Good Wednesday!

Our focus this week is primarily on gaining control and handling anger after the affair. I know that when I found out about Doug’s emotional affair, I did not get angry–at least outwardly. I wish that I would have though, as I think it would have served as a way to flush my system of the anger, but I was afraid to, as I thought it would drive Doug away.

So, along this line, the discussion topic for the week…How did/do you deal with the anger? Did you let loose with rage, or did you keep it inside you? Why? How do/did you express your anger? Did your anger make you do things out of character? Finally, do you think that anger can be a positive thing?

Please be sure to respond to each other’s comments!

Have a great day!

Doug & Linda

See also  Open Discussion: Is a Cheater a Bad Person?

    30 replies to "Discussion: How Do You Handle the Anger After the Affair?"

    • ruth

      I also kept my anger inside afraid i would drive him right into her arms for good. So I hide it inside me. I look back now and I should of let my anger out and I think his affair lasted longer than it should of because I didn’t get angry enough. But than again I don’t know for sure but I would have felt more in control of myself. What I am trying to get over now is how foolish I was to let him play his game and me following him around like a puppy dog. I let myself down more than anything, I am a stronger person than that. My fear of the unknown held me prisoner. I still have fear but I am getting much better as time goes by. My husband is making me feel important again and we are starting to fall back in love with each other again. Yes if I could go back I would have gotten very angry with him at least then I could have looked in the mirror and realized that I didnt let him get away with anything. Sometime I think because I didnt get angry he was thinking it was ok LOL. Now I let him know if I am angry, sad, or happy all the time, no more keeping inside. Thank you Doug ,Linda and Jeff and to everyone else on here. It has help me open my eyes and face my fears. Fear is what has really held me back from being happy again.

      • Doug

        Ruth, Thanks for getting things started. FEAR is probably the worst four letter word there is. However, it’s tough to know exactly what to do when you are a victim of an affair, so don’t beat yourself up about “how foolish” you were. You were only doing what your survival instincts were telling you to do. That’s why it helps to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible when confronted with this situation. It gives you some direction and helps you to attack your fears.

        I’m happy to hear that things are working out well for you and your husband, and that he is making you feel important again.

      • Doug

        Ruth, I second what Doug said “don’t beat yourself up” I acted exactly the same way. I was afraid to get angry and I question whether our recovery would have been easier if I would have been in more control and not been a doormat. I know I would have come out of this feeling better about myself if I would have acted differently. I would get angry at myself because I knew I was setting a terrible example to my daughter (who knew about the affair) by allowing it to continue and following Doug around like a puppy dog. I am stronger and more confident than my behavior displayed. Doug’s affair brought out a side of me that was uncharacteristic and hard to accept. It took along time to find that person again, I think for the most part she is back with some added improvements. As Doug keeps telling me “you are perfect just the way you are” and I think to myself “of course I am and don’t you forget it” lol Linda

        • ruth

          I am also getting better; I think that if I can survive this I can survive anything! Anger and fear only eat at us inside.
          Thanks for all of your support.

    • Jeffrey Murrah

      I have seen anger like a two-edged sword. It can accomplish great things and sever an affair, it can also wound everyone around you. Anger can be very good or very destructive, it all depends on how it is handled.

      The challenge most people have is how to express it in a way that lets your spouse know your angry without taking it out on them. Keeping it inside is destructive to you, and lashing out on others is destructive to them. Finding that middle ground is a challenge.

    • Deflated

      I agree with everyone above especially Jeff’s comments. When I discovered my husband’s EA, I confronted him in a calm manner. I don’t know if I was hoping he would tell me it’s not what I think it looks like but he didn’t. He admitted it and said it was over (2 mos prior to my discovery). The fact that it was over 2 mos ago didn’t lessen the blow and boy did I lose it!!! Words of profanity came spewing out of my mouth…I didn’t call my husband names (well maybe a few…..). I felt as if my chest was going to explode…thoughts were swirling in my head and I was sick to my stomach…I was going in all directions. I felt like the wizard in the Wizard of Oz frantically pushing all the buttons trying to gain control upon the discovery that it wasn’t the fire breathing person depicted but a mere human hiding behind the curtains.

