By Sarah P.

They say that a picture (or even a drawn image) is worth a thousand words.  Here is an image I will let you contemplate… because this short cartoon panel is worth an entire book.

delusion of people who have affairs

Source: http://pbfcomics.com/comics/roxanne/

Well, what can I say… just those four panels perfectly capture the absolute delusion of people who have affairs… especially the delusion that someone a spouse just met 2 hours ago understands your spouse better than you do—you who has stuck by your spouse’s side for twenty plus years through thick and thin.

The Wisdom of this Short Cartoon

In the first panel, we have two rocks that are almost identical in nature. Since they are so similar, they would metaphorically most certainly understand one another the best because they are nearly the same size, shape, and color.

But, wait!

One of the rocks, Mr. Rock, is absolutely certain that a smooth and violet colored object that is NOTHING like him understands him better than the rock that is nearly identical to him.

Apparently, in Mr. Rock’s eyes, Roxanne the rock cannot understand him like a violet-colored object that has appeared in his line of sight.

Of course, rocks don’t have eyes and cannot speak, but here they do.

Roxanne the rock is just like the male rock, his rock soul mate that completes him, but Mr. Rock’s wife cannot possibly understand him. (Typical “cheater think.”) 

Instead, Mr. Rock is stuck in “cheater think.” And in cheater think, irrational things appear to be completely rational.

So, it would follow that an object of a different shape and color, named Violet, understands Mr. Rock in ways that Roxanne the rock cannot, even though Violet is an object and probably not a rock at all.

Rocks symbolize foundations.

Objects do not.

Luckily, two playful humans came along and picked up the violet object and threw her in the water to see if she could “skip.”

And Violet could skip! Bye bye, Violet!

Well, that certainly stopped Mrs. Roxanne Rock and Mr. (Delusional) Rock from splitting their 401k’s and figuring out who would move to the other side of the beach, but it did not stop the delusions of Mr. Rock.

Mr. Rock will have to grieve an illusion.

His poor fake soulmate object was in one devastating act ripped away from him by callous humans who do not understand soulmates. Even though Mr. Rock’s soulmate was always Roxanne.

If these two rocks were humans, we would have just witnessed what most people call a both a devastating and devastatingly awkward situation.

Violet the soulmate object is now off to sea to find new adventures, just as Mr. Rock was planning to leave Roxanne.

Thankfully, a couple of humans came along and prevented Mr. Rock from making the stupidest mistake of his life…

But Mr. Rock will still remain stupid and delusional since Violet was stolen away by stranger. He will forever see Violet as the soulmate that was cast off to sea.

And what Mr. Rock said to Roxanne cannot be taken back…and Roxanne is speechless. It’s all about timing, right?

That’s where the panel ends. There is no closure for Roxanne or Mr. Rock, just the speechless limbo created by Mr. Rock’s delusions over a violet-colored object and his assertion:

“Roxanne, I am leaving you for Violet. She understands me like you never could.”

Those words can never be taken back.

What Was Violet?

Well, Violet appears to have been a violet-colored bottle of EOS hand lotion.

Violet was never a rock at all.

In fact, Violet was completely made of plastic and her name was not even Violet.  Her name was “Delicate Petals” and she was a plastic container with goo on the inside.

That sounds about right…

If these were humans, Delicate Petals would be a stripper with silicone implants in all parts of her body and her brain would be goo. There would be nothing stable there.

Who Is Your Violet?

Do you have a “Violet” aka Delicate Petals (or perhaps a Navy Blue) in your life who is a complete fraud and who has fooled you or your spouse?

If you do, tell us all about it.

To start the conversation, I will tell you about me and my ex. A former colleague sent me an email a couple of weeks ago and told me to check out my ex’s Facebook page. He has a public version and a private version.

I would hate to see what is in the private version, because the public version was appalling. For those of you who do not know my story, my ex who was probably a psychopath hooked up with a psychopath. Together they did terrible things and as a result, I got a nasty disease.

Well, there was no way I was going to play the pick-me-dance after that. There were times he did try, but failed. He married the other woman. And boy, by the likes of his public Facebook page, his life looks like a real hoot. (Sarcasm).

I have noticed that in a relationship, the emotionally stronger person often sets the tone. My ex was someone where I had to set the tone of the relationship. And when I did, I brought him up in the world. (I also set the tone in my marriage).

Well, my ex married someone who also set the tone. And apparently, from those who have met her, she has an extremely volatile temper and no one knows what will set her off and when she will start throwing plates. As a result, my ex perpetually walks on eggshells.

After I saw the Facebook page… I realized I had a longitudinal study on my hands. It’s an N of one but it supports that anytime people marry when they met as affair partners, life with the other person is NOT nearly as great as they thought it would be.

After all, when you trade DOWN, your life will not be a good one. You trade down anytime you cheat on your loyal spouse and leave them for your affair partner. It takes a certain type of person to have an affair with a married person. If a person is willing to do that, you have all the information you need to know: they would make a HORRIBLE life partner.

 

When Affair Partners Marry: 9 Reasons Why They Might Fail

 

Why?

Because someone who would cheat with a person they know is married and attempt to break up the marriage is someone who:

  • Is selfish
  • Lacks empathy
  • Is ruthless
  • Unstable
  • And who will turn on YOU

Yes, they will eventually turn on you. They have no boundaries, no sense of loyalty, no sense of proprietary, and no sense of ethics or ethical obligations.  If you, a cheater, divorces and married the other person, your life will not be peachy.

I have warned you.

But, do me a favor… don’t break it off with your affair partner because I have told you that you will have a REALLY crummy life. Break it off with your affair partner because you realize your current spouse is the one you want.

In Summary

This article was short and self-explanatory. So, I wanted to share a story that I just read about Warren Buffett. Warren Buffet talked about how success is greatly linked to the people you surround yourself with.

Warren Buffett said that he would have made money if he had not met and married his wife, Suzy, but he would not have been happy. He said as a young man he was greatly socially-impaired and adrift as a person. Warren believes his wife, Suzy, is his greatest hero because she brought him up to her level. Suzy is the person who made Warren Buffett who he is.

Why?

Because Suzy had the maturity, intelligence, social grace, patience, and ethical boundaries that made Warren Buffett soar. Warren said he would have been wealthy, but never happy or fulfilled unless he had met Suzy. Being married to his wife and staying married to her has been Warren Buffett’s greatest asset. And if you don’t believe me, go read articles where Warren discusses his marriage.

Readers: What is going on in your life this week? Let us know in the comment section below.

 

Featured Download: “The Top 10 Reasons to Leave Your Affair Partner Now”

If you’re the unfaithful, get it, read it and carefully consider the advice. If you’re the betrayed, give it to your unfaithful spouse.

 

 

    51 replies to "The Illusion and the Delusion of People Who Have Affairs"

    • H

      If only someone had come along and stopped the affairs. Even if the words were out there already. I am sure if I was in that situation I would have thought that was horrible. Don’t we all? It does not matter what level of betrayal there is, it all hurts.

      Knowing what I know now I feel that the way my husband saw himself compared to me fed into his ability to betray me. And interesting enough the friend that introduced him to both women thought I was to snobby, fancy, affluent, rich, whatever else he called me. It is truly who you surround yourself with. I can see my husband did not learn that or maybe he felt better about himself with keeping low life company. We had talked about this person and how it was disrespectful how he treated me and what he said about me. He ended up lying and never telling me he spent time with that friend or communicated with him. I can see where the cracks began. Who knows what else that friend said to him about any topic. All of his other friends are not that way at all. But it takes just one in my husband’s case.

      My parents taught me that it is better to be alone than to be around others who do not make you better. Even as a kid I could understand that. And I would rather have one good friend than a huge group but not have them be quality and/or dependable friends.

