTW…BS means betrayed spouse, and D-day is the day you discovered the affair. Thanks for contributing!

          • Kathy

            Doug, I don’t think he actually agreed, in so many words. All of this came to a head a week ago, and yet so much of it is a blur! He did apologize to me, and he did say that what he’d done was stupid. He was extremely relieved to have seen what kind of person she really was before he moved out and got a place with her. But I don’t know that he ever actually agreed to the word “affair”. Maybe in his mind he admits it to himself (which would be a great start), and I’m okay with that.
            Thank you for explaining the abbreviations I asked about. They make sense now. 🙂

    • Yuki

      At the risk of sending myself into that hole of despair again, I must say that, even though I am working very hard to move forward and have really made some progress, I am deathly afraid that he will fall back into his EA. After all, it lasted 6 years – it must be very hard to break the attachment, if nothing else, that he felt towards the end of it. I cannot go through this a second time. If he goes back to her, I will leave. The thing is, like Melissa said, how will we ever be sure? My husband will undoubtedly be very careful the next time. He can easily get around our transparency agreement, and we both know it. I can never be sure – and I don’t know when or if I will ever trust him enough to feel sure. I seem to say I don’t know an awful lot these days…

      • Kathy

        Yuki, I really feel for you. Although this was my H’s second EA in 20 years, neither time lasted for 6 years. The first one probably wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did (about a year and a half), except I left him.
        When my H and I got back together after the first EA (which became a PA after I left), it was really difficult. I just had to make up my mind that I was going to trust him, but I also put him on notice that I wouldn’t tolerate that kind of behavior. My problem was that, after 20 years, I became very complacent in our marriage, and I was so comfortable that it took me a couple of weeks before I realized the danger signs were there again.
        I don’t think CS’s are ever really careful in the long run, particularly if they think you haven’t got a clue. What my H didn’t realize, and maybe a lot of them don’t, is that you know them really well and you get that “sense” that things just are not right, no matter how careful they try to be. They also have a hard time maintaining a “normal” relationship with the BS, as they can’t seem to keep the level of both relationships going at the same time. Even if they manage to cover their tracks (like phone calls, emails, texts, etc.), they can’t hide their personalities and the way they act when they’re being unfaithful.

      • Chely

        Yuki-I realize that your comment was made 6 years ago but I wondered if you might still be on this site? As I too am in the situation of spouse cheating for many years (possibly 10 or more) and while we are still together I am reaching a point that I no longer think relationship should continue. While we get along, do things together, have sex, normal couple things, it still feels like he is not really there, basically emotionally unavailable to me. Sure he goes out of his way to be nice (mostly in public), but any real substanial efforts are not so obvious behind closed doors). I am fairly certain that he is still in contact with her, as well as others. It is so difficult being left in the dark and unable to fill in the empty spaces. We dont talk about the affair and never dealt with any of what lead up to him begining the affair. So after four years of putting it behind us, focusing on the positive and look forward. I have discovered that i cant let it go, try as i do to forgive him his lack of willingness to participate in any healing has become a problem for me. I’m sick of being triggered by anything he does that seems out of place and then not being able to work through it to rid myself ofthis frickn’ CPTSD l, that im now saddled with. I know how he rolls when he is on the hunt for new supply. The two songs i found written on a little scrap of paper are the two songs that i CCANNOT listen to are: Counting stars by one republic and the “shut up and dance” song not sure of artist. Any way my question to you is : did your marriage make it? Were you finally able to feel safe in your relationship again? Technology has given these continuing cheaters the ability to carry on their affairs, pretty much without detection, unless they get careless. All i know is i dont want to spend the rest of my life wondering everyday if he is going walk in the door one evening and announce that he is finished and continue blaming me. I often wonder if he only stayed because she wouldnt leave her husband and is afraid of being alone. I do realize that either choice i make will have sadness and consequences attached. I still deeply love him or maybe it’s

    • mil

      Again ditto Yuki, how will we ever know?? I texted my H the other day ‘You would be more careful next time’ EXACTLY what you said!! x

    • Yuki

      Hey Mil, That issue of trust is going to take a LONG time. You’ve been in this for a longer time than me – do you think you would recognize the signs? I’m not sure that I would, since I didn’t for so long before. Of course, that blind trust is no longer there.

    • survivingmyD-day

      Linda, like you, I discovered my H’s affair after my ‘gut’ feeling and immediate review of his cell records – wow – so many phone calls up to 90 minute, etc. .. 90 min? Incessant calls & texts which easily could’ve jeopardized his job(s) – and safety! Went on summer into fall…my H was in a sick place and spiraling downward fast but thankfully ‘reached out’ in time – unfortunately the ‘reach out’ was via a text that he was seeing a lawyer… this was right at what I thought was our 25th wedding anniv. too – a date which is forever desecrated now…so much permanent damage to deal with (it’s like being a ‘plane crash’ victim…never to be the same again.) Yuki – what was involved in your ‘transparency agreement?’

    • Kristine

      My husband just shared some things with me about this as well. He said “this doesn’t make it better but when you’re in that irrational stupid phase of an affair or at the start of one, you’re not thinking about the consequences. I wasn’t thinking this will hurt my wife, I wasn’t thinking I can lose my family, I was thinking only about my selfish wants and that was it. I wasn’t even thinking it was selfish, my brain was on GO and that’s all I saw was the green light.” He even said this too which was an eye-opener, “sometimes you recite things i said during the affair period and I don’t even remember I said that. I think back to some of the things I *do* remember saying and it’s baffling I became that person” which further confirms when a man or woman is in that affair fog it’s more than just a fog it’s a darkness!

