Do cheating spouses have affair triggers?This week’s topic for conversation was actually suggested by a reader (Thanks Tryinghard!).

I think that it’s fairly safe to say that virtually every betrayed spouse has suffered from affair triggers at some point after D-day.  I know we have addressed that topic on several different occasions.

What we haven’t addressed is whether or not cheating spouses suffer from affair triggers.

Here is Tryinghard’s comment when she suggested this topic…

“I wonder if he ever has triggers. I’ve asked and he says no… What does the cheater do when he is faced with a trigger that reminds him/her of that stupid decision the made? Like her birthday, a certain song, jokes anything. I can’t believe they don’t have them. Do they miss their affair partners? After how long do they stop missing them? We hear more from the BS and not nearly enough from the cheaters. I think they are still trying to make it all go away by not talking about it.”

So for you unfaithful readers out there, we’d love to have you share your thoughts on these questions that Tryinghard asks.

Also, for the betrayed spouses out there who might be aware of certain triggers that their partners have…

What are they and how does it affect your spouse?

Does your spouse talk about them at all?

How does it affect you when he/she is triggered?

Thank you very much and please respond to one another in the comment section.

Also, (and I’ve said this many times) we can learn a lot from each other – whether betrayed or cheater – so let’s try to keep this discussion civil! 

Thanks,

Linda & Doug

 

    130 replies to "Discussion – Do Cheating Spouses Have Affair Triggers?"

    • Dave

      For years my wife hid the things she did. She hid from me, but eventually, she practically hid them from herself. She convinced herself that nothing happened and that anything that did happen was justified.

      So after years of hiding it all, she finally confessed last year. At first everything was about me and helping me heal. However, something got neglected. She was answering my barrage of questions, enduring my accusations, and living through the roller coaster that was my emotional state. Sometimes I was downright mean in the things I said to her or the names I called her. And through all of it, I rarely considered how she felt – not truly.

      My ride took a heavy toll on her too, but so did the things she did. Sometimes she lashed out at me when I got upset, but now I understand it is because as badly as I felt, she felt as much if not more. She had never faced up to anything she did. She buried it and now it was it was out for everyone to see – me, our children, and our families and friends. But more importantly, it was there staring back at her.

      Despite what she did, my wife at her core is a good and decent person. When she cheated, she became something that she never wanted or ever planned to become. She doesn’t even recognize who that person was. She never even imagined that she could do the things she did. She still can’t, but now that it is out, she has had to cope with what she did.

      The hard part, which was hard for me in the beginning of all this too, is separating what she did from who she is. She did something terrible, but she isn’t a terrible person. And even though I can see the difference now and have forgiving her, she can’t and hasn’t. So now, everything from the past year that were triggers for me – music, movies and TV shows, books, and even some events from our own past, seem to haunt her.

      Most of the time, she holds it together, but when a movie or show comes on with a story that includes a cheating spouse or partner, particularly if that person is a woman, she gets very upset. She will start calling the character a whore, cheating slut, etc. and then she starts comparing herself to the character. It is even worse if she has been drinking, which since her confession, has become far too frequent. She used to have a glass of wine, but now if I don’t monitor her well, she’ll finish off a bottle.

      This sends her into a downward spiral where she gets more and more angry at herself, and where she makes even meaner and more destructive comments. She will tell me to leave and say I’m stupid for staying. At times, she has talked of hurting herself; in the worst situations, she has hurt herself and has even attacked me when I tried to stop her. At its worse, she has talked of suicide and confessed to thinking about it frequently.

      All of this terrifies me because I never know exactly what is going set her off, so I take it one day at a time and try to keep her away from alcohol and triggers. I’m also working with her and our counselor to help her and to learn for myself the things that I need to do. I feel responsible for a large part of this because I was so difficult this past year and said some horrible things to her – things that she throws out frequently now.

      If there is one lesson that I can pass on to other betrayed spouses, which is in some books on this subject, is even though you have been betrayed, if you want to stay with your spouse or at least have a decent relationship with them even if you don’t, be careful how much you torture them for what they did. Calling them names, throwing their crimes back in their face, and purposely trying to make them feel worse will not undo what they did; it will not make it go away; and it definitely will not allow either of you to heal, together or individually. And if they are a caring person at their core, they do need to heal too.

      Odds are that they do feel badly for what they did even if they don’t show it. Sometimes my wife didn’t show it – or at least in my state I didn’t think she did. In hindsight, I wasn’t looking at her state of mind or giving it much consideration at all because I was hurt and angry. I was shattered, but I didn’t give much consideration to her feelings because in a way, I was selfishly wallowing in my own pain. She saw all of this and stood there while I threw out my barbs. At times, I thought she needed to suffer. …but she already was, because she loved me. She knew what she did. She shattered the only person who ever truly loved her and who she truly loved.

      So now, in a twist to our story, she now suffers from the same triggers that bothered me. She is the one who is wallowing – but for her it is in self-loathing. Now I am the one who has to be there for her and lift her up. At first, all of it seemed unfair, but if you want to live and love a person, sometimes that is what is required.

      • Natalie

        I know this was written a long time ago, but your words are what I needed right now. It dawned on me this morning, does my husband have triggers for what he has done? I have been selfishly wallowing in my pain, but last night I realized how much he loves me because he takes the harsh words that I say and he stays. He doesn’t say anything to bring me more pain. Thank you for sharing your story and the wisdom you have gained

      • Renee

        Thank you for sharing such private and painful moments. I needed to hear your words today. I have already forgiven my husband, but I glorify his relationship with his mistress (he is still with her). Until he leaves her and is on his own for awhile, I don’t think he can begin to heal or heal me. But reading your words really helped me know that he is in pain too. I’m so happy that I didn’t chastise him too much. He knows I forgive him and am waiting for his return. The judge asked if we were sure that we really wanted to divorce since we were holding hands and showing so much love. My husband is a good person who let the devil take control. I have faith in God and my husband that he will come out of this affair fog and see His light! But until then, I continue to learn and grown and lean on God and this group. Thank you doesn’t feel enough to say to you. God Bless You!

        • Mollymagee

          I’m sorry Renee – don’t take this the wrong way but are you kidding me? You’ve “forgiven” him .. so fast? I don’t buy it. I think you are supressing your pain and sense of rejection to be the better person. Let yourself NOT forgive him for his painful and horrible behaviors. Every betrayed wife here has your back in letting you feel how much this hurts. Don’t jump to forgive so quickly: especially since he IS choosing his libido and sexual addiction and attraction to this woman over a marriage you two built and he is actively destroying. Sure there’s love between you too … I’ll buy that.. .but forgiving is NOT forgetting. Perhaps he feels you gave him a free pass to continue his rotten actions since you “forgave him” already. Maybe if you said, you’ll never forget what he’s done to you (and your children, if there are any) for this affair. Maybe he needs a little anger from you to really face what he’s done. I don’t buy these quick fix “forgiving” attitudes from betrayed spouses and/or therapists. I think it’s a crock of shit. And the devil didn’t make him do this… sure, I believe in evil but evil is human made and constructed. Your husband made a grown ass man’s decision to cheat, to hurt you, to destroy your marriage. No one put a gun to his head. She didn’t tempt him or sway him… he wanted new pussy and new excitement of someone new. Don’t kid yourself. Go get yourself STD tested and, if it comes back positive for any gross viruses or germs he gave you from someone else (I sure hope it doesn’t but do NOT be surprised if it does!!!) ask yourself if you’ll be so quick to continue to be forgiving. Your anger is your friend right now… embrace it. And I hope you take him for every red cent he’s worth so he and his new skank gf get nothing… let’s see how interested she is in him when his has no $$$ to spend on her.. Just saying… And yes, your healing is on YOU unfortunately. Do not put that hope on someone who would turn their back on you in past … and stab you in back. He will be no help. He’s a lost person and probably lost cause. The only peace you’ll have is that hopefully karma will bite him in butt when she moves onto a new mark and/or ends up pregnant and saddling him w/more kids to care for or he gets an STD from her and the list goes on and on. Then he might start to figure himself out but I’d consider yourself fortunate to cut the cord and move onto your own life and healing. Good luck. Sorry for this rant but save the forgiveness for yourself for putting up w/such an asshole for so long. Peace to you.

        • Shifting Impressions

          Renee
          You deserve so much more. The Devil made me do it….doesn’t fly with me. How do you forgive someone who is still in the affair?? As for him helping you heal….well that’s questionable!!

          I don’t know Renee it sounds as if you aren’t really thinking straight. Perhaps it would be wise to talk to a counselor and a lawyer.

        • tdleea

          Renee-all situations vary in degree and incidents, but no matter what, they are all betrayal and breaking of a vow. So, while I don’t know your exact circumstances, I’m trying to understand your thought process. I think I remember wanting to forgive my husband and have him come back home and we could just get back to being married and working on our relationship. Almost a desperation. I had a newborn and 16-month-old as well as 2 older children at home. I didn’t want to make waves and I wanted him to know I was here for him. I knew he was going through some inner demons. In fact, I would say that I felt like he was locked inside just crying out for help but the guards were surrounding him not letting him free or letting me help.
          I waited. I waited while he spent his time with HER. I waited while I put my babies to bed by myself while he was with HER. I waited at home taking care of the bills and the house while he was out with HER. I waited while other people knew what he was doing to me and he was out with HER.
          I got to the point where I could no longer be the doormat. No longer let him have his cake and eat it too. No longer let him galavant with her and then come home and sometimes want to be a family. It wasn’t fair to me. Fair to my family.
          I cut off contact. This was not easy because he would call, text, show up. I finally had to involve law enforcement and legally get him to leave me alone because as long as he kept coming around I couldn’t heal. So, this is an important point-your husband isn’t going to heal you. You need to heal yourself. you only have control over yourself, not him, not her-just you. Love yourself. Heal yourself. Step back and take a look at the life you could have ….without him. The doors of opportunity that are open for you. Please don’t leave yourself on the dessert plate in the fridge, ready for when he wants you. Heal and move forward with your life.
          Are you two divorced as of now? How long has the affair been going on? Since you found out?
          Perhaps I should have asked these questions before, but I want to send you all the strength I can and help you to regain your life. There’s so much life to live!
          Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.~Mark Twain
          A quote I kept at my desk to help me remain strong.

        • tdleea

          Renee-I also wanted to add that reconciliation is harder than I ever thought it would be. I just knew I wanted my husband back home. Once he was and everything was finished, I was not prepared for the amount of work that we were going to have to do and more hurt and more pain as we worked things out. My husband was with the other woman for almost 2 years. I often wonder if a shorter affair would have been easier to recover from? Any way you look at it from a one night stand to a long term affair, it’s all extremely hard to heal. Sometimes when I think back to my life then I get really angry for not ‘being stronger and walking away’. Although I know I was doing the best I could give everything. Sometimes, I feel the fool for ‘hanging in there’ letting him galavant around with her while ‘poor, little me’ sat at home.
          Most of the time, I am thankful that life has gone the way it has-good and bad because it has made me who I am today.
          Just be prepared, if he ends things and comes back home, to have a whole new episode to deal with and be sure that you will be okay knowing that you told him you forgave him and are waiting for him to come back.

        • Pearl

          Oh Renee, please love yourself more… Don’t be anybody’s plan B. There is a saying, you have to be willing to lose the marriage to save it. I would cut off all contact with your husband, if he needs more than a split second to decide he’ll never be a safe partner.

    • Sidney

      I responded to Tryinghard’s post earlier this week, but in case some of you didn’t see it, I’ll put my two cents here….

      Yes, the CS does have triggers….in fact, for me, it’s frequently. And I’m sure they are pretty much the same type of triggers the BS has….songs, seeing a car that’s the same as the AP, certain clothes, hearing my phone beep a text, etc. Actually, that was the biggest one….whenever my phone would beep a text, it always was a trigger (had to change my text sound). BUT….and this is the key for me and hopefully a comfort to the BS…..although the CS may think of the AP often, the longer time goes by, the less the thought elicits an emotional response. In other words, there is no emotional connection to the thought. The thought enters your mind, but quickly leaves because there are no emotions connected to it.

      Do they miss their affair partner? For me, yes. And how long do they stop thinking of them? I suppose it’s different for all people, but for me, I still think of him….and it’s been no contact for 8 months. I just no longer feel ‘controlled’ by it all. By ‘controlled’ I mean the addiction feeling. If you compare it to how a drug addict is…..the addict may still think of the drug-of-choice and miss how the drug makes them feel….but they don’t feel controlled by it.

      Hope this makes sense.

      • tryinghard

        Thanks Sidney
        I appreciate your answers. I think the phone/email/message trigger is probably. My H won’t admit it but I know that when he checks his email on the phone I have to believe there are feelings of relief that there’s nothing there, disappointment that there’s nothing there because of the thrill he used to get from those messages. It has been a year and a half and I do think he has forgotten a lot. He doesn’t have such a good memory anyway let alone for things he is trying to forget. He did the NC contact method as well and he has admitted in the beginning he did think a lot about it. I’m sure it’s hard. It’s like quitting smoking or dieting. When you tell yourself you can’t have something the more you want it.