      I didn’t like the feelings of anger that was consuming me at that moment…I asked my husband to leave which he did and gave me the opportunity to get a regroup. Once alone I cried and tried to understand why????

      The 1st day, the anger was intense so I sent an e-mail to my husband and ask that he find somewhere else to stay for awhile as I did not want to see him. The week that he was gone gave me the time I needed to regroup and deal with the anger so that it was manageable. I found this website and read and read and read.

      It is a challenge as Jeff says to find the middle ground but I have. I know my husband knew that I was angry, hurt and disappointed. As we work our way towards recovery, we have both learned to communicate our feelings more effectively and in a positive way. The aftermath of my husbands EA drained our relationship of the frustrations and emotions we had pent up and has now allowed us to express ourselves verbally and physically in manner we both desired and hope to continue.

    • Karen

      When I first found out by inadvertently stumbling upon an email, I calmly informed my H and headed off to work. He tried to talk to me, but I would have none of it. For a few days it was silence and a tense atmosphere, and then I let loose on him with my anger. I think I scared him (I think he told me later I scared him) with my anger and raw emotion. He really thought he was going to lose me. He went from denial to asking for forgiveness during that time of my anger, none of which I believed. Thankfully, and I don’t know why (divine intervention?), I went away with a friend to her cabin for 3 days to think and told my husband I’d decide what I wanted to do when I got back. I was leaning heavily toward separation, but the 3-day separation allowed me to decompress and control my anger (somewhat) and think more clearly. I came back, found out my H had been texting, calling frantically the OW the 3 days I had been gone and even after I came back – he says he was scared I was going to dump him (not sure about that). I gave him the NC ultimatum and told him I would try to start the process of forgiveness, but he would have to make major changes in his life. Gave him some other conditions also which I can’t fully remember. I guess I took control, but I didn’t even know I was doing it. Then I started reading and researching and found this site, and we’ve been in recovery every since May 27, 2010 (D-Day). Recovery has been up and down (mostly up), but in hindsight, I’m relatively satisfied with how I handled it. My two teenage girls know my H did something very bad (he told them) but no details (although I think they know more than they let on). One day at a time. Did I not separate for my kids? In large part, yes, but I am hopeful the payoff will be restoration of my marriage.

      • Doug

        Thanks Karen, that’s good stuff. For what it’s worth, I feel you handled the situation very well. I think stepping away from those 3 days and allowing you to calmly think things though was key.

      • Doug

        Karen, I believe your actions demonstrated that you had the power to take control. Many of us felt powerless, therefore we acted in ways that were portrayed as needy and lacking in confidence. I never asked him to leave, mainly because of the kids, and only later when I become knowledgeable about affairs did I give him an ultimatum. I suffered and allowed Doug to be indecisive for way too long. The main reason for starting this website was to help others so they wouldn’t make the same mistakes I did and maybe their recovery would be less painful. Linda

        • Karen

          Linda: My actions may have demonstrated but I didn’t feel like I had “power” – I felt trapped by my H’s EA. I did ask my husband to leave the house, since I’m the primary income, but he refused. I too initially acted like a basket case (i.e. crying uncontrollably, screaming). Other than the 3-day getaway from it all, I’m not sure what empowered me to do what I did. I started reading and researching right away, so maybe that helped. I just don’t know. I’d like to find out and tell my husband how lucky he is to be married to me 🙂

    • Karen

      Doug: I notice Deflated did a brief separation also and found that an interesting common thread in dealing with EA. Hope it helps others to step back and not make rash decisions without calmly thinking things through. Who can be calm when they are so angry??? Not me. Until I got away from my H, the cause of my anger.