      • Paula

        Kristine

        My other half, who now can’t believe he did this, said that when he started his affair, he was in such a bad place with his frustration with my long work hours and my fatigue and general grumpiness, he was desperate to make me see that I was giving everything to my work, he just didn’t care anymore, totally threw caution to the wind, as he was so miserable. He said initially he just didn’t care if I found out and it all blew up in his face, because he was over feeling like $#*@. I’m still angry at him for that, as I wish he’d just said, I’m leaving you, and if that had happened, I wouldn’t be dealing with all of this pain, I’m sure. He had made some HUGE lifestyle changes, which had caused enormous family disruption, his two sisters (and their children, who were close to ours) still don’t talk to us over this, which happened 4 1/2 years ago. Once he had crossed the line the first time, he didn’t see her again for about 4-5 months, realising it wasn’t the answer. We went on a quick trip down south soon after the first shag, to one of my oldest and dearest friend’s 40th birthday weekend, with close friends, and had such a blast, really enjoying ourselves and each other, fantastic all night sex, etc, etc, and he thought, thank God, I got out of the other close-run thing, I have my girl back, and she doesn’t know or suspect I’ve screwed up (just the once at this stage!) But I got back to work, and back into grumpy, stressed out mode and the opportunity arose to screw her again several months later, when I took our kids on a fishing holiday for a rare long weekend, begging him to come with us, but “he was too flat out on the farm” – right, he drove 2 1/2 hours to her house to “help her with some landscaping” she needed a big, strong man to break up some concrete in her back yard,” she’s such a useless girly girl when it comes to anything practical, like paying someone to do the heavy work! (can you imagine, the shirt off, sweating, cleaving a large sledgehammer, ooh, baby!) – which I found out about and confronted him, saying, what the hell is going on here? He covered it with a “oh, you know, she’s on her own, she needed help, it was innocent.” I asked him why he didn’t tell me, and he said, “because I didn’t think you would like it,” we had an awful night, leaving the house so the kids didn’t see, and I interrogated him about it for a couple of hours, I think, through my first lot of tears, I said I wouldn’t have minded if you told me, what are you hiding? I effing well swallowed his lies, idiot!!! I just was too dumb to see it, I knew something was up, but I couldn’t see what it was, and he wasn’t able to shake me and tell me what the real problem was, as he says he didn’t want to undermine my confidence and look like an a-hole for making me stop something I was loving and being challenged by. As I said to him, so having an affair with my friend and carrying on like we were all friends for another year was better – she used to holiday at our lake house with us during all of this? WTF! I had started a new job 5 months before he started his affair, and it was full-on, I was working crazy hours – 70 hour weeks usually – and throwing everything I had at it. I hadn’t been in the paid workforce for almost 15 years, as I had worked in our business and been the primary caregiver to our children, so was fizzing that I could do all this, and I was really good at it! He was resentful that I wasn’t there to back him up 24/7 like I always had previously.

        Another long one from me, sorry, I get on a roll, especially when the frustration of how it could have all been avoided by talking to each other overwhelms me, the point is, even good men/women get themselves into such a place that they do stupid things, and then they find it’s bloody hard to get out of it. This woman blackmailed him for another 9 months after he tried to end it quietly, and he realised he’d got involved with someone really dangerous.

    • Yuki

      Oh my, Kristine – it could have been me writing your comment here. That is exactly what my husband said.

    • Francis

      “Reality: Everyday we meet someone who we have something in common with, or have a personality that we find attractive. However, how we deal with this depends on how committed we are to our partners and what kind of boundaries are in place to stop things before they get out of hand.

      The affair partners may have “clicked,” but somehow they also sent a message either verbally or with their body language, that they were interested in something more. At that point they had a choice whether to act on it or walk away. They always had a choice. It didn’t just happen. The affair partners tell themselves that it just happened to alleviate the guilt and to make it appear a lot more romantic than it actually was.”

      This plus Fantasy 3 which points to the three hour phone calls, oh my god…did you guys listen in to my situation. You have hit this so hard on the nail head. This is it!

      My wife said ” oh I was never looking it just happened”…with a Tour guide ! Who told her that god brought her to Israel with her family to meet him! Yes, god wanted to brake up outr family in the holy land!

      Then when I saw a phone list from her employer of three hour phone class her then comment was ” I could never talk to you for three hours”… Now at least she admits that Mr. Wonderful never shut up he talked so much she would put the phone down and leave the room sometimes…

      And boundaries…I know for a fact if I ever did what she did I would be out on my butt…

      Oh did I mention that her mother had an emotional affair and she is the one who caught her at 14!

    • Millie

      I accept that my h affair is to do with his issues. Rejection, his dad. Our marriage was a solid marriage but I also accept that if I didn’t want to be intimate with him he has taken that as a rejection. I am starting to believe that all marriages have issues, all long relationships do but it’s how we deal with them that counts. H didn’t talk to me so I didn’t know how he was feeling…in come work colleague, he talks about his ‘unhappy’ marriage, tells me he doesn’t love me, I react as he would expect by shouting, crying pleading etc. He leaves me 3 months later and moves in with her 6 months later. My kids are devastated, I am and him and ow are living out their ‘dream’ relationship 45 miles away.

      How can I change this situation for the better as apart from finances I am starting to think sod him,…….but then I think about the affect this has had on my kids. Any advice.

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