    • Better days

      In my situation, my wife(of almost 20 years) and her AP-coworker sort of rushed right through the whole “just friends” stage and were right into a relationship(4 weeks into her new job). They were both obviously fully open to have it play out the way it did. According to her, it started with compliments both ways. She says she ate it up. Then the compliments turned into those of comparison. You’re a great husband, father, professional, etc.. I wish my husband did this or that the way you do. My wife told me how awful his wife/marriage is. After discovery I had a few conversations with the AP’s wife and she had the same story about our marriage. When they do their complaining it seems they leave out half of the story. Sure, she does the laundry, pays bills, etc.. I’m sure she never pointed out the amount I was doing around the house, how would that justify their existence? Just like he never said to my wife the amount of work his wife was doing in their partnership. She was lazy and naggy according to my wife.

      And our marriage did get stagnate and emotionless over the course of their nearly year long relationship, as I’m sure the AP’s did. I can look back now and see the exact day things started to change. We worked a block apart and carpooled everyday. We walked during a break or lunch most days. Until one day I got a call claiming work is just too busy for walks anymore. I was understanding and supportive. Only to find out, she didn’t miss a single break or lunch, she was just spending that time with someone else.

      Anyway, my outlook has always been that you need a certain amount in common, but need enough differences to hopefully compliment each others strengths and weaknesses. Who knows, nowadays it seems I’ve gotten it all wrong.

    • Sarah P.

      H,
      Warren Buffett says we become the people we keep closest to us. I believe that to be true to some extent. It appears your spouse was influenced by someone who was jealous and wanted to cause trouble. Don’t these people have anything better to do that ensure their married friend cheats? (Or they attempt to help it along. Cheating is a choice but the low life friend plots due to jealousy and creates opportunity). Very sad.

    • Sarah P.

      Better Days,
      I am sorry to hear about your wife. And no, you don’t get anything wrong. That is, you are not the problem. Infidelity is made up of 95% fantasy. And the fantasy is generated in the mind of the person cheating. They project all these qualities that are NOT there onto the affair partner. I believe they do it because they are bored, sonething is lacking in them, or maybe they are too lazy to work on a marriage when someone is serving themselves up hot on a platter.

      I have great compassion for your situation and it must have been quite a betrayal. I am very sorry. How can we help?

      Sarah

    • Sarah P.

      Anybody else have Violet’s or Navy Blue’s that your spouse is still idealizing?

      I am going to tell you a sad story. It’s TMI about my own life. My dad has been developing serious signs of dementia. He has always loved music and he also is interested in connecting more to his ancestral roots in Scandinavia, Scotland, and Ireland. I sent him a song by Celtic woman that uses a little Gaelic and also tells the tale of ill-fated love stories when elves and humans fall in love. I called him and asked him if he liked it. He said he did. But he especially liked the blond violinist. I agreed that she is insanely talented. That wasn’t what my dad wanted to talk about. He reminded me of a trip we took to the British Isles in 1984. We spent the summer there. His mom (grandma) came and paid for the trip. My dad said on the flight to Dublin there was a stewardess that looked like the blond violinist. I said that was cool. And my dad said, “When I spotted her and she spotted me, there was instant recognition and it was spooky because I think we must have lived a past life together.” I was flabbergasted. I asked where my mom was. He said my mom was sitting next to him the whole time. (My parents are still married). And I asked if my mom noticed this profound connection with the stewardess. He said he didn’t think so. And then he went on and on about a stewardess who served him drinks for a total of 30 minutes during a flight from London to Dublin. He was sure there was a profound connection because of how she smiled at him. I just listened and didn’t question his reality. My dad had never said such a thing in my entire life. And I know it’s coming from a place of dementia. And I am looking at how closely dementia mirrors the affair fog. A person is totally disconnected from reality in both cases. And no I did not tell my mom. She has enough stress.

    • Sarah P.
    • Chumpedagain

      H has been having an affair for over 4 yrs. started as friends and texting. He is 60 with 2 grown kids she is 45 with a 10 yr old. Many D days with him always promising to leave her. Says he loves me will never be with her full time. At this point , I am basically living my life in same house but doing my own thing. We own a family business so leaving , although not impossible would be very hard. For the most part I’m ok with doing my own thing. I have many friends and interests and adult children. The problem is he wants me to act like a wife and socialize with him as well. CAKE. I said no. Roommates work until I figure out what I want. Our living seperate lives has not been appealing to him so now he wants a complete life with me and to just “ talk” to her once in a while. I said NO. Now he is reevaluating his stance. And he said she’s too young, he couldn’t handle another child, ( 10 yr old) ,his life is with me , our house , kids and money so he knows he needs to dump her. I do NOT want a man that wants to stay married because of the above. I find it insulting and havetold him this. I read about the affair fog and I totally get it. But I believe he really loves her. I have seen text messages. Not just infatuation but real love. I would like to try again and go to counseling. But I feel that if I force the issue he will dump her because I forced him to. Does that make sense to anyone? If I forced him I would always worry that he was thinking about her and wondering.

    • Chumpedagain

      I know with almost 100% certainty that if I packed my bags and found a place he would dump her. I know he doesn’t want to lose his family respect and or lifestyle. Although dumping her would make me happy I want him to dump her for me. I want him to choose me. I don’t want to be the consolation prize.

      • H

        I think you need to decide what you want. Each person has to figure out what is okay. Marriages are all different situations. My suggestion would be to meet with a therapist just yourself and also an attorney. For me having all the information is critical for me to make the best decisions. One thing I found with betrayal is nothing makes sense that they did. I could go on and on. My husband now does not remember many things he did or said pre and post dday. I think he was in survival mode. This entire process takes time and a lot of work.

        From what you shared it seems you do not want to continue living this way but you don’t want to force his hand since you feel he will choose you but for the wrong reasons. I think by working with a therapist you can figure this out. For me I took time to figure out if I wanted to work towards saving our marriage. That was up to me. Once I decided then I set the boundaries and expectations. At that point it was up to my husband. I watched to see if his actions matched his words. You can get very specific what you want and need. And if he cannot follow through or you are not on the same page then you have your answer. And meeting with the attorney does not mean you will do anything but they might be able to provide information especially with the family business.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Chumped
        I think H has given you some really good advice. Ask yourself the hard questions. What are you willing to put up with and what is your bottom line? Also what is it you want??

        After d-day I told my husband in no uncertain terms not to do me any favors….he should only stay if he really wanted to be with me. I told him I loved him and wanted to work on the marriage but I would survive should he decide to go. Like everyone else here I was shattered and I told myself It was okay to not know if we were going to make it. I gave myself permission to grieve. There were times I wanted to give up….five years later I’m glad I didn’t.

        • Sarah P.

          Chumped I agree with Shifting Impressions. She is one of the “wise women” here. We have a metaphorical circle of them and she is one of them. 🙂

          And I think this year I should probably develop that concept more.

          In ancient cultures, there were circles of wise women in tribes. They were revered for their life experience and hard-won knowledge. A blog is like an online village and I am interested in exploring this concept more this year. It seems like an interesting one and we have several members from early on who make up this metaphorical circle in my mind. TryingHard, Hopeful, ExerciseGrace, StrengthRequired, and all the other wise women, how have you been?

    • Stephanie

      Hi Sara
      You should watch the documentary on warren Buffet . Because him and his wife did not live together their whole marriage because he had a relationship with suzy’s Friend who was also their family friend . I do believe he loved Suzy dearly and remained devoted to her but she never lived with him after his relationship.

      • Sarah P.

        Stephanie,
        Oh wow… thank you for that important information!!!!