        You do make sense. Thanks

    • Dave

      As for triggers that made her think of “him”, since it was years ago it was hard for her to recall all of them, but a couple that she did remember were a couple specific songs – songs of longing and songs about broken hearts.

      Unfortunately for us both, she had sent him a letter a couple months after their affair while she was still in the fog. It turned up this past year, and in it, she detailed multiple triggers that made her think of him, mostly things from their affair…the smell of the rain, candles, martinis, jazz, wine, stair cases, peaches, papasan chairs, etc… “It was all so beautiful. You have given me enough memories to last two lifetimes…”

      In hindsight, she says those images and thoughts faded quickly after that letter – after we moved from Nebraska to Texas. There is no proof one way or the other to say that she did or didn’t think of him fondly after that.

      However, she did send him a letter two years later when she found out that she was pregnant. Did she still have triggers? I don’t know because I haven’t seen that letter. The OM says that he believes it is in his basement since he had all of her other letters and pictures, and since he found the envelope, but unless and until he finds the second letter, we’ll never know exactly what she said or how she felt. …not that it matters now.

      The same goes for when they started sending messages on Facebook a couple of years ago. From their messages, it was evident she remembered the affair – at least some of what she did, but there was nothing to indicate that she had any triggers. After this many years, I sure as hell hope she doesn’t, but based on how she acts now, I have no reason to believe that she thinks fondly of him any longer.

      If anything, any mention of him triggers a very negative and angry reaction from her.

    • Natalia

      I’m sure cheaters have millions of triggers. As for my H, if he has them, I don’t know. He never says anything. Sometimes when I bring up something related to one of the women he flirted with he’ll make a face like he’s extremely uncomfortable but won’t comment. This only confirms he does have triggers but won’t reveal them. Which is fine with me. I don’t need to know how he still feels about those women. I guess the less they are mentioned the better. It must be very hard for him to “forget” them because even though only one of them still works in the same company he does, he sometimes has to contact the others by email. I know for a fact that there is no contact with the one that works at the same place and as to the others I’ve seen the emails he sends through work and their responses. All are kept at a professional level. However, as hard as it is for him it’s terrifying for me to know that he could slip or they could try to entice him again with their flirty comments and everything will start again. I hate his job and I pray he will find another one soon. He’s been sending applications everyday, but no luck yet. The hardest part of the triggers he might have is that these women have no idea I put a stop to his EAs with them. He just stopped contacting them in a social sense and limited the emails to work related stuff. Some of them have been surprised by this because he no longer goes on “lunch dates” with them and he doesn’t call them on their birthdays or just to “chat”. All that has stopped completely. Proof of it is when I accompany him to social events related to work and these women happen to be there, they always say things like “Where have you been? I haven’t spoken to you in a long time?” Or “You never responded to my lunch invitation.” etc. And I’m glad to hear these comments because it proves he’s kept his word to me of no more contacting them.

      • Sweetpea

        Natalia, all of the words in your post could be mine. The only difference is that I contacted each female coworker by email to confirm the nature of the relationships. Two were emotional, one was emotional with some physical aspects, but the last was a complete emotional & sexual affair. This woman still works in his department, but the director moved her to another floor, so her time there is limited. The one thing I am not ready to do is see this woman in person. I have avoided his social work functions because I would feel a need to lash out at her if we crossed paths. I, too, pray that he will find another job. I live in fear that one bad day and a flirty email will be all it takes to trigger a renewal of the affair. At this point, he has not been willing to look for another job, even though I have expressed how devastating it is for me to know he still has access to all these previous infidelity partners. This is the essence of one of our major issues–his respect for my feelings and willingness to make our marriage his first priority. I am happy for you that your spouse is willing to make the changes necessary to save your marriage. You will be in my thoughts, Natalia.

        • Natalia

          Sweetpea: OH WOW! You sure are brave. I’ve never contacted any of the OW about the EAs my H had with them. Actually, I don’t think any of them (my H included) even thought that they were carrying on an emotional affair! I’m sure that if I were to ask them they would probably look at me like I had grown a horn on my forehead. They were “just friends” but in my opinion too close to be considered ok. I’ve told my H that he must have “forgotten” he was married when he started flirting with these stupid women and they must have thought they were so irresistible that he, a married man, couldn’t help it. He insists it wasn’t like that, but I’ve read the emails he forgot to delete!

          It’s all kind of a strange situation, which made it worse for him when I found out what he had been doing behind my back. He met some of these women through work related emails which then led to “work related” lunch dates and continued with flirty emails, etc. You get the picture. There were a couple that actually worked in company and the relationship turned emotional: flirty comments, lending an ear to their problems, lunch dates, even inviting one of them (the most dangerous one in my opinion) to our house for our anniversary party (5 years ago). Then there were old girlfriends he found on Facebook. I have no idea why he thought it was ok to contact them and send them messages reminiscing about the past. I read them, and boy was he sorry he ever wrote them! There was even a woman he met through a Yahoo group who lived in South America and came to our city on her way to another state! He confessed to this when I questioned the entries I found in that group and some private emails I discovered. He swears he never met her. Yeah, right! As to the women related to his job, I had met some of them personally before I discovered the EA. But after D-day his relationship with them changed completely and he doesn’t contact them unless it is strictly work related. As for the social events, I believe they suspect that something happened because they’ve stopped acting too friendly with him in front of me which at first they had no problem doing. I guess the change of attitude is because he doesn’t contact them in the same way anymore.

          He is really trying to salvage our marriage. He now knows that I was very close to leaving him even before D-day, so after D-day he really got scared. Especially because he never thought that what he was doing had a name: Emotional Affair. He thought he was just friendly and was bonding with these women he considered “friends” but forgot to mention it to me! Sometimes men can be so stupid and even though it’s not funny I can’t help laughing.

          Thank you for saying that I will be in your thoughts. I’ve been so lonely in all this mess because I’ve told no one about it. It embarrasses me to have been so naïve and trusting. I know it was because I was so busying raising 3 kids and didn’t have the time to see what was right in front of me or the energy to fix it. But it didn’t give him the right to betray me when I wasn’t looking!

          • Sweetpea

            Natalia–it is all about boundaries! My H is very flirtatious and does not understand the concept of inappropriateness either. With each encounter, he went further and further. I know he understands this is his last chance, but I’m not confident that he is truly ready to build those boundaries to the level necessary for our marriage to survive. I try to acknowledge his efforts, no matter how small, but I feel hopeless about the long-term outlook. Not only is change difficult to make, but also to maintain. *Sigh* One day at a time, right? It sounds like your H is working hard to build trust and change his behaviors. I wish you both the best.

            Yes, this is a lonely place. Like you, I was busy raising a child and keeping a home. Motherhood has been amazing, but parenthood–not so much–just because of how we let it come before our marriage. I didn’t tell anyone about the first EA I discovered 2 years ago because of the embarrasment. Now, both our immediate families know about all of the affairs because I couldn’t bear the silence and loneliness anymore. If you have a close friend or family member you trust, you might find some relief in sharing your grief, as I did. But if not, just look at this website (and countless others)–you will never be alone. How comforting to talk with others who can empathize with your pain! Much love to you.

            • tryinghard

              Sweetpea
              Actually I think EVERYONE, family, friends, employees, vendors, customers everyone, in our small town and neighboring towns know about my H and me and the OW and this whole mess. Every time I see someone that I haven’t seen in a while they put their arm on my hand and it’s “ooo dear how are you doing”. ULK. My H on the other hand has gotten so much disapproval that I think it has really embarrassed him and this has well scared him straight. Right after DDay I literally got hundreds of phone calls from friends and well wishers. People who were shocked and wanted to lend their support to me. On the other hand NO ONE called him. Two friends called and told him he was making a bad decision. The OW was a townie and well known for being promiscuous even to her own family. My husband’s behavior has affected many of our friendships. I think people believe they don’t know him. They thought he had integrity and was honest. They reasoned that if he could do this to me how was treating or valuing them. Also wives don’t want their husbands being friendly with cheaters that they may give their husbands ideas. I don’t blame them and I could care less if he ever has any friends.

              Yes this is a very helpful sight because we are the only ones who truly know how you feel.

    • exercisegrace

      Great topic! This is definitely something I want to ask my husband about. What I do know is that often MY behavior is as bad a trigger as anything. When he sees me sad or struggling, it is hard for him. He is very remorseful, and trying to focus on the future. He has changed so much from who he was during the affair.

      Our situation is a little different, as he ended the affair without “being caught”, although I had plenty of suspicions. Because they ran a business together, they continued to work together for awhile after the affair ended. So I believe that he weaned off of this relationship gradually and before I even was aware that was going on. He (stupidly) thought she accepted his decision to refocus on his marriage, but in hindsight he can see that she was just hoping he would come back to her, and he has had to acknowledge that she did a number of things to try and bring this about.
      Since she left the business, she has cyber-stalked and bullied our family to the point of having to seek legal counsel. She has paraded her inner “bunny boiler” for the world to see. In a horrible way, I am thankful. He hates her now, and hates what she has done to me and the kids. We didn’t deserve this treatment. We did nothing to her other than “exist”. He can’t believe the “crazy” that his foolish choices have unleashed into our lives, over two years after the affair ended and over a year after no contact. When new issues crop up, it does trigger a great deal of shame in him. I’ll post more later when I get a chance to ask him. Again, a GREAT topic!!

      • ataloss

        This was the same thing my H said. It is when he knows that something is bothering me, or when he realizes that I am having a bad day that he feels triggered.

        • Tryinghard

          I didn’t want to know the details either at first. As time went on I found I needed to know the details. Still do a year and a half later. I have heard that many therapists are of the ilk to move pasts the past. I believe if you don’t understand the history it will only repeat itself. Only you know what works for you. It sounds like you and your H are communicating very well so maybe this angle will work for you. Please keep us posted

    • Mandy

      Given what I know about his affair, I think it is unlikely that there are many things that would be nostalgic for my H. But he does feel a lot of pain and guilt for having cheated, and so that makes him vulnerable to some kinds of triggers. If we are watching a TV show or movie where someone cheats, it definitely triggers both of us. He is also aware of some of my triggers, so if they come up it puts him on the alert and in that way is a trigger for him, too.

    • justbecause

      I have no idea if my CS has triggers. I can’t see how someone could have an online EA with someone for at least 2 years and not but my H will not discuss it. I think he would get angry if I brought it up. He is from the forget it, move on school of CS’s.

      The OW got a new car during the EA. It was a volkswagon. They discussed it quite a bit. She told him the color , make/model, where she parked, etc. The other day we were driving through some car lots. One dealer carried VW’s. I said quite harshly, I will never, ever drive a volkswagon. He was silent but the hidden meaning was very clear.

    • tryinghard

      You are all awesome and like Doug said we all learn so much from each other. I know females, both BS and CS, have triggers and I just think women are wired this way.

      I would love to hear from the male species of CS 🙂 I really do believe that men and women process and value “friendships” differently. I do think men can let go of “friendships” more easily than women do. And maybe for that reason they don’t have as many triggers as we do. I believe that affairs and ending affairs are so much harder on women. Women will definitely put more emotion into it. We tend to look at these circumstances very subjectively.

      Come on men (Doug this means you too :)) I PROMISE I won’t be mean 🙂

      • Dave

        I think it depends on the man and the situation. The progenitor to many of our problems happened from an incident four years prior to my wife’s affair. We were separated and readying for divorce when I had a one-night-stand. I had superficial friendship with the woman, but once my wife and I decided to fix our marriage, all that was over. My wife never bought it. She couldn’t believe that a person could be with another and NOT have long-lasting feelings. Four years later when she got her revenge, she proved her point. Her feelings lasted for a quite a while and her affair partner carried a torch for her until very recently.

        But that isn’t to say all men can shut it off. One of my very good friends is a CS and had a long-term affair with a woman. It has been 8 months since he broke it off and he is still having a hard time letting go. I think the reason it is harder for him is that he developed deep feelings for the other woman and it was more than sex.

        I’ve been trying to help him, but he and his wife are young and they both have decided to handle on their own rather than go to counselling.

      • exercisegrace

        Today at lunch I asked my husband about this. He said that he really does not have triggers, per say. He says that the whole thing feels like a nightmare that happened to someone else. He says he does not think about her. If anything (as I suspected) he only thinks about it when I am struggling. When he sees me down or having a bad day or when I bring something up or question him about something affair-related. He feels tremendous guilt. He also said that it does make him uncomfortable to see infidelity portrayed on tv or in a movie, but mostly because he knows that it will trigger ME and it concerns him more in terms of how it will impact our healing or whether it will cause an argument between us.