    • Liz

      I would like to say I handled my anger like a woman! I think my husband would say like a dragon spewing fire every chance she got! I let him have it, I found out while he was out I went and calmly asked him to leave with me took him home and lost it! I know I have never acted like that in my life. I can still remember the denial and all the questions leading up to that moment! I remember looking at him and thinking “who are you” and how did I get here. I wanted to leave I packed my bag, scream said some really awful things, threw a few I think, and then walked to the top of the stairs. When I got there it hit me, I am walking out on the man that I love, is that really what I needed or did I need to walk back down the stairs and yell some more…you guessed I went right back down the stairs! I just stood there staring at this man that I thaught was someone who honored and cherished me and promised himself to only me and come to find out he was out doing the same thing with someone else! I could’nt believe the lies he told her the lies he was telling me…who was this person? Did I really want to know? Was the anger taking over and would I ever feel happy torwards this person who had just sucked all the breath out of me? Well I found out July 21, 2010 and Im still here! I question it all the time, but I think I am not willing to give up just yet. Most of the stuff that is said right now is outta the fear that in the end we will end up alone. Last night we went to dinner and I looked at him and I said how do you think I see you and he said as a lyin, cheatin, bastard and I wanted to argue and then I thaught you know what sometimes I do and thats what I told him. He smiled and then I told him but I still love you! I think I have learned a lot about how and why it happed Im not at the place were I would like to be with our marriage but I have hope!

    • Donna

      I think my husband would say I was like a dragon spewing fire every chance I got! I let him have it. I like this statement from Liz, this is exactly how I reacted and still reacted up until a week ago. I am ashamed of my actions. I do not rant and rave all the time, just every now and then. Unforrtunatly I din’t fight fair, I have become mean through all of this and I don’t like it. I am a reactor and I am working at changing that. I am working at changing how I react to certain situations.. ie.. if hubby came home and said he spoke to OW, I would normally want to get very upset, this time I am like, that is nice, how is she?? I am hoping this will help things alittle. He will not get the reaction that he would normally get. I am also doing the Love Dare, and I am hoping that this will help our situation.

      Our D day was 17 March 2010, this seems to be dragging on so long. My husbands EA has been the hardest thing ever to combat. He still loves OW and now doesn’t really want to work on our marriage just yet, he just wants to get through one day at a time. I am hoping that one day he will feel he can fall back in love with me. I am willing to be patient, I am willing to stick this out through thick or thin. I married this man for life, not until something came along that was to hard for us to deal with and turn my back on. He is not physically abusing me, just emotioanlly. I will wait it out, the affair will end eventually, I just hope he will love me one day and say thank you for not giving up on me.

      I did find out tonight that OW is moving in 2 weeks, 4 hours away from us. Right now she is literally 5 mins down the road. So I am hoping that her being away out of sight will make a difference to him. I am sure they will still contact, however over time I hope and pray that will come to an end. Time and space, isn’t that what they need?

      I love this man so very much, so much more that I did pre affair days. I a feeling low tonight, I just want him to hold me and tell me that it will all be okay and yet I have to go through this alone. That is thte tough part.

      I do have a question though. If my husband is so in love with this oW, wouldn’t he leave me and go to her if she is what he really wants? why would he still be here with me?

      • Doug

        Donna, that is a question that Linda has asked of me many times over the last year or so. In my situation, I realized that I didn’t really love Tanya. I loved the feeling. Once I began having that feeling for Linda again, Tanya didn’t matter. Our relationship wasn’t built on reality in the first place.

        Perhaps your husband has his reasons for staying. But since he stayed, you should take that as a positive. Don’t ask why, just do the things you need to do to reestablish intimacy and fun in your relationship. The rest should fall into place. It also helps that the OW is moving and contact will be much more difficult.