        I was reading a book about Warren Buffett and SOMEHOW they failed to mention that!! It was spun as if Warren Buffett’s wife Suzy was always his rock, his partner, and his true love. There was no mention of his indiscretion. Well, I guess the editors who helped with the book were also “spin doctors.” Because I am flabbergasted this was NOT mentioned anywhere.

        Now I do NOT doubt it because wealth and power brings out the worst in people. In fact, when I was reading the book I was questioning that… how could such a man stay loyal?

        Well, I guess he didn’t!! Shame on him and thank you for this important information. I should probably re-write the summary on this article.

        Sarah

    • Stephanie

      Dear dumped again , I once read somewhere on here that when a cheating spouse chooses their marriage over AP any reason is a good reason because it’s a start . If your husband is prepared to do the work that it takes to recover and help you recover than staying and trying to work on it becomes a bit acceptable .but if your husband is stonewalling and sweeping it under the proverbial rug your recovery will stall and you and your self esteem and self worth will be stripped little by little . It has taken me two years through our recovery ( and my husband has done everything he possible can to help me and us recover) to decide wether I want to stay in this marriage . Your decision will not be made over night and that’s ok . Sit with it , watch your husband ask yourself can I be happy with him ? Is he capable of self reflecting and not blaming you for his affair? Can he take responsibility for the pain he has caused . Will he ever uunderstand that if you stay you will bare the consequences for his poor choices not him. You will carry all of it by choosing to stay . I wish you the best in your recovery what ever choices you make.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Stephanie
        That is wonderful advice….I like the phrase, “sit with it”. I am a big believer in taking the time to ask yourself the hard questions.

    • Jeremiah

      Sarah, I am curious of your overall stance on cheaters, because this piece makes it sound as if they can never change.
      My wife and I went through what was honestly our only rough patch in our 10 year marriage (other than when she almost died in a car accident early in our marriage and I had to be a constant caretaker for about 3 months, but that was rough because of the circumstances of the accident and her injuries) and it lasted for about 3-4 months. We were both frustrated with all of the stuff going on at that time, and we didn’t have huge fights or anything, we were just generally angry and didn’t talk much. I didn’t become some huge jerk during this time, I just wasn’t kind like I always had been. (although we still had good days where everything seemed normal) One day I snapped out of it, told her I was sorry for the way I was acting, and changed immediately…which wasn’t hard because I just went back to being myself. Despite a few arguments, a few times where she hinted that she was still frustrated about life, our life progressed seemingly as normal and we seemed to get better also. Then she confesses the affair. I was floored; I had suspected a couple of times something might be going on, but there was only one time where she ran a triathlon with a co-worker that I confronted her and interrogated her hard. But she said it was just because he was a veteran runner and helped her with her training plan. He is 16 years older, ugly as hell and because he’s 50 he’s starting to look it, you know? So I thought ‘okay there’s no way she’s cheating on me with THIS guy’ I’m attractive, she always says I’m the more attractive one in the relationship although I deny this every time, I’ve always stayed fit, I’m a great father, and we had always had a great friendship in our loving marriage. But nope, that was the guy she cheated with; the physical part started a week after our 10th anniversary, I made my apology on our anniversary. So she carried on the affair for 6 months after. After studying affairs I know that a big reason is the emotional affair had already started.
      So back to my question: she confessed the affair to me after she ended it, and I never would have found out otherwise; she has also taken complete blame for it, wrote and read a 15 page apology and explanation letter to me, not withheld any details I wanted to know, and actively worked on recovery. She has cut off contact with the AP and also wrote him a letter saying she regrets everything and wishes they had never met. (I also confronted the old fart and made him piss his pants) She explained that her tendency to stuff her feelings, run from conflict, and then act out of pure emotion are the flaws in her that led her down the affair path.
      They were both married. The guy is a jackass, he wasn’t going to tell his wife at all.
      Hearing this, do you stick with your conclusion that a cheater makes a horrible life partner forever?
      We are doing well overall, partly because of all the steps she has taken after the affair.
      Thoughts?

      • Sarah P.

        Jeremiah,

        Thank you for comment and I am VERY sorry to hear everything you have been through with your wife. Her affair partner sounds horrible. I wish people who were open to affairs had neons signs on their head saying: “don’t go here.” Then us good people could find each other and have loyal marriages.

        Are you new to the blog? If you are, you will not be familiar with volumes of posts I have written about how to restore marriages. But, that is not your fault because of the way the blog is organized. We have not had the time to re-do it where new readers can find things easily by topics. (That’s on a list, but there are only three of us here and we have many projects going).

        So yes, there is HOPE. You happened to come upon one of my very short and very satirical posts. Yes, you can restore your marriage with a cheater. This is actually a pro-marriage and pro-family blog and I have many research-based articles that do deep dives into all aspects of affairs. Recovering a marriage often hinges on finding a therapist who knows affair recovery and all of the aspects that affect a marriage apart from an affair. Of course, the people involved in the marriage also count– if you find yourself married to a serial adulterer, you must cut and run! There is NO working it out with serial adulterers unless strict measures are taken.

        It can happen, but the serial adulterer must initiate the recovery and want the marriage. Recovery can certainly happen there, but the adulterer must want the spouse and the family more than anything else in their life. I can help people in those situations and have great outcomes. But, the serial adulterer must want it with all their heart.

        As for horrible life partners… I was mainly referring to someone who DIVORCES their spouse for their affair partner and marries their affair partner. I was referring to someone who leaves divorces their spouse to marry an affair partner. The affair partner they marry, won’t make a great life partner.

        You and your wife are NOT divorced and your wife has made much effort to reconcile. So she doesn’t fall into that category of making a horrible life partner. She did NOT divorce you, she did not marry the other man, and she has made tremendous efforts to reconcile. That shows she has a conscience. So no I do not believe she will make a horrible life partner at all. From what I can gather, she was probably targeted and groomed by an older man who knew how to manipulate a younger woman.

        Hint: When men in their 50’s divorce and remarry a 30-year-old, it is because of POWER DYNAMICS. Sure, there is a slightly younger body (possibly) but the woman has not yet become world wise and she is able to be manipulated. That’s why these middle-aged men target much younger women. I assume your wife’s AP was such a man.

        Of course, her AP did not divorce, but if he did, he would target a much younger women.

        I can sense the intention and predatory nature behind your wife’s AP.

        Please don’t let this one post and “Violet the object, color your view” about affair recovery. This was a post intended to allow readers to release steam over their spouse’s affair. This post has truth to it, but it is also satirical.

        How do you feel about your marriage? Do you have hope? I have hope. But, do you?

        Sarah

    • Trusting God

      I would call my husband’s affair partner “Vivacious, Voluptuous Violet” (aka Crystal)…haha. Not meaning to make light but that’s the first name I thought of for her after looking at the cartoon captions. The reality is that she portrayed a FANTASY. I equate her with the woman in the book of proverbs that the father warns his son about, if you know the Bible you’ll know what I mean.

      His AP was/is a co-worker; he still works there but works a different shift so he doesn’t see her anymore. At least, that I know of. It was an emotional affair. At least, that I know of. I believe this affair lasted for about 1 1/2 years, and D day was last February 2018.

      The fallout, devastation, unraveling, and consequences have been a year long so far, and are going to be continuing and ongoing, at least for the foreseeable future. My husband and I have been in counseling for the last year, and we separated in September 2018. His choice.

      There are a lot of contributing factors that we are learning through counseling, one of which is his untreated ADHD. (I also read a lot on my own.) This has been a recent and profound discovery. How devastating that alone can be. It is finally being treated with medication and therapy. His choice.

      I don’t know if our marriage will survive all that has happened since D-Day. but I have definitely gotten stronger since this all came about. It’s certainly not at all what I wanted for my life, for my marriage, nor for my future, our future. But I certainly can’t change what has happened, and I definitely cannot control the choices of another person.

