abusive relationshipRecently we have been focusing many of our blog topics on things like breaking the affair addiction, getting the cheater to do what’s necessary to gain forgiveness, empowering yourself, etc.  But what if your cheating spouse refuses to help in any way, or perhaps is only putting forth half-assed effort?  Or worse yet, what if he/she is continuing the affair?

If you feel that you are spinning your wheels when it comes to your affair recovery and healing, you may have considered giving the cheater an ultimatum or two.  It seems though that many times the betrayed is afraid of giving ultimatums for many different reasons.  Some legitimate.  Some not so legitimate.

So our topic this week will revolve around this.

Have you given your cheating spouse an ultimatum?

If so, what was it and what was the outcome?

If you have not given the cheating spouse an ultimatum…why not?  What fears are holding you back?

Please respond to each other in the comment section.

Thanks so much for all of your contributions!

Linda & Doug


See also  Should You Forgive an Affair?

    67 replies to "Discussion – Giving the Cheating Spouse Ultimatums"

    • Rachel

      Did it this morning. It’s her or me! We have been working on things and have been doing well. My therapist said that this is not working unless he is giving 100% and says so. So no physical contact and he is going to sleep in the basement until he decides.
      He says it’s a hard decision. I said if it was only catching up with an old friend there shouldn’t be a problem. He said they had fun! ( barf). And he remembers how it was 30 years ago. I said then leave!

      • Ness

        I haven’t given an ultimatum yet except that suppossedly the affair part is over, but during it he got involved with her 3 college aged kids and tole me “he promised her that he would look after them and help out financially if he could” with out my consent. He did things with them as family settings taken them out to eat buying them gifts and they are secretly sending him gifts at work( the kids are) to me they were all part of the affair( he shared his birthday with her and her kids) I want to find something that says they were all a part of the affair the adult kids knew he was married and had kids( the no contact rule should include them all) looking for support reading that affirms that. It’s not really over until he breaks those ties!

        • Shanti

          Tape Record him confessing. Depending on the state you live in – you do not need his consent.

    • mamak

      For months after D-day, my husband continued to see the OW. He wasn’t making any progress on our relationship, and despite him telling me that he wanted to be with me he wasn’t making any effort. One day I’d had enough. I sat him down and told him – it’s or her – you can’t have us both any more. I told him not to rush into his decision, not to just feed me what he thought I wanted to hear and not to make me wait once he made up his mind. This happened on a Wednesday. I told him he had until Friday. Everything became very real to him that night. Emotions were high, and I think for the first time he knew I was serious. At first he said he’d need time to think it through (which was what I expected….) and then he said he needed to leave. I was devastated at that moment, assuming he had gone to be with her again. However, an hour or so later the phone rang and it was his mom. He had gone to her, told her everything and asked for her help. She had stopped him in his story when she found out I had no idea where he was to call and stop me from worrying. That moment – when she called me to make sure I was OK did something to him. When he came home that night he said he chose me. Our family. Our marriage. And since that night he has been here for us. It hasn’t been easy, there have been slip ups and moments when I think it’s not going to work but he’s trying hard to repair the damage he caused….

      I was so afraid of giving him an Ultimatum, knowing I might not get the answer I wanted. But the truth is, I just needed an answer. I needed to know what he wanted and I needed him to be done playing games. As hard as it was to do, it was the best decision in the end. And I truly feel that it would have been the best decision even if he had chosen the OW.

    • chiffchaff

      @Mamak – that’s very similar to my situation.
      DDay#1 I didn’t give an ultimatum – I was too scared of the answer (and since then he has said if I’d done that he would have left) – and he continued to contact OW despite telling me he wasn’t. I even saw the email recently where he ‘broke it off’ with her and it went along the lines of ‘I need to give my wife a shot but I’ll be in contact again soon’.
      After Dday#2 – I gave him an ultimatum, said I wanted a divorce, and I was SO angry. I left him for my sister’s. As a result he had to tell his parents about the PA and what he’d done, I came home to see where he was at about a week later. He finally seemed to get it, was upset and teary, but very confused. I went away again, before I could get sucked back into his ‘world’ and considered the worst – that he didn’t want to be with me, accepted it and then went home again. Worked strongly on myself.

      I’m not sure if the ultimatum worked but something finally made him see the pain properly for the first time, maybe he got his head out of his ass. Anyway, he seemed to work hard on things for about 3 weeks after that and now he’s not putting in much effort again and I feel like leaving.

      As Mamak said – I really feared the ultimatum, but the limbo was worse than knowing the answer in the long run.

    • D

      The ultimatum only seems to really work if the BS is secure enough to back it up. Otherwise, deadlines pass, promises are broken, and there are no repercussions. What’s the incentive for the CS to truly understand what’s at stake? Therefore, ultimatums should not be taken lightly. The BS has to be prepared that the answer they might hear may be “I choose her/him over you,” and it’s important that they be ok with that.

      Ultimatums should never be used as a threat, never out of anger, but rather as a calm rational decision by the BS that a line in the sand is being drawn stating they have reached their limit. A change is going to come and it’s going to happen with them or without them.

      When the ultimatum is presented in this way the CS’ response is less likely to come from defensiveness and fear, and more likely to awaken in them the severity of their actions. For me, I would rather know where I honestly stand with my partner, and if she found someone else she should let me go to live a life with someone that will care for me. Rather that than to live in fear.

    • changedforever

      What amazing timing for this post! I was glad for you Rachel…as we’ll as for me. I did tell my H to get out the day of discovery, as he’d ‘texted’ me he’d be sleeping on the couch …and moving out in 8 mths (I don’t think so!) Not sure if that constitutes an ultimatum but I did tell him I’d call the police if he didn’t get out. (He didn’t leave. Wanted to stay & work it out. Put us all thru hell …kids & I.)
      Just this morning, I told him to stop ‘telling me what he’s going to do, start showing me.’ And to stop playing with my head…or get out. Very tough few days…or has it been weeks? Seems like its been forever….I seem not to have any fears anymore…I’ve faced them (forceably.)

    • E

      Way to go Rachel!

      I gave an ultimatum, a few in fact. I gave an ultimatum before I was really ready to face the consequences of him choosing her and it does not work. He did choose me, but for my efforts I was rewarded yet another dday. It was after this occurred a few times that I gave a “real” ultimatum because I was ready to do so. He chose me again and I am about 4 months from that dday, and so far so good – I believe he knew that I was serious that time – they can tell. So my advice on giving an ultimatum is this – First, don’t give one unless you really mean it and you are healthy enough mentally to move on if necessary. Second, (and I know it’s scary!) but if you give one, and you really mean it, and are prepared for whatever the outcome is, and they choose their AP over you, YOU STILL WIN. You win because you can start your new life and no longer live in the turmoil and heartache that is this nightmare.

    • Dee

      The OW tried to befriend my H on a social networking site 6 months after he ‘ended’ it. He didn’t tell me but I found out. When I suggested to him that he was still unsure, he admitted that he was. I told him that he needed to leave and find out what it was (or who it was!) he really wanted, he agreed with me. We talked for most of the day about seperation arrangements and I was left in no doubt that this was going to happen…it was only after I made it clear to him that whilst he was finding out who he really wanted, I would be getting on with my life and wouldn’t necessarily ‘be there’ if he decided that he wanted me, he swiftly changed his mind and started to backtrack, finally stating that he didn’t want us to split. I wonder what would have happened if I had given him that ‘freedom’ to find out? I wanted him to know that it wasn’t all about him, that I had a life to live and a choice in how I lived it too…he had forgotten that, as he was so wrapped up in his own needs and desires..I think it was the first time since it had all happened that he realised that there other people involved in this mess too and that they too had needs…(My children and I). Even if he had gone, I knew that I had to make that clear for my own sanity and dignity – I would have gotten over him…and he knew that.