        I attribute part of this to time (he ended his affair two years ago), part of this to the fact that I think men can compartmentalize their life much better than women do, and a big part of it to the fact that his AP really showed what a crazy, stalker, bunny-boiler she is. He has seen her TRUE colors and they are very, very ugly. If she had exited the affair gracefully, if she had taken responsibility for her part in it, if she had been even the littlest bit apologetic or remorseful, it might be a different story. But she has attacked me and his kids and that is unforgiveable to him.

        • Dave

          Although I caught my wife at his house, I never had proof. As she and he both have now said, that was the day she ended it. I don’t know if they would have rebounded or not, but I didn’t give them the chance since I was super suspicious at that point and took a job in another state and moved as quickly as I could.

          Because of all that, my wife never got to see him or what she did in the harsh light of reality – until she confessed. And he never let go, because he didn’t have to see or deal with the impact of his actions on me and our son.

          Once it all came out last year however, first she and then he (I think) finally got it. He was a complete narcissist and asshole. She was a “drug addict” and his attention was her drug. Once they both really saw each other for what they were and what they had done, I think they both feel a certain amount of disdain for each other and disgust for what they did – especially her for him.

          She acts as if she hates his guts now, which honestly gives me a little perverse pleasure and more than a little comfort now.

          I think he’d still have her if she’d go to him, but I doubt she’d ever go to him even if something were to happen to me…despite what she wrote in her letters to him. She isn’t that person anymore, and she is finally seeing him for what he is, and it isn’t pretty.

      • Doug

        TH, I’m not sure I’m a good representation of the average man cheater as far as triggers go. Since I deal with this on a daily basis, it’s like one huge trigger so to speak, simply because it’s always top of mind. However, as Sidney says, there are no emotions whatsoever tied to these memories.

        • Tryinghard

          That makes sense. I’m sure with all these stories it becomes ver objective for you. I’m happy for you then

    • Patsy50

      It’s been almost 2 1/2 yrs. since my husband told me about his EA with a coworker. I asked him tonight if he ever had any triggers and he said there’s nothing there. He never loved the OW just was sexually attracted to her. He works with her in the same office but does not work directly with her. He would tell me if they had to work together but says there’s nothing there anymore. I am at a place now where I rarely talk about the EA but when I do he said it makes him sad. Brings back the hurt he caused me and he doesn’t like being in that place but goes there for me.

    • KelBelly

      This is a great topic. I’m Mike, KelBellys H and the CS. To be honest, yes, I have triggers on a daily basis. Most of the time they occur when I’m driving to or from work or occasionally while watching TV or listening to the radio. The main trigger is the name. I hear the name and it is an instant feeling of guilt, anger and depression. It can be overwhelming at times but I have learned to deal with it and work through things in my own mind.

      • justbecause

        Thanks Mike for your input.

      • Doug

        Hey Mike, Welcome and thanks for chiming in. It’s always good to hear another CS point of view.

      • tryinghard

        Thanks Mike for your input. I also want to tell you thank you for your service. I was an army brat and I admired my father greatly. He fought three wars. Married the love of his life during WWII. He was a very honest and spiritual person. He set the bar for me in my expectations of a husband. He never moved ahead much in rank in the military because he had morals and wouldn’t play the macho drinking womanizing game that military people of that era were expected to do. He was satisfied with his place in his career and life. I have a soft spot in my heart for veterans.
        Your words really helped me and most of all I hope they help your wife to heal as well. We can’t do anything about the triggers because like my counselor said, the mind has a mind of it’s own. Good Luck and many prayers to both of you.

      • KelBelly

        I think the one thing that my H forgot to mention is how he is affected when I have a bad day and I believe that is a trigger for him as well. Just last week I had a really bad day and was very emotional. It affected Mike in such a way that he had to come home from work. I know it gets to him because he turns paste white and is physically affected.

        • tryinghard

          Kel
          It’s really too bad they don’t know before the EA how all this will affect them. Maybe other people will learn by the bad mistakes. Things happen for reasons we don’t know. Most times I deal with my triggers by myself I don’t share them with my H. He knows I am having them though because I get very quiet and dark. I don’t cry anymore and if I do it’s in the shower. I never let my H see me cry anymore but mostly those episodes are over. We have to remember they are hurting too. I don’t know if what I am doing is right but I am trying to think of his well being and healing process too.

          • KelBelly

            tryinghard,

            I too try to not fall apart in front of him too much as I know that it really does pain him deeply. I am at a point that I am pretty good at working through most things but it has seemed with the coming up of the one year DDay, I am more consumed with it all which has led to more questions which I am sure has him on edge but he is very open and willing to talk about everything so that has help immensely.

            I think that cheaters revert to what Freud called the Id. Usually we see this in young children that want what they want damn the consequences. As we get older our ego takes over and gives us a thought process and conscious but in the cheater, you see the Id come forth and even though somewhere in side is the ego saying hey, this is wrong, the pleasure of what they are doing overrides it all. Unfortunately, it takes getting caught or severe consequences to bring the ego forward again and finally the guilt of what they have done surfaces and as adults I think that part is much harder to let go than it was when we were kids.
            This is just my observation and in no way is meant to take literally for every situation.

    • chiffchaff

      I would like to ask my H to comment on this but he mainly doesn;’t like being reminded of that time at all. I know that before he started NC properly he thought about the OW constantly, his time during the fog. After the NC started he went into overdrive and I got paranoid about the songs he was listening to as he was listening to stuff I’d never heard of before, west coast bands that he wouldn’t ordinarily like.

      These days he gets triggered by my triggers and from what he’s said it’s a feeling of pain and guilt. He definitely falls into the camp of trying to forget about what he did and he has frequently said that it feels like a dream (or nightmare) and he can’t believe he did what he did. Even recently he was remarking on how odd it is to hear a recording of your own voice and that he hadn’t heard his own for years. But I reminded him that he must have heard his own voice when he was recording the videos he sent to her most days from his phone. he was visibly shocked and said he had completely forgotten that he’d done that. he was then noticeably down for about an hour or so. he really had completely forgotten.
      In some ways I find that encouraging, that he has wiped massive bits of those memories but I also think he learns from them when he does remember. I don’t deliberately remind him either. As Dave has said above, as a BS I have to be careful to help his recovery from this too.

    • forcryin'outloud

      My H was at work and just had a trigger. He sent me an email about ANOTHER famous man having a child out of wedlock, in secret from his family. He has told me every time a betrayal story comes out in the media it’s a trigger. For him he said it reminds him he’s not in the stupid club alone but the shame of his actions fill his mind.

      Ironically, this famous cheater is one of my favorite sports stars…another one bites the dust!!! It’s been 2.5 yrs since d-day 1 and less than a year since the last secret bomb exploded. It’s getting to a point where I laugh sardonically at these triggers instead of crying for fear of LOSING MY MIND!!!!! I will ask him what he thought/felt tonight about today’s trigger.

    • Natalia

      I was thinking this morning about asking my H if he ever has triggers when I read his horoscope. It said: Make an effort to let someone know your boundaries. Creating greater clarity between the two of you will allow more easiness.” I read it to him and he looked pained and sad. I decided not to ask him about his triggers. He has said though that it hurts him deeply to see me upset when there’s a trigger. So when that happens he hugs me and apologizes for hurting me.

    • Irish Triplets

      I am the infidel and Sidney’s post above nails it. It’s been allmost 2 years since D-Day and I still have triggers but they don’t effect me emotionally like they did before.

    • Redemption

      Not sure this is the appropriate arena to ask this question but I am looking for answers as to why my H insists that his AP is “a decent person”. Why would he come to the defence of the OW? We started with a new counsellor yesterday and this is the comment he shared with the counsellor when relating his involvement in the affair. After the session I took exception to the remark the OW was “a decent person”.
      I do not believe the facts support my husband’s side and when I ask why he feels this the only response he can give is “1.she is a hard worker and 2. she raised her daughter”. My question is so? So what? Because my husband has always travelled a lot for business I feel I have practically raised our 2 children as a single parent. Does this get me extra bonus points? I didn’t see me trying to steal someone else’s H.
      I say the facts don’t support his conclusion and he has to figure out why it is so important to him to defend his AP.
      Considering we have discussed the fact that the OW willingly participated with him to destroy our family because they both wanted what they wanted without regard for anyone else. And the fact that my daughter went to the OW (I was unaware of the affair still) and told her to stop and this woman told lie after lie to defend her actions. The OW didn’t care about my daughter’s hurt and played the “poor me” card to my H and how upset she was with the confrontation.
      I felt my H and I had been doing quite well recently and was looking forward to this new counsellor. The day after I am still seething and upset. My H thinks I am the one that needs to see a counsellor or therapist for my anger at his statement/feelings. I have told him I believe he needs to figure out why it is so important for him to defend the OW? Is this supposed to be some noble act? I don’t see how he can defend anyone who willingly tried to hurt his wife and daughter with their malicious duplicity.
      Any thoughts or comments as to how I can handle this? I just feel so disappointed with him right now and down right angry.

      • Natalia

        Redemption, I believe your H is still in the “affair fog” that has been mentioned so many times in this blog. When he gets down form that cloud he’s going to see how stupid that remake was. He hasn’t gotten the message yet that he not only almost detroyed his marriage but his family as well. When you go to the counselor, ask your H if he was ever afraid of losing you and his daughter’s respect. And the fact that he thinks that you are the one that needs to go to counseling to deal with your anger (which by the way is his fault) only proves he’s a narcissist. Please read the book “You might be a Narcissist if…” by Paul Meier. My H also asked me if I wanted to see a counselor everytime I had triggers and was furious at him for his Eas. I had him read what a narcissist was and he attitude changed completely. Don’t believe for one second that your H’s remark is a noble act, he’s just covering up his embarrassment cause he knows he did a stupid thing. And if he admits it was stupid, where does that leave him? Read books on emotional affairs to understand all your feelings and discover how to handle them. Going to a counselor is a step in the right direction but do some research on your own. The counselor doesn’t have all the answers and if you bring questions to him he’ll know better how to help you out. When I’m sick and have to go to the physician I “google” my symptoms so I can ask the right questions and get the best treatment possible. Good luck and believe me it will get better.

      • tryinghard

        OK let’s just say he thinks she is “decent”. What exactly is his meaning of decent and just maybe he needs to raise the bar on his interpretation? I had the same experience. At the counselor we talked about how he would react should we run into the OW out in public. He, ignorantly said, “I would be cordial”. I went ballistic. Cordial are you kidding me??? I want to rip her face off and you would be cordial. This tiny little word facilitated a lot of conversation. I learned it’s not good to parse their statements but to use those singular words to dig deeper into their psyche. Decent, hell he may as well have said she was HOT right?? I also told my H when I saw the OW out at the gas stations that I was angry all over again because she is such a low class hoosier. I called her “low hanging fruit”. When I asked what he thought when I said those words he said he didn’t know how to answer. That is he agreed that she was low hanging fruit it didn’t say much for his taste and well he chose me after all. And that he couldn’t disagree because it would look like he was trying stand up for her and that was the last thing he wanted to do. The problem is when we parse their words they won’t open up and that is NOT what you want. Question him gently on what he meant by it and DON”T react emotionally until you get all the info.

        • Natalia

          Tryinghard, well said. You made me laugh! Yes, I’d love to rip her face off too! 😀

          • Tryinghard

            Natalia
            Sometimes we just have to laugh at this crap it feels good. Well come on down ill let you help me rip her ugly puss off!