      My husband and I split our finances about 2 months before he moved. Up to that time we were on a track leading to financial ruin. Since then, I have become much more financially stable and he has gone in the opposite direction.

      I think I have adjusted to being alone. There are times when I am truly lonely and miss him. I miss having an intimate partner. But I don’t miss the chaos, the instability, the uncertainties, the disagreements, etc. I think I miss the “idea” of him, and I definitely grieve for what could have been.

      Sarah P., I appreciate very much your contributions through this blog and comments. Thank you for your input into our lives. and I definitely grieve for what could have been.

      • Sarah P.

        Dear Trusting God,

        Yes, I do know what advice you are referring to from the Bible. Even though this is a secular blog, I read the Bible, the Torah, and spend time in prayer each day. There is no label for me, so I refer to myself is someone who is ‘spiritual’ and who believes in the One God of Judeo-Christianity.

        For those who don’t know the advice from the Bible… here it is. It’s as relevant today as it was then. Why? Because humans will never change. All the same drama repeats itself each generation.

        Avoid Immoral Women – Proverbs 5-7: New Living Translation (I am a KJV person, but if people who don’t study the linguistics of the KJV, it can be hard to read. Thus, I present the NLT):

        5 My son, pay attention to my wisdom;
        listen carefully to my wise counsel.
        2 Then you will show discernment,
        and your lips will express what you’ve learned.
        3 For the lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey,
        and her mouth is smoother than oil.
        4 But in the end she is as bitter as poison,
        as dangerous as a double-edged sword.
        5 Her feet go down to death;
        her steps lead straight to the grave.[a]
        6 For she cares nothing about the path to life.
        She staggers down a crooked trail and doesn’t realize it.

        7 So now, my sons, listen to me.
        Never stray from what I am about to say:
        8 Stay away from her!
        Don’t go near the door of her house!
        9 If you do, you will lose your honor
        and will lose to merciless people all you have achieved.
        10 Strangers will consume your wealth,
        and someone else will enjoy the fruit of your labor.
        11 In the end you will groan in anguish
        when disease consumes your body.
        12 You will say, “How I hated discipline!
        If only I had not ignored all the warnings!
        13 Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers?
        Why didn’t I pay attention to my instructors?
        14 I have come to the brink of utter ruin,
        and now I must face public disgrace.”

        15 Drink water from your own well—
        share your love only with your wife.[b]
        16 Why spill the water of your springs in the streets,
        having sex with just anyone?[c]
        17 You should reserve it for yourselves.
        Never share it with strangers.

        18 Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you.
        Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
        19 She is a loving deer, a graceful doe.
        Let her breasts satisfy you always.
        May you always be captivated by her love.
        20 Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral woman,
        or fondle the breasts of a promiscuous woman?

        21 For the Lord sees clearly what a man does,
        examining every path he takes.
        22 An evil man is held captive by his own sins;
        they are ropes that catch and hold him.
        23 He will die for lack of self-control;
        he will be lost because of his great foolishness.

        ****

        Well, I hope I don’t offend anyone. But, the Bible truly has the answers to everything- if you care to look. Many “religious people” are hypocrites even when they know better. But never get the hypocrite confused with the Bible. Some of the worst adulterers I have encountered refer to themselves as Christians. These people are NOT Christians. They are hiding in the church. So, never confuse the Bible with the hypocrites who pretend to be “Christ followers.” These people are not Christ followers.

        Trusting God, have you ever printed out these verses from Proverbs for your husband? No one likes to have a terrible life… maybe they will put the ‘fear of God’ into him. But note, it is not God who punishes… it is a person who shackles himself by his actions. His sins punish him; not God.

        Trusting God, if you desire companionship, you can have it. Of course we miss what we thought we had. Of course we grieve for what could have been. That’s called being human. And it is VERY hard.

        But, what could have been actually could NOT have been because someone who has an affair and essentially goes crazy would not be able to provide the life we wanted. They could not have provided “what could have been.” It’s a paradox, but if you understand it, it can be freeing.

        Thank you so much for your appreciative comment about my work on the blog. I am one person, just like everyone else, a wife, a mom, and someone who dedicates much time to this blog solely for the good of others.

        Big hugs to you,
        Sarah

    • Better days

      Chumped,

      In my mind, at least at the time, it didn’t matter the reason or what was going on in her mind. I confronter her a few days after I found out (a Wednesday) and already had a guys camping trip planned for the coming weekend. I made it clear, that when I got back, absolute changes were going to take place. Either, one of us was leaving or it was going to be completely clear to me their relationship was over. She maintained prior to me leaving that it was already over. It was only sort of over. Later she has admitted that their first conversations were along the lines of “we need to lay low/take a break” sort of agreement. As I pressed in the following week or so and it became more clear what was going on and the evidence I dug up to show the lies(minimizing) were continuing, I came down real hard for the truth. I believe by the mid following week final ties were cut when she revealed a truer picture of their relationship.

      I agree with others, especially “H” above, regardless of what’s going on in his head, I would need to make some choices of my own. Either accept the continued cheating with your terms or not. If not, put a plan into action. You at least have the advantage of not being in the trickling of truth stage while you are trying to make these choices.

    • kittypone

      That’s exactly the way I feel. Like the consolation prize. She’s the one who dumped my h and ended things. She always told him that she would not leave her own husband for mine, so he was aware that he was always the second choice, but still, he would’ve chosen her over me. He claims to want to restore our marriage, he comes to couples therapy with me, but I feel that he is neither “broken” about his affair nor is he aggressively trying to win me over….it’s mire like he’s waiting for the storm to pass and allow the waters to recede and then everything will go back to the way things were before his affair and it will stay in the past and no mention of it will ever surface again…..does he really think that things will go back to the way we were before his affair? When trust is so absolutely, completely broken? How can I ever believe ANYTHING he ever says again?

      • Sarah P.

        Kittypone,

        Any time someone has an affair, they have broken the terms of the marriage contract. (To forsake all others and to be united with the spouse til death do them part…) They have broken that part of the contract. It is up to a wayward spouse to restore TRUST.

        Trust is now earned and not given. A wayward spouse now must bear the burden of restoring your trust. That is the wayward spouse’s job and also their issue. They must restore what they broke.

        You need to tell him that until he takes measures to BE a trustworthy person and for him to be trustworthy for a period of time, you will not be able to trust him. He must now take ownership.

        I am very sorry that your husband had an affair and is still caught up in illusions.

        Your husband must now create a marriage 2.0 that is better than your marriage prior to his affair. Time machines do not exist and he must understand, he must build a new marriage.

        How would he feel if you told him that?

        Big hugs,
        Sarah

        • H

          I agree with all that Sarah said. I think it is so hard and takes a long time. And the marriage 2.0 much like Esther Perel describes was an important focus for us once we moved past betrayal. I knew intellectually for a long time he was not going to cheat again but emotionally it has taken longer and I still struggle at times.

          We went through many phases. I have talked about it before but we scheduled a weekly time to talk . This worked well for both of us. We ended up focusing on our marriage/relationship after we were past the betrayal stuff. This also is a crazy process. My husband broke it off with both ow 15 months before dday on his own. I thought he was past it all. Well a year after dday it hit him what he did. Before that he was either repressing it all or focused on me. He talks about every day he lives his life with 100% transparency and authenticity. I could go on and on but this took a long time to get through it all and a lot of work and commitment from both of us. He is literally a different person. I could go on and on. We both wish we could turn back time and have a do over. He admits he took us to the brink of destruction for our family. What I honestly have learned is the saddest thing is he has to live with the fact he betrayed himself first and foremost. That is why he has to do the work and figure it out for himself. None of this was because of me or towards me. Hang in there and figure out what you need and want

    • Sarah P.