    • Healing Mark

      My first ultimatum, and likely the same for many other BS’s, was no further contact. The same ultimatum was given to the OM, and for each the “penalty” was disclosure to all mutual friends of the existence of the damaging friendship and the lies and deceptions that resulted and would be quite shocking to all who know my wife and the OM. What I ultimately found out was that giving up any contact was resisted until my wife was genuinely forgiven by me, until she felt as trusted by me as she felt other husbands trusted their wives, and until she was certain that she was once again happy being married to me and confident that a happy marriage was most likely going to be in place going forward. She also found no contact to be easier once the EA became almost a non-issue as it is something that we have chalked up to a terrible mistake, something that does not define who she is, something that is no longer analyzed or questioned about (I accepted the fact that she wanted her mistakes acknowledged but not detailed in thier entirety, and I laud Paula’s approach to having her husband describe more about “why” his affair occurred rather that “what” happened during it), and something that we can now joke about followed by her confirmation that it was wrong and she is so sorry and my confirmation that she has no more worries as I have forgiven her, but never, ever will either of us make the same mistakes again). It made sense to me, but did not make me happy at the time, that she was reluctant to give up an appropriate friendship with the OM (yes, they had ramped down to such a friendship, as she could document with phone logs and email and text correspondence) as long as she was uncertain that I was going to remain married to her given the damage caused by her EA.

      The best ultimatum I gave my wife was that to remain living together and married to me, she had to convince me that she was 100% invested in our marriage and willing to do all that we both felt might be necessary to get past her EA. If she had any doubts in this regard, whether b/c she was still contemplating what it might be like to exit our marriage and pursue the OM, or otherwise, then we would divorce and acknowledge to all that instead of addressing issues in our relationship in an adult/responsible manner, my wife had instead chosen to retreat into a fantasy life and to pursue a relationship that ultimately led, for the most part, to the demise of our marriage with all the resulting fallout. I must admit, and I anticipated that this would be the case, that my wife could only at first acknowledge that she “thought” that the foregoing was what she wanted and was willing to do. Again, once she felt genuinely forgiven and would therefore no longer be beat up for having made such terrible mistakes, albeit mistakes that resulted from real feelings she had for this person that for so many years had really been just another unremarkable guy I hung out with, she could then say that there were no doubts that remaining happily married to me and a loving wife and mother to me and our kids was what she really, really wanted.

      • showmehowtoheal

        Healing Mark, (I realize your post is older, but….)

        “What I ultimately found out was that giving up any contact was resisted until my wife was genuinely forgiven by me, until she felt as trusted by me as she felt other husbands trusted their wives, and until she was certain that she was once again happy being married to me and confident that a happy marriage was most likely going to be in place going forward”

        Wow. That was a very powerful eye opener for me. My CH has gone from EA to PA, now back to EA. The original ultimatum that seemed to make the difference of PA to no contact, but then back to EA has been very hurtful and frustrating. My CH (& yes, he is still a CH, not H until its over) is always telling me ‘he was never unhappy’, ‘he loves me’, and we have both concluded that we both didn’t understand the ‘signs’ of his lack of attention from me. As he said, he didn’t really know/understand that he was missing the affection and attention until he got it from the OW and he liked it. This revelation came to both of us 2 nights ago.

        I told him I was tired of being an enabler of his cell phone conversations with the OW (as he knows I know he has a disposable cell) and he said he needs to do this in his own way and he was proud of himself that he had not talked with the OW in the last 3 weeks. I am so frustrated on how I am suppose to continue showing my affection and attention for him and yet I don’t know whether to believe him or not. But your words have helped, as I know he is trying. He did ‘pick me’ as he puts it (that’s such a stupid way for him to say it to me) over her and knows that she would not be a stable person for him….yadda, yadda. His head is still in the fog and he is trying to do this on his own (some therapy sessions), so in my quest to try everything…..I’m trying to think of a way to express my forgiveness should he get his head out of the fog. Or forgive for the horrible lies (horrible) during the PA, and lies that continued into keeping this phone for his EA, should he ‘choose’ to stop. Very frustrating, but your words are insightful.

    • Disappointed

      I am very sick of limbo but not ready for ultimatum. He moved out immediately after I confronted him about the EA two days later the OW said she could never see him again. He has a 6 month lease and we are already two months in. We have a business together. We see each other 3-4 times per week and spend the night 1-2 nights per week. But he keeeps bringing up the OW and saying he is in love with her and she understands him better than I do. My brain understands he has to grieve the addiction and affair high, but he thinks it was all real. I think he needs space and time,but thislimbo is killing me. We have been together 20 years and they only texted for 30 days. He says he loves me but that is not enough and keeps relisting his grievances I think when he starts to consider coming home. How long should I wait is the big question. Will he ever let go of his fantasy…

    • CompletelyLost

      I am so sick of hearing that he could talk to the OW so easily but he won’t talk to me! I am to a point in this crap that I feel like I am just sinking into a deep hole. He is so selfish and childish. I have basically told him that we cannot repair a relationship without being open and honest. He told me I have given up. I feel like I am just an excuse, like he only wants to stay with me until I leave so he can blame me for ending our marriage. WTF?
      Yes, H caught up with an “old classmate” on Facebook. Chatted it up for a while then they met and couldn’t quit talking to each other. He told her he couldn’t wait to see her wild side and they had to be more discrete because I saw he had a text from her on his phone and I wanted to know who she was. He then changed her name in his phone to a mutual male friends name so I wouldn’t know. REALLY??? Is that not an EA???? According to him he simply made a mistake.
      WTF am I supposed to do?

    • Paula

      Agrre with all here about ultimatums, you have to be prepared for the worst, mentally, and if/when you give one, you have to follow through. When you are in this space, it works. As E said, you win, either way, because you have reclaimed your sanity, and control over what happens to you (and your children) and are no longer at the mercy of another person’s whims. It takes a long time to feel this steady, in my experience.

      Just an aside, my OH, who is feeling very, very loving and relieved at present! – spoke with me last night and, once again, promised me he would never, ever do anything this stupid or hurtful again. I stiffened, and I told him that I don’t want to hear that, because he promised that 24 years ago. All I want him to do is be honest, and I don’t even care if that honesty hurts, if he has feelings for another woman, if he wants to leave me, etc. I won’t put up with lies and deception ever again, and he knows it.

    • Rodion

      I think ultimatums are a bad idea. Here’s what happened in my case: I suspected my wife was having an affair, did some investigation, and found out my suspicions were warranted. I confronted her with the evidence and told her she had to leave the house immediately. It was the cruelest thing I have ever done to a human being, ever. I was beside myself with rage and feelings of betrayal and simply had not thought things through. I was also convinced that this was the end and that I was going to get a divorce.

      Then I saw that my wife had nowhere to go, so I let her stay, at least for the night. We talked the following morning, and I told her that she needed to break off contact with the other man. She said, “I can’t do that.” Over the following days, I had a chance for introspection, had been doing some research, and realized that I didn’t really want the marriage to end.

      Problem is, the ultimatum forced the affair completely underground, and forced them closer together. It’s been going on for about 4 months now, and it might have been wrapping up sooner had I simply not interfered.

      I should say that I’ve been working Mort Fertel’s Marriage Fitness program, and he advises just getting out of the way and letting the affair run its course. It’s hard to do, but if you make all of the other personal and behavioral changes he recommends, it does end up ruining the affair for the cheating spouse, as you rewrite their story. It’s hard to do, though, and I think much easier and more satisfying (and natural) to just have it out.