        • tdleea

          Years later but this reading spurred a reaction in me….
          When my H ended it, I wanted him to take me in front of her and tell her he was done, there was to be no more contact. He was vehemently against that. That did not sit well with me but everything else he was doing, saying, confessing was all pointing to reconciliation. I didn’t have the energy, spirit-whatever you want to call it to fight this. I only tried to explain to him that this would be very helpful. I guess in my mind I would be able to watch and read his body language and tone after all this is what helped me to make the decision to talk with him again after cutting off contact with him for 4 months. After being away from him for that long, I could just tell when we talked that he was sincere. Don’t ask me how or why. I listened to my gut (which I had not trusted 2 years before when the affair started).
          Anyway, we also would have the conversation: WHat would you do if you ran into her with me? What about without me?
          And, then it happened. WE ran into her one night out. WE avoided her and went way across the bar (we were with other people so we didn’t just turn around and walk out). As his back was turned-mine was not-she came up to him and put her arms around him saying: It’s so good to see you! At that point, all went red. I pushed her hands off ( amazingly, this was done with control and wasn’t violent) and told her to get her f-ing hands off my husband. She stood facing me with this crazy look on her face. (And let me tell you the vision of grabbing her around her throat and shoving her into the wall was running vividly through my head. How I stood there composed, arms by my sides I’ll never know-except that I’m really a very peaceful person).
          Then, she clocked me up the left side of my head-hard!
          I maintained my composure but as she was walking away laughing, my leg might have gotten in the way, and she fell flat on her face. (While this was all going on, my husband had grabbed me by the back of my shirt and was hanging on)
          well, then we got kicked out of the bar.
          I’m going to let you all know that despite every fantasy I had of physically hurting her-I didn’t feel very good about what had happened. In fact, it made me so sad and depressed.
          My H apologized for me having to be in that situation (this event occurred about 3 years after everything was ended by the way).
          What I came out of there wanting to know was:
          Why didn’t he stand up for me? Why didn’t he say anything? Why did he just grab onto my jacket and hold me back? WHY?!?!?!
          In my mind, he should have made a point to let her know that her behavior was unacceptable and she should leave me alone. In my mind, he just stood up for her.
          He can’t understand this. He said that I was taking care of myself just fine and he knew I would which is why he grabbed onto me-to be sure I didn’t do too good of a job. He wanted to know what he should have said: Boom! Stay down on the ground, b@@@@h!?
          UGH!
          I hate still struggling over this affair still! It’s not all the time. But, I feel like there is something still I need to let go-7 years later!!!
          Life is good. We are doing great as far as getting along and trust and love. He talks about how sorry he is for everything he’s put me through. How badly he feels about everything. How he thinks about what I had to and still go through because of him everyday.
          Why do I feel like there’s still something to dig out of me? I’m back here looking to see if I can extract it somehow through reading and posting-maybe finding someone similar.
          Sorry, if there’s anyone there-I know I’m totally off topic of triggers of the CS.

          • Mollymagee

            Hey Tdlea… what can I say? Men are pussies.. I hate using that derogatory word (from female anatomy) because we women are so much more deep, stronger and wiser than men could ever be. How they got to be the dominate sex is beyond me… they are mostly dunces. Hope this makes you laugh. If they didn’t have physical strength they do we would be toast. That being said, probably no man wants to get in between a physical fight between two women because he’ll get the domestic assault or assault wrap – not the woman/women. I don’t believe he held onto your clothes to have your back… or to protect her… it was probably just physical impulse. I don’t want to believe he held you steady so she could get her licks in. These women who have affairs with married women CLEARLY have no boundaries so no shock that they’d still not have them after affair is over. My husband’s nit wit TX affair partner wrote him an email 3 months after their official end of their affair to see ‘How he was”. I found it first and told her to go away: out son on the autism spectrum was then suicidal to the fallout of the affair and my emotional fragility; our young adult daughter was fighting cancer – she knew all this too! When I wrote her, I said ‘You are NO friend to my husband or our family” and I told her I’d report her to her school district’s HR dept. if she continued… she’s teacher. Then I hit her where it hurt… (and him too) and insisted on a “cease and desist” contact letter from both our lawyers. I made sure the copy wen to her work address so she’d know I knew where she worked. I think they eventually found out about it or she quit before they could. She’s flown under the radar since then but I plan to have her served again. You can also have a stalking order done if you think she might physically approach him or both of you ever again. Go for a legal way of getting back. You can still file assault charges or at very least… register her w/police as having hit you. Keep a paper trail. Check your husband’s phone, linkedin account, etc… see who keeps tabs on him; look for apps that they might still be in touch on (Kik, words with friends -all allow secret messaging) and more. Our marriage therapist said my husband’s phone and computer should be an open book to me. Basically, get her where it hurts… legally. It’s not a lot of money to have a cease and desist done. But they do need to be renewed. And for the record… I”m glad you hit back and I’m really, really glad you tripped her and she landed flat on her face. Good for you. Being peaceful doesn’t mean you have to be a martyr when someone hits first and she hit you in a lot of ways. Hope this helps. Peace indeed!

            • tdleea

              Mollymagee-very funny description of the male species indeed! Realistically, I know my husband didn’t hold me back to stand up for her. Realistically, I think he was very afraid that I might kill her. I’m small in stature but have Italian, German and Taurus running strong in my blood especially when provoked….and, I had described in detail what I would like to do to her. She had the gall to leave a message on my phone that night that SHE was pressing charges against me! And, that my husband didn’t want me. (Funny thing was I never go anywhere without my phone with the kids at home but that night I left it behind-perhaps there was this reason)
              I thought about going to the police just to file something and I’m not sure why I didn’t. I think there was a little shock after it all. That a grown woman could do something like that to me when I didn’t do ANYTHING to her. And, in fact, SHE did everything to me!
              I wasn’t aware of the cease and desist orders. Thanks for the tip!
              My husband’s accounts, passwords, and phone are open to me any time with his blessing. I feel comfortable with that. I do believe that if there was any change in things that I have learned to trust my gut and act on it.
              Since reading this, I would really like to ask him if he has triggers but haven’t found the time alone yet. Maybe he does but doesn’t label them as triggers. He doesn’t seem to totally get when I have a trigger although I have explained to him what I need him to do when I have a trigger because he was just lost as to what role he should play at that time-because he was feeling bad that I was feeling bad. The lovely after effects of a plainly screwed up situation!
              Thanks for the response!

            • Mollymagee

              Glad I gave you a laugh tdleea. We need to laugh because these post affair lives are beyond surreal. Not much to laugh about the first year or so but I do now. If I were you and she had hit first, I’d still file a an assault report… if not to protect you, then for the next wife whose husband she cheats with. And for all you know, she has previous arrests.. my husband’s TX “sweetheart” had a paper trail of arrests and convictions for financial crimes – mostly petty ones but who cares? Guess you can figure out why she was so fascinated w/his resume and career!??!! A paper trail is important. You just never know when his smug, ugly bitch of an AP will rear her ugly head or needs. A report filed will probably go to her and if you decide to do cease and desist – that gives her AND your husband a clear message that you are not playing. Plus it hurts him where men least like to be hurt… in their wallets. (Forget about the fact that they were spending OUR shared martial money on her!) I’m all for paper trails and legal documents. Just in case. It shows her you mean business and you are not going to hurt her the most physically; rather, if she comes near you again, you’ll hurt her in her pocketbook. Ouch. Let her have it especially because, it seems you live near each other, and in all likelihood, you’ll run into her again. And you definitely do NOT want her near your kids so make sure they are named in cease and desist too. And is this ugly – yes? Is it as ugly as them bumping uglies? No. Go get her lady! LOL. Peace.

      • 112347

        Im am new to the forum but, was relieved to see this post. My H had an affair for nearly 3 1/2 years on and off ( I think..maybe never off!) with my dtrs elementary school teacher. We are 4 months from the last Dday. We seperated for two months and recently decided to reconcile.
        The only way I can wrap my head around his behavior while with the OW.
        ( lies,anger,resentment,hiding, sex in cars, sex in our bed, in MY single owned business,isolating family and friends,irrational risky decision making etc….,then remorse and indecision and promises to end it)….is to liken it to an addiction to heroin or alcohol.
        But that doesn’t always help when I am struggling with triggers.
        I had confronted the OW several times. I foolishly pleaded with her to stop trying to destroy my childrens lives, me, and possibly my H’s and her career as well as her children and H’s lives. This only made her push harder to “win” him. And each time he attempted to leave the relationship she sent me the explicit details of their relationship through text messages.The worst being her describing every detail of my home , bedroom,the places and sexual positions she loved with dates etc.
        A few days ago I asked my H how he could care for someone that could be so selfish and hurtful . His reply-“I dont know” . I tried to explain that the images ,her texts and the physical relationship they shared haunts me .(He asked what was wrong -I wasnt myself) But, when I reveal my thoughts I dont think he knows how to reassure me. Weve been to counseling ,and I’ve joined alanon to deal with childhood issues that have repeated in our lives and we have become closer than ever in many ways. In an instant though progress is diminished it seems when I am feeling angry. I too was told I need more counseling …I need help bc I cant move forward-
        In so many ways my H is much more focused now that the fog is beginning to lift. I have the same questions that so many do here.
        I am trying to let go of my fears, live in the moment,trust God, and stop giving energy to that evil woman ! But, my self loathing and negative repeptitive thinking get the better of me at times….so many triggers. It is helpful in an unfortunate way -to read that Im not alone.

        • tdleea

          112347-the pain you must have felt. I felt it for you while reading your post. I am hoping things have turn for the better in your life-whatever that route may be.

          • Mollymagee

            tdleea… did you see my reply to you above?? Mollymagee

        • Mollymagee

          112347…have you found Al Anon to be helpful with post affair recovery. I have. Better than marriage counseling. I’m done w/marriage counseling. I’d love to be in touch. Would you? Write a reply here and I’ll send you my email. I struggle with a lot of what you described above too. Be well. MM

    • Nancy

      Everyday is a trigger…especially now that I’m having to start all over again. He doesn’t like talking about my “bad days”..as he said I’m wasting my life worrying about it and I should just move on. How can I move on, when I just found out he’s still involved with her?? I have 2 ways to move on…ignore it…or find a way to let him go. I’m just not ready to let him go. He’s my everything…or has been. I can’t imagine life without him.

      • tryinghard

        Nancy
        Ignoring it is not an option. Is he really that great that you are willing to put yourself in harms way both physically and emotionally. I think probably not. There is no man worth that unless of course you are Angelina Jolie and he is Brad Pitt, then I say ignore it!!!

        Seriously sister. Put your foot down!

      • Teresa

        Nancy, I ignored my H’s first EA, over 24 yrs yrs ago….and you see where I am today,right?
        I’m on EAJ, for 18 mos now!! DDay, Jan.1st 2011….He never even gave me a thought, when he started this new EA…I now realize that by burying it, he never learned a darn thing, so it made it easier for him to get involved with the cow this time!

        It never works out good for the BS to bury this…and with his attitude you seriously need to decide what it is YOU want, since it seems like he doesn’t care about you, only himself!
        He was selfish to get involved in the EA, and he’s STILL selfish with his attitude towards you!

    • Redemption

      Thank You Natalia and TryingHard for your insights. Had to go into the office today so have just read your words. I have asked him previously what “decent” meant and he was non responsive. This issue of “she is a decent person” and “she cares about things in her life” he has expressed to me before. I was angry at his words then, to say the least, and told him in no uncertain terms what it did to me. But he seems to think I am trying to control him over this issue. We kept butting heads on the point and so I said previously that were going to have to agree to disagree.
      But now that it has come up again and he knows how strongly I reacted last time one would think he might be a bit more sensitive. But no his words about the OW were just the same. So we had another arguement.
      I understand this has nothing really to do with the OW and more to do with him defending himself and his decision to choose such a low class individual in the 1st place. His ego is written all over this one. But at what cost to our marriage? At what cost to our daughter if he repeats these words in her presence? Knowing how I felt he should have, I believe, as a minimum ,modified his wording. But that courtesy wasn’t extended to me.
      He asked me this morning how I was and I responded not well. Said he had to get to the office for a teleconference and cautiously kissed me good-bye. He also has a male work associate spending the weekend with us before they both leave for a week long session of staff meetings. (The same hotel he started his affair in.)
      Sometimes I just feel like screaming because there is always some reason why our conversations are delayed. Not by a few hours but by several days or weeks. Terrribly frustrated again. This seems to be a good place to vent.
      Thanks Again.

      • exercisegrace

        I agree with the others, that he is still in the “affair fog”. It is very powerful. I will add one other thought. One reason it can be hard for the cheating spouse to call the affair partner a “bad person” is because they will then have to paint themselves with the same brush. If they admit that the affair partner is a bad person for having the affair, they have to see themselves as a bad person as well. They want very much to see themselves simply as a GOOD person, who made a BAD choice (and often this the case). In our case the OW showed herself to be a true bunny boiler, but in reality I would FAR rather have my husband step up and admit HIS fault and mistakes (and how he plans to correct them/make them right again) than to simply blame the OW and trash her (as much as I feel the affair partner deserves it, LOL)

    • Redemption

      PS: TryHard
      I also have asked my H before what he would do if he ran into the OW. He said he could hardly just shake her hand so he said “I would probably give her a hug” and ask her how she was doing. Again, I couldn’t believe my ears. I got upset and told him he was doing nothing to protect me or our family.
      We were seeing a psychologist then and I repeated the story to her. She told him he was to cross the street if he had to but in no way was he to invite communication. By the end of the hour he said he could then understand.
      It’s not rocket science, it’s common sense and common decency!
      It feels like It’sstill all about him and his feelings!

      • exercisegrace

        One of my “deal breakers” is contact of ANY kind with the other woman. If my husband were to so much as shake her hand, I would be gone, gone, gone. We discussed AT LENGTH with our therapist where the boundaries are, how BOTH of us would/will react if we ever see her in public, or if she contacts either one of us in ANY way. I am a big fan of drawing very clear code of conduct!