      Sorry for all typos. I am often typing on my phone and there is nothing like typing on a phone to create typos. Also my brain moves a million miles a minute. The thumbs are still catching up.

    • Kittypone

      Sarah, thank you so much for your response! You are so right! HE’S the one who should be doing all of the hard, dirty work restoring our marriage! He’s the one who broke his vows and lusted after another man’s wife! They never met in person as it was an online and emotional affair, but boy! after almost two years, it still hurts like crazy! And those triggers!! They’re NO JOKE!! Some days I feel like a raving lunatic and others I feel like Mother Teresa herself! Please tell me that I’m NOT going crazy and that this, too, shall pass!! I don’t think that I have much feelings for my husband anymore, but 30 years married is nothing to sneeze at, either….I don’t know that I would want to start from scratch with someone else at this point in my life…..

    • Stephanie

      Sarah, regarding warren buffet . There is an excellent documentary on warren buffet . He’s in it , all his kids , Suzy and the other woman . They show his small office and his house . It’s really good and worth watching .

    • Sarah P.

      Kittypone,

      You are NOT going crazy. You are “going sane.” This is how every normal human being feels and goes through after they find out what their spouse did. You are in the middle of processing a betrayal, my friend, and I can assure you that this too shall pass. Yes, emotional roller coasters happen and that’s okay. That too is NORMAL. You have lots of support here and I can say this too will pass. I have been through it. It HURTS, but it passes. It’s a process- never forget that. And all processes come to an end. The pain will come to an end.

      But never forget- it is up to him to rebuild your trust in him.

      And the most important thing: you control you. You need to give your husband a reality check. You could grab a credit card, pay for a professional make over, buy some new clothes, and then go on errands alone. When you get home you can ignore your husband (while looking great).

      Am I telling you to have an affair?

      Absolutely not.

      Women forget they are still desirable after their husband’s affair. Getting a full make over, dressing up, and going to movies alone will create a reality check for any cheating husband. In fact, you might want to look your husband in the face and say he is lucky that you have not gone out and found someone better… someone who has not cheated on you.

      Am I being mean or immoral?

      Heck no.

      But one thing I have learned after doing many years of infidelity work is that every husband takes notice when a wife gets a major make over, goes and pursues hobbies without him, and develops an air of indifference. By doing this she takes her control back.

      The only power a cheater has is the power you give them. And there are many things you can do to take your power back that are NOT immoral or wrong. Finding new hobbies, new female friends, developing yourself as a person, exercising, and setting boundaries can change your life. Most of all, your husband must know that you will be okay without him.

      Big hugs,
      Sarah

    • Kittypone

      Sarah

      You are giving me very sound advice. D-day happened almost 2 years ago (February 25) but he swears by all that’s holy that they were done and finished by June 25th 2017. We were to be let go from our jobs, we were about to become homeless, my children were not forgiving their dad for this trespass and I even spent a week in a psych ward for uncontrolled rage that wanted to kill him (luckily, my therapist saw the signs and recommended I admitted myself to the hospital before the blood literally started flowing) so, the worst part of the crisis has been over. I tend to believe when he says that she is no longer in the picture. My sixth sense is not all up in arms as before, when he would deny that they were still communicating when they clearly were. He appears to have come out of the affair fog and is now focused on God, family and work. He comes to couple’s therapy with me and acknowledges his wrongdoings and his mistakes. I should be happy with all of this, right? WRONG. I don’t see the brokenness in him for having destroyed my world. I don’t see the eagerness to win me over and woo me back to fall in love with him again. I don’t hear him ever saying to me “I love you” EVER. (I don’t tell him either, but that’s because he completely assasinated any feelings I ever had for him). I have never been a slob with my appearance. I went through a gastric surgery (before discovering his affair) and while recovering from that is when D-day happened and that triggered a very unhealthy emotional state and I lost 120 lbs in about 8 months (talk about the ultimate makeover!!!!) my hair was thinning out, so I got a gorgeous hair cut, and now being smaller for the first time in over 25 years, I can wear so many choices of clothes that were not an option for me before, and I can tell you without any conceit whatsoever that I LOOK GOOD. Even better than when I was younger. I dabbled for a bit in Match.com when it looked that my marriage was not gonna make it, and I can tell you, there were a couple of hundred guys that approached me and a few that I even consented to meet face to face (which I never did, ultimately, but the opportunity was there). All of this to say, that we are not in the worst part of the crisis as, say, one year ago; but neither are we out of the woods yet. I am slowly giving him by degrees a bit of indifference and have told him REPEATEDLY that I DON’T NEED HIM to stay alive or even thrive. Just so he knows where I stand; and yes, he appears to want to stay in the marriage more than I do. Let’s see where God will take me in this process, but I value immensely the support and input I receive from this blog, so I’m not leaving any time soon. You can take that to the bank!!

    • Shifting Impressions

      Kittypone
      Don’t be to hard on yourself….it takes a long time to get over betrayal. It really is a roller coaster ride of emotions. You are right….thirty years of marriage is nothing to sneeze at. My d-day came a few weeks before our fortieth wedding anniversary, so trust me, I get it.

      For the first three years I cried almost everyday. I struggled with a deep sorrow and and sense of loss that was at times completly overwhelming. And yes there was rage as well. Although I didn’t say the words to my husband I also didn’t care if he thrived or as you say whether he lived or died.

      But slowly very slowly the feelings started to return. I started to see his remorse and as time went on he was more able to understand how much he hurt me. I don’t know if he will ever understand the depth of pain he caused but is trying.

      It has been five years now and we are still together and moving forward. I would be lying if I said I didn’t still struggle somewhat. I am not sorry that I stayed. We had too much history together to just walk away.

    • Kittypone

      Shifting Impressions

      I appreciate your words more than you’ll ever know…..my struggles with him is that he might feel some remorse for his actions, but he is not ACTING remorseful…..he might feel that he loves me, but he doesn’t TELL me…..did your love for your husband return, full force like when you first married him? My fear is that the little spark of care I do feel will sputter and die just for lack of nurturing on his part since he’s not doing a whole lot to woo me again…..I’ve decided to keep doing as Sarah P. suggested and just keep doing me and see where that takes me in this road of recovery…..thank you, all, for your comments and stories….it does make me feel like there is a whole community of people supporting me and cheering me on!! You guys rock!!

      • Hopeful

        Kittypone, You have so much great advice from Sarah and Shifting Impressions. I do want to say I feel like I love my husband more than ever now. It is different. It is not so idealistic. It was crushing and hurt so much. We both wish we could go back in time and he could make different choices. He had all the tools and knowledge but did the worst thing he could do. It has taken a lot of work from both of us. We are in such a different place. It is an entirely different level. I would never say it is the best thing that happened to us but we would have never been this close if it were not for his betrayal. For me it took watching his actions and seeing if they matched his words. He lives his life with 100% transparency and authenticity. He is the happiest he has ever been in his life. For me it took a while to get here. It hurt what he did to me/us but in the end when I take a step back the worst thing he did was he betrayed himself. I think that is why it is hard for the wayward to work through this. They have to face hurting the person they loved the most and also face themselves. Anyone who cheats on any level has to be filled with self hate. That is no way to live.

        We did many things to get to where we are today. One thing is I set very specific boundaries and expectations. It was up to him what he did. Then I also feel that working through this together brought us so close together. I remember reading in a book (I forget which one now) talking about how it is odd the person that hurt you most now is the person that helps you heal. I would say that is true for both of us. My husband is so grateful that I chose to put the work in to see if it made sense for us to stay together. Hang in there!