      • Ashleigh

        I know you wrote this several years ago but I’m hoping you will get a notification to this and help me know what I should do… did the program help your marriage? Did you guys make it through? Did the affair end? I’m trying to figure out if I should give my husband and ultimatum or not…

    • Anita

      If your marriage has to get to the point where the betrayed
      spouse need to issue a ultimatum, for the cheater to decide
      the spouse or affair partner. That should never be!
      If the cheating spouse treats their mate this way, this is
      so bad. First an affair should never ever happen, second
      if they can’t decide who they want, they need to leave,
      that kind of behavior is unacceptable.
      A betrayed spouse needs to see their value and worth,and not be treated like garbage. Thats just plain selfishness when
      a cheating spouse treats you that way, and they can’t make
      their mind up on who they want? They’re married, what part
      of marriage did they not understand.
      The cheating spouse need to earn there way back, not the
      other way around.
      For me my divorce ended that kind of garbage, I would
      never put a cheater again, if a person has to cheat, they
      can keep on going, their not worth my time.

    • Anita

      I understand when a cheating spouse has an affair ONCE, and
      is remorseful and willing to earn their way back into the
      marriage and does the counseling needed to help them gain
      the understanding that when a problem exits within the
      marriage they ask for help insolving the issues. However,
      if the cheating spouse can’t make their mind up on their
      affair partner and can’t decide if they want to stay with
      their spouse, the betrayed spouse needs to tell them to
      leave. This is disrespectful to the betrayed spouse, a
      betrayed spouse should never ever have to compete
      with an affair partner, that is wrong, and is a grave
      injustice to the betrayed spouse. A cheating spouse needs
      to understand that this is the worst kind behavior towards
      their spouse, it selfish, undermining, abusive, and full of
      sin. This is not what God intended for marriage to be,
      fidelity is a absolute must. After forgiving the cheating
      spouse and they are making a serious effort to make the
      marriage work, thats great, but if they cheat again, no one needs to put up this that kind of behavior. The betrayed
      spouse needs to understand their own worth and value
      not to let others mistreat them.

    • karen

      Hi every one, its been 2 months that my life is in roller coaster ride because of my husband’s affair. im afraid to give him ultimatum because he always told me there is nothing for me to worry about… i still dont have strong evidence that it is not yet over with them. i have to admit that like other wives with the same experience, i begged, i cried… then my husband will comfort me and say he loves me and he will end the affair. In fairness with him, he make effort on coming home early and spend quality time with me and kids.. but what i am being upset is he still have another phone which he hide from me… i love my husband very much… i really need advice…

    • Rachel

      CS- cheating spouse. OW- other women. What does BS mean and OH? Thank you!

    • Leroy

      I have been reading this great site since the middle of December, a couple of weeks after my partner confessed she “had feelings” for someone else, but this is my first post, as the subject of ultimatums is very timely for what we’re going through. That first confession was given with the statement that it was over and she had not followed through on an in person meeting with the OM. I took the news gracefully after assurance that the relationship was mostly virtual, and that there had been no physical relationship; she would go back to therapy for herself, and consider couples counseling. My married friends all said that her confession was a good sign, and that the fact that she stopped it as soon as she recognized what was happening was also good.
      Let me say here that although we are not married, we have been in a relationship for twelve years, living together for 10. A week before Christmas, I realized that all was not well with our relationship. I’ll save the details of the EA for another post, as I don’t have much time to write today. I will say that our story is pretty typical of most of the EAs I’ve read about here. My reason for writing today is that I wanted to get some input on my situation, as the ultimatum approach is difficult for a number of reasons, but I feel like I don’t know what else to do.
      I have been supporting my partner financially (and emotionally) for the last 3 years or so, so that she could focus on her art career full time. I entered into this arrangement completely voluntarily, and up until the uncovering of the EA, was completely comfortable with the arrangement, and it seemed to me, and was confirmed by my partner, that it was nothing but good for our relationship. Now, though, it is a complicated mess. She is feeling like she doesn’t have independence, to which I reply, you’ve always had independence, just not independence to carry on an emotional, secret, hidden relationship with someone else.
      This brings me to ultimatums. We have approached the subject of breaking up, but until she gets some income flowing, she has no way to pay rent, bills, anything, and basically has nowhere to go. I could move out of our apartment tomorrow, or as soon as I find another place, but even if I leave her there, she wouldn’t be able to pay the rent. Two weeks ago, I came home early on a Friday, after discovering that things were heating up and they were making plans to meet at his apartment. I told her that I was going to look for an apartment that weekend, and that I would move out by the end of February. She asked if this was my final decision, and I said that if she agreed to no contact, and went to counseling with me, I would wait. I just wanted commitment to saving our relationship. She gave it that night, but has backtracked since then, and although she has been trying the no contact, it is painful for her (she’s totally in the fog) and she hasn’t been able to completely cut off communication. She knows this guy can’t and won’t support her, and she’s not looking for that. It does seem like an addiction, and it’s triggering a response in her brain that she doesn’t want to give up.
      I cannot leave her without knowing she’s going to be safe, but I’m starting to lose it. I’m writing this at work, and it’s all I can do to concentrate on my job when I’m here. I’m not sleeping well, and losing weight, not good for me. She tells me she’ll go to counseling, but gives many reasons why it could backfire, and in fact my therapist now thinks maybe she’s right, for reasons I won’t get into now. I feel like I’m emotionally ready to move out, except for the fact that her wellbeing depends on my financial support right now. I’ve even considered giving her enough money to pay the rent and eat for a couple of months, just so I can get away from the pain she’s causing me, and give her time to get her life in order. She still won’t give me a straight answer on whether she wants to work on us. Lots of I don’t knows. And still lying. Please give me some advice someone, if you’ve been through a situation like this. And I thank you all for your stories, they’re a great comfort, and let me know that I’m not the only one going through this.

      • Notoverit

        Leroy, sorry you are going through this. Seems like she needs the tough ultimatum which you must show you are willing to follow through with. It’s decision time for her. I understand you feel a responsibility for her well-being but she is an adult, she made choices (her EA) and it’s time to pay the piper. If she won’t stop contact then nothing will move forward. There are plenty of CSs on this site who made that tough decision (and to hear them tell it – it is very hard on them). If she can’t, give her some impetus to do so. You sound like a nice person who does not deserve to be jerked around like this. Sorry if it seems tough but sometimes it’s necessary to wake them up out of the fog.

        • Kate

          How did you get through this chapter in your life? I am going through a similar position now, have been financially supporting a partner who had no money for various reasons while also being told he didn’t love me and was lying about his where abouts and seeing another woman (friendship or not I don’t 100% know). The stress and emotional upset of it was unbearable so told him to leave to his sisters. I had been putting up with untruths and financial indiscretions for years. He walked out with nothing (though is welcome to collect his things anytime) but somehow he is angry with me. I don’t know which way is up or whether I’ve done the right thing?

    • Paula

      Rachel, BS=Betrayed Spouse, OH+Other Half

    • Melvin

      Yesterday was the 1-year anniversary when I found out. For most of the previous month, DW was acting strange and was threatening to leave. I couldn’t understand why – nothing made sense. So one year ago yesterday, I decided to check her phone records. It was all there. Massive texting and dozens of phone calls to her former fiancé that left her for her roommate so may years ago. Rekindled through a Facebook connection. Several face-to-face meetings but luckily only an EA. A big one at that.

      It took me a week before I confronted her. I waited that long because I needed to think things out, to have time to have a peek at her phone texts (all were deleted) and to see where she was going with this man. When I decided to confront her with an ultimatum – him or me – I made sure I was prepared for the consequences. It took me that week to decide if I could live with her leaving. After much soul searching, I felt comfortable with my decision. I mean, if she really wanted her former lover over me, and he was going to make her happy, then I was ready to part ways.

      The several sleepless nights in anticipation of D-Day now all seem worth it. I am happy to say we are on the track to being whole again in our marriage. The trust factor has been a roller-coaster – high’s and lows. Tonight she is having her annual work party – the same party last year I caught her taking provocative pictures and sending them to him. I am keeping myself busy with our kids and other chores so as not to dwell on this event. I now realize that she has a life outside of us and she has to live it. She knows that another slip-up and she is out the door. Part of the ultimatum. So do I really trust her ? After one year ?