      • Tryinghard

        Omg they are so stupid. Hug her??! Tell him you wold hug her to WITH A kNIFE to her back. Seriously what if the shoe were on the other foot. What would he think if you said that? Thank God your counselor set him straight

    • Carol

      Oy vey. Redemption, I’m glad your psychologist set him straight. It does indeed sound as if he still wants to think of himself as a decent and good guy. But, erm, he wasn’t in his conduct with her as he had an affair. Doesn’t seem that hard to understand, so why don’t they get it? In my case the OW is coming to my and my H’s workplace soon –yeeeccchhh — and when I asked what he’d do if she dropped in, he said he’d say ‘hello’ and then introduce her to some other people to talk to. EXCUSE ME? What IS it with these cheaters thinking they should treat the OW with such courtesy, even AFTER they KNOW that these cows are willing to wreck their families (and therefore are NOT decent people)? Sheesh.

    • Rachel

      Seriously can we trust anyone? I am so afraid to start to date anyone fornfearnof this happening again!!! I would go off the deep end, again!

    • AnnaB

      Reading about this is exasperating for me because it’s something I often wonder about and dread. I’ve asked my H what he would do if he bumped into her on the train and he insists he’d ignore her and get off the train. But going back a year ago, she resigned from their company when I found out, and my H said he would go to her leaving party!! I was horrified, but he said it was because their work colleagues would think it strange if he didn’t!! Tough!! It seems to me that maybe these cheating men would be civil to these tramps so that other people don’t find out. Perhaps they are so ashamed already, that they want to keep those who know about it to a minimum. I hope I’m right.

      • Natalia

        AnnaB, you would be right if it were your H saying these words but that doesn’t mean it’s the truth. Like all cheaters he wants to maintain some dignity and save face cause he got caught. And he probably wonders who else knows. My H avoids ALL company social gatherings where he knows the OW might show up. He’ll either claim he’s got work and stay at his desk or stays home “sick.” Unless he can bring me to these events he doesn’t go and he’s told me he doesn’t care what his coworkers think. So tell your H to show you how much he loves you by not going to that cow’s farewell f%@king party!

        • exercisegrace

          I applaud your husband for that! It is good boundary setting, putting your marriage first and that is HUGE!

    • Tryinghard

      AnnaB
      I don’t know about you but my H doesn’t do anything he doesn’t want to do. He could find an excuse to not go right? Like a meeting, family obligation whatever. Also I know when an affair happens at work lots of people know. They are fooling themselves thinking people don’t. He’s putting his needs ahead of yours again by going. Not right.

    • AnnaB

      Natalia/Tryinghard, as it turned out, I don’t think there was a leaving party, but I’d told him it would be unacceptable for him to have gone. Sometimes I think he’s really naïve, like a kid! The whole situation started because the OW told him she had feelings for him and he felt “flattered.” I do understand that, but why do these men have difficulty staying within boundaries! One thing is for sure, I shall try to teach my sons about boundaries and acceptable behaviour within a marriage. But going back to whether cheaters have triggers, I don’t know if my H does because I don’t want to know if he thinks of her. I guess he must do. Sometimes he looks really sad and recently I felt guilty for my occasional outbursts, which is possibly progress on my behalf.

      • exercisegrace

        I wondered too for awhile if my husband was naive. I finally concluded that he has likely NEVER had good boundaries. I think I spent the last thirty years “assuming” that he had the same boundaries that I do. That he would react to flirting the way I react when other men flirt with ME. The reason I believe this was never a problem, was several things. One, we have fortunately never had all the terrible life events crash in on us all at once, the way we did leading up to the affair. Two, while he has certainly been flirted with, he has never had anyone (and these are the parasite’s words, not mine) “pursue him aggressively”. Third, I never understood the depths of his low self esteem, despite the fact that from all outward appearances, he is very successful. Extreme stress+ vulnerability + aggressive pursuer= disaster.

        Now, I don’t assume ANYTHING. I question certain situations, and there have been women flirt with him and he appeared oblivious. We have talked extensively with out counselor about boundary setting, recognizing “invitation” behavior for what it is. NOT “oh that’s just her bubbly personality” or “oh she’s just a very friendly person”.

        • Natalia

          No, I don’t think they’re naive at all. They know exactly what the ow are doing by flirting with them. If they don’t follow through it’s because they’re not interested or the timing is not right. But if they respond to a flirty comment or email it’s because they like that person enough to continue. I don’t assume anything anymore either. I question everything and everyone. And I speak up when he does something that bothers me or when I meet a female coworker I don’t like. He understands what boundaries are and that they are to be respected, but it doesn’t hurt to remind him… Just in case he starts getting too comfortable and thinks I’ve let my guard down.

          • exercisegrace

            A-MEN. I too speak up MUCH more now than I ever did. He takes it very well, and I wonder why I took so much for granted before. Never mind, I DO know. I trusted blindly and I believed in him with all my heart. I was faithful and I assumed he was too. I thought thirty YEARS together meant we were somehow “immune”. That whatever problems or issues arose, we had somehow ducked out of t he cheating one.

            It’s probably been discussed, but one topic I would love to read someone write about more IS boundaries. What is acceptable to people now, that wasn’t before? Where do you set the lines? How do other couples reconcile the tighter boundaries? Do others’ cheating spouses impose tighter boundaries on THEM now too?

            • ataloss

              Exercisegrace, I always assumed that we both understood the boundaries as well. I don’t know why I assumed that, as we NEVER discussed it. Not once. However, he knew he had crossed the line, as he and OW discussed it. They didn’t want to hurt their families, etc. So I just wonder if having explicit boundaries in place would have made any difference? I think the shock of realizing how close he was to losing his family has reenforced the boundaries, and of course we now have discussed it. Including the fact that there will NEVER be contact again, despite the fact that we have to see her in town, at the ball field, in the circle of friends, etc. I don’t care if anyone questions why they don’t talk. NC is a deal breaker.

            • Paula

              Mmmm, ataloss, I guess everyone is different, your assumption was not wrong, of course. I think most people in committed relationships make that assumption! We did discuss it, at length, many, many, many times, as marriages crumbled around us over the years, due to infidelity. Don’t do that, don’t hurt each other like that, we BOTH agreed, it wasn’t just me talking AT him, he brought it up, too, he’d been cheated on in the past (by the same OW, no less!) It didn’t stop it for us. He just got so lost for a while there he thought I wouldn’t care, I KNOW!!! That is part of his explanation, that we were both so unhappy that I wouldn’t care. I wasn’t unhappy – he was, and he didn’t communicate that to me. Unbelievable.

            • forcryin'outloud

              I too have heard the explanation that he thought I didn’t care. ?????? I still cannot wrap my head around how he thought that when for about a year I was BEGGING for communication and he had checked out. He was so unhappy. It went on long after the end of of his EA. He was miserable in his own skin!

            • tryinghard

              forcryinoutloud
              OK here’s my take on that. They say “I didn’t think you cared”. What they are too afraid to say is “I didn’t care”. That is a boatload of BS they didn’t think we cared. That is putting the blame on us again. That is an immature statement to make and yes my H used that too and I put a big fat stop to that!! How on earth can one wrap their heads around that? They may as well say ‘the affair was your fault”. We should create a list of things the CS CANNOT say because it is the same as blaming us for their choices. My H said that he felt he couldn’t talk to me because I judged him. Ok give me an example. No he couldn’t. Well you know what effffff you, you judged me, thought I didn’t care and then went out and had an affair. This is just bad communication and not constructive at all. I put a stop this is bs immediately to it anymore. Call it boundries whatever but there is not going to be any conversations that rationalize or put the blame on me for his affair.

            • exercisegrace

              Tryinghard….you made me laugh out loud. YES!!! I think we should make a list of things the CS cannot say. Can I start us off?? 1. I never meant to hurt you 2. I thought you didn’t love me. 3. I felt abandoned.

            • Natalia

              How about the famous “we’re just friends,” “I was lonely” “you said mean things to me” “I felt ignored.” Lol! How old are these men, 5?

            • exercisegrace

              Forcryin’outloud……OH that is a familiar one. It is a cousin to one of my faves…….”I felt a distance between us”. Hmmmm. Maybe because you were spending your very limited free time, talking, and texting your bimbo. HE created the distance. At least he has the grace to admit that now. He was drawn in at a vulnerable time. He is the one who fell for the attention and let that steal emotional intimacy from OUR relationship. As bad as this is? I am glad I don’t have to walk in HIS shoes.

            • forcryin'outloud

              On D-day I asked why he did it… “I was interested in her, curious about how her life turned out.” My response, “curiosity killed the cat!” STUPID is as stupid does. I

            • exercisegrace

              Ataloss, I agree with Paula. Making a certain amount of assumptions is normal in a committed relationship, particularly a long-term one. Paula, you nailed it when you said you had discussed others’ marital meltdowns. Sadly just the fact of being together for thirty years, means we have seen others fall. It is not like the subject never came up. My husband also lost himself for a time. He regrets it deeply. He hates what he did and who that made him during that time. He has to live with that. I have to remember that I fought for my marriage and I walked with integrity and ultimately, that won the day.

    • KelBelly

      Its funny that you say that exercisingrace. I never had boundaries on my H but now I do. He is a nice looking man and for years I have noticed when woman flirt with him and never gave it a second thought because we had such a great marriage but now it really seems to affect me when I see woman extensively staring or being flirty for two reasons. One is because of the affair itself and the other is because it pisses me off that these woman have the audacity to flirt with a married man.

      We have one lady that really takes her interested in my H too far. I thought it was just me until I conducted a little test in front of one of my dear friends and she even saw it. We unfortunately run in a few of the same circles because our sons play sports together. My H is completely freaked out by it and stays very far away from her but if she does it again this year, I am going to confront her. What makes this even worse is her and I have a past from growing up together and it wasn’t a good one lol!

    • chiffchaff

      I’m still having issues with my H and his apparent continuing attraction to women who are physically ‘like’ the OW (small, long brown haired and overmadeup self-obsessed narcs… sorry, got carried away).
      Today I discovered, because I sensed he was a bit cold and dismissive and checked his phone, that he’d started online scrabble with a new player who had an avatar just like that trigger physical appearance. That in itself wasn’t a problem but I thought I’d check and see if they’d started chatting, which is the agreed boundary to cross. and of course they had but my H had again initiated it with something fairly bland and innocuous. this woman had responded similarly about scrabble but he had then responded within minutes to her in a way that, maybe I’m being sensitive, invited her to ask him questions. It wasn’t about scrabble, or sexy chat or anything but it was ‘I don’t play this game as much as I did last year’ which in my mind would elicit a further response from her of ‘why’s that?’ or something similar.
      I have told him I’m not happy to discover he’s initiated chat with a new female player whose avatar is a picture of herself which at that resolution and size looks vaguely like the OW.
      I can understand that he maybe gets triggered by women who are physically similar to the OW but why go as far as initiating chat with them? He’s show in the past that he’s excellent at justifying bad bahviour to himself and I’ve told him that this is what I think he’s done again this time ‘I’m not talking in a risky way with this new woman so it’s fine’ bullshit.

      • tryinghard

        chiffchaff
        After all you have been through he still thinks this kind of behavior is acceptable? I should really say after all he’s put you through, he thinks this kind of behavior is ok? We can rationalize all we want, it wasn’t flirty, it wasn’t sexting. Isn’t that like saying well and alcoholic didn’t get drunk or drink whiskey, it was just a beer? No this crap leads to more crap. You know it, he knows it, hell we all know it. We have GOT to stop rationalizing or making excuses. Plain and simple if it makes you uncomfortable he has NO business doing it–end of story. This is one of my biggest fears is that all will be going along just fine and my H will think he can just slip back into the behaviors that he got his former “highs” from. ULK, I am in war mode today! I am so sick of these men acting like complete selfish fools. We don’t deserve it we deserve better!!! I say get mad and put your foot down. He wants to act like a child I say treat him like a child. Take away his Words With Friends. Hell I have 10 games going and I message NO ONE. I don’t want to. I don’t need to connect with them I play for the sport of it. You know what he’s doing. Don’t let him make you a fool again.

        • chiffchaff

          Thanks Tryinghard.
          This is exactly where I am really. We’re only just over 1 year from real NC (just 18months from DDay#1). I still worry that he’ll slip back into his old ways despite how far we’ve come and this is the reason I occassionally check his phone, usually when I get a vibe (and goodness, don’t BSs after DDay know not to ignore vibes).

          He’s now said he’s very down today as a result but as he’s busy at work he can’t respond. That is true. So I don’t know why he’s down. Is he down because I still don’t trust him or down because he was justifying it to himself and has realised, or down because he’s thinking of the OW again or what?

          I did see that the majority of his finished games were with his male workmate (which I’m wholly in favour of) and of his active games he wasn’t chatting to anyone else but this new one. So on balance he’s within boundaries but it’s the steps just slightly over the boundary that I feel obliged to nip in the bud these days.