    • Liz

      Donna, when I first found out about my husbands affair, the first question I asked him is if he loved her, he said he did’nt know for sure if he ever loved her. I asked that question again a few weeks later and he said really he never loved her, yes they told each other they did but it was never something he truely felt. Yes! Score one for me! But I think he was being honest with me about that question from the start, thank goodness for that because there have been many lies and more lies to cover up those lies but he is starting to realize that they all come out no matter how small they seem to him they all surface and it makes it a lot harder on both of us.
      More than likely right now it feels like love but really its just the excitment that he still feels. I cant tell you for sure that he does’nt love her but if he ever truely loved you he is just trying to replace a void. My husband never left me to be with the OW. He never went out of town or stayed late at night, they would meet in the morning before work and he would tell me he had a meeting which he does from time to time so I never questioned it! My husband has told me that at first she made him feel diffrent and special. Im sure she did she had nothing else to do! He also said that she did finally tell him her or me and he never left so I have to give him some kind of credit for that. He said he never stoped loving me he just wanted to feel loved, to be special if even for a minute. I understand this for some strange reason, I do not balme myself but I understand!
      He did’nt stop calling the OW until I found out and then he stopped like it was no big deal but what I have figured out she dumped him about a month before I found out, yes he was still calling her and telling her he would leave and begging her to rethink this and she would’nt budge, if he did’nt leave me they were done. I am thankful one of them started using their brain!
      I guess if you really love him and want to stay married to him give it time. The pain of knowng that it is going on will make you think and do things you should’nt. It’s ok to feel all those things and you will have days when you think, why am I still here. If he comes back you will have days were you may kick him out. I have done this so may times I can’t even count but I guess this is how I am going to deal with it. Be patient if you can. If he has’nt left for good you have a chance!

    • JS

      I need help and while infidelity is infidelity, I am dealing with a spouse who has acted out due to sexual addiction and it is a tad different. Moreover, my laundry list of problems due to his addiction, my pain, who he acted out with, is horrific.

      He told me in 08 that he had been cheating for 27 of the past 37 yrs of our marriage, but basically, he did the first year we were married so I feel that he always did. He was fighting not cheating even when he did not act on it. He made a profession of faith after our first year of marriage and did not cheat for 7 plus years after that, went to bible college, but did not follow through with that because he wanted to have sex with the choir he said. End of story.

      When he confessed to me, it was because he got caught, basically, as it is with most addicts. He had cut me off for the past 5 to 8 years. He had been very sketchy with our love life up to then. He said he had a prob and did not have any desire, but oh boy, did he ever. I found viagra in our prescription list in June of 07, waited a month to see if he got it for us so as to give him a chance. I had been worried about his inability and had bee encouraging him to see a dr. as he mtn. biked a lot and I worried about the shape of the bike seat hurting him. Before I became sick I biked with him, but since 98, and an injury, I had not biked. Torn rotator cuff and then tendonitis that would not heal. I was crashing a lot. In 07 was diagnosed with MS, so that was the root of it all. The MS dx changed but that is another story.

      Anyway, I let it slide, the prescription, for a mo. When nothing was said I confronted him. He said he got it for a friend who had no ins. and the friend backed him up. I was to learn all his friends covered for him, abeted and aided him. Valentines day of 2008, the pills fell out of the side saddle of his mtn bike when I was moving it. He had lied. I just waited for him to get home.

      He said he got them for us but did not want me to know as he had tried to use them and had failed and if I knew I would control sex. (They were over half gone; he did not always need them). Right. I told him he was full of it and that is when he knew he had to tell me. So, on May 8 of 08, he finally confessed. Man. It was horrible.

      My good friend who I had added to our biking in 97 had been having sex with him since 95, to present. Three times a week in the back seats of cars, truck beds with camper covers and suvs. Sex, then ride. Then, added to her, there was one affair, other that the one night stand from the first year of marriage, that he had in 1983 and he had told me he was in love with her. But did not leave us for her, we had four small children. However, he confessed that he had continued to see her off and on for 15 years, ending it in 98. The hard part for me was that I kicked him out over her in 86 when he moped for three years and pulled myself together, got a job, I had been a stay at home mom, rose to the occasion and was “ok” finally. He begged me to take him back in Sept of 86, said he had worked it out. I told him when I asked him to leave to find Ms Thing and get it resolved. He did not. Yes, she had remarried, she was 12 yrs his jr. but was married when he met her, left her husband for him, and left her second for him in early 87. So, whatever. But, I took him back against my better judgement and he start right back up with her when she called. All their affairs happened because she made the contacts. He never turned her down, but she would start them up, they went for 3-6 mos, then she would end them, usually because he would not leave me and one time because he would not have his vasectomy undone. What a prize.