    • Rachel

      He admitted to me tonight that he still thinks about her all the time.

    • Lynne


      I’m curious about your post. Are you asking him things about the OW that illicit this answer or is he just openly saying these things to you?

      If it’s just him spouting this stuff about, are you setting boundaries about it? It just seems so terribly insensitive on his part.

    • karen

      Hi Leroy.

      I understand what you are feeling because in a way we are in the same situation. You really love her because up to the last minute, you care and you think about her being safe and ok… you know, i also feel that way to my husband. i wanted to give ultimatum and leave him or make him move out of our house but i am thinking where will he stay… who will take care of him… i know this is not right because too much love will kill us… but this is me.

      Leroy, i am from the Philippines (my english is not great) i have 2 wonderful kids, my husband and i are together as sweethearts sinsce we were 16 yrs. old, we became parents at 18 and we got married at 23. we’ve been through many difficult times and my husabnd show me so much love. He loves me very much thats why its very painful that he has feelings for some one else…the first time i knew, i cried and comfort him to stay he also wanted to stay and no plans of leaving me. I know he will not leave, i know he loves me but hes not ready to cut all about them. I know its EA, no physical involve, i know it and i can feel it. but no matter what kind of affair, it is still an affair. there are times i wanted him out already but i am thinking where wil he stay… right now he is not earning so much. I worry about who will take care of him and if i let him go he will go to his EA… and i dont want a broken family….

      right now we are still together, i can feel he is making effort not to upset me and to make me happy, i continue taking care of him. when we are together it seems that there is no problem,,, im very happy but he is hiding his other mobile number that makes me so upset… he told me nothing to worry about and that little by little until he forget her… i dont know if thats acceptable what i know is thatwhen he is around i am happy…

      Leroy, you are such a great person. Your partner is very lucky to have you. You love her very much… i wish she will realize it.
      But we must also bear in mind that everything that is too much is harmful… like my H, your partner is addicted to her affair. its just that my H affair is not as stong as your partner’s. She is confused. I would like to ask you, Leroy, do u think she is worth fighting for? Before her affair, is she loving and caring towards u? If she is, she is loosing her way… if she is a good person, worth fighting for, dont let her loose her way.. maybe you can back off a little bit and focus on your self ( i know, i know its hard… because i myself is having a very hard time but i am trying and its working) but if in your history, you are the one always giving… its another story.

      i wish we both passed through this situation soon.. God Bless.


    • Rachel

      Lynne, I asked him if he was any closer to a decision of her/me. He said no. That’s when I asked if he thinks of her still because about a month ago he said that he misses texting /seeing her like an alcoholic misses a drink! He’s mad that I have set a date of feb. 15 for him to decide if he’s staying or going.

    • stonger each day

      I found out 6 months ago, left for a few weeks for us to “think” per his request. When I returned, I was still committed and wanting to work on things. The clamer, nicer and more compassionate I was, he was still a mess. He wanted to leave for some “time to himself”. While I don’t think they live together, he is free to do whatever and I have our family and home and life. I’ve seen numerous therapists and eventually they all tell me to prepare to move on…I do NOT want a divorce nor believe it is in the bvest interest of us or our children. I found a website Larry Bilotta, and this explains a heck of a lot. My husband grew up in a messed up family (affairs , divorces) and this is “normal” to him on some level. In any event, I do know the good man I married is there…I hope he finds himself again and comes home to our kids and me. I tried ultimatums, but he continued to have contact with another woman…so now I am trying to focus on me, my happiness and my kids happiness each day. I believe eventually he will realize what he is losing…but for now he is gone.

    • anotheroneinaz

      Dear Stronger each day,

      I had to force my now ex husband out because he “could not wrap his arms around this thing” and in the mean time, he did not work at the marraige for the 8 months I was trying. He refused. IN fact he lied and saw her numerous time and kept in contact with her daily. ( I just did not know it until after we were separtated for 2 months). When he moved out he told me the he would probably be back in a month because he would miss us so much. Well, he never came back and he was always flying there or her here and hardly ever saw our kids. All he missed was his high school sweetheart. As soon as we were divorced and I moved out of the house she moved across country and into my former house. They are now married. Don’t expect much. Work on yourself, set your boundries and realize the person you once loved is not there. THere is someone very selfish and controlling who has taken his/her place. He lost most of his friends, the respect of his kids, and now he supports her (she isn’t getting a job) and her 24 yr. old son while helping me buy a car for our daughter is way crazy! Unfortunately, once the CS is gone, the craziness does not go away. He still treats me like he can control me and I should take is word for things and trust him. It angers him that I now am in control of my life and do not answer to him any more. He loves to tell me all the things I do wrong while I stay out of his life. At some point, you have to move on, even if it is difficult.
      Good luck.

    • Saddenned


      I post here sometimes, usually just to clear my head. I am coming up to my 10th anniversary it is hard. Here is my story. On Feb 24, 2011 my husband started his EA with a woman from his childhood via facebook. He started becoming distant and very mean to mean. On March 8th, ironically his birthday, he came to me and said we needed to talk and that we were like roommates and he wasn’t happy. I was so confused and beside myself. On March 9th, I asked him if there was someone else and he admitted to reconnecting with someone on facebook and he told me who, and I already had an idea. He cut all contact with her, changed his number, we removed our facebook accounts. We went through marriage counseling, I have been put on medication and I continue to go through individual counselling. Our anniversary is 15 Feb and the anniversary of D-Day is coming up and it has been hard. He sent me roses last week just because. I look at the year that has gone by and we have made leaps and bounds of progress, but I still have that instance in the back of my mind. The pain of this happenning just has changed me forever. I have forgiven and want to forget. I want to have blind trust again. I love him and we have talked a lot about the affair and have repaired the marriage, but the scars are still fresh.

    • Rachel

      Saddened you have lived my life. My husband hooked up with his ex from 30 years ago. I am on Prozac becauseni can’t deal with the situation. He can’t say that he doesn’t want to work it out. He did tell me that he thinks about her all of the time. They are soul mates. The pain is so hurtful of his words. At least your h is trying. Mine won’t cant get past her. Prozac is not working for me. He cut all contac so he says but he can’t forget her because of what they had 30 years ago. I think we will always feel this pain. So hurtful we would never do this to anyone.

    • Rachel

      Mine would never buy roses for me. And trust me he has plenty of money. But he managed to pay for their lunch dates in which they rekindled their romance from 30 years ago. He was twenty then. Didbt we love everyone at this age? we are both in individual counseling. His is not a marriage counselor and makes excuses after excuses for him. She is a mans counselor. Learning so much from this nightmare. My kids even said face the fact he doesnt want you.