      • Shifting Impressions

        Kittypone
        That’s a hard question….it was such bag of mixed emotions. My gut was screaming that something was wrong during the EA (lasted about 18 months) but I didn’t know what it was. When I inadvertently stumbled across the emails, I was shattered and went into shock. The first year was HELL!! He ended the affair immediately but was difficult to live with as I am sure I was as well. Most of our “talks” ended by going completely off the rails. My husband (same as Hopful’s husband) had all the tools. Years of working in the mental field world on a volunteer basis…and many psychology courses under the belt.

        Just as I was starting to make a of bit headway there was another d-day. An EA from almost twenty years earlier came to light. Discovering that explained why my gut had been screaming all those years ago. That set us back, as he minimized and refused to go for counseling with me.

        Also, my mother passed away very suddenly about five months after d-day….the grief of my husband’s betrayal and my mother’s death just got all muddled together. And yes there is tremendous anger in grief. Then almost a year to the day a dear sister in law passed away suddenly….again the grief sent me spiraling down.

        I think I never really stopped loving my husband….the grief and all that entails took over.

        I understand your struggle with having expectations of your husband ACTING remorseful. I had to take a step back with that. Slowly and I mean painfully slowly, we were able to have those difficult conversations. He started to let me voice my pain….he started to hear what I was saying. I started to see true remorse in his eyes.

        I went for personal counseling and had a few very close friends that were wonderfully supportive. I also did a lot of reading. I found tremendous support on this site.

        The book IT TAKES ONE TO TANGO by Winnifred Reilly was one of the books that really spoke to me. It helped me with taking a step back and realizing I can’t make my partner do anything but there is power in my own response.

        The thing is my husband is a very easy man to love. Great father, good friend, good brother…he is always ready to give someone a hand. He was my best friend…when he betrayed me, it broke me.

        But the loving feelings slowly started sneaking back into my heart about three or four years after d-day. And in someways we are closer because of what we have been through. I think one of the hardest things is we are left with fighting a battle of epic proportions after our partners cheat. It’s a fight we didn’t ask for but here we are. We struggle with the why’s, the what’s and even the where’s. We wish it never happened but nothing we do can change what happened.

        That was probably more than you asked for. I hope it helps somewhat.

        • Hopeful

          Shifting Impressions, I love how our responses have many similarities. I would have never thought this would have been me writing everything I did above. It is a strange journey. I agree that reading helped me. I read a ton. My favorite book was Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass. I also devoured the John Gottman books. Another good read is the article in The Atlantic, Masters of Love. It is really good. My husband brought that one home from work. I think something like that is more approachable since it is shorter than a book for the wayward.

          I agree with SI too. It took time for my husband to not be defensive. We started by setting one time a week to talk about the betrayal. That way he knew it was coming vs me bringing it up all the time. Which I did a lot since it was all I thought about for the first 15 months at least. But this helped us clear the air. He was less defensive since he knew that we would be talking about it. Then the other time we spent together we focused on being together. I kept a journal too. That way I could look back and see how far I had come. It was hard for me to see when I was in the middle of it. Also I could see topics that kept resurfacing which I knew he, I or we had to address still.

          • Sarah P.

            Hopeful,
            Can you tell Kittypone your story in case she has not read it?

            • Hopeful

              Yes of course! I hate to repeat too much but you are right with new people all the time it makes sense.

              We had been together since we were very young in college. Dday happened after 25+ years of being together. My husband is a mental health professional. We made choices to focus on his career. He was also very focused on his friends from childhood and his family. I was always independent so it seemed to work well. He was the one who pushed for marriage and even having kids. Fast forward to dday. He was out of town and left his ipad behind. Late at night I heard a ping and it woke me up. There were some odd texts with a girl/woman and his friends. That night I stayed up taking photos of everything I could find on his ipad. I had no idea what I was looking at but I felt like it was the right thing to do. I also found a fake/secret FB and email that night. He had never had any social media but here it was…

              On dday he admitted flirting with women while out of town with is friends. Then he launched into how it was more than that. That he had two affairs. On dday he minimized the two affairs. Kind of made them sound more like one night stands (but with a few more than one night). One thing he did tell me that was accurate was he broke up with both of them about 15 months before dday on his own. He had minimal contact but nothing for a while. Of course my world came crashing down around me. I was a mess. I really only knew what society had told me through books, tv and movies. Due to his professional bg that helped us some since he told me that what I was thinking was not accurate and blaming myself was not right.

              Lots of ups and downs but really things did not add up over the next five months. I confronted him over and over. In the end there was a dday 2 which basically he admitted to the affairs overlapping and lasting longer (10 years total). This was way harder than dday 1 for me. The lowest point for me/us was between month 5 and 9 months after dday 1. The entire first year was me coping and processing this trauma. At about a year things felt much better. We had set boundaries and expectations.

              This is when he started to struggle. He basically held it together for me for that year. The impact of what he had done was hitting him. He was happy to be in our marriage but the guilt and shame was a lot. He struggled with why he did it. Nothing really changed with us to cause his poor decisions and he knew it. He basically said when he left the house he did not think about me or the kids and did whatever he wanted. It was a lot for both of us to process.

              After dday 2 I went to a therapist on my own at his suggestion. He did not want to go due to his professional bg. My therapist agreed it was okay pending how things went moving forward. It went really well through this whole process. It was what I needed which in the end was best for me/us. It was amazing to have a person that I could talk to just for me. And the support from my therapist got me through the worst times.

              At times especially around 18 months I started to struggle again. Things felt normal. Almost like predday. Also my expectations were now elevated. Once I figured this out I brought it up right away. Also triggers continued. Not as much but still often enough. I learned to bring them up before or after as soon as I realized. I was determined he was going to go through this with me. What was surprising is often he had the same triggers and worries. He even had ones I never thought of.

              Through all of this we dealt with so much. Issues related to porn, drinking, relationships with family/friends. We had many ups and downs. I did lay it on the line from time to time to let him know not cheating was not enough for me. I wanted more from my marriage. He has opened up in many ways over the past almost four years. Earlier on it was in anger, upset, or frustration. He would tell me it was hard since he never felt like he could relax or have any fun (innocent as he says) since he was so worried about me. Then we got to a point where he has brought up how he is finally starting to like himself again (this took about three years). Or that he finally feels like he is the husband and dad he imagined he would and wanted to be when he was growing up.

              In the end the two biggest take aways for me are that 1. This will always be part of our story and something we deal with. Sometimes we have serious conversations and other times we joke about it! Always communicate as much as possible. 2. What surprised me the most is that in the end I realize he did this to himself. He betrayed himself first and foremost. I feel like I am collateral damage.

              And my last piece of advice is talk less, listen more. This was hard for me. I have been known to rant and/or go off on tangents. But just sitting there in silence allowing space for my husband to talk was when I learned the most about him.

              No matter what happens in the end you will be okay. And in the end you will be in the best spot for you! Find what can make you happy. Cooking, working out, music, walking, a new hobby, yoga, swimming… anything. I found a band and I listened to them all the time. It was my outlet and distraction.

              I am sure I glossed over some parts…four years is a long time on top of our entire lives….

    • Kittypone

      Hopeful/Shifting

      You are giving me great perspective. I know Rome wasn’t built in a day, so I don’t expect to be fully healed overnight. My h is just so anxious to put this behind him and I always interpret it as him wanting to sweep it under the rug and just move on and completely forget it ever happened. I don’t know what else to do or say to make him understand just the magnitude of brokenness his actions caused me. It made me see him in a light I’d never viewed him under before. I struggle so much just to feel some small degree of care for him because I had never had to face something like this ever before….my love for him was unconditional, and when he first “confessed” on D-day I was the one willing to sweep it under the rug and just move on with our lives, but when he just kept the affair going on with no real intentions of ending it, that’s when I started breaking and wondering if my marriage was going to make it at all….you both have been in my shoes so you understand the depth of anguish and pain that is felt in this situation….I truly want to believe that he wants to get ME back, but his wishy-washiness in taking the bull by the horns and just DOING what needs to get done is what gets my goat and so impatient with him…..I think I’ll just go and chant the Serenity Prayer a few hundred times to take my mind off of this affair for a while….