      He had sex with a good friend I went to high school with and who had become a coworker but “dated” her behind my back and her husbands back for months. They would meet and hang out, go to parks, etc. He took Ms. 1983 to hotels, a cabin in the mtns. to CA on a business trip, to the movies. He had sex with a random mail room woman at his job, met her when he went to play basketball and they had sex in the car. Before they met, they made out on the job for weeks in the stairwell, working this up. He also took the last woman to the movies, I mean come on.

      He had sex with another coworker for three years, they would make their days off match and he would go to this person’s house. He had other coworkers allow him to use their homes for these trysts, he had women who were separating from their husbands that worked with him give him their phone numbers and they would call back and forth go to lunch, make out but they could not go through with it. Their husbands would have killed him. And the harder thing is all these ppl were supposed to be my friends. There was also a courier that he would go and meet in parking lots and they would do sexual things. I went on camping trips with these ppl, no I ARRANGED and invited these ppl on my camping trips.

      One of the things that he did to me was he confessed shotgun style. He did NOT tell me all at once. He would wait 3 or 6 mos and then either tell me more or allow that he had lied about something flat out. He just kept destroying me until I was insane.

      We have been in counseling our entire marriage off and on, he has been a beautiful liar. The best. He got on bended knee in 98 when he was caught “talking” to ms. 1983 for the final time, really having sex with her in the back of his truck, and gave me a new diamond and avowed his dedications and love for me, all the while still having sex with my good friend while biking. They developed into going on week long biking trips and camping. This is a trip he had taken annually for years, he just got rid of the guys and went with her. I know that it is not important but she is dog faced ugly. All the while I am sick and begging him to take a long weekend for us to go to the beach and he would not.

      All of these ppl were married as well. There were other of my friends that he hit on and they met him out places, etc but would not have sex with him, but the thing is NO ONE told me.

      My heartache is so deep, I feel like I have lost my past. I cannot see a picture of any time in my past. He even told the last woman, my good buddy, that he did not love me when he married me. He never told me that, he told HER that and she told me. I had to hear that from her mouth. He did not deny it. He has said so many horrible things, I am full of grief, anger and he also gave me an std. He said that he considered running away with the last women briefly. Really? Go the heck on.

      He has been in sexual addiction therapy for over two years, and was in other therapy from the minute he confessed. His thing is that he says that he could not cross over to me because of the lies and it got worse and worse. In the beginning he thought “she will never know” then it became “she can never know”. He says he had times of doubt of his love for me, I got this one last night. First time. He told the last woman he loved her but told me it was a lie to keep the affair going and he only said it a hand full of times and had not said it in several years and she said that was true. She, on the other hand, did fall in love with him.

      I have a hard time reconciling the evilness that it takes for someone to have an active affair for 13 years, smile in your face, come to the hospital when they take off your breasts, buys your husband a cell phone so he can call, hugs you at the komen walks, sends you a Christmas card every single year, calls you about her deepest problems. And, also for him. How did he do these things for so long and love me, as he says he did.

      I do great for a spell, then it is like out of my control, the pain and anger that crawl onto my back and out of my gut. I want to scream, cry, beat these “friends” down. There is no end to the betrayal. I am a very loyal friend. I have been the rescuer, never again. I am bitter now. I loved these ppl. With my heart. I cannot deal with the past but it exists. I feel like a victim of ptsd, it comes out no where. I need help. I have a counseler that I see, and I go to a sex addicts wives group but I need more. I have been in the hospital two times since I found out. I just collapsed. My health has taken a massive hit, my children and I became strangers and this past weekend, all the hard work my husband has done was shattered by my thoughtless anger and explosion that was all brought on by a photo I happened upon of him from the 90′s looking all handsome and smug and with all his swagger. It just floods me. I cannot see any pictures of the past without thinking, “who was he cheating on me with?”. I have lost my past and it makes me very upset. I cannot even look at my wedding pictures. He did not love me? What a failure. My kids and I are great now but will I ever get over this, be able to have a memory not marred by his lack of loyalty?