    • Paula

      Rachel and Saddened, I also tried meds about 18 months into my journey, I tried three different types, and they didn’t help me one jot. My goodness, I was desperate by then, as I kept hanging in there, hoping that the meds would help me deal with the pain, I knew they weren’t a “magic pill” that would change the past, but I hoped they might calm me enough to deal with what I had to do now. I eventually weaned myself off them. In my case, I believe I wasn’t clinically depressed, just grieving, perhaps, overly long, for what I had lost. One thing I knew from the beginning, was that I was never going to “get back” the thing I’d lost, I needed to change my expectations (that doesn’t mean LOWER them, just find another way) and learn to accept that this had happened, but I was determined that it wasn’t going to ruin the way I lived my life. I has been, and continues to be a long and difficult path, but I would like to let you all know, that improvement does happen, I think I knew that then, as it is impossible to live with that level of pain forever. That is not to minimise what I still feel now, I have just found that time and hard work have helped. My journey is back on track, I’m still a long way from complete or whole, but I like myself a bit, again! It’s crazy how two other people’s actions (my relationship is 24 years living together, 34 years I’ve known OW for, she was his ex GF who had cheated on him with about 4 different guys, 15 month sexual affair, in my home, etc, and whilst we ALL went on holidays together, etc, ie VERY, VERY close to home!) make YOU feel terrible about yourself, we did little wrong here, and we are being punished (mostly by ourselves, lol!) for their selfishness. Rachel, hard as it may be to hear, let alone do, with a constantly waivering H, you need to try to distance yourself from him somewhat, ie, get on with the rest of your life, whilst he makes this decision, it is incredible how much more desirable you become to your H when you look like you are doing your own thing, and he is appearing to have little effect on you! My OH was hovering around me like mad once I stopped outwardly stressing and trying to find the answers. Linda has said it many times here, just work on you, look after your kids, I started planning for MY OWN fututre, without consideration for what he wanted to do, it was very empowering, and quite an aphrodisiac to the silly man!! But that was certainly not the reason I did it, I just needed to feel like I was going to be okay, I was going to be able to provide comfortably for my remaining children at home (education, etc.)

      I wish you both the very best, and send you waves of strength to achieve to your highest potential.

    • Surviving

      If in fact they are soul mates…. What has stopped him from leaving you and being with her?

    • Rachel

      Thank you Paula! Today is a new beginning for me. I’m not going to lay in bed all day and feel sorry for myself like I usually do on the weekends. I’m off to the mall for new bedding and curtains for MY bedroom. I’m picking out what I like with opinions from no one! Then tomorrow I’m going to a friends super bowl party with my son. H is not going. He too embarrassed to be with “our group” of friends. Hmm…
      Thank you all for your honest comments and support. It truly means a lot to me!

    • Lynne

      That’s the spirit. You go girl! This is a great step toward taking care of you and your son FIRST!

    • Paula

      Rachel, absolutely, good on you, baby steps, but I bet you feel better already, because you have a plan for the weekend! Let us know how good you feel about YOU once you do these things, it won’t change how you feel about your situation immediately, but that will come, and the idea is to celebrate any good feelings 🙂 Yay, you!!

    • Rachel

      Thank you, Lynne!

    • scott

      Our D day was about three weeks ago. This is not the first EA she has had. this time I had been highly suspisious for months about her”freind” that she started hanging out with about year ago. He was taking her flying in his small plane. He flys for Delta and started bringing gifts from around the world for my daughters. Then he started showing up to my daughters sports games. They chatted constantly on Facebook and she always closed it when I came in the room. He friended me on facebook and wanted to hang out with me. When he first showed up he was married, a couple months later he was divorcing. My wife kept saying hes just a friend, he’s lonely and his kids are grown and gone, and he is just looking for friendship. She kept telling me how nice he was and how much I would like him. Hell I even invited him to my parents house for thanksgiving because he was going to be alone! Three months ago my W said we sould seperate, she rented an old apartment that her “friend” was helping her fix up. My suspisions had finally got the best of me and I installed spyware on the computer. I was not prepared for what I saw… the “I love you’s”,” my lips burn to kiss you”, “we will be happy after both our divorces”…ect.ect… He even took on 13,000 of her credit card debt she got into from gambling! On D Day I told her to leave, and that I would file divirce papers the next day. I didn’t, I couldn’t throw 24 years away and I still love her. She says she has cut all contact with the OM and wants us to work. The last three weeks I have bought books and read dozens of websites. I try to get her involved, but she says she is to far gone emotionaly to give 100% to our relationship. She comes home to see the kids, have dinner, do her laundry, have sleep overs, and a few late night “encounters” (at my place and hers). Finally today I told her no more acting like we are still together. no more coming and going as you please, doing laundry, having dinner, no more late night encounters. If you cant at least try to work on us then I am done pretending to be a family. Maybe I have made a big mistake but only time will tell?? I plan to file for divorce next week I just cant take the lies anymore.. Good luck to you all I hope it works for you as I wish it had for us.

    • Hurt&insensed

      I have read this blog and all the posts with interest and a familiar sense of despair at my own situation. I would be really interested to hear if anyone has similar experiences and how they have made sense of it in a way more helpful to their recovery? Our main d day is fast approaching (3rd march will be a year since I confronted the OW and finally got the truth my husband would not give me!) My H first told me in Oct 2010 that he was unhappy in our marriage. Things had been tough for us following me completing a degree, losing a baby and our family immigrating. I was devastated to learn he was unhappy and although I had been trying to earn more money and help out practically for months, I realized he needed more emotional support from me.  Let me be clear that I was not happy either but I just kept trying to make things better. After several months of working hard, I was getting nothing back. I finally confronted him with this in Dec 2010 and he apologized saying he knew he had to try harder but we had been going off track for so long it would just take time. Finally on New Years Eve 2010 after another distressing ‘shall we separate’ conversation, I decided I had to put in more effort because he was low and struggling. I opened my computer to secretly book a hotel for us and as I touched the screen, up came an email that at first I thought was for me. I suddenly realized that the ‘babe’ ‘Hun’ he was writing to was not me and that my name appeared as he was writing to someone else saying he could not see her that night as I was in pieces!! I actually thought I would vomit on the spot in front of my 12 year old daughter who was sitting opposite me! Of course my H lied his way out of it as he did 3 days later when I asked to check his phone and found incriminating texts from his ‘friend’ who was in his phone as ‘Trevor’ ! I was in a terrible state and despite all my questions, he just lied and lied. I made him look in my eyes believing he wouldn’t be able to lie and swear on our children’s lives that this friendship had never been physical –  he did numerous times. Two days later, whilst playing with his phone and typing ‘Trevor’ into message, his OW’s name came up and I was floored by the reality she was another mum from a sports club our kids go to and she lives down the road! I actually still cry and feel sick every time I recall these incidents. Again he reassured me but admitted an inappropriate friendship with one kiss they both knew was wrong. Again I was devastated and he promised they had just talked on the phone and bumped into each other a few times but he would never contact or talk to her again. I believed him and because he was smart, he made it sound like she had just been trying to ‘help’ him with our marriage problems therefore I would embarrass myself and be acting completely over the top if I confronted her. I certainly did not want her kids or mine involved in this so I just got back to working on my marriage. I felt such relief that I had discovered this ‘friendship’ before it had gone too far and felt lucky that we had another chance at our 24 year relationship! I continued to feel unsettled and finally got his phone bill in Feb 2011 which showed excessive txting during the time yhe had said they were communicating (which rang alarm bells as he had never admitted to that level of contact) and a couple of very recent texts! I was blown away but again he lied saying she had contacted him about sports stuff to do with the kids and he had kept it short and to the point. Finally on 3rd march 2011, I called the OW to tell her to back off. She then took great pleasure in telling me all about her year long P and E affair with my husband, the fact he had been there on his birthday 11th feb and taken her flowers on Valentines day (our 24th a anniversary)! I have never felt so betrayed and humiliated in my life. If I had ever suspected he could be so selfish, reckless and such a deceitful person, I would have known from the beginning he was lying and given him an ultimatum. I have such a terrible time knowing that because I accepted his lies and reassurance so naively and stupidly, it allowed him to continue what he was doing … It actually feels like he had another affair. There is something so dispicable about selling out your wife and best friend to a virtual stranger who offers you sex, money and an easy life. He may as well have said ‘listen my wife knows about us and who you are but even that’s not going to stop me!’ My H is devastated by what he has done and is doing everything to repair our relationship. I love him enormously but it is hard for me to get over the terrible things he did in his affair which finally culmimated in him letting his OW have the satisfaction of telling me the whole, sordid truth rather than him! The fact that he robbed me of choices by continually lying and he robbed me of the chance to salvage some self respect and dignity by giving him an ultimatum he had to respond to one way or the other; is still a difficult issue for me.  I would  never have chosen to stay somewhere I was not wanted or was second best. Sorry for the long post, this is my first time telling some of my story.