          He has got better at discussing things like this with me, like when I caught him sexting the last time, which was only 2 months ago. But why does he not stop them happening in the first place? I’m the same about WF, I play but don’t chat unless it’s family or friend.

          • tryinghard

            CHIFFCHAFF
            Don’t you just think that there must just be a whole lot of frustration. I mean crap, if there’s frustration for us, there must be frustration for them. Look the fact is the frustration must have always been there for themand who the hell knows what that was. Maybe his mother didn’t buy him that bicycle he wanted when he was ten???? We won’t know, ever. So we need to give up on trying to figure it out if they don’t want to and you know what they can but it would take years of therapy. Everyone tries so hard at “happiness”. What a load of crap. What’s wrong with satisfaction?? Maybe if we realized we were satisfied we wouldn’t go looking for crazy things to make us happy. Which BTW is one of my favorite cheater lines, “I wasn’t happy” well WTF, I wasn’t too thrilled myself either but I didn’t do what you did. Get happy, happiness is a CHOICE. These people have a gross negligence of gratitude and gratitude is what you feel when you are satisfied.
            Maybe he’s down because he knows what he was up to and is questioning why he still feels the need to do it. Cheating is a highly intoxicating and addictive drug. It changes the brain chemicals just like cocaine. Let’s face it. They LIKED the high they experienced in the middle of the affair and now they don’t have it and they miss it. They will never have it with their committed partner. But what is more important the high or your marriage. Sexting two months ago I think would have been a deal breaker for me. I would bet it’s not the OW specifically but how he felt when he was in the affair.
            We can and should give them encouragement when they are conducting themselves the way one should in a committed relationship but I also believe the reverse is true too. When they act contrary to the acceptable boundaries then it’s time to call it for what it is or throw in the freaking towel. Remember, People Can Change, but Not Much! There’s going to be backslides but they have to recognize it and fix it. Being in a bad mood or down is NOT fixing it. I see it in my H all the time. I call him on it. I ask what in the hell he has to be down about. All one has to do is look at the news and suffering in the world and realize, we have it pretty good. I hope you are doing things to make yourself happy. I am going to start this. Tonight as a matter of fact. I am going to start a running program. I want to run a 5k this summer. Something for me that I can be proud of and accomplish. I am sick of living in the shadow of his stupid selfishness.

            • forcryin'outloud

              trying hard I’m right with you. I’m sick and tired of living in the shadow of my H’s selfishness. Also, I agree 100% about the intoxication of the affair. My H recently admitted he was addicted to social media at the time of his EA. Not just with the OW but the high of getting in touch with people (male and female) from the past. He said it was a boost to have those “how ya been” email banters. The irony he admitted was it only lasted a short time then he needed to move onto the next blast from the past. As if the more people from yesteryear that connected with him the more fuel for his ego. Like those FB accounts that have 500+ friends. Seriously? IMO boundaries are slowly becoming a thing of the past in more ways than I care to grasp.

            • chiffchaff

              I did the couch to 5k last year, completed my first ever 30 minute run in July and now am running 3 times a week and entered my first 10k race. Hoping to do my first half marathon by the end of the year.
              It’s been great for self-esteem so go do it! it’s hard but worthwhile!

            • Doug

              That’s awesome Chiff. Any desires to shoot for a full marathon?

            • chiffchaff

              My H thinks that’s where I’ll end up, yes, but no current plans. then again, everytime I do a bit more I realise the next step is more reasonable to achieve than I thought. a bit like this recovery process 🙂

            • tryinghard

              WOW you are inspiring ChiffChaff. Ok I did start last night. I felt good about doing it because I have NEVER been a runner. I’m just not that athletic and never really aspired to be. So when I run I look really stupid!! I ran on my treadmill in the basement. It’s a good treadmill and I find it is easier on my knees than running outside. I started the couch to 5k in the middle of DDay year. I went to CO and ran there in the mountains and along streams. That’s when I also learned about my love for hiking. However around here the scenery isn’t so beautiful although we do have many nice walking/bike trails. I like a mixture of both. Anyway damned recovery took up so much of my energy I let it go and I know I shouldn’t have but so be it. So OK today my knees are a little sore today and I really don’t want to hurt them because I know I will quit. The app says to take a day off and then do it again the next. So tonight is date night and I don’t want to go run and have to redo my hair and makeup 🙂 I have scheduled my next run/walk on friday morning. Wish me and my knees luck 🙂

            • chiffchaff

              That’s great that you’ve started, it’s the hardest step I found. I’m also not a natural runner and had never run further than the end of the road since school. In the beginning everything jiggled and I got hotter than I have ever got, but if you keep at it and religiously stick to the routine, taking the rest days when you should etc., then eventually your body will calm down and feel better. It took me about 4 weeks of the course before I felt like I was =getting anywhere with it.
              Good luck for Friday, I find treadmills very hard to run on watching that distance tick slowly up and I hope you have a great date night.
              For inspiration I read the blog of this amazing woman in Vancouver
              http://slowisthenewfast.blogspot.co.uk/

            • tryinghard

              thanks I will take a look. Thanks for encouragement as well.

            • Exercise grace

              Very impressive, good for you! You inspire me to start up my exercise program again. I felt so much better pkysically and mentally when I was working out.

            • tryinghard

              LOL exercise. Don’t be impressed, it’s only day one. I will let you know how I progress 🙂 One day at a time right?

            • chiffchaff

              and one foot in front of the other… 🙂

            • exercisegrace

              Very, Very well said. As usual! I too believe happiness is a choice. And that is exactly where I am struggling right now. I feel like as I approach the one year anti-versary of D-day, I need to CHOOSE to put this more in the past. Is he trying to work this out? Yes. Does it look *exactly* the way I want it to? No. Will it ever? Probably not. He is not me, and I am not him. We have been together thirty years. Things that I tolerated in his personality pre-affair are suddenly completely unacceptable. And I am talking about little things. Like, right now I long to get love notes from him. But that is not something I ever expected before. I am asking for some personality change and I don’t know if I will completely get that.

              I want to be at peace in my life and my world again. I am tired of waking up sad. Being “down” more often than not. At some point, I need to take responsibility for MY OWN feelings. I need to do things FOR ME. I just don’t quite know yet how to “put legs” under that idea. How that looks in the real world, not just “on paper” and in theory. LOL.

            • tryinghard

              Exercising
              Me too. I put up with so much and didn’t even know I was doing it. My psychiatrist said I made myself a doormat. I thought I was being a “good wife”. I was a great cook, now, not so much. Food just isn’t important to me any more and neither is making nice meals. I laugh because I think he misses that. I feel I did my best in that area believing it enriched our lives and in the end it just didn’t make any difference. He took it for granted. I kept his closets and drawers impeccably organized. No more, it just isn’t important and I know it now. I think he misses that too. I’m not being stubborn it just isn’t important and I guess I just don’t care. He made way too much time for work and golf. No more. I will not put up with being ignored. This is as big a deal breaker as if he made contact with the OW. My psychiatrist told me to be more assertive. Now I always thought I was pretty assertive. I’ve learned that assertiveness is NOT about speaking loudly. It’s about saying NO once and sticking to it. It’s about not letting anyone patronize you. It’s about saying what you mean and meaning what you say. This is making me happier. If you want love notes are you leaving him love notes or sending flirty texts to him? Have you told him you want more romance such as love notes? What do any of us have to lose by asking for what we want? We have already lost more than we care to think of. Put away the pride girls and ask for what you want. Make them understand it is important to you.
              EG we have to get away from this notion of happiness. It is bringing us down. I think focusing on being satisfied is more attainable. I know, I wake up too without a care in the world for the first 15 minutes and then that 500 pound gorilla pisses in my cheerios!!! This morning I told that 500 lb gorilla to piss off!!! I am giving up on trying to change my past. I like the new things in my life and the changes and attention my H is showing me. And I know there is more to come. He have to stay strong and yes sometimes we have to be in what I call war mode to battle on.
              We have for so long focused on the needs of others we can’t even think of what we can do to make ourselves fulfilled besides following our H’s and focusing on his happiness so God forbid they stray again. I like what Duane said earlier. We have no control over that. Never did. Now if they do stray, we will know and that is all we can ask for ourselves. The ball is in our court. We are the ones in control of this relationship now.
              I’ve chosen the 5k training as my personal challenge. It may sound cliche but hey it’s a start and it’s better than not doing anything. My H and I are also planning trips. That’s fun and something we never did before. My next foray into self actualization is taking art classes. I want to be painter!!!! I’m thinking Jackson Pollack :/

    • Nancy

      Exercisegrace and all of you… it’s so good to know that I’m not the only one with these feelings. As soon as I open my eyes that pit in my stomach is there and I hate it. I’ve started walking again, but sometimes my entire walk is consumed with thoughts of “her” and “them”… I get home exhausted. Sometimes I can’t concentrate at work. This is all super fresh for me..with his repeating his offense last month, so I shouldn’t expect miracles, I know. I just wish there was a pill we could take to make it all feel better. I wanted to go into my breast cancer treatment with no stress, yet I feel I have the weight of the world on my shoulders because of the affair. Everyone thinks my tears and panic attacks are because of the cancer….I just can’t tell them the real reason. I sooooo want to tell the OW’s husband…sooooo badly….. I just wish I could stop worrying about it… and let it go. It hurts…that’s all there is to it, it hurts bad.

      • tryinghard

        Nancy
        Don’t beat yourself up. It is way to early to not be consumed with the situation. Reading right now is hard, hell breath is hard. Considering you have to go through therapy maybe you should get some meds. This stress is not going to help you with your breast cancer recovery. You DO have the weight of the world on your shoulders right now. I mean how much more should you bear without being craxy. I wish I could get the OW husband’s name. I would send him an anonymous letter. He deserves to know. Why aren’t you telling him? Don’t say it’s because your H has asked you not too!!! He would be putting his needs before yours again.

      • chiffchaff

        Nancy – it’s normal to be entirely consumed with those thoughts on your walk, but still go for the walk. In the early months I walked and walked and walked. If I was ruminating on it on my own at home I felt it was better to be outside walking and ruminating because then you might also see a neighbour, or see something amusing (I discovered that a neighbour’s cat sleeps halfway up the steps to the kiddy slide in the playpark – I could just see eyes in the dark and went over to investigate) or just see the beauty of nature.
        At least when you’re walking you’re also keeping yourself physically healthy, which is so important during the turmoil. and goodness, you have some serious turmoil to cope with there Nancy with cancer treatment too.

      • Mollymagee

        Nancy… see you wrote almost six years ago this time. First are you ok? I pray your cancer treatment was a success and you are healthy in mind and spirit. If you are not, I pray you are getting help you need. My husband cheated on me while our young adult daughter was being treated for cancer. People liked to tell me that it “can happen” … men panic because they can’t fix the problem and either cheat or leave. It’s called a cancer affair. I call it a coward affair. But aren’t all affairs a form of cowardice? In my husband’s case the affair started well before our daughter’s diagnosis so I wasn’t buying that theory and it didn’t stop him either. So how are you? I wonder how it’s going and if you have any current insight. I’m wondering if you ever confronted your husband’s AP ed the other BS…. her husband. If you want to and have time…let us know. Peace to all going thru this… it doesn’t seem to get “better” … just different whether or not you stay with the spouse who cheated. I truly hope all is well w/you. MM

    • Nancy

      I’m just afraid telling him would backfire on me somehow. If I could do it anonymously…I would. Still working on that idea… the satisfaction it would give me, even if only for a moment!! 🙂

    • Nancy

      You guys are great therapy!

    • Ann

      My CH Immediately Upon Getting Caught By Th OW Phone Call To Me, Some Kids, And Work, Said She Was A Evil Bitch. I Don’t Know If He Has Triggers Except From My Questions. .He Has Used The Excuses Of I Thought You Hated MeI Felt Abondoned, I Was Lonely In The Other City Where I Had To Live Part Of The Week, I Did Not Know What I Was Coming Home To When I Moved Back Full Time, I Made A Mistake, BS_ Was A Decision. All Excuses Are Really A Narcissistic. Opposite Is Remorse. He Says He Has It But I Can’t Feel It. I Have Told Him That I Have Seen Lots Of Men Men Cry On TV In Response To Getting Caught. He Says, Good For Them, That’s Not How I Show Remorse.

    • Ann

      And It Has Been Two Years Dec 28, Since The OW phone Call And On Jan 3, I Confronted. Was Scared And Did NotDo Earlier. Was Also Looking For Evidence.