      • maire

        My heart goes out to you, I am eaten up by anger and hatred of my ex. I thought he was bad but you have suffered terribly at the hands of a sadistic, devious man.
        Like you 2 weeks after marrying my husband decided he wanted to be single ad went off with a work colleague for a couple of months, out every night home at 4 not talking treating me very badly. I should have left him then but I had no family I hope things would improve. For the last 30 years I have had to deal with humiliation and betrayal and like you a visit to the std clinic. This last affair I said enough and divorced him. He didn’t want a divorce he wanted to still play happy families, he wanted what he had wanted for 30 years……….everything. So I have divorced him, taken the house and 1/2 his pension, so I am (if careful) going to be ok. My problem is the anger and the wasted years of my life spent on trying to entertain him, keep him happy, be the comedian etc but no more. His family who always said I was like a daughter and who were aware, at the end, of his treatment of me did nothing, said nothing and even gave him money to buy a house just down the road from me, so I can’t heal. I am extremely hurt and angry with them and now cannot bear to bring myself to speak to them and I know they are hurt but they let me down badly. My ex I totally ignore. This is 2.5 yrs ago and I still feel it. I am tired of the anger and it being on my mind 24/7 so I am going to try counselling Like you I cannot think of one happy memory other than with my children. I hope sincerely you can move on and get a better life you so deserve it.

    • Notoverit

      You have to be the strongest woman I have ever heard of! I cannot say how much I feel for you and your tribulations. Your anger was not thoughtless – it was real, coming from the intense pain you must feel inside. I think about my pain from my H’s only EA and it simply pales in comparison. You will get through this! Do as I did with those triggers, put them away and do not look at them. Do not think of them. Engage yourself in something else that involves your mind – reading, watching tv, writing, whatever you enjoy focusing on. Time will heal you. You are in my prayers!

    • JS

      TY so much for your comments. It has been four years, though, this May and I want to be able to integrate my past life back into my emotional current life. I want to be able to see a picture and not think, “who was he screwing”. I want to not associate every point in time with his bad behavior, it is so destructive. We have some so very far, and this is a major stumbling block. I used all the tactics you mentioned sucessfully in the past and understand how they work but realistically, my entire town is a trigger. He parked in all the parking lots of the parks in our city to have sex, went to cabins on a tourist attraction that we all have loved and enjoyed for years,. He has sullied so many things, and the only other thing is that he would ride his bike again today if I could handle it, and I will never be able to handle it. He acted out on the bike, that was the venue that he chose to use to have all of his encounters with the last woman for almost 13 years so I could not bear it. She never lost a beat, still riding. I just hope that I can find a way to be whole, have access to my memories without pain. I feel so cheated.

    • Recovering

      Anger… I deal with the anger some days by letting it out, and others, like today, by suppressing it and feeling like I am going to explode any minute! Today I want to choke him… leave him… run the whore over with my car… and it’s been over a year since I found out already!! I want to run away! But unlike him, who ran away from facing reality by cheating, I will suck it up, and face him. I will hopefully calm down before I see him, and I will tell him how I feel. I have learned that anger is just an expression of an unresolved feeling, and today for me that feeling is fear and insecurity. I am working out of town. The other times I have worked out of town he has always texted me sweet things first thing in the morning. This time nothing. Not even a “good morning” text… why? I don’t know. I am scared. I feel alone. I am scared…. which is turning into angry because it is less pitiful and easier to handle…

    • Ann

      Hey heres a great way to express anger. There is an online company that will anonymously send animal poop to your enemies. I sent two used copies of Fatal a attraction to the OW. She is a Spider Woman. Look that up. Everyone needs to know about theses women. They are dangerous!

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