      • Paula

        Hurt&insensed, your story is so very similar to mine, even to the times (24 years) and closeness of the OW (ours was an old friend of mine) the length of the affair (15 months) the OW revelling in telling me all about what they had been up to after the had finished, the texting, the keeping fo her number in his phone under a different name (I never checked, dumb!) the full on texting in front of me, when we were out to dinner, etc, and the extent of the lies, to the point of looking into my OH’s eyes and basically begging him to tell me the truth, as I could handle it (I also thought he wouldn’t lie to my face, and swallowed all the lies hook, line and sinker) I also feel very, very gullible and stupid. My OH is also very, very sorry for the pain he caused, and has mostly done all the right and caring things since, but it’s hard. All I can offer is that it does (slowly) get better, but it is hard work, and it takes time, and a shift in expectations and the way you view your past, this does not mean you have to lower your expectations, just change the way you view things, in order to accept that you can’t change the past, but you can influence your own thoughts and therefore your future.

        I wish you all the best in this most hideous of journeys. Cal recently mentioned how this was so much worse for her than when her mother died, oh yeah, I get that, one millionfold, and I loved my Mum to bits, still do, every day, and she’s been gone nearly 11 years!

      • norrine fay

        Hi hurt and incessed. Your story is just like mine. The lies were so convincing I believed him until he started treating me like I had done something wrong and refused to make an effort. I would be crying and he would hug me but still leave for a whole weekend. Did some more digging and uncovered the truth, torrid PA affair, spent lots of money on her, expensive resturants and holidays. I have been sick since 2007 and I found out this is when his affair started. I used to feel bad that he had to deal with a chronically sick person not realizing he was being caring during the day then going off to his mistress. Cos I thought he was so understanding, I tried to understand his reluctance to buy me an engagement ring. My family wanted me to dump him but I made excuses for him telling them how supportive he had been. You can imagine how stupid and dumb I fee now. His mum but pressure on me for years to drag him down the aisle, even suggesting to get pregnant accidentally on purpose. I would not do this so she tried other manipulation. It’s been so hard and so stressful. My health has got worse. I realise I need to put myself first as he refuses even now, 9 months on and after all the evidence, to admit to his affair. I found out that he now has an STI and feel angry that he has put me at risk. It’s the lies and the failure to take responsibility that hurts. It seems like he wants to be the hurt one. He has been acting mean until I confronted him and told him his behaviour was unacceptable and hurtful. I’ve stopped talking to him and now he is bending over backwards to be helpful. Yet he still disappears over the weekend even though insisting that he no longer sees her. If I am upset he will be upset with me then seems to be able to block it out and get on with his day. He sleeps really well at night while I toss and turn. I’m wondering if he psychotic.

    • Cheated upon and feeling cheated

      Here’s a twist on the “ultimatum” question — my H has made it clear he chooses me over the OW. He says he has cut off all contact from her (has he? who knows). But, to quote from another post here on this site, “The Affair is not [my] fault….if he is telling you that you should have done things differently…..he is still blaming you.”

      My H developed a timeline that he used to explain how he got to where he was and to prove (?) that his EA didn’t turn physical until AFTER an argument I had with our son. His explanation for the EA/SA is that she was an “expert” at child abuse and he didn’t like the way I was disciplining the children. While I was seeking corroboration and assistance from a number of professional sources in order to help him feel better about us, it was/is not totally acknowledged by him (he “remembers it differently”). The “expert” was telling him to document each instance of “abuse” but wasn’t advising him to find support for me (seems self-serving and even illogical for an “expert” to omit that) nor was she turning me in — in fact, in all the help I’ve sought from MDs and therapists, no one has told me that the honest and full accounting I’ve given would require them by law to turn me in. Anyway, off track, but thought background important. Has has admitted that he had an emotional break from the marriage summer/fall 2010, and it was about then that EA began with this woman. I feel that his decline started way further back, since he was documenting this “abuse” as early as 2005. He refuses to acknowledge this. I think it’s an important piece of the puzzle that goes back to the “….if he is telling you that you should have done things differently…..he is still blaming you” point.

      So, what ultimatum, if any, is given in a situation like this? Most of the advice here seems to be “it’s her or me” but I’m looking for advice on a very different sort of ultimatum. Thank all.

    • Eva

      I am still waiting for my husband to return. He has decided that he wants this family but the OW is suicidal and kept threatening him with her death. I just have to hope and pray for this nitemare to end as we can’t move forward and rebuild our marriage when they have yet to break contact.

      He says to give him time and not be forceful and I do realize that he is less resentful of me when I back off. I gave him an ultimatum of 1 year from D day where I would not give up and mention divorce until then. Now, I can only hope that the affair would run it’s course before my deadline.

      • Lynne


        I’m curious, do you have evidence that his story checks out here? And if its true that he is only trying to help her, won’t the OWs separation from your H be even worse after he spends another year with her?

    • Surviving

      @Eva, she sounds like a very mentally unbalanced person, are you and your husband in some sort of therapy to learn how to deal with this situation? These type of people can go off the deep end and do very damaging things to themselves and others depending on how desperate they are, how long has it been since D Day? And whose idea to wait the one year without mentioning div

    • Anita

      I would get into counseling for yourself, this will help
      you. Your husband has to be the one to let go of his affair,
      but counseling will help you. This relationship is toxic to you,its not a healthy to remain in a relationship where your
      husband is treating you this way. You need to think about
      yourself and do whats best for you. Sometimes moving
      on with your own life is better, and healthier.

    • Anita

      You need to see your own worth and value, and not allow
      someone else to mistreat you. That is clearly happening
      to you now. The healthier you beoome about yourself you
      will see this relationship is not good for you.
      Your husband does not have your best interest at heart,
      he has only his selffish movitves and as long as your going to go along with this your enabling this affair to
      continue. It better for you to leave him behind and start
      a new better life for yourself. Being single is healthier
      than living in a marriage where, your being mistreated.
      Of course your husband is less resentful when you back
      off, he has his own agenda, and as long as you put
      up with his behavior, thats what he wants. He’s not
      ready to be in a marriage, with a lifelong committment
      of fidelity, this is not your fault. However, you are
      responsible to for yourself and counseling will
      help you.

    • Anita

      Rachel and Eva,
      It time to think about yourselves, and if your spouses can’t
      do better than this, your better off without them.
      Bringing another woman into your marriages shows
      their lack of respect for you. Shame on them! However
      to allow yourselves to be treated like this is also
      Someday I hope both of you find the strenght to see yourselves in a different light, and not determine your
      value by how your being treated. You deserve so so so
      much better than a husband chasing after another woman.
      If this is the best they can do, YOU deserve better, stop
      short changing yourselves, and leave these so called
      gentleman behind, if putting another woman before you
      is their idea of love, then you should be kind to yourselves
      and leave them.