    • Survivor

      I know my spouse will never forget the other women. He Loved her. Don’t feel bad for them. It’s a choice they chose to hurt you. If they feel bad, I say good. You reap what you sow

    • Jeff N

      Ok so I am the cheating husband. Was found out in October and it took till Jan 18 to find a way to break the addictive hold the relationship had on me. It is easy to condemn the cheater. ( i know I condemned many a cheater I knew till The shor was on my foot!). To the hurt spouses of an emotional/ physical affair- we hurt too. A lot.
      Triggers are everywhere- a song, a joke, an image in our head, doing something and wondering what itnwould be like with the OP. I have found myself changing music just to not wandernin my mind. Always hoping for a ph call from the OP but praying it doesnt come. There a lot LOT of triggers and an alcoholic or drug addict it is almost impossible to resist the temptations. It HURTS. We not only hurt those we love but I believe the biggest hurt is on ourself. Kinda self destructive. I lost an entire summer nothing else mattered. NOTHING. The thoughts and hurts are real. Worse part is we cant take it back.
      I am not sure I will make it with my wife. She is a Saint in all of this and I am a hollow shell stuck in a vortex where there is no feeling inside. Yes still waiting,hoping and dreading a call,text,email, any attempt by the OP to contact. There are so many triggers itnis pathetic. I know it easy to condemn and not understand- been there done that. But please try to give your cheating partner a tiny bit of i derstanding and treat their triggers like a drig addicts cause this is just as hard. Really I had no idea.

      • Shifting Impressions

        Jeff N
        I just can’t conjur up any kind of sympathy or understanding. I can totally imagine that you would have triggers and that things would be painful. The difference for the triggers for the betrayed spouse is they had no choice.

        You played with fire and got burned….my sympathy lies with the innocent bystanders that got burned as well. I imagine the addiction happened further along into the affair…had you said no before it got that far you wouldn’t be having “addiction” problems.

        Perhaps I sound heartless to you….but affairs involve so much lying and deceit etc that I have a hard time feeling any sort of sympathy.

        • Mollymagee

          I’m with you Jeff N… and I’m glad a man set him straight. Are we truly supposed to sympathize with “how hard this has been for him”? What a crock. He is still mired in his own delusions. I wish he’d so his spouse a favor and let her know it’s over and stop dragging her thru the mud of marriage he’s ended. What a liar and coward. Nuff said.

          • Mollymagee

            I’m sorry … I meant to say I’m with Shifting Impressions… Jeff N you seem to be full of excuses for yourself. And while you may be obsessed and emotionally dependent on your deceitful AP who was happy to destroy your marriage (w/your full participation) and to hurt your spouse (with your full ok and participation)… an affair is not alcoholism and/or drug addiction. There is NO proven chemical addiction w/affair. It may share some qualities w/chemical dependency but it is NOT the same. Don’t put yourself in the same league as someone w/one of those struggles unless you are trying to tell us that your struggle with multiple addiction issues. If I were your wife and knew you were having “triggers left and right” over songs, landmarks – I’d say “get out and fix yourself first” before we can know WE are fixable. You have a lot of growing up to do before you can even commit to your wife fully. And I wish her peace and freedom from the pain you and your affair partner brought into her life. And while affairs don’t happen in a vacuum, only one of you got your ego and your sexual satisfaction from an affair. You made the choice… and only YOU to go outside your marriage to fix a problem int it. Life doesn’t work that way and the honorable thing to do was to to end it like a man and not turn to another woman first. Grow up, pull up your big boy undies and get on with being a real man.. with or without your loyal wife by your side. I’m rooting for her to let you go, btw. And when your affair partner no longer has the thrill of sneaking around and has sad sack you by her side.. with his same issues and struggles.. remind yourself that you and only you set this all in motion. Just saying… no empathy here. And for the record, Jeff… having an affair IS walking away… don’t flatter yourself that because you were a sneak OR that you are still there (with these triggers) that physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally you walked away and your are still away, it seems, at least in your head and probably in your heart some too. Be honest w/yourself and your wife and admit ..cause guess what…she already knows. Again, grow up and fast. Peace.

    • Shane mann

      Dday one year anniversary is next month for me. Discovered the EA with a co worker of ours after finding a picture on her phone. It was the usual we are friends and he had a hard time after his breakup with so and so. I was trying to help him……had to use my work skill set to get the truth. (Police detective). I don’t think I still have it all. Keeping a journal helps. As far as triggers, OH YEAH! I noticed her choice of music has changed, songs about lost love, romantic secrets love, that kind of stuff. Walked in her office to bring her lunch when she said she was too busy and she quickly took a letter down. Said it was to a female she had confided in who I also confronted, (that’s another story), but I saw the name at the top of the page. Caught her highlighting his call sign on the computer not once but twice. Got very defensive when I asked about it, tries to turn it around on me saying I threw myself into my work and neglected her. Triggers? Yep, plenty of them. We rescue dogs and do rescue transports. Had one that had his name and it was not far from us, but she refused. I’m still dealing with my triggers, and I will admit, they get the best of me sometimes. She still listens to the radio at work even she is not required to. He’s on it constantly. He is a narcissistic prick, the only close friends he had distanced themselves from him when the EA got out. Told a mutual coworker he wants nothing to do with her or me. But she still lingers from time to time and when I see it, I give her space and let her work it out herself. She tells me she wants me, she screwed up, and we have been together too long to just up and quit. Exercise your body and mind, it will get easier, but that jiggling doubt will always be there. Don’t over analyze every little thing. I think she is sincere but I can tell when she has a trigger. Comments about her appearance weight hair etc come out. Like I said, just give her a little space and let her know I am there. Sorry for the ramble, still working on getting past this. One day at a time! This forum has helped GREATLY!!!

    • tdleea

      JeffN-I know the post here is on triggers, but, may I ask you what led you to have the shoe on the other foot in the first place? Was it a personal struggle within yourself?
      When you say that you hurt, do you mean from what you did? From not seeing the OP? From whatever you may have been struggling with?
      I appreciate your point of view on here and am interested to understand more of your story.

    • JeffN

      tdleea
      Well there is a miriad of hurt,from losing my own self respect, to hurting my spouse and family. They too lost all respect and confidence in me that I would be there for them. Plus the emotional hurt on my wife has caused guilt beyond belief. Then there is the hurt of lying to everyone including the OP. Because ya see everyone deserves to be dealt with honestly and with respect- irregardless of some of the judgemental peoples views I see here. And ye sI understand they maybcome from
      A hurting viewpoint. I take full responsibility for what I did. I could have walked away but didnt. And there are no excuses only maybe some reasons for the bad judgement. Mainly I wanted to be happy. The OP gave me attention, and made me feel whole again, when together we would just talk, listen to each others life, smile, maybe hold hands, ya know things two people do when in love. Things that unfortunately go to the way side in MANY relationships with time in them.
      My wife and I agree we both let things die. Each in our own way. i unfortunately choose the wrong path to find happiness. Now I am not sure I ever will.
      For those who want to judge well go ahead. I too thought I was above approach. I wasnt.

      • Mollymagee

        I’m sorry … I meant to say I’m with Shifting Impressions… Jeff N you seem to be full of excuses for yourself. And while you may be obsessed and emotionally dependent on your deceitful AP who was happy to destroy your marriage (w/your full participation) and to hurt your spouse (with your full ok and participation)… an affair is not alcoholism and/or drug addiction. There is NO proven chemical addiction w/affair. It may share some qualities w/chemical dependency but it is NOT the same. Don’t put yourself in the same league as someone w/one of those struggles unless you are trying to tell us that your struggle with multiple addiction issues. If I were your wife and knew you were having “triggers left and right” over songs, landmarks – I’d say “get out and fix yourself first” before we can know WE are fixable. You have a lot of growing up to do before you can even commit to your wife fully. And I wish her peace and freedom from the pain you and your affair partner brought into her life. And while affairs don’t happen in a vacuum, only one of you got your ego and your sexual satisfaction from an affair. You made the choice… and only YOU to go outside your marriage to fix a problem int it. Life doesn’t work that way and the honorable thing to do was to to end it like a man and not turn to another woman first. Grow up, pull up your big boy undies and get on with being a real man.. with or without your loyal wife by your side. I’m rooting for her to let you go, btw. And when your affair partner no longer has the thrill of sneaking around and has sad sack you by her side.. with his same issues and struggles.. remind yourself that you and only you set this all in motion. Just saying… no empathy here. And for the record, Jeff… having an affair IS walking away… don’t flatter yourself that because you were a sneak OR that you are still there (with these triggers) that physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally you walked away and your are still away, it seems, at least in your head and probably in your heart some too. Be honest w/yourself and your wife and admit ..cause guess what…she already knows. Again, grow up and fast… if only to give your spouse some peace and freedom. I’m sure you’ve gathered by now I’m as BS – and so I can see straight through your myriad of self-deceptions and excuses … cause I’m on the other side of this. Take what I wrote here and meditate on it carefully, Jeff, because any spouse who cheated and is still pining for the AP like you are… needs to be honest and cut their loyal spouse loose. She’ll be fine w/you… don’t flatter yourself that her life can’t move on and be happy without YOU in it – in fact she’ll be happier with out you and not worrying about you giving her STDs or you emptying bank accounts to give the AP money, etc. She thinks she loves you but if she knew you, or part of you, still wanted the AP… she’d probably happily let you go – but not before she takes you to the cleaners in divorce court, I hope. Then let’s see if your AP is so interested in you and your “fabulous body and mind” when you are a broke ass middle aged man. Karma is a bitch and you had an affair w/one. Just wait and see… the statistics from marriages/relationships that come from affairs/cheating are grim because when you marry or continue with a relationship with your AP.. you already know, both of you, that you are with a cheater!! Ain’t life grand!!!

      • Shifting Impressions

        JeffN
        It’s not so much about judgement as being unable to sympathize. Early on, after d-day, quite often my husband made it all about him. In other words to use Doug’s expression he had his head up his ass!!!

        We went through a lot to get where we are today…five years later. But to this day the idea of being sympathetic or understanding about him “missing the AP” is simply repugnant to me. It’s a good thing he never once showed signs of missing her. If he did he kept it to himself.

        I absolutely feel sympathy for the pain you feel for hurting your wife and for the remorse you feel. But when it comes to missing the AP….to be completely honest, I just don’t care.That sounds awful…to put it in writing. The only way I can explain it is that the OW is almost like a weapon, that my husband used to destroy me. I know I know, the experts tell us the cheating isn’t about us…you know not personal. But how can something that absolutely shattered me NOT BE PERSONAL!!!! In other words…in the eyes of the betrayed it feels very personal. So to feel sympathy and understanding for him missing the very weapon that shattered me is more than I can do.

        I’m not sure if that makes sense.

    • tdleea

      Shifting Impressions
      Why do they say that the affair isn’t about ‘us’? It may not be directly something aimed at us, but I think it crushes us the most. I had never given trust so willingly and deeply to ANYONE in my life-a lot because of issues I had growing up with my dad. But, oh my, I gave my heart whole-heartedly and I NEVER EVER thought my husband would do something to hurt me so badly. How could he if he loved me so much?
      And, JeffN, this isn’t said/written to make you feel worse, but maybe it helps you a little more distance yourself from the AP and see that person as a ‘weapon of mass destruction’-maybe it will help you to lose those triggers. Maybe it will help you to feel more empathy towards your wife and to help her along in this process. I appreciate you sharing and being honest here. If you have other personal issues that you are dealing with that led you to the affair then I hope you are getting counseling. If the affair was just for the good feel-it has already been all about you and the hurt you feel needs to be second in working with your wife. I think I see you agreeing with that point of view and just answering and giving your 2 cents on the question of this discussion which was do CS have triggers.
      I’ve watched and listened to my husband ‘help’ a few friends as they became a CS; explain his story and what he did to me and the destruction he caused and pain. And, I know there is humility to go along with it, but he tries to have them ‘get their heads out of their asses’ and stop making excuses and justifications, I think, with the hopes that it can save their wives a little of the pain he caused me.
      So, lasting effects of this still include triggers. Mostly affects my self worth; my ability to give my heart, my love freely to him. In my head, I want to but physically I hold back; physically, I step out of my body. It’s not a fun feeling and that’s why I’m back trying to get that out.
      Reconciliation is hard! It takes the ability to be unselfish and let your spouse hurt and grieve and all the while you remain the strong post holding the two of you together.
      JeffN-I hope that you are able to work through your triggers and get that OP out of your mind. Your wife needs you-all of you if you are going to make it work. In the end, who is it that you want to be standing by?

    • Shifting Impressions

      Tdleea
      I believe they are saying that we are not to blame and that the cheating isn’t really about us. It’s just so hard to accept something that was so shattering wasn’t personal.

      I also trusted my husband completely….I just didn’t think he was capable of such deceit and betrayal. When I asked him later he said he really didn’t even think about how his behavior would affect me should I find out. It really is beyond my understanding.