      • Shifting Impressions

        Kittypone/Hopeful
        I don’t think they realize how the “I just want to move forward line” causes so much pain in the BS. And yes they really just want it to be over but it just doesn’t work that way.

        I agree that there are many similarities in my and Hopeful’s responses. We also put aside a time once a week to talk. But often I had to fight for that hour. He didn’t want face what he had done. And just as Hopeful did….I kept a journal. It was for my eyes only and I poured out my feelings. Every once in awhile I also look back and see just how far we have come.

        I also found the book NOT JUST FRIENDS really helpful.

        I never thought I would find myself in this situation either and yes it is a very strange journey indeed. But I believe with all my heart that giving yourself permission to grieve and really feel all the pain and anger is far healthier than just skimming over it and forgiving too soon. I believe the process simply can’t be rushed or bypassed.

        Don’t be too hard on yourself….we are here for you.

        • Sarah P.

          Agreed, NOT JUST FRIENDS is amazing.

    • Sarah P.

      Hopeful,
      New folks are always stopping in so don’t worry about telling your story too much. There is no such thing as telling one’s story too much. People are always eager to read and of course as time progress we all get new insights into our story and those advances in our thinking show up. It’s always helpful.

      Here is a question to you. Do you respect your husband?

      The reason I ask is because I have always had what I call an “off-switch” in my brain. Anytime I am in an intimate relationship, I always warn a guy many times what I am about. I warn a guy hundreds of times. I over communicate. I tell a man that I am romantic with that I have an off-switch in my brain. I tell the man that if he ever hits me or my child, my love for him dies immediately. If he is ever unfaithful to me- it’s the same story. My love dies. No man who has triggered my off switch has EVER been able to get me back. It doesn’t matter how long we had been together. I lose all respect for him. That causes me to find him disgusting. That causes me to stop loving him. And then indifference sets in and I go no contact. I always filed restraining order if necessary. Now this would be unfair if I had never warned men of what is a “kill switch” for any feelings of love. But I have warned every man I have ever been involved with about this kill switch and gave detailed instructions on what NOT to do. I was always open and direct about it. There was no ambiguity. And several of them tripped the switch and there was no going back. Ever.

      I wonder if other women out there have this. And what do you do if a spouse of many years trips the switch?

      Sarah

      • Hopeful

        Sarah,

        I would say that I felt that way before dday and going through this process of recovery. We had very in depth discussions and I was very specific on what I expected and would tolerate before getting married, before moving to where we are, before having kids. I never used the term kill switch but somewhat like “you would be dead to me” comes to mind. If we did not have kids together I am not sure I would be here now. My kids were my initial motivation to give our marriage and him one more try.

        For me respect is in the same category as trust. It is something that can be lost and has to be earned. It has taken a long time but I would say I respect him again. There was a long time I did not. I am not sure if the respect and trust would ever be at the same level or feel the same as pre betrayal/dday but I would say it is new and improved.

    • Jeremiah

      Sarah,

      I do have hope. But the nonsensical part of it just drives me crazy. We’re only 4 months out from her confession, but she lied about details and who it was for the first month. I know she did it out of some self-preservation and faulty thinking that the details wouldn’t matter – she thought if she confessed the affair then she would have done the right thing by confessing and we could start to move forward. But I knew she wasn’t giving me the whole truth, which is obviously damaging. So I found out who it was on my own. And I’m glad I did; since it’s a co-worker there would have easily been chances for relapse because I simply had no clue who it was (and like I said before I never would have believed it was him) Just a few days ago I found out new information when I asked her about one instance that we hadn’t discussed in awhile. And she confessed they were together during that time.
      We have 4 children, and they are all under 10. If we didn’t have any kids I assume I would have just left. Not saying that would necessarily be the right decision or that I’m mostly just staying for the kids, but it gives different perspective.
      Sometimes, even though she’s working at it, I still feel that it may not be enough. Sometimes I feel like I may get to the point where I have truly forgiven her, I don’t hurt anymore…but that there will still be very little spark or passion there. Like everything has just changed and there’s nothing we can do to get it back. Sometimes I think it would be less painful to leave and find someone else who won’t cheat. I get hit on frequently so that doesn’t help those thoughts, but then again I’m always wearing my wedding band so those women know they’re hitting on a married man and so I assume they wouldn’t make good partners lol.
      My wife is generally introverted, her job is demanding and because on top of that we have 4 young kids she doesn’t have a lot of extra time and energy to devote to recovery, though she has taken big steps and still does work toward it. (She reads your articles and others on here)
      Is there such a thing as asking for too much when you’re the betrayed? I’m super high energy and so I don’t understand very well that she just does not have that same energy. I feel like if I were the unfaithful, I would be working my ass off ALL THE TIME to show her I was sorry and give her what she needed. A lot of it stems from trying to get something back for myself – whether it be confidence or what have you. Maybe I shouldn’t be so focused on her?
      Thanks for your reply. The AP is a real asshole for sure. But, my wife did fall for it, and she did some very cruel things, i.e. about 1.5 mos. into the affair she was “going to a conference” about a 3 hour drive away. So I got some of her favorite drinks and snacks, wrapped a box in paper, had my kids decorate it and write her a card saying we all love her and will miss her that weekend…and to top it off I rented her a sports car for the weekend so she could enjoy not driving a minivan. 🙂 We surprised her with it very elaborately, and then I too care of our kids that weekend…while she had a quiet weekend away with her AP. The weekend she traveled to and did the triathlon with him, I took care of all our kids that weekend as well so she could go and do it…and she missed my oldest daughters BIRTHDAY for it. How do they do this stuff to us and just not give a shit? It’s so fucked up!

      • Hopeful

        That is the thing they do not care about us. My husband has told me he literally did not think about us once he walked out the door. Not one thought for one second. He only cared about himself. And they will do and say anything for damage control. So much trickle truth. It went on and on. They minimize everything.

        You are very early on in this process. My dday 2 was five months after dday. This recovery process takes a lot of work from both people. What we did is we literally said no to everything. For the first year after dday we worked, exercised and only did what we had to. We both agreed that we had to spend as much time together as possible. It really helped us. It is easy with day to day life with work and kids otherwise. And if we had to do something we would do it together if at all possible.

        For me I spent a lot of time thinking about if I really wanted to continue in the marriage. I looked at it as my decision. Then I put in all of the work. If my husband did not or it did not work out then I did my best. All I can control is me. Saying that working with my therapist to set boundaries was critical. It has been almost four years and I feel like we are in a really good spot. There were many roller coaster moments throughout this.

    • Better days

      Jeremiah,

      They really do some screwed up stuff. You are not alone there. Our 20th anniversary will be coming up in another month or so. I’m sure she is going to want to do something special on that day since she has been working so hard on us. However, I don’t know that I’ll feel anything but anger or resentment on that day. Last year she refused to let me take her out to lunch(we worked one block from each other). She insisted we be good about our diets and eat the prepared lunches. Only to find out, our anniversary is also her boyfriend’s b-day and she took him to lunch and then to a secluded park. Same thing happened on her b-day. Insisted her b-day was no big deal and wanted to doing nothing, with me, because she had a better offer.

      I was looking for an apartment and ready to start selling things and making my exit move. It was the kids #1, the mutual friends, and the lifestyle that we’ve created that kept me there.