    • Anita

      Doug and Linda,
      My part of the annulment is finished, and has been sent
      and recieved, now wheather my ex partipates is up to
      him, but it does not stop the process from going forward.
      Your sight has also given me growth, and the new format
      is nice.
      A few months ago, I wasn’t sure wheather I wanted to open
      up that can of worms or not, however I am glad I did.
      I wish I had done my annulment sooner than I did.
      When I was first divorced I was to angery to even be nice
      in writing about what happened in our marriage. Then
      came the stage where I healed but was sick of talking
      about it. Then came the stage of I wanted to complete
      the rest of the jounery, although I was hestitant, coming
      to this site gave me that extra boost to proceed forward
      with the annulment.
      However, now my part of it is done, and I find myself
      giving out advise that may or maynot be helpful, to the
      people who are currently, going through this. I know
      each persons circumstances are different, and I do not
      know the whole story behind each person here.
      I only know what I had went through, and divorcing
      gave me that freedom from living in a relationship that
      was unhealthy.
      Going throught my annulment process has allowed me
      to understand why my own marriage didn’t survive,
      again each marriage is different and each outcome
      will be different also.
      However, it has given me the peace I needed to see
      though I did my best in my marriage, I wasn’t responsible
      for the choices my ex husband made, nor could I stop
      him from doing his behaviors. By going through my
      annulment and coming to this site it has given me
      my voice back, and I feel like the person I once was
      but with new wisdom and knowledge, and a deeper
      love for God. When your spouse has repeated infidelity
      they’re not to ready to be in a marriage or the lifetime
      commintment to fidelity. In my case my exhusband
      chose to leave the marriage, but it also gave me the
      freedom to have a new life for myself. I believe it was
      for the best when our marraige ended.
      I am much healthier and happy not having to live in
      a marriage with infidelity. My ex and I live in different
      states, however we are respectful to each other, and
      have moved forward with are own lives. It took awhile
      after our divorce for both our lives to settle down.
      But I also know its time to put everything behind and
      get back to living my life again, I will admit it hard to
      to keep my mouth shut when I come to this site, I
      want the betrayed spouses to know, that being cheated
      on is something that they do not have to put up with,
      however each on has to journey through their own
      I know that if someone ever cheats on me again, their
      gone, zero chances. Living thought this has strenghtend
      me as a person to see that I never want to be involved
      in that kind of relationship again ever. Being single without those
      problems, is a life I would choose anyday over staying
      with someone who cheats. However, I didn’t get to
      point overnight it happened though a process,
      Best wishes!

    • jane

      My husband has lied about every detail of his initial disclosure, which was about 1 1/2 years ago. (For instance after he first told me the affair lasted one year and then I discovered it lasted 3 1/2 years. First he said it was all about sex and when I discovered 5 days worth of emails between them, I discovered that they were “best friends” and he shared person info. with her such as stories about my kids he told her which he has never told me. When I asked him why he only had one aids test in the beginning of thier long relationship, he replied that “they saw each other exclusively and he did not have another AIDS test because he trusted her so much”
      (She is a lesbiana and has a serious parter but he forgot about the possibility of the unknowing partner giving us all AIDS.
      3 weeks after this event, I asked him about her lovers girlfriend and he then old me he was lying about seeing her exclusively and that he did not trust her…but was too embarassed to tell me he did not have further AIDS tests.

      So, in covering up his original lies, he usually makes the whole situation worse.

      Not lying and showing transparency was one of the first ultimatums and he tens to break this “biggie” regularly.

      Advice? Why do you think he keeps lying to me about important details? THis has slowed down recovery BIG TIME and now I have been diagnosed with PTSD.

      Where Do I draw the line and how?
      Thanks for any replies in advance.


    • Anita

      I would get some counseling if I were you, they will help
      your sort though all your feeling and emotions.
      Coming to this site also is helpful in getting your feelings
      out. Many people are here to help you.
      Your question about “where do I draw the line and how?
      This is part of your journey, you will figure this out, as you
      go. What do you want? Is your starting point.
      Best to you!

    • Hurt&insensed

      Thank you all for your comments, I really appreciate this site and the chance to hear others experience particularly as I approach d.day 3rd march! Eva, you are in a terrible situation and I feel so bad for what you are going thru. No one can make your decision or tell you what to do; this is your journey and you will have to make the tough calls and live with your choices. I will offer one thing from my experience and from what I have read on this site, it may or may not be helpful. Most OW are told frequently by the CS that he is not leaving his wife for a host of reasons; none of which are honest or even creative i.e I can’t leave my wife until my son finishes school, we have refurbed the house to sell, she is more stable, less upset, not sick etc. Basically it is a delaying tactic and often, there is no intention from the CS to leave. Is it possible your husband is doing the same to you? He may be hoping to get you ‘used’ to the idea gradually or he is still in his fog? Whatever, it will be very painful and hard to forgive if he continues to put the OW’s needs above yours at a time when you are in such need of his support and loyalty. I am not trying to cause you further distress, I am just offering another perspective on his actions. Jane, I have been reading a book called Transcending PISD (post infidelity stress disorder) by Dennis Ortman. I am not religious at all but the spiritual and religious comments are sporadic rather than dominant and may be more helpful to some. The book is excellent. I just cried so much when I first read it because I was so raw, hurt and confused and my exact feelings were named and reflected back to me. I totally get you about the constant lying and changing of information by your CS. My OH did the same thing for several months so that he could put me off track and try to get the situation back under his control each time he got caught out. It is absolutely crazy making and for me, he has caused so much damage and even greater mistrust. I was frequently so sure that his stories weren’t coherrent or did not add up that I got to the point of looking him square in the eyes and saying, ‘I am about to ask you a question and make you lie to me, in the full knowledge that you have a choice to tell the truth’. That would have been enough to stop me in my tracks but not him… each time, he stuck vehmently to the lie and continued the affair…that has caused our recovery and the potential for us staying together, one of the biggest blows. I don’t know about anyone else but I often see people on this site and certainly my friends and family will often comment that everyone makes mistakes. I agree and could even accept this, but when I first confronted my husband then very shortly after, found out who he was involved with, that was the end of the mistake. As far as I am concerned, he then watched me totally deteriorate physically and emotionally, I didn’t eat or sleep, (whilst he had no problem;-) I walked for hours in the middle of the night alone, and couldn’t function. Having told me he and the OW (who lives close by) were just friends and he never needed to speak to her again, he actually carried on his EA and PA that had been going on for 8 months; for a couple more months without my knowledge. I just never imagined in my worst nightmares that he could do that and so I got fooled again. I don’t call it a mistake from the point where the CS is discovered. They are now making an active choice to continue doing damage in the full knowledge of what they are doing! On a positive note, my CS is doing everything he can to repair the damage and I do not envy the task he created for himself!!

    • WriterWife

      I just gave the ultimatum to my husband this week. He had an EA with our best friend (and his co-worker) through 2011 and finally told me about it a few days after Christmas. We’ve sought counseling, he’s been very involved and active but his fear is that he won’t figure out what caused it and won’t be able to stop it happening with someone else in the future.

      We’ve both agreed our marriage got derailed for other reasons as well and have been working hard on repairing that and growing stronger. However, while he’s committed to the process of therapy, he’s not committed to ending up with me at this point (though it’s his goal to end up together, he’s just not convinced we can).

      He essentially asked me not to give him an ultimatum in the beginning and I agreed to give him time. While his feelings for her have decreased, there’s still a part of him holding on to her — following her on Facebook, hoping to be friends in the future, and basically still playing the game. He doesn’t think she was involved in any of this — that it was all in his head and I vehemently disagree.

      I don’t understand how he can continue to want to be friends with someone who so disrespected me and my marriage or how he thinks I could ever want to be friends with his mistress.

      So this week I’ve told him that unless the therapist counsels otherwise on Friday, he has to move out until he’s through with the OW. He has to let her go for once and for all because I will not be married to him otherwise.

      I’d thought about taking this step weeks before but was scared and not ready to let him go. Someone told me that I’d know when the right time came and they were right. I know that my husband might move out and never come back, but I deserve a man who has fully committed himself to me and hasn’t reserved a part of himself for another woman.

      I just hope I can remember that during the tough days that surely lie ahead!

    • tibo

      My wife of 8 years (2 kids)had been having an affair and denying for a few months. Anyway it was discovered and all that (she see the guy at the gym)

      She said it was done but i know they at least still talk for hours.

      I asked her many times to stop going to the gym, in particular late at night.
      She kept avoiding the questions and kept going.

      Problem is every time she left at night i could not sleep whatsoever, so last week i asked her either you stop going or I don’t want to see you around ….. she picked the later !

      She is completely addicted to that other person and willing to just leave me and the kids for it …. who is that person ?