    • JeffN

      Shifting, the cheating partner like me and your husband never think we are going to hurt our spouse. The mind is a wonderful and dangerous tool. In iur minds( although usually wrong) we seem to be able to rationalize that our spouse wont find out and if they do doesnt care anyway. I am not saying it is right just that that is what happens. They call it the fog of the affair. I think it is even thicker cause nothing else matters. The brain seems to put us in an auto pilot mode for everything but the affair. Someone above said that there is no evidence of addiction- They are WRONG. The psychiatrists and others agree that with an affair dopamine and another hormone are released in big amounts. The self loves this good feeling looking for another fix. Nothing else matters but that feel good which os followed by depression until the next fix.
      Sound slame blah blah but it is what it is. I couldnt i derstand why it was so hard to walk away in spite of the reality of losing EVERYTHING.
      I cant even remember what went on this summer. My wife mentions things we did and I dont remember them. I never knew what an affair could do. If I did I would have locked
      Myself away and looked for real help.
      Just to be clear there are no excuses for diving in but once in it isnt that easy to get out. Especially in a Romantic affair. There are 5 or 7 types of affairs depending on the proffessional you read. The Romantic Affair holds the most destructive force against the unfaithful spouse.
      I totally understand the spouse of a cheater to be mad hurt and unforgiving. I have been out of my affair only about 2-3 weeks so the triggers are probably still stronger. I look at my wife and knowI can never make this up. I think of and have told her she would be best without me cause of my lingering issues.
      For some reason she sees something in me I dont. Cause she still loves me. My biggest issue is why cant I just accept that and be happy.
      Shifting:i am willing to be your husband didnt think he was capablenof the hurt,deceit etc that he did/ caused either. I didnt. And noone is to blame but the unfaithful. However there are some underlying issues in every marriage that can help lead a partner to do something stupid from being unfaithful right to suicide. We all need to protect and build our marriages everyday and make sure our partner never has reason to think we dont care or love them.
      Btw to those who wish to judge, bash, degrade and reject I forgive you and perhaps it is better to take your ill feelings out on me than your unfaithful wife or husband.

      I was told by a Pastor that NO sin is greater than any other so we are ALL sinners. So throw stones if you wish just remember the glass house you live in.

      • Mollymagee

        Is this guy for real… so glad you are giving yourself a free pass on all of us being ‘sinner’ by friend but you are truly kidding yourself, and your wife is screwed, if you think an affair is on equal footing of other hurtful things done in marriages.Sure, they don’t happen in vacuum of what’s going on in marriage, but then again neither does any of it.. including your wife cleaning dishes, taking care of your kids, making a home and life for you to call “marriage” while you were out banging or romantically/emotionally involved with your affair partner. What – she wasn’t giving you enough sex or attention for your fragile male ego? Poor you! And please grow up – for your sake if not hers and your children. When’s the last time you made her feel sexy, desired, wanted like you did your affair partner? When’s the last time you lifted a finger to help her so she didn’t feel like a maid or nanny – not a woman and desired wife???? And if you didn’t think it would hurt so badly – why did you cheaters hide it?? Cause you knew it would!!!! All these lies you tell yourselves are almost as pathetic as the lies you tell your loyal spouses. If you wanted to act like a grown man you would have talked w/your spouse like the adult she is… not gone to someone new behind her back. You would have said, hey honey… sex is dead here or affection or attention and I’m finding myself attracted to others… let’s fix this or get help asap NOW. Or let’s act like adults and open up the marriage and be HONEST about this. But now – you made the decisions solo for the course your marriage would take… you and you alone. Now take your self deluded approach to this – aka your wife has “sinned” as much as you have – the cheater – and flush that down the commode because that’s just another form of self justification for what you did to hurt her and hurt your marriage and find a new “friend” AP to help you do it.. that level of hurt. Just ask yourself and be honest w/your reply here to yourself and us reading… really HONEST JEFF… if your wife had been the cheater… would you be so forgiving? Would you put your common sins on the level of her “sin of adultery” cause I’d hedge my bets – not so much. I’ll bet her ass would be out on the street if she had screwed some guy behind your back. Got you didn’t I? Even if you write otherwise – we all know the answer Jeff cause you are acting like a douche in these responses – take a good look in the mirror and see yourself for what you are… a boy in a man’s body trying to pass himself off as an adult. I tell you one thing… I’m praying hard for your wife. She’s gonna need everyone doing this.

    • Shifting Impressions

      JeffN
      I think you are right…I don’t think my husband thought he was capable of such hurt and deceit either.

      And yes there are underlying issues in every marriage…because sometimes life is just plain hard. We definitely had our share of problems because there simply can’t be smooth sailing all the time. Raising four kids, financial ups and downs, health issues and deaths of our fathers etc…it all took its toll.

      He was my best friend…we were in this life “together”! Through the ups and the downs. My husband had two EAs about twenty years apart. I stumbled across the later one first and the earlier one about a year later. They both happened during particularly low times in his life. During those affairs, although I didn’t know they were going on I knew something was very wrong. I tried everything I knew to do to reach him. He became distant and hurtful.

      During those times I was absolutely lost and felt very unloved….to this day, I don’t know what I could have done differently.

      So yes there is a lot of anger in us betrayed spouses….a lot of anger and pain. I was hurting as well…but chose to remain faithful, while he did not.

      But there is hope….my husband and I are still together, five years after d-day. I still love him and although I would love to say I have completely forgiven him I know that I haven’t. It’s been a long hard five years and we are still moving forward. Everyday I am a step closer to forgiving than I was the day before. There has been more good than bad in our lives together and today we are still standing and still moving forward. We have an amazing family and our life together is worth fighting for.

      It’s only been two or three weeks for you….early days yet. I believe if you can accept that it’s going to be a difficult battle it will help. It’s true that you can never really make it up to your wife but there are things that you can do to help things along. Don’t give up to soon.

    • JeffN

      Mollmagee:
      You are a self frightous idiot. No other way to put it. Stop putting words in my mouth. I never said my wife was a si. Er and caused this. I simply said we are ALL sinners. Unless of course you are hanging from a cross somewhere or they just left you out of the Bible by mistake. All I can say to you is have a nice delusional hate filled life. No wonder your spouse cheated. You leave no doubt as to his reasons.

      • Mollymagee

        Oh Jeffy… I hit just the nerve I thought I would. Mission accomplished. It hurts doesn’t it seeing yourself described in black and white? Get off of YOUR own “I’m a sinner lord, we are all sinners” aka self-righteous cross and take a good look in the mirror. You wife did NOTHING to cause or EXCUSE your going behind her back to selfishly get your itch scratched or “needs filled”. I knew I’d hit a nerve w/this one. I won’t be reading any of your other replies so don’t bother responding; but thanks for the one above: it gave me a needed laugh for the day. Any man who admits he still has triggers often and is thinking about his AP often had NOT done the work on himself that he should be doing to move on and recommit to his wife and marriage, in my opinion. I’d hedge my bets if you admitted this to you wife… she’d be gone. Put your thought on your wife and your marriage every time those thoughts rise up when they do about your AP. And throw away and cancel your hidden prescription for viagra too.. thanks again Jeff for the laugh. Honestly.. you just slay me w/your self delusions. Again, prayers and good wishes for your wife. MM

        • Mollymagee

          PS: And is your last name by any chance BEZO???… now I”m really laughing. You probably deserve the same kind of skank AP he picked over a loyal, loving and faithful wife. Again, I won’t be reading your replies and again… many thanks for laughs Jeffy. Even your desperate, immature insults slung at me make me laugh. I’ll bet you’ve been slinging them at females since middle school like that, huh? I feel sorry for your wife, mom, sisters and if you have any, especially any daughters, if YOU are the role model they have for a man and manhood. Yikes. Best of luck to you in your growth and recovery post stabbing your wife in the back in the name of “Jeff and only Jeff”. MM

    • JeffN

      ShiftingImpressions
      You are a very forgiving spouse. Much like mine. I font ever want to do this again and not sure why your husband has done it more than once. I feel sorry for him and you.
      We def have our problems too. Still do. We talk a lot about what happened and she too wants to know why. she will blame the OP and I always bring it back to my fault. Noone else. Problem is now neither of us is sure we want to be together anymore( we had those feelings before too) but we were both too busy to try amd fix things.
      If there is one thing I learned and would
      Love to tell others is to never stop finding time for each other cause without the two being one nothing in the family works. And weaker people like me could make a big mistake that hurts all involved forever.

      • Shifting Impressions

        JeffN
        It was almost twenty years before I found out about the first EA….it lasted about eight months and he ended it. I believe he minimized and compartmentalised it. So he basically got away with it.

        I stumbled upon the second EA and he ended it immediately. I know he suffered because he went against his own moral code. My husband is someone who stuffs his feelings and he got to the place of not feeling anything.

        It’s good to hear you are both talking. We had to ask ourselves the hard questions as well. Did we still want to be together? But we had been married for almost forty years when I stumbled across his EA. My emotions were raw at that point….so I gave myself permission to not have the answer to that question right away. There was to much good between us to just walk away.

        We owed it to ourselves and our family to give it our best.

    • Better days

      “I was told by a Pastor that NO sin is greater than any other so we are ALL sinners.”

      I feel you may be using your bible to relieve your guilt a little early. And that is a slap in the face to many here.

      I’m not religious but, some people obviously need to learn how to decipher what is preached to figure out which messages go to the heart and which go to the head. There is a reason these ideas do not make it to any civilized court of law or any other modern civil setting. I would be willing to bet your marriage would be a whole lot better off if your wife walked in while you’re rubbing one off to your favorite porn actress vs. finding out you fell in love with and screwed another woman.

      It’s hard(^), but I do agree, cheaters shouldn’t be invited to this site for their perspective only to be attacked. Pointing out obvious flaws in there thinking can be done without attacking. I for one am intrigued, because I only get what I want or need to hear from my spouse.

      • Mollymagee

        Oh Better days.. I”m so glad I’m not the ONLY one that called Jeffy on his “my pastor said it’s not so bad what I did cause we are all sinners after all” speech. Honestly… the lengths… SOME cheating spouses will go to justify their actions is beyond me. I am religious and I find pulling out this “we are all sinners” card trick so phenomenally insulting. I’m glad you laid it out a bit more rationally than I did or could given the level of devastation my husband’s affair caused in our life; you did it much more effectively but without letting him off the hook or allowing him to take a free pass on his choices because “well, my pastor says my wife is a sinner too – we all are… ” Really? The nerve some these cheaters have. It boggles the mind.. well, my mind anyway. MM

        • Better days

          Molly,

          I don’t know but would guess that line about all sins being equal evolved from a message like, “no matter how small a sin may seem, it’s still a sin, so try to make the most morally sound choices as often as possible.” Or something to that effect. And I actually admire that about religion. Again, the only time you’ll see me in a church is a funeral or wedding. However, I have seen a lot of people turn a good message like that into, well all sins must be equal then. So instead of fantasizing about Suzie from accounting while you are doing your business, you’d might as well hit her up to see if she’s game for a romping. Both sins right? Equal? Not in real life.

    • JeffN

      Shifting,
      Yes I too feel that I betrayed myself more than anyone. I despise lying, cheating stealing and hurting people. I did all of the above. I have to live with that guilt. I can only move on and try to repair the damage done by my own volition.
      The Pastor was not giving anyone a pass. But just letting me know I aint the worst in the world and that I can fix things if I want.
      I am not particularly religous ( church blah blah) but do believe in God and J.C. cause in my past profession I should have been killed several times but for the grace of God I wasnt.
      There are lots of little things that probably pushed me to do the unthinkable without regard to my family. Those things need to be foxed and I am working on them.
      All I was saying to everyone is that the unfaithful spouse is just human. We ALL make mistakes- big ones , just not all the same. I have learned to not throw rocks real fast since my affair.
      I am so glad for you and your hubby. I can only hope and pray that we make it too.

      • Shifting Impressions

        JeffN
        I hope that for you as well. I think we all learned some hard lessons along the way. I always said I would never stay if my husband cheated but here I am.

        Something that my husband and I agreed on during the last years was to not do any further damage. To treat each other with care during these very painful times. We weren’t always successful but often we were. We would stop midway a fight (usually about the affairs) and say lets not do this. Let’s step back and take some time to cool down.

        I think if any couple can survive an affair perhaps their relationship was stronger than they thought. Recovery certainly isn’t for the faint of heart.

    • JeffyN-LOL

      Mollymagge-
      NEVER said my wofe was a sinner wasnt speaking about her at all but in general. You really need to delve into whatever religous books you purport to have and stop with you childish name calling and reading i to things that arent there. May I suggest a psychotherapist or perhaps a psychiatrist for your issues?
      And yes please dont comment anymore you are destructive to those who want to understand what each person feels in these situations. The question was asked about triggers. I was honest and you were the a-typical holier than thou person I so try to stay away from. Please do refrain from responding do us ALL a favor. Lol you are like the snowflake who doesnt like a radio station amd instead of changing the station ypu rant rave anddemand the sttion be shut off. CHANGE THE STATION

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