      The reasons are also completely full of shit. Just this morning I was up at 3:30 going over the reasons she gave to the counselor several months ago. Basically our relationship was stale. So this morning, pouring over photos in our shared drive in the months leading up to her affair I find event after event of us “choosing” to do activities together. We were more active, as a couple, with non obligated activities by 2-3x’s than any other couple we know.

      I also don’t blame the AP for anything, though I have visions of taking his knee caps out. He’s just another D-bag. If we can’t deflect those, we really have no hope.

      • Jeremiah

        It’s all so screwed up; my wife does agree that she was totally screwed up during that time.

        I do blame the AP as well though – he knew she was married and he pursued. She didn’t go looking for him. He changed his schedule to stay later because of her schedule, etc. etc. He preyed on my wife. I got to confront him, which was actually pretty enjoyable other than the fact that I knew I couldn’t hit him. He shrunk from the conflict and was visibly shaking, and I actually did get satisfaction from that – I don’t know if that makes me weird haha. I’m a confrontational person. She’s currently interviewing for other jobs but hasn’t landed one yet so they still work together. The other day when I went in there to have lunch with my wife, I just said to him “This isn’t over. You’re going to get yours.” Just to mess with his head. He honestly doesn’t know what to do lol.

      • Hopeful

        Better Days,

        It is hard to comprehend. My husband says he has the luxury of knowing I would never do that. My husband had two affairs over 10 years. So not easy to process or work through. Granted his affairs were sporadic. One of the OW he would not even communicate with for over a year at a time and only saw her 3-4 times in person. I have actually forgotten the details now at this point since I could care less.

        Anniversaries, holidays, and times like that can be hard. I have an excellent memory and can remember my husband’s exact behaviors or things he said. After dday I read into all of that. He of course has a poor memory. Maybe that is why he was more easily able to do what he did plus he is skilled at compartimentalizing things. My husband is a mental health professional and he says it is important to create a “corrective emotional experience” related to places, dates, holidays etc. It is not the easiest thing for me but I have really worked hard at it. So if it is our anniversary we plan something that is totally different than what we did for 20+ years. Or if we go back to a vacation spot that has a negative reminder for me then we work to change that. I am very upfront with my husband what bothers me about dates, holidays, situations and we talk about how we can make it better. The basic idea is you replace your negative thoughts and old memories with new, different, more positive memories. Like I said it takes a leap of faith but the reward is there.

        I have been in your shoes and I get it. One thing I decided is the affairs, ow and all of it took enough from my life already. I got to a certain point where I decided I was going to make the most of my life. And I committed to doing that with my husband and our marriage. There were times when I said to him very directly that him not cheating was not enough. I wanted, needed and expected more. That was a surprise that I realized with a lot of careful thought. I realized as time went on what we had before dday was not enough anymore. If I was staying after this betrayal I wanted to create the marriage/relationship that I wanted.

        After almost four years we still talk about it. We are closer than ever. We both hate what he did. But by his actions matching his words and living his life in total transparency and authenticity we are in a much better place. And we were like you too, the envy of all of our friends. We had a better marriage than anyone else we knew. He never intended to leave me. He just did it because he did and these women pursued him. He was also insecure and this fed into his ego. Think about what you want your life to be like in five or ten years. I decided I wanted to look back on it as someone who is happy and not dwelling on the past.

    • Stephanie

      We all have those anniversaries and special days that are now scared .. my husband went on a business trip and had a 4 day love fest with is AP and the. Came home and the nest day was our anniversary! I said to him how the hell did you come home and celebrate our anniversary and have sex with me after that?? So gross My anniversary doesn’t mean anything to me anymore . Just another day .But we try work everyday to work on better days .

      • Jeremiah

        Stephanie,

        I hear you there – our anniversary will now just be a constant reminder that just a few days later my wife started having sex with someone else.

    • Kittypone

      Jeremiah/Stephanie

      When my husband wouldn’t be straightforward with his answers, I suspected he truly hadn’t ended things with the AP, I got all P. I. on him and started voice recording him in his car….I taped him confessing to her that the last time we were intimate (our 28th anniversary) he was nervous thinking that her name would slip out of his lips as he was only seeing HER while having sex with ME….that was such a slap in my face when I heard that…that was two years ago and I am still not over that….and THEN, after telling her this load of bull crap, he then proceeds to tell her how he can’t fall asleep unless he envisions all the naked pictures she has sent him of herself….of her boobs…of her in baby dolls….of her as she is, naked…..I get so ENRAGED when I recall all of that, that I literally spent a week in a psych ward because I intended to kill him, my rage took such a hold of me (I need to mention that I am a Latina, and we can be a little extreme in our emotional outbursts….hence, Lorena Bobbitt…..) and then he gets all worked up and starts having phone sex with the slut….while her elementary school children are steps away from her watching tv…..just writing this has me tearing up, this still has such emotional impact on me after all this time…..please, someone tell me that it DOES get better from this…..

      • Jeremiah

        Kittypone,

        I’m so very sorry you had to hear him say things like that. By acting the way they do/did, what they say/said to us, the lies they tell/told…they make us feel like fools. Fools for trusting them, fools for not knowing, fools for not understanding, fools for staying. (if we decide to stay)
        They don’t even know what they’re doing. My wife has admitted that it was literally insane what she said and did.
        None of it is true. She’s not better than you. Just the fact that she had an affair with a married man and you are faithful makes you miles better than her.
        I don’t know if it gets better for everyone that decides to stay. Some people probably have to leave for it to get better. In my case, it has gotten better but for the most part I haven’t had to deal with a stubborn spouse who can’t make up their mind, who blames me, or who refuses to dig into the situation and figure out why it happened. Even when she lied about details after confessing, she still took the blame and did not lash out at me. She’s been incredibly remorseful and for that I am grateful.
        Infidelity rocks you to your core. I’ve always been very confident – good looking guy (modeled while in college), college athlete, successful in my career, owned a business for 8 years, good dad, attentive husband…I know my faults but there are really great things about me and I had a healthy self-esteem. That has really taken a blow and now I find myself more indecisive, worried, and anxious more than I ever was. I’m trying to get that back – I think I’ll have my final answer on whether to stay or leave when I can capture that back fully.

    • Kittypone

      Jeremiah

      It breaks my heart that a good man as yourself has to second-guess his qualities as a man because his wife couldn’t honor her vows to honor and be faithful to her husband. You are SO RIGHT in your assessment of the feelings that inundates you as you discover how your spouse has fooled you and how you even held the homefront while they go and frolic with someone else….my h was having passionate phone sex with his slut while I was delivering a birthday cake to our son a few miles away….just three days after our 28th anniversary and having spent that whole weekend dedicated to ME as it was also Mother’s Day the day after our anniversary….I felt so dirty and used….like I was second hand and only a usable body for him to satisfy his baser needs as he couldn’t have the woman he REALLY wanted to have sex with…..how did I earn that from him? HOW?!?! I was working SO FREAKING HARD to restore our marriage and he wasn’t even half trying….all he was doing was buying himself some time so that I would think he was really attempting to do his part while all the while texting and talking to that slut who lives 2,300 miles away in another country….I haven’t left him because I am a God-fearing woman and I refuse to step outside of God’s will for my life….so here I will remain until He says otherwise….

    • Anne

      It kills me to read all these people whose spouses wanted to stay with them. Mine left me for her.
      It hurts so bad that he chose the most hideous bitch half his age over me. We were together for 23 years and she was 23 years old. I can’t even fathom what the hell he gets out of even talking to her. He’s even admitted I’m better than her in every way. Then why leave me for her? It kills me.

      I don’t understand how this hideous piece of shit has a hold over him.

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