      It hurts so bad.

    • Pamela

      Help. My husband has been having an affair for two years. We own a business together and the struggling economy has taken a toll on us. We have totally sacrificed our marriage And family because of the time and emotional strain of work. I totally know that now. We have three kids. I have been devastated by this affair, and he can not or will not totally end it. There is that grass is greener mentality, but no wonder that ouch urge looks so rosy, there is no pressure, or stress with a family, much less work and children.
      How do I convince my husband to fight for our ,arrange or can I. 16 years we have been married. We are seperated and I am lonely and hurting while he appears to have the best of both worlds. I know he is not living it up, but he has the freedom to do so. No kids, no responsibility and still in contact with her.

      Can my marriage be saved even if only one of us is committed to it at this point?

      • Lynne

        Hi Pamela-

        I think many marriages can be saved, but it does take two people to get there. If your H is out of the home, and is still involved with the OW, it’s doubtful that he’s ready to put serious effort into your marriage–it’s hard to heal a marriage with THREE people involved. And any attempt to convince him otherwise will likely leave you feeling even more pain, as he is likely to rebuff you. The worst thing you can do right now is beg, convince, plead or push him into these conversations—any of this will likely push him further away.

        I completely understand where you’re at right now, and also your desire to take some action to get him back to some kind of “right thinking”, but HE has to decide that what he stands to lose is greater than what he has with the OW. Plus, wouldn’t it ultimately feel better to know that he got there on his own rather than being convinced or guilted into it?

        In the meantime, please focus on you and your children–your own self-care and well being–some time to figure out what YOU really want. Separations are always hard, but this time allows you to step back and look at your marriage, to reflect on what you want, need and deserve in your life. Our natural reaction is to fight to get back what we feel we’re losing, yet is it what’s best for us going forward?

        If your H sees you moving forward and handling this with grace (which is damn hard!) and calmness, while making concrete decisions for yourself and your children that don’t include him, it’s likely he’ll stand up and take notice. It’s not what you say right now, but what you do (actions) that will show him what you want and expect for your own life.

        All the best to you.

    • E

      Pamela, you need support. You have come to a safe place here and there are a lot of caring people who feel your pain. But If you have not told anyone, do so. Call your sister, mother and/or trusted girlfriend. Get a babysitter if needed and try to get out and do something. Take your kids somewhere and do something. Try to take care of yourself. If you are like I was and you are begging and pleading with him- stop. I know it’s your gut instinct to do just that but it doesn’t work. In fact, I believe it has the opposite effect. Beyond that, you may not be able to do much else right now. I would also recommend that you try to avoid making any major decisions or plans just yet. It sounds like it is too soon for that. You are in a holding pattern and it’s hell, I have been there.

    • Losing Hope

      I’m really curious if any other BS has contacted the AP? A few have posted on here that they have, with not so great outcomes..I have! But I dont know if I believe her version of the story, or if shes just covering up for him…(ugh)

      She claims she never had romantic feelings for my H. He was just a good friend. I know she is somewhat of a social butterfly and talks to EVERYONE! She also told me that she felt more like a therapist to him. She was trying to “advise” him on his marriage with me the best she could and be a listening ear. (blah, blah)

      I started out texting her. In the beginning (a yr ago) I was very verbally abusive to her. Telling her off, asking questions. She was very nice (gag) about it, but took the abuse and responded. (I had known her for a short time before they started their friendship..gag again)

      She said she always liked me and that if it was another friend of hers wives she would have told her to f*ck off. Then shes told me that hes not her type and she thinks he was just confused and going thru a midlife crisis. And told me how much he always said he loved me and he does love you very much and we always talked about you….

      Theres a lot more to it but I dont have time.
      Bacically, just from the short version of my life, does anyone think I should believe this version shes dishing out to me?
      I kinda do. But theres always that doubt. This sounds incredibly niave on my part. Partly because I didnt explain the whole thing. I just dont understand that if she knew hes a married man and he started telling her he loved her, gifts, other romantic gestures….why would she continue the friendship? (she lives about a six hour flight away)

      • Healing Mark

        Losing Hope. Believe it and move on. Focus on healing yourself, gaining the ability to genuinely forgive your H for having whatever it was that he had with this person (ok, call her a skank or something worse if you want), and on re-establishing and maintaining a happy marriage.

        Or. Don’t believe it and move on. Focus on healing yourself, gaining the ability to genuinely forgive your H for having whatever it was that he had with this person (ok, call her a skank or something worse if you want), and on re-establishing and maintaining a happy marriage.

        I trust that you get my central point. Good luck!

      • WriterWife

        Losing Hope: my husband spent a lot of time wanting to know what the OW felt toward him. He didn’t know if she was (a) aware of his feelings and (b) reciprocated. He felt he couldn’t move on until he knew and eventually had a “closure talk” with her where he asked her flat out.

        She said she didn’t have feelings for him and never had. He believed her, I didn’t. I pointed at her actions as proof and also pointed out that, as one of my best friends, she was unlikely to tell the truth. Maybe she was telling the truth as she *wanted* it to be, but there were definitely times when there was no question she was aware of my husband’s feelings toward her and at the very least did nothing to discourage them.

        But really, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter at all what she was feeling and what she did. What matters is that my husband fell in love with her — he admitted it to me. That’s where the betrayal lies — in what HE was thinking and feeling and NOT in what she was thinking and feeling.

        If you believe your husband acted inappropriately, that’s what matters. The OW’s story — whether true or not — doesn’t, except in regards to how you deal with HER (in my case, I’ve ceased all communication and cut off our friendship).

        FWIW your situation sounds very similar to mine. I just looked at the OW’s actions and asked myself, “would any of my other real friends have allowed this to go this far?” The answer was no. Women tend to be smart and intuitive — we know when a man is interested in us and we know how to turn him down in subtle ways. I didn’t need to have a “closure talk” with the OW — I was through with her.

    • Losing Hope

      Healing Mark

      Point taken….Thank you! 🙂

    • Surviving

      Does he know how much this bothers you and how many triggers this is?
      Are him and the AP still communicating?

      • Ness

        No he doesn’t know how much it bothers me, he thinks it upsets me NOT hurts me so he keeps it all a secret. I have been trying to find a way to confirm that it is all wrong especially since they were all part of his cheating on me and our 3 boys. He rationalizes it by saying God blesses us when we do good things for other people. That is why I am looking for opinions because this is purely selfish on his part. he doesn’t want me involved you can tell because he is hiding it from me…keeping the gifts hidden. I am thinking that when I tell him I have had enough that I am going to say he is telling me by his actions that our family isn’t enough for him we have boys and he is treating the two girls like daughters so is that saying that because I didn’t give him a daughter he found them outside our family. Like I said the way he professes his faith his actions don’t show that commitment. I keep praying that he will wake up and see his wrongs but I don’t think he will unless I say I am done and can’t handle that relationship and he needs to choose…at Christmas when I found out he was cheating he said if he had to choose he would leave us, and in the same breath said he was sorry for causing me pain…everyday that goes by and he lies and keeps this other relationship he is causing me pain. Is it even right of him to keep this relationship? I think no! We can’t heal our relationship and he needs to mend his relationship with his sons not fix someone elses broken relationships with their own father by taking that role…it’s not his job or not a promise he should make to the other woman to help her kids. That only gives her false hope that he still is interested in her, and I am sure if her kids know about their whole affair that is truly what they want too!!!!

    • zjogger

      I tried the ultimatum thing and was too weak to leave. I asked him to, he refused. I threatened divorce, separation and he did the action instead and is using it against me. “Stop mentioning the relationship, it was just a friendship, or I am gone.” Now I feel myself making concessions for his behavior and feel forced to swallow all the pain of this because if I do not move on, he will leave and force me to be a 50-50 parent. The denial, the twisting, it is all so